Tag Archive for real heroes

Morning Links: When jaywalking isn’t, Deloitte says bicycling’s got a bright future, and a couple heroes on bikes

Let’s start with a reminder that in California, every corner is considered to have a crosswalk, whether or not it’s painted.

It’s also perfectly legal to cross a street mid-block if it’s not controlled by traffic signals on both ends.

So the prohibition on jaywalking doesn’t apply on any block without traffic signals, or with a signal at only one end.

And drivers — and people on bicycles — are required to yield to pedestrians at any intersection, whether or not they’re in a painted crosswalk.

Even though cops and lawyers love to blame victims for not being in one.

Photo by Mohan Reddy Atalu from Pexels.

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Big four accounting firm Deloitte looks into its crystal ball, suggesting that urban bike use will double around the world in the next two years.

And predicts the savor of tomorrow’s cities will be… the humble bicycle.

The company also projects that ebikes will outsell electric cars and trucks 3.5 to 1 in just five years.

Which is just as it should be.

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Once again, a bicyclist is a hero, after a Minnesota man interrupted his ride and used his bike to rescue a woman and her two dogs when they all fell into a frozen river.

Meanwhile, a Kenyan kid gets kudos for setting his bike aside to help an elderly stranger.

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Bike the Vote LA releases the questionnaire they sent to Glendale city council candidates.

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Now that’s what I call a cargo bike.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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You could soon unwrap your very own bike made by Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.

Presumably, doping is optional, despite their shared histories.

View this post on Instagram

Llegó el 1 de enero y puedo abrir el regalo, qué será? Está claro que es una bici, pero cuál? Es una muy especial, de momento la llamaremos A y se irá descifrando el nombre poquito a poquito…Bici en la que llevamos trabajando más de año y medio con los mejores para ofrecer la mejor bici en la que he montado. Estoy como un niño pequeño!😍 @abikesofficial Ahora Full Gas!👉🏻- January 1st arrived and I can open the gift, what will it be? Of course it's a bike, but which one? It is a very special one, for the moment we will call it A since the name will be deciphered little by little…Bike in which we have been working for more than a year and a half with the best to offer the best bike I have ridden. I'm like a little boy!😍Now Full Gas!👉🏻 @abikesofficial

A post shared by Alberto Contador (@acontadoroficial) on

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This is who we share the roads with.

A British man was stopped by police for driving his car with no tires on his front wheels, at six times the legal alcohol limit.

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They’re all one of us.

Former 007 Pierce Brosnan went for a post-Christmas knobby-tired bike ride with his wife in Zuma Beach.

Shakira and her soccer playing husband went for a Miami bike ride over the holidays.

We already knew Madonna was one of us, as she goes for a casual ride with her boyfriend in the Maldives.

And you can throw the new mayor of New Haven, Connecticut in there, too.

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

WTF? A Menlo Park bike rider shot a dog in it’s own front yard for no apparent reason; thankfully, the victim is in stable condition. However, without any actual witnesses, it’s possible that he may have been acting in self-defense. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

An Austin TX woman’s small dog has been missing it was run over by a jerk on a bicycle who just kept going without stopping. And no, there’s no legal obligation to stop after hitting a dog in the Lone Star State. Just basic human decency, which some people seem to lack.

An Australian mother is justifiably furious after a woman on a bike crashed into her two-year old daughter, then rode off as the mom tended to the bleeding toddler’s smashed mouth. See above, basic human decency or the lack thereof.

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Local

Funeral services will be held today for Whittier’s popular “Tricycle Man;” Danny Martin was killed two weeks ago while riding his American flag-flying adult tricycle.

Metro is reducing the price for a one-year Bike Hub membership to just $20 this month.

 

State

A new Costa Mesa advocacy group will push for safer streets in the OC city this year.

By far the nicest story of the day comes from Dana Point, where total strangers encouraged a four-year old girl who was struggling to learn how to ride the bike she got for Christmas, and cheered when she finally got the hang of it.

A San Diego writer says state and city climate change laws will force the city’s drivers to switch to other means of transportation, but says that will be impossible for most people.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where an ebike rider suffered a major leg injury when he was left-crossed by a pickup driver.

The future of San Luis Obispo County’s only bike park is in danger, thanks to vandals who keep causing damage and raising the park’s operating costs.

A Bay Area letter writer says he’s only counted 15 bike riders using the new protected bike/pedestrian lane on the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, despite the $20 million that was spent building it. Evidently he missed the other 9,985 bicyclists who used it in the first two weeks alone, despite the unwelcoming weather. 

That didn’t take long. Just two days into the new year, a Stockton bike rider was killed in a collision with a driver who stayed at the scene, then was hit again by another driver who didn’t; police handed the second driver an alibi, saying he might not know he hit anyone.

A Redding teenager was walking home from school last month because his bike was stolen, when a pickup driver crashed into him on the sidewalk, then fled the scene, leaving him critically injured; yesterday a kindhearted stranger met him at a bike shop and bought him a new bicycle. And yes, the heartless coward who left him there was busted two weeks after the crash.

 

National

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says stop pirating bike races online, and start paying for legitimate coverage. I’ve got no problem with the stop stealing part. But I’m damned if I’ll pay extra for the same NBC bike coverage that formerly came free with their cable TV package.

Speaking of Bicycling, apparently hitch racks and carbon wheels don’t go together.

Streetsblog USA presented its Streetsie award for transportation plan of the year to Kansas City’s plan to eliminate bus fares; LA Metro was a surprising finalist for its plans for busways, Metro improvements and bus shelters. Although someone should tell them that planned improvements have a nasty habit of falling through the cracks in the City of Angels.

After two years in effect, Honolulu’s distracted walking law has done nothing to reduce pedestrian deaths. So maybe the people on two feet weren’t the problem, after all.

Lime is pulling the plug on its Seattle bikeshare program until the weather gets a little better in the spring.

A semi-sophisticated theft ring is targeting Boulder CO bike shops, as a group of thieves handed 17 high-end bikes worth a whopping $87,000 out through a broken window in assembly line fashion.

New York bicyclists say the city is finally starting to get it, as bicycling deaths climbed to 29 last year — almost three times the number of bike riders killed in the city the year before.

After his face was bloodied in a fall caused by truck debris left in a bike lane, a New York State senator says he’ll keep riding, but it’s got to get safer.

It takes a real schmuck to just drive off in his massive dually pickup after hitting a 10-year old Louisiana boy out for a ride on his new Christmas bike.

 

International

He gets it. A British Columbia bike rider and driver says when everyone obeys the law, things go just fine.

That might actually work. Winnipeg, Canada considers fighting bicycle chop shops by requiring anyone who deals in bike parts to get a business license, and keep a photo and ID records for anyone who sells to them.

Winnipeg police bust a man for riding a stolen bike while carrying a stolen shotgun and an imitation ballistic vest. And riding on the sidewalk, too. Although someone should tell him that fake bulletproof vests only stop fake bullets.

An English woman was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when three men punched her in the face as she was riding her bike, and made off with it while she was still dazed.

Kindhearted firefighters buy new bikes for a pair of British kids after their father was killed just before Christmas.

Once again, the Netherlands shows the world how to get people on bicycles with interest-free ebike loans, a program to lease bikes through their workplace, and reimbursing people for riding to work; Scotland is providing interest-free loans to buy ebikes, too.

No shit. Streetsblog says American cities could learn from Oslo, Norway’s success in eliminating traffic deaths last year.

Indian police busted a 19-year old temple priest for stealing 31 bicycles worth nearly $50,000, alleging he was addicted to a video game.

Aussie bike riders and motorists can agree on one thing. They both hate it when police set up a mobile speed camera on a bike path next to a busy highway. And on Boxing Day, no less.

Beijing-based dockless bikeshare provider Meituan Bike, aka the former Mobike, lost a whopping 205,600 bikes to theft and vandalism around the world last year.

An Indonesian driver faces up to ten years behind bars for testing positive for amphetamines after crashing into not one, not two, but seven bike riders; fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers a look at this year’s WorldTour couture. Meanwhile, Cycling Tips questions if the kits are hot or not. But am I the only only who always thinks the CCC team kit is missing a P?

South African cyclist Nic Dlamini says he’s overwhelmed by the public support, and mulling his legal options as he recovers from surgery, after he was roughed up by national park personnel who broke his arm, apparently for failing to pay a $6 entry fee; he’s unsure when he’ll be able to ride again.

 

Finally…

Your next bike lock could be a big zip tie; no, really. Nothing like riding 105 miles on a $222 Amazon bike.

And now you, too, can build your very own Tron bike.

No, with pedals.

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

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In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

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

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

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‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

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It’s Day 14 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.

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

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Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

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On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

A hero rides the bus — DWP employee Chris Bolivar stops a thief and saves a $2500 bike

Dan McLaughlin at the Tour de Palm Springs with his boss Andy Leeka; Dan is on the left

When Dan McLaughlin rode his bike into work on Wednesday, he never thought it would be stolen before he could get back home.

And he never thought a total stranger would run to his rescue, retrieving the bike almost before he knew it was gone.

According to Dan, he tries to ride his bike into work at least once a week. But the two-hour, 25-mile ride each way to his job at Good Samaritan Hospital is too much to sandwich around a full day at the office, so he usually takes the Commuter Express bus back to his home in Palos Verdes.

Wednesday night, he placed his $2500 Trek Madone in the rack at the front of the bus, and settled in to check his email in the back of the bus.

He barely noticed when the bus pulled over at a Downtown bus stop — it was somewhere on Flower, might have been at Washington Blvd, maybe Pico or Venice. What got his attention was the angry honking of the driver; soon everyone was standing, and someone yelled out “Your bike!”

He looked up to see his handlebars moving out of view through the windshield; by the time he got to the front of the bus, the bike was gone. He could see a young man struggling to hop on and ride it off, possibly because of the clip-in pedals.

As he stepped off the bus, though, he saw someone holding his bike. In the excitement, he ran towards him, only to realize that the man was walking back with it.

The other passengers were more than happy to fill him in.

When the bus stopped, the young man got off and immediately started to remove Dan’s bike from the rack. The driver, Pat Kesvy, started honking to stop him, but the thief kept going.

Thanks to DWP employee Chris Bolivar, this bike made it back home Wednesday

That’s when Chris Bolivar flew off the bus in pursuit of the thief. Bolivar, on his way home from his job with the Customer Service Department at DWP, quickly caught up to the struggling thief, scaring him into tossing the bike aside as he ran off down the street.

Bolivar picked it up and walked back, still shaking from the adrenalin rush.

Dan thanked his rescuer, and placed the bike back onto the rack. As they entered the bus, the passengers broke out in a spontaneous round of applause, applauding again when Bolivar got off at his stop.

And despite all odds, Dan McLaughlin made it home with his bike; as he puts it, it would have broken a roadie’s heart to lose a bike like that.

Meanwhile, one of the other passengers sent out an email telling the story, describing Bolivar as a gentleman who typically gives up his seat when the bus is crowded.

I’m told that email made it’s way to Chris Bolivar’s boss at DWP. And when he arrived at work Thursday morning, his co-workers stood up and applauded, as well.

McLaughlin is planning to take him to lunch next week to show his gratitude.

Maybe we should all thank him, in whatever way we can. After all, it could have been your bike. Or mine. And a total stranger cared enough to keep it safe.

It’s not every day you find a real hero riding the bus.

Update: A couple people have contacted me to point out that Chris Bolivar will honored at this year’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday, May 17th.

And am I the only one who sees a wonderful symmetry in a good Samaritan being honored by Good Samaritan?

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