Tag Archive for brake check

Morning Links: Road rage driver attacks LA bike rider, WeHo mayor OKs blocked bike lanes, and protected bike lanes AOK

Sorry about that. 

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

Blame it on my diabetes, after a bout of low blood sugar knocked me out for several hours. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will. 

Road rage photo by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

Un-effing-believable.

A man riding to work on Santa Monica Blvd was repeatedly harassed, brake checked, and physically assaulted by a driver in an unmitigated display of road rage that lasted over 6 minutes.

All for the crime of riding a bike, legally and exactly where he was supposed to be.

And to top it off, she accused him of scratching her car after she blocked his bike against another car, and proceeded to door him multiple times.

Seriously, watch the whole thing — with the sound up.

According to KCBS2/KCAL9, the road rage attack took place two years ago. The poster child for road rage driver was arrested after the victim called 911, and was recently sentenced to 450 hours of community service.

Which is why he’s just releasing the bike cam video now.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get her road rage temper under control. And help her realize that bikes do, in fact, belong on the streets.

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The LAPD is stepping up efforts to find the heartless coward who slammed into a 15-year kid riding legally in a South LA crosswalk, and left him lying crushed and bleeding in the street.

Meanwhile, advocacy nonprofit SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — is hostingMarch for Safety and Healing – In Honor of Roberto Diaz this Saturday.

Diaz is the victim of the crash, who remains hospitalized.

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Evidently, the mayor of West Hollywood is perfectly okay with mail carriers and delivery drivers blocking the city’s few bike lanes.

Which isn’t much of a problem.

Unless you’ve ever had to go around someone blocking the bike lane in heavy traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.

Because it’s apparently just too much to ask them to remove a parking space or two to create a loading zone.

Oh wait. Maybe I wasn’t the first one to say that.

After all, it’s much easier to accuse people of “outrage culture” than to take a small step to protect human lives.

WeHo can clearly do better than that. And should.

In fact, it does, no thanks to the mayor, apparently.

………

No surprise here.

After the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a study questioning the safety of some protected bike lanes, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, two of North America’s leading bicycling academics, say it ain’t necessarily so.

According to a Forbes piece by British bicycle historian Carlton Reid, this is how Pucher responded in an email.

“Finding problematic intersection design of cycle tracks here and there in three U.S. cities does not at all negate the overwhelming evidence that protected bike lanes are both safer, in fact, than unprotected lanes or no facilities at all, and that the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists overwhelmingly prefer such protected facilities and feel safer on such facilities, thus leading to sharp increases in cycling rates.”

Pucher stresses:

“The IIHS study focuses on the dangerous intersections, but overall, cycle tracks are definitely safer. I agree, however, that intersection design is absolutely crucial to the safety of cycle track systems, and that special intersection, roadway markings, traffic signs, and traffic signals are necessary.”

So don’t stop fighting for protected bike lanes.

Just make sure they’re designed properly.

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The Malibu Times reports that local pro mountain biker Marshall Mullen’s short film The Woolsey Fire Through the Eyes of Marshall Mullen will make its local debut at Casa Escobar restaurant.

The paper notes that the film been on YouTube since late May. But oddly doesn’t bother to include the link.

Fortunately, we can do better than that. Even though this version has a much shorter title.

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They get it. No, they totally get it.

GQ recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any kind of road riding.

But they begin their piece this way.

No, you don’t have to wear a bike helmet. If you were to, say, get hit by a garbage truck on your commute, a small piece of foam and molded plastic is not going to make much of a difference. But since this is America and not Copenhagen, where cyclists are demonized for taking a sliver of space away from precious steel boxes and commuters are regularly in fear of their lives, it’s best to hedge your bets. Wear a helmet. (But whatever you do, please don’t helmet shame those who prefer to let their locks flow.)

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Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit over the head with a bicycle. The attacker fled, but it sounds like police know who the attacker is, since they know his age.

