Tag Archive for Long Beach

71-year old Samuel Rivera dies nine days after Long Beach hit-and-run; over 1/3 of SoCal bike deaths have been hit-and-runs

Go ahead and call it murder.

A Long Beach man is dead, nine days after he was run down by a heartless coward who left the 71-year old lying critically injured in the street.

According to KCBS-2, Samuel Juarez Rivera was riding his bicycle in a crosswalk on northbound Walnut Ave, when he was struck by a driver traveling west on Anaheim Street around 6:20 am on Friday, November 4th.

Rivera was rushed to a local hospital, where he reportedly died on Monday; however, the Press-Telegram reports he passed away on Sunday, November 13th.

No word on whether he was conscious or able to talk with investigators. Or who may have had the green light at the time of the crash.

There’s also no information on whether the driver may have been speeding, distracted or impaired.

Police are looking for the driver of a white sedan; there’s no further description of the car or driver at this time.

What is certain is that Rivera deserved better.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Police Detective Joseph Johnson at 562/570-7355.

This is at least the 73rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

At least 24 of the bike riders killed in Southern California have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Wrong way bike rider killed in early morning Long Beach crash

A man was killed riding his bike against traffic in Long Beach early today.

According to the Long Beach Police Department, the victim was riding east in the westbound lanes of Anaheim Street near Coronado Ave around 12:15 am Saturday, when he was struck by a driver traveling west on Anaheim.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified only as a 32-year old Long Beach resident.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; at this time, police don’t believe they were distracted, speeding or under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Police Department Collision Investigation Detail Detective Kevin Johansen or Detective Jeff Meyer at 562/570-7355.

This is at least the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

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Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

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Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

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Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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She gets it.

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Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

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Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

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

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

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Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

California brothers killed by stoned driver while riding in Utah, and 74-year old man missing after Long Beach bike ride

A couple quick notes before we get started. 

First, thanks for all the kind words and well wishes following my surgery. Things seem to have gone well and are progressing nicely; I have nearly full use of my left hand again, which is more than I could say before the operation. 

We have a lot to catch up on. I’ll get through as much as I can today, and try to finish up over the next few days. Including the failed rollout of an innovative San Diego street design. 

And my sincere thanks to everyone who sent in tips while I was out, especially for the story below. There’s just too many people to thank everyone individually this time, let alone keep track of.

But I’m truly grateful for all your help.

Fractured bike helmet photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

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Heartbreaking and infuriating news from Utah, where two California brothers riding in the Spring Tour of St. George were killed Saturday when an allegedly stoned woman drove into the bike lane they were riding in.

The woman reportedly failed all the field sobriety tests and admitted to being on a cocktail of medications, including fentanyl, after being admitted  to the hospital the day before.

However, she claimed she lost control because she was “uncontrollably” shitting her pants as she was driving. And continued driving after striking the victims because she couldn’t get the car to stop until the badly damaged engine gave out several hundred yards away.

Sure. That could happen.

The victims were found unresponsive, and died later at a local hospital.

There’s no information on their names, or where they’re from in California. However, rumors are circulating that at least one was a popular rider from the Los Angeles area.

Let’s pray it isn’t true.

Forty-seven-year old Julie Ann Budge faces two counts of negligent vehicular homicide, as well as double hit-and-run and DUI charges for the two needless deaths. Hopefully they hosed her down before booking her.

It’s also worth noting that this is the same Utah town where NBA star Shawn Bradley was paralyzed when he was rear-ended on his bike by a driver rushing to pick up their kids at school.

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Family members are asking for help finding an elderly Mexican man who disappeared while riding a bicycle in Long Beach nearly two weeks ago.

Manuel Aboyte was last seen stopping for lottery tickets at a Circle K gas station in North Long Beach on March 30th.

The 74-year old resident of Sinaloa de Leyva was in the city visiting his sister, who was suffering from illness, and was hospitalized just before he disappeared.

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Noted media critic Eric Boehlert was one of us.

Sadly though, Boehlert was killed when he was struck by a train while riding his bike in Montclair, New Jersey last Monday evening.

The 57-year old made a career out of calling out right-wing misinformation while writing for Media Matters for America, Salon, Daily Kos and as the founder of the Press Run website.

He was also the author of Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over For Bush, and Bloggers on the Bus: How The Internet Changed Politics and the Press.

There’s no word on whether he rode around a railroad crossing barrier, or if it was an uncontrolled crossing or if the crash happened some other way.

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Buena Park needs your input on a proposed Complete Streets project this Thursday.

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Costa Mesa wants a minute of your time — no, literally — to introduce a new bollard-protected bike lane, as they work to install “high-quality bicycling facilities” throughout the city.

Although as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, a bike lane isn’t really protected if the bollards are spaced widely enough for drivers to park in it.

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This seems like a good time for a reminder that yellow traffic signs are advisory, and don’t carry the force of law.

Although you’ll definitely get blamed if something goes wrong after you ignore one.

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Well, it’s true.

You can get yours here. I did.

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

There’s a warrant out for a Milwaukee woman who pulled off a rare double flight from justice, first by fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider, then disappearing while out on bail after her arrest.

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

A 32-year old Milwaukee bike rider was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting another man in front of the victim’s wife during a road rage incident, after first punching him in the face; he claimed the driver had hit him with his car and called him a racial slur. He was arrested in Kentucky after fleeing the state for six months following the shooting.

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Local

Fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp was honored with LA’s first Yellow Bike Project sculpture; the permanent memorial will hopefully call attention to the risks people face walking and biking in the city The Marine Corps vet was killed when a driver slammed into him as he rode hid bike on Foothill Boulevard in in Sunland-Tujunga.

You only have until the end of this month to apply for a Go Human Mini-Grant to improve traffic safety, assuming you’re a nonprofit or community-based organization.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom mobility debate between CD 9 Councilmember Curren Price and challenger Dulce Vasquez on April 24th.

Lancaster received a $5 million grant for the two-mile Amargosa Recreational Trail Project, complete with protected bike and pedestrian trails, as well as public art, along Amargosa Creek.

 

State 

A San Diego man suffered a fractured collarbone and left wrist when he “collided with” a minivan driven by an 80-year old woman in an apparent left-cross crash while riding his bike.

Road.cc offers a look at “ten stunning road bikes” from last week’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Sad news from Modesto, where a 62-year old man was killed riding his bike in a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the drivers of two pickups who appeared to be traveling together.

38-year old Oakland bike rider suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by the driver of a Cadillac Escalade who ran the red light, when fled the scene following the crash.

 

National

The new owner of the Denver Broncos could be one of us; 77-year old Walmart heir Rob Walton is reportedly preparing a $4 billion bid for the team, nearly 40 years after competing in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.

A broadcaster for NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team is one of us, after suffering “significant injuries” in a bicycling crash. However, it’s not clear if he was struck by a motorist or fell off his bike.

Colorado’s state legislature has approved a true Idaho Stop Law, allowing riders to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stop signs; the bill is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Hopefully it won’t suffer the same fate as California’s attempt to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs like yields, which was vetoed by Governor Newsom last year.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Twenty-four-year old Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed when he was run down by the driver of a dump truck as he attempted to walk across a Florida highway.

Former Olympic figure skating gold medalist Scott Hamilton is planning to ride 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee in hopes of raising $1.25 million to help fight glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

 

International

A British Columbia man is fighting back after the provincial driver’s insurance agency billed him $3,700 for damage to the Mercedes-Benz that ran him down as he pedaled through an intersection, somehow concluding he was 50% at fault for the crash — even though the driver ran the stop sign.

This is who we share the road with. In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a 22-year old British man will spend 30 years behind bars for using a stolen car as a weapon to run down another man outside a pub, dragging him under his car; he was accused of using a vehicle as a weapon twice before, yet somehow kept driving until he killed someone.

Heartbreaking photo of a man walking his bicycle past the ruins of a building destroyed by Russian shelling in Chernihiv, Ukraine.

A 26-year old Kenyan man is riding his bicycle to campaign for governor of the country’s Nakura County.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former cycling scion Taylor Phinney sheds light on his unexpected retirement from the WorldTour, saying pro cycling is “fucked up,” due to a culture of drug abuse and silence.

Polish pro Michal Kwiatkowski was declared winner of Sunday’s Amstel Gold classic in a photo finish with France’s Benoit Cosnefroy, who had initially been awarded first place until photos confirmed Kwiatkowski crossed the finish line just in front of him.

Dutch pro Milan Vader was reportedly in stable condition following a major crash on a descent during last week’s Tour of the Basque Country, suffering a broken collarbone, vertebrae and shoulder blade, as well as having stents placed in his carotid artery. Aussie Lucas Hamilton was a lot luckier, walking away with a bloody nose after frightening flip over a guard rail

I was today years old when I learned that WorldTour cycling teams face relegation, just like soccer teams.

Former German great Jan Ulrich raised the equivalent of over $43,700 for children in Ukraine by auctioning his custom yellow Pinarello from the 1998 Tour de France; the never-used bike was created for him to ride into Paris for what would have been his second consecutive Tour win, until he was upset by Marco Pantani.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re afraid a new protected bike lane will offer a getaway route for criminals. When you can’t ride your bike because a bird built a nest in it.

And who wants to leave your dog at home, anyway?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Not so fast on schooling Long Beach cop, bike community raises funds for Ukraine, and teaching truckers urban bike skills

Well, maybe not.

That video we linked to yesterday showing a BMX rider educating a Long Beach cop and standing up for his right to ride may not have gotten it right after all.

This comment from Steve suggests that the cop may have been right, if the video was filmed after 10 am, and the riders were going any faster than a slow walk.

Re schooling the cop…the law was a bit more complex and of course no one bother to look the law up and read it. Typical. the cop was right (unless the riders were under 3 mph..looks like it was daylight hrs from the video..after 10 am?)
§ 16.08.502. Bicycles on Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.
Latest version.

Bicycle riding on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade is prohibited in excess of three (3) miles per hour between the hours of ten o’clock (10:00) a.m. and ten o’clock (10:00) p.m., except City employees in the performance of their duties.

(ORD-08-0014 § 31, 2008)

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Nice to see the cycling community step up to help Ukraine following the invasion and massacre of civilians by Russian troops.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton raised over $200,000 for the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund by riding 42 hours straight from Munich to Ukraine’s border with Poland, a distance of 661 miles.

Tennessee bikemaker Obed is auctioning an aero carbon gravel bike painted in the country’s colors to benefit UNICEF’s Protect Children in Ukraine Fund.

Former cycling great Jan Ullrich is auctioning off one of his own bikes from the 1998 Tour de France marred by the infamous Festina Affair to raise funds for A Heart for Children, to support sick kids and orphans in war-torn Ukraine.

Although personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing someone crowdfund money for a cruise missile pre-programmed for Putin’s dacha.

But maybe that’s just me.

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A DC website says maybe the viral bike rider shown below giving the so-called “People’s Convoy” truck driver’s protest a taste of their own medicine was just demonstrating safe urban bicycling skills.

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Why wouldn’t William Shatner ride an ebike accompanied by a robed gospel choir?

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Today’s mountain bike break comes from just outside Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

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

British broadcaster Jeremy Vine calls for a “toxic” van driver to be fired for driving up on the sidewalk to get around a stopped taxi. Never mind the recently removed bike lane that might have prevented it.

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

Apparently, Irish police don’t take too kindly to someone riding the roads with a “dangerously defective” DIY gas-powered mountain bike.

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Local

Streetsblog takes a second look at the new Taylor Yard bike bridge.

Burbank/Glendale Assemblymember Laura Friedman will join CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman, LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds to discuss transportation projects in the San Fernando Valley via Zoom Thursday evening.

LAist looks at the difficulties faced by the US branch of Ukrainian ebike maker Delfast, headquartered in a Whittier storefront, following Russia’s merciless invasion of the East European country.

 

State 

Singletracks profiles the San Diego Mountain Bike Association as they advocate  for trails in California’s second most-popululated county.

Hats off to the Bay Area’s Bike East Bay, which is celebrating 50 hard-earned years of advocacy.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on getting a bike helmet your kid will actually want to wear. Although I’m partial to the ones with a faux mohawk, myself. 

Washington State votes to ban new gas-powered vehicles by 2030.

The accused hit-and-run driver who killed an older married couple riding their bikes in Tucson, Arizona Saturday morning claims he blacked out and has no memory of the crash; he admits to drinking and getting stoned the night before, and was still apparently wasted at the time of the 10 am wreck.

A Kansas woman copped a plea to reduced charges for running down a man riding a bicycle, then getting out and shooting him to death. No word on whether she knew the victim.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists say a poorly designed bike trail crossing that hides oncoming traffic from view was responsible for a bike rider’s death. The crossing calls for bicyclists to dismount and walk their bikes across the street, demonstrating that the people who designed it live in an alternate reality.

A Minnesota man faces up to ten years behind bars for killing a 73-year old priest when he drove onto the shoulder and rear-ended the man’s bicycle.

A bike shop founded by a Michigan couple works to provide bicycles to people in need, including former convicts in need of transportation after their release.

 

International

PinkBike looks at five new products from small European manufacturers.

A UK website considers the advantages of bicycling rather than driving, but leaves out most of them. Like actually enjoying your commute while you help save the planet, without putting oil money in Putin’s pocket.

Retired pro cyclist Dan Craven is starting a new brand of handmade steel frame bicycles in his native Namibia to help put skilled craftsmen to work in his home town of Omaruru; the brand name Onguza “comes from the Namibian word ‘okuti-onguza’, meaning ‘the great expanse of desert out there’ in the Himba and Herero languages.”

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews unveils what the top 20 male pro cyclists earn in annual salary, led by Tadej Pogačar with the equivalent of $6.59 million. Although lower paid members of the WorldTour peloton squeaks by with a relatively paltry minimum salary of $40,000. And women on the WorldTour earn considerably less, with the top pros getting less than $90,000.

Bad news from stage two of Spain’s Tour of Catalunya, where 31-year old Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli collapsed after taking second place to stage-winner Michael Matthews following an intense up-hill sprint to end the race, and was given CPR after losing consciousness; Colbrelli was competing just two weeks after a bout with bronchitis. At last report, he was hospitalized in stable condition.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting pushed off our bikes by a cantankerous monkey. Banned from the cycling cafe due to coffee ambivalence.

And this is either a weird jungle gym or a just bizarre attempt to keep anyone from accessing the trail.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: Bike rider killed in collision with Long Beach city employee; 5th SoCal bike death in just 8 days

The bad news just seems to keep coming these days.

Because for the fifth time in just over a week, someone has been killed riding a bicycle in Southern California.

This time in Long Beach, at the hands of a city employee.

According to the Long Beach Post, the victim was struck by a city worker, driving a city-owned pickup, when the man on the bike allegedly ran a stop sign at 17th Street and Oregon Ave around 7:40 Friday morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reports the driver was headed south on Oregon, which would suggest the victim, who has not been identified, was traveling on 17th when he was struck in the middle of the intersection.

