Advice for riding in the rain — just don’t, CicLAvia rolls Sunday rain or shine, and psych exam for confessed Mammone killer

Let’s start with what’s anticipated to be a freakishly heavy winter storm, which is just beginning to pelt Southern California with rain as I write this.

BikeLA, nee LACBC, dug deep into its archives to pull out some good tips for riding in the rain, like making sure you can be seen in low visibility, and avoiding puddles since you have no way of knowing what’s underneath.

Even if it is a lot more fun to coast through them.

But if the storm turns out to be as bad as they’re predicting, with two to four inches of rain at the coast, and more in higher areas, and snow levels down to 2,000 feet, you’re probably better off just sitting this one out.

So unless you absolutely have to ride your bike, just stay safe and leave it at home for a couple days.

Then bring it out for Sunday’s CicLAvia on Sherman Way through Canoga Park,  Winnetka and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley, when the city is supposed to briefly dry out before another series of storms rolls in on Monday.

You can even visit the Metro Art Bus at CicLAvia, and get a baby popup art bus of your very own.

And yes, CicLAvia is scheduled to take place, rain or shine.

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina from Pexels.

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Speaking of which, BikeLA has canceled this weekend’s planned Griffith Park Mountain Madness Ride due to hazardous weather conditions.

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The judge overseeing the murder case against Vanroy Evan Smith has appointed a pair of mental health experts to examine the 39-year old Long Beach man, after his attorney questioned whether Smith is competent to stand trial.

No shit, considering he claims to be both God and Jesus, all rolled into one, and therefore entitled to kill anyone he wants.

Assuming the court rules he’s unable to understand or participate in the case against him for the alleged murder of Dr. Michael Mammone as he rode his bike in Dana Point — which is a pretty safe bet at this point — Smith would be sent to a state mental hospital for treatment.

The case could then resume when and if he’s ever found competent to stand trial.

As heinous as this crime was, Smith is a clearly a victim of our country’s failed mental health system, and should have had treatment for his mental illness long before he became a danger to Mammone, or anyone else.

Unfortunately, though, we can’t put America’s mental health system on trial.

And from all appearances, it will be a long time before Smith ever sees a courtroom for murdering Mammone with his car and knife, if he ever does.

Or before Mammone ever sees justice.

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She gets it.

Climate advocate Rebecca Tiffany makes the case for why 16 is too young to get a driver’s license.

Then again, I know some people a hell of a lot older who shouldn’t have one, either.

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Gravel Bike California calls Ventura County’s Rock Cobbler one of gravel’s hardest and most beloved events, asking if sheer survival has ever been so much fun.

Although it’s a sad commentary about our world when such a joyful cycling film has to start with an “in memoriam” panel.

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

Talk about not getting it. Less than a month after People For Bikes named a fully separated Bloomington, Indiana bike lane the 5th best new bike project in the US, a local mayoral candidate wants to redesign it to make it safer for other road users. Because apparently, bikeways are there to protect buses and emergency vehicles, too. Thanks to Ben Fulton for the heads-up.

No bias here. After a bike rider leaves a sign pleading for vandals to stop slashing bike tires at a Vancouver bikeshare dock, someone responded with their own sign reading “Too bad, so sad. Us motorists want our parking spots back.

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

There’s almost a special place in hell for the lightless, masked bike rider who almost knocked over 89-year old TV legend Joan Collins as she got out of a cab on a street closed to traffic. And probably almost stepped out in front of him.

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Local 

A columnist for the LA Times takes a ride in a self-driving Waymo robotaxi, and envisions a world where Jevons Paradox — which argues that making something easier or more plentiful induces people to use it more — will lead to even more paralyzing traffic congestion on the city’s streets.

Metro is accepting applications from community-based organization and other nonprofits to redistribute the roughly 5,000 unclaimed bikes left on the transit system to people in need, including resource-challenged communities and people experiencing homelessness. Although from what I’ve seen, some homeless people already have more bikes than the rest of us.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A 39-year old man faces charges for deliberately trying to run over pedestrians at Santa Ana’s MacArthur Intermediate School; fortunately, the attack came after school hours, and he doesn’t appear to have succeeded in hitting anyone.

Bakersfield approves a new traffic calming program, after 80 fatal collisions involving pedestrians or bicyclists in just the last three years.

A Berkeley website examines how a proposed bike lane project fell victim to the city’s culture wars.

San Francisco public radio station KQED takes a deep dive into the nation’s first Critical Mass ride in July, 1997, when thousands of bicyclists took over the streets of San Francisco to demand safer streets, calling it the “night that changed San Francisco cycling forever.” And they have a point; in the quarter century since, the city has gone from near zero to over 463 miles of bike lanes, paths and trails. Thanks to Ravener for the link. 

Sebastopol moves forward with plans to build dangerously unsafe bike lanes on a road that advocates say is too busy, too steep and too narrow, because any changes now would jeopardize the entire road project. Which is certainly worth needlessly killing or maiming a few people down the road, right?

A Santa Rosa man says he wouldn’t still be here if his companions on a bike club ride didn’t know CPR.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to protect yourself by briefly controlling the roadway to prevent unsafe passes — like when you’re riding an ebike 20 mph uphill.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to prevent ebike battery fires.

Hawaii could take a different approach to ebike rebates, offering anyone over the age of 16 up to $500 in rebates every year.

He gets it. New Seattle DOT Director Greg Spotts, until recently LA’s Director of Street Services, ordered a top-to-bottom review of the city’s Vision Zero program to halt a recent trend in the wrong direction. Which is exactly what LA needs to do, once Mayor Karen Bass decides who will run LADOT, now that former GM Seleta Reynolds is working for Metro

I don’t think they’re going to make it. According to a Colorado public radio station, my bike friendly hometown aims to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2023. Although further into the story, it seems the real date is actually ten years off. Which is good, since they already had two people killed riding bikes just last week.

Cleveland bike advocates were in a celebratory mood after a state legislator pulled an amendment that would have banned bikeway projects in the middle of a street in any large city, which would have killed a planned centerline separated bike path.

The father of convicted Manhattan bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov testified in an effort to save his son from the death penalty, saying he hadn’t seen him in 13 years, and didn’t expect to ever see him again.

Construction is set to begin next year on a planned 175-mile bike path stretching from Manhattan to Montauk on the far end of Long Island.

A West Virginia TV station makes the case for why the state should be ranked higher than 18th in the US for mountain biking.

Virginia bizarrely responds to a near-record rise in traffic deaths by cutting funding for transportation projects. But a clause in the new federal infrastructure bill could require the state to spend 15% of traffic safety dollars on bike and pedestrian projects.

In a truly bizarre case, a Florida driver faces charges for driving away after right hooking a 61-year old man riding a bike but not before getting out to look at the victim — and leaving his passenger behind.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a Florida man interrupted his bike ride to pull an 85-year old man out of his wrecked car — then turns out to be the victim’s physical therapist in the hospital.

 

International

London bike thieves use an angle grinder to steal a cargo bike from a bike hanger on a public street in broad daylight

The UK’s troubled British Cycling is responding to recent controversies and a dramatic decline in bike sales by scrapping the group’s ambitious goal to increase its current 150,000 membership to a quarter million before next year’s Paris Olympics.

A British woman says she may have “unintentionally” put her hand out to protect herself, even though witnesses say she was heard yelling “get off the [expletive] pavement” before knocking a 77-year old woman off her bike and into the path of an oncoming car, where she was killed.

A new Swiss report says ABS brakes really do improve safety, maneuverability and stability for ebikes and cargo bikes.

Forget batteries. Because your next Chinese-made foldie could be hydrogen powered.

An Australian jury acquitted a man on murder charges after he fatally stabbed a fellow boarding house tenet who he thought was stealing his bike to sell for drugs.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling reports that former Los Angeles-based women’s cycling team LA Sweat will not participate in the new National Cycling League, citing concerns about a lack of transparency from NCL organizers. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Twenty-three-year old British cyclist Tom Pidcock defended his breathtaking descent filmed in LA’s Tuna Canyon against accusations he was being reckless and putting his racing season at risk. Although it’s no different than what he would do in a race.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you wish you, too, could roar down the mountain with a bike-riding lion, unicorn or dinosaur on your jersey. Or you still want the most wildly impractical, tantalizingly rare and defiantly weird bike Trek ever made.

And who needs a nightclub when you have a bicycle-based Irish disco on wheels?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

2 comments

  1. J says:

    When you say Roughly you are not pulling punches as the four figure per quarter unclaimed bike ‘estimate’ is off by %400.

    It’s BARELY four figures of quantity in bikes they fail to return in succeeding to get 3 out of 4 back to claimants.

    Many of these are stolen, claimed or not by thieves.

    The disposal of bikes a commenter would otherwise cheer on (if in dumpster) deserves attention I have seen a municipally funded entity tossing daily bikes and parts in dumpster rather than check serial numbers and have witnessed it’s customer’s stealing bikes even parts off of bikes locked on site by other customer’s.

    The real equity that is missing is funding investigations. An old apartment complex posts a sign saying no shared vehicles in building.

    I considered returning there last night but the rain delays any progress on that.

    I am glad they attempt to police the theft of batteries instead of lookin gother way like city parks do.

    (tossin rusted recovered ebikes into landfill rather than contacting the then in escrow to Hellbiz Wheels).

    SO Many months metro receives several bikes a day that go unclaimed.

    Several a day, not roughly 5,000 a year please!

    These bikes three years ago had board order respect of.

    I am glad to hear that but think that more than a month from call for applications to portal closing is needed. I think nonprofits should be free to go and see the bikes before investing further.

    I would not place my life on much effort to determine if they are stolen occurring. For example comparing them with those reported stolen at time of removal from rack?

    Fund that first, the original owners will respect them ironically best.

  2. Scott Rose says:

    Yeah…descending Tuna Canyon is the only longish downhill I absolutely wish I had disc brakes for in SoCal. For a handful of others (such as Deer Creek, Refugio, Mt. Baldy, Gibraltar and Palomar), disc brakes would come in handy but can get away without them.