Kids bike camp at VELO Sports Center, London shows what LA could be but isn’t, and rider attacked by ungrateful ‘roo

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is living up to its name by hosting the free USA Cycling “Let’s Ride” Camp.

The camp is being held in conjunction with the East Side Riders Bike Club and the Bahati Foundation to get more kids on bikes, and teach them to ride safely.

And who knows, maybe your precocious kid will get discovered by one of those Olympians or team reps, and set on a path to become LA’s next bicycling superstar.

It could happen.

Right?

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This is what Los Angeles could be. But isn’t.

And this is how you make the streets more efficient.

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

Bizarre crime in Brentwood CA (scroll down), where a man hopped out of a pickup and sprayed a bike rider in the face with mace outside a local brewery, in an apparently random attack, before riding off on a skateboard.

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

Police in Kuantan, Malaysia, are looking for a bike rider caught on dashcam video drafting a truck; he could face up to the equivalent an $80 fine if he’s caught, or $229 for a repeat offender.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times urges Newsom to sign AB 1238 to decriminalize jaywalking and let people cross the street when it’s safe, without having to worry about getting a ticket — especially in Black communities where jaywalking is too often used as a pretext for police stops. And a pair of writers for CityLab agree.

A group of UCLA researchers have received a $1 million grant to fund a digital art project designed to encourage more people to ride a bike, by creating art projects that only come to life when someone rides past on a bicycle.

You can now give Metro Bike the Bird by using the dockless scooter app to rent one of Metro’s bikeshare bikes.

Caltrans plans three Complete Streets projects in LA County. But don’t get too excited. Only one, on Western Ave, will have a bike lane; the others — on PCH in the South Bay, and Alvarado Street and Santa Monica Blvd — will only be sort-of complete.

 

State

BikeSD is urging everyone in San Diego County to attend SANDAG’s virtual meeting on Friday, or send in a comment, to help push four regional bikeways over the finish line.

The San Francisco Chronicle says a “permanently car-free John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park” could finally become a reality after more than 50 years of effort and advocacy; city officials want the public to weigh in on whether the street closure should be permanent.

Tips are reportedly flowing in to help identify a man who lost his memory in a Sacramento collision while riding his bike, and has no idea who he is.

 

National

Seriously? A Seattle website offers tips on how to get around the city without a car. But the first two suggestions still recommend using someone else’s car, whether through carshare or a ride hailing service. Which is the exact opposite of not using a car, even if it’s not yours.

Horrible news from Utah, where a man on a bicycle was critically injured when he was struck by an older driver, who then repeatedly backed up and drove forward again and again, running over the victim twice. Yet witnesses inexplicably insisted she didn’t seem to realize she’d hit anything, despite what sounds like an intentional attack.

A Kansas woman is back behind bars where she belongs after her bail was revoked for leaving the state over the weekend; she’s charged with running down a man on a bicycle with her van, then getting out and fatally shooting him as he lay injured on the street.

Chicago announced the largest bike lane expansion in the city’s history, with a commitment to install 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes over the next two years at a cost of $17 million.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a retired police sergeant was found dead in a ditch nine hours after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while training for a Police Unity bike tour. The driver should be charged with murder for making a conscious decision to flee once he or she is caught, rather than getting the help that might have saved her life.

Massachusetts police respond to complaints by taking steps to stop kids on bicycles from “harassing and endangering the public” by riding their bikes erratically around drivers and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in upstate New York, where an 84-year old woman got a lousy traffic ticket for killing a bike rider. Yet another example of keeping an older driver on the road until it’s too late.

New York is set to unveil a redesigned Queens Blvd next month, including a bike lane and wider medians and pedestrian crossings, making it the centerpiece of the city’s Vision Zero program; the so-called Boulevard of Death saw 23 people killed or severely injured over a four-year period.

The DC city auditor is opening a 10-month investigation into the city’s Vision Zero program to determine why deaths have gone up every year but one since it was adopted in 2015. Maybe they can do Los Angeles next, which hasn’t fared much better. 

A Georgia man has named a state legislator and a local police chief in a wrongful death suit, accusing them of covering up a hit-and-run collision that killed the man’s bike-riding son; instead of dialing 911, the driver called his buddy the legislator, who called the police chief, neither of whom got help for the victim or charged the driver.

Brian Laundrie is one of us. The “person of interest” in the murder of his fiancée Gabby Petito was seen going for a casual bike ride with his mother after returning to his Florida home alone from an extended road trip with Petito, with no explanation.

 

International

Life is cheap in the UK, where a distracted cab driver got less than three years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving 70 mph and using his cellphone; he tried to cover up the crime by wiping the data on his phone.

A bike advocacy group said it was shocked when the Belfast, Northern Ireland transportation agency called for removing all the city’s popup bike lanes, or converting them to use by people on four wheels, as well as on two.

The number of people commuting to work by bicycle in Brussels dropped by a third since the pandemic began, but the distance they’re riding went up; 14 percent of commuters now bike to work, compared to 21 percent pre-ppandemic. Los Angeles would have to see a nearly ten time increase to reach the current level, let alone the previous one.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great to see veteran German cyclist Tony Martin end his career on a high note by winning the mixed relay race at the world championships in his last race before retiring, after finishing sixth in Sunday’s individual time trial.

Seventeen-year old Austrian junior cyclist Leila Gschwentner was injured in a collision with a public bus in Leuven, Belgium, while training for Saturday’s junior road cycling world championship; no word on how badly she was hurt.

UCI is stepping in to tame the Wild West of gravel bike racing, metaphorically pinning on its own marshal’s badge to impose structure and a world championship on the formerly unregulated racing events.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to have a “brutal” mountain bike crash, make sure there’s an ER doc on the trail with you. That feeling when a rude ‘roo shows his lack of gratitude for being saved from drowning by attacking a passing bike rider.

And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting attacked by a rabid beaver.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

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