Tag Archive for bicycling fatalities

At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

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The older term was more accurate.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

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A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

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Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/yitgordon/status/1480610900444778496

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

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

18 Los Angeles bike riders killed in 2021 Vision Zero fail, speed cams improve safety, and Sidney Poitier was one of us

It’s worse than we thought.

A lot worse.

Tracking bicycling deaths in Los Angeles last year, it became clear that what I was seeing was clearly a major undercount.

Because the numbers I was seeing were too good to be true, as if LA’s Vision Zero has suddenly started showing results, despite years of just nibbling at the edges of traffic safety.

It’s a problem that has developed over the past few years, as local newspapers and TV stations stopped reporting many bike crashes after the pandemic forced major cutbacks in the newsrooms.

At the same time, the LAPD has taken to telling the public about bike and pedestrian deaths only when there’s a crime involved — and even then too often waiting weeks, if not months, to issue a press release in some parts of the city, particularly in the case of hit-and-runs.

And LADOT has backtracked from their promises to track bike and pedestrian deaths under the Vision Zero program, which has receded to where it seems more like an inconvenience than a priority for the city’s transportation agency.

As a result, I counted just eight people killed riding bicycles in the city last year, a fraction of the 15 to 20 or more deaths that would have been expected in pre-pandemic days.

Sadly, I was right.

According to the Los Angeles Times, that was less than half of the actual total of 18 people killed riding their bikes in the City of Angels in 2021 — a 20% increase over the 15 people killed on bikes in the first year of the pandemic.

The paper points out the ongoing failure of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s underfunded Vision Zero pledge to cut traffic deaths by 20% by 2017 — a target the city didn’t come close to meeting. And the virtual impossibility meeting his commitment to ending traffic deaths in the city entirely by 2025.

According to Los Angeles Police Department data through Dec. 25, 289 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, 21% more than the same period in 2020 and 19% over the same period in 2019. A total of 1,465 people were severely injured, a 30% increase over the same period in 2020. The LAPD defines severely injured as needing to be transported from the collision.

The city’s streets are increasingly dangerous for pedestrians in particular, with 486 being severely injured by motorists — a 35% increase over 2020. Pedestrian deaths rose 6% to 128.

The numbers frustrate transportation advocates, who’ve long argued that Vision Zero — a program to end traffic deaths unveiled in 2015 by Garcetti — is underfunded and given a low priority by the mayor and City Hall leaders.

Then again, that’s what can be expected when our elected leaders quake in fear of getting recalled by angry drivers, and lack the courage to make the hard choices and changes necessary to save lives.

But Garcetti isn’t one to take such criticism lying down.

Garcetti cited the distraction of cellphones as a cause of collisions and said the city has added bike lanes during the pandemic, studied the city’s most dangerous intersections to come up with solutions, and supported a new state law designed to help cities have more control over speed limits.

“But it shows how tough it is,” Garcetti said Thursday.

He pushed back against criticism that he doesn’t mention Vision Zero as frequently as he touts other initiatives. “I speak out all the time,” Garcetti said. “I do on panels, I go out there, internationally, to kind of be part of this movement to make sure that we have more walkable, livable cities.”

So it’s nice to see Garcetti has done what he seems to do best.

Talk and attend conferences.

To be honest, I’ve wracked my brain in recent months, but can’t recall any elected official I’ve voted for and actively supported who has been a greater disappointment than Eric Garcetti. 

He started out great in his first term, before apparently setting his sights on higher office — including the presidency — and appearing to lose interest in the daily work of being the mayor of Los Angeles.

But I can tell you this.

I will not vote for anyone for mayor this year who does not fully commit to making Vision Zero a top priority, and funding it at levels necessary to result in real change. And commit to making the difficult choices and changes we need on our streets to actually reduce deaths and make our streets survivable.

And I won’t support anyone for city council who doesn’t, either.

It’s clear that homelessness will be the primary issue in this year’s campaign. We need to fight to raise traffic safety to a top priority, as well.

Because our lives literally depend on it.

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A new Chicago study shows speed cams really do work. And they really do save lives.

A review of the city’s 162 automated speed cams, which state law allows to be installed only within one-eighth of a mile of a park or school, showed that serious crashes went up in those areas.

But not as much as they did in the city as a whole.

According to Chicago Streetsblog,

  • Fatal or serious injury crashes increased only 2 percent near speed cameras between 2012-13 and 2018-19, as compared to a 21 percent increase citywide. This is similar to the 1 percent and 19 percent findings of last year’s study, which compared 2012-13 with 2017-18.
  • Between 2012-13 and 2018-19, overall crash totals increased 1 percent in the cam locations, compared to a 25 percent increase in all crashes citywide. The figures from last year’s study were 4 percent and 26 percent.
  • Speed-related crashes increased 18 near speed cams between 2012-13 and 2018-19, compared to a 64 percent spike city-wide. Those are smaller increases than were seen in last year’s study: 25 percent and 75 percent.

Two bills under consideration in the state legislature during the past session would have established pilot programs for speed cams here in California.

But both died on the vine, apparently because they would have inconvenienced speeding drivers, which tend to make them mad.

Fortunately, Calbike and SAFE — aka Streets Are For Everyone — say they’ll make getting a bill through the legislature one of their top priorities.

So there may be hope yet.

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Los Angeles Bureau of Streets Services Assistant Director & Chief Sustainability Officer Greg Spotts is one of us.

Which should inspire confidence that he’ll get the job done right.

https://twitter.com/Spottnik/status/1479884374053056515

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Now if all cars were just made like this.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up. 

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The immortal Sidney Poitier was one of us. So was his friend and fellow 1940s alum of Harlem’s American Negro Theatre.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

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

No bias here. Instead of complaining about the one rude bike rider they encountered, a New Jersey father addresses his complaints to “all the arrogant jerks who ride on New Jersey trails and roadways.” On the other hand, if you’re not an arrogant jerk, his message apparently doesn’t apply to you.

No bias here, either. Two cops were disciplined after Irish officials allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the streets until he killed a man riding a bike, despite 42 — yes, 42 — previous convictions, and being out on bail from three separate courts. But the police commissioner quashed their fines and sanctions.

