Tag Archive for LAPD

LAPD seeks Boyle Heights hit-and-run big rig driver, NJ governor calls out cops, and FL cops hold Black bike riders at gunpoint

I’m going to cut things a little short today. 

While my hand is doing better today, it seems to be asking a little too much of it to write this post, along with the earlier piece about a fatal bike collision in San Diego’s Balboa Park

I’ll try to catch up on Monday if we missed anything important. 

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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The LAPD is looking for the driver of a big rig truck who fled the scene after running down a bike rider in Boyle Heights last month.

The driver stopped briefly after striking the man as he rode his bike on the north sidewalk of Olympic Boulevard just east of Boyle Avenue, but didn’t identify himself or stick around.

So much for the usual truck driver excuse that they didn’t know they hit anyone.

The 30-year old victim spent several days in the ICU with multiple fractures and internal injuries.

The truck is described as possibly being a white 2015 Freightliner Columbia 120, with what looks like a sleeper cab, while the driver is described only as a man in his 30’s who could be Latino.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Officer Garcia at 213/833-3713 or email 39759@lapd.online.

And while the story doesn’t mention it, but should be eligible for the city’s standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury.

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Apparently, New Jersey’s governor takes a dim view of Perth Amboy cops giving the state a black eye by seizing bikes from teenage boys.

Let alone the optics of a half-dozen white cops taking a Black teen into custody for a lousy traffic violation.

https://twitter.com/YIMBY_Princeton/status/1385026541269225474

Meanwhile, a New Jersey paper looks at how Perth Amboy’s draconian enforcement compares with bike laws in other cities in the state.

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Along the same lines — but much worse — Orlando Police forced a pair of black men to crawl at gunpoint, after somehow concluding they matched the description of a pair of robbery suspects.

In other words, busted for Biking While Black after dark.

They were cuffed and held at gunpoint for nearly three hours, until a witness to the robbery arrived to tell the cops they had the wrong guys.

Which they could have determined hours earlier by just by checking their alibis at the 7-11 the men had just left.

@riskie_e

What you think happen

♬ original sound – Riskie _E

The local chief of police defended his officers, insisting they acted appropriately — even though about the only way they matched the suspect description was they’re both men.

And Black.

One of the men posted another video saying he’s afraid to ride his bike now, and has cried several times since the incident, thinking about what could have happened.

There’s just no damn excuse.

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Seriously, Larry?

Air Talk originates on Pasadena public radio station KPCC .

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The state house celebrated Earth Day by passing AB 122, the proposed Safety Stop bill that would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

Now it’s on to an uncertain fate in the state senate.

Let’s hope they show the same good sense as the assembly.

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

Police in Georgia are looking for the jackass pickup driver who just slightly broke the state’s three foot passing law, coming so close his mirror brushed the rider as he sped by.

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

Miami police are reopening the case of a group of bike riders who severely beat a man walking with his husband last November, to see if it’s related to a similar attack in March.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. College basketball player Terrence Clarke, a one-and-done freshman from the University of Kentucky, was killed in an afternoon car crash in LA’s San Fernando Valley, where he was preparing for the upcoming NBA draft; Clarke reportedly ran a red light while traveling at a high rate of speed.

Nice piece from Bicycling, as LA’s Gabriella Ortega spends the pandemic rediscovering our city on two wheels. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Metro announce that Bike Month will be back this year, with a Bike Anywhere Day on Friday the 21st replacing the usual Thursday Bike to Work Day; Bike Week will take place from May 17th to the 23rd. Maybe I’ll be recovered enough by then to ride somewhere on Bike Anywhere Day.

 

State

The board chair of the San Diego Bike Coalition and the executive director of BikeSD team for an op-ed refuting recent criticisms of the area’s protected bike lanes, arguing that safe bikeways are needed to introduce San Diegans to bike commuting.

Bike riders often find things when they ride. A dead body in a Sunnyvale lagoon, not so much.

Berkeley residents have taken to bikeshare during the pandemic.

After losing his home and 16 bicycles in the Camp Fire, a newly retired physical therapist rebuilds his life by opening a bike shop in Oroville.

 

National

Evidently, REI’s commitment to the environment only goes as far as their support from — and for — the makers of gas-guzzling SUVs. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Um, no. The CEO of bicycle subscription company Buzzbike says urban private bicycle ownership will be dead within the coming decade. Meanwhile, Twitter user Steven Mandrapa responded by writing “We also predict people will no longer own their own pants and will prefer to rent pants anytime they go outside.” Touché, Steven.

A pair of New Mexico burglars end up donating their bicycle to the local community college after triggering an alarm, and leaving their bike behind as they ran away.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a motorcyclist will spend a lousy nine months behind bars for killing a 15-year old kid riding a bicycle, despite riding with a suspended license. At least they’re suspending his license for five years, even though that didn’t seem to stop him the last time.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to prevent flats.

Apparently, it’s the same on both sides of the Atlantic. Opponents of London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of Slow Streets on this side of the Atlantic — claim they impede emergency vehicles, with little or no facts to support it. And yes, Low Traffic Neighborhoods is a much better name than Slow Streets.

Britain’s Prince Louis, the youngest child of future king Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, celebrated his third birthday with a balance bike ride.

An Edinburgh bike rider has to buy the frame of his new bike back from the thief who stole it for the equivalent of $55 after he spots it online, but can’t interest the local cops in reclaiming it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Signs suggest that former Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin may be rethinking his surprising decision to step away from the sport.

Apparently the only thing that will allow someone else to win the women’s Flèche Wallonne will be Anna van der Breggen’s impending retirement, after she won her seventh consecutive title.

World champ Julian Alaphilippe took the men’s Flèche Wallonne for the third time.

The lack of a spare team car meant American Alex Howes had to rely on a badly fitting bike from the Flèche Wallonne’s neutral service after developing a problem with his rear wheel.

Here’s your chance to win real cash for a virtual gran fondo.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a sleeping gator brings your trail ride to a quick halt. That feeling when putting in bike lanes is just “too problematic.”

And remember, you don’t have to outrun the bear.

Just any other riders on the trail.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Street racing drivers walk in death of bike rider, video of fatal North Hills hit-and-run, and killer Lambo driver’s dad says sorry

Apparently, life is still cheap in the Inland Empire.

It was nearly eleven years ago that Jorge Alvarado was fatally run down in San Bernardino County by a teenager who was allegedly street racing.

Sadly, the life of a Mexican immigrant who came to this country to fulfill his dream of becoming a pro cyclist didn’t seem to matter compared to that of the politically connected high school student who ended his.

His killer got away with just 90 days behind bars, and went on to play college soccer, thanks to a judge and DA who didn’t seem to want to jeopardize a promising young life just because he carelessly snuffed out another.

Now another judge, in nearby Riverside County, said hold my beer, and let a second pair of killer road-racing drivers walk without a single day behind bars.

According to KESQ-3 — and an identical story on Patch — Luis Armando Castaneda and Alex Isidro Quiroz pled guilty to a single count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the death of popular Coachella Valley bicyclist William Campbell in 2018.

The drivers, both in their early 20s, were allegedly street racing when Quiroz swerved into the Cathedral City bike lane Campbell was riding in, sending him cartwheeling 150 feet through the air in what was initially reported as a case of road rage.

Never mind that neither driver seemed to think the crash was worth sticking around for afterwards.

For reasons known only to them, Riverside County prosecutors alleged it was a case of hit-and-run, but never bothered to file the appropriate charges for fleeing the scene.

Which allowed both men to walk with just two years probation and 180 days work release, courtesy of an overly lenient judge.

But at least they won’t be allowed to drive for those two years.

And in a case of poetic, if not actual, justice, they’ll have to complete 180 hours of community service building bike paths in the Coachella Valley.

None of which will bring Campbell back to his friends and loved ones.

And all of which should serve as a warning to bike riders not to expect anything resembling justice in the Inland Empire.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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The LAPD released security cam video of the hit-and-run crash that took the life of an unhoused LA resident riding his bike in North Hills early Saturday morning.

Israel Ovando Vera was riding in a crosswalk at Sepulveda and Roscoe Blvds when he was run down by the driver of a 2007-2011 Toyota Camry at 4:20 am.

The video shows him crossing with the light, with his killer appearing to turn left off Sepulveda directly into him, then continuing on without stopping.

Regardless of what investigators originally implied about Vera possibly riding the wrong way, he clearly rode off the sidewalk into the crosswalk.

And there’s no right or wrong way on either one.

The actual impact on this video is hidden by a car stopped waiting for the light. But as always, be sure you really want to see it before you click play.

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On Tuesday, we reposted a comment from a Reddit user accusing a wealthy father of using his money and influence to protect his Lamborghini-driving son, who was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed when he slammed into a woman’s car in LA’s Westwood neighborhood last month.

Today, we finally heard from the boy’s father.

Thirty-two-year old Monique Munoz died when her car was totaled by the 17-year old driver; her father questioned why anyone would trust someone so young with a sports car capable of doing 190 mph.

The teen was arrested on on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter six days after the collision, but he has yet to be charged in the case.

His father, James Khuri, released this statement on Instagram yesterday.

“I am aware that the time it has taken me to communicate this has caused further pain for everyone affected. Knowing that this will never do justice for the family of Monique Munoz, I want to apologize to the Munoz family for the tragic loss of their daughter. There are no words I can say to alleviate the pain that you are experiencing. And I realize none of my words or actions will be able to bring back your daughter.

Still, I want to offer my support in any way you will allow me to. My family and I pray for the Munoz family.”

He certainly said the right things. But what happens next will tell how sincere he really is.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

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This is who we share the road with.

Many Angelenos watched in horror on Tuesday — myself included — as a rampaging driver attempted to evade police while deliberately smashing into other freeway drivers in a vain attempt to escape capture.

Making matters worse, after an hours-long standoff in which sheriff’s deputies fired numerous pepper balls into the car, a door finally opened, only to see the woman’s nine-year old daughter ran to the safety of a deputy deployed nearby.

Which raises the question of what kind of mother would do any of that with her child in the car, let alone what kind of driver.

Thanks to Larry Kawalec for the link.

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Stop wasting parking lots on cars.

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Why settle for a Slow Street when it can be an art exhibit, too?

https://twitter.com/sfchronicle/status/1368108868967006208

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Nope. No one’s whispered a word of this in the followup to Megan and Harry’s little confab with Oprah.

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

A British man complains about “brainless” bicyclists riding through the supposedly bike-free town center after experiencing a couple of near misses.

A woman from the UK complains about antisocial and unempathetic behavior from bicyclists after she was thrown from her horse when it was struck by a group of trail riders, causing the animal to leap over a hedge and a barbed wire fence.

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Local

The Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council will discuss a proposal for a pedestrian plaza on 6th Street between Normandie and Vermont at tonight’s virtual meeting.

Santa Monica is fighting the trend of bike-banning Orange County beach cities by approving the use of ebikes on the beach bike path; the city is also requesting bids for a second shared mobility provider.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is kicking off their annual bike scavenger hunt this Saturday.

A San Diego columnist says biking to school is the traffic solution we can no longer ignore.

A Ceres columnist tells a roundabout tale of how riding his bike to rummage through people’s discarded trash led to a career in journalism.

 

National

Popular Science chips in with their recommendations on the best ways to store your bikes.

Evidently, cheap is a relative thing. Bicycling says a new aluminum frame bike from a French sporting goods store’s house brand is a “cheap, no-frills roadie.” Which is probably true, if your idea of cheap is $1,500, although some would seem to disagree. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Las Vegas man faces charges for the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of a 60-year old bike rider after a witness followed him to get the car’s license number.

Great idea. A Wichita Falls, Texas bike advocacy group is hosting a seed bomb ride, where participants will ride to selected locations and toss a bundle of wild flower seeds.

A Massachusetts man can thank a dog for saving his life, after he fell through the ice while trying to ride his bike across a frozen pond.

New York bike riders take matters into their own hands after getting fed up with the state of the city’s bike lanes, and organize their own clean up of one in Williamsburg.

A year after New York Mayor De Blasio told Gotham residents to walk or bike to work, the answer to what did he do to make that safer and more convenient is, not much.

More proof that Vision Zero works if you actually implement it, as the mayor of Hoboken NJ says the streets are safer for bike riders, pedestrians and motorists as a result.

Florida considers a bill that would legalize riding a bike without a seat, but only if was originally built that way.

 

International

No, don’t use standard WD40 on your bike chain.

How to keep your road kit from turning into a bio hazard.

Vancouver makes a half-hearted commitment to return the park bike lane they ripped out a year ago, but only on a temporary, popup basis.

Motor vehicle traffic and collisions plummeted in Vancouver during the early days of the pandemic, while bicycling rates soared to as many as 10,000 riders a day on popup bike lanes. Which is exactly what Los Angeles has missed out on by failing to install any.

A Dutch website explains the sometimes confusing logic behind the country’s bike friendly street designs.

The bike boom has even hit the already booming Netherlands, where bicycle sales have soared during the pandemic.

Chinese dockless bikeshare giant Hello is preparing for an American IPO, reportedly in an effort to raise a whopping $1 billion.

An aspiring ballet and opera conductor is working as a Singapore bicycle delivery rider after the pandemic forced him to temporarily set aside his musical dreams.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says keep an eye on 21-year old Belgian cyclist Mauri Vansevenan this season.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you buy a bike online, and the dealer says you can’t take it because you’re too fat. If you’re thinking of getting a bicycle tattoo on your chest using nipples for wheels, just…don’t.

And if a worker from a sporting goods store takes back the $4,000 bike you just stole, go back the next night and steal a $5,500 one.

And a grab a pair of helmets while you’re at it.

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

LA may not be worst bike city in US after all, bicyclist killed in FL endurance race, and LAPD says they’re not coming

This is just bizarre.

A chart started circulating on Saturday, apparently showing just how bad we have it here in Los Angeles.

Along with just how good Santa Monica does.

The chart, produced by San Diego’s Tower Electric Bikes, allegedly based on stats from PeopleForBike’s City Ratings, ranks SaMo as the best bike city in the US.

And Los Angeles, not surprising, as the worst.

But while that often feels right, something just didn’t add up.

To start, the stats for Los Angeles on this chart aren’t remotely accurate.

Yes, riding a bike in Los Angeles sucks. But we average around 15 bicycling deaths per year in the City of Los Angeles. Not over 6,200 bicycling fatalities per year, which is what the figure they cite adds up to for a city of nearly four million. 

And the other stats don’t align with the source material from PeopleForBikes.

PeopleForBikes puts Los Angeles relatively near the top of their ratings with a 3.0 rating for 2020, compared to a rating of 3.5 — out of a possible 5.0 — for the top ranked cities of San Luis Obispo and Madison, Wisconsin.  

Which would undoubtedly come as a surprise to bike riders in SLO, if not Mad City.

With literally hundreds of cities rated below Los Angeles, there is no way those stats support ranking LA as the worst city bike in the US.

Even if it feels like it sometimes.

In addition, the PeopleForBikes City Ratings bizarrely rank bike-friendly Santa Monica far behind Los Angeles with a 1.9 rating. Not, as the chart claims, first in the country.

And Long Beach, which is generally regarded as the most bike-friendly city in LA County, rates even lower at a very sad — and highly inaccurate — 1.6.

It’s possible that the undated chart may have been circulating for awhile; I recall seeing something similar, if not the same, awhile back. But the stats don’t align with the City Ratings for Los Angeles for 2018 or 2019, either.

So I have no idea where Tower got their stats. But they’re not from the PeopleForBikes page, unless something got badly scrambled somewhere along the way.

And not even close to right.

Photo by Josh Kur from Pexels.

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Tragic news from Florida, where a driver “veered to the right” and slammed into three people riding in a bike lane at 2:30 am, killing one man and seriously injuring two women.

At least one of the victims was participating in the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race.

No word on whether the driver will face charges.

But anyone who knocks down three people riding bikes — let alone kills someone — certainly should.

But given that it happened in bike-unfriendly Florida, probably won’t.

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Don’t expect the LAPD to respond the next time you’re in a collision if no one gets badly hurt.

But you can at least report it online now.

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Yes, the former Mayor Pete, now Secretary Pete, is one of us.

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Somehow, I suspect the chances that Los Angeles would ever shut down a busy road and turn it over to bikes for more than a day are somewhere south of none.

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Another success story.

Bike Index offers free, transferable lifetime registration, as well as your best chance of getting your bike back if anything happens to it. And it’s now used by the LAPD register bicycles and trace recovered bikes.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Let’s see your bike club try this.

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Forget the now-banned super tuck.

Try descending backwards on one wheel.

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

A South Carolina man was shot by someone in a passing car as he rode his bicycle in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

A Birmingham, England bike rider was pushed in a lake when a young man jumped up off a park bench and shoved him for no apparent reason.

A British man punched a 16-year old boy gathered outside a store with his friends, knocking off his bike, again, for no apparent reason — then tried to punch another man who came to the boy’s aid.

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Local

Congratulations, Angelenos, apparently LA is sexy and San Francisco’s not.

Streets For All offers their endorsements for the upcoming LA Neighborhood Council Elections for Mid City West, P.I.C.O., Greater Wilshire, East Hollywood, Hollywood Hills West, and Wilshire Center-Koreatown.

Speaking of Streets For All, the bike PAC is hosting a virtual happy hour with Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on the 10th.

A letter writer says skip the elevated parks over the Los Angeles River, and spend the money on “greening the L.A. River banks with linear parks and making the bike path safe and welcoming.”

Santa Monica is testing out the nation’s first zero-emissions delivery zone in a one-square mile downtown district, with deliveries made by everything from electric trucks to batter-powered robots and cargo bikes.

Bikeshare is back in Long Beach, with all racks full for the first time since the program was temporarily shut down last year over Covid fears.

 

State

Carlsbad’s Veterans Memorial Park will center on a family-oriented bike park, complete with a pump track and trails ranging from beginner to expert.

He’s one of us, too. A 66-year old Spanish-speaking farm worker from the Central Valley rode his bike over an hour and took his place in a long line of cars to get his Covid-19 vaccination, after having a mild case of the virus last year.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 38-year old man was killed by a truck driver while riding his bike at 3 am.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a shipping container full of donated bicycles from a Novato nonprofit that planned to send them to Africa to literally change lives.

Ebikes are booming in Sonoma County, with sales driven by older riders looking for a little boost.

 

National

Now that’s more like it. A bipartisan bill introduced in the US Senate would provide $500 million every year to connect biking and walking and biking infrastructure into active transportation networks, allowing people to travel within a community, as well as between communities, without a car.

Your next ebike could be a $7,500 Jeep.

A beginner’s guide to shifting gears, whatever kind of shifter you have.

A lesson in DIY frame repair, as a writer for Jalopnik shows how to braze a broken Schwinn steel mountain bike frame back together.

Anyone want to move to Missoula, Montana to run a mountain bike advocacy group?

Who needs warm weather when you can ride a fat bike in the snow?

Now that’s more like it. DC’s Vision Zero law has real teeth, mandating that protected bike lanes have to be included on any street when road work is done, if it calls for one in the bike plan. If we had something like that here in LA, we might actually be making progress on both the dust-covered bike plan, and the city’s long-forgotten Vision Zero.

A DC website calls for moving a vital crosstown bike lane away from the White House to avoid frequent closures in Lafayette Park.

 

International

Help suck smog out of the air while you ride your bike.

A British Columbia court says if your ebike looks and rides like a motorcycle or motor scooter, it’s not a ped-assist bike and you need a license and registration to ride it.

After the leader of Toronto’s New Democratic Party party had his bike stolen, he said he hoped whoever took it enjoys the smooth ride and creates their own memories with it.

Manchester United soccer player Roy Keene is one of us, taking to his bike while urging drivers to run him over if they ever see him in Lycra. English soccer great Michael Owen is one of us too, even if he took a dive after forgetting to unclip from his pedal.

https://twitter.com/themichaelowen/status/1365233490686480386?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1365233490686480386%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-26-february-281217

Great idea. Devon, England is attempting to keep drivers in line by passing out free helmet cams to bike riders so they can report drivers who break the law. Maybe if we passed them out to bicyclists — and pedestrians — we might finally tame the mean streets of Los Angeles.

English author and commentator Will Self complains that pedestrians stood around like zombies in a George Romero film after his third bike collision, when a hit-and-run driver left him lying in the street.

Richard Harrington is one of us. The Welsh actor, who’s appeared in The Crown, Poldark, Death in Paradise, and a number of other series, took a job as a bicycle delivery rider after screen roles dried up for seven months due to the pandemic.

A Belfast priest thanks everyone who rushed to his aid when he passed out after apparently becoming dehydrated and overheated riding his bike.

A British bike rider was killed while allegedly riding with his head down and at twice the legal alcohol limit; he was accused of running red lights before crashing into the side of a car in the equivalent of a US left cross crash.

A UK advocacy group took the unusual step of urging people not to ride their bikes after a York bridge was closed for flood work without providing a safe alternative.

Heidelberg, Germany is trying to give cars the boot, building bicycle superhighways and carfree neighborhoods to make motor vehicles unwelcome.

Hats off to a goodhearted 12-year old New Zealand girl, who rushed to help a bike rider who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Nothing like breaking your collarbone, then getting back on your bike under brutal conditions under the Australian summer sun to finish a race, just to win a beer — while dressed like Captain America, of course.

 

Competitive Cycling

Longtime cycling announcer Phil Liggett says Lance could have won even without doping, and still have at least some of his once record-setting seven yellow jerseys.

An Iowa newspaper remembers a Black cycling champ from the 1890s — not the legendary Major Taylor, but 15-year old Leo Welker, who overcame a five minute handicap to easily win a 14-mile race. But was blacklisted by the League of American Wheelmen six years later, which banned Black cyclists, including Welker and Taylor, from competing in sanctioned races.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to swerve your bike to avoid a giant sex toy. Riding to war on a spring-wheeled single speed.

And thankfully, I wear spandex.

Wait. What do you mean it’s the same thing?

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

Tragic reminder to always carry ID, LAPD recovers bike thanks to Bike Index, and Mexico City bike riders brutalized by cops

My wife and I spent a little time on Burbank’s Magnolia Blvd over the weekend. 

And we were struck by what a pleasant shopping street it is. 

Or more precisely, what a pleasant street it could be without the constant noise and fumes from all the cars and trucks funneling through. 

Maybe someone should explain to the merchants along the route just how much they could benefit from a Complete Street that makes room for their customers, and not just the cars they came in. 

And thanks to everyone who let me know this site was down Friday morning. I still don’t know what happened, but it seemed to resolve itself after an hour or so.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Sometimes even I get tired of harping about the need to always carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when you ride.

And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated, which sadly happens far too often.

But this comment, which is reposted with permission from Gravel Bikes California, offers a tragic reminder why it matters.

This is long, but please read to the end.

Yesterday I met my friend Adam Lopez for a ride. We met at Eroica California in 2018 and have ridden together a number of times since he got his gravel bike in 2019. We started in Summerland at 11am and did just a wonderful/casual/beautiful ride through Santa Barbara on fantastic pavement, dirt, and gravel. We stopped for a burger at 4pm and were headed back to the cars when he started slowing down on easy climbs. He said that his heart rate was fine but that the air felt cold in his lungs. We passed butterfly beach and stopped again right before the turn at Jameson. We were 2.5 miles from the cars. He decided to press on since we were mere minutes away. He was pacing me just a few yards behind. Every 15 seconds or so I would glance back and see his light. This happened for a about a mile, and then I glanced back and didn’t see him. I rode maybe 150 feet back and saw that he was collapsed over onto the chain link fence, still clipped in, unresponsive and staring. Myself and passers-by who stopped to help called 911. I started chest compressions until fire arrived just a few minutes later. They took over, shocked him twice, established an airway, and continued cpr for 15 minutes. Unfortunately he never revived. He was gone when he hit the ground. His mother died of a heart attack 9 months ago, and his brother died of a heart attack a few weeks ago.

Now for the reason why I’m telling you this: he didn’t have any emergency contact info on him. Although I’ve known him for a while I only had his cell number. The sheriff was required to follow protocol and have the law enforcement agency closest to Adam’s home do an in person notification. I was absolutely helpless. I did advise the deputy that I authorized him today to give my information to Adam’s family, and his wife made contact with me today. She was happy that at least he died doing the thing he loved. She also told me that he had been feeling tired for some time but hadn’t been checked out yet.

Had he had something like a Road ID wristband we would have much more information, and his family could have been notified much sooner.

Please, I BEG YOU, get something like a Road ID so fellow riders or first responders can help. Please look after your health and get checked. And ride with buddies whenever possible. No one should see and go through what I did. I’m deeply saddened and affected.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always wear a RoadID anytime I leave home, whether or not I’m on my bike.

It serves as both my ID and contact information, and a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes.

I’ve never needed it, and I pray I never will.

But as this story so painfully illustrates, I’d much rather have it on me and not need it, than the other way around.

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Do you really need another reminder to register your bike today?

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Nothing like protesting traffic violence, only to be met by police violence.

Tired of police inaction in the wake of too many deaths and serious injuries, bike riders in Mexico City took to the streets to demand better safety and protection from the police.

In fact, while motor vehicle traffic has decreased as much as 50% in the city due to the pandemic, bicycling deaths doubled over the past year.

But instead of addressing their concerns, the protesters were brutally attacked and beaten by the same officers they were pleading with for help.

Even people who were trying to leave were stopped by multiple cops and brutalized.

https://twitter.com/Andalalucha/status/1357907769198862336

A Spanish language news story Mexico City’s El Pais begins like this.

The police attacked this Friday night a group of cyclists who were demonstrating in Mexico City. The confrontation took place in the Periférico, one of the main arteries of the city, at the height of the Naples neighborhood, during a bicycle protest to demand justice for the deaths of cyclists in the capital. The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, described as “unacceptable” the aggression of the agents to the demonstrators and assured that the Secretariat of Citizen Security will carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. This Saturday, the mayor reported that “about 10” agents have already been removed from their positions.

Several protesters were injured in the head and face, according to images released on social networks, when they tried to access the second floor of the Periférico. In the recordings, it is seen how several agents surround some of the participants in the shooting and attack them with blows. The group was protesting to demand justice for the death of cyclists who died in traffic accidents in Mexico City, which in 2020 were more than 16, according to the Bicitekas association.

In the videos posted on social networks, protesters are seen with swollen faces and cuts on their faces after the confrontation. “We were protesting, we were leaving, and they ran, and they grabbed me like eight policemen,” one of the injured assured one of the reporters who was at the scene. “They cut my head open, they hurt my ribs,” said another, sitting on the sidewalk, when the protest, which had gathered around fifty people, already seemed dissolved.

The paper goes on the quote officials as saying an investigation has been launched into who ordered the attack, and the officers who carried it out. And that while some riders also attacked the police, the police had an obligation to maintain the peace, and ones responsible for their actions would be fired.

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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The annual Bicycle Film Festival takes part entirely online this year; any tickets purchased this week will benefit Sacramento and Davis advocacy organizations.

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One more reason flimsy plastic bendy posts do not a protected bike lane make.

In case you’re wondering what happened to the bike lane markers on Grand St…. from jerseycity

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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Take a break to catch a little air at a Virginia mountain bike park.

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GCN offers a pair of videos, pitting a GPS bike computer against a rider using an old-fashioned map and compass…

….and asking if hybrids can be just as fast as roadies.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Clemente is the latest SoCal coastal town to consider restricting ebikes on trails.

A San Diego paper asks if 2020 was the year that changed bicycling in the city for good. Let’s hope so.

Coachella’s Grapefruit Blvd is set to get a Complete Streets makeover, including sidewalks, trees and bike lanes. Although it’s also set to get a couple more traffic lanes, as well.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of off-duty cardiac care nurses hopped off their bikes to save the life of an Aptos mountain biker who had collapsed on the side of a trail.

 

National

Luxury site the Robb Report suggests ebikes for any kind of terrain, although most of the prices are what you’d expect for a site where money is no object. Then again, $3,200 is apparently considered entry level for an e-cargo bike these days.

Which of these is not like the others? A design website urges readers to commute in style with several outlandish-looking, planet-friendly ebikes, while a road bike and a couple foldies stand out just for not looking strange.

A Portland photographer documents a year of change as the city confronts the Covid-19 pandemic, while riding his new ebike 5,000 miles through the city.

They get it. The Las Vegas Sun reports that efforts to protect bike riders are gaining traction in the wake of the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists near the city last month, while correctly noting that people on bikes pay for the road, too.

An Albuquerque NM woman got her stolen bike back just a day later after Facebook users spotted it for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp, and concerned cops posed as buyers to bust the thief.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who ran down a Texas boy and just kept going in a crash caught on security cam; fortunately, the kid only suffered a few scrapes, even though he thinks the driver hit him on purpose.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan replaced a young Arkansas boy’s stolen bicycle, just hours after it went missing.

When a teenaged Chik-fil-A employee won a new car at the company Christmas party, she immediately gave it to a coworker who was riding a bike seven miles each way to work every day through the frigid Wisconsin winter.

Nice story from Florida, where a goodhearted stranger bought a new bicycle for an autistic man she’d just met after noticing the bike he was riding to work was worn out and had no functioning brakes. Then more strangers pitched in to replace it when the new bike was stolen the next day.

 

International

Specialized promised there wouldn’t be any major interruptions in retail sales after their UK headquarters went up in flames.

Internationally known London bike shop Geoffrey Butler Cycles closed its doors without warning, shuttering the shop overnight after 60 years, while the mail order business will shut down in July.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill could have some competition in a few years from a two-year old English stunt rider.

An independent press organization rules that Britain’s Mirror was wrong to publish a photo of identifiable bike riders apparently ignoring distancing guidelines.

Acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann learned to listen and developed his voice as a writer on a two-year bike trip across the US.

A Philippine official broke up an unsanctioned early morning bike race, even though it was taking place at 4:30 on a Saturday morning.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is reportedly doing well, after he and a pair of teammates — including his brother — tested positive for the Covid bug.

The maskless Australian Road Nationals show what’s possible when a country has the coronavirus under control.

Forget gravel, and do your racing on the white stuff without a front wheel.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to rob a couple convenience stores, maybe put a mask on first — and not just for the coronavirus. Before you steal a bike, you might want to make sure it doesn’t belong to the daughter of a mixed martial arts fighter first.

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

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Thanks to Robert L for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Our annual holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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

Remembering traffic victims and the failure of Vision Zero in LA, fatal hit-and-run in DTLA, and Joe Biden is one of us

Members of SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — turned out in South LA yesterday to mark the World Day of Remembrance for traffic victims.

The group demonstrated at the intersection of Slauson and Western, one of the deadliest locations in all of Los Angeles, according to the city’s High Injury Network.

And one that has yet to see any significant attempt to make it safer.

In other words, pretty much like the rest of LA’s seemingly forgotten Vision Zero program.

According to CBS2/KCAL9,

…police say there has been a staggering 29% increase in traffic-caused fatalities and injuries in South L.A. this year so far in 2020 compared to 2019.

Additionally, there have been close to 5,000 hit-and-run collisions in 2020, police said.

There are few people who haven’t been touched by traffic violence in some way.

I’ve lost two people close to me, both at the hands of drunk drivers.

A friend I’d known since kindergarten was killed just weeks before our senior year of high school when a drunk woman somehow jumped the wide median on an interstate highway, and hit his car head-on, killing him and a friend instantly.

She walked away unharmed, with just a slap on the wrist for murdering two strangers.

The other was my cousin, who was killed when she was thrown from her own father’s car, and was run over by him.

And once again, there were no real consequences. Unless you consider the guilt and self-loathing he lived with for the rest of his life.

That’s not counting the hundred of people I’ve written about here who have needlessly lost their lives on the mean streets of Southern California — most at the hands and on the bumpers of drivers.

It has to stop.

It looked, for a short time, as if the City of Los Angeles was actually going to do something about it when Vision Zero was announced with great fanfare just five years ago.

But then it got hard when the city ran into resistance from auto-centric NIMBYs. And LA’s mayor got distracted by the shiny object of national ambitions, with far too many Wormtongues whispering in his ear.

And so Vision Zero was shoved onto a cold back burner, just another page on the LADOT website, with a handful of piecemeal projects here and there, rather than the massive road safety overhaul we were promised.

Never mind the now laughable goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2025.

Less than five years from now.

Which leaves us waiting for the mayor and the city’s recalcitrant councilmembers to be termed out, so we can finally replace them with leaders who will hopefully have the courage and political will to make the hard decisions necessary to save lives.

And not just talk about it, for a change.

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LA Bike Dad offers photos from the demonstration at Slauson and Western.

Click on the tweets for more photos.

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The LAPD’s looking for the heartless coward who ran down a pedestrian in DTLA while driving on the wrong side of the road, then got out to check his own car for damage before driving away, ignoring the victim.

There’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Warning — The video is graphic, so be sure you really want to see it before you click the link because you can’t unsee it. 

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The new President-elect of the United States is one of us.

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This is what happens when the NIMBYs win.

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Tell your favorite LBS the news. And register your own bike if you haven’t already.

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At least one LA-area city is moving forward with safer streets.

But it ain’t Los Angeles.

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Here’s today’s stunt biking break, with a short film from Dutch BMX rider Niels Bensink, as he moves to Canada to immerse himself in mountain biking.

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

No bias here. An Edmonton columnist is outraged that the city plans to install more bike lanes to fight climate change.

No bias here, either. London’s Sunday Mail claims bike lanes and low traffic neighborhoods are delaying ambulances and paramedics; the UK’s national cycling organization responds that the paper is relying on “alternative facts.”

A lawyer in the UK says bike riders should be limited to just a small space on the side of the road, if that.

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

A Florida man was busted after attempting to flee on foot when police stopped him while riding his bike in a “known narcotics area,” and found a white rock in his pocket.

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Local

Someone using the Citizen app captured video of up to 500 people riding bikes through Chinatown in DTLA. Although they may not have thought it was a good thing.

A South Bay writer calls for better bike paths, safer streets and fewer cars after she gets right hooked by an SUV driver.

 

State

San Diego was awarded $125,000 for education programs to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Ojai received a $450,000 grant to conduct a road diet and install a quick build parking protected bike lane on a 3/4 mile stretch of Maricopa Highway, connecting a restored wetlands with an existing bike trail and a high school.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike-riding man was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A clown was caught on video stealing a little girl’s bike in Hayward. Yes, a clown.

 

National

Bicycling continues their conversation about race and equity with a rare non-paywalled piece by former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who says she won’t call herself a cyclist, even though she loves to ride her bike.

Apparently, jorts are socially acceptable again, as long as they’re made of technical denim and intended for mountain biking.

Wall Street thinks the bike boom is over, as bike stocks fall while automotive stocks are going up.

In a story every LA area leader should read, Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus says we’ll never have safe streets if we continue to make safe choices.

Dallas-area residents mourn yet another victim of traffic violence after a paletero was killed by a driver as he pedaled his cart, following two decades of selling ice cream and chicharrones. Thanks to John Clary for the link.

This is who we share the road with. An Oklahoma state senator faces a first-degree manslaughter charge after she skidded off a rain-slicked road while driving nearly 100 mph, and killed a man whose car was stalled on the side of the road. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a 73-year old woman got a whole 30 days behind bars for killing a local Teacher of the Year as he was riding his bike. But at least she’ll lose her license for five years. Although at her age, that should be permanently.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Massachusetts man rode his bike 77 miles to celebrate his 77th birthday.

Another Massachusetts man reminds bike riders to warn slower riders and pedestrians before you pass. Seriously, call it out or use a bike bell. “Passing on your left” works better than “on your left,” which tends to confuse some people.

Dune star Timothee Chalamet is one of us, going for a hooded ride through NYC.

A group of Black New Jersey husbands and fathers are taking advantage of their bikes and the area’s open roadways to form a fraternal bond to cope with the struggles of 2020.

Bighearted Virginia bike riders scoured local grocery stores to deliver food donations for a local rescue mission and weekend school food program.

A North Carolina nonprofit is preparing a bike giveaway to make the holidays brighter for hundreds of kids.

 

International

A sports psychologist explains how to face down your bicycling fears and stay safe on the roads.

British Columbia’s Human Right Tribunal concludes that Victoria’s floating bus stops on a new two-way cycle track discriminates against blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

An Edmonton, Alberta bike shop owner offers advice on how to bike through winter snow. Which is seldom a problem here in Los Angeles, but we can hope.

Toronto bike riders are lighting up the night with a rolling bike rave.

Hats off to a London man who rode his bike around the city for an hour to corral a stray dog and return it to its owner.

A Scottish charity has put over 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers on two wheels, calling it the key to helping them settle into a new community, develop new friends, and access essential services.

Brit bike hero Chris Boardman calls for banning cars from residential streets for the sake of the country’s children.

A new British subscription service allows people to get a Brompton for the equivalent of less than $1.32 a day.

Bike Radar takes a deep dive into the UK’s current state of diversity in bicycling, or the lack thereof. And the importance of inclusion and representation in biking, whether for sport or transportation.

A British travel writer takes an easy ebike bikeshare tour of Jersey.

A bicycling group in Nagpur, India lights their bikes to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists.

A Mumbai man is using his indoor cycling studio to help people scarred by traffic violence rediscover the joys of bicycling.

Fifty-seven percent of the residents of the Indian city of Gurugram would rather bike to work — but only if they have safe streets and bikeways.

She gets it. Kenya’s Second Lady — the wife of the country’s 1st Deputy President — takes to her bike, and mourns the needless deaths of people riding bicycles.

Malaysia takes a step towards a greener future with the nation’s first bicycle messenger service.

Cycling Tips traces the birth and growth of Aussie bikepacking and adventure racing brand Curve Cycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

More racial and trans insensitivity from America’s young pro cyclists, as former world track champ Chloe Dygert had to apologize for liking a number of biased tweets. This is what Black cyclist Ayesha McGowan had to say about it.

Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar’s winning bike will live on at the Colnago museum in Cambiago, Italy, joining bikes ridden by the legendary Eddy Merckx and Johan Museeuw, aka The Cannibal and The Lion of Flanders.

A writer for Rouleur says the nine-month ban given Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for his role in the crash in the final sprint at Stage 1 of this year’s Tour of Poland is cruel and unusual punishment, and sets a dangerous precedent.

Surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart had to buy his brother a new car to pay off a bet that he wouldn’t end up winning the race.

 

Finally…

Anyone can ride from Canada to Key West, but not many do it on Penny Farthings. Now you, too, can own your very own Dunkin’ tandem bike.

And that feeling when your foot is run over by Albus Dumbledore.

Well, the second one, anyway.

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Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating this year. May the divine light spread into your life and bring peace, prosperity, happiness, good health and grand success.

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

Hit-and-run driver busted behind bars for killing South LA father, LA considers civilian traffic cops, and Bike the Vote!

They didn’t have to look far to find one hit-and-run driver.

After three full months of searching, investigators identified the driver who killed a 37-year old father as he was riding with his two children in South LA.

Police identified 26-year old Los Angeles resident Moises Iscaya on October 6th as the driver who — allegedly — fled the scene after running down Jorge Guerra on July 8th; Guerra died after spending eight days in a coma.

Fortunately, his two children were uninjured, aside from the trauma of seeing their father killed in front of their eyes.

When LAPD officers searched for Iscaya, however, they found he was already being held by sheriff’s deputies on $2.2 million bail, charged with multiple counts including murder.

Maybe they should just add another murder count while they’re at it.

Unfortunately, felony hit-and-run resulting in death would only add a maximum of four years to whatever he gets if he’s convicted on the other charges.

Something that has to be changed if we ever want to stop the epidemic of hit-and-runs in this state.

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The Los Angeles City Council will consider using unarmed civilians and speed cams for traffic enforcement and collision investigations this morning.

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Calbike offers a reminder to Bike the Vote this year.

In every sense.

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Congratulations to Davis on their award-winning bike safety musical. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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New York bike cops continue to use their bicycles as shields and weapons against protesters.

And bust protestors because their bikes fall over.

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

Boston suburb rips out a new bike lane after just six days, after vocal residents choose parking spaces over people’s lives.

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Local

Los Angeles could soon be the home of the nation’s largest ebike factory; privately owed ROKiT MADE plans to open next year to build “best-in-class e-Bike models across all price points in each market segment,” in a plant designed to accommodate up to 2,000 workers.

Santa Monica is planning to add a two-way separated bike lane protected by thin plastic bollards on Ocean Ave, replacing the current painted lane.

 

State

Santa Barbara’s new e-bikeshare system continues the transformation of the city’s main street, as State Street has been reclaimed from cars to provide space for outdoor shopping and dining.

Sad news from Porterville, where a 15-year old boy was killed riding his bike in a crosswalk.

A Fresno man faces charges after he was caught on video threatening a bike rider at knifepoint to steal his backpack.

San Francisco isn’t on track to meet the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the next four years. But at least they’re trying, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Davis is asking residents to take the Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community survey.

The City of Angels is building new bike lanes. No, the other City of Angels.

 

National

Urban planners from across the US consider repurposing traffic lanes for other uses in a post-pandemic world.

A writer for The Verge says driving the massively oversized Cadillac Escalade was one of the most stressful experiences of his life, while Outside says the new electric Hummer is the awesome pickup we’ve all been waiting for. Um, no.

A Colorado mountain biker rides the trail pioneered centuries ago by the Ute tribe.

Texas is launching a Drive Smart, Walk Smart, Bike Smart public safety campaign to combat a jump in bike and pedestrian crashes. Because everyone knows it’s better to air a few ads than do something about dangerous drivers and fix the damn streets.

A Kansas driver had his wrist slap sentence tossed out on appeal, after the court ruled the judge has exceeded her discretion by reducing his ten-year sentence for second-degree murder by over eight years; the court ordered him resentenced for running down a man with his car following a dispute.

A St. Louis nonprofit devoted to refurbishing bikes to donate to kids in need is slowly trying to rebuild after a building collapse destroyed hundreds of stored bicycles; the head of the group didn’t know the building they used for storage had been condemned seven years ago.

Good question. A Vermont paper asks if anyone can do anything about bike theft, while a bicyclist offers a tragic reminder to put your damn phone down while you ride.

Manhattan officials killed a proposal for a cargo bike corral to accommodate the bikes used for Whole Foods deliveries because it would have meant the loss of five lousy parking spaces.

DC’s Metro built bike corrals at three park and ride locations — and somehow spent $20,000 per space doing it.

Residents of a Maryland city are up in arms over groups of ill-mannered kids on bicycles swarming the streets.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a South Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider after four previous DUI convictions.

A New Orleans bike group cancels their weekly light-up bike parade after it proves too popular during the pandemic.

 

International

Travel & Leisure lists the world’s top bicycling cities. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t make the list; Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis did.

Add these to your mountain bike bucket list. Bicycling recommends a handful of bikepacking singletrack trails across the US and around the world. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

They get it. A Bogotá, Colombia website says it’s time to protect vulnerable bike riders, because riding a bicycle shouldn’t be a capital crime.

Mexico’s Merida will build a 45-mile bike lane network circling the Yucatan town.

The bighearted owner of a Toronto bike shop gave a new bike to a frontline hospital worker whose bike was stolen as he worked a 28 hour shift.

Conservative councilors in the London borough of Hackney called for removing Low Traffic Neighborhoods — the country’s Slow Streets equivalent — despite their popularity with the city’s residents.

UK car insurance claims involving bike riders have doubled this year, as more people took to two wheels during the coronavirus lockdown.

Life is cheap in Great Britain, where a careless driver who killed a bike rider got just 30 months behind bars — which included time for also stealing 16 cars worth over $250,000.

Spain plans to reduce the standard speed limit in cities from the equivalent of 31 mph to 18 mph to improve safety for people who aren’t in cars.

Forget helmet laws; an Iranian woman was busted for riding a bicycle without a hijab.

 

Competitive Cycling

English cyclist Dan Martin took the third stage of the Vuelta, while the Giro got a new leader after Thursday’s stage as João Almeida cracked climbing the iconic Stelvio.

Apparently, Colombia cyclist Fernando Gaviria thought Covid-19 was so nice, he caught it twice.

VeloNews examines Anna van der Breggen’s successful strategy to win Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Highland could serve as a substitute if the annual Redlands Classic stage race isn’t able to roll next year.

The Cedar City, Utah edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride was the first gravel race to roll as the nation slowly continues a premature wakeup from Covid-19; VeloNews looks at the precautions that were taken to help keep everyone safe.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike to commit a burglary, maybe the fireplace isn’t the best place to hide. Your next ride could result in glowing reviews. No, literally.

And someone must think roadkill looks better in stripes.

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

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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.

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

Clotheslining riders on new DTLA bike lane, public safety and Go Human town halls, and drawing Pacman by bike

There seems to be something wrong with this photo of the new separated bike lane on Grand Ave in DTLA.

But I just can’t put my finger on it…

Photo by Redditor u/TezzDonut

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is hosting a virtual town hall on Thursday to discuss how to reform policing in Los Angeles, which could have a major effect on traffic enforcement and criminal investigations affecting people on bicycles.

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Talk with the Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, about their newly revived Go Human campaign tomorrow.

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Nothing like penning a 380-mile Pacman by bike.

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Salsa Cycles presents a moving video as a Canadian woman attempts to ride all ten bikepacking routes pioneered by her late husband in a single year.

Thanks to Victor Bale, who suggests watching this one full screen, for forwarding the link. 

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Former professional cyclist James Lowsley-Williams offers tips on how to avoid saddle sores when you ride.

Including don’t wear underwear with your bike shorts, which you already knew, right?

Or you could just plop your ass on this padded wedge currently raising funds online.

But I’ll let you try it first, thank you.

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

Police in Albuquerque NM are looking for whoever shot and killed a man as he was walking his bicycle last week. Although someone should tell the Albuquerque Journal that the truck they were using probably isn’t a suspect in the shooting.

A Baltimore bike rider is accusing a driver of deliberately slamming his truck into four people riding their bikes as part of a large group ride. Chances are, the pickup didn’t deliberately hit anyone. The asshole driving it did, despite what the headline says.

Some people can’t see the traffic for the cars. A writer for London’s Daily Mail blames the city’s bike lanes for causing traffic congestion, while failing to recognize that it’s really just too many people like him in cars.

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

A San Diego man pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a man in an apparent random attack in a Pacific Beach public restroom, before attempting to flee on a bicycle.

A bikeshare-riding Brooklyn mugger was caught on video ripping a gold chain off a young mother’s neck.

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Local

Metro is putting out a call for bikeshare providers to replace Bicycle Transit Systems, the current Metro Bike operator, when their contract expires in two years. And hopefully find someone more willing to expand system throughout LA.

The Pasadena Police Department will be conducting yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns this Friday; their last one resulted in 119 tickets, 28 of which went to people on bicycles. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave cross the city limits.

Brigitte Nielson and her dog nearly got cameos in Bradley Cooper’s latest film, as they rode through the LA set for the new movie by director Paul Thomas Anderson.

 

State

A Sacramento man was busted for an alleged sexual assault on a Davis bike path earlier this month. Which is yet another reminder that women face risks riding that men don’t, especially when out of public view on offroad paths.

 

National

Vice examines Traffic Demand Modeling, or TDM, the antiquated formula that predicts the need for road projects — and too often misses the mark.

NPR looks to Trek to examine what bikes can tell us about Trump’s trade wars and the changing global economy.

No surprise here, as a new study pending publication shows riding a bike can help keep you young, figuratively if not literally.

A public radio reporter has set out on a 900-mile bike ride across four Rocky Mountain states, crisscrossing the Continental Divide to listen to Americans in advance of the 2020 election. Yes, they’re actually paying him to take a bikepacking trip.

A Colorado district attorney has concluded there was no wrongdoing by five Colorado Springs cops after a popular bike fitter and former bike shop employee died when they tried to take him into custody during an apparent psychotic episode.

The mayor of Jefferson City, Missouri bought a new bike to take part in a community ride, and discovered a bicycle allows you to be social while social distancing.

When his son wanted to ride a bike with his sisters despite his cerebral palsy, a Chicago bike shop owner established a foundation to help provide others with adaptive bicycles, too.

Kindhearted community members teamed with the local Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a popular Illinois man known for riding everywhere, after his bike was stolen from a truck stop.

An Illinois columnist suggests saving money by riding a bike instead of driving.

A Massachusetts man is taking traffic violence into his own hands, protesting every day for the past two weeks to call for safer streets.

 

International

Thanks to the pandemic, ridership rates are way up on a once-controversial Toronto protected bike lane.

A new European study show the popup bikeways that sprang up across Europe in the wake of the pandemic lockdown delivered $3 billion in health benefits across the continent.

Road.cc’s ebike sister site picks eight of their favorite ebikes, starting at the equivalent of $2,759.

A group of bighearted bicyclists bought a new bike for a Filipino sapatero — shoe repairman — after someone noticed him riding a homemade bike put together from scrap metal.

 

Competitive Cycling

NBC posts a TV and streaming schedule for this year’s pandemic-delayed Tour de France, which kicks off this Saturday. Or you could try to be one of the lucky few to see it in person.

Bicycling celebrates the long overdue demise of podium girls in the Tour de France, but says it’s also time for a real women’s Tour. Here’s the Yahoo link if you’ve been banished by the magazine’s paywall.

Cycling’s governing body pinky swears they’re really going to improve safety after too many high-profile crashes during this year’s races.

Former US crit champ Travis McCabe is finally getting his chance to race with the top level WorldTour, after his rookie season was nearly derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UCI considers putting pro mountain bikers in a bubble to resume the racing season.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride your bike three sheets to the wind — or three times the legal limit — don’t toss your empties into the bushes. Go mountain biking with stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill without ever leaving the bike shop.

And who says cleats and Crocs don’t mix?

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

LA bike crashes plummet during pandemic while deaths don’t, and fight for safe streets on your neighborhood council

Yes, collisions involving bike riders really are down in Los Angeles.

According to a Crosstown analysis of LAPD crash data, the lighter traffic resulting from the coronavirus lockdown led to a nearly 71% drop during the 11-week period starting March 15th.

That’s just four days before the shutdown orders in Los Angeles and California.

Surprisingly, despite the return of motor vehicle traffic and the recent jump in SoCal bicycling fatalities, bicycle crashes remained significantly below last year as of the middle of last month.

More surprising is that LADOT is actually moving forward with bike projects outside the Downtown area.

It seems LADOT is paying attention. Despite facing a shortfall of nearly $31 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department has expedited multiple bike lanes and safety projects since the “Safer at Home” order was issued on March 19. According to Colin Sweeney, LADOT’s public information director, there have been nearly 28 miles of bike lanes installed or upgraded, and an additional 5.5 lane miles are under construction in the city…

In addition to Downtown, Sweeney said LADOT also implemented more than 12 miles of new bike lanes to Avalon Boulevard in South Los Angeles since May.

“In South Los Angeles, the Manchester-Broadway, Our Way project has just begun construction and will add new parking-protected bike lanes from Manchester to Century on Broadway,” he said.

So maybe there’s hope, after all.

At least if you live or ride in those areas, because there are large swaths of LA where the city doesn’t appear to be doing anything.

Thanks to Ethan Ward for the heads-up.

Illustration by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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On a related subject, the dramatic drop in SoCal bicycling deaths in March, April and May during the coronavirus shutdown, followed by a big jump in June and July as people started back to work, is a reminder that bikes aren’t dangerous.

Cars — and the people in them — are.

And streets are safer with fewer cars on them.

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Maybe the most effective way to counter LA’s legendary NIMBYs and fight for safer streets is on the neighborhood level.

And the best way to do that is by serving on your local neighborhood council, with openings available right now throughout the LA area.

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Maybe with more bike riders on LA’s neighborhood councils, we might see less of this crap.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1290348082681401344

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Ted Faber says Culver City’s efforts to provide social distancing for diners is good for people on bicycles, too.

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GCN examines whether you’re better off riding solo or as part of a group.

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Most mountain bikers have enough sense to stay the hell away from forest fires.

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

Police in Orange, California are looking for a man riding a bike who sexually assaulted three women on the Santiago Creek bike path.

British authorities are looking for a mountain bike-riding man who attempted to solicit a sex act from a woman, before performing a lewd act in front of her.

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Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this Friday. The usual protocol applies — be sure to ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits. Or just avoid riding in the Rose City until Saturday.

Sierra Madre and Arcadia are moving forward with bike lanes as part of an actual bicycle network in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Costs Mesa is asking local residents, bike riders and pedestrians to reimagine what busy 19th Street can be. Although the latter two are often residents, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Santa Maria man is rapidly approaching 100,000 lifetime miles on his bike, despite not taking up riding until he a relative spring chicken of 67.

A new study confirms the effectiveness of Oakland’s low-cost, quick-build protected intersections.

 

National

Streetsblog says the Covid-19 pandemic could take 14 million cars off American roads, and keep them off — but only if we move quickly to provide valid alternatives to driving.

The founding president of the American Planning Association says planners must actively confront structural racism embedded in the design of our cities.

Bike Portland asks what the city plans to do with a thousand high-mileage analog bikes from the city’s bikeshare program, which is replacing them with ebikes.

Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek is gearing up to meet the booming demand for bicycles, after initially preparing for the bike industry to implode as a result of Covid-19. Although one of the best ways to bankrupt any business is by chasing boom and bust cycles.

A new Chicago group is getting more Black people out on bikes while supporting Black-owned businesses.

An Indiana hit-and-run driver was sentenced to a whopping 48 years behind bars for killing a local a local coach and teacher who was riding his bike; the sentence included an additional 20 years for being an habitual offender. Even I think that might be just a tad extreme; the judge could have ordered the sentences to run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

Heartbreaking news from Massachusetts, where a 94-year old man faces a homicide charge for running down a 67-year old bike rider. Yet another example of allowing an older driver to remain behind the wheel until it’s too late.

There’s a special place in hell for the woman who drove off after running down a couple nine and twelve year old boys riding their bikes on a Long Island service road; the 31-year old driver was busted ten hours later, which could have given her plenty of time to sober up if she was under the influence.

Good point. A New York writer wants to know why the mayor is cracking down on Revel after the Vespa-style scooter-share service suffered two deaths, but not motor vehicles, which cause far more.

 

International

Road.cc gets it, recommending the best road bikes under the equivalent of $650. And yes, there are good bikes in that range these days. Although whether you’ll be able to find any at your local bike shop after the coronavirus bike boom is another matter.

Speaking of Road.cc, the bike site Investigates an “innovative new risk-management philosophy” that says it’s time to drop the “us vs them” attitude, and build a road system that accommodates people’s errors.

Cycling Weekly explains what you should look for in a commuting bike.

Treehugger offers tips on what you’ll need to bike with small kids, while The Guardian covers the same topic.

North American bike riders need more than just white lines on the street to stay safe.

A pair of British Columbia bicyclists are lucky to be alive after they were struck by a load of lumber a truck driver carelessly left overhanging his pickup bed.

One in five British residents say they’d consider riding a bike as part of their commute, but fears of bike theft and dangerous streets hold them back; meanwhile, only ten percent of Brits think the country takes road safety seriously.

An English ambulance driver, who should know better, tells a bicyclist to get off the road and ride on a parallel cycle track, even though the rider is traveling at up to 30 mph. Maybe he’s just trying to boost his business if there are any slow bike riders or pedestrians on the path.

An English blues musician was killed when he crashed his bike into a bollard that was placed on a bike and pedestrian bridge after an elderly couple drove onto it by mistake — and even though another bike rider had already been injured in the same spot.

Nice story from the UK, where an 83-year old man is looking for the racing cyclist who crashed into him, ripping off his lip, which had to be reattached — not to hold him responsible, but to thank him for staying with him and holding his hand all the way to the hospital.

A British woman says the country’s new bike-focused anti-obesity campaign will fail because it ignores the complex causes of obesity, insisting she’s neither lazy or lacking self-discipline.

German grocery chain Aldi is selling a full-featured folding bike for the equivalent of just under $400; no word on whether this offer is only available in the UK, or if they’ll ship to the US, though. Although if I had an extra four hundred bucks lying around, I’d find out.

 

Competitive Cycling

The next pro cycling star may be Remco Evenepoel, as defending Tour de France champ Egan Bernal says he’s astounded by the 20-year old Belgian rider’s “massive” talent.

After winning the Strade Bianche, Belgian cyclist Wout van Aert held onto his jersey and the winning bike for a planned museum after he retires.

USA Cycling pulled the plug on this year’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Finally…

Who needs a washing machine when you can ride a bike? We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about careless sheep violating the right-of-way.

And don’t hang your face mask from your car mirror.

Or anything else, for that matter.

………

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

37-year old father killed riding bike in South Los Angeles hit-and-run; once again, public not informed for weeks

Once again, a man has died following a violent hit-and-run while riding his bike in South Los Angeles.

And once again, the LAPD doesn’t seem to think the public needed to know about it.

According to KCBS-2/KCAL-9, 37-year old South LA resident Jorge Guerra was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from the park with his two young children on July 8th.

Fortunately, his two-year old son Nathan and four-year old daughter Madelyn weren’t seriously injured; their father wasn’t so lucky.

Guerra was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, but lapsed into a coma after arriving; he died of organ failure on July 16th.

The LAPD places the crash on northbound Wadsworth Ave north of 88th Street at 8:40 pm, when a speeding driver slammed into the bike they were riding after turning onto the narrow residential street.

The driver continued north on Wadsworth, crashing into several parked cars before stopping just south of Manchester Blvd. He ran off, leaving the damaged car behind.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who hasn’t been identified; unsurprisingly, the car he was driving was stolen. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Now Guerra’s wife is faced with raising her kids as a grieving single mother while in the middle of a pandemic.

A crowdfunding campaign to help defray Guerra’s funeral expenses has raised just under $6,000, far short of the $25,000 goal.

Unfortunately, like the death of Melvin “Peanut” Frye last month, the LAPD apparently failed to inform the public at the time of the crash — or alert them to a dangerous car thief hiding in their midst. Even though both Los Angeles and California have Yellow Alert systems to get the word out as quickly as possible.

There’s no explanation for why the LAPD continually refuses to use them; evidently, they’d rather wait until the trail goes cold and people have forgotten key details before asking for their help. Which could be one reason why hit-and-run drivers continue to get away with it here.

Even though similar systems have been used successfully in other cities to bring hit-and-run drivers to justice.

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. Over half of those deaths in the county have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Guerra and all his family and loved ones.

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