Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

60-year old man killed riding bike in early morning West Adams crash; driver booked on DUI

Once again, someone got behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

And once again, an innocent person paid the price.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, the victim was riding his bike west on West Adams Blvd near South Redondo Blvd in LA’s West Adams neighborhood around 3 am this morning when he was run down from behind.

KTLA-5 places the location of the crash one block west on West Adams near South Cloverdale Ave.

After hitting him, the 20-something driver continued on to smash into a parked car.

The victim, described only as a 60-year old man, died at the scene. Police note that he was not homeless, despite the early morning hour.

They also say the area is well-lighted and not considered dangerous for people on bicycles, and that the victim had lights on his bike; video from the scene clearly shows front and rear blinking lights.

Which means there was no excuse for taking the life of an innocent human being.

As if there ever is.

This is at least the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; half of those deaths have occurred in the City of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

Morning Links: A conservative laughs at traffic violence, upcoming bike rides, and AI won’t replace bike writers yet

Evidently, conservatives are expected to be totally cool with people needlessly dying on our streets.

At least according to a writer for the National Review.

He — and of course it’s a he — takes issue with Elizabeth Warren’s tweet decrying traffic violence on last Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Crash Victims.

“Traffic violence” is quite a phrase. In the end, it may be all that anyone remembers of Warren’s decreasingly persuasive but increasingly eccentric campaign. In this bold new framing, cars are not the principal way Americans get around, with fatalities being an unfortunate but blessedly rare occurrence (one per 100,000,000 vehicle miles traveled, a rate that is down more than 80 percent in my lifetime). No, to Warren, cars are instruments of violence like, I don’t know, nunchucks or fuel-injected guillotines, and so she issues her clarion tweet to #EndTrafficViolence. So, right now, November 18, 2019, “it’s time” for us to zero out deaths from cars? How? On what planet?

He concludes with this brilliant observation.

Down here in America, where almost nobody has ever doubted that the benefits of motorized transportation have more than justified the various costs, even when the chance of getting killed in a car was 20 times higher than it is today, I’d say cars have a much brighter future than Elizabeth Warren’s White House bid.

Never mind that an estimated 36,750 lost their lives on American roadways last year. And that traffic deaths are going up for anyone not safely ensconced in a few tons of glass and steel, surrounded by numerous safety devices not afforded to the rest of us.

Or that countless Americans, and a number of American cities, are working to bring that death toll down to zero.

And the future of automobiles is in question, thanks to rising traffic congestion, inefficiency and climate change.

So I hope he enjoyed his laugh at Warren’s expense. And pray that no one he loves loses their life to traffic violence.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

Meanwhile, City Lab looks at the progress, or lack thereof, for several major cities who were early Vision Zero adapters.

Including Los Angeles, which continues to set the standard for lack of progress.

Photo by Netto Figueiredo from Pixabay.

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Active SGV is going to be busy this weekend, with a ride to the first holiday event of the season.

That will be followed with a ride to examine proposed South Pas bike parking tomorrow.

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The next Metro BEST ride will roll to CSUN two weeks from tomorrow.

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Robert Leone forwards word that this week’s closure of San Diego’s Rose Canyon Bike Path was postponed due the Wednesday’s rain.

Due to forecasted inclement weather conditions this week, the full closure of the Rose Canyon Bike Path originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, has been postponed and rescheduled for December. The path will remain open this week. The rescheduled closures are anticipated as follows:

Beginning Tuesday, December 3, there will be a temporary full closure of the Rose Canyon Bike Path as crews pave the final section of the newly constructed permanent bike path. The full closure will begin at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3, and will be in place for approximately four days.

More information is on the mid-coast website, click here. During the closure, and as was planned prior, Mid-Coast Trolley crews will facilitate a “bus bridge,” which will include bicycle-carrying capable vans, to transport cyclists and pedestrians around the closure area. Signage will be in place to direct cyclists. The bike path is anticipated to reopen by 6 p.m. on Friday, December 6. As always, we appreciate your patience! Thank you.

My apologies for the late notice, after I lost his email for a few days.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

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Maybe Artificial Intelligence isn’t going to replace bike racing scribes anytime soon, after all.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is never-ending.

A Cleveland teenager faces charges for punching a bike rider in the head and knocking him cold, in an apparently random attack.

Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Tacoma WA police are looking for the bike-riding bandit who needlessly blew off a carjacking victim’s foot with a double-barelled shotgun after he had already given up his car.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego approves new regulations shutting down dockless bikes and scooters after midnight.

Palm Springs police have released a description of the suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that took the life of Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime as he was riding his bike; police are looking for a 2008-2012 dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu with likely front-end damage. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Congratulations to San Luis Obispo for their new status as a gold level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was left to die alone in the street by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

Speaking of San Jose, the city shows Los Angeles how it’s done, installing ten miles of quick-build protected bike over the past year for just $1.5 million.

Not only is San Francisco’s new transportation boss one of us, he’s an advocate for increased density, opposes free parking and parking minimums, and prefers automated buses over self-driving cars.

