Archive for Bicycle Safety

Morning Links: Problems with Vision Zero, fallen Loma Linda cyclist hits hard, and a pedal-sparked forest fire

Co.Exist offers a good look at the problems in implementing Vision Zero, saying cities have to get bolder if it’s going to be more than just the latest trend.

What’s missing, according to the article, is the funding and political will to make the changes necessary to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths. Along with the determination to overrule NIMBY opposition.

Which so far at least, sums up Los Angeles in a nutshell.

As they point out, the city just finished a series of outreach meetings to get input from advocates and neighborhood groups already working on safety issues.

But we’ve yet to see decisive leadership from the mayor office, or any hint of a backbone from the city council or LADOT. Let alone the funding to pay for the changes that will be necessary on our streets if they’re serious about eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, as they claim.

So we’ll have to see what comes out of that.

But without a major commitment from city leaders, the chances of Vision Zero succeeding here in LA are pretty much zero.

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Both KNBC-4 and KCBS-2 report on the collateral damage death of cyclist Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a domestic violence suspect trying to flee police in Loma Linda.

According to KNBC-4, the chase only lasted a few seconds, as Eric Tafoya drove in the bike lane in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic; Stephenson’s friend suggests sheriff’s deputies should have just let him go and made the arrest at a later date.

Meanwhile, friends describe Stephenson to KCBS-2 as funny, outgoing and a super nice guy, who loved working on his bike and hanging out at his local bike shop.

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Bicycles hardly ever cause fires.

But the recent Rock Creek Fire in the Inyo National forrest appears to be the exception, as the Forrest Service has traced the ignition point back to a mountain bike pedal striking a rock.

So either put rubberized pedals on your mountain bike, or keep a safe distance from rocks until we get a little more rain.

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VeloNews recaps stage four of the Vuelta. What all four stage winners have in common so far is that none of them are among the expected leaders. However, American Andrew Talansky is confident he can finish in the top 10.

The former head of British Cycling credits the Japanese concept of kaizen for the country’s Olympic success; the philosophy of continuous improvement through small gains helped Japan rebuild after WWII.

Two more amateur masters racers have been caught doping. No, seriously.

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Local

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez talks with the former state senate leader who led a 1972 bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help preserve the California coast; 89-year old Jim Mills still has the yellow Schwinn Super Sport he rode.

KCET looks at plans to complete the missing links in the LA River bike path though the San Fernando Valley to create a single continuous pathway from Canoga Park to the Elysian Valley, and profiles the firms hired to design the path and determine its feasibility.

CiclaValley says Pt. Magu State Park is the perfect spot for your first gravel ride.

Time Out Los Angeles considers whether it’s legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in LA. Short answer, yes in LA; no in the county, maybe, or maybe not, everywhere else.

Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — is having a pop-up sale at their Burbank headquarters this Saturday.

Questions surround a planned bikeway along the San Gabriel River in Baldwin Park after the city council approved spending up to $120,000 without further council approval, and the city hired an Oregon firm accused of bribery, against the recommendation of the city’s then-Public Works Director.

The Santa Clarita Valley has seen four serious hit-and-runs resulting in injury or death in the last three months, starting with the death of music teacher Rob Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon last May; the driver in that case faces charges for manslaughter, DUI and fleeing the scene.

 

State

Orange County Transportation Authority approves a $1.11 million bicycle corridor in Garden Grove.

Good news, as a San Clemente mountain biker has regained the use of his legs after falling 300 feet off the Telonics trail last April.

A Palm Springs bike rider is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup. Although the local TV station seemed more concerned about the effect it had on local traffic.

A bike bridge called the crown jewel of a San Francisco bicycle safety project that enables cyclists to bypass a complicated freeway interchange has now become a homeless encampment.

Already two years behind schedule, the bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is still a path to nowhere, with completion of the section leading to Yerba Buena Island now delayed until October.

Bicycling relates the tale of two San Francisco cyclists who engaged in a slow-speed bike chase to retrieve a stolen bicycle and tackle the thief before police arrived.

Security cameras will be installed on bike paths around the Chico State campus to improve safety for students.

 

National

Portland officials are planning to use lottery funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway.

Evidently, you can kill someone in Idaho while not paying attention to the road, with the sun in your eyes, and reaching down for something on the seat next to you, and it’s still just a misdemeanor if you didn’t do it on purpose. If we ever hope to end traffic deaths, our legal system has to take the careless killing of another human being seriously.

A 12-year old Montana girl fought city hall for two years to get a guard rail installed on a bike path to protect riders from a steep drop off.

DNA tests confirm it was a 20-year old grizzly bear who killed a mountain biker last June after he and a companion evidently surprised the bear as they rode on a trail near Glacier National Park.

Life is cheap in Iowa, as a woman gets two years probation, despite fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in a pouring rainstorm. Yes, probation, without a single day behind bars, despite leaving her victim to die in the street.

No bias here. A bike rider gets the blame when a Missouri school bus driver goes off the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was passing the cyclist. Evidently, it’s impossible for drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass, let alone slow down or put on the brakes.

Who says you can’t build bikes in the US? A new high volume bike manufacturer opens in Little Rock, Arkansas to build carbon-frame bicycles.

