Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: 15 to life for Oxnard DUI driver, reward for bike-toting dog killer, and bikeshare comes to DTLA July 7

Great news, as we’re now up to 24 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Which means we need just two more people to sign up or renew your membership today to make it 26 new members by May 26th.

We may not make the goal of 100 members by the end of this month. But I consider it a personal favor for everyone who signs up before I step down as an LACBC board member next month.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have joined as part of this drive.

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Sometimes, even a possible life sentence barely seems like enough.

The Ventura County Star reports an Oxnard man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years to life in state prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a 43-year old bike rider in 2014.

Thirty-one year old Policarpio Bartolon Diaz may have been driving as fast as 62 mph when he plowed into Marco Flores as he rode with a friend in a marked bike lane. Diaz never even braked as he fled the scene with Flores’ bike still trapped under his car.

Garcia’s friend, Robert Patterson, said he was riding his bike alongside Garcia and also came close to being struck….

“I know for a fact he wasn’t remorseful because when he hit my friend, his brake lights never came on … he just shook him off the car,” Patterson said. “If you hit a human being, you think he would stop. To see him being tossed off the car was the hardest thing I’ve had to live through to this day.”

Diaz had a BAC of .22, nearly three times the legal limit, when he was arrested just a mile away. It was his third arrest for DUI, and would have been his second conviction if the DA hadn’t bargained the DUI charge away in exchange for a guilty plea to second degree murder.

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PETA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the subhuman schmuck who beat a dog to death in Boyle Heights two weeks ago.

The man chased down the dog after it jumped out of the car and tried to run away, then repeatedly punched and slammed it onto the sidewalk. As if any animal wouldn’t try to get away from someone capable of doing that.

According to KCBS-2 —

The suspect is described as a white male with balding gray hair, 50 to 60 years old, about 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 280 pounds.

The suspect was driving a 1996 to 2000 silver or gray Dodge Caravan with an off-color rear bumper. At the time of the incident, the van had two bicycles on a rear bike rack.

Judging by the photo, at least one of those bikes has been stripped, appearing to be missing both wheels.

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Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson calls out the Palos Verdes Estate Police Department for a lackadaisical approach to investigating the death of cyclist John Bacon.

By Davidson’s account, cyclists have done virtually all the work in tracking down the man who may be responsible, as well as uncovering numerous riders who were harassed by a truck driver matching the same description.

Let’s hope the department cares enough to figure out what really happened. And bring any charges that are warranted.

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Bikeshare comes to DTLA on July 7th.

The system — officially named Metro Bike — will offer 1,000 bikes at 65 docking stations throughout the Downtown area, available for rent 24/7.

According to the announcement from LA Metro

Register today for a bike share pass and receive a Limited Edition Metro Bike Share Kit featuring stickers, a Bikes on Metro guide and more. The first 1,000 people to sign up will also receive exclusive Metro Bike Share pins!

You can get a Metro Bike Share pass by the month or by the trip, similar to transit. If you ride a lot, a $20 Monthly pass might be for you, but if you just ride occasionally you should consider our $40 Flex pass. Remember through August 1st the system will be open for bike share pass holders only, so register for your Metro Bike Share pass today!

Members will be able to rent a bike for $1.75 per half hour — or free for the first half hour for monthly pass holders — while non-members can rent for $3.50 for each 30 minutes using a TAP card.

Only registered members will be able to rent a bike for the first month.

Meanwhile, the LA Weekly takes a sneak peak, finding the bikes smooth, sturdy and safe, if somewhat heavy, and “perfect for bar-hopping, grocery shopping or seeing the sights of DTLA.”

Although we have to come up with a much better nickname for the system than the unimaginative Metro Bike.

And on a related subject, you can now use your TAP card to rent one of the much better named Breeze Bikes in Santa Monica.

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A new Streetfilm celebrates Santa Monica’s savvy multimodalism.

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Last week we linked to a Facebook post from Arizona’s Brendan Lyons, in which he described meeting — and forgiving — the distracted driver who nearly killed him as he rode with his fiancé two years ago.

Now a local TV station picks up the story, describing a touching act of forgiveness for the horrifying wreck that ended Lyons’ firefighting career. And clearly driving home the dangers of using any electronic device behind the wheel, and taking your eyes off the road for even a moment.

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LA’s Phil Gaimon tells what it’s like to race in his home state in the Amgen Tour of California.

Bicycling explains the fine art of bike racing in the rain. Extra style points for belting out “Singing in the Rain” from the back of the peloton.

And what it’s like to be a soigneur for a professional racing team.

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Local

LAist suggests the eight best places to ride a bike in LA. Not to be confused with their ten best bike rides in LA.

Dodger’s bench coach Bob Geren is one of us, as he rides his bike to work at Dodger Stadium. Thanks to the Militant Angeleno for the link.

CiclaValley mournfully helps place another ghost bike in the San Fernando Valley.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown talks with Nancy Bond of Move Monrovia.

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with CLR Effect; Michael Wagner forwards news that the great I Can Bike program will be held at the Fairgrounds in Pomona at the end of next month to help people with disabilities gain greater independence by learning how to ride a bicycle.

The annual Fiesta Hermosa starts tomorrow in Hermosa Beach, complete with bike valet.

 

State

Following up on our recent piece about a bike rider blown off his bike by jet wash while riding past LAX, Cyclelicious tells a similar tale while growing up on a US military base in Japan.

Like business people in every other city, San Diego business owners worry about the loss of parking spots in the Uptown area after planned bike lanes are installed. As if people on bikes don’t spend money and potential customers don’t like calmer streets. Most likely, by this time next year, they’ll wonder what they were worried about.

A La Jolla paper goes for a bike ride through the city with the Executive Director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, and finds it needs a lot of improvement to meet San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.

Santa Ana police shoot a stabbing and carjacking suspect after she led them on a slow speed bicycle chase.

Just one more day to get tickets before the start of the Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles.

Chewbacca Mom is one of us, as she rides a bike with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.

Let’s call this the Sacramento section today:

Sad news from Tulare County, as a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run on his way to work Tuesday. The CHP somehow felt the need to point out the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, as if that would have protected him from an erratic, high-speed driver in large pickup.

 

National

HuffPo offers ten great American bike rides. None of which are in LA. Or California, for that matter.

Good Samaritans pitch in to rescue an Alaskan girl after she’s impaled by her bike handlebar in a remote village. Something that seems to happen far too often, suggesting a serious design flaw that needs to be corrected.

The mayor of Reno NV is pushing for green bike lanes in the right locations.

Life is cheap in Utah, where walking away from the drunken death of a cyclist only merits a single year behind bars.

Forty-eight states later, a Topeka man is back home from a cross country bike ride he took because he feared he’d regret it later if he didn’t. Which is about as good a reason as any.

A suspect has been arrested in the apparently random beating death of a 65-year old Des Moines IA bike rider earlier this month.

A new paper from the University of Illinois at Chicago establishes a metric allowing planners to rank the value of bicycling and walking projects.

BMX champ Dave Mirra was suffering from C.T.E. when he shot himself to death in Greenville NC in February; that’s the same disease resulting from repeated head trauma that has afflicted numerous football players.

 

International

Rio’s mayor says the elevated bike path that collapsed, killing three people, will be rebuilt and open again this year. Note to Rio Times Online: Ciclovía means bike path. So a headline referring to the ciclovía bike path is redundantly repetitive.

A bicycle advocate says it’s time to finish Canada’s Transnational Trail.

Bike your way through two Italian cities.

 

Finally…

Nothing like buying a bike lock and coming out to discover you don’t have anything to lock. Running a pro cycling team can be torture; no, literally.

And this is what happens when your carbon wheel fails.

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My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. It seems my body still feels the need to remind me that I’m not as healthy as I like to think I am, sometime suddenly, unexpectedly and with surprising force.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Santa Clarita hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon

More bad news.

According to the Santa Clarita Signal, a man on a bike has been killed in a hit-and-run while riding in Santa Clarita.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was on the 20100 block of Placerita Canyon Road when he was struck by a car just before 4:30 pm. The paper places the collision near a curve just southwest of the entrance to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

He was declared dead at the scene, his helmet lying nearby.

The paper reports the CHP conducted an intense hunt for the driver in the area; the suspect vehicle is described as a dark gray Mazda 3 with a roof rack and a possible broken windshield.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 53-year old Valencia resident Rod Bennett.

He was riding a blue Eddy Merckx road bike in the far right of the eastbound lane when he was rear-ended by the driver, who continued east as he fled the scene, apparently without stopping or slowing down. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rod Bennett and his loved ones.

Thanks to John H for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

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If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

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As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

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After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

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Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

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Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Weekend Links: The CHP gets it wrong again, the LA Times gets it right, and North Fig safety dogs Cedillo

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive after yesterday’s unplanned absence.

So let’s get two more people to sign up or renew your membership now to make it 21 new members by the 21st.

Your fellow bike riders are depending on you to add your support to the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, and help make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city.

Never mind the great LACBC gear you’ll get just for signing up.

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Happy Bike to Shop Day.

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Once again, the CHP gets it wrong.

Despite what a CHP officer told the OC Register’s traffic columnist, there is no law in California requiring cyclists to ride single file, on narrow roads or anywhere else.

Even though the department has been known to misapply CVC 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.

However, subsection 3 of the ride to right law exempts substandard lanes from that requirement, explicitly stating that the law does not apply on any lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to safely share with a motor vehicle. In most cases, that means any lane less than 14 feet wide, since bike riders are allowed to ride a safe distance from the curb, and drivers are required to give at least a three-foot passing distance.

That means, despite the officer’s assertions, that there is no legal justification for ticketing cyclists who ride abreast in a narrow lane, and no requirement under California law that they ride single file in the scene shown in the photo accompanying the column, where the lane is clearly too narrow for a cyclist to safely share with most cars, let alone a truck or SUV.

Yes, it is courteous to allow drivers to pass when safe to do so.

However, it is often safer for bicyclists to ride side-by-side on narrow roadways — not so they can chat, but to increase visibility and prevent unsafe passing.

As for whether it’s legal to cross a solid yellow line to pass a cyclist, that is allowed in most states with a three-foot or wider passing law. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a cyclist, but only when safe to do so.

It’s not the officer’s fault he doesn’t know the law in this case.

The CHP has long failed to adequately train their officers in bike law, forcing officers to rely on cheat sheets that don’t list the many exceptions to CVC 21202, or go into detail on any of the other laws governing the rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

But providing false information like that only puts bike riders at needless risk, and encourages driveway vigilantes to take out their frustrations on bicyclists who are riding safely and within their rights.

Let alone subjecting them to tickets that aren’t legally justified, but are often too difficult to fight.

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Great opinion piece from Paul Thornton the LA Times, who says if LA really wants to encourage more bicycling, the city needs to fix the roads so they’re safe to ride.

He also calls out former councilmember Tom LaBonge and current member Paul Koretz for dangerous decisions that defeat the purpose of the city’s Mobility Plan.

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The Eastsider examines the North Figueroa safety issues dogging CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, as he claims to be working to improve safety, despite unilaterally cancelling a road diet designed to do exactly that.

And they talk with Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who has thrown his hat into the race to challenge Cedillo in next year’s city elections.

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Germany’s Andre Greipel wins his third sprint of the Giro d’Italia, then promptly quits the race. Andrey Amador takes the leader’s jersey from Bob Jungels after the 13th stage, becoming the first Costa Rican to lead a Grand Tour.

Cycling Weekly examines five talking points about the Giro as the race reaches the legendary Dolomites this weekend.

This has been one of the most democratic Amgen Tour of California’s in memory, as the race had yet another stage winner in Latvian pro Toms Skujins. Aussie Rohan Dennis won Friday’s time trial to leap into second place, 16 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphillppe.

Meanwhile, American Megan Guarnier won the first stage of the women’s tour in a last minute breakaway.

The AToC heads to Santa Rosa today, on the same day the city hosts their 122nd Rose Parade. Which is different from Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

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Local

CiclaValley reacts to Thursday’s bicycling fatality in Panorama City, which occurred just hours after he returned from Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

The newly opened Expo Line extension adds 130 bike racks and lockers at seven new stations.

The LAPD has put out a BOLO Alert for a bike thief in the Central LA area.

South LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino rode an ebike 25 miles to work at City Hall in observance of Bike to Work Day.

KPCC is the latest media site to talk with the Eastside’s Ovarian Cycles Bicycle Brigade, who host their monthly women-identified Luna Ride tonight.

A writer for the Daily Bruin tweets that the board of directors for Westwood Village has voted to spend $44,000 for two bikeshare hubs in the village this fall. Unfortunately, the lack of bike lanes means there won’t be any safe places to ride them.

The Santa Monica Spoke invites you on a multi-modal Expo Line ride on Sunday.

The LACBC talks with Antelope Valley cyclist and soap maker Sharon Murdock.

 

State

It takes a world champion schmuck to steal an adult tricycle from a 67-year old Anaheim woman with multiple sclerosis.

A Huntington Beach man gets seven years for beating a police officer who stopped him for an alcohol violation while riding his bike; the officer’s daughter was doing a ride along and witnessed the assault. Not that the sentence isn’t warranted, but why is it that motorists seldom get a fraction of that for actually killing a cyclist or a pedestrian?

Potential San Diego bike commuters want more than just bike lanes to get them to ride, like showers and more considerate drivers. They have a much better chance of getting the showers.

A Fresno cyclist says don’t count on laws to protect you from distracted drivers.

In a seriously disgusting assault, a white Rancho Murieta driver ran a black bike rider off the road before getting out and punching him, after telling the victim to “go back to the hood.”

 

National

Members of the bicycle industry finally bind together to promote bicycling in the US. Something should have been done decades ago — and with a much higher budget.

HuffPo says we’ve been brainwashed into calling crashes accidents.

Caught on video: A Seattle truck driver jumps the curb in an apparent attempt to run down a bike rider; the action starts after the 1:50 mark. Note to cyclists: when you’re posting video of drivers behaving badly, feel free to delete the extraneous footage leading up to it.

A Salt Lake cyclist says he’ll be happy to pay for his fair share of the roads, as long as drivers pay theirs.

Agenda 21 is just so passé; evidently the new global bad guys are AARP and the World Health Organization, forcing age-friendly complete streets down the throats of those fine, upstanding Vermonters.

Apparently, traffic violations that put bike riders at risk don’t violate the rules of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A DC bike commuter lists his pet peeves about riding to work, from cars that don’t signal to the traditional catcall to get on the sidewalk.

A bicycling Florida non-profit is redefining sharecropping, riding en masse to work organic gardens on land borrowed from homeowners; the model has already spread to Oakland and Uganda.

 

International

Brazil’s bike-riding president is running out of options to fight her ouster by impeachment.

A Toronto bike lane carries nearly as much bicycle traffic as the roadway next to it does cars.

Nothing like just now returning one of London’s Boris Bikes late after it was rented on New Years Day — in 2015.

London’s Telegraph asks if an increase in heavy truck traffic in the UK is responsible for an unexpected decrease in bike ridership. Not bloody likely, to use the vernacular.

More spending on bicycling would show Britain is serious about increasing ridership.

Two Afghan cyclists on a round the world journey stop in New York to tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their country is tired of war and violence, before setting out across the US for Los Angeles.

An Aussie writer asks motorists to remember the driver who killed his 75-year old bike-riding uncle, showing rare understanding and sympathy for the inevitable impact it had on the man responsible.

 

Finally…

Forget self-driving cars; the next thing is Google’s interactive Levi bike jacket. Nothing like putting a billboard in the middle of a bike lane.

And the next time you’re in San Diego, a bronzed Bill Walton and his bike will be waiting to greet you on the shores of Mission Bay.

 

Morning Links: Life is cheap in Ventura County, Kuehl’s cartoon bike goes Expo, and happy Bike to Work Day

We’re still at 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Let’s get this up to one per day by getting just two more people to sign up now or renew your membership today to make it 19 on the 19th. It’s worth the low cost of membership just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get. Never mind helping to make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city and county.

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They should be ashamed.

The Ventura County DA’s office gave an unwarranted gift to a killer driver on Tuesday, by charging a Camarillo woman with two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter in the distracted driving death of two people in Moorpark last year.

Even though the CHP had recommended felony charges.

Twenty-six-year old Rachel Hill was allegedly distracted by a “portable electronic device” when she slammed into 53-year old cyclist Maciek Malish at 55 mph, then overcorrected after killing him and smashed head-on into 43-year old motorcyclist Jesse Cushman as he rode in the opposite direction.

Thanks to the inexplicable generosity of the DA’s office — which evidently doesn’t take either traffic crime or human life seriously — Hill faces a maximum of one year in county jail for each count, rather than the six years in state prison per count the CHP and common sense suggests is warranted.

Now two men are dead and two families shattered, while a deadly driver is guaranteed of receiving nothing more than a gentle slap on the wrist.

It’s heartbreaking to realize the lives of those on two wheels are worth so little in Ventura County — even when one is an Emmy winning sound editor.

Let’s hope voters in the county remember this when the next election rolls around.

………

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has a little fun riding the new Expo Line with an animated bike, surfboard and service dog.


………

Happy Bike to Work Day.

If you’re reading this early enough, you’ll find pit stops all over the LA area.

If not, don’t fret; both the Santa Monica Spoke and the LACBC are hosting handlebar happy hours for your ride home.

KPCC observes Bike to Work Day while noting that local bike commuting rates are still too low; Pasadena leads LA area cities with a 2.2% share.

………

Italian cyclist Diego Ulissi came out on top in a three-way sprint in Wednesday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, as Bob Jungels keeps the leader’s pink jersey. Former leader Tom Dumoulin dropped out due to a sore butt.

The fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California ends with a sprint finish at Laguna Seca; thousands turned out for the start at Morro Bay. Peter Sagan captured his record 15th stage victory in the race, while Julian Alaphilippe leads American Peter Stetina by 22 seconds in the general classification.

………

Local

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

HuffPo’s Joel Epstein complains about LA’s trashy streets.

The president of the Holmby-Westwood Property Owners Association says the possible removal of Westwood Blvd from the bike plan is a victory for residents, insisting Gayley Ave is better suited for a bike lane. Because God forbid we should get in the way of their precious Mercedes, Range Rovers and Teslas.

Glassell Park will consider improvements to Verdugo Road, including a road diet and possible bike lanes.

LA Magazine says the Biking Black Hole’s new bikeshare system is encouraging people to ride bikes “on streets that are hostile, if not downright dangerous, to two wheels.” Sort of like Westwood/Holmby Hills residents.

 

State

The 2016 Tour de OC rolls this Saturday to help send foster kids to camp for a mentorship program.

San Diego traffic delays have doubled over the last three years, as too few people opt for transit or riding to work. Yet the city’s mayor says separated bike lanes work, and getting 22% of commuters on bikes is doable.

Bike friendly Redlands is looking for state funding to install a new bike lane connecting with the Santa Ana River Trail.

Fresno is looking to improve the health of its residents by making it safer to ride and bike in the largely Latino and African American south part of town.

A San Francisco cyclist was critically injured when he was run over by a cab driver while riding in a crosswalk.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin district is about to get its first bike lane.

The Sacramento Bee wades into the great helmet debate with a surprisingly even-handed report.

 

National

A police website discusses the new GPS-enabled bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

NPR joins in on a Portland house move by bicycle.

A Spokane bike shop is helping the homeless and underemployed get back on their feet and out on the road.

Caught on video: An Arizona bike rider catches a foul-mouthed road raging driver on his bike cam screaming at him to get on the sidewalk because he was using the left turn lane.

A year later, there are no leads in the apparently random shooting of a bike rider from a passing car near my hometown.

Someone has apparently set out to deliberately injure or kill Colorado mountain bikers by planting three-inch nails embedded in concrete on a new singletrack trail; it’s the second such incident in the area in the past year. Whoever did this should face an attempted murder charge when they’re caught, at the bare minimum.

A North Dakota letter writer applauds attempts to say no to those damn liberal bike lanes.

A bike-riding Massachusetts minister asks motorists to watch out for bicyclists, and not judge the majority of well-mannered riders by the actions of a few idiots. His words, not mine. But still.

Once again, New Yorkers rise up against bike lanes, this time in Brooklyn. Somehow, they seem to think older and handicapped people fair better dealing with speeding cars than bicycles.

An 11-year old bike rider never even left his driveway, yet he’s in the hospital now because a driver couldn’t be bothered to pull over before reaching into the backseat to get something. Too bad it’s not against the law to be an effing jackass.

 

International

A UK shire re-enacts the 97-year old unsolved murder of a young woman as she rode her bike from her uncle’s house.

Nothing like taking a beating from a road-raging 77-year old Brit driver.

A Scottish adventure cyclist has circled the world twice — once setting a world record — and ridden from Alaska to Argentina and the full length of Africa, all before his 34th birthday.

Despite the panicking headline, only eleven Belfast cyclists have been cited for biking under the influence in the past five years.

It’s urban drivers who benefit most from cycling, though that’s not always obvious to motorists, according to a Dublin letter writer.

Barcelona considers building superblocks to reclaim 60% of the city’s streets from cars.

An Aussie pro cyclist says she’s encouraged to see more riders Down Under, yet utterly afraid because of their lack of skills and bad behavior.

An Australian politician says all new road and rail projects in the country should include walking and cycle tracks. Actually, that should be the policy everywhere.

 

Finally…

Think of it as fly paper for bicyclists. Maybe you don’t want to wear that yellow jersey after all.

And it’s pedals, dammit, not peddles.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: Cops behaving badly, Amgen Tour of California kicks off, and sign up for the LACBC today

We’re sill stuck on 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

If we can’t get 100 new members this month, let’s at least get one a day for the rest of the month, starting today. So if you’re not a member yet, take a few minutes to sign up now. Or if you’re already a member, use this opportunity to renew your membership today.

It’s worth it just to get some new LACBC gear. And make a real difference on our streets.

………

Today’s theme is cops behaving badly.

When a Merced cop stops a young black man for riding on the sidewalk, it somehow escalates into a violent takedown by the police — including tackling the man filming it, in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Although needless to say, the police see it differently; thanks to Henry Fung for the link.

Next up, a careless San Francisco cop pulls out from the curb, apparently without checking his blind spot, and nails a bicyclist riding in the very obvious bike lane.

And an off-duty Charleston SC cop grabs a man’s backpack, throws him off his bike and tries to punch him following a wrong-way collision; the officer is now on well-deserved administrative leave without pay pending an internal investigation.

………

KABC-7 reports on Sunday’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia. Although they can’t seem to tell the difference between bikes that move and those that don’t.

………

Italian rider Gianluca Brambilla takes the leaders pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin’s back in the Giro d’Italia.

Edward Rubenstein offers a preview of the Amgen Tour of California, which kicked off Sunday in San Diego as Peter Sagan wins the first stage.

Team Novo Nordisk is less about winning and more about proving diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from riding. Nor, evidently, does hamburgers, soda and ding dongs. Although sprinters won’t have much of a chance to show their skills on this year’s vertical course.

Santa Clarita cycling fans gather to watch the opening stage of the ToC in anticipation of today’s finish of Stage 2, which starts in South Pasadena.

And motor doping once again rears its ugly head as three riders are disqualified in Indonesia’s Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen.

………

Local

As expected, the LA City Council voted 11 – 1 to send plans to provide separate but unequal alternatives to bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave back to the Planning Commission. The best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway is to insist on putting it someplace where bicyclists don’t want to go.

The LACBC and Bike SGV get LA City Councilmember Mitch Englander on the record for some very bike-friendly positions as a candidate for LA County Supervisor in District 5. And speaking of Bike SGV, Damien Newton talks with Executive Director Wes Reutimann.

The Army Corps of Engineers is removing flood control barriers that closed a large portion of the LA River bike path; once the barriers are removed from each section, LADOT has to evaluate the condition of the path before it can be reopened.

A project to improve traffic flow onto the 110 Freeway in San Pedro is finished, including new bike lanes and sidewalks on John S. Gibson Blvd.

A man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in Compton Saturday evening.

Burbank is planning three pit stops for Bike to Work Day on Thursday.

Sixty-four La Puente kids have new bikes as a reward for academic achievement and perfect attendance, thanks to the Golden State Foods Foundation.

 

State

Laguna Beach holds a Bike Rodeo and Safety Expo as part of their ongoing efforts to improve safety for bicyclists.

Downtown San Diego bike riders are being victimized by bike thieves breaking into so-called secure bike rooms and parking garages.

Ebikes could be the answer the answer to bike commuting in San Bernardino’s hilly climate.

The 52nd annual Great Western Bicycle Rally comes to Paso Robles May 26th through 30th.

A Sunnyvale actor faces felony charges for allegedly running down a bike rider in Berkeley in February. If they can find him, that is.

Napa draws over 1,400 cyclists of all ages to its fifth annual Bike Fest.

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets around to throwing out eleven rules that prevented cities from building bikeable, walkable streets.

A moving piece on Facebook, as an Arizona cyclist comes face-to-face with the driver who nearly killed him two and a half years earlier. And surprises himself by forgiving him.

Another way bikes are good for business. Bike sales may be down nationwide, but not in my bike-friendly hometown. Evidently, making the city safe and inviting for bike riders actually encourages people to buy more bicycles.

Leonardo DiCaprio goes for a bikeshare ride through Gotham with his new girlfriend.

An anti-bike Philly columnist gloats over an apparent decline in bike commuting, that could simply be due to bad weather during the latest bike count.

Someone is attacking New Orleans bike riders with paintball guns.

 

International

There are lots of reason to take off on a bike tour. Like becoming the fastest woman to ride around the world because your boyfriend was killed by a crocodile. On the other hand, having a baby 12 weeks early is a good reason to stop one.

Plan your next European bike vacation. I’ll take the ride to Bruges, thank you.

A Calgary woman has built a business teaching immigrant women how to ride a bike.

A London hospital fights plans for a proposed floating bus stop next to a bike lane, fearing patients will get run down by bike riders. Better to let the cyclists get run down by cars, thus creating more business for the hospital.

A Croatian bike ride takes cyclists from sea level to the top of the highest peak in Dalmatia, gaining over one mile of elevation in just 20 miles.

Someone is booby trapping bikeways around Brisbane, Australia; a 17-year old bike rider was seriously injured when he was garroted by a rope strung across a bike path.

Over 5,000 yellow-clad Thai cyclists ride to mark the 70th anniversary of the king assuming the throne.

 

Finally…

Call it a case of he said/he said as both types of cyclists accuse one another of road rage. Who needs Bike to Work Day when you can have a full week of biking from work to craft breweries?

And seriously, if someone says bicycling is the new golf one more time, I’m going to start yelling “fore” every time I ride down the street.

 

Morning Links: LAPD looks for fatal shooters in January fight over bicycle, and ‘roos get the blame Down Under

We’re now up to 11 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up as part of the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 100 new members before the end of this month.

So take a moment to sign up now to add your voice to Southern California’s leading bicycle advocacy organization, dedicated to making LA County a safer and more inviting place to ride a bike, whoever you are and however you ride.

And thanks to a special arrangement with the LACBC, you’ll get free bike swag when you sign up at any level. Which is just the beginning of the many benefits to you and your community.

………

Somehow this didn’t make the news at the time.

Police are looking for the men who killed 24-year old Fabian Garcia at 62nd and Grand in Los Angeles last January following a dispute over the bicycle he was riding.

He fought with two men who claimed the bike was stolen; as he rode away after the fight, the men came back and shot him, leaving the bike with his body.

There’s a $50,000 reward in the case. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Newton Division Detectives at 323/846-6556.

………

Marcel Kittel wears the pink leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia after dominating the opening weekend.

Yet another pro cyclist is injured by motorcycle on the course, this time at the Four Days of Dunkirk race in France.

Peter Sagan is back to defend his title in the Amgen Tour of California starting on Sunday.

And Wolfpack Hustle offers results from Saturday’s Short Line Crit in Long Beach.

………

Local

The Daily News lists the six most deadly intersections for pedestrians in the San Fernando Valley; chances are, they’re not going to be all that great for bike riders, either.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy says physicians and healthcare systems should embrace bicycling for its health and environmental benefits.

Richard Risemberg says cool, rainy weather like we had over the weekend is perfect riding weather.

KPCC talks with Edward Humes, author of Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, who says crashes — not accidents, please — don’t have to kill 100 people a day in the US. And notes that in any collision involving a bicyclist or pedestrian, we’re the ones who inevitably get the blame.

KPCC also talks with a former Long Beach resident who prefers riding his bike with just one leg rather than driving; he says the key is to avoid hills and just keep moving.

 

State

Palm Desert uses funds from the Go Human campaign for a pop-up demonstration of what San Pablo Ave could look like as a Complete Street, including bike lanes and more walkable sidewalks.

Work is set to begin on a project to widen the 5 Freeway in North San Diego County, including bike and pedestrian bridges and trails.

A San Bernardino man will ride across the US to give hugs and high fives in cities affected by gun violence.

Santa Barbara planners vote to move a planned bikeway from a busy commercial street to a side street, shifting riders away from the business they might otherwise frequent.

A Clovis man apparently made his getaway on a stolen mountain bike after murdering his estranged wife and her mother.

The bikeway to Treasure Island on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is now scheduled to be finished by September, two years late and $1.4 million over budget.

 

National

NPR looks at how cities are using data from runners and cyclists, including Strava, to help build safer streets. The question is whether they’re measuring where average people on bikes really ride.

Utah mountain bikers take a breathless ride at the edge of a cliff.

An Illinois woman is in serious condition after she was hit by a bicyclist who was riding on the sidewalk.

A former Michigan lawmaker is riding 2,900 miles across the US just two years after a near-fatal bicycling collision.

A New Hampshire man publishes his first book of poetry, six years after surviving a serious bicycling collision.

Boston is investing $9.3 million to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on four deadly corridors as part of their Vision Zero program.

Call it confirmation bias. Two Boston Globe reporters piss off other drivers by setting out to see if people in the city will tolerate a 20 mph speed limit, by driving 20 mph in a 30 mph zone. Which doesn’t mean everyone would be as angry if that was the speed limit.

Great idea. Over 1,000 New Yorkers take a bike tour of Brooklyn Public Library branches; one rider made it to 51 library branches.

A handful of Cherokee Indians will ride from Georgia to Oklahoma next month to remember the Trail of Tears, when the Cherokee were brutally forced from their lands in the 1830s.

A New Orleans author looks at the bicycle as a tool for women’s empowerment.

 

International

Bike advocates say London’s outgoing mayor was good for bikes, but new mayor Sadik Khan will be even better.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a man in the UK pulls a woman to safety after her car catches on fire.

A Zimbabwe man is riding, swimming and running in a non-stop, 4,300 mile triathlon around the entire coast of Great Britain.

Paris shuts down the famed Champs-Élysées for the first of a series of open streets events.

Chinese-made ebikes appear to be taking North Korea by storm.

A Cambodian man got out of prison, got drunk with a friend, then beat him to death with a brick because he tried to steal the man’s bicycle once. Then again, that’s no worse than shooting your own brother in a dispute over a hamburger.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t slap Uber passengers, bro. If you’re going to steal over $250,000 from ID theft victims, at least spend more than $800 of it on a bike.

And kangaroos only cause the most crashes in one Aussie state if you ignore all the crashes caused by humans.

 

Morning Links: Another killer driver gets a sore wrist, and the Flying Scotsman compares himself to Pluto

A special thank you to the ten new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition who’ve signed up as part of the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive. That means we just have 90 to go to reach our goal of 100 new members before I step down from the LACBC board next month.

So take a moment to sign up now to add your voice to one of the nation’s leading bicycle advocacy organizations. And tell all your bike riding friends, family, coworkers to join up, too.

………

Add one more driver getting off with a tiny slap on the wrist for fatally running down a bike rider.

After discussing two similar cases yesterday, one more was added to the list after 25-year old Luis Aranda Llamas was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence for the death of Matthew Carp as he rode in a Menifee bike lane.

Llamas received just three years probation, along with 90 days work release for the 2014 collision.

Prosecutors somehow concluded there was no gross negligence that would have warranted a felony charge, even though Llamas was speeding when ran Carp down from behind, and barely missed Carp’s riding companion.

Evidently, killing someone while driving in a bike lane at a speed well above the posted limit is just one of those things.

………

Patrick Lynch forwards news of a horrifying crash that nearly took the life of a Chicago man as he was riding home with his two sons earlier this week.

An SUV driver struck Scott Jacobson after making a U-turn, dragging him hundreds of feet before witnesses and firemen from a nearby fire station managed to stop the driver.

Yet even though the driver was clearly trying to flee the scene, not to mention driving with a revoked license and no insurance, he was not charged with hit-and-run. And isn’t facing a single felony count.

As Lynch puts it,

While Matt Willens from the Streetsblog article is right when he says “In general, society — including legislators, judges, and jurors — is quick to identify with a driver who injures a cyclist, rather than with the injured cyclist. People feel bad about punishing someone they can relate to.”

I don’t think a jury will have a hard time convicting an uninsured, unlicensed motorist who dragged a man 300 feet trying to flee. Let’s hope I’m not wrong.

A gofundme account in Jacobson’s name has raised over $27,500 out of the $50,000 goal in a single day.

………

Multiple record holder Graeme Obree, aka the Flying Scotsman, feels ignored by the racing world these days, saying his relationship to cycling is like Pluto’s relationship to Earth.

And they’re off on the Giro, with Dutch favorite Tom Dumoulin taking the early lead, while Aussie cyclist Adam Hansen is attempting to finish his 14th Grand Tour in a row, dating back to 2011.

………

Local

Caught on video: A friend of CiclaValley is nearly taken out by a speeding driver who used a bike lane to pass a car on the right while he was riding in it.

If you hurry, you may still be able to make the LACBC’s free bike commuter workshop this morning. Meanwhile, they profile Pitzer College cyclist Cade Maldonado, who grew up in the Pico Union neighborhood.

Car crashes are up in Long Beach, as low gas prices encourage more driving — along with more distracted driving.

The third annual Long Beach Bike Festival takes place today, with bicycle themed events throughout the Downtown area.

 

State

Laguna Beach police will hold a bike rodeo and road safety expo on the 15th.

Community leaders are calling for the reopening of a bike crossing between the US and Mexico that was closed after 9/11.

Over 200 mountain bikers kicked off bike month with a 44-mile dirt trail ride across San Diego County to raise funds for the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

A 91-year old Santa Barbara man turned himself in for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy riding his bike. Seriously, anyone who doesn’t know you have to stick around after a crash shouldn’t be driving.

Great story from Sports Illustrated about a Salinas teenager who competes for his high school mountain bike team on one leg, after losing his right leg to cancer in junior high.

A San Francisco cyclist remembers the terrifying assault he somehow survived a year ago when a road raging driver repeatedly attempted to run him down. The driver confessed to his actions, bizarrely thinking the police would agree he did the right thing; he was eventually convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

Prince was one of us; so apparently is the Marin rehab specialist who was supposed to save him from his addiction to painkillers.

 

National

The Feds make it easier to narrow wide traffic lanes and put protected bike lanes on street projects funded with government money.

Bicycling says it’s never too late to learn how to ride a bike, while a business website says folding bicycles are taking over the commuting world.

An Arizona newspaper congratulates the Department of Transportation for reconsidering plans to remove roadside memorials, such as ghost bikes.

An Iowa driver faces 25 years for killing a cyclist while under the influence — and with a suspended license after a previous DUI conviction; the victim’s parents justifiably decry the “catch-and-release” system that puts dangerous drivers back on the streets.

Chicago Magazine offers a nervous cyclist’s guide to riding more.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a customized tricycle from a special needs kid; hats off to Rockland MA police for getting it back.

A New York man wonders if he did anything wrong when he doored a scofflaw cyclist; the short answer is yes.

New York residential buildings are getting bike friendly, with bike parking, storage and repair rooms and high-end loaner bikes; one building is even giving away $450 bikes to the first 25 buyers. Although with prices starting at over half a million, I’d expect a Cervelo, at least.

A New Orleans man gets 25 years for fatally shooting a man who was stealing his bicycle.

 

International

KCRW’s Madeline Brand talks with the author of The Coyote’s Bicycle, about a Mexican man who used bicycles to smuggle immigrants across the border to avoid detection by sophisticated American ground sensors.

Outgoing London Mayor Boris Johnson leaves a legacy of a bicycling city, even if one rider calls him a prick on his last day in office. Meanwhile, newly elected mayor Sadiq Khan promises to make the city a byword for cycling around the world — which only makes sense since his sister-in-law is former New York DOT maven Janette Sadik-Khan.

A British man got 200 hours of community service for running down his bike-riding FedEx coworker just minutes after they both got off work.

There once was a bike-riding, body armored, shotgun toting man from Limerick, who rode through the streets shooting people at random, and got five and a half years for his crimes. No, it doesn’t rhyme, has no meter and it’s not funny, either.

An Irish cycling group warns young riders not to take caffeine supplements after two teenage cyclists fall ill.

Norway will spend nearly $1 billion in bicycling infrastructure as it aims for zero growth in car use by 2030.

Indian studies show bicycling really is better for you than walking.

A pair of South African women blame a cyclist for causing their car to skid across a freeway and summersault into a ditch in their attempt to avoid them. But if they were really driving slowly enough for a bike rider to pass them, as they claim, how is it they were going fast enough to have a crash like that?

 

Finally…

How could anyone oppose a freaking sidewalk? When Woody hates on bike lanes, New Yorkers fall out of love with Woody.

And I may not be able to read Chinese, but I know a beautiful and utterly amazing kite when I see one. Link courtesy of Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious.

Morning Links: Life is cheap, as killer Palm Desert and Paso Roble drivers get off with gently slapped wrists

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive is up to nine new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. But we really need to pick up the pace if we’re going to reach 100 new or renewing members before the end of this month. So sign up now and let’s get this into double figures today.

Even if you’re already a member, you can renew to extend your membership to support biking in the City of Angeles, and get some great bike swag courtesy of the LACBC.

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s joined so far.

………

Once again, the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card worked its magic, as an 81-year old Palm Desert woman walked after admitting to killing a 73-year old handcyclist last year.

Judy Mae Purcell pled guilty plea to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the January, 2015 death of Rose Peters, just as her trial was set to begin.

And as usual, she got off on probation by claiming she just didn’t see Peters before she left-crossed her, even though Peters, who was in a bike lane, was riding with the right-of-way.

Purcell received three years probation, and may lose her driver’s license; she also says it’s had a big impact on her life.

Purcell elected to speak at her sentencing, tearfully telling Lee and Peters (Peter’s daughters), “There’s nothing I can really say, I’m just so sorry.” She said the crash was “truly an accident. I just didn’t see her. I’ve lost a lot of friends over this,” Purcell told them. “I relive that minute every day of my life. Every night, you’re in my prayers.”

At least she’s been held accountable in other ways. Oceanside lawyer Richard Duquette, a cyclist himself, forwards word that Peters’ family has reached a substantial, but undisclosed, settlement in the case.

………

A 20-year old Paso Robles driver got off almost as easy, as he’s sentenced to just 75 days in jail and 50 hours of community service for killing an LA cyclist and severely injuring a second rider in a 2014 collision.

That’s despite a long history of traffic violations, and being on probation for a speeding conviction at the time of the crash.

Joseph Mondo was driving a massive GMC Yukon when his phone slipped off his lap, where it shouldn’t have been to begin with. When he looked down to retrieve it, he nearly struck a vehicle stopped to make a left turn, barely avoiding it by swerving onto the right shoulder at 60 mph.

Then, in an astounding display of carelessness and stupidity, he once again took his eyes off the road to find his phone, this time killing 62-year old Los Angeles resident Lee Hekyung Craig, as well as leaving her riding companion, 59-year old Newport Beach surgeon Lawrence Chong, with life-changing injuries.

As Chong said,

“What hurts the most is that I lost (Craig) because of the negligence on the part of someone else,” Chong said, according to the report. “All he had to do was pull over after he nearly rear-ended a car while reaching for his phone. If he had done so, my life would still be good and I would still have Lee. Instead my life is now a mess.”

Granted, Mondo seems to get it.

When he was interviewed by a probation officer following his no-contest pleas, Mondo reportedly said: “What happened has happened. If I could change places, I would. It has changed my life. Someone’s life was lost. I do not need to argue my innocence. I am guilty. I want to move on with my life. I will deal with the repercussions as they come.”

Then again, Craig will never get to move on with her life and Chong may never regain the life he had, while Mondo may have a sore wrist for a few days from the slap the judge gave it.

This is what happens when traffic crimes and prior tickets aren’t taken seriously.

………

Grand Rapids MI unveils a new $600,000 bike safety campaign, urging motorists and bicyclists to obey the law and look out for one another.

Although the TV spot does look kind of familiar.

………

Local

A 0.8-mile stretch of Van Nuys Blvd in Pacoima will get a road diet, with a buffered bike lane on one side and a parking-protected lane on the other, connecting to the San Fernando Road rail-with-trail bike path on the north end. Part of the city’s Great Streets Initiative, the Complete Streets makeover is intended to reduce speeding and improve safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino argues that part of the Metro R2 transportation funds should be used to repair LA’s crumbing streets since they form the foundation for all other elements of the transportation system, including bicycles. One of the city’s most bike friendly elected officials, Buscaino will be honored with the Golden Spoke Award at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Speaking of Good Samaritan, Downtown News profiles Good Sam CEO and dedicated bike commuter Andy Leeka. And a pretty nice guy too, if I say so myself; thanks to Richard Risemberg for the link.

The LA Weekly lists Sunday’s semi-inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival at Grand Park as one of their 21 things to do this week. Although it’s not on Metro’s list of Bike Month events.

Bicycling recommends the annual 30-mile Stan’s Bike Shop/Eastside Bike Club’s Tour de Tacos as one of the 27 best places to find tacos in the US. But they somehow failed to include the Trump Towers taco bowl.

Ride with Metro and Bike SGV to the Huntington Library and Gardens this afternoon.

Wolfpack Hustle’s annual Shortline Crit rolls tomorrow in Long Beach.

Also on Saturday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio will host a free Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

Team LACBC will host a training ride for this year’s Climate Ride tomorrow, heading up Glendora Mountain Road before visiting The Donut Man on the return leg.

 

State

Laguna Beach mountain bikers get to ride with their heroes.

Fortunately, an Apple Valley bike rider was sitting upright and talking after being hit by a pickup Wednesday night.

As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, Turlock police are looking for a man who stabbed a bike rider in the chest in an apparently random and unprovoked attack.

The Menlo Park city council votes to keep El Camino Real dangerous by sending plans for bike lanes back for further study until neighboring cities agree on a common design. “Sending plans back for further studies” usually means they don’t want to piss off motorists by approving it, but don’t want to piss off bike riders by saying no, either.

Sacramento police are looking for the owners of 60 stolen bikes that were recovered when a bike thief was busted.

 

National

Bike riders may be the only ones enjoying the closure of a Seattle viaduct. Meanwhile, you know Seattle’s bikeshare program is in trouble when the people responsible for running it aren’t even members, despite a discount for city employees.

After a cyclist competing in New Mexico’s Tour of Gila broke his bike crashing into a pile of riders who collided with a dog, he traded bikes with a fan and finished the race on an ‘80s era Specialized stump jumper. No word on how the dog made out, though.

Des Moines IA police are looking for two men who attacked a 65-year old bike rider for no apparent reason.

A new report says bicycling is booming in New York City, up a whopping 320% since 1990, even though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to protect cyclists and keep up with demand. Which just goes to show what can happen when you build an actual bicycling network rather than a few nice lanes here and there.

Count Woody Allen, who used to be funny, among those who think New York has done too much to accommodate bike riders and that bike lanes don’t belong anywhere in his upscale Upper East Side neighborhood. But he’s likely to get them whether he likes it or not.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is charged with stabbing a man who he claims stole his bike.

 

International

A new international study confirms that the health benefits of bicycling and walking far outweigh the risks from pollution. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A British man gets seven years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he initially told police his car had been stolen and someone else was driving it, leading to the false arrest of an innocent man.

If you build it, they will come. This tweet really says it all about a new London bikeway in the shadow of Big Ben.

Researchers hope da Vinci’s DNA can explain his genius, which included sketching out a bicycle centuries before they were invented.

Bikes are the star of a planned Oslo office building.

An Indian man got a bizarre 10-petaled flower-shaped cataract in one eye following a helmetless collision with a car.

A Taiwan proposal would classify ebikes as scooters, requiring riders to have a helmet and a license.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a $341 40-mile ride in the rain. I don’t care what they say, it’s not a bike friendly town if kids are barred from riding bikes to school.

And luxury hotels may be fascinating, but you’re better off watching the road.

 

Morning Links: LA County pays $1.3 million in death of bike rider, and SD sailor faces hit-and-run charges

We’re now up to six new members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition after day three of the BikinginLA LACBC Membership drive, with just 94 more to go to reach our goal by the end of this month.

So tell your friends, family and fellow riders to sign up now to give bike riders a greater voice in our local communities, and help make LA County a better place to ride a bike for all of us.

And get some great bike swag, too.

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LA County approves a $1.3 million settlement in the death of Alfonso Cerda, who was run down on his bike by overzealous sheriff’s deputies who mistakenly thought he might have a gun.

As Cerda’s son put it, “If he was on his bike he had a flashlight, his wallet, and that’s it — and his happiness.”

Note: The original story from KNBC-4 said the settlement was for $1.7 million, but later revised it to show the amount as $1.3 million. I have revised this piece to reflect that. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the correction.

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A Camp Pendleton sailor will face trial on felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges in the 2014 death of bike rider Philip White.

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Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says most cops are motorists and many see the world from a windshield perspective, which is why they often get the law wrong and blame the bicycling victims.

In a similar vein, New York bike advocates justifiably demand the NYPD stop automatically blaming the person on two wheels.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman rides along with last Sunday’s third annual Unity Ride from Little Tokyo to Watts.

The publisher of the Jewish Journal says ebikes could be the best way to beat LA traffic.

The West Hollywood city council says no go to WeHoGo as the name for the city’s coming bikeshare system.

Alex de Cordoba shares photographic proof that people really are riding bikes in LA. Although someone appears to left their child locked to a Trader Joe’s bike rack.

Seriously, how stupidly car addicted do you have to be to drive away from a Van Nuys probation hearing about your double DUI license suspension?

 

State

The OC Register offers truncated results from Sunday’s Dana Point Gran Prix.

An Oceanside teenager was injured when he crashed into a truck while riding down a steep hill on a bike he’d just gotten hours earlier.

CiclaValley shares details of a recent ride through San Luis Obispo.

 

National

It’s National Bike to School Day. Bicycling Magazine offers advice on how to get your kid’s bike ready for the ride.

Portland’s Oregonian offers a beginner’s guide on how to ride to work. Thanks to Pedal Love for the link.

There’s something seriously wrong when a Seattle bike rider isn’t even safe on the sidewalk from man driving while high. Or maybe low, since he says he was on a depressant.

An Iowa driver faces up to 25 years in prison for running down a cyclist while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Ohio AAA now offers road service for bike riders. So when will SoCal AAA get around to realizing that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too?

Is a possible $500 fine enough to stop Connecticut drivers from carelessly crashing into bicyclists and pedestrians? I didn’t think so.

What are New York bike lanes for? Evidently not bicycles.

A DC writer describes the life-changing magic of riding your bike to work. It’s worth the click just for the amazing illustration that accompanies the story.

A New Orleans man faces life in prison for shooting two teenage brothers after they allegedly pushed him off his bicycle; he called a friend to deliver the murder weapon he used in the shooting.

 

International

The Guardian gives tips on how to fix a flat, even if you don’t have tire levers. Or a spare tube. Or a patch kit.

An Amsterdam man invented bikeshare in the 1960s, even though it took decades to catch on, and his own city never embraced it.

Apparently not having injured enough cyclists, the disk brake trial may return to the pro peloton next month.

Add daydreaming to the list of motorists’ Get Out of Jail Free cards, as an Aussie driver walks after killing a cyclist because she just wasn’t paying attention.

China appears to have a love-hate relationship with ebikes.

 

Finally…

Nothing like coming wheelie close to a moving bus. If you can’t jack a bike, might as well steal a car instead.

And seriously, don’t head-butt the cop if you get stopped for reckless riding.

 

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