Tag Archive for road rage

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.

………

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.

 

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.

………

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.

………

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

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

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.

………

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

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

No surprise here.

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

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

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

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

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

So be careful out there.

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

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

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

………

GCN offers advice on how to buy a used bike.

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

Thanks to tsmith8808 for the heads-up.

………

Bad news just keeps coming from Griffith Park.

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

………

About damn time.

………

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

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1518439659076001794

………

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

………

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

………

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

………

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

Just saying.

………

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

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

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

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

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

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

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

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

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

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

………

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

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

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

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

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

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

………

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

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

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

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

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

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

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

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

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

So go ahead. Give it a read.

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

……….

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

………

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

………

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

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

………

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

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

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

In the latest episode of Drivers Hitting Buildings:

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

………

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

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

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

………

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

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

Check Your Breaks Screenshot

………

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

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

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

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

A story that started right here a few months earlier.

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

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

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

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

Their gain, LA’s loss.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

………

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

From PeopleForBikes

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

So forget I said anything.

………

This is who we share the road with.

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

%d bloggers like this: