Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: LAPD still looking for hit-and-run cyclist, and a bike rider critically injured in SoLA hit-and-run

The hunt is still on for the bicyclist who left the scene after colliding with an elderly man on Glendale Blvd last month.

That’s the gist of the following email I received from LAPD Det. Felix Padilla on Monday.

On October 15, 2015, around 8:20 am, Levon Avetisyan, 77 years old and a resident of Los Angeles, was crossing Glendale Blvd just north of 1st Street when he was struck by a bicyclist riding northbound on Glendale Blvd.  Mr. Avetisyan suffered severe head trauma and was taken to LAC+USC Medical Center by paramedics from LAFD.  He was later transported to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.  Despite lifesaving efforts, Mr. Avetisyan succumbed to his injuries on November 1, 2015. The unknown bicyclist left the area before he was identified by police.  The investigation is being conducted as a hit and run, however, I believe the bicyclist had no other option other than to leave once the scene was cleared by the paramedics.

The bicyclist was described as a male, White, in his 40’s and was attired with a cycling jersey and shorts. Anyone with information concerning the bicyclist is asked to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at (213) 833-3713 or Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at (213) 833-3746.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

Padilla notes that the collision appears to be an unfortunate accident, and the rider involved is not likely to face charges.

However, the police still need to talk to him, and the family of the victim is asking the bicyclist involved to come forward.

So if you’re the rider in question, contact the police. Or if you know who it was, urge him to come forward so this case can be resolved, and Avetisyan’s family get the peace and closure they need.

It’s the right thing to do.


Yet another bicyclist has been critically injured by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to KNBC-4, the victim, described only as a man in his 30s, suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle around 3 am Monday at Vernon Avenue and Broadway in South LA.

Bystanders reportedly moved construction barricades to protect him until help arrived.


Bicyclists aren’t the only two-wheeled riders endangered by road raging drivers, as a San Diego-area woman is charged with second degree murder for running down a motorcyclist she’d argued with while driving on a freeway.


If we can build self-driving cars, it shouldn’t be that hard to develop a system to detect cyclists and keep car doors from opening until the rider has passed to prevent doorings.

At least, that’s what a new German study suggests.



No one really wanted those buffered bike lanes on Vineland, which were supposed to give riders safe alternative route on a quiet street, instead of the long-promised bike lanes on Lankershim that were killed by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Well, so much for that.

Writing on LinkedIn, urban planner Nathan S. Holmes says we’ve allowed the media to frame the LA Mobility Plan incorrectly; it’s not bikes vs. cars, but rather, all about choices.

A former LA city planner says every LA street should be a Great Street, not just one little pocket in each council district.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare reaches 1,000 members in just two weeks.

SoCalCycling reports on last Sunday’s UCI pro cyclocross race in Long Beach.

LA Bike Trains is trying out a new route from Koreatown to UCLA tomorrow.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday this weekend with pop-up protected bike lanes, bike rides led by the LACBC and Calbike’s Charlie Gandy, and all-day events along Venice Blvd in Mar Vista. Unlike some of his fellow councilmembers, the Westside’s Mike Bonin clearly takes the mayor’s Great Streets program seriously.

Join the LACBC and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon in cleaning up Mulholland Drive between Runyon Canyon and the 101 Freeway on December 12th; there’s a free cookie from Sweetsalt Food Shop in it for you.



Irvine residents remember Kevin Jiang, the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike Friday afternoon; they urge drivers to slow down.

San Francisco will transform half of a busy four-lane street into bike lanes and pedestrians pathways. The mere suggestion of which would undoubtedly cause rioting and lawsuits down here.

A Berkeley cyclist became collateral damage when two women fled from police following an earlier collision; fortunately, he doesn’t seem to be too badly banged up.



The new federal transportation budget not only keeps the popular TIGER grants that have helped build bike and pedestrian projects across the US, but expands it by $100 million.

This could come in handy. A handlebar-mounted external battery will recharge your USB headlight, cam or other electronic devices if they go dead while you ride.

After Grand Junction CO officials cited costs in turning down hosting a stage of next year’s USA Pro Challenge, local residents pitch in $63,000, and counting, out of their own pockets. Speaking of which, my formerly sled dog-running Alaskan brother will be moving to Grand Junction next month, for reasons that escape me.

Chicago’s Deaf Velo Alliance shows hearing loss doesn’t have to be a hindrance to bicycling.

An Atlanta coalition opposes plans to add bike lanes to the city’s iconic Peachtree Blvd for now because not enough Millennials live there yet. No, seriously, that’s what it says.



Bike collisions and fatalities have gone up in Mexico City, even as it works to become friendlier for cyclists. It’s possible that increased ridership could have something to do with it, however.

A Windsor, Ontario letter writer complains about “useless” bike lanes, since he thinks bicycles belong on the sidewalk. Although I’m sure most pedestrians would beg to differ.

A British delivery driver gets 44 months in prison for hiding his diabetes from his employer; he killed a bicyclist when he blacked out after his blood sugar crashed.

Caught on video: A London rider gets left hooked — the equivalent of a right hook on this side of the Atlantic — when he undertakes a cab. If you’re looking to assign blame, I vote for both; the cab driver should have checked his blind spot before turning, but the rider should have held up until he knew what the driver was going to do.

Brompton wants your 15-second videos of unexplored parts of your city, to be judged by Brit filmmaker Guy Ritchie, among others.

Alberto Contador says he gets that his signature gun gesture might not be appropriate at next year’s Tour de France in light of the Paris attacks. Meanwhile, the manager of the women’s Canyon/SRAM team says women’s cycling is stronger than ever.

A new Italian e-bike comes with built-in GPS anti-theft system so you always know where your bike is, even if it rides off without you.

It’s a good problem to have. Amsterdam is building 40,000 new bicycle parking spaces to relieve overcrowded bike lots.

An Aussie writer considers the effect of topography on bicycle mode share, suggesting that bicycling is successful in Copenhagen because it’s so flat.



Evidently, if you choose to ride in a traffic lane at the same speed as the relatively light traffic around you, you’re a cockroach on wheels. That’s one way to compete with the internet — an LBS that serves a good beer while you wait.

And it’s hard for a bike lane to protect cyclists from large trucks when they use it for garbage collection.



Morning Links: Serious sentence for a serious crime, memorial for 9-year old victim, and blame drivers, not bikes

They continue to take traffic crime seriously in Orange County.

An unlicensed drunk driver got 18 years — yes, years, not months — for fleeing the scene after killing an elderly woman and injuring her blind grandson as they stood in a Santa Ana bike lane to observe fireworks on the 4th of July in 2013.

When she was arrested two hours later, Kelly Michele Wolfe had a blood alcohol level of .31, nearly four times the legal limit.

Now she’s going to have a very long time to sober up.

Maybe someone should tell the LA DA this is what can happen when you don’t bargain away all the serious charges.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.


Hundreds of mourners turned out on Sunday to remember the nine-year old boy killed while riding his bike in Irvine on Sunday.

He was a recent Chinese immigrant whose parents had come here looking for a better life.

Instead, they lost a son to this country’s deadly streets.


Great piece from Boyonabike, who says we should “tell car companies to take cynical marketing gimmicks like ‘Volvo Life Paint’ and shove it where the sun don’t shine.”

Because, he says, the real problem is dangerous and distracted drivers, a lack of safe infrastructure, and a “car culture that sells cars on TV by overt appeals to fantasies of speed and danger”

Seriously, read it, already.



The LACBC’s Eric Bruins examines the investment priorities for a proposed transportation ballet measure.

The editor of USC’s Daily Trojan says bikeshare has the potential to revolutionize transit in Los Angeles if anyone actually uses it, while a writer for the Los Angeles News Group questions if people will pay $3.50 a trip to ride a bike.

Western Avenue in Palos Verdes could trade street parking for buffered bike lanes; for a change, the primary concern of local residents isn’t over the loss of parking spaces.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg offers advice on how to winterize your riding to prepare for El Niño and what passes for winter in the City of Angels.

Santa Clarita wants your opinion on the city’s off-street biking trails.

People for Bikes looks at Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.



A San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision after allegedly bicycling under the influence; no word on why police think he’d been drinking.

San Francisco completes its 24th Vision Zero bike and pedestrian safety project three months ahead of schedule. Which puts it about 23 ahead of LA.



Great news from Arizona, as former US Representative Gabby Giffords takes her recumbent on a 40 mile ride less than five years after her near-fatal shooting.

Evidently, a Colorado letter writer really hates bike lanes; he condemns any government official who puts more than 20 cents into bike lane construction to suffer an eternity of spilling hot coffee in their laps while driving.

A Colorado mountain biker relates the frightening story of how he got lost for nearly two days after falling into a river during a recent Costa Rican race.

A discussion of installing crosstown bike lanes in New York’s Upper East Side draws little opposition, even if one community board member says bicyclists’ lawlessness has resulted in a “complete and total Armageddon.” Not to exaggerate or anything.

A Philadelphia magazine explores the challenges of being African American in white suburbia, including a troubling story of black teenagers just out for a bike ride.

The World Championships didn’t turn out to be the financial windfall for the Richmond area that had been promised.



London’s Cycling Commissioner says banning large trucks during rush hour won’t save as many lives as making trucks safer and building protected bike lanes. He also called a reporter a liar over claims bike riders weren’t using one of the city’s new cycle superhighways.

London plans to close a busy and dangerous junction in the heart of the city to motor vehicles for at least five years to improve safety and “all round congeniality,” while making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

A UK publication says leave the car at home if you don’t want to die young.

Two Brit bike thieves have been jailed for a long running con; they’d leave a laptop bag as security for taking a bike for a test ride, which turned out to hold nothing but books when they didn’t return. They’d gotten away with 23 bikes worth $93,000 before they were caught.

A British woman is left with a broken hip after a collision with a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. But if he just rode off without stopping, how do they know he had a foreign accent?

Forty Americans biked the length of Israel to show support for the Israeli military.

An 18-year old South African man designed and built his own very cool custom bike from scratch.

An Aussie website says it may be time to rethink the country’s bike helmet requirement.

A Kiwi earthmoving company has installed cameras with a dashboard monitor in their trucks to eliminate blind spots that put cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

A five-year old Chinese boy is able to ride his bike again after getting a 3D-printed hand.

Japanese police are looking for a man who smacked a woman in the head with a blunt object after her clothes somehow got caught in his bike when he rode up behind her.



Evidently, it’s okay to steal a bike from a celebrity restaurant as long as you’re a hunk with washboard abs. If you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle after robbing a bank, wearing a cycling cap sets the right stylistic tone.

And who says beautiful bikes don’t grow on trees?


Thanks to Wes High and Matthew Robertson for their donations to support this site. Thanks to their generosity, the first ever Biking in LA Holiday Fund Drive is now up to, uh, three contributions!

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.

BOLO ALERT: Driver of blue car fled the scene after dooring woman near Fairfax and La Cienega Thursday night

Thursday's dooring victim; I'm not identifying the victim at this time since I have not been in direct contact with her family.

The victim of Thursday’s dooring in the hospital; she is not being identified at this time since I have not been in direct contact with her family.

A woman was seriously injured in a hit-and-run dooring while riding on the western edge of the West Adams district.

According to reports, the collision occurred near the intersection of La Cienega Blvd and Fairfax Ave, between West Jefferson and Washington Blvds around 10 pm Thursday night.

The driver stayed long enough to pull the victim out of the street, but took off after nearby valets called 911.

Her husband arrived on the scene while the suspects were still there, but they lied to him by saying the driver had already left the scene. He identifies the car only as a blue sedan with a license plate starting with H20.

I’m not sure if the police have been contacted yet. So if you may have seen the incident or have any information, email me at the address on the About page, and I’ll forward it to the appropriate people.

Dooring is always the fault of the driver or passenger; CVC 22517 requires anyone opening a door into traffic to wait until it’s safe to do so and can be done without interfering with traffic.

Let’s spread the news and see if we can catch these guys.

Update: I’m told the victim suffered a partially collapsed lung, broken clavicle and required multiple staples for a head wound; she was in surgery as this is being written. 

A gofundme account established to help defray medical expenses has raised $6,000 of a requested $10,000 in just three hours; she’ll need a lot more than that to pay for hospitalization and surgery.

Thanks to Kyle Murray for providing information in this case.


Bellflower bike rider killed in August hit-and-run; one-third of LA County bicycling deaths are hit-and-runs

Sometimes bad news takes a long time to surface.

That’s what happened Tuesday, as word finally broke that a bike rider was killed in a Bellflower hit-and-run last August.

According to the Press-Telegram, 60-year old Bradley Miller was riding on Lakewood Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave a little after 11 pm on August 18th when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies have little information on the car or the driver, and no details were released on how the wreck occurred.

Anyone with information is urged asked to call the Lakewood Station’s Traffic Office at 562/623-3500.

This is the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 27th in Los Angeles County. Twelve of those have been victims of hit-and-runs, as have nine of the deaths in LA County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bradley Miller and his family.


Weekend Links: Free Breeze bikeshare pass, unfair bike traffic ticket, and anti-bike lane — and anti-bike — madness

As we’ve discussed before, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off with a grand opening ceremony this Thursday.

What we haven’t mentioned is that it’s free that day; just register online for a free one-day trial membership.

Breeze Email-ad-Final


Saw this post on Facebook from endurance cyclist, vegan nutritionist and organizer of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, Matt Ruscigno,

So I’m splitting lanes in heavy traffic on Melrose Blvd and I time a red light so I enter the intersection as soon as it turns green while maintaining my speed.

[police sirens]

LAPD: I’m pulling you over because you ran that red light.

Me: No I didn’t, I timed it perfectly.


Me: I may have rolled into the crosswalk but I had it timed. I watched. 
[takes ID, writes me a ticket]

LAPD: And you have to ride as far to the right as possible.

Me: I was passing, I’m allowed to do that.


Me: I was going around the cars in the right lane, safely.

LAPD: Don’t talk to me about safety- you shouldn’t have been doing that.

Me: Oh so I’m getting a ticket because you didn’t like I was splitting lanes and timed the light?


Me: Actually, I do. And I was riding safely.

LAPD: You’re lucky I’m not giving you two tickets!

Me: I can pass right?

LAPD: Yes.

Me: [Ride away, splitting lanes, with a $400 ticket in my pocket]

Sad that some cops still don’t get it.


Today’s common theme is attacks on bike lanes and the people who ride them.

More anti-bike insanity from Coronado, as a writer says bike advocates need to learn from animal advocates. Except she thinks bicyclists a sense of entitlement rather than a legal right to the road, she doesn’t get that police don’t always get bike law right (see above), and she doesn’t have a clue how traffic safety works.

A British Columbia writer says bike lanes are a waste of money and bikes belong on the sidewalk. Oh, and bicyclists don’t pay for roads, taxes or insurance, either.

Apparently desperate for click bait, a UK paper offers one story saying cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads, and another saying motorists should ask for more bikes on the road instead of complaining about them. Meanwhile, a writer for Cycling Weekly deconstructs the former, calling it the most ridiculous anti-cycling column yet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

The vitriol isn’t limited to road bikes, either. In a piece that reads like it belongs in The Onion, a Berkeley Ph.D. suggests we’re corrupting the youth of America through high school off-road racing, saying introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Speaking of criminal, his hatred of mountain biking goes back to at least 1997; he was arrested in 2010, tried and convicted of assaulting a pair of riders with a hacksaw and slicing one on the chest. And his previous posts to a mountain bike forum were replaced with a Seussian Ode to a Usenet Kook (scroll to the bottom for the final entry). Thanks to Mark Ganzer and Patrick Traughber for the heads-up.



The Amgen Tour of California will make a stop in South Pasadena on its way north.

CiclaValley discusses not riding Oat Mountain, the highest peak in the Santa Susana Mountains north of the San Fernando Valley, but his teammate Cameron Bond did.

Build traffic skills with a family friendly ride to Trader Joes followed by a picnic in Silver Lake Meadow on Sunday.

Find out where recently elected CD4 City Councilmember David Ryu stands on transportation issues when he discusses the LA Mobility Plan with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds at the Autry Museum this Monday. Be sure to ask him why one of his first acts on the council was an attempt to exempt some streets in his district, including the long-promised 4th Street bike boulevard, from the plan.

This Thursday, Metro Chief Planning Officer Martha Welborne will discuss Metro’s regional planning vision at the the Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting, by registration only.

Santa Monica will host a free, full-day family bike festival on Sunday the 17th.



Seriously? Monterey’s annual Sea Otter classic will now offer e-bike races.

SFist says there’s a plague of bike thefts at San Francisco State University and college officials don’t seem to care.

Here’s a dream job for any bike advocate who doesn’t mind moving to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time Campaigns Director to “manage and direct the 44-year-old organization’s organizing, policy and political campaigns.” Then again, you probably can’t afford to live there, and you might have to become a Giants fan, which could be a deal breaker.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A suspected drunk driver is arrested after a high-speed chase in Santa Rosa, despite having already lost his license after five previous DUI convictions and 12 license suspensions. Taking away the license doesn’t keep some of the most dangerous drivers off the roads; we’ve got to find another way to keep them from driving.

Despite appearances, that Redding cyclist who suffered major injuries when he was hit by an 88-year old driver wasn’t a transient; he was collecting recyclables to donate to his church. And friends say he wasn’t one to just turn in front of a car.



A new online bike marketplace promises that you won’t encourage bike theft by buying a stolen bike.

A new website maps out every one of the 373,377 traffic fatalities in the US from 2004 to 2013

Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence in the US. Which is probably a good thing, since there seems to be so little of the real thing on our streets.

Seattle residents vote to tax themselves to build a 50-mile protected bike lane network, along with a 60-mile network of neighborhood greenways.

Disappointing, but not surprising, as popular Colorado-based pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s B sample comes back positive for an anabolic steroid.

A Wyoming cyclist won’t face charges for killing a decorated former military dog; he claimed he shot the dog with the handgun he keeps strapped to his bike after it attacked him.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Houston man accuses another man of intentionally running him down as he rode his bike following a dispute, then jumping him and attempting to drown him.

A Cleveland cyclist was shot in the chest after being asked for a cigarette at 3 am.

A New York cyclist captures photos of law breaking drivers, while admitting that he doesn’t always follow the law himself; meanwhile, a barely recognizable Katy Perry takes a spin around the city on her Trek.

Good read from the New Yorker, which blames the seemingly never-ending conflict between bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on old-fashioned egocentricity.



Bloomberg looks at the next generation of bespoke bike builders.

A cyclist from Colorado has been found safe after being missing from a three day stage race across Costa Rica.

Canadian authorities are looking for a driver who drove over a cyclist’s leg, asked if he was okay, then just drove away.

A British road safety advocate calls for a left-handed equivalent to the Idaho stop law.

It’s three years in jail for the Brit mom of six who deliberately ran down an autistic bike rider following a dispute. With her kids in the car, no less.

A writer considers the lessons learned from a family bike tour in France, where he was accepted by more experienced riders with open handlebars. His term, not mine.

An Indian professor says bike riders are normalizing bicycling as a way of life, and recreational cycling in Mumbai should not be seen through the lens of class conflict.



Caught on video: Nothing like reading a newspaper while driving. Nothing brings peace between cyclists and pedestrians like miso fries.

And meet the Cuban equivalent of LA’s Stupidtall bike.


Morning Links: Swift justice in Highland Park DUI hit-and-run case, and protected bike lanes spread across US

That was fast.

Less than five months after 33-year old Jose Luna was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a Highland Park crosswalk, the man responsible has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Alexis Virto was reportedly driving at least 60 mph on North Figueroa Blvd and never braked before he slammed into Luna, severing his leg and carrying him the length of two football fields on the hood of his car as he fled the scene.

He was found bed with his girlfriend a few hours later, still drunk, with glass from the shattered windshield still in his hair.

Virto accepted a plea deal last month, entering a plea of no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in exchange for prosecutors dropping a host of other charges.

Even if he served his full sentence — which is highly unlikely — the 21-year old driver would be just 30 years old when he gets out.

But he’ll have the rest of his life to live with what he did after getting drunk and getting behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, North Figueroa remains one of the city’s deadliest streets, over a year after CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo arbitrarily killed a planned road diet while somehow citing safety as the reason to halt the safety project.


Today’s theme seems to be protected bike lanes.



UCLA cites 13 improvements that helped the campus jump up to silver-level Bicycle Friendly University status, placing it in the top third of bike-friendly colleges nationwide; however, UC Santa Barbara ranks a notch higher with gold status. Needless to say, USC is nowhere to be found on the list.

The LACBC offers highlights from last week’s successful Firefly Ball.

Pasadena’s Open Road bike shop is a one man operation with no employees to help run the 10,000 square foot store; owner Steve Lubanski’s business model focuses on selling accessories rather than bicycles.

BikeSGV is looking for a full-time Active Transportation Data Coordinator to collect, analyze and report information on bicycling and walking in the San Gabriel Valley.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is selling some of their used bikes, including this nifty kid-friendly ride that transforms into stroller. If only it came in a Corgi-compatible model, and I had an extra grand tucked under the mattress.

El Segundo police are looking for the thief who cut a cable lock to steal an $1,800 bicycle. Anyone who thinks $1,800 is a high-end bike hasn’t priced them lately.



The Orange County Transportation Authority warns that a quarter of Orange County bicycling fatalities occur between 6 pm and 10 pm. Which means that three-quarters don’t.

Irvine-based Pedego introduces their first e-powered mountain bike. Whether it can legally be ridden off-road is highly questionable, though.

Laguna Beach cyclists will take a free tour of local backyard chicken coops with the third annual Tour de Coop.

Lake Forest considers a plan to put bike lanes on Saddleback Ranch Road after residents rose up in protest of earlier plans.

Santa Ana will host it’s second annual ciclovía this Sunday, with a belated Day of the Dead theme.

Thousand Oaks’ first ciclovía drew just 2,000 people, most of whom went home as the day grew on.

A Thousand Oaks driver didn’t bother to stop after hitting a deer, but a cyclist who witnessed it did; rider Todd Banks comforted the badly injured animal until help came, while other riders and motorists stopped to call for help and direct traffic.

A lightless Redding bike rider suffered significant head and leg injuries when he reportedly rode out in front of an 88-year old driver.



The Bike League reports those proposed anti-bike amendments to the federal transportation bill went down in flames.

A loophole in Lance’s lifetime ban means he’ll be eligible to compete in triathlons starting next year. When you look at the photo accompanying that story, just remember you can’t spell Speedo without EPO.

A writer for Health Magazine asks if the un-helmeted people who ride New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes have a death wish. Actually, as of last year, no one had been killed riding a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US. But I guess they don’t have Google at the magazine.

Colorado’s governor touts the benefits of bicycling; the bike-friendly state has the lowest obesity rate in the US.

The Grand Rapids newspaper calls the removal of a bike lane in front of a church attended by a city commissioner an abuse of power, and an exercise in how not to run a city.

Feel free to write your own punch line, as a Massachusetts bike rider somehow mistook a Trump for President campaign sign for a bomb.



If you want to meet actual Cubans instead of tourists, just hop on a bike.

Vancouver unanimously rejects a proposal to license cyclists, which means even the counselor who proposed it ended up voting against it.

Calgary police shoot a hit-and-run suspect who deliberately ran down a cyclist, then circled back and drove at officers when they tried to stop him.

A Canadian researcher says mandatory helmet laws may increase bike helmet use, but they do absolutely nothing to improve safety.

Now that’s more like it. A UK cop is fined and given “management advice” for parking in a bike lane, forcing riders out into rush hour traffic.

Evidently, fleeing the scene after hitting a cyclist isn’t enough to take away a Brit cab driver’s license.

Historical photos show how Amsterdam slowly transformed itself from a car-choked city to a bicyclists’ paradise, suggesting other cities can do it, too. Like Los Angeles, for instance.

Not surprisingly, the director of the Tour de France says the Dutch bill for unpaid expenses from the first two stages of last year’s race is baseless and absurdly high.

Take a bike tour of Croatia to visit island vistas and ancient sites, including the birthplace of Marco Polo.



Bombing down a trail in a state park is one thing; finding a WWII hand grenade on the trail is another. Your next high-end bike could be made of plastic.

And what’s the point of striping a new bike lane if you’re just going to plop a Yield to Bikes sign in the middle of it?


Morning Links: 77-year old victim of bike hit-and-run dies, arrest made in Expo Park road rage murder case

Sadly, the 77-year old Echo Park man injured in a collision with a bicyclist has died.

The Eastsider reports Levon Avetisyan was crossing Glendale Blvd on his way to Echo Park Lake on October 15th, when he was hit by a rider described only as a white man in his 40s. He was hospitalized in grave condition with severe head trauma, and passed away on Sunday.

While police have described this case as a hit-and-run, the rider initially did the right thing by remaining at the scene until paramedics arrived. However, he left before police arrived, without leaving his name or contact information.

It’s possible the rider may not have realized he needed to stay, just like he would in any other injury collision.

If you know this person, tell him to contact a lawyer, then come forward by calling LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at 213-833-3713.


In case you missed it earlier, an arrest has finally been made in the alleged road rage death of a bike rider next to Expo Park last month.

Or more precisely, the arrest of the suspect has finally been announced.

Thirty-five year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas was killed after he reportedly got into an argument with the driver of an SUV on October 15th. A witness reported that the driver pushed him off his bike, then threatened to run over him, before doing exactly that.

Word broke today that police had actually arrested 32-year old Andrew Williams just four days after the fatal argument; he was held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Williams was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of murder and felony hit-and-run yesterday, but the hearing was put off until November 20th. He faces 25 years to life if convicted on all charges.

Why there was no public announcement of the arrest until now is unclear.


The breaking news overshadowed Wednesday’s guest post from LA BAC member Jonathan Weiss discussing when it’s legal to ride two or more abreast, and why.

It’s a must read for anyone who rides with friends or in a group. Not to mention law enforcement officers at every level, since the law is often misinterpreted and cyclists too often ticketed for something that is legal under California law.


The College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona is hosting a reception to honor famed alternative transportation advocate Gil Penalosa in DTLA on Tuesday the 17th.

This free after-hours reception/mixer is a great opportunity to meet Guillermo “Gil” Penalosa, the founder and chairman of 8-80 Cities, previously served as the commissioner of parks, sport and recreation in Bogotá, Colombia, leading a team that designed and built more than 200 parks and opened 50-plus miles of car-free city roads for biking, walking, running and skating. His team is responsible for initiating the “new Ciclovia” — a program internationally recognized and emulated — which sees 1 million people walk, run, skate and bicycle along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday.

The event will be held at Diego Cardoso Gallery in downtown Los Angeles.  More details and tickets are available here.



LADOT is taking applications for more People Street projects, ranging from parklets to bike corrals.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman says there needs to be a larger discussion of the issues affecting mobility in lower-income communities than just how they fit into a bike-specific box.

CiclaValley gets psyched up for Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hill climb competition.

BikeSGV calls for bike riders to turn out at a community open house next Tuesday in support of a proposed bike park at the site of the former Puente Hills landfill.



The 26th annual conference of the Bicycle Tour Network kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, though some attendees had their flights delayed or diverted due to an active shooter near the airport.

Bicyclists present the results of a Lodi bike summit on how to make the city a cycling destination. Maybe John Fogerty wouldn’t mind being stuck in Lodi again then.

The victim of Tuesday’s Palo Alto bicycling collision was the 52-year old chief operating officer of a San Jose instrument company.

SFist complains that San Francisco police are once again blaming the victim in a fatal bike collision, while refusing to release video that could shed light on the crash; police say the victim should have been riding in a non-existent bike lane.

More bad news from the Sacramento area, as a bike rider was killed in a collision on Wednesday.



Writing for Bicycling Retailer, Rick Vosper looks at the culture of fear that inevitably blames the bike rider, and makes bicycling look more dangerous than it is.

Bike Snob Eben Weiss makes the case for replacing the word accident with the more accurate crash, saying the former is just a cop-out.

Interesting piece from Next City that says business-as-usual fails to engage low-income bike riders.

Former Ford CEO Bill Ford sees a world moving away from the personal car.

Bicycling wants to see photos of your bike-riding dog.

The Honolulu city council considers a proposal requiring any future bike lanes to be approved by the full council, following complaints over the city’s first protected bike lane.

Dallas advocates say the city needs more bike lanes to thrive; it currently has just 41.5 miles of bike lanes, compared to nearly 12,000 miles of lanes for motorized traffic.

Bicycling rates skyrocket after Detroit installs 150 miles of new bike lanes. Soon they’ll object to bike lanes by saying LA is no Detroit.

Actress Keri Russell is one of us, as she and boyfriend/costar Matthew Rhys ride through Brooklyn on his and hers Linus bikes.

A Miami man goes on trial for killing two cyclists while fleeing from the police following a botched car burglary.



Caught on video: Urban mountain bikers take a downhill run through the former stronghold of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

In a first in North America, Calgary unveiled an entire network of protected bike lanes at once following five years of effort and community engagement; ridership is up 300% on one key corridor.

Ottawa city counselors compromise on a proposal to limit ghost bikes and other roadside memorials, approving a six-month limit rather than the three months recommended by city staff. Although they sort of make up for it with plans for a protected bike lane that takes advantage of barriers protecting the US Embassy.

Cycling Weekly offers up eleven bike maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m sometimes guilty of number seven, but only until noticing my brakes don’t work the first time I try to stop.

A writer for the UK’s Telegraph says cyclists other than himself are stupid and thoughtless, and giving us all a bad name. Yes, we should all obey the law and ride safely; many, if not most, of us do. But enough with the “I’m okay, you suck” BS.

City Lab looks at the success of the UK’s 20’s Plenty movement; nearly 25% of the country’s population now lives in communities where the speed limit has been lowered to 20 mph.

An Irish cyclist was wearing a helmet and had lights front, back and on his backpack, and a jury still absolves the truck driver who killed him, while calling for reflective wear for cyclists. Evidently, it’s not enough to light yourself up like a Christmas tree anymore.

The Netherlands presents the Tour de France with a bill for over $150,000 after allegedly getting stiffed for hosting the start of this year’s race.

A far reaching Turkish regulation is designed to encourage bicycling rather than public transport, ensuring that bikeways go onto streets with a topography suitable for riding, and connect with public transport.



Forget foam, soon you can protect your skull with helmet made of custom-fit mushrooms. But don’t despair, there may be other uses for your current helmet.

And why sleep outside when you can go bike touring with your very own 100-pound bike-pulled camper?

Other than having to pull 100 pounds plus all your gear, that is.


Update: Arrest made in Expo Park road rage attack; driver charged with murder, hit-and-run

Evidently, it was a secret.

In a surprise announcement, My News LA reports a suspect in last month’s fatal road rage assault near Exposition Park is under arrest — and has been since four days after the October 15th incident.

Thirty-two-year old Andrew Williams was scheduled to be arraigned today on felony counts of murder and hit-and-run in the death of 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas, who had not been previously identified.

That confirms an earlier witness report that Williams had been arguing with Vanegas, and had threatened to run him over before doing exactly that.

Williams has apparently been in jail the past 16 days in lieu of $1 million bond. He faces 25 to life upon conviction, according to the site.

Update: Williams arraignment has been delayed until November 20th.

Guest Post: BAC member Jonathan Weiss explains California law on riding side-by-side

Riding abreast on Rodeo Drive, without breaking the law

Riding abreast on Rodeo Drive, without breaking the law

One of the most frequently misunderstood laws governing bicycling is the right to ride two or more abreast, both by bicyclists and — especially — law enforcement. Police too often misinterpret the requirement to ride to the right as forbidding riding abreast.

Although law might be the wrong word, since it isn’t even mentioned in state law.

Los Angeles Bicycling Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss has done an exceptional job of digging deep into state law to explain when it’s legal, and why.

This should be mandatory reading for every police officer in California.


Side by Side

Admit it – you ride side by side so you can chat. But is it legal? The simplest guidance I can formulate is: Except where local laws forbid it, California law allows riding side by side (by side) where the road is not wide enough or in good enough condition for cars to safely pass bicyclists.

Most states allow side-by-side riding – California law is silent

U.S. National Champion road racer and Olympian (and bicycle lawyer) Bob Mionske reported in his 2010 article, “Road Rights – Two by Two, How and When to Ride Side by Side,” that 39 states expressly regulate riding side-by-side on a statewide basis.  California was (and is) not one of them.  So, he says, side-by-side riding is implicitly allowed in California – except where localities regulate it.

California’s “ride to the right” law (Vehicle Code section 21202) has been interpreted as barring side-by-side riding

If you know anything about laws applying to bicycling, you’ve probably heard that Vehicle Code section 21202, subdivision (a), requires bicyclists to “ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.“ Section 21202 was (and is) the law governing operation of bicycles on roadways. So, when a Statewide Bicycle Committee (set up by the California Legislature – see note at end) asked the Attorney General his opinion on the legality of side-by-side cycling, he relied on section 21202 to say it was forbidden. (“It is our opinion that section 21202 does preclude bicyclists from legally riding abreast of one another assuming both bicyclists are on the roadway.”) When the Deputy Attorney gave his opinion in 1975, Section 21202 said: “(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) [re one-way streets], every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.” Therefore, bikes could only be side-by-side when passing one another.

The Deputy Attorney General wasn’t unsympathetic to the law’s impracticalities. He concluded by joining in the Committee’s recommendation “that section 21202 be amended to expressly provide that bicyclists are permitted to move to the left when passing a slower moving vehicle, when preparing for a left hand turn, or when seeking to avoid hazards in the roadway.” Indeed, the Bicycle Committee had proposed those amendments and more. They wanted to allow cyclists to “Occupy a full lane to avoid being forced off the roadway when the lane is too narrow for a vehicle to pass safely in the lane, in accordance with CVC Section 21656.”

