Tag Archive for police bias

Ride to letter of the law in SaMo today, police look for hit-and-run bike rider, and Beverly Hills cops accused of racial bias

Apologies for the short notice on this one.

You’ll want to ride to the letter of the law in Santa Monica today while the police are conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation.

They’ll be looking for violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it isn’t you.

And maybe the city can give us a little more notice next time.

Photo of green bike lane on Main Street in Santa Monica.

………

Beverly Hills Police are looking for this man for questioning in a hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian.

If you know him — or if it’s you — contact the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310/550-4951. Right now, they just want to talk.

And yes, it’s still hit-and-run if you’re on a bicycle, and ride away from a collision that injures another person. So don’t do that.

Stick around and exchange information, or wait until the police arrive, just like you would in a car collision.

Because you would, right?

………

Speaking of Beverly Hills cops, the department is accused of harassing Black people on and around Rodeo Drive, according to a lawsuit filed by a Black couple visiting from Philadelphia, who were arrested for the heinous crime of riding scooters on the gilded street.

They were among the targets of a task force set up in the wake of last year’s George Floyd protests to address fraud in the high-end shopping district arrested 106 people — 105 of whom were Black.

The other man was identified as Latino.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Other Black people were arrested for walking outside of the crosswalk or roller skating, although the police noted that the task force did recover 13 loaded guns and seized $250,000 in cash and ill-gotten debit cards.

………

Great idea. A new clamp-on attachment promises to convert a wheelchair to an e-tricycle.

………

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

No bias here. A Purdue University website says people on bicycles break laws and create danger for drivers. Just wait until someone tells them about the dangers caused by lawbreaking drivers.

Police in Nottingham, England are looking for the driver caught on video calmly driving down a bike lane, as if it was his or her own personal traffic lane.

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

A student at LA’s Santee High School was shot in the leg following a fist fight with another student, who fled on a blue bicycle.

Police in Ventura are looking for a man who randomly attacked a woman walking on bike path near Kimball Park, after he rode his bike past her, then turned around and assaulted her for no apparent reason.

Someone is riding a bike around the Harvard University campus randomly punching male grad students.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times examines why people of color are more likely to be the victims of traffic violence, both in Los Angeles and throughout the US, while noting that pedestrian deaths are up more than a third in the six years since the city adopted Vision Zero.

Metro Bike is offering free one-ride passes for Labor Day weekend, and a 30-day pass for just one dollar.

No bias here, either. A writer for Yo! Venice says now that the city has cleaned up the homeless encampments, it’s time to deal with the “scourge” of e-scooters, complaining they’re “out-of-control and everywhere.”

Pasadena approved spending $168,000 on a Slow Streets program by repurposing funds originally budgeted for the 626 Golden Streets open streets fest, but had to return another $162,000 in Metro grant money.

Mike Richards may have lost his short-lived job replacing Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy, but he’s still one of us, riding with his family on an offroad trail in LA.

 

State

More on the passage of AB 122, which will allow California bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, assuming the governor signs it. And which overwhelmingly passed both houses of the legislature with rare bipartisan support.

Officers from the Westminster Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies finished a four-day, 630-mile to Sacramento to honor officers who died in the line of duty earlier this year.

If you were planning to spend the holiday weekend at the China Peak bike park outside Fresno, start making new plans, after it abruptly closed for the season due to the high fire risk.

Campus police at Chico State are urging students to secure their bikes with a U-lock, as bike theft increases on the campus.

 

National

They get it. The American Prospect says it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the pandemic by building back, not just better, but bike friendly, while noting that not many US cities have done that.

The Verge offers more on the groundbreaking new bike-by-wire system designed to power ped-assist ebikes without a chain or belt drive.

MSN ranks their picks for the best bike computers for all types of bicyclists. On a similar note, Forbes offers their choices for the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A bike rider in Salt Lake City was lucky to escape with minor head injuries after he rear-ended a stopped van when his brakes apparently failed. A reminder to always check your brakes before you ride, and clean your rims to remove oil or other residue if you have rim brakes. 

Drivers in Texas could now see jail time for killing or injuring a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now extend the law to bike lanes, and we can talk.

Chicago is installing new protected bike lanes on the “notoriously dangerous intersection” where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed while riding a bike last summer; 13 years after another bike rider was killed at the same spot. Although the “protection” is nothing more than the plastic car-tickler bendy posts that too often pass for protection in Los Angeles, and won’t actually protect anyone. 

A longtime Chicago community activist and bike and pedestrian advocate was critically injured when he as struck by an SUV driver, after he somehow “appeared in the street” as the driver was turning right. Yet another reminder that no one ever just appears out of nowhere; it’s just another way of drivers admitting that they weren’t paying attention behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in New York, where the operator of a limo company walked without a single day in jail for a “catastrophic brake failure” that killed 20 people; he’ll serve just five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service despite copping a plea to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide.

After being feted by Forbes as one of their Under 30 honorees, the founder of Philadelphia-based folding bike helmer maker Kova by AnneeLondon shuttered the business for the sake of her mental health after struggling to keep it going during the pandemic.

A bill to officially designate the 1,300-mile 9/11 National Memorial Trail connecting the three sites of the terrorist attacks, stretching from Pennsylvania to DC, passed the US House by a unanimous vote and now awaits its fate in the Senate.

 

International

The Guardian says bikepacking is the best way to escape the crowds in Cornwall on a new 124-mile gravel trail.

Berlin is making their popup bike lanes permanent, after the city saw a 25% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. On the other hand, Los Angeles can’t make any popup bike lanes permanent, because they didn’t install any. And no one really knows if bike riding rates went up during the pandemic, because no one was counting.

They get it. Lebanon residents are fighting to make the country more bicycle friendly as a solution to congestion and rising fuel prices. Exactly why we should do the same thing here, especially if you add combating climate change to the equation.

Atlas Obscura looks back fondly to the golden age of bicycle noodle delivery, when workers would ride with one hand on the handlebars and the other balancing a massive stack of boxed soba noodles on their shoulder.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss road champ Marlen Reusser broke away from a six-woman breakaway to win the first day of the Challenge by La Vuelta, with SoCal sprinter Coryn Rivera finishing second; the four stage race serves as the severely truncated women’s counterpart to the 21 stage Vuelta.

Colombian Miguel Ángel López claimed a solo victory after riding away from the pack on the hors catégorie Altu d’El Gamoniteiru in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Vuelta, while Primož Roglič finished second to virtually his seal victory in this year’s race.

Sixty-year old Aussie Paralympic cycling great Carol Cooke was hospitalized with a punctured lung following a “nasty crash” with two other competitors on the rain slicked road cycling course; she’d won gold in the event five years ago in Rio.

Cyclist questions whether this year’s Tour de France was decided by the high number of crashes involving top riders.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a regular ebike when you can have a DIY part-time pneumatic tall bike? That feeling when your bird hates flying but loves riding on your handlebars.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got rocket power?

………

Thanks once again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help support this site. Donations of any size or frequency are always welcome and appreciated. You can also help by telling your favorite local bike shop to advertise here.

………

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

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

………

Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

………

Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

………

Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

………

New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

………

This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

………

GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

………

Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

………

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

Morning Links: Leading climate change denier attacks bikes, and problems bicyclists face on the road & with police

He’s back.

The anti-bike writer in the Financial Post who called for banning bicycles last week, saying cities made a huge mistake in promoting bicycling, is back with a second screed even less informed than the first.

Fake news, indeed.

Lawrence Solomon, executive director of the Urban Renaissance Institute, is back to misstate and misinterpret bicycling crash statistics to suggest that bikes have made the streets more dangerous, going so far as to cite unnamed studies “not funded by bike-path proponents” that show bike infrastructure actually increases crashes.

Which is the exact opposite of every study I’ve ever seen, few, if any, of which have been funded by “bike path proponents.”

It’s the worst kind of drivel, taking unrelated data points to support his arguments, such as suggesting that the recent increase in overall traffic fatalities is somehow due to the increase in bicycling, and that bike riders are almost always the ones at fault in any crash.

The problem is, his baseless arguments have given cover to other writers to attack bikes and bike lanes, like a Staten Island columnist who asks if we’re watching the beginning of an anti-cycling bikelash, or the writer for an alt-right website who does little more than repost Solomon’s arguments.

However, few of those echoing his arguments have bothered to consider who it is who’s doing the writing — a leading climate change denier and anti-vaxxer funded by the oil and gas industry, posing as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.” Solomon has gone so far as to call the groundbreaking Kyoto Protocol “the single biggest threat to the global environment.”

Which would suggest that everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

If not an entire bag.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the alt-right link.

………

A writer for Outside captures succinctly the problems bike riders face on the roads.

Let that sink in: I was in a bike lane, wearing a bright orange helmet, sans earphones, when a car traveling over the speed limit and completely off the road struck me from behind—and the police tried to ticket me and let the driver go free. I realized that day that altercations between cars and bikes aren’t so much about the risk factors, like distracted driving, bike lanes, or mountain versus road. They’re about a car culture that devalues bikes.

Over the years, passing motorists have thrown and struck me with eggs, fountain drinks, and, once, a half-empty can of beer. I’ve been shouted at, flipped off, menaced, driven into the shoulder, and even chased on foot. My own father-in-law grouses regularly about cyclists on the road and likes to joke about “door-popping” them. If cyclists can’t even rely on our families or the police, it’s clear that we are on our own.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

If you’ve been hit by a driver, you may recognize yourself in the story. I certainly do; when I was run down by a road raging driver, the police officers who responded believed her story. And ended up threatening to arrest me for filing a false police report, leaving me to limp home with a broken arm and damaged bike.

If not, it’s fair warning that you may be blamed in a crash even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s not right. But it’s the battle we have to fight far too often.

Note: I originally left out the link to this piece; thanks to Mike Wilkinson and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

………

BOLO Alert: A bike rider was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in La Tuna Canyon on Saturday; the victim was still unconscious after 20 hours in the ICU. The vehicle was described as a newer black Mazda SUV. Thanks to Mike Kim for the tip.

………

A reminder that if you haven’t signed it already, you can support one of LA’s most underserved communities by signing a petition calling for bike lanes in DTLA’s Skid Row.

We the undersigned residents of the City of Los Angeles, sign this petition calling on Council member Jose Huizar of the 14th District and the Department of Transportation to begin the process of creating Skid Row specific bike lanes on 5th street heading west and 6th street heading east. Skid Row has one of the largest bicycle riding populations in Los Angeles and because of this, we feel that we need bike lanes on these streets to improve public safety.

Thanks to Bobby Peppey for the heads-up.

………

‘Tis the season.

Over 400 Cathedral City students got new bikes for getting good grades.

One hundred ninety Clovis kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit group.

Hundreds of Sonoma County fire victims got new bikes on Sunday.

Five hundred kids in Tucson got new bicycles thanks to a local community activist.

Eighty Aurora IL volunteers built 350 bicycles to donate to kids.

Roughly 100 San Antonio kids took home new bikes as part of an earn-a-bike program.

One hundred bikes were donated to children of law enforcement officers in College Station TX.

Around 35 Santas rode their bikes to raise $5,000 for a Green Bay, Wisconsin children’s hospital.

Around 90 people took part in a 1.2 mile bike ride through an underground cavern in Louisville KY, decorated with more than 2 million lights and past 850 holiday displays.

An Ulster NY bicycle club donated 30 bicycles and helmets to the local county children’s services.

………

It’s Day 18 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

By all reports, Los Angeles enjoyed another successful CicLAvia yesterday; next year could see one in running through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

Metro Bike Share wants your feedback, whether or not you’ve ever used bikeshare.

David Wolfberg points out that even the LA Auto Show doesn’t recommend driving there.

 

State

Smoking dope will soon be banned in motor vehicles in California. But bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles under California law, so puff away. As long as you don’t do it in public or ride under the influence.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting looks at efforts to clear homeless camps off the Santa Ana River Trail, even though the people living in them have nowhere else to go.

UC Santa Barbara students are having to bike through smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire to get ready for finals.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a 60-year old driver gets 90 days behind bars for illegally crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle, and killing a bike rider in a head-on crash; he’s expected to actually serve just half of that. The driver is reportedly grief-stricken. Although likely not as much as the relatives of the victim.

A San Luis Obispo man responds to recent anti-bike columns by asking city officials to make it safer for people on bicycles, and for local residents to spare a few moments for the safety of cyclists.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bicyclist was killed by a suspect drunk hit-and-run driver.

A tragic find, as a bike rider discovered a young woman’s body in the water along a Sunnyvale bike trail.

Life is even cheaper in Napa, where a 77-year old woman got three years probation and had her license permanently revoked for the hit-and-run death of a popular cyclist.

A Boston website says Marin County’s West Ridgecrest road up Mt. Tamalpais may be one of the best bike rides in the US.

An Oak Park man in riding his bicycle around Sacramento, collecting garbage and scraps to turn into compost. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal says gadget obsessed cyclists need a data detox, while a writer for Slate complains that he doesn’t even know how turn off the tech and ride his bike for fun anymore. Seriously, turn everything off, and for the rest of this month, just ride for the fun of it. You might even remember why you love bicycling again.

NPR looks at automakers attempts to woo members of Gen Z, who have shown little interest in owning cars so far.

California Congressman Tom McClintock discusses his bill to allow bicycles back in wilderness areas.

A Denver weekly looks at how the murder of mountain biking legend Mike Rust was finally solved, seven years after he disappeared; his killer was found guilty of 1st degree murder last week, along with a host of other charges.

A Colorado newspaper applauds plans to make the town more walkable and bikeable, but worries about the loss of 162 downtown parking places. Because everyone knows people never walk or bike to go shopping. Right?

A group from my hometown is asking the public for another 75 bicycles so they can donate 400 bikes to kids for the holidays. And they can drop off those bikes at the shop where I bought my first bike, back when dinosaurs still walked the earth.

A Chicago letter writer suggests everyone walking on the river walk should wear a bike helmet, since city hall somehow ignored his letter demanding that bikes to be banned from the path.

Still no explanation for what drove a bike-riding doctor to attack his neighbor, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The surgeon who treated Bono after his Central Park bicycling crash was found dead in his New York apartment with a knife plunged into his chest, the victim of an apparent suicide.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Georgia man is riding from Northern California to Atlanta.

Seriously? A Tallahassee FL writer welcomes dockless bikeshare to town, but worries where people will park their cars to use them.

 

International

A Canadian cycling magazine calls on the country to adopt a National Cycling Strategy. Something you’re not likely to ever see in the US.

The war on bikes continues, as someone vandalized a bike belonging to the mayor of Victoria, British Columbia for the second time; she doesn’t want to believe it has anything to do with her support for bike lanes.

Roughly 180,000 Quebec residents ride their bikes all through the winter, despite the cold and snow. Tell that to the next person who tells you Angelenos won’t ride their bikes to work year-round.

This is what happens when you install a temporary bike lane around a Toronto construction site, but don’t do anything to accommodate people on foot.

Ed Sheeran gets back on a bike in London for the first time since he broke both arms in a crash, even if it did have training wheels.

Shades of Children of the Corn. A British town is installing bollards designed to look like little children, and stare back at drivers to get their attention. Thanks again to David Wolfberg.

A Bulgarian expat has formed a volunteer crew to rescue damaged and abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes in Singapore; he may have his work cut out for him.

A Pakistani woman became the first woman to ride a bike up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

An Indian man is riding across the country to encourage people to ride to work.

 

Competitive Cycling

A freshly bearded cycling great Bradley Wiggins craps out in his attempt to make the British rowing team, after mistakenly lowering his oars in a “schoolboy error.”

The very busy Peter Flax has written a great profile of lifelong bike racer Bill Elliston, saying that Elliston, while never quite fast enough to make the pros, “represents much that is pure and good in the sport of bike racing.”

 

Finally…

Kylo Ren is one of us. We may have to worry about distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have dodge zebras.

And Australia chose their bird of the year even though it attacks bicyclists.

Or maybe because of it.

 

What You Need to Know about Police Reports

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

 

A close up view of a traffic collision report form.

I settled a Malibu bike collision case in which the driver of a motor vehicle made a left turn into the cyclist. The accident happened at dusk; it was not dark out yet. The police report states that the cyclist was cited for “unsafe speed conditions” because the cyclist was wearing all black.

When I was taking the sheriff’s deposition, I asked him why he cited the cyclist for wearing all black. He told me he asked another officer at the station who told him that because the cyclist was wearing all black, he was going too fast for the conditions.

The cyclist was going 15 – 20 mph! This conclusion is absolutely wrong. What the cyclist was wearing had nothing to with “unsafe speed conditions” (VC 22350).

More recently I represented a woman who suffered serious personal injuries in a pedestrian collision. My client was crossing in the crosswalk, with the light, when she was struck by a motor vehicle. When I took the deposition of the police officer I asked him why he didn’t take a witness statement from the friend who was walking next to her at the time of the collision. His answer was that as a friend of the victim he figured the witness would be biased and would just back up whatever the victim said. Regardless, it was the officer’s responsibility to take statements from all witnesses.

I have represented hundreds of cyclists. The one constant in all of these cases is the police report. I’d estimate that 60 percent of the time, the police reports I see blame the cyclist for the collision.

So is it worth getting a police report? Simply, yes.

Though police officers are often biased against cyclists, they usually get the facts of a bike collision correct. Such details as: the time, place, weather, what direction each participant was going and where they were located when the accident happened, contact information for witnesses, confirmation of insurance, and any physical evidence at the scene, is usually recorded correctly.

It is the police officer’s conclusion that is typically wrong. Though I would much rather police officers would lose their cyclist bias, filing a police report is still beneficial to your legal case and to your insurance claim because it sets out in writing the basic facts.

If the police refuse to come to the scene or they come to the scene but refuse to take a police report, I suggest you go to the nearest police station and file a report yourself.

Police reports with tainted conclusions or incorrect facts also need to be addressed. You can go to the police station and file a Supplemental Statement. This allows you to correct the facts and is attached to the original report. Though the police won’t change their police report, at least your version or the correct facts will be in the report.

The filing of a biased or incorrect police report will make the handling of your case or insurance claim more difficult, but the police report and the opinions and conclusions of the police officer are not admissible in court since in most instances the officer did not see the accident themselves. This makes most police reports hearsay and not admitted into evidence.

Where police reports have an effect is on the insurance company. When the insurance company reads the police report and accepts the officer’s conclusions, it may refuse to settle your case or offer you much less compensation than which you are entitled.

The result is that we have to file a lawsuit, gather evidence, and take the police officer’s deposition to prove the officer was wrong. Frequently it is during or after the deposition stage that the insurance company will offer to settle the case to avoid going to court.

Now a days a number of cities – including the City of Los Angeles – will not send an officer to the scene of the collision if there are no injuries (and you should NEVER comment on injuries or guilt to ANYONE, including a police officer).

If you are in a collision and the police refuse to come to the scene, but you want a police report taken, you will need to go to the nearest police department to file a report as I mention above. Getting the facts on the record is always helpful.

Remember, filing a police report does not mean you have to file a legal case. It can assist you in collecting compensation for damages you incurred in the bike collision and, should you decide to take legal action later, a police report will be of value to your bike collision lawyer as he is pursuing your case.

 

*California Vehicle Code 21200: A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. . .

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers in America and to Southern California Super Lawyers lists for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

 

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

………

If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

………

As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

………

After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

………

Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

………

Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Weekend Links: Free Breeze bikeshare pass, unfair bike traffic ticket, and anti-bike lane — and anti-bike — madness

As we’ve discussed before, Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off with a grand opening ceremony this Thursday.

What we haven’t mentioned is that it’s free that day; just register online for a free one-day trial membership.

Breeze Email-ad-Final

………

Saw this post on Facebook from endurance cyclist, vegan nutritionist and organizer of Sunday’s Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, Matt Ruscigno,

So I’m splitting lanes in heavy traffic on Melrose Blvd and I time a red light so I enter the intersection as soon as it turns green while maintaining my speed.

[police sirens]

LAPD: I’m pulling you over because you ran that red light.

Me: No I didn’t, I timed it perfectly.

LAPD: YOU RAN IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Me: I may have rolled into the crosswalk but I had it timed. I watched. 
[takes ID, writes me a ticket]

LAPD: And you have to ride as far to the right as possible.

Me: I was passing, I’m allowed to do that.

LAPD: YOU MUST RIDE AS FAR TO THE RIGHT AS POSSIBLE.

Me: I was going around the cars in the right lane, safely.

LAPD: Don’t talk to me about safety- you shouldn’t have been doing that.

Me: Oh so I’m getting a ticket because you didn’t like I was splitting lanes and timed the light?

LAPD: I’M NOT ARGUING WITH YOU. YOU DON’T KNOW THE LAW.

Me: Actually, I do. And I was riding safely.

LAPD: You’re lucky I’m not giving you two tickets!

Me: I can pass right?

LAPD: Yes.

Me: [Ride away, splitting lanes, with a $400 ticket in my pocket]

Sad that some cops still don’t get it.

………

Today’s common theme is attacks on bike lanes and the people who ride them.

More anti-bike insanity from Coronado, as a writer says bike advocates need to learn from animal advocates. Except she thinks bicyclists a sense of entitlement rather than a legal right to the road, she doesn’t get that police don’t always get bike law right (see above), and she doesn’t have a clue how traffic safety works.

A British Columbia writer says bike lanes are a waste of money and bikes belong on the sidewalk. Oh, and bicyclists don’t pay for roads, taxes or insurance, either.

Apparently desperate for click bait, a UK paper offers one story saying cyclists are a menace and should be banned from the roads, and another saying motorists should ask for more bikes on the road instead of complaining about them. Meanwhile, a writer for Cycling Weekly deconstructs the former, calling it the most ridiculous anti-cycling column yet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

The vitriol isn’t limited to road bikes, either. In a piece that reads like it belongs in The Onion, a Berkeley Ph.D. suggests we’re corrupting the youth of America through high school off-road racing, saying introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Speaking of criminal, his hatred of mountain biking goes back to at least 1997; he was arrested in 2010, tried and convicted of assaulting a pair of riders with a hacksaw and slicing one on the chest. And his previous posts to a mountain bike forum were replaced with a Seussian Ode to a Usenet Kook (scroll to the bottom for the final entry). Thanks to Mark Ganzer and Patrick Traughber for the heads-up.

………

Local

The Amgen Tour of California will make a stop in South Pasadena on its way north.

CiclaValley discusses not riding Oat Mountain, the highest peak in the Santa Susana Mountains north of the San Fernando Valley, but his teammate Cameron Bond did.

Build traffic skills with a family friendly ride to Trader Joes followed by a picnic in Silver Lake Meadow on Sunday.

Find out where recently elected CD4 City Councilmember David Ryu stands on transportation issues when he discusses the LA Mobility Plan with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds at the Autry Museum this Monday. Be sure to ask him why one of his first acts on the council was an attempt to exempt some streets in his district, including the long-promised 4th Street bike boulevard, from the plan.

This Thursday, Metro Chief Planning Officer Martha Welborne will discuss Metro’s regional planning vision at the the Transit Coalition Dinner Meeting, by registration only.

Santa Monica will host a free, full-day family bike festival on Sunday the 17th.

 

State

Seriously? Monterey’s annual Sea Otter classic will now offer e-bike races.

SFist says there’s a plague of bike thefts at San Francisco State University and college officials don’t seem to care.

Here’s a dream job for any bike advocate who doesn’t mind moving to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a full-time Campaigns Director to “manage and direct the 44-year-old organization’s organizing, policy and political campaigns.” Then again, you probably can’t afford to live there, and you might have to become a Giants fan, which could be a deal breaker.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A suspected drunk driver is arrested after a high-speed chase in Santa Rosa, despite having already lost his license after five previous DUI convictions and 12 license suspensions. Taking away the license doesn’t keep some of the most dangerous drivers off the roads; we’ve got to find another way to keep them from driving.

Despite appearances, that Redding cyclist who suffered major injuries when he was hit by an 88-year old driver wasn’t a transient; he was collecting recyclables to donate to his church. And friends say he wasn’t one to just turn in front of a car.

 

National

A new online bike marketplace promises that you won’t encourage bike theft by buying a stolen bike.

A new website maps out every one of the 373,377 traffic fatalities in the US from 2004 to 2013

Toyota is investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence in the US. Which is probably a good thing, since there seems to be so little of the real thing on our streets.

Seattle residents vote to tax themselves to build a 50-mile protected bike lane network, along with a 60-mile network of neighborhood greenways.

Disappointing, but not surprising, as popular Colorado-based pro cyclist Tom Danielson’s B sample comes back positive for an anabolic steroid.

A Wyoming cyclist won’t face charges for killing a decorated former military dog; he claimed he shot the dog with the handgun he keeps strapped to his bike after it attacked him.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Houston man accuses another man of intentionally running him down as he rode his bike following a dispute, then jumping him and attempting to drown him.

A Cleveland cyclist was shot in the chest after being asked for a cigarette at 3 am.

A New York cyclist captures photos of law breaking drivers, while admitting that he doesn’t always follow the law himself; meanwhile, a barely recognizable Katy Perry takes a spin around the city on her Trek.

Good read from the New Yorker, which blames the seemingly never-ending conflict between bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on old-fashioned egocentricity.

 

International

Bloomberg looks at the next generation of bespoke bike builders.

A cyclist from Colorado has been found safe after being missing from a three day stage race across Costa Rica.

Canadian authorities are looking for a driver who drove over a cyclist’s leg, asked if he was okay, then just drove away.

A British road safety advocate calls for a left-handed equivalent to the Idaho stop law.

It’s three years in jail for the Brit mom of six who deliberately ran down an autistic bike rider following a dispute. With her kids in the car, no less.

A writer considers the lessons learned from a family bike tour in France, where he was accepted by more experienced riders with open handlebars. His term, not mine.

An Indian professor says bike riders are normalizing bicycling as a way of life, and recreational cycling in Mumbai should not be seen through the lens of class conflict.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Nothing like reading a newspaper while driving. Nothing brings peace between cyclists and pedestrians like miso fries.

And meet the Cuban equivalent of LA’s Stupidtall bike.

 

Morning Links: The Cannibal comes to Culver City, San Fran debates stop signs, and ride the coast with Calbike

Los Angeles is getting another bike-friendly restaurant.

Following in the footsteps — or pedal strokes, perhaps — of Pedalers Fork in Calabasas and Frogtown’s Spoke Bicycle Café, New York-based The Cannibal is opening a West Coast outpost in Culver City.

According to the LA Times, bike racing co-owner Christian Pappanicholas promises a meat-forward beer and butcher-focused menu, as well as rice-based energy bars and musette bags for riders on the go.

There’s even a bike valet. And if you show up in your full riding kit, your second beer is free.

So expect to see a few wobbly spandex-clad riders making their way past Sony Studios.

Although we may have to talk to him about showing people who ride in street clothes a little love, too.

And the name is not a not to Hannibal Lector or the Donner Party, but rather, a reference to the great Eddy Merckx .

………

The debate goes on over bikes vs stop signs in Bagdad by the Bay.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle says no one understands the city’s proposed Idaho stop ordinance. Including him, apparently, since it would require riders to observe the right-of-way and only go through a stop when it’s safe to do so.

According to Streetsblog SF, San Francisco police have a bias against bike riders, including a demonstrated lack of knowledge regarding bike laws. Few cops ever get more than a cursory introduction to the laws governing bicyclists.

And Bicycling takes up the question of whether or not to stop, ending with the most important rule — don’t be a dick.

Which seems to be what Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius was trying to say, as well.

………

Filmmakers are invited to participate in the Urbanism Filmmaking Challenge, where you’ll be paired with a noted urban designer, planner or architect to make a two-to-five minute film, with the possibility of a $300 prize.

………

Registration has been extended to tomorrow for Calbike’s fundraising ride along the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego, according to an email from the California Bicycle Coalition’s Debbie Brubaker.

I just wanted to let you know that we decided to extend the registration deadline for the California Dream Ride to this Friday. The ride is going to be a lot of fun — I hope you can join us! We’ll be riding for 5 days along gorgeous bikeways from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and we’ll have several fun parties along the way: a Halloween party, a happy hour in Santa Monica, a special lunch with the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, and a cool auction and party at MADE in Long Beach (a maker space).

The ride runs five days, from October 30th to November 4th, and promises “comfortable hotels, great food, fun people, and a behind-the-scenes look into the world of bicycle advocacy.”

You might want to pack your Halloween costume. Unless, like many of us, you look scary enough in spandex.

………

Peloton Magazine says Peter Sagan is a new-style champion with old-style panache.

The route for next year’s Giro d’Italia was leaked online in advance Monday’s official announcement.

Maybe it’s good news, as the owners of Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge pull out after years of financial losses, enabling the state to seek more varied and stable investors. Although if new ownership doesn’t emerge, it could mean the end of the popular race. Maybe the Amgen Tour of California can step in and create a two week Colorado to California grand tour. We can dream, right?

And a Belgian prosecutor plans to go after pro cyclists Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev after Kolobnev allegedly threw the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in favor of his fellow Russian for a $167,000 payoff.

………

Local

Caught on video: The frustration of angry drivers cutting through side streets surrounding the Rowena road diet boils over. But does that mean the problem is with the road diet, or a lack of traffic mitigation in the surrounding are?

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks bikeshare, bike safety and Idaho stop laws with KCRW’s Madeline Brand and WeHo Mayor Lindsey Horvath.

Free bike pumps will be installed by the USC student government around the traditionally bike-unfriendly university.

A new Cypress Park bike courier service promises to deliver food, flowers, artwork and more; delivery within a two-mile radius costs just five bucks.

The rebuilt California Incline is on track for completion next spring, including a separated bike lane and sidewalk leading to and from the beach.

October’s edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday Ride rolls 22 miles through Pasadena on the 4th.

 

State

Three-hundred kids got free helmets and bike safety training at a pair of OC bike rodeos.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a pickup Wednesday afternoon.

A problematic Los Altos intersection gets a new intelligent traffic signal that promises to recognize bicycles and treat them like any other vehicle. Which makes it smarter than most drivers and public officials.

San Francisco police are looking for a Caddy driver who gave a cyclist an unwanted hood ride when he tried to take a photo of the car’s license after it sideswiped him; naturally, police stress that there may be another side to the story.

Cyclelicious explains how police got it wrong in that time trial death in Yolo County, going out of their way to find a new way to blame the bike-riding victim.

Lakeport police arrested the 28-year old driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring two bike riders, as well as booking his mother as an accessory. The family that flees together stays together, albeit behind bars.

 

National

A new report raises red flags over drug-impaired driving as a result of the legalization, or near legalization, of marijuana in 23 states, including California. Although in most cases, it doesn’t seem to be a problem unless it’s combined with other drugs or alcohol.

A new Indiegogo project promises to take the popular MonkeyLectric wheel lights a step further with 376 full color LED lights forming patterns while you ride; lights for one wheel will set you back $99.

Seriously? A Portland man was driving carelessly, had no insurance and violated a cyclist’s right-of-way in the collision that cost a rider his leg earlier this year. But won’t face charges because prosecutors can’t prove he did it on purpose.

A Seattle area man discovers his stolen bike being sold on eBay by a 70-year old Idaho domestic violence victim associated with a known bike thief. Police are trying to help him get it back.

Even though people in the Southwest are driving less and using transit more, transportation spending continues to follow the same old auto-centric patterns.

Smart idea. Phoenix places new signs warning salmon cyclists to ride with traffic on the back of existing street signs.

Denver’s Westword provides an in-depth look at Boulder’s decision to scrap a road diet and protected bike lanes, even though it was proven successful through the first eight weeks.

Grand Rapids MI just passed it’s own five — yes, five — foot passing law.

Yet another bighearted cop digs into his own pocket to buy a little girl a new bike after hers was stolen, this time in Indiana.

 

International

England announces what may be the first national e-bike bikeshare system to entice people who don’t normally ride or who live in hilly areas; a Brit paper says any kind of bicycling should be encouraged. Agreed.

Interesting debate at the Guardian, as one writer says plans for bikeways must reach beyond “two-wheel boy racers in Wiggo kits,” while another says we should leave class out of discussions of bicycling. One of the great things about bicycling is it’s very democratic; anyone can ride a bike, and we should consider all riders when making plans and improvements.

Two of the first black African riders to compete in the Tour de France discuss efforts to transform Africa by using bikes to provide better access to education.

 

Finally…

It may be a tad late, but it’s still pretty impressive when Al Roker — or at least his bike — gives Steve Isaacs’ Sweet Ride a shout out. Don’t threaten a pair of women walking on a trail, let alone return to hit one with your bike.

And oh, the places you’ll go! as a man discovers his foldie can take him more places than he thought.

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, of course.

 

Morning Links: San Diego police blame bike mob; unconfirmed report of bicycling fatality on PCH in Malibu

No bias here.

Not from the press. And certainly not from the San Diego Police Department.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a female driver called 911 to report a “mob” of nine or ten bicyclists had chased her down and smashed her car window.

It must have seemed frightening to the people huddled at home watching the broadcast.

But the real story is hidden in the details.

The bike riders were using the sharrows in the city’s Normal Heights neighborhood when the driver came up behind them and began harassing them by honking nonstop, which is a violation of California law. Even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be.

She then broke the law again by passing too close, striking one of the bikes; fortunately, the rider was able to jump off just in time to avoid serious injury.

The riders then chased down the hit-and-run driver as she dragged the bike for several blocks, banging on her window in an attempt to get her attention and keep her from fleeing the scene.

Pedestrians and other motorists are often called heroes when they stop a fleeing driver under similar circumstances.

Instead, these riders were portrayed as a crazed mob, and threatened with prosecution on vandalism charges for punching and kicking the car.

So it’s okay for the driver to mangle a bike after running down the rider. But not for riders to break a window, apparently inadvertently, in an effort to make her stop.

Got it.

Police refused to even ticket, let alone arrest, the woman, despite obvious violations for

  1. harassing the cyclists
  2. breaking state law governing the use of a horn
  3. violating the three-foot passing law
  4. destruction of property
  5. failing to stop and exchange information following a collision

And yet somehow, she’s portrayed as the victim, with the people on bikes her attackers.

It’s sadly reminiscent of a case that marked the first stirrings of the bicycle rights movement here in Los Angeles.

Andres Tena was riding with a group of friends in the spring of 2009 when they were confronted by an impatient Hummer driver, who attempted to flee the scene after striking Tena’s bike and injuring him enough to require hospitalization. The other riders chased the driver down and blocked his way; in response, they were threatened with an unseen gun before the driver ran over their bikes in an effort to escape.

When police arrived, they somehow concluded that Tena had crashed into the side of the Hummer — which would have required backing into it at a high rate of speed, since he was thrown forward by the impact and suffered significant damage to the rear of his bike.

And that the driver was justified in attempting to flee, because he was frightened by all those scary bike riders, despite being safely ensconced within his multi-ton urban assault vehicle.

The cop on the scene took it a step further, saying if the cyclists had surrounded him like that, he would have done the same thing the Hummer driver did.

In fact, the only criminal prosecution that was even contemplated was a misdemeanor charge against a cyclist for “throwing his bike at the Hummer.”

Funny how some things never change.

It took years of sometimes difficult negotiations, but now LA’s bicycling community has a much better relationship with the LAPD than we did back in the dark days of just six short years ago.

But clearly, San Diego police haven’t gotten the memo.

And as this case clearly shows, they have a long way to go before cyclists can feel like they have the same support from law enforcement that drivers have come to expect, and are considered equal road users rather than two-wheeled pirates.

None of us are safe on the streets if we can’t count on the police to be there when we need them. And to do it fairly, without an obvious — and repugnant — windshield bias.

According to a tweet from BikeSD, they’re working with the San Diego Bicycle Coalition to arrange legal representation for the bike riders.

They may need it.

And sadly, the angry hit-and-run driver who started it all won’t.

………

The publisher of the Malibu Times mentioned Tuesday that a bike rider had been killed on PCH near Busch Drive, but didn’t have any details.

However, the report cannot be confirmed at this time.

There have been no other reports in the press, and repeated web searches have turned up empty. And there has been no response yet to a request for information from the CHP.

Meanwhile, he goes on to criticize cyclists for riding with inadequate lighting on their bikes. While he has a point, it is irresponsible to bring it up in response to the unconfirmed report of the bicycling fatality without knowing if a lack of lights had anything to do with it.

Or if it even happened.

It’s no better than if someone went off on a rant against speeding, texting drivers after hearing about a traffic collision without knowing if those were contributing factors in the wreck.

Yes, we should all ensure that we are visible to those we share the road with, especially after dark or in the late dusk or early morning hours when it can be most difficult to see.

But it’s wrong to imply, intentionally or not, that it may have had anything to do with a wreck that can’t even be confirmed.

………

I don’t even know what to think about this.

TMZ reports the DA’s office is unlikely to file charges against Caitlyn Jenner for a fatal collision on PCH last February, since they wouldn’t even file charges against the sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin while using his onboard computer.

………

Just like anyone else, Alejandro Valverde used Google to plan his route to victory in stage four of the Vuelta.

And after the Feds drop fraud charges against the other disgraced former Tour de France champ, Floyd Landis — remember him? — still has to repay nearly half a million dollars to the 1,700 people who donated to his defense fund when he was still pretending he hadn’t doped.

………

Local

A Texas study says LA has the second worst traffic in the US, costing commuters 80 hours a year lost to traffic delays. To which bike commuters respond, “So?”.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks Vision Zero with LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds in the latest #DamienTalks podcast.

For those who read español, a nice profile of Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club; Morales saved his own life by losing 250 pounds riding a bike, and now works to spread the gospel of bikes and health to others. For those who don’t, Google Translate offers a passable translation.

 

State

Congratulations to the newly announced Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Southern California, including Santa Monica ad agency Ruben Postaer and Assoc, Giant Santa Monica bike shop, and the San Diego Association of Governments.

San Diego police bust a bike-riding bank robber. Or maybe they just assume everyone on a bike is a criminal.

Apparently, not everyone in Coronado opposes a bike path along the beach. Nice to see a rational, non-NIMBY response for a change.

The El Cerrito Planning Commission approves an Active Transportation Plan, including bike boulevards, traffic calming on narrow streets and a bike route providing access to the Bay Trail surrounding the San Francisco Bay.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to avoid helmet hair, as well as advice on meditating to get more out of bicycling. Meditation will also improve your health. And life. Trust me.

A Utah man is ordered to pay a whopping $8,000 restitution for intentionally running down a man on a bike over a property dispute. Twice.

Turns out that despite vocal opposition, 57% of Boulder CO residents support the right-sizing of a city street to make room for protected bike lanes; bike traffic is up 38% in just the first three weeks, while average vehicle speeds have dropped from 39 mph to 37 mph — in a 30 mph zone.

Colorado transportation officials plan to improve bicycle safety on a major street by turning it into a high speed virtual freeway and forcing bikes off it. Memo to Colorado DOT: The auto-centric ‘70s are over.

In a bizarre assault, a Boise man who was driving erratically shouted at a bike rider at an intersection, then made a U-turn, drove up on the sidewalk and punched the rider in the face before driving over his bicycle.

A Wisconsin driver faces charges for running over a bike and a child’s bicycle attachment following a dispute after passing a father and his two kids too closely; the driver claims the father threw his $2,000 bike in front of the truck’s wheels. Sure, that’s credible.

No bias here, either. Two people were killed and eleven injured in seven separate Chicago shootings, yet the headline only mentions the one involving a bike.

It’s bicycle back to school time. Indiana’s Purdue university opens its own bikeshare system, while the University of Florida is offering to rent students a bike, helmet and lock.

Pittsburgh’s transit system will open its third bike garage, which will hold up to 80 bikes on pneumatic, spring-loaded double-decker racks.

Over 800 Philadelphia bike riders are planning to participate in a PopeRide when the city’s downtown streets will be shut down for the papal visit.

A Staten Island website questions whether bikes, recreational or otherwise, should ply the island’s narrow colonial-era streets. Never mind that bikes are better suited for narrow streets than cars and SUVs, or that they could provide an alternative to heavy traffic.

The mayor of an Alabama town lost his bid for a fifth term two weeks after he was bopped in the head with a baseball bat for schtupping the wife of a bike riding attorney.

 

International

A Quebec cop is charged with killing a bike rider last September; he faces charges of reckless driving and criminal negligence, even though witnesses say he backed into the victim’s bike on purpose.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old British man still rides every day on the 1939 Triumph bicycle he got for his 14th birthday.

People get killed or injured by being passed too close, and some post video of those dangerous passes online. Evidently, a group of British filmmakers who posted a YouTube style parody online think that’s funny.

Caught on video: A Brit bike thief makes off with a bicycle in less than a minute after casually joking with the staff at a gym, where the owner had gone in to take a shower.

A writer from the UK says she belongs on the road as much as any man, and despite the harassment she faces, the freedom of bicycling more than makes up for it. All cyclists are subject to harassment, but the added sexual component woman face is one of the factors that helps keep bicycling a predominately male form of transportation.

The Smithsonian recommends touring Kaohsiung City, Taiwan by bike, calling it one of Asia’s best cycling cities, with a world-class bikeshare program.

 

Finally…

Painting eyes over a bike rack helps prevent thefts, although the thieves just seem to go somewhere else. If you’re going to “borrow” a bike to get to work, make sure it’s not a cop’s patrol bike first.

And a Baltimore writer finishes dead last on what the Smithsonian calls the world’s “most difficult feat in uphill cycling.” But he finished.

Then again, they probably never heard of LA’s own Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

 

Morning Links: Cycling in the South Bay makes me blush, and what you — and drivers — don’t know about bike law

The Corgi assures me she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

The Corgi assures me that she cast her vote for a bike-friendly candidate, thanks to the little-known Corgi Suffrage Act of 1979.

I’m blushing.

No, really.

I’m not one to toot my own horn. Especially since the only horn I know how to play is a tuba, and the neighbors would have a serious problem with that.

As would the Corgi, I’m sure.

Fortunately, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has done it for me, with a piece I intend to have engraved in full on my tombstone.

Which will require either incredibly small type, or a shitload or marble.

Seriously, thanks Seth.

He also offers up a great report on leading by bad example. Which I have done more than once.

……..

Good report from KPCC public radio on what drivers — and cyclists – don’t know about bike law, including a handy quiz to check your own knowledge.

Although I’d take the stats showing bike riders are at fault in most collisions with a big grain of salt, since determination of fault depends on the training and, too often, windshield biases of the investigators.

Few, if any, California police officers receive adequate training in investigating the unique properties of bicycle collisions, which differ greatly from motor vehicles. And not nearly enough officers have a working understanding of the actual rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

……..

Local

The LA Times offers their full obituary for the late, great Alex Baum, while KCET provides a detailed remembrance.

The CSULA paper looks at the benefits of bike riding for the school’s students.

Look out for road construction on southbound PCH between Busch and Trancas for the next two days, as they prepare to install a six-foot wide parking adjacent bike lane alongside the highway.

 

State

A Bay Area triathlete describes the effects a traumatic brain injury had on her life after a fall, apparently while walking or running. But oddly, she calls for cyclists to wear helmets instead of pedestrians.

A Marin County hiker was hospitalized after a trail rage confrontation with a mountain biker. Seriously, no matter how justified you may feel, don’t ever hit a 65-year old woman. Or anyone else, for that matter.

A story from the CSU Sacramento paper says people who ride a bike for 30 minutes score higher on memory and reasoning tests than those who don’t. But we knew that, right?

This is why you always carry ID, as Fairfield police attempt to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision; the victim remains unconscious in a trauma center.

A after joining a memorial ride for a cyclist killed by a distracted driver, Nevada County writer calls on drivers to try putting their cell phones in the glove box for the next 30 days. Great idea.

 

National

The Portland paper offers 10 tips on how to keep you bike from being stolen, and how to get it back if it is.

A Seattle writer questions whether bike advocacy is in decline in the city, especially since Seattle bike collisions are increasing.

A fat tire rider smashes the sled dog record for a 350-mile stretch of Alaska’s famed Iditarod trail. Of course, the warm weather that allows cyclists to ride fast also slows sled dogs down; my brother ended up with a cracked femur and wrenched shoulder trying to run his team on rocks one year.

Seriously? Even frigid Fargo gets bike share before the far more temperate City of Angels.

As if cars weren’t enough to worry about, an Allentown PA bar owner is on trial for allegedly walking out of his bar, then shooting and killing a random bicyclist riding a half block away.

A Hoboken man faces charges after being arrested for bike theft not once, not twice, but three times in the last nine months. Evidently, he’s both a prolific and crappy thief.

It shouldn’t take the death of a cyclist to call attention to a dangerous New Orleans intersection.

 

International

A Chilean mountain biker becomes the first professional athlete in her country to come out as gay. Clothes belong in closets, people don’t.

London’s mayor calls on bike riders to wave like a symphonic conductor to get drivers’ attention, which is far better than calling on motorists to actually pay attention.

An English firefighter testifies an angry driver buzzed him while he was riding to work, then got out of his car to yell at him, and buzzed him again, missing him by inches.

The UK extends their Think! Cycling safety campaign, despite evidence that it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Newly retired pro cyclist Andy Schleck plans to open a bike shop in Luxembourg.

Sad news from Belgium, as a spectator is killed when a racer loses control of his bike in the wind; the victim was the wife of a former Tour de France stage winner.

An American professor working in the United Arab Emirates was killed while riding with a friend.

A Japanese man sues the maker of his folding mountain bike after the frame breaks, throwing him to the pavement and smashing his teeth. Let’s hope the $190 cost of the bike was used, not full retail.

 

Finally…

A Cincinnati TV station freaks out over the $50 each cost of bollards marking a parking protected bike lane, the concept behind which they don’t seem to get. A casual Aussie bicyclist feels threatened by cars, but can’t help ridiculing anyone who takes riding more seriously.

And a Bulgarian tourist decides to ride his bike into London from Heathrow on a major highway, causing much consternation since it evidently never occurred to anyone to try riding from the airport, let alone offer directions on how to do so.

……..

A prior commitment will keep me from attending today’s memorial service for Alex Baum, but he and his loved ones will be in my heart and prayers.

And someone please ask the mayor and LADOT when we’ll see the well-deserved public memorial for one of the truly great Angelenos?

Weekend Links: Burbank Sunday Funday ride; Spokane police bend over backward to blame bike riding victim

Somehow, I left the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Sunday Funday ride off Friday’s list of coming bike events.

If you hurry, you may still be able to make it to the North Hollywood Red Line station in time for today’s ride exploring the hidden bowls of Burbank.

………

This is why police need better training in investigating bike collisions.

Spokane police bend over backwards to blame the victim when a 15-year old bike rider was killed in an apparent crash with a speeding patrol car.

Citing physical evidence, investigators concluded that the car never actually made contact with the victim. Instead, they say he went over the handlebars while — get this — attempting a wheelie a split second before the patrol car passed inches away.

Never mind that it’s far more likely that the victim fell while trying to avoid a collision with a police car racing to respond to an emergency.

Or that he was unlikely to go over the handlebars unless he was doing a wheelie on the wrong damn wheel.

………

Local

The east part of Venice Blvd is finally getting some, but not all, of the bike lanes promised in the 2010 bike lane.

Flying Pigeon interviews participants in the LACBC’s recent Operation Firefly bike light giveaway on North Figueroa.

Ciclavalley attends the first community meeting for the March CicLAvia.

The Times offers a nice remembrance of 106-year old Long Beach bike rider Octavio Orduño, who passed away earlier this month.

 

State

A Laguna Beach resident says it’s a great place to live, as long as you don’t want to walk or ride a bike.

The long delayed bike share is officially open in San Diego.

Now that’s something worth contributing to. San Diego’s Major Taylor Cycling Club is raising funds to get a blind tandem-riding cyclist back on his bike.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies allegedly shocked a Victorville bike rider with a Taser at least 25 times, then hog-tied face down in the back of a patrol car before he died in the 100 degree heat.

An alleged Santa Cruz hit-and-run driver turns himself in over a month after the collision that took the life of a bike rider — but only after police had identified him as a suspect. He reportedly tried to disguise his damaged truck to avoid detection.

Five cyclists are injured, one seriously, when a Mendocino County driver plows into them from behind with no warning; a photo of the aftermath shows the bikes strewn in a ditch. The 18-year old driver was later arrested on suspicion of DUI.

 

National

Eight ways last year was the year of bike fashion.

Sound familiar? Anchorage, Alaska has installed less than 1% of the bikeways promised in their 2010 bike plan.

Evidently, life is cheap in my hometown, as a 73-year old driver gets probation for fleeing the scene after right-hooking a cyclist.

Kidical Mass gains popularity in Gotham.

 

International

It’s nice that London cyclists get to see what it’s like to drive a truck. But it would be even better for the drivers to try riding a bike surrounded by big ass trucks with impatient drivers.

A Kiwi driver may learn the hard way not to post video of his own road-raging anti-bike tirade on Facebook.

Bikes come to Japanese actions figures.

 

Finally…

A bill in the Wyoming legislature would require cyclists to wear 200 square inches of reflective hi-viz; evidently, dark colored cars are still okay, though. A Manhattan bike map plots routes by degree of stress as measured by mindreading bike helmets.

And there is nothing quite so humiliating to Chinese workers as when their boss bikes to work.

 

%d bloggers like this: