Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

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Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

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Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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