Tag Archive for bike theft

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.

Bike riders warned to avoid construction on PCH, a bike a week stolen in WeHo, and driving drunk on the SaMo bike path

Bicyclists are being urged to avoid PCH between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road for the next two days.

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane for construction work from 9 am to 2 pm, with traffic allowed through in alternate directions, while the bike lanes will be completely blocked.

However, there’s no word on what road conditions will be like if you arrive before or after that five-hour time period.

It’s also questionable whether bikes can be prohibited from using PCH during those hours, since California allows bicycles on any public road where cars are allowed, with the exception of limited access highways in most urban areas.

Whether it would be smart to put yourself in that situation is another matter.

Image from RoadTrafficSigns.com.

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West Hollywood sheriff’s deputies report that crime was up a whopping 137% in the city last year. Fifty-two bicycles reported stolen, a rate of one per week; just over half were classified as grand theft with a value in excess of $950.

Five bikes have been stolen in WeHo so far this year.

Both of those totals are undoubtedly higher, since the majority of bike thefts never get reported to the police.

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File this one under Stupid Driver Tricks.

I often get asked if any place is really safe from dangerous drivers. People like this are why I usually say no.

https://twitter.com/SantaMonicaPD/status/1503856385922154498

Thanks to @yoScot for the heads up, who added this thought.

Recklessly — is there a safe way to be driving on the bike path?

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

There’s a special place in hell for a group of Georgia teens who terrorized a young kid by surrounding him as he rode his bike on a golf cart path, then shot him repeatedly with liquid-filled splatter pellets in yet another harmful TikTok challenge; the boy escaped with a bloodied nose and pellet gun wounds to his torso.

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

An English man was busted for bicycling under the influence after crashing into a woman, who suffered minor injuries when she was knocked to the ground.

Police in the UK are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into a 75-year old bike rider, leaving the man fighting for his life with a critical head injury.

Then there’s this.

https://twitter.com/schscott/status/1501847461064843269?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501847461064843269%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-15-march-2022-291073

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Local

Los Angeles is installing bright red bus lanes in East Hollywood and DTLA, with others coming soon on Alvarado and La Brea; LA interprets state law as allowing bike riders to use bus-only lanes, though some other cities may disagree.

An Atwater Village elementary school is working with the PE Learn-To-Ride program sponsored by All Kids Bike to teach the youngest students how to ride using balance bikes, after a teacher discovered no one really wanted to win a bicycle as a reward for good behavior.

It looks like protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s Union Street could soon bcomee a reality, after the city council formally blessed a contract for a 1.5 mile lane reduction with traffic island and bollard-protected bike lanes; the project also includes a short bike boulevard on Holliston Ave.

Hermosa Beach police used bait bikes to bust a pair of bike thieves, while making sure the bikes had a value of more than $950 so it would count as felony theft. Which serves as yet another reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to cut high theft rates, thanks to a misguided opinion from the city attorney’s office concluding they could be seen as entrapment; meanwhile, that same city attorney wants your vote for LA mayor

 

State 

A San Francisco op-ed says gas prices aren’t high enough, and should be $15 a gallon to include the associated costs of global warming, military, traffic and crashes.

Around 250 people turned out for a weekend rally in Berkeley calling for a carfree Telegraph Avenue, and blocking traffic to show what the street could be like.

San Raphael residents are complaining about plans to remove a traffic lane on Point San Pedro Road to install a buffered bike lane, even though the bike lane was mandated as part of a 1971 permit agreement, but never built.

 

National

CityLab says many Americans are taking up ebikes and e-cargo bikes as an alternative to high gas prices, so why are they absent from government policy discussions?

Planetizen examines how bike advocates can strengthen existing partnerships and make strategic alliances to secure federal funding for projects that will benefit bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t promising to waste as much government money as much as possible.

A Staten Island teenager will spend the next four years behind bars for a carjacking and police chase that ended when he crashed into a man riding a bicycle in a crosswalk; fortunately, the bike-riding victim was not seriously injured.

Atlanta bike riders protested a surprise decision to remove bollard and planter-protected bike lanes on iconic Peachtree Street; the lanes were originally installed as a two-month pilot project, but have been in place for over 200 days.

A Savannah, Georgia Catholic school celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with their annual bike parade for kids from Pre-K through 8th grade.

Diddy is sort of one of us, saying he gets around Miami on a five grand water bike.

 

International

A vote by the UN General Assembly calls on member nations to integrate bicycles into public transport, while improving road safety and promoting the use of bicycles to increase bicycle trips to improve sustainability and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Cycling News examines how bikes get made, starting from iron ore or a vat of petrochemicals to the finished bicycle in your garage. Although you’re better off keeping it inside your home, since garages are often easy targets for thieves.

Life is cheap in Toronto, where a newspaper columnist questions the justice of a lousy two-year sentence for a speeding, uninsured driver who killed a popular science teacher as he was riding his bike, while trying to escape a police chase; police clocked him going over twice the 40 mph speed limit. But at least he’ll be forbidden from driving for five years — even though it should be a lifetime ban.

A British man is being tried for manslaughter for the death of a teenager outside a nightclub; the fight began when he and his companions started kicking and riding the victim’s bicycle. Two other men have already pled guilty in the case.

 

Competitive Cycling

When your famous bike-riding dad gets his image on a wall.

https://twitter.com/GeraintThomas86/status/1503652857765113856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1503652857765113856%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-15-march-2022-291073

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get run off from a historic mansion while walking a bike. Your next ebike could have a driveshaft instead of a chain.

And who needs a $10,000 gold bar when you could win a beer-branded bike instead?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

California traffic deaths jump 17% last year, Metro proposes erasing NoHo bike lane, and register your bike already

No, you’re not just being paranoid.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their latest count of US traffic deaths for the first nine months of last year, showing an estimated 31,720 people died in motor vehicle crashes through the end of September.

That’s a 12% increase over the previous year, and the most traffic deaths in 15 years.

Not to mention the biggest one-year jump since they’ve been keeping score.

Things are even worse here in California, which saw a 17.2% increase in traffic deaths for the first nine months of 2021.

Unfortunately, they don’t break out figures for bicycling and pedestrian deaths, so we’ll have to wait to learn just how bad it’s been for those of us who aren’t wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass, and protected by seat belts and air bags instead of a little plastic hat.

But if you thought it was getting worse out there, you’re right.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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Unbelievable.

The world may be burning, but Metro is busy erasing bike lanes.

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Yet another reminder to register your bike.

Now.

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I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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

Life is cheap in South Africa, where a prominent triathlete was killed and another injured by an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver, who was released on bail due to “lack of evidence;” the driver couldn’t get away because his Porsche was too damaged to drive. Which sounds like pretty solid evidence to me, but what the hell do I know?

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

Police in London’s Hackney district busted 18 people on bicycles for jumping red lights in just 90 minutes, fining them the equivalent of around $68.

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Local

Los Angeles is hosting tire recycling events in Baldwin Park at the end of this month, East LA next month and the Antelope Valley in April. And yes, they’ll take bike tires and tubes.

Once again, an Apple Watch has called for help to rescue an injured bike rider, this time when a man somehow came off his ebike while riding in Hermosa Beach.

 

State

A man known as the scraper bike king of East Oakland is working with kids to carry on the tradition of colorful, highly customized bikes, hoping it will help keep them out of trouble like it did him.

 

National

A new study from the Urban Institute shows that pressuring city officials to build bikeways works.

This is who we’ll soon have to share the road with. Even an automotive site calls for banning the new 840 horsepower Dodge Demon from public roads, calling it a nominally street-legal dragster.

