Armed bike rider shot fleeing from LAPD, mucho macho e-trucks and SUVs, and deadly PCH scheduled for makeover

Patch is reporting that a man in his 40s was shot by LAPD officers near Victory Blvd and Tyrone Ave in Van Nuys Tuesday afternoon, after they attempted to arrest him while he was riding his bike.

The victim, termed a “known suspect” by police, was shot after officers spotted a gun as he attempted to flee on foot. However, there’s no word on whether he fired or even brandished the weapon.

He’s reportedly hospitalized in stable condition. A gun was found at the scene after the shooting.

Only the release of bodycam video will tell us whether the shooting was justified.

This follows the highly questionable shooting of Dijon Kizzee by sheriff’s deputies, after Kizzee fled a traffic stop for riding salmon in 2020.

As usual, neither of the deputies who shot Kizzee 16 times ever faced charges.

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker considers the danger America’s every-increasingly “macho” electric trucks and SUVs pose to everyone else around them.

Walker fittingly describes them as “dangerously powerful trucks driven by people who can’t see what’s in front of them, barreling through neighborhoods that were not designed for vehicles of this size.”

But the tame routes traveled by these vehicles don’t make them safe. Tracking of news reports and federal data by the advocacy group Kids and Car Safety shows that child “frontover” deaths — meaning cars driving forward over kids, not backing over them — have dramatically increased over the past decade, nearly doubling from 2009 to 2019 compared to the ten-year period before. During the same period, the average American pickup truck’s front hood grew 11 percent taller and vehicle weight increased by 24 percent, according to Consumer Reports. And in addition to their size, Macho EVs also have increased torque. In fact, only two trucks can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, and they’re both electric: the Hummer EV and the Rivian R1T. But being able to accelerate so quickly in such a large vehicle creates an extremely dangerous combination. That extra power — the Hummer EV labels it, appropriately, “WTF” — has Hummer EV drivers posting videos where they’re struggling to control the vehicle. “I forgot how heavy this car is,” one driver says. “It did not want to slow down.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because this is definitely not the future we want.

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A writer for The Malibu Times says a planned redesign of a 7.5 mile section of SoCal’s killer highway north of Malibu in Ventura County can’t happen soon enough.

The paper reports the section is currently the deadliest part of PCH, with 21% of the total crashes on the highway through Los Angeles and Ventura Counties occurring there.

After analyzing data, the engineer (Ashley Haire of Alta Planning and Design) stated, “There are a variety of different types of bicyclists. We have some long-haul tourists that are going through this area. We also have some folks who are good at riding in constrained spaces and are comfortable mixing somewhat with higher-speed vehicles. But overall this is a pretty scary section of road to ride a bike on. It’s not comfortable. Nobody’s out there taking their kids for rides.”

She goes on to explain that federal guidelines call for a separated bikeway when average speeds exceed 35 mph, which this section does.

“There’s really not a section of this project where people are only driving 35mph,” Haire stated. “We really think it would be important to have a separated facility out here, one that separates bicyclists and pedestrians from vehicular traffic, provides a safe barrier between those uses, and really gets folks out of harm’s way.”

Let’s hope they find the room for a fully protected bike lane. Or make it, if need be.

You can send comments on the project to Stella.Yip@arup.com through tomorrow.

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The Eastside Riders will hold their annual Ride4Love this Saturday, with rental bikes available for anyone who needs one courtesy of People for Mobility Justice.

Unfortunately, though, the link to the $15 T-shirt for the event just leads to the group’s donation page.

Hopefully, they’ll get that fixed. Because I definitely want to buy one.

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Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A group of Kiwi bike riders hit the pavement when one cyclist on a group ride went down and the others crashed into him, resulting seven people hurt, with three seriously injured.

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Local 

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Los Angeles Times says something has to be done to save the lives of California’s mountain lions, with over 500 killed by drivers in the last eight years; star Griffith Park puma P-22 was put down by animal control officers after he, too, was struck by a motorist.

Good idea. BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, is working with Wilmington business owners to clear the air in the largely Latino industrial community, one ebike at a time. Using a nearly half million dollar grant from the City of Los Angeles, the group is loaning 42 ebikes to local residents for six month, then giving them a chance to buy the bikes at a reduced rate.

Rapha invites you to sign up for their inaugural Yomp Rally, a 375-mile gravel ride from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, starting on May 5th.

 

State

The rails-to-trails movement is finally making its way to Orange County, where the Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, plans to convert abandoned rail tracks into bike paths paralleling the new streetcar. Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

San Diego Magazine spends a weekend on a non-epic bike ride to Julian.

Consumer Reports addresses the public panic over ebike batteries, with tips like sticking with OEM batteries, never charging your ebike overnight, and unplug your bike if the battery starts hissing. But check for snakes if it keeps hissing after your unplug it.

A Visalia bike shop is asking for the public’s help identifying a teenager who walked off with a bike while the shop’s workers were distracted.

A Berkeley op-ed says police enforcement should be a last resort in Vision Zero, used only after engineering and education efforts have failed.

Richmond has adopted a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan identifying 181 potential bicycle projects and 111 potential pedestrian projects. Of course, the key word there is “potential;” as we’ve learned the hard way in Los Angeles, even the most aggressive plan is meaningless without the political will to implement it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip. 

They get it. The Marin Independent says fixing a dangerously confusing San Raphael intersection controlled by five traffic lights to make it safer for motorists, pedestrians and bike riders will provide benefits for the entire county.

 

National

In what may be the most vital bike commuting article you’ll read this year, Momentum examines the best ways to carry coffee on a bicycle.

A new study published in Nature recommends a data-driven approach to Everesting, calling for elite cyclists to select a hill with gradient  over 12%, while amateur and recreational cyclists should choose a hill with gradient less than 10%.

An MSNBC podcast talks with Rad Power Bikes founder Mike Radenbaugh, who explains why ebikes are here to stay.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill sailed through its first committee hearing in the state legislature; as the bill is currently written, it would offer up to $1,700 back on the purchase of an ebike. It would be a shame if Oregon got their program up and running before California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program finally rolls out. 

Cycling Utah offers tips on bike commuting in advance of tomorrow’s National Winter Bike to Work DayYet somehow, no city in Southern California appears to celebrate it, even though we have near ideal weather for bike commuting all year. Then again, if last year was any example, we barely mark the regular Bike to Work Day anymore, either.

A Boulder, Colorado man will spend the next 16 years behind bars for punching a woman in the face when she confronted him for stealing her bike.

Denver’s ebike rebate program continues to prove popular, with the latest round of vouchers exhausted in just 20 minutes.

Virginia Tech’s latest bike helmet ratings are out, with the $300 Giro Aries Spherical placing first, and the $120 Specialized Tactic 4 coming in second.

Some kindhearted Alabama cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a local man, after the bike he used as his primary form of transportation was stolen when he turned his back to get his tire pump.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a bicycle belonging to a young Atlanta man living with autism, disrupting his entire life.

 

International

Continuing a theme, an editor for Bike Radar highlights six commuter bike accessories he can’t live without. Although I think the story should have said “corgi carrying” instead of “cargo carrying.”

Singletracks offers three reasons you should mountain bike in Oaxaca, Mexico. I only need one — mole.

London’s 12-year old iconic bike café and workshop Look Mum No Hands! has closed, a victim of the pandemic and rising costs. That name alone should have been enough to guarantee their success.

Cycling Weekly looks at the alarming increase in bicycling deaths on rural French roads once renowned for safe and courteous driving; a new French road safety campaign targets risky, macho behavior by male drivers.

A new study from Lisbon shows the positive influence bicycling coalitions can have on shaping urban policy. Thanks to BikeLA for the link.

Good question. An Indian magazine asks why urban planners ignore bicycles, when millions of Indians commute by bicycle every day.

A Sydney, Australia company is saving thousands of bikes abandoned by Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike, refurbishing them to provide transportation for underprivileged kids.

A Kiwi writer says you never forget your first ebike ride, and he definitely didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro road and gravel cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo reflects on her first attempt at mountain bike racing, at The Gobbler 6/3 outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Finally…

Your next camper van could be a cargo ebike camper. Your next steel bike bottle could benefit an environmental nonprofit.

And your next purchase from German car audio maker Blaupunkt could be an e-foldie.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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