In 1976, Governor Brown signed a bill adding all of those exceptions to the ride to the right requirements in section 21202.

  • (a)  Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
  • (1)  When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • (2)  When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
  • (3)  When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

The newly added exceptions are discussed below.

The “substandard width lane” exception to the ride to the right law

Even if you knew about the ride to the right law, you may not know about the “substandard width lane” added in 1976. The “substandard width lane” exception means that, where “a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane” – cyclists don’t have to ride to the right. In other words, where there is no room for a car and a bike, the cyclist can (one might say should) take the lane by riding in the center.  (More on that later.)

The “safely side by side” phrase in Vehicle Code section 21202, subdivision (a)(3), was recently clarified by the three foot passing law. Vehicle Code section 21760, subdivision (b), says – “A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.” A three foot buffer is how much space a car must leave to be “safely side by side” with a bicycle.

This rider on Westwood Blvd could legally take the lane, and probably should

This rider on Westwood Blvd could legally take the lane, and probably should

Consider, for example, northbound Westwood Boulevard between Pico and Santa Monica Boulevards. The curb lane is 12 feet wide. During morning rush hours, there is no parking in that lane. With a cyclist taking about 3 feet (counting from the curb – to stay off of the concrete gutter pan), and the 3 foot passing law, a 6 foot wide car, that’s the tightest fit possible. But with wider SUVs, buses (8 ½ feet wide), and trucks plying that same space – taking the lane is clearly legal.

The “surface hazards” exception to the ride to the right law

The law also allows straying from the road’s edge when reasonably necessary to avoid “fixed or moving objects” or “surface hazards” “that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge ….”

So, if the road is busted up (like Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills) or has unsafe storm drain catch basins (along the same roadway), then there’s another reason to take the lane.

The “speedy rider” exception to the ride to the right law

Section 21202 only requires cyclists riding “at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic” to stay right. So, since the 1976 amendment, those cyclists who can keep up with traffic may take the lane no matter how wide the road or its condition.

If you’ve legally taken the lane, you can ride side-by-side (by side)

The Statewide Bicycle Committee recommended allowing cyclists to “Travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded.”  But that never became law. Therefore, there is still no state law permitting – or limiting – the number of cyclists riding side-by-side. Local entities can (and have) applied their own restrictions. (Under Vehicle Code section 21, most local entities cannot overrule the Vehicle Code.) Locally, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, Long Beach, and Irvine (is that local?) allow no more than two abreast riding. No other local cities appear to limit riding two by two – or more. But that doesn’t hold everywhere. In San Anselmo, you must have a license (is that even legal?) and one condition on the license is that “Every person, when operating a bicycle upon a highway, shall ride such bicycle in single file only.”

So, if you’ve legally taken the lane under the substandard lanes, surface hazards, or left turn exceptions, no state law says your pal can’t ride next to you. And, in most cities, you can ride three (or more) abreast.

Please, please, don’t hold up lots of traffic

Sometimes, even after taking the lane, you must pull over. Vehicle Code section 21656 requires slower moving traffic to move over when safe: “On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed.”

So, for example, if you head up Benedict Canyon (which is probably substandard in many areas), and if five cars stack up behind you, you would have to pull over.  On the way down, however, you may go about as fast as the cars, so no need to pull over.  This wouldn’t apply on Beverly Hills’ Santa Monica Boulevard, since it’s not a two lane road.

Why ride side by side?

I started off suggesting you might ride side by side to chat. But there are better reasons to do so. The Statewide Bicycling Committee noted them in its report:

It is not unusual for a motorist to attempt to pass a cyclist in the same lane when it is not safe to do so. This often results in the cyclist being forced off the roadway. Cyclists contend that it is safer in a narrow lane to occupy the full lane, thereby causing the motorist to pass in an adjacent lane or to wait until the cyclist moves off the roadway at the first safe and available opportunity In accordance with CVC Section 21656.

Taking the lane (occupying a full lane – as the Committee put it) may be best achieved with the help of friends. Two bicycles are more visible than one, and so forth.

Jonathan Weiss

This article is dedicated to the memory of cycling lawyer and advocate Howard Krepack.

Note: As background, the Statewide Bicycle Committee was formed in accordance with Senate Concurrent Resolution 47.  The Committee was charged with the following responsibilities:

  • To study problems related to bicycling in California.
  • To review the California Vehicle Code and recommend changes which will benefit both bicyclists and motorists.
  • To develop a Model Bicycle Ordinance for use by local jurisdictions.

You can find the Statewide Bicycle Committee report here; the AG’s opinion is at the very end.


Thanks to Velo Club La Grange for permission to repost this piece, which originally appeared in the club’s newsletter.

Crappy photos by BikinginLA.


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