Tag Archive for Ballona Creek bike path

Morning Links: Driving on Ballona Creek, SaMo sued over Lyft scooter trip-and-fall, and December die-in at City Hall

When is a bike path not a bike path?

When it unexpectedly turns into a roadway for lost drivers.

Josh Hamilton forwarded this photo he took Tuesday morning on the Ballona Creek Bike Path in Culver City, along with the following note.

Longtime reader and wanted to share something that happened this morning.

Turns out there is nothing preventing cars from entering the bike path at Sepulveda Blvd (and minimal signage) and 2 people in a car accidentally drove onto the Ballona Creek Bike Path. They were driving slowly when I stopped and spoke with them near the pedestrian bridge at the school next to the path.

I assume they were foreign tourists as they were in what seemed like a rental car with out of state plates and they didn’t speak English. They mistakenly had Google Maps set to bicycle directions. They were concerned and clearly meant no harm, but it’s clearly an issue if drivers can just enter the bike path on accident or on purpose.

Then again, it seems to be a problem other places, too.

Photo of the unprotected entrance to the Ballona Creek Bike Path from Google Maps; photo of car on bike path by Josh Hamilton.

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Santa Monica voted to extend their e-scooter and bikeshare program another six months, until it can be replaced with a more comprehensive program.

Even though an 88-year old woman is suing Santa Monica, Lyft and the Santa Monica Community College District after suffering multiple hip, pelvis and elbow fractures when she tripped over a Lyft scooter that had been illegally left in a no scooter zone in front of the school.

It had been left on the sidewalk next to a passenger drop-off zone where the city had instituted a scooter “no deployment zone,” but allegedly failed to enforce it.

I’ve long supported micromobility to reduce the numbers of cars on the street and vehicle miles traveled.

Long being a relative term, since they first hit the streets just two years ago.

But inherent in that support is the need to use them responsibly. Which does not include leaving them where they block sidewalks or other places where people can trip on them.

A successful micromobility program demands safe places to ride the devices, as well as safe places to park them.

We need a complete, comprehensive network of bike lanes throughout every city in the LA area, along with secure, in-street bicycle, bikeshare and scooter parking on every block.

Whoever left that scooter there in violation of the rules, whether it was the last person to use it or someone who moved it there, is who’s really responsible for harming an elderly woman.

And they’re extremely lucky that’s all it was.

Instead, every resident of Santa Monica will be on the hook for that one person’s carelessness.

Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

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This time they gave us plenty of notice.

So mark your calendar for December 3rd, when LA bike riders will hold a die-in on the steps of city hall.

Let’s there’s at least one person on the ground for each of the 28 people on bicycles killed in LA County so far this year — half of them in the City of Los Angeles.

And those numbers will continue to grow until Vision Zero finally becomes more than just a feel-good slogan for our elected leaders.

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A woman was injured when she was left crossed by a motorist pulling into a driveway during last weekend’s Tour de Foothills in Upland.

No word yet on how serious her injuries are.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew and Erik Griswold for the video.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Alleged drunk driver Carlo Adrian Navarro has been charged with murder for the Halloween night crash that killed an entire family in Long Beach.

The 20-year old man faces up to life in prison for the crash that killed a mother, father and their three-year old son as they were trick-or-treating.

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Thanks to the Beverly Hills PD for keeping the streets safe from people driving without a valid sofa license.

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition sends word that half the Seal Beach Blvd bike lanes will be closed for the next six weeks.

Speaking of which, Orange County didn’t quite turn out as promised.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Someone has been smearing shit under the handlebars of DC bikeshares.

A road raging London driver screamed at a bicyclist to get in the bike lane, apparently unaware that bike riders don’t have to use them in the UK. Or maybe he was just pissed off about having to pay for a tiny fraction of it.

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

Seriously, if you’re taking up more than one seat on the train, move your damn ass if someone else needs one.

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Local

No surprise here. Uber is taking Los Angeles to court to prevent getting banned over their refusal to share use data with the city.

UCLA police are cracking down on scofflaw scooter users.

A USC editor talks about his bike commute, and says LA’s bikeability could use some improvements. Meanwhile, a writer for the school paper says distracted bicycling has to be banned on campus. Just wait until the New York Times tells him about distracted walking.

Bruce Willis is one of us, taking up bicycling after he sold his motorcycles and donated the profits to support active and retired soldiers. Although you can’t win with the British tabloids, who criticize people who don’t wear helmets and ridicule them if they do.

Get a ticket riding in the South Bay, and you could find yourself in bike traffic school.

It’s a tad too late for this month. But you might want to mark your calendar for next month’s full moon ride in Long Beach.

 

State

Cycling News offers photos from Peter Sagan’s three-day Sagan Roadie-Oh! in San Diego last weekend.

A board member with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says criticism from a man who failed to get elected to the board was off base, because he simply failed to convince enough people to vote for him.

San Diego mountain biker Nate Marroquin will walk into med school next summer, despite breaking his back in a fall that left him paralyzed last year.

A bike-riding serial killer will face trial for attacking a number of mostly homeless people in San Diego, killing four and injuring several others.

A Ventura neighborhood will get new sidewalks and bike lanes.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a trailer from a Fresno bike club, along with the mountain and cross bikes inside.

A San Jose columnist says yes, green lanes are important.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bicycle. Let’s hope he pulls through, and makes a fast and full recovery.

San Francisco is making plans to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on narrow residential streets, even though that requires changing or repealing the state’s deadly 85th Percentile Law.

Berkeley considers instituting a sort-of Idaho Stop Law by asking police to de-emphasize ticketing riders who treat stops as yields, and red light like stop signs.

 

National

RideApart considers what tools you should carry on your bike.

Liberal think tank Center for American Progress says all-of-the-above transportation strategies won’t work. And what has to go is the country’s over-reliance on motor vehicles.

That’s more like it. A Denver driver gets some real justice for right hooking a bike rider, when a judge sentenced her to 50 hours of community service — to be served with a bicycling organization.

The Chicago Tribune offers tips one how to choose the best foldie. Oddly, they recommend a Schwinn, which has got to be one of the few times that’s happened since the ’60s.

Streetsblog says don’t blame the victim after a woman was killed when she was right hooked by a garbage truck.

Call it the two-wheeled Indy 500. IndyCar racer Tony Kanaan is one of us, riding 500 miles in a typical week. He considers the 56-mile bike leg of a triathlon a light day.

Speaking of Indy, a student at Indiana University has started a petition to remake Breaking Away with a female cast; the movie is based on the university’s annual Little 500. I’m all for it if Dennis Christopher they let reprise his role; Dave Stohler would a hell of a bike coach. And yes, I signed the petition.

A Rhode Island construction company is threatening to build apartments on a new bike path, claiming the state doesn’t own the land it built it on.

The New York Times recommends ped-assist bikes to help new mountain bikes gain confidence and fitness.

The NY Times also piles on with the victim blaming by offering tips on how to stop your distracted walking. Unlike distracted driving, no one has ever been killed by a distracted pedestrian. And there are few, if any, stats to support the idea that there has been a rash of distracted walking deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike a Pennsylvania special needs man used to get to work.

Bicycling checks in with ex-Tour de France winner and new Amish Country hemp mogul Floyd Landis.

Sure, that’s credible. A Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike claimed he didn’t know he hit anyone. And just happened to buy some spray paint and repaint his truck.

After someone stole the bicycle a retired cop and stroke survivor used as his only form of exercise, kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

A new study confirms that helmet laws drive down bicycling rates — but also finds that helmet use corresponds with a higher rate of upper body injuries. Before you throw your helmet away, bear in mind that correlation does not equal causation. And a wrecked shoulder is better than a wrecked skull.

That’s more like it. A Calgary man could face up to life in prison for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that killed a 15-year old boy and seriously injured his friend as they were riding their bikes; prosecutors waived 11 other charges against the man, who was driving a stolen vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Seriously? The British government is allowing thousands of wild duck eggs to be destroyed because they might, potentially, grow up and walk in front of a bike rider someday.

Meital Weiss is one of us, too. She’s a 12-year old Israeli girl paralyzed from the waist down since she was 10 months old, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah by trading her wheelchair for a handcycle and ride to raise funds for the rehab hospital that cared for her. And that makes her a celeb — and a hero — in my book.

Aussie researchers consider why people fail at riding a bicycle, and how we can learn to fail better. And how you can tell where someone is in their commitment to ride by where they keep their bikes.

A Hong Kong bikeshare firm suffers a timely system breakdown, which just happened to make free bikes available to students and protesters.

Your next Chinese-made ebike could cost $425 and fold down to the size of a very large sheet of paperAlthough that looks more like a scooter to me. And doesn’t have any pedals.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where five-time Paralympic medalist Kieran Modra was killed in a collision while he was riding to meet family members for a bike ride.

Eighty-three-year old French cycling great Raymond Poulidor passed away on Wednesday; he had eight Tour de France podiums in his 15-year career in the ’60s and early ’70s, but never wore the yellow jersey.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx says he could have been a goner following his mid-October bike crash, if not a nurse who happened to be passing by.

 

Finally…

Forget that business degree; now you can major in bikes. You may never be a world champ mountain biker, but at least you can own his bike.

And riding your bike the wrong way on a freeway is not the recommended way to escape from the cops.

Even if it works.

 

Morning Links: Rabid bat in OC bike rental shop, helmetless teen in Burbank crash, and Ballona Creek closure this week

If you see a lone bike rider with kitty litter panniers and a full lumberjack beard making his way east from the Santa Monica Pier along Broadway, Ohio or Santa Monica Blvd this afternoon or evening, say hi to my brother Eric. 

It’ll surprise the hell out of him. 

I’m going to take a few days off to enjoy his visit, and pretend to enjoy my birthday this year.

Barring anything unforeseen, we should be back later in the week. 

So ride carefully and defensively for the next few days. I don’t want to have to come back to write about you, or anyone else. 

Bat photo by Miriam Fischer from Pexels; see next item.

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Rabid bicyclists are nothing new.

Rabid bats inside an Orange bike rental shop, on the other hand…

Seriously, if you were in the bicycle rental shop at 1 Irvine Park Road in Irvine Regional Park recently, and you had any contact with a bat, call the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division from 8 am to 5 pm at 714/834-8180, or call 714/834-7792 after hours.

Or if you have a pet that may have come into contact with a bat in the area, call your vet right away.

Or just wait until you’re foaming at the mouth, and people assume you’re just another angry NIMBY screaming about bike lanes.

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More information on the Burbank crash we mentioned last week, as a 16-year old boy was critically injured in the collision at Alameda Ave and Lake Street Thursday night.

Unfortunately, no further details are available at this time.

However, the police were quick to mention that the victim didn’t appear to be wearing a helmet, as required by law for anyone under 18.

But they failed to mention whether he suffered a head injury that a helmet might have prevented.

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A section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be closed for maintenance most of this week.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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Maybe there’s a reason to buy an Apple Watch after all.

A Washington man is crediting his father’s watch with saving his life after a bad mountain biking fall.

Not only did the Apple Watch automatically notify the son his dad had fallen, it called 911 and informed them of his location.

Before the son could get there, his father was already in an ambulance and headed for the hospital.

If that’s not in the company’s next commercial, they need to fire their ad agency. Or marketing director.

Or both.

Thanks to Mike Cane and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is offering a handy dandy little chart explaining the legal requirements for bikes, ebikes, hoverboards, e-scooters, motorized bicycles and motor-driven cycles, such as Vespas.

As (almost) always, just click to make it bigger and easier to read.

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A little tactical urbanism in action, as someone hacked a highway warning sign to give a clear, if slightly censored, message to drivers everywhere.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A man is under arrest for intentionally using his car as a weapon after a Sacramento State student complained that he was parked in a bike lane, then getting out of his car and beating the victim as he was lying in the street.

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Local

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup says parking reform will save the city, blaming free street parking and mandatory off-street parking for causing needless traffic, sprawl and housing unaffordability.

The LAPD says it broke up an e-scooter flash mob that was attempting to take over DTLA, and possibly the 101 Freeway, Saturday night.

LA Times letter writers give pedestrians the usual bicyclist treatment, blaming scofflaw distracted walkers for a rise in pedestrian deaths while absolving the people in the big, dangerous machines of any responsibility.

Kesha is one of us, nearly unrecognizable with her newly dark hair as she rides around Venice with her boyfriend. And yet, the fearless paparazzi somehow still managed to spot her.

A Bixby Knolls man discusses his disastrous, yet ultimately successful, attempt to revive the Long Beach Marathon for skaters, bicyclists and runners in 1999.

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom took a big step towards street equity by appointing former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler to the California Transportation Commission, along with Hilary Norton, who runs Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, aka FAST.

The San Francisco Chronicle says California must overhaul its approach to transportation to fight climate change, and questions whether it’s up to the task. Based on what we’ve seen so far, the jury’s still out on that one.

In the best story of the day, an 86-year old Escondido woman is hooked after taking the first bike ride of her life on a tandem bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized road bike worth nine grand from a San Diego paracyclist when she went inside to get her shoes.

This is who we share the roads with. A road raging Florida man punched a Lake Elsinore motorcycle rider, before taking aim with his car and running over the victim’s bike.

Santa Cruz police cracked down on traffic violations that threaten the safety of bike riders and pedestrians, ticketing 24 drivers over a five hour period, along with one pedestrian. And just one bike rider, for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

San Jose bike riders turned out in force for the city’s open streets event over the weekend.

Sad news from Vallejo, where a 66-year old man was killed when he was struck by a driver in an early morning crash; police blamed the victim for wearing dark clothing and not having a light on his bike, as well as having drugs and alcohol in his system.

 

National

The rich get richer. Tucson approves plans for more bike boulevards, on top of the nine the city already has. Which compares favorably to LA’s, uh, one.

Chicago cops busted a suspect who allegedly rode his bike up to a woman and shot her last week; one of the officers was shot in the leg making the arrest. Fortunately, both victims are expected to survive.

A Michigan appeals court has affirmed the sentence for the man who killed five bike riders and injured four more while driving under the influence of a veritable smorgasbord of drugs. The 53-year old man won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 90. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Tragic news from Cleveland, where a 38-year old man faces charges for carjacking an SUV with a toddler still strapped into a child seat, then killed a bike rider as he tried to make his getaway from the police.

After arguing in his car with a teenage boy, a slightly older man followed him into the Massachusetts woods and slit his throat as the victim tried to ride away, alleging he blacked out after the boy called him a racial slur.

Join the club. A New York councilmember says the city doesn’t have the resources to investigate hit-and-runs, with just 26 officers assigned to more than 42,000 cases every year.

Now that New York Mayor and erstwhile presidential candidate Bill de Blasio has finally given up on his quixotic quest for the White House, the press is insisting he refocus on being mayor, including getting the city’s Vision Zero program back on track.

For a change, the New York Post is kind, saying simply that the mayor has totally plateaued. And a writer for The Intercept wants to know why de Blasio is trying to kill him, accusing the self-proclaimed progressive NY mayor of favoring drivers over bicyclists.

Apparently, it remains open season on bike riders in New York, where a 14-year old boy was killed by the driver of a private garbage truck for the city’s 21st bicycling death this year — more than twice the total for all of last year. His family is demanding answers, as they should.

The New York Times says if you want to fight climate change, don’t drive so damn much. Although they might not have said it quite that way.

Long Island police evidently decide the constitution doesn’t apply to teenage bike riders, seizing the bikes of “disruptive” teens without pressing charges.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explores how to keep your bicycling obsession under control.

A British Columbia man learns the hard way that admitting to using heroin before riding his bike is a Get Out of Jail Free card for the cop that hit him.

No bias here. A Montreal columnist says he’s absolutely in favor bike lanes, except in the winter when he puts his bike away and drives everywhere. And accuses the city of being hostile to cars instead of just making room for people on two wheels, which he would probably hate in the winter, anyway.

Life is cheap in Yorkshire, England, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for running down a bike rider, costing him the use of his thumb and killing his bicycle.

In yet another example of governments keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, UK authorities blamed a variety of errors for failing to revoke a speeding driver’s license until after he killed another man, even though he had 25 points against his license — which should have been taken away with less than half that.

Scandinavian countries aren’t the only place where bicycling is a way of life. A reporter says everyone rides in the Tanzanian city of Shinyanga, where bicycles are the only form of transport.

Delhi, India gives LA drivers a hint of things to come as the city begins odd/even days to fight smog and traffic congestion; drivers with even license plates can drive one day, while drivers with odd plates can drive the next. Does that mean people with personalized plates don’t get to drive at all? This is the future we all have to look forward to if NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers keep fighting attempts to create safe, practical alternatives to driving.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly examines how Dutch women came to rule the cycling world, and questions whether anyone can beat them at this week’s world championships. Short answer, not yet.

British cyclist Lizzie Deignan says parenthood has given her perspective, and that bicycling is less important to her than its ever been. But considering the world championships road course runs right past her parents’ house, she’s not going down without a fight.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it — and don’t consent to a search. Don’t throw away those banana peels, just shove them down your pants (scroll down).

And passing a group of bike riders is perfectly legal.

Doing it in the grass to their right, no so much.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for her generous donation, which she said was an early birthday present. Any donation, for any amount or any reason, is always appreciated.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek; LA Times criticizes selfish drivers fighting traffic safety

Cars aren’t the only threats people on bikes have to face.

One of the constant themes repeated by the people fighting bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is that, in their humble opinion, bike riders would be better off riding away from traffic on the Ballona Creek bike path than risking getting hit by cars on the streets.

Never mind that Ballona Creek bypasses all the shopping and employment centers between Culver City and the beach. Or that limited access points makes it harder for people to get where they need to go.

Which makes it more practical for recreational riding than for people who need to get somewhere, in most cases.

But there’s another recurring problem with the Ballona Creek bike path.

The isolation the path, below public view, makes it an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Which has been a problem on the path since at least 1990.

Every few years, there seems to be another rider attacked on Ballona Creek. And every few years, calls go out for police patrols on the pathway.

But nothing ever happens. And no government agency ever seems to want to take responsibility for the path.

Which leads up to what happened two weeks ago, when Jesus David Orozco was riding home after attending to Mar Vista Community Council meeting to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Something has to be done to ensure safety for everyone on the Ballona Creek bike path.

And done quickly.

Because just like on the streets, people won’t use it if they don’t feel safe there.

Especially if they actually aren’t.

Update: I’m told that Orozco posted on Facebook that he has returned to work today, and that, thanks to the physicians that treated him, is feeling good and looking like himself again. 

I’m not sharing the post, since I haven’t requested his permission to use it.

But the only things that would make this news any better is if the police caught the people who did this, and the county and cities along the trail committed to improving safety so it doesn’t happen again.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the heads-up.

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The LA Times really nails it this time.

In a surprising editorial, the paper calls on LA leaders to find the courage to fight back against “selfish” motorists opposed to street safety projects.

And let’s be clear. This is the official editorial voice of the publisher and paper, not merely an Op-Ed.

The paper complains about the callousness of too many commuters, and the risk that kneejerk opposition to change will override good policy. And possibly even reverse the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Vista del Mar wasn’t an official Vision Zero project – it didn’t go through the standard community outreach and input process that is an essential part of any road reconfiguration. Still, it quickly became the rallying cry for opponents of road diets and other projects that might slow traffic. It’s worth noting that some of the loudest critics of the Vista del Mar reconfiguration and another nearby Vision Zero project in Playa del Rey don’t live in the community; they commute through it to avoid 405 traffic.

The paper goes on to criticize Roadkill Gil Cedillo’s cynical effort to gain veto power over any road diet or lane reconfiguration in CD1, as well as Paul Krekorian’s backtracking on the Great Streets project proposed for Lankershim Blvd.

Typical City Hall. It’s easy for Garcetti and council members to tout their progressive credentials and sign off on ambitious policies to transform L.A. It’s much harder to implement those plans. Too often city leaders fold in the face of opposition. We’ve seen this with the city’s Bicycle Plan. We’ve seen it with homeless housing. And that’s why so many ambitious plans remain unfulfilled.

City leaders, and Garcetti in particular, have to continually make the case that Vision Zero is about making the streets safer for walkers, bike riders, motorcyclists and, yes, even drivers. The mayor has been far too quiet in defending his program and council members who face blowback when they support road safety efforts. Projects downtown and in Silver Lake have demonstrated that road diets can help reduce injuries without significant traffic delays. There is a learning curve, and over time as more Vision Zero projects are completed, residents will likely see that the benefits of safer streets outweigh the lane losses and any effect on traffic flow.

Not to mention the attitude they attribute to motorists at the start of the piece is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with on social media and in the comments on this site.

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In Orange County, they’re not actually attacking bike riders, just pretending to.

And likely, scaring the crap out of innocent people in the process, for the sake of a stupid prank.

An OC law firm reports that people in cars are zooming in close to bicyclists, then making a gun with their hands and yelling “Butt dart!” at the rider.

It’s just pure luck that someone hasn’t been startled or frightened into falling or crashing, with potentially serious consequences.

Thanks to F Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Someone needs to explain the meaning of sharrows to the driver of a San Diego pickup. And remind him that brake checking a pair of cyclists was what got Dr. Christopher Thompson five years behind bars.

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LA’s own Coryn Rivera topped the women’s field to win the 2017 RideLondon Classique. More on the RideLondon festival in the International section below.

More proof that motor doping is a real thing, as an Italian masters rider was busted for having a concealed electric engine hidden in his bike.

More bad news on the ultra-endurance front, as endurance cyclist Frank Simons has been killed near the start of the European Transcontinental race, just 51 miles into the 2,500-mile race; he’s the third rider killed competing in an ultra-endurance race this year.

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Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the bike-riding jackass who sexually assaulted a woman in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Station rescued a mountain biker in Arroyo Canyon early Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Easy Reader posts great photos of kids participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Press-Telegram provides a full construction schedule for the new bike boulevard being built on 6th Street in Long Beach

 

State

Meet the Huntington Beach man who invented the beach cruiser in the 1970s.

Mazda helped build and donate 120 bicycles for foster families in Orange County.

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune wants to hear from readers about the city’s mythical war on cars.

A Fresno letter writer calls for greater enforcement of “maniac” drivers who put bicyclists at risk.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a train.

Chico proposes a dramatic new bike and pedestrian bridge over a wide, busy street.

 

National

No surprise here. A new federal study shows speed was a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities; the study recommends making the penalty for speeding equal to the penalties for drunk driving.

The Colorado legislator who called for an annual registration fee for bicyclists, then backed off after a massive backlash, now says maybe there needs to be a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists. And suggests it’s not fair if owners of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles to have to buy registration stickers, and bicyclists don’t. Never mind that all of those have motors; if they’re going to tax cyclists, maybe they should make hikers, skiers and pedestrians pay a fee, as well.

Someone is sabotaging ebikes in Aspen CO.

Touching story from Texas, where an entire family is wearing bike helmets in solidarity with their new baby, who has to wear a helmet to treat flat head syndrome.

Nebraska’s governor is riding 150 miles with a group of mental health professional to help end the stigma surrounding children’s mental health. It’s a kickoff event for Break the Cycle, a 5,000 mile ride from Seattle to DC to raise funds for child and adolescent mental health initiatives.

More victim blaming. Minnesota police say a cyclist ran a stop sign before she was hit by a van; her GPS shows she actually slowed to 1.1 mph before accelerating again.

Kindhearted Duluth MN cops pitch in to buy a new mountain bike for a man when his was destroyed in a crash, after they discovered he lived in an assisted living home and it was his only means of transportation.

Just two weeks after launching in South Bend, Indiana, bikes from the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare are already ending up in a local river.

Off-duty police officers will patrol multi-use trails in an Ohio town, as residents say they’d be more likely to use them if there was a police presence, even though there hasn’t been a crime problem. Which might be an answer for Ballona Creek, and other off-road paths in the LA area.

A Tennessee hit-and driver caught on bike cam ramming a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been indicted on federal charges of reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice; he could face a total of up to 37 years in federal prison. Apparently, they didn’t buy his excuse that someone on the side of the road had thrown a bicycle at his Volvo. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the link.

The New York Times says bicycling has become part of the city’s culture, with over 450,000 bike trips every day; the city has committed to building an additional 50 miles of bike lanes every year — including ten miles of protected lanes — after more than doubling the number of bike lanes over the past ten years. Thanks to Victor Bank for the tip.

 

International

The massive annual RideLondon cycling event was expected to draw 100,000 participants this past weekend, with 24,000 riders taking part in the century ride, a decrease of 3,000 riders over last year to improve safety.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist pulls an endo and just barely avoids falling in front of an oncoming car. Note to Daily Mail: Going over the handlebars isn’t caused by going too fast, but by squeezing the front brake hard before the back one, causing the front wheel to lock before halting the bike’s momentum.

Apparently “hordes” of Brit runners are taking up bicycling to protect their knees, including an Olympic 1,500 meters star.

The Guardian says swapping cars for bicycles will make a bigger difference in the fight against pollution than switching from diesel engines to electric.

Israel’s railway authority will be installing automated bike parking garages at heavily used stations across the country.

The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, as Sheikh Mohammed stops to rescue a woman rider with a twisted chain.

The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is one of us too, as he leads 7,700 riders, including government officials, on a nine-mile route through the nation’s capital; cars were banned from most major Turkmen cities for the day.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been pouring oil on bike paths in Melbourne, Australia, in an attempt to make riders slip and fall, which could result in serious injuries.

 

Finally…

Who needs a water bottle when you can weld a cup holder into your top tube. How to explain why you never forget how to ride a bike without really explaining anything.

And someone please tell the LA Times we have a Critical Mass down here, too.

 

Morning Links: Upcoming Ballona Creek closure, LA fixed on Sports Center, and a descending nun

Culver City has announced that a section of the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closing down for maintenance work next month.

Upcoming Ballona Creek Bike Path Closures

On August 7 to August 11, the Culver City Public Works Department will be performing maintenance on the Ballona Creek Bike Path between Duquesne and National. Work will include pavement repairs, graffiti abatement, and vegetation trimming.

During this work, the bike path will be closed upstream of Duquesne from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Consider using Lucerne or Jefferson as alternatives during the closure.

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ESPN’s Sports Center takes a look at the SoCal Fixed Series fixie racing competition.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember who sent me this link, but thank you, anyway.

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The only reason I’m linking to this story about an abandoned Scottish hotel is the amazingly cool photo of an ancient bike leaning next to a window.

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Of course, the only thing better than that would be a nun in full habit descending a hill on her bike.

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The war on bikes goes on.

A Canadian driver faces charges after being recorded beating the crap out of a 74-year old man with a club, as the victim’s bike lay in the roadway in front of his truck.

The attack only stopped when a woman intervened, telling the driver she was recording it.

The driver’s only response was “I tried to walk away.”

Which was meaningless since he had to get out of his truck to confront the other man. Then walk back to his truck to get the club before returning to attack him.

Not exactly walking away. Or driving, for that matter.

Let’s hope he gets the time he deserves.

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If you don’t know who won this year’s Tour de France, you haven’t been paying attention. Although the real winner may have been French rider Cyril Gautier, who proposed to his girlfriend during the final stage.

Taylor Phinney survived his long-delayed debut Tour. Alberto Contador points next month’s Vuelta after a disappointing Tour.

Cycling Tips provides a photographic wrap-up of the just finished race.

Irish sportswriter and former cyclist Paul Kimmage, who helped bring down Lance Armstrong, says cycling’s omerta still rules the peloton, 50 years after Tom Simpson died near the summit of Mont Ventoux during the ’67 Tour de France.

The Guardian looks at how Irishman Stephen Roche ruled cycling for one year in 1987.

A sports website examines why Americans have disappeared from the podium at the Tour; Bicycling says there’s a new crop of Yanks waiting to step up.

The head of cycling’s governing organization pinkie swears the organization is working towards equal payouts for women and men.

The UK’s version of GQ asks if British cycling is sexist. Seriously, if you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. And not just British cycling.

Great article from Quartz on Eritrea’s love of cycling, and the rising success of the country’s young cyclists.

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Local

LA’s neighborhood councils were born during a bike ride.

Streetsblog says, despite Metro’s comments, Vision Zero traffic calming is not the cause of their declining bus speeds.

The LA Weekly ranks bike lanes #4 on the list of things that drive NIMBYs crazy in the City of Angels.

The Pomona Fairplex is trying out on employee bikeshare workers can use to ride to distant areas on the site. Although that description sounds more like the bikes are employee vehicles than an actual bikeshare.

A quadriplegic man completed a 1,200-mile ride from Oregon to the Santa Monica pier with his family to raise money for people who need wheelchairs.

 

State

A new California/Dutch study says don’t waste time trying to talk people into bicycling; make it safe and convenient, and they’ll figure it out for themselves.

Maybe the DMV should read their own statutes before tweeting. Their advice to ride as near to the right edge of the roadway as possible directly contradicts CVC 21202, while riding on the sidewalk is legal in many cities, if not advisable. Thanks to Brent for the heads-up.

A 33-year old woman was injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Camarillo.

The host of the Bay Area’s People Behaving Badly segment says bike lanes are not for parking, even for a little while.

Pleasanton police are looking for a thief who took an $8,400 bicycle out for a test ride from a local shop and never came back.

A local paper approves of the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare at Lake Tahoe. Let’s hope they have a better experience than some other places.

Sad news from Chico, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Friday evening.

 

National

Merriam-Webster lists ten words every true cyclist should know.

Bike Snob discusses his love of genuine, brick and mortar bike shops.

Your next ebike could look like the skeletal version of a 1920’s racing motorcycle.

A Seattle website questions whether the city’s DOT is trying to kill bikeshare again by limiting the two new dockless bikeshare suppliers to just 500 bicycles in the entire city.

Park City UT has launched the nation’s first e-bikeshare system. Unfortunately, the bikes don’t look like 1920’s racing motorcycles, though.

No bias here. After a pair of bike riders were hit by cars, Fargo ND authorities offer several safety tips for bicyclists, including to wear a helmet. But their only advice to drivers is to give bicyclists a three feet passing distance.

No victim blaming here. A San Antonio driver won’t face charges for a head-on collision with a teenage bike rider because victim wasn’t wearing a helmet.

The Department of DIY comes to Dallas, where a protected bike lane made from two-by-fours and PVC pipes lasted three days before the authorities took it down.

Minneapolis authorities have found the bike rider who apparently witnessed, and may have filmed, the police shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.

A Detroit bike rider was the innocent victim of a car-to-car shootout.

Former All-Star catcher and Cleveland 1st base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is one of us, riding in a charity ride before heading to the ballpark on Sunday.

 

International

Road.cc offers a one-word analysis of whether homeopathic remedies will make you a fitter, faster, healthier cyclist.

Canadian pickup drivers come to the rescue of a touring cyclist about to be a bear’s lunch.

A Canadian woman says she’s ashamed to be a “cycling enthusiast” after watching a bike rider run a stop sign. She must really be ashamed to be a driver, then.

Riding salmon in a bike lane is illegal in Canada, too. But some people do it anyway.

Not surprisingly, the Calgary man who claimed he’d been clotheslined by barbed wire while mountain biking has been arrested on fraud charges.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A British man is celebrating his 70th birthday by riding 70 kilometers a day for 70 days — the equivalent of 43 miles a day, or 3,045 miles total.

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a 91-year old cyclist was killed in a collision while trying to set a new age-group speed record; he was just two miles from the finish when he was hit by a van.

The Irish Times visits Groningen in the Netherlands, where bikeways are heated and no cars are allowed in the city center.

A former child bride in Malawi credits a bicycle she received from charity group with helping her graduate from high school after leaving her husband.

Australian cycling great Phil Anderson was hospitalized following a solo crash while riding, saying it could have been caused by a pothole. Or a wallaby.

 

Finally…

Why just be a fan of Pee Wee Herman, when you can build his bike from scratch? Evidently, cycling really is the new golf — literally.

And I’m a little weak on my theology, but I’m pretty sure when a bike gets stolen while the owner is at mass, it’s soul goes straight to heaven.

Or does the thief’s go the other way?

 

Morning Links: Feds adopt bike/ped Vision Zero; Emerald Necklace Gateway opens; partial Ballona Creek closure

One quick note.

It’s come to my attention that the email notification informing subscribers about new posts on this site has stopped working for some reason. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll just keep coming back every day until we can get it fixed.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.

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Big news from DC, as the Federal Highway Administration has adopted Vision Zero.

At least for people on foot or two wheels.

The FHWA’s new strategic plan calls for reducing bicycling and pedestrian deaths by 80% by 2031, and eliminating them entirely in the next 20 to 30 years.

It also calls for a 50% increase in trips under five miles for bicyclists and one mile for pedestrians by 2025.

All by promoting better design standards, better data collection and reducing traffic speeds on urban streets.

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Thursday marked the opening of the first phase of the Emerald Necklace Gateway.

The 1.1 mile bike path connects the Metro Duarte/City of Hope Gold Line station with the existing San Gabriel River Bike Trail to form a 28-mile long route linking the upper part of the San Gabriel Valley to Seal Beach.

However, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports the bikeway is only half finished, despite being in the works for more than a decade; the full path is not scheduled to be completed until 2021 at best.

Bike SGV offers photos from yesterday’s opening.

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Speaking of bikeways, don’t plan on riding the eastern section of the Ballona Creek bike path during the day next week.

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Today’s common theme is cross-country bike riding.

Hats off to Ivan Schmidt; the 16-year old Long Beach teen rode 1,800 miles from British Columbia to Tijuana, raising $2,500 to fight rheumatoid arthritis.

A 67-year old man rode 2,400 miles from Chicago to San Bernardino, after surviving two open heart surgeries, six bypasses and an aortic valve replacement.

A retired fighter pilot is riding from Maine to Key West to honor fallen and disabled service members and their families.

A Canadian cyclist has raised over $150,000 for cancer research, traveling more than 3,500 miles since beginning a trans-Canada ride in June.

And 41 cyclists set off on a 1,325-mile self-supported ride down the length of Sweden, beginning 200 miles above the Arctic Circle.

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VeloNews talks with cycling legend Eddy Merckx about bike design, his favorite riders and the evolving standards of cool in the bike world.

Wired looks at the dramatic evolution in handcycles used by Paralympic athletes, leading to today’s $10,000 carbon fiber bikes.

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Local

According to the Census Bureau, bike commuting in LA County has finally reached a full 1%. Just imagine what it could be if we had safe places to ride.

CiclaValley can barely control his excitement over two Valley CicLAvias in 2017.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their bicycle and pedestrian enforcement days today, followed a second one on Monday. Standard rules apply; obey the letter of the law while riding in the city so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Long Beach’s unnamed bikeshare program has seen 3,500 people ride 35,000 miles in its first six months; it will eventually have 500 bikes at 50 stations.

Cycling in the South Bay calls for cyclists to turn out in support of Bikes May Use Full Lane signs at the Palos Verdes Estates city council meeting on Sept. 27th, even though it may require a lot of sitting.

 

State

Pink’s five-year old daughter is one of us.

Work has begun on two bridge widening projects in Carpinteria required to widen Highway 101, which will eventually include two new coastal bike lanes. Isn’t it cute how officials pretend widening highways will actually solve their traffic problems?

Holy one-man crime wave, Batman! A Ventura man is under arrest after stealing two crucifixes from the San Buenaventura Mission, then using them as weapons to attack people, before busting the window of a thrift shop and stealing a bicycle.

Other football programs get in trouble with the NCAA because their players tool around in Escalades and sports cars someone bought for them; at Stanford, it was a $3,500 bicycle.

A San Francisco woman was beaten and robbed by three bike riders when she approached them at an intersection to talk. Seriously, 3:24 am is probably not the best time to engage strangers in conversation, whether or not they’re on bikes.

Pleasanton officials approve safety changes to an intersection where a 72-year old bike rider was killed in June.

Marin drivers break out the torches and pitchforks over fears a proposed road diet will snarl traffic, even though studies show they often improve traffic flow.

A Chico letter writer calls on local cycling clubs to take the lead on cleaning up a bike path and reclaiming it from homeless squatters.

 

National

Bicycling explains how to sneak in a midweek overnight bikepacking trip. And enjoy your new women on bikes emojis.

NPR looks at how tactical urbanism is making a difference with small, incremental DIY changes throughout the US.

Bike rooms are the latest must-have amenity for any well-turned out luxury apartment building or condos.

Portland Police are looking for a spandex-clad road cyclist who yelled racial slurs and pepper sprayed a family of black kids. There is simply no excuse for crap like that. Ever. Period.

A 74-year old resident of a Wyoming senior home made his escape by bicycle after shooting three people before taking his own life.

The Wall Street Journal says it can be a struggle to find a bikeshare bicycle in New York at rush hour, as people are often greeted with empty racks. Probably because they’re being used to practice operatic arias.

It takes a real lowlife to steal a Mobile AL bicycle coffee cart used to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking victims.

The distracted driver accused of killing a Georgia bike rider while high on prescription drugs had two other DUIs in the last three months, and had a severe drug dependency problem for at least four years. And yet she was allowed to keep driving until she actually killed someone.

 

International

What’s the point of building what may be the world’s tallest bicycle if you can’t get the bike chains you need to ride it through the Cuban embargo? At 33 feet, it’s 13 feet taller than the current record holder, LA’s STOOPIDTALLER, which is even taller than the famous STOOPIDTALL.

Bicycles donated through World Vision and World Bicycle Relief can be key to reducing teen pregnancy and keeping girls in school in Kenya.

A Masai elder is one of us, as he leads a group of bicyclists through Tanzania as part of the 7,500 mile Tour d’Afrique.

 

Finally…

Just because no one needs a VCR anymore, don’t stuff it in a briefcase and drop it off in front of a federal courthouse while riding your bike. Mooning rush hour traffic in China.

And if you already have an outstanding felony warrant on a weapons charge, don’t ride your bike with an open booze container.

And whatever you do, don’t tell the other inmates you were subdued by an 81-year old man.

 

Weekend Links: Sentencing delayed in emotional drugged driving case, rider reportedly robbed on Ballona Creek

Before we start, here’s one video you want to watch. Trust me on this.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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Just gotten word that the sentencing of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti in the drugged driving death of cyclist Eric Billings has been delayed due to a technicality.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti unexpectedly pled guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated last March, and was scheduled to be sentenced to up to four years in prison today. The judge delayed sentencing until June 10th to allow the defense time to review the probation report.

However, he revoked bail and remanded her into custody to be evaluated prior to sentencing.

According to the OC DA’s office, Fakhrai-Bayrooti had Xanax and Suboxone in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo.

According to My News LA, Billing’s daughter, who was six month’s pregnant when he was killed, gave birth to a son who will never know his grandfather. And one her brothers is getting married Saturday without a father to stand by his side.

Mark Billings said he too had struggled with addiction, but it was his brother’s unconditional love that helped him overcome his own drug problems.

Eric Billings “was the kind of guy who carried extra shirts and sweaters in his car to give to someone out in the cold,” Mark Billings said.

I’m told the judge wept openly in the courtroom listening to the impact statements from family members. And the court reporter recorded it all with mascara running down her face.

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Once again, there’s bad news from Ballona Creek.

A rider writing on Reddit reports that he saw another cyclist being robbed by four men on the bike path near the National/Jefferson exit Tuesday evening.

This has been an ongoing, if infrequent, problem over the years; in fact, crime alerts on the pathway date back to at least 1990.

It’s not that the bike path is particularly dangerous. However, just like any other place in the city where you’re out of public view, you have to be alert to the circumstances around you.

If you don’t feel comfortable, wait for other riders to catch up, or go back to the previous exit and ride around the problem area.

Just don’t hold your breath for the police to respond. There’s been an ongoing debate over which police agencies have jurisdiction where on the path.

And riders have complained that 911 operators can’t seem to find it on a map to send anyone, anyway.

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CiclaValley offers a preview of the next week’s Amgen Tour of California, which starts on Sunday. The Sacramento Bee explains seven things you’ll want to know about the Tour of California; eight actually, since an update mentions that Marcel Kittel has pulled out.

American Tyler Farrar is one of the riders to watch. And tour officials are working to keep the routes safe for the riders, unlike several recent racing calamities that left riders badly injured.

Meanwhile, the women in these photos finally get four days in the AToC, which started Friday. Second-year UnitedHealthcare pro Katy Hall dreams of charging up Mt. Baldy just like the men, while Alison Tetrick looks forward to joining a deep field charging through the snow.

While this year’s women’s tour is a big step forward, it’s long past time to let women racers compete on equal terms. And put them on TV, for chrissake.

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A sign on LA garbage trucks urges homeowners not to turn bike lanes into garbage lanes.

I’m told the LAPD has gotten several complaints about people blocking bike lanes with their garbage cans. And yes, that is illegal.

A new Toronto app allows riders to report cars blocking bike lanes. Maybe we need an LA version that lets us report trash cans, too.

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Local

South La Brea is making a comeback. And a local bike shop is helping lead the way.

USC’s Story Space interviews the LACBC’s Eric Bruins and Michael McDonald of Bike the Vote LA; thanks to Streetsblog LA for the link.

The Westwood Village Farmers’ Market is giving away a “sleek” new commuter bike from Helen’s Cycles to celebrate the new bike corral on Broxton Ave. Which would be the perfect place to park your bike to attend the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market. I’m just saying.

Santa Clarita hosts the free nine-mile family friendly Hit the Trail bike ride on Saturday.

Former Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz will lead Saturday’s Tour of Long Beach, with rides from 30 to 100 miles, benefitting pediatric cancer research.

Speaking of Long Beach, bike ridership is up 21% in the downtown area from 2013, suggesting that the city’s emphasis on building bike lanes is working.

Women are invited to tell their story explaining why you need a new bike, and possibly win one from Pedal Love and Made in Long Beach.

 

State

Red Kite Prayer remembers Bay Area bicycling legend Jobst Brandt, who passed away at age 80 after a long illness.

San Bernardino deputies recover a Loma Linda boy’s $1,500 stolen bike after his father discovered it for sale on Craigslist.

Bakersfield police release surveillance video of burglars who knocked off a local bike shop last month.

Great idea for a bike ride, as the San Jose Public Library host the Gira de Libro, visiting five of the city’s 23 libraries. Rumor has it that LA has public libraries, as well, though few residents have actually been inside one.

After the local Marin paper refused to even consider the possibility a bike rider might not have been at fault in a collision with an 80-year old woman, it turns out the rider did what he could to avoid hitting her. An estimated 15 to 17 mph sounds way too fast for a narrow bridge shared with pedestrians, though; we need to slow down when passing people on foot, just like drivers should slow down when passing bikes.

A Sacramento bike rider was killed in a collision with a train. By far the easiest type of wreck to avoid, since trains have to travel on tracks and have warning lights, bells and/or crossing gates to tell you they’re coming.

A Mariposa cyclist suffered major injuries when he was left crossed by a motorist; according to the comments, the victim is the principle double bass player for the local orchestra. Let’s hope makes a fast and full recovery.

 

National

Performance Bicycle is named a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business. Then again, if a bike shop isn’t bike friendly, something is seriously wrong.

America’s biggest bike share operator has now gone into the manufacturing business.

As we’ve said before, people don’t ride on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the streets, as shown by a new protected bike lane in Honolulu that’s cut sidewalk riding by 65%.

Salt Lake will build the nation’s first protected intersection, designed to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe.

A texting teenage Chicago driver could get off the hook for hitting a cyclist because the police never read the driver her rights.

Turns out Chicago’s favorite sport of the late 1800’s wasn’t hockey or baseball. So when, if ever, is that long-rumored Major Taylor movie coming out, anyway?

Once again, a bike rider is collateral damage in a wreck between two drivers, this time in Milwaukee; the victim was an ice cream vendor on a three-wheeled bike.

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty New Hampshire cop was killed riding his bike down a flight of stairs — inside a house.

 

International

The pope attends a singletrack bike fest. Oh, not that pope.

A new study from the University of Duh says bike commuters really do lose weight, as long as they ride 30 minutes each way.

Expect serious bike lust at this weekend’s Spin London bike show.

A UK court is told a cyclist killed in an unsafe pass by his own father’s truck would have survived if he had only been wearing a helmet. Which is impossible to say with any certainty, despite the investigator’s apparent certainty.

Sweden’s Princess Estelle looks like any other adorable three-year old bike rider with her pink helmet and training wheels.

A new German safety campaign encourages cyclists to wear helmets, just like Darth Vader. Do they seriously think equating a bike helmet with crossing over to the Dark Side will actually work?

As bicycling grows in Egypt, it’s even becoming safer for women to ride alone.

Bangkok cyclists call for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers in the wake of two collisions in which drivers plowed into group rides, killing four people; police promise to step up safety measures.

 

Finally…

How many times do we have to say it? If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, stay off the damn sidewalk in Santa Monica, already. Now you too, can have a truly tasteless bike taillight dangling from your seat, just like the big boys in their trucks; the sad thing is, it was actually funded.

And Bremerton WA police have apparently developed a new technique to stop fleeing drivers by throwing out a bike strip; no word on whether they use roadies, fixies or mountain bikes.

 

Junior SoCal cyclist gets funded for Glasgow, petition for Ballona Creek police patrols, and major linkage

Looks like I’m a little late with this one.

Seventeen year old SoCal cyclist and Olympic hopeful Tara McCormick qualified for the World Junior Championships in Glasgow, Scotland starting this Sunday, after she or her team won three events at the Junior Nationals.

But to make the trip, she needed to raise $2,000 for travel costs.

At last count, she’d raised a little over $2,400, so it looks like the trip is on. But I’m sure no one would mind if you wanted to contribute a little more.

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A new petition calls on Culver City to assign regular police patrols to the Ballona Creek bike path in light of recent attacks on bike riders. I’ve already signed it; hopefully you will, too.

Now we just need to ask for patrols in the LA City and County sections of the bikeway, as well.

And even if you don’t live there, you’re encouraged to sign this petition to increase penalties for vulnerable road users in Florida, still the nation’s most dangerous state for cyclists and pedestrians.

After all, you may find yourself riding there someday.

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Shockingly, LA doesn’t make the list of the nation’s top 10 bike commuting cities; yes, that’s sarcasm. But we are leading the way in new car-lite households. Revised designs for the Spring Street green bike lanes have received state approval. The Bird Wheel offers an in-depth look at last week’s city council hit-and-run hearing. A simple crosswalk could make a dangerous LA bridge safer. What LA can learn from Minneapolis about bike planning. Free bike traffic skills classes continue throughout the LA area. KNBC-4 catches a bike thief in action, and offers tips on how to thwart them. Youth perspectives on walking, biking and riding Metro; speaking of which, Metro unveils their new Safe Routes to School site. The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride tours Lakewood this weekend. Galco’s John Nese breaks the heart of a bike rider who just wants to do business with his store, while the Boulevard Sentinel resorts to PowerPoint to fight bike lanes on North Fig. BikeSGV invites you to their 2013 Awards celebration, aka a good time for a good cause. I’ve found lots of things in 30-some years of riding; thankfully, body parts haven’t been among them and I’d like to keep it that way.

Assuming it clears the legislature — and our anti-bike governor doesn’t veto it — state bike funding could increase by over a third. CicLAvia-style events spread throughout California, with up to 20 scheduled by 2017. San Diego joins LA as a member of NACTO. Santa Barbara police plan a crackdown on an annual cruiser bike run; seriously dudes, they’re cruiser bikes. Learn the basics for group rides before you join in. San Francisco police take to Twitter to fight bike theft.

Great article from a bike cop on how police should enforce bike laws; hint, it’s not the way most of them are currently doing it. Turns out even motorists prefer separated bike lanes. Protected bike lanes are finally coming to North America, while Mashable asks if you’d commute on a bike superhighway; depends on how well designed and implanted it is, mais non? The intersection of bikes and fashion in the pages of Vogue. A Seattle driver rams a pedestrian who told her to hang up and drive; Bike Portland offers advice on how to handle the situation. The silly season is in full force, as Wisconsin Republicans recoil from the horror of roundabouts, while the Missouri GOP is pushing a meaningless ban on Agenda 21. Actually, you’re not paranoid — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul really is out to get your bike funding. Lovely Bicycle is very attractive to bees; tell her I can relate. Bikeyface humorously calls for better bike racks. Sadly, Serrota bicycles will soon be no more, though the founder promises to come back. Looks like the New York Jets’ Kellen Winslow is one of us, as he rides his Specialized bike to practice. Following their founder’s twin heart attacks, Brooklyn Bike Patrol is back to escorting pedestrians safely to their destinations. Some rich Brooklyn neighborhoods hate bike lanes; most poorer ones don’t. It’s time for Miami police and motorists to respect bike riders; seems like that’s asking a lot under current circumstances, given the state’s serial killer status when it comes to cyclists.

A surprisingly rational look at new bike lanes from across the northern border. Builders are keeping bicyclists in mind, except in Vancouver, evidently, where building operators ticket a cyclist for actually using their bike racks, for fear of besmirching their “professional image;” so much for being a green building. Riding a bicycle in normal clothes should not be an act of rebellion. New study shows Oslo cyclists like bi-directional bike lanes, Oslo drivers not so much. Pro cycling prodigy Taylor Phinney gets his first stage win in the Tour of Poland with a bold solo breakaway; raise your hand if you knew there was a Tour of Poland. Admitted doper Jan Ullrich says Lance should get his titles back. A road raging pedestrian shoots a bike share cyclist in Paris. Bike riders explore Russian history on a nighttime Moscow ride. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, evidently to get the Palestinian city’s first cycle track installed. Cycling could be Africa’s next big sport. Aussie cyclists are told to chill out and enjoy their ridiculously low 6.21 mph speed limit; yes, I did the math for you, and you’re welcome. This is big news, as the Australia government does the math, and determines every bike commute saves society $21; someone please tell that to Rand Paul and the anti-Agenda 21 folks.

Finally, teen girls everywhere are breathing easier, as the Bieb is cleared of hit-and-run charges. But now you can tell him what you really think just before he runs you down on your new twin-framed fixie in his chrome Fisker.

On the other hand, Cycling in the South Bay says some drivers are going to hate you no matter what you do.

Ignoring road rage in Santa Rosa, San Diego cyclists targeted, and LAPD accused of beating bike rider

Talk about the charges not fitting the crime.

A Santa Rosa driver identified as 22-year old Matthew Dewayne Hamilton is under arrest on a felony hit-and-run charge for what police describe as an accidental collision stemming from a roadway dispute.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Hamilton barely missed hitting a cyclist, who responded by yelling at him. So Hamilton backed up to continue the argument, colliding with the rider in the process.

Right.

It evidently wasn’t assault with a deadly weapon from their windshield perspective, even though the rider, who has not been publicly identified, suffered several broken bones, as well as internal injuries. And even though they themselves describe it as a road rage incident, police insist the driver just wanted to chat, if angrily.

Of course.

Then, realizing his error after plowing into the rider with enough force to cause significant injuries, Hamilton stomped on the gas and fled the scene, abandoning his car nearby. He was arrested while walking through the area.

You know, just another hit-and-run. Not a violent criminal fleeing the scene of his rage-fueled attack.

It’s all in how you look at it, evidently.

Then again, according to the police report, it was the car that was in control of Hamilton at the time of the collision, rather than the other way around.

Thanks to @murphstahoe for the heads-up.

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San Diego cyclists are being targeted by jerks with a pellet gun.

The city’s 10News says police are investigating confirmed attacks in the La Jolla and Mount Soledad areas, as well as possible attacks in the Fiesta Island and Torrey Pines areas.

One woman suffered serious road rash when a pellet penetrated her shoulder and knocked her off her bike.

Police are looking for three men in a black sedan on possible felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

At least San Diego police get the charges right. Although I might argue for a domestic terrorism count.

………

San Diego police are also looking for tips in last year’s shooting death of 19-year old bike rider Joseph Hutchins in the City Heights neighborhood. Hutchins was killed the day after his 19th birthday.

A successful tip could earn a reward of up to $1000.

Yeah, that’ll motivate someone.

………

A Los Angeles man claims police beat the crap out of him for riding without lights.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, Brian Cisneros was riding to work at the Ralphs market in Marina del Rey last Friday when he was stopped by two LAPD officers at the intersection of Ida and Redwood Avenues.

According to Cisneros, the officers exited their car with guns drawn and attacked him in a brutal assault that included choking, stomping and throwing him onto the hood of their car, despite his lack of resistance.

Then left him there with a ticket for not having lights while riding after dark.

Clearly, something violent happened.

Cisneros, who says he thought he was going to die, was treated for a dislocated shoulder and a fractured elbow, among other injuries. And looks like someone who took a serious beating in the photos that accompany the report.

But something tells me there’s more to the story.

………

Manhattan Beach Patch offers the most detailed report yet on Manhattan Beach school board member Bill Fournell, the bike rider violently assaulted in an apparent attempt to steal his bike on the Ballona Creek bike path on July 19th.

The attack took place around 6 pm, one of the busiest periods on the pathway, as bike commuters use it as a virtual bike freeway connecting Culver City with the coast.

Fournell suffered a broken collarbone, broken ribs and punctured lungs, requiring a five-day stay in the hospital, after one of the assailants threw a bike at his front wheel, then struggled with him for possession of his Litespeed bike.

And Patch finally gives us a location for the attack, saying he was assaulted by three juveniles on the bikeway between the Higuera and Dusquesne bridges.

As others have pointed out, the east end of the bike path is far less used than the western sections. Anytime you ride in a secluded area, out of view of the public or other riders, you need to be alert to your surroundings and any possible risks.

Although three kids with a bicycle on a bike path wouldn’t necessarily look threatening or out of place.

………

The LACBC reports the bike plan currently under development by the City of Carson has been watered down in the face of pushback from a pair of large local businesses.

The city’s Watson Land Company has argued that putting bike lanes next to the traffic lanes used by heavy trucks would increase the danger to bike riders.

Maybe someone should tell them that their self-proclaimed commitment to sustainability and philanthropy should extend to our streets.

Never mind that anyone wanting to ride through the city under current conditions already has to share those traffic lanes with those same trucks. And that the studies I’ve seen say bike lanes improve safety for everyone on the road.

Speaking for myself, I’d much rather ride beside a massive truck than in the lane in front of one.

No, far better to maintain the conditions that have already resulted in the death of a bike rider earlier this summer.

At least I can understand, if not accept, where they’re coming from in their desire to maintain the heavy truck hegemony over Carson’s streets.

Far harder to understand is the opposition from the StubHub (nee Home Depot) Center, home to the region’s leading velodrome. You’d think that an athletic center that features indoor bicycling events — including the upcoming USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships — would appreciate the desire of outdoor bicyclists to get there without getting killed.

But evidently, it’s inconceivable to them that bike racing fans, or their other patrons, might actually want to ride a bike there. Or maybe they just want to ensure that people continue drive to maintain that parking revenue.

The LACBC asks you to take action to preserve the Carson bike plan.

Take Action: Tell Carson City Council to preserve the Master Plan of Bikeways’ original intent of having a cycle-track on Albertoni and University, and preserving the proposed bike lanes on Avalon, Watson Center Road, and Wilmington.

If you cannot make the meeting on August 6 at 6 p.m., please call Mayor Dear at 310-952-1700 ext 1000 and email the rest of council at:

jdear@carson.ca.us
myfrancisone@yahoo.comail
lholmes@carson.ca.us
mgipson@carson.ca.us
arobles@carson.ca.us

I’d suggest taking it a step further.

And let the StubHub Center know it’s not acceptable for a bicycling venue to needlessly risk the lives of their bike riding patrons.

………

Finally, Apple has evidently decided that American drivers aren’t distracted enough, and wants to incorporate iPhone functions — including texting and email — into car dashboards by the end of this year.

Which means you may be able to thank Steve Job’s successors for the distracted driver who runs you off the road next year.

If you’re still capable of thanking anyone.

Catching up on the latest news: LA tackles hit-and-run, more on Ballona Creek, off-base bike joke

It looks like City Council is finally taking LA’s hit-and-run epidemic seriously, including dropping use of the term accident to describe what is clearly a crime.

About time.

Most of the changes, such as increasing penalties for hit-and-run, revoking drivers licenses and seizing vehicles of drivers who flee collisions will have to be made on the state level.

But they’ll have a much better chance of succeeding with the backing of the state’s largest city.

Meanwhile, the city council can charge the LAPD with reprioritizing the crime and improving tracking so we know just how serious the problem really is.

Note to the LA Weekly. Seriously, we appreciate you calling attention to the problem of hit-and-run. But you didn’t discover it, and certainly weren’t the first to write about it. Try not to sprain anything patting yourself on the back.

………

More information on the recent attack on a cyclist on the Ballona Creek bike path mentioned here last week.

Turns out the victim was a Manhattan Beach school board member commuting home from his job on Mid-Wilshire; still no exact location where the attack occurred other than Culver City.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg says the solution is more and better coordinated police patrols, with checks and balances.

Thanks to Paiwei Wei for the link.

………

Scotland asks all road users to just be nice and get along; holding hands in a circle and singing Kumbaya is apparently optional. The organization behind it calls the campaign groundbreaking and the first of it’s kind.

Actually, similar “Be Nice” campaigns have been tried all over the world to limited success; local riders don’t seem too impressed.

Even if it does offer an opportunity to show some cute kittens.

………

Then there’s this from comedian Neal Brennan:

“Bicycle helmets save lives. Because if you wear one, women will never have sex with you, so you’ll never get AIDS.”

Yeah, hilarious.

………

Some jackass — which is the mildest term I can use under the circumstances — took down the Midnight Ridazz website over the weekend; you can help get it back online. Raising funds for Streetsblog’s new Santa Monica edition, Santa Monica Next. Speaking of which, Streetsblog will host a Google Hangout / YouTube discussion of bicycling this Wednesday at 5 pm. How to request repairs for LA City bike paths. No shortage of Hollywood films are coming out about cycling’s fallen seven-time hero. Temple City will remake Las Tunas Drive to de-emphasize cars and make it more attractive for bike riders and pedestrians. Pomona Valley Bikes hosts an all ages ride around Pomona this Saturday.

California’s third attempt at a three-foot passing law is still working it’s way through the state Senate; unfortunately, the clause allowing drivers to safely cross the center line to pass cyclists has been removed. If bike racks aren’t being used, they’re probably in the wrong place. Riverside considers a CicLAvia of their very own. The Press-Enterprise cites the right part of the state vehicle code to describe a bicycle, and still gets it wrong. Huntington Beach bike shop employee describes a chaotic night of fending off Surf City rioters. Eighteen-year old Dublin CA driver charged with killing one cyclist and seriously injuring her husband after losing control at 83 mph; his father was arrested on weapons charges after police searched for evidence in the collision. A look at the artist behind Sacramento’s new bike racks. Looks like the recent rash of bike path robberies has spread to Chico; or maybe it started there.

Evidently, traffic violations are a gateway crime. Seattle city council member suffers a broken shoulder blade when his bike is hit by a careless driver. US Pro Challenge bike art at Denver’s DIA. Not surprisingly, the way to get bike riders to obey traffic signals is to make them bike signals. This isn’t the first time bikes have been fashionable in New York. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay gets a bike lane in front of his own house. A teenage Brooklyn bike rider is busted twice by the same cop, evidently just for the hell of it. Advancing the technology in the battle to be seen; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. Bikeyface looks at bike racks that don’t fit, or don’t even exist. Washington’s MLS soccer team will host a bike night this weekend; has any LA sports team ever done that? Looks like anti-bike KY Senator Rand Paul has failed in his latest attempt to strip Federal bike funding.

Ontario doctors say cycling is a necessary part of the cure for the Canadian city’s commuting problem. A London borough proposes to be as bike-friendly as Holland, including a floating bikeway on the Thames. From the country that gave us WAGS comes the latest spat from British cycling’s significant others. Should Britain get a mandatory helmet law? A helmet probably wouldn’t have helped this Brit rider avoid a 16” branch through the throat; on second thought, maybe you don’t want to see that. By now, it should be clear that virtually every pro cyclist doped in the 90s and 00s, as Eric Zabel is the latest to ‘fess up after retiring. A passing Kiwi driver helps save a cyclist who’d been dragged under a truck. How to deal with road raging Aussie drivers.

Finally, the director of the Tour de France calls adding a women’s Tour impossible, which apparently is French for we don’t want to. But at least women will get a five-day Tour of Britain next year.

And if women’s pro cycling is going to succeed, podium girls need to get the boot.

Update: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek bike path; Redlands driver attempts to run down cyclists

Are the Ballona badlands back?

In a crime reminiscent of the bad old days of five years ago, when bike riders were attacked in two separate assaults on the Ballona Creek Bike Path, a cyclist was mugged on the popular bikeway Friday evening.

According to a comment from Mark Neumann, a friend of his was assaulted by three men in an attempt to steal his bike.

On Friday night about 6 pm while riding home from work, a friend of mine got assaulted on his bike riding the Ballona Creek bike path in Culver City on Friday. His words: “He threw his bike into my front wheel as I was about to pass him going about 20 mph. So that dumped me straight onto my shoulder and ribs. I hopped up and the guy was starting to pull my bike away. I told him no and grabbed it back. Wasn’t thinking straight with all the adrenaline cause he pulled it back and started reaching in his pocket. But then he let go and ran off. That’s when I started to feel the injuries and that I couldn’t breathe from the ribs and punctured lung. Feeling better today but the ribs hurt like a mother. Hope to get the chest tube out tomorrow and then get home.” Three guys caused him to crash and tried to steal his bike. He has 5 broken ribs, a broken clavicle, collapsed lung and some good road rash. He is doing well at UCLA but in lots of pain and unable to move.  Be careful on this path.

Unfortunately, things like this are nothing new.

And not restricted to the Ballona bikeway.

An August, 1990 article in the LA Times reports that the Automobile Club of Southern California had warned its bike riding members to avoid Ballona Creek due to dangerous conditions there — a risk made evident when a rider was shot to death on the bike path near Marina del Rey that July.

And it was just two years ago that riders were attacked in at least four separate incidents on the Greenway Trail in Wittier, including a woman who was severely beaten before her attackers ran off without taking anything. Or, thankfully, doing anything other than beating the crap out of her.

It’s a fear that leads many riders, especially women, to avoid off-road bikeways, particularly after dark or when other riders aren’t likely to be present. And may have contributed to the hit-and-run death of Erin Galligan in Santa Monica last year, as she chose to ride through a dangerous construction area on PCH rather than take her chances on the dark, secluded beachfront bike path just a few feet away.

It’s not that bike paths are inherently dangerous. It’s the fact that assaults like this are relatively rare that makes them so shocking.

But it’s an inherent problem with virtually any off-road pathway that while they offer protection from motor vehicles, large sections of the paths are likely to be out of public view and rarely, if ever, patrolled by the police, providing a secluded location for anyone with evil intent.

In fact, in the 2008 assaults, it became clear that the LAPD didn’t even know there was a Ballona Creek bike path, let alone where it was. A problem compounded by the three separate police agencies — LAPD, Culver City PD and LA Sheriff’s Department — responsible for various sections of the bikeway.

None of whom I have ever seen patrol the pathway while riding there myself.

That lack of police protection means it’s up to you keep an eye out for dangerous situations and people or circumstances that just don’t look right. Just as it would be if you were walking or riding through a secluded alley or parking garage, or any other place where an assault could be hidden from public view.

Though how you avoid someone throwing a bike at you is beyond me.

Update: Neumann forwards another report from a friend showing the long history of violence on the bikeway, this one dating back more than 20 years.

Flashback to: Wed Nov 27, 1991 Ballona Creek bike path. Back then there was no fence between the projects and the bike path. I was attacked by a gang while riding home from my office in Beverly Hills. They pulled me off the bike. One of them cold cocked me. I took off running. They caught me. Struck me on the side of the head (with a bike helmet on – no less) with either a gun or a pipe. While on the ground that night I thoroughly believed it was going to be my last day on this planet. But, they grabbed my backpack and ran away. (They got my wallet and a Rolex.) I was in shock. I had a fractured zygomatic (temple) arch. They never caught the culprits. My doctor failed to diagnose my fracture. It healed broken. I had to have corrective surgery which resulted in an infection/abscess. More surgery. A week in Torrance Memorial on 24 hour IV antibiotics. Lost 20 pounds. Necrosis to my jaw bone. Followed up with corrective surgery and bone removal. I have permanent limited opening of my jaw. I never thought anything could rattle me but I could not walk down a street without looking over my shoulder for over a year. I refused to ride that stretch of Ballona Creek for over 15 years. I will only ride it now if I am with others. A couple of weeks after I was assaulted a guy was shot and killed on his bike in the same stretch. I knew him. He worked at that corner mini-mart up from the MB Pier (where Skechers is now). Anyhow, I hope your friend is OK. Truly.

Update 2: The victim of the assault has been identified as Manhattan Beach school board member Bill Fournell; he was released from the hospital after five days with a broken collarbone, broken ribs and punctured lungs. 

Manhattan Beach Patch places the assault at around 6 pm on July 19th, between the Higuera and Dusquesne bridges.

………

Maybe they really are out to get us.

According to multiple reports, a Redlands man is under arrest for deliberately aiming his car at number of bike riders in a string of attacks this past weekend.

Redlands police arrested 26-year old John McDonald on charges of assault with a deadly weapon after he repeatedly attempted to ram bicyclists along Sunset Drive with his Honda Civic. In at least one case, he swerved across the roadway in an effort to hit a cyclist riding in the opposite direction, forcing the rider off the road.

More frightening, police responded to similar calls throughout the weekend, including two on Sunday, suggesting that the attacks continued over at least a two-day period.

Under the circumstances, it seems like a miracle that no one was seriously injured.

Or worse.

And yet, when they finally did arrest him, McDonald was held on just a $50,000 bond. I guess trying to kill someone with your car isn’t considered all that serious unless you succeed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Redlands police at (909) 798-7681.

………

Finally, police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who plowed into a group of cyclists at the monthly San Jose Bike Party, injuring two riders and leaving one with a broken hip and skull.

Clearly, hit-and-runs are not just an LA problem.

They seem to occur with frequency wherever motor vehicles come in contact with soft and breakable flesh.

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