Archive for Bikes & the Law

Morning Links: Graphic testimony in the case of a fallen PCH cyclist; riding the Reseda protected bike lanes

It’s been just over a year since John Greg Colvin was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding on PCH in Laguna Beach.

Last week, a preliminary hearing was held for the driver, Dylan Rand-Luby, on charges of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for driving over a mile from the scene before stopping, despite a windshield too shattered to even see through.

A source, who prefers to remain anonymous, reports on the hearing from inside the courtroom.

Warning — some of the information presented in the hearing was very graphic. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you may want to skip to the next section.

Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby’s preliminary hearing was Tuesday morning, and surprisingly, the word “texting” never came up. The word “objection,” on the other hand, popped up a couple dozen times like a poorly written comedy.

A witness in a vehicle traveling behind Rand-Luby’s Prius in the #2 lane had just moved over into the #1 lane to pass him. When the witness glanced at his rear-view mirror, he saw a bicyclist’s body going onto the hood of the Prius, and then up and over. Despite the shock, the witness immediately scanned the roadway to see where he could pull over. He was unable to move into the #2 lane, because Rand-Luby was accelerating. Alarmed, the witness told his confused wife to call 911 (she hadn’t seen the actual collision, and as you might imagine, had to be told several times why to call 911.) Meanwhile, Rand-Luby had rolled down his driver’s side window in order to see the road. He was clearly terrified, and yelled, “I have to pull over!” But he didn’t pull over until he reached the El Morro School parking lot, over a mile down the road; the distance surprised the witness, who followed him into the parking lot. Rand-Luby was crying, trembling and covered in shards of glass as he stepped out of his car and approached the witness, who hugged him and told him that 911 was already on the way to help.

Another witness had been in the #2 lane when Rand-Luby came up behind her. His tailgating led her to believe he was distracted, and she was so nervous that she sped up to create distance. In her rearview, she saw the Prius drift to the right, hit the cyclist, then swerve to the left and accelerate. She had merged into the #1 lane, and upon observing the shattered windshield as the Prius passed her in the #2 lane, she grabbed her cell phone to call 911.

A young Department of Fish & Wildlife officer in a marked DFW vehicle was traveling northbound in the #2 lane and hit the brakes upon approach to the scene. He immediately parked in the lane, activated his emergency lights, and ran to the victim. Bike parts and clothing were strewn on the shoulder. A woman at the scene identified herself to him as a nurse, and as the DFW officer had no advanced first aid training, he allowed the nurse to provide care, and returned to his vehicle to contact dispatch.

Within minutes, LBPD was on the scene. The first arriving officer observed the road shoulder littered with bike debris, and two Good Samaritans, one in scrubs, attending to the victim, who was bleeding about the face, head and arm. One swollen arm indicated a fracture. The officer attempted to initiate chest compressions, but the victim’s ribcage was no longer intact. The officer identified Mr. Colvin by his Road ID.

The lead investigator, who testified, is a cyclist himself. When the defense pressed him about his qualifications to assess whether the friction mark left by Colvin’s rear tire was actually created by a bicycle, he first mentioned his familiarity with bicycles, and road bikes especially, and then listed his pertinent professional training as an investigator.

The defense suggested, without much success, that perhaps the victim had been riding to the left of the solid white line that delineates the shoulder. Don’t know what she was getting at there?… She, and the paid criminal investigator, made a big deal about the overgrown shrubbery encroaching a little bit into the right side of the shoulder. It can’t be helpful for the defense to insinuate that the victim may have been lawfully riding in the #2 lane, and would therefore have been even more visible to a motorist approaching from behind. But there you go, excellent strategy. The defense’s own investigator also made a big deal about the thirteen “NO PARKING ANY TIME” signs between the point of impact & the school parking lot, suggesting that Rand-Luby did, in fact, pull over at the first lawful opportunity. Naturally the defense skipped over the part about Rand-Luby’s inability to actually see these signs.

In sending the case to trial, the judge cited separate witnesses who corroborated Rand-Luby’s sudden acceleration immediately upon hitting the victim, and she agreed with the prosecutor that operating a motor vehicle with a completely opaque windshield for over a mile on a highway with a 50mph speed limit is certainly an aggravating circumstance. The judge also denied the defense’s request to reduce the hit and run charge to misdemeanor.

Rand-Luby, who was just 19 at the time of the collision, faces up to four years in prison if he’s convicted.

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It’s not always easy to get from one part of this vast city to another, especially on two wheels.

Which means most LA riders haven’t had a chance to try out the new protected bike lanes on Reseda Blvd. Or even know they exist, for that matter.

Reader danger d makes up for that with a video tour of the full length of the northbound lane, including a lingering look at the sidewalk treatments and outdoor furniture that make up the city’s first Great Street.

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Way too much news to wrap up the Tour de France, which ended Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées.

After weathering three weeks of doubt and abuse, not to mention comparisons to He Who Must Not Be Named, Chris Froome rolled into Paris as the winner of the Tour de France; maybe he should have crossed the finish line in a yellow polka dot jersey. He also explains why he keeps his head down when he rides. But that doesn’t explain his awkward elbows-out cycling form.

The BBC asks where Froome ranks in the pantheon of British bike racing. Peter Sagan wins his fourth green jersey in a row as the Tour’s best sprinter, while Alberto Contador has no regrets after failing to win a rare Giro – Tour double.

Here are the full standings in every category at the end of the race, which ended with a bang — and a shooting.

Bicycling talks to the man behind the spectacular artworks carved into farm fields at the Tour. The Wall Street Journal offers video of the crazed fans atop the Alpe D’Huez, while Cycling Weekly offers a GoPro view from inside the peloton.

And a writer for Forbes explains how pro cycling’s 6.8 kilo rule leads to more innovation.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen wins the rain-soaked women’s La Course preceding the final stage of the Tour. A racer looks at the misconceptions that have kept women from having more than a token race before the finish of the Tour de France. But while progress has been made, women’s racing still has a long way to go.

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Local

KPCC looks at bike commuting in the City of Angels, while NPR rides with LA’s Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club.

Rick Risemberg says when it comes to city councilmembers blocking bike lanes, just sue ‘em. Couldn’t agree more. Any lawyers out there want to volunteer?

CiclaValley rides the LA area’s equivalent of Alp d’Huez.

Glendale votes to build parks and extend the bike path along the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk.

 

State

Ride too far on San Diego’s Mission Trails, and you could be cuffed and busted by armed Marines, and your bike seized as evidence.

The owner of a bike rental shop in San Diego’s Pacific Beach complains about the city’s bikeshare program competing with his business. Even though bikeshare is intended for short-term rentals, and could bring more customers to his shop.

San Carlos-based Beeline Bikes receives financing to take their mobile bike repair shops nationwide.

The library bike movement spreads to San Francisco.

Bicycles and riders of every description flock to Oakland’s Jack London Square for the city’s Pedalfest.

A Bay Area hit-and-run driver tries to cover-up the crime after hitting a cyclist. Literally.

The managing editor of the Stockton paper calls for peace and consideration on the streets after getting an unwanted shower while riding. And is just glad it was Gatorade instead of something else.

Sacramento police discover most bike thieves are habitual criminals. Which really shouldn’t shock anyone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a saddle, while Treehugger asks if we really need all those gadgets on our bikes. Surprisingly, most bikes still function even without Strava and GPS.

Plans are underway to encircle Detroit with a 26-mile bike and pedestrian path, although an 8.3 mile gap still needs to be plugged.

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? A New Mexico mountain biker drove himself to the hospital after being impaled through the neck with a tree branch.

A Texas woman calls for locks on bus bike racks after her bicycle was stolen. Suggested solutions range from locks where the key stays in the lock until used, to a solenoid controlled by the driver.

Chicago is transforming a roadway into a three-block long shared street accommodating bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

After a Pittsburgh-area woman accuses a road raging driver of pushing her off her bike, he claims they were the ones harassing him and she just fell off her bike as he ran screaming towards her. Sure, let’s go with that.

Bikeyface has lane envy.

 

International

Winnipeg’s anti-bike councilors aren’t giving up, despite the city’s adoption of an aggressive bike and pedestrian plan.

A Brit pedalcab operator says he was justified in charging a pair of tourists the equivalent of $320 for a one-mile trip because he was riding uphill. Most of the peloton didn’t make that much per mile riding up Alp d’Huez.

A Welsh hotel is going out of its way to make bike tourists feel at home.

After a similar video appeared online last month showing a Brit cyclist being pushed off his bike from a moving car, some Irish jerks film themselves pushing over a bike rider as they drive by. Seriously, there’s not a jail cell dark enough or a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

Over 150 cyclists will race across India in six-member teams to promote amateur cycling.

An Aussie writer questions whether bicycling is really in decline in the county.

 

Finally…

If you’re wanted on an outstanding warrant and carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

A YouTube video looks at the tragic plight of the bicyclists’ nearest living relative, the endangered North American biped.

And in a must watch video, a bike-riding Aussie TV host makes some strong points with tongue planted firmly in cheek, telling drivers “don’t be a wanker.” Update: As mwandaw points out below, this video is no longer online. Let’s hope it comes back soon.

Seriously, this could be the best five minutes of your day.

 

Morning Links: Killer OC hit-and-run driver jailed, Westwood Blvd bike lanes threatened, and Beverly Hills lanes fail

Justice came too late for another fallen OC rider on Thursday.

Forty-four year old Daniella Palacios was riding in Anaheim last November when she was hit by a truck driven by Junior Rigoberto Lopez. Lopez fled the scene, leaving the mother of eight to die in an Orange County Hospital.

He tried to hide the damage by fleeing to Mexico, where he had the truck repaired before returning to the US six weeks later.

It didn’t work; he was arrested after police examined the truck and discovered the repair work.

Lopez was sentenced to three years.

With credit for time served, he should be out in less than two. Probably far less.

In fact, he’s already eligible for parole.

But to the judge’s credit, parole was denied; according to the according to KNBC-4, the judge called Lopez’ actions “outrageous and nearly unforgivable.”

What do you mean, nearly?

Junior Lopez sentence

Thanks to Ed Rubenstein and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

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Both the LA Times and KPCC look at the needless controversy over bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd, which have so far been halted by councilmember Paul Koretz at the demand wealthy homeowners.

The homeowners cite safety concerns, fearing for the poor riders who could face harm from increased bus traffic, despite having their own lane which would keep them out of the way of buses. Unlike now, when riders are forced to share the same congested lanes with them.

Why is it that people who oppose improving safety for bike riders always seem to stress how concerned they are about the safety of bicyclists, while doing absolutely nothing about it?

And seriously, don’t read the comments to either of those pieces unless you want to lose all hope for the future of humanity.

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Speaking of needless battles, the fight over re-opening long-closed Mt. Hollywood Drive to motor vehicles at the resumes tonight at the meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board.

Homeowners in the wealthy Beachwood Canyon neighborhood, who evidently didn’t notice the Hollywood Sign when they moved in, are trying to turn their community into a virtual private enclave to keep tourists from besmirching their streets in an attempt to get selfies in front of the sign.

And they want the park to open the popular biking and hiking street to cars so those tourists can have a much less attractive view of the sign, at the expense of everyone else who uses the park.

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Yet another failure of rationality in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot reports the city council voted not to include bike lanes on the soon-to-be-revamped Santa Monica Blvd.

This despite the fact that space for bike lanes will be available on almost the entire length of the boulevard, and require the loss of just a few feet of parkland in just one short section. And despite the fact that state law now calls for Complete Streets that meet the needs of all users, not just motor vehicles or over-privileged residents.

I’m old enough to remember a time when some towns still had signs warning minorities not to let the sun set on them inside the city limits.

That’s the same feeling I get from Beverly Hills.

They send a clear message that bikes, and their riders, are not welcome there, and they will do whatever it takes to run us out of town.

Although some of their elected leaders get it. Just not enough to make a difference.

Not surprising, Elliot also reports the city fails to address the safety of bicyclists in construction projects on the boulevard.

………

Albertor Contador insists the Tour de France is not over, despite Chris Froome’s overwhelming dominance.

One rider who won’t be challenging Froome is Teejay van Garderen, who was forced to abandon the race due to illness after struggling in Wednesday’s stage; he says he just wants to disappear after dropping out while still in third place.

Despite doping controversies, viewership of the Tour de France is up except in France; America’s only remaining TdF champ gets a warm embrace after returning to the race as a broadcaster.

The owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team calls for a revolution in pro cycling.

Good news for Ivan Basso, whose successful surgery for testicular cancer means no further treatment is necessary.

And a Singapore cyclist competing in the South East Asian Games is under investigation for repeatedly slapping a teammate on a training ride.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at multiple motions regarding bikeshare at today’s Metro meeting; Santa Monica’s system is scheduled for a limited opening in August, while Long Beach should open next year.

The East Side Riders fulfill a longtime dream by opening a bike co-op in Watts.

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of Brentwood bike thieves caught on camera stealing a bike from inside a building.

Bike LA’s battle with Hollywood over green bike lanes goes on… and on… as LA’s newly installed chief film liaison is working to find a compromise shade of green that will allow the city to finally put some paint on the streets; the city caved to filmmakers demands and stripped the paint off LA’s first green lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

 

State

Apparently having nothing better to do, the state legislature passes a bill requiring bike riders to pull over on narrow roads when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Even though current law, which already applies to cyclists, already says exactly that.

BikeSD reports on a new study that concludes the cost of driving a car is six times the cost of riding a bike.

The next time someone says police never ticket bike riders, show them this: San Bernardino police ticketed 12 bicyclists and 31 pedestrians as part of a safety sting; not surprisingly, motorists still lead the way with 57 violations.

The weeklong Big Bear Cycling Festival kicks off this Saturday.

Sixty kids in Mecca — no, not the one in Saudi Arabia — get refurbished bikes, locks and helmets courtesy of a local transit agency.

A pair of East Palo Alto brothers, one on a bike and the other on a skateboard, help subdue a man accused of attacking an 89-year old priest.

San Francisco settles with a father who was choked by police for riding a bike with his 10-month old son in a baby carrier, but without a baby helmet. No, really.

Alameda cyclists will ride Sunday to remember a popular bike shop owner who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

The idiotic Orinda bike lane that places riders in the path of high speed traffic entering a freeway on double onramps is due for a safety makeover; the city’s chief engineer admits the current design is “not ideal.” A little green paint is not going to solve the problem, or encourage riders to risk their lives there.

The death of a bike rider in St. Helena last May is blamed on alcohol, even though the victim’s rental fixie had a substandard brake; the Ohio woman, who was celebrating her first anniversary, had a BAC of .18 when she rode into the side of a slow moving truck.

 

National

Outside Magazine sums up the HBO Real Sports look at the state of bicycling in the US, for those without premium cable.

AT&T offers their latest public service ad showing the devastating consequences of texting while driving.

Portland advocates say an increase in reported bike thefts means more people are trying to get them back instead of just giving up.

An Arizona driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while high on synthetic marijuana; the victim’s friends complain the sentence wasn’t stiff enough. California cyclists are just happy to see DUI drivers get any jail time.

Colorado cyclists call a bizarrely designed bike lane a death trap. This is what happens when people who apparently don’t ride bikes design bicycling infrastructure.

Note to business owners fighting bike lanes — you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When Denver installed bike lanes on a pair of streets downtown, retail sales skyrocketed.

The Slow Roll movement spreads to Minneapolis, encouraging leisurely rides through neighborhoods where bicycling is less popular. Which is their overly polite way of saying lower-income and minority areas.

Vermont police somehow conclude a bike rider made an abrupt U-turn just to collide head-on with the wife of a cop, who was found not at fault even though she was driving drunk while high on Xanax.

A 560-pound man is riding across the country to lose weight; he’ll be getting a new donated bike after he was stranded in Rhode Island when his broke.

A bike rider is a hero after grabbing a woman’s ankle to keep her from jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge. But bikes are the problem, right?

A seven-month pregnant woman was stabbed in the shoulder while riding her bike home from work in DC.

An Atlanta man wasn’t even safe from a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike on the damn sidewalk.

 

International

The family of a fallen Saskatchewan bike rider call her death senseless after her bike was clipped by a passing delivery truck. Actually, all traffic deaths are senseless; it’s long past time we stopped tolerating them.

Instead of fixing a dangerous railroad crossing, British authorities urge cyclists to be careful when riding near it.

More Brit women are taking up bicycling despite safety fears. Evidently, it’s okay to kill a cyclist there due to a momentary lapse in concentration.

Irish police are accused of misleading cyclists into thinking riders without helmets and hi-viz are subject to on-the-spot fines.

A Turkish adventurer has ridden through 19 countries on his bike, as well as a failed attempt to ride to the North Pole; however, authorities wouldn’t let him pedal up Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

A Michigan SUV driver somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist, or an elementary school. Drivers parking in a bike lane is one thing; placing a permanent bus stop in one is another.

And if you’re going to threaten to permanently injure the person who stole your bike, it helps if you spell it right.

………

Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about the Corgi.

Three days, two vet visits and several hundred dollars later, we learned that she has Giardia, most likely as a result of all the irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets around here.

The good news is, she should be back to her feisty self in a week or so.

Sienna-Foot-Back

Morning Links: Suit filed in death of Granada Hills teenager; Biking Black Hole considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes

That was to be expected.

The father of Philomene Ragni, the 17-year old bike rider killed when he was hit by a DWP truck in Granada Hills earlier this year, has filed suit against DWP and the driver of the truck.

The suit states that Ragni had the right-of-way and was riding with due care when he was struck due to the careless actions of the driver; it also alleges the driver was traveling at an unsafe speed and was in violation of several DWP policies.

Of course, lawsuits, by their nature, paint the actions of their client in the best possible light. And the ones being sued in the worst.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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Don’t forget the proposal for the much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills comes up before the city council one more time today.

And this time, perhaps for the first time, it might actually have a chance.

So if you can’t there, email the councilmembers at the link above to voice your support.

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Spain’s Rubén Plaza wins Monday’s stage 16 of the Tour de France as part of a 23-man breakaway; once again, Peter Sagan finishes second after a blazing descent. Today is a rest day.

Team Sky plans to release part of Chris Froome’s performance data to put to rest rumors of doping.

Wicked crash in Monday’s stage as Geraint Thomas gets bumped, misses a turn and crashes into a telephone pole before falling into a ditch. The rider who bumped him, Warren Barguil, blames Teejay van Garderen for knocking him off his line; naturally, Teejay disagrees.

Bicycling explains how TdF riders show up on a yellow bike the day after winning the yellow jersey. Doesn’t look like that’s likely to be a concern for the remainder of this one.

Interesting post on a physics website, as a writer wonders if Lance Armstrong has actually had a net positive effect on bicycling and society, and just how to measure that.

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Local

Metro board directors Mike Bonin and Shiela Kuehl call on the agency to speed up the glacial implementation of LA’s long awaited bikeshare program. At this rate, it won’t get to Hollywood until I’m too old and feeble to use it.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler will participate in a webinar on Active Transportation and Equity at 10 this morning. Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

The LACBC’s Valley Bike Ambassadors meeting will be held tonight. Along with the LACBC’s local chapters, the Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program is one of the best ways to get involved with bike advocacy and volunteer work in your own community.

CiclaValley offers their weekly update.

Bike SGV hosts a bike train and barbeque this Sunday.

 

State

Better Bike offers a detailed manual on how to read the results from California’s SWITRS collision database.

Calbike invites you on scenic 265-mile fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

An 11-year old Irvine girl appears to be okay despite getting hit by an SUV while riding her bike to summer school.

More private bikeshare in Orange County, as the Irvine Company teams up with Zagster to offer 60 bikes for residents and commercial tenants to use free of charge. That hardly seems enough for 9,000 potential users, though.

Santa Barbara companies are discovering that bikes are good for business. Funny how LA businesses didn’t seem to get the memo.

A San Francisco writer looks at the newly bike-friendly Caltrans, but says the agency still has a long way to go to put its auto-centric past behind it.

Bike thefts are up in Palo Alto. And pretty much everywhere else, as well. So be careful out there.

 

National

Another new study from the University of Duh shows that people who walk or bike to work have a lower body mass index; living in compact cities doesn’t seem to encourage more active commutes, though.

Largely unnoticed last week was Senate approval of a clause allowing parents to decide when their kids are old enough to walk or bike to school. Although the Popsugar website jumped the gun a tad since it still needs to be reconciled, and signed by the president.

People for Bikes is looking for a new Marketing and Communications Manager in their Boulder CO office.

A prominent Albuquerque homebuilder was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bike in a gated community. The driver, who police describe as a low-life drunk and despicable guy, was released on $100,000 bail. I wonder if the police would be as pissed off if it was just anyone on a bike.

Bad enough to drive drunk. Worse to rear end a pair of cyclists while doing it — especially if they’re North Dakota bike cops making a traffic stop. Fortunately, the officers are okay.

A couple on a tandem taking part in Iowa’s RAGBRAI ride were injured when a drunk driver ignored a cop’s instructions and drove through an intersection.

A Texas woman overcomes melanoma to set a masters world record in the 2K pursuit.

A writer for the Boston Globe says non-compete clauses are the wrong move for boutique bike builders, where one bike maker can spawn another.

Don’t try this at home. A 14-year old Massachusetts girl was texting while riding down a steep hill, blowing through a stop sign and turning into the path of an oncoming car. Seriously. Put the damn phone down and pay attention to the road in front of you.

New York’s environmental commissioner leaves office after biking across the state. Although it would have been better if he’d done it upon entering the office. 

A New York cyclist was dragged off his bike and beaten in an alleged hate crime; the Hispanic rider was attacked by two white men who called him a “fucking immigrant” and said he didn’t belong in this country. Doesn’t sound very “alleged” to me.

New Charleston bike lanes are delayed until next year; they’ll be part of a planned 140-mile citywide bikeway system.

Cyclists in New Orleans plan a die-in at Thursday’s city council meeting to protest too many bicycling deaths in the city.

 

International

Laguna Beach mountain bike champ Hans Rey goes biking at 10,000 feet through the Guatemalan Highlands; his Wheels 4 Life organization has donated 7,100 bikes to school kids in 200 developing countries.

Winnipeg drivers can’t seem to get the hang of a new bike lane; the story blames parking next to the bike lane for forcing drivers into it. Or they could, you know, just stay the hell out of it.

Nice. A UK man not only finds a stolen bike abandoned in a park, but fixes it and adds a kickstand before returning it to its owner.

Pashley and Brompton owners can take some credit, as sales and production of British bikes jump 70% in a single year. I still think Pashley should send me a Guv’nor to try out on a semi-permanent loan, right?

Stockholm is taking ciclovía a step further by turning the entire city center over to people, not cars, for a day.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: You seriously may not want to see this, as a Cuban track cyclist competing in the Pan Am Games gets one of the worst splinters in human history. When you’re already wanted on a $25,000 outstanding warrant, don’t ride salmon — and don’t get in a wreck.

And a father in the UK jumped from his van and beat the boy he said stole his son’s bike with a hammer — only to apologize after realizing it wasn’t even the same bike.

No, seriously.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions of any amount are deeply appreciated.

Morning Links: Scofflaw drivers and bike riders break laws at the same rate; too much news from Tour de France

The next time someone complains about law-breaking cyclists, show them this.

Because a new study from the University of Colorado says bike riders and motor vehicle operators admit to breaking the law at similar rates — eight to nine percent for drivers, and seven to eight percent for bicyclists. And usually for the same reasons.

But there’s one big difference.

Drivers — and pedestrians — will go through a red light to save time, while cyclists do it for perceived safety. By going through the light, bike riders say they can get a head start on traffic while feeling like they’re more visible to others on the road.

