Tag Archive for DUI

Man killed in DUI crash while riding bike in Hawthorne Thursday night, blocks from last week’s hit-and-run crash

For the second time in a week, a bike rider has been struck by a driver on Rosecrans in Hawthorne.

But this time, the victim didn’t make it.

According to the Daily Breeze, the man, who has not been publicly identified, was run down by an alleged drunk driver around 11 Thursday night at Rosecrans and Chadron Aves — just five blocks from where a 14-year old boy was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash last Friday.

He died at the scene.

The driver was apparently headed west on Rosecrans when she slammed into the victim, then crashed into a pair of parked cars, telling police she lost control after hitting “an unknown item in the roadway.”

An unknown item that turned out to be a man on a bicycle.

The driver suffered some sort of unspecified injury; police planned to arrest her once she was released from the hospital.

Unfortunately, there’s no other information available at this time.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

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

Socialite kills brothers in alleged drunken street racing crash, more endorsements, and Burbank bike/ped overpass opens

This is who we share the roads with.

Two young boys were killed when they were struck by a driver in Westlake Village while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

KCBS-2 reports the victims were brothers, who were just eleven and nine years old.

The hit-and-run driver had apparently been drinking, and may have engaged in street racing at the time of the crash.

According to KCBS-2, she was identified as a 57-year old socialite and humanitarian, who should have known better.

Rebecca Grossman, 57, was arrested on two counts of vehicular manslaughter and is being held on $2 million bail. She did not stay on the scene, and her white Mercedes with front-end damage was towed away about a half-mile from where the boys were struck.

Grossman is the founder and chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation, and has also been recognized for her humanitarian work across the world.

Now two little boys will never grow up.

And if there’s any justice, it will be a long time before she sees the light of day again.

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Bike the Vote LA urges you to vote yes on Measure J, and offers their endorsements on council races in Santa Monica and South Pasadena.

Meanwhile, California Streetsblog offers their endorsements on this year’s extensive list of ballot propositions, as well as local issues in LA County and the Bay Area.

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Chris Buonomo reports a new Burbank bicycle/pedestrian bridge is finally open, complete with nifty curved fencing to keep anyone from throwing things over the side. Or jumping.

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More people are needed to sign up for California’s proposed bike-themed license plates; it will take 7,500 orders before the state will begin production.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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This is why you need to register your bike.

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This is definitely not the bike rider’s fault.

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GCN offers advice on riding roadies in wet weather.

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

No bias here. The Daily Mail says proposed media guidelines for UK newspapers would ban the use of terms like Lycra Louts to describe bike riders, as well as the term “accident.” The Guardian’s Laura Laker responds that the Daily Mail’s story is “so riddled with errors, it’s hard to know where to start.

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

Pennsylvania police are looking for a pair of bike-riding jerks who defaced a memorial to a fallen officer.

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Local

No bias here, either. A new study shows 61% of low-level traffic tickets issued by the LAPD went to Black people, despite making up just seven percent of LA’s population.

The new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is scheduled to open to motor vehicle traffic next week, but the bridge’s walk and bike path could be delayed for another two years to allow time to build a connector bridge.

 

State

A major ruling from a California appeals court, which overturned one of the biggest limitations on damage awards for injured bike riders, ruling that encountering a giant pothole is not an inherent risk of long-distance bicycling. That could open the way for all kinds of damage awards for bike riders — especially if the people responsible for the roadway already knew about the problem. Thanks to Phillip Young and Richard Duquette for the heads-up.

Sad news from Davis, where a 77-year old woman was killed riding her bike on a private road.

 

National

Ebike prices continue to fall. You can now buy an entry level Pedego bike for less than $1,500.

Portland bicyclists will ride sans culottes — or anything else — to protest the rush to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

More on the Idaho Stop Law’s new home in Washington State.

A Missouri bike advocate calls for more defensive driving. And defensive walking and bicycling, too.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a ten-year old Illinois boy with epilepsy. And one right next to it for the jerk who stole a handcycle from a disabled Ohio man.

Sad news from Michigan, where BMX legend Ronald McDonald — no, not that onepassed away from pancreatic cancer last week, just five weeks after he was diagnosed.

City Limits examines how to make New York’s open streets permanent and equitable, improving the quality of life while setting a world-class example.

No surprise here, as a New Jersey town rolls out new sharrows to underwhelming acclaim.

Kindhearted community members pitch in to buy a new three-wheeled ebike for a Virginia man after his bike was destroyed in a collision.

Miami Beach gets its first parking protected bike lane.

 

International

He gets it. A Vancouver-area writer says children need to be taken into account on any discussion of bike lanes, saying it’s even more important to separate inexperienced riders from traffic.

A new study shows new Toronto bike lanes have the potential to drastically prevent injuries and fatalities.

A Montreal website discovers that not all business owners oppose a new bike lane, and some actually get that it could be good for them.

An English letter writer says new plastic bollards on a protected bike lane look more like a slalom course. Which is probably exactly what I’d use them for.

The annual Eurobike trade show will take place in person this year, but with less than a third of the exhibitors and attendance limited to more people than actually attended last year.

South Korea eases restrictions on e-scooters, despite fears it could lead to more injuries.

A bike-riding Aussie family says not owning a car is worth it, even if it’s not easy.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews runs down the teams that will be competing in this year’s Giro d’Italia, which kicks off this weekend.

This year’s long-delayed Amstel Gold race has been officially canceled due to coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands.

Trek-Segafredo cyclist Quinn Simmons may have committed career suicide with online comments suggesting his support fo President Trump, with the white rider using a black hand emoji to wave goodbye; the bike team was none too pleased, calling the comments “divisive, incendiary, and detrimental.”

 

Finally…

Maybe someone should tell them there are clothes that are actually made for riding bikes. These days, Daisy would probably prefer an electric bicycle built for two.

And forget U-locks, just put a little fake bird poop on your bike to deter thieves.

No, really.

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A special thanks to Matthew R for his very generous ongoing support for this site.

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

52-year old man killed by alleged drunk driver in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood

Note: No Morning Links today, following an extended internet outage last night.

As usual, we’ll be back next week to catch up on anything we missed. 

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Once again, a SoCal bike rider has lost his life, despite the lighter traffic caused by the coronavirus crisis.

But sadly, light traffic does nothing to stop an intoxicated driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding on west on Paradise Valley Road west of Munda Road in San Diego’s Alta Vista neighborhood, when he was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver shortly before 9:15 Wednesday night.

The victim, identified only as a 52-year old man, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Twenty-eight-year old driver James L. Bumpus was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony DUI.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights to reflectors on his bike, or if there was anything other than Bumpus’ alleged drunken state that would have kept him from avoiding the victim’s bike.

A street view shows a four lane boulevard with no shoulder, where drivers could easily exceed the 40 mph speed limit.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Garden Grove bike rider critical after alleged DUI hit-and-run, coronavirus hits bike world, and NoHo road rage on video

Once again, an alleged Orange County drunk driver fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

The Monday night crash in Garden Grove left a man in critical condition with major head trauma.

And yes, the victim reportedly had the right-of-way.

Not that it mattered.

Garden Grove resident Victor Medina was arrested a quarter-mile away when police found his Chevy Suburban with major front-end damage, while Medina showed signs of intoxication.

Anyone with information is urged to call Garden Grove Traffic Investigator Paul Ashby at 714/741-5823.

Let’s hope the victim makes a full and fast recovery.

Image by 4711018 from Pixabay.

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The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to take a toll on this year’s cycling season.

Italian spring classics Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adratico and Milan-San Remo may be the latest victims of the virus, as reports circulate that they will be cancelled to prevent spread of the disease.

France’s Paris-Nice stage race will go on, but all teams will be tested for exposure to coronavirus.

The Tokyo Olympics could be postponed until the end of the year.

Another six people have tested positive for coronavirus following the cancellation of the UAE Tour. Three teams remain quarantined, while a fourth is in self-imposed isolation.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show has been postponed until August, in hopes that COVID-19 will run its course by then.

And Monterey, California’s annual Sea Otter Classic is still on for now, though organizers are closely monitoring the situation before next month’s event.

Meanwhile, an SFist op-ed suggests working from home and walking or biking everywhere.

In other words, what some of us do every day, anyway. Virus or not.

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A quick reminder that CicLAvia isn’t the only open streets game in town.

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This is who we share the roads with, North Hollywood edition.

https://twitter.com/BENBALLER/status/1235013923193012224

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Local

An “historic” former Silver Lake gas station will presumably be disassembled and moved to a new spot somewhere on the LA River to serve as a concession stand, bike repair and rental station — if an appropriate spot can be found.

Self-driving cars may not be ready for primetime, but WeHo will now allow autonomous Postmates delivery robots on the sidewalks.

Don Ward, Jesi Harris, Shane Phillips and CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew talk housing and transportation on the latest Bike Talk podcast

Speaking of Rynew, he’s quickly becoming Southern California’s bard of gravel as he documents Gravel Bike California’s Verdugo Adventure.

 

State

Kindhearted Paso Robles residents dug into their pockets to buy a new adaptive bicycle for a four-year old girl with a rare genetic disorder.

A Livermore teenager got his hot bike back after police stopped a man who was pushing it while acting strangely.

A new interactive map shows the most dangerous places for bike riders in Santa Clara County. Although Robert Leone questions whether defense lawyers will use it to argue that bicyclists should have known better than to ride there. Or that their clients can’t be guilty, because officials should have fixed the problems right away. Which they should, but still.

A bike helmet handed out a year ago by a Sacramento police detective is credited with possibly saving a young girl’s life in a crash that was investigated by the same officer who gave it to her.

 

National

A writer for Streetsblog argues that right-of-way laws are where America went wrong.

Residents of a Las Vegas neighborhood want a new bike lane removed because they didn’t see a lot of bike riders riding there before it went in. Which is kind of like saying they didn’t see a lot of cars crossing the desert before the roads were built, either.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where a retired cop walked with a shameful two years probation for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. If you ever wonder why people keep dying on our streets, the failure of our court system to hold drivers accountable for killing people — let alone fleeing the scene afterwards — is Exhibit A.

A Licensed Cycling Instructor in Missouri realizes, perhaps belatedly, that bikes are good for transportation as well as recreation.

According to a writer for Streetsblog, alleviating the “financial burden of car ownership” should be part of the Chicago mayor’s plan to end poverty in the city.

A writer in Martha’s Vineyard recalls an 1896 bicycling event that reportedly devolved into a disgraceful, disorderly riot of drunken orgies and property destruction. So in other words, nothing’s changed in the past 124 years.

A Rochester NY public radio station discusses the city’s bike culture and the need to share the road, in the wake of the pizza driver who hit a bike rider, then sued him for damage to his car.

No bias here. A Staten Island op-ed argues that speed cameras placed near schools are just a money grab, because if officials really wanted drivers to slow down, they’d say where the cameras are. That way drivers could slow down for half a block to avoid a ticket, then speed up and resume putting the lives of little kids at risk.

A DC councilmember pulls a proposal for a protected bike lane in the face of opposition from several nearby African American churches.

 

International

Cycling Weekly suggests making your own environmentally friendly degreaser. Although the greasy gunk it removes won’t be.

After a Swiss round-the-world bicyclist had his $8,000 Surly stolen in New Zealand, a Good Samaritan gave him his own nearly identical bike to finish the ride.

Credit a crash with a bike rider for helping doctors discover a benign brain tumor that had plagued an Australian woman’s health for years.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding the “roller coaster roads, dirt trails and empty beaches” of southeast Thailand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news, as former pro Nicolas Portal, director sportif of the Ineos cycling team, died in his home of an apparent heart attack; he was just 40.

Orange County’s Over the Hump mountain bike race series returns on May 5th.

VeloNews looks at San Diego County’s nine-year old Belgian Waffle Ride, calling it a “brutal mix of Liége-Bastogne-Liége and Il Lombardia, only with a heavy dusting of dirt and trail,” while riders describe it as wild ride that defies definition.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying stolen salmon filets on your bike, don’t ride that way — and put a damn light on it. If you’re going to ride a stationary bike, you might as well make margaritas while you’re at it.

And as a matter of fact, I have seen a drag queen riding in a bike lane in West Hollywood.

More than once.

Killer drunk driver walks free after 23 days, racist bike-hater gets probation, and 1/2 mile extension for Chandler Bikeway

My thanks to everyone who sent me links over the weekend.

Because of today’s overstuffed post, and the need to sleep sometime tonight, I’ll try to catch up on the rest tomorrow. 

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

A Long Beach man got a gentle caress on the wrist — not even a slap — for killing a man in a wheelchair while driving drunk, escaping with just a one-year sentence for taking the life of another human being.

Then was let out of jail after just 23 days, thanks to overcrowding at the LA County Jail.

Yes, 23 days.

Less than one lousy month. Barely over three weeks, in fact.

Which sends a strong message to anyone else thinking of getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Just go ahead and do it, because no one will hold you accountable.

Even if you kill someone.

Photo by EVG photos from Pexels.

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Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

A racist Oregon scumbag walked with just probation — and well-deserved anger management — for threatening to blow a 14-year old boy’s head off.

Why?

Because he rode his bike in front of the man’s house.

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Good news from Burbank, where officials plan to extend the popular Chandler Bikeway half a mile to connect the downtown Burbank Metrolink station with the Burbank Channel Bikeway, which is currently being built.

The bad news is, it could be over four years before anyone can ride the finished extension.

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Looks like Los Angeles may be inching closer to closing the Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path.

Which wouldn’t exist if Metro and the city hadn’t caved to a handful of NIMBY homeowners who were afraid thieves would ride bikes up to their homes to steal their flatscreen TVs.

No, really.

Because apparently, criminals don’t drive. And couldn’t accomplish the same thing by just driving up to their front doors.

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Why is it that bike safety goes out the window whenever someone wants to make a movie in Los Angeles?

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KNBC-4 says CicLAvia revealed the map for next month’s Mid City Meets Venice event.

Yet somehow, they failed to include said map in their story.

We won’t make the same mistake.

That will be followed by a return to Glendale in June, as we mentioned a few weeks ago.

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LA’s own Phil Gaimon is the topic of the latest video from GCN video, as he joins the team in an effort to win a Dixie Canyon KOM.

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This is who we share the bike lane with.

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At least he used the crosswalk.

Even though it took forever for anyone to actually stop for it.

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This one made my day, for obvious reasons.

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

A Texas man was busted for riding his bicycle through the halls of an Amarillo high school while making terroristic thefts.

A Tennessee man got 44 years without parole for murdering two teenagers by shooting them after a brief argument behind a Memphis business, then riding away on his bicycle.

Pittsburgh police are looking for a man who tried to rob a woman, then chased her on his bike as she tried to run away.

A British driver complains that a mountain biker plowed into his car as he was stopped at a red light, then brutally attacked him when he got out to see if the bike rider was okay, while a young boy begged the attacker to stop. Although something tells me there might be another side to the story in which the driver is not wholly innocent.

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Local

The Los Feliz Ledger looks at the Sunset4All campaign to add a two-way protected bike lane on Sunset Blvd; the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to support the project, despite the possible loss of some parking.

A Highland Park man says switching to an ebike for his LA to Long Beach commute freed him from the tyranny of traffic, if not unpleasant odors.

Los Angeles-based Wheels is the latest dockless micromobility provider to lay off staff, as the industry struggles for profitability.

Food trucks are so last decade. A new eco-friendly chickpea bowl food bike will start making the rounds of the Westside, mounted on an ebike that recharges with pedaling. 

If you build it, they will come. Nothing like a new 1,500 space parking garage on the Cal State Northridge campus to encourage students and faculty to drive to the school. But at least it includes bicycle and scooter storage.

Santa Clarita is looking for input on the city’s new Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.

The replacement for the Desmond Thomas Bridge will open later next year, along with the first bike lane across the harbor; now the bridge just needs a name. How about naming it for Mark Bixby, the Long Beach community leader and bike advocate who fought for that bike lane on the bridge before he was killed in a 2011 plane crash?

 

State

Finally, a sentence even I think might be a tad excessive. A San Clemente woman got the maximum sentence, as a judge gave her 51 years to life for a collision that killed three teenagers in another car while she was driving at three times the legal limit.

San Diego will install leading pedestrian intervals at 300 intersections to improve safety. Now they just need to allow bikes to go the same time as pedestrians to improve safety for everyone. 

Cute photo of a Santa Cruz ebike rider taking his two collies for a ride along the beach.

A San Jose driver copped a plea in the death of a 62-year old bike rider last July in exchange for a four-year sentence.

More proof that permanent street closures often don’t affect traffic flows, as a new study shows that banning cars from San Francisco’s Market Street resulted in virtually no spillover traffic on nearby streets, while improving travel times for bikes and buses, which are still allowed.

City Lab questions why a San Francisco bike shop owner would protest plans for a protected bike lane in front of his shop; just wait until he learns about a proposal to shut the street down entirely.

 

National

Curbed explains how to fix America’s broken intersections.

About time. Ford has developed a warning system to alert drivers to approaching bike riders to prevent doorings. Now let’s make it mandatory for every new car and truck.

A writer for Wired explains why, after years of loving cars, he decided he just didn’t want to drive anymore, and now rides a bike everywhere.

Jeep’s new fat tire, all-terrain ebike is now on sale, if you happen to have nearly six grand lying around.

A Vancouver WA paper says bike lanes and safety are great, but they’d rather have the 400 parking spaces that would have to be removed for them; needless to say, they’re not the only ones who prefer car storage over the safety of their fellow human beings.

An off-duty Border Patrol agent is credited with saving the life of an Arizona bike rider who was hit by a driver, using his training as a certified paramedic.

They get it. A Denver magazine says focusing on whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet following a crash is a form of victim blaming, and has to stop.

Some people just don’t get it. A St. Paul letter writer says no one can commute or carry groceries on a bike, and people will stop riding when they get older. All of which is refuted by people who do it every day.

Rochester, Minnesota is giving away 100 bicycles left over from a failed bikeshare service to people in need.

It only took New York drivers 24 hours to obliterate the newly installed bollards intended to keep them out of a protected bike lane.

No surprise here. Bicycling examined crash data from New York, and discovered when drivers make mistakes, people on bicycles too often pay the price.

DC considers a proposal that would require transportation equity by forcing employers who subsidize parking to offer an equal benefit or cash payout to people who don’t drive.

A Georgia grand jury will hear evidence in a fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a man riding his bike, after the driver called a state legislator and the local police chief instead of calling 911, and no one reported the crash or looked for the victim until it was too late.

 

International

A new study confirms what most of us already know. The more expensive a car is, the less likely the driver is to stop for pedestrians. Or anyone else. Or put another way, the more likely they are to drive like self-entitled jerks.

A new report from the International Transport Forum concludes that 80% of bicycling and e-scooters fatalities involve motor vehicles and the people who drive them. And traffic safety will improve if car, truck and motorcycle trips are replaced by scooters and bikes.

Fallen mountain biker Jordie Lunn will have a Vancouver Island bike park named in his honor. Meanwhile, a new report says the city must build safer bike lanes to get more people riding. Even though it’s already head-and-shoulders beyond cities like Los Angeles.

In a story that could have come from virtually anywhere in North America, a Winnipeg student newspaper says the city is all talk and no action when it comes to preventing bike thefts.

London is dropping speed limits to 20 mph in areas of the city used most by pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Which compares to speeds of 45 mph or more on some LA streets.

When British Olympic hopeful Ashton Lambie came up short, he took a bikepacking trip across the UK in search of the soul of bicycling. Which might be better, anyway.

No surprise here. A new report says two out of three bicycling crashes involving Belgian teenagers occur on roadways with no bicycling infrastructure.

Always double check your mailing addresses. A Catalan doping ring was busted when someone shipped a package to the wrong address; police seized 1.65 million doses of performance enhancing drugs worth the equivalent of nearly $1.3 million.

After police in a village outside of Hyderabad, India sent a serial rapist to prison with a death sentence, they gave new bicycles to 15 school girls for their safety.

Life is cheap in Zimbabwe, where an unlicensed driver walked with a lousy $900 fine for killing a bike rider after losing control of his vehicle — and two-thirds of that was for the license violation, not killing another human being.

Talk about a special place in hell. Heartless Aussie scam artists set up a fake crowdfunding page claiming to raise funds for a woman who died after being thrown from her bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to the US Women’s Pursuit Team on winning the world championships in Berlin last week, making them the favorites for the Tokyo Olympics.

Call her the fastest woman on two wheels. America’s Chloe Dygert broke her own record in the individual pursuit. Then broke it again to take the gold.

Cycling’s governing body announced an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against the Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport women’s cycling team.

The COVID-19 coronavirus hit the cycling world hard on Thursday when the UAE Tour was halted with two stages still to go after two Italians tested positive for the virus; race leader Adam Yates was declared the winner. British Tour de France winners Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish are among those being tested before being allowed to leave the country.

The Wall Street Journal considers the forthcoming effects of the new coronavirus on pro cycling, if you can get past their paywall.

Temper, temper. Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon got the boot from Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne race after throwing a temper tantrum — and a competitors bike — following a mass crash. He followed that by ripping up his number when he was DQ’d. And it was far from his first time.

 

Finally…

Who needs a dog sled when you’ve got two fat tires? When you’re riding your bike with four outstanding warrants, maybe try riding with traffic next time.

And maybe there are better hobbies than collecting 5,800 stolen bike seats.

Just saying.

LA has America’s worst traffic, NY bike rider accused of pedaling 80 mph, and man gets his 14th DUI on a Buffet bike

No surprise here, as a new survey ranks Los Angeles as America’s worst traffic city.

If you have the patience to click through all 51 pages, you’ll see we’re in good company here in the late, great Golden State, with San Francisco checking in at #3, followed by San Jose at #4.

Also in America’s top — or maybe bottom 50, you’ll find San Diego at #12, Riverside at #16, Sacramento at #18, Fresno #27, and Bakersfield at #31.

Yes, Bakersfield.

The good news, though, is that Los Angeles has only the 31st worst traffic worldwide. So it could be worse.

And probably will be if we keep adding more and more cars to the streets, without providing safe alternatives to driving.

On the other hand, Los Angeles isn’t even on the list of America’s 20 deadliest cities for people on bicycles, per capita.

Although Southern California is well represented by San Bernardino (#3), Chula Vista (#6) and Bakersfield (#11).

Yes, bucolic, fog-shrouded Bakersfield is the only SoCal city to make both unlucky lists. If you want to stretch the definition of Southern California a little.

However, the point of the second list is to show how many of those people killed in each city were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Bakersfield checks in with a big, fat zero, as does Chula Vista; San Bernardino does a little better with 14% helmet use.

As always, though, there’s no breakdown on how many of those people died as a result of head injuries, or whether their injuries might have been survivable even with a helmet.

So take it with a grain of salt. If not an entire bag.

But you might want to be careful riding in Bakersfield.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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Unbelievable.

A Rochester NY bike rider got rear-ended by a pizza delivery driver while trying to make a left on a surface street, despite reflective panniers, a red blinkie and a reflective rain suit.

Naturally, the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he never saw the victim until he was on his hood.

But about a month later, the guy on the bike was sued in small claims court for $900 in damages to the car that hit him.

Somehow, though, the location of the crash described in the suit moved from a surface street to an Interstate highway. And instead of rear-ending the victim, the driver claimed the guy on the bike hit him while pedaling at 60 mph.

Or maybe 80.

When a reporter asked him about the bike’s remarkably high speed, the pizza man claimed it was doable if the victim was riding an expensive bike.

So maybe those $12,000 or more bikes are worth it, after all.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Michigan man will spend the next four to ten years behind bars after he was busted for his 14th DUI in 38 years, while on the maiden ride of a motorized Jimmy Buffet-themed bicycle he’d finished building out.

Despite telling officers he’d had just one beer four hours earlier, his BAC measured 0.17 — over twice the legal limit, or “super drunk” under Michigan law.

But he will get eight days credit for time served.

Just to be clear, alcoholism is a disease.

But deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking — or on the saddle of a motorized bike — is just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

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Speaking of who we share the road with…

That’s exactly the kind of truck that killed nine-year old Nicholas Vela in Anaheim in 2009, because the driver couldn’t see a little kid riding his bike in the crosswalk directly in front of him after he stopped for a stop sign.

I’ve never forgotten the sheer, effing needlessness of Vela’s death, all because a driver somehow felt the need to jack up his pickup to the maximum level allowed by law.

Something tells me he never will, either.

Maybe someday someone can tell me why machines like this are even allowed on the streets.

Because I’ll never get it.

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Enough said.

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Here’s your chance to learn how to wrench your own track bike.

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The latest online trend appears to be barely dressed young — or mostly youngwomen posing on, if not actually riding, bicycles.

Personally, I’ll take Walmart’s Grumpy Gran on a bike, instead.

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

Two Miami salmon bicyclists are lucky to be alive, as police search for a driver who intentionally tried to hit them head-on.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence, as one of LA’s top chefs will be out of action for awhile after he was seriously injured when he was run down by a driver on Pico Blvd last week.

Metro will be free on Election Day, including a single 30-minute ride on Metro Bike. But with ten days of advanced voting in LA County prior to next Tuesday, isn’t every day this week Election Day?

Speaking of Metro Bike, the LA bikeshare network just installed its 200th docking station at the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake.

CiclaValley tags along as Gravel Bike California grinds through Eagle Rock and Topanga State Park.

 

State

Calbike is hosting their annual California Dream Ride down the Left Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles in October. And not only are ebikes allowed, they’ll let you borrow one if needed.

Silicon Valley cycling isn’t going away, it’s just shifting from fast paced venture capitalists to casual coffee and cake rides.

It may not be the carfree street that’s been discussed, but San Francisco’s Valencia Street will be getting protected bike lanes, complete with protected intersections.

Bay Area bikeshare users are revolting online after Lyft jacks up the prices for their dockless ebikes, while Uber’s Jump ebikes withdraw from the area.

No surprise here, as weekend ridership in the new barrier protected lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is over three times the weekday figure.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the failure of the US to sign onto a worldwide pledge to eliminate traffic deaths is the safe streets equivalent of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.

Your next pen could write anywhere, on anything. And comes in a handy hi-viz to make you more visible as you ride your bike with it in your pocket. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

How the bicycle almost became the Humvee of the 1890s.

They get it. Vancouver, Washington decides to remove 400 street side parking spaces to make room for protected bike lanes, after concluding that the safety of pedestrians and bike riders is more important than convenient parking.

Moving essay from a Charlotte NC advocate argues you shouldn’t have to wrap yourself up in Christmas lights with a flashing helmet to be seen and safe on a bicycle. And if you don’t have the decency to stop after a crash, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

A Miami-area councilwoman got “clipped” by an apparently driverless car she claimed couldn’t see her while riding on a sidewalk. But only an innocent hedge was held accountable. Seriously, if the car had a driver, someone would have mentioned it. Right?

If you want to get along with Florida drivers, move to Boca Raton.

 

International

A Cambridge, England safety barrier is intended to protect against terrorists, but could be putting bicyclists at risk instead.

Cycling Weekly discusses ten bespoke British bike brands.

A hit-and-run driver who killed a South African bike rider will finally end up behind bars, after dropping his seven-plus year appeal of a modest three-year sentence; if he hadn’t fought it, he could have been out four years ago.

A Texas couple is traversing Australia by bike and on foot, just because they want to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome opens up about the training crash that almost ended his cycling career, and the excruciating comeback to get back on his bike.

US Olympic medalist and world champ Chloé Dygert didn’t even want to be a cyclist, but her dad kept buying her bikes until she gave in.

The Tokyo Olympics could be at risk of being cancelled due to the coronavirus.

 

Finally…

When your rack needs a rack. Repeat after me — if you’re riding a bike with meth, a knife and drug paraphernalia in your backpack, put a damn light on it.

And if you want to make sure passing drivers give you a wide berth, this ought to do it.

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

60-year old man killed riding bike in early morning West Adams crash; driver booked on DUI

Once again, someone got behind the wheel after having too much to drink.

And once again, an innocent person paid the price.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, the victim was riding his bike west on West Adams Blvd near South Redondo Blvd in LA’s West Adams neighborhood around 3 am this morning when he was run down from behind.

KTLA-5 places the location of the crash one block west on West Adams near South Cloverdale Ave.

After hitting him, the 20-something driver continued on to smash into a parked car.

The victim, described only as a 60-year old man, died at the scene. Police note that he was not homeless, despite the early morning hour.

They also say the area is well-lighted and not considered dangerous for people on bicycles, and that the victim had lights on his bike; video from the scene clearly shows front and rear blinking lights.

Which means there was no excuse for taking the life of an innocent human being.

As if there ever is.

This is at least the 67th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 30th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; half of those deaths have occurred in the City of Los Angeles.

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

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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

https://twitter.com/ElRandomHero/status/1184226060696604672

………

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.”

………

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.

………

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.

 

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