Archive for bikinginla

Great achievements in bad reporting, New Yorkers brawl over parking, and whether we’re better off with Garcetti in DC

Let’s start off today with the latest edition of Great Achievements in Bad Reporting.

Writing about a bike rider killed in collision with a truck, a Boston TV station failed to mention the driver at all.

Or if the truck even had one.

Then they added this sparkling gem.

Seriously?

Sources report the truck is bereft, and receiving counseling. No word on whether the vehicle will face charges.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

New Yorkers engage in an all-out brawl that starts with a baseball bat, and ends with a car slamming through a storefront.

All over a damn parking space.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a bike-riding man who mugged a woman as she sat at a sidewalk cafe.

A New York thief who apparently doesn’t know how to wear a face mask walked out of a Queens bike shop with an $11,400 Trek Domane SLRQ, after posing as a customer taking it for a test ride. Seriously, Covid-19 aside, if you’re planning to commit a crime, keep your damn mask on. And even if you’re not. 

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Local

A Jewish publication questions whether LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is worthy of a spot in President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet. My take is that the city would be better off without him, so we could get a replacement who isn’t so easily distracted by national ambitions.

The Los Angeles Fire Department will now be even more nimble in crowd situations, after accepting a gift of four ebikes from Ontario CA bikemaker Aventon.

Culver City got a $47,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs; Pasadena topped that with a $150,000 grant.

Glendale is attempting to reduce traffic fatalities by improving 16 intersections responsible for 40% of pedestrian deaths.

 

State

San Diego is moving forward with plans for protected bike lanes in the North Park neighborhood, which could be a problem for restaurants that have expanded into the street for al fresco dining.

Ventura sheriff’s deputies busted a pair of suspected thieves with a hot bike stolen in Malibu, as well as meth and burglary tools.

Bad news from Lompoc, where a bike rider was critically injured in a collision. Although once again, there doesn’t appear to actually be a driver involved, judging from the story.

More bad news, as a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he reportedly fell off his bike, striking his head.

‘Tis the season. A pair of Red Bluff women are planning to distribute 200 bicycles to kids in Shasta, Tehama, and Siskiyou Counties for the holidays.

 

National

Writing for Outside, Joe Lindsey says the pandemic had presented us with a rare opportunity to reimagine how we get around, resulting in more bikeable, walkable and enjoyable cities.

Portland is teaming with Oregon State University to conduct a study of conflicts between bus and bike lanes at intersections.

Apparently, bikes are getting more like cars every day. Case in point, Seattle is building a $2.5 million bicycle interchange connecting two major bike trails that literally cross, without actually meeting.

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes continues to push down ebike prices with their new RadMission 1, starting at around a grand.

An Illinois cycling instructor argues that an accident is never just an accident. Which is why I never use the word, unless someone drops a glass of milk or the puppy pees on the carpet.

A South Carolina columnist explains what the hell sharrows are. But fails to mention that they are pretty much useless, except to help angry drivers improve their aim.

 

International

Pink Bike talks with bike industry professionals about what comes next after the coronavirus bike boom. Good to see them hopeful for the future, which is a nice change from recent years.

A London man described as a professional bike thief and one-man crime wave will spend the next two years behind bars after confessing to his crimes.

That didn’t take long. It only took a couple hours for UK residents to snap up all 50,000 vouchers in the country’s second round of bike repair funds.

No surprise here. A new report from an organization that advices the British government on transportation safety makes clear who is responsible for most deaths on the country’s roads, and it ain’t the people on bicycles. Although the family of a 70-year old English woman might disagree.

A Scottish man discovers what happens when his solo bike tour across Europe turns into a tandem ride after meeting a stray kitty in Bosnia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cycling coach Edward Borysewicz died in Poland from the effects of Covid-19; the 81-year old man better known as Eddie B coached the US Cycling Team to its greatest successes in the late ’70s and ’80s, as well as coaching American cycling greats Greg LeMond, Andy Hampsten and Rebecca Twigg, as well as He Who Must Not Be Named.

An unlicensed British truck driver has pled guilty to charges for killing women’s pro cyclist Josephine Gilbert; he’ll learn his sentence next month.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not have a chain — or much of a frame, for that matter. That feeling when you fall off a stolen motor scooter after seeing a cop, and your mom comes out to scold the police for, you know, making you fall.

And Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer for the win.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

After Pasadena NIMBYs shouted down safety improvements, deadly Orange Grove Blvd claims two more victims

Let’s pause for a moment before we start to remember the victims of two Orange County bicycling collisions just hours apart on Sunday.

Never put it past OC to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence by adding to them. 

Then wonder what the hell is going on down there, as the county suffers its 15th bicycling death of the year — the same as Los Angeles County, with over three times the population of OC.

And six weeks still to go.

Be careful out there.

