Tag Archive for road rage

Road rage rises on the mean streets of LA, LACBC Bike Month ride, and Streets For All plans June virtual Happy Hour

No surprise here.

Road rage continues to soar on the mean streets of Los Angeles, with reports up 41.4% over the first four months of the year, compared to last year.

And no, that doesn’t just reflect calmer streets during last year’s pandemic slowdown. It’s also a significant increase over the pre-pandemic good old days of 2019.

It’s more than just a simple disagreement between road users, too. As Crosstown explains,

While the concept of road rage makes some think of a driver who gets cut off and responds by shaking a fist, actual incidents are much more serious. The LAPD defines road rage as when a person commits an assault with a vehicle, or other weapon, due to something that occurs while driving. To be classified as road rage, the encounter must, in police parlance, require “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Over two-thirds of road rage cases reported last year involved a gun — more than double the number of cases reported in each of the previous two years. As if a multi-tin motor vehicle isn’t weapon enough.

So be careful out there.

You never know who you’re sharing the road with. Or how they’re armed.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Lionel Mares forwards photos from last Sunday’s LACBC Bike Month ride, where it appears a good time was had by all.

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Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour on June 8th — the day after Election Day — with the vice mayor of Burbank.

And no, that’s doesn’t mean he’s mayor of all the fun stuff.

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Gravel Bike California offers your guide to riding the rocks at May and Kagel Canyons.

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If anyone gets me on their gift list this year, this will do nicely.

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GCN offers advice on how to buy a used bike.

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

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British hit-and-run driver was fined the equivalent of just $526 for a crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, even though he appeared to crash into the victim intentionally.

Police in the UK are looking for three men who got out of a car and beat a man in his 50s after they crashed into his bike.

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

New York police are looking for a masked bike rider who jumped off his bicycle and repeatedly stabbed a man who was walking on the sidewalk; the victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times got four of the remaining candidates for mayor of Los Angeles on the record for their transportation policies, although Kevin de León is the only candidate with an actual transportation platform; billionaire Rick Caruso apparently had better things to do, saying he wasn’t ready to discuss the subject yet, less than two weeks before Election Day.

E-scooter providers Lime, Lyft and Spin have changed their city-mandated programs for low-income riders, reportedly without informing the public first.

 

State 

A 52-year old San Diego man was sentenced to 11 years behind bars, 34 years after his errant shot killed a passing bike rider in the city’s Encanto neighborhood.

Murrieta kindergartners are learning how to ride a bike as part of the All Kids Bike program, with bikes and helmets courtesy of supercross star Ryan Dungey.

Momentum considers the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s successful efforts to create the city’s first carfree street. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

If you build it, they don’t always come. A San Francisco website reports the free bike valet at the city’s Chase Center arena, home of the NBA Warriors, is going mostly unused.

No surprise that New York and Los Angeles lead the nation in bicycling deaths; more surprising is that Stockton and Sacramento County both rank in the nation’s top ten for bicycling fatalities.

 

National

CNN offers suggestions on how to store and secure your bike at home.

The sheriff of New Mexico’s Sandoval County is recovering from a broken back and rib after crashing his mountain bike when he tried to ramp over a rock, and slammed into it instead.

A Colorado writer considers the growing animosity between drivers and bike riders, insisting “We all kinda hate each other, and by ‘kinda,’ I mean truly and deeply with a passion.”

Colorado Public Radio relates the origin tale of the Iron Horse Classic, when two brothers decided to race each other, one on a bike and the other at the helm of a classic narrow gauge steam engine; this weekend marks the 50th edition of the road race.

Britain’s Daily Mail — not exactly know for its veracity — reports cyclist Colin Strickland has gone into hiding, evidently worried that his fugitive girlfriend will target him next, after allegedly shooting and killing top gravel cyclist Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson.

The head of Brompton is on a mission to convert New Yorkers to foldies.

A Pennsylvania man is on life support after a man just released from jail knocked him off his bicycle, then beat him with it for two minutes before walking away and leaving his victim for dead.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Fed up with high gas prices, an 85-year old North Carolina man fixed up his bike, and plans to live virtually carfree for the foreseeable future. Even if gas prices there are nearly two bucks cheaper than in Los Angeles.

 

International

A new international database offers nearly 1.6 million geo-located records of bicycle collisions from various cities, states, regions and countries around the world, apparently including Los Angeles, making it easier for researchers to study them.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — an easy four-hour ebike ride from Rome to see the 2,500-year old Appian Way and ancient Roman aqueducts.

Survivors of a British endurance cyclist are suing the organizers of a French bike race for the equivalent of nearly a million dollars after the 36-year old man died of heat stroke during the competition.

Copenhagen will introduce Denmark’s first diagonal bike lane to connect bike lanes through a busy intersection.

WaPo examines Ukrainian fighters turning ebikes made in the country into weapons of war.

Sad news from Myanmar, where the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Winner was killed in a collision; 42-year old Kyaw Win Hlaing was run down when a quarreling couple in a mini-truck rear-ended his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride offroad race is expanding into Michigan, for what will be the series fifth event, following races in San Diego, Utah, North Carolina and Kansas.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have a massive DIY omnidirectional front wheel. Your next ebike could be made by Mercedes Formula E car racing team.

And who says you can’t carry trash on a bike?

Thanks to Jon for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Witnessing road rage and Hollywood hit-and-run, and 76-year old man gravely injured in Griffith Park bike crash

Friday, I witnessed what too many of us face too often on LA streets.

I stood in front of my building watching as a man rode his bike down our residential street, narrow enough that drivers traveling in opposite directions have to negotiate clearances to pass safely.

He was positioned correctly, just outside the door zone, while leaving plenty of room for drivers to pass.

However, an impatient driver sped up from behind, and was apparently angry that he had to wait a few seconds for driver coming the other way to pass. So he subjected the rider to a needlessly close punishment pass — then brake checked him after the man on the bike strenuously objected to the close pass, like most of us would.

The incident ended when they exchanged words at the stop sign at the end of the block, then turned in opposite directions. Although I’m not sure if the guy on the bike turned left simply to get away from the jerk in the car.

It all happened too quickly for me to react and get my phone out, let alone catch the driver’s license plate.

But it serves as yet another sad reminder that we are all subject to the whims and temperament of those we share the road with.

Because it’s far too easy for drivers to take their bad day out on the nearest person on a bike.

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only witness to bad driver behavior last week. A Reddit user posted the following message about a hit-and-run he witnessed in Hollywood on Wednesday.

Hit & Run @ Wilcox & Delongpre tonight (4/21)

Driving home from work tonight in Hollywood around 6:50pm I saw a black Tesla model X right hook a cyclist travelling southbound on Wilcox. Tesla sped away and I followed them to get their license plate number – if that sounds like it was you shoot me a DM and I’d be happy to share.

Thanks to tsmith8808 for the heads-up.

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Bad news just keeps coming from Griffith Park.

One week after the death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert on Crystal Springs Drive, a 76-year old man was in grave condition after somehow falling from his bike in the 4358 block of Griffith Park Drive on Saturday.

Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on how or why he fell.

But what should be one of the safest places to ride a bike in Los Angeles is looking far from it these days.

Meanwhile, Lionel Mares writes to remind us that the Griffith Park Advisory Board will hold a Zoom meeting at 6:30 pm this Thursday. Which might be a good opportunity to demand safer streets — and fewer cars — in LA’s iconic park.

And Los Angeles Times readers write to call for safer streets in Griffith Park.

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This is the last week to register for this year’s Finish the Ride in Griffith Park, which is all the more important after the events of the last two weeks.

Finish the Ride was founded by hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt, who lost the lower part of his right leg when he was struck by a van driver on Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, and dragged onto the 5 Freeway before he could free himself.

It started as a single event to call attention to the hit-and-run epidemic, and finish the ride he was unable to complete because of the 2013 crash. And has morphed into a powerful nonprofit movement to fight the scourge of fleeing drivers.

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About damn time.

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Renée Zellweger is one of us. And knows how to dress the part.

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A couple boys from India demonstrate a little tandem teamwork on a single seat bike.

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Ignore the news story. Just pay attention to all the bicycles in the background, which shows what’s possible with decent infrastructure.

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A British rider learns the hard way that maybe attempting a 124-mile ride on a $38 Amazon bike isn’t the best idea.

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If there are any international art thieves out there, this would look very good on my wall.

Just saying.

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

No bias here. A Staten Island website says traffic deaths continue to rise in New York, despite the city’s Vision Zero, and nearly a “decade of demonizing motorists as almost the exclusive cause of deaths on the road.” Considering drivers are the only ones who are killing people, it seems appropriate.

Twenty-three-year old French pro cyclist Lucie Jounier suffered a concussion, trapezoid fracture, and cuts and abrasions to her face when she was deliberately brake checked by driver while on a training crash; needless to say, the driver didn’t stop afterwards.

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

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Local

The Beautiful Boulevard plan is nearing the finish line, after a Metro committee approved plans for North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit lane, which incorporates many elements of the Eagle Rock resident-designed plan; the last step will be approval by the full Metro board at Thursday’s meeting.

Road Bike Rider reviews the new $3,800 mamarachi-style Cero One utility ebike, made by West Los Angeles-based Cero Bikes. And likes it. I like the corgi-sized utility basket up front.

 

State 

The rich get richer. San Diego continues its drive to be bike friendly with the opening of the new 3.1-mile Landis Bikeway connecting North Park and City Heights, part of a 12-mile network of bike boulevards. Although it’s probably not named after former San Diego resident and ex-Tour de France winner, and current CBD purveyor, Floyd Landis.

Residents of San Diego’s Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood bemoan the loss of a few dozen parking spaces for a new bike lane, while bike riders applaud the new separated lane.

A month after the so-called People’s Convoy truckers protest was held up by a single bike rider in Washington DC, they were pelted with eggs amid shouts of “Get out of town” during a pass through Oakland.

Sacramento police are looking for the driver of a work truck who fled the scene after rear ending a man on a bike, resulting in major injuries.

 

National

USA Today offers tips on how to upgrade your bike commute.

Washington City, Utah installed a pair of ghost bikes to honor Adam & Matthew Bullard, who were both killed by an alleged DUI driver while participating in the Tour of St. George earlier this month. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the brothers families has surpassed the $100,000 goal, with over $107,000 at this writing. Thanks to Kent Russell for the heads-up.

Residents of my Colorado hometown consider how to make the platinum-level bicycle friendly community even safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Milwaukee woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after she initially tried to blame her boyfriend for the crash, even though he wasn’t even in the car. Which is a pretty good clue that maybe he needs to rethink their relationship.

Tennessee has passed a bill requiring killer drunk drivers to support the children of their victims; the first of its kind law now goes to the governor for his signature.

Twelve New York residents were injured in four separate incidents when ebike batteries unexpectedly burst into flames.

This is who we share the road with. A Florida teenager with a history of recording himself driving at extreme speeds on public highways now faces six counts of vehicular homicide after he rear-ended another vehicle while traveling at 151 mph. Vehicular homicide carries a maximum penalty of 15 years per count in Florida; if the judge imposes consecutive sentences, he could end up serving up to 90 years behind bars.

 

International

Yet another study shows the health benefits of riding a bike, showing bicycling can reduce your risk of premature death by 23%.

T3 looks at the best new bikes from the London Ebike Festival, with a lineup heavy on foldies and micro bikes.

A 51-year old man was critically injured in Leeds, England when he crashed his bike head-on into another man on an ebike as they were both riding in opposite directions on the sidewalk.

India’s Hero Cycles is opening a new ebike assembly line in Manchester, England.

Typical. After a Welsh driver got the equivalent of a $532 fine for passing a group of bicyclists too close at too high a speed, other drivers insist on social media that he didn’t do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t get the video to load; it may not be available in the US.

Thousands of Scottish bicyclists turned out for the 10th Annual Pedal on Parliament to demand safer streets. In Los Angeles, we’re lucky if we can get a could dozen people to show up for a protest. Maybe if we had numbers like this, city officials might actually listen to us. And do something. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège to complete her best ever spring campaign; she also won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as well as notching three second place finishes and one fourth in the spring classics.

Twenty-two-year old Remco Evenepoel won the men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in his maiden effort in cycling’s oldest classic, as Belgium swept the podium.

Ouch! American Larry Warbasse will miss Switzerland’s Tour de Romandie after suffering testicular lesions with hematoma in a high-speed crash in Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège. World champ Julian Alaphilippe suffered two broken ribs, a broken scapula and a hemo pneumothorax in the same crash, while his teammate Ilan Van Wilder ended up with a broken jaw.

Twenty-four-year old Tyler Stites claimed victory in the Redlands Classic, sliding atop the podium with a third place finish in the final stage; 27-year old Heidi Franz took the women’s title.

An Indiana University fraternity claimed its first Little 500 victory in over 20 years.

 

Finally…

Riding tandem on a single-seat bike with a kitty as your stoker. And who needs an ebike when your passenger pitches in?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Murder charge for Riverside road rage attack, LA bike bridges to nowhere, and apparently I’m part of LA bike history

Before we get started, David Drexler reminds us that Sunday’s LA Marathon affords the perfect opportunity to ride through the streets of LA in relative comfort and safety. 

No word on whether the usual Marathon Crash Ride will take place before the race, though chances are people will show up for it anyway, officially sanctioned or not. 

But either way, major roads like Hollywood and Santa Monica blvds will be closed for hours because of the race, which will quiet nearby streets, as well. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Thirty-two-year old Riverside resident Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Benedicto Solanga, after allegedly running down Solanga intentionally as he rode his bike last July.

Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to run down Solanga as he was riding in the opposite direction, following what may have been a traffic dispute.

In other words, he’a accused of using his car as a weapon following a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

Hopefully, he’ll be there a long damn time.

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Not surprisingly, Curbed’s Alissa Walker offers the best take on the recent invitation-only opening of the Taylor Yard Bridge, in which people apparently more important than you or me were instructed to drive to the opening of a bridge for people walking or biking.

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

There are three new car-free bridges on a widely used four-mile corridor of the L.A. River — one of the few places where it is a meandering naturalized channel not fully encased in a concrete chute — and this morning was a chance to honor all three at once. Standing before a sign that read “Bridging Communities” in the same bright orange as the bridge, elected officials from every level of government — city, county, and state — gave speech after speech about connection. California assemblymember Wendy Carillo cited the “walkable, livable green open space our communities need.” L.A. city councilmember Gil Cedillo called it “a win for everyone” that “brings neighborhoods together…”

…Instead, L.A.’s Taylor Yard Bridge just exposes the distance between the people who say they care about walking and biking in L.A. and the people who actually walk and bike in L.A. The ribbon-cutting invitation (which I did not receive) provided attendees with driving directions only. Meanwhile, people who arrived from the west that morning and actually came to the car-free bridge using car-free modes of transportation found themselves locked out, as the ceremony took place on the eastern landing. At the end of the event, after giving their speeches about the role of walking and biking connections in reducing traffic and smog, the elected officials each walked back to their SUVs and drove away.

It’s worth a few minutes of your time, as Walker succinctly illustrates the problem with riding a bike in the City of Angels, where people on bikes are second-class citizens.

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

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Evidently, I’m officially part of LA bike history.

Carfree writer and artist Eric Brightwell responds to the recent jump in gas prices with a detailed history of bicycling in Los Angeles, from the first dandy horses through bikes in popular culture, to the places you probably ride today and the clubs you may ride with.

And somehow finds it appropriate to include yours truly among the more recent developments.

Bicycle culture began to rebound in the 1990s and 2000s when there was a marked upsurge in bicycle advocacy and group-cycling culture. Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was founded in 1998 by Joe Linton and Ron Milam. Critical Mass, a group cycling event, first launched in San Francisco in 1992, as “Commute Clot,” made its way to Los Angeles in or around 2001. Los Angeles Critical Mass is today the largest community bicycle ride in the US. In 2001 I bought my first Los Angeles bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27, from Lars Lehtonen, who around that time launched the bicycle event aggregator/calendar, Bike Boom. Wolfpack Hustle, a fast-paced ride, started in 2005. Midnight Ridazz, a late-night group bicycle ride, was launched in 2004. Ted Rogers started Biking in L.A. in 2008. You can also start or join a Bike Train.

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

It’s a surprisingly good read. And not just because Brightwell demonstrated the exceptional good taste to give this site a brief shoutout.

His “brief history” is anything but. It’s remarkably detailed yet still concise, and always entertaining.

But his relatively brief into should be mandatory reading for anyone who bikes or drives. Or gets around any other way, for that matter.

…As I write this I brace myself for rage from motorists. And while I sympathize with poor and working class people for whom gassing up truly is painful, so too is riding a bus bogged down in traffic or being hit by a car and when does a motorist every offer a cyclists or bus rider anything other than derision, a middle finger, and a blast from the horn? Cyclists, walkers, and mass transit riders have thicker skin, though — and if they’re car-free, save them an average of $11,000 a year in depreciation, maintenance, gas, repairs, parking tickets, registration renewal, and especially, paid parking that just may be the difference between having to live in a far-flung, car-dependant suburb and a dense, walkable, transitable, and bikeable communities in which a car is not only unnecessary but a burden.

So go ahead. Give it a read.

But give yourself a little time, because there’s a lot to digest here.

Thanks to E/Expo Line Ledger for the heads-up. 

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Calbike offers a roundup of all the bike-friendly bills that have been introduced in the new legislative session.

Much of it has a back to the future feel, with Assembly members reintroducing a series of bills previously vetoed by Gov. Newsom, with minor changes in hopes of getting them past his veto pen. They include bills to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, legalize safely crossing the street mid-block, and fund connected bicycle networks.

Another measure would permanently exempt bike lanes, and other projects that don’t add motor vehicle capacity, from environmental review.

Additional proposals would require cities to include significant bicycle, pedestrian and traffic calming elements in their general plans, and change the vehicle code to require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

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That feeling when you discover a bike/ped bridge over a car canyon that makes your commute that much easier.

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A little girl lies down on the job to giver her little sister a boost to learn how to ride a bike.

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San Diego bicyclists will ride next Saturday to show their support for the people of Ukraine, who more than deserve it.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver got just 22 months for killing a man riding a bicycle who he had just been drinking with at the local pub, then hid his van and lied to the police about it

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Local

Make money while you help build a more livable Los Angeles. The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is now hiring people to collect signatures to get it on the ballot; it would require the city to build out its already-approved mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

A former LA city planner calls for switching to sustainable transportation to put oil-funded autocrats out of business.

Authorities have identified the 28-year old woman who was found dead along a beach bike path in Long Beach, however, no cause of death has been released yet.

 

State 

A San Diego ebike rider questions whether bad drivers and poorly maintained streets make the city too dangerous for people on bicycles.

San Diego is celebrating the grand opening of the new Georgia – Meade Bikeway tomorrow morning. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tragic news from Mountain View, where a 13-year old middle school student was killed by a truck driver while riding to school; needless to say, police virtually exonerated the driver, saying the driver wasn’t speeding or under the influence, even though the crash is still under investigation.

No surprise here, as Tesla fired the whistleblower who released video of one of their cars nearly running over a bike rider while in autopilot mode; Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick says that proves plastic doesn’t offer enough protection to keep people on bicycles safe.

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

Henderson, Nevada is opening the final link in a 12-mile rail-to-trail conversion named after the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; the pathway connects to a 220-mile trail system.

A Minnesota man faces charges for punching a passing bike rider and robbing him while the victim was unconscious.

Even in the oil fields of Louisiana, bike use is booming as gas prices continue to rise. Bike sales are up in Cleveland, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Despite suffering from diabetes, a 79-year old Hemingway lookalike still rides his bike 15 miles every day through his Florida neighborhood, after cutting back from 20 to 25 miles a day when he turned 75. Although I’ll pass on the Papa look, thank you.

Friends of a legally blind Florida man launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bike, after his was stolen when he chained it to a short post outside a Walmart; his poor eyesore kept him from seeing that a thief could just slide the chain off. The campaign has raised over $3,700 of the $5,000 goal.

The bridge tender who was operating a Florida drawbridge when a 79-year old woman fell off after it opened while she was walking her bike across the span has been arrested on a charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence.

 

International

Audi is partnering with Qualcomm and the maker of the Spoke app to develop a cellular vehicle-to-everything system that would alert drivers to the presence of bicycles. Presumably if you have the app installed and open.

Britain’s Parliament discussed the need to improve bike safety, following the deaths of two people riding bikes in Oxford in recent weeks. Somehow, it’s hard to picture Congress responding like that, even with nearly 850 deaths in the US.

Scary footage as a Welsh bike rider barely avoids getting crushed when a half-ton bale of hay falls off a passing truck.

Most bicycle companies are following the lead of other international corporations in pulling out of Russia; notable exceptions include French retailer Decathlon and German manufacturer Bosch.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside offers an insiders look at racing with the L39ion of Los Angeles team at Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.

Someone stole 12 racing bikes from the Mauritian National Team, just one day before they were due in Egypt for today’s All African Championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal an ebike, maybe put some clothes on first. Or even if you’re riding your own bike. Repeat after me — if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and nearly four ounces of meth, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And that feeling when not knowing your front from your back leaves you feeling deflated.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New ADA in Woon hit-and-run case, LA paid out 300 grand in hit-and-run rewards, and bike theft down 22% in Long Beach

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

So let’s have her kick things off today by catching us up with the latest happenings in bike jurisprudence and other related stuff.

Mariah Kandise Banks (charged in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier) has yet another DA newly assigned to her case. He was tranfserred from the Van Nuys courthouse on the morning of her most react hearing, December 6th. He had a whole new caseload to familiarize himself with, but was present for Banks’ appearance. I was able to speak with him very briefly and he indicated that the prosecution is continuing to work with the defense on a plea deal.

(Editor’s note — Let’s hope they finally get a conviction while Woon’s long-suffering mother is still around to see it.)

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Samantha Cunha killed her friend during a bizarre road rage incident. On December 1st, the charge was dismissed.

(Editor’s note — This was the case where Cunha was a passenger in a car driven by Sophia Ardalan when they became involved in a running road rage dispute on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Ardalan was killed when she either got out, or fell out, of her car attempting to confront the motorcyclist in front of a West Hollywood apartment building, and Cunha somehow put the car into reverse, crushing her against a tree.)

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In the latest episode of Drivers Hitting Buildings:

  • On the 6th, a driver smashed into a building at Los Altos Dr. & Caricia Dr. in Hacienda Heights.
  • On Sunday morning, a speeding driver in a Nissan Frontier took out a parked pick-up, a light pole, and the garage at the T-intersection of City Terrace Drive & Ditman.
  • In the wee, wee hours of Monday, the flower shop at Colima & Lambert, the site of a Black Friday fatality, was again collateral damage in a 3-vehicle collision. This time a driver made a drive-thru of it.
  • A driver fled a hit and run on the 710, went zipping down surface streets, and ended up hitting the house at 5th St. & Sydney Dr. (This is not the first time that house has been hit.)
  • On the 3rd, a dipstick departed the Sinclair gas station at Alameda & Nadeau with the gas nozzle still attached. Counts as structural damage?

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There was a candlelight vigil Sunday for a mother & daughter killed on my coworker’s commute route. Last week, she asked, “You do this all the time. Do I take a candle, or will they hand them out there? Is it okay to take more flowers?” I’m  kinda upset to be the go-to for advice on this subject, tbh.

The speed limit on this stretch is 40mph, and this intersection is close to the terminus of the 105 at Studebaker, which has frequent collisions, sometimes involving the already red-tagged building on the east side of the street. Currently, the guardrail “protecting” the sidewalk has a 20-inch dent. Just a half mile up the road, Chandler Ray was killed on his bike.

The killer was released last Tuesday before the tox exam was even returned. She’s out there. Just like Mariah Banks.

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This was the third Christmas in a row that it was too wet for me & my friends to put up our hit-and-run reward posters… y’know, the some people are in such a rush on Christmas Eve that they really don’t watch out for grannies trying to make their way home. We have really sharp pictures of the suspect and his vehicle, too! The posters and the reindeer hoof print stencils have to wait til next year.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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LA’s standing reward program is working better than we realized, as Crosstown reports the city paid out a total of $300,000 to eleven people for information leading to the conviction of hit-and-run drivers last year.

Prior to last year, the city had only paid three people a total of $55,000 in the previous four years of the program.

The sudden explosion of payments was most likely due the time it takes to make an arrest and for the case to work its way through the court system, according to a police spokesman.

The site also reports that serious hit-and-runs are up in the city, while overall hit-and-runs decreased somewhat.

Los Angeles has seen a rise in people dying or being seriously injured in car crashes. In 2021, there were 359 felony hit and runs in the city that resulted in serious injury or death, up 25% from the 286 in 2020, according to LAPD Traffic Division Compstat data.

Altogether, there were 3,536 felony hit and run cases in Los Angeles last year. That was a decrease of 17% from the 4,273 in 2020.

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Time is running out to voice your thoughts on the planned rush hour bus lanes on La Brea Ave, which would provide a relatively safe route from Hollywood to South LA.

As long as you don’t mind Metro buses running up behind you every ten minutes or so.

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Let’s tip one out for the late, great VeloNews.

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Longtime CNN reporter and host Christiane Amanpour is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1481128809348874240

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The latest Streetfilm illustrates how cargo bikes are revolutionizing family life in New York City.

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

A Seattle man has had more than a dozen surgeries to correct critical injuries suffered when a hit-and-run driver his his bike last month, dragging him for two blocks under the massive SUV, in what he says may have been a deliberate attack.

An Atlanta man faces multiple felony charges for allegedly chasing down a man on a bicycle with a Hummer, then beating him with a baseball bat in an apparent attempt to stiff the victim out of a mere $70 for two days worth of yard work.

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

A Milwaukee bike rider faces a charge of 1st degree intentional homicide for an alleged road rage shooting that took the life of an immigration lawyer after the pair exchanged words; he’s claiming the shooting was in self-defense.

………

Local

Streets For All wants you to tell LA County to improve bike and pedestrian access to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area at this evening’s 6:30 pm virtual meeting.

Speaking of Streets For All, the traffic safety PAC is hosting their latest virtual happy hour at 5 pm today, with 26th District California Senator Ben Allen as guest.

Violent crime may be up in Long Beach, just like in most of the country, but bike thefts were down by nearly 22% in the city last year.

 

State

Anaheim is hosting a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider transportation and mobility options for the city’s resort district, including Disneyland; better sidewalks and bike lanes leading from the nearby ARTIC train station would help. The meeting comes five years after the city’s shortsighted decision to cancel a streetcar that would have linked Disneyland with the train station.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes an Oakland TV station to task for displaying its windshield bias by criticizing  bicycle rideout taking over a local freeway, while failing to criticize dangerous drivers using bike lanes. Because one is a lot more dangerous than the other, and it ain’t the kids on bikes. Even if riding on a freeway isn’t the brightest choice. 

No bias here. A San Francisco letter writer says they might as well put up a sign saying “restricted to the young and fit” on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, which advocates are calling on the city to keep closed.

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition objects to a special meeting to once again reconsider a planned road diet that has already been “considered, reconsidered, and reconsidered yet again,” apparently to appease residents opposed to the loss of some parking spaces.

UC Davis has moved its auction of bicycles abandoned on campus online, presumably opening the sale up to anyone. Just in case you’re in the market.

 

National

Kind of a strange post from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who finds his knickers in a twist after criticism from Peter Flax and Doug Gordon of The War on Cars podcast, who made their comments without actually naming him.

Bike mechanics, co-ops, and various advocates and nonprofit advocacy groups are joining together to call for more durable and repairable budget bikes that can last at least 500 riding hours before breaking down, and be fixed when they do. You can sign the petition here. However, you’ll be required to give your full address, which is usually a deal breaker for me.

The second shoe has fallen in Las Vegas, where the family of one of the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver have filed suit against the driver and his employer, as well as the ride’s escort driver, leaving just three more shoes to inevitably fall. The driver, Jordan Barson, is doing 16 to 40 years behind bars for the crash.

Bird watchers in the town nextdoor to my Colorado hometown are up in arms over plans to pave a bike path less than half a mile from a beloved pair of nesting golden eagles, who they fear will be frightened off by “flashing bicycle rims and pink Lycra speeding past at 22 miles an hour.” But evidently, dull rims and yellow or green Lycra is just fine.

Houston is falling behind on a commitment to build 1,800 miles of bike lanes by 2027, as bicycling deaths continue to rise in the city and the surrounding county.

Chicago’s supposedly race-neutral traffic cams somehow managed to disproportionately ticket Black and Latino drivers anyway.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Florida, where an accused hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding a bicycle copped a sweetheart plea deal in a long-delayed conclusion to the 2016 case, walking without a single day behind bars in a case that should could have resulted in four to 15 years behind bars.

 

International

Tragic news from Argentina, where a German man was struck and killed by lightening on just the second day of a planned 1,615-mile ride across the South American country.

A British doctoral student is begging a thief to show a little heart, and bring back the stolen bike her mother gave her as a birthday present to get to class. It’s tempting to say bike thieves don’t have one, but you never know. She might get lucky.

Great idea. An English town is renting new foldies, ebikes and bike trailers, as well as more traditional bikes, for as little as $27 a month, including free delivery and a beginner’s lesson from a bicycling instructor, to get people to try out biking to work or school without having to make a commitment.

A neighborhood in Nottingham, England is going carfree, banning motor vehicles to make roads described as “a racetrack” safer for bike riders and pedestrians. Robin Hood would undoubtedly approve.

Singapore’s Straights Times offers a guide to bicycling in the island city-state, which has some unusually strict regulations.

Now surprise here, as Australian researchers report three-quarters of people surveyed in the country’s Victoria state want to ride their bikes more, but only if there’s safe bike infrastructure to do it in. Which pretty much corresponds with similar surveys everywhere else, including Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Disappointing news, as newly revitalized cyclist Mark Cavendish won’t get a chance to break Eddy Merckx record of 34 stage wins at this year’s Tour de France; the British sprinter, who bounced back from five winless years with a surprising four stage wins last year, will be relegated to the Giro, instead.

Sad news from San Diego, where former Canadian pro cyclist and acupuncturist Greg Bourque died of Covid-related complications just after Christmas; he was 55.

Louisiana’s “challenging” Rouge Roubaix bike race is back this year after a five year hiatus due to flooding and Covid, as well as a misguided local ordinance banning groups of more than ten people on bicycles. Which makes it kind of hard to host a race with hundreds of competitors.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny little ped-assist car. And yes, always check your broken bike to make sure it still works.

Check Your Breaks Screenshot

………

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

Columnist who wrote about bus bike theft leaves LA, the massive cost of traffic violence, and restoring your faith humanity

LA Times City Beat columnist Nita Lelyveld penned her final piece for the paper, which included a reminder of one of my favorites.

In a story from nine years ago, she told how two strangers on a bus became close friends when one rescued the other man’s bicycle from a would-be thief.

A story that started right here a few months earlier.

She also told my own story of taking in a homeless man’s corgi so he could get back on his feet. Which literally saved his life when he saw the outpouring of love and support that resulted, much of it from readers of this site.

Along with a followup from earlier this year, relating how my wife and I had become friends with the now formerly homeless man, and the new puppy that filled the hole in our lives after our own corgi died.

To be honest, I’m not sure I would have trusted anyone else with the story.

Nita’s moving on to Portland, Maine, where she’ll be the new city editor for the Portland Press Herald.

Their gain, LA’s loss.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

………

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

So just let these numbers sink in: 112,519 people who weren’t in cars — mostly pedestrians and people on bicycles — have been killed by drivers since 9/11.

And nearly 2 million — yes, million — American traffic deaths since 1975, which would make it equivalent to the 5th largest city in the US.

Somehow, we have to make our fellow Americans care enough to finally do something about it.

………

I’m usually not one for surveys, but I might make an exception this time.

PeopleForBikes wants your opinion on what it’s like to ride a bike where you live for their 2022 City Ratings, and promise it will only take five minutes of your time.

Anyone who does will be entered to win prizes, including this Schwinn Orange Krate bike.

From PeopleForBikes

Then again, the fewer people who respond, the better my chance of winning the bike I wanted as a kid, but never got.

So forget I said anything.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Phil Gaimon posted video this morning of the aftermath of a road rage incident in Boulder, Colorado. Although it’s not clear if the driver severely beat the victim, or ran him down with his car, then got out to look at him.

The good news is, the driver has been identified, and may yet be held accountable for his crimes.

………

As usual, drivers make the best case for protected bike lanes.

………

Let’s interrupt the usual news with a few stories to help restore your faith in humanity.

A nurse on Hawaii’s Big Island discovered it takes a village to recover a stolen bicycle — in less than a day, even — while reminding everyone to get vaccinated.

Bighearted Texas cops used donations from local businesses to give a new bike, helmet, lock and lights to a man formerly homeless man who had been walking 14 miles round trip to get to his job in another town.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a special needs man, after the bicycle he used as his primary means of transportation was stolen.

Firefighters in Waukesha, Wisconsin opened their own wallets to buy a used bicycle for a man whose bike was destroyed in a collision with a driver, after learning it was his only means of transportation.

An anonymous Good Samaritan surprised a Virginia girl with a new bicycle, leaving it on her porch with an unsigned note a month after hers was stolen.

………

Clean transportation nonprofit Calstart is looking for a new director of innovative mobility.

https://twitter.com/ryanschuchard/status/1430362551301206020

Although even after reading the job description, I’m still have no idea what that means.

But something tells me I’m probably not qualified, anyway.

………

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

A road raging Aussie driver drove over a bicycle and took off with a bicyclist clinging to the hood of his car, in a confrontation that began when a group of bike riders complained about the driver swerving into them; the driver can be heard on the video saying “I will fucking destroy you, I’ve got money mate.” And there’s nothing scarier than an angry driver with money, right?

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

A bike-riding parolee was busted for “terrorizing” a Venice community by slashing car tires with a folding knife and shattering a window in the west LA neighborhood with a brick.

A man was permanently banned from a Washington Walmart after entering the closed store on his bike, riding around the store pocketing drinks and candy bars before threatening security guards with a meat cleaver.

………

Local

Los Angeles CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman appeared to throw long-standing plans for a 4th Street Neighborhood Greenway under the bus in a meeting with Larchmont area homeowners, agreeing to oppose proposals for bike and pedestrian traffic signals on 4th and Highland, and 4th and Rossmore. Even though they would benefit local residents as much as anyone else, without causing any harm.

Metro Bike is offering two weeks free for any passholders who refer a friend.

Simon Cowell is still one of us, taking his ebike for a ride through the ‘Bu, a year after shattering his back crashing an electric motorcycle. Which the press still insists on calling an ebike.

 

State

Paso Robles is looking for public input for a planned bicycle pump track, to be designed by the same firm that built the skate park for the Tokyo Olympics.

Drivers were outraged by the estimated 5,000 people on bicycles who turned out for the 5th annual Santa Cruz Ride Out and “clogged traffic for hours.” In other words, kind of like drivers do all by themselves multiple times a day.

 

National

Bicycling makes their picks for the best ebikes of 2021 — including LA-based Aventon — with prices starting at just $999 and going up. Way up. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

A father and daughter duo rode their antique Penny Farthings across the US from San Francisco to Boston, covering 3,314 miles in 57 days. Then turned around and rode across the US from north to south, for a total of 6,100 miles.

Forbes reviews the new book by the guy who took a New York bikeshare bike on a ride across the US in search of a new home, before settling on — and in — Tusla OK.

Heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, where an 88-year old man was killed by a driver while trying to make a left turn on his bicycle. Anyone who makes it to that age deserves better, damn it — and safer streets to ride on. Never mind that it takes the local paper until the penultimate paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

Chicago Streetsblog tells the sad story of protected bike lane proposals killed by parking pushback. Something tells me Los Angeles could produce an even greater tearjerker.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 70-year old retired creative writing professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and former Alaska Writer Laureate was killed in a Maine bicycling collision last week.

 

International

After a Toronto councilmember had her own bicycle stolen, some unsympathetic residents blamed her for supporting shelters for the homeless, accusing them of taking her bike.

A pair of British men are on trial for murder in the death of a young father, after he accused one of them of stealing the other man’s bicycle to buy more drugs; the alleged killer swears he didn’t mean to harm the victim, despite repeatedly punching him and stomping on his head. I’d hate to see what he’d do if he did mean to hurt someone.

Welsh residents complain about plans for a “national standard” BMX track over fears that it will add to traffic congestion. More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s starting to look like the only thing that could keep two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič from the red leader’s jersey is falling off his bike. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Tragic news from Spain, where ultra-distance cyclist Ana Orenz was competing in the unsupported, nearly 2,00-mile Transiberica race when she suffered “devastating” injuries after crashing into a wild boar during a high-speed descent; Orenz suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries, as well as severe head trauma, and lay alone in the roadway unable to move for two hours before she was found. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $41,000 of the $58,700 goal.

 

Finally…

Who needs a Bookmobile when you’ve got a cargo bike? Now you, too, can have your very own Louis Vuitton bicycle, complete with awkward hand brakes that look chic but will probably kill you, for the low, low price of $27,000.

And it takes a pretty smart dog to be this knowledgable when it comes to doping.

………

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

Road rage driver intentionally runs down Oceanside rider, TransComm approves Incomplete Streets, and Bike the Vote on hiatus

Forget hit-and-run. Call it attempted murder.

Police in Oceanside are looking for the road raging driver who intentionally ran down former semi-pro cyclist Adam Atkinson Saturday morning.

The unknown driver followed Atkinson for about a mile after exchanging words with him, before slamming into his bike from behind on eastbound on Vista Way.

The impact flung Atkinson through the air as the driver continued down Vista Way, leaving him with a pelvis broken in two places, as well as broken bones in his elbow, collar bone and shoulder blade.

Police are looking for a black four-door BMW with front end damage and a missing passenger side mirror, driven by a man in his mid-20s. He’s wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to reflect the seriousness of the crime, which could have easily killed Atkinson.

And was probably meant to.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

………

Streetsblog reports the City Council Transportation Committee gave their blessing to a trio of incomplete Complete Streets projects on Highland, Culver and La Brea at yesterday’s meeting.

In other words, LADOT somehow envisions these as among the few Complete Streets projects that can somehow be implemented without changing the roadway.

So either the streets are already complete and capable of safely and effectively serving the needs of all road users, which means the projects aren’t necessary.

Or LADOT has no intention of actually making them complete, and just wants to call them something that sounds good and allows them to check a box when applying for funding.

I’d put my money on the latter.

Committee Chair Mike Bonin at least asked LADOT to work with the local councilmember’s office to implement the mobility plan.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Especially after the committee approved the projects as written, while politely asking them to think about doing the right thing when it comes to bus and bike lanes.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed up the whole sad affair in his story.

Streets for All had urged its followers to press the committee to implement the La Brea bus-only lanes already approved in the city’s Mobility Plan. Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz questioned why the planned bus facilities had not been included in La Brea’s preliminary designs. LADOT staff responded that the department tries to “balance the needs” and “our corridors are width-challenged.” This portion of La Brea is at least 75-feet wide throughout. The DOT representative stated that a bus lane would “compromise the objective” of this project, but could proceed independently.

Bonin encouraged LADOT to work with the local council office to implement the bus lane, stating that it is a Metro priority and important for equity. Sadly, the directive to work with the local councilmember is tacit acknowledgement that each councilmember has (and frequently uses) veto powers to get in the way of street improvements needed to save lives, and improve transit, health, and quality of life.

Nice to know that adding a bus lane to make La Brea even somewhat complete would somehow compromise the objective of a Complete Street.

You can click on any of the tweets above to read the whole thread, and the link above to read Linton’s story.

Although this exchange pretty well sums it up.

………

Disappointing, but totally understanding decision from Bike the Vote, which will be sitting out next year’s elections.

Having done that job myself, both on behalf of this site and as a board member of the LACBC, I can attest to just how draining it can be. And Bike the Vote went far beyond anything I tried to do.

Hopefully, someone will step up and fill the vote before next year, when we’ll elect a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and half the city council.

Because the only voice the bike community has comes from our perceived ability to influence elections. And if candidates don’t think our vote matters, they won’t even ask for our support, let alone support policies to make our streets safer and more welcoming to people on bicycles.

Otherwise, we can look forward to more Orwellian fiascos like we saw yesterday.

………

In better news, Zachary Rynew calls our attention to newly striped bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Metro bikeshare dock is no match for a street racing jerk driver. But at least no one was using it at the time.

………

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

No bias here. Despite admitting that most ebike riders obey the law, a San Diego TV station paints a picture of young scofflaw riders flaunting both the law and safety, while failing to distinguish between ped-assist ebikes, mopeds and electric motorbikes. And goes on to frighten parents over kids riding their ebikes to school. Better to just shove them into the family SUV and drive them like normal parents, right?

No bias here, either. A Florida driver walks with probation for racially profiling a teenage bike rider, and illegally detaining him for allegedly breaking into cars — which he wasn’t.

………

Local

CicLAvia estimates just 4,000 people turned out for LA’s first open streets event in two years, belying the pent-up demand expected after the pandemic.

Be prepared to turn off your flashers in the future, as the LA City Council began the process of banning strobe lights at demonstrations, despite worries that it could criminalize flashing bike lights.

If you’re missing a bicycle in the Venice area, you might want to check with the LAPD, after they busted a “prolific” bike thief who now faces seven counts of grand theft.

You may want to find another route through the ‘Bu this weekend, when the annual Malibu Triathlon will take place on PCH.

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, the only time bicycles are legally allowed on the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

That’s more like it. Alameda forgoes the plastic bendy posts that too often pass for protection, and installs concrete “chonky curbs” anchored with rebar to keep drivers out of a two-way protected bike lane.

 

National

They get it. Smart City says electric cars won’t save our cities, but ebikes might.

Seattle took advantage of the pandemic to go on a bike lane building “binge,” installing seven miles of protected bike lanes. Bearing in mind that Paris installed 31 miles of segregated bike lanes in a matter of months.

The nine-year old diabetic boy riding cross-country with his dad to see the Statue of Liberty got his wish, rolling into New York after 18 weeks and 3,300 miles.

Bizarre crime from Salt Lake City, where a woman was arrested for fatally shooting her girlfriend during an argument while riding their bicycles.

That’s more like it. A 21-year old Wisconsin man faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading no contest to the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. Even I think that’s just a tad excessive.

After she was struck by a distracted driver, a Connecticut safe streets advocate examines why bike riders always get blamed for a crash, even by their own friends and family. Just going by my own experience, she’s right.

The New York Times’ Wirecutter makes their picks for the best commuter bike helmet., while Consumer Reports reminds you even the best helmets only last around five years. The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear, commuter or otherwise.

 

International

Momentum says belt-drive bikes could be a game changer for commuters.

A Vancouver writer takes us back to the earliest days of traffic violence and driver privilege, as a London woman became the first known traffic fatality 125 years ago yesterday, after the new driver of one of just 20 cars in the city yelled at her to get out of his way.

That’s more like it, too. Dublin planners have rejected plans for a 428-unit apartment building because it didn’t include adequate bike parking.

More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere, as business owners in Belfast, Northern Ireland complain about plans for a bikeway that would reduce on-street parking by 25%. Even though studies have repeatedly shown that bike lanes are good for business, more than making up for any loss of parking.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding driver got just three years behind bars for seriously injuring a six-year old kid out for a bike ride with his dad, while stoned on a cocktail of weed, coke and ketamine.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding 300 miles from Paris to London on a series of cycle tracks. And a ferry, of course.

You think you can ride mountains? A Pakistani mountain biker has become the country’s first woman to ride to the base camp on the world’s second-highest mountain by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen caps a remarkable comeback by winning Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Vuelta, just over a year after he was lying in an induced coma fighting for his life following a horrific crash in the Tour of Poland.

Rouleur looks at the history of the maillot rojo — or red jersey — worn by the leader of the Vuelta’s general classification; the red color is a relatively recent addition to the race, which began in 1935, but has only been run annually for the past 66 years.

Next week’s Deutschland Tour will feature a star-studded cast of riders who skipped the ongoing Vuelta for the four-stage German race.

Team USA presents a guide to the cycling events at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic road cycling gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer says the one thing she’s sure of after her surprise win is that she won’t be turning pro, due to a fear of what can happen in the peloton.

Tragic news from Colorado, where a mountain biker died while competing in the Leadville Trail 100 race; details are scant, but other riders suggested he may have fallen during a high speed descent or suffered a medical issue.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging elephants. Instead of worrying about bike thieves when you park your bike, you might be visited by the Bike Fairy.

And let’s hope the new “cyclist’s paradise” doesn’t retain a faint whiff of its previous existence.

………

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

Infrastructure bill could cut drunk driving, but keeps US on unsustainable path; and road raging driver hits man on 3rd try

Debate continues over the pros and cons of the new infrastructure bill, which passed the US Senate on Monday with rare bipartisan support.

One big plus was highlighted by the anti-drunk driving advocacy group MADD, which points to provisions that could finally put an end to the deadly scourge.

Or at least put a big dent in it.

The bill directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a rulemaking process and set the final standard within three years for impaired driving safety equipment on all new vehicles. NHTSA will evaluate technologies that may include:

  • Driving performance monitoring systems that monitor the vehicle movement with systems like lane departure warning and attention assist;
  • Driver monitoring systems that monitor the driver’s head and eyes, typically using a camera or other sensors;
  • Alcohol detection systems that use sensors to determine whether a driver is drunk and then prevent the vehicle from moving.

Automakers are then given two to three years to implement the safety standard. New cars equipped with the NHTSA-directed technology could start rolling off the assembly line in 2026-2027.

So now that Congress has proven they can actually work together, maybe they can do something about distracted driving, too.

On the other hand, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO, is no fan of the measure.

Even as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that our planet is heading toward an increasingly uninhabitable future, the infrastructure bill passed today by the Senate keeps our nation on an unsafe and unsustainable path. It continues to prioritize building the infrastructure that most contributes to the U.S.’s worst-in-class safety record and extraordinarily high climate emissions: new highways. With transportation as the largest source of U.S. climate emissions, and 80% of those coming from driving, the Senate’s bill goes in the wrong direction, giving a whopping $200 billion in virtually unrestricted funding to this unsustainable mode.

With the bill moving to the House for consideration, there is still a narrow opportunity to rectify the worst aspects of this enormous legislation, reshaping it to address the looming threat of climate change and stem the unconscionable level of death and injuries on American roads, which are the least-safe of all industrialized countries. We urge House leaders to meet this moment and use their leverage to fix what’s painfully wrong with the bill to meet the scale of the climate emergency the world is facing today.

They recommend a series of simple fixes first proposed in the bill that passed the House earlier this year, including a requirement to fix existing roadways before building new ones, and investing more in transit.

Maybe they could also include more funding for non-motorized transportation while they’re at it.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Apparently, it’s not just people on bicycles at risk from hot tempered drivers, as a road-raging Oakland driver tried three times to run down another man who had the audacity to ask him to slow down.

For anyone unclear on the concept, that’s attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, at a bare minimum.

Let’s just hope the local DA takes it seriously.

………

A new ad from Dutch ebike maker VanMoof suggests a way out of the ever worsening traffic congestion in our cities.

And you can probably guess what that is.

………

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

Evidently, we’re not safe anywhere. Portland bike riders are being warned to watch their backs on an offroad bike path, which is being used as an access road for drivers from a nearby homeless camp.

Then again, people evidently drive in protected cycle tracks in Hong Kong, too.

A Singapore bike rider slammed into a taxi that pulled out directly in front of him, in a crash caught on bike cam video. So naturally, people blamed the guy on two wheels.

………

Local

Once again, the East Side Riders prove they’re much more than a bike club, providing 30 underprivileged kids in the Compton area with $100 for back-to-school shopping, along with a grocery shopping spree, laptop and a haircut. If anyone wants to know my choice to succeed Joe Buscaino in LA CD15, the list starts and ends with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

Metro has finished renovation work on the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, which includes a full service Mobility Hub with safe bike parking.

 

State

San Diego-based Juiced Bikes has launched a new version of their Cross Current X Step-Through ebike, with an improved price tag reflecting a $500 drop from earlier versions.

A Bakersfield man suffered major injuries when he allegedly rode his bike through a red light, and was struck by a driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses other than the driver who saw him go through the light.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that it’s lobbyists and elected officials marring the public process rather than bike and pedestrian activists, accusing representatives of the de Young museum of engaging in gaslighting in an attempt to “turn J.F.K. back into a de facto freeway through Golden Gate Park.”

Once again, bike riders are heroes, after mountain bikers were credited with reporting and attempting to extinguish last month’s Cascade Fire, helping to restrict the blaze to a few hundred acres; a former lecturer at Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University is suspected of setting a number of fires in the area, including the massive Dixie Fire. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

USA Today says American cities are failing to meet their climate goals, but there’s still time to turn things around. Does anyone really believe Los Angeles will meet its goal of a 45% reduction in greenhouse gasses in just four more years — especially without a major investment in reducing motor vehicle traffic?

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows separation works, saying bike paths and protected bike lanes saved lives from speeding drivers during the pandemic, while suggesting last year’s jump in bike deaths would have been even worse without them.

Tern’s commitment to plow 1% of their sales back into social and environmental causes resulted in splitting $45,000 between World Bicycle Relief, PeopleForBikes, and Trips for Kids. Now if every bike and accessory maker would do that, we might make some real progress for a change.

That one-of-a-kind Harley-Davidson chopper ebike styled after the classic Schwinn Apple Krate could have been yours for a mere $14,200.

Bicycling declares the once ubiquitous aluminum frame road bikes with mechanical shifting and rim brakes officially dead. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Evidently, a “miscellaneous accident” is a thing in Hawaii.

A Portland writer celebrates biking with dogs in tow, including her own Dalmatian.

Rapidly rising Covid counts in my Colorado hometown, driven by the virulent Delta variant, has led to cancellation of the original Tour de Fat celebration, which was apparently the only one scheduled in the US this year.

A Denver magazine offers tips on how to power up hills like Colorado’s Sepp Kuss, the first American to win a stage in the Tour de France in over a decade.

A Colorado man confesses that he used bikepacking to escape from depression and anxiety, but let it turn into a tool for his own self-destruction. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Kansas woman faces a second-degree murder count for the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding 16-year old girl over the weekend; she’s also charged with DUI, hit-and-run and tampering with evidence.

An unused bikeshare dock on a New Orleans street was turned into a guerrilla artwork to protest the death of a Black man at the hands of Louisiana State police, in what some see as a prequel the murder of George Floyd.

 

International

An Edmonton, Alberta cop is on trial for assaulting a member of the Cree First Nation by needlessly driving his knee into the man’s back while he was already restrained by another officer, in what began as a simple traffic stop for not having a bike bell. One more argument for eliminating bike bell laws and other similar requirements, which are too often used as an excuse to target people of color.

A Toronto bike rider thanks the strangers who rushed to help him when he was struck by a driver pulling out of an alley.

London’s Independent looks at the city’s edition of Black Girls Do Bike, part of a loosely affiliated international organization dedicated to breaking down barriers that keep Black women from bicycling.

A British TV host credits her helmet with saving her skull when she was struck by a driver in the UK equivalent of a right hook. But instead of blaming the driver, her husband got rid of her bicycle.

You’ve got to be kidding. After BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine posted a video of bicyclists riding side-by-side to argue that it’s safer and less inconvenient to drivers if bicyclists ride abreast, the founder of a motorist rights group called him a “cycling zealot” and accused Vine of breaking the Beeb’s rules by “politicizing” the roadways. Then again, “motorist rights group” pretty much tells you everything you need to know about him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Portuguese cyclist João Almeida made a late attack to take a slim lead on day two of the Tour of Poland.

New Zealand Olympic cyclist Eddie Dawkins called for accountability from the country’s cycling and sports authorities after the suspected suicide of fellow Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore, who died suddenly at just 24 years old.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 33-year-old Rhode Island scientist was killed when he suddenly veered off the course of the Concord Criterium; Evan Barr-Beare had a 45-second lead on the rest of the peloton in the final lap when he apparently suffered some sort of medical emergency and lost control of his bike.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a life-size Hot Wheels. If you’re going to risk up to 20 years behind bars for knocking a man off his bicycle, at least make sure he’s got more than five bucks on him.

And seriously, don’t tempt fate by parking in a bike lane.

Thanks to Ted Faber for forwarding the video.

………

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

Who we share the road with: Alleged road raging DUI driver kills pregnant woman; and help keep Culver Blvd partially carfree

This is who we share the road with.

A pregnant woman and her unborn baby are dead, thanks to the allegedly drunken, road-raging driver she had the misfortune of sharing a pickup cab with.

The driver was allegedly chasing another driver through several blocks in Long Beach when he lost control of his truck, and crashed into a number of other vehicles.

One more tragic reminds that getting behind the wheel brings out the worst in far too many people.

And that some people just shouldn’t drive.

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

And speaking of people who just shouldn’t drive. Or maybe shouldn’t be allowed to drive ever again.

………

The Culver City council will consider whether to keep Culver Blvd open for people, and partially closed to cars, at tonight’s meeting.

Bike Culver City urges you to voice your support before then.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1424491840326098945

Meanwhile, my old friend and longtime LA bike advocate Kent Strumpell forwards a reminder about tonight’s webinar to explain upcoming changes to restore the Ballona Wetlands, which will impact the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail.

Reminder: WEBINAR: RE-ENVISIONING THE BALLONA CREEK TRAIL IN THE WETLANDS

An online presentation hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands including a Q&A by CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the project planners.

Monday, August 9, 2021, 5:00PM
Register here:                                                  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2782870943479543820

And Streets For All is urging your comments before the LA County Board of Supervisors consider a motion addressing inequities in county infrastructure planning at tomorrow’s meeting.

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This may link to a story from last year.

But it’s a good reminder of what we’ve been saying here for some time. Bike helmets are designed to protect you from a fall off your bike. Not protect your skull — or anything else — from a motor vehicle.

Yes, you should wear one when you ride. I never get on my bike without one.

But don’t expect it to be some sort of magical hat that makes you impervious to injury, head or otherwise.

A bike helmet should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

Not the first.

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Admit it.

Your bike club never looked this good.

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

No bias here. The founder of a Chinese American citizen’s alliance argues against planned bike lanes by insisting that only wealthy white people ride bicycles, not ordinary people like the residents of Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Yet somehow, the photo accompanying the article clearly shows two people on bikes, including a heavily loaded cargo bike.

She gets it. A Kiwi writer asks drivers to please stop trying to kill her when she’s riding her bike.

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

British police finally busted a serial groper who allegedly prowled pathways on his mountain bike looking for victims; the 19-year old man is suspected of assaulting at least 20 women.

A Spanish thief has died after he was pushed off his bicycle by a Barcelona cop, who chased him down as he was trying to make his escape after stealing a woman’s cellphone; the death is already under investigation.

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Local

SoCal Cycling considers the pro football players who’ve added bicycling to their fitness program.

Rapper T.I.’s recent arrest in Amsterdam didn’t scare him off his bike, as he and his wife went for an extended ride in Santa Monica.

 

State

California State Parks wants your input on hike and bike camping.

Tragic news from San Jose, where a young girl was killed when she struck a raised curb while riding her bike downhill and hit her head on a concrete retaining wall. And no, she wasn’t wearing a helmet, despite a California law requiring one for anyone under 18.

A hit-and-run driver turned himself in two days after allegedly killing a bike rider in Ceres last week — but walked out without being arrested, because the CHP said they still needed to build their case. I’d call a confession a pretty good case, but what do I know?

While San Francisco bike riders cheer a decision to ban cars from John F. Kennedy Drive through Golden Gate Park, museums worry the loss of motor vehicle access will halt a post-pandemic rebound. Because evidently, their collections aren’t worth seeing if you can’t park right on top of them.

 

National

Streetsblog says there’s more good news, and even better amendments, in the bipartisan Senate transportation bill. Along with one really bad and unneeded mega-highway.

Wired offers a rudimentary how-to guide for getting into BMX for anyone inspired by the events in the Tokyo Olympics. But no, it’s not everyone’s favorite event, regardless of what the magazine says.

Your next ebike could be a Schwinn-style Harley chopper complete with banana seat and raised handlebars.

An Oklahoma cowboy remembers his wannabe childhood, saying a bicycle is the next best thing when there’s not a horse ride.

Police in New York are looking for a man who spat in the face of a 52-year old woman, and called her a racial slur as she was attempting to dock her bikeshare bike.

Speaking of the NYPD, they’ve arrested the alleged hit-and-run scooter rider who ran down 65-year old Gone Girl actress Lisa Banes, then went directly to a bike shop to get his scooter fixed while she lay dying

A New Yorker decides he’ll have to leave the city if it replaces free curbside parking with a bike lane, because evidently, there’s no other way to get around in the American city best served by transit.

Scammers are switching QR codes on bikeshare bikes in the Big Apple, getting a free $3 ride when an unsuspecting mark scans it — and maybe even a free bike.

 

International

A Canadian writer traveling 5,000 miles as part of a cross-country group decries reckless drivers, calling them the scourge of bicyclists, and saying maybe they’d reconsider their actions if they could see the world from a bicycle seat.

A British bike rider credits a “guardian angel” with saving his life after he lost control of his bicycle and plunged 30 feet off a bridge and into the river below; he was rescued by an RAF doctor who watched the crash from her home just a few feet away.

Half of all adults in the UK are considering buying an ebike.

Reminiscing about a childhood bicycle crash, a British TV host was the living definition of oversharing, as he told about having to have his partially severed penis sewed back on afterwards.

Bicycling Australia examines the intersection of van life and bike life, living the life of a bike bum while living out of your van.

This one’s easily the story of the day. A New Zealand woman wants to thank the young man who loaned her his own “expensive” bicycle so she could make a followup exam with her cardiologist on time, after her bike suffered a flat he couldn’t fix. He then walked her bike to the office to exchange it for his, before riding off without a word.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to San Diego native Jennifer Valente on winning the women’s omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, the first ever track cycling gold medal for US women, after a massive crash took out much of the competition.

Now that the Olympics are over, the Tokyo Paralympics move in to take their place; San Diego microbiome researcher Josie Fouts went from reluctant bike commuter to elite paracycling champ representing the US in just a few months.

 

Finally…

It doesn’t matter how cool you think you look on your bike, Hollywood still thinks you’re a dork. Why should people be the only ones who get to ride, when animals might like it, tooThanks to an anonymous source for the link.

And there’s DIY, and then there’s assault with a hacksaw.

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

Man injured in Show Low vehicular attack dies, and Phil Gaimon and fiancé threatened by road raging LA driver

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where one of the victims of last month’s vehicular assault on a senior’s bike race has died.

Fifty-eight-year old Jeremy Barrett took a turn for the worse after initially showing improvement following the crash, and passed away on Saturday.

Barrett had been flown to a hospital in Flagstaff suffering from internal injuries, and was due to be transferred to a hospital in Tucson before suffering a stroke and deteriorating in the days that followed.

He was described by friends as someone who went out of his way to help others, and frequently hosted touring bicyclists in his home.

A police spokesperson says that additional charges are likely to be filed in the wake of Barrett’s death, on top of the 20 felony counts already faced by 36-year old driver Shawn Michael Chock for the alleged intentional attack.

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You really hate to see this.

Everyone’s favorite retired pro cyclist and his fiancé had an ugly run-in with a road raging driver, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to slow his Porsche down on his way to the golf course.

While Phil Gaimon and Emily may not be able to make a case for assault with a deadly weapon, the driver could and should be charged with battery after allegedly shoving the petite woman confronting him.

It’s also a textbook case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows for a civil case with an award of three times the actual monetary damages or $1,000, whichever is higher.

And the driver could be required to pay any attorney’s fees they may incur while preparing the case.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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West Hollywood offers advice on how bike riders and pedestrians can avoid getting run over by motorists.

But sadly, not one word for drivers on how to avoid running over anyone.

Overall, though, their tips for people on bikes aren’t bad.

Although someone should remind them that signaling while stopping isn’t a great idea for people with hand brakes. And you should stop signaling before starting a turn so you can have both hands on the handlebars.

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UCLA’s Chris Giza talks with KNX-1070 radio about the benefits of turning a fake pandemic commute into the real thing.

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After failing to be named to this year’s Tour de France roster, Aussie Lachlan Morton took it on himself to ride the entire race route, alone and unsupported, and try to beat the peloton into Paris.

Yesterday he got there, beating the riders competing in the race by nearly a full week.

And still got the traditional champagne at the finish.

https://twitter.com/EFprocycling/status/1414792643163435010

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

A Las Vegas man faces a murder charge for intentionally running over a homeless man riding a bicycle, after exchanging words in a parking lot. However, this wasn’t a random incident; the two men knew one another, and had once been roommates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with California Streets Initiative board member and CD5 city council candidate Jonathan Weiss.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 72-year old Diamond Bar man as he was walking in a crosswalk; his niece says Bruce Bodel preferred to walk or bike rather than driving.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom happy hour from 5 to 6 pm this evening with UCLA parking maestro and professor emeritus Don Shoup.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop bring you the return of the popular Tour De Taco ride this Saturday. Say hi to my friend Carlos Morales if you go.

 

State

Bay Area firefighters are preparing to ride across the country to Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

National

Maybe they finally get it. The new federal infrastructure plan includes a focus on smart infrastructure and Vision Zero to maybe actually build and fix roads so they don’t kill people, along with $20 billion specifically earmarked to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians. Now let’s hope it can somehow get through our hopelessly divided and dysfunctional Congress.

The Wall Street Journal examines the cycling fans who hoard hundreds of team jerseys. Although, as usual, half their story is hidden behind a paywall.

Tech Radar rates the year’s best bike locks, ranking Kryptonite one, two and three.

Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez offers advice the Singletracks podcast on how to get and stay fast on the mountain.

This one’s going on the top of my bike bucket list. A Navajo-owned Dzil Ta’ah Adventures is offering overnight bikepacking and half-day tours of the spectacular Southwestern US Navajo Nation, combining unspoiled wilderness with tribal creation stories.

Hundreds of retired and active duty police officers will ride nearly 1,000 miles around Indiana, visiting twelve cities across the state to honor fallen officers and law enforcement survivors.

 

International

Germany’s version of the Auto Club is now offering roadside assistance to bike riders in Berlin and Brandenburg, with plans to expand the service throughout the country. AAA offers similar services in someparts of the US, but not in Southern California, where the group prefers to pretend that its members don’t ride bicycles.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University will work with experts in machine learning to develop new technologies to capture data on dangerous interactions between bike riders and motorists, in order to map where bicyclists are most at risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a record-setting run of stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has no plans to retire anytime soon.

With the yellow jersey seemingly wrapped up already, Bicycling considers what else there is to look forward to in the final week of the Tour. Cavendish, anyone? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Rouleur considers the youngest and oldest riders in this year’s Tour, and how they rank in the race’s history; at 41, Alejandro Valverde would be the oldest stage winner ever if he claims one this year, while 22-year old Brit cyclist Fred Wright is the youngest rider in the peloton.

Cyclist goes straight to the top, talking with the French woman who runs the company that owns the Tour de France.

Bicycling asks how high Colorado’s Sepp Kuss can climb after winning his first stage in the Tour, suggesting he could win a Grand Tour one day — if he really wants it. Although the Yahoo version of the story has a much better headline, in case Bicycling blocks you. Thanks to our friend Richard Duquette for the link. 

Bicycling questions the legitimacy of the obscure crypto currency company that’s now the new co-sponsor of the Africa-based Qhubeka cycling team, which will be Qhubeka-NextHash starting next year. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Bicycling says the racers turned out for an outstanding Giro Donne stage race won by Anna van der Breggen, even if women cyclists deserve “far more than pathetic payouts and embarrassingly bad livestream coverage.” Here’s the Yahoo link if…well, you know.

Three-time world road champ Peter Sagan is in danger of missing the Tokyo Olympics following surgery to treat an infection caused when he gashed his knee on the chainring in a crash during the Tour.

 

Finally…

So that’s where Luca got his rusty, old bike. Tom Hanks is one of us, thanks in part to wife Rita Wilson.

And that feeling when you’re riding your bike on a haunted highway, and find a head dumped by a mafia hitman.

Good times.

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

 

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

https://twitter.com/JeffVaughn/status/1411175401552896004

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

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Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

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Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

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Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

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Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

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British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

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Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

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

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