Tag Archive for collateral damage

Man riding bicycle killed by suspected car thief in Irwindale crash, collateral damage in police chase

Collateral damage.

A man is dead because a suspected car thief fled from police in Iwindale, slamming into the victim as he rode his bike, even after the cops wisely gave up the chase.

You know, just another “oopsie.”

The victim was riding near Arrow Highway and Rivergrade Road shortly after 8:30 pm yesterday when he was struck by the fleeing driver.

He died at the scene.

He was identified as 50-year old San Gabriel resident Raul Castaneda.

Police arrested 29-year old Hanford, California resident Jonathon Del Carmen Calixto on suspicion of murder, among other charges.

The indent began when police in El Monte received a report of someone stealing a vehicle from Longo Toyota on Peck Road. They began to chase the suspect, but called it off after about a minute.

Calixto continued to flee, apparently at high speed, before crashing into the victim less than six miles away.

He was arrested while attempting to escape on foot after abandoning the vehicle some distance away.

There’s no way to know if the victim would be alive today if police had simply attempted to track the vehicle from the start, rather than initiating a dangerous chase.

But it might be worth trying next time.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of already this year in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raul Castaneda and all his loved ones.

Update: Innocent bike rider becomes collateral damage in South LA police chase; victim identified as Colombian man

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

We’ve seen a number of police chases in recent years that resulted in close calls with people riding bicycles, with riders nearly struck by fleeing drivers.

Now you can remove “nearly” from that statement.

According to multiple sources, a man was killed while riding his bike in South LA Wednesday morning, collateral damage to a burglary suspect attempting to speed away from pursuing cops.

The incident began when the suspect allegedly tried to break into a vehicle near East 48th and Central Streets in South LA, and attempted to flee in his car with the owner of the vehicle in close pursuit.

The LAPD took over the chase near 48th Street and Central Ave, pursuing the suspect through several area streets before he slammed into the victim at 46th and Hopper Ave around 6:12 am, while reportedly driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was sent flying through the air, landing next to his badly damaged bicycle. A witness description suggests that he likely died instantly upon impact.

The driver lost control after the crash, smashing into eight other vehicles before rolling his car, coming to rest upside down in the street. He reportedly attempted to flee on foot before being taken into custody.

He will likely face yet to be determined felony charges, according to police.

One of which should be murder.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

And yet another tragic reminder of the dangers police chases pose to innocent bystanders.

Update: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Colombian native Jose David Monsalve Rojas

According to KTLA-5, 

A GoFundMe page set up by loved ones describes Monsalve Rojas as a father of five who left Colombia in search of a better life and had a dream, they said, of curing his daughter’s liver disease.

“Imagine, a regular morning now turned into a day we’ll never forget,” the campaign organizer wrote. “David touched lives in ways that words can barely capture. A soul so deeply devoted to his children.”

So far, the crowdfunding page has raised less than $700 of the modest $5,000 goal. 

Meanwhile, the speeding driver who struck Rojas with her Chevrolet Suburban SUV was ID’d as 23-year old Germaine Smith.

Smith is being held on $327,000 bond after being booked for felony evading causing death, as well as additional outstanding warrants,

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Traffic Group Detectives at 213/486-0690; information can be provided anonymously online or by calling 800/222-8477.

My deepest sympathy for Jose David Monsalve Rojas and all his loved ones. 

Update: Bike-riding mom killed Sunday in apparent collateral damage crash in Lake Forest

This news from this past weekend just keeps getting worse.

Longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin has forwarded news that a woman was killed while riding her bike in Lake Forest Sunday morning, apparently the victim of an out-of-control driver.

While the initial reports appeared on Nextdoor, which is not always the most reliable source, the Orange County Sheriff’s department confirms a crash occurred just before 8 am on El Toro Road at Normandale Drive.

Sellin confirmed with Lake Forest officials that the victim of the crash was killed.

Meanwhile, a woman identifying herself as the victim’s daughter reports that the crash occurred when a driver apparently lost control, jumping a curb and hitting a light pole on one side of the street, then ricocheting across the street to hit the victim before crashing into another light pole on the opposite side of the street.

All of which implies the driver may have been traveling at an extreme rate of speed, even given the irrational 55 mph speed limit on the roadway.

Photos from the scene taken from Nextdoor show the mangled bike resting on the sidewalk in front of the smashed pickup; Sellin reports the location of the victim’s body was marked in front of her bike.

There’s no word on the victim’s name or age, though we can surmise her last name from her daughter’s post.

A person identifying themselves as her neighbor reports the victim was a mother of three.

There has been nothing in the news yet, and no official confirmation from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols Lake Forest, or the Coroner’s office; unfortunately, the OC Coroner no longer posts death notices online.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim’s daughter has identified her as Sara Wheaton; sadly, she turned 49 the day she died. 

According to the daughter, Wheaton’s body was thrown 20 feet from her bike by the force of the impact. And neighbors who heard the crash don’t recall the sound of braking. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sara Wheaton and all her family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Bill Sellin for doing all the legwork and tracking down the information for this story. 

Baldwin Park gets grant for new mini-park, bike rider collateral damage in police chase, and Streets For All party tonight

It’s the antepenultimate weekend of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

No, trust me. Look it up.

I had to. 

Miss this one, and there’s just two more weekends to show your love to and for this site, while you help keep all the freshest bike news coming to your favorite screen every morning. And make yourself a hero to everyone who visits this site. 

Whether or not they know it. 

So let’s take a moment to thank the generous people who gave from the heart yesterday so you could read this today, like Ben F, Michael F, Domus Press, Stephen M, Patrick M and Kristoffer M. 

No relation, I should add, despite the abundance of Fs and Ms. 

So don’t wait.

Donate today via PayPal or Zelle. And keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way today, and every day. 

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Baldwin Park announced they’ve received a $761,000 grant from the San Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy to build a new mini-park on Maine Ave.

According to a press release from the city,

The Maine Avenue Mini-Park will join a series of new mini-parks along the soon-to-be-extended Big Dalton Wash Trail and the Susan Rubio Zocalo Park in Downtown Baldwin Park, which will come on-line over the next couple of years and promote public health, mental health, climate resilience and educational and employment opportunities for youth…

A bioswale, smart water irrigation system and stormwater capture improvements will ensure the sustainability of the mini-park. Additionally, its proximity to the San Fe Dam Recreation Area and the region’s extensive trail network support active transportation, furthering local and regional sustainability goals…

When completed, the park will include various passive and recreational amenities for the community, including 14 shade trees, an outdoor fitness area, shade structures, picnic tables, a grill, benches, accessible play equipment for kids and restrooms.

A spokesperson for the city suggests it will be great stopping point for bicyclists using the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

The park will be built using an additional $346,000 in matching funds from LA County Measure A. It’s expected to open to the public in 2024.

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A Koreatown bike rider was collateral damage in a police chase.

According to KTLA-5, the LAPD was in pursuit of the driver of a car that had been reported stolen, when the driver struck a bicyclist near South Beaudry Ave and West 2nd Street sometime around 9 am.

He continued without stopping, until crashing into several vehicles at 6th and Normandy, where he was taken into custody.

The bike-riding victim was treated by emergency personnel at the scene; no word on their condition or whether they were taken to a hospital.

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Streets For All is hosting their holiday fundraising party tonight in the Arts District in DTLA, with a recommended minimum $100 donation; donate here to RSVP.

You’re Invited

ICYMI: We’re having our big holiday party tomorrow!

Friday, December 9, 2022
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Private Residence
1855 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90021

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‘Tis the season.

The San Diego Padres surprised more than 125 2nd and 3rd graders with new bikes and helmets, as part of their Holiday Giving Tour. Which is nice, but still not enough to forgive them for beating the Dodgers in the NL Division Series.

A Victorville bike giveaway brought smiles to over 155 kids from 26 local elementary schools.

Kindhearted employees of a Green Bay, Wisconsin trucking company dipped into their own pockets to buy more than 35 bikes for local kids.

A South Carolina man has been repairing bikes to donate to kids for the holidays for the last 25 years.

Over a dozen kids from a Florida Boys and Girls Club received new bicycles, thanks to an annual program from a local car dealer.

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The California Transportation Commission — no, not Caltrans — is investing a billion bucks in boosting bicycling and walking with 93 projects targeted to low-income areas.

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No one who’s spent any amount of time on a university campus should be surprised that college administrators can’t manage to differentiate between safe, high-quality lithium-ion ebike batteries, and the fire-prone, secondhand junk ebike and scooter batteries.

So they just ban ebikes and e-scooters entirely.

https://twitter.com/BrooklynSpoke/status/1601072491551608832

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Gravel Bike California grinds to the highest point in the City of Angels, at a whopping 5,079 ft.

Which sounds impressive, unless you’re from Colorado, like me.

But still.

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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 report from the uncomprehending National Transportation Safety Board, aka NTSB, incomprehensibly blames the victims for the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists outside Las Vegas last year, for the crime of riding their bikes in the right lane of the highway. In other words, exactly where they were supposed to be. Las Vegas hospitals are about to be overrun with facepalm injuries.

No bias here, either. A Buffalo, New York letter writer complains that instead of blaming unsafe roadways, we should blame “the ever-increasing stupidity of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers” and the “idiots walking and biking.”

Or here. A New Jersey columnist compares mandatory bike helmets to seat belts, saying he can’t understand why bike advocates would be against a helmet law, while ignoring the reasons advocates gave to opposite it. He also compares that opposition to bike helmets to opposition to motorcycle helmet laws, even they were opposed for diametrically differing reasons.

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

A British court dropped the charges against a road raging, 68-year old former Olympian, who called a woman fat and blind in an expletive-laden tirade, and reached into her car as she begged him not to hit her, all because she cut his bicycle off in traffic; the case was dismissed due to his PTSD resulting from an earlier crash.

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Local 

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes about LA’s outgoing Climate Mayor, who’s leaving the city’s broken sidewalks just as bad as when he found them, if not worse — thanks in part to his habit of getting distracted by shiny objects like a potential presidential run that never launched, and a nomination to be ambassador to India that crashed and burned. Eric Garcetti could have been a good mayor, if he had actually been interested in doing it.

Long Beach will give a Complete Streets makeover to Studebaker Road on the city’s east side, including a protected bike lane and other safety features between Los Coyotes Diagonal and Second Street.

 

State 

A 44-year old man was seriously injured in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood Thursday evening, when his bike was left-crossed by a pickup driver while allegedly riding in a crosswalk against the Don’t Walk signal. Although once again, it depends on whether there were independent witnesses to the crash, or if police are relying on the driver who hit him.

A Paso Robles woman faces six years behind bars for pleading guilty to DUI after crashing into several parked cars while driving with a blood alcohol content of .30 — three and a half times the legal limit. She apparently hadn’t learned her lesson about drinking and driving, despite receiving an early release from prison for a ten-year sentence for the drunken, hit-and-run death of a bike-riding Cal Poly student in 2017. If there were any justice, she’d have to serve the remainder of her original sentence, consecutively with the new term.

 

National

Jalopnik reviews the updated version of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes popular RadRunner e-cargo bike, which remains perhaps the most affordable electric cargo bike on the market, at $1,499 — and likes it. However, the positive reviews weren’t enough to prevent the company from moving forward with yet another round of layoffs.

Speaking of the five bicyclists killed by the meth-fueled truck driver outside Las Vegas last year, plans are in the works for a permanent ghost bike built for five at the trailhead of the nearby Red Rock Legacy Trail.

Life is cheap in Texas, where a then-18-year old driver walked without a single day behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a man on a bicycle in 2017. Five years is too damn long to wait for justice, and still not receive it.

A Chicago paper talks with the area’s Tandem Society, about the dual joys of riding two by two.

Chicago will vote on a proposal to allow the towing of vehicles parked in bike lanes, six months after a toddler was killed when her mom’s bike was clipped by a truck driver after she was forced to swerve around a blocked bike lane.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver will spend a lousy two months behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with a serious head injury. Both crimes alone — hitting the bike rider and fleeing the scene — call for a hell of a lot longer sentence. Let alone together. 

A New York man lives a committed minimalist lifestyle, carrying all of his belongings on his bike. Which is another way of saying he’s homeless by choice.

A writer for Streetsblog says New York’s proposed bounty for reporting vehicles blocking bike lanes means you could earn a six-figure income without leaving your neighborhood. Passing a proposal like that in Los Angeles could result in a second California gold rush.

Kindhearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputies gave a 57-year old woman a new bike, after someone stole the one a neighbor had given her after realizing she’d been walking four miles each way to work every day for the past six years.

 

International

Apparently, you can make an illegal U-turn while driving on the wrong side of the road, killing a British motorcyclist, then flee to the US under the cover of diplomatic immunity, and still walk without a single damn day behind bars, like the wife of an American diplomat/spy did in the death of 19-year old Harry Dunn.

An English bike rider blasts a seaside bike path, claiming it’s covered in debris and prone to flooding, while suggesting bike riders would be better off on the nearby sidewalk.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver walked without a day behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man barely conscious and struggling to breathe; he later told investigators he thought he hit a traffic cone. Trust me, if anyone runs me down, they’re going to hear enough choice words to know exactly what they hit.

Nice. Dublin, Ireland opened a new community bike hub, providing free use of adaptive bikes for people with disabilities or mobility issues, a project to repair old and unused bikes to donate to community members, and bike repair and safe bicycling courses for kids.

 

Finally…

Your next favorite video game could center on a bike road trip adventure. And that feeling when you open the Ringling Trail bikeway, but the only clowns are passing motorists.

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

Which is now over.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Man killed in South LA shooting and bike-riding 8-year old girl shot, and Bonin faces another right wing recall effort

There’s a special place in hell for whoever fatally shot a 22-year-old man in South LA Tuesday night — and also shot an eight-year old girl as she was apparently riding past on her bicycle.

Unfortunately, we seem to be going back to the bad old days when shootings were an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, just like traffic collisions.

And just like traffic violence, innocent people are too often collateral damage. Like an eight-year old girl, who fortunately is expected to survive.

And just like traffic violence, it’s a problem that can be solved, if we all just care enough to do something about it.

Which sadly seems like a very big if these days.

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Bike and pedestrian friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin is just the latest LA official targeted by a recall petition.

And not for the first time.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1404858096426487814

Despite Bonin’s overwhelming popularity, winning 71% of the vote in the 11th Council District in 2017, he has been repeatedly targeted by conservatives who hate his policies, but haven’t been able to beat him at the ballot box.

Whether this latest recall attempt is a genuine effort to get him out of office, or just an attempt to harass and distract him, it seems like a remarkable waste of time and money for someone who will be up for re-election in less than a year.

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No hypocrisy here.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz says hardly anyone uses the bike lanes in his Westside district.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Koretz repeatedly blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other major streets in his district, though.

Could it?

People might be more likely to use them if they were safer and provided more separation from the Westside’s high speed traffic, legal and otherwise.

And if they connected with other safe bike lane in an actual network that could be used to travel throughout the district, rather than a handful of disconnected bike lanes that unexpectedly end, forcing riders to fight their way through heavy traffic.

A failure of planning that can be laid directly at Koretz’s feet, who is clearly all in favor of building bike lanes.

In someone else’s district.

Correction: Call it a poor word choice on my part. The failure was not one of planning, as former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery pointed out in the comments yesterday

I’d like to take issue with your use of the word “planning” in respect to the lack of bikeways on the Westside. It is not “a failure of planning” that the Westside does not have a sufficient bikeway network. What the Westside does not have is enough political will. The planning was done, the funding was available for implementation, and the projects were all blocked by the NIMBYs and sitting elected officials.

She’s right.

I should have known better, because I remember those losing battles all too well. My apologies for unintentionally placing the blame where it doesn’t belong. 

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

A Michigan bike rider was the latest victim of a driveby paintball shooting, which is a lot less harmless than it might seem.

No bias here. An op-ed in the New York Daily News says “ebike blood” is on the hands of New York’s progressive city council for the crime of finally making it legal to ride an ebike or e-scooter in the city. Then goes on to lump both together, without noting that the injuries and deaths he cites could just as easily have happened with regular bikes or skateboards.

Speaking of which, there’s tragic news from New York, where 65-year old actress Lisa Banes died over a week after she was struck by a hit-and-run rider on an e-scooter.

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

A San Francisco man rode his bicycle into a drugstore, dumped a shelf-full of merchandise into a garbage bag, then casually rode his bike out the door.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s Coast News Group visits North County’s bicycle-themed Rouleur Brewing Company.

SF Gate recommends everything you need to start commuting by bike. Except for the actual, you know, bicycle.

Once again, the bike rider gets the blame, after a 69-year old Sonoma woman suffered major injuries when she allegedly rode her bicycle into the path of a motorist. Which is hard to imagine, since she was riding west and was struck by a driver headed east on the same road; as always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to corroborate the driver’s story.

Another tempting road bike route from Sacramento Magazine.

