Tag Archive for Malibu

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

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Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

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Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

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Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

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A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

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L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Scarpa trial Monday for killing Costa Mesa fire captain, wrist slap for killer SD AG, and Malibu postpones PCH meeting

The allegedly stoned driver who killed a popular Costa Mesa fire captain will finally face justice next week.

The Daily Pilot reports that 27-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa will go on trial for murder on Monday for fatally running down 44-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita resident Mike Kreza as he was training for a triathlon in 2018.

According to the paper,

Kreza was off duty and riding his bike in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3 when a van driven by Scarpa drove off the roadway at Alicia Parkway and traveled 8 feet across the curb line, a sidewalk and an embankment, striking Kreza.

Police found Scarpa sitting on a curb following the crash, apparently intoxicated. He admitted to investigators he had shot up a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl while at a party, along with taking an anxiety medication.

Kreza died two days later, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

The murder charge suggests this wasn’t Scarpa’s first DUI arrest, and that he had probably signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while intoxicated, following a previous conviction.

The paper reports Scarpa has remained in county jail for 1,032 days since his arrest — nearly three years — by the time he goes on trial Monday.

Chance are, he’ll end up serving a lot more than that.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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If you want to get away with killing someone, use a car.

Or better yet, get elected attorney general.

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg was sentenced Thursday for a fatal hit-and-run crash. And walked without a single day behind bars.

The judge gave Ravnsborg a gentle caress on the wrist, allowing him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for a total of $1,000 in fines.

Which is apparently what a human life goes for in South Dakota these days.

Even an order to do some sort of public service to mark the anniversary of the victim’s death was put on hold, when Ravnsborg’s attorney argued it wasn’t allowed under the statute.

Authorities allowed Ravnsborg to claim he kept driving because he thought he hit a deer, rather than a man walking along the roadway. Even though the victim did a face plant in the AG’s windshield, leaving his glasses in the car where investigators found them the next day.

You’d think most people would have recognized a human face staring back at them through the windshield. Or at the very least, stopped to see what they hit.

But apparently, that kind of logic isn’t required for elected office in the state.

By continuing home, Ravnsborg may also have escaped a DUI count by delaying a blood alcohol test until 15 hours after the crash, by which time any alcohol consumed at the political fundraiser he attended would have been safely out of his system.

And it was.

Ravnsborg capped it off his extremely minimal sentence with a very self-serving statement.

The state’s governor and at least some legislators are calling for Ravnsborg to be impeached, since he refuses to step down.

We can hope, anyway.

Thanks to Pat Benson for the heads-up.

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To be continued.

Malibu pulled the plug on last night’s planned discussion on widening the shoulder on a two-mile segment of PCH, rescheduling the meeting for next month.

Supporters describe the proposed project as improving safety for people on bicycles. But others fear it would just move us into the door zone, instead.

I’m told that the wider shoulders will allow plenty of room for both bikes and parked cars, without posing a risk to the people on two wheels.

But let’s get serious.

That would require at least seven to eight feet to the right of the roadway and the left of parked cars. Anything less would be in the door zone.

So if there’s that much space already built into this plan, why don’t they just install bike lanes, instead?

Or better yet, a parking protected bike lane.

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CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León wants to know what you want to see on Huntington Drive.

You know what to tell him.

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Good news for anyone who walks. Or crosses the street.

https://twitter.com/LosAngelesWalks/status/1430988640298012672

On the other hand, the legislature killed AB 1401, which was murdered died in committee; the bill would have allowed cities to reduce parking minimums for new buildings near transit stations.

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This is what you call expert level trolling.

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A brilliant solution for locking your bike.

Unless the thief has a chain tool.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for forwarding the tweet.

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

Two British men have been charged with murder, and a third with assisting them, for intentionally running down a man as he and a woman were riding bicycles; the men allegedly abandoned and burned the car they used in an attempt to coverup the crime.

An Australian man faces charges for deliberately ramming three people on bicycles in three separate incidents just minutes apart as they were riding in a bike lane earlier this month; fortunately, none of the victims was seriously injured.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton politely takes LADOT and the LA Bureau of Engineering to task for a number of missed opportunities to install bike lanes, or protect the ones they did install.

Climate Resolve considers Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan to remake Colorado Blvd into a green, safe and vibrant street, calling it an opportunity for climate action.

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 parking hacks they say every driver should know. Although the best hack is to just take transit. Or ride a bike.

LA firefighters have made it to the halfway point in St. Louis on their cross-country ride to the former site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack.

 

State

A tandem-riding San Diego couple are fed up with the trash lining the city’s Kearny Villa Road, saying nothing has been done despite repeated complaints to the city. On the other hand, when Phil Gaimon got tired of seeing all the trash and litter on Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, he organized his own volunteer clean-up operation.

A Monterey County writer makes an impassioned defense of an unfinished “bike path to nowhere,” insisting it will be worth it once it’s completed and connects to other bikeways.

A Chico man got his bicycle back six months after it was stolen when police noticed it in a homeless camp, because he had recorded the bike’s serial number and reported it to the police. Although an even better option is to register your bike now so you have all the information before anything happens to it.

 

National

Cycling Tip’s Caley Fretz wants to know where his stolen bike was for the past three years, after it suddenly showed up locked to a Boulder, Colorado fence, mostly intact, not far from where he lived when it was taken.

Boise, Idaho will host a “wonderfully weird” pedal-powered party to celebrate the removal of the dreaded bike tire-puncturing Goathead plants.

How to explore Kansas City by bicycle on your next BBQ pilgrimage.

Continuing with this week’s theme of restoring our faith in humanity, a firefighter foundation in Wausau, Wisconsin bought a new bike for a teenage boy after the bicycle he used to deliver newspapers and care for lawns was trashed in a collision.

Someone is targeting Chicago bikeshare riders by stealing their bikes at implied gunpoint after they unlock them.

A Cleveland website says the only risks you face on Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island are horse poop, bike traffic and distracted pedestrians.

Speaking of Cleveland, a 58-year old man had to relearn how to walk after shattering his leg in a motorcycle crash, and celebrated his recovery by riding a bicycle 3814 miles through 14 states.

New York is moving forward with plans for congestion pricing, after reaching an agreement with the Biden administration to conduct an environmental review of charging drivers a toll to enter central Manhattan; it would be the first such fee in the US. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are doing what they do best, conducting a study of Metro’s congestion pricing proposal. Which usually results in studying it to death.

 

International

Bicycling can be a pain in the back, literally. So read this Cycling Weekly story about the causes of lower back pain, and how to prevent it.

Toronto bicyclists demand immediate improvements after an 18-year old man was killed by the driver of a dump truck, after he was forced to ride through a construction zone when a bike lane ended and dumped him into busy traffic; a bike advocate had warned something like that was likely to happen just two days before it actually did.

Treehugger responds to the same Toronto death by arguing that it’s time for the construction industry to prioritize the safety of people who walk or bike.

Los Angeles becomes the poster child for bad scooter behavior, as a Dublin letter writer uses it as a bad example of what he hopes the Irish city won’t become.

Paris continues to make huge strides towards safety and livability, by reducing speed limits on most streets to just 18 mph.

A former Afghan government minister is happy just to have a job, working as a bicycle delivery rider after moving to Germany in hope of a better future.

Cycling News reports on efforts to get women cyclists out of Afghanistan over fears they will be targeted by the Taliban for breaking traditional taboos.

Dozens of bicyclists took to the streets of Yemen’s capital to call for peace in the war torn country.

One hundred people faced road rage charges in Japan last year, with 24 tagged for brake checks and 20 sudden lane changes; four of the cases were blamed on bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprisingly, two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič lost more time in Thursday’s stage 12, now standing almost two minutes behind oddly named leader Odd Christian Eiking of Norway.

LA-based Continental cycling team L39ION of Los Angeles lived up to their usual winning ways in the team’s first-ever stage race, taking both the men’s and women’s races in the opening stage of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Joe Martin Stage Race.

VeloNews dives head first into the debate over whether there should be separate categories for elite women gravel racers.

 

Finally…

Think of it as a fondo where you reduce your time by eating donuts. That feeling when your winning breakaway is suddenly halted by a car fire.

And it turns out Dutch kids aren’t born on bikes, after all.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1430600351028191235

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

Malibu meeting on PCH widening tonight, LAPD whiffs on crosswalk law, and warning about scam bike websites

If you ride PCH — or want to — clear your schedule for tonight.

The Malibu Planning Commission will hold a virtual meeting this evening to consider a proposal to improve the median and widen the shoulders on a two-mile section of PCH, between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road.

As you may recall, we sounded the alarm about this proposal last month, which is described as a plan to improve safety for people on bicycles by providing more space to ride on the shoulder, while also providing additional curbside parking.

Put another way, the proposal appears to put bikes in the door zone, instead of providing protected bike lanes.

Or maybe not.

Someone who claimed to be involved in what he described as a decade-long process to develop the plan insisted I’d gotten it all wrong and the plan wouldn’t add a single parking spot — even though it said just the opposite.

And that it would be a big safety improvement for the deadly highway, especially for people on bicycles.

Although what PCH really needs is narrower traffic lanes and far slower speeds.

Admittedly, while I used to be involved with the PCH Task Force, I haven’t been able to keep up with it since the one-two punch of diabetes and neuropathy knocked me on my ass half decade ago.

So I can’t speak to just what this plan does or doesn’t do, other than what was in the description.

But if you ride PCH, you owe it to yourself to voice your concerns and tune into the meeting to see whether it would help tame LA County’s killer highway and keep you — and everyone else — safer as you ride through the ‘Bu.

Or if this one needs to go back to the drawing board.

Okay, so it’s not PCH. But this photo of a bike-riding surfer resting on his board is the only decent shot I’ve got of Malibu.

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Nothing like cops doing the right thing, but getting the law wrong.

They’re right that drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in painted crosswalks.

But drivers are also required to yield to pedestrians at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, per CVC 21950. And every intersection is presumed to have a crosswalk, whether marked or not, unless signage prohibits crossing.

So bottom line, drivers have to yield to pedestrians at any crosswalk, painted or otherwise.

And don’t get me started on whether people on bikes are allowed to use the crosswalk.

But like I said, at least they’re doing the right thing.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

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Road.cc is warning about a sudden proliferation of fake websites designed to take advantage of the bike boom to scam you out of your money.

Or rather, the website is real. But the deals and companies offering them aren’t.

With bikes currently being in such strong demand globally, it has become increasingly difficult to get the bike you want when you want it, with lead times often running into several months – and in response, we’re hearing more reports of fake websites trying to part people from their cash for bicycles that don’t exist, apparently offering deals that seem to good to be true, because they are.

While that alone may set alarm bells ringing among many prospective purchasers who will quickly realise that they risk being scammed, what the operators of such sites are banking on is that human nature being what it is, others will place an order and never see the bike, or their money, again.

They also include this sage advice from Trek’s British website on how to spot scammers.

The deal is too good to be true

If an advertisement is telling you that the bike you want is now 70%-90% off, they are lying to you. Do not click on the ad. Do not give them your money or any personal information.

The contact information is suspicious

Trek and our retailers hold ourselves to a very high standard of customer service. If you cannot reach the person you are buying from, do not buy from them.

The site is relatively new

You can check to see how long a website has existed by entering it into archive.org. If the site is brand new and offering steep discounts, do not purchase anything from them.

The site does not ask you to pick a preferred retailer

All current model Trek bikes ordered online must be delivered to an authorised Trek retailer for assembly. If you are not asked to select a retailer to dispatch a bike to, do not buy from the site. Previous model year Trek bikes can be delivered directly to consumers, but only through an authorised retailer’s website or BikeExchange.com.

In other words, stick with sites you know. Or better yet, check with your local bike shop before you buy anything online.

And caveat emptor.

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Let’s consider a few more stories to restore your faith in humanity.

A generous Texas business owner bought a young boy a new bike after his was stolen while he was playing near a church parking lot; that bicycle had replaced another one that was stolen just weeks earlier. Let’s hope they also bought him a decent lock this time.

After already giving away 80 bicycles to kids in need, a Michigan man hopes to donate another 20 bikes this weekend.

A bighearted Pennsylvania man gave a young girl a new bicycle after the bike she’d just received from a youth program was stolen days after she got it; police found the stolen bike heavily damaged in a local creek. However, you may have trouble getting past the paper’s paywall.

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Local

Culver City Crossroads fills in the blanks on the long and tortured process that led to the city’s close decision to finally open the Jackson Ave gate to the Ballona Creek bike path.

Aussie actor Luke Hemsworth is one of us, as he goes for fat-tired ebike ride through the ‘Bu. Even if he is less famous than brothers Chris and Liam.

 

State

San Diego State University is finally lifting the school’s micromobility ban, allowing dockless bikes, e-scooters and other devices to be used and parked on campus.

The Santa Barbara Independent dives into bike life this week, with reports on the teenage Wheelie Generation, local resident and Trek CEO John Burke’s plans to save the world, and a local shop giving new life to unloved mountain bikes.

San Francisco celebrates new painted bike lanes on Anza Street, which quickly turned into a parking lot.

 

National

A new report on the economic benefits of bicycling investments recommends investing billions into bike projects to generate thousands of jobs while greening transportation in the US.

Another new study suggest bicycling can be a literal backbreaker, with a full 81% of sports-related spinal injuries among U.S. adults due to bicycle falls and crashes.

Popular Mechanics offers their picks for the best hitch-mounted bike racks. Just remember, any rack that obscures the license plate is illegal, although it’s one of those things where you’ll probably get away with it, until you don’t.

Have guitar, will travel. Colorado singer-songwriter Shanna In A Dress is touring the US by bicycle for a series of shows from Oregon to Massachusetts, while raising funds for the Pangea World Foundation.

A Salt Lake City woman with a long criminal record faces murder and gun charges for fatally shooting her girlfriend as she tried to get away, following an argument while they were riding their bikes together.

Life is cheap in South Dakota, where you can run down and kill an innocent person walking on the side of the roadway while driving home after drinking at a fundraiser, then just tell the police you thought it was a deer when they knock on your door, and end up walking away with a plea deal for a lousy misdemeanor traffic violation. Or at least you can if you’re the state attorney general.

That’s more like it. A new Illinois law requires the state to conduct a traffic study anytime a pedestrian is killed on a state roadway, including recommendations for possible design improvements, with the results to be publicly posted. Add people on bicycles to that, and that’s what should happen whenever someone is killed on any roadway.

A Rhode Island bike rider unexpectedly discovers signs for a useful, but forgotten, cross-city bike route that no one seems to know about anymore. Or care about, which could be worse.

A North Carolina paper looks back to three teenagers’ life-changing, five day, 425-mile ride through the state’s Outer Banks, which led one to devote his life to researching the region’s maritime history.

 

International

You could get a belt-drive urban ebike for just $1,300 — but only if you move fast.

CyclingTips considers that $28,000 Louis Vuitton bike with the bizarre backward suicide handbrakes. Which is a lot of money for something that will probably get you killed the first time you have to make a panic stop. Then again, if you can afford the bike, you can probably afford to pay someone to ride it for you. 

Take a tour of Colombia’s Boyacá region with native son Miguel Angel Lopez of the Movistar cycling team. Bonus points if you spell it “Colombia,” rather than “Columbia,” which I inevitably do before correcting myself.

Glasgow, Scotland has adopted a Vision Zero plan, with the goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2030. Although as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, it’s meaningless without the political will to make the hard choices, which we clearly lack.

Life is still cheap in the UK. Earlier this week, we mentioned the English driver who was sentenced to three years and four months behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bike. But what was missing from the the original story was that the driver abandoned the borrowed car he was using, and calmly took a cab home without bothering to even mention the crash to anyone. No wonder people are calling the sentence a joke.

Industry insiders say God only knows when the Great Britain’s bike shortage will finally end.

new German-made, four-wheeled, self-propelled bike trailer promises you won’t have to work any harder to pull it, and it will easily follow your bike wherever you go, at speeds up to 19 mph. It might be just a bit pricy, though, available for rent for a tad under $600 a month.

Why let a little bad weather stop you, even if it means floating your mountain bike through neck-high Singapore flood waters.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Primož Roglič took Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, reclaiming the red leader’s jersey by a whopping three seconds.

How to watch this week’s 2021 UCI mountain bike world championships.

Rouleur offers an early preview of next month’s 2021 Women’s Road Race World Championships in Flanders.

Elite British cyclist Clay Davies called out a culture of homophobia and a lack of support for LGBTQ riders in the sport, several years after he publicly came out following a near fatal collision.

