$2 million for homeless man killed by police while holding bike part, and free Metro Bike ride through DTLA tomorrow

A federal jury awarded more than $2 million to the family of a homeless man who was fatally shot by an LAPD sergeant last year.

Thirty-one-year old Victor Valencia was erratically waving a bike part, which witnesses had mistaken for a gun. He was shot when he reportedly pointed the object at the officer.

However, a witness to the shooting claimed Valencia had his arms over his shoulders, and never pointed towards the cop.

Although I would have thought it was a gun, too, regardless of where it was pointed.

Then again, I’m not a cop. Or trained not to shoot unless a suspect is armed or someone’s life is actually in danger.

But we’ll all get to pay for it, anyway.

Photo from LAPD.

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Metro Bike is hosting a free and easy three-mile ride through DTLA tomorrow.

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

Unbelievable. A Memphis man riding a bike was run down by a driver leaving a parking lot, then intentionally run down again as he tried to ride away — after he swung his bike at the driver’s car, who repeatedly gunned the engine and lurched the car at him. All of it caught on camera, in front of witnesses, yet somehow, no arrest has been made.

A Georgia man faces felony charges for intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, after buzzing the bike rider just minutes earlier; he then tried to fight a witness trying to calm him down as the two men argued afterwards. Note to The Newnan Times-Herald — No, the truck didn’t ram someone on a bike, the driver did. And never mind that “Dodge Ram” is a brand name, while “Dodge rams” is an action.

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

Police in Santa Rosa are looking for a bank robber who made his getaway by bike after sticking up a Chase branch; they later found the bicycle, but the thief is in the wind.

A New Hampshire man faces multiple charges after fleeing from a police traffic stop on his bicycle while carrying a backpack packed with a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, packages of suspected crack and heroin, and over $2200 in cash. His prize for his 21st arrest is getting charged as a career criminal.

The Aussie bicyclist caught on video screaming obscenities at a single mother who cut him off in traffic has been outed as a “high-flying executive” at some of Australia’s biggest financial institutions.

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Local

Recent bicycling convert CA state Sen. Anthony Portantino says this will be his last term in the state legislature, as he moves to Burbank and explores running for state superintendent of public instruction election in 2026.

Sad news from Pasadena, where ten-year City Councilmember John J. Kennedy died unexpectedly, just one month after winning reelection with nearly 60% of the vote.

 

State 

A San Clemente surfer becomes the talk of the town when he scores a retro, non-electric bicycle, in a tale told with tongue firmly in cheek.

Neighborhood activists in Santa Barbara are fighting a proposed 14-foot wide bike path that would run through the 25-acre Modoc Road Preserve, potentially removing up to 63 mature trees in a preserve that’s home to three species of hawks, hooded orioles, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, possum and raccoons. Although most of the trees scheduled for removal are invasive, non-native palm and eucalyptus trees.

 

National

People For Bikes says the US could fight inflation and lower transportation costs by investing in bike infrastructure and ebike subsidies.

Shocking story from a Quaker pastor in The Saturday Evening Post, who says talking his wife into letting him get an ebike is an uphill battle. The shocking part is that The Saturday Evening Post is still a thing.

Bicycling recommends the best bike trailer for your four-footed best friend. Unless maybe your best friend is a cat or ferret or something, in which case you’re on your own. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Everything you need to know if you’re planning to head to Portland for their edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

A Colorado BMX champ could be coaching younger riders on foot for awhile, after someone cut the lock securing his custom-built bike in the middle of the night.

Friends have raised a $50,000 reward to find the Austin, Texas hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding across the US with a dozen other people; he was also one of just 400 people who have run a marathon on every continent.

St. Paul, Minnesota residents are fighting a proposed bike path, fearing it will result in the removal of majestic trees and change the character of the historic street — even though they haven’t see any plans yet. Apparently, all those cars haven’t changed the neighborhood’s historic character at all.

Police in Detroit are still looking for the shooter who killed an innocent 18-year old girl when she got caught in a crossfire while riding her bike last year.

A grieving mother demanded that DC do more to protect bike riders after her daughter, a 40-year old State Department worker, was killed by a truck driver this week — one of three people killed riding bikes in the city this month.

 

International

Vancouver becomes the latest area to require sideguards on large trucks, in response to the death of a 28-year old bike rider.

An angry Irish bicyclist says city leaders who oppose bike lanes should be required to visit the families of fallen bicyclists.

Vienna bikemaker VELLO introduces a ebike foldie that weighs under 22 pounds, recharges by braking and folds in just eight seconds, selling for around $3.600.

Proving that bike theft is a universal problem, Kiwi bicyclists are calling for more and better bike storage amid a jump in theft. Something tells me if they have bicycles on Europa or Ganymede or Tatooine, they have the same damn problem.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time defending champ Tadej Pogačar couldn’t catch Jonas Vingegaard on the final mountain stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, losing another minute in the standings as the peloton tackled the famed Hautacam; VeloNews offers video highlights of the stage.

Vingegaard was applauded for sportsmanship when he waited for Pogačar to catch up after taking a spill in loose gravel, after almost falling himself.

Former TdF champ Geraint Thomas says he’s glad to be done with the Pyrenees, because he’s has enough with constant attacks in the battle between Vingegaard and Pogačar.

Nielson Powless is the top American in the race, 45 minutes behind the leader in 14th place.

Raise your hand if you knew it was against the rules for a pro cyclist to get a boost by pushing off race moto. And if you know that, why the hell didn’t Nairo Quintana, who was penalized 10 seconds, 200 Swiss francs and four points for the stunt in Thursday’s stage.

New Zealand cyclist Jack Bauer was shaken and angry when he was caught between a team car and a media motorbike as he tried to make his was back to the peloton, and hit the car’s rear windshield when the driver braked to avoid a fallen rider as the motorcyclist closed off the gap he was aiming for.

NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of all eight stages of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes on the free Peacock streaming service, with some stages rebroadcast later on CNBC.

Former world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney will be in Colorado this weekend competing in the nationals for the first time since she won in 2018.

 

Finally…

If you put a stolen license plate on your bicycle, there’s a good chance the cops won’t get the joke. No, calling a lawyer probably isn’t the first thing you should do if you get hit by a car; getting out of the street first might be a better idea.

And this wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t so true.

Thanks to Jon for the tweet.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    I call BS on everything about that Vello electric bike.

    • J says:

      Company is well respected and has been shipping slightly heavier version of this.
      There own website vello a .bike site preceded by language as it’s url.

      “Some more facts about the VELLO folding bikes and the lightest e-bike in the world:

      Low total weight from 9.9 kg electric (6.5 kg non-electric)
      Fast folding within 8 seconds
      Large 20-inch wheels with small folding dimensions (57x79x29 cm)
      Energy recuperation
      All-in-one electric motor with built-in battery
      Connectivity via app
      Electronic motor lock
      Tracking in case of theft
      Optional external remote control with boost function
      ” might be more credible than design boom’s and has lots of links to reviews of prior models!

      (my prior response has me leaving a letter out of my email but I hope it is approved)

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