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

A Montreal bike rider responds to being told to stay in the bike lane by smashing his bike against the driver’s car. Which probably hurt his bike more than it does the car. Seriously, violence is never the answer, as tempting as it is sometimes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYcErfYoi8V/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=310f8a6c-bbd3-4df9-8baa-2b82c601f84b

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Local

Metro Bike is offering a one-month bikeshare pass for just $1.

The director of the LA chapter of the Sierra Club complains that there are no programs in place to encourage customers to ride their bikes to local businesses.

 

State

A California inventor is working on a bike lane sweeper you can pull behind your bike.

Encinitas residents turned out for the city’s Cyclovia open streets event on Sunday, which shut down four letters worth of the Coast Highway to cars, and opened them to people for four hours from D Street to J Street.

Police in Temecula are looking for a pair of burglars who broke into a local bike shop and stole a pair of high-end mountain bikes.

Riverside’s SMART Tire Company has released the second-generation of their airless metal tire prototype, developed in conjunction with NASA in an effort to reduce weight — and the $2,000 price tag — before it goes to market later this year. Although the investors on Shark Tank didn’t approve.

San Luis Obispo kicked a homeless encampment off a local bike path before closing it for the next eight weeks to make improvements along the route.

A San Francisco writer says he won’t be renewing his membership in the de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, thanks to their demands to return “car-free JFK Drive…to a dangerous highway used mostly by shortcut-takers zipping between destinations outside the park.”

 

National

They get it. Wired says if the US is serious about climate change — which remains to be seen — our leaders need to start treating bicycles like replacements for cars, and not toys.

Mashable considers all the ebikes and scooters presented at last week’s CES in Las Vegas — including one with treads and no pedals to get through the snow.

A series of reports about the “the uneasy coexistence of grizzly bears and humans” recounts the horrific tale of a Montana mountain biker who rounded a blind curve and ran directly into a massive grizzly, who did not take to it kindly.

Once again, an ebike battery spontaneously combusted, sparking a four alarm fire in a Bronx apartment building early Saturday. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, unlike Sunday’s apartment fire sparked by a space heater that killed at least 19 people.

Nearly 40 injured vets took part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual ride through the Florida Keys.

 

International

He gets it, too. A British Columbia columnist says yes, he always wears a bike helmet, but bike lanes will do a lot more to improve safety.

A British automotive website looks forward to the upcoming ebikes that are revving their engines.

UK residents laugh at the idea that people could carry their trash to drop-off sites on their bicycles during a garbage strike. Apparently, no one has ever told them about cargo bikes. Or racks. Or baskets. 

National Geographic examines what makes the Isle of Man one of Great Britain’s best places to ride a bike.

Milan is getting serious about bicycling, unveiling a $272 million plan to build an entire 466-mile network of concentric and radial bike paths connecting 80% of the city.

NPR visits Iraq, where women riding bicycles are often seen as promiscuous, though the women see themselves as activists.

A man from Kazakhstan plans to ride 500 miles from Busan to Seoul, South Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is targeting a record-tying number five this year, insisting that he’s fully recovered from a near fatal crash two years ago. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, before he didn’t.

Cycling Weekly considers who has this year’s best looking pro cycling kit.

 

Finally…

Anyone can hold a naked bike ride in the middle of summer, but a January ride takes balls, uh, guts. If you have to steal an ebike, probably not the best idea to take one marked “evidence” from the police impound yard.

And someone get me some ice and a skate, quick.

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

Pity the poor oppressed drivers, killer Texas driver blind in one eye & can’t see out of the other, and ’tis the season

It’s the final week of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just five more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. 

It was a record-setting weekend, easily topping last year’s record 73 donations.

So let’s all thank Alissa C, Joel S, Gregory S, John C, Adrienne G, David A, Steven Y, Heather J, Matthew R, Steven F, Brer M, Mitchel D, Jeff M and Joel F for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Which raises the question, what are you waiting for, already?

Take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

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Today’s must read comes from The Guardian.

Columnist Catherine Bennett writes in sympathy to all the poor, oppressed drivers forced to share the road with the rest of us.

Reports from the frontline of the war on motorists have made distressing reading for some vehicle owners. With low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) surviving both physical and media assault, improved protections for pedestrians and cyclists in a revised Highway Code will weaken still further, they discover, a right to road domination long understood to be, if not divinely ordained, something even better: unassailable.

She goes on to discuss an unfortunate driver who was sentenced to a whole 18 months behind bars and a three-year driving ban for chasing, and ultimately running over a man on a bicycle, recording the entire intentional attack on his dash cam accompanied by his screaming wife.

And leaving his victim “fortunate to survive injuries including a fractured pelvis, torn genitals, six broken ribs and a punctured liver.”

She concludes this way.

Teachable moment: if you want to behave recklessly and dangerously on a road without incarceration, inconvenience, or even incurring a large fine, it’s advisable to do it inside a car. As for almost killing a stranger in a moment of madness: that too, as demonstrated by Mr Moult, is best done, for the avoidance of more stringent penalties, from a seatbelted position inside, for preference, one of the car industry’s more environmentally objectionable models.

Seriously, read it.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

The 66-year old Texas driver who slammed into a group of cross-country bicyclists, killing a Massachusetts man and injuring two others — including a Santa Rosa woman —  explained the crash by telling police he’s blind in one eye and can’t see very well out of the other one.

So why the hell was he still allowed to drive?

Someone, somewhere, should have noticed his vision problems and got him off the streets before he killed someone.

Not after.

Just one more example of the convenience of drivers being given priority over the safety of everyone else.

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‘Tis the season.

Orange County’s Bicycle Santas are back after last year’s forced hiatus, donating 80 bicycles to FaCT (Families And Communities Together, Orange County).

Around 200 Portland kids can expect new bikes, thanks to a group collecting bicycles and tricycles for children in need under five years old.

A Boulder, Colorado program has provided anywhere from 300 to 500 refurbished bikes for local kids each year for the past 15 years, as well as 50 ebikes for essential workers this year, funded by a state grant.

A massive bike donation program in Syracuse NY celebrated its 25th year by giving away 2,000 bicycles to people in need.

Donations are still being sought for a Virginia Beach VA foundation, where organizers hope to distribute 300 bikes to kids this Christmas.

