Archive for bikinginla

National masters road champ killed in DUI crash, CA still dangerous place to ride, and Bike Index helps recover SaMo bike

Just devastating.

Sunday night, I debated linking to a story about the death of an unidentified woman killed by an alleged stoned driver while riding in a bike lane in a Denver suburb.

I decided against it, in part because it happens every day in this motor-addled country.

Today we that woman was identified as the reigning national master’s road champ in her age category.

Forty-six-year old Gwen Inglis was riding in the foothills west of Denver, most likely headed home after an early morning ride, when a 29-year old driver drifted into the bike lane and slammed into her from behind.

This quote comes from the Denver Post.

The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, part of USA Cycling, released a statement mourning the loss of Inglis.

“Colorado cycling lost one of their best yesterday,” the organization said. “There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community, and Gwen was a particularly special person. She was a multiple National and State Champion on the bike and very well known across the cycling community in Colorado. Even more impressive was her character off the bike. Knowing Gwen, you would immediately be aware of her strongest qualities. She consistently brought joy into all her relationships, and she openly accepted everyone.”

Inglis was the reigning road race national champion for women in the 45-49 age group. Her husband, Mike Inglis, is also a standout cyclist. The two won their classifications on the same day in an August 2019 race in Boulder.

The paper reported that her killer had previously been arrested on multiple drug-related offenses, including DUI.

Just one more example of officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Every one of whom should be held responsible for her death.

Meanwhile, VeloNews is collecting heartbreaking remembrances from the friends and competitors — usually both — who knew hw best.

………

However you measure it, California is a dangerous place to ride a bike.

According to Bicycling, a new report from StreetLight Data ranks states by the risk to bicyclists per miles traveled, rather than the per capita basis used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

When comparing the old list from NHTSA, that use per capita data, to the revised list from StreetLight Data, the top 10 most dangerous states have been mostly shuffled around—particularly the top four, which list the same states in both but in a different order. New Mexico ranks the same in both, in fifth place. And California makes both the old NHTSA list and the new StreetLight Data list, but it ranks sixth on the former and tenth on the latter.

Delaware, South Carolina and Florida top the list of dangerous states, followed by Louisiana and New Mexico, while Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Utah rank as the safest.

As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

………

Streetsblog California’s Melanie Curry picks up last week’s bizarre story about respected bike safety advocate Pat Hines’ opposition to California’s AB 122, the proposed Stop As Yield law.

And the personal tragedy she relates about the death of her friend Sue Latham, who she claims was killed in a hit-and-run when they both blew through a stop sign, and she made it, while Latham didn’t.

Except it probably didn’t happen.

At least not that way.

As recently as a few weeks ago, Race Across America posted the supposed origin story on Facebook, writing that Hines and her friend, Sue Latham, were “riding together when Latham was struck by a car and killed. They were training for the 1984 Olympics. This heartbreaking event propelled Hines into public service. She became one of the nation’s most vocal and best-recognized activists in the area of traffic and bicycle safety.”

But Latham was not training for the Olympics. The two women were members of a swim club that had planned a bike ride that day, according to press reports at the time, but there is no indication that they were riding together.

And there’s no mention of a stop sign.

………

More proof that free lifetime registration with Bike Index really works.

………

It’s Bike It! Walk It! Week for Santa Monica school kids.

………

Yes, you can recharge your bike through the kickstand while you’re parked. But unless it offers a lot more security, it’ll never fly on this side of the pond.

Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

………

As long as we’re in the Netherlands, let’s go to a live news remote.

From the bike path.

Thanks to Schroedinger for the tip.

………

Anyone see a problem here?

………

Local

Metro continues their Bike Week celebration with 15% off Metro Bike merch, with promo code bike2021. I’m thinking about this one.

Nick Jonas is painfully one of us, somehow cracking a rib falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project.

 

State

Encinitas residents will soon be able to enjoy e-bikeshare as they ride around the coastal town.

Bakersfield is celebrating an extended Bike Month with a virtual scavenger hunt.

No bias here. A San Jose letter writer complains that road diets are inconveniencing drivers for the sake of bicyclists, while a columnist explains that they’re installed to improve safety on dangerous streets, and bicyclists and pedestrians benefit from the improvements. Just like drivers who want to get home in one piece.

The New York Times considers the debate over whether cars should be allowed back in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

A Marin writer says it may be legal to ride with your dog on a leash beside you, but it’s never a good idea.

 

National

Bicycling tells you everything you need to know about bike tire sizes, but were afraid to ask. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Washington state paper says ebikes are coming, ready or not.

A San Antonio councilmember is accused of inappropriate conduct by attempting to influence the judge and DA, sending a letter asking them to refuse any plea deal that doesn’t include a meaningful prison sentence for an accused drunk driver who killed a popular bike rider.

A Detroit website considers the role bike clubs play in the social fabric of the community. And have since the 1870s.

A Manhattan man was unexpectedly stabbed in both arms after getting off his bike in an apparent random attack.

 

International

They get it. The World Health Organization says streets are for people, and it’s time to give them back.

New UK press guidelines say it’s crash, not accident.

According to a British Parliament member, arguing that too many cars cause traffic congestion, and not bike lanes, is “bourgeoisie and woke.”

An op-ed from a Scottish bike lawyer says bicycling isn’t just for during the pandemic, and both new riders and the popup bike lanes installed for them should stick around.

Young bike riders in Madrid will now be required to wear a helmet to ride a bike or a scooter.

Unbelievable. An Aussie driver walks free following the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after playing the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming she was unaware of the crash because the sun was in her eyes. Which doesn’t explain why she couldn’t feel or hear the impact, or notice the victim on her hood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan won the tenth stage of the Giro for the second year in a row, while Egan Bernal, Aleksandr Vlasov and Remco Evenepoel are bunched for the overall lead.

A writer for VeloNews argues that we’re in a golden age of cycling — maybe the best ever — as exemplified by this year’s Giro. Although it’s hard to argue against the age of Coppi and Bartali.

Amazing save by a cyclist in a U-23 race, who swerves to avoid a dog and narrowly avoids crashing by grabbing the rider ahead of him, surfing his frame to a safe dismount on the side of the road. Although his rescuer is none too happy about it, as shown below.

Marin school officials back off a decision to cut high school mountain bike teams loose after thousands of parents and students rise up in anger.

 

Finally…

It may be more aero, but probably not the best idea to ride naked from the waist down.

And don’t try taking a selfie while riding. Especially on live TV.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Welcome to a pandemic Bike Week, Newsom gives extra half billion to active transportation, and don’t Koretz our streets

Welcome to Bike Week 2021.

Such as it is.

Thanks to year two of the pandemic, there’s no opening event, no Blessing of the Bicycles, and no pit stops on Friday’s Bike Anywhere Day — the Covid inspired replacement for Bike to Work Day.

But Metro is trying to fill the gap with a series of online bike classes ranging from basic bicycle repair and maintenance to how to use bikeshare.

Speaking of bikeshare, they’re offering a free 1-ride Metro Bike pass this Friday only, using promo code 052121, or half-off a 365-Day Pass using Promo code: BIKEANYWHERE2021.

You can also get a one-year Metro Bike Hub pass for just $20 this month, two-thirds off the usual $60. Register here with promo code MAY2021.

Metrolink — no relation to Metro, despite the similar names — is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle this week. Which is a great excuse to hop a train to Ventura, San Bernardino or Oceanside to try riding somewhere new.

The LACBC is continuing their Bike Month Photo Scavenger Hunt all month, in conjunction with Las Fotos.

And Wednesday marks the annual Ride of Silence to remember fallen bicyclists; sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any rides scheduled in the LA area this year.

Hopefully this damn disease will be behind us soon, and we can bounce back with an even bigger and better Bike Week next year.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

………

Okay, so I screwed up on Friday.

Thanks to Joe Linton for pointing out that I had the wrong link to LADOT’s virtual public meeting to discuss closing the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Bike Path.

The meeting will take place this Wednesday at 5pm; advance registration is required.

The .7 mile gap in the bike path was forced by homeowners in Cheviot Hills, who settled for stopping the bike path through their neighborhood after failing to stop the Expo Line itself — somehow fearing that the bike path would bring some sort of criminal element, who would bike off with their bigass flatscreens.

