Tag Archive for Santa Monica

A deep dive into an ebike tragedy, minibike rider killed in Downey hit-and-run, and driver appalled at bicyclists taking the lane

Let’s start with another deep dive from Peter Flax, who seems to specialize in finding the heart and complexities underlying our most heartrending tragedies.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the solo ebike crash that took the life of 12-year old Molly Steinsapir last year, when she and a friend crashed their Rad Power bike at the bottom of a hill in Pacific Palisades, unable to stop.

The crash has led to a lawsuit by her parents against the bikemaker, Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes.

This story also begins with two preteen girls on a bicycle—to be specific, since it matters, on an electric bike made by the ascendant Rad Power Bikes. It was the final day of January 2021, on yet another balmy morning in Los Angeles. An 11-year-old named Eme Green was piloting the e-bike, and her friend Molly Steinsapir, 12, was nestled behind her on a cushioned seat intended for a second passenger. Molly and Eme were friends and neighbors, and both lived about a half mile downhill from this dramatic perch. One can imagine or at least hope that the girls felt some awe and delight up there, marveling at the expanse of earth and ocean and blue sky before them.

But then they turned that e-bike downhill and a terror unfolded. As Molly’s parents would later allege in a lawsuit, Eme could not stop the RadRunner, and the two girls crashed at high speed near the bottom of the steepest stretch of Enchanted Way. Molly, who was wearing a bike helmet, hit the pavement hard and lost consciousness.

Tragically, she would never wake up. Despite a series of increasingly desperate surgeries to address her head injuries, Molly would be pronounced dead a little more than two weeks later.

That’s the part of the story we all know, if you’ve been following the case.

But Flax uses Molly’s tragic death as a platform to examine the burgeoning ebike industry, and the boom in ebike riders of all ages.

And the seemingly inevitable crashes that follow.

This story will raise questions that don’t lend themselves to straightforward answers. Some are philosophical questions that you’ll have to ponder yourself; some are legal questions that lawyers will argue and possibly a jury will have to deliberate; and some are questions that only legislative or regulatory bodies can address. Should children be allowed to ride e-bikes? How do you balance responsibility between parents and the companies that make those bikes? Should there be significantly more proactive regulation of e-bikes by the government, given that some e-bikes may not be as safe as they should be? And in the absence of such regulation, do the companies that make and market e-bikes—particularly the companies that sell relatively inexpensive e-bikes directly to the customer—have an ethical or legal obligation to do more?

Like anything He writes, it spins an emotionally compelling tale that’s exceptionally well written. And it exposes deeper issues we all should be concerned with.

In other words, it’s well worth the few minutes of your day it will take to read it.

You can read the story on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

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A Downey paper reports a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

The victim was found lying on eastbound Telegraph Road over the San Gabriel River around 10:30 pm, after multiple witnesses reported the crash.

However, according to multiple other sources, the victim was actually riding a motorized minibike, rather than a bicycle.

Which doesn’t make it one bit less tragic. Or criminal.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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A Santa Monica driver is unhappy to find himself behind a small group of bicyclists.

At first glance, I thought the bike riders were breaking the law by taking both lanes, before realizing that the lane to the right is actually a parking lane.  But in this case, they can legally take the full lane as long as they’re moving at the speed of traffic; otherwise they would be required to use the bike lane, which isn’t practical for a group ride.

One more reason to can California’s bike lane requirement.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, ChrisByBike offers his own example of what is unacceptable.

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The victim in Saturday’s Fullerton bike crash has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin.

Investigators believe he somehow rode into a the back of a parked truck with enough force to cause his death, even though a reported witness called it a hit-and-run.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little over half of the $12,000 goal.

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CicLAvia offers a reminder about the year’s first edition of what may be the country’s most popular open streets event later this month.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1620542911627534338

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This is what it looks like when bikes get priority, and cars are guests.

Maybe we’ll see that here someday.

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

A clearly frightened Toronto bike rider was subjected to homophobic slurs from a driver before he was run off the road; his attorney’s letter to the city’s mayor spells out what his attacker could and should have been charged with.

No bias here. A columnist on the British island of Jersey complains about a plan to encourage bicycling to cut pollution with an ebike rebate, even though he claims there’s no proof of a pollution problem. And he wants bikes to face even more stringent restrictions than cars, including a ban on bicycles in the city center.

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

An Ithaca NY bike rider learned the attempted coverup is worse than the crime when he gave cops a false name and struggled with officers after he was stropped for a traffic violation.

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Local 

No bias here. Spectrum TV’s LA Times Today discusses “the battle of ebikes on SoCal beach boardwalks.” But somehow illustrates the story with what looks like an electric motorcycle zooming along a highway.

A writer for WeHoVille wins the lottery for a free bike from the city as part of a pilot program to get more people riding. Then has second thoughts about the restrictions, including a requirement to ride a minimum of a relatively paltry 20 miles a month.

 

State

Carlsbad officials joined with the San Diego Bike Coalition to preach the mantra of bicycle safety, following the city’s two-month extension of its bicycle state of emergency.

Streetsblog talks with San Francisco bike advocate Stacey Randecker, who recently went viral — and not in a good way — after complaining about paramedics parked in a bike lane, gaining fame as the “entitled cyclist of San Francisco,” or alternately, as a bike lane Karen. And as usual, there’s another side to the story.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a Roseville bike rider was killed in an early morning crash after allegedly swerving in and out of the roadway in low light conditions.

 

National

Bicycling examines the eight bike skills they say every rider needs to know. Although I’d question the inclusion of drafting in that list, since only roadies who race or ride in groups really need that skill. Once again, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you. 

Women’s Health offers ten reasons to take up cycling, though they don’t differentiate between the indoor and outdoor versions.

Houston bike advocates are raising concerns after two bike riders and a man on an e-scooter were killed in just the first month of this year.

Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America offer three floors of bikes covering more than two centuries of history, including bicycles used by Pee Wee Herman and Robin Williams.

He gets it. A Massachusetts letter writer objects to a proposal to remove new bikes, saying the traffic congestion opponents complain about will still be there, and bike lanes meet the state’s objective to serve people with lower incomes.

A New York driver is caught on video illegally using the bus lane, and fleeing the scene after crashing into a man on a cargo bike; the cargo bike was trashed, but at least his dog is okay. Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Mail claims he’s the same man that terrorized patrons at a New York McDonald’s with an axe last September.

That’s more like it. A Florida man will spend the next ten years behind bars after pleading no contest in the drunken death of a 73-year old woman, who lingered for eight months following the crash.

 

International

That explains a lot. Is anyone really surprised that a new British Columbia study shows sitting in traffic for “just” two hours is enough to cause brain damage?

A Toronto bike cop goes viral for ticketing a truck parked in a contraflow bike lane. Yet somehow, some people side with the truck driver.

A record-breaking Scottish bicyclist rode her bike for the first time since last September, after she had to learn to walk again when a hit-and-run driver broke her pelvis in four places; the driver who ran her down still hasn’t been found.

An English judge tells a 32-year old man to expect a very significant sentence  after he pled guilty at the last minute to the high-speed death of two boys sharing a bicycle.

An Amsterdam intersection saw so much bike traffic, it had to be redesigned to increase capacity while improving protection from motorists.

The Belgian city of Ghent is combining preservation with bicycling by converting a very cool unused medieval building into a public bike parking structure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A September mountain bike race with test the course for the Paris Olympics mountain bike events, with “breathtaking” views of the Eiffel Tower.

A petition drive is calling for pioneering Black world champion cyclist Major Taylor to be honored with a postage stamp and a Congressional Medal of Honor; a Hollywood movie about his life is also in the works.

Tadej Pogačar and Rafał Majka played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the winner in Tuesday’s stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoCjo7XrV3O/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=3e68acb0-17ea-4fed-8207-9323fb92edc5

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s a short journey from selling pretzels from a three-wheeled bike to becoming a Food Network Star. Your next bike could be a 900-pound DIY pedal-powered VW Bug.

And who can argue that bicycling isn’t cool when Clark Gable was one of us, too?

With no hands, no less.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bike rider injured in Santa Monica hit-and-run, a call to call it out when passing, and CicLAvia explains new CicLAminis

The good news is, my head did not explode.

Nor did I have it surgically removed, as tempting as it was. 

Thanks to the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals, my head is finally better, if not great, and I’m ready to get back to work. 

So let’s get to it. 

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Let’s start with some troubling news from our longtime friend Dr. Michael Cahn, who shares what he saw in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon.

Ocean Park, close to the intersection with Marguerita Ave, I saw a cyclist down on the middle of the roadway today around 3:20 pm.

The cyclist was conscious and able to move his limbs it seems. A bystander tells me later that according to the victim a car was involved that left the victim in the roadway (hit and run). From what I understood both cyclist and car were going South. A bystander tells me that another driver (going North) identified the fugitive driver as a woman.

The position of the prone cyclist in the middle of the road makes it difficult to reconstruct the event. There is a bike lane on Ocean Avenue. I was walking in the park around that time.

Let’s hope the victim is okay, and the heartless coward who left him bleeding in the street is quickly brought to justice.

Then again, let’s just hope the Santa Monica police take it seriously.

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I want to highlight a comment from Kate Johnson on Wednesday’s post.

Because she’s right.

Long time rider here, used to letting others know that I am coming up behind them (“Coming up behind you, passing on your left.”) and noticing that very few riders are doing that now. I can’t count the number of times I have been surprised by faster moving cyclists who pass without notice — they are trusting that I will stay in my lane, I suppose. Can’t we reintroduce this very simple way to avoid clashes? Please, people, call out “On your left!” before you pass someone, no matter if they are riding or walking!

 

If you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s longtime bike etiquette to announce when you’re passing someone.

I always do it, unless I can give the other persons at least the same three-foot margin I expect from motorists, and too often don’t get.

Her wording is also good. I find “passing on your left” is far more effective than the more common “on your left,” which can confuse people. And informing them you’re coming from behind can’t hurt.

So give it a shot on your next ride.

You might be surprised how much more pleasant it makes it for everyone.

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CicLAvia explains the new pedestrian-oriented CicLAminis scheduled for Watts and North Hollywood in May and September, respectively.

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Streets For All is hosting a public debate with five of the seven candidates who have qualified for the April special election to replace former Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6; an eighth candidate is running a write-in campaign.

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Walk Bike Long Beach is hosting a ten-mile community bike ride tomorrow, with plans to ride north from downtown through Wrigley to Steelcraft and back.

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Both Metro Los Angeles and Metrolink are offering free transit on Saturday, February 4th — one week from tomorrow — in honor of Transit Equity Day and the birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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

Tell me again about those entitled cyclists. Streetsblog reports that LA’s entitled drivers have dismantled the modest Vision Zero improvements on the connector road between Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, where missing bollards have created a DIY slip lane, and the crosswalk is completely worn off. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

No bias here. A New York City councilmember has introduced a bill to ban ebikes and e-scooters until “they are registered, insured, licensed, and safe to operate, charge and store.” Never mind that cars and their operators are registered, insured and licensed, and they’re still a hell of a lot more dangerous than any ebike. 

An Irish judge cut a woman’s nearly $22,000 judgement against the country’s Motor Insurance Bureau for their failure to identify a hit-and-run driver by 20% because she wasn’t wearing a bike helmet. Even though most helmets wouldn’t have prevented the concussion she suffered. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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

A Washington state man was arrested for robbing Home Depot at knifepoint, then leading police on a two hour bicycle chase, which included a bike and wardrobe change in a failed effort to throw them off his trail.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a man was acquitted of killing a pedestrian after allegedly blowing through a red light, and not having a working rear brake; like many drivers, he claimed the victim darted out from between parked cars, and he just didn’t see him in time.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD has arrested 31-year old Taylor Lee Harris, accusing him of being the speeding driver who fled the scene on foot after the crash that killed a 13-year old boy and his 18-month old brother in South LA earlier this month.

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee voted unanimously to end the bizarre practice of forcing developers to build brief street widenings in front of their buildings, on the off chance the street gets widened some day. And which end up being mistakenly blamed on, you guessed it, us.

BikeLA, the former LACBC, looks back at Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, while making the case for safer streets in the City of Angels; they also introduce their new YouTube channel, which doesn’t seem to have any active videos at the moment.

After graduating from high school, a Los Angeles teenager spent 527 days riding his bike from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway; now he plans to ship his bike home and backpack back home from Argentina to LA with his girlfriend.

 

State

Well, that will solve the problem. Carlsbad is asking everyone, but especially young ebike riders, to make a public pledge to do their part to be safe on the streets. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Sad news from eastern San Diego County, where someone riding a bicycle found a 55-year old man fatally injured in a motorcycle crash in the Anza-Borrego desert; the victim died despite efforts to revive him at the scene.

Palm Springs Life offers an insiders guide to the Coachella Valley bicycling scene ahead of the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs.

An Agoura Hills letter writer calls for approval of the city’s bike plan, saying that as a driver, better bike lanes would make her more comfortable sharing the road with bike riders.

The Carpinteria Creek Bike Path will remain closed for now due to debris and structural damage from the recent rains.

A Santa Barbara letter writer calls for approval of a proposed bike path next to Modoc Road, where he was struck by a driver five years ago; the person who hit him played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming he just didn’t see him because of the glare on his windshield.

The family of a Fresno university professor who was killed in a head-on collision with an Acura NSX while riding her bike last year is alleging in a lawsuit that the driver was racing, not one, not two, but four other drivers in a pair of Porsche 911s, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari at the time of the crash. There’s no word on whether the driver was charged, but if this is true, all five drivers should be charged with vehicular homicide, at the very least.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks how many broken limbs, life-altering injuries, and deaths is a parking spot worth, as an Alameda NIMBY sues block a Complete Streets project to preserve streetside parking.

 

National

CyclingSavvy discusses what the hell you should do at a stop sign. And no, they say coming to a full stop and putting your foot down usually isn’t it.

Bicycling examines the ongoing debate over bike helmets in the bicycling community. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill will get its first committee hearing next week; the current proposal calls for an instant rebate of up to $1,200 for a standard ebikes and $1,700 for a cargo bike.

Popular Seattle ebike brand Rad Power says mistakes were made, but they’re all better now that they have a new CEO.

Surly’s popular Big Dummy longtail cargo bike is getting some upgrades for its final year of production in 2023.

Heartbreaking story from Indiana, where a pet rescue used social media to find a new home for an orphaned Labrador retriever, after her owner was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov was convicted of a long list of charges in the 2017 Halloween Day vehicular attack on a Manhattan bike path that killed eight people and seriously injured several others; Saipov will face a second phase to determine whether he will be executed. Although personally, I think life without parole in SuperMax is a far harsher punishment than death, which just seems like the easy way out.

He gets it. A Philadelphia man argues that penalties for hit-and-run won’t be stiff enough until they equal the the minimum sentences for homicide or manslaughter, saying he’ll never be the same after he was a victim himself.

No surprise here, as a DC website says a study shows ebike subsidies are more effective than subsidies for electric cars.

A 74-year old man who used his bike as his only form of transportation was killed in an Annapolis, Maryland hit-and-run, directly next to the site of a planned bike path; the side path was funded three years ago, but hasn’t even gotten out of the planning stage yet; sadly, he paid the price for the city’s slow pace.

A North Carolina man will spend up to 13 years behind bars after he was convicted of using his car as a weapon to kill a man riding a bicycle, after a dispute at a gaming establishment.

Tragic news from Georgia, where a bike rider whose injuries led to five other people getting hurt has died, two weeks after the other people ran out into the road to protect and pray for him when he was struck by a driver, then he was struck again by a second motorist, along with all five people surrounding him.

 

International

The Guardian looks at the rise of the 15 minute city, which is quickly gaining ground in urban planning circles. I live in a one hour city here in Hollywood, where I can walk to get most things I need, but have to spend an hour on the bus just to see the doctor. 

Bike Radar explains how building an electric motor into a cargo bike designed to carry heavy loads increases its usefulness. The magazine also offers advice on how to tell when your chain needs to be replaced, and how to prevent it. Hint: When it keeps dropping every time you shift, no matter how you adjust it, sort of like mine does these days.

Shimano has patented a wireless system to recharge electronic components while you ride.

Jalopnik points out that Amsterdam’s new $65 million underwater bicycle garage isn’t even the biggest in The Netherlands.

Leading Dutch ebike maker VanMoof nearly went belly up when it ran out of money to pay its bills at the end of last year.

Two-time defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand has once again hired a pair of bicyclists to power hydraulics as they prepare to compete in next year’s America’s Cup in Barcelona.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-three-year old cycling savant Peter Sagan says this will be his last year in the road cycling peloton, as he plans to retire at the end of the season to focus on mountain biking at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In a story that American cycling fans should be able to relate to, Columbian cycling has hit hard times after the glory years of Bernal, Quintana and Lopez. But at least their hard times don’t stem from eight Tour de France titles getting yanked due to doping. 

Merced’s Hincapie Gran Fondo gravel race has postponed until next year because damage from the recent rains mean the course won’t be ready in time for the planned March date.

 

Finally…

As if SUVs are dangerous enough, now they come armored, armed and electrified. And even the Army says put a damn light on your bike, already.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

SoCal’s killer highway claims another victim, as 28-year old man killed riding on PCH in Santa Monica Thanksgiving Day

A man was killed riding on PCH in Santa Monica Thanksgiving afternoon.

Or maybe in early morning.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, the victim was struck by a driver while riding on Pacific Coast Highway around 4 pm, between Entrada and the California Incline.

Meanwhile, the Santa Monica Observer — which may not be the most credible source — places the time of the crash at 3:07 am the same day, on the 500 block of southbound PCH, with the victim’s body coming to rest on the sidewalk of the next block.

Although that isn’t too surprising, given the typical speeds on SoCal’s killer highway, especially at that hour.

The victim died at the scene.

Both reports indicate the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, and wasn’t suspected of being under the influence.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred.

A promotional site for lawyers identifies the victim as 28-year old Andrew Prenatt; that site also places the crash at 3:07 am.

This is at least the 75th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Which means a full third of people killed riding a bike in the seven county SoCal region have been killed in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Prenatt and all his family and loved ones. 

New bike lane appears on North Figueroa, 16-year old critical after SaMo hit-and-run, and upper Ballona Creek bike path closure

Maybe we should check the weather forecast.

Because hell appears to have frozen over.

Streetsblog reports that a new painted bike lane has been installed on a .8 mile section of North Figueroa in Cypress Park.

Which wouldn’t be major news, except it’s located in the 1st Council District, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has worked to block bike lanes since taking office nine long years ago, while keeping North Figueroa one of the deadliest corridors in Los Angeles.

Cedillo has gone so far as to ask the council to remove all proposed bike lanes in CD1 from the city’s mobility plan, arguing that the people in his district don’t ride bikes. And evidently forgetting that many people in the immigrant-rich district rely on bikes as their primary, if not only, form of transportation.

It’s not clear why the councilmember, whose opposition to safety projects earned him the moniker Roadkill Gill, had an apparent change of heart.

One clue comes from LADOT spokesperson Colin Sweeney, who notes that the new bike lanes wouldn’t inconvenience the people in cars.

L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) spokesperson Colin Sweeney wrote that “StreetsLA recently completed resurfacing on Figueroa after which LADOT restriped the street to bring it up to current standards. In this instance, restriping created space to add a bike lane to the existing configuration without impacting other road users (no impact on parking or number of travel lanes).” North Figueroa was repaved between Pasadena Avenue and the 110 Freeway.

Although neighborhood advocate Felicia G. has another, equally plausible explanation.

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Another day, another SoCal hit-and-run.

The Santa Monica Lookout reports a 16-year old girl is in critical condition, and a 29-year old man is behind bars following yet another hit-and-run collision.

The victim was injured around 2 a.m. Sunday, when Maximiliano Ramos Santiago allegedly slammed into her bike at Chelsea Ave and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

Santiago was arrested at his home yesterday, and booked on charges of felony hit-and-run and driving without a license.

Which would have given him plenty of time to sober up, assuming he had been drinking, which is highly likely given the time of the crash.

Let’s hope she makes a full and fast recovery.

And that the driver who did this is held fully accountable for leaving a young woman bleeding in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Santa Monica Police Investigator Evan Raleigh at 310/458-8954, or call the watch commander at 310/458-8426.

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It looks like the upper section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be out of commission for the next four and a half months.

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Local

A letter writer takes the LA Times’ Robin Abcarian to task for questioning the value of Vision Zero when, she said, eliminating traffic deaths is doomed to fail. Although that name of that letter writer seems sort of familiar.

 

State

Getting flowers by bike in San Diego.

Solano Beach has rejected a $10 million claim from the family of 75-year-old Allen Hunter II, who was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding in a painted bike lane on Highway 101 in the city last summer; filing a formal claim is the first step before filing a lawsuit, and usually gets rejected pro forma.

A letter from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that Rancho Mirage can, and should, make convert Highway 111 into a real street that meets the needs of all users, rather than just the ones in cars. Exactly the same arguments apply to PCH in Malibu, as well, which should be the city’s Main Street, instead of a sewer for pass-through drivers and their cars.

Residents of a San Mateo neighborhood overwhelming oppose plans for a bike lane network, preferring preserving street parking over the safety of people on bicycles; however, people in the rest of the city support the project.

Santa Rosa police are looking for a suspected bike thief who used a fraudulent ID and credit card as security to take a $7,000 mountain bike out for a test ride, and never came back.

 

National

Streetsblog invites you to vote on the worst kind of bicycle infrastructure; among the choices are Orange County favorite painted bike lanes next to high speed roadways, and sharrows, which only exist to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

The New York Times says pedestrian fatalities are spiking, due in part to a surge in reckless driving. Although it’s possible that the jump in reckless driving might just have a tiny bit to do with carmakers ads showing that’s exactly how you’re supposed to drive their damn cars.

Electrek marked Valentines Day with a look at the best ebikes designed to carry two people.

A new $15 steerer tube cap promises to secure an Apple AirTag out of sight to locate your bike if its ever stolen.

Fast Company says Peloton should have seen it coming.

Writer Mitch Albom, author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Stranger In the Lifeboat is one of us, making a call for people in Detroit to donate their underused bicycles for people who can’t afford a car.

A new documentary follows seven Boston women who ride their bikes through the city at night.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Pennsylvania man is still riding at 90 years old, although the area’s hills mean he does most of his riding inside. Which makes him an ideal candidate for a ped-assist ebike to get back on the road. 

Police in Virginia are looking for a 74-year old diabetic man who went missing Sunday morning while riding his bike to a friend’s house around eight miles away; his daughter says he may be in the early stages of dementia.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says friends don’t let friends buy bikes that seem too good to be true. And probably are.

Thieves cleaned out a Welsh family’s entire collection of nearly $30,000 worth of mountain bikes.

Now you, too, can ride the legendary cobbles of Flanders.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of pro cyclists explain how they keep their relationships from going off the rails while living a bike-centered life. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you can’t get it out, dissolve it. What it’s really like to be a pro cycling race photographer.

And I’ll take any excuse to see Sophia Loren on a bicycle, even if she is facing the wrong way.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1493299001520803843

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

Ride to letter of the law in SaMo today, police look for hit-and-run bike rider, and Beverly Hills cops accused of racial bias

Apologies for the short notice on this one.

You’ll want to ride to the letter of the law in Santa Monica today while the police are conducting another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation.

They’ll be looking for violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it isn’t you.

And maybe the city can give us a little more notice next time.

Photo of green bike lane on Main Street in Santa Monica.

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Beverly Hills Police are looking for this man for questioning in a hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian.

If you know him — or if it’s you — contact the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310/550-4951. Right now, they just want to talk.

And yes, it’s still hit-and-run if you’re on a bicycle, and ride away from a collision that injures another person. So don’t do that.

Stick around and exchange information, or wait until the police arrive, just like you would in a car collision.

Because you would, right?

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Speaking of Beverly Hills cops, the department is accused of harassing Black people on and around Rodeo Drive, according to a lawsuit filed by a Black couple visiting from Philadelphia, who were arrested for the heinous crime of riding scooters on the gilded street.

They were among the targets of a task force set up in the wake of last year’s George Floyd protests to address fraud in the high-end shopping district arrested 106 people — 105 of whom were Black.

The other man was identified as Latino.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Other Black people were arrested for walking outside of the crosswalk or roller skating, although the police noted that the task force did recover 13 loaded guns and seized $250,000 in cash and ill-gotten debit cards.

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Great idea. A new clamp-on attachment promises to convert a wheelchair to an e-tricycle.

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

No bias here. A Purdue University website says people on bicycles break laws and create danger for drivers. Just wait until someone tells them about the dangers caused by lawbreaking drivers.

Police in Nottingham, England are looking for the driver caught on video calmly driving down a bike lane, as if it was his or her own personal traffic lane.

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

A student at LA’s Santee High School was shot in the leg following a fist fight with another student, who fled on a blue bicycle.

Police in Ventura are looking for a man who randomly attacked a woman walking on bike path near Kimball Park, after he rode his bike past her, then turned around and assaulted her for no apparent reason.

Someone is riding a bike around the Harvard University campus randomly punching male grad students.

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Local

An op-ed in the LA Times examines why people of color are more likely to be the victims of traffic violence, both in Los Angeles and throughout the US, while noting that pedestrian deaths are up more than a third in the six years since the city adopted Vision Zero.

Metro Bike is offering free one-ride passes for Labor Day weekend, and a 30-day pass for just one dollar.

No bias here, either. A writer for Yo! Venice says now that the city has cleaned up the homeless encampments, it’s time to deal with the “scourge” of e-scooters, complaining they’re “out-of-control and everywhere.”

Pasadena approved spending $168,000 on a Slow Streets program by repurposing funds originally budgeted for the 626 Golden Streets open streets fest, but had to return another $162,000 in Metro grant money.

Mike Richards may have lost his short-lived job replacing Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy, but he’s still one of us, riding with his family on an offroad trail in LA.

 

State

More on the passage of AB 122, which will allow California bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, assuming the governor signs it. And which overwhelmingly passed both houses of the legislature with rare bipartisan support.

Officers from the Westminster Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputies finished a four-day, 630-mile to Sacramento to honor officers who died in the line of duty earlier this year.

If you were planning to spend the holiday weekend at the China Peak bike park outside Fresno, start making new plans, after it abruptly closed for the season due to the high fire risk.

Campus police at Chico State are urging students to secure their bikes with a U-lock, as bike theft increases on the campus.

 

National

They get it. The American Prospect says it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the pandemic by building back, not just better, but bike friendly, while noting that not many US cities have done that.

The Verge offers more on the groundbreaking new bike-by-wire system designed to power ped-assist ebikes without a chain or belt drive.

MSN ranks their picks for the best bike computers for all types of bicyclists. On a similar note, Forbes offers their choices for the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A bike rider in Salt Lake City was lucky to escape with minor head injuries after he rear-ended a stopped van when his brakes apparently failed. A reminder to always check your brakes before you ride, and clean your rims to remove oil or other residue if you have rim brakes. 

Drivers in Texas could now see jail time for killing or injuring a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Now extend the law to bike lanes, and we can talk.

Chicago is installing new protected bike lanes on the “notoriously dangerous intersection” where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed while riding a bike last summer; 13 years after another bike rider was killed at the same spot. Although the “protection” is nothing more than the plastic car-tickler bendy posts that too often pass for protection in Los Angeles, and won’t actually protect anyone. 

A longtime Chicago community activist and bike and pedestrian advocate was critically injured when he as struck by an SUV driver, after he somehow “appeared in the street” as the driver was turning right. Yet another reminder that no one ever just appears out of nowhere; it’s just another way of drivers admitting that they weren’t paying attention behind the wheel.

Life is cheap in New York, where the operator of a limo company walked without a single day in jail for a “catastrophic brake failure” that killed 20 people; he’ll serve just five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service despite copping a plea to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide.

After being feted by Forbes as one of their Under 30 honorees, the founder of Philadelphia-based folding bike helmer maker Kova by AnneeLondon shuttered the business for the sake of her mental health after struggling to keep it going during the pandemic.

A bill to officially designate the 1,300-mile 9/11 National Memorial Trail connecting the three sites of the terrorist attacks, stretching from Pennsylvania to DC, passed the US House by a unanimous vote and now awaits its fate in the Senate.

 

International

The Guardian says bikepacking is the best way to escape the crowds in Cornwall on a new 124-mile gravel trail.

Berlin is making their popup bike lanes permanent, after the city saw a 25% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. On the other hand, Los Angeles can’t make any popup bike lanes permanent, because they didn’t install any. And no one really knows if bike riding rates went up during the pandemic, because no one was counting.

They get it. Lebanon residents are fighting to make the country more bicycle friendly as a solution to congestion and rising fuel prices. Exactly why we should do the same thing here, especially if you add combating climate change to the equation.

Atlas Obscura looks back fondly to the golden age of bicycle noodle delivery, when workers would ride with one hand on the handlebars and the other balancing a massive stack of boxed soba noodles on their shoulder.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss road champ Marlen Reusser broke away from a six-woman breakaway to win the first day of the Challenge by La Vuelta, with SoCal sprinter Coryn Rivera finishing second; the four stage race serves as the severely truncated women’s counterpart to the 21 stage Vuelta.

Colombian Miguel Ángel López claimed a solo victory after riding away from the pack on the hors catégorie Altu d’El Gamoniteiru in Thursday’s 18th stage of the Vuelta, while Primož Roglič finished second to virtually his seal victory in this year’s race.

Sixty-year old Aussie Paralympic cycling great Carol Cooke was hospitalized with a punctured lung following a “nasty crash” with two other competitors on the rain slicked road cycling course; she’d won gold in the event five years ago in Rio.

Cyclist questions whether this year’s Tour de France was decided by the high number of crashes involving top riders.

 

Finally…

Why settle for a regular ebike when you can have a DIY part-time pneumatic tall bike? That feeling when your bird hates flying but loves riding on your handlebars.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got rocket power?

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his generous monthly donation to help support this site. Donations of any size or frequency are always welcome and appreciated. You can also help by telling your favorite local bike shop to advertise here.

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

Injured Encinitas bike advocate wins $11 million settlement, SaMo crashes drop 50%, and boring street racers into quitting

It’s the very definition of tragic irony.

In December of 2018, the executive director of advocacy group Cardiff 101 Main Street was run down by a driver while riding her bike on the sharrows on the North Coast Highway in the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas.

Exactly where she had long fought for safety improvements, including a road diet and bike lanes.

Roberta Walker, a longtime bike and pedestrian advocate, and former professional snowboarder, suffered multiple catastrophic injuries that left her survival in doubt for some time after she was placed in a medically induced coma.

This week, she settled a lawsuit with Encinitas for a whopping $11 million to cover past and future medical expenses, as well as what will likely be years, if not a lifetime, of rehab.

Although something tells me she’d gladly give up every penny to avoid those injuries and have her old life back.

Her lawyer argued that the sharrows were a dangerous condition of public property and a direct cause of the crash, in which she was run down from behind by a pickup driver.

Which, sadly, is about as good a description as any for far too many sharrows.

Thankfully, that won’t be a problem much longer.

The long-awaited project began preliminary construction activities last month and features traffic calming measures, buffered bike lanes, raised medians, roundabouts and enhanced crosswalks.

“One profound irony of this accident is that Ms. Walker herself had advocated for a dedicated bike lane in multiple City Council meetings,” (plaintiffs’ attorney Ed) Susolik said.

There’s no word on whether the driver ever faced charges.

Or even got a ticket for nearly killing someone riding legally, exactly where she was supposed to be.

………

Santa Monica saw a 50% drop in traffic collisions over the last year as more people stayed home during the pandemic, and a 70% reduction in drunk driving due to the closure of restaurants and bars.

The city also repurposed street parking for al fresco restaurant dining, and built another 18 miles of protected bike lanes — which equals half of all the bike lanes built in Los Angeles in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, despite being just a tiny fraction of LA’s size.

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Apparently, the Burbank Police Department plans to bore street racers into giving it up.

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Today’s common theme is a host of new bikes, e- and otherwise.

Who wouldn’t want an ebike inspired by the legendary Caroll Shelby?

When you need your powerful ebike camouflaged for hunting.

A 24-year old Irishman created a new ebike designed to replace your car, and turned to Vietnam for manufacturing.

Or maybe you’d rather have a cross between a teeny tiny car and a throttle controlled adult e-tricycle.

………

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

After London cop carelessly cut off a bike rider, the officer made a U-turn and came back — to lecture the guy on the bike.

It’s a sad commentary when even carfree British streets aren’t.

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

Tragic news from the UK, where a bike rider is on trial for allegedly jumping a red light and slamming into a 73-year old man walking home from work; the victim died days later as a result of severe brain injuries suffered in the crash; bicyclist turned himself in after initially fleeing the scene. Yet another reminder that pedestrians are the only people on the street who are more vulnerable than we are. So ride carefully around them, dammit. And stick around after a crash. 

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Local

LADOT is planning safety improvements to a 1.2 mile segment of San Vicente Blvd east of Beverly Hills when the street is scheduled to be repaved this June; options include a separated or parking protected bike lane.

Metro is hosting a virtual bike repair and flat fixing class this Saturday.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider was lucky to survive when he swerved suddenly to avoid a garbage truck in a parking lot, and was impaled through the neck and jaw by a hook hanging from the front of a pickup.

UC Santa Barbara talks with geography professor Trisalyn Nelson, who created BikeMaps to allow bike riders to report trouble spots after yet another too-close call on her bike.

Authorities identified the victim of Saturday’s Turlock hit-and-run as a 44-year old Turlock man; police are looking for the driver of a charcoal gray Mercedes sedan with visible damage to the front and/or side.

Streetsblog is looking for freelance help in San Francisco.

A Gold Country bike columnist says unless you make a living on it, your bike is a toy, so have fun on it. Evidently, he’s never heard of bike commuting or transportation riding. Which doesn’t mean he’s not right about the fun part.

 

National

The Verge looks at the growing DIY ebike movement, citing the birth of Rad Power Bikes as a prime example.

Tragic news from Phoenix, where a 22-year old man was collateral damage when a shootout erupted between a group of people standing in a field as he was riding by on his bike.

It may be illegal to park in a Houston bike lane now, but that doesn’t mean it actually stops anyone.

Chicago’s Goose Island beer is marking the release of their new 312 Lemonade Shandy by giving away new bicycles to anyone who can find one of 50 giant lemons hidden throughout the city on — you guessed it — March 12th, aka 3-12. And they make damn good beer, too.

The bike shortage induced by the bike boom induced by the pandemic has made its way to Bowling Green KY, home to the fighting WKU Hilltoppers.

Armed robbers are targeting New York delivery riders to steal the expensive ebikes they need to do their jobs.

 

International

The family of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn say they’re offended by an offer from American spy Anne Sacoolas to do community service for the wrong way hit-and-run that took his life, after she claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the country. Although you have to wonder about American intelligence services if they can’t figure out that Brits drive on the other side of the road.

A bike chain in the UK is facing well-deserved criticism for laying off 300 workers and shifting the rest to zero guaranteed hour contracts in an effort to slash costs, despite booming business from the bike boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Vincenzo Nibali, who should know, says turn off those bike computers and power meters during a race and ride on instinct, like Strade Bianche winner Mathieu van der Poel.

Rouleur previews the upcoming Giro, the first of the three Grand Tours.

 

Finally…

Business up front, party in the back — a DIY mountain bike with a mullet. That feeling when the cops have you dead to rights for stealing a bike from a disabled person, and you somehow think you can do better in front of a jury.

And when you want to learn how to make a bicycle, among other things.

In Japanese.

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

Vandals attack Slow Street in Valley Village, GoFundMe raises $25k for Black Lives bicyclist, and blocking bike lanes in SaMo

It’s a blustery day in LA, and much of Southern California.

With makes it a great day to get that KOM, as long as you can keep the wind at your back. Otherwise, it could feel like riding with an anchor.

And as someone who used to deal with Colorado’s notorious Chinook winds, bear in mind that an ill-timed gust can literally blow you off your bike, or all the way across the roadway.

Or both.

So maybe you’re better off just staying home with a good book.

Photo by Anja from Pixabay.

………

No bias here.

Someone clearly isn’t a fan of the Slow Streets movement, at least not in Valley Village.

Or maybe they’re just a fan of speeding cars and keeping the streets the deadly domain of dangerous drivers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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The family of fallen Ride for Black Lives bicyclist Branden Finley call for help finding the carjacker who killed him in a hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles, as a crowdfunding page for his family raises over $25,000 the first day.

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What do you call a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A loading zone.

I tried fighting that same battle on San Vicente nearly a decade ago.

It wasn’t hard to get FedEx and UPS to agree that parking in a bike lane violated their internal policies, and pinky swear promise they wouldn’t do it anymore.

And while the Santa Monica police couldn’t grasp the concept that a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycle, or that blocking one is a clear violation of state law, the chief agreed that double parking is illegal, at least.

But that was several SaMo PD chiefs ago. And nothing ever changed.

Delivery drivers kept parking there. Cops kept ignoring it.

And bike riders continued risking their lives mixing with impatient drivers who couldn’t comprehend that blocked bike lanes mean bike riders have to merge into the traffic lane.

Clearly, adding Amazon delivery vans to the mix hasn’t helped, either.

The only solution is to make it a protected bike lane, which it should be anyway.

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

Frightening bike theft in Stockton, where a man in a car pulled a gun on a 54-year old woman and demanded the bike she was riding, tossing it in his backseat before speeding away.

A Healdsburg CA driver lays on his horn to demand a man riding with his son get the hell out of his way. And when they don’t, he rams the father from behind.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s butt before riding off on his bicycle. And no, that’s not cute or funny — it’s sexual assault.

A Singapore food delivery rider faces charges for crashing into an eight-year old girl as she walked home from school with her mother, breaking her glasses and seriously injuring her eye.

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Local

No surprise here. Los Angeles once again has the worst traffic of any major city in the US. Yet the city still isn’t taking any significant steps to provide alternatives to driving and get people out of their cars.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife and daughter.

 

State

Good news from behind the Orange Curtain, as Caltrans agrees to remove the ill-conceived rumble strips on PCH through Bolsa Chica that posed a needless risk along the popular riding route. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield advocate calls for the city to establish a Vision Zero program to become a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

National

There may be hope for all those many and varied bicycle-to-vehicle communication systems that are supposed to be the salvation bike riders and pedestrians, as a consortium of bicycle and automotive companies finally agree to set a common standard that will work across platforms.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t commute by bike.

An editor for Vice learns that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bike, even at the ripe old age of 29.

The Sierra Club offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside during the winter. Or better yet, let your bike sleep inside, and keep riding it outside, regardless of the season.

Who needs bikewear when you’ve got a $180 pair of denim overalls?

A new report shows Washington State needs to spend $5.7 billion to fix the state’s roads and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, while advocates say the existing strategies clearly aren’t working. Which is pretty much the same story in California, and just about everywhere else.

A Boise, Idaho nonprofit hand-delivered nearly 60 bicycles to families in need to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of service.

Even in rural Kansas, a driver can turn his or her car into a lethal weapon to deliver a punishment pass, as a bicycling trio learned firsthand.

Chicago is considering what looks like a curb-protected two way bike lane through the city’s Fulton Market.

When a Virginia pastor had trouble finding a new bike after his was stolen, he responded by starting a new ministry to repair and refurbish bicycles for people in need.

 

International

The bike industry clearly has the gravel bug, as Road.cc rates 18 of the hottest new gravel bikes from some of the most popular bike brands. And while they’re at it, they also pick the year’s best commuter bike, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $500.

Bike Radar gets a jump on next year’s holidays with a guide to the best gifts for bicyclists in 2021, starting with a five buck DVD of Breaking Away.

An Oxford University professor says forget the WHO’s guidance, and wear a mask when you run or ride a bike.

You know there’s a problem when South African bike riders are warned away from a particular road because the risk of getting robbed is too high.

Cyclist examines how Taiwan’s Giant became the, well, giant of the bike world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome blamed an undiagnosed strength deficit and an inexplicably painful screw resulting from his horrific 2019 crash for a disappointing comeback season in 2020. But that may be behind him, as he takes a couple KOMs on a “Super Saturday” ride through the Malibu Hills as he rehabs in Los Angeles.

Twenty-two year old Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands in the way of Froome’s search for a record-tying fifth Tour title, as he commits to defending his yellow jersey before tackling the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Saying a boy’s bike is easy enough for a girl probably isn’t the best marketing idea. For 25 grand, they could at least give you more than one gear. It’s not a giant Ferris wheel, it’s a bike tire.

And since we started the day with Winnie the Pooh, we might as well end it with a little Tickety-Boo.

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

Murder charge in stoned death of autistic bike rider, call for expanded Metro funding, and keep cars out of SaMo bike lanes

It’s Day 13 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Trinh D and David D for their generous support for SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy! 

It only takes a few clicks to donate and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

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Long Beach resident Richard Lavalle was charged with second-degree murder in the DUI death of 12-year old bike rider Noel Bascon in Costa Mesa Sunday evening.

The boy, who suffered from autism, was riding with his father in a crosswalk when Lavalle allegedly ran a stop sign while driving stoned.

Lavalle is being held without bail, and faces up to 30-years behind bars if he’s convicted.

He could also be charged with a third strike after robbery convictions in 2009 and 2018, which could result in a possible life sentence.

The murder charge results from a Watson Advisement following a 2013 conviction for driving under the influence in San Diego County, stating Lavalle could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence in the future. Otherwise, he would have faced a manslaughter charge.

His passenger, Lee Anna Murphy, has yet to be charged despite being found in possession of illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

A crowdfunding account to help pay Bascon’s funeral expenses has raised over $17,000 in just one day, topping the original $10,000 goal.

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Thirty LA-area organizations are calling for expanded eligibly of Metro funding currently dedicated for highways.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1336399149403541510

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No, Santa Monica’s new two-way protected bike lane isn’t for cars.

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

https://twitter.com/abikeist/status/1336529892746297344

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on transportation issues in South LA.

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Local

Just say “bikes mean business” to get a discount on a deep dish pizza at Masa of Echo Park this Thursday; the last time the deal was offered, it drew over 200 bicyclists.

A new masterplan for LA’s Exposition Park calls for improved access for bike riders and pedestrians, possibly including protected bike lanes.

Tis the season. Hats off to the Pasadena Rotary for donating 146 bikes to local kidsThanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

 

State

A coalition of California advocacy groups are calling for the next chair of the state senate’s influential Transportation Committee to be a climate champion who understands the importance of investing in transit and active transportation.

It was a bad weekend in Fresno, where a 73-year old woman was killed riding her bike after allegedly veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Also from Fresno, a man riding a bicycle was stabbed several times and had his phone stolen by several people who got out of a passing car to attack him; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

And police aren’t sure why a 42-year old Fresno man was shot multiple times and killed while riding his bicycle.

 

National

They get it. CNBC reports the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a bike boom but most American cities are far from ready for it.

Gear Patrol looks at the latest bikes and accessories as proof of the unstoppable cycle of innovation.

A writer for Fast Company says joining the ebike revolution made this year a lot more tolerable.

Legendary bikemaker Gary Fisher, who literally helped invent mountain biking, is out with a new autobiography.

Road Bike Action Magazine offers tips on how to buy your next roadie.

After his stolen bike was recovered, a bighearted Washington boy gave it to a young fire victim because he’d already gotten a new one.

A Texas bike shop suffered a $10,000 loss when thieves smashed the storefront with a U-Haul and made off with five bikes.

Chicago considers the local community by ensuring a new bike bridge conforms with ancient Jewish law.

An Ohio town filed charges against a driver who killed a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk last month, one day after a Cleveland newspaper reported they were illegally withholding details of the crash.

The pandemic forced an annual Massachusetts fundraising ride to go virtual this year, and still managed to raise $50 million for cancer treatment and research.

Horrible story from Flushing NY, where a teenager was talking with a man outside a restaurant when a second man came up from behind and slashed him in the face, before the first man ran off with his bicycle and cellphone.

‘Tis the season, too. Two hundred New Jersey kids got new Huffy bikes courtesy of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

 

International

Heartbreaking story from Toronto, where family members mourn a 23-year old woman who was killed riding her bike home to her college apartment.

An Ontario, Canada woman is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of her sentence for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, after the admitted alcoholic violated her parole with yet another DUI conviction.

An American expat living in England was killed when the brakes failed on his ebike during a steep descent while riding with his wife.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine looks at their favorite lightweight bikes of 2020.

They get it. The authors of an op-ed in the prestigious BMJ — the former British Medical Journal — say free parking for healthcare workers just forces them to drive, instead of using healthier, and more sustainable and affordable means. 

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver walked with a suspended sentence, despite dragging a bike rider who heroically tried to stop his car, while driving at three times the legal limit.

After a Milan bookshop owner was forced to close, he took to his cargo bike to peddle his tomes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey takes a difficult in-depth look at pro cycling’s diversity problems in a nearly all-white sport. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Former NBA All Star Reggie Miller joined the board of USA Cycling; the passionate bicyclist was one of four new members named to the board of the organization governing bike racing in the US.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera is looking forward to next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships in Flanders, as well as joining a newly formed women’s WorldTour team, after a year marred by injury and illness.

Cyclist profiles surprise Giro winner Tao Geoghegan Hart and his climb to pro cycling’s top ranks.

 

Finally…

That feeling when Andy Griffith holds a lifelong a grudge against you for knocking him off his bike. Traveling the world on a Penny Farthing.

And be glad you avoided the great British bicycle stock bubble of the 1890s.

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

Lyft e-bikeshare coming to Santa Monica, Arroyo Seco bike path finally patched, and new survey on bike helmet laws

E-bikeshare is back in Santa Monica, following the demise of Jump Bikes after their sale to Lime earlier this year.

Now Lyft is introducing a new ebike system in partnership with the city.

The bikes will be docked at the existing Breeze bikeshare docks, after Santa Monica’s municipal bikeshare bites the dust this November, eventually expanding to 500 bikes.

Here’s what the company has to say.

The new ebikes allow riders to travel around Santa Monica and West Los Angeles with less effort. When the rider pedals, the ebikes use a small electric motor to boost the rider’s pedal power, making longer trips easier and more accessible. Users will be able to rent ebikes in the Lyft app for $1 to unlock and $0.34 per minute – just scan the QR code and go. Riders can lock the bikes to any one of 80 Breeze stations with the attached cable, or to any public bike rack within the service area for an extra $1. For more about pricing and service area, visit the Lyft website

Lyft also offers a Community Pass for bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. The Lyft Community Pass is a reduced-fare membership program for qualifying residents of Santa Monica and LA. Membership costs $5/month and includes discounted ebike rides at $0.05/min. The Community Pass program is available to residents ages 18 and older who qualify for the Big Blue Bus Low Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program, Calfresh, Medicaid, SNAP, or the SCE Energy Savings Assistance Program and to qualifying Santa Monica Community College students.

 

Correction: I originally wrote that Jump had been acquired by Lyft, but they were actually purchased by Lime. My apologies for the error.

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Speaking of Santa Monica, David Drexler confirms that the 5 mph speed limit signs have been removed from the newly widened beachfront Marvin Braude bike path through the city.

As we noted last week, the signs with the ridiculously low speed limit were installed temporarily as part of a construction project.

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It looks like they’ve finally gotten around to patching that gaping hole in the Arroyo Seco Bike Path, which should be open again soon.

The lengthy delay in getting it fixed could stem from the mishmash of public agencies involved in the repair work, including, but possibly not limited to,

  • LADOT
  • Bureau of Engineering
  • Board of Public Works
  • LA County
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • StreetsLA (nee Bureau of Street Services)

Maybe someone should form a single umbrella agency to manage the city and county river channel bikeways so it doesn’t take the local equivalent of a UN Security Council negotiation every time something goes wrong.

I’m told credit goes to LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member John Laue for getting this done.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads up.

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Researchers at San Jose State University want your input on a survey exploring the relationship between mandatory helmet use regulations and adult cyclists’ behavior in California.

Scroll all the way down to agree to participate.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

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You may remember Christopher Kidd from his days running the LADOT Bike Blog, which is about the last time the agency communicated effectively to the general public.

Since then, he’s been building a successful career as a Complete Streets planner in the Bay Area.

Which should make this an interesting talk.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald has written his own progressive guide to the 2020 election in LA County.

 

State

Governor Newsom has signed SB-288, which removes CEQA oversight of bike, pedestrian, light rail and bus rapid transit projects, eliminating a tool too often abused by opponents to halt environmentally friendly projects.

La Jolla Black Lives Matter supporters say they’re going to keep drawing chalk signs on the bike path supporting the movement, no matter how many times the city washes them off.

A San Diego op-ed argues that riding a bike isn’t just good for your health, but for your career, as well, allowing you to work out work problems while you ride. I’ve done some of my best work on my bike; it’s particularly effective to get out and ride when you feel stuck.

 

National

An urban planner writes that we have an “opportunity to make a generational shift to supporting walking, cycling and public transit over vehicular” transportation, and to reclaim our neighborhoods.

WaPo offers advice on how to safely and politely travel bike trails during the Age of Coronavirus.

Outside recommends accessories to make your gravel riding smoother and more comfortable.

Singletracks offers their choices for the best bike seats to bring your toddler along on your mountain bike. But maybe avoid flying down those downhill trails until they get the hang of it.

No bias here. Time Out picks the best bike trails to view fall foliage. But somehow doesn’t manage to name anything west of Texas.

A Seattle man speaks out after a bike cop was caught on video rolling a bicycle over his head during a racial justice protest, saying he was roughed up by arresting officers after the incident, and received no medical attention during the four hours he spent behind bars.

Washington bike riders will now be able to treat stop signs as yields, as the state becomes just the latest to adopt a modified form of the Idaho Stop Law. California should join Oregon and Washington in adopting the law, making it uniform throughout the West Coast.

Denver bike riders are scouring homeless encampments looking for their stolen bicycles.

A Nebraska bike nonprofit is looking for a new home after losing their current location; the organization rescues and restores bicycles, and allows at-risk kids to work on them to earn their first bikes.

He gets it. A Houston writer explains that ghost bikes are memorials to the failure of drivers to pay attention to the road around them.

Michigan conducted a bike safety enforcement crackdown of their own earlier this month, ticketing 186 motorists and giving warnings to 116 drivers and 117 bike riders.

Usage stats for New York’s bridges show the bike boom is still going strong, with ridership up as much as 88 percent over March’s pre-pandemic levels.

 

International

How to maintain your ebike.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to keep your bike safe at home. My best advice is to keep your bike inside your home if at all possible; if you have to use a garage, make sure it’s locked to something that’s secretly anchored.

A new bike wheel promises to literally suck the smog out of the air from all those stinky cars around you.

A new Brit bike taillight flashes brighter to warn drivers when they’re too close.

In the latest non-scandal to hit the UK, a London councilmember admits he wants to take advantage of the Covid-19 traffic slowdown to make popup bike lanes and street closures permanent. Which was kind of the idea behind the whole thing to begin with.

Stardom has changed life for the better for the 15-year old Indian girl who rode a bike over 700 miles to carry her injured father home earlier this year; she now has a new home, eight bikes, two possible movie deals and an offer to train with the national cycling team when the pandemic loses its grip.

A South African man says he barely survived a bike-jacking when a masked gunman fired at him, because the gun jammed; he was able to escape a second shot on his bike.

A Kiwi writer with a cool name discusses the humiliating yet thrilling experience of learning how to ride a bike as an adult.

A new book argues that Australian police botched the investigation into the death of endurance cyclist Mike Hall during the 2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race across the continent; Hall was killed by a 19-year old provisional driver, who police absolved of responsibility by claiming Hall was hard to see, despite an array of ultrabright taillights.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a Beemer — although I like this one better. Before you build a new bike path, maybe make sure you own the land.

And anyone can ride across the country. But how many can claim they rode from Poo Poo Point to Pee Pee Creek?

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

Strava data shows LA bike rate double last year’s; and gun charges yes, but nothing for driving through Pasadena protesters

One quick note. 

Santa Monica Spoke founder Cynthia Rose informs me that the 5 mph speed limit signs on the beachfront bike path we mentioned on Monday was installed temporarily for a construction project, and have been removed. 

So that’s one bit of good news to start your day. 

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Apparently, LA’s bike boom wasn’t an illusion.

According to Strava data, bicycle use in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles nearly doubled in May, jumping 93% over this time last year.

Among the six U.S. cities for which Strava provided data, Houston and Los Angeles, two sprawling metropolises where just .5% and 1% of the respective populations biked to work in pre-pandemic times, stand out. In Houston, the total volume of cycling trips in Houston was 138% higher in May 2020 than in May 2019. In Los Angeles, the jump was 93%. Unlike their peers, these two places also saw cycling increases in April, the first full month of widespread stay-at-home order and economic shutdowns.

Never mind that Strava is still used by a subset of bike riders, meaning the actual numbers could be even higher, as the LACBC’s Eli Akira Kaufman points out.

Eli Akira Kaufman, the executive director of the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, said the data also likely leaves out many of the essential workers he’s observed hopping on bikes instead of the bus, which could mean that the numbers are even higher than what the Strava data shows. Now his thoughts are towards the future. Cities like Houston and L.A., with their thousands of miles of car-oriented streets, have their work cut out building protected bike lanes and other infrastructure to encourage cycling even after the pandemic ends

“How do we keep the riding coming?” he said. “That’s the question now.”

The obvious answer to that is to provide a safe, convenient and connected network of bikeways that allows riders to traverse the city, and their own neighborhoods.

Which is exactly what LA’s three-tiered 2010 bike plan, now part of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, calls for.

And exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Meanwhile, bikes are still booming, as SoCal bike shops report double and triple their normal sales.

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A San Marino man who drove through a group of peaceful Pasadena protestors last month has been charged with conspiracy to transport firearms across state lines, as well as making a false statement to police.

During a search of Hung’s truck, police found a loaded semiautomatic handgun, multiple high-capacity magazines loaded with ammunition, an 18-inch machete, $3,200 in cash, a long metal pipe and a megaphone, according to the affidavit.

Evidently, endangering innocent people with a motor vehicle is just dandy, though.

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This is who we share the roads with, hit-and-run edition.

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 70-year old woman in Chinatown as she walked in a crosswalk with the right-of-way, leaving her with a brain bleed and a broken neck.

Security video shows the heartless coward get out of his Mercedes to look at the victim, then get back in and simply drive away.

As usual, there is a $25,000 standing reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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Streets for All has released their endorsements and Voter Guide for the November election, in both English y Español.

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They get it.

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LADOT has begun work on a curb-protected Complete Streets project on Reseda Blvd in Reseda and Northridge.

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Then there’s this.

Secure bike parking is a good thing. But maybe we can do a better job of considering the needs of disabled riders next time.

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Germans know how to promote World Car Free Day.

https://twitter.com/BirgitHebein/status/1308390818756079618

That tweet translates to,

Take public transport, walk or cycle and thus set an example for more space in the city.

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It’s not everyday a hospital ad is worth sharing.

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Bike stunts, without the bike.

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

A London bike rider suffered a broken shoulder when a road raging bus driver allegedly swerved into him, knocking him off his bike; passengers on the bus reportedly begged the hit-and-run driver to stop.

An Aussie man faces charges for pushing a friend in a shopping cart into a group of bicyclists traveling at over 25 mph, taking out a number of riders. The man, who had been drinking for a dozen hours, claims his actions weren’t deliberate and he just lost control of the cart, despite how it looks on security cam video.

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

In a tragic story from Milwaukee, a 54-year old man was fatally gunned down by a bike rider in a dispute over a traffic “mishap.” There is no excuse for violence, especially at the risk of someone’s life. Just suck it up and ride away, already.

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Local

Los Angeles joined with New York, London, Berlin and eight other cities in Europe and North America in pledging to divest from fossil fuel companies to fight climate change.

LADOT wants your help in identifying low-stress travel corridors in Central Los Angeles.

A new self-guided audio bike tour through DTLA leads you through the hidden histories of Latino Los Angeles, while the slower pace on a bike allows you to take it all in.

Metro is pulling the plug on its smart bike bikeshare program on LA’s Westside, replacing them with “classic” bikeshare bikes in Venice, Palms, Playa Vista and Santa Monica, while adding nine more docks.

REI is offering adult classes on how to ride bike in Redondo Beach next month, as well as one-on-one adult instruction in Redondo Beach and Santa Monica; the outdoor co-op is also offering kid’s classes in Santa Monica.

 

State

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. Unfortunately, he didn’t take any action to encourage bike riding, walking or transit use to make those vehicles unnecessary.

Hold your pony in check. Newport Beach adopts an ordinance aimed at ebike users on the city’s boardwalk, stating that no one may exceed the posted 8 mph speed limit, regardless of what they’re riding.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies will crack down on traffic safety violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians in Dana Point today, regardless of who commits them. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit lines, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

San Diego’s new Mid-City Bikeway project is nearly half-finished, as the city unveiled eight new traffic circles installed to improve safety at intersections.

Condolences to San Diego bike riders, who will soon be stuck with the city’s first sharrows on a three block section of Hancock Street. As we’ve said before, sharrows only serve to help drivers improve their aim in an effort to thin the bike riding herd.

Our friend Michael Wagner of CLR Effect visited Santa Barbara’s newly closed State Street, saying restaurants and businesses are benefitting from the carfree foot and bike traffic, and comparing it to a 24/7 CicLAvia. Which sounds like a damn good idea to me.

I’ve found lots of things while riding a bike. Fortunately, a human skull on a Tahoe bike trail ain’t one of them.

 

National

Good news for my fellow diabetics, as a new study shows bike riding reduces cardiovascular mortality in diabetes, as well as mortality risk from all causes. If the coronavirus doesn’t get us first, that is.

The Verge visits the makers of Rain-Bow bike fenders.

C|net reviews Garmin’s new rearview bike radar systems and rides away impressed.

Mashable says Ridepanda is your one-stop shop for all things ebike and e-scooter.

Specialized gets spanked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which has rejected the company’s trademark application for its latest bike, ruling it’s too similar to a tire brand.

Singer-songwriter Laura Veirs is one of us, riding her bike “all over Portland” to cope with her divorce after 20 years of marriage.

A manager with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission patiently explains why allowing bike riders to treat stops signs as yields is better for everyone.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, with an easy bike tour around Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado.

A new Indianapolis mural will honor Black cycling legend Major Taylor — even if it means removing another mural that has been there for 45 years.

Kindhearted Connecticut cops pitched in to buy a little boy a new bike after his was stolen.

A New York State assembly member says the state must subsidize ebike purchases. The same goes for California, except more so.

Nearly 130 people rode their bikes 300 miles from New York to DC last month to protest police brutality and racial injustice as part of the March on Washington. As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if you’re blocked by Bicycling’s draconian paywall.

DC adopts a Vision Zero bill intended to eliminate traffic deaths within the next four years, including plans for red light and stop sign cams, as well as bus lane cameras. Let’s hope they have better luck with it than we did, since LA’s Vision Zero has devolved into a nearly forgotten footnote in city history.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Georgia man on the cusp of 90 has been buying and refurbishing bicycles for the past decade, giving away the finished bikes to children, schools and charities.

They get it, too. Miami is planning to permanently ban cars from the city’s beachfront Ocean Drive, while prioritizing pedestrians first in the city’s entertainment district, followed by bicyclists and transit, with personal vehicles last.

 

International

Medical staff with Britain’s National Health Service continue to be targeted by bike thieves, as one man has now had two bikes stolen in just the past three months.

Electric cars won’t solve the UK’s pollution problem. Or California’s, for that matter.

Blue-tired, Netherlands-based Swapfiets is reportedly taking Europe by storm with its long-term bike rental business model, and a promise to fix your flats for you.

Cyprus intends to invest half a million euros to encourage more people to walk and bike. However, that only equates to $585,000, which won’t go very far.

Los Angeles could soon get lapped by Tehran, as Dutch officials offer recommendations to get the city on the right track for bicycling, while noting that several Iranian cities have the potential to be bike friendly.

Talk about not getting it. A Philippine city is considering a proposal to mandate helmets and reflectorized vests for bike riders, as well as limiting riders to carrying minimal loads, since “bicycles are not designed to carry much cargo.” Which would come as a hell of a surprise to many bike commuters and cargo bike owners.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur profiles Trinidadian cycling star Teniel Campbell, saying she’s on the brink of breaking big in women’s cycling.

Red Bull shares the playlists that get mountain bike, ‘cross and cross-country pros ready to ride.

Former Vuelta and Giro winner Nairo Quintana has denied any wrongdoing in a doping investigation targeting members of his entourage. Then again, that’s what Lance said. And Landis. And Contador. And…

 

Finally…

If you’re going to propose on the Brooklyn Bridge, tell your photographer to stay out of the bike lane. If you didn’t drive on a narrow bike trail, your Jeep wouldn’t need to be rescued in the first place; thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

And you be you.

https://twitter.com/CarHelmets/status/1308499866411134977

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

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