Archive for Bike Cam Video

Morning Links: Sentence in Fiesta Island crash, red light-running SaMo driver, and a long list of bike events

Nineteen years.

That’s the sentence given to Teresa Owens in San Diego on Thursday, for the meth-fueled wrong way collision that injured a dozen cyclists on Fiesta Island last year, leaving one paralyzed from the chest down.

According to the Union-Tribune,

Owens, 50, was at Fiesta Island to try to catch her boyfriend cheating on her. She admitted doing “a small line of methamphetamine” 12 hours beforehand. She was also driving on a suspended license, and she was fresh off a previous DUI arrest.

She drove the wrong way on the one-way road around the island and slammed into a group of cyclists on a training ride coming around a corner. Several flew onto her car or smashed into her windshield.

After her arrest, she was also found with a bag of meth hidden in her snatch.


While making a legal left turn on the yellow, bike rider Wes High was nearly hit by a Santa Monica driver who swerved into the bike lane to get around a stopped car and blow through the light long after it had turned red.


A new study is quick to blame the victims after 40% of teenagers report being hit or nearly hit by cars while walking. Never mind that careless or distracted drivers may have had something to do with it. And no, walking after dark is not an unsafe habit; that’s what human beings have done since we first stood upright.


Nice project from CicLAvia, as they want to give back to the community — as if they don’t already give enough — by donating 30 new bikes, helmets and lights to LA County kids who can’t afford them. They want your help to nominate a kid who deserves one; nominations close on December 2nd.


We’ve got a long list of bike events coming up in the next few weeks.

Today: If you can still make it, Caltrans District 7 Bicycle Advisory Committee is meeting at 9:30 this morning at Caltrans headquarters in DTLA; they want your input on two separate closures on the LA River Bike Path (see below under Local for more information on one of the closures). Thanks to LADOT Bike Program for the heads-up.

Today: Walk Bike Burbank will offer free bike valet at the annual Holiday in the Park festival sponsored by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association.

Saturday: The LACBC will participate in Path Hack at the Spoke Café on the Elysian Valley Pedestrian and Bike Path, a series of free art workshops designed to create a slow zone on the pathway.

CICLE MacArthur Park rideSaturday: Join CICLE and Equitas Academy for a family friendly Bikes and Batidos Ride around the MacArthur Park neighborhood, sponsored by Metro’s Safe Routes to Schools Pilot Program.

Saturday & Sunday: Professional cyclocross comes to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday with the UCI CXLA Weekend.

Sunday: Celebrate the UCI CXLA cyclocross race by joining the Palms to Pines Ride along the San Gabriel River Trail, or take a shorter ride along the beach; proceeds benefit the LACBC and Bike SGV.

Some of the biggest names in international, national, and local cyclocross racing are coming to Long Beach’s El Dorado Park on November 21st and 22nd. As part of this weekend of racing, SoCalCross is offering a Palms to Pines community ride (Ride with GPS route is can be found here.) The ride, along the San Gabriel River Trail, will take riders from the palm trees and sand in Seal Beach all the way north to the pine trees at Azusa River Wilderness Park at the start of the San Gabriel Mountains, before returning to El Dorado Park in plenty of time to watch an afternoon of exciting racing action, enjoy food and beverages at the races, and visit the event’s sponsor Expo. The ride is 77 miles long, but you can ride as much or as little as you like. A shorter Ocean Breeze ride goes to the beach and back. Both are 100 percent on protected bike paths with no car traffic (only 3 street crossings). Registration is $45 ($55 day-of), less for the short ride, and includes an event t-shirt, lunch, pit stops, and a donation to LACBC and other local bicycle advocacy groups.

For more information and to register, go to

November 29th: The Encino Velodrome hosts the Encino Omnium track cycling race, sponsored by Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

November 29th: The SoCalCross Prestige Series: Turkey Trot Cross comes to Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

December 3rd: The LACBC hosts their annual open house, with drinks from Angel City Brewery; admission is free for LACBC members, so consider joining at the door.

December 3rd: Stan’s Bike Shop invites you to dress up in a holiday theme and join them as they ride in the Monrovia Christmas Parade.

December 3rd – 15th: Metro will be holding a second round of workshops to discuss their Active Transportation Strategic Plan, starting with North Hollywood and ending in Santa Clarita.

December 4th: The highly praised documentary Bikes vs Cars opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7.

December 5th: Ride your bike down to Long Beach for the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, featuring hundreds of festively dressed marching Corgis.

December 12th: Calbike is hosting a special Bikeways to Everywhere donor party in Los Angeles.

December 27th: Finish the Ride comes to the San Fernando Valley for the first time to combat hit-and-run and help create safer streets for everyone.



A USC student marketing group conducts guerilla marketing campaigns to promote bike safety and security, along with alcohol awareness and combating sexual assault.

The Eastsider reports a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path along Griffith Park has temporarily reopened after being closed for three days in advance of a projected year-long closure; Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way are reportedly being “enhanced” in anticipation of the detour.

Santa Monica gets a $300,000 grant to improve traffic safety and help make “streets a more pleasant experience for everyone.” Meanwhile, Seal Beach gets a $140,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

The BBC looks at the Venice Beach Electric Light Parade, as bicyclists light their rides with hundreds of LED lights.

Santa Clarita celebrates its Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Communities award.



A memorial will be held today for John Pavlisin, Sr., the 89-year old owner of the Orange Cycle bike shops in Orange and Santa Ana.

A Saratoga driver is being sought by police for intentionally swerving into a bike lane in an attempt to hit a bicyclist. Somehow, that doesn’t merit more than a couple lines in the police blotter, though.

Menlo Park plans to add buffers to an existing bike lane, along with pedestrian-activated crossing lights, to improve safety along a preferred school route.

Palo Alto plans to extend the nation’s first bike boulevard three decades after it was first installed.

Napa police arrest a man claiming to be a wolf who speaks 13 languages for stealing a bike at knifepoint. No word on whether one of the languages is Lupine.



Bicycling offers a cute look at eight ways having a baby changes your cycling.

No bikes involved, just another example of the mass insanity on our roads, as an allegedly drunk driver killed 38 sheep in a Colorado hit-and-run.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a custom–made bike from a Texas girl with cerebral palsy; fortunately, a kindhearted stranger has offered to replace it.

The Guardian looks at how Oklahoma City has overturned car culture and what can happen when cities kick the car habit.

A South Dakota business owner and bike advocate says forcing everyone into cars isn’t the solution to bike safety.

A New York radio station explores six things they’ve learned about biking in the city by studying over 3,000 photos of blocked bike lanes.

Forget all those cars, evidently the greatest danger New york bicyclists face comes from other riders. Seriously, that’s what she said; you can stop laughing now.

Not only is Pennsylvania’s Genesis Bicycles planning to close for Black Friday, the shop’s employees will donate that day’s salaries to a local charity.

Evidently, it’s legal to kill a cyclist in your sleep in Maryland, as a dozing Bethesda driver got off with just $690 in fines for negligent driving.



Toronto cyclists says just because a bike looks old or unmaintained, that doesn’t mean it’s been abandoned.

Caught on video: London’s mayor Boris is greeted with angry words and gestures as he opens the city’s first segregated cycle superhighway. The best part is his friendly wave in response to a one-fingered salute from a bike rider. Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the tip.