A Minneapolis bike commuter complains about rude cyclists in spandex, accusing them of patriarchal sexism and male entitlement. And not looking awesome in those shorts. Or maybe it’s possible that some people are just assholes sometimes, whether on two wheels or four.

An Indiana family of seven takes in their son’s best friend after his mother was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle.

New York police actively discourage a bike rider from filing a police report, despite witnessing her being assaulted by an Uber driver.

A bike-riding, 80-year old woman living on the streets of DC told everyone the government owed her $100,000. And finally proved it.

A Savannah GA writer complains about the attitude that bicycle safety improvements have to be earned through good behavior by cyclists, a standard that is never applied to motorists. I’d love to see officials say no more freeways until drivers stop speeding and start signaling their turns and lane changes. Or maybe just no more freeways, period.

 

International

An off-duty Halifax police officer is being called a hero after helping save the life of bike rider following a hit-and-run.

A letter writer in the UK complains that the real problem with bikeshare is that it’s too expensive, no one wears helmets, and everyone except him rides like a jerk.

A British man faces charges after allegedly driving across the road and onto the sidewalk to assault a man who was riding on a bike path and smash his bicycle; bizarrely, a couple of men stopped to intervene during the attack, but drove off after seeing the victim was okay.

One man’s bike shop is popularizing bicycling in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

 

Finally…

You could be the proud owner of a bicycle formerly ridden by Sir Edmund Hillary for the equivalent of just $182. If you’re carrying meth on your bike and already have two outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it.

And probably not the best idea to ride a bicycle home with a fishing hook still caught in your penis.

 

Morning Links: Hard-hitting Aussie traffic PSAs, cops lectured by bike riders, and more kindhearted people

Australia’s Queensland state introduces a hard-hitting ad campaign to drive home the cost of traffic violence.

Here in Southern California, most traffic deaths never even make the news.

Maybe something like this could finally wake people up to the realization that the cost of the unhindered automotive hegemony on our streets is just too damn high.

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Caught on video:

A driver gets lectured by a cyclist after failing to signal and observe the three-foot passing law — and turns out to be the chief of police for St. Paul MN, who took it surprisingly well.

A Florida cop gets an earful when he mistakenly tries to tell a cyclist to get on the sidewalk.

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More kindhearted people in today’s bike news.

An Oregon man scours the local landfill looking for bikes he can fix and give away to children; if he sees kids walking he’ll ask if they need a bike.

Texas police dig into their own pockets to buy a special needs boy a new bicycle after his was stolen by a couple little kids.

Missouri police donate an unclaimed bicycle to a woman who relied on her bike for transportation after it was stolen while she worked as an election volunteer.

South Dakota state troopers pitch in to buy teenage boy a new bicycle after they stopped him walking along a freeway, and learned he had to walk eight miles to work every day.

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The men’s Olympic mountain bike race ended in a mirror finish of the London Olympics; the results left Peter Sagan feeling flat. Meanwhile, the youngest rider on the course won the women’s race.

Mara Abbott writes movingly about coming so close to winning gold in the Rio road race.

Chris Froome is off to a good start in the Vuelta a España following the team time trial.

And any jerk can steal a bicycle; it takes a special kind of jerk to steal a painted cow from the 2012 London Olympic course that was going to be auctioned off for charity.

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Local

Richard Risemberg calls for revolution, one council seat at a time.

Shinola brings their Built-in-Detroit ethos to the Grove. Which it turns out is more of an assembled in Detroit ethos, but still.

Santa Monica’s California Incline will reopen on September 1st with new bike lanes and walkways leading to and from PCH.

Santa Monica will host this year’s Kidical Mass ride on September 17th.

Temple City will install stop signs and other traffic measures to improve safety at the intersection of Rosemead Blvd and Sereno Drive, where a bike rider was hit by a car last year.

 

State

An Orange County supervisor successfully lobbied for a bike and pedestrian path along a flood control channel to allow kids to get to school and a park more easily.

The lawyer for a Fresno basketball coach who was sentenced to 12-years in prison for the drunk driving crash that took the life of a seven-year old bike rider, and critically injured his 18-month old sister, has filed a motion to withdraw his no-contest plea, arguing that a new video shows no one, drunk or sober, could have avoided the crash.

Hikers, equestrians and environmental groups are joining in opposition to plans to open backcountry watershed trails in San Francisco’s East Bay to mountain bikes.

The executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says there’s been an alarming increase in drivers deliberately targeting people on bicycles. Anyone threatening a cyclist with a motor vehicle should automatically face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and do time upon conviction.

There’s also been a jump in bike thefts in Marin County, with roughly 300 bicycles stolen so far this year.

 

National

Advice on how to ride a bike with your dog.

An Aussie couple are riding across the US with their autistic son, traveling over 3,000 miles from Washington to Washington. Hopefully, they won’t have to deal with a rampaging raccoon.

Dallas wisely agrees to void a $259 fine for riding a bicycle without a helmet, which isn’t illegal for adults in Texas.

A photographer catches a woman and her bike being washed off a Lake Michigan breakwater.

A young Turkish woman is making what her doctors call a miraculous recovery after being the victim of a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Ohio early last month.

Sometimes a bike is just a bike; this one is more than that to a local St. Louis community.

Plans are gaining speed for a 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting 24 towns along the Delaware River.

