Tag Archive for Ballona Creek bike path

Arraignment set for pickup driver charged with murder, Culver City opens Jackson gate, and San Diego debates bike safety

My News LA reports Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 2nd for using his truck as a weapon to murder a bike rider last month.

As we reported over the weekend, Gutierrez allegedly made a U-turn in his massive Ford pickup and deliberately slammed into Benedicto Solanga on July 29th, in an apparent road rage attack.

Solanga died three days later, while it took nearly three weeks for authorities to conclude Gutierrez had been behind the wheel, after finding his truck hours after the crash.

Gutierrez is expected to be charged with murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for using his truck as a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

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Chalk this one up as a win for people on two wheels or feet.

For anyone who’s wondered why one of the easiest and most convenient entrances to Ballona Creek has long been closed to everyone but maintenance workers, the Culver City Council just voted to change that last night.

And better yet, to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the city also voted to support extending the Ballona Creek bike path the full length of the creek from where it emerges from underground.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune explores the ongoing debate over bike lanes in a series of op-eds, saying the city is experiencing unintended consequences in the quest to get more people on bicycles.

Not everyone is in favor of the city’s move to expand bike lanes and get more people on bicycles, however.

Just wait until someone tells that last guy what it costs to keep building more traffic lanes.

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CicLAvia has officially unveiled the route for October’s return to the Heart of LA, running from MacArthur Park to Chinatown, and east to Mariachi Plaza.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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The perfect bike for when you’re ready to live your dream to chuck your job and become the neighborhood fruit vendor.

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Today’s mountain biking break is a first-person view of a “beyond black diamond” bike trail from Canadian mountain biker Dave Herr.

Unless maybe you’d prefer a first impression of the new Killington, Vermont Bike Park.

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

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a Black teenage taekwondo star was killed when a driver slammed into his bicycle as he was trying to escape a group of alleged drug dealers armed with large knives.

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

A Washington man faces charges for allegedly chucking rocks at a road crew when they asked him to move his bicycle, before he escalated to shooting arrows at them.

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Local

The New York Times takes a look at the effect of pandemic era street dining and Slow Streets in the Los Angeles area, saying it’s chipping away at Southern California’s notorious deference to cars.

Speaking of which, hundreds turned out for Santa Monica’s first carfree weekend on Main Street this year, with two more planned for September and October.

 

State

A homeless man has been convicted of second degree murder for fatally stabbing another homeless man outside an Escondido Burger King, because he thought the man was trying to steal his bicycle.

Fremont is using plastic pylons to buck the trend of rising bike and pedestrian deaths, with a 45% reduction in major traffic crashes involving death or severe injury in the three years since they adopted Vision Zero, and a 23% drop in major crashes involving bike riders.

 

National

After concluding that Amazon was a driving force behind the problem, a company in the Pacific Northwest pulled their bike parts off the platform, taking a hit in sales to directly supply bike shops affected by the pandemic-driven shortage of bikes and parts.

Reno bike riders are staying inside as smoke from the massive California wildfires forces them off the streets.

Phoenix officials shoot down longstanding plans to install bike lanes on a major street, instead telling bike riders to be happy they’ll get new sharrows on an existing bike boulevard.

A writer for Singletracks tries racing a then top-of-the-line 1990’s mountain bike, surprisingly finding that it held its own against more modern bikes. And ends up selling it to a collector who promised to give it a good home.

A Pittsburgh children’s charity is devoted to letting kids be kids, while giving them more independence by providing them with adaptive bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

International

Treehugger offers a review of the new longtail e-cargo bike from Blix, which sells for a relatively reasonable $1,999 for the twin battery version.

A Canadian man is finishing his summer-long bike tour to visit all 18 of the country’s residential schools in an effort to reconcile with Indigenous students.

Another Canadian man rode 745 miles on his recumbent bike, despite a broken collarbone, to benefit a nine-year old Alabama boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, four decades after beating the disease himself.

Officials in Dorset, England are defending a road makeover that narrowed traffic lanes while installing a spacious 11-foot bike lane, saying the bike lane has to accommodate wobbly riders traveling in both directions, while the traffic lanes are more than wide enough if drivers just obey the speed limit.

Forget the Hound of the Baskervilles. An English mountain biker encountered the apocryphal big cat of Cornwall.

In a bizarre tragedy, a British search and rescue team stumbled on the body of a mountain biker who had apparently crashed his bike while they were on an unrelated call to rescue a teenaged old boy suffering from hypothermia.

A UK driver got three years and four months behind bars for the speeding, hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News peers into its crystal ball, and predicts the Vuelta is Primož Roglič’s to lose.

VeloNews credit’s Jennifer Valente’s physical and intellectual gifts for her gold medal in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, along with a lifelong background in track cycling.

World ‘cross champ Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of this week’s mountain bike worlds due to lingering back pain stemming from a crash in the Tokyo Olympics, though he still hopes to ride in next month’s road championships.

 

Finally…

That feeling when proper bike lanes are too “ideological” for LEGO. Who needs gas when you can buy a cool used bike for the same price?

And when building a shed for your bike would create to much “visual clutter.”

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

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

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Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

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Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

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Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

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New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

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This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

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GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

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Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

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

Culver City considers unlocking gate to Ballona Creek path, and LA claims 51 miles of new bike lanes this fiscal year

Culver City could remove a barrier to bicycling in the city.

Literally.

A virtual city council meeting scheduled for 5:30 pm Monday will consider a proposal to finally unlock the gate blocking access to the Ballona Creek bike path at the east end of Jackson Ave.

Opening the entry to the La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path (Path) at Jackson Avenue for use by the public is expected to increase usage of the Path, would provide an additional access point along the Path for emergency responders, and offer a less physically challenging entry/exit point at the same elevation as the path. The La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path offers a protected route for students and parents, commuters, and visitors to travel within the City, assists in relieving heavily congested areas of traffic by providing a travel alternative, and facilitates an environmentally friendly method of traveling.

Of course, the question is why the entrance was blocked in the first place, which isn’t answered in the city’s press release.

Here’s how to comment and watch the meeting, although you have to register in advance to actually address the council during the meeting.

How to Submit a Written Public Comment Prior to a Meeting: Persons may submit comments BEFORE 4 PM on August 9, 2021. Find the active eComment link to the right of the agenda date, then add your comment to the agenda item you chooseWatch a video tutorial on How to make an eComment. Mail your comments to the attention of the City Clerk’s Office at 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, specifically identifying the meeting date.

