Tag Archive for Las Vegas

Killer Vegas truck driver on meth, killer Bonsall truck driver stoned, and Tamika Butler’s take on Buttigieg to head USDOT

It’s the final Thursday of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Gold Leaf Films, Brer M and David V for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

So don’t wait.

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today and beat the holiday rush!

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That explains it.

The truck driver who killed five Las Vegas bicyclists and injured four others, one critically, was allegedly high on meth at the time of the crash.

Police bodycam video from the scene shows Jordan Barson tearfully insisting he must have fallen asleep before drifting off the roadway, since he had no memory of the crash.

A blood test showed Barson had an “extremely high” level of the drug in his system, despite the earlier insistence by investigators that intoxication did not play a role in the crash, and it was all just an unfortunate accident.

He was charged with five counts of DUI resulting in death, six counts of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, and one count of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, which could result in “decades” behind bars.

And should, if there’s any justice.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised over $91,000 of the $100,000 goal in just five days.

And a ghost bike is already up for the victims.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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The driver in Tuesday’s fatal bicycling collision in Bonsall has been charged with DUI for allegedly being stoned behind the wheel, and drifting into what looks like a painted shoulder, but police call a bike lane.

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Transportation and diversity consultant Tamika Butler offers her unique perspective on the selection of Pete Buttigieg as US Secretary of Transportation.

As a self-identified genderqueer Black woman, she congratulates Buttigieg on his selection as the first LGTBQ cabinet secretary.

But goes on to add this.

Being a member of the administration’s cabinet is truly a privilege and I hope that Buttigieg acknowledges that privilege and power and uses it to make important transportation funding and policy decisions that are informed by the communities that too often suffer the burdens of those decisions rather than reap the benefits. I hope the team Buttigieg surrounds himself with is reflective of the rich and diverse makeup of this country and does not reflect, uphold, and reinforce the current lack of diversity in the transportation sector.

At a time when our infrastructure is failing, our transit funding is falling off a cliff, the dire state of climate change requires innovative transportation solutions, transportation inequities continue to widen disparities along all social and economic outcomes, and mobility and transportation continue to be used as forms of policing of BIPOC bodies, many people have questioned the appointment of Buttigieg, with his relatively little direct transportation experience. But Buttigieg has always been willing to try and has succeeded where people have doubted him. I hope he brings that energy to the policy decision-making and staffing—especially at the leadership level—of the Department of Transportation as he takes on this truly important role to support President Biden and Vice President Harris in their vision of building back better.

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Long Beach will host a food giveaway for those in need this morning.

And for a change, you don’t need a car.

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Bikes are hard to find this year, especially decent kids bikes. Fortunately, Culver City-based Walk ‘n’ Rollers is here with the solution.

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Maybe the war on cars really is a thing.

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I don’t know a thing about his policies in the campaign for Los Angeles City Controller.

But somehow, I like him already.

https://twitter.com/kennethmejiaLA/status/1339312577541619713

Thanks to Meghan Lynch for the link.

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But SoCal bike riders won’t ride in the winter, when the weather sometimes dips all the way down to the 60s.

Right?

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

The bike-riding man accused of attacking a group of teens putting up posters about the death of George Floyd along a Bethesda, Maryland bike trail has pled guilty to second-degree assault; Anthony Brennan III will be sentenced February 2nd.

South Carolina police are looking for a man who abandoned his full shopping cart in a Walmart, and made off with a bicycle and a backpack — then came back to do it again.

A Miami man faces charges for throwing his bicycle at another man following a dispute, then attacking him with a hammer.

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Local

They get it. The LA Times says public transit is in a death spiral, and must be rescued to keep from endangering bike riders and pedestrians by forcing more cars onto the roads. And that “the post-pandemic transportation system has to reward transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians with safe, efficient and comfortable ways to travel.”

The Uplift Melrose project is back, but thanks to pseudo-environmentalist Councilmember Paul Koretz, without the protected bike lanes that were key to the project. So the street will remain just as dangerously auto-centric as before.

East LA’s recently formed Activos bike club is holding a toy ride this Sunday, collecting toys at Belvedere Park and riding with them to Whittier.

 

State

‘Tis the season. A Manteca group donated 120 new bicycles to children of needy families.

Morgan Hill-based Specialized was victimized by a brazen daytime burglary; bikes worth a total of $160,000 were stolen from the company’s museum, as well as bicycle prototypes and bikes belonging to employees.

 

National

New Strava data shows male bicyclists rode 41 percent more than last year, while female riders showed a whopping 72 percent increase.

C|net looks at the year’s best cargo bikes.

Here’s yet another problem with bike helmet laws. Seattle police rarely enforce that city’s mandatory helmet law. And when they do, it’s often homeless people who get ticketed, even though they may not even have access to a one.

Nice story from Bicycling about Golden, Colorado-based marketer and former political campaign consultant Alex Showerman, who now rides for the pure joy of it after coming out as a transgender woman, despite living the first 32 years of her life as a man. Unfortunately, if this one’s available on Yahoo, I couldn’t find it.

Houston pledges to end traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope their leaders take it more seriously than Los Angeles, where just four years remain in the city’s commitment to end traffic deaths by 2025. “Commitment” being a relative term, in this case.

‘Tis the season too. A bighearted Connecticut teenager raises funds throughout the year by selling ice cream, then uses the money to give anonymous gifts for children in need — including 20 bicycles this year.

A New York bicycle delivery rider was shot in two places as he rode through Harlem, apparently the victim of stay bullets fired from a pair of passing cars.

New York shut down its Citi Bike bikeshare Wednesday night in advance of a major snowstorm.

A North Carolina man’s three-wheeled bike has become a permanent memorial  after the popular bike rider died following a collision last year.

 

International

Sad news from north of the border, where an 88-year old man overcame Parkinson’s to ride across Canada, but couldn’t out-pedal Covid-19.

A Vancouver mother and daughter are shocked to see a police car barreling towards them as they rode in a popup bike lane. So much for the myth that bike lanes block emergency vehicles from getting through. Because well-designed ones don’t. 

Toronto bike riders are complaining after new bike racks were installed with easy-to-remove bolts securing them to the ground. Although secure may not be the right word.

A new London study shows that painted advisory bike lanes — shared lanes marked by a broken white stripe — actually increase the risk of injuries to riders, while curb-protected lanes cut the risk of injuries by 40 percent, and stepped lanes cut the risk to riders by a whopping 65 percent.

An English county councillor was forced to resign after tweeting that bike riders are “constantly wanking off the Dutch.” If you’re not familiar with the word, it involves taking sex into your own hands, so to speak.

This is who we share the road with. A British man will spend the next 30 years behind bars for intentionally ramming his car into six co-workers, “knocking them over like bowling pins,” after he was punched at a company Christmas party.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid and son switch to gravel bikes to ride ancient Roman roadways through the English countryside.

The pandemic is fueling a boom in UK bicycle delivery.

Bicycles have become a friend to impoverished Eritreans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colombian track star Fabian Puerta, a favorite for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, will be staying home after receiving a four-year ban for doping. But the doping era in cycling is over, right?

A local TV station looks at Chula Vista teenager Dante Silva’s rapid rise in downhill mountain biking.

 

Finally…

That’s one way to store your bike on a train, anyway. From Buddhist monk to Peloton instructor.

And who needs an ebike?

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1339335430420873216

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On a personal note, I was scheduled to have the first of two wrist surgeries for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome this morning.

However, my surgery was cancelled on Tuesday, when Cedars Sinai cancelled all elective surgeries to prevent being overwhelmed by the Covid-19 crisis. Which means I’ll get to keep living with severe pain for the foreseeable future. 

All because too many people refused to take a worldwide pandemic seriously. 

So please, be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

No protection for bike riders in bike lanes, more on horrific Las Vegas bike crash, and New York driver injures 6 protesters

It’s the last full week of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dan G, Sketch Productions and Kenneth R for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

While we accept donations year round, this is the only time of year we ask —okay, beg —  for your help to keep this site going. 

So don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

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Bike scribe Peter Flax is back with a piece in Outside, warning about the lack of legal protections for riders in bike lanes.

Experienced cyclists already know that a conventional bike lane—where government officials paint stripes on the road to demarcate a dedicated space for riders—offers few real physical protections from motor vehicles. But the case in Bend offers a window into how the legal protections they offer are extremely limited, too.

The problem extends outside of Oregon. After the October ruling, I spoke with two attorneys who specialize in cycling-related law—one based in Colorado and the other in Ohio—and both said that existing laws in their states do almost nothing to define cyclists’ right of way in bike lanes or protect them in a crash…

Both attorneys expressed considerable frustration that cyclists don’t yet have more rational, legal protections. “If we are going to spend the time and money building bike lanes for cyclists, they must come with some level of protection,” says Hottman. “If bike lanes are where city planners want us riding, and if we agree that collisions and tensions tend to decrease when cyclists get dedicated places to ride, then we have to be granted some level of protection when we ride in them. My perfect world would be a state statute that says motorists turning across a bike lane must yield to bikes in bike lane.”

It seems like a no brainer. Bike riders should have the right-of-way in the only piece of pavement dedicated to our use.

But we don’t.

Anyone who has ridden most SoCal bike lanes can tell you that we’re still subject to swinging car doors, drivers using bike lanes to pull in or out of parking spaces or cruise of a parking spot, or cutting across the bike lane to make a turn — which is illegal in California, where drivers are required to merge into a bike lane before turning right.

And for which we too often get the blame, despite being exactly where we’re supposed to be.

The simple solution is to make drivers fully liable for any collision with someone on a bicycle who is riding legally in the bike lane.

Period.

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More on the horrific crash that killed five Las Vegas bicyclists last week and injured four others, one critically.

The Las Vegas coroner identified the five victims Friday afternoon.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the victims were described as key fixtures in the local bicycling scene, and in the top 10% of area bicyclists. Note: if the paper’s paywall blocks you, trying opening the link with another browser or a private window.

One of the victims was a member of the national triathlon team, while another was described as someone who lived on on his bike and would help anyone — including cyclists on a competing team.

A third victim was called a kind, caring man of faith who loved bike racing.

Hundreds of community members gathered around a ghost bike sculpture in front of a local bike shop to remember the victims and call for safer streets.

NBC News somehow gets the crash sequence backwards, saying the truck driver hit the car that was chaperoning the ride before crashing into the bicyclists. The five riders killed were actually trailing the car, and were pinned between the two vehicles, although some of the injured may have been riding in front of the car.

Seriously? Las Vegas police are reminding drivers to obey Nevada’s three-foot passing law in the wake of the crash.

As if that would have kept the driver from plowing into nine people on bicycles, as well as a car leading them.

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The Nevada crash wasn’t the only bloodbath involving bike riders last week.

After a 52-year old New York woman found her car surrounded by people protesting ICE, she floored it and crashed into the protesters in front of her, injuring six people, including bike riders attempting to protect the protest.

For a change, though, the NYPD appears to have taken the crash seriously, charging her with reckless endangerment.

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This is the future we could have in Los Angeles.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Bike riders in a Philippines town will now be required to wear a helmet and reflectorized vest, keep both hands on the handlebars except to signal, and only carry minimal loads “because bicycles are not designed to carry much cargo.” The new rules were put in place to “support our bike enthusiasts.” Sure, let’s go with that.

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Local

The two LA County sheriff’s deputies accused of shooting 18-year old Andres Guardado were relieved of duty after crashing their patrol car while chasing a man on a bicycle, even though they had a suspect in custody in the back of their cruiser.

Streets for All has set up a new Twitter account to raise awareness of traffic violence in and around the City of Angels, sending out an alert when a bike rider or pedestrian is involved in a crash. Which is pretty damned often, unfortunately.

Former pro wrestler and actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister was found dead in his Marina Del Rey home on Thursday; he was best known for playing bike-thieving neighborhood bully Deebo in the Friday movie franchise. Series star Ice Cube called him a born entertainer with a big heart, who could pop into character at the drop of a hat.

 

State

A Bakersfield collector donated the sign from the sporting goods store where he bought his first bicycle to a local neon museum.

San Francisco bike advocates have long called for a fix to a dangerous chokepoint on the popular crosstown Wiggle bike route, which forces bike riders to cross traffic turning into a gas station; after the latest crash involving someone on a bike, a city supervisor has joined the call.

 

National

Writing for Outside, bike scribe Joe Lindsey says the new Tesla ebike concept makes no sense. Which is being kind.

This is what an adaptive e-mountain bike looks like, allowing paraplegic riders to hit the trails.

Heartbreaking story from Arizona, where doctors discovered a malignant brain tumor in a three-year old boy after he fell down the stairs while learning to ride a bike; a crowdfunding page has raised a little over ten grand to help his single mom pay for his surgery.

A bighearted Boston-area man bought a new bike and a lock for an 11-year old neighbor boy after his was stolen.

South Carolina officials have filed hit-and-run charges against a 30-year old woman who killed a four-year old boy — and his dog — as the boy was riding with his uncle.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a hit-and-run driver who ran down two kids as they were riding bikes in their own neighborhood will serve just two years home vacation arrest, followed by a lousy three years probation. Even though a year later, his seven-year old victim still has no sense of taste or smell, and struggles with schoolwork, while his 13-year old sister faces another round of plastic surgery to repair damage from the crash.

 

International

No bias here. London’s Daily Mail says British prime minister Boris Johnson has lost the support of nearly 25% of his Conservative Party over Johnson’s support for popup bike lanes during the pandemic. Which means that nearly three quarters of the party are just fine with it, thank you.

Police in an English town confiscated the bicycle belonging to a 15-year old boy, accusing him of riding in a “dangerous manner.” Want to bet they’ve never confiscated a car from a driver for the same offense?

A UK bike advocacy group is considering legal action to prevent local governments from ripping out bike lanes, calling the removals “unreasonable.”

A driving website examines the new Italian-made Ducati ebike.