Many people who ride across the country do it to raise awareness for a cause. A 50-year old Florida woman raised awareness for 50 causes, one for each of the 50 days of her journey.

 

International

How to survive bicycling on Bolivia’s Death Road.

Sing a song about bicycling with Shakira, and next thing you know, your own bike gets stolen.

Good news, as the British sportscaster who nearly died from malaria after riding from the UK to Rio has awakened from her coma.

An Edmonton, Canada blogger crunched the numbers to determine that riding in a separated shared path is safer than a painted bike lane. Meanwhile, the Edmonton cyclist who was the subject of racial slurs from a road raging driver and his passengers feels more hopeful after a meeting with the mayor.

Caught on video too: Toronto police are investigating after a cab driver swerved into a delivery cyclist after allegedly arguing with the rider for two blocks.

A Toronto writer says it’s okay to yield during your commute, and a little bit of empathy would benefit everyone. Which should be emblazoned on the inside of every windshield in LA. And on every handlebar.

Inspired by the exploits of the British cycling team, a Welsh reporter takes a stab at track cycling.

Leicester, England, home of the world’s most improbable soccer champs, responds to a cycling fatality by investing £2 million — the equivalent of $2.6 million — in a two-way cycle track along a major roadway. That’s exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work; we may not be able to prevent all deaths, but we can take steps to keep them from happening again.

Bike Radar issues ten very British, and very amusing, cycling problems.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Barcelona commits to spending $36 million on new bike lanes. Which is about $36 million more than LA has committed to support the bike lanes called for in the new Mobility Plan.

Good idea. Malta cyclists call on the government to make it illegal to obstruct bike racks.

Pakistani police allegedly beat two young boys accused of bike theft.

A Muslim Chinese man rode his bike over 5,000 miles to perform the Haj in Saudi Arabia.

 

Finally…

It’s not unusual to find things while you’re riding; a human skull, not so much. Or an English hyena, for that matter. The very definition of irony: A bicycle honoring the late great Muhammad Ali was stolen from the gym where he got his start in boxing after his bicycle was stolen.

And let’s finish today by watching Coldplay ride BMX bikes around Mexico City.

60-year old man riding bicycle killed in Newberry Springs collision

It’s been a bad 24 hours in San Bernardino County.

In addition to Friday’s fatality, in which a Loma Linda bike rider was killed by a suspect fleeing police, another bicyclist was killed in Newberry Springs Thursday night.

According to the San Bernardino County Sun, a 60-year old man was killed in a collision around 8:15 pm while riding his bicycle on Valley Center Road, east of Minneola Road.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to Barstow Community Hospital.

No other information is available at this time; the Sun reports it’s not even known if the driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane country road with gravel shoulders.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Bernardino County.

Correction: While the headline was correct, the story above initially gave the location as Newberry Park, rather than Newberry Springs. Thanks to Bryan J Blumberg for the correction

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed by fleeing suspect in Loma Linda police chase

A police chase has turned deadly in Loma Linda, as a Loma Linda bike rider was run down by a suspect fleeing from San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies.

According to a notice released by the department, deputies were attempting to serve a domestic violence warrant on 37-year old Eric Tafoya of Rancho Cucamonga at a residence on Benton Court in Loma Linda this morning when they saw him leave the home.

They attempted to stop his car as he drove away, however, Tafoya continued driving, apparently traveling south on Benton Street before turning west on Barton Road.

As he approached the intersection with Anderson Road at 10:48 am, he smashed into a bike rider, then continued on without stopping, until he crashed into a van and fled on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later after being located by a police dog.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notice of next of kin, was taken to nearby Loma Linda Medical Center, where he died at 12:18 pm.

No other information is available at this time.

There’s no word on how fast Tafoya’s vehicle was traveling, or whether the victim was struck on Barton or crossing at the intersection.

However, a street view shows a four lane street that could invite high speeds, with a bike lane on the right shoulder.

Tafoya now faces a possible murder charge, in addition to the original warrant.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Region 1 Major Accident Investigation Team at 909/918-2305; anonymous tips can be made at 1-800/782-7463.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Bernardino County; it’s also the second in Loma Linda since the first of the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 62-year old Redlands resident Randolph Stephenson.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Randolph Stephenson and his loved ones.

Thanks to Kate for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Police investigate as Corona del Mar bully says he’s sorry; Canadian cyclist loses all in theft

Newport Beach police are investigating the video we linked to yesterday showing a bully motorist berating a bike rider in a profanity-laced, homophobic tirade, for the crime of riding on the sharrows.

And yes, they’re now taking it very seriously, after the rider was initially blown off when he tried to file a report.

In case you missed it, the video has now been posted to YouTube, which means we can share it here.

Let’s hope he likes the way he looks on the screen; the Facebook video has been seen over 400,000 times in just the first 24 hours.

KCBS-2 caught up to the driver, who apologized for the language he used, and said he was embarrassed by the whole thing.

“I’m just an old surfer, knucklehead, and I do apologize for using the words that I used,” Lewis told CBS2 reporter Michelle Gile.

However, you’ll note that he didn’t apologize for threatening the victim. Or for clipping him with his mirror, or for the brake check that forced the victim into the left lane to go around him.

And we’re still left to wonder whether even that apology was sincere, or if it was just the result of adverse publicity from a video that went viral.

We’ll have to wait for the NBPD to complete their investigation to learn what charges will be filed, if any. Although there’s a good case to be made for assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run if it can be shown that he really did clip the victim with his mirror.

However, LAPD officers have explained in the past that the mere act of getting out of a vehicle to confront someone is enough for an assault charge.

Let alone threatening to kill him.

Meanwhile, the whole thing just shows how far we have to go in educating drivers about sharrows.

And just about every other aspect of sharing the road with people on bicycles.

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Thanks to David Bain for forwarding word of a Canadian musician who had his bike and all his belongings stolen while attempting to set a Guinness world record on a coast-to-cost bike tour; a gofundme account has raised over $6,500 of a $10,000 goal to help replace it.

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Kristin Armstrong waited until her victory was confirmed, becoming the first cyclist to win gold three times in the same event, then collapsed and was checked out by medics before her five-year old son came out to give her a hug.

A French rider may have only placed 26th in the women’s road race, but she’s winning the competition to resemble the former Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge.

Britain threw down the gauntlet with a world record on the first day of qualifying for the women’s 4,000 meter team pursuit, while the men struck gold in the team sprint.

The great Evelyn Stevens decides to walk away from pro cycling at the peak of her career, just seven years after quitting her job as an investment banker to compete full-time.

A Philippine paper says it helps to have a short memory in bike racing, since everyone hits the pavement sooner or later.

Closer to home, the Redlands Bicycle Classic will move to May next year, serving as a domestic lead-in to the Amgen Tour of California.

And SoCal Cycling offers photos of Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

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Local

Air quality in the LA area is the deadliest in the nation. That alone should be enough to get LA and other local cities to provide safe alternatives to driving. But probably won’t.

CiclaValley reports the North Hollywood Metro tunnel will be opening Monday, with a promised Bike Hub to come.

Park La Brea News profiles Sunday’s Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia.

Long Beach celebrates the opening of the new parking protected bike lanes on Artesia Blvd, the first half-mile of what will eventually be a two-mile protected bikeway.

 

State

Cyclelicious examines why land use matters for bike advocacy, noting that people aren’t likely to bike to work if they can’t afford to live nearby.

KPCC looks at the increasing popularity of bike lanes in OC.

Don’t throw your bike at a trolley if they won’t let you on, a lesson a Laguna Beach man learned the hard way; he could face charges for vandalism, and probably needs a new bike after the trolley ran over it.

Salinas will host its fourth ciclovía in October, with a 1.6 mile route.

This time it’s firefighters with the big hearts, as Pleasanton firefighters pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle and helmet after his was damaged when he was hit by a car.

Sacramento authorities want people to walk, ride a bike or take transit when the new arena opens.

Sad news from NorCal, as a Redding bike rider was killed by a driver who allegedly ran a red light. Something many drivers insist only bike riders do.

 

National

An Oregon neo-Nazi covered with pro-Aryan and anti-police tatts fled on his bicycle when police tried to stop him for a traffic violation, eventually shooting a cop and taking a woman hostage; he suffered non-life threatening wounds when he was shot by police to end the siege.

Forget riding through crosswalks; Portland is installing cross bikes — no, not this kind — to help bike riders get through intersections safely.

The grizzly bear that killed a Montana mountain biker last June was nearly old enough to legally drink.

Caught on video: An Iowa bike rider is forced to bail off the road when a pickup coming in the opposite direction crosses onto the wrong side of the road, barely missing him.

Inflamed passions boil over in a dispute over a Detroit bike lane.

This is who we share the roads with. A Pennsylvania woman was caught on video, not just texting behind the wheel, but actually steering with her feet while she drove.

A South Carolina bike maker is bringing some manufacturing back to the US thanks to automation, even if the pay is less than the new minimum wage in Los Angeles.

An Atlanta bike advocate is working to get more black people on bicycles as the founder of the local chapter of Red Bike and Green.

Seriously, if your hat blows into the bay while riding your bike on a Florida causeway, just let the damn thing go.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to keep your saddle from being a pain in the butt, while Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how women can choose the right one.

Forget the Olympics; Rio is also the site of the world’s largest Lego bicycle.

It’s not just the US where the bike theft epidemic is on the rise; it’s jumped 31% north of the border in just one year.

Calgary’s new bike lane network will hit one-million riders just a year after completion, a 40% jump in ridership. Yet one councilmember is underwhelmed, claiming it should have at least doubled — never mind that it came in $1.5 million under budget.

As if the Brit press didn’t have enough reasons to hate bike riders, now they accuse us of being deer killers. Seriously, don’t discard anything when you ride; jerseys have pockets for a reason.

A UK website says nothing beats a bike if you want to get more active.

A renowned pediatrician who made a “huge contribution to neonatal medicine in the UK” is mourned after he lost his life in a solo fall.

Amsterdam now has a special mayor devoted entirely to improving bicycling in the already bike-friendly city. Sometimes it seems like they’re just rubbing it in.

An Iranian town bans women from bicycling after the local iman says it violates the teachings of Islam, despite a national anti-pollution program encouraging everyone to ride their bikes every Tuesday.

 

Finally…

Evidently, if you’re riding in dark clothing at night, you need to take it all off. This is what you call a bike lane fail.

And don’t wrestle over dead goats without locking your bike up first.

 

Morning Links: Cop gets slap on wrist for beating bike rider, and road raging driver threatens CdM cyclist

Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney let a cop accused of wrong doing off the hook.

And once again, it involved someone riding a bicycle.

The LA Times got wind of a plea deal reached earlier this year in the case of LAPD officer Richard Garcia, who was captured on security video beating and kicking a bike rider after he voluntarily surrendered and was already restrained by other officers.

Then-22-year old Clinton Alford Jr. was riding his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd in South LA when a police car pulled up behind him and ordered him to stop. According Alford, the officers failed to identify themselves, and fearing for his safety, he tried to get away, fleeing first by bike and then on foot.

After a brief pursuit, he stopped on his own and laid down on the ground, and was taken into custody without resistance.

That is, until an officer identified as Richard Garcia arrived on the scene, and immediately began beating and kicking Alford; one police official said he kicked the man’s head like he was kicking a field goal.

This is how the Times described the brutal attack.

The officer then dropped to the ground and delivered a series of strikes with his elbows to the back of Alford’s head and upper body, sources said. Alford’s head can be seen on the video hitting the pavement from the force of the strikes, two sources recounted. Afterward, the officer leaned his knee into the small of Alford’s back and, for a prolonged period, rocked or bounced with his body weight on Alford’s back, the sources said. At one point, the officer put his other knee on Alford’s neck, a source said.

Afterwards, several officers can reportedly be seen on the unreleased video carrying his limp body into a patrol car.

Yet despite that, and despite the determination by LAPD Chief Beck and the Police Commission that Garcia and another unnamed officer violated the department’s use of force policies, DA Jackie Lacey quietly negotiated a plea that lets Garcia off without a single day behind bars. Let alone the three years he faced if the case had gone to trial.

And possibly, without even a felony conviction.

Garcia pled no contest to felony assault in exchange for s sentence of community service and a paltry $500 fine to be paid an unnamed charity. After he completes the terms, he will be allowed to enter a new plea to a misdemeanor charge, which would replace the original conviction, and be placed on two years probation.

That’s it.

According to the Times, Lacey thinks that was a tough sentence.

Lacey said that she believed filing the felony charge against Garcia signaled to both police officers and residents that “people will be held accountable.”

“I do think it sends a strong message to any law enforcement officer who is thinking about violating the law,” she said. “If you talk to any officer about a felony on their record gotten in the course of their job, I don’t think anyone would see this as light at all.”

She’s right, it does send a strong message.

It tells every officer on the street that you can nearly kill a man for no valid reason, and walk away without even a felony conviction on your record.

Which is exactly the same message she sent in refusing to file charges against the LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milt Olin while typing on his onboard computer instead watching out for the man who was legally riding his bike in the bike lane on Mulholland Highway — just moments after the deputy texted his wife while driving, something that could have landed anyone else in jail.

And the same message she sent in refusing to indict the three Gardena police officers who killed an unarmed man who was simply trying to tell them they had stopped the wrong men after his brother’s bicycle was stolen, in a shooting captured on dashcam video.

Let’s be clear. Alford is no saint.

He was originally booked on possession and resisting arrest, charges that were quickly dropped when news of the beating came to light. And he faces new charges of pimping, rape and assault with a deadly weapon.

But even the worst criminal deserves protection from rogue cops who take the law into their own hands.

And from a DA who doesn’t seem to give a damn.

One time might be explainable. But three times is evidence of a pattern, and an apparent policy of refusing to hold even the worst police officers accountable for their actions.

Or maybe it’s just the people on bicycles she doesn’t like.

………

Unbelievable.

A cyclist in Corona del Mar receives a death threat from a road raging motorist who calls him a pussy and a queer, among many other things, and says he’s just lucky there are witnesses around. All because the rider had the audacity to ride his bicycle on the sharrows, exactly where he’s supposed to be.

They need to get this asshole off the streets before he kills someone. On purpose.

………

A Santa Monica writer notes that bike theft was up 30% in the city in 2015, and guesses that the trend has continued this year. And wonders if the Expo Line is to blame.

Never mind that the Expo Line didn’t even reach SaMo until May of this year.

………

The next time someone says bike riders don’t pay our share of the road because bikes aren’t registered, show them this.

CA DMV Where Money Goes

Only 13% of registration fees go to maintain the roads — and even that is just for state highways.

………

We have results from yesterday’s Olympic time trial, so skip to the next section if it’s still waiting in your viewing queue.

Fabian Cancellara caps his cycling career by capturing gold for Switzerland in the time trial, eight years after winning in Beijing; Tom Doumalin and Chris Froome finished second and third.

No Cinderella story on Wednesday, as cycling scion Taylor Phinney finishes 22nd, over five minutes behind the leaders, while Aussie Rohan Dennis had to settle for fifth after his handlebars broke. A Namibian cyclist takes pride in finishing dead last in the time trial after he entered the race at the last minute on a road bike because he didn’t have a time trial bike.

American Kristin Armstrong overcame age and a bloody nose to win her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s time trial on her final day as a 42-year old; dope-tainted Russian Olga Zabelinskaya took silver while Anna van der Breggen captured bronze. The Wall Street Journal calls Armstrong the comeback queen.

The US women’s pursuit team begins its pursuit of a gold medal today with new left-side drive Felt track bikes that promise to shave three seconds off their time.

The world’s top pro cycling teams have voted to boycott the time trial at October’s world championships in Qatar in a protest against cycling’s governing body.

………

Local

The LA2050 Challenge Grants are back for another year; applications are being accepted between September 6th and October 4th.

A Los Angeles triathlete’s bike was stolen while she was training with her team in Long Beach; her bike was missing when she came back from a swim. As of this writing, a gofundme account to replace it has raised $1895 of the $3,000 goal.

A French artist begins a two-month examination of the LA River by foot and bike for an art project based on the items he recovers.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on the soft opening of West Hollywood’s new WeHo Pedals bikeshare. Although almost all of the planned docking stations are on the Santa Monica Blvd corridor, ignoring most north/south streets and the Sunset Strip.

Alhambra police ask if you know this bike-riding package thief. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Caltrans reports it has patched pavement along PCH; however, a Malibu Safety Commissioner says they should be held to a higher standard of surface integrity given the large number of bicycles on the roadway.

Friends remember Bill Bowers, the homeless bike rider fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic last week; posters at the event call the shooting murder.

Save the date for Noche de los Luminarias, the Bike SGV Awards Night on November 10th.

 

State

Too little too late. Newport Beach decides to install four new stop signs between Newport Heights Elementary School and Newport Harbor High School following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode his bike home from school. There’s no reason to believe it would have prevented this tragedy, but maybe it will help prevent the next one.

Dozens of Encinitas streets could get bike lanes or sharrows, depending on the width of the street.

A San Diego man teams up with a cop in an unsuccessful effort to recover his stolen bike, though they did catch the suspected thief with a stolen truck and two other hot bikes. Note to ABC 10: $900 does not a pricey bike make.

A Ventura tow truck driver pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of 14-year old bike rider Jonathan Hernandez earlier this year; he faces up to 40 months in prison if he’s convicted.

 

National

A mountain biker says the current ban on bikes in wilderness areas is based on nothing more than a few people who don’t like them, and risks dividing supporters of environmental protection of unspoiled areas.

Elly Blue says everyone benefits by looking past the stereotype of bicyclists as white guys in spandex to embrace the full bicycling community, regardless of color or sex, noting that people of color make up the fastest growing cycling demographic.

People for Bikes says businesses are finding creative ways to put bicycles to work.

When a beginning bike rider asks how far an “easy” ride really is, a Portland writer says a bike coach who recommends adding 10 miles per ride until you reach 80 miles can just fuck off.

A New Mexico teen is making a remarkable recovery, even if his dreams of becoming a pro cyclist ended on the bumper of a careless driver.

A Denver bike rider says the hit-and-run driver who ran him down did it on purpose.

The National Transportation Safety Board issues their preliminary report on the Kalamazoo massacre in which five cyclists were killed and four injured by a stoned driver, but doesn’t have much to add to the story. If this is just the first step in the NTSB finally dealing with bicycling and traffic safety, it’s a welcome one; if not, it should be.

Scientists at Columbia University are studying vehicle exhaust to determine its effects on bike riders.

A Pennsylvania county offers a $500 reward to catch whoever has been repeatedly tossing tacks on a popular bike trail. Note to Fox 43: A deliberate attempt to harm cyclists or their bikes may be many things, but a prank it’s not.

Philadelphia women say they’re forced to ride their bikes through red lights and stop signs to escape threats and sexual harassment. Seriously, everyone, regardless of gender, has the right to travel the streets safely and without fear.

 

International

A Canadian bike rider praised Vancouver’s bike lane network, but says most of the country’s bike lanes are a waste of space and money, with some amounting to little more than private roads for hip urbanites.

British cyclists crowdfund the private prosecution of a driver accused of killing a 70-year old bike rider; a writer says it’s not about persecuting the driver, but getting prosecutors to take bicycling deaths seriously. Too bad we can’t do that here.

Katy Perry is one of us, as she shows a little cheek riding in the French countryside.

Anime fans can look forward to the release of Yowamushi Pedal: Spare Bike next month, though you may have to go to Japan to see it.

CNN shares a cyclist’s perspective on Tokyo, courtesy of Byron Kidd, editor of Tokyo by Bike.

This is why you don’t lock up to living things. A Chinese bike thief is caught on video cutting down a tree to steal the bicycle chained to it.

 

Finally…

Your next helmet could be a headphone. Taking a virtual reality tour of the UK on a bike that doesn’t move is not the same as the real thing.

And if you want to illustrate the town’s new bike lanes, maybe the best way to do it isn’t with a photo of a salmon cyclist riding next to one, with a sidewalk cyclist visible in the background.

I’m just saying.

 

BOLO Alert: Bike rider critically injured in North Hills hit-and-run last month; LAPD still looking for witnesses

I’ve just received the following press release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

Hit and Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Severely Injured

North Hills:

A hit and run traffic collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist occurred on Saturday, July 23, 2016, approximately 5:00 a.m. at Parthenia Street west of Woodley Avenue, in the community of North Hills.

The vehicle was traveling westbound Parthenia Street and collided with the bicycle being ridden by James Mours, a 47 year old resident of Mission Hills. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a local hospital for medical treatment. He is still listed in very critical condition.

There is no description of the vehicle or the driver. The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at (818) 644-8114. The report number is 16 17 13752. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most key pads) using a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters can also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “web tips” and follow the prompts.

Let’s get the word out and see if we can get some witnesses to come forward.

Best wishes to James Mours for a full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Officer Troy Williams for the heads-up.

 

Update: Bicyclist killed in North Hollywood

There’s been a report of a bicycling fatality in North Hollywood this morning.

Westondeboer posted the following comment on Reddit this morning:

My father was killed riding his bicycle this morning. He was a seasoned rider, Had been riding all of his adult life. He started riding his bike to work when I turned five, this was 31 years ago. We lived at the 170 & 5 freeway, and he worked in hollywood at Santa Monica and highland for Hanna Barbera. He rode his bike to work everyday. He owned one pair of pants and wore shorts everywhere, even when we went to the snow.

What is happening that we are moving too fast in our cars that we cannot notice those around us? Be it, walking, on a motorcycle, or on a bicycle.

What can we do to protect pedestrians these days as pedestrian deaths are rising.

RIP

A follow-up comment indicated that the crash occurred at Victory Blvd and Tujunga Ave at 8:15 am.

However, there’s no independent confirmation of the crash at this time.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Urban Avenger says the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division has confirmed the fatality, and will issue a press release on Monday. 

Update 2: I’ve received additional confirmation of the death from the LAPD, though no further details are available at this time. 

Update 3: Still waiting on a promised press release from the LAPD with more information; however, the have confirmed the identity of the victim as William DeBoer. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William DeBoer and his family.

Thanks to BikeLA redditors for the heads-up.

Redlands bike rider killed in Meade Valley hit-and-run

It’s happened again.

Yet another bike rider has been left to die on the side of the road by a murderous coward.

In a story that flew under the radar earlier this week, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that an unidentified cyclist had been killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

According to the paper, the CHP was attempting to identify the victim, who was apparently struck from behind while riding west on Cajalco Road west of Wood Road in Meade Valley; however, Google Maps places that location in Perris, instead. No word on the time of the collision.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for the driver of a 2008-2014 Ford car with front end damage on the passenger side, with a possible broken headlight.

The victim was identified today as Duane Darling, a member of the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Company, a recreational bike club based in Redlands. He was reportedly on a 60-mile ride when he was killed.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two lane, undivided highway with a shoulder on each side; there would have been nowhere to go if he had seen or heard the car coming up behind him.

Anyone with information with information is urged to call CHP investigators at 951/901-8401, or the Riverside office at 951/637-8000.

Once they find the driver, he — or she — should face a second-degree murder charge for making a conscious decision to leave the victim to die.

This is the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Riverside County; that compares with 41 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the County.

If the crash did occur in Perris, it is the fourth fatal bike collision in the city in the last 36 months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Duane Darling and all his friends and lived ones.

Thanks to Dorothy Wong and Lester Walters for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Surprising stats on CA bike crashes, and unarmed bike rider shot by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic

LA County is by far the most dangerous place in California to ride a bicycle.

Or maybe not.

Following up on his brief look at national bicycling crash stats, Ed Ryder is back with a more detailed look at bicycle injuries and fatalities on a countywide basis in California, from 2004 to 2016. And the results are both exactly what you might expect, and very surprising, depending on how you look at the data.

The good news is, bicycling fatalities dropped slightly in 2014, following a steady upward climb from 2009 to 2013, while injuries continue a gradual decline from a peak in 2012.

State Report 1

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles, as the state’s most populous county, led the way with 41% of bicycling injuries, followed by Orange and San Diego Counties.

State Report 2

The same held true for bicycling fatalities, as Southern California counties dominate the stats, led by Los Angeles at 30%, followed by Orange, Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino.

State Report 3

However, the surprise comes when you look at injuries and fatalities on a per capita basis.

When Ryder examined the rate of injuries per one million population, he found that Los Angeles County barely made the top ten, coming in just above the state average. Santa Cruz County led the way, followed by San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Marin and Yolo.

State Report 4

When he looked at the rate of fatalities per one million population, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top ten. It turns out that Stanislaus County is actually California’s deadliest place to ride a bicycle, followed by Tulare, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. However, Southern California was still well represented with Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange Counties making the list.

State Report 5

So what exactly does this mean?

It could be more evidence of the safety in numbers effect, as you’re more likely to be injured in less populated counties.

Or the low death rate could be evidence of lower average speeds and better access to emergency care in Los Angeles County.

But the main thing it shows it that too many people are still getting injured or killed on our streets.

And we need to keep fighting until the last person killed riding a bicycle in California really is the last person killed riding a bike.

You can read the full report on California bicycling injuries and fatalities here.

………

Questions are being raised after LA sheriff’s deputies shot an unarmed bike rider in Castaic Tuesday night.

The victim, a homeless man named William Bowers, reportedly jumped off his bike and tried to flee on foot as the officers chased him. He was shot when he allegedly reached for something in his waistband.

However, a witness says he was just walking down the street, after crashing his bike when deputies ordered him to stop, and had his hands down at his side when they opened fire.

The Times says it was unclear why the officers tried to stop him in the first place.

Local residents said the victim was well-known in the area. And despite suffering from drug problems, he never caused any trouble, though he did have a habit of trying to get away from deputies on his bike.

It wasn’t that long ago that shooting an unarmed man was enough to cost an officer his badge.

Now the accusation that someone reached for his waistband is enough to exonerate a cop.

Even if the victim was just trying to hold up his pants.

………

Cyclelicious takes a deep dive into the Caltrans/UCLA report on bicycle crashes in LA County. If you don’t have the time or patience to dig through the full 97-page report, he offers an excellent summary of the key details.

………

Bike SGV is hosting a used bike sale today through Saturday.

Bike SGV Used Bike Sale

………

Defending silver medalist Lizzie Armistead insists she’s clean as she prepares to lead Britain’s cycling team into the Rio Olympics; she claims the missed drug tests weren’t her fault. Although missing three drug tests in 12 months does not exactly inspire confidence; after the repeated denials from Lance, Floyd, et al, it’s hard to believe anyone who denies doping these days.

Bicycling gets in the mood for Rio with five crazy moments in Olympic cycling history.

………

Local

Metro votes to put the transportation tax increase, including funding for bike and pedestrian projects, on the November ballot.

KPCC’s Air Talk discusses the new law requiring temporary plates on newly purchased vehicles, which should help identify hit-and-run drivers.

CiclaValley continues his report on the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

There will be a fundraiser this Saturday for bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali’s grass roots effort to unseat anti-bike CD1 City Councilmember Gil Cedillo, aka Roadkill Gil.

Covina police arrest a burglary suspect who fled by bicycle after breaking a car window and stealing a purse.

The host of Tom Explores Los Angeles will explore the history of Santa Monica later this month with a tour that’s part walking and part bikeshare.

 

State

Mind the letter of the law in OC this weekend, where sheriff’s deputies will be enforcing traffic violations involving drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, in the latest effort to improve safety for the latter two.

Exclusive La Jolla may get a few docking stations for San Diego’s bikeshare system whether they want it or not. Meanwhile, a La Jolla man has discovered the alleys of the community because he’s not comfortable riding his bike on the street.

The madness continues in Coronado, as a letter writer says a proposed bike and pedestrian bridge would just bring more transients. Because evidently homeless people can’t figure out how to take the ferry, or follow the bike path around the bay to the strange little town.

A suspected Palm Springs car thief fleeing from the CHP on a bicycle suffered minor injuries when he allegedly swerved left into the patrol car that was driving right beside him. Sure, that’s credible; a suicide swerve makes much more sense than the cops cutting him off with their car to stop him.

Congratulations to Bakersfield on 29 new bouncing baby bike racks.

Bay Area advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian bridge over an estuary near Jack London Square.

An Oakland man was shot in a bike-jacking. Seriously, if someone has a weapon, just let them have the damn bike. No bicycle is worth your life.

 

National

A new Streetfilm says building an equitable bikeshare system is possible.

A man and his dog traveling cross-country by bike were both banged up when their rear wheel “exploded” while riding in South Dakota.

A group of Columbus OH cyclists will ride in purple tutus this weekend to honor a friend who died of leukemia.

A bicyclist slammed into a pedestrian in New York on Wednesday. Notice how no one ever seems to suggest that it might not have been the rider’s fault in cases like this, even though the pedestrian was jaywalking.

A New York study shows protected bike lanes reduce bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities at intersections by a whopping 53%. Despite claims by some that protected lanes would leave riders more vulnerable at intersections.

A Pennsylvania bike rider offers seven reasons not to hit a bike rider with your car. Reason #8: I know a lot of good lawyers.

The coaching staff of the Washington Redskins commute to training camp by bicycle, despite what they describe as a wild ride dodging car doors and riding salmon.

She gets it. A Charleston SC columnist says it’s time to stop bitching about traffic caused by a bike lane on a bridge, and focus on building a community that serves and protects all people, not just the ones in cars.

An off-duty Charleston cop has been charged with assault and battery following a fight with a salmon cyclist; the officer resigned while the case was under investigation.

A pair of Hilton Head SC thieves stole a pickup from a driveway, and left a bicycle in its place. Sounds like the owner of the truck may have gotten the better end of the deal.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores the eternal question of what’s the right tire pressure.

If you build it, they will like it. Saskatoon, Canada residents are happy with a pilot bike lane network in the downtown area, even if it leaves a lot to be desired.

A Welsh woman was killed when she rode off a the edge of a ravine in the Pyrenees while cycling in a heavy fog.

Brit commenters argue over who’s at fault when video surfaces of a bike rider getting right hooked as he overtakes a taxi, whose driver failed to signal. So why does it have to be one or the other? Isn’t it just possible that both of them might have contributed to the situation?

An 81-year old Pakistani man is scraping by as a Lahore rickshaw driver after being hailed as a hero when he competed for the country as a cyclist in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Kiwi mail carrier goes out of his way to get a few licks from a nine-month old German Shepherd.

Malaysian authorities raided the country’s cycling officials after accusations of substandard tracks and a lack of safety barriers during the recent Malaysia Games, even though funds had been allocated for the courses.

 

Finally…

No, really. It’s okay if you blow that red light, because you’re just following the rules of calories. How to tell if you’re a Fred.

And yes, you can cart a caribou carcass by bicycle.

 

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