Tag Archive for Andreas Probst

Driver arrested in grisly Willowbrook hit-and-run, and PCH killer of 4 Pepperdine students allegedly driving 104 mph

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I suffered a bad blood sugar crash Wednesday night, dropping down to a dangerous level and unable to get it back up; I was minutes from waking my wife to take me to the ER when it finally started rising again. 

Good times. 

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Police arrested a driver for the gruesome hit-and-run that killed a Willowbrook bike rider Tuesday morning.

Sixty-six-year old Compton resident Felipe Avalos was arrested later Tuesday after witnesses provided LAPD investigators with the license number of the van he was allegedly driving when he ran over 65-year old Francisco Gonzalez.

Avalos is accused of dragging Gonzalez’ body nearly a mile under the van as he twisted and turned to make his escape.

Witnesses reported that Avalos appeared to intentionally run down Gonzalez on his bike, but police investigators have been unable to corroborate that.

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Twenty-two-year old Fraser Michael Bohm, the driver who killed four Pepperdine sorority sisters in a collateral damage crash as they stood next to PCH last week, was allegedly traveling 104 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Bohm is charged with four counts of each of felony malice murder and felony gross vehicular manslaughter, and remains behind bars on $4 million bond.

His attorney claims, apparently with a straight face, that Bohm was speeding in an attempt to get away from road-raging driver, and wasn’t doing more than 70 mph as he tried to escape.

Although you’d think he might have mentioned something like that to the cops after the crash.

Or maybe they just didn’t believe him.

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The 72-year old bike rider who survived the vehicular violence rampage that killed former Bell CA police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst labeled the two teenagers accused of intentionally running him down as “human garbage.”

Meanwhile, the two teens were disgustingly observed laughing, and flipping the bird at Probst’s family during Wednesday’s court hearing.

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Gravel Bike California visits Maverick Cycles.

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Jimmy Fallon is one of us.

Although maybe he should invest in a good bike cam, instead of flipping his bike trying to ride one-handed to record his daughter’s bike riding.

Note: This is not Jimmy Fallon.

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GCN suggests using your cellphone as your bike computer.

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

A 34-year old Madison, Wisconsin man pled guilty to two lousy charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety for repeatedly stringing wires over a local bike path, catching at least one bike rider by the neck; police showed how seriously they weren’t taking the case when DNA pointed to the subject, and they waited five months to go back when no one answered the door at his home.

An anti-semetic DC driver used his SUV to block a Jewish mother taking her child to school in a cargo bike, calling them “the devil” and yelling “I don’t give a fuck about your safety. Your life is not my concern.” There’s no place for racism or anti-semitism in this world. Or any other form of hatred.

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

A Santa Rosa street vendor was busted for riding his tricycle around the city selling ice cream, chicharrónes, snacks and other items, including cocaine and meth.

A British woman suffered “potentially life-threatening” injuries when she was struck by someone riding a bicycle. But at least the bike rider stuck around and aided investigators this time.

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Local 

TV station NBC Los Angeles and KCRW’s Greater LA offer more information on Sunday’s ArroyoFest, which will let you bike or walk on the 110 Freeway for the first time in 20 years.

A Culver City group has filed a crowdfunded lawsuit challenging the legality of the newly conservative city council’s decision to rip out the MOVE Culver City pilot project without conducting an environmental review.

Pasadena received $12 million from the state for the design and construction of proposed north-south greenways.

Long Beach has approved over a half million dollars to begin work on the proposed Orange Avenue Backbone Bikeway from Signal Hill to East Ocean Blvd, although that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the total $13 million cost.

 

State

Autonomous vehicle provider Cruise had their California permit yanked by the DMV, which discovered the company had omitted video of one of its cars dragging a pedestrian after a crash.

Garden Grove is working on becoming bike-friendly, with work starting on five new bike lanes in the coming months.

Emeryville, home to bike-friendly mayor John Bauters, installed a short, quick-build curb-protected bikeway, part of the mayor’s plan to connect the Bay Trail across the city.

A new Oakland bike co-op will give young people a chance to build or repair bikes they can take home for free, while hiring formerly incarcerated people to give them a second chance at life, too.

They get it. Santa Rosa’s Press-Democrat says bring on the bike valet.

 

National

Bicycling says be quiet, trolls; we’re trying to start the body-positive bicycling revolution. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Bike Magazine offers a justification for procrastination, listing ten things she’d rather do than clean her bike.

Men’s Health offers advice on how to lose weight by bicycling. I had to add weight training before the extra pounds came off, but maybe that’s just me. You can read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you. 

An Arizona man just completed a seven-month, 13,000-mile ride around the US.

Police in Las Vegas finally arrested the driver who killed BMX star Nathan “Nate” Miller as he rode a bike last month, a week after a local TV station aired video showing the 32-year old driver speeding and quickly changing lanes before crashing into Miller.

Normally tight-fisted Texas has approved nearly $345 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects across the state. Then again, it is a big state.

Some Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio are abandoning their traditional horses and wagons in favor of ebikes.

Fatherly says the Erie Canal trail offers a 360-mile epic family bike ride through 200 years of American history.

Electrek describes the new Semi-Trike cargo bike from Brooklyn-based Civilized Cycles as a cross between a five-wheeled semi-truck and an ebike.

A New Jersey driver faces multiple charges for killing a 12-year old girl riding a bicycle last month, and critically injuring a 14-year old girl riding with her.

A DC bike rider wonders what the hell that thing in the bike lane is, apparently upon seeing their first bus island.

A couple dozen federal workers in DC turned out to call for more bike friendly routes for the more than 160,000 federal workers in the city, as government employees are being called back to the office.

Evidently, the hit-and-run epidemic involving bike riders has spread to Florida’s Tampa Bay.

 

International

Sales for bike helmet tech company MIPS are down a third, more evidence of a post-pandemic slump in bicycling.

Police in a pair of UK cities are recommending that bicyclists vary their routes home, because thieves could follow them, and come back later to steal things.

English bike brand Islabikes is the latest bikemaker to go belly-up, as it moves to cease production and sales once remaining stocks are sold.

An English man completed a 3,000-mile 41-day ride from Gloucester to Istanbul to raise funds to buy a pair of adaptive bikes for charity.

Iconic British bikemaker Pashley is starting a crowdfunding campaign to help it explore the ebike market.  I’ll be the first to sign up for an e-Guv’nor, thank you.

Momentum examines how Utrecht’s Vredenburg become one of the busiest cycling routes in the world.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a 70-year old man got a lousy 12-weeks behind bars for killing a man riding a bike after blowing through a crosswalk while driving without a license. But at least he got a nine-year ban on driving, although that didn’t seem to stop him this time.

Austrian company Tubolito is building a “nanogenerator” into its trademark orange bicycle inner tubes that acts like a mini-dynamo to power a wireless tire pressure sensor.

 

Competitive Cycling

Heartbreaking news from Hong Kong, where rising Dutch cycling star Mark Groeneveld died of a suspected heart attack, collapsing moments after finishing a track event; he was just 20 years old.

The route for next year’s Tour de France was released, with no Paris finish for the first time in more than a century due to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Gravel cyclist Anne-Marije Rook discovers that carbon frames can be repaired, after Unbound Gravel destroyed her bike, and a repair shop gave it a second life.

A Maryland high school student intends to be the first Black woman to represent the US cycling team, taking aim at the 2028 LA Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to flee from police on your bike, try to find a better hiding place. If you’re going to steal four bikes from a university campus, remember to take your backpack with you when you leave.

And Loki and Mobius are two of us, if you look hard enough.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

4 murder counts in PCH deaths of Pepperdine students, trial set for LV teens, and Bass flip flops on 90 Freeway removal

I’m writing this after getting the second in a series of shots directly into my right eye to control retinal bleeding caused by diabetes. 

So please forgive me if I miss a few mistakes today, because I can’t read shit right now. 

