Tag Archive for LA rains

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

………

Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

………

As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

………

As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

………

There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

………

Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

………

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

………

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

Morning Links: A bike path in the rain, Major Taylor rides again, the war on bikes, and who we share the roads with

Greetings from Los Angeles, America’s second-place city™.

The Super Bowl is over, but the rain isn’t.

So be careful out there. Light yourself up even during day rides, and ride defensively, because drivers assume no one in their right mind would ride a bike in weather like this.

And they may be right.

But when has that ever stopped us?

And let’s hope none of those drivers were inspired watching yesterday’s game, and decide to drive like the people in car ads.

My apologies to anyone who sent me links over the weekend. While I truly appreciate it, I’m afraid I lost track of some of the people who sent them. So please accept my apologies, as well as my thanks.

………

In case you wondered, this is why they close the bike path on the LA River, and other water-adjacent bike paths, when it rains.

………

Even a separated bike path isn’t safe when it rains, as this driver ended up upside down on the San Gabriel River bike path.

Thanks to Bike SGV for the heads-up.

………

The New York Times gives the legendary Major Taylor the obituary he deserved, but never got, when he died penniless in the 1930s.

Known as the Black Cyclone, he was the first African American cycling world champ, and just the second in any sport.

And like those who integrated other sports, he had to overcome hatred and prejudice, as well his opponents on the track.

He also made a brief splash in yesterday’s Super Bowl.

Unlike a certain LA team we could name.

………

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

After a New York bike rider raps on a man’s car to chastise him for parking in a bike lane, the driver gets out and threatens to shoot her in the head if she does it again.

Which is a nice, psychopathic response to a totally non-threatening gesture.

In a bizarre case, an 8-year old South Carolina boy claims a car full of men stopped next to him as he rode his bike, and the driver pulled a gun on him for no apparent reason.

A Florida man says a pickup driver forced his bicycle off the road, then attacked him with a metal pipe.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on meetings being held to discuss options to close the 8-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA; one last meeting will be held in Cypress Park on Thursday.

Urbanize Los Angeles offers a better look at the streetscape improvements coming to Broadway and Manchester in South LA.

A Nigerian journalist offers a tourist’s eye view of the City of Angeles, including a bike tour of Venice, after an Ethiopian airline begins direct flights from Togo. Although he seems to confused Los Angeles with San Diego, size-wise.

A Long Beach police detective is in deep trouble after a pair of allegedly drunken and/or stoned crashes, including fleeing the scene after rear-ending a bike rider in Marina del Rey, followed by crashing into another driver on the 405; she was released on $100,000 bond. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Police in Gardena pulled over a suspected drunk driver who was weaving across the street, with a BAC over four times the legal limit — a level so high it’s usually fatal. He was already on probation for a previous DUI, and had an interlock device on his ignition, which he somehow managed to defeat.

State

Costa Mesa officials discuss plans for a buffered bike lane and multi-use path on Merrimac Way.

San Diego lifeguards rescued a half dozen dockless bikes that had been tossed off a cliff into the ocean, spotting and retrieving them while on a training mission.

San Diego’s Planning Commission voted to eliminate parking requirements within a half mile of major transit stops.

Bakersfield police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a bike-riding woman with major injuries.

A San Jose columnist credits bike lanes with a drop in bike and pedestrian deaths last year, equalling the number of homicides in the city, which is not necessarily a good thing. In the same piece, a former prosecutor and defense attorney tries to excuse DUIs, saying everyone does it and drunk drivers should get off with just a diversion class. I’m not saying he’s completely full of shit, but if someone gave him an enema, he probably disappear entirely.  

The San Jose Mercury News says Complete Streets are spreading across the state. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where too many councilmembers lack the courage to stand up to NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers.

Bicycling and transit use have both dropped in San Francisco in recent years, as the overwhelming majority of people still prefer cars.

Is anyone really surprised that a pair of scooter providers have failed to live up to the promises they made to get permits to operate in San Francisco?

A man on a bike is accused of attacking and choking a Novato hiker after she tried to stop him from kicking her dog.

