Tag Archive for bike chop shops

Healthy Streets LA submits signatures, moves forward in city council; and Moriah “Mo” Wilson killer busted in Costa Rica

So, did I miss anything last week?

Thankfully, my head and stomach finally returned to their standard state late last week, after doing my best to sleep it off all week. 

Now we’re back, with a lot to catch up on.

And no, that fool photo up there refers to the following story, not me. Although the resemblance is uncanny. 

Photo by 1195798 from Pixabay.

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As a former president famously said, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…won’t get fooled again.”

Let’s hope we don’t.

It was more than a decade ago when a group of LA bicyclists calling themselves the Bike Writers Collective developed the Cyclists Bill of Rights, calling for common sense entitlements for people who ride bikes.

(Full disclosure, I was briefly a member of the group after this Bill of Rights was written.)

Like the right to “travel safely and free from fear”, the “full support of the judicial system,” and the “right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.”

It made so much sense, it was provisionally adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2008.

Which is apparently what they do when they want to make something go away.

The proposal was sent to the city attorney’s office for review, before being routed to various city agencies and council committees, with an ultimate goal of writing it into city code and including it in the upcoming 2010 bike plan.

And that was the last anyone ever heard of it.

Which should serve as fair warning as the city considers preemptively adopting the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

This past week, Streets For All submitted over 102,000 signatures in support of the proposal, which would require the city to implement the long-forgotten mobility plan whenever a street mentioned in it is resurfaced.

Assuming enough signatures are validated, it would go before city voters, possibly as early as this fall.

But that’s where it gets interesting.

Because before the public has a chance to vote on it, it will go before the city council, who will have the option of adopting it outright.

If they do, it will immediately become law, and require a vote of the public before it can be modified or repealed.

Meanwhile, the city has also voted to move forward with their own version of the plan, based on the Healthy Streets initiative.

The motion, which passed unanimously — although safe streets opponents Paul Koretz and the recently defeated “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo were absent, along with former mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino — sends it back to the city attorney’s office to draft it into an ordinance.

Sound familiar?

The council will have the option of adopting the Healthy Streets plan, their own plan, or approving both. Or neither., for that matter

According to Streetsblog, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the best approach would be for the city to adopt them both.

“There are things in the ordinance, good things, that aren’t in the initiative,” explained Schneider after delivering the signatures earlier today. His advice to the Council? “Adopt ours, and then adopt yours as the implementation mechanism.”

The worst option would be for the city to approve a watered down, toothless version of the ordinance that would allow them to back out of implementing the plan whenever a councilmember decides it would be inconvenient to someone — whether motorists, police or the fire department.

Which could be altered or revoked by future council action at any time.

And which is pretty much what we have right now, resulting in less than 3% of the mobility plan being striped, seven years after it was adopted. And just 13 years before it’s supposed to be completely built-out.

Which means, if the city does adopt a weak-ass version, it will be up to the voters to correct their mistake.

So it’s great that the city is moving forward with their own version of the Healthy Streets LA proposal.

But it’s up to us to stay on top of them, and at the same time, keeping moving forward on the ballot initiative, to ensure we don’t get fooled again.

Or as another former president put it, “Trust, but verify.”

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While we were gone, Kaitlin Marie Armstrong was busted in Costa Rica, after 43 days on the run for the May killing of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

The 34-year old fugitive was captured at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.

Armstrong was reportedly traveling on a borrowed passport under an assumed name. She was returned to the US to face murder charges.

Wilson was repeatedly shot, apparently in a fit of jealousy for the crime of briefly dating Armstrong’s boyfriend, 35-year old cyclist Colin Strickland, and maintaining their friendship.

US Marshalls tracked Armstrong down by following her obsession with yoga classes, despite dying her hair in an effort to hide her identity.

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The LACBC has taken a stand against the recently passed ordinance criminalizing bike chop shops, urging the mayor to veto it.

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Enough said.

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This is how fast a tragedy can happen. And how it can be avoided by a matter of inches, and sheer luck.

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Women cyclists competing in the road race at the US Road Cycling National Championships took a knee to protest the recent overturning of Roe vs Wade.

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This is what it looks like when a whole country bikes instead of driving.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

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They get it. A British police department explains why drivers don’t really want people on bikes to ride single file, regardless of what they might think.

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We haven’t had much success getting Hollywood to #biketheOscars.

Maybe we’re just asking the wrong country.

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

No bias here. After six-year old boy was knocked down on a San Diego bike path by a pair of kids on ebikes, a surf website says ebikes are “piloted exclusively by the lazy and selfish and/or young and spoiled, (who) fly down bike paths, sidewalks, anywhere pedestrians amble at full speed cloaked in the gauze of “environmentalism.” Um, sure.

No bias here, either. A chain of UK coffee shops says they don’t serve people on bicycles in their drive-throughs because “they’re not road legal, taxed or insured.” 

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

A 17-year old English boy faces a dangerous driving charge for fleeing the scene after running down an 80-year old pedestrian with his ebike. Yet another reminder to always slow down and ride safely around pedestrians. And stop if you hit someone, dammit. 

Also in the UK, a 29-year old man faces a charge of “wanton or furious driving while being in charge of a bicycle” for killing a 29-year old woman as she was crossing the street.

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Local

Cars are now officially banned from a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, at least for now. More on that tomorrow.

Once again, bad police training has raised its ugly head, after an LAPD spokesperson tells Spanish speakers it’s illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, even though it’s perfectly legal as long as you respect others on the sidewalk.

A man was in stable condition after he was shot while riding a bicycle in central Long Beach early yesterday morning; police have not identified a suspect or motive.

