Let’s get the worst news out of the way first.
If you missed it last night, someone riding a mountain bike in Dana Point was murdered in one worst cases of traffic violence in memory.
The victim was was riding north in the bike lane on PCH when a driver rammed them from behind, then came back around, got out of his car and stabbed the bike rider as they lay helpless on the ground.
The victim died a few hours later at a nearby hospital; the driver was arrested after being detained by witnesses.
But be forewarned, it contains contains security cam video that clearly shows the crash, though not the stabbing. So you may want to think twice before hitting play.
Hospital staffers are asking for the public’s help identifying two unknown and unconscious patients in LA County hospitals, including a woman who was injured riding her bike in Mission Hills.
The woman is described being in her late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 153 pounds, with medium-length dark brown hair, brown eyes and a medium skin tone.
She has a tattoo on her right forearm with a red and green heart outlined in black, and the words “One love.”
It’s possible that she may be homeless.
Anyone with information is urged to call Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills at 818/365-8051.
Just one more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you when you ride.
Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.
The LA Times looks at California’s plan to boost ebike sales through an equity-based point-of-sale incentive — not a rebate, as we’ve been told.
The paper also notes that many of lower-income residents who could benefit most from the program live in areas with the most dangerous streets.
Yet projects in the city’s mobility plan to alleviate the problems remain on hold, perhaps permanently, with just 3% of the plan build out, over seven years into the 25-year plan.
Meanwhile, San Diego’s KPBS says that city’s bike shops are abuzz about the program. As they should be, since our neighbor to the south is actually doing something to encourage bicycling and protect people on two wheels.
Personally, I’ll get excited when and if they actually roll it out, and without such stringent qualifications that virtually no one actually qualifies.
And if they don’t manage to fuck it up some other way. Which I wouldn’t bet on, given the long delay in rolling it out.
Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Los Angeles-based women’s all-sizes bikewear brand Machines For Freedom has come to an ignominious end, shut down by parent company Specialized just five years after it was purchased from the brand’s founders; the shutdown leaves a sizable hole in the market for women who don’t fit the bike industry’s usual petite stereotype.
Bike riders participating in this month’s 45th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run will have the opportunity to ride through the Pasadena area on a 40-mile ride beginning and ending in Chinatown.
Manhattan Beach will receive a $1 million grant to improve a bike path and close gaps in a bike lane connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail, one of five South Bay grants contained in December’s federal appropriations bill.
San Diego will receive a $680,000 US Department of Transportation grant as part of the federal appropriations bill; the funds will help add a “comprehensive speed management plan, a historically disadvantaged community quick build program and slow streets program to the city’s existing Vision Zero Strategy.”
Wildomar received a $2.2 million grant to improve Sedco Blvd by adding bike lanes, improving sidewalks, and installing three roundabouts along a short 0.19-mile segment connecting two planned bicycle corridors.
Santa Maria cops conducted a bait bike operation by hiding a bicycle under a tarp in the back of a pickup parked in a hotel lot; one man is in custody after two men took the bait, then ran away to avoid arrest. Yet that’s something that the LAPD still refuses to do, despite the city’s unacceptable rate of bike thefts, over fears of entrapment accusations. Even though dozens of other California police agencies don’t seem to have a problem with that.
The San Francisco Examiner looks at new California laws that affect bike riders, pedestrians and motorists, including the requirement to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle when possible.
Tragic news in Tracy, where police shot and wounded a 17-year old Afghan refugee when the boy failed to comply with orders to get off his bicycle; local groups working with the Muslim community questioned why less lethal methods weren’t used, suggesting a likely language barrier kept the boy from understanding the cop’s commands. He’s reportedly recovering in the hospital after undergoing two surgeries.
No bias here. A Marin bike advocate complains about “fighting for scraps to fund bike/ped projects” while the county spends $7.5 million to repave a parking lot.
Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 e-cargo bike is back on the market, following a recall that affected nearly 30,000 of the company’s bikes.
Separated bike lanes in Flagstaff, Arizona are posing a problem this winter, blocked by snow piled by plowing traffic lanes, and forcing riders to mix it up with drivers in icy streets — even though the city purchased smaller plows just to keep them clear.
No surprise here. Denver’s latest round of 860 ebike rebates were all claimed within 20 minutes of when they became available. Now let’s hope more people actually use them.
A Kansas City councilmember calls for a compromise on a contested bike lane, calling for returning one side to parking, while installing a two-way bike lane on the other.
An Iowa paper talks with a then-18-year old man who was one of the few bicyclists to complete the first RAGBRAI 50 years ago.
They get it. An editorial that originally appeared in the paywalled Des Moines Register calls on the legislature to celebrate bicycling in Iowa by committing to safety, starting with passing a ban on distracted driving.
Chicago bike advocates are split on the city’s plan to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, with some calling it a good first step and others saying it doesn’t go far enough. One of the rare cases when both sides are right.
In a very confusing story, a man from Mexico was sentenced to 18-months behind bars for killing a 68-year old bike rider from Paris. Although it makes more sense once you realize they’re both towns in Maine.
A brother from a Louisiana Christian order is planning a 6,000-mile ride to benefit a charity supporting the special needs community, in honor of his nephew with Down Syndrome; he intends to ride up the East Coast from Florida to DC, then across the country to San Francisco.
Five Canadian mounties face charges for the 2017 death of an Indigenous man who died after he was pepper sprayed while trying to flee on his bicycle.
Over 1,000 people have signed a petition urging officials to rip out a nearly one-year old bike lane on an English road, accusing it of causing congestion. No, too many cars cause congestion; bike lanes help alleviate it by providing a safe alternative to driving.
A British fan site examines how Steven Spielberg pulled off the iconic flying bike scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, despite the limited special effects available over 40 years ago.
Aussie TV star Grant Denyer is one of us, crashing into another bicyclist while trying to pop wheelie, just minutes after posting an on-bike selfie.
British pro Lizzie Deignan continues to ride through her pregnancy, while planning to return to racing in May following the birth of her second child.
Italian pro Davide Formolo says the streets are no longer safe, following the death of longtime friend and mentor Davide Rebellin, who was killed by a truck driver in November.
Probably not the best idea to take a leak in front of bike cops on the Las Vegas Strip when you’re also wanted for murder.
And that feeling when a month off alcohol leaves you wondering whether to stay dry or down every drop in the fridge, and what either choice means for your bicycling.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.