San Diego woman critical after hit-and-run, more on Biking While Black arrest, and CA Stop as Yield Bill up for vote tomorrow

San Diego police are looking for the heartless coward who left a 39-year old woman with life threatening injuries.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding her bike on Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue when the driver ran her down from behind Monday night.

The suspect was driving a dark colored, four-door SUV with front-end damage; anyone with information is urged to call the SDPD’s Traffic Division at 858/495-7805.

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More details on the video of a several white cops confiscating bikes from a group of teenage riders — all of whom were people of color — and arresting a young Black bicyclist for the crime of not having a bike license or lights.

In broad daylight, no less.

No, seriously.

A longer video show the events leading up to the arrest in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, where a group of teens were popping wheelies and riding salmon through traffic.

Officers were able to corner several riders who broke away from the main mass of riders, leading them to confiscate four bikes that didn’t have the city’s required bike license. Even though they were initially promised their bikes wouldn’t be taken.

The Black teen was arrested for refusing to turn over his bike.

Even though it’s highly questionable whether police have the right to confiscate bicycles for a simple infraction — let alone arrest someone for what amounts to a ticketable traffic offense.

Especially if the kids are from out of town, since a city’s licensing requirement can’t be enforced against nonresidents.

And even though licensing laws, like helmet laws, are too often enforced against people of color, often as a pretext for an otherwise illegal search.

Fortunately, the cops came to their senses and returned the bikes a few hours later, as well as releasing the young man who’d been arrested.

The head of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU offered this take on the incident.

He added these thoughts in a later statement.

“The incident in Perth Amboy is an example of the kind of excessive criminalization that invites selective enforcement by police officers,” Sinha told NJ Advance Media. “Black and brown people are targeted and racially profiled for normal activities like riding bikes, walking down the street, or driving a car.”

“No one should be threatened with arrest or have their bike confiscated just for riding down the street rather than the sidewalk,” he added. “And we should be alarmed when police use their authority to brand normal behavior as crimes.”

Which pretty well sums up this whole sad affair of Biking While Black or Brown.

And yes, the whole damn thing could have been handled better.

Hopefully it will be, since a county prosecutor is looking into the complaint filed by the ACLU.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Thanks to Al Williams for his help in identifying the location of the first video yesterday.

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It’s time to weigh in on California’s proposed Safety Stop Bill, aka the Idaho Stop Law, that would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields.

Which is exactly what many, if not most, of us already do.

Bike Talk recently discussed the bill with Burbank Assembly Woman Laura Friedman.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s state senate just passed a similar bill, which will now go back to the state house for final approval.

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Also tomorrow, take a moment to voice your support for neighborhood greenways in Pasadena.

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Florida just legalized vehicular homicide if someone you disagree with politically blocks the roadway.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch also forwards video of Portland bike cops violently attacking a man on a bike who tried to ride through a small group of protestors, and using their bikes to push back the other people.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Apparently, someone in New York’s Greenpoint neighborhood doesn’t like Open Streets, using a fake Amazon van to steal several barricades and toss them in a nearby Superfund site. Fortunately, community volunteers were able to rescue them from the water.

A wealthy British corporate director will spend the next six months behind bars for pushing a man off his bicycle while walking in a park, resulting in five broken ribs, while his wife got a small fine for lying to police about who did it.

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

A San Diego man rode off on a bike after snatching a duck from a community pond and stuffing it in his backpack.

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Local

A UCLA professor is using art to promote bicycling, working with the LACBC and the school’s Luskin School of Public Affairs to create interactive, digital murals that “will simultaneously connect commuters, create safe routes around the city, and allow everyone to contribute to a work of public art.”

LA County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the shooting death of a man in Huntington Park; he was found next to a bicycle, but they aren’t sure if he or his killer was riding it.

 

State

A 15-year old Rio Lindo girl is recovering from a horrific hit-and-run after a driver dragged her under his truck; to make matters worse, they know who was driving the truck, yet he still hasn’t been charged with the crime.

The owner of a Fresno bike shop is frustrated after thieves break in for the third time in less than a year, taking three bikes worth $1,500 in the latest burglary.

A memorial service with an optional bike ride will be held next month for 86-year old Joe Shami, known as the Legend of Mount Diablo, after he was killed in a collision with an SUV driver; the much-loved Shami earned fame and fans by riding up the Bay Area mountain at least once a week for 615 consecutive weeks.

Manteca removed its bicycle licensing requirement, but is keeping a ban on sidewalk riding.

UC Davis is teaming with the city to reimagine Russel Boulevard, the busy thoroughfare that forms the northern border of the campus; the street carries 8,000 bike riders and 13,000 transit users each day, topping the daily 20,000 motorists that use the street.

 

National

The Bike League is offering 40 League Cycling Instructor scholarships for riders who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

A Canadian Olympic cycling team hopeful wants help getting her bike back, after it was stolen from a convenience store while training in Tucson.

An Iowa public radio station talks with a student in the University of Iowa’s Medical Scientist Training Program about how he overcame a near-fatal bicycling crash.

In an unusual twist, a New York State pedestrian was ticketed for walking on the wrong side of the street after dark when a 63-year old bike rider slammed into him from behind; the pedestrian was apparently uninjured, but the woman on the bike suffered a serious head injury.

Ocean City NJ is planning to crackdown on teen “bike gangs” they accuse of menacing the city’s boardwalk.

A Savannah, Georgia woman says some of the happiest, most liberated people she knows ride bikes. No argument here.

 

International

Road.cc considers the best ti bikes, starting at a relatively low $1,700.

Cycling Tips finds what they call the silliest bike campaign on Kickstarter, a low-end carbon fiber mountain bike that appears to have been cobbled together using spare parts from Alibaba, China’s ubiquitous Amazon equivalent.

You’ve got to be kidding. An English city council member is accused of insulting overly sensitive Covid victims by saying that scrapping a temporary bike lane would be a tragedy.

Ireland’s Image magazine suggests several cute women’s outfits for your next bike ride. The outfits are cute, not necessarily the women wearing them. Although they might be, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of Ventura County TV stations offer an introduction to Ayesha McGowan, the first Black American women’s pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the coronavirus pandemic means you’ll have to ride naked by yourself. Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson is one of us, too.

And at last, a solution for the age old problem of never having a speed bump when and where you really need one.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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