Friday, I witnessed what too many of us face too often on LA streets.
I stood in front of my building watching as a man rode his bike down our residential street, narrow enough that drivers traveling in opposite directions have to negotiate clearances to pass safely.
He was positioned correctly, just outside the door zone, while leaving plenty of room for drivers to pass.
However, an impatient driver sped up from behind, and was apparently angry that he had to wait a few seconds for driver coming the other way to pass. So he subjected the rider to a needlessly close punishment pass — then brake checked him after the man on the bike strenuously objected to the close pass, like most of us would.
The incident ended when they exchanged words at the stop sign at the end of the block, then turned in opposite directions. Although I’m not sure if the guy on the bike turned left simply to get away from the jerk in the car.
It all happened too quickly for me to react and get my phone out, let alone catch the driver’s license plate.
But it serves as yet another sad reminder that we are all subject to the whims and temperament of those we share the road with.
Because it’s far too easy for drivers to take their bad day out on the nearest person on a bike.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only witness to bad driver behavior last week. A Reddit user posted the following message about a hit-and-run he witnessed in Hollywood on Wednesday.
Hit & Run @ Wilcox & Delongpre tonight (4/21)
Driving home from work tonight in Hollywood around 6:50pm I saw a black Tesla model X right hook a cyclist travelling southbound on Wilcox. Tesla sped away and I followed them to get their license plate number – if that sounds like it was you shoot me a DM and I’d be happy to share.
Thanks to tsmith8808 for the heads-up.
Bad news just keeps coming from Griffith Park.
One week after the death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive, a 76-year old man was in grave condition after somehow falling from his bike in the 4358 block of Griffith Park Drive on Saturday.
Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on how or why he fell.
But what should be one of the safest places to ride a bike in Los Angeles is looking far from it these days.
Meanwhile, Lionel Mares writes to remind us that the Griffith Park Advisory Board will hold a Zoom meeting at 6:30 pm this Thursday. Which might be a good opportunity to demand safer streets — and fewer cars — in LA’s iconic park.
And Los Angeles Times readers write to call for safer streets in Griffith Park.
This is the last week to register for this year’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park, which is all the more important after the events of the last two weeks.
Only 1 more week to register for FTR Griffith Park!!
Join us in the fight for safer streets and register today at https://t.co/oYvXR1XCu7…
Registration closes at NOON on Thursday, and spots are limited, so register today! #FinishTheRide #NeverGiveUp #phoenixrising
— Finish The Ride (@FinishTheRide) April 22, 2022
Finish the Ride was founded by hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt, who lost the lower part of his right leg when he was struck by a van driver on Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, and dragged onto the 5 Freeway before he could free himself.
It started as a single event to call attention to the hit-and-run epidemic, and finish the ride he was unable to complete because of the 2013 crash. And has morphed into a powerful nonprofit movement to fight the scourge of fleeing drivers.
About damn time.
Over 12 years since the passage of the 2010 LA bike plan, for the first time ever, there’s now a bike lane between the eastside of LA and downtown with the installation of a protect bike lane on the 1st street bridge pic.twitter.com/5KSYY8bANU
— Hunter Owens (@hunter_owens) April 23, 2022
Renée Zellweger is one of us. And knows how to dress the part.
A couple boys from India demonstrate a little tandem teamwork on a single seat bike.
Even Harvard Business School would not have a better video to communicate the virtues of collaboration & teamwork! pic.twitter.com/ALBRYRCFN0
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) April 23, 2022
Ignore the news story. Just pay attention to all the bicycles in the background, which shows what’s possible with decent infrastructure.
“The dial shifted today” says a 1922 exec member pic.twitter.com/Ksvd2NvyWM
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) April 21, 2022
A British rider learns the hard way that maybe attempting a 124-mile ride on a $38 Amazon bike isn’t the best idea.
If there are any international art thieves out there, this would look very good on my wall.
Cycliste au Vélodrome d'Hiver
(Jean Metzinger, 1913) pic.twitter.com/QSrN1g3dC7
— David Guénel (@davidguenel) April 22, 2022
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. A Staten Island website says traffic deaths continue to rise in New York, despite the city’s Vision Zero, and nearly a “decade of demonizing motorists as almost the exclusive cause of deaths on the road.” Considering drivers are the only ones who are killing people, it seems appropriate.
Twenty-three-year old French pro cyclist Lucie Jounier suffered a concussion, trapezoid fracture, and cuts and abrasions to her face when she was deliberately brake checked by driver while on a training crash; needless to say, the driver didn’t stop afterwards.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
The Beautiful Boulevard plan is nearing the finish line, after a Metro committee approved plans for North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit lane, which incorporates many elements of the Eagle Rock resident-designed plan; the last step will be approval by the full Metro board at Thursday’s meeting.
Road Bike Rider reviews the new $3,800 mamarachi-style Cero One utility ebike, made by West Los Angeles-based Cero Bikes. And likes it. I like the corgi-sized utility basket up front.
The rich get richer. San Diego continues its drive to be bike friendly with the opening of the new 3.1-mile Landis Bikeway connecting North Park and City Heights, part of a 12-mile network of bike boulevards. Although it’s probably not named after former San Diego resident and ex-Tour de France winner, and current CBD purveyor, Floyd Landis.
Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood bemoan the loss of a few dozen parking spaces for a new bike lane, while bike riders applaud the new separated lane.
A month after the so-called People’s Convoy truckers protest was held up by a single bike rider in Washington DC, they were pelted with eggs amid shouts of “Get out of town” during a pass through Oakland.
Sacramento police are looking for the driver of a work truck who fled the scene after rear ending a man on a bike, resulting in major injuries.
USA Today offers tips on how to upgrade your bike commute.
Washington City, Utah installed a pair of ghost bikes to honor Adam & Matthew Bullard, who were both killed by an alleged DUI driver while participating in the Tour of St. George earlier this month. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the brothers families has surpassed the $100,000 goal, with over $107,000 at this writing. Thanks to Kent Russell for the heads-up.
Residents of my Colorado hometown consider how to make the platinum-level bicycle friendly community even safer for bike riders and pedestrians.
A Milwaukee woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after she initially tried to blame her boyfriend for the crash, even though he wasn’t even in the car. Which is a pretty good clue that maybe he needs to rethink their relationship.
Tennessee has passed a bill requiring killer drunk drivers to support the children of their victims; the first of its kind law now goes to the governor for his signature.
Twelve New York residents were injured in four separate incidents when ebike batteries unexpectedly burst into flames.
This is who we share the road with. A Florida teenager with a history of recording himself driving at extreme speeds on public highways now faces six counts of vehicular homicide after he rear-ended another vehicle while traveling at 151 mph. Vehicular homicide carries a maximum penalty of 15 years per count in Florida; if the judge imposes consecutive sentences, he could end up serving up to 90 years behind bars.
Yet another study shows the health benefits of riding a bike, showing bicycling can reduce your risk of premature death by 23%.
T3 looks at the best new bikes from the London Ebike Festival, with a lineup heavy on foldies and micro bikes.
A 51-year old man was critically injured in Leeds, England when he crashed his bike head-on into another man on an ebike as they were both riding in opposite directions on the sidewalk.
India’s Hero Cycles is opening a new ebike assembly line in Manchester, England.
Typical. After a Welsh driver got the equivalent of a $532 fine for passing a group of bicyclists too close at too high a speed, other drivers insist on social media that he didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t get the video to load; it may not be available in the US.
Thousands of Scottish bicyclists turned out for the 10th Annual Pedal on Parliament to demand safer streets. In Los Angeles, we’re lucky if we can get a could dozen people to show up for a protest. Maybe if we had numbers like this, city officials might actually listen to us. And do something.
Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège to complete her best ever spring campaign; she also won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as well as notching three second place finishes and one fourth in the spring classics.
Twenty-two-year old Remco Evenepoel won the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his maiden effort in cycling’s oldest classic, as Belgium swept the podium.
Ouch! American Larry Warbasse will miss Switzerland’s Tour de Romandie after suffering testicular lesions with hematoma in a high-speed crash in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. World champ Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax in the same crash, while his teammate Ilan Van Wilder ended up with a broken jaw.
Twenty-four-year old Tyler Stites claimed victory in the Redlands Classic, sliding atop the podium with a third place finish in the final stage; 27-year old Heidi Franz took the women’s title.
An Indiana University fraternity claimed its first Little 500 victory in over 20 years.
Riding tandem on a single-seat bike with a kitty as your stoker. And who needs an ebike when your passenger pitches in?
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.