Speeding off-duty deputy faces murder charge, a bike day Sunday on Pasadena Freeway, and new LA bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

An off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with murder for the high-speed crash that killed a 12-year old boy in South Gate in 2021.

Twenty-eight-year old Ricardo Castro was allegedly driving at up to 90 mph in a school zone when he T-boned the car carrying Isaiah Rodriguez and his sister.

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ActiveSGV is proposing a return to a carfree Pasadena Freeway to mark the 20th anniversary of ArroyoFest.

The proposal would open a six-mile section of the 110 Freeway to bicyclists, skaters and pedestrians for just four hours on Sunday, October 29th.

The first ArroyoFest in 2003 also closed the freeway to cars, opening it up to bicyclists and walkers for a few short hours.

The freeway follows the route of the 1899 California Cycleway. Unfortunately, however. only two miles of the elevated wooden bikeway were built before financial problems halted construction, and cars ultimately claimed the roadway.

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New protected bike lanes are appearing in LA’s Lake Balboa neighborhood, and painted bike lanes are coming to Fountain Ave in East Hollywood.

https://twitter.com/CD6LACity/status/1625923721176453121

Thanks to Ravener for the tip. 

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Entitled Cycling posts video of a typical ride, just in case you wonder why our roads aren’t safe for people on two wheels.

Or any other living things, for that matter.

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A short film looks at the volunteer heroes who maintain LA’s mountain bike trails.

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The late Raquel Welch was one of us.

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

More on the random dooring attacks on Bay Area bike riders, as East Bay bicyclists say they’re frightened by drivers literally using their cars as weapons to assault innocent people; Streetsblog says Bay Area district attorneys are complicit in the anti-bike attacks for failing to prosecute dangerous and deadly drivers.

No bias here. A New York State senator is proposing laws requiring all bicycles to be registered, plated and insured, in an apparent attempt to keep people from riding them.

Once again, someone has boobytrapped a British singletrack trail by stringing a rusty wire between two trees, injuring a mountain biker who was thrown over his handlebars after crashing into it.

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

A California bicyclist learns the hard way not to talk back to a cop, after an entire group ride is pulled over for going through a traffic signal.

A fake bike cop was busted in Florida after he bumped a woman’s car, then tried to confiscate it claiming she used the wrong turn signal; he was arrested after the woman flagged down a real sheriff’s deputy who was driving by.

An Aussie father is justifiably complaining about a hit-and-run bicyclist who slammed into his 14-year old step-son, calling the ebike rider a coward for riding off and leaving the boy with “not insignificant” injuries.

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Local 

The Los Angeles Times looks at Tuesday’s BikeLA report on the conditions and commonalities in last year’s 26 LA County bicycling deaths, including deadly corridors surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Figueroa Street, and a four-block stretch of Figueroa between 3rd and 7th in DTLA. You can read it on Yahoo if the paper blocks you.

No surprise here, as road rage continues to climb in the City of Angels, with nearly 870 incidents last year, nearly a third involving a gun.

The bicycling component of the 45th annual LA Chinatown Firecracker Run will roll through Pasadena this Saturday on a 40-mile route through the city and back.

Nonprofit news site Santa Monica Next makes a comeback, with an announcement that Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.

Streetsblog says the El Monte Metro Bike Hub will be closed for most of this year after a driver slammed into it last September.

 

State

About damn time. A proposal in the state legislature would require Caltrans to appoint a Bicycle Czar “to serve as the department’s chief advisor on all issues related to bicycle transportation, safety, and infrastructure.”

The owner of San Diego’s Happy EBIKES argues that kids should be required to take a safety course and pass a test before they’re allowed to ride an ebike, a sentiment that was echoed by the head of the city’s nonprofit ebike loan-to-own program.

 

National

In yet another example of officials keeping dangerous drivers on the road until its too late, Streetsblog examines why states require insurance companies to cover drivers in an assigned risk pool when their driving record is so bad no company will insure them, rather than just taking their licenses away. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Walkable Cities author Jeff Speck argues it may be time for a class action suit against transportation officials responsible for road design guidelines they know will lead to people getting killed in car crashes.