How to Watch the Meeting: You can watch the meeting online, on the City’s YouTube channel or on the City cable channel.

How to Attend the Meeting Remotely: All attendees must Register to Attend on Webex, after which you will receive an email with directions and a link to join the meeting, once it has begun. Watch a video tutorial on how to register on WebEx.

NEW: For those who wish to speak during the meeting:  When registering to attend the meeting, you may identify the agenda item(s) on which you wish to speak by indicating the section of the agenda followed by the number (for example A-1, PH-2, C-3). For those in attendance who do not request to speak when registering, you may send a request to speak via the CHAT function by stating your name and the agenda item number. At the start of each agenda item, staff will read aloud the names of those who have requested to speak on an agenda item. Requests to speak that are received after the start of the public comment period for that agenda item will not be considered.

If an internet connection is not available, or you think you may have other issues joining the meeting, please call (310) 253-5851 in advance for assistance.

Needless to say, not everyone approves, as a group of residents who live in the surrounding area try to rally opposition.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up. Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Speaking of Linton, he writes that bike lane installation actually rose in Los Angeles during the past fiscal year, with the city claiming 51.5 miles of new and upgraded bikeways.

Although that includes 4.9 miles of new sharrows, which studies show are actually more dangerous than nothing.

It also includes nearly eight miles of upgraded bike lanes, further reducing the total of new lanes.

And that 51.5 miles — 46.6 if you remove the sharrows, please — are measured in lane miles, which means both sides of the street are counted separately. So it actually works out to around half that amount the way most of us would look at it.

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Two of this year’s most important transportation bills need your help.

California Streetsblog is reporting that AB 1238, known as the Freedom to Walk Act, is stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and must pass by the end of the week in order to move forward.

The bill would remove the prohibition against jaywalking, allowing people to cross the street when and where it’s safe to do so.

Which raises the question of what the hell it has to do with appropriations, unless criminalizing crossing the damn street is inappropriately seen as a money maker for the state, which is yet another reason to get rid of it.

Prospects are better for AB 122, the so-called Safety Stop Bill, which has passed through all committees, and just needs approval from the full Senate.

That bill would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, which most people on bicycles do already. Then again, so do many drivers, in what’s infamously known throughout the US as the California Roll.

This would remove the requirement for bike riders to come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign, increasing efficiency and improving safety.

It would also remove one of the most common reasons police ticket bike riders and eliminate any confusion over what constitutes a stop; many riders have complained about getting tickets for slowing to a near stop or doing a track stand.

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Bike Talk announces their lineup for this evening’s show, which sounds like it adds up to a compelling hour of, well, bike talk.

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New York Streetsblog says “actor-influencer-dandy-gadfly-gadabout-hunk-trendsetter” George Hahn is the bike-riding man about town we need right now, after he went on an impromptu rant against cars and car culture.

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Here’s a reminder of what we could have, if our elected leaders ever got serious about providing real alternatives to driving.

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

A woman in Cheddar, England — yes, that Cheddar — was nearly pushed off her bike by the unruly visitors in town for a Christian festival, who forced the village into a virtual lockdown with their rude and aggressive behavior. Maybe instead of attending a festival, they should go back home and re-read the book it’s based on, because they seem to have missed something.

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

Police in San Diego are looking for the Taser-toting bandit who robbed a local smoke shop before making his getaway carrying cash and a small safe on a black mountain bike.

An English woman walking her blind dog complained to police about a pair of “aggressive” bike riders who took offense to her admonition that bikes aren’t allowed on the narrow foot path.

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Local

The first months of West Hollywood’s 18-month e-scooter pilot program shows people illegally riding and parking on the sidewalks, rather than using the city’s designated scooter parking spots.

 

State

San Francisco tops the latest list of the country’s most bike-friendly cities, with Oakland a surprising number four. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t on the list, although Irvine makes an equally surprising appearance at number nine.

State Bicycle Company is partnering with the National Park Service to release a series of national park-themed bicycles, clothing and accessories, including a roadie paying tribute to Southern California’s Joshua Tree NP.

 

National

Your next bike lane could be 3D printed and suspended under a bridge.

Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon bike path will be out of action for the foreseeable future after mudslides shut down I-70 through the canyon, which runs next to it, for several days.

Things got tense in San Antonio, Texas, where a man pulled out a machete and threatened a driver who had just killed the man’s girlfriend as they were riding together; a bystander with a permit for a concealed weapon pulled out his gun to “diffuse” the situation. Note to KSAT-TV — the word you’re looking for is defuse, not diffuse. And who the hell carries a machete on a bike ride?

Good luck visiting Minnesota’s state parks if you don’t drive a car.

A TV station looks back to the nine minutes that triggered the Crown Heights riot 30 years ago, which began when an Orthodox Jewish driver slammed his car into a seven-year old Black boy who was fixing his bike chain, pitting the two groups against each other for three days of violence.

The New York Times offers a beginner’s guide to bicycling in the city.

Rumors are flying around Channing Tatum and Zoë Kravitz after she hitched a ride on the back of his BMX bike.

Newly released security cam video shows an Atlantic City, New Jersey man riding his bike into an intersection with a green light, where he was run down and killed by a cop rushing to a call without bothering to use his lights or siren.

 

International

A London man is trying to find out what happened that left him with a brain bleed and concussion after riding his bike to work; whatever occurred left him with no memory of the incident.

A look at London’s thriving bike polo scene.

Around two hundred people staged a bicycle die-in to demand safer streets in an English town after a 53-year old woman was killed riding her bike earlier this month. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of outrage here; previous Los Angeles die-ins have attracted a handful of people, at most.

An Irish writer says the country needs the equivalent of Ireland’s smoking ban to improve safety on the streets by slowing traffic.

New Zealand’s governing body for sports has announced an investigation into the alleged suicide of Rio Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore, who was left off this year’s team after reportedly being bullied by cycling officials into making false statements.

Life is a little less cheap in Singapore, where a driver will have to spend two weeks behind bars after an appeals court overturned her original sentence of probation for killing a bike rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as two-time defending Vuelta a España champ Primož Roglič has slipped back into the race’s red leader’s jersey, with a 25-second lead he’s not likely to give up.

Cycling Tips offers a preview to the paracycling events at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Next time think before you comment online. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome takes thoughtless sports fans to task for needlessly criticizing athletes, including your favorite — or least favorite — cyclists; reminding us that we’re talking about real people with real feelings, who may struggle with the pressure of competing at the highest levels. Considering he’s also won the Vuelta — twice — and the Giro, he might have some idea what he’s talking about. Or to put it another way, just don’t be a jerk, online or in what passes for real life these days.

 

Finally…

Now you can buy your Bird instead of renting, thanks to their new Van Moof knockoff. Someone please tell Michael Keaton that the only thing that’s like riding a bike is riding a bike.

And a reminder to pay attention to height limits when using a roof rack.

https://twitter.com/keithcolville/status/1428287386618847239

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

Who we share the road with: Alleged road raging DUI driver kills pregnant woman; and help keep Culver Blvd partially carfree

This is who we share the road with.

A pregnant woman and her unborn baby are dead, thanks to the allegedly drunken, road-raging driver she had the misfortune of sharing a pickup cab with.

The driver was allegedly chasing another driver through several blocks in Long Beach when he lost control of his truck, and crashed into a number of other vehicles.

One more tragic reminds that getting behind the wheel brings out the worst in far too many people.

And that some people just shouldn’t drive.

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This is who we share the road with, part two.

And speaking of people who just shouldn’t drive. Or maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive ever again.

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The Culver City council will consider whether to keep Culver Blvd open for people, and partially closed to cars, at tonight’s meeting.

Bike Culver City urges you to voice your support before then.

Meanwhile, my old friend and longtime LA bike advocate Kent Strumpell forwards a reminder about tonight’s webinar to explain upcoming changes to restore the Ballona Wetlands, which will impact the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail.

Reminder: WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands including a Q&A by CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the project planners.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM
Register here:                                                  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

And Streets For All is urging your comments before the LA County Board of Supervisors consider a motion addressing inequities in county infrastructure planning at tomorrow’s meeting.

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This may link to a story from last year.

But it’s a good reminder of what we’ve been saying here for some time. Bike helmets are designed to protect you from a fall off your bike. Not protect your skull — or anything else — from a motor vehicle.

Yes, you should wear one when you ride. I never get on my bike without one.

But don’t expect it to be some sort of magical hat that makes you impervious to injury, head or otherwise.

A bike helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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Admit it.

Your bike club never looked this good.

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

No bias here. The founder of a Chinese American citizen’s alliance argues against planned bike lanes by insisting that only wealthy white people ride bicycles, not ordinary people like the residents of Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Yet somehow, the photo accompanying the article clearly shows two people on bikes, including a heavily loaded cargo bike.

She gets it. A Kiwi writer asks drivers to please stop trying to kill her when she’s riding her bike.

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

British police finally busted a serial groper who allegedly prowled pathways on his mountain bike looking for victims; the 19-year old man is suspected of assaulting at least 20 women.

A Spanish thief has died after he was pushed off his bicycle by a Barcelona cop, who chased him down as he was trying to make his escape after stealing a woman’s cellphone; the death is already under investigation.

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Local

SoCal Cycling considers the pro football players who’ve added bicycling to their fitness program.

Rapper T.I.’s recent arrest in Amsterdam didn’t scare him off his bike, as he and his wife went for an extended ride in Santa Monica.

 

State

California State Parks wants your input on hike and bike camping.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a young girl was killed when she struck a raised curb while riding her bike downhill and hit her head on a concrete retaining wall. And no, she wasn’t wearing a helmet, despite a California law requiring one for anyone under 18.

A hit-and-run driver turned himself in two days after allegedly killing a bike rider in Ceres last week — but walked out without being arrested, because the CHP said they still needed to build their case. I’d call a confession a pretty good case, but what do I know?

While San Francisco bike riders cheer a decision to ban cars from John F. Kennedy Drive through Golden Gate Park, museums worry the loss of motor vehicle access will halt a post-pandemic rebound. Because evidently, their collections aren’t worth seeing if you can’t park right on top of them.

 

National

Streetsblog says there’s more good news, and even better amendments, in the bipartisan Senate transportation bill. Along with one really bad and unneeded mega-highway.

Wired offers a rudimentary how-to guide for getting into BMX for anyone inspired by the events in the Tokyo Olympics. But no, it’s not everyone’s favorite event, regardless of what the magazine says.

Your next ebike could be a Schwinn-style Harley chopper complete with banana seat and raised handlebars.

An Oklahoma cowboy remembers his wannabe childhood, saying a bicycle is the next best thing when there’s not a horse ride.

Police in New York are looking for a man who spat in the face of a 52-year old woman, and called her a racial slur as she was attempting to dock her bikeshare bike.

Speaking of the NYPD, they’ve arrested the alleged hit-and-run scooter rider who ran down 65-year old Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, then went directly to a bike shop to get his scooter fixed while she lay dying

A New Yorker decides he’ll have to leave the city if it replaces free curbside parking with a bike lane, because evidently, there’s no other way to get around in the American city best served by transit.

Scammers are switching QR codes on bikeshare bikes in the Big Apple, getting a free $3 ride when an unsuspecting mark scans it — and maybe even a free bike.

 

International

A Canadian writer traveling 5,000 miles as part of a cross-country group decries reckless drivers, calling them the scourge of bicyclists, and saying maybe they’d reconsider their actions if they could see the world from a bicycle seat.

A British bike rider credits a “guardian angel” with saving his life after he lost control of his bicycle and plunged 30 feet off a bridge and into the river below; he was rescued by an RAF doctor who watched the crash from her home just a few feet away.

Half of all adults in the UK are considering buying an ebike.

Reminiscing about a childhood bicycle crash, a British TV host was the living definition of oversharing, as he told about having to have his partially severed penis sewed back on afterwards.

Bicycling Australia examines the intersection of van life and bike life, living the life of a bike bum while living out of your van.

This one’s easily the story of the day. A New Zealand woman wants to thank the young man who loaned her his own “expensive” bicycle so she could make a followup exam with her cardiologist on time, after her bike suffered a flat he couldn’t fix. He then walked her bike to the office to exchange it for his, before riding off without a word.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to San Diego native Jennifer Valente on winning the women’s omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, the first ever track cycling gold medal for US women, after a massive crash took out much of the competition.

Now that the Olympics are over, the Tokyo Paralympics move in to take their place; San Diego microbiome researcher Josie Fouts went from reluctant bike commuter to elite paracycling champ representing the US in just a few months.

 

Finally…

It doesn’t matter how cool you think you look on your bike, Hollywood still thinks you’re a dork. Why should people be the only ones who get to ride, when animals might like it, tooThanks to an anonymous source for the link.

And there’s DIY, and then there’s assault with a hacksaw.

………

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

Why people keep dying on our streets, learn about coming changes to Ballona Creek Trail, and UK’s BoJo gets it

You’ve got to be kidding.

In a truly astounding case of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road, Louisiana officials finally arrested a repeat drunk driver after he missed not one, not two, but seven court dates.

Fifty-year old Jacob Paul Raffray faces charges for allegedly ramming his pickup into a family of five, breaking the grandmother’s hips and seriously burning a seven-year old boy who was trapped underneath the truck.

That came just four years after he was released for paralyzing a college baseball player in a drunken hit-and-run crash, following three previous DUI convictions.

And bizarrely, just two years after he was pardoned as a first-time offender, despite multiple parole violations.

Never mind his most recent arrest, for possessing meth and drug paraphernalia.

There’s no mention of his license being taken away, so presumably, he’s been allowed to continue to drive this whole time.

And we wonder why people keep dying on our streets.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels.

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The Friends of the Ballona Wetlands invite you to learn more about the planned restoration of the wetlands, and how it will affect the popular Ballona Creek Trail.

WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Q&A with CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM

Register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

The restoration plan for the Ballona Wetlands will create some significant modifications to the popular Ballona Creek Trail.  The webinar will describe:

  • What is planned for the wetlands restoration
  • What is planned for the Ballona Creek trail in the project area
  • What trail design details in the plan can still be influenced

Presentation by Neysa Frechette, Manager of Scientific Programs,  Friends of Ballona Wetlands

Q&A with Richard Brody, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

View trail map on page 2-42 in the Draft EIR at: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=149710&inline

For more information, including the final EIR, see: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/5/Ballona-EIR https://www.ballonafriends.org/restoring-ballona

 

 

 

………

A Twitter thread from Megan Lynch decries the failure to replace bollards on the UC Davis campus that are intended to keep drivers off sidewalks and pathways.

………

Britain’s bike-riding prime minister gets it.

At least when it comes to bicycles and transit.

Speaking of which, it’s really not a good look for a local councilor to stand in the street celebrating as a bike lane gets ripped out.

Particularly when his party supports them.

………

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

A pair of Wisconsin men face charges for yelling at a couple of people riding their bikes to get on the sidewalk, then coming back and smashing their bikes, and stealing the woman’s ID, keys and cash.

Irish bike riders question why on earth local authorities painted a parking space directly in front of the East Lothian Harbor Master’s office, blocking access to both it and the harbor’s only bike racks.

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

Police in Culver City are looking for the bike-riding man who followed a 17-year old girl with his hand down his pants, then struck her in the head when she tried to get away.

………

Local

Proving there is no highway project so bad Metro won’t back it, the country transit agency is dumping previously approved plans for a high-desert bikeway and high-speed rail corridor in favor of reviving the long-dead High Desert Freeway Project by widening nearby five-lane Highway SR-38 instead.

An East LA mother is demanding justice for her 14-year old son, who was seriously injured when he was knocked off his bike by a CHP officer who just drove off afterwards.

A 37-year old mountain biker had to be hoisted out of a remote area in Mandeville Canyon on Saturday after suffering traumatic injuries in a fall.

WeHoVille talks with Jason Bowers, general manger of Bikes and Hikes LA, which is offering a 20% locals discount for an LA-area bike tour.

Speaking of WeHoVille, the paper decries poorly parked scooters running amok in the city and terrorizing people on sidewalks. Hint: It’s not the scooters that are responsible for either of those problems.

A group of 15 firefighters left from Santa Monica on a cross-country bike trip to New York to raise awareness for firefighter-related cancers and mental health, intending to arrive in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11; they were joined by ten riders who set out from Santa Clara Sunday morning.

 

State

Carlsbad has received a $1.77 million grant to build a 2.5-mile segment of the Coastal Rail Trail on Avenida Encinas and Carlsbad Boulevard, which will be matched by $5.2 million in local funds.

Del Mar has settled a lawsuit over the bicycling death of a sheriff’s detective for $3.5 million; 54-year old Brian Villa was killed when his bike hit a rut in the road during the 2017 Amtrak Century.

Over 200 people rode their bikes on Sunday to celebrate the opening of a 1.5-mile protected bike lane in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, with the mayor calling for the project to be replicated throughout the city; naturally, not everyone is happy about it, especially the loss of 420 parking spaces.

Survey says, Goleta residents want bikeshare.

A Petaluma public schools food service director — in other words, the guy who managed the district’s public schools cafeteria — marked his retirement by riding up Mt. Diablo with ten pounds of sugar on his bike, representing the amount kids could eat in a typical school year.

Once again, someone has been killed illegally riding a bike on a California freeway, when a man was killed riding salmon with no lights on an Oakland Interstate. The victim was reportedly homeless.

 

National

Tips on how to ride with your kids, from finding the right seat to applying plenty of sunscreen.

No surprise here. GeekWire staffers raced through Seattle’s rush hour traffic by foot, boat, bike, car and scooter. And it was the guy on an ebike who came it first.

A formerly homeless Kansas jail deputy won’t get to have to ride his bike 11-miles each way to work and back anymore, after a crowdfunding campaign raised enough to buy him another car after his broke down.

If you build it, they will come. A full three-quarters of Boston residents support building more protected bike lanes, as a case study shows bicycling “increased significantly” in the two years after one protected bike lane was installed.

A Facebook group has become a lifeline for Gotham bicycle delivery riders, working to keep them and their ebikes safe on New York’s streets and bridges.

 

International

Presenting the UK’s most popular mountain biking spots, for your next trip to the country that isn’t part of Europe anymore.

Seventy British bike riders completed a 280-mile ride into London in honor of late Member of Parliament Jo Cox, who was assassinated by a right wing radical five years ago.

An Indian paper says the bike boom is the silver lining in the pandemic.

Bike-riding Indonesian volunteers are delivering vital medicines during the country’s ongoing pandemic lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Connor Fields is slowly improving after a horrific crash during a BMX preliminary heat that put him in the ICU with a brain hemorrhage.

Two-time BMX racing world champion and Rio silver medallist Alise Willoughby didn’t have a much better day on the track, but at least she walked away from it.

Britain’s Charlotte Worthington went from Mexican chef to Olympic gold by performing a stunt no other woman has pulled off in BMX competition.

Bicycling explains the often confusing Olympic track cycling events. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The sorry state of America’s velodromes doesn’t help the US team.

Cycling Weekly talks with rising Portuguese cyclists and twin brothers Rui and Ivo Oliveira to see if cycling success is in their identical genes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a million dollar, previously unobtainable Pokémon bicycle come to life. Bike to work or school so you can drink more milk — udders optional.

And evidently, it’s just a short trip from getting a slap on the wrist for killing a bike-riding tourist with your garbage truck to becoming a full-fledged enforcer for a Mexican drug cartel.

………

Thanks again to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; any donation, no matter how large or small, helps and is deeply appreciated. 

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

Worldwide Ride of Silence tonight, and video Wednesday with L39ION of LA and proposed Ballona Creek extension

Today marks the worldwide Ride of Silence to honor fallen bike riders.

Something we’ve seen far too much of here in Southern California.

Then again, one is one too many.

Unfortunately, though, there don’t appear to be any rides planned in the LA area, as the pandemic has taken its toll of group rides.

However, there are rides scheduled tonight in Bakersfield, Thousand Oaks, Riverside and Fullerton.

If you’re planning a ride that’s not listed here, even if you’re just throwing one together at the last minute, let me know and I’ll try to get the word out.

………

L39ION of Los Angeles just dropped a new video highlighting the next chapter for the LA cycling team focusing on increasing diversity in the sport.

Bicycling says you need to see it now.

So here it is.

As usual, you can read the article on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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A video produced by Santa Monica College students examines Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the eastern end of the creek.

………

If you’ve got a few extra bucks, an armless Portland man is crowdfunding money to fix the custom adaptive bike that allows him to ride, after it was damaged hitting some sort of bump.

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

No bias here. A Vancouver writer asks why city planners insist on putting bicyclists before people. Because evidently, we’re not quite human as far as she’s concerned.

A Boston transit driver makes an illegal turn across one separated bike lane into another, just missing a bike rider in the process.

………

Local

Pasadena police will hold yet another crackdown this Friday on traffic violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets written up. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica says go ride a bike. And offers a free cargo bike loaner to families of local school students.

 

State

Great idea. Caltrans is funding a $200,000 program to “teach students about safe urban cycling, bike mechanic skills and to encourage ridership through group bike rides” at three Santa Ana schools for the next two years.

Forty-two-year old parolee Jamison Connor went on trial yesterday for the head-on hit-and-run crash that killed 36-year- old Vista resident Kevin Lentz while he was riding in Escondido in 2019.

A Rancho Cucamonga science teacher makes an amazing return engagement to American Ninja Warrior — three years after he was nearly killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Bakersfield could soon get its own bikeshare system. Yes, Bakersfield.

A Santa Cruz website marks Bike Month in one of the state’s most dangerous counties to ride a bike.

SF Gate offers tips on how to carry almost anything on your bike.

A Bay Area writer says it’s time to drop bike licensing requirements, which are too often used as a pretext for police to target Black and brown bike riders.

Sad news from Merced County, where a 67-year old man was killed when his bike was run down from behind by a pickup driver while he was riding in the traffic lane without lights or reflectors long after dark.

Sacramento Magazine recommends a road bike ride on the city’s 23-mile American River Parkway, compete with 23 restrooms along the way.

 

National

Writing for Outside, a triathlete says killing cyclists is as American as mass shootings.

The Manual considers how much weight you can lose by riding a bicycle. That depends. How much have you got?

Seattle is asking for people to vote on a name for their cute little protect bike lane sweeper. Not surprisingly, Sweepy McSweepface is a popular choice.

A Seattle-area letter writer says signaling a turn can sometimes increase the risk for bike riders, who have to take a hand off their handlebars.

A ghost bike was installed for reigning master’s age group national road champ Gwen Inglis, who was killed on Sunday when she was run down from behind by an allegedly stoned driver while riding in a Lakewood, Colorado bike lane.

Relearning how to ride a bike in bike-unfriendly Wyoming.

A kindhearted Texas high school student crowdfunded money to buy a new bicycle, helmet and water bottle, along with a gift card for bike shoes, for a school bus driver who goes out of her way to help her kids.

An Illinois paper misses the point, saying the bicycling death of famed German architect Helmut Jahn calls attention to “a shared responsibility by all road users…to take some precautions to make safety a priority.” Except only it’s just the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose a risk to everyone else.

 

International

A London e-scooter user is caught on video crashing head-on into a bike rider. And for once it’s not the person on two wheels who gets the blame.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver got a lousy eight months behind bars for killing a man who was commuting to work on his bike to get fit for his daughter’s wedding.

Irish food delivery riders complain about the dangerous time pressures they face while working for the equivalent of less that $10 per hour.

A new study says Western Australia’s three foot passing law corresponds to a rise in aggressive behavior towards people on bicycles. However, correlation is not causation; more likely drivers under increased stress are taking it out on bike riders simply because we’re here, and they can.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s now okay for Giro cyclists to toss their water bottles to fans, but only in the last 31 miles of each stage.

New Zealand’s George Bennett says his poor performance in the first week of the Giro is one of the biggest disappointments of his professional cycling career.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel is experiencing just the opposite of Bennett, sitting a mere 14 seconds shy of the pink leader’s jersey in his first race back from his horrific crash in last year’s Tour of Lombardy.

 

Finally…

Your inner tubes could be reborn as someone’s dress. And whose bloody fingerprints are on the very cold corpse of the racing ‘bent?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Council candidate calls for Ballona extension, MUTCD comments due Friday, and always ride with adorable kids

Update: That crowdfunding campaign for 31-year old Adriana “Fishy” Rodriguez, who left five young children without a mother when she was killed by a driver while riding her bike in Lincoln Heights last month, has now raised half of the $7,000 goal.

Thank you to everyone who dug into their own pockets to help these kids.

If you haven’t given yet, take a few minutes to donate to the GoFundMe account that was established for Rodriguez before she died.

………

CD4 City Council candidate Scott Epstein highlights Streets For All’s proposal to extend the Ballona Creek bike path to the creek’s eastern terminus in Mid-City Los Angeles, where it would connect with a planned Bicycle Friendly Street leading into Hollywood.

Speaking of Epstein, the longtime LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member is raising funds for his campaign to put another much-needed bike friendly voice on the city council.

………

Time’s running out to comment on the tone-deaf, auto-centric revision to the MUTCD, the traffic engineering street design manual.

And tell them to throw the damn thing out and start over with something that treats bike riders, pedestrians and transit users like we belong here, too.

 

………

Don’t junk your old wheels, turn them into art.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

Britain’s immense Bolton Abbey estate continues to deny it has a ban on bike riders and equestrians, but the barricades and security guards blocking a key bridge would argue otherwise.

A London park’s code of conduct tells bike riders not to scare the people in the big, dangerous machines. No, really.

………

Local

Metro is offering a chance to win a $200 gift card just for completing their annual bikeshare survey.

Progressive news site KnockLA says we can’t lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan the future of the LA River, calling the county’s Geary-designed draft LA River Master Plan just flat out bad. I wish I could disagree with them, but yeah.

A working mom in South LA’s Windsor Hills neighborhood has converted an empty parking lot on Slauson Blvd into the RideWitUS-LA bike shop and bike club to serve LA’s long-neglected African American community.

A Chicago journalist arrived in Santa Monica at the end of a 2,500-mile ride from the Windy City, collecting people’s stories about Covid-19 along the way.

 

State

No bias here. A San Francisco supervisor is sharply criticized for comparing efforts to keep JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park carfree to segregation in the 1950s South, because the park is so hard for people from his largely Black district to reach if they don’t drive. Which is a far better argument for better transit than turning the street back over to motor vehicles.

 

National

Gear Patrol looks at long overdue efforts to diversify bicycling and make it more welcoming for people of color.

The Week says there’s a simple and cheap way to make room on the roads for bicycles and transit — just put an end to car supremacy. Unfortunately, like other forms of supremacy, calling to end it is a lot easier than actually doing it.

The people who brought you the Commodore 64 and 8-bit Atari are the designers behind a new ped-assist ebike.

This is who we share the road with. An Oregon driver is on trial for the road rage death of a motorcyclist, after repeated swerving his oversized pickup into the biker’s lane. Although he just faces felony vehicular homicide charges, rather than the murder count his actions would seem to call for.

Oklahoma’s governor has signed that state’s version of an Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and treat red lights like stop signs.

Kindhearted cops in a Detroit suburb pitched in to buy a new bike for a Taco Bell employee, after someone stole the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio announces plans to install five major busways and another 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year, in a major move to reshape the city’s streets before he leaves office. Although Streetsblog complains he’s not doing anything to curtail private car use.

Speaking of de Blasio, a Staten Island writer complains about plans to cut the speed limit on a major artery to 30 mph, calling it a traffic ticket money grab on the mayor’s part — even while acknowledging that dropping the speed limit is one of the best ways to halt the rising toll of pedestrian deaths.

And capping off our de Blasio trifecta, the mayor finally got out of his chauffeured SUV and onto a bikeshare bike, suddenly getting a new perspective of the city.

Pennsylvania snowboard maker Gilson Snow has introduced a sustainable wooden bicycle, made with the same laminated wood used in their boards.

Tragic news from Florida, where a bike-riding man and women were killed in a collateral damage crash when an allegedly stoned driver crashed into an oncoming SUV while passing slower traffic in a no-passing zone, knocking the SUV over and onto a bike trail next to the roadway, where the couple riding their tandem bike were sitting ducks.

You know you’re in bike-friendly Portland when business owners sign a petition calling for new protected bike lanes on their street, instead of fighting them.

 

International

Your kid’s next balance bike could be a Bentley.

The Ecologist explains the reasoning behind the Car Free Megacities campaign to transform London, Paris and New York by greatly reducing motor vehicle use. Maybe they can pretty please include LA in that, too.

No surprise here. Drivers and bicyclists disagreed over popup bike lanes in Waterloo, Ontario, with bike riders feeling safer while drivers felt inconvenienced.

A Halifax, Nova Scotia paper argues that poorly executed Slow Streets could be worse than none at all, after a bike rider was hit by a truck driver who claimed he had no idea he was driving on one (scroll down).

A British expat living in Copenhagen strangely calls on bike riders to stop intertexting — using a smartphone while crossing an intersection — rather than just leaving your damn phone alone while riding.

Shimano considers the future of bicycling in bike-loving Belgium.

Clever idea, as German bikemaker Convercycle introduced a new e-cargo bike with a wheelbase that extends and contracts, depending on your needs.

Horrible story from China, where an ebike battery exploded on a crowded elevator, sending four people to the hospital, including a five-month old baby.

Cycling Tips looks at the highlights this year’s Australia Handmade Bicycle Show.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Joe Dombrowski celebrated an early birthday by surviving a long breakaway to win a dramatic, rain-soaked fourth stage of the Giro, while Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi slipped into the pink leader’s jersey.

Meanwhile, VeloNews talks with some of stars of the WorldTour about a stage they describe as “thrilling.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get bitten by Jesus of Nazareth’s dog. Forget the speakers, just take your entire DJ deck along on your ride.

And if you want to avoid having angry drivers stuck behind you, make sure to always bring some adorable little bike riders with you.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Car chases end on LA-area bike paths, couple kidnaps and tortures prospective bike buyer, and weigh in on Glendora Ave

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence, once again. 

The assorted health issues stemming from my diabetes, and the many and varied meds to treat them, conspired to knock me on my ass all Tuesday night and most of the following day.

One more reminder that diabetes sucks.

Virtually all my health problems are the result of doctors who insisted I’d never get diabetes, despite a family history on both sides, allowing it to go undetected for as much as 20 years. 

So if you’re at risk, get checked. And don’t believe anyone who insists your bicycling, lean build and/or healthy diet means you won’t get it. 

Then do whatever you have to do to avoid it.

Because trust me, you don’t want this shit.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

………

Los Angeles TV viewers watched live Tuesday evening as a car theft suspect led police on a high speed chase before briefly driving on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path.

He then abandoned the allegedly stolen van to run across the 90 Freeway during rush hour traffic, and apparently made a failed attempt to buy, beg or steal a man’s bicycle back on the path.

All in vain, as it turned out, as the bike rider refused, and police tackled the man in a grassy field shortly later.

It appeared to be a common theme for the day.

Two other suspects appeared to escape capture earlier Tuesday after an extended high speed chase that ended in Long Beach.

They, too, abandoned the car — apparently their own, this time — and beat an escape by walking along the LA River bike path.

………

Buyer beware, indeed.

A New Mexico couple faces a raft of charges after allegedly kidnapping a man who came to their house to buy a bicycle.

They reportedly were looking for someone they said owed them money. But they’re likely to get long prison terms, instead.

And yes, this is why you should always meet prospective bike buyers or sellers in a public place.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on a safer Glendora Ave.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1361767303843471360

………

Learn how to fight for, and implement, effective Vision Zero programs.

Hint: Find politicians with more commitment and courage than LA’s weak kneed mayor and city council.

………

Ever get the feeling they’re just trying to thin the herd?

https://twitter.com/just_barely/status/1361626101559271424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1361626101559271424%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-17-february-2021-280977

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Here’s today’s mountain biking break, courtesy of the “insanely long” trails of Idaho’s Silver Mountain bike park.

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

An Aussie bike rider voiced his obvious displeasure after a driver passed far too close and too fast.

………

Local

It’s getting closer. The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge connecting Elysian Valley and Cypress Park is about three-quarters done. Let’s just hope it’s worth the $18 million price tag, which is more than two to three times the original estimate.

KCET highlights 12 bikeable spots to explore in WeHo’s Rainbow District, aka Boystown, viewable along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd. Some I didn’t even know about, like the Door’s offices and rehearsal space, where Jim Morrison laid tracks for L.A. Woman.

Sofi Tucker is one, uh, two of us, as the EDM DJ duo partnered with Venice Beach’s Solé Bicycles for a limited-edition white and purple single-speed bike called The Purple Cheetah, in honor of its paint job and cheetah-print seat.

 

State

Congrats to carfree bike rider Jacob Madel on his appointment as the new advocacy manager for the San Diego Bike Coalition.

A coalition of San Diego advocacy groups reaffirms its support for protected bike lanes on 30th Street through the North Park neighborhood.

San Diego letter writers debate the virtues of protected bike lanes, with frequent BikinginLA contributor Phillip Young taking the contrary view.

Completing our San Diego foursome, 51-year old Leovardo Salceda may finally face very belated justice, 32 years after he allegedly fatally shot bike rider Oliver Harrison with a stray bullet.

Maybe San Francisco construction crews are starting to get it, apparently thinking more about bike riders and other vulnerable road users when setting up their work zones.

Sad news from Riverbank, where a teenaged boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike at 2:30 am.

 

National

Bicycling says Vanmoof’s team of bike hunters could make stolen bicycles a thing of the past. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Esquire rates the seven best bikes to choose from if you want to ride in style this year, ranging in price from around $300 to $1,200.

A Seattle nonprofit uses bakfiets cargo bikes to deliver food and supplies for food banks; 450 volunteers have transported over 88 tons of food since the pandemic started last spring.

The Killers’ Brandon Flowers is one of us, as the lead singer of the Las Vegas-based band will have shoulder surgery for a mountain biking injury.

Nevada’s Clark County, home to Las Vegas, belatedly gives bike riders the right to take the lane.

They get it. The latest draft of Missoula, Montana’s long-range transportation plan is heavy on bike lanes, greenways, shared-use paths and Complete Streets, while dropping a proposed freeway interchange. Now if Los Angeles could just somehow make that leap.

Meet a Missouri man who’s lived carfree for the last 14 years, riding his bike more than an hour to work every day, regardless of the weather.

An Ohio bike shop got a stolen BMX bike back when the owner’s mother called the mother of one of the suspected thieves, asking for her son do the right thing. Which in this case, meant buying it back from the person he sold it to before he could return it.

You can now rent an ebike in New York for $99 a month.

The American spy who killed a 19-year old British man when she slammed into his motorcycle, then fled the scene — and the country, claiming diplomatic immunity — offered to go into mediation when a Virginia court refused to dismiss the civil suit against her. Sadly, the Trump administration refused to send her back to the UK to face charges, and Biden appears to be following suit.

The Virginia Senate approved measures requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders when they can’t give a three-foot passing distance and allow bicyclists to ride two abreast, but punted on adopting the Idaho Stop Law.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could come with built-in lights, complete with your choice of light(er) weight and air vents, or self-charging solar panels.

Banksy’s recent English bike mural is literally off the wall, after it was sold, bricks and all, to an art gallery for an undisclosed six-figure price, despite claims that it really belonged to the people of Nottingham, rather than the building owner who sold it.

A British man will have to find a new home for the hundreds of broken bikes he fixes to give away on Facebook or raffle to raise funds for nonprofits, after his homeowner’s group gave them the boot from his own driveway.

An Irish researcher says a helmet and hi-viz are less effective than segregated infrastructure to improve bicycle safety.

Cyclist touts Les Trois Cols as possibly the greatest bicycling loop in the French Alps, traversing three mountain passes while offering challenging climbs and spectacular views.

F1 driver Fernando Alonso is back in the saddle training for the upcoming motorsports season in Switzerland, just days after surgery to repair his jaw and teeth damaged in a bicycling collision.

An Indian paper asks if the pandemic-induced bike boom is safe and there to stay.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A New Zealand man who killed a bike rider is asking to get his driver’s license back, less than a year after the distracted driving crash; the judge disqualified himself because he has feared for his own safety while biking on the same road.

The Australian edition of Gizmodo examines how the bicycle changed the world for women.

 

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Thirty-three year old former bike messenger Ayesha McGowan has joined Liv Racing, achieving her high-profile goal of becoming the first Black American woman to compete on the World Tour, just six years after first taking up the sport. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The US men’s road cycling team for this year’s Tokyo Olympics could fit in a bobsled. No, a two man bobsled.

 

Finally…

VeloNews meets Vogue. When you’re riding a bike, with an outstanding warrant for car theft hanging over your head, just put a damn light on it, already.

And this pretty much sums it all up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Why we can’t have nice things — Ballona Creek, other LA area trails close because Angelenos won’t practice social distancing

Angelenos couldn’t manage to keep away from each other over the weekend.

Let alone stay home.

So now we have a lot fewer places to do it.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has closed all the parks and trails under their authority, including the popular Ballona Creek bike path, and at least some portions of the LA River bike path.

Which exactly the wrong move when bicycling is one of the safest forms of transportation for avoiding exposure to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

And it severely limits safe options for bike riders used to using the creekside trail to bypass busy and dangerous Westside streets.

Think of it as akin to closing the nearby 10 Freeway, which would be unthinkable for most Angelenos. But is, apparently, all too easily done when it involves people on bicycles.

This comes after numerous reports of people crowding the beachside bike path in Santa Monica, which has also been shut down as of Sunday afternoon. As well as images from Runyon Canyon, which drew condemnation from across the US over the weekend.

Along with other sites in the LA area, and up and down the state.

Not to mention several sightings of spandexed idiots riding closely in pacelines, as if they and everyone they know or encounter were somehow immune to the disease.

Malibu’s Solstice Canyon is also closing effective today, after the CDC concluded that the necessary distancing couldn’t be achieved.

So let’s make it as clear as we possibly can.

Stay the fuck home.

Go out for necessities and essential services only. Which doesn’t mean shopping at Target, Costco or anywhere else because you’re bored.

Get what you need and go home. Because every stop you make, and every moment you spend out, increases the risk that you could catch Covid-19 or spread it to those you love.

Or to total strangers, some of whom may not survive it.

As a diabetic, my risk of death from coronavirus is much higher than most. And my wife, who suffers from a number of medical issues, is almost guaranteed to suffer serious complications if she is exposed.

And we’ll both lose our medical insurance at the end of next month if she can’t get back to work by then.

Our lives, and those of countless others, are literally in your hands.

So wash them, already.

Yes, you can go out to exercise and get some air. Walking and bicycling are highly recommended.

But when you do, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from anyone you don’t live with.

If not for us, then because they’ll take that away too if you don’t.

Just ask the people of Italy and Spain.

And now, France, where jogging more than one mile from your home is prohibited, and bicycling banned entirely.

There are very few people alive today who have ever seen a pandemic like this.

And unless they’ve already caught it, no one alive has immunity to it.

No even you.

Thanks to Michael Taggart for the heads-up.

Photo of non-social distancing on the Santa Monica bike path by David Drexler.

………

Bike riders are turning out to be heroes in our nation’s hour of need.

Bike Portland says bike delivery pros are proving their value — and their mettle — in the age of coronavirus.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 94-year old rides his bike 45 miles a day delivering food for Meals on Wheels, even during the Covid-19 outbreak.

A biking Brooklyn bartender is riding door-to-door to deliver mixed spirits to lift his customers’ spirits.

New York bicyclists are volunteering to buy groceries for older people who can’t get out on their own.

Bike riders in Tampa FL are pitching in to deliver food for local restaurants after they were shut down except for takeout and delivery.

And speaking of bicycle heroes, Italian bikewear company Santini has put padded shorts on hold while they devote their efforts to making as many as 10,000 medical masks a day.

………

The mayor of Watsonville discusses a recent police crackdown as part of the city’s Vision Zero effort.

But let’s be clear.

Bike helmets aren’t Vision Zero. Bike lights aren’t Vision Zero. And neither are traffic tickets.

Yes, they all may help. But Vision Zero is recognizing that people will always make mistakes, and redesigning streets so those mistakes don’t become fatal.

………

If you have a few extra bucks lying around, you can’t ask for a better cause.

………

If you’re bored at home — and who isn’t? — get the crayons or markers out and do a little coloring.

………

That feeling when a 10-year old can ride rings around you. Or over you.

………

Most people would just settle for a helmet cam.

………

No argument here. Although this was probably someone’s not-too-distant relative.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

………

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

As British track cyclist Lauren Bate would undoubtedly agree.

https://twitter.com/LaurenBatee/status/1240998997332054021?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1240998997332054021&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Flive-blog-man-drives-lauren-bate-272077

………

Local

Bike Talk talks LA bike politics this week.

Colin Hanks is one of us, taking his daughter for an ebike ride through the streets of LA.

Dennis Quaid is one of us, too, as he goes for a ride through Pacific Palisades with his fiancé.

And while we’re at it, we can’t forget Adam Sandler, who took a spin through the ‘Bu on his Pedego ebike.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 48-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; he was found off the side of the road next to his mangled bicycle.

A woman takes a ride through San Francisco with her 15-year old son after the lockdown, and finds a city neither recognizes.

San Francisco rejected calls to close RFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to provide safe walking and biking space.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man died as a result of an apparent medical event while riding his bike; first responders found him down on the ground, still straddling his bike.

 

National

A writer for Outside sets his course in life with a BMX faceplant in the driveway when he was seven years old.

A Missoula, Montana newspaper talks with locals who refurbish and ride vintage steel road bikes.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Minnesota man faces charges for allegedly being under the influence when he struck and killed a 16-year old boy; he has two previous DUIs, as well as at least six convictions for driving without a valid license, and a handful of criminal convictions.

An idea who’s time has come amid the coronavirus crisis, as New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for closing some streets to cars to make more room for pedestrians for social distancing, and to declare bike shops essential businesses during the virus closures. Unfortunately, New York’s governor disagreed, ruling bicycle repair was non-essential, despite the city’s recent surge in ridership, before eventually changing his mind.

Meanwhile, New York’s mayor responded with temporary protected bike lanes on two major corridors.

New York isn’t the only city seeing a bike boom. Ridership in Philadelphia has more than doubled since the first of the month, compared to the same time last week; one corridor saw a 471% increase. Then again, it’s boom times for bikes that don’t move, too; scooters, not so much.

 

International

Experts are calling for countries to generously fund bikeways in response to a worldwide jump in bike use due to Covid-19.

Mexico City’s mayor shut down the city’s popular ciclovía on Sunday to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Good question. A Canadian paper wants to know why things aren’t getting better after so many cities have embraced Vision Zero.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says the UK should encourage bicycling during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Bike Radar tries to answer all your burning coronavirus bicycling questions.

Pretty much the definition of tragic irony, as a London bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an ambulance driver.

A British father is still on the road after quitting his job on a whim to ride 28,000 miles around the world for the last two years.

India’s biggest bikemaker has shut down to protect its workers from Covid-19.

Think you know how to harden up? Try riding a paracycle 250 miles across Kenya while steering with your chin the entire way.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling has pulled the plug on American bike racing through May 3rd. But don’t be surprised if we’ve seen the last bike race for quite awhile.

Yes, the pros are on lockdown, too.

American cyclist Lawson Craddock is in self-quarantine in his Texas home after returning from the abbreviated Paris-Nice stage race, to prevent inadvertently spreading the virus to his family.

When there’s no bike racing, there’s nothing to talk about except recent cycling kerfuffles.

 

Finally…

Just want we need — a Mercedes pickup made just for bicyclists. Who says there’s no bike racing now?

And maybe there’s a reason why downhillers don’t use roadies.

View this post on Instagram

Came in way too hot. Whoops.

A post shared by Adam Blythe (@adamblythe89) on

 

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

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