A climate website says Germany needs to look beyond cars and de-emphasize driving, while boosting trains, bicycling and walking.

The once and future Bicycle Kingdom is back, as bicycling booms in China while the pandemic is restricting movement.

When the trains stopped running in Manila due to the coronavirus pandemic, commuters jumped on their bikes, fighting for space on some of the world’s most congested streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new Irish film looks at the role of the domestique in pro cycling, set in the the start of 1998 Tour de France in Ireland.

Cycling Weekly considers why so many elite cyclists have a background in rowing.

 

Finally…

Who knew? Evidently, bike riders and horse people can actually get along.

And let’s hope they at least gave him free coffee and donuts.

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

Five people killed riding bikes in horrific Nevada crash, SaMo protected parking lane, and new placid bike video game

It’s the 15th day of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to everyone who has given so far, and gotten us off to our best start ever! 

Your support will help get through the next few months until our sponsors start to renew in the spring. And keeps SoCal’s best source for all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, whether from around the corner and around the world. 

It only takes a moment to donate. So what are you waiting for, already?

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There are no words.

Five people were killed, and another four injured, one critically, when a truck driver slammed into a Nevada group ride Thursday morning.

The victims had broken off from the main group, and were trailing an escort vehicle on the shoulder of Highway 95 near Searchlight to get some protection from the wind. They were trapped between the two vehicles when the truck driver inexplicably veered off the roadway.

All five died at the scene.

The Nevada Highway Patrol appeared to absolve the driver of any responsibility, saying it was just a tragic accident after concluding he was not under the influence.

Evidently, if you’re sober in Nevada you get a free pass, no matter how many people you kill.

Bike shop worker Clay Weeks knew many of the victims personally, as well as the crash site.

“That shoulder on the side of that highway is wide enough to fit three cars,” Weeks said. “We don’t really know how somebody managed to get that far off the road. These were all very very experienced cyclists. It’s not like they accidentally rode off and into the road.”

It was not the first time those riders made the trip.

“These are people who ride 10,000 miles a year. Some race professionally,” Weeks said. “How did something like this mistakenly happen?”

The bicyclists were celebrating the recent retirement of Las Vegas police officer Michael Anderson.

The 22 years he spent as a cop before retiring in November couldn’t have prepared him for what he witnessed Thursday. “I’ve seen stuff, obviously as a police officer,” he said in a low voice, pausing and tearing up. “But it’s your friends … I’ve never seen that…

“It’s the worst thing I can ever see in my life,” he said, noting that he had contacted the victims’ families. “(I) didn’t know how to say it to them. It’s terrible.”

They’ve done the same 130-mile loop through Nevada and California for the past 15 years, with no incidents until yesterday’s crash.

A graphic from a Las Vegas paper explains how it happened.

What’s still unknown is why the driver left the roadway, and why he couldn’t see seven grown people on bicycles and a cars with its flasher on directly in front of him.

Let’s hope they subpoena the driver’s cell phone, and any onboard screens or entertainment system.

The identity of the victims was behind withheld until relatives could notified. However, one was identified by family and friends as a 43-year old woman from Las Vegas.

The tight knit Las Vegas bike community was in mourning Thursday as news of the crash spread rapidly through the city. A drive-through vigil will be held at a Las Vegas bike shop today.

Thanks to everyone who sent me links for this story. There’s far too many to thank individually, but I sincerely appreciate the help.

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When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it becomes a parking space for city workers.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1337161926451740672

Although Oakland seems to have the same problem.

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Any video game that lets you explore the world by bicycle has got to be a good one.

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

An Akron, Ohio man was busted for robbing a store with a hatchet, before fleeing the scene on his bike. Or someone’s, anyway.

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Local

Good question. Streetsblog’s Joe Linton wants to know why streets can’t be closed off for bike riders, when LA officials don’t hesitate to close them for rich people.

A new study shows LA traffic collisions dropped a whopping 21% since the initial coronavirus shutdown.

No surprise here. Traffic volume is still down in Pasadena during the pandemic, but average speed are up.

 

State

Business is booming at a San Diego bike shop, despite being down two staffers due to the pandemic.

El Cajon’s Main Street is getting greener, literally and figuratively.

BMX riders catch big air at two-year old Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks, built as a partnership between the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclist Association and Conejo Recreation And Parks District.

Great idea. A group of San Francisco bike messengers are skipping the big app-based delivery services, and forming their own food delivery co-op. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

Get your new Lumos bike helmet at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store.

A writer for Clean Technica shares what it’s like to ride the new Harley Davidson ebike.

Speaking of motorcycle makers, Italian bikemaker Ducati is bringing their e-mountain bikes to an American motorcycle dealer near you.

Nevada’s new three-foot passing law hasn’t stopped bike riders from getting killed, with three deaths in the Las Vegas area in the previous three months. Make that eight in four months, now.

‘Tis the season. Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas teamed with a bike nonprofit to donate 100 bicycles to area kids.

An Illinois bike advocate and licensed cycling instructor says nothing will change until drivers slow down and pay attention, or face real consequences for their actions.

Life is cheap in Ohio, where a reckless driver who killed a prominent attorney as he rode his bike walked without a single day behind bars; he could have faced up to five years in prison.

A new documentary premiering today focuses on exploring Maine’s Acadia National Park by bicycle.

A writer for New York Streetsblog witnesses a bike rider get left hooked by a driver — and watches as the police let her go without so much as a warning.

A high-ranking Georgia state lawmaker has been indicted on charges of wrongly ignoring a fatal 2019 hit-and-run crash, after a friend called to say he’d just killed a bike rider and left him lying in a ditch.

‘Tis the season, too. A New Orleans motorcycle club is teaming with a local lawyer to give away 100 bicycles to kids between three and nine years old to share their love of riding on two wheels.

 

International

Cyclist pulls back the curtain on Specialized’s $1,000 full carbon balance bike, for the weight weenie toddler in your life.

Cycling Weekly looks at their favorite bicycles and accessories for 2020.

Toronto bicyclists took to the streets to remember the 15 bike riders killed in the city this year.

The European Union calls for doubling bicycle infrastructure as part of the continent’s Green New Deal. Then again, LA’s mayor made a similar climate fighting declaration, and you can see how that turned out.

Bicycling says it’s time to add Slovenia to your bike bucket list. You can make a pilgrimage to visit the shrine to Melania Trump while you’re at it. And yes, you can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a Finnish expat was sentenced to a single week behind bars for crashing into a pedestrian while riding a bike; the victim died five days after the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling’s governing body has finally gotten around to adopting a new in-race concussion protocol for the 2021 season, assuming it actually happens.

The Bianchi bike Marco Pantani rode to the top of Mount Ventoux in the 2000 Tour de France, beating out a fellow doper from Texas, will find a new home in a museum dedicated to the late, great Italian cyclist after a consortium of Italian business people bought it for the equivalent of $87,000.

Cycling News says Justin Williams and the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team has the power to change bike racing for the better by encouraging cultural diversity in the sport and opening doors for aspiring young riders.

Pro mountain biker Brett Rheeder won’t be riding anytime soon, after breaking his leg crashing at an indoor skate park in British Columbia.

 

Finally…

That feeling when police recover a rare $15,000 Colnago/Ferrari roadie, and have to figure out who owns it. And your new ebike could come with the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

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

Horrific killer attack in Las Vegas, paint gun assault in LA’s Palms neighborhood, and bike riders killed by bad cop drivers

My apologies, once again, for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

An unexpected blood sugar crash literally put me on my ass, taking me from feeling fine to too sick to stand up in a matter of minutes, and knocking me out until early morning. 

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

Seriously, if you’re at risk for diabetes, do whatever it takes to avoid it. Because you really don’t want this shit. 

And another reminder came yesterday.

For the past several months, I’ve been battling hand pain and numbness that’s grown progressively worse, forcing me to work through severe pain just to get this site online every night. 

After a neuro exam that could have passed for a medieval torture session, it turns out I’ve got advanced carpal tunnel in both wrists, which will likely require surgery in the next few months. 

And which was probably caused by diabetes. 

Good times. 

Meanwhile, I’ve got a number of other medical tests coming up in the next few days that will likely affect me in ways that could make it difficult, if not impossible, to write, as I struggle to get everything checked out before our health insurance runs out at the end of the year. 

I’ll do my best to keep up, but please accept my apologies in advance if I can’t manage to post any new updates. 

Hopefully, I’ll see you tomorrow and Friday; if not, we’ll be back bright and early next week once all this is over.

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More on that horrific attack that left a Las Vegas woman dead, along with the passenger in a passing van who pushed her off her bicycle, before he himself out of the van he was riding in.

The 23-year old man behind the wheel faces multiple charges in the double deaths, including murder, hit-and-run and violating his parole.

Multiple people witnessed the fatal attack, including a group of women who were following the two killers home from a bar.

A couple walking on the sidewalk had just exchanged greetings with the victim before she was murdered.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a number of other stories about the attack; unfortunately, they’re hidden behind a paywall. Definitely not a smart move for a story that’s getting international attention.

Thanks to everyone who gave me a heads-up about this incident.

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There’s not a pit deep enough for whoever shot a woman with a paint gun as she was out for a casual ride with a friend in LA’s Palms neighborhood on Sunday.

Some asshole driver shot at us with a something like paintball gun and hit me twice while we were riding side by side in a lane down Jefferson near National. It hurt and left a nasty mark. Pretty upset, but also relieved it wasn’t anything worse. Also the “paint” or whatever the fuck that was looked like snot and bird poop mixed together. So gross.

Too many jerks seem to think things like that are funny, never realizing — or maybe not caring — that it can rapidly develop into a life threatening situation if the victim loses control or falls off her bike.

Just like we saw in Las Vegas.

And even under the best circumstances, it hurts like hell.

Let’s hope she called the police, because shooting someone with anything is a crime.

Thanks to Howard for the tip.

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Even cops will tell you they’re some of the worst drivers on the road.

And too often, innocent people pay the price.

Case in point, an on-duty DC police officer killed a man as he was riding his bike across the street in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

And a Florida woman was killed when she was run down by a sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol vehicle after getting off her bike to talk with her boyfriend on a remote roadway.

Then there’s this from the protests over the police shooting of a Black man in Philadelphia. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forward.

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Take a drone’s eye mountain bike break from work this morning, assuming you’re one of the lucky ones who actually still has a job.

But maybe take a little dramamine first.

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

A British boy was pushed off his bike and threatened with weapons by a pair of teenaged thieves who made off with his bike.

Someone is sabotaging French forest trails with cables tied across pathways, broken glass and hidden nail-studded boards, which can seriously injure unsuspecting hikers and mountain bikers. Or worse.

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

Police in a Louisiana city are looking for a “very suspicious,” masked bike-riding man who’s been entering people’s yards and going through their mailboxes. Then again, anyone who doesn’t wear a mask should be considered suspicious these days.

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Local

A new bikeshare dock is helping to close the gap created by a two-year shutdown of the L-Line — formerly Gold Line — in DTLA after the Little Tokyo Metro station was permanently closed.

Former One Tree Hill and Chicago P.D. actress Sophia Bush is one of us, riding her e-cargo bike through the streets of LA with her dog in a very cool bicycle sidecar.

More on Santa Monica’s plans to install a two-way protected bike lane on Ocean Ave along Palisades Park.

 

State

They get it. San Diego is taking Complete Streets a step further by focusing on Complete Communities; an updated plan will be presented online in two weeks.

Not everyone gets it, though. A San Diego columnist displays his windshield bias, insisting that the city’s Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is being ruined by bicycles after being shocked! shocked! to see a boisterous group ride complete with police escort. Apparently, natural areas are only supposed to be enjoyed by people who drive in silence to get there.

Santa Barbara police offer advice on how to protect yourself from bike thieves, including registering your bike for free with Bike Index.

San Francisco advocates cry foul after the city drops plans for a sidewalk-level bikeway on iconic Market Street, citing rising costs and too many people on bicycles.

Sonoma County is doing its best to stiff a woman who won a $1.9 million judgement against the county after she was seriously injured hitting a massive pothole on her bike, but they’re running out of legal options. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

 

National

How five Black bike riders use their bicycles to express joy and push through the limits of white supremacy. Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Shape suggests everything you need to know before your first bikepacking trip. Which is a good start, but isn’t anywhere close to all you should know, let alone need to.

Bloomberg Business says Seattle-based Rad Power’s bestselling ebike is “disrupting America’s pandemic commute” to such a degree that the company can’t keep up with demand. Then again, neither can most bikemakers right now.

The site to report blocked bike lanes developed by Chicago’s Bike Lane Uprising is now live in over 100 cities across the US, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, which has its own separate page. You can download their new app for Android and iOS.

A Chicago bike shop donates a cruiser bike to the Little Sisters of the Poor. No, really.

Kindhearted Detroit cops dig into their own pockets to buy a new bike for an autistic boy after his was stolen.

Country star Dierks Bentley is one of us, enjoying the freedom to ride his bike incognito through the streets of Nashville for the first time in years, thanks to his coronavirus mask.

New York officials say the Revel dockless e-motorscooters are 69 times more dangerous than the city’s bikeshare system.

Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys are both one of us, bundling up for a cold Brooklyn bike ride.

The LSU student newspaper complains about a lack of bike lanes on and around campus, saying the situation “poses a significant threat to the safety of students.” Sounds like nothing’s changed since I used to ride there decades ago.

A Florida man faces a manslaughter charge for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had a BAC over one and a half times the legal limit 90 minutes after the crash, as well as traces of coke and weed in his system.

 

International

Good question. A writer for Bike Biz questions just how sustainable bikewear is, concluding the greenest clothes are the ones you already own.

A London driver lost control of his Ferrari, barely avoiding some people on bikes. A reminder that anyone with excess money can buy a fast car, but not the skill to drive it.

A new bicyclist pens an open letter to the driver who gave her a punishment pass. Which is how new bike riders too often become ex-bike riders.

Britain’s leading advocacy group called for better protection for people on bicycles, after a bike rider suffered minor injuries when the head of the country’s opposition Labour Party crashed into him.

No irony here. A British man was killed in a drunken fall off his bicycle, in the exact same spot where he crashed his van two years earlier, resulting in a 20-month driving ban for DUI.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bike an Irish man was using to bring back food and vital medicine for his family, since he couldn’t drive due to a brain injury suffered in a hit-and-run as a young man.

Viking biking is so popular in Norway the country has to expand subsidies for studded winter bike tires.

Turkish bike riders are demanding safer streets following an increasing number of people killed or injured while riding their bikes.

A Japanese man became the first bicyclist charged under the country’s new bike rage law after grabbing a 70-year old man by the collar when the older man complained about his riding.

Despite the international coronavirus bike boom, leading bicycle parts maker Shimano saw a drop in sales this year, as bike makers and retailers struggled to keep up.

Police in Shanghai busted 16 men for making and renting illegal low-grade ebike batteries.

A Philippines TV host is just 14 bikes short of her goal of donating 500 bicycles to help people in need of reliable transportation to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

It was a good day for Canada in yesterday’s 7th stage of the Vuelta.

Cyclist tells the tale of Britain’s first Black cycling champ.

Rouleur looks at the “endless enigma” that is five-time Tour de France champ Miguel Indurain.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a slick retro looking non-hog Harley. Making one of Canada’s largest cities your own Moose portrait.

And the perfect harness to improve safety while turning yourself into a pedaling Christmas tree.

………

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

“I can’t breathe”: Las Vegas bike rider killed by cops over bike light; over $110,000 raised for SoCal cycling diversity

Nine months ago, it was a needless tragedy.

Today it stands as yet another reminder why so many people of all races are taking to the streets to demand justice, and change.

It was last September when a man died in police custody after a Las Vegas cop kneeled on his back, ignoring his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Sound familiar?

This is what I had to say at the time.

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

What’s missing there is any reference to the victim’s race.

In retrospect, it almost goes without saying that he was Black, although the only reference to his race was a photo from the police press conference and a news report showing the victim’s grieving family.

And he had a name.

Byron Lee Williams.

I didn’t mention it at the time; I don’t normally mention the names of people outside of Southern California, and often not then.

But in retrospect, I should have.

Because he joins a long and growing list of black people unjustly killed by police.

Names like Rayshard BrooksGeorge Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Michael Brown.

And Byron Lee Williams.

Which is not so say Williams didn’t do anything wrong. But nothing he did called for the death penalty. Or a summary execution without the benefit of a judge and jury.

And it never should have been allowed to escalate from something as minor as a simple traffic stop for a missing damn bike light.

Now Williams’ family is renewing their calls for justice, joining a loud, mournful and growing chorus of loved ones needlessly left behind.

As well they should. Especially in light of this, from a story released yesterday by NBC News.

Thompkins and Scott said the additional video showed officers dragging Williams around a corner, his body still limp, before dropping him on the ground. At one point, Thompkins said, the video showed Williams asking for an ambulance and an officer telling Williams that nobody was coming to help him.

Williams then fell silent, lying on the ground as the officers laughed and discussed weekend plans, Thompkins said.

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and worked with several as part of the LAPD’s bike liaison program.

With a few notable exceptions, most have struck me as caring men and women who want to do the right thing. And many want bad cops off the force as much as anyone else.

Although their union is another matter.

I’ve been quick to call the police out when they do something wrong. But I also recognize that my white skin means my experience isn’t the same as what my Black and brown friends have to go through at their hands.

And it’s entirely possible to recognize that police officers have dangerous jobs, and hope they all make it home at the end of his or her shift, while still recognizing that things have to change. Major, systemic changes.

It isn’t a matter of Black and white, liberal or conservative.

Just right and wrong.

Because we all have a right to get back home safely, and in one piece.

Regardless of skin color.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Great news from former national road, crit and track champ Justin Williams, whose crowdfunding campaign for his Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised well over twice the original $50,000 goal to promote diversity in the sport.

He had this to say on his new From The Gun With L39ION podcast, as quoted by Cycling News.

“Wow, that’s been crazy,” said Williams of the fundraiser. “We set the mark at $50,000 because we thought that would be a decent number, and I want to share with you guys what we are going to put all of that toward. It’s more than doubled so we will figure out more stuff to put it toward, but for the most part we will put the money toward team infrastructure.

“The funds will allows us to do team camps and more community engagement, which is something I really like to do. We will bring back junior day camps and BBQs, and elevate what that was. We’ll break it up into three and four hours with the whole L39ION team, and then break up into groups … and it will be open to every junior team.”

Nice to see someone rewarded for doing good work.

………

Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday’s e-scooter fatality in Silver Lake as 68-year old Los Angeles resident Timothy Stirton.

He was killed when a driver speeding at least twice the posted 35 mph speed limit slammed into him before crashing into a local restaurant.

The driver, a woman in her 70s, said her car began to accelerate when she tried to slow it down, and only drove onto the wrong side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Which sounds less like a mechanical failure than yet another argument for testing older drivers on a regular basis, before they mistake the gas pedal for the brakes.

………

The latest video from GCN explores the eternal question of whether you should get a roadie or a gravel bike.

If you can even find one in this market, that is.

………

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

No bias here. A Vancouver woman says a decision to close a local park to cars while a bike lane is built is just an example of knee-jerk anti-car hostility, and accuses the “bike lobby” of bullying. Funny how people who oppose bike projects are just concerned citizens, but supporters always seem to be part of some shadowy bike lobby.

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

An accused Chechen hit man was apparently one of us, after he was seen throwing a wig, gun and a bicycle into a German river; prosecutors allege he murdered a Georgian man on orders from the Russian government.

………

Local

The LA-area Helpful Honda Dealers teamed with the LAPD to buy a new adaptive tricycle for a Sherman Oaks boy with Down’s syndrome, after his was stolen last month.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride with her boyfriend as part of a “fun-filled” day out.

 

State

Redding has become the first place in California to be honored with a bronze medal by the International Mountain Bicycle Association for its extensive trail system.

The fight over bike lanes is usually the need to remove parking spaces. In Santa Barbara, it means removing some fully grown trees.

A Fresno woman ran inside her house and locked the door after she was approached by a stranger. So he went into her open garage and walked off with a $1,700 ebike.

 

National

The New York Times offers detailed advice on how to start riding a bike in the age of coronavirus and bike shortages. Meanwhile, HuffPo offers suggestions from experienced bike riders for new urban bicyclists; always being predictable is a good place to start.

Streetsblog says this could be micromobility’s big moment as it experiences “stratospheric jumps” in usage around the US despite, or maybe because of, the pandemic.

A college professor explains how he lost 55 pounds after he changed careers and started bike commuting.

Portland bicyclists are riding to support Black Lives Matter protests and demand changes.

Never mind bike lanes. Cincinnati has over 570 miles of bike trails in the greater metro area.

Seriously? Buffalo NY residents are demanding changes after 120 pedestrians and 41 bike riders have been hit by drivers on a single street over the past five years, including three fatalities. Yet city officials have refused to implement traffic calming measures to save lives.

New York Streetsblog looks at the role bicycles play as a means of protest and exposing racism.

A Georgetown, Delaware organization bought a new bicycle for a 17-year old boy so he can get to work and keep his job.

Kindhearted Virginia cops dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young boy whose new bicycle was stolen just four hours after he got it, then they recovered his original bike in a creek; the boy’s parents say they’ll fix it up and give it to someone who needs one.

An Alabama man takes hit-and-run to the extreme, firing a gun in the street before assaulting a bike rider and stealing his bicycle, then fleeing on foot before he was captured by police.

Miami bike riders are in the same sinking boat as we Angelenos, as city leader leaders have failed to taken steps to accommodate the boom in bicycling.

No bias here, either. A letter writer in Key Biscayne, Florida demands a vote on a proposed new bike lane, saying bicyclists “don’t pay tolls or add to the economy, and in fact are just not good neighbors.” And swears locals will never give up their golf carts for a bike.

 

International

Scotland Yard is looking for a suspected serial bike thief accused of stealing nearly $12,500 worth of bicycles throughout the London area.

A Scottish op-ed calls bicyclists a threat to mature walkers, noting that older people may not be able to hear whistles or spoken warnings. Always ride with care around pedestrians of any age, and give them as wide a berth as possible, for their safety and yours.

The bike boom is real in the UK, and so is the bike shortage. One woman learns the bike she ordered won’t arrive until next year.

A new conversion kit from a Polish company promises to turn your bike into a smart ebike in just ten minutes.

Bikes are booming big time in Bangladesh, too.

An award-winning journalist is the subject of a fatwa from an Iranian cleric calling for her death, after she called for women to be allowed to ride bikes in the conservative Islamic country.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Black Cycling Network has launched the UK’s first Black and ethnic minority cycling team.

Pez Cycling News talks with former Swedish cycling star Marianne Berglund, who won over a hundred races in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Finally…

How to ride your bike nearly 300 hours and not get anywhere. No, Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike is not a threat to Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 e-hog.

And riding around an airport can be a real blast.

That’s not a good thing.

………

Happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day this Sunday.

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

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