Tag Archive for dangerous cyclists

Morning Links: Gaimon says share this video when — not if — he gets killed, and putting risk from bikes in perspective

He gets it.

Then again, that shouldn’t come as any surprise.

In a must-watch video, former pro Phil Gaimon insists that we all get the story right when — not if — he gets killed by someone in a car.

He puts it this way in a video recently posted to his Worst Retirement Ever site.

Which is actually about the best worst retirement idea ever.

Make sure it says, ‘Some asshole was texting or going to fast and ran over Phil in his fucking car.’

Thank you.

Peter Flax offered a similar thought a few years ago, though perhaps not as amusingly.

Photo of Phil Gaimon rudely ripped from his website. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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This kind of puts things in perspective.

Although I may have to pick my cadence up a tad.

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London’s alleged Westminster Bridge terrorist is on trial, accused of deliberately steering towards bicyclists and pedestrians in an attack that killed six innocent people and injured another 49.

Which serves as yet another reminder that LA’s Hollywood Blvd is completely unprotected from a similar attack.

A risk that could be virtually eliminated with a barrier-protected bike lane on both sides of the boulevard, and converting the street in front of Hollywood & Highland and the Chinese Theater into a pedestrian plaza.

Unless city officials would rather wait until it’s too late, as usual.

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Today’s common theme is e-scooters.

A Chicago bike rider is suing the city’s e-scooter providers in an attempt to find the hit-and-run scooter rider who left him lying unresponsive in the street.

A Nashville op-ed says banning e-scooters won’t fix the city’s problems, but building infrastructure for them will.

No bias here. A Brooklyn writer calls for restrictions on ebikes and e-scooters to improve safety for pedestrians and the elderly. Even though they face far more danger from people in motor vehicles.

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

A road raging English man faces jail time after he was convicted of harassing a 17-year old boy, forcing him off the road, then getting out of his SUV and punching the kid in the face — all for the crime of pulling ahead of him on his mountain bike at a red light.

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Local

Writing for CityWatch, a former LA city planner says the problem with the mayor’s plan to fight climate change is it’s not really a plan.

Metro Bike is celebrating its third birthday with an RSVP party in DTLA on July 30th.

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with Areli Morales about her Oaxacan heritage, growing up in Venice, and her journey to becoming a bicycle and transportation advocate.

About damn time. Santa Monica approves plans for three miles of pathways that will separate bike riders from pedestrians along the beach. Now if we can just get Los Angeles and LA County to follow suit on their sections of the overly popular beachfront bike path.

 

State

The popular bike route through Camp Pendleton will be closed from July 15th through 19th as the Marines prepare to blow some shit up; riders will be allowed to use the shoulder of the 5 Freeway through the base, instead. Thanks to the OC Bike Coalition for the tip.

Bad news from San Diego, where a 27-year old BMX rider suffered a life-threatening brain injury after losing control on a descent.

One more reason to register your bike. Santa Cruz police are looking for the owner of a stolen Specialized mountain bike they recovered after busting a transient. But you have to be able to prove it’s yours.

Santa Clara County authorities have identified the 62-year old man who was killed in a San Jose hit-and-run while riding his bike last week; his alleged killer remains behind bars on $110,000 bail.

A San Francisco bike cop has made what friends call a miraculous recovery from a hit-and-run crash so bad paramedics initially thought he was dead, even if he’ll never return to his previous life; his near-killer is currently on trial for a lengthy list of felony charges.

 

National

Gear Patrol considers the best panniers for bike commuting.

A new online insurance plan promises to cover you for bicycling injuries or other adventure sports on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Which could come in handy, since just riding to work or school feels like an adventure sport in Los Angeles.

Forget rail-to-trail conversions; Colorado bike riders enjoy irrigation canals-to-trails.

Topeka KS plans to shut down its money-losing docked bikeshare, saying it came down to a choice between bikes and buses.

A Texas bike thief got busted thanks to a doorbell video cam.

That’s more like it. A Green Bay, Wisconsin man got ten years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

A New York website says the city’s Vision Zero is failing because the city has failed to reduce the number of car on the streets.

New York bike riders are mobilizing to deliver emergency aid in the event of a disaster.

A DC advocacy group says ripping out a bike lane to restore street parking is an unprecedented bad decision.

Amazon’s second HQ planned for the DC area promises to be bike and pedestrian friendly. Although if they really want to be bike friendly, bike racks are nice, but letting staffers take bicycles into their offices or cubicles is better.

This is why we can’t have nice things. A Shreveport, Louisiana vehicular cyclist says the city should rip out its bike lanes and stop building more, insisting they make bicycling more dangerous. And that he’s the only one, in the entire city, who rides safely by taking the traffic lane next to them, instead — no matter how much it pisses drivers and cops off.

Baton Rouge LA is finally getting safer and more convenient for people on bikesAnd only three decades after I left. Seriously, it seems like the best way to ensure any city becomes bike friendly is for me to move away from it.

Police in Georgia haven’t made an arrest yet in a hit-and-run that left a woman riding in a bike lane with severe injuries, even though witnesses gave them the car’s license number.

 

International

An alleged bike-raging Toronto courier has been released on $1,000 bond for allegedly kicking a car, then whacking the driver with his bike lock after he got out of the car, in an assault partially caught on video.

Build it and they will come. London’s new network of protected bike lanes has led to more people on two wheels, resulting in a record 2.5 million bicycle trips a day.

No bias here, either. The Guardian’s Peter Walker says a new UK TV program entitled Cyclists: Scourge of the Streets? is every bit as bad as the title implies, calling it “undoubtedly the worst, most scaremongering, inaccurate, downright irresponsible program” on bicycling he’s ever seen, with “45 minutes of hatred, misinformation and outgrouping against people who just happen to sometimes use two wheels to get about.”

A stoned British hit-and-run driver gets a well-deserved eight years behind bars.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a special bicycle painted in the Tour de France colors that was going to be auctioned off for charity, as cycling stars Eddy Merckx and Peter Sagan demand its return.

Traffic-choked Paris is finally on track to become the bicycling capital envisioned by the city’s mayor. So maybe there’s hope for LA yet.

A young philanthropist in Sierra Leone is helping feed people in a region flooded by torrential rains, and working with a US-based charity to provide bicycles and riding lessons to people in need.

Seven more rides for your bike bucket list, as a Chinese website suggests seven breathtaking climbs throughout Asia.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a blow-by-blow account of yesterday’s third stage of the Tour de France, as the yellow jersey changed hands — or torsos, even — from the virtually unknown rider who led the first two stages.

Danish pro Kasper Asgreen ended his first Tour de France prematurely when he was hospitalized following a crash that broke his bike in half — yet somehow still managed to finish the stage anyway.

Speaking of Phil Gaimon, he’s evidently had an influence on the sport, as pro cyclist Taylor Wiles says she tries to eat right, but she’ll ride for cookies. And ice cream.

 

Finally…

Copenhagen is one of the world’s friendliest cities for bicycling; e-scooting under the influence, not so much. A protected bike lane without barriers is just a parking spot by a different name.

And if you’re going to use a gun in a road rage dispute, try not to shoot your own spouse.

 

Socially conscious commuters? Or law-flaunting demons from hell?

There’s an intersection in front of my building with a 4-way stop. You don’t have to stand there very long to note that most cars passing through fail to come to anything near a complete stop; many go right through without even slowing down, as if the stop sign wasn’t there. Or as if standard traffic laws don’t apply to them.

And don’t get me started on turn signals. The drivers who actually signal their intentions, at this or any other Los Angeles intersection, sometimes seem rare enough to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Based on those observations, I could assume that everyone behind the wheel in Los Angeles is a bad driver.

I know that’s not true, though. I’m a driver myself — one who actually takes the time to observe stop signs and use his turn signals. And everyday, I see other people driving courteously and carefully; they’re just not the ones who stand out.

Or any time I’m out on Santa Monica Blvd, it’s almost a given that I’ll see someone in an expensive sports car — or driving like he wishes he had one — weaving dangerously in and out of traffic at speeds far above the posted limit. That could lead me to assume that all drivers of high-performance vehicles speed and drive recklessly; yet, again, I often see Porsches, Ferraris, Vantages and other high-powered vehicles driven as placidly as a soccer mom’s minivan.

So why do so many people in this town think that all bicyclists are alike?

You see it all the time in the comments that follow virtually any online post about bicycling, such as the comments on the Times website concerning the good  doctor’s Mandeville Canyon brake test, or on bulletin boards such as  Craigslist, like this comment.  Or you could have seen it again in the Times’ Letters to the Editor on Saturday, in response to the paper’s editorial urging drivers to stop harassing cyclists. (Inexplicably, the Times has posted letters from everyday except Saturday on their site; I’m including the link on the off chance that they might rectify their oversight.)

Bicyclists are aggressive. They flaunt the law. They (gasp!) ride two or more abreast.

Take this excerpt from one of Saturday’s letters: Cyclists are insistent about their right to equal use of the road (ed: actually, the California vehicle code is insistent on that), but they couldn’t care less about following the rules of the road. Only the privileges apply to them, not the responsibilities.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The biking community includes everyone from casual beach cruisers to off roaders to fixies to road racers, with a multitude of attitudes and riding styles in between. Some flaunt the law, others — I dare say, most — observe it to varying degrees.

Others carve out an exemption of one sort or another from the greater mass of evil riders, such as the next writer, who distinguishes from those “going green” and riding for transportation purposes, and other riders simply out for recreation. Of course, in her eyes, the “green” riders are the ones who observe riding etiquette, while the “pleasure riders” are the ones who “encourage road rage.” (Ed: more on that tomorrow.)

Isn’t it just possible, however, that some cyclists ride for both pleasure and transportation? Couldn’t someone commute on two wheels during the week, then don spandex before hitting the road for pleasure on the weekends?

As I’ve noted before, I try to ride safely and courteously, stopping for stop signs and red lights, and giving drivers room to pass whenever possible. And from what I’ve seen on the road, I’m not the only one. I often find myself striking up a conversation with other riders waiting patiently for the light to change — including, on occasion, members of professional racing teams in town for one reason or another.

Sure, there are rude and dangerous riders out there, just as there are rude and dangerous drivers. And they aren’t all high-speed roadies; I’ve seen as many — if not more — casual riders blow through red lights as I have those on high-end racing bikes. But my own personal experience tells me they are the exceptions, rather than the rule.

Judging from comments like these, though, there seem to be a number of people here in the City of Fallen Angels who assume we all have 666 birthmarks hidden somewhere under our spandex.

 

The Times discusses rage-less road sharing today, Westside Bikeside! recounts the comments of a clueless councilman in neighboring Santa Monica, and Streetsblog talks with an expert on remorseless, horn-blaring sociopaths.

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