CicLAvia is back, taking over the streets of South LA this Sunday. Or a street, anyway.

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a another virtual happy hour on July 13th, this time featuring LA County District 1 Supervisor Hilda Solis.

 

State 

Several thousand bike riders turned out for a patriotic bike ride through Huntington Beach, in just the ride’s third year.

A kindhearted Castro Valley man fixes up donated bikes, and gives them to people who can’t afford one.

 

National

He gets it. Former President Barack Obama called on cities to fight sprawl and create “livable density…that allows us to take mass transit and take bicycles.”

Writing for Jalopnik, the co-host of The War on Cars podcast says “ban cars” is an inaccurate and incomplete summary of a complex issue, but he means it anyway.

A writer for Slate calls out Joe Biden’s “misguided” plan to suspend the federal gas tax.

A British man is riding across the US to call attention to testicular cancer, under the hashtag #BikingForBalls. No, really.

The Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation after a man claiming to be an off-duty cop was filmed pinning a 14-year old boy to the ground, and accusing him of stealing his son’s bike; the boy’s mother accused the cop of racial bias, saying when the boy simply tried to move it because it was blocking the sidewalk.

Police in the Bronx are looking for a hit-and-run driver in a stolen Jeep who killed a bike rider in a high speed crash, then removed a baby from the back of the Jeep, and made off in another SUV.

The carnage continues on American roads, when a DC driver crashed into a man on a bicycle before slamming into a fireworks stand; both the bike rider and a worker at the stand were killed. The driver apparently lost control due to a medical event.

 

International

Amazon is replacing its London delivery vans with a fleet of mini delivery van-style e-cargo bikes.

A British bicycling website says abuse on the roads keeps many women from riding, who might otherwise take to their bikes. The same story could be written for any American city or state.

Copenhagen’s bicycling chef is combining bikes and cuisine to give customers a ride to remember.

A new German study puts ebikes ahead of electric cars as the most popular and attractive form of electric vehicle.

Horrible news from Kolkata, India, where a 25-year old man was electrocuted when he tried to remove fallen electrical wires that got tangled with his bicycle wheels.

A 57-year old Kiwi man has ridden his bike everywhere for more than 40 years, without ever owning a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng learned the hard way that you’re not supposed to grab another competitor’s helmet, grasping Ruben Guerreiro’s skid lid during Saturday’s stage two of the Tour de France.

Danish rider Magnus Cort was a hero to the hometown crowds during Sunday’s stage three, cementing his hold on the polka dot climber’s jersey with an 81-mile breakaway.

There always seems to be a mass crash during the early stages, and Sunday’s stage three was no exception, with several of the leading contenders losing time they’ll have to make up in the coming weeks.

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten cemented her lead in Italy’s Giro Donne with a win in stage four.

LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the women’s national crit championship, as Kendall Ryan took a bunch sprint ahead of teammates Skyler Schneider and her own sister, Alexis Ryan; 19-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti successfully defended his title on the men’s side.

Kyle Murphy and Emma Langley won the men’s and women’s road cycling Nats.

Veteran cyclist Alejandro Valverde suffered minor injuries when he and a teammate were struck by a driver while training in Spain on Saturday.

Team Novo Nordisk, the pro team composed entirely of cyclists with type 1 diabetes, is out with a new documentary; you can see it here.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you’ve never ridden a bicycle at 169 mph, with or without a tow. Now you, too, can ride your bike on half a wheel.

And I seriously need this one on my wall.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Possible closure of Griffith Park Drive, more on bike chop shop ban, and fallen AIDS/LifeCycle rider remembered

My apologies for another unexcused absence yesterday.

I’m still battling debilitating bouts of dizziness and brain fog, which my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraines. But which haven’t responded to medication or drastic changes in diet.

Which makes me think maybe they missed the mark this time.

Most days I can struggle through it. But others, like yesterday, it knocks me on my ass.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

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There may be hope for Griffith Park yet.

Sam forwards a Reddit post about a planned closure of Griffith Park Drive from Travel Town to Mt. Hollywood Drive.

While it’s shorter than the original proposal, this is a huge step forward in removing cars from the park, and reducing the kind of cut-through traffic that resulted in the April death of Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive.

Parks should be for people. Not an alternative to driving the freeway.

EMAIL SUPPORT for Griffith Park pilot project program Road Closure from Travel Town to backside of Mt Hollywood Dr!!!!!
byu/onlyfreckles inBikeLA

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Streetsblog’s Sahra Suliaman calls the new LA ordinance banning bike chop shops a remnant of outgoing CD15 Councilmember Joe Bucaino’s failed “broken sidewalks” campaign for mayor.

The proposal, which passed by an 11 to 3 vote, must go back to the council next week after failing to receive a unanimous vote for approval in its first reading. A second vote only needs a majority vote for approval, virtually guaranteeing its passage.

Meanwhile, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus points out that “laws enforced by police against vulnerable people have a way of being abused and unfairly implemented.”

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The hometown newspaper of fallen bicyclist Glen Brown remembers the AIDS/LifeCycle rider who was killed in a solo bike crash just blocks from the Los Angeles finish this past weekend.

The 57-year old Illinois man was on his third ride to raise funds and awareness to fight HIV/AIDS, after riding from Minneapolis to Chicago and Boston to New York.

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Let’s talk bike helmets.

Discover looks at the science behind bicycle helmets protecting bicyclists, pointing out the benefits of helmets, as well as the limited protection they offer at speeds above 20 mph. And how mandatory helmet laws can have a contradictory effect by reducing ridership.

Meanwhile, a new study from the UK shows that only one-in-five competitive cyclists are aware of the limited protection offered by bike helmets, including the fact that most helmets don’t protect against concussions.