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Pasadena learns the cost of doing nothing after NIMBY’s coordinated by anti-road diet pressure group Keep LA Moving literally shouted down plans to install protected bike lanes to improve safety on deadly Orange Grove Blvd.

Peter Flax points the finger directly at Keep LA Moving and its founder, as well as local chapter Keep Pasadena Moving.

Sadly, more people will continue to die until something is finally done to reduce road space and cut traffic speed.

And just like the coronavirus, the people concerned about it can’t do much to improve things until everyone else starts to care, too.

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They get it.

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Harry Styles is sort of one of us, posing for Vogue with an antique bicycle while wearing a kilt.

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

Call it a greatest hits of careless passes from just one UK town.

https://twitter.com/northumbriapol/status/1328280503938641922?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1328280503938641922%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.itv.com%2Fnews%2Ftyne-tees%2F2020-11-16%2Fpolice-release-shocking-video-to-show-how-dangerous-drivers-put-cyclists-lives-at-risk

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Local

KABC-7 visits the East Side Riders Bike Club, which is working to help kids stay out of gangs by keeping them occupied on their bikes two hours a day.

A number of proposals are on the table to restore the Ballona Wetlands, but only two including expanding bicycle access.

 

State

A seven-mile stretch of Carlsbad Blvd, aka Old Highway 101, will form part of U.S. Bicycle Route 95 running the length of California.

Next year’s Sea Otter Classic is scheduled for May 20th through 23rd in Monterey, after this year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Sonoma County won’t appeal a $1.3 million judgement for a bike rider who was badly injured after hitting a pothole.

 

National

A writer for Electrek gets the first test ride on Harley Davidson’s new ebikes, while TechRadar finds the prices, starting around $3,400, surprisingly affordable.

And completing today’s Peter Flax trifecta, he visits the Horton Collection, America’s greatest collection of bicycling memorabilia. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Memphis is pushing for ways to improve a deadly intersection after a bike rider was killed and another seriously injured in a crash; both were collateral damage in a collision between two motorists as they were waiting on the red light.

A new ten-mile Vermont mountain bike trail fills a vital gap in a planned network of mountain bike trails crossing the state.

New York Mayor de Blasio dismissed a proposal to remove traffic enforcement duties from the NYPD, saying it would be counterproductive, because Vision Zero requires “a very muscular approach by law enforcement.” Which is actually the opposite of how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

Maybe it’s not too surprising that an increase in bike thefts has followed in the wake of the bike boom, with bike theft up statewide in North Carolina.

 

International

Cyclist relates how ebikes are getting people back into bicycling after years off their bikes.

English bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid talks with shop owners about London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, and discovers they’ve gone from opponents to supporters.

The British government continues to promote bicycling as an alternative to driving and transit during the pandemic, with a second round of bike repair vouchers to help people get their bikes in ridable condition.

No surprise here. A new study from the UK shows men are three times more likely than women to drive over 100 mph.

Police officials in a British town say they’ve taken action against drivers on 80% of close pass videos sent to them by bike riders. We need to change the law so that can happen here; currently police in California are unable to use video for traffic violations and misdemeanor infractions.

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars after being convicted of manslaughter for stabbing another boy five times in a dispute over a bicycle. We’ve said it before — no bike is worth a human life, yours or someone else’s. Just let it go.

Berlin may be a cycling city, but it’s still plagued with some of Europe’s worst bike lanes.

A Venezuelan Olympic gold medal fencer is delivering food by bike for Uber Eats in Poland to feed his family as he trains for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is just one step away from being one of ten individual athletes to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal; a bill to do that is on President Trump’s desk waiting for his signature.

Popular former pro Ted King set a new record in winning the 1,017-mile Arkansas High Country endurance race; finishing right behind him was the only woman in the race, who also had a record winning time.

 

Finally…

So who needs a seat post on a tri bike, anyway? Ticketing kids on bikes since at least 1963.

And apparently, even NFL stars toss their bikes in anger.

Not to be confused with tossing your cookies, which is an entirely different thing.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Update: 42-year old woman killed in Lake Forest bicycling crash; 15th Orange County bike rider killed this year, equalling LA County

A 42-year old woman was killed riding a bike in Lake Forest Sunday afternoon, just hours after another Orange County bike rider lost his life.

According to the Orange County Register, Orange resident Hanna Tran was somehow struck by a motorist around 4 pm at Santiago Canyon Road and Modjeska Grade Road.

She was taken to Mission Hospital, where she was pronounced dead an hour later.

Once again, there is no word on how the crash happened. And the only mention of the driver is that he or she remained at the scene.

Orange County sheriff’s investigators report that there’s no evidence either the victim or the driver was under the influence; however, the investigation is ongoing.

The crash occurred just two and a half hours, and 32 miles away, from where Ho Cheong was killed riding his bike in La Palma.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That equals the total in LA County, with over three times the population.

Update: The Orange County Bicycle Coalition reports that Tran may have been killed as a result of road work on Santiago Canyon, which had greatly reduced lanes on the popular riding route, without any provision to keep bicyclists safe during the construction. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Hanna Tran and his loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Victor Bale for the update.

24-year old Cypress man killed in La Palma crash; first of two OC bike riders killed hours apart

Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence turned out to be a very bad day for Orange County bike riders.

In the first of two fatal bicycling crashes just hours apart, a 24-year old Cypress man was killed in a collision at Crescent Ave and Walker Street in La Palma.

According to the Orange County Register, Ho Cheong was somehow struck by a truck around 1:25 pm; he was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died nearly half an hour later.

There’s no word on how the crash may have happened.

Then again, the Register doesn’t even bother to mention if the truck had a driver, let alone if he or she may have been responsible in any way.

And there’s not a word about the victim beyond his name and age.

This is at least the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ho Cheong and his loved ones.

Remembering traffic victims and the failure of Vision Zero in LA, fatal hit-and-run in DTLA, and Joe Biden is one of us

Members of SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — turned out in South LA yesterday to mark the World Day of Remembrance for traffic victims.

The group demonstrated at the intersection of Slauson and Western, one of the deadliest locations in all of Los Angeles, according to the city’s High Injury Network.

And one that has yet to see any significant attempt to make it safer.

In other words, pretty much like the rest of LA’s seemingly forgotten Vision Zero program.

According to CBS2/KCAL9,

…police say there has been a staggering 29% increase in traffic-caused fatalities and injuries in South L.A. this year so far in 2020 compared to 2019.

Additionally, there have been close to 5,000 hit-and-run collisions in 2020, police said.

There are few people who haven’t been touched by traffic violence in some way.

I’ve lost two people close to me, both at the hands of drunk drivers.

A friend I’d known since kindergarten was killed just weeks before our senior year of high school when a drunk woman somehow jumped the wide median on an interstate highway, and hit his car head-on, killing him and a friend instantly.

She walked away unharmed, with just a slap on the wrist for murdering two strangers.

The other was my cousin, who was killed when she was thrown from her own father’s car, and was run over by him.

And once again, there were no real consequences. Unless you consider the guilt and self-loathing he lived with for the rest of his life.

That’s not counting the hundred of people I’ve written about here who have needlessly lost their lives on the mean streets of Southern California — most at the hands and on the bumpers of drivers.

It has to stop.

It looked, for a short time, as if the City of Los Angeles was actually going to do something about it when Vision Zero was announced with great fanfare just five years ago.

But then it got hard when the city ran into resistance from auto-centric NIMBYs. And LA’s mayor got distracted by the shiny object of national ambitions, with far too many Wormtongues whispering in his ear.

And so Vision Zero was shoved onto a cold back burner, just another page on the LADOT website, with a handful of piecemeal projects here and there, rather than the massive road safety overhaul we were promised.

Never mind the now laughable goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2025.

Less than five years from now.

Which leaves us waiting for the mayor and the city’s recalcitrant councilmembers to be termed out, so we can finally replace them with leaders who will hopefully have the courage and political will to make the hard decisions necessary to save lives.

And not just talk about it, for a change.

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LA Bike Dad offers photos from the demonstration at Slauson and Western.

Click on the tweets for more photos.

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The LAPD’s looking for the heartless coward who ran down a pedestrian in DTLA while driving on the wrong side of the road, then got out to check his own car for damage before driving away, ignoring the victim.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Warning — The video is graphic, so be sure you really want to see it before you click the link because you can’t unsee it. 

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The new President-elect of the United States is one of us.

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This is what happens when the NIMBYs win.

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Tell your favorite LBS the news. And register your own bike if you haven’t already.

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At least one LA-area city is moving forward with safer streets.

But it ain’t Los Angeles.

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Here’s today’s stunt biking break, with a short film from Dutch BMX rider Niels Bensink, as he moves to Canada to immerse himself in mountain biking.

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

No bias here. An Edmonton columnist is outraged that the city plans to install more bike lanes to fight climate change.

No bias here, either. London’s Sunday Mail claims bike lanes and low traffic neighborhoods are delaying ambulances and paramedics; the UK’s national cycling organization responds that the paper is relying on “alternative facts.”

A lawyer in the UK says bike riders should be limited to just a small space on the side of the road, if that.

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

A Florida man was busted after attempting to flee on foot when police stopped him while riding his bike in a “known narcotics area,” and found a white rock in his pocket.

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Local

Someone using the Citizen app captured video of up to 500 people riding bikes through Chinatown in DTLA. Although they may not have thought it was a good thing.

A South Bay writer calls for better bike paths, safer streets and fewer cars after she gets right hooked by an SUV driver.

 

State

San Diego was awarded $125,000 for education programs to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Ojai received a $450,000 grant to conduct a road diet and install a quick build parking protected bike lane on a 3/4 mile stretch of Maricopa Highway, connecting a restored wetlands with an existing bike trail and a high school.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike-riding man was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A clown was caught on video stealing a little girl’s bike in Hayward. Yes, a clown.

 

National

Bicycling continues their conversation about race and equity with a rare non-paywalled piece by former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who says she won’t call herself a cyclist, even though she loves to ride her bike.

Apparently, jorts are socially acceptable again, as long as they’re made of technical denim and intended for mountain biking.

Wall Street thinks the bike boom is over, as bike stocks fall while automotive stocks are going up.

In a story every LA area leader should read, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says we’ll never have safe streets if we continue to make safe choices.

Dallas-area residents mourn yet another victim of traffic violence after a paletero was killed by a driver as he pedaled his cart, following two decades of selling ice cream and chicharrones. Thanks to John Clary for the link.

This is who we share the road with. An Oklahoma state senator faces a first-degree manslaughter charge after she skidded off a rain-slicked road while driving nearly 100 mph, and killed a man whose car was stalled on the side of the road. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a 73-year old woman got a whole 30 days behind bars for killing a local Teacher of the Year as he was riding his bike. But at least she’ll lose her license for five years. Although at her age, that should be permanently.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Massachusetts man rode his bike 77 miles to celebrate his 77th birthday.

Another Massachusetts man reminds bike riders to warn slower riders and pedestrians before you pass. Seriously, call it out or use a bike bell. “Passing on your left” works better than “on your left,” which tends to confuse some people.

Dune star Timothee Chalamet is one of us, going for a hooded ride through NYC.

A group of Black New Jersey husbands and fathers are taking advantage of their bikes and the area’s open roadways to form a fraternal bond to cope with the struggles of 2020.

Bighearted Virginia bike riders scoured local grocery stores to deliver food donations for a local rescue mission and weekend school food program.

A North Carolina nonprofit is preparing a bike giveaway to make the holidays brighter for hundreds of kids.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to face down your bicycling fears and stay safe on the roads.

British Columbia’s Human Right Tribunal concludes that Victoria’s floating bus stops on a new two-way cycle track discriminates against blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

An Edmonton, Alberta bike shop owner offers advice on how to bike through winter snow. Which is seldom a problem here in Los Angeles, but we can hope.

Toronto bike riders are lighting up the night with a rolling bike rave.

Hats off to a London man who rode his bike around the city for an hour to corral a stray dog and return it to its owner.

A Scottish charity has put over 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers on two wheels, calling it the key to helping them settle into a new community, develop new friends, and access essential services.

Brit bike hero Chris Boardman calls for banning cars from residential streets for the sake of the country’s children.

A new British subscription service allows people to get a Brompton for the equivalent of less than $1.32 a day.

Bike Radar takes a deep dive into the UK’s current state of diversity in bicycling, or the lack thereof. And the importance of inclusion and representation in biking, whether for sport or transportation.

A British travel writer takes an easy ebike bikeshare tour of Jersey.

A bicycling group in Nagpur, India lights their bikes to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists.

A Mumbai man is using his indoor cycling studio to help people scarred by traffic violence rediscover the joys of bicycling.

Fifty-seven percent of the residents of the Indian city of Gurugram would rather bike to work — but only if they have safe streets and bikeways.

She gets it. Kenya’s Second Lady — the wife of the country’s 1st Deputy President — takes to her bike, and mourns the needless deaths of people riding bicycles.

Malaysia takes a step towards a greener future with the nation’s first bicycle messenger service.

Cycling Tips traces the birth and growth of Aussie bikepacking and adventure racing brand Curve Cycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

More racial and trans insensitivity from America’s young pro cyclists, as former world track champ Chloe Dygert had to apologize for liking a number of biased tweets. This is what Black cyclist Ayesha McGowan had to say about it.

Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar’s winning bike will live on at the Colnago museum in Cambiago, Italy, joining bikes ridden by the legendary Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw, aka The Cannibal and The Lion of Flanders.

A writer for Rouleur says the nine-month ban given Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for his role in the crash in the final sprint at Stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Poland is cruel and unusual punishment, and sets a dangerous precedent.

Surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart had to buy his brother a new car to pay off a bet that he wouldn’t end up winning the race.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride from Canada to Key West, but not many do it on Penny Farthings. Now you, too, can own your very own Dunkin’ tandem bike.

And that feeling when your foot is run over by Albus Dumbledore.

Well, the second one, anyway.

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Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating this year. May the divine light spread into your life and bring peace, prosperity, happiness, good health and grand success.

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Update: Claremont woman killed in Friday the 13th bicycling collision, driver arrested for vehicular manslaughter

Sadly, Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation for a woman riding her bike in Claremont.

According to the Claremont Courier, the woman, identified only as a Claremont resident, was riding north on Mills Ave near Rockford Drive around 9 am Friday.

A driver headed in the opposite direction lost control attempting to pass another vehicle and skidded across the roadway, hitting the victim head-on.

She was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where she died.

Thirty-eight-year old Claremont resident Cheryl Becker was arrested for vehicular manslaughter. She also faces a charge of child endangerment because her children were in the car with her at the time of the crash.

Not surprisingly, police say speed may have been a factor.

A street view shows a two lane roadway on Mills, with a center turn lane and bike lanes in each direction. Police say there’s been an increase in unsafe driving on the street in recent months, including drivers exceeding the 40 mph speed limit.

Friday’s crash took place just blocks from where Sandra Wicksted killed Leslie Pray in a 2018 collision as Pray was riding her bike. Wicksted was sentenced to 16 years for voluntary manslaughter earlier this week, after prosecutors pled down from the original murder charge.

This is at least the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as long-time Claremont resident Terri Wolfe Ingalls, who was killed less than a week after her 62nd birthday. 

According to the Claremont Courier, she was run down just moments after leaving her home. Her final act may have been waving to her neighbor as she set out on her bike. 

The paper describes her as a “thoughtful, lovely” mother of four, and grandmother of seven, who checked in on her elderly parents every day. 

They’ll all have to find a way to get along without her now.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Terri Wolfe Ingalls and her loved ones.

Metro BRT could remove Eagle Rock bike lanes, reaction to Wicksted sentence, and carmakers really are trying to kill us

Metro will host a second virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss alternatives for a proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line.

Options include removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd, while many bike advocates call for improving them and removing a traffic lane, instead.

The project has brought Eagle Rock NIMBYs out in force, who bizarrely insist that no one would ever take the bus to shop or dine at local businesses.

Meanwhile, Metro makes the unintended case for why bikes belong in their own lane next to, rather than in, busways.

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Earlier this week, we mentioned the plea agreement that gave Sandra Marie Wicksted just 16 years behind bars for intentionally running down Leslie Pray, killing the Claremont woman as she was riding her bike, and attempting to kill two other bike riders.

A couple of comments to that story are worth elevating and sharing here.

It’s hard to call 16 years in state prison a slap on the wrist. But this one feels wrong for a couple reasons.

If Wicksted really was suffering from psychiatric problems, she need treatment, not jail; too often we warehouse the mentally ill in jail, which doesn’t benefit anyone.

If not, a 16-year sentence for what amounts to first degree murder is ridiculously low. She could easily be out in half that time, or possibly less under current circumstances.

Either way, it’s yet another example of the outgoing DA’s repeated failure to take traffic crimes seriously.

Let alone do the right thing.

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Yes, carmakers really are trying to kill you.

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GCN thinks you need to improve your bike handling skills.

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

No bias here. A London paper celebrates drivers surreptitiously removing bollards from bike lanes, describing it as fighting back against the above mentioned mythical war on cars.

Meanwhile, another British tabloid is up in arms over Prime Minister Boris Johnson approving the equivalent of $206 million for new bikeways to satisfy “the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel.”

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Local

Whittier will install a memorial mural to honor a local man who rode his bicycle across country twice to lobby Congress to honor Vietnam vets.

 

State

A Bakersfield woman faces up to 40 years behind bars after she was convicted of murdering a man who tried to reclaim his bike after she had stolen it.

Bay Area officials discuss how to get more people walking and biking.

Sonoma County residents voted to extend a quarter-cent sales tax intended to fund road improvements, bike paths, transit and transportation projects.

 

National

Salsa is recalling some of their Cutthroat bicycles due to a possible fork failure; the recall affects 600 bikes sold in the US between September of last year and September this year, as well as another 100 sold in Canada.

A 49-year old mother of two remains missing six months after she reportedly rode her bike away from her Southern Colorado home last Mother’s Day, despite massive search efforts.

After a Kansas appeals court threw out his original two-year sentence as too lenient, a driver convicted of using his car to murder a bike-riding man following an argument between the two was resentenced to a still too low ten years and a month behind bars.

Tennessee officials are struggling to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle on Wednesday. One more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you that’s not likely to be stolen after a crash.

A New York delivery person was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a massive beer truck, while apparently riding an e-scooter in what passes for a protected bike lane. So naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim.

New York’s Vespertine NYC creates fashionable, reflective bikewear designed to keep you safe without looking like a clown.

A South Carolina man lost a whopping 460 pounds after starting a diet and getting on his bike less than two years earlier. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

 

International

Cyclist says ebikes are changing the world.

An Aussie paper explains how an Argentine bicyclist ended up covered with literally thousands of cactus quills.

They’re not looking forward to any Viking biking in Thunder Bay, Ontario; the city on the shore of Lake Superior plans to shut down all its bike lanes for the winter on Sunday, and open them up for parking.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Toronto-area man got a slap on the wrist for jumping the curb and killing a woman as she rode her bike on the sidewalk, while he was allegedly street racing with another driver who fled the scene; the judge said he hoped the paltry 26-month sentence would serve as a deterrent. Not bloody likely. 

Paris’ plan to remake itself into a 15-minute city — where everything you need is within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride — is spreading worldwide and becoming the new utopia for urban planners. Let’s hope it spreads to Los Angeles, too. 

Barcelona tries to one-up Paris in the walk and bikeability department, announcing plans to convert every third street in the city center to pedestrian-first zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year old former junior world road race champ Quinn Simmons’ suspension for using a dark-skinned emoji in a tweet has been lifted; the apparently chastened American rider will return to his Trek-Segafredo team for next season.

 

Finally…

Move to the Ozarks for ten grand and a new bike. That feeling when your $20,000 custom bike is trashed by a careless driver less than a mile into your first ride.

And nothing like getting dropped by a 12-year old girl with a pro contract and her own YouTube channel.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

A remembrance of former LA bicyclist Susanna “Pinkyracer” Schick, and LA gets a cute little e-protected bike lane sweeper

This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to write.

Because this time, it’s about a friend.

I got to know Susanna Schick eight years ago, when I wrote a series of articles about the alleged DTLA road rage attack that put her in the hospital with a concussion and numerous broken bones.

One the LAPD first ignored, then wrote off as a simple fall off her bike at a remarkable 35 mph.

Something that would have been easy for the former motorcycle racer better known as Pinkyracer, but nearly impossible under the circumstances on her bicycle — especially since her bike computer showed a more modest 18 mph.

We got to know each other as she underwent a painful rehab program to rebuild her shattered body, and resumed her fierce advocacy for safer streets for everyone on two wheels.

She fought for the environment and social welfare, working with homeless children, people suffering from addiction, and the down and out on Skid Row.

She had recently moved to Barcelona with her boyfriend, reveling in the city’s newfound bikeability. Yet even from that distance, continued to argue online for street safety in the City of Angels.

Which is why it came as such a shock as I read yesterday’s newspaper, and saw Schick’s picture staring back at me.

From the obituary page.

According to her obituary, Susanna “Pinkyracer” Schick died of heart failure in Barcelona less than two weeks ago, on October 30th.

A motorcycle racing magazine adds a little more detail, explaining that she was hospitalized with a bacterial infection, then contracted pneumonia. She was finally released after several weeks in the hospital, but collapsed and stopped breathing just a day later.

She was just 50 years old.

To say I’m stunned and heartbroken is putting it mildly. And judging from the reaction I’ve seen online, I’m not alone.

Schick was one of those rare people who lived life to the fullest, and made this world a little better and brighter for everyone around her.

Photo from the obituary for Susanna “Pinkyracer” Schick.

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Los Angeles unveiled a cute little electric street sweeper for protected bike lanes.

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

A British parliamentary candidate riding with her daughter was brought to tears by a road raging driver who demanded that she get the hell out of his way.

https://twitter.com/katherinesmiles/status/1326241018396749828?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1326241018396749828%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-11-november-2020-278635

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Local

A Tijuana mother who works in Los Angeles is pleading for the return of her autistic son’s custom adaptive bike; he was using the bike to rehab from recent surgery after falling and breaking his leg, hip and knee due to a medical condition.

A new state grant will help Culver City improve landscaping on the Ballona Creek Trail between National Boulevard and Duquesne Avenue.

Eddie Van Halen was one of us — when he was a kid, anyway, delivering papers for a Pasadena newspaper.

 

State

Exploring the California coast by ebike.

A Manteca writer reminisces about the stupid things he’s done on a bike, like passing the bus he’d ben drafting at 45 mph, and barely avoiding a semi coming from the other direction.

A Marin paper says adding a few expensive pieces to connect a bikeway will benefit everyone who uses it.

 

National

Men’s Health repeats what we’ve heard from other sources, saying the bike shortage inspired by the coronavirus bike boom ain’t going away anytime soon.

A new People for Bikes survey on racial and mobility justice finds 83% of bike industry workers think it’s an important topic, but 55% don’t think the industry is prepared for those difficult conversations.

The kindhearted owners of an Illinois metal fabrication business built a custom tricycle seat for a special needs girl with a rare inherited disorder, then refused to accept payment for it.

Critics give Pittsburgh’s mayor the nickname Bike Lane Billy for his support of them. Oddly, though, they seem to think it’s an insult.

A DC website explains how a DIY broom with googly eyes saved a protected bike lane from careless drivers and parked cars.

 

International

The Guardian says the anti-bike screed from Britain’s Nigel Farage just shows drivers are scared of losing control of the roads.

Sixty-eight-percent of UK respondents say bicyclists should be banned from using headphones and earbuds when they ride, with one safety group calling them the ultimate distraction; 80% of Spaniards agree, while only 36% of Finns concur.

A bighearted man gave a new mountain bike to a young Cambodian boy after a video of the boy competing in a bike race with no shoes and an old Japanese bike went viral in the Philippines.

A new report urges Brisbane, Australia officials to prioritize improving safety for bike riders on several key streets.

No surprise here. Australia’s car safety chief says the brutal design of Tesla’s new Cybertruck will make it the opposite of safe for pedestrians. And it probably won’t be any better for people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Problems continue for trouble British Cycling, where the top men’s sprint coach was dismissed for having inappropriate relationships with team members.

Cycling Tips says a few choice 2020 moments remind us all just how good bike racing can be.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen got a nine month ban for forcing Fabio Jakobsen into a horrific crash with a roadside barrier in the final sprint on the first stage of the Tour of Poland, resulting in a medically induced coma and reconstructive surgery on Jakobsen’s face and jaw. But at least Jakobsen was given the stage win.

Cannondale and EF Pro Cycling are co-sponsoring co-ed cycling teams at America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities in an effort to overcome racial barriers in bike racing.

 

Finally…

The right weed strain for when you want to forget where you parked your bike. If you have to ask what a custom limited-edition bike costs, you probably can’t afford it.

And dealing with aggressive drivers on the road is bad enough without having to worry about ducking to avoid them in the air.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Wicksted gets 16-years for intentional killing of Claremont bike rider, and popular wheel light maker goes belly up

Sixteen years.

That’s the price a Claremont woman will pay for running down and murdering a bike-riding stranger with her car.

Sixty-three-year old Sandra Marie Wicksted agreed to a deal to plead no contest after prosecutors took a murder charge off the table for intentionally running down 54-year old Leslie Pray as she was riding her bike in Claremont two years ago.

She was also charged with swerving her car at two other people riding bikes in separate incidents before slamming into Pray.

Wicksted copped to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, along with two counts of attempted murder.

What remains unanswered, however, is the most basic question of all.

Why?

What could possibly have convinced Wicksted to try to kill not one, not two, but three total strangers for no other reason than they were riding bicycles?

We’ll probably never know.

But now an innocent woman is dead because of it.

And Wicksted has thrown away what’s left of her own life.

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Sad news from popular wheel light maker MonkeyLetric, which is closing out its remaining inventory and going out of business, at least for the foreseeable future.

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Local

A 20-year old man was hospitalized after a driver hit his bike while riding in Canyon Country; no word on the victim’s condition.

This is who we share the road with. A new lawsuit accuses an LA County sheriff’s deputy of drunk driving and street racing in the Torrance crash that killed a 23-year old passenger in his car.

 

State

San Diego adopts a new Complete Communities plan, including fees for developers in the city’s most car-dependent areas, which will be used to build bike and pedestrian projects in denser urban areas.

San Jose wants to know how residents want to get around in the years to come.

Palo Alto will keep two key streets carfree through next May.

Yes, please. A proposal before San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors would make it harder to delay projects by filing an appeal under California’s CEQA air quality laws, a process that has been abused in recent years to halt bikeways and transit projects.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick argues the city has abandoned Vision Zero in its cost-saving cutbacks to the Better Market Street project, suggesting it should now be renamed Bummer Market Street.

 

National

GQ recommends the best bike gear for “persnickety” bicycle riders caught up in the pandemic bike boom. Meanwhile, Gear Patrol says these bikes and accessories prove the future is now.

Next time you’re in Seattle, hop the ferry to the Bainbridge Island Cycle Museum, where you can see exhibits like a rare three-wheeled lawnmower bike and a signed yellow jersey worn by He Who Must Not Be Named.

Maybe there’s hope for LA bike riders yet, after Chicago finally opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge 15 years after it was blocked by a city alderman.

Speaking of Chicago, a local magazine considers former mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prospects for serving as US transportation secretary.

An Ohio man was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for the distracted driving death of a prominent lawyer who was riding his bike, while the driver was high on opiates.

The bike-riding Virginia woman who was elected county supervisor after flipping off Trump’s motorcade says it’s time to heal now that Joe Biden has been elected president; needless to say, not everyone agrees.

 

International

A Colombian college student was knocked off his bike and severely beaten by thieves when he chose to avoid traffic by riding a bike path through a dark tunnel known locally as “the tunnel of death” for its high crime rate.

A London bait bike leads police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes with individual values as high as $6,600.

British bikemaker Dawes tells its popular Galaxy touring bikes to hit the road after 49 years.

An essential worker in the UK had his bike replaced by a kindhearted stranger after it was stolen while he was working.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof agrees to hobble their bikes in the European Union, where ebikes are restricted to 15 mph, rather than the 20 mph limit allowed in the US.

Now that’s more like it. A new Spanish law will restrict speed limits to 18 mph in urban areas, and just 12 mph in spaces shared with bike riders and pedestrians.

The bike boom has hit Indonesia, as well, as residents share their experiences riding in the age of Covid-19.

Join the club. A third of New Zealanders think drivers are going too fast on their streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Primož Roglič’s victory in the Vuelta has pulled it out at the wire, beating Tour de France champ and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar for the #1 spot in the UCI World Ranking for 2020, while Anna van der Breggen topped the women’s list. No American made the top ten on either list.

American world time trial champ Chloe Dygert says she’ll do whatever it takes to heal in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after suffering a horrific gash to her left quad that severed 80% of the muscle. She’ll be riding for the Canyon-SRAM women’s team next year.

Cycling Weekly recalls ten unforgettable moments of the 2020 cycling season.

 

Finally…

Seriously, just slow the hell down around slower or less experienced bicyclists and pedestrians. Never a good idea to punch a traffic cop, even if they did just door you.

And probably not the best idea to have your six-year old daughter act as lookout before making a bike-borne escape from a shoplifting spree.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LA traffic collisions — and bike deaths — drop dramatically, our debt to Alex Trebek, and Culver City bus/bike lanes

No surprise here.

Traffic collisions dropped nearly 42% in Los Angeles during the pandemic lockdown earlier this year, as many drivers stayed home and off the roads.

What’s more surprising is that’s also reflected in the dramatic drop in bicycling deaths in LA County this year, at less than half of last year’s total — 14 so far this year, compared to 34 for all of last year.

Now if we could just keep it that way, as traffic creeps back up to pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s photo comes courtesy of David Drexler, combining two of my favorite things — bikes and coffee.

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Your periodic reminder that some people can live forever, and still be gone too soon.

And this.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on proposed bus/bike lanes in Culver City, which is rapidly lapping Los Angeles in the race for safe streets.

Then again, it’s not hard to lap someone who never left the starting gate.

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This is who we share the roads with.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could just drive off and leave an 87-year old man to die in the street.

And hopefully, a special place behind bars, for a very long time.

Meanwhile, if they really want to put a dent in street racing, make the impound permanent.

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John McBrearty forwards this short video about his bike club’s annual bike build program for kids at the YMCA.

While the video is a couple years old, he assures me it’s taking place once again this year if you want to get involved.

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We can thank Bart Anderson for forwarding this YouTube version of last month’s BBC report on Europe’s bike boom, which wasn’t previously viewable in the US.

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The Bike League is looking for speakers for their upcoming virtual Bike Summit.

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

Monterey bike riders can breathe a little easier tonight, after the local DA announced a man who threw acid on a bike rider 20 years ago will stay in a mental hospital for the foreseeable future.

A Nevada man is being held on $120,000 bail for allegedly shooting a 14-year girl with a BB gun as she was riding her bike; he faces charges of conspiring to commit child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

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Local

Looks like Metro is finally getting it, after moving to open up highway funds so local communities can use the money for bike, pedestrian and transit projects, instead.

The Los Angeles Business Journal examines how LA bike shops are struggling to keep up with increased demand due to the bike boom.

A man faces charges for pepper spraying and robbing someone on the beachfront bike path in Santa Monica at 1:37 in the morning; a second suspect was released to…wait for it…his mommy.

Long Beach receives a $275,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs.

Streets for All is hosting a virtual happy hour with the founders of CicLAvia tomorrow.

 

State

Fontana police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after rear-ending a bike rider last week.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is keeping up the fight for a safer Market Street after the city tries cutting corners by cancelling plans for a raised bike lane.

 

National

Bicycling considers the best bike trailers to ride with your kids. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers advice on how to overcome common bike riding fears, like descending wet roads and riding in traffic. Once again, you can read it on Yahoo

A Seattle-area man committed suicide just hours before a jury convicted him of raping and murdering a young woman nearly 50 years ago as she was riding her bike. Speaking of a special place in hell, he’s probably already roasting. 

Remarkably, a Las Vegas driver remained at the scene following a high speed crash that took the life of a man riding his bike, despite some outstanding arrest warrants. Then again, if he’d been arrested sooner, the victim might still be with us.

 

International

The BBC looks at the technological advances in the never-ending war against bike thieves.

Good news for ebike riders, as a new Dutch study shows ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes. Although another study blames ebikes for the rise in traffic deaths among elderly riders.

Madrid’s El Pais maps out how cities around the world are responding to the coronavirus crisis by expanding their bike networks. Note that LA was not included, despite its grand total of zero popup bike lanes.

Ebikes are encouraging Kiwis to get off the couch and start exercising again.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to ride a bike cross-country; another to make the trip on a Penny Farthing. If you leave the parking meters next to the curb after installing a protected bike lane, where the hell do they think people will park?

And we’re finally training someone to fill in and write these posts when I can’t.

 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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