An Aussie bike rider faces charges after he rode across several lanes of traffic to spit in the face of an anti-abortion protester. Seriously, don’t do that.

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Local

The LAPD is responding to CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ recent anti-scooter campaign by establishing a special task force to ticket e-scooter users riding on the sidewalk along Beverly Blvd, Melrose Ave and 3rd Street. Apparently, he’d much rather they get their asses run over on those narrow, busy streets that don’t offer any other place to ride. Or just not ride scooters, which is what he really has in mind.

Streetsblog talks with Bird’s sustainability chief.

Montebello Blvd is getting bike lanes and new medians in a 1.4-mile improvement project. And aggravating drivers in the process.

California is sending $315 million to LA County for highway repairs funded by the recent gas tax increase, along with $5.4 million for active transportation projects.

 

State

The proposed Complete Streets bill will stay alive in the state legislature, despite a “farcical” estimate from Caltrans that appears to be an effort to kill it.

The driver who killed Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza as he rode his bike in Mission Viejo last year had seven different drugs in his system at the time of the crash, including prescription drugs, street drugs and various metabolized drug byproducts; 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa is facing a murder charge in Kreza’s death, and remains behind bars on a $2 million bond.

Beautiful piece by an investigative reporter for the LA Times about the remarkable recovery of a man who was nearly killed in an Oceanside bike crash, after lingering in a near vegetative state for months. And her efforts to convince someone he was still alive in there.

San Diego advocates are calling on the city to reconsider plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes on 30th Street because of the impact it could have on elderly and handicapped people. Because apparently, it’s impossible to pull over just long enough to let someone out of a car. And elderly and handicapped people never, ever ride bicycles, as everyone knows.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed trying to ride her bike in a crosswalk; the CHP immediately absolved the driver of blame because it was dark. Apparently, Dodge Challenger’s like the one the driver had don’t have headlights, and the CHP has never heard of the state’s basic speed law, which prohibits driving too fast for current conditions. Like when it’s too dark to see what’s in the road directly ahead of your car.

A pair of men were busted for making off with six bikes worth $30,000 from a Santa Cruz bike shop after they were observed by a witness.

A car thief received the maximum sentence for plowing into a San Francisco bike cop as he attempted to flee from the police; Willie Flanigan was convicted on charges of “assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run, evading and resisting an officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, receiving stolen property and being an unlicensed driver.” Yet somehow, despite all those charges, the maximum sentence was just 12 years and 8 months.

Seventy-five-year old Courtney Rudin was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the head-collision that killed a woman riding in a Sonoma County charity ride when he made dangerously ill-advised passed around a slower vehicle; he faces just one year behind bars. Seriously, killing another human being should never be a misdemeanor, intentionally or not.

An 85-year old Los Osos man was critically injured after he suffered some sort of medical issue and fell off his ebike, even though he was wearing a helmet.

 

National

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske says excusing careless drivers by blaming their victims just ensures that other drivers will keep driving that way.

No shit. Streetsblog says testing self-driving cars on the roads endangers pedestrians. And everyone else.

Forbes says bicycle-oriented development is a growing force with the larger field of transit-oriented development throughout the US, now that bicycling is the nation’s fastest-growing form of transportation.

Entry-level ebike prices continue to drop, as Rad Power Bikes introduces their new RadRunner cargo bike, which can be ridden in e-assist or full throttle mode.

A moving and hard-hitting photo essay says Portland is spending millions to stop drivers from killing people, but it’s not working.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City-area father and bike rider says aggressive driving should be treated as a crime. Preferably before they kill someone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 86-year old Utah man still rides 1,000 miles a year on a tandem with his son; he was riding 3,000 miles a year on his own until he was hit by a driver three years ago. Although I’d just as soon skip that whole “hit by a driver” part, thank you.

Former Bicycling editor and elite cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein speaks out from his hospital bed about the dangers of distracted, drunk and/or speeding drivers, a month after he was left to die by a hit-and-run driver outside Boulder CO.

A bike shop in my hometown is struggling to clear its name after police arrested someone selling stolen bikes on the Let Go app, and making it appear the bike shop was doing it.

A Dallas man faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man riding a bicycle for allegedly stealing his gun, then allegedly beating him to death with a piece of wood.

Horrible news from Oklahoma City, where a professional magician suffered severe spinal damage when he was struck by a police car while riding his bike; the officer was placed on paid leave, while the victim may be permanently paralyzed and unable to speak.

The owner of three pit bulls that killed a nine-year old Detroit girl as she was riding her bicycle has been charged with second degree murder for not controlling his dogs; the dogs, one of whom was shot by a rescuer, will likely get the death penalty.

An Indianapolis teenager says he forgives the driver who fled the scene after running him down on his bike, leaving him lying in a ditch unable to move.

I want to be like him, too. Bicycling offers four tips from the 91-year old Indiana cyclist who keeps breaking age group records.

Rapper Kadeem’s new album World Sport takes on a bicycling theme, reflecting the time spent on his ‘87 Schwinn World Sport as he was recording it, as well as his time on two wheels navigating the streets of Boston, dealing drugs and delivering for DoorDash.

New York prosecutors threw the book at the 18-year old driver who ran a red light and caused the collateral damage crash that killed a Brooklyn bike rider two weeks ago, charging him with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, vehicular assault, disobeying a traffic device and doing 61 mph in a 25 mph zone. In other words, driving his Dodge Charger exactly the way the carmaker suggests he should. Thanks to Shaggy for the heads-up.

The New York Times examines why drivers rarely faces charges for killing bike riders; prosecutors have to show the driver’s behavior was “egregious,” and that they broke at least two traffic laws. Although it seems unlikely that the same standard would apply to killing someone with any other kind of weapon.

In the eternal battle over car storage, Philly residents are on the warpath over new bikes lanes that removed over a hundred parking spaces.

 

International

Forbes recommends six bike tours from around the world, including a self-guided tour of LA-area movie star homes, for people who are into that sort of thing.

Road.cc offers a guide to group ride hand signals. No, not that one.

Montreal will soon start ticketing drivers who violate Quebec’s equivalent of a three-foot passing law by using an ultrasound device that measures the distance between a bike and a passing car. The LAPD apparently has no interest in that, despite being told about the device multiple times as part of the department’s bike liaison program.

This is why you should always get checked out by a doctor after any bike crash. A London man died after a blood clot caused a heart attack two weeks after he fell off his bike. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

A report from the UK Parliament says forget electric cars, get Brits on bikes. Good advice on this side of the Atlantic, too.

Evidently, placing solar panels in a French roadway was a bad idea.

Germans call for expanding bicycle infrastructure after bicycling deaths reach their highest total since 2010.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews suggests four story lines to follow at the four-stage women’s Colorado Classic bike race, which kicked off yesterday in Steamboat Springs CO. You can livestream the races on the magazine’s website.

The New York Times offers an obituary for Felice Gimondi, one of just seven cyclists to win the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find bikeshare above the Arctic Circle, in case you were wondering. If you’re riding your bike with several outstanding warrants, just put a damn light on it, already.

And your next bike could be a Harley.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider flees after injuring Glendale woman, and person of interest found in OC hit-and-run

Appalling news from Glendale, as police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who allegedly blew through a red light and crashed into a 64-year old woman as she was walking in the crosswalk.

The victim hit her head on the pavement, suffering “significant” but not life-threatening injuries. The man on the bike fled the scene, despite reportedly being fully aware of what happened.

He’s described only as a male wearing a dark jacket. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Glendale Police Department at 818/548-4911.

For anyone unclear on the concept, bike riders have exactly the same obligation to stop, render aid and exchange information that drivers do after a crash.

And are the same heartless cowards if they don’t.

To put it mildly.

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Orange County sheriff’s deputies have identified a person of interest in the Sunday night hit-and-run that left a San Juan Capistrano father of five in a coma, and are no longer looking for suspects.

