Tag Archive for road rage

Trial starts for alleged Riverside road rage murder, ghost tire memorial in South LA, and new Metro Active Transportation Plan

Welcome to your last pre-Thanksgiving three-day weekend — not to mention the opening weekend for college football. 

Which means you can count on a higher than usual percentage of drunks and otherwise intoxicated people on the roads. 

So the usual protocol applies. 

Ride defensively. And if you’re riding anytime after noon today, assume every driver you see has had a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be far off. 

I expect to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. And I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you pull a pack of puppies out of a burning building or something. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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A 33-year old Riverside man is going on trial for murder with a deadly weapon enhancement, for the alleged road rage killing of a man riding a bicycle.

Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to reverse direction and run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga from behind following an apparent traffic-related dispute between the two men.

Gutierrez was arrested three weeks after the July, 2021 vehicular assault, and continues to be held on $1 million bond.

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This is who we share the road with.

LA’s second ghost tire memorial was installed yesterday to honor the three Uber passengers killed in a high speed crash in South Los Angeles.

The victims, including two sisters, were riding in the back seat of the Uber when 31-year old Gregory Black slammed into them while racing through red lights at up to 100 mph.

Black, described as a known gang member with an extensive rap sheet, was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, and held on $4 million bond.

So much for the myth that bail is based strictly on the suspect’s ability to pay. And not a reflection of how seriously prosecutors take the crime.

Black was already serving a five-year probation following his release from prison for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, a 17-year old Las Vegas boy faces a murder charge for intentionally killing a bike-riding man, after video posted online indicated the fatal hit-and-run two weeks ago wasn’t an accident.

The teen was allegedly driving a stolen car and already fleeing an earlier hit-and-run.

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Metro unveiled the LA County transit agency’s new Active Transportation Strategic Plan on Tuesday.

According to Southern California Newsgroup’s Steve Scauzillo, the plan will “create a chain of paths, regional bikeways and pedestrian crossings to connect passengers who are walking, rolling or bicycling to and from the transit agency’s train lines, bus stops and depots.”

Metro, during a virtual public meeting Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29, outlined three areas for improvement, identifying 602 “first and last mile” areas located near transit, 81 pedestrian districts and 1,433 miles of regional bikeways.

Just completing the list of regional bikeways, which would connect to existing ones, would cost about $36 billion, which is four times the entire LA Metro annual budget.

The plan has a focus on equity, improving service and safety first in areas where fewer people own cars, including including mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods.

But as we’ve seen with the City of Los Angeles, it’s one thing to make a plan, and another to implement it, as ActiveSGV’s special programs director Wesley Reutimann pointed out.

He said Metro should redirect budget dollars from highways toward completing bikeways and walkways. But getting the OK from cities and landowners can gum up the works. Metro is also asking cities to help fund the projects or apply for grant dollars. This can delay or nix projects altogether, he said.

“Long story short: Metro did a plan (in 2016) and most of it was never implemented. It just feels like this plan update is window dressing,” Reutimann said.

Even a fraction of what the agency wastes on highway engorgements could go a long way towards actually implementing this plan.

Let’s hope someone over there figures out how to do that.

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This will be great if it actually happens.

And that’s a big if.

A pair of Los Angeles City Council motions call for streamlining operations between LADOT, LA Street Services, the Bureau of Engineering, and the Bureau of Street Lighting, as well as developing a five-year infrastructure spending plan for the city.

Correction, they both call for a pair of studies on how to do it.

Which is what the Los Angeles city government does best — study problems, rather than actually solve them.

And as we saw with the city council alternative to the Healthy Streets LA initiative, those 60 day deadlines can easily slip to a full year, if ever.

So this will be great if it actually happens. But we’ve been here too many times before.

Let’s hope someone holds the city’s feet to the fire and makes it happen this time.

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A Denver TV station provides more information on the crash that severely injured professional ultra endurance bicyclist Jay Petervary as he was attempting to set a new record for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Investigators concluded Petervary was riding on a mountain highway in central Colorado when he was rear-ended by a 16-year old driver, who may have been speeding, while attempting to pass on a “straight on a wide, open road with no trees or obstructions.”

Petervary says he landed about 20 yards from his bike, skidding face first on the roadway.

He is now focusing on his recovery while his wife organizes his transport back home to Idaho, his future care and the legal repercussions. Donations are still being accepted for the Be Good Foundation. As of Thursday morning, he had raised about $9,500 of the $20,000 goal.

Petervary has a lengthy history with long-distance racing. The sponsored athlete has competed for 25 years, exploring new routes and races. But he also loves providing experiences and opportunities for others, he wrote on his website. He has adopted the mantra “Ride Forward” in not only his athletic endeavors, but in his business, relationships, friendships and more.

“It also meant to not have regrets or get bogged down in the past but also reflect and learn to move forward more fluidly,” he wrote online.

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While we’re catching up on crashes, an Arizona TV station talks with the Flagstaff bicyclist who was sideswiped by the driver of a passing RV, taking out around a dozen riders on a group ride like so many bowling pins.

Saturday, Wallace was biking on Lake Mary Road with a local cycling group, “Team Pay and Take” when he was hit in the head by an RV’s side mirror. His helmet came off, and he then crashed into multiple cyclists behind him, causing a pileup. “I mean, these people are like family,” Wallace said. “You know you ride with them every week. My partner was on the ride as well and she crashed right behind me. So your first thought is just like is everyone OK?”

Wallace said the person driving the RV stopped and cooperated with police, but this is an important reminder to share the road as it’s state law to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space. “I think it’s just a sad point that when we get behind the wheel of a car, we don’t see our fellow humans out there as someone who has someone to go home to after the ride,” Wallace said.

No word yet on whether the driver will faces charges; at last report, he was only ticketed for an unsafe pass.

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Good question.

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There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a handcycle from a disabled paracyclist.

Some schmuck did the same thing in St. Louis, too.

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Canada’s prime minister is one of us. And so are his kids.

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No surprise here, as a new Belgian study shows you’re twice as likely to be killed in a collision with a bigass pickup or SUV than with a typical passenger car.

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What’s the point of bike skills, if you can’t use them to clear a little litter off the road?

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Why settle for a hoverboard when you can turn it into a LEGO-like DIY Franken-ebike?

With sideways wheels, no less.

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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 editor of WeHoVille continues his campaign against bike lanes in the city, citing the removal of the MOVE Culver City project as a warning for West Hollywood, while mischaracterizing the highly successful project that was removed by Culver City’s newly conservative council.

No bias here, either. Residents of León, Guanajuato, Mexico protested plans for a new bike lane, arguing that “about 8 cyclists pass the whole morning,” while official stats say over 65 times that many people ride it every day. Never mind that many more would probably ride there if they felt safer. 

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Local 

Far from abandoning bike lanes, Culver City is proposing mostly 2.5-mile protected bike lanes for lower Overland Ave below Venice Blvd.

Pasadena will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony a week from tomorrow for a new 1.5-mile-long, two-way protected bike lane on Union Street between Arroyo Parkway and Hill Ave; the project, which includes a 1/3-mile bicycle boulevard, is the first of its kind in the city.

Claremont residents debate whether to protect kids on their way to and from school with safety improvements including a curb-protected bike lane, but what’s the life of a little kid when it might inconvenience older bike riders or someone ordering pizza? Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Shaq is one of us, riding a custom-made 36″ mountain bike nicknamed The Thompson Beast.

 

State

The CHP has introduced a free, learn-at-your-own-pace online ebike safety class, as required by a new bill signed into law by Governor Newsom last year; the bill was authored by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, who is behind the current effort to require licenses to ride ebikes — and who snatched the state’s latest effort to pass a Stop As Yield law from the jaws of victory.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation agency to tow drivers who park in bike lanes, after talking the staff at a bagel shop into refusing to serve a driver who parked in a protected bike lane in front of the shop. Note to traffic engineers and planners — if someone can park in it, it’s not protected.

Oakland residents are calling for more protected bike lanes, after the tragic death of a four-year old girl who was doored while riding on the back of her father’s bike. And yes, she was wearing a helmet and strapped into her seat.

 

National

A new study provides some of the data we’ve been missing on pediatric ebike usage, showing that while riders of regular bikes under the age of 18 were more likely to suffer injuries, ebike riders were 2.4 times more likely to suffer severe injuries requiring hospitalization.

A writer for Electrek takes the contrarian view to the current ebike panic, arguing that we need more teenagers on ebikes, not fewer.

Retired Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon accurately called Lance Armstrong a cheater when the ex-Tour de France winner argued trans athletes should compete in their own division, when both were competing on the Fox show Stars on Mars.

Outside says you should spend at least $250 on bike bibs, arguing that high-end bibs will literally save your ass. I’ll reserve comment, since I’ve never spent more than a fraction of that, and my ass is still firmly attached.

Washington state is set to begin a $1,200 ebike rebate program next year, as well as establishing a series of ebike lending libraries across the state.

Boulder, Colorado threatens to beat California to the ebike rebate punch with the city’s second round of ebike vouchers, before California gets around to issuing its first.

An 83-year old Iowa man was killed by a 77-year old driver, which once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive. Anyone who can still ride at that age deserves better. Then again, so do the rest of us.

A 30-year old Milwaukee man has been arrested for the hit-and-run, street racing crash that killed an 11-year old boy, even though police were quick to blame the victim for veering into traffic and not wearing a helmet.

A Vermont armed robbery suspect made his getaway from the cops by car, on foot, on a stolen bicycle and a purloined sailboat; at last report, he was still on the lam.

Streetsblog explains a new, “very controversial bill from a noted opponent” of increased bicycling that would require ebike registration in New York City.

Madonna is still one of us, riding around New York with friends and her personal trainer, just weeks after surviving a life-threatening infection.

That’s more like it. A Louisiana semi-truck driver is facing a negligent homicide charge for killing a man riding a bicycle by sideswiping the victim while attempting to pass his bike on a curve; the charge is an upgrade from an initial ticket for violating the state’s three-foot passing law.

New Orleans workers organize the first e-bikeshare employees union. Which is actually the second, because Metro Bike employees beat them to it, unless you want to split hairs since LA’s system includes both ebikes and regular bikes

A Florida transit bus driver has been busted for hit-and-run after allegedly crashing into a bike rider, then just continuing on his route rather than stopping; fortunately, the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

 

International

Cannondale is the latest bikemaker to jump on the e-cargo bike bandwagon, with the bikes premiering in Europe this fall for the equivalent of $4,300.

Momentum offers ten reasons why cargo bikes top mini vans as the perfect family vehicle.

An English town swears their new ban on bikes in the city center won’t target disabled or “old and slow” bicyclists, after police ticked an 82-year old man for violating the ban.

A Welsh cop who was tailing two ebike-riding teenagers just before the crash that killed both of them now faces a criminal probe for dangerous driving; the deaths sparked riots when the cops denied following the boys.

Dockless scooters have been scoured from the streets of Paris, on the eve of a ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.

Dutch ebike-maker VanMoof will live on, after the company was purchased out of bankruptcy by Britain’s Lavoie, which makes high-end scooters based on McLaren’s Formula 1 tech; current VanMoof owners appeared to welcome the purchase.

Germany’s Buycycle is bringing its online marketplace for used and refurbished bicycles to the US. Let’s hope they have some mechanism in place to weed out stolen bikes. 

An Italian city counselor warns bicyclists not to ride in Milan because it’s too dangerous; the city is attempting to improve safety by requiring sensors on heavy vehicles to detect bike riders and pedestrians.

An Indian woman is calling for a fresh approach to urban planning, saying the country needs a greater emphasis on bicycling to boost the enrollment of girls in both urban and rural schools, increase productivity for individuals, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Philippine bicyclists and motorcyclists reject a proposal for a shared lane along a busy roadway. Seriously, just because they’re both called bikes and have two wheels doesn’t make them compatible.

 

Competitive Cycling

American super-domestique Sepp Kuss soloed to victory in the sixth stage of the Vuelta, high-fiving fans the final 50 yards; meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel lost time to key rivals Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, as he handed the leader’s jersey to France’s Lenny Martinez.

The annual Tour of Britain kicks on in Manchester tomorrow; Cycling Weekly offers a complete guide to the race.

 

Finally…

When life gives you a No Cycling sign, just turn it into a heart. That feeling when it takes longer to certify a record for riding around the world than it did to set it.

And why pedal through Burning Man when your butt can do the work?

@spotlightrose

Wierd people doing weird shit! #burningman

♬ original sound – Annie Bond

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

He doesn’t need WeHo bike lanes so you don’t either, just say no to guns on bikes, and bike lanes are handicap mobility lanes

No bias here.

The editor of WeHoVille says he’s a bicyclist. And because he doesn’t need bike lanes, neither do you.

Then again, it’s always a red flag when someone feels the need to self-identify as a bicyclist before making their case.

True to form, Brandon Garcia writes that he’s more than happy to take back roads to get where he’s going, and thinks that the planned bike lanes on Fountain Ave and Santa Monica Blvd will be too disruptive to the city.

Never mind, he says, that the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica are usually blocked by buses or double-parked drivers. Although that would seem to be a reason to enforce the laws against blocking bike lanes, than oppose building them.

What the city wants to do with Fountain and Santa Monica will disrupt the lives of too many people who depend on those roads to get across town. Who depend on those parking spaces for their guests or their customers, or whose leases don’t include a parking spot.

Up to 37,000 cars travel down Fountain every day. At most, there are 145 bicycles that use it daily.

The city expects the removal of two lanes on Fountain to reduce traffic by 900 vehicles every hour. 600 of those will be diverted onto Santa Monica or Sunset. The drivers of 250 cars per hour will simply decide not to make the trip, the city oddly believes.

Never mind that, as others have noted before, you can’t judge the need for a bridge by how many people swim across the river. The fact that most bike riders don’t feel safe on Fountain is a far better argument for making it safer, rather than keeping it dangerous.

Meanwhile, numerous studies have shown that making driving more difficult results in a reduction in the number of cars on the road — not an odd belief, but simple traffic science.

And that reduction is absolutely necessary in the face of our current climate emergency, when the world is literally burning from over-reliance on fossil fuels.

The simple fact is, people on bicycles have places to go, just like people in cars, and need safe routes through the city to get there.

He may not need them, or want them.

But that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.

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Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana about a hundred or so years ago, I had a friend who dealt with the city’s abusive and road raging drivers by riding with a .22 strapped to his bike.

By his account, it made most motorists give him a wide berth. And if anyone actually threatened him, just a tap or two on the holster was enough to defuse the situation.

Maybe.

Although I doubt many drivers actually saw it as they zoomed by. Never mind the fact that they came pre-armed with a multi-ton weapon of their own, should they choose to use it.

I mention that because a writer for Outside has written a response to the Armed Cyclist seen below, an influencer who calls for arming yourself — whether with a gun or some other weapon — for self-defense when you ride.

Frederick Dreier describes an incident when a driver began harassing, then threatening him as he rode in New York. 

His response was to first kick out a headlight, then hurl his U-lock, shattering the car’s rear windshield, before disappearing down a one-way street.

OK, back to my anecdote involving the hurled lock. Look, I wish I had the calm and mature demeanor to simply bite my upper lip and walk away from situations like the one I had a decade ago. I’ve been to therapy and I’m working on becoming an enlightened and self-actuated member of society. But I’m not there yet. I can still transform into a raging lunatic at times—specifically when some jerk driver messes with me on my bike. Had I been carrying a gun during my moment of rage years ago, I probably would have emptied the clip into the windshield, which means I’d likely be writing pithy takes from a cell in Rikers right now. And that ugly encounter is hardly the only one I’ve had with drivers. Over the years I’ve been sideswiped, t-boned, intimidated, and buzzed too many times to count. If I rode with a gun, I might be responsible for multiple crimes.

That’s precisely why I don’t own a gun.

I have a temper, which I manage to control most of the time. And I’m a firm believer in nonviolence.

But if I had a gun, there’s just too much chance I might use it.

And one weapon is one too many in most situations, even if most people just call it a car.

Read the story on Yahoo if Outside blocks you. 

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Remember this the next time someone tells you bike lanes are bad for handicapped people.

A New Zealand writer says she uses a wheelchair and bike lanes, rejecting the argument that people with disabilities need more car parking.

It is infuriating and painful to see people speak on behalf of disabled people when they are really only trying to protect their non-disabled car parks. Have you ever wondered where these people go when it’s time to fight for a building code that requires accessible universal design features like lifts, ramps and doorways of a decent width? Or why these same faces and names appear again to oppose the social housing initiatives in their neighbourhoods that would house disabled people? Or why they’re not advocating for more mobility parking at all?!

She goes on to write that many disabled people use bicycles, and consider their ebikes, scooters and trikes to be their mobility devices.

And need safe places to ride them.

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Joni Yung loves the new bus and bike lanes on La Brea, even if they’re too often blocked with parked cars.

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GCN offers bike handling drills to elevate your skills and confidence on the bike.

And impress the hell out of your friends while you’re at it.

Meanwhile, the site also looks at the fast-growing gravel fondo in my Colorado hometown.

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

Seriously? A Vermont columnist responds to a self-admitted scofflaw bicyclist by saying consider how bad a driver would feel if they hit him with their car. Never mind how bad he might feel after bouncing off a couple tons of glass and steel.

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

If you’re already on state-supervised probation with a lengthy rap sheep, maybe don’t rob a couple of stores, then ride your bike back to your apartment. And definitely ditch the bike and clothes before the cops find ’em.

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Local 

LA County Sheriff’s deputies will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety operation in West Hollywood on Tuesday, ticketing anyone who commits a violation that could put either one at risk. So ride to the letter of the law until you’re safely back in LAPD or Beverly Hills PD jurisdictions. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up. 

Pasadena will host the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Union Street protected bike lane on Saturday, September 9th in front of City Hall. That’s Pasadena City Hall, not Los Angeles or any of the other 86 cities in LA County.

 

State

An environmental law website says California policy makers are embracing ebikes, despite the New York Times wrongheaded take, but questions whether the state is falling behind.

Monterey County Weekly considers how fast is too fast on a bike path, with one local city setting a 12 mph speed limit that the writer considers far too low. My take is ride as fast as you want if you’re the only one on it, but slow down around slower bike riders and pedestrians. At least, that’s what I always did. 

Sticking with Monterey County, a 14-year old junior track star ran down a purse-snatcher on a BMX, grabbing back the stolen handbag before the thief could get away.

 

National

Gizmodo says Peloton’s business is as busted as its bike seats, which have been recalled due to a risk of breaking off if you pedal too hard, sending the company’s stock into a tailspin.

Portland’s all-new MADE handmade bike show is making its debut this week; Cycling Weekly discusses three things they’re excited to see.

While potential ebike buyers continue to wait for California’s long-delayed rebate program, with the latest update nearly two month’s old, Boulder, Colorado is already gearing up for its second round of rebate vouchers.

Gravel bike tires could be growing, as Colorado-based Moots introduces the 750d standard, which Bike Radar says is comparable to a 29″ mountain bike tire.

This is who we share the road with. A Galveston, Texas bike rider was seriously injured when a driver swerved into oncoming traffic, hit the victim and carried them both over the seawall and onto the beach.

A convicted drunk driver has been sentenced to anywhere from three-and-a-half to 15 years behind bars for dragging a Michigan bike rider for one-and-a-half miles under his van as he fled from the crash site; he was nearly three times the legal limit after his arrest, with multiple bottles of booze rolling around in his van.

A Massachusetts artist is unveiling a new series of paintings inspired by a local bike path. And yes, it makes me want to ride it.

The rich get richer. New York is removing a traffic lane on the city’s Tenth Ave through Hell’s Kitchen and narrowing traffic lanes to make room for a spacious, ten-foot wide, two-way protected bike lane.

An Andover, Maryland study finds there wasn’t a single reported bicycle crash in a city square during the study period, despite a total lack of bike infrastructure — but also found most bike riders avoid it like the plague.

 

International

Momentum looks at “awe-inspiring” bicycle infrastructure from around the world. None of which is in LA, or anywhere else in the US.

A woman riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver fleeing from police in Mississauga, Ontario; the victim was found lying in the grass an hour-and-a-half after the police chase, and half an hour after police found the abandoned car nearby.

A 69-year old Scottish truck driver will finally face charges for killing a 22-year old French woman as she rode her bike in Glasgow eight months ago, although there’s no word on what he’s charged with.

This is who we share the road with, too. An English driver was busted for doing a whopping 61 mph in a 30 mph zone, while passing just feet from a child riding a bicycle.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a woman was sentenced to just 14 months behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a bike-riding man seriously injured.

NPR reports on the bankruptcy of Dutch ebike maker VanMoof, noting that it’s left owners of the bikes stranded with no way to repair the company’s nonstandard designs. And that owners of the bikes in the Netherlands have resorted to stealing other people’s VanMoof’s just to strip them for parts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Transgender British cyclist Emily Bridges was named to an annual roundup of Britain’s 25 Powerhouse women by the country’s edition of Vogue Magazine; needless to say, the British tabloids took offense, if only to rile up readers to drive up readership. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

However, Out Sports reports Bridges has quit competitive cycling in the face of both British and UCI bans on trans women competing in women’s cycling.

American ultra-cyclist Nick DeHaan won the 758-mile Paris-Brest-Paris on Tuesday, finishing 48 minutes ahead of his nearest rival while setting a modern course record of 41 hours, 46 minutes and 30 seconds.

 

Finally…

Get your bikes for Burning Man. Why settle for double ebike suspension when you can have triple?

And don’t ride alone to the state fair when you can join a pedaling pastor and a public radio announcer.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

CA ebike rebate becoming reality, teen bike riders beat driver in DTLA, and Bixby bike path opens on Long Beach bridge

Let’s start with a little good news.

It looks like the California E-bike Incentive Program is finally happening, and on the verge of moving from its long-delayed vaporware status into something that could actually put a new ebike in your garage.

Or not.

Because the program is limited to low income households with gross incomes 300% or less of the federal poverty level.

And that’s just for the first $2.5 million.

Once that’s gone, the remaining $5 million will be reserved for people with a gross income of 225% of the federal poverty level, or who live in a disadvantaged or low-income community, or participate in at least one of these public assistance programs.

Which adds up to just $7.5 million, because the first $2.5 million of the $10 million budgeted by the state legislature is going to administration, and just getting us to this place.

So let’s hope the legislature listens to Calbike’s call to increase the rebate budget by another $50 million to meet the anticipated demand.

As we’ve discussed before, the rebates will be for $1000, with another $250 for low income applicants, and an additional $750 for buyers of e-cargo bikes or e-adaptive bicycles.

You’ll be able apply through an online portal which is projected to launch in the second quarter of this year, which means by the end of next month, though that could change.

If you’re approved, you’ll receive a voucher good for 30 days on the purchase of an ebike that meets the following requirements. The voucher will be applied towards the full purchase price, including taxes, up to but not exceeding the total amount.

One more bit of good news — besides the fact that it looks like I may qualify, if I can get my application in fast enough.

The program will be administered by people who actually know what they’re doing.

The state has selected San Diego’s Pedal Ahead to run the program. That’s good news because they’ve managed San Diego’s loan-to-own ebike program for the last three years.

So they should, hopefully, be able to assume management of this one.

Although there are no guarantees when the state is involved.

You can read more about the California E-bike Incentive Program on Pedal Ahead’s FAQs page.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Horrifying video emerged over the weekend showing a group of what looked to be five teenage bike riders attacking a pickup driver in DTLA’s Jewelry District on Thursday, which was Bike Day in LA County.

The driver exited the vehicle after one of the boys smashed his windshield with a bicycle before they set upon him; the attack continued until bystanders intervened.

It’s unclear what precipitated the assault.

Witness reports alternately said the driver honked at the bike riders as they were weaving across the roadway, or that the driver had fled the scene after striking one of the boys with his truck.

Either way, the violent assault was wrong. And a crime.

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Frequent contributor David Drexler went to the grand opening of the Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle-Pedestrian Path on the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge on Saturday, and forwarded a few notes.

Thank you for letting me know about the Ceremony and bike ride yesterday in Long Beach. If I did not read about it on your report—I would not have known.

It was a well organized, unique and extraordinary bike event.

A Congresswoman from that area, DOT, Caltrans, and Bixby family were all there and spoke.

I went back to the bridge at 3 PM and road it again alone with hardly anyone else there.

Highly recommend a bridge path visit ride or walk if in the area—the climbs are great and so is the downhill—easy 25 mph with no pedaling.

Three observation areas on the bridge to stop and hang out.

Note: Does not go all the way to San Pedro—dead ends at the base of the North side of the bridge with the gate locked closed.

All photos by David Drexler

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Alhambra is considering a proposal to put more cars and speeding drivers directly in front of an elementary school.

You have until 6 pm today to tell them where they can put that offramp.

Politely, of course.

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Nice to see my councilmember sharing the progress that’s been made to improve bike infrastructure in her district.

Even if there’s still a lot of work to do.

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Mark your calendar for this year’s celebration of all things bike from BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

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Go Safely wants to know what you think are the problems on our streets. Unfortunately, hit-and-run isn’t one of the options.

https://twitter.com/GoSafelyCA/status/1658155280503275520

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This is who we share the road with.

A 27-year old man was sentenced to 30 years behind bars for the drunken Irvine crash that killed two passengers in his car, while driving at speeds up to 138 mph moments before the collision; however, there are questions about his mental competency, despite being examined by psychological experts nine times. This link would have gone to the Orange County Register, but they’d rather block access with a paywall than drive internet traffic. 

A 24-year old Kern County man faces a 1st degree murder charge for intentionally slamming his car into another vehicle while driving under the influence, killing a beloved 79-year old former educator.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a convicted pedophile who faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime enhancements after repeatedly shouting racist epithets and attempting to swerve his car into another car with at least one Black passenger; in 2001 he was convicted of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, and investigated for making obscene phone calls to a 19-year old woman.

A British woman decided she wasn’t going to be inconvenienced by a marathon race, and simply moved the orange cones blocking the road, and drove right through the runners. Then tried to justify it to the people trying to stop her.

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Bizarre shoving match at the Cannes Film Festival, where the head of the festival, who was eschewing limos and riding a bike to cut his carbon footprint, got into a shoving match with a cop, apparently for riding on the sidewalk.

https://twitter.com/EricMorillot/status/1659881550966562817

Here’s a Google translation of the tweet.

A policeman asked you twice to stop. When he catches up with you in front of the Carlton you accuse him of assaulting you. I tell you again here, Thierry Frémaux, you were wrong and you are not above the law! We are several witnesses of what happened. This municipal police officer has our full support.

Thanks to J. Steve Mayo for the tweet.

………

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

Residents of Santa Monica’s 17th Street got out the torches and pitchforks over the new curb-protected bike lanes, saying they were caught off guard by the construction. Which is strange, since I saw the notifications months ago.

A Houston man participating in the city’s Bike to Work Day was flipped off and nearly struck by a driver cutting into a parking garage, who became angry after police held up traffic to let people on bikes pass.

An Irish woman was subjected to a torrent of abuse when she calmly told a driver he was blocking the bike lane and she couldn’t get past him.

………

Local 

Tragic news from South Los Angeles, where a 62-year old man was shot and killed in a drive-by as he was getting on his bike for a ride yesterday morning.

Culver City has reopened the Higuera Street Bridge after a year of reconstruction, along with a new ramp leading to the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Governor Gavin Newsom called for a series of laws to speed construction of transportation, environmental and other infrastructure projects by reducing the time for lawsuits alleging CEQA violations.

Huntington Beach has installed a pair of radar-activated traffic signs that display the speed of bike riders on the path paralleling PCH to encourage bicyclists to obey the 10 mph speed limit.

After a 17-year old San Diego ebike rider suffered a broken pelvis when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, his family sprung into action as citizen detectives to track down the 32-year old driver, who now faces charges. But even if he’s convicted, he’ll be out in less than two years, thanks to California’s lenient hit-and-run laws. 

A pair of Simi Valley kids sharing an ebike suffered significant injuries when they were struck a driver after allegedly running a stop sign; thankfully, they’re expected to recover.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 50-year old man was killed riding a bike.

 

National

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a passing bicyclist ran to the rescue and pulled a man out of his burning home, then left before firefighters arrived without giving his name.

They get it. Seattle students say better bike parking could remove a major barrier to biking to school.

A Las Vegas website recommends riding through the soaring rock wall of Zion National Park.

Experts in Utah call for using bike helmets after the state experienced its deadliest year for bike crashes. Although that only matters if the victims weren’t wearing helmets, and their injuries to other parts of their bodies were survivable.

No more free ride for EV owners in the Lone Star State, after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that will charge owners of electric vehicles $400 for the first year, and $200 for each subsequent year to make up for not paying gas taxes, although critics say the charges don’t add up. Just one more argument for buying an ebike, instead. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $100,000 for the pregnant hospital worker captured on a viral video trying to wrest a bikeshare bike from a Black teenager, who insisted he’d paid for it; the founder of the campaign says she been unfairly painted as a “racist Karen.” Although we still haven’t heard from the man she was trying to take the bike from.

A new study from New Jersey shows that fatal crashes involving pedestrians or bike riders are more likely to occur in low income neighborhoods and communities of color, which are less likely to have adequate sidewalks, crosswalks or bicycle infrastructure.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown was nearly hit by a driver while broadcasting live on Instagram as he took part in a fundraising ride — even if his tumbling phone makes it appear like he was.

Sign me up for the next one. A Mobile, Alabama bike ride took participants on a tour of Underground Railroad sites in the city.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could be a partial full-face helmet with a built-in taillight.

Cities around the world want the millions of people who rode their bikes during the pandemic to keep pedaling.

Protesters turned out to object to the removal of a bike lane through a Vancouver park, so drivers could have another lane to cut through on their way to work. Cars don’t belong in parks. Period. 

More on the Vancouver, British Columbia man who crashed his bike into a black bear that darted across the roadway, saying he “pretty much kissed him’ before flying through the air.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old retired Ontario, Canada legislator plans to take part in a 46-mile fundraising ride next month.

An Edinburgh city counselor called for raising parking rates to fund secure bike hangers, but opponents said it would just pit drivers against bicyclists.

In just 20 years, Spain cut serious traffic crashes by 80%, now ranking as one of the safest places to drive in the European Union — even if they still have work to do.

An estimated 50,000 people took part in Russia’s annual Moscow Spring Bicycle Festival.

Tragic news from Kolkata, where a 29-year old actress was killed when she fell off e bikeshare bike, and was run over by a truck drive. Although Indian media use the same terms for bicycles, motor scooters and mo-peds, so it’s hard to say for certain exactly what she was riding. 

Japanese cops cut bike theft by 80% simply by placing tags on bike handlebars reading “subject to theft tracking,” “theft prevention verification in progress” and other phrases; inside, they had a message saying locking your bike will bring very good luck.

Australia’s New South Wales is giving suburbs of Sydney $39 million in an effort to turn drivers into bike riders.

An Australian motorcyclist has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for the crash that killed an 89-year old man who was standing next to his bicycle, as he illegally rode his motorcycle on a bike path.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprising outcome in the Giro, where 24-year old American Brandon McNulty won Sunday’s stage 15 in a breakaway; France’s Bruno Armirail retained the pink leader’s jersey.

Australia’s Michael Matthews unexpectedly rose from the figurative ashes to win the 3rd stage go the Giro earlier this month, just a month after suffering quadriceps tear, torn knee and sprained ankle that forced him into a wheelchair, and saw him collapse in front of his wife.

Less than a week after withdrawing from the Giro due to Covid, it was announced the Remco Evenepoel won’t race in the Tour de France or the Vuelta as he recuperates from the illness. Which sounds like BS, since it should only take a few days to recover unless he suffered major health problems. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

American actor Ben Stiller is a big fan of Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas.

 

Finally…

Ignore that old advice about reinventing the wheel, and you could end up with triangular ones. Your next Colnago could be diamond studded and coated in gold leaf.

And the late, great Jim Brown was one of us.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

70-year old armed road raging driver, 80-year old bike-riding storm chaser, and 95-year old driver kills 88-year old bike rider

Today’s common theme is elderly bike riders and drivers.

Although your definition of elderly may vary, most likely depending on how old you are.

A road raging, 70-year old Tiburon, California driver faces charges for following a bike rider in his car before getting out and threatening him with a knife, because he believed his intended victim had hit his car with his hand; the bike rider teamed with a nearby witness to hold the man down until police arrived.

A 69-year old alleged drunken, hit-and-run driver faces up to a decade behind bars for killing a 20-year old Ohio bike rider.

An 80-year old former reporter for the Miami Herald is riding his bike up and down the East Coast chasing weather systems, after spending the last two decades exploring storm systems on the West Coast and the middle of the country.

Tragic news from Florida, where an 88-year old man riding a bike was killed by a 95-year old woman in a Buick as he was attempting to cross a roadway. No word on who was at fault, but the crash once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive. 

A Japanese study shows requiring cognitive tests for drivers over 70 can prevent crashes caused by men — but oddly, not by women. However, injuries among bike riders and pedestrians increased as cognitively impaired former drivers took to biking and walking.

………

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

Parks workers in Portland, Oregon will be retrained after staffer mistakenly posted a sign banning bikes from unpaved park trails, even though official city policy explicitly allows bicycles.

A London counselor is calling for bike-blocking barriers in front of a pedestrian tunnel under the Thames, despite long-stalled plans to allow bike riding in the tunnel; the two-pound fine for violating the bike ban hasn’t ben raised since 1912.

No bias here. A long-running BBC host agrees with an anti-bike tweet, saying “Too much testosterone squeezed into slightly too little Lycra tends to prove explosive.” Then again, so do broadcasters who are full of shit.

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

That feeling when a bunny loses its cottontail in a crash with a speeding Stanford University bike rider. Although someone should tell the Stanford student paper that a tail is not a limb.

………

Local 

High-end Swiss bikemaker Thömus held a cocktail reception to unveil their new store on Santa Monica’s Montana Ave, and introduce their 25-pound, $6,000 ebike, which they claim is the lightest ebike currently on the market. So, should we be offended that we weren’t invited? Maybe this site is too proletarian for their taste.

Police in Santa Monica will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation on Thursday from 6 am to 8 pm, ticketing any traffic violations that could endanger bike riders or pedestrians, regardless of who commits them. Standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines, at least for that one day, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

You might want to avoid PCH through Huntington Beach today, after flooding from high tides blocked the highway in both directions at Bolsa Chica Beach on Tuesday; at least part of the highway is expected to remain closed through today.

San Francisco-based Strava offered a mea culpa over the botched rollout of their recent price increases, saying they moved too fast without providing enough clarity on pricing. Yet they didn’t roll back their prices, so they can’t be too sorry.

San Francisco’s Mission Local examines the hit-and-run epidemic, calling it the perfect crime in some ways, since over 70% of Bay Area drivers who flee from crashes get away with it. That number is significantly higher here in Los Angeles, where 92% of hit-and-run drivers are never caught.

 

National

They get it. Wired says store owners still fight to protect their curbside parking, even though installing protected bike lanes tends to boost local businesses.

That’s more like it. A new bill in the Montana legislature would clarify that ebikes are not motor vehicles, mopeds or off-highway vehicles, and should be allowed anywhere regular bicycles are allowed.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. We mentioned yesterday that an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver was sentenced to up to 15 years behind bars — actually 20 — for killing a 13-year old boy riding his bike; now it turns it he had five previous DUIs, yet could still walk after less than one year with good behavior. Just another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Houston’s transit agency is considering investing half a million dollars to take over the city’s bikeshare system to improve connectivity to buses and trains.

The trial of accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov is nearing the end, as prosecutors argue he turned a popular New York bike path into a battlefield strewn with mangled bikes and bodies; the Halloween Day, 2017 vehicular attack left eight dead and dozens injured, some permanently. Meanwhile, a Dutch woman met the cop she credits with saving her life after losing both her legs in the attack.

 

International

Bicycling visits seven massive bike garages around the world they say you have to check out. None of which are in the US, naturally. For a change, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

Road.cc revisits some of the best, worst and weirdest bicycle patents, from Shimano’s 14-speed sprocket to Google’s human flypaper designed to prevent serious injuries by making bike riders and pedestrians stick to the cars that hit them. No, really.

A new study from the UK shows as little as six to nine minutes of vigorous activity — like riding your fast or uphill — is enough to keep your brain working at peak efficiency.

A British CEO is biking 1,000 miles across Europe to raise enough money to remove 40 Russian landmines in Ukraine.

British insurance company ETA examines tactical urbanism and DIY crosswalks, including the efforts of LA’s Crosswalk Collective.

Popular Dutch ebike maker VanMoof is losing money on every bike they sell due to supply chain issues. But they plan to make it up in volume.

Toyota is teaming with French ebike maker Douze to introduce a new flatbed e-cargo bike designed for both businesses and individuals; it can also be configured to carry passengers.

An unidentified 16-year old is facing life in prison after he was convicted of stabbing a Perth, Australia man to death in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; the victim was attempting to reclaim a bike taken from a ten-year old boy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The US National Mountain Bike Team will now be based in Bentonville, Arkansas. Just like Walmart.

American Quinn Simmons was the surprise winner of the third stage of Argentina’s Vuelta a San Juan; the 22-year old redhead claimed victory on a closed circuit car racing track.

The nascent National Cycling League announced their 2023 schedule, with races planned for Miami, Atlanta, Denver and Washington DC. Which seems to give them a decidedly East Coast bent. 

 

Finally…

Your next bike rack could charge your ebike. Riding your bike with a vision-blocking array of 64 smartphones because you gotta catch ’em all in Pokémon Go.

And Arnold has clearly been one of us for a long time. But let’s hope someone has introduced him to the concept of bike shorts in the years since.

Or underwear, anyway.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Crowdfunding campaign for San Jacinto man killed in deliberate crash, and road raging Maywood driver kills pedestrian

It’s the penultimate week of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just two more weeks share just a small part of your hard-earned income to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

So let’s take a moment to thank David H, Thomas A, Brandon H, David S, Walter L, Steven H, Erick H, Steven S, Gabrielle L, Glenn C and James B for their generous donations over the weekend so you can read this today.

Avoid the last minute holiday rush. Donate today via PayPal or Zelle to keep all the best bike news coming your way today, and every day. 

………

Family of one of the many — too many — bicycling crash victims we reported on last week is raising funds to bury their loved one. Police say Margarito Castro was intentionally run down by a speeding driver in a San Jacinto hit-and-run.

So far, they’ve raised nearly $3,000 of the $15,000 goal.

Twenty-one-year old Savaughn Jojuan Colon Barnes of Hemet is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death for killing Castro.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Maywood driver could face charges after allegedly running down a pedestrian in a fatal road rage collision Friday night.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon, because that’s almost all the information we have right now.

………

Somehow, I don’t think LADOT’s favorite little car-ticker plastic bendy posts would have the same, uh, impact.

Although it’s hard not to watch this icy demolition derby without admiring the person on a bike who’s not letting the snow slow him down, let alone stop him.

………

Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.

https://twitter.com/HowTheWestWS/status/1602176354912305153

………

Maybe riding a Penny Farthing is harder than it looks. (Click on the tweets for the full thread.)

………

‘Tis the season.

Costa Mesa’s TZone Fitness & Pilates is collecting bicycle donations for Orange County nonprofit Families and Communities Together, aka FACT, to provide rebuilt bikes to at-risk kids and teens.

Over 150 volunteers in Vancouver, Washington built 560 bikes to give away to local families, in an effort to ensure every kid in the county has a bike.

Rapid City, South Dakota balance bikemaker Strider Bikes hosted their 5th annul Jingle Bell Ride to benefit All Kids Ride. Which may or may not actually be All Kids Bike.

A Texas nonprofit gave away over 300 bikes to families in the Brazos Valley.

Thirteen years after he was given a new bike by a fireman at the local Christmas parade, an Oklahoma teenager and his father are paying it forward by giving away eight to ten bikes to random kids at the same parade.

A Dayton, Ohio man grew up reclaiming bikes from the trash and fixing them up because his family couldn’t afford one. Now he fixes up hundreds of bikes and gives them away to anyone who asks.

Madison, Wisconsin’s annual Santa Cycle Rampage rolled through the snow and slush of downtown to raise money for Safe Routes to School.

National nonprofit Free Bikes 4 Kidz gave away nearly one thousand refurbished bikes to kids in Minnesota, as part of a nationwide effort.

Nearly 100 bike-riding Santas participated in a Lapeer, Michigan toy ride for families in need.

………

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

Huh? An Edmonton, Alberta letter writer complains about the city’s $100 million plan to extend its bikeway network, saying the bike lanes will somehow lead to one-hour delays on local streets.

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

In an example of how hard it is to get bad cops off the job, a former San Antonio bike cop still carries a badge, despite being twice fired for giving a homeless man a literal shit sandwich, and spreading his and another cop’s crap over a toilet seat in the station’s women’s restroom. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

An Arkansas man got a well-deserved 15 years after he was arrested with a long knife while riding his bike to his girlfriend’s house after threatening to kill her. Having a boyfriend who rides a bike is a good thing, but something tells me she might want to rethink her taste in men.

………

Before we go on, I received a very nice email over the weekend from an American expat now living a carfree life in Berlin.

However, he raised one concern about the section above. I often include links to stories in which someone used a bicycle to get somewhere to commit a crime or make their getaway. But as he points out, if we focused on a criminal’s mode of transportation, we could fill this site every day with people who drove to or from their crimes.

So what do you think? Should we keep mentioning people who only incidentally used a bike as transportation to commit a crime, or drop stories like that unless the bike actually had something to do with their crime?

Let me know in the comments below.

……..

………

Local 

As we mentioned last week, the state Transportation Commission approved nearly $1 billion in funding for 93 active transportation projects throughout the state, including $38.6 million to build three miles of Complete Streets in LA’s Skid Row neighborhood, complete with bike lockers and ebike charging stations.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers actionable transportation ideas for new Los Angeles Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, who defeated incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in the November election; Linton’s suggestions include a call to revisit the lane reductions and bike lanes cancelled by O’Farrell on Fletcher Drive and Temple Street, as well as a proposal to remove cars from Hollywood Blvd.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is hosting Friday Night Lights this Friday, offering a chance to ride the BMX and mountain bike trails under the lights for free.

 

State 

In yet another example of keeping a driver on the road until it’s too late, a 63-year old man riding a mountain bike was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in San Diego’s Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood; police arrested the 93-year old driver after witnesses gave them the car’s license number. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. 

A 60-year old man is lucky to be alive after falling 70 to 80 feet off a Carpinteria cliff while riding his bike; he lay at the bottom of the cliff, unable to move, for nearly an hour until he was discovered by a woman walking by on the beach.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 26-year old mother and college student died six days after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike to class.

The University of California rowing team is holding a fundraiser to raise $50,000 to purchase an eight-person racing shell, and name it after teammate Shawn O’Donnell, one of two State Department workers killed while riding a bike in DC this past year. Thanks to Steve Messer for the link.

A Bay Area letter writer asked how to get a dangerous driver to give up the keys, after trying to get an older woman with poor eyesight to stop driving; she only quit after she crashed into someone on a bicycle, injuring them.

 

National

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a 70-year old driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after he was sentenced to a lousy two years probation on a careless driving conviction.

A New Orleans man was apparently murdered for his bicycle;a security guard heard three shots, and looked out to see a man lying in the street and a woman riding off on his bike.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a 31-year old man will serve just three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run crash that killed a man riding a bike, after the judge suspended seven years of the original ten-year sentence.

 

International

Bike Biz recommends what they describe as six dream jobs in the bicycle industry in the US, UK and Europe. The UK used to be part of Europe, but they voted themselves off the island. 

Manchester, England unveiled the country’s first bicycle roundabout, leading to immediate confusion and comments that it only serves to endanger pedestrians and inconvenience less able-bodied people.

New bike lanes in Bath, England are called an accident waiting to happen because they force bus passengers to step into the bike lane to get off the bus, then cross over it to get to the sidewalk — even though people on bikes are required to stop for pedestrians.

A British man rode his bike to all 18 London professional soccer clubs in less than 36 hours to call attention to human trafficking in the sport.

That’s more like it. A South African man will spend six years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a man riding a bicycle.

An Aukland, New Zealand man will spend an additional three years behind bars for kidnapping and terrorizing a delivery van driver, on top of the five years and one month sentence he’s already serving for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police; the judge warned he will “almost certainly” re-offend once he gets out.

 

Competitive Cycling

Clara Honsinger made it a three-peat by winning her third straight elite women’s national title in the snow at the US Cyclocross National Championships

A writer for Road.cc remembers fallen Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, who made him fall in love with cycling over his 30-year professional career.

More sad news, as former Tour de France cyclist Walter Beneteau was found dead in a Bali, Indonesia hotel room from unknown causes; the 50-year old French rider finished seven straight Tours between 2000 and 2006.

The popular Santa Cross rolls in Woodland Hills this weekend. (Click on the tweet for a more legible schedule.)

Also this weekend, the Velo Sport’s Center in Carson is hosting a full weekend of track cycling, hosted by the Los Angeles Racing Velodrome Association. Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

 

Finally…

Your next SUV could be an ebike. And if you were a foreign correspondent working in the Netherlands, wouldn’t you do your reports from a bike?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Hunt is on for road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist, and stoned Michigan driver to face charges in Make-A-Wish crash

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served our country! 

………

Before we get going, it’s time to start digging under your sofa cushions to save up for the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive later this month. 

The fund drive page is now live, which wasn’t hard to do since I never got around to taking down last year’s page, in case anyone feels an urgent need to contribute before we officially get going on the 25th. 

And I’m open to suggestions if you can recommend a good payment app, since there are always people who ask for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle each year.

………

We now have a photo of the road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens.

The man reportedly responded to being yelled at by one of the kids by trying to open their car door and punching a window, before smashing their windshield. He then rode off, but allegedly lay in wait for them down the road.

As we have repeatedly said, there is never any excuse for violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time.

Now instead of being the victim of an angry driver, a bike rider finds himself a wanted criminal who could face serious charges and be subject to damages once he’s found.

And he will be found.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

………

A Michigan woman has been ordered to stand trial later this month in the drugged driving crash that killed two people participating in a Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

Forty-two-year old Mandy Marie Benn was reportedly visibly impaired on a cocktail of drugs including Vicodin, Suboxone, and Lorazepam. She was also participating in a Facebook group chat while she drove, saying moments before the crash that she wanted to die.

Instead, she took two innocent lives.

She faces up to 15 years each on two felony counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance causing death.

………

If you’re feeling more crowded on the roads, it’s because you are.

………

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

A Vancouver woman was seriously injured when she was pushed off her bike by a bystander acting on the orders of a fake cop, for the crime of riding too close to a man who claimed to be an off-duty police officer.

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

Authorities in Florida discovered “concerning manifestos” in the home of a bike-riding man who was seen shooting bullets into the ocean, then seen four hours later riding his bike near where a man was found shot to death under an overpass.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers updates on new bike lanes in DTLA, as well as plans for a quick-build bike lane on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, as well as a bike rodeo next month, to gather input on first mile/last mile connections for the Sepulveda G LIne, nee Orange Line, station.

Glendora is working with Active SGV to finalize plans for a new greenway trail along the San Dimas Wash.

Speaking of Streetsblog, the transportation news site is honoring LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell with their Streetsie Award for 2022 Elected Official of the Year at Mercado La Paloma on December 1st.

 

State 

The Contra Costa County district attorney has decided not to prosecute officers involved in a fatal shooting, who was killed by police after a passing bike rider noticed the victim dumping a woman’s body off the side of the road.

A woman suspected in a Tulare County hit-and-run has turned herself in, four days after the crash that killed a man walking his bicycle.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses new infrastructure projects designed to make cities safer for bike riders and pedestrians, saying there are places where cars wouldn’t make any sense if you were starting from scratch.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride with your dogMy best tip is to get a tandem with an usually low stoker position, and let the dog do its own damn pedaling. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Seattle-based Rad Power is recalling 30,000 RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bikes due to a defective wheel strip that can allow tires and tubes to become damaged while in use.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 13-year old Washington boy who was killed by a driver who went through the crosswalk he was riding in; fortunately, the bike was returned when someone at a scrap yard recognized it and returned it to his family.

The news keeps getting worse from Las Vegas, where it turns out the two mountain bikers killed by an alleged drunk driver during a serial hit-and-run were a couple who had been dating for ten years.

Nevada state police officials are reporting a startling increase in bicycling deaths this year, with eleven people killed riding bikes so far this year — double the number this time last year.

A local group is giving away 500 bicycles, helmets, locks and a t-shirt to kids in need before Sunday’s El Tour de Tucson.

Utah has banned offroad ebike use in protected wildlife areas.

Boise, Idaho is redrawing plans for a protected bike lane after complaints that it would interfere with parents picking up their children from a Catholic school, apparently thinking the ability to drive up to the door is more important than allowing their kids to safely bike there.

That’s more like it. A 22-year old Michigan man will spend 20 to 40 years behind bars after he was sentenced for the hit-and-run death of a five year old boy who was riding his bike in a crosswalk with the rest of his family; his two younger siblings remain traumatized after witnessing the crash.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts judge expressed skepticism over new bendy post-protected bike lanes, saying in response to a lawsuit intended to stop them that the streets appear to be too narrow for them. Which isn’t a decision a judge with no traffic planning experience should be making.

The Boston Globe says a tandem is the perfect way to double your pleasure on the road.

A 12-year old Erie, Pennsylvania boy was severely beaten by two unknown attackers as he was riding his bike somewhere in the city; police were having trouble locating the site because the boy doesn’t speak English and was relying on a translator. No word on whether he was attacked for his bike, or for some other reason.

 

International

Amazon is being criticized for selling tuning kits that can override ebike speed restrictions, allowing the riders to exceed European limitations.

Bike commuters in Manchester, England complain that road signs blocking a bike lane and construction work on the roadway have turned the street into a “lethal mess.”

The death of a Berlin bike rider after climate protestors blocked a roadway, delaying the arrival of first responders, is provoking debate over the tactic even though a doctor insists his death wasn’t caused by the delay.

A delegate to the COP27 climate conference from the Côte d’Ivoire, aka Ivory Coast, has gained a reputation as Africa’s cycling ambassador as he attends every session wearing his hi-viz bike helmet.

A South African construction worker was found dead on the road after he was knocked off his bicycle by someone swinging a piece of wood, then stabbed in the neck; he was killed after winning a large sum of money at a local bar.

A New Zealand woman blames a moment’s inattention by a driver for the crash that left her with a badly broken arm. But at least the driver hit her bike just outside the emergency room at a local hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist and former ski jumper Primož Roglič will be out of commission for another month following shoulder surgery, after dislocating it in a high-speed crash during stage 5 of the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Why take the blame for losing an MMA title fight when you can blame it on a “vicious” bike crash?

And that feeling when you’re chasing a bear, rather than the other way around.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

No Steve, it’s not a bike lane to nowhere; drivers yell at LA bike rider; and big Transportation Comm meeting tomorrow

No bias here.

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez writes about a $2 million bike lane to nowhere that the Los Angeles LGBT Center was forced to build by the city’s dysfunctional rules.

Except the short curb cut isn’t a bike lane, and probably never will be.

A short half-block long, it took about 18 months to complete and cost roughly $2 million, and yet it is not marked as a bike lane and does not connect to one.

“It’s a bike lane to nowhere,” said Stephen Burn, general manager of building services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which was required to complete and pay for the project as a condition of approval.

Burn apologized for calling it a stupid waste of time and money that delayed the opening of badly needed supportive housing and social services, but no apology was necessary. He said he honestly wanted to pull his hair out at times when dealing with various government agencies, and after he shared the details, I wanted to pull my hair out.

And needless to say, the story is already being used by bike lane opponents.

But longtime advocate Alissa Walker clarifies that, regardless of what Burn was told, the added space was created for cars as the result of a longstanding city policy.

So yes, as Lopez points out, it’s a perfect example of LA’s dysfunctional government in action. But seriously, it’s not our fault this time.

If only Lopez had looked at the lack of safe bike lanes leading up to the new 6th Street Bridge, instead.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

A Redditor complains about the dangers of riding on LA streets. And the anger they experience every time they ride.

I’ve been biking more to get out of the house, exercise, and just enjoy the city. But literally each time I’ve gone into the street a driver has yelled at me!

I try to avoid riding in the streets, but the bike lanes are few and far in between and aren’t that much better. You often have trash cans in the bike lanes, people leaving their car doors open, random debris, and when you don’t have to deal with that you still have cars speeding past you with the closest thing protecting you being a thin line of paint that couldn’t even stop an ant from crossing it! I don’t even have to get into how bumpy and packed the sidewalks can be.

So when I do get in the streets it’s because that is unfortunately the best route. Yet no matter how much I ride on the shoulder, check behind, in front, on the sides, above me, etc… I always have a driver either honking or yelling at me for going too slow.

I’m worried that someone might get really angry with me one day and try and run me off the road…

I’m just frustrated and wish biking in this city was safer. We have the perfect weather to bike in. Why isn’t L.A a bikeable city?

Why, indeed?

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the heads-up.

………

Streets For All is asking you to support for several proposals at Tuesday’s meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee.

  • Sunset4All’s efforts to build a 2-way protected bike lane on Sunset Blvd;
  • A protected bike lane on Riverside Drive and Stadium Way;
  • Encouraging the newly-legal installation of cameras on Metro buses;
  • Expanding LADOT’s budget and staffing for the Slow Streets program.

Sunset4All explains how to participate in the meeting.

The Sunset4All item is back on the transportation agenda for this Tuesday (11/1) at 3 PM. If you haven’t voiced your support please write in and or attend the virtual meeting.

Item #3 (22-1072) – Sunset4All To call dial 669-254-5252, meeting code 161 750 5079, #, #, and then hit *9 to raise your hand. Here are Talking PointsIf you’re not able to call in, then use the links below to make public comment on the council file in advance at the buttons below.

Make Public Comment on the Council File

Send an Email to CD 13 to Support the Motion

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

………

When you cast your vote in CD5, maybe consider who actually cares enough to show up.

………

Horrible news from Ohio, where a popular local bicyclist lost a leg when she was mauled by dogs.

A reminder that you could end up with more than just a simple bite on the leg from that dog that chases you whenever you ride by.

………

A new amphibious ebike claims to be the future. Although I’m not sure how much latent demand there is for a combination ebike, boat and built-in camper.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a Seattle bike path by spreading screws across it. Although someone else came up with a brilliant way to clean up the mess.

A writer for Daily Kos complains “dumbasses working in public health and espousing concern for future generations fired me over bringing a bicycle into their national meeting” at a Tacoma, Washington convention center.

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

A rideout of up to a couple hundred teens on bikes took over the streets of Boston, before allegedly stealing $350 of merchandise from a 7-11.

Toronto police are looking for a bike-riding suspect who followed a young woman and sexually assaulted her twice after she got off a bus.

If you’re going to rudely shove a wheelie-popping bike rider out of your way, try not to follow the move with a faceplant.

………

Local

Save this one for future reference. Streets For All founder Michael Schneider lists the common complaints we’ve all heard from people opposed to bike lanes, and details effective arguments to overcome them.

Patch reports a bike rider was rushed to a trauma center after they were struck by the driver of an RV at PCH and Coastline Drive in Malibu Sunday afternoon.

This is who we share the courtrooms with. A woman received a more than $4 million judgement after she was struck by a driver while walking in a Santa Monica crosswalk four years ago, suffering permanent injuries; the defense shamefully argued she threw herself in front of the car in a suicide attempt — which might have been more credible if the driver was doing more than 25 mph. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

 

State 

Carlsbad is focusing on schools and collision hotspots to improve safety for standard bicycle and ebike riders after declaring a local emergency.

This is who we share the road with. A 68-year old woman is fighting for her life after she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while pushing her three-year old grandson in a San Jose crosswalk; the boy is recovering from his injuries. Thanks again to Victor Bale.

Sentencing was postponed for a Fairfield man who was convicted of second-degree murder and hit-and-run in the death of a 52-year-old man riding a bicycle last October; he faces 15 to life on the murder count, and two to four years for fleeing the scene.

Sonoma County is investing half a million in climate resilience funds in building new bikes.

Sad news from Sacramento County, where a woman riding a bike was killed in a collision in North Highlands early Sunday afternoon.

 

National

NBC News reports on the spreading use of speed cams, and the rise of road raging drivers who don’t like getting caught breaking the law.

A diabetic journalist says he lost 40 pounds and brought his blood sugar down to a sub-diabetic level within eight months after taking up bicycling — and has kept it off and under control for the four years since. If only it was that easy for all of us.

A Portland woman says stop telling her to be safe when she rides a bike, and learn how to drive safely around bike riders, instead.

A 68-year old Utah woman could face multiple charges after she ignored a flagger and crashed into two people competing in the cycling portion of the St. George Ironman triathlon, resulting in serious injuries to both; she failed a roadside drug test, and admitted using marijuana before the crash.

The new advisory bike lanes are now open in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown.

Sounds familiar. Oklahoma bike and walking advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to improve safety. Sort of like a certain megalopolis we could name.

A nine-year old Michigan boy is raising the alarm and warning his neighbors after his dream bike was stolen.

That’s more like it. A 65-year old Ohio man was sentenced to a mandatory 14 years behind bars, with the possibility of another four years, for the hit-and-run death of a 13-year old boy; he claimed the damage to his truck was from hitting a mailbox, and that he only ran over the boy’s bike after someone else knocked the kid off it.

NPR looks at the rising rate of ebike battery fires in New York, blaming the problem on the use of refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

Philly bike riders turned out for a Día de los Muertos, while calling for safer streets.

HuffPost says Pennsylvania Republicans are taking a bill to permit safer bike lanes hostage in an effort to strip Philadelphia’s progressive DA of his powers.

A Birmingham, Alabama man faces multiple charges for a one-man crime spree that included a fatal shooting, carjacking and a hit-and-run that killed someone on a bicycle — all in just one hour.

 

International

The bike boom isn’t over, even if it’s lost a little steam, as Shimano says demand is still above pre-pandemic levels despite signs things are cooling down.

Vancouver bike riders are calling on the city to reverse plans to remove a bike lane from a park and return the roadway to pass-through commuters, although a planned protest ride was called off due to an atmospheric river.

A London man was somehow able to get his bike back after it was stolen by three muggers in a London park, despite suffering head and face injuries in the attack.

A British cop who co-founded a program to place undercover cops on bikes to catch careless drivers who pass people on bikes too closely now rides to relieve arthritis pain that threatened his career.

A UK safety expect calls it “a bit daft” for bicyclists to ride in the middle of the traffic lane, despite recently changes to the country’s Highway Code allowing them to do just that, when there’s a perfectly good bike lane they could be using. Of course, the problem is that the “perfectly good” bike lane usually isn’t.

Paris may be making great strides in becoming a biking city, but someone should tell the local cops, who are stopping bike riders and insisting they should wear reflective clothing in anticipation of the fall time change.

Writing for Travel + Leisure, a woman suggests that biking through Sicily is the best way to discover small towns, delicious food and local culture.

The rise of bicycle taxis in eastern Zambia is creating business opportunities for young people, while allowing passengers to ride for a fraction of the cost of a regular taxi.

There’s a special place in hell for a Philippine man who faces a charge of “frustrated homicide,” after repeatedly stabbing a neighbor using a knife disguised as a ballpoint pen in a dispute that began with a bicycle blocking his path.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders were left feeling deflated when the local government passed a one-year pause on building bike lanes; The Guardian asks if it’s a bikelash, or just plain old NIMBYism.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard won his second Tour de France of the year, outsprinting his competitors to win the Tour de France Singapore Criterium on Sunday, after winning the three-week Grand Tour earlier this year.

French magazine Vélo lists the finalists for the prestigious 2022 Vélo d’Or award, including, for the first time, a separate category for women cyclists. And no Americans made the short list, of course.

Former Paris-Roubaix champ Sonny Colbrelli is reluctantly calling it a career after he collapsed with a heart attack moments after finishing the opening stage of March’s Volta a Catalunya.

Cycling Tips looks back on the legacy of Brian Robinson, whose Tour de France stage wins set the stage for decades of British cycling success.

Dan Martin, the only Irish cyclist to win a stage in all three of Grand Tours, reflects on “crashing for a living, doping, retirement and writing a book through 100 hours of Whatsapp voicenotes.”

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have ABS brakes, for the low, low price of just eleven grand. When witches ride bikes instead of brooms.

And I think I’ve found my next bike.

Or at least the bikemaker, anyway.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the tip. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

WeHo merchant calls for licensing cyclists, racist Palo Alto road rage attack, and Hugo calls for carfree Hollywood Blvd

No bias here.

The owner of West Hollywood’s gay-forward novelty boutique Block Party says forget bike lanes and install EV chargers instead, while trotting out all the old cliches about licensing bike riders.

Fast forward to 2022, a debate about removing the parking lanes on Fountain and to install bike lanes in their place, eliminating two for cars to drive. Those bike lane people are ferocious in their arguments. If you had to drive a bike and cars whipped past you it might cause a sense of anger that you deserve a safe space too. But perhaps bike riders who choose to use the road should also be licensed. Maybe they should pass a written test to travel 40 miles down the road. Perhaps they can pay a license fee to help offset the cost of these installations. As a partially sighted part-time driver I can say that it is difficult to drive past the bikes who often show little respect for the road weaving in lanes. But that is another story.

Because apparently, our tax money doesn’t count — even though it pays for the roads he drives, whether we use them or not.

Never mind that studies have repeatedly shown that a licensing program for bicyclists would cost more than it would bring in, while dramatically reducing ridership exactly when we need more people on bikes. Or that bike riders pose a lot less risk to others than people in cars do.

Especially people with bad eyesight.

Besides, are you really going to tell a six-year old she can’t ride her bike because her license expired?

So maybe the next time you’re in WeHo, stop in and tell him why you’ll be spending your money somewhere else.

Besides, not many of us can really pull off the spangled banana hammock look.

Not that our significant others would actually want us to try.

………

Crap like this really pisses me off.

A Black Palo Alto man was the victim of a racist road rage attack and hit-and-run last week, for the crime of riding his bike in the traffic lane.

In other words, exactly where he should have been.

The victim had moved into the lane to pass a driver who was attempting to park. Yet when he stopped at the next stop light, he was accosted by a white pickup driver for “riding in the middle of the road.”

The two men began arguing, at which point the truck driver called the cyclist, who is Black, a racial epithet. The victim reported to police that the driver spat on him, reached out to grab his arm, and then drove the truck into the side of the bicycle. The cyclist fell to the ground.

The cyclist said the truck drove over his bicycle, and the driver turned north on Webster Street and then east on Lytton Avenue. The cyclist later saw the truck turn back onto University Avenue heading east and continue driving. The cyclist’s leg had a small laceration, which paramedics treated at the scene. His bicycle was damaged but remained rideable, police stated.

It’s possible that the victim could have moved into the lane suddenly, without signaling or checking behind him, and cut off the driver. Or not.

None of which justifies violence, let alone racism.

The local police are investigating it as a hate crime, as well as an assault with a deadly weapon and injury hit-and-run.

Which is good, because there’s just no excuse for this. Ever.

Period.

And no pit deep enough for someone who could do something like this.

………

Things could finally be looking up in Hollywood.

While CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has called for a much needed Complete Streets makeover of Hollywood Blvd, challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez has raised the ante with a call for pedestrianizing sections of the iconic tourist attraction.

Meanwhile, Los Angeleno examines the race between O’Farrell and Soto-Martinez; while O’Farrell has been justly criticized for blocking bike and traffic safety plans until recently, Soto-Martinez is calling for more bike lanes in the district.

………

Finish the Ride and the LACBC hosted a Clean Air Ride over the weekend.

Speaking of which, Metro will offer free bus, train and bikeshare rides tomorrow for California Clean Air Day.

………

Someone did an impressive job trolling St. Louis officials by installing old bike helmets and an official looking public notice calling on pedestrians to use them crossing the street.

All to call attention to the city’s unacceptably high death rate.

………

Evidently, ebikes have been around a lot longer than you may think.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1565791573530509317

………

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

Horrible story from the UK, where police are looking for four men who chased down a 21-year old bike rider with their car, then got out and stabbed him to death, apparently because the driver had crashed into the victim.

No bias here, either. A victim-blaming road sign in England’s Hertfordshire county instructs bike riders to “Please consider other road users.” Because anti-social bike riders kill so many motorists, evidently.

………

Local

Streetsblog eyes the new bike lanes on 1st, 3rd and 7th Streets in DTLA.

Your next bike could have a “Los Angeles” frame with a camo finish. Although that color choice may not be the best option if you actually want drivers to see you.

Santa Monica announced a crackdown on scofflaw drivers who park on the city’s sidewalks and parkways starting next month, urging people to “stop parking like a jerk.” Now tell them to do bike lanes, where the city has allowed delivery drivers to park for decades with no repercussions.

 

State 

Streets For All offers a full recap on transportation-related bills signed or vetoed by Governor Newsom, as well as bills that died in the state legislature. Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers a similar roundup of active transportation, transit and climate bills.

LAist takes a deep dive into California’s new Freedom to Walk Act, which doesn’t actually legalize jaywalking after all; it’s still technically illegal to cross the street in the middle of a block, but police are now directed not to cite it unless crossing poses an imminent danger. However, California’s restriction against jaywalking only applies to blocks with a traffic signal on each end, so it’s already completely legal anywhere else.

The CHP has received a $1.2 million federal grant to “promote the importance of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians looking out for one another so that everyone can safely share the road.” Maybe they could put the money to better use by giving their officers more training in bike law and bicycle crash investigations.

The victim in Sunday’s fatal head-on crash in Fresno County has been identified as a 51-year old Anthropology professor at Clovis Community College; the driver of the Acura supercar who needlessly took her life as she rode her bike has been identified as a 47-year old Clovis man. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

 

National

Streetsblog talks with Elizabeth Creely, of the San Francisco-based grassroots advocacy organization Safe Street Rebel, on how to start a grassroots safe streets movement in your city. Or you could ask Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who’s done a helluva job in just a few short years.

Singletracks revisits their most popular mountain bike product reviews.

Great idea. Bentonville, Arkansas will host the first-ever bike festival for deaf bicyclists next week.

Eleven scenic Hudson Valley bike rides for your next trip to the Empire State.

Philadelphia is investing $23 million in the city’s Vision Zero budget for next year, $6 million more than originally proposed. That compares with $38.5 million in Los Angeles, which has a population 2.5 times higher; LA would have to spend another $20 million to match Philly’s per capita spending.

Mississippi’s Gulf Islands National Seashore has reopened with the first phase of a new bike and pedestrian pathway, with the second phase due in two years.

 

International

The fourth annual Ebike Future Conference will be held virtually next week, including a virtual expo that will run automatically for the next 22 days.

Bike Radar examines why people and businesses are swapping cars for bikes, transforming their lives and operations by taking to two wheels.

Forget micromobility. The latest trend is minimobility, with three and four wheeled vehicles designed to carry one or two people and fill the gap between bicycles and motor vehicles. Which is a pretty damn big gap, if you ask me.

While bicycling fatalities continue to climb in the US, British bike deaths dropped 21% last year.

Brussels is the latest major European city learning to love the bicycle; the Belgian capital has already come a long way from its car-centric past.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as two riders explore archeological relics and forested parks — and the local hospitality — by biking Jordan’s ancient trade route.

No, an Indonesian bike shop isn’t giving away free ebikes in response to a government gas price hike.

Former Italian pro Omar Di Felice announced plans for a record bike ride across Antarctica, riding to the South Pole and across the continent to the base of the Leverett Glacier and back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, the pro peloton is justifiably complaining about race conditions, saying “UCI doesn’t care about our safety,” after complaints about dangerous conditions in the CRO Race were ignored by officials.

Pinarello unveiled the world’s fastest 3D-printed bike, allowing maximum customization for Filippo Ganna in his attempt to set a new hour record.

Red Bull looks at L39ion of Los Angeles founder and multiple national crit champ Justin Williams, and his mission to change bike racing for the better.

 

Finally…

Get a Covid shot, get a shot at winning a bicycle. Apparently, bike surfing is an effective way to make sure drivers see you at night.

And few people realize that sharrow is a portmanteau of arrow and sheep.

………

G’mar chatima tova to all observing Yom Kippur tonight. 

Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his latest monthly donation to help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. Any donation, no matter how large or small, is always deeply appreciated. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Getting the mythical war on cars all wrong, road rage rising on LA streets, and LA Streets chief Greg Spotts heads to Seattle

No bias here.

An economics professor and former deputy assistant secretary for research and technology at the US Department of Transportation gets it exactly wrong, saying the US shouldn’t follow Europe’s lead in the mythical war on cars.

Cities are being hollowed out by pedestrian precincts, with commerce for residents moving outside the centers of town, leaving the quaint city streets for tourists. Locals need not visit.

American transportation policy is mistakenly copying Europe, and it’s not only the higher gas prices and smaller planned electric vehicles. Bike lanes are proliferating and parking spaces vanishing. One example: the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., is planning to reconfigure Connecticut Avenue, one of the major arteries into the city, by removing two major lanes of traffic and replacing them with bike lanes. The plan doesn’t account for fire engines pulling out of their stations or existing right-turn lanes. Other bike lanes in Washington see minimal commuter traffic.

With regard to parking spaces, the motto among U.S. transportation planners seems to be “if you don’t build them, they won’t come.” A planned reconfiguration of Union Station in Washington, D.C., will result in the loss of hundreds of parking spaces. Restaurants are taking over valuable curbside spaces for dining.

She goes on to decry city centers filled with pedestrians and thriving merchants, as well as areas where driving is actively discouraged in favor of more beneficial forms of transportation.

Which is a good thing, actually.

And which makes it kind of frightening that someone like her was helping to form transportation policy in the Trump administration.

Then again, that explains a lot.

………

No, it’s not just your imagination.

There really is more anger out there on the streets. And more people willing to act on it.

Too often, with guns.

Crosstown LA reports Los Angeles set a record in June with 90 reported incidents of road rage, topping the previous record set just one month earlier.

From Jan. 1–June 30 there were 459 reports of road rage in the city, according to publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data. That is a 32.7% increase over the same period last year, and almost 140 more incidents than were tallied in the first half of 2019.

Never mind that most road rage incidents never get reported to the police, making those record figures just the tip of the iceberg.

So be careful out there. Drivers don’t need a weapon when they’re already in one.

………

In a surprise announcement, Seattle’s Department of Transportation reveled LA Street Services head Greg Spotts is taking over their new leader.

Damien gets it right.

Spotts is, or was, one of the few Los Angeles department heads who really seemed to get it, and will be sorely missed.

Besides, he’s one of us. And it made sense to have a bike rider in charge of LA streets for a change.

………

The LAPD’s official Twitter account shares a great story, as their officers pitched in with other organizations for LA’s first Bike Safety Camp Day, including a new bike for 30 lucky kids.

………

The popular Eastside Mural Ride returns a week from Saturday.

I’m told from people who’ve done it in previous years that this is one ride you don’t want to miss.

………

The California Office of Traffic Safety presents the winner in the completion for a DIY traffic safety ad.

Maybe you’ll like it more than I do.

………

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

No bias here, either. After a Jersey City city councilwoman flees the scene after crashing her car into someone on a bicycle, a writer for a New Jersey website insists the real problem is irresponsible bike riders who blow through stop signs and red lights.

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

Police in Cleveland are looking for a bike-riding man who got into an argument a street vendor, then pulled out a gun and shot the victim several times when the argument got physical.

………

Local

Road closures keep coming on the new 6th Street Viaduct as police struggle to halt bad driver behavior, with speed bumps likely coming to the new bridge. Which couldn’t be better proof of a bad road design.

The LA Times says just forget the whole thing, and close the 6th Street Bridge to cars and let the people on foot and two wheels take it over.

An artist in South LA was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was riding his ebike to finish a mural; the woman got out of her car to help him, but took off without identifying herself. A crowdfunding account to help pay his medical bills and replace the ebike he relied on for transportation has raised over $6,000 of the modest $10,000 goal.

This is who we share the road with. A woman driving with a bunny crashed into a Lyft driver, a utility box and a fire hydrant, knocking out power in DTLA.

This is who we share the road with, part two. A pickup driver injured 11 people in Pacoima when he struck three vehicles in a gas station, and knocked over one of the pumps. Oops.

 

State 

Police arrested a 39-year old suspect in the stabbing death of 26-year old Marcos Guzman Reyes, who was killed as he stood next to his bike on a Ventura bike path.

The director of Strategic Initiatives for COAST+SBBIKE writes to clear up misconceptions about a planned Santa Barbara bike path that’s been under attack, over fears it would lead to the removal of trees in a protected sanctuary.

 

National

CNN recommends accessories for your next bike trip.

Streetsblog examines why US cities are so bad at counting bike riders, and why it matters.

Great piece from The Radavist, about the bicycle nomad who rode 1,900 miles to retrace the route of the famed Buffalo Soldiers on the 125th anniversary of their bike ride from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis.

Sadly, it’s not even surprising anymore when the NYPD blames the bike-riding victim, insisting a woman was riding salmon when video of the fatal crash shows just the opposite.

New York bizarrely turns its speed cams off at night and on weekends when speeding is the worst, even though speeding is a leading cause of fatal crashes.

DC advocates rallied to protest the city’s 22 traffic deaths this year, including three cyclists and a pedestrian killed just this month.

 

International

After a London thief stole a kid’s dirt bike-style bicycle, he returned it the next day with a note of apology, explaining he was drunk and stupid.

British bicyclists can be fined the equivalent of up to $3,000 for riding dangerously, as well as other infractions.

 

Competitive Cycling

European time trial champ Marlen Reuser soloed to victory in Wednesday’s stage four of the Tour de France Femmes, winning by nearly a minute and a half.

Dutch great Marianne Vos held on to the yellow jersey after stage four, leading Silvia Persico  and Kasia Niewiadoma by 16 seconds.

SBS Sport captures five moments of chaos on the gravel of Wednesday’s stage, questioning whether including gravel sections in the race was a good idea.

Spanish champ Mavi García was taken out by her own team car as she tried to catch up to the peloton after a pair of flats.

F1 star Valtteri Bottas is taking some time off from the car racing circuit to assist his girlfriend, Australian cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, as she competes in the TdFF.

Paracyclist and Air Force vet Dustin Baker’s hopes of competing in next month’s Para-cycling Road World Championships were dashed when a driver read-ended his bike on a North Carolina training ride, leaving him with broken ribs, a damaged rotator cuff, a concussion and road rash. Not to mention a shattered bike.

Danish fans seemed kind of happy to see Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard in his first post-race appearance back home.

https://twitter.com/letourdk/status/1552270916805181441?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1552270916805181441%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-27-july-2022-294727

 

Finally…

That feeling when a visibly drunk hit-and-run driver is captured by a chef — and an emu. Your next ebike could look like a 1920s motorcycle, and do up to 40 mph, which is kind of illegal in most states.

And we’ll leave you with this today, marking the intersection of bicycling, feminism and motherhood a hundred years ago.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Road-raging deputy brake checks group ride, LA Times calls for Griffith Park car bans, and advocates pan bridge bike lanes

A road-raging Houston deputy constable thought people in a group ride were riding dangerously.

So he apparently decided to make it exponentially less safe.

Makes sense.

The bike riders are now calling for the deputy to be fired for actions that included repeatedly brake-checking the group, which caused at least one rider to crash into his car.

According to Houston’s KHOU-11,

“You see him brake-check people,” one cyclist said. “You see him get out, taunt, intimidate people. You see him drive in oncoming traffic in the oncoming direction. You see him go over across two or three lanes of traffic in the right lane where bikers, by transportation code, are legally supposed to be and legally allowed to be.”

Several angry cyclists then rode past the patrol car, yelling at the deputy and asking for his badge number.

Another cyclist who posted a different video told KHOU 11 he’s pro-law enforcement but believes the deputy’s actions went too far.

“This deputy was definitely out of control,” that man said.

The bike riders say they never received a lawful command or the deputy’s identification, despite numerous requests for his badge number. And not surprising in the current environment, They’ve received a number of threats since posting the video online.

Meanwhile, the local constable — sort of like a sheriff, but with less authority and responsibility — took it upon himself to blame both sides.

Even though only one had threatened anyone’s safety.

Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said the internal affairs department is conducting an investigation, but he believes there’s fault on both sides.

“After viewing the deputy’s dashcam video, which is now under investigation, it appears both parties, the deputy and cyclists on scene, were not conducting themselves in a safe manner,” Rosen said in a statement. “The cyclists were dangerously impacting other citizens, riding into oncoming traffic lanes and were taking over an entire intersection interrupting traffic.”

Sure, let’s go with that.

Never mind that the deputy appears to have committed a number of possible felony violations, starting with that brake-check, which could and should be charged as assault with a deadly weapon.

But probably won’t be. Because, you know, Texas.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

………

They get it.

The LA Times notes that Los Angeles is finally catching up to other major cities in closing some streets to cars — okay, one — while musing whether that marks the start of a road revolution.

LA’s paper of record also calls for closing more Griffith Park roadways to motor vehicles.

The park’s roads are currently designed for the movement of cars, not the safety and enjoyment of cyclists, walkers and equestrians. Drivers treat Griffith Park Drive and Crystal Springs Drive as shortcuts to avoid traffic on Interstate 5 and the 134 Freeway. The speed limit on park roads is 25 mph, but it’s routinely ignored by motorists. The routes aren’t safe for pedestrians or cyclists. Crosswalks and bike lane stripes are faded. Key roads are missing sidewalks for pedestrians and barriers separating cyclists from cars.

It’s no wonder Griffith Park mostly attracts only “strong and fearless” bicyclists, according to a consultant’s report. Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents the area, said she wants the roads redesigned so families and kids feel comfortable riding their bikes in the park.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers a lengthy Twitter thread on how to make the park safer and more convenient for people on bicycles.

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Renderings of the Class IV protected bike lanes on the new $600 million 6th Street Viaduct, scheduled to open this weekend, haven’t exactly been winning rave reviews online.

Like this, for instance.

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LADOT announced a new bollard-protected bike lane on Grand Ave in South LA.

https://twitter.com/LADOTlivable/status/1544808420427063297

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Active SGV lists upcoming rides on San Gabriel Valley greenways, starting tomorrow with Glendora and San Dimas.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1545110738594775041

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Yes, recent bike convert and state Senator Anthony Portantino really is one of us now.

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

No bias here. Miami shop owners say new bike lanes that replaced curbside parking are killing their businesses, insisting their customers can’t afford to pay for parking. They don’t have money to park, yet somehow, still have money to spend at their stores. Sure, that makes sense.

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

Sadly, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and his cyclist brother Roberto never got to live out their dream of fielding a winning team at the Tour de France.

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Local

Los Angeles’ StreetsLA staff has completed the first inspection of pavement quality for the city’s entire 1,100-mile bike lane network. However, despite all the happy talk, there’s no mention that the inspection was inspired by the $6.5 million settlement for a bike rider injured by a Sherman Oaks pothole — vastly more than the $4 million the city spent fixing broken bike lane pavement last year.

Seriously? Ryan Seacrest’s radio co-host Sisanie questions whether you could manage to go carfree at Sunday’s South LA CicLAvia. Because walking or biking the short three-mile route is just so, so hard, evidently.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect talks with Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the nicest and most inspiring people you’ll ever meet; you can read a transcript here if you prefer that to listening.

The Malibu Times complains about Caltrans’ “chaotically staged” virtual meeting to present plans for bike lanes on the western section of PCH through the coastal city, while noting the lack of answers about the project.

 

State 

You can now buy California-based Aventon bikes at your local Best Buy.

A 25-year old Placer County man will spend the next 13 years behind bars for attacking and robbing a 69-year old man on a bicycle.

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration, aka FHWA, is proposing a new rule to measure and track transportation greenhouse gas emissions.

Wired says e-scooters aren’t as green as you think, either.

Several states are siphoning federal highway safety funds, despite the dramatic increase in traffic deaths; US regulations allow them the repurpose up to half the funding they receive.

Consumer Reports reviews the best bike locks, but won’t tell you without a subscription.

Salt Lake City is accused of violating its own Complete Streets requirement after rebuilding a street to the same incomplete format it was before.

A Joplin, Missouri bike rider was seriously injured when he or she was rear-ended by a sheriff’s deputy responding to a burglary call, who evidently somehow couldn’t see someone on a bicycle directly in front of the car. Yet they can’t even be bothered to recognize that the victim was a person, rather than a mere “subject.”

Proposed legislation in New York would require drunk drivers to pay child support for up to 18 years if they kill a custodial parent in a DUI crash.

A New York State mountain biker rides a 27-mile loop, hoping to find one the finest mountain-bike rides in the Adirondacks, but leaves complaining about poor maintenance and fallen trees.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A pickup driver isn’t facing any charges for killing an 11-year old boy in the Hamptons, despite backing into the victim’s bike while leaving a worksite. Seriously, if you can’t see what’s behind you, don’t effing back up.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks at ten standout handmade bikes from Enve Composites Bike Builder Round-Up, calling them rideable art.

An Irish man walked with a gentle caress on the wrist for the death of a 63-year old bike rider, after the man’s Yorkie escaped and ran out into the roadway; he was fined the equivalent of just $304 for letting the dog run loose, and a total of $329 for not licensing his three dogs. But not a dime for killing someone. Let’s at least hope the victim’s family has a damn good lawyer.

France is rolling out a new combination bike and pedestrian traffic signal for use when a bike lane runs next to a pedestrian path.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his observations from a recent family vacation to Barcelona, calling it the “most walkable, most transit-oriented, and most bikeable place” he’s ever been. And yes, I’m only a lot jealous.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur looks forward to today’s stage of the Tour de France, the year’s first mountain finish. On gravel, no less.

Slovenian Tadej Pogačar won Thursday’s sixth stage to become the third yellow jersey holder at this year’s Tour; Bicycling asks the pertinent question of who the hell is the new Slovenian race leader. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you

American TdF rookie Quinn Simmons made a good impression on Thursday’s stage, following the wheels of Wout Van Aert and Jakob Fuglsang on a lengthy breakaway before getting reeled in by the peloton as Van Aert sped off.

Italy’s Alberto Bettiol apologized to teammates Neilson Powless and Magnus Cort, after an ill-advised attack on the cobbles during Wednesday’s fifth stage may have helped keep the American out of the yellow jersey, trailing then leader Tadej Pogačar by just 13 seconds.

Juliette Labous won Thursday’s stage of Italy’s Giro Donne, as Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten added to her overall lead. Meanwhile, Dutch great Marianne Vos is withdrawing from the Giro Donne after her second stage win on Wednesday to focus on “other team goals,” most likely the new Tour de France Femmes.

Damn good question. VeloNews examines the hypocrisy in cycling, questioning why some dopers are forgiven while others are shunned.

Comfy bikes and Tour de France teams aren’t concepts that usually go together.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you set a new record for the oldest person to cross the US by bike. Once again, if you’re riding your bike with meth stuffed in your sock, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the sock.

And yes, the late, great James Caan was one of us.

At least on the silver screen.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1545113994737979392

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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