Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: New dismount gates on Expo Line bike path, and OC DUI driver hits cyclist hours after getting new car

Still no luck getting email notifications for new posts working again. But we’re working on it. Please keep coming back every day until we get it fixed.

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The Source reports that Santa Monica has installed a set of six staggered gates on the Expo Line bike path in order to slow bicyclists down before intersections.

Or maybe make them dismount entirely.

According to the press release, the locked gates are required by the California Public Utilities Commission to prevent conflicts with pedestrians at intersections at 19th, 20th and Stewart Streets.

However, while the stated purpose is to get riders to slow down, the signs on the gates clearly say “Cyclists Dismount” for no apparent reason.

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Gates might make sense there if the purpose was to keep drivers from inadvertently turning onto the bike path, or if they were somehow intended to keep riders from straying onto the railroad tracks when trains were coming.

Instead, they almost seem designed to defeat the purpose of the path by discouraging bike riders from using it. Especially if the absurd dismount requirement is actually enforced, rather than allowing riders to slowly weave around the barriers.

There is no requirement under state law that bicyclists must walk across intersections, anymore than drivers are required to get out of their cars and push them to the other side.

So it would be interesting to know just what the justification is for telling cyclists to dismount.

And whether that comes from the CPUC, Santa Monica, or somewhere else.

Thanks to John Hanson for the heads up.

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A bike rider suffered a possible broken leg when he was struck by a driver who took off without stopping in Costa Mesa Tuesday night.

The Orange County Register reports that, based on the rider’s description, police stopped a gray Mercedes with damage consistent with the collision. After failing a roadside sobriety check, the 22-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run, both felonies.

It didn’t take long for Instagram users to put two and two together, and realize it was the same woman shown posing with pride next to a brand new Mercedes Benz, which has apparently been purchased just hours before the crash.

It also didn’t take long for the photo to be deleted after the negative comments started pouring in.

However, as we all know, once something appears online, it’s usually there forever.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-21-06-pm

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling, Brent Bigler, and David Huntsman for the tips.

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Gabourey Sidibe is one of us, as she rides an adult tricycle between sets on Empire.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, as he rides his kids to their New York school on a Dutch bike, complete with a wine crate for a basket. Maybe he’s been taking notes from LA Bike Dad. Or maybe Brooks saddles.

J.K. Simmons is one of us as well, as he tells Jimmy Kimmel about bicycling home from his LA gym in 100 degree weather. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Local

The LA city council approves a $3 million settlement for a bike-riding rabbi who suffered permanent brain injuries when he was struck by a car on Victory Blvd, just east of the 405 Freeway. The suit alleged that the posted bike route signs implied the dilapidated street was safe to ride, something most people who know the street would likely disagree with. Maybe it would be better if LA spent its money building the bikeways called for in the 2010 bike plan, instead of paying damages to injured bicyclists forced to ride on dangerous streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman pens a challenging essay asking readers to look beyond their own privilege and consider not just bikes, but the people on them.

Two men have been arrested in an Echo Park shooting believed to be gang related; at least one of the victims was on a bike.

 

State

A NorCal cyclist received minor injuries when he was hit head-on by the driver of a left-turning pickup; a CHP officer somehow sees that as a reason to remind people about the state’s three-foot passing law, which had nothing to do with it.

A writer recommends a serene 12-mile climb through spectacular scenery on your next bike vacation to Lake Tahoe.

 

National

PRI’s The World reports on the Dutch Reach — opening your car door with your right hand, instead of your left — which makes you look back for bike riders before you open the door.

The opening of a new Colorado bike path means cyclists can now ride a continuous 150 mile pathway along I-70 through the Rockies from Glenwood Springs to Denver.

The Chicago Tribune says the city’s evolution as a leading bike-friendly city is next to meaningless if it doesn’t become a bike-safe city, as well.

A Minnesota paper suggests banning cell phones from driving compartments of motor vehicles, and clarifying the definition of gross negligence after a judge acquits an accused distracted driver in the death of a cyclist.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. Just a month after a South Carolina man was arrested for killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene while under the influence, he was arrested once again for DUI. As soon as drivers are charged with drunk or stoned behind the wheel, their licenses should be suspended and their keys taken away pending trial; the right of others to be safe on the road outweighs their privilege to drive.

A New Orleans bike rider was doing everything right, yet still was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian, as they look around the world to ask why people on bicycles are considered interlopers on the streets, and whether drivers will ever learn to share them with bicyclists.

An Edmonton, Canada paper recommends giving physically separated bike lanes a try, despite the city’s failed attempts at bike infrastructure; Calgary cyclists tell them they’ve been a tremendous success there.

A new European safety campaign uses Formula 1 drivers to tell kids to “Stay Bright” on their way to and from school.

A road raging British driver has been charged with chasing a bike rider and running him down, following an argument when she was reportedly driving distracted.

The mother of a fallen British bike rider is relieved that the truck driver who killed her daughter in a left hook was spared prison time, saying there are no winners when something like this happens.

A Paralympic champion had her specially adapted bike stolen just hours after she returned home to Great Britain.

Horrible story from the UK, as a road raging bicyclist is charged with manslaughter in the death of a retired man who was pushing his wife in a wheelchair; the victim somehow hit his head on the pavement as a result of the dispute. Once again, never resort to violence, no matter how justified you may feel at the time. This rider should face the same consequences we’d expect of a motorist under similar circumstances.

A DC website looks at how Barcelona gets bicycling right.

 

Finally…

Now you and your dog can both get a workout without ever leaving home. And there are no minor traffic collisions when you’re an assistant Ohio State football coach.

On the other hand, there are no major consequences, either.

 

Morning Links: Driver’s license revoked in Moorpark deaths, the cost of traffic violence, and bike infrastructure news

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

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One detail was left out in previous stories about the limp slap on the wrist given Rachel Hill in the Moorpark distracted driving deaths of cyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman last year.

