Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: $25,000 reward as hit-and-run epidemic claims another victim, and the war on bikes just keeps on going

One quick note.

A number of people have forwarded stories this week after they were already mentioned on here. 

So if you don’t see them here, that’s the reason why. 

But thank you all anyway.

I’d much rather get stories we’ve already discussed than risk missing out on some good ones we haven’t. 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels.

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The hit-and-run epidemic just keeps claiming more victims.

This time it’s a pedestrian in DTLA, who was run down by a speeding, red light-running driver who plowed right into him as he was crossing the street in a crosswalk.

Fortunately, the victim, a 27-year old man, survived.

As always, there is a standing reward for any hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

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

A New York bike rider says he was chased onto a park path by a driver who intentionally tried to run him over and drove off with the bikeshare bike he had been riding. Then the cops took an hour and a half to get there — and refused to take the incident seriously once they did.

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Local

Santa Monica says over the past year, nearly half of the bikeshare and dockless scooter trips taken in the city replaced car trips.

 

State

California legislators are looking into what the state’s role should in in regulating micromobility and bikeshare. It would certainly help speed the growth of both if providers didn’t have to deal with a mishmash of regulations that vary drastically from one city to another.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s department is looking for unused or unloved bicycles that can be refurbished for their annual Christmas bike giveaway.

A writer for a Fresno college newspaper says the only downside to riding a bike is the risk of getting killed by a distracted driver.

Streetsblog says the problem isn’t that San Francisco isn’t working on street safety improvements, it’s that the improvements aren’t working.

More sad news from Santa Rosa, where a 79-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 74-year old driver; he’s the second bike rider killed in the city in just two days.

Sacramento is planning to triple the amount of parking-protected bike lanes in the downtown area, up to 93 blocks from the current 29.

 

National

An investigative news site takes a dive into the state of bicycling in the US, and concludes it’s stuck in first gear. Or maybe we only have one gear over here.

Strava’s move to a new web-based platform makes their urban riding data more available to smaller cities.

A Canadian paper wonders whether Seattle’s dockless ebike system could represent the future of bikeshare systems.

A mistrial was called in the case of a 64-year old charged with killing a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, after he attempted to kill himself the first day he was scheduled to appear in court.

A pair of Idaho men decided they wanted to learn more about the environment around Yellowstone National Park, so they spent two weeks riding 1,200 miles in a loop around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

New laws in Oklahoma require a driver to move into the left lane to pass a bike rider, or give a three-foot passing distance on two lane roads; another allows bicyclists to ride through a red light after stopping if the light doesn’t change.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Michigan man plans to mark his 80th birthday by riding his bike across the US for the fifth time; he previously took the journey when he was 38, 50, 60 and 70.

This is who we share the roads with. A Rhode Island driver was still stoned and over two and a half times the legal alcohol limit several hours after running down two separate bike riders; one of his victims is still in a rehab facility over five weeks after the crash.

The New York Times provides a very belated obituary for the legendary Annie Kopchovsky, aka Annie Londonderry, who left her husband and three children behind in Boston to become, more or less, the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world in the 1890s.

New York’s incoming police commissioner likes the idea of mandating bike helmet use, though the city’s mayor is less sure, even though he called for that himself earlier this year. And even though he doesn’t wear one himself.

A Virginia business executive says lessons learned from bicycling will make you a better leader and colleague.

Charleston SC bike riders will soon get a standalone bike and pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River after the city received an $18.1 million federal grant.

 

International

Pink Bike rides and rates ten of the best handlebar-mounted bike lights, while British Cycling suggests grabbing a good one and going trail riding in the dark.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. An 82-year old man is the first person in Britain known to have ridden his bike one million miles in his lifetime, and has the records to prove it; he still rides 25 miles every other day. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

An Australian court was told a Dutch couple’s dreams were shattered when a stoned driver traveling at twice the speed limit in a stolen SUV slammed into the young woman as she rode her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American national road champ Ruth Winder nearly didn’t make it to this year’s race after developing an eating disorder that resulted in low energy availability and menstrual dysfunction.

American Peter Stetina is walking away from the WorldTour to focus on gravel racing and ultra-endurance mountain biking.

VeloNews says the great thing about the Amgen Tour of California was the way it allowed domestic riders to battle against the sports biggest stars.

Who needs the Tour of California when you’ve got brakeless, foot-dragging, single-speed racing on a short, flat dirt track, and sponsored by a distillery?

A Canadian woman broke her own record in a 24-hour time trial in Borrego Springs, California, covering 460 miles; the top men’s finisher managed 540 miles.

 

Finally…

At last, an ebike that doesn’t look like one. If you’re out to egg cop cars, maybe not wearing a mask would make the police less suspicious.

And nothing like riding nearly 600 miles in 24 hours without going anywhere.

Morning Links: Feds say wear a helmet or else, cross-country bike tourist killed, and bike parking on South Pas agenda tonight

A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board says the most common cause of bicycling fatalities is drivers passing people on bicycles.

Or rather, failing to.

That’s followed by “problems with parallel bike and vehicle lanes” — presumably meaning painted bike lanes — bicyclists failing to yield and bicyclists making a left turn.

Bearing in mind that those stats are based on police reports that can suffer from a severe case of windshield bias when it comes to assigning blame.

And the NTSB’s recommended solutions?

Protected bike lanes. Blindspot cams for SUVs. And mandatory bike helmet laws in every state.

Seriously.

Never mind that bike helmet laws have been shown to reduce bicycling rates at exactly the time we need to increase riding to fight climate change.

Or that requiring everyone to wear a helmet every time someone rides a bicycle is like addressing gun violence by requiring everyone to wear a bulletproof vest whenever they leave home.

Except bulletproof vests are a hell of a lot more effective than bike helmets, which are designed to protect against a fall off your bike — not an impact with a speeding SUV driver.

And as we’ve pointed out before, they do nothing to protect against injuries to any other part of the body.

As we’ve said before, a bike helmet should always be considered a last line of defense when everything else fails.

Like better infrastructure, lower speed and safer motor vehicles.

Yet the board still approved the last-minute addition to their agenda, even though staff members had specifically recommended against it.

Mike Cane used screen grabs to capture much of the discussion leading up to the vote.

It should be stressed, however, that at this point, it’s just a recommendation for each of the 50 states. Although the NTSB’s recommendations have a habit of getting turned into laws.

Meanwhile, Washington lawmakers from both parties are finally talking about ways to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

Of course, talking is what they’re good at.

We’ll see if they can actually get anything passed in today’s highly divided Congress.

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Once again, a bike-riding visitor to this country will be going home in a coffin.

A 27-year old Korean man was killed in South Carolina on Monday when he was struck by a delivery truck driver.

He was riding down the East Coast before turning west, planning to arrive in Los Angeles in early January.

Now he’ll never get here. Or anywhere else.

Seriously, there’s something very wrong when someone can’t visit this country without risking their life.

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Active SGV reminds us that South Pasadena will consider bicycle parking at tonight’s City Council meeting.

And Megan Lynch reminds South Pasadena to consider the needs of disabled bicyclists.

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He gets it.

Bay Area State Senator Scott Weiner says fighting climate change means making it easier for people to cut back on driving.

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America’s oldest surviving veteran of the excruciating WWII Battle of Iwo Jima was one of us, still riding his three-wheeled bike two weeks before his death at  103.

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The crowdfunding page for dirt bike legend Micky Dymond has raised just under $24,000 of the $100,000 goal for his medical care, after suffered critical injuries going over the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

There are a lot worse things you could do with your money.

Thanks to Steve S for the reminder.

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

As one OC bike rider learned the hard way yesterday.

But sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

San Diego police are looking for a man who beat another man senseless with a bicycle, or part of it, in a 7-11 parking lot.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. After a pedestrian was killed by a street racing, hit-and-run driver while crossing an LA street, dozens of people continued to drive past his body lying in the street without stopping to help.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the problem isn’t the new ride hailing management system at LAX, it’s the cars. And it won’t get better until the airport finally embraces mass transit. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Metro approves funding for Rock the Boulevard, a $16.2 million Complete Streets makeover of Eagle Rock Blvd. Even if it will be awhile before we see any changes to the street.

Lime is launching a new hyperlocal ad campaign focusing exclusively on the LA market.

Hollywood Burbank Airport will try to cut its emissions, in part by encouraging employees to bike, carpool or use transit.

Culver City restaurant Hatchet Hall will honor noted LA chef and fallen bicyclist Joe Miller with a special dinner tomorrow night, with proceeds going to No Kid Hungry; the Michelin Star-winning chef died of a heart attack while riding in New York recently.

Santa Monica Next says a record jump in available parking spaces in Downtown Santa Monica presents a rare opportunity to reclaim the city’s streets.

Long Beach wants your input on the city’s Safe Streets Action Plan.

 

State

Instead of encouraging bicycle riders to use bike lights, or providing free lights to riders who don’t have any as other cities have done, San Luis Obispo police will be cracking down on lightless bicyclists with a pop-up checkpoint today, subjecting bike riders to a fine up to $200.

About damn time. San Francisco responds to another traffic death by declaring a state of emergency for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Now maybe Los Angeles can take the hint and actually do something about the deaths down here.

Heartbreaking news from Petaluma, where an bike rider who was killed two weeks ago in a crash with a semi driver was identified as an 89-year old man riding an adult tricycle. Anyone who can still ride at that age, on two wheels or three, deserves better.

More bad news comes from nearby Santa Rosa, where a bike rider was killed when he inexplicably crashed into the trailer of a flatbed truck he was riding next to yesterday, in a crash that doesn’t make any sense at all the way its described.

 

National

Depending on how they decide, and how broadly the justices rule, a case currently before the Supreme Court could make hit-and-runs easier to prosecute by ruling that police can assume the owner of a car is the person driving it.

A driving website makes a surprising case for getting rid of your car altogether. Trust me, I’m working on it.

A 70-year old woman is on a six-year quest to ride around and across the United States in the shape of a peace sign; so far, she’s logged over 40,000 miles through the US and Canada.

Outside says mountain bikes make great “self-sufficient adventuremobiles” for bikepacking trips.

Indoor cycling company Bkool has pulled the plug on their turbo trainers and exercise bikes, and will be focusing on the software side of their business.

Evidently, bicycling must be kosher, as the Jewish Journal picks up a story from Wired concluding that the vehicle of the future is a bicycle.

Speaking of the NTSB, the board concluded that the new software for Uber’s self-driving cars would have spotted a bike-riding Tempe AZ woman in time to avoid the crash that killed her.

Congratulations to Virginia’s Juli Briskman; the woman who gained fame by flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding her bike just got elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, where she’ll oversee the president’s golf course.

A Florida state trooper is asked if drivers are allowed to use a bike lane to pass a stopped car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

 

International

Your next Segway could be half mountain bike, half dirt bike, and all electric. Although it would be considered a motorcycle under California law, and require a motorcycle helmet and license.

Bike Radar offers advice on how to determine what kind of bike you need, based on how you plan to ride.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker rides a ped-assist ebike from one end of the UK to the other; she joined 800 other bicyclists on the ride, but was one of just two on ebikes.

More heartbreak, as a British man decides to end his life by turning off his ventilator, six years after he was paralyzed in a mountain biking crash.

One hundred Dublin bike riders held a die-in outside city hall to protest the dangers of riding in a city without adequate bicycling infrastructure, following the death of a local man riding his bike.

German students are learning about the Berlin Wall by riding their bikes alongside it, 40 years after it fell.

Ebikes are surging in popularity Down Under, even as a lack of safe bicycling infrastructure puts lives at risk. Just flip the globe over, and you could be talking about Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling looks at the five most badass American women crushing cycling right now.

Former Olympic champ Alexandre Vinokourov and fellow cyclist Alexandr Kolobnev have officially been cleared of fixing the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race, after prosecutors said they gave them the benefit of the doubt.

New Zealand cyclist George Bennett will be riding next year with three fewer ribs.

 

Finally…

Even world champs get their bikes stolen; teenage state champs, too. When you’re a registered offender riding your BMX with several outstanding warrants, maybe you should try leaving the meth and guns at home.

And nothing like posting your own anti-bike self-own.

 

Morning Links: LA boots Uber bikes & scooters, Sarah Kate Levy kickoff party, and at least DTLA getting bike lanes

In a showdown of Old West proportions, Los Angeles has given Uber until high noon to get out of town.

Okay, Friday.

That’s because the company has balked on sharing dockless scooter and bikeshare usage data as required in their contract with the city.

And that’s usage, not user, data, the latter of which is supposedly kept hidden.

However, that ultimatum does not include their ride hailing service.

So feel free to keep those Uber gas guzzlers guzzling next week.

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Bike and transit friendly Sarah Kate Levy is hosting a party to kick off the signature gathering phase of her campaign to unseat CD4 Councilmember David Ryu in Hollywood on this Saturday.

I’ll try to drop by to get my name on one, even if that means tearing my wife away from our so far unsuccessful search to replace the Corgi.

Because how can you replace an irreplaceable dog anyway?

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Downtown Los Angeles is moving forward with bike lanes, even as the rest of the city stagnates.

Maybe if we could clone CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, the rest of us might finally see some, too.

Or at least him to teach the other councilmembers how it’s done.

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Sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

A prelim is under way for San Diego man accused of being the bike-riding serial killer who attacked a number of homeless people with knives and railroad spikes, and set two men on fire; he allegedly killed five people and injured ten more. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone capable of that.

A New York man was caught on video riding his bike onto a sidewalk, pulling out a gun and opening fire on a group of people in broad daylight; his intended victims can be glad he seems to be a bad shot.

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Local

A writer for Los Angeles Magazine questions whether eliminating parking minimums will be good for DTLA, and says it’s unlikely residents would see lower rents as a result.

Bike Mag profiles LA-based street artist turned mountain biker Caché.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is one of us, going for a Santa Monica bike ride with the former Governator; she’s been traveling the US by train and in Schwarzenegger’s Tesla.

This is who we share the roads with. An entire Long Beach family was tragically wiped out by a 20-year old drunk driver who failed to navigate a turn on Halloween, and ended up on the sidewalk they were trick or treating on.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider politely points out that yes, there are more than 400 bike riders in the city.

A new controversy erupted when the husband of the mayor of Encinitas was rejected for board membership on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, allegedly because he supports protected bike lanes, rather than vehicular cycling.

A San Diego woman suffered a compound leg fracture when she was hit by a driver while riding her bike in the city’s Mira Mesa neighborhood.

Apparently, it takes awhile for news to move south, as the San Diego Union-Tribune is just now catching up with the story that e-scooters aren’t as green as you might think; they’re only three months behind their own sister publication and the rest of the country.

A Bakersfield bike rider is in critical condition after yet another hit-and-run by yet another heartless California driver.

San Francisco bike riders fan out to document 259 drivers violating bike lanes in an eight hour period — one third of them on a single nine-block stretch of Valencia Street.

 

National

HuffPost says Democrats have a baffling blind spot when it comes to cars, wondering why the 2020 candidates won’t mention motor vehicles’ contribution to greenhouse gasses.

Now you, too, can be a real superhero when you ride your very own Captain Marvel Schwinn fixie.

A Washington letter writer calls for banning skateboards everywhere but skate parks. And probably wants to ban those, too.

Colorado leaders are discovering that when it comes to ebikes, resistance is futile.

Police in Missoula MT are carrying bike lights in their patrol cars so they can give bike riders without them a free set — and a ticket. We tried to get LAPD to do that for years, but with a warning instead of a ticket. But couldn’t find a deep enough pocket to pay for them. 

Wichita, Kansas considers adding a bike valet program for a new minor league ballpark currently under constriction. Which the Dodgers should have done years ago. And the Kings. And the Galaxy. And the LAFC. And the Lakers. And the Clippers. And the Rams. And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles…

Dallas considers reducing a dangerous six-lane virtual highway down to a four-lane boulevard as part of the city’s Complete Streets program. Hopefully they’ll get a little less backlash than Los Angeles officials did on the Venice Blvd road diet.

A Cleveland letter writer says there are good reasons why bicyclists might ride in a narrow roadway, rather than a nearby path.

A Boston paper says whoa, whoa, let’s not go too fast on installing bike lanes, despite arguments that they could be good for local businesses; right now, the city has a whopping 68 miles of bike lanes on its 880 miles of streets.

The New York Daily News applauds a new law requiring the city to update its street master plan every five years — and include an actual connected bike lane network.

 

International

Actor Henry Golding is one of us, at least on the big screen.

A London family is happy to get their bicycle built for three back after someone took it several weeks ago; a couple of local residents turned down a reward for finding it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old English great-grandfather now holds seven age-group world records, after adding two more to his portfolio.

A Guardian podcast considers why more and more pedestrians are getting killed on our streets, and whether Silicon Valley really has the answers.

A BBC TV series makes the case that bicycles are the most popular form of transportation on the planet. And the most efficient, too.

A new Irish bike light automatically adjust brightness to road conditions, senses nearby traffic to switch to flasher mode when cars are nearby, and records that data to crowdsource a map of cycling conditions.

If you build it, they will come. Paris saw a 54% jump in bicycling rates in just one year after investing in new bikeways and bikeshare.

When you’re a high-ranking Delhi official, and can’t drive because of the city’s even and odd traffic days, just ride your bicycle.

Authorities in Kuala Lumpur threatened to use a law intended to assure parents supervise their children to prosecute those whose kids are ride basikal lajak, bicycles illegally modified with no brakes and chopped handlebars that allow riders to take the “superman” position. Note to Malay Mail — removing the frame might make a bike just a tad difficult to ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says it may not be traditional road racing, but something new and interesting could rise from the ashes of the Amgen Tour of California.

 

Finally…

If you really want to sell your “well-established premium bike shop,” it might help to mention where it is. First there is a bike lane, then there is not bike lane, then there is.

And no, the middle of a sidewalk isn’t the right place to park your scooter. A bike lane isn’t, either.

 

Santa Ana man killed by hit-and-run driver — ninth fatal SoCal bike hit-and-run in past two months

Enough!

Southern California bike riders are being left to die in the streets by heartless, murderous drivers at an ever increasing rate.

Nearly half of the twenty people who’ve died riding bicycles in the past two months have been killed by cowardly hit-and-run drivers, who refused to stop and render aid as required by law.

Or had the basic human decency to call for help, rather than leave another person suffering alone in the last moments of their life.

The latest hit-and-run victim lost his life early this morning in Santa Ana.

According to multiple sources, a man was found lying in the street next to a heavily damaged bicycle on the 300 block of Newhope Street near the Iglesia De La Comunidad chapel around three this morning.

KTLA-5 reports the victim, identified only as a 52-year old man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The street has buffered bike lanes in both directions, though it’s not clear if the victim was riding in them. Police say alcohol played a factor, suggesting they believe he victim was under the influence, since the driver remains unknown.

There’s no description of the suspect vehicle, except that should have front-end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department at 714/245-8208 or 714/245-8200.

This is at least the 64 bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Twenty-one of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs, including nine of the 20 bike riders killed since September 3rd.

Update: The Orange County Coroner has identified the victim as 52-year old Santa Ana resident Daniel Martinez. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Daniel Martinez and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Owner of Silver Lake hit-and-run car not talking, Solis honors fallen riders, and Ramona hit-and-run prelim

We mentioned this last week, but it’s worth a reminder. 

The first Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends is often among the most dangerous traffic days of the year

Drivers are still adjusting to the time change and the early darkness on their drive home. 

So ride with extra care today, and for the next few days.

And if you’re riding home after dark, put some damn lights on your bike, already.

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The car that was allegedly used in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured is owned by a woman who works for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The owner of a Glendale auto body shop saw video of the crash, and contacted police after recognizing the car as one he had in his shop; the owner had brought it in claiming she found it vandalized when she got up the next morning.

Unfortunately, she refuses to cooperate with investigators and tell them who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Which means the investigation could be stymied unless police can find a witness or other evidence to show who was driving.

That’s just one more way the law needs to be changed.

In the event of a crash or some other event, the owner of the car should be presumed to be driving, unless they can show that someone else was behind the wheel.

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She gets it.

Thanks to LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis for recognizing the victims of traffic violence with a Dia de los Muertos altar and ghost bike at Grand Park over the weekend.

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A preliminary hearing will be held tomorrow for the alleged hit-and-run driver who critically injured a Ramona woman riding her bike to work last month.

Thirty-four-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard faces up to nine years behind bars on charges of hit-and-run with death or permanent serious injury, and hit-and-run with injury.

He’s currently being held on $2.5 million bail.

His alleged victim, 53-year-old Ramona resident Michelle Scott, remains in a coma with few signs of brain activity over a month after the crash, although she is breathing on her own after being taken off a ventilator.

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Evidently, Orson Welles wasn’t a big fan of cars.

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

A road raging Irish driver was fined the equivalent of $500 and banned from driving for two years for crushing a bicycle with his car, then backing up and driving over it again, because the rider asked politely to get past him at a red light.

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Local

One bit of very good news today. Roberto Diaz, the then-15-year old South LA boy who was critically injured when he was struck on his bike by a red light-running driver, and dragged 1,500 feet under his car, was finally released from the hospital after three months and a dozen surgeries.

A new street safety group will meet on Saturday the 16th to discuss how to pedestrianize Hollywood Blvd, starting from La Brea to Highland.

Justin Bieber is one of us, as he flashes his tatts riding his bike through Beverly Hills, with an IV still attached.

 

State

A San Diego man will spend the next six years behind bars for beating a 57-year old man to death, who tried using a bicycle to defend himself.

The San Diego Padres — the only major San Diego pro sport team that hasn’t moved to LA yet — will host their annual Pedal for the Cause bike ride to raise funds for local cancer research.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a man was killed after his bike somehow went off a cliff.

A San Francisco op-ed says a proposed tax on Uber and Lyft rides won’t work, and will only justify their drivers bad behavior. Like blocking bike lanes.

No bias here. A Marin columnist calls a new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge a boondoggle even before it opens, saying his paper will be counting rush hour bike riders to prove it doesn’t work.

 

National

No, riding an ebike isn’t cheating. But it could put your car out of work.

Omaha, Nebraska considers changing the law to clarify that bike lanes aren’t parking lanes.

A San Antonio, Texas op-ed says it may seem counterintuitive, but if you want less gridlock, reduce road capacity.

They get it, too. Bike riders in Stillwater OK complain that a driver who injured a bicyclist wasn’t ticket for violating the three-foot passing law, saying it would be nice if the city recognized “bicyclists as people that are trying to get from point A to point B just like people in the car.”

A 38-year old Illinois woman with cerebral palsy is still enjoying her freedom on the adult tricycle her uncle built for her 26 years ago.

New York’s bicycle death toll rises to 27 — nearly three times the ten riders killed last year — when an 87-year old man died a day after he was hit by a speeding driver; naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim, even though witnesses said he wasn’t at fault. Some accounts put the city’s bike death toll at 25, after bizarrely excluding two people killed riding ebikes.

Evidently, those “virtually theft-proof” Van Moof ebikes aren’t so theft-proof after all, as New York police are looking for the owner after recovering one a thief was using an electric grinder to make off with.

Gothamist says this could be the beginning of the end for free parking in NYC.

Baton Rouge LA opens a key link in a planned 13-mile bike and pedestrian trail around the city.

A pair of Florida bike riders say they were arrested for running stop signs, although the local sheriff insists that’s not the whole story.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the stats, and concludes we’re not the demons some drivers insist on insisting we are.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a fallen Canadian bike rider.

A British police investigator somehow concluded that a bike rider who collided with a 79-year old pedestrian as he stepped into the street was doing a remarkable 38 mph at the moment of impact. Even though his Strava account says he was just doing 18.

A ten-year old Edinburgh boy starts an anti-bullying campaign after he was attacked and beaten by a group of older boys, who stole his bicycle.

Evidently, bike thieves start young in Scotland, where a toddler makes off with a balance bike from his daycare, then tries to convince his grandmother he bought it on Amazon.

Cycling Tips offers advice from a Melbourne, Australia psychologist on how to keep riding your bike after you become a father. Or a mother, presumably.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says there were a lot of problems that led to the demise of next year’s Amgen Tour of California, but a new state law requiring gender pay equity wasn’t one of them.

American pro Peter Stetina says everyone wanted to compete in the AToC, just to race in California. But the race won’t be finishing at the Rose Bowl again any time soon.

 

Finally…

Remember, only one person on a bike. If you’re going for a bike ride, don’t forget your shades — no matter how many legs you have.

And nothing says fall like a jack-o-lantern protected bike lane.

75-year old Oxnard man dies a week after crash with pickup driver; fifth Oxnard bicycling death this year

Yet another bike rider has died in Oxnard, in what has turned out to be a very bad year for the town of just 210,000.

According to the Ventura County Star, 75-year old Oxnard resident George Dominguez died Thursday afternoon, six days after he a struck by a driver while riding his bike.

Oxnard police investigators say Dominguez was turning left off northbound C Street into an alley near Roderick Avenue around 1 pm Friday, October 25th, when he was struck by the driver of a pickup headed south on C.

He was reportedly coherent and alert despite a visible head injury.

It’s not clear why Dominguez apparently rode in front of the truck, or who had the right of way.

The driver stayed at the scene, and wasn’t suspected of being under the influence. Police also say speed does appear to have been a factor.

Of course, speed is always a factor, even if driver was traveling at or under the 30 mph speed limit; slower speeds are less likely to result in a fatality in the event of a collision, and makes it easier to avoid.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Ventura County; all but one of those have been in Oxnard.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for George Dominguez and his family.

 

Morning Links: Time change means street dangers, bighearted people in the bike world, and delivery bikes in the snow

The East Coast edition of AAA reminds drivers that the biannual time change can leave motorists even more discombobulated on the roads than usual.

Seriously.

The Monday after the time change — aka this Monday — is one of the most dangerous days, and especially nights, on our streets.

Which means if you’ll be riding, be sure to use extra caution and ride defensively. And use your lights.

In other words, ride like your life depends on it. Because it does.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels.

………

More big hearts were on display in the bike world this week.

A nonprofit bikemaker in Rapid City SD found a new home when a boat maker offered him free use of their garage after the donated space he was working out of was sold, so he can continue his mission of building custom bikes for disabled children and low income families.

The Madison, Wisconsin police department donated 30 abandoned bicycles to a  homeless center to help people in need.

Pennsylvania pizza shop owner raised over $200 to buy a new bike for a teenage boy who had recently lost his father, after his was stolen while he was picking up some pizzas.

New Zealand police recovered an adaptive ebike, purchased with donations for a 12-year old Syrian refugee who had a leg amputated, after it was stolen from outside his school. Although that doesn’t look like a tricycle to me.

………

Who says delivery ebikes are no good in the snow?

………

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

Leave it to Fox News to frame New York’s new $1.7 billion commitment to building protected bike lanes, and San Francisco’s recent pedestrianization of iconic Market Street, as a war on cars. Because evidently, drivers have to have 100% of 100% of the streets 100% of the time.

A Philadelphia public radio station examines how a windshield-biased neighborhood organization successfully managed to block a safe bikeway from being extended into their area.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Department of City Planning proposes eliminating minimum parking requirements for new developments in DTLA, which would nearly double the space for new housing downtown.

 

State

A San Diego County century will take off tomorrow for a ride down PCH, starting from the Oceanside Pier.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition introduces Sylvie Froncek as their new program director and education specialist.

San Jose’s road columnist notes that the three-foot passing law doesn’t apply when it’s “impractical,” without apparently noticing that’s the major flaw in the law. That’s thanks to Jerry Brown, who vetoed a provision allowing drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a bike rider if there’s no conflicting traffic. Even though other states safely allow drivers to do exactly that. And many California drivers do it anyway. 

Streetsblog looks at the spread of Dutch-style protected intersections throughout the Bay Area.

 

National

C|net offers ten tips to safely listen to music when you run or ride. And for a change, they make sense.

An Arizona paper says if you have arthritis, get on your bike.

The US House will vote next week on a bill that would preserve mountain bike access to Colorado trails. And only Colorado trails.

The bike writer for a Minneapolis paper says the Schrader air valve is a simple thing of beauty, while fickle prestas belong on the scrapheap of history. Um, okay.

A Cleveland task force is looking at ways to build equity in the community by narrowing overbuilt streets and creating more pedestrian and bicycle friendly spaces, particularly in low-income communities.

After tearing her hamstring getting run off the road, a Rhode Island elite marathoner starts a safety campaign help pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists coexist on the road.

Brooklyn bicyclists accuse the city of catering to wealthy white bike riders while ignoring people of color, and demand new bike lanes in black communities.

This is what a bike thief looks like in action, as he was caught on security cam cutting the lock on a $1,900 ebike before rolling it away.

A domestic worker for billionaire investor Ron Perelman has been arrested for the drunken crash that killed a Long Island bike rider; she’s one of nearly 100 household employees serving at Perelman’s massive Montauk NY estate.

A DC letter writer complains that the vast majority of people on bicycles are scofflaws. Maybe he’s never noticed his fellow drivers, since drivers and bike riders break the law at about the same rate, but for different reasons. Or that good infrastructure results in better behavior — at least by the people on bikes.

A Florida paper examines why state law doesn’t protect people on bicycles, where killing one isn’t illegal if it’s just an oopsie.

 

International

Streetsblog says focusing on equity instead of revenue has been the key to making congestion pricing work in Europe. 

Here’s a few more for your bike bucket list. The Philadelphia Enquirer recommends a daylong bike trip from Florence, Italy to nearby Siena. Or maybe you’d prefer a ten-day carbon-neutral bike tour to Morocco, Thailand or Vietnam inspired by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

An Indian paper talks with the newly appointed bicycle mayor of Coimbatore, India. Which is exactly one more bike mayor than Los Angeles has.

Vietnam seized $26,000 worth of low-end bicycles destined for the US that were being shipped through the country to avoid Trump’s China tariffs.

Malaysia’s deputy prime minister says the brakeless, modified bicycles favored by many of the country’s teenagers is dangerous and illegal. On the other hand, cars are even more dangerous, and they remain perfectly legal.

 

Competitive Cycling

A satirical Onion wannabe takes a backhand swipe at masters age group track champ Rachel McKinnon with a story about a record-shattering motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like hacking traffic signs for Halloween. Busted for e-scooting the Bay Bridge.

And seriously, if you feel the need to open a beer, just get off your bike first.

Morning Links: Molina Silver Lake hit-and-run car found, biking the civil rights road, and LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat

The search goes on.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 talks with 57-year old David Molina, the homeless man who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Silver Lake last week.

Molina remains hospitalized with a broken leg, broken arm and fractured spine.

Meanwhile, the LAPD is still looking for the heartless coward who sped away without stopping, leaving Molina bleeding in the street.

They have found the car, but need to identify who was behind the wheel. And the owner isn’t helping.

Which doesn’t seem suspicious at all, does it?

And yes, the $25,000 reward remains outstanding. So if you know anything, it could pay to come forward.

Literally.

Screen grab of LAPD security video via KCBS-2/KCAL-9.

………

Here’s today’s must read.

A white Baptist minister takes part in a 150-mile bike ride from Montgomery to Birmingham “through some of the most hallowed and blood-soaked ground of the Civil Rights Movement.”

On the way, he contemplates civil rights and white privilege, and the necessity of moving “from not-racist to anti-racist.”

It’s a troubling and powerful piece.

And must have been even more powerful to experience.

………

Let’s do better, folks.

People with limited eyesight and other physical disabilities need clear sidewalks to get around safely.

And almost out of the way just isn’t good enough.

………

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

UK police are looking for a pair of motorists who forced a bike rider off the road by passing too close.

After a close pass from a driver forces a bicyclist into the back of a car parked in a Malta bike lane, leaving him fighting for his life, all some callous people cared about was whether he was going to pay for damage to the car.

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

A Vancouver bike rider gets offended when another rider runs a stop sign, so he tweets that he hates cyclists and wishes the guy had gotten clipped by a car. Then gets offended when people who ride bikes get offended.

………

Local

Once again, LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat for people on bikes.

 

State

An opinion piece in the New York Times says the refusal of Californians to live sustainably means the end of the state as we know it.

San Diego County creates a program allowing low-income residents to dump their gas guzzlers for cleaner options, including an ebike. Almost makes it worth moving down there again.

Speaking of San Diego, they’re considering becoming the latest city to ban cars from a busy street by converting eight blocks of Fifth Ave in the popular Gaslamp District to a pedestrian plaza. Your move, LA.

A Belmont hit-and-run victim reminds drivers to give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law (scroll down).

An annual Los Altos event aims to keep used bikes out of landfills by asking residents to drop off their unloved bikes so volunteers can clean and fix them, and pass them on to people who need one.

 

National

A writer for Slate says self-driving cars and hyperloops aren’t the future of transportation, but bicycles and buses are. And elevators.

Scientific American says a few algorithms could make bikeshare more efficient.

Fox Business takes a look at five smart locks to help you hold onto your bike.

Outside recommends gear to make a cold bike commute more bearable. Most of which has little or nothing to do with the temperature outside.

Sad story, as a survivor of the New York bike path terrorist attack says she still feels lost and guilty for surviving when others died, two years after the Halloween attack

DC bike riders spread out across the river, and use an app to count over 300 bike lane violations by Arlington VA drivers in just five hours.

Tampa FL officials promise a new crosstown cycle track will transform transportation in the city once it’s finished.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A Scottish driver is caught on bike cam pulling away from the curb without looking, barely missing the bike rider next to him.

Slovakia bans handheld cellphones, and limits bicyclists to a BAC of .05.

There’s something seriously wrong with people who find amusement in watching a Singapore bike rider slam into the back of a car, whose driver stopped short in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on next year’s “hiatus” of the Amgen Tour of California.

Britain’s looking for more success in Olympic track cycling next year with a new bike built by Lotus to be as light and aero as possible.

 

Finally…

Fleeing from police when riding your bike drunk only makes you look more suspicious.

 

Guest Post: Hit-and-run driver Mehta walks despite showing no remorse, plus updates on other recent stories

We’re going to give our anonymous courtroom correspondent her own platform today.

Starting with an update in the case of 34-year old Medium contributor and author Pratiti Renee Mehta, who was re-sentenced for last year’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured.

And yet another reminder of why people keep dying on our streets.

Two years.

Suspended, of course. ‘Cause she’s learned her lesson.

Upon her July conviction for all counts, Judge Julan Baliley sentenced Mehta to 3 years in State Prison. She left for her Chowchilla vacation almost immediately and was bussed back for her re-sentencing last week.

His Honor informed her that he’d sent her up the river in the hope that exposure to the element that fills our prisons would allow her to reflect on the person she wished to be. She did just that, observing her ilk from what little distance she could keep in such close quarters. According to her diagnostic assessment, she was a “model inmate” who did not create any disruptions during her brief stay.

She was allowed to address the court, and, through tears, expressed regret that she was unable to be present with her family, who experienced two deaths during her absence. She stated that she never wishes to experience incarceration again.

It is telling that she did not state that she never wants to harm an innocent human being with her car ever again, nor did she express regret for the permanent injury inflicted on that “bum” (direct quote from the post-collision texts collected as evidence).

Yup, she intimated that prison was unpleasant for her, but she never once referenced the extensive medical bills, physical pain, PTSD, permanent scars, loss of income, and limp she inflicted on her victim. Not to mention damaging the Peugeot her victim had bought in 1984.

Mehta’s assessment by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation psychologist  concludes that she is unlikely to reoffend. I agree, because she doesn’t wanna experience the hassle of mandatory court appearances, restitution, and incarceration. She won’t deliberately slam her Mercedes against another bum again, not because she gives a damn that others may suffer. Just because she might be affected by the repercussions, and it’s already been such a headache.

Frankly, Mehta lacks empathy. She’s not sorry for her victim; she’s just sorry she got caught.

Typically infuriating for these cases, she is required to sign away her Constitutionally protected right to possess firearms. Yet she is still allowed to drive. In fact, the Judge stated unambiguously that “I am taking no action against your driving privilege.” A driver who fails to use a turn signal will be sentenced to traffic school. But, gosh, all Mehta did was leave a guy lying in the street with his bone sticking out of his leg, and that’s not substantial enough to warrant remedial driver’s education. It might have been helpful if Judge Bailey had used his discretion to order Mehta to comlpete a Savvy Cycling class before returning her privilege to drive.

Also infuriating: Some hideous person left a comment on your blog about how horrible it is that poor li’l Pratiti’s career has been derailed because of all this inconvenience. Well, Mehta’s victim is a stage hand, a manual laborer whose ability to labor manually was taken away from him by her violent assault. To this day, he walks with a limp, and will probably never be 100% again. Although he’s working now, he lost lucrative, prestigious opportunities (plural) because he was unable to work during his physical rehabilitation. The commenter’s ignorance in suggesting that the victim shared fault is terrifying, and it’s disgusting to consider that Mehta associates with those who think this way and who might be able to influence her thoughts, especially since she is still allowed to continue to drive without any education.

In addition to time served (with credits for good behavior), the Judge sentenced Miss Mehta to 2 years in State Prison, suspended, for the felony hit and run count; 6 months in County Jail for the misdemeanor lyin’-to-the-cops count; and fines for the infraction of CVC 21070, “unsafe operation of a motor vehicle causing injury.” Count 4, CVC 21107 (“unsafe turn”), was dismissed.

Mehta will be on formal probation for the next three years. She will probably drive to report in for every appointment.

………

I recently wondered why a driver had been charged with murder for killing someone, which almost never done except in the case of repeated DUIs.

Here’s what she had to say.

Regarding murder charges. I spoke briefly with a random attorney in the courthouse hallway, and “implied malice” (the reasonable knowledge that an act is dangerous) is sufficient to file a charge of murder. “Express malice”  (“I’M GONNA KILL YOU, BITCH!”) makes it a lot easier to prosecute, but if you get reasonable jurors, a murder conviction is not just possible but likely.

This should be a giant duh, but murder is rarely sought in cases involving motor vehicles. Unless, of course, the driver is impaired, or if a threat has been expressed.

And conviction is never a sure bet, as in this case, which ended in acquittal, probably because of the, uh, questionable sobriety of one of the pilots. (This case was actually referenced by DA Cornwell in one of his filings in a vehicular manslaughter case a few years ago, which is why I looked it up.)

………

Yet another reason why people keep getting killed on our streets.

If nobody’s pointed it out yet: 10.4 miles of Vanowen Street is gettin’ a speed limit increase.

Not at the same Vanowen High Injury Network location where a crossing guard was killed at a yellow crosswalk and a HAWK beacon was installed last month. West of there. 10.4 miles, the longest stretch designated for an increase, all within a half mile or less of over twenty preschool and K-12 facilities. But at least those 10.4 miles don’t have many of those useless HAWK beacons. And only about 3 of the 10.4 miles are on the High Injury Network.

Good job, Vision Zero team!

………

That “wipeout” video you posted.

I recognized that Starbucks (and hideous Wells Fargo) instantly. That was my commute route for nearly 10 years.

Also, right where the video began, that’s where Michael Bastien was killed. (His killer’s already out, fwiw.) And that Starbucks is in the same strip mall where another Huntington Beach statistic worked, at Valentino’s Pizza. The dough slinger saw Bastien’s ghost bike every day, just meters from his work; he was hit on October 13th, 2015, and died in the hospital on the 19th, on the anniversary of Shaun Eagleson’s murder. If I’m marking dates, Wednesday would’ve been AJ Brumback’s 17th birthday. (Note: The killer of the then-eight-year old boy didn’t spend a day behind bars.)

A simple right-hook video shouldn’t create a cascade of these associations.

………

She also addressed last week’s response to a column by OC Register columnist David Whiting calling for a mandatory bike helmet law.

David Whiting’s friend Pete Tomaino was wearing a helmet when he was killed while riding his bike. Look, there’s a picture of Pete in the newspaper, wearing his holy, all-protective helmet!

Orange County bicyclists Joey Robinson, Roger Lippman, Shaun Eagleson, former Olympian Amine Britel, Sara Leaf, Debra Deem, Fire Captain Mike Kreza, all wearing helmets when they were killed.

The human brain can shut down permanently as a result of trauma not inflicted by a direct blow to the head. Even if you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet, damage to your rain not inflicted by a direct blow can kill you. No helmet will prevent trauma-induced hypoxia or rhabdomyolysis.

………

And she ends on a personal note.

Sunday night I was nearly killed by a creep who ran a red (not orange; very, very red) at a blind corner at 50 mph. I am still shook.

You know how your brain replays everything over and over and over in these situations, all the scenarios with variable timelines could have resulted in a different outcome. Yeah, that’s what my head’s been doing. For days.

Also, I had the plate, driver’s description, and location, and damn right I called it in, and the Sheriff will do nothing about the piddly little infraction that nearly killed me and the other driver with the same green light.

I won’t rant, but I am still shook. If I weren’t the type to look for cross traffic, if I hadn’t been on my slow janky bike while my Kilo TT’s in the shop, if I hadn’t yielded a block before for a turning driver, I wouldn’t be writing this.

If, if, if.

If, indeed.

Morning Links: Big Easy drunk driver gets 91 years, Cathedral City bike rider critically injured, and safety in numbers real

Come back after 10 am today for a guest post from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, as she updates a number of recent stories — including the case of hit-and-run driver Pratiti Renee Mehta, who walked despite showing no remorse for her crime, or any sympathy for her victim. 

………

Now that’s taking traffic violence seriously.

A New Orleans judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others when he plowed through them at 80 mph during a Mardi Gras parade to 30 years for each death, plus 30 years and six months for the injured riders — and added another six months for also crashing into parked cars.

Then ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 91 years behind bars.

As others have noted, that’s a life sentence for the 32-year old man.

………

More bad news from the Coachella Valley, where a 50-something bike rider was critically injured in a Cathedral City crash; he was hit by an SUV driver while in a crosswalk.

Meanwhile, a ghost bike will be installed a week from today for Raymundo Jaime, killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Palm Springs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

Because there’s a $25,000 reward if you don’t.

………

A new Rutgers University study confirms the safety in numbers effect, even while injuries are rising, especially among riders 55 to 64.

Although the latter stat is probably explained by the jump in ridership among older people.

………

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

A witness got involved when a road raging DC driver got out of his car and pushed him off his bike, for the crime of taking up too much of the roadway while trying to make a left turn.

………

Local

Today’s must read is great look at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program due to the refusal of city leaders to implement it. Or as the author calls it, Vision Non-Zero.

More homeless people are dying on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before, with over 1,000 deaths last year alone; 9% of those deaths were due to bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

You may not see Uber’s Jump Bikes on the streets of Los Angeles soon, as the company files suit against LA after refusing to share bikeshare data with the city.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized after getting hit by a motorist backing out of a driveway; no word on his or her condition.

A Long Beach-area paper profiles a Signal Hill bike shop dedicated to helping bike riders navigate their choices. Sort of like any good LBS.

 

State

Your next ebike could be a California bikemaker’s 36 mph bicycle made to look look like a vintage motorcycle, and designed by the grandson of the legendary Carrol Shelby. Although the 36 mph top end means it will require a helmet and a motorcycle license. And can’t be ridden in bike lanes or pathways.

 

National

The new HBO documentary Any One of Us focuses on the severe spinal cord injury suffered by professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage and his fight to recover from the injury.

A bipartisan bill in the US Senate would require automakers to build alcohol breath or touch sensors into all light vehicles by 2024, to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Although I’d like to see some sort of cognitive test to detect any form of impairment. And include trucks and commercial vehicles, too.

Zwift wants you to help raise $25,000 for Movember to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health struggles and suicide prevention by riding your bike indoors.

Once again, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it, saying smart helmets won’t save bicyclists when the real problem is drivers who won’t put down their phones.

Cosmo says yes, the bizarre crash in this week’s episode of 9-1-1, where a driver hit a bike rider, the drove home and parked overnight with the victim embedded in her windshield, really happened; it was based on this equally strange 2014 crash. And yes, both the real and fictional victims survived.

Kindhearted Utah cops and school officials give a new bike and helmet to a teenaged girl after she was hit by a driver on her bike while leaving school.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous motorist on the road until it’s too late, as an Ohio motorcycle rider faces vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 15-year old boy riding his bike; he was riding on a on a suspended license and had several outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

We’ve seen a few bicyclists ride every street in their city or county lately. But how many do it pedaling an ice cream bike?

The New York Times explains why the city has committed to spending $1.7 billion — yes, with a B — to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next ten years.

The New York Daily News says blame policymakers for the nationwide jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

 

International

Bike Mag reviews the updated Camelbak Podium bottle, and flips over now being able to disassemble the lid to clean it. However, the insulated Podium Ice water bottle remains the best bike bottle ever in my book.

Here’s a few more trips for your bike bucket list, as Travel & Leisure recommends 12 unforgettable vacations that are best done by bike, even for beginners.

No surprise here, as the family of the British man killed by an American diplomat’s wife while riding his motorcycle, who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, is suing the Trump administration for its handling of the case.

A South African man made seven calls to his wife after he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver, saying the same thing each time, because a brain injury meant he couldn’t remember he’d already called her.

 

Competitive Cycling

So much for that. AEG has pulled the plug on next year’s Amgen Tour of California, saying they need to take a year off to figure out a business model that works better. Which is another way of saying we probably won’t see it again.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fat tire Surly for surly weather. Lots of classical buildings have statues atop the dome; not many have bikeshare bikes there.

And seriously, don’t punch your foreign bus passengers when they have trouble with their bikes.

 

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