Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This is the amateur Olympics of drinking, so ride defensively. And assume every driver you see on the road after lunch this afternoon is under the influence.
Or maybe after breakfast.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.
No surprise here.
As expected, a motorcyclist who killed a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police near a Carlsbad state park has been formally sentenced to four years behind bars.
Twenty-nine-year old Eric Monte Burns pled guilty to a single felony count of evading an officer causing death, with an allegation of causing great bodily injury to his passenger, for the death of 69-year old Solano Beach resident Brad Allen Catcott last August.
Burns was fleeing from a park police officer for speeding and reckless riding at Carlsbad State Beach, with a 22-year old woman on his bike, when he slammed into Catcott as he merged his bicycle into a turn lane.
Catcott died at the scene, while both Burns and his passenger were seriously injured.
Prosecutors dropped charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI, with up to ten additional years in prison, in exchange for the guilty plea.
One of the stars of Los Angeles Bike social media has caught the eye of the LA Times.
Times staff writer Ryan Fonseca, editor of the Essential California newsletter, spoke with 41-year old bike commuter Tom Morash, better known on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as Entitled Cyclist.
Tom’s online moniker formed as he got more involved in Bike Twitter and noticed a widespread “attitude that drivers have towards cyclists as being entitled.” Then his penchant for sarcasm kicked in.
“I’m trying to turn the idea of entitled around to mean: ‘Yes, I’m entitled to be able to move around the streets without getting run over by you.’”
I forgot the other lovely piece of this… The mirror of the truck that broke the bone in my arm was ripped off the vehicle, left sitting at the scene. I pointed this out to the cops several times.
When I got the police report the evidence section said "none."
— Entitled Cyclist🚲 (@EntitledCycling) March 16, 2023
Fonseca goes on to describe the sensation of watching Fonseca’s nearly daily videos of close calls, blocked bikeways and overly aggressive drivers from the comfort of his desk chair.
Watching Tom’s videos can be a harrowing experience — and I’m viewing them safely from my office chair. The number of near-collisions he’s faced due to speeding, inattentive driving and sometimes deliberately aggressive drivers is all the more shocking as I remind myself that this is one person’s regular commute in a county with millions of people and tens of thousands of miles of roads.
On top of the multiple tons of speeding metal that Tom has to watch out for, his feed is full of parked vehicles and trash cans blocking designated bike lanes and sidewalks. He also regularly documents the conditions of bike lanes and other safety infrastructure as he navigates L.A. and neighboring cities.
It’s a good read, and well worth a few minutes of your day to read the whole thing.
And if it gets some drivers to recognize themselves and reconsider the way they operate behind the wheels, that’s a win for all of us.
Advocacy group BikeLA, formerly known as the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, aka LACBC, is urging you to urge CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez to add bike lanes to newly repaved Belmont Avenue between Temple Street and Beverly Blvd.
Assuming you live in his district, that is.
And maybe we could get the Temple Street road diet killed by his predecessor back on the table, while we’re at it.
Do you live in Council District 13? Join our newest local chapter, Bike Central LA, in calling for bike lanes to be added to newly paved Belmont Avenue, between Beverly and Temple. Send a letter at the link below!https://t.co/Tj52j5JGCf
— BikeLA (@heybikela) March 16, 2023
If you were planning to ride the east section of Angeles Crest Highway this weekend, you might want to think again.
*SR-2 in Angeles National Forest*
SR-2 remains CLOSED from Mt. Wilson Rd. to Big Pines Hwy. Multiple slides west of SR-39 & a washed out roadway at mile post 46 / Windy Gap. Closure updates at https://t.co/O37QesJHpw pic.twitter.com/Bbyx0EprDn
— Caltrans District 7 (@CaltransDist7) March 16, 2023
You’re invited to a family friendly ride Sunday morning.
LA Families Bike is hosting a family friendly ride this Sunday at 9:30AM! pic.twitter.com/80cDevPX0D
— BikeLA (@heybikela) March 16, 2023
We may have missed this one earlier this year, but it’s no surprise that bicycles have become tools of survival for the embattled people of Ukraine.
It’s common for people picking up WCK food kits in Ukraine to come by bike—some ride for 30 minutes each way for the support. The kits are heavy, full of items including flour, rice, oil, canned meat & veggies, and tea—enough to last families between deliveries. #ChefsForUkraine pic.twitter.com/Yh4qgTLT6V
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) January 19, 2023
And never mind that World Central Kitchen founder chef José Andrés should have received the Nobel Peace Prize long before now.
