Tag Archive for CHP

Day one of Scarpa murder trial, tell LA to stop street racing and loud engines, and CHP responsible for East LA hit-and-run

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent is back to cover this week’s trial of Stephen Taylor Scarpa for murder.

Scarpa allegedly ran down popular Costa Mesa fire captain and father Mike Kreza in a drug-fueled crash three years ago, as Kreza was riding a bicycle in Mission Viejo to train for a triathlon.

Here’s what she had to say about the lead-up to the long-delayed trial.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa‘s jury trial starts on Monday. So far, Judge Patrick Donahue has decided to allow the video of Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” event, as well as testimony from fellow personnel of the rehab centers he worked at. The People’s exhibits will probably also include the DMV’s letter of license revocation and a diagram (but no photographs) of the victim’s many injuries.

Since Scarpa has a long-standing association with drugs, his medical records might be presented as well. The judge finds that this is not in violation of HIPAA. Despite the lack of a previous arrest for DUI, there is sooo much other evidence, strong evidence, that Scarpa knew the dangers of impaired driving, the DA might not even bother to present these records. Scarpa had jaw-dropping levels of assorted drugs in his system, and his blood was not drawn until 4 hours after the collision.

His Honor has forbidden Kreza’s fellow firefighters to attend the trial in full uniform, and friends & family will not be allowed to wear clothing or badges with the deceased’s likeness. I am sorely tempted to get a T-shirt printed up with “It’s about time” in bold letters, because according to the arresting officer, these were Scarpa’s words as the handcuffs were slapped on.

And this is how she reported on the first day of public testimony in the trial.

Oh, man, I’m not hopeful.

The Scarpa trial began Monday morning. Deputy DA Michael Feldman began opening statements by thanking the victim’s friends and family for coming. As stipulated by the judge, no uniformed firefighters were present inside the courtroom. But they were out in the hallway to provide support for the widow and other family members. There was no mention that Mr. Kreza himself had been a firefighter.

In a PowerPoint presentation bannered by the misspelled name of the defendant, Mr. Feldman tersely listed the basic facts that support the People’s charge, among them Scarpa’s participation in his high school’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, his rehab stints, and his employment as a behavioral health technician. “He’s gonna be the one to tell you first hand,” insisted Mr. Feldman, pointing at the defendant, that he was aware of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. To this end, the People played audio files of the interrogation, in which Mr. Scarpa tells the investigating deputy, “I do it, but I don’t condone it,” a tacit and unambiguous confession. Mr. Scarpa clutched tissues as the DA played his confession that he’d driven impaired with his own young daughter in the car.

Feldman then went on to use the word “accident” several times during his opening statement. AUUUUURGH. That is the entire premise of the defense. It’s almost like he’s trying to hand Mr. Scarpa an acquittal with a big red shiny bow.

Mr. Lowenstein, for the Defense, insisted that the collision had been an “accident,” and that Mr. Scarpa’s actions did not meet the legal definition of implied malice. He stated that the prescription drugs found in Scarpa’s system do not, as opposed to Feldman’s assertion, have warning stickers telling users not to drive. The defense asked whether Scarpa acted with “conscious disregard” (without underscoring the impossibility because Scarpa was, in fact, unconscious at the time of impact).

The Defense told the jury that Scarpa, though drugged up after a party, drove approximately 25 miles without incident, and there was no evidence that he was speeding. He went on to loftily praise Scarpa’s parking (“snug against the curb”!) after the collision, and reiterated several times that he did not attempt to flee afterwards. The collision was merely “a split second in time, a miscalculation, a perfect storm of events.”  Scarpa’s temporary inattention, “a fraction of a second,” and impaired state led to “a perfect storm of events.” (Lowenstein also mentioned something about a perfect storm of events.)

Both Feldman and Lowenstein brought up the words Mr. Scarpa uttered upon his official arrest: “It’s about time.” The People assert that this indicated Mr. Scarpa’s acceptance of a long-anticipated outcome. The Defense suggested that Mr. Scarpa had been expecting an arrest only for the duration of his lengthy interrogation.

First to testify was widow Shana Kreza, who identified a photo of her late husband, and briefly described the family’s Saturday morning, getting ready for their daughter’s soccer game. Mr. Kreza had left on his bicycle, but never arrived at the soccer field.

Next on the witness stand was the first responding officer, who described taking initial command of the scene, Mr. Kreza’s broken body, the agitation of the suspect, and the actions of the Good Samaritans.

The next two witnesses had been in the car behind Scarpa. Ragan Hill and her nephew, Cage Morgan, were putting up garage sale signs in the neighborhood. Hill saw Scarpa’s minivan leave the roadway. As it took out shrubs and saplings on the embankment to the right of the sidewalk (where Kreza was riding his bicycle, despite the adjacent bike lane), she saw a body fly off the top of the minivan.

Morgan described his aunt yell, “Oh my god, look at that car!” He diverted his attention from his phone to see Scarpa’s minivan returning to the roadway, with a trailing cloud of debris. He watched as a man fell off the minivan’s roof onto the road. Hill hit the brakes, stopping about 5-10 feet from Kreza’s prone, bloody body. Morgan called 911, and both exited the vehicle to assist.

Scarpa had parked by the curb and exited his minivan as well, but didn’t approach his victim or the witnesses. Instead, he sat on the curb, fidgeting. “My first thought,” testified Hill, “was that he was impaired.”

Both Hill and Morgan described the same aspects of the scene: Scarpa’s agitation, Kreza’s bone sticking out of his lower leg. Morgan was afraid to initiate CPR, fearing it would exacerbate Kreza’s injuries. Because Morgan was unsure the collision was accidental and did not know whether Scarpa was dangerous, he didn’t approach the suspect, but gestured questioningly from a distance, with palms up. He kept an eye on Scarpa, who appeared disoriented, because “I was afraid he would flee the scene.”

Deputy Christian Servin was called to the scene to perform a field sobriety test. He first approached the twitchy suspect and asked what was going on. He was apprehensive about asking Scarpa to perform some of the physical field sobriety testing tasks because his lack of balance and coordination might subject him to falls. Deputy Servin’s search found six 800mg gabapentin pills on Scarpa’s person, and Scarpa confirmed he had no prescription. Though Servin had difficulty with communication because Scarpa was “in and out” of it, he was able to determine that Scarpa had not slept for two days, had smoked .25g of meth 36 hours prior, had fresh tracks from injecting a fentanyl/meth mixture, had taken Suboxone at a party that morning, and had taken lorazepam. Scarpa stated that he had no medical conditions, and (and) that he was under a doctor’s care. (This doctor, perhaps?) Scarpa also stated he knew he should not have been driving, because he was “upset,” and he believed that he had crashed into a tree and several people.

At this point, court recessed for lunch, and I had to split ’cause I have graveyard shifts, but I’m all free for Day 2.

Meanwhile, the Daily Pilot says the case will hinge on intent, and whether Scarpa intentionally committed the act that resulted in Kreza’s death.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Our anonymous correspondent also added this note.

EMT students are required to attend one rotation in a hospital emergency department. I did this.

The morning started off slow, and the nurses had zero interest in talking with me, so I poked my head into an exam room and announced to the patient that I was there to check her vitals. She consented and while I took her pulse, I asked what brought her to the ER. She stated that she had passed out while making a left turn (in a major intersection, btw) and had crashed into a fire hydrant. I sympathized with her awful morning, and then asked what she’d had for breakfast. Nothing. I suggested that it was always a good idea to fuel up to start your day. Then I asked whether she was on any medications. She had taken a prescription narcotic analgesic before she took her kids to school. “And you drove?” She confirmed this. I informed her that it was dangerous to drive under the influence, and her pill bottle even had a warning sticker added to the prescription label. She insisted there was no such warning, so we pulled the bottle out of her purse to look at it.

I read the warning out loud: “Do not operate heavy machinery.”

She protested, with frustration at my stupidity, “I wasn’t operating heavy machinery. I was just driving my car.”

(Ed. note: Because evidently multi-ton cars aren’t, well, you know…)

There are warnings of “Don’t drive until you know how this drug affects you,” even though said drug impairs your cognitive abilities such that you cannot ascertain how the drug impairs you. In the absence of quantification and/or memory, your brain just lies to you: “Everything’s fine.”

Why appropriate phrasing hasn’t been legislated, I don’t know.

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Streets For All is urging you to take action to support a couple of motions on the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting of the LA City Council Public Safety Committee.

Make your voice heard on two key issues this week.

There are two key issues being considered this week at City of Los Angeles Public Safety Committee.

1 – The first (Council File 21-0870) is a motion at the Public Safety Committee to consider re-designing streets to prevent illegal street racing. As much as we fight for lower speed limits, the best way to slow cars down is by redesigning streets all together.

2 – The second (Council File 20-1267) is a motion to reduce illegal exhaust noise in the City of Los Angeles. Modified mufflers disturb the peace and evenincrease our stress hormones and risk of heart disease. While we don’t want more armed officers doing traffic stops, we can solve this by clamping down on the shops that make these illegal modifications.

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:

1) Make public comment using the council file system

If you are unable to make live public comment, the next best thing is writing a message in the council file management system. We have made this easy with a pre-filled template and links.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT IN ADVANCE

2) Make public comment live at the committee meetings

The Public Safety Committee is on Wednesday, September 1, at 330pm. Here is the agenda. Call into this meeting to comment on the re-designing streets to curb racing and the illegal exhaust noise issue.

CALL IN INSTRUCTIONS + TALKING POINTS

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Speaking of Streets For All, the political nonprofit is calling on you to fill a vacancy in your local Neighborhood Council if you live in any of the following areas.

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In a Twitter thread, the LACBC calls for accountability from the CHP for the hit-and-run that injured a 14-year old boy in East LA over two months ago.

Despite catching the crash on video, and multiple news reports, they’ve apparently done nothing to hold the officer responsible, or compensate the bike-riding boy for his injuries.

Click on the tweets for the full thread.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

Utah’s Zion National Park is looking for public input on new bike and ebike regulations that would allow bikes in groups of no more than six spread at least a quarter-mile apart, require riders to pull off to the side of the road for buses, and have a bell on your bike to warn people and wildlife. Because everyone knows cougars, skunks and bighorn sheep will politely move aside to let you pass if they hear the dulcet tones of a bike bell announce your presence.

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

San Diego authorities are looking for a bike-riding arsonist who set a series of small fires in the city’s North Park neighborhood earlier this month.

Probably not the best idea to leave a “sanctimonious, passive-aggressive” note on a Portland driver’s car calling out the expired plates, and suggesting they get rid of it and start riding a bicycle.

Police in Lincoln, Nebraska busted a man who stabbed another man in the back in a dispute over an alleged stolen bicycle, then tried to break into an apartment using lock pick tools.

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Local

Bloomberg considers UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup’s call to stop subsidizing drivers at the expense of everyone else, arguing that free parking is killing our cities.

Monrovia’s new “Biking for Bucks” program promises to reimburse people who live or work in the city up to $350 for the purchase of bikes and ebikes, whether for adults or children, as well as bicycle accessories, purchased between July 1st and September 30th of this year. So start shopping, already.

Active SGV teamed with Alhambra and SCAG to install a new popup bike lane, high viz crosswalks and curb extensions on Popular Boulevard in the city to gather public feedback. But hurry of you want to check ’em out, because they’ll be gone this time next week.

 

State

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds teams with San Francisco Transportation Director Jeffrey Tumlin to pen an op-ed for CalMatters in support of AB 43, arguing that speeding drivers should not set speed limits.

 

National

It looks like Outside and VeloNews are joining Bicycling in hiding their stories behind a draconian paywall, on the mistaken assumption that preventing people from reading them will make more people want to. However, unlike Bicycling, the Outside and VeloNews stories don’t appear to be available on Yahoo.

Schwinn’s new I Am A Cyclist ad campaign focuses on marginalized members of the bicycling community to show what kind of people really ride bicycles.

Consumer Reports explains the steps they take to rate bike helmets, while InsideHook looks at the best commuter bike helmets for people who hate to wear one that won’t make you look like a total dork.

Best Buy is jumping head first into the ebike business by selling ebikes, e-scooters, mopeds and electric dirt bikes on their website, as well as in some stores.

A writer for Shape raves that her new Rad Power bike actually makes her comment enjoyable. And no, Best Buy doesn’t sell it.

Police in Colorado are looking for a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his SUV, then fled on foot before stealing a bicycle from a nearby school to make his getaway.

This is who we share the road with, part two. South Dakota’s killer Attorney General was hit with yet another speeding ticket — his seventh in seven years — just days before he was scheduled to go on trial for the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian while on his way home from a fundraiser last year. Yet he’s still allowed to stay on the roads to kill someone else, never mind that the $177.50 fine for a simple speeding ticket is nearly a fifth of what he was fined for actually killing someone.

A new Illinois law will require the state to pick up 100% of the costs for bicycle and walking infrastructure on state roadways; the state had previously required the local community to pay 20%.

A four-year old Michigan girl is able to ride a bicycle for the first time, after a fundraiser brings in enough to buy her an adaptive bike, and cover the cost to buy a bike for someone else, too.

Like drivers everywhere, motorists in Dayton, Ohio seem to have trouble figuring out how the city’s new parking protected bike lanes are supposed to work, parking in the bike lane next to the curb while leaving the parking lane empty.

 

International

Wired says Covid-19 means it’s finally time for the 15-minute city, where living, shopping and work are all within walking distance in the same neighborhood. Unless you live in Los Angeles, that is, where city leaders seem to be firmly committed to keeping everything within an hour and a half drive. Except at rush hour, of course.

Bosch says their new upgrades to ebike batteries and motors promise to make your new ebike ride smarter and farther.

Probably not the best idea to try to steal a bike from inside a British police station.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was sentenced to seven years for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that seriously injured five bike riders last year — but with time served, he’ll be eligible for parole in less than a year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-year old American cyclist Quinn Simmons refuses to limit his options, dividing his plans for next year between the WorldTour and American gravel races.

Red Bull talks with two-time European mountain bike champ Lars Forster about how he went from riding with his dad to riding with, and beating, the world’s best.

 

Finally…

When your status in the local bicycling community hinges on finding the right bike basket. Get your very own bicycle umbrella for your next rainy ride.

And you’ll have to wait another year for a zombie bike ride in Key West.

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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.

Suspect arrested in Oceanside hit-and-run, murder charge in meth-fueled San Diego crash, and East LA CHP hit-and-run

Thank you to everyone for all the kind words. Your support really means a lot to me. 

The good news is, taking most of last week off helped lower my blood sugar levels over 25%, down to a more normal level for diabetics. 

It also allowed me to realize that not all the symptoms I’ve been dealing with were caused by my diabetes; the last medication my doctor put me on to lower my blood sugar was apparently caused a long list of damaging side effects. 

So we’ll what happens now that I’ve stopped taking it. 

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Maybe we’ll see some justice in San Diego County after all.

Oceanside police arrested 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery for the hit-and-run death of Jackson Williams as he rode his bike on Oceanside Blvd July 15th.

At last report, she was being held on $150,000 bond.

The victim’s family had called for the public’s help in catching the killer. But it was a homeless man who recognized the car, and led police to Tennery’s home.

Let’s hope there’s a very large reward in the case. Or at least enough to get him off the streets permanently.

Meanwhile, the driver accused of the meth-fueled killing of 57-year-old Laura Shinn as she rode her bike through San Diego’s Balboa Park has pled not guilty to murder, as well as gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam David Milavetz allegedly ran away right after the crash and dumped a couple baggies of white powder over a fence, which police believe were filled with meth.

The murder charge suggests that Milavetz has at least one previous conviction for DUI, and was required to sign a Watson advisement indicating that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

He was also arrested on a separate DUI count on the 1st of this month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the Oceanside heads-up.

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It looks like the accused killer of a Palm Springs bike rider could be in the wind.

A Riverside County judge issued a bench warrant for Yesenia Bibriesca, who apparently failed to appear in court on charges of fleeing the scene after killing 43-year-old Christopher Jones as he rode his bike in Palm Springs last year.

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East LA residents are calling for the CHP to fire an officer who just drove away after running down a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike at Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue a month ago, leaving the boy with a concussion and shoulder injuries.

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A Sacramento sheriff’s deputy left the scene to respond to a call after backing into a bike rider, shoving the 65-year old man across a sidewalk and into some bushes; fortunately, the person wasn’t badly hurt.

A local TV station asks the obvious question — how the hell did the deputy not know she’d hit someone?

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Speaking of Sacramento, a man died nearly a month after an alleged drunk driver slammed into a group of bike riders on a Sacramento bike path.

Proving once again that there is nowhere safe from the big, dangerous machines and the equally dangerous people piloting them.

Case in point, this is who was share the living room with.

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the video, who blames the house for not wearing hi-viv, for the link. 

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Sunset4All is hosting a guided bike ride and happy hour this Wednesday. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign for LA’s first public/private bike lane partnership stands at 57% of the $25,000 goal.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Take a ride up Pacifico Mountain with Gravel Bike California.

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Who needs a mail truck when you’ve got bike lanes?

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

A mother bear in Yosemite spends heartbreaking hours trying to wake her cub who left to die by a passing driver.

Photo from Yosemite National Park Facebook.

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

Why, indeed.

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

Apparently, there really are bike riders who swerve into traffic without looking, like this Philippine bicyclist who crossed three lanes of traffic to hit the side of a passing bus.

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Local

The LAPD held a bike ride in Mission Hills on Saturday to honor a fallen officer who died of Covid last July, and raise money for his twin infant sons.

No surprise here, as Los Angeles Magazine names the Santa Monica Helen’s the best bike shop in Los Angeles. Which isn’t to say it necessarily is, just that it’s the obvious choice. Any suggestions for who you’d pick instead?

