Tag Archive for San Diego

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

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As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

………

As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

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There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

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Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

………

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

………

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

San Diego’s transformative new transportation plan, and Munich shows how bike lane bypasses should be done

It’s Day 8 of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Dongyi L, Alan C, Gregory S and Todd T for their generous donations to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So take a moment to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. 

Seriously, go ahead and do it right now. We’ll wait. 

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San Diego is about to show California how its done.

San Diego Forward, a new 30-year plan presented by the San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, offers a transformational vision of what the city can, and should, be.

Here’s how Streetsblog explains it.

It is unlike any previous regional plan in San Diego, or in California. That’s in part because SANDAG got into a bit of trouble over its last, very inadequate draft plan, which pretended to be forward-looking but, like many regional transportation plans, was mostly a warmed-over rehash of previous plans that prioritize freeways. The previous SANDAG plan included some transit and bike improvements, but those investments were all put on the back burner, and highway expansions came first.

Not this time. The new draft plan – written under new SANDAG leadership – presents a utopian vision of what a connected, equitable, easy-to-navigate transportation system could be, focusing on new technologies for managing vehicle traffic, improving transit, and building streetscapes that work for people on foot and on bike.

Although the 3o-year timeline is about 20 years too late for the planet, which needs to see drastic shifts in how we get around in the next ten years to avoid catastrophic climate changes.

The other challenge is the cost, with an unfunded $160 billion price tag — yes, with a b — to build out.

And as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, the key to its success is actually building it, rather than letting it turn into dust sitting on the shelf, like LA’s mobility plan.

Which so far hasn’t been worth the silicon it’s printed on.

However, San Diego leaders have actually shown a willingness to live up to their commitments, such as the city’s climate action plan.

So maybe there’s hope of real change down there, even if it may take too long.

Now if they could just show the rest of us how it’s done.

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Ralph Durham offers a followup to Monday’s photo of a spacious bike lane bypass through a Munich construction zone, protected by a sturdy metal barricade.

It gets better.

We were walking towards the intersection where I took pictures of the detour at the intersection. This time we tried to cross the bridge. The bridge is undergoing major construction and is down to two lanes from four. No sidewalk use either. However, on both sides there are temporary bike ped bridges. Four in total because there is a small island in the river.

Here is a picture of one of the temporary bridges. Yes that is snow.

Photo by Ralph Durham

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That feeling when an anti-bike British lawyer demands his God-given right to dangerously pass a group of bicyclists who are legally riding two abreast to control a narrow lane.

And the cops politely say not today, Satan.

Although the police use a painful analogy to correct him on another one.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what it would be like to have police back us up like that in this country.

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

The California Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed an off-duty LA County Sheriff’s deputy along with another man over 15 years ago, and left his bicycle at the scene as he fled afterwards.

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Local

Santa Monica will be building protected bike lanes on 17th and Steward Streets in the Pico Neighborhood on the eastern part of the city, along with improved crosswalks and safe routes to school for the area’s Edison Language Academy.

 

State

San Diego officials confirmed the identity of a man who was murdered by a driver as he was riding his bike near the Silverwing Recreation Center; police say 40-year old Octavio Mendoza was intentionally run down as the hit-and-ru driver apparently chased him across a grass field with his SUV. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

An Escondido bike shop owner is a repeat winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition, despite only recently taking up competitive baking, as opposed to biking.

A 43-year old Oakland mother suffered major injuries when she was doored while riding her bike in Berkeley, then immediately struck by another motorist as she fell to the street.

A Sonoma paper looks back fondly to bicycling’s local heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. No, the 1880s.

 

National

Fast Company says electric cars won’t be enough to save our cities.

A planned Portland lawsuit over the city’s decision not to build a bike lane is up in the air, after the ostensible plaintiff moved to Amsterdam despite crowdfunding $13,000 to fund the suit.

Tragic news from Arkansas, where a bike-riding paramedic was killed during the Little Rock Marathon when he grabbed onto a utility vehicle to respond to an injured runner and was pulled under the vehicle’s wheels; the state governor ordered flags flown at half-staff for two days in his honor.

Talk about a life well-lived. A developmentally disabled Wisconsin man spent 12 years riding his bike to raise funds for a local food bank, covering more than 75,000 miles and raising over $42,000 before his death last week at 75. We should all have a heart that big.

Chicago rolls out Lyft’s new ebikes as part of its bikeshare system.

A Michigan man faces up to 30 years behind bars after admitting to using meth and weed, and using Facebook Messenger while driving at highway speeds when he fatally ran down a woman riding her bike earlier this year.

The bike boom is straining New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, which is struggling to keep up with demand in some areas.

Philadelphia solves two problems at once by installing bike corrals to keep drivers from parking in front of fire hydrants.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where police revealed that the 14-year old Palm Beach boy who was murdered while riding his bike had been stabbed repeatedly in the head by a homeless man, in a totally senseless random attack; his killer had recently spent time in a mental institution after a similarly random attack on an Atlanta man.

 

International

Road.cc recommends essential tools for bike riders who do their own maintenance. And yes, I had all of those. Even if my wife won’t let me work on my bike in our apartment any more.

Vancouver is a little more colorful after installing artwork designed by university art students at five bike parking facilities near rail stations around the city.

Twin British brothers have been charged with murder in the death of a 63-year old man, whose body was found earlier this year after disappearing four years ago during a charity ride in Scotland; there’s no word on why he was killed, however.

Israel’s Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill that would require license plates on ebike and e-scooters.

The former chairman of Fly6 and Fly12 maker Cycliq discovered the hard way that bike cams don’t stop thieves, after burglars made off with a trio of rare racing bikes from his garage.

 

Competitive Cycling

The reluctance of Quick-Step GM Patrick Lefevere to form a women’s cycling team was behind sponsor Deceuninck switching its alliance to the Alpecin-Fenix team next year.

Twenty-five-year old American ‘cross cyclist and mountain biker Ellen Noble is stepping away from racing indefinitely to deal with health issues caused by an auto-immune disorder and a crash that fractured her spine in three places.

If you’re not doing anything tonight, here’s your chance to dip a toe into track cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you hope someone else buys a 20-year old custom-made cycling team bike so you don’t have to. Your next ebike could be a Porsche — and priced like it, too.

And people on bicycles hardly ever threaten anyone with a gun over bike parking.

Just saying.

………

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

 

 

San Diego bike rider allegedly murdered by driver, violent/deadly dirty cop tricks, and razing the Wright Bros 1st bike shop

We’re off to a rip-roaring start to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

After just three days, donations are already running well above last year’s record-setting pace!

So let’s keep it up! Your contribution will help fund this site until our sponsors renew in the spring, and ensure SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

Thanks to Janice H, Michael S, Robert K, Kim D, Daniel F, Arthur B, Mark J, Joseph B, Andrew G, Theodore F, Megan L, Steven S, Elizabeth T, Jonathan P, Douglas M, Amy S, and Jamie S for their generous donations.

And that’s in addition to Robert L, Eric L, David V, Mitchell G, and Olivia K, who donated even before the official start of the fund drive on Friday.

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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Police allege a San Diego man may have been murdered by a hit-and-run driver, after witnesses apparently told them the driver deliberately attacked him Thanksgiving morning.

Relatives of 40-year old San Diego father Octavio Mendoza called for additional witnesses to come forward in hopes of catching the driver.

Police are looking for a light-colored, older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; unfortunately, there’s no description of the driver.

Mendoza is at least the 17th person killed riding a bicycle in San Diego County already this year, perhaps three or four times more than in most years.

It’s also the second time in just two months someone in the city has been accused of intentionally murdering a bike rider with their car.

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This is who we share the road with.

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say. So we’ll let NBC News start things out.

A New Jersey police officer is accused of fatally striking a pedestrian, taking the man’s body home to discuss what to do, and then returning to the scene with the dead man in his back seat, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

They on on to explain the off-duty cop and his passenger fled the scene without bothering to aid the victim or call for help.

Then this.

They reportedly went back to the scene multiple times before they put Dymka into the Honda Accord. They then went to Santiago’s home, where he, Guzman and Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, discussed what to do, Stephens’ office said.

Louis Santiago eventually went back to the scene, and his father, who is a Newark police lieutenant, called 911, officials said.

New Jersey State Police arrived and found Dymka dead in the back seat, the prosecutor’s office said.

Did we mention that he’s a cop?

Yet apparently, despite his training, he still had no idea what to do after killing someone with his car.

At least this time, there should be consequences. The killer cop faces charges including reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, and official misconduct, along with a raft of other counts.

Meanwhile, his mom and passenger are both charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains and hindering apprehension, among other varied and assorted crimes.

No word on whether the cop and his passenger were drunk or stoned. But you’d sure as hell hope no sober person would do that.

Let alone a cop.

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

A Tucson woman face charges, apparently for allowing an angry driver to assault them.

And yes, he’s a cop, too.

Aloisi and her daughters were walking across the parking lot after brunch, they said, when a vehicle approached them fast before the driver abruptly stopped.

The driver, a man, waved his arms at them and appeared to be yelling, they said, though his windows were closed. The women waved their arms and yelled back at him. Aloisi has a leg problem that prevents her from walking fast after sitting for a length of time, she said…

“He zoomed into that back parking spot, jumped out of his car, threw his hands up in the air and screamed ‘Just f—ing walk’ at us,” Nicole Whitted said.

They tried explaining that their mother can’t walk fast, but the cop continued advancing towards them, before allegedly chest bumping one of the women and angrily taking her to the ground.

He then took the 62-year old mother to the ground as well, holding her down with an arm across her throat while pinning her daughter down with his knee, shades of Derek Chauvin.

Only the intervention of a bystander ended the ugly confrontation after their attacker identified himself, for the first time, as a cop.

Yet only the daughter he allegedly chest bumped was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, the alleged road raging attacker denied everything and placed all the blame on the three women, apparently getting off with a pat on the back.

And shamefully, did it all with his family waiting and watching in his car.

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Some things are just wrong. And others are wrong as hell.

Zoning officials in Dayton, Ohio voted almost unanimously to allow the city to demolish the first bike shop operated by the Wright Brothers, overruling the city Landmark Commission, which voted to preserve the 129-year old building.

I mean, it’s not like those guys went on to do anything important or anything.

As justification, the city bizarrely cited the Florida condo collapse, somehow seriously equating the dangers of the collapse of an occupied 12-story building with the possible fall of the long-vacant two-story shop.

Apparently, irreplaceable historic sites must be a dime a dozen around there. Because they don’t seem to give a damn about this one.

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Metro Bike is offering a pair of specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday Weekend – 30-Day Pass for $1
USE PROMO CODE:
BIKESEASON21
$1 for a 30-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $17)
Sign up for a 30-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Thursday, 11/25/2021 – Monday, 11/29/2021.

Cyber Monday – Save 50% on 365-Day Pass
USE PROMO CODE:
CYBERMONDAY21
$75 for a 365-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $150)
Sign up 365-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Monday, 11/29/2021 only.

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Zachary Rynew reports progress on an extension of the San Fernando Road Bike Path, but notes there’s still work to be done.

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Apparently, there wasn’t a lot of bikewashing at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, unlike last year when ebikes made a splash. David Drexler forwards this photo of a Shinola bike, noting it’s the only bicycle he saw at the show this year.

Except for all of the mountain bikes used as props on the backs of SUVs, of course.

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Our German correspondent, Ralph Durham, forwards a photo showing how bike lane detours are handled in a country where bikes, and the people on them, actually matter.

I’m sending you a picture of a short Bike and ped detour in Munich.

This is at the corner of Ludwigsbrucke (over the Isar river) and Steindorfstrasse. It is a major intersection. the bikes heading north and south have a direct path under the bridge and can avoid the issue. If you need to turn onto the bridge or off the bridge you will hit this. This bike path has a counter and records hundreds of thousands of trip per year.

The road is 2 lanes in each direction and there is work being done that directly impacts the pedestrian walkway and the 2 way bike path. So they shut down the two northbound car lanes and retriped for bikes and pedestrians to get around the construction.

A lot of care is put into allowing bikes and pedestrians to avoid direct interaction with motor vehicles when construction impacts roads and sidewalks.

Compare and contrast that with how your town handles it.

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Remember this next time you have to lock your bike up to a street sign or parking meter.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

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Over the long weekend, I received an email from a British man, asking me to mention the new foldie developed by his San Francisco brother-in-law — the first folding bike where the wheels fold, too.

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again, since wheels are the biggest size limitation for folding bicycles. And with just one day left to go, the Tuck Bike still has over $42,000 to go to meet their funding goal.

So if you’re in the market for a $1,300 bike that really folds, this is your chance.

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

No bias here. In an interminably long screed, San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag accuses “extreme” bicyclists of holding sway over area planners for demanding crazy things like stop signs to slow speeding drivers, and not wanting to get killed when they ride.

A British YouTuber and self-proclaimed Voice of Reason offers a bizarre rant, concluding that “supercilious nature is out of control,” and bike lanes — or maybe bike riders — must be banned for the good of the planet.

An unlicensed Aussie driver was finally sentenced to a decade behind bars after repeatedly bragging to people for nearly ten years about the night she chased down and killed a Hong Kong man who was just riding his bike home from work, after he allegedly flipped her off, getting more racist with each retelling.

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

A bike-riding British man got three year behind bars for snatching a woman’s purse, and leaving her with hip and leg injuries after knocking her to the ground. Which is two years and three months more than a career criminal in the UK got for stealing four bicycles in five weeks, on top of more than 100 prior convictions.

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Local

Streets For All urges you to contact the city council to support completion of the Expo Line bike path by closing the absurd Northvale Gap, which was skipped to appease homeowners on the afore mentioned Northvale Road, who worried criminals would ride their bikes into the neighborhood to steal their stuff. No, really.

Streets For All is also calling on everyone to support a Metro board motion scheduled for Thursday to provide an additional $2 million in open streets funding; current funding allows funding of just less than half of the 27 open streets proposals from around the county.

The student newspaper at Cal State Northridge calls on the university to use surplus funds to develop its own campus-wide bikeshare system.

The massive new Burbank bridge finally opened after 20 months of construction, featuring bike lanes on either side, but only a single sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. Evidently, they couldn’t squeeze in another sidewalk because the needed to make room for three traffic lanes and a freeway onramp lane in each direction.

 

State

The San Diego Reader celebrates all the infrastructure options available for bike riders in the city. Although sharrows are nothing to celebrate.

A Berkeley woman is expected to survive after she was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike; thankfully, she was revived after having no pulse and not breathing when paramedics arrived.

A bike rider was killed in a collision in Moraga Friday morning; unfortunately, no details were available about the victim or the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a 15-year old Stockton boy sprawled in the street after slamming into his bicycle, apparently not seeing the group of teens on their bikes directly ahead of him or her after rounding a corner.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic confronts the deadly myth that human error is responsible for 94% of traffic fatalities — unless that human error is actually committed by the people who design and engineer our roads.

A blogger offers tips on buying an ebike, along with recommendations on what to buy.

Singletracks offers their favorite picks for Cyber Monday deals on mountain bikes and gear.

An author Philadelphia author relates how riding her bike helped her cope with a series of losses during the pandemic, including the death of her mother, who taught her how to ride a bicycle.

A five-year old Louisiana boy is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a dozen people who rode their bikes 108 miles from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, raising $30,000 to buy adaptive bicycles for handicapped kids like him.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a “groundbreaking” Florida neurosurgeon faces a vehicular homicide charge for killing a bike-riding triathlete while driving on the wrong side of the road at over four times the posted 20 mph speed limit in a borrowed Tesla; he’s been ticketed at least three times for speeding in the past five years, at speeds up to 112 mph.

 

International

A coalition of 125 community groups rode and rated Toronto’s bike lanes, concluding that nearly half deserved a failing grade. Anyone want to guess how LA’s bike lanes would fare?

It takes a major schmuck to steal an old, rusty bike from a Nova Scotia man, whole he was busy ringing the bell for a Salvation Army kettle.

That’ll teach ’em. After drivers complained about what they consider overly wide bike lanes, English officials threatened to narrow traffic lanes even more if drivers keep causing crashes.

You’ve got to be kidding. A judge in the UK ordered a former professional cyclist into rehab and wished him well following his drunken strong-armed robbery of a 13-year old girl’s bike.

A Irish man graduated at the top of his class as a bicycle mechanical engineer, 18 years after he was blinded in an assault as a teenager; he built his own tandem bike as part of his coursework.

Bike Radar reports on the cutting edge findings from the Science & Cycling Conference in Leuven, Belgium to help you go faster

An Indian district president rode his bicycle to thank voters for electing him to another term, as well as “raise awareness about the environment, simple living and fitness.”

An Indian man was busted for biking under the influence, just a day after a new Kolkata policy went into effect to give breath tests to suspected intoxicated bike riders.

A Philippine mayor was ticketed for riding a bicycle without a helmet, just a year after she signed a bill requiring them.

Philippine bike riders took to the streets to celebrate yesterday’s National Bicycle Day.

Once again, a member of New Zealand’s parliament has ridden her bike to the hospital to give birth, delivering a. healthy baby about an hour later; she also rode her bike to the hospital three years ago to deliver her first child. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly profiles rising American cyclist and college student Megan Jastrab, who won three world titles in 2019 as a 17-year old junior, and took Bronze in team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics in her first race at the elite level.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your training as a stunt person lets you walk away from a crash with another bicyclist, with nothing more than a bruised pinkie. Making bike thefts stats drop by giving up on reporting it.

And there’s more than one good use for an ebike.

Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

………

Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today!

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

Update: San Diego man murdered by hit-and-run driver in possible intentional crash while riding bicycle in Otay Mesa

Call it murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed in a collisionwhile riding his bike in San Diego’s Otay Mesa West neighborhood late Thanksgiving morning.

And it didn’t take long for investigators to determine it could have been intentional.

The victim, identified only as a 40-year old man, was riding near Arey Drive and Picador Boulevard next to the Silverwing Recreation Center when he was run down by the driver of a light-colored SUV around 11:29 am Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for an older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; there’s no description available on who was behind the wheel.

There’s also no word on how the crash occurred, or why police determined it was deliberate, although people at the recreation center may have seen the crash.

Every hit-and-run driver who kills someone should face a murder charge. This one actually might, if police can find them.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego’s Homicide Unit at 619/531-2293.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is experiencing by far the bloodiest year in recent memory.

It’s also the second bike rider intentionally murdered by a driver in San Diego in just the last two months.

Update: The victim has been identified by relatives as 40-year old Octavio Mendoza, father of a ten-month old child, with another on the way.

Update 2: San Diego police have finally confirmed the victim’s identity as 40-year old San Diego resident Octavio Mendoza

A photo from the scene suggests why investigators initially suspected homicide, as muddy tire tracks suggest Mendoza’s killer jumped the curb and drove across the grass field to chase him down. 

Meanwhile, video from the scene shows his mangled bike lying in the gutter

A crowdfunding campaign to pay Mendoza’s funeral expenses has raised just over $6,400 of the modest $12,000 goal. 

Never mind that he leaves behind an eight-month old boy, with a second child on the way, who will never know their father. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Octavio Mendoza and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up on the updates. 

$24 million settlement in 2014 Fiesta Island crash, LA County tackles racial bias in bike stops, and Culver City gets mobile

Evidently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied.

It was seven long years ago when a wrong-way driver slammed into a group of 30 bicyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, injuring ten people.

Theresa Owens was high on meth when she got behind the wheel, looking for a boyfriend she thought was cheating on her.

She was speeding on the 25 mph roadway, after turning the wrong way on the narrow, one-lane road, when she rounded a blind corner and smashed into the group of riders.

Six of the victims were seriously injured, with Juan Carlos Vinolo ending up paralyzed from the chest down, as well as suffering a long list of other injuries.

A jury divided the liability between Owens and the city in 2019, ruling San Diego was responsible for failing to maintain visibility on the roadway, despite knowing of the dangers.

They held the city responsible for 27% of the damages, while state law required the city to pay 100% of Vinolo’s past and future medical bills and lost earnings.

Yesterday that bill came due, when the San Diego city council agreed to a whopping $23.75 million settlement for Vinolo and his wife for the meth-fueled Fiesta Island crash.

Although something tells me they’d gladly give back every penny in exchange for the use of his legs again.

Meanwhile, the city could have saved a fortune just by trimming some bushes and reducing berms, instead of waiting until it was too late.

And maybe reworking the intersections to channel drivers so they can only turn in the right direction.

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Phillip Young and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Los Angeles County responded to a recent LA Times investigative report that found biased policing of bike riders by LA County sheriff’s deputies.

The Times found that the overwhelming majority of bicycle traffic stops conducted by deputies were in areas where people of color make up the majority of the population, and with limited bike infrastructure.

Seven out of ten of those stops involved Latino riders, and 85 percent of the riders stopped were searched by deputies — even though those searches only turned up illegal items eight percent of the time.

Just imagine the outcry if drivers were routinely placed in the back of a squad car while police searched their belongings following a simple traffic stop.

Let alone white drivers.

The LA County Board of Supervisors responded on Tuesday by unanimously approving proposals to decriminalize bicycling violations, including

  • Developing a diversion program allowing bike traffic school in lieu of fines for traffic tickets, which was approved by the state a few years ago, and
  • Drafting a change to county code to legalize riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in unincorporated areas, although only on non-residential streets without bike lanes.

In addition, the supervisors ordered a review of biased policing of bike riders by the sheriff’s department.

Not surprisingly, though, the sheriff’s department, which has attempted to stonewall virtually every other effort at oversight, had no response.

Granted, these are just proposal to develop new rules, so far. But it’s a big step in the right direction.

………

Newly bike-friendly Culver City officially kicks off Move Culver City this Saturday, featuring three new quick-build bus-bike lanes in the downtown area.

Quite a change from the not-too-distant past when Culver City cops would meet group rides at the city limits, and ticket riders for every real and imagined violation they could find, while they escorted them out of town.

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Streets For All has posted video of last night’s mobility debate between the candidates for LA’s CD13, currently held by two-term incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

 

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Clearly, not even Tour de France winners are safe from dangerous drivers, as 2019 winner Egan Bernal was the victim of a far too close pass from a driver trying to squeeze into a non-existent gap.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The president of a college-prep nonprofit spent every Friday for the past month riding his bike to talk with teachers and students at nearly 30 Orange County schools, covering 200 miles by the time he was done. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

A bike-riding homeless woman went to court, and won the right to keep living in a Fountain Valley park, despite repeated attempts to force her to leave.

San Diego continues to make strides to meet their climate change goals and reduce car use by eliminating parking requirements for businesses near transit or in densely populated areas.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed when she allegedly rode her bike across the street in front of an oncoming driver. As always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses, besides the driver, who saw her ride out into traffic.

A Berkeley paper joins the Cal Berkeley student paper’s call to improve Telegraph Ave, and raises them by calling for making the iconic street carfree.

 

National

Last month’s Vision Zero Cities conference considered how the language used in ads and newspaper reports can hurt crash victims, who are inevitably blamed for their injuries.

An Arizona man is 6,700 miles into a planned 18,000-mile journey by bicycle to visit each of the more than 400 national parks in the US, although he may need to pick up the pace a little after hitting just 14 parks, leaving another 386+ to go. He’s attempting to raise $50,000 for conservation projects in the National Parks.

Speaking of national parks, Utah’s Zion National Park now has a new ten-mile bike trail on the east side of the park.

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York’s bike lanes need more protection than the usual plastic car-tickler bendy posts, which don’t keep anyone out.

A Washington Post op-ed says American bicycling has a racism problem, tracing the roots to discrimination against Southern Black bike riders around the turn of the last century.

Tragic news from Florida, where a 14-year old boy was found dead after he went missing while riding his bike on Monday; no word on the cause of death, though his school described it as an “accident.”

 

International

Montreal’s Bixi bikeshare had a record-setting year, with ridership up 74% as they packed the bikes up for the winter.

This is who we share the road with. A London woman mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, jumped the curb and killed a man walking on the sidewalk, then lied to investigators by saying the man stepped out into the street in front of her. So naturally, the court let her walk without a day behind bars, and took her license away for a whole year.

Burglars broke into a British bike park and stole literally everything there was to take, from generators and Park Tools, to cash raised for a local air ambulance service.

He gets it. A writer for Britain’s Independent says we’ll never get to zero emissions until we admit we’re all climate hypocrites who want to stick to our comfortable, fossil-fueled lifestyles.

A member of the UK Parliament says the country’s lax hit-and-run laws give drivers an incentive to flee the scene rather than stick around and get tested for DUI. We have exactly the same problem in California, where lax penalties and minimal enforcement encourage drivers to flee, knowing they’re unlikely to ever get caught, or seriously punished if they are.

E-scooters in Paris will be forced to automatically slow down to just above walking speed in over 700 more crowded areas throughout the city.

Bicycle Dutch author Mark Wagenbuur has updated his classic explanation of how the Dutch got their cycle paths.

An Indian writer considers the benefits of getting your kids off their screens and onto bicycles.

He gets it, too. An op-ed by a New Zealand university professor explains why your next car should be a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The popular SoCal edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride gravel race hits the little screen with the new hour-long documentary This Is Not A Gravel Race premiering on Outside TV.

Britain’s Pfeiffer Georgi won the country’s road race national championship less than 12 months after breaking two vertebrae while riding in Belgium

The thief who stole Geraint Thomas’ bike was just 15 years old; Thomas said he was looking forward to checking his Garmin to see if the kid had any skills.

Track racing at the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend.

 

Finally…

Build your own DIY shaft-drive bike. Now you, too, can ride a hand-painted work of art, for the low, low price of 30 grand.

And we may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t…well, wait for it.

Thanks to Pops for forwarding the tweet.

………

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

Bike rider allegedly murdered by driver while trespassing on San Diego horse ranch; 16th bike death in SD County

Horrific news from San Diego, where a man on a bike died up to a week after he was intentionally run down with an SUV.

The victim was reportedly trespassing on a horse ranch near the Mexican border on Monday, September 27th, when the owner’s adult son used his car as a weapon to slam into him with enough force to shatter his bicycle.

Allegedly, of course.

According to OnScene TV, the victim was a former worker on the Tijuana Valley ranch, who had reportedly been barred from the property.

The son gave chase in a Kia SUV, crashing into him at a high rate of speed, before losing control and smashing into bollards on the side of the dirt road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was rushed to Mercy Hospital with major injuries, where he died sometime on or before October 5th.

The driver also suffered serious injuries, and had to be extricated from his vehicle.

Video from the scene suggests the crash occurred on Rancho La Palma, at 2325 Hollister Street in San Diego.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Warning, this video shows the driver being removed from the SUV and placed on a backboard. So be sure you want to see that before clicking on it. 

 

Man riding road bike killed by wrong way driver in San Diego; 14th bicycling death in San Diego County this year

Let’s see someone blame the victim this time.

It was just over a week ago that an Ocean Beach writer penned a truly awful piece blaming the victims of this year’s 13 bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for contributing, if not causing, their own deaths.

Make that 14 now.

But this time, the victim appears to be as blameless as humanly possible.

According to multiple, nearly identical stories, a man was riding his bicycle in the westbound bike lane on Camino Del Rio South in East Mission Valley Tuesday night, when he was hit head-on by a wrong way driver traveling east in the westbound lane.

Authorities place the crash west of Texas street, around 8:50 pm Tuesday.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 42-year old man, died at the scene.

Raw video from the crash site shows a crumpled red road bike in the tall weeds on the shoulder of the roadway, next to debris from the driver’s car, separated by a chainlink fence from the busy 8 Freeway.

The rear flasher on his bike continued to strobe on the broken bicycle, long after the crash.

The 25-year old driver’s car was stopped nearby, the windshield shattered over the steering wheel. Which means she had to see him in the bike lane directly in front of her if she was paying any attention to the road in front of her.

Police do not suspect intoxication; however, there’s no mention of whether she may have been distracted. Remarkably, though, she doesn’t seem to have been arrested, or even ticketed, at the scene.

Given that she was on the wrong side of the roadway, and somehow unaware of a grown man on a bicycle right in front of her car, it’s hard to imagine that she wouldn’t be criminally liable.

If nothing else, the presence of the bike lane to her left should have been a clue that there might be someone on a bicycle there, let alone that she was driving the wrong way.

Although these days, I suppose we should give her credit just for sticking around.

But the simple fact is the man on the bike was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to do, and lost his life to the plague of traffic violence — and an apparently negligent, if not distracted, driver — anyway.

This is at least the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is suffering through an exceptionally bloody year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 42-year old San Diego resident Matthew Peter Keenan. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew Peter Keenan and all his loved ones.

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Due to the time spent researching and writing this piece, and the late hour, there will be no Morning Links today. We’ll be back as usual on Friday to catch up on what we missed. 

Windshield-biased Ocean Beach victim blaming, PCH project back on Malibu agenda, and unsafe Venice bike lanes

This is who we share the road with.

In a truly awful piece, a writer in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood complains that bike advocates are lying about this years rash of bicycling deaths to foist an anti-car agenda on the car-driving public.

He has the shameless audacity to go through each death one by one, pointing out how the victims were, or could have been, at fault, but from his windshield-biased perspective.

Never mind that he’s relying on newspaper accounts for his information, which as we’ve seen, too often don’t contain the salient facts and leave far too many blanks to fill.

And all too often, are based on police reports, which can, and usually do, reflect the officer’s windshield bias, and a basic lack of training when it comes to bike laws.

I had intended to open today’s post with a lengthy rant dissecting his arguments. But soon discovered that Peter Flax had beaten me to the punch.

Writing for Medium, Flax took the writer — and the bike-unfriendly OB Rag, which published the shameful piece — to task for the obvious victim blaming.

Obvious to anyone but the author, anyway.

The central premise of Page’s story is that bike advocates and city leader in San Diego have dishonestly tried to leverage the spate of riders being killed there to get more bike lanes built — “to further the cycling agenda” as he puts it. In his argument, the connection between people dying and the need for better riding infrastructure is mostly fictious and totally overblown. And then to prove his hypothesis, Page does some light googling and sets out to demonstrate that nearly all the cycling deaths that have occurred in San Diego were likely the riders’ own fault. It’s an eye-opening exercise in victim blaming.

Above all, the story is inhumane and recklessly presumptive. Imagine thinking that you could spend an hour on Google, read a handful of day-one news stories, and then feel equipped to pronounce that strangers in your community have been killed because of their own errors or bad judgment. Imagine being an editor or publisher and thinking you want to publish that kind of a hot take on your site.

Then Flax did something remarkable.

He reached out to the man who penned that awful piece, and held a non-judgmental online discussion — nonjudgmental on his side, anyway — on why he wrote it.

Here’s just a brief sample of the conversation.

In your story, you state quite firmly that five of these deaths were the fault of the cyclists, and that several made “poor choices” and several more died in circumstances where blame cannot be assigned. This adds up to nearly all the deaths in San Diego. Can you see how many people felt like you were engaged in victim blaming?

I did not blame any victims. I recounted that the news stories on five of these clearly showed the cyclist was at fault, that was not me making a decision based on the facts. The facts in five more do not say who was at fault, not a conclusion I came to. I have responded to several comments asking for a specific instance of victim blaming in my article. Nothing.

It’s not victim blaming these folks are upset about. They are upset because I had the temerity to challenge the cycling narrative to the public by debunking their claim about what these 12 deaths meant. My target was dishonesty.

Unfortunately, the conversation accomplished exactly what you’d expect, with the author unbudging in his unbridled victim blaming, and accusations of some subversive cyclist agenda.

But you have to give Flax credit.

That could not have been an easy conversation to have. And he went out of his way to understand the other man, and to be fair.

But this kind of attitude is, sadly, all too common.

One where we are seen, not as ordinary people simply trying to stay safe on the streets, but as wild-eyed activists pushing a radical anti-car agenda to force the unwilling car-driving public onto bicycles.

When the truth is, we’re just trying to get from here to there in one piece.

And too often, failing.

Photo from the bike path in Santa Monica, which will have to stand in for Ocean Beach.  

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Malibu’s continually rescheduled discussion of a plan to widen the shoulder on a two-mile section of PCH, instead of building bike lanes, which will presumably put bike riders in the door zone — unless maybe they won’t — is back on the agenda for tomorrow night.

Unless it gets postponed once again.

Here’s the notice from Streets For All

Ask the City of Malibu to add safe, protected bike lanes to PCH

There is a special Planning Commission Meeting (RESCHEDULED) in Malibu this Wednesday at 630pm where they are going to discuss approving a plan to widen the shoulder on 2 miles of Pacific Coast Highway between Webb Way and Puerto Canyon Road to add MORE parking.

Their proposal really only benefits cars and puts people on bikes in the “door zone.” We need them to do better – it’s time for Caltrans and Malibu to add protected bike lanes to PCH.

EMAIL THE MALIBU PLANNING COMMISSION BY TUESDAY (9.7)

Maybe the ‘Bu is just hoping we’ll all stop paying attention if they postpone it enough times.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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The author of this tweet sent it to my attention to point out a dangerous condition on the bike lanes on Venice Blvd.

To be honest, it’s hard for me to get too worked up about this simply because it’s been going on for so long.

Whether’s it’s RVs, illegally parked semis and construction trucks, or some other obstacle, the Venice bike lanes are frequently blocked in one place or another from one end to another, and have been for years.

Enforcement doesn’t seem to do any good. Ticketing or towing drivers for parking illegally only seems to work in the moment, until they come back a day or two later.

If not the same day.

The only solution I can see is to install protected bike lanes from Downtown to the coast. And preferably designed so drivers won’t just park in it anyway, like the LAPD and delivery drivers already do in DTLA.

Which should have been done already.

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Sunset4All held a successful celebration of LA’s first public/private partnership to transform one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

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Join Tern and New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie for a Reddit chat on the two-wheeled future of transportation.

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Here’s your reminder that the annual worldwide Fancy Women Bike Ride will roll later this month.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything about rides planned for Los Angeles, or anywhere in Southern California.

So let me know if you’re planning anything here.

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A Scottish driver escaped a close call when a bicycle fell off the rack of another car on the highway, and lodge in his windshield.

Maybe there really is a war on cars, and the bikes are finally striking back.

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GCN says you’re probably killing your ebike, if you have one. So stop it, already.

Meanwhile, a writer for Treehugger says she gets so many questions, she feels like a celebrity when she rides her ebike. And recommends getting one “a million times over.”

………

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

Nothing like an LA driver intent on sending a message. Or worse.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1434327524004163588

Evidently, there’s no such thing as a carfree event where drivers are concerned. Like the schmuck who decided to weave his car around participants in Chicago’s Bike the Drive on Sunday.

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

Probably not the best idea to repeatedly fire an antique gun for no apparent reason while riding along an Iowa bike path.

A New York State man is under arrest after using his bicycle as a weapon when police attempted to take him in on a couple outstanding warrants, before pulling a knife on them after a foot chase.

A Virginia bike rider refused to exchange information and demanded money from a driver after a minor collision; the driver wisely called the police instead, and the man on the bike rode off before they arrived.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A 22-year old Los Angeles man is dead following a road rage confrontation after a minor fender bender. He chased the other driver when she left the scene, then was thrown to the street after somehow ending up on her hood during a second confrontation.

Streets For All is hosting another virtual happy hour a week from tomorrow, with special guest LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. Which makes it the perfect opportunity to ask why the bike plan is still just “aspirational,” and why Vision Zero and the city’s Green New Deal seem to have been pushed so far onto the back burner they’re in danger of falling off entirely.

Mark your calendar for the Los Angeles edition of the World Naked Bike Ride on September 18th, where you can go as bare as you dare except for your face, which will need a mask.

 

State

Police in La Jolla busted a suspected serial burglar and bike thief who had been raiding back yards and garages for months; he’s now being held on $300,000 bond.

After talking with other people who’d done it, a San Francisco writer decides to try riding a bike up the area’s steepest hill, with grades as stiff as 30%

A pair of looters were arrested for stealing bicycles from South Lake Tahoe homes after the town was evacuated because of the Caldor Fire.

Oops. A Chico man was busted after police stopped him riding a $5,000 mountain bike, then searched his home and found several stolen bike frames and parts, along with a few grams of meth.

 

National

Your next bike helmet could come loaded with an augmented reality and artificial intelligence-enhanced heads-up display, complete with a 360-degree camera.

After walking away from his IT job, a Portland man is devoting himself full-time to cleaning up the city’s pathways, collecting trash in a trailer towed behind his bike.

Reno bike advocates are up in arms after the city calls for a $100,000 study to reroute a planned bike lane, because the casinos complained that they don’t want one in front of their businesses. Apparently failing to grasp that bike riders are used to gambling, since we have to do it on a daily basis.

Nice gesture from Denver Bronco’s general manager, the rest of the front office and the coaching staff, as they built 75 bicycles for underprivileged second grade students at a local elementary school in honor of former Bronco’s coach Greg Knapp, who was killed in a Bay Area bicycling collision in July.

Kansas police insist they’ve got the right man now, after arresting a motorist for shooting and killing a man, apparently to steal his bicycle, after they’d both visited the same business; another man was cleared of the crime after being arrested earlier, but was still being held on outstanding warrants.

Sometimes, the sound of gunfire is just a bike tire popping in an Arkansas Walmart.

A Cincinnati student newspaper calls for keeping a popup bike lane that was installed in a weekend for just fifty grand.

A Connecticut congressman is riding his bike across the state to promote all the state has to offer. Which apparently isn’t much, since his ride will be just a hair over 91 miles. 

A New York man was rescued after spending anywhere from two to eight hours trapped down a shaft in the Queens woods when he somehow fell down it during a bike ride through the park.

New Yorkers are criticized for risking the lives of bicycle delivery riders, who somehow stayed on the job despite the incredible risks posed by the recent Hurricane Ida.

Sad news from New Jersey, where nationally recognized cyclist and triathlete Arland Macasieb was fighting for his life after being run down by the driver of a classic ’59 Corvette as he was riding his bike across a freeway onramp; Macasieb is also a repeat national trial champ and national record holder in the Philippines.

A Philadelphia magazine profiles North Philly’s Bilenky Cycle Works and their high-end, handmade bicycles.

 

International

The shortage of bicycles and parts fueled by the pandemic bike boom is now expected to last through the end of next year.

Credit the Romans with the first Low Traffic Neighborhoods — or Slow Streets, as we call them on this side of the Atlantic.

He gets it. A British writer says there are no winners in the debate over cars versus bikes.

Inspiring story from a 14-year old English boy who was told he could never ride a bicycle due to his autism and hydrocephalus, and not only learned to ride, but raised the equivalent of nearly $14,000 for his scout troop by riding 1,000 mile across the length of the UK. And had to overcome the theft of his bike just days before he started.

What does it say about our streets that there’s even a need for a $1,000 German made backpack that becomes a full torso airbag in the event of a crash?

BMW wants to put you on a ped-assist ebike with a whopping 186-mile range — and a top speed of 37 mph, which would appear to make it illegal under California law. And would require a driver’s license and motorcycle helmet even if it’s not.

Gee, it’s such a relief to know there’s no suspicion of foul play in the death of a Singapore man who was dragged more than 100 feet under a bus, after he allegedly ran a red light on his bicycle and was right hooked by the driver, who claims he never saw him.

Speaking of Singapore, a woman had a far too close call when she fell off her bike and nearly landed in the path of a large truck. Although all the commenters seemed to care about is that the group of bicyclists she was with wasn’t supposed to be on that highway to begin with.

Still in Singapore, a bike delivery rider says why bother with handlebars, and builds an AI chip that can steer his bike for him.

 

Competitive Cycling

To the surprise of no one, Primož Roglič won the Vuelta by a whopping margin of 4 minutes and 42 seconds, after taking four stages in the process.

Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez apologized for giving up and quitting in the middle of the penultimate Vuelta stage, after falling off a possible podium finish when he was dropped in an attack, slipping from third to sixth before abandoning.

Pez Cycling News shares their final rant from, and about, the Vuelta.

For reasons known only to them, media outlets across the US suddenly decided to share a 2013 CNN piece offering fast facts about Lance Armstrong, as if the seven-time ex-Tour de France winner was somehow once again relevant. Which he’s not.

Sad news from Spain, where a competitor in a Córdoba mountain bike race was found dead a short distance off the road after going missing during the race; the cause of his death was unknown.

 

Finally…

You don’t have to wear spandex when you ride, but try not to look like the Michelin man. If you’re carrying a baggie full of crack on your bike — and have an outstanding warrant for murder — put a damn light on it, already.

And if drivers keep blocking the bike lane, just move it to the other side of the street to keep them out.

Right?

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L’shanah tovah to everyone celebrating 5782 today!

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

Arraignment set for pickup driver charged with murder, Culver City opens Jackson gate, and San Diego debates bike safety

My News LA reports Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 2nd for using his truck as a weapon to murder a bike rider last month.

As we reported over the weekend, Gutierrez allegedly made a U-turn in his massive Ford pickup and deliberately slammed into Benedicto Solanga on July 29th, in an apparent road rage attack.

Solanga died three days later, while it took nearly three weeks for authorities to conclude Gutierrez had been behind the wheel, after finding his truck hours after the crash.

Gutierrez is expected to be charged with murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for using his truck as a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

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Chalk this one up as a win for people on two wheels or feet.

For anyone who’s wondered why one of the easiest and most convenient entrances to Ballona Creek has long been closed to everyone but maintenance workers, the Culver City Council just voted to change that last night.

And better yet, to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the city also voted to support extending the Ballona Creek bike path the full length of the creek from where it emerges from underground.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune explores the ongoing debate over bike lanes in a series of op-eds, saying the city is experiencing unintended consequences in the quest to get more people on bicycles.

Not everyone is in favor of the city’s move to expand bike lanes and get more people on bicycles, however.

Just wait until someone tells that last guy what it costs to keep building more traffic lanes.

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CicLAvia has officially unveiled the route for October’s return to the Heart of LA, running from MacArthur Park to Chinatown, and east to Mariachi Plaza.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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The perfect bike for when you’re ready to live your dream to chuck your job and become the neighborhood fruit vendor.

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Today’s mountain biking break is a first-person view of a “beyond black diamond” bike trail from Canadian mountain biker Dave Herr.

Unless maybe you’d prefer a first impression of the new Killington, Vermont Bike Park.

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

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a Black teenage taekwondo star was killed when a driver slammed into his bicycle as he was trying to escape a group of alleged drug dealers armed with large knives.

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

A Washington man faces charges for allegedly chucking rocks at a road crew when they asked him to move his bicycle, before he escalated to shooting arrows at them.

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Local

The New York Times takes a look at the effect of pandemic era street dining and Slow Streets in the Los Angeles area, saying it’s chipping away at Southern California’s notorious deference to cars.

Speaking of which, hundreds turned out for Santa Monica’s first carfree weekend on Main Street this year, with two more planned for September and October.

 

State

A homeless man has been convicted of second degree murder for fatally stabbing another homeless man outside an Escondido Burger King, because he thought the man was trying to steal his bicycle.

Fremont is using plastic pylons to buck the trend of rising bike and pedestrian deaths, with a 45% reduction in major traffic crashes involving death or severe injury in the three years since they adopted Vision Zero, and a 23% drop in major crashes involving bike riders.

 

National

After concluding that Amazon was a driving force behind the problem, a company in the Pacific Northwest pulled their bike parts off the platform, taking a hit in sales to directly supply bike shops affected by the pandemic-driven shortage of bikes and parts.

Reno bike riders are staying inside as smoke from the massive California wildfires forces them off the streets.

Phoenix officials shoot down longstanding plans to install bike lanes on a major street, instead telling bike riders to be happy they’ll get new sharrows on an existing bike boulevard.

A writer for Singletracks tries racing a then top-of-the-line 1990’s mountain bike, surprisingly finding that it held its own against more modern bikes. And ends up selling it to a collector who promised to give it a good home.

A Pittsburgh children’s charity is devoted to letting kids be kids, while giving them more independence by providing them with adaptive bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

International

Treehugger offers a review of the new longtail e-cargo bike from Blix, which sells for a relatively reasonable $1,999 for the twin battery version.

A Canadian man is finishing his summer-long bike tour to visit all 18 of the country’s residential schools in an effort to reconcile with Indigenous students.

Another Canadian man rode 745 miles on his recumbent bike, despite a broken collarbone, to benefit a nine-year old Alabama boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, four decades after beating the disease himself.

Officials in Dorset, England are defending a road makeover that narrowed traffic lanes while installing a spacious 11-foot bike lane, saying the bike lane has to accommodate wobbly riders traveling in both directions, while the traffic lanes are more than wide enough if drivers just obey the speed limit.

Forget the Hound of the Baskervilles. An English mountain biker encountered the apocryphal big cat of Cornwall.

In a bizarre tragedy, a British search and rescue team stumbled on the body of a mountain biker who had apparently crashed his bike while they were on an unrelated call to rescue a teenaged old boy suffering from hypothermia.

A UK driver got three years and four months behind bars for the speeding, hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News peers into its crystal ball, and predicts the Vuelta is Primož Roglič’s to lose.

VeloNews credit’s Jennifer Valente’s physical and intellectual gifts for her gold medal in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, along with a lifelong background in track cycling.

World ‘cross champ Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of this week’s mountain bike worlds due to lingering back pain stemming from a crash in the Tokyo Olympics, though he still hopes to ride in next month’s road championships.

 

Finally…

That feeling when proper bike lanes are too “ideological” for LEGO. Who needs gas when you can buy a cool used bike for the same price?

And when building a shed for your bike would create to much “visual clutter.”

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

Council committee vote on semi-Complete Streets, bike stabbings in San Diego, and remembrance for victims of traffic violence

About damn time.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee will vote tomorrow to transform Culver Blvd and Highland Ave — and to a lessor degree, La Brea Ave — into the Complete Streets.

In other words, turn them into the somewhat less auto-centric streets they should have been to begin with, but aren’t.

All three would get desperately needed pedestrian and accessibility improvements, but only Culver and Highland would get the bike lanes they all need.

Which would still leave La Brea a somewhat safer, but still incomplete Complete Street.

But it’s a start.

Streets For All points out the La Brea proposal also leaves out the bus lane called for on the corridor in the 2035 Mobility Plan, which would be an exceptionally shortsighted surrender to private cars.

Never mind that bike riders would be allowed to use the bus lanes, if they exist.

Streets For All also directs our attention to proposals to redesign streets to prevent street racing, and reduce illegal eardrum-shattering exhaust noise.

Yes, please.

Update: According to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in the so-called Complete Streets plan, and that the references to “bikeway striping” may simply be a reference to sharrows.

And as we all know, sharrows are nothing more than an attempt to thin the herd, with arrows to help drivers improve their aim. 

Both Highland and La Brea are scheduled for bike lanes in the 2010 bike plan, although they’re reduced to Tier 3 in the mobility plan, which means they’re less likely to be built by 2035. 

Meanwhile, Culver Blvd calls for a bike path, which is apparently a reference to the existing, not-so-safe pathway that runs down the median. 

Maybe we need to let the council know tomorrow that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the bike lanes they promised us by unanimous vote. 

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San Diego police are looking for a heavyset White man with a shaved head who allegedly stabbed a homeless man in a dispute over a bicycle in the city’s Midway district.

Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

No word on what exactly they were arguing about.

Meanwhile, another man was repeatedly stabbed by a pair of attackers in the city’s Logan Heights neighborhood; he was also expected to survive.

No reason was given for that attack.

We’ve said it many times before, but it’s worth saying again — No bicycle is ever worth a human life.

Just give it up before risking your life, if that’s what it takes. Or before risking anyone else’s.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Faith for Safer Street and Streets Are For Everyone will host a memorial for the victims of traffic violence in South LA at the end of this month; RSVP here.

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Now that’s more like it.

A little good news from NextDoor, for a change, as a Good Samaritan offers up her own bicycle to a stranger in need.

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Nothing like photobombing a couple’s wedding photos in the middle of a bike race.

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Local

CicLAvia made a comeback on historic Avalon Blvd in Wilmington on Sunday, after missing all of last year due to the pandemic.

 

State

Calbike urges you to email your state senator to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of bike riders safely do anyway, legal or not.

San Diego’s National City plans to convert an existing overpass into a protected bike lane and place for people to hang out. But whether it’s a good idea to expose bike riders and pedestrians to the exhaust and noise of an overhead freeway remains to be seen.

San Diego will pay out $1.75 million to a man who was seriously injured when his bicycle hit a patch of buckled pavement in Carmel Valley; he’ll also get additional settlements from a landscape contractor and a tree contractor, for a total of $2.8 million.

You’ve got to be kidding. A proposed extension of Bakersfield’s Kern River bike path could be sent back to the drawing board because it’s “incompatible” with the golf course it’s supposed to go around, since bike riders might get hit by balls or sneak onto the course. Evidently, they’ve never heard of fences in the San Joaquin Valley.

Speaking of Bakersfield, there’s a special place in hell for whoever fled the scene after crashing into a ten-year old kid riding his bike.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a bike-riding, 23-year old Cal Poly grad student died six days after a 17-year old hit-and-run driver left him bleeding in the street

She gets it. The editor of a Monterey weekly says yes, cars occupy a unique place in American culture. But the reality is they’re bad for us.

 

National

A new study refutes the popular belief that bike lanes lead to displacement and gentrification.

Popular Science recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any age rider.

Rapha’s Lael Wilcox is attempting to break the record for the Tour Divide by riding the 2,745-mile offroad route from Canada to Mexico in less than 14 days to beat the existing time of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. My brother is currently riding the same route, after turning south Saturday after riding up to the Canadian border. Although he expects to take just a tad longer. (Update: Wilcox posted on Instagram that she is abandoning the attempt due to poor air quality from all the wildfires; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.) 

Sad news from Arkansas, where a man was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver after moving his bike over to make way for a truck, and his riding companion injured in an apparent attempt to bail out of the way.

A nine-year old Colorado girl finished a 4,000-mile ride across the US riding stoker on the back of a tandem with her father upfront, finishing in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Chicago speed cams brought in $11 million in fines in just the first two months after they were readjusted to ticket any driver doing more than six miles over the speed limit, resulting in 300,000 speeding tickets. And yet, these proven traffic cameras remain illegal in California, where they are somehow seen as unfair to people needlessly breaking the law.

A writer for New York Streetsblog argues it’s time for muscle car makers to stop marketing them as vehicles for mayhem. And yes, he’s looking at you, Dodge. Although these days, virtually every carmaker is selling virtually every car as a high performance vehicle, and showing them being driven the same way.

 

International

NPR explores the history of Mexico City by canoe and bicycle.

The husband of the deputy chief of staff to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his life after he was struck by a truck driver while riding his bike in London’s Primrose Hill.

A Welsh university student shattered the women’s Everesting record, making 72 ascents up an 18% grade to equal the mountain’s 29,029 feet of climbing; 21-year old Illi Gardner beat the existing record by nearly 20 minutes.

Here’s a few more rides to add to your bike bucket list, with a handful of scenic on and offroad trails in Wales. Unless maybe you’d prefer a vacation to the “coastal cycling paradise” of Japan’s Setouchi district.

A pair of English cops are credited with rushing to the rescue of a bike rider who collapsed in the middle of the road, and potentially saving his life with a chocolate bar and orange juice after realizing he was having a diabetic episode.

After two bikes were stolen from a British man, he went to Facebook to find a replacement — and found his own bikes for sale; a 31-year old man is now in custody for the thefts.

It turns out there was a second rider who finished the Tour de France route on his own this year, as Australia’s Jack Thompson rode the entire route averaging two stages per day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

You probably haven’t ridden your bike often enough if a Japanese bird makes its home in the basket.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovokia’s Primož Roglič put on the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey on Saturday, and held on to it by a scant four seconds over Alex Aranburu by narrowly avoiding a mass crash in Sunday’s sprint finish.

Cycling News offers a full-length interview with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome following his dramatic comeback from a nearly career-ending crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten took control of the four-stage Ladies Tour of Norway with a powerful ride on Saturday, claiming the title a day later.

Recently retired American cyclist Tejay van Garderen will take the helm of the EF Education-Nippo cycling team as sports director next year.

South Africa’s Willie Smit offers uncensored, inside views of the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your modernistic new ebike looks like the Mark of Zorro. Or when your tea is worth its weight in bike balls.

And meet the future militants of the bike brigades.

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

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