Tag Archive for LA County Sheriff’s Department

Stoned killer of Costa Mesa fire captain gets 16 to life, Peloton PR disaster, and bike-riding car vandal strikes in Norwalk

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Sixteen to life.

That’s the sentence handed down to 28-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa in the drugged driving death of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza.

Scarpa, a former drug counselor, was convicted of second degree murder for jumping a curb in Mission Viejo, and running down Kreza as he was riding on a sidewalk.

Kreza was training for an upcoming triathlon when Scarpa slammed into him, as he was driving home from partying all night with a cocktail of drugs in his system.

Scarpa told investigators he’d taken meth, fentanyl and “undefined downers,” and had been awake for days before getting behind the wheel.

Someplace he had no business being under any circumstances.

Kreza left behind his wife and three young daughters, who have been understandably devastated by their loss, and who struggle to go on without him.

Hopefully, Scarpa can get clean behind bars, and do something to benefit society when and if he gets out..

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More on last week’s Peloton PR disaster.

Peloton stock prices plunged in the wake of a key character dying after using one on the first episode of the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…

Meanwhile, the New York Times wants to know if the company can sue over it, while Peloton responds by resurrecting the victim in a new ad.

This comes just two years after the company’s self-inflicted PR fiasco with their widely panned Peloton Wife holiday commercial.

Maybe they should just avoid the holidays from now on.

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Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are looking for a bike-riding man who vandalized a pair of cars last week.

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‘Tis the season.

Third graders at two Tustin schools thought they were going to learn who won a new bicycle in an essay contest; instead, all 143 kids got a new bike, courtesy of Aliso Viejo’s Dirtbag Mountain Biking Club and Bikes for Kids.

Volunteers in Madera, California built 215 bikes ranging from tricycles to 29″ mountain bikes to give to children in need.

A motorsports dealer in French Camp CA was hoping to give 200 bicycles to local kids over the weekend, a tradition of giveaways that began when he decided to fix up and donate 30 bikes four years ago, rather than throw them away. And yes, I had to look that one up to figure out where the hell French Camp is.

Volunteers in Tyler, Texas continued a 35-year tradition of rebuilding bicycles to donate to local kids for the holidays.

Over 200 people turned out for the longest-running holiday themed bike ride in the Boston area, many dressed as Santa or other seasonal characters. Although probably no one bothered to dress as Krampus, darn it.

A Georgia auto shop owner has given away hundreds of bicycles over the last ten years. And this year was no exception.

Panama City, Florida’s Salvage Santa oversaw efforts to rebuild 350 bicycles to give to local kids and organizations, an ongoing effort for the past 43 years.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man has over 2,000 bicycles to give to kids “at the bottom of the food chain” this year; a tradition that started with just 20 bikes 15 years ago.

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Zackary Rynew calls attention to LA’s use of plastic bollards to keep cars safe. Yet somehow, they have trouble using them to protect people on bicycles.

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Volunteers are needed to work this weekend’s Holiday Carnival at the Velo Sports Center, and experience three days of competitive track cycling.

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The open streets revolution is spreading worldwide.

The latest evidence comes from Kenya, where three major streets were closed to cars and opened to people in the city of Kisumu on Saturday.

Thanks to @Menorman for the heads-up.

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Apparently, Joe Jonas is one of us, taking to a bike on the streets of New York to get to his latest show.

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There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after knocking a nine-year old DC kid off his bike. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

As usual though, you can’t unsee it. So be sure you really want to watch a little kid get run down by a heartless coward before you push play. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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You still have time to make a bid on the jersey Lachlan Morton wore on his alt-Tour de France run, where he followed the entire race route while putting in more miles, and riding solo. And still beat the peloton into Paris.

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

No bias here. Plans to close a longstanding gap in Seattle’s famed Burke-Gilman Trail hit a snag when the Teamsters and local businesses complained that putting a bike lane through the area will make it more dangerous for their businesses and truck drivers. Because apparently, running over a bicyclist get blood on their big, bad trucks.

No bias here, either. A retired New Jersey planner and engineer says forget installing bike lanes in downtown Northampton street, because bike riders can just get off and walk. And it’s just too dangerous for people on bicycles on the street without them, anyway. That sound you heard is thousands of near simultaneous head-slaps from every bike rider reading that crap.

Or here. A DC writer says just because a four-year old kid was was hit by a car while riding in a crosswalk, that’s no reason to call for safer streets. And misrepresents safety studies to say protected bike lanes are no place for kids.

A British man in his 30’s was critically injured in what police are describing as a deliberate attack, as the driver used his car as a weapon to run down the victim on his bike before fleeing the scene.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the bike-riding thief stole two days worth of cash donations to a San Francisco toy drive.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges for hurling a sharp-edged rock into a passing car, slightly injuring a boy inside, after the driver swerved close to him to avoid rocks in the roadway; he admitted to keeping the rock strapped to his bike for exactly that purpose. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

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Local

Thieves scaled a fence to break into a home in LA’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood, stealing a $2,700 ebike and power tools while the residents were in the house.

Police have identified a 29-year old man as the victim of a fatal shooting in a homeless camp along the LA River bike path in South Gate.

A 23-year old mountain biker was in serious condition Saturday after he was airlifted following a fall in the Santa Monica Mountains above Pacific Palisades.

 

State

Caltrans has issued a new Complete Streets policy, which states that all Caltrans projects will, by default, provide “comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities” for bikers, walkers, and transit riders. Let’s hope they live up to it this time.

Encinitas is looking at installing a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane on the Coast Highway to help people on bikes get to the legendary Swami’s Beach.

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, will consider implementing a road usage fee that would charge drivers for each mile they drive. Which is one of the best reasons I’ve heard to ride a bike instead.

 

National

A digital photography site offers tips on how to get better shot of bicycling events.

Bicycling offers advice on when to fix your own bike — and when to let someone else do it. As usual, read it on Yahoo it Bicycling blocks you.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss considers the zen of ignoring obstructions in the bike lane. Which seems like kind of a metaphor for life.

A legal website looks back at how government regulations killed off the forerunner of the e-scooter a hundred years ago, and questions whether history will repeat itself.

Over 300 bike riders turned out for a memorial ride down the Las Vegas Strip to remember five men and women killed by a meth-fueled semi driver a year ago while on a group ride just outside of town.

A formerly 306 pound Indiana man credits bicycling with helping him drop 136 pounds in just 18 months; he started on a stationary bike, before bicycling neighbors invited him to come outside and ride with them.

Ebike makers are teaming with local nonprofits to provide discounts to front line workers in the Bronx.

Heartbreaking story from DC, where a woman describes how she went from mom to traffic safety advocate following the death of her five-year old daughter, as she was riding her bike in a crosswalk last September.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to make your bike more comfortable.

A former London bike courier explains why he’s willing to risk prison to fight for safer streets for people on two wheels, and call attention to the impending climate emergency. Which is clearly already here.

Tripling current levels of bicycle use in London would result in the equivalent of a $6.62 billion boost to the local economy, according to a new study.

Great Britain has introduced new traffic rules to give bike riders, equestrians and pedestrians a higher priority on the road, with the new rules going into effect January 1st.

World champion British cyclists Rachel Atherton and her older brothers Dan and Gee are moving from racing mountain bikes to making them.

A German court ordered employers to provide all the tools their employees need to do the job, including bicycles and smartphones for delivery riders and bike couriers.

A pair of Italian teenagers were sentenced to 18 months behind bars for their roles in the gang that stole 22 bikes from the Italian national track team at October’s world track championships.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with the philosopher of the pro peloton, French cyclist Guillaume Martin, who has flown under the radar while notching a number of top ten finishes.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert is just as dominant at ‘cross as he is on a road bike, taking a snowy first place by more than a minute at Val di Sole, while the great Marianne Vos was narrowly edged out by 19-year-old Dutch cyclist Fem van Empel on the women’s side.

 

Finally…

One more time, if you’re riding a stolen bike in the wee hours of the morning, put a damn light on it.

And Burger King is preparing to field a whopper of a cycling team. Although credit Jay Cisco with a better take than mine.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

$24 million settlement in 2014 Fiesta Island crash, LA County tackles racial bias in bike stops, and Culver City gets mobile

Evidently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied.

It was seven long years ago when a wrong-way driver slammed into a group of 30 bicyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, injuring ten people.

Theresa Owens was high on meth when she got behind the wheel, looking for a boyfriend she thought was cheating on her.

She was speeding on the 25 mph roadway, after turning the wrong way on the narrow, one-lane road, when she rounded a blind corner and smashed into the group of riders.

Six of the victims were seriously injured, with Juan Carlos Vinolo ending up paralyzed from the chest down, as well as suffering a long list of other injuries.

A jury divided the liability between Owens and the city in 2019, ruling San Diego was responsible for failing to maintain visibility on the roadway, despite knowing of the dangers.

They held the city responsible for 27% of the damages, while state law required the city to pay 100% of Vinolo’s past and future medical bills and lost earnings.

Yesterday that bill came due, when the San Diego city council agreed to a whopping $23.75 million settlement for Vinolo and his wife for the meth-fueled Fiesta Island crash.

Although something tells me they’d gladly give back every penny in exchange for the use of his legs again.

Meanwhile, the city could have saved a fortune just by trimming some bushes and reducing berms, instead of waiting until it was too late.

And maybe reworking the intersections to channel drivers so they can only turn in the right direction.

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Phillip Young and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Los Angeles County responded to a recent LA Times investigative report that found biased policing of bike riders by LA County sheriff’s deputies.

The Times found that the overwhelming majority of bicycle traffic stops conducted by deputies were in areas where people of color make up the majority of the population, and with limited bike infrastructure.

Seven out of ten of those stops involved Latino riders, and 85 percent of the riders stopped were searched by deputies — even though those searches only turned up illegal items eight percent of the time.

Just imagine the outcry if drivers were routinely placed in the back of a squad car while police searched their belongings following a simple traffic stop.

Let alone white drivers.

The LA County Board of Supervisors responded on Tuesday by unanimously approving proposals to decriminalize bicycling violations, including

  • Developing a diversion program allowing bike traffic school in lieu of fines for traffic tickets, which was approved by the state a few years ago, and
  • Drafting a change to county code to legalize riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in unincorporated areas, although only on non-residential streets without bike lanes.

In addition, the supervisors ordered a review of biased policing of bike riders by the sheriff’s department.

Not surprisingly, though, the sheriff’s department, which has attempted to stonewall virtually every other effort at oversight, had no response.

Granted, these are just proposal to develop new rules, so far. But it’s a big step in the right direction.

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Newly bike-friendly Culver City officially kicks off Move Culver City this Saturday, featuring three new quick-build bus-bike lanes in the downtown area.

Quite a change from the not-too-distant past when Culver City cops would meet group rides at the city limits, and ticket riders for every real and imagined violation they could find, while they escorted them out of town.

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Streets For All has posted video of last night’s mobility debate between the candidates for LA’s CD13, currently held by two-term incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

 

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Clearly, not even Tour de France winners are safe from dangerous drivers, as 2019 winner Egan Bernal was the victim of a far too close pass from a driver trying to squeeze into a non-existent gap.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The president of a college-prep nonprofit spent every Friday for the past month riding his bike to talk with teachers and students at nearly 30 Orange County schools, covering 200 miles by the time he was done. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

A bike-riding homeless woman went to court, and won the right to keep living in a Fountain Valley park, despite repeated attempts to force her to leave.

San Diego continues to make strides to meet their climate change goals and reduce car use by eliminating parking requirements for businesses near transit or in densely populated areas.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed when she allegedly rode her bike across the street in front of an oncoming driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses, besides the driver, who saw her ride out into traffic.

A Berkeley paper joins the Cal Berkeley student paper’s call to improve Telegraph Ave, and raises them by calling for making the iconic street carfree.

 

National

Last month’s Vision Zero Cities conference considered how the language used in ads and newspaper reports can hurt crash victims, who are inevitably blamed for their injuries.

An Arizona man is 6,700 miles into a planned 18,000-mile journey by bicycle to visit each of the more than 400 national parks in the US, although he may need to pick up the pace a little after hitting just 14 parks, leaving another 386+ to go. He’s attempting to raise $50,000 for conservation projects in the National Parks.

Speaking of national parks, Utah’s Zion National Park now has a new ten-mile bike trail on the east side of the park.

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York’s bike lanes need more protection than the usual plastic car-tickler bendy posts, which don’t keep anyone out.

A Washington Post op-ed says American bicycling has a racism problem, tracing the roots to discrimination against Southern Black bike riders around the turn of the last century.

Tragic news from Florida, where a 14-year old boy was found dead after he went missing while riding his bike on Monday; no word on the cause of death, though his school described it as an “accident.”

 

International

Montreal’s Bixi bikeshare had a record-setting year, with ridership up 74% as they packed the bikes up for the winter.

This is who we share the road with. A London woman mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, jumped the curb and killed a man walking on the sidewalk, then lied to investigators by saying the man stepped out into the street in front of her. So naturally, the court let her walk without a day behind bars, and took her license away for a whole year.

Burglars broke into a British bike park and stole literally everything there was to take, from generators and Park Tools, to cash raised for a local air ambulance service.

He gets it. A writer for Britain’s Independent says we’ll never get to zero emissions until we admit we’re all climate hypocrites who want to stick to our comfortable, fossil-fueled lifestyles.

A member of the UK Parliament says the country’s lax hit-and-run laws give drivers an incentive to flee the scene rather than stick around and get tested for DUI. We have exactly the same problem in California, where lax penalties and minimal enforcement encourage drivers to flee, knowing they’re unlikely to ever get caught, or seriously punished if they are.

E-scooters in Paris will be forced to automatically slow down to just above walking speed in over 700 more crowded areas throughout the city.

Bicycle Dutch author Mark Wagenbuur has updated his classic explanation of how the Dutch got their cycle paths.

An Indian writer considers the benefits of getting your kids off their screens and onto bicycles.

He gets it, too. An op-ed by a New Zealand university professor explains why your next car should be a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular SoCal edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race hits the little screen with the new hour-long documentary This Is Not A Gravel Race premiering on Outside TV.

Britain’s Pfeiffer Georgi won the country’s road race national championship less than 12 months after breaking two vertebrae while riding in Belgium

The thief who stole Geraint Thomas’ bike was just 15 years old; Thomas said he was looking forward to checking his Garmin to see if the kid had any skills.

Track racing at the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend.

 

Finally…

Build your own DIY shaft-drive bike. Now you, too, can ride a hand-painted work of art, for the low, low price of 30 grand.

And we may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t…well, wait for it.

Thanks to Pops for forwarding the tweet.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

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A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

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The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

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As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

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The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

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Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

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Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

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One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

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If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

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More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

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Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

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It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

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Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Calls for investigation into biased sheriff’s bike stops, multiple charges in Texas coal roll crash, and more fed bike funding

Let’s hope they take it seriously this time.

Los Angeles County leaders have called for an investigation into last week’s LA Times investigative report on the harassment bike riders face at the hands of sheriff’s deputies and the back seats of their patrol cars.

And Latino riders in particular.

The paper found that out of 44,000 bicycle stops conducted by LA County sheriff’s deputies, seven out of ten people stopped were Latino, and 85% of bike riders stopped were searched.

According to the paper, they found illegal items in just 8% of the searches — less than one half of one percent.

Never mind the highly questionable legality of those searches.

This is how a sheriff’s spokesperson explained it.

Riding a bike allows criminals “to traverse a neighborhood unnoticed, faster and safer than on foot, and additionally makes it easier to avoid police contact. We are not conducting traffic stops of persons obviously engaged in the use of a bicycle for exercise or amusement,” department spokeswoman Lt. Lorena Rodriguez said in September.

Apparently, no one wearing spandex has ever been up to no good.

Not to mention that bicycles allow perfectly law-abiding people to get to work, school and the market.

And for many, it’s the only form of transportation they have. But apparently, just riding a bike somehow makes people of color suspicious in the eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

Thankfully, LA County officials pushed back on Monday, with two county supervisors — Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — calling for the legalization of sidewalk riding in unincorporated areas, which was used as a pretext for traffic stops in eight percent of the cases.

At the same time, members of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission asked the department’s inspector general to conduct an investigation into the report, and racial disparities in traffic stops in general. And to look into whether the agency should be conducting traffic stops to begin with.

All of which sounds good.

However, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is notorious for ignoring efforts by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Oversight Commission and the Inspector General to look into his activities, or that of the department he leads, since his upset election three years ago — to the point of refusing to comply with legitimate subpoenas for information and testimony.

And so far, they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to force him to comply.

The excuse Villanueva has given is that he isn’t subject to their authority, having been elected directly by the people. Even though both county and state law allows for an oversight commission with direct authority over the sheriff.

So don’t hold your breath.

An investigation is definitely called for. But whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, remember that you are under no obligation to let police or sheriff’s deputies search your belongings without a warrant. And they’re not likely to get one based on a simple traffic stop.

They have the right to ask you for identification, although there’s nothing in the law that says you need a driver’s license just to ride a bike.

But whether or not you consent to a search of your bike, pockets, bags or backpack is entirely up to you.

………

About damn time.

The district attorney in Waller County, Texas is finally getting around to filing charges, over six weeks after a teenage pickup driver ran down six bicyclists while attempting to blow exhaust smoke into their faces, a violent act known as rolling coal.

The 16-year old driver, who has not been publicly named, is expected to face six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — one count for each victim, four of whom were hospitalized.

The charge carries a penalty of anywhere from two to 20 years for each count in Texas. However, as a juvenile, he is likely to face far less, unless he is tried as an adult.

Waller police came under intense criticism for failing to initially arrest, or at least ticket, the driver; as the investigation moved forward, it became clear the boy’s parents were influential in the community.

Meanwhile, Texas pickup drivers astutely note that rolling coal is for idiots.

………

More on the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is currently awaiting Biden’s signature, as we continue to learn just what’s in it.

Bicycling Retailer reports that, in addition to the $11 billion in federal transportation safety funding we previously mentioned, the bill includes additional benefits for people who ride bikes, including Complete Streets and a big boost in the funding pool for bike projects.

The infrastructure bill includes:

  • An increase in funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program by 60%, with subsequent annual increases. The program is the largest source of federal dollars for bike projects like protected bike lanes, trails, and multi-use paths. The funding is currently limited to $850 million annually, and the bill would increase the program to $1.38 billion in 2022 and up to $1.48 billion in 2026.
  • A requirement for all states to develop standards for Complete Streets, a policy and design approach to ensure users of all ages and abilities have safe and convenient access.
  • A vulnerable road user assessment to determine how dangerous roads are for people outside of cars.
  • Inclusion of the model three-class e-bike definitions.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog lists several other “small victories” contained in the bill, including,

  • A new competitive grant program that will provide another $200 million a year to connect active transportation infrastructure to plug gaps in existing networks sand improve access to essential destinations
  • Another $200 million a year for the new Safe Streets for All program, which will fund Vision Zero projects throughout the U.S.
  • A further $200 million a year for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will address the damages caused to BIPOC and low-income communities by the interstate highway system in a number of ways, including projects that promote active modes like pedestrian bridges and highway removals
  • A new requirement for states to devote 15 percent of their Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to saving vulnerable road users’ lives if vulnerable road users make up 15 percent of their roadway deaths or more — a move that will impact nearly all coastal communities and a handful of upper midwestern states, too
  • A revision of federal crash reporting standards to better capture the causes of the pedestrian death crisis, including new provisions to better incorporate hospital data into federal stats, rather than just police data

………

San Diego County’s annual Udo Heinz Memorial Ride will roll out from Carlsbad on November 20th — a week from this coming Saturday.

This year’s ride will honor all fallen bicyclists, which the county has seen far too many of this year.

The ride was founded seven years ago in memory of Heinz, who was killed by an allegedly distracted bus driver while riding in Camp Pendleton in 2013.

Thanks to our latest sponsor, San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette, for the link. 

………

As we mentioned last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to advance a proposal to ban bicycle chop shops on public property, even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

This photo by David Drexler, of a homeless encampment at Venice and Grandview in Mar Vista, shows why it may matter, although it’s not clear from the photo whether that’s on a property belonging to the city.

If your bike disappeared in the area recently, you may be able to find it there.

Or part of it, anyway.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding.

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

Police in Michigan busted a bike-riding bank robber as he made his getaway after allegedly hitting two banks in a single day.

………

Local

A Cheviot Hills website looks back to the earliest days of bicycling in West Los Angeles over a century ago, as the first generation of two wheelers gave way to more familiar names to Angeleno bicyclists, including local legends Alex Baum and Raymond Fouquet. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Long Beach could soon green light a $1.4 million project to improve traffic signals on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal, including installation of new detectors for vehicles and bicycles. A good start, but what the street really needs is a road diet and protected bike lanes in both directions.

Authorities have identified the man killed by a gunman in Long Beach last week as a 31-year old father, who was riding his bike home from his studies to become a dental assistance; police believe the shooting was gang related.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 13-year old Hemet boy went missing after he ran away from home on his bike two days before Halloween; he was eventually found as a John Doe in a local hospital, after he was struck by a driver just half an hour after leaving home.

A driver plowed into several bike riders near Los Olivos on Sunday, leaving one rider with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. San Jose bike cops will patrol a newly opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail ten hours a day, seven days a week. Something that should be done on at least a frequent basis on every bike trail, everywhere. Especially here in LA. 

Sad news from Stockton, where a 62-year old man was killed in a late night collision while riding his bike.

 

National

Bicycling says it’s time to switch to dry lube, already. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The New York Times says the popularity of electric bikes doesn’t show any sign of fading, with ebike sales jumping 145% last year, and now outselling all-electric cars by more than two to one.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the revised edition of the MUTCD merely enshrines dangerous policies into law.

Alaska is experiencing a serious shortage of fat bikes and parts.

A Colorado bike rider shares what he learned tackling his first century ride.

Good idea. Link will cut the maximum speed in half for first-time e-scooter users in Hartford, Connecticut to improve safety until they get the hang of it.

Bike ridership on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge nearly doubled over last year after a new two-way protected bike lane opened on the bridge in September.

 

International

Trek puts its money where its mouth is, pledging to match donations to World Bicycle Relief up to $500,000 through the end of the year; the nonprofit works to change lives by donating bicycles to people in need in developing areas.

Road.cc shares “affordable, high-quality” gadgets for bike riders for less than $135.

Interesting idea. A new light developed by a London designer shines a buffer grid onto the street around you, and automatically sends your location to a crowdsourced stress map when drivers get too close anyway.

Birmingham, England is finally getting around to installing bike lanes at an intersection where a young doctor was killed riding her bike four years ago.

British Transport Police are looking for a pair thieves who threatened a man with a weapon and wrested his bicycle away from while on board a train near Glasgow.

A 42-year old mother in the UK will spend the next five years behind bars for fleeing the scene following a drunk and stoned crash that killed a 61-year old man riding a bike; she told police the damage to her car was from hitting a fox. Although there may be a slight difference in size between a little fox and a grown man on a bicycle. 

An Aussie bike rider shares what it’s like to be dive-bombed by a swooping magpie.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fumiyuki Beppu, the first Japanese cyclist to reach racing’s highest level, called it a career after two full decades on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

An ebike for people who like to pretend they’re on a modern motorcycle. When rumble strips protect the cars, not the other way around.

And that feeling when there’s an SUV parked on your singletrack trail.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1457115150583013380?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1457115150583013380%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-november-2021-287627

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

LA deputies harass Latino bike riders, paranoid anti-bike Eagle Rock screed, and Cedillo keeps Temple Street deadly

Call it biking while brown in LA County.

The Los Angeles Times released a major investigative story Thursday on the harassment Latinos face riding a bicycle Los Angeles County.

Something we’ve been warning about for over a decade now.

Both Los Angeles police and LA County sheriff’s deputies have long used the simplest pretexts to stop and search bike riders of color, often handcuffing the riders or placing them in the back of a patrol car while rifling through their belongings for what amounts to minor traffic infractions or fix-it tickets, such as riding without lights after dark.

In fact, that was one of the primary reasons the LA city council canceled the city’s mandatory bike licensing program over a decade ago.

But while the problem continues for both Black and Brown riders in the City of Angels, it’s apparently much worse outside the city where the sheriff’s department has jurisdiction.

Especially for Latino men.

A Los Angeles Times investigation found deputies search 85% of bike riders they stop even though they often have no reason to suspect they’ll find something illegal. Most bicyclists were held in the backseat of patrol cars while deputies rummaged through their belongings or checked for arrest warrants.

The Times’ analysis of more than 44,000 bike stops logged by the Sheriff’s Department since 2017 found that 7 of every 10 stops involve Latino cyclists, and bike riders in poorer communities with large nonwhite populations are stopped and searched far more often than those in more affluent, whiter parts of the county.

For all the stops and searches, deputies rarely catch criminals. During searches, they find illegal items just 8% of the time, The Times’ analysis shows. Weapons were seized just 164 times — less than half a percent of all searches.

And the stops can go far beyond embarrassment or inconvenience.

Some cyclists shrugged off the encounters as an inconvenience that comes with living in high-crime neighborhoods. Others felt deeply harassed, targeted because they fit the vague description of a crime suspect deputies claimed to be searching for, usually because they were the same race.

Being stopped was even more disruptive for some riders interviewed. One white bicyclist in Norwalk said he lost his job because he was two hours late to work after he was held in the backseat of a patrol car while deputies searched his belongings and questioned him about who in the neighborhood was dealing drugs and carrying guns. A Latino rider in East L.A. said deputies took him to jail after they found a pipe in a bag of recyclables he planned to redeem for cash. A Black rider said a deputy confronted him at gunpoint and ordered him to stop while he was riding home from Lueders Park in Compton and doesn’t understand why.

Sometimes the confrontations can turn deadly, as it did for Black bicyclist Dijon Kizzee in South LA last year, when he was fatally shot by deputies in what began as a traffic stop for riding salmon, a common practice in the area.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the entire thing.

We’ll wait.

Because everyone deserves the right to feel safe on the streets, whether the risk comes from drivers or sheriff’s deputies.

And we’ll never get people out of the cars if a large segment of the population has to worry about getting stopped by cops just for who they are, or where they ride.

Meanwhile, the paper offers a behind-the-scenes look at how they uncovered the facts and reported the story.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

In a truly bizarre City Watch screed, a self-described Eastside community activist purports to speak for the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce in accusing Metro, two current and former LA councilmembers, a county supervisor and the former mayor of Glendale of conspiring with bike advocates to destroy businesses on Colorado Blvd, in order to claim business owner’s real estate development rights.

No, really.

Someplace along the line it became clear that there is a small coalition of players who are ramming the ‘road diet’ version of the Colorado Blvd piece of the Glendale to Pasadena BRT route. Politically, it’s the combination of Jose Huizar (until he was busted), Hilda Solis from the County Board of Supervisors, and now the Councilmember for CD 14 (and Candidate for Mayor) Kevin De Leon. The Mayor of Glendale was also involved until he ceased to be Mayor.

To be direct, I don’t think any of them give a rats ass about the local businesses that are going to get wiped out during the construction process.  I guess they are more interested in the land use opportunities for developers than actual businesses which have been around for years, providing the backbone of Eagle Rock.

The ex Mayor of Glendale got what he wanted; he owns property in the construction area, and senses opportunity. I guess Hilda Solis got what she wanted. According to folks in the know she left Congress so she could come to LA County, become a Supervisor, and retire after she termed out. Nice pensions.  Her machinations at the Metro Board would be consistent with this analysis.

But wait, there’s more.

Two other groups also personally benefit by this plan. TERA,The Eagle Rock Association, has a leader who is a rabid bicycle advocate, and has choreographed the bike movement ‘take no hostages’ road diet vision to get rid of all those nasty cars that people use to get around in.   Then there is another ‘leader’ on the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council who personally gained an architectural contract with Metro concerning the BRT, and has also shut down any gainsayers.

You know, to get to work and and even buy things at the local businesses.

Personally, I find them loud, inflexible, and nasty.  Nasty like attacking anyone who does not agree with them. And I have to wonder exactly how many of the bicycle crowd actually live in Eagle Rock, as opposed to all of the residents and others who use their cars to shop with the local businesses.

He goes on to accuse supporters of bus rapid transit and a Complete Streets makeover on Colorado Blvd of bullying and threatening opponents.

And he says he has the receipts to prove it.

Or not.

More objective observers have reported the exact opposite, with advocates being shouted down in meetings and confronted outside, and both threatened and doxed on social media.

But as proof of the bad behavior on the part of bike and transit advocates, he points to a Google Drive where he has saved hundreds of tweets from those supposed bullies.

Admittedly, I haven’t had time to read all of them, which would literally take hours. But all the ones I’ve seen have been pretty damn innocuous.

Like this, under the heading of Alissa Walker Bullying.

Full disclosure, I know Alissa Walker, she’s one of the least threatening people I know.

Then there’s this, under the heading Bullying Boulevard Sentinel, a local Eastside newspaper that has often opposed bike lanes and Complete Streets.

It would seem to be extremely paranoid to consider any of that threatening or bullying in any way.

Granted, there may be something more egregious somewhere in that vast collection of archived tweets.

But I sure as hell haven’t seen it yet.

……..

It’s truly heartbreaking how hard some of our elected officials have worked to keep our streets dangerous.

In this case, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo teamed with CD13’s Mitch O’Farrell to cancel a shovel-ready road diet on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

With predictable results.

………

They get it.

The SF Gate asks why Gov. Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yields.

And why a practice most bike riders — and drivers, for that matter — do on a daily basis remains illegal.

This Bay Area rider sums it up pretty well.

“They’re getting in the way of making it legal to be safe,” said Alex Lantsberg, a San Francisco cyclist.

Lantsberg said stopping at stop signs is in fact more dangerous for cyclists, who become “sitting ducks” in the face of “a 4,000-pound death machine.”

“You don’t want to lose the momentum of moving through a stop sign. It’ll turn people off from cycling,” he said. “I also think it’s safer for cyclists to maintain momentum and get away from cars.”

“A flesh and blood human on a 20-pound rolling triangle is much more at risk than a person in a steel-encased La-Z-Boy,” he added.

………

It’s hard for me to ask others to give when I’m not in a position to do it myself.

But if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, donate some of it to L39ion of Los Angeles to help put more bikes in schools.

The crowdfunding campaign has been stuck around $12,000 for several days. And it’s hard to imagine a gift that could do more long-lasting good.

………

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

Police in Honolulu are looking for a bike-riding hit-and-run suspect who allegedly fled the scene after darting out in front of a motorcyclist, leaving the man lying injured in the street. Although a description of 100 to 200 pounds doesn’t exactly narrow the suspect list. 

………

Local

Another writer for City Watch asks if anyone at LA City Hall got the memo from  the COP26 climate conference. Probably not. And if they did, they’re not likely to actually do anything about it.

Happy birthday to LA’s Griffith Park, which turns 125 this year.

 

State

Bakersfield bike riders are about to get a shiny new seven-mile bike lane, the missing link in a continuous 30 mile trail from Lake Ming to Buena Vista Lake.

Berkeley is facing the usual fight over preserving parking spaces, or improving safety for everyone on the road by installing bike lanes.

A New Hampshire couple calls biking across the Golden Gate Bridge the highlight of their visit to San Francisco.

A Sausalito driver faces multiple DUI, drug and weapons charges after allegedly running down not one, but two people riding their bikes Halloween evening; a search of his car revealed fentanyl and an illegal weapon, as well as a wooden billy club.

 

National

Bicycling offers a look at how a man recovered his life after a painful mountain biking crash led to a dependence on painkillers. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Bicycling also warns against seven technologies and standards to avoid when buying a used bike. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available on Yahoo, so you’re SOL if you don’t subscribe to the magazine.

A writer for Reader’s Digest — which apparently still exists — swaps her car for an ebike for a week, and finds she doesn’t need it after all. Although the story comes off more as a long-form ad for the ebike she used than anything remotely objective.

Portland considers establishing e-cargo bike micro delivery hubs to help reduce truck and van traffic.

A Denver weekly talks with elite-level cyclist Andrew “Bernie” Bernstein, after the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed him was sentenced to just two years behind bars.

The Massachusetts man killed by a speeding driver on a cross-country ride with five other bicyclists foretold his death by noting Texas had the worst drivers they’d encountered so far; one of the two women injured in the crash was his fiancé.

Tragic news from New York, where a man started riding a bike to work over fears of using transit during the pandemic, only to lose his life at the hands of an unlicensed truck driver.

Philly residents describe just how dangerous it is to ride a bicycle in the City of Brotherly Love.

Tragic news from St. Petersburg, Florida, where authorities are trying to identify an elderly woman who suffered life-threatening injuries when she crashed her bike with an e-scooter rider; she arrived at the hospital without ID, and no identifying features. Yet another reminder to always carry identification with you when you ride. And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated.

 

International

At last, a new indoor trainer that allows you to lean into turns.

Halloween is over, so it’s time for the holiday gift guides. Bike Rumor is off to an early start with their gift-giving guide for people on two wheels. Meanwhile, Pink Bike recommends 21 new bike tools for the coming year.

The Department of DIY strikes in the UK, as a local councilor fumes when “ignorant” vandals repainted their own bike lane, after their first attempt had been removed. So instead of removing it again, maybe they should just make it permanent.

A Dublin man and his backpack-riding Westie won’t be riding anytime soon, after thieves stole his racing bike, then took the ebike he borrowed the next day.

Canadian Cycling Magazine goes riding at rush hour in newly bike-friendly Paris, and calls it a dream.

Bike riders in Cyprus could soon be required to wear a bike helmet if a draft bill in the legislature passes. Similar measures elsewhere have been found to be counterproductive, while depressing ridership. 

Wellington, New Zealand is considering a plan to cut crosstown traffic by dividing the city into cells, which would allow drivers to get in and out, but not move freely from one to another.

A university lecturer in New Zealand says it’s parking that kills businesses, not bikes or buses.

 

Competitive Cycling

Florida ultracyclist Amanda Coker didn’t just set a new 24-hour record by breaking the 500-mile barrier, she also set 10 other Guinness World Records in the attempt.

Meanwhile, British pro Alex Dowsett came up short on his effort to reclaim the hour record, saying the biggest failure would have been to never try.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own vowel-free, no-frills e-cruiser bike for about a grand. If you can’t trust your bike-riding neighborhood drug dealer, who can you trust?

And how drunk do you have to be to ride a bike home from a night out, only to discover the next morning it wasn’t yours.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Special prosecutor appointed in Texas coal roll crash, and inquest into fatal deputy shooting of South LA bike rider

There may be hope for Texas justice after all.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the DA in Waller County, where six bike riders were run down by a 16-year old kid in a bigass pickup attempting to roll coal says just the act of blowing exhaust fumes onto innocent victims is assault.

“They are causing their vehicle to ‘spit’ on a living, breathing, human being that is worthy of dignity and not having his or her person violated,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “That simple assault is easily elevated to a jail eligible offense if bodily injury occurs, which can be caused by entry of toxic particles into mouth, nose and eyes.”

Never mind that the kid actually slammed into the victims after belching exhaust on another rider.

Naturally, though, the boy’s lawyer insists it was just an oopsie.

Rick DeToto, a Houston lawyer hired by the teen’s family, called the boy “inexperienced” and characterized the crash as serious but not prompted by someone out to commit mayhem.

“The police did an investigation at the scene.,” DeToto said in an email. “This included speaking with eyewitnesses… After their investigation they decided not to charge my client and did not issue him a traffic citation. Clearly, they decided a crime had not occurred.”

A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case, adding to suspicion that the boy’s parents may be prominent residents of the area, or that he wasn’t initially arrested due to some other conflict of interest.

Photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

………

Maybe there will be justice for Dijon Kizzee, too.

Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to direct the county coroner to hold an inquest into Kizzee’s death at the hands — or guns — of LA County sheriff’s deputies, along with two other men who were fatally shot by deputies last year.

Kizzee was riding a bicycle in South LA last August when a pair of deputies attempted to stop him for riding on the wrong side of the road, a common practice in the area that’s usually ignored by law enforcement.

According to the deputies, Kizzee attempted to flee on foot and struggled with deputies when they tried to stop him, and was shot 16 times after he dropped a gun, then allegedly picked it up and pointed it at them.

However, witness reports and security video suggested that Kizzee was running away from them when he was shot repeatedly in the back, deputies continuing to fire even after he lay helpless on the street.

Kizzee’s father has filed suit, alleging that the case raises questions of excessive force, as well as the existence of gangs within the department that celebrate and reward officer shootings.

However, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has stonewalled other investigations, refusing to respond to subpoenas from civilian authorities. And deputies involved in other shootings have failed to participate in coroner’s investigations, resulting in failed inquests that offered little or no insight into the shootings.

There’s no reason to believe it will be any different this time.

………

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition needs your help to get a Complete Street on North Lake Avenue over the finish line.

………

They get it. The San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium welcomes bike-riding fans with a safe and secure bike valet.

Maybe SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles, could learn something from our neighbors to the north.

………

Streets for All announced their next virtual happy hour next month, featuring Santa Monica City Councilmember Gleam Davis.

………

Local

Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman announced $15 million in state funding for a pair of projects connecting her Glendale hometown with the LA River bike path — even though she helped block a $7.5 billion green transportation bill in the legislature, which included a whopping $500 million for active transportation projects statewide.

Turns out the wall of bicycles we showed you the other day is an installation created by a homeless artist in Koreatown. There’s no word on where he got all the bikes, though, so you might want to take a close look if yours went missing lately. 

Agoura Hills will participate with the LA County Sheriff’s Department next month on a new campaign to encourage people to drive safely around bicyclists.

 

State

Bay Area bike advocates make a new push to improve safety on the Golden Gate Bridge, where a person on a bicycle is 21 times more likely to suffer an injury than someone in a car.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss guides us through the six stages of bicycling enlightenment.

Good question. A Washington radio station asks what kind of person would steal the bicycle a little kid used to ride to school.

A Wyoming couple is riding down the full length of the Mississippi on their ebikes one section at a time, even though the husband is 78-years old and dependent on oxygen.

A Good Samaritan came to the rescue of an Omaha bike rider after finding him bleeding in the street with what turned out to be a fractured skull — and left him an anonymous gift card to get a new bike helmet.

Once again, a teenage driver has slammed into a group ride, as a two bicyclists were seriously injured when a 17-year old girl plowed into them near Joplin, Missouri.

Now that’s impressive. Michigan is working on a 2,000-mile pathway running through 48 counties extending the full length of the state, with separate paths for biking and hiking.

A four-year old DC boy couldn’t wait to get back on his bike, despite getting hit by an SUV driver while riding in a crosswalk.

Mississippi’s Soul City Cycling is working to change the complexion of bicycling in the state, where the overwhelming majority of bike riders are white.

This is what the theft of a $13,500 bicycle from a Florida bike shop looks like.

 

International

A writer for Road.cc celebrates the joys of having places on your favorite riding route where you can take a leak.

Oops. A London driver clipped a bike rider with his wing mirror during a too close pass. Except the guy on the bike turned out to be a plain clothes cop conducting a sting operation to catch drivers violating the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

Life may not begin at 40, but a London writer discovers she can still get an ebike and teach herself to ride it after avoiding bicycles for the first four decades of her life.

German bikemaker Cube has licensed the rights to BMW’s three-wheeled concept cargo bike designed to improve stability by leaning into corners; no word on when it might hit the market.

Two-thirds of Dutch drivers admit to checking their phones behind the wheel, even though 84% say the messages aren’t important.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks forward to this Sunday’s Paris-Robaix classic, and who you should keep an eye on in the race.

 

Finally…

Science says bicycling does not effectively work your abs. Forget the pro crit, the real action was in the bikeshare race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

And that feeling when you lose a bike versus car race, but feel like you came out ahead because you weren’t stuck in a car.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Lawsuit filed in Kizzee shooting death, World Naked Ride rolls through DTLA, and former pro Sørensen killed in crash

No surprise here.

The father of the late Dijon Kizzee has filed suit against Los Angeles County for the shooting death of his son last year.

Kizzee was shot by sheriff’s deputies as he attempted to run away after they tried to stop him for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Deputies alleged Kizzee had dropped a gun he was carrying, then picked it back up and pointed it at the two deputies.

However, witness statements and security cam video dispute that, suggesting Kizzee was unarmed and had his hands raised when deputies shot him 15 times, then let him die in the street instead of getting him prompt medical attention.

Several protests last year suggested that Kizzee was executed for Biking While Black by deputies angling to join a violent deputy gang.

………

Los Angeles helicopter traffic reporter Stu Mundel just happened to catch the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride as it rolled through DTLA on Saturday.

Time Out features full-frontal photos of the surprisingly large turnout. But you may want to take a few antibacterial wipes with you if you’re planning to rent a Metro Bike in the near future.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Tragic news from the road cycling world championships in Belgium, where former pro Chris Anker Sørensen was killed in a collision while riding his bike on the eve of the competitions.

The 37-year old Danish cyclist was struck by a van driver in Zeebrugge, where he was preparing to serve as an analyst for Danish TV.

Sørensen retired from the pro tour in 2018.

No word yet on how the crash happened, but investigators have apparently concluded that the driver was not at fault.

More proof, if we needed it, that even experienced bike riders are at risk on the streets.

Even in the most bike-friendly region of a bike-friendly country like Belgium.

………

This is what Paris looks like when you take cars away for a day.

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Frightening UK bike crash caught on freeze frame, as a triathlete tumbles along the pavement with his bike flying high above him following a collision with a driver.

Fortunately, he was not seriously injured, as surprising as that seems.

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Megan Lynch forwards a pair of videos from a comedic, bike-riding ophthalmologist.

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

No bias here. Las Vegas police blame the bike-riding victim of a fatal collision for not having lights on his bike or wearing helmet — never mind that he was run down while riding in a bike lane by the driver of a high-end SUV. Police said speed and impairment weren’t factors, while apparently ignoring that driving in a bike lane was.

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Local

The LA Times says start your holiday shopping now, because many things may not be available later due to shipping problems — especially bicycles.

The attempt to recall newly elected CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman has collapsed, leaving the safe streets supporter safely in place, at least for now.

Streetsblog looks at the new two-way, curb and armadillo-protected bike lane on Elenda Street in Culver City, a Safe Routes To School Project designed to help students walking and biking to and from La Ballona Elementary School.

Speaking of Culver City, the newly bike-friendly community has started work on replacing the Higuera Street Bridge with a bike ramp connecting Higuera Street with the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

Thirteen kids and two adults with special needs received new adaptive tricycles in Long Beach last week, courtesy of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities and SoCal Trykers, allowing many to ride a bike for the first time.

 

State

Calbike is gearing up for a return of the ten-day California Dream Ride Challenge next month, their Covid-era replacement for the annual California Dream Ride.

Advocates are questioning the safety of a painted bike lane through San Diego’s Balboa Park, after a 37-year old man was killed by a 17-year old driver while riding a Link dockless e-scooter, just blocks from where Laura Shinn was killed by a driver while riding her bike two months ago; the city is still waiting for the two-way buffered bike lane that was supposed to have replaced it by now.

San Diego hired Jorge Riveros to lead the city’s new standalone Transportation Department; Riveros previously served in leadership positions in Nashville and Austin. Maybe he can light a fire under that long-delayed Balboa Park bike lane.

 

National

NPR’s Planet Money talks ebikes and their growing popularity in the US — and how carmakers are taking notice. Meanwhile, Forbes looks at Zoomo’s ebike lease program, available for as little as $20 a month in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

Vox looks at the epidemic of car crashes in the US, calling driving the most dangerous thing most Americans do every day, killing as many people as gun violence while severely injuring millions more.

An Anchorage, Alaska woman complains of becoming invisible when she rides her bikes, calling on city residents to help make it less dangerous on the city’s shared pavements.

The husband of Suzanne Morphew with face trial for her murder after pleading not guilty to killing the Colorado woman, who went out for a Mother’s Day bike ride and never returned; her body has still not been found.

A writer for Curbed takes a contrary stand, saying she wishes she liked the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge more than she does, calling it a symbolic victory.

Writing for the Daily News, a former Streetsblog editor says New York’s recent spate of fatal crashes — too many involving kids — show’s the city’s Vision Zero is stalled, and the streets must be reimagined now.

Another Daily News op-ed says automated speed and red light cams are the answer to the city’s traffic enforcement problems. Speed cams remain illegal in California after two bills failed in the legislature, while red light cams were all removed in Los Angeles because drivers didn’t like getting caught breaking the law.

A man in York, Pennsylvania took up bicycling to stave off boredom during the pandemic lockdown, he’s now put over 6,500 miles on his bike in the past 17 months, leads groups rides and served as a cover model for Bicycling.

Fox News seems none too pleased that Biden took a bike ride along a Delaware beach on Sunday, apparently convinced that meant he was ignoring multiple national crisis. Just wait until someone tells them how often the last guy spent the weekend playing golf.

DC residents were infuriated by a short video showing a driver swerve onto the wrong side of the road to pass another car, then blow through a stop sign and crosswalk, right next to a memorial for a five-year old girl killed riding her bike there the day before.

 

International

Mexico welcomed four Afghan women, honoring them as part of Mexico City’s weekly Sunday ciclovia representing the 391 Afghan refugees in the country.

A pair of British bicyclists also welcomed refugees, riding over 1,300 miles to spell out Refugees Welcome across southern England in the world’s largest GPS artwork. Although I fear some of their Brexiteer countrymen and women may not share the sentiment.

Police are looking for an 81-year old Ontario man who went out for a bike ride and never returned home.

An Edinburgh paper offers extensive photos of the city’s Fancy Women Bike Ride, one of 150 such rides around the globe on World Car Free Day. Unfortunately, Los Angeles doesn’t seem to have been one of them this year.

An English ebike conversion kit-maker walked away from the Brit equivalent of Shark Tank with lots of praise but no money, after refusing to move production to China.

After a UK driver was sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man, a Yorkshire paper reveals his “shocking” history as one of the area’s most notorious criminals.

The world may finally catch to Dutch cyclists in a few hundred years or so, after the country gradually loses its height advantage.

A new German wheel reflector promises to give you 360° visibility on your bike; you can pre-order on Kickstarter for around $18.

A writer for a travel website relates how bicycling along a dusty Moroccan road helped save her marriage.

The Tehran Times highlights the eight most beautiful bicycling routes in Iran, in case you’re planning to visit the country any time soon.

Great article on the urban planner who is bringing a bigger focus on bicycling in Uganda, and changing the streets of Kampala, the country’s capital. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the heads-up.

There may be hope for ending the worldwide bike shortage, as Vietnamese factory workers return after the country lifted its Covid lockdown, although it may take half a year or more to catch up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers five takeaways from the world championship time trial, with Italy’s Filippo Ganna leaving second place finisher Wout van Aert six seconds behind; the championships will continue through this week.

Longtime German pro Tony Martin is calling it a career, deciding to retire after the mixed team relay at this week’s worlds.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a vintage motorcycle-inspired Harley. You can do lots of things while on a bike ride — like delivering a baby, for instance.

And why use ebikes to save the world, when you can turn them into weapons of war, complete with gun mounts.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

WeHo gets ebike rules wrong, SCAG wants your opinion on walkable cities, and La Brea gets bus (and bike) lanes

Sometimes, I don’t even know where to start.

West Hollywood announced that sheriff’s deputies will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation throughout the month of September.

They will ticket anyone who commits a violation that could endanger someone walking or riding, regardless of who commits it.

So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Nothing unusual there.

But then the city added this highly problematic paragraph.

In addition, users of dockless mobility devices are reminded that only one person is allowed on a device at a time and e-scooters and e-bikes must be ridden on the road, never on the sidewalk – riding dockless mobility devices on the sidewalk is subject to citation. Users of e-scooters and e-bikes must have a valid driver license or instructional permit and must wear a helmet while riding. Users are advised to ride as far to the right side of traffic lane or in designated and marked bike lanes whenever possible and users must always ride in the direction of traffic. Dockless mobility devices should never be parked in a way that blocks pedestrian activity and access. Concerns about dockless mobility devices may be submitted to the City through its website or through the West Hollywood Official City App, which is available as a free download for iPhone users on the App Store and for Android users on Google Play. Feedback may be submitted by email, as well, at parkingconcerns@weho.org or by phone at (213) 247-7720.

Yes, dockless e-scooter users are required to have a driver’s license or learner’s permit, since the state somehow equates riding a tiny scooter with operating a deadly multi-ton machine.

But there is no license requirement for ebikes, dockless or otherwise, unless they are throttle controlled and capable of going up to 30 mph. And there is no helmet requirement for anyone over 18 years old.

In addition, people on bicycles are only required to ride as far to the right as practicable.

Which means you’re allowed to ride outside the door zone, and take the full lane on any street where the right lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, while providing at least a three-foot passing distance.

It’s more than a little frightening when the people responsible for the laws don’t seem to know them.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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SCAG wants to know what you think about walkable communities.

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Don’t hold your breath waiting for bike lanes on La Brea Ave in Los Angeles.

But newly announced plans call for a nearly 6-mile, part-time bus lane on the busy corridor from Sunset Blvd to Coliseum Street, which bike riders are free to use during the limited times they’re in operation, as long as you don’t mind a bus running up your ass.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will get serious about getting people out of their cars, and make bus lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like a real city.

Or not.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Police in Yorkshire, England evidently have better things to do than deal with a teenage driver who hit a woman on a bicycle, then stole her phone to keep her from taking pictures after the crash; the cops said she should have just swapped information with him and left them out of it. And let him keep her phone, evidently.

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

Police are looking for a pair of men who rode their ebikes onto the UC San Diego campus, and shot someone multiple times with a BB gun.

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Local

South Pasadena has just over three months to institute a Slow Streets program, or lose a $420,000 Metro open streets grant that has to be spent by the end of the year.

 

State

California may be many things, but apparently, polite ain’t one of them.

More proof that bike riders are tougher than most people think, as a Goleta man rode his bicycle to the hospital after he was stabbed by another man; his would-be killer was arrested a few hours later for attempted murder.

A plan to improve safety and add bus lanes and bike lanes to a pair of Mountain View streets has hit a roadblock, after it was revealed that the project would require removing 120 trees, including 27 irreplaceable heritage trees. Maybe they should consider removing parking spaces or traffic lanes before they start chopping down trees.

 

National

New Apple watches will be able to tell when you start a bike ride, and call for help if you fall off.

Cycling News recommends their picks for the best gravel bike helmets to protect you on and off the road.

Great idea. An advocacy group in my Colorado hometown is asking the public to contribute a new bike and helmet worth $150 in an effort to give a bicycle to every second grader in the city’s six public elementary schools.

The co-founder of Better Streets Chicago describes being part of a people-protected bike lane to call attention to the need for safer streets.

Cambridge, Massachusetts is installing new flexpost-protected bike lanes on one main street, in response to a new requirement to build out the city’s bike network within five years. That compares to Los Angeles, which gave itself 25 years to build a bike network, while considering the whole thing just “aspirational.”

New York Streetsblog examines the many failures that allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road until it was too late, despite dozens of traffic violations and a suspended driver’s license; he kept driving anyway, and killed a three-month old baby while driving the wrong way.

New bike lanes have officially opened on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, after the city removed a traffic lane to give bike riders their own space apart from pedestrians. Meanwhile, a writer for Streetsblog wants to know why existing concrete barriers lining the city’s Addabbo Bridge can’t be moved a few feet to the left to create a protected bike lane.

Wired takes a deep dive into America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, the Tennessee company he founded to make low-cost carbon fiber, and his new ultralight carbon frame ebike.

 

International

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter offers an excerpt from his new book, Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle, arguing all that’s needed for an ebike revolution is “good affordable bikes, a safe place to ride, and a secure place to park.”

Boy, does he get it. A Toronto writer says there’s not much hope for the city’s Vision Zero program when the city council’s “collective head is so far up the tailpipe of motorists.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, except here in Los Angeles, too.

An Irish walker and sometimes bicyclist says put a bell on your bike, already. I’m not a fan of bike bells, since all they tell you is a bike rider is nearby, and an angel just got its wings. Use your voice instead, and politely tell pedestrians what side you’re passing on, or ask them to move one way or the other.

An Indian man has ridden his bicycle nearly 5,000 miles across the country in what began as a tribute to his late father, but took on a life of its own, delivering him new friends and experiences while gaining 69,000 followers on YouTube — and 82,000 on Instagram.

An Aussie website offers tips on how to pick the right bicycle for beginning riders. Although the right bike when you’re starting out may not be a few months later.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Alberto Contador set off on a 1,000-mile ride from Madrid to Milan to celebrate his pro team’s first stage victory in the Giro, in their first year on the WorldTour; Contador is co-owner of the Spanish-based team, along with former cycling great Ivan Basso.

 

Finally…

Park your bike with the fishes without getting wet. Who needs water when you can carry hot coffee on your bike?

And the pandemic bike boom has officially reached Mongolia.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Driver busted for Hawthorne hit-and-run, 16 LA-area bike riders shot by police, and bike-riding woman murders Metro worker

A couple quick notes before we start. 

Today is the last day to register to vote before next month’s presidential and city council elections, along with a number of other important federal, state and local offices. Not to mention a massive number of California state propositions. 

So take a few minutes to make sure your voice is heard.

Also, my apologies to everyone who tipped me to news stories over the weekend; with a few exceptions, I’ve somehow managed to lose track of who sent what. 

But please accept my thanks anyway. I always appreciate the help, even if my feeble brain fails me from time to time. 

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Hawthorne police have busted the driver who fled the scene after running a red light and slamming into a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Rosecrans Avenue earlier this month.

Twenty-eight-year old Darlene Delgadillo confessed to driving the car after police traced it to a home in Gardena.

Meanwhile, the now-15 year old victim remains in a coma with major head trauma, as well as a broken leg, arm and feet, more than two weeks after the crash.

Yet despite the horrific harm she allegedly caused, Delgadillo will face a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run under California law.

Maybe someday we’ll get our elected leaders to take this crime seriously.

Because they sure as hell aren’t doing it now.

………

Apparently, Dijon Kizzee was just the tip of the iceberg.

An investigative report from the LA Times reveals that 16 bike riders have been shot by police or sheriff’s deputies in LA County over the past 15 years for what started out as simple traffic violations.

Eleven of those were killed.

The Times identified 16 cases since 2005 where a stop for bike violations in Los Angeles County resulted in a police shooting, according to interviews and a review of public records from the district attorney, coroner and various court cases. Most of the stops occurred in communities made up largely of Black and Latino residents. In 11 incidents, including Kizzee’s, the bicyclists — all male and Black or Latino — were killed.

Among those 16 cases, violations ranged from riding on the sidewalk to biking without a light or on the wrong side of the road. In 11 cases, authorities said they found a firearm. In one shooting, deputies found an airsoft gun they said looked like a semiautomatic handgun.

It’s an important read, because constantly having to worry about getting stopped by the cops for biking while Black or brown is bad enough.

But something is seriously wrong when people of color also have to worry about getting the death penalty for a simple traffic violation.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to my attention.

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Police are on the lookout for a bike-riding woman who fatally stabbed an 18-year Metro employee Friday night following a dispute at the 7th and Metro station in DTLA.

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The city council’s Transportation Committee will consider the fate of the city’s current Slow Streets at 1 pm today, with options ranging from making them more permanent, to removing them entirely.

Here’s how to join in.

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Public radio station KPFK is in deep financial danger, and could take the popular Bike Talk program down with it without your help.

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Bicycling and SRAM will examine the issues facing people who have been swept under the rug for far too long.

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This is who we share the road with.

There’s a special place in hell for a Montana man who was charged with a sex crime involving an 11-year old girl, after he was previously charged with intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, claiming it was his bike. Although you’d think if it was really his bike, he wouldn’t want to run it over with his car.

You don’t need to speak Spanish to get that maybe this driver should pay attention to the road instead of complaining about people on two wheels.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

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This will restore your faith in humanity.

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Now this is art.

The newest Banksy that popped up on a Nottingham, England street incorporates an actual beat-up bicycle chained to a pole in front of wall art of a girl using the missing bike tire as a hula hoop.

Seriously, he can paint that on my wall anytime.

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Speaking of art, the annual Bicycle Film Festival is back on this weekend, after going virtual due to the coronavirus crisis.

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

Police in Chico, California are looking for a woman who fled the scene after flooring her car and slamming into a woman on a bicycle in an apparently intentional attack, before continuing on to run over an employee at a gas station; police have recovered her car, but the driver is still on the run.

Someone ripped out the plastic bollards marking a popup bike lane in Glasgow, Scotland, and tossed them into a canal.

A New Zealand bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who repeatedly honked and rammed the back of his bike, before finally knocking him off; the 65-year old driver faces a charge of dangerous driving causing injury.

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

A 19-year old New York man could face a murder charge after a group of bike-riding teens argued with a 79-year man before pushing him to the ground; the victim died later after being rushed to a hospital. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Police in Edinburgh are looking for the masked bike-riding man who stole a woman’s watch and diamond rings as she was walking on a bike path.

A Belfast, Northern Ireland bike rider says he’s really, really sorry for stabbing two women and punching two others in a one-day assault spree, for no apparent reason; fortunately, none of the women suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 67-year old Australian man recovering from open heart surgery was left bloodied and banged up after he was hit from behind by a bike rider while walking on a pedestrian bridge. Yet another reminder to alway ride with extra caution around pedestrians. Not only are people unpredictable, but they’re the only ones out there more vulnerable than we are.

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Local

A local paper profiles 26-year old Alexandria Contreras as she runs for a seat on the Downey city council; the bike-riding candidate is a big supporter of community involvement, housing, urban safety and the environment.

Kindhearted members of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita donated 17 bicycles to veterans in need. Although those little kids don’t look like veterans to me. But what do I know?

 

State

A 49-year old San Diego man suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when a motorcyclist slammed into a group of bike riders in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood; the motorcyclist walked away with road rash.

The Los Angeles Times offers more information about the 14-year old boy facing a possible hate crime charge for punching a San Diego rabbi.

More bad new from Northern California, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a crash while riding his bike in Elk Grove.

 

National

Here’s your chance to buy that really cool, but really strange hubless ebike for under two grand; the bikemaker promises it’s virtually theft proof.

Despite last spring’s lighter traffic, the rate of traffic deaths jumped nearly twenty percent, mostly because of who was driving, and how. Or rather, how fast.

A new AARP survey examines bicycling among the over 50 set, concluding that many older American’s can’t imagine not being able to ride a bike.

Cycling Savvy offers a discussion of what to look for in rear view bike mirrors. Besides cars, that is.

Apparently, soap star Susan Lucci is one of us; Katie Holmes is one of us, too.

The kindhearted members of a Utah Masonic lodge gave new bicycles to 68 elementary school students as a reward for reading.

Tragic news from Texas, where a longtime scout for the NBA’s Houston Rockets was killed after he hit an open culvert in a construction zone with his bike.

A New York bus driver who killed a bikeshare user in 2017 isn’t content with the slap on the wrist he received, going to court in an attempt to have the city’s failure to yield law invalidated — even though he only got a paltry 30 days behind bars.

The partner of a New York man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was critically injured by falling off a defective VanMoof ebike during a test ride, because missing screws allegedly allowed the fender to come in contact with the rear wheel; the victim remains in a coma over two weeks after the crash.

Speaking of New York, the bike boom means increasing numbers of bike riders are using the city’s bridges — but avoiding the iconic, if cramped and crowded, Brooklyn Bridge.

 

International

If you’re looking for speed, roll on latex in your tires.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 80-year old English woman celebrated her birthday with an 80-mile bike ride.

A British man set a new record for riding a bike without getting anywhere, riding a stationary bike for more than 11 days.

Seriously? Police in Dubai seized 370 bicycles in a single week because their owners violated traffic laws, in a bizarre campaign to improve traffic safety. If they were serious about improving safety, they’d seize cars from scofflaw drivers, instead.

A South African writer talks with Black and white bike riders, and concludes it’s the feeling of freedom that keeps us riding year after year.

Aussies are warned that the worldwide bike shortage means you need to do something now if you want to get a new bicycle by Christmas.

 

Competitive Cycling

An American cyclist is an unexpected hair’s breadth from the Giro podium. Twenty-two-year old Phoenix resident and former world junior time trial champ Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates rode to a third place finish in the individual time trial on Saturday, leaping from 12th to 4th, with another brief time trial in the final stage.

VeloNews offers a recap of who did well, and who cracked in Saturday’s time trial.

Thirty-nine-year old Aussie Adam Hansen is throwing in the towel after 13 years and 29 grand tours, saying he’s “kind of done with it now,” and looks forward to switching to triathlons next year.

Congratulations if you had Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in your Tour of Flanders pool.

Great French hope Julian Alaphilippe broke his hand in two places when he became just the latest cyclist to crash into a race moto in the Tour of Flanders. Once again, there is no excuse for allowing motorcycles in the peloton. Keep them in front of the cyclists or well behind, for everyone sake.

Hats off to Swiss cyclist Camille Balanche, who became the first out and proud gay woman to win the world Downhill Mountain Biking World Championship.

 

Finally…

When is a bike path not a bike path? When there’s a big frigging utility pole in the middle of it. Your next bike helmet could be soft and squishy.

And maybe people don’t really love their cars after all.

………

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

Sheriff’s deputies shot Dijon Kizzee 16 times, blaming road diets for CA decline, and things are looking up in Santa Ana

The official autopsy is out.

And it’s not good.

A pair of LA County sheriff’s deputies shot Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee 16 times — yes, 16 — in an incident that began with a failed traffic stop for riding salmon.

And escalated when Kizzee allegedly dropped a stolen gun as he struggled to escape the deputies; what’s in dispute is whether he attempted to pick the gun back up. Especially since the official version of events has changed several times in the days following the shooting.

At least four of those shots could have been fatal.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas last year, a Black man told police officers 24 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died, in an incident that began when police tried to stop him for not having a bike light.

Yes, both men took actions that helped lead to their deaths.

But a simple traffic violation should never escalate to the death penalty.

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No bias here.

A writer for the libertarian magazine Reason concludes that California is a cautionary tale for America — including road diets that remove traffic lanes and install bike lanes.

Never mind that road diets have been successfully used for decades throughout the US, including in red states.

But that would have involved doing a modicum of research, which might have gotten in the way of his preordained conclusions.

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It looks like things are about to get much better in Santa Ana.

And should be everywhere.

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This kind of puts it all in perspective.

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Mr. CiclaValley reminds you to put more gravel in your life.

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A couple more reminders to register your bike for free with Bike Index.

Especially now that Bike Index is partnering with the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles to create a new citywide voluntary bike registration program.

it’s up to us to make sure the free, voluntary program stays that way to prevent abuses like we saw with the city’s previous mandatory licensing program, which became an excuse to stop people of color without probable cause as they rode their bikes.

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Deep thought of the day.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Horrifying attack in New York, where a speeding SUV driver appears to intentionally ram a group of bike-riding protestors before fleeing the scene; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Once they find the driver, this should be prosecuted like the terrorist attack it is.

Talk about not getting it. Apparently confusing the treatment with the disease, a London columnist complains that bike lanes are choking the life out of the city through fume-filled traffic jams. Someone should tell him that it’s all those cars that cause the noxious fumes — and the traffic. And safe bike lanes mean fewer of those on the roads. 

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

An English teenager suffered a head injury when another man attacked him with a mountain bike.

A young Dublin man was accused of intentionally riding his bike into a taxi to file a fraudulent claim, but rode off after realizing he was being filmed by dashcam.

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Local

LADOT wants your input on building stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. As opposed to all those stressful connections we’re all used to.

You have one more week to tell Metro what you think about fareless transit system.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice representing bicyclists — is meeting virtually via Zoom at 7 pm tomorrow evening. You can see the agenda here, including draft motions addressing bias from the LAPD and the fire department in killing the Uplift Melrose project.

South LA could be on its way to a safer and more beautiful Broadway, including parking protected bike lanes, on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

Walk Bike Burbank puts three important questions to three candidates for city council. Read it before you vote.

The nascent GoSGV bikeshare system expands to Baldwin Park with 45 ped-assist ebikes and nine docking stations.

Santa Clarita residents can win prizes during the city’s Rideshare Week celebration.

A columnist for the Southern California News Group remembers Long Beach real estate scion and bike advocate Mark Bixby, who fought to get a bike lane across the new replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, and won, before dying in a 2011 plane crash along with four other people.

 

State

Sad news from Eureka, where a bike rider was killed in a collision when the victim allegedly swerved in front of an oncoming car, according to the driver and multiple witnesses.

 

National

This may just be the best biking on the moon photo you see today. Thanks to TedFaber for the link.

Travel & Leisure recommends the country’s best bike paths to explore US cities. Including one I grew up riding in my Colorado hometown.

After a bicyclist crashes into a cliff wall and falls into the roadway, a bighearted Tesla driver blocks traffic before rushing the victim to the hospital with a likely broken collarbone.

Wired explains what the ebike classifications are, and what that means to you.

Sad news, as longtime bicycle writer Garrett Lai died of natural causes last week; he was just 54.

The Daily Beast talks with Seattle’s Trumpet Man, the protestor who was run over by a bike cop while lying on the ground.

Three men who survived the tragic 1970 plane crash that killed most of the Wichita State University football team are riding their bikes from Wichita, Kansas to the Colorado crash site to remember their fallen teammates on the 50th anniversary of their deaths.

Chicago business owners blame new protected bike lanes for a drop in business, with one hardware store owner insisting the loss of parking spaces has meant a 30% drop in sales. Although a far more likely explanation is the same drop in business suffered by brick and mortar retailers across the US during the coronavirus pandemic.

A pair of men are now in custody for stealing a $3,500 handcycle from an Ohio man; they were captured after riding the bike in front of security cams in a Circle K parking lot.

Following a full year of international travel, bicycling helped a writer for the New York Times fall in love with the city again during the coronavirus lockdown. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A New York nurse who spent the past several months on the frontlines of the the Covid-19 pandemic was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist as she attempted to ride her bicycle home following a late-night shift.

 

International

Your bike might be responsible for your back problems.

Road.cc examines the results when carmakers take a stab at making bicycles.

A bighearted triathlete bought a new bike for a 16-year old Canadian boy whose bike was stolen just weeks after finishing a nearly 375-mile ride from Montreal to Toronto, raising over $8,000 to provide clean water for indigenous communities.

The Sportsman offers a nice profile of Josh Quigley, the bicyclist who set a new record for the northern crossing of Scotland, just months after he barely survived getting run down at 70 mph driver by a Texas driver while on an around the world bike tour. He was inspired to do the ride by Britain’s Sir Chris Hoy after a failed suicide attempt.

A British woman wishes she gotten on the saddle sooner, after spending most of her adult life thinking riding a bike wasn’t for her.

In a truly heartwarming story, a seven-year old girl in the UK rode her bike around her school 100 times, completing nearly 16 miles over two days to raise funds for the hospice where her grandfather spent his last days. At last count, she’d raised the equivalent of nearly $1,500.

A German man turned his bike into a mobile video game.

A writer for Outside searches for meaning by island hopping through Norway on two wheels.

An Indian movie screening on Netflix centers on a brahmin’s stolen bicycle, without hiding the country’s dehumanizing caste system.

Ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong took a lap around Beirut on Sunday, leading a bike tour to raise funds and call attention to the city that was devastated by a massive explosion.

Heartbreaking news from Kenya, where a pediatric dentist who had called for the government to reduce crashes was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A bike-riding Philippines columnist says it’s time the country has a mandatory bike helmet law. Never mind that experience around the world shows that helmet laws depress bicycling rates, which is exactly the wrong thing to do with the world facing a climate crisis — let along the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a bad day for new world champ Julian Alaphilippe, who missed out on winning the rescheduled Liège-Bastogne-Liège by celebrating too soon, losing out to Primož Roglič at the finish line. Then was stripped of his podium position and relegated to fifth for an overly aggressive sprint.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Lizzie Deignan won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in a bold breakaway, racing about half the distance as the men.

The Giro kicked off on Saturday with a mini-tour of Sicily replacing the originally planned Hungary start that was derailed by the coronavirus, which did not work to three-time former world champ Peter Sagan’s advantage.

Good news as Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel is back on his bike, just six weeks after falling off a bridge in a dramatic crash at the Il Lombardia classic.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to perform bike stunts on your 12th floor balcony, at least put some damn clothes on — and try not to fall off. That feeling when a cat finishes the around the world bike tour you’re still dreaming about.

And who says you need a car to go shopping?

………

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

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