Tag Archive for Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez

26 to life for Riverside vehicular killer, SaMo bike network cuts crashes by 52%, and Ghost Tire placed for 15-year old boy

It’s the final week of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just seven days left to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

Thanks to Alfred D, Jim W and Lilly L for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way every day. 

So don’t wait — give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program as promised this fall: 3

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Two quick reminders.

The WeHo City Council is scheduled to consider the city’s first Vision Zero Action Plan at tonight’s 6 pm council meeting, in the council chambers at the new West Hollywood City Hall, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. It’s Item 5C on the Council agenda.

And if you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.

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That’s more like it.

A Riverside man was sentenced to 26 to life behind bars for intentionally killing a man walking a bicycle in 2021.

Thirty-three-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was driving his pickup when he saw 46-year old Benedicto Solanga walking his bike with a friend on the other side of the road, and flipped the men off.

Then he made a U-turn, came back and intentionally drove into Solanga, running him down from behind.

Solana died three days later.

Riverside police arrested Gutierrez three weeks later, after he had run a red light to shake witnesses who attempted to follow him after the crash.

He was convicted in September of first-degree murder with a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

No motive was ever given for the attack.

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Bike riders in Santa Monica were ruled at fault in 26 of the city’s 72 crashes resulting in death or serious injury since 2010, while drivers were at fault in 31; the remaining 15 investigators were unable to assess blame.

That works out to 36% and 43%, respectively, which a local paper somehow thinks is almost even.

And let’s not forget that blame is usually assigned by cops suffering from a windshield bias and a lack of training in bike law and investigating bicycle crashes.

However, the good news is that crashes involving bike riders has dropped by more than half — 52% — since the city began building a safe bike network over a decade ago.

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Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, placed another ghost tire memorial yesterday, this time for a 15-year old boy killed by a driver while walking home from school in October.

This is from the press release for the event, which arrived too late for advance notice.

On 27 October 2023, 15-year-old Felipe Manuel Infante-Avalos (affectionately known as Pipé) was crossing the road at 110th and Main St in the crosswalk, on his way home from school, when he was hit by 34-year-old Arturo Mercado Garcia. Pipé was hospitalized and died from his injuries on 8 November 2023. Arturo, who fled from the scene of the collision, was later caught and arrested and is awaiting trial. Per the judge for the case, evidence was found that Arturo was watching TikTok videos while driving.

Pipé, who was autistic, was sweet and gentle and his family loved him dearly. He loved school and was part of the ROTC. He loved playing with his siblings and going on their many family outings.

Pipé’s death is part of a worsening public health crisis on the roads of Los Angeles that has been skyrocketing since 2020. Per LAPD reports (as of 9 December 2023) the total number of traffic fatalities is higher than this time last year by 7% at 307 lives lost. Keeping in mind that the 312 fatalities in 2022 were the highest in well over 20 years. What’s worse is the number of pedestrian fatalities is up by 11% (162 lives lost) compared to this time last year, the number of hit-and-run fatalities is up by 26%, and the number of DUI-related fatalities is up by 32%.

A Ghost Tire Memorial will be placed to remember Pipé by the non-profit Streets Are For Everyone. Pipé’s parents, friends, and family along with other community members affected by traffic violence will be present.

Over 30 family members and friends, many of whom have flown in from out of town, are expected to attend. Adriana, Pipe’s mother, will be demanding that Arturo Mercado Garcia be given the maximum penalties allowable by law for killing her son. She’ll also be calling for the Mayor of Los Angeles to do more to protect the lives of our communities.

The Ghost Tire Memorial was inspired by the Ghost Bike: a bicycle roadside memorial placed where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured by the driver of a motor vehicle. Ghost Tires are tires painted white and placed on the side of a road with the name and date of the person killed. Ghost Tires were created by the road safety advocacy organization Streets Are For Everyone, sometimes called by its acronym, SAFE.

You can do your part by signing the petition to demand a public forum with the mayor to hear our complaints about the dangers Pipé and the rest of us face just walking and biking in Los Angeles.

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Unbelievable.

Life is cheap in Hilo, Hawaii, where a 70-year old man faces a maximum of a 15 years behind bars for negligent homicide and hit-and-run — even though prosecutors say he intentionally killed a woman riding a recumbent bike because she was “going too slow all the time.”

The judge ordered him to undergo a mental health exam, which is probably a good idea under the circumstances.

They should also give one to the prosecutors who undercharged what should have been a murder case.

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Fallen standup comic Kenny DeForest continued to make an impact after his death riding an ebike near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, donating seven of his organs to five people, to give them a second chance at life.

DeForest died a week after he reportedly rode his ebike into a parked car, suffering serious head injuries.

That could have happened for a number of reasons, from distraction to excess speed resulting from the ebike, or being crowded out by a driver’s too-close pass.

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‘Tis the season.

Electrek suggests last minute stocking stuffers and gear for ebike enthusiasts. I’d settle for getting the ebike vouchers we were promised, and that California taxpayers have already paid for. 

Slate offers a gift guide for bike riders, saying no drivers allowed.

‘Sweet’ Alice Harris continued a 40-year tradition of giving for the holidays, helping ensure 300 students from Watts and Compton area got new bicycles, toys and backpacks filled with school supplies and other essential items.

A Maui bicycling group teamed with a “grassroots movement dedicated to bringing joy to children and families impacted by the Maui wildfires” to bring holiday gifts and entertainment to local families, and distribute 80 bicycles to kids who had requested one.

Fayetteville, Arkansas revived the city’s long-running “Bicycle Man” bicycle giveaway program for underprivileged kids, which gave away over 60,000 bicycles over a 33-year period.

A local website says don’t let anyone tell you New Bedford, Massachusetts sucks, after a nine-year old boy gets his stolen bike back in what they call a Christmas miracle.

London bike riders brought Christmas shopping on the city’s iconic Oxford Circle to a standstill with their annual Santa ride.

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If anyone really has any question who is at fault here, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

https://twitter.com/ClownWorld_/status/1735342319069696457

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A powerful British short film attempts to humanize “bloody cyclists” after they were run down by motorists.

And yes, they mean that literally.

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GCN considers the bike upgrades that just aren’t worth it, but bicyclists insist on doing anyway. Along with how to avoid “getting a numb penis” while riding a bike.

They said it, not me.

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

No bias here. The Port of San Diego is now banning all ebikes, e-scooters, hoverboards and most pedicabs, even though non-electric versions of all of the above are still allowed.

It takes a major schmuck to vandalize the ghost bike for a Colorado triathlete and soon-to-be father — not once, but twice.

No bias here, either. An elderly man in Glasgow, Scotland man says he’s afraid to leave his house due to busy and confusing streets, construction barriers, trash everywhere and people biking on the sidewalks — but a British tabloid only frames it in terms of irresponsible ebike-riding food delivery workers blighting the neighborhood.

Someone has been deliberately sabotaging a London bike lane for over a year, repeatedly spreading drawing pins in an apparent attempt to puncture riders’ tires. While it may sound like a harmless prank, a sudden flat could lead to serious injury, as well as needless expense and inconvenience. 

Police in Birmingham, England insist they’re really trying to arrest the people responsible for violent robbery attacks on bike riders, after coming under fire for merely advising a crime victim to ride somewhere else.

But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Clean Technica says let’s not overreact to the dark side of ebikes, after her bike is somehow blamed for the actions of a Canadian porch pirate.

A Singapore bicyclist risked an S$500 fine by riding inside a Metro station.

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Local 

Bike Talk discusses the departure of Santa Monica’s bike-friendly mayor, along with Maryland’s “Come By Bike Farm” — as well as discussing some of the latest headlines from BikinginLA.

 

State

San Diego adopted its first-ever Complete Streets policy.

Police arrested four men in Lemon Grove after tracking down a BMW that was used in an ebike theft spree.

Bad news from Moorpark, where a man riding a bike suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver. But at least the woman who hit him stuck around afterwards.

Napa County opened the area’s first bike skills park.

A Napa County paper lists 20-year old pro cyclist and Sebastopol native Luke Lamperti among their 24 people to watch in 2024.

 

National

Men’s Journal says yes, you can run in the bike lane. Except where you can’t.

A kindhearted cop in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown worked with a local used bike shop to give a 13-year old boy a new bike after his was stolen in a burglary.

Police in Golden, Colorado are looking for two people who ran away from their abandoned car after running down three people riding bicycles, and injuring two of the victims — one seriously. No word on whether the crash may have been intentional.

A Texas bicyclist is able to fight the insurance company and win after he got right hooked, in part because he had front and rear bike cams.

This is who we share the road with. A Texas hit-and-run driver slammed into a pedestrian, then drove 38 miles to a Jack in the Box with the victim’s dead body in his car, after he went through the driver’s windshield; the man claimed he though he hit an animal. Sure, let’s go with that.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike an Indianapolis mom bought for her autistic son for Christmas, before she could even give it to him.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that’s where whoever threatened a 13-year old New York girl with physical harm and stole her bike in a strong-arm robbery belongs.

The Washington Post looks at the effort in Congress to belatedly honor Black cycling legend Major Taylor, 124 years after he became world champion.

A Florida man shot a neighbor in the leg with a shotgun after the victim strayed onto his property looking for his stolen bicycle; the man said he shot him because he tried to break into his RV — even though police found the shotgun shell 150 yards away.

 

International

Three men responsible for robbing a number of South African bike riders have been arrested; the gang is accused of stealing their bikes and belongings, and fatally stabbing one man.

Interesting idea. Singapore hopes to promote bicycling by creating a “bike village” under a viaduct next to a transit station, in an area already popular with bicyclists, where they can shop for bicycle gear, grab a bite or meetup for rides.

This is why elections matter. The new Transport Minister for the newly conservative government in New Zealand has slammed the brakes on dozens of bike, pedestrian and public transit projects across the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Palo Alto third-grader Mia Reyna, the new BMX national champ for her age group.

As if being a two-time Tour de France champ and double runner-up wasn’t enough, now Tadej Pogačar plans to go for a double by competing in the Giro, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike tires could use NASA’s airless Mars Rover tech. Full-floating suspension for your butt.

And it’s just like the hubless, motorized Penny Farthing great-granddad used to ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

2nd Vegas teen busted in Probst vehicular murder, Gutierrez convicted of murder, and Caltrans fires sustainability advocate

We’re learning more about the vehicular rampage in Las Vegas that led to the intentional hit-and-run death of 64-year old retired Bell, California police chief Andreas Probst.

Including that Probst wasn’t the first bike rider attacked by the two teens.

ABC News reports that the attacks began when the driver deliberately slammed into a 72-year old man riding a bicycle; no word on whether that victim was injured.

They then sideswiped a car, and moments later attacked Probst.

The second person in the car, who videoed the attack, was arrested Tuesday, although no charges appear to have been filed against him at this point.

Neither juvenile has been publicly identified, but that’s likely to change if they are charged as adults.

The Black Wall Street Times reports Probst’s killers may have been inspired by a TikTok hit-and-run challenge, in which “teens show others how to steal certain vehicles without a key and go on joyrides.”

If that’s the case, it could cast a frightening shadow over the recent hit-and-run rampage in Huntington Beach, where a teenaged driver faces charges for intentionally slamming into three people riding bikes, resulting in the death of 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.

Then there’s this.

Despite being the first reporter on the scene following Probst’s killing, and encouraging a school resource officer to turn the video of the attack over to the police, Las Vegas Review-Journal crime reporter Sabrina Schnur became the subject of violent and anti-semitic comments from people who falsely accused the paper of downplaying Probst’s death.

Not surprisingly, X/Twitter owner Elon Musk drove much of the attacks, after accusing the media of a lack of sufficient outrage to meet his demands.

On Sunday morning, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, amplified one of the screenshots, posting “An innocent man was murdered in cold blood while riding his bicycle. The killers joked about it on social media Yet, where is the media outrage? Now you begin to understand the lie.” That post had 68.2 million views as of Monday evening…

The Review-Journal’s social media accounts and other staff also received vicious attacks. When Schnur shared that she’d received 700 notifications on X and an onslaught of angry emails and voicemails, editors jumped in to support her and make sure she was safe.

Executive editor Glenn Cook said that during his 30-plus years in journalism, he’d never seen vitriol of this volume or intensity. “It’s like a fire hose of hatred to the face,” he wrote in a column about the social media outrage.

The attacks were also driven by other rightwing sources, including far-right commentator Laura Loomer and Fox News host Greg Gutfield.

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As long as we’re discussing the murder of innocent people with motor vehicles, 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was convicted of murder Tuesday for intentionally running down a man walking his bicycle in a 2021 Riverside hit-and-run.

Forty-six-year old Benedicto Solanga was walking with a friend when Gutierrez drove by in his pickup, flipped the men off for no apparent reason, then made a U-turn to come back and slam into Solanga from behind. He died in a hospital three days later.

The Riverside jury also convicted Gutierrez a sentence-enhancing allegation of using his truck as a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

There’s no word on whether Gutierrez knew Solanga, or if this was a case of road rage. Or if there was some other reason for his murderous attack.

Gutierrez is currently being held without bail at Riverside’s Robert Presley Jail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for December 15th.

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Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry calls it a troubling sign that Caltrans’ staunchest advocate for safety, sustainability and sanity has apparently been fired, in what Politico calls a “shakeup.”

Deputy Director of Planning and Modal Programs Jeanie Ward-Waller, the former Advocacy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition, is reportedly being “reassigned” in the department.

Curry speculates that the move may have come because Ward-Waller argued too strongly for incorporating the state’s climate plan in highway projects, as “some Caltrans planners are still pushing strategies to get around changing state regulations.”

If so, that is troubling. But sadly, not surprising.

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That white smoke coming from LA City Hall yesterday means we now have a new LADOT General Manager, as uninspiring as the choice may be.

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We have a new “protected” bike lane in the San Fernando Valley.

Even if bollards won’t keep out abandoned mattresses, or food truck customers.

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In my efforts to catch up from my unexcused diabetic crash and burn a few weeks ago, I have been remiss in not mentioning next month’s LA Bike Fest, hosted by BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

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Huntington Beach is the latest city to consider overwriting state traffic laws to regulate bicycles, including a ban on riding against traffic on the sidewalk.

Even though sidewalks aren’t directional, and a newly passed state law will legalized sidewalk riding throughout the state, if it’s signed by Governor Newsom.

The regulations would also ban going around stopped of slowed traffic, and includes a vague ban on riding in an unsafe manner, and a provision allowing impounding bikes belonging to juvenile scofflaw riders.

Any and all of which could be tossed out by the courts, since the state, not cities, is responsible for regulation all forms of traffic under California law, on two wheels as well as four.

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

The founder of Streets For All is reminded that plastic bollards are no protection against LA drivers.

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

Police in New York has released video of the hit-and-run ebike rider who killed a 69-year old woman as she crossed a street on the Lower East Side earlier this month.

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Local 

Los Angeles is asking the federal government for up to $10.3 million in grant funding for a series of new active transportation and public open space projects, including proposals to reconnect bisected MacArthur Park by closing Wilshire Blvd, and studying the possibility of capping the 101 Freeway in Hollywood to build a new park over it; the city is also teaming with Metro to request another $86 million for new bus lanes, bike lanes, and other active transportation and transit infrastructure projects.

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When seniors using walkers have to use it to get around a Venice homeless camp.

The Cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando are hosting a non-CicLAvia open streets festival from 10 am to 2 pm this Saturday “promoting an active lifestyle and community engagement, all while celebrating the joy of biking, walking, and rolling.”

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Coast ride will return on November 4th, allowing “participants of all levels to enjoy a memorable course that takes them along the scenic views and quaint communities along Highway 101.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 39-year old woman was killed by a driver when she allegedly rode her bike in front of the oncoming car. Although what actually happened hinges on whether there were any independent witnesses, or if investigators are relying solely on the driver’s statement, since the victim can’t give her side of the story.

Palo Alto parents are demanding steps to improve traffic safety after two children were struck by drivers in separate incidents, including a middle school student who was critically injured while riding his bike.

San Francisco traffic safety advocates are calling on the city to protect bike riders and pedestrians by banning right turns on red lights.

Stockton suspended its e-bikeshare program after it was plagued by vandalism and theft.

 

National

Santa Monica-based Bird has taken a dominant position in the US micromobility market with its acquisition of Spin from European provider Tier.

A writer for Cycling Weekly explains why he prefers to ride alone 95% of the time. I do, too, though in my case it’s a case of cycling weakly.

Bike-friendly Portland suffered the year’s first bicycling fatality when a man was struck by a driver Tuesday morning; that compares to four bicycling deaths in the city last year.

A Seattle driver agreed to plead guilty to vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run in exchange for a recommendation of just under three and a half years for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike. Let’s hope that also includes a length driving ban once he’s released.

Life is not so cheap in New Mexico, for a change, as the estate of a fallen bike rider agreed to a $1 million settlement with his killer, a state district judge who originally walked with just $82 in court costs after invoking her right to remain silent.

A Denver-based nonprofit gave the entire second grade class at a Colorado Springs CO elementary new BMX bikes and helmets.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens died of complications from a bicycling collision on Tuesday, seven months after he lost a leg and suffered a spinal chord injury when he was struck by a speeding driver as he rode his bike home from a Florida restaurant with his wife; he was 66.

A Hartford website accuses the state’s ebike rebate program of an equity failure, with just 2% of the 468 vouchers reaching the state’s most financially challenged residents.

New York Magazine highlights “comfy and cool” bike helmets kids will actually want to wear.

DC became the latest city to approve ebike incentives, offering vouchers up to $1,500 for an ebike, or $2,000 to buy an e-cargo bike. Meanwhile, potential California ebike buyers continue to wait. And wait. 

 

International

A new survey ranks the UK’s worst cities for bike riders, with London a surprising third behind Bradford and Leeds.

London’s Fire Brigade called for “proper regulation” of ebike batteries and chargers after a man suffered life-changing injuries when his ebike battery caught fire

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has introduced a new 12-point ‘code de la rue’ (street code), in addition to France’s existing code de la route (highway code), to help bike riders, drivers and pedestrians better share the city’s streets; the rules include giving pedestrians priority and banning all two-wheeled vehicles from sidewalks, as well as a ban on drinking before driving, biking or scooting.

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy teamed with a Parisian designer for a dramatic cruiser bike designed to fit “in with women’s busy lives.” Evidently, men need not apply for the $3,700 ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says none of Sepp Kuss’ friends back home in Colorado are surprised at his victory in the Vuelta. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Not only is Kuss king of the Vuelta, he’s also king of the KOMs.

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon topped 370 other riders to win the 2023 Mount Baker Hill Climb, in what Essentially Sports called a “stunning display of cycling prowess.”

Bicycling also reports that the sports director for the Lotto Dstny Development Team has been suspended for deliberately running over a course marshal during Belgium’s GP Rik Van Looy bike race. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Cars of the not-too-distant future could communicate with rooftop emojis. That feeling when you end up chatting with the newly crowned king on a Scottish bike ride.

And repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike under the influence, while carrying controlled substances and already wanted on an outstanding warrant, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is. Not the warrant.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Both sides rest in Solanga vehicular murder case, and Culver City bicyclists crowdfund to save protected bike lane

We could have a verdict before the end of this week.

Both sides rested Tuesday in the murder trial of 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez, who is accused of using his truck to run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga in Riverside two years ago.

Gutierrez allegedly flipped Solanga off as Solanga walked his bike with another person, then made a U-turn to come back to slam into Solanga, killing him.

Prosecutors have not said if the men knew each other, or why he attacked Solanga with his truck.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

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No bias here.

A Culver City councilmember says kids are much better off riding on circuitous side streets than in the direct, protected bike lane he wants to rip out.

He’s got a point.

Studies have shown that bicyclists are exposed to higher particulate levels when riding next to busy roadways. But it’s unclear whether those particulates have a measurable effect on lung function.

Meanwhile, a new crowdfunding campaign has been established to fight the council’s blatantly illegal decision to replace the bike lane with another lane for motor vehicles, bizarrely claiming it would have no environmental impact and doesn’t require a CEQA review.

As of this writing, it’s raised nearly half of the modest $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

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The California state legislature has approved the bill to establish a limited speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as well as three NorCal cities — as long as they meet a number of preconditions.

The state Senate also passed a bill legalizing sidewalk riding everywhere in the state, overriding any local prohibitions.

Assuming the governor signs it, of course.

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More proof that lane reductions and protected bike lanes work. Someone please tell the Culver City Council.

Oh wait, they already know.

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Let’s pause our bike news for a moment for a couple of brief help wanted notices.

Los Angeles Walks is hiring an Incoming Executive Director to manage the pedestrian advocacy group; you have until the end of this month to apply.

And if any planners out there are looking for work, Oregon could be looking for you.

Statewide Recreation Trails Planner (Limited Duration)

In this capacity, your role will revolve around being a planner and fostering partnerships. This will involve the facilitation of high-level trail planning initiatives, requiring close coordination with various stakeholders, including state and local agencies, tribal governments, trail advocacy groups, and trail user constituencies. You will also be tasked with the development of comprehensive processes to manage all stages of trail project delivery effectively. Building internal and external partnerships will be key to ensuring the efficiency and success of these processes and systems, all while prioritizing the department’s Mission in your decision-making.

Thanks to Alan Thompson 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.

Police in Downey are investigating after a man was captured on video randomly shoving a man off his bike while he rode with another man along the riverbed on Florence Ave, moments after attacking another bike rider.

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

San Diego is cracking down on ebikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks, two years after an unenforced and universally ignored ban went into effect.

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Local 

LA County broke ground on the 3 mile, $8.1 million Vincent Community Bikeway, which will combine a creekside bike path with on-street protected bike lanes through the unincorporated community.

Streetsblog looks at Pasadena’s new Union Street protected bike lane.

More on the effort of three Santa Monica city councilmembers to stop truck drivers from parking in the city’s bike lanes, which has been a problem as long as the city has had them.

 

State

Caltrans and the California Office of Traffic Safety are launching a new “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” public awareness campaign to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety. Probably because they couldn’t come up with anything more boring and less impactful, despite their best efforts. 

San Francisco bicyclists are taking to social media to complain about drivers illegally using the controversial new centerline protected bike lane on Valencia Street,

 

National

The bike industry’s ebike battery recycling program has collected 43,000 pounds of batteries since it began two years ago.

Direct marketing brand Canyon is having a sale on a number of their bikes, across the categories.

Popular Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes is out with their updated new lineup, as the financially troubled company commits to using only UL certified lithium-ion batteries.

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned hundreds of slightly used, but very muddy, bicycles, which are going to the Reno Bike Project to find loving new homes.

Heartbreaking story about the death of Colorado endurance bicyclist Greg Bachman, who was killed by a Kansas driver the night before last years Unbound Gravel race; his widow calls out anti-bike bias from Kanas Highway Patrol, which destroyed evidence, failed to examine the driver’s phone or the victim’s GPS, and went out of their way to incorrectly blame the victim.

Omaha bike riders are calling for better “road awareness” from both bicyclists and motorists after a noted local cardiologist was killed by a driver while riding his bike.

A three-day Iowa Underground Railroad bike ride will explore 136 miles of the state’s abolitionist history.

Kindhearted Missouri cops surprised a man with a new bike after the one he used to get to work was stolen.

New York City councilmembers slammed the city’s transportation department for falling behind on building new bus and bike lanes, which are legally mandated by the city’s transportation master plan. Which is what happens when city leaders actually give a damn, and draft a plan with real teeth, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis I could name. 

 

International

Momentum explores the top styles of bicycles for active aging.

The annual, worldwide, women-only Fancy Women Bike Ride rolls this Sunday, though there doesn’t appear to be one scheduled for anywhere in Southern California.

A columnist for a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the road to safer bicycling in the city is sadly “paved with blood,” suggesting that despite deaths and injuries, the debate about safe bicycling always seems to come down to cost. Sadly, it seems to be the case everywhere that nothing happens until it’s too late.

Montreal, Quebec’s ghost bike group marked its tenth anniversary by filling a busy intersection with 645 pairs of white shoes, indicating the number of people killed while walking in the province over the past decade.

Britain’s Conservative government is considering new laws to confront dangerous bicycling, including a pledge to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law, after concluding the existing laws are old and inadequate.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro cyclist Nathan van Hooydonck was injured in a car crash after becoming unwell while driving with his pregnant wife on Tuesday; an update from his Jumbo-Visma team indicated his condition was “not critical,” despite earlier reports.

American race leader Sepp Kuss lost time to his own teammates in the Vuelta yesterday, after Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard attacked to win stage 16 and move just 29 seconds behind Kuss.

L39ION of Los Angeles co-founder Justin Williams has reportedly been suspended for a second time in consecutive years for causing a crash in last month’s Audi Denver Littleton Criterium; reports also indicate Thomas Gibbons was fined for swearing after Williams caused him to crash.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton overcame “trench foot, freezing rain, wildfire detours, mental demons and a busted derailleur” to record the fastest ever time on the Tour Divide bikepacking route, completing 2,670 miles and 192,000 feet of climbing in 12 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. But his time won’t go down as a new record, because the camera crew that accompanied him isn’t allowed under official rules.

Anyone betting the National Cycling League wouldn’t make it to their second season should collect your winnings, as the fledgling US bike racing league laid off two-thirds of the riders they had under contract.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own dream cargo bike.

And you think you’ve got bike skills?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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

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

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

So the usual protocol applies. 

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

Chances are, you won’t be far off. 

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

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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

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

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

………

This is who we share the road with.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

This will be great if it actually happens.

And that’s a big if.

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

Good question.

………

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

https://twitter.com/SiebeforORD1/status/1697281499496886388

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

………

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

………

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

………

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

………

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

With sideways wheels, no less.

………

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

No bias here. The editor of WeHoVille continues his campaign against bike lanes in the city, citing the removal of the MOVE Culver City project as a warning for West Hollywood, while mischaracterizing the highly successful project that was removed by Culver City’s newly conservative council.

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

………

Local 

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

@spotlightrose

Wierd people doing weird shit! #burningman

♬ original sound – Annie Bond

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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

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

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

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

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

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

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

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

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

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

………

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

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

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

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

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

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

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

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

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

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

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

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

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

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

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

So go ahead. Give it a read.

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

……….

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

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

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

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

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

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

https://twitter.com/elllaharrris/status/1504147382140903430?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1504147382140903430%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-17-march-2022-291127

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

 

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.”

………

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

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

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Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

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Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

https://twitter.com/kairex/status/1429464169192038400

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

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Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

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New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

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This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

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GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

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Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

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

Bike-riding Riverside man killed in July hit-and-run road rage attack, driver arrested for murder

Once again, a driver has used his vehicle as a weapon.

And once again, someone on a bicycle paid the price.

This time, it’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that 46-year old Benedicto Solanga was riding his bike on on Market Street near the 60 Freeway around 12:40 pm on July 29, when he had a “brief interaction” with a driver later identified as 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez of Riverside.

Which sound like a bad euphemism for a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez drove off, then made a sudden U-turn and allegedly aimed his massive pickup at Solanga’s bicycle before slamming into him.

Solanga was rushed to the hospital in grave condition, where he died a few days later.

Police found Gutierrez’s Ford F-250 later that night on the 3200 block of Iowa Ave in Riverside, leading to his arrest on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the crash. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he gets used to it.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benedicto Solanga and all his loved ones.