Tag Archive for murder

CC election could hinge on one vote, mayor-elect’s daughter hit-and-run victim, and SUV murder weapon in man’s death

It’s the second Friday of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Just 22 days left to show your support, and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So why wait?

Just take a moment right now and donate via PayPal or Zelle, then go gently into the weekend knowing you did your part.

And thanks to Catherine DL and Matthew R for their generous donations yesterday!

So who wants to break the ice today?

Seriously, don’t make our fundraising spokesdog cry. Give now!

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Don’t ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter.

A measure in Culver City that would allow 16 and 17-year olds to vote in local elections hangs in the balance by just three votes.

Which means that if those votes are split, the vote of one single person will determine whether it passes or fails.

And whether local teens will get a jump on the ballot box.

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It shouldn’t be hard to convince LA’s new mayor that hit-and-run is a problem in the city, after her daughter was a victim Thursday morning.

The unnamed daughter of Mayor-elect Karen Bass escaped serious injury when she was struck by a group of men in a white SUV while driving in the West Adams neighborhood.

Four men fled from the car, abandoning it on the street as they ran away.

Just one more example of the city’s out of control hit-and-run epidemic. Which no one in City Hall seems to take seriously.

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Go ahead and call it murder.

LA County Sheriff’s investigators are.

A driver for Mt. San Antonio College was killed while walking on the campus of the Walnut community college Thursday morning, in a crash they say appears to have been intentional.

The driver was hospitalized in unknown condition.

Just one more example of someone allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon — one with no background check or waiting period.

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Stop by during Sunday’s CicLAvia, and tell CD9 Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. it’s time for safer streets in South LA.

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ActiveSGV isn’t just active in name only.

So take a few minutes, and help one of SoCal’s most active advocacy groups build a better Rush Street.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1598112141319360513

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

A Portland bike commuter was ticketed for violating the state’s mandatory sidepath law, which requires bicyclists to use a bike lane if there’s one available — even though Bike Portland calls it the city’s worst bike lane, full of parked cars, potholes and debris. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Nothing like a road raging British driver admitting to being drunk after suggesting a bike rider doesn’t belong in the road.

No bias here. A driver in the UK tells a safety meeting called to address speeding drivers that little kids on bikes need to take more responsibility for causing crashes. Because evidently, they’re the ones who have been tested, licensed and insured to operate deadly vehicles.

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

A road raging Salt Lake City bike rider could face charges for breaking a bus driver’s hip in an altercation that began when the rider apparently complained about the way he was passed by the bus. Which serves as yet another reminder that violence is never the answer, as tempting as it may be in the moment. And only serves to transform you from victim to perp. 

An English man was sentenced to the equivalent of community service after he was busted for “wobbling all over the place” while riding drunk on a freeway.

Police in the UK found a car full of drugs after chasing a suspect on a stolen bike.

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Local 

And they say bicyclists are entitled. San Monica suspended enforcement of a new ordinance banning parking on driveway aprons and parkways bordering roadways after entitled drivers got out the pitchforks and torches, complaining about the city taking away their God given right to park wherever the hell they want.

 

State 

Southern California News Group reporter Josh Cain looks at deadly Ortega Highway, the winding 90-year old roadway connecting Orange and Riverside Counties, where 214 people have been killed in less than eleven years — making it the deadliest non-freeway in Southern California.

A Menifee boy suffered a major head injury when he was struck by a driver after allegedly riding his ebike through a red light on the wrong side of the street; thankfully, however, he’s expected to recover. Although from the description, it sounds like the victim may have been riding in the crosswalk, where there is no right or wrong direction, marked or otherwise.

He gets it. San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation department to stop calling bike lanes separated by car-tickler plastic bendy posts “protected,” saying that “makes as much sense as gluing the posts to the front bumpers of cars as a way to protect cyclists.” Now someone explain that to LADOT.

‘Tis the season. Volunteers pitched in to help an East Bay nonprofit build 500 bikes to distribute to kids at youth agencies and foster homes for the holidays, with an assist from a storage company.

 

National

Sports Illustrated looks at the best bike helmets for kids and adults. Although they wouldn’t mind if you use the included links to buy them, so they can get a little kickback on it. 

CityLab sings the praises of DIY guerrilla crosswalks and the scofflaw vigilantes who paint them.

A Portland nonprofit bike co-op fixes up whatever donated bikes that can be repaired and salvages any usable parts, then recycles the rest — amounting to 50,000 pounds of bicycle scrap every year.

More on the Oregon study showing bike boxes improve safety at intersections for people on bicycles by placing bike riders in a position where they are more visible to drivers, better able to see other traffic, and able to move out of the way in an emergency.

Kindhearted community members pitched in to buy a new bike for an Arizona boy after his was stolen. And a local bike shop helped out by giving them a discount.

She gets it. A Tacoma, Washington letter writer argues that the local paper should stop blaming victims for not wearing a helmet, because bike helmets were never designed to protect against motor vehicles.

A Texas hiker discovered an old mountain bike under a rotted tree with skeletal remains nearby, five years after a Dallas firefighter disappeared while riding his bike in the area.

New York is improving safety on Queens bike lanes by “hardening” the green lanes with protective concrete barriers. Proving that a) existing bike lanes can be made better, and b) it’s possible to offer actual protection instead of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts favored by a certain SoCal megalopolis.

Streetsblog says the recent viral New York Times article about the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US is just the tip of the iceberg, and things are even worse than they said.

NPR discusses the play Straight Line Crazy, which explores the legacy of legendary New York planner Robert Moses, who was singlehandedly responsible for inflicting the city, and the country, most of the auto-centric road designs we’re struggling to undo today.

Lime is offering free ebike and e-scooter rides to the polls for next week’s Georgia runoff election.

 

International

A Toronto website suggests ten ways the city could improve safety for bicyclists if it gave a damn, saying riding in Toronto isn’t for the timid. All of which could apply to any other city that actually gives a damn, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis. 

Cycling Weekly looks at the problem of exercise addiction, after a British man working in Germany died of a heart attack, just days after telling the magazine he felt addicted to bicycling, despite suffering chest pains.

Speaking of Cycling Weekly, the magazine also says it’s possible for smaller bicyclists to get a good bike fit, too.

A British bike shop burglar will spend the next 27 months behind bars after fleeing from police at speeds up to 115 mph; police found five bikes in his panel truck worth nearly $38,000, which suffered over $8,000 in damage as a result of his crimes.

Another British burglar got nine years for killing a bike rider in a collision while attempting to flee from police after breaking into a drug store.

Amazon is expanding their ebike delivery fleets in the UK, enabling the retail giant to improve deliveries to residential areas, while lowering operating costs and improving sustainability.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. A 500-year old Italian mountain pass outside Venice. No, not the one in Los Angeles. Or Florida, for that matter.

Hanoi is introducing a 94-station, 1,000-bike bikeshare system, with half hour rides available for as little as 20¢.

 

Competitive Cycling

Taking a break from their recent paywalls, VeloNew examines USA Cycling’s plans to nurture the next generation of gravel cyclists. Hint: Keep them out of Texas, and away from jealous girlfriends.

Seriously? Pez Cycling News recommends five of the world’s most popular bike races, yet somehow leaves the Tour de France off the list.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have a 99% chance of getting away with bike theft because the cops are too busy to deal with it. Nothing like a “Boobs and Brains” themed fundraising ride.

And Lamborghini goes gravel.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Romero guilty of murder in Huntington Beach DUI bike death, and wrong-way driver injures 25 LA sheriff’s cadets

Guilty.

An Orange County jury convicted 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero of second-degree murder and hit-and-run in the 2019 death of Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in Huntington Beach.

Romero faced the murder charge after signing a Watson notice following a 2012 conviction for DUI, specifying that he could be charged with the crime if he killed someone while under the influence anytime in the future.

And he did.

Romero started the deadly chain of events by crashing into a bar owner’s car as he left a parking lot, before smashing into MacDonald’s bike and speeding off without slowing down, then fleeing on foot after finally crashing his car into a tree.

He had been drinking at a pair of Huntington Beach bars, and got into a fight with someone in the parking garage next door, which his lawyer bizarrely argued meant Romero was not responsible for his actions after suffering a brain injury.

Fortunately, the jury didn’t buy it.

He now faces 15 to life when he is sentenced in February.

Adding to the tragedy, MacDonald had just finished celebrating his 33rd birthday, and was towing a bike trailer loaded with gifts across the street when Romero ran him down.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

A wrong-way SUV driver plowed into a group of LA County Sheriff’s cadets on a Whittier training run Wednesday morning, injuring 25 recruits — five critically.

One of the five is on a ventilator, while others suffered life-changing injuries, including lost limbs.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who lost his run for re-election this week, describe the scene as looking like an airplane crash, with “bodies scattered everywhere.”

And in case anyone still thinks hi-viz is the key to bike and pedestrian safety, all 75 recruits on the run were wearing reflective vests, in addition to running in four columns accompanied by two black-and-white patrol vehicles and eight road guards.

Yet the driver still smashed into them at an estimated 30 – 40 mph. Not only did the 22-year old driver fail to slow down, there are reports that he continued accelerating as he sliced through the cadets — which could suggest this was something other than just another “oopsie.”

Reports varied on whether driver appeared to be under the influence after the crash, though cannabis was found in his vehicle.

He was taken into custody by the cadets, and was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

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No surprise here, unfortunately.

A year after acquiring Cycling Tips, Pink Bike and Trailforks, Outside has reportedly laid-off 12 percent of the workforce, with a focus on writing and editorial workers, including at sister publication VeloNews.

Needless to say, it was not well received by readers of the sites.

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Nice to see LA marking Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

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Georgia senatorial candidate Hershel Walker somehow derided his opponent, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, for “letting” President Joe Biden ride his bike.

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

A Brooklyn councilmember is demanding answers from the local police precinct commander, saying it’s deeply disturbing that a noted bike lawyer was hauled off in handcuffs for attempting to remove a piece of plastic illegally obscuring a driver’s license plate.

A Hoboken city councilmember called for more bike lanes, days after he was hit by a driver who yelled at him to use the bike lane before crashing into him; the driver in question says it was just an “oopsie,” not road rage.

No bias here. A Conservative Member of the British Parliament says lowering the speed limit in Wales to 20 mph is just a ploy to raise cash while attacking motorists — even if it is almost universally ignored.

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

A bike-riding British naval commander has been cleared of using racially abusive language in a heated roadside road rage incident with a Black motorist, who alleged the commander called him a “Black cunt,” while the sailor insisted he had merely referred to the driver’s black car.

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Local

In what could be good news for bike riders, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell conceded his re-election effort to challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez, who has promised to complete many of the bikeway projects O’Farrell had blocked until recently, along with pedestrianizing parts of Hollywood Blvd.

 

State 

Streetsblog talks with Bike East Bay Advocacy Director Dave Campbell, who is leaving the organization after 26 years of fighting for safer streets in the East San Francisco Bay Area.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Tuesday evening. He must have been the victim of a sentient self-driving car, however, since there’s no mention of a driver anywhere in the article.

 

National

Politico talks with former DC and Chicago DOT director Gabe Klein, who is now tasked with overseeing EV infrastructure for the Biden administration.

Gear Junkie recommends ten gifts for the bicyclist in your life. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

A new study from Oregon State University shows bike boxes really do improve safety at intersections for people on bicycles.

The rich get richer. Just one day after we mentioned the ebike rebate program in Austin, Texas, the city announced it is more than doubling the amount available for rebates, from $600 to $1,300.

Chicago’s mayor was deservedly blasted online after an advocacy group posted video of her guards double-parked in a bike lane for a doughnut run.

‘Tis the season. An Ohio man is preparing for holiday bike giveaways, after spending the year collecting, fixing and donating bikes for kids who need them; he estimates he’s given away nearly double the 3,000 bikes from last year.

A Connecticut driver learns the hard way that it may not be the best idea to flee the scene after severely injuring the bike-riding brother of the state’s lieutenant governor.

New York considers a ban on secondhand and uncertified lithium-ion ebike and e-scooter batteries, which have been blamed for an increasing number of fires.

An 18-year old Virginia man now faces additional charges for the alleged drunken crash that killed one woman and seriously injured another as they were riding together this past August.

South Carolina advocates are calling on the legislature to repeal a ban on red light cameras, as a national study shows the traffic cams reduce fatalities by 20%. Hopefully, a new city council will reconsider LA’s ban on red light cams, too.

An Orlando bike cop was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was dragged by a fleeing driver following a traffic stop, and was still stuck on the vehicle when the driver crashed into a tree.

 

International

A new report shows it’s still not safe to travel through London if you’re not in a car.

Bicycling deaths are even spiking in bike-friendly Belgium, as fatalities hit a ten-year high for the first nine months of this year.

An Indian man has just 21 countries left in his around-the-world bike tour of 191-countries, which began four bikes and 18 years ago; one of the bikes was purchased by the Polish prime minister, after his previous bicycle was stolen while touring the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lachlan Morton, the Aussie cyclist who beat the Tour de France peloton to Paris in his own Alt Tour, has now set his sites on breaking the 78-day record for riding around the world set by Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont in 2017.

World handbike champ Mitch Valize is working with a lab in the Netherlands to improve the high-tech materials and design of his handcycle, comparing it to the design of F1 race cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when science proves ebikes are more efficient and fun than regular bikes. If you’re going to burglarize vehicles, try to hide your wet bike tires from sharp-eyed cops.

And if the prices are too good to be true, you may have been conned by yet another fraudulent SRAM website.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Call for Martinez and De León to resign after racist rant, CicLAvia returns to DTLA, and vehicular murder in Griffith Park

Let’s start with a story that has nothing to do with bicycles.

And everything to do with all of us in Los Angeles.

A recording surfaced yesterday of City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, using racist language while breaking down redistricting arguments strictly along racial lines.

Never mind calling their gay fellow councilmembers a “bitch” and a “diva.” Or referring to Oaxacan immigrants as ugly little people.

I won’t get into all it. You can, and should, read it on your own. Because as ugly as I make it sound, the reality is far worse.

Suffice it to say that Martinez described the Black toddler son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband as a monkey and a fashion accessory, while De León compared him to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Both Martinez and Kevin De León have supported bikes in recent years, and the bike community have supported them in kind. And both have apologized for their comments.

But that’s not good enough.

Which is why I’m joining with countless other Angelenos and LA organizations calling for their resignations.

There is no place for open racism in our government at any level. It is simply unacceptable, and beneath contempt.

And if they don’t have the integrity to quit, we’ll may have recall them to force them both out.

The only reason I’m not calling for Cedillo’s resignation is that he has already, and deservedly, lost his bid for re-election. But if he had any dignity, he’d leave on his own, right now.

Which in his case is a pretty damn big if, given what we already know about him.

Meanwhile, this is also more proof that it’s time to take redistricting entirely out of the council’s hands, and let a civilian commission have the final say.

Photo of our intern and mascot on the new 6th Street Bridge during yesterday’s CicLAvia.

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In happier news, a good time was had by all at yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

Or nearly all, anyway. A couple of firefighters indicated the day was mostly event free, despite a wave of injuries at the beginning of the day.

The route, which for the first time led to Echo Park and the new 6th Street Bridge, saw a massive turnout as Angelenos took advantage of the near perfect weather.

My wife and I, and corgi, included.

Here are a few photos to capture the day.

Nikita of the Real Rydaz poses with her bike.

Both award-winning bikes were built by Will of the Real Rydaz.

Frank Gehry’s new The Grand LA adds to the LA skyline.

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This is who we share the road with.

What started out as yet another a hit-and-run in Griffith Park ended with a murder charge.

News broke Saturday evening that a pedestrian had been killed by a driver earlier in the day. The woman fled the scene, leaving her victim to die in the street on Fern Dell Drive.

The driver was arrested the following day, after investigators concluded that the 70-year old victim’s 32-year old girlfriend had intentionally run him over — using his own car — following an argument.

Sonia Sovereign reportedly confessed to the crime, and is being held on a murder charge on $1 million bail.

And it may not have been her first brush with the law, as a woman with the same name, and the right age, led Colorado police on a drunken chase half a decade earlier.

Just one more argument for why cars don’t belong in the park. Or any park, for that matter.

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Michael Siegal of South Pas Active Streets forwards news of a successful first Walk and Roll at two South Pasadena elementary schools.

Local community organization South Pas Active Streets organized three “bike bus” rides to school on October 5th to Arroyo Vista and Marengo elementary schools. Coinciding with South Pasadena Walk or Bike to School Day, these chaperoned, safety-in-numbers bike rides created an active way to get to school for children who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

Over 30 children and 20 adults participated in one of three different routes to school.  With a core group of riders starting the ride at one end, participants would join the bike bus along its route as it wound its way toward school.  Besides parents, volunteers on these rides included members of DUDES South Pasadena and Mayor Michael Cacciotti.

South Pas Active Streets seeks to provide safe opportunities for active mobility, supporting our childrens’ health, independence, and well-being.  With the success of Wednesday’s first-ever South Pas Walk and Roll, the organization will be coordinating more bike buses and walking buses in the future.

More information on the event, the routes and photos are at southpasactive.org/home/south-pas-walk-and-roll

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I’d be more impressed with the new protected bike lanes on San Vicente if they weren’t half in the gutter.

But at least the city is building something in the mobility plan, for a change.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1578168132589346816

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As we mentioned last week, CSUN is hosting a family-friendly Bikefest in two weeks.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

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

A failed candidate for state legislature took credit for throwing a red plastic cup full of cider at a Chicago alderman, as he rode past on his bike with about 50 other people to examine existing bike infrastructure and brainstorm improvements. If you can call it “credit,” that is.

No bias here. Louisville KY writer complains about “militant” bicyclists, who hide their anti-car agenda “behind code words like safety, health, vibrant and even equity.” Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

Someone is sabotaging a DC bike lane by repeatedly dumping construction nails into it.

In an apparent attempt to thin the herd, a separated bike lane in Manchester, England, is shared with truck drivers headed the opposite direction to a delivery bay, resulting in a bizarre game of chicken as drivers go head-on towards people on bikes.

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

Police in Santa Barbara are looking for a blond man who allegedly fled the scene by bicycle after beating a man to death, before possible stealing a car to complete his getaway.

An English man faces charges for mowing down two bicyclists while speeding downhill and riding salmon in a London park, and barely missing another rider.

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Local

An op-ed in the LA Times looks at the new law decriminalizing jaywalking in most circumstances, and the historic automotive hegemony that led to jaywalking laws in the first place.

A man in his 50s was critically injured in a Westminster hit-and-run while riding his bike Thursday evening.

 

State 

Camarillo approved a proposal to authorize just over $910,000 to hire engineering and environmental consultants for a planned $6 million bike lane extension on Central Ave. Although that’s a hell of a lot of money for just a third of a mile of bike lanes, so let’s hope there’s more to it than that.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by two separate motorists, one of whom fled the scene.

The Stanford student paper examines the presence of roundabouts on campus, explaining that they serve to slow drivers below 25 mph.

Just days after Alameda’s mayor killed plans for a protected bike lane, he raised it back up from the dead.

A planned 47-mile bike trail through the Napa Valley wine country could turn it into a bicycling destination to rival Provence.

 

National

A writer for an RV site recommends ebikes for the RV life.

Seventy-seven years after the end of WWII, an Italian man is riding from Seattle to Phoenix to retrace his grandfather’s journey as an Italian prisoner of war.

A Utah truck driver bought a new bike for a five year old boy because he felt bad about the crash that sent the kid to the hospital.

A Denver writer applauds the city for moving quickly to expand its bike network while listening to feedback from the community.

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is getting its first advisory lane on a street I grew up riding. Something tells me it will go a little better than a similar street design did in San Diego.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a 91-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for right-hooking a bike rider, who was seriously injured when he landed in the car’s back seat after crashing through the closed rear window. But at least the police asked to have his driver’s license revoked.

A rescue swimmer used a borrowed beach cruiser to save an elderly Florida man and woman, and their dog, following Hurricane Ian.

 

International

Engadget proclaims this the age of the cargo bike. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

The newest Roman Catholic saint was one of us. Italian Artedime Zatti was famed for riding his bicycle throughout the Argentine town of Viedma with a medical case to care for the sick.

She gets it. An op-ed by a Toronto advocate says if we want to get more people on bikes, we have to change our cultural and political deference to cars first.

Nice BBC report on an Indian man who has opened a museum to house his collection of over 150 bicycles, many of which he restored himself. And insists he’s not doing it for the money, but just wants to share them with the world. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

New Zealand’s Stuff says cycling clubs are disappearing because they can’t afford the onerous traffic management plans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar edged Enric Mas to defend his title at Il Lombardia, the year’s final Monument; the race also marked the last competitions for former Grand Tour champs Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, who care calling it a career.

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is also calling it a career after one last race in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, which was won in a sprint by defending champ Arnaud Démare.

France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the inaugural women’s gravel World Championship, while Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch upset Mathieu van der Poel to take the men’s title.

Italian time trial specialist Filippo Ganna shattered the hour record, traveling 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes — 1.2 km further than the previous record, set by Britain’s Dan Bigham less than two months ago. That works out to a whopping 35.289 miles.

Ganna not only broke the record, he unified the title by also beating Chris Boardman’s 26-year old “superman” record.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Ganna’s record-setting ride.

Five weird ways cyclists bent, if not broke, the rules.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid profiles L39ion of Los Angeles co-founder and CEO Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

Britain’s wackiest bike race. That feeling when your competitor for a city council seat rescues your stolen ebike bike from a homeless camp, and you still have to run against him.

And now you, too, can race your own hologram.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Wealthy hit-and-run socialite faces double murder trial, Metro Bikes $1 through September, and Queen was one of us

The wealthy co-founder of the Grossman Burn Center has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the alleged DUI death of two little boys.

Fifty-nine-year old socialite Rebecca Grossman was allegedly speeding at over 70 mph in a 45 mph zone, while driving at just over the legal alcohol limit, when she plowed her SUV into the two boys in a Westlake Village crosswalk two years ago.

The judge refused to drop the murder charges, which stemmed from Grossman’s presumed knowledge that ignoring the speed limit and driving recklessly could result in the death of an innocent person, based on her previous history of speeding violations.

She brutally ran down 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his brother Jacob as they were crossing the street with their family on a skateboard and scooter, respectively, while failing to brake for the children or stop afterwards, until her car shut down a third of a mile away with the air bag deployed.

Grossman is currently free on $2 million bail, and faces 34 years to life if she’s convicted on the murder counts.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

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Get a Metro Bike bikeshare membership for just one buck for the rest of this month.

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Metro is considering plans for bus-only lanes on Sepulveda Blvd north of Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley, which could be used by people on bicycles, as well.

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As Tolstoy makes clear, it’s never too late to learn to ride a bike.

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Who needs carbon wheels when you can ride wood, instead?

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

Oh, please. A writer for Forbes makes the case for vehicular cycling, without using the term, arguing that protected bike lanes increase risk for people on bicycles, while using Forester as her primary support. Even though the most comprehensive study to date concludes that separated and protected bike lanes are the single biggest factors in improving safety for bike riders in urban environments. 

No bias here. A Colorado TV station writes that a Ford pickup fled the scene after killing a bike rider, only mentioning in passing in the body of the story that the truck even had a driver.

No bias here, either. A South African website makes the case for requiring license plates on bicycles, arguing that “reckless cyclists have as much potential to seriously injure or even kill pedestrians” as motorists do. Which is absurd on the face of it, since motorists kill 1.3 million people worldwide each year, while people on bicycles cause a tiny fraction of that.

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

A British man beat the crap out of a neighbor in a “frenzied attack” that began with a dispute over scuffing the walls of the apartment building’s stairwell by bringing his bike up and down, spattering the victim’s blood over the newly painted hallway.

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Local

The LACBC will host a fundraising ride and party in the the Arts District November 5th, with tickets starting at $100.

Santa Monica is making Vision Zero safety improvements on a 2.5-mile section of Wilshire Blvd, as well as at Ocean Park and Lincoln, and Olympic and 14th; however, there are no bikeways planned for Wilshire. Dammit.

 

State 

Caltrans offered an update on the agency’s progress implementing its new Complete Streets policy.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Yucca Valley man for the July hit-and-run that left two men with major injuries when their tandem bike was rear-ended by the suspect’s car; David Alderson is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

 

National

Great idea. A nonprofit group repurposed Uber’s abandoned bikeshare ebikes by establishing ebike lending libraries in low-income neighborhoods.

More fallout from that horrible article in The Atlantic that called ebikes monstrosities, as a Streetsblog op-ed says it’s not the ebike that’s a monstrosity, it’s car culture.

An environmental writer makes the case for “right-sizing” delivery trucks by replacing them with cargo bikes, but bizarrely concludes most people shouldn’t get one for their personal use.

Ars Technica says the new Urtopia Carbon ebike is what you get when you try to combine an ebike with an iPad.

220 Triathlon examines the best bicycling trousers for a dry and comfortable ride, none of which are remotely suited for your next tri.

Salem, Oregon’s second attempt at a bikeshare system ended in failure, unable to overcome theft and vandalism problems.

Portland bike riders learn the hard way that a separated bike path is still technically a roadway, after a local raceway directed Indycar fans to drive head-on into the path of bicyclists using it.

Like much of the country, Washington State is going the wrong way, with traffic fatalities rising to a 20-year high in the state, including a 26% increase in bike and pedestrian deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the tandem bike an Ohio special needs boy used to ride with his grandmother.

A half dozen MIT students and recent graduates rode their bikes 3,800 miles from DC to San Francisco, teaching STEM classes to kids along the way.

A columnist for the LA Times considers whether New York’s congestion pricing proposal is fair to lower-income drivers, and proposes banning cars entirely as one option that might be fairer.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips rides a 17-year old Cannondale for a month to compare how it stacks up to modern technology. Even though a 17-year old isn’t exactly an antique.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list. Or maybe 20, as a European travel insurance comparison site lists the continent’s most Instagrammable bike routes, including this one in Scotland offering challenging climbs and breathtaking scenery.

London’s bikeshare system saw record use this summer, as local residents took advantage of sunny weather to avoid transit strikes and rising fares.

The British woman who got mugged outside a police station when she tried to reclaim her stolen bicycle got it back, thanks to a bighearted scooter shop owner who returned it after buying it off the thief. But her bad luck continued when she had yet another bike stolen in the meantime.

Bianchi has a new flagship road ebike, complete with a more than $5,000 price tag.

Israel is opening a new $7.3 million, 1.3 mile bike tunnel through the Jerusalem mountains, making it the world’s fifth longest.

Incoming Kenya First Lady Racheal Ruto was among the thousands of Kenyons who turned out to pay their respects to Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, after the influential Black cyclist died in a solo crash during Vermont’s Overland Gravel race.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel extended his lead in the Vuelta with another stage victory on Thursday, and is now leading Spain’s Enric Mas by two minutes and seven seconds; don’t waste your time looking for an American in the top 50.

However, Evenepoel raised hackles by refusing to sign a kid’s jersey following Thursday’s stage.

Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini overcame a crash to finish second in Thursday’s stage two of the women’s Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, finishing two minutes after Dutch pro Annemiek Van Vleuten.

The Tour of Britain responded to the sudden death of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth by cancelling the remainder of the race, which was set to conclude Sunday on the Isle of Wight, and declaring Spain’s Gonzalo Serrano the winner.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — if you’re carrying meth, weed and drug paraphernalia on your bike, put a damn light on it. That feeling when there’s no place to park your cargo bike.

And in case there was any doubt, yes, Queen Elizabeth was one of us.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Caltrans plans PCH bike lanes in Malibu, guilty verdict in DUI killing of LB family, and more on Griffith Park Drive closure

Caltrans is finally taking steps to tame SoCal’s killer highway.

Maybe.

The state transportation agency, which has responsibility for deadly Pacific Coast Highway, announced tentative plans to stripe bike lanes on a 16-mile stretch of PCH, from Malibu Lagoon to the Ventura County Line.

However, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press, Malibu officials complained about what they called vague plans, which could include the removal of over 2,000 roadside parking spaces.

And the state Coastal Commission might have something to say about it, since their rules prohibit the removal of beach access parking, while requiring some form of mitigation.

Never mind that the Malibu mayor’s primary concern seemed to be whether bicyclists would be ticketed for riding in the traffic lanes instead of the bike lane.

So much for the city’s flirtation with accommodating people on bicycles in recent years.

Maybe he should be asking why the state agency insists on having a major highway run through the heart of the coastal city, instead of turning it into a Complete Street Main Street to serve the needs of all residents and road users, rather than primarily benefitting cut-through commuter traffic.

And yes, CVC 21208 requires bicyclists to use the bike lane if they’re riding slower than the speed of traffic.

The plans call for a painted, Class II bike lane, although bike riders called for a buffer zone next to any remaining parking, as well as next to traffic speeding by at — or often above — the 50 to 55 mph speed limit.

Someone also asked why the bike lane was planned for the west side of the city, rather than the east side where it’s needed more.

Good question.

Thanks to Austin Brown for the heads-up.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A 23-year old Long Beach man faces up to 45 years behind bars after he was convicted of three counts each of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for killing an entire family on Halloween night in 2019.

Carlo Adrian Navarro was just 20 years old when he drunkenly drove onto the sidewalk, striking a mother and father, and their three-year old son, as they were walking home from trick or treating.

He’ll be sentenced in September.

With a little luck he could be out by the time he’s 50.

………

As we mentioned yesterday, Los Angeles has closed a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park to cars, at least for now.

The pilot closure comes in response to drivers using the park as a cut-through route to avoid freeway traffic, putting bike riders, pedestrians and other park users at risk.

Streetsblog reports it’s part of a multi-phase effort to fast track safety improvements to the park.

SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, the traffic safety organization founded by Finish the Ride’s Damian Kevitt, hosted a ride on Saturday attended by hundreds of bike riders to mark the closure.

Lionel Mares shared his photos from the ride.

SAFE and Finish the Ride Founder Damian Kevitt

LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, and California State Senator Anthony Portantino

………

Claremont Cyclist / CLR Effect author Michael Wagner sends us a photo from the July Ride Around Pomona, saying the long line of broken bollards doesn’t instill much confidence in the ability of drivers around the Cal Poly campus.

If your kid goes there, you might want to call just to make sure they’re okay.

………

Streetfilms says Emeryville, California mayor John Bauters is the biking mayor your city needs.

Especially if your city is Los Angeles.

Never mind that Bauters sports Peter Flax’s Sharrows Are Bullshit t-shirt.

………

British tennis pro Cameron Norrie is one of us.

………

Stephen Hallet forwards this context-free photo he ran across recently.

Something tells me there’s a story there. Albeit a painful one.

………

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

No surprise here. Texas officials dramatically undercharged a driver who intentionally drove onto the wrong side of the road, instead of the felony assault with a deadly weapon the crime calls for. 

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

A Houston man made his getaway by bicycle after robbing a Burger King with a gun pointed at a worker’s head.

………

Local

Metro has begun construction on the Rail to Rail Active Transportation Project, a 5.5-mile shared use path connecting the A (Blue) Line and the upcoming K (Crenshaw/LAX) Line through Inglewood and South Los Angeles.

The Fullerton Observer offers photos from that city’s 4th of July holiday bike parade.

 

State 

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a 13-year-old bike rider in Merced County, leaving the boy hospitalized with minor injuries.

 

National

Accessory maker Knog is introducing a waterproof, Apple-compatible “super loud bike alarm and highly accurate bike finder.”

Road Bike Rider offers advice for long-distance riding with “at least some measure of comfort.”

A Portland man faces multiple charges for a racially biased attack on a bike-riding man and his five-year old daughter, after yelling slurs based on their Japanese ancestry while repeatedly punching the father in the head, as well as punching the little girl in her bike helmet. There’s not a pit deep enough for a jerk like that.

Denver is renewing its ebike rebate program after an initial rush depleted the funds in a matter of days. Meanwhile, California’s ebike rebate program continues to tread water waiting for the people in charge to get their shit together.

Chicago Streetsblog complains that People For Bikes ranks the city well below “car-centric, bicycle-sparse metropolises like Houston and Los Angeles” in their annual ranking of bike-friendly cities.

Gotham gets mini street sweepers to clean the city’s protected bike lanes.

 

International

Alleged killer Kaitlin Armstrong reportedly fled the US using her sister’s passport, and had a receipt for plastic surgery when she was arrested in Costa Rica last week; she faces a first degree murder charge for the fatal shooting of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson.

Apparently, hit-and-run isn’t just an American problem, as drivers have fled in over 1,500 crashes in the last three and a half years in England’s West Midlands, including 28 fatal crashes.

A new Polish study suggests male bike riders should stand on their pedals every ten minutes to avoid genital damage that can lead to erectile disfunction and fertility problems.

Cairo, Egypt is unveiling a 45 dock, 500 bike bikeshare system to fight climate change while providing an alternative to the city’s crushing traffic.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wout van Aert won Tuesday’s stage four of the Tour de France to extend his hold on the yellow jersey; Red Bull profiles the Belgian ‘cross champ as he turns his attention to road cycling.

The annual 2,700-mile Tour Divide is becoming even more extreme, as climate change-driven wildfires, flooding and extreme drought conditions pushed competitors to the edge.

The inaugural Life Time Grand Prix moves on to Beaver, Utah this weekend with the 70-mile, mixed terrain Crusher in the Tushar race, featuring “60 handpicked WorldTour roadies, gravel pros, track world champions and MTB Olympians” competing for a $250,000 purse.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use an excavator to break into a bike shop, make sure you can get the bikes out past the rubble afterwards.

And who doesn’t need a little monkey-faced Wednesday weirdness?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Arrest warrant issued in Mo Wilson love triangle murder, and bike & pedestrian bills move forward in CA legislature

Before we start, I’ve received a number of reports that someone on a bicycle was killed while riding in Claremont on Friday. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation yet. 

I’ll let you know if I learn more.

………

It’s one of the oldest stories in Hollywood.

But this isn’t Hollywood. And this time, it’s not just some filmmaker’s fantasy.

Because it turns out the murder of rising gravel cyclist and mountain biker Moriah “Mo” Wilson was the result of an old fashioned love triangle.

Wilson was shot multiple times and killed August 11th while in Austin, Texas to prepare for the Gravel Locos race.

After investigating, police have issued a first degree murder warrant for 34-year old Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the business partner, and off-and-on romantic partner, of pro gravel cyclist Colin Strickland, who operates a vintage trailer restoration business.

Strickland said he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson last fall, before reconciling with Armstrong.

Apparently, they were on a “break” at the time.

Wilson and Strickland had gone swimming together that afternoon, before he dropped her off at the apartment of a friend she was staying with.

According to The New York Times, police had taken Armstrong into custody a day after the shooting, but let her go hours later.

The day after Ms. Wilson was found dead, the police took Ms. Armstrong into custody on an unspecified misdemeanor warrant but were then informed that the warrant was not valid and told Ms. Armstrong she could leave if she wanted to, the affidavit said…

The affidavit said the police had received a tip from an anonymous caller. The caller said Ms. Armstrong had said in January that she wanted to kill Ms. Wilson after learning that Mr. Strickland was in a romantic relationship with Ms. Wilson while he was dating Ms. Armstrong.

Now they have no idea where she is.

A Boston website reports Strickland originally lied about his own whereabouts the day of the shooting in an effort to hide his involvement with Wilson.

He also bought two guns last winter, for himself and Armstrong — including the weapon apparently used to kill Wilson.

The murder has left the Austin bicycling community in shock.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page to “help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about” has raised over $60,000 of the $100,000 goal.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……….

Streetsblog notes that most bike, pedestrian and transit bills in the state legislature are moving forward.

That included the Bicycle Omnibus Bill and another attempt at getting the Stop As Yield bill, aka the Idaho Stop, past the governor’s desk.

However, it also includes a bill requiring bikeshare and e-scooter companies to insure their riders, which would likely put them all out of business.

………

Mark your calendar to help make biking better in Orange County.

………

An Indian man and his son can’t contain their joy over buying a used bike.

………

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

Seriously? After bike-riding Miami couple were killed by a fatigued driver who may have been sleeping at the wheel, the local police respond by reminding bike riders and drivers to obey the law, saying safety is a shared responsibility. Even though the victims didn’t do a damn thing wrong, except share the road with a driver without enough sense to pull over when he was too tired to drive.

Two London bike riders were attacked by a driver who pulled up next to them before tossing thumbtacks in their path.

After a British truck driver was caught on video buzzing a bike-riding cop in hi-viz, angry drivers tried to defend the close pass by insisting the driver stayed in his lane.

A member of Britain’s national cycling team was lucky to escape serious injury when he was intentionally rear-ended by a road raging hit-and-run driver.

More proof drivers are the same everywhere, as a road raging Parisian driver ends an argument with a bike rider by driving over his bike, and dragging it under his car as he tried to drive off without stopping.

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

After Fresno’s mayor posts a video suggesting he rode his ebike to work for Bike to Work Day, it turned out he didn’t really ride, and doesn’t even own the bike he was riding.

A Houston robbery victim ran over the thief’s bicycle getting away after the robber had shot him.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Metro’s annual tradition of lying to justify their ever-expanding highway widening budget, which jumped 33% this year, on top of an 80% increase last year — despite promising to switch to a more multimodal approach. Never mind that they’re burning money while helping to set our world on fire in the midst of an ever-worsening climate emergency.

The BBC takes a look at my friend and bike shop owner Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club he founded in 2008.

 

State 

Menifee is building a new six acre bike park.

Sad news from Fremont, where a seven-year old chid was killed when they were struck by a driver while riding a bicycle. Even if a San Francisco website can’t decide if the kid was riding a bike or walking.

 

National

Best Products says cheap ebikes are taking over the streets, while apparently defining cheap as under two grand.

An 82-year old writer for CleanTechnica shares the lessons he’s learned in eight years of ebike ownership and maintenance.

This is who we share the bike path with. An Iowa driver faces DUI and reckless homicide charges for killing one person and injuring two others as they were walking on a multi-use path at two in the morning, after driving nearly the entire length of the pathway.

 

International

A London, Ontario writer reminds pedestrians they don’t belong in bike lanes.

A new Canadian study shows women are more concerned about drivers, and bullying and abuse, than they are about infrastructure.

You’ve got to be kidding. After Scotland’s transport minister says ebikes are the future, a Lycra-clad neanderthal columnist insists ebike riders are cheating.

Half of British women would like to ride their bikes more, but don’t feel safe on the roads and worry about a lack of infrastructure.

A kindhearted teenage Ukrainian refugee in the UK gave his new bike to a fellow refugee so she wouldn’t have to go without one; he was rewarded with an even better bike a few days later.

Companies in Brussels, Belgium are rethinking deliveries, and trading delivery vans for “more environmentally friendly, and often faster, cargo bikes.

New research from the Netherlands suggests that roundabouts are less safe for bike riders than traditional intersections.

Bike sales are surging in Beijing as the city closes parts of its transit system to combat Covid.

An aide to a Malaysian elected official was killed when he fell off his bike on a descent.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, where a Good Samaritan was stabbed to death by a 15-year old boy, after he tried to stop the teenager who had just stolen a bike from a younger boy; the 15-year old was arrested, but has yet to be charged.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Simon Yates took the win in Saturday’s 14th stage, while Ecuadorean pro Richard Carapaz slipped on the pink leader’s jersey.

All the action took place on Saturday, as an exhausted peloton eased into today’s rest day on Sunday’s stage 15, with Carapaz retaining his newly won leader’s jersey despite an early fall.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin threw in the towel on Saturday’s 14th stage, dropping out early in the race, explaining that his “body is worn out;” meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde dropped out of contention after losing eight minutes following a flat.

Former pro Robbie McEwen was forced to apologize for inadvertently using a homophobic slur during a Giro stage 10 broadcast.

 

Finally…

Maybe Obsessive Cycling Disorder isn’t the best name for a bike shop if you don’t want to piss off the OCD community. That feeling when you’ve been visited by the bike fairy.

And it looks like Trevor Noah is one of us. At least when he’s in The Netherlands.

Thanks to Glenn Crider for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

San Diego bike rider injured by elderly driver, crowdfunding for murdered DTLA bike rider, and CA speed cams killed again

Once again, an elderly driver raises the question of how old is too old to drive.

A 57-year old woman riding on San Diego’s SR-56 Bike Trail was seriously injured when an 80-year old man in an SUV slammed into her as he exited State Route 56, and turned right onto Camino Del Sur in Torrey Pines.

The victim was crossing Camino Del Sur in the bike trail’s dedicated crosswalk.

She suffered a fractured pelvis and fifth lumbar vertebrae, but fortunately, her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

A street view shows the intersection is controlled with a red light at the crosswalk; however, there’s no word on whether the victim was crossing against the light, or if the driver made an unsafe right on the red.

Phillip Young reports signage at the intersection prohibits making a right turn on a red light when pedestrians or bike riders are present, which drivers routinely ignore. And which should be banned there under all circumstances.

But the crash highlights both the dangers of street crossings on separated bike paths, as well as the inherent risks of allowing people to keep driving long past the age when most driver’s abilities start to decline.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up; artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

……….

The victim in the murder of a bike rider in Downtown Los Angeles had attended a game at Dodger Stadium, and was likely on his way to catch a train home when he was attacked just after midnight Tuesday.

Twenty-eight-year old Oscar Gaytan was killed when he was pulled off his bike by his attacker, described only as a man in his 30s, striking his head on the street.

Police are investigating it as a homicide.

A crowdfunding campaign to help pay funeral expenses has raised nearly $10,000 of the $25,000 goal.

………

Once again, the California legislature has shamefully decided that not annoying drivers by making them obey the law is more important than saving human lives.

………

It’s been shown time and again that this is the most effective way to make changes on our streets.

So why doesn’t Los Angeles ever do it?

………

This is how you catch drivers passing unsafely.

Unfortunately, using video or photo evidence to prosecute traffic infractions is illegal in most, if not all, US states, for reasons that will forever escape me.

………

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

A British bus driver was fined the equivalent of just $500 for a punishment pass that literally forced a bike rider into a roadside hedgerow. Just in case you’re wondering why crap like this keeps happening.

A driver in the UK learns the hard way that there’s no such thing as a friendly warning toot when you’re on a bike.

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

A Singapore man was sentenced to four days behind bars for illegally riding his ebike on the sidewalk, after a 74-year-old woman fractured her shoulder when her umbrella got hooked on his bike.

………

Local

Spectrum News 1 reports increased ebike use could cut carbon emissions 50% if they replaced short car trips. Which won’t happen until we provide safe places to ride them.

Burbank has approved a $2 billion plan to reduce the city’s greenhouse gases and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Assuming any of us are still around, of course. 

The LACBC looks at a number of upcoming events.

 

State 

The rich get richer. San Diego will soon be adding bike lanes to Convoy Street, Balboa Avenue and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

A San Diego TV station says businesses that formerly opposed bike lanes are starting to come around, although another station does its best to suggest no one is using them. Hint: if you want to make it look like no one is a bike lane, show up after 8 am, when many people are already at work or school.

The Bay Area’s BART train system is working to better accommodate bike riders, including people with cargo bikes and other large bicycles.

 

National

The founder of the Vision Zero Network looks at the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which is currently up for review, and the “strategies to improve vehicle designs, policies and safety regulations that would save lives if they were implemented.”

new report from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy says completion of the 3,700-mile Great American Rail-Trail, which extends from DC’s Capitol steps to the coast of Washington State, would pay for itself in just five years in visitor spending alone, generating over $350 million per year in economic activity. Iowa alone would see an additional $14 million in tourist spending every year.

A Wired podcast explains how to get started with bicycling, while Momentum recommends six of the best bicycles for commuting with a side of fun.

Bicycling recommends the best bike jerseys for a more comfortable ride. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

A Denver magazine explains how the 50-year old Iron Horse Classic helped make the small southwestern Colorado town of Durango a bicycling mecca.

The Pueblo, Colorado fire department now has a pair of ebikes to allow it to respond to emergencies where using a fire truck could be difficult.

Kindhearted cops with a Missouri police department dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a 19-year old man, after the one he relied on for transportation was destroyed in a collision.

 

International

Cycling Weekly pits a classic steel Colnago against a modern superbike from the same bikemaker, and finds that 30 years of progress amounts to just 14 seconds in the real world.

New 3D carbon technology promises to lower the rolling resistance of bike tires to increase speed without compromising grip or wear

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Stefano Oldani claimed his first victory as a pro in Thursday’s 12th stage of the Giro; it only took Oldani 211 tries to get his first stage win.

The peloton paused to remember fallen pro Wouter Weylandt as the Giro returned to the Passo del Bocco for the first time since his death 11 years ago.

The Giro will now give stage winners uncorked bottles of prosecco, after Eritrean pro Biniam Girmay was forced to withdraw when an errant cork hit him in the eye, following his record-setting effort as the first Black African rider to win a Grand Tour stage.

VeloNews considers what to do and not to do to get mentally ready for a bike race, as well as during the race.

 

Finally…

No, a bike cam can’t protect you from all motorist-related injuries, even with a 360° field of view. That feeling when the food supplies for your record-breaking attempt weren’t really stolen after all.

And let’s all go bouldering by bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: 28-year old Duarte man riding bicycle killed in DTLA assault just after midnight Tuesday

A man on a bicycle was murdered when he was assaulted in Downtown Los Angeles early this morning.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding near the intersection of Seventh and Flower in DTLA when he was pulled off his bike by an unknown assailant, striking his head on the pavement.

He died at the scene.

There’s no word on whether his bicycle or anything else was taken, or if there was some other reason for the attack. Or any reason at all.

KTLA-5 identifies the victim only as a man in his 30s.

Anyone with information is urged to call 877/527-3247.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the eighth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The victim has been identified as 28-year old Duarte resident Oscar Gaytan.

Update 2: Gayton’s family reports he had attended a game at Dodger Stadium, and was likely headed to the nearby Metro station to catch a train home when he was attacked.

Police are looking for a suspect described only as a man in his 30s. 

A crowdfunding page to help pay funeral expenses for the professional nurse has raised slightly less than $10,000 of the $25,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Oscar Gaytan and his loved ones.

Russian soldier faces war crimes trial for killing bike rider, drivers behaving badly, and Metro releases draft 405 corridor plan

Ukraine announced plans to try a 21-year old Russian soldier for war crimes, for killing a 62-year old civilian walking his bicycle just feet from his home.

He reportedly was ordered to shoot the man as a group of Russian soldiers were fleeing a Ukrainian counterattack in a commandeered car during the first days of the war, so the victim couldn’t report their location to Ukrainian forces.

According to The Washington Post,

The prosecutor’s office said that Ukrainian investigators collected evidence of the soldier’s involvement, finding him “in violation of the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder,” and that the crime can carry a penalty of 10 to 15 years or life in prison. The statement did not provide details on the nature of the evidence or how the Russian soldier ended up in Ukrainian custody.

He is the first Russian soldier to be charged with a war crime while in Ukrainian custody, though ten soldiers were charged in absentia last month for the torture and mutilation of civilians in Bucha.

Ukraine reports evidence of more than 10,000 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces, with 5,000 open investigations.

He faces 10 to 15 years if he’s convicted.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Photo by Matti from Pexels

………

On a related subject, our anonymous courtroom correspondent writes in with a few observations, including turning heads with her two-wheeled support of the country under attack by Russian forces.

I’ve been flying a little (12″x18″) Ukrainian flag on my rear bike basket for a couple months now but constantly reconsider because whoo boy does it attract the honking.

………

Remember Santa Barbara’s intention to designate In-N-Out a nuisance due to the traffic it attracts? Santa Ana just plans it into the street. Those pesky cyclists are never in the way of hungry drivers turning, or just waiting on the roadway to turn!

………

In the latest edition of Motorists Behaving Badly:

Last week at the Pasadena DMV, a driver hit a DMV examiner, and then (sigh) backed up into a parked vehicle. This was an already licensed motorist, btw. Somehow.

Meanwhile, in Orange County the same night, a speeding driver smashed into a house on Newport Blvd…and then caught fire. The road road here has the CMUTC’s minimum-width bike lanes, and a (maximum) speed limit of 50mph. County officials remain confused as to how a collision possibly could’ve happened.

………

Metro is looking for public comments on their draft comprehensive multimodal corridor plan for LA County’s I-405 Corridor 

Meanwhile, Streets For All is calling for everyone to tell Metro to stop wasting billions on freeway widening projects that only create more induced demand.

The agency’s new draft budget increases freeway spending 33%, on top of last years massive 80% boost.

………

Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, corrects yesterday’s item saying there’s no Ride of Silence planned for Los Angeles County this Wednesday.

He notes that The Cycling Connection in Rancho Cucamonga will host a Ride of Silence as part of the international movement to honor fallen bike riders and other victims of traffic violent.

There will also be a daytime Ride of Silence on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

………

As former New York DOT Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan wrote, first they’ll fight it, then they’ll fight to keep it.

………

Grist offers an explainer on the deadly 85th Percentile Law, using LA’s deadly Zelzah Ave as a case in point.

………

No argument here.

Although we may never know how that feels.

………

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

No bias here. Britain’s Express newspaper asked its readers if “cyclists should own the road or should drivers have priority?” And got exactly the responses you’d expect by wording it that way.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times continued their string of endorsements of progressive candidates for city council, recommending civil rights attorney Erin Darling to replace outgoing Mike Bonin in the Westside’s CD11. Darling also earned my endorsement a few weeks ago for his support of safe, livable streets.

LAist offers a detailed voters guide to the upcoming June primary election.

Join a family friendly ride with Walk Bike Glendale and Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian this Saturday.

 

State 

Berkeley approves a new mile-long protected bike lane on Hopkins Street, despite the usual panic over removing parking spaces.

San Francisco moves to ban racially biased pretext traffic stops, preventing police from stopping people for minor traffic infractions such as broken tail lights, jaywalking, or tinted windows.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

 

National

Cycling Weekly profiles the young women who will ride this year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal Bike Ride, retracing the route taken by their Cherokee ancestors during the infamous Trail of Tears; over a quarter of the 16,000 members of the Cherokee Nation ordered out of their ancestral lands by the US government died of starvation, disease or exposure during the forced march.

L’Étape by Tour de France promises to bring the full Tour experience to Las Vegas next year, with a new 25 mile, 50 mile and 75 mile fondo through Sin City. But will there be someone dressed as the devil to chase you?

Hats off to Salt Lake City, where the city council voted unanimously that 20 is plenty, reducing speeds on 70% of the city’s streets to 20 mph. Meanwhile, the city is forming a task force to fight road rage, and boosting spending on traffic safety to combat a jump in pedestrian deaths.

Aspen, Colorado is moving towards requiring ebike renters to watch a bike safety video before they’re allowed on local trails.

One more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Davenport, Iowa man was sentenced to a whopping 55 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after driving aggressively and running multiple red lights; it was his third DUI offense. Although even I think that sentence might be just a tad extreme.

A Rhode Island op-ed says it’s both the best and worst of times for the state’s bicyclists, as they mark Bike Month while a hostile DOT has stalled any progress.

Authorities in New Jersey’s Hudson County are standing in the way of the area’s first bike lane, preferring parking over the safety of people on bicycles.

 

International

Cyclist explains the mechanics that make an ebike tick. Meanwhile, a writer for the magazine says she crashed her bike for the first time in years, and learned…nothing.

Kingston, Ontario voted to eliminate parking minimums, replacing them with maximum limits on parking spaces for commercial and residential buildings, as well as requiring parking for bicycles, e-scooters and shared vehicles.

A Toronto website offers tips on how to maximize your speed crossing the city on two wheels.

A former Antigua national cycling champ is fighting for his life after a driver claims he was at the wheel when he ran down four bicyclists training for a weekend race, which was cancelled in the wake of the crash; another victim says the collision has left him mentally struggling.

Evidently they know something we don’t. As American road deaths climb to levels rivaling the bad old days, European traffic fatalities continue to drop, declining 17% in 2020 to continue a nearly 20-year trend.

 

Competitive Cycling

Frenchman Arnaud Démare won a mass sprint for the finish line in Wednesday’s 5th stage of the Giro, while 2nd place finisher Fernando Gaviria risked a sponsorship blowup by blaming his “shit” bike for the loss.

 

Finally…

We might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to confront rogue bulls on the loose. Now you, too, can own a home just off the Marvin Braude bike trail in Santa Monica for a mere 13 million bucks.

And let’s finish today with a peppy ode to new bike day. Which may be my new favorite song for the summer.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Plea deal in drunken Oxnard hit-and-run that killed 16-year old boy, and crowdfund for fallen Rapha ride leader tops goal

Once again, a killer driver has been allowed to plead to reduced charges.

And reduced jail time.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Cesar Sanchez pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the drunken hit-and-run death of 16-year old Andres Hernandez, as the Port Hueneme boy was riding in Oxnard last September.

Sanchez also admitted to special allegations of fleeing the scene and committing a serious felony involving great violence.

He was sentence to nine years, after prosecutors dropped charges of second degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with prior DUI convictions, which could have resulted in a sentence of 15 years to life.

Instead, he’ll likely spend less than half his nine-year sentence behind bars.

Let’s at least hope he’s never allowed to drive again.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

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A fundraiser to help defray funeral expenses for Rapha ride leader John Hermoso has reached over $12,900 in just one week, topping the $10,000 goal.

Hermoso, better known as Panduh in the cycling community, was killed in a head-on collision while riding the Santa Clara Truck Trail near Santa Clarita 12 days ago.

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Here’s your reminder to turn out for the LA City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Friday to demand more funding for active transportation and Vision Zero in the coming fiscal year.

Unfortunately, the city council isn’t taking phone-in comments anymore following the reopening of City Hall, despite rising Covid rates. So you’ll have to show up in person, or email members of the committee in advance of the Friday afternoon meeting.

And if you have any question what difference more funding could make, just take a look at the photo in the tweet below.

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Your periodic reminder that this is what we could have in Los Angeles, where the terrain and weather are more inviting than London.

And London commutes didn’t look like this, either, until the city built out a network of bicycle superhighways just a few years ago.

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The annual Ride of Silence to remember the victims of traffic violence is scheduled for next Wednesday.

Unfortunately, there are no rides currently listed with the national registry in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego or San Bernardino Counties for the day of the event.

However, the Pasadena Ride of Silence will return to the Rose Bowl as a daytime event on Saturday, May 21st.

Let’s hope more people will step up to host rides in Southern California over the next week. Because we really need to send a message this year.

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I’d watch it.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1524269572219707392

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Somehow, I think it will take just a little more than an illegible sign.

But maybe that’s just me.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1523655735002902530

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How to tell someone played hooky from physics class.

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

No bias here. A London man is roundly criticized for the crime of riding a Penny Farthing in traffic, while politely waving a driver to turn in front of him — then nearly getting hit when a second driver tries to do it, too.

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

Bizarre story from Las Vegas, where a man faces murder charges for pepper spraying another man, then stabbing him to death, after accusing the victim of damaging his bike “with the help of a ‘hacker’ from Indiana.”

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs deep into Metro’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which calls for a 27.2% increase in active transportation spending. Although the $80 active transportation budget is dwarfed by the agency’s proposed $634 million in highway spending, a 35% increase over this year.

Pasadena is celebrating an abbreviated bike month, condensing it down to just the last 19 days of the month.

 

State 

More information on the cryptically described hit-and-run we mentioned yesterday in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood, which left the bike-riding victim with major injuries; police are looking for a newer model white 4-door crossover-style SUV with silver alloy wheels, and probable damage to the right front, with a license plate beginning with 8YN. There’s a $1,000 reward for information in the caseThanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill-based Specialized is developing a new e-cargo bike sub-brand extension called Globe, specifically designed to replace car trips, while priced below the company’s Turbo ebike line.

 

National

Bicycling offers their picks for the best road bike wheels to “improve your speed, enhance you ride quality, and take you farther than ever.” As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Denver area residents reached out to replace the ebike a Vietnam war vet relied on as his only form of transportation, after it was stolen from a Walmart bike rack.

She gets it. The executive director of Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance calls out the city’s failure to improve a deadly intersection, saying no one should die just because they use a bike to get around.

Pittsburgh is getting a new ebike-based bikeshare system.

New York’s new $4 million traffic safety campaign telling drivers to slow down seems to be having the opposite effect, with a dozen people killed in crashes in the first week.

 

International

Off.Road.cc delivers a primer on frame geometry, while Cycling Weekly discusses frame materials, suggesting metal frames offer benefits over carbon fiber.

A Calgary, Alberta couple dug up a metal 1935 bike license while working in their garden. Note that it wraps around the frame, and would be virtually invisible to anyone at a distance, for all those who insist bicycles should a license to force scofflaw riders to behave.

A Toronto paper demonstrates the right way to write a headline, reporting that a “Cyclist was struck by a driver while walking his bike across the street.” My only quibble is that the victim is a person, not a cyclist. But still.

The US military garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany offers advice on how to ride in the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lennard Kämna took Tuesday’s Mt. Etna stage of the Giro in a breakaway; the 23-year old German pro is making a successful comeback after last season was derailed by physical and mental health problems.

Columbia’s Miguel Ángel López withdrew from the Giro after getting dropped in the first miles of Tuesday’s fourth stage; he reportedly suffers a left hip injury that failed to bounce back on Monday’s rest day.

Dutch star Mathieu van der Poel is taking a sabbatical from mountain biking to focus exclusively on road racing this year, before returning to the sport for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Colorado’s annual Durango to Silverton Iron Horse Challenge celebrates its 50th year at the end of this month.

 

Finally…

Apparently, London doesn’t have the only bike-riding cat. Now you, too, can be the proud owner of a Giro d’Italia NFT.

And this one hits right where I live, at the intersection of bikes and corgis.

But evidently, they’re not the only canine bike racing fans.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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