Tag Archive for drive-by-shootings

Horrific killer attack in Las Vegas, paint gun assault in LA’s Palms neighborhood, and bike riders killed by bad cop drivers

My apologies, once again, for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

An unexpected blood sugar crash literally put me on my ass, taking me from feeling fine to too sick to stand up in a matter of minutes, and knocking me out until early morning. 

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

Seriously, if you’re at risk for diabetes, do whatever it takes to avoid it. Because you really don’t want this shit. 

And another reminder came yesterday.

For the past several months, I’ve been battling hand pain and numbness that’s grown progressively worse, forcing me to work through severe pain just to get this site online every night. 

After a neuro exam that could have passed for a medieval torture session, it turns out I’ve got advanced carpal tunnel in both wrists, which will likely require surgery in the next few months. 

And which was probably caused by diabetes. 

Good times. 

Meanwhile, I’ve got a number of other medical tests coming up in the next few days that will likely affect me in ways that could make it difficult, if not impossible, to write, as I struggle to get everything checked out before our health insurance runs out at the end of the year. 

I’ll do my best to keep up, but please accept my apologies in advance if I can’t manage to post any new updates. 

Hopefully, I’ll see you tomorrow and Friday; if not, we’ll be back bright and early next week once all this is over.

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More on that horrific attack that left a Las Vegas woman dead, along with the passenger in a passing van who pushed her off her bicycle, before he himself out of the van he was riding in.

The 23-year old man behind the wheel faces multiple charges in the double deaths, including murder, hit-and-run and violating his parole.

Multiple people witnessed the fatal attack, including a group of women who were following the two killers home from a bar.

A couple walking on the sidewalk had just exchanged greetings with the victim before she was murdered.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a number of other stories about the attack; unfortunately, they’re hidden behind a paywall. Definitely not a smart move for a story that’s getting international attention.

Thanks to everyone who gave me a heads-up about this incident.

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There’s not a pit deep enough for whoever shot a woman with a paint gun as she was out for a casual ride with a friend in LA’s Palms neighborhood on Sunday.

Some asshole driver shot at us with a something like paintball gun and hit me twice while we were riding side by side in a lane down Jefferson near National. It hurt and left a nasty mark. Pretty upset, but also relieved it wasn’t anything worse. Also the “paint” or whatever the fuck that was looked like snot and bird poop mixed together. So gross.

Too many jerks seem to think things like that are funny, never realizing — or maybe not caring — that it can rapidly develop into a life threatening situation if the victim loses control or falls off her bike.

Just like we saw in Las Vegas.

And even under the best circumstances, it hurts like hell.

Let’s hope she called the police, because shooting someone with anything is a crime.

Thanks to Howard for the tip.

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Even cops will tell you they’re some of the worst drivers on the road.

And too often, innocent people pay the price.

Case in point, an on-duty DC police officer killed a man as he was riding his bike across the street in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

And a Florida woman was killed when she was run down by a sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol vehicle after getting off her bike to talk with her boyfriend on a remote roadway.

Then there’s this from the protests over the police shooting of a Black man in Philadelphia. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forward.

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Take a drone’s eye mountain bike break from work this morning, assuming you’re one of the lucky ones who actually still has a job.

But maybe take a little dramamine first.

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

A British boy was pushed off his bike and threatened with weapons by a pair of teenaged thieves who made off with his bike.

Someone is sabotaging French forest trails with cables tied across pathways, broken glass and hidden nail-studded boards, which can seriously injure unsuspecting hikers and mountain bikers. Or worse.

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

Police in a Louisiana city are looking for a “very suspicious,” masked bike-riding man who’s been entering people’s yards and going through their mailboxes. Then again, anyone who doesn’t wear a mask should be considered suspicious these days.

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Local

A new bikeshare dock is helping to close the gap created by a two-year shutdown of the L-Line — formerly Gold Line — in DTLA after the Little Tokyo Metro station was permanently closed.

Former One Tree Hill and Chicago P.D. actress Sophia Bush is one of us, riding her e-cargo bike through the streets of LA with her dog in a very cool bicycle sidecar.

More on Santa Monica’s plans to install a two-way protected bike lane on Ocean Ave along Palisades Park.

 

State

They get it. San Diego is taking Complete Streets a step further by focusing on Complete Communities; an updated plan will be presented online in two weeks.

Not everyone gets it, though. A San Diego columnist displays his windshield bias, insisting that the city’s Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is being ruined by bicycles after being shocked! shocked! to see a boisterous group ride complete with police escort. Apparently, natural areas are only supposed to be enjoyed by people who drive in silence to get there.

Santa Barbara police offer advice on how to protect yourself from bike thieves, including registering your bike for free with Bike Index.

San Francisco advocates cry foul after the city drops plans for a sidewalk-level bikeway on iconic Market Street, citing rising costs and too many people on bicycles.

Sonoma County is doing its best to stiff a woman who won a $1.9 million judgement against the county after she was seriously injured hitting a massive pothole on her bike, but they’re running out of legal options. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

 

National

How five Black bike riders use their bicycles to express joy and push through the limits of white supremacy. Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Shape suggests everything you need to know before your first bikepacking trip. Which is a good start, but isn’t anywhere close to all you should know, let alone need to.

Bloomberg Business says Seattle-based Rad Power’s bestselling ebike is “disrupting America’s pandemic commute” to such a degree that the company can’t keep up with demand. Then again, neither can most bikemakers right now.

The site to report blocked bike lanes developed by Chicago’s Bike Lane Uprising is now live in over 100 cities across the US, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, which has its own separate page. You can download their new app for Android and iOS.

A Chicago bike shop donates a cruiser bike to the Little Sisters of the Poor. No, really.

Kindhearted Detroit cops dig into their own pockets to buy a new bike for an autistic boy after his was stolen.

Country star Dierks Bentley is one of us, enjoying the freedom to ride his bike incognito through the streets of Nashville for the first time in years, thanks to his coronavirus mask.

New York officials say the Revel dockless e-motorscooters are 69 times more dangerous than the city’s bikeshare system.

Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys are both one of us, bundling up for a cold Brooklyn bike ride.

The LSU student newspaper complains about a lack of bike lanes on and around campus, saying the situation “poses a significant threat to the safety of students.” Sounds like nothing’s changed since I used to ride there decades ago.

A Florida man faces a manslaughter charge for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had a BAC over one and a half times the legal limit 90 minutes after the crash, as well as traces of coke and weed in his system.

 

International

Good question. A writer for Bike Biz questions just how sustainable bikewear is, concluding the greenest clothes are the ones you already own.

A London driver lost control of his Ferrari, barely avoiding some people on bikes. A reminder that anyone with excess money can buy a fast car, but not the skill to drive it.

A new bicyclist pens an open letter to the driver who gave her a punishment pass. Which is how new bike riders too often become ex-bike riders.

Britain’s leading advocacy group called for better protection for people on bicycles, after a bike rider suffered minor injuries when the head of the country’s opposition Labour Party crashed into him.

No irony here. A British man was killed in a drunken fall off his bicycle, in the exact same spot where he crashed his van two years earlier, resulting in a 20-month driving ban for DUI.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bike an Irish man was using to bring back food and vital medicine for his family, since he couldn’t drive due to a brain injury suffered in a hit-and-run as a young man.

Viking biking is so popular in Norway the country has to expand subsidies for studded winter bike tires.

Turkish bike riders are demanding safer streets following an increasing number of people killed or injured while riding their bikes.

A Japanese man became the first bicyclist charged under the country’s new bike rage law after grabbing a 70-year old man by the collar when the older man complained about his riding.

Despite the international coronavirus bike boom, leading bicycle parts maker Shimano saw a drop in sales this year, as bike makers and retailers struggled to keep up.

Police in Shanghai busted 16 men for making and renting illegal low-grade ebike batteries.

A Philippines TV host is just 14 bikes short of her goal of donating 500 bicycles to help people in need of reliable transportation to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a good day for Canada in yesterday’s 7th stage of the Vuelta.

Cyclist tells the tale of Britain’s first Black cycling champ.

Rouleur looks at the “endless enigma” that is five-time Tour de France champ Miguel Indurain.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a slick retro looking non-hog Harley. Making one of Canada’s largest cities your own Moose portrait.

And the perfect harness to improve safety while turning yourself into a pedaling Christmas tree.

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

Morning Links: Bike rider fatally shot in South LA, Peloton’s “awful” new ad, and why people keep dying on our streets

Today is Giving Tuesday.

So take a few moments, and a few dollars, to help make a difference in our world. Or more than a few dollars, even.

Give generously, wherever your heart leads, and to whatever inspires you.

Because Lord knows, this world could use the help.

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Sad news from South LA, where a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in an apparent drive-by.

The 20-something victim was found lying dead next to a bicycle, in the traffic lane near the intersection of Figueroa and 89th Streets around 9 pm Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, there is a lot of gang activity in the area, which may or may not explain the motive for the shooting.

Seriously, the only thing more wasteful than unintentionally taking the life of another human being with a car is doing it on purpose with a gun.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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This one just cracks me up.

Today’s best read comes from USA Today’s For The Win! website, begging someone to “please help the woman from Peloton’s awful new ad,” and saying it earns the indoor cycling brand “our collective wrath.”

For the second year in a row, no less.

The woman’s terrified face is so disconcerting, her distress so obvious that it’s impossible to focus on anything else happening in the ad. She’s already trim and gorgeous, and yes, even though exercise should be about more than self-image, it’s clear this woman is trying to compensate for something. Is it her crumbling marriage? Her husband’s not-so-subtle suggestion she drop a few pounds?

The zeal with which she attacks the Peloton clearly speaks to some deep, unfulfilled need somewhere in her life.  Here she is — young, beautiful, successful, with a child and financial security– and yet, something inside her is still so obviously and utterly broken that only an unhealthy fixation on indoor cycling can help mend it.

Meanwhile, the online world quickly jumped in to offer its own takes.

Like this one.

The writer wraps it up this way.

It’s clear this woman doesn’t need a Peloton. She needs a good therapist and a divorce lawyer.

Maybe you won’t find it as funny as I did, after working most of my career in advertising and marketing.

But take the time to read it if you want a good laugh.

Unless maybe you work for Peloton, in which case it’s probably not funny at all.

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This is why people keep dying on the streets.

A Michigan man was convicted of driving a motorized bicycle without a headlight or a driver’s license, with a BAC over twice the legal alcohol limit.

Which is nothing new for him, though. He had 13 previous DUI convictions on his record, including four stints behind bars.

He’d had just finished adding the motor to his bike.

A Margaritaville-branded bike appropriately enough, given the circumstance.

Meanwhile, a distracted Canadian driver was still on the road despite being cited for cellphone use nine previous times.

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Metro and the LACBC want to help you learn to ride your bike safely.

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‘Tis the Season.

Yesterday we mentioned that Michigan volunteers built 240 bikes for Toys for Tots. Today we learn that 130 of those bikes were donated by a single bighearted nine-year old girl, who collected cans all year to pay for them.

Toledo, Ohio police and firefighter unions donated and built 52 kids bicycles for the county children’s service department.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging Russian driver intentionally swerved into a bike rider after brake checking him, knocking him into another car.

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

A Texas woman lost her wallet to a bike-riding bandit, even after she managed to sink her teeth into him.

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Thanks to Theodore F, Mark J, Moore R, James L, Matthew R and Jack M for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Or nearly every day, anyway.

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Local

Apparently misunderstanding the “new” in news, the LA Times gets scooped by a full five days on the arrest of the LAUSD teacher in the caught-on-security-cam Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider critically injured.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew throws down the gantlet for the Militant Angeleno with his preview of this Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia. Meanwhile, CicLAvia clarifies whether ebikes are allowed. Short answer yes, as long as you have to pedal to make it work.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the executive director of the I,400-member SD Mountain Biking Association

The less rural than it used to be Santa Ynez Valley could soon have a bike plan offering a network of new and enhanced bike lanes.

A Bakersfield professor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace a retiring congressman; the Republican former college teammate of Pat Tillman — the Army Ranger who walked away from a successful NFL career after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan — once rode his bike 3,468 miles across the US.

Caltrans wants Sonoma bicyclists to help them identify to area’s worst roads.

 

National

Singletracks reviews eight hip packs for mountain biking. Because no one wants a fanny pack.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a Washington man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation.

It could take up to two years to repair a 195-mile long Nebraska bike path, one of the longest in the US, following massive flooding last spring.

Minnesota police get the law wrong, merely ticketing the impatient driver who killed a woman on a bike by going around a car that was stopped to let her cross in a crosswalk, as well as the courteous and law-abiding driver who stopped for her.

Police in Detroit don’t hesitate to absolve a driver for the crash that seriously injured a bike rider — right up to the point he fled the scene.

Many college students survive on dorm vending machines, but University of Kentucky students can get their bike parts the same way.

A Pittsburgh letter writer blames bike lanes, and the accompanying loss of parking, for threatening the city’s commercial district. Even though all that parking apparently didn’t help the major department stores stay in business before the spaces were removed. And never mind that drivers “speed through listening to music and (ignore) the rules of the road, too.”

DC-area suburbs are adopting Vision Zero plans to protect bike riders and pedestrians on auto centric streets.

A North Carolina pickup driver turned himself in to police Monday afternoon for the Thanksgiving hit-and-run collision that killed a bike rider. Which probably gave him plenty of time to sober up before turning himself in.

A 15-year old Florida boy tragically demonstrated the dangers of skitching, losing control of his bike and slipping under the truck he was holding onto when the driver slowed for a right turn.

 

International

A Toronto writer says e-scooters may be dangerous and annoying, but the city needs them anyway — or anything else that provides an alternative to driving. No, scooter riders can be annoying, but cars and their drivers are dangerous.

Horrible story from China, where three people are missing after a giant sinkhole swallowed a truck and an ebike rider.

A South African writer makes a bike tour of Bangkok sound like a real adventure. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

The famed Paris-Roubaix just got a little less rough. A nearly one-mile section of cobblestones near the end of the race was partially paved, allowing riders on either side to travel a smoother road than those in the middle.

That Congressional Gold Medal for America’s last remaining Tour de France winner isn’t a done deal yet, still needing approval from the Senate after it was approved by the House.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist delivery ebike could be a refrigerator, too. Your next BMX could steer from both ends.

And if you’re going to file a fraudulent insurance claim after a bike crash, turn off your Strava and stop posting to Facebook first.

 

Morning Links: 63-year old bike rider killed in Pomona drive-by, Culver City bike petition, and free bike tourism doc

Tragic news from Pomona, where a 63-year old man riding a bike was killed in a drive-by shooting early Thursday morning.

Pomona resident Robert Arthur Fausto was shot at 12:49 am by the occupants of a small blue car, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Shootings like this usually turn out to be gang related, although the victim’s age might argue against that in this case.

Either way, he’s one more needless victim of violence. And one death too many.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

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LACBC neighborhood chapter Bike Culver City wants your signature on a petition calling on the city to stand by its ten-year old promise to complete a bike network and build infrastructure by the end of next year.

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J. Patrick Lynch forwards a new documentary from a Pittsburgh public TV station, as they take a 335-mile ride along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath from Pittsburgh to DC.

Or as he put it, “Lots of interesting places and people, pared with some stunning scenery.”

The video is available free until the end of this month.

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Local

US News & World Report — yes, it’s still around — questions why Los Angeles is so dangerous for bike riders. Then fails to answer the question, and digs about as deep into the subject as scraping your fingernail through the dust.

You’re invited to help form a “ginormous” human bike sculpture at the Rose Bowl next month.

The Santa Monica Mirror credits LACBC neighborhood chapter Santa Monica Spoke for working with the city to improve safety for pedestrians as well as bicyclists through Leading Pedestrian Intervals.

A new 47-unit housing complex rising in Long Beach will have just 40 parking spaces, along with bike storage and a bike lounge where residents can work on their bicycles.

State

Just what the world needs. A $7,000, 45 mph ped-assist e-mountain bike made by a California company that would qualify as an electric motorcycle under state law, and requires a license, license plate and helmet. And isn’t likely to be allowed on any public trails.

La Jolla has unveiled new artistic bike racks as part of a redesign of the Children’s Pool Plaza. Thanks to Robert Leone for the links.

Santa Barbara is starting a weekly series of Cycling Without Age rides to help older people experience the joys of bicycling.

Palo Alto will take another crack at bikeshare, after last year’s pilot program failed due to staffing problems.

San Francisco settled for an undisclosed amount with a bike rider who was injured when a cop pulled his car into the bike lane he was riding in.

A Bay Area writer hopped on an e-scooter, and rode as far from civilization as he could before the battery gave out. Or until it locked up when it didn’t show up in the app anymore.

After months of discussion, Marin County finally approves allowing ebikes on paved bike paths and multiuse trails in county parks.

National

Bicycling talks with the person behind a parody instagram account that pillories sexist cycling ads.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s no such thing as just one bike you’ll love riding for the rest of your life.

A new children’s book examines the perils of bicycle face and riding while female.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an 87-year old Texas man’s customized adult e-tricycle; it was his his only form of transportation after his eyesight started to fail.

A Queens NY newspaper says bike riders should stay in their lane, and not speculate about how a fatal bike crash happened or say bad things about the driver. Which might be valid if the NYPD didn’t have a long established bias against bicyclists, and a history of wrongly blaming bike riders for crashes. Which inevitably leads people to question their conclusions.

If you’re going to honor a fallen Philly pastry chef, a dessert-themed scavenger ride and bike rodeo makes sense. And calling it the ProfiteROLL, a stroke of genius.

A Virginia couple will ride across the US to raise funds to fight preeclampsia in honor of their son, who died just days after being born prematurely; they’ve raised over $5,000 of the $9,000 goal.

Charlotte NC plans to trade a traffic lane for the city’s first protected bike lane.

International

A new foldout bar end bike mirror is designed to give you a rear view when you need it and fold away when you don’t.

Good question. A Canadian paper asks what good is a dedicated bike lane if drivers park in it?

A bike rider says breaking his arm in a fall restored his faith in his fellow Londoners, and convinced him the world hadn’t gotten as mean as it seems.

Bicyclists in Manchester, England could soon get a winding, snake-style bike and pedestrian bridge as part of a $180 million bicycling and walking transportation plan.

Ebikes are boosting bike sales in Germany, with sales up 36% in the last year; one out of every four bikes sold in the country is electric.

Competitive Cycling

After finally getting around to banning Tramadol from the pro peloton, pro cycling’s governing body is looking to ban all corticosteroids next year; some — such as the asthma spray that raised questions about Chris Froome — have been allowed under a therapeutic use exemption, or TUE.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera will wear the stars and stripes as she competes in Europe this year, after winning the US national championship last summer.

The Highland Community New says there was plenty of great racing at this year’s Redlands Classic; too bad almost no one showed up to watch.

Finally…

When riding the 1,600-mile Baja Divide on two wheels is one wheel too many. And the bike-riding wizarding world of fire investigation.

Update: Bad news on a beautiful day; cyclist killed in Pomona shooting, another rider seriously injured in Tarzana

Just a quick note to take the shine off this beautiful Sunday.

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A bike rider was shot and killed in Pomona last night.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 45-year old Pomona resident Jose Cerda was riding on Lexington Avenue just west of Garey Ave around 9:30 pm when a vehicle pulled up next to him and one of the occupants opened fire, shooting him several times.

Cerda was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was just the first of three people killed by gunfire in the city overnight, in what would appear to by a series of drive-by shootings.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Pomona Police Department Detective Bureau at 909-620-2085.

Update:  According to the LA Times, no one has been arrested yet in any of the shootings; no word on whether police have any suspects or if the shootings are related.

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I’ve also gotten word of a serious collision involving a bike rider in Tarzana last night.

An email from reliable source says he was driving with his family along Reseda Blvd near the 101 Freeway overpass around 5:50 last night when he came upon the immediate aftermath of collision involving a bike and a car.

He arrived before the paramedics, and said the victim, who was not wearing a helmet, appeared to have been gravely wounded with a serious head injury.

Thankfully, the driver had remained at the scene; the window on the small car was completely smashed. Judging from the damage and position of the car, he said it did not appear to be a hit-from-behind collision, but couldn’t tell from what he saw how it might have happened.

As a frequent rider in the area, he reports the area is very congested with heavy vehicle traffic due to the freeway offramp, and that riding there can be challenging. despite the presence of a bike lane.

I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of the collision yet; however, knowing the source, I have no reason to question what he saw. Not surprisingly, he says he and his entire family were traumatized by what they witnessed.

Once again, it sounds like prayers or best wishes are in order, whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Thanks to Bro Dave for the heads-up.

Update: Sgt. Stephen Egan, the bike liaison for the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, reports that the collision occurred at 5:50 pm Saturday at the intersection Reseda and Collins. The driver was making a turn when he hit the rider; which way he was turning or what street he was turning onto is not clear at this time. 

The victim was transported to a local hospital with severe head trauma.

MB reports in the comments that the victim was wearing a helmet, but it was evidently knocked off by the force of the impact.

Update 2: Bad news. I’ve just gotten word that the victim died of his injuries last week. I’m trying to get more information.

A little this, a little that — missing NY green lane, WeHo bike workshop, SaMo bike shooting suspect

Just a little light reading to get you through your Wednesday.

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Remember those vivid green bike lanes that Hollywood says don’t exist anywhere else and are impossible to remove in post-production?

Evidently, not a problem in New York.

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West Hollywood will host a workshop to help overhaul their bicycle and mobility plan this Saturday. The meeting takes place starting at 9 am at the WeHo library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd; the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition encourages anyone who rides or walks in the city to attend to help make the plan as powerful as possible,

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Sign the petition to keep the bike lanes on Westmont Drive in San Pedro; thanks to Jennifer Gill for the link.

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Santa Monica police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a bicyclist last Sunday. Oddly, they say it doesn’t appear to be related to the shooting of two men, one fatally, in the same area Tuesday morning — let alone the nearby shooting rampage on Friday.

You might want to avoid the area south of Pico Blvd in Santa Monica for awhile until things settle down.

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A 13-year old L.A. boy has been missing since he was last seen riding his bike on Sunday. Bicycle Fixation looks forward to CicLAvia on the Miracle Mile. Bike Nation is seeking a Fortune 500 company to sponsor their bike share program; I could use one of those myself. A sponsor, that is. The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee now has a Facebook page. It’s a busy bike weekend at Flying Pigeon, with a Streetsblog fundraiser on Friday, LACBC’s RideFigueroa Saturday, and a Get Sum Dim Sum ride on Sunday. A look at the World Naked Bike Ride, L.A. edition. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department is fixing unclaimed bikes — actually, the inmates are — to donate to kids throughout the county. The woman who helped put bike lanes in Rolling Hills Estates has passed away. A Sierra Madre cyclist suffers minor injuries when a motorist fails to yield; thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. How not to lock your bike.

More money for bike and pedestrian projects in the new state budget, but Safe Routes to School programs are at risk. Santa Ana will build two secure bike parking facilities holding a total of just 36 bikes; evidently, not many riders need secure parking down there. It seems the facts are however you spin them, as a San Francisco grand jury says the city must do more to prevent bicyclists’ deaths — but all a Bay Area website hears is a call to crackdown on scofflaw cyclists.

Nice read on being an unwitting role model for little girls. A new Tucson Walgreens didn’t eliminate a bike lane in front of the store after all. If you’re going to make your getaway by bike, try to steal one your own size. Traffic laws apply to cyclists, even in Idaho. The teams have been announced for this year’s USA Pro Challenge. Colorado man spots his stolen mountain bike on eBay, leading to the arrest of a serial bike thief. A lesson from Kansas for all drivers — don’t kill people with cars; damn good advice if you ask me. A new Cincinnati app allows cyclists to report harassment and collisions.

Brit drivers are more miserable than they’ve been in 25 years. If you really want to be seen, ride a Penny Farthing. An Irish writer demonizes cyclists — literally — in calling for greater courtesy around pedestrians. A look at bicycling in Paris. Johan Bruyneel, former sports director for Lance’s various cycling teams, denies being a demon or putting anyone’s health at risk.

Finally, a self-identifying cyclist criticizes a “small, tiny, sub-section of cyclists” — the cam-wearing, lycra-clad aggressively mentally ill subsection, evidently. Something tells me the conversation he relates may not have occurred exactly the way he tells it.

If it occurred at all.

Update: Bike rider shot in Baldwin Park drive-by; four SoCal cyclists shot in three days

Maybe it’s time for bike riders to skip the helmets and start wearing body armor.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that a 22-year old bike rider suffered critical injuries in a drive-by shooting Tuesday evening.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding at Downing Avenue and Ramona Blvd at 5:16 pm when a white pickup, possibly a Ford Ranger, containing three to five men drove by.

Evidently, either someone was riding in the back, or they were sitting on each other’s laps.

One of the people in the truck fired multiple rounds, striking the victim in the back before fleeing east on Ramona Blvd. He was taken to the hospital in critical but stable condition, and reportedly didn’t see who shot him.

This is the third shooting of a cyclist in just three days, following shootings in Vermont Knolls and on the Rio Hondo bike path.

Fortunately, all the victims appear to have survived their injuries so far.

Update: It gets worse. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a 17-year old bike rider was shot in Escondido around 5:15 pm yesterday in a suspected gang-related attack. The victim was riding on North Beech Street near East Lincoln Avenue when a man standing five feet away shot him in the arm; lucky for him, the shooter was apparently a crappy marksman.

Yet another life wasted, as 15-year old bike-riding boy killed in apparent Santa Ana gang shooting

Okay, so this isn’t exactly breaking news.

At first, I was waiting for more information. Then I found myself putting it off as long as possible because I just didn’t want to write about the colossal waste of life and immense idiocy of yet another gang shooting.

All because a boy was riding his bike in the wrong neighborhood, or wearing the wrong colors.

Or just, you know, because.

And yet, there it is.

About 6 pm Sunday night, 15-year old Jimmy Hernandez was riding on the 2000 block of West Myrtle Street in Santa Ana when a vehicle pulled up next to him. One of the people inside fired a single shot; Hernandez fell off his bike and tried to walk away before collapsing and dying at the scene, as the driver sped away.

A Santa Ana gang detective stopped a burgundy Lexus in the area, leading to the arrest of known gang members and convicted felons Brian Jose Miguel and Alberto Santana, 18 and 20-years old, respectively.

KABC-7 reports Miguel will be charged with murder, while Santana faces a parole violation related to the murder.

The two are suspected in two other recent shootings, as well.

Now one young life has been snuffed out, almost before it has even begun. And two others have been carelessly thrown away, likely facing a lifetime behind bars.

And if that’s not a waste of life, I don’t know what is.

This is the fourth fatal shooting of a bike rider in Southern California so far this year, and the first in Orange County. That compares with nine last year.

My deepest sympathy for Hernandez and his family.

A brief introduction to L.A.

I’ve recently noticed a number of visitors to this site from the U.K., thanks to Just Williams and Town Mouse, who were kind enough to add a link to my site. (And since I enjoyed their blogs, I was happy to return the, uh, favour.)

Since these people have taken the trouble to visit me, I thought I might depart from my usual biking banter, and offer a quick introduction to this City of Fallen Angels we call home.

And there’s one thing everyone should know about Los Angeles.

It doesn’t exist.

At least not the city you think you know. Because the L.A. you’ve seen on countless TV shows and movies is as much a creation of Hollywood as the Terminator’s invincibility or Rock Hudson’s marriage. As these things usually go, the reality is both better, and worse, than the image you may have.

For instance, the air is better than you think, and the traffic is worse.

That perfect weather you always see in shows set in Los Angeles rarely occurs in real life. Somehow, it usually seems to happen when there is a camera crew present; I think they pay an extra fee for that. And it’s long been rumored that the Rose Bowl made a pact with the devil to ensure perfect weather every New Years Day.

Also, Hollywood isn’t in Hollywood. That is, you won’t find the stars and studios that make all those TV shows and movies anywhere in the city of Hollywood, except perhaps on Oscar night, though you will find t-shirt and souvenir vendors, hookers, celebrity impersonators and other entrepreneurs dedicated to separating tourists from their money.

And I have never seen, nor have ever I participated in, a drive-by shooting.

Of course, some of the things you may think you know about L.A. are actually true.

For instance, we do seem to be a magnet for all kinds of disasters, from fires and floods, to riots and earthquakes, not to mention debilitating strikes. (We’re still waiting for plagues of frogs and locusts, and for Moses to part the Santa Monica Bay and lead his people out of Hollywood.) But things like that really don’t happen that often, and we’ve learned to take them in stride.

It’s also true that we’ve have a lot of illegal aliens here. And yes, many are from Mexico, but others come from Guatemala, China, Russia, Canada and Ireland, among others. In fact, the joke was that if you couldn’t get a table at Molly Malone’s, all you had to do was stand in the front door, yell “Immigration!” and watch half the bar empty out the back door.

As you might suspect, there are a lot of celebrities here, and we do bump into them from time to time. Personally, I’ve shared a physical therapy session with Billy Crystal, stood in line next to John Lithgow at the market, and nearly ran into Emmylou Harris rounding a corner at the mall. (Then again, I also met B.B. King, Al Green and Stevie Ray Vaughn long before I ever moved to L.A.)

The standard approach upon spotting a celebrity here is to pretend you didn’t see him or her; running up and begging for an autograph is a sure sign of a tourist. On the other hand, we’re just about fed up with paparazzi.

Speaking of celebrities, Posh and Becks made a big splash when they first got here, but they’ve kept a low profile since; I don’t know anyone who has actually seen them — including on the field for most of his first season here. And even with the most famous right foot in football (as opposed to football), our local club would still have a hard time beating Blackpool.

It’s just a pity we don’t have relegation here. If we did, the local side might play a little better.

And the Clippers would be lucky to compete on the high school level.

 

No Whip gets a ticket for making a right on a red light without stopping — just like many drivers do — while Alex endures playground taunts from a jerk with a badge. Meanwhile, a cyclist in Wisconsin discovers it’s against the law to get doored. Chicago cops take to the streets to encourage safe cycling, rather than writing tickets; I wonder if anyone ever considered that here. Illinois clarifies cycling laws in a way that actually makes sense, and could save lives. Is anyone in Sacramento listening? An L.A. rider hits the pavement, thanks to a scum-filled pothole. An Eastside rider reminds us that the city is still taking comments on revising the bike master plan (as if we actually had one before) and recommends a great place for good mole. And finally, Metblogs covers the inaugural Brentwood Grand Prix. I wonder who won the Manolos? 

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