Which means they’re confident they’ve got the right person.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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John Montgomery shares a stomach-churning close shave on 4th Street in Venice, first getting cut off in a pass that feels way too close, then forced to make a heart-stopping panic stop when he gets brake-checked seconds later by the same driver.

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The rescheduled Resolution Ride will take place tomorrow in Griffith Park.

Active Streets LA is hosting a community festival and mapping walk and ride on Saturday at MLK Jr. Park.

And don’t forget the 8th annual Ride for Love at Ted Watkins Memorial Park on Sunday, sponsored by the Eastside Riders.

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Bicycling Magazine wants to know just how common abuse of power is in competitive cycling, regardless of gender.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has come out strongly against Measure S, which would impose a minimum two-year moratorium on most major building projects in the City of Los Angeles.

Speaking of the LACBC, time is running out to get your 2017 LACBC kit; just click on the ad on the right to place your order.

Strong Towns profiles Josef Bray-Ali in his campaign to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s CD1; Bike the Vote LA is looking for volunteers to phone bank for him tomorrow.

KNBC-4 provides renderings of the new $482 million Sixth Street Viaduct project. Just riding down those big swirling bike ramps will make it worth the price.

Manhattan Beach rejects a proposal to put a bike path through the city’s Polliwog Park to improve safety for middle school kids headed to and from school.

 

State

A coalition of 82 organizations join with Calbike to call for reforms in a state transportation funding package to invest more on active transportation.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who talks with the Long Beach-based founder of Velomax bicycle wheels, now making and marketing the iWalk alternative to using crutches.

A Lakeside driver was shot at by someone riding a bicycle when he tried to chase “suspicious suspects” out of a mobile home park at 4:45 am.

BikeSD calls on the executive director of SANDAG to step down after inflating projections for last year’s failed, overly auto-centric transportation tax.

A killer Fresno drunk driver is asking a judge to allow him to rescind his no-contest plea that resulted in a 12-year prison sentence in the death of a seven-year old boy who was riding in a crosswalk with his family, blaming bad road design instead of his own high speed and drunken state. Sure, let’s go with that.

Modesto police bust a bike-riding groper accused of assaulting at least seven high school girls.

That was fast. A suspected Menlo Park bike thief gets one year in county jail, just eight days after he was arrested after fleeing from police.

Now that’s more like it. Rather than minimum parking requirements, San Francisco will now require developers to provide alternative transportation options in exchange for the permission to provide free parking spaces.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says less driving results in fewer traffic fatalities. However, the decade-long decline in vehicle miles traveled did not result in an increase in physical activity.

A habitually anti-bike Seattle radio host is convinced the city is throwing away millions spent on bikeways, as the bicycling commuter rate continues to drop. And yet it’s still at a level most cities would envy, including sunny Los Angeles.

The Radavist says Utah needs our help to stop a lease of BLM land and defend the Bear’s Ears National Monument. Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

Unlike Los Angeles, DC appears to be serious about reducing speeds to save lives as part of the city’s Vision Zero; a proposal from the DCDOT would lower the default speed limit to 20 mph, with a 15 mph limit around schools, parks, senior and youth centers from 7 am to 11 pm.

 

International

A columnist for London’s Evening Standard says the city’s new cycling and walking commissioner has to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of getting drivers to behave.

Caught on video: A London bike rider falls after jamming on the brakes when a mother with two young kids steps out unexpectedly from between stalled traffic.

Caught on video too: A British cyclist is caught on security camera carving deep scratches into a couple’s minivan, causing the equivalent of $1,250 in damage; the victims had no idea why he chose their car, and questioned whether he targeted them by mistake. Let’s make this as clear as possible: No matter what they might have done, or how justified you might feel, vandalism is always wrong. Period.

A French website offers 10 reasons to visit the county for your next cycling vacation. But really, you only need one — it’s France.