Fayetteville, North Carolina’s famed Bicycle Man charity is giving away around 1,000 new and refurbished bicycles, after delaying last year’s giveaway due to the pandemic. The longtime community activist started by repairing bikes in his garage; his wife took over following his death eight years ago.

A church in Columbia, South Carolina is continuing their tradition of refurbishing around a hundred bicycles a year to give to local kids.

Louisiana’s Terrbone Parish hosted a bike and toy giveaway, with 300 bicycles given to children in need, including families still suffering from 2009’s Hurricane Ida.

A Cajun Country car club donated three custom-built adaptive bikes to special needs kids in Louisiana.

Nearly one hundred kids got new bicycles in a Daytona Beach park.

Today’s list also includes one of our own sponsors, San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, who is now among latest sponsors of the Bikes 4 Kids Project.

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

As usual, there’s no shortage of anti-bike letter writers, who put their bias on full display in response to Michael’s Schneider’s recent op-ed calling on officials to drop their opposition to bike lanes; one writer said people on bicycles are usually very fit and very brave, and so there’s no point wasting our streets on a tiny niche. Cleary, he hasn’t met many of us.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish man walked with a suspended sentence after threatening a female bike cop, promising the court he’s a changed man and will never, ever do it again — even though seven of his 72 previous convictions were for threatening behavior. Yes, 72.

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

Authorities in Florida are on the lookout for a man who fled on a cruiser bike after robbing a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun.

A bike-riding man in Osaka, Japan is under investigation for an apparent arson fire that killed 24 people at a mental health clinic where he was a patient.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times asks if drivers are angrier these days, and goes on to answer their own question — an average of 42 people a month were shot or wounded in road rage shootings in the past year, double the previous average. And one person was shot or injured every 18 hours in the US this year.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines the new MOVE Culver City project, and concludes Downtown Culver City just got more walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly.

Electrek says if you’re still waiting for a new ebike, it’s probably stuck on a ship off Long Beach.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at what’s in the new federal infrastructure bill for the state.

A Chula Vista bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was rear-ended by a driver following some “miscommunication,” because the bike lane was clogged with storm debris.

Family members remember Ricardo Serrano, the 15-year old boy killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bicycle in Victorville less than a mile from his school earlier this month.

 

National

Nice tradition in one Billings, Montana neighborhood, where residents still light luminarias every Christmas Eve in memory of a 12-year old boy who was killed  by a driver while riding his bicycle in 1962.

A 22-year old Mad City, Wisconsin man operates a one-person bicycle recovery program within the police department.

One person is dead, and seven injured, after nine ebike batteries blew up while being recharged in New York overnight, sparking a massive fire; two teens were forced to shinny four stories down an exterior pipe to escape the blaze.

A Steetsblog op-ed observes that bike booms come and go, so the New York’s new mayor has to seize the moment to make transformative change.

A stoned Long Island utility worker faces 3.5 to 10 years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle while high on meth, amphetamines and fentanyl; he slammed into five separate vehicles after running a red light, fled that crash before hitting the victim, fled again and ultimately attacked another driver after slamming head-on into the man’s truck.

A certified cycling instructor in Jersey City NJ says there’s currently a de facto ban on bicycling for transportation in the city.

She gets it. A DC columnist says a five-year old girl recently killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk with her father deserved better, and should leave behind a legacy of safer streets.

A Norfolk, Virginia man has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the local police for excessive use of force, after a cop tackled him off his bike for the crime of riding without a headlight, breaking his leg in three places; needless to say, an internal investigation concluded the cop didn’t do anything wrong.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to make progress on accommodating people on bicycles, with plans in the works for a bike path that would wind through five parishes, the Louisiana equivalent of a county. And it only took four decades after I left.

Miami bike riders complain that new widely spaced rubber armadillos placed on a causeway to protect them from drivers have just replaced one danger with another one.

 

International

Road.cc examines the science behind flashing versus steady bike lights. So why does it have to be one or the other? I ride with a solid beam illuminating the roadway, and a flashing light to get drivers’ attention. 

Meanwhile, Road.cc’s off-road edition considers whether titanium is the ultimate frame material off-road bikes.

Buzzfeed considers 18 places around the world where cars are banned, and “no one seems to miss them.”

Life is cheap in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a parole board told a woman who was sentenced to five years behind bars after killing a man riding a bicycle and fleeing the scene while driving drunk last year can go home during the day.

London’s Independent considers the huge change a bicycle can make in a refugee’s life, and how you can contribute. Even if you have to read the story on Yahoo.

According to a recent survey, even though bicycling is up 30% in Scotland, 61% of bike riders say a lack of safe riding routes keeps them off their bikes.

It may be a long way to Tipperary, as the song says, but you may not find anywhere to park your bike in the Irish city once you get there.

A 70-year old blind Japanese woman has authored a picture book based on her own experience riding a bike for the first time at age 60.

A New Zealand woman can credit her two-year old rescue dog with saving her life following a bike crash, climbing up an embankment to get help after she had ridden off the edge.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can own the bike Wout Van Aert rode to victory on Mount Ventoux in this year’s Tour de France; bidding currently stands at nearly $15,000.

USA Cycling announced a new national crit series with a $100,000 purse, although it currently features just six of the previous ten races.

 

Finally…

Learn how to ride a bike in real life, in the metaverse. That feeling when you go on to become a famous actress, even if your first stunt double was a bike-riding boy in a padded bra.

And yes, he gets it.

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

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

Time’s running out to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just 12 days left to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

Thanks to Nick R, Steve M, Sean M, Penny S and David M for their generous donations to help support this site, and keep the corgi in kibble for the next couple months.

So don’t wait. Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed.

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Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

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More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

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Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

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‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

………

Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

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Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

………

The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

………

Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

https://twitter.com/JonasBrosBros/status/1469468216367845376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1469468216367845376%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2021-12-10-joe-jonas-rode-his-bike-through-new-york-city-to-get-to-jingle-ball%2F

………

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

………

Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

………

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

Vegas driver gets up to 26 years for pushover death, bikes are good for the world’s health, and more ’tis the season

My apologies for the earlier proofreading errors to this post. Server problems combined with an internet outage to keep me making any corrections. Hopefully I’ve caught everything now. 

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It’s the 13th day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Bryan B for his generous donation to help keep everything you need to know about the wild, wonderful and wacky world of bikes coming your way every day.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, far more than I could ever put into words. 

So donate today, and let’s make this a lucky 13 for both of us!

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com. 

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

………

That’s more like it.

In the conclusion to a tragic story we’ve been following for the past year, a Las Vegas man will spend a well-deserved 10 to 26 years behind bars for the death of a 56-year old woman as she was riding her bike.

Rodrigo Cruz was driving the van when he swerved close to the victim, Michelle “Shelli” Weissman, as his friend leaned out the passenger window to push Weissman off her bike, killing her.

In the ultimate tragic irony, the passenger, Giovanni Medina Barajas, fell out the window and died at the scene, as well.

Cruz’s attorney tried to write the whole thing off as a “some sort of dumb, childish prank.”

Now two lives have been needlessly snuffed out, and another irreparably damaged, all because two people thought harming an innocent person was funny.

………

A new study from my hometown university shows that bicycling is good for the world’s health, too.

According to the study, as many as 205,000 premature deaths could be prevented every year worldwide if cities encouraged people to use a bicycle instead of a car. Although that figure depends on replacing all car trips with bikes by the year 2050.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

In what the authors describe as a more realistic scenario, 18,589 annual deaths could be prevented worldwide if just eight percent of people switched from cars to bikes.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Waco, Texas builders association donated 87 bikes to Toys for Tots, while complaining that the pandemic-driven bike shortage kept them from giving more.

The county engineers office in Ohio’s Wayne County built 21 bikes to be given away to kids, including three for a domestic abuse treatment center.

A trio of Georgia bike clubs teamed up to deliver 88 bicycles that will be donated to kids in need by a local church.

After spending four days living atop a scissor lift, a Florida DJ collected 450 bicycles, as well as helmets and toys, for local kids.

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This is what a Slow Street can bring to life.

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

No surprise here, as San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag lives down to its name by taking glee in a very unscientific DIY study showing hardly anyone is using the city’s new 30th Street protected bike lanes.

Prepare to dodge even more distracted drivers, now that Teslas allow drivers to play video games on the in-dash video screen while the car is in motion.

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the sabotage of a protected bike lane with tacks and bricks.

………

Local

Typical. Even though there’s an approved plan for bike lanes on Rosecrans Avenue, Metro will only make room for them in an overhaul of the street in anticipation of high speed rail, rather than actually building them. Evidently, a few bucks worth of paint would just add too much to the $156 million project.

 

State

San Diego’s bicycle-powered Coffee Cycle coffee cart now is now a brick and mortar coffee roaster in Pacific Beach.

This is who we share the road with. When a couple teenagers hit his pickup with water balloons, a 63-year old Ridgecrest man responded by shooting their truck with a 12-gauge shotgun; to make matters worse, he’s an ex-con who’s legally barred from owning a weapon, let alone using it.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco approves funding for another protected bike lane, this time in the city’s Panhandle neighborhood.

 

National

This is what the bike boom really means, as half of today’s bike riders either started riding in the last two years, or came back to their bikes after an extended layoff.

A former Aston Martin engineer has designed what looks like the first practical folding helmet.

A writer for Bike Portland says she’s obsessed with ebikes, even choosing to get drenched in pouring rain instead of hailing an Uber because they’re so much fun to ride.

Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club is teaching third, fourth and fifth graders how to safely ride their bikes to school.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could hit a 13-year old kid in the Bronx with their car, and just keep going; fortunately, the kid wasn’t seriously hurt.

 

International

Bike riders from 195 countries around the world uploaded 10 billion riding miles to Strava over the past year. Speaking of which, you could devote all your working hours to managing Strava’s social media.

A writer for Cycling Tips hopes every bikemaker imitate’s Britain’s Brompton’s bike rental program, which allows people to rent a bike for up to 30 days for the equivalent of just $6.61 a day.

A serial bike thief who targeted an English train station walked with the equivalent of probation, but was ordered to repay his victims.

After conservative politicians ripped out a bike lane in the UK, a petition calling for its reinstatement collected three times the signatures as one demanding its removal.

Traffic speed matters more than traffic volume in deciding where to ride, according to a new British study, which showed most people prefer to ride their bikes on streets with a speed limit of 20 mph or less.

A new study from the UK shows we’re losing the youngest generation, as a full 36% of primary school kids haven’t ridden a bike in the last year. And one in 20 has never ridden one.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. French authorities accuse a British expat of murdering his wife by flooring his car and running over her as she stood in front of it. Naturally, he says it was just a tragic accident.

When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, this is the bike you’re helping deliver to people in Africa.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand pro Olivia Ray says she’s still waiting for her $15,000 check for winning the inaugural Into The Lion’s Den crit, founded by L39ion of Los Angeles’ Williams brothers.

 

Finally…

The science of how your bicycling shoes work. It doesn’t do any good to catch a bike thief if you can’t keep him in your rusty jail.

And making cities more dog friendly, one bike ride at a time.

………

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

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

………

A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

………

The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

………

As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

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The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

………

Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

………

Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1459484455362457605

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One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

………

If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

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More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

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Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

………

It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

………

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

………

Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

https://twitter.com/VelonCC/status/1458483340537962496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1458483340537962496%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.essentiallysports.com%2Fwatch-french-cyclist-pulls-off-insane-bike-adjustment-while-cycling-to-prevent-crash-us-sports-news-cycling%2F

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

………

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

Murder charge for Oxnard hit-and-run, bike lane funds stalled in infrastructure bill, and take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia

Ventura County prosecutors threw the book at the alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a bike-riding boy last week.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Sanchez was arrested at his home last Friday, a day after 16-year old Port Hueneme resident Andres Hernandes was run down from behind on an Oxnard street.

Police had found Sanchez’ abandoned car a few hours after the crash.

Sanchez pled not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

At last report, he was being held on a half-million dollars bail.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

……..

This is what we have to look forward to in the unlikely event Congress ever gets its shit together.

More bike lanes that are clearly separated from streets. More pedestrian-friendly street designs. And more safety features on cars

California and other states are in line for a lot more money to implement such plans, thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill the House is considering.

………

The Source reminds us about this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia. And encourages you to leave the car at home and take Metro, instead.

With your bike, of course. Or your feet, if you plan to walk it.

………

A series of free online bicycling symposiums will lead into next year’s California Bicycling Summit in Oakland, with leading bike researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher discussing Cycling for Sustainable Cities next Tuesday.

………

You may have follow a detour if you’re riding the Ballona Creek bike path for the next several days.

But that’s better than the Higuera Street bridge, which will be closed for more than a year.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free protected car parking in DTLA.

https://twitter.com/ChrisByBike/status/1445456484905611269

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Call it a desire line, as the Department of DIY strikes along PCH in Orange County.

………

If you want to ride a bike badly enough, you can usually find a way.

………

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

No bias here. Enraged New York drivers see an “extraordinary” plot between Uber and Lyft, and a “militant local bike lane group” to deprive them of their God-given right to free parking by building a protected bike lane. Never mind that the ride-hailing companies support the city’s leading bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives because bike lanes and safe streets are good for their e-scooter and dockless bikeshare businesses. Or that Lyft manages New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare, as well. 

Bizarre story from Ontario, Canada, where a woman allegedly threatened two bike-riding teens with a knife after accusing them of being on her property — even though they were on the sidewalk — then apparently ran them down with her car after they tried to leave.

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

Police in New York are looking for a black-clad bike rider who punched a pedestrian in the face as he rode by, then calmly took $100 out of the man’s wallet before riding off.

………

Local

Ride Metro buses and trains for free today, as well get free Metro Bike bikeshare rides, to celebrate California Clean Air Day.

LA’s cool pavement project expands to NoHo, promising to reduce temperatures on the streets we ride, which can rise to as high as 140°.

The annual Bike It! Walk It! week returned to Santa Monica schools this week to encourage students to get out of their cars, or their parent’s cars, and walk or ride to class.

Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tomorrow to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

 

State

The San Diego Reader considers whether OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace could be behind the city’s soaring rate of bike thefts.

A woman who’s been hit by drivers twice while riding on Sunnyside’s 39th Street says stop signs and speed bumps aren’t enough to tame the city’s drivers, which is why a bike boulevard is needed. Needless to say, some of her fellow residents disagree.

Tragic news from Stockton, where a 13-year old girl was “struck and killed by a vehicle.” Judging by the article, the driver of said vehicle was apparently only coincidently involved.

Life is cheap in San Ramon, where a distracted driver walked with no charges for running down popular NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp as he was riding his bike, despite admitting to looking at his hands-free cellphone.

 

National

Seriously? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about the dangers of micromobility, with e-scooter, ebike and hoverboard injuries up 70% in the last four years, and 71 deaths over the same period. Just wait until someone tells them how many bike riders and pedestrians were killed in the same four years. And it only makes sense that injuries went up since micromobility use has skyrocketed.

Smart Cities says smart cities are beefing up their bike infrastructure in response to the pandemic bike boom. Then again, no one has accused Los Angeles of being a smart city in recent years.

Once again, a science website has concluded that bicycling is better for your overall health than walking. Even if walking ain’t bad.

United Airlines becomes the latest major airline to drop fees to fly with a bicycle, joining American and Delta in making the move.

Electrek examines why ebike sales are increasing 16 times faster than general bicycling. Hint: They’re fun, easy to ride and anyone can do it.

Ford is applying for a patent on a new kind of automated electronic derailleur.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Las Vegas 4th grade teacher and baton coach was killed while riding her bike to school when a driver blew through a stop sign.

A Denver nonprofit is encouraging bicycling by paying people between 15 and 30 cents per mile to ride a bike this month, for a maximum of $75

Colorado’s legislature has finally figured out the obvious problem with the state’s ridiculous opt-in Idaho Stop, aka Stop as Yield, Law, which allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to adopt it. And leads to confusion when bike riders have no idea when they’ve crossed from one city to another, and whether or not they have to come to a full stop.

A Chicago attorney is offering a reward to find the driver who pulled into a bike lane, where his passenger was caught on camera dooring a passing bike rider.

A Nashville walking and bike advocacy group says a recent deadly scooter crash calls out the need for more bike lanes in the downtown area to meet expanding demand.

Speaking of Nashville, country music star Chris Stapleton is one of us, finding balance by riding a mountain bike during the pandemic.

A seven-year old Long Island boy raised over $4,000 for the heroes of 9/11 by riding his bike 20 miles. And insisted on finishing despite crashing his bike into a thorny fence, saying he wasn’t in as much pain as people on 9/11.

A new study reveals what they describe as the “harrowing safety risks” faced by New York’s app-based delivery riders, with half of riders reporting they’ve been involved in a crash or some other incident.

New York police busted a 14-year old boy for randomly attacking several older Brooklyn residents, including an 81-year old man and a man riding a bicycle.

DC is now requiring e-scooter users to lock their scooters to a bike rack when they’re done, which isn’t likely to improve safety or reduce clutter, while blocking parking access to bike riders who need it.

No bias here, either. After initially fleeing the scene, a Florida hit-and-run driver returned to blame the victim, insisting he didn’t know “why that person was in the road;” fortunately, he was arrested anyway.

 

International

Where to rent a bike on your next trip to Tobago.

Ontario, Canada’s equivalent of the Motor City used to be a bicycling paradise — if you go back 130 years.

After England suffers major flooding, a London cabbie somehow blames bike lanes for causing it. Which doesn’t explain why the streets without them flooded, too.

A man from Jersey spent his pandemic lockdown filming bike rides on routes throughout the British island, allowing bike riders around the world to share his rides from the comfort of their own homes.

Britain’s ongoing gas shortage has led to a 119% jump in bike sales, with sales of commuter bikes up 194%.

British advocates argue that bicycle infrastructure has to extend to rural areas, as well as cities, after a 43% jump in bike deaths on country roads last year.

A writer for the UK version of GQ accepts a challenge to ride the full length of the country, and shares what it was like to cover 970 miles in a week and a half riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

More proof life is cheap in Great Britain, where a hit-and-run driver gets a lousy 12 months behind bars for killing the 31-year old daughter of a member of Parliament as she was riding her bike.

Dutch neurologists call on people in the bicycle-riding country to wear bike helmets, despite — or maybe because — virtually no one does, even though Dutch riders suffer roughly 16,500 bicycling brain injuries each year.

France is offering drivers the equivalent of $2,975 to trade in their old smog-belching cars for clean new ebikes.

High-end Italian bikemaker Colnago says their blockchain cryptosecurity is the solution to bike theft, but you’ll just have to trust them on that. But at least you can trust Yahoo to let you read it if Bicycling won’t.

A trio of Aussie researchers analyzed bikeshare data from 40 international cities to determine where bike riders are most likely to brave the rain and snow, with Dublin, Ireland and Seville and Valencia, Spain taking the lead.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers a cyclist’s-eye view of last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Longtime Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche is calling it a career after 17 years in the pro peloton.

There’s more than one way to stop when you don’t trust your disk brakes.

 

Finally…

This may just be the best bike name ever. Who needs rain gear when you can carry a roof with you?

And that feeling when you try to steal the same bait bike twice.

………

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

$50,000 reward in Venice hit-and-run death, man killed on 4,000 mile charity ride, and Eagle Rock wants one lane

Imagine someone you love traveling across the country to follow her faith and feed the hungry.

Now imagine getting a call from an LAPD detective telling you she’s been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

Although they probably didn’t use that word.

Then imagine that the police won’t return your calls. And you have no idea what’s going on with a case that seems to be going nowhere, and doesn’t seem to be a priority.

You’ve just put yourself in the shoes of the entire family of fallen bike rider Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize her name. I only recently learned it myself, confirmed by her relatives.

Brazzle was the woman who was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she rode her bicycle around a Venice intersection this past August.

She’s one of 18 victims of hit-and-run drivers in Southern California this year. And yet another Black bike rider or pedestrian sacrificed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where people of color die from traffic violence at a rate far disproportionate to their share of the population.

Never mind that Pacific Avenue, the street where she was killed, is on LA’s High Injury Network as one of the deadliest streets in the city. And was scheduled for bike lanes in the city’s long-forgotten mobility plan and 2010 bike plan.

Which could mean Los Angeles bears at least some legal responsibility for knowing about the dangers of the street, and failing to fix it.

Prynsess Brazzle had traveled from her family’s Pennsylvania home to Georgia, then west to Los Angeles, believing she had been called by God to feed the homeless.

Only to have her life taken by someone who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop their damn car after slamming another human being early in the morning of August 20th.

Unfortunately, since then, the trail appears to have gone cold.

The only information police have released is a blurry security cam video of a black, large-sized SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.

That’s despite a $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for information “leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.”

So let’s be honest.

Someone out there knows something. Maybe you’ve seen an SUV with a mangled front end. Or heard someone talk about an early morning crash in Venice, or acting strange the next day.

Maybe you’ve got video or other information the police missed.

And maybe you could use a cool 50 grand. Or just want justice for a young mother taken far too soon.

And yes, you can still get the money if you contact the police anonymously.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to bring justice for Prynsess Brazzle has raised just $139 of the modest $5,000 goal.

We could easily top that today if everyone who reads this digs in to give what they can. And forwards this piece to anyone else who might be interested in helping.

And keeping their eyes open to bring her killer to justice.

……..

Sometimes I could just cry.

A Wisconsin man was killed while on a 4,000-mile ride to raise awareness of hunger on the Navajo reservation, and raise fund for a mountain biking scholarship.

Twenty-seven-year old Tyler Droeger was nearly 3,000 miles into the ride, when a driver drifted off the roadway and ran him down from behind as he rode on the shoulder of a Utah highway, knocking him into a ravine.

Chances are, he literally never knew what hit him.

It’s heartbreaking to think someone could be trying to do good for others, and still end up a needless victim of traffic violence.

Droeger wrote that, when he began his journey, he “wasn’t even aware of the inequality we have here in our homeland.” And he offered this advice:

“Be good to the strangers you meet. No matter their situation. it could just as easily have been you in those shoes.”

Needless to say, no charges have been filed.

Droeger’s crowdfunding campaign has continued to raise money despite, or maybe because, of his death.

When I first saw the news on Friday, he had raised a little more than double the $4,000 goal.  It’s now over $11,000.

If you have any extra money lying around after donating to Prynsess Brazzle, I can’t think of a better place to put it.

………

Let’s hope CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León is paying attention.

………

Great ebike ad from Specialized.

………

The Department of DIY strikes again, even if it’s no match for drivers’ love of parking in bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1444081188918870020

Maybe they should have just used a more seasonal barrier, like the people below.

………

It’s hard to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

So you’ll have to settle for this, courtesy of Orange County bike lawyer David Huntsman.

………

A British kid can’t use the bike lane during Back to School Week, because it’s full of cars lined up to get gas during the country’s crippling fuel shortage.

………

Maybe one day, we’ll finally get to the point where we don’t need ghost bikes anymore.

I only hope we all live long enough to see it.

………

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

An older Brooklyn man was knocked off his bicycle when he was sucker-punched by a young man, in what appears to be part of a series of similar attacks on elderly people.

A British driver decides if an easily-passed bike rider is going use the roadway, then he’ll drive on the separated bike lane.

Pettiness abounds from IdiotsInCars

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

Police are looking for a man on a purple bicycle who groped a woman on a University of Hawaii campus.

A valet at a Nashville hotel was shot by a bike-riding burglar; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Scotland Yard is looking for a bike-riding man wanted for a series of East London sexual assaults, exposing himself and masturbating in public.

………

Local

Disappointing to see the weekly newsletter from CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin discuss what his office is doing to promote transit and safer streets, without a single mention of bike lanes. Let alone bicycles.

The Easy Reader says ebikes are revolutionizing transportation in the South Bay’s beach cities.

 

State

A rare genetic brain disease robbed a marathoner of her ability to run, but she will still take part in a 220-mile Santa Barbara-to-San Diego ride on her recumbent to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge fundraising ride.

A triathlete in San Luis Obispo County recalls the red light-running driver that left her with “two shattered collarbones, two broken ribs and horrific memories of the impact,” then fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured after allegedly running a red light; police also blamed him for riding outside the crosswalk, as if bicycles aren’t allowed in the street. Someone should tell the Fresno Bee that the victim didn’t collide with a vehicle, he was struck by a car, which had a driver.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at California’s most significant bicyclist safety initiatives. They may not be the best source, however, since they cite LA’s dusty, nearly forgotten Vision Zero and mobility plans.

Lafayette considers safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists after a school crossing guard was killed in a collision last month, but not before heroically pushing school kids in a crosswalk out of the way, sacrificing himself to save them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

National

Popular Mechanics recommends the best cheap bikes for beginners. The real surprise isn’t the price of the bikes. It’s that Popular Mechanics is still around.

Las Vegas Raiders fans turn out on their custom, low rider bicycles to show their love for the team.

Good news from Kansas, where searchers found a 13-year old girl who had gone missing on a bike ride.

Shades of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. A Nebraska man crashed his bicycle after a bee got in his bike helmet and began stinging him. Except in my case, they didn’t sting me. And I got hurt a lot worse.

Even in Oklahoma, speeding drivers get the blame for a jump in traffic fatalities.

Chicago finally gets around to installing a road diet and bike lanes on the deadly street where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed riding his bike, 13 years after another bike-riding man was killed at the same site. This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work, just not so slow.

A Columbus, Ohio newspaper recommends riding the area’s scenic bike paths.

After a man was killed in Mississippi on a cross-country fundraising bike ride from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego three years ago, his mother is planning to finish the ride, picking up where he was killed; his ride raised over 12 times his original $10,000 goal to help children with cancer.

The New York Times examines the rising carnage on the city’s streets, despite outgoing Mayor De Blasio’s promise to reduce traffic deaths under Vision Zero.

A trio of kindhearted Florida deputies got a new bike for a man after the bike he used for his transportation was stolen.

Kindhearted Fort Lauderdale firefighters replaced a young boy’s bicycle after it was burned in a house fire.

 

International

A Welsh website says life has gotten crazy at local bike shops during the pandemic.

Sponsors are bailing from the UK’s Black Cyclists Network after allegations of bullying and harassment by the organization’s founder.

Even British drivers support a 10 mph speed limit and speed cams to improve traffic problems.

No bias here. As Paris shifts its transportation focus from cars to walking, biking and transit, all the New York Times can see is the “anarchy” of scofflaw bicyclists. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for a retired French police officer who confessed to being a serial killer and rapist in his suicide note; victims included a pair of 11-year old girls, with one victimized after being pulled off her bicycle.

An Indian paper asks if bicycling is safe for women in Chennai, concluding women on long rides face the lack of accessible and clean public toilets and the threat of harassment and discrimination as well as a lack of bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli was the surprise winner of Sunday’s Paris-Robaix on the rain-soaked cobbles; Colbrelli didn’t even expect to finish, let alone win.

Cycling Weekly offers talking points from the race.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan overcame bloodied hands to win the inaugural women’s Paris-Robaix race, aka Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Cycling Tips offers a photo essay revealing the “grit and glory” of the women’s Hell of the North, while Cycling News offers their conclusions from the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, 125 years after the first men’s race.

Bicycling talks with Ayesha McGowan about her successful fight to become the first Black woman in professional cycling, and her goals to make the sport more inclusive for everyone. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Buy a kid a bike, get free tickets to Tom Brady’s homecoming game. A little skitching will get you a big fine.

And your next bike could be a two-wheel drive, hydraulic-driven, gas-powered bicycle.

………

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

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

………

Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

………

The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

………

Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

………

Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

………

Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

………

A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

………

GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

………

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

………

Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

………

L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Banks trial delayed again, German gets 15 years for killing bike rider Bihn Ngo, and Stop As Yield bill goes to governor

Let’s start with a few more notes from our anonymous correspondent, while we wait for her next update from the Scarpa murder trial.

Well, on October 1st, Mariah Kandise Banks has yet another reset for a preliminary hearing in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frasier. Time to review matters is needed by both the latest Deputy DA assigned to her case AND the counsel Banks has chosen to replace her previous, recently deceased defense attorney. This gives Miss Banks a spell to recover, as she seemed to be under the weather with a deep, phlegmy cough. (I wish I would have double-masked.)

I spoke briefly to the DA. He stated that he had personally spoken to Woon’s mama, and I am skeptical, because if I were the mother of the deceased I would absolutely have mentioned that the perpetrator’s social media shows her in violation of the terms of her bail, but the DA did not forward any such mention to the judge.

Judge Erika Estrada is the new judge presiding over courtroom 38, as Judge Hobbs has been assigned to a different one. I am furious on behalf of the Foltz court staffers who have died of COVID that, last summer, Hobbs chose to let a witness testify without a mask. Especially since the witness was a cop, and local law enforcement agencies have had a statistically high infection rate among their members. Ugh. So disappointing.

(Ed. note: Peter Flax wrote movingly about Woon’s death, and his mother’s long-delayed fight for justice, which is now two years longer. 

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Repeat drunk driver and former bartender Justin Scott German, who ran down Binh Ngo in 2017, accepted a plea bargain last week. He left Ngo’s broken body and parts of his shiny red Mustang lying in the road. Family members who noticed his incomplete vehicle also noted details in the news of a local crash. They asked a neighbor (a retired police officer) how to proceed, and he called it in.

German has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison; 10 for murder and an additional 5 for hit-and-run, to be served consecutively. Currently he’s chillin’ in county until next week, when he has his arbitrary firearms relinquishment hearing.

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My laptop fried to a crisp last month, and I had nothing backed up.

Nothing.

Most of my court notes are hand scribbled, and my day planner’s good ol’ hard copy too, so there’s some consolation.

But I had been collecting basic info bits for a mapping project, and they are irretrievable.

Several years ago, a nonprofit bike agency back east (Bike Baltimore maybe?) had a map documenting collisions of cars vs buildings. I understand the importance of such an endeavor, because those selfish buildings aren’t licensed, and have you ever seen one wearing a helmet? Ever?!? Every year, these damn buildings inflict hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of dollars worth of damage to vehicles. HOW DARE THEY?!? They must be publicly shamed!

Anyway. I had begun documenting collisions involving buildings and assorted public infrastructure. Like the Edison pole on Huntington Drive that a speeder knocked into a backyard swimming pool on a sunny weekend afternoon. Another collision on Huntington Drive Wednesday involved a collision with an LA County Fire rig, which sent a Toyota into someone’s yard. And the hydrant (one of about 900 annually in LA County alone) that got sheared on Alameda on Sunday. And the fence at the Long Beach DMV that got taken out Monday, never mind the fence at the Hollywood post office. And these apartments, whose occupants should’ve just stayed out of the way. Did I mention some geezer tried to turn my local drugstore into a drive-thru?

These things happen ALL. THE. TIME. and rarely make the news. We just shrug, repair the property, and move on. C’est la vie. So it goes. Pertinent Onion headline.

Photo shows Bank’s alleged victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier in better days.

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Now we can all breathe a little easier.

It looks like AB 122 has been approved by the state assembly, after it was revised in the senate.

https://twitter.com/JeremyBWhite/status/1433185054750953473

Now it’s on to Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature. But even if he’s recalled, it looks like he’ll have more than a month after the election to sign the bill.

So I wouldn’t expect any news until after the September 14th recall election, as he’s likely to avoid action that could give anyone a reason to vote yes.

Even if research does show it’s safer for bike riders to yield instead of stop.

Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the recall info.

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Yes, former LA Councilmember Marvin Braude was one of us.

And there’s a reason why the beachfront bike path is named after him.

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Nothing like letting a hit-and-run driver get away with it, just because they got away with it.

https://twitter.com/BarbChamberlain/status/1433100471057539080

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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It looks like there really is a war on cars, after all. But this time, it’s Mother Nature who’s looking for revenge.

https://twitter.com/motorisms/status/1433260352209309699

Seriously, though, let’s all say a few prayers and send some good thoughts to everyone affected by Hurricane Ida and it’s remaining remnants. Even the ones in cars. 

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

No bias here. An Iowa radio personality complains that the state’s bicyclists are dangerously out of control, before noting that it’s just a small minority that causes the problems. But they should stay out of his way.

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

A New Jersey man was lucky to escape with two months behind bars and three years probation for breaking the jaw of a man with a disability, after an argument that began as he rode his bike by the victim. And ended when he circled back on his bike to punch the guy in the face. See hell, special place, for attacking someone with a disability. Schmuck.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Spectrum News 1 looks forward to California’s forthcoming $10 million ebike rebate program.

Kern County is hoping to salvage a plan to extend the eastern end of the Kern River bike path by avoiding the golf course that scuttled earlier plans. Or better yet, just seize the place by eminent domain, and build affordable housing on the damn thing. And the bike path.

This year’s Eroica California has been postponed until next year, and the 2021 Mammoth Gran Fondo has been cancelled, due to the closure of national forest lands and the strain on firefighting resources.

 

National

Amazon is recalling 860 TurboSke Kids Toddler bike helmets sold through the site because they don’t meet CPSC helmet standards; only size small helmets are affected.

While European shipping companies have been quick to embrace e-cargo bikes, their American counterparts are dragging their feet. For reason’s that should be obvious to anyone who’s paid attention to the lack of safe infrastructure and the sorry state of our streets. 

A Portland woman discusses how she learned to quiet her demons and keep riding through her pregnancy.

A 16-year old Idaho boy completed the nearly 1,200-mile Silk Road Mountain Race through the mountains of northwest Kyrgyzstan, finishing in 11 days and nine hours. So what were you doing at 16?

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a custom-made adaptive bike from a Minneapolis man with a disability. Or any other adaptive bicycle, for that matter.

Tragic news from Queens, where a nine-year old boy was killed in a fire started by charging an ebike battery. No word on what kind of bike or battery was involved.

A New Jersey monument preserves the actual brakeless, fixed gear, steel frame, wooden-wheel bicycle ridden to victory in the first Tour of Somerville race 81 years ago.

A Pittsburgh bike rider confirms that when it comes to protected bike lanes, if you build it, they will come.

That’s more like it. A stoned and drinking Pennsylvania driver will spend up to eleven years behind bars for critically injuring a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle; over a year later, the boy still requires 24-hour care for a traumatic brain injury.

A bike-riding Mississippi woman was apparently killed by a sentient, self-driving 30-year old pickup. Otherwise, the story would have mentioned that the damn thing had a driver. Right?

 

International

Road.cc says new theories changing occupational health and safety could improve road safety, as well as eliminating the attitude of us versus them on our streets.

Mérida, Yucatan is moving forward with plans to build a bike lane network equal to 10% of the 2,900-mile road space devoted to cars. That should be the minimal goal for any city, anywhere.

Kate and William’s kids are all one of us, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis spent the summer taking long walks, fishing and riding horses and bikes on an extended stay with the queen in her Scottish retreat. Although the 95-year old queen probably didn’t ride bikes with them.

A UK bike mechanic is giving back to the country’s health workers fighting the pandemic by repairing stolen bikes recovered by the police, and giving them to National Health Service staffers who’ve had their own bikes stolen.

No surprise here, as Copenhagen is once again ranked the world’s most bike-friendly city, followed by Tallinn, Estonia and Amsterdam. Mad City was the only American city to make the list at #27, just behind Ottawa, Canada.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof has raised a whopping $182 million over the past two years — not counting crowdfunding campaigns — making it the world’s most funded ebike company.

Proof of concept. An Austrian industrial design student has put over 620 miles on his bizarre looking circular-framed touring bike that folds out into its own camper.

A Malaysian website remembers the legendary Lion of Malaya, who fought the Japanese during WWII by smuggling leaflets hidden in the hollow tubes of his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič is back in the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey as the race returned to the mountains for a couple intense stages, over two minutes ahead of second place Enric Mas. American Sepp Kuss is five minutes back after fighting off challengers to finish second in yesterday’s 17th stage.

Oddly named Norwegian cyclist Odd Christian Eiking probably won’t have to worry about making sure they get his name right on the Vuelta trophy anymore, after slipping off the red jersey and out of the top ten.

USA Cycling announced the roster for the road world championships in Flanders later this month; Amber Neben is questionable after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding on PCH in Corona Del Mar two weeks ago, breaking her pelvis in three place.

American paracyclist Oksana Masters won two road cycling golds in two days at the Tokyo Paralympics, despite never having won a previous road race.

Red Bull looks back at the rapid evolution of mountain bikes over the 20-year history of the Red Bull Rampage.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike might not have a chain, belt or anything else connecting the crank with the wheel. If it doesn’t have pedals, it ain’t an ebike.

And why you should never mess with a Victorian woman on a bicycle.

………

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

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