The first cycling gold of the Tokyo Paralympic Games went to cyclist Paige Greco, while her fellow countrywoman Emily Petricola soon followed in the 3,000 meter individual pursuit, with American Shawn Morelli winning silver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own hydrogen powered ebike for the low, low price of just $11,700 — or $8,800 if you clip the coupon. At last, a lightweight wooden balance bike for your eco-conscious toddler weight weenie.

And at least someone is taking crosswalk safety seriously for a change.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

Questions raised about PCH door zone warning, and driver crashes into home built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

Yesterday, a series of tweets were directed my way to tell me I got it all wrong about the proposed changes to PCH that would seem to put bike riders in the door zone.

Those were quickly followed by a comment on here, and a series of increasingly rude and insulting private messages blaming me for somehow ruining 20 year of bicycle advocacy by repeating what was said in a news story from a Malibu paper.

Which I was apparently supposed to somehow be able to deduce had made some yet-to-be confirmed error in reporting the story.

Then again, I was also accused in those private messages of somehow plagiarizing that same story by someone who had apparently never read it, and clearly has no idea what plagiarism means.

Seriously, feel free to do a side-by-side comparison, and see for yourself if I copied anything.

While I wasn’t involved in this project, and had no idea it was even in the works before this week, I have long fought for bike safety on PCH in Malibu. And worked with and supported Eric Bruins in his surprisingly successful campaign to turn the city from extremely anti-bike to a newfound commitment to welcoming people on two wheels.

And this project was definitely not what I remember asking for.

I also don’t remember meeting Mr. Laetz during all those years that I represented the LACBC on the PCH Task Force, before illness forced me to step down.

Which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, or wasn’t working for bike safety in other ways. With all the meds I’m on these days, I have trouble remembering last week, let alone what happened a decade or so ago.

But maybe he’s right.

My reaction to this project was based entirely on Wednesday’s story in the Malibu Surfside News, which said this in the very first paragraph —

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.

Note that last phrase, “adding motor vehicle parking.”

The writer of that piece, Scott Steepleton, the editor of the Malibu Surfside News, cited a Malibu Planning Commission document as his source.

According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”

I never hid the fact that this was my source, and linked back to the story in my original post. I also sent the link to Mr. Laetz when he objected to my story to confirm where the information came from.

Yet he continued to attack me, both publicly and privately. Right up to the point I told him what he could do with himself, and blocked him from my personal Twitter account.

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

This is how he describes the project in a comment Mr. Laetz left on here.

WAIT A MINUTE, The city’s plan is to WIDEN the shoulder, by narrowing the median and shifting the traffic lanes to the center, No parking will be added, none will be eliminated. Te (sic) plan will leave shoulders that are in excess of 14 feet wide. It will also add marked bike lanes at the traffic lights. The Coastal Commission will not allow the city to add parking (reducing coastal access to bicyclists) or decrease parking (reducing parking access for people in vehicles). This plan is parking neutral. It will eliminate much of the wide, unused median. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Despite repeated requests, he never sent me a link to any source to back up his description of the project, though he did reference a story he claimed to have written for the Malibu Times, which I haven’t been able to find on their website.

However, assuming the shoulder will in fact be a minimum of 14 feet wide, while that may be enough room to safely pass an average parked car, it would leave only a sliver of space outside the door zone of today’s massive pickups and SUVs.

And that’s if the driver pulls all the way to the right, which hardly ever happens the real world.

It also raises the question of whether that space could be better used to provide a parking protected bike lane that would keep riders safely out of the door zone, as well as away from drivers cutting over to park their cars or pull out of a parking space.

And why maintain those plush eleven-foot traffic lanes, which encourage higher speeds, when they could easily be narrowed a foot to help slow traffic, and provide more space to work with on either side?

As I tried to point out to Mr. Laetz, even if this project would be wholly beneficial for people on bicycles, the worst thing that resulted from calling it out is that hundreds of bike riders are newly aware of it, and prepared to give it the scrutiny any bike project should have.

So go ahead and email your comments and concerns by Sunday night, if you haven’t already. And attend Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission to learn more about it if you can.

Full disclosure, I won’t be able to make it Monday evening. Somehow, I suspect my wife’s birthday has to take priority if I don’t want to see a permanent change my sleeping arrangements.

I’ve also offered to let Mr. Laetz write a guest post for this site to clarify anything he thinks we got wrong.

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

………

I do my best to be as truthful and accurate as possible in everything you read on this site.

If I get something wrong, I’m more than happy to correct it, which I’ve done more times than I can count. Just reach out to me, either in the comments below, at the email address on the About page, or on Twitter @BikinginLA.

Just be able to back it up. And don’t be a jerk about it.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts driver slammed her SUV through the side of a 371-year old house built by the great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, after swerving to avoid an early-rising squirrel.

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

Although it may have been the house’s fault, since the owners say there have been a number of near-misses since they moved in.

………

Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1031213754724372480

………

A Utah TV station wins the award for best attempt to remove any agency for an injury collision, with a headline that suggests some unidentified “person” was injured when a car without a driver somehow collided with a bicycle without a rider.

………

Call a happy bike surprise.

………

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

After a Denver man attempted to stop a woman from stealing his neighbor’s $5,000 mountain bike, she returned in a beat-up SUV and smashed into another car while attempting to run him down. But even after they tracked the attacker to a nearby homeless camp, the police have refused to go in and do anything about it.

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

Must have been in a hurry. A New York “transit menace” snatched a bikeshare bike out of the hands of the person who rented it, rode it to the subway station, the jumped the turnstile to catch his train.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. Bicycling talks with a 77-year old Lake Forest man who still rides a bike every day, despite two serious heart surgeries. Or maybe because of them. I mean, without all the heart problems and stuff. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

San Diego letter writers continue to beat a dead bike lane horse, still complaining about the new protected bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park that are already under construction.

Police in Salinas are asking for the public’s help identifying a thief caught on camera stealing a mountain bike.

 

National

CyclingTips examines the custom Trek Domane Richard Branson pretended to ride to Sunday’s space launch, in what they accurately describe as part of a billionaire “dick-measuring competition.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

A culture website suggests four exciting US cities to ride a bike in. If you really want excitement, though, it’s hard to top mixing it up with LA drivers. Although it may not be the kind of excitement you want.

Nearly a hundred Portland-area kids now have newly refurbished bikes, thanks to an organization dedicated to giving kids free bikes who might not be able to get one otherwise.

No surprise here. Las Vegas is being sued by the family of a Black man who died in police custody in 2019 with a cop’s knee planted firmly in his back; Byron Williams was recorded saying 24 times that he couldn’t breathe, after getting stopped for the capital crime of not having a light on his bike. The family is being represented by the same lawyer who filed suit in the George Floyd case.

Montana’s first shuttle mountain bike park is now open near the Flathead Lake resort area, incorporating a shuttle service to carry riders from the end of one gravity trail to the start of another.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an off-duty cop in a jacked-up truck ran over a little boy and dragged him to his death; nine-year old Hershel Weinberger was riding his bike in a crosswalk when the driver reportedly ran the stop sign, even if the local union head swears he stopped and looked both ways. But investigators failed to hold the off-duty officer accountable after he played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, by claiming he just didn’t see the boy. Although chance are, just flashing his badge was probably enough.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a driver faces a single year behind bars for killing a 16-year old boy riding a bike, after prosecutors allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor moving violation. Sad to know that’s all a kid’s life is worth to them.

A new study suggests 30% of DC crashes involving a bike rider or pedestrian go unreported, reducing the reliability of the data Vision Zero relies on.

 

International

Talk about flash photography. A British woman snapping a selfie captured the exact moment she and her brother and sister were struck by lightening as they were sheltering under a tree, after getting caught in a thunderstorm while riding their bikes to see their aunt; fortunately, they were all okay after being treated for burns.

The final stage of the Tour de France is just the start of festivities as Paris bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns, as only Paris can.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Thursday’s final hors catégorie climb, which was pretty much Wednesday on repeat.

Here we go again. CyclingNews is reporting that French authorities raided the hotel and team bus of the Bahrain Victorious cycling team before Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, as prosecutors open a preliminary investigation into doping allegations. But we all know the doping era is over, right?

Road Bike Action wants to help you build the perfect bike for Sunday’s Belgian Waffle Ride.

