Archive for Stolen Bikes and Bike Crime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

No, really.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning Links: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index; OC rider critically injured; cyclist jailed for riding in traffic

LA may have seen its first stolen bike recovered through Bike Index.

According to the Beverly Press, when LAPD detectives arrested a suspect on weapons charges last month, they recovered a bicycle they believed to be stolen.

After checking the Bike Index stolen bike registry — the same one you’ll find right here on this site — they were able to identify the owner and return the bike.

The story also notes the department recommends Bike Index as “a valuable tool for reuniting owners with stolen bicycles.”

It’s good the see the LAPD is checking the listings, and recommending it. And even better that a hot bike has finally made its way back home because of it.

But don’t wait until it’s too late.

Register your bike for free with Bike Index now, so you’ll have all the information available in an instant if anything should ever happen to it.

Think of it as the cheapest anti-bike theft insurance you can get.

And as this shows, one of the most effective.

Just to be clear, this site receives no compensation for hosting or promoting the Bike Index registry, financial or otherwise. Just the satisfaction of helping stolen bikes get back to their rightful owners.

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Prayers are needed for an Orange County woman after she and her husband were hit by a car while riding in San Juan Capistrano.

Leonie Mckenna reportedly was in critical condition with major trauma, including head injuries, after a driver rear-ended the couple as they rode together on newly opened La Pata Avenue Saturday morning; her husband, Kevin B. Mckenna, was less seriously injured.

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Authorities are attempting to revoke the bond of a Pittsburgh PA area man for the crime of riding a bicycle.

The 57-year old cyclist is charged with delaying traffic by riding in the middle of a traffic lane, preventing drivers from passing, not once, not twice, but eight times since 2012.

He was released from jail after posting bond in February, after apparently spending seven months behind bars without being convicted of a crime — for a damn traffic violation, no less — on the condition that he not ride a bicycle.

Never mind that bike riders are taught to ride in the traffic lane to avoid the door zone and debris on the shoulder, while increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

Whether he was riding safely and legally, or took taking the lane to a dangerous extreme remains to be determined. But there is something seriously wrong when a simple traffic violation results in a single day in jail, let alone months.

And let alone without a conviction.

Although he’s clearly no saint; he also faces charges for threatening the staff of the DA’s office with a rock and several knives last year.

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Like any good serial, some bike stories keep revealing new twists and turns as they go on. And on.

Eighty-nine-year old former New York Mayor David Dinkins insists he had no idea he hit a bike rider as he rushed his wife to the hospital, and returned to the scene as soon as someone told him about it. He swears the rider hit him, rather than the other way around. Which seems strange; if he didn’t even know it happened, how could he know how it happened?

The Toronto cyclist who was run off the road by a cab driver faces charges himself for allegedly reaching into the car to assault the driver before the attack caught on viral video.

The road raging driver who repeatedly attacked bike-riding BBC personality Jeremy Vine last week says he provoked her; police evidently disagree, arresting the woman on an assault charge.

Meanwhile, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson says it was extremely rude of Vine to selfishly ride safely outside of the door zone, blocking the poor angry driver from whatever imaginary emergency she most likely wasn’t rushing to.

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It shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point to say Nairo Quintana may have put the Vuelta away over the weekend, as long as he can stay upright the rest of the way.

A man is caught on video pulling down a barrier in a French bike race, causing six riders to crash.

Worse, it was the father of one of the competitors who did it; Jonathan Boyer’s dad reportedly did it in anger because the peloton failed to wait for his son after he fell earlier in the race.

And an Aussie Paralympian apologizes for doping after he’s sent home for using EPO. Funny how people only seem to apologize after they get caught.

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Local

A 17-mile July bike ride explored environmental injustice along the LA River.

Santa Monica police say to prevent theft by locking your bike in a well-lit and populated area, and secure it with a U-lock. Although that didn’t help one guy, even though he was able to buy it back after it was stolen.

A new rest stop on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail in Pico Rivera features a Fixit station with tools and an air pump for minor bike repairs.

 

State

A new poll shows 83% of San Franciscans think bicycling is good for the city, and over half report riding a bike occasionally themselves.

Heartbreaking news from Oakley, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a traffic collision, just a month before he was scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from his mother after a lifetime of kidney disease.

 

National

As we all know, good beer and bicycling go together; a beer publication offers advice on where to plan your next brewery ride in the US.

Two injured vets in my hometown credit bicycling with saving them from depression and disability.

Nebraska revises the law to give cyclists the right-of-way in a crosswalk where a bike path crosses a roadway.

Columbus OH is the latest city to ditch Share the Road signs for the much clearer Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Although drivers are often confused when the signs go up, thinking they give riders new rights, rather simply clarifying the rights we already have.

More kindhearted people, as a New Jersey paramedic went to Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year girl who had been impaled by the brake handle of her bicycle; the Walmart manager donated a bicycle after hearing the story. This sort of injury happens far too often; there’s clearly a major design defect when children are put at risk by their own bikes.

An 89-year old man now faces up to 30 years behind bars after being convicted in the hit-and-run death of a former pro football player as he rode in a Florida bike lane. Even with good behavior, he could be well over 100 years old before he gets out.

 

International

A British cyclist discusses the 16,000 mile ride around North America he took after learning he had early onset Alzheimer’s at age 39.

Bicyclists say some of the existing portions of the nearly finished 15,000 mile bike path across Canada are better on paper than in reality.

A British driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while texting — after eight previous convictions for using his phone while driving. You’d think that after three or four convictions, someone would have taken his phone away. Or maybe his car. Or both.

Dublin is ordered to stop work on bicycle projects, after funding is pulled and resources diverted in favor of a massive traffic project. Proving once again that cyclists are second-class citizens virtually everywhere.

A 22-year old Namibian man hung himself following an argument with his brothers over who could use the family bicycle.

A New Zealand teen is building a prosthetic hand so his younger brother with cerebral palsy can ride a bike two-handed for the first time.

Maybe you could wear a disguise. Not only do magpies Down Under attack bike riders they perceive as a threat, they also remember and attack again the next time they see you. And every time after that.

A new bicycling jacket from New Zealand can automatically signal your turns. Manufacturers continue their attempts to improve bike safety by turning us all into cars, instead of expecting people in cars to operate them safely.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle after torching your ex’s car, make sure it’s the right car first. Your next bike could be a treadmill.

And everything you need to know before letting a helicopter drop you off for your next downhill ride.

 

Morning Links: The perils of cable locks, Rose City cycle track meeting, and how to greet a fellow bicyclist

David Drexler strikes a cautionary note in warning about the dangers of even the best cable locks. Even when firmly attached to your car in public spaces.

They almost had my bike yesterday.

Parked in the In-N-Out Burger on Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach for 30 min.  Parked right in front in a high traffic area at the entrance .

My hybrid bike was on the hitch rack with the tires and the downtube clamped in.  For added security I wrapped the pictured thickest Kryptonite cable through the tires and the rack frame.

DD Bike Cable

Hanging by a thread

In the time I was in the store, thieves unlatched the two tire clamps and cut the cable pictured, in one more minute they could have had the bike but something scared them off?

Brazen for them to be working in such a high profile visible location.

He added this in a follow-up email.

Sunday was a real wake up call—I let my guard down and left my hybrid bike on a rack unattended twice for more than 30 minutes each time with just a cable lock on it.  I would never do that if it was not on a car rack. I felt comfortable in Huntington Beach in a high profile parking space and cable locked. I did not believe that someone would approach my car with tools and attempt to take a bike in a busy parking lot with me close by inside.  The rack is new—just got it three weeks ago and I will adjust my security accordingly.  The bike will be both cable locked and u-locked on the rack if I need to leave the bike unattended–same as I do when locking it up around LA and the OC to go in stores.

Bike chained to car rack

Bike chained to car rack

What the thieves were after

What the thieves were after

 

It seems like overkill sometimes, but I try to keep my bike with me whenever I can.

If not, I field strip my bike, removing anything that can be easily stolen. Then take off my front wheel, and lock it to my rear wheel with a heavy U-lock through the frame, then wrap the whole thing with a cable lock.

And never, ever leave it unattended on a car.

It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worked so far.

Knock on wood.

And don’t forget to register your bike, just in case.

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Wesley Reutimann forwards word of an informational meeting to discuss the proposed Union Street Cycle Track in Pasadena next week.

Want to weigh in on the Union Ave Cycle Track project?  The City of Pasadena will be hosting two meetings on the same day Tuesday August 16th (one AM, one PM), following a request by the Pasadena Playhouse District Association.

Union Street Cycle Track Informational Meeting

Pasadena’s newly-adopted Bicycle Transportation Action Plan identifies a two-way cycle track along Union Street between Hill and Arroyo Parkway. Learn about project design, implementation, potential impacts, and funding at meetings hosted by the City of Pasadena.

  1. WHERE: Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Gamble Lounge, 585 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
  2. WHEN: Tuesday, August 16, 2016
  3. TIMES: 8:30 – 9:30 am or 5 pm – 6 pm

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to participate in the process, please contact Rich Dilluvio, Pasadena Department of Transportation, at (626) 744-7254 or rdilluvio@cityofpasadena.net.

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Thanks to Dave R for forwarding this video offering six ways to greet a fellow cyclist, which garnered nearly 60,000 views in its first day online. And is sure to bring a smile to even the most curmudgeonly rider.

I’m a master of the quick nod and handlebar hand raise, myself.

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The head of UCI, bike racing’s governing body, says don’t blame us for the dangerous road course in Rio, blame all those injured bike riders for screwing up, although others may beg to differ. Then again, safe courses reduce the risk of rider error. Not to mention it couldn’t hurt to allow a few practice runs on the course without having to share the roads with vehicular traffic.

Good news from one of those injured cyclists, as Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten says she’ll be fine, despite suffering a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. Thank goodness she has some random guy on Twitter to tell her how to ride a bike properly.

Cycling Weekly questions whether Peter Sagan did the right thing in dropping out of Saturday’s road race. Greg Van Avermaet’s victory says no, while the injuries to van Vleuten, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali, et al, say yes.

Meanwhile, an Aussie track cyclist was hospitalized after her pursuit team crashed while training.

NBC previews tomorrow’s men’s time trial. Lets hope they do a better job covering the women’s time trial, also on Wednesday, than they did the women’s road race.

New York Magazine says doping is only going to get harder to detect, especially when gene splicing becomes a thing in the very near future. Although that sounds a lot better than dosing with whiskey, egg whites, and strychnine.

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Local

CiclaValley takes a look at what cyclists lost in the recent Sand Fire.

Arizona’s Kimberly Lucie won the women’s pro race at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix on Sunday, while LA’s Justin Williams took the men’s title.

The San Diego Reader suggests biking along the beachfront bike path to visit Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, which it calls LA’s last real beach towns.

Long Beach officially cuts the ribbon on the first segment of what will eventually be two miles of parking-protected bike lanes on the city’s North Side.

 

State

Orange County puts its money where its mouth is, approving nearly $20 million to fund 13 bicycle corridor projects in the county and six OC cities; an additional bicycle boulevard in Huntington Beach could be funded if they can keep the cost of the project below $488,000.

Anaheim’s draft bike plan calls for 120 miles of additional bikeways. Of course, as we’ve repeatedly seen in LA, any plan is only as good as the city’s commitment to it.

San Diego’s Bike the Bay rolls at the end of this month, allowing 3,500 participants a once-a-year opportunity to ride over the sweeping Coronado Bay Bridge. And arrive in the city where bike lanes make people dizzy.

A proposal would give Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco a bike and people friendly makeover, converting it “from yet another auto sewer into a car-free pedestrian-transit-bicycle mall.”

The Department of DIY strikes in the Bay Area, as San Francisco bicyclists take safety improvements into their own hands.

Forget making America great again. The new director of the UC Davis Bicycle Program wants to make riding a bike fun again. They also offer a smart program to store students’ bicycles for the summer, safe from thieves and out of the elements, for just $20.

 

National

Co-Exist says protected bike lanes and bikeshare systems are the key to making cities safer.

Bike riders on Hawaii’s Big Island are turning to bike cams for protection, in a story that reads like a press release for the Fly6 and Fly12 cams, which it probably is. Seriously, they could have at least mentioned any of the other numerous bike and helmet mountable action cams on the market. GoPro, anyone?

The Colorado State Patrol blames the victim in Sunday’s fatal Ironman crash, saying she swerved out of a lane blocked off for competitors and hit a truck in the next lane.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Minnesota woman rides 660 miles to attend her 60th high school reunion in Cheyenne WY. Except I have no interest in attending a high school reunion. Or living in Minnesota.

A federal appeals court rules against a Michigan woman who sued Target for selling her a bike with defective brakes after she fell off and hurt her shoulder; the court said she’s entitled to a fair jury, but “not one that believes whatever she says.”

New York considers a proposal to add wider bike and pedestrian lanes to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Drivers using bike lanes as de facto passing lanes seems to be a universal problem, even in Greensboro NC.

No bias here. A Miami bike rider gets the blame for colliding with a police cruiser, even though the cops were making a U-turn in the middle of a causeway.

 

International

OMG! The Brit press freaks out when One Direction’s Harry Styles is caught riding without a bike helmet, which is perfectly legal in the country. And perfectly safe, as long as you manage to stay upright.

It’s better not to hit a bike rider than to try and save his life afterwards. Just a suggestion.

The UK’s Radio X lists the greatest songs about bicycling. Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song apparently didn’t make the cut.

A Dublin woman calls on the city to make immediate safety improvements after too many near-death experiences riding her bike to work. The photo illustrating the story of a rider squeezing between city buses is truly terrifying.

After carrying them nearly 25,000 miles around the world, an English couple’s bikes go missing at Ireland’s Shannon Airport, along with the rest of their belongings.

Bicycling offers nine lessons learned from riding in the Swiss Alps. Or you could take the road less travelled and explore the Tatra Mountains between Slovakia and Poland.

Caught on video: Copenhagen somehow manages to keep a bikeway open next to a construction site, despite a road crew lifting hundreds of pounds of dirt over riders’ heads. Maybe they could teach us something about being a less litigious society, as well as being more welcoming to bike riders. Because something like that would never fly here.

 

Finally…

Don’t Pokémon GO on the go in Taiwan. The Rio road course may have been dangerous, but at least there weren’t any wallabies.

And please, can we just give the whole “Be a Roll Model” thing a rest, already?

 

Morning Links: See a bike-riding chef naked, East H’wood bike chop shop, and latest on Kalamazoo bike tragedy

If you ever wanted to see a famous LA chef naked, here’s your chance.

Border Grill chef Mary Sue Milliken is participating in this month’s 300-mile ChefsCycle for No Kid Hungry, with a goal of raising $20,000 to stop childhood hunger.

Make a tax-deductible donation of $10,000, and she’ll send you one of her annual Nude Year cards — without the usual aprons and cooking utensils covering up the more private areas.

Or donate $100,000, and she and fellow Hot Tamale Susan Feniger will come to your home and serve dinner for 10 people in the nude.

Which might be worth a crowdsourcing campaign to come up with the money.

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Twitter user teamonies points out what looks suspiciously like a bicycle chop shop in East Hollywood in the area around St. Andrews Place and Fernwood Ave; however, he reports having little luck getting the LAPD’s interest.

If you’re missing a bike, it may be worth checking out.

Bike chop shop

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More on Tuesday’s Kalamazoo MI crash that killed five bike riders and injured four others.

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Good news from Italy, as a South African cyclist’s life is no longer in jeopardy following a collision with a team car while competing in the Coppa della Pace race. How many lives have to be put in jeopardy before they finally ban motor vehicles from bike races?

More good news, as Belgium rider Stig Broeckx remains in an induced coma following a massive crash caused by a race moto at the Baloise Belgium Tour, but his injuries are no longer considered acutely life threatening.

The leader in the mixed-sex Trans Am 4400 transcontinental US bike race — not to be confused with the better known Race Across America (RAAM) — lost her lead when she took a wrong turn, but remains in second place. So who said women cyclists can’t compete with the men?

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Local

CiclaValley is going all in on Sunday’s LA River Ride this week, listing key sites to see on your way to Long Beach. Online registration is over, but you can still register on the day of the event.

LA Magazine’s Neal Broverman notes Paris is banning cars made before 1997 to fight smog, and asks if LA should do the same.

A Boyle Heights website looks back on last month’s Eastside Mural Ride highlighting the artwork and history east of the LA River.

The Source previews Sunday’s 4.9 mile Viva SGV open streets event in El Monte and South El Monte.

As we noted yesterday, West Hollywood will host the official ribbon cutting today on the new Fairfax Avenue bike lanes, which connect with existing lanes in LA to create continuous bike lanes from Willoughby Ave to Hollywood Blvd.

Speaking of WeHo, a rider catches a frighteningly close pass from a Starline Tours bus on his bike cam, and just avoids getting sandwiched with a parked car.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree co-op celebrates it’s 10th anniversary.

A Huntington Beach father just wants sidewalks in the neighborhood so his disabled son can safely go for a walk, while NIMBY neighbors worry about giving up a small fraction of their lawns.

A Ventura letter writer places tongue firmly in cheek to respond to a complaint about those damn freeloading bike riders. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

After a witness saw a San Luis Obispo bike thief using bolt cutters to steal a locked bike, the victim got his bike back. And the thief got a well-deserved black eye and a trip to jail.

A driver from the San Luis Obispo area faces up to 19 years in prison after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in 2014; not only did investigators find alcohol, meth and THC in her blood, but she was already wearing an ankle monitor from a previous DUI arrest. It’s not enough to suspend a driver’s license; convicted drunk or stoned motorist too often drive anyway. We have to somehow take their cars away until they’re no longer a danger to others.

When a Pittsburgh CA high school student couldn’t get a ride to an important scholarship interview in Walnut Creek, he rode his bike to the BART station, rode to the Walnut Creek station and biked the rest of way. And got the scholarship.

A Palo Alto Bagel shop will pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit after one of their employees ran down a then 12-year old boy while he was riding his bike to school four years ago; the driver, who was not charged, claimed the sun was in his eyes even though the bigger problem may have been the meth in his system.

 

National

A cyclist confronts the drunk driver who just missed killing him when he rode up onto an embankment.

So much for the Amazon Prime program making deliveries via Seattle bike couriers.

Still more bad news from Michigan:

Shockingly, NYPD breaks with their long-standing tradition and actually arrests a truck driver for the fatal left-cross of a bike rider, instead of just writing it off as “no criminality involved.”

Nice gesture from New York’s Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which offered a $2,500 reward in the assault of a Muslim man who was attacked as he rode his bicycle outside an Islamic Studies Center.

The DC city council drops a provision from a bike safety bill that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields after the police and AAA objected.

In a case of weird life imitating low art, a Georgia man fled from police on an orange Dukes of Hazard bicycle after stealing a ball python and an albino frog; he was arrested behind a sub shop with the snake and a beer, but the frog is still missing. I have a sick feeling where they could find the frog.

 

International

An older Vancouver man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run bike rider while walking on a pedestrian-only pathway. Seriously, don’t ride in restricted walking areas, always ride carefully around pedestrians, and damn it, stop if you hit someone, already.

LA cyclists dodge careless drivers, Brit cyclists dodge careless cows.

An English driver gets off with a suspended sentence for killing a cyclist after claiming the wind blew his van into the rider. Sure, let’s go with that.

An ultra-orthodox Israeli Jewish sect has banned bicycling for women and girls as young as five, deeming it too immodest and provocative. Anyone who thinks a five-year old on a bicycle is provocative shouldn’t be allowed around children.

Police in an Emirates city seize 109 bicycles for “flouting” traffic regulations and endangering road users — most for the heinous crime of not wearing reflective clothing. Which doesn’t endanger anyone other than the rider. If that.

 

Finally…

Actually, the biggest mistake indoor cyclists make is not riding outside on real bicycles. You may look ridiculous, but at least you’ll be dry, more or less.

And if you’re really worried about the Zika virus while competing in Rio, just freeze your sperm in advance.

Preferably once it’s been removed.

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It’s a little late, but Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the holy month.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist nearly rammed by Laguna Cyn driver; man buys bike with bad traveler’s checks in OC

An Orange County rider asks if he should report a horn-blaring driver who apparently tried to ram him while he was riding on Laguna Canyon Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHMT1jNGb4&feature=youtu.be

The short answer is yes.

What he caught on video is a case of assault with a deadly weapon, no different than if the road raging driver had threatened him with a gun.

But even if the authorities refuse to prosecute, it can lay the groundwork for future action against the driver if he or she does it again. It was the prior police reports of Dr. Christopher Thompson’s threatening behavior towards other riders that helped ensure a conviction and a four year prison sentence in the Mandeville Canyon case.

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Costa Mesa police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who bought a $1,700 bike with fake traveler’s checks; anyone with information is urged to call 714/754-4873.

Wait. People still use traveler’s checks?

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The Malibu Gran Fondo is partnering with nonprofit organizations The Pablove Foundation and Network for Advancing Athletes for the March 5th and 6th event.

And wet your appetite for LA-based pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this November, combining “great bike riding” through the Malibu hills with the “classy fun of cookies” from celebrity chef Jeff Mahin.

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Legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton writes about the passing of San Marcos framebuilder Brian Baylis.

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It’s one thing for a rider to be attacked by one dog; surrounded by 25 or so is another matter.

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Local

Streetsblog reports Caltrans’ plans for a new toll flyover exit ramp off the 110 Freeway would dump freeway traffic onto South Figueroa, jeopardizing the long-planned MyFigueroa Complete Streets makeover, as well as a historic church. You have until March 21st to tell them where (else) they can stick it.

Metro is negotiating with Lyft to collect data on first mile/last mile trips that begin and end at transit stations, while looking forward to bikeshare to help solve some of that problem.

An LA model and former 30-mile a day cyclist returns to the runway after losing a leg, and nearly her life, due to toxic shock syndrome. Let’s hope she’s back on her bike, as well.

Santa Monica looks forward to a future offering real transportation choices, including the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

CiclaValley examines the hate some people spew towards cyclists on the Internet, usually, but not always, behind the mask of anonymity.

 

State

Grist considers Calbike’s proposal to rebate up to half the cost of a commuter bike under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Ventura police still haven’t released any additional information in the hit-and-run death of a 14-year old bike rider last week.

A Laguna Beach woman founded Project Bike Love to empower women in developing countries through the gift of a bicycle.

This should be fun. The Monterey stage of the Amgen Tour of California will finish on the famed Laguna Seca raceway.

 

National

An Oregon cyclist says we should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect drivers to obey when it comes to following traffic laws.

A Seattle TV station examines how bike lanes are paid for, explaining that the view from city hall is taxing bicyclists for bike lanes makes no more sense than taxing pedestrians to pay for sidewalks.

The widow of a Colorado cyclist killed by a distracted truck driver has channeled her grief into a heartbreaking public service announcement begging drivers to pay attention.

Northern Iowa cyclists say proposed legislation that goes way beyond a three-foot law by requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a cyclists is much needed, following too many close calls.

Great story from Texas, as a three cyclists out for a ride through the country rescue 22 abandoned puppies; all of the pups were quickly adopted. And a good idea, as one of the women carries dog food on her bike just in case she sees a stray. That’s just one more advantage of riding a bike; anyone in a car would have likely driven by without ever seeing the dogs. Or maybe run over them.

Now that Houston has a new 709-mile bike plan, they need to come up with the money to pay for it. Sort of like pretty much every city everywhere trying to re-envision their streets for people instead of cars.

A story posted on the London School of Economics website examines the rapid rise of bicycling in Memphis, while asking whether new bikeways simply reinforce existing racial inequality and spur racialized gentrification.

Angry Tennesseans rise up to fight a proposal to prohibit funds from gas taxes from being used for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Randonneurs from around the world are concerned about Saturday’s North Carolina crash that took out four of their fellow riders, injuring two critically; one of the critically injured riders is the webmaster for bikelaw.com. Police say alcohol wasn’t a factor, but don’t say anything about other intoxicants; the driver who hit them was on probation for felony drug charges.

 

International

Vancouver will launch a 100 station bikeshare program this summer.

A Toronto constable helped change the conversation on cycling by becoming the city’s first bike cop in 1989, and advocating for bicycling ever since.

The last two cyclists attempting to break the year record set by American rider Kurt Searvogel last year have thrown in the towel.