A Next City podcast examines how five US cities built 335 miles of bike lanes in just two years. Hint: Los Angeles was not one of them.

Four British “lads” bikepack Great Divide Mountain Bike Route between Jasper, Alberta, Canada, and Antelope Wells, New Mexico, completing the more than 3,000-mile trail in 29 days.

Tragic news from Las Vegas, where a bike rider died five months after allegedly turning left in front of an oncoming driver. Yet the death won’t be counted in traffic statistics because it came after the state’s 30-day reporting limit. Although you’d think after five months, they could at least identify the sex of the victim.

Jackson, Wyoming considers ebikes, buses and parking meters to alleviate congestion, after a study shows it would case billions of dollars to widen a highway, while causing environmental concerns for the local ecology and wildlife. Never mind that induced demand applies to roads in Rocky Mountain resorts, too. 

Residents of Pittsfield, Massachusetts argued against putting a proposal to remove a bike lane on the city ballot, and “revert back to a design that did not support a walkable, shoppable, or livable district.”

No surprise here, as New York courts order a psychiatric evaluation for the driver who plowed his U-Haul truck down a Queens sidewalk and bike lanes, injuring seven people, including at least three bicycle delivery riders, while killing one.

New York firefighters blame a massive Brooklyn blaze that left a woman in critical condition on a 50 ebike batteries stored inside a makeshift ebike repair shop.

A 56-year old man was charged with murder in the 1985 cold case death of a 13-year old West Virginia boy, whose body was dumped in a shallow grave after he was killed in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; the suspect was 18 at the time of the killing.

 

International

The New Statesman examines how the concept of the 15-minute city morphed into a rightwing conspiracy theory, with some people somehow convinced a walkable, bikeable city is nothing but an open-air prison dystopia in disguise.

Bike Radar offers advice on what you should and shouldn’t spend money on to begin bicycling on a budget.

A Canadian court has ordered a new trial for an alleged drunk driver who was acquitted of killing a ten-year old Halifax girl as she rode her bicycle.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail naturally blames the victim after video shows British broadcast personality Jeremy Vine nearly crashing his bike getting left hooked by a driver.

No bias here, either. Britain’s Independent Press Standards Organization ruled the Mail on Sunday didn’t breach ethics rules by publishing a composite photo of bike riders running a red light outside Buckingham Palace, under the headline Red Light Rats. Even though the road was actually closed to cars, and cops waved them through the intersection.

Nearly half of all British drivers admitted speeding on country roads in a recent survey. And the rest lied.

It’s not usual for a bike rider to be called a hero, but saint is another matter. A Spanish man could be considered for sainthood for his role in attempting to stop terrorists in Britain’s London Bridge attack, when he got off his bike to defend others with his skateboard; the Pope recently changed the rules to allow sainthood for someone who lays down their life for others.

An Indian website says bicycling can help clean the air in Delhi, but bike riders are 40 times more likely than motorists to die on city streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new safety campaign founded by Australian pro Rachel Neylan encourages bike riders to use bright running lights day and night; the campaign has been endorsed by two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, and former women’s world champ Elisa Balsamo. I found close calls and close passes dropped considerably when I started riding with at least two bright headlights and two to three bright taillights, day or night.

If you want to watch this year’s Tour de France — or any of the five that follow — you’ll have to subscribe to Peacock.

 

Finally…

Why buy a Pinarello when you can just buy Pinarello — and for the low, low price of just $268 million? There are countless smart ways to use a bicycle, but throwing it at a cop isn’t one of them.

And try not to let your beagle steal your bagel while you bike.

@gappie_the_beagle

Wait for it! ooh all the things I do for TikTok😅😂 I’m sure he doesn’t mind! This one is for 30k followers. Thank you❤ #beaglestealingbagel #Amsterdam #dog #funnyvideos #funnydog #Beagle #beagledaily #hondje #tiktokdogs #cyclingdog #cycling #jeweetwel #jatoch #dutchies #typicaldutch

♬ Funny Song – Funny Song Studio & Sounds Reel

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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