 

Finally…

Why pro cyclists dance with their bikes. Your next (really weird looking) touring bike could come with a built-in chair and day bed.

And if you have to ask…

………

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

 

Protest Malibu’s PCH door zone plan, Caltrans District 7 active transportation plan, and Sunset4All halfway to goal

After we sounded the alarm yesterday, Streets For All is calling on everyone to email the Malibu Planning Commission.

The street safety PAC is urging bike riders to protest plans to widen a two-mile section of PCH to “improve bicycle safety” by installing even more roadside parking, forcing bike riders into the door zone.

And yes, that means you.

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

Thanks to our friends at Biking In LA for pointing out that the City of Malibu is considering an item on its next planning commission agenda (item 5B) to improve safety for people on bikes on PCH.

However, their proposal is really a way to add even more parking for cars on PCH, while putting people in bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better, and eventually would love a protected bike lane for the entire stretch of PCH.

As usual, they include a link, complete with email addresses and a sample email, to contact the Malibu Planning Commission by this Sunday and voice your concerns over this dangerous “bike safety” plan.

Photo by DJ_Moertel from Pixabay.

………

Cuong Trinh, the Active Transportation and Complete Streets/ Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for Caltrans District 7, wants your input on the state DOT’s active transportation plan for the Los Angeles region.

Hello Community Stakeholder,

I wanted to let you know that we are undertaking the development of the Caltrans District 7 Active Transportation Plan.

Our plan serves as a needs assessment, by utilizing our government agency partners, non-government stakeholders and members of the public to identify bicycle and pedestrian needs along the State Highway System. In order to undertake the completion of this plan, we have a Consultant that is analyzing existing planning documents from cities and counties, as well as user and partner-submitted needs (using a location-based-needs survey) that your organization and its stakeholders can participate in.

The State Highway System includes all state-owned freeways, select regional highways and some local streets. All of these freeways, highways or local streets are signed by a red and blue Interstate freeway shield (Interstate 5) or a green California state highway shield (State Route 2).

Next Thursday, July 22nd, we invite you to attend one of our informational meetings intended for our non-governmental stakeholders where we will provide an introduction to the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans and the effort to complete the plan in Caltrans District 7, serving Los Angeles and Ventura counties. You may be aware that other Caltrans districts are also in the process of completing their district-specific plans as Caltrans has 12 districts that serve 58 counties statewide.

Your organization and its stakeholders may be aware of bicycle and pedestrian needs on our State Highways. These needs can range from missing or broken sidewalks to gaps in bicycle lanes and paths along or across State Highway System facilities. We see that your input is critical in providing locations and context for those needs. With your help, we can prioritize those needs in our future highway projects. However, without sufficient input from our stakeholders, we would be short of sufficient information that our project engineers could use to address non-motorized user needs.

You can learn more about the CAT Plans, as well as take a survey (where users are invited to place pins on a map) at http://www.catplan.org and click District 7.

We have scheduled two informational meetings in the next week that you can attend at your convenience, as the same materials will be presented at either meeting. Therefore, you can attend one meeting that best fits your schedule.

Feel free to attend one of these (virtual) meetings at your convenience:

Also feel free to forward this to anyone from other organizations or people who may find the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans effort of interest or relevance, as we may have missed many organizations and local interests.

Should you have any questions regarding the CAT Plans, don’t hesitate to contact the project lead for the Caltrans District 7 Active Transportation Plan, at cuong.trinh@dot.ca.gov.

Hope you stay healthy and safe.

………

Sunset4All is now over halfway to their goal of raising $25,000 to fund a public/private partnership to build protected bike lanes on eastern sections of Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds.

………

If you’ve got a few extra bucks, take a moment to help support the LA-area’s most important voice for transportation news.

………

Now tell me again why businesses need to keep every car parking spot to survive.

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GCN explains how to successfully deploy chamois cream to keep your bike from being a pain in the ass.

………

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

Horrifying video from Idaho, where a 26-year old man faces charges for responding to a minor dispute between kids at a skate park by chasing two young boys in his pickup, and running over their bicycles after they barely jump out of the way. Never mind what kind of a sick schmuck would actually do something like that.

No bias here. A Missouri newspaper says a young boy was injured when he hit a car with his bicycle. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what actually happened from the brief three-sentence article. But that probably wasn’t it.

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

There’s a special place in hell for a “‘bitter’ and jealous man” who rode his bike up to his ex-girlfriend as she got a London bus and threw a caustic chemical in her face, leaving her with severe acid burns; the attack followed a months-long harassment campaign.

………

Local

LAist looks at the continuing efforts by Metro Bike workers to form a union to protect their interests with the company who manages it for Metro. As the son of a union man, you probably don’t have to guess which side I fall on.

Surprisingly, Los Angeles didn’t make the list of the 20 US cities with the worst urban heat islands. Despite what it feels like here in Hollywood on hot days.

 

State

The 4th of July continues to take a toll on bike riders, after a 15-year old Fremont boy died of injuries he suffered in a collision while riding his bike that night.

Despite a number of street safety projects across the city, San Francisco is failing to make progress on Vision Zero, with roughly the same number of fatalities last year as in 2014, when the program to eliminate traffic deaths was adopted. On the other hand, at least they’re undertaking major Vision Zero projects, unlike a certain megalopolis to the south we could mention, which continues to just nibble around the edges.

A San Francisco website says yes, the city needs cheaper bikeshare. But it also needs to do something about those damn potholes and fractured streets.

Redding hopes the public turns out for a mile-long bike parade to celebrate the opening of a new two-way cycle track.

 

National

New Statesman considers how the “populous and multifarious history of women’s cycling” set women free.

A new study shows police traffic stops don’t prevent crashes, while unfairly targeting people of color.

Writing for Road Bike Action, a doctor explains how to treat and survive road rash. Don’t get me started. I once wiped out during a high-speed turn and ended up with road rash from my ankle to my chin. Good times.

Tucson, Arizona man faces a second-degree murder charge for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a 56-year old man riding his bike.

After Tulsa, Oklahoma responded to complaints by ripping out a bike lane that had been installed without consulting the mostly Black residents of North Tulsa, a lone Black man walked the route carrying his bicycle in a powerful solo protest, saying that as a bike rider, he feels like a minority within a minority.

A Houston man got life without parole for fatally shooting a homeless man, after previously shooting the same man in the leg a few months earlier; he also faces charges for the fatal shooting of a woman riding a bicycle five years earlier.

A new book from Massachusetts-based author Peter Zheutlin spins a fictionalized tale about his real life great-great aunt Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, aka Annie Londonderry, famed for being the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world over a 125 years ago.

This is who we share the road with. Five children were injured when an allegedly stoned driver lost control of her car and slammed into a Rochester, New York home, coming to a stop in the living room where they were gathered.

Bizarre story from Philadelphia, where a driver was physically attacked by a bystander while trying to get away after running over a 12-year old boy with his pickup, with the boy’s bike still trapped underneath.

 

International

Fast Company says simply designing cities better — whether through superblocks, a Paris-inspired 15-minute city or going carfree — could cut deaths by all causes up to 20%.

The European Union commits to phasing out new gas and diesel-powered cars by 2035.

The booming gravel bike market is keeping titanium-frame bikemakers busy.

Outside continues to consolidate its growing monopoly on bike news with the purchase of Canada-based Pinkbike and CyclingTips, as well as the TrailForks mountain bike mapping app; the company already owns VeloNews, Peloton, Beta and Triathlete.

A British website explains how to keep your bike from being stolen, and what to do if it is anyway.

A Dutch village near Utrecht unveiled the world’s longest solar power-generating bike path, stretching more than the length of three and a half football fields, as part of a drive to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Speaking of Utrecht, the city’s latest new district will go even further in prioritizing bicyclists and pedestrians by banning cars entirely. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be packing my bags and dusting off my passport.

A Singapore woman begs bike riders to announce their presence to runners and pedestrians before passing by ringing a bell or saying “on your right” (or left, here), or even just “excuse me.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Tadej Pogačar tightened his grip on the yellow jersey, as rivals tried and failed to wrest it from him on Wednesday’s penultimate mountain stage.

The New York Times and National Public Radio both pick up the story of Austrian cyclist Lachlan Morton’s remarkable solo ride along the entire Tour de France route, and every mile in between, raising over half a million for World Bicycle Relief while beating the Tour peloton the Paris by six days.

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride rolls into San Marcos this weekend with three days of festivals and bike racing, while the eponymous 132-mile multi-surface race takes place on Sunday.

A British woman was seriously injured when a commercial van driver apparently missed or ignored warning signs, and crashed into her while she was participating in an officially sanctioned time trial.

 

Finally…

How you, too, can become the country’s newest bicycle mayor. And always wear your helmet — it could save you from a tiger attack.

………

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

 

PCH widening will put bikes in door zone, support urged for CA bike/ped safety bills, and Branson lied about biking to launch

Nothing like sacrificing bike safety on the altar of parking that hasn’t even been built yet.

Malibu is finally getting around to widening a two-mile stretch of deadly PCH between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road to improve safety for people on bicycles.

Except instead of adding bike lanes, they’re merely widening the shoulder so there’s room to add parking, while allowing bikes to share the space on the side of the roadway with the new parked cars.

Which means instead of dodging cars in the traffic lanes, bicyclists will now have to dodge swinging doors from parked cars. And risk getting knocked into those traffic lanes in front of speeding drivers if they don’t.

So if you ride the coast highway, tell everyone you know to tune into Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission.

And tell them to go back to the drawing board.

………

Streets For All has made a number of calls to urge support for important transportation safety bills in the state legislature in recent days.

Unfortunately, most have come too late to repeat here, with the deadline for comments coming before you’d likely have a chance to see it and respond.

However, this one is different.

The LA traffic safety PAC is urging you to send an email before 4 pm today to support a pair of common sense bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and eliminating the state’s blanket prohibition on jaywalking.

Two bills to make our streets safer and friendlier for walking and biking have passed the Senate Transportation Committee and will soon be voted on by the Senate Appropriations Committee:

  • AB 122 would legalize the safety stop, allowing people on bikes to yield at stop signs. Eight states and a number of local jurisdictions have already taken this measure, and research has shown a reduction in bicycle injuries of up to 23% as a result.
  • AB 1238 would replace the archaic ban on “jaywalking” with common sense rules for crossing the street. Today’s laws are used as a pretext for racial profiling and originated from auto industry pressure and corruption.

Both of these bills are important for democratizing our street space. It is time for the rules of the road to reflect the needs of different users, rather than just motorists.

Please use our template below to email a comment to the Appropriations Committee by 4 PM on Wednesday, July 14. Feel free to add your own message, and remember to enter your name and address at the bottom for your comment to be considered.

Streets For All offers an email template you can modify and send to show your support for the bills, with the correct email addresses already included.

………

Speaking of Streets For All, Joe Linton politely pointed out that I got the date wrong, and the group’s Zoom happy hour with UCLA parking expert and professor emeritus Donald Shoup is from 5 to 6 pm this evening, rather than last night.

Confirming once again that I have no idea what the hell day it is any more.

………

That bike commute billionaire Richard Branson took to get to Sunday’s maiden launch of his Virgin Galactic flight into space?

Never happened.

According to Reuters, an anonymous company official admitted it was all a publicity stunt, and the famous ride was actually staged nearly a week before the brief flight.

Never mind that the faked video was supposed to form the basis for a cross-promotion with Trek, which will now be left looking like fools if they use it as originally planned.

Next they’ll probably tell us the flight was staged, too.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle bike rider was confronted by a road-raging driver, apparently for the crime of not confronting him when the motorist made a dangerous and illegal turn to go the wrong way on a traffic circle, and the rider just shook his head and went around him.

Then this —

It’s worth clicking on the tweets to read the whole tread, because most of us have been in similar situations with angry drivers.

And if you haven’t yet, chances are you will.

………

That feeling when an Austin, Texas bike lane is just a feeder route for Pennywise the Clown.

………

Oh, nothing. Just someone riding a bike one handed, with a bag suspended on his handlebars and a sofa on his head.

@albeezyyyyyy

One man moving company

♬ original sound – Albert Molina

………

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 a St. Louis hit-and-run driver who murdered two people at once when he ran down a 19-year old woman riding her bike home from work, despite being six months pregnant.

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

A California appeals court upheld the 16-year sentence for a man who calmly rode off on his bicycle after fatally stabbing an acquaintance in a South LA parking lot.

An Ohio man was shot by police when he pulled a knife on a cop, after he was stopped for carrying a baseball bat on his bike in an early morning incident.

New York police are looking for a Brooklyn bike rider who groped a woman’s ass as she walked on a sidewalk, then yanked down her top, exposing her breasts, before riding off. But at least the cops managed to get a damn good security cam image of the schmuck’s face before he disappeared.

………

Local

The Bike Shop offers a look at last month’s Culver City Pride Ride.

Streetsblog looks at some of the 31 grants made to SoCal cities and groups as part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign, focusing on three in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A San Diego driver crashed his car not once, not twice, but thrice in just a few blocks while allegedly driving under the influence of…something.

Seriously? At least some San Diego residents are complaining that a new coastal bike path is too wide, arguing that it’s designed more like a highway.

Kern County advocacy group Bike Bakersfield offers tips for riding in hot summer weather. Which is something we’re all going to have to get used to.

San Luis Obispo has a shiny new protected intersection, the city’s first. But needless to say, some drivers find it confusing.

Participants in this year’s Pedal the Pacific campaign stop in Santa Cruz on their 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to call attention to sex trafficking. Note to Santa Cruz Sentinel — Just because a group of young women are riding together, a cycling team that does not make.

A Bay Area TV station explains what a bicycle superhighway is, as plans move forward for one in Santa Clara County.

Forbes tests Brompton’s new ebike foldie on the hills of San Francisco.

Sad news from Merced, where a 64-year old Ventura County man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 22-year old man after rear-ending his bicycleNote to cowards — If you’re going to run after a fatal crash, take your damn license plate with you. Or better yet, don’t.

 

National

Axios demonstrates a keen grasp of the obvious, observing that the US has a lot to learn from Europe when it comes to bike friendly cities.

While bikemakers everywhere are struggling to get the parts they need during the pandemic bike boom, Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power has cut 50 days off the supply chain simply by shifting overseas deliveries to a different port that isn’t so backed up.

A Colorado woman is on trial for murder after shooting an alleged meth-using man who had threatened her after she threw his bicycles and drug paraphernalia into the trash.

A San Antonio, Texas bike ride will stop at a pair of the city’s murals promoting vaccinations to call attention to the need to get your shot to fight Covid-19. And yes, that means you.

Kindhearted Pittsburgh firefighters made a little kid’s day by doing a little repair work after he flagged them over to fix the broken training wheels on his bike.

New York Streetsblog complains that the city’s Department of Transportation doesn’t care that a protected bike lane is being blocked by construction work.

 

International

London’s Independent recommends gear for people inspired to ride by the Tour de France.

Here’s your chance to own Princess Diana’s childhood chopper bicycle, if you have a spare thirty to forty grand lying around.

The 72-year old aide on the British version of The Apprentice will be off the show for the foreseeable future after falling off his ebike, and undergoing a number of surgeries due to the “horrific” crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

By the time you read this, Tadej Pogačar will be deeply engaged in defending his yellow jersey in the penultimate mountain top Pyrénées finish in the Tour de France, offering competitors just two more chances to realistically deny him a second straight title.

Pogačar is expressing his confusion over the “strange” tactics other teams are using, at the same time they’re complaining about his team.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome says Pogačar has the race all wrapped up as long as he keeps his bike upright during the final week.

Cycling Weekly fills in the details on Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton’s solo challenge to beat the peloton into Paris by six days, riding the same routes followed by the Tour de France, plus every mile in between. Morton’s ride has raised nearly half a million dollars for World Bicycle Relief, enough to send 3,110 rugged new bicycles to Africa for people in need. Although Bike Radar seems more concerned with his bikepacking rig.

Rouleur celebrates Marianne Vos’ record 30 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia Donne, which used to be known as the Giro Rosa, and her decade-long domination of women’s cycling.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is officially out of the Tokyo Olympics after the Slovak Olympic Committee and Cycling Federation said he won’t recover from recent knee surgery in time to compete.

Outside challenges you to take part in one of their favorite bike races this summer.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the ‘bent bike that drops you looks like a banana. Get a new bike for the price of a canned iced tea — but only if you live north of the border.

And good thing bike riders tend to wear quick drying clothes.

https://twitter.com/london_pco/status/1414635776462180353?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1414635776462180353%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-13-july-2021-284799

………

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

 

Noted safety advocate’s tragic story of friend’s death as they were riding together is compelling — but it may not be true

Due to the time and effort this story has taken, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll catch up on anything we missed tomorrow. 

Photo by Danny Gamboa.

………

It’s not unusual for advocates to disagree about bike and traffic safety.

It’s doesn’t necessarily mean one person is right and the other wrong. And it doesn’t mean we can’t respect one another, or work together on issues where we find common ground.

That’s the position I find myself now, after learning respected safety advocate Pat Hines, founder of the nationally recognized nonprofit youth program Safe Moves, opposes the California Safety Stop, aka Stop as Yield, bill that recently passed the state assembly.

Hines cites a personal tragedy in opposing the bill, when a friend was killed as they were riding together while training.

This is from a recent story from the Sacramento Bee.

For Pat Hines, founder of traffic safety group Safe Moves, this bill is personal.

While training for the 1984 Olympics, Hines and a fellow cyclist, Sue Latham, rode their bikes through an intersection, believing they had enough time to cross. Hines made it across, but Latham was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle.

Hines tells virtually the same story in this 2013 piece from the Mountain View Voice.

Safe Moves founder, Pat Hines, started the organization in 1983, after her friend, Sue Latham, was killed while the two were riding their bikes together.

Neither of the two were wearing helmets, Hines recalls, “because I don’t like helmets and I had asked her not to wear one either.”

Hines blew through a stop sign and Latham followed her. And while Hines made it in time, Latham didn’t — she was struck by a passing car, which never stopped.

There’s just one problem.

It may not be true.

……….

I confess, I wasn’t aware of Hines’ opposition to AB 122, or the tragedy that spurred her life of advocacy, until a few days ago.

That’s when I received an email from Serge Issakov, a longtime advocate for San Diego bicyclists.

I don’t always agree with him, either. But I always respect him, and his opinion, and make a point of listening to whatever he has to say.

It was Issakov who pointed me to the article in the Bee, and called out the discrepancy in her story.

As the stop-as-yield bill is working its way through Sacramento there have been several articles about it, and several quote cycling safety advocate and former RAAM racer Pat Hines, who opposes the bill, saying that she was once riding with a friend, Sue Latham, who rolled a stop and was hit, fatally. I of course felt empathy for the horror Hines must have experienced as I first read the story in the Sacramento Bee.

He reached out to me after coming across this 2018 article from the LA Daily Mirror historic website, which tells a radically different story about how Latham was killed.

One which did not involve them riding together — or Latham running a stop sign.

In fact, she wasn’t even on her bike at the time.

California Highway Patrol investigators said that [Sue Latham] was apparently kneeling on the side of the highway, trying to unjam the gears on her bike, when a motorist hit her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet in the air, causing massive head injuries and leaving a pool of blood on Pacific Coast Highway. Whoever hit her dragged her to the construction site and partially undressed her to make it appear that she had been raped, and then made a second trip to get her bike, the CHP said. Because she was nearly 6 feet tall, investigators said it might have taken two people to drag her to where she was found.

As Issakov pointed out, two extremely different accounts.

One is a simple, and all too common story, about a hit-and-run that occurred after someone blew a stop, with tragic consequences.

The other, a bizarre tale that strains all credibility.

Except it’s the second version that seems to be true.

………

The story starts to change as you move back in time.

Starting with this 2008 story in the Sahuarita Sun, which cites Hines as saying Latham had run a red light, rather than a stop sign.

Hines told students she started the organization in memory of her best friend, Sue Latham, who died in 1983 when she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Hines, also on a bicycle, had run a red light, and her friend followed. Latham was thrown 65 feet and died in the hospital three days later.

Hines said she was young at the time of the accident, and reckless about traffic safety.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my friend,” Hines said.

Note that the story is also off by two years on the 1981 date of Latham’s death.

However, those discrepancies can easily be written off as a simple trick of memory.

More troubling is a 1993 story from the Los Angeles Times, which suggests Hines wasn’t with Latham at all when she was struck.

And again, the story incorrectly sets Latham’s death in 1983, rather than 1981.

She began (Safe Moves) after her best friend was killed on a bicycle Nov. 13, 1983, by a hit-and-run motorist. Sue Latham had been on her way to meet Hines for a morning ride on Malibu’s Pacific Coast Highway.

“The guilt I felt for Sue’s death was overwhelming,” Hines said. “I’d been responsible for her being interested in bicycle riding… I’d told her, ‘Don’t worry, the cars have to look out for us.’ ”

………

But when we go back to more contemporaneous accounts, like this 1982 Associated Press story published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel just over two months after Latham’s death, and archived on the California Digital Newspaper Collection maintained by UC Riverside, the story changes completely.

And the bizarre fake rape story starts to become much more credible.

It was near dawn on a cloudy Sunday morning last fall when Miss Latham set out alone from Santa Monica on a bicycle ride up the scenic highway.

She had moved to Los Angeles just two months earlier from Austin, Texas. Miss Latham, who held a master’s degree in quantum mechanics, seemed to be settling nicely into the Southern California lifestyle. She had joined a swim club and loved to bicycle.

As she pedaled her 10-speed into Malibu on Nov. 15, she apparently developed a problem with the bike and got off to make repairs along the shoulder of the road. As Miss Latham was working, an automobile swerved and struck her, throwing her 15 to 20 feet.

Investigators say the driver, and perhaps another person, got out of the car and dragged her to a site about 100 feet away. They removed her shorts and underpants, shoved her beneath a partially constructed home and drove off. Police say it was an attempt to make Miss Latham look as if she was raped and beaten.

Two days later, in a hospital, Miss Latham died of head injuries and the Malibu office of the California Highway Patrol had a homicide to solve…

The story goes on to describe a billboard campaign and reward intended to find Latham’s killer.

And it mentions Hines, with no suggestion she was with Sue Latham when she was killed.

Pat Hines, a member of the (Santa Monica Swim Club) and a friend of Miss Latham’s, is hoping to boost the reward to $100,000.

Ms Hines said friends told her that as soon as the emotional impact wore off, people would lose interest. It isn’t true, she said. “I get letters from people all the time”, including from those whose sons and daughters have been killed by hit-and-run drivers, she said. “People are desperate to help.”

“I don’t want to let it get by”, she said. “I don’t want her to become just another statistic.”

………

An even more contemporaneous article from the Austin American Statesman, written just a month after Latham’s death, tells her personal story in much more detail.

And confirms the tragic crime as told by the CHP, rather than Hines’ version of events.

The paper describes Latham as having a genius IQ, and publishing an article on the quantum mechanical study of a particular laser reaction in the journal of a prestigious British academic society, while studying for her masters at the University of Texas.

She was also a talented artist, with her work displayed in a New York gallery when she was just 17.

And she was active in the budding environmental movement of the 1970s, as well as campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Somewhere along the way, though, her interests shifted to the family business of writing, following in the footsteps of her novelist father and screenwriter sister and brother-in-law.

Which led her to move to Los Angeles to break into the business as a screenwriter and actress. And led to her friendship with Hines, then an advertising director for KRTH-AM.

“I met Sue in a restaurant,” Hines recalled. “I train daily on a bike, and Sue asked me if I knew any places to ride that were safe. I told her LA is really a bad place to ride…cars are everywhere and motorists don’t pay any attention to people on bikes. I said it was important to ride with somebody, and she kind of smiled and said, “I don’t worry about things like that…

The bike route Hines and other friends suggested was the Pacific Coast Highway, but they said the ride should only be undertaken early in the morning when traffic was light, preferably on holidays or weekends.

On the final day of her life, Latham borrowed her sister’s car, and parked behind Gladstones at Sunset and PCH, where she planned to meet the other members of the swim team later that Sunday morning.

Shortly after 7 am, Latham got off her bike on southbound PCH and knelt alongside the road; the CHP suspected she was fixing a mechanical problem.

That’s when the driver, who still hasn’t been caught 40 years later, veered off the side of the road, slamming into her.

Unconscious, and likely clinically dead, she was alone and defenseless against her killer or killers.

What happened next turned the case from a routine traffic accident into a bizarre incident that captured the attention of a city not known for its compassion.

Someone dragged Latham off the roadway, leaving her under a beach house under construction about 30 feet from the highway. Doctors later found sand in her brain.

After the injured woman was hidden from view, someone removed Latham’s shorts and underwear. her bike was concealed behind a nearby construction crane, and her backpack, containing her current journal, was stolen.

Note that there is no mention of Hines, or anyone else, being with her, other than the heartless cowards who took her life and went to extraordinary lengths to coverup the crime.

In fact, the story makes it very clear that, not only was Hines not with her, but wasn’t even aware of her death until the next day.

Outrage. The word comes up frequently in conversations with Californians who knew Latham or who have heard about the case.

One person who uses the word is Hines.

“We must have ridden right past her and not known it,” she said.

Hines said she got back to the restaurant where Sue had left her car about 2 pm that Sunday, but did not notice the Mercedes was still there.

The next morning, unaware of the accident, Hines saw Latham’s car in the restaurant parking lot about 6 am.

“It was still pitch dark,” she said. “I thought Sue might have gone swimming by herself. I ran up and down the beach but I didn’t see her.”

Then, assuming Latham must have been somewhere else, Hines went for a swim herself.

In fact, Pat Hines didn’t even learn about Latham’s impeding death until around 10 am Monday, when someone called the radio station to make sure Hines was okay.

The caller told Hines that an unidentified young woman had been critically injured in a hit-and-run on the Pacific Coast Highway. She had been admitted to Santa Monica Hospital as “Jane Doe.”

I knew it had to be Sue,” Hines said. I called the restaurant and found her car was still there. I called one of her friends and she said she had not seen Sue in two days.

Convinced the woman was Sue Latham, Hines contacted Latham’s brother-in-law.

She and the brother-in-law went to the hospital that Monday, and identified Latham.

Sue Latham died at 10:30 the following night.

………

None of this is to suggest that Pat Hines is intentionally lying.

Maybe, as Serge Issakov suggests, she just needed a compelling story for her advocacy work, and it evolved over time.

But time can play tricks on memory, especially when clouded by grief and survivor’s guilt.

Pat Hines lifetime of work on behalf of bike-riding children has surely earned our respect, and more than a modicum of consideration; there’s no telling just how many young lives she could be responsible for saving.

We also haven’t heard her side of this story. Issakov reached out to her for a reaction, but hasn’t received a response at the time this was written.

And I’m more than willing to post her response if she sees this.

Let’s also not forget that real story is, or should be, that there’s someone out there, living or dead, who’s gotten away with killing an innocent young woman for a full four decades.

But the next time Pat Hines tells the story of how Sue Latham died, whether to oppose AB 122 or any other reason, take it with a grain of salt.

Or maybe a five pound bag.

………

Eid Mubarak to all those observing today’s holiday!

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Two bike riders killed in Malibu collisions on PCH; just two of five fatal crashes on LA’s killer highway in recent weeks

My biggest fear when I agreed to surgery on my arm and hand was that someone would lose their life riding a bike, and I wouldn’t be able to write about the victim.

Which is exactly what happened in Malibu.

And not once, but twice.

The first came when three men were crossing Pacific Coast Highway just west of Busch Drive around 10:35 pm on Easter Sunday, one of whom was apparently walking a bicycle.

According to the Malibu Times, the man with the bike was struck and killed by a driver headed west on PCH.

A few moments later, one of his companions was struck and killed by a second driver as he scrambled to collect the victim’s belongings from the roadway.

Both men apparently died at the scene, just minutes apart. According to the paper, there have now been three people killed at the same spot in recent years.

Six days later, another man was killed while riding his bike at PCH and Corral Canyon.

The crash occurred sometime after dark on Saturday, April 10th.

The victim was riding without lights or reflectors when he was run down by a driver headed east on PCH at 51 mph, as recorded on the vehicle’s black box. He was knocked onto the other side of the highway, where he may have been struck by another driver.

There’s no word on whether the victim was riding on PCH or trying to cross the street. There’s also no word on whether the second driver remained at the scene.

Unfortunately, no identification was given for any of the victims, other than the first two men were homeless, while the third may have been.

But they all deserved better.

These are at least the 18th and 19th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the fourth and fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

They are also just two of at least five people killed on PCH in Malibu since early March, along with another pedestrian and the driver of an SUV who went off the road.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for all the victims and their loved ones.

Thanks to Valley Duke for the heads-up.

 

 

 

 

Morning Links: Super Bowl biking, Malibu road closures, Triple Crown Rider dies, and surprise! they’re cops

Rumor has it there’s a football game this weekend.

Which makes Sunday the perfect time to ride, if you can avoid those SoCal raindrops and get back before the drunks hit the road.

Maybe even before they start their beer runs.

Or join the LACBC — maybe even literally — for a historic spin around San Fernando and Pacoima before the game starts. Update: The ride has been cancelled due to threat of rain.

You should be home in plenty of time for the kickoff. Or the first commercials, if that’s what you’re into.

And in honor of the Super Bowl, let’s take another look at what may be the most innocuous, ineffectual Vision Zero ad in human history.

No offense to the Rams punter, who did his best with a crappy script and a weak concept.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will actually take Vision Zero seriously, and come up with a hard-hitting message targeting the city’s entitled drivers.

We can dream, can’t we?

………

If you’re planning to take advantage of a break in the storms to ride PCH or any of the canyons in the ‘Bu this weekend, watch out for road closures, mud flows and boulders in the roadway.

………

Sad news from the Inland Empire, where Cerritos cyclist John Clare was killed in a hiking accident.

The well-loved Triple Crown Cyclist — honoring riders who complete three century rides in a calendar year — was hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest when he lost his footing on an ice chute and fell 500 feet down a ravine.

A crowdfunding campaign to benefit his family has raised over $4,400, exceeding the $2,500 goal in just two days.

Thanks to Bill Clare (no relation) for the heads-up.

………

Sometimes it takes awhile to get to the punchline.

All week we’ve talking about the Aussie man who illegally drove on a bike path to scream abuse at the two bicyclists riding legally on the parallel roadway.

Today, we learned that the bike riders were off-duty cops.

Oops.

………

UC San Diego is celebrating the opening of a new bridge over I-5 linking the two sides of the campus, with sidewalks and bike lanes to cut commute times and improve safety for non-driving students and faculty.

Click here to RSVP.

Correction: I initially wrote San Diego State University when I meant UC San Diego. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip, and Charles for the correction.

………

OC bike lawyer Ed Rubinstein offers a correction to yesterday’s item saying you have two years to file a lawsuit if you’re injured in a crash.

According to a comment from Rubinstein,

The comment about the deadline to file a civil suit in California after a crash is accurate, but dangerously incomplete. The deadline to file a personal injury or property loss against a private person or entity is correctly stated as 2 years. However in California if a public government entity is involved (I.e., state or local government and any public entity e.g. CALTRANS, CHP, a public school or university) you must first file a claim within only 6 months (California Tort Claims Act Gov’t Code 810-996.6). So if a cyclist is hit by a school bus, public transit bus or a police car, the deadline is 6 months to first file a claim. Also the 6 months claim requirement applies if the crash involves a dangerous road condition.

………

Local

The state’s Active Transportation Program has awarded a $35 million grant to provide safe routes to schools around eight Los Angeles schools, as well as improving routes for seniors in five LA neighborhoods.

Los Angeles expects to receive $46 million in funding to convert 2.8-miles of Manchester Ave and Broadway in South Los Angeles into Complete Streets to improve safety and revitalize a blighted area.

A bike rider is lucky to be alive, after firefighters rescued him as he clung to a branch with his bike in the rain-swollen LA River near Griffith Park yesterday.

KCRW asks if car-loving Angelenos will say yes to congestion pricing.

Streetsblog reports that two new Metro Bike docking stations have been installed in Koreatown.

Downey officials celebrate the city’s new docked bikeshare system, available through the Zagster app at the Apple App Store, as well as Google Play.

State

Orange County plans to reduce the hazards on Hazard Ave by installing a parking-protected bike lane on a four-mile stretch of the street connecting Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster.

A pair of OC ebike shops are struggling to survive Trump’s tariffs imposed in his trade war with China.

The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help prepare for its Operation Ride for the Red fundraiser in Ventura County this May. They’re also looking for participants.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole five custom-made motorized bicycles from a Bakersfield veteran’s garage after he died last week.

Caught on video. It takes a real schmuck to break in and steal a bicycle from a Stockton church-based co-op that repairs bicycles for the poor and gives free bikes to people in need.

Sacramento police busted a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 12-year old girl on a bicycle while driving with a suspended license; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

National

The erstwhile Captain Kirk — or TJ Hooker, if you prefer — talks to Ad Age about his new Pedego commercial and love of ebikes. While he was riding one, no less.

The alleged drunk driver who killed two Honolulu pedestrians and a bike rider, and injured four other people, faces up to 60 years behind bars on three counts of vehicular manslaughter; he’s being held on $1 million bond.

Utah moves closer to adopting the Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and proceed through red lights after coming to a full stop — but only when there’s no conflicting traffic.

A Denver man explains why he commutes by bikeshare, instead of driving. Or owning a bicycle.

Someone’s been breaking into Chicago bike shops, and making their getaway on the bikes they steal.

An Illinois man will serve 59 years for the drive-by shooting that killed a 27-year old bike rider, with no chance of parole.

Yes, you can go Viking Biking in a polar vortex, even when it’s -20° Minneapolis.

Life is really cheap in Maine, where a driver walks with just a $1,000 fine and three-month license suspension for killing a respected doctor as she was riding her bike. He played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes.

A new zero-waste Brooklyn grocery startup will deliver your order by bicycle, and pick up the reusable packaging when they deliver your next order.

Three Good Samaritans were honored for saving a man’s life when he suffered a heart attack during a New York state bike race.

Some people can’t see the highway for the cars. Somehow, motor vehicles are allowed in a Virginia wildlife sanctuary, but county officials think bicycles would have too great an impact on the environment.

International

Life is cheap in the UK, too. The allegedly distracted driver who killed the mother of bike advocate and former pro cyclist Chris Boardman got off with just 30 weeks behind bars and an 18-month ban on driving.

Police in a British town release a short video showing “anti-social cycling” by young bike riders.

Helsinki plans to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by building a tunnel under a railway station for the equivalent of $26 million.

It will now cost Dutch bicyclists the equivalent of $110 if they’re caught using a cellphone while riding.

The Indian state of Goa rewards traffic vigilantes for informing police about scofflaw drivers. Can we do that here? Goa also has the best Indian food. Just saying.

Iraq, maybe. But you might not want to add North Korea to your bike bucket list yet.

A Kiwi columnist calls bicyclists the road users we all love to hate. But redeems herself by noting that every bike is one less car, and calling for improving safety for people on two wheels.

Competitive Cycling

Today’s racing news is all about the Amgen Tour of California.

Almost, anyway.

The full route for this year’s race was released yesterday; officials describe the 773-mile route as the longest and most challenging yet. But once again, women get the scraps, with just three stages totaling 177 miles.

Both the men’s and women’s races will finish with a lap around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Meanwhile, you’ll get a chance to ride the race’s Mount Baldy stage when the annual L’Etape California by Le Tour de France before racers take the road.

In non-AToC news, the sexist prick clearly didn’t fall far from the tree. After Belgian pro Iljo Keisse walked with a small fine for rubbing his genitals against an Argentine waitress while posing for a photo, his father claims that she was partly responsible for being “very suggestive with her ass.” Note to clueless pricks: It doesn’t matter what the fuck a woman does — or what you think she does. No one has a right to touch another human being in a sexual manner without their consent. Period.

Finally…

At last, an e-Ducati you can take on MTB trails. Why pedal when you can use a sail?

And yes, he may have been texting while driving a car with expired plates, was already wanted for evading police, and drove off down a one-way street when a bike cop tried to pull him over.

But at least he said he was sorry as he drove off.

Morning Links: Westbound PCH closures for fire repairs, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and more ‘Tis the season

It’s the 13th day of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And allows me to devote whatever I have left on this planet trying to make it a better place for people on two wheels. 

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated!

………

Don’t plan on riding PCH anytime soon.

Caltrans will be closing sections of the right lane and shoulder on a 20-mile stretch of the westbound PCH in Malibu between Coastline Drive and Decker Canyon Road to repair damage caused by the Woolsey Fire.

The work will take place between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Saturday; no word on when they expect to be finished.

The state will also close one lane in each direction on PCH between Puerco Canyon and Corral Canyon roads to work on a median project.

………

CiclaValley has a notable ride to work for the second day in a row — and not in a good way — after yesterday’s high-speed buzz by a motorcyclist.

………

A second Dutch bike rider barely avoided getting run down by a train after riding around crossing barriers, just days after video surfaced of a similar incident.

………

‘Tis the season.

One hundred kids from a Gardena youth and family services program got new bicycles courtesy of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon and Rally Health.

London’s Telegraph offers a holiday gift guide for roadies.

An English news site is attempting to raise the equivalent of nearly $160,000 for the country’s MS Society this holiday season; woman with MS who bought an ebike with a grant from the group calls it a game changer.

And in less happy news, a Cape Town, South Africa bike shop was vandalized and looted in the wake of a festival kicking off the holiday season; authorities were able to get four of the stolen bikes back.

………

Local

An environmental justice advocate is recruiting bicyclists to monitor air quality in Southeast and East LA.

Pasadena public radio station KPCC examines why California’s three foot passing law is so seldom enforced in the LA area, and how that contributes to the city’s well-earned status as America’s worst bike city; you can find the same report on LAist if you’d rather read than listen. Both versions have the extreme good taste to quote yours truly.

 

State

San Diego will spend $2.3 million to connect two existing bike paths in Carmel Valley, closing a missing link in the regional bike network.

A Palo Alto bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was run down from behind by the driver of a Porsche SUV, while riding in a green bike lane.

San Francisco voted to become the first major city in the US to eliminate minimum parking restrictions.

The City by the Bay will add parking protection to an existing bike lane to keep parents out of it when they drop off and pick up their kids from a nearby school.

On the other side of the Bay, Oakland approved plans for a purple and green parking protected bike lane.

 

National

Streetsblog offers suggestions of what a Green New Deal could look like.

The former head of the Chicago and DC departments of transportation says the solution to quickly and easily accommodating e-scooters and other forms of micromobility is restriping streets to create narrow “slow lanes.”

An 1896 Portland map shows the city’s bike culture goes back at least 122 years.

Oregon police use a bait bike to bust four bike thieves. That’s something that the LAPD still doesn’t use, despite the city’s soaring bike theft problem, due to the City Attorney’s office fears of entrapment.

A Washington man rode 4,233 miles through 13 Mid-American states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance. Although it doesn’t seem to have worked just yet.

The LA Times recommends a seven-day bike tour through the Arizona desert, beginning and ending in Tucson, for the low, low price of just $2,995. Or you could just, you know, go to Tucson, get on your bike, and start riding.

Now that’s more like it. A DC-area county has approved a new bike plan calling for an additional 750 miles of paths, trails and separated bike lanes, to go with 250 miles already on the ground; as usual, they just need the money to pay for it.

Florida bicyclists want to know why the distracted driver who killed two bike riders wasn’t charged; police say the sun was in her eyes, yet somehow it didn’t blind the group of riders she slammed into.

 

International

National Geographic offers their take on the world’s best bike cities. San Francisco made the list; oddly, Tucson got the only honorable mention, despite ranking just 24th in the US according to Bicycling. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

An Irish writer politely notes that some bicyclists are “bending the rules,” perhaps because the explosive growth in bicycling is outpacing bike infrastructure. Or it could be that some people are just jerks, whether on two wheels or four.

Dutch bike writer David Hembrow says overuse of motorized transport is destroying everything.

He gets it. The mayor of Tehran has joined the country’s Car-Free Tuesdays movement to help reduce the effects of air pollution, riding his bike to work this week, while taking a subway last week.

Apropos of today’s weather in Los Angeles, Bicycle Times offers tips from an Aussie rider on how to stay safe while biking in the rain.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Daily Breeze posted, then removed, a story reporting next year’s Amgen Tour of California would end with a stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. So maybe you now have advanced word if they took it down because they jumped a news embargo. Or not.

VeloNews explains why elite women’s ‘cross is must-see TV.

Phil Liggett say the death of close friend and broadcast partner Paul Sherwen is hard to believe, and hints that it may cause him to rethink his role as the voice of professional cycling.

American pro cyclist Ian Boswell explains what happens when a bike racer turns race promoter.

 

Finally…

The bicycling model of financial management. Evidently, wearing a mask on your bike in the cold can get you arrested for frightening children.

And London’s bike shop to rock royalty.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Keith Richards riding a bicycle. Fortunately, you don’t have to

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