In addition to 300 days in county jail and three years probation, Hill had her driver’s license permanently revoked, according to the Moorpark Acorn.

Not suspended. Revoked.

The paper says she can apply for a new license at some point down the road. Which suggests that permanently doesn’t really mean permanently.

Still, that’s a stiffer penalty than most killer drivers receive.

And something that should be required following any traffic fatality where the driver is found at fault. Particularly if he or she flees the scene.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Cycling in the South Bay relates the horrifying tale of the aftermath of a drunk driving collision, and a cyclist’s shattered ankle that refuses to heal.

And the Daily Bruin offers an update on UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, two and a half years after she was seriously injured in a collision, then seriously screwed by the legal system when she was forced to pay for damages to the car that hit her, as well as her own medical expenses.

You should always get a good lawyer to review your case if you’re injured in a wreck; there shouldn’t be any cost to you unless you receive a settlement.

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Today’s common theme is bike infrastructure.

Tempe AZ cyclists get their first bike box.

Philadelphia opens a mile long, two-way protected bike lane; it had been the largest city in the US without one.

Kansas City installs a new bike signal to give bicyclists a head start.

The news is not all positive, however; a bike rider complains that Berkeley’s protected bike lanes only result in greater confusion, and fail to employ best practices from around the world.

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It was a bad weekend for bike racing, as a Serbian cyclist died following a collision in a Chinese race, and a 60-year old English amateur cyclist died when he hit a support vehicle in a French race.

Controversy continues over therapeutic exemptions given to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins over the use of banned asthma medication, after his medical records were released by Russian hackers.

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Local

CiclaValley offers an up-close look at the Encino Velodrome’s Ride the Black Line.

Friends of fallen cyclist Alan Deane met at his Pasadena ghost bike on the fifth anniversary of his death to call for safer streets and tougher sentences for killer drivers. Thanks to Complete Streets Pas for the heads-up.

Megan Lynch forwards word of the latest crackdown on bicycle and pedestrian safety violations, this time in El Monte on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Spoke will host a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Border Grill this Wednesday.

 

State

Cyclists can expect to see safety improvements along PCH in the Capistrano Beach area, as plans call for a two-way protected bike lane along the highway.

A Ventura bike rider tried to defend himself with a stun gun when he was punched by three people as he rode on a beachfront bike path, who then pepper-sprayed him and stole his bike and cellphone.

The Sacramento Kings’ new arena features 100 bike racks, as well as a free bike valet, but no safe way to get there. And you’ll have to do something with your bike helmet, since they aren’t allowed in the arena.

 

National

A new bike helmet comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi, action cam, speakers and microphone. But no word on whether it will save your skull if you fall off your bike.

Forget air cartridges and bicycle pumps; fill your next flat simply by pedaling, as long as you don’t mind a lot of extra hardware.

Someone is using upholstery tacks to sabotage a new Seattle cycle track; local bike shops report over 30 people have come in to have flats caused by tacks repaired. And that doesn’t count all the people who may have fixed their flats themselves.

Bike advocates around my hometown remind drivers and bicyclists to watch out for each other.

An Iowa economics professor says it’s just not fair that bike riders don’t have to pay to use the roads, especially since some bikes cost “well into four figures.” Although you’d think an econ professor would understand the economics of bicycling a little better.

Iowa cops recover a boy’s stole bicycle after it had been dismantled. So they made the thief put it back together before they returned it.

Over one thousand Milwaukee bike riders turn out for a slow roll ride honor a local bike shop owner and cycling legend after he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of liver cancer.

The New York Times questions why phone manufacturers don’t cut off texting drivers, when they have the technology to do it. Damn good question. And let’s include car makers in that, too.

Washington’s two senators both oppose legislation that would allow mountain bikers into federal wilderness areas, as do two of the state’s leading bike advocacy groups.

South Carolina authorities rule the death of a pregnant woman in a collision with a bicyclist was an accident, even though the cyclist was riding without lights after dark; he faces a fine of just $232.50.

A New Orleans writer says cycling in the Crescent City is still dangerous, but getting better.

 

International

Four Americans stop in British Columbia on an 8,000 mile ride to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

A new documentary tells the story of an aboriginal youth who helped build world-famous mountain biking trails in the Yukon.

A Winnipeg professor calls for making cycling in the city safe for everyone.

A 19-year old British man competed in triathlon two years after he was paralyzed for three months in a fall off the top of a concrete velodrome.

Police are looking for a road raging driver who repeatedly bumped a Brit bike rider as he waited for at a series of red lights, then ran over his rear wheel when he finally got off to protest.

A former British cabinet member denies sabotaging a Welsh mountain bike trail, insisting he was trying to clear it instead. Sure, let’s go with that.

Volvo introduces a new bicycle and pedestrian detection system for buses, starting next year on European bus systems.

A cyclist from the United Arab Emirates embarks on a three-day, 310-mile journey through Belgium and France to dispel myths about Islam following the recent terrorist attacks.

A Pakistani extreme cyclist says she rides to break stereotypes that limit the sports and professions women can participate in.

 

Finally…

If you want to ship your bike without getting damaged, put a TV on the carton. Seriously, if you’re going to ride 250 miles from Germany to Poland to visit your grandmother, tell your parents first.

And forget doping; how about a little scrotal Botox instead?

 

Morning Links: Teenage bike crash victim pepper sprayed by police, and help make Westwood bike friendly

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Evidently, you don’t want to get hit by a car when riding while mixed-race in Hagerstown, Maryland.

A 15-year old girl was handcuffed, pepper sprayed and arrested for the crime of refusing transport to a hospital after she was struck by a car while riding her bike.

Even though there’s no law requiring collision victims to accept medical treatment against their will.

And instead of being transported to the hospital, she was taken to the police station, where she was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of second degree assault, possession of marijuana and failure to obey a traffic device.