 

National

How to stop that dreaded tubular tire shimmy. Besides riding clinchers, that is.

Don’t ask me to explain the science. But studies confirm that wider road bike tires are faster than skinnier tires. Thanks to Austin Brown, aka Power Lama, for the link.

Cycling News offers advice on where to buy ebikes, which are in unexpectedly short supply these days.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of self-described old fogies, whose ages match the mid-70° Kansas weather, has been meeting for weekly rides for the last ten years, rain, snow or shine.

Twenty-year old Dutch IndyCar racer Rinus VeeKay will miss this weekend’s race in Wisconsin after breaking his clavicle crashing his bicycle on a training ride.

A Cape Cod woman says she may not have a view of the water, but she’s just as happy living next to a bike path.

Good news for Sheldon Brown fans, as the popular bicycle repair website penned by the late bike mechanic will live on, despite the closure of the Boston bike shop where he worked.

Once again, a driver is somehow unable to avoid crashing into a group of bike riders, as one person was killed and another wounded when the driver smashed into a group of four people riding bicycles in Syracuse NY. And once again, fled the scene, leaving his or her victims bleeding in the street.

A helmetless woman died after falling off her bike on a bike path in a Bronx park. Yet another tragic reminder that slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Bikes are still booming in Gotham, where ridership on bridges over the East River are still above pre-pandemic levels.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is one of us, riding his bike to a New York comedy club where he wasn’t planning to perform. But did anyway.

A New Orleans letter writer says he’s never seen a single bike rider obey basic traffic laws in 30 years. Which likely says a lot more about his powers of observation than it does the people on bikes.

No pun here, as a Miami paper says the city is driving to become more bicycle friendly, when it’s all that driving that made and keeps it unfriendly. But it’s interesting that they included Santa Monica, along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as their examples of bike and pedestrian friendly cities.

A grateful Florida man gets to thank the Florida paramedics who saved his life, despite suffering 47 broken bones when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could warn you in advance about a pending dooring.

A tech website says the world’s obsession with e-cars is impeding the race to net zero, and that more active transportation is needed, instead. Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

An Edinburgh, Scotland man says buying an adult tricycle was the best move he made during the pandemic.

Presenting the first belt-drive ebike capable of going 28 mph, from Dutch bikemaker Gazelle. A speed that requires a helmet here in the late, great Golden State, and can’t be legally ridden on a bike path.

The shortage or bikes and parts driven by the pandemic bike boom isn’t likely to be helped by a two week closure of Shimano’s Malaysia plant due to a government shutdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News suggests ten riders to watch in the men’s 2021 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend. Then tops that with eleven riders to watch on the women’s side.

Popular American cyclist Tejay van Garderen is calling it a career after this weekend’s nationals.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — If you’re carrying meth and weed on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Valet your bike at the College World Series.

And that feeling when there’s no sensible way to mount a bike rack on your supercar.

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

Weekend Links: Venice bike rider accidently shot by LAPD officer, and Westwood Greenway in the works

You’ve got to be kidding.

A woman was shot while riding her bicycle on the bike path in Venice beach because a cop forgot one of the most basic guidelines for use of force.

Make sure there are no innocent people in the line of fire.

According to multiple sources, LAPD mounted officers had approached a group of transients when one woman became angry, causing her pit bull to become agitated and bite one of the officers on the hand. He responded by shooting the dog, killing it.

Unfortunately, he failed to make sure there was no one else in the way. The bullet passed through the dog and struck a tourist in the calf as she passed by on her bike.

The good news is, she remained conscious and appeared to be okay as she was wheeled into an ambulance.

And she can expect a pretty big check from the city in the not too distant future.

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A sign went up Friday announcing the coming of the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway, which will follow long-wasted space along the Expo Line between Westwood Blvd and Overland. When finished, it will include a bikeway and pedestrian walkway on the south side, with another walkway on the north side.

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Local

LADOT unveiled their latest Venice bike corral on West Washington Blvd.

The first segment of the Rail to Rail/River trail connecting Inglewood with the LA River is scheduled to open in 2019.

The second location of Pittsburgh’s Banker Supply bike shop opens in Echo Park, designed to cater to people who ask “why am I driving?”

Pasadena will get bikeshare next summer; the question is whether the city will be ready for it.

Lucas Guidroz is expected to be sentenced to 10 year behind bars next week for the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist, musician and math teacher Rod Bennett on Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita.

The LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride this Sunday, with an easy to moderate 16-mile loop from Highland Park to The Wheelhouse in DTLA. Thanks to Pedro Avalos for the heads-up.

 

State

Caltrans is asking for local bike and pedestrian count data to determine where improvements are needed.

Orange County’s Revolution Bike Fest kicked off yesterday, offering three days of bikes, music, beer, food and other spectator-friendly activities.

The nine-year old Murietta boy injured in yesterday’s hit-and-run is recovering after being knocked unconscious on the collision; he reportedly was released from the hospital with bumps and bruises.

The Camarillo Acorn talks with pro triathlete Jordan Rapp about his 51st place finish in Ironman World Championship, six years after he nearly died in a hit-and-run.

Bicycling collisions dropped by more than half in Hanford after police cracked down on bicyclists and visited schools to discuss bike safety; police in the wider Kings County area blame riders for eight of the nine collisions involving cyclists this year. Evidently, drivers there are nearly perfect, at least in the eyes of the local police.

Who was that flannelled man? A man in red flannel is credited with stopping someone from stealing a bike off a San Francisco bus.

A young man’s body was found buried on the campus of Sonoma State University recently, after he disappeared upon leaving his home for a bike ride last month.

Secure bike lockers will be available when the new Sonoma-Marin rail system begins operations next year, though bike advocates say it won’t be enough to meet demand.

Trial began on Friday for a Sacramento man facing 19 charges, including three counts of attempted murder, for running down three bike riders during an alleged meth-fueled rampage.

 

National

Protect your eyes. A new Johns Hopkins study shows female bike riders are more likely to suffer eye injuries than women participating in other sports.

Evidently accepting his inevitable defeat in Tuesday’s election, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes plans to ride in next year’s 2,745 mile Tour Divide.

Colorado puts its money where its mouth is, offering a total of $500,000 for ideas to stop the rise in bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

A Northwestern University professor is working on five bicycle dynamics projects, including eliminating the dreaded death wobble, and building a bike with rear wheel steering.

New York’s Mayor De Blasio says the city is fully funding Vision Zero efforts, but the numbers tell a different story.

Evidently, drivers in the Bronx are being terrorized by preteen bike riders.

 

International

CyclingTips looks at the rise of crowdfunding for bicycle projects, despite the cautionary tale of an Irish company that won’t ship its promised products or provide refunds.

A Toronto writer says drivers are horrible, but cyclists are the ones who scare her, and would it hurt you to wear orange and obey red lights?

The UK’s Trump-less version of The Apprentice tackles the crowdfunded bicycling industry.

Caught on video: A headphone-wearing British cyclist gets on the wrong busy expressway headed the wrong way, where bikes aren’t allowed anyway. So of course the kindhearted driver who says he was so worried about his safety tells him to just keep going.

A new British study finds that the handful of people willing to help a stranger after a fake bike accident are also more likely to help a stranger taking a survey. Apparently, though, the overwhelming majority of people just don’t give a damn.

Sorry Amsterdam scooter riders, your snorfietsen have been banned from the bike paths.

 

Finally…

All it takes is a little toilet paper to keep fresh tar off your tires. Your next track bike could be a steal at just $26,000.

And if you’re going to steal a bike, try not to take it from a champion cross country runner.

 

Morning Links: Problems with Vision Zero, fallen Loma Linda cyclist hits hard, and a pedal-sparked forest fire

Co.Exist offers a good look at the problems in implementing Vision Zero, saying cities have to get bolder if it’s going to be more than just the latest trend.

What’s missing, according to the article, is the funding and political will to make the changes necessary to reduce, if not eliminate, traffic deaths. Along with the determination to overrule NIMBY opposition.

Which so far at least, sums up Los Angeles in a nutshell.

As they point out, the city just finished a series of outreach meetings to get input from advocates and neighborhood groups already working on safety issues.

But we’ve yet to see decisive leadership from the mayor office, or any hint of a backbone from the city council or LADOT. Let alone the funding to pay for the changes that will be necessary on our streets if they’re serious about eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, as they claim.

So we’ll have to see what comes out of that.

But without a major commitment from city leaders, the chances of Vision Zero succeeding here in LA are pretty much zero.

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Both KNBC-4 and KCBS-2 report on the collateral damage death of cyclist Randy Stephenson, who was killed by a domestic violence suspect trying to flee police in Loma Linda.

According to KNBC-4, the chase only lasted a few seconds, as Eric Tafoya drove in the bike lane in an attempt to avoid heavy traffic; Stephenson’s friend suggests sheriff’s deputies should have just let him go and made the arrest at a later date.

Meanwhile, friends describe Stephenson to KCBS-2 as funny, outgoing and a super nice guy, who loved working on his bike and hanging out at his local bike shop.

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Bicycles hardly ever cause fires.

But the recent Rock Creek Fire in the Inyo National forrest appears to be the exception, as the Forrest Service has traced the ignition point back to a mountain bike pedal striking a rock.

So either put rubberized pedals on your mountain bike, or keep a safe distance from rocks until we get a little more rain.

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VeloNews recaps stage four of the Vuelta. What all four stage winners have in common so far is that none of them are among the expected leaders. However, American Andrew Talansky is confident he can finish in the top 10.

The former head of British Cycling credits the Japanese concept of kaizen for the country’s Olympic success; the philosophy of continuous improvement through small gains helped Japan rebuild after WWII.

Two more amateur masters racers have been caught doping. No, seriously.

………

Local

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez talks with the former state senate leader who led a 1972 bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego to help preserve the California coast; 89-year old Jim Mills still has the yellow Schwinn Super Sport he rode.

KCET looks at plans to complete the missing links in the LA River bike path though the San Fernando Valley to create a single continuous pathway from Canoga Park to the Elysian Valley, and profiles the firms hired to design the path and determine its feasibility.

CiclaValley says Pt. Magu State Park is the perfect spot for your first gravel ride.

Time Out Los Angeles considers whether it’s legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in LA. Short answer, yes in LA; no in the county, maybe, or maybe not, everywhere else.

Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — is having a pop-up sale at their Burbank headquarters this Saturday.

Questions surround a planned bikeway along the San Gabriel River in Baldwin Park after the city council approved spending up to $120,000 without further council approval, and the city hired an Oregon firm accused of bribery, against the recommendation of the city’s then-Public Works Director.

The Santa Clarita Valley has seen four serious hit-and-runs resulting in injury or death in the last three months, starting with the death of music teacher Rob Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon last May; the driver in that case faces charges for manslaughter, DUI and fleeing the scene.

 

State

Orange County Transportation Authority approves a $1.11 million bicycle corridor in Garden Grove.

Good news, as a San Clemente mountain biker has regained the use of his legs after falling 300 feet off the Telonics trail last April.

A Palm Springs bike rider is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup. Although the local TV station seemed more concerned about the effect it had on local traffic.

A bike bridge called the crown jewel of a San Francisco bicycle safety project that enables cyclists to bypass a complicated freeway interchange has now become a homeless encampment.

Already two years behind schedule, the bike lane on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge is still a path to nowhere, with completion of the section leading to Yerba Buena Island now delayed until October.

Bicycling relates the tale of two San Francisco cyclists who engaged in a slow-speed bike chase to retrieve a stolen bicycle and tackle the thief before police arrived.

Security cameras will be installed on bike paths around the Chico State campus to improve safety for students.

 

National

Portland officials are planning to use lottery funds to build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over a busy freeway.

Evidently, you can kill someone in Idaho while not paying attention to the road, with the sun in your eyes, and reaching down for something on the seat next to you, and it’s still just a misdemeanor if you didn’t do it on purpose. If we ever hope to end traffic deaths, our legal system has to take the careless killing of another human being seriously.

A 12-year old Montana girl fought city hall for two years to get a guard rail installed on a bike path to protect riders from a steep drop off.

DNA tests confirm it was a 20-year old grizzly bear who killed a mountain biker last June after he and a companion evidently surprised the bear as they rode on a trail near Glacier National Park.

Life is cheap in Iowa, as a woman gets two years probation, despite fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in a pouring rainstorm. Yes, probation, without a single day behind bars, despite leaving her victim to die in the street.

No bias here. A bike rider gets the blame when a Missouri school bus driver goes off the road to avoid oncoming traffic that was passing the cyclist. Evidently, it’s impossible for drivers to wait until it’s safe to pass, let alone slow down or put on the brakes.

Who says you can’t build bikes in the US? A new high volume bike manufacturer opens in Little Rock, Arkansas to build carbon-frame bicycles.

A Minneapolis bike commuter complains about rude cyclists in spandex, accusing them of patriarchal sexism and male entitlement. And not looking awesome in those shorts. Or maybe it’s possible that some people are just assholes sometimes, whether on two wheels or four.

An Indiana family of seven takes in their son’s best friend after his mother was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle.

New York police actively discourage a bike rider from filing a police report, despite witnessing her being assaulted by an Uber driver.

A bike-riding, 80-year old woman living on the streets of DC told everyone the government owed her $100,000. And finally proved it.

A Savannah GA writer complains about the attitude that bicycle safety improvements have to be earned through good behavior by cyclists, a standard that is never applied to motorists. I’d love to see officials say no more freeways until drivers stop speeding and start signaling their turns and lane changes. Or maybe just no more freeways, period.

 

International

An off-duty Halifax police officer is being called a hero after helping save the life of bike rider following a hit-and-run.

A letter writer in the UK complains that the real problem with bikeshare is that it’s too expensive, no one wears helmets, and everyone except him rides like a jerk.

A British man faces charges after allegedly driving across the road and onto the sidewalk to assault a man who was riding on a bike path and smash his bicycle; bizarrely, a couple of men stopped to intervene during the attack, but drove off after seeing the victim was okay.

One man’s bike shop is popularizing bicycling in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

 

Finally…

You could be the proud owner of a bicycle formerly ridden by Sir Edmund Hillary for the equivalent of just $182. If you’re carrying meth on your bike and already have two outstanding warrants, put a damn light on it.

And probably not the best idea to ride a bicycle home with a fishing hook still caught in your penis.

 

Update: Chula Vista bike rider killed by drunk driver in stolen car

A drunk driver. A stolen car. A dead cyclist.

A San Diego area bike rider has lost his life at the hands of a criminal apparently too drunk to control the car he stole.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 29-year old Michael Reyes was traveling westbound on Chula Vista’s East J Street at Dennis Avenue around 4:15 pm Monday when he somehow crossed into oncoming traffic. He hit cyclist head-on before crossing over the sidewalk and crashing into a utility pole.

Reyes allegedly admitted to the police that he had been drinking, and that the silver Nissan Maxima  he was driving had been stolen earlier that afternoon. Inside the car, police found property that appeared to come from other car burglaries.

The 44-year old bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center where he died.

There was nothing the victim could have done to avoid the collision. He does not appear to have done anything to contribute in any way to his own death, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, sharing the same planet with a drunk on a crime spree.

If there is any justice, his killer won’t be back behind the wheel of any car, stolen or otherwise, for a very long time.

This is the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Diego County. This is also the fourth cyclist killed in Chula Vista since 2012.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Chula Vista resident David Voight. According to San Diego’s 10News, Voight was a regular bike commuter, and was just eight blocks from his home when he was killed. 

A close call in DTLA, a biking Hollywood producer gets left off the bus, and get your kicks on Route 66 next Sunday

It could have been so much worse.

Friday night, a high speed chase ended with a dramatic crash at Olympic Blvd and Los Angeles Street in Downtown LA, followed by police fatally shooting the driver for reasons that have yet to be explained.

And all just steps away from a group of bike riders who were nearly collateral damage in the crash, and had a front row seat for everything that followed.

Take a look at the link below — for some reason, I can’t embed the video — and watch carefully just above the geyser where the other car takes out the fire hydrant. (Hint — click on the full screen option for a better view.) You’ll see three bike riders who can count their lucky stars as both cars spun out on either side of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbDwKspYgiU

Looks like some of the angels this city is named for were looking out for them. Ether that, or they need to buy some lottery tickets for Tuesday’s drawing, because they had to be some of the luckiest people on two wheels.

Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up, who says a friend of his was one of those lucky riders.

………

You might be surprised who rides a bike. Or takes it on the bus.

When they can, that is.

It’s been a long-time problem that bike riders can be left stranded on the streets when the two bike racks on the front of Metro buses are full — including a woman who was forced to ride home alone at 4 am on New Years morning a few years back when she wasn’t allowed to take her bike on the bus.

TV producer Michael Binkow gets it.

Despite achieving a level of success that allows many of his peers to travel by limo or luxury car, he chooses to ride his bike to worksites throughout the city. And combine that journey with taking a Metro bus to get through some of the more challenging sections.

Except when full racks leave him stranded on the side of the road, waiting for bus after bus to pass by until one finally has an open space for his bike — even when there’s room for both him and his bike inside.

Here’s an email he sent to Metro on Friday, and cc’d me on.

Dear Ms. Johnson,

My name is Michael Binkow and I’ve been a resident of Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks) for the past 32 years.  I’m a television producer (“Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” “1 vs 100,” “Container Wars,” etc.) so my work takes me to various parts of the city.  I’m now in Santa Monica and riding a bike to and from work most everyday.  With (the end of) Daylight Savings Time and ongoing construction on northbound Sepulveda Boulevard through the Sepulveda pass (and no bike lane), I’ve been riding the bus for 3 miles from Church Lane or Getty Center to Skirball Center to continue my ride home.

Here’s the issue—if there are two bicycles on the front of a bus, I’m stuck.  Drivers are “not allowed” to let me on and sometimes I must wait for several buses to pass before there’s an open slot.  By then of course it’s dark and even more dangerous to ride.  I’ve heard it’s a liability issue with potential injury to other passengers.  This is just fair.  One possible solution:  leave it to the driver’s discretion.  If there’s room on the bus and the bike won’t affect other passengers, let us on.  If the bus is too crowded and there’s not enough room, so be it, we’ll have to wait for the next one.

It’s obviously frustrating that those of us trying to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce auto traffic and take advantage of public transportation are discriminated against.

Please do what you can to revise this current policy.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Michael Binkow

………

My friends Jon Riddle and Sarah Amelar, authors of Where To Bike Los Angeles, have been hosting a series of rides around the city and nearby environs in conjunction with the LACBC.

Their next ride will explore the legendary Route 66 that reaches its terminus right here in the City of Angels. Or more precisely, in Santa Monica, despite what the song says.

Route 66

When:   Sunday, December 22, 2013

Time:    Meet at 8:30am; ride at 9:00am

Where: Union Station in downtown Los Angeles

Meet in the garden courtyard on the south side of the main concourse of Union Station. Here’s the map.

Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, Main Street of America, or the Will Rogers Highway, is one of our Nation’s first interstate highways. Opened in 1926, it rolls west from Chicago. In our end of the country, it passes through Azusa, Pasadena, downtown L. A., and on to its unofficial terminus at the Pier in Santa Monica. On this tour, we’ll experience a bit of this historic highway by following a bike friendly version of Route 66 (the current official route is on the 101 Freeway from downtown to Hollywood) from Union Station west on Sunset Boulevard, then Fountain Avenue, then Santa Monica Boulevard and a few side streets to the ocean. Along the way, we’ll ride down holiday decorated streets in Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. After a short break at the Pier, we’ll meander back to downtown on Main Street, Abbot Kenney, Venice Boulevard, and another Main Street.

Ride Length: 40 miles.

Ride Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours, including stops.

Difficulty: Recommended for intermediate-level riders, aged 16 and up. We’ll be riding on city streets, sometimes in bike lanes and sometimes on bike friendly streets marked with sharrows. Bottom line: be prepared for riding around automobiles on the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Hardly any climbing.

Weather Policy: Torrential rain, snow, earthquake or fierce wind cancels the outing. Otherwise, we ride.

What to bring: A road-worthy bike, extra inner tubes, a patch kit and pump, plenty of drinking water, a pocket snack (such as an energy bar, banana or trail mix), a helmet, proper clothing, and money for refueling at random espresso bars and for post-ride refreshments.

Parking: There’s plenty of inexpensive parking not far from Union Station in Chinatown. Or, save gas and parking coin—ride a Metro train or a bus to the station.

RSVP: Strongly encouraged, via wheretobikela@gmail.com, so we can send you last-minute advisories, particularly about weather.

………

Finally, there’s still time to get into the spirit of the season — assuming you read this before Sunday evening — with the LACBC’s annual Larchmont Holiday Caroling Bike Ride.

 

Bike hate and road rage rear their ugly heads in San Diego County, leaving one rider seriously injured

Photo by @bikeSD

Photo from Sam Ollinger of BikeSD.com

Some people don’t even try to hide their willingness — if not desire — to kill you for getting in their way.

Bike San Diego reports coming across a frightening sign on the side of the road saying it’s better to run over a cyclist than risk a head-on collision by going around one.

I think the writer misunderstands the basic concept of sharing the road. It does not mean that bike riders have to get the hell out of the way, despite what some impatient drivers might suggest.

And unless you’re a total ass behind the wheel, hell-bent on getting where you’re going as fast as humanly possible regardless of the cost, it is in fact possible to wait patiently until it’s safe to pass, and avoid the risk of collision altogether.

The writer also makes it clear that he — I’m assuming, perhaps erroneously, that such a hate-filled colossal pile of human waste capable of writing something like this must be a he — couldn’t care less about the person on that bike if it’s in his way.

On the other hand, he very carefully avoids crossing the line by actually inciting violence. The sign is on private property, and as offensive as it is, the writer has a First Amendment right to express his highly objectionable opinion as long as he doesn’t actually encourage drivers to run cyclists over.

On the other hand, if he even so much as bumps the wheel of a bike, this sign could offer proof of criminal intent.

For the rest of his life.

………

A San Diego cyclist was nearly killed in a collateral damage collision between two road raging drivers on Saturday.

The drivers were reportedly jockeying for position where two travel lanes merged into a single lane on State Route 67 in Poway. The vehicles sideswiped one another, causing the pickup in the right lane to swerve into the rider, who was taking part in the Pedal the Cause ride to raise funds for cancer research.

Both drivers left the scene; frighteningly, the driver of the pickup reportedly had no idea he hit her.

The victim was hospitalized with major injuries, including broken bones; doctors said her helmet saved her life. Personally, I’d blame a couple of dangerously aggressive jerks for nearly taking it, instead.

And that’s the difference between the risks posed by cyclists and drivers, which so many bike-hating motorists don’t seem to get.

Even the most aggressive cyclist is a danger primarily to him or herself, while aggressive drivers are a danger to everyone around them.

Update: According to San Diego’s NBC-7, the 38-year old victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding in a marked bike lane when the collision occurred; her injuries are described as severe but not life threatening. 

The two drivers are both 50-year old men, which is certainly old enough to know better. 

And speaking of knowing better, NBC-7 should know than a collision that results from the intentional act of two drivers each refusing to yield to the other may be many things. But it is no more an accident than if they had used guns rather than motor vehicles to settle their dispute.

………

Despite a state law requiring bike helmets for anyone under 18, only 11% of LA children injured while riding a bike were wearing theirs. Children over 12, minority children and children from low income families are least likely to wear one.

………

Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 9th at 4 pm when The Long Bike Back screens at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood as part of the All Sports Film Festival.

The new film traces the recovery and cross country ride of a cyclist seriously injured in a bicycling collision.

Pearson Constantino was preparing to fulfill his lifelong dream of bicycling across the United States when he was hit from behind by an SUV.  Despite his helmet, Pearson suffered serious injuries including a shattered femur, a crushed vertebra, and head trauma.

The Long Bike Back follows his recovery and his exciting bike ride across America with his brother Pete advocating for safer roads and reminding people of the joy of riding a bicycle.

Pearson and Pete’s cross-country journey covers the length of historic US Route 20.  Along the way, Pearson encounters many unexpected challenges including record high temperatures, flooding, food poisoning, inhospitable drivers, poor road conditions, crashes, detours, flat tires, and new injuries which inspire him to recommit to what matters most.

………

A writer for the Times suggests licensing bike riders, but acknowledges it might not make a bit of difference. You’re invited to ride Central Avenue this Sunday. The 7th Street bike lanes are being extended from Figueroa to Main St, hopefully taming what has long been one of the most dangerous streets I regularly ride. Rick Risemberg joins about a hundred other riders to plead for bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and calls out “Uncle Tom” LaBonge for betraying the bicyclists he claims to support. The Eagle Rock community celebrates the new Colorado Blvd, though the comments suggest not every community member does. An Atwater Village advocate complains about last minute attempts to add bike lanes and sidewalks to the proposed Hyperion-Glendale bridge makeover, failing to note they were included in the 2010 bike plan; Streetsblog’s Damien Newton counts 45 speakers against the proposed plans for a highway speed makeover at tonight’s meeting, and only 3 in favor. The Biking Grey Hole of Beverly Hills asks a somewhat biased question about bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica will host a bike expo next to the pier next May. You can now call them Santa Monica’s award-winning Ocean Park green bike lanes. SoCalCycling offers results from Sunday’s Krosstoberfest along with photos from Saturday’s Spooky Cross; CLR Effect offers more great photos. South Pas prioritizes sidewalks over bike lanes. Best wishes to Seth at Cycling in the South Bay, who hits the pavement hard in a gnarly 10-bike crash caught on video; he credits his helmet with preserving his brain matter. Corona del Mar hosted a Halloween costume ride over the weekend. The embattled Bike Nation bike share system lives on in Fullerton. There’s still time to attend the California Bike Summit in Oakland next month.

How to avoid bike-on-bike crashes; maybe the group Seth was riding with should have read this first. Well yeah, if you built a bike path next to it, maybe the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t be such a total ecological disaster after all. The late, great Lou Reed was one of us. A Portland man steals his stolen bike back, and helps bust a theft ring. No more excuses — bike-friendly Portland built their entire bikeway network for the price of a single mile of urban freeway; just imagine what all that money wasted on the much-maligned 405 makeover would buy. In yet another Portland story, a clown has his tall bike stolen, while people report someone approaching strangers trying to sell one for 20 bucks. Just heartbreaking: A 92-year old Chicago-area man was killed when his adult tricycle was hit by a speeding car. Security is increased after an Illinois bike rider threatens blue-eyed private school children. If you’re bicycling in Ohio, make sure you’re not riding recreationally if you want any protection under the law. Maybe it’s time to stop being polite when a law-breaking driver threatens your safety. Just heartbreaking 2: An 89-year old Florida man is killed in a left cross while riding his adult tricycle in a crosswalk. Bike lanes may reduce the frequency of collisions, but not their severity.

The effectiveness of pro cycling’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission depends on how far back they go; I doubt the golden, dope-free age of cycling we all fondly want to remember ever existed. British parents write about the loss of their bike-riding daughter. Maybe #space4cycling should be #space4people. How to stay cycle chic all winter; wouldn’t those shorts be cold, though? A Brit bike rider verbally — and physically — abuses a 12-year old girl after a minor collision; seriously, that’s taking general obnoxious jerkishness way too far. A writer for the Guardian says the lack of a women’s Tour de France keeps cycling in the dark ages. Video shows an Amsterdam cyclist nearly crushed by a tree felled by yesterday’s hurricane force winds. Just a slight disconnect here, as a New Deli writer complains about how dangerous it is for bike riders to commute to work in the city — like his driver, for instance. Katy Perry rides Down Under, sans skid lid; now that I think about it, I don’t recall if she was wearing one when I saw her riding with her ex on the South Bay bike path awhile back. Japanese bureaucracy is effectively banning biking to work.

Finally, the future meets the past with this new e-Penny Farthing. And there was a time when Malibu actually encouraged people to bike there; as the photo suggests, though, it was a long time ago. Thanks to Jen Klausner for the heads-up. 

Malibu Pro-Bike Cover