A London exhibition will display nine of the Cannibal’s racing jerseys; the jerseys, worn by five-time Tour de France winner and multiple world champion Eddy Merckx, are worth an estimated $304,000.

The Guardian looks at a dozen designs that revolutionized bicycling, from Brooks Saddles to fixies and 3D printing.

A coldhearted Brit writer says he only feels sympathy for the “poor car driver who will have the death of the blithering idiot on their conscience” if a ninja cyclist is killed.

Caught on video: A British bike rider stands his ground while demanding that a driver who violated his right-of-way back up instead of going around him.

A new UK company has developed a circular bike parking garage that stores bikes vertically, above or below ground. Can we have a few of those here? Or maybe a few dozen?

A Jewish woman rides a Vélib’ bike across Paris to visit a friend just days after the terrorist attacks.

Emirates and Dubai royalty join in the mourning the death of a champion cyclist and triathlete just a week before his wedding.

Islamic State, the group behind last week’s Paris terrorist attacks, has claimed responsibility for shooting a bike-riding Italian priest in Bangladesh.

A 20-year old South African student gets 13 years for fatally stabbing a man to steal his bicycle.

An Aussie driver with a provisional license apologizes on social media after the cyclist she nearly killed leaves a very polite note saying she looks too nice for prison.



Evidently, doping predates the invention of the bicycle by a few millennia.

If you’ve been very good, maybe Santa or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a $75,000, platinum and diamond encrusted racing bike for your next club ride. Or you could sell it and by the world’s first bicycle/scooter hybrid for 115 of your closest friends.

And caught on video: Chinese cyclists crash head-on at the end of a Gran Fondo when the lead group somehow takes a wrong turn and sprints to the finish from the wrong direction.

Weekend Links: Getting buzzed in DTLA, life is cheap in OC and Alameda courts, and more bighearted strangers

Nothing like getting buzzed by an impatient jerk to ruin a ride on a beautiful day.

Richard Bidmead forwards video of what happens when a bike lane ends, and riders are forced to take to the traffic lane. Especially when you’re being followed by someone in a Corvette who knows how to use his horn, but can’t figure out how to change lanes to go around.


Evidently, life is cheap in Orange County.

Following his conviction in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Manual Morales Rodriguez two years ago, truck driver Filemon Reynaga faced up to four years in state prison.

Instead, My News LA reports Reynaga will serve just one year in county jail, thanks to a very generous judge.

Even though a witness saw him get out of his semi after hitting Rodriguez, look at the victim lying in the roadway, then drive off, leaving him unprotected in the darkness, only to be hit by another car a few moments later.

No one will ever know if Rodriguez might have been saved if Reynaga hadn’t shown such a callous indifference to human life.

Despite that, the judge indicated that he will sentence Reynaga to just two years, and put off sentencing until next January to allow him to serve his time in county lockup. And he’ll end up doing just one year behind bars.

One lousy year for intentionally leaving a man to die in the street.


Apparently, life isn’t worth any more in Alameda County, as a San Francisco attorney could serve just 30 days behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist.

Bo Hu was walking his bike when a car driven by Spencer Freeman Smith slammed into him from behind, and fled the scene without ever applying the brakes. Prosecutors were prevented from introducing evidence that he had been drinking that night.

Once again, despite a callous indifference to human life, Smith was sentenced to just five years probation and one year in county jail; he can apply to finish his sentence in home detention after serving just one month.

Talk about hard time.

Let’s just hope he’s not scarred for life by being forced to watch the Giants and 49s on his flat screen from the comfort of his own den.


Yet another bighearted cop replaces a stolen bike, this time for an Indiana girl whose bike was apparently taken by neighborhood bullies just one day after she got it for her eighth birthday.

Evidently, cops aren’t the only ones in Indiana with big hearts. A tattoo artist raised $1,800 to buy a new bike for an Indiana boy who was hit by a car outside his shop.

And a stranger bought a new bike for a Tampa Bay girl after she collided with a car driven by an elderly woman; the driver asked if she was okay, gave her $20 and drove away.


Looks like the US is building a women’s cycling dynasty, as Chloe Dygert and Emma White take first and second in the under-23 road race; they finished in the same order in the U23 time trial earlier this week.

The US is favored to podium in the elite women’s road race on Saturday, while VeloNews says three-time world cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar should be a favorite in the men’s race.

They must have made a good impression. A British pro cycling team signs three riders off the New Zealand U23 team from the world championships.

Africa’s first and only pro cycling team to compete in the Tour de France will now be known as Team Dimension Data.

And the head of pro cycling’s governing body says they’ve made great strides to restore credibility in the post-Armstrong era, despite the continuing drumbeat of cyclists banned for doping.



Writing for Streetsblog, Richard Risemberg explains what a fair road use fee would be, suggesting that car-free bike riders should get a $250 rebate. And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Thursday’s Vision Zero forum.

Bike friendly UCLA gets even friendlier with a new traffic light and a bike lane on the uphill side of Charles E. Young Drive North.

Boyonabike looks at transit developments and bike parking in the San Gabriel Valley, and finds the bike racks at the Monrovia Metro station both artsy and impractical.

A San Pedro letter writer complains about a road diet and bike lanes on Pacific Avenue, saying no one bikes in that part of town.

Long Beach gets $23 million in grants for bike, pedestrian and transit improvements, including a bikeway over the LA River connecting with the bike path on the coming replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge.

Just one more week to take Metro’s active transportation survey.

The SoCal cyclocross season kicks off this Sunday at Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

There will be a press conference at 11 am Monday at City Hall to support AB8, aka the Hit-and-Run Yellow Alert Bill, currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature after he vetoed a similar bill last year.



No bias here. The auto-centric CHP concludes that bicyclists are at fault in 61% of collisions, and drivers only at fault in 20%. Which says more about the department’s lack of training in bike law and a bias towards those on four wheels than it does about bike riders. As does the lack of enforcement of the state’s three-foot passing law.

The Port of San Diego stands in the way of completing a 24-mile bikeway around the bay.

Coronado is having its 15 minutes of fame — or maybe infamy — as the mass anti-bike insanity threatens to go viral.

A 13-year old boy is under arrest for attacking an 84-year old La Quinta Walmart employee as he tried to walk out with two bicycles.

Things were calmer in Bagdad by the Bay this month, as riders in the San Francisco Critical Mass were on their best behavior, and no one beat on cars with U-locks.

San Francisco’s SF Gate looks at how they roll in bike-friendly Davis CA, where everyone is issued a bike in the hospital at birth. Or so they say.

Truckee is punching a hole in a rock wall to make a tunnel for a paved pedestrian/bike path.



Bicycling magazine talks to the man riding one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bicycles across the US; so far he’s traveled 1,000 miles and incurred the maximum $1,200 late fee.

Bicycling continues to boom in Portland.

Las Vegas decides maybe it’s time to start enforcing Nevada’s three-foot passing law, including putting plain clothes cops on bikes to catch drivers passing too close.

A blogger in my hometown offers up three things cyclists wish motorists understood. I could come up with a lot more than that.

Wichita KS moves to eliminate fines for riding a bike after dark without a headlight, giving out 1,200 free bike lights instead.

An Iowa judge rules it’s okay to buzz bike riders and roll coal in their faces from a diesel pickup.

The bikeway network in Dallas TX grows to 39 miles, a big improvement over the eight miles of on-street bike lanes just three years ago. Although 32 miles of that are sharrows.

A new Minnesota parking lot opens near a bike trail, allowing people to remove bikes from their cars without fear of getting hit by passing cars; the project fulfills the dream of a former Eagle Scout who was later killed in action in Afghanistan.

Sad news from Ohio, as a second bike rider has died as a result of a collision when an apparently driverless truck left crossed a group of five riders; thankfully, the other three have been released from the hospital. Update: The victim was identified as Jim Lambert, an alternate on the US cycling team for the ’84 Los Angeles Olympics.

An Arkansas rider is on track to beat the 76-year old record for riding the most miles in a single year; two other riders, one in England and the other in Australia, are also attempting the same thing this year.

Memphis is on track to get bikeshare next year.

A Philadelphia woman faces a host of charges, including vehicular homicide, for running down a high school football player as he was riding his bike, then removing her plates and hiding in her SUV in a failed attempt to avoid arrest.

Get your resumes ready. Key West FL will be hiring a full-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.



A Canadian bike rider faces charges after reaching into the car that hit him, grabbing the keys, and dropping them into a storm drain. Maybe we should take up a collection to pay his fines.

An Irish charity gives a recumbent hand-bike to a wheelchair-bound teenage boy suffering from a degenerative neuromuscular disease, to provide him with more independence.

Belfast will transform into a bicycle paradise for a whole three hours and 45 minutes when they hold their first ciclovía next weekend.



Physicists try to figure out how far you can lean into a corner on a bike without falling. Based on personal experience, I’d say the answer is pretty damn far. Four years after LA’s Wolfpack Hustle beat a jet from Burbank to Long Beach, a New York rider races a helicopter across Manhattan. And wins.

And no. Just… no.


Morning Links: Cut off in a green lane, an 11-year old voice of reason, and an insightful look at LA’s Mobility Plan

Even with a green Santa Monica bike lane, some drivers can’t be bothered to look for bikes before cutting into it.

Thanks to John Montgomery for the video.


It’s kind of sad that the voice of reason at Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet came from an eleven-year old boy.

Let alone the hate it inspired in some quarters.

Matty Grossman has become the perhaps unwilling star of LA bike advocacy, with an interview on KCBS-2 and a profile in the LA Times that features the following video, recorded by Sean Meredith.

It’s a little hard to hear — after all, he is just eleven — but it’s worth cranking up the volume as far as it goes to catch every word

Especially this segment excerpted from the Times’ story.

“I have lost track of the number of cars who have purposely violated my legal right to three feet of safety or shouted obscenities at me,” Matty said at Monday’s town hall. “Can you imagine the kind of monster who yells ‘F you’ to a child?”

And Matty, a sixth-grader, is over it.

“It’s whiny, entitled behavior you wouldn’t tolerate from a kid,” he told the room. “Why should I tolerate it from adults?”

Why should any of us?

Maybe it was being shamed by a kid that caused one rabidly anti-bike commenter to lash out in protest over a kid interrupting the conversation on “adult issues” like bike lanes and transportation policy.

But that’s exactly the point.

Because if some drivers will treat a little kid like that, imagine how they treat a grown-up on a bike.

According to the press reports, Matty wants to grow up to be mayor of Los Angeles. Or an astrophysicist.

He’s got my vote.

But if that doesn’t work out, I think we can get him a job with the LACBC.


Speaking of Rowena, and by extension, the new mobility plan, Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers an insightful explanation of just why it’s so desperately needed, despite rumblings from some quarters.

Sometimes we tell ourselves it has been this way for all time. Recently a reader sent me an email that included this line: “Driving by car is how it’s done here.” (The word “son” at the end of the sentence was implied.)

But that’s not really true — not if you take a broad view of Los Angeles history. Look at a photograph of, say, Broadway in downtown L.A. in the late 1920s. It is full of people walking. But it is also full of people in cars, on bikes and on streetcars.

It looks vital. And guess what? It also looks very congested. In the decades that followed, in our tireless efforts to stamp out the congestion — something we became truly expert at — we wound up stamping out the vitality too.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it all the way through.

I’ll wait.


Yet another young man has been fatally shot while apparently riding a bike in South LA, this time in the Florence neighborhood just after midnight Friday.

Excuse my language, but just when are we going to stop this fucking waste of life? The right to keep on living is the most basic of all human rights.


There’s a new world record for a human-powered vehicle, set by a bullet-shaped bike ridden by Canadian Todd Reichart and the AeroVelo team at the annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge. It was clocked at 85.71 mph, beating the old record by 2.58 mph.


That didn’t take long. The world championships haven’t even started yet, and a bike thief already made off with a $10,000 Specialized S-Works belonging to the Dutch team. And no offense to The Verge, but I’ve done a lot faster than 30 mph.

Former world champ Mark Cavendish is the latest high-profile rider to pull out of the worlds, along with Aussie Rory Sutherland.

WaPo offers a quick 11-point world championship overview, while Men’s Journal proffers seven reasons why you should care. One small problem with the course, though, is its made-for-TV tour through a virtual shrine to the Confederacy.

And it’s been 21 years since the carbon frame conquered the world of racing.



Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at LADOT’s new annual report, and offers four metrics to guide future bikeway implementation.

Bicycling isn’t a luxury in South LA, where a bike count shows people who can’t afford cars riding to or from work and school. And people there have more to fear than dangerous streets and drivers.

He doesn’t mention bikes, but 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield writes about revitalizing Reseda through the Great Streets program on Sherman Way. Let’s just remind him to include some decent bike lanes while he’s at it. And slow the damn traffic down.

Nonprofit creative arts center Art Share LA is giving you one last chance to say goodbye to the soon-to-be demolished 6th Street Bridge with an exhibit called Ode to the Bridge.

After winning joint custody, Chris Brown wants to treat his daughter Royalty royally by teaching her to ride a bike.



An off-duty CHP officer spotted a man sleeping in an Oceanside bike lane; when he stopped to investigate, he discovered the man was the victim of a hit-and-run. He was in critical condition as of Friday morning.

After riding over 9,300 miles through 31 states with his rescue dog to promote pet adoption, an animal activist had his bike, iPod, GoPro and dog toys stolen in San Diego. At least he managed to hold onto the dog.

Prospects for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bikeway aren’t looking good, as Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage both vote to block the proposed route.

Sad news from Lompoc. A bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by an SUV, as the driver apparently tried — and failed — to pass. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill decides to expand efforts to make the downtown area “inviting to visitors on all modes of transportation.” Note to Morgan Hill: Sharrows don’t make for Complete Streets.

A San Ramon attorney will be sentenced next week for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist three years ago. Sentencing is at the judge’s discretion; he could actually get probation for killing another person and running away to cover-up his crime.

Thanks to Google, we may one day hear the anti-bike brigades say LA isn’t Silicon Valley instead of comparing us to Copenhagen.

Not taxing bikes or bike riders wins out with 56% of the vote in the SF Gate’s very unscientific poll.

Streetsblog is looking for someone to run the San Francisco site and cover transportation issues in the Bay Area. I’d consider it, but it would mean becoming a Giants fan. And some lines a man just can’t cross.



This Tuesday is Worldwide Car-Free Day. Which is not the same as free car day, unfortunately.

In case you’re desperate for a physics lesson, Wired obliges with a discussion of pulling a bike with a giant rubber band.

Bicycling reports on the Breaking Away reunion at Interbike, although the Las Vegas Review-Journal does it much better.

The level of bike commuting in Portland has reached an unheard of — in the US, at least — 7.2%; it was only at 2.8% in 2004.

Fifty-two soldiers complete a two day, 167-mile ride from Fort Knox KY to Fort Campbell.

When some Michigan hikers looked at pictures they’d just taken off a cliff, they discovered legs and a bicycle in the photos; when rescuers arrived, they found a the body of a man in his 30s at the base of the cliff.

Now this is a great idea. Over 70 businesses and many homes in Ashland VA have bike gardens — bicycles with planters or arranged like sculptures. Love to see something that spread around the LA area.

Very strange case from upstate New York as a cyclist has been unresponsive since he was found lying in the road, suffering from a double skull fracture and a broken orbital socket and clavicle. Yet his bike and helmet were undamaged and there was no sign of a collision.

Caught on video: It takes major huevos to steal a Philadelphia cop’s bike. Or maybe just major stupidity, since the bike was clearly marked “POLICE.”

A Charlotte NC writer says both cyclists and motorists have control over whether they get out of control. However, bicycling is not particularly dangerous, as he suggests; people in motor vehicles aren’t immune from collisions and serous injuries, or worse.



A Saskatoon city counselor says new bike racks are a waste of money, since cyclists can “tie up” their bikes to loading zone signs. Sounds like he’s more used to hitching posts.

You’re kidding, right? Toronto proposes producing a paltry 2.5 miles of new bike lanes a year for the next 10 years. No word on whether those are centerline miles or lane miles; the latter would mean bike lanes on just 1.25 miles of roadway per year.

The 18-year old London man convicted of fatally stabbing a 15-year old boy to steal his bike will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A Singapore court cuts the sentence of a hit-and-run cyclist to three weeks; he’d originally been sentenced to eight weeks behind bars for fleeing after injuring a 69-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk.

Kuala Lumpur cyclists crowd-source a route map to make the city more bike friendly.



Evidently, commie bikes are hard to find in the UK, even if the new head of the Labour party rides one. If you’re selling crack cocaine from the seat of your bike, try not to ride into a car while making your getaway from the cops.

And maybe it’s better to quaff that ale post ride rather than pre. Although after reading the effects booze has on a bike rider’s body, you may need a drink.


Morning Links: New study says bike injuries increasing, but without context; comedian rants riding through LA

Another study attempts to paint bicycling as a dangerous activity, especially for riders over 45.

The study from UC San Francisco shows that bicycling injuries have nearly doubled over a 15-year period ending in 2013, which they acknowledge coincides with the boom in bicycling.

Looking at it another way, the rate of injuries per 100,000 people has increased 28%, with the biggest increase coming among riders over 45, which jumped to 42% of reported injuries.

On the other hand, the number of people riding bikes has increased dramatically, rising as much as 32% in LA in a recent three year period, and 174% in Minneapolis in just five years, according to stats from People for Bikes.

And much of that increase has come from people over 45, as bicycling has become the new golf, as the press loves to tell us.

So it’s only natural to expect that both the rate and number of bicycling injuries would go up. It’s just as likely that the injury rate among cyclists, rather than the general population, may have gone down or stayed the same.

More troubling is the news that the most serious types of injuries have increased. According to the study, the rate of hospitalization due to bicycling injuries more than doubled, while the proportion of head injuries increased 60% over that period, and torso injuries jumped 21%.

That would imply that more bike riders are getting hit by cars, perhaps due to more people riding in an urban environment, as the author of the study suggests.

Which means the solution is not urging greater caution among older riders, or frightening them off their bikes, but improving safety for all cyclists in our cities.

But until someone takes the extra step of placing bike injuries in context with solid ridership stats, studies like this are interesting, but ultimately, meaningless.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.


This one’s worth checking out, as a bike riding comedian Mario Joyner captures his rants on GoPro while riding the streets of LA.


Aussie rider Michael Rogers will get the Olympic bronze medal he didn’t win in Athens in 2004, after gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping three years ago.



Who says LA wasn’t a bike city? As this photo shows, they were the perfect way to get to a 1940s cowboy matinee. Looks like bike corrals are nothing new, either.

Bike SGV wants your support to help turn the massive Puente Hills landfill into LA County’s first bike park.

Examined Spoke questions why Milt Olin’s death has never been reported to California’s official SWITRS database. Why, indeed?

Vancouver’s Modacity will present Observations from an Emerging Bicycle Culture in Santa Monica and Echo Park next month.



The mayors of seven California cities, including LA and Lon Beach, call on the state to act now to fix our crumbling roads and bridges, including the need for comprehensive bike networks. Let’s not forget bad roads pose a greater risk to the safety of bicyclists than they do to motorists.

To no one’s surprise, Coronado’s NIMBYs have succeeded in killing a proposed bike path along the beach. The way residents reacted, you would have thought someone had suggested rerouting the 5 Freeway through their bucolic burgh.

Maybe bike collisions wouldn’t be rising so fast in Hanford if police would stop blaming the victims and focus on the people in the big, dangerous machines.

The LA Times provides more details on the San Francisco U-lock attack, in which a salmon cyclist breaking the rules of Critical Mass whacked a car with his lock after the driver bumped his bike.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee says a beautiful network of bike lanes will mean nothing if people are afraid to park their bikes out of fear of bike thieves. She’s right; LA’s efforts to encourage more people to ride instead of driving will be doomed if their bikes are gone when it’s time to ride back home.



Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says our bike-riding president has done a lot to aid bicycling, but your voice is needed to ensure further progress. Meanwhile, the Feds tell risk averse traffic engineers to get off their ass and stop using them as an excuse.

Sarah Goodyear explains why we call crashes “accidents” and why we need to stop, while bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains what to do if you’re in one.

People for Bikes says protected bike lanes are seven times more likely to encourage people to ride.

Now that’s more like it. A Portland man apologizes for an ill-advised tweet, and says he doesn’t really believe anyone should run over people on bikes.

The cast of Breaking Away will reunite at Interbike in Las Vegas this month, including Dennis Christopher, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley and Dennis Quaid. If they can get Robyn Douglass to show up, I’m in.

In Houston, cycling concierges will deliver virtually anything you want directly to your door.

This is so wrong in so many ways. A Boston writer, who has evidently never met a bike rider, says bikes don’t belong on urban roads. Note to Jeff Jacoby: Like most bicyclists, I have a drivers license. And we pay the same taxes you do.

A New York bike website talks with the man riding a bikeshare bike from NYC to LA.

Washington DC will teach all second grade students how to ride a bike, which used to be standard practice for schools around the country. Growing up in Colorado, every kid received bike education in elementary school, ensuring that they all grew up knowing the rules of the road.

A South Carolina website gets it, saying motorists must respect the right of bicyclists to use the road on equal terms, but bike riders should assume most drivers don’t know that.

Alabama’s Tuskegee University has partnered with a local bank to give students a free bikeshare program.

A Birmingham AL grand jury will be convened to investigate the death of a prominent African American businessman killed when the driver of a pickup plowed into three riders with the Black People Run Bike and Swim group; the other two were airlifted to a local hospital. Traffic crimes don’t normally go to a grand jury; so the question is whether the DA is just covering his ass, or if there’s something they’re not telling us.



A British soccer player is banned from driving and gets a year of community service for DUI after plowing into three cyclists who stopped on the sidewalk to fix a broken chain. Yes, they were on the sidewalk when he hit them.

Famed Italian automotive designer Pininfarina has teamed with DeRosa to produce a lightweight, low-drag carbon racing bike.

Denmark will send its first astronaut into space today. To test bike parts, of course.

Syrian refugees are exploiting a legal loophole by bicycling across the border between Russia and Norway, which bans crossings by foot or car.

A South African website offers a photo essay on bicycling in Eritrea.

New Zealand is considering requiring a 1.5 meter passing distance for bicycles, the equivalent of nearly five feet.



Now that’s a different looking bike, although it doesn’t look like something an Imperial storm trooper would ride. Your next water bottle could be a bike light; then again, your next foldie could be, too.

And you know you suck as a driver when even a car enthusiast website says you should lose your license for doing a massive burnout after an argument with a cyclist.


Morning Links: It’s Video Tuesday, LA Mobility Plan back before city council, and one more CicLAvia wrap-up

Let’s make this a video Tuesday.

First up, bike rider Richard Bidmead barely makes it across an intersection thanks to someone with highly questionable driving skills.

Frequent contributor danger d gives us a hyperspeed timelapse ride through Sunday’s CicLAvia (more on that subject below).

He also questions whether a man who parked in the middle of the Balboa Park bike path to take a nap on a picnic table is tired or drunk. I vote for the latter, myself.

A great Brit video explains how to pass bike riders, and how not to. Too bad we can’t just flip the video and run it here.

And filmmakers are looking for funding for a documentary on enforcing three-foot and reckless driving laws; so far, they’ve raised just $530 of the $25,000 goal.


The LA Times casts a mostly unfavorable eye on LA’s new Mobility Plan, explaining at the end that maybe it won’t be as bad as they first make it look. Not surprisingly, Breitbart takes an even more conservative slant on the story.

And KPCC looks at the Vision Zero plan that underpins the Mobility Plan, which the Times failed to even mention.

The plan comes up before the full city council at 10 am today. The LACBC urges you to attend to support a safer transportation system in Los Angeles; if not, email your councilmember to express your support.

However, if the council follows its previous pattern, City Council President Herb Wesson may allow CMs Koretz and Cedillo will voice their support for the plan while urging the council to gut key parts of it in their districts.

Then the council will vote unanimously to adopt it, with little or no public comment, and reserving the more contentious issues for another date, since Wesson doesn’t seem to tolerate dissention in his house.


An LAPD spokesperson estimates over 20,000 people attended Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia. Before 10 am, maybe; funny how the crowd estimates keep getting smaller as the events get more popular.

The Source provides some great photos, as does CiclaValley and the LA Times; CicLAvia provides their own page of photo highlights, along with video of the skateboard-riding granny who caught everyone’s eye. Meanwhile, Streetsblog asks what your favorite part of the day was.

Evidently, not everyone got the memo that it was car-free, though.


The women are racing in France once again, following their token appearance at the Tour de France. Meanwhile, the USA Pro Challenge announces the women’s teams competing in this year’s race, just 10 days before the tour starts. No point in giving them adequate time to prepare or anything.

A former Austrian pro gets a lifetime ban for pushing EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs to riders a few years back, while the Feds explain why they want Lance’s medical records. Which turns out to be exactly what everyone thought.

Taylor Phinney surprises everyone by being competitive in the Tour of Utah, after a 14-month recovery following a collision caused by a race moto at last year’s Nationals, while 24-year old Joe Dombrowski surprises everyone by winning the race.

And it’s happened once again, as MTN-Qhubeka rider Matt Brammeier is seriously injured in a collision with a support vehicle; two more riders collide with a race bike as he laid in the roadway.



A Santa Monica bike shop owner spots someone riding the bike that was just stolen from his store while he’s driving to meet with police to discuss the break in. And follows the bike rustler until LAPD can make the bust.

If you didn’t get bitten by a rattlesnake on the Ballona or Marvin Bruade bike paths on the 31st, thank the Marina sheriff’s deputies and county animal control.

A Texas man rolls through Redondo Beach after riding 9,000 miles across the US with his dog to promote awareness for animal shelters.

After the cops give Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson a $350 ticket for blowing a stop sign at 40 mph, they come to his rescue when he’s harassed and threatened by a car full of punks.



After a 62-year old San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a Mission Bay hit-and-run, another motorist followed the fleeing driver to get the license plate number.

Santa Barbara police are quick to ticket participants in an annual unsanctioned bike ride.

San Francisco accepts an F-grade level of service on redesigned Cesar Chavez Street to improve safety on the street, resulting in a 400% increase in bike traffic.

A Bay Area cyclist sets a new ascension record by climbing 95,622 feet in 48 hours.

A 14-year old Stockton boy suffers non-life threatening injuries when his bike is hit by a pickup. Why is it that reckless bike riders always seem to dart out in front of perfectly conscientious motorists?

No drama or close calls as Davis unveils a new bike-friendly Dutch intersection.



Pedestrian deaths are on the rise, so naturally, a government report blames texting walkers rather than texting drivers.

Planetizen says building a better city requires breaking down silos between disciplines and departments. Something that has proven difficult so far in the City of Angels.

Forty-thousand Portlanders get to preview a new car-free bridge.

An advocacy group from my hometown explains the rules for crossing a double yellow line to pass bike riders. That would have been legal here if it wasn’t for Jerry Brown’s hyperactive veto pen.

A Wyoming bike group asks the state legislature to invest in bikeways, while lawmakers would rather just study the issue.

Horrifying news from otherwise bike-friendly Minneapolis, as someone in a white Bronco is attacking bicyclists with cinder blocks; one rider was seriously injured.

Three out of four Rhode Island drivers like Christmas lights on bike wheels.


International lists 18 things that cyclists say.

A Canadian writer says that protecting bicyclists from collisions is a far better safety measure than requiring helmets; Britain’s Chris Boardman agrees, saying he won’t waste air time discussing the safety effects of helmets.

The father of a fallen Canadian rider calls for minimum sentences for hit-and-run drivers.

Ottawa paints “dooring zone” on the street in an attempt to keep cyclists out of it and drivers from doing it.

A teenage British bike rider helps rescue a woman from her overturned car. But bikes are the problem, right?

When you’re waiting for your girlfriend to join you on an around-the-world ride, it’s probably not the best idea to climb a mountain in India; an Israeli adventurer is severely injured in an avalanche doing just that.

Aussie authorities propose a floating bike lane to prevent deadly doorings in Melbourne. A similar plan was proposed for Westwood Blvd, but local residents and business owners evidently thought LA drivers were too dumb to figure it out.



This is why you should never ride without a bra; a German woman was saved by her underwear’s underwire when a hunter’s bullet rebounded off a wild boar. A photographer shows why he prefers to shoot cyclists instead of moving motor vehicles.

And don’t try to flee by bike after bopping the mayor with a baseball bat because he was schtupping your wife.



Morning Links: Brake-checking driver harasses cyclist; curb-jumping drivers don’t get Redondo bike lanes

The problem with sharrows is that they put you right in the path of drivers.

Impatient, road-raging and brake-checking drivers, at times, as cyclist Michael Schinderling learned out the hard way while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

The driver first honks, then repeatedly slams on his brakes in front of him. Even though Schinderling was riding exactly where the sharrows indicate he should be.

The big problem with LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance is that it’s so hard to get proof that a driver deliberately antagonized a rider.

But this looks like an open-and-shut case.


Caught on video: Those new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes seem to be working well. Except for curb-jumping drivers who can’t seem to figure out why the traffic lane is green and there are so many bikes in it.


American cyclist Tyler Farrar is heading back to the Tour de France as part of the first African-based pro team, while Tejay van Garderen is older and wiser and says he’s ready for the challenge. The Wall Street Journal asks why no Latin American rider has won the Tour de France, as Nairo Quintana attempts to become the first.

Meanwhile, former pro team leader Bjarne Riis chose to ignore doping by his riders. Or more likely, tacitly encouraged it, if not openly.

Cycling Weekly looks at the best bike tans in the peloton. Dutch police evidently feel the best way to get a new collective bargaining agreement is to delay riders in the Tour de France, thus ensuring it won’t besmirch their country again.

And sad news from the UK, as a British bike racer was killed in a collision with another rider last weekend.



The LA-area’s Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a new regional transportation plan.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom and two Westside councilmembers say Metro is going the wrong way with plans for a bike share system that will be incompatible with systems opening soon in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and as well as systems planned for West Hollywood, UCLA and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

San Gabriel gets a new bike lane on Las Tunas Drive.

Santa Clarita opens a new 1.5 mile stretch of the Santa Clarita River Trail, including a bike bridge over the Los Angeles aqueduct.

A Long Beach councilwoman will host a bike safety program for kids from 9 to 17 years old next week.

The second Tour de Laemmle will roll on July 19th, as Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on all or part of a 125+ mile tour of all the Laemmle Theaters.



Santa Ana conducts a reverse road diet, forcing long-time residents out of their homes to make room for an added lane and bike lanes on Warner Ave, as the OC Register says evicted residents will have to be made whole.

A bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision with a pickup in Anaheim on Tuesday; a comment on Bike Forums suggests the victim was riding in the crosswalk over the onramp to the 57. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Big oops from the Bay, as San Francisco retracts a report that a new bikeway saw a 651% jump in bike traffic; the actual figures ranged from a 12% to 62% increase depending on time of day. You’d think someone would have noticed that those numbers seemed just a tad high before sending out the press release.

Oakland is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes, with twelve road diets proposed for the next three years; needless to say, bike riders are thrilled while motorists are worried. Maybe Oakland could explain how the process works to Santa Ana.

The Marin tech exec who viciously beat a driver who clipped him with his mirror has been found guilty of felony battery and misdemeanor assault; he faces up to four years in prison. Seriously, never resort to violence. Period.



Tragic news from Las Vegas, as a 16-year old boy riding without ID was hit by a car last week; he died the next day before family members learned about the wreck and he could be identified.

A Utah driver has plead guilty to intentionally running down a bike rider with whom he had an adversarial relationship.

Evidently, the penalty in Texas for riding a bike without lights is to get Tased, then beaten after falling off your bike. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Iowa man is back on his bike six months after losing a leg to complications from diabetes; he’ll be riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend.

Needless to say, Chicago business owners are worried about the loss of parking with the city’s first curb-protected bike lane; Chicagoist asks if it will be good for business. Bikes are usually good for business. And there’s something seriously wrong if your customers won’t walk a few extra feet to do business with you.

A Maine driver is accused of intentionally running down a 10-year old boy on a bike over a dispute with the kid’s mother; unbelievably, the man was released on just $1,000 bail — despite using his car as a weapon to attack a child.

Just days after an LA bike rider was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a machete-swinging road-raging PA teenager attacked a cyclist and his fiancée, who used his bike to defend themselves.

The Baltimore Sun says bike helmets aren’t ugly anymore, while The Week offers a look at six bike helmets of the future. Can we just get one that actually protects against concussions and other serious brain injuries in real world collisions?

A Georgia website offers advice on how to get a red light to change for your bike.

A cyclist rides 1,400 miles up the East Coast while towing his dog and a cargo trailer.



Here we go again, as a Facebook page devoted to shaming law-breaking Victoria BC cyclists devolves into a hotbed of anti-bike hatred.

Two Edmonton councilors call for ripping out bike lanes on three streets, calling them unsafe and underutilized.

Cyclists halt London traffic to protest the death of yet another young woman killed by a truck while riding to work. Although not everyone was willing to show a little respect.

Caught on video: The UK’s “vigilante cyclist” catches a woman texting behind the wheel with two kids in her car. I see something similar almost every time I ride. Like a woman who was steering with her knees as she texted with her kids in the back seat.

A pair of Good Samaritans pitch in to replace a British nurse’s bike after it was stolen from outside her apartment.

A Brit bike rider gets a year in jail for killing a 73-year old woman in a collision while riding a brakeless BMX.

Switzerland is telling e-bike riders to slow down, following a rise in single-vehicle bike wrecks due to riders misjudging their speed and stopping times.

India gets its first cycling café in the “Detroit of India” even though the city doesn’t have a single bike lane.

Australian bike riders may soon be allowed to ride on sidewalks in the state of Victoria, but could face on-the-spot fines for using a handheld phone. So what happens if they can’t pay? Are they arrested on the spot?

“Selfish” Aussie cyclists are accused of illegally riding in high-speed bus-only lanes to avoid slower bikeways.

Don’t ride under the influence in Japan, don’t report a falling down drunk bike rider to the police, and don’t ride with groceries on your handlebars.



It takes a bold thief to ride off with a bike cop’s bike as she stood just a few feet away. Caught on video: an Ohio bird defends his territory against a cyclist. Or maybe he just doesn’t like they guy’s taste in bike helmets.

And a new study from the University of Duh confirms that marijuana use impairs driving. Next up, a study confirming that it gives people the munchies, too.


I need to find a better name for the Morning Links, since I seem to be temporally challenged these days. Chain Links is too cutsie, while Bike News seems a little dull.

Any suggestions?

Weekend Links: A massive list o’links and a whopping videopalooza

It’s a veritable link and video-palooza today on BikinginLA.


Caught on video: This is what anti-bike harassment looks like, in all it’s brutal ugliness.

Here in LA, this video would be all the evidence needed to file — and win — a suit against the driver under the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Instead, the Kentucky cyclist, Cherokee Schill, was charged and convicted for the crime of riding a bike in the traffic lane. And the police look the other way when she’s threatened and harassed by angry motorists.

Which is a polite way of saying they don’t give a damn because they don’t think she belongs there to begin with.

Fortunately, she’s less than $200 away from the $10,000 needed to appeal her illegal conviction.


Caught on video: Before Governor Brown signed the current three-foot passing law, he vetoed a much better version that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass cyclists when it was safe to do so, fearing endless carnage and lawsuits.

Even though the state is largely immune from being sued. But still.

Evidently, it’s not that big a deal, as this video from the Austin TX police department shows.

Any chance we could get Brown to watch this?

No, I didn’t think so.


Caught on video: An irate woman berates a Chicago cyclist for riding on the sidewalk, nearly getting herself arrested in the process. And being unclear on the concept, tells him to ride in the street before wishing he gets hit by a car, which is probably why he was on the sidewalk to begin with.


Caught on video: I missed this one earlier this year, as three cyclists experience a viscous goathead attack on the San Gabriel River trail. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.


And one more while we’re at it.

Caught on video: Wolfpack Hustle offers video of the recent Huntington Park Gran Prix.


Good advice, as a writer suggests three things all cyclists should do.


Great idea. UCLA is hosting Bike (Re)cycling Day on Sunday the 19th; the university’s police and transportation departments will give out free abandoned bikes and parts to UCLA students, staff and faculty members.


If you hurry, you may still be able to make one last training ride today before next Saturday’s first ever El Gran Fondo de Angeles Crest. And my apologies for not getting this notice up sooner.



Okay, so it’s not bike related. But in an apparent case of induced demand, travel times on the 405 freeway have increased a full minute following the $1 billion —that’s billion with a b — project to add an HOV lane through the Sepulveda pass.

Good news for Valley cyclists, as the second phase of the San Fernando Road bike path opens.

Turns out there will be three workshops to discuss the Las Virgenes Malibu Regional Bike Master Plan, in Malibu on the 21st, Westlake Village on the 22nd and Calabasas on the 23rd of this month.

The Pasadena Star-News calls out one of the San Gabriel Valley’s most bike unfriendly cities while endorsing Eric Sunada for Alhambra city council. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the tip.

Haven’t checked in with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson for awhile; here he puts the great helmet debate in perspective.



Evidently, the DMV has reworked their website and made everything harder to find, including bike laws.

Around 4,000 people took part in last Sunday’s first ever Santa Ana ciclovia.

A San Diego writer says the new three-foot law will increase tensions with drivers, but gets it right in calling for more protected bike lanes. Another writer on the same site calls cyclists “scourges of the road,” while decrying that bikes aren’t required to stay three feet from drivers; seriously, I could spend all day just pointing out the fallacies in this piece of bikelash drivel.

Palm Springs gets its first bike corral.

Caltrans did the right thing for a change, building a pedestrian bridge and off-road bike path connecting Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties as part of a six-mile carpool lane project; I’m told it has dramatically improved safety for riders along the coast highway. Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

Too typical. Santa Cruz creates up a sandwich sign to warn drivers to give cyclists three feet. Then puts it in the bike lane.

Yet another teenage driver faces charges in the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, this time in Milpitas.

A Monterrey couple ride 2,300 miles to attend their 50th reunion in Kansas.

San Francisco cyclists are the victims of violent assaults to steal the bikes they’re riding.



A blogger offers a great list of some truly badass biking women, including Elly Blue and our own Nona Varnado.

In the latest attempt to thin the herd by enabling more distracted drivers, a new app promises to let drivers use all their apps behind the wheel.

Despite that, it looks like the Feds are finally taking bike safety seriously, as the Department of Transportation releases new guidelines to make the streets safer for you and me. Maybe they could ban the use of onboard computer systems by drivers next.

A bike-friendly Portland convenience store finds sales exceed expectations, as 34% of customers arrive some way other than driving.

Unclear on the concept. An Ohio driver complains about cyclists riding in the traffic lane, then insists bike riders need to act like motorists.

Yet another caught on video, but one that can’t be embedded: A cyclist accuses a Penn university cop of using excessive force in a confrontation partially caught on camera.

After a New York driver runs down a cyclist from behind — and is found at fault by her own insurance company — she sues the victim for damaging her car. No, really.

Bike Snob introduces you to suddenly bike-friendly New York.



Here’s what’s wrong with London’s pie-in-the-sky proposals that would remove bike riders from the street.

“Old men in limos” are working behind the scenes to derail London’s plan for separated bike lanes.

The Daily Mail freaks out when Kerri Russell rides a bike sans helmet and talking on a cell phone.

A former British soldier recalls liberating a Dutch town in World War II by bicycle 70 years ago.

Sad to see Andy Schleck retire from pro racing at 29, after a career that started with such promise.

Okay, so maybe bicycling isn’t really the fastest form of transportation in Perth. Then again, the results might be a little different coming from a less biased source, no?



Probably not a good idea to ask your Twitter followers to shoot another bike journalist, even if you’re not serious. Or especially if you are. If you profess to be a psychic, don’t channel a recently fallen rider, all the details of which could probably be found by picking up the local paper.

And one more benefit of bicycling — you probably won’t have a secret police file from scanning your license plates.


Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to help support this site.  

Morning Links: CHP motorcycle cop demonstrates his ignorance of the law; meet LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds

One of the primary tenets of the American justice system is that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

That is, you’re responsible for obeying it even if you don’t know something is illegal; it’s your responsibility to know the law.

But what if the one who doesn’t know the law is the person charged with enforcing it?

That’s what appears to have happened over the weekend, as cyclist Topher Mathers was forced off the road by a CHP motorcycle cop while riding downhill on Angeles Crest Highway.

Over the weekend I was cited for CVC 21202 as I was descending Angeles Crest Hwy by a CHP motorcycle officer. Before the officer pulled me over, he told me to get onto the shoulder to allow the cars behind me to pass. To note I was coming out of a series of turns and had yet been able to take my eyes off the road ahead of me to check for traffic behind me. Furthermore, the officer’s command was problematic because there is no real shoulder along the crest, just gravel, debris from car and motorcycle accidents and either the side of the San Gabriel Mountains or a cliff. The manner in which the officer engaged me not only startled me but it in fact endangered me. He did not use his siren or lights, he just pulled up alongside of me (well within in 3ft) and began giving commands. He informed me that my “delaying traffic time was over” and in the process forced me to process the situation and defend my actions all while actively descending a mountain. I informed him “I do not need to ride the shoulder.” Once he decided to pull me over he began forcing me onto the shoulder. He became angered, as he was not satisfied by my bicycle’s slowing speed, apparently not accounting for fact that I’m on a bicycle, not a motorcycle and that I am slowing down onto gravel. He initially indicated that he was going to cite me for impeding traffic but I guess he realized it was too hard to prove (less than 5 cars and they had all passed on by then) and ended up citing me for CVC 21202.

I attempted to question the officer once we came to a full stop but by this time I had my phone out and was filming, he became non-responsive.

I don’t even know where to start.

CVC 21202 does in fact require cyclists to ride as far to the right has practicable. However, nothing in California law requires cyclists to ride on the shoulder or to the right of the right limit line; the traffic lane is to the left of the line, and anything to the right is not legally considered part of the roadway.

In addition, if the officer had read a little further, he would have noticed a long list of exceptions under which CVC 21202 does not apply — including any traffic lane too narrow to safely share with a bike and a motor vehicle, which would include virtually every inch of Angeles Crest.

So much for that ticket.

And as Mather suggests, the standard for impeding traffic is a minimum of five vehicles stuck behind a slower vehicle and unable to pass. Again, if there are less than five cars behind, or if the cars can pass — even one at a time — the law does not apply.

Not to mention that common sense should come into play when a rider is busy negotiating a tricky descent.

More troubling than the officer’s ignorance of the law, however, was his use of a motor vehicle as a weapon to force Mather’s bike off the roadway — ignoring the fact that pushing the rider into gravel at speed could result in a potentially deadly fall, whether off the hillside or back into the path of the trailing traffic.

In fact, any use of a motor vehicle — any motor vehicle — to stop a cyclist should be considered deadly force, and its use banned by every department unless the officer’s life, or that of someone else, is in imminent danger. Which was hardly the case here.

Finally, there’s the officer’s ignorance of the physics of bicycling, as he somehow expected a bike rider going downhill at speed to instantly pull over and stop on a dime. Let alone conduct a conversation with a motorcycle rider violating the state’s new three-foot law.

All of which brings up a problem we’ve discussed many times before.

Virtually no law enforcement agency anywhere in the country trains its officers in bike law, and in how bikes operate.

The LAPD is one of the few that offers any training at all. And that only in the form of a interactive video session that all street level officers were required to view, and few remember.

To the best of my knowledge, the CHP doesn’t offer any bike training at all, either in the academy or after officers are on the streets.

And that has to change.




Help welcome new LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds to LA with a reception Tuesday, Sept 23rd in DTLA.

A while back we discussed a new bike valet program at the Westfield Century City shopping center, which has now been expanded to include changing rooms, lockers and, yes, showers. Although, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out, they could promote it a lot better (scroll down… keep going… all the way).

Bikes secured with cable locks are disappearing from bike racks at CSUN.

The Burbank bikelash has begun, as a letter writer says bikes have made that city’s streets unsafe for the motor vehicles that have made them unsafe for everyone else. Thanks to Adeel Mansoor for the heads-up.

South Bay cities meet to talk bike corrals on Thursday.



New signage and sharrows are being installed on San Diego’s Fiesta Island in the wake of the alleged drunken wrong-way driver who injured several cyclists.

The family of Alejandro Rendon, the unarmed bike rider killed by Indio police officers because he looked suspicious, have settled their lawsuit against the department for an undisclosed — but hopefully very large — amount.

A cyclist riding from Vancouver to the Mexican border to promote Blackburn Designs was injured in a Santa Cruz collision.



New wind tunnel tests confirm shaving your legs can shave up to 7% off your racing times.

Here’s a good idea. A new Crash Sensor can send an emergency test message, including your location, if you’re injured in a crash.

Four US mayors explain why better bike networks matter.

Cyclists call on Wyoming legislators for new protections after four bike riders have lost their lives in the state this year.

Interesting appeals court ruling from Illinois says cities can be held responsible when snowplows block bike lanes and sidewalks, forcing cyclists and pedestrians into the street. Not a problem we often have here, though some parallels could apply.

The New York Post says visit Colorado for a beer and biking biathlon.

Seth Rogen lashes out against Citi Bike on his Twitter account.

New York’s Vision Zero plan gets $25 million in federal funding; to the best of my knowledge, no one in LA’s city government has even uttered the phrase yet.



A separated bike lane in a Vancouver suburb has to be removed after motorists rip out the bollards.

A Brit bike thief trades up, leaving his old bike in place of the new one he took.

Seriously? Australia’s Daily Telegraph calls plans for a protected bike lane on a Sydney street part of the mayor’s jihad on motorists.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist defends the magpies that attacked him 14 times in 45 seconds while he rides.

A Kiwi transport researcher says only smaller roads and more congestion will free us from traffic.



Unbelievable. A Louisiana jury acquits a driver in the death of a cyclist — even though he fled the scene, failed to render aid to the victim, was driving without a license or valid plates, and still had a BAC over the legal limit five hours after the collision.

And shockingly, a Salinas woman had yet another crash over the weekend while driving under the influence and on a suspended license. She had 12 prior collisions, including killing a pedestrian — and was found at fault for 11 of them — yet was still allowed to own a car, let alone drive it.


Morning Links: LA bike rider is deliberately buzzed by Metro bus driver for legally riding in the traffic lane

Last year, Metro proclaimed that every lane is a bike lane, to the applause of many in the bicycling community.

Unfortunately, they seem to have forgotten to tell some of their drivers.

In an all too common complaint, Twitter user topomodesto posted video of a close pass and brake check by a Metro bus driver apparently attempting to punish him for riding exactly where he was supposed to in the middle of the lane.

Personally, I had no idea bus drivers had been deputized to enforce their own mistaken interpretation of the law. Or that at least some seem incapable of remembering the message that was proudly plastered on the backs of their buses such a short time back.

Topomodesto reports he’s filed a complaint over the incident. But also notes that he and other riders have never heard back after filing similar complaints in the past, so he has no idea how seriously Metro takes them.

Unfortunately, no one outside of Metro does.

Complaints against drivers are considered personnel matters, so no one other than the driver and his or her supervisors are ever told the resolution of the matter.

Or if it was ever resolved, period.

Short of filing legal action — and this would appear to be a perfect test case for the city’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance — there seems to be no way to find out.

Which really needs to change.

Because we have a right to know if something, anything, was done in response to a deliberately threatening driver. Even if they don’t actually identify the driver.

And Metro’s well-intentioned attempts to promote bike riding will be meaningless if we have to ride in fear of self-appointed vigilante bus jockeys.


Before you ride to Thursday’s public forum on the North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes with the Bike Oven and the Eastside Bike club, catch up on LADOT’s presentation on the subject from last month’s community meeting.

Meanwhile, it turns out the LA Fire Department did not determine that the North Fig bike lanes would slow response times, despite what a fire captain suggested last month. In fact, it wasn’t even studied by the department.

So why did he imply it was — and would?



The LAPD is looking for bike riders to start a volunteer bicycle patrol team in the northwest San Fernando Valley.

A West San Fernando Valley website looks at last weekend’s COLT ride.

KPCC’s annual Olympic Day considers the rise of bicycling on June 23rd; free, but RSVP required.

Despite what this story says, Santa Monica is already designated as a Bike Friendly Community, but they’re trying to certify more Bicycle Friendly Businesses.



A reporter for Marketplace completes the AIDS Lifecycle Ride.

Good for them. The family of fallen cyclist Paul Lin is suing Newport Beach, alleging that a dangerous intersection at San Joaquin Hills Road and Marguerite Ave was responsible for his death.

Evidently, it’s not just LA. The Voice of San Diego looks at that city’s hit-and-run epidemic.

A Bay Area bike safety instructor is recovering after being rear-ended by a distracted driver.

Sacramento police nail a butt ugly bike thief with a bait bike.



The bike industry wants tariffs reduced on imported bicycles since bikes have a positive effect on the environment.

A Massachusetts cyclist luckily lands in the back seat of a convertible after being hit by the turning car.

Bike shops may be collateral damage to the popularity of New York’s Citi Bike program, even though the opposite appears to be true in DC.

Unbelievable. A new three-foot passing law is approved in West Virginia, which also requires motorists to give an audible signal when passing a rider. Yes, they want every driver who passes a bike to honk or shout, which is about the most distracting and dangerous thing they could do.

Velonews says loyal Lance lieutenant George Hincapie’s new book rationalizes his doping choices; I’ve often wondered why the still popular rider seems to get a free pass on the subject.

The price of that $20 cardboard bike rose to $295 before dropping to $95 plus shipping, then nothing as the business collapsed.



Caught on video: A London cyclist is searching for the rider who crashed into him in a bike-on-bike hit-and-run.

A tragic reminder that bike-on-ped collisions are dangerous for both parties, as a UK scientist is killed when her bike collides with a pedestrian.

One third of all Czech cyclists blamed for traffic collisions had been drinking; no word on how that compares to the rate of drunk driving collisions in the country.



An Indiana cyclist is doored. By a porta-potty. Here’s the latest bike-themed music video.

And no. Just… no.


Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.


A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.


The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.


Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

%d bloggers like this: