Tag Archive for murder

1 killed and five injured in horrific Portland SUV attack, and LA/Long Beach motocross legend dies mountain biking

Let’s go with a slightly truncated post today.

I’ve been struggling with a bad internet connection all night, thanks to a rapidly failing router. 

So I’m going to post this while I still have a connection, and we’ll catch up with the rest of the news tomorrow after I — hopefully — get this damn thing replaced. 

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Horrific story from Portland, where a driver careened down more than 12 city blocks, intentionally slamming into everyone in sight.

This is how the Portland Oregonian described the attack.

Tyler Meyer, 30, said he saw the SUV swerve into his lane on Belmont Street, then strike a cyclist as he turned sharply onto 30th Avenue. Meyer said the suspect, who was speeding and running red lights, then clipped a pedestrian at Stark Street and 15th Avenue, did a U-turn and smashed into two people who became wedged between the SUV and a retaining wall at Stark and 19th Avenue. The driver then ran into an elderly woman on 19th, before doubling back and striking another pedestrian, Meyer said.

One woman in her 70s was killed, while five other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Larry Wolfe said he had an appointment to meet the person who was killed, a woman in her 70s, at the corner of Washington Street and 19th Avenue. Wolfe told The Oregonian/OregonLive he saw the woman get hit by a car and scream. He said he started walking toward her, then saw the car come back and hit her again. The car then did a U-turn and dragged the woman for some time, Wolfe said.

The male driver attempted to flee on foot after crashing his SUV, but was soon corralled by bystanders who kept him from leaving until police could wrestle him to the ground.

Meyer said he also watched the driver run into the El Camino. He said the man attempted to fight bystanders and threw potted plants from nearby homes.

“I told him, ‘I think you just killed a lady up the street,’” Meyer said. “He laughed and said, ‘Ah, that’s too bad.’”

There’s no word yet on whether this was a terrorist attack, a case of mental illness or if there was some other reason for his murderous attack.

But it serves as yet another reminder that we trust anyone who can pass a simple test with operating a two-ton weapon capable of inflicting mass casualties.

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Sad news, as motocross legend Mike “Too Tall” Bell died over the weekend.

The 63-year old Los Angeles native and Hall of Fame member, who rode out of Long Beach, reportedly suffered a heart attack while mountain biking; no word on where it happened.

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While Los Angeles is stuck in reverse, Pomona and Claremont are moving forward to improve safety for everyone.

And holding on to some of that water we’ll be flushing out to sea this week.

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

A Marin horseback rider complains about “irresponsible aggressive mountain bikers…fueled by a combination of righteousness, adrenaline and anger” after a woman was seriously injured when she was apparently thrown off her horse in some sort of conflict a mountain biker.

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Local

LAist takes a deep dive into the heartbreaking death of a four-year old girl killed in a collision while walking with her mother in Koreatown in 2019, and the continuing failure of Los Angeles officials to curb traffic violence. And why over a hundred pedestrians die in the city every year.

 

State

Alameda is getting its first fully protected, Dutch-style intersection. Which is one more than LA has.

Santa Rosa is proposing a redesign of a killer roadway, improving crosswalks and adding new bike paths and curb extensions to a half mile stretch where three people on foot or bicycles were killed in a single week in 2018. Which raises the question of what the hell were they waiting for? Something like that should have fixed within months, not years.

 

National

Bicycling picks up a paywalled story from Popular Mechanics — which is also available on Yahoo in case Bicycling’s paywall blocks you out— about how riding a backward bike, which goes left when you turn right and vice versa, will break your mind. So seriously, what’s the point of all those paywalls if you can get it for free, anyway?

A pair of Connecticut men take the long way across the US, riding 5,000 mile through 18 states along the way. On the other hand, a Florida man plans to ride solo 11,500 miles around the perimeter of the US to raise funds for a cancer charity. Although as we’ve seen before, planning to do something isn’t the same as doing it.

New York bike riders could see more protected bike lanes, despite the pandemic, as the transportation department emerges relatively unscathed from the city’s budget crisis.

The sponsor of Virginia’s wide-ranging bicycle safety bill says it should pass easily, saying he doesn’t expect any opposition to allowing bike riders to treat stops as yields, and requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle. Evidently Virginia’s AAA and state police don’t have their heads so far up their don’t have the windshield bias of their California counterparts.

 

International

Cycling News explains everything you need to know about ebike motors before you buy your next bike.

Yes, please. Scotland will now give people living near designated Low Emission Zones the equivalent of more than $1300 in grants to buy a bicycle or ebike, or to use towards public transportation.

Bike Radar looks at the top five road bike trends for the coming year.

