Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

17-year old bike rider Ernesto Manzano Jr. killed riding against traffic in Monterey Park

Yet another tragic reminder to never ride against traffic.

According the Pasadena Star News, 17-year old Los Angeles resident Ernesto Manzano Jr. was riding downhill on the wrong side of the road when he was hit dead-on by a driver headed in the opposite direction around 6:40 Friday evening.

Sadly Manzano died at the scene.

Authorities place the collision near the intersection of Crest Vista Drive and Windover Way in Monterey Park.

They don’t say what street the crash was on; however, the driver was headed north, which suggests they both were on Cresta Vista.

The driver remained at the scene; police don’t believe drug or alcohol played a factor in the crash.

Unfortunately, riding salmon probably did.

Wrong way riding may seem safer, since it allows you to see oncoming traffic. However, it greatly increases the risk of a collision, because drivers don’t expect to see you coming towards them, while dramatically reducing reaction times.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Monterey Park Police Department watch commander at 626/307-1200.

This is at least the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

It also appears to be the first LA County bicycling death in two months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernesto Manzano Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Covid closes SoCal beaches for holiday weekend, Metro reveals recovery plans, and a visit with a bike-riding paletero

Santa Barbara became the latest SoCal county to close its beaches for the holiday weekend yesterday.

That means a nearly unbroken string of city and county beach closures stretching from north of Camp Pendleton through Santa Maria. The closures include the beachfront bike paths in LA County, but it’s not clear if it includes bike path closures in other counties, so check before you go.

State run beaches will remain open, including paths for biking and walking, but parking lots will be closed through Monday to discourage overcrowding.

All of which means San Clemente is likely to get overrun with beachgoers this weekend.

Let’s just hope they’re right about coronavirus not spreading easily outdoors.

But wherever you ride, do it safely and defensively.

I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone one else, this weekend.

Photo by David Drexler.

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Metro’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is out with plans for how the LA area can move forward as the city recovers from the coronavirus, without the seemingly inevitable gridlock as people go back to their auto-centric daily routines.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at Metro’s plans, including an increase in dedicated bus lanes, and possibly taking bikeshare in house to better meet the needs of underserved communities.

Then there’s this.

Metro’s task force recommends a “quick roll-out of more bike infrastructure.” The lack of safe, convenient places to bike has long been a limiting factor inhibiting bicycling in Southern California. What is tricky for Metro is that bikeways are largely out of Metro’s jurisdiction. Metro has roles to play, but municipalities – primarily cities – are ultimately responsible for the bike-unfriendly state of local streets. The task force says Metro should “partner with cities on strategies for rapid deployment of bike improvements.”

So let’s hope Metro can give LA a much-needed push in the right direction.

Linton also goes on to quote a certain bike website writer’s reaction to the plans.

But you’ll have to read his story to see what I had to say.

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Moving piece from the LA Times, which spends a day with an immigrant paletero, or pushcart ice cream vendor, who begins and ends every day riding his bike to and from work.

Mauro Rios Parra is one of the countless Angelenos, immigrant and otherwise, who depend on their bikes for transportation and to earn a living. And who are too often ignored by city planners and elected officials.

According to the story, Rios Parra hasn’t seen his family in Oaxaca for 16 years. But his modest pushcart has helped put one child through med school, and two others through law school.

Which he probably couldn’t have done if he had a car instead of a bike.

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Bicycles allow bike cops to respond quickly and quietly to rapidly changing situations. Unfortunately, that appears to include attacking seemingly peaceful Seattle protesters.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Let’s see Peter Sagan pull this one off with the pro peloton if they ever get back to racing in real life.

https://twitter.com/engineeringvids/status/1278755531352662016

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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WTF? Why would any family need an SUV that does one eighty? They should send this cat straight back to the hell it came from.

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Local

Somehow we missed this Streetsblog piece on family-friendly bike rides accessible by Metro transit.

Police are still looking for the second bike and skateboard-riding groper who sexually assaulted a number of women in the Venice and Culver City areas; another suspect was arrested recently.

 

State

The CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who sideswiped a bike-riding Santa Rosa woman with a trailer; the CHP politely gave the driver a built-in alibi, saying they may not even know they hit anyone.