Which is definitely true, since every driver seems to see the riders who go through lights and stop signs, while those who stop seem to be invisible.

………

Way too much news from the Tour de France today.

MTN-Qhubeka’s Steve Cummings takes stage 14 of the Tour de France, the first TdF win by an African-based team. And they do it on Mandela Day, no less.

Andre Greipel outsprinted the pack to win Sunday’s stage 15 of the Tour de France; Mark Cavendish claimed stomach problems after getting dropped.

Once again, Chris Froome is on the defensive against unproven accusations of cheating, although he insists cycling is past its Wild West doping era.

Not everyone seems to buy that, though, as Froome’s yellow jersey got a little yellower when an angry “fan” threw urine in his face, while teammate Richie Porte got a punch in the ribs. Meanwhile Cycling Weekly asks if the French really hate Froome. Although I’d say a splash of piss in the face would seem to be a pretty good indication.

Then again, nothing has really changed, has it?

Not all the unruly behavior comes from the fans, as Tinkoff-Saxo sport director Sean Yates got grounded after a team mechanic heaved a water bottle at a TV cameraman who allegedly interfered with Peter Sagan’s bike change. Although it doesn’t really look like interference from this angle.

French rider Jean-Christophe Péraud won the respect of the peloton by not just finishing Friday’s stage with horrific road rash after crashing hard, but making the start line the next day, as well.

And Bicycling explains the tactics of a mass sprint to the finish.

………

Local

Local officials join with congressional leaders in Santa Monica to call for more transportation spending.

Hermosa Beach hopes bikeways can help it go carbon neutral.

Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio takes her kids out for a training wheel-assisted bike ride in Brentwood. No idea what it says about me that I didn’t have a clue who she is.

 

State

An Orange County mountain biker was airlifted to the hospital after being found semi-conscious next to a steep trail at the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.

Runners aren’t safe in bike lanes either; two joggers running in a Poway bike lane suffered serious head injuries when a driver fell asleep behind the wheel.

Friends and family remember BMX legend Scot Breithaupt.

A 54-year old Oxnard bike rider was critically injured when he was hit by a car early Sunday morning; he was reportedly riding without lights and drifted into the right lane, where his was rear-ended by a car. Both stories note he was not wearing a helmet, but no word on whether one could have actually made a difference. Thanks to Anthony Navarro for the heads-up.

A San Jose writer declares a road diet a failure after just three months. By that standard, Walt Disney, the Eiffel Tower and the US space program were failures, too.

Generous Sunnyvale residents have raised over $8,000 to pay the funeral expenses of a 12-year old boy killed while riding his bike on Monday.

 

National

Mohammad Ali famously began boxing after his bike was stolen; evidently, that works to motivate mixed martial arts fighters, too.

A group of Muslim women from various Middle Eastern countries are riding in Iowa’s RAGBRAI to promote equality.

A Niagara bike company specializes in crafting hollow-framed wood bikes weighing less than seven pounds.

A New York rider is in stable condition following a truly bizarre and grisly accident; he struck his head after hitting a pothole, then stumbled and fell onto a fence, impaling himself through the neck.

Police get a lot of bad press these days, but Newark officers are just the latest to pitch in to replace a victim’s stolen bike.

 

International

It seems as though everyone could see a UK cyclist except for the bus driver who killed him. If the driver is shattered, imagine how the victim’s family feels.

Welsh cycling casualties were up 38% in just the last year, possibly due in part to an increase in ridership.

German bike maker Canyon is changing the bike business paradigm by selling its bicycles only on the Internet, for around 600 euros apiece — the equivalent of just $650.

An 83-year old Aussie driver failed two driving tests before his license was finally reinstated; he killed a cyclist just five months later.

A Singapore bike coach says focus on quality components instead of a high-end frame when buying a bike. I’ve always believed just the opposite — buy the best frame you can afford, since you can always upgrade the components.

A Singapore letter writer calls for more consistency in designing bike and pedestrian paths.

 

Finally…

New headlights from Ford could light you up based on your body heat instead of hi-viz. Those high-end racing wheels could be counterfeit.

And national hospitals are overflowing with the victims of bicycling near-misses.

Yes, that last one is hugely tongue-in-cheek.

 

Weekend Links: NBPD quickly corrects misguided cop, hope for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes, and bike events

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a cop to get bike laws wrong, especially when it comes to our right to the lane.

What is unusual is getting the issue straightened out in such a prompt and positive manner.

Hats off to Newport Beach Deputy Chief David McGill for resolving this one the right way. And right away.

Thanks to topomodesto for the heads-up.

………

There may be unexpected light at the end of the Beverly Hills tunnel when it comes to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which appeared to be dead in the water earlier this year.

This comes from the LACBC:

LEgal-Progress-on-Santa-Monca-Blvd-Beverly-Hills-City-Council-this-Tuesday-1

………

You may still have time to join CICLE for the Ring Around the Lotus ride around Echo Park Lake area this morning.

The Bicycle Drive-In screening of Wizard of Oz planned for today in Downtown Long Beach has been rescheduled for next week due to the power outage affecting the area.

Pedaler’s Fork hosts their 10-Speed Grinder Ride this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, South Pas is hosting a Green Living Expo and Clean Air Car Show. Someone should tell them bikes are a lot greener than even the cleanest car.

Celebrate the new improvements on LA’s first Great Street, including the new parking protected bike lanes at [Re]visit Reseda Blvd on the 30th.

Streetsblog will host a fundraising Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village on August 8th.

………

Icebike.org offers what may be the ultimate infographic on the ultimate bike friendly city with a detailed look at Copenhagen.

………

Peter Sagan just misses victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, for his fourth second place finish of the Tour, as Greg van Avermaet takes the win. But at least Sagan has a firm grasp on the sprinter’s jersey.

An Irish rider in his first Tour leads the battle for the lanterne rouge, if lead is the right word for it.

A website says the TdF has never looked so horrifying, thanks to on-bike footage of a crash. And GoPro says live on-bike footage could be broadcast from every rider in the peloton in just two years.

VeloNews previews the second edition of the women’s La Course by Le Tour de France, which will be broadcast on live TV before the men’s finish on the Champs-Élysées. Bicycling offers photos of the recently completed Giro Rosa, proving women really can survive a seven day stage race; many of those same racers will compete in La Course.

The New York Times says Lance may be a pain for cycling, but could turn out to be a sympathetic figure. And drop these phrases in into you daily conversation to make people think you really understand the bike racing.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman puts the police shooting death of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in context, saying streets can never be considered complete or livable when a large segment of the bike riding population has to ride in fear of the police.

Bike theft continues to rise in DTLA, as 11 bikes were stolen in a single week earlier this month; a $1,300 bike was ridden right out of Sports Chalet, while another was stolen when a Downtown security officer left it unattended.

The East Side Riders Bike Club has a new Gofundme page to raise $4,000 to help kids and the community through bicycling; thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

 

State

A Santa Rosa theater group travels to their bilingual stage performances by bike.

Sadly, a 63-year old Palo Alto cyclist died of injuries he suffered in a Mountain View collision last week, while another rider was killed near Tracy on Thursday.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranks worse than LA as one of the nation’s worst cities for drivers. Which makes bicycling an even better alternative, mais non?

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at plans to remove bike lanes and sharrows from one of the city’s streets without providing a safer alternative.

Tragically, a 12-year old boy has died of injuries he suffered in a bicycling collision on Monday. The news report notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fails to mention if he suffered a head injury, or if his injuries could have been survivable even with one.

 

National

If living near trees makes you feel younger, imagine how riding a bike through them would make you feel.

No press bias here. After an SUV driver flicks his cigarette in the face of a Vancouver WA bicyclist, he apparently run down her on purpose. And the local TV just calls it a hit-and-run.

A Denver thief entered through a doggie door to steal an expensive bike. Presumably, he didn’t leave the same way.

That’s more like it. A Nebraska man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a cyclist; two hours after the wreck, he was still twice the legal limit.

Big hearted strangers pitch in to buy a 79-year old Fargo woman a new three-wheeled bike after hers was stolen.

A Dallas paper asks if local texting bans really reduce traffic collisions; Texas is one of just six states that refuses to ban the practice statewide.

A Kentucky driver faces a long list of charges, including murder, for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he drove three miles with the dying rider in the bed of his pickup before police stopped him.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it’s time to scrap a bike lane because drivers can’t seem to figure it out.

A Rochester NY boy is under arrest for stealing 150 — yes, 150 — bikes from a community cycling group; some of the bikes were recovered, but were badly damaged. Big hearted community members donated over 400 bikes to replace them.

Boston’s Bikeyface asks who’s afraid of a little sweat.

 

International

Britain’s Prime Minister will consider banning big trucks from city centers at rush hour to protect bike riders.

A writer for the Guardian asks why the BBC is so anti-bicycling. Good question.

A UK triathlete is looking for the Good Samaritan who came to his aid after he passed out and woke up disoriented during the bicycling segment of a recent race.

Brit thieves steal the bicycle a woman rider used to raise the equivalent of over $17,000 for a hospice charity.

Cyclists aren’t even safe when they drive, as a 79-year old British bike club leader was stabbed to death by a road raging driver after a minor collision.

Police in The Netherlands have to borrow a bike to catch a bike thief.

Syrian refugees are bicycling 1,200 miles to Europe to escape their war-torn country.

A writer for the Guardian compares bicycling in The Netherlands with Australia to dispel the usual anti-bike arguments.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Deadspin can’t stop watching those “crazy assholes” play indoor soccer on bikes, saying the video will blow your f***ing dick off. Evidently, viewing it will have no effect on women, though. Then again, Bike Portland says all sports are better when played on a bike.

And if you’re going to tell police you bought the stolen bike you’re riding at Walmart, make sure they sell that brand first.

 

Morning Links: LA River bike path gets greener, more on Gardena shooting, and analysis of York Blvd bike wrecks

Great news for anyone who rides the LA River bike path.

And for the city of LA, as the Army Corps of Engineers approves a $1.8 billion plan to restore the river to a more natural state.

Which means maybe you’ll see more natural habitat and wildlife along your route, and less graffiti-ridden concrete slabs.

Although the question of who’s going to pay for it, and how, remains to be determined. As does just how long it will take before they get started, let alone finish.

………

The Times explains how the city arrived at the $4.7 million settlement for the death of Diaz-Zeferino and the wounding of Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez, and looks at the differing interpretations of what happened in the 27 seconds before officers opened fire. And whether the shooting could have been avoided.

Meanwhile, a writer on City Watch calls the video a damning and graphic look at the cold-blooded shooting of an innocent man.

And yet, the three officers who opened fire on the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim haven’t been charged — or even disciplined — and are still patrolling the streets.

………

LADOT Bike Blog looks at collision data for York Blvd over a 12-year period, noting that drivers were responsible for over 56% of collisions involving cyclists.

Most of the wrecks where drivers were at fault were the result of failure to yield or improper turns, while the overwhelming majority of collisions where the bike rider was at fault resulted from riding salmon.

It’s also worth noting that hit-and-runs on the boulevard declined by 38% after a road diet was implemented in 2006, more evidence that infrastructure influences behavior.

………

A new vegan cookbook co-written by LA’s own nutritionist and endurance bike racer Matt Ruscigno — the man behind the city’s toughest hill climb challenge — gets an overwhelmingly positive review.

The again, it’s about cooking with chocolate and cacao, so what’s not to like?

………

A new app promises to make you more visible while you’re walking.

Designed by a former Fire Chief and a former Public Works Supervisor, who experienced first hand the results of drivers treating people on foot as if they were not there, the free PedSafe app was developed to make pedestrians more noticeable while walking. It provides a random amber flashing light & pedestrian symbol on a smartphone to alert drivers that someone is walking & crossing a street.

Sounds like it could also act as a backup flasher if yours goes out or you get caught without lights while riding after dark.

Thanks to Frank Colin for the heads up.

………

The Guardian offers a timeline of Thursday’s stage 12 of the Tour de France. The Alps could be the last obstacle for Chris Froome, after his dominating performance up to this point.

A pair of retired riders point an accusing finger at Froome, while others whisper about the still theoretical crime of motor doping. In his defense, Froome insists he’s clean and has never tested positive. Which is exactly what Lance used say, isn’t it?

VeloNews sums it up nicely, saying Froome is the only one who can ever know for a fact if he’s riding clean; the rest of us can only believe.

Twenty-three-year old French rider Warren Barguil may be in a lot of pain after a spill, but he’s also in 11th place in his first Tour. No explanation for why Vincenzo Nibali is faltering after winning last year’s TdF, though.

And Bicycling asks what kind of bike race fan you are. I’m more the sit in front of the TV watching the race while wishing I was out on my bike instead type.

………

Local

A bike rider was seriously injured Thursday morning when he was hit by an off-duty LAPD officer on his way to work at Central Ave and Washington Blvd just south of DTLA. The officer was reportedly rattled by the collision, saying the rider came out of nowhere. Amazing how many bike riders are able to defy the laws of physics and just materialize out of thin air. And if he’s rattled, just imagine how the cyclist feels.

Registration for the Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit opens today.

Malibu’s Los Virgenes Road is undergoing a year-long widening project, and will re-emerge with a bike lane on the east side.

A writer for the Beach Reporter gives the new Redondo Beach Gateway Project high marks from both a cyclist’s and driver’s perspective, failing only as a site for an illegal run in the street.

The Temple City Tribune recommends a ride on the 1.5 mile semi-paved Duarte bike path this summer.

A writer from LMU says you shouldn’t have take home a six-figure income to afford bike share. Are you listening, Metro?

 

State

Twenty percent of San Diego roads could be candidates for road diets.

The Rim Nordic mountain bike park near Big Bear is now officially open for business.

San Francisco could remove a short section of bike lanes to improve safety, while a police captain promises a crackdown on cyclists rolling stop signs, rather than directing resources where it might save more lives as part of the city’s Vision Zero.

A letter writer on a Marin website says dump the Prius and get a bike, already.

The Sacramento Bee says texting behind the wheel is dangerous, and reminds us that Governor Brown twice vetoed bills to toughen the law against it.

A Chico woman gets her bike back thanks to a sharp-eyed bike shop employee who recognized a thief he knew, then the bike the thief was riding.

 

National

Writing for Gizmodo, Alissa Walker makes the argument that there are no accidents, and says the word should be dropped from use to describe crashes. The Colorado Highway Patrol is already on board.

A Senate committee passes a Complete Streets amendment to accommodate all road users in street designs, including cyclists and pedestrians, as well as approving a provision allowing bikes to be rolled onto Amtrak trains. This would be a huge step forward if it makes it to the final bill.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal says you can eat like a normal person, ride a regular bike and live your life, and still be a serious cyclist.

A Seattle cop has written over 1,100 cycling tickets in just an eight year period — including 17 to the same bike messenger.

An audit says bike-friendly Denver’s bike plan is suffering from a lack of funding and a slow pace in implementing a planned 270 miles of bikeways.

An Austin TX driver flees the scene after deliberately brake checking a bike rider; he reportedly honked first and yelled at the rider to get in the bike lane, which was blocked by vegetation.

It’s happened again. A 19-year old Dallas driver is under arrest after hitting a cyclist and driving nearly a mile with his victim lodged in the windshield, before dumping him in an alley to die. He’s only charged with causing an accident resulting in death. If there’s any justice, that will be upgraded to a 2nd degree murder charge.

An Illinois cyclist is hospitalized after colliding with a goose, followed by a collision with another rider. No word on the condition of the goose.

A Michigan transplant patient takes his new heart on a two-day, 70-mile bike tour.

Pittsburgh’s mayor says more bike lanes are coming, despite the bikelash.

Unbelievable. A New York judge says a repeat hit-and-run drunk driver who has already killed two people should be allowed to get his driver’s license back. Evidently, the judge wants to go for three; if you even wonder why people keep dying on our streets, judges like this would be a good place to start.

Savannah police are looking for the thief who was caught on video stealing a $7,000 Time bike; it was the fourth time in 10 years the owner had a bike stolen. Yet he still left his high-end bike unlocked on a stair rail after finishing his ride? Seriously?

Nice story, as a Tampa cop gives a mentally disabled man a ride to work after his bike is stolen, then teams with his partner to buy him a new one.

Miami bike crashes nearly doubled over a two year period.

 

International

Treehugger says bikes are not cars, and infrastructure is better than helmets.

Cycling Weekly looks at reader’s most embarrassing moments on a bike. Mine was probably early in my riding career, when I was watching an attractive woman instead of the road and pedaled into the back of a parked car.

Calgary bike thefts are up 60%.

Caught on video: UK police are looking for a clumsy bike thief who rode into a parking barrier as he made his escape.

Belfast cyclists are looking forward to the city’s first ciclovía.

An Indian proposal would make bikes subject to seizure if the owner rides in the roadway instead of a cycletrack.

A group of DIY fixie and single speed riders are bringing Soweto bike style to the streets of Johannesburg.

An Aussie cyclist keeps riding his tandem despite blindness, impaired hearing and Type 2 Diabetes.

Singapore authorities plan a bikeway that would provide a seamless commuting route serving 400,000 people.

 

Finally…

Your next helmet could have turn signals and an automatic brake signal. It’s a lot easier to make the podium in your first mountain bike race when there’s only three people entered.

And road rage knows no bounds, as a pair of Balboa Island bike riders are harassed by a driver. In a golf cart.

 

Morning Links: More fallout from fatal Gardena police shooting; Lance calls the Froome kettle black

The LA Times reports on a deposition from the Gardena police sergeant who should have been in charge when officers fatally shot Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, but apparently wasn’t, as he explained his mindset and what led up to the shooting.

The unarmed victim was shot as he tried to explain that it was his brother’s bicycle that was stolen. And that the two men police had detained weren’t armed robbers, but just friends trying to help find the missing bike.

The officer had an audio recorder, but didn’t bother to turn it on because pushing that little button would have distracted him. And he admitted under oath that he had never seen a robbery suspect jog towards police, as Diaz-Zeferino did before they blew him away, and that he never saw a weapon, in the victim’s hands or anywhere else.

It should also be noted that the officers were all allowed to review the video before they gave their statements.

Meanwhile, the Times says a debate raged on social media over whether the shooting was justified, as the victim’s family calls for a federal probe of the department and their actions in the case.

………

NPR looks at the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France, on the first-ever African-based team. Previously, only beige Africans had competed in the race.

Starting today, Lance Armstrong will ride two Tour routes in advance of the race to raise money for charity; race leader Chris Froome calls Lance’s return a non-event.

Meanwhile, Froome is accused of cheating when he and his teammates look too fresh after crushing the competition on Tuesday’s final climb; his performance data may have been hacked, as well. And Lance, who should know, speculates that Froome and his Team Sky are too strong to be clean.

Francesco Reda faces a lifetime ban after testing positive for an EPO derivative at the Italian Championships last month; an Irish website accuses him of being a compulsive cheater.

Good news from Ivan Basso, who says everything’s fine after surgeons remove a testicle because of a possibly cancerous tumor. Now he has something else in common with Lance, besides a doping ban.

Newsmax absurdly asks if bicycling causes testicular cancer.

Caught on video: While the riders in the Tour de France may ride up the Alpe d’Huez, others are busy racing down it. And not on the roads.

………

Local

CiclaValley rides the rest of the Compton Creek bike path.

Santa Monica police announce more bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operations later this month.

Times readers react to their recent story about proposed safety improvements to deadly PCH in the ‘Bu.

Pasadena is in the running for a $2.7 million Metro grant for a cycle track on Union Street.

 

State

A Palm Springs resident suggests breaking up the proposed 50-mile bikeway linking cities in the Coachella Valley. Which would pretty much make the whole thing useless.

A teenage Port Hueneme bike rider was seriously injured when he was hit by a van while riding in a crosswalk. Those seem to be dangerous places for people on bikes lately.

When you’re carrying heroin and already high on some controlled substance, don’t try to steal a bike from a Santa Clara college campus. And don’t try to avoid cops by suddenly riding in the opposite direction, which isn’t suspicious at all.

Family and friends pay final respects to the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver as he and his son rode in a Sacramento bike lane. Something that may happen more often, as cell phone use by California drivers is on the rise.

 

National

Twenty-nine states don’t have any laws prohibiting bicycling under the influence; California isn’t one of them.

A writer for Deadspin takes a long and painful journey learning to ride a bike as an adult.

Investigators concluded that a Spokane bicyclist just happened to fatally fall in the vicinity of a speeding patrol car — even though the victim’s DNA was found on the car’s bumper.

Once again, the Orangetheory Fitness chain is shocked to learn that some people think their promotional orange bikes mock ghost bikes, this time in Spokane. Oddly, they appeared to be just as shocked in every other city they’ve pulled the same stunt in.

A rider in my hometown spots someone else riding his stolen bike; police help him recover it. But seriously, if you spot someone riding your bike, don’t threaten to slit his throat with a pocketknife.

A Chicago cyclist was wearing headphones when he tried to ride around railroad crossing barriers, with tragically predictable results.

Black cycling clubs from across the county gather in Minneapolis to ride bikes and talk equity.

An Indianapolis driver flees the scene after running over a bike rider’s arm.

The Brooklyn borough president calls for safer streets in the wake of a bicycling fatality.

U2 front man Bono says he’s getting there after being injured riding his bike in New York’s Central Park, but still can’t play guitar due to nerve damage.

Bike riders face challenges on DC’s Capital Hill. A cyclist got a speeding ticket after colliding with a car that cut her off; the officer explained that she would have been able to stop otherwise. Sure, let’s go with that.

New Orleans experiences growing pains as it goes from a whopping five miles of bike lanes before Katrina to over 100 today. Meanwhile, the widow of an Atlanta firefighter killed in the Crescent City while training for a triathlon is outraged to learn the driver is back on the streets after just 14 months behind bars.

 

International

A Winnipeg writer says protests by city councilors against the city’s proposed bike and pedestrian plan are way out of proportion.

A Brit cyclist who hit a little girl and dragged her down the sidewalk denies riding dangerously.

UK Parliament members grill the Prime Minister over bike safety.

Cyclists aren’t the only ones behaving badly on the streets of Dublin.

Melbourne’s mayor wants to ban bikes from certain roads in the central business district. For our own good, of course.

A Kiwi man is ticketed for dangerous driving after trying to chase down the bike rider who robbed him.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: An Ohio rider hands a truck passenger back a cigarette he tossed out into the street, something I *cough* may have done once or twice myself, albeit with less positive results. Here in LA, we have to dodge distracted drivers; in Mexico, bike riders have to duck low-flying UFOs.

And the capital of North Korea apparently has more separated bike lanes than we do. And sharrows, too, confirming that they really are a commie plot.

 

Gardena police video released in shooting of unarmed man looking for his brother’s stolen bike

As expected, a judge has ordered the release of a video showing the Gardena police fatally shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell the officers that the men they had detained weren’t bike thieves, but friends who were helping to look for the bike.

But instead of releasing them, the cops opened fire when he took of his hat and lowered his hands, shooting Diaz-Zeferino eight times, and injuring one of his companions, who had his hands in the air the whole time.

Even though Diaz-Zeferino was unarmed, and as the video shows, made no threatening moves towards the officers.

He was shot, apparently, because they thought he might possibly be armed, and they were too afraid to wait to see if he really had a gun before blowing him away.

And somehow, that’s okay with the DA and the Gardena police department; KNBC-4 reports the officers are still with the force and patrolling the streets.

Even though the city felt there it had enough liability to settle with the victims’ families to the tune of a $4.7 million, paid out of the taxpayer’s pockets.

That’s a lot of guilt if no one did a damn thing wrong.

The city fought the release of the video, claiming it could result in a “rush to judgment” about the officer’s behavior, according to KPCC.

Or it could just let the public see what really happened. And realize that what sounded like a bad shoot by trigger happy cops, was.

It used to be that any cop who shot an unarmed person could expect to lose his or her job, at the very least. I once knew an officer, in another state, who freely admitted carrying a spare gun and a knife to drop by the victim if he ever shot someone who wasn’t armed.

And it used to be that fellow officers wanted bad cops off the force, because they made everyone else look bad and made the public lose faith in the officers charged with protecting them.

In fact, that officer was eventually fired, at the urging of his fellow officers.

Clearly, those days have changed.

So be careful riding through Gardena.

In other cities, getting stopped by the police could get you a ticket you might not deserve, from a cop who doesn’t understand bike law.

In Gardena, it could get you shot.

But it won’t get anyone fired.

Update: I was reminded this morning that Gardena is also where a group of Hispanic riders were illegally harassed by the police two years ago, while on their way to meet with the city manager to discuss the unsolved hit-and-run bike rider Benjamin Torres.

………

Warning: The video below, posted online by the LA Times, shows the full shooting from two separate angles. Decide for yourself whether you really want to see that before pushing play.

Morning Links: Judge may release Gardena police video, BOLO alert for Ford pickup in Montebello hit-and-run

The LA Times reports that a federal judge says he’s inclined to release the dashcam video of the shooting of an unarmed man in Gardena.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was coming to the aid of two friends helping to look for his brother’s stolen bike when he was shot and killed by Gardena police last year.

The judge agreed there was a clear public interest in releasing the video, as requested by the Times and other media companies, noting that it’s hard to argue that the shooting was legal after the city agreed to a $4.7 million settlement to be funded by taxpayers.

Maybe he should tell that to the LA County DA’s office.

A final ruling on releasing the video could come as soon as today.

………

Montebello police are looking for a Ford pickup in the hit-and-run death of 24-year old Steven Garcia as he was riding his bike home from work last week. Anyone with information is urged to call Montebello police Cpl. J. Dresser at 323/887-1212, ex. 353 or Cpl. R. Yap, ex. 337.

Although they could have offered a little better description of the suspect vehicle. There are a lot of Ford trucks out there.

………

KCBS-2 picks up yesterday’s lead story about the CHP officer dangerously buzzing two cyclists on Glendora Mountain Road.

I’m told the CHP’s Southern Division HQ is looking into the video, so something may actually be done about it for a change.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

VeloNews looks at the highs and lows of the first full week of racing in the Tour de France. A TV station reports on the day’s happenings on the Tour’s first rest day, while Teejay van Garderen makes it the Fab Five.

Sadly, Ivan Basso was forced to drop out after he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor; there’s a high probability it’s cancerous, but more tests are needed to be sure. His withdrawal could adversely affect teammate Alberto Contador’s chances, but what really matters is his full and fast recovery.

A Billings MT cyclist endures rain, hail, snow, calf-deep mud and hallucinations to compete in the 2,745-mile off-road Tour Divide; another rider says the hardest part is knowing when to quit.

………

Local

It’s been a busy day for the Times, as they look at the PCH safety study recently approved by the Malibu city council; the study lists 120 proposed improvements to the roadway, including bike lanes on part of the highway, along with another 30 recommendations for Caltrans.

KPCC’s Air Talk program discusses the Times’ report on the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections.

CiclaValley appears on the Bike Talk internet/radio program.

A new Replace Your Ride program will give you transit vouchers up to $4,500 if you turn in your gas-guzzling car. But not a penny if you trade it for a bike, damn it; thanks to Day One for the link.

Black Kids on Bikes and the Ride On! Bike co-op bring the Leimert Park community together with an open air tune-up session.

The 12-year old daughter of a space shuttle astronaut was found riding her bike in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area after being missing for 24 hours.

 

State

It took a bike-riding tourist to save the life of a 37-year old woman who collapsed from a massive heart attack while jogging in Carlsbad last year.

The wife of the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver while riding his bike in Sacramento feels lost without him; the family arrived in the US just a few weeks ago, after the electrical engineer risked his life by aiding US forces in Afghanistan. His 8-year old son also suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 36-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on the coast highway near Fort Bragg in NorCal.

 

National

California’s retiring Senator Barbara Boxer wins support for bike lanes and sidewalks in the new federal transportation bill.

Good news and bad news, as a new bikeshare study says yes, it provides economic and health benefits and encourages new cyclists, but there’s no proof that bike-sharing programs reduces congestion, gets people out of their cars or helps the environment.

The New York Times looks at the national trend of bike training classes for bicycling-challenged adults.

Not everyone supports Boulder CO’s removal of traffic lanes to make way for wider bike lanes. Shocking, I know.

An Illinois cyclist is nominated for ESPN’s ESPYAward, 20 years after losing his right arm in a construction accident.

Don’t try this at home. A 46-year old Pennsylvania man was killed trying to jump a homemade bike ramp on a children’s bike. Actually, it was probably a BMX bike, which most police departments don’t seem to be familiar with.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian looks at the impact bicycles have had on modern society.

A New Orleans man faces manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a bike-riding artist last week.

The Florida bike rider who crashed hard after slipping in the remains of a dead alligator on the roadway is making a slow recovery, with new titanium plates in his cheeks, forehead and clavicle; his wife calls him Titanium Tim. Now all he needs is a new Ti bike when he gets back to riding.

 

International

Toronto police bust a man for stealing a $19,000 custom made racing bike. Of course, that’s only $14,800 US.

Brazil’s Pan Am cycling team is escorted off a major highway by police after taking a very wrong turn.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A BMX rider lands the first quadruple backflip. A Pasadena motorist is caught on video playing acid jazz on a recorder while driving with no hands in moving traffic — and right next to a patrol car, no less.

And speaking of distracted driving, a Brit woman rear-ended a van, apparently because she was pleasuring herself with a vibrator while driving.

Then again, I once encountered something similar, myself.

 

Morning Links: Glendora cyclists buzzed by CHP officer; LA Times maps the most dangerous intersection

I received the following email from cyclist Ken Adams Sunday night, relating a dangerous encounter with a CHP officer who buzzed their bikes, then came back to argue his apparent misunderstanding of California bike law.

Re: Encounter with Maniac CHP Officer While Cycling on Glendora Mountain Road / Glendora Ridge Road

I’m trying to spread the word of my experience yesterday as far and wide as possible, because it was quite unbelievable and extremely dangerous.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the roads I mentioned, but they are very popular cycling routes, especially for Saturday morning rides.  I was riding with a friend, starting from his house in Glendora.  There was another training ride with about 9 people starting from a coffee shop in Glendora that I was aware of because of an event invite on Facebook.

We started our ride just after 8 am.  We started the climb on GMR at about 8:15. At approximately 8:30, about 2-3 miles North of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV passed us dangerously close – probably about 2 feet away. Neither of us gave the incident much thought, as it happens frequently, although it is unexpected from law enforcement.  A few miles later, the same CHP vehicle was stopped and the officer had exited the vehicle.  He was standing on the shoulder and commented something to the effect “watch out, there are cars coming up”.  We turned and looked, but saw nothing.  We assumed he was referring to some type of event that was occurring, so we were extra vigilant.  We never saw any unusual vehicle traffic – in fact, traffic was unusually light for a weekend.

We continued riding, past East Fork road, where GMR becomes GRR.  Approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, this time much more closely.  He was no more than 1 – 1.5 feet from us.  At that point, the road was straight, there were clear sight lines for at least ½ mile, no oncoming traffic and we were riding single file on the white line.  There are also no lane demarcation lines painted on the road, as the road is less than 2 lanes wide at that point.

We both raised our arms as he passed in a “what the heck” gesture.  The officer continued down the road, but we could see that in the distance he was turning around.  My friend started recording as he returned.  I raised my arm again in a “what the heck” gesture and the officer slowed and started lowering his window.  We stopped our bikes and an animated conversation ensued.  I have included a link to that video on my FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/ken.adams.9484/videos/1116460408367279/

Subsequent to this incident, we continued our ride.  We encountered additional riders and described our experience with the CHP SUV.  Incredibly, they told us they had experienced the same thing.  When I returned home, I went to the FB event page I mentioned earlier and posted about my experience, asking if anyone else on that ride had experienced an issue with a CHP SUV.  I got a number of responses from cyclists who had either witnessed or experienced brushes from this same CHP officer.

It is my opinion that this officer had some type of agenda yesterday.  He either has some type of antipathy towards cyclists, was trying to prove a point, or was trying to provoke a confrontation that he hoped would escalate to the use of force.  Even in a best case scenario, as you can ascertain from viewing the video, he is woefully misinformed about cycling laws and vehicle interactions with cyclists.  Most troubling to me was his cavalier attitude about endangering my life and the life of my friend.  He seemed completely unconcerned, not to mention excessively arrogant.

I filed a complaint on the CHP website yesterday, but I hardly trust the CHP to police themselves with this matter.  In case you’d like to read the content of that complaint, here is what I wrote:

I was riding my bicycle on Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road on the morning of 7/11/2015. At approximately 8:30 am, on Glendora Mountain Road, about 2 miles north of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV with license plate number 1365395 passed me and the cyclist with whom I was riding with significantly less than 3 feet (I’d estimate about 2 feet). We continued riding and at approximately 9:55 am, on Glendora Ridge Road, approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, barely missing us, by approximately 1 foot. The officer continued on for some time, then turned around and returned. We flagged him down and had a conversation with him. We have a video of this interaction, which I would be happy to share with you. I would like to point out that Glendora Ridge Road is a very desolate spot with minimal vehicular traffic. The road is less than 2 lanes wide and has no lane demarcation lines painted on the road. At the point we were passed by the CHP vehicle, there was no oncoming traffic, the road was straight with clear sight lines for at least 1/4 – 1/2 mile and we were riding single file on the white line. During our conversation, the officer claimed that he must drive on the right half of the road and that he “cannot violate a law to follow a law” when asked about California’s 3-foot cycling law. He seemed completely unconcerned when I pointed out that he had just needlessly endangered my life. In the course of the rest of my ride and subsequently via social media, I learned that this same officer passed numerous other cyclists dangerously close during this same time period on the same stretch of road.

This officer endangered my life twice, the life of the person I was cycling with twice, at least 4 other cyclists that I’ve been in contact with and who knows how many others. I suspect this type of aggressive and unsafe driving behavior is not what you expect from your officers. This incident has significantly affected my trust in the professionalism of the CHP as an organization. Cycling on California’s roads is sufficiently dangerous without our law enforcement officers adding to the danger. I sincerely hope that this officer receives some additional training on correct and safe vehicular interaction with cyclists, because it is clear that he currently is lacking in this area.

I would very much like to get the dash cam video from his tour yesterday, as I’m sure it clearly shows his two assaults on us, as well as the numerous other assaults on other cyclists.

This officer is a menace to cyclists and needs to be dealt with, swiftly and harshly IMO.  It is bad enough when Joe Citizen behaves this way.  It is completely unacceptable when law enforcement does.

………

The LA Times crunches the numbers, and identifies LA County’s most dangerous intersections.

According to the story, just 1% of intersections account for 25% of pedestrian collisions; chances are, those same intersections are just as dangerous for people on bicycles. And bike lanes could be part of the solution, along with other traffic calming efforts.

They also report LA Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce a Vision Zero plan next month to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city within 10 years.

The question is whether the city is really willing to make the hard choices necessary to get there.

After all, they can’t even get bike lanes promised in the unanimously approved 2010 bike plan installed on Westwood, Lankershim and North Figueroa, thanks to roadblocks thrown up by a few councilmembers.

………

Chris Froome keeps the lead in the Tour de France, as his Team Sky finishes just one second behind BMC in the team time trial; the injury riddled Orica-GreenEdge team tanks it. Cycling Weekly offers five talking points following Sunday’s ninth stage.

Chris Froome continues to lead, but Teejay van Garderen is just 12 seconds behind.

The New York Times looks at the unexpected success of Eritrean riders at the Tour, while WaPo explains why it matters.

Mayuko Hagiwara becomes the first Japanese woman to win a stage at the Giro Rosa. Meanwhile, it looks like the Tour de France’s La Course stiffed some of the women competing in last years race out of their already ridiculously low prize money.

And US women sweep the bronze mountain biking medals in the Pan Am Games. Am I the only one who didn’t know the Pan Am Games were even going on right now?

………

Local

A teenage boy was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Florence neighborhood of South LA. Something that’s happening far too frequently these days.

Bike Metro posts a photo of what looks like secure bike parking at the Beverly Connection shopping center on La Cienega.

 

State

Another bike rider has been hit by a car in Newport Beach; fortunately, he’s in stable condition. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition urges you to sign a petition to preserve plans for a Class 1 bike trail through Peters Canyon.

CSU Fullerton police recover three stolen bikes off campus.

A San Diego cyclist’s life was changed forever by the alleged stoned driver who plowed into a group of riders on Fiesta Island last year.

Oceanside’s Strand will be widened, including a shoulder for cyclists and pedestrians, only 35 years after it was damaged in a storm.

San Francisco’s Sunday Streets visits some of the city’s sketchier neighborhoods in the Tenderloin.

A Sacramento bike advocate says the city is lagging behind in planning for bicycles.

A distracted driver killed a Sacramento father and critically injured his eight-year old son as they rode their bikes; the 25-year old driver was reading a text message when he drove into the bike lane they were in. Tragically, the victims were refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, and had only been in the city for a few weeks.

No Trespassing signs go up on a Modesto bike and pedestrian trail, presumably by mistake.

 

National

Redbook suggests riding a bike together could make you fall in love all over again.

My hometown considers joining other Colorado city’s in embracing bikeshare; the city already enjoys a successful bike lending library.

Someone apparently deliberately rigged a truck to crash into an Oklahoma bike shop.

Tragic news from Minnesota, as a small town ambulance crew responds to a bicycling collision, and finds their own boss fatally injured.

Fifteen-hundred cyclists ride 160 miles across the state of Indiana.

Connecticut bike riders no longer have to ride as far to the right as practicable, only as far to the right as they deem safe. We so need that wording change here.

New York is working to improve safety by reducing left turns. Banning left turns on busy streets would improve safety in LA, while allowing the near-ubiquitous center turn lanes to be reconfigured to make space for bike lanes. And yes, it is possible to avoid a left turn and still get where you’re going by just driving around the block.

The NYPD has issued a BOLO Alert for the hit-and-run bike rider who critically injured pedestrian last month.

 

International

A Winnipeg paper calls for approval of the city’s proposed bike and walking plan, despite the overt objections of some city councilors.

Londoners react to the latest subway strike by doubling usage of the city’s bikeshare system.

A new Brit bike satnav system attaches to your handlebars and lights up to indicate where to turn.

Once again, UK police stop a “silly cyclist” from riding on a major highway.

A British soldier tracks down the thief selling his stolen bike on Ebay, and finds the trail leads to a fellow soldier in his own barracks. Oops.

No offense, but who would confront 25 angry teenagers to stop a bike-jacking? Props to this British man for trying, but seriously, when you’re outnumbered 25 to three, just let the damn bike go, already.

Copenhagen may be a bicycling paradise, but it’s also a popular spot for bike thieves; a bike shop owner was arrested after being caught with hundreds of hot bikes.

Israel will construct a nearly 100 mile bicycling network, including 10 cycling expressways.

A writer for the New York Times gets busted for borrowing a bike from Japan’s unofficial bikeshare.

Bangkok officials clean up the streets to prepare for a bike event in honor of the queen’s birthday.

 

Finally…

Talk about crappy customer service; a Utah bike shop employee decks a deer that wandered into the shop. You can get Audi’s new limited edition racing bike, as long as you’re willing to travel to Dubai. And not a deer, presumably.

And a Kiwi website offers advice on how to deal with the bike haters on social media.

 

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