Tag Archive for police behaving badly

PA man tased and hogtied for buying bike while Black, and LADOT plans North Valley protected bike lane

As if Biking While Black wasn’t bad enough, you can add buying a bike while Black.

Pennsylvania police were caught on video tasing and hogtying a Black man who was buying a bike for his son at Walmart.

The store manager accused him of riding recklessly through the aisle and disturbing other shoppers, while some witnesses said he was just test riding the bike and telling people to have a nice day.

Police threw the book at him, filing charges of aggravated and simple assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and disorderly conduct.

So instead of a bicycle for his birthday, his son will get to see his father behind bars.

And remarkably, it only took a single day for the DA to absolve the officers of any wrongdoing.

………

LADOT appears to be waking from their coronavirus slumber.

In addition to new bike lanes in DTLA, they released videos explaining two upcoming projects, including this one in the North San Fernando Valley.

Let’s hope this is just the start of long-delayed action to make the streets safer for people on two wheels.

………

CiclaValley takes you gravel riding up Mt. Lowe above Altadena.

………

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

A driver in Australia’s Queensland state is accused of intentionally crashing into five cars and three bike riders in eight separate incidents over a single three hour period; fortunately, no one was killed.

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding man who may have sexually assaulted two women on a Temecula bike path.

………

Local

Metro Bike wants to know what you think about LA’s bikeshare system, with a chance to win a $200 gift card.

Los Angeles Magazine readers voted Helen’s Cycle’s the city’s best bike shop, although the magazine only seems to know about two of the LA area chain’s locations.

 

State

No bias here. Tomorrow Riverside police are planning yet another of the frequent safety operations targeting violations by bike riders and drivers that put bicyclists at risk. Yet My News LA, which usually does better, suggests the operation is targeting unsafe bicycling. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

The CHP blamed a bike rider for a Fresno collision, saying he shouldn’t have been riding  on the limited access highway.

A local news site has more on the death of 23-year old fixie rider Andrew Sanders, who died on Sunday following a crash with a skateboarder during last week’s Hill Bomb on San Francisco’s Dolores Street.

 

National

Google Maps is promising to up their bike game.

The newest version of the Lumos smart bike helmet set a Kickstarter record by raising nearly $3 million.

Seattle bike riders formed a line to protect marchers demanding racial, climate, economic, worker and social justice.

Denver bike shop owners say don’t count on getting a mountain bike until next year.

He gets it. An op-ed from a Colorado environmental design professor says this is the time to reinvent our roadways and how we use them while the coronavirus pandemic results in fewer cars on the streets.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike from a nonverbal autistic man in an Iowa town.

A Chicago Streetsblog editor teamed with a local weekly to publish an illustrated low-stress bicycle map of the city showing the most comfortable riding routes.

Good question. A Chicago public radio station wants to know what happened to 76 bicycles police seized from people at a recent protest.

A Champaign IL bike rider was pushed off his bike, punched in the mouth and robbed of his money by a knife-wielding man.

An Illinois hit-and-run driver turned himself in after smashing into a bike rider because he felt bad about what he’d done. Every hit-and-run driver should feel the same way. And do the same thing.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a sleepy driver got just 20 days for the fiery crash that killed a postal worker after lawmakers wiped negligent homicide off the books, which would have carried a two-year penalty. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a ghost bike installed for a Pittsburgh area man. Or any other ghost bike, for that matter.

 

International

Mexico City is expanding its bicycle network to encourage more riding during the Covid-19 crisis.

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bike for a British Columbia boy after his BMX bike was stolen.

He gets it, too. A writer for the conservative London Times calls on officials to stand up to anti-cycling NIMBYs if the “golden age of cycling” promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ever going to become a reality.

David Beckham is one of us, although Esquire seems more impressed with the former LA Galaxy and English soccer great’s shorts than anything else.

No bias here, either. A British taxi site blames an elderly man for damaging a cab with his bike and fists during a road rage incident, when the cab driver interfered in a dispute the older man was having with someone else after “purposely inconveniencing” other people on the road. Purposely inconveniencing people usually just means legally riding a bicycle in the roadway in front of impatient drivers.

The founders of music sharing platform SoundCloud are starting an all-inclusive ebike subscription service, beginning in Berlin.

Tern’s e-cargo bikes were among the first to exceed Germany’s still new safety standards.

German arts curator Hella Mewis was kidnapped by unknown assailants as she was riding her bicycle home from her office in Bagdad, Iraq Monday night.

Four Australian kids were killed by an alleged drunk and stoned in a horrifying crash as they walked on a sidewalk to get ice cream this past February; of the five cousins, only one boy who was riding a bicycle behind the others survived the brutal crash.

Despite the pandemic, bike and pedestrian deaths in Australia’s Queensland state are going the wrong way, with fatalities more than doubling compared to last year.

A road raging Singapore driver had his appeal for intentionally swerving into a bike rider denied, and will spend the next seven weeks behind bars; the rider he was arguing with got a $2,800 fine for his part in the dispute.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s pro cycling gets back to racing in Spain tomorrow after a four month coronavirus hiatus; the Women’s WorldTour fires up next week with the Strade Bianche.

 

Finally…

Who needs a front wheel when you’ve got a ski? Block parties are out, bike the block parties are in.

And bicycles are officially cool again.

As if they ever weren’t.

………

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

Endorsing Nithya Raman in LA’s CD4, bike riding reporter attacked by police, and this is who we share the road with

With everything going on these days, it’s easy to forget we have a city council election coming up this November in LA’s 4th Council District.

Bike the Vote LA is reminding you to get involved in any way you can to support Nithya Raman in the runoff against incumbent David Ryu, who only managed to become a belated supporter of safe streets and other urban issues after winning less than 50% of the vote in the March primary.

Which means, in any normal year, he’d be facing the worst reelection prospects of any sitting councilmember in years.

But this is anything but a normal year.

If the above hasn’t made it clear, though, Raman has my wholehearted support.

Not just because Ryu has repeatedly failed to support safer streets until his reelection was at risk, but because she’s always supported bicycling and safe streets.

And not just when it became expedient in an election year.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

………

Evidently, Portland isn’t the only place where bike riders and the press are under attack.

………

This is who we share the road with.

And a British celeb says she hates bicyclists and threatens to run them over — including her own husband.

………

GCN explains why you might want to ride with a hole in your saddle.

………

Looks like Martha Stewart is one of us.

Although I’d be more convinced id she’s actually throw a leg over that downtube.

………

Looks like bike polo goes back a lot longer than some of us may have realized.

Okay, maybe just me.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forwarding the tweet.

………

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

A bike-riding British woman was attacked with a stick in a “vicious and unprovoked attack” by the passenger in a passing white van.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the cruiser bike-riding man who sexually assaulted a woman on a Temecula bike path last week.

And he’ll be joined by the racist Calgary, Alberta bike rider who shouted ethnic slurs and spat on a couple.

………

Local

Forbes is favorably impressed with the body positive women’s kits from LA’s Machines for Freedom.

The West Hollywood City Council will be voting today on a much needed proposal to create a neighborhood greenway on the Willoughby, Vista and Gardner corridors; Streets For All is calling for everyone to get their comments in before 4 pm today.

Late night talk show host James Corden is one of us, as he hits the streets of Venice for a bike ride with his son.

Long Beach called on city workers to “pursue and implement” a citywide Safe Streets plan, including lane reductions, separated bike lanes, and measures to encourage more walking.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to call your state senator to support AB 3153, which would allow developers to build bike parking instead of more spaces for cars; Los Angeles has had a similar law on the books since 2013.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured by an alleged intoxicated driver; police found a loaded syringe in the car and suspect he may have passed out behind the wheel.

You’ll have to wait another year to take part in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says it took a global pandemic to remind us that local bike shops are community lifelines. And just like that, I’ve already hit the new monthly limit of just four stories a month that was announced this past Thursday

Speaking of Bicycling, they recommend their favorite fat tired ebikes, with prices starting at just $1,199.

USA Today examines how the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom across the US.

Writing for Men’s Health, Peter Flax says everybody is riding gravel these days, even with just one leg.

An Anchorage AK reporter takes a ride on the 32-mile Moose Loop created by stitching together several existing bike paths; it gets its name because it sort of looks like a moose head on the map if you squint just right.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Wisconsin driver won’t face charges for running down a bike rider from behind; police blame the victim for not having lights on his bike, but the driver didn’t turn his on, either.

Ebike engine maker Bosch has teamed with Tern Bicycles, Stile Products, Inc. and Chicago’s B-Cycle bikeshare to provide dozens of ebikes and e-cargo bikes to Covid-19 aid groups in the Windy City.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a killer driver got a whole six months for taking the life of a man riding his bike — and he’ll only have to serve that on weekends. After all, they wouldn’t want to inconvenience him or anything.

The Boston Globe talks with basketball great Bill Walton about the sequel to the Bike for Humanity virtual fundraising bike ride this Saturday; the first ride raised over $100,000.

Sarah Jessica Parker is one of us, too, as the bikeshare user called on New York’s Citi Bike to move a docking station so a 101-year old restaurant could use the space for outdoor seating.

Steph and Ayesha Curry are two of us, going for a casual Orlando bike ride while they wait for the NBA season to resume.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the streets, as a drunken hit-and-run Florida driver who ran down a bike rider while driving at nearly twice the legal limit won’t spend a single day behind bars, and will lose her license for just one year.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike.

Road.cc says your next bike should be a mountain bike; meanwhile, hardcore mountain bikers are heading to he hills of Mexico City.

A Canadian woman raised $40,000 to fight honor her late sister and fight ovarian cancer by riding 3,666 miles across the country in just 20 days. Which works out to an impressive average of 183 miles a day.

Ottawa bike couriers are responding to the drop off in business by making weed deliveries during the pandemic.

Sadly, it took the death of a young German scientist with “limitless potential” for a Quebec city to improve safety for bike riders.

The Paris bike boom is not a happy accident, but the result of years of planning to cut rising pollution levels.

Berlin is opening new Bicycle Streets in a pair of districts, giving people on bicycles the right-of-way and requiring drivers to adapt to their speeds. Although they could still use a little work.

One in four Japanese bike commuters began riding to avoid crowds during the coronavirus crisis.

Strangers rushed to rescue a Chinese woman after she rode her bike into a puddle, and suddenly found herself in water over her head.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look like a very narrow shipping box with wheels and pedals. Raise your damn seat, already.

And now this is a fat bike.

………

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

Black Venice ebike rider alleged victim of racist attack, biking for Black Lives, and hilarious anti-bike screed

British tabloid The Sun offers a horrifying report of a grandmother who was clotheslined by a racist attacker while riding on the Venice Boardwalk.

She was allegedly pulled off her ebike with a steel cable, as her attacker yelled “That’s what you get for being black!”

While there are enough details to be credible, it’s troubling that no one appears to have reported the story in Los Angeles.

Or this side of the Atlantic, for that matter.

But assuming it’s true, there is simply no excuse. Period.

Anyone who could do something like that needs a good long stay behind bars.

………

Black Lives Matter protests and calls for police reform continue to reverberate around the country, with no sign of letting up.

The Beverly Press has a report on the bike ride and demonstration we mentioned on Monday, as over 600 people rode 14 miles from Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier last weekend in a ride sponsored by the group Bike Rides for Black Lives.

Berkeley is removing responsibility for traffic stops from the police, and handing traffic enforcement to unarmed personnel.

Castelli officially unveils their Black Lives Matter jersey developed with bike rider and former NBA star Reggie Miler.

Bicycling talks with Grace Andersen, co-founder of a grassroots organization that fights for environmental justice and collective liberation.

Outside looks at why gravel race Dirty Kanza is changing its name, as the cycling world reckons with a racist, exclusionary past. And present, unfortunately.

New York’s largest bike education group is recommending a long list of police reforms, including more speed cams to reduce traffic stops, less biased enforcement, and better crash investigations. And for the NYPD to stop blaming victims.

After a North Carolina bike rider was hit by a driver who plowed through a group of protesters to escape a parking garage, the victim was ticketed for impeding traffic and not licensing his bike. The driver, on the other hand, was presumably given a pat on the back.

And the co-founder of a group that collects stories from Black, indigenous and people of color who ride bikes talks about what it’s like to bike while Black in today’s America. Including this line, which hits like a punch.

I wish that non-Black people understood what it’s like to never see people like you while out riding.

………

Talk abut police behaving badly.

Police in Portland swarmed out from behind a van to tackle a bike rider, arresting him for disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Even though he doesn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

Granted, it’s hard to say from a short 23-second clip; a longer clip shows a cop attempting to tackle him as he rode in the opposite direction.

And still not appearing to do anything to justify a violent takedown.

To make matters worse, Oregon Public Radio reported that federal officers in unmarked white vans are snatching bike riders off the streets with no warning or explanation, and stealing impounding their bicycles. And apparently without consulting the Portland police.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Stop whatever you’re doing, and spend the next two minutes watching what will probably be the funniest anti-bike screed you’ll hear today.

And be sure to watch these Bay Area parks commissioners try not to laugh.

Speaking strictly for myself, I take great pride in being “very arrogant and selfish.”

Not to mention stinky.

Thanks to Murph’s Tahoe for the link.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s trash day in East LA, evidently.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards photos of totally unrideable bike lanes on LA’s Eastside, forcing bike riders to fight it out in often unforgiving traffic.

Arizona Blvd bike lane. Photos by Aurelio Jose Barrera

Then there’s this one two hours later on Gerhart.

………

Sunset for All is continuing their campaign to build support for Sunset Blvd bike lanes by showing local merchants the spending power of people who ride bikes.

……..

It looks like we’ll be linking to Bicycling a lot less.

The magazine is responding to the current economic climate and declining print revenues with a new $40 membership model.

The upside is a lot of new benefits. The downside, you’ll be limited just four articles a month without paying upfront.

And some stories will now be limited members only.

I get why they’re doing it.

But in the process, they’re likely to lose the beginning and casual riders who aren’t committed enough to spend $40 dollars for a bike magazine. And who we need most to keep the sport of cycling, as well as everyday riding, growing.

But at least we can still link to their stories on Yahoo.

Like this expert guide gravel grinding, and an explanation of just what the heck people mean by gravel.

……..

A new short film looks at a pair of bike-riding, mariachi-playing SoCal sisters.

……..

That feeling when your tweet is better than the PSA it promotes.

………

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

Sacramento police say a driver’s actions appear to be intentional, after he rammed two separate bike riders at intersections three blocks apart; both victims are expected to survive despite suffering major injuries.

A Houston bike rider was shot in the head by a road raging driver who chased him into a church parking lot, after the two argued at a service station; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

Hoboken NJ officials blamed miscommunication for ripping up a bike lane for street resurfacing, just weeks after it was painted.

No bias here. French lawmakers laughed out loud when the new prime minister heaped praise on ebike bikes, saying they’ll shorten distances and multiply the use of bicycles. Which somehow doesn’t seem that funny.

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

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a man who made his escape on a little pink bicycle after walking out of a market with nearly $700 worth of fish.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says DTLA’s new bus lanes and bike lanes are just about ready to go, even if they won’t be officially unveiled until next month.

Metro has issued their second monthly report from the Covid-19 Recovery Task Force to “get LA County back on our feet, pedals, wheels and rails.”

Long Beach became the 12th California city to adopt Vision Zero after losing a collective $1.46 billion to traffic crashes between 2013 and 2017.

 

State

San Diego residents are urged to take part in the second virtual Bike For Humanity; April’s first edition saw several thousand bike riders raise over $100,000.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, and so was his teacup poodle before it went missing in Montecito.

Sad news from Visalia, where a man was killed on Tuesday when his bike was run down by an allegedly intoxicated driver.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will hold their Bike Summit online next month.

San Francisco’s Slow Streets program continues to grow, adding 14 more roadways to free up space for walking and biking during the pandemic.

A San Francisco reporter hops on his bike to track down a weird hum reverberating through the city, before discovering it’s coming from the new railing on the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently, he hasn’t been reading the news.

A Bay Area writer makes the case for riding on a $119 frame and fork.

 

National

Learn how to build bike frames online with mountain bike Hall of Fame Paul Brodie.

Online retailer Planet Bike donated a total of over $22,000 to eleven bicycle organizations throughout the US.

Now you, too, can be a Strava local legend.

Bloomberg frets that Americans working and shopping from home could reduce US driving rates by up to 270 billion miles a year, with dire consequences for the auto industry. So maybe there’s hope yet.

Conde Nast Traveler says it’s the summer of the bicycle, and talks with the women it says are leading the way — including a Los Angeles actress who traded her motorcycle for a bicycle when the coronavirus lockdown hit.

Bullshit. A Utah tandem rider was was killed and his partner critically injured after a driver swears they swerved in front of him, even though he says he didn’t see them until the last second.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a driver walked without a day behind bars for killing a seven-year old boy when he drifted across the fog line and struck the boy’s bike.

After a Colorado boy’s bike was stolen on his seventh birthday, kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy him a new one — and ended up giving him a gift card when his aunt bought him a new bike first.

Colorado Springs police release body cam video of the confrontation that resulted in the death of a poplar longtime bike shop employee.

If Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI cross-state ride has been on your bike bucket list, now you can join in from the comfort of your own home.

A legendary Houston lawyer passed away after contracting Covid-19 while he was in a rehab facility, after spending a week in a coma when his bike tire got caught in an expansion seam in the roadway; he was 79.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a driver slammed into two 14-year old boys who were riding their bikes with a friend on the shoulder of a roadway; one boy was killed at the scene and the other is in critical condition.

Schwinn bikes are about to be made in the US for the first time in decades, as production begins in Detroit on a limited reproduction of the classic 1965 Collegiate model, which will be sold through Walmart for about a grand.

An Ohio town wants to turn half of a divided highway into a walking and biking trail. Let’s do that here with the 10 Freeway. And the 405. 

She gets it. A Vanderbilt professor says Nashville’s driver-first culture must change to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A 32-year old New York woman who grew up in Cameroon took advantage of the lockdown to learn how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Georgia driver learns the hard way that if you’re going to run down a bike rider, try not to make it someone who literally wrote the new vulnerable user law.

A sure sign you’ve got more dollars than sense — dropping a cool 25 grand on a Gucci bicycle while shopping in Miami.

 

International

In the immortal words of ZZ Top, get yourself some cheap sunglasses.

The world’s mayors call for a recovery that gets more cars off the streets.

Kindhearted English police helped replace over $3,700 worth of mountain bikes that were stolen from a local scout group.

A British bike rider was punched in the head by a thief who stole his ebike.

Welsh police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who collided with a 16-year old boy riding a bike, sending him to the hospital, and may have hit some pedestrians, as well.

Police in the UK attempted to arrest a man for stealing a bicycle. And found over 100 allegedly purloined bikes in his house.

Add a handful of Swedish mountain bike parks to your bike bucket list.

Monaco’s Princess Charlene is sort of one of us, as she trains for a marathon race across the Mediterranean. No, literally across it.

A 45-year old woman who can barely walk supports her family of seven — including her mentally ill brother — by earning up to $3 a day as the only female bike mechanic in her Indian state.

There are fears India’s bike boom could be short-lived.

Bicyclists in Australia’s Victoria state can be fined $1652 — the equivalent of $1155 US — for exercising outside their local area under the state’s lockdown rules.

A fascinating Australian study examines why drivers keep passing too close, and what you can do about it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Red Bull says two-time world ‘cross champ Evie Richards had to slow down to find enduring success.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is nearing the launch of his new bike line, after he and his last line were unceremoniously screwed over by Trek for casting what turned out to be correct aspersions towards Lance.

 

Finally…

Try this chainless bike the next time you want to freak out the gang on the donut ride. A tisket, a tasket, take your dog in a basket.

And is it just me, or is an e-balance bike just another name for a bike-shaped scooter?

………

It’s always a nice surprise to get an unexpected contribution. So thanks to John H for his very generous donation to support this site. And for the nice note to life my spirits. 

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

Newport Beach driver plows through demonstrators and hits bicyclist, and LAPD abandons bike after arresting rider

Apparently, bike riders aren’t even safe from drivers during a protest march.

A Newport Beach driver was apparently surprised to discover the city’s Balboa Boulevard filled with protesters demanding justice for George Floyd.

But instead of hitting the brakes, or simply turning around, like any reasonable person would, he plowed through the assembled crowd, parting people like Moses parting the seas, until finally hitting someone.

Make that someone on a bike.

Naturally.

There’s no word on whether the victim was injured.

Remarkably, though, a Newport Beach Police spokeswoman insisted it doesn’t seem to have been intentional.

Because evidently, it’s just so damn easy to plow through a couple hundred people without even slowing down by mistake.

And if that’s not enough, the cops let him keep — and use — his phone while they investigated.

Because it couldn’t possibly be evidence or anything.

………

Speaking of the protests, we have a lot to catch up on since, uh, yesterday.

An LAPD officer demonstrates that sometimes hit-and-run drivers are the ones tasked with stopping people who flee the scene after crashes.

Although his decision is a little easier to understand considering what happened just a day earlier.

Especially if any damage to the car comes out of his or her pay.

Meanwhile, nothing like responding to protists over police violence towards black people with still more police violence, this time directed towards people on bicycles.

New York officials credit pulling the plug on the city’s bikeshare and rental scooters after curfew with calming looting and violent demonstrations. On the other hand, it’s also blamed for stranding numerous peaceful demonstrators, leaving them at the mercy of violent cops (see above).

Police across the US are using their bicycles as weapons and defense shields.

And if you’re missing your bike after getting arrested on Tuesday, a kind neighbor could be holding it for you.

Even though the LAPD should be responsible for securing bicycles belonging to anyone who gets arrested, rather than just leaving them behind to be stolen or tossed out with the trash.

They’re someone’s property. And have real monetary value.

Or would they just leave someone’s car sitting unlocked with the key in the ignition?

………

Then there’s this, from off the northern Scottish coast.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Brilliant idea.

Speaking of the Netherlands, the country’ queen doesn’t need a car to get around. Or police and tear gas to clear a path, for that matter.

………

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

There’s a special place in hell for the jerks who found humor in filming a bike-riding woman in the UK as they sprayed her with some sort of orange condiment. Then again, the same is true for anyone who sprays or throws anything at someone on a bike. Let alone films it for their twisted entertainment.

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

Police in Mobile, Alabama are looking for a gunman who shot a man and woman in an apparently random bike-by shooting.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Congratulations to OC bike advocate and tandem aficionado Mike Wilkinson on the official unveiling of the new Tandem Classifieds website.

 

National

A new Democratic transportation bill would require Complete Streets in urban areas, and ban states from setting higher goals for traffic deaths.

Self-driving cars could just make traffic worse, not better.

Outside offers a video guide on how to change your caliper brake pads.

Gear Patrol has advice on how to buy a used bike on the internet — including to be careful on sites like Craigslist, where too many of the bike for sale don’t belong to the people selling them. Then again, it’s not the best place to look for a dog, either.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets, while a European study rated the continent’s best bike helmets, not all of which you can find over here.

Nogales AZ border crossers are turning to bicycles to avoid the long lines waiting to cross into Mexico, and vice versa.

The New York Times says the benefits of ebikes far outweigh the disadvantages, especially during a pandemic.

 

International

An environmental website says bicycling is having a historic moment, so let’s not waste the opportunity to make it safer and more inclusive.

He gets it. The head of the UK’s equivalent of AAA says the country needs to radically rethink its approach to the street to encourage more people to walk and bike, including charging drivers for every mile over the first 3,000 — or 4,000 for people in rural areas.

British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of us. Although she might be regretting that right now after falling off her bike.

Scottish officials say speeding drivers are “deeply worrying” with more bike riders on the road, as the proportion of drivers exceeding the speed limit rises to one in three since the coronavirus lockdown began.

We already know Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is one of us, as he marks World Bicycle Day with a bizarre parade featuring 7,500 green-clad bicyclists.

India’s Bicycle Mayors use World Bicycle Day to promote bikes as a viable green alternative to public transport during the pandemic. Even if the celebration had to be virtual this year.

Cambodian officials confiscated the bikes of environmental advocates intending to highlight concerns over a protected island, and demanded they sign an unspecified agreement, forcing them to walk back.

Manilla nixes pop-up bike lanes, telling inexperienced riders to just stick to the side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

French track sprinter Grégory Baugé says racism exists everywhere, including the highest levels of pro cycling. Which should be evident, if only from the light hue of the pro peloton.

He gets it. Writing for Bicycling, former editor Joe Lindsey says it’s time to just let Lance go and move on, already.

Or as a wise man once put it,

 

Finally…

At last, a bike riding app designed to avoid other people. Bikes aren’t the new toilet paper, they’re the new hand sanitizer.

And if you get a ticket for riding your bike 55 mph in a 40 mph zone, just frame the damn thing, already.

………

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

Morning Links: A deep dive into fake bikes, Ford says share the Euro roads, and kid beaten by cops for no helmet

Before we get started, I hope you’ll join me in wishing a safe and happy journey to my oldest brother, who switched from Iditarod sled dog racing to dreaming of riding RAAM. And who is setting out today for a month-long bike tour through the Colorado and Wyoming high country.

No, really.

I’m only a lot jealous.

Photo by Eric Rogers, before he left the wilds of Alaska for the slightly more civilized confines of Colorado’s West Slope.

………

Bike Biz takes a deep dive into the world of fake bike gear, with a 20-part series on the wide world of bicycle counterfeiting.

Here’s just a few of the highlights.

Knockoffs are nearly as old as the first bicycle.

People buy Foakleys — aka fake Oakleys — because they feel like they’re being ripped off. And not by the fakes.

Specialized’s fake fighter in chief has been running down counterfeit Specialized parts for the past 10 years, earning the Mandarin nickname “Tiger watching the Tigers.” Meanwhile, lawyers fighting Chinese fakes are just playing whack-a-mole.

How to tell which fakes are safe to use, and which will give out on you.

Your new Pinarello could be spelled a little differently.

You don’t want to count on a counterfeit when your skull is at risk.

And you really don’t want to take on the organized crime triads behind the fakes. But bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid did anyway.

………

Ford says it’s time to share the roads, and see them from someone else’s perspective. At least in Europe.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

New Zealand police tackle and punch a 13-year old boy for the crime of riding a bicycle in a park without a helmet.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

………

A painful read from women’s pro Molly Weaver, who confronts the depression brought on by a series of collisions with drivers, resulting in numerous broken bones and concussions, as she decides to take her leave from the sport.

At the end of the day, the reality is that the majority of us as female cyclists are riding on passion and love for the sport alone. We don’t earn anywhere near a minimum wage, and so once the joy is lost there’s not much else to carry on for.

It’s not an easy read. But it’s worth it for a rare view into the struggles of women’s cyclists.

………

Let’s catch up on a few post-holiday events.

BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass will join with members of the Santa Monica Police Department to answer your questions about road safety, equity and the rights of bicyclists tomorrow night.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility and Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program are hosting a ride this Saturday to mark Pride Month and remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting this Saturday.

Bike SGV and Women on Wheels are holding a Dam(sel) Ride along the San Gabriel River to the Cogswell Dam on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, LA’s most popular fund raising ride rolls with the LACBC’s 18th annual River Ride along the LA River Bike Path; all the proceeds go to supporting their efforts to bring you a more bikeable LA.

Whatever you do, get out and celebrate World Bicycle Day this Sunday.

………

Local

The Western Avenue Great Streets Project could be expanding in scope based on public feedback, including powder-coated bike racks. But still no safe way to get to them.

The area surrounding UCLA and Westwood Village voted to split off into a separate neighborhood council, which should provide more support for bicycling and other long-stymied activities in the area.

Metro votes to cut prices for the Metro Bike bikeshare and expand the system into Silver Lake, Koreatown and Expo Park, as well as Culver City, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey. But again, without providing safe streets to ride them on.

Streetsblog looks at the new one-block long sort-of protected bike lane on 7th Street in DTLA, which has already proven popular with Uber drivers.

Now that’s impressive. A group of cyclists somehow managed to raise $100,000 by riding 1,000 miles from Watts to Oxnard and back. Especially since the two communities are a little more than 50 miles apart.

 

State

San Francisco walking advocates call for installing a raised intersection to slow traffic and improve safety.

A San Francisco writer says the new litmus test for when you’re too old isn’t how loud the music is, but your tolerance for dockless bikeshare bikes leaned up against trees.

The Oakland bike community is in mourning over the death of the man known to most as Tall Paul, who spent decades building custom bikes and giving them away to kids with good report cards. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than $1,800 of the $8,500 goal to pay for his funeral.

Where to ride on your next trip up to Sacramento and Stockton.

 

National

A new documentary tells the story of a 22-year old American who rode his bike around the world — including a 10,000 mile journey across the Arctic.

Nothing to worry about here. The self-driving Uber car that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, spotted her before the crash but didn’t hit the brakes because the company disconnected the car’s automatic braking system.

An Arizona writer considers why some drivers hate us for no apparent reason. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Here’s your chance to ride Colorado’s famed Tour of the Moon course, made famous in the movie American Flyers and the legendary Coors Classic stage race.

Thieves are cutting locks and stealing bicycles in downtown Denver. Which makes it pretty much like every other downtown in the US. And why you need to register your bike now

A sports columnist discovers the camaraderie inherent with any bike club, but specifically a Tulsa OK riding club where women turn to deal with health problems and other issues.

Horrible reminder that hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as bike rider was found dead along a Texas highway, the apparent victim of a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A new exhibit at a Wisconsin art museum considers the art of designing Trek bicycles. Maybe they have a special section in the exhibit on the art of intimidating anyone who — correctly, as it turns out — accused Lance of doping.

Speaking of Wisconsin, if you want to get drunk and ride your bike, move there or one of the other 28 states that don’t have a BUI law on the books. One of which is not California.

Tragic news from Indianapolis, where a man on a bicycle was killed in a crash with a trio of motorcyclists, one of whom also died as a result; witnesses said the motorcycle riders were speeding and popping wheelies before crashing into the bicycle rider.

New York officials knew a bike path was easily accessible to drivers before last year’s Halloween terrorist attack, but did nothing to stop it until it was too late; it’s unclear what permanent changes will be made to protect riders.

Smart. Instead of ticketing kids for performing stunts on their bikes, the Patterson NJ police department hosted a Wheelie Race and Stunts competition.

I know you are but what am I? Someone hacked road signs along a North Carolina triathlon route to call bicyclists idiots and assholes on bikes.

 

International

A writer for Digital Trends says e-mountain bikes straddle the line between extravagance and necessity, while allowing riders to hit the trails without the skill to do it successfully.

The Weather Channel offers advice on how to ride in the Canadian heat. All of which applies here where it gets a lot hotter.

Another reminder to always ride carefully in a group, as an Ontario, Canada cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision with two other riders in a newly formed bike club.

You don’t need insurance to ride a bicycle in Europe, but you will to ride an ebike if it can go over 15 mph.

London’s walking and bicycling chief says the city’s cyclists are too white, too middle class and too male, with people who don’t match that description making up just 15% of London bike riders. On the other hand, at least they have a walking and bicycling chief, unlike some SoCal metropolises I could name.

Madrid will ban cars from the city center this fall, with the exception of people who actually live there and zero-emission cabs and trucks.

Rihanna is teaming with Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo to give bikes to girls in Malawi to help make education more accessible.

A South African driver gets ten years for killing two bike riders in a 5am crash as he was leaving a nightclub; the wreck reportedly scared several riders off their bikes.

New stickers applied directly to the pavement tell Seoul, Korea cyclists to get off their bikes when using crosswalks.

Great idea. Public bikeshare riders in Taipei, Taiwan will now be automatically insured whenever they rent a bike.

Beijing is about to begin work on a four-mile bicycle highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, it’s no spoiler to say Chris Froome won the Giro with a spectacular solo breakaway on Thursday, becoming one of a handful of cyclists to win all three grand tours.

However, Peter Flax complains that Froome should never have competed under the cloud of a failed drug test, and stirs controversy in the comments by questioning what fueled that ride.

Now Froome turns his attention to winning a record-tying fifth Tour de France, unless that doping cloud turns into a storm. And yes, Lance won seven, but we’re all pretending that never happened.

 

Finally…

Park in a bike path, get a yellow card. Your old bike tires could end up under Canadian horse hooves.

And forget a helmet; be sure to wear your app-controlled brain stimulator.

 

Morning Links: 2nd officer faulted for beating of South LA bike rider, and a sad old song about careless drivers

According to the LA Times, another LAPD officer has been found at fault in the videotaped beating of a bike rider in South LA.

Clinton Alford fled from police when they ordered him to stop as he rode his bike on the sidewalk along Avalon Blvd last October; he claimed they failed to identify themselves as police officers, and only ran when someone grabbed the wheel of his bike.

Once they caught up to him, he reportedly laid down voluntarily and put his hands behind his back, making no attempt to resist as officers restrained him.

Despite that, an officer identified as Richard Garcia allegedly began kicking and beating him, reportedly lining up to kick his head like it was a football. Garcia faces an assault charge for the attack, which was captured on a nearby security camera.

Now the Police Commission has agreed with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that a second unidentified officer also violated the department’s use of force policies by kicking Alford and standing on his feet.

It will be up to Beck to decide if either cop should face retraining, suspension or lose their jobs.

You can guess which one I’d vote for, although, as a personnel matter, we’ll probably never know what he decides.

Not surprisingly, charges against Alford for possession and resisting arrest were dropped once news of the beating surfaced.

………

Evidently, careless drivers have been a problem for a long time, as this song attests.

Maybe it’s time for a more modern remake.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

………

New Zealander Linda Villumsen won Tuesday’s women’s elite time trial at the world championships; American great Kristin Armstrong just missed the podium finish that would have guaranteed her a spot on the US team for next year’s Rio Olympics.

Germany’s Tony Martin looks to regain his world time trial title in Wednesday’s race, while Russia’s Artem Ovechkin pulls out due to the death of his mother. Former pro Matt Crane is content to watch from the sidelines of an event he competed in 11 years ago as a U23 rider.

Allie Dragoo was bumped from the American women’s team at the last minute in favor of her pro teammate Lauren Komanski after an arbitrator’s ruling; the explanation for the decision will come long after the championships are over. Something tells me one of them will have to find a new team for next year.

Cycling’s governing body announces reforms for the coming years; whether it is enough to stabilize the sport is TBD.

What happens when pro cyclists — and everyday riders — take a wrong turn or two. And things five pro cyclists do every day to stay on top of their game.

………

Local

You’re invited to attend a press conference to support Central Avenue bike lanes and safer streets in South LA today, starting at 5 pm at the intersection of Vernon and Central Aves. This comes after recent efforts by Councilmember Curren Price to remove planned Central Avenue bike lanes from the Mobility Plan, despite the obvious need for them.

Streetsblog looks at how LA can create a more walkable Downtown, which translates into better livability and bikeability, as well.

A member of the Burbank Transportation Commission says the planned Western Channel Bikeway Phase II pathway will improve active mobility access for people walking and on bikes. They could come up with a catchier name, though.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks at the newly signed bill allowing bicycle ticket diversion classes, and notes that the LACBC has expressed an interest in conducting classes here in LA. Curbed LA takes a look, as well.

Fullerton decides to install temporary bike lanes and traffic circles to test out how they work on a city street, with a goal of eventually establishing a bike boulevard. Testing things like that prior to permanent installation provides an opportunity to overcome the inevitable bikelash by showing the sky will not, in fact, fall.

It’s war over Complete Streets in Encinitas, as one member of the city’s Traffic and Public Safety Commission is essentially blackmailed to resign by a fellow commissioner for promoting a “bicyclist agenda.” He also describes Complete Streets as a “recreational religion” that’s too radical for the city. Even though Complete Streets is the official policy of the state, and contained in the current federal transportation bill.

The Coronado Inn encourages people to enjoy a tandem bike ride in the city where residents nearly revolted recently over plans for a bike path. I’ll pass, thank you.

The battle between equestrians and mountain bikers moves up to the East Bay, as cyclists campaign for the right to ride Lamorinda trails currently reserved for horses.

Sadly, a bicyclist lost his life in a Sacramento collision Tuesday morning; no details were available as of this posting.

 

National

A Portland cyclist meets the Good Samaritan who saved his life when he collapsed with a heart attack following a ride.

An Indiana man is arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance after leaving a badly injured bike rider lying in a ditch. The schmuck driver first claimed he thought he hit a deer — even though deer seldom use a red blinkie and a reflective triangle — then changed his story to say the cyclist veered into his path while riding from the opposite direction; police determined the rider was actually run down from behind.

The rich get richer. New York hit 1,000 miles of bike lanes on Tuesday, though not everyone is happy about it.

Comcast turns to bikes to get around traffic problems caused by the pope’s visit to Philadelphia. Speaking of which, the formerly bike riding pontiff will get a new bike with angelic chain guard from Philly’s own Breezer Bikes.

North Carolina bike advocates beat down an attempt to ban road diets in the state legislature.

 

International

Now this I like. A British company has designed a bike parking system that allows members to secure their bikes with a specially treated one-inch steel bar.

London is creating three new bike and pedestrian friendly mini-Hollands it hopes will spread throughout the city. Maybe LA should try that approach; other districts might beg for road diets and walkable, bikeable streets once they see what a difference it can make for businesses and livability.

The Guardian looks at five of the best scenic bike rides in Wales. One day I hope to take the Corgi to visit to her ancestral homeland so she can watch the herds of wild Corgis roam the Welsh Serengeti.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider captures a first-person perspective of flipping over an empty wheelchair that was pushed into his path without warning; you can see the speed gauge on his Garmin go from 24 to zero within seconds as he flops onto the street.

 

Finally…

When you’re wearing body armor and carrying a concealed handgun and a broken-down shotgun on your bike, don’t stop to break into someone’s home as you travel on your way. If you’re getting low on your wife’s favorite coffee, it’s worth taking a ferry across the channel and biking along the coast of France to bring back 64 pounds of it.

And caught on video: Why carry your cross bike up the stairs when you can just bunny hop them in rapid succession?

………

In case you missed it, you can find yesterday’s late arriving and extremely lengthy Morning Links here.

Morning Links: LAPD cop charged in beating of bike rider, Biking While Black in FL, and Facebook bike drama

An LAPD officer has been charged with assault in the October beating of a South LA bike rider.

Twenty-two-year old Clinton Alford, Jr. fled from officers when they tried to stop him because he allegedly matched the description of a robbery suspect.

According to Alford, he ran when someone grabbed the back of his bike because the officers failed to identify themselves, and he only became aware of who they were when he was being held down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

After all, why would anyone look back to see who was chasing him as he fled for his life?

It was while he was face down trying to surrender that LAPD officer Richard Garcia allegedly kicked him in the head, repeatedly, in an attack that was captured on a nearby security camera. Police say they have no intention of releasing the video, despite the demands of Alford’s lawyer for it to be made public.

According to KTLA-5, he was kicked so hard he lost a filling from his teeth; other officers at the scene called the attack horrific, describing it as like someone kicking a field goal, with Alford’s head as the ball.

Garcia has entered a not guilty plea. He faces up to three years in jail if he’s convicted.

The LA Times reports three other officers and a sergeant have been relieved of duty and assigned to their homes while the investigation continues.

All charges against Alford, for possession and resisting arrest, have been dropped.

………

Shameful.

Fifty years after Selma, people are still ticketed for Bicycling While Black, as eight out of ten of the 2,504 bike tickets written in Tampa FL in the last three years — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined — went to African American residents.

Seriously, it’s long past time this country put this kind of crap behind us. No one should face fear for riding a bike, especially not from police.

………

KCBS-2 offers a good report on Sunday’s Finish the Ride; for a change, someone in the media actually seems to get it.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers an update on the current status of hit-and-run, saying we’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

………

Major Facebook drama, as an apparent cyclist fires back after Burbank racer Troy Templin posted a photo of a BMW that he says nearly ran him over because, as he claims the driver said, “you were in my way.”

Someone identifying himself as Peter Richardson professed to tell his version of what really happened, claiming Templin “committed multiple acts of violence” simply because the woman honked to let him know she was there, and he had to be run off by a security guard when he wouldn’t let her exit the car. He even includes stills from a security camera to support his claims.

However, the view in the photos is so distant it could show anyone, and it’s impossible to tell from them what may or may not be happening.

And as a commenter to Richardson’s post points out, the photos on his Facebook page were lifted from other websites, raising questions as to whether he actually exists, or if the persona was created simply to go after Templin in retaliation for the photo.

It is curious that his timeline only goes back to April 15th, two weeks after the original photo was posted online.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

………

Local

The Times belatedly catches up with the news that the proposed California helmet law has been converted to a study of helmet use by the CHP and the state Office of Traffic Safety; BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein offers his take on it.

The Daily News lists bicycling as one of the top five eco-friendly ways to get around in LA, while Slate asks if LA can sell the myth of a green, sustainable city.

Alhambra police bust a thief who tried to escape with one of their own bikes on Sunday; the apparently remorseful man wrote of letter of apology from his jail cell.

 

State

A 24-year old San Jose woman is under arrest for slamming into a Miltipas bike rider who was standing on the sidewalk, then crashing into a mini-golf course before fleeing in another car.

An elderly Palo Alto woman was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist; the rider was coming around a blind curve at speed when he ran into the woman as she crossed the street.

A San Francisco cyclist was seriously injured when he was deliberately rammed by an Uber driver following a violent road rage dispute in which he reportedly pounded on the driver’s car and pushed its mirror in. Seriously, I’m as hot tempered as anyone, but resorting to violence only makes things worse.

Marin County’s new bicycling museum will open this June; maybe they’ll include one of those rental bikes that Sausalito councilmember wants to get rid of.

 

National

A new study shows drivers are more likely to ignore crosswalks at speeds over 30 mph. I wonder what a similar study would have to say about bike lanes and sharrows.

An Anchorage cyclist says ride defensively, because your life may depend on it; good advice anywhere.

If cops in my hometown are reluctant to ticket cyclists because they feel bad about writing tickets that can reach $170 including fees, imagine how the riders feel about getting them.

Minnesota researchers determine that bike lane density — the measure of bike lanes within a given area — matters more than connectivity when it comes to encouraging ridership.

A Knoxville TN bicyclist suffers multiple non-life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by an SUV, but the only thing a local TV station seems to care about is his lack of a helmet.

Mashable looks at a decade of ghost bikes, while New Yorkers conduct the 10th Annual Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, visiting some of the 150 memorials to people who have lost their lives riding in the city.

Just like countless bicyclists everywhere, Shreveport bike riders says motorists need to be more aware of cyclists and the laws governing bikes. Especially the requirement to ride in the street where sidewalk riding is illegal — and the right to do so everywhere else.

 

International

Vancouver’s Van City Buzz gets it right, saying the media’s focus on shiny new safety gadgets is no substitute for proven safety measures like traffic calming and an effective bicycle infrastructure network.

Guardian readers relate their heart-stopping near-misses on the road; unfortunately, that’s something we can all relate to. Meanwhile, hundreds of people turn out for a vigil demanding a stop to killing cyclists; even so, Britain’s Labour Party may be backpedalling in its support for bicycling.

A soccer player is killed when a train smashes into on of those pedal-powered multi-passenger beer bikes in The Netherlands.

Turkey’s president rides through Istanbul to kick off the country’s 51st Presidential Tour of Turkey; he promised to make the city more bike friendly, while saying they “couldn’t manage to make people love the bicycle.”

A road raging Aussie driver hits a woman participating in a charity ride, then drives off with the mangled bike still trapped under her car.

Taking ciclovía to the next level, as one neighborhood in a Korean city bans cars from the streets for a full month.

 

Finally…

Now you can wear matching outfits when you ride with your dog. A word of advice: don’t try to use a mountain bike as a getaway vehicle if you can’t manage to ride it.

And a Portland BMX rider could be facing an expensive bill after riding over a parked $350,000 Lamborghini; the owner says he’s getting estimates to repair damage to the windshield.

Unless it’s all a publicity stunt, of course.

 

Stupid human tricks: Hit-and-run triathlete, assault on a cyclist, and confused SF and NYC cops and DAs

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a common theme to much of this week’s news.

………

A Chicago cyclist is injured in a deliberate assault, as a passenger in a passing SUV reaches out and grabs her messenger bag, dragging her alongside the vehicle until her bike crashed into a parked car.

Evidently, just for the heck it, as she reported that the occupants were laughing as they risked her life.

Fortunately, she wasn’t badly hurt. But it’s another argument for protected bike lanes as she was quick to point out.

………

Following the death of a San Francisco bicyclist, members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition held a rally calling for improved safety and a separated bike lane on the street where she was right hooked by a truck driver who illegally turned across the bike lane she was riding in.

Evidently, one of San Francisco’s finest didn’t get the memo.

He illegally parked his patrol car in the middle of the bike lane, in the middle of the rally — despite an empty parking space to his right — forcing riders to leave the bike lane to go around his car. All to make a point that bike riders are supposed to pass on the left, just like anyone else.

Except they aren’t. Bikes are allowed to split lanes in California. And cyclists using a bike lane are in a separate lane from automotive traffic, and are no more required to stop for traffic in the lane next to them than a driver in the right lane would be expected to stop for one in the left.

Which isn’t to say it’s not the smartest move in response to clueless drivers sometimes.

Better to come to a full stop even though the law doesn’t require it than end up under the wheels of a car or truck.

And he blamed the death of Amelie Le Moullac, and two other bike riders killed by trucks in the same area this year, strictly on the victims. Even though the truck driver who killed Le Moullac was most likely overtaking her, rather than the other way around.

So he took the law into his own hands, apparently making the law up as he went along and needlessly risking the safety of anyone using that bike lane, just to blame the victim of a collision that’s still under investigation and attempting to bully bike riders into seeing the world through his own windshield perspective.

Sound about right?

If he’s not working a desk and worrying about his pension today, there’s something seriously wrong in Baghdad by the Bay.

Thanks to murphstahoe and Bike Soup USA for the heads-up.

………

Thankfully, not all San Francisco cops have their heads so far up their own badges, as the department responded to a tweet from a tipster to bust a bike chop shop.

And speaking of bike thieves, a San Francisco resident noticed one riding off on a stolen bike. And promptly nailed him with an ice cube from his third floor apartment.

………

In a case of someone who really should have known better, a well-known San Francisco triathlete has been arrested for the hit-and-run that left a Bay Area business suffering from the after effects of a severe brain injury.

Ironman champion Meredith Kessler was allegedly driving the SUV that ran into Soren Krogh-Jensen as he walked in a crosswalk last March, tossing him into the air before crashing back down ob his head. Security video shows her remaining at the scene for several minutes, reportedly checking the victim before getting back in her car and running away like just another heartless coward.

You’d expect better behavior from someone who rides a bike, especially at that level.

At least, I would.

Then again, instant karma seems to have played a role, as Kessler suffered a head injury herself in a collision with another rider while competing in a triathlon that followed the hit-and-run.

And yes, I know karma doesn’t really work that way.

But still.

………

On the opposite coast, a New York City cop decides to ticket a bike rider for going through a red light by knocking her off her bike, apparently failing to realize — or perhaps not caring — that any fall from a bike can result in serious injury.

Or worse.

That’s like deliberately crashing into a driver’s vehicle in order to make a simple traffic stop. Or pistol whipping a pedestrian for jaywalking.

………

Update: Thanks to Joe B for pointing out that the case below actually dates to 2009. For some reason it popped up in a web search for stories posted online in the previous 24 hours, and I neglected to check the date before writing this. So the good news is, maybe today’s New York isn’t as bad as it seems; or maybe the bad news is, this sort of thing has been going on longer than we thought. 

Or maybe I just need to avoid posting my own stories after 1 am. My apologies.

In another example of the sheer idiocy of officials in supposedly bike-friendly New York, a rider faces a charge of criminal mischief after he was deliberately doored by the driver of a massive SUV.

The vehicle was stopped partially blocking a protected bike lane with no indication of why it was stopped; but when the rider attempted to go around it, it started moving again.

So the cyclist responded by slapping the side of the SUV to warn the driver he was there; I’ve done the same thing more than once, and seen other cyclists do it as well.

It usually scares the crap out of the driver, but it’s better than getting run over by someone who doesn’t even know you’re there.

But I’ve never seen anyone respond the way this driver did, flinging open his door into the victim and knocking him off his bike. Then standing over him threateningly before picking up the man’s bike and setting it on the kickstand and driving away.

Leave it to the New York DA’s office to victimize the victim all over again, apparently for that potentially life-saving tap on the driver’s door.

According to the story, criminal mischief requires property damage in excess of $250 — which is far more likely to have been caused by the door hitting the rider than the other way around.

And this from the city Bicycling ranks as the 7th most bike-friendly community in the US.

Maybe the New York DA’s office didn’t get the memo, either.

………

In another horrifying case from Gotham City, a taxi driver took the leg — or possibly legs — of an English tourist after an apparent dispute with a bike rider.

And Dr. Oz came running to the rescue.

The bike rider, who was injured in the incident, was next to the cab when the driver allegedly became impatient while attempting to make a left turn. When the rider attempted to tell him to stop, the cabbie reportedly became angry and stepped on the gas, tossing the cyclist onto his hood before slamming into the woman who was sitting on a piece of concrete street furniture.

Her life was apparently saved by a bystander who had the presence of mind to use his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding on her severed leg, while another put the amputated limb on ice. Reports are her other foot was crushed and may not be able to be saved.

TV’s Dr. Oz reportedly saw the collision from his studio window, and came down to help, followed by a camera crew.

Needless to say, the NYPD seems to have ignored everything leading up to the crash and quickly determined there was no criminality involved. Not an impatient, careless or road raging driver, but just another tragic oops.

Fortunately, the city’s DA — yes, the same ones who charged the cyclist in the previous story — is taking another look at it. And the agency responsible for licensing cab drivers is taking steps to revoke the driver’s taxi license for a whopping 30 days; although under the circumstances, life would seem more appropriate.

Meanwhile, advocates are trying to get the NYPD to take traffic crime seriously, instead of just targeting bike riders while ignoring speeding motorists.

………

A Florida detective makes a U-turn without checking his mirror, and collides with a driver in the next lane. But of course, it’s the stop sign-running bike rider who gets the blame.

………

A British mom gives her hockey playing son a new BMW because she thought it was too dangerous to ride his bike to work.

Forty-two days later, he was killed driving his new car.

………

Newport Beach’s highway-style right turn lanes put cyclists and pedestrians at needless risk. Actually, these are far too common throughout Orange County as well as San Diego County; another example of well-meaning but outdated planning gone dangerously amuck.

………

But at least the Tour de France was dope-free this year. Right?

Although now that I think about it, I remember the same being said about Lance in the not too distant past.

………

Finally, here’s the story I wrote for LA Streetsblog as guest editor yesterday, reporting on the new Save Our Streets LA proposal to repave the city’s crumbling streets.

And hopefully fix the sidewalks and install bikeways and build complete streets in the process.

%d bloggers like this: