Tag Archive for DUI

Morning Links: Big Easy drunk driver gets 91 years, Cathedral City bike rider critically injured, and safety in numbers real

Come back after 10 am today for a guest post from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, as she updates a number of recent stories — including the case of hit-and-run driver Pratiti Renee Mehta, who walked despite showing no remorse for her crime, or any sympathy for her victim. 

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Now that’s taking traffic violence seriously.

A New Orleans judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others when he plowed through them at 80 mph during a Mardi Gras parade to 30 years for each death, plus 30 years and six months for the injured riders — and added another six months for also crashing into parked cars.

Then ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 91 years behind bars.

As others have noted, that’s a life sentence for the 32-year old man.

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More bad news from the Coachella Valley, where a 50-something bike rider was critically injured in a Cathedral City crash; he was hit by an SUV driver while in a crosswalk.

Meanwhile, a ghost bike will be installed a week from today for Raymundo Jaime, killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Palm Springs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

Because there’s a $25,000 reward if you don’t.

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A new Rutgers University study confirms the safety in numbers effect, even while injuries are rising, especially among riders 55 to 64.

Although the latter stat is probably explained by the jump in ridership among older people.

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

A witness got involved when a road raging DC driver got out of his car and pushed him off his bike, for the crime of taking up too much of the roadway while trying to make a left turn.

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Local

Today’s must read is great look at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program due to the refusal of city leaders to implement it. Or as the author calls it, Vision Non-Zero.

More homeless people are dying on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before, with over 1,000 deaths last year alone; 9% of those deaths were due to bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

You may not see Uber’s Jump Bikes on the streets of Los Angeles soon, as the company files suit against LA after refusing to share bikeshare data with the city.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized after getting hit by a motorist backing out of a driveway; no word on his or her condition.

A Long Beach-area paper profiles a Signal Hill bike shop dedicated to helping bike riders navigate their choices. Sort of like any good LBS.

 

State

Your next ebike could be a California bikemaker’s 36 mph bicycle made to look look like a vintage motorcycle, and designed by the grandson of the legendary Carrol Shelby. Although the 36 mph top end means it will require a helmet and a motorcycle license. And can’t be ridden in bike lanes or pathways.

 

National

The new HBO documentary Any One of Us focuses on the severe spinal cord injury suffered by professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage and his fight to recover from the injury.

A bipartisan bill in the US Senate would require automakers to build alcohol breath or touch sensors into all light vehicles by 2024, to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Although I’d like to see some sort of cognitive test to detect any form of impairment. And include trucks and commercial vehicles, too.

Zwift wants you to help raise $25,000 for Movember to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health struggles and suicide prevention by riding your bike indoors.

Once again, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it, saying smart helmets won’t save bicyclists when the real problem is drivers who won’t put down their phones.

Cosmo says yes, the bizarre crash in this week’s episode of 9-1-1, where a driver hit a bike rider, the drove home and parked overnight with the victim embedded in her windshield, really happened; it was based on this equally strange 2014 crash. And yes, both the real and fictional victims survived.

Kindhearted Utah cops and school officials give a new bike and helmet to a teenaged girl after she was hit by a driver on her bike while leaving school.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous motorist on the road until it’s too late, as an Ohio motorcycle rider faces vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 15-year old boy riding his bike; he was riding on a on a suspended license and had several outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

We’ve seen a few bicyclists ride every street in their city or county lately. But how many do it pedaling an ice cream bike?

The New York Times explains why the city has committed to spending $1.7 billion — yes, with a B — to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next ten years.

The New York Daily News says blame policymakers for the nationwide jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

 

International

Bike Mag reviews the updated Camelbak Podium bottle, and flips over now being able to disassemble the lid to clean it. However, the insulated Podium Ice water bottle remains the best bike bottle ever in my book.

Here’s a few more trips for your bike bucket list, as Travel & Leisure recommends 12 unforgettable vacations that are best done by bike, even for beginners.

No surprise here, as the family of the British man killed by an American diplomat’s wife while riding his motorcycle, who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, is suing the Trump administration for its handling of the case.

A South African man made seven calls to his wife after he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver, saying the same thing each time, because a brain injury meant he couldn’t remember he’d already called her.

 

Competitive Cycling

So much for that. AEG has pulled the plug on next year’s Amgen Tour of California, saying they need to take a year off to figure out a business model that works better. Which is another way of saying we probably won’t see it again.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fat tire Surly for surly weather. Lots of classical buildings have statues atop the dome; not many have bikeshare bikes there.

And seriously, don’t punch your foreign bus passengers when they have trouble with their bikes.

 

Morning Links: Murder charge for killer of Costa Mesa fire captain, Mehta hit-and-run hearing, and racing with a feeding tube

Let’s catch up with a few court cases.

Starting with the allegedly stoned killer of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, courtesy of our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s arraignment, scheduled for last Friday, was delayed again.

There are so many facets of this case that don’t look good for him: his status as an addict; his admission during interrogation that he should not have been driving; the amount and sheer number of drugs in his system; the presence in his vehicle of drugs obtained from an alleged overprescriber; his crash after “passing out” behind the wheel earlier in the year… etc.

He’s going down.

What perplexes me is the murder charge, because I can’t find any evidence of a prior DUI conviction — within LA or Orange County, at any rate. He could have priors elsewhere.

The Watson law is specific in its requirements: party has to be informed upon a DUI conviction of the possibility of a murder charge if said party kills someone while DUI.

So, this would mean, wouldn’t it, that Scarpa’s been convicted in some court at some point within the past 10 years?

A Watson advisement notwithstanding, PSA’s, American alcohol ads, and the DMV paperwork you sign before the state issues you a license all tell you that DUI is dangerous. But is that bombardment of facts enough to define malice, which is a required component of murder?

There’s one other thing that might convince a jury that Scarpa was aware of the dangers of DUI, enough so to convict of murder and not just manslaughter.

In 2011, as a student at Esperanza High, he participated in an Every Fifteen Minutes event, which is pretty comprehensive. In addition to pulling “dead” students out of classrooms every 15 minutes, a simulated collision is set up on campus, with the driver “arrested,” and moulaged “injured” & “dead” students extricated from the wreckage. These actors don’t go home that night; they’re sequestered overnight at a hotel, where they write a “Today I died” letter to their parents. (The parents also write to their dead kids.) The next day, these letters are read aloud at a school assembly.

Scarpa was one of the dead who was extricated from a mangled vehicle, who told his parents he died, who read this letter to his entire school.