The crash was reportedly witnessed by another city employee, who remained at the scene with the driver. Police do not believe the driver was under the influence, speeding or driving distracted.

There’s no word on why the victim would have run the stop sign directly in front of an oncoming truck, which did not have a stop sign.

This is at least the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, in what has been a very bloody start to the year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Long Beach resident Ayomipo Lawal

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ayomipo Lawal and his loved ones. 

Santa Barbara bicyclist seriously injured in PCH hit-and-run, and Huntington Beach pulls the plug on bike path project

The hit-and-run epidemic show no sign of stopping.

The same day a Santa Ana bike rider was murdered by a driver who fled the scene, leaving his or her innocent victim to die in the street, another bicyclist was lucky to survive being run down by a hit-and-run driver on the Ventura County section of Southern California’s killer highway.

Or maybe calling PCH a serial killer highway is more accurate.

Here’s a brief press release from the victim’s family.

Santa Barbara family seeks answers and witnesses in PCH hit-and-run

On Saturday, February 12 at 11:10 a.m., Santa Barbara resident Jeff Sczechowski (seh-CHOW-ski) was struck from behind and thrown into a parked vehicle while riding his black mountain bike on the shoulder of the northbound side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This was just north of the Sycamore Canyon State Park entrance across from the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground that is south of the large sand hill on the inland side of the PCH.  He was wearing a white helmet and grey and yellow cycling clothing.  The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ventura County Medical Center, where he is hospitalized and receiving care.  He has sustained significant injuries to his back, leg, and arms.  Jeff, a chemical engineering PhD, manages a research center in the UCSB Department of Physics.  He is also an avid cyclist and bonsai tree artist.  Jeff, his wife, and their children ask anyone who may have been involved in or witnessed the event to please contact Ventura California Highway Patrol Officer Bowen at 805-662-2640.

Shamefully, fully half of the 12 people killed riding bicycles in Southern California this year have been the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

Yes, 50 percent.

There is simply no excuse.

Not for the heartless cowards who lack the basic human decency to stick around after a crash. Or for those in elected office who lack the courage to do anything about it.

I’ve offered my suggestions on how to stop it. And I’m sure there are other options out there to put a stop to .

But one way to another, this epidemic has got to stop. Now.

Photo of Jeff Sczechowski taken just hours before the crash. Thanks to Todd Mumford for the heads-up.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

After gathering feedback on its proposed Trails to the Sea project, Huntington Beach has pulled the plug on the entire thing.

The project would have added 4.75 miles of offroad trails along a pair of channels, where they would have had zero impact on traffic and the surrounding community. And provided much needed safe routes through the beachside city, which is already one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike in Orange County.

Instead, the responses from local residents were apparently so bad that local officials decided not to do the right thing, and killed the project instead.

Never mind the current dangers faced by bike riders and pedestrians in the city. Or the desperate need to get people out of their cars, at a time when Orange County is already a year-round fire zone.

And never mind that access to a safe bikeway increases local property values.

There’s simply no rational reason to oppose a project like this, let alone cancel it.

But they did anyway.

Thanks to Eric Eberwein for the tip.

………

Say goodbye to the green bollards on Del Amo Blvd in Long Beach, and hello to a new curb-protected bike lane.

………

The Davis Bike Counter wasn’t just removed. It was killed by an errant driver.

………

Megan Lynch also forwards this news about a single bike rider blocking a protesting Canadian trucker from blocking the roadways.

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Real talent is riding a bicycle around a stage during a live performance without missing a note.

Thanks to GlennC1 for forwarding the tweet. 

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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 arrested for stabbing a bike rider who nearly hit him while riding on the sidewalk, despite the bike-riding man’s repeated apologies.

No bias here. After a 15-year old boy was killed by a suspected drunk driver, Florida sheriff’s deputies somehow insist on noting the victim didn’t have lights on his bicycle — over half an hour before sunset.

No bias here, either. An Indian protected bike lane was removed after drivers were “inconvenienced” by the lane reduction to make room for it, never mind that bike riders were inconvenienced by the drivers parking in it.

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

An Albuquerque, New Mexico BMX rider is under arrest for a horrific stabbing spree that left eleven people injured at seven separate sites, riding his bike to attack people apparently at random.

Welsh police are looking for an ebike rider who is accused of “terrorizing” the residents of a small seaside town; officers seized his bike after he fell off while being chased, but the rider managed to get away on foot.

………

Local

Nice to see East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III honored with a trip to the Super Bowl in recognition of his volunteer work.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders turned out for a ride to honor 49-year old Fremont resident Ellen Le, a week after she was killed in a head-on collision with an SUV driver while riding with a Santa Clara County bike club.

Hundreds more turned out for a demonstration to keep JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park carfree.

San Francisco ripped out a protected bike lane due to a construction zone, temporarily replacing it with a painted bike lane, despite being on a street where three people have been killed in three years. Never mind that removing the protected lane will make the city liable for any injuries that happen as a result.

A Vallejo driver faces a murder charge for the hit-and-run death of a 52-year old bike rider, due to a previous DUI arrest; naturally, the defense attorney wants to blame the victim, instead.

 

National

The New York Times says billions of dollars in last year’s federal infrastructure bill dedicated to highway expansion could worsen climate change.

A Washington mountain biker couldn’t find bikewear to fit her plus-size body, so she started her own company to make it.

Utah’s law cutting the blood alcohol level required for DUI to .05, from the .08 allowed the other 49 states, is showing demonstrable benefits, with drunk driving deaths and crashes dropping 20% in the state since the law went into effect.

A man is restarting his cross-country bike ride in the middle of the North Dakota winter, five months after he was nearly killed by a pickup driver, which ultimately cost him a tooth and his spleen.

Nice move from a Tulsa OK bike club, whose members raised $5,000 to buy a racing bike for a promising young rider who has never owned a bike of his own.

No coverup here. After a New York cop hit a kid while driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Halloween, the NYPD bizarrely tried to claim the boy somehow ran across the hood of a stationary patrol car, then they tried to just pretend the while thing never happened.

New York Streetsblog says it’s not the speed cams that are racist, it’s the road designs in low-income communities of color.

A 62-year old Pennsylvania man is alive today because his friends rushed to call  911 and perform CPR when he suffered a sudden heart attack on a long group ride.

A cautionary story from Charleston, South Carolina, where police are reopening a crash investigation after a man died two months after he was hit by a driver, despite being released from the hospital the same day with an apparent misdiagnosis of just minor injuries.

Always get the keys back after you fire someone. A Florida man faces charges for helping a former bike shop worker come back and steal $15,000 worth of bicycles after she was let go.

 

International

They get it. An op-ed in London’s Independent questions how the country can get to zero carbon emissions when the UK suffers from cyclophobia, and riders aren’t safe on the roads.

No shit. BBC presenter and bike rider Jeremy Vine says that the safety of people on bicycles is more important than drivers getting to their destinations on time.

A new British report shows bikeshare is a gateway drug to get people back on their bicycles, with bikeshare use reducing car use 53%, with an average of 3.7 miles per user.

The game ball for a rugby match between Wales and Scotland traveled 500 miles by bike to get to there, as part of a charity ride to raise fund to fight motor neuron disease.

Porsche is moving further into ebikes by purchasing a 20% stake in Munich ebike maker Fazua, to gain access to their removable engine and battery tech.

Cycling Tips is accusing UCI of silence in the face of allegations of death threats, abduction and torture involving the Afghan Cycling Federation during and after efforts to evacuate cyclists from the country.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 93-year old South African man’s bicycle when he stopped at an ATM; he got the bike from his parents in 1950 and rode it for the past 72 years.

In an obvious effort to thin the herd, Melbourne, Australia has painted sharrows between the rails of a tram line, encouraging people to ride their bikes directly in front of an oncoming train.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome called for banning time trial bicycles, saying it would be safer and fairer to train and race on road bikes; his comments have drawn support from his fellow riders.

Retired Irish pro Nicholas Roche has been warned not to ride in the mountains south of Dublin, while he’s filming the British version of Dancing With the Stars in the city, because thieves are known to knock riders off their bikes, then toss them in their van and drive off while the rider is still sprawled in the roadway.

The Italian movie The Pantini Affair should be coming to the US, after Capital Motion Picture Group picked up the North American rights to the 2020 film about the last five years in the life of legendary cyclist Marco Pantani.

A Steamboat Springs, Colorado newspaper offers photos of downhill dual slalom racing on a snow-packed mountain, while UCI considers plans for a Snow Bike World Cup.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be carved from wood. That feeling when the peloton has to jump the median to avoid a police roadblock.

And we may have to deal with the horns of angry drivers. But at least that beats the horns of an angry bull.

………

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

New ADA in Woon hit-and-run case, LA paid out 300 grand in hit-and-run rewards, and bike theft down 22% in Long Beach

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

So let’s have her kick things off today by catching us up with the latest happenings in bike jurisprudence and other related stuff.

Mariah Kandise Banks (charged in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier) has yet another DA newly assigned to her case. He was tranfserred from the Van Nuys courthouse on the morning of her most react hearing, December 6th. He had a whole new caseload to familiarize himself with, but was present for Banks’ appearance. I was able to speak with him very briefly and he indicated that the prosecution is continuing to work with the defense on a plea deal.

(Editor’s note — Let’s hope they finally get a conviction while Woon’s long-suffering mother is still around to see it.)

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Samantha Cunha killed her friend during a bizarre road rage incident. On December 1st, the charge was dismissed.

(Editor’s note — This was the case where Cunha was a passenger in a car driven by Sophia Ardalan when they became involved in a running road rage dispute on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Ardalan was killed when she either got out, or fell out, of her car attempting to confront the motorcyclist in front of a West Hollywood apartment building, and Cunha somehow put the car into reverse, crushing her against a tree.)

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In the latest episode of Drivers Hitting Buildings:

  • On the 6th, a driver smashed into a building at Los Altos Dr. & Caricia Dr. in Hacienda Heights.
  • On Sunday morning, a speeding driver in a Nissan Frontier took out a parked pick-up, a light pole, and the garage at the T-intersection of City Terrace Drive & Ditman.
  • In the wee, wee hours of Monday, the flower shop at Colima & Lambert, the site of a Black Friday fatality, was again collateral damage in a 3-vehicle collision. This time a driver made a drive-thru of it.
  • A driver fled a hit and run on the 710, went zipping down surface streets, and ended up hitting the house at 5th St. & Sydney Dr. (This is not the first time that house has been hit.)
  • On the 3rd, a dipstick departed the Sinclair gas station at Alameda & Nadeau with the gas nozzle still attached. Counts as structural damage?

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There was a candlelight vigil Sunday for a mother & daughter killed on my coworker’s commute route. Last week, she asked, “You do this all the time. Do I take a candle, or will they hand them out there? Is it okay to take more flowers?” I’m  kinda upset to be the go-to for advice on this subject, tbh.

The speed limit on this stretch is 40mph, and this intersection is close to the terminus of the 105 at Studebaker, which has frequent collisions, sometimes involving the already red-tagged building on the east side of the street. Currently, the guardrail “protecting” the sidewalk has a 20-inch dent. Just a half mile up the road, Chandler Ray was killed on his bike.

The killer was released last Tuesday before the tox exam was even returned. She’s out there. Just like Mariah Banks.

………

This was the third Christmas in a row that it was too wet for me & my friends to put up our hit-and-run reward posters… y’know, the some people are in such a rush on Christmas Eve that they really don’t watch out for grannies trying to make their way home. We have really sharp pictures of the suspect and his vehicle, too! The posters and the reindeer hoof print stencils have to wait til next year.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

LA’s standing reward program is working better than we realized, as Crosstown reports the city paid out a total of $300,000 to eleven people for information leading to the conviction of hit-and-run drivers last year.

Prior to last year, the city had only paid three people a total of $55,000 in the previous four years of the program.

The sudden explosion of payments was most likely due the time it takes to make an arrest and for the case to work its way through the court system, according to a police spokesman.

The site also reports that serious hit-and-runs are up in the city, while overall hit-and-runs decreased somewhat.

Los Angeles has seen a rise in people dying or being seriously injured in car crashes. In 2021, there were 359 felony hit and runs in the city that resulted in serious injury or death, up 25% from the 286 in 2020, according to LAPD Traffic Division Compstat data.

Altogether, there were 3,536 felony hit and run cases in Los Angeles last year. That was a decrease of 17% from the 4,273 in 2020.

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Time is running out to voice your thoughts on the planned rush hour bus lanes on La Brea Ave, which would provide a relatively safe route from Hollywood to South LA.

As long as you don’t mind Metro buses running up behind you every ten minutes or so.

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Let’s tip one out for the late, great VeloNews.

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Longtime CNN reporter and host Christiane Amanpour is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1481128809348874240

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The latest Streetfilm illustrates how cargo bikes are revolutionizing family life in New York City.

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

A Seattle man has had more than a dozen surgeries to correct critical injuries suffered when a hit-and-run driver his his bike last month, dragging him for two blocks under the massive SUV, in what he says may have been a deliberate attack.

An Atlanta man faces multiple felony charges for allegedly chasing down a man on a bicycle with a Hummer, then beating him with a baseball bat in an apparent attempt to stiff the victim out of a mere $70 for two days worth of yard work.

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

A Milwaukee bike rider faces a charge of 1st degree intentional homicide for an alleged road rage shooting that took the life of an immigration lawyer after the pair exchanged words; he’s claiming the shooting was in self-defense.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to tell LA County to improve bike and pedestrian access to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area at this evening’s 6:30 pm virtual meeting.

Speaking of Streets For All, the traffic safety PAC is hosting their latest virtual happy hour at 5 pm today, with 26th District California Senator Ben Allen as guest.

Violent crime may be up in Long Beach, just like in most of the country, but bike thefts were down by nearly 22% in the city last year.

 

State

Anaheim is hosting a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider transportation and mobility options for the city’s resort district, including Disneyland; better sidewalks and bike lanes leading from the nearby ARTIC train station would help. The meeting comes five years after the city’s shortsighted decision to cancel a streetcar that would have linked Disneyland with the train station.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes an Oakland TV station to task for displaying its windshield bias by criticizing  bicycle rideout taking over a local freeway, while failing to criticize dangerous drivers using bike lanes. Because one is a lot more dangerous than the other, and it ain’t the kids on bikes. Even if riding on a freeway isn’t the brightest choice. 

No bias here. A San Francisco letter writer says they might as well put up a sign saying “restricted to the young and fit” on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, which advocates are calling on the city to keep closed.

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition objects to a special meeting to once again reconsider a planned road diet that has already been “considered, reconsidered, and reconsidered yet again,” apparently to appease residents opposed to the loss of some parking spaces.

