Tag Archive for Bakersfield

LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

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Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

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Enough said.

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Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

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The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

Morning Links: Don’t walk the streets of Bakersfield, Wag heads enter scooter wars, and bike hating deer

Even Buck Owens would probably think twice about walking the streets of Bakersfield these days.

The Central Valley city is the seventh most deadly city for people to walk in the US, and the only one in the top nine that’s not in Florida.

Then again, you probably don’t want to walk at all in the Bible Belt.

Surprisingly, though, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 20.

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A new Los Angeles-based startup created by the founders of the Wag dog walking service has hit the streets of San Diego.

Jonathan and Joshua Viner are positioning Wheels as the next generation in dockless personal mobility, a cross between an e-scooter and mini-bicycle that allows the rider to be seated instead of standing.

You can even recharge your cellphone. And play your music while you’re at it.

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We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about taking a massive header over a bike-hating deer.

Usually.

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Turns out the left lane isn’t always the fast lane.

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Local

Sahra Sulaiman writes that Leimert Park bike crew Black Kids on Bikes passed the community service torch to a younger generation of bike riders at this year’s King Day Parade.

Streetsblog says the Arroyo Seco Bike/Walk Path is damaged from the recent rains, but still passable.

Popular Mechanics recommends three affordably priced bikes from Burbank’s Pure Cycles.

Homegrown bike service company Pedal Movement will take over operation of the Long Beach Bike Share, which will be expanding into more areas of the city.

State

The Orange County physician who prescribed drugs to driver who fatally ran down Costa Mesa firefighter Mike Kreza has pled not guilty to charges of illegally prescribing opioids; drugs from the alleged Dr. Feelgood also made their way into the hands of the Borderline shooter.

An Anaheim man was killed in a suspected gang shooting while riding his bicycle Tuesday night.

Bike SD co-sponsored a one-night Holiday Lane last December, closing down a major Pacific Beach street for a carfree community celebration.

Hats off to a group of kindhearted Thousand Oaks teenagers, who are collecting 400 bicycles, as well as wheelchairs, crutches and shipping costs, for impoverished kids in Puerto Rico and Africa.

A San Luis Obispo Facebook group forms the basis of a 280 member, all female mountain biking group called SLO Dirt Girls.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when a driver was briefly blinded by another car’s headlights.

Candidates for the board of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition are being challenged on whether the bike advocacy group should accept money from car companies.

The Marin transportation board wants to steal a lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge back from pedestrians and bicyclists just a tad sooner than expected, cutting a promised pilot program from four years to six months so they can give it back to motorists.

Friends can’t explain why a Marin County man was riding bike on a freeway, where he was struck and killed by at least three separate drivers as he swerved back and forth across all three traffic lanes.

National

He gets it. In a Newsweek op-ed, a GOP advisor questions why car-choked cities are banning e-scooters. More proof that common sense traffic solutions are not a partisan issue.

A new analytical tool based on publicly available cellphone data allows cities to get a more detailed picture of how many people are walking and biking, and where they’re going.

CNN recommends walking or riding a bikeshare bike to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling for business.

The Shift Up podcast discusses why a Denver man shuttered his bike shop, and started his own line of $800 DIY cargo bike kits.

Denver gives its Vision Zero program a passing grade, even though traffic fatalities are up in the Mile High City.

You may soon be able to get drunk and ride your bike in North Dakota. Or your horse.

They get it. A Minnesota newspaper tells readers to be a hero and don’t drive distracted.

Seriously? A Minnesota police chief is serving a one week suspension for choking a 12-year old boy he mistakenly thought was trying to steal his mountain bike, when the kid was actually just trying to pick it up after it had been knocked down. I hate bike thieves as much as anyone, but he should have been fired the moment he put his hands on the kid’s neck.

New York police are looking for a bike rider who attacked an Uber driver and his car with a U-lock, then jumped on the roof and hood when the driver attempted to get away. There’s never an excuse for violence. But you’d think the press might wonder what the driver might have done to provoke it.

Residents of New York’s West Village complain about derelict bicycles left on the sidewalks.

A New Orleans artist yarn bombed a bikeshare bike, covering everything but the wheels and pedals.

Fort Lauderdale FL is banning e-scooters during spring break, apparently preferring to jam the streets with smog belching cars than allow partying students to get around on small, clean machines.

A Miami TV station shows video of the Wheels Up, Guns Down protest in Miami that led to a white driver pulling a gun and yelling racial epithets at a group of black teenagers; the bike riders were protesting the redevelopment of a housing project. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

International

Road.cc tests whether the new Pinarello Nytro ebike is faster uphill than a lightweight roadie.

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry discusses why he loves riding his Vogue Elite bicycle around London. Note to Christies — it’s called a Dutch-style bicycle, not a ladies bike.

Sad news from Columbia, where a former dean from Vassar College was killed less than two-thirds of a mile into a planned 750-mile ride through the country.

Bolivia’s famed Death Road proved aptly named for a New Zealand bike rider, who slipped off a rain-slicked roadway and down a cliff while on a mountain bike tour with his fiancée.

Victoria, British Columbia plans to sacrifice a tree in one of the city’s busiest intersections to make room for bike lanes and a scramble crosswalk; urban forest advocates say not so fast.

For a monthly fee, a Dutch startup provides a working transportation bike and handles all the maintenance and repairs.

The most shocking thing about this video of a Swiss synchronized cycling team isn’t their amazing performance, it’s that AOL is still around.

National Geographic looks at the new 1,500-mile bike path that will connect cities and towns in eight Balkan countries when it’s completed. Thanks to the Previn Report for the heads-up.

A 27-year old Afghan man is trying to improve children’s literacy by riding his bike across the country handing out free books.

A homeless Australian man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a bicycling Dutch tourist; he was speeding at twice the speed limit in a stolen car on his way to buy drugs when he crashed the car.

Finally…

Now you, too, can be a virtual pro cyclist. Cars burst into flames, bikes aren’t supposed to.

And maybe there’s a better place they could have put this.

Just saying.

Bakersfield bike racer dies in Sunday stage race crash; Culver City gets an honorable mention

Bad news from Bakersfield, as top local bike racer Suzanne Rivera was killed in a Mariposa County stage race on Sunday.

Apparently, she rear-ended a support van that had stopped on the shoulder during a steep downhill. Rivera will be honored on Wednesday’s Bakersfield Ride of Silence.

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The League of American Bicyclists releases their latest list of new bike-friendly cities; congratulations to Culver City for getting an honorable mention.

And nice work to the hard work put in by LACBC-affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition to help make it possible. Thanks to CCBC member Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

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Peter Sagan keeps the leader’s jersey in the Amgen Tour of California, despite a spill and a flat; Cyclelicious captures his shadow crossing the finish line. Maybe Levi Leipheimer is just playing possum. And Sunday’s final stage finish at L.A. Live may lead to Sportsageddon as the Kings, Dodgers, Clippers and the ToC collide in DTLA.

Can we just call a time out on all the blank-ageddons for awhile?

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There are plenty of people who live car free in L.A. every day, so why plan a day around it? LADOT is hiring a Pedestrian Coordinator as well as an Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator. The 10 busiest bike intersections in L.A.; I ride four of them on a regular basis. Better Bike recaps the meeting that lead Beverly Hill’s Traffic & Parking Commission to reject two of the city’s five proposed underwhelming bike pilot projects. As if Bike to Work Day wasn’t enough, you can join in on Bike from Work happy hours, as well. A 50-something cyclist is injured after getting rear-ended by a car in Pasadena. A recap of last weekend’s Montrose Historical Bike Ride. New bike racks in Redondo Beach thanks to the Chamber of Commerce.

The California Department of Transportation offers advice on bike safety for Bike Week. San Diego endorses Scott Peters for Congress. A four-year old Palm Desert boy is hit by a red light running schmuck truck driver while crossing the street in the crosswalk with his mom. Santa Maria police question whether a cyclist was really hit by a car, as he claims. How cars should turn right when bikes are around.

The Sierra Club, which hasn’t always support cycling, seems to be coming around. AAA endorses a more bike-friendly America; does that mean they’ll stop fighting bike safety measures in California? Bike lawyer Bob Mionske looks at drunk biking laws. Walk Score rates the most bikeable cities; maybe L.A. can get a bike score of its own soon. Maybe they need an L.A.-style anti-harassment ordinance in my old hometown. Then again, maybe bike education would make for safer cycling and driving. Turns out riding a bike is the fastest way to get around Boston. New York uses liquor licenses to fight back again scofflaw bike delivery people.

Turns out that bike-unfriendly Toronto is even less bikeable than Saskatoon. A British motoring organization claims over half of all cyclists run red lights; turns out it ain’t necessarily so once you get the facts. An Aussie city considers a proposal to waive the country’s mandatory helmet law for riders on separated bikeways.

Finally, Alabama film maker Katie Rogers talks about her in-process film about going carless in L.A., which just got funded on Kickstarter today. And if this car runs you over, at least you’ll know why.

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