Just one more reason diabetes sucks. 

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This is who we share the road with.

Sheriff’s deputies re-arrested Fraser Michael Bohm on Tuesday, the 22-year old driver accused of killing four Pepperdine University sorority sisters last week.

Bohm was allegedly speeding on PCH in the BMW he got for his 18th birthday when he slammed into three parked cars, which then crashed into the victims. He stands charged with four counts of murder, and being held on $8 million bond.

Yes, million.

The question is what evidence deputies have developed to justify a murder charge, let alone four. Under California law, elevating vehicular manslaughter to murder would require evidence that Bohm knew his actions were likely to result in death.

Meanwhile, enraged community members stored Monday’s Malibu city council session to demand action to improve safety on SoCal’s killer highway.

That included calls for speed cams, which are currently only allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, under a recently passed pilot program.

But what’s really needed is a redesign of the highway with protected bike lanes, walkways and traffic calming measures to make speeding difficult, if not impossible. And turn LA County’s deadliest highway into the Malibu Main Street it always should have been.

A petition from a grieving father calls for much-needed immediate and long-term action to improve safety on the highway.

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A trial date has been set for next year for the two Las Vegas high school students charged with the intentional hit-and-run killing of former Bell CA police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst.

Jesus Ayala and Jzamir Keys — who were 17 and 16, respectively, at the time of the crash — are scheduled to be tried as adults beginning September 16th, 2024.

Meanwhile, new video has emerged of the teens running down the second victim in a stolen car that day, laughing as they injured a 72-year old man less than an hour before killing Probst.

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Why am I not surprised?

LA Mayor Karen Bass was for removing the 90 Freeway stub and turning it into a linear park and housing before she was against it.

And people wonder why I don’t trust city officials.

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Yet another community introduces an ebike rebate before California’s long-delayed program finally launches.

If it ever does.

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Nothing like getting run down head-on by a driver because he couldn’t see what was directly in front of his car.

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That’s gonna leave a mark.

This is what it looks like to hit another mountain biker head-on.

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Thousands of bike riders turned out for Key West’s annual Zombie Bike Ride.

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

A Hollister bike rider suffered head injuries when he was intentionally run down by a pickup driver after getting into an altercation with the driver and his passenger at a gas station

New York officials abruptly shut down a vital Queens bike path without any public input, notification or explanation, though a city council member was happy to take credit, blaming it on an “influx of ebikes and cars.”

Huh? A London writer says it’s time to regulate ebikes modified to exceed speed restrictions — which means that they’re already illegal.

No bias here. A writer in the UK says we all need to wear hi-viz vests in order to reduce traffic deaths. Might as well just call for clown makeup to complete the outfit while he’s at it.

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

An Illinois man faces drug and resisting arrest charges after fleeing from cops who tried to stop him for riding without a light; he evaded officers by riding through alleys and people’s backyards, before they tased him as he tried to enter his home.

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Local 

Streetsblog looks at new bus-bike lanes on Sepulveda and Ventura blvds.

Bike Walk Glendale is calling on you to make your voice heard on the city’s Bicycle Transportation Plan, with a pair of public meetings next month.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast celebrates the first anniversary of the GoSGV bike lending program, while rising local writer Carribean Fragoza reads a nonfiction piece about a scary bike crash while riding alone and underprepared on industrial Rush Street.

Pasadena Now looks forward to Sunday’s first carfree Arroyo Fest on the 100 Freeway in 20 years.

 

State

Calbike talks with board member Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, a mobility justice strategist who directed and co-produced a pair of films on Biking While Black, as well as a guide to the movies.

Huntington Beach opened the city’s first bike boulevard on Utica Ave.

A San Diego man suffered memory loss after an e-scooter crash, unable to even remember getting married or having a kid.

A Hemet middle school student was lucky to escape without injuries when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, after reportedly riding his bike into traffic without looking while biking to school.

Visalia will soon be the first city in California’s Central Valley to have protected intersections.

 

National

PopSugar presents the best balance bikes for toddlers.

An Oregon legislator wants to legalize ped-assist ebikes for kids under 16, while maintaining the current ban on throttle-controlled ebikes.

Boulder, Colorado is the first city to bring concrete tall curbs to the United States to separate bike lanes and vehicle travel lanes. Even though it looks like standard K-rail. 

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a photo essay of New Yorkers on bikes.

New York considers a pair of bills to regulate ebike delivery riders, including requiring an ebike safety course and making providers cover the cost for safety equipment and safe ebike batteries.

A Maryland TV station says your next car could be an ebike.

Tragic news from North Carolina, where a man died after he was struck by a driver while riding 67 miles to celebrate his 67th birthday.

That’s more like it. Atlanta is introducing an app showing the location of bike racks throughout the city.

 

International

A group of 19 leading companies in the automotive, bicycling & tech sectors have banded together to develop a smart V2X communication system to help improve the ‘digital visibility’ of bicyclists and other vulnerable road users. As long as you’e willing to wear some sort of digital sensor that matches the one only some drivers are using, anyway.

A writer for Cycling Weekly gets explosive results when she experiments with bicarb supplements — but thankfully, not in terms of gastrointestinal issues.

A Canadian bike rider was lucky to avoid becoming collateral damage when two drivers collided right in front of him.

Police in Birmingham, England used lights and sirens to pull over a woman and her eight-year old granddaughter as they rode their bikes — not for any traffic violation, but just a little friendly safety advice about wearing helmets.

No bias here, either. British tabloids are accusing London’s cycling czar with “cherry picking” stats to show bike ridership has tripled in a busy part of London in order to justify more spending on bike lanes; critics accuse him of counting bicycle delivery riders, who are, in fact, riding bicycles, and would all be using cars if they weren’t.

While Paris becomes increasingly welcoming to bike riders, France’s fifth-largest city is banning bikes, scooters and skateboards from the city center

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič says he planned to jump to the Bora-Hansgrohe team before the recent drama at the Vuelta, when it became clear that Jonas Vingegaard would be team leader, and super domestique Sepp Kuss won the race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Meanwhile, Kuss says he thinks it’s better for everyone if Roglič is on another team. Ditto

Video captures “absolute carnage” during the men’s elimination race at Saturday’s UCI Track Champions League, as a mid race crash takes competitors down like bowling pins.

 

Finally…

Presenting an ebike for people who don’t want anyone to know you’re riding an ebike. Your next bike could have an airbag — or you could, anyway.

And you can now get a new ped-assist ebike foldie for less than $900. But you could have had a 121-year old Steffey ped-assist, gas-powered motor-bike instead.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Vegas teens plead not guilty to Probst murder, Mo Wilson’s accused killer makes a run for it, and Newsom digs daylighting

Jesus Ayala and Jzamir Keys, the Las Vegas teenagers being tried as adults in the deliberate murder of a bike-riding former Bell, California police chief, both pled not guilty to several felony counts at their arraignment Wednesday.

The two teens, 17 and 16 at the time of their alleged August crime spree, are accused of at least three hit-and-runs while joyriding in a stolen car, including fatally running down 64-year old Andreas “Andy” Probst from behind as they laughingly filmed the attack.

Ayala and Keys are also accused of deliberately targeting another man riding a bicycle, although apparently he was not seriously injured.

They’re charged with murder, attempted murder, battery and residential burglary, as well as multiple counts of automobile grand larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle.

They each face up to life in prison if convicted on the murder charges, despite Ayala’s boast to the cops at the time of his arrest that he’d be out in 30 days.

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels.

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Kaitlin Armstrong, the woman accused of killing gravel cycling star Moriah “Mo” Wilson, made a run for it Wednesday, attempting to escape from sheriff’s deputies as she was being led back to a patrol car following a doctor’s appointment.

Armstrong is accused of fatally shooting Wilson last year in a jealous rage, in what she apparently perceived as a love triangle involving her then-boyfriend, pro cyclist Colin Strickland, who had been briefly involved with Wilson.

Armstrong was already considered a flight risk following her arrest in Costa Rico after a 43-day manhunt.

She had reportedly died her hair and undergone plastic surgery in an effort to change her appearance and hide her identity.

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After wielding his veto pen to strike down bike-friendly legislation, including a bill to allow sidewalk riding throughout the state, California Governor Gavin Newsom actually signed a safety bill yesterday.

Newsom added his signature to Assembly Bill 413, known as the Daylighting Bill, which will ban parking within 20 feet of a marked crosswalk to increase visibility and improve safety for pedestrians, as well as anyone else stopped at or using the intersection.

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Apparently, there really is an app for that.

Yesterday, I learned there’s an app to help organize bike buses to help kids get to school safely.

Which could probably be used to arrange bike commuting rides to find greater safety in numbers, as well.

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

We missed this one when I was out of commission with eye problems a couple weeks back, as a driver in a massive SUV attempted to terrorize a velomobile e-recumbent rider in El Cajon, California last month, which was compounded by a lecture from a cop who didn’t know the law.

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Local 

Streetsblog says Metro didn’t follow its own designs, let alone city-approved, CEQA-approved street standards, in providing access to the new Downtown Connector stations, implementing undefined changes focused on getting drivers onto freeways instead of providing the promised bike and walk facilities.

A letter from longtime LA-area bike advocate Kent Strumpell says Los Angeles can alter the course of the automobile’s role in climate change, and meet the pope’s call for bold climate action, with the rapid installation of a fully functional, citywide, protected bikeway network. From his keyboard to God’s ear. Or at least the mayor’s. 

 

State

The CHP has received a federal grant to support its education and enforcement efforts to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety throughout the state. Although we’d all be better served if they used the money to train their officers in bike law, and how to investigate bike crashes without their usual windshield bias.

San Diego Magazine lists eight of the city’s best bike events to attend each year, starting with next month’s Bike and Beer San Diego.

A young Frenso girl was lucky to survive with minor injuries when she was struck by a pickup driver while riding her bike, and ended up pinned under the truck.

Manteca is just the latest California city calling for a crackdown on reckless teenage ebike riders.

San Anselmo will conduct a study of the downtown area on how to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Sierra County, where a Berkeley man was found dead after apparently riding his mountain bike off a trail; his body was found about a hundred yards downstream from where his bike was recovered.

 

National

AARP offers a pretty extensive tutorial on the different types of bikes for different riders and situations. And since they include balance bikes, it’s probably safe to say they’re not all aimed at their target market.

Trek has launched the industry’s first bicycle trade-in program, accepting used bikes made by the company for trade at their eponymous stores. Which makes me wonder what they’d give me for my first-gen mass production 1980 Trek roadie. For a change, read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling introduces Bivo founder Carina Hamel, saying she’s disrupting the bicycling water bottle market one stainless steel water bottle at time. This time, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

At least one Portland hotel now approves of a recently contested downtown bike lane, insisting they want the hotel to be a welcoming space for bike riders, after the hotel’s former GM criticized the bike lane for what she termed dangerous conditions.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the bike thief who stole an adaptive tricycle from a 23-year old special needs man in Arizona.

The building that formerly housed my not-so-local Denver bike shop, which I traveled across the city to frequent, caught on fire last night, but it was quickly extinguished by firefighters; developers plan to raze the former local icon to build an 18-story mixed-use tower.

It takes a special kind of scumbag to drive off and leave a bike-riding five-year old Colorado kid bleeding in the street.

The highly anticipated movie Bike Vessel, which premiers this week at the Chicago Film Festival, tells the story of a father who took up bicycling after surviving three open-heart surgeries, and the son who joined him on a “rigorous” journey by bike from St. Louis to Chicago.

New York’s Black-owned Amsterdam News says there’s no going back, as ebikes continue to make inroads into neighborhoods of color throughout the city.

New York bike riders rallied to protest the city’s second-highest number of bicycling deaths ever, while calling out the mayor’s apparent lack of concern, even though he was considered a consistent ally when he served in the state senate.

That’s more like it. A 19-year old Richmond, Virginia man was sentenced to spend the next ten years and a month behind bars, after a judge suspended most of a 30-year sentence for plowing into a pair of bike-riding women while driving drunk and stoned, killing one and critically injuring the other.

 

International

A British man, who was placed in a medically induced coma for nearly two weeks after suffering major injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in 2017, is now planning to take part in a fundraising hill climb challenge to benefit the air ambulance service he credits with saving his life.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new report accuses pro cycling of putting profits over safety, saying elite cycling has a “profound safety problem,” with safety “taking a backseat in the pursuit of performance or profit.”

The Intermarché-Circus-Wanty cycling team abruptly pulled Madis Mihkels from China’s upcoming Tour of Guangxi, after the 20-year old pro was shown making a racist gesture on social media by pulling back his eyes in mockery of Asians.

Three-time US Pro crit champ Luke Lamperti will join L39ION of Los Angeles as a guest cyclist at the inaugural invitation-only CRIT Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida later this month.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a minor suffers minor injuries after getting hit by a deer that was hit by a driver. If you were stopped by a motorcycle officer in East Valinda, you may have gotten a fake ticket from a fake cop.

And apparently crappy bike infrastructure is a problem everywhere.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Hit-and-run Ventura County bus driver, US bicycling up — or maybe down, and LA could consider ebike rebate program

Thank you everyone for the kind words for a rough week.

Not to mention the surprising donations in honor of my birthday and/or eye problems last week (see the end of this post). 

I’m still having problems with distance vision, and struggle to see clearly up close. But my eyesight has improved enough to get back to work, so let’s get on with it. 

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover. 

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Let’s start by catching up on some of the big stories we missed the past week.

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A hit-and-run Ventura County bus driver faces charges after knocking down a man riding bicycle in a close pass, then running over him and continuing without stopping; the victim somehow survived, but suffered serious lower body injuries.

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Prosecutors in Las Vegas filled additional charges against the teenagers accused of deliberately running down and killing former Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst; charges against the 18-year old driver include attempted murder, battery with a weapon, leaving the scene of a crash and possession of a stolen vehicle, while the 16-year old who filmed the crash faces murder, attempted murder, and battery with a weapon charge. They both continue to be held without bail.

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Heartbreaking news from Colorado, where investigators finally found the remains of Suzanne Morphew, who disappeared after going for a Mother’s Day bike ride three years ago; her body was found about 40 to 50 miles from where she was reported missing. There’s no word yet on a cause of death or who may have been responsible. Her husband was originally charged with her murder, but prosecutors dropped the charges after a judge barred most of their witnesses for the DA’s failure to turn over exculpatory evidence.

***

More heartbreak, this time from New York’s Moreau State Park, where an Amber Alert was declared when a nine-year old girl disappeared without a trace while riding her bike alone in the campground, after taking a few laps with some close friends. Her bicycle was later found abandoned where she’d been riding, but there was no sign of the little girl.

***

Life is cheap in Maryland, where the driver who killed American diplomat and mother Sarah Langenkamp as she rode her bicycle shortly after returning from her post in Ukraine walked without a single day behind bars, after the judge imposed the maximum penalty under Maryland law — a lousy $2,000 fine and 150 hours of community service. Meanwhile, the painfully low sentence is putting a spotlight on the leniency of Maryland driving laws. Gee, ya think?

***

A Georgia man is accused of lying in wait for a cycling group to ride past his home and intentionally ramming his car into the bicyclists; the 66-year old driver faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, aggressive driving, reckless conduct and terrorist threats.

***

The hit-and-run driver accused of killing 25-year old college cycling champ and Florida State University PhD student Jake Boykin as he was training for Georgia’s Six Gap Century race last month was arrested a short time later, with Boykin’s bicycle still embedded in the grill of his truck.

***

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left an 86-year old North Carolina man to die alone in the street after running him down on his bike, despite his orange safety vest. The same goes for a Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a nine-year old kid who was riding his bike to a friend’s house.

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Bicycling is up in the US. Or maybe it’s down.

Or just getting more dangerous.

Inverse argues that the electric vehicle revolution is already here, and looks a lot like an ebike, while PBS discusses the regulatory challenges created by the soaring popularity of ebikes.

Yet despite the ebike boom, the Census Bureau reports that bike commuting rates are down nationwide from pre-pandemic levels, and down nearly 25% from the peak level of 2014.

At the same time, Bicycling cites a different report to argue that more people are riding than ever before, with every metro area of 5 million or more people seeing a 25% increase in ridership over the last four years. Don’t fret if the magazine blocks you, just read it on Yahoo instead

And the Associated Press reports that more bicyclists and pedestrians are dying on American roads than ever before, even though cars and trucks are ostensibly safer. The problem is they keep getting safer for people inside the vehicles, while getting ever deadlier for anyone outside of them.

Meanwhile, bicycling deaths fell to the lowest level on record in the UK, even as traffic deaths jumped 10%.

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Los Angeles could, maybe, see its own ebike rebate program in the not-too-distant future.

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CicLAvia returns to the Heart of LA a week from this coming Sunday, for the next to last CicLAvia of the year.

This year’s 7.8-mile route runs through LA’s historic core from South Park to Chinatown, then through Little Tokyo across the 6th Street Viaduct to Boyle Heights.

As Urbanize reminds us,

In case you’ve forgotten, CicLAvia is for people-powered vehicles only. That means no electric scooters, electric skateboards, hoverboards, electric unicycles, or motocycles. If you’re on a Class 1 e-bike pedal-assist or a Class 2 e-bike with the throttle powered off, you’re okay. Likewise, Class 3 e-bikes are allowed when pedal-assist is powered off, as are motorized wheelchairs. Learn more here.

Meanwhile, the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to the upcoming ArroyoFest 2.0 at the end of this month, allowing people to walk and bike on a carfree Pasadena freeway for just the second time in 20 years.

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Camp Pendleton announced a number of roadway closures for maintenance and construction through October 20th, and will close the base bike path from the Las Pulgas Gate to the southern edge of San Onofre Beach State Park between 6 am to 6 pm from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

They will also be blowing things up for the next week, so wear your helmet and keep your head down.

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

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon ran into a road raging schmuck driver while riding on Decker Canyon. Or more precisely, was lucky he didn’t.

No bias here. A columnist for the comically conservative New York Post argues that ebikes are “faster, heavier and more deadly” than other bikes, and that’s it’s time to put an end to them. Aside from the utter impossibility of shoving the genie back into the bottle, there’s currently no data to support that last statement about ebikes being any deadlier. And just wait until someone tells her about the 40,000 people killed by cars every year. 

A Florida driver “reeking of alcohol” accused a bike-riding man of being in the CIA, then made several threateningly close passes before aiming his car at the bicyclist, who managed to jump out of the way just before the driver smashed his bicycle. The man also head-butted a cop as they tried to take him into custody.

No bias here, either. A new bikeway project in an English town has some residents bringing out the torches and pitchforks, with one business owner calling it “woke” and insisting that “proper cyclists don’t need cycle lanes,” while others say it’s creating “mayhem” and “chaos” that makes it difficult for rugby fans to attend matches.

A British road safety group is accused of victim blaming for a new campaign that says “Don’t be like Ted, wear a helmet on your head!”; bike advocates argued they’d be better off campaigning for safer streets. Or maybe be like Ted, because I always have one on my head when I ride; even if I doubt their efficacy in a collision, they come in handy in a fall. 

A self-professed bicyclist writing for The Spectator asks why bicyclists insist on making drivers furious, in column hidden behind the paper’s paywall. As if our mere presence on the plant doesn’t anger some motorists. 

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

Police in the UK are looking for a pair of road-raging, balaclava-wearing ebike riders who slapped and punched a driver who had stopped short to avoid another car, leaving the man with facial fractures; they also stole a cellphone belonging to the driver’s wife when she tried to take their pictures, and smashed one of the car’s windows. But other than that, they were charming chaps, right?

………

Local 

Writing for Streetsblog, Wes Reutimann argues that California’s Active Transportation Program shows the City of Los Angeles is far more successful at applying for grant funding than the county, with bike riders and pedestrians in unincorporated areas paying the price.

BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, added UCLA Transportation Planner Emily Han and Transportation and Mobility Communications Practice Manager Reed Alvarado to the nonprofit’s board of directors.

This is who we share the road with. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports a “belligerent,” allegedly drunk — and actively drinking — transient drove onto the Venice boardwalk, traveling several blocks on the ostensibly carfree walkway before striking a pedestrian.

Metro will give 200 households in Santa Monica who own multiple vehicles up to $119.80 per week for five weeks — a total of $599 per household — not to drive one of their cars.

Long Beach will begin rolling out a program to loan free ebikes to 35 local residents for up to three months at a time. The city is also looking for volunteers for its annual bike and pedestrian count.

 

State

Caltrans readies guidance on Complete Streets — as long as you don’t consider highway interchanges part of the street.

Your next ebike could have built-in AI to “enhance the riding experience,” as Taiwan’s Smalo makes its US debut here in California.

Costa Mesa cops busted a bike thief after the bicycle’s owner tracked his own ebike down, and police found it hidden in some bushes.

Despite near-constant reports in San Diego media that no one is using the city’s new bike lanes, a new report shows the city has experienced a 71% increase in bicycling rates over the past four years.

Police in Riverside are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a 53-year old man as he was riding his bike to work, knocking him unconscious and leaving him with a fractured cheekbone, wrist injuries and numerous lacerations, including one to his head.

San Luis Obispo is looking at ways to redesign what was supposed to be a trail to the sea, after at least one home owner refused to sell a key piece of land, and a pair of county supervisors opposed using eminent domain to seize it.

The Bay Area’s BART rail system will now allow bikes on almost any car, and allow riders to take their bicycles on station escalators.

Oakland has committed to building a protected bike lane on Lakeshore Ave on the east side of Lake Merritt, though Streetsblog observes it took the dooring death of a four-year old girl to get them to act. Sadly, it usually does. Too much needed bike infrastructure only gets built after it’s already too late.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

Forbes reports there are now more than 1,450 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in the US.

Trek will now allow you to trade in your old Trek bicycles on the purchase of a new one, in an effort to cut the company’s carbon footprint. And you might need a trade-in to afford the company’s “pricy but feature-rich” new cargo bike.

More sad news, as longtime ABC and General Hospital promo photographer Craig Sjodin was killed by a driver while riding his bike, just one month after retiring; the soap opera ended an episode last week with a memorial slide honoring him. 

A new bike and pedestrian plan for Alaska’s fastest growing area calls for 130 miles of bike/walk paths in the Matanuska-Susitna region — if supporters can find a way to pay for it.

Portland officials backed off a plan to rip out a popular protected bike lane, even if the city’s transportation director has no idea how it was funded.

The 21-year old hit-and-run driver who killed a 63-year old Seattle man as he rode home from work on his ebike last year was sentenced to spend the next four years behind bars. Although most inmates spend considerably less time in jail than what they’re sentenced to.

Colorado Public Radio asks if drivers of larger, more dangerous vehicles should be charged more to pay for new safety projects. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the schmuck who stole an 89-year old North Dakota woman’s three-wheeled bike.

Once again, a cross-country bike rider has been killed in Texas, when a 62-year old man riding to raise money for injured bicyclists was struck by a driver after allegedly veering from the highway shoulder into the traffic lane. Even though nowhere in the entire article does it even mention that the truck that hit him even had a driver.

Minnesota’s MinnPost looks back at what’s changed in the five decades since the 1970’s oil embargo-fueled bike boom.

Bill and Hillary Clinton donated ten thousand dollars to a crowdfunding campaign for the former chief of staff to a Manhattan state senator, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision while riding a bikeshare bike last month. Jacob Priley had worked on Hillary’s presidential campaign in 2016; he remains in a coma nine days after the September 22nd crash.

A longtime New York bike advocate is riding an ebike towing signs calling for banning mopeds from the city’s bike lanes.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed insists bicyclists have to throw our own bad apples under the bus, while calling for the return of the city’s Give Respect/Get Respect safety campaign.

The new series The Road Less Eaten follows a pro chef and an indie pop drummer as they ride their bikes through Nashville.

The mother of a five-year old girl killed by a driver while riding her bike through a DC crosswalk with her dad has convinced thousands of people to sign a petition demanding that pedestrian deaths be included in car safety ratings.

A Georgia woman is on a one-mom crusade to build the longest continuously paved bike trail in the US, which would stretch 211 miles from Athens to Savannah.

 

International

Momentum takes a look at the world’s most unique bicycling infrastructure innovations. None of which are in Los Angeles. Or North America, for that matter. 

A writer for Bike Radar says a collision with a driver who was blocking a bike lane has left him angrier than ever about the bicycling culture wars, arguing that we need better infrastructure for bicycling because we don’t have what’s needed to keep us safe.

A Glasgow architecture firm has launched a campaign to gather near-miss data that could lead to rethinking road designs, after a French-American architecture student who worked for the firm was killed riding her bike, less than six months after moving to the city.

London bicycling rates have dropped to near pre-pandemic levels after booming during the Covid lockdowns; advocates blame a return of car traffic, poorly designed bikeways and a lack of government funding.

Former Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Boardman called on the government to keep its word, and stick with plans to boost walking and bicycling, after the country’s prime minister complained that drivers feel oppressed.

Bicycle thefts are so bad at one English train station, bike riders are being advised not to use bike racks at the nearly half-million dollar Bike Hub.

A “prolific” British bike thief was convicted after a mother protested outside his home for three days with signs demanding her son’s stolen bicycle back.

A 90-year old man became the oldest person to complete the 1,100-mile ride the length of Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats; he also finished the ride when he was 75, 80 and 85, so presumably he’ll do it again in another five years.

Formerly car-choked Paris is now experiencing bicycle traffic jams as the mayor’s emphasis on the 15-minute city and expanded bikeways are getting more Parisians out on bicycles. Which should be a hint to both the US and Britain. But probably won’t. 

The Netherlands redesigned a highway to make it safer and greener, including three new 3D-printed bike bridges.

A Berlin, Germany website says the city’s car-centric government has begun rolling back bike infrastructure, as bicyclists fear they’ll be driven off the roads, literally and figuratively.

Ebike sales are booming in Germany, where even automakers are embracing their role in the future of transportation.

Bike Radar looks at Germany’s StVZO bike light regulations, which require bike lights to remain steady and unblinking, and focused downward to avoid blinding other road users.

That’s more like it. Thousands of protestors shut down four key intersections in Milan, Italy, effectively bringing the city to a halt to demand safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Meanwhile, Milan is now requiring blind spot sensors on buses and large trucks in an effort to reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

Hyderabad, India has opened the country’s first solar panel-topped cycle track, with three covered bike lanes covering more than 14 miles.

Once again, the observance of Yom Kippur turned Israel’s roadways into the world’s largest open streets event.

An 84-year old Indian man built his own ebike using discarded laptop batteries, charged by solar panels on his roof, to ride the 19 miles to his parents home.

A writer for China Daily says the country is looking forward to becoming a safer, faster kingdom of bicycles, harking back to its not-too-distant bicycling past.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rumors are flying that Apple will be the next title sponsor of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team. Or maybe Amazon.

In a shameful report from the pro peloton, a quarter of female professional cyclists don’t receive any income.

 

Finally…

Apparently, royalty is no protection from dangerous drivers. That feeling when you find a bicycle carved into an ancient temple built 2,000 years before they were invented.

And when you’re riding your bike holding an open Natty Light in one hand, try to avoid hitting the side of a moving Home Depot truck.

………

A special thanks to Matthew R, Janice H, Steve F, Diane T and our anonymous correspondent for their generous donations to mark my birthday last month, and/or offer support for my vision and diabetic issues, all while helping to bring all the best bike news your way today. 

Normally, I’d add “and every day,” but considering my recent track record, we’ll let that slide for now. 

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teens face life in Probst murder, bicycling up 37% in US, and SAMOCAN talks with Streets For All founder

Yesterday I found out the hard way what happens when you accidentally inject long-acting insulin directly into a vein, rather than the fat surrounding it. 

The result was a rapid fire, 300 point blood sugar swing that knocked me on my ass for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

So if I had any sense, I’d be in bed already. 

Instead, I’m going to try to get through this, then pull a pillow over my head and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe the rest of the month. 

Which is the best way I know to face another birthday, anyway. 

So Gamar hatimah tovah to everyone observing Yom Kippur on Monday. 

Stay safe, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Two teenagers charged with the video-recorded, hit-and-run murder of former Bell, California police chief Andreas Proust as he rode a bike in Las Vegas made very brief initial appearances in adult court on Tuesday.

The two teens were held without bail on several charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, due to their ages, they won’t face the death penalty, since Nevada law imposes a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in state prison for murder committed before the age of 18.

The driver, Jesus Ayala, was 17 at the time of the crime, while Jzamir Keys, the passenger who recorded the attack, is just 16.

Their two-hour crime spree included three cars thefts, a burglary and an attempt to murder a second bicyclist, who apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Ayala’s mother was quoted as saying “I don’t know why he did this. I don’t know if God can forgive this.”

Her son, who just turned 18, told police he expected to get a slap on the wrist, and “I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you.”

I’d take that bet.

Ayala now matches his age with 18 criminal counts, including murder, and already has a lengthy record as a juvenile. So if he’s lucky, he might be out in 30 years.

But I wouldn’t count it.

Meanwhile, The Guardian observes the “firehose of hatred” unleashed on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after rightwing pundits linked to a photo of an outdated headline that didn’t mention the intentional attack, but was later changed to reflect the murder charge.

The Washington Post blames Elon Musk’s “itchy Twitter finger” for riling up the online mob.

………

A new report from Streetlight Data indicates bicycling rates grew a whopping 37% in the US since 2019, with the top ten states showing at least a 25% increase over that time frame.

Not surprisingly, New York showed the highest growth, followed by San Diego, Bakersfield(!) and Las Vegas.

The first two have made significant investments in bicycling infrastructure; the last two, not so much, to the best of my knowledge.

………

Climate Action Santa Monica offers a recording of yesterday’s SAMOCAN talk with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Meanwhile, Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow featuring guest speakers including Councilmember Katy Yuroslavsky, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino.

The group says pay what you can if you can’t afford the full $100 ticket price.

………

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

A writer for City Journal cries “E-nough,” arguing that ebike and gas-powered mopeds are “reversing more than a decade’s progress in making New York’s dense streets safer for pedestrians and traditional cyclists.” Or maybe they’re just encouraging more people to get out of cars, which pose the real risk, and onto two wheels, which don’t. Although I’d distinguish between ped-assist ebikes and any kind of throttle-controlled or gas-guzzling bikes. 

………

Local 

An anonymously penned Streetsblog op-ed says Metro should treat walking and biking projects with the respect they deserve. Amen, brother. Or sister.

West Hollywood is installing a pair of bike repair stations.

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective invites you to illuminate the night on the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Cypress Park tomorrow night.

Streetsblog also provides a schedule of public meetings to discuss extending the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail east into LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, beginning this Sunday in Culver City, with additional meetings Monday and Wednesday, and via Zoom on October 7th.

 

State

Good question. A Streetsblog op-ed asks why fare evasion is punished more severely in California than speeding, as the recently passed AB 819 gives the governor an opportunity to change that.

The Orange County Register examines Huntington Beach’s plan to begin impounding ebikes that are misused by riders. Although it’s not clear if they have that authority under state law. 

Encinitas has received a $3 million grant to make the North San Diego County city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders

 

National

Shimano recalled over 3/4 of a million Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks after thousands of failures that pose a crash risk to users; the recalled products include the Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace FC-R9100 and FC-R9100P 11-Speed Bonded Hollowtech II g Rts. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip. 

Electrek offers tips on how to choose the right ebike for your teenager. My take, avoid throttle-controlled ebikes, and anything with a top speed over 20 mph.

Momentum recommends idyllic settings for a bicycle-themed Thanksgiving getaway.

CNN says yes, Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 longtail e-cargo bike can replace a car for most trips.

Houston could soon have two docked bikeshare systems, as the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority considers opening its own bikeshare to compete with Houston’s struggling BCycle system

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 44-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by the driver of a school bus as he rode his bike at what residents describe as a dangerous intersection; the bus was carrying around 24 students, who will likely need counseling after witnessing the crash.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the man who man pulled a knife on a 13-year old Staten Island boy to steal his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a Mennonite man to die alone on the side of the road next to his crumpled bicycle, in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclists could soon become second-class citizens on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles from Shenandoah to the Smoky Mountains, as a new draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”

This is who we share the road with. A Georgia man faces charges after plowing his truck into a group of motorcyclists, killing one man and injuring four others, then fleeing the scene with a motorcycle still embedded in the truck’s grill.

 

International

An East London neighborhood council has gone against public opinion and scrapped the majority of the area’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, despite overwhelming public support.

A new study shows over half of Swiss bicyclists wear a bike helmet, although that ranges from nearly three-quarters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to just 43% in German-speaking areas.

Romania is now the European Union’s second-largest producer of bicycles, behind Portugal and ahead of Italy.

Apparently, it ain’t easy being a bicyclist in India’s Goa state, either.

Australia saw its highest August traffic death toll in five years, with bicycling deaths jumping 37% over last year, while pedestrian deaths climbed 27%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls out pro cycling’s concussion protocol, or maybe the lack thereof, after Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng finished the European championship road cycling time trial with a busted helmet and bloodied face; Los Angeles-based former pro Phil Gaimon posted that cyclists need to respect their brains, and that there was “nothing inspiring or bad ass” about Küng’s photo. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Call it a Pashley parade through Shakespeare’s hometown. Tough love doesn’t mean shattering your spouse’s mountain bike dreams.

And you can see a lot of things riding a bike. Like the King of England, for instance.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

2nd Vegas teen busted in Probst vehicular murder, Gutierrez convicted of murder, and Caltrans fires sustainability advocate

We’re learning more about the vehicular rampage in Las Vegas that led to the intentional hit-and-run death of 64-year old retired Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst.

Including that Probst wasn’t the first bike rider attacked by the two teens.

ABC News reports that the attacks began when the driver deliberately slammed into a 72-year old man riding a bicycle; no word on whether that victim was injured.

They then sideswiped a car, and moments later attacked Probst.

The second person in the car, who videoed the attack, was arrested Tuesday, although no charges appear to have been filed against him at this point.

Neither juvenile has been publicly identified, but that’s likely to change if they are charged as adults.

The Black Wall Street Times reports Probst’s killers may have been inspired by a TikTok hit-and-run challenge, in which “teens show others how to steal certain vehicles without a key and go on joyrides.”

If that’s the case, it could cast a frightening shadow over the recent hit-and-run rampage in Huntington Beach, where a teenaged driver faces charges for intentionally slamming into three people riding bikes, resulting in the death of 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.

Then there’s this.

Despite being the first reporter on the scene following Probst’s killing, and encouraging a school resource officer to turn the video of the attack over to the police, Las Vegas Review-Journal crime reporter Sabrina Schnur became the subject of violent and anti-semitic comments from people who falsely accused the paper of downplaying Probst’s death.

Not surprisingly, X/Twitter owner Elon Musk drove much of the attacks, after accusing the media of a lack of sufficient outrage to meet his demands.

On Sunday morning, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, amplified one of the screenshots, posting “An innocent man was murdered in cold blood while riding his bicycle. The killers joked about it on social media Yet, where is the media outrage? Now you begin to understand the lie.” That post had 68.2 million views as of Monday evening…

The Review-Journal’s social media accounts and other staff also received vicious attacks. When Schnur shared that she’d received 700 notifications on X and an onslaught of angry emails and voicemails, editors jumped in to support her and make sure she was safe.

Executive editor Glenn Cook said that during his 30-plus years in journalism, he’d never seen vitriol of this volume or intensity. “It’s like a fire hose of hatred to the face,” he wrote in a column about the social media outrage.

The attacks were also driven by other rightwing sources, including far-right commentator Laura Loomer and Fox News host Greg Gutfield.

………

As long as we’re discussing the murder of innocent people with motor vehicles, 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was convicted of murder Tuesday for intentionally running down a man walking his bicycle in a 2021 Riverside hit-and-run.

Forty-six-year old Benedicto Solanga was walking with a friend when Gutierrez drove by in his pickup, flipped the men off for no apparent reason, then made a U-turn to come back and slam into Solanga from behind. He died in a hospital three days later.

The Riverside jury also convicted Gutierrez a sentence-enhancing allegation of using his truck as a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

There’s no word on whether Gutierrez knew Solanga, or if this was a case of road rage. Or if there was some other reason for his murderous attack.

Gutierrez is currently being held without bail at Riverside’s Robert Presley Jail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for December 15th.

………

Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry calls it a troubling sign that Caltrans’ staunchest advocate for safety, sustainability and sanity has apparently been fired, in what Politico calls a “shakeup.”

Deputy Director of Planning and Modal Programs Jeanie Ward-Waller, the former Advocacy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition, is reportedly being “reassigned” in the department.

Curry speculates that the move may have come because Ward-Waller argued too strongly for incorporating the state’s climate plan in highway projects, as “some Caltrans planners are still pushing strategies to get around changing state regulations.”

If so, that is troubling. But sadly, not surprising.

………

That white smoke coming from LA City Hall yesterday means we now have a new LADOT General Manager, as uninspiring as the choice may be.

………

We have a new “protected” bike lane in the San Fernando Valley.

Even if bollards won’t keep out abandoned mattresses, or food truck customers.

………

In my efforts to catch up from my unexcused diabetic crash and burn a few weeks ago, I have been remiss in not mentioning next month’s LA Bike Fest, hosted by BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

………

Huntington Beach is the latest city to consider overwriting state traffic laws to regulate bicycles, including a ban on riding against traffic on the sidewalk.

Even though sidewalks aren’t directional, and a newly passed state law will legalized sidewalk riding throughout the state, if it’s signed by Governor Newsom.

The regulations would also ban going around stopped of slowed traffic, and includes a vague ban on riding in an unsafe manner, and a provision allowing impounding bikes belonging to juvenile scofflaw riders.

Any and all of which could be tossed out by the courts, since the state, not cities, is responsible for regulation all forms of traffic under California law, on two wheels as well as four.

………

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

The founder of Streets For All is reminded that plastic bollards are no protection against LA drivers.

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

Police in New York has released video of the hit-and-run ebike rider who killed a 69-year old woman as she crossed a street on the Lower East Side earlier this month.

………

Local 

Los Angeles is asking the federal government for up to $10.3 million in grant funding for a series of new active transportation and public open space projects, including proposals to reconnect bisected MacArthur Park by closing Wilshire Blvd, and studying the possibility of capping the 101 Freeway in Hollywood to build a new park over it; the city is also teaming with Metro to request another $86 million for new bus lanes, bike lanes, and other active transportation and transit infrastructure projects.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When seniors using walkers have to use it to get around a Venice homeless camp.

The Cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando are hosting a non-CicLAvia open streets festival from 10 am to 2 pm this Saturday “promoting an active lifestyle and community engagement, all while celebrating the joy of biking, walking, and rolling.”

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Coast ride will return on November 4th, allowing “participants of all levels to enjoy a memorable course that takes them along the scenic views and quaint communities along Highway 101.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 39-year old woman was killed by a driver when she allegedly rode her bike in front of the oncoming car. Although what actually happened hinges on whether there were any independent witnesses, or if investigators are relying solely on the driver’s statement, since the victim can’t give her side of the story.

Palo Alto parents are demanding steps to improve traffic safety after two children were struck by drivers in separate incidents, including a middle school student who was critically injured while riding his bike.

San Francisco traffic safety advocates are calling on the city to protect bike riders and pedestrians by banning right turns on red lights.

Stockton suspended its e-bikeshare program after it was plagued by vandalism and theft.

 

National

Santa Monica-based Bird has taken a dominant position in the US micromobility market with its acquisition of Spin from European provider Tier.

A writer for Cycling Weekly explains why he prefers to ride alone 95% of the time. I do, too, though in my case it’s a case of cycling weakly.

Bike-friendly Portland suffered the year’s first bicycling fatality when a man was struck by a driver Tuesday morning; that compares to four bicycling deaths in the city last year.

A Seattle driver agreed to plead guilty to vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run in exchange for a recommendation of just under three and a half years for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike. Let’s hope that also includes a length driving ban once he’s released.

Life is not so cheap in New Mexico, for a change, as the estate of a fallen bike rider agreed to a $1 million settlement with his killer, a state district judge who originally walked with just $82 in court costs after invoking her right to remain silent.

A Denver-based nonprofit gave the entire second grade class at a Colorado Springs CO elementary new BMX bikes and helmets.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens died of complications from a bicycling collision on Tuesday, seven months after he lost a leg and suffered a spinal chord injury when he was struck by a speeding driver as he rode his bike home from a Florida restaurant with his wife; he was 66.

A Hartford website accuses the state’s ebike rebate program of an equity failure, with just 2% of the 468 vouchers reaching the state’s most financially challenged residents.

New York Magazine highlights “comfy and cool” bike helmets kids will actually want to wear.

DC became the latest city to approve ebike incentives, offering vouchers up to $1,500 for an ebike, or $2,000 to buy an e-cargo bike. Meanwhile, potential California ebike buyers continue to wait. And wait. 

 

International

A new survey ranks the UK’s worst cities for bike riders, with London a surprising third behind Bradford and Leeds.

London’s Fire Brigade called for “proper regulation” of ebike batteries and chargers after a man suffered life-changing injuries when his ebike battery caught fire

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced a new 12-point ‘code de la rue’ (street code), in addition to France’s existing code de la route (highway code), to help bike riders, drivers and pedestrians better share the city’s streets; the rules include giving pedestrians priority and banning all two-wheeled vehicles from sidewalks, as well as a ban on drinking before driving, biking or scooting.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy teamed with a Parisian designer for a dramatic cruiser bike designed to fit “in with women’s busy lives.” Evidently, men need not apply for the $3,700 ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says none of Sepp Kuss’ friends back home in Colorado are surprised at his victory in the Vuelta. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Not only is Kuss king of the Vuelta, he’s also king of the KOMs.

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon topped 370 other riders to win the 2023 Mount Baker Hill Climb, in what Essentially Sports called a “stunning display of cycling prowess.”

Bicycling also reports that the sports director for the Lotto Dstny Development Team has been suspended for deliberately running over a course marshal during Belgium’s GP Rik Van Looy bike race. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Cars of the not-too-distant future could communicate with rooftop emojis. That feeling when you end up chatting with the newly crowned king on a Scottish bike ride.

And repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike under the influence, while carrying controlled substances and already wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is. Not the warrant.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teen filmed vehicular murder of former Bell police chief, and “car-owning” WeHo bicyclist decries Fountain plans

Now we know why it’s murder.

It took about two weeks after the crash for Las Vegas police to determine that the killing of retired Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst in an August hit-and-run was intentional.

The reason became evident this weekend when horrifying video of the collision surfaced and quickly went viral.

In the video, which was AirDropped to students at a local high school at the end of last month, the teenage driver and his passenger(s) can be seen cursing at passing cars, before spotting Probst riding his mountain bike in a bike lane.

This is how TMZ described the lead-up to the crash.

The 17-year-old driver and his passenger were cruising down a street in Las Vegas on August 14, coming up behind Andreas Probst as he rode his cycle in the bike lane. Filming with his cell phone, the passenger was chuckling with the driver as they plotted to run over Probst. You can hear them say, “Ready?” and “Yeah, hit his ass.”

So much for any question of intent.

According to The Daily Mirror,

The vehicle is seen in the footage coming up behind a red-clad man riding a bicycle alongside the road. The motorist pulls into the bike lane behind him, honks his horn, and purposefully strikes the cyclist’s back tire, sending him flying with the encouragement of his buddies.

The passenger records Andreas lying helplessly on the side of the road behind the vehicle. “Damn that n* got knocked out!” the passenger says as the driver can be heard stepping on the gas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal says, despite attacks from rightwing sources including Elon Musk, James Woods and Fox News commentator Greg Gutfeld, not only were they aware of the video within hours of the crash, they were instrumental in getting it to the police.

The Review-Journal’s coverage of the incident was also heavily criticized by readers who posted screenshots of a news obituary that ran in the Review-Journal on Aug. 18 — more than a week before the video surfaced — with a headline describing the incident as a “bike crash” and not an intentional killing.

In fact, a source had contacted the Review-Journal about the existence of the video more than two weeks ago, and a reporter had instructed the caller on how to forward the video to Metropolitan Police Department detectives investigating the case. Nine hours later, police announced that the incident had been deemed a homicide.

The Review-Journal also reports the passenger has not been charged, which seems inexplicable unless they were captured on the video screaming in horror at the deliberate carnage.

Hint: they weren’t.

At the very least, such a heinous crime would seem to call for a felony conspiracy charge, since both the driver and the passenger appear to have been planning the fatal assault.

It also calls into question whether the teenaged driver arrested for last week’s vehicular rampage in Huntington Beach that killed one man riding a bicycle and injured two others was a copycat attack.

It’s possible he may have seen video of the Las Vegas murder, or one of the other similar video circulating online, and attempted to copy them.

Or he may have simply lashed out on his own, for reasons known only to him.

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No bias here.

Writing for WeHoVille, a “car-owning bicyclist” rides his bike down the sidewalk along Fountain Ave, to demonstrate that few people currently ride bicycles along the deadly thoroughfare, and insist that two years of construction to install a protected bike lane will devastate the businesses along the half block that actually has them.

Never mind that his own decision to ride on the sidewalk, rather than risk riding in the street, makes the case for building the bike lanes.

Let’s be clear: While WeHo talks a big game about “uplifting” marginalized people and “amplifying” their voices, the city’s pedestrians — those blue-collar, minimum-wage earning people the city claims to care so much about — are silently struggling just to get from Point A to Point B every day, as they’ve done for decades.

But fixing sidewalks isn’t glamorous, and that’s why WeHo hasn’t given a fuck thus far.

Even now, the impetus for reconstructing Fountain Avenue wasn’t to benefit pedestrians or disabled people. They were an afterthought.

Installing bike lanes, the cause celebre of every young politician and hip urban planner, was the point of this project.

Never mind that many of the “blue-collar, minimum-wage earning people the city claims to care so much about” are forced to ride their bikes to work along busy, dangerous corridors choked with traffic.

And not many use the sidewalks, because they can’t afford to live there.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking lot.

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Streetsblog celebrates yesterday’s NoHo CicLAmini.

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

A St. Louis moonlight bike ride was cancelled at the last minute as people were gathering at the start line, because drivers had moved the barricades blocking roadways along the route, and a third-party company hadn’t secured it.

An English bike rider is left waiting in vain for the police to do something after he catches a punishment pass on his bike cam, as the driver yells at him to “Get off the fucking road.”

No bias here. A Singapore website accuses an ebike rider and a motorist of road rage for engaging in a heated dispute in the middle of the roadway. Never mind that the bike rider was minding his own business until the impatient driver started honking at him for no apparent reason.

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

Tragic news from New York, where police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who killed a 69-year old woman as she was crossing a “chaotic” intersection. Since the bicyclist was on a bikeshare bike, police should be able to access user and GPS data to determine who was using a bike at that time and location. Which raises the question of why they apparently haven’t yet.

An ebike-riding man is recovering from injuries and faces sexual assault charges, after a Virginia woman flagged down a passing car when the man groped her on a bike path, then smiled as he rode away; she was able to catch up with him and apparently kicked his ass, knocking him off his bike and placing him in a chokehold until police arrived.

A Toronto cop was hospitalized, and a bike rider faces charges, after the cop was hit by someone who was allegedly riding his bicycle erratically and weaving between pedestrians in the city’s Entertainment District.

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Local 

Metro’s new rush hour bus and bike lanes on La Brea Blvd are officially open for business. But that hasn’t stopped anyone from using them — and loving them — already.

Streetsblog says Metro has installed new plastic bollards to protect the First Street bike lanes, which could be the first step in meeting their commitment to on bike/walk connections the promised for Metro’s new subway stations. However, it’s worth noting that the new bollards are spaced too far apart to keep motorists from driving or parking in the bike lanes, and won’t actually protect anyone from anything.

West Hollywood will consider a program to implement a bicycle repair station pilot program at tonight’s city council meeting.

Culver City is moving forward with plans for both painted and protected bike lanes along the southern section of Overland Blvd, at the same time the city is trying to rip out the MOVE Culver City protected bike lanes through downtown.

Santa Monica’s ebike voucher program for low-income residents is set to begin next year; qualified people could receive up to $2,000 to purchase an ebike and accessories.

 

State

Huntington Beach will consider new ebike regulations at tomorrow’s city council meeting; the proposed ordinance would create different classes of electric bikes — which the state has already done — while providing for criminal or civil citations, and adding a section for unsafe riding. However, all of that may be moot and illegal, since regulating ebikes falls under the authority of the state, along will all other traffic regulations. 

A La Jolla father calls for action on traffic safety measures after his 14-year old son suffered broken bones in his hand and foot when he was struck by a driver in a left cross crash, as he rode his ebike in a marked bike lane; the driver was waved through the intersection by another motorist, and failed to see the kid on his bike.

San Diego faces concerns about meeting the city’s climate goals, after a crackdown on e-scooter providers dropped ridership 80%.

The days of having The Snake to yourself could be coming to an end, with plans in place to reopen the curvy, 2.4-mile stretch of steep canyon road in the Santa Monica Mountains to motor vehicles next year.

A San Jose councilmember denies striking a bike-riding man with his car, despite three witnesses who say he gave the man money after running him down; he claims it was a near miss, and he only gave money to help the victim, who appeared to be homeless.

San Francisco Streetsblog says bicyclists are furious that protected bike lanes are no longer on the table for Arguello in the Presidio, when champion cyclist Ethan Boyes was killed earlier this year.

 

National

The Manual says don’t bother buying an e-mountain bike because government regulations limit where you can ride it. However, a travel website disagrees, listing ten of the best trails around the US where ebikes are welcome.

A Park City, Utah columnist says “Bike thieves suck” after her ebike and foldie are stolen from her building’s garage, apparently because she locked them together rather than to a fixed object. Although even that wouldn’t stop a determined thief with enough time. 

The local community came through for a five-year old Texas boy after his bike was stolen; within minutes of his father posting news of the theft online, he had offers for two bikes.

An 80-year old New York man was murdered by a black-clad man on a bicycle who circled the area apparently waiting for the victim to return home from a party, then rode up and shot him two times point blank in front of the victim’s horrified wife, in a killing caught on video; using a bike allowed the killer to approach his victim quickly and silently, without drawing undue attention.

A reminder that Hugh Jackman is one of us, after he’s spotted riding bikeshare bike through New York’s Tribeca neighborhood a day after announcing his separation from his wife of 27 years.

More proof bike riders are tough, as a man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana walked himself to the hospital, despite three stab wounds in his back, after three people stabbed him and stole his bike and wallet, then left him bleeding on the sidewalk.

 

International

Residents of a Toronto neighborhood jeered the borough mayor when he said a new bike path had nothing to do with the traffic death of a woman as she walked along the newly narrowed roadway.

Montreal’s mayor is demonstrating the political courage to close a popular park roadway to motor vehicles, and reclaim Mount Royal Park for bike riders and pedestrians. In other words, the kind of courage we seldom see in Southern California. Let alone Los Angeles.

The murder bug has apparently spread across the pond, as two men face attempted murder charges for deliberately running down a bike rider on the streets of Glasgow.

Nineties pop icon Jason Orange is one of us, as the tabloids say the Take That star is virtually unrecognizable riding a bikeshare bike through the streets of London. Even though all of them seem to have spotted him.

A radio station remembers the day 65 nude women rode bicycles around London’s Wembley Stadium to film the video for Queen’s iconic hit Bicycle Races. 

Wales has become the first country in the UK to drop speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph. Because 20 is plenty in urban areas.

After courts awarded her the equivalent of over $620,000 for the death of her husband, a British woman decried the “inhuman” response of city leaders, who blamed him 100% for his own death after he was killed by a garbage truck driver as he rode his bike.

A French consortium pans to build a nearly 3,000 foot, 900 kilowatt solar panel bike path along the Rhône River capable of powering over 700 homes. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link. 

A Belgian bicyclist shown on video kneeing a five-year old girl in a viral video from Christmas Day 2020 has now won a defamation suit against the girl’s father, after a court fined the bike rider the equivalent of a dollar, concluding he didn’t intend to hurt her.

Heartbreaking story from India, where a 17-year old girl was killed when someone on a passing motorbike grabbed the traditional stole she was wearing as she biked home from school with a friend, causing her to fall into the path of another motorbike rider; two suspects were shot by police after they attempted to escape following their arrest, stealing a rifle and firing on the cops as they fled.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Singaporean bicyclist jumped off his bike to save someone who had fallen into a canal, along with members of the country’s civil defense force.

Helmet use has tripled among Japanese bike riders in the wake of a new law requiring them, although the lack of punishment for violating the law means it’s still only up to 13.5%.

An Aussie man warns bike riders to beware of swooping magpies, after he nearly lost an eye when one attacked him two year ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s official. Twentynine-year old Colorado resident Sepp Kuss won the Vuelta on Sunday, days after his own teammates attacked in an apparent attempt to wrest the red leader’s jersey from his shoulders.

Kuss is the first American to win a grand tour since Chris Horner won the Vuelta in 2013, and just the second person to win one grand tour after riding in all three.

Guyana’s junior cycling team was left standing at the airport, instead of flying to the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championships, because someone apparently forgot to check the airline’s strict no baggage policy, which includes racing bikes.

 

Finally…

A mountain biker demonstrates why actual wheels usually work best. Yes, you can get a DUI while riding a horse in California.

And there may be bicycle-riding ghosts out there, but this probably ain’t one of ’em.

Especially since that video seems awfully familiar.

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A special thanks to Steve Fujinaka for a very unexpected and generous donation to help keep all the best bike news coming your way that lifted my spirits over the weekend. 

Donations are always welcome and appreciated, whatever the reason.  

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin