Pasadena bike rider victim of random attack, and bike issues at today’s LA city council committee meetings

Let’s start with a personal note.

When I was a kid, I watched my diabetic mother struggle to inject insulin, and vowed I would never live my life tied to a needle, like she did.

So I started riding a bicycle, and never stopped, eventually riding for nearly four decades, and well more than 150,000 miles.

Yet I ended up getting diabetes anyway. In retrospect, an athletic lifestyle and a natural diet only served to hide the condition for around 20 years after I developed it.

And despite my best efforts, I lost my battle to avoid insulin yesterday.

Which goes to show that no matter how hard or fast you ride, you can’t outrun your own body.

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A Pasadena bike rider was the victim of a random violent attack Monday evening.

The Pasadena Police Department is reporting that a Pasadena resident in his 40s was riding his bike when he stopped to check his phone, and was physically assaulted after exchanging words with the suspect.

He suffered a three-inch cut on his head, as well as cuts to the mouth and a bloody nose.

The suspect was described only as a Hispanic man in his 30s, who was last seen walking north on Holliston.

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Streets For All says there are two important city council committee meetings today.

The Transportation Committee will hear reports on multimodal improvements on Lincoln Blvd, a study of multimodal transit improvements in CD13, and a report on recent street safety upgrades in CD15 at 2 pm today.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Committee will consider a call for transportation infrastructure investments in CD1, and shutting down a portion of the Arroyo Seco for ArroyoFest at their 3:30 pm meeting.

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Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting their monthly virtual happy hour this evening, featuring County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath.

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In a bizarre report, Fox News says the ex-wife of Evan Vanroy Smith, the man accused of running down, then fatally stabbing ER Dr. Michael Mammone in Dana Point last week, was afraid of him in the weeks before the attack.

The network cites a story in the New York Post crediting Smith’s former father-in-law as the source of the statements.

However, the Post backtracked in a later story, quoting Smith’s ex as denying those claims, saying there was never any violence in the marriage, and that reports of a bitter dispute over child custody were untrue, as well.

Her father also retracted his earlier statements. Yet no mention of that made it into the Fox story.

Then again, that’s not too surprising, considering the source.

Meanwhile, a website for physicians examines the role road rage may have played in the murder of Dr. Mammone.

MDLinx notes that a recent report found 17% of American drivers had witnessed someone exit a vehicle in a fit of rage, and 7% had seen someone use a weapon in a road rage attack.

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A video from CNBC explains the concept of induced demand. And why building more lanes and highways doesn’t solve traffic congestion.

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

No bias here. A British councilor complains that “Nothing compares to the overly sensitive lycra lobby that throw tantrums if you don’t worship at the altar of “active travel”. Or, looking at it another way, maybe they’re just tired of having their lives threatened by drivers and the civic leaders who enable them. 

No bias here, either. Drivers in Sydney, Australia criticize “genius” bicyclists for ignoring a bike lane to ride in the traffic lanes, even though locals describe the seriously deficient bike lane as unfit for the intended purpose.

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Local 

Spectrum News 1 looks at the role speeding drivers and a lack of safe infrastructure play in LA’s rising rate of traffic deaths, resulting in a 24% increase in bicycling fatalities last year.

Returning West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman called for putting the brakes on a proposal for protected bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd; Heilman said the city should wait until work begins to extend the Crenshaw line into WeHo, which may not follow Santa Monica Blvd, and may not happen for decades.

 

State

Costa Mesa is improving safety by reducing speed limits in 17 locations throughout the city, thanks to a recent change in state law authored by Burbank Assembly Member Laura Friedman.

The parents of convicted DUI driver Adam David Milavetz have established a $50,000 architecture scholarship in the name of his victim; Milavetz pled guilty to killing Laura Shinn as she biked to work through San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Sad news from Cupertino, where a 69-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle.

San Francisco broke ground Monday on a misguided effort to reconstruct the city’s main thoroughfare, which will continue forcing bike riders to share the street with taxis and delivery trucks; Streetsblog describes the plan, which omits the previously promised sidewalk-level bike lanes, as half-assed.

Richmond is planning to construct several quick-build protected bike lanes and repurpose traffic lanes in advance of a new $40 million bike and pedestrian bridge spanning two roadways and a pair of railroad lines, in an effort to close a deadly gap in the city’s Greenway.

UC Davis receives a paltry $71,000 grant to improve bicycle safety on the ostensibly bike-friendly campus, where a student was recently killed by a truck driven by a campus worker.

 

National

Momentum Magazine recommends more bicycling to improve your mental health during the winter months.

Mother Jones makes the case for legalizing jaywalking, which was just decriminalized in California this year.

In a question that should resonate everywhere, a Portland writer asks why we’re neglecting something so essential as bicycling infrastructure.

A Michigan driver says he’s changed his mind about bike lanes in downtown Kalamazoo, after being convinced that prioritizing traffic and parking is bad for local businesses and livability.

 

International

Bike Radar considers the best bikes for older riders.

Road.cc offers the top tips on how to winter proof your bike to prepare for harsh weather conditions. Most of which apply here in LA, where harsh weather usually just means getting a little wet.

An Irish man proves you don’t have to be sighted to build the country’s first first Irish-designed and manufactured cargo bike.

Australia’s New South Wales released an Adventure Cycling Strategy that envisions a “burgeoning new regional tourism sector” based on “bundling existing cycling disciplines in an exciting new ways.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish’s wife Peta describes the terror their family felt when a group of thieves held them at knifepoint in a 2021 home invasion, after two of the men were jailed for 15 and 12 years, respectively.

Canada claims a surprising third in the recent world ‘cross championships, behind expected leaders the Netherlands and Belgium.

Power company SoCal Edison talks with one of their senior It Services advisors about the challenges of becoming a world champion, after Vikki Appel claimed the individual pursuit title at last year’s Masters Track World Championships in Los Angeles.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own DIY bamboo gravel bike. Nothing like a brisk 135-mile bike race at 30 degrees below zero.

And maybe the world’s narrowest bike lane actually isn’t.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

3 comments

  1. Kate Johnson says:

    I”ve been on insulin for 49 years and am still biking and walking – that’s what keeps me alive! Just remember to take quick sugar with you when you are out, and test often! Biking especially really lowers your blood sugar, as I know from personal experience. But it keeps one healthy.

  2. Ralph Durham says:

    Good luck with the insulin. At least the needles are a lot friendlier than when your mother was using it.