A London cyclist suspects bike thieves are targeting certain bicycles to order after two men on a scooter attempted to push her off her Brompton.

WaPo looks at a Danish city so bike friendly, even five-year olds are encouraged to bike to school.

The next time someone tells you (insert city here) isn’t Amsterdam, remind them that Amsterdam wasn’t always like that, either. Gizmodo traces the transformation of the city through a compelling series of before and after photos. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and joninsocal for the heads-up.

A Basque women’s race issues a new poster designed by a woman rider after the previous one was withdrawn following charges it was sexist. Seriously, is it that hard to simply promote women’s racing as a competitive event?

The author of a petition to ban bikes entirely from roads through an Aussie mountain range swears it’s not anti-cycling; so far, it’s only gathered 30 similarly non-anti-bike signatures.

No anger issues here. An Aussie man is charged with deliberately chasing and running down a young bike-riding boy after he and his friends accidently knocked over the man’s garbage can.

A new study from the University of Duh shows real time weather information affects Singapore cyclists’ riding decisions. As does looking out the window and seeing it’s raining.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a semi-walking wooden Penny Farthing. Or maybe you’d prefer to ride your bike while working at your desk.

And it’s not often a driver apologizes for a dangerously close pass, let alone posts it on a freeway overpass; it’s even less often a thief returns a stolen bike a year later, complete with a note of apology.

 

Morning Links: BOLO alerts for a bike thief and a stolen e-bike, and a section of the LA River bike path closes

Get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today.

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There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who pushed an 11-year old boy off the bicycle he just won, then rode off with it after placing a small girl on the handlebars.

It happened on Halloween at Ted Watkins Park in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Daniel Cerda at the Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau, 213/216-7675.

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The closure of a one-mile segment of the LA River bike path begins on Monday. Riders will be detoured through Griffith Park to avoid construction to add carpool lanes on the 5 Freeway.

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Keep your eyes open for an e-bike stolen from Andrew Yip of BikeSGV, which was used to transport materials for the organization, as well as worn out kids.

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Calbike provides the voting records on bike bills for the every member of the state Assembly and Senate.

If your representative scored poorly, you might want to have a talk with him or her.

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Utah gets the point across when it comes to distracted driving.

Utah-Traffic-Sign

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Local

LAist considers what it will be like to use the coming Metro bikeshare system in DTLA, while Metro wants your help to determine just where those stations should be located.

CiclaValley offers his favorite routes from the Valley to DTLA.

Santa Monica gets its first protected bike lane down the center of Pico Blvd, to provide a safer connection from Santa Monica High School to Main Street. Meanwhile, a writer for the Santa Monica Daily Press considers whether bikeshare and that “bike thingy” on Pico are actually useful developments.

 

State

Talk about getting tough on crime. Road raging California drivers can lose their license for a whole six months for the first offense.

A writer for Orange Coast magazine previews this year’s “super-subversive” Laguna Beach Tour de Coop chicken coop ride. Except it was actually held last Sunday.

A Newport Beach driver pled not guilty to felony hit-and-run for fleeing the scene after critically injuring a 14-year old girl as she rode her bike on the Balboa Peninsula last August.

A cyclist in Newport Beach suffered just minor injuries when he was hit in a left cross collision on Tuesday.

Celebrate the third anniversary of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance in Redding with the BikesGiving Telethon on November 19th.

Bay Area groups are working to get more women on two wheels.

A Redding bicyclist has died nearly a week after he was hit by a car while riding home from work.

 

National

Next City makes the case against eye-searing flashing bike lights. I use two lights; a relatively low-powered light on flashing mode so I can be seen, and a bright light angled down so I can see without blinding others.

Bicycling offers up some classic bike commercials if you have 5:40 to kill.

Smart idea, as Seattle is installing DIY bike repair stations at nine county libraries.

A San Antonio TX man is on trial for killing his roommate because he failed to close the gate after bringing his bicycle into the yard.

A Pittsburgh letter writer seems to be saying it’s a cyclist’s fault that she doesn’t know how to use her mirrors and drives too close to parked cars, while another says sometimes bike riders really are at fault.

Baltimore bike advocates kick off a year-long “I Bike, I Vote” campaign to get bicyclists to the voting booth.

A candidate for mayor of Charleston SC says the most important issue in the campaign is keeping a key bridge for cars only; his opponent says he’s not sold on it either.

Atlanta’s first chief bicycle officer explains how he’s working to turn the auto-centric capitol of the South into a city that serves all road users. Including a road diet on a formerly seven-lane street that provided dedicated space for everyone, while improving automotive throughput and reducing crashes 25%.

A Florida bike thief is under arrest after he was chased down and dragged out of the bushes by a 5’3” mom whose bike he stole; unfortunately, the bike didn’t fare very well.

 

International

Apparently, pro cyclists are popping tramadol to kill the pain of racing. Seriously? When take I it, I can barely walk across the street, let alone ride a bike. And forget about a sprint finish.

Cycling News talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who not only made an amazing comeback from a devastating injury, but became a better person in the process.

Um, no. An unpublished British study claims to show bike helmets turn riders into risk takers. All it really shows is that bike helmets may protect from over-inflated balloons.

Here’s another reason to ride. A study from the UK finds that stronger legs reduce the risk of age-related dementia.

An English soccer fan raised the equivalent of over $30,000 riding 15,000 miles to attend last year’s World Cup in South Africa. Then has his Surly stolen from outside his house.

A Brit paper explains how to stay dry while riding in wet weather. Which should be an El Niño primer for bike-riding Angelenos.

Bicycling has decreased in Ireland, but the percentage of people who use bikes as their primary form of transportation has gone up. Although more off-street bike parking in convenient locations might turn that decrease around.

Botswana’s Minister of Transport calls for everyone to use the roads safely and take responsibility for their behavior, yet the press somehow turns that into a call for responsible cycling.

Now that South Australia is allowing bikes on sidewalks, one city wants to impose speed limits. Which only works for bikes with speedometers, of course. And do they plan on ticketing excited kids who pedal too fast on their training wheels?

Now that’s a big bike ride. Around 600,000 Thais have registered for a nationwide ride in honor of the country’s king.

 

Finally…

Forget tall bikes; what you really need is a half-block long tandem. If you’re going to cut in and out of a group of cyclists while blaring your horn, try to make sure one of them isn’t the country’s prime minister.

And I’ve been trying to figure out how to take the Corgi on my bike. But this probably isn’t the answer.

Dog-Rack

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Please join me in offering a special thank you and Happy Veterans Day to everyone who’s served our country. 

Morning Links: A reminder to lock your bike the right way, more kind people, and citing Cedillo as a bike expert

There are some sights virtually guaranteed to make any bike rider sad.

Like a lonely wheel still safely secured to a rack, when a thief has made off with the bicycle it was attached to.

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

Which is a good reminder to always run your U-lock through the frame and back wheel, then around the rack.

If the lock is long enough, you can remove your front wheel and secure it to the back one and frame, or run a cable lock through the wheels, in addition to a U-Lock or heavy duty chain through the frame.

Always make sure the rack, or whatever object you’re locking it to, is securely fastened to the ground and solid enough to withstand bolt cutters or a saw blade. But even though parking meters fit that description, it’s illegal to lock a bike to one in Los Angeles, unless it has one of the newly approved bike rack attachments.

Whenever possible, lock your bike in a well-traveled public place where it can be seen by people passing by; thieves usually prefer secluded spots where they can work undetected.

And don’t forget to register your bike before anything bad happens to increase your chances of getting it back.

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Still more kindhearted people.

After a Seattle special needs woman had her customized $10,000 bike stolen, the man who bought it for just $250 gave it back to her when he saw her story in the paper.

And when the bike a Delaware man used to ride with his daughter and Downs Syndrome son was stolen, a stranger gave him a new one.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says encountering a wild coyote while riding is nothing compared to dealing with the Greater American Road Hog.

Think he’ll get the point? Highland Park residents set up a Día de los Muertos altar outside the office of CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo to remember the three people who have died on the street since he arbitrarily canceled a planned road diet.

 

State

A pair of writers for the Orange County Register say we should forget expensive transit systems and focus our transportation systems on buses and expanding road capacity. Although they lose whatever credibility they might have had when they cite Gil Cedillo’s absurd critique that LA’s “elitist” bike plan would hurt his underprivileged constituents, even though most cyclists are working-class immigrants, especially in districts like his.

 

National

Horrifying story from Colorado Springs CO, as three people are killed in a random shooting; the first victim was a man riding his bike who begged for his life before being shot.

Wichita KS cyclists like the new downtown road diets and bike lanes; not surprisingly, drivers not so much.

After an Illinois woman was injured in a shooting, she drove herself and two other victims to the hospital — and on the way, hit a hit a bike rider who works for the hospital she was driving to.

Sounds like fun. Costumed bike riders take part in the 16th Annual Boston Halloween Bike Ride.

Caught on video: A bike-riding Boston-area doctor is intentionally run down by a road raging driver who had honked and yelled at him to get out of the way.

Tragedy in Maryland, as a couple riding a tandem were run down from behind by an accused drunk driver; their killer is charged with DUI and vehicular homicide.

 

International

Nice thought, as a writer for VeloNews says cycling can be challenging or even painful, but being alive and able to ride a bike is never suffering.

Seriously? After originally facing a charge of attempted murder for intentionally chasing and running down a bike rider, a UK motorist gets a whopping eight months for dangerous driving. That’s like convicting a robber of malicious mischief for shooting a bank guard.

Britain’s largest bike retailer is now offering insurance for cyclists. So why can’t we see something like that here?

Rather than taming dangerous drivers, an Irish police group wants to require bicyclists, walkers, runners and anyone else not safely ensconced in a couple tons of steel and glass to wear hi-viz after dark.

A Welsh driver stopped and got out of his car to make sure he hadn’t killed a cyclist in a collision, then him lying there in the road; fortunately, the victim wasn’t badly injured.

The director of an Israeli road safety group calls traffic deaths the other war that never ends. However, he also calls e-bikes a blight on the land after just one person is killed this year, compared to the seven that die every week from traffic collisions.

An Aussie writer says thanks to a new one-meter passing law, riding to work isn’t as aggravating as expected, while another says stop the hysteria and give sidewalk riders a chance.

Tie me kangaroo down, sport. Yet another Aussie rider was seriously injured in a collision with one.

Inspiring story from Thailand, as an 11-year old boy with no arms is training to join a bike ride in honor of the king next month; he’s riding a customized bike that used to belong to the crown prince.

 

Finally…

The next time you’re bombing downhill, consider that your hydration system could have been part of the military industrial complex. You know you’re a cyclist when you’re buried in full racing kit 60 years after your riding career.

And you have to be a pretty lousy bike thief to be convicted 26 times and banned from owning a bike, being in possession of a bike or advertising a bike or parts for sale.

 

Morning Links: LA Mobility Plan under fire in Sherman Oaks tonight, and bike theft warnings in Brentwood

Once again, an overly simplistic misinterpretation threatens LA’s new mobility plan.

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council is scheduled to discuss the plan tonight at their 6:30 pm meeting in the auditorium of the Sherman Oaks, 14750 Dickens Street.

1-Sherman-Oaks-NC-agenda

Maybe someone could remind them, as we keep repeating, that those estimates are a worst-case scenario, assuming no one takes advantage opportunity created by the new bus and bike ways and safer sidewalks created by the plan to leave their cars at home.

And that by providing people with viable alternatives, we could actually see a reduction in motor vehicle traffic, resulting in less, not more, congestion.

Of course, all that is clearly explained in the plan itself.

But why bother with the facts — or actually reading the damn thing — when it’s so much fun to fly off in a doomsday panic over a plan designed to ease LA’s traffic choked future?

After all, the city is already gridlocked to a large extent. And continuing on the same auto-centric course only guarantees things will continue to get worse.

If you missed it over the weekend, take a few minutes to read LA Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s remarkably cogent analysis of the mobility plan.

Because it’s cars that have killed the vitality of our city.

And it’s long past time we took it back.

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

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Bailey also forwards a notice about bike thefts from the Brentwood Community Council.

1-LAPD-Alert-Bicycle-Thefts

If you follow BikinginLA on Twitter, you’ve no doubt noticed the daily drumbeat of stolen bikes; sometimes several a day. And those are just the ones reported to the Bike Index stolen bike database, which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bikes taken in the LA area.

So like the notice says, keep your bike inside if at all possible. If not, lock it securely to something solid and immovable.

And make sure you register it now to ensure you have all the information you’ll need if anything does happens to it.

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Taylor Phinney continues his amazing comeback from the potentially crippling injury he suffered in a collision with a race moto at last year’s nationals, as his BMC team won the team time trial at the world championships; Velocio-SRAM took the women’s title. Not bad for someone who was told he’d be lucky to walk, let alone ride a bike again.

That $10,000 bike stolen from a Richmond hotel near the finish line of the world’s road course actually belonged to American rider Evelyn Stevenspolice recovered it undamaged in time for Sunday’s time trial.

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Local

Richard Risemberg recaps PARKing Day in LA, which demonstrates that curbside parking spaces can be put to better use.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief found in an alley with numerous bikes, bike parts and burglary tools. If you’ve lost a bike on the Westside recently, you might want to check with them.

 

State

A 33-year old Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision Sunday morning; a 17-year old driver has been arrested on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges. Yes, the driver is four years below the legal drinking age, although DUI doesn’t always imply alcohol use. And as others have pointed out, the legal blood alcohol level for minors is zero.

More good news on the purloined bike front, as the man riding across the US with his rescue dog to promote animal adoptions got his stolen Yuba Mundo bike back. No word on whether police recovered his GoPro, GPS, dog toys and other gear.

 

National

A Washington father offers advice on how to engineer an elementary school bike train.

Aspen CO police bust a one-man bike theft crime wave.

A 70-year old Chicago man will bike Spain’s 500-mile Camino de Santiago to raise funds for his Catholic parish.

Proof bicyclists are tough — a Chicago cyclist rode to the hospital after realizing he’d been shot in the leg.

A bicyclist was killed riding in the traffic lane on a Minneapolis freeway, while three other cyclists have received warnings for riding on local freeways since June. It’s illegal to ride on most freeways there, just as it is here.

An Ohio mother pleads for drivers to be more careful after her adult son was killed while on a group ride last week.

The Cleveland traffic engineer behind the bike lanes — yes, more than one — with the buffer on the wrong side swears the design is the best practice to prevent right hooks, even though it runs counter to recommendations from the Federal Highway Administration and the NACTO design guide.

Lynchburg KY demonstrates that bike racks can double as public art.

A Philadelphia writer calls out dangerous cyclists on local pathways, while acknowledging that most riders are sensible and bicycling benefits the community. On the other hand, seven mph is a ridiculously low speed limit, and assumes every bicyclist knows how fast he’s going. Or slow, in this case.

The White House, Fox News and the tech community are mourning the death of Jake Brewer, a senior policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, and husband of Fox News personality Mary Ham. Brewer was killed on a charity ride over the weekend when he lost control on a sharp curve, crossed the centerline, and was hit by a car coming in the opposite direction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the news.

 

International

Despite the odds, Cuban cyclists and bike mechanics are rebuilding the county’s bike culture.

After police amazingly concluded a bike riding, cross-dressing British spy died when he somehow zipped himself into a duffel bag and padlocked it from the inside as part of a sex game, a forensic investigator more logically deduces that he was murdered, and that he dressed as a woman as part of his spycraft.

Bike Radar looks at why more women don’t work at bike shops.

Britain’s Transport Committee will look into police bias against cyclists. Intentional or not, police bias against bike riders is a problem virtually everywhere, and can adversely affect ticketing and investigations of wrecks involving bicyclists.

More proof cyclists are tough. A Brit bicyclist is putting off potentially life-saving surgery to compete in next year’s Rio Olympics; only eight millimeters of his spinal cord remain unaffected by a cancer tumor.

Now that’s a fixie. The Guardian talks with cyclist who rode the full length of the UK on a Penny Farthing in just 15 days.

Riding through three European countries on bikeways along the Bodensee.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to pull a major endo after hitting a pothole. Seriously, if you don’t bother to lock up your bike, don’t blame the police when it’s gone.

And if you’re hiding a stolen car at your home after assaulting the owner to steal it, try not to get liquored up and shoot at a group of cyclists.

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Thanks to Eric Lewis for his generous donation to support BikinginLA.

Just $10 a year from everyone who visits here today would fund this site for a full year.

Morning Links: Protect your bike on Metro buses, motorists behaving badly, and more kindhearted people

Keep a close eye on you bike when you use those racks on the front of a bus.

That was the gist of an email I received Thursday evening, from someone who reported having his bike stolen while commuting home from work.

Fortunately it was not my favorite cyclocross bike but rather a Specialized Rock Hopper that’s about 15 years old and that I was thinking about replacing.  I ride buses a lot and I read the story of the fellow whose bike was stolen from rack while he was sitting in the back of the bus. So I sit in the front and I watch my bike at the stops.  In retrospect I realized that I mainly watch when it is the only bike up there, for anyone who is going up to the front that shouldn’t be there.  But this guy was a very clever thief who had a beater bike on the rack in front of mine. So even though I was watching my bike at the stop it didn’t occur to me that the guy in the front was undoing the bike catch to my bike and not his bike until it was too late.  I can tell you that watching doesn’t do much good when all it takes a few seconds to take the bike off, mount it and take off riding.  By the time I grabbed my backpack and my pannier and got past the people coming in the front door, it was too late.  And what would I have done anyway, taken him down with a running tackle?  My only option was to take the beater bike which he left.

I have been paranoid in regards public transportation — I sit near my bike on the MetroLink even if that means sitting on the floor or standing and I lock my bike on Amtrak because there are only about six seats down in the bike area and they are reserved for disabled.

But I can’t lock my bike to the Metro bike rack so instead I decided that I’m going to lock my rear wheel to the frame before I put it on the rack.  So if someone decides to take it they aren’t going to be able to ride it away.

That last bit is good advice.

Many bus drivers keep an eye on the bikes in front of them, but they can’t watch them all the time. And not every driver does.

So anything you can do to disable your bike to keep a thief from being able to easily ride or roll off with it could be enough to protect your bike from being stolen.

After all, it’s a lot harder to pick up a bike and run with it than it is to simply ride away.

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Today’s common theme: Motorists behaving badly.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who rear-ended an experienced cyclist Thursday morning; she nearly lost a foot in the collision.

A Chicago woman faces felony drunk driving charges after drinking all day and running into an eight-year old boy as he rode his bike; she also had an open container in the car.

Unbelievable. Five Ohio cyclists were left crossed when the driver of pickup turned into them as they rode in a group; one rider died at the scene and two were airlifted to a hospital.

A New Jersey driver faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted of first degree vehicular homicide and other assorted charges in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider. To make matters worse, he 1) told police he thought he hit a deer, 2) told police he wasn’t the driver of the car, 3) refused to give a urine sample without a warrant, and 4) had been driving on a suspended license since 2007.

A South Carolina driver faces charges for driving with a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. But the cyclist he killed? No big deal.

A road-raging English driver is charged with intentionally chasing down and ramming a bicyclist, all because the cyclist touched the man’s car to steady himself at a red light. The driver claimed the victim had swerved into his car, which was disproven by security cam footage.

A Helsinki driver faces up to eight years for deliberately running down and killing a cyclist in a road rage incident.

And how distracted does a driver have to be to miss — or rather, not miss — a camel walking on the side of a road in Southern California?

Then again, it’s not just motorists; Scotland police are looking for a cyclist who whacked a schoolboy in the head with his bike lock.

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Thankfully, we can counter that with a few stories of people at their best.

Minutes after big-hearted Kansas City police take a report of a stolen kids’ bike, they come back with a new one to replace it.

The owners of a Michigan Pizza Parlor gave a new bike to an autistic employee after his was stolen while he was at a movie to celebrate his first paycheck.

A NASA engineer in Huntsville AL fixes bikes for neighborhood kids and gives away refurbished ones, along with life lessons for the young riders.

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For reasons known only to them, Cleveland is redefining buffered bike lanes, apparently choosing to protect cyclists from riding too close to the curb while moving them next to the far more dangerous traffic to the left.

Photo by Angie Schmitt

Photo by Angie Schmitt

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A couple quick notes from this week’s Interbike in Las Vegas.

Credit Jay Wolff of the Santa Monica Helen’s Cycles with bringing the stars of Breaking Away back together.

In light of the Interbike sockgate scandal, Bike Radar lists five of the bike industry’s most sexist marketing fails. Of course, these are just from the last few years; bike marketing has been a boy’s club for decades. And they wonder why more women don’t ride.

And what could be a more natural product extension for a multi-sport clothing maker to roll out than a new reposado tequila?

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Local

Mad Men producer Tom Smuts will once again be riding his bike to the Emmys this Sunday, along with actors Aaron Eckhart and Jon Huertas, and producers Alex Cary and James Younger. City officials including councilmember Tom Bonin will tag along.

Streetsblog offers an update on Metro’s planned bikeshare system, which remains on track for a sponsorless mid-2016 opening.

A writer for USC’s Daily Trojan badly misunderstands and misrepresents LA’s new mobility plan; the plan is actually designed to reduce congestion by providing alternatives to driving. Evidently, she’s learned the wrong lesson from modern American politics, that facts don’t matter as long as they’re labeled opinion.

The LA Weekly’s Hillel Aron tries to ride the full length of the LA River. Even in two parts — the ride, not the story — it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Santa Monica is nearing completion of the new Colorado Esplanade connecting the terminus of the Expo Line with the Santa Monica Pier, including a two-way separated bike path.

The 29th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon rolls, runs and splashes through the city this weekend.

 

State

The OC Register astutely observes that even adults need to know how to ride a bike.

San Diego strawberries may end up costing a little more, but residents will be rewarded with a new rail bike and ride.

A San Luis Obispo man gives a whole new meaning to the term custom bike maker.

San Francisco posts banners to encourage drivers to slow down. Might as well, since nothing else seems to work.

 

National

New census data shows that bike commuting continues to grow in the US. The findings are even more impressive since census data undercounts transportation cycling by failing to including multi-modal or non-work related trips.

Tern and Xtracycle team up for a cargo foldie; a Kickstarter to fund it is just over halfway to the $60,000 goal with 29 days to go.

El Paso is the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles.

Thousands of bike riders tear through the Motor City with Slow Roll Detroit at breakneck speeds up to 10 mph.

No bias here. A Connecticut newspaper says a 10-year old girl was critically injured when she hit a car while riding her bike, then later explains that the car actually struck her.

New York’s mayor is taking credit for a 13% drop in traffic deaths in his first year in office. Even though the bike lanes, road diets and other changes to the streets that most likely led to it were done under the previous administration.

Now there’s a new excuse. Bike-friendly improvements to a New York street have been put off until the UN adjourns and the pope puts the city in his rear view mirror.

Police in New York’s Upper West Side credit a 40% decrease in injuries to a 160% increase in cyclist traffic tickets.

 

International

Yes, longer bike shorts really are more aero. And no, you’re probably not fast enough for it to make a difference.

A Swedish couple bicycling around the world was hit by a car in Brazil. The driver, who was going 12 mph over the speed limit, will face a manslaughter charge after the woman rider didn’t make it.

Vancouver police realize they had already impounded the bike that had been stolen from a Taiwanese cyclist on an around-the-world ride after a reporter called to ask about it.

An 18-year old London man was convicted of stabbing a 15-year old boy to death in an utterly senseless attack to steal his bicycle.

Nice. Employees can ride their bike directly into a new London office building and down a ramp to the basement, where they’ll find bike parking, changing rooms and lockers.

Dubai has made a big push to become bike friendly with a network of bicycle paths, cycle tracks and bike lanes across the emirate.

Aussie cyclists may finally be able to legally stand on their pedals.

Bangkok, Thailand goes car-free this Sunday, though the city still has a long way to go to make bicycling an everyday choice for people.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Wherever you’ve ridden, it probably doesn’t compare to a 59-foot slack line over a 367-foot gorge. If you’re going to steal $120 worth of coffee from a donut shop, don’t go back there a few days later riding the same distinctive bike, and leave the heroin and drug paraphernalia at home while you’re at it.

And drivers already act like you’re wearing a cloak of invisibility on your bike. So why not do it for real?

 

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