Evidently, it’s not just hoverboards. An ebike battery started a fire that sent a German carport up in flames, causing over a half million dollars in damage. The story’s in German, but you can read a translation here. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Iraqi women are riding for their freedom, in what began as one woman’s art project.

Women make up only 18% of bicycle traffic in Melbourne, Australia, where a lack of safe bikeways forces riders to mix with traffic.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find lasting love on a bicycle. Okay, so maybe he can downhill slightly faster than the rest of us.

And she wasn’t driving dangerously when she ran over a bicyclist’s hand, just carelessly.

So it’s okay, then. Right?

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver as victim, cyclists are not obstructions, and going full superman on a bike

So who exactly is the victim here?

A group of around 30 Charlotte NC cyclists were riding in a bike lane when they were dangerously buzzed and brake checked by a road raging driver, who proceeded to swear at them and give them the rare double bird when they caught up to her at a red light, all for no apparent reason.

Charlotte NC double bird

And with her child in the car, no less.

Although she was probably unaware that two of those riders she threatened happened to be off-duty cops.

Oops.

So the riders filed a complaint with the police, while those cops had a nice little chat with the undoubtedly surprised driver.

But that’s when the story took a bizarre turn.

Because when the local TV station was done with it, the victim wasn’t any of the innocent cyclists whose lives she’d threatened.

It was the driver herself, who was said to be working with the police and seeking legal council after alleging she’d been threatened once the story became public.

So instead of focusing on the would-be Dr. Christopher Thompson, the news report approached it from the perspective of how she didn’t deserve to be harassed for what she did.

Which she didn’t.

No one deserves that. Which is why I often withhold the names of drivers accused of criminal acts until they become common knowledge, after seeing the outrage that poured out in the first few days following the Mandeville Canyon brake check — including late night death threats directed at the wrong Dr. Christopher Thompson.

Let alone the person who once politely offered to track down a driver who harassed me and bust his windshield, if not his legs. Or his head.

But while she didn’t deserve the alleged response, let’s not forget she was the one who started it by attempting to threaten, if not injure, a group of people whose only crime was riding their bicycles in the lane designated for just that purpose.

Because they didn’t deserve it, either.

Thanks to Michael Hart of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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Patrick Lynch forwards a report of a legal case in which police refused to blame a scofflaw driver for breaking the law. And his insurance company tried, and failed, to convince a jury that the bike rider he hit was just an obstruction in the roadway.

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A cyclist goes full Superman in an ad for a fixie maker.

Although it’s been done before.

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Wish Los Angeles a happy 235th birthday this Saturday with a walk and bike ride from the San Gabriel Mission to Olvera Street, retracing the steps of the city’s original founders, who didn’t even have a Garmin to guide their way.

LA Birthday Ride

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Once again, victory in yesterday’s stage of the Vuelta went to someone other than the favorites; the winner was just back from a four-month suspension for failing a drug test.

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Local

LADOT explains the new cycle hoops pilot program allowing you to legally lock up to parking meters in Westwood. But for now at least, only in Westwood.

Unlike the LA Rams football stadium coming to Inglewood, the new soccer stadium for the coming LAFC franchise promises to be easily accessible by bicycle, with parking for 440 bikes.

Saturday’s Gravel Trofee #4 offers a gravel grinding grid from the Backbone Trail to the beach.

The 17-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía postponed from last June due to the San Gabriel Complex fire could be rescheduled for spring of next year, possibly in March.

 

State

A Laguna Beach radio host observes that the wife of fallen cyclist John Colvin has forgiven Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby, the 19-year old driver convicted of taking his life. And notes that there hasn’t been another bicycling fatality in the city since, crediting luck, along with a network of sharrows directing riders off PCH.

Orange County officials are blocking access to a maintenance road used as a de facto bike path along seven miles of the Santa Ana River following complaints about homeless camps along the roadway. However, the Santa Ana River bike path remains open.

Not surprisingly, the driver who killed Redlands cyclist Randy Stephenson in Loma Linda while fleeing from sheriff’s deputies has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Simi Valley votes to remove ghost bikes and other roadside memorials after just 30 days. After all, why would they want to bum people out by reminding them to drive, bike and/or walk safely?

The UC Santa Barbara student newspaper traces the history of bicycling at the bike friendly university, where musician Jack Johnson met his future wife by locking his bike to hers in his rush to get to class.

The New York Times says Silicon Valley group rides are the new place to pitch ideas and make deals, if you can keep up; VeloNews responds that cycling is not and never will be the new golf.

The San Francisco Chronicle offers proof that Bay Area bike activism goes back nearly 45 years, including photos taken by the man who shot the iconic Iwo Jima flag raising.

The former Napa Valley Bike Angel is launching a drive to donate bikes and helmets to families affected by the recent Clayton Fire.

 

National

People for Bikes considers what can be done to improve safety on roads filled with distracted drivers.

Evidently, bicycles really are dangerous. A Texas woman was injured by one that fell off a vehicle and struck the car she was in.

A Wisconsin writer says hell yes, cyclists are entitled to their place on the road, and people driving cars and trucks have a responsibility to honor that. Note: Michael Hart points out the writer is the former mayor of Madison WI, and the current president of the Wisconsin Bike Federation.

A security guard for the Chicago ABC affiliate gets credit for catching a wrong-way, probably drunk driver who tried to flee the scene after running down a bike rider; fortunately, the cyclist wasn’t seriously injured.

A woman on Martha’s Vineyard puts out cold drinks to comfort strangers passing by on a bike path in a gesture of hospitality.

It’s not just pedestrians who are at risk from collisions with bicyclists, despite the breathless stories in the press. A New York cyclist was seriously injured going over his handlebars after swerving to avoid a pedestrian who stepped out in front of him while he was riding in Central Park. And in a similar incident, a Texas woman died a month after she was injured going over her handlebars in Central Park, possibly after being cut off by a pedicab.

The New York Times says the death of a 78-year old bike rider shows biking perils persist in the city, as advocates grow angry that the city isn’t doing more to address them.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare expands further into Brooklyn, with an additional 139 stations coming by year’s end; however, not everyone is happy with the loss of parking spaces.

A Pennsylvania town is being terrorized by teenage bike riders who pop wheelies, and force drivers to remember where their brakes are.

Road diets can do more than just improve safety; a New Orleans street is being reconfigured in hopes the narrower street and bike lanes will bring life to a crime-ridden neighborhood and encourage businesses to invest there.

A St. Petersburg FL bridge is the latest to be sabotaged by someone throwing tacks in the bike lane; police and DOT officials insist they don’t know anything about it, even though a reporter picked up 30 tacks herself.

A Florida jury deliberates for a whole 10 minutes before giving a bike thief three years for stealing a bait bike. Unfortunately, LA still doesn’t use bait bikes, despite a rampant bike theft epidemic. And most bike thieves here don’t get three days, let alone three years.

 

International

Ella Cycling Tips offers tips on what to do if your lady bits hurt after riding. Assuming you have lady bits, of course.

A Winnipeg man fled on a bicycle after placing a backpack containing a bomb in front of the courthouse; fortunately, no one was injured in the explosion. Meanwhile, a kindhearted Winnipeg couple is fixing up bikes to donate to refugee children. And no, let’s not jump to any connection there.

A man in the UK was the victim of a strong arm robbery after being pushed off his bike by a someone who then rode off on it.

An Indian man plans to become the first visually challenged cyclist to conquer the Himalayas on a tandem.

A new Aussie ER study shows most cycling injuries occurred while the victims were riding on the street, often in bike lanes, and usually in broad daylight.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. A Japanese driver has killed one pedestrian and seriously injured another while playing Pokémon Go instead of watching the road.

 

Finally…

If not being able to ride drives you crazy, you may be right. If you’re going to steal your neighbor’s bicycle, don’t ride past her house on it, especially not while she’s filing a police report.

And do they make these in adult sizes?

No, really.

 

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