Tag Archive for murder

Man killed struggling with Venice bike thief, Whittier hit-and-run driver jailed, and driver busted for South LA hit-and-run

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing the final two days of last week.

Thanks for your patience while I dealt with a seemingly endless string of medical tests and exams, which is finally drawing to a close today, just in time for tomorrow’s Election Day. 

So let’s get right to it. 

And remember, if it society devolves into complete and utter chaos after the polls close, a bicycle is your best way of bugging hell out of here.

Wherever here happens to be. 

Today’s photo comes courtesy of David Drexler, who spotted this bike wheel table in a high-end WeHo furniture store. 

Just in case anyone has me on their Secret Santa list after this is all over. 

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Just horrible.

A 73-year old man is dead after a struggle with a Venice bike thief.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was standing with his bike on the corner of Victoria Ave and Beethoven Street around 1:45 pm Wednesday, when a man identified as 33-year old Dylan Brumley tried to wrestle the bicycle out of his grasp.

The victim fell to the ground as he clung to his bike, hitting his head on the pavement; he died at a hospital early Saturday morning.

Boyle only held his ill-gotten prize half an hour before he was busted by sheriff’s deputies.

No word on what he’s charged with. But murder sounds good to me.

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We may finally see justice for a Whittier bike rider, nearly three years after he was killed in a hit-and-run.

Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes was arrested in Australia and extradited to the US for allegedly fleeing the scene after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr. in January, 2018.

Rodriguez was dragged nearly the length of three football fields under his killer’s car.

Investigators located Reyes’ car in Idaho, with other evidence found in Las Vegas. The FBI tracked her first to Hong Kong, before she moved on to Australia.

She faces felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in death and vehicular manslaughter; charges will likely be added for fleeing the country.

Thanks to John Damman and my friends at Mumford Brewing, as well as an anonymous source, for the heads-up.

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In yet another fatal hit-and-run, Moises Iscaya was busted three months after fleeing the scene when he allegedly killed Jose Guerra, as Guerra rode his bike with his daughters in South LA.

Iscaya reportedly slammed into Guerra’s bike while traveling at a high rate of speed, taking his life in full view of his two young daughters, who may never get over the emotional and psychological trauma.

He’s currently being held on $2 million bail.

Which sounds about right.

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Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a bike rider who was struck by a semi driver in Hacienda Heights Thursday afternoon.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a hospital in undisclosed condition.

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Remarkably, a bike rider jumped back up after going over the roof of a car whose driver was doing donuts during the impromptu Dodgers World Series celebration in DTLA Tuesday night.

Needless to say, the driver didn’t bother to stick around afterwards.

Here’s another view.

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If you had a bike stolen near Tilt Coffee in DTLA recently, you may be in luck.

Thanks to Jojo for the tip.

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Old Pacific Highway will be closed through Camp Pendleton during daylight hours this week, from 7 am to 6 pm; bicycles are allowed on the shoulder of I-5 during the closure.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the news.

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Take a moment to voice your support for protected bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd in the Pico neighborhood.

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You can now officially bike from the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the beach at Playa Vista, on LA County’s newly completed 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, connecting to numerous parks and recreation areas along the way.

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Mountain bike legend Gary Fisher says we should all check out his son’s El Prado bar in Echo Park.

And thankfully, it has take out service.

Because after tomorrow, we’re all going to need it.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the forward.

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Speaking of Huntsman, he found a Jack O’Lantern that must be absolutely terrifying to many LA drivers.

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A reminder to Bike the Vote, if you haven’t already.

Although I maintained tradition and Corgied the Vote, as usual.

But cast my vote for the most bike-friendly candidate on this year’s ballot.

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Add a little gravel to one of SoCal’s most iconic climbs.

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The worst ways to end a bike ride.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Seattle man who dragged a cat behind his bike for an unknown distance; police took the cat to a local vet, and threw the schmuck behind bars.

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Local

Good news, as Bike Index is now the official bicycle registration partner of the LAPD.

A Lancaster bike safety program is urging school students to See and Be Seen. Because that’s so much cheaper than actually building safer streets.

Kate Hudson is one of us, as is her dad Kurt Russell, as they go for a ride through LA along with her longtime boyfriend.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is one of us, going for a mountain bike ride in Calabasas (scroll down…keep scrolling…no, further…).

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the San Diego Bicycle Coalition’s Oliver Zuniga, saying the San Diego man is using his passion for bikes to make bicycling more inclusive and accessible. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

A Temecula man was booked for DUI after slamming into a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle, leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a 48-year old man was killed after apparently losing control of his bike and getting hit by a pair of drivers.

San Francisco bike riders are understandably up in arms over the removal of a raised bike lane from plans for a revised Market Street, due to budget cuts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

 

National

PeopleforBikes offers tips on how to keep biking throughout the fall.

Bloomberg examines whether bikes can keep booming post-coronavirus.

Short bicyclists can ride big wheels on the trails, too.

Writing for Outside, a bike-riding woman describes what it’s like to hit someone on a bicycle with your car.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske considers when you should ride with daytime lights, concluding it’s better to just use them all the time. And reminds us that a lack of lights at night will be used against you in the event of a collision.

The victim who was killed when she was pushed off her bike in Las Vegas last week was remembered for her kindness; the man who killed her fell to his death, while the driver of the van is being held without bail. Her husband called it “an unnecessary tragedy that was 100% avoidable;” Michelle “Shelli” Weissman had just started riding a bike during the pandemic. Thanks to Steve Hansen and John McBrearty for the links.

After some coldhearted schmuck stole a trailer containing 18 bikes and helmets used by students at a Colorado middle school, the community pitched in to replace them — donating nearly 50 bicycles and helmets to the school.

A Colorado man is facing a pair of vehicular homicide charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. The 18-year old driver was allegedly drunk and stoned on weed, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and driving on the shoulder when he slammed into the victim.

A Texas man spent nearly two months riding over 3,000 miles around the perimeter of the state.

My new hero. An Ohio fourth grader rode his bike in the rain to pick up a curbside lunch for his brothers and sisters.

He gets it. A Brooklyn prosecutor says it’s time for cops to stop blaming the victims in fatal crashes.

Angry DC residents protested when a mo-ped scooter rider was killed in a collision while he was being chased by police for…wait for it…not wearing a helmet. Seriously.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A hit-and-run driver took the life of a prominent Ohio criminal defense attorney as he was riding his bike.

A South Carolina bikemaker says only automation can bring factories back to the US.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever pulled a gun on a 13-year old Mississippi boy to steal his bike; fortunately, an outpouring of community support ensured he got a new one.

 

International

Bike Radar considers just how green bicycling really is, determining it compares favorably to walking, transit and cars, and ebikes are even better.

A London bike rider lost control while riding with no hands, flipping over a parked motorscooter, then getting up and riding off as an angry delivery chased after him on the damaged scooter.

A London bicyclist was awarded the equivalent of nearly $64,000 after suffering permanent brain damage going over the handlebars when a dog ran in front of his bike.

Carfree neighborhoods are the surprising new frontline in the UK’s culture wars.

That’s more like it. A British appeals court added the equivalent of a $23,000 fine after concluding that a driver got off way too easy for crashing into two bike riders while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

A new Dutch study concludes that ebike riders are no more likely to suffer serious injuries than people on regular bicycles.

Wall Street is suddenly in love with bicycling, as Germany’s 30-year old Canyon cashes in.

An eye-raising Indian government report says bicycle riders killed 195 pedestrians last year; traffic safety experts say not so fast.

Seniors in India’s Goa state are pedaling their way to better health.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett had his victory in the Vuelta’s ninth stage stripped after he was relegated when helicopter footage showed him repeatedly body checking another rider; Bennett said anyone who races would understand his actions.

Next year’s Vuelta will be the first bike race to actually start inside a cathedral.

No surprise here, as the first major bike race of the 2021 season has been cancelled; the Tour Down Under hopes to roll again in 2022.

The former Dirty Kanzaa gravel race has rebranded itself as Gravel Unbound, after the belated realization that the name was slur against a Kansas Native American tribe.

 

Finally…

When you specialize in using loopholes to get guilty drivers off the hook, maybe you’re not the best authority on how bicyclists should ride. Your next bike helmet could be one big solar cell to power your electronic devices.

And no. Just…no.

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his very generous monthly donation, which is very appreciated. 

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

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

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

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

One more reminder that diabetes sucks. 

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

And another reminder came yesterday.

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

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

And which was probably caused by diabetes. 

Good times. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just like we saw in Las Vegas.

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

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

Thanks to Howard for the tip.

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

And too often, innocent people pay the price.

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

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

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

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

But maybe take a little dramamine first.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

Ped superhero Peatónito studies LA Vision Zero fail; Slow Streets win at LA Council, and bike rider busted for Metro murder

I’ve never been one for the whole superhero genre, preferring to find heroes in real life.

But I make an exception for Mexico City’s caped protector of pedestrians, the legendary Peatónito.

So I was pleased when he popped up in my inbox today, courtesy of an email from pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks.

Nowadays it feels like we can all use a hero or shero. So we’re happy to introduce Peatónito! He comes to us from Mexico City, where he began his masked work saving lives and slowing traffic. And Peatónito has traveled beyond, from NYC to Los Angeles, fighting against the crime of poorly designed streets & sidewalks and reckless driving through creative public demonstrations and street theater.