UC Davis has moved its auction of bicycles abandoned on campus online, presumably opening the sale up to anyone. Just in case you’re in the market.

 

National

Kind of a strange post from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who finds his knickers in a twist after criticism from Peter Flax and Doug Gordon of The War on Cars podcast, who made their comments without actually naming him.

Bike mechanics, co-ops, and various advocates and nonprofit advocacy groups are joining together to call for more durable and repairable budget bikes that can last at least 500 riding hours before breaking down, and be fixed when they do. You can sign the petition here. However, you’ll be required to give your full address, which is usually a deal breaker for me.

The second shoe has fallen in Las Vegas, where the family of one of the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver have filed suit against the driver and his employer, as well as the ride’s escort driver, leaving just three more shoes to inevitably fall. The driver, Jordan Barson, is doing 16 to 40 years behind bars for the crash.

Bird watchers in the town nextdoor to my Colorado hometown are up in arms over plans to pave a bike path less than half a mile from a beloved pair of nesting golden eagles, who they fear will be frightened off by “flashing bicycle rims and pink Lycra speeding past at 22 miles an hour.” But evidently, dull rims and yellow or green Lycra is just fine.

Houston is falling behind on a commitment to build 1,800 miles of bike lanes by 2027, as bicycling deaths continue to rise in the city and the surrounding county.

Chicago’s supposedly race-neutral traffic cams somehow managed to disproportionately ticket Black and Latino drivers anyway.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Florida, where an accused hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding a bicycle copped a sweetheart plea deal in a long-delayed conclusion to the 2016 case, walking without a single day behind bars in a case that should could have resulted in four to 15 years behind bars.

 

International

Tragic news from Argentina, where a German man was struck and killed by lightening on just the second day of a planned 1,615-mile ride across the South American country.

A British doctoral student is begging a thief to show a little heart, and bring back the stolen bike her mother gave her as a birthday present to get to class. It’s tempting to say bike thieves don’t have one, but you never know. She might get lucky.

Great idea. An English town is renting new foldies, ebikes and bike trailers, as well as more traditional bikes, for as little as $27 a month, including free delivery and a beginner’s lesson from a bicycling instructor, to get people to try out biking to work or school without having to make a commitment.

A neighborhood in Nottingham, England is going carfree, banning motor vehicles to make roads described as “a racetrack” safer for bike riders and pedestrians. Robin Hood would undoubtedly approve.

Singapore’s Straights Times offers a guide to bicycling in the island city-state, which has some unusually strict regulations.

Now surprise here, as Australian researchers report three-quarters of people surveyed in the country’s Victoria state want to ride their bikes more, but only if there’s safe bike infrastructure to do it in. Which pretty much corresponds with similar surveys everywhere else, including Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Disappointing news, as newly revitalized cyclist Mark Cavendish won’t get a chance to break Eddy Merckx record of 34 stage wins at this year’s Tour de France; the British sprinter, who bounced back from five winless years with a surprising four stage wins last year, will be relegated to the Giro, instead.

Sad news from San Diego, where former Canadian pro cyclist and acupuncturist Greg Bourque died of Covid-related complications just after Christmas; he was 55.

Louisiana’s “challenging” Rouge Roubaix bike race is back this year after a five year hiatus due to flooding and Covid, as well as a misguided local ordinance banning groups of more than ten people on bicycles. Which makes it kind of hard to host a race with hundreds of competitors.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny little ped-assist car. And yes, always check your broken bike to make sure it still works.

Check Your Breaks Screenshot

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

Driver flees on foot after hitting salmon scooter rider in DTLA, and Long Beach teen rideout marred by shoplifting

LA’s hit-and-run plague just keeps on going.

The LAPD is looking for a shirtless driver who ran off on foot after crashing into a woman riding an e-scooter in DTLA.

The victim was riding against traffic when she was struck, which means the driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences if he’d just stuck around.

Instead, he abandoned his car and fled on the sidewalk, for reasons known only to him at this point. It could be that he was drunk or stoned, the car was stolen, or possibly he was in the country illegally and feared deportation.

Or any one of a number of other possible explanations.

Meanwhile, the victim was hospitalized with a head wound, which means there is an automatic $25,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

https://twitter.com/LAPDCTD24/status/1453466605518614530

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Police ordered a group of 200 to 300 mostly teenage bike riders to disperse Sunday afternoon after they were accused of stealing $300 to $400 worth of alcohol and other items from a Signal Hill Food 4 Less.

The teens were taking part in an organized rideout captured in a pair of videos.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to embed them for some reason, so you’ll have to click through to YouTube to see them. 

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Maybe this will finally get the message across.

Of course, first you need a decent protected bike lane to print it on.

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A writer for Pink Bike attempts to ride every mountain bike trail at British Columbia’s Sun Peaks Bike Park in a single weekend.

Although the bike park may have some competition from a new one in Arkansas next year.

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

An English woman is questioning whether it’s worth it to keep riding her bike after a passenger in a passing car attempted to push her off her bicycle.

A Singapore driver was fined the equivalent of over $2,000 for punching a woman riding a bicycle with her three-year old son, after she slapped his car when he nearly ran them over by forcing his way into the lane she was in.