Horrible news from Napa, where a grandfather was beaten to death while riding on a local bike path. Meanwhile, in nearby Santa Rosa, a homeless man was beaten to death by two men who accused him of stealing a bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth that.

Nice gesture from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which gave away 600 bicycles to children affected by the devastating Camp Fire.

National

No, a Peloton bike probably won’t get you the body of your dreams.

Lime is pulling their dockless bikes from St. Louis, replacing them with e-scooters.

Stephen Katz forwards a rare story of forgiveness, as the family of a bike rider killed by a dangerous bus driver on the campus of the University of Texas decides to turn the other cheek.

Oh, hell no. A proposed update to Rhode Island’s transportation budget would gut bicycle funding by shifting over $31 million into highway projects.

A New York teacher is planning to bike across the US to raise money for cancer patients, just two years after she had open-heart surgery.

International

Mazatlan, Mexico now has a docked bikeshare system, which will eventually grow to 350 bikes and 50 stations.

A self-described avid cyclist in Windsor, Ontario says there’s got to be a better way to improve bicycling without removing parking or traffic lanes for bike lanes. If he knows one, maybe he could actually make a suggestion or two.

London considers establishing an app-based bikeshare system; no, not that London. Meanwhile, a writer in the other London is looking forward to getting e-scooters on the streets trod by Nelson, Churchill and Dickens. And Jack the Ripper.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas offers UK readers advice on buying a bike, from ebikes and single speeds to gravel bikes and roadies. No offense, but is a pro cyslist who probably hasn’t bought his own bike in years really the best person to offer advice to casual and transportation riders?

I love a story with a happy ending. Carlton Reid tells the tale of a Brit CEO who traded his Mercedes supercar for an e-cargo bike. And lived healthier and happier ever after.

In today’s edition of two countries divided by a common language, English authorities warn people not to ride croggy. And yes, I had to click the link to learn what the hell that meant. Just like you will.

After police caught up with a British hit-and-run driver, she claimed she didn’t stop because she didn’t do anything wrong, and that the bike rider she ran down was trying to get hit. No, really, Because we all enjoy pain, especially when it’s delivered at the end of a bumper.

Great Britain’s future heir and two spares enjoy daily bike rides and dog walks, as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — third, fourth and fifth in line for the British crown once their father and granddad kick the bucket — enjoy a relatively normal upbringing with their self-defense and evasive driving-trained nanny.

Horrifying story from Scotland, where a driver hit an Edinburgh bicyclist with his van, talked him into getting inside to take him somewhere to get help — then dumped him in the street a few blocks away, dragging him out by his leg.

NPR considers how women are breaking the taboo against bicycling in Karachi, Pakistan.

A woman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is leading the way to get more women on bikes in the conservative country, with 7,000 followers on her social media account dedicated to bicycling.

A Kenyan state governor shocks everyone by riding a bicycle to work sans security detail.

Social media users are calling a South African high school student a hero for swooping in on his bicycle to rescue a schoolmate who was being attacked, and losing his phone in the process.

A Kiwi columnist says don’t waste time arguing over e-scooters, when the real danger is quad bikes. Which aren’t really bikes at all, since they have four wheels.

One of Australia’s most wanted men is taking that feeling of being invisible on a bike seriously, hiding out from the authorities on a bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Sanne Cant clearly can, winning her third consecutive cyclocross world title. Although it kind of sucks when your own father costs you the title, as second-place Lucinda Brand learned the hard way.

Speaking of which, the ‘cross worlds will come to Walmart’s neck of the woods in three years, as Fayetteville, Arkansas is awarded the 2022 meet.

When a pair of Pro Continental riders found themselves unemployed after their Aqua Blue Sport team folded, they got their cycling mojo back by bikepacking across the alps.

Fat bike racing in the recent Minnesota polar vortex.

When the cycling team from India’s Rajasthan state showed up for the country’s national championships, they were forced to sleep on the floor under the velodrome.

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’re carrying coke, weed and prescription drugs on your bike at 4:30 am, put a light on it. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and weed in your pockets, put a damn light on it, already. Chances are you make a lousy travel companion.

And feel free to do this on the mayor’s desk if I ever get killed in a crash.

%d bloggers like this: