Tag Archive for Redondo Beach

Bikes play a role in racial justice protests, bicycles and Covid-19, and Redondo police seek owner of recovered bikes

Life has been upended by Covid-19 and demands for racial justice in recent weeks.

And not too surprisingly, bicycles are playing a significant role in both.

So let’s start with the latter. Like The LA Metro Bikes at Sunday’s massive All Black Lives Matter protest march in Hollywood there on the left.

Then there’s Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who points out that bicycles have been agents of change for 200 years, saying they should be used for revolution, not police violence.

The Verge takes a similar theme, saying bicycles can be a tool of protest, as well as police brutality.

Not all the protest rides are past tense; Black bike riders in Richmond CA are holding the 2nd Annual Bike 4 Justice this Friday, aka Juneteenth.

Reno, Nevada saw one hundred bike riders take over the streets of downtown to bring awareness of racism in the bicycle community.

Denverites rode their bikes to the state capital to support Black Lives Matter.

Two hundred people in New Haven CT took to their bikes to protest police brutality.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper offers a photo essay of that city’s Cycle for Change protest ride intended to bring awareness to young people.

Over one thousand bike riders turned out for a Gotham bike protest (scroll down).

The NYPD is accused of illegally seizing bicycles from protesters and reporters.

Philadelphia songwriter Orion Sun says she was brutalized by police after using her bicycle as a barricade to prevent riot cops from getting to other protesters. Then went home and wrote a song inspired by the experience.

The owner of a Philly bike shop is taking getting looted in stride, saying there are far more serious things to be mad about.

Apparently unable to pick just one form of transportation, the Big Easy took a break for a gay pride and Black Lives Matters bike ride. And a motorcycle rally. And a motorcade.

Miami protesters took to “two wheels for one reason,” calling for an end to lives lost due to racial injustice.

And Slate says drivers ramming into protesters fits into a long tradition of motorized attacks celebrated by extremists. Although some drivers just seem to be impatient, entitled jerks.

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Meanwhile, the world is still responding to the coronavirus crisis, as well as the resulting bike boom.

Returning to Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, he says let’s not blow the bike boom by being critical of new riders.

Forgetting that the whole idea behind Slow Streets is that they’re temporary, a Napa letter writer says there’s no need for them in the city because they won’t be necessary when people go back to work.

The founder of Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes says the pandemic has proven bikes are essential.

A New Jersey bikemaker for Walmart says their company has never been busier, and it’s now taking minimum of three weeks to resupply stores.

British bike retailer Ribble has seen an across-the-board 300% increase in sales, from inexpensive hybrids to cutting edge time trial bikes.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says pop-up bike lanes are a form of social justice.

An Indian website questions why a bikemaker would shut down entirely in the face of booming bike ridership.

Even Bahrain is experiencing the coronavirus-inspired bike boom, as Hamad Town responds by approving plans for striped and separated bikeways across the city.

Around 30 Nigerian bicyclists rode through the streets of Lagos while observing social distancing to call attention to Covid-19 on World Bicycle Day.

As Covid-19 cases continue to climb in Indonesia, commuters are turning to their bicycles to avoid the virus.

Sydney, Australia is installing six pop-up bike lanes leading to the central business district, with bicycling up 50% and increasing numbers of people saying they’ll keep riding when they go back to work. That compares to Los Angeles, which so far has installed exactly none.

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Police in Redondo Beach are looking for the owners of what they describe as a pair of high-end bikes they suspect were stolen after detaining the suspected thief.

Which is just one more reminder to register your bicycle today. And always report the theft to the police if your bike is stolen, because those are the best ways to ensure you’ll get it back if they recover it.

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GCN offers a crash course in bunny hopping.

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

A group of bike-riding teenage boys pushed a 26-year old woman on a bicycle into a canal, apparently simply because they could.

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Local

Gerrard Butler is one of us, driving to the beach to ride the bike path through Santa Monica.

 

State

An Encinitas newspaper considers complaints that the new protected bike lanes along the Coast Highway in Cardiff are making things worse. We looked at the same problem here early last month.

A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested for the Corona hit-and-run that took the life of a 21-year old man who was out riding his bike with a couple friends Thursday night.

A Sacramento Korean War veteran and survivor of the Japanese American internment camps marked his 92nd birthday with a bicycle parade; he rode a bike into his 80s until he had to give it up for walking, instead.

Sad news from Redding, where a man was killed in a solo fall after apparently hitting a curb.

 

National

He almost gets it. A writer for a business site calls for better infrastructure and laws to promote bicycling — but also for mandatory helmet laws and reflectorized vests.

After a ten-year old Utah girl’s adaptive tricycle was stolen, a kindhearted Good Samaritan stepped up to buy her a new one.

A writer for Forbes thinks people aren’t smart enough to figure out how to drive on streets with words painted on them, and says they’ll confuse self-driving cars, too. If that’s the case, it neither one should be on the streets. And I don’t mean the painting. 

Not everyone in Austin, Texas is on board with the city’s new Healthy Streets, which is just another — and much better — name for Slow Streets. Although the same could be said about any street change, anywhere.

Community members in an Ohio town are raising funds for a nine-year old boy who suffered a serious brain injury when he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike last month.

Detroit-based ebike and Vespa-style e-scooter maker GenZe is going belly up, after its parent company decided to shut down operation within the next six months.

Seriously? There weren’t even any charges when an off-duty Rochester NY police lieutenant was killed when he was rear-ended by a 70-year old driver while riding his bike.

A ebike rider suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Queens NY; the other victim, a man in his 60’s, was in stable condition. A tragic reminder that crashes between bicycles and pedestrians are just as dangerous for everyone involved.

Streetsblog says the NYPD is a lousy partner on Vision Zero.

A Hoboken councilmember calls for allowing people to lock their bikes up in municipal parking garages. Better yet, just kick out the cars and make the whole thing bike parking.

Philadelphia police are no longer welcome to participate in the city’s Vision Zero.

 

International

A writer for Rouleur learns the hard way what it’s like to come off your bike and break a collarbone. And how long it takes to recover.

Ottawa bike riders were ignored when they warned that painting super sharrows on a busy street would be too dangerous; now a young woman paid the price when she was seriously injured by a pickup driver.

A Montreal district ignores pleas to install more bike racks, then seizes bikes locked to trees because there wasn’t any.

A London man is nearing the finish line on his personal goal of riding 100 km — slightly more than 62 miles — a day for 100 days, and planning to ride a virtual Race Across America once he’s done.

When a man in the UK found his stolen bike for sale online, the cops told him to handle it himself. And were immediately contradicted by other cops.

An elderly British driver wrecked his $300,000 Ferrari. So naturally, a bike rider got the blame.

Just wait until they hear about Los Angeles. A European policy site says there are too many cars in Azerbaijan, where one in seven people own one, and it’s essential to switch to bicycles instead.

A developer in New Zealand is offering to build new bike path along a major highway at no cost to the city, in exchange for the rights to install digital billboards.

Melbourne is planning to remove hundreds of parking spaces to make way for 26 miles of bike lanes over the next two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News wants to know why Black bike riders are so underrepresented in the pro peloton, calling it a case of everyday racism.

Speaking of which, Specialized Bikes founder Mike Sinyard will donate ten million dollars to the company’s Outride Foundation to fight racism and promote diversity in cycling.

 

Finally…

Remember to always carry a spare bicycle in your trunk, just in case. No bike is complete without a Chinese-style Lucky Cat bike bell waving a paw on your handlebars.

And hang on Rigoberto Urán’s wheel  at 27 mph while earring a backpack and work boots, and he could give you a new bike (scroll down).

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

Coronavirus closures in Redondo Beach, bike thieves target frontline med workers, and China blames US cyclist for virus

If you just can’t get enough BikinginLA, I’ll be talking about bikes in the age of  the Covid-19 coronavirus with Leo Duran on KPCC’s Take Two this afternoon. 

If you’re in the LA area, tune in to 89.3 between 2 pm and 3 pm — Duran’s segment should come on around 2:45 pm — or listen live online wherever you are.

And don’t worry if you miss it, you can download the show on the show’s webpage

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The seemingly endless string of coronavirus closures just keeps on coming.

Redondo Beach is the latest city to crack down on non-social distancing crowds, shutting the Redondo Beach Pier, the International Boardwalk, Esplanade and Veterans Park for at least the next four weeks; some segments of the city’s beach bike path are closed, as well.

You can read the full announcement here.

And David Drexler sends photographic proof that the popular Santa Monica stairs are closed for the foreseeable future.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for Redondo Beach links. Photo of Redondo Beach bike path by Ted Faber.

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As we’ve said too many times already this week, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a bike from a medical professional anytime, let alone someone treating patients during the coronavirus crisis.

Yet there seems to be a worldwide rash of bike thieves targeting busy doctors and nurses.

Like this physician from Nottingham, England.

Fortunately, a number of kindhearted people and bikemakers reached out to offer him a replacement. Which left him with choice between a Boardman, Brompton or a Ribble identical to the one that was stolen.

Evidently, he’s not big on bikes that start with B.

Meanwhile, a 32-year old English health care assistant had the bike she relied on to get to work stolen during an eight-hour shift, as well.

But it’s not just medical professionals; teachers seem to be on the hit list, too.

Thanks to Philippa Moore for the heads-up about the Nottingham doctor, who just happens to be her brother-in-law.

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Bike business is booming throughout the US, despite the calls for social distancing.

Or maybe because of it.

People all around the country are dusting off their bikes or buying new ones, and enjoying one of the few outdoor activities still available to most people while keeping them safely separated from others.

You’ll find basically the same story concerning booming bike shop business in Arizona, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Florida. Although at least one NC bike shop decided to shut down on its own.

Yet confusion abounds, as some states rule bike shops are essential services, while others order them to close before changing their minds.

Closer to home, Los Angeles, LA County and the Bay Area classify bike shops as essential. But still no word from the state of California.

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Chinese officials and internet users are seizing on an unsupported conspiracy theory claiming a US cyclist brought the Covid-19 coronavirus to China while competing in October’s World Military Games.

Maatje Benassi led much of the women’s 50-mile road race before crashing on the last lap.

However, there’s no evidence that she has, or ever had, the disease.

Nor is there any evidence of the disease in the US prior to spreading here from China early this year.

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Frequent contributor Megan Lynch is looking for a pannier for her Xtracycle.

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1242571292496154624

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Speaking of a special place in hell, there is something seriously wrong with anyone who would steal a wheelchair bike from an Oakland family.

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

A Boston cop witnesses a beating and strong-arm robbery in progress, and chases down the suspect as he tried to escape on a mountain bike.

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Local

Maybe you’ve noticed how clean the air is in Los Angeles since schools and businesses started shutting down this month, demonstrating what the city could be like if we ever get around to taming cars. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the tip.

 

State

Free bike publication Cycle California! is having problems distributing their magazine due to coronavirus closures, so they’re inviting you to sign up for a free online edition. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Apparently, not even coronavirus can stop applications for the state’s Active Transportation funding program, due on June 21st.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Governing explains how transportation agencies know how harmful policies that prioritize single-occupancy vehicles are, yet stand in the way of much-needed changes.

Coronavirus brings surfing culture to landlocked public lands, as some areas are implementing locals-only rules of questionable legality.

VeloNews recommends the year’s best women’s road bike gear, including bib shorts from LA’s own women-owned Machines for Freedom.

A Colorado cyclist tests positive for coronavirus, despite being in peak form. And urges you to take it seriously.

Chicago’s mayor says stay at home means no more long runs or bike rides.

A Dayton, Ohio writer calls on everyone to get your bike ready, then get out and ride to stay active while socially distant.

Where to ride in the Big Apple when you need to lift your spirits and replenish your soul.

New York’s comptroller says reduce speed limits, subsidize bikeshare memberships and greatly expand pedestrian space to help frontline workers get around in the age of Covid-19.

Streetsblog New York posts an ode to speeding drivers, with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Pennsylvania driver was high on coke when he killed a bike rider last year, yet was only charged with a couple misdemeanor DUI counts and a minor non-traffic citation.

Horrible news from Pennsylvania, where three members of the same family were run down by a driver as they rode their bikes, with two of them suffering life-threatening injuries; no charges yet, and no word on how the crash happened.

Adult tricycle-riding New Orleans icon Mamie Marie Francois announces she has Covid-19.

Orlando bike shop owners offer tips for new riders looking for a coronavirus alternative.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at budget bike cams for those of us who’d love a GoPro, but have to settle for what we can get.

Road.cc digs into the numbers, and examines just what a safe distance means on a bike, like we did the other day. And explains what the hell a hybrid bike is.

Ten tips for that sad day when you finally decide to do your riding inside.

Bad news from Ireland, where bicycling deaths are up 24% over the same time last year.

Italian bike manufacturer 3T has stopped making bikes, and turned their efforts to making valves for ventilator masks. Ten other bike companies are joining the fight, as well.

Bicycling tells the unexpected tale of American and British bike riders who met by chance in a lonely teahouse in the middle of a Kazakh desert, as they were both riding around the world from opposite directions.

You won’t see Bollywood star Salman Khan zooming around the streets of India anytime soon, as he shelters under the country’s quarantine for the next three weeks.

A retired sportswriter and endurance bicyclist finds himself marooned on a remote, sub-Antarctic New Zealand island after flying in from Hong Kong, as even relatives ostracize him over coronavirus fears.

 

Competitive Cycling

Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria says he contracted coronavirus during last month’s truncated Emirates Tour, but has since recovered.

Pro cyclist Brent Bookwalter describes catching the last flight out of Spain to get back home to his wife in North Carolina to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

The Tour de France still hasn’t been cancelled, despite the rush to cancel or reschedule virtually every race leading up to the July race.

Former roadie Peter Stetina disregards the early coronavirus warnings to compete in Oklahoma’s mud-choked The Mid South gravel grinder.

What the pros are eating, drinking and rubbing on their bodies when they actually get to go outside to ride.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could respond to voice commands, and give you a lift when you need a little encouragement. Unless maybe you’d prefer a pretty awesome looking laminated bamboo bike.

And who needs skis or a snowboard when you can hit the slopes on an ebike?

Morning Links: A little good news, new NoHo Metro Bikes but no Lankershim bike lanes, and anti-bike Redondo official

After recent events, I think we could all use a little good news to start the day.

After an Indiana woman’s bicycle, which was her only form of transportation, was stolen, a pair of kindhearted Indiana bike cops gave her an extra bicycle one of them had at home.

A Maine bike co-op allows new immigrants and low-income residents to earn a bicycle by learning how to refurbish and repair it.

Thanks to a Virginia nonprofit founded by a US Army vet, 21 special needs kids now have new adaptive bicycles to ride.

And hats off to a couple Georgia cops who spotted a 71-year old man riding his bike on a busy highway without any lights or reflectors to get something to eat. So they put his bike in a patrol car, drove him to the restaurant, then went to Walmart to buy safety gear for his bike.

Photo of bike-riding family by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

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On the local front, the good news is Metro Bike has made its first appearance in North Hollywood.

The bad news is, we could have had a safe place to ride them if CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian hadn’t blocked plans for a lane reduction and parking-protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd.

Krekorian killed the fully funded and shovel ready plan two years ago, bizarrely claiming that the project needed more public outreach.

As if five years of meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes isn’t enough.

And someone should tell him we’re still waiting on the additional public outreach and those alternative Lankershim options he promised us.

Or maybe Krekorian is just waiting until he’s termed out of office and it becomes someone else’s problem.

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Nothing like a Redondo Beach official finding a little humor in running your ass over for no apparent reason.

Except maybe people commuting, exercising, recreating or having fun just annoys the crap out of her.

That would be this Recreation & Parks Commission, in case you were wondering.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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The Green Bay Packers take their traditional bike ride to training camp, borrowing bicycles from little kids, who carry their helmets for them.

Unfortunately for one kid’s bike, the Houston Texans joined them.

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

Someone is shoving people off their bicycles on Portland OR bike paths.

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Local

The LA Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet in Hollywood tonight; unfortunately, the posted agenda here is from December — 2018.

LA City Planning announces that LOS, which measures how many cars can move through a given point, is out, and VMT, or Vehicle Miles Traveled, is in; the latter counts people on bikes and buses, too.

Adam Conover, host of TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything talks about living carfree in the City of Angels, and how it’s cars that actually ruin everything.

A Frogtown artist bought a small slice of the LA River to give himself a bigger voice in plans to restore it.

The last candidate forum for next week’s special election in LA’s 12th Council District will be held in Chatsworth Wednesday night. You owe it to yourself to be there if you live in CD12. Unless you’ve already decided to vote for Bike the Vote LA and LA Times-approved Loraine Lundquist, in which case you have my permission to stay home tomorrow night.

Los Angeles County puts forth a sustainability plan for a carbon-free county by 2050. Which could be about 30 years too late. Then again, the way things are going on the international front, the long-sought solution to global warming may turn out to be a nuclear winter.

 

State

Camarillo is starting work on a road widening project to add bike lanes on Pleasant Valley Road.

San Diego bike riders turn out to support plans for protected bike lanes on 30th Street; however, some in the area evidently prefer parking spaces to more customers and saving lives.

A San Jose driver complains that she right hooked a bike rider and was actually held responsible for it. And columnist Mr. Roadshow says that’s because she was. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A San Francisco newspaper watches a bike lane for 30 minutes just before rush hour, and observes drivers blocking it an average of once per minute.

No bias here. A bike-riding Sausalito marketing flack says all the people in his neighborhood “resent the awful attitudes, rude demeanor and reckless actions” of roving packs of scofflaw cyclists who terrorize the city at speeds of up to 50 mph.

A popular Sacramento riverfront bike path will be shut down for a month to realign the path and repair a damaged embankment. Someone might want to point that out to officials in Los Angeles, where repairs to the LA River bike path are usually measured in years.

 

National

Bicycling recommends a more comfortable bike seat for women, who have to sit on often-painful parts men don’t.

A Washington columnist says yes, it’s legal to ride a bike on a freeway in the state, which doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

For the second week in a row, a triathlete has been killed during a competition, this time a 68-year old man who crashed his bike in an Illinois race.

Sad news from Minnesota, where an off-duty cop was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver while riding his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who killed a nine-year old Gary, Indiana boy as he was riding his bike, then burned the car to hide the evidence.

Police and the press in upstate New York freak out over a group of around 60 kids on bicycles riding in the roadway. And by all reports, taking the lane just like they should.

A New York op-ed says the way to stop the recent rash of bicycling deaths is to do what it takes to cut the number of cars on the streets.

Bike Snob says New York Mayor and presidential candidate Bill di Blasio’s “audacious” plan to prevent bicycling deaths just isn’t enough.

The University of Virginia offers suggestions on how to stay safe while you’re riding your bike. And for a change, most of them make sense.

The bike rider killed in a collision with a pickup truck driver during a Mississippi charity ride was a respected structural engineer for the U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution presents six of the city’s best bike trails for your next journey to the Peach State.

Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy riding in the Big Easy these days, as the city ranks  fifth in the US in bike commuting per capita, with 3% of people riding to work. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t the list.

 

International

Forbes‘ Carlton Reid offers advice on the easy way to teach your kid to ride a bike.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a 400-mile network of dramatic British Columbia rail-to-trail conversions, including 18 former railroad trestles in just one 12-mile stretch.

It takes a massive asshole — and I use the term advisedly — to sell an apparently purloined UK ghost bike online. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

A British author says narrow bike lane traffic islands turn bike riders into human traffic calming islands.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a heartbreaking reminder that cycling is a dangerous sport, 22-year old Belgian pro Bjorg Lambrecht, a member of the Lotto-Soudal team, was killed yesterday while competing in the Tour of Poland.

Lambrecht reportedly fell into a concrete culvert 60 miles from the finish of Monday’s stage, and died during surgery after being resuscitated at the scene.

Race organizers cancelled the traditional post-race podiums and festive atmosphere when the news about Lambrecht broke; today’s stage remains in question.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Finally…

Bikeshare today, furniture tomorrow. And don’t park in a bike lane, bro — especially if you’re armed and drinking.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Redondo Beach collision; second Redondo Beach bicycling death this year

Three day weekends are always dangerous times for people on bicycles.

And this one was no exception.

According to multiple sources, a bike rider was struck by a car on Artesia Boulevard near Felton Lane in Redondo Beach around 9:15 Monday night.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a man; he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The female driver remained at the scene; police do not suspect intoxication.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows Artesia is a wide, divided commercial street with two lanes and a left turn lane in each direction, and no bike lane. There’s no word on where the victim was riding at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Redondo Beach PD Investigator Clint Daniel at 310/379-2477 ext. 2721.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the second bicycling death in Redondo Beach this year.

Update: The Beach Reporter has identified the victim as 52-year old Redondo Beach resident Greg Trawick, known to his friends as Bama Greg.

He was just a block from his home when he was killed.

According to the paper, Trawick was headed north on Felton when he made eye contact with a driver waiting to turn left onto Felton from westbound Artesia. But when he started to cross the street, he was hit by a second car headed east on Artesia. 

Which makes it strange that police say no charges are likely to be filed since Felton is a signalized intersection at Artesia.

In order for the crash to have occurred as it’s described, either Trawick or the driver had to have gone through a red light. And there’s no suggestion in the story that Trawick did. 

He leaves behind an ex-wife and a 16-year old daughter. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Greg Trawick and his loved ones.

 

Update: Teenage girl killed by Metro bus on PCH in Redondo Beach

Southern California’s killer highway has claimed another victim. And a lack of bicycle infrastructure may be at least partially to blame.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 13-year old girl, who has not been publicly identified, was riding her bike with a friend when she somehow swerved in front of, or into, a Metro bus around 5:40 pm on Pacific Coast Highway at Knob Hill Ave in Redondo Beach.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The paper reports a witness said she swerved in front of the bus, while initial reports suggest she rode into the side of the bus, according to a Metro spokesperson. The bus was operated by a subcontractor, MV Transportation, rather than Metro itself.

However, the South Bay’s Easy Reader, which places the time of the crash as 4:40 pm, cites a local business owner who says the girls were coasting their bicycles along the sidewalk before riding out into traffic.

They also note that the collision was partially captured on security camera, while observing that the bus had the green light as it approached Knob Hill on southbound PCH.

The other girl was unharmed.

A street view shows a commercial roadway on PCH with two lanes in each direction and a center left turn lane, with a wide sidewalk along side.

Meanwhile, a Twitter photo on the KTLA-5 report shows the victim’s bike resting on the curb on the northwest corner, while police blockade the center Knob Hill alongside PCH, suggesting she may have ridden off the handicapped ramp into the intersection. However, it’s unclear how that would have placed her in the path of the bus.

The lack of safe bicycling infrastructure on PCH may have contributed to the crash by encouraging the girls to ride on the sidewalk instead of the street, where they would have been more visible to the driver. And may not have had to dart into the path of the bus.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County. And while it’s at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Redondo Beach since 2010, it’s the first in the last five years.

Update: The victim has been identified as 13-year old Ciara Smith of Redondo Beach, a student at Parras Middle School. 

Update 2: The community turns out to mourn her death.

Update 3: KCBS-2 reports the crash may have been a result of misaligned crosswalks due to the single diagonal cut handicap ramp, rather than two separate ramps aligned with the crosswalk. 

Some of her classmates brought flowers and wore bright clothes in her favorite colors of teal, mint green and blue.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ciara Smith and all her family and loved ones.

Morning Links: Redondo’s bike speed limit may be illegal, and SF Critical Mass rider pleads out in assault case

It seems Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson is no fan of bike lanes.

But what he hates even more is stupidly illegal regulations.

Like the one on the relatively new protected bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which, like on the Strand in Hermosa Beach, restrict bicyclists to a measly eight mph speed limit.

Except, as someone on his site pointed out, it would appear to be in violation state laws. So hold on to that one in case you get nailed by a radar-toting South Bay cop for going nine in an eight mile per hour zone.

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A San Francisco bike rider will get probation and anger management classes after pleading guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism for attacking a car during a Critical Mass ride last year.

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NPR says authorities will be on the lookout for motor doping at this year’s Tour de France, using thermal imaging devices.

Cycling Weekly says pro cycling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as three young riders have retired in the last six months.

Team USA cyclists are relying on high-tech training tools to get ready for the Rio Olympics.

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Local

Plans for the LAX-adjacent Metro stop include a bike hub with showers and parking for 150 bikes, as well as protected bike lanes on nearby Manchester Blvd.

A man riding his bike outside his home was one of two people killed in separate Compton shootings.

A Santa Monica architect calls the city’s Breeze bikeshare an unqualified success.

 

State

San Diego is a hub for bespoke bikes.

Construction begins on new bike lanes in Chula Vista, at the possible expense of some eucalyptus trees.

Sad news from Newman, where a 65-year old bike rider was killed by a 17-year old driver in a left cross crash; his nephew describes the victim as “just a cool guy.”

Drivers say they seldom see a bicyclist using the bike lanes after a San Jose road diet, even though ridership has nearly doubled.

Streetsblog says outrage over bike deaths isn’t enough, especially when city employees — and the police — don’t seem to care.

San Francisco residents were lucky no one was injured when an apparently drunk driver went on a hit-and-run rampage in the Lower Haight district.

An Antioch bike rider was killed in a collision with a train Sunday afternoon.

 

National

Wired gets all science-y to explain why added mass on your wheels is your worst enemy. But only when you accelerate.

A Las Vegas man is riding 4,000 miles in 70 days to fight cancer, despite losing his left femur to Stage 2 Ewing’s Sarcoma.

The 10 best gonzo bike rides in Colorado for your next trip to the Mile High State. Which takes on a whole new meaning these days.

A Colorado driver faces charges for vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and DUI in the death of a bicyclist Saturday; she was already on probation for driving while impaired, and had another DUI arrest in Texas just three years ago. Nice job of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until she kills someone.

An Ohio driver faces multiple lawsuits for killing two cyclists and injuring three others, after being acquitted of vehicular homicide by claiming the sun was in his eyes, and it was the bike riders’ fault for not wearing hi-viz.

A Massachusetts advocacy organization urges charges in the fatal dooring of a bike rider last week, while a bike-hating Boston columnist responds by going on a bizarre anti-bike Twitter rant.

A stoned Massachusetts driver still managed to rear-end a cyclist, despite a cop’s best efforts to pull him over.

Jennifer Aniston’s husband is one of us, as Justin Theroux Read trades his motorcycle for a bicycle in NYC.

A Philly writer says drivers, walkers and cyclists can all get along, even if she feels like an avatar in a video game when she takes to the city’s streets and trails.

 

International

Momentum offers advice on how to safely pass a bike rider.

Brazilian police want charges filed against 14 people for the collapse of a Rio elevated bike path that killed two people in April.

Calgary small businesses are learning to love bike lanes after discovering the value bicyclists bring to the marketplace.

A Winnipeg writer says wearing a bike helmet will improve your safety, but passing a law to mandate them won’t.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is one of us. Or at least he would be if he hadn’t been banned from his bike at Wimbledon for reckless riding.

More fallout from the UK’s ill-advised exit from the European Union, which could mean a big jump in British bike prices.

Nearly 100 people in Malta swapped their cars for bicycles to commute to work this month in the tiny island republic.

Something’s seriously wrong when a photo of a Dutch bike rider in an Aussie airline ad violates the country’s helmet law.

The bighearted people at a local bike shop replaced a tandem bike stolen from a blind and autistic New Zealand man.

 

Finally…

When store employees stop you from buying two bikes with a stolen credit card, don’t try to grab another one on the way out — and don’t punch the cop who tries to stop you. If you’re carrying crack, dope and a pipe in your sock, seriously, don’t ride salmon.

And if you want to confuse drivers, just hang a bike from a tree.

………

A special thanks to ReaniMac for getting my Macbook up and running again in less than an hour, after a bad hard drive cable put me out of business over the weekend. If, as Steve Jobs famously said, computers are the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds, they’re my LBS.

 

Morning Links: Brake-checking driver harasses cyclist; curb-jumping drivers don’t get Redondo bike lanes

The problem with sharrows is that they put you right in the path of drivers.

Impatient, road-raging and brake-checking drivers, at times, as cyclist Michael Schinderling learned out the hard way while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

The driver first honks, then repeatedly slams on his brakes in front of him. Even though Schinderling was riding exactly where the sharrows indicate he should be.

The big problem with LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance is that it’s so hard to get proof that a driver deliberately antagonized a rider.

But this looks like an open-and-shut case.

……..

Caught on video: Those new Redondo Beach separated bike lanes seem to be working well. Except for curb-jumping drivers who can’t seem to figure out why the traffic lane is green and there are so many bikes in it.

……..

American cyclist Tyler Farrar is heading back to the Tour de France as part of the first African-based pro team, while Tejay van Garderen is older and wiser and says he’s ready for the challenge. The Wall Street Journal asks why no Latin American rider has won the Tour de France, as Nairo Quintana attempts to become the first.

Meanwhile, former pro team leader Bjarne Riis chose to ignore doping by his riders. Or more likely, tacitly encouraged it, if not openly.

Cycling Weekly looks at the best bike tans in the peloton. Dutch police evidently feel the best way to get a new collective bargaining agreement is to delay riders in the Tour de France, thus ensuring it won’t besmirch their country again.

And sad news from the UK, as a British bike racer was killed in a collision with another rider last weekend.

……..

Local

The LA-area’s Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a new regional transportation plan.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom and two Westside councilmembers say Metro is going the wrong way with plans for a bike share system that will be incompatible with systems opening soon in Long Beach and Santa Monica, and as well as systems planned for West Hollywood, UCLA and yes, the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

San Gabriel gets a new bike lane on Las Tunas Drive.

Santa Clarita opens a new 1.5 mile stretch of the Santa Clarita River Trail, including a bike bridge over the Los Angeles aqueduct.

A Long Beach councilwoman will host a bike safety program for kids from 9 to 17 years old next week.

The second Tour de Laemmle will roll on July 19th, as Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on all or part of a 125+ mile tour of all the Laemmle Theaters.

 

State

Santa Ana conducts a reverse road diet, forcing long-time residents out of their homes to make room for an added lane and bike lanes on Warner Ave, as the OC Register says evicted residents will have to be made whole.

A bike rider suffered major injuries in a collision with a pickup in Anaheim on Tuesday; a comment on Bike Forums suggests the victim was riding in the crosswalk over the onramp to the 57. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

Big oops from the Bay, as San Francisco retracts a report that a new bikeway saw a 651% jump in bike traffic; the actual figures ranged from a 12% to 62% increase depending on time of day. You’d think someone would have noticed that those numbers seemed just a tad high before sending out the press release.

Oakland is planning to trade traffic lanes for bike lanes, with twelve road diets proposed for the next three years; needless to say, bike riders are thrilled while motorists are worried. Maybe Oakland could explain how the process works to Santa Ana.

The Marin tech exec who viciously beat a driver who clipped him with his mirror has been found guilty of felony battery and misdemeanor assault; he faces up to four years in prison. Seriously, never resort to violence. Period.

 

National

Tragic news from Las Vegas, as a 16-year old boy riding without ID was hit by a car last week; he died the next day before family members learned about the wreck and he could be identified.

A Utah driver has plead guilty to intentionally running down a bike rider with whom he had an adversarial relationship.

Evidently, the penalty in Texas for riding a bike without lights is to get Tased, then beaten after falling off your bike. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

An Iowa man is back on his bike six months after losing a leg to complications from diabetes; he’ll be riding in the Tour de Cure this weekend.

Needless to say, Chicago business owners are worried about the loss of parking with the city’s first curb-protected bike lane; Chicagoist asks if it will be good for business. Bikes are usually good for business. And there’s something seriously wrong if your customers won’t walk a few extra feet to do business with you.

A Maine driver is accused of intentionally running down a 10-year old boy on a bike over a dispute with the kid’s mother; unbelievably, the man was released on just $1,000 bail — despite using his car as a weapon to attack a child.

Just days after an LA bike rider was attacked with a machete in an attempted bike theft, a machete-swinging road-raging PA teenager attacked a cyclist and his fiancée, who used his bike to defend themselves.

The Baltimore Sun says bike helmets aren’t ugly anymore, while The Week offers a look at six bike helmets of the future. Can we just get one that actually protects against concussions and other serious brain injuries in real world collisions?

A Georgia website offers advice on how to get a red light to change for your bike.

A cyclist rides 1,400 miles up the East Coast while towing his dog and a cargo trailer.

 

International

Here we go again, as a Facebook page devoted to shaming law-breaking Victoria BC cyclists devolves into a hotbed of anti-bike hatred.

Two Edmonton councilors call for ripping out bike lanes on three streets, calling them unsafe and underutilized.

Cyclists halt London traffic to protest the death of yet another young woman killed by a truck while riding to work. Although not everyone was willing to show a little respect.

Caught on video: The UK’s “vigilante cyclist” catches a woman texting behind the wheel with two kids in her car. I see something similar almost every time I ride. Like a woman who was steering with her knees as she texted with her kids in the back seat.

A pair of Good Samaritans pitch in to replace a British nurse’s bike after it was stolen from outside her apartment.

A Brit bike rider gets a year in jail for killing a 73-year old woman in a collision while riding a brakeless BMX.

Switzerland is telling e-bike riders to slow down, following a rise in single-vehicle bike wrecks due to riders misjudging their speed and stopping times.

India gets its first cycling café in the “Detroit of India” even though the city doesn’t have a single bike lane.

Australian bike riders may soon be allowed to ride on sidewalks in the state of Victoria, but could face on-the-spot fines for using a handheld phone. So what happens if they can’t pay? Are they arrested on the spot?

“Selfish” Aussie cyclists are accused of illegally riding in high-speed bus-only lanes to avoid slower bikeways.

Don’t ride under the influence in Japan, don’t report a falling down drunk bike rider to the police, and don’t ride with groceries on your handlebars.

 

Finally…

It takes a bold thief to ride off with a bike cop’s bike as she stood just a few feet away. Caught on video: an Ohio bird defends his territory against a cyclist. Or maybe he just doesn’t like they guy’s taste in bike helmets.

And a new study from the University of Duh confirms that marijuana use impairs driving. Next up, a study confirming that it gives people the munchies, too.

……..

I need to find a better name for the Morning Links, since I seem to be temporally challenged these days. Chain Links is too cutsie, while Bike News seems a little dull.

Any suggestions?

Morning Links: New plan for Westwood Blvd removes nothing; Redondo Beach officials tear down that wall

Somehow, I missed this last week.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition reports on a new plan by transportation planner Ryan Snyder for bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. The Remove Nothing Plan would do exactly that, focusing on narrowing traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes and sharrows without removing a single traffic lane or parking spot.

It looks like a great idea.

While I’m not a big fan of sharrows, the green-backed variety should get attention from the too often distracted and otherwise unaccommodating motorists that ply that busy street, and help keep riders from having to fight for a modicum of space like they do now. And sharrows are only used in the section that’s too narrow to accommodate bike lanes given the restriction to remove nothing.

Although whether that will be enough to win the approval of the wealthy homeowners who got CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz to break his word and shoot down the last plan remains to be seen.

The LACBC urges you to call Koretz at 310/866-1828 to voice support for the plan, or email him at paul.koretz@lacity.org.

Meanwhile, I’m told Koretz called on LADOT to find an alternative route for cyclists that doesn’t involve Westwood at a recent meeting of the Transportation Committee  — neglecting to consider that every other alternative has already been considered and rejected.

Unless maybe he wants to put a bike lane on the shoulder of the 405.

……..

In a move reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s famous plea to Mr. Gorbachev, Redondo Beach officials tear down the wall separating Redondo from Hermosa Beach to make room for a two-way cycle track on Harbor Drive.

Plans also call for sharrows on northbound Harbor that will connect with the existing sharrows on Hermosa Ave, so riders won’t be forced to ride on the wrong side if they’re not planning to take the Strand through Hermosa Beach, where bikes are limited to 10 mph.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up and research on the sharrows.

……..

Local

Fig4All calls for closing the gaps in bikeways that almost but don’t quite connect South Pasadena with Northeast LA.

Pasadena’s city council votes to end the outdated, auto-centric Level of Service standard for measuring traffic efficiency, which emphasizes moving cars over people. Which, oddly, is exactly what often happens.

Santa Monica considers its own 500-bike bike share system. And that’s exactly what I’ve been afraid of; if each city in the LA metro area develops their own bike share, we’ll end up with a mismatched and incompatible series of networks that won’t allow users to ride from one city to another.

The 10th annual Tour de Foothills rolls in Claremont this Saturday, with rides ranging from 33 to 100 miles.

 

State

California’s High Speed Rail Authority reaches out to Calbike for suggestions on how to integrate bikes into the planned rail system.

A CHP Public Information Officer says the law prohibiting crossing a double yellow line may not be a hard fast rule when it comes to passing cyclists with a three-foot margin; as usual, bike lawyer Bob Mionske gets it right — including his observations on the current state of California politics.

San Diego’s third CicloSDias takes place this Sunday.

A Murrieta motorist hits the crappy driver trifecta — driving under the influence while simultaneously eating and using his cellphone — when he hit a cyclist, sending the rider to the hospital with critical injuries. Thanks to Zak for the heads-up.

 

National

The Governing website looks at why bike groups lashed out at the recent governors’ bike safety report, and still misses the mark; what’s missing from the discussion is that bike helmets are a last-ditch safety measure when everything else has failed, not the first line of defense.

Turns out Car Talk host Tom Magliozzi, who passed away on Monday, was one of us.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus has his bike stolen, but steals it back the same day. And discovers an open air bike theft chop shop in the process.

Ohio bike lawyer Steve Magas looks at insurance issues for today’s cyclists, including the fact that homeowners or renters insurance should cover you for liability damage while riding your bike. And warns you against auto coverage from Nationwide, which evidently is not on your side if you’re on a bike.

Boston requires trucks to have side guard panels to protect cyclists, something that should be mandatory nationwide.

New York Streetsblog questions why the NYPD is defending hit-and-run drivers in the press. Damn good question.

 

International

Bike Biz wants your nominations for the Top 50 Women in Cycling.

The Mirror wonders why it’s so hard to prove helmets make cycling safer, while a writer for the Telegraph bizarrely insists that more and better bike lanes are not the answer because not everyone wants to bike everywhere, cycling in the UK is safe enough already, and England will never be Holland and bloody well doesn’t want to be.

Italian great Marco Pantani’s body may be exhumed as suspicion grows that he was murdered by mobsters.

Caught on video: The five best road bike descents.

Once again, a newspaper asks if you can look stylish as you ride to work, this time in Australia. And once again, there wouldn’t be a story if the answer was no.

CNN applauds Bangkok’s airport bike path.

 

Finally…

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson schools a ride newbie, then discovers he’s America’s top track Olympian; not Seth, the newbie. Salt Lake City police look for a knife wielding, sidewalk raging cyclist.

And despite the headline, even the best lights don’t really create a force field around your bike, unfortunately.

 

Guest post: South Bay cyclist brings down a prolific bike thief. And pays a cool grand for the privilege.

A happy ending to a long tale of a stolen bicycle; photo by Mike Bike.

A happy ending to a long tale of a stolen bicycle; photo by Mike Bike.

Last week I stumbled on a couple of news stories with an unusual twist.

According to stories in the Daily Breeze and Easy Reader News, a Redondo Beach man had been arrested for stealing a number of bikes from garages in Redondo and Manhattan Beach.

I don’t think anyone would complain about getting a bike thief off the streets.

But the interesting thing was the way the thief was uncovered, when a man simply walked into the Redondo Beach Police station and told them he’d bought a hot bike.

It seemed like there must be more to the story.

And there was.

The next day, I found an email in my inbox from South Bay cyclist Mike Bike, who identified himself as the man in question. And offered a detailed explanation of his role in the convoluted tale.

Yes, it’s a long read. But it’s a great story, and well worth the time.

And fair warning to anyone tempted to buy a bike of questionable provenance.

………

Caveat Emptor

Strange day today. Very strange, indeed.

It started out so well. Jane and I are training for a couple of tours at the end of the month and we had been frustrated trying to get her new bike to fit her. Today’s ride was going very well, though, after we finally got it dialed in: up the west side and back to the South Bay where we’d finish up the long weekend with this long ride.

Then it got weird. But let’s go back a ways.

A month ago we’d started training in earnest after Jane’s school year ended. We had done a serious climbing day up on the hill. We were headed home and Jane was in a hurry because she had some prep to do for a summer class. As we passed ‘the corner,’ I saw some bikes chained to sign posts on the right side. One of them caught my eye because it was a small women’s frame. The issue with Jane’s bike was that it’s a 52cm men’s frame that we thought was just a tad long in the top tube and with the standard diamond frame didn’t give her much stand-over clearance. I pulled over but Jane kept going. It turned out the guy selling the bikes was strolling up to show it to some other guy who just came there and must have called (both bikes had hand-written signs with a phone number). I asked the guy “how much for the Specialized?” He said he had checked on Craigslist and it was worth a lot and he’d have to get $1000 for it. It was a new looking Specialized carbon fiber WSD with Shimano stuff on it. Nothing looked abused. It had eggbeater pedals on it. I told him I was in the market for something like this but that my girlfriend had just ridden by. I wanted her to look at it and test ride. I jotted down the phone and model stuff and left him there.

Jane was interested. She thought it would be worthwhile to look at a bike just a mile from the house. So I collected my mad money, $700, and got in the van to go look. We brought her pedals and a pedal wrench and Allen keys to make it a little better for a test ride. We called ‘The Guy’ and he came on out from somewhere. I asked if I could swap pedals and he said, “sure.” We chatted a bit and he said he rode regularly up on the hill. He had bought the bike for his wife and she loved it but they were forced to move since his dad was dying of cancer in New Jersey. He was moving back there to take care of him and they needed to get rid of stuff. I could sympathize with that. Jane came back from her spin and said she liked it. I told ‘The Guy’ that I only had $700 or so on me, could he take less? He said he needed the grand. I told him I could go to the ATM down the street. Jane stayed and I went to the ATM. I came back and gave him the cash and we did the deal. I asked about cleats for those pedals; he said they had never bought those. His wife only rode it a few times and he had bought the bike like that used, with the pedals. OK, I was a little suspicious; but it was a plausible story.

After a week off for travel, we got on it in the middle of June. It was clear that the stem was too low. On a ride back from the hill, we saw ‘The Guy’ out by still more bikes for sale. We stopped and told him that we were really pleased with the bike but were still dialing it in. Jane asked about these two ‘new’ bikes; He said they had found two more stashed in the back of the garage. We rode away thinking that things weren’t as plausible as they were earlier. As for the stem, I thought it was an 80 mm but it was actually a 60. It turned out a friend at work had an adjustable stem he wasn’t using. And he wanted the pedals so we made a swap.

I did the wrenching and things were better but she was still cramped and getting a sore back. She wanted the seat further back. We moved it as much as possible but she wanted more. I was thinking we bought the wrong size bike. I looked at set-back posts but thought maybe one of my other posts could yield a cm or so. I swapped to a different post with a little more space but it was not enough. Looking at the bike, it was obvious that the bars should be moved forward if she wanted more space. My work friend had an array of stems and he was pleased with his pedal deal so he agreed to lend me all his OS stems. Over two rides we eventually gravitated to the longest of the lot, a 120 mm. We were even able to switch back to the original post.

In the mean time I had purchased side loading bottle cages due to the extreme smallness of this little compact frame, along with a new top-tube bag and seat bag. We had her Garmin on there and a new bell (which didn’t fit so well on the OS bars but I rigged it with a zip tie). Saturday night she declared it finally dialed and she looked at the tour profile and said “We need to do 71 miles tomorrow.” A quick calculation showed the west side run with a trip to Hawthorne would do it. The hot weather would help with heat conditioning though the breeze kept us from getting too hot.

Sunday morning we got underway about quarter to eight. We turned at the plaza and headed north along the coast, and were going much better than other recent rides because the bike was finally dialed. What a difference! Jane held my wheel while I kept an eye on her with my relatively new helmet-mounted rear-view (really nice unit: http://www.safezonemirror.com/install/). Great day.

Coming back, we rode the beach south taking our time through the crowds. Then we rode by the plaza on our way to completing the 71 miles. I did the mental math and it looked like we were right on target. Go to Hawthorne, hit Trader Joes for some cold drinks and then home.

Then it got weird. As we crested PV West I noticed a small female rider on a bike that looked too large for her; she was rocking her pelvis on the saddle and just looked awkward. I passed her and didn’t say anything. I looked back and Jane was off my wheel a bit then I heard the ladies talking. I got to the overlook and pulled off thinking I might give the lady advice. They both pulled up and I thought I heard the lady ask how long Jane had been riding. I told her about 5 years. She looked displeased. It became apparent she was interested in the bike and wanted to know how long we had it. I said we bought it used about a month ago. She said “that’s my bike!” Well, what do you say to that?

She said it was stolen from her house nearby a little over a month earlier along with other items and she had resorted to riding her old bike which had been re-fitted for a daughter (she did not wrench). Then she started obsessing. I asked her about the stuff I had replaced, could she tell me what the original equipment looked like? She could not. But she claimed she had the police report and the serial number in her phone.

The serial numbers matched. Crap. I bought a stolen bike for cash. But I still had the guy’s phone number and I had seen still more bikes at the lot on Friday.

The lady insisted she wanted her bike back right there. I said that we were out on a ride and I understood it was her bike but could we please finish our ride and we’d give it back with the original equipment on it (provided I could trade back to get the pedals!). She wasn’t buying it. She wanted the cops. We agreed, police were needed to resolve this, but she had no idea where she was. I helped her out giving her reasonable instructions on our location (you say Paseo and PV West and it could be about 5 different places). She kept insisting that I should have known the bike was stolen and I should have checked the stolen bike data bases before purchasing. Maybe so, but I’ve been stymied too many times trying to buy well-priced used merchandise on web-sites that I tend to move quickly.

The cops arrived and at first wanted to know who the perp was. Thank goodness they didn’t draw weapons or cuff us. We explained the situation several times to several officers and since the numbers matched (and they checked the report online) they said the lady needs to have her bke. I asked again if we could please finish up our ride and we’d get the bike restored and returned; they said no. They said we should remove our stuff from the bike and they’d impound it.

Fortunately, I had spotted Greg (another guy who’s ridden with us many times and done construction work for us) parked nearby. I went over and he had just finished his ride and I explained some of what was going down. So with Greg’s pedal wrench and my multi-tool, I started taking off pedals, stem, bags, computer, and bell; leaving the bars dangling by the cables. The lady exclaimed “are you going to let that asshole take parts off my bike?” The cops said, yes, they were my parts so I could have them. I explained yet again that I would make the bike whole and I really wanted to finish the ride but if you are going to be like this, this is how it will be done. So Greg loaded up our stuff in his truck, the cops carted the stolen bike off in the back of the police cruiser and I was left to ride home. I passed the lady on the ill-fitting bike and waved. She had my phone number and address and would stop by to let me fix the bike later.

I thought it couldn’t get any stranger. I started mulling over a visit to the roadside bike sales lot to chat with ‘The Guy’; but what to say? Basically, the lady was going to be more-or-less whole; but I was out $1000 and the PV cops had no interest in helping me. At least they didn’t shoot me! Down the hill I went. What to do next. I had to get the pedals back; shouldn’t be a problem. I had to talk to more cops in the south bay; never much fun talking to cops. I turned and headed toward home. I was mulling things over as I crossed an intersection. Someone yelled from a car window “Hey, I’ve been looking for you!” I looked over and there’s the guy! He pulled a left turn and parked the wrong way behind me.

He says his buddy just came up with a high-end bike and he thought I might be interested. A month later and he recognizes me!?! In any case, here he was saying he wants to talk to me I said, yeah, I’m real interested. His wife was in the passenger seat and she offered to take my phone number again since he didn’t have it anymore. He remembered that he sold us the Specialized and that we’d stopped to say how much we liked it. I asked him, again, where did you get that. He said it was his wife’s and said “where’d we get that, honey? Was it Huntington?” She said it was. I asked about how his dad was doing. He said “it is what it is.” Very profound. I was less sympathetic this time. He said “Yeah, we’re leaving in a couple of weeks.” Then they drove up a side street as I noted their vehicle license and make and color. Tres bizarre.

I got home and Jane wasn’t home yet, so I called her. Greg had to drop some stuff at Ray’s house. They were just looking at bikes at ‘the lot’. I told them to forget that; I was going to get a call from him this afternoon to see a bike. They drove to our street. We talked it over and decided first things first, get the pedals. Then the bike lady called and said she had the bike and was stopping by. I said I had the stem but no pedals yet but I’d get them. After 45 minutes and a trip for pedals, she was set. I went back home and we contemplated our next move. No call from ‘The Guy’ so I called the local cops. Cops on the phone don’t really want to chat so I said I’d stop by the station.

Jane and I went down and after some screening at the front desk and sitting on their hard bench, got to talk with first one officer and then a pair. They seemed somewhat disinterested in my bizarre tale; maybe because it sounded like I made it up. But they took down all the info I had: stolen bike police report number, phone number for ‘The Guy,’ plate number, description and times. Then they told me I was SOL; that I was lucky I wasn’t arrested for possession of stolen goods! I thanked them for their compassion and we left figuring ‘The Guy’ was going to have a long career as a salesman.

We cleaned up and decided to go out for dinner with Jane’s daughter. We ended up driving by the sales lot. The bikes that I’d seen earlier were gone. Crap, maybe he’d gotten wise and pulled up stakes after my questions. Then I glanced right and saw a police car parked. Hey, I said, half in jest, maybe they’re visiting my friend. Jane’s daughter said it wasn’t one car but two. We went to dinner and talked about the day.

After dinner and some shopping, we drove back by the place. Wow! Now there were four police cars and a police pick-up truck! And it was loaded to the gills with bikes! Holy crap; not in my wildest dreams did I expect that outcome. We pulled around the corner and parked and got out with cell phone cameras ready. We chatted with the official looking officer on the front steps. He indicated that they took the guy down and he was a major operator. He had been carted away and would spend the night in jail. Wow. Then the two officers from the PD visit emerged with big smiles. They thanked me and said it had been a big help. I told them that ‘the Guy’ hadn’t called me back. I got the police report number so I could cite it for my income tax loss; that’s about the only way I’m going to recoup any monetary benefit on this one. Small claims court seems a long shot. No offense, but I’m not a fan of courts, lawyers or law enforcement. But I’ll give them kudos on this one.

I sent a text message with the pick-up full of bikes to the bike lady. She called back to say she was very excited and glad they got ‘the Guy’.

Reflecting on it now; it was one very strange day. Jane has got a new Specialized from a local dealer; costs more but nobody is going to stuff it in the back of a police car in the middle of our ride.

Oh, and if you’ve lost a bike to theft in the south bay, contact the Police department, (310) 802-5124.

Don’t expect sympathy.

South Bay cyclist victim of a hit-and-walk

One of the primary arguments used to attack bicyclists lately has been the alleged carelessness — or aggressiveness — some bike riders show around pedestrians.

Never mind that a solid  collision between a cyclist and someone on foot is likely to result in injuries to both. And while people can point fingers at a handful of cases where careless riders have seriously injured — or even killed — pedestrians, it is a problem that goes both ways.

As just about anyone who has ever ridden any of Southern California’s beachfront bike paths can attest.

Case in point, this email I received yesterday from frequent South Bay contributor Jim Lyle.

Nine days ago, I was returning home from my morning ride up the coast.  As I navigated the bike path under the Redondo Beach pier, a woman ducked under the chain that separates the bike path from the pedestrian walkway directly in front of me.  I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting her and went down, hard.  As I hit the pavement, I heard a “pop” and knew it wasn’t going to be a good thing.  I unclipped and tried to get up, but couldn’t bear any weight on my left leg due to the pain.

Here’s where it gets surreal.  The woman, with a bunch of her friends, did not offer to help me, did not ask if I was OK, or if I was hurt; they simply walked away as if nothing had happened.  Does that qualify as a “hit and walk?”

I was able to pull myself up using the bike to lean on and hobbled to an open area where I had cell phone coverage.  I called a friend who lives near the pier and asked her to come get me.  She arrived, put the bicycle in the truck bed, but I couldn’t get into the cab, it was too high and it hurt too much to move the leg.  I started to go into shock, tunnel vision and losing consciousness.  My friend called 911.  The EMTs arrived, put me on a gurney, and transported me to emergency.  X-rays revealed I had snapped a bone on my femur, but there was no displacement.  They gave me pain meds and crutches and sent me home.  I return to the orthopod in a couple of weeks to make sure there’s been no movement of the bone and I’m on the road to recovery. Otherwise, they’ll have to do surgery.  Meanwhile, I’m moping around the house feeling sorry for myself.  It could have been worse, much, much worse.

As you know, it is illegal (CVC and city ordinances) for pedestrians to use the beach bike path.  There are signs posted and “BIKES ONLY” is painted on the path every few yards.  Because these laws are not enforced, pedestrians, nannies, dog walkers, skaters, illiterates, and scofflaws use the bike path instead of the pedestrian walkway which is often within spitting range.  I always knew this created a dangerous situation for cyclists and pedestrians. And, now, I’m a victim.

In the past, a polite “on your left” or “bikes only, please” would be sufficient.  In future, when I’m back riding, I am no longer going to be very pleasant when I encounter the brain dead idiots who insist on endangering my health.  Police chiefs in the beach cities are going to know my name.  All it would take is a little public education and the occasional ticket to make the beach safe for all users, on two wheels or none.

I’m still fuming about the lack of humanity shown by people.  Surely, they’re in a minority, or are they?

Make no mistake.

Pedestrians are the only class of road users more vulnerable than we are. And we need to go out of our way to protect their safety, especially when riding on sidewalks and through crosswalks, where they should have unquestioned right-of-way.

And yes, I’ve seen cyclists plow through a crowded crosswalk, seemingly oblivious to the harm they may cause. And a Santa Monica cyclist was recently convicted, fairly or not, of assault with a deadly weapon for doing just that.

But as Jim’s email suggests, we aren’t always the problem. And we are just as vulnerable to their carelessness as they are to ours.

One other point.

Had he been able to stop the woman, she could have been held liable for his injuries, just as a bicyclist can be held legally liable for injuring a pedestrian. Or another bike rider, for that matter.

But whether she could be charged with leaving the scene of a collision is a question I can’t answer.

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