This summer, Los Angeles Walks partnered with the crime fighter as we trained future generations of peatónitos and organized for safe street changes. He finished his training at UCLA’s Institute of Transportaiton Studies, where he penned a pedestrian manifesto (or his graduate capstone paper) titled The Pedestrian Battle of Los Angeles: How to Empower Communities to Plan and Implement Pedestrian Road Safety Infrastructure.

And what a manifesto it is.

Even a brief summary nails the city’s gaping equity gap, as well as the experience most of us have had in fighting for a safer city, for people on two feet or two wheels.

• Walking in a non-white census tract increases the probability of being killed or severely injured by a motor vehicle in Los Angeles (Figure 1). Black people are only 8% of the population, but 20% of all pedestrian fatalities. Meanwhile, median income, vulnerable age (children and older adults), and the number of cars in a household do not have a statistically significant relationship with pedestrian road safety.

• City council members are responsive to residents’ demands and threats opposing pedestrian-focused traffic safety. Even when other city agencies and LADOT support these improvements, the city council has more power over deciding the outcome of road safety infrastructure plans. Consequently, there is a need to balance this power dynamic.

• Affluent, car-oriented residents tend to have stronger influence over council members, who prioritize their concerns over those of underserved people. This power dynamic in LA permits small groups of noisy stakeholders to hijack a conversation; they manipulate the narrative to make it seem convenient for everyone. It is vital to give more power to the people that fight for safe streets, whose voices

“The pedestrian is nobody in this city, he has been forgotten by authorities and our own citizenry. The curious and paradoxical thing is that we are all pedestrians at some moment. As such, we have forgotten ourselves.” – Peatónito

 

Here’s how Los Angeles Walks succinctly sums up Peatónito’s recommendations.

• The City must recommit and strengthen the Vision Zero program, a city-wide initiative to reduce traffic fatalities to ZERO by 2025.

• The City budget should adequately fund and staff all of Vision Zero’s goals, including the Dignity Infused Community Engagement (DICE) project.

• The state should get rid of the 85th percentile rule, a state rule that requires speed to be set at the average of ongoing traffic, which has led to what many call “speed creep.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Let’s hope he sticks around. LA pedestrians — and bike riders — could really use our own superhero.

Photos and quotes courtesy of Los AngelesWalks

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Speaking of which, it looks like people won out over cars in the City of Angels for a change.

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They got her.

Twenty-five-year old Los Angeles resident Irma Monroy was busted for the murder of a Metro employee at DTLA’s 7th Street train station, after she allegedly stabbed the victim in the chest following a heated dispute.

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There’s truly a special place in hell for the Arkansas driver who — allegedly — rammed a woman jogging on the side of the road with his pickup, then carried her off and sexually assaulted her before burying her beside a rural road.

Let’s hope he ends up in a very deep, dark pit for a very long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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The bike swap meet scheduled for this weekend by the Mid City West Community Council has been postposed until the following weekend.

Which could come in handy now that the bike boom has cleaned out many bike shops.

MCW Neighborhood Bike Swap
Sat. Oct. 31st, 2020 Halloween!!
7765 Melrose Ave, (Sportie LA parking lot across from Fairfax High)
9 am  to 1 pm. 

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This is why you need to register your bike.

Now.

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Here’s your biennial reminder to get out and bike the vote.

https://twitter.com/starryflo/status/1317571256456159234

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see a community organization pressing the candidates for LA’s 10th Council District about their stands on active transportation.

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Looks like The New Yorker is catching up on the city’s coronavirus bike boom.

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

Business owners in Bristol, England are calling for the removal of a new bike lane, claiming it’s killing their business. Because evidently, ripping it out makes far more sense than trying to entice the passing bike riders into their shops.

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

A bike-riding San Bernardino County man has been busted for a series of peeping, burglary and indecent exposure incidents.

Heartbreaking news, as a dog died five days after a bike rider allegedly kicked it in the head for no apparent reason as his owners were running with him on a Minnesota trail. Although something tells me there may be more to the story; bicyclists usually don’t kick at a dog unless it’s attacking them.

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Local

Another paper from UCLA’s Luskin Center documents a century of failed efforts to reign in LA traffic.

 

State

Sad news from San Diego, where a man apparently died of natural causes while mountain biking on a canyon trail near the Miramar National Cemetery.

Santa Barbara considers installing a docked ebike bikeshare system on the city’s main street.

More sad news, this time from Porterville, after a hit-and-run driver was arrested for killing a 15-year old boy as he rode his bike Friday night.

Cities Today asks if San Jose’s new bike plan can boost bicycling rates. Only if they actually build it, as LA bike riders can attest.

The family of an fallen teenage bike rider in Elk Grove calls for changes at the dangerous intersection where he was killed; the speed limit there was recently boosted from 35 mph to 45 mph — no doubt thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

An Oakland construction site is the safest block in the city for bike riders, after workers installed a Jersey barrier on the left side of the bike lane for a change.

 

National

Actually, that new soft, squishy bike helmet looks pretty damn cool. If it actually works, that is.

Bicycling staff and readers share their spookiest bike rides ever, just in time for Halloween. For a change, there’s no Yahoo mirror site for this one, but try opening it in a private window if the site blocks you out.

A new crowdfunded grant program is designed to help BIPOC filmmakers — Black, Indigenous and People of Color — tell their stories.

C|net offers their picks for the best ebikes.

They get it. A Texas magazine says Houston’s Vision Zero program won’t succeed if it’s done one intersection at a time, and that it calls for a “reckoning that the car-heavy city does not appear ready to make.” They could write the same story about Los Angeles.

New York has completed work on a road diet and two-way cycle track on 5th Avenue through Harlem.

Another pedestrian has been injured in a crash involving New York’s Citi Bike. Except this time, a 72-year old woman was hit by a van driver servicing the bikeshare system.

Actress Famke Janssen is one of us, as she rides her bike with a massive plastic bin on the front through New York to pick up some trash bags. And looks pretty damn stylish doing it.

 

International

Cycling News recommends the best saddles for when your ride hits the rocks.

A Toronto letter writer complains that few of the city’s bike riders wear helmets, despite a mandatory helmet law. Although the headline writer deserves to get their knuckles rapped for saying “Bike lanes are only good if cyclists wear a helmet,” which is factually incorrect, and has nothing to do with what the writer wrote.

Belfast, Northern Ireland has been named the most dangerous city in the UK for people on bicycles, with a whopping 71% of people surveyed saying they’d been involved in some sort of crash in the city.

The EuroNews website wonders why Europe’s largest bike-producing country has been so slow to ride them.

This one is going on my bike bucket list. Italy is opening an 86-mile paved bike trail around the country’s largest lake. Or maybe you’d prefer a 260-mile bike path from Paris to the Normandy coast.

How Spain’s fourth largest city became a leading bike city in just 15 years by building out an entire connected bike network all at once. As LA bicyclists have learned the hard way, we’ll never get there with a disconnected, piecemeal approach. 

Now that’s scary. A Singapore driver records himself swerving at the last moment after coming up way too fast on a bike rider taking the lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

The race moto rider Julian Alaphilippe crashed into in the Tour of Flanders says he can’t help feeling guilty about the crash. Although the people who really deserve the blame are the ones who allow motorcycles near cyclists in the peloton to begin with.

Meanwhile, Alaphilippe had surgery on his hand to repair two bones that were broken in the crash.

Cycling Weekly explains what to look for in the final week of the Giro.

VeloNews looks forward to the Vuelta, with five ways this year’s race will be unlike any other. Race organizers hope to emulate the Tour de France, which went off without a single Covid-19 infection, as opposed to the Giro, which didn’t.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you take social distancing just a little too far. And maybe naming your saddle after the #1 enema maker isn’t the best idea.

Or is it #2?

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

Driver busted for Hawthorne hit-and-run, 16 LA-area bike riders shot by police, and bike-riding woman murders Metro worker

A couple quick notes before we start. 

Today is the last day to register to vote before next month’s presidential and city council elections, along with a number of other important federal, state and local offices. Not to mention a massive number of California state propositions. 

So take a few minutes to make sure your voice is heard.

Also, my apologies to everyone who tipped me to news stories over the weekend; with a few exceptions, I’ve somehow managed to lose track of who sent what. 

But please accept my thanks anyway. I always appreciate the help, even if my feeble brain fails me from time to time. 

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Hawthorne police have busted the driver who fled the scene after running a red light and slamming into a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Rosecrans Avenue earlier this month.

Twenty-eight-year old Darlene Delgadillo confessed to driving the car after police traced it to a home in Gardena.

Meanwhile, the now-15 year old victim remains in a coma with major head trauma, as well as a broken leg, arm and feet, more than two weeks after the crash.

Yet despite the horrific harm she allegedly caused, Delgadillo will face a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run under California law.

Maybe someday we’ll get our elected leaders to take this crime seriously.

Because they sure as hell aren’t doing it now.

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Apparently, Dijon Kizzee was just the tip of the iceberg.

An investigative report from the LA Times reveals that 16 bike riders have been shot by police or sheriff’s deputies in LA County over the past 15 years for what started out as simple traffic violations.

Eleven of those were killed.

The Times identified 16 cases since 2005 where a stop for bike violations in Los Angeles County resulted in a police shooting, according to interviews and a review of public records from the district attorney, coroner and various court cases. Most of the stops occurred in communities made up largely of Black and Latino residents. In 11 incidents, including Kizzee’s, the bicyclists — all male and Black or Latino — were killed.

Among those 16 cases, violations ranged from riding on the sidewalk to biking without a light or on the wrong side of the road. In 11 cases, authorities said they found a firearm. In one shooting, deputies found an airsoft gun they said looked like a semiautomatic handgun.