Santa Monica cops bust two men burglarizing a Santa Monica bike shop on the 2900 block of Main Street, after several people were visible inside on security cameras; the address corresponds with the Bike Attack Electric shop.

Now we know how Nick Jonas broke a rib falling off his bike earlier this year.

 

State

Streetsblog updates the current status of transportation bills in the state legislature, including weakening — but not eliminating — the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, as well as bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and funding an e-bike rebate program.

Nice story from San Diego, where a Chula Vista family has turned to tandem riding to overcome a near-fatal e-scooter crash, as well as the son’s blindness and chronic heart and lung disease, while helping others.

San Diego bike advocates are demanding changes after the city’s recent rash of bicycling fatalities. And that was before two more people were killed in the city last week.

Continuing our San Diego trifecta, residents are complaining about rogue mountain bikers riding illegally in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, damaging recently replanted areas.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A Fresno woman got shot in both legs in a domestic violence incident — then got on her bicycle and chased down the man who shot her, following him until police arrived. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from San Ramon, where New York Jets quarterback coach Greg Knapp died six days after he was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle; he had been an NFL coach for 23 years. The team’s head coach had asked for prayers for Knapp.

A white Sacramento woman accused a Black woman of selling drugs from her bicycle seat, apparently unable to grasp the concept that the woman was actually selling perfectly legal hair products.

 

National

Here’s one for my fellow diabetic Americans, as a new study shows bicycling reduces the risk of death from all causes for people with diabetes.

Another new study shows bikeshare saves the US $36 million in healthcare funds.

Vice compares today’s massive pickups and SUVs to the tanks that won WWII. And the tanks come out on the losing end.

Vans teams with SE Bikes for a new sneaker line celebrating Bike Life and BMX culture.

Bike Portland explains that sometimes, the best way to pass someone on a bicycle is not to.

A Colorado man faces up to six years behind bars after being convicted of killing professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag; oddly, there was no charge for hit-and-run, even though he tried to flee the crash on foot, and had to be restrained with a taser until police backup arrived.

Um, okay. A Nebraska man faces charges for threatening another man with a knife, after the other man refused his generous offer of the same knife in exchange for helping him pick a bike lock in broad daylight.

The New York native who made headlines across the US for riding a bikeshare bike from New York to Santa Monica in search of a new home will now be living on Tulsa time.

An Illinois man who killed a woman and seriously injured her husband while fleeing from police will spend the next 12 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Ohio man is still riding after 35 years, despite two new hips and four heart bypasses.

A Boston magazine wonders what would it take to leave cars in the city’s rearview mirror and become a place for people, instead.

Leaving the scene after crashing an ebike into a pedestrian could result in a felony hit-and-run charge if a New York legislator has her way.

A 16-year old Pennsylvania girl somehow missed their blinking lights and hi-viz, and slammed into a group of four people riding their bikes as part of an Ohio church group ride, killing one man and injuring three other people.

A new Penn study shows how planners can use biometric data to identify dangerous areas to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Florida man became alligator bait after losing control of his bike on a curve, and sliding down an embankment where he was bitten by the nine-foot gator. Fortunately, both man and reptile will survive; the former thanks to a man walking his dog. But maybe it wasn’t the gator’s fault.

 

International

No, you can’t call the Queen as a witness.

Be sure to great passersby with a cheery hello if you’re riding your bike naked in Liverpool.

Apparently frightening easily, London drivers are “terrorized” by red light-running, wheelie-popping teens on bicycles.

Former Vancouver bike advocates Melissa and Chris Bruntlett share lessons from their new life in the Netherlands, while busting common myths about car-light cities.

The BBC takes to the bike path to learn from the Dutch how to build a nation of bike riders.

Yes, it can be done. A Polish city built out a complete 800 kilometer bike network — nearly 500 miles — in just five years. We could do that here in Los Angeles if city leaders actually wanted it.

Police in India arrested seven people for flying kites with nylon strings after several people riding bicycles and motorcycles were injured, including a 12th grade girl whose throat was slashed by a kite string as she rode her bike.

A group of Singapore scientists claim to have developed a tougher and safer bike helmet, with an outer shell made of a new type of acrylic thermoplastic resin that’s reinforced with carbon fiber.

He gets it. A New Zealand writer says most Kiwi bike riders are anything but “elitist.” The same goes here in Los Angeles. And just about anywhere and everywhere else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz was the surprise winner in the men’s Olympic road race, while Belgian Wout van Aert took the silver; American Brandon McNulty was leading with Carapaz with three miles to go, but faded at the end to finish sixth.

Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer took the women’s road race, as the math PhD holder built a stealth lead with no one thinking to chase her. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly threw her arms up in victory, thinking she was first across the finish line, instead settling for silver.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera was riding in honor of her late father, who died of Covid earlier this year; she claimed seventh in the road race as the top American finisher.

An Indianapolis paper looks at how Chloe Dygert made it back from a devastating leg injury after going over a guardrail at last year’s Worlds to compete in three Olympic events.

Olympic cycling is one of the few events to actually have fans.

The head of cycling’s governing body swears two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is clean, and so is his bike.

VeloNews tells the “mind-blowing” backstory of how Leah Goldstein became the first woman to win the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

 

Finally…

Why bother pretending you’re riding a bike when you can pretend you’re in a video game? Tossing your bicycle off an overpass onto a highway isn’t one of the recommended uses, and could land your ass behind bars.

And then there’s this.

………

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

Update: Man killed riding bike in early morning Piru crash; CHP rushes to blame the victim

The more I think about this, the angrier I get.

Details are still sparse, but multiple sources report that a middle-aged man was killed riding his bike in Piru early Tuesday morning.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on westbound Highway 126 east of Main Street in Piru when he was struck by a driver just after 5:45 am.

He died at the scene. The driver remained and cooperated with investigators.

Naturally, CHP investigators didn’t hesitate to blame the victim.

After an on-scene investigation took place, CHP officials determined the bicyclist may have been riding in the traffic lanes and the driver of a Nissan Sentra was unable to avoid colliding with the bicyclist, according to a CHP news release. The driver sustained minor injuries.

Never mind that bicyclists have as much right to be in the roadway as motorists do. Or that the traffic lane is exactly where they’re supposed to ride.

According to California law, while bike riders are allowed to ride on the shoulder, they’re neither required or expected to. And nothing to the right of the fog line is legally considered part of the roadway.

In addition, CVC 21202(a)(4) clearly states if the traffic lane is too narrow safely share — which includes most right hand lanes in Southern California — the rider may use the full lane.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

Then there’s statement from the CHP that the driver was unable to avoid the collision.

So let’s be clear.

Unless the victim was riding without lights or reflectors in the early morning darkness, the driver should have been able to see him. But if he wasn’t, the CHP would undoubtedly have mentioned that.

And if the driver had his headlights on, which would be legally required at that hour, he would have been able to see him anyway — unless he was driving too fast for his headlights, which is a violation of California’s Basic Speed Law.

“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”

The key word there in this case is visibility, which includes darkness.

So unless the victim was riding against traffic — which again, the CHP would have mentioned — the question remains why the driver couldn’t see a grown man on a bicycle directly in front of his or her car?

And why is the CHP once again blaming a victim for his own death?

Because we all deserve to know.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP at 805/553-0800.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Gregory Alcozar, who the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office describes as being a transient. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gregory Alcozar and his loved ones.

Morning Links: PeopleForBikes leads ebike fight, CHP victim blaming, and the best 3 minutes 27 seconds of your day

I recently received the following press release from People for Bikes — or as they now call themselves, PeopleForBikes (I should talk, I know).

I don’t normally repost PR stories in their entirety, if at all. But it’s a good message and a battle worth fighting.

Besides, it’s a quarter to four, I’m tired and cranky, and the Corgi needs her beauty sleep and won’t go to bed until I do.

Research over the past year has extolled the virtues of e-biking: Studies have shown that e-bikes significantly bring down cities’ CO2 emissions, reduce noise pollution, get people active, and even have the capacity to create car-free households. Simply put, e-bikes form a certain way to help our planet as it enters an uncertain future. That’s why PeopleForBikes has made e-bike advocacy a core part of their work, working to drive the conversation that’s building towards an “e-bike revolution.”

PFB has supported pages and pages of research and resources that have been instrumental parts of legislation giving people access to and infrastructure around e-biking. PFB has generated information on state-by-state e-bike policy, easy-to-read research and statistics, and e-bikers’ favorite city-by-city routes. They’ve seen some awesome results: Through the work of advocates and legal advisors, 22 states have passed PFB’s model e-bike legislation, which regulates e-bikes like regular bicycles. This is a huge win for the health of our cities, the planet, and e-bike riders.

Of course, many challenges remain ahead. Most states have confusing laws saying where e-bikers can and can’t ride, and tariffs make bike motors and e-bikes themselves more expensive than they need to be. PFB wants to continue to be at the forefront of this conversation as we push for accessible e-biking for all.

………

No windshield bias here.

A Santa Rosa bike rider was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who continued without stopping, throwing him onto the opposite side of the roadway, where he was struck by another car.

But instead of addressing the heartless coward who murdered an innocent man, the CHP blamed the victim for possibly riding in the traffic lane instead of the bike lane, and wearing dark clothing on a dark street.

Which shouldn’t matter in the slightest if the victim had the legally required lights and reflectors on his bike, which they don’t mention at all.

And maybe someone should tell the CHP about the numerous exceptions to CVC 21208 that allow bicyclists to leave a bike lane whenever necessary.

Not to mention that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the exact point of contact for a bike crash unless the driver braked before impact, which doesn’t seem to have happened here.

But sure, let’s keep demonstrating that notorious CHP windshield bias.

Thanks to Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

………

Watching this video could be the best 3 minutes and 27 seconds of your day.

Or maybe you have a more exciting life than I do.

But still.

………

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

Someone has been planting dangerous medieval-style booby traps on biking and hiking trails in national parks across Australia’s New South Wales; one local official called the people responsible “complete scumbags,” which pretty well sums it up.

………

Local

City Watch talks with environmental justice advocate and CD10 city council candidate Aura Vasquez, who wants to fix our streets and build more bike and micromobility lanes.

Dodger Stadium is scheduled to get a $100 million makeover next year. But that huge parking crater surrounding it will remain, despite previous plans to replace it with housing and an entertainment district. Let’s hope they at least improve bike access, and provide safer places to park your bike. Or better yet, a bike valet.

 

State

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department busted a Dana Point bike chop shop on Tuesday; if you recently had a bike stolen in the area, they may have found whatever is left of it.

The owner of a new Encinitas gelato shop talks about his only other job as a pro cyclist in Italy until a knee injury forced his retirement at the ripe old age of 22.

A San Diego TV station considers SB 127, the Complete Streets bill currently working its way through the state legislature, which would mandate bike and pedestrian accommodations any time a state roadway is resurfaced.

Sun-baked Banning will build a bike lane crossing the entire city in an effort to improve the health and waistlines of its residents; the city expects the lane to draw 400 bike riders a day, while a Safe Routes to School Coordinator bizarrely responds they’ll be lucky to get that many in a year, because no one bikes in Banning. Maybe they would if they actually had safer places to ride, as he should well know.

Deadly Rancho Mirage has introduced a $400,000 bike and pedestrian safety plan.

After 20 years, Victorville is nearing completion of the Mojave Riverwalk, an eleven-mile bikeway with four miles of offroad shared use paths.

San Francisco bicycling and walking advocates turn out to demand safer streets and call for the declaration of a traffic emergency in the city after the deaths of 21 people walking or riding bicycles so far this year.

A woman has been charged in the hit-and-run death of a Crockett bike rider, after another woman overheard her telling the second woman’s roommate she’d been in a crash, but wasn’t sure what she’d hit because the sun was in her eyes. God forbid she should have stopped her car to find out — especially in full daylight. Let alone stopped once she realized she couldn’t see, and avoided the crash altogether. 

 

National

A new nationwide study confirms that protected and separated bike lanes improve safety for everyone on roadway, not just the people on two wheels. And that cities with the greatest number of bike riders also have the best safety records. Which brings up the whole chicken/egg thing — do safer streets attract more bike riders, or do more bike riders improve safety?

Surprise your best friend with a dog-friendly e-cargo bike, complete with his or her own set of handlebars.

Slate examines what happens to all the old bikes when bikeshare providers pull out of a city or shut down entirely. In most cases, the picture isn’t pretty.

Your next steel frame bike could be printed, not built. And have a really weird looking kink in the seat post.

You can now legally ride your bike — or your e-scooter — through any Portland fast food drive-through.

Seattle considers adopting Dutch-style intersections to improve safety for bike riders.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the wheels of a disabled Nebraska man’s bicycle, in broad daylight as people walked by, leaving him without any form of transportation; fortunately, the local Trek dealer gave him a new set of wheels and tires worth up to $500. And a lock to secure them.

The Texas driver who ran over a bike cop’s bicycle while fleeing a traffic stop last month and dragging his partner by the arm, has been arrested after being identified in a photo lineup.

A Chicago bike rider was killed when he somehow fell off a train station platform and landed on the electrically charged third rail; three other riders were also injured in separate incidents last week.

Ohio State University collects over 500 abandoned bikes each year and donates them to a local bike co-op.

Four “reckless” Connecticut bike riders were busted for loitering near a park, harassing residents and blocking traffic with their bicycles. No doubt it’s just a coincidence that they all happened to be biking while black.

No bias here. New York approves a pilot program to allow bike riders to use leading pedestrians intervals to cross intersections before drivers get the green light. But the anti-bike New York Post insists on calling it a “green light for cyclists to run red lights.” Just wait until someone tells them about the Idaho Stop Law.

So much for Vision Zero under presidential candidate Bill de Blasio. New York’s death toll keeps getting worse, as two more bike riders lose their lives in collisions with the drivers of large trucks; 17 bike riders have died in the city this year, compared with ten for all of last year. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the link.

The driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while fleeing a traffic stop pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday, after the DA reduced the charge from second degree murder. The city will install a road diet and bike lanes that Salovesh had long fought for on the street by 2021 — just a tad too late to save his life.

A new study shows drivers are actually less likely to stop for bike riders who activate a crossing signal on a New Orleans greenway than if the riders simply crossed the street without it.

Shameful. Florida police use deadly force to stop a fleeing teenage bike rider, ramming his bicycle for the crime of, yes, popping wheelies. And yes, biking while black.

 

International

A Victoria, British Columbia letter writer insists the city’s newly appointed bike mayor is crazy for thinking that safer streets will improve bike safety more than requiring bike helmets. And somehow feels the need to inform her she’s not in Amsterdam, in case she was unaware.

An Australian driver insists on demonstrating that fatal hit-and-runs against bike riders aren’t just an American phenomenon. Although unlike most Americans, he turned himself in 40 minutes later. Thanks to Steve Messer for the tip.

Make a good impression on your next trip to Korea by talking bikes in the local lingua franca.

An English language website makes the case for bike commuting in Hong Kong, where most people only ride recreationally.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de France riders adopt the risk and rewards of the super tuck to increase downhill speed. And prayers to make it down safely.

Defending TdF champ Geraint Thomas hit the pavement for the third time in 16 stages, saying he was thrown from his bike when the gears jammed. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang crashed out of the race.

Rising Belgian star Wout van Aert left the hospital following successful surgery to repair a deep cut to his upper thigh acquired when he caught a retaining barrier during the individual time trial in this year’s Tour; doctors want him to stay off his bike for another two months.

Esquire asks pro cyclists what it feels like to ride in the Tour de France, while London’s Telegraph examines the not-so-secretive inner workings of the race.

A former Tour de France reporter looks back on Greg LeMond’s remarkable comeback victory exactly 30 years ago yesterday, after he was nearly killed by his brother-in-law in a hunting accident.

Rouleur makes the case for Tour de France announcers Phil Liggett and the late Robert Sherwen to be inducted into the Cycling Hall of Fame.

 

Finally…

Your next water bottle could come back as a collapsable bike helmet. That feeling when your eight-year old gets his low-rider bicycle back after it was stolen — both times.

And every bike ride should end with pie.

Or beer. Or maybe both.

 

Morning Links: CHP almost gets left turns right, war on bikes Culver City edition, and possible $1000 CA rebate on ebike

After criticizing the CHP last week, it’s only fair to give them credit when it’s due.

An Orange County CHP officer got it right when he was asked whether bike riders could use left turn lanes.

Almost, anyway.

He said that bicyclists have a right to turn left just like drivers do, and even noted that they are allowed to take the full lane when traveling at the speed of traffic — an exception to the ride to the right rule most cops seem to miss.

But the CHP officer incorrectly notes that bicyclists must hug the curb in other instances. Even though the law says people on bicycles are free to take the lane anytime it’s too narrow to safely share with a bike and car side-by-side, which is the case with most righthand lanes in Southern California.

And he suggests that anyone who’s uncomfortable turning from the left turn lane should get off their bike and walk in the crosswalk.

Never mind that bicyclists have the right to ride in a crosswalk under California law.

Or that box turns work better, anyway. With or without painted turn boxes.

Photo from CHP website

………

The war on bikes may have raised its ugly head right here in Southern California, after a handful of razor blades were found in a Culver City bike lane.

………

Keep your fingers crossed.

If a Calbike proposal is adopted, you could be eligible for a rebate up to $1,000 on the purchase of an ebike.

Or better yet, sign the petition.

………

An ad featuring a boy walking his bike up a steep hill to deliver bread in post-war England has been named Britain’s most iconic classic ad.

………

Local

The LA Times wants to know if Bird can finally build a better scooter before it runs out of cash.

Displaying more cuteness than allowed by law, Strider Bikes hosted a series of toddler races at LA Live this past weekend.

CicLAvia shares their favorite moments from the recent Wilmington event.

There will be a meeting to support the Rowena road diet and help keep the street safe at 6 pm this Wednesday at the Friendship Auditorium.

One more reason to ride a bike. The founder of the Golden Road Brewery in Atwater Village changed her career trajectory after meeting the owner of the famed Oskar Blues Brewery while riding her bike in Colorado. Seriously, you’re not likely to meeting anyone while speeding down the same roads in your car — unless you hit them.

Roughly 75 people turned out for last week’s meeting on a proposed two-way protected bike lane on Pasadena’s Union Street.

Santa Clarita’s mayor invites you to celebrate all things cycling in the city as they mark bike month, and a visit by the Amgen Tour of California.

A bike-riding man is the chief suspect in a series of alleyway arson fires in the Cal Heights neighborhood of Long Beach.

 

State

A legendary backcountry OC mountain bike ride raises a whopping $1.25 million to aid people in Rwanda.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss proves he’s not that snobby after all, riding this Cambria’s Eroica California on the cheapest bikes he can buy.

Authorities stopped an Amtrak train for over an hour to search for a man who was apparently struck by the train while he was walking his bike along the tracks in Pismo Beach; he turned up later in an ER with hand and arm injuries, after all searchers found was a mangled bicycle.

An East Sacramento hit-and-run driver left a bike rider lying in the street with serious injuries. Meanwhile, a mother asks the hit-and-run driver who left her bike-riding son with a serious brain injury to turns themselves in.

 

National

An Irish man rode and ran across the United States in just 36 days to raise funds in an effort to raise over a quarter million euros — $279,670 — to fight Spina Bifida.

Ai Wei Wei’s sculpture may be titled Forever Bicycles, but it won’t be displayed in Austin TX that long. Or much longer, for that matter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An Arkansas newspaper breaks the shocking news that you can get hurt riding a mountain bike.

Minneapolis has pulled the plug on Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix once again after a last-ditch crowdfunding effort raised just $12,000 of the $200,000 they needed to put on a UCI women’s race

Proving once again that we all face the same problems, Boston bike riders complain about the glacial pace of implementing the city’s bike plan, arguing that the mayor’s plan is falling short.

New York held their annual Blessing of the Bicycles over the weekend; LA’s version will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 14th as part of Bike Week.

A 50-year bike commuter says New York bicyclists have to do better, and calls on riders to welcome stricter enforcement by police. Sure. That’ll happen.

Today weatherman Al Roker is one of us, joining thousands of other riders for New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour.

A West Virginia bike rider urges people to control their dogs after suffering a concussion and separating his shoulder when his bike broadsided a dog that ran out in front of him. No word on how the dog fared.

Police in Charleston SC respond to rising rates of bicyclists and pedestrians by insisting that pedestrians would be safe if they just used crosswalks, rather that concluding that maybe there aren’t enough crosswalks or they’re in the wrong places. And never mind all those people in the big, dangerous machines.

Two kindhearted South Carolina cops pitched in to buy a kid a new bike after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver. Although someone should tell the TV station that the car probably had a driver.

New Orleans’ mayor sees better bus service and more dockless bikeshares — not more traffic lanes — as the solution to the city’s transportation problems.

A Key West parade celebrates human powered sculpture.

 

International

A Vancouver writer describes how she learned to love commuting by bicycle.

A Toronto business owner complains about plans for a road diet to make room for protected bike lanes, insisting that he only sees a single bike rider every few days. Which is like saying we don’t need a new bridge because you only see a few cars driving into the river.

London bicyclists donned their best Harris and Donegal woolens and mounted classic bikes for this year’s Tweed Ride.

You have exactly one month to get to the UK to ride your bike naked on the Queen’s official birthday.

An Indian man who spent five decades riding across the country has given his Trek Madone to a 15 year old cycling prodigy, after he had to quit riding due to medical problems.

An Indian paper looks back on seven Parsi men who travelled the world on their bicycles over 100 years ago.

India’s Economic Times says bicycling in Bengaluru is a cruel joke on bicyclists.

A Sydney, Australia writer says check your biases next time you hear the word cyclist or get stuck behind one in traffic, after a Facebook post about the death of a bike-riding woman got 464 comments — only four of which expressed any sympathy for the victim or her family.

An Aussie bike rider caused considerable, and reasonable, consternation after he was photographed wearing a Nazi armband.

 

Competitive Cycling

Don’t plan on seeing Colombian pro Egan Bernal in next week’s Giro d’Italia, after breaking his collarbone on a training ride.

The New York Daily News considers the meteoric rise and fall of Major Taylor, the one-time world’s fastest man, who broke cycling’s color barrier more than a century ago. Now we just need someone to do it again.

 

Finally…

Maybe next time, he’ll listen when a cop tells him to get his golf cart out of the bike lane. Apparently, a bicycle only makes you invisible if you don’t don a hideous blond wig to bike through a police dragnet.

And no, that’s not a bicycle riding in a new bike lane.

 

Morning Links: Windshield bias from CHP, widening street so Gold Line can take cars off it, and upping the bad driver stakes

Looks like the CHP should get their windshields cleaned.

And maybe get rid of the bias that’s stuck on there.

The CHP marks Bike Month by calling for everyone to share the road responsibly.

So far, so good.

The again, that’s just the headline.

Unfortunately, they follow it up by citing eight laws bicyclists are expected to obey. Yet just one for motorists, reminding them to give a three-foot passing distance.

And they get two of those wrong.

Yes, bike riders are required to “pull off the roadway if five or more vehicles are lined up behind them.” But only on roads with a single lane in each direction, and only when those drivers are stuck behind them and unable to pass.

And yes, bike riders are required to yield to pedestrians, but only under the same circumstances drivers are.

Like when crossing in a crosswalk. But not when someone just steps off the curb in the middle of the block.

Although you’re more than welcome to do either one out of courtesy anytime you want.

Photo from CHP website

………

Meanwhile, the CHP uses the passive voice to absolve a driver of responsibility for injuring a woman riding her bike before driving into a canal.

Investigators have not substantiated why, but say that Vega allowed his car to steer to the right, partially off the roadway onto the gravel shoulder as he approached the cyclist.

The front of the car struck the rear of the bicycle and the rider.

Evidently the car was driving itself, and the driver just didn’t stop it from driving onto the shoulder to slam into her.

But as every good Catholic knows, sins of omission are just as bad as sins of commission.

………

Seriously?

Residents along La Verne’s White Ave oppose the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority’s proposal to widen White Ave.

The authority wants to widen the street to make room for more cars in anticipation of the Gold Line extension coming to town.

The purpose of which is to get people out of their cars.

………

The crowdfunding page for the infant son of fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier appears to have stalled out just $614 short of the $10,000 goal.

Which means this would be a great day for some generous person, or people, to push it over the top.

Just saying.

………

The other day, CiclaValley offered us video showing three dangerously bad drivers in just two minutes.

A very wet Chicago rider, who prefers to be anonymous, says hold my beer.

………

Culver City is kicking off Bike Month with a family friendly Walk & Roll Festival this Sunday, including free bike skills lessons and free bike repair.

………

Local

The LACBC is holding their popular Sunday Funday Ride along the LA River this Sunday, offering a preview of the annual LA River Ride.

Streetsblog is hosting its annual awards dinner on Thursday.

CiclaValley is sponsoring this year’s Ride of Silence on May 15, with a ride from Vermont and Wilshire to LA City Hall. Think any LA officials will stick around to meet them on the steps of City Hall? Me neither.

Metro is celebrating Bike Month with a $1 30-day pass and free rides on Bike to Work Day.

The popular Tour de Laemmle is taking this year off.

Pasadena Now looked forward to last night’s discussion of the city’s first proposed two-way protected bike lane; if you couldn’t make the meeting, you can still offer comments online.

Speaking of Pasadena, the Rose City’s nationally recognized Director of Transportation is moving on after 11 years.

 

State

Solvang saw a 400% increase in turnout for the faux Danish city’s annual bike ride to promote bicycle safety and call for more bike lanes. Which it would probably already have if it really was a Danish city.

A San Jose writer says incrementalism in traffic safety is literally killing us.

Touring bike friendly Davis on two wheels in one day.

 

National

A new CDC study says wear your scooter helmet, since nearly half of all e-scooter injuries involve head trauma; not surprisingly, you’re most likely to get hurt on your first ride. The obvious solution is to just skip the first ride, and start with your second.

A Seattle outdoor equipment chain is the latest bike retailer to go belly up. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Salt Lake weekly promotes Warmshowers for a safe overnight stay for touring bicyclists.

Now that’s more like it. A proposed Colorado law would automatically suspend the license of any driver who injures a vulnerable road user.

A Missouri woman writes that bicyclists should understand and obey the laws and bike etiquette. But unlike most, she actually gets it right.

One hundred fifty people turned out for a memorial ride for a “legend” of the Minneapolis bike scene, who died at just 43 after a long-time battle with alcohol.

Boston bicyclists protest the city’s glacial pace on building protected bike lanes.

New York’s police commissioner admits what everyone already knew, that a crackdown on riders without bike bells was just an excuse to stop a semi-organized ride. Even though he didn’t have one on his own bike.

New Jersey’s bicycling community is mourning the death of a longtime bike shop owner and advocate who died of cancer at 69.

She gets it. DC’s mayor calls for hiring 20 additional parking enforcement cops to ticket drivers who park in bike lanes.

More proof that drivers are the same everywhere. Tampa, Florida drivers turn sidewalks and separated bike lanes into their own personal parking lots.

A Sarasota FL artist is leaving decorated bicycles all over town as a guerrilla public art project.

 

International

Not even Canada’s most conservative provincial government sees a need for bicycle licenses.

A British man gets his nearly $12,000 tri bike back from a Polish bike shop nine months after it was stolen.

Dame Judy Dench gave a four leaf clover charm to an English cancer survivor for good luck on his four and a half month, 7,192-mile ride to Tokyo to see a World Cup rugby match.

Caught on video: A bike rider in the UK was the victim of a drive-by egging.

No bias here, either. London’s Daily Mail says for the first time, more people were killed by cyclists in Holland than by drivers. Except what they really mean is that more people were killed while riding bicycles, since most, if not all, of those victims were the bike riders themselves.

A Swiss company is preparing to introduce their 30 mph dockless bikeshare ebikes to the US. Although they’ll have to overcome laws in many cities, including Los Angeles, that limit shared dockless devices to half that speed.

Save this one for your next trip to Spain. A culinary website recommends bicycle friendly cafés, restaurants and bars in Barcelona.

New Zealand bike advocates blame efforts to promote bicycling without building safe infrastructure for a spike in bike crashes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal profiles world-class mountain bike, cyclocross and road racer Mathieu van der Poel, calling him the “unicorn prince of bike racing” — if you can get past their paywall.

Legendary Italian cyclist Gino Bartali is being honored with a bicycling academy named after him in Israel; Bartali risked his life during WWII by smuggling papers to save hundreds of Italian Jews from the Holocaust. Although the honor he really deserves is sainthood, so someone please hurry up and have a miracle or two, already. And no, making it home on your bike after too many beers doesn’t count. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the ghost bike for 19-year old fallen cyclist Tate Meintjes just three days after it was placed where he was killed while practicing for the Redlands Classic — except they brought it back, so maybe just a place in Purgatory. Somehow, this is turning into a very Catholic post today. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

When you’re reluctant to ride a bike, turn it into art. If you have to get hit by a car, try to do it when you’re sober and not carrying an open cup of beer.

And here’s a tip. If you’re going to go carfree, don’t get shot by a homeless person.

 

Morning Links: LA cyclist mugged by transient, CHP endorses speeding drivers, and CD1 race gets dirtier

Regular bike commuter Lou Karlin forwards word that he was attacked by a transient while riding in LA’s Pico-Robertson neighborhood Tuesday evening.

I was going west on Whitworth at Crescent Heights at approximately 6:10 p.m.  A male transient was pushing a shopping cart northbound across the intersection.  He passed me just as my light turned green.  As I began to pedal, he turned back, entered the intersection and punched me in the jaw, knocking me off my bike.  The driver behind me stopped and came to my aid.  The transient, apparently deranged, accused me of having attacked him first and then threatened to hurt the driver.  We let him go on his malevolent way, northbound on Crescent Heights.

I wasn’t badly hurt, just a sore jaw and ribs.  I called 911 to report the incident, and was told to wait for officers.  Unfortunately, it took 60 minutes and repeated calls before two officers arrived–so the transient had disappeared long ago.  In retrospect, I wish I had followed him.

It might be worth a heads up to those who commute on Whitworth — the transient is white with a stocky build, in his 50’s, has a beard, and wore baggy jeans and a light-colored, short-sleeved shirt.

………

Speed cameras work.

A Maryland news report says that no pedestrians have been killed on a roadway near the University of Maryland since a speed camera was installed in 2014; three people were killed on the street in the six months before it was put in place.

And a New York report from 2015 showed that speed cameras in school zones have been a resounding success, resulting in a 58% decline in speeding tickets in just four months.

Unfortunately, though, a bill that would allow a pilot project in San Jose and San Francisco has been put on hold due to opposition from law enforcement groups.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tom Maguire, representing the CHP’s rank-and-file union, challenged the notion that speed cameras would help improve street safety.

In his 21-year career patrolling the East Bay, Maguire said, “I have never investigated or assisted in an investigation that involved a vehicle and a pedestrian or a vehicle and a bicycle that resulted in a fatality where speed was the primary collision factor. Never.”

Which ignores the fact that while collisions may be caused by other factors, excessive speed can contribute or exacerbate that primary collision factor — such as a speeding driver blowing through a red light or making unsafe lane changes — and significantly increases the risk that a crash will result in death or serious injury.

Things he should be well acquainted with in his 21 years of patrolling.

In fact, it seem disingenuous, to use the polite term, to suggest that speed is never a factor in a collision, let alone the determining factor in whether someone lives or dies following a wreck.

And the CHP should, and undoubtedly does, know better.

So the question becomes, not whether speed cameras save lives, but why the union representing CHP officers is willing to stand in the way of safety, and continue to let people die on our streets as the victims of speeding drivers.

You’d think they’d be in favor of reducing speeds, obeying the speed limit and saving lives.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

………

We all knew this was coming.

The only question was what it would be, and when.

LAist posted a story yesterday that dug deep into CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali’s online history, and found a handful of comments posted to an alt-right website that can be described as insensitive, at best. And that appear to have the fingerprints of the Cedillo campaign.

Bray-Ali explains in a video posted on Facebook that he was, in effect, trolling the users of the site. But apologizes repeatedly for his mistake in judgment.

He also apologizes for remarks about gender reassignment surgery, noting that he’s changed his views after getting to know a number of trans people during the campaign.

So let’s be clear.

Virtually every political campaign conducts opposition research on the opposing candidate to dig up whatever dirt they can find. Most campaigns have to common sense and decency not to use it.

Evidently, Gil Cedillo’s doesn’t.

While they will undoubtedly deny having anything to do with it at today’s press conference to denounce Bray-Ali’s comments, there can be little doubt that this came directly from Cedillo’s campaign — and undoubtedly with his direct approval — and was given to the writer for LAist.

I’ve personally been involved in a number of campaigns where someone uncovered damning information about the opposing candidate. The decision on whether to use it was left to the campaign manager, but it always run past the candidate before releasing it.

And in every case, the decision was made not to use it. Sometimes by the campaign manager, sometimes by the candidate. But always because it was the right thing to do.

But clearly, not all politicians are so ethically enlightened.

I am deeply disappointed by Joe Bray-Ali’s comments, and the lack of judgment shown in posting to sites like that, for whatever reason. His only defense is that he was posting as a private citizen, before he chose to run for office.

But he should have known better.

On the other hand, I am disgusted that Gil Cedillo would stoop so low to hold onto a seat he clearly doesn’t deserve. Whether or not he wins the election, his credibility is shattered.

And we should all see him as the dirty politician he has proven himself to be.

………

Samsung is introducing an app that will automatically reply for you if you get a call or message while you’re driving or riding your bike.

Unfortunately, installing and using the app is voluntary.

Which means it’s not the solution to distracted driving, but it’s a start.

………

The Colorado Classic has announced the twelve women’s teams that will compete in the inaugural edition later this year.

Iran’s former national champ just got a seven and a half year ban for doping, his second offense in less than 12 months. Good thing the doping era is over.

………

Local

Bike SGV forwards news that South Pasadena is considering bike lanes on Mission Street and protected bikeways on Fair Oaks; you can weigh in with your thoughts to help shape the future of South Pasadena.

Credit Bike SGV with passing on the news that Pasadena’s bike-friendly city council candidate Andy Wilson eked out a victory in last week’s runoff election.

The Press-Telegram presents your playlist for the fourth Beach Streets open streets event this Saturday.

 

State

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune says an eight-year old girl hit the front of a truck with her bicycle, even though they explain that the truck actually crashed into her after she allegedly rode out in front of it.

Officers taking part in the Hollywood Memorial Ride from Hollywood to DC to honor fallen law enforcement officers stopped in Palm Springs Tuesday night.

Kids in a small, impoverished Kern County town are now riding bicycles abandoned by people at Burning Man, after they were stripped of fur and psychedelic tape, and repaired by a Bakersfield nonprofit.

A Sacramento news site warns that Vision Zero may be an elusive goal, while noting that countywide figures show bicyclists were at fault in 71% of crashes, and riding salmon in 61%. Both of those numbers seem highly questionable; if so many people are really riding on the wrong side of the street, something is seriously wrong. And they need to find out why.

 

National

You’ve got to be kidding. A Hawaii judge reduced the bail of a man charged with attempted murder for allegedly driving up onto a sidewalk to intentionally run down a bicyclist — even though he has no permanent address and at least one previous conviction for failing to appear.

A Portland writer says the city has spent 40 years building itself around pedestrians, trains and bicycles, so it’s time to just give up on driving altogether.

Employees of a Denver-based company built and donated 750 bicycles for local kids in an effort to set a new Guinness world record.

If you plan on riding the Montana backcountry this spring and summer, watch out for bears.

Four Texas cops are riding across the state to honor the five officers killed in last year’s Dallas ambush.

Researchers at the famed Cleveland Clinic have discovered that bicycling may be the best medicine for Parkinson’s Disease. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A California man with Type 1 diabetes will ride 800 miles through what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider America’s Diabetes Belt, from Chicago to Atlanta, to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.

A Vermont letter writer says replacing parking spaces with bike lanes is discrimination against disabled, elderly and rural people. Because as we all know, none of them ever ride bicycles.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist warns his fellow riders not to ride the nearly finished Trans National Trail, saying it’s not safe because much of the trail runs on the shoulders of high speed highways.

An Ottawa city councilor pulls his support for a bike lane in the face of public opposition to the loss of 97 parking spaces.

New legislation would commit the United Kingdom — which may become the Untied Kingdom post-Brexit — to a specific plan for funding bicycling and pedestrian projects, with the equivalent of up to $1.54 billion in spending by 2020/21.

A new British study shows how road pollution can pass through your lungs and into the bloodstream, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke; the risk is greater for people who already suffer from coronary heart disease. However, the benefits of bicycling still outweigh the risk posed by air pollution.

A Scottish transportation group says bicycling instead of driving would amount to an 8% pay raise for the average person, saving the equivalent of over $2,500.

Touring Paris on two wheels.

While the US government scrubs any reference to climate change off government websites, the UN is partnering with a Chinese bikeshare company to raise awareness of global warming.

 

Finally…

That’s one way to prevent bike theft. Your next bike could literally suck smog.

And a writer in Singapore isn’t exactly pleased with her brief bikeshare experience.

 

Morning Links: Homeowner opposition to Westwood bike lanes may be a lie, and the CHP gets it wrong again

As I write this, the LA City Planning Commission is just hours away from a vote that could lead to the removal of Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, over the strenuous objections of virtually everyone who rides a bike on those streets.

Westwood resident Calla Wiemer has written a detailed, insightful and highly persuasive letter to the Commission arguing for keeping Westwood in the plan, which she has kindly agreed to let me share with you.

Regardless of how the commission votes, you should forward this to your councilmember before the city council takes up the matter in a few weeks.

Especially since only 42 of the roughly 3,000 homeowners in the area were concerned enough to oppose removing parking or traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes.

But those 42 are the only ones Paul Koretz seems to care about.

Dear LA CPC,

The proposed amendment to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility 2035 Plan and to replace it with a Gayley-Midvale route is ill-conceived. The argument in favor of such a change to the plan was articulated in a 6/22 email “Blast” from the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association. The flaws in the case presented in this email Blast, however, are numerous. First, the claim that the alternative route “both maintains and respects the connectivity of the Bicycle Enhanced Network” is false. Westwood Blvd provides a through connection directly from UCLA to Westwood Station on the Expo Line and on to points south. Midvale, by contrast, truncates with a T-intersection at Santa Monica Blvd from which point riders moving in a north-south direction would need to make their way to or from Westwood Blvd to continue on course.

Second, the suggestion that a “growing presence of bicycle commuters on Westwood”, which will “slow traffic” and “create added conflicts”, can be averted by designating an inconvenient alternative route is a fantasy. A growing presence of bicycle riders on Westwood Blvd is the reality. Bike riders choose Westwood Blvd because it’s the most direct route to their destinations – destinations which are often located on Westwood Blvd for the many who shop, work, or live there. As much as non-cyclists might wish to impose an alternative route on those who ride, they simply do not have the authority to do so. The best way to avoid the conflicts the WSSM leadership is so concerned about is to provide accommodation for bike riders.

Third, the premise that “Most local residents do not feel comfortable riding through Westwood Village on Westwood Blvd” is true enough but serves better as an argument for bike lanes than against them. Westwood Blvd in its present form is a dangerous and scary place to ride a bike. Making it safer will raise the comfort level of local residents. Consider as well that most local residents similarly do not feel comfortable riding a bike on Midvale or Gayley as those streets are currently constituted. The concept in designating these alternative streets as bike routes would be to make them more inviting for bike riding. But we are better off applying such effort to Westwood Blvd which already has the cycling presence to justify it.

Fourth, continuing to speak for “most local residents” the WSSM leadership’s presumption that our ranks “have looked to our City’s planning and transportation experts to fashion” a biking alternative to Westwood Blvd is not borne out by the Association’s own survey research. The survey was conducted in June of 2014 and garnered 135 responses from the roughly 3000 homeowners in the neighborhood. Asked to express opposition to or support for “Removal of traffic or parking lanes on busy arterials for dedicated bike lanes”, only 42 respondents ticked opposition to the degree of “important” or “very important”. The number in support of removal was 18 while 59 declined to respond to such a broadly worded question and 16 others who opposed removal did not see the issue as “important” or “very important”. A more telling manifestation of local opinion on bike lanes for Westwood Blvd has been the consistently large turnout of advocates at public hearings conducted by government and civic organizations over the last few years. Of particular note, the Westwood Village Improvement Association (BID) held a series of three public hearings drawing packed houses of supporters and only a few opponents. As a result of that consultation with the community, the BID submitted a request to the city government and Councilmember Koretz that a study be conducted of bike lane designs for Westwood Blvd.

What in truth can be said about most local residents is that we are exasperated by the traffic, and yes, we look to the city’s planning and transportation experts to come up with strategies to mitigate it and to improve safety. Please let us not exclude Westwood Blvd from that process. If any street is in need of a re-envisioning, it is Westwood Blvd. Do let us keep it in the Bicycle Enhanced Network so that the planners can give us a vision of a street that works for people and businesses, not just one that is clogged with motor vehicles.

Respectfully,

Calla Wiemer

Homeowner, Westwood South of Santa Monica

………

Once again, the CHP gets bike law wrong when a San Luis Obispo driver asks for advice on whether to cross the yellow line or slow down to obey the three foot passing law, forgetting that drivers are allowed to pass closer than three feet as long as they slow down and pass safely.

And despite the officer’s assertions, there is no requirement under California law that cyclists have to ride single file — especially not in a bike lane.

Nor are they required to ride to the right in a bike lane under any circumstances, ever.

………

Not surprisingly, the Kalamazoo driver who ran down nine bicyclists has been charged with five counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as four counts of causing serious injury while intoxicated; blood tests showed he was under the influence of an undisclosed substance.

Meanwhile, another survivor has been released from the hospital; two other victims remain hospitalized.

………

Now that’s a close pass. Credit the rider for staying upright rather than overreacting to it.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; unfortunately, I’ve lost any record of who that was.

………

A driver of one of London’s famous black cabs records himself chasing down and apprehending a hit-and-run driver who knocked a cyclist off his bike. Although he must have scared the crap out of all the other riders as he cut in and out of a bike lane to catch up to the fleeing driver.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

………

Yesterday there was a bike attached to this lock on Hollywood Blvd; today there isn’t. A reminder to buy a quality lock, and lock your bike securely.

And register the damn thing, already.

SAMSUNG

………

Lael Wilcox smashes the women’s record to win the Trans Am race across the US. The Alaskan cyclist becomes the first woman and the first American to win the solo, unsupported 4,200 mile race, finishing in 18 days.

Not to be confused with the better known, fully supported RAAM, going on now.

………

Local

Organizers of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets event say it may have to be postponed if unhealthy air quality caused by the San Gabriel Complex fire doesn’t improve. Let’s hope not; the logistics of arranging another date with seven separate cities could prove challenging.

Universal announces plans to reorient their production facilities, including making way for a park and the previously announced extension of the LA River bike path through their property.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says city council committee meetings are Dante’s tenth circle of hell; but in this case, a successful one, as the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Committee votes to formulate a bike plan to improve safety and connect with other cities in the area.

LADOT reminds everyone to submit their rides and other activities to the department’s calendar of upcoming bike events. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have our own list of bike events.

A British cyclist takes a “blockbuster” ride through the San Gabriels before making his way up Mt. Baldy.

 

State

Now that’s more like it. Orange police impound 16 high-end cars for street racing after a GoPro shows one that hit a bike rider was traveling at 50 mph, rather than 25 mph as the driver claimed. It’s also a reminder to always assume you’re injured following a collision; the cyclist initially said he wasn’t hurt, but later found out he had a broken clavicle and finger, as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

A bighearted Tustin cop buys a new adult tricycle for a woman with cerebral palsy after hers was stolen last month.

San Clemente plans a number of changes to improve bike safety, including a two-way bikeway on El Camino Real, sharrows on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and buffered bike lanes on Avenida Pico.

Palm Springs police are trying to identify a thief who stole an $1,800 bicycle; fortunately, the bike was eventually recovered.

The family of Ventura teenager Jonathan Hernandez files a wrongful death suit against the tow truck driver who kept going after hitting him as he rode his bike last February, leaving him in the road to be struck by another driver, who also fled the scene. The Ventura County DA still hasn’t filed any charges against the driver, who has close business ties with city and county, and the Ventura PD. Leaving us to wonder once again if the DA is justice challenged when it comes to traffic victims.

Tragic news from San Francisco, as two bike riders were killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents. A suspect was arrested in one crash in which a driver ran a red light before striking the rider, while a woman was killed by a speeding driver who hit her bike head-on in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Davis approves 36 housing units to provide funding for a bike path, even though the city is having trouble negotiating a necessary easement.

A Sacramento paper offers suggestions on taking the train to ride Bay Area bike trails.

 

National

VeloNews looks at a form of arterial disease that is increasingly affecting cyclists, including pro racer Joe Dombrowsky.

HuffPo offers five tips for better bicycling.

Bicycling provides nine tips from readers on how to get your family and friends hooked on bike riding.

An Illinois teacher and her husband were killed when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year old boy, who turned out to be one of her former students.

An unlicensed and uninsured Louisville KY driver faces two murder charges for running down three girls who were standing in a bike lane; he had a BAC two and a half times the legal limit following the crash.

It’s back to the drawing board for New York’s DOT, as the debate over bike lanes in the city’s Clinton Hill neighborhood was won by the side that yelled the most. And needless to say, it wasn’t the bike riders.

A $4,200 e-cargo bike races a New York subway.

A pair of medical professionals say a contentious bike lane on a Charleston SC bridge would enhance livability and health; evidently, you don’t have to convince local bicyclists.

 

International

A Montreal writer says vehicular cycling is dead, even if it isn’t.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the research behind bike helmets, concluding that whether you wear one or not is up to you.

Australia’s Canberra region finally makes it illegal to throw things at bike riders. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone here.

An Aussie writer discovers bicycling can help with grief and depression after his own father died of cancer.

 

Finally…

Evidently, not even the dead are safe from bike thieves. Who needs wheels when your bike can have spider legs?

And no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the bicycle.

But he probably wishes he did.

 

Weekend Links: The CHP gets it wrong again, the LA Times gets it right, and North Fig safety dogs Cedillo

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive after yesterday’s unplanned absence.

So let’s get two more people to sign up or renew your membership now to make it 21 new members by the 21st.

Your fellow bike riders are depending on you to add your support to the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, and help make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city.

Never mind the great LACBC gear you’ll get just for signing up.

………

Happy Bike to Shop Day.

………

Once again, the CHP gets it wrong.

Despite what a CHP officer told the OC Register’s traffic columnist, there is no law in California requiring cyclists to ride single file, on narrow roads or anywhere else.

Even though the department has been known to misapply CVC 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.

However, subsection 3 of the ride to right law exempts substandard lanes from that requirement, explicitly stating that the law does not apply on any lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to safely share with a motor vehicle. In most cases, that means any lane less than 14 feet wide, since bike riders are allowed to ride a safe distance from the curb, and drivers are required to give at least a three-foot passing distance.

That means, despite the officer’s assertions, that there is no legal justification for ticketing cyclists who ride abreast in a narrow lane, and no requirement under California law that they ride single file in the scene shown in the photo accompanying the column, where the lane is clearly too narrow for a cyclist to safely share with most cars, let alone a truck or SUV.

Yes, it is courteous to allow drivers to pass when safe to do so.

However, it is often safer for bicyclists to ride side-by-side on narrow roadways — not so they can chat, but to increase visibility and prevent unsafe passing.

As for whether it’s legal to cross a solid yellow line to pass a cyclist, that is allowed in most states with a three-foot or wider passing law. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a cyclist, but only when safe to do so.

It’s not the officer’s fault he doesn’t know the law in this case.

The CHP has long failed to adequately train their officers in bike law, forcing officers to rely on cheat sheets that don’t list the many exceptions to CVC 21202, or go into detail on any of the other laws governing the rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

But providing false information like that only puts bike riders at needless risk, and encourages driveway vigilantes to take out their frustrations on bicyclists who are riding safely and within their rights.

Let alone subjecting them to tickets that aren’t legally justified, but are often too difficult to fight.

………

Great opinion piece from Paul Thornton the LA Times, who says if LA really wants to encourage more bicycling, the city needs to fix the roads so they’re safe to ride.

He also calls out former councilmember Tom LaBonge and current member Paul Koretz for dangerous decisions that defeat the purpose of the city’s Mobility Plan.

………

The Eastsider examines the North Figueroa safety issues dogging CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, as he claims to be working to improve safety, despite unilaterally cancelling a road diet designed to do exactly that.

And they talk with Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who has thrown his hat into the race to challenge Cedillo in next year’s city elections.

………

Germany’s Andre Greipel wins his third sprint of the Giro d’Italia, then promptly quits the race. Andrey Amador takes the leader’s jersey from Bob Jungels after the 13th stage, becoming the first Costa Rican to lead a Grand Tour.

Cycling Weekly examines five talking points about the Giro as the race reaches the legendary Dolomites this weekend.

This has been one of the most democratic Amgen Tour of California’s in memory, as the race had yet another stage winner in Latvian pro Toms Skujins. Aussie Rohan Dennis won Friday’s time trial to leap into second place, 16 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphillppe.

Meanwhile, American Megan Guarnier won the first stage of the women’s tour in a last minute breakaway.

The AToC heads to Santa Rosa today, on the same day the city hosts their 122nd Rose Parade. Which is different from Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

………

Local

CiclaValley reacts to Thursday’s bicycling fatality in Panorama City, which occurred just hours after he returned from Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

The newly opened Expo Line extension adds 130 bike racks and lockers at seven new stations.

The LAPD has put out a BOLO Alert for a bike thief in the Central LA area.

South LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino rode an ebike 25 miles to work at City Hall in observance of Bike to Work Day.

KPCC is the latest media site to talk with the Eastside’s Ovarian Cycles Bicycle Brigade, who host their monthly women-identified Luna Ride tonight.

A writer for the Daily Bruin tweets that the board of directors for Westwood Village has voted to spend $44,000 for two bikeshare hubs in the village this fall. Unfortunately, the lack of bike lanes means there won’t be any safe places to ride them.

The Santa Monica Spoke invites you on a multi-modal Expo Line ride on Sunday.

The LACBC talks with Antelope Valley cyclist and soap maker Sharon Murdock.

 

State

It takes a world champion schmuck to steal an adult tricycle from a 67-year old Anaheim woman with multiple sclerosis.

A Huntington Beach man gets seven years for beating a police officer who stopped him for an alcohol violation while riding his bike; the officer’s daughter was doing a ride along and witnessed the assault. Not that the sentence isn’t warranted, but why is it that motorists seldom get a fraction of that for actually killing a cyclist or a pedestrian?

Potential San Diego bike commuters want more than just bike lanes to get them to ride, like showers and more considerate drivers. They have a much better chance of getting the showers.

A Fresno cyclist says don’t count on laws to protect you from distracted drivers.

In a seriously disgusting assault, a white Rancho Murieta driver ran a black bike rider off the road before getting out and punching him, after telling the victim to “go back to the hood.”

 

National

Members of the bicycle industry finally bind together to promote bicycling in the US. Something should have been done decades ago — and with a much higher budget.

HuffPo says we’ve been brainwashed into calling crashes accidents.

Caught on video: A Seattle truck driver jumps the curb in an apparent attempt to run down a bike rider; the action starts after the 1:50 mark. Note to cyclists: when you’re posting video of drivers behaving badly, feel free to delete the extraneous footage leading up to it.

A Salt Lake cyclist says he’ll be happy to pay for his fair share of the roads, as long as drivers pay theirs.

Agenda 21 is just so passé; evidently the new global bad guys are AARP and the World Health Organization, forcing age-friendly complete streets down the throats of those fine, upstanding Vermonters.

Apparently, traffic violations that put bike riders at risk don’t violate the rules of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A DC bike commuter lists his pet peeves about riding to work, from cars that don’t signal to the traditional catcall to get on the sidewalk.

A bicycling Florida non-profit is redefining sharecropping, riding en masse to work organic gardens on land borrowed from homeowners; the model has already spread to Oakland and Uganda.

 

International

Brazil’s bike-riding president is running out of options to fight her ouster by impeachment.

A Toronto bike lane carries nearly as much bicycle traffic as the roadway next to it does cars.

Nothing like just now returning one of London’s Boris Bikes late after it was rented on New Years Day — in 2015.

London’s Telegraph asks if an increase in heavy truck traffic in the UK is responsible for an unexpected decrease in bike ridership. Not bloody likely, to use the vernacular.

More spending on bicycling would show Britain is serious about increasing ridership.

Two Afghan cyclists on a round the world journey stop in New York to tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their country is tired of war and violence, before setting out across the US for Los Angeles.

An Aussie writer asks motorists to remember the driver who killed his 75-year old bike-riding uncle, showing rare understanding and sympathy for the inevitable impact it had on the man responsible.

 

Finally…

Forget self-driving cars; the next thing is Google’s interactive Levi bike jacket. Nothing like putting a billboard in the middle of a bike lane.

And the next time you’re in San Diego, a bronzed Bill Walton and his bike will be waiting to greet you on the shores of Mission Bay.

 

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