I hope, every night before he falls asleep, he thinks of all the letters Mike Kreza never gets to write.

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Next up is yesterday’s hearing for the romance authorMedium contributor and Mercedes convertible driver convicted of a hit-and-run that left a Costa Mesa bike rider with a broken ankle.

Pratiti Renee Mehta is back from her vacation in Chowchilla Women’s Facility. She’s in custody in County, awaiting a court appearance this morning. I will be there, because I am a horrible person and will enjoy seeing her violent, unrepentant ass in saggy jail-issued fashion and shackles. The sentencing was in July, and I missed it. How it wasn’t  on my calendar, I dunno. (Busy week with the PAC on the 18th and the Caltrans D7 BAC on the 19th, but I wouldn’t have skipped the sentencing for anything.)

Due to a “clerical inadvertency,” Mehta had been sent up to state prison prior to a required sentencing assessment.

According to court records, on July 17th, the Defense’s request to reduce the felony hit-and-run count to a misdemeanor was denied, and then the judge sentenced Ms. Mehta to 3 years in state prison.

Two other things surprise me about the sentence: (1) The judge actually threw the book at her, wow. (2) The People didn’t request anything close.

That’s right, the People actually requested leniency: 90 days in County and an additional 200 hours of community service. For a woman who broke a guy’s bones, left him in the street, and then put in deliberate effort to lie to the cops about it. I remain furious that the ADW charge didn’t stick.

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Great piece about an 18-year old competitor in Saturday’s Hillclimb World Championships, who almost literally climbed out of her deathbed to become one of the top young American riders.

Hannah Jordan suffers from an unknown metabolic disorder that prevents her body from storing glucose; when she started on an intravenous formula from a Santa Barbara company, she began to thrive — and kick ass on her bicycle.

She’ll compete in Phil Gaimon’s hillclimb competition on Gibraltar Road with the feeding tube attached, then may train for international competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO.

And yes, her tube has been approved for competition.

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Four Boston kids were extremely lucky to avoid serious injury when someone drove directly into them as they stood with their bikes between two parked cars, then sped off with at least one of the bikes still stuck beneath the car; a man says the driver may have been his daughter.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew nearly gets impaled by someone’s pool cleaner.

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LA’s People for Mobility Justice needs your support for this year’s fundraiser.

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

An English bicyclist warned other riders to stop if a car pulls up next to them traveling at the same speed, after he was pushed off his bike by a passenger in a passing car.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 70-year old driver got two and a half years behind bars for using his car as a weapon to intentionally run down a bike rider and flee the scene — then came back to take pictures of his victim lying broken and bleeding in the street.

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

English police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who injured a woman getting out of a car when they collided as he was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

There’s a special place in hell for a Japanese man who rode his bike up from behind a bike-riding 17-year old girl and groped her breast as he rode past, telling police he just couldn’t control his lust for her. Which should be read as a confession from a total asshole.

Police in New York are investigating an apparent hate crime, after a man on a bicycle allegedly slapped a pedestrian in the face and called him “a dirty Jew.”

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Local

South Central bike riders marked the seventh anniversary of the still-unsolved hit-and-run death of Benjamin Torres as he was riding his bike to work in Gardena. I hope whoever did it can live with the guilt of murdering another human being; I know I couldn’t.

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC now has yellow-jacketed officers to encourage bike riders, skateboarders and scooter users to hop off before crossing the school’s Hahn Plaza, where they’re all banned.

Someone with a sense of humor offered a tongue-in-cheek response to traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving’s highly biased survey about streets and transportation in the Rose City. Thanks to Topher Mathers for forwarding today’s best laugh.

 

State

Republicans are complaining about funding from California’s recent gas tax increase going exactly where voters were told it would, with some funds going to transit and active transportation projects instead of being used strictly for road repairs.

Streetsblog says Gavin Newsom’s veto of the state’s Complete Streets bill stinks, and that Caltrans’ reasoning for fighting it is “hogwash.” Someone suggested that we should now call getting hit by driver on a Caltrans-controlled street “getting Newsomed,” just like we called a close pass “getting Jerry Browned” after he repeatedly vetoed the three-foot passing law.

Virgilio Lemus Garcia, the 60-year old victim in Sunday’s Santa Ana hit-and-run, remains in grave condition; police are looking for a dark blue mid-’90s, four-door Honda Civic with probable front end damage and a possible shattered windshield.

Caltrans unveiled plans for a bike lane paralleling I-5 through Encinitas; needless to say, some people — including one bike activist — weren’t pleased.

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, Caltrans will close San Diego’s Friars Road this weekend in preparation for adding a fourth lane in each direction, along with sidewalks and bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll also consider how the hell pedestrians are supposed to cross that massive monstrosity.

Faux-Danish city Solvang has adopted a new bike plan; needless to say, some residents aren’t happy about it.

For once, bikes get an equal footing with cars. Even if it’s only a benefit show for a Los Gatos art museum. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died nearly three months after he and another man were hit while riding their bikes by a woman pulling out of a parking lot; the other man died at the scene. Seriously, how fast do you have to be driving to kill two people — let alone while exiting a parking lot?

It was the driver who lost his this time, after a San Jose motorist clipped a bike rider and crashed into a pole; the man on the bike was uninjured.

A San Francisco bike shop put a robot in charge of inventory so salespeople can spend more time with customers.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority votes unanimously to ban cars from the city’s iconic Market Street. Proving that it can be done on this coast, too. Are you listening, Mayor Garcetti?

 

National

Apparently, it’s okay to be nuts for nuts. But don’t eat too many because they can cause kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A new survey from Lime says scooter users don’t want to ride on the sidewalks, but do it anyway because they don’t feel safe on the street. Which is exactly the same reason many bike riders do. And the answer isn’t threatening or ticketing them, it’s building more and better bike lanes.

Seriously? LifeHacker belatedly discovers CO2 cartridges and figures they’re some sort of tire-filling hack.

This is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. A Tucson bike mechanic has developed an interactive map of low-stress residential streets connected with signalized intersections. It’s easy to find relatively low-stress streets in LA; the hard part is putting together a route with traffic signals to get you across LA’s many multi-lane traffic sewers.

Denver is losing its combination cafe, bar and bike shop at the end of the month.

A Colorado woman is riding four days, 158 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing over a high mountain pass, with a man suffering from cerebral palsy in tow.

There’s a rift in Iowa’s long-running RAGBRAI ride, as the entire staff resigned to start a new, seven-day ride across the state, in anger over how the newspaper sponsoring RAGBRAI handled racist tweets by the beer sign guy who raised $3 million for a children’s hospital.

Kansas City’s mayor wants to rip out a new protected bike lane less than a month after it was installed, saying it’s made things very difficult for businesses and residents. Apparently, it must have been installed on a whim, without any studies, since he wants to remove it the same way; any change to a roadway requires time for people to adjust to it before you know how its going to work out.

That’s more like it. A Wisconsin man faces up to 15 years behind bars and another 10 years of extended supervision after accepting a plea in the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old White Plains NY man is back on his bike and preparing for his 20th annual 30-mile charity ride, just two years after heart surgery.

Queens bike riders complain about a terrifying, treacherous but critical route across the borough, after a man becomes just the latest bicyclist to be killed in New York; Streetsblog says if the city can’t protect a veteran rider like the man killed on Sunday, it can’t protect anyone.

A New York public advocate calls for a single unified plan to address bike lanes, homeless shelters and affordable housing, rather than uncoordinated plans for each.

Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross is one of us, as she takes a bikeshare ride on Gotham streets in a dress and high heels.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery worker says he stabbed a racist, road-raging driver in self-defense, after the other man threatened to “beat the black off” him, tackled him and lifted him up in the air; he faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter, a big reductio from the original charge of first-degree murder.

It’s no surprise that bicyclists are riding on Orlando, Florida walkways when there’s no safe place to ride on the streets. And no surprise the city is the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Wired calls the new Van Moof the ultimate ebike. Although it seems like what they really liked was the extra power from the boost button.

The London terrorist who intentionally drove at multiple bike riders, police officers and a pedestrian outside the British Parliament has been jailed for life.

An English thief got four years and three months for seriously injuring a bike rider on his way to church, while fleeing police after bungling a burglary.

The wife of an American diplomat — or maybe a spy — who claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the UK after the hit-and-run death of a young motorcyclist admits she was driving on the wrong side of the road, and wants to meet the man’s parents in New York to take responsibility for his death. But not, apparently, return to Britain to face charges.

A new British study shows a cheap, widely available drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide if given in the first few hours after a head injury; the medication, called tranexamic acid, costs the equivalent of less than $8 in the UK. Which means it will probably sell for a couple thousand dollars a dose in the US.

A woman in the UK says she overcame her crippling anxiety by learning to ride brakeless in a velodrome.

My favorite Scottish bike blogger goes riding in the City of Lights.

A pair of Afghan men rode their bikes 225 miles to call for peace in the war-torn country.

Two Indian brothers rode a tandem nearly 400 miles from Kolkata to Darjeeling, despite one having a leg crippled by polio since childhood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx was in a Belgian ICU with a serious head injury he suffered in a fall while riding with friends on Sunday; the 74-year old, five-time Tour de France winner and noted bikemaker is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time.

CyclingTips examines the cancellation of a WorldTour bike race through the gleaming towers of Hong Kong due to the protests in the troubled city. Is that enough to get this site blocked by Chinese censors, or do I have to try harder?

Bicycling says gravel is the new American road racing, while Cyclist says ‘cross may be the way to get more women into racing.

Next year’s Tour de France will feature all five of the country’s mountain ranges, as well as the shortest longest stage in Tour history.

Chris Froome could follow Greg LeMond in bouncing back from a life-threatening injury to win another Tour, especially if this year’s winner, Egan Bernal, agrees to support him in the race.

A 22-year old Australian driver has pled guilty to killing 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes while he was on training ride, after prosecutors dropped a distracted driving charge, accepting that she may have been using her phone moments prior to the crash, but not when she hit him.

 

Finally…

Fifty miles short of the goal, but still a wheelie long record. You may need your next e-scooter more than it needs you.

And it’s not a record jump if you don’t stick the landing.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way (nearly) every day. 

I know I’ve said this before, but if everyone who visits this site today gave just $10, it would be enough to fund my work for a full year.

And maybe even get a new Corgi.

 

Morning Links: LA Vision Zero is hiding not dead, and prelims for accused killers of Mike Kreza and Frederick “Woon” Frazier

One quick correction.

It turns out that LA’s Vision Zero website isn’t gone, it’s just been subsumed into LADOT’s larger Livable Streets website.

Although, since they didn’t bother to forward the previous links, it’s virtually impossible to find unless you know where to look.

Which may or may not be intentional.

And whether that reflects a lessening commitment to saving lives on the part of the city, or just an attempt to bring all the city’s streets programs together under a single roof, is still to be determined.

Thanks to PatrickGSR94 for the correction

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It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update from our anonymous Orange County correspondent, who reports today from the prelim for the driver accused of killing Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa had his prelim last Thursday. The courtroom was packed, mostly with family and friends of the victim. The widow held it together surprisingly well.

Scarpa had so many drugs in his system, my notes are 2 pages long. But he might have just “fallen asleep” at the wheel, ’cause that’s happened to him before.

The defense attempted to present Scarpa as a sympathetic figure, saying Scarpa’s actions “killed” himself as well as Fire Captain Kreza. Yes, the defense actually suggested that Scarpa is a murder victim. Audible gasps in the courtroom.

He’ll be arraigned next Tuesday. I hope to make it, because if he’s wise, he’ll go nolo contendere and take whatever plea deal has fallen in his lap.

Meanwhile, Kreza’s sister decided to honor her brother with a tattoo of angel wings enveloping his initials.

And the state legislature voted to name a section of State Route 55 after him.

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Our OC correspondent also reports from yesterday’s hearing for Mariah Kandise Banks, accused in the hit-and-run that took the life of popular South LA bicyclist Frederick “Woon’ Frazier, as well as the coverup that followed.

Mariah Kandise Banks was scheduled to have her preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

She was late.

This did not escape Judge Lynne M. Hobbs’ attention. Once Banks was present and before her, Her Honor attempted to impart the importance of punctuality. She told Ms. Banks that she’d been this close to revoking bail. She reminded Ms. Banks of the seriousness of the charges against her, and referenced her priors, although I suspect that she was referring to the failures to appear, not the other hit-and-runs (yes, plural).

The prosecutor, citing Ms. Banks’ (and her mama’s) alleged ongoing harrassment of the victim’s family, requested an increase in bail, which the judge denied. The judge further warned Ms. Banks that any restraining order issued against her would become evidence against her in this case.

As Ms. Banks turned to walk away, she petulantly muttered, “Lies!” under her breath. This was heard by the judge, who immediately informed Banks that she was not yet dismissed. The defense requested and was granted that the preliminary hearing be trailed until September 19th, based on a substantial amount of new discovery (evidence) that had not yet been reviewed.

The judge asked why Ms. Banks had been late. She replied she was late because she is not allowed to drive and is therefore dependent on others for rides. (Um. If she is still at her last known address, she lives half a block from the freeway express bus that drops off a few blocks from the Foltz courthouse.) The judge helpfully suggested she find a more reliable way to get around. Inexplicably, Her Honor did not propose that Banks ride a bicycle to her court appearances.

“You are very much on my radar,” the Judge told Ms. Banks ominously, possibly motivating her to be on time.

I really, really like the prosecutor. She’s going to put this killer away for as long as legally possible.

Meanwhile, Spectrum News 1 checks in with the grieving mother of South LA hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier, and uses that as the jumping off point for a broader look at the problems of hit-and-run, and bike and pedestrian, crashes in the City of Angels. Note to non-Spectrum customers: You can still read the transcript, even if you can’t watch the video.

And no surprise here, as KNBC-4 digs into the stats underlying LA’s hit-and-run crisis, and finds only one percent of fleeing drivers are ever brought to justice for their crimes.

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She also adds this aside.

Wednesday night at 1am, an asshat motorist failed to negotiate the Zoo Drive offramp, took out a bunch of chain link fence, and left giant divots on the grounds of the Griffith Park Dog Park. The location is so close to the river path that obviously those damn cyclists are responsible somehow.

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The LACBC urges you to contact California’s governor to urge him to sign SB 400, which would allow you to trade your car in for an ebike if you’re poor enough.

Which is a good start.

But what we really need is a program that would allow anyone to trade in their car for a bicycle, electric or otherwise, or a fully loaded TAP card.

Or get a rebate on the purchase of a bike for commuting, so we can start getting more cars off the roads.

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Speaking of the LACBC, you still have time to complete their survey on what direction the bike coalition should take as it recovers from the disastrous financial mismanagement of the previous director.

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Bicycling talks with the founder of Project 529 about the ever present problem of bike theft, as their 529 Garage bike registry releases an infographic to drive the point home.

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Local

The Eastsider offers photos of the stunning bike and pedestrian North Atwater Bridge rising over the LA River, while CiclaValley considers Glendale’s plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge of their own over the LA River, both of which would join two more currently under construction.

KPCC tags along with Danny Gamboa for a first-person look at placing a ghost bike.

A woman was airlifted from the Angeles Crest highway with a severely torn calf muscle after getting hit by a driver, who responded to an oncoming truck crowding the center line by cutting to the right and hitting her bike after getting blinded by the sun. Hopefully the CHP will see that for the confession it is, and not the universal Get Out of Jail Free card it usually serves as. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Santa Monica-based Bird’s head of sustainability wants to transform America’s streets, even after the company reneged on its promise to fund new bike lanes wherever it operates.

Don’t plan on renting an e-scooter in Hermosa Beach anytime soon. The city has extended its ban on scooters through April, or until they can work out guidelines in conjunction with neighboring cities Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

Long Beach warns residents to approve a sales tax extension, or face crumbling roads in the years to come.

 

State

The California DMV will be releasing a guide to your civil rights during a traffic stop next spring. One key point to remember in the meantime is that is you have the right to refuse a search of your bike and belongings if you’re stopped for a traffic violation.

Brooks McKinney talks with the guy responsible for keeping California’s pavement smooth and rideable. Oh, and drivable, too.

Residents of San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood would rather have a homemade pump track than more housing.

The Department of DIY reared its head in San Luis Obispo, where local bicyclists made their own toilet plunger-protected bike lane, two years after a Cal Poly student was killed by a drunk driver.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man with a bike was collateral damage when an SUV driver crashed into a pickup and spun into the victim as he was in a crosswalk; his killer fled on foot without even looking at the man trapped under his SUV.

San Francisco responds to a jump in traffic fatalities by redesigning intersections to improve safety. Which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. But usually doesn’t.

Streetsblog SF applauds the city for its quick build strategy, but says the 7th Street protected bike lane isn’t.

A Sacramento-area e-bikeshare program was put on hold after Trump’s China tariffs made it economically infeasible.

 

National

A new book details how America’s transportation systems are biased against women, including a lack of protected bikeways.

No surprise here, as a new study shows deaths from red light-running drivers has hit a ten-year high. But sure, let’s talk about all those entitled scofflaw cyclists.

A new study finds booze and e-scooters don’t mix, as nearly 40% of seriously injured scooter users were legally drunk when they crashed. Note to Today Show — Nice job of inflating the stats to get clicks, with a headline that says nearly 50%, before stepping it down to nearly 40% in the subhead.

A Washington man chased down and fatally shot his mother’s boyfriend as the victim rode off on a bicycle; the boyfriend was allegedly abusive, and had a history of protective orders filed against him by other women.

A Wisconsin woman who describes herself as a casual bicyclist has ridden over 7,100 miles at AIDS rides to raise funds and keep alive the memory of friends lost to the disease; when asked how much she’s raised, she said “Not enough because AIDS is still here.”

Hats off to the Providence Journal, which recognized that most biking riding kids in the Rhode Island city aren’t out to break the law or infuriate drivers.

New York police are looking for a man who beat and slashed another man in a subway station in an attack that began with a dispute over a bicycle.

A New York driver ran away on foot after somehow getting his car wedged in a barrier-protected bike lane next to a highway.

In a tragic reminder that people on bicycles can get hurt in collisions with pedestrians, the New York ebike rider who was critically injured after crashing into a 77-year old man has died, while the older man only suffered minor injuries.

Gotham bicyclists say just getting to a spacious new bikeway across a bridge is hell.

 

International

A kindhearted British Columbia business owner gave a boy a new bicycle when both his bikes were stolen, after the businessman learned the boy had raised over $10,000 for the charity that gave one of the bikes to him when he was diagnosed with diabetes as a five-year old.

An 82-year old Toronto man was overwhelmed by an outpouring of community support after the bike he relied on for transportation was stolen less than a week after he got it.

Canadian Cycling Magazine offers five tips to safely lock your bike.

Van-driving bike thieves are targeting solo riders with expensive looking bicycles on a popular Irish riding route. Correction: I originally misplaced this story as being from Scotland, not Ireland. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the. correction.

Belgian ebike owners are hacking their rides to remove European speed restrictions.

No bias here. After a Spanish study finds “several cyclist and environment related variables” that led to fatal bike crashes, the authors only suggestion was bike riders should wear a helmet.

Even India’s relatively low-cost bicycle industry is being undercut by cheaper Chinese imports crossing the border from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Radavist takes a gravel bike tour of New Zealand’s South Island.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of a women’s cycling team says she was wrong to be skeptical about the Colorado Classic bike race and its commitment to elevating women’s cycling.

VeloNews considers how the Colorado Classic upended the traditional TV model by streaming the entire race for free.

Just one day after losing the leader’s jersey, Nicholas Roche crashed out of the Vuelta.

Cycling Tips says the Cross County World Championships are American mountain biker Lea Davison’s chance to redeem herself after a couple difficult years.

 

Finally…

Now even the birds are out to get us. Who needs a fanny pack when you can carry a fashionable $375 “bike wallet” inspired by chunky bike lock chains?

And who really needs a bike seat anyway?

 

Update: Man riding bike home killed by alleged drunken hit-and-run driver in Ontario

Once again, an innocent person has been murdered by a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

A driver who somehow couldn’t manage to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking, with predictable results.

Allegedly, of course.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a short time later, and not far away.

According to the Fontana Herald News, the victim was riding west on Mission Blvd near Baker Ave in Ontario, just south of the airport, when he was run down sometime early Wednesday morning.

He was found on the shoulder of the road by a passerby, who called police at 1:10 am; no word on how long he’d been there before being discovered.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the paper, he was on his way home, riding west on Mission, when he was somehow struck by a cowardly hit-and-run driver, who left him there to die.

Nearly an hour and a half later, police received a report of a suspicious vehicle less than a block away in a parking lot at 1320 S. Baker Ave.

They found it had major front end damage matching the evidence at the crash scene, while the driver, 31-year old Ontario resident Julio Tapia, was still inside with minor head and face injuries.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, hit-and-run, and gross vehicular manslaughter.

If there was any real justice, he’d be charged with second degree murder for making a conscious decision to leave the victim of his hit-and-run to die there in the street, rather than calling for help as the law and basic human decency demands.

Assuming he was actually capable of making a decision, and wasn’t so drunk he had no idea what the hell just happened.

He’s being held on a quarter-million dollar bond pending arraignment on Friday.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Ontario Police Department at 909/986-6711 or Officer Brandon Resendez at 909/408-1805.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Pomona resident Thomas Shane Pinto.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Thomas Shane Pinto and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Millions driving while high, Sullivan Canyon closing for five weeks, and the war on bikes goes on

Something else to look forward to.

A new AAA report says millions of Americans are driving while high.

In fact, an estimated 15 million people got behind the wheel within an hour of getting stoned on weed.

Never mind that driving while high is just as illegal as driving drunk, if harder to prove.

And just as deadly, too.

………

If you want to ride Sullivan Canyon this summer, you might want to get there quick.

Or you’ll have a long wait until August.

Off-road advocacy group CORBA reports SoCal Gas will shut down the popular mountain biking trail for the next five weeks on Monday for gas line work.

Click to expand.

Speaking of CORBA, aka the Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, they do a great job working with SoCal governments and businesses to maintain and expand your access to some of America’s best mountain biking trails.

If you ride off-road, you owe it to yourself to support them the way they support you.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on — teen skateboard edition.

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparent random, unprovoked assault when a pair of teenage kids whacked him with a skateboard for no apparent reason, then simply ran off.

………

Local

Melissa McCarthy is one of us, donning her military jacket and polka dot helmet for an adult tricycle ride through the streets of LA. And she signals her turns, too.

The Pico Rivera city council will meet next Tuesday to discuss proposals for the city’s first protected bike lane and a new pedestrian bridge across the San Gabriel River.

The Press-Telegram says the next Long Beach street fight will be over reduced capacity and limiting turns on the only way out of the Peninsula neighborhood.

State

A new report shows California pedestrians are at serious risk on the mean streets of the Golden State.

The San Diego Union-Tribune examines both sides of the debate over a recently approved plan to remove parking in favor of installing protected bike lanes on 30th Street, with one side saying they’re right for businesses, climate and community, and the other saying the loss of parking will hurt it. Because as we all know, communities are all about cars, and we’re just here to move them around from time to time.

After a Madera bike rider laid his bike down in a failed attempt to avoid crashing into the side of an SUV, police say bicyclists using the crosswalk are required to get off their bikes and walk it across the street. That’s only true where sidewalk riding is banned, though, so your results may vary. And no one is prohibited from riding in the traffic lane through any surface street intersection anywhere in California. 

Bad news from San Jose, where a 69-year old Italian man has died following a solo bike crash.

More bad news from the Bay Area, where a Discovery Bay man was found dead in the road next to his bicycle, from what authorities describe as a medical event.

 

National

City Lab says Fear of Missing Out — aka FOMO — does not make for good urban mobility policy.

Bike accessory maker Planet Bike puts its money where its mouth is, donating over $25,000 to bike advocacy organizations.

A truck website offers advice on bike tools you should keep in your vehicle. And for a change, they actually make sense.

Outside looks at what’s next for Zwift.

Oregon’s senate passes a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law, allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, while still having to stop for red lights.

A Spokane woman learns the hard way that leaving a vintage bike unlocked is just an invitation for someone to steal it — even though she was just inside applying for a job.

Residents of a Chicago suburb are resisting plans to place a bike path extension along an existing nature trail, suggesting it should go under the massive power lines on a nearby abandoned rail line instead.

A Minnesota man prepares to ride the North Star Bicycle Race, a 629.4-mile unsupported endurance race.

Cincinnati has applied for grant to build a shared-use path along a major boulevard, completing a one-mile gap in an unfinished on-street bike lane. Even if you don’t read the story, it’s worth a click for the sweet steel frame Pinarello illustrating it.

Tragic news from Euclid, Ohio, where a man was killed in a rare fatal traffic collision between two people on bicycles.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a bike from an Ohio Easter Seals office.

In an incredibly boneheaded decision, New York’s new ebike law specifically bans parents from taking their kids along with them, even if the bike is designed for exactly that.

Now you, too, can win your very own Dunkin’ bicycle. But only if you live in New York.

A new study shows a “disturbing” number of Gotham bicyclists are riding distracted by their electronic devices. Just wait until someone tells them about all those distracted drivers, who pose a much greater risk to everyone around them. Let alone car makers who are building text readers, TV screens and game consoles into their dashboards.

A DC jury has found a white bicyclist guilty in a road rage assault on a black motorist, but deadlocked on the hate crime enhancement for repeatedly using the n-word; he was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and felony assault while armed for using his U-lock to repeatedly hit the victim and his car.

 

International

Many Vancouver residents are riding sans-skid lids, despite a law mandating bike helmet use.

British Columbia unveils a new active transportation policy, including an $850 incentive for ebike buyers.

An Ontario, Canada bike rider is calling for better bike infrastructure after getting hit by drivers four times in three years.

London’s mayor pens a nasty letter to the Kensington and Chelsea council over cancelled plans for a much-needed bikeway, demanding to know how many more residents need to be maimed or killed before they do something.

 

Competitive Cycling

A young racer competing in Spain’s Basque Country suffered a nasty gash all the way across his chest when he crashed into a race barrier.

Cycling Tips puts all the bizarre conspiracy theories about Chris Froome’s serious bike crash into context.

VeloNews says 19-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel is living up to the hype.

 

Finally…

No, that tree didn’t eat a doughboy’s bike. Reflections on riding up the Left Coast and all that jazz.

And probably not the best idea to swear at the cop who tried to pull you over and lead them on a bike chase when you already have an outstanding warrant.

Unless you can totally get away, of course.

 

Coachella bike rider killed in drunken early morning collision

It’s been a bad few weeks for Southern California bike riders.

And it doesn’t show any sign of ending anytime soon.

The latest proof comes from Coachella, where man on a bike was killed in a drunken hit-and-run early Sunday morning.

Or to put it another way, just after the bars closed Saturday night.

According to the Desert Sun, 34-year old Coachella resident Raul Gulliver was riding his bike north on Grapefruit Boulevard near Mitchell Drive around 2:15 this morning when he was hit head-on by a pickup driven by 32-year old Hector Polanco, also of Coachella.

Gulliver died at the scene.

A street view shows Grapefruit is a four lane divided roadway, which means either he was riding salmon, or Polanco was driving on the wrong side of the center divider.

Polanco was arrested on suspicion of DUI, and being held on $50,000 bond.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 760/863-8990.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Raul Gulliver and his loved ones.

Morning Links: DA throws book at killer driver, temp road diet flows on Temple, and how to dismount a very tall bike

Before we start, let me offer a special thank you to Ryan Jones for giving me his CycleOps trainer to help rehab my knee and get back on my bike.

Ryan made his very generous offer after I’d tweeted last week that my physical therapist would let me start using one.

I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity that so many people have shown since my surgery.

Now if anyone wants to pick up that hospital tab…

And yes, Im kidding. There are people out there who need your help a lot more than I do.

………

For once, the LA District Attorney’s office is taking a traffic death seriously, after an e-scooter user was killed in Hollywood early Saturday morning.

And throwing the book at him, according to KCBS-2.

Jared Walter Anderson, 26, is facing a murder charge in addition to one felony count each for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run driving resulting in death to another person with allegations of causing great bodily injury and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death, according to the LA County District Attorney’s Office.

Which sounds good, until you consider they’ll probably bargain it down and let him walk on careless driving, if prior history is any indication.

………

A new video shows just how disastrous the planned Temple Street road diet would have been if Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo hadn’t cancelled it.

Wait.

You mean it doesn’t?

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Brendan Lyons.

The executive director of Look! Save a Life writes in a op-ed for an Arizona paper that it’s time to stop driving under the influence of electronics.

Lyons founded the nonprofit group after his dream of becoming a firefighter was shattered by a distracted driver while riding his bike.

But let’s extend his call to include all those WiFi-enabled devices that carmakers are building into dashboards in an apparent effort to keep drivers distracted all the time to reduce the excess population.

………

Now this is what I call a beautiful bike.

This 1935 Dayton Safety Streamliner sold for nearly $9,500 at a recent auction, despite a pre-sale estimate topping out at five grand.

………

In case, like me, you’ve ever wondered how extreme tall bike riders get on and off their bikes.

While moving, no less.

………

Local

Former Duarte school board member Edwin Ferguson passed away in his sleep last week at 93; he and his wife were both “avid” bike riders, taking his last bike tour through Croatia when he was 83.

A Long Beach man told police he suffered a superficial wound to his lower torso when he was shot while riding his bike in the Zaferia neighborhood Monday evening, though police could find no evidence of the crime when they searched the area.

State

Calbike is co-sponsoring SB127, which would require Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets policy on every repaving, maintenance, and rehab project on state highways, which often double as surface streets in urban areas.

The Daily Hive recommends 11 stunning stops along PCH between San Francisco and San Diego for your next ride along the coast. After all, it would be such a waste to drive on a trip like that.

A homeless man in San Francisco was lucky to dodge a manslaughter charge for beating another homeless man with an axe handle in a dispute over a bicycle, after autopsy tests showed his victim actually died from a meth overdose.

San Francisco will keep a closer eye on bikeshare companies after defective brakes were found on Uber’s Jump ebikes, as well as the Lyft-owned Ford GoBike ebikes that were pulled from the streets earlier this week. Jump quietly fixed their brakes, but some riders were still injured.

The attorney for an alleged killer driver says a Sebastopol woman died when she crashed into her boyfriend as they were riding together — which ignores the black scuff mark on her jersey that appears to match the tread of the driver’s tire. He’s charged with vehicular manslaughter for causing the crash, whether or not he actually hit her.

National

A writer for an electric vehicle website calls for a national license to ride ebikes, e-motor scooters and e-motorcycles capable of traveling up to 45 mph. A much better idea is to just treat ebikes like bicycles, while capping speeds at a more reasonable level.

Speaking of ebikes, Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says older riders may get a surprising brain boost from riding ped-assist electrics.

A Washington couple gives away 500 free bike helmets for kids every year in honor of their granddaughter, who died seven years ago after falling off her bike without one.

For once, it really was an accident. An Oklahoma girl is recovering after suffering critical injuries when the bike she was riding broke underneath her as she was speeding downhill; her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.

A Missouri cop sort of gets it, saying sharing the roadway works best if we all treat others with respect. Then follows it up by reminding bike riders that cars are bigger than we are, as if anyone traveling by two wheels or two feet could ever forget that.

Chicago approves a $50 million plan to expand its docked bikeshare throughout the city.

Bicycling takes a look at a little bike ride in the Big Apple — the 40-mile, 32,000 rider Five Boro Bike Tour.

New Orleans bike riders approve of a new bollard-protected bike lane on an overpass bridge — even if the rider in the photo is going the wrong way. Meanwhile, a New Orleans councilmember says bike riders need to learn the rules of the road. Unlike, say, motorists, who always obey the letter of the law and never pose a risk to anyone.

Alabama is considering half of the Idaho Stop Law. But instead of allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, as other states have done, it would let bicyclists and motorcyclists treat red lights like stop signs.

Life is cheap in Florida, where a driver walked without a day in jail for killing a man on his bike, despite the obvious violation of the state’s three-foot passing law. But at least he’ll lose his license for a whole year.

International

Writing for Forbes, Carleton Reid says experts agree that painted white lines are not cyclist-protecting force fields; Bikehugger’s Lloyd Alter calls painted bike lanes car magnets.

Be glad you don’t live in British Columbia, where it’s illegal to pass traffic on the right, even when it comes to a full stop. And yes, they expect you to stop next to the cars and wait, even if your path is clear.

A Scottish writer gets on a bike for the first time in 20 years to visit a new Rembrandt exhibit at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, calling the artist the world’s first Instagrammer.

No surprise here, as Austria joined Germany in reporting record ebike sales, which now make up a third of the country’s bicycle market.

Competitive Cycling

We have a new hour record holder, as Victor Campenaerts topped Bradley Wiggins’ four-year old record by riding 55.089 kilometers — 34.23 miles — in 60 minutes.

Ayesha McGowan, who is working to become the first black women’s pro cyclist, accuses the announcers at the Sea Otter Classic of making racist and sexist comments.

Finally…

If you’re going to break into a home to watch TV while the family that lives there is still home, try not to leave your bike outside. Probably not the best idea to attack the paramedics who come to your aid after crashing your bike while riding drunk.

And if you get caught with meth in your purse while driving, just tell the cops they’re “healing crystals.”

No, really.

Morning Links: DA bargains away drunk driving charge against actor, and a Silver Lake bike theft in reverse

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An actor on the Showtime series Ray Donovan walked with just three years probation and a six month license suspension after the LA District Attorney’s office bargained down his drunk driving and child endangerment charges.

Marion “Pooch” Hall was arrested in Burbank last year after crashing into a parked car with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Yes, three times.

And with his two-year old son on his lap, no less.

In fact, witnesses reported the child was holding the wheel as Hall weaved in and out of traffic.

So Hall gets to keep his license. And in six months, he’ll be back on the streets. Hopefully sober this time.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

And next time, someone else could pay the price.

………

Call it a reverse bike theft.

Someone broke into a Silver Lake studio while the owners were away, and instead of taking anything, just left a nice folding bike behind.

………

Local

Just one week after Pasadena reconfigured the Rose Bowl ride and bicyclists warned someone would get hurt, that prophecy came true when a rider went over his handlebars after rolling over the base of a warning cone.

An 18-year old mountain biker was rescued from the hills above Altadena after he fell off his bike and attempted to hike out.

KCBS-2 catches up with the proposal from Hilda Solis’ to build more protected bike lanes in LA County.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on Monday. Usual protocol applies; ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

State

Del Mar has approved a one-year pilot bikeshare program; reading between the lines, it sounds like a mix of dockless bicycles and ebikes.

Santa Barbara will install reverse angled parking on Cabrillo Drive as part of a road diet to improve safety and make room for bike lanes in each direction.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode his bike up to a Turlock 7th grader and yelled racial slurs before flashing a knife at her.

San Francisco has responded to the demands of bicyclists for safer streets by announcing plans to extend the protected bike lanes on Howard Street to the waterfront, after a woman was killed riding on an unprotected section of the roadway.

Speaking of San Francisco, the city is considering plans to make more streets carfree to improve safety; plans are already underway to remove cars from iconic Market Street. Make a fist and count your fingers; that’s how many carfree streets you’ll find in Los Angeles.

Oakland bike riders are getting impatient with the city’s still unfulfilled plans to fix the streets, in part due to a number of vacancies in the city’s Department of Transportation.

The Sacramento Bee says two recent deaths in San Diego and Santa Monica show just how dangerous e-scooters are. But fails to mention that the Santa Monica victim was killed by a hit-and-run driver after falling off his scooter.

Sacramento residents are upset that someone who apparently doesn’t get the concept locked a pair of Jump dockless ebikes to a fire hydrant, and no one’s done anything about it. Seriously, the point of dockless bikeshare is that you don’t have to lock them up, you just leave them when you’re done — hopefully out of the way and not on the sidewalk. And never blocking a fire hydrant.

National

Gear Patrol says your brain should thank Trek for its new WaveCel bike helmets, designed to help prevent concussions as well as protect your skull.

If you have a Stromer ST5 ebike, it may be recalled due to a risk of the stem breaking.

Wyoming says yes to ebikes, adopting the same regulations pioneered by California.

Looks like it will stay against the law to ride a bike or a horse under the influence in North Dakota, after the state Senate killed a bill that would have changed that.

The Department of DIY is back, with permission this time. A Montana advocacy group installed its own temporary traffic circle to calm traffic, along with cameras to measure how effective it is.

New York bike advocates are calling for a temporary, weekend-only bike lane on the iconic Verrazano Bridge this summer. And say if it turns out a weekend-only bike lane causes too many problems, just make it permanent.

The New York Post says the city has hated bicycles for 200 years.

New York will install speed cameras around every public school in the city, after cameras previously installed at some schools cut speeding 60% and resulted in a 50% drop in fatalities. Yet another reminder that speed cameras save lives. And that they’re still illegal in California.

A Boston group is auctioning a $10,000 Boston Strong-themed bicycle commemorating the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that was ridden in the 2015 Amgen Tour of California; the money will benefit a man suffering from ALS.

A Massachusetts town is “torn,” and “a town in crisis,” by a state proposal to install a rail-to-trail conversion. Seriously, if that’s the biggest problem they have, they should let go of each other’s throats and throw a party to count their blessings.

New Orleans officials travelled to Seville, Spain for ideas on how to improve bike infrastructure and safety in the Crescent City.

A New Orleans man will spend 33 years behind bars for a long string of crimes, including a half-dozen robberies and the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car.

International

Now that’s what I call a beautiful ebike.

Horrifying case from the UK, where a 14-year old boy riding on a pathway with friends was beaten, kicked in the face and doused with beer — after the attackers stole his bike.

Bike riders formed a people protected bike lane in a British city.

No surprise here, as US bike companies are finding ways to work around Trump’s China tariffs.

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re already wanted for kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon and accessory to a felony, don’t ride salmon. If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, nearly 7 grams of meth and a thousand bucks, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you’re carrying meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, try not to get hit by the mayor.

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

………

My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

………

This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

………

Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

………

Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

………

Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

………

And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

………

Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

Morning Links: Yes, bikes can ride abreast, killer NM meth driver set free, and attempted murder over a snowball

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reports there was a fatal crash between two drivers at 82nd and Broadway in South LA’s Florence neighborhood, which appears to have involved a pair of bike riders in a collateral damage crash.

No word on who was killed, but chances are, it was one or more of the people on bicycles.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Update: Sadly, our fears were confirmed. The only good news is that there was only one victim.

………

The Riverside Press Enterprise tries, and fails, to answer the question of whether bicyclists are allowed to ride two or more abreast.

Not so simple answer: There is nothing in California law that forbids riding abreast.

Some police agencies attempt to use CVC 21202 to forbid riding abreast, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, concluding that the outside rider is violating the law.

However, they fail to consider the many exceptions to CVC 21202, which make it clear that the requirement to ride to the right does not apply on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is most of the right hand traffic lanes in Southern California.

In which case there is no limit to the number of people who can ride abreast — as long as you remain within a single lane.

However, you still have to pull over to the right when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles following behind you and unable to pass. But once again, that does not apply in some circumstances.

Like if there are two or more lanes in the direction you’re traveling, in which case drivers can simply change lanes to pass.

It’s also worth noting that the law doesn’t apply if you’re riding at the speed of traffic around you.

So if you’re riding the speed limit, or drivers are slowed to your speed by congestion, you can ride wherever the hell you want.

Including riding abreast if that’s what you want.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Albuquerque man remains free despite killing a bike rider in a horrific hit and run, and testing positive for meth at least twice; his lawyers say the case should be dropped because he suffers from PTSD, ADHD and depression.

And yes, there is video, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Some things you just can’t unsee.

At least the judge told him not to drive, though. And everyone knows meth heads do exactly what they’re told.

Right?

Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the heads-up.

………

This is what’s known as a disproportionate response.

A road raging Seattle woman tries to run people over after someone hit her car with a snowball. Then gets out of her car and physically attacks them until she was restrained.

Seriously.

Attempted murder is never an appropriate response.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards a new video that explains how Toronto increased bicycling rates a whopping 1095% on two busy roads for a paltry $1.25 million.

Or less than one million in US dollars.

………

Evidently, dockless bikeshare is pretty chill in Seattle these days.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

State

San Diego agreed to pay $1 million to a bike rider who seriously injured his face and jaw after hitting a pothole; advocates say it illustrates the city’s inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

A San Jose newspaper takes a look at bike and pedestrian safety from a decidedly windshield perspective, telling the people not in the big, dangerous machines to wear reflective clothes and pay attention in parking lots so drivers won’t hurt them. Or worse.

Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare service is cutting into the company’s eponymous ride-hailing service in San Francisco.

Lyft donates $700,000 to Oakland to provide bikes and transit discounts to underserved community members, including establishing a bicycle lending library and starting a process to bring bikeshare to the city.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed when he was struck by two drivers as he was crossing an intersection, one of whom fled the scene.

National

A new report says US bicycling fatalities are at their highest level since 1991. Or at least they were in 2016, which is the last year for which national stats are currently available. And chances are they haven’t gone down much since then, if at all.

Bike Snob grabs a pipe and dons his cardigan sweater to offer some fatherly advice on how to teach your kid to have a positive attitude about bicycling in a bike-unfriendly world.

NBC says riding a bicycle with her husband helped “reignite the lust” in a woman’s marriage, even though she just says it reconnect them with the romance of earlier days. Which isn’t exactly the same thing.

A writer for Bicycling shares nine tips she learned from riding almost every kind of bicycle.

Next month, you can trade your current bike in for a new Trek roadie with disc brakes.

That Portland woman who killed a bike rider while high on her dog’s Xanax got a well-deserved 15 years behind bars. Hopefully that comes with a mandatory drug treatment program for both of them.

A Seattle man recovered his stolen Bianchi with the help of a local Facebook group and a BOLO alert among Jimmy John’s delivery riders.

If there can be peace between Alaskan winter bike riders and cross-country skiers, maybe there’s hope for our nation’s political divide.

Over 200 people turned out on a night with a wind chill of 50 degrees below zero to honor a fallen Chicago bicyclist who was killed in a crash while riding home from work last week.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner will fix up 200 bicycles donated by the state police to give to local kids who don’t have one; last year they collaborated to give away over 2,000 bikes.

No surprise here. Pittsburgh bike riders say they’re more comfortable sharing streets with self-driving vehicles than with their human counterparts.

A South Carolina second-grade teacher helped save the father of one of her students; she spotted the seven-year old riding his bicycle on a busy highway to get help after finding his dad passed out from a diabetic episode.

He gets it. An op-ed in a Florida paper says the three E’s — education, enforcement and engineering — aren’t enough to lower the state’s worst in the nation bicycling death rate; it will take solid data, and real action based on that data.

Florida lawmakers consider making the same mistake California made by raising the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $1,500, although the Golden State only made it $1,000. Problem is the value of most bicycles is far less than that, making it the equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card for bike thieves.

A Florida woman is suing Lime for a crash that left her daughter in a persistent vegetative state over instructions that tell e-scooter users to ride in the street, even though that’s illegal in the state. In California, it’s illegal to use motorized scooters on the sidewalk. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip. 

International

Another day, another smartphone app promising to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders and pedestrians. But only if the driver and the person on the bike or on foot both have it installed and turned on. Not to mention convincing drivers they don’t have to pay attention because the app will do it for them.

A writer from Calgary offers tips on relatively cheap ways to keep warm riding your bike on winter days.

An Irish cycling coach says 2019 will be the worst year ever for bicycle crashes, because too many people are learning to get fast on virtual trainers before they develop the skill to ride safely on the streets.

Colnago celebrates the 87th birthday of founder Ernesto Calnago with a $56,000 gold-plated bike.

A former Nigerian governor died nearly 45 years after he escaped an army general by fleeing to Lagos on his bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Italian cycling pros launch a petition calling for better laws to protect bicyclists in the country in memory of fallen Giro winner Michele Scarponi, including a requirement for bike lanes and a safe passing distance.

More proof the Era of Doping hasn’t ended yet. A 50-year old amateur cyclist from Alabama was banned for four years after she failed a urine test.

Finally…

Who needs Vision Zero when you have some of the nation’s crappiest drivers? Seriously, when you’re riding your bike with five outstanding warrants while carrying drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon, obey the damn traffic laws, already.

And it’s probably not the best idea to text your husband to say you’re at the local tavern after just attempting to run his bike down with your car.

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