Or maybe knighthood. Or sainthood.
Or all of the above.
Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.
The war on cares may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
Penn State reminds bike riders and users of mobility devices to be visible and predictable. Effectively putting the onus for safety on vulnerable road users, and not on the people in the big, dangerous machines who create the peril in the first place.
No surprise here. A DC audit cites a lack of funding and oversight for the failure of the city’s Vision Zero program, as traffic deaths trend the wrong way. Then again, you could write the same story for virtually any major American city, Los Angeles included.
No news is good news, right?
Calbike calls on the state to fully fund active transportation and Complete Streets, and stop wasting money on climate-killing freeway projects. Amen to that.
A travel website describes “eight perfect ways” to enjoy Oceanside by bicycle.
Nearly 3,000 people are expected to take part in Saturday’s San Diego Padres Pedal the Cause, with routes ranging from 25 to 75 miles; this year’s event could see the cancer research fundraising ride top $20 million.
She gets it. The author of Romper’s Parenting column says raising kids would be so much better without cars.
Portland is hopping on the ebike bandwagon, as the city’s Clean Energy Fund is proposing a $20 million ebike rebate program. Those crickets you hear are Los Angeles officials not contemplating a similar program.
Kindhearted Illinois cops arranged the donation of a new bike for a man whose bicycle broke down during a recent snowstorm, depriving him of his sole source of transportation.
This is who we share the road with. A “recidivist reckless driver” has been offered a plea deal of nine years behind bars for driving against traffic on a New York street before crashing into another vehicle, and sending them both onto the sidewalk where they killed a three-month old girl and gravely injured one of her parents; the wrong way driver has nearly 100 previous red light and speed cam violations on his record. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.
Speaking of New York, the city is planning a makeover of dangerous Delancey Street, from the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan to the Bowery; 38 people have been killed or injured in the area directly below the bridge in just a five-year period.
Despite that, the Daily Sabah says exploring New York by bike is safer and more efficient than you might think.
The CBC says Canadians can look to Finland as an example of how to improve winter bicycling in the country.
The European Parliament voted to require “favorable” minimum requirements for bike parking spaces in new and renovated buildings.
No bias here. A London columnist is shocked! shocked! to discover a price tag for the equivalent of nearly $4,900 for a new cargo bike, while noticing the disparity between cargo bike-riding affluent parents and non-affluent delivery workers. But he probably wouldn’t think twice of people paying ten or twenty times that much for a motor vehicle to haul their kids, or deliver takeout. Or takeaway, as they call it.
That’s more like it. An English mayor tells drivers to stop being selfish by parking in bike lanes.
Forbes calls the British-made Hummingbird single-speed folding bike the lightest and best foldie on the market. And it can be yours for the low, low price of just $4,260.
The UK’s Factor Bikes is offering a limited edition gravel bike in honor of the late Kenyon cycling star Suleiman ‘Sule’ Kangangi, who died in a high-speed crash during last year’s Vermont Overland race.
Monaco’s Prince Albert II is one of us; the country’s Sovereign Prince has ordered a custom bicycle from Italian bikemaker 3T. You can get your own relatively off-the-shelf version starting for a little over eight grand.
They get it, too. India Today considers how to make the country’s crowded roads safe for people on bicycles, “given the vehicular indiscipline and reckless driving.” I think the “vehicular indiscipline of drivers” will be my new go-to phrase.
Bicycling Australia reviews World Bicycle Relief’s single-speed Buffalo Bike; Trek has named the bike, designed to provide transportation for people in underdeveloped countries, as their Bike of the Year for two years running.
Colombian pro Miguel Ángel López hasn’t taken too well to his sacking by the Astana-Qazaqstan cycling team over alleged links to a Spanish doping ring, filing a nearly $2 million lawsuit challenging his firing.
New independent cycling website Escape Collective previews tomorrow’s Milan-San Remo, the first of the year’s five Monuments; France24 says double Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar is ready for it.
VeloNews says a new generation of Americans are ready for a breakout year on this year’s WorldTour.
French sprinter Hugo Hofstetter put his Bianchi race bike through an unplanned stress test yesterday, breaking not one, but two sets of handlebars in the final 30 miles of the GP Denain race.
Now you, too, can own your very own family-operated bikeshare system; read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Who needs Everesting when you can set the record for vertical descent?
And that crappy feeling when you wipeout into a pile of manure on live TV.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.