Dockless e-scooter provider Superpedestrian is rolling out a new safety system designed to detect and correct unsafe rider behavior in real time, preventing things like riding on the sidewalk or riding salmon.

Triathlete credits a bike safety campaign featuring triathletes for the White House’s shift to prioritizing bicycle safety.

220 Triathlon considers whether you’d be better off with a women’s bike.

Reno bike riders get a new nearly half-mile multi-use path near the airport. Although it looks like whoever striped it needs to cut back on the weed.

A Denver bike advocate laments the death of what would have been a perfect bike lane, thanks to a whole 17 complaints during the public comment period.

An Ohio letter writer complains about the angry drivers who feel the need to ruin a good bike ride because they don’t understand the law. Or just having a bad day.

The Boston Globe marks Black History Month by remembering Kittie Knox, who integrated the League of American Wheelmen — now the League of American Bicyclists, aka Bike League — in 1893, a year before the organization banned Black members to keep her out.

A writer for Jalopnik totals up what it cost, in dollars and swearing, to rebuild a titanium Litespeed bike abandoned for two years on a Brooklyn street.

A New York photographer documents Gotham bike messengers of the 1990s.

 

International

More proof bike riders face the same problems everywhere, as bicyclists in Antigua and Barbuda renewed calls for greater consideration on the roads after a 16-year old boy was while killed riding his bike.

Something tells me there will be no shortage of volunteers to become the UK’s first bike lane inspector.

America’s Got Talent star Simon Cowell is still one of us, despite suffering a broken arm and suspected concussion when he pulled an endo hitting a wet patch while riding his ebike in London; he fractured his back in 2020 crashing an electric motorcycle.

That’s more like it. A drunk hit-and-run driver got seven years behind bars for killing a British man riding a bicycle; he was captured when police spotted him from a helicopter trying to sleep it off in a field.

A Scottish transport and health professor explains the changes to Britain’s Highway Code, while stressing that it’s probably not enough to change anyone’s behavior. Meanwhile, a British bike rider says forget the Highway Code, he just wants to get home in one piece.

A Santa Fe man offers advice on what to consider before exploring Germany by bicycle. Pro tip: Stop the page from loading before the paywall pops up.

As if careless drivers weren’t enough to worry about, a Spanish bike rider was seriously injured when he was shot by a hunter, who apparently mistook him for some sort of game animal riding a bicycle.

A European travel site explores Dubai’s 52-mile Al Qudra cycle track, which connects to other bikeways to form a 124-mile route.

Fifty people had to be evacuated from a Singapore housing block when a ped-assist ebike battery caught fire; authorities advised not using third-party batteries or charging them overnight to avoid fires.

 

Competitive Cycling

Egan Bernal remains in serious but stable condition, as his doctors shift to a focus on pain management to deal with his multiple injuries; Bernal suffered a fractured femur, kneecap, vertebrae and ribs, as well as a punctured lung and chest trauma when he slammed into a poorly parked bus while training in Colombia.

 

Finally…

When you’re trying to escape the cops with an outstanding warrant, try not to ride head-on into a patrol car. Why ride on dry, dusty mountain bike trails when you could have your very own dust Zamboni — which is exactly what it sounds like?

And shades of the Super Bowl Shuffle.

https://twitter.com/AstanaQazTeam/status/1488479125589442561?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1488479125589442561%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fastana-release-new-rap-video-starring-vincenzo-nibali-and-alexander-vinokourov

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

New ADA in Woon hit-and-run case, LA paid out 300 grand in hit-and-run rewards, and bike theft down 22% in Long Beach

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

So let’s have her kick things off today by catching us up with the latest happenings in bike jurisprudence and other related stuff.

Mariah Kandise Banks (charged in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier) has yet another DA newly assigned to her case. He was tranfserred from the Van Nuys courthouse on the morning of her most react hearing, December 6th. He had a whole new caseload to familiarize himself with, but was present for Banks’ appearance. I was able to speak with him very briefly and he indicated that the prosecution is continuing to work with the defense on a plea deal.

(Editor’s note — Let’s hope they finally get a conviction while Woon’s long-suffering mother is still around to see it.)

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Samantha Cunha killed her friend during a bizarre road rage incident. On December 1st, the charge was dismissed.

(Editor’s note — This was the case where Cunha was a passenger in a car driven by Sophia Ardalan when they became involved in a running road rage dispute on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Ardalan was killed when she either got out, or fell out, of her car attempting to confront the motorcyclist in front of a West Hollywood apartment building, and Cunha somehow put the car into reverse, crushing her against a tree.)

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In the latest episode of Drivers Hitting Buildings:

  • On the 6th, a driver smashed into a building at Los Altos Dr. & Caricia Dr. in Hacienda Heights.
  • On Sunday morning, a speeding driver in a Nissan Frontier took out a parked pick-up, a light pole, and the garage at the T-intersection of City Terrace Drive & Ditman.
  • In the wee, wee hours of Monday, the flower shop at Colima & Lambert, the site of a Black Friday fatality, was again collateral damage in a 3-vehicle collision. This time a driver made a drive-thru of it.
  • A driver fled a hit and run on the 710, went zipping down surface streets, and ended up hitting the house at 5th St. & Sydney Dr. (This is not the first time that house has been hit.)
  • On the 3rd, a dipstick departed the Sinclair gas station at Alameda & Nadeau with the gas nozzle still attached. Counts as structural damage?

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There was a candlelight vigil Sunday for a mother & daughter killed on my coworker’s commute route. Last week, she asked, “You do this all the time. Do I take a candle, or will they hand them out there? Is it okay to take more flowers?” I’m  kinda upset to be the go-to for advice on this subject, tbh.

The speed limit on this stretch is 40mph, and this intersection is close to the terminus of the 105 at Studebaker, which has frequent collisions, sometimes involving the already red-tagged building on the east side of the street. Currently, the guardrail “protecting” the sidewalk has a 20-inch dent. Just a half mile up the road, Chandler Ray was killed on his bike.

The killer was released last Tuesday before the tox exam was even returned. She’s out there. Just like Mariah Banks.

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This was the third Christmas in a row that it was too wet for me & my friends to put up our hit-and-run reward posters… y’know, the some people are in such a rush on Christmas Eve that they really don’t watch out for grannies trying to make their way home. We have really sharp pictures of the suspect and his vehicle, too! The posters and the reindeer hoof print stencils have to wait til next year.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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LA’s standing reward program is working better than we realized, as Crosstown reports the city paid out a total of $300,000 to eleven people for information leading to the conviction of hit-and-run drivers last year.

Prior to last year, the city had only paid three people a total of $55,000 in the previous four years of the program.

The sudden explosion of payments was most likely due the time it takes to make an arrest and for the case to work its way through the court system, according to a police spokesman.

The site also reports that serious hit-and-runs are up in the city, while overall hit-and-runs decreased somewhat.

Los Angeles has seen a rise in people dying or being seriously injured in car crashes. In 2021, there were 359 felony hit and runs in the city that resulted in serious injury or death, up 25% from the 286 in 2020, according to LAPD Traffic Division Compstat data.

Altogether, there were 3,536 felony hit and run cases in Los Angeles last year. That was a decrease of 17% from the 4,273 in 2020.

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Time is running out to voice your thoughts on the planned rush hour bus lanes on La Brea Ave, which would provide a relatively safe route from Hollywood to South LA.

As long as you don’t mind Metro buses running up behind you every ten minutes or so.

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Let’s tip one out for the late, great VeloNews.

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Longtime CNN reporter and host Christiane Amanpour is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1481128809348874240

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The latest Streetfilm illustrates how cargo bikes are revolutionizing family life in New York City.

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

A Seattle man has had more than a dozen surgeries to correct critical injuries suffered when a hit-and-run driver his his bike last month, dragging him for two blocks under the massive SUV, in what he says may have been a deliberate attack.

An Atlanta man faces multiple felony charges for allegedly chasing down a man on a bicycle with a Hummer, then beating him with a baseball bat in an apparent attempt to stiff the victim out of a mere $70 for two days worth of yard work.

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

A Milwaukee bike rider faces a charge of 1st degree intentional homicide for an alleged road rage shooting that took the life of an immigration lawyer after the pair exchanged words; he’s claiming the shooting was in self-defense.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to tell LA County to improve bike and pedestrian access to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area at this evening’s 6:30 pm virtual meeting.

Speaking of Streets For All, the traffic safety PAC is hosting their latest virtual happy hour at 5 pm today, with 26th District California Senator Ben Allen as guest.

Violent crime may be up in Long Beach, just like in most of the country, but bike thefts were down by nearly 22% in the city last year.

 

State

Anaheim is hosting a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider transportation and mobility options for the city’s resort district, including Disneyland; better sidewalks and bike lanes leading from the nearby ARTIC train station would help. The meeting comes five years after the city’s shortsighted decision to cancel a streetcar that would have linked Disneyland with the train station.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes an Oakland TV station to task for displaying its windshield bias by criticizing  bicycle rideout taking over a local freeway, while failing to criticize dangerous drivers using bike lanes. Because one is a lot more dangerous than the other, and it ain’t the kids on bikes. Even if riding on a freeway isn’t the brightest choice. 

No bias here. A San Francisco letter writer says they might as well put up a sign saying “restricted to the young and fit” on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, which advocates are calling on the city to keep closed.

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition objects to a special meeting to once again reconsider a planned road diet that has already been “considered, reconsidered, and reconsidered yet again,” apparently to appease residents opposed to the loss of some parking spaces.

UC Davis has moved its auction of bicycles abandoned on campus online, presumably opening the sale up to anyone. Just in case you’re in the market.

 

National

Kind of a strange post from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who finds his knickers in a twist after criticism from Peter Flax and Doug Gordon of The War on Cars podcast, who made their comments without actually naming him.

Bike mechanics, co-ops, and various advocates and nonprofit advocacy groups are joining together to call for more durable and repairable budget bikes that can last at least 500 riding hours before breaking down, and be fixed when they do. You can sign the petition here. However, you’ll be required to give your full address, which is usually a deal breaker for me.

The second shoe has fallen in Las Vegas, where the family of one of the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver have filed suit against the driver and his employer, as well as the ride’s escort driver, leaving just three more shoes to inevitably fall. The driver, Jordan Barson, is doing 16 to 40 years behind bars for the crash.

Bird watchers in the town nextdoor to my Colorado hometown are up in arms over plans to pave a bike path less than half a mile from a beloved pair of nesting golden eagles, who they fear will be frightened off by “flashing bicycle rims and pink Lycra speeding past at 22 miles an hour.” But evidently, dull rims and yellow or green Lycra is just fine.

Houston is falling behind on a commitment to build 1,800 miles of bike lanes by 2027, as bicycling deaths continue to rise in the city and the surrounding county.

Chicago’s supposedly race-neutral traffic cams somehow managed to disproportionately ticket Black and Latino drivers anyway.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Florida, where an accused hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding a bicycle copped a sweetheart plea deal in a long-delayed conclusion to the 2016 case, walking without a single day behind bars in a case that should could have resulted in four to 15 years behind bars.

 

International

Tragic news from Argentina, where a German man was struck and killed by lightening on just the second day of a planned 1,615-mile ride across the South American country.

A British doctoral student is begging a thief to show a little heart, and bring back the stolen bike her mother gave her as a birthday present to get to class. It’s tempting to say bike thieves don’t have one, but you never know. She might get lucky.

Great idea. An English town is renting new foldies, ebikes and bike trailers, as well as more traditional bikes, for as little as $27 a month, including free delivery and a beginner’s lesson from a bicycling instructor, to get people to try out biking to work or school without having to make a commitment.

A neighborhood in Nottingham, England is going carfree, banning motor vehicles to make roads described as “a racetrack” safer for bike riders and pedestrians. Robin Hood would undoubtedly approve.

Singapore’s Straights Times offers a guide to bicycling in the island city-state, which has some unusually strict regulations.

Now surprise here, as Australian researchers report three-quarters of people surveyed in the country’s Victoria state want to ride their bikes more, but only if there’s safe bike infrastructure to do it in. Which pretty much corresponds with similar surveys everywhere else, including Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Disappointing news, as newly revitalized cyclist Mark Cavendish won’t get a chance to break Eddy Merckx record of 34 stage wins at this year’s Tour de France; the British sprinter, who bounced back from five winless years with a surprising four stage wins last year, will be relegated to the Giro, instead.

Sad news from San Diego, where former Canadian pro cyclist and acupuncturist Greg Bourque died of Covid-related complications just after Christmas; he was 55.

Louisiana’s “challenging” Rouge Roubaix bike race is back this year after a five year hiatus due to flooding and Covid, as well as a misguided local ordinance banning groups of more than ten people on bicycles. Which makes it kind of hard to host a race with hundreds of competitors.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny little ped-assist car. And yes, always check your broken bike to make sure it still works.

Check Your Breaks Screenshot

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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

Help East Side Riders fix hit-and-run damaged van, help get six critical bills passed, and CHP may have your hot bike

Let’s start with a little bad news from one of LA’s best bike clubs.

Because if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, Watts’ East Side Riders could use your help.

The group does invaluable work, using bicycles as a starting point to uplift and feed the community. And they give back far more than they receive.

But that work will be on hold for a least a few days, after someone crashed into their van, pushing it up the street. Best case, it was a hit-and-run driver; worst, someone vandalized their van on purpose.

They haven’t asked for help yet, but they can clearly use it. So give ’em a hand if you can. You can donate directly to them right here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

And yes, I gave a little, too.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the East Side Riders Bike Club website.

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Streets For All is once again asking for your help to get a half-dozen bills across the finish line in the final days of this year’s state legislative session.

We need your help to get 6 critical bills to the governor’s desk

The legislative session is about to end do it’s all-hands-on-deck for getting these final bills passed.

We need you to reach out to your state senator because time is running out.

Here are the bills that need to get to Newsom:

  • AB 917 – Cameras on buses to enforce bus-only lanes
  • AB 122 – Bicycle safety stop
  • AB 339 – Requiring local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalize jaywalking
  • AB 1147 – Active transportation program for regional agencies
  • AB 43 – Allows cities the ability to lower hundreds of miles of speed limits

AB 43 is important for racial justice as a disproportionate amount of pedestrians killed are in black and brown neighborhoods

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:
1) Email a comment to your state senator as soon as possible!!

If you do not know who you state senator is, don’t worry!

You can easily find out right here.

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message.

CLICK HERE to email your senator

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

CLICK HERE to add your name

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The good news is the CHP may have recovered your stolen bikes.

The bad news is they apparently weren’t registered or reported stolen, so the state police don’t know who they belong to.

And it’s yet another reminder that registering your bike now, before something happens to it, is your best hope of getting it back if anything does.

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Kittie Knox was also one of the first women to join the League of American Wheelmen, today’s League of American Bicyclists, aka the Bike League.

She joined just a year before it changed the bylaws to Whites Only, but since the rule was not made retroactive, Knox was grandfathered in and allowed to remain.

And went on to become a trailblazer for Black women on bikes, and all women.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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We’ve often linked to stories from British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, as well as his internationally bike touring son.

But this one hit him close to home, as his son’s girlfriend totaled her bike, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries, when she hit a massive pothole hidden by standing water.

Which is another reminder not to ride through puddles, because you never know what is — or isn’t — underneath. Like pavement, maybe.

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Today’s common theme is celebrities and their kids on bikes. And one little girl who should be one.

Credit a bike ride with the success of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Thriller album. The gloved one took a ride on a borrowed bike to ride to a Los Angeles schoolyard to watch the kids play after concluding the recording was “crap,” then returned to the studio with a clear head to remix and fix it.

Ben Affleck’s nine-year old son Samuel is one of us, after dad upgraded him to a new Co-Op bike from REI.

Ava Fouts is one of us, too. The ten-year old Tucson girl has done over 200 rides totaling more than 2,500 miles, despite a surgically repaired congenital heart defect. Seriously, if you need a good smile, read this one.

Orlando Bloom has been one of us for a long time, as the British actor posts a photo of himself riding a bike while wearing a back brace after a dangerous fall in his 20s. Oddly, I did exactly the same thing by riding my bike wearing a back brace back in the day. But my broken back resulted from a cracked car jack.

Evidently, British paparazzi never give up, turning out to capture former comedian Lee Evans riding an ebike, seven years after he walked away from his comedy career to spend time with his family.

Luxury car marque Rolls-Royce was founded by one of us; Charles Stewart Rolls started his career as a racing cyclist at Cambridge in the 1890s. Too bad he didn’t just stick to bikes and build a luxury bicycle, instead.

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GCN has advice on how to ge the most out of riding with your family.

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

No bias here. A Kansas City man got the blame for crashing his bike into a van, even though the driver clearly violated his right-of-way by left-crossing him. Never mind that the story doesn’t mention the driver.

No bias here, either. The New York Post somehow thinks maintaining a smoggy, dangerous and traffic-choked boulevard on 5th Avenue is good for business, and returning the street to a more human scale means declaring war on cars. Right. If LA’s elected and appointed leaders had half the courage and imagination of their New York counterparts, we’d already see this on Wilshire Blvd, and a half dozen other major corridors, as well. 

A Welsh driver was fined the equivalent of over $500 for a dangerously close pass of a group of bike riders, which appeared to clear them by a matter of inches.

A British bike rider unwittingly and painfully demonstrated the dangers of overly close passes, when he suffered serious injuries after a driver ran him off the road, and head first into a set of wrought-iron gates.

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Local

West Hollywood’s massive Melrose Triangle project promised to “coordinate” designated ride share and passenger loading areas with the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Let’s hope that works better than it sounds, because it sounds like a nightmare.

Something must be in the water in Culver City, where another massive 1800-word NIMBY screed decries plans to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians at the three-way intersection of Overland, Kelmore and Ranch, fearing that a planned refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians would require dangerous mixing of the two, and that the best solution is just to put up a sign banning street crossings entirely.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle early Saturday; police are looking for the driver of a possibly red, late model small to mid-sized SUV. Although it would have been nice if the Bakersfield Californian, which should know better, even mentioned that the car had a driver.

Speaking of Bakersfield, you can thank the local golf course and a funding shortfall for killing a “whimsical” proposal to extend the Kern River Bike Path.

A San Francisco writer decries the city’s “inability to address madness and criminality on public transit and on the streets.” And complains about what she calls “whimsical” plans to put bike lanes on the Bay Bridge, saying most would only “undertake the slog” as a last resort, while insisting that biking is a non-starter for small children, seniors, and others with mobility challenges. Clearly, she’s never heard of ebikes. Or met many older bike riders or paracyclists. And what’s with that whimsical word all of the sudden?

 

National

It was a big weekend for naked people on bicycles and chaste camera views, as the World Naked Bike Ride was marked in Mad City, Philly and even Amsterdam.

A kindhearted cop raised funds to buy a new bike and helmet for a Gloucester, Massachusetts teenager, after he was unable to recover the boy’s stolen bicycle.

Three people were injured when their bikes collided at a bottleneck in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour, which was limited to “just” 20,000 riders as a pandemic precaution.

It takes a major schmuck to push a 74-year old Pennsylvania man down after threatening to steal his bicycle, and only making off with the man’s water bottle.

A group of Baltimore volunteers are delivering meals by bicycle to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A man on a cross-country bike tour tries to outrun a hurricane, scurrying just days ahead of Ida’s landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is celebrating his 80th birthday by riding his bicycle 80 miles a day for 10 days straight, for a total of 800 miles. Although he might have to take a break for a day or two until Hurricane Ida blows itself out.

Seriously? A Florida man faces felony charges for stealing $2.67 worth of soup and some crackers after crashing his bicycle into a patrol car while trying to flee from police; the petty theft was escalated to a felony due to his previous theft convictions. Anyone who steals something like that does it because he’s hungry, not for financial gain, regardless of his record.

 

International

Treehugger takes a look at surprising ways e-cargo bikes are being used for low-carbon commerce.

Cycling News recommends the best bidons, otherwise known as water bottles for us plain folk.

After a bighearted Saskatchewan boy got a new bike to replace his stolen bicycle, he passed it on to another kid whose bike was stolen, when a Good Samaritan found his purloined bike and returned it.

She gets it. A London physician says she should be able to ride her bike to work without worry, but that we will continue to see more people killed as long as we continue to prioritize the people in the big, dangerous machines. 

Never mind the cars, England’s Countess Sophie got a scare from big-horned stags on a tandem ride with a blind stoker.

A university lecturer in the UK asks if ebikes are ruining mountain biking.

The Dutch may ride at home, but Great Britain’s Dutch ambassador set off a firestorm by saying he doesn’t dare ride in London.

An Aussie business professor puts his expertise to work opening a bicycle-themed hotel in the heart of Belgium’s Flanders region, where “bicycling is practically a religion.”

Calcutta regresses into an auto-centric past by banning bicycles from major streets; an Indian magazine calls it a “warped idea of planning and an antipathy towards the working classes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Pink Bike considers what’s next for Afghanistan’s growing mountain bike community, over fears of a crackdown by the Taliban; one rider complains he feels like they’ve been dragged into a black hole.

Road.cc says ongoing Covid lockdowns in Asia continue to adversely affect bicycle supplies in Europe.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s standings, as Rafal Majka rode a 56-mile breakaway to victory in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta.

Twenty-four-year old Evie Richards became British woman to claim the mountain bike cross-county world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Openly gay Canadian cyclist Kate O’Brien took silver in the 500 meter time trial in the Paralympic Games, just five years after competing in the Rio Olympics, and four years after she was nearly killed crashing into a race moto.

Aussie cyclist Caroline Buchanan became the first woman to land a mountain bike front flip onto a dirt surface.

 

Finally…

Sharpen your pocket knife while you sharpen your riding skills. Your next bike light could be powered by the wind.

And watch out for cars when you stick your imaginary landing.

I would’ve made it if the car wasn’t there :/ from GrandTheftAutoV

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

DA calls for review police shootings, LA hiker run over by e-mtn biker, and NBA star was sideswiped by passing driver

Way to get the story wrong.

The usually reliable My News LA reports the County Board of Supervisors will vote today on DA George Gascon’s request to appoint a special prosecutor for cases involving police misconduct.

Possibly among those is the heartbreaking case of Ricardo Zeferino, who was fatally shot by a trio of Gardena cops responding to a bike theft report.

While campaigning against Lacey, Gascon promised to review several high-profile fatal shootings involving multiple police agencies, including:

— Gardena police officers’ shooting of Ricardo Zeferino, 34, who was suspected of stealing a bicycle in June 2013;

Just one problem.

Zeferino was never suspected of stealing a bicycle, or anything else.

Zeferino was helping his brother search for his stolen bike, when police stopped two of their friends who were also assisting in the search. So Zeferino ran up, excitedly gesturing and insisting in Spanish that they had the wrong men.

Except none of the officers apparently understood Spanish. And when Zeferino  allegedly made a sudden gesture to his waist that no one else could seem to see, they blew him away.

Which means the only crime he committed was trying to tell a group of trigger happy, possibly racist, cops they were screwing up.

I don’t know if they belong in jail for an overreaction that cost an innocent man his life.

But they sure as hell don’t belong on the force, in Gardena or anywhere else.

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Ms. Honey Bunnyman forwards a Nextdoor post describing a mountain biker behaving very badly, which we’re reposting with the victim’s permission.

Seriously, don’t be that guy.

Always ride safely around anyone on foot. Which includes keeping ebikes off trails where they’re not allowed, and riding with respect for others anywhere they are.

And if you know who this guy is, tell him hit-and-run applies on off-road trails, too.

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We finally have an explanation for how former NBA star Shawn Bradley received the injuries that left him paralyzed as he rode his bike near his Utah home.

According to USA Today, Bradley was apparently injured when he was sideswiped by a passing driver, causing him to crash into a parked car.

Naturally, the driver who allegedly hit him denied everything, claiming she was only driving 10 mph, and crossed onto the double yellow line to give Bradley “plenty of room.”

Sure, let’s go with that.

Even though police found a fresh scratch on the passenger side of the driver’s van, apparently from Bradley’s bike.

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America Walks is calling for you to demand stronger protections for bike riders and pedestrians in the MUTCD, aka the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, which serves as the bible for traffic engineers.

And tell the former Mayor Pete, who now heads the US Department of Transportation, to make it better.

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A San Jose area bike rider paints a dramatic image of a bad road.

And Angeleno riders should take notes, because our streets aren’t much better.

Q: El Camino Real is so bad that I broke a bicycle spoke crossing at El Monte. It’s worse now than when it was first created back in the 1760s as a dirt road. I fear the Ghost of Father Serra will return to haunt the California highway department. It will be a well-earned haunting.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve found a decent bike-themed music video, after a rash of such songs a few years ago.

Which this may or may not be depending on your taste.

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

No bias here. Ralph Durham forwards a map showing that the proposed Nevada law prohibiting bikes from any highway with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher would ban bikes from virtually every major roadway in the state.

Click to enlarge

A 15-year old Oklahoma boy faces a first degree murder charge for shooting a 51-year old bike rider following some sort of altercation; he was arrested after police responded to reports of an accidental shooting that followed.

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

Police in Redwood City CA are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a car on fire in broad daylight.

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Local

Pasadena-based e-scooter maker Urb-E has raised $5 million to develop same-day ebike delivery networks.

A 46-year old Canyon Country man faces an assault charge for throwing a bicycle through a glass door during an argument, injuring his son. Of the many approved uses for a bicycle, hurling one through a glass door is not one of them.

Robin Wright is one of us, as she goes for ride through Brentwood with her husband on what appears to be e-mountain bikes.

Bebe Rexha is one of us, too, riding along the beachfront bike path in Santa Monica with her boyfriend.

 

State

AB 122, which would allow California bike riders to join the nationwide trend of treating stop signs as yields, has passed its first hurdle in the Assembly Transportation Committee, as a retired Davis police chief said the bill is embraced by the vast majority of police officers. Which is a big change from previous attempts at a similar bill, which were derailed by opposition from the CHP and AAA.

Volunteers hauled around 280 pounds of trash off Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, including a slimy bicycle someone had tossed into San Juan Creek.

Over a thousand people turned out to learn about efforts to keep San Francisco’s JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park carfree. Just like every park should be.

 

National

Yes Magazine looks at the power of bicycle education to transform lives and communities.

This is who we share the road with. A Portland man faces several charges, including 2nd degree murder, for intentionally crashing into a pedestrian while driving a stolen car.

Fifty years after Oregon made a groundbreaking commitment to spend at least 1% of the state highway fund on biking and walking projects, the state legislature is considering raising that to 5%. Which compares favorably to California’s longstanding commitment to not making a commitment to fund them. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link. 

A Washington 7th grader makes a better case for skate helmets than most adults, without calling for making them mandatory.

The head track and cross country coach at North Dakota’s Minot State University suffered multiple injuries when he was run down by a 15-year old driver while riding his bike, even though the boy is too young to legally drive in the state.

Now that’s more like it. New Massachusetts road guidelines mandate sidewalks, crosswalks, bus stops and high-quality bike facilities whenever traffic engineers design upgrades to major roadways.

An op-ed from a Connecticut English teacher says protecting bicyclists and pedestrians is an idea that’s long overdue.

It takes a major jerk to leave the scene after running down an eight-year old girl riding her bike; a 47-year old woman faces charges for the Tennessee hit-and-run after a witness circled the area to find her damaged car.

A Louisiana mechanical engineering student used his pandemic downtime to design and build his own e-mountain bike.

 

International

Cyclist attempts to take the confusion out of measuring a bike frame and finding the right size bike.

Bike Radar offers a guide to selecting the right fixies and singlespeed bikes.

Vancouver residents are entertaining themselves with a lively game of bike tag.

Canadian bike shops say they’re facing the worst shortages in the 100-plus years since the bicycle was invented, while a UK expert says the country’s bike market has gone berserk.

Now that’s more like it. A trio of people who happened to be passing by stepped in to stop a group of thieves trying to steal bicycles from a London park after cutting through the locks with an axle grinder.

We recently learned that the newly svelte Rebel Wilson is one of us; today she let loose on people who let their dogs run loose, as she nursed an injured ankle from falling off her bike after riding past London’s Buckingham Palace.

After a British man shattered his thigh bone when his bike skidded on an oil-slicked road, a pair of passing riders were able to get emergency help to him in just ten minutes using the what3words app to pinpoint his location. I’ve never heard of it before, but the app might be worth looking into.

A 62-year old man hopes to represent the UK in next year’s age group world cycling championships after dropping half his bodyweight over the last two years.

A UK resident got screwed by Brexit after ordering a bike from a Polish bike shop and being told there would be no import duties on it. Except it was returned to the shop during the chaos as the county left the European Union, and when the shop reshipped it, it arrived with the equivalent of over $2,700 in taxes due upon delivery.

India’s homegrown Hero Cycles is looking to expand its ebike sales worldwide, as it opens a new international headquarters in London and expands its factory to make up to ten million bikes a year. Which only sounds like a lot because it is.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Redlands Bicycle Classic has been has been cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic; the race, the country’s oldest ongoing stage race, will be postponed until April of next year.

Cycling Weekly looks at the five legendary single-day races known as the Monuments, the first of which ran this past weekend.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new e-mountain bike costs as much as a decent used car. Or for the same price, you can get one that looks like a fancy dirt bike.

And when you’re carrying meth and a gun on your bike while wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it, already.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

LA Time’s Lopez calls for legalizing speed cams, Bike Index helps return stolen bike 500 miles away, and LA NC talks ebikes

He gets it, all right.

Last week we quoted LA Times columnist Steve Lopez as he called out the death cult of speeding drivers enabled by the relatively empty, over-engineered streets of pandemic-era Los Angeles.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

This weekend, he pointed towards one major solution, with a full-throated endorsement of automated speed cams.

On Sunday, when I wrote about the perils of drivers thinking that light traffic during the pandemic is a license to try out for NASCAR, readers shared their own horror stories about speeding drivers and offered their own solutions. One was automated speed enforcement, which I’d already been looking into.

The way it works is that, if you’re driving over the speed limit in a monitored area, a sensor will read your speed and license plate, and you’ll get a citation in the mail.

The problem, as we’ve noted here before, is that they’re illegal here in the late, great golden state.

Currently, the technology is prohibited in California, but 140 communities in the country have used it with impressive results.

“Washington, D.C., saw a 70% reduction in speeding,” said Seleta Reynolds, general manager of L.A.’s Department of Transportation. “New York saw huge reductions in severe and fatal crashes. That technology is going to save people’s lives for years to come.”

As Lopez notes, that’s thanks in part to pressure from police unions, who have blocked previous attempts to legalize speed cams out of fear it will cost cops jobs, rather than simply freeing more officers to focus on more important things.

There are currently two bills before the state legislature to rectify the situation.

Assembly Bill 550 would legalize speed cams on streets previously recognized as dangerous, as well as in work zones, while Senate Bill 735 would limit the cams to school zones.

Both would require giving hotfooted drivers advance notice through signs indicating they’re entering a speed enforcement zone.

Which is kind of like warning robbers the cops have the place staked out, so they can avoid getting caught.

We need them everywhere drivers speed, rather than just limited locations. And as anyone who’s spent much time on SoCal streets knows, drivers speed everywhere.

But it’s a start.

Let’s hope both pass, or they get merged into a single bill for passage.

And let’s keep on top of it, and keep pressure on our representatives to make sure they do.

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This is a perfect example of why you should register your bike.

Even though the thieves took this bike far from the LA area, Bike Index’ free national stolen bike database helped lead to its safe return.

Or you could just count on faith to get your stolen bike back.

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The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council is talking ebikes this Thursday.

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The case of the missing bike lane.

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Soon you, too, will be able to wear the new volcano-inspired colors of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team, which will be available from Rapha.

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

No bias here. A conservative commentator wants bike riders banned from the streets because someone on a bike complained about people blocking bike lanes, albeit in a rude and obnoxious manner. Seriously, we’ve all had to deal with people blocking bike lanes, but try to make the same point without being a total jerk about it.

And maybe Matt Walsh could try not being a jerk about it, too.

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Local

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a ride in LA with his eight-year old son as Katherine Schwarzenegger follows with their infant daughter.

 

State

Beaumont proposes working together with the cities of Banning and Calimesa, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and Riverside County to develop multimodal transportation projects along the I-10 corridor, including bicycle routes.

A 22-year old woman suffered moderate injuries — whatever that means — when a driver failed to see her riding salmon at an Hesperia intersection.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail accuses Prince Harry of racing through LA traffic on his “expensive” ebike. Even though he was riding near his Montecito home, about 84 miles away.

A Bakersfield bike path will be closed for improvements for one day a week from tomorrow.

In a tragic irony, a Berkeley bike and pedestrian advocate suffered major injuries when she was struck by a driver while riding with her son on a street where walkers and bike riders are supposed to have priority — and just hours after meeting with city transportation officials on how to improve traffic safety.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete says Biden’s transportation plan represents a once in a century opportunity to remake how Americans get around, where cars and highways are no longer king. I like this guy more every time he speaks.

The EPA says the days of pickup drivers enveloping you in a cloud of dark smoke are over, as they sue the Cayman Islands maker of a conversion kit allowing drivers to roll coal. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A new study concludes that, in the absence of congestion pricing, privately-owned self-driving cars will be a disaster for downtown areas, as many owners choose to keep them circulating rather than pay for parking.

Electrek says the proposed 30% tax rebate on the purchase of a new ebike sponsored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jimmy Panetta has a good chance of passing in the current Congressional term.

Inside Hook considers the psychology behind why drivers hate people on bicycles.

Family members say the fatal police shooting of a 17-year old Arizona boy wasn’t justified, after bodycam video showed he had thrown a gun away as he ran from his bike, and never turned to face the cop before he was shot — all for what started as a simple traffic stop for weaving between lanes on his bicycle.

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says no, former NBA star Shawn Bradley wasn’t paralyzed in a Utah bicycle accident, as much of the press termed it; he was injured in a collision when he was run down by a driver. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A reporter from Illinois is riding his bike west to Los Angeles along the famous Route 66, aka the Mother Road, to collect stories about life in the Age of Covid.

Good question. A Daytona Beach FL paper asks how many people have to be killed walking or riding a bike before the state finally says enough?

Florida sheriff’s deputies arrest the 22-year old hit-and-run driver who ran down the sheriff of Volusia County as he was riding his bike — and while she was busy shopping on Amazon. Meanwhile, the sheriff thanked the truck driver who stopped to help him after the crash.

 

International

Road.cc recommends six of the best bike locks, with prices starting at under $40.

Gear Patrol lusts after three ebikes you can only get in Europe, for now.

Parking in a bike lane in Mérida, Yucatán will now cost you the equivalent of up to $77.

The CBC says the great pandemic bike boom has created a demand, combined with supply chain disruptions, that will take the Canadian bike industry years to catch up.

Toronto police are giving fewer tickets to people on bicycles, even though more people are riding bikes.

The owner of a burger bar in Bath, England claims a new bike lane will batter his business. Because evidently, only people who drive eat hamburgers. And if drivers aren’t willing to walk a little further to do business with his shop, maybe he should try making a better burger.

Bike riders in an English county turn thumbs down on a proposed $12.5 million bicycle bridge, saying the money could be better used to improve bike infrastructure on the streets.

New projections show that, not only will ebikes start outselling cars in Europe, it will probably happen sooner than you think.

Cuban expats living in Belgium are organizing a bike ride for this coming weekend to protest the ongoing US blockade of the island.

A Manilla website tells the horrible story behind the city’s first ghost bike, installed to honor a bicyclist who was shot to death by a driver in a road rage incident following a too-close pass; his killer is now serving life behind bars. A reminder that you never know who has a gun and a short fuse. Especially here in the US. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda race, taking everyone else by surprise with an attack with a little more than 15 miles to go; Marianne Vos won the sprint for a distant second.

Belgian cyclist Jasper Stuyven claimed the biggest win of his career by edging Caleb Ewan and defending champ Wout van Aert in the the Milan-San Remo classic, the longest single-day race on the modern cycling calendar. And it was a good day for Trek-Segafredo, with both Steven and Longo Borghini riding for the team.

Former world champ and TdF, Giro and Vuelta points winner Mark Cavendish says he has nothing left to prove, after making what he termed an amateur mistake on the cobbles of Nokere Koerse.

 

Finally…

Seriously, 18 inches does not a bike lane make.  Now you, too, can own the bike Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the 2012 Tour de France, for the low, low price of $10,400.

Unless you’d rather own the very bike Lance rode for the Motorola team in the ’90s.

Syringe and IV bag not included.

………

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

Tragic reminder to always carry ID, LAPD recovers bike thanks to Bike Index, and Mexico City bike riders brutalized by cops

My wife and I spent a little time on Burbank’s Magnolia Blvd over the weekend. 

And we were struck by what a pleasant shopping street it is. 

Or more precisely, what a pleasant street it could be without the constant noise and fumes from all the cars and trucks funneling through. 

Maybe someone should explain to the merchants along the route just how much they could benefit from a Complete Street that makes room for their customers, and not just the cars they came in. 

And thanks to everyone who let me know this site was down Friday morning. I still don’t know what happened, but it seemed to resolve itself after an hour or so.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Sometimes even I get tired of harping about the need to always carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when you ride.

And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated, which sadly happens far too often.

But this comment, which is reposted with permission from Gravel Bikes California, offers a tragic reminder why it matters.

This is long, but please read to the end.

Yesterday I met my friend Adam Lopez for a ride. We met at Eroica California in 2018 and have ridden together a number of times since he got his gravel bike in 2019. We started in Summerland at 11am and did just a wonderful/casual/beautiful ride through Santa Barbara on fantastic pavement, dirt, and gravel. We stopped for a burger at 4pm and were headed back to the cars when he started slowing down on easy climbs. He said that his heart rate was fine but that the air felt cold in his lungs. We passed butterfly beach and stopped again right before the turn at Jameson. We were 2.5 miles from the cars. He decided to press on since we were mere minutes away. He was pacing me just a few yards behind. Every 15 seconds or so I would glance back and see his light. This happened for a about a mile, and then I glanced back and didn’t see him. I rode maybe 150 feet back and saw that he was collapsed over onto the chain link fence, still clipped in, unresponsive and staring. Myself and passers-by who stopped to help called 911. I started chest compressions until fire arrived just a few minutes later. They took over, shocked him twice, established an airway, and continued cpr for 15 minutes. Unfortunately he never revived. He was gone when he hit the ground. His mother died of a heart attack 9 months ago, and his brother died of a heart attack a few weeks ago.

Now for the reason why I’m telling you this: he didn’t have any emergency contact info on him. Although I’ve known him for a while I only had his cell number. The sheriff was required to follow protocol and have the law enforcement agency closest to Adam’s home do an in person notification. I was absolutely helpless. I did advise the deputy that I authorized him today to give my information to Adam’s family, and his wife made contact with me today. She was happy that at least he died doing the thing he loved. She also told me that he had been feeling tired for some time but hadn’t been checked out yet.

Had he had something like a Road ID wristband we would have much more information, and his family could have been notified much sooner.

Please, I BEG YOU, get something like a Road ID so fellow riders or first responders can help. Please look after your health and get checked. And ride with buddies whenever possible. No one should see and go through what I did. I’m deeply saddened and affected.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always wear a RoadID anytime I leave home, whether or not I’m on my bike.

It serves as both my ID and contact information, and a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes.

I’ve never needed it, and I pray I never will.

But as this story so painfully illustrates, I’d much rather have it on me and not need it, than the other way around.

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Do you really need another reminder to register your bike today?

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Nothing like protesting traffic violence, only to be met by police violence.

Tired of police inaction in the wake of too many deaths and serious injuries, bike riders in Mexico City took to the streets to demand better safety and protection from the police.

In fact, while motor vehicle traffic has decreased as much as 50% in the city due to the pandemic, bicycling deaths doubled over the past year.

But instead of addressing their concerns, the protesters were brutally attacked and beaten by the same officers they were pleading with for help.

Even people who were trying to leave were stopped by multiple cops and brutalized.

https://twitter.com/Andalalucha/status/1357907769198862336

A Spanish language news story Mexico City’s El Pais begins like this.

The police attacked this Friday night a group of cyclists who were demonstrating in Mexico City. The confrontation took place in the Periférico, one of the main arteries of the city, at the height of the Naples neighborhood, during a bicycle protest to demand justice for the deaths of cyclists in the capital. The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, described as “unacceptable” the aggression of the agents to the demonstrators and assured that the Secretariat of Citizen Security will carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. This Saturday, the mayor reported that “about 10” agents have already been removed from their positions.

Several protesters were injured in the head and face, according to images released on social networks, when they tried to access the second floor of the Periférico. In the recordings, it is seen how several agents surround some of the participants in the shooting and attack them with blows. The group was protesting to demand justice for the death of cyclists who died in traffic accidents in Mexico City, which in 2020 were more than 16, according to the Bicitekas association.

In the videos posted on social networks, protesters are seen with swollen faces and cuts on their faces after the confrontation. “We were protesting, we were leaving, and they ran, and they grabbed me like eight policemen,” one of the injured assured one of the reporters who was at the scene. “They cut my head open, they hurt my ribs,” said another, sitting on the sidewalk, when the protest, which had gathered around fifty people, already seemed dissolved.

The paper goes on the quote officials as saying an investigation has been launched into who ordered the attack, and the officers who carried it out. And that while some riders also attacked the police, the police had an obligation to maintain the peace, and ones responsible for their actions would be fired.

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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The annual Bicycle Film Festival takes part entirely online this year; any tickets purchased this week will benefit Sacramento and Davis advocacy organizations.

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One more reason flimsy plastic bendy posts do not a protected bike lane make.

In case you’re wondering what happened to the bike lane markers on Grand St…. from jerseycity

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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Take a break to catch a little air at a Virginia mountain bike park.

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GCN offers a pair of videos, pitting a GPS bike computer against a rider using an old-fashioned map and compass…

….and asking if hybrids can be just as fast as roadies.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Clemente is the latest SoCal coastal town to consider restricting ebikes on trails.

A San Diego paper asks if 2020 was the year that changed bicycling in the city for good. Let’s hope so.

Coachella’s Grapefruit Blvd is set to get a Complete Streets makeover, including sidewalks, trees and bike lanes. Although it’s also set to get a couple more traffic lanes, as well.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of off-duty cardiac care nurses hopped off their bikes to save the life of an Aptos mountain biker who had collapsed on the side of a trail.

 

National

Luxury site the Robb Report suggests ebikes for any kind of terrain, although most of the prices are what you’d expect for a site where money is no object. Then again, $3,200 is apparently considered entry level for an e-cargo bike these days.

Which of these is not like the others? A design website urges readers to commute in style with several outlandish-looking, planet-friendly ebikes, while a road bike and a couple foldies stand out just for not looking strange.

A Portland photographer documents a year of change as the city confronts the Covid-19 pandemic, while riding his new ebike 5,000 miles through the city.

They get it. The Las Vegas Sun reports that efforts to protect bike riders are gaining traction in the wake of the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists near the city last month, while correctly noting that people on bikes pay for the road, too.

An Albuquerque NM woman got her stolen bike back just a day later after Facebook users spotted it for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp, and concerned cops posed as buyers to bust the thief.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who ran down a Texas boy and just kept going in a crash caught on security cam; fortunately, the kid only suffered a few scrapes, even though he thinks the driver hit him on purpose.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan replaced a young Arkansas boy’s stolen bicycle, just hours after it went missing.

When a teenaged Chik-fil-A employee won a new car at the company Christmas party, she immediately gave it to a coworker who was riding a bike seven miles each way to work every day through the frigid Wisconsin winter.

Nice story from Florida, where a goodhearted stranger bought a new bicycle for an autistic man she’d just met after noticing the bike he was riding to work was worn out and had no functioning brakes. Then more strangers pitched in to replace it when the new bike was stolen the next day.

 

International

Specialized promised there wouldn’t be any major interruptions in retail sales after their UK headquarters went up in flames.

Internationally known London bike shop Geoffrey Butler Cycles closed its doors without warning, shuttering the shop overnight after 60 years, while the mail order business will shut down in July.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill could have some competition in a few years from a two-year old English stunt rider.

An independent press organization rules that Britain’s Mirror was wrong to publish a photo of identifiable bike riders apparently ignoring distancing guidelines.

Acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann learned to listen and developed his voice as a writer on a two-year bike trip across the US.

A Philippine official broke up an unsanctioned early morning bike race, even though it was taking place at 4:30 on a Saturday morning.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is reportedly doing well, after he and a pair of teammates — including his brother — tested positive for the Covid bug.

The maskless Australian Road Nationals show what’s possible when a country has the coronavirus under control.

Forget gravel, and do your racing on the white stuff without a front wheel.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to rob a couple convenience stores, maybe put a mask on first — and not just for the coronavirus. Before you steal a bike, you might want to make sure it doesn’t belong to the daughter of a mixed martial arts fighter first.

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

https://twitter.com/jackblack/status/1358219871880835073

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Thanks to Robert L for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Our annual holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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

County releases draft LA River master plan, making bike theft a tad too easy, and gravel biking to the Hollywood Sign

Thank you all for the kind words yesterday. 

I’m still riding that diabetic rollercoaster, for no apparent reason other than my body wants to do to me what rioters did to the Capital last week. 

But if you’re reading this, it means I managed to power through this time.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

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LA County finally released a draft of the LA River bike plan.

Including, as we noted on Wednesday, starchitect Frank Gehry’s proposal to leave the ugly concrete sewer in place, at least in places, and just cover it up with elevated parks so we don’t have to look at it anymore.

Not exactly the return to a natural state we’ve been promised.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton described it.

The county river plan is trying to strike difficult delicate balance on many issues. At this morning’s press event Supervisor Sheila Kuehl mentioned the balance between an overall “coherent holistic” vision and a “great deal of local community control.” Solis touched on the need for river revitalization to serve park-poor low-income communities of color, while addressing issues of gentrification and homelessness. Historically plans for the river have struggled to find the space to address a broad range of needs in communities it flows through; these needs include parks – with both active and passive recreation – housing, schools, and much more.

The plan ends up trying to address all of these issues within a fairly limited jurisdictional corridor. The river system is a tangled jurisdictional mess. County Public Works (acting as the County Flood Control District) controls the river channel structures, but the adjacent, and in cases underlying, land is the jurisdiction of various cities. The county’s jurisdiction is constrained by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which mandates flood damage minimization standards. The county has little control over the numerous freeways and several rail lines constrain the river. Many of the complex issues that impact the river – from watershed rainwater runoff to homelessness to gentrification – are largely situated outside the waterway corridor itself.

You can watch the presentation, recorded on Zoom like everything else these day. Just ignore the first minute where everyone sits around trying to not look awkward before it gets going.

Comments will be open for the next 60 days.

Of course, what matters to a lot of us is the ongoing plan to complete the gaps in the bike path, particularly through Downtown Los Angeles and the meat packing district to the south, to create a continuous bikeway along the full 51-mile length of the river.

But speaking strictly for myself, I’d much rather ride along a park-filled natural riverbank than on a concrete river underneath a lush park.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

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Seriously. At least make it hard for them.

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Gravel Bike California invites you to take a rocky ride to the Hollywood Sign.

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Now this is what a bikeshare system looks like.

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Here’s your Friday mountain bike break.

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

No bias here. A Montreal opposition leader says bike paths are disruptive to residents and merchants, and the city must ensure “social acceptability” before building any more.

Police in England are looking for the driver who intentionally crashed into a bike rider, leaving him with elbow, knee and hand injuries, after the bicyclist complained about the driver cutting him off.

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

A 25-year old Los Angeles woman pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a Metro employee as she rode the B Line (nee Blue Line) with her “distinctive” green bicycle near DTLA.

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Local

Metro is looking for feedback on the agency’s draft plan to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, which could present an opportunity to rethink our streets if they do it right. Or else turn it into another Covid long-hauler struggling to survive.

Speaking of the LA River, the LACBC is teaming with Metro’s BEST program to offer a tutorial on riding it next Thursday.

And speaking of the LACBC, the coalition is offering a half-off fire sale sale on merchandise with the discount code LACBC50off.

Bob Odenkirk is one of us, as the Better Call Saul star rides the streets of Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County has officially, if virtually, opened the new Oso Parkway bridge, complete with shiny new bike lanes. 

Someone appears to be targeting the owner of a Poway bike shop, after burglars broke in and vandalized the shop while stealing several high-end mountain bikes worth up to $9,000; another of his shops suffered a second high-end break-in, while a third was vandalized with swastikas and racist graffiti, causing $20,000 damage to a new shop truck.

Santa Barbara has begun work on a bike and pedestrian safety project around Stearns Wharf, and added bike infrastructure to the State Street promenade to improve safety.

An unlicensed San Mateo driver faces charges for the New Years Day hit-and-run that’s left a bike-riding 68-year old man in critical condition two weeks later.

They get it. San Leandro is considering a road diet on a major boulevard, cutting it from six lanes to four to improve safety for bike riders.

San Francisco is putting another 500 e-scooters on the streets.

 

National

They get it, too. US PIRG says it’s time to hit the reset button and take a fundamentally new approach to American transportation.

A writer for VeloNews takes a contrarian view, arguing there’s no need to increase diversity in bicycling if we’d just stop overlooking Black people who already ride bikes.

A Next City op-ed argues that the real test of whether Transportation Secretary nominee Mayor Pete really cares about cities will be what he does to protect pedestrians from self-driving cars.

Ford is continuing work on a project to allow bicycles and motor vehicles to electronically communicate with each other to improve safety.

No surprise here, as cars, and the drivers in them, remain the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, even as millions of Americans were theoretically confined to their homes. As Streetsblog notes, if a global pandemic can’t get Americans out of their cars, what will?

A new public safety campaign developed after the death of five Las Vegas bike riders reminds drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bike; the state is one of five that requires drivers to change lanes, rather than merely give a minimum passing distance. Then again, they could just as well remind drivers not to use meth before getting behind the wheel, like the alleged killer allegedly did.

Police in Austin, Texas have a new bicycle supplier, after Lance’s Mellow Johnny’s bike shop refused to sell to them any more in the wake of the George Floyd protests and the weaponization of police bikes by the cops.

New York police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a bike shop employee last summer after arguing with the man minutes earlier.

No bias here, either. A Virginia bike rider gets the blame for hitting a car after his brakes locked up crossing an intersection. But no word on what the driver may have done to make him brake so hard.

A Baton Rouge LA advocacy group is calling for an end to the city’s ban on riding bikes through drive-thrus.

A New Orleans woman awaiting trial for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider last January is back in jail for choking her drunk fiancé to death; she has a history of domestic violence arrests, despite blaming her late boyfriend for attacking her. On the other hand, she apparently only kills in January, so we should all be safe the other eleven months.

 

International

That’s more like it. Toronto is installing more secure bike lockers at a new transit station.

Cambridge, England is considering allowing electric vehicles to share bus lanes with buses and bike riders; one rider said at least you won’t have to smell any nasty fumes when you go over their hood.

Scottish authorities have finally found the body of man who disappeared while on a charity bike ride over three years ago; two men were recently arrested in connection with his disappearance.

British bike thieves continue to target frontline medical workers, as a doctor who hadn’t taken a day off since the pandemic started had his bike stolen — but kindhearted strangers crowdfunded a replacement within hours.

If anyone wants to move to the UK, Brompton is hiring.

An Irish court case hinges on whether a bike with a gas engine is still a bicycle.

A 36-year old Japanese company specializing in unique panda, dinosaur, cucumber and eggplant shaped bicycles is struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Sort of like everyone else these days.

An Aussie writer says he won’t be jumping on the gravel bandwagon because he’d love it too much, and doesn’t have room for another bike beyond the ten he already owns. Meanwhile, off-road.cc picks the gravel bike of the year and the best gravel gear and accessories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s cycling great Anna van der Breggen will don double rainbow jerseys reflecting world titles in last year’s road cycling and time trial championships as she enters her final year in the pro peloton.

Sad news from Australia, where 1956 Olympian and Aussie cycling great Cliff Burvill died after falling off his bike riding a new crit circuit; he was 83 years old.

At last, there’s some good news about former CART and F1 driver Alex Zanardi, as the paracycling champ spoke with his family for the first time since his crash in an Italian paracycling race last summer, following a series of brain surgeries.

How to train your brain for bike racing.

 

Finally…

Calling the pun police. That feeling when a family stroll on a bike trail could make you lunch for a hungry kitty.

And when your Peloton bike is a national cybersecurity risk.

………

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

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