It’s an important read, because constantly having to worry about getting stopped by the cops for biking while Black or brown is bad enough.

But something is seriously wrong when people of color also have to worry about getting the death penalty for a simple traffic violation.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to my attention.

………

Police are on the lookout for a bike-riding woman who fatally stabbed an 18-year Metro employee Friday night following a dispute at the 7th and Metro station in DTLA.

………

The city council’s Transportation Committee will consider the fate of the city’s current Slow Streets at 1 pm today, with options ranging from making them more permanent, to removing them entirely.

Here’s how to join in.

………

Public radio station KPFK is in deep financial danger, and could take the popular Bike Talk program down with it without your help.

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Bicycling and SRAM will examine the issues facing people who have been swept under the rug for far too long.

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This is who we share the road with.

There’s a special place in hell for a Montana man who was charged with a sex crime involving an 11-year old girl, after he was previously charged with intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, claiming it was his bike. Although you’d think if it was really his bike, he wouldn’t want to run it over with his car.

You don’t need to speak Spanish to get that maybe this driver should pay attention to the road instead of complaining about people on two wheels.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

………

This will restore your faith in humanity.

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Now this is art.

The newest Banksy that popped up on a Nottingham, England street incorporates an actual beat-up bicycle chained to a pole in front of wall art of a girl using the missing bike tire as a hula hoop.

Seriously, he can paint that on my wall anytime.

………

Speaking of art, the annual Bicycle Film Festival is back on this weekend, after going virtual due to the coronavirus crisis.

………

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

Police in Chico, California are looking for a woman who fled the scene after flooring her car and slamming into a woman on a bicycle in an apparently intentional attack, before continuing on to run over an employee at a gas station; police have recovered her car, but the driver is still on the run.

Someone ripped out the plastic bollards marking a popup bike lane in Glasgow, Scotland, and tossed them into a canal.

A New Zealand bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who repeatedly honked and rammed the back of his bike, before finally knocking him off; the 65-year old driver faces a charge of dangerous driving causing injury.

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

A 19-year old New York man could face a murder charge after a group of bike-riding teens argued with a 79-year man before pushing him to the ground; the victim died later after being rushed to a hospital. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Police in Edinburgh are looking for the masked bike-riding man who stole a woman’s watch and diamond rings as she was walking on a bike path.

A Belfast, Northern Ireland bike rider says he’s really, really sorry for stabbing two women and punching two others in a one-day assault spree, for no apparent reason; fortunately, none of the women suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 67-year old Australian man recovering from open heart surgery was left bloodied and banged up after he was hit from behind by a bike rider while walking on a pedestrian bridge. Yet another reminder to alway ride with extra caution around pedestrians. Not only are people unpredictable, but they’re the only ones out there more vulnerable than we are.

………

Local

A local paper profiles 26-year old Alexandria Contreras as she runs for a seat on the Downey city council; the bike-riding candidate is a big supporter of community involvement, housing, urban safety and the environment.

Kindhearted members of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita donated 17 bicycles to veterans in need. Although those little kids don’t look like veterans to me. But what do I know?

 

State

A 49-year old San Diego man suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when a motorcyclist slammed into a group of bike riders in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood; the motorcyclist walked away with road rash.

The Los Angeles Times offers more information about the 14-year old boy facing a possible hate crime charge for punching a San Diego rabbi.

More bad new from Northern California, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a crash while riding his bike in Elk Grove.

 

National

Here’s your chance to buy that really cool, but really strange hubless ebike for under two grand; the bikemaker promises it’s virtually theft proof.

Despite last spring’s lighter traffic, the rate of traffic deaths jumped nearly twenty percent, mostly because of who was driving, and how. Or rather, how fast.

A new AARP survey examines bicycling among the over 50 set, concluding that many older American’s can’t imagine not being able to ride a bike.

Cycling Savvy offers a discussion of what to look for in rear view bike mirrors. Besides cars, that is.

Apparently, soap star Susan Lucci is one of us; Katie Holmes is one of us, too.

The kindhearted members of a Utah Masonic lodge gave new bicycles to 68 elementary school students as a reward for reading.

Tragic news from Texas, where a longtime scout for the NBA’s Houston Rockets was killed after he hit an open culvert in a construction zone with his bike.

A New York bus driver who killed a bikeshare user in 2017 isn’t content with the slap on the wrist he received, going to court in an attempt to have the city’s failure to yield law invalidated — even though he only got a paltry 30 days behind bars.

The partner of a New York man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was critically injured by falling off a defective VanMoof ebike during a test ride, because missing screws allegedly allowed the fender to come in contact with the rear wheel; the victim remains in a coma over two weeks after the crash.

Speaking of New York, the bike boom means increasing numbers of bike riders are using the city’s bridges — but avoiding the iconic, if cramped and crowded, Brooklyn Bridge.

 

International

If you’re looking for speed, roll on latex in your tires.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 80-year old English woman celebrated her birthday with an 80-mile bike ride.

A British man set a new record for riding a bike without getting anywhere, riding a stationary bike for more than 11 days.

Seriously? Police in Dubai seized 370 bicycles in a single week because their owners violated traffic laws, in a bizarre campaign to improve traffic safety. If they were serious about improving safety, they’d seize cars from scofflaw drivers, instead.

A South African writer talks with Black and white bike riders, and concludes it’s the feeling of freedom that keeps us riding year after year.

Aussies are warned that the worldwide bike shortage means you need to do something now if you want to get a new bicycle by Christmas.

 

Competitive Cycling

An American cyclist is an unexpected hair’s breadth from the Giro podium. Twenty-two-year old Phoenix resident and former world junior time trial champ Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates rode to a third place finish in the individual time trial on Saturday, leaping from 12th to 4th, with another brief time trial in the final stage.

VeloNews offers a recap of who did well, and who cracked in Saturday’s time trial.

Thirty-nine-year old Aussie Adam Hansen is throwing in the towel after 13 years and 29 grand tours, saying he’s “kind of done with it now,” and looks forward to switching to triathlons next year.

Congratulations if you had Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in your Tour of Flanders pool.

Great French hope Julian Alaphilippe broke his hand in two places when he became just the latest cyclist to crash into a race moto in the Tour of Flanders. Once again, there is no excuse for allowing motorcycles in the peloton. Keep them in front of the cyclists or well behind, for everyone sake.

Hats off to Swiss cyclist Camille Balanche, who became the first out and proud gay woman to win the world Downhill Mountain Biking World Championship.

 

Finally…

When is a bike path not a bike path? When there’s a big frigging utility pole in the middle of it. Your next bike helmet could be soft and squishy.

And maybe people don’t really love their cars after all.

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

5-year old fatally shot riding bike on neighbor’s lawn, reclaiming road space for bikes and dining, and Pasadena BLM ride

My God.

A North Carolina man is being held without bond on a charge of 1st degree murder, after shooting a five-year old boy point blank for the crime of riding his bike onto the man’s yard.

There are no words.

Or a pit in hell deep enough for someone who could do that.

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Today’s common theme is trading space for cars in exchange for space for bikes and diners.

That’s what’s happening on Culver Blvd in downtown Culver City, where city leaders approved plans for quick-build “tactical mobility lanes” for buses, bicyclists and emergency vehicles for the next two years, with additional space to be used for outdoor dining.

Hermosa Beach is trading the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for dedicated bike lanes and more outdoor dining space for at least the next six months.

San Luis Obispo is removing a traffic lane to stripe what may or may not be a temporary bike lane to accommodate the Covid-19 bike boom, while providing a buffer for outdoor diners.

New York goes the other way, moving a bikeshare rack to make room for diners at a 100-year old restaurant.

However, a writer for USA Today questions whether people dining al fresco at restaurants newly expanded into the streets to provide a safe space from Covid-19 are actually safe from people driving cars. Short answer, probably not in most cases.

Today’s photo shows SCAG’s revived Go Human campaign mentioned below.

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Ride to support Black Lives Matter and demand civilian police oversight in Pasadena on Saturday.

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LA’s Slow Streets movement finally made its way to Valley Village.

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The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition talks with ’84 Olympic cycling hero Nelson Vails on Instagram this Friday.

https://twitter.com/sdbikecoalition/status/1293736129066176512

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When is a Scottish pathway not a pathway?

When it’s a raging river.

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Christian Bale is one of us, as he takes his mountain bike out for a spin with his wife, in what may or may not be LA.

Britney Spears is one of us, too, going for a ride along the beach with her boyfriend.

Die Hard star Bruce Willis is one of us, going shopping by ebike in Santa Monica.

MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is one of us, though she may be rethinking that after she “ate it so hard” falling off her bike.

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

Road rage incidents directed towards bike riders are up in at least one Oregon county.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a British mountain bike trail, hiding spikes and barbed wire in a deliberate attempt to seriously injure someone.

Someone may be deliberately targeting bike riders by spreading oil across a greenway trail; a little girl was injured when her scooter skidded off the trail and into a wall.

A Land Rover driver hit a Scottish bike rider on a narrow country road, then got out of his SUV to push the victim off his bike before driving away.

……..

Local

No surprise here, as a new report from the Southern California Association of Governments shows a massive drop in both public and private transportation compared to last year since the coronavirus crisis kicked in, including a 39% drop in bikeshare use. Meanwhile, SCAG is revising its successful Go Human campaign.

Metro Bike is offering discounted daily, monthly and yearly passes through this month.

 

State

A San Diego County man reports he was stung over 150 times after being surrounded by a swarm of bees while running on a North County bike path. Which serves as a reminder just how lucky I was to ride into a similar swarm, and escape with major injuries — but not a single bee sting

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is kicking off a semi-virtual scavenger hunt; no word on whether the recalcitrant North Park businesses actually opted out.

Police are looking for a cowardly Murrieta driver who fled the scene after crashing into a woman riding a bike; fortunately, she only suffered minor injuries, but her new bike was damaged. Thanks to Jeff Hammons for the heads-up.

Ventura police bust a bike thief, only to discover he has over 30 priors in the last six years.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 95-year old Santa Maria man just hit 100,000 miles on his bike. Although I’d have to back up to get back down to a 100,00 miles. But I’m not 95-years old, either.

A volunteer group is helping San Francisco restaurants fight high delivery fees by delivering food orders for them by bike, foot and car, at no charge.

Modesto police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider, leaving him or her with undisclosed injuries.

 

National

A man honored his late father’s legacy and raised over $6,000 to fight cancer by riding a century every day last month. The story is available on Yahoo if you can’t access it on Bicycling.

Meanwhile, Bicycling drops its paywall to call the new Tern GSD the best-equipped electric cargo bike. As long as you’re willing to fork out over $4,500, or more than eight grand for the version they tested.

Finishing out our Bicycling trifecta, the magazine wants to tell you how to avoid road raging drivers.

Used bike sales have helped US bike shops to survive the pandemic bike boom, which has cleaned many shops out of new bikes for the foreseeable future. However, Cycling News says there are still good deals on new bikes if you know where to look. And apparently, they do.

City Lab says life-saving technologies already exist to keep people from getting killed by drivers, yet manufacturers aren’t required to install them.

Now that’s more like it. Cars could be considered guests on Denver streets in the not-too-distant future.

A Western Colorado rafting guide rescued a family trapped by a wildfire on rental bikes.

Kindhearted Colorado cops bought a new mountain bike for a 12-year old autistic boy, after he inadvertently left his bike next to a Free Furniture sign and someone helped themselves to it.

An Iowa man was killed when a tree limb fell on him as he was riding his bike during the 100 mph derecho storm that tore through the Midwest. And no, I never heard of one before, either.

No bias here, as a Dallas newspaper says they’re glad to be rid of the “bike litter” of dockless bikeshare bikes, even though there’s now a shortage of bikes due to the bike boom.

You can have as many lights as you want on your bike in Texas.

A New York priest raised $20,000 for a food bank with a century ride through Long Island.

This week’s VeloNews podcast talks with Wall Street Journal sports columnist and dedicated bicyclist Jason Gay about the bike boom and the rescheduled Tour de France.

A Georgia man learned the hard way that if you’re going to ride with meth on your bike, put a light on it, already.

 

International

Red Bull directs your attention to the best bike accounts on YouTube.

Vancouver cops are facing criticism for crashing a patrol car into a bike rider three times before knocking him off his bike, then violently tasing him, kneeling on his neck and wresting him to the ground before taking him into custody — all because he didn’t stop for a damn traffic violation.

A Canadian community will pay $120,000 to rip out temporary bike lanes that were part of a pilot project.

Talk about damning with faint praise. Bike-riding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists that “not all cyclists are Lycra louts.”

You might be able to get that Brompton you’ve been dreaming of after all. The British bikemaker is starting a subscription service in the UK for the equivalent of $39 a month, with Germany and the US likely to follow. Although there are other, much cheaper alternatives.

That didn’t take long. Just days after opening, Britain’s first Dutch-style protected roundabout had to be closed after a driver plowed through it.

Speaking of Dutch style, The Netherlands offers a guide to cities looking to build a better bike culture, from discouraging cars to building an actual network of separated bikeways.

The City Fix says African nations can still become more walkable and bikeable through targeted investments, despite the coronavirus crisis.

A Cartier ad featuring two men taking a romantic bike ride apparently crossed a line with Chinese sensors; a later version described them as father and son, which somehow seems worse.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as the 2020 world road championships were the latest Covid-19 domino to fall.

Just days after winning Milan-San Remo, former world cross champ Wout van Aert won the opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Former Tour of California champ George Bennett rolled to victory at Italy’s prestigious, 114-year old Gran Piemonte race.

Weight weenies rejoice! Canyon tells cycling’s governing body to stuff their weight minimums, checking in with a complete new bike weighing just 13lb 11oz, over a pound lighter than UCI’s minimum weight restriction.

 

Finally…

It’s not exactly the Virgin Mary in a tortilla or anything, just Simon Cowell’s face in a rock wall. Turns out that towing your kid’s bike with a towel tied to your car may not be the best idea.

And yes, you can carry your groceries home on a bike. Even if they’re already in the fridge.

Thanks to W. Corylus for that last link.

……

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

Morning Links: Forgiveness and friendship follows near-fatal PCH crash, and no justice in fatal OC collisions

Sometimes a friendship can form in unusual ways.

Like getting run over by a truck.

After a La Habra man was nearly killed when a pickup driver ran him down from behind as he was riding on PCH last May, the driver — who was leaving an AA meeting — started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victim’s medical expenses.

He also modified his shower so it would be easier to get in and out as he recovered from multiple injuries.

That was after the victim’s wife reached out to tell him he was going to survive.

And they’ve been friends ever since.

Tom Sovilla hopes to get back on his back on his bike this year, with a goal of doing 5,000 miles before year’s end.

Meanwhile, the man who hit him, Jack Keith, went to five AA meetings the day after the crash, and looks forward to celebrating three years of sobriety in March.

Photo from Pexels.com; if they can be friends, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

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Looks like there may not be any justice for Sidney Siemensma.

The 51-year-old bike rider was stabbed to death just short of three years ago today on Irvine’s San Diego Creek Trail.

Police arrested a 41-year old transient acquaintance, Dennis Thomas Monson Jr., for the crime, as well as an unrelated child pornography charge.

However, despite having enough evidence to take the case to a jury, the case has been put on semi-permanent hold after the judge ruled Monson is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It’s possible he could still stand trial, if and when his mental state improves.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

………

There definitely won’t be any justice for Laguna Nigel triathlete Scott Clark, who was killed when he was collateral damage in an alleged road rage dispute between two women.

According to Patch, the Orange County DA has concluded that there is no way to bring charges against driver Jamie Mulford after two independent experts were unable to conclude how the crash occurred.

Clark had the misfortune to run into a crosswalk just as Mulford allegedly cut off the other driver in the lane next to her, forcing the other car into Clark.

Despite what the Patch story says, Clark was training for a triathlon on foot, rather than riding a bike, at the time of the crash.

………

It looks like noted equity advocate and former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler has left her widely applauded appointment to the California Transportation Commission; no word yet on why.

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A San Diego bike rider was allegedly assaulted by an impatient driver while taking the lane on a sharrowed street.

Unfortunately, whatever took place appears to have happened off-camera, and the brief description included on the YouTube page doesn’t clarify matters.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

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A Tesla dashcam captured a hit-and-run in Whittier last Saturday when a bike rider was right hooked by someone turning onto the street; fortunately, the victim doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt.

No word on whether the driver was arrested, or even ticketed.

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

A drunk Florida man faces charges for chasing a bike rider and throwing an empty beer can at him as cops looked on. After all, there’s no point in wasting a full one.

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

New York police are looking for a bike rider who spit in the face of a pedestrian in a crosswalk after accusing the man of cutting him off, then broke his wrist hitting him with a U-lock.

Also in New York, another bike rider — or possibly the same one — smashed a 61-year old woman in the face with some sort of hard object. Like a U-lock, for instance.

Florida police are police are looking for a hoody-clad man who fired his gun in a bike-by shooting; fortunately, no one was hit.

………

Local

BMX riders are the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s new Volta show, opening this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says a new request for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes killed by CD5 Councilmember and faux environmentalist Paul Koretz appears to be falling victim to a dispute between Westwood-area Neighborhood Councils. Which one do you think the city will listen to — an NC representing students, or one advocating for wealthy NIMBYs? I know which one my money is on.

Speaking of UCLA, a DIY bike co-op in the John Wooden Center is teaching students and staff how to fix their own bicycles.

Bruce Willis is one of us, as he goes for an ebike ride in Brentwood. The cool thing about British tabloids is they’ll criticize someone for not wearing a helmet, then ridicule them if they do.

LA Curbed places tongue firmly in cheek, and lists 20 headlines you might read in the coming decade, but probably won’t — including permanent, year-round CicLAvia routes and an end to LA traffic deaths.

Alan Goldsmith, the former owner of Supergo, is returning to his roots by investing in Manhattan Beach’s South Bay Cycle bike shop, scheduled to open later this month.

Bike theft dropped 10% in Long Beach last year, despite an increase in violent crime.

 

State

In the wake of last year’s implosion of the Interbike trade show, the CABDA Expo West opens in San Diego today. Even though CABDA stands for the Chicagoland Area Bike Dealers Association, which this ain’t.

An 18-year old Barstow man faces attempted murder charges, along with a pair of underage teenagers, for a drive-by shooting spurred by the victim’s demand to get his stolen bicycle back.

A UC Berkeley neurologist has developed a new type of helmet designed to protect users from traumatic brain injuries caused by twisting impacts.

Lime is testing an accessible scooter for people with disabilities in OaklandAlthough it looks like all they did was bolt a seat onto their existing e-scooters.

San Francisco was already planning to install protected bike lanes along the Embarcadero next week; unfortunately, it comes too late for a woman who’s clinging to life after she was struck by a cement truck while riding an e-scooter on Monday.

Sacramento’s first food bike is peddling a 200-year old stroopwafel recipe.

 

National

American bikemakers are struggling to replace their Chinese supply chains after being priced out by Trump’s tariffs.

A new senior editor for Streetsblog explains her 15-year old transformation to a bike advocate.

A New Mexico state representative is once again riding her bike hundreds of miles across the state from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to attend this year’s legislative session.

My bike-friendly hometown is trying out back-in diagonal parking to improve safety for people on bicycles.

An Iowa woman will spend the next 40 years behind bars for stalking a man, before fatally running him over as he rode his bike in a parking lot, in a deliberate, drunken attack.

A Texas man faces charges for shooting a homeless man five times while trying to steal his bicycle.

Bad behavior has gotten Vermont mountain bikers kicked off parts of one of the East Coast’s best trail systems; Bike Snob says this is why they can’t have nice things.

A New York woman faces five well-deserved felony counts and four misdemeanors for the drunken, 85-mph crash that killed a man on a bicycle; she was still over twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, with bags of coke found all over her car.

A Manhattan councilmember calls for life-saving sensors on all large trucks to make drivers aware of people and things they can’t see from the cab. Like bike riders and pedestrians, for instance.

The allegedly racist, bike-riding jerk who was convicted of attacking a black DC driver with his U-lock lucked out when a second, similar charge was dismissed when the victim didn’t show up to court; he’s currently doing three years on the original charge.

A Miami man will face charges in the gruesome, apparently drunken, 100 mph hit-and-run crash that killed a homeless man riding his bike on a causeway last August.

 

International

A new bicycle from World Bicycle Relief can help lift children and their families out of poverty; the nonprofit has provided half a million bicycles in countries around the world.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to what you can look forward to on the bike tech front in the coming year.

The Guardian examines how Strava became a religion to bike riders and runners.

Arguing against building a bike lane, a Hamilton, Ontario city councilor estimates there are only 100 bicyclists in the entire city of 550,000; the city’s bikeshare system alone has over 33,000 members.

That’s more like it. An unlicensed English driver got six years for killing a man riding a bike, along with other unrelated charges; not only didn’t he have a license, he’d never even taken a driving test.

The founders of a British bike nonprofit have been banned for 11 years after paying themselves the equivalent of nearly $420,000 — nearly a quarter of the money it took in.

Staff members for Pink Bike design the mountain bike of the future as a joke. Then go to Taiwan and actually build it.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a truck driver who was caught on video crashing into a bike rider during a road rage dispute has been sentenced to just seven weeks behind bars and a $500 fine. He’ll also be banned from driving for two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s only remaining Tour de France champ is preparing to launch a new bike line made with a revolutionary “‘high-performance low-cost carbon fiber.”

Cycling Tips rates the team kits of the women’s pro peloton.

Pro/am gravel grinding is coming to the annual Sea Otter Classic this April.

A 17-year old Indian woman has won gold in the nation’s U-21 road race, bouncing back from a training wreck five years earlier that was so bad her mother ordered her to quit cycling, until her father intervened.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can zoom around on your new bike pretending you’re in Stranger Things. Nothing like having a bike tug-of-war with a fleeing meat lifter.

And don’t shoot guy you’re arguing with, shoot his bicycle instead.

 

Morning Links: Murder charge for killer of Costa Mesa fire captain, Mehta hit-and-run hearing, and racing with a feeding tube

Let’s catch up with a few court cases.

Starting with the allegedly stoned killer of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, courtesy of our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s arraignment, scheduled for last Friday, was delayed again.

There are so many facets of this case that don’t look good for him: his status as an addict; his admission during interrogation that he should not have been driving; the amount and sheer number of drugs in his system; the presence in his vehicle of drugs obtained from an alleged overprescriber; his crash after “passing out” behind the wheel earlier in the year… etc.

He’s going down.

What perplexes me is the murder charge, because I can’t find any evidence of a prior DUI conviction — within LA or Orange County, at any rate. He could have priors elsewhere.

The Watson law is specific in its requirements: party has to be informed upon a DUI conviction of the possibility of a murder charge if said party kills someone while DUI.

So, this would mean, wouldn’t it, that Scarpa’s been convicted in some court at some point within the past 10 years?

A Watson advisement notwithstanding, PSA’s, American alcohol ads, and the DMV paperwork you sign before the state issues you a license all tell you that DUI is dangerous. But is that bombardment of facts enough to define malice, which is a required component of murder?

There’s one other thing that might convince a jury that Scarpa was aware of the dangers of DUI, enough so to convict of murder and not just manslaughter.

In 2011, as a student at Esperanza High, he participated in an Every Fifteen Minutes event, which is pretty comprehensive. In addition to pulling “dead” students out of classrooms every 15 minutes, a simulated collision is set up on campus, with the driver “arrested,” and moulaged “injured” & “dead” students extricated from the wreckage. These actors don’t go home that night; they’re sequestered overnight at a hotel, where they write a “Today I died” letter to their parents. (The parents also write to their dead kids.) The next day, these letters are read aloud at a school assembly.

Scarpa was one of the dead who was extricated from a mangled vehicle, who told his parents he died, who read this letter to his entire school.

I hope, every night before he falls asleep, he thinks of all the letters Mike Kreza never gets to write.

………

Next up is yesterday’s hearing for the romance authorMedium contributor and Mercedes convertible driver convicted of a hit-and-run that left a Costa Mesa bike rider with a broken ankle.

Pratiti Renee Mehta is back from her vacation in Chowchilla Women’s Facility. She’s in custody in County, awaiting a court appearance this morning. I will be there, because I am a horrible person and will enjoy seeing her violent, unrepentant ass in saggy jail-issued fashion and shackles. The sentencing was in July, and I missed it. How it wasn’t  on my calendar, I dunno. (Busy week with the PAC on the 18th and the Caltrans D7 BAC on the 19th, but I wouldn’t have skipped the sentencing for anything.)

Due to a “clerical inadvertency,” Mehta had been sent up to state prison prior to a required sentencing assessment.

According to court records, on July 17th, the Defense’s request to reduce the felony hit-and-run count to a misdemeanor was denied, and then the judge sentenced Ms. Mehta to 3 years in state prison.

Two other things surprise me about the sentence: (1) The judge actually threw the book at her, wow. (2) The People didn’t request anything close.

That’s right, the People actually requested leniency: 90 days in County and an additional 200 hours of community service. For a woman who broke a guy’s bones, left him in the street, and then put in deliberate effort to lie to the cops about it. I remain furious that the ADW charge didn’t stick.

………

Great piece about an 18-year old competitor in Saturday’s Hillclimb World Championships, who almost literally climbed out of her deathbed to become one of the top young American riders.

Hannah Jordan suffers from an unknown metabolic disorder that prevents her body from storing glucose; when she started on an intravenous formula from a Santa Barbara company, she began to thrive — and kick ass on her bicycle.

She’ll compete in Phil Gaimon’s hillclimb competition on Gibraltar Road with the feeding tube attached, then may train for international competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO.

And yes, her tube has been approved for competition.

………

Four Boston kids were extremely lucky to avoid serious injury when someone drove directly into them as they stood with their bikes between two parked cars, then sped off with at least one of the bikes still stuck beneath the car; a man says the driver may have been his daughter.

………

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew nearly gets impaled by someone’s pool cleaner.

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LA’s People for Mobility Justice needs your support for this year’s fundraiser.

https://twitter.com/ElRandomHero/status/1184226060696604672

………

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

An English bicyclist warned other riders to stop if a car pulls up next to them traveling at the same speed, after he was pushed off his bike by a passenger in a passing car.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 70-year old driver got two and a half years behind bars for using his car as a weapon to intentionally run down a bike rider and flee the scene — then came back to take pictures of his victim lying broken and bleeding in the street.

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

English police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who injured a woman getting out of a car when they collided as he was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

There’s a special place in hell for a Japanese man who rode his bike up from behind a bike-riding 17-year old girl and groped her breast as he rode past, telling police he just couldn’t control his lust for her. Which should be read as a confession from a total asshole.

Police in New York are investigating an apparent hate crime, after a man on a bicycle allegedly slapped a pedestrian in the face and called him “a dirty Jew.”

………

Local

South Central bike riders marked the seventh anniversary of the still-unsolved hit-and-run death of Benjamin Torres as he was riding his bike to work in Gardena. I hope whoever did it can live with the guilt of murdering another human being; I know I couldn’t.

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC now has yellow-jacketed officers to encourage bike riders, skateboarders and scooter users to hop off before crossing the school’s Hahn Plaza, where they’re all banned.

Someone with a sense of humor offered a tongue-in-cheek response to traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving’s highly biased survey about streets and transportation in the Rose City. Thanks to Topher Mathers for forwarding today’s best laugh.

 

State

Republicans are complaining about funding from California’s recent gas tax increase going exactly where voters were told it would, with some funds going to transit and active transportation projects instead of being used strictly for road repairs.

Streetsblog says Gavin Newsom’s veto of the state’s Complete Streets bill stinks, and that Caltrans’ reasoning for fighting it is “hogwash.” Someone suggested that we should now call getting hit by driver on a Caltrans-controlled street “getting Newsomed,” just like we called a close pass “getting Jerry Browned” after he repeatedly vetoed the three-foot passing law.

Virgilio Lemus Garcia, the 60-year old victim in Sunday’s Santa Ana hit-and-run, remains in grave condition; police are looking for a dark blue mid-’90s, four-door Honda Civic with probable front end damage and a possible shattered windshield.

Caltrans unveiled plans for a bike lane paralleling I-5 through Encinitas; needless to say, some people — including one bike activist — weren’t pleased.

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, Caltrans will close San Diego’s Friars Road this weekend in preparation for adding a fourth lane in each direction, along with sidewalks and bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll also consider how the hell pedestrians are supposed to cross that massive monstrosity.

Faux-Danish city Solvang has adopted a new bike plan; needless to say, some residents aren’t happy about it.

For once, bikes get an equal footing with cars. Even if it’s only a benefit show for a Los Gatos art museum. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died nearly three months after he and another man were hit while riding their bikes by a woman pulling out of a parking lot; the other man died at the scene. Seriously, how fast do you have to be driving to kill two people — let alone while exiting a parking lot?

It was the driver who lost his this time, after a San Jose motorist clipped a bike rider and crashed into a pole; the man on the bike was uninjured.

A San Francisco bike shop put a robot in charge of inventory so salespeople can spend more time with customers.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority votes unanimously to ban cars from the city’s iconic Market Street. Proving that it can be done on this coast, too. Are you listening, Mayor Garcetti?

 

National

Apparently, it’s okay to be nuts for nuts. But don’t eat too many because they can cause kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A new survey from Lime says scooter users don’t want to ride on the sidewalks, but do it anyway because they don’t feel safe on the street. Which is exactly the same reason many bike riders do. And the answer isn’t threatening or ticketing them, it’s building more and better bike lanes.

Seriously? LifeHacker belatedly discovers CO2 cartridges and figures they’re some sort of tire-filling hack.

This is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. A Tucson bike mechanic has developed an interactive map of low-stress residential streets connected with signalized intersections. It’s easy to find relatively low-stress streets in LA; the hard part is putting together a route with traffic signals to get you across LA’s many multi-lane traffic sewers.

Denver is losing its combination cafe, bar and bike shop at the end of the month.

A Colorado woman is riding four days, 158 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing over a high mountain pass, with a man suffering from cerebral palsy in tow.

There’s a rift in Iowa’s long-running RAGBRAI ride, as the entire staff resigned to start a new, seven-day ride across the state, in anger over how the newspaper sponsoring RAGBRAI handled racist tweets by the beer sign guy who raised $3 million for a children’s hospital.

Kansas City’s mayor wants to rip out a new protected bike lane less than a month after it was installed, saying it’s made things very difficult for businesses and residents. Apparently, it must have been installed on a whim, without any studies, since he wants to remove it the same way; any change to a roadway requires time for people to adjust to it before you know how its going to work out.

That’s more like it. A Wisconsin man faces up to 15 years behind bars and another 10 years of extended supervision after accepting a plea in the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old White Plains NY man is back on his bike and preparing for his 20th annual 30-mile charity ride, just two years after heart surgery.

Queens bike riders complain about a terrifying, treacherous but critical route across the borough, after a man becomes just the latest bicyclist to be killed in New York; Streetsblog says if the city can’t protect a veteran rider like the man killed on Sunday, it can’t protect anyone.

A New York public advocate calls for a single unified plan to address bike lanes, homeless shelters and affordable housing, rather than uncoordinated plans for each.

Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross is one of us, as she takes a bikeshare ride on Gotham streets in a dress and high heels.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery worker says he stabbed a racist, road-raging driver in self-defense, after the other man threatened to “beat the black off” him, tackled him and lifted him up in the air; he faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter, a big reductio from the original charge of first-degree murder.

It’s no surprise that bicyclists are riding on Orlando, Florida walkways when there’s no safe place to ride on the streets. And no surprise the city is the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Wired calls the new Van Moof the ultimate ebike. Although it seems like what they really liked was the extra power from the boost button.

The London terrorist who intentionally drove at multiple bike riders, police officers and a pedestrian outside the British Parliament has been jailed for life.

An English thief got four years and three months for seriously injuring a bike rider on his way to church, while fleeing police after bungling a burglary.

The wife of an American diplomat — or maybe a spy — who claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the UK after the hit-and-run death of a young motorcyclist admits she was driving on the wrong side of the road, and wants to meet the man’s parents in New York to take responsibility for his death. But not, apparently, return to Britain to face charges.

A new British study shows a cheap, widely available drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide if given in the first few hours after a head injury; the medication, called tranexamic acid, costs the equivalent of less than $8 in the UK. Which means it will probably sell for a couple thousand dollars a dose in the US.

A woman in the UK says she overcame her crippling anxiety by learning to ride brakeless in a velodrome.

My favorite Scottish bike blogger goes riding in the City of Lights.

A pair of Afghan men rode their bikes 225 miles to call for peace in the war-torn country.

Two Indian brothers rode a tandem nearly 400 miles from Kolkata to Darjeeling, despite one having a leg crippled by polio since childhood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx was in a Belgian ICU with a serious head injury he suffered in a fall while riding with friends on Sunday; the 74-year old, five-time Tour de France winner and noted bikemaker is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time.

CyclingTips examines the cancellation of a WorldTour bike race through the gleaming towers of Hong Kong due to the protests in the troubled city. Is that enough to get this site blocked by Chinese censors, or do I have to try harder?

Bicycling says gravel is the new American road racing, while Cyclist says ‘cross may be the way to get more women into racing.

Next year’s Tour de France will feature all five of the country’s mountain ranges, as well as the shortest longest stage in Tour history.

Chris Froome could follow Greg LeMond in bouncing back from a life-threatening injury to win another Tour, especially if this year’s winner, Egan Bernal, agrees to support him in the race.

A 22-year old Australian driver has pled guilty to killing 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes while he was on training ride, after prosecutors dropped a distracted driving charge, accepting that she may have been using her phone moments prior to the crash, but not when she hit him.

 

Finally…

Fifty miles short of the goal, but still a wheelie long record. You may need your next e-scooter more than it needs you.

And it’s not a record jump if you don’t stick the landing.

………

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way (nearly) every day. 

I know I’ve said this before, but if everyone who visits this site today gave just $10, it would be enough to fund my work for a full year.

And maybe even get a new Corgi.

 

Morning Links: Triathlete killed in crash during race, bicyclist talks abductor into freeing her, and Riverside cyclist t-boned

Just a quick warning.

We’ve got some rough stories to start with today. So you might want to skip the first few items if you don’t want to deal with that this morning.

………

A triathlete was killed when she was run down by a semi while competing in the bicycle portion of the Ohio 70.3 Ironman triathlon.

Police say the right lane of a highway was coned off to provide a safety zone for competitors, but for some reason she was outside the safety zone.

Which apparently made her fair game.

Never mind that organizers somehow thought a few orange cones would offer sufficient protection from high-speed traffic and heavy trucks.

Or that no one participating in a race would go outside the cones to, say, pass other participants.

Meanwhile, Stephen Collins points out the sheer idiocy of noting that the victim was wearing a helmet, as if that would somehow protect her from getting run over by a massive truck.

Or that the driver was wearing his seatbelt.

Seriously.

Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels.

………

In another outrageous story, an Australian triathlete was knocked off her bike by the driver of a delivery van, bound with electrical tape, then kidnapped and driven to a rundown house on the outskirts of town where she was stripped and beaten.

Yet somehow, 27-year old triathlete and former cycling champ Nathalie Birli managed to talk her abductor into releasing her — by complimenting his orchids.

Police later used the GPS on her racing bike to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Let’s hope they toss him in a very deep hole until he gets the help he obviously needs.

Meanwhile, Megan Lynch reminds us that this case is eerily reminiscent of the killing of American biologist Dr. Suzanne Eaton on Crete, who was struck twice with a motor vehicle before the driver abducted and raped her, then abandoned her in a World War II bunker to die.

The difference is that Birli was able to talk her way out of it.

Raising the question of just what the fuck is wrong with these people?

As well as just how easy it is to turn a motor vehicle into a weapon.

………

Robs Muir forwards a Facebook post reminding us all to be careful out there, after a Riverside bicyclist was t-boned by a stop sign-running driver.

But aren’t the people on two wheels supposed to be the dangerous ones who run stop signs and jeopardize all those poor, innocent motorists?

Maybe not so much.

………

Evidently, Denver has some pretty spectacular NIMBYs, too.

Even after a woman was killed by a garbage truck driver while riding her bike, residents of the street she was killed on still oppose a bike lane.

So a local newscaster called them out, suggesting that maybe they shouldn’t argue for the aesthetic appeal parking while bodies are lifted off the street.

………

He makes a good point.

………

Unbelievable.

A Milwaukee bicyclist was the victim of a strong-arm robbery while he was competing in a 24-hour race, after a man confronted him, then wrestled his bike away and rode off with it.

………

 

Local

Los Angeles looks to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA and Vernon, creating a single 32-mile pathway in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The Long Beach Post goes riding with the Pedal Movement bike tour to visit the Pow! Wow! murals of the city.

 

State

Police in San Diego will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today. So the usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

San Diego bike riders remember a fallen bicyclist a year after he was killed while inexplicably riding on a busy freeway.

A San Diego op-ed says everything is fine, just keep on driving and don’t let those bad, bad bureaucrats force you onto a bike or transit.

One last item from the self-proclaimed America’s Finest City, as Good Samaritans chased down a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light and knocked down a bike rider; the victim refused to go to the hospital, despite suffering a head injury.

A San Francisco op-ed by the head of Policy Initiatives for dockless e-scooter provider Spin says it’s time to rebuild cities for people, not cars.

Horrible tragedy in Turlock, where a bike rider was killed on the way to the hospital when the ambulance he was riding in after getting hit by a car rolled over when it was hit by a truck driver; five other people were injured. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Davis columnist says the city was dissed in PeopleForBikes ranking of California’s top ten bicycling cities, which was topped by San Diego and didn’t include Davis at all.

After seven year’s, Truckee’s bike park is still going strong.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling asks drivers if their time is really more important than his life. That loud roar you hear is impatient drivers across the US screaming “yes!”

An expert on autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence suggests the solution to getting more kids to ride bicycles is to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road — which will presumably be safer and not bang into them as much. I won’t hold my breath. Especially since current AVs have a problem recognizing and avoiding people on bicycles.

A pair of Oregon women spent their Saturday night shoplifting from TJ Maxx, then running down a bike rider as they made their getaway, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

An Iowa priest overcame a stroke to take part in this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, with the help of friends and a ‘bent built for two.

Former Texas congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s dad was one of us, hopefully passing along his passion for bicycling across the country, as well as his ability to lose well.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers rode borrowed bicycles to training camp, as area kids competed to to get their heroes attention and loan them their bikes.

A Chicago alderman wants to ban bikes on the city’s popular Riverwalk. Or maybe just the entire city.

The spirit of Major Taylor is energizing a Minnesota bike club, as they try to get more African Americans on bicycles.

She gets it. A St. Louis letter writer politely excoriates the local paper for calling a bike-car crash an accident.

Pennsylvania kids as young as 13 say the Bike Life movement helps keep them off drugs and out of trouble, even if they annoy the crap out of drivers when they swarm the streets.

Streetsblog says the Green Wave plan presented by New York’s mayor is “long-overdue — and not truly visionary,” but should make a clear difference, while the Daily News says now its up to the mayor to actually deliver on his promises.

No bias here. The traditionally anti-bike New York Post says in response to the previous news that “bike supremacy” is ruining the city, with “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.” Never mind that bike lanes don’t take an inch from sidewalks. Or that bike delivery people who use those bike lanes are just doing their jobs, just like the delivery drivers the Post champions. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Aussie model Jordan Barrett is one of us, illegally riding on a New York sidewalk on a bikeshare bike with his newly bleached hair.

A North Carolina bridge dedicated to a fallen bike rider finally gets a plaque in his honor, 28 years after he died.

An Atlanta columnist kind of makes fun of Atlanta’s people protected bike lane last week but manages to get through the entire piece without saying much of anything. Although the protesters called it an LIT lane, for Light Individual Transport, to include scooters and other forms of micromobility.

 

International

An Ottawa newspaper succumbs to a severe case of both side-ism, telling everyone to act like adults and not attack one another when it comes to bicycle safety. Except the attacks were coming from a city councilor in response to bike riders saying they don’t want to get killed.

Speaking at a 288-mile fundraising ride in her honor, the family of assassinated British Member of Parliament Jo Cox says the country’s politics has gotten more toxic since she was killed by a far-right gunman.

Victoria’s Secret model Alexina Graham is sort of one of us, posing for a UK photoshoot astride a bicycle in the very practical riding attire of work boots and a tiny red bikini.

No, it’s not the English bikeshare system that failed when only 25 of the 5,000 promised bikes were ever delivered in the first place, it’s the people running it.

A doctor from the UK raised the equivalent of over $130,000 for a breast cancer charity by competing on a two-man team in the Race Across America.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a member of Parliament who champions the benefits of bicycling and walking as the country’s new roads minister.

An Edinburgh couple agreed to bike around the world in their initial Tinder message; 18 months and 19,000 miles — and one Yosemite marriage — later, they’ve made it back home.

Evidently, banning cars is more popular than they thought. Madrid’s new mayor is backing off a campaign pledge to reverse the ban on cars in the city center after a citizen backlash rises to defend it.

Four New Zealand bicyclists ended up in the hospital following a car-free crash at “reasonably high speed” while on a club ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Egan Bernal won this year’s Tour de France after gaining the lead in a controversial finish to stage 19, when organizers stopped the race early after hail covered the the course leading up to the finish, depriving France’s Julian Alaphilippe the opportunity to make up for lost time and defend his yellow jersey.

Newsweek tells you everything you need to know about Egan Bernal but were afraid to ask.

Team Ineos — the former Team Sky — marked Bernal’s win by turning Bernal’s bike yellow down to the water bottles, with special yellow-accented kits for his teammates.

Bernal says he doesn’t even know how to describe the feeling of happiness his victory gave him.

Billboard celebrates Bernal’s win with five bicycle-themed songs, most of which are, appropriately, in Spanish.

The Guardian says the only surprise is that it took a Columbian so long to win the Tour de France. Or anyone from South America, for that matter.

It wasn’t just Bernal. Bicycling lists the winners of all four categories that are celebrated with a colored jersey.

The pain of crashing out of the Tour with serious injuries is more than just physical. Especially when you’re carrying the hopes of the home country on your shoulders.

Outside says the motor-doping tests at the Tour de France are a joke, accusing officials of just going through the motions rather than actually looking for motors on competitors bikes.

Canadian Michael Woods became the first person to both run a sub-four minute mile and finish the Tour de France.

Gear Patrol questions when athletic gear so innovative it might be cheating should be banned from the sport, like Graeme Obree’s record-setting homemade track bikes.

 

Finally…

Never leave your bigass truck unlocked with the keys inside, or someone on a bike may ride up, toss his bike in the back and drive off with it. Pedal your bike up to your secluded treehouse; no, literally up.

And seriously, if drivers can’t see a rider on a one-ton horse, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

 

Morning Links: A mea culpa, discussion of bikes & climate change in the ‘Bu, and murder change for speeding NoHo driver

Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

Let me start with a profound apology for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

Usually when my blood sugar crashes, I get warning signs, like uncontrollable shaking or yawning, sleepiness, or the cold sweats, that allow me to catch it before it’s too late.

But sometimes, none of those thing happen. And that’s when it’s most dangerous, when I have no idea that my blood sugar has dropped to dangerous levels.

That’s what happened Tuesday night.

When I checked my blood sugar before taking the Corgi out for her last walk of the day, I felt fine. So I was shocked to discover it was just 53 mg/dl.

Normal for you is around 100; normal for me, as a diabetic, is 100 to 150.

And much below 50, for too long, is dead.

In fact, that’s the point where my doctor has instructed my wife to get me to the ER, stat, if I can’t get it back up.

I was just four points from that before I even knew there was a problem.

Fortunately, a fig bar and a bowl of ice cream got me back up around 80 mg/dl  within half an hour.

And no, the irony is not lost on me that my life-saving medication is dessert for anyone else.

But the damage was done.

The symptoms, when they finally came, hit with the impact of a failed parachute.

Then once I got that under control, I passed out. Except this time, it didn’t last for just an hour or two, allowing me to resume work once I woke up.

Instead, it was 4:30 in the morning before I could rouse myself just to make it from the couch to the bed. Then almost noon before I woke up enough to take the Corgi out, sleeping through a number of alarm clocks and a phone call from my wife along the way.

Not to mention one hell of a headache.

So my apologies for not posting yesterday, or even posting about why I wasn’t posting. But I was in no shape to write anything.

And frankly, too out of it to care.

………

On the other hand, there’s one bit of good news before we get started.

My physical therapist has given me the okay to actually ride my bike out on the street, instead of on the trainer, once I feel up to it.

Problem is, I don’t feel up to it right now.

If I lived in a quieter neighborhood, or had better access to an offroad path like the LA River of Ballona Creek, I’d give it a try.

But here in Hollywood, with its heavy traffic and almost complete lack of bicycling infrastructure, I need a lot more strength in my newly repair leg before I’m confident enough to mix it up with LA drivers.

And don’t even get me started on those laughable sharrows on Vine Street.

I’m getting stronger every day now, though, and hopefully I’ll have enough confidence in my new knee to give it a try in the next week or two.

Because we definitely won’t be getting any new bike lanes anytime soon.

………

A team of UCLA “climate explorers” is riding from Oakland to Los Angeles as we speak, to learn “first-hand about climate change impacts and solutions.”

They’ll pitstop in Malibu on Saturday, June 22nd for a panel discussion about climate change and sustainability.

And presumably, what they learned along the way.

………

Now that’s more like it.

A 24-year old woman faces murder and hit-and-run charges for the high-speed crash that killed a motor scooter rider in North Hollywood last week.

Now if we could just see charges like that when someone runs a bicycle rider down.

………

A British bike rider blocked a pair of angry salmon motorists from taking a short cut on the wrong side of the road. And got so many pats on the back from fellow bike riders and passing drivers he may not be able to wear a backpack for a few weeks.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

Police are looking for whoever strung rope at varying heights in several places along a Newport RI bike path with “the intent to cause harm.”

………

Local

LA Councilmember Paul Koretz tries to shove the genie back in the bottle, declaring his fevered desire to get rid of e-scooters entirely, while calling them anti-Vision Zero. In which case he should support them, since he’s been fighting Vision Zero since the beginning. And if he really wants to talk anti-Vision Zero, wait until he hears about cars.

Long Beach responds to drivers complaints about the new Broadway parking-protected bike lanes by ending street-sweeping in favor of sweeping just the bike lanes, and restoring 65 parking spaces.

CiclaValley shows you the sights and sounds of PedalFest 2019. And he’s leading a Pacifico Mountain Ride for Gravel Bike California on June 30th.

 

State

Lyft is dumping their association with Ford and the Ford GoBike brand for their Bay Area bikeshare system, and will bring their new black and pink ebikes to San Jose next.

Bird buys its way into the San Francisco e-scooter market by buying scooter competitor Scoot, after being blocked out by the city.

Bicycling remembers Petaluma master framebuilder Bruce Gordon, who passed away last Friday.

A Modesto paper calls Yosemite’s bike trails among the park’s best kept secrets.

 

National

Bicycling lists eleven things you need to start riding on gravel. Or you could just get a bike, put wider tires on it, and ask CiclaValley to take you for a ride.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske is back with advice for how to deal with an assault by an unfunny prankster. Best advice — always ride with a bike cam. I mount mine on my helmet; the minimal neck strain is offset by the ability to focus it anywhere I turn my head.

Your next ebike could be made of plastic.

An Oregon man is riding across the US in memory of a friend who died of breast cancer — despite suffering seven strokes himself.

Great idea. Denver public libraries will now allow you to check out a bike repair kit, including tools and a tire pump.

Bike cops in an Illinois town will now be patrolling the streets on a pair of massive, “military-grade” ebikes.

A Michigan bike rider is shocked when an SUV driver rear-ends his bike — then blames him for the crash before fleeing the scene.

Louisville KY police recover a boy’s brand new bike after it was stolen, and personally deliver it to the emergency room where he was taken for apparently unrelated injuries.

He gets it. A Nashville op-ed writer says don’t give up on e-scooters, following calls to ban them after a man was killed.

Best argument so far for not stopping at a red light. A Chattanooga bike rider was injured when someone walked up and shot him as he was stopped at an intersection.

Tuesday night races are back on at a defunct Brooklyn naval air base after nearly getting priced out of existence.

City Limits says if New York’s Vision Zero isn’t working, blame the lack of consequences for drivers who hit bike riders and pedestrians.

New York rapper A$AP Ferg is one of us, partnering with Redline to market his own limited-edition line of BMX bikes showcasing his own mad skills.

A New York Streetsblog editor picks the best bikes for foldie lovers on a budget, testing “a bunch” of bikes to pick the best folding bikes for under $1,500.

An op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer says a bill under consideration to legalize parking-protected bike lanes in Pennsylvania would improve safety for everyone, while helping to improve people’s heart health.

You’ve got to be kidding. The hit-and-run driver who fled after crashing into a Charleston SC pedicab while driving with a BAC of .24 — three times the legal alcohol limit — walked with less than a slap on the wrist, as a judge sentenced her to a fine and a lousy 48 hours of community service. If you want to know why people keep dying on our streets, this is it.

Best product placement ever. A Florida bike rider refuses to go to the hospital after he was hit by a truck driver until someone bought him a Coke. They did, and he did.

 

International

National Geographic gets it, saying bikes are the best way to tour cities around globe. And good for the planet, too.

Saskatoon takes a big step backward, ripping out protected bike lanes because the city’s drivers somehow couldn’t figure them out, and wanted more parking places, anyway.

An Ottawa bike rider made the point the hard way when he was hit by a driver just blocks from a protest at city hall calling for safer streets.

A Berlin group is helping refugee and migrant women gain confidence and independence by learning to ride a bike.

When Aussie bike riders post a video of crashes and near misses, commenters are quick to blame the people on two wheels. Even though a kangaroo caused one of them.

A writer for Cycling Tips pulls out his deerstalker hat and pipe to uncover the strange tale behind the rapid rise and sudden disappearance of disruptive Chinese smart bike maker SpeedX.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome suffered a major setback in his quest for a fifth title when he crashed into the side of a house at high speed. Froome had just finished a descent when he took his hand off his handlebars to blow his nose, and a sudden gust of wind blew him off the road; he’s currently in intensive care with undisclosed injuries.

VeloNews looks at LA’s Justin Williams and his new Legion of Los Angeles cycling team following his two stage wins and second place finish in last weekend’s Tulsa Tough.

Maybe the thief just wanted to take a joy ride. The Jumbo-Visma cycling team was victimized by a bike thief who struck when the team mechanic turned his back for a moment, then left the distinctive looking bike on the side of the road the next day.

 

Finally…

Pedal harder, or no Netflix for you. On the other hand, how slow can you go?

And you might want to hold off on using the New Orleans bikeshare for awhile.

 

Morning Links: Whittier hit-and-run fugitive captured in Australia, bad guys on bikes, and no justice for killer cops

It’s Day 6 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give today to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

………

In a surprising development, Australian police have arrested a woman for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Whittier last year.

The FBI lost the trail of 33-year old fugitive Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes after tracking her to Asia when she fled the country, just five days after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

The father of four died when a driver stopped to let him cross the street on his bike, then was struck by Reyes after she swerved around the stopped car. She dragged Rodriguez and his bicycle the length of two football fields.

Reyes was found living in Adelaide and using 11 different aliases.

She now faces extradition to Los Angeles on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Reyes could spend up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

………

Bike riders aren’t always the good guys.

LA County is offering a  $10,000 reward in the racially motivated shooting death of Long Beach resident Fred Taft, hours after he was harassed by a group of white men on bicycles. Long Beach is offering another $20,000.

In the same story, the Long Beach Post reports the county is considering renewing a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Cole Micek last March; Micek was run over by two separate drivers, who both fled the scene.

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Once again, LA’s DA refuses to prosecute a cop, declining to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy responsible for a crash that killed two small children.

The DA’s office also refused to file charges against the distracted sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, along with the trigger-happy Gardena cops who fatally shot the brother of a bike theft victim.

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No irony here.

Thanks to a crappy locking job, this Stolen Brand bike wasn’t. Just mangled and stripped to the bones.

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Local

Alhambra’s city council was scheduled to vote last night on whether to return to the recent auto-centric past by banning bikeshare and e-scooters from the city. Thanks to M for the heads-up; no, not James Bond’s boss in MI6. Probably.

A governing website talks with the policy director of Santa Monica-based Bird about the boom in e-scooters, and what cities should be doing about it.

Speaking of scooters, Long Beach wants your input on the city’s e-scooter program.

 

State

California’s former Governator is one one of us, proclaiming his desire to bicycle all over the world.

Monterey’s hugely popular Sea Otter Classic is exporting itself to sea otter-free Ontario, Canada.

San Francisco is on its way to becoming the first major US city to toss minimum parking restrictions out the window.

A Marin County bicycling organization is pushing for more bike access to Point Reyes National Seashore; as always, a group of equestrians wants to keep them out.

 

National

A Portland-area paper kvetches about streetcar tracks in the bike lane. Which is both dangerous and stupid; the streetcar tracks, not the kvetching. 

A popular Texas bike shop is trying to raise enough funds to stay in business after it was scammed out of $3,000 worth of bikes and accessories.

A longtime Denver talk show host with his head firmly planted up his…uh, in the auto-centric past complains about what he calls the “folly of bike lanes, insisting that no one uses them and they just get in the way of all those poor, put-upon drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on…and on. Bike riders in Boulder CO report finding tacks in their tires after riding on a popular bike route.

Chicago bicyclists faced treacherous conditions after the city failed to clear protected bike lanes after a snowstorm.

Gray-haired New Yorkers are furious over a plan to allow bicyclists to ride through a park they frequent to access a new esplanade on the East River.

New York’s city council is preparing to go to the mattresses over a proposal to legalize ebikes and e-scooters. Although someone should tell them it’s all those cars that make the city’s streets dangerous, not the people on two wheels.

America’s other ex-Tour de France champ is challenging the validity of Trump’s acting attorney general, using his nearly settled lawsuit against Lance as leverage.

Sad news from Florida, where a second bike rider has died after an apparently distracted driver slammed into a group of riders when she was blinded by the sun.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. Halifax, Nova Scotia is paying nearly a quarter million dollars to install side guards on a fleet of privately owned garbage trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from getting trapped underneath.

London’s Scotland Yard releases video showing its officers dealing with lawbreaking moped and motorcycle riders by ramming them with their patrol cars. Which would be assault with a deadly weapon if anyone else tried it.

Three British bicyclists attempted to ride 5,000 miles across Europe to raise money for a charity; only one finished the journey after one rider was hit by a driver, and the other injured a knee.

An Irish bike rider saw his case against the driver who hit him thrown out of court after the judge concludes the pedestrian path he was riding on wasn’t a bikeway, even though it was frequently used as one.

Wine Enthusiast considers the L’Eroica vintage bicycle tours through the sun-drenched wine country of Tuscany.

Ten Indian men set out to ride around the world in the 1920s and 1930s; seven made it.

Cycling legend Gary Fischer talks mountain bikes with an Indian newspaper.

A South African cyclist is riding over 1,200 miles to raise funds to save the rhinos.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist records six dangerous passes and left hooks — the equivalent of our right hook — in a single ride. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, any day that ends in Y.

Tickets for bicycling offenses have dropped dramatically in New Zealand, as police have shifted enforcement towards motorist behaviors that pose a greater risk to others.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says the elite women’s cyclists are saving cyclocross, even as the men’s races are becoming boring.

A Rwandan woman dreams of forming a cycling team, 34 years after she competed in a bike race as the only woman in a field of men; it was five years before she would face other female competitors.

 

Finally…

Look at your phone when you step into the street, and pay $200. A Sketchers ad is officially non-offensive, even if a bike rider crashes while staring at Kelly Brooks in a tight sweater.

And nothing says ’tis the season like Santas on bikes.

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Thanks to William S and Phillipa M for their generous donations to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your gift helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day! Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

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