Tag Archive for Dijon Kizzee

LASD exonerates itself in Kizzee shooting amid calls for sheriff to resign, and e-scooters just ain’t the problem

No surprise here.

Nearly three weeks after LA County Sheriff’s Deputies shot and killed Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, the department held it’s first press conference.

Not surprisingly, it exonerated itself completely, even while multiple investigations are still ongoing.

And even as community activist Najee Ali accused the Sheriff’s Department of trying to “blame a Black man unjustly shot … for his own murder by his deputies” while speaking on behalf of family members.

According to a department spokesperson, deputies originally attempted to stop Kizzee for riding salmon, a crime that does not normally carry the death penalty.

Kizzee reportedly was carrying a gun that had been stolen in Las Vegas, which he was not legally allowed to have due to a prior felony conviction and a restraining order.

Deputies fired at least 15 shots after spotting the weapon when he dropped it, along with some clothes he’d been carrying.

However, after giving the deputies over two weeks to get their stories straight talk to investigators, the gun somehow went from the ground, as the sheriff’s department originally stated, into Kizzee’s hand as claimed in the new report.

Never mind that security video appears to show the deputies shooting at Kizzee as he ran away.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure what happened, since LA County Sheriff’s Deputies aren’t currently required to wear uniform cams.

But the shooting does raise questions, especially in a department where gang-like groups wear matching tattoos and call themselves names like the Executioners.

It doesn’t matter who Kizzee was, or whether he had a record. It also doesn’t matter that he ran from the deputies, or briefly tussled with one when they tried to tackle him.

For the crime of riding on the wrong side of the street.

What matters is whether the deputies had a legitimate reason to fear for their own lives, or that of the public, before opening fire.

Let alone whether the department can, or will, conduct an honest investigation of its own deputies. Especially under the current administration.

Because this one doesn’t begin to pass the smell test.

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On a closely related subject, the LA Times says LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has repeatedly ignored subpoenas and attempted to dodge civilian oversight, is the best advisement for the need for “muscular” oversight.

In addition, several city and county officials are calling on Villanueva to resign, including LA Councilmember David Ryu and county supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

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CBS News says micromobility is proving increasingly deadly, citing 41 deaths linked to e-scooters, ebikes and hoverboards over a three-year period.

Which compares to roughly 112,500 people killed in motor vehicle collisions over the same period.

Admittedly, I’ve never been very good at math, but I’m pretty sure 41 is less that 112,500.

A lot less.

So which one is really the problem on our streets?

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Something is seriously wrong when you’re not even safe from cars and their drivers in your own home.

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Here’s one for weight weenies, as GCN investigates whether bike weight really matters in the Tour de France.

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

Police in San Diego busted a bike-riding arsonist who used “molotov cocktail-like devices” to repeatedly set shrubs on fire outside a police station.

Chicago authorities are on the lookout for a masked bike-riding groper who has assaulted several women.

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Local

The LA Times catches up with the founder of the magical Venice Electric Light Parade weekly bike ride.

A former LA city planner accuses Los Angeles officials of being closet climate change deniers in environmentalist clothing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a temporary halt to the Long Beach State Cycling Club, which is unable to keep riding under current university restrictions

 

State

Seriously? San Diego washed away a series of children’s chalk drawings supporting Black Lives Matter on a La Jolla bike path just days after they were finished, citing complaints that they were “hate speech.”

Santa Barbara is looking for a way for bike riders to coexist with pedestrians after the city closed a popular street to make room for shopping and dining while social distancing, which was also the spine of the city’s bike network.

 

National

The Idaho Stop Law is slowly spreading across the US, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

A writer for Bicycling says never mind the cliche about never forgetting to ride a bike, because the truth is, you never forget how good it feels to ride one. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out

Good question. Wired wonders why Uber wasn’t charged in the death of an Arizona bike rider who was killed by one of their driverless cars, instead of the admittedly distracted human behind the wheel.