 

National

Forbes offers advice on how to buy a new mountain bike.

Bicycling tries out the updated 2020 edition of the 1965 Schwinn Collegiate. And likes it.

How to use your water bottle to brush debris from your tires without risking stitches.

A Portland group has created a guide to corking intersections with your bike to protect social justice protests.

Back in my hometown, a university cop is pledging to ride her bike 400 miles this month to benefit Black Lives Matter, and mark the 400-plus years African Americans have been fighting for social justice.

After recovering from testicular cancer, a Texas man who grew up with the nickname Porky got serious about bicycling, which helped him drop 167 pounds while riding up to 200 miles in a day.

A Massachusetts minister suggests taking a spiritual spin on your bike. But don’t be a bicycle Bozo.

The New York Times looks at the city’s bicycle Black Lives Matter protests that have brought thousands of bike riders to the streets to demand social justice.

An off-duty New York cop faces charges for hit-and-run and assault after crashing into a man on a bike, then pushing a bystander before fleeing the scene.

A New York writer says the city’s new e-scooter pilot program is great, but all he really wants is a safe place to park his bike.

 

International

Pink Bike turns into Bicycle Vogue, with a focus on summer mountain bike fashions for men, while Refinery 29 seems more concerned with keeping you stylish on your commuter bike.

The Department of DIY struck in London once again, as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion painted their own popup bike lane through Kensington.

A Scottish program is providing the equivalent of $1.25 million to help local councils, community groups and universities buy ebikes and e-cargo bikes; a previous $2.37 million bought 875 ebikes and 41 e-cargo bikes to replace car trips. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The BBC examines how helmets, including bike helmets, can keep your fragile brain safe.

A new study shows France is rediscovering the bicycle, with sales up 117% in the first month since the country’s pandemic lockdown was lifted.

 

Competitive Cycling

The actual Tour de France won’t take place until late next month, but a virtual version will kick off this weekend. Maybe they’ll have virtual jostling in the peloton, with virtual falls and virtual road rash. And virtual failed dope tests, too.

Speaking of virtual racing, an Indian army colonel finished fourth in this year’s virtual RAAM, becoming the fourth Indian rider to finish the grueling race, more or less.

A New Zealand navy veteran plans to compete in cycling events in next year’s Invictus Games using a 3D-printed metal pedal spacer and cleat, after injuries from a helicopter crash left one leg shorter than the other.

 

Finally…

If your friend tries to sell your bike without your permission, maybe you need to rethink your friends. Apparently, take one, leave one applies to bike thieves, too.

And nothing like going out for a bike ride and getting stuck in traffic.

Funny how they seem more willing to share the road than LA drivers, and less likely to use their horns.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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

LA County shuts down beach bike path, attempted mugging on San Gabriel River trail, and hit-and-run driver cops a plea

You can forget those plans for a 4th of July ride along the beach this weekend.

LA County officials responded to a dramatic uptick in Covid-19 cases by once again closing beaches within the county, including the iconic beachfront bike path.

As Hahn’s tweet states, the beach and bike path closures go into effect this Friday, and are scheduled to last through the following Monday, at least for now.

Although the sheriff says he won’t bother to enforce it.

As you can imagine, though not everyone is pleased. This is what one person, who asked to remain anonymous, had to say.

You don’t see me shoot profanities very often, but a re-closure of the bike path is pure bullshit!

Cyclists on a path are not the cause of increasing virus cases.

It’s bars, restaurant sit-ins, people socializing at people homes without masks, people I saw paying at parks together with no mask, people at the beach I saw often playing volleyball with no mask, it’s just stupid people who think they know better and don’t want to be told what to do along with a President that is not wearing a mask as an example of what everyone should do. Why is the President not on TV everyday with a mask telling people I wear mask and you should too.

We live in a country of A-holes and ignorants and that is why the virus is spreading.

Forgive my outburst — I can’t believe they need to punish cyclists and I needed someone to bitch to

That’s what I’m here for.

But make no mistake. The idea that Covid-19 would go away without severe restrictions has clearly revealed itself as the fairy tale it is.

And we’re likely in for a long, deadly battle that will touch most of us in some way before it’s over.

Photo of recent bike path closure by David Drexler

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That wasn’t the only email I received from a concerned bike rider yesterday.

Another person who asked to remain anonymous said he was attacked by a stoned homeless man over the weekend.

Just a brief heads up for your readers — watch out at those underpasses on the San Gabriel bike path, especially the one at Imperial Blvd in Norwalk.  Regular riders of that bike path know Imperial Blvd because of all of the graffiti.

I was riding early Sunday morning and had a transient try to knock me off my bike as I came up from the underpass (with a kick). Presume they may have been after my bike. Not too smart as they chose someone much larger than they.

I’m fine, no worse for wear, knocked off balance but not off my bike. I reported to 911, so hopefully, the sheriff will keep an eye out, too.

Crazy times.

Attacks like that aren’t common, but they do happen. So just be careful anytime you find yourself isolated and hidden from public view.

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Thirty-five-year old Chase Edward Richard accepted a plea for the hit-and-run crash that severely injured fellow Ramona resident Michelle Scott as she was riding her bike to work in Poway last October.

Richard pled guilty to felony counts of reckless driving and vandalism in exchange for a three year and eight month sentence, with just two years of that behind bars in county jail.

Meanwhile, his victim remains in a nursing care facility, as she struggles recover from a major brain injury.

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LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare is free this weekend, with discounts on memberships, as well.

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277783961872355329

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277785192401448961

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Riverside’s mayor invites you to join a family friendly, socially distanced 4th of July bike ride.

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LADOT will host a webinar tomorrow to discuss what will be South LA’s first protected bike lane.

And speaking of webinars, the Vision Zero Network will host one at 11 am PDT (2 pm EDT) to discuss the myth of distracted pedestrians.

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They get it.

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Nice piece, as the director of a Canadian mountain bike camp wants to make riding easier for the kids in his charge.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever hurled a racial slur at a 14-year old New Mexico, then followed up by hurling a rock at his head.

No bias here. The British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole for his ability to get dangerous drivers off the hook is back with yet another anti-bike rant. (Scroll down to second item)

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

British Columbia police are looking for a road-raging bicyclist who whacked a bystander with his U-lock after the man complained when he ran a stop sign. As we’ve said many times, violence is never the answer; just take a breath and ride away.

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Local

Advocacy group Streets For All needs your help to make LA’s Slow Streets permanent, and ensure the city follows its own mobility plan when it repaves city streets.

Isla Fisher is on of us, as a British tabloid swears that’s really her under that mask riding her bike.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is hiring a part-time Outreach Coordinator.

 

National

A new guardrail along an Oregon highway may improve safety for people in cars, but it makes the road more dangerous for people on bikes.

A pair of pro cyclists from my bike-friendly hometown offer unusually practical tips for riding a bike, including practice etiquette and find a local bike shop you love.

Sad news from Minneapolis, where a motorcycle rider was killed in a collision with a bicyclist; police say speeding and alcohol use appeared to be factors in the crash.

Up to 1,000 people rode through Manhattan in support of Black Lives Matter over the weekend.

Former New York transportation commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, who popularized the term, is proposing a carfree bike/ped bridge connecting Queens and Manhattan to avoid exactly that.

The New York Daily News says its time to finally bring an e-scooter pilot program to the streets of Gotham, nearly three years after they swept the rest of the world.

A US Army Band member rode his bike 500 miles in 33 hours to raise funds for a startup organization to mentor high school students to get into college; it took 250 laps around a two-mile Baltimore circuit to complete the ride.

 

International

Cyclist tells you how to check your chain for wear and tear.

A man in Canada’s Prince Edward Island is giving free ice cream coupons to people wearing bike helmets, 50 years after he suffered a brain injury while riding his bike.

Edinburg and Glasgow, Scotland, are offering free bikeshare rides to encourage bike riding as the UK starts to come out of lockdown.

Once again, an English pedestrian has died in a collision with a bike rider as he was crossing a bike lane. This time, the man on the bike stayed at the scene, but probably doesn’t know the 51-year old victim died later; police were never called to the scene, so they want to talk with him.

A British paper shows how it’s done, mentioning a hit-and-run driver in the headline and again in the first line of the story, rather than just blaming a driverless van.

An Irish chef taught her kids how to ride their bikes, even though she didn’t know how to ride one herself; she used the country’s lockdown to correct that situation.

Megan Lynch forwards news that Geneva, Switzerland’s temporary popup bike lanes will get a reprieve through September; they had been scheduled to be removed next month.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports website says WorldTour cyclists make a minimum of $2.35 million, which could come as a surprise to most of them.

CyclingTips examines what it takes to ride 174 miles a day competing in this year’s virtual Race Across America without ever leaving an Aussie car showroom.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be a 3D-printed honeycomb dome made from caster bean oil.

And am I the only one who sees a problem here?

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

LA beach bike path opens — or not, keep Rose Bowl Loop carfree, and LADOT blows it on 7th Street bike lanes

Before we start, let me offer a special thank you to Pasadena-based bike lawyer Thomas Forsyth for renewing his sponsorship for another year.

It’s pretty remarkable that all three of this site’s primary sponsors stepped up and renewed their ads, despite the economic disaster wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

So if you get the chance, take a moment to thank those guys over there on the right. Because this site wouldn’t be possible without them. 

And if you ever need a good lawyer, you know what to do.

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LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn put out the welcome mat for bicyclists on the county’s beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

https://twitter.com/SupJaniceHahn/status/1263499830078259200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1263499830078259200&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailybreeze.com%2Fla-county-supervisor-says-beach-bike-paths-are-open-but-are-they

But the Daily Breeze says not so fast.

The paper notes that final approval has to come from the Los Angeles County of Department of Public Health, which hasn’t happened yet.

And they can’t do anything until the county’s Safer at Home order is amended.

So maybe it will be open when you ride to the beach this weekend. Or maybe not.

But considering how crowded it’s likely to be, maybe you’re better off waiting for next week, anyway.

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Add your voice to a call to keep the popular Rose Bowl Loop carfree.

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Patrick Pascal forward another view of the new 7th Street protected bike lane in Downtown Los Angeles.

Or as drivers call it, the only free parking zone in DTLA.

Photo by Patrick Pascal

Pascal also notes that there was some sort of obstruction on every block between Main and Figueroa when he rode it this week.

Which means LADOT needs to do better.

Because a protected bike lane does no damn good if we can’t ride it because it’s not protected enough.

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Today’s common theme is Slow Streets, pop-up bike lanes, and the need to provide alternatives to driving as the world reawakens from its pandemic slumber.

NACTO has released a guide to creating streets for pandemic response and recovery.

The Smithsonian considers how cities intend to use extended bike lanes and wider sidewalks to keep traffic out when lockdowns lift. Although someone should tell them that bike riders and pedestrians are traffic, too. Just not the stinky, dangerous and road clogging kind.

A physics website says Covid-19 inspired pop-up bike lanes could result in permanent changes to our cities. And need to.

The Guardian says those pop-up bike lanes and carfree streets provide much-needed relief from auto exhaust, which much be maintained when city’s reopen.

San Francisco expands its Slow Streets program, temporarily closing 13 additional corridors to allow for more social distancing outside the home for bike riders and pedestrians. The city is also installing a quick-build protected bike lane on 7th Street. Something tells me they won’t allow parking in that one, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

Even the conservative Washington Times asks if cities will be ready for the boom in bike use, as people go out of their way to avoid transit when they go back to work. And tosses in a rebound in micromobility, for good measure.

A London advocacy group warns cars will be coming back any day, and the city will be in real trouble if emergency bike lanes aren’t built soon.

Bikes are really booming in France, with bike use up nearly 50% as the country reopens from its coronavirus lockdown. It’s amazing just how much bike use has jumped in cities and countries around the world in the last two months. And just how little we’re doing about it here in Los Angeles.

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

No bias here. A Rhode Island letter writer says resistance to aggressive, narcissistic Lycra-clad bicyclists is futile. How the hell can you look at a bike rider speeding past and determine if he or she is a narcissist? Does she think we spend the whole time admiring ourselves in the reflections on the shiny jerseys of the riders in front of us?

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

Santa Barbara residents are riled by a ruckus-raising, sidewalk-riding masked bike-rider with a wrench.

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Local

Authorities identify the victim who was stabbed to death by a man on a bike on the Venice boardwalk last weekend.

CiclaValley takes a look at the new and improved Laurel Canyon Bike Lane.

 

State

This is who we share the roads with. Heartbreaking and infuriating story from San Jose, where a 26-year old man faces multiple counts of murder for the drunken crash that killed four passengers in his car, and injured another; Rabbi Kumar Khanna was subject to a murder charge after receiving a Watson warning for a previous DUI. Just one more example of officials keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

The National Safety Council confirms what we already knew — pandemic-emptied streets are enticing drivers to floor it, resulting in greater risk and lethality on our streets.

Keep your bike locked away with your toilet paper. CBS News says we’re in a vicious cycle, as soaring bike sales result in shortages, which is causing panic buying.

Vice says the fight for greener neighborhoods is a matter of life and death, particularly in denser, less privileged areas.

ZZ Top’s bearded Billy Gibbons is one of us, a sharp dressed man in cheap sunglasses with his tush on a bike seat and legs working the pedals, enjoying a Viva Las Vegas ride with a friend.

Seattle bike brand Rad Power is introducing a new and improved version of their e-cargo bike, with a relatively affordable $1,599 price tag.

Idaho prosecutors learned the hard way that if you’re going to ticket a bike rider for violating the state’s Idaho Stop Law after she was struck by a driver, it helps to charge her under the right statute. And props to the victim for appealing a measly $90 fine.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Ride of Silence was still held in some places, like this one in Abilene, Texas.

After they had to cut a little girl’s bicycle to get her foot loose, kindhearted Arkansas firefighters teamed with the local police to buy her a new one.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode a bikeshare bike up to a mentally disturbed New York woman, and chatted her up before viciously attacking and raping her. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough. Or a sentence long enough.

Spike Lee is one of us, breaking his New York self-isolation on a bicycle. And yes, I’m impressed.

If you or I plan a century ride, no one notices. When new Carolina Panther’s QB Teddy Bridgewater plans one, it makes Sports Illustrated.

New Orleans kicks off an expansion of the city’s bike lanes, with plans to stripe another 75 miles over the next two years. Which is only about 75 miles more than Los Angeles has committed to.

A short bike ride through town provides a ticket out of isolation for a Natchez, Mississippi man.

A kid in Florida was caught on camera stealing a bicycle from an 88-year old man, who used it as his only form of transportation to pick up groceries and medication. Let’s hope the little jerk’s parents see this, and give him a time out until he’s 35.

 

International

Road.cc has tips for weight weenies on how to strip a few more ounces off your bike. And insider advice you should know before buying a bike light.

Cycling Tips reviews a bike bell battle royale.

Toronto belatedly builds a bike lane barrier to prevent drivers from using it as free parking.

London bike couriers are playing a vital roll in the battle against Covid-19, rushing coronavirus samples to labs throughout the city.

A UK city councillor tells bike riders and pedestrians to be nicer to each other, already.

Bike riders in Kyrgyzstan are riding to the rescue, delivering insulin to homebound diabetics. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian says Lance shows plenty of rage but little regret in ESPN’s eponymous new documentary, while Outside says he gets brutally honest in the film. And he still hasn’t forgiven Floyd, apparently.

VeloNews talks with past and present record holders Phil Gaimon and Keegan Swenson about how to Everest like a pro.

Speaking of which,

But can you really Everest without leaving your home?

 

Finally…

Peloton’s new stationary bike will only cost a leg. Forget drive-ins, the future of live music is bike-in shows.

And you’ve only got a few more hours to vote for America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for the Greatest of All Time in Nevada sports.

I mean, seriously, how many TdF’s did this Snyder guy ever win?

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

SoCal trails finally reopening, LA traffic cop menaced by Lyft driver, and the war on bikes goes on…and on…and on…

Things are finally starting to open up a little after nearly two months of coronavirus closures in Southern California.

Los Angeles is reopening parks and trails, except for popular Runyon Canyon and the beachfront bike path.

Long Beach is opening up trails this weekend, with the beach bike path through the city set to open on Monday.

Mountain bike advocacy group CORBA reports that LA County trails will be opening this weekend, after Ventura County trails opened earlier in the week.

While LA beaches remain closed, beaches in San Diego and Orange County are opening up for physical activities only; check to make sure the path or trail you want to ride is open before you go.

Remember to maintain social distancing when you ride, particularly on narrow trails. We’ve already seen how quickly things can be closed if we don’t.

And wear a mask if you’re likely to come near other people.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles traffic cop is suing Lyft, alleging that one of their drivers followed and menaced her, while blocking her car in for several minutes before police arrived.

All because she had the audacity to ticket him for parking in a bike lane.

And to make matters worse, he had a paying passenger in the car the whole time he was losing it and threatening her.

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A webinar later this month will teach advocates how to present a compelling story to help get the word out more effectively.

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

A Portland bike rider was shot in the arm by a road raging driver after tapping on the window of the man’s SUV that was parked in a bike lane.

An Amarillo TX driver is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider who tried to intercede in an argument between the driver and a woman.

No bias here. An anonymous, 80-something British letter writer complains about “arrogant self-opinionated (bike) riders who seem to have no regard for others, laws of the Forest or common decency.” There’s no disputing that some bicyclists are jerks — just like any other form of humanity. But painting with such a broad brush doesn’t help anyone.

Someone deliberately sabotaged a British bike trail by burying several nail-spike boards, which could have caused severe injury if a kid walked on the trail or a bike rider fell on them after suffering a flat.

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Local

A former LA city planner says the city’s infrastructure continues to deteriorate, despite fast-tracking street repairs during the coronavirus lockdown.

DTLA’s dangerous 7th Street is set to get temporary protected bike lanes as an interim test for permanent, curb-protected bike lanes down the road. Let’s hope this one has enough barriers to keep drivers from parking in it, like they do in other downtown “protected” lanes.

Bike Walk Glendale calls for Slow Streets in LA’s neighbor to the north. Or east, depending on your perspective.

Let’s hope this report isn’t right. A Santa Clarita bicyclist was busted for riding under the influence, after blowing a red light with a BAC nearly twice the legal limit. An sheriff’s deputy says the bike rider was cited for driving under the influence, which does not apply to people on bicycles; California has a separate law (CVC 21200.5) prohibiting bicycling under the influence, with a maximum fine of $250 and no points against your driver’s license.

Santa Monica responds to Covid-19 budget cuts by slashing nearly 400 staff positions, as well as the city’s Vision Zero and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

 

State

Streetsblog is hosting a virtual walk-or-bike-athon to raise funds for Streetsblog California and the California Association of Foodbanks.

SoCal bicycling guidebook author Richard Fox expounds on the joys of having the pathways of Palm Desert’s closed Desert Willow golf course all to himself.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Porterville teenager is dead, after getting run down on his bike by a 23-year old hit-and-run driver who was already on probation for a previous DUI; the driver had apparently disabled a required interlock device on his car. A DUI arrest is usually the tip of the iceberg; it’s seldom the first time someone has driven drunk, just the first time they got caught. Which is why any DUI should lead to an automatic loss of license.

The executive director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition says the city is passing up on an opportunity by refusing to install Slow Streets for social distancing. Just like Los Angeles is.

Great idea. San Jose bicyclists will fan out across the city this weekend to distribute flats of seedlings to people in need, so they can begin a vegetable garden.

The San Francisco Ride of Silence scheduled for later this month has been postponed to an undetermined date; no word yet on the status of the LA, Orange and Ventura County rides.

A Vacaville man was busted for bike theft after a bike shop worker spotted him riding a customer’s stolen bicycle.

 

National

Popular Science — yes, it still exists — says Slow Streets not only allow for social distancing, but can prevent traffic surges when cities reopen, and could result in permanent bike-friendly changes. Except in Los Angeles, which is squandering yet another opportunity to improve safety and do something about the city’s crushing traffic and smog.

Lime buys out the competition, and is now the proud owner of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes and scooters, after the rideshare provider unloaded them to offset a portion of their massive $2.9 billion in losses due to Covid-19.

Cycling Tips talks with the founders of Strava about how it got to be, well, Strava.

VeloNews considers when a bonk could be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Portland has installed the first one hundred traffic diverters for their Slow Streets program. Which is about one hundred more than Los Angeles.

Not only is Seattle installing Slow Streets, but the city is planning to make at least 20 miles of them permanent.

Slow Streets are proving successful in Salt Lake City, as they move forward with closing additional streets for bike and pedestrian traffic.

Bruce Willis’ six-year old daughter is now one of us, too, after learning how to ride from her half-sister Rumor while the mixed family isolates in Idaho.

They get it. The Houston Chronicle calls for more bike lanes for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Paul MN business owners lost a fight to delay installation of a new bike lane, arguing that the parking spaces that would be lost are needed for take-out customers and delivery drivers during the coronavirus crisis. For a change, they may have a point; while bikes are good for retail businesses — especially bars and restaurants — it helps if they’re actually open to the public.

An occasional bike rider discovers how helpful bicyclists can be, when not one, not two, but three separate Good Samaritans stop to help when he suffered double flats on a Missouri bike trail.

Seriously? A nine-year old Palm Beach kid gets the blame for the crash that killed him; authorities claimed he was momentarily distracted before riding his bike into a construction front loader — even though he managed to leave a five-foot skid mark on the sidewalk. After all, no tractor driver would ever miss a little kid on the sidewalk before turning in front of him, right?

 

International

The demand for bicycles has spiked around the world, both real and stationary. And yes, I did resist the temptation to say pretend.

Apparently, wealthy people are panic buying Pelotons. But don’t forget the indoor cycling shoes. Yes, that’s a thing now. Really.

For those of us with somewhat smaller budgets, Road.cc rates fourteen of the best indoor turbo trainers.

A British Columbia writer proposes paying people not to drive to keep traffic from roaring back once the lockdown ends.

An English cop has been suspended for punching a black bike rider after accusing him of stealing his own bicycle, even though it wasn’t the same color as the missing bike; the same cop kicked a boy in the head a day later.

British world heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is one of us, too.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is proclaiming a new Golden Age of cycling, promising full details over the weekend.

A Korean bicyclist is sheltering in Guinea for the next several months after getting caught in the country during the coronavirus outbreak, two years into a round-the-world bike tour — and is shunned by hotels because he is Asian.

A stoned New Zealand driver was sentenced to a measly 26 months in jail for killing a bike rider, nine years after her own son was killed by a drunk driver. Apparently, she didn’t learn anything from her own experience.

A little Aussie boy escapes his dad’s grasp and rides out directly into the path of a roadie, taking them both out.

 

Finally…

Play a little virtual bike tag while you’re under lockdown. Do your next club ride on a rare mid-2000s Colnago time trial bike, or maybe a brand new 1995 BMX.

And nothing to see here. Just Spider-Man on a Penny Farthing.

https://twitter.com/Artfrombikeshed/status/1258501543868993536

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A belated and heartfelt thank you to Mark J for his unexpected Giving Tuesday donation to help support this site. I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, so it came as major morale boosting surprise. 

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

Man killed crossing PCH on bike in Wilmington crash Tuesday morning

Deadly PCH has claimed yet another victim.

According to the Daily Breeze, a man was crossing PCH in Wilmington around 5:25 Tuesday morning when he was struck by a pair of drivers.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on Eubank Avenue at PCH when he was hit by one driver, then hit again by a second driver and knocked off his bike.

Both drivers remained at the scene.

Police report that he was apparently crossing against the light. However, there’s no word on whether there were any independent witnesses who weren’t involved in the crash at that early hour.

It’s also possible that the light may have changed as the victim was crossing the massive seven lane highway, bordered by a two lane service road.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also just the second in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

Update: My News LA reports the victim was crossing PCH headed north on Eubank Ave when he was struck by an eastbound driver, then hit again by someone traveling west on PC.

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

Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Update: Motorbike rider fled after killing woman riding bike on San Gabriel River Bike Trail

Apparently, no one is safe from idiots with engines.

According to a tweet from the Norwalk Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a woman was killed in a collision with a motorcyclist while riding on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail a little over two weeks ago.

Yes, on an offroad bike path.

And yes, her killer fled the scene.

The victim was identified as 31-year old Carla Becerra, who was killed in the crash on Saturday, February 1st.

Twentynine-year old Brandon Lindsley was arrested for the crime eleven days later, and charged with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run last Friday. Since Becerra died, both should be felony counts. 

Unfortunately, that’s all we know right now.

No word on exactly where or how the crash happened. And no explanation for what the hell someone on a motorbike was doing on a bike path.

Hopefully we’ll learn more on Wednesday, when the department is expected to issue a press release.

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

Update: KTLA-5 reports the crash occurred on a bike path near Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, which doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, or any other riverfront bike path.

Becerra was found lying unconscious on the path, with her bicycle several feet away. She was taken to Coast Plaza Medical Center, where she died. 

Investigators identified Lindsley as a person of interest based on a distinctive tattoo seen by people who did not witness the crash itself. He was arrested after reportedly making incriminating statements to investigators. 

Lindsley is being held on $105,000 bail in this case, as well as a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

Comments from Mike Wilkinson and Michael of CLR Effect say motorcycles aren’t unusual on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail, despite a prohibition on anything with an engine. 

Maybe this will be a much-needed wakeup call to actually do something about it.

Update 2: Chris Klibowitz reports that the sheriff’s department gave the location as between Imperial and Firestone, rather than near the intersection, as KTLA reported, which makes a lot more sense.

Update 3: I received a message from Carla Becerra’s brother Quin, who offered a few details missing from previous reports.

According to Quin, the first call to 911 came around 6:45 pm on February 1st, as Carla Becerra was riding her bicycle south on the bike path, and Brandon Lindsley was traveling north on his motorcycle; he places the crash site roughly a quarter mile south of Imperial Highway.

Lindsley apparently fled because he had an outstanding warrant for a robbery assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, he might have run anyway.

And still no explanation for why he was riding illegally on the bike path.

Adding insult to injury — literally — someone stole Becerra’s phone, earphones and ear rings while she was lying unconscious and dying on the bike path, sometime before the first responders could get there.

As a result, emergency personnel were unable to identify her for several hours, and her family had no idea where she was or what happened to her until they received the tragic news at 3 am the next day.

This is how Quin described his sister Carla.

My sister was a full time RN at UCI medical and at MLK hospital. She had worked her entire life, to buy my parents their dream home in Lakewood, even put her social and love life on hold to do so. She always put others before herself, just so her life can be taken away from someone so selfish. The messed up part about all of this is that if he (Brandon) was the one left unconscious then she would have stayed and made sure he made it. She had a huge passion for cycling and running. The only comfort my family and I take from this is that she left us while doing something she loved. It just wasn’t her time yet.

He concluded by noting that Brandon Lindsley will be arraigned on Tuesday, February 25th — the same day his victim will be laid to rest. 

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Carla Becerra and all her loved ones.

Photo by Jim F

65-year old man killed by apparent self-driving truck while riding bike in Azusa collision; few other details available

Once again, a bike rider has been killed on the streets of Southern California.

And once again, there is almost no information available on the Azusa collision.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, a man was struck by the driver of a box truck while riding his bicycle on the 600 block of North Azusa Ave near Sixth Street around 1:30 pm yesterday.

Actually, they seem to blame the truck itself, since there’s no mention anywhere in the story that it had a driver. Or whether the seemingly self-driving truck remained at the scene.

The victim, identified only as a 65-year old man, was taken to an unidentified hospital, where he died of his injuries.

No word on how the crash may have occurred.

A street view shows North Azusa is a narrow one-way street in a commercial district, with on-street parking and two lanes going north. There are stop signs on Sixth, but no traffic controls on Azusa at the intersection; Sixth is a narrow un-laned street with parking on either side.

Azusa is paired with the much larger and wider Foothill Blvd, a one-way southbound street two blocks away.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Azusa Police Department Traffic Division at 626/812-3200.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

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