That didn’t take long. Just weeks after the Trump administration approved a policy allowing ebikes on government trails, equestrians have filed suit to block e-mountain bikes from the Tahoe National Forest.

 

National

The Smithsonian takes a long look back, comparing the resistance to e-scooters to the backlash over the first bicycles.

Bicycling recommends the best men’s and women’s bike shoes. Personally, I’m holding out for a good pair of cleated wingtips. Or maybe cowboy boots.

Action cam maker GoPro is finally returning to its roots, after its attempts to diversity crashed faster than its failed drones.

Five bike-friendly bars for your next trip to Tucson. You’re welcome.

Utah police literally ran down a woman suspected of riding a stolen bicycle, dragging her 40 feet beneath the patrol car; remarkably, she didn’t suffer any major injuries, despite ending up pinned beneath the car with her ankle behind her ear. The cops swear it was just an oopsie, even though the officer behind the wheel is no longer with the department.

Denver’s docked bikeshare service is pulling the plug on the system in January. Or maybe not, if they can get a new vendor.

A Missouri letter writer says the law should be changed to ban bikes on highways after dark. Or you could just, bear with me here, slow and pay more attention when you drive at night. And lower the damn speed limits while you’re at it. 

Wisconsin ebike riders aren’t breaking the law anymore, after the governor signed a bill legalizing them.

No bias here. After a Minneapolis bike rider was fatally right hooked by a truck driver, police say he was the one who struck the truck. Note to WCCO-4 — If police are blaming the victim for striking the truck, it’s a pretty good indication they don’t think the victim was stopped.

This is who we share the roads with. Country music star Sam Hunt was busted for driving salmon in Nashville with a BAC over twice the legal limit. And I’m not crazy about his music, either.

A Massachusetts woman goes to Germany with her family, and discovers bicycling is the go-to mode for running everyday errands.

There’s a special place in hell for the New York State condo board that ordered a four-year old boy to stop riding his tricycle in the complex. Never mind that the kid is the only Latino child in the development.

Bighearted New Jersey bike riders will ride eleven miles to donate frozen turkeys to a community food bank for people struggling with hunger.

A 1.4-mile multi-modal trail is connecting Baltimore neighborhoods for the first time since they were severed by a highway project.

Just months after Atlanta stiffened fines for drivers who park in bike lanes, they’re letting offenders get off the hook with a parking scofflaw diversion program.

A kindhearted deputy bought a new bicycle to replace a 12-year old Florida boy’s stolen bike, after noticing he’d stopped riding it to school.

A grieving letter writer calls on Florida to place protective barriers between roadways and bike lanes to prevent more needless deaths like her heartbroken daughter’s fiancé, who was killed last week by a hit-and-run driver while doing everything right.

 

International

How to live a vegan lifestyle without adversely affecting your bicycling.

Nothing like a four-wheeled, $19,000, fully enclosed, ped-assist ebike to keep out of the rain. Or you could just save around $18,900 and buy some decent rain gear, without looking quite so ridiculous.

Popular Mechanics — yes, it’s still around — explains how a Mexican engineering student turned a personal project into a handmade bamboo bike company, combining his passions for bicycling and sustainable living.

An Ontario, Canada website explains how installing safe bike lanes improves safety for everyone else on the road, too. As well as making the community healthier and more prosperous.

The founder of Britain’s Black Cyclists Network says his recent run-in with police — where he was ordered to move his bike to an unsafe spot, then stopped and searched because he allegedly “smelled like marijuana” — says a lot about how the general public views bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Life is cheap in Australia, where the driver who killed 23-year old rising pro cyclist Jason Lowndes just moments after texting her boyfriend walked with a lousy $2,000 fine — just $1,357 US — and community service.

 

Finally…

Seriously, every town needs a puppet bike. If you’re going to burglarize a business, don’t make the media make fun of you.

And if you never know when you’re going to need a lampshade.

Even on your wedding day.

Got married last year. Best way to get her to the altar! from bicycling

 

Man killed riding bike on Manchester Blvd in Inglewood in possible right hook crash

For the third time in less than two years, someone on a bike has been killed on deadly Manchester Blvd.

This time in Inglewood.

According to KFI Radio, the victim was somehow struck by the driver of a stakebed truck turning right onto eastbound Manchester Blvd from northbound Hindry Ave near LAX around 7:30 yesterday morning.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s unclear which street the victim, described only as a Hispanic male, was riding on.

Based on the limited description, this could have been a right hook collision if the victim was riding on Hindry, or he may have been hit as he was riding in front of the truck on Manchester or just after the driver’s turn.

It’s also possible the driver ignored the No Right On Red sign on Hindry.

The driver remained at the scene. Police have not yet determined if he or she was under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call Inglewood Traffic Investigator Ryan Green at 310/412-5134.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 29th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

His death follows the deaths of an unidentified man on Manchester at South Gramercy Place in February, and Frederick “Woon” Frazier at Manchester and Normandie in April of last year.

Which suggests a serious problem on the entire corridor, whether in Inglewood or Los Angeles, where Manchester is on the city’s High Injury Network.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Hollywood Hills West NC rejects Yucca Street proposal, Main Street bike lane nearly done, and a Bieb wheelie

I might just have to re-evaluate my opinion of my local neighborhood council.

Last night, the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council cast a nearly unanimous vote to reject a proposal to weaken the Yucca Street bicycle friendly street, aka bike boulevard.

Literally the only bike boulevard in Los Angeles. And the only safe east-west route through Hollywood.

In fact, the only vote in favor of the proposal to remove a key traffic diverter came from the person who proposed it.

Here’s the comment that I submitted by email. Thanks to Mary Yarber for sharing it.

Artwork from the British Library’s Mechanical Curator Collection.

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In other bikeway news, the new two-way Main Street parking protected bike lanes are nearly finished, even if the traffic signals aren’t.

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Today’s common theme is famous people on bikes.

Yes, Justin Bieber is one of us. But that’s not much of a wheelie, although it looks better in the still photo.

San Francisco’s new DOT director is one of us. And that appears to make Bay Area advocates pretty happy.

The great-grandfather of NFL star Rob Gronkowski is one of us in more ways than one, setting an indoor track cycling record in 1920 that stood for over 30 years. And he was fined $25 for punching a driver who ran him off the road. Which can be pretty damn tempting at times.

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Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

London police are looking for the man who attacked a bus driver with a bicycle, trying to use it to break through the driver’s protective barrier. Although if he’d just ridden it instead, there wouldn’t have been a problem to begin with.

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Local

Government Technology says Los Angeles is seriously looking into congestion pricing to reduce traffic congestion, and possibly fund free transit use. Then again, riding a bicycle is always free.

What does it mean when Elon Musk’s divorce lawyer moves to a WeHo scooter startup?

North Long Beach is finally getting bikeshare three years after the rest of the city.

 

State

The next time a Riverside County man steals a custom-built bicycle, maybe he’ll leave the meth at home.

This is what a Santa Barbara bike thief looks like. Meanwhile, UC Santa Cruz cops bust a bike thief and recover a pair of stolen bikes.

A San Francisco TV station intercedes after a man on a low-income bikeshare plan is fined $430 for losing a bikeshare bike after it was stolen shortly after he rented it, even though the company had already recovered it.

San Francisco approves plans to divert drivers looking for a shortcut off the city’s Page Street.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever drove off after backing out of a parking space without looking, and knocking a 12-year old Weaverville boy off his bike.

 

National

In a new study that should concern any parent or coach, researchers found that prompt treatment is the key recovering from a concussion. Yet girls wait longer than boys to seek treatment, delaying their recovery.

Outside recommends the year’s “most exciting” gear for gravel grinding.

Someone stole the gelato bike from a Tulsa OK pizza maker, who was part of a seventh-place American team in the World Pizza Championships; police didn’t waste any time busting the thief after spotting him riding the partially dismantled bike with his dog upfront.

Residents of a small Oklahoma town say trading downtown parking for bike lanes would mean the end of Halloween and visits from the grandkids. No, really.

Bike Snob visits the Arkansas hometown of Walmart, calling it the Disneyland of mountain biking. Which makes suggests you’ll have to stand in line for an hour for a five to ten minute ride.

Chicago bike advocates say the city needs safer streets and protected bike lanes now, arguing that most residents don’t have access to safe bikeways. If they think Chicago is bad, just wait until they see Los Angeles.

A Louisville KY bike shop owner wants to replace a rotting house with a four-story, 24-unit, bicycle-centric, parking-free housing development.

A New York bike rider got a quarter-million dollar settlement after a transit cop knocked him off his bike for the crime of riding it across a bridge instead of walking, suffering multiple foot fractures along with cuts and bruises.

The Philadelphia Marathon is offering a team of bike-riding psychologists to help participants get that extra boost to get across the finish line.

 

International

A carfree British Columbia woman is angry after she’s refused service at a donut shop drive-through because she was on an e-cargo bike with her kids instead of ensconced within an SUV.

Life is cheap in Nottingham, England, where a speeding driver walked with community service and a suspended sentence for killing a man riding a bike.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 82-year old man became the first person in Britain to bike one million miles.

Sweden’s ambassador to The Netherlands says she doesn’t care what the locals do, she’s going to keep wearing her bike helmet like they do back home.

Antwerp, Belgium does its best to imitate Los Angeles, as a drunk, speeding, red light-running, hit-and-run driver crashed into two cars while fleeing the scene after running down a bike-riding woman, before slamming into two more drivers waiting at a red light. His plates were expired, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner advises Egan Bernal, this year’s champ, not to work for four-time winner Chris Froome when he returns to the race next year.

Cyclist considers the best pro cyclists who are retiring this year, including American cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

 

Finally…

If you want to rob a pharmacy, maybe a bike seat isn’t the best weapon. Once again, if you’re carrying illegal drugs on your bike, put a damn light on it — and don’t consent to a search, for crying out loud.

And now thieves can steal your bike just by borrowing your face.

 

Morning Links: Unmaintained Long Beach bike lane, and riding the newly threatened Yucca Street bike boulevard

Richard Rosenthal notes one of my long standing complaints, accompanied by the photo on the left.

Cities construct protected bike lanes with great fanfare, then promptly lose interest in maintaining them.

There are brand-new bike lanes on Marina Drive at the 2nd & PCH Center in Long Beach. I ride down the center of that street with the cars rather than being in that debris-filled chute.

Simply put, it’s not enough for cities to build a bikeway, then forget all about it.

They have to be maintained on a regular basis, with particular attention paid to problems affecting that particular bike lane.

Like fallen palm fronds, for instance.

Even in a city as bike-friendly as Long Beach.

Because objects that would simply be a bump for someone on four wheels can be a major hazard to someone on two.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew takes a not-so coincidental ride along the newly threatened Yucca Street Bicycle Boulevard.

As we noted Monday, a motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from Yucca Street in Hollywood, still LA’s lone bicycle boulevard.

You can voice your opinion at tonight’s board meeting starting at 6 pm at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

Or you can email your comments, though I’m told they will only be seen by the board president, and only be read at the meeting if there’s time remaining after the comments, which is pretty unlikely.

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The LACBC is pulling the plug on today’s bike light giveaway in Koreatown.

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Costa Mesa councilmember Arlis Reynolds invites you to bring your whole family to this Sunday’s Turkey Trot cyclocross race. Including the dog.

Even if you’re just ‘cross curious.

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Local

Westbound Rowena Ave through Los Feliz and Silver Lake will face partial closures through December 6th, then be closed entirely on December 7th for work on water pipes.

LAist says LA’s most DIY cafe meets in a small park along the LA River every Wednesday morning, with rocks for seating and BYO coffee and snacks.

Santa Monica-based Bird wants you to wear a helmet when you ride their scooters, so they’re offering free ride credits when you post a selfie wearing a helmet.

Long Beach is fighting the current docked bikeshare retrenchment with plans to expand into North Long Beach.

 

State

A recent landslide means a section of the San Clemente Trail in Orange County will be closed for the foreseeable future.

San Diego’s ambitious bike network is already a year behind schedule and $79 million over budget, with only nine of the planned 77 miles completed.

A San Luis Obispo developer is doubling the width of a bike path and replacing the asphalt with longer-lasting concrete, as a condition for building a new 580-unit housing and commercial development project.

Palo Alto is finally ready to start construction on a long delayed bike and pedestrian bridge, which has nearly doubled in cost over the past five years.

Sad news from San Mateo County, where a bike rider was killed in an apparent collision on Monday.

Streetsblog offers photos from the first day of the newly opened Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike path, stretching six miles over the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Australia’s Bolt Bikes is coming to the US, offering an ebike subscription model allowing you to start riding for $39 a week, with a rent-to-own option for $49. Though they may run into copyright problems with Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt’s Bolt Scooters

Lime’s head of sustainability says we need to rethink how we move around our cities — starting with using more pollution-free e-scooters, of course.

Bicycling says if you’re riding for fitness, you need to ride smarter, not more.

An Oregon website offers a surprisingly practical — and affordable — holiday price guide for the bike rider on your list, ranging from extra tubes and wool socks to a new WaveCel helmet. Or you could just buy them a subscription to BikinginLA.com. No, wait, it’s already free. But still. 

Las Vegas investigators are using DNA to search for a girl who disappeared while riding her bike in 1999 when she seven years old, which would make her 29 now.

A new study from Brigham Young University concludes that ped-assist ebikes allow you to ride faster and farther with less exertion, encouraging more people to ride a bike.

A second Chicago bike rider has been killed along a dangerous stretch of road where local aldermen have blocked long-standing plans for a bike lane because “the community” doesn’t want it. Sounds like Los Angeles, where councilmembers block bike lanes based on the whims of a handful of residents.

An editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times says the city needs to invest in making the streets safer for people on bikes.

Completing our Chicago triptych, the police walked back a victim-blaming statement, saying the death of a bike rider at the hands of an unlicensed and uninsured driver had nothing to do with where he was riding on the wide, high speed street.

New York’s mayor signs a bill authorizing 250 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes.

A New York news service says everyone wants safer streets, but no one wants to change the way they get around.

Apparently, DC isn’t Copenhagen, either.

That’s more like it. A South Carolina man gets 20 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a man on a bicycle, followed by a second DUI just a week later; his victim was a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.

A Florida bike cop faces charges for allegedly smashing the windshield of a passing car with a two-by-four while on patrol duty.

 

International

Shimano’s trying to make your derailleur obsolete.

A Toronto shop owner says she’s looking forward to a protected bike lane being extended to her area, because she knows bikes are good for business.

London may be making major improvements in bicycling infrastructure, but Strava says it isn’t Britain’s leading bike city.

A “Mini Holland” pilot project in London’s Walthamstow neighborhood has reduced traffic in the surrounding area by 10,000 trips a day, with a big jump in people walking and bicycling.

Bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says maybe building British bikeways out of wood chips isn’t so crazy after all.

Aussie food delivery riders are getting stiffed to the tune of up to $322 a week. Although that’s just $219 in US dollars.

A new Australian study show a typical Melbourne bike commuter is subjected to dangerous passes by drivers an average three times on their way to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews examines how Gen Z cyclists like Remco Evenepoel and Egan Bernal are changing pro cycling.

Virginia’s Sika Henry intends to become the first African American female pro triathlete.

The New York Times attends the funeral of 83-year old French cycling legend Raymond Poulidor.

British pro cyclist Adam Kenway says he was very lucky to survive a crash with a van driver while he was riding his bike home from work.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding a stolen $3,000 mountain bike, probably not the best idea to tell strangers it’s hot. When you’re carrying a handful of stolen credit card numbers on your bike and already have an outstanding drug warrant, just stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And don’t wait 86 years for your first bike ride.

Seriously.

 

 

Morning Links: More mandatory helmet fallout, dog hitches ride at Phil’s Fondo, and SaMo bikeshare may go dockless

In yet more fallout from the NTSB’s ill-considered call for mandatory bike helmets, a Fresno paper questions whether they’re really needed for adults.

That’s despite living in what they say is one of the nation’s most deadly cities for bike riders.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition says “The problem isn’t that we don’t wear helmets, it’s that we’re forced to share space with much faster vehicles.

Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

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Local

Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Fondo brought out hundreds of bicyclists to ride the Santa Monica Mountains, along with one miniature bulldog who hitched a ride in his owner’s backpack.

Santa Monica is considering getting rid the docks for its Breeze bikeshare, replacing the current system with dockless ebikes.

 

State

Bike Mag says San Diego’s mountain bike scene is finally on the rise. Or maybe they’re just discovering it.

No bias here. A writer for a San Diego paper calls e-scooters today’s Pet Rock — and simultaneously a plaything for 30-somethings, a toy best suited for children, and what’s keeping Millennials from walking.

That’s more like it. San Francisco plans to address the need for more bike and scooter parking by installing 100 new bike racks every month for the foreseeable future.

A Bay Area bike advocate says the new protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge may not draw a lot of regular use, but it’s a better transportation policy than adding another motor vehicle lane.

Sacramento is done handing out warnings, and ready to crackdown on scofflaw bikeshare and scooter riders.

 

National

Presidential candidate and former VP Joe Biden offers a $1 trillion transportation plan that keeps America addicted to motor vehicles.

Good question. A science writer says she cares about climate change, so why does she still drive an SUV?

A Kansas paper totally misses the point, after woman followed a man in her car before trying to run him down as he jumped off just in time, then chased him across the parking lot with it. But the local paper only says she hit a bike ridden by a man. Note to Salina Journal — the past tense of ride is rode, not road.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Chicago woman only faces a trio of misdemeanor charges for killing a man riding a bike, despite driving with a suspended license.

A former Minnesota Ford plant will be redeveloped as a low-income housing community, with an emphasis on getting around by bicycling, walking and transit.

Bighearted Kentucky residents pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a 62-year old local celebrity after his was mangled when he was hit by a motorist; the man is known for riding his bike around town and waving as he goes by.

New York police are looking for a group of men who surrounded a delivery rider, striking him in the head before making off with his ebike.

The Virginia Tech student newspaper says trading a car for a bicycle could be one of the best decisions students could make during their time on campus.

Kindhearted Virginia race organizers buy a new handcycle for a man who lost both legs due to complications from diabetes.

Police say the Florida bike rider who was run down by a hit-and-run driver in a crosswalk after rolling a stop wasn’t at fault, because regardless of any other factors, drivers are required to stop for anyone in a crosswalk — including people on bikes.

 

International

A new European study shows that bicycling just 20 minutes is enough to ward off heart disease in people over 60.

The Sun says a “shocking” study shows 20% of British men can’t ride a bike. Which really just means a full 80% can, which is pretty damn good.

The founder of London’s Black Cycling Network says he was stopped and frisked by a cop who swore he could smell weed on him.

Four women take a video boat and mountain tour of Norway and Sweden.

Modern Family star Ariel Winter is one of us, posing with a bicycle in front of an Amsterdam canal. There’s just something about a bicycle that makes anyone look good. Although it helps if you already look good without one, too. 

Uber is preparing to make the big jump to Rome with their dockless Jump ebikes, hoping that Romans won’t trash them like they have every other bikeshare system that dared besmirch the city’s streets.

A Romanian bicycle factory promises to be the biggest in Europe, producing 1.5 million bikes a year.

A pair of Indian parliament members arrive by bike for the current session.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI is making plans for an annual, cross-discipline world championships that would award titles in virtually every form of cycling over a two-week period.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to escape the cops on a stolen bike, try to keep it upright. Seriously, it’s not that hard — even a dog can do it.

And how many times do we have to say it? If you’re already on probation and riding your bike carrying a concealed weapon after dark, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the gun.

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On a personal note, we’re once more hearing the pitter patter of corgi feet around our apartment. We’re fostering a ten-year old corgi for the next few months while his owner is in rehab. 

This is Bowser — that’s really his name — sleeping off the trauma of what his owner claims was his first ever bath. 

And yes, he smelled like it.

 

 

Morning Links: Motion to unprotect Yucca Street, more on the Great Helmet Debate, and Elizabeth Warren gets it

It’s hard to fight for safer streets when we have to keep fighting to protect what little we already have.

Case in point:

motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from LA’s first — and shamefully, only — bicycle boulevard, on Yucca Street in Hollywood.

Also known as bicycle friendly street in LA bike plan parlance.

The motion would remove the diverter on Yucca Street at Las Palmas Ave that allows bicycle traffic to pass through while diverting motor vehicle traffic off the street, to create a low-stress environment for people on bicycles.

Something that’s desperately needed in high-stress Hollywood, which is virtually devoid of bicycling infrastructure.

Unless you consider sharrows more than just something to help drivers improve their aim.

The Yucca Street motion will be heard at the council’s 6 pm board meeting this Wednesday at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

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More on the seemingly endless Great Bike Helmet Debate.

A writer for Bicycling argues that mandatory helmet laws actually make riders less safe.

And Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says he got it wrong, and Peter Flax got it right regarding the NTSB’s call for mandatory bike helmet laws, instead fixing the problems that are really killing bike riders.

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One presidential candidate gets it, anyway.

Elizabeth Warren marks World Remembrance Day for traffic victims with a call to end traffic violence. Thanks to Ms. Fast for the link.

Meanwhile, the transportation minister for Trinidad and Tobago marked World Remembrance Day by saying bike riders will be given more space on the roads in one of the island nation’s most developed areas; that follows the deaths of two bicyclists killed on a club ride last year. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the tip.

That compares to Los Angeles, where city officials said nothing to mark the day.

Let alone actually do something about it.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Police in the UK are looking for the victim of a drive-by BB gun attack after witnesses saw him knocked off his bike and into a ditch by the shooting; the jackass behind the wheel also spooked the horses being ridden by a group of kids.

Now that’s a close pass. A group of British bike riders were lucky to avoid getting run down by a driver in a massive truck speeding down on a narrow country road, who missed them by mere inches as he blew by in the opposite direction.

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Local

LAist says yes, you can take your bike on Metro buses and trains. Even if the space reserved for bikes on trains is usually full of people without them.

Long Beach gets a $275,000 grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through workshops on the importance of reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. If they really want to improve safety, skip the workshops and stand on any corner to pass out lights, and arm and ankle bands.

 

State

Calbike has a new policy director, promoting former Senior Policy Advocate Linda Khamoushian from inside the organization.

The Orange County Register takes a brief look at yesterday’s Meet on the Beach carfree festival through seven Orange County communities.

San Diego bike riders beware. The city’s police department will be cracking down on traffic violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk today, regardless of who commits them. So stop for stop signs, signal your turns and lane changes, and otherwise ride to the letter of the law until you pass the city limit lines.

More bad news from San Diego, where yet another bike rider has suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a pickup driver while ghost riding another bicycle; neither bike had lights.

To complete today’s San Diego trifecta, a lawsuit filed against the city by a bike rider paralyzed in a meth-fueled crash with a wrong way driver on Fiesta Island is finally going to court after five years.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Santa Barbara friends ranging in age from 83 to 91 are still riding together after nearly 60 years.

San Jose residents are complaining about a bicycle chop shop in a homeless camp along the Guadalupe River Trail. You can find countless others just like it down here in Southern California.

A San Jose site takes a deep dive into why the city’s quest for safer streets has failed, resulting in worsening rates for bicycling and pedestrian injuries. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

The long-awaited protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the San Francisco Bay finally opened, drawing “hordes” of bike riders that opponents said wouldn’t show up.

 

National

A new study confirms what many of us have suspected — that subtle shifts in how news stories about crashes are reported can affect how readers assess the blame, and what should be done about it.

Who says you need a car to pick up a little extra cash?

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if you actually look at the numbers, e-scooters aren’t very scary at all.

An Anchorage AK police officer faces charges for allegedly punching a bike rider and kicking him in the nuts in what began as a traffic stop for not having lights on his bike, after the man had sworn at and flipped off a line of police cars; the cop snatched the phone the victim was recording him with, but it continued to record audio of the assault.

A Seattle-area driver fled the scene of a crash at speeds of up to 60 mph after running down a man on a bicycle, dragging his bike under the car for nearly a mile, then covering the car with blankets to hide the damage; when investigators examined the car, they found it peppered with rice from the groceries the victim was carrying.

This is why I like Phil Gaimon. The LA-based former pro is using his new-found celebrity to support No Kid Hungry, stopping in Houston to talk cycling, charity and cookies as part of a nationwide fundraising tour for the group.

An Oklahoma man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to run down a bike rider following a drug deal gone bad.

Chicago bike riders respond to recent deaths by saying the city is falling behind in protecting bicyclists by failing to build more protected lanes and requiring side guards on trucks, along with keeping people and businesses from parking in bike lanes.

A New York State man has been sentenced to 28 months to seven years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then driving home, changing cars and coming back to the scene; he drove to the sheriff’s office to turn himself in after seeing the victim’s body lying in the street.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is complaining that local officials and residents don’t want their quiet country roads turned into virtual superhighways. Go figure.

Ben Affleck is one of us, riding his muddy bike through the streets of New Orleans.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Florida pastor celebrates his birthday by riding his age with an 82-mile journey.

A Florida bike rider rolls through a stop sign on a bike path, and into the path of a driver who doesn’t bother to stop — neither before, or for very long after hitting him. And throws his hands up in frustration when he realizes going to get hit. The video captures the full crash, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking the link.

 

International

A Vancouver man is the latest bicyclist to ride every street in his own city.

She gets it. A Toronto op-ed writer says if we want people to give up their cars, we have to fix our streets first. Meanwhile, a writer for City Lab says it will take more than an app to get people out of their cars.

And we thought LA had bad streets. Over 250 people on bicycles have been injured or killed by potholes in the UK.

A English man broke a 133-year old record by riding a Penny Farthing 874 miles from one end of Britain to the other, breaking the old record by 13 hours. Of course, one reason the record stood so long is because it was set on a Penny Farthing.

A British police conduct board has concluded that officers aren’t responsible for the death of a 75-year old man pushing his bicycle up a hill, who was killed by a driver trying to escape the cops at speeds up to 80 mph.

An Irish senator accepted a challenge to get out on a bike himself after tweeting a complaint about bike riders last week, and concludes that maybe he should have seen the conditions bicyclists actually face on the streets before complaining.

They get it, too. Germany is planning to expand bicycling infrastructure and dedicate more road space to bike riders to protect them and fight climate change.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Calcutta, aka Kolkata, after being banned from 174 major streets until just 17 years ago.

A drunken hit-and-run driver talks about the emotional weight she carries after killing a 15-year old New Zealand boy riding his bike last year, and how hard she was slapped on the wrist by being confined to her home for a whole 11 months. Although it probably doesn’t compare to the emotional burden the kid’s parents will carry for the rest of their lives.

A trio of Kiwi brothers are making names for themselves throughout New Zealand for their mountain biking skills — even if the oldest is just 12-years old.

 

Competitive Cycling

Evidently, the pros feel the same way we do. Four months after Italian cyclist Alessandro de Marchi was seriously injured when he crashed out of the Tour de France, he was livid after a dangerously close pass on a training ride nearly put him back in the emergency room; naturally, the driver told him to go to hell when he complained.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks over the crop of rising young American cyclists, and concludes there may be hope for us yet.

Every superhero has an origin story. British cyclist Katie Archibald relates how hanging out with the fixie crowd led to track racing in Edinburgh — and eventually an Olympic gold medal. A reminder that you never know where riding a bike could take you. Or the kids just starting out.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a romantic bike ride after getting dissed by Taylor Swift fans. Before stealing London’s longest bike, you might want to consider whether you can actually sell it.

And if you want to advertise bikes by showing a kid riding one on a beachfront pathway, maybe make sure bikes are even allowed there first.

 

Morning Links: The real reasons bike riders keep dying, $100k OCTA bike safety grant, and Oaxaca Day of the Dead race

Last week, Peter Flax explained why the NTSB — the National Transportation Safety Board — was wrong about their call for mandatory bike helmets to cut the rising rate of bicycling fatalities.

This week he’s back to spell out the real reasons people are dying on our streets.

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

He starts by recounting the last decade’s decline in bicycling deaths.

Then this.

The situation seemed great—until it wasn’t great. Right around 2011, things started arcing in the wrong direction. In 2010, a total of 618 cyclists were killed—hardly miraculous, but the lowest toll in at least 40 years. Then every year after that, the number of casualties has gotten progressively worse. The newly released 2018 statistics mean that the fatality rate for riders has risen 37 percent in just nine years—and NHTSA data indicate that the death rate for urban and female cyclists has soared even more.

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade.

It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the real problems are, and why we keep dying.

And do something about it.

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Orange County’s OCTA announces a grant to improve bicycle safety and education.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety classes and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.

The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.

“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Council member in La Habra. “OTS has provided grant funding for the past three years to develop programs improving conditions for walking and biking, and ongoing grant funding will help us with one of our primary goals of reinforcing safety throughout Orange County.

Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
  • Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
  • Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians

The need for increased safety training is clear. Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise for the past decade.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

The pedestrian and bicycle safety program and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2020. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, and to stay updated on where classes are being scheduled, visit octa.net/bike.

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The LACBC is looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights to riders who don’t have them in Koreatown next week.

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Tune into Bike Talk at 6 pm tonight to hear, and maybe chat with, Juli Briskman, the Virginia woman who lost her job after flipping off Trump’s motorcade.

And responded by running for office — and winning.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A 13-year old New York boy credits an Emergency 911 app on his phone with scaring off a group of older boys on bikes who tried to rob him.

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Local

A 35-year old Fontana man was arrested for a Pasadena hit-and-run that left a juvenile bike rider hospitalized with critical injuries; he was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI resulting in serious injury or death. Let’s all say a pray or offer best wishes that the kid makes a full and fast recovery.

People for Bikes invites you to join the weekly Ride and Pint mountain bike ride rolling out of Pedlar’s Fork in Calabasas every Thursday. You can find it, and other great rides, through their Ride Spot app.

The future of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is in doubt as it faces stiff competition from dockless bikeshares; the city will have to fork over $225,000 in subsidies just to keep it operating for the next year. West Hollywood has already pulled the plug on its money-losing sister operation.

 

State

Seven Orange County communities will host the first Meet on the Beach festival, offering a carfree open streets experience along 1.5 miles of Beach Blvd to reimagine what the street could be. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads up.

Temecula is opening a new pump track bike park this Tuesday.

A new 32-page manual put together by a pair of San Francisco advocacy groups explains how to build protected bike lanes that work for everyone, including pedestrians and disabled people.

The long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open tomorrow, despite continued efforts in some quarters to convert it to a yet another lane for motor vehicles. Because everyone knows just one more traffic lane will solve all our traffic problems forever.

 

National

EcoWatch makes the case for why your next car will be a bike.

Joe Biden attempts to boost his run for president with a new infrastructure plan that’s heavy on high-speed rail, transit and bicycling.

An Oregon Republican proves conservatives can support bicycling, too, as he announces his run for Congress.

Be careful carrying that bike. A 74-year old Detroit man was found dead after he fell down the stair while trying to carry his mountain bike up them.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls for eliminating free parking to pay for free transit.

Britain’s Beryl bikeshare brand makes a beachhead in New York’s Staten Island, booting Lime and Jump; meanwhile, Lyft is pulling the plug on their e-scooter operations in six smaller market cities.

After a Virginia boy’s new bike was stolen, his bighearted neighbors pitched in to buy him a new one. Stories like this remind us that there’s still a lot of good in this world, despite how it may seem these days.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man says he needs a miracle to keep giving thousands of refurbished bikes to kids in need, after the building housing the nonprofit was sold and the new owner jacked his rent up over $100 grand a year.

 

International

Cars could be killing us even without touching us. A new study has linked pollution from motor vehicles to brain cancer for the first time.

Bicycle Retailer reminds us that Trump’s trade war with China is still going strong, and the bikes are losing.

Your next bike helmet could be a custom-made, 3D printed number with individual hexagon-shaped crumple zones that the company says is safer than MIPS or WaveCel — if you have an extra $390 on hand.

A writer for Gear Patrol offers lessons learned from Trek’s mountain bike camp at the Whistler resort in British Columbia.

A pair of British doctors set a new Guinness record for circumnavigating the globe on a tandem bike, covering 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours, breaking the previous men’s record by nine days.

He gets it. An Irish letter writer reminds the anti-bike crowd that roads are a public service that we all pay for.

A European bikemaker came up with a smart, if somewhat creepy and invasive, sales promotion, scanning Paris license plates to determine how much CO2 each car puts out, and using that figure to offer the owner a discount on a new bicycle.

Tom Vanderbilt explains how he went from riding solo to taking his family along, thanks to a trip to Italy.

Now that’s more like it. A stoned, speeding Australian driver will spend the next 11 years behind bars and be prohibited from driving for two decades after walking away from the crash that killed a Dutch woman riding a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Cyclist magazine recalls the Motorola team that rose from the ashes of America’s late, great 7-11 team after the convenience chain declared bankruptcy — including the tragic death of Italy’s Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates cycling team is considering legal action against Croatian pro Kristijan Đurasek following his four-year ban for doping. But cycling officials keep telling us the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can get your very own ebike branded by your favorite soccer team — as long as your favorite team is Paris Saint-Germain. When your round-the-world bike trip gets interrupted by a water-logged passport, just fly home and get a new one.

And nothing like a little Dia de los Muertos mountain bike racing in the middle of Oaxaca.

 

Move along, nothing to see here

Lately, I’ve really struggled most nights with my diabetes and neuropathy, and the meds to treat them, to get my work done.

Most nights I win.

Tonight I lost.

Which may or may not have anything to do with finally getting back on my bike for the first time in over a year today, following my knee replacement.

We’ll be back Thursday to catch up on anything we missed.

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