And Lime has opened a popup Helmet Hair Salon in London, to address the one-in-five bike and scooter riders who won’t wear a helmet because they don’t want helmet hair.

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Active SGV is asking for your support for the Arroyo Link to connect Pasadena to the Arroyo Seco.

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Megan Lynch forwards a tweet expressing the frustration many UC Davis students feel, after the inherent conflict of interest when a 19-year old student was killed by a truck owned by the university, in a crash investigated by the campus police.

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

A 77-year old British driver whines that he passed with plenty of room, after he was fined the equivalent of over $2,200 when his illegally close pass was caught on a bike cam and sent to the cops. Which we really should be able to do here in the US, but can’t. 

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

For once, a freeway traffic tie-up really was the fault of someone on a bicycle. A Seattle man was arrested after stealing a bicycle in a strong arm robbery, then riding it onto an Interstate highway and fighting with the cops when they tried to stop him.

Former New York Rangers star Sean Avery walked with time served for using his e-scooter to bash the door of a car blocking a bike lane, after arguing with the driver. We all know the feeling, but violence is never the answer, as tempting as it may be.

A Nottingham, England man faces charges after threatening to shoot a pawnbroker in the head after the shop refused to take his bicycle because they didn’t have room for it, then smashed a window on his way out.

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Local

The new $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct will finally open next month, three years late and $100 million over budget; the July 9th opening will be limited to pedestrians, with the following day open to bike riders and pedestrians, before the bridge opens to motor vehicles on July 11th.

Metro is pushing to use the upcoming ’28 Los Angeles Olympics as a catalyst to request federal funding for additional transportation projects, including new bike paths and bikeshare stations.

Speaking of Metro, the agency lists both online and in-person bike classes for the remainder of the month, as well as a handful of community bike rides — starting with tonight’s ride from Africatown in Leimert Park to Biddy Mason Park.

 

State 

A 55-year old Encinitas man continues to ride his bike hundreds of miles each month, despite suffering from stage four pancreatic cancer for the past eight years.

Police in McKinleyville are looking for the heartless hit-and-run van driver who ran a red light and hit a man on his bike, then got out of her vehicle to look at him lying on the ground before getting back in and driving away.

 

National

A Next City op-ed says it’s time to let Black and Brown people take the lead on reducing traffic deaths, since they’re at the greatest risk.

Bicycling examines the current state of the manhunt for Kaitlin Armstrong, the accused killer of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, including new clues to her whereabouts. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Planetopedia examines the concept of Tactical Urbanism.

Stranger Things star Matthew Modine is set to star in a new movie about a cycling team for at-risk youth.

Summer is almost here, and Momentum wants to tell you how to plan a bike picnic in just 15 minutes.

CNN takes a look at how competitive mountain bikers keep their cool while blazing across inches of trail on the edge of steep mountain sides.

An Arizona man discusses learning how to function again after losing his leg when a tow truck driver plowed into a group of bike riders last year, killing one woman and sending four riders to the ER.

Yes, please. Austin Texas is now offering a bike lane bounty for anyone who reports a driver blocking a bike lane; the person who turns them in gets 25% of the ticket revenue. You could make enough to retire if we had that here in LA.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an 11-year old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike, the third child killed by traffic violence in the city in just two weeks.

Tom Vanderbilt takes a bike tour through New York’s Hudson Valley, discovering a rich countryside and “farm to glass” whiskey.

A North Carolina postal worker faces charges for killing a 62-year old man riding his bike on the sidewalk, after exiting a parking lot in his mail truck without yielding to the bike rider.

 

International

Forbes examines the World Naked Bike Ride, which protests “the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create.”

Charges were dropped against a Windsor, Ontario driver accused of the drunken, hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle after she was found dead; no word on the cause of death.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding British motorcyclist was sentenced to just 20 months behind bars for killing a man riding a bike, while riding at more than double the 30 mph speed limit.

A German website asks if bicyclists and drivers will ever learn to live with each other, or continue to remain in a constant state of road rage.

Interesting idea. A new Japanese cargo bike prototype offers a compact, three-wheeled, double-decker design.

 

Competitive Cycling

EF Education has just two riders remaining in the Tour de Suiss, after four team members were forced to abandon after catching Covid. Which serves as yet another reminder that the disease hasn’t gone anywhere, as much as we might wish it was over.

Cycling’s governing body tightened the rules for transgender cyclists, raising the transition period on low testosterone to two years, while reducing the maximum level of testosterone

A 25-year old Wyoming man competing in the Tour Divide was forced to abandon when he wrecked his bike in Glacier National Park, then got lost trying to make his way back, and was trapped by flood waters.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the “more affordable” bike from a pair of retired cycling stars goes for a mere $5,990. Or when you find a Penny Farthing just hanging on the wall.

And when a naked bike ride photobombs your wedding pictures.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA approves ban on bike chop shops, and environmental groups pull support for awful Geary-designed LA River plan

As expected, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance to ban open air bike chop shops on public property.

The ordinance is intended to give police a tool to address the proliferation of chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles, often found in homeless encampments throughout the city.

Here’s how CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino described the ordinance.

He said the new law, which is modeled after a similar one in the city of Long Beach, would target people in possession of five or more bicycle parts, a bicycle frame with the gear cables or brake cables cut, two or more bicycles with missing parts, or three or more bicycles on public property.

It also is written to specifically exclude people with a valid business license, as well as someone fixing their own bicycle.

While bike theft and receiving stolen merchandise are already illegal, LAPD officers tell me it can be difficult to make a case, since most bikes are never reported stolen, and it’s almost impossible to identify a bicycle once it’s been dismantled.

Even if they can make a case, it’s usually just a misdemeanor, since it’s hard to prove the value of the stolen bikes are more than the $950 value for grand theft. Which means the suspects are usually back on the street doing business again within days.

Whether this will be successful in preventing bike thefts, or simply becomes a tool for harassing and criminalizing homeless people, remains to be seen.

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Environmental groups have pulled their support of the proposed LA River master plan, accusing officials of ignoring their recommendations for the awful Frank Geary designed plan.

His designs would simply hide the river’s concrete channels under elevated parks, rather than return it to a more natural state.

Hopefully, it will never get built, even if it is approved.

But it will inevitably get tied up in court, and delay any real action on improving the river for years, if not decades.

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Local

He gets it. In an interview at LAX, Hanging with Mr. Cooper star Mark Curry says stop complaining about high gas prices and start riding a bike.

Active SGV led a toxic tour of Avocado Heights and City of Industry sites threatened by pollution, culminating with a stop at lead battery recycling plant Ecobat.

Long Beach plans to move forward with highway interchange improvement projects that would have been part of the now-cancelled 710 Freeway widening, including some protected bike lanes.

Lime is planning to test a new electric motor scooter with a top speed of 20 mph in Long Beach, deploying several hundred of the bikes in the city.

 

State 

Bills are starting to move forward in the state legislature again after it passed a budget framework, including one that would provide CEQA exemptions for sustainable transportation projects.

Yes, please. A San Francisco city supervisor wants to start holding public town halls after every traffic fatality. Although that might be just a tad impractical in Los Angeles.

 

National

Slate says traffic safety ads may be good at making puns, but they don’t change driver behavior to improve safety.

Colorado is preparing a $12 million statewide ebike rebate program, in the wake of Denver’s highly successful one. Meanwhile, California’s $10 million ebike rebate program remains in limbo, with no estimated start date.

A group of military vets are planning a 1,900 mile, 41 day ride to recreate the legendary ride of the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis to prove bicycles could be a viable form of transportation for the military.

Heartbreaking news from South Dakota, where a 53-year old Canadian man was killed by a truck driver while on an 838-mile bike ride to raise awareness about kidney disease, and raise funds for a kidney transplant for his granddaughter; the crowdfunding campaign for her transplant has raised over $22,000, topping the $20,000 goal.

Over 200 people turned out for Boston’s first Pride bike ride.

ESPN’s ESPY award winner Jason McElwain was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike in Greece, New York; the autistic student manager of his high school basketball team, McElwain gained fame when the coach put him in near the end of the team’s final home game, and he responded by sinking seven three-point shots. He’s now a motivational speaker.

UPS is testing small battery-powered delivery trucks designed to operate in New York bike lanes. In other words, just one more obstacle putting bike riders at risk. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Hoboken, New Jersey could decide that 20 is plenty, as the city council considers a proposal to lower city streets to 20 mph.

Seriously? Police in Philadelphia are looking for a burglar who broke into a bike shop and stole a 1996 military prototype bicycle worth an estimated — wait for it — $100,000. For that price, it must be made from Unobtanium.

An artist painted a message of hope in a Pennsylvania town, after the man she had planned to paint it with was killed by a driver while riding his bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Electrek asks if Urban Arrow’s new e-cargo bike is the luxury SUV of the ebike world.

POC’s newest bike helmet is made for sustainability, made of 50% recycled materials and designed to be easily disassembled and recycled at the end of its usefulness.

A man walking his dog stepped in to rescue an 82-year old English man after he was knocked off his bike and attacked by a frenzied cow; he used the man’s bicycle to fend off the one-ton animal until it turned to attack another man.

An Irish delivery rider has been acquitted of murder for stabbing a 16-year old boy to death, agreeing he acted in self-defense when he was attacked by a group of teenagers while trying to reclaim another delivery rider’s stolen bicycle.

The capital city of Estonia will give kids the equivalent of $105 to buy a bicycle to encourage them to start riding.

He gets it, too. The mayor of Bengaluru, India says the city’s bikeways can’t have a real impact until they’re connected in a viable network; the city plans to build 378 miles of bike lanes by 2035.

A secondhand ebike has helped a longtime New Zealand bike advocate fall back in love with bicycling on his 37-mile commute.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips explains how to follow the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which started yesterday.

Nice ad featuring L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams for Vuori.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bike polo is still a thing. If you’re already wanted by the cops for threatening a woman with a switchblade, maybe don’t ride an illegal motorized bike.

And bike riders are the new Atlas.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

6 years for hit-and-run death of Colton boy, LA votes on bike chop shop ban today, and demand Griffith Park bike safety

The hit-and-run driver who killed 15-year old bike rider Javier Gonzalez in Riverside has been formally sentenced to six years behind bars.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty earlier this month to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentence enhancement of fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera might not have faced any jail time if he’d just stopped his damn truck, since Colton resident Gonzalez and his friends were riding on the wrong side of the street.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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The Los Angeles City Council will vote on a proposed ordinance today to ban outdoor bike repairs and sales on public property, in an effort to halt open air bike chop shops.

However, it will exempt “people in possession of a single bike being repaired with the express purpose of allowing them to ride it again.” Which means you shouldn’t be subject to the law just for fixing your bike in public.

Key word, shouldn’t.

Although whether it will actually have an effect on bike theft remains to be seen.

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A Reddit post reminds us about the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which meets twice a month to discuss matters concerning the park.

Like how to keep bike riders safe from all the cars and drivers they let in to what should be a safe place for people.

The next virtual meeting takes place on the 27th of this month.

Improving Safety within Griffith Park: Griffith Park Advisory Board
byu/Kirbacho inBikeLA

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Inspiring story of a Tampa, Florida bike mechanic who rides his fixie with just one leg, after losing his left leg in a motorcycle crash.

Even on the track.

https://twitter.com/BicyclingMag/status/1536408064332484609

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GCN offers advice on how to perform basic maintenance for beginning bike riders.

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

This is why we can’t have nice things. A San Francisco disability advocate, backed by an art museum, is filing a ballot measure to force the return of cars to newly carfree John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park.

Disgruntled motorists have been sabotaging London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods by repeatedly tipping over planters intended to limit traffic flow.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 profiles the Watts-based East Side Riders and co-founder John Jones III as they work to support the community and push for change.

Pacoima is launching the San Fernando Valley’s first ebike-based bikeshare system, which will be free to use for the next nine months.

He gets it. An op-ed from former Santa Monica City Manager and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Rick Cole says stop spending billions on freeways. That money could be better spent on transit, biking and pedestrian projects to reduce the need to drive, instead of fueling it.

 

State 

Guardian Bikes, a children’s bikemaker financially backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is pulling up stakes in Irvine and moving to Seymour, Indiana, which should result in a ten-times increase in production.

A handful of residents and business owners turned out to protest as San Diego began work to remove two traffic lanes and install protected bike lanes on Park Blvd in University Heights, at a cost of just 88 parking spaces — most of which will be replaced nearby.

A Palm Springs man started an organization to provide bicycles to homeless people, to support them with much-needed transportation.

Oakland residents protested to call for safer streets in the wake of two deadly collisions involving a man on a bicycle and an elderly pedestrian.

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson is one of us, explaining he rides his bicycle to home games to cut his carbon footprint.

 

National

ABC News reports that racial disparities in American traffic fatalities are even worse than previously thought, especially for pedestrians and bike riders, with Black pedestrians and cyclists 2.2 times and 4.5 times more like to killed on a per-mile basis, respectively; the trend is similar for Hispanic Americans.

Bicycle Retailer says increases in US bike ridership reached the highest levels in decades during the pandemic, but the bike boom may already be over.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico letter writer asks why the city can’t keep bike lanes clean and free of debris. Something most of us would like to know, wherever we live.

Kansas drivers are reminded to watch out for bike riders this month, as the Trans Am Bike Race and the Race Across America, aka RAAM, roll through the state, along with the annual Biking Across Kansas; three riders have been killed in the last five years.

The Chicago Sun-Times calls on the city to raise the fine for drivers who block bike lanes, after a three-year old girl was killed when her mother rode her bike around a utility truck parked in one.

A 43-year old Toledo man faces charges for viciously beating a 70-year old man riding his bicycle on a bike trail; the suspect bizarrely claims he was just trying to wake the victim up because he didn’t look well.

Writing from the perspective of a “non-avid cyclist,” a DC woman calls for better bike infrastructure for people like her, rather than the self-proclaimed “avid cyclists” who always seem to show up to oppose it.

A Virginia writer remembers riding his $5 junkyard bike all over town as a boy, while lamenting that kids don’t ride bikes anymore.

 

International

Riders stripped down to participate in the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico to call for greater visibility of people on bicycles; dozens of riders joined the fun in Toronto, too.

A Calgary man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike-riding man as the driver was leaving a golf course; the judge rejected a defense plea for a lenient sentence, saying it wouldn’t deter other people from drinking and driving.

An Ottawa, Canada woman has been holding weekly bike giveaways for the past three months to help Ukrainian refugees settle into the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam is opening a new 200-station bikeshare network.

An outdated law limiting handlebar widths means that most mountain bikers in Western Australia risk fines for breaking the law.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini won the Women’s Tour of Britain by just one second over Australian Grace Brown, thanks to a four-second bonus for a third place finish in the final stage.

Sprinter Mark Cavendish probably won’t have a chance to break his tie with Eddy Merckx for the most stage wins in the Tour de France, since he’s unlikely to make the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team roster for the race.

 

Finally…

What’s a bike race without a little booze? Before you submit video of a scofflaw bicyclist, make sure you’re not the one breaking the law.

And before you celebrate your win, make sure you really did.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Repeat hit-and-run driver gets 31 years for killing Riverside bike rider, and LA city council votes to ban outdoor bike repair

That’s more like it.

A California judge got a one-man hit-and-run crime wave off the road by sentencing a 35-year old man with a long criminal record to a whopping 31 years behind bars.

Steven Allen Watson Jr. was convicted for the Riverside hit-and-run that killed bike rider Brian Sabel, as well as another hit-and-run 21 months later that left a 56-year old woman walking with a cane.

He served time for car theft in between — just one of his 17 other felony convictions, along with three misdemeanors.

Watson will have to serve at least 85% of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole, which means he’ll be at least 61 years old when he’s released.

Hopefully, he won’t be allowed to drive once he is.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

The Los Angeles City Council voted 10 to 4 to draft an ordinance banning bike repair or sales on city streets.

The ordinance is intended to halt the bike chop shops that have proliferated in plain view around the city, contributing to the rash of bike thefts.

However, it would also criminalize legitimate bike repair services for homeless residents, and prevent them from earning a modest income by repairing and selling abandoned bicycles.

Hopefully the city attorney’s office will find a way to split the baby that halts criminal activity without preventing other legal activities.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

………

That 2.7 earthquake in Silver Lake yesterday was probably just the shock of drivers finding out LA’s Riverside Drive is getting a road diet (scroll down).

A half-mile stretch of one of the two northbound lanes between Glendale and Los Feliz Blvds will be removed to calm traffic and make room for protected bike lanes on either side.

You can only imagine the shockwaves that would have resulted if they had tried to remove parking spaces, too.

………

NBC’s LX site talks with the founders of the East Side Riders Bike Club the about using bicycles to cross gang lines and stop the cycle of hunger and violence.

As a child, East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III was told there were lines he couldn’t cross in the neighborhood of Watts, Los Angeles. Today, he and his organization — co-founded by his father — regularly cross those gang lines by bicycle to deliver meals to anyone struggling with homelessness or food insecurity.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed this one.

But take a few minutes to click the link and watch the video. And see how bicycles can do so much more than just get you from here to there.

It may just be the best six minutes of your day.

………

They get it.

https://twitter.com/MetBranchTrail/status/1491140136259981312

………

Take a guess how much Monterey’s leading bike advocacy organization operates on.

And no, I don’t know the answer, either. But after years of working on a low budget myself, I can take a guess.

https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/1491278239918362624

………

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

A Canadian truck driver was fired after he was caught pushing a bike rider out of his way with the grill of his semi, as a group of riders apparently tried to stop him from joining the country’s protests over vax mandates.

https://twitter.com/AnthonyFloyd/status/1490400873154957312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1490400873154957312%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdllife.com%2F2022%2Fvideo-driver-nudges-bicyclist-out-of-way-for-blocking-intersection%2F

No bias here. The Irish Times reviews a Czech-built Toyota SUV from the perspective that “cities are no longer that welcoming to the motor car” so you need a “rough and tumble off-roader to survive the cyclists’ scorn and snide remarks.” And the higher view puts drivers at eye-level to bike riders and pedestrians, “so you can look your abusers in the eye.” No, really.

No bias here, either. A BBC host was under fire for discussing the recent bike and pedestrian friendly changes to the country’s Highway Code by asking her guests a series of highly slanted questions about why they hated people on bicycles.

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

Police in Manchester, England stopped 30 bike riders for blowing through red lights in just 90 minutes, joining a growing list of British cities cracking down on red light jumpers.

………

Local

You can now visit the previously fenced-off Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, complete with bike racks, on your next ride on the Ballona Creek bike path. For those of you outside LA — and some inside — it’s pronounced bi-yoh-na.

Pasadena Now talks with State Senator Anthony J. Portantino about his new bill to improve bike and pedestrian safety by requiring local communities to develop a High Injury Network map, and commit to fixing it within 15 years.

 

State

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin has been appointed to lead the California State Transportation Agency, aka CalSTA, after less than two and a half years on the job; he’s credited with shifting the state transportation agency’s focus from widening highways to building Complete Streets. Which means Governor Newsom needs to appoint someone who will continue that shift.

San Marco is opening a new two-way protected bike lane in ten days.

Streets For All is teaming with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on a new Twitter-based crash tracker, which will tweet news of San Diego bike and pedestrian crashes in real time. You can follow the one-year old Los Angeles version here

San Diego will settle a lawsuit filed by an injured bike rider for $1.3 million, to compensate for the severe facial injuries he suffered when he crashed his bike due to a broken sidewalk in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood. Just the latest in a series of multimillion dollar settlements due to the city’s damaged sidewalks.

This is who we share the road with, too. Weeks after Elon Musk questionably claimed that no Tesla using the Full Self-Driving Beta had been in a crash in two years, a San Jose YouTuber filmed his car crashing into a protected bike lane bollard, just moments after it ran a red light. Oops.

Streetsblog says Berkeley ripped out a section of a new protected bike lane in front of a hospital, alleging the medical center lied about not being able to get oxygen deliveries.

 

National

Prism says efforts to make American cities more welcoming for people on bicycles are being hindered by over policing of Black and brown bike riders, as well as poor infrastructure in lower income areas.

This is the cost of traffic violence. American Olympian Colby Stevenson took silver in the Men’s Freeski Big Air, after spending five years fighting his way back from a near-fatal car crash caused when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to pick a kids bike helmet.

The New York Times Wirecutter asks whether it’s a bad idea to buy a Peloton right now, as the company dumps 2,800 employees in response to crashing stock prices. But at least their severance packages include free fitness classes.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders are counting on the city expanding its bicycle network, which is currently limited to a single bike lane.

A new petition calls for an anti-dooring ordinance, after a North Carolina man was killed when a driver threw their car door open in front of his bike. And as we mentioned last week, the local press immediately blamed the victim.

A heartbreaking story gets even worse, as the Florida woman who fell to her death when a drawbridge opened while she was walking her bike across has been identified as 79-year old woman. The obvious question is why isn’t there someone or something in place to watch for people so that doesn’t happen? Thanks to Mike Burk and Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who fled the scene after running down a Florida boy, even if he wasn’t hurt.

 

International

This is who we share the road with. After an English man drove a company van into the back of another car, his boss checked the in-cab video, and watched him swigging champagne strait from the bottle and rolling a cigarette while driving with no hands.

A British MP suffered a broken arm falling off his bike while riding to Parliament.

An Indian writer says better bicycling policies, combined with designing cities to better support the working class, could help the country pedal to a more sustainable future.

A photographer catches a Pakistani street vendor walking a bicycle loaded down with wooden stools.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Zealand driver is appealing his sentence for injuring a bike-riding lawyer and totaling his $7,000 bicycle, because he wasn’t told the lawyer had a previous drunk driving conviction. Which has nothing to do with why he was riding his bike, or why the driver slammed into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome now has his own bikewear line, including a $95 t-shirt and $220 hoodie. Um, I’ll pass, thanks.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin was filmed drafting a truck with a few of his teammates on a training ride, and internet commenters were not kind.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you drive F1 for a living, and would still rather ride a bike in the rain than spend 20 minutes stuck traffic. Who doesn’t need $1,100 titanium mudguards on their bike?

And see all the WorldTour team kit colors in 46 seconds.

………

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

Study shows bicycling got safer last year, new Beverly Hills protected bike lane, and cops bust Mar Vista bike chop shop

Maybe things have gotten safer.

Or maybe not.

A new study published in the Journal of Transport & Health found that collisions involving bicyclists decreased during the pandemic last year, as bike riders shifted from rush hour commutes to more midday rides, and from crowded roadways to offroad trails.

However, other reports suggest that bicycling collisions increased last year as the bike boom encouraged more riders to take to the roadways, with greater lethality as less crowded streets allowed motorists to drive more aggressively.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until statistics for 2020 come out next year to know what really happened in the last one; right now, 2019 is the most recent year available.

And it remains to be seen whether things have reverted to previous levels as more traditional traffic patterns have resumed as businesses reopened this year.

But I’d put my money on things being worse, not better.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

………

For any of us who remember the bad old days of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills before it unexpectedly got bike friendly, hell has officially frozen over.

………

After entirely justified criticism for failing to investigate a bike chop shop being openly operated on a Mar Vista Street, the LAPD discovers it can, in fact, do something about it.

………

Once again a bike rider is a hero to man and beast.

https://twitter.com/haverkamp_wiebe/status/1461587023379283969

………

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

This is who share the road with.

https://twitter.com/BaltimoreBike/status/1461379534780080137

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

A British man was knocked out by a pair of men who’d been following him on their own bikes, and when he woke u, they’d stolen his.

………

Local

CleanTechnica doesn’t pull its punches, accusing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva of leveraging poor bicycle infrastructure to deprive people of color of their human rights, and hacking the Fourth Amendment to allow questionable, if not illegal, searches of bike riders.

Metro’s universal basic mobility pilot program starting in South LA next summer will allow users to ride a bike, scooter, car, bus or train with a single low cost transit pass.

 

State

A chance meeting with an elementary school principal led to a donation of 24 balance bikes for Huntington Beach kindergarten students courtesy of BMX pro Mike Clark, as part of the All Kids Bike program.

Nonprofit advocacy group BikeVentura is opening their second Bike HUB co-op, in downtown Oxnard.

Palo Alto is opening the city’s long-planned new $23 million bike bridge tomorrow.

LA’s Metro Bike isn’t the only California bikeshare system facing change, as San Francisco’s Bay Wheels faces an uncertain future.

 

National

Spy considers the best cycling caps. I’ll take the Bianchi cap in the classic celeste, thank you.

Men’s Health looks forward to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on bikes.

The U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation announced a plan to draw on funds in the new infrastructure bill to refocus transportation in National Parks on greener options, including expanded bike trails and shared micromobility programs.

A bighearted crew of Austin, Texas BMX and stunt riders dug into their own pockets to buy a new custom-made bike for an 11-year old boy after his bicycle was stolen, and made him their guest of honor on their weekly 16-mile joyride through the city.

A pair of Indiana radio personalities are living atop a scissor lift for five days to encourage donations to the station’s bike drive, which has distributed over 11,000 bicycles to kids in need in the past five years.

A New York writer hires a bike whisperer, after a crash into the metal bollards on the Hudson River Bikeway led to a fear of bike paths.

New York takes a big step towards secure bike parking with the first Oonee curbside bike lockers, capable of holding up to ten bicycles each in a single parking spot, and fully insured against theft.

The New York Post offers a video “biker’s guide to not dying” on the city’s streets.

Seriously? Virginia considers a wrong-headed plan to ban bikes from in front of the state capitol, forcing crosstown riders to dismount and walk for several blocks, all because a state official has “occasionally seen near-collisions” between people walking and riding bikes in the area. It’s like every collision or near miss inevitably gets blamed on the people on bicycles, as if pedestrians never step out without looking. 

A Florida weekly examines the weekend biker boys of the Bikes Up, Guns Down movement.

 

International

A Toronto website offers the reasons why they love ebikes — and hate them at the same time.

Brompton introduces a new lightweight line of foldies that checks in at less than 22 pounds.

London’s mayor warns of major transportation cuts, including cutting back on bike lanes and pausing the city’s Vision Zero program, as the city’s transportation department faces a budget hole equivalent to $1.7 billion.

Spanish bikemaker Orbea addresses the bike shortage with a new online tool allowing you to check the availability of their bikes, and reserve the one you want.

A Pakistani woman is teaching girls how to ride a bike so they don’t have to rely on others to get to school, despite the country’s long-held conservative attitudes.

An Australian stroke survivor was struck by a driver while on a 5,600-mile recumbent ride across the continent to raise money for stroke support services, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and broken leg.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forbes rides with former pro cyclist Ian Boswell, who traded the pro peloton for Vermont’s gravel roads after a bad crash left him with a lingering brain injury.

 

Finally…

Turn your bike into a two-wheeled Demogorgon. Confronting the mythical ninja cyclist.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wannabe TikTok stars.

Right?

https://www.tiktok.com/@lucasmcmillan1/video/7031737239692381445?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2F&referer_video_id=7031737239692381445&refer=embed&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

………

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.”

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

 

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.

Morning Links: See a bike-riding chef naked, East H’wood bike chop shop, and latest on Kalamazoo bike tragedy

If you ever wanted to see a famous LA chef naked, here’s your chance.

Border Grill chef Mary Sue Milliken is participating in this month’s 300-mile ChefsCycle for No Kid Hungry, with a goal of raising $20,000 to stop childhood hunger.

Make a tax-deductible donation of $10,000, and she’ll send you one of her annual Nude Year cards — without the usual aprons and cooking utensils covering up the more private areas.

Or donate $100,000, and she and fellow Hot Tamale Susan Feniger will come to your home and serve dinner for 10 people in the nude.

Which might be worth a crowdsourcing campaign to come up with the money.

………

Twitter user teamonies points out what looks suspiciously like a bicycle chop shop in East Hollywood in the area around St. Andrews Place and Fernwood Ave; however, he reports having little luck getting the LAPD’s interest.

If you’re missing a bike, it may be worth checking out.

Bike chop shop

………

More on Tuesday’s Kalamazoo MI crash that killed five bike riders and injured four others.

………

Good news from Italy, as a South African cyclist’s life is no longer in jeopardy following a collision with a team car while competing in the Coppa della Pace race. How many lives have to be put in jeopardy before they finally ban motor vehicles from bike races?

More good news, as Belgium rider Stig Broeckx remains in an induced coma following a massive crash caused by a race moto at the Baloise Belgium Tour, but his injuries are no longer considered acutely life threatening.

The leader in the mixed-sex Trans Am 4400 transcontinental US bike race — not to be confused with the better known Race Across America (RAAM) — lost her lead when she took a wrong turn, but remains in second place. So who said women cyclists can’t compete with the men?

………

Local

CiclaValley is going all in on Sunday’s LA River Ride this week, listing key sites to see on your way to Long Beach. Online registration is over, but you can still register on the day of the event.

LA Magazine’s Neal Broverman notes Paris is banning cars made before 1997 to fight smog, and asks if LA should do the same.

A Boyle Heights website looks back on last month’s Eastside Mural Ride highlighting the artwork and history east of the LA River.

The Source previews Sunday’s 4.9 mile Viva SGV open streets event in El Monte and South El Monte.

As we noted yesterday, West Hollywood will host the official ribbon cutting today on the new Fairfax Avenue bike lanes, which connect with existing lanes in LA to create continuous bike lanes from Willoughby Ave to Hollywood Blvd.

Speaking of WeHo, a rider catches a frighteningly close pass from a Starline Tours bus on his bike cam, and just avoids getting sandwiched with a parked car.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree co-op celebrates it’s 10th anniversary.

A Huntington Beach father just wants sidewalks in the neighborhood so his disabled son can safely go for a walk, while NIMBY neighbors worry about giving up a small fraction of their lawns.

A Ventura letter writer places tongue firmly in cheek to respond to a complaint about those damn freeloading bike riders. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

After a witness saw a San Luis Obispo bike thief using bolt cutters to steal a locked bike, the victim got his bike back. And the thief got a well-deserved black eye and a trip to jail.

A driver from the San Luis Obispo area faces up to 19 years in prison after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in 2014; not only did investigators find alcohol, meth and THC in her blood, but she was already wearing an ankle monitor from a previous DUI arrest. It’s not enough to suspend a driver’s license; convicted drunk or stoned motorist too often drive anyway. We have to somehow take their cars away until they’re no longer a danger to others.

When a Pittsburgh CA high school student couldn’t get a ride to an important scholarship interview in Walnut Creek, he rode his bike to the BART station, rode to the Walnut Creek station and biked the rest of way. And got the scholarship.

A Palo Alto Bagel shop will pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit after one of their employees ran down a then 12-year old boy while he was riding his bike to school four years ago; the driver, who was not charged, claimed the sun was in his eyes even though the bigger problem may have been the meth in his system.

 

National

A cyclist confronts the drunk driver who just missed killing him when he rode up onto an embankment.

So much for the Amazon Prime program making deliveries via Seattle bike couriers.

Still more bad news from Michigan:

Shockingly, NYPD breaks with their long-standing tradition and actually arrests a truck driver for the fatal left-cross of a bike rider, instead of just writing it off as “no criminality involved.”

Nice gesture from New York’s Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which offered a $2,500 reward in the assault of a Muslim man who was attacked as he rode his bicycle outside an Islamic Studies Center.

The DC city council drops a provision from a bike safety bill that would have allowed bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields after the police and AAA objected.

In a case of weird life imitating low art, a Georgia man fled from police on an orange Dukes of Hazard bicycle after stealing a ball python and an albino frog; he was arrested behind a sub shop with the snake and a beer, but the frog is still missing. I have a sick feeling where they could find the frog.

 

International

An older Vancouver man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit-and-run bike rider while walking on a pedestrian-only pathway. Seriously, don’t ride in restricted walking areas, always ride carefully around pedestrians, and damn it, stop if you hit someone, already.

LA cyclists dodge careless drivers, Brit cyclists dodge careless cows.

An English driver gets off with a suspended sentence for killing a cyclist after claiming the wind blew his van into the rider. Sure, let’s go with that.

An ultra-orthodox Israeli Jewish sect has banned bicycling for women and girls as young as five, deeming it too immodest and provocative. Anyone who thinks a five-year old on a bicycle is provocative shouldn’t be allowed around children.

Police in an Emirates city seize 109 bicycles for “flouting” traffic regulations and endangering road users — most for the heinous crime of not wearing reflective clothing. Which doesn’t endanger anyone other than the rider. If that.

 

Finally…

Actually, the biggest mistake indoor cyclists make is not riding outside on real bicycles. You may look ridiculous, but at least you’ll be dry, more or less.

And if you’re really worried about the Zika virus while competing in Rio, just freeze your sperm in advance.

Preferably once it’s been removed.

………

It’s a little late, but Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the holy month.