A new study from Portland’s Alta Planning and Design says don’t cut corners on corner design to prevent unsafe turns by drivers.

A kindhearted Texas cop replaced a nine-year old boy’s bike after it was stolen.

An Arlington Texas police detective was released from the hospital following a crash that killed a fellow bicyclist when a driver plowed into the group they were riding with. But since the driver remained at the scene, it’s evidently okay.

A Houston reverend will bike 500 mies through Michigan to raise funds to fight hunger in Guatemala.

Martha Stewart is one of us, enjoying the coronavirus quarantine while popping her new line of CBD-infused fruit pate and riding her ebike around her 153-acre New York state farm.

He gets it. A New York assembly member says the state should subsidize ebike purchases to wean people off of cars. We need to start hearing that from California officials, too.

 

International

A Scottish bicyclist who was nearly killed in a Texas collision while riding across the US will attempt to set a new record for riding nonstop over 500 miles through the Scottish Highlands, taking aim at the existing record of 31 hours and 23 minutes.

Paris is the latest major city to announce that 31 miles of popup bike lanes that were installed at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown will be made permanent. That compares favorably to Los Angeles, which will make zero lanes permanent, out of the zero popup bike lanes that were installed. 

Here’s something you won’t see in the US. The king and queen of the Netherlands took a casual bike ride while meeting with local officials, wearing a suit, gown and practical pumps.

A Singapore letter writer says licensing drivers doesn’t seem to make them any safer, so maybe it’s not the answer for bike riders, either.

 

Competitive Cycling

The 600 pound gorilla that is Team Ineos finally performs as expected in the Tour de France, at least for one stage.

The president of Slovenia is pretty pumped that two of his countrymen could be standing on the final podium when the Tour gets to Paris.

The director for leading team Jumbo-Visma got the boot from the Tour after losing his cool when inspectors allegedly damaged leader Primož Roglič’s bike checking for signs of motor doping.

Defending champ Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands is out of next week’s worlds after crashing while leading the Giro Rosa

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made of wood. Seriously, don’t bite the guy whose bike you just stole.

And don’t put dog poop in Trump supporters mailboxes.

On a bike or otherwise.

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

Bike League addresses South LA bike rider killed by deputies, Streetsie Awards announced, and don’t be a schmuck

I may have to start a new religion. 

Three days after my laptop died, it somehow miraculously resurrected itself yesterday morning. 

No assurances that it’s up and running for good, but at least it gives me a chance to catch up on this week’s news. And maybe buy a little time to come up with the money to replace it. 

Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

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The Bike League offered a statement on the killing of Black bike rider Dijon Kizzee in South LA last week, seemingly shot in the back by sheriff’s deputies as he tried to run away from a traffic stop.

I’d planned on just posting an except from it, but the whole thing is worth reading.

Dijon Kizzee was a bicyclist. He was a person on a bike. He was a Black man in America on a bike.

According to police reports he was doing something illegal on a bike, violating a section of the traffic code. As most people who bike know, most of the traffic code was not created for them; is not known by many people, including law enforcement; and is enforced in a highly discretionary manner. Much of the traffic code that deals with bicycling is focused on protecting the rider from the drivers of motor vehicles that we share streets with. We as an organization are committed to doing whatever we can to make bicycling safe for everyone, including reducing interactions between bicyclists and the police that can escalate into violence.

A biking code violation should never lead to police violence and deadly force.

Dijon Kizzee died after being stopped while bicycling. A protected bike lane or statutory change would be unlikely to change that.

Racism is much larger than bicycling, but to make safe streets for everyone requires confronting racism. Confronting institutional racism in our justice systems, police practices, and cycles of investment is necessary to make safe streets for everyone.

To make sure that #BlackLivesMatter to us as a bicycling organization, bicycling while Black must be treated as a threat to the safety of bicycling in the same way that we treat lack of infrastructure, distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and the many other things that people think of when they think of bicycle safety.

Los Angles Sheriff Alex Villanueva says the department has almost concluded its investigation of the shooting, and is just waiting to interview one of the deputies, who still hasn’t spoken with investigators over ten days after the shooting.

Meanwhile, there’s this hard-hitting piece by a Black writer, who wonders when we’ll talk about the fear Black people experience as they walk their dogs, ride their bikes and work in their yards, as opposed to a fear of Blackness.

An Asian man in Garden Grove was the victim of a racist rant from a neighbor as he rode a stationary bike in his garage; the woman only left after he picked up a knife. Needless to say, the woman’s husband insisted she’s not racist and it was all a misunderstanding. Hint: If you don’t recognize your own neighbor, and describe him as having “slanted eyes,” you’re pretty damn racist.

And an Illinois woman faces hate crime charges for trying to run Black bike riders off the Winnetka Pier, falsely telling them they needed a permit to be there. Correction: I originally wrote that the incident took place on Chicago’s Navy Pier, rather than Winnetka. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

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Congratulations to BikinginLA sponsors Jim Pocrass and Josh Cohen on being honored with this year’s Streetsblog LA Streetsie Awards.

Other honorees include LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Culver City Councilmember and former Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, LA City Commissioner and CicLAvia Chief Strategist Tafarai Bayne, and climate advocacy group Climate Resolve.

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This one’s definitely worth the click. And maybe even a few copycats.

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

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That feeling when you can’t decide whether to build a cycle track or a pump track.

bike lane in Körmend, Hungary from UrbanHell

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Leslie Jones is one of us now, too.

https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/1302365492070379520

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It takes a major schmuck to tell a handicapped bicyclist who doesn’t have use of his legs that he can’t use his mobility device on public trail.

Whether or not it’s technically within the rules.

Seriously, don’t be this guy.

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

An unlicensed driver faces charges for intentionally trying to run down a mother riding with her young daughter, after they complained he was blocking a San Francisco bike lane.

DC authorities are looking for a driver who intentionally ran down a man riding a bike; for a change, the police are treating it as a homicide.

An Ontario, Canada letter writer says bike lanes should be built on a “use it or lose it” basis, suggesting they should be removed if not enough people use them. Maybe we should put the same rule in place for motor vehicles.

No bias here. A British tabloid exposes the “secret” hand signs that bicyclists use to warn other riders about road hazards, which drivers apparently aren’t supposed to know about.

No bias here, either. A British motoring magazine says Covid-19 is being used as an excuse to rob drivers of their precious traffic lanes, and motorists need to keep fighting to claw them back.

Or here, as a British tabloid goes ballistic claiming a fire truck became stuck by a planter intended to block traffic on a Slow Street — even though the fire captain said in the same article that they didn’t get stuck, and supported the traffic restrictions as a safety measure.

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

A group of New York firefighters chased down and detained a bike-riding man who swerved onto the sidewalk to punch a 60-year old woman, apparently at random.

A Saskatchewan woman suffered serious injures when she was struck by a bike rider who rang his bell before plowing into her; the crash may or may not have been his fault, but leaving the scene afterwards was.

Seriously, don’t be that person, part two. A woman on a bike rode off without an apology after being confronted by a child’s mother for hitting and dragging her one-year old daughter in a London Park.

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Local

Surprise! It’s Bike Month in LA County, such as it is this year. Instead of Bike to Work Day, we’ll have Ride a Bike Day on Tuesday the 22nd, aka World Car Free Day; you can celebrate virtually with Burbank and the LACBC.

This is how you change the world. South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club has been serving a free breakfast to the community all summer; now they’re extending hours to feed children before school, and working on serving lunch.

Look, we get it. It’s great that the former Governator is one of us. But we really don’t need to see daily photos of his daily ebike rides through Santa Monica.

 

State

The bike boom is going full force in San Diego, where a new study shows bicycling rates shot up 40% over last year since the Covid-19 stay at home order was issued.

Highland police will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown today. Standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

A Big Bear bike rider says it’s time to dust off the local bike plans, because there are too many drivers “who either don’t see cyclists or don’t like cyclists on the road.”

The family of a Vallejo bike rider will receive a $6 million settlement from the city, after he was fatally shot by a cop who wanted to warn him about riding on a busy street.

A Los Altos bike rider describes roads emptied by the fires in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties as a cycling Nirvana. Even if everyone was being asked to stay off them.

Santa Clara-based chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices is getting into the bike business with a pair of eponymous ebikes.

 

National

Nice read from a new bike rider, who comes to the realization that it’s okay to take up space on a bike. And that some drivers insist on getting in front, even when it’s not smart.

Cannondale is recalling defective front racks on some of its Treadwell bike models.

A bike rider documented the destruction from a wildfire that ravaged his southern Oregon town.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man got 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider; that compares with just four years for a similar crime in Los Angeles.

A Texas man is riding 3,000 miles around the perimeter of the state, after previously riding 4,900 miles through every street in Austin.

This is why you don’t chase down a bike thief. A Wisconsin teenager faces an attempted murder charge for repeatedly shooting a man who chased after him when the teen allegedly stole a bike from his property.

Chicago has seen a spike in bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths so far this year, including the first death on city’s e-bikeshare.

This is the cost of traffic violence. An assistant Brooklyn DA and experienced bicyclist was killed when she was struck by the driver of a charter bus while riding her bike; advocates point the finger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for failing to make the city safer. De Blasio responded by saying if you think riding a bike in the city sucks now, just imagine what it would be like without him.

New York’s spare mayor, who would take over if de Blasio stepped down for any reason, says he worries about his own safety while riding a bike, after getting hit by a driver while riding last week.

New York bike advocates call on the NYPD to stop prematurely blaming bike riders for their own deaths before even conducting an investigation.

No charges have been filed against a pro-Trump driver who plowed into a group of bike riders last week at a Black Lives Matter protest in New York’s Times Square.

Someone please tell “Northern Virginia’s leading news source” that robbing, assaulting and exposing yourself to people on a local bike trail is not the same as aggressive bicycling.

A group of North Carolina seniors were heroes after finding four grand in cash while on a bike ride, then tracking down the money’s owner who had literally lost his nest egg.

 

International

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a Canadian medical resident biking home from work came across someone passed out in the street, and was able to save their life with a dose of naxalone.

One of Canada’s best-know tech investors was paralyzed from the waist down when he was struck by the driver of jackknifed truck as he was riding his bike last week.

London bicyclists were twice as likely to be seriously injured or killed by speeding drivers during the city’s coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver walked after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see the bike-riding man he killed because the sun was in his eyes. A second driver played the same card in the same crash, but a jury didn’t buy it in her case.

Good for her. The wife of a fallen British bicyclist unleashed her fury on the court for the lenient sentence given her husband’s killer, who got just six months for hitting him head-on while speeding on the wrong side of the road.

Tragic news, as a well-known 86-year old UK bicyclist died while trying to ride the length of the country for a second time, after he was found in the roadway suffering from serious head injuries; he’d completed the 621-mile ride once before when he was 77.

A Berlin court ordered city officials to remove popup bike lanes that had been installed during the pandemic, after opponents accused them of using it to push through their traffic agenda.

Bollywood star Salmon Khan is one of us. Then again, he’s also an accused hit-and-run driver who was never held accountable.

An Indian man had a little time on his hands during the country’s coronavirus lockdown. So he used it to build an eco-friendly wooden bicycle.

Kenyans are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to fall in love with bicycling again.

Tokyo responds to the worldwide bike boom by doing exactly what Los Angeles has failed to do, building bike lanes on 62 miles of major roadways to accommodate the increase in bicycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s not a spoiler to report Britain’s Adam Yates put up a fight before losing the yellow jersey earlier this week, and said leading the Tour de France was fun while it lasted.

French favorite Julian Alaphilippe faltered when his legs gave out on a breakaway yesterday.

Italy’s Fabio Aru had to abandon the Tour due to physical issues that the Former Vuelta winner doesn’t understand himself.

