Tag Archive for Long Beach

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Who we share the road with: Alleged road raging DUI driver kills pregnant woman; and help keep Culver Blvd partially carfree

This is who we share the road with.

A pregnant woman and her unborn baby are dead, thanks to the allegedly drunken, road-raging driver she had the misfortune of sharing a pickup cab with.

The driver was allegedly chasing another driver through several blocks in Long Beach when he lost control of his truck, and crashed into a number of other vehicles.

One more tragic reminds that getting behind the wheel brings out the worst in far too many people.

And that some people just shouldn’t drive.

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This is who we share the road with, part two.

And speaking of people who just shouldn’t drive. Or maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive ever again.

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The Culver City council will consider whether to keep Culver Blvd open for people, and partially closed to cars, at tonight’s meeting.

Bike Culver City urges you to voice your support before then.

Meanwhile, my old friend and longtime LA bike advocate Kent Strumpell forwards a reminder about tonight’s webinar to explain upcoming changes to restore the Ballona Wetlands, which will impact the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail.

Reminder: WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands including a Q&A by CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the project planners.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM
Register here:                                                  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

And Streets For All is urging your comments before the LA County Board of Supervisors consider a motion addressing inequities in county infrastructure planning at tomorrow’s meeting.

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This may link to a story from last year.

But it’s a good reminder of what we’ve been saying here for some time. Bike helmets are designed to protect you from a fall off your bike. Not protect your skull — or anything else — from a motor vehicle.

Yes, you should wear one when you ride. I never get on my bike without one.

But don’t expect it to be some sort of magical hat that makes you impervious to injury, head or otherwise.

A bike helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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Admit it.

Your bike club never looked this good.

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

No bias here. The founder of a Chinese American citizen’s alliance argues against planned bike lanes by insisting that only wealthy white people ride bicycles, not ordinary people like the residents of Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Yet somehow, the photo accompanying the article clearly shows two people on bikes, including a heavily loaded cargo bike.

She gets it. A Kiwi writer asks drivers to please stop trying to kill her when she’s riding her bike.

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

British police finally busted a serial groper who allegedly prowled pathways on his mountain bike looking for victims; the 19-year old man is suspected of assaulting at least 20 women.

A Spanish thief has died after he was pushed off his bicycle by a Barcelona cop, who chased him down as he was trying to make his escape after stealing a woman’s cellphone; the death is already under investigation.

………

Local

SoCal Cycling considers the pro football players who’ve added bicycling to their fitness program.

Rapper T.I.’s recent arrest in Amsterdam didn’t scare him off his bike, as he and his wife went for an extended ride in Santa Monica.

 

State

California State Parks wants your input on hike and bike camping.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a young girl was killed when she struck a raised curb while riding her bike downhill and hit her head on a concrete retaining wall. And no, she wasn’t wearing a helmet, despite a California law requiring one for anyone under 18.

A hit-and-run driver turned himself in two days after allegedly killing a bike rider in Ceres last week — but walked out without being arrested, because the CHP said they still needed to build their case. I’d call a confession a pretty good case, but what do I know?

While San Francisco bike riders cheer a decision to ban cars from John F. Kennedy Drive through Golden Gate Park, museums worry the loss of motor vehicle access will halt a post-pandemic rebound. Because evidently, their collections aren’t worth seeing if you can’t park right on top of them.

 

National

Streetsblog says there’s more good news, and even better amendments, in the bipartisan Senate transportation bill. Along with one really bad and unneeded mega-highway.

Wired offers a rudimentary how-to guide for getting into BMX for anyone inspired by the events in the Tokyo Olympics. But no, it’s not everyone’s favorite event, regardless of what the magazine says.

Your next ebike could be a Schwinn-style Harley chopper complete with banana seat and raised handlebars.

An Oklahoma cowboy remembers his wannabe childhood, saying a bicycle is the next best thing when there’s not a horse ride.

Police in New York are looking for a man who spat in the face of a 52-year old woman, and called her a racial slur as she was attempting to dock her bikeshare bike.

Speaking of the NYPD, they’ve arrested the alleged hit-and-run scooter rider who ran down 65-year old Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, then went directly to a bike shop to get his scooter fixed while she lay dying

A New Yorker decides he’ll have to leave the city if it replaces free curbside parking with a bike lane, because evidently, there’s no other way to get around in the American city best served by transit.

Scammers are switching QR codes on bikeshare bikes in the Big Apple, getting a free $3 ride when an unsuspecting mark scans it — and maybe even a free bike.

 

International

A Canadian writer traveling 5,000 miles as part of a cross-country group decries reckless drivers, calling them the scourge of bicyclists, and saying maybe they’d reconsider their actions if they could see the world from a bicycle seat.

A British bike rider credits a “guardian angel” with saving his life after he lost control of his bicycle and plunged 30 feet off a bridge and into the river below; he was rescued by an RAF doctor who watched the crash from her home just a few feet away.

Half of all adults in the UK are considering buying an ebike.

Reminiscing about a childhood bicycle crash, a British TV host was the living definition of oversharing, as he told about having to have his partially severed penis sewed back on afterwards.

Bicycling Australia examines the intersection of van life and bike life, living the life of a bike bum while living out of your van.

This one’s easily the story of the day. A New Zealand woman wants to thank the young man who loaned her his own “expensive” bicycle so she could make a followup exam with her cardiologist on time, after her bike suffered a flat he couldn’t fix. He then walked her bike to the office to exchange it for his, before riding off without a word.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to San Diego native Jennifer Valente on winning the women’s omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, the first ever track cycling gold medal for US women, after a massive crash took out much of the competition.

Now that the Olympics are over, the Tokyo Paralympics move in to take their place; San Diego microbiome researcher Josie Fouts went from reluctant bike commuter to elite paracycling champ representing the US in just a few months.

 

Finally…

It doesn’t matter how cool you think you look on your bike, Hollywood still thinks you’re a dork. Why should people be the only ones who get to ride, when animals might like it, tooThanks to an anonymous source for the link.

And there’s DIY, and then there’s assault with a hacksaw.

………

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

Unofficial Bixby bike lane opening on new Desmond Bridge, Beverly Hills popup on Sunday, and the cost of traffic violence

That long-planned bike lane over the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge is finally still not open.

The Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path was inaugurated with a private ceremony Saturday on what is now called the Long Beach International Gateway Bridge.

The bike advocating scion of one of Long Beach’s most prominent families, Bixby had fought for a bikeway along the bridge prior to his death ten years ago in a private plane crash, along with four other people.

Despite the ceremony for Bixby’s family and friends, the path is not expected to open to the rest of us for several more months, while a connector bridge leading to it won’t be ready for another year and a half.

………

The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills is demonstrating just how far they’ve come.

The city is hosting a popup protected bike lane on Roxbury Drive next to Roxbury Park from 10 am to 4 pm this coming Sunday. The lane is designed to protect riders while connecting with existing bikeways in Los Angeles, without removing any parking spaces.

Which means there’s a realistic chance it might actually get built.

Meanwhile, this is what we could and should have here in Los Angeles.

………

Hats off to LA’s Metro Bike workers on their successful campaign to form a union to protect their rights with the company that manages the Los Angeles bikeshare system.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Another promising life was needlessly cut short, for the crime of crossing the street near the Beverly Center.

As usual, there is a standing $50,000 reward for his killer.

Police are looking for the driver of a white BMW driving east on Beverly Blvd. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0234.

………

The Netherlands is advancing bike safety by removing protected bike lanes on some streets, redesigning them to give priority to the vast majority of users.

The people on bicycles.

………

Who says bike riders never stop for red lights?

………

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

Anti-bike sabotage rears its ugly head in Colorado, where someone has apparently been tossing thumb tacks on a popular bike lane.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a Kalamazoo, Michigan ghost bike. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

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

A Buffalo NY man faces charges for injuring two men with an illegal gun in a bike-by shooting.

A road raging bike rider faces charges for attacking a lawyer on his way to court, after somehow getting blamed for the Indian equivalent of a right hook. A reminder to never resort to violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time, because you’ll automatically get the blame.

………

Local

Streets For All reminds us that the LACBC and Sunset4All are over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 for LA’s first public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on the eastern part of Sunset Blvd; make that 55% as of this writing. So what the hell are you waiting for, already?

 

State

A man was seriously injured in a collision in Downtown San Diego when a driver crashed into the e-scooter he was riding.

Also in San Diego, a 65-year-old man suffered a skull fracture, fractured pelvis and multiple other injuries when he was run down by a suspected drunk driver while walking his ebike, after it had apparently run out of juice; fortunately, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

They get it. Instead of cracking down on teen bike riders, police in Fresno are riding with them.

Santa Cruz pulled up stakes on a popup bike lane, after saying they don’t have the money to make it permanent. Especially since it didn’t even get the full endorsement of a bicycling club.

They kind of get it. San Jose will consider reducing future parking, while leaving all the current spaces intact.

Uber’s CEO says he nearly got killed delivering food by bike outside San Francisco’s Oracle Park baseball stadium for the company’s Uber Eats program.

Alpine County’s 40th annual Death Ride took a back seat to a real risk of death, after it was cancelled when Northern California’s Tamarack fire exploded to over 18,000 acres. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

If you’re riding a bike in Ukiah carrying meth and a loaded gun, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is. Not the gun.

 

National

Two-time NBA champ Ray Allen is one of us, crediting his helmet with saving him from “a far worse fate” after he ran over a tree branch and was thrown from his bicycle.

Outside looks at the new mountain bike boomtown of Ely, Nevada.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bike from a disabled Minneapolis woman. Seriously, just how low do you have to be to steal someone a person relies on for accessibility, let alone transportation? Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

The off-duty Chicago cop who killed a nine-year old boy with his jacked-up pickup as the kid was riding his bike in a crosswalk got a traffic ticket for “failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road. Yes, a lousy traffic ticket was all he got for killing an innocent kid.

Police in Arkansas used a pair of bait bikes worth nearly four grand to bust a bike thief suspected in a number of high-end bike thefts. But the LAPD still won’t use bait bikes to confront rampant bike theft in Los Angeles, thanks to a ruling from the City Attorney that it might be considered entrapment — despite their successful use in a number of other cities in California and across the US.

Forget driving, and explore Indiana’s Notre Dame University by bicycle.

A Massachusetts ebike maker is introducing a new bicycle for first responders, complete with a 70 mph top speed and its own drone.

Horrible news from New York, where man riding a bikeshare bike was shot and killed at point blank range.

Heartbreaking news from New Orleans, where a baby was found stabbed to death in a bicycle trailer; police arrested the baby boy’s mother after finding a sharpened railroad spike covered in blood on her bicycle.

 

International

A writer for Medium makes the case that streets are for people, not cars.

Portland will donate 600 used bikeshare bikes to Hamilton, Ontario, to help keep that city’s bikeshare system going after it nearly shut down last year.

British authorities punish the victim, jailing a man whose bicycle had been stolen for confronting the thief with a fake gun to get it back; he got 13 months behind bars, while the thief only got four.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike. But at least he won’t be able to drive again until he’s 86. And yes, that was sarcasm.

Our old friends Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, who uprooted their two kids to move from Vancouver to the Dutch city of Delft, discuss just how their new home gets bicycling right.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’s leading bicycle advocacy group called for a get-tough approach to people who hack their ebikes to exceed the 15 mph speed limit on bike paths, as much as doubling the allowable speed.

An Indian engineer hacked an old bicycle to convert it into an ebike capable of riding at 25 mph, for the equivalent of $267.

A writer for Stars and Stripes begs bike riders to pay attention in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as 22-year old Slovenian Tadej Pogačar took his second consecutive Tour de France in such convincing fashion, it raises the question of whether everyone will be racing for second place for the foreseeable future.

Pogačar swore there’s nothing illegal about his bike, after riders from other teams said they heard strange noises emanating from the rear of his bike, and that of his teammates and three other teams; it didn’t help that Pogačar’s teammate Matej Mohorič made an ill-advised “zipped lip” gesture after winning stage 19.

It’s not every day a pro cyclist turns hero. Chris Froome, Philippe Gilbert and BikeExchange’s Christopher Juul-Jensen were riding back to their buses at the end of stage 17 when they saw a bike-riding tourist ride off the road into a ravine after missing a turn, so they hopped off their bikes and climbed around 65 feet down to rescue him; the man was injured badly enough that he had to be evacuated by ambulance.

Thirty-year old former pro Ian Boswell faces the difficult choice of whether to turn pro again and return to full-time cycling after winning June’s Unbound Gravel race.

Once again, LA’s own diversity-based L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team swept the podium on the men’s side at the third round of USA Crits in Salt Lake City; L39ion’s women’s team sat this one out, giving other teams a shot at victory.

Disappointing to see Cavendish miss out on breaking Eddy Merckx record for most stage wins in the Tour de France, but no one makes the right moves all the time. But after four stage wins in this year’s race, along with capturing the points title, there’s a good chance he’ll get another shot next year.

 

Finally…

Your next full suspension mountain bike could be made of plywood. That feeling when you live in San Diego, and decide to ride your bike to grandma’s 90th birthday celebration — in North Dakota.

And how to spot a clown behind the wheel, without the big red nose and stuff.

………

Thanks to Raul M for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

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

Car chases end on LA-area bike paths, couple kidnaps and tortures prospective bike buyer, and weigh in on Glendora Ave

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

The assorted health issues stemming from my diabetes, and the many and varied meds to treat them, conspired to knock me on my ass all Tuesday night and most of the following day.

One more reminder that diabetes sucks.

Virtually all my health problems are the result of doctors who insisted I’d never get diabetes, despite a family history on both sides, allowing it to go undetected for as much as 20 years. 

So if you’re at risk, get checked. And don’t believe anyone who insists your bicycling, lean build and/or healthy diet means you won’t get it. 

Then do whatever you have to do to avoid it.

Because trust me, you don’t want this shit.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

………

Los Angeles TV viewers watched live Tuesday evening as a car theft suspect led police on a high speed chase before briefly driving on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path.

He then abandoned the allegedly stolen van to run across the 90 Freeway during rush hour traffic, and apparently made a failed attempt to buy, beg or steal a man’s bicycle back on the path.

All in vain, as it turned out, as the bike rider refused, and police tackled the man in a grassy field shortly later.

It appeared to be a common theme for the day.

Two other suspects appeared to escape capture earlier Tuesday after an extended high speed chase that ended in Long Beach.

They, too, abandoned the car — apparently their own, this time — and beat an escape by walking along the LA River bike path.

………

Buyer beware, indeed.

A New Mexico couple faces a raft of charges after allegedly kidnapping a man who came to their house to buy a bicycle.

They reportedly were looking for someone they said owed them money. But they’re likely to get long prison terms, instead.

And yes, this is why you should always meet prospective bike buyers or sellers in a public place.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on a safer Glendora Ave.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1361767303843471360

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Learn how to fight for, and implement, effective Vision Zero programs.

Hint: Find politicians with more commitment and courage than LA’s weak kneed mayor and city council.

………

Ever get the feeling they’re just trying to thin the herd?

https://twitter.com/just_barely/status/1361626101559271424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1361626101559271424%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-17-february-2021-280977

………

Here’s today’s mountain biking break, courtesy of the “insanely long” trails of Idaho’s Silver Mountain bike park.

………

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

An Aussie bike rider voiced his obvious displeasure after a driver passed far too close and too fast.

………

Local

It’s getting closer. The new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge connecting Elysian Valley and Cypress Park is about three-quarters done. Let’s just hope it’s worth the $18 million price tag, which is more than two to three times the original estimate.

KCET highlights 12 bikeable spots to explore in WeHo’s Rainbow District, aka Boystown, viewable along the bike lane on Santa Monica Blvd. Some I didn’t even know about, like the Door’s offices and rehearsal space, where Jim Morrison laid tracks for L.A. Woman.

Sofi Tucker is one, uh, two of us, as the EDM DJ duo partnered with Venice Beach’s Solé Bicycles for a limited-edition white and purple single-speed bike called The Purple Cheetah, in honor of its paint job and cheetah-print seat.

 

State

Congrats to carfree bike rider Jacob Madel on his appointment as the new advocacy manager for the San Diego Bike Coalition.

A coalition of San Diego advocacy groups reaffirms its support for protected bike lanes on 30th Street through the North Park neighborhood.

San Diego letter writers debate the virtues of protected bike lanes, with frequent BikinginLA contributor Phillip Young taking the contrary view.

Completing our San Diego foursome, 51-year old Leovardo Salceda may finally face very belated justice, 32 years after he allegedly fatally shot bike rider Oliver Harrison with a stray bullet.

Maybe San Francisco construction crews are starting to get it, apparently thinking more about bike riders and other vulnerable road users when setting up their work zones.

Sad news from Riverbank, where a teenaged boy was killed in a collision while riding his bike at 2:30 am.

 

National

Bicycling says Vanmoof’s team of bike hunters could make stolen bicycles a thing of the past. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

Esquire rates the seven best bikes to choose from if you want to ride in style this year, ranging in price from around $300 to $1,200.

A Seattle nonprofit uses bakfiets cargo bikes to deliver food and supplies for food banks; 450 volunteers have transported over 88 tons of food since the pandemic started last spring.

The Killers’ Brandon Flowers is one of us, as the lead singer of the Las Vegas-based band will have shoulder surgery for a mountain biking injury.

Nevada’s Clark County, home to Las Vegas, belatedly gives bike riders the right to take the lane.

They get it. The latest draft of Missoula, Montana’s long-range transportation plan is heavy on bike lanes, greenways, shared-use paths and Complete Streets, while dropping a proposed freeway interchange. Now if Los Angeles could just somehow make that leap.

Meet a Missouri man who’s lived carfree for the last 14 years, riding his bike more than an hour to work every day, regardless of the weather.

An Ohio bike shop got a stolen BMX bike back when the owner’s mother called the mother of one of the suspected thieves, asking for her son do the right thing. Which in this case, meant buying it back from the person he sold it to before he could return it.

You can now rent an ebike in New York for $99 a month.

The American spy who killed a 19-year old British man when she slammed into his motorcycle, then fled the scene — and the country, claiming diplomatic immunity — offered to go into mediation when a Virginia court refused to dismiss the civil suit against her. Sadly, the Trump administration refused to send her back to the UK to face charges, and Biden appears to be following suit.

The Virginia Senate approved measures requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders when they can’t give a three-foot passing distance and allow bicyclists to ride two abreast, but punted on adopting the Idaho Stop Law.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could come with built-in lights, complete with your choice of light(er) weight and air vents, or self-charging solar panels.

Banksy’s recent English bike mural is literally off the wall, after it was sold, bricks and all, to an art gallery for an undisclosed six-figure price, despite claims that it really belonged to the people of Nottingham, rather than the building owner who sold it.

A British man will have to find a new home for the hundreds of broken bikes he fixes to give away on Facebook or raffle to raise funds for nonprofits, after his homeowner’s group gave them the boot from his own driveway.

An Irish researcher says a helmet and hi-viz are less effective than segregated infrastructure to improve bicycle safety.

Cyclist touts Les Trois Cols as possibly the greatest bicycling loop in the French Alps, traversing three mountain passes while offering challenging climbs and spectacular views.

F1 driver Fernando Alonso is back in the saddle training for the upcoming motorsports season in Switzerland, just days after surgery to repair his jaw and teeth damaged in a bicycling collision.

An Indian paper asks if the pandemic-induced bike boom is safe and there to stay.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A New Zealand man who killed a bike rider is asking to get his driver’s license back, less than a year after the distracted driving crash; the judge disqualified himself because he has feared for his own safety while biking on the same road.

The Australian edition of Gizmodo examines how the bicycle changed the world for women.

 

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. Thirty-three year old former bike messenger Ayesha McGowan has joined Liv Racing, achieving her high-profile goal of becoming the first Black American woman to compete on the World Tour, just six years after first taking up the sport. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The US men’s road cycling team for this year’s Tokyo Olympics could fit in a bobsled. No, a two man bobsled.

 

Finally…

VeloNews meets Vogue. When you’re riding a bike, with an outstanding warrant for car theft hanging over your head, just put a damn light on it, already.

And this pretty much sums it all up.

………

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

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!

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

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

………

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

………

Maybe the war on cars really is a thing.

………

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.

………

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

Right?

………

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.

………

………

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

………

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. 

Former Long Beach bartender Sky Sunday killed riding ebike in Landers hit-and-run

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has died alone on the side of the roadway because a heartless coward couldn’t be bothered to stop or call for help.

According to the Hi-Desert Star, 37-year Sky Sunday was killed Thanksgiving evening when he was hit by the driver of a Ford Explorer in Landers, in San Bernardino County.