Although her attorney describes the amount of marijuana found in her backpack as “a flake.”

Then to cap matters, police later said she wasn’t booked for refusing treatment, but because she failed to provide proof of insurance.

For a 15-year old. On a bicycle.

Police officials claim they used “appropriate force” in pepper spraying the five-foot tall, 105 pound girl, saying it was the minimal amount needed to gain her cooperation; meanwhile, the town’s mayor crashed a press conference with the girl, turning it into a shouting match with her lawyer.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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UCLA’s Daily Bruin writes about the city council’s vote to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan, and move them to Gayley instead.

Meanwhile, Westwood Village is looking for community members to help revise the area’s specific plan. Which would be a perfect opportunity to suggest making the village more bike and pedestrian friendly.

And moving the bike lanes back to Westwood Blvd.

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Weshigh had an unpleasant encounter of the cop kind on his ride home last night, as an officer yells at him to get to the right on a non-sharable lane before passing other traffic on the right.

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Today is the last day to apply for the LACBC’s Policy and Outreach Coordinator position.

And Multicultural Communities for Mobility says several positions are available to help make LA’s nascent bikeshare system equitable for all constituents of the city.

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Local

Streetsblog strongly endorses Measure M to impose a half-cent sales tax to fund a wide rage of road, transit and active transportation projects. Just for the record, it has my support, as well.

CiclaValley endorses bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and asks you to stand up for people spaces on the North Hollywood corridor.

Fourth District Councilmember David Ryu calls on the city to eliminate human-operated vehicles from LA streets by 2035.

There will be a free bike valet at Sunday’s Abbott Kinney Festival, where $25 in purchases will enter you in a drawing for a Linus Roadster Classic bike. Biking there makes a lot of sense, given the large crowds, heavy traffic and extreme parking shortage at the annual event.

Deputies with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are looking for the owners of several bicycles they recovered from a homeless encampment, some of which have been partially dismounted and repainted.

Congratulations to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition’s Kevin Burton, who will be honored on Sunday for Outstanding Contribution to Public Safety for his work with the group.

Santa Monica police are conducting yet another of their bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations today.

 

State

Australian BMX silver medalist Sam Willoughby suffered a severe spinal injury while riding at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista two weeks ago; following surgery, he’s regained use of his arms, but is still unable to move from the chest down.

The Camarillo Rotary Club will host a Biking, Brews and BBQ Ride this Saturday to raise funds for local causes.

Uber is teaming with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to provide bicycle safety training for their drivers; the SFBC prepared four videos instructing them how to drive around bicyclists.

Benicia police pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old man who had to walk two hours each way to work after his car broke down.

 

National

Oregon is less than nine miles, though several years, from completing what will eventually be a 73-mile bikeway along the Columbia River Gorge.

Colorado authorities are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who injured an 86-year old man on a walking trail where bikes are banned; the rider stopped to ask if the man was okay, then took off when he answered no. Bike collisions are no different from car crashes; you are legally required to stay at the scene and exchange information, on or offroad.

An Ohio woman accuses the local police of failing to properly investigate the collision that killed her husband as he rode his bicycle with a friend; even though the driver had two prior convictions for driving under the influence and had admitted to drinking the night before, police claimed they had no probable cause to test for drugs or alcohol. If killing someone isn’t probable cause, what the hell is?

The co-defensive coordinator for the Ohio State University football team hit a bike rider as he was driving near the campus Thursday morning.

More on the wealthy opponents of New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes finally giving up their lawsuit after five years, after claiming they had been vindicated; Streetsblog says they did irreparable harm to the city.

Challenging piece from a DC cyclist, who is giving up on America after being unable to find a safe city to ride, and considering a move to the Netherlands.

A writer for Forbes explains why she put her life on hold to ride across the country from Georgia to California.

 

International

Caught on video: A British bike rider is harassed and threatened by a road raging FedEx driver who lurched just inches from his rear wheel.

When a Brit cyclist wrote the head of a company complaining about repeated harassment by one of its drivers, he was stunned to receive a response blaming him for his own stupidity and suggesting that he use the non-existent bike lanes.

An Aussie study concludes requiring helmets for motor vehicle occupants could save 17 times as many people as a bike helmet mandate.

A Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce official says a proposed rail to trail conversion could open the Australian state up to an avalanche of tourism.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not everyone is a fan of bicycles. Your bike could be why you have trouble having an orgasm.

And now you can make tax deductible donation to a pro cycling team.

 

Morning Links: Study shows bike helmets work, every lane is a car lane, and possible knifepoint bike jacking

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Yet another shot has been fired in the contentious helmet wars.

An Australian meta-analysis study finds that bike helmets reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 50%, a serious head injury 69%, and the risk of a fatal head injury by 65%, without increasing the risk of neck injuries.

However, it seems like quite a stretch to suggest that other studies, which have not found helmets as effective, or that suggest they could cause neck or diffuse axonal brain injuries, are “crazy” junk science.

Or that there is some undefined “silent majority” that wants helmet laws, and only a “small and vocal minority group” oppose them.

And lets not forget that, effective or not, bike helmets should be considered a last resort when all else fails. It’s far better to avoid crashes than to count on your helmet to save you.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar looks at how to identify a concussion and what to do about it.

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CiclaValley posts a bike cam video proving, contrary to Metro’s message, that every lane is a car lane.

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I’ve received an unconfirmed report that a mountain biker had his bike stolen at knifepoint on the popular Fullerton Loop in the City of Fullerton on Monday evening, on the bridge where the train tracks and the trail cross under Harbor Boulevard.

Whether or not that turns out to be accurate, it’s a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, and to take extra caution when riding through dark areas or when out of public view.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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Marvin Davis sends word of the upcoming 2016 Revolution Bike Fest at Orange County’s Irvine Lake November 4th through 6th.

The event is being held at Irvine Lake in the OC. There are several excellent rail accessible bicycle routes that lead to the bike fest. The Serrano Creek trail provides a dirt path through Lake Forest to MTB trails in Whiting Ranch, the Aliso trail provides both paved and dirt trails and there is also a mostly dirt route from San Juan Capistrano. The AMTRAK/MetroLink stations in both Irvine and San Juan Capistrano and also the MetroLink station in Laguna Niguel provide pretty good access to these routes. AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner requires advance reservation (impossible to get on weekends) for bicycles and allows only 6 bikes per train. No reservation required for MetroLink and no specified limit to number of bikes. Or for the more vigorous, just roll from home.

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Local

LADOT released their 2015-16 annual report, including discussions of bikeshare and Vision Zero; the report cites 1,190 miles of bikeways on the city’s 7,500 miles of streets. However, that includes nearly 300 miles of sharrows and bike routes that are of little benefit. And those totals reflect lane miles, which count each direction separately, rather than both directions on a single street as one mile.

LA councilmembers blame distracted drivers — and pedestrians — for traffic fatalities in a debate over whether to accept a half-million dollar grant to promote Vision Zero. CD1 CM Gil Cedillo points the finger at pedestrians wearing headphones and texting in crosswalks, even though those weren’t factors in any of the recent deaths in his district.

A nutritionist writing for the Daily News recommends commuting by bicycling, walking or taking transit, or at least getting out to ride or walk if you have to drive to work.

Kurt Russell used to be one of us; he tells GQ he went into acting as a child star so he could buy bicycles for his sister and himself.

 

State

Sad news from Forestville, as a cyclist was killed after he allegedly clipped a tractor-trailer while splitting lanes and weaving through traffic. He was the second bike rider killed in the Bay Area in 14 hours; another man was killed while riding in Fairfield Tuesday night.

The Department of DIY strikes again in San Francisco, as a group called SFMTrA is marking their own protected bike lanes with orange cones.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee calls a route out of Foresthill one of the best cycling rides in the country, and the best you’ve never done.

 

National

The long legal battle over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes is finally over, as wealthy opponents finally drop their legal battle after five needlessly long years.

Both people were seriously injured when New Jersey bicyclist crashed into a 16-year old boy as he was crossing the road. One more reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as motorists accuse cyclists of being.

A Pittsburg area cyclist is back on his bike, despite being prohibited from riding as he awaits trial on eight criminal charges for riding in the middle of the traffic lane and harassing drivers who try to pass.

Moving piece from a woman in North Carolina, who finished the bike tour her partner had registered for before passing away unexpectedly, and credits training for the ride with saving her life.

A 28-year old Florida woman broke the 78-year old women’s mile record in just four months, averaging over 200 miles a day; a former U-23 racer, she got back on her bike after overcoming both a hole in her heart and a collision that left her with a broken back and a brain injury.

 

International

London cyclists get the blame for putting deer at risk by discarding their empty gel packs while racing in the city’s Richmond Park.

A British bike advocate calls for stronger laws against scofflaw cyclists after she was knocked out in a collision with a sidewalk rider. Seriously, pedestrians should always be given the right-of way on any sidewalk, where it may or may not be legal to ride. And you’re usually safer on the street, anyway.

Sweden slashes taxes on repairs of bicycles and other products in an attempt to encourage re-use and bring an end to today’s throw-away society.

A writer for an Aussie paper gets it, saying driving is a privilege and not a right, and that many older drivers are a danger to themselves and others, and shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying heroin in your wallet and have outstanding warrants for drug possession, don’t ride salmon. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about pythons on the side of the road.

And don’t be like this Austin TX councilmember’s alter ego and use bike lanes to get to work.

No, really.

Richard Mason notes that the councilman is a member of the local Tea Party, and once lectured a group of Hispanic Boy Scouts visiting the council about getting jobs and not relying on government handouts.

 

Morning Links: 300 days in Moorpark distracted driving case; applications now open for Great Streets grants

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Life is cheap in Ventura County.

The Ventura County Star reports 27-year old Rachael Hill was sentenced to 300 days in jail for killing bicyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman just outside of Moorpark last year while “distracted by a portable electronic device.”

Probably texting, in other words.

Hill received an unwarranted gift when the Ventura County DA inexplicably filed the case as misdemeanors, rather than the felony charges recommended by CHP investigators.

She’ll begin her sentence November 4th, and will most likely serve just a fraction of that time before she’s released from county jail.

On the other hand, we should probably be grateful she got any time at all.

Meanwhile, Hill sentenced both men to death, and their families to a lifetime without them.

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Applications are now open for the second round of LA’s Great Streets Challenge projects.

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The official trailer has been unveiled for a new documentary about cargo bikes, called Motherload.

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A triathlete gave up a probable gold medal while competing in Cozumel, Mexico, when he stopped to help his heat-stroke stricken brother across the finish line.

There’s a new record for the world’s fastest human-powered vehicle, as a bullet-shaped ‘bent hit 89.58 mph in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge.

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Local

Peter Flax says riding an ebike does not make you a bad person, and that ebikes aren’t about replacing bicycles, but replacing cars.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes that bicycling and equity advocates will converge on Atlanta in November for The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets and Communities to reclaim the streets and make them safe and accessible for all.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests walking, expanded bikeshare and bike valets as possible solutions to the transportation crunch getting to the Rams games at the Coliseum. Improved bike lanes would also help, while benefitting USC students and local residents on non-game days.

The 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postposed due to last June’s brushfires in the San Gabriel Valley has been rescheduled for March 5th; the 19-mile open streets event will allow people to walk, jog, skate and bike through eight SGV cities.

 

State

Seven years after being paralyzed from the waist down in a dirt bike crash, a California man is able to ride a recumbent under his own power after receiving an electronic spinal implant.

Only eight tickets have been written in the entire state of California for violating three-foot passing law since it went into effect in September 2014; out of 10 drivers asked about the law by a San Francisco TV reporter, not one knew it even existed.

A mountain biker had a close encounter of the scary kind when he was confronted by a mountain lion while riding in Foothill Ranch; a bike rider was killed by a mountain lion on the same trail in 2004.

Laguna Beach plans to deal with safety problems on PCH by somehow moving cyclists off the deadly roadway instead of building the bike lane recommended in a recent safety study; as always, the real reason appears to a preference for parking spaces over human lives.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a bike rider was killed when he allegedly turned left in front of a car.

Palo Alto approves plans for a Dutch-style protected intersection to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

National

Cosmo recommends riding to work, and offers solutions for five excuses not to.

Bicycling explains what goes on with your body when you crash.

Nikon introduces a new $500 action cam, while GoPro unveils a new $800 drone.

A Virginia cyclist outruns a road raging tractor driver who tried to cut him off in a bike lane.

North Carolina approves a four-foot passing law, while allowing drivers to briefly cross a center line to pass cyclists when they can see far enough to do it safely.

A New Orleans chef turns to Uber after her bicycle is stolen and someone steals the seat off her other bike.

 

International

The Ottawa trucking official who caused a stir by saying cyclists should have to stop half a block back from intersections so they don’t interfere with turning trucks doubles down, complaining about the complaints he received, while noting we all just want to get home safely. Never mind that in any crash with a bicyclist, the truck driver probably will, while the bike rider, not so much.

Halifax drivers complain that new protected bike lanes meant the loss of 49 parking spaces, even though the city installed 79 new spaces just a few blocks away to more than mitigate the loss. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving a Halifax bike corral out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A writer for the Guardian says we need to kick our addiction to driving.

A London man describes a fist fight between a road raging cyclist and his equally road raging Uber driver, while getting billed for the driver’s trip to the hospital.

Iranian women continue to ride their bicycles, despite a religious edict from the country’s supreme leader banning the practice because it “exposes society to corruption” and “contravenes women’s chastity.” Because we all know bike riding makes you a slut, right? And that goes for men, too.

Caught on video: A Chinese ebike rider was badly injured after being kicked off her bike by someone on a passing scooter.

 

Finally…

Don’t leave home without your reflective clothing. Once again, using your bicycle to whack the driver you just collided with is just not what it’s designed for.

And evidently, riding a bicycle will remove all your skin and strip you naked.

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Morning Links: Arrest made in LA River Bike Path shooting, and Los Angeles ranked 24th best bike city in US

My apologies. We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, rest assured we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

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An arrest has been made in the shooting of two men on the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley earlier this month.

Nineteen-year-old David Umana was taken into custody this past Thursday for the incident, which began when he allegedly tried to steal the bikes belonging to the victims, who were riding with their wives.

Despite earlier suspicion of gang involvement, Umana does not appear to have gang ties. No word on whether police have identified his alleged accomplice.

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Bicycling Magazine is out with their latest biennial ranking of America’s 50 best bike cities; Chicago ranks number one, with San Francisco placing second.

Crain’s says the Windy City may be number one, but it’s a long way from perfect.

My hometown ranks 12th, as part of a bike friendly Colorado triumvirate with Denver and Boulder at 11 and 10, respectively.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles checks in at 24, seemingly more out of respect for what it could be than what it currently is; meanwhile, Long Beach inexplicably follows four points lower at 28, while Santa Monica didn’t even make the list.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who has actually ridden those three cities agreeing with that.

Thousand Oaks just makes the cut at 49.

……….

Local

Work is finally set to begin on the MyFigueroa project this October; the Complete Streets project will feature protected bike lanes linking USC with Downtown.

An LAX bike cop is credited with working with another officer to save the life of a suicidal Korean man.

CiclaValley offers his fall cycling preview.

It’s a well-deserved life without parole for a Pomona man who was captured on his bicycle after cutting out his girlfriend’s lung and heart.

LA County Sheriff’s officials have identified the deputy who shot an unarmed, homeless bicycle rider in Castaic last month.

Zac Efron is one of us, as are a handful of other stars who competed in Sunday’s Malibu Tri.

Santa Monica is encouraging everyone who lives or works in the city to go carfree on October 7th.

 

State

Tragic news from Orange County, as a 15-year old Anaheim boy is in a medically induced coma in critical condition after he was hit from behind by an erratic driver who fled the scene; the victim was riding in a bike lane and reportedly doing everything right when he was struck.

The Bay Area’s BART train system says your U-lock may not be that secure after all.

Plans have been approved to add a 10-foot bidirectional bike and pedestrian lane to the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

The LA Times asks if Oahu’s Honolulu Century Ride is the best bicycle workout ever.

When St. Paul MN trades parking for bike lanes, a student complains that she might have to get a bike because parking is too hard to find. Which is kind of the point, yes.

Kalamazoo MI votes to give bicyclists a five foot passing distance. Which is meaningless unless it’s actually enforced.

A St. Louis student says she feels like Mufasa from the Lion King, as she succumbs to a wildebeest-like herd of swarming bicyclists as she makes her way across campus.

Great piece from Brooklyn Spoke, who says it’s hard to see Vision Zero when you’re looking through a windshield.

A New Orleans man is suing the phone company alleging that a low hanging phone line caused him to fall off his bike. Wait. They still use land lines in the Big Easy?

 

International

The Financial Times says cycling really is the new golf, but ride with a diverse group because nobody wants groupthink.

A London writer says an ebike helped her overcome her fear of riding in the city, without breaking a sweat.

Britain’s bicycling countess sets off on her 450-mile castle-to-castle ride, saying she’s terrified, as father-in-law Prince Phillip — aka Queen Elizabeth’s husband — calls her mad. No, seriously.

Caught on video: A British driver illegally uses his handheld phone to record cyclists riding legally.

Shades of Coronado. A UK mayor says putting bike lanes on a historic walkway would be vandalism.

This is why people continue to die on the streets. An 83-year old Australian man killed a cyclist after he was allowed to keep driving despite failing two driving tests following a stroke.

Evidently, a cable tie a day does not, in fact, keep Aussie Magpies away.

Bikeshare is becoming more popular in Seoul, Korea, with 100,000 members and no serious wrecks.

 

Finally…

Apparently, swallowing up a bicycle is enough to get on the shortlist for tree of the year. Bicycling may not cause erectile dysfunction, but it can give you a numb vagina.

And why count sheep when you can use your bike to chase them?

 

Morning Links: Witnesses wanted for PVE hit-and-run, bike video Thursday, and CICLE screams for ice cream

Someone had to have seen something.

The wife of fallen Torrance cyclist John Bacon is asking for any possible witnesses to come forward who may have seen the events leading up to the fatal May 18th crash in Palos Verdes Estates.

A security camera shows 18 other vehicles pass by in the two minutes leading up to the crash, which may have been caused by the driver of a white van shown following within a few feet of Bacon seconds before he was killed.

The driver fled the scene, but was located by bicyclists on the hunt for the vehicle, with little or no help from the local police.

Palos Verdes Estates police say they’ve spoken with the man, who is considered a suspect, but no arrest has been made.

The driver of a truck matching the description of the suspect vehicle had reportedly harassed a number of bicyclists in the same area in the weeks leading up to the crash.

……….

Let’s make this a bike video Thursday.

Yes, wool makes a great bike jersey, but most people would just pull on a sweater.

Now that’s a close call. A Portland area rider gets right hooked by a utility truck that missed him by mere inches.

And congratulations. You are now superfluous.

………

CICLE hosts their second annual ice cream ride and walk on the 24th.

weallscreamforicecream_2016_all

………

American Denise Mueller set a new women’s world’s record for the fastest speed on a paced bicycle, but failed to break the overall world record of 167 mph.

On the other hand, 147.75 is nothing to sneeze at.

……….

VeloNews says single day road bike races are an endangered species in the US, as focus shifts to multi-day stage races.

Former Formula 1 race car driver Alex Zarnardi didn’t give up racing after the horrific crash that took both his legs; he just shifted to hand-cycling, once again winning gold in the Rio Paralympic Games nearly 15 years to the day after his near fatal crash.

………

Local

Los Angeles announces ambitious plans to remove 100,000 vehicles from the streets within five years through rideshare, bikeshare and improved transit. However, other than bikeshare, bicycling and bikeways don’t seem to be part of the plan.

Newly elected neighborhood councilmember Richard Risemberg reports that a motion to support a desperately needed road diet on LA’s 6th Street passed on Wednesday; now it’s up to LA Councilmember David Ryu to show his support for traffic safety.

A Metro committee approved $4 million in funding for 17 open streets events in LA County over the next two years.

CiclaValley takes issues with LA Curbed’s recent assertion that driving is the fastest way to get to Dodger stadium.

Marilyn Monroe was one of us, riding her bike to work at Fox Studios as she rose to stardom.

Practice your cyclocross skills at Glendale’s Verdugo Park this afternoon.

 

State

A San Diego woman suffered severe head injuries, despite wearing a helmet, when she lost control of her bike and flipped over the handlebars.

Writers for the Chico State paper say students should be allowed to ride their bikes on campus, at least during certain hours.

 

National

The Executive Chairman for Ford calls for an urgent discussion on the ethics of robotic cars, while Planetizen takes up the same issue. Wait, wasn’t that settled a long time ago?

A Portland man gets six years and three months — with no time off for good behavior — for fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while high on medical marijuana.

Apparently, it’s not that big a deal to kill your motorcycle-riding husband by running him off the road in Texas, as long as he was cheating on you. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

A writer for the Boston Globe offers his rules for bike path etiquette, including banning the use of “On your left.” Sorry, but I say “on your left” for my safety, as well as yours; I’ve had far too many close calls with careless bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Village Voice says New York’s mayor brags about bike lanes while the cyclist death toll on the city’s streets continues to rise.

New York plans to rely on bicycles to move people from Manhattan to Brooklyn when a subway tunnel closes for repairs in three years. Meanwhile, the city passed three new laws guaranteeing bicycle access to residential and commercial buildings.

A Pittsburgh paper discusses the success of the homegrown Black Girls Do Bike movement, which is spreading nationwide.

A Georgia woman was allegedly high on prescription meds and using her cellphone when she crossed the center line and plowed head-on into three bike riders, killing one and seriously injuring another.

The Wall Street Journal says Halloween is the best time to visit New Orleans, citing the city’s new bike lanes as part of the attraction. And not because they’re scary.

 

International

Montreal does more than just become the latest city to adopt Vision Zero, by outlining concrete steps to reduce fatalities, including redesigning intersections and lowering the speed limit.

London’s Mirror calls for stiffer penalties for distracted drivers; things don’t seem to be any better in Australia.

A 19-year old London cyclist faces a charge of causing bodily harm by willful misconduct after killing a pedestrian in a crash; no word on how it happened.

A London writer paints a pretty ugly picture of what it’s like for a woman to ride the city’s male-dominated streets.

Cycling Weekly talks with Brit designer Paul Smith about his lifelong love of bicycling.

A British mountain biker was the victim of a bizarre strong arm robbery when a thief pushed him down a steep trail as he stood planning his descent, and made off with his custom-made bike.

A new rear facing radar system for large trucks and buses is designed to alert drivers when a bike rider is coming up from behind or beside the vehicle. However, a supercomputer it’s not, despite what the story says.

Evidently they define a tie differently in Spain, as the Barcelona coach falls off his bicycle on his way to a 7-0 victory over Celtic.

Now that’s more like it. An Australian woman is sentenced to eleven years in prison for killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene; the judge called her actions morally reprehensible.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: If you’re going to steal a bicycle, remove the lock before you try to ride off on it. New York panthers are besmirched by bikeshare.

And you can thank a pair of bicycles for Curious George.

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in beating of Beverly Hills doctor, and more on bike lanes removed from Mobility Plan

They got one of them, anyway.

KABC-7 reports a 19-year old Whittier man has been arrested for allegedly pistol whipping a prominent Beverly Hills doctor after demanding $150 dollars, and claiming he had somehow damaged his bicycle.

Jerome Ingram was booked on charges of attempted robbery, battery, assault, and false imprisonment by violence.

No word on whether police are closing in on the woman and another man suspected of involvement in the attack.

The Hollywood Reporter offers the definitive story on the assault.

………

Both KPCC and Curbed report on last week’s city council vote to removed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, shunting riders off onto problematic side streets.

The best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where others want people ride, instead of where the people on bikes want to.

Or already do.

……….

You’re invited to ride with East LA’s own four-time national road race champ “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez in the free Powered by Pink Taco Event this Sunday; Compton’s national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati will be there as well, along with LA native Justin Williams, a two-time national champ.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

………

Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from this year’s Vuelta a España.

………

Local

A great Op-Ed in the Times says traffic crashes disproportionately affect people walking or biking, and LA can no longer afford to prioritize the movement of vehicles at the expense of safety.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a return of their popular Ice Cream Ride on the 24th.

CicLAvia is hosting a Play Day in LA this Saturday to raise funds for the city’s iconic open streets event.

 

State

A bike riding San Francisco mugger grabbed a woman by the hair and dragged her before riding off with her cellphone and ID.

Streetsblog asks if San Francisco cyclists are guilty until proven innocent, after a bike rider is blamed for the crash that left him seriously injured, based strictly on the testimony of the motorists that hit him, even though that would have been physically impossible. In other words, just like cyclists everywhere else.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco is about to get still more protected bike lanes; meanwhile, Calbike reminds cities that protected lanes are not only legal, but actually encouraged.

 

National

Business Insider looks at 13 “amazing” bike accessories it says will make your ride smarter and safer. Amazing being a relative term, of course.

A Las Vegas cyclist was the victim of a drunk driver, even though he was riding on the sidewalk when the driver jumped the curb, fatally striking him before crashing through a wall and fleeing the scene on foot; the driver was taken into custody at his home, still showing signs of impairment.

Inspirational story, as a Denver lawyer has walked or biked up 58 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot high mountains and 47 peaks over 13,800 feet, as well as riding or walking from one climb to the next — despite being told as a teenager his severe asthma would confine him to an oxygen tank by the time he was 30.

A Chicago protected bike lane has helped improve the appeal of surrounding neighborhoods, leading to new construction that blocks the bike lane.

Chicago’s Streetsblog responds to the latest anti-bike diatribe from a Tribune columnist.

A Kentucky driver says the sun was in her eyes after plowing into five cyclists; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

New York sets a new record by building 18 miles of fully protected bike lanes, beating the city’s goal of 15 miles.

The best part of the Wall Street Journal’s story about a 57-year old female bodybuilder who balances working out in the ring with long distance bike rides is the headline.

Actor Damian Lewis is one of us, as he rides his mountain bike through the streets of Gotham.

No bias here. A black Brooklyn bike rider says the road raging passenger of a passing car called him a racial slur and spat on him, before he was intentionally doored by the driver after catching up to the car, then repeatedly punched and his bike run over. Yet somehow he was the one who spent a night in jail.

Atlanta is building a 22 mile rail-to-trail bike and pedestrian beltline around the city.

 

International

The head of a Canadian truck association says trucks are bigger than bikes and should have the right-of-way, dammit. And bikes should be forced to stop prior to an intersection so we won’t interfere with turning trucks by making them run over us.

A Montreal website asks what it will take to make it bike friendly, saying they just want the city on their side so they can get to their destination safely. Which is pretty much what bike riders everywhere want, and seldom get.

A new line of women’s bikewear currently raising funds on Kickstarter includes reflective patches to improve visibility at night; they have just 17 days to raise another $14,000.

Visit London’s Bamboo Bicycle Club for your very own bespoke bamboo bicycle.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine offers advice on how to beat back pain caused by bicycling.

A British paper talks with the TV sports personality who nearly died after contracting malaria on a 3,000 mile bike ride to the Rio Olympics.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a fast woman. If you’re going to break a man’s glasses in a road rage altercation, don’t brag about it online.

And workers score a waterlogged bike along with the scum at Echo Park Lake.

 

Morning Links: Shooting on LA River bike path, Emerald Necklace opens, and write your own anti-bike screed

In case you missed it over the weekend, two bike riders were shot on the LA River bike path Friday night when they refused to give up their bikes to suspected gang bangers.

Let that be a reminder to always be careful riding through unlit areas after dark, especially when you’re out of view from the street and can’t be seen by other people.

And it can’t stressed it enough. If someone tries to take your bike, let them have it — especially if they’re armed.

No bike is worth your life, no matter what it cost or how much you need it.

………

The first phase of the San Gabriel Valley’s Emerald Necklace bike path officially opens this Thursday.

emerald-neckace

………

Great interactive piece from Chicago magazine on how to write an anti-bike diatribe without the inconvenience of actual thought.

It’s more than worth a few seconds of your time to write one of your own.

Here’s mine.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-59-25-am

………

Speaking of great pieces, a British cop explains the real problems on the roads — hint, it ain’t the people on two wheels. And offers advice that includes don’t bother looking drivers in the eye and don’t count on hi-viz to make you seen.

Although it can be challenging to muddle through for those of us on this side of the Atlantic, where English isn’t the English the English use.

………

A 56-year old man went out for a bike ride, and accidently ended up leading the fourth stage of the Tour of Britain.

Caught on video: A fan steps out in front of the Peloton at the Vuelta, knocking a rider off his bike.

The head of the International Cycling Union swears that cycling is on top of the doping problem, unlike other sports. Maybe they should be checking the fans, too.

Semi-banned Lance Armstrong is keeping a hand in cycling anyway by creating a new Aspen CO mountain bike event.

………

Local

Los Angeles unveils a vision of the city’s transportation future that relies heavily on self-driving vehicles, making street parking obsolete and opening space for bicycles. Before you hold your breath, make sure you have an oxygen tank on hand.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures the bumpy pavement on the 7th Street bike lane in DTLA. Having ridden that one several times, I can attest that it was one of the most desperately needed bike lanes in town, yet is usually blocked by cars and delivery trucks, with pavement that would be rejected in most third-world countries.

The wife of fallen cyclist Rod Bennett has sued LA Fitness, alleging that they knew or should have known that hit-and-run driver Lucas James Guidroz was addicted to heroin; he was sent home from work early on the day he killed Bennett because he appeared to be under the influence, putting him behind the wheel without a chance to come down first.

Good news from Playa Vista, as Councilmember Mike Bonin announces a bike plan for the area, including a new bridge on Lincoln and a bike bridge over Ballona Creek; Bonin was one of just two councilmembers to vote against removing Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan.

Cycling in the South Bay says, to paraphrase in as few words as possible, don’t be such a dick when you ride.

The contribution page is now up for city council candidate and bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who is running to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo. Bray-Ali is hosting a fundraiser at the Good Girl Dinette Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Francisco bike riders continue to push for safer infrastructure.

Ford is looking beyond the private car by buying a San Francisco crowdsourced shuttle bus company and investing in the city’s bikeshare system.

The Bay Area’s BART system comes up with a brilliantly simple idea, installing straps on train cars to help keep bicycles upright.

Napa is working to improve plans for roundabouts to make them safer for bicyclists.

A Sebastopol cyclist was killed during a police fundraising ride when the driver of an oversized pickup allegedly insisted on passing without room to get by, sideswiping her boyfriend before killing her.

More kind hearts, as a Lodi pub gives away 13 bicycles to children under 13.

A Davis columnist says the solution to dropping gas tax revenues is to raise the gas tax, rather than charge a vehicle mileage fee, then complains that cyclists don’t pay for the roads they ride. By that standard, neither do the owners of $75,000 Teslas or other e-cars, who still won’t pay a gas tax no matter how much you increase it.

 

National

The Christian Science Monitor says a bicycle is one of the things you should never go too cheap on, but says you can get a decent commuter bike for $300 to $400 — pretty good savings over the $8,698 average cost of operating a car.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa driver gets 35 years — yes, three and a half decades — for the drunken crash that killed two motorists while driving over twice the speed limit. Now if we could just get them to take crashes involving bike riders seriously. Or better yet, keep people like this off the roads to prevent them in the first place.

Evanston IL officials respond to complaints about a new protected bike lane by saying it would cost nearly $1 million to rip them out, while noting that the lane is improving safety just like it’s supposed to.

NPR looks at bicycling in Reading PA, where it says most people ride out of necessity, despite a lack of infrastructure.

A North Carolina columnist gets it, saying drivers need to by hyper-vigilant on the roads, and expect to see cyclists any time of the day.

 

International

Ten laughably bad bikeways from around the world.

I want to be like her when I grow up. Reuters talks with a 90-year old Chilean grandmother who still rides regularly, calling her bike her compadre and the reason for her longevity.

A Canadian bicyclist gets a speeding ticket for riding too fast in a school zone.

An editor for London’s Express gets it, saying all hit-and-run cases should be treated as manslaughter.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Brit bicyclist saves the life of another rider who was trapped up to her waist in mud after falling into a ditch.

Someone is sabotaging Welsh mountain bike trails, yet a regional land manager just says they’re aware of a dispute between riders and local residents. More like an act of terrorism that could get someone seriously hurt. Or worse.

Nice piece from Ireland’s Lovely Bicycle on the many different meanings of cycling and cyclists.

A news columnist takes to the streets of Berlin, where he says everyone rides a bike, but the dangers on the streets demand more and better bike lanes. Which sounds a lot like LA, except for the first part.

A New Zealand bike shop chain got busted for charging full freight for bikes that were supposed to be on a half price clearance.

Singapore residents still view bicycling as a leisurely pursuit rather than a means of transportation, complicating government efforts to create a car-lite society.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t get mistaken for road kill. Another reason to wear a helmet — it protects against getting bashed in the head with a skateboard.

And your next bike could be a shapeshifter, which you could ride in your lovely new glow-in-the-dark knitted vest.

………

On a personal note, today is the anniversary of the worst bike wreck of my life, when a massive swarm of bees didn’t lay a stinger on me, but I ended up in the ICU with a tube up my you-know-what and a massive blood bump on my hip anyway. 

I may have my problems these days, but I’m glad as hell to still be here. 

Two men shot in apparent bike jacking on LA River Bike Path Friday night

Two men were shot during an attempted bike theft on the Los Angeles River Bike Path Friday night.

The LA Times reports the victims, a 27-years old man and his 47-year old father-in-law, were riding with their wives in the Elysian Park section of the bikeway near Riverside Drive when they were confronted by two men at 8:55 pm.

According to KCBS-2, the two suspected gang members demanded the men’s bicycles; when they refused to hand them over, they were both shot in the legs.

The black-clad thieves, estimated as approximately 16 and 30-years old, fled with one of the bicycles.

Both men were transported to a local hospital; KNBC-4 says one of the victims may be in critical condition. Their wives were uninjured.

They reportedly live in the surrounding neighborhood, and were simply out for an evening bike ride.

While the area is generally considered safe, there have been other reports of bike riders confronted by thieves in the area. In 2013, two members of the Frogtown gang were arrested for assaulting and robbing a cyclist on the bike path.

This should be a reminder to always use extra caution when riding on any bike path after dark, where you may be hidden from public view.

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