Archive for Car vs Bike

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 a 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Bike SGV Used Bike Sale

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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.

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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.

 

Morning Links: Hit-and-runs rising, wife of fallen PVE cyclist John Bacon speaks out, and soda for a cause

This is what you call a teaser.

Amateur bike statistician Ed Ryder has done another deep dive into bike collision data, preparing reports on the national and state level, with local data still in the works.

We’ll take a look at some of his findings next week.

But meanwhile, here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Following a meeting with a local legislator’s office to discuss changing the law to stop hit-and-runs in the state this past week, they asked for stats to back up the need for changes.

So at my request, Ed graciously stopped what he was doing, and produced the following chart to demonstrate just how bad the problem is here in California.

As you can see, hit-and-runs have risen significantly after dropping to a low of nearly 68,000 in 2013, down from over 100,000 in the last decade.

But as the overall collision rate has dropped, hit-and-runs have increased dramatically as a percentage of all reported crashes, with nearly 20% of drivers statewide fleeing the scene following a crash.

Something has to change.

Because current law clearly isn’t enough to get drivers to stick around.

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Speaking of hit-and-run, KCBS-2 offers a heartbreaking report on the hit-and-run death of bike rider John Bacon in Palos Verdes Estates in May.

His wife struggles to talk about her loss, describing him as “a strong, silent type, a very kind and generous, loving person,” as well as an experienced cyclist who lost his life just going on a bike ride.

Over two months later, police still haven’t made an arrest, despite security camera video showing a white pickup truck following just feet from Bacon’s wheel.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has strongly criticized the PVE police for a lackadaisical approach to the investigation, failing to even respond when a bike rider initially spotted the suspect vehicle.

Bacon’s family is urging the drivers and bicyclists who passed by shortly after the crash to come forward and describe what they saw, so they can finally get some justice in the case.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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Pink Bike reports on efforts to allow bicycles to return to US Wilderness Areas, which may finally be on the brink of success. Write your Congressional representatives to urge their support.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the link.

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Support bikes and a good cause at the same time.

Galco’s Old World Grocery on York Blvd in Highland Park is hosting a Summer Soda Tasting to help save the Southwest Museum.

However, the store’s owner has fought the highly successful road diet that has helped revitalize York Blvd, as well as the bike lanes that run in front of his store. And still refuses to install bike racks, insisting that his customers don’t get there by bicycle.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Ride your bike to the soda tasting, and as friendly and politely as possible, let them know how you got there. Even if it’s just resting your helmet on the counter as you check out.

They’ll get the message.

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Pro racing teams are objecting to a requirement that every team has to participate in all 27 UCI top-level WorldTour events.

Three Russian riders are out, and another three are being probed over doping reports in advance of the Rio Olympics.

Everyone’s trying to get a technical edge in Rio. The US has high-tech bikes with the gearing on the wrong side, while the Brits are lubing their chains with nanotubes.

Cycling Weekly asks if bike racing is the toughest sport, while Cycling Tips explores whether team budgets equal racing success. Short answer, yes. To both.

A Claremont Paralympic cyclist is raising funds to compete in Rio next month; born with a congenital foot defect, Samantha Bosco plans to compete in the 3k individual pursuit and 500-meter race, as well as the road race and time trial. You can contribute to her efforts through her gofundme account.

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Local

Walkup rentals for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare begin on Monday; the program kicks off with a discount rate of $1.75 per half hour through October 1st.

CiclaValley joins with Victor Boyce and Ron Meyer to discuss the ten most essential climbs in Los Angeles, the Tour de France, and the state of bicycling in the East Valley. Although the most essential climb is really just climbing onto your bike for a ride.

LA Rams quarterback Case Keenum arrived at training camp on his wife’s borrowed bicycle, claiming it was the first time he’d been on a bike since he was 12 years old.

Meg Ryan’s directorial debut centers on the life of a young bike messenger during World War II, based on William Saroyan’s book The Human Comedy.

 

State

A 17-year old Irvine student organized a 450-mile, five day fundraising ride to benefit victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; the ride ends Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver who injured a woman riding her bike in National City Wednesday night.

Bike SD reports on the network of cycle tracks coming to downtown San Diego.

Construction will begin this February on a bicycle boulevard through Menlo Park. Although it sounds more like just a buffered bike lane.

A jury concludes a pair of Los Altos deputies used excessive force in confronting a driver during a traffic stop, which began when she didn’t pull over for a patrol car — because she didn’t want to run over the bicyclists in the bike lane next to her.

Hundreds of toddlers will converge on San Francisco to race balance bikes. Am I the only one who has a problem with kids as young as 18 months competing against each other? Although I’d love to see the podium girls for this one.

 

National

US Congress Members tell the Department of Transportation to measure the movement of people, however they travel, rather than just cars.

Vogue talks to a model/bike lifestyle company owner about on how to look chic on your bike.

Nevada will break ground this summer on a $30 million bike and pedestrian pathway around Lake Tahoe.

A Denver area man is under arrest for sabotaging a popular bike route by spreading thumb tacks over the roadway; he faces possible misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Outside says 23-year old Colorado native Howard Grotts is the best American mountain biker in a generation.

A Dallas cyclist created a popular weekly crit to combat the elitist image of local bike racers.

A former Iowa mayor says cyclists should stay on a bike trail instead of the roadway, and have to register and license their bikes if they want to ride on the street.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d shoot a nine-year old Wisconsin boy in the face with a BB gun while he was riding his bike back to his lemonade stand.

A 10-year old Connecticut boy is asking for 1,000 veterans and emergency responders to sign his BMX bike; so far he’s up to 780 signatures with room for more.

NY Streetsblog says cyclists need protection from drivers, not from themselves, even if the NYPD seems to disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s influential Transportation Alternatives advocacy group says the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on driver behavior that threatens people walking and riding bikes.

A passing bike rider talks a possible jumper off New York’s George Washington Bridge.

A Connecticut man is suing New York’s Citi Bike for the head injury he suffered falling off one of the bikeshare bikes, on the grounds that the city didn’t require users to wear a helmet. On the other hand, nothing says he couldn’t have used one on his own without being forced to.

Charlotte NC mourns the death of a “human landmark;” the 73-year old developmentally disabled woman was famous in the city for riding her bike for hours while dressed in orange.

Bighearted Florida sheriff’s deputies donate an unclaimed bike to a hardworking teenager who had no other form of transportation.

 

International

Cycling Industry News lists 20 key cities where mode share for bicycling is growing. Needless to say, Los Angeles is not on the list; Atlanta is the only US city to make the cut.

The CBC says despite recent breakthroughs, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the physics of bicycling.

Winnipeg cyclists say injuries will keep increasing along with ridership until the city gets some decent bike infrastructure.

Kindhearted Manitoba, Canada residents step up after a woman posted a profanity-laced poster asking for her stolen bike back; as many as 50 people have offered to replace it for her.

After getting knocked off her bike, a Toronto reporter says it’s time to rise above road rage and the mentality that cars are the king of the road.

A Brit bike rider is fined £400 — the equivalent of $527 — for blowing a red light; a local safety advocate says cyclists going through red lights poses more danger to themselves than anyone else, which is confirmed by a police report showing no injuries have been caused by red light-running bicyclists.

A London driver allegedly targeted cyclists riding in a bike lane by deliberately running several riders off the road, then getting out and stomping on the cellphone when one of the victims tried to call the police. Yet police describe it simply as a “dispute” between a cyclist and two men in a car.

Tel Aviv builds a multi-million shekel network of bikeways for adaptive riders, allowing handicapped cyclists to take to the trails.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bicycle as your getaway vehicle, drop the flat screen and take the guns. If you’re going to burglarize cars after dark, put some damn lights on your bike and watch our for cameras.

And every time you ride your bike, you can be grateful you’re not stuck on the nation’s worst highway from hell.

Although it makes you wonder just what the best highway from hell must be like.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lane proposed for Temescal Cyn, and former LA hip-hop artist attacked in St. Louis

This time, they can blame me.

It was just a few days before Christmas in 2013 when James Rapley went for a bike ride while on an extended layover at LAX on his way home to Australia for the holidays.

He turned up Temescal Canyon Rd, where he was killed by a stoned driver while riding in the uphill bike lane.

The more I learned about the crash, the more my stomach sank.

Because I’ve ridden that road countless times looking for a little challenge after riding along the beach — which is probably exactly what he was doing that morning. And had suffered a number of close calls myself as speeding drivers drifted into the unprotected bike lane after they failed to negotiate the road’s sweeping curves.

I had thought many times that the solution was a protected bike lane to separate riders from those speeding cars and careless drivers.

But kept the thought to myself, until it was too late.

So I began contacting city officials, calling for a parking-protected bike lane on Temescal between PCH and Sunset Blvd. Calls that repeatedly fell on deaf ears.

Until last year, when the BAC’s David Wolfberg and Danny Gamboa of Ghost Bikes LA and Empact Long Beach joined me in asking newly installed LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds for a meeting, in order to make the request one more time.

We never got that meeting.

Instead, we received an email saying not only did she like the idea, but that staff engineers were already at work designing the project.

We decided not to say anything at the time to avoid stirring up opposition before a design was even ready to discuss.

But the time has come.

The first public meeting to discuss the plan is scheduled to take place at 7 pm Thursday night in the Pacific Palisades Community Library, 861 Alma Real Drive, with CD 11 Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer presenting.

The design work has moved along slowly due to the limited staff at LADOT.

But the last I heard, the plan called for a parking protected bike lane replacing the existing lane on the uphill side, and a buffered bike lane on the downhill side.

A protected lane isn’t practical heading downhill, where bike speeds can easily reach 30 mph or higher, to avoid trapping riders in the event of an emergency. But uphill, speeds are slow enough that even a fast climber should be able to easily brake to a stop without needing to exit the lane.

If the protected bike lane had been in place in 2013, there still might not have been enough parked cars present that early on a Sunday morning to block the car that drifted into the bike lane to take Rapley’s life. But even just moving the bike lane from the door zone to the curb might have provided enough separation to let him get back home to Australia with nothing more than a tale to tell.

Unfortunately, I can’t make the meeting tomorrow night.

But if you live, work or ride anywhere in the area, I urge you to attend to voice your support for the plan, and offer any suggestions you think could improve it.

Because the best memorial we can give James Rapley is to make sure it never happens again.

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Streetsblog covers last night’s community engagement meeting in Hollywood to solicit input on LA’s Vision Zero plan, due to be released by the end of next month.

I was there, along with a couple dozen highly engaged community and safety advocates.

And even though I was highly skeptical when I walked in, I left feeling like LADOT and Vision Zero LA may really be committed to doing what it takes to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths.

Although the lack of representation from the mayor’s office, or either of the city councilmembers representing the Hollywood area, doesn’t not speak well of the city’s commitment to support, let alone actually implement, the plan.

As always, the question is whether Los Angeles is willing to make the tough choices necessary to reduce serious injuries and fatalities, if that means eliminating parking, increasing congestion or standing up to community opposition.

I had been asked not to publicize the meetings, in order to maintain small working groups and keep them from devolving into the usual raucous conflicts between advocates and NIMBYs.

But you can find the full schedule on the Streetsblog piece; it’s worth attending if you can make it to one of the remaining meetings.

………

In sickening news from St. Louis, a former Los Angeles resident was attacked while riding his bike earlier this month.

Hip-hop artist and motivational speaker Jah Orah was lucky to escape with just a broken clavicle and sprained feet when a carful of youths attempted to rob him a gunpoint, then chased him down in their BMW, striking him at full speed while shouting “get that nigga” as he tried to ride away.

A gofundme account has raised over $10,000 of the $15,000 goal to help defray his expenses.

And hopefully, the kids responsible will soon be behind bars. For a very long time.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Nice long read from Bicycling profiling an Aussie pro known as the Bob Dylan of cycling, who would rather ride across the country — here or there — with his brother than train for his next race.

An international sports site says it’s time for a women’s Tour de France, running concurrently with the men’s race. To which I wholeheartedly agree.

Tour winner Chris Froome will ride the Vuelta following the Olympics, where former teammate Bradley Wiggins expects him to take the gold. One of the leading criticisms of Lance Armstrong — aside from the whole doping thing — was he didn’t take part in any of the classics, or any of the Grand Tours aside from the Tour de France; nice to see Froome isn’t a similar one-race wonder.

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Local

Strong Towns member Josef Bray-Ali explains why he’s running for LA city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

Starting Monday, you can rent one of the new Metro Bike bikeshare bikes using a credit card.

The LACBC writes that bike infrastructure and education are working in tandem to improve safety.

CiclaValley says the site of the massive Sand Canyon fire is a familiar one for cyclists.

After being cancelled due to last weekend’s bad air as smoke from the fire drifted over the LA Basin, the third annual Tour de Laemmle has been rescheduled for August 21st.

The LA Weekly visits Culver City’s new meat-centric, bike-themed restaurant The Cannibal, and finds it lacking.

Long Beach announces plans for the city’s third Beach Streets open streets event in November.

 

State

Random attacks on homeless people continue in San Diego, as a man on a bike swung a hammer at a homeless man.

Santa Barbara approves a new Bicycle Master Plan designed to close gaps in the city’s existing bike network.

A Santa Cruz bike shop owner reports seeing a road-raging driver intentionally knock a cyclist off his bike, then run over the bicycle with the rider still underneath it.

Sacramento decides to ban bikes from certain sidewalks, but fails to decide which sidewalks those should be. Riders who break the law could be sent to a newly approved bike traffic school.

 

National

Bicycling says the country’s first, and so far, only bikeshare death highlights the need for better infrastructure.

A Spokane cyclist explains why he carries a gun for self-defense when he rides to work.

A Colorado driver was high on dope when he killed an eight-year old girl as she rode her bicycle with her step-father; marijuana is legal in the state, but driving under the influence of anything isn’t.

A Dallas driver gets five years in jail and ten years probation for smashing into a bike rider, then driving half a mile with the victim’s body embedded in his windshield before unceremoniously dumping him in an alley.

Corpus Christie TX looks at improving bike safety in the downtown area before launching a bikeshare program; a local rider captures some of the problems on his helmet cam.

The tour director for a Michigan bike advocacy group suffered multiple broken bones in hit-and-run on Saturday; the driver could face charges ranging from DUI to attempted homicide.

Tragic news from Ohio, as a young college student who disappeared while riding her bike home has been found dead; police have arrested a suspect who was convicted of a nearly identical crime 26 years earlier, except in that case, the bike-riding victim got away.

New York is going the wrong way on Vision Zero, while a Gotham website says the city’s Vision Zero plan would be better off without the NYPD’s involvement.

Tragic news from South Carolina, as a pregnant woman and her baby died after a head-on collision with a bike rider. This is why you always have to ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re often unpredictable, and the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

 

International

Go ahead, have that Coke after your ride.

A Canadian cyclist turns to profanity in an attempt to get her stolen bike back.

In a new study from the University of Duh, British Columbia researchers conclude that streetcar tracks increase the risk of bike crashes, while separated bike routes could cut the risk.

Evidently, Anarchy in the UK is more than just a Sex Pistols song, as swarms of scofflaw cyclists bring Central London to a halt.

A British Shakespearean company is riding across the UK to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Yet another bike rider has been spotted riding on a British freeway, passing stalled traffic as he rode with no hands.

Bike riders in Denmark will now be allowed to turn right on red lights, but drivers still can’t.

Never mind philandering spouses or evil twins. An Aussie soap opera features a bike safety advocate painting his own DIY bike lanes to protest government inaction.

A teenaged Philippine cyclist was killed and his girlfriend wounded when a dispute over a near collision escalated into a fist fight, before the driver got a gun from his car and shot both of them. Which is why it’s always smarter to just ride away. Even if I have trouble doing that myself.

Caught on video: A Chinese distracted driver captured the crash that killed him on his dash cam as he fled from a fatal collision with a bike rider; a post mortem exam showed he was 15 times the legal alcohol limit.

 

Finally…

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe when they’re sleeping in a tent. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got bees?

And I don’t care if it makes you ride faster, I’ll take EPO over chewing animal testicles any day.

 

Morning Links: No lawsuit in Piven dooring, Brandt-Sorenson gets slap on wrist, and Russian road rage abduction

In a surreal LA moment, the bike rider injured in a dooring by actor Jeremy Piven says he recognized the actor as he was falling to the pavement.

Surprisingly, though, the victim says he’s not going to sue because Piven was so helpful after the crash.

Although that may change once a lawyer explains the concept of “deep pockets.”

………

His attorney may call it a “significant sentence,” but LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Thorfinn-Sassquatch, barely got a caress on the wrist at his sentencing for selling performance-enhancing drugs over the internet.

He could have been sentenced to up to a year in prison, but instead received just three years probation and a $5,000 fine, along 300 hours of community service.

Yes, that’s a lot of time in an orange vest picking up trash. But if he keeps his nose clean, he won’t spend a single day behind bars.

And he gets to keep all his Strava KOMs.

………

Caught on video: The question is, just what the hell is going on, after what appears to be a road rage assault on a Russian cyclist ends with the attackers being abducted by masked gunmen. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

………

The Cannibal says Chris Froome can’t be beaten in this year’s Tour de France.

Bicycling examines a day in the life of a Tour de France cyclist, while Cycling Weekly looks at five super-domestiques who have delivered for their team leaders during the Tour. Bora-Argon 18 rider Shane Archbold withdrew with a broken pelvis after a high-speed fall on Wednesday, but finished the stage before realizing he was injured.

Nineteen-year old Chloe Dygert has been tapped to round out the US women’s pursuit team after winning the junior road race and time trial at last year’s worlds. US time trial champ Taylor Phinney will represent the men after his amazing comeback from a devastating injury.

And here’s a step-by-step guide to get into women’s road racing, so you can compete in the 2020 Olympics. Unless you’re not a woman, of course.

………

Local

EGP News offers a reminder that a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path near the Griffith Park Zoo will remain closed for construction for the next three years.

Pasadena has received a $3 million Metro grant to build a two-way cycle track on Union Street, the first of ten planned bicycle corridors through the city.

A Wisconsin couple made it to Santa Monica after riding 2,600 miles across the US on a tandem.

Streetsblog affiliate Santa Monica Next will host a fundraising cocktail party on Saturday, July 30th.

Santa Clarita suffered a net loss of $132,000 in hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California this year; however, a study of the 2008 ToC showed the race generated a $1.9 million economic impact for the local area, which this year’s race probably exceeded.

 

State

The San Diego Union Tribune says the city’s bikeshare program could use a push, but no public subsidies. So billions of dollars to subsidize motor vehicles is okay, but a few million to help get people out of their cars isn’t.

A Fontana cop discusses how cars and bikes can share the road. And gets it right.

Goleta votes to build a one-mile median-protected bike lane, replacing an existing painted lane.

Caltrans recommends lowering the speed limit by 5 mph near a Lompoc homeless shelter where a man was killed earlier this year. Although chances are, he’d be just as dead if he’d been hit at 50 mph as he was at 55 mph.

A bighearted Salinas cop splits the cost of a new bike with the local Walmart to replace one stolen from a young man who volunteers with foster children.

 

National

Streetsblog calls the GOP Transportation Platform a disaster, including a plank to eliminate all funding for transit and active transportation.

A new mini-bike trailer sleeps four and unfolds in minutes. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

A Seattle hospital gets multiple sclerosis patients out on adaptive bicycles, sometimes for the first time in years.

Tucson develops a master plan for a network of bike boulevards through 63 residential corridors. LA has a mobility plan calling for the same thing, but that doesn’t mean they’ll actually build it.

A ghost bike was installed at the Idaho site where a Bike and Build rider was killed recently. Although the local press oddly called it an Angel Bike; maybe they don’t believe in ghosts.

A Wisconsin writer recalls a 250-mile bike trip across the state in the ‘70s, which could have ended badly except for the kindness of a stranger.

The FBI has joined the search for an Ohio college student who went missing Tuesday night; her bike was found in a cornfield later that night.

A trio of Vermont teenagers will ride 500 miles to raise funds to fight Duchenne muscular dystrophy; they’ve already raised $15,000 in pledges before starting their ride. A subject close to my heart; the son of a long-time friend is battling Duchennes.

The owner of North Carolina’s First Flight Bicycles, as well as the Mountain Goat Cycles brand, was killed by a drunk driver Wednesday while walking across a street.

 

International

The Canadian resort town of Banff is lowering speed limits and building a short, two-way bicycling greenway to improve safety and encourage more transportation riding.

For a change, the British press is justifiably appalled when a salmon cyclist jumped a red light with his nine-year old son on his handlebars.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a tractor driver was fined a whopping £80 — the equivalent of $105 — for killing a 72-year old bike rider.

A new $3,500 Italian smart bike features a 96-decible horn that’s as loud as some train whistles. Which has to be as painful to the person using it as it is to everyone within earshot.

A Kiwi truck driver was convicted of killing a bike rider for the second time in less than 10 years. Let’s hope the court gets him off the road before he goes for three.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bears really are out to get us. If you’re going to rob a bank, wear a helmet, but don’t ditch your getaway bike; unless maybe it wasn’t yours to begin with, of course.

And this is what you’d look like if humans had evolved to survive car crashes.

 

Morning Links: Actor doors bike rider, PCH cyclist seriously injured in Malibu crash, and the science of bicycling

Did an actor get special treatment from the LAPD?

In a story that seems to have made news everywhere — except right here in Los Angeles — actor Jeremy Piven allegedly doored a bike rider when he flung his car door open without looking after parking his Cadillac near the Grove.

Yet despite the rider suffering a serious chest injury, Piven escaped without so much as a ticket because the police didn’t see it happen.

Even though CVC 22517 makes it clear that it is the driver’s responsibility to open a door only when it is safe to do so.

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Which means that if the rider was hit by the door, the driver was at fault.

Whether or not anyone saw it.

………

A bicyclist suffered major injuries in a crash on PCH in West Malibu Wednesday afternoon; the rider reportedly lost control and swerved into the path of a pickup in the northbound traffic lane. Thanks to James Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Great piece from Scientific American relates the story of the researcher who finally unlocked the secrets of why a bicycle remains upright and able to balance itself even without a rider; next on his agenda is trying to solve the terrifying speed wobble.

Meanwhile, physics suggests that stopping and starting with both feet on the pedals is more efficient than pushing off with your foot.

………

A Chinese bike rider somehow miraculously dodges a barrel-rolling van.

………

Twenty-four-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe is making an impact at the Tour de France, while Nairo Quintana is unexpectedly struggling. Five riders could still make the podium in Paris, but no matter what happens behind him, Froome seems to keep his hold on the yellow jersey.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says claims that Froome’s Team Sky is dominating the race thanks to marginal gains is “bollocks.”

Peter Sagan will be the world’s best paid pro cyclist after jumping teams next year; he’s reportedly earn $6.6 million. He’s worth it in movie take-off videos alone.

………

Local

Investing in Place calls Metro’s upcoming transportation ballot measure a huge leap for walking and biking in Los Angeles County, while recapping just what advocates were able to win in negotiations over the measure.

Streetsblog interviews CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

KPCC examines whether it’s better to ride a bike or drive in polluted air.

CiclaValley reminds us that the annual Tour de Laemmle rolls this Sunday.

An employee with the LADOT Bikeways Program describes her multimodal commute to work.

LA cyclist Nick Brandt-Sorenson, aka Strava’s Thorfinn-Sassquatch, was due to be sentenced Wednesday to up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for peddling performance-enhancing drugs, just days after receiving a lifetime ban from US cycling’s governing body.

The Daily News says you’re a step closer to being able to ride your bike from Canoga Park to Griffith Park. Only one of which actually is one.

 

State

Bikeshare and ebikes factor into California’s aggressive zero emissions goals.

New bike lanes are planned for West Newport Beach, along with improvements to sidewalks and landscaping to encourage people to walk and bike.

Garden Grove’s draft Active Transportation Plan envisions a city where cars, bikes and pedestrians can move in harmony.

Authorities say 25-year old Zachariah Doll was wearing dark clothing, had no lights or reflectors on his bike and was riding salmon when he was killed in an early morning collision in the Riverside County town of Winchester last week.

A San Francisco survey shows most drivers want protected bike lanes, too.

Calbike is hiring a Communications Director to work in their Oakland office.

Pleasanton cyclists call on the city to improve a dangerous intersection where a 72-year old woman was killed recently while riding in the crosswalk.

Redding police arrest a junkie bank robber who tried to make his escape by BMX bike.

 

National

A new report from NACTO says that as cities build bike infrastructure, the rate of bicycling goes up while the risk to riders goes down.

If you build it, they will come. A real estate website says the belief that Millennials are eschewing suburbs ain’t necessarily so — as long as those suburbs have good sidewalks and bike lanes.

An 81-year old Denver driver who kept driving after fatally striking a 14-year old boy standing in a bike lane was still allowed to behind the wheel despite a previous hit-and-run last year — even though family members promised she wouldn’t drive anymore. It’s up to family members to keep older drivers off the road when they can no longer drive safely, since the government is unable, or unwilling, to do it.

Apparently, a Dallas bank was robbed by a bike-riding pirate.

Apparently taking a cue from Donald Trump, Skokie IL will allow residents to build fences up to ten feet high along a new bike path. No word on whether Mexico will pay for it, however.

Atlantic City police arrested an alleged serial hit-and-run driver for DUI after he crashed into a street sign, followed by a cyclist, followed by a car, before finally coming to rest after striking a toll booth. Fortunately, the bike rider only suffered bruises; no word on whether the sign, car and toll booth survived.

A New York driver faces 136 years behind bars for killing one man and injuring two others when he smashed into a business at 50 mph while high on meth; a bike rider was also injured by flying debris.

When Charleston SC approves a controversial bike lane over a local bridge, the local paper approves of their approval.

Bighearted Alabama cops buy a new bicycle for a child after he unintentionally bought a stolen bike with his $7 allowance.

Only 850 miles of the planned 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway are currently ready to ride; plans are for 95% of the off-road bike path to be completed by 2030.

 

International

Bikes are enjoying a renaissance and bridging class barriers in Santiago, Chile.

Vancouver finally rolls out a delayed and truncated bikeshare system, with just 260 of the promised 1,500 bikes currently ready to ride.

Like bikes that pass in the night, a single speed cyclist seeks a fixie rider she met under the Thames.

More anti-bike sabotage in the UK, as someone strung fishing wire neck high over a popular Belfast bike trail.

An Indian computer professor was forced to abandon a long-distance bike tour across the country due to illness after riding 2,200 miles in 23 days.

Singapore becomes the next city to embrace bikeshare with a 1,000-bike system using 100 docking stations.

 

Finally…

Call it Fifty Shades of Bicycles. Don’t ride your bike off a cliff into the ocean, bro.

And if you’re carrying stolen credit cards and a meth pipe on your bike, ride your damn bike on the right side of the road.

Seriously.

Weekend Links: Killer drunk driver cops a plea, PVE gets a little bike-friendlier, and your road share is pocket change

That was fast.

Just eleven weeks after Tomas Brewer was killed by a drunk driver, the man who killed him has pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

Twenty-three-year old Cruz Tzoc was driving at an estimated 60 mph on Burlington Ave in LA’s Rampart District on April 23rd when he struck a parked car and spun around, sliding into Brewer as he rode on Temple Street, before slamming into a tree.

Tzoc was arrested at the scene with an alcohol level over two times the legal limit. A police sergeant had spotted Tzoc’s speeding car prior to the crash, but was unable to stop him before it was too late.

He had faced up to ten years in state prison, but was sentenced to just six years after pleading to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

He’s likely to get out in half that time.

But his decision to get behind the wheel after drinking ended the life of a budding screenwriter, and sentenced Brewer’s loved ones to a lifetime without him.

………

Formerly bike-unfriendly Palos Verdes Estates continues its surprising turnaround, as the city’s Traffic Safety Committee voted to replace the hated signs reading “Bike Laws Strictly Enforced” with “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” and signs promoting the three-foot passing law.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson describes the meeting in his own inimitable style.

Meanwhile, a Tustin councilmember explains four reasons why bicycles may use the full lane. But forgets the primary reason — bike riders are allowed to take the lane anytime the lane itself is too narrow to be safely shared with a motor vehicle.

………

Today’s common theme is bikeshare, in LA and elsewhere.

Downtown News explains everything you need to know about LA’s new bikeshare program, while CiclaValley crashes the launch party. And the LACBC, which was instrumental in bringing bikeshare to LA, celebrates with photos.

San Diego’s bikeshare system is struggling, as the city’s transit officials refuse to cooperate.

Palo Alto plans to replace its failing bikeshare system with a new smart bike program. But it will still likely fail if they don’t install more than five docking stations.

And Portland informs bike owners that those handy little docks at convenient locations around town are not bike racks.

………

Drivers often argue that cyclists don’t pay for the roads, but if road users were charged for the damage they actually cause, we could pay our share with pocket change.

………

London Bridge is falling down, and so is the inflatable arch cyclists are supposed to ride under, not into, at the Tour de France.

Belgian race leader Greg Van Avermaet holds a nearly six minute lead in the race, but will probably fall back in the standings when they reach the mountain stages. British riders dominated the first week of the Tour, while Mark Cavendish says Africa will produce a TdF contender in ten years.

Specialized says you don’t know Jacques about the Tour de France. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bicycling takes a look at how the race takes a toll on even the fittest riders.

And the peloton came up clean in the Tour’s first unannounced thermal imaging scan for hidden motors; former Lance whistleblower Frankie Andreu says cycling has come a long way, but the sport may never be fully clean.

………

Local

Marina del Rey’s stinky Oxford Basin gets a much needed makeover, including a new bikeway connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

CiclaValley looks at the movement to fix LA’s crumbling Forest Lawn Drive, which we mentioned here — and misspelled as Forrest Lawn — the other day.

A moving company wants tips on how to avoid LA traffic. Everyone who says “use a bicycle” please raise your hand.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are asking for the public’s help to identify a bike and barbeque thief.

As expected, the parents of a 12-year old Oceanside boy killed while riding his bicycle to school last October have filed suit against the driver, as well as two businesses alleged to have contributed to the crash; a lawsuit is expected against the city, as well.

Sixty-six cyclists from the University of Texas rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on their way to Anchorage AK to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

San Francisco’s new bicycling state Assembly member keeps a bike at home by the Bay, and another in Sacramento.

 

National

Not surprisingly, the US is falling behind other countries when it comes to traffic safety.

Bicycling says you’ve been pumping your tires all wrong. Wait. You mean I have to take that little cap off first?

Vogue lists five surprising ways bicycling is good for your mind and body.

A Portland bike rider is suing after being clotheslined by a Comcast cable that was strung over a roadway.

Hats off to my alma mater, which became the nation’s first high school to be honored as a Bike-Friendly Business.

That former Illinois congressman who tweeted what sounded like a threat to the president and the Black Lives Matter movement after the Dallas shootings is one of us; he successfully campaigned for his only term in office by riding his bicycle.

In a widely watched case, a Michigan driver faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fleeing the scene after plowing into a cyclist on an organized group ride.

A bike-riding writer for the Columbus Dispatch offers a well-reasoned analysis of the SUV driver in last week’s Doo Dah Parade who, in effect, threatened to kill cyclists unless they obey the law; he says what concerns him most is the public’s lack of concern.

A Massachusetts boy was impaled with a branch after veering off a trail and slamming into a tree; fortunately, he appeared to be in stable condition at a local hospital.

Bicycling under the influence is legal in Massachusetts, though not always the best idea. I know some may argue, but I’d still much rather see a drunk on a bike than behind the wheel. Although the best choice is neither.

New York police find the murder weapon used to intentionally run down a bike rider.

 

International

A Toronto paper offers advice on how to get over your fears and bike to work.

A Canadian Steely Dan fan nearly missed their Detroit show after paying the toll, then illegally riding through a tunnel across the border; US custom agents were amused, but searched and detained him for two hours anyway.

A mentally ill driver who fatally stabbed a popular British bike advocate following a minor traffic collision has been sentenced to ten years to life in a medium security mental hospital.

Friends and family remember a 75-year old London time-trialing legend who passed away following a May bicycling collision.

Caught on video: A jerk cyclist clips a London bike rider with a far too-close pass, nearly sending him under the wheels of a large truck. Pass another rider at the same distance you’d expect from a motor vehicle, or at arms-length at the very least; if that’s not possible, slow down and announce your presence before passing. Or you could just wait until it is safe.

An Irish business executive pleaded guilty to knocking a cyclist off his bike, then beating and strangling him, for the heinous crime of riding on the sidewalk.

Hiding under your jacket after stealing a pair of bikes will not make you invisible to Chinese police.

 

Finally…

Suddenly, your bike shorts are fashionable — assuming you’re a woman; guys, not so much. Why walk on water when you can pedal?

And you can thank a mountain pine beetle for your next wall-mounted bike rack.

………

As an added bonus to get your weekend started off right, David Wolfberg forwards the latest video from Colombian superstars Shakira and Carlos Vives, for their new song La Bicicleta (Or The Bicycle, for the Spanish-challenged, like me).

Morning Links: Good news on LA bike collisions, and Floyd Landis goes from doper to dope purveyor

My apologies for the late post; blame a late night Internet outage that kept me offline until this morning.

……….

A couple of interesting tidbits from yesterday’s LAPD bike liaison meeting.

While traffic collisions are up overall in the San Fernando Valley compared to last year, there’s been a 23% decrease in bicycling collisions. And a 37% drop in collisions resulting in serious injuries to bike riders.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of bike lanes in Downtown LA has resulted in an overall slowing of traffic speeds, as well as improved compliance with traffic laws by bike riders. Demonstrating once again that if you want bicyclists to obey the law, just give them a safe place to ride.

Speaking of the department’s bike liaison program, you can find email addresses for each of the bike liaisons for the city’s four traffic divisions listed on the Resources page.

These officers are here to help if you have any problems resolving bicycling issues involving the police. So feel free to reach out to them when you need help, whether it’s dealing with harassment or dangerous traffic conditions on your ride, unfair treatment by police, or officers refusing to accept a report or complaint.

No, seriously. That’s what they’re here for.

………

Disgraced ex-Tour de France champ Floyd Landis used to insist his Mennonite upbringing meant he wouldn’t have doped.

Now he’s in the dope business.

Landis, who won the 2006 Tour on an artificial hip, has teamed with former teammate Dave Zabriskie to create a new line of marijuana-laced lotions called Floyd’s of Leadville to treat pain and inflammation.

So far, it’s only available in Colorado, where virtually all things marijuana are legal.

But we may eventually see it here under California’s medical marijuana laws.

………

An Italian judge concludes that cycling great Marco Pantani really did die of a cocaine overdose and wasn’t murdered by the mob.

An Aussie pro cyclist says living the lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, explaining why she’s stepping away, if not retiring, at the ripe old age of 20.

All those crashes in the Amgen Tour of California are finally explained; the riders were running on Microsoft.

………

Local

If you want your kid to perform well in school, buy ‘em a bicycle.

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds testifies before the US Senate on the Internet of Things.

CiclaValley feels the sting of bicycling in bee season.

Monrovia is expected to adopt a new bike plan next month, including seven miles of protected bike lanes.

Just one day after a bike rider was shot and killed in Compton, another bike rider shot three men in a car, killing one.

Forty cyclists ride to protest a lack of infrastructure and police action to protect bike riders in Palos Verdes Estates by scrupulously obeying the letter of the law; one driver who clearly didn’t get it swore at riders because he had to go around them. Which is kind of the point.

 

State

Someone on a bicycle attacked two homeless people in San Diego using a rock and a golf club.

After partying all night, an Oceanside driver crashed into a pedestrian and kept going for nearly a mile — with his body still embedded in her windshield.

Solvang puts a planned bike and pedestrian bridge on hold after Caltrans finds deficiencies in a nearby vehicle bridge, which could require replacement while costing the city $600,000 in funds allocated for the bike/ped project.

A Visalia woman was critically injured when her bike was rear-ended by a car.

San Francisco cyclists pen a letter to the mayor asking for safer streets.

A Sacramento salmon cyclist is lucky to walk away from a crash with a light rail train.

 

National

The Atlantic says America’s automotive hegemony is insane.

An East Coast group is working on completing a continuous bikeway stretching from Florida to Maine. We can’t even get a continuous bikeway across Los Angeles.

An anonymous bicycling superhero rides to the rescue of a paint-covered kitten someone abandoned in an Albuquerque dumpster. Which is exactly what should happen to the person who put it there. Without the rescue part.

A Michigan paper asks if the Kalamazoo bike crash reflects a statewide trend, where bike-involved collisions were up 57% last year.

A Boston drunk driver gets eight to twelve years behind bars for the collateral damage death of a teenage bike rider, after he crashed into a car stopped at a red light and knocked it into the waiting cyclist. Although someone should tell Patch that when a person drives drunk, whatever happens as a result is not an accident.

No bias here. An upstate New York paper blames a cyclist for crashing into the side of a car, which apparently wasn’t moving and didn’t have a driver.

Famed bike-riding New York fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away at age 87 after suffering a stroke; a petition calls for naming a Gotham street corner after him, while the Financial Times says he should be admired for his principles.

A New York judge rules it violates a driver’s constitutional rights to require them not to crash into people.

A writer for the Washington Post offers tips on traveling in a car with a bike on the back.

Hammering out the Democratic Party platform be a messy process, but at least they reached unanimous agreement on the need for more bike paths.

Battling petitions circulate in Lafayette LA, calling for the removal, or not, of a bike lane that’s part of a citywide loop.

 

International

Who says Rapha doesn’t support women cyclists?

Cycling Magazine lists bicycling’s 14 most influential Canadians.

Police in Ottawa, Canada are using a sonar device to help catch drivers who pass too close to cyclists.

A crazed Brit cyclist who was deliberately holding up traffic reached in and stole the car keys from a BBC presenter who was acting in an entirely reasonable manner. Or at least, that’s his version of the story; something tells me the rider in question might see it a little differently.

Rome plans to create a 27-mile inner city bicycling route linking the city’s tourist attractions. Unlike LA, where there’s no viable way for most tourists to visit the city’s many attractions by bike.

Apparently, Pakistani bike riders need a helmet with front and rear cams, blind spot detection, brake lights, turns signals, Bluetooth and WiFi, and built-in GPS. But no word on whether it will actually protect your head if you fall off your bike.

An Aussie driver’s grandmother says he just made a mistake and he’s terribly sorry for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which makes it all okay, of course.

 

Finally…

It takes a real loser to slap a six-year old in the face in a dispute over a bicycle. Sometimes it’s nice just to ride your bike and fiddle around.

And congratulations, you are now superfluous.

 

Morning Links: First bikeshare station hits ground in DTLA; five bicyclists dead in horrific Michigan crash

Bikeshare really is coming to Los Angeles.

The first Metro Bike station has been installed at Union Station, the first of 65 planned for Downtown LA, with the system is scheduled to open on July 7th.

And hopefully, Pasadena, Hollywood and other areas throughout LA County in the not-too-distant future.

Although bicycling infrastructure has to catch up outside the Downtown area to provide a safe place to ride those bikes. Especially in Hollywood.

So who will be the first to come up with a good nickname for the system, like London’s Boris Bikes? Somehow, Eric Bikes just doesn’t have the same ring.

………

Horrific news from Michigan, as a Kalamazoo driver is under arrest for literally running away after plowing into a group of nine bicyclists.

The driver was reportedly operating his truck in erratic manner, nearly running over a bystander’s foot before he smashed into the riders from behind, killing five and injuring the other four, at least one critically.

He fled on foot following the crash, but was arrested a short distance away. Police had received calls about his dangerous driving for nearly 30 minutes before the collision.

Initial reports indicated some of the victims may be children, but later stories suggested it was a group of adults that frequently ride together.

There simply are no words to express the gut-wrenching heartbreak and tragedy of this needless disaster.

Thanks to Brenda Miller, Al Williams and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Pro cyclist Tom Danielson says his positive drug test is consistent with a contaminated supplement. Of course, after similar denials from Lance, Lloyd and Alberto, et al, any explanation begs credibility, truthful or not.

Meanwhile, human rights groups urge bike racing’s governing body to reject an application for a WorldTour license for the Bahrain Cycling Team, headed by a Bahraini prince accused of torture.

………

Local

LA County residents show strong support for funding bike and walking projects.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the Expo Phase II bike path will be great if they ever finish it and get some badly needed signage.

Bernie Sanders crashed Sunday’s Coast ciclovía in Santa Monica, which celebrated the new Expo Line extension and Colorado Esplanade.

A Ride of Silence will be held this Saturday in honor of Rod Bennett, killed by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Clarita last month.

Empact Communities says protected bike lanes are coming to North Long Beach.

 

State

A Santa Ana woman shakes off a bike crash that left her in the hospital for two days in order to cast her vote for Sanders; thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

The Central Valley’s NPR station says Fresno is safe for cyclists. Sort of.

With the outrage over the lenient sentence given a Stanford student for the rape of an unconscious woman, it’s worth noting that the rape was stopped, and the fleeing rapist caught, by a pair of bicyclists.

 

National

Sports Illustrated discovers gravel grinding.

How to plan an overnight bike trip for beginners.

Trek offers scholarships for women bike mechanics and assembly technicians.

More bighearted cops, as Texas police officers take up a collection to replace a boy’s stolen bicycle.

A red bicycle festooned with ribbons hangs as a memorial to Muhammad Ali over the former Louisville auditorium where his bike was stolen as a 12-year old, which set him on the path that would eventually make him The Greatest.

Bikeshare is coming to Buffalo NY this summer.

The New York Post says the fastest way across Midtown Manhattan is on two wheels, while a Staten Island writer bemoans those lawless cyclists who put innocent drivers at risk.

Two women who founded a New York-based shoe maker make their deliveries via the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system.

A Philadelphia writer artfully dissects a paranoid anti-bike screed from a representative of the National Motorists Association, which serves to maintain automotive hegemony on our streets and preserve motorists’ right to keep killing people.

 

International

A Winnipeg cyclist catches an average of one close call on his GoPro every one and a half days.

A new London smartphone app automatically emails the city’s mayor whenever a cyclist presses a Bluetooth enabled button upon encountering a dangerous situation. We could use something like that here, but the sheer volume of emails would probably crash the City Hall server.

London’s Telegraph suggests ten cycling vacations that will make you a better bike rider.

New Zealand community members called for making Hi-Viz mandatory for bike-riding students after two were hit by cars six years ago. Because no one can expect drivers to actually pay attention to who might be on the road with them, right?

 

Finally…

If you’re going to trespass on someone else’s property by riding over to hug a big friendly dog, ask your mom for permission first. At least we only have to deal with angry LA drivers, and not road raging elephants.

And for everyone who wants to ride a bicycle for a living, how about spending all day biking around killing mosquitos?

Note to the Midland Daily News: Why the hell would anyone be alarmed by a bike rider in a fluorescent T-shirt, anyway?

 

Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

………

It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

………

At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

………

Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

………

Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

………

Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

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