Sunday was riding south on Belfield Boulevard just past Encantado Road when he was run down shortly after dark, around 5:25 pm.

The driver fled the scene.

Sunday’s body was discovered by a Yucca Valley family, about 15 minutes after they’d spotted him riding his ebike wearing a yellow helmet.

A CHP officer attempted CPR until paramedics arrived, but it was too late. There’s no way to know at this time whether he might have been saved if he’d gotten help sooner.

A Minnesota native, Sunday had worked as a bartender in Long Beach until he lost his job as a result of the pandemic. He was staying with his dog in a friend’s cabin in Landers when he was killed.

Now his dog waits in vain for Sunday to come back home.

Friends described him as a beautiful soul, and the definition of a free spirit. Now he’s dead, and the driver who murdered him remains free.

Friends were able to locate security video showing the SUV, but not in enough detail for investigators to identify who was behind the wheel.

It’s described as a 1995 to 2001 Ford Explorer, color unknown, with extensive front end damage including a missing grill.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer Schmidt at 760/366-3707.

This is at least the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sky Sunday and his loved ones. 

Photo released in Long Beach hit-and-run, Biden endorses bike/ped infrastructure, and no end to bike shortage soon

The good news is, my new carpal tunnel wrist braces are helping with the pain. 

The bad news is, they’re really slowing down my workflow by restricting my usually flying fingers. 

But who needs sleep, anyway?

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels.

………

Long Beach police released a security cam photo of the semi-truck and trailer involved in the hit-and-run crash that killed 56-year old Lisa Termin last month.

However, they’re already absolving the driver of responsibility, noting he or she may be unaware they hit anyone.

That may be theoretically possible, if unlikely, depending on how and where she was struck by the truck.

………

Not only is our presumptive president elect one of us, Joe Biden’s plans for his first term include better bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

https://twitter.com/awalkerinLA/status/1325647777972432896

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Don’t plan on getting that new bike you’re pining for anytime soon.

Bicycling reports the shortage caused by the bike boom could last into 2022.

Both retailers and manufacturers say they haven’t seen such demand for bikes in several decades. Revard said that despite manufacturers significantly ramping up production, his industry contacts estimate the pandemic-fueled bike and part shortage will continue into 2021 and—based on what brands are quietly telling their retailers—may even last until 2022.

The magazine adds the lower-end bikes are in higher demand, so you may have better luck if you’re willing to spend more. Or consider buying a used bike.

Just be sure to check with Bike Index and 529 Garage to make sure you aren’t buying someone else’s stolen wheels.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

………

This is whole share the roads with.

A 67-year old man was killed when he was severely beaten by a road raging driver following a Compton crash, then run over several times with his own car.

………

It takes a real bike rider to see a story like this and only notice the bike.

………

Fair warning. You never know who’s on that bike.

https://twitter.com/Sir_Labz/status/1325341053382242304

………

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

Who’s shocked that the ultra conservative British politician behind Brexit would turn out to be a bike hater, too? Road.cc explains how and why Nigel Farage is full of merde.

No bias here. The same London paper that hosted Farage’s diatribe insists it’s time to end the bike lane madness, accusing bike infrastructure of being the cause of traffic congestion, while ignoring the role played by all those people in cars, trucks and SUVs.

No bias here, either. A Glasgow letter writer complains about inexperienced bike riders on a “rarely used” bike lane. And experienced ones, too. But how can it be rarely used if there are enough bicyclists on it to complain about?

Apparently offended that a bicyclist took offense at nearly being run off the road, an English driver gives him a needless brake check just to prove what a horse’s ass he really is.

Then there’s this.

https://twitter.com/JHop_Seattle/status/1325649464707538946

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Local

Votes are still being counted, but nearly half of the candidates endorsed by Streets for All have won their races.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says LA Councilmember Paul Koretz must listen to his constituents or risk losing his office. While I appreciate the sentiment, if they read their own paper, they’d know Koretz will be termed out in 2022, and planning a run for city controller.

A new lawsuit accuses pair of on-duty Compton city employees of killing bike rider Jose Portillo in a high speed crash in June of last year.

No surprise here, as South Pasadena nears approval of a climate plan that will depend on reducing car usage.

 

State

Sad news from Santa Clara, where an 84-year old woman was killed in a collision while riding against traffic.

 

National

Outside recommends the best women’s gear for fall mountain biking.

Hip Hop star Swae Lee is one of us, as he celebrates bike life with his two-wheeled crewe.

A Denver man recovered his stolen Trek after seeing it on a TV news report from a homeless camp.

Chicago Streetsblog lists ways to mitigate the risk on group rides as Covid-19 explodes across the US; rates have doubled over just the past three weeks.

A Massachusetts paper catches up with former BMX champ Tony Peloquin, who now airs it out in New England skate parks just for fun.

A bike-riding New York city council candidate learns the hard way that aspiring to public office is no guarantee of protection from crappy drivers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. New York’s 750-mile Empire State Trail is expected to open later this year, connecting the Big Apple to the Canadian border. Even though Canada isn’t letting Americans in during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No surprise when the hit-and-run driver who ran down a pair of bike riders in a Florida retirement community turns out to be an 89-year old woman. She probably shouldn’t have still been driving at that age to begin with.

 

International

Treehugger explains why we should sell Vision Zero like a car commercial.

Pink Bike offers a “cacophony of whimsical bike illustrations” courtesy of artist Cy Whitling.

When Canadian musician Adrian House’s car-based tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in support of his latest album was blocked by Covid-19, he bought a special pannier for his guitar and did it by bike. And no, you can’t find his music on iTunes, I tried.

UK Olympic cycling legend Chris Boardman argues that it’s safer not to wear a bike helmet for casual riding.

Now that’s more like it. A Scottish pizza parlor is honored for refusing to serve drivers who parked in the bike lane, as well as offering a ten percent discount for customers who come by bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A heartbroken British father offers an emotional tribute to his 11-year old son, who was killed by a driver as he was riding his bike with his best friend, who was also killed.

UK auto parts and bike dealer Halfords stepped in to give a 12-year old heart transplant recipient a new bike after thieves stole the rear wheel of his bike, damaging the brakes and chain in the process.

The Netherlands is exploring technology to automatically cut power to ebikes entering residential and built-up areas in an effort to reduce deaths.

A pair of mountain bikers take a mostly singletrack tour on the Stoneman Taurista trail through the Austrian Alps. The photos alone are worth the click.

Munich, Germany pulls the plug on the city’s coronavirus-inspired pop-up bike lanes, apparently assuming Germans aren’t into winter biking.

The bikeshare system in Panchkula is proving far more successful than other Indian cities, despite being less than half the size.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just weeks after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the Tour de France, former Slovenian ski jumper Primož Roglič bounced back to secure the top of the podium in the Vuelta.

Thirty-eight-year old Australian Rory Sutherland calls it a career after 18 years in the pro peloton.

Chris Froome pulled the plug on his career with Team Ineos, nee Team Sky, after 11 years and four Tour de France titles; he’ll ride for Israel Start-Up Nation as he seeks a record-tying fifth win next year. Even though He Who Must Not Be Named won seven, but everyone is pretending he didn’t. So there’s that.

Hats off to Florida’s Chris Nikic, who became the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in an Ironman triathlon.

 

Finally…

Evidently, hot wax is good for bike chains, as well as bikini lines. Fall off your bike looking for mushrooms, and find a stash of rare coins, instead.

And who needs a horse to rob a train when you’ve got a bicycle?

………

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

Update: Woman riding bike killed by semi driver in Long Beach hit-and-run; 2nd fatal Long Beach bicycling hit-and-run in 3 months

A woman has been killed while riding a bike in yet another SoCal hit-and-run.

And once again, it happened in Long Beach.

According to the Long Beach Post, the victim was struck by the driver of a semi-truck at Artesia Blvd and Downey Ave around 9 pm Wednesday.

The driver continued without stopping, leaving his victim, identified only as a 56-year old Bellflower resident, to die at the scene.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on which direction she was riding, or how the crash happened. And no information on which way the driver fled.

The truck is described only as a semi with a white cab and large white trailer. It may or may not have any visible damage.

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

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It’s also the second fatal bicycling hit-and-run in Long Beach in the last three months.

Update: The victim has been identified as 56-year old Lisa Termin of Bellflower.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lisa Termin and all her loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up. 

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