Tag Archive for hit-and-run

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.

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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.

Update: Motorbike rider fled after killing woman riding bike on San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Apparently, no one is safe from idiots with engines.

According to a tweet from the Norwalk Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist while riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail a little over two weeks ago.

Yes, on an offroad bike path.

And yes, her killer fled the scene.

The victim was identified as 31-year old Carla Becerra, who was killed in the crash on Saturday, February 1st.

Twentynine-year old Brandon Lindsley was arrested for the crime eleven days later, and charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last Friday. Since Becerra died, both should be felony counts. 

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

No word on exactly where or how the crash happened. And no explanation for what the hell someone on a motorbike was doing on a bike path.

Hopefully we’ll learn more on Wednesday, when the department is expected to issue a press release.

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

Update: KTLA-5 reports the crash occurred on a bike path near Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, which doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, or any other riverfront bike path.

Becerra was found lying unconscious on the path, with her bicycle several feet away. She was taken to Coast Plaza Medical Center, where she died. 

Investigators identified Lindsley as a person of interest based on a distinctive tattoo seen by people who did not witness the crash itself. He was arrested after reportedly making incriminating statements to investigators. 

Lindsley is being held on $105,000 bail in this case, as well as a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

Comments from Mike Wilkinson and Michael of CLR Effect say motorcycles aren’t unusual on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, despite a prohibition on anything with an engine. 

Maybe this will be a much-needed wakeup call to actually do something about it.

Update 2: Chris Klibowitz reports that the sheriff’s department gave the location as between Imperial and Firestone, rather than near the intersection, as KTLA reported, which makes a lot more sense.

Update 3: I received a message from Carla Becerra’s brother Quin, who offered a few details missing from previous reports.

According to Quin, the first call to 911 came around 6:45 pm on February 1st, as Carla Becerra was riding her bicycle south on the bike path, and Brandon Lindsley was traveling north on his motorcycle; he places the crash site roughly a quarter mile south of Imperial Highway.

Lindsley apparently fled because he had an outstanding warrant for a robbery assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, he might have run anyway.

And still no explanation for why he was riding illegally on the bike path.

Adding insult to injury — literally — someone stole Becerra’s phone, earphones and ear rings while she was lying unconscious and dying on the bike path, sometime before the first responders could get there.

As a result, emergency personnel were unable to identify her for several hours, and her family had no idea where she was or what happened to her until they received the tragic news at 3 am the next day.

This is how Quin described his sister Carla.

My sister was a full time RN at UCI medical and at MLK hospital. She had worked her entire life, to buy my parents their dream home in Lakewood, even put her social and love life on hold to do so. She always put others before herself, just so her life can be taken away from someone so selfish. The messed up part about all of this is that if he (Brandon) was the one left unconscious then she would have stayed and made sure he made it. She had a huge passion for cycling and running. The only comfort my family and I take from this is that she left us while doing something she loved. It just wasn’t her time yet.

He concluded by noting that Brandon Lindsley will be arraigned on Tuesday, February 25th — the same day his victim will be laid to rest. 

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carla Becerra and all her loved ones.

Photo by Jim F

Garcetti orders bold climate plan, couple killed by drunk driver on Goleta bike path, and Corona DIY hit-and-run investigation

Maybe he means it this time.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive yesterday to enhance portions of the city’s Green New Deal.

Which would be a big deal, if he actually follows through this time.

There’s a lot to like in the plan. Starting with a commitment to active transportation; according to My News LA, the plan would

— promote walking, bicycling and micro-mobility with a comprehensive citywide network of active transportation corridors, including protected bike lanes, paths along regional waterways and low-stress neighborhood bike improvements;

The order also calls for more cool streets and roofs, a congestion pricing pilot program, zero emission buses, and increasing transit speeds by 30% in the next ten years.

More importantly, it calls for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled through expanded use of transit, walking, bicycling and micromobility.

And of special interest to many of us, more frequent open streets events.

But as always, the devil is in the details.

It remains to be seen whether that implementation plan for an active transportation network means we’ll finally get around to building out the hard-won 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously passed by the city council when Garcetti was still council president.

Or if they intend to re-invent the wheel yet again, with or without our input.

Curbed reports the mayor at least struck the right sense of urgency.

“Can we make this happen?” Garcetti asked Monday, speaking broadly about the city’s sustainability goals. “We don’t have a choice.”

But they added —

It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to achieve one of the key goals laid out in the city’s Green New Deal: A nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of miles LA residents drive daily.

Although it’s not a bad sign that the NRDC is on board with it.

The problem, of course, is that we’ve been here before.

Any progress on the bike plan, or the mobility plan that subsumed it, ground to a near complete and total stop after Garcetti took office as mayor.

And any real progress on the mayor’s own Vision Zero plan came to a halt the first time drivers complained about a road diet.

The result that not only have bike and pedestrian deaths not declined by 20%, as the plan called for by this year, they’ve actually gone up.

So this could be the beginning of the groundbreaking, tide-turning movement to re-invent the City of Angels into the more livable — and survivable — city so many of us have fought for.

Or it could be just another bold plan that will soon by gathering dust on the shelf.

It’s all up to Mayor Garcetti.

And whether he’s suddenly found the political will to see it through.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Or in this case, a bike path.

Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk website reports that a married couple was killed in a collision while walking their dog on an offroad Goleta bike path Sunday evening.

The driver, later identified as 39-year old Eric Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar of Goleta, fled the scene on foot.

A writer for the site estimated that Aguilar had to have driven at least 100 yards on the bike path before coming to a stop, slamming into his victims somewhere along the way.

Police took the alleged drunk driver into custody three hours later in nearby Carpinteria. He was a passenger in a car, whose driver was returning from Ventura County after learning that Aguilar was a wanted man.

Authorities threw the book at him, and deservedly so.

According to the site,

Aguilar was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated causing injury, hit and run causing death or injury, fleeing the scene after committing manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated, with an enhancement for causing the deaths of more than one person.

He remained in custody Monday night, with bail set at $100,000.

Fortunately, the dog somehow survived the crash, and was turned over to a family member.

Let’s hope Aguilar gets the hard time a crime like this calls for.

But let’s face it.

As long as drunks continue to get behind the wheel, we’re not safe anywhere. And no amount of jail time can bring back the lives they take.

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This is who we share the roads with, too.

After a Corona mother was killed in a hit-and-run while riding her motorcycle last week, leaving behind eight kids, her husband made it his mission to track down her killer.

Remarkably, he found the car parked in a nearby apartment complex, with passenger side damage matching the details of the crash.

Police arrested the 85-year old driver, Tashiro Isa, on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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The LAPD is asking for your help to find the heartless coward who fled the scene after backing into a 92-year old man, leaving him bleeding in the street.

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Or as we call it here in balmy Los Angeles, Friday.

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After a British truck driver knocked a bicyclist off his bike in a left hook, the equivalent of our right hook, the driver refused to admit he was behind the wheel — and walks with just a fine and points against his license.

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Take a quick break with mountain biker Greg Williamson doing “dusty laps” on a dry and dirty Kiwi singletrack trail.

I think Dusty Laps will be the name of my new cowboy alter ego, although Twitter user Mumen Rusto suggested that could be my porn name.

But no one wants to see that anymore.

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

An Aussie state department of transportation posts a simple question about bicycling rules online. And opens the floodgate for an avalanche of bike hate.

A Tokyo bicyclist catches a punishment pass and a brake check from a school bus driver on his bike cam — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

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

Sacramento police are looking for a man who fled on a bicycle after robbing a business and threatening the employees at gunpoint.

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Local

Streetsblog adds its voice to those calling out against plans to widen dangerous Magnolia Blvd, which is already on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.

Bike riders aren’t the only ones being inconvenienced by the closure of the Arroyo Seco pathway; horse people are calling for the equestrian trail to be reopened, as well.

While Los Angeles talks about safer streets, Santa Monica is actually doing something, as the city announces plans to make over deadly Wilshire Blvd to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

Sad news, as longtime bike industry vet Jim Whitsett died of an apparent heart attack before South Bay Cycle, his new 2,100 square foot Manhattan Beach bike shop, could open this coming weekend.

 

State

My point exactly. A writer for California Streetsblog argues that the state is missing a significant opportunity to fight climate change by failing to offer the same sort of rebates for ebikes that they do for electric vehicles. Except we should go further, and offer them for any bicycle intended to replace at least one car trip a week.

They get it. An editorial in the Times of San Diego says driving like maniacs is the root cause of bike and pedestrian collisions.

Fifty-six-year old Julian resident Craig Wendell Nelson faces up to four years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of Kevin Wilson as he was riding his bike on a rural road east of El Cajon last month; police eventually found Nelson hiding under some bushes after abandoning his car.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike, like the one that was installed for fallen bicyclist Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime following the Palm Springs hit-and-run that took his life; the killer of the 30-year old father is still a large.

Palo Alto considers fixing a “terrifying” intersection used by around 4,000 cars and 20 bicycles per hour during the morning rush. Maybe more bike riders would use it if it wasn’t so scary.

San Francisco bike riders are calling for a concrete barrier along the Embarcadero bike lanes.

Uber says Sacramento ranks second in the world for shared rides, if you include bikeshare and e-scooters along with ride hailing.

 

National

VeloNews says 2020 is all about gravel and e-bikes and smart-bikes and materials and versatility.

Bicycling says blame a stiff neck for your numb hands.

New York bike riders can’t use the city’s bike lanes because they were built wide enough for street sweepers and snow plows, which makes them wide enough for people to drive and park in, too.

New York is finally getting around to questioning whether dangerous drivers should be taken off the road before they kill someone. Not after, like the woman with eight speeding and red light violations who killed a couple kids as they were walking in a crosswalk.

Florida bike riders are up in arms after an 18-year old bicyclist was cuffed and arrested after allegedly running a stop sign; the officer says he and another bike rider refused to stop when ordered to, while the riders say they just didn’t hear him. Advocates also want to know why the kid from Puerto Rico was the only one to get busted. Thanks to Victor Bale and J. Patrick Lynch for the links.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine unveils the secrets bike mechanics don’t want you to know, like maybe you’re putting your bar tape on wrong.

The English city of Coventry just got Britain’s first bicycle mayor. Meanwhile Los Angeles, with ten times the population, is still waiting.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A French woman who may have been the world’s oldest person was still riding her bike as she approached 100.

The Netherlands ranks second in Europe for bicycling fatalities. Which isn’t too surprising, considering they also have one of the continent’s highest rates for bicycling.

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Aussie man who failed to show up for sentencing after pleading guilty to killing a bike rider; the victim frequently posted videos of close passes while calling for a safer passing distance.

Macau leaders shut down hiking trails and bike lanes to combat the novel coronavirus, telling everyone to just shut yourself in and exercise at home.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tour de France champ Egan Bernal will lead the Ineos team in this week’s Tour of Columbia.

New Zealand’s Georgia Williams is making a comeback to the women’s pro cycling tour after being knocked off her bike by the increasingly common Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, aka RED-S, which prevented her from getting enough fuel for her body while making her bones more brittle.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could fold up to fit in your briefcase or backpack; let’s hope it also protects your head. Now you, too, can compete in the world’s greatest bike races without risking all that road rash and broken bones and stuff.

And apparently, Los Angeles used to be a lot better for bicycling.

Punishment pass brush-by, CD12 transportation forum, and forget coronavirus — cars are the health crisis

This is what a real punishment pass looks like.

Allyson Vought, the LA Bicycling Advisory Committee representative for Council District 15, forwarded this video to me yesterday.

It’s hard to see from the rear-facing cam, but the driver actually brushes her as he — let’s assume it’s a he — passes as closely as physically possible without actually sending her to the ER.

Or worse.

Which makes it hit-and-run. Not to mention assault with a deadly weapon.

And yes, she reported it to the police; what, if anything, they’ll do about it remains to be seen.

 

But one thing is clear.

In most cases like this, the driver would simply claim he didn’t see the person on the bike. That won’t work here, since he blared on the horn as he passed, indicating he not only saw her, but wanted her to get the hell out of his way.

And that makes it intentional.

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If you live, work or ride in the San Fernando Valley’s 12th Council District, cancel your plans for tomorrow and attend this transportation town hall instead.

And yes, it’s that important.

Although something tells me regressive short-term incumbent John Lee may skip this one.

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A new Chinese study confirms what we already knew. If you want to get fatter and out of shape, just get a car.

Which means the real health crisis isn’t coronavirus. It’s driving.

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We mentioned last week that Mars Volta and Marilyn Manson bassist Juan Alderete was in a coma after suffering a serious brain injury when he went over the handlebars on his bicycle.

Now a crowdfunding page has been established to help pay his medical expenses, raising over $50,000 of the $250,000 goal in just two days.

Alderete suffered a diffuse axonal injury, despite wearing a helmet; several studies have suggested that bike helmets can contribute to, rather than prevent, that kind of injury.

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Congratulations to Culver City, which voted to protect the lives of children walking or biking to school, after a years-long struggle to improve safety.

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

What an effing waste. A Fresno man is dead because a man riding a bike took offense to his support of the 49ers during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and shot him with a homemade zip gun; police found him hiding in a nearby homeless camp.

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Local

The LA Kings teamed with the Bikes for Kids Foundation to donate new bicycles and helmets to all 65 third grade students at Compton charter school.

 

State

No bias here. The San Francisco Chronicle highlights the suffering of Bay Area teachers, whose lives would be just dandy if it wasn’t for that darn bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Because apparently, there was no traffic on the bridge before they installed the bike lane as an alternative to driving. And induced demand isn’t a thing.

About damn time. San Francisco’s port authority finally decides that allowing restaurant valets to block bike lanes in the city’s Embarcadero is a bad thing. Which should have been done after a popular pedicab driver was killed two years ago.

In LA, we have to fight to get bike lanes anywhere; in San Francisco, the question is whether Valencia Street should get protected bike lanes or ban cars entirely.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where a woman riding her bike was killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene after Sunday’s crash.

A couple hundred people decided to skip the Super Bowl and ride a NorCal century instead, a Chico tradition since 1981.

 

National

Yes, ebikes are beginning to infiltrate gran fondos and group rides. I’ve heard of at least one popular group ride that’s been struggling with the issue of whether to allow ebikes for a couple years now.

Seriously, what does it mean when cold and snowy Denver has a Winter Bike to Work Day coming up next week — on Valentines Day, no less — and warm, sunny Los Angeles doesn’t even have one?

A Minnesota professor is trying to improve bike safety by designing a $500 smart bicycle with the sort of $80,000 LIDAR and sensors found on a self-driving car.

After gutting a bill mandating helmet use for bike-riding children, the Indiana legislature revives it to allow a state public safety fund to purchase and distribute helmets to kids. Proving that there are other ways to encourage helmet use besides fining people who ride with bare heads. Hint: The same thing works for bike lights, too.

Speaking of Indiana, an attorney from the state offers tips on what to do before and after getting hit by a car, including always riding with one or more cams on your bike. And if there’s any question why, see the video at the top of this page.

Maybe LA could take a tip from Memphis, which is conducting lane reconfigurations — aka road diets — on six streets to improve safety in the city formerly named the worst bike city in America. Meanwhile Los Angeles, which currently holds that dubious distinction, is currently planning exactly zero.

A New Orleans op-ed makes the case that the city’s docked bikeshare system is a form of public art.

Decatur, Georgia faces a bikelash after a three-year effort to improve bicycle safety and walkability in the Atlanta suburb. Kind of like every other place that’s tried to take an inch of roadway from motorists.

Miami bike advocates call for protected bike lanes instead of a painted green lane on a popular causeway where a woman was killed last year, complaining that the city has done nothing to improve safety following her death.

 

International

Even in bike-friendly Europe, nearly 20,000 people lost their lives riding bicycles in 28 EU countries in the nine years from 2010 to 2018.

Evidently, the best way for an ordinary Brit to get on American talk show is to buy a stolen bike and track down the owner.

A British man won’t be driving for the next year, after deliberately running a bike rider off the road for the imagined crime of not using a bike lane.

Evidently, the only thing that stinks in Limburg, Belgium is the cheese. Because anyone on a bike can ride along the city’s architectural artworks through a lake and over a forest, past sights including a 19th-century castle and an open-air museum.

According to a German expert, the top two-wheeled trends in Deutschland are ebikes, custom bikes and gravel bikes. Or if you really want to be on trend, just build a custom gravel ebike.

This is who we share the roads with. Horrible news from Australia, where an alleged drunk driver faces 20 charges after jumping the curb and killing four young children, and seriously injuring another; three of those killed were from a single family.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie “F’n” Compton looks to the future after her 4th place finish at the ‘cross world’s.

Dutch pro Jakob Fuglsang says he ain’t done nothing wrong, despite reports he’s been hanging out with Lance’s preferred doping doc, and the good doc asserts he’s never been convicted of anything. Which is not the same as never being implicated.

Cycling Tips reminisces about the chaotic 2005 Sun Tour, which marked the start of Simon Gerrans rise as a pro, but nearly marked the end of the then 53-year old stage race, which is still going strong.

 

Finally…

Apparently, golf cart drivers are just like any other drivers. How to create traffic jams on Google Maps with a little red wagon full of cellphones.

And if a Tesla Cyberbike doesn’t exist, just build your own. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

 

 

Driver charged in fatal El Cajon hit-and-run, who we share the roads with, and get the damn location right, already

Accused killer driver Craig Wendell Nelson has been charged with the hit-and-run death of bike rider Kevin Wilson east of El Cajon last week.

Nelson faces a well-deserved four years and eight months behind bars if he’s convicted.

Police found him hiding in the bushes after abandoning his car, possibly to avoid being taken into custody for a number of probation violations for previous convictions.

Didn’t work.

But that’s just one more example of the penalty for hit-and-run not even coming close to matching the severity of the crime in this state.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A jury awarded a Calabasas woman $18 million for the hit-and-run crash that killed her mother and critically injured her as they walked in a crosswalk.

The jury also ruled there was malice in the case, considering that after running over the two women, the driver pulled the mother’s body out of the road, then backed up her pickup and parked it on a side street, pretending to police she wasn’t involved.

Note to world — whatever else you may or may not think of them, cops aren’t stupid.

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This is who we share the roads with, part 2.

A Los Angeles fire captain is under investigation for the apparent high-speed hit-and-run crash that totaled a woman’s parked car, knocking it 160 feet down the street and into a neighbor’s driveway.

He then went home and refused to respond to sheriff’s deputies, later denying he’d been drinking, despite being found passed out in the bathtub the next morning.

Instead, he told the victim the next day that he’d had to rush home after the crash because he was suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

Deputies couldn’t enter his home to arrest him because a hit-and-run that results in property damage is just a misdemeanor.

Even if it destroys an entire car, and gives the driver plenty of time to sober up from his, uh, diarrhea.

Just another example of how California’s lenient hit-and-run laws don’t fit the crime.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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If you’re going to use a tragic Huntington Beach bike death to promote your law firm, maybe figure out where the hell the city is, first.

Hint: It’s not in San Bernardino County.

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San Diego kicks off the second Regional Bike Summit next Thursday featuring beer, pizza, group rides and advocacy discussions; the three-day event is sponsored by the San Diego Bicycling Coalition.

The SDBC is still looking for volunteers to help out. Contact the coalition for more information.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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The World Economic Forum offers a quick look at the world’s most exciting bicycle infrastructure projects, none of which are in Los Angeles.

https://twitter.com/wef/status/1222096980610093057

Thanks to Thomas Riebs for the heads-up.

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Local

A Hollywood Hills-based private chef describes how he and his riding partner heard the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crash, and were among the first people on the scene afterwards.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests 13 fun and family-friendly bike rides you can get to using Metro transit lines. I’m going to bookmark this one myself. No, wait, I just did.

 

State

An Escondido transient with major facial tattoos is behind bars for fatally stabbing another man in a Burger King parking lot, in a dispute that allegedly was over a bicycle.

Santa Ana police are looking for a bike-riding man who shot and killed another man in a Santa Ana restaurant parking lot.

Authorities in Santa Cruz are looking for an unidentified bike rider as a person of interest in the unsolved murder of a tech millionaire last October.

Now you, too, can own a 120-year old San Francisco bike shop.

San Francisco’s iconic Market Street is now officially free from cars; the fight for a carfree Market Street dates back to 1896. Los Angeles, the ball’s in your court

 

National

Your next ‘bent could be a shaft-driven foldie.

Like it or not, e-scooters and other micromobility devices are here to stay.

Kindhearted police buy a new bike for a nine-year old Utah boy after learning his stolen bike was his family’s only form of transportation.

No overreaction here. Police in San Angelo, Texas shut down an entire neighborhood because a man on a bicycle refused to pull over when they tried to stop him for the crime of…wait for it…riding salmon. After finally tracking him down, police searched him and found an empty baggie with drug residue and a pipe. Which any good lawyer should be able to get tossed as an illegal search and lack of probable cause.

A pair of teenaged Detroit brothers founded a $100,000 handmade soap company in order to pay their father back for a new bike, after the older brother’s bike was stolen when he failed to lock it.

Michigan authorities recovered an $8,000 bicycle stolen from a motel room prior to last summer’s inaugural Traverse City Ironman Triathlon; a brother and sister were busted for the theft.

Call this Michigan event whatever you want, it’s not a real bike race unless the bikes actually move.

Demonstrating true zero vision, as opposed to Vision Zero, New York police continue to ticket more bicyclists than truck drivers, despite the significant difference in their respective risk to others.

A bike-riding thief burgled a Pennsylvania American Legion post.

Now that’s more like it. A New Orleans program takes cops through the city’s crowded rush hour streets on bicycles to give the officers a bicyclist’s eye view of what bike riders are up against.

Talk about not getting it. The same day Coral Gables, Florida declared a climate emergency, they shot down a proposed bike lane. Evidently, they’ve been mentored by the LA City Council.

 

International

The US isn’t the only country where bicycle and pedestrian deaths remain high, despite an overall decline in traffic fatalities. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in the UK, as well, while bicycling fatalities have shown a modest decline even as bicycling rates have remained stagnant.

Curbed examines how European countries are offering a roadmap to a world with fewer cars.

The Dutch province of Utrecht is moving forward with the installation of a 82-foot long solar bike path; a second one will be nearly a quarter-mile long.

A new study from New Zealand says biking to work could lower your mortality risk up to 13%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thai police are investigating the death of a promising teenage South Korean cycling champ, who was killed in a collision while training in the country on Tuesday.

Call him the two-wheeled Kobe Bryant. Peter Sagan says the only reason he’s on a bike is a desire to win.

 

Finally…

Some people can’t seem to see the bike lane for the parked cars. If you’re carrying non-legal weed and an illegal gun, don’t ride salmon, already.

And fighting for your right to keep using rim brakes since, um, now.

 

53-year old man killed in El Cajon hit-and-run; Kevin Wilson 2nd San Diego County bicyclist killed this year

Last year, there were just four confirmed bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for the entire year.

Or maybe five, if we include a man who reportedly died in the hospital after he was struck by the driver of a pickup while ghost riding another bike in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood last November, but which I have been unable to confirm.

After yesterday, there’s already been two bike riders killed this month alone.

According to multiple sources, 56-year old La Mesa resident Kevin Wilson of La Mesa was riding east in the bike lane on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon Monday morning, when he was run down from behind by 56-year old Craig Wendell Nelson around 10:45 am.

Wilson was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nelson reportedly veered his car into the bike lane, slamming into Wilson’s bicycle before fleeing the scene; there are no word on whether he stopped or slowed down before speeding away.

He abandoned the damaged car on Sloane Canyon Road, and was arrested after a police helicopter crew spotted him hiding in the bushes.

He’s being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, and expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s El Cajon area office at 619/401-2000.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Wilson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: AB 582 raises fatal hit-and-run penalties, grading CD14 candidates, and tilting at Major League windmills

Sometimes I get it wrong.

After a friend alerted me to a bill in the California legislature that appeared to lower the penalties for hit-and-run in the state, I went on Twitter to raise the warning like a digital Paul Revere.

Except in this case, the Red Coats weren’t coming.

While the marked-up text of AB 582 made it look like a number of assembly members had signed on to a bill to reduce prison sentences for hit-and-run causing injury or death, it was actually sort of the opposite.

As currently written, the bill would leave the penalty for misdemeanor hit-and-run — not resulting in serious injuries — just the same as it is right now, with up to one year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The penalty for felony hit-and-run causing serious, permanent injury would also stay the same, from a minimum of 90 days in county jail to up to four years in state prison.

However, under AB 582, the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run would go up slightly, ranging from 90 days in county to up to six years in state prison, rather than the current four.

Which sounds good. But it’s a big drop from six to eight years in prison, as the bill was originally written.

So while it’s nice to see the legislature finally address the hit-and-run epidemic, AB 582 won’t do a damn thing to keep drivers from hitting the gas after a crash, and leaving their victim bleeding — or dying — in the street.

If they really want to do something, it will either take a dramatic increase in prison time, or a more creative alternative approach to sentencing.

And don’t get me started on why a driver who fails to kill his victim should get rewarded with a lower sentence, when the intent was exactly the same.

………

The good folks at Bike the Vote LA grade the candidates for the March primary in CD14, but decline to make an endorsement in the race.

The big surprise is that former Senate president pro tem Kevin de León graded so highly.

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LA Councilmembers “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and Paul “Killer” Koretz once again demonstrate that they have apparently solved all the real problems in Los Angeles, and have nothing better to do than tilt at Major League windmills.

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Get your headshots out.

Here’s your chance to break into cycling cinema.

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CiclaValley offers a recap of last Saturday’s LA Tourist Race, which set gravel bikers, mountain bikers and combined riders on a route-less dash cross the San Gabriels.

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A new ebike introduced at CES folds down small enough to fit in a backpack.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a paralyzed Phoenix man’s wheelchair from his driveway.

An off-duty New York cop was hit in the face with a bicycle chain in an apparently random attack while riding the subway, which does not necessarily mean the attacker was one of us. And no, New York Post, calling a large black man a “brute” isn’t racist at all. No, really.

………

Local

Street closures will be in effect in DTLA Saturday for the annual Women’s March, as well as an anti-abortion march held the same time; other marches will take place in Riverside, Hemet, Idyllwild, Coachella and Yucca ValleyIf you’re planning to attend, leave the car at home and take transit or ride a bike.

A Pasadena writer says the Rose City needs its own Green New Deal, including better options for walking and bicycling.

Overall thefts are up in South Pasadena, while bike theft remains high.

Redondo Beach may not be the scene of a Women’s March this Saturday, but it will be home to a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits line.

 

State

Streetsblog has more on Tamika Butler’s unexpected resignation from the California Transportation Commission after just four months.

Santa Maria Police will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation today, so the usual protocol applies. See Redondo Beach, above.

This is what a Fresno ebike thief looks like. Note to Fox26News: If you’re going to do a story about a bike thief caught on video stealing an ebike, maybe you should, you know, actually show him stealing the ebike. Just a suggestion.

A Fresno man was shot in the leg as he was riding his bike; he’s reportedly not cooperating with investigators.

 

National

Bicycling finally gets around to addressing the Deloitte study that says ebikes and bikeshare will lead to a doubling of bike commuters around the world in just the next two years; we mentioned it here nearly two weeks ago. And the magazine offers yet another reminder to get medical care ASAP if you’ve had a head injury.

The new China trade agreement eliminates tariffs on kids bikes and ebikes, but leaves a 25% tax on most other bike-related products.

Forget the fight for bike lanes on the street; where we really need them is on LEGO streetscapes.

A Chicago man was killed in a drive-by shooting while apparently riding his bike home from the market.

An Illinois man is suing Walmart for $50,000 after a tire on his new bike exploded, throwing him to the ground; the other tire had exploded before he even left the store.

An Ohio bike rider redefines collateral damage by ending up in the hospital when he’s struck by a flying deer after it was hit by a car.

A five-year old Virginia boy refuses to let getting hit by a car keep him from riding his bike, getting back on it just weeks after getting out of the hospital for breaking “everything” but his “brain.”

 

International

Toronto’s best known ghost bike disappeared without a trace after ten years in place, then reappeared with a new lock and a fresh coat of paint. The bike honors bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was killed as he was holding on for dear life after he was hit by the provincial Attorney General at the time, who repeatedly swerved in an apparent attempt to shake him; needless to say, the AG wasn’t held accountable in any way.

Speaking of Toronto, the city is rocked by allegations that bike lanes get priority over regular traffic lanes when it comes to clearing snow. Which could just be because it takes less snow to create dangerous conditions for bicycles than motor vehicles.

A cross-border bike trail could bring bike financial benefits to the US and Canada. If Trump doesn’t decide we need a wall there, too.

Josh Quigley, the 27-year old round-the-world bicyclist who miraculously survived a high-speed crash in Texas last month, is finally preparing to fly home to Scotland.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a hit-and-run driver who left his victim lying in the street walks with a lousy four months probation and a two-year driving ban.

Curbed examines how the City of Lights became an unlikely bicycling success story, setting an example American cities can and should follow. Especially Los Angeles, which doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the Olympic host city just before us. Right, Mayor Garcetti? 

Muscular Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us, taking to his bike to shuttle between sets in Mumbai.

Now that’s a close pass. An Aussie bike rider is literally bumped by a passing trailer after the driver cuts it way too close.

A new proposal calls for bike lanes in Shanghai, with bicycle expressways in suburban areas.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under kicked off today, which is already yesterday there; Australia’s Chloe Hosking took the first stage. The men’s race kicks off on Monday.

Former pro Ted King offers a tourist guide to his Healdsburg hometown.

Who knew he was a bike racing fan? His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rushed to the aid of a cyclist who fell during a women’s race in Dubai Wednesday.

 

Finally…

When you want to ride around the world, but can’t live with a hot espresso. Your next bike could be copper plated, 3D printed and cost $9,500 — and without a seat tube.

And nothing like a little Welsh chariot bike racing.

 

Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Brits say no immunity for killer driver, Iowa racist runs over girl, and round-the-world rider nearly killed in Texas

It’s the last day of the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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The wife of an American intelligence officer has finally been charged with killing a British motorcyclist.

Even though the US and Britain can’t even decide if she has diplomatic immunity.

Anne Sacoolas allegedly fled the scene after crashing into the 19-year old motorcyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road. Then promised to cooperate with investigators before fleeing the country under cover of darkness, claiming diplomatic immunity.

And has refused to return to the UK to face charges, despite still more promises to do so.

In other words, using her questionable immunity to avoid taking responsibility for killing a young man. And making her no better than any other hit-and-run driver.

Needless to say, our president has tried to turn the whole mess into a particularly messy episode of reality TV.

And written the whole thing off by saying “American drivers often get confused because motorists in Britain drive on the left side of the road.”

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A racist Iowa woman says she drove her car up onto a sidewalk to run over 14-year old girl simply because she thought she was Mexican.

And followed that up by hurling racial epithets, as well as objets, towards a convenience store clerk and the store’s customers just 90 minutes later.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Once again, a bicycle tourist visiting the US has been brutally run down by an American driver.

This time, it’s a Scottish man whose around the world journey ended abruptly when a Texas driver smashed into him from behind at 70 mph. Remarkably, he somehow survived with a fractured skull, ankle, heel, pelvis and ribs, as well as a punctured a lung.

There’s something seriously wrong when people from other countries can’t ride a bicycle here in the US without taking their lives in their hands.

And just as wrong that the story isn’t even considered newsworthy on this side of the Atlantic.

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Robert Leone forwards news that San Diego has started work on a bikeway project which promises to mess up commutes for the next two years.

On the other hand, unlike some much larger cities to the north — okay, one in particular — they’re actually doing something to improve the streets.

And warning people in advance about the road work.

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The founder of Fairdale Bikes offers a slightly strange look at one of the great moments in BMX history.

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

A Riverside man was arrested for carrying meth and car burglary tools, along with violating his probation for car theft. But at least he was riding a bike, right?

If you’re going to ride your bike to illegally poach elk literally in Colorado residents’ backyards, at least take your backpack and phone with you when you flee from the game wardens. Schmuck.

A “nasty” bicyclist broke the arm and shoulder of a British woman in her 70s by dragging her as she fought to hold onto the purse he was trying to steal. Double schmuck.

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‘Tis the Season.

Santa brought new bicycles to 26 Redding families as part of a CHP kids’ program.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office gave more than 80 bicycles to Oroville-area children on Friday.

A Missouri church made sure 150 kids celebrated a happy Christmas with a new bicycle.

After a Virginia boy’s bike was stolen, a local cop bought him a new one. And threw in one for the boy’s sister so they could ride together.

A Hollywood women’s club teams with the local police to buy bikes and helmets for 25 kids. No, the other Hollywood.

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It’s the final day of this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And you though we’d never get here. 

Thanks to John M, Tim Z, Robert L, Risers Music, John H, Anne K and Brian N for their very generous donations. In fact, we’ve already set a new record for the greatest number of donations, and we’re just a few hundred dollars short of our goal for this year. 

So don’t let this last day — and the Corgi’s last days as this site’s official spokesdog — pass by unnoticed.

Give today to help to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

Because the time to wait is over. 

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Local

Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, aka Roadblock, talks with vegan dietician, LA bike scene OG and founder of the famed Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb Matt Ruscigno, as well as CD14 city council candidate Cyndi Otteson on this week’s Bike Talk podcast.

Teachers at a Pasadena school have started a crowdfunding page for a 9th grade student who was critically injured in a hit-and-run last month, as well as his father, who has been at his son’s side and unable to work for over a month.  It’s currently less than $2,000 short of the $15,000 goal.

Long Beach business owners continue to complain about the Broadway road diet, saying the protected bike lanes are driving customers away.

 

State

A new statewide nonprofit is working to build more off-road trails; founders include the head of LA-based CORBA.

The popular Buck Gully Trail in Newport Beach is now one-way, to the chagrin of some area mountain bikers.

An Oxnard man was rushed to the hospital after he was stabbed while apparently riding his bicycle; police believe he was homeless.

 

National

A new book tells the horrifying story of a Hawaiian woman who was apparently intentionally run down while riding her bike in 1991, then raped, beaten and murdered. Nearly a decade later, two men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though some still believe they’re innocent.

An Oregon bike rider will get a $350,000 settlement after he was struck in a bike lane that passed in front of a freeway offramp.

Supporters of a Colorado velodrome are making one last push to save it before the track is sold to a developer.

Heartbreaking news from Missouri, where a pair of kids died when they somehow drowned in a pond while riding their bikes.

Brooklyn residents demand the redesign of a dangerous street where four people who weren’t in cars have been killed this year.

The New York Post calls a Bronx man a superhero for recording driver indiscretions and posting them to his Twitter feed.

 

International

Newly re-elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a bike for Christmas. But evidently, no one likes him enough to give him one. And he hasn’t been good enough to get one from Santa Claus.

A coroner in the UK questions whether posted speed limits should apply to bicyclists, after a 79-year old man was killed when he stepped in front of a bike rider doing 38 in a 30 mph zone. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely. It’s up to you to ride safely when pedestrians are around. And your responsibility if you if you don’t. 

Parisians are keeping cool and carrying on by riding their bikes in the face of a three-week transit strike, as well as e-scooters, mopeds, walking, and yes, cars.

An Israeli strategic plan calls for getting more people on bicycles.

Nepal’s bike-riding Kung Fu Buddhist Nuns are back in the news, organizing bi-yearly bike tours to combat human trafficking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly ranks the top ten pro cyclists of the past decade. And for once, a man doesn’t come out on top.

Cycling News looks at the most dramatic moments in pro cycling this year.

 

Finally…

Evidently, you can’t get a new bike if your name is Seinfeld. Your next handlebars could spin to make parking and storage easier.

And who says it’s a happy ending when they give someone new car so he doesn’t have to bike to work anymore?

Sounds more like a curse to me.

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Hanukkah Sameach to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights this week!

I’m no expert. But I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to look on the first night.

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