Road rage rises on the mean streets of LA, LACBC Bike Month ride, and Streets For All plans June virtual Happy Hour

No surprise here.

Road rage continues to soar on the mean streets of Los Angeles, with reports up 41.4% over the first four months of the year, compared to last year.

And no, that doesn’t just reflect calmer streets during last year’s pandemic slowdown. It’s also a significant increase over the pre-pandemic good old days of 2019.

It’s more than just a simple disagreement between road users, too. As Crosstown explains,

While the concept of road rage makes some think of a driver who gets cut off and responds by shaking a fist, actual incidents are much more serious. The LAPD defines road rage as when a person commits an assault with a vehicle, or other weapon, due to something that occurs while driving. To be classified as road rage, the encounter must, in police parlance, require “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Over two-thirds of road rage cases reported last year involved a gun — more than double the number of cases reported in each of the previous two years. As if a multi-tin motor vehicle isn’t weapon enough.

So be careful out there.

You never know who you’re sharing the road with. Or how they’re armed.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from last Sunday’s LACBC Bike Month ride, where it appears a good time was had by all.

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Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour on June 8th — the day after Election Day — with the vice mayor of Burbank.

And no, that’s doesn’t mean he’s mayor of all the fun stuff.

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Gravel Bike California offers your guide to riding the rocks at May and Kagel Canyons.

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If anyone gets me on their gift list this year, this will do nicely.

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GCN offers advice on how to buy a used bike.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British hit-and-run driver was fined the equivalent of just $526 for a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, even though he appeared to crash into the victim intentionally.

Police in the UK are looking for three men who got out of a car and beat a man in his 50s after they crashed into his bike.

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

New York police are looking for a masked bike rider who jumped off his bicycle and repeatedly stabbed a man who was walking on the sidewalk; the victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times got four of the remaining candidates for mayor of Los Angeles on the record for their transportation policies, although Kevin de León is the only candidate with an actual transportation platform; billionaire Rick Caruso apparently had better things to do, saying he wasn’t ready to discuss the subject yet, less than two weeks before Election Day.

E-scooter providers Lime, Lyft and Spin have changed their city-mandated programs for low-income riders, reportedly without informing the public first.

 

State 

A 52-year old San Diego man was sentenced to 11 years behind bars, 34 years after his errant shot killed a passing bike rider in the city’s Encanto neighborhood.

Murrieta kindergartners are learning how to ride a bike as part of the All Kids Bike program, with bikes and helmets courtesy of supercross star Ryan Dungey.

Momentum considers the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s successful efforts to create the city’s first carfree street. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

If you build it, they don’t always come. A San Francisco website reports the free bike valet at the city’s Chase Center arena, home of the NBA Warriors, is going mostly unused.

No surprise that New York and Los Angeles lead the nation in bicycling deaths; more surprising is that Stockton and Sacramento County both rank in the nation’s top ten for bicycling fatalities.

 

National

CNN offers suggestions on how to store and secure your bike at home.

The sheriff of New Mexico’s Sandoval County is recovering from a broken back and rib after crashing his mountain bike when he tried to ramp over a rock, and slammed into it instead.

A Colorado writer considers the growing animosity between drivers and bike riders, insisting “We all kinda hate each other, and by ‘kinda,’ I mean truly and deeply with a passion.”

Colorado Public Radio relates the origin tale of the Iron Horse Classic, when two brothers decided to race each other, one on a bike and the other at the helm of a classic narrow gauge steam engine; this weekend marks the 50th edition of the road race.

Britain’s Daily Mail — not exactly know for its veracity — reports cyclist Colin Strickland has gone into hiding, evidently worried that his fugitive girlfriend will target him next, after allegedly shooting and killing top gravel cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson.

The head of Brompton is on a mission to convert New Yorkers to foldies.

A Pennsylvania man is on life support after a man just released from jail knocked him off his bicycle, then beat him with it for two minutes before walking away and leaving his victim for dead.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Fed up with high gas prices, an 85-year old North Carolina man fixed up his bike, and plans to live virtually carfree for the foreseeable future. Even if gas prices there are nearly two bucks cheaper than in Los Angeles.

 

International

A new international database offers nearly 1.6 million geo-located records of bicycle collisions from various cities, states, regions and countries around the world, apparently including Los Angeles, making it easier for researchers to study them.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — an easy four-hour ebike ride from Rome to see the 2,500-year old Appian Way and ancient Roman aqueducts.

Survivors of a British endurance cyclist are suing the organizers of a French bike race for the equivalent of nearly a million dollars after the 36-year old man died of heat stroke during the competition.

Copenhagen will introduce Denmark’s first diagonal bike lane to connect bike lanes through a busy intersection.

WaPo examines Ukrainian fighters turning ebikes made in the country into weapons of war.

Sad news from Myanmar, where the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Winner was killed in a collision; 42-year old Kyaw Win Hlaing was run down when a quarreling couple in a mini-truck rear-ended his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride offroad race is expanding into Michigan, for what will be the series fifth event, following races in San Diego, Utah, North Carolina and Kansas.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a massive DIY omnidirectional front wheel. Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Formula E car racing team.

And who says you can’t carry trash on a bike?

Thanks to Jon for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. I’ve ridden on Roman roads in North Africa back in the 1970s that dated from around the time of Christ. They were very rough and had ruts from chariots, but they were roughly 2000 years old.

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