Cycling Weekly catches up with everyone who’s gotten a financial slap on the wrist in this year’s Tour.

Bicycling offers 14 fun facts about the Tour de France you can use to impress your friends. Even though most American’s don’t care in the post-Lance fiasco age.

Seriously, if you’re going to get in the face of the competitors in the peloton, put your damn mask on.

And when people complain about the disparity between men’s and women’s cycling, this is exactly what they mean .

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Lamborghini. If you barely get out of the parking lot, you didn’t escape following a bank robbery, whether on a bike or anything else.

And apparently, victory does not always go to the sweaty guys in spandex.

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I continue to be amazed by the kindness and generosity of the people who read this site. Thanks to James L, Fred D, and Janice H for their very generous donations to help me get it up and running again.

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

More details in cop shooting of Black bike rider Dijon Kizzee, Van Nuys bike lanes in peril, and Seattle guerrilla bike brigade

More details are emerging in the shooting death of Dijon Kizzee as he was riding his bike in South LA on Monday.

The Lancaster resident was shot at least 18 times by LA County Sheriff’s deputies as he attempted to flee a traffic stop for an undisclosed vehicle code violation.

Relatives note that he never pointed a weapon at the deputies, and no effort was made to de-escalate the situation.

US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, called out the sheriff’s department for a pattern of abuse.

Whatever details the sheriffs leak or reveal over the coming days about why Dijon Kizzee was shot dead in Westmont, we know for a fact that a Black man stopped while riding his bicycle should not be dead today,” Waters, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement. “I stand with the community in condemning unaccountable rogue sheriffs and police officers who continue to hunt and murder unarmed people of color in our communities.

“It’s past time for the attorney general of CA, Xavier Becerra, to intervene and investigate the pattern of abuses at the L.A. (County) Sheriff’s Department,” she said. “The department is out of control and has lost the confidence of the community it is supposed to protect. There will be no peace in our streets until the LASD cleans house.

Kizzee’s family retained famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump — the lawyer representing Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake, among other victims of police shootings — who asserts Kizzee was shot 20 times in the back as he tried to run away.

Security video from the scene appears to back up that claim; while difficult to make out, it looks like Kizzee is running away and some distance from the deputies when the fatal shots were fired.

Residents of the area, and others from throughout Los Angeles, expressed understandable sadness and outrage over the killing.

LA Times readers weren’t happy about the shooting, either, though one seemed to be just as unhappy with scofflaw bicyclists.

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Apparently, the proposed rapid bus line on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock is not the only Metro project that could result in removing much needed bike lanes.

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Stop whatever you’re doing — okay, reading this — and take a few minutes to read this great illustrated memoir of a woman’s time in a guerrilla bike brigade supporting Seattle BLM protests.

Thanks to Pops and Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

An Illinois woman faces a hate charge after telling three Black bike riders they needed a permit to be on a public pier, then smacking one rider to stop him from filming her, and claiming she’d been attacked by them even though she was the aggressor throughout.

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

A man on a bicycle attacked an Asian couple in New York, yelling “You are Chinese, God hates China, China has virus” before spitting at them and throwing his bike at the man.

A mountain bike-riding man attacked a Vancouver traffic control flagger with some sort of undisclosed weapon, before fleeing the scene.

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Local

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, Los Angeles installed 37.5 miles of new and improved bike lanes during the last fiscal year, though there’s still nothing even remotely resembling a bicycle network in the city. However, those are lane miles, rather than centerline miles, so it actually works out to less than 19 miles of roadway.

 

State

An Irvine site profiles our old friend and Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin, founder of the Bicycle Club of Irvine.

Authorities have arrested the heartless cowards who fled the scene after critically injuring a 66-year old San Diego bike rider last month; 29-year old Mauricio Flores and 50-year-old Jessica Bailey were taken into custody outside a Lake Isabella Vons store. Their van’s Georgia plates had been changed at least twice, first to California government plates, then to Vermont license plates, in an apparent attempt to coverup the crime.

Riverside will shut down its ebike bikeshare system next month, after vandalism and Covid-19 undercut ridership and revenue for the two-year old program.

Seriously? A 77-year old Napa man was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while walking his bike in a crosswalk — yet police don’t seem to think the driver did anything wrong. Except maybe crashing into a man and his bike walking in a crosswalk directly in front of him.

 

National

More evidence bicycling is a miracle cure, as a new study shows older people who ride bikes walk more efficiently than those who walk for exercise.

Trek’s chief financial officer says be patient, there are a lot more bicycles on the way to restock empty stores.

Streetsblog says it will take a different form of advocacy to get Americans on ebikes. Although the current bike shortage might argue otherwise.

If you can get past their paywall, the Wall Street Journal offers easy biking escapes in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Vehicle miles are down significantly in Colorado, but traffic deaths are up slightly. It’s a sad commentary when a slight increase in bicycling and pedestrian deaths is considered good news.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the Schwinn American bicycle an Oklahoma City woman received 63 years ago for her 11th birthday, and has never been without since.

A second grader has created a historical bike tour of the Massachusetts town where she spends summers with her grandparents.

Heartbreaking story from South Carolina, where a man was killed and his dog critically injured when they were struck by a driver while on a bike tour from New York to the Florida Keys; a crowdfunding campaign to send them both home has raised $4,200 of the $5,000 goal.

No surprise here, as a witness contradicts the account of a veteran New Orleans police officer who killed a bike rider; officials claimed the victim ran the red light, while the witness said the cop was speeding and hit the victim while he was still standing on the curb with his bike.

 

International

The bike boom is surging in Mexico City.

Ontario, Canada officials still haven’t identified the victim in the bike-on-bike crash we mentioned yesterday, posting photos of his bike and other personal items in hopes someone will recognize them. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID that won’t get lost or stolen following a crash; I wear a Road ID every time I leave my home, let alone ride my bike. Speaking of which, if you know anybody who works there, tell ’em they should sponsor this site, as often as I plug them on here. 

Donations of bicycles and laptops are helping migrant workers in Ontario keep in touch with their families and the community, despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Montreal officials are caving to angry residents and ripping out a bike lane in favor of parking spaces that had been removed to make room for it.

A pair of Welsh drivers played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming they couldn’t see the bike rider they killed because the sun was in their eyes. Never mind that if you can’t see, the correct solution is to pull over to the side of the road until you can, not keep driving until you hit something. Or someone.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a British doctor’s bicycle while he was working a 13-hour shift. Then again, the same could be said for whoever stole firefighter’s bicycle while he was working.

 

Competitive Cycling

The world road championships have been moved to Italy later this month after Switzerland backed out due to Covid-19 restrictions; only the elite men’s and women’s races will be held.

The Tour de France has a new leader, after Julian Alaphilippe was penalized 20 seconds for taking a water bottle in the final 20 kilometers of Thursday’s stage.

The Guardian calls Wednesday’s stage uneventful.

Pez Cycling News considers why pro cyclists crash so much.

A new jersey material being used by Team Sunweb in this year’s Tour promises to protect cyclists from road rash in crashes up to 60 mph, and reduce severity at even higher speeds.

And this is how it should be done, if NBC was willing to spend a few more bucks to broadcast cycling.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure no one sees you — when you take it, or when you ride it later. If you’re going for a drunken early morning bike ride while carrying meth and weed, put a damn taillight on it.

The bike, that is, not the weed.

And evidently, lions aren’t just king of the jungle.

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

Sheriff’s deputies kill Black bike rider in South LA, driver rams LA bike protest, and Metro nixes Eagle Rock bike lanes

Biking While Black has long been treated like a crime.

But it’s not supposed to carry the death penalty.

Yet that’s what appears to be what happened Monday afternoon when a pair of LA County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a Black man riding a bicycle on Budlong Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA.

They attempted to stop him for some unspecified traffic code violation, which could have been anything from riding the wrong way to riding a cruiser bike with raised handlebars.

Or it could have just been a pretext to stop and search, despite a lack of probable cause.

Twenty-nine-year old Dijon Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and allegedly punched one of the deputies when they caught up to him a block later.

He dropped a bundle of clothing he was carrying; the deputies opened fire when they reportedly spotted a semi-automatic handgun in the bundle — making Kizzee just the latest in a long line of Black and brown men and women killed by police under questionable circumstances.

But LA Congresswoman Karen Bass asks the same questions I have. Especially why did the deputes shoot after Kizzee dropped his weapon?

A day later, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clarify, saying Kizzee had made a motion towards the weapon.

Which, again, can mean absolutely anything, from lunging towards it to merely pointing in that direction.

But what’s painfully clear is that he was not holding it or threatening them with it when both deputies shot him multiple times.

And continued firing after he was on the ground.

One witness insists he never had a gun, and what the deputies saw was his cellphone; however, authorities say a gun was recovered from the scene.

Another indicated that Kizzee had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting.

Sadly, I have no confidence in the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation of the shooting. Especially under the leadership of a sheriff who seems more interested in getting fired deputies back on the force than in protecting the people of LA County.

And one who continually denies the existence of tattooed gangs within the department, including a clique called The Executioners operating out of South LA.

The mere name of which raises questions anytime they fire a gun.

We need to wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about what actually happened, because initial reports are often wrong.

And we may never know what really happened, since the LASD doesn’t require body cameras on its deputies, although thankfully, that may soon change.

Yes, there’s an argument to be made Kizzee shouldn’t have run, and shouldn’t have fought with the deputies. Let alone carried a concealed weapon.

Although some of that could have been caused, or exacerbated, by Kizzee’s ADHD.

But nothing he did appears to have called for a summary execution without trial on the streets of LA County.

One thing is clear, though. 

It’s long past time to stop needlessly killing Black and brown people.

And no one should ever be executed merely for riding a bike with the wrong skin tone.

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Somehow, this didn’t make the news here in Los Angeles.

A driver rammed through a crowd of bike riders, apparently part of a rolling Black Lives Matter protest, at Melrose and La Brea on Sunday afternoon.

And may have deliberately tried to run down a 14-year old boy.

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Metro proposes taking a big step backward by removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and replacing them with bus lanes that bike riders can use.

As long as they don’t mind having a speeding bus run up their ass.

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The candidates for LA City Council in CD4 will hold a virtual debate tonight.

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In what’s definitely the best story of the day, after discovering a boy riding his bike in his driveway, a man responded by taking some chalk and drawing a racetrack for the kid.

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Today’s common theme is an incredible string of violent assaults involving a question of bicycles, and who owns them.

A 19-year old New Mexico man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting another man in a dispute over the victim’s bicycle.

A Wisconsin man was arrested for using a knife to fight with another man, armed only with a belt, in the middle of a street over who owned a bicycle.

Police in New Jersey arrested two men for attempting to steal a bicycle, and swinging a bottle at the victim’s head.

An English man was knocked off his bike and punched in the face by a group of teenage boys, who then made off with his bicycle.

A 17-year old Irish boy faces a murder charge for allegedly stabbing an 18-year old man five times in a dispute over a possible stolen bicycle.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper blames a jump in rural bicycling injuries and deaths on weekend warriors chasing KOMs, without a single mention of the people in the big, dangerous machines.

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

A pair of Fresno men were injured when they were shot by someone on a bicycle, several minutes after first coming in contact with him.

An Arcata CA bike rider is under arrest for throwing several large rocks in a road rage incident, shattering a store window at a local shopping center.

Someone on a bicycle attacked a New York City judge, punching her in the jaw as she was walking to the courthouse Monday morning; it’s not clear whether she was the victim of a random attack, or if someone deliberately targeted her. Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

A New Jersey bike rider faces a sex charge for allegedly fondling a woman after circling back to assault her.

Apparently, it’s possible to have a drive-by shooting without a car, after a bike rider fired several shots at an Alabama home.

………

Local

Apparently, LA bicycle advocates have gone “way beyond the pale of being pro-mobility” and are somehow tied to crooked developers. In that case, I want to know who’s getting my take, cause I’m sure as hell not getting it.

The Harvard Park intersection of Slauson and Western Aves ranks as the most dangerous in Los Angeles, in terms of the number of collisions.

LADOT wants your input on creating safe, stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

Metro is celebrating a long-delayed Bike Month in September.  Uh, yay?

Pasadena police wrote 82 tickets during a seven-hour crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; 67 tickets went to drivers, while 11 pedestrians were ticketed, along with just four bike riders.

Pasadena is extending their free Project Wheelie low-income bike repair program.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are holding their own bike and pedestrian safety crackdown today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

 

State

The California legislature passed SB 288, which streamlines CEQA approval for environmentally friendly transportation projects such as bike lanes, light rail and bus lanes; now it goes to the governors desk for approval.

The rich get richer. Oakland has extended the parking protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue.

Newly rebranded Jump dockless ebikes will return to the streets of Sacramento, after Lime bought the brand from Uber.

 

National

Yahoo names America’s most bike friendly cities, led by Portland and Minneapolis; California is represented by San Francisco and Oakland, ranking fifth and twelfth, respectively, as well as a surprising Irvine at 24th. Needless to say, Los Angeles is nowhere to be seen.

SGV Media talks with new PeopleforBikes CEO Jenn Dice.

An Oregon man will spend this month riding down the Left Coast from Canada to Mexico to call attention to suicide awareness.

Unbelievable. After a Reno bike rider gets left crossed by a driver, a local  TV station blames the victim for hitting the car.

A Wisconsin family drove across the US to deliver 50 refurbished bicycles to a Lutheran mission in Texas, to donate to underprivileged children in El Paso and across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

New York responds to a jump in traffic deaths by lowering the speed limit on nine major streets. Which compares to Los Angeles, where speed limits only seem to go in one direction. And it ain’t down.

New York won’t be upgrading the bike network in the Bronx, despite four bicycling deaths in just three months; instead, the city will respond with heavier police enforcement, even though that didn’t help when they tried it earlier this summer.

New York Magazine offers advice on everything you need to start mountain biking, from the bike up.

A Christian radio host claims a bike rider harassed him as he was leaving the White House last week, while denying he tried to punch the other man, despite video appearing to show exactly that.

A North Carolina company is literally reinventing the wheel, creating a new bike wheel with carbon spokes half the weight of metal spokes.

A kindhearted Georgia cop bought a new bike for a Walmart employee, after a bike theif forced him to walk to work.

Kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies got a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on crosstown bike commutes.

Another reminder to slow down and ride carefully on bike paths — and always carry ID — after an unidentified Windsor, Ontario man suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with another bike rider.

Scotland will invest $100 million a year for the next five years to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, along with reallocating more road space from cars to bikes.

A new study shows that closing central Madrid boosted retail spending nearly 10%. Thanks to W. Corylus for the link.

Sad news from Australia, where 26-year old BMX legend Charlie Gumley apparently drowned while on a kayaking trip.

 

Competitive Cycling

In today’s spoiler-free Tour de France update, that guy with the unpronounceable name won the race’s first mountaintop finish

Sunweb cyclist Tiesj Benoot escaped without any major injuries after crashing over a guard rail in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour. But his bike wasn’t so lucky.

Bicycling looks ahead to today’s stage five.

The BBC talks with South LA’s Williams brothers about their efforts to diversify cycling and create bike racing superstars.

This is what is looks like when photographers don’t get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

This is what you get when bikemakers consider getting into the e-car business. Seriously, don’t touch the horses when you zoom by on your ebike.

And that feeling when you’ve got a big truck tire to move, and your cargo bike must be in the shop.

……

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

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