Fixie riders in Singapore will now need at least one brake on their bike.

McDonalds is finally taking steps to welcome people on bicycles — in the Philippines, anyway.

Speaking of the Philippines, the country voted to approve a network of popup bike lanes and “safe emergency pathways” for non-motorized vehicles, which could be made permanent.

 

Finally…

Actually, the best Peloton alternative remains riding your bike outside. When you’re riding with four outstanding warrants, marijuana, meth, Dextroamphetamine Clonazepam on your bike, put some damn lights on your bike.

And anyone who can turn car parts into a bicycle deserves an A+.

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

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

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That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Update: Man riding bike killed by carjacker in horrific DTLA hit-and-run crash; victim was on his way to join a group ride

This time, it really is murder.

A 46-year old bike rider is dead, the innocent victim of a speeding carjacker trying to make his escape through Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Now police are looking for the car thief and killer, who simply walked away after a second crash.

According to KABC-7, the series of events started when a passing pedestrian asked a newspaper delivery driver for a ride on the 900 block of Wilshire Blvd. When the driver refused, the man jumped into the running pickup while the man was stocking a newsstand.

A flier from the LAPD places the time of the theft as 7:50 am.

Unable to get back into the truck, the delivery driver jumped into the back as the man sped off towards DTLA, then wisely jumped out a few blocks later, tumbling to the ground.

Witnesses saw the carjacker careening through the streets, weaving from side to side at a high rate of speed while driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

After turning onto eastbound 7th Street, he slammed into a man who was riding east just before 7th and Olive Street.

However, according to the police flier, the victim riding against traffic in the westbound bike lane — which means the driver rear-ended him while all the way on wrong side of the street.

The victim landed on the hood of the truck, and was carried nearly 100 feet before being thrown off, then tumbled another 150 feet before coming to a rest at Hill Street, a full block from where he was hit.

KTLA-5 reports friends of the victim identified him as Branden Finley, a member of the Ride for Black Lives group; he was reportedly on his way to join a group ride when he was killed.

Paramedics attempted without luck to revive him, before declaring Finley dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the driver continued east on 7th until he crashed into a pair of vehicles and took off on foot, melting away on the Downtown streets.

Bizarrely, he was walking barefoot and carrying a steering wheel, presumably from the truck he stole.

He was described as a Black man around 5 foot 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, and may have suffered a head injury from hitting his head on the windshield.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white hoodie and black pants, after removing the blue hoodie he was originally wearing.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or e-mail hm at 31480@lapd.online. During weekends and off-hours, call 1-877/527-3247.

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

Three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Update: The LA County coroner has confirmed the victim’s identity as Branden Finley, a 46-year old father of two.

“I still don’t even think it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. Right now, it’s a nightmare, and I feel tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this day will never exist,” his daughter, Koi Finley, told ABC7.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Branden Finley and his loved ones. 

Murder charge in stoned death of autistic bike rider, call for expanded Metro funding, and keep cars out of SaMo bike lanes

It’s Day 13 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Trinh D and David D for their generous support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy! 

It only takes a few clicks to donate and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

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Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was charged with second-degree murder in the DUI death of 12-year old bike rider Noel Bascon in Costa Mesa Sunday evening.

The boy, who suffered from autism, was riding with his father in a crosswalk when Lavalle allegedly ran a stop sign while driving stoned.

Lavalle is being held without bail, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could result in a possible life sentence.

The murder charge results from a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County, stating Lavalle could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future. Otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge.

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

A crowdfunding account to help pay Bascon’s funeral expenses has raised over $17,000 in just one day, topping the original $10,000 goal.

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Thirty LA-area organizations are calling for expanded eligibly of Metro funding currently dedicated for highways.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336399149403541510

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No, Santa Monica’s new two-way protected bike lane isn’t for cars.

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1336529892746297344

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on transportation issues in South LA.

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Local

Just say “bikes mean business” to get a discount on a deep dish pizza at Masa of Echo Park this Thursday; the last time the deal was offered, it drew over 200 bicyclists.

A new masterplan for LA’s Exposition Park calls for improved access for bike riders and pedestrians, possibly including protected bike lanes.

Tis the season. Hats off to the Pasadena Rotary for donating 146 bikes to local kidsThanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

 

State

A coalition of California advocacy groups are calling for the next chair of the state senate’s influential Transportation Committee to be a climate champion who understands the importance of investing in transit and active transportation.

It was a bad weekend in Fresno, where a 73-year old woman was killed riding her bike after allegedly veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Also from Fresno, a man riding a bicycle was stabbed several times and had his phone stolen by several people who got out of a passing car to attack him; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

And police aren’t sure why a 42-year old Fresno man was shot multiple times and killed while riding his bicycle.

 

National

They get it. CNBC reports the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom but most American cities are far from ready for it.

Gear Patrol looks at the latest bikes and accessories as proof of the unstoppable cycle of innovation.

A writer for Fast Company says joining the ebike revolution made this year a lot more tolerable.

Legendary bikemaker Gary Fisher, who literally helped invent mountain biking, is out with a new autobiography.

Road Bike Action Magazine offers tips on how to buy your next roadie.

After his stolen bike was recovered, a bighearted Washington boy gave it to a young fire victim because he’d already gotten a new one.

A Texas bike shop suffered a $10,000 loss when thieves smashed the storefront with a U-Haul and made off with five bikes.

Chicago considers the local community by ensuring a new bike bridge conforms with ancient Jewish law.

An Ohio town filed charges against a driver who killed a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk last month, one day after a Cleveland newspaper reported they were illegally withholding details of the crash.

The pandemic forced an annual Massachusetts fundraising ride to go virtual this year, and still managed to raise $50 million for cancer treatment and research.

Horrible story from Flushing NY, where a teenager was talking with a man outside a restaurant when a second man came up from behind and slashed him in the face, before the first man ran off with his bicycle and cellphone.

‘Tis the season, too. Two hundred New Jersey kids got new Huffy bikes courtesy of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from Toronto, where family members mourn a 23-year old woman who was killed riding her bike home to her college apartment.

An Ontario, Canada woman is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of her sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, after the admitted alcoholic violated her parole with yet another DUI conviction.

An American expat living in England was killed when the brakes failed on his ebike during a steep descent while riding with his wife.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine looks at their favorite lightweight bikes of 2020.

They get it. The authors of an op-ed in the prestigious BMJ — the former British Medical Journal — say free parking for healthcare workers just forces them to drive, instead of using healthier, and more sustainable and affordable means. 

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver walked with a suspended sentence, despite dragging a bike rider who heroically tried to stop his car, while driving at three times the legal limit.

After a Milan bookshop owner was forced to close, he took to his cargo bike to peddle his tomes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey takes a difficult in-depth look at pro cycling’s diversity problems in a nearly all-white sport. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Former NBA All Star Reggie Miller joined the board of USA Cycling; the passionate bicyclist was one of four new members named to the board of the organization governing bike racing in the US.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera is looking forward to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Flanders, as well as joining a newly formed women’s WorldTour team, after a year marred by injury and illness.

Cyclist profiles surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and his climb to pro cycling’s top ranks.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Andy Griffith holds a lifelong a grudge against you for knocking him off his bike. Traveling the world on a Penny Farthing.

And be glad you avoided the great British bicycle stock bubble of the 1890s.

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

Update: 12-year boy killed riding with dad in Costa Mesa crash; driver arrested for murder and DUI, as well as parole violation

Some things are just too sad for words.

Like the death of a 12-year old boy who was just out for a bike ride with his dad.

And murdered by an intoxicated driver who was somehow entrusted to operate a deadly machine.

Okay, allegedly intoxicated.

According to the Daily Pilot, Noel Bascon was riding in a crosswalk with his father near the Costa Mesa skate park around 5:55 Sunday night, when he was run down by the driver of a rented pickup truck.

A witness began CPR before police officers responding to the crash took over until paramedics arrived. But despite their efforts, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

A news release from the Costa Mesa Police Department places the crash near Junipero and Arlington Drives.

Fifty-nine-year old Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was driving east on Arlington when he reportedly ran a stop sign, throwing Baskin several feet through the air.

Despite being under the influence — again, allegedly — and on parole, Lavalle remained at the scene.

He was booked on charges of murder and DUI, as well as a parole violation.

The murder charge suggests that Lavalle has a previous conviction for driving under the influence, and signed a Watson Advisement warning that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving drunk or stoned in the future.

His passenger, 56-year old Artesia resident Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, was booked on possession of controlled substances and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

Anyone with information is urged to call Costa Mesa Traffic Investigator Kha Bao at 714/754-5264.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: Lavalle is being held without bail after he was charged with second-degree murder, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

My News LA confirms he was driving while stoned, and did receive a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County; otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge. 

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could mean a possible life sentence. 

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Noel Bascom and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up. 

LACBC and Streets for All virtual holiday events, big jump in distracted driving, and bust made in Venice bike theft death

Welcome to Week Two of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes right now to join him in supporting this site!

Seriously, don’t make me beg.

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The LACBC will host their free virtual holiday party and potluck this Thursday.

You can register for the event and purchase raffle tickets here.

Meanwhile, Streets for All will host a virtual happy hour this Wednesday to chat with Hayes Davenport, host of the LA Podcast and an advisor to new LA Councilmember Nithya Raman.

He also has the perfect old Hollywood name right out of Central Casting.

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No surprise here, as Streetsblog announces distracted driving has skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Something anyone who’s spent much time riding or walking the streets can attest to.

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Culver City 311 announces that police have apparently re-arrested the bike thief who killed a 73-year old man while trying to wrestle his bicycle from his grasp; the victim died when he fell and hit his head hit the pavement.

Let’s hope his killer faces the murder charge he so richly deserves.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is looking for a few good men or women; we need to get more bike and pedestrian advocates on the council so we can finally see some positive changes around here.

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In a special shoutout to former pro Phil Gaimon, here’s the LA Times’ tips for making the best holiday cookies.

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

A Montana man pled guilty to booby trapping a popular forrest trail with a nail-spiked board hidden under debris to discourage mountain bikers from using the trail; instead it seriously injured a father walking with his kids.

An Aussie man admits outside court that his idiotic stunt of pushing a shopping cart into a pack of bicyclists riding at speed after a 12-hour bender could have gotten someone killed.

Gee, ya think?

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Local

Angelenos are once again being told to stay home to avoid spreading the coronavirus; the order specifically prohibits travel by “foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, car or public transit,” though there are countless exceptions, and debate over whether they really mean it.

 

State

Bad news from the Central Coast, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a driver on the 101 Freeway in Arroyo Grande. Naturally, initial reports blamed the victim.

San Luis Obispo’s new active transportation plan commits to completing 100% of the city’s 52 highest priority bike and pedestrian projects within the next ten years — even though 93.5% of the projects are still outstanding. As Los Angeles bike riders can attest, though, a promise like that is only as good as the city’s willingness to live up to it.

More bad news from Tracy, where a 73-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike; police immediately blamed the victim for wearing dark clothes and riding without lights after dark, as well as not using a crosswalk to cross the roadway — even though bicyclists aren’t required or even expected to.

Still more bad news, this time from Lake County, where another 73-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike; the CHP caught the driver several hours later after she abandoned her car at a nearby hotel.

 

National

Gear Junkie looks at the best fat bikes for the coming year.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a new line of ebikes.

Police in Lincoln NE busted three men, including a 16-year old boy, accused of getting out of their car to mug a 69-year old bike rider and steal his belongings.

Wisconsin’s only Black-owned book store is currently doing business on the back of a big blue tricycle. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Sad news from Philadelphia, where a local community is mourning the death of a long-time neighborhood bike cop from Covid-19.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a man got two years home detention for fleeing the scene after slamming his SUV into two kids sharing a bike; fortunately, both recovered after suffering serious injuries.

Florida has completed a study for a bike trail along the state’s coast highway south of Jacksonville where retired ABC News correspondent Tim O’Brien was killed while riding his bike, but it hasn’t been funded.

 

International

Road.cc offers a holiday gift guide for awkward cycling fans, most of which is surprisingly affordable.

Cycling News turns the tables on yesterday’s men’s gift guide for bicyclists with a guide for bike-riding women. Because evidently, men don’t use bike tires or CO2 inflators.

An Ontario, Canada woman reached out to other female mountain bike riders three years ago to form a new group; she now has a network of over 100 active riders.

A Toronto letter writer complains that the city spend $240,000 to build, then remove, a protected bike lane, and concludes that building bike lanes that will be used just “four or five months out of the year” is insanity. Who knew Canadians are that afraid of a little cold weather?

Over 300 Montreal residents complained about bike paths and pedestrian streets that popped up in the city during the pandemic. Which means the other roughly 4,220,700 people in the metro area didn’t.

A British writer takes a 1,307-mile bikepacking trip across the entire length of the UK. Which may be the only place Brits can go once Brexit kicks in at the end of the year.

A Hungarian man is all smiles after riding over 8,000 miles from Hungary to India, despite four weeks in a Pakistani jail when he tried to cross the border.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mountain bike downhill legend Rachel Atherton welcomes the pandemic bike boom, saying everyone has finally discovered what she already knew about bikes.

Eleven of the biggest names in women’s cycling are calling it a career, including American Katie Hall.

Cycling scion Axel Merckx, who ought to know, warns today’s top young cyclists not to burn out too early.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride your ebike like a motorcycle. Who needs the power company when you’ve got a bicycle?

And introducing a thousand dollar full carbon balance bike for the weight weenie toddler in your life.

No, seriously.

Photo from Specialized’s website.

………

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

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. 

………

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.

Brumley 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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

Thanks to Jojo for the tip.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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

………

The worst ways to end a bike ride.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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?

………

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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. 

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