Tag Archive for bighearted cops

Morning Links: Victorville bike rider critical after crash, LA bike lanes pay for themselves, and Clarkson says FU bikes

Let’s start with bad news from Victorville.

A man riding a bicycle suffered life-threatening injuries when he reportedly tried and failed to beat traffic on a busy highway.

The CHP reported it as a fatal crash; however, San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies were unable to confirm a fatal Victorville crash over the weekend.

We’ll let you know when and if we get more information.

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Someone should remind our elected officials here in Los Angeles that spending on bicycling infrastructure makes sense.

And dollars.

Lots of dollars.

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A letter writer in the Los Angeles Times says a Copenhagen-like level of bicycling may not be practical in the short term, but building a backbone network of bike lanes crossing the city would get many people out on their bikes.

Which, oddly, is exactly what the city’s bike plan calls for.

Meanwhile, another letter writer says Copenhagen is a great place for bicycling because it’s relatively flat.

Unlike Los Angeles, which is… uh, relatively flat.

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As long as we’re on the subject of letters, an Oregon letter writer says —

  • Bicyclists need to take more responsibility.
  • There’s no proof bicycling infrastructure benefits anyone but people on bikes;
  • Bike riders use senior citizens as “wrinkly, silver-haired pylons on the imaginary racetrack of the handle-barbarians;”
  • Bicycling can never be made entirely safe, so riding on city streets will always be a gamble;
  • Oregon’s governor is rewarding the lawless behavior of bicyclists by allowing them to “wander through red lights, stop signs and ignore yield signs while challenging vehicles to the same space.”
  • Bike riders need to be taxed, tested and licensed. And ticketed.

Damn, that’s a lot to unpack.

But let’s give it a try.

First of all, yes, bike riders — and everyone else — need to assume more responsibility.

I myself recently assumed responsibility for disappearing Jimmy Hoffa, snatching the Lindberg baby, and trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Second, there is plenty of evidence that bike lanes improve safety for everyone.

Third, anyone who endangers pedestrians, especially older, younger or disabled pedestrians, is a complete and total jerk. And probably drives exactly the same way. Never mind that a lot of the people on bikes fit in that nebulous senior category themselves.

Fourth, saying the streets will never be safe for bike riders is just another way of saying motorists are incapable of driving safely. But yes, there are ways to improve safety, even in intersections.

Fifth, the version of the Idaho Stop Law that was recently approved in Oregon only allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, while still requiring bike riders to stop and wait at red lights. And it passed both houses of the legislature.

Finally, most bike riders already hold a drivers license, so they have been tested and licensed. And bike riders are subject to traffic fines, just like drivers, in every state of the union.

And as we’ve already seen, testing and licensing drivers hasn’t exactly inspired good behavior, either.

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Talking with a driving website, Jeremy Clarkson, co-host of the Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour, and former host of Britain’s Top Gear, laced into bicycles and the people who ride them in an expletive-filled diatribe.

He particularly goes off on plans for a bike lane on the street next to where he’s sitting, insisting no one rides there, as numerous bike riders glide past behind him.

And he insists you’ll get a disease if you ride a bus.

No, really.

Although evidently, he’s including himself in that big FU to bikes and the people who ride them.

Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Lots of generous people in today’s news, starting right here at home.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have now. I’ve put in a request for more information, and will let you know if we learn more.

Meanwhile, thanks to the bighearted people the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, 13 special needs kids and two adults now have new adaptive bicycles.

A Colorado Springs CO paramedic and firefighters teamed with a local nonprofit to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

Milwaukee residents help a little girl raise enough money in half an hour by selling lemonade to replace her mother’s stolen bike — including two people who paid $100 for their $1 drinks.

Kindhearted firefighters replaced a 10-year old Ohio girls’ bicycle and helmet, just two hours after her brand new bicycle was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

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More proof that bikes can go where cars can’t.

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This is who we share the roads with. Legally or otherwise.

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Local

LA-based ex-pro Phil Gaimon goes on KCBS-2 to discuss his Phil’s Cookie Fondo coming this October in Malibu; the ride benefits Chef’s Cycle and No Kid Hungry to help ensure every child has something to eat.

Sixty-two-year old Claremont resident Sandra Marie Wicksted faces up to 17 years behind bars after pleading not guilty to murder for intentionally plowing her car into bike rider Leslie Pray, as well as four counts of attempted murder for trying to do it to other people, as well.

The Hoff is one of us, as David Hasselhoff goes mountain biking in Calabasas with his new Welsh wife.

 

State

A 55-year old San Diego man suffered a serious leg injury when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, after allegedly failing to yield.

San Diego councilmember and candidate for mayor Barbara Bryophytes tries to stuff the genie back in the bottle, calling fo a moratorium, if not an outright ban, on e-scooters.

The Encinitas bikeshare system has been put on hold thanks to Trump’s trade war with China.

A young boy and his father were rescued from the base of a San Francisco cliff after the child somehow rode his bike off the edge and his father went down to help him.

Results of San Francisco’s pilot study on the city’s Valencia Street protected bike lane shows a dramatic reduction in risk to bike riders, including a 95% decrease in mid-block interactions with drivers, where dooring had previously posed a substantial risk.

Time says higher prices for Jump bikes and e-scooters are threatening the micromobility revolution in the Bay Area.

 

National

Far from being cheating, a new study shows ebike riders actually get more exercise than regular bike riders.

An Oregon appeals court says yes, bicyclists can legally pass vehicles on the right, after a bike rider was cited by a cop for unsafe passing after he was right hooked by a bus driver who’d just passed him.

More on the innovative new bike lights developed by students at the University of Colorado that bathe the user in rainbow-hued lights, as well as illuminating the road.

An ex-Denver radio host lists of a who’s who of local bike advocates as he complains about their “activist agenda,” while spouting his own anti-bike lane one. But he does claim that he’s polite to each and every one he meets, even “the obnoxious ones.”

Beyonce fans take a bike ride in Houston’s blistering heat to visit Queen Bey’s favorite haunts.

It was nice while it lasted. In the two years since St. Joseph MO opened a free bikeshare system with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all 40 bicycles have been stolen or destroyed.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a pair of donated adaptive bicycles from a couple of adopted, autistic Kentucky children.

Finishing our Kentucky trifecta, it’s good to be king. Or mayor, anyway. The former mayor of Somerset KY walks with a lousy $100 fine for clipping a 15-year old girl while she was riding in a crosswalk with the right-of-way — then driving off, claiming he didn’t realize he’d hit her bike.

Riding a bike across the country isn’t all that rare anymore. But riding a bike 3,000 miles across the US with serious vision and hearing problems due to a genetic condition, like this Kentucky teacher, is.

Vermont’s governor is one of us, taking to his bike to see what problems bicyclists face in one county, and what they’re working on. That exactly what we should expect of all elected officials.

A New Hampshire bike rider tells drivers not to be nice by waving bicyclists through intersections, and to be predictable, instead.

A Rhode Island chef is beating his addiction to alcohol with the help of his bicycle, riding 100 miles a week and losing 40 pounds in the process.

After a Connecticut bike rider was injured in a crash, police added insult to injury — literally — by giving the victim a stern warning for riding salmon.

A vehicular cyclist in upstate New York repeats the myth that bike lanes make bicyclists less visible and safe, when the fact is, bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to improve safety. And the better the bike lane, the greater the improvement.

Things just keep getting worse in the Big Apple, as the city suffered its 19th bicycling fatality this year when a 52-year old man was collateral damage when a teenage driver ran a red light and smashed into another vehicle. And yes, the crash was captured on video, and no, you don’t really want to see it. Trust me.

As we speculated last weekend, Atlanta appears to lead the nation in scooter deaths, with twice as many this year as any other major American city.

An angry Miami man exited a restaurant, stripped naked and hopped on his bicycle, riding in the buff to a nearby store where he grabbed a pair of shorts and walked out, telling the startled clerk he was paying with his bicycle. Needless to say, he didn’t have any ID on him. Although he does have some great thighs and a definite cyclist’s tan.

 

International

Automakers seem to think the future is in micromobility, as five companies — Volkswagen, Ford, Audi, BMW and GM — explore variations on e-scooters, while Peugeot goes back to its bikemaker roots with a line of ebikes. Just don’t plan to ride them on the medieval cobbles of Bruges.

Evidently, near total hegemony on the streets isn’t enough for some drivers, as one is captured on video driving on a busy bike path in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver brightens the city’s outlook for bicyclists with a series of colorful new bike racks.

After getting hit by someone on a bicycle, an Ontario man says bike riders are too comfortable breaking the law against riding on the sidewalk. The simple fact is, no one rides on the sidewalk if they feel comfortable on the street. So the best way to stop sidewalk riding is to demand safer streets.

No bias here. Police in the UK stopped a 13-year old black kid and demanded the receipt for his bike to prove it was actually his. Because we all carry the receipt for out bikes with us every time we ride. Right?

The mother of a fallen British bike rider calls for requiring bike lights on the sale of every new bicycle.

Trump ex-wife Marla Maples is one of us, riding a bike as she vacations in Spain.

Great photos from a Czech city, as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the country’s first bike race. Although the first caption, by way of the Chinese press, seems just a tad off.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? Twenty-four-year old medical student Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to win the grueling Transcontinental Race, riding across the European continent in 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes — beating her nearest rival by 11 hours.

A Philippine paper looks at SoCal’s Coryn Rivera and her efforts to make the US cycling team for the 2020 Olympics, even though she could compete as part of the Philippine national team.

If you couldn’t get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall to read Jason Gay’s profile of South LA’s back-to-back US crit champ Justin Williams and the League of Cycling, a Belizean website offers a synopsis of the piece in honoring the Belizean-American cyclist.

Lance may be officially barred from bike racing, bu that doesn’t mean he can’t gloat about “blowing the doors off” Vice President Mike Pence on a Nantucket bike path.

Forget doping, now you can just cheat on Zwift.

 

Finally…

Don’t just drink your expensive single-use coffee, ride it. Who needs a barber shop when you can just use a bikeshare bike.

And if you’re going to ride your bike carrying a loaded BB gun while high on crack, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the BB gun.

Or the crack.

 

Morning Links: Nipsey Hussle was one of us, and kindhearted cop replaces 91-year old Tarzana woman’s stolen bike

The late Nipsey Hussle was one of us.

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A 91-year old Tarzana woman is back on the road after a kindhearted cop teamed with Reseda Bicycles to replace her stolen adult tricycle.

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Local

CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who killed a shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, says climate change is creating a sense of global urgency, and young Angelenos want “land use decisions to be used in a way that creates walkability, bike-ability, and proximity between work, entertainment and homes.” Never mind that the Lankershim bike lanes he killed would have addressed both of those concerns. But hey.

Two Lincoln Heights teachers and an Olympic cyclist have teamed to form the LA LA Bike Club at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, giving students an alternative to drug use and gang activity.

State

No surprise here. Encinitas bicycle advocate and local leader Roberta Walker and her husband have filed a claim against the city for the crash that left her with critical injuries last December, arguing that the signage and sharrows she was riding on were confusing and contributed to the crash. And that there should have been a bike lane, instead.

San Diego trauma surgeons say the rash of scooter-related injuries goes on, though they won’t give any actual figures until a journal study comes out later this year.

Hoodline ranks the five best bike shops in San Diego. The question is whether San Diego bicyclists would actually agree.

Oakland has released the draft of their proposed 2019 bike plan for public comment. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A pair of Napa parents are committed to promoting bicycle safety after their 11-year old son was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while crossing the street on his bike; naturally, the driver wasn’t charged.

National

Outside discusses five insects everyone can eat. Most bike riders have probably eaten a few before learning to ride with their mouths closed.

Looks like Seattle is retreating on its bike-friendly reputation. A week after pulling the plug on a long-planed bike lane, Seattle scratches plans for 22 proposed bikeways, requiring an update in the city’s Bike Master Plan.

Speaking of Seattle, the local paper offers seven reasons to buy an ebike.

Grand Junction CO makes a big deal over their new sharrows, saying they show where bicyclists are allowed to use the full lane — before noting that they don’t actually change anything.

Texas bike riders participating in the Ride for Reading San Antonio program collect books each month, then ride to distribute them to local schools. Meanwhile, a San Antonio, Texas bike shop owner was killed by an alleged drunk driver, who said she saw his bike and flashing lights, but somehow couldn’t avoid hitting him.

An Austin, Texas writer discovers she actually can give up driving for a month and survive. And likes it.

A group of bike-riding teenagers swarmed Boston’s former Big Dig tunnel, taking over two lanes of the freeway on the O’Neill Tunnel until they were herded out by police. Although I’m more concerned by the driver who used a handheld cellphone to record them.

Queens residents demand the NYDOT finish the uncompleted bike lane on Queens Blvd, despite loud organized opposition.

Streetsblog informs New York’s bike-riding police commissioner that many of the department’s rank-and-file don’t share his bike-friendly attitude.

A new short film shows New York’s ill-advised war on ebikes through the eyes of the Chinese delivery people who bear the brunt of if.

A Virginia man was given eight life sentences without the possibility of parole for the rape and murder of a Muslim teenager who was walking to a Ramadan service with a group of friends; the incident began with road rage when he honked at a bike rider in the group, who angered him by yelling back at him.

They get it. Business owners along a Baton Rouge LA street undergoing a road diet say it will be worth it once the work is finished. Even if the work is 18 months behind schedule.

International

They’re some of us, too. US Magazine shows bike-riding celebs around the world. Depending on how you define celebrities, of course. Although I like Lea Michelle, who said she kept a bicycle on the Paramount lot to bike to the set and back.

A bike-riding Toronto man is on trial for fatally bludgeoning a family friend with a steel pipe for no apparent reason.

The BBC’s Piers Morgan insists that bike riders should be licensed and insured, accusing riders of being “completely unaccountable,” “invisible people marching around anonymously on your bikes creating havoc.” Maybe someone should explain to him how bicycling works, because marching ain’t it.

Bicycle and motorized scooter-based ambulances are expanding the reach of healthcare in Uganda.

A Chinese man was critically injured when he was struck by a bicycle. No, it was a riderless bikeshare bike that someone threw out the window of a tall building.

The Chinese woman who cheated in a marathon by riding a bike for much of the route has received a well-deserved lifetime ban. Hope that 5 hour, 38 minute time was worth it; makes you wonder how long she would have taken without cheating.

Competitive Cycling

Dutch Continental rider Robbert de Greef was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a heart attack while competing.

Italian downhill racing legend Corrado Hérin was killed when the ultralight plane he was piloting crashed.

Finally…

Build your own 37 mph, handlebar-free ebike ‘bent. Apparently, you’re not supposed to ride a bicycle pulling a suitcase on a Shanghai freeway.

And here’s a second chance if you missed yesterday’s round of April Fools gags.

Although I think the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies won the day.

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