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

A Louisiana man was busted after he robbed a business at gunpoint, then made a failed attempt at a bicycle getaway.

Police in Mad City, Wisconsin are investigating after a woman on a group ride was punched in the face by an angry man on a bike, who was apparently enraged to find the group on the trail, even though they politely moved right to give him room to pass.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers suggestions on how to improve the new Hollywood Metro Bike bikeshare, including more safe spaces to ride them and stop hiding the docks in unobtrusive locations.

The worldwide plague of armed bike theft reared its ugly head in Culver City, where a man on a bicycle accused another man of riding a bike that belonged to his friend, then threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give up his bike and walk away.

A man in his 30s was fatally shot while either riding or walking his bicycle in Long Beach, in what police suspect was a gang shooting.

Artist Sandra de la Loza will lead an art workshop and Dias de Los Muertos bike caravan on Saturday, November 6th (scroll down).

Floyd Mayweather is one of us, as the 44-year old boxing great took to his bicycle on the Venice bike path Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Diego announced a $2.5 million program to fix streets in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood that were damaged by 2007’s Witch Creek Fire, where rutted pavement and potholes posed a particular danger to bike riders and pedestrians.

Now that’s more like it. Santa Cruz is offering rebates up to $400 and zero-interest loans for downtown workers who buy ebikes, as part of a program to encourage alternative modes of transportation to the area.

The director of Berkeley’s transportation department was lucky to escape with a sprained wrist when he was struck head-on by an SUV driver; Farid Javandel was stopped at a stop sign on his bike when the left-turning driver cut the corner and crashed into him.

 

National

Forbes picks their favorite bicycle child seats.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as a new induced demand calculator will help determine just how much traffic will increase when roadways are expanded.

Portland, Oregon is installing painted bicycle crossings at non-signalized intersections, backed by a university study showing the crosswalk-style crossing encourage more drivers to yield to bikes.

An Arizona driver who ran a red light and slammed into a Flagstaff bike parade last March, killing one woman and injuring several other people, now faces multiple felony charges for kiddie porn after police discovered thousands of images on his phone when they got a search warrant to determine whether he was distracted at the time of the crash.

The Waller County, Texas DA promises he’ll make a decision by November 8th whether to charge the coal-rolling teenage driver who ran down six bicyclists who were training for a triathlon last month.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Minnesota man whose license had been revoked faces a charge of criminal vehicular homicide after killing a 73-year old Catholic priest who was riding his bike on the shoulder of a highway; the 26-year old driver has 10 previous convictions for driving with a revoked license in just the last three and a half years. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until it’s too late. He should have been jailed and his car confiscated after the second offense. 

More proof that bike lanes work, as the latest round of data from New York’s Department of Transportation shows painted bike lanes reduce the risk of injury to bike riders by nearly a third, while increasing ridership an average of 50%; protected bike lanes reduced injuries as much as 60%.

Talk about a rough year. A celebrity chef has filed suit against the NYPD alleging he was brutally beaten for violating a curfew when he attempted to deliver a pizza for a bicycle delivery service, after losing his restaurant when he caught Covid-19.

A suspect has been taken into custody after a body was discovered in the New Jersey headquarters of Jamis Bikes; no word yet on who was killed or how it happened.

No bias here. After a Louisiana bike rider was injured in a collision, police bent over backward to blame the victim, while the story fails to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

 

International

No surprise here, as data from around the world shows that bikeshare usage goes up with warmer temperatures until it gets too hot, and wet weather discourages people from riding. In other news, water is wet, the pope is Catholic, and bears defecate in wooded areas.

Vancouver cops are looking for a brazen bike thief who raided an apartment building bike locker by using suction cups to remove the glass door, then used bolt cutters to make off with several high-end bikes.

A 16-year old climate activist is riding a cargo bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow for the COP26 conference, to call attention to the climate emergency.

A Welsh man complains about the overly lenient sentence given the driver who killed his bike-riding father, saying she belongs in jail, rather than walking with a suspended sentence after she played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in her eyes.

A new Tokyo study proposes an algorithm to rebalance bikeshare docks more efficiently, preventing the problem of too many bikes at some docks and not enough at others.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Marianne Martin will be formally inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame next week, 37 years after she won the inaugural, short lived women’s Tour de France; the race will return next year in an abbreviated eight stage format.

Cyclist profiles German ultra cyclist Ulrich ‘Uba’ Bartholmoes, who won the first two ultra cycling races he entered two years ago, and has kept winning ever since.

VeloNews talks with the owner of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team about the daring cloak-and-dagger rescue operation he set in motion to help Afghan cyclists escape the country.

 

Finally…

Maybe antagonizing bike riders isn’t the best way to get their business. If you think you’ve may have an outstanding warrant and could be carrying weed on your bike, put a damn light on it — and try not to crash into a briar patch.

And it’s probably not the best idea to install a bikeshare station where bikes are banned.

………

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

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

……..

CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

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Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

………

If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

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The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

………

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

………

Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

………

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

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