Metro and city officials decided it would be easier to leave the gap and just build the train line, and come back to to close it at a later date — and at a much higher cost.

But the joke was on the homeowners, since the gap in the bikeway forces riders to take a more circuitous route in front of their homes, rather than on the other side of a wall behind them.

The usual NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it. So make sure to attend if you can to voice your support.

This is what Streets For All is asking for.

We encourage you to attend and to make public comment asking that:

  • the bike path be open to people on bikes 24/7 (there is a NIMBY effort to close it after dark)
  • the bike path have multiple access points to maximize convenience for people on bikes (there is a NIMBY effort to limit access)
  • the bike lanes on Motor be physically protected from moving car traffic

………

Governor Gavin Newsom is tossing bike riders and pedestrians a half-billion dollar Active Transportation bone, although that’s just a small part of the state’s $79 billion pandemic tax windfall.

Never mind that he seems to be doing his best to buy a victory in the upcoming recall by spreading state money around to everyone.

………

I wasn’t the one who first turned “Jerry Brown” into a verb meaning a dangerously close pass, after he vetoed not one, but two three-foot passing laws before finally signing a much weaker version.

But I sure as hell did everything I could to popularize and spread it.

Now Alissa Walker has turned pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz into a verb, as well.

As in CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León tried to Koretz Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan.

And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

9 to 5 Mac puts Apple’s new AirTag to the test for a simulated bike theft. And likes the result.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper tries to stir up anger with a one hour time-lapse camera showing barely any bicyclists using a new bike lane, as drivers complain about snarled traffic. Even though it doesn’t look very snarled. It also does say what time of day the video was taken; it was likely filmed at the slowest part of the day.

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

An unidentified man escaped by bicycle following a failed attempt to scale a wall into Ben Affleck’s Los Angeles home, after he was chased off by paparazzi.

………

Local

Metro plans to boost spending on induced demand by 80% in their upcoming budget, devoting $212 million to widening highways and other highway “improvements;” it will be on the agenda of their meeting this Wednesday. Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard will also be on the agenda.

Hancock Park residents opposed LADOT’s Stress Free Connections plan for a safer and more bikeable 4th Street, with the head of the homeowner’s association saying “We want to make the neighborhood safer for everyone, not just those riding bicycles,” apparently failing to grasp that making it safer for bicyclists makes it safer for everyone.

Santa Clarita held their Bike to Work Week last week, and a community bike ride, complete with goody bags, on Saturday.

Long Beach may consider building a three-mile pedestrian pathway alongside the San Gabriel River bike path.

 

State

Call it a good argument badly framed. A columnist for the Southern California New Group points out the reasons why bike riders should be allowed to treat stop signs as yields. Although he calls it blowing though stop signs, a phrase that is guaranteed to piss drivers off.

San Diego is also dropping Bike to Work Day in favor of Bike Anywhere Week this week.

Speaking of San Diego, the city appears to be making progress with Vision Zero, as traffic deaths and serious injuries dropped for the second straight year.

The Bakersfield Californian calls for allowing ebikes and scooters on the 30+ mile Kern River Parkway Trail. Although they awkwardly refer to them as “motorized vehicles,” which likely means something entirely different to most people.

 

National

A new study from the CDC reports there were 596,972 emergency department visits for bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries in the ten years from 2009 to 2018; surprisingly, that represents a 5.5% decrease for adults, and a nearly 50% drop children. Although that could reflect a decrease in ridership among children as much as improved safety.

Gear Patrol recommends their favorite fixies, with prices ranging from $299 to $1199.

No bias here. A bad take from an insurance company based in the Pacific Northwest, which says there’s a “battle for road supremacy” in Portland and Seattle between drivers and increased numbers of people on bikes. Even though their survey shows half of the people who responded think bikes and cars share the road well.

A retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist rode his bike across the Permian Basin oil fields in New Mexico and Texas to call attention to climate change.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where a 13-year old boy was critically wounded when he was shot in the head and neck in a driveby shooting as he was riding his bicycle. There’s just no damn excuse for that crap. Period.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 69-year old man was killed when he was struck by a bike rider as he was crossing the street. Another reminder to always slow down and ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be unpredictable and don’t always look for bikes when they step out into the street. Which is not to say that’s what happened here.

A kindhearted New York filmmaker gave his own bike to a young man who recently rode a heavy bikeshare bike up a local mountain.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter questions why ebike regulations are so random, and no one is looking at them as part of the larger transportation picture.

A travel website looks at the world’s most dangerous mountain bike trails. Which is a large part of the appeal to some people. 

A Montreal woman is devoting her time to ensuring kids get bikes despite the short supply cause by the bike boom by passing along donated bicycles to underprivileged children; she’s given away over 250 bikes since March.

If you insist on stealing a bicycle, probably not the best idea to steal an English police bike.

An Irish man is riding his bike over 1,700 miles from Dublin to where he first met the love of his life in Spain to raise funds to fight Motor Neuron Disease, after she succumbed to the disease at just 31-years old.

Forget an inflatable helmet. A French company is introducing an airbag jacket that inflates if you crash or fall. As long as you have an extra nine hundred bucks to buy one.

Break India’s Covid curfew and you might have to do sit-ups in the street and carry your bike back home.

A Singapore writer says “errant cycling” gives the rest of us a bad name, and “we could all stand to exercise more graciousness.”

An Australian woman cried tears of joy after receiving a custom adaptive bicycle, following the loss of both legs and most of her fingers to a bacterial infection.

 

Competitive Cycling

French cyclist Victor Lafay won his first Grand Tour stage in Saturday’s stage eight of the Giro

About damn time. The organizer of the Tour de France says they’re going to bring back the women’s TdF after more than thirty years, with the first edition to come sometime after the men’s race. But he made it clear not to expect parity with the men’s Tour.

SoCal bike racing is back with the season opener for the California Bicycle Racing 2021 CBR Criterium Series; L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the men’s pro race, while Serious Cycling’s Chloe Patrick took the women’s race.

 

Finally…

Why vacuum with a Dyson when you can ride one, instead? That feeling when you accidentally photobomb a soccer team bus with your bakfiets and a poodle.

And probably not the best idea to jump into a river to avoid the police, after drunkenly smashing your head into a storefront window, and attempting to jack a bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Bike rider critical after South LA hit-and-run, de Leόn opposes Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and cargo bikes of old

It’s happened again.

A heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent person on a bicycle seriously injured in the street.

Police are looking for the driver of a maroon Kia Optima, who was turning right onto Flower Street from Florence Ave in South LA, when he or she right hooked the victim, who was crossing Flower in the crosswalk around 6:55 Monday evening.

The driver fled south on Flower.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500, or call 877/527-3247 after hours or on weekends.

………

Disappointing news, as CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leόn comes out against the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, choosing cars over people and livability.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Rock Association has taken the opposite stance by endorsing the plan.

Maybe de Leόn is just trying to avoid angering anyone by allowing the removal of a traffic lane before his widely expected run for mayor next year.

But he could be making the same miscalculation too many others on the council have made, mistaking the loudest and angriest voices for that of the majority — many of whom prefer safe and livable streets to sucking in exhaust fumes and playing Frogger with speeding drivers.

Former CD4 Councilmember David Ryu learned that lesson too late to save his seat.

………

Apparently, there’s nothing new about cargo bikes.

Yes, bike riders have always been cool.

………

CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez calls for public participation to re-envision deadly Foothill Blvd in Lakeview Terrace.

………

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

A Redwood City man faces charges for attacking a woman riding on a beach bike path in Half Moon Bay, pushing her down a rocky slope before throwing her bicycle on top of her, then threatening a witness who tried to help.

No bias here. After New York’s outgoing mayor says he’s open to license plates on bicycles, a local news station gleefully points out all the scofflaw bike riders they can find. Never mind the ones who don’t break the law, or all those drivers who do. Or that it just doesn’t work

Unbelievable. A road raging British man will spend the next year behind bars for getting out of a car and repeatedly punching and choking a man on a bike, who had apparently offended him by swerving to avoid a cat — but then shook the victim’s hand and apologized, using his own shirt to clean up the man’s blood, when he realized a recording of the incident would be sent to the police. And later friended the frightened man on Facebook.

………

Local

No surprise here. As Los Angeles heads back to the streets and driving rates rise to pre-pandemic levels, road rage is making a big comeback, too.

LADOT will host a virtual meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Line bike path; expect the same entitled NIMBY opposition from homeowners as we’ve seen from the beginning.

UCLA’s Transportation department calls for biking your way to better health. It makes for healthier cities, too. And universities.

West Hollywood’s carfree weekend closure of Robertson Blvd got off to a slow start on Mother’s Day weekend. Although it might help if the city got the date right.

Racism has raised its ugly head in Santa Monica, where anti-Semitic graffiti had to be painted over on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path; similar offensive messages were painted on Abbott Kinney Blvd in recent weeks, as well.

Life is cheap in Long Beach, where a speeding drunk driver who lost control of his car, killing a young woman riding with him and injuring another driver, got a lousy 50 days of community service, 18 months of DUI classes and three years probation. He also lost his license for three years, which doesn’t actually seem to stop anyone.

 

State

A planned 1,230-mile bike trail stretching from Oregon to Mexico is around 70% complete; the pathway stitches together existing bikeways to make up the longer trail.

San Diego has taken a page out of LA’s book, as the city has become even deadlier, five years after adopting Vision Zero, although deaths there have gone down the past two years.

A group of Berkeley high school students spent the past year carving an unpermitted mountain jump course into the hills above the city; now they’re fighting to keep the city from bulldozing it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A 12-year old boy and a 50-something man in Sebastopol suffered major injuries when an alleged speeding drunk driver slammed into their bikes, before smashing into a tree and suffering major injuries himself.

 

National

Far from killing business as opponents predicted, Yelp data from five cities, ranging from Boston to Burbank, shows that interest in restaurants along newly carfree streets went up.

Lifestyle website Inside Hook says between gas shortages, fuel prices, climate change and the resurgent pandemic, there’s never been a better time to ditch your car for a bike. Permanently.

Pez Cycling News offers tips for beginning bicyclists to help new riders get out on the road, while Cycling News considers the things you should think about before riding an ebike for the first time, but probably haven’t.

Seriously, you shouldn’t have to remind anyone that cemeteries are sacred ground, and not the place to train on your bike. In Portland, or anywhere else.

Kansas City adopted a Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles has. Then again, it would be hard to do less. 

 

International

A new study of bicycling rates in 17 countries confirms what we already knew — women are the strongest indicator of a healthy bicycling environment. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

Cycling Weekly pays tribute to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper album with a cover collage of 130 people who changed bicycling. Hopefully for the better, because we’ve had more than enough of the other kind.

Trek does the right thing, and offers a free bicycle to a British Columbia nurse after hers was stolen while she was busy giving Covid-19 shots. Seriously, it takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone working to save lives.

No bias here, either. After an Ontario, Canada man was hit by a cop while riding his bike, the local paper bends over backward to shift blame from the cop to an apparently sentient patrol car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old English paperboy’s bicycle while he was making his rounds.

A British man is calling for a change in the law to require that collisions involving bike riders are treated like crashes involving drivers, five years after his wife was killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle. Actually, they already are; in either case, the person on the bicycle almost always gets the blame.

In a European study conducted by Ford, people wearing headphones were four seconds slower to identify road hazards than those without them, whether traveling on two wheels or four.

A Kiwi bike rider narrowly escaped disaster when a shortcut across a New Zealand airport runway nearly led to him being cut in half by a glider tow cable.

Amazing bike cam video, as a trio of Aussie bicyclists were lucky to escape injury when a bolt of lightening struck the roadway just behind their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Giro got its third leader in four days, as Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won his first Grand Tour stage in Thursday’s 6th stage.

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin is back from his six-month non-retirement to reconsider his future, apparently deciding it will include next month’s Tour de Suisse.

VeloNews profiles Mavi Garcia, the double-Spanish national champ and top 10 finisher, who often flies under the radar on the women’s pro tour.

More evidence that motor vehicles don’t belong in bike races, whether race motor or team support cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike hub used to be a brothel. Politicians can’t catch a break when they bike.

And nothing like hopping around on your pogo bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Noted safety advocate’s tragic story of friend’s death as they were riding together is compelling — but it may not be true

Due to the time and effort this story has taken, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on anything we missed tomorrow. 

Photo by Danny Gamboa.

………

It’s not unusual for advocates to disagree about bike and traffic safety.

It’s doesn’t necessarily mean one person is right and the other wrong. And it doesn’t mean we can’t respect one another, or work together on issues where we find common ground.

That’s the position I find myself now, after learning respected safety advocate Pat Hines, founder of the nationally recognized nonprofit youth program Safe Moves, opposes the California Safety Stop, aka Stop as Yield, bill that recently passed the state assembly.

Hines cites a personal tragedy in opposing the bill, when a friend was killed as they were riding together while training.

This is from a recent story from the Sacramento Bee.

For Pat Hines, founder of traffic safety group Safe Moves, this bill is personal.

While training for the 1984 Olympics, Hines and a fellow cyclist, Sue Latham, rode their bikes through an intersection, believing they had enough time to cross. Hines made it across, but Latham was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle.

Hines tells virtually the same story in this 2013 piece from the Mountain View Voice.

Safe Moves founder, Pat Hines, started the organization in 1983, after her friend, Sue Latham, was killed while the two were riding their bikes together.

Neither of the two were wearing helmets, Hines recalls, “because I don’t like helmets and I had asked her not to wear one either.”

Hines blew through a stop sign and Latham followed her. And while Hines made it in time, Latham didn’t — she was struck by a passing car, which never stopped.

There’s just one problem.

It may not be true.

……….

I confess, I wasn’t aware of Hines’ opposition to AB 122, or the tragedy that spurred her life of advocacy, until a few days ago.

That’s when I received an email from Serge Issakov, a longtime advocate for San Diego bicyclists.

I don’t always agree with him, either. But I always respect him, and his opinion, and make a point of listening to whatever he has to say.

It was Issakov who pointed me to the article in the Bee, and called out the discrepancy in her story.

As the stop-as-yield bill is working its way through Sacramento there have been several articles about it, and several quote cycling safety advocate and former RAAM racer Pat Hines, who opposes the bill, saying that she was once riding with a friend, Sue Latham, who rolled a stop and was hit, fatally. I of course felt empathy for the horror Hines must have experienced as I first read the story in the Sacramento Bee.

He reached out to me after coming across this 2018 article from the LA Daily Mirror historic website, which tells a radically different story about how Latham was killed.

One which did not involve them riding together — or Latham running a stop sign.

In fact, she wasn’t even on her bike at the time.

California Highway Patrol investigators said that [Sue Latham] was apparently kneeling on the side of the highway, trying to unjam the gears on her bike, when a motorist hit her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet in the air, causing massive head injuries and leaving a pool of blood on Pacific Coast Highway. Whoever hit her dragged her to the construction site and partially undressed her to make it appear that she had been raped, and then made a second trip to get her bike, the CHP said. Because she was nearly 6 feet tall, investigators said it might have taken two people to drag her to where she was found.

As Issakov pointed out, two extremely different accounts.

One is a simple, and all too common story, about a hit-and-run that occurred after someone blew a stop, with tragic consequences.

The other, a bizarre tale that strains all credibility.

Except it’s the second version that seems to be true.

………

The story starts to change as you move back in time.

Starting with this 2008 story in the Sahuarita Sun, which cites Hines as saying Latham had run a red light, rather than a stop sign.

Hines told students she started the organization in memory of her best friend, Sue Latham, who died in 1983 when she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Hines, also on a bicycle, had run a red light, and her friend followed. Latham was thrown 65 feet and died in the hospital three days later.

Hines said she was young at the time of the accident, and reckless about traffic safety.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my friend,” Hines said.

Note that the story is also off by two years on the 1981 date of Latham’s death.

However, those discrepancies can easily be written off as a simple trick of memory.

More troubling is a 1993 story from the Los Angeles Times, which suggests Hines wasn’t with Latham at all when she was struck.

And again, the story incorrectly sets Latham’s death in 1983, rather than 1981.

She began (Safe Moves) after her best friend was killed on a bicycle Nov. 13, 1983, by a hit-and-run motorist. Sue Latham had been on her way to meet Hines for a morning ride on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway.

“The guilt I felt for Sue’s death was overwhelming,” Hines said. “I’d been responsible for her being interested in bicycle riding… I’d told her, ‘Don’t worry, the cars have to look out for us.’ ”

………

But when we go back to more contemporaneous accounts, like this 1982 Associated Press story published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel just over two months after Latham’s death, and archived on the California Digital Newspaper Collection maintained by UC Riverside, the story changes completely.

And the bizarre fake rape story starts to become much more credible.

It was near dawn on a cloudy Sunday morning last fall when Miss Latham set out alone from Santa Monica on a bicycle ride up the scenic highway.

She had moved to Los Angeles just two months earlier from Austin, Texas. Miss Latham, who held a master’s degree in quantum mechanics, seemed to be settling nicely into the Southern California lifestyle. She had joined a swim club and loved to bicycle.

As she pedaled her 10-speed into Malibu on Nov. 15, she apparently developed a problem with the bike and got off to make repairs along the shoulder of the road. As Miss Latham was working, an automobile swerved and struck her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet.

Investigators say the driver, and perhaps another person, got out of the car and dragged her to a site about 100 feet away. They removed her shorts and underpants, shoved her beneath a partially constructed home and drove off. Police say it was an attempt to make Miss Latham look as if she was raped and beaten.

Two days later, in a hospital, Miss Latham died of head injuries and the Malibu office of the California Highway Patrol had a homicide to solve…

The story goes on to describe a billboard campaign and reward intended to find Latham’s killer.

And it mentions Hines, with no suggestion she was with Sue Latham when she was killed.

Pat Hines, a member of the (Santa Monica Swim Club) and a friend of Miss Latham’s, is hoping to boost the reward to $100,000.

Ms Hines said friends told her that as soon as the emotional impact wore off, people would lose interest. It isn’t true, she said. “I get letters from people all the time”, including from those whose sons and daughters have been killed by hit-and-run drivers, she said. “People are desperate to help.”

“I don’t want to let it get by”, she said. “I don’t want her to become just another statistic.”

………

An even more contemporaneous article from the Austin American Statesman, written just a month after Latham’s death, tells her personal story in much more detail.

And confirms the tragic crime as told by the CHP, rather than Hines’ version of events.

The paper describes Latham as having a genius IQ, and publishing an article on the quantum mechanical study of a particular laser reaction in the journal of a prestigious British academic society, while studying for her masters at the University of Texas.

She was also a talented artist, with her work displayed in a New York gallery when she was just 17.

And she was active in the budding environmental movement of the 1970s, as well as campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Somewhere along the way, though, her interests shifted to the family business of writing, following in the footsteps of her novelist father and screenwriter sister and brother-in-law.

Which led her to move to Los Angeles to break into the business as a screenwriter and actress. And led to her friendship with Hines, then an advertising director for KRTH-AM.

“I met Sue in a restaurant,” Hines recalled. “I train daily on a bike, and Sue asked me if I knew any places to ride that were safe. I told her LA is really a bad place to ride…cars are everywhere and motorists don’t pay any attention to people on bikes. I said it was important to ride with somebody, and she kind of smiled and said, “I don’t worry about things like that…

The bike route Hines and other friends suggested was the Pacific Coast Highway, but they said the ride should only be undertaken early in the morning when traffic was light, preferably on holidays or weekends.

On the final day of her life, Latham borrowed her sister’s car, and parked behind Gladstones at Sunset and PCH, where she planned to meet the other members of the swim team later that Sunday morning.

Shortly after 7 am, Latham got off her bike on southbound PCH and knelt alongside the road; the CHP suspected she was fixing a mechanical problem.

That’s when the driver, who still hasn’t been caught 40 years later, veered off the side of the road, slamming into her.

Unconscious, and likely clinically dead, she was alone and defenseless against her killer or killers.

What happened next turned the case from a routine traffic accident into a bizarre incident that captured the attention of a city not known for its compassion.

Someone dragged Latham off the roadway, leaving her under a beach house under construction about 30 feet from the highway. Doctors later found sand in her brain.

After the injured woman was hidden from view, someone removed Latham’s shorts and underwear. her bike was concealed behind a nearby construction crane, and her backpack, containing her current journal, was stolen.

Note that there is no mention of Hines, or anyone else, being with her, other than the heartless cowards who took her life and went to extraordinary lengths to coverup the crime.

In fact, the story makes it very clear that, not only was Hines not with her, but wasn’t even aware of her death until the next day.

Outrage. The word comes up frequently in conversations with Californians who knew Latham or who have heard about the case.

One person who uses the word is Hines.

“We must have ridden right past her and not known it,” she said.

Hines said she got back to the restaurant where Sue had left her car about 2 pm that Sunday, but did not notice the Mercedes was still there.

The next morning, unaware of the accident, Hines saw Latham’s car in the restaurant parking lot about 6 am.

“It was still pitch dark,” she said. “I thought Sue might have gone swimming by herself. I ran up and down the beach but I didn’t see her.”

Then, assuming Latham must have been somewhere else, Hines went for a swim herself.

In fact, Pat Hines didn’t even learn about Latham’s impeding death until around 10 am Monday, when someone called the radio station to make sure Hines was okay.

The caller told Hines that an unidentified young woman had been critically injured in a hit-and-run on the Pacific Coast Highway. She had been admitted to Santa Monica Hospital as “Jane Doe.”

I knew it had to be Sue,” Hines said. I called the restaurant and found her car was still there. I called one of her friends and she said she had not seen Sue in two days.

Convinced the woman was Sue Latham, Hines contacted Latham’s brother-in-law.

She and the brother-in-law went to the hospital that Monday, and identified Latham.

Sue Latham died at 10:30 the following night.

………

None of this is to suggest that Pat Hines is intentionally lying.

Maybe, as Serge Issakov suggests, she just needed a compelling story for her advocacy work, and it evolved over time.

But time can play tricks on memory, especially when clouded by grief and survivor’s guilt.

Pat Hines lifetime of work on behalf of bike-riding children has surely earned our respect, and more than a modicum of consideration; there’s no telling just how many young lives she could be responsible for saving.

We also haven’t heard her side of this story. Issakov reached out to her for a reaction, but hasn’t received a response at the time this was written.

And I’m more than willing to post her response if she sees this.

Let’s also not forget that real story is, or should be, that there’s someone out there, living or dead, who’s gotten away with killing an innocent young woman for a full four decades.

But the next time Pat Hines tells the story of how Sue Latham died, whether to oppose AB 122 or any other reason, take it with a grain of salt.

Or maybe a five pound bag.

………

Eid Mubarak to all those observing today’s holiday!

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Council candidate calls for Ballona extension, MUTCD comments due Friday, and always ride with adorable kids

Update: That crowdfunding campaign for 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez, who left five young children without a mother when she was killed by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month, has now raised half of the $7,000 goal.

Thank you to everyone who dug into their own pockets to help these kids.

If you haven’t given yet, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account that was established for Rodriguez before she died.

………

CD4 City Council candidate Scott Epstein highlights Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the creek’s eastern terminus in Mid-City Los Angeles, where it would connect with a planned Bicycle Friendly Street leading into Hollywood.

Speaking of Epstein, the longtime LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member is raising funds for his campaign to put another much-needed bike friendly voice on the city council.

………

Time’s running out to comment on the tone-deaf, auto-centric revision to the MUTCD, the traffic engineering street design manual.

And tell them to throw the damn thing out and start over with something that treats bike riders, pedestrians and transit users like we belong here, too.

 

………

Don’t junk your old wheels, turn them into art.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

Britain’s immense Bolton Abbey estate continues to deny it has a ban on bike riders and equestrians, but the barricades and security guards blocking a key bridge would argue otherwise.

A London park’s code of conduct tells bike riders not to scare the people in the big, dangerous machines. No, really.

………

Local

Metro is offering a chance to win a $200 gift card just for completing their annual bikeshare survey.

Progressive news site KnockLA says we can’t lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan the future of the LA River, calling the county’s Geary-designed draft LA River Master Plan just flat out bad. I wish I could disagree with them, but yeah.

A working mom in South LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood has converted an empty parking lot on Slauson Blvd into the RideWitUS-LA bike shop and bike club to serve LA’s long-neglected African American community.

A Chicago journalist arrived in Santa Monica at the end of a 2,500-mile ride from the Windy City, collecting people’s stories about Covid-19 along the way.

 

State

No bias here. A San Francisco supervisor is sharply criticized for comparing efforts to keep JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park carfree to segregation in the 1950s South, because the park is so hard for people from his largely Black district to reach if they don’t drive. Which is a far better argument for better transit than turning the street back over to motor vehicles.

 

National

Gear Patrol looks at long overdue efforts to diversify bicycling and make it more welcoming for people of color.

The Week says there’s a simple and cheap way to make room on the roads for bicycles and transit — just put an end to car supremacy. Unfortunately, like other forms of supremacy, calling to end it is a lot easier than actually doing it.

The people who brought you the Commodore 64 and 8-bit Atari are the designers behind a new ped-assist ebike.

This is who we share the road with. An Oregon driver is on trial for the road rage death of a motorcyclist, after repeated swerving his oversized pickup into the biker’s lane. Although he just faces felony vehicular homicide charges, rather than the murder count his actions would seem to call for.

Oklahoma’s governor has signed that state’s version of an Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and treat red lights like stop signs.

Kindhearted cops in a Detroit suburb pitched in to buy a new bike for a Taco Bell employee, after someone stole the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio announces plans to install five major busways and another 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year, in a major move to reshape the city’s streets before he leaves office. Although Streetsblog complains he’s not doing anything to curtail private car use.

Speaking of de Blasio, a Staten Island writer complains about plans to cut the speed limit on a major artery to 30 mph, calling it a traffic ticket money grab on the mayor’s part — even while acknowledging that dropping the speed limit is one of the best ways to halt the rising toll of pedestrian deaths.

And capping off our de Blasio trifecta, the mayor finally got out of his chauffeured SUV and onto a bikeshare bike, suddenly getting a new perspective of the city.

Pennsylvania snowboard maker Gilson Snow has introduced a sustainable wooden bicycle, made with the same laminated wood used in their boards.

Tragic news from Florida, where a bike-riding man and women were killed in a collateral damage crash when an allegedly stoned driver crashed into an oncoming SUV while passing slower traffic in a no-passing zone, knocking the SUV over and onto a bike trail next to the roadway, where the couple riding their tandem bike were sitting ducks.

You know you’re in bike-friendly Portland when business owners sign a petition calling for new protected bike lanes on their street, instead of fighting them.

 

International

Your kid’s next balance bike could be a Bentley.

The Ecologist explains the reasoning behind the Car Free Megacities campaign to transform London, Paris and New York by greatly reducing motor vehicle use. Maybe they can pretty please include LA in that, too.

No surprise here. Drivers and bicyclists disagreed over popup bike lanes in Waterloo, Ontario, with bike riders feeling safer while drivers felt inconvenienced.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia paper argues that poorly executed Slow Streets could be worse than none at all, after a bike rider was hit by a truck driver who claimed he had no idea he was driving on one (scroll down).

A British expat living in Copenhagen strangely calls on bike riders to stop intertexting — using a smartphone while crossing an intersection — rather than just leaving your damn phone alone while riding.

Shimano considers the future of bicycling in bike-loving Belgium.

Clever idea, as German bikemaker Convercycle introduced a new e-cargo bike with a wheelbase that extends and contracts, depending on your needs.

Horrible story from China, where an ebike battery exploded on a crowded elevator, sending four people to the hospital, including a five-month old baby.

Cycling Tips looks at the highlights this year’s Australia Handmade Bicycle Show.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Joe Dombrowski celebrated an early birthday by surviving a long breakaway to win a dramatic, rain-soaked fourth stage of the Giro, while Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi slipped into the pink leader’s jersey.

Meanwhile, VeloNews talks with some of stars of the WorldTour about a stage they describe as “thrilling.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get bitten by Jesus of Nazareth’s dog. Forget the speakers, just take your entire DJ deck along on your ride.

And if you want to avoid having angry drivers stuck behind you, make sure to always bring some adorable little bike riders with you.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

LA promised bike lanes but gave us sharrows, CA Assembly approves stop as yield, and popular bike rider shot and killed

Update: We saw a big jump in donations yesterday after I asked you to give to a crowdfunding campaign for 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez, who left five young children behind when she was killed by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month.

And you responded.

Donations jumped within minutes of my initial tweet, and kept growing throughout the day, rising from just $1,375 to a much healthier $3,116.

Now let’s keep it going.

If you haven’t given yet, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account established for Rodriguez before she died.

Because those kids will now have to spend the rest of their lives without their mother. So let’s try to get them off to the best start we can.

Photo of sharrows on LA’s Riverside/Zoo Bridge by Photo by Joe Linton of Streetsblog LA; see story below. 

………

Once again, city officials promised a bike lane.

And gave us sharrows.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that, like the undelivered bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge, the Riverside/Zoo Bridge in Griffith Park was scheduled to get bike lanes during a recent widening project.

Instead, drivers got the sort of plush, wide lanes that encourage speeding.

And we got sharrows — placing bike riders directly in the path of those speeding drivers.

The city’s environmental documentation (called a Mitigated Negative Declaration – MND) as approved by City Council for this project states that the project scope included two new five-foot shoulders. The MND states that “The proposed project would add shoulders to the bridge for the bicyclists” as well as a bike undercrossing (more on that below.)

Though the city’s MND does not call them “bike lanes,” the city’s rendering shows bike lane markings in newly-striped shoulders.

Linton goes on to include an apt description of those little arrow-shaped chevrons that do little to nothing on the road, other than aid in wayfinding and positioning, while helping drivers improve their aim.

At us.

For folks not familiar with the term, sharrows are shared lane markings, called “the dregs of bike infrastructure” because they don’t actually allocate space to cyclists, nor have they been shown to make streets safer.

He also makes the case, as I have many times, that parks are for people, not cars. And that the bridge has more than enough bicycle traffic to justify painted, if not protected, bike lanes.

The bridge is located inside Griffith Park. Does L.A. really need big wide lanes for drivers to speed through its parks? No. Inside parks, the city should encourage more park-compatible quieter modes, like bicycling. Similarly, in pursuing river revitalization, the city states that the river corridor will prioritize walking, bicycling, and transit…

The city’s MND acknowledges that the bridge sees plenty of cyclists. It notes a 2013 bicycle count that found that approximately 375 bicyclists crossed the bridge on weekdays, with 43 crossing during the morning peak hour and 34 during the evening peak hour. The same count found higher numbers on weekends: approximately 610 cyclists per day on Saturday, and 796 cyclists on a Sunday, where the hourly peak was 158 cyclists. That peak is more than two cyclists per minute, on a bridge not designed for cyclists (no bike lanes and two freeway ramps).

He goes on to make some very viable and practical suggestions on how to give us the bike lanes we were promised, while improving safety for everyone on the roadways.

It’s more than worth taking a few minutes to give the piece a read.

It’s also worth taking a few minutes to contact new CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman to ask her to do what her predecessors didn’t, whether by email or phone.

Instead of letting the city settle for the least they can do.

Again.

………

It’s on to the state senate after the California Assembly approved a modified Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

It’s not the first time a bill like this has been introduced in the legislature. But to the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time one has gotten out of committee, let alone survived a floor vote.

Maybe we’re making progress, after all.

………

Heartbreaking news, as a popular South Carolina bicyclist was shot and killed while riding near a park, just blocks from his home.

Forty-four-year old David “Whit” Oliver was on the phone with the 911 operator when shots were heard in the background, and the phone went silent.

But he knew his attacker, giving the operator the name of the man who killed him just before he was shot.

Police were able to quickly find his killer, 62-year old Jeffrey Mark Murray, but not before he was involved in another shooting minutes later.

Murray was shot and killed by police officers after getting out of his car with a gun.

A friend of Oliver’s wrote that Murray was known for harassing bicyclists “and anyone else that the man came across while walking in our neighborhood.”

The South Carolina bicycling community was in mourning as news of Oliver’s death spread; former pro cyclist George Hincapie was among those tweeting a link to the crowdfunding campaign to benefit Oliver’s wife and young son.

As of this writing, it’s raised over $21,000 of the $50,000 goal in just 24 hours.

………

Looks like America’s most popular open streets event could be back soon, as the pandemic continues to loosen it’s deadly grip on the City of Angels.

………

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

A Saskatchewan man calls for a little empathy from drivers, after his wife took a bad fall while being harassed by a honking, tailgating driver; needless to say, the driver saw her fall, but just kept on going.

A bike-riding former Welsh cop suffered elbow, hip and knee injuries when a driver intentionally swerved into him, after threatening to kill him; when the local police hesitated to take up the case, he started the investigation himself.

………

Local

They get it. Capital and Main says political gridlock is the reason Los Angeles hasn’t solved its transit gridlock, as planners argue that a combination of “rail, bus rapid transit (BRT) and electric bikes and scooters would transport Angelenos around the county more easily” — and more safely — than cars do.

 

State

A Voice of San Diego op-ed argues that it will take more than just bike lanes to get more people to bike to work, saying ebike rebates and incentives would be money well-spent to get people riding in the hilly city.

The Christian Science Monitor profiles Richmond’s Najari Smith, founder of Rich City Rides, who uses the bicycle co-op as a tool to uplift his entire community. Which is why he is one of my personal bike heroes and one of the people I admire most.

 

National

The Verge talks with Transportation Secretary Pete about the future of transportation and infrastructure in the US. And that future includes micromobility and active transportation, as well as eliminating traffic deaths.

More proof that bikes are good for the environment, as a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in conjunction with Trek confirms that replacing car trips with biking or walking is one of the most effective ways of improve human health and mitigate climate change.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Maine chocolate maker is taking a few weeks off for a 3,000-mile fundraising ride up the East Coast; the retired, award-winning architect is hoping to raise $30,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Traffic deaths in Boston rose last year as empty streets encouraged more speeding drivers, though bicycling and pedestrian declined. Although even one death is still one too many.

A Huntsville, Alabama man has biked over 2,000 miles to ride every street in town.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to ride faster.

A pair of Canadian teens learn first hand what it’s like to unexpectedly ride their bikes through a den of rattlesnakes.

British bike riders may soon be allowed to ride up to 30 miles from home as the country begins to loosen the latest pandemic lockdown restrictions.

The international pandemic bike boom may be bypassing Aussie bike clubs, as some Victoria clubs are struggling to attract members despite the increasing numbers of bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Taco Van Der Hoorn won the third stage of the Giro in a surprising victory in his first Grand Tour, the last survivor of an eight-man breakaway that led the peloton by six-and-a-half minutes before declining to a slim four-second margin at the finish.

An 18-year old Belmont, California man is planning to put off college at UC Santa Cruz for awhile in hopes of succeeding as a pro cyclist — assuming Covid-19 allows developmental racing to resume this year.

 

Finally…

What would it look like if road space for cars and bikes were reversed? How about a game of Bike Tag, you’re it?

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got a propeller on your back?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Help children of fallen bike riding woman, call to toss out the MUTCD and start over, and bike riders are heroes — again

Some stories are just heartbreaking.

That’s the case with the death of a woman that came to light yesterday, when word broke that 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez died ten days after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month.

Leaving her five young kids without a mother.

Now and for the rest of their lives.

So if you have a few extra bucks lying around, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account established for Rodriguez before she died; as of this writing, it stands at just $1,375 of the $7,000 goal.

It won’t bring her back.

But it might make things just a little easier for those kids.

And yes, I gave, too.

………

Advocates and organizations are calling for tossing out the proposed auto-centric update of the The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, aka MUTCD, and starting again from scratch.

These two images pretty well sum it up what the whole debate is about.

………

Once again, bike riders are heroes.

Or make that twice.

A pair of women rode to a Montreal woman’s rescue when a man stole her bike, chasing him over ten miles through three cities before he was arrested after crashing into a police cruiser; it didn’t hurt that one of the women was a recently retired cop.

Then again, there are are all kinds of heroes. Like a brigade of Toronto bike riders committed to helping others in need during the pandemic. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Los Angeles-based former pro and well-known Cookie Monster Phil Gaimon is back with his popular Worst Retirement Ever, as he takes on a KOM held by four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome.

………

Turns out San Francisco’s iconic and newly bike friendly Market Street is just returning to its post war glory.

………

GCN tries to strip down and rebuild a bicycle using nothing but a multi-tool.

………

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

Ride your bike without lights and a bright phosphorescent jacket and helmet in Qatar, and it could be seized for a week. And you’ll have to show up with the required safety gear to get it back. That will be more reasonable when cars have to have phosphorescent paint, and drivers have to wear a helmet.

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

A runner describes being followed on a trail by a man on a bicycle who threatened to rape her, with no one around for protection; she finally escaped by running up to a lone house and calling police.

………

Local

Streets For All is asking you to contact CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to support Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets Plan. Especially since opponents are resorting to outright lies.

Santa Monica-based Bird is reportedly planning to go public by piggy backing on a Texas company, with a valuation of $2.3 billion. Even though they’ve lost a total of $409 million in just the last two years.

Simon Cowell is back on his fat-tired ebike, riding along the beach in the ‘Bu with his family, nine months after breaking his back crashing an e-motorcycle.

 

State

Yes, San Diego, Black girls do bike.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette offers advice on how to avoid getting doored.

Finishing our San Diego trifecta, the city has removed its Slow Streets. But the lessons learned over the past year could boost bicycling and walking in the city.

An angry Twitter thread from Carpinteria woman complains about the lack of protected bike lanes after her 20-year old daughter is nearly run down by a pickup driver while on a Mother’s Day ride.

The family of a San Francisco woman finally has some closure after a confessed serial killer pled guilty to killing her and two other women in New Orleans; she was last seen riding her bicycle in September of 2008, before her body was found later that day.

They get it. The Monterey County Weekly devotes their latest issue to bicycling, as their editor writes that part of the beauty of riding a bicycle is the ease and accessibility.

They get it, too. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments is calling for a bicycle freeway system connecting cities and neighborhoods in the six county area, comparing it to the freeway system built in the area 50 years earlier. Which means the ball’s in your court, SCAG.

 

National

An alleged drunk driver faces charges for fleeing the scene after fatally running down a Houston man who was fixing his bike on the side of the road.

A Wisconsin man faces charges after slamming his car into a man he thought was riding his stolen bicycle, shattering the alleged thief’s ankle. But then couldn’t prove to police that he actually owned the bike he claimed was his.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Renowned German Architect Helmut Jahn was killed while biking in Chicago when he was struck by two separate drivers after witnesses say he ran a stop sign on his bicycle; the 81-year old architect designed several of the city’s buildings, as well as notable buildings in Berlin, Bangkok and Philadelphia.

That’s more like it. New York’s mayor is calling for the passage of the Crash Victim’s Rights and Safety Package in the state legislature, a series of eight bills intended to improve traffic safety, including an expansion of speed cams, a crash victim’s Bill of Rights, lower speed limits, and reducing the threshold for DUI to .05.

A Black DC man is blazing a trail for a new generation of bike-riding people of color.

 

International

The Spokesmen podcast talks with noted bicycling researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher about their new book, Cycling for Sustainable Cities.

Seriously? Bike-riding BBC radio host Jeremy Vine stands accused of bullying and intimidating a group opposed to Britain’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods through “libelous and defamatory” statements, after accusing them of cutting the heads off flowers and spreading them on the doorstep of an LTN supporter.

The overwhelming majority of the 42 bicyclists killed on Australian roads last year were men over 40, in part because so many took to their bikes while working from home during the pandemic. While that may not sound like a lot compared to the 846 killed in the US in 2019, it’s a heavy toll for a country of less than 26 million people.

Aussie food delivery riders are accused of causing “total chaos on the streets” after an ebike rider killed an 89-year old man while running a red light. There’s no excuse for recklessly taking a human life. Ever. But just wait until they hear about the damage done by cars and their drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Filippo Ganna held on to the pink leader’s jersey he claimed by winning the time trial in Saturday’s opening stage of the Giro.

Cycling Weekly offers five key takeaways from Sunday’s second stage of the Giro.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian star Remco Evenepoel understandably broke down in tears after his seventh place finish in the time trial, nine months after breaking his pelvis crashing into a bridge and falling down a ravine in the Tour of Lombardy.

The peloton paused to remember Wouter Weylandt at the start of Sunday’s second stage, on the tenth anniversary of his death in the 2011 Giro.

France swept the first weekend of the Mountain Bike World Cup season, in advance of the upcoming Olympics.

 

Finally…

Call it one of the earliest ped-assist bikes, dating back 118 years. Nothing like knowing a three-year old could probably ride circles around you.

Or maybe just me.

And maybe your bike handling skills aren’t as good as you think.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Mother of five dies after she’s taken off life-support, 10 days after collision while bicycling in Lincoln Heights

Too often, we never learn what happens after someone riding a bicycle is taken to the hospital.

If we ever hear about it in the first place.

That’s what nearly happened late last month, when a woman died days after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights.

Make that a young mother, who leaves five young kids behind.

The first clue came with a post on Nextdoor, which Michael Shifflett forwarded to me this morning.

 

Unfortunately, there was no confirmation about the crash, let alone her death. And searching the LA County coroner’s office turned up nothing.

Because they misspelled her name.

According to information Shifflett was able to gather speaking with witnesses and members of her family, 31-year old Adriana Rodriguez, otherwise known as Fishy, was hit by a driver’s car at N. San Fernando Road and Humboldt Street on April 18th.

She was hospitalized for ten days afterwards, and died April 28th after being taken off life-support.

Her death was confirmed by the coroner’s office, which mistakenly spelled her first name as Andriana, which is why I couldn’t find it.

The driver stayed at the scene following the crash. No word on whether he or she was ticketed, but no arrest was made at the scene.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time.

However, a poignant, slightly truncated post from one of the first people on the scene following the crash captures the needless tragedy.

A GoFundMe campaign posted before Rodriguez’ death has raised a little more than $1,100 of the low $7,000 goal at the time of this writing.

Let’s see if we can boost that a little for those kids who will now grow up without a mother.

And yes, I gave, too.

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s the third I know of in the City of LA.

It’s also a reminder that too many stories like this never make the news. And we’ll never know how many other victim of traffic violence we may not have heard about.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adriana Rodriguez and all her family. 

Thanks to Michael Schifflett and Chris By Bike for the heads-up.

Tres shock! LA misses safest bike city list, famed ped superhero at UCLA, and San Diego builds bike lane laps around LA

Is anyone shocked that Los Angeles didn’t make the latest list of America’s safest cities for people on bicycles?

I didn’t think so.

But congratulations to Davis, Chico and Santa Barbara, the three California cities that did.

Maybe in another decade or two we might finally have a shot.

We can dream, right?

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker profiles Mexico City pedestrian superhero Peatónito, who is finishing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UCLA.

And wants to have pedestrian defenders in every LA neighborhood when he leaves.

………

San Diego continues to build laps around Los Angeles, as they work to build out a full network of curb protected bike lanes.

Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

But while Los Angeles continues to rest on its non-laurels as America’s worst bike city, Glendale is installing a new curb protected lane on Los Feliz.

Even if it is just for a block.

………

Gravel Bike California gets a visit from Road Bike Action’s Troy and David to discover Gold Creek, a hidden gem between Big and Little Tujunga Canyons.

………

The LACBC is offering a discount for their virtual bike challenge taking place this month.

Here’s what they have to say.

Inviting you to join us in June at LACBC’s new virtual LA Rivers Challenge:  Ride, Walk or Run LA’s Historic Waterways!  A flexible and fun way to ride, walk or run our beautiful L.A. County waterways, at your own pace on days, routes and mileage of your choice.  Suggested routes will be posted on the LARiversChallenge.com website.

Please use this special Friends & Family code “FRIEND5” to register at LARiversChallenge.com and receive a cool neck gaiter/mask, coaching/encouragement emails, routes and information about the historic L.A. County waterways.  Bonus Fun: An optional personalized fundraising webpage can be set up where riders can share progress on their ride(s) online and also raise money to support LACBC’s year-round advocacy on behalf of active transportation in L.A. County.  Rewards and prizes can be earned for meeting fundraising goals too!

Thank you.

The 2021 LA River Challenge – Good for You and Good for LA! For more information and to register for the L.A. Rivers Challenge, visit LARiversChallenge.com.

Challenge Video: https://vimeo.com/545718226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/274494824189732

Twitter: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@LACBC)

Instagram: @lacbc

………

Bicycling author Richard Fox is back with the latest update to his comprehensive guide to SoCal bike routes.

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of my guidebook “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It contains 200+ scenic ride options at SoCal’s beaches, deserts, mountains, wine country, harbors, & historic city centers from San Diego to Cambria to Palm Springs, perfect for casual cyclists who enjoy beautiful scenery while avoiding car traffic and major hill climbs. The pandemic bike boom created many new casual cyclists who bought up 2017’s 2nd Edition a year earlier than anticipated. I revisited many of the rides with a Class I ebike, and added notes on how they impact rides, and where to rent or buy them near the rides. The book’s info was updated, more detail was added to many of the maps, and several new rides were added, including an option for a La La Land Griffith Park adventure on closed roads that was too hilly without an ebike for the casual cyclist before.  Other new fabulous rides were added for all in Irvine and Lake Perris, and options in other areas with new infrastructure like Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Coachella Valley, where I spent much of the pandemic lockdown cycling and working on the book update, ended up with a ton of new info and routes, including incorporation of the new CV Link regional path, now in various stages of construction. enCYCLEpedia.net contains additional rides, downloadable maps, features and updates for book owners.  The price of this edition is going up because of higher production costs in the USA vs Asia, but has started on Amazon at a lower price, available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638485380.

………

The Oklahoma legislature has sent a bill legalizing the Idaho Stop to the governor for his signature.

And for a change, it’s the full version, allowing bike riders to treat red lights like stop signs, and treat stop signs as yields.

………

This.

………

Somehow we missed this one last month, as Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a tutorial on how to politely shred on your fixie.

Meanwhile, Road.cc sings fixies praises, too.

………

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

Police busted a bike riding thief who robbed two women at gunpoint in New York’s Central Park.

………

Local

Bikeshare is officially back on LA’s Westside, with 54 docking stations ready to go, and another 13 in the works.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a 32-year old Paramount man who was last seen April 14th; the 5’7″, 230 pound Hispanic man frequently rides his bike through the area, though it’s unclear if he was on his bike when he disappeared.

 

State

Good news, as California’s proposal for a modified Idaho Stop Law allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields continues to move through the state legislature.

A 13-year old boy suffered moderate injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Seal Beach.

A bike-riding man suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by two drivers in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood in the midst of Wednesday’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations; he was left crossed by a driver trying to make a three-point turn, then hit by another when he was knocked off his bicycle.

A new survey shows Poway residents want more options to ride their bikes, among other concerns.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a Bakersfield bike rider seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver this past Saturday; another rider escaped the crash without serious injuries. The campaign has raised just $1,700 out of a goal of $5,000 in three days.

Nice gesture from the Chowchilla bicycling community, which turned out in force to accompany the body of a 45-year old man killed in a hit-and-run; the driver faces a murder charge after telling police he wanted to kill someone. Sadly, the disabled man, who rode a bike as his only form of transportation, had the misfortune of crossing the alleged killer’s path.

 

National

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bike Kitchen may be closed during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from refurbishing over 200 bicycles and donating them to kids in need.

A crowdfunding campaign for a 13-year old boy killed while riding his bike by a Moline, Illinois cop responding to an emergency call has raised more than $14,000 in just 24 hours, easily topping the original $10,000 goal.

Kansas City moved to legalize jaywalking and cancel bicycle inspections, along with other local laws too often used to target people of color.

Next City suggests Fayetteville, Arkansas could be America’s next great bike city.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan man could spend up to 80 years behind bars for the reckless, hit-and-run deaths of two women riding their bikes; he’ll have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he’s eligible for parole, and pay $250,000 restitution. None of which will bring either of the victims back, though.

New York’s Worksman Cycles traces its history back over 100 years, to the first three-wheeled bikes developed for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company.

A New York bike shop owner received $32,000 in fines for selling ped-assist ebikes, even though they were perfectly legal under city rules; fortunately, he didn’t end up paying a penny of it.

A DC clinic is helping people who’ve lost a limb regain the confidence to ride a bicycle.

 

International

A new bendable tail light raising funds on Kickstarter promises to mark off a safe passing distance; right now you can preorder one for just $35. No word on whether it will extend to a full three-foot passing distance, though.

Bikes really did boom in the UK last year, as 5 million people were “inspired” to buy a bicycle during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of a Dutch fan, LEGO may finally introduce a bike lane set, complete with bikes, bike racks and people to use them.

The Namibian bicycling community is mourning the death of a Canadian man who made a difference in the lives of countless people by talking his family and friends to helping him ship bicycles to the country, before eventually founding a nonprofit to ship and sell them to create jobs, and fund more bikes.

The former model who starred in David Bowie’s China Girl video is now a Kiwi restaurant manager who’s fighting a new protected bike lane, arguing that it will block her deliveries and no one will use it, anyway. Never mind that the first photo in the story shows a delivery driver unloading his truck next to the bike lane directly behind her.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. Grateful Aussie parents are looking for the man who jumped off his bike and leapt into a chilly lake without hesitation to rescue a three-year old boy, who accidentally rode his scooter into a Canberra lake; he then slipped away quietly after saving the boy’s life. No truth to the rumor that he left a silver bullet behind. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur previews the Giro, which kicks off tomorrow in Turin.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he’ll be under a microscope in the Giro, as he makes his comeback from a suspension for causing the crash that severely injured Fabio Jakobsen at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

Never mind the stolen election and deteriorating conditions in Belarus, the European track cycling championships are staying put in Minsk, despite offers from other cities and countries to host them.

Mark your calendar for the Balance Bike World Championships this August. It’s being held in the UK, so your little competitor may need a passport.

 

Finally…

Before you can bomb down the bike trails, you’ve got to get your bike up there. No, a bike lane isn’t a good nap spot.

And next time you want to participate in a Zoom meeting while driving, maybe lose the shoulder belt first.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

California slightly less dangerous for bike riders, Bonin runs for return to city council, and sabotage on a Scottish bike trail

Maybe we’re not quite so bad, after all.

A new report from transportation data analytics firm StreetLight Data creates their own ranking of the safest and dangerous states to ride a bike.

The report uses additional data points to scramble the rankings prepared by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Top 10 Riskiest States for Bicyclists
  1. Delaware (#2 on FARS* per capita report)
  2. South Carolina (#4 on FARS)
  3. Florida (#1 on FARS)
  4. Louisiana (#3 on FARS)
  5. New Mexico (#5 on FARS)
  6. Oklahoma (#9 on FARS)
  7. Mississippi (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. West Virginia (Not in the FARS top 10)
  9. Arizona (#7 on FARS)
  10. California (#6 on FARS)
Top 10 Safest States for Bicyclists
  1. Massachusetts (#1 on FARS per capita report)
  2. New York (Not in the FARS top 10)
  3. Illinois (#7 on FARS)
  4. Pennsylvania (#4 on FARS)
  5. Utah (#8 on FARS)
  6. Tennessee (#2 on FARS)
  7. Minnesota (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. Missouri (#5 on FARS)
  9. Arkansas (#3 on FARS)
  10. Washington (Not in the FARS top 10)

Which means we have just slightly less work to do to make our streets safe and inviting for everyone.

………

Councilmember Mike Bonin is tossing his hat in the ring for a third and final term representing coastal Los Angeles on the council.

One of LA’s most progressive councilmembers, Bonin, who used to bike commute to city hall when he was the top aide to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, has been one of the leading bike supporters on the council in recent years.

Which isn’t saying much.

But it was Bonin who was behind the simultaneous rollout of three much-needed lane reductions and bike lanes in Playa del Rey in 2017.

And who stood firm in the face of massive motorist opposition until he was undercut by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who disregarded his own Vision Zero program.

Not for the last time, either.

Maybe Bonin can use his last few years on the council to have as big an impact on our streets as his late mentor and predecessor.

………

Formerly staid Santa Barbara has taken a surprising turn towards becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly in recent years.

Here’s your chance to learn how, from some of the people making it happen.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

This is who we share the parks with. When a Scottish man confronted a retired couple who had just placed a large log on a park bike trail, they confessed they were intentionally trying sabotage it to injure bike riders so they wouldn’t come there anymore.

………

Local

Supporters of Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan are asking you to reach out to Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to join County Supervisor Hilda Solis and other local leaders in supporting the plan to re-envision Colorado Blvd when a new Bus Rapid Transit line goes in.

Santa Clarita is challenging residents to go green by bike commuting next week.

 

State

Credit the CHP with calling on drivers to operate their vehicles safely around people on bicycles — and not considering bike helmets the beginning and end of bicycle safety. Although the idea of shared responsibility on the streets doesn’t exactly hold true when comparing a two-ton semi-ballistic weapon with a few hundred pounds of flesh and bone. Or less. 

They get it. The Orange County Transportation Authority calls on everyone to “stay active and get outdoors to safely travel by bicycle” during May’s Bike Everywhere month in the county.

’70s alto sax legend Sonny Simmons was down and out in San Francisco, busking on the streets for spare change, when a local jazz promoter happened by on his bicycle and revived his career with a sold-out gig opening for Branford Marsalis; Simmons died last month, six years after a fall left him partially paralyzed and ended his playing career. If he’d been in a car, he probably never would have heard Simmons, and that career revival might never have come.

 

National

Enough with the light bikes. Pink Bike contemplates what’s the heaviest mountain bike their could build for ten grand.

NACTO follows up on last year’s street design grants to ten cities across the US; Long Beach used theirs to create a parklet program to support restaurants in underserved communities.

Gear Junkie examines whether Apple’s new AirTag is the best anti-bike theft device, allowing you to track your bike down if anyone takes it. On the other hand, AirTag also makes it easier for someone to stalk you.

Speaking of Apple, a new iOS update will allow you to use Siri to report traffic hazards to Apple Maps, where they can be seen by other users. Although it’s questionable what it can do when the hazard is “all these damn cars and the people driving them.”

An Arizona website explains how to tour Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and other hidden Utah gems by bicycle.

A Salt Lake City alternative paper considers the best bike bags for riding around the city.

About damn time. A Colorado man has been arrested for 1st degree murder following the disappearance of wife last year, who set out on a Mother’s Day bike ride and was never seen again; countless searches have failed to discover her body.

A retired ranger says banning bikes from Yellowstone’s south entrance until the park opens to cars is like telling people on bicycles to wait until it’s too dangerous to ride there.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Hartford, Connecticut is reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes and better medians on a street where a bike rider was killed last year.

Connecticut is showing California how it’s done, as a proposal to place speed cams in a limited number of school, hospital and work zones around the state sailed through a second legislative committee with bipartisan support; the bill would also prohibit dooring, among other safety provisions. A similar bill to place speed cams in school zones was gutted by California Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach.

Buffalo NY is marking Bike Month with a number of pop-up Complete Streets in the city’s Fillmore District. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

 

International

London’s Independent considers the best cycling shorts for women.

Yorkshire’s historic Bolton Abbey denies using security guards to turn away people on bicycles, despite bike riders saying that’s exactly what happened over the weekend; the estate claims they were just explaining voluntary pandemic safety measures. Sure, let’s go with that. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went for a bike ride with the mayor of Stourbridge on the eve of the country’s local elections, with both looking surprisingly unsteady on their bikeshare bikes. Especially since London’s bikeshare system was popularly known as Boris Bikes when the experienced bike rider was mayor of the city.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali was honored with a Roman Catholic service on he 21st anniversary of his death; the Italian rider helped save over 800 Jews from the Nazis by smuggling papers in the frame of his bike during WWII.

A Slovenian composites company says they can build a road bike for everyday use that weighs less than nine pounds. Even if cycling’s governing body limits bikes to 15 pounds or more.

Hyderabad, India’s bicycle mayor is leading a group of volunteers fighting the country’s horrific Covid-19 crisis by using their bikes to deliver badly needed medicines to the elderly, as well as searching for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators and plasma donors.

 

Competitive Cycling

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says his performance in the upcoming Giro depends on how his balky back responds.

Amber Neben proves you’re never too old to go for the gold, competing against women half her age for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic road team at 46 years old.

The world road cycling championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time, going to Rwanda in 2025.

 

Finally…

Your next bike might have a steering tube — or a front fork. Nothing like a tall bike to make you stand out in any field.

And now you, too, can compete in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 bike race, without the inconvenience of attending the university.

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

%d bloggers like this: