Tag Archive for Silver Lake

“I can’t breathe”: Las Vegas bike rider killed by cops over bike light; over $110,000 raised for SoCal cycling diversity

Nine months ago, it was a needless tragedy.

Today it stands as yet another reminder why so many people of all races are taking to the streets to demand justice, and change.

It was last September when a man died in police custody after a Las Vegas cop kneeled on his back, ignoring his repeated cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Sound familiar?

This is what I had to say at the time.

Once again, a man has died at the hands of police for what began as a simple traffic stop.

When a Las Vegas man took off running after police tried to pull him over for not having a headlight on his bike, a pair of cops chased him down, then kneeled on his back as the man complained he couldn’t breathe.

Which turned out to be his last words.

He was found with drugs and a gun, and had slipped an ankle monitor, which explains why he ran.

But what it doesn’t explain is why police didn’t respond to his complaint about not being able to breathe once they had him in custody.

And why they allowed a traffic stop to escalate into a lethal use of force.

What’s missing there is any reference to the victim’s race.

In retrospect, it almost goes without saying that he was Black, although the only reference to his race was a photo from the police press conference and a news report showing the victim’s grieving family.

And he had a name.

Byron Lee Williams.

I didn’t mention it at the time; I don’t normally mention the names of people outside of Southern California, and often not then.

But in retrospect, I should have.

Because he joins a long and growing list of black people unjustly killed by police.

Names like Rayshard BrooksGeorge Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Michael Brown.

And Byron Lee Williams.

Which is not so say Williams didn’t do anything wrong. But nothing he did called for the death penalty. Or a summary execution without the benefit of a judge and jury.

And it never should have been allowed to escalate from something as minor as a simple traffic stop for a missing damn bike light.

Now Williams’ family is renewing their calls for justice, joining a loud, mournful and growing chorus of loved ones needlessly left behind.

As well they should. Especially in light of this, from a story released yesterday by NBC News.

Thompkins and Scott said the additional video showed officers dragging Williams around a corner, his body still limp, before dropping him on the ground. At one point, Thompkins said, the video showed Williams asking for an ambulance and an officer telling Williams that nobody was coming to help him.

Williams then fell silent, lying on the ground as the officers laughed and discussed weekend plans, Thompkins said.

I’ve known a lot of cops over the years, and worked with several as part of the LAPD’s bike liaison program.

With a few notable exceptions, most have struck me as caring men and women who want to do the right thing. And many want bad cops off the force as much as anyone else.

Although their union is another matter.

I’ve been quick to call the police out when they do something wrong. But I also recognize that my white skin means my experience isn’t the same as what my Black and brown friends have to go through at their hands.

And it’s entirely possible to recognize that police officers have dangerous jobs, and hope they all make it home at the end of his or her shift, while still recognizing that things have to change. Major, systemic changes.

It isn’t a matter of Black and white, liberal or conservative.

Just right and wrong.

Because we all have a right to get back home safely, and in one piece.

Regardless of skin color.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

………

Great news from former national road, crit and track champ Justin Williams, whose crowdfunding campaign for his Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised well over twice the original $50,000 goal to promote diversity in the sport.

He had this to say on his new From The Gun With L39ION podcast, as quoted by Cycling News.

“Wow, that’s been crazy,” said Williams of the fundraiser. “We set the mark at $50,000 because we thought that would be a decent number, and I want to share with you guys what we are going to put all of that toward. It’s more than doubled so we will figure out more stuff to put it toward, but for the most part we will put the money toward team infrastructure.

“The funds will allows us to do team camps and more community engagement, which is something I really like to do. We will bring back junior day camps and BBQs, and elevate what that was. We’ll break it up into three and four hours with the whole L39ION team, and then break up into groups … and it will be open to every junior team.”

Nice to see someone rewarded for doing good work.

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Authorities have identified the victim of Wednesday’s e-scooter fatality in Silver Lake as 68-year old Los Angeles resident Timothy Stirton.

He was killed when a driver speeding at least twice the posted 35 mph speed limit slammed into him before crashing into a local restaurant.

The driver, a woman in her 70s, said her car began to accelerate when she tried to slow it down, and only drove onto the wrong side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Which sounds less like a mechanical failure than yet another argument for testing older drivers on a regular basis, before they mistake the gas pedal for the brakes.

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The latest video from GCN explores the eternal question of whether you should get a roadie or a gravel bike.

If you can even find one in this market, that is.

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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 Vancouver woman says a decision to close a local park to cars while a bike lane is built is just an example of knee-jerk anti-car hostility, and accuses the “bike lobby” of bullying. Funny how people who oppose bike projects are just concerned citizens, but supporters always seem to be part of some shadowy bike lobby.

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

An accused Chechen hit man was apparently one of us, after he was seen throwing a wig, gun and a bicycle into a German river; prosecutors allege he murdered a Georgian man on orders from the Russian government.

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Local

The LA-area Helpful Honda Dealers teamed with the LAPD to buy a new adaptive tricycle for a Sherman Oaks boy with Down’s syndrome, after his was stolen last month.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bike ride with her boyfriend as part of a “fun-filled” day out.

 

State

Redding has become the first place in California to be honored with a bronze medal by the International Mountain Bicycle Association for its extensive trail system.

The fight over bike lanes is usually the need to remove parking spaces. In Santa Barbara, it means removing some fully grown trees.

A Fresno woman ran inside her house and locked the door after she was approached by a stranger. So he went into her open garage and walked off with a $1,700 ebike.

 

National

The New York Times offers detailed advice on how to start riding a bike in the age of coronavirus and bike shortages. Meanwhile, HuffPo offers suggestions from experienced bike riders for new urban bicyclists; always being predictable is a good place to start.

Streetsblog says this could be micromobility’s big moment as it experiences “stratospheric jumps” in usage around the US despite, or maybe because of, the pandemic.

A college professor explains how he lost 55 pounds after he changed careers and started bike commuting.

Portland bicyclists are riding to support Black Lives Matter protests and demand changes.

Never mind bike lanes. Cincinnati has over 570 miles of bike trails in the greater metro area.

Seriously? Buffalo NY residents are demanding changes after 120 pedestrians and 41 bike riders have been hit by drivers on a single street over the past five years, including three fatalities. Yet city officials have refused to implement traffic calming measures to save lives.

New York Streetsblog looks at the role bicycles play as a means of protest and exposing racism.

A Georgetown, Delaware organization bought a new bicycle for a 17-year old boy so he can get to work and keep his job.

Kindhearted Virginia cops dipped into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young boy whose new bicycle was stolen just four hours after he got it, then they recovered his original bike in a creek; the boy’s parents say they’ll fix it up and give it to someone who needs one.

An Alabama man takes hit-and-run to the extreme, firing a gun in the street before assaulting a bike rider and stealing his bicycle, then fleeing on foot before he was captured by police.

Miami bike riders are in the same sinking boat as we Angelenos, as city leader leaders have failed to taken steps to accommodate the boom in bicycling.

No bias here, either. A letter writer in Key Biscayne, Florida demands a vote on a proposed new bike lane, saying bicyclists “don’t pay tolls or add to the economy, and in fact are just not good neighbors.” And swears locals will never give up their golf carts for a bike.

 

International

Scotland Yard is looking for a suspected serial bike thief accused of stealing nearly $12,500 worth of bicycles throughout the London area.

A Scottish op-ed calls bicyclists a threat to mature walkers, noting that older people may not be able to hear whistles or spoken warnings. Always ride with care around pedestrians of any age, and give them as wide a berth as possible, for their safety and yours.

The bike boom is real in the UK, and so is the bike shortage. One woman learns the bike she ordered won’t arrive until next year.

A new conversion kit from a Polish company promises to turn your bike into a smart ebike in just ten minutes.

Bikes are booming big time in Bangladesh, too.

An award-winning journalist is the subject of a fatwa from an Iranian cleric calling for her death, after she called for women to be allowed to ride bikes in the conservative Islamic country.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Black Cycling Network has launched the UK’s first Black and ethnic minority cycling team.

Pez Cycling News talks with former Swedish cycling star Marianne Berglund, who won over a hundred races in the ’80s and ’90s.

 

Finally…

How to ride your bike nearly 300 hours and not get anywhere. No, Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike is not a threat to Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 e-hog.

And riding around an airport can be a real blast.

That’s not a good thing.

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Happy Juneteenth, and happy Father’s Day this Sunday.

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

High speed Silver Lake crash kills scooter rider, LAPD seeks sexual assault suspects, and parking in DTLA bike lanes

This is who we share the roads with.

A scooter rider was killed by a speeding driver in Silver Lake yesterday, just before the driver lost control of his SUV and slammed into a restaurant.

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

The driver was reportedly traveling at least 75 mph — over twice the legal speed limit — while swerving around cars and onto the wrong side of the roadway in the moments leading up to the crash, and just missing a woman riding her bike.

The scooter rider, who has not been publicly identified, wasn’t so lucky; two other people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Fortunately, the newly reopened restaurant hadn’t begun its lunch service yet, or the situation could have been much worse.

This is exactly the problem many people have been warning against for weeks, myself included, as Los Angeles has failed to take any significant action to slow traffic on streets lightened by the coronavirus pandemic.

While traffic has seen a significant uptick in recent weeks, there still aren’t enough vehicles on the streets to slow people who can’t seem to keep their foot off the gas pedal.

Other cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic to reduce road capacity, carving out additional space to walk or ride bikes in an effort to slow traffic and provide safe alternatives to driving.

Yet LA has done nothing more significant than change the timing of some traffic lights.

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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Speaking of who we share the roads with, an Eagle Rock driver can’t seem to grasp the concept of Slow Streets.

Or maybe just that they don’t belong to people in cars.

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The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of serial gropers who have been sexually assaulting women walking or jogging alone in Venice and Mar Vista, sometimes making their escape by bicycle.

They may be responsible for similar attacks in Culver City and Marina del Rey.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sexual Assault Section at LAPD’s Operation West Bureau, 213/473-0447.

Because no one should have to put up with this crap.

Period.

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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Patrick Pascal forwards a series of photos showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same on DTLA’s 7th Street, where the newly protected and buffered bike lanes are still nothing more than parking lanes for Downtown’s entitled drivers.

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

He also notes that the cop shown here spends a lot of time on the street. But never seems to ticket anyone on four wheels.

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A new video prepared for the NACTO’s Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable talks with disabled people to show they ride bikes, too — and need to be taken into account when infrastructure plans are considered.

Frequent BikinginLA contributor Megan Lynch is one of the riders they talk with; you’ll find her around the three-minute mark.

She stresses that, in addition to her comments in the video, bike parking needs to accommodate less traditional bicycle designs used by handicapped riders, including recumbents, ebikes and adaptive bikes.

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Gravel Bike California offers a video guide to one of the best climbs in Los Angeles.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

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There will be a bike ride celebrating tomorrow’s Juneteenth starting in DLTA Friday evening.

The unofficial holiday marks the date the last remaining slaves in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and their newfound freedom.

In light of this year’s protests over police killings and the fight for racial justice, the celebration should be bigger than ever.

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

A Florida man faces charges for pulling his truck up next to a bike rider, and shooting him in the head with a crossbow for no apparent reason; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

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Local

The Santa Monica Daily Press talks with a pickup driver who had his wallet stolen and his truck damaged when he came to the aid of a bike-riding woman who was being attacked by looters, armed with just a hockey stick.

A Santa Monica letter writer really doesn’t like plans for expanded outdoor dining on Main Street, concerned that a passing bicyclist could sneeze on his guacamole.

E-cargo bikes could play a significant role, as Santa Monica looks to create the first zero-emission delivery zone in the US.

Santa Monica-based Bird is teaming with an Israeli company to provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide scooter riders through bike lane networks; the app will launch in Paris and Tel Aviv. Which makes sense, since we don’t even have a bike lane network in Los Angeles.

KABC-7 looks at how Long Beach ebike shop Propel Bikes is fairing during the coronavirus bike boom.

Stranger Things actor Joe Keery is one of us, going for a semi-casual ride through LA in a t-shirt and bibs.

 

State

Would someone please tell the Fountain Valley Fire Department that a bike helmet isn’t the best way to prevent head injuries and death? It’s a lot better to ride safely and defensively, and avoid crashes in the first place; helmets should always been seen as the last resort when all else fails. Not the first.

Ventura is closing down a five block stretch of Main Street in the downtown area for the next month to encourage people to get out to shop or dine while maintaining social distancing; meanwhile, the LA Times describes a similar street closure in Santa Barbara as “so popular it’s scary.”

Seriously, it takes a major schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bikes from a San Jose bike co-op. Again.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the role of bicycles in the fight against racism.

Newsy examines the risk of catching Covid-19 while on a bike ride with friends, and concludes you don’t have much to worry about. Although it’s still best to limit it to a small group.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. A Portland man faces charges after driving into a group of protesters early Wednesday morning, injuring three people, then attempting to flee while driving recklessly at a high rate of speed.

A disabled Las Vegas vet turns to a ‘bent to help get his life back on track.

A coalition of Connecticut organizations, businesses and individuals have called the state’s electric car rebate program inequitable because it only applies to electric cars, arguing it should offer rebates on more affordable ebikes, as well.

A regional planning group is calling for a 425-mile bicycle network connecting all of New York’s five boroughs. Which might be the only thing that could prevent crippling gridlock due to a surge in post-coronavirus driving.

Police in New Jersey’s Long Beach remind residents and visitors that traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Which is true, unfortunately, since no one can seem to get the people in the big, deadly machines to behave.

A Florida woman got her stolen $8,000 racing bike back after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a homeless man with it. But then somehow had to search for the owner, even though she’d filed a police report.

 

International

Good advice from Road.cc on eight things on your bike you should check before every ride.

Bike Radar suggests Father’s Day gifts for your bike riding dad. Or just buy them for yourself, and pretend they’re from your kids.

The CBC looks at Calgary through the eyes of bicycle riders newly minted by the coronavirus bike boom.

A London TV presenter is encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proclamation of a golden age of cycling and decides to give it a try, but finds the experience terrifying.

London’s Independent says the pandemic has shown that a green urban utopia is within our grasp.

The Guardian examines one of the UK’s toughest bike rides, the 79-year old Cape Wrath Challenge, on eleven miles of single track through Scotland’s windswept moors to a craggy Victorian lighthouse.

 

Competitive Cycling

You can get Major Taylor’s autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. The legendary cyclist had to fight racism and prejudice throughout his short life and career, making it surprisingly appropriate for our time, too.

The Ventura County Star profiles 27-year old Kendal Ryan, who recently made the long list for the US women’s track cycling team for the 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

A German website looks back at the Cannibal, as the legendary Eddy Merckx turns 75.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll skip the rescheduled classics to race back-to-back in the Tour de France and the Giro this summer on just two weeks rest.

 

Finally…

If you’re already on parole for theft, it’s probably not the best idea to make off with a kid’s bike because you’re tired of walking. How to ride across the US without leaving your car dealership.

And it turns out riding topless is perfectly legal in Minnesota.

Even for women.

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

Morning Links: Teacher arrested in Silver Lake hit-and-run, Main Street bike lane opens, and LA promises zero emissions

One quick note before we get going. 

This has been a very hard year for me.

But I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with a self-made job I truly love. And the readers who make it possible. 

Because without you, all this would just be empty words in cyberspace. 

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with family, friends or on your own this year. And ride safely, because I want to see you back here when we return next week. 

Although you’re more than welcome to return over the weekend, when we kick off the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

And the last one that will feature the late, great Corgi as our official spokesdog.

Photo by Nikita Lyamkin from Pexels.

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Let’s start with some good news today.

The LAPD announced yesterday they’ve made an arrest in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured last month.

Fifty-two-year old Silver Lake resident Molly Jane Hoene was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Palm Springs around 8 am Tuesday.

Meanwhile, her victim remains hospitalized in stable condition after enduring multiple surgeries.

No word on who, if anyone, will get the $25,000 reward.

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Los Angeles officials celebrated the official opening of the 1.5-mile Main Street protected bike lane, a near twin of the Spring Street bike lane one block away.

The two-way lane is positioned on the left side of the roadway to avoid conflicts with bus stops and parked cars.

Although whether it will become another parking magnet for movie production trucks and delivery vans, like the lanes on Spring Street, remains to be determined.

KNX radio reporter Margaret Carrero offered a brief look at the new lane.

Although not everyone was pleased, as our anonymous correspondent makes clear.

A couple thoughts on the bike lane.

On Saturday, before the Art Crash ride, I gave the new lanes a spin, heading north.

First. The signals. The #¢&ing signals. The bike signals are short, and you will sit there, staring agog at a green pedestrian signal, while the red bike signal mocks you. The fury will be interrupted only by the terror of close left turns by motorists.

Just north of 6th Street, I paused to reflect upon my unplanned nap (and accompanying skull fracture) at the exact location that is now the buffered zone of the new bike lane.

In the northbound Main Street lane at 5th Street, as I sat at an unnecessarily long red, thinking unkind thoughts about our traffic engineers, a left-turning motorist rolled by within inches of my front wheel. Had there been a bollard there, I imagine she would’ve scraped it, and then blamed me.

Halfway to 4th Street, I parked at the curb to drag a scooter away from its repose in the northbound bike lane. The heavy, ungrateful thing beeped angrily for having its slumber disturbed.

Upon reaching 3rd Street, I whipped left, and hit the brakes, because there’s only one bike lane, and it’s contraflow! There’s no warning about this. No “NO LEFT TURN” or bike-lane specific “ONE WAY ONLY” signage. How does design this dangerous pass review?

So, once you reach 3rd, and you wish to continue westbound, you have to either share the westbound #1 lane with cars, or cross over to the #3 lane, which has a sharrow.

AAAAUUUUGHHHH. It’s like LADOT gave their interns a couple gallons of paint, a couple gallons of whiskey, and free rein.

I want an apology.

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LA has announced a clean transportation plan designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets.

The Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0 aims to drastically cut emissions and traffic in time for the 2028 LA Olympics, through a shift to electric cars and buses, micromobility, and yes, bicycles.

L.A. has a reputation as a car-dependent city. But the city also now has the country’s most ambitious plan for cutting emissions from transportation. In less than a decade, it wants the majority of new cars to be electric and all city buses to be electric—and it wants 20% of trips that currently happen in single-occupancy cars to shift to public transportation or active transportation like biking.

Good luck with that.

According to the plan, in just nine years, Los Angeles will have a complete fleet of electric buses, and 30% of the cars on the street will be electric.

Then there’s this.

Expanding micromobility can also help; a recent report in Santa Monica found that 49% of the trips that people were taking on electric scooters and shared bikes were replacing short trips that otherwise would have happened in cars. Some projects now are working to expand access to micromobility in neighborhoods that don’t have many options. Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, for example, is running a pilot with a nonprofit building a solar-powered e-bike share project in the community of Huntington Park. (Other pilot projects are expanding access to electric car sharing in low-income neighborhoods; if residents use that option instead of owning cars themselves, they also may be likely to drive less.) Designing streets to make it safer to ride a bike—such as a two-way protected bike lane that was installed in downtown L.A. earlier this year—is also a key part of helping people shift away from cars.

As usual, the question is whether there will be any follow through this time.

Unlike, say, the city’s stagnant Vision Zero plan. Or the dust-ridden 2010 bike plan, or the equally ignored Mobility Plan 2035 it was subsumed into.

Or any number of other plans that were announced with great fanfare, and quickly forgotten because our elected leaders lacked the political will to actually implement them.

So we’ll see.

But considering they only have nine years to accomplish this massive transformation of the city’s streets, they’d damn well better get started.

………

The Bike League issued their biennial ranking of the nation’s most bicycle friendly states — with California coming in a surprising 4th, behind Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.

Although it’s clear from the state’s individual report card that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Starting with convincing Gavin Newsom to sign the next Complete Streets bill that crosses his desk, after vetoing it this year.

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Now that’s more like it.

Australia’s New South Wales state gets serious about distracted driving by installing new high-def cameras to catch cellphone using drivers in the act; violators will be subject to a $344 fine and five points against their license.

We desperately need these in California, where the view from a bike seat makes it seem like every other driver is holding their phones.

I was briefly in touch with the company behind these cameras, before losing their emails during my drug-addled post-surgical state earlier this year, who said they’re working to bring them to the state.

It was founded by a friend of James Rapley, the Australian man tragically killed by a stoned driver while riding a rented bike on Temescal Canyon just days before Christmas in 2013.

Personally, I can’t think of a better memorial to Rapley than legalizing them in the state where he died.

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This is what a dooring looks like.

Watch the right side of the street just two seconds in.

To make matters worse, the police apparently ticketed the victim because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane, even though he was barely conscious.

And even though drivers or their passengers are usually at fault for dooring anyone, because they’re required to only open a car door when it’s safe to do so and doesn’t interfere anyone, and only leave it open as long as necessary to exit the vehicle.

Which this driver clearly failed to do.

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Yes, handicapped people can ride bikes. Despite what angry NIMBYs insist at bike lane public meetings.

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A Chinese bike rider was very lucky to survive when he was struck in the head by an overturning truck in an extremely cringe-inducing crash.

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‘Tis the Season.

Every student at a St. Louis elementary school got a new bicycle and helmet, thanks to two men who had visited earlier in the year for a safety fair.

A pair of Florida Good Samaritans bought a new bicycle for the son of a Florida firefighter after the one he rode every day was stolen.

Lime announced they will match all donations made through their Lime Hero program between Thanksgiving and next week’s Giving Tuesday.

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Local

South Pasadena passed its $204,000 citywide bicycle parking plan.

 

State

Caltrans admits its current policies aren’t working, and commits to determining how much additional traffic new projects will generate.

Apparently, gang violence even happens in small towns, as a bike rider was the victim of a drive-by shooting in rural Sanger. And no, I didn’t know where that is, either.

Work off those Thanksgiving carbs and calories with a turkey-shaped bike route around San Francisco.

Streetsblog SF shines a light on a trench that turns into a booby trap for bike riders whenever it rains.

A Sonoma County man riding his bike with five outstanding arrest warrants learned the hard way that he can’t outrun a police dog.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for the libertarian website Reason says even though he was in a wreck while riding an e-scooter, he doesn’t want them banned, because the real danger is people in cars.

Singletracks goes behind the scenes with mountain biking Sketchy Trails artist Kristina Wayte.

A researcher says Denver kids don’t walk or bike to school because the city’s streets are so dangerous no one wants to walk or bike in them in the first place.

A self-described lifelong bicyclist in Austin TX wonders if it’s time to require licenses for bike riders. Short answer, no — for a very long list of reasons.

A bike-riding Kansas City photographer uses her Instagram account to encourage other women to take off on solo adventures.

The Second City gets New York’s seconds, as hundreds of Big Apple bikeshare ebikes were stripped of the defective electric components that caused them to randomly burst into flames, then converted to regular bikes and shipped to Chicago for their bikeshare system; both programs are operated by Lyft.

The Daily News looks at New York Mayor De Blasio’s call for bike and pedestrian mayors, otherwise known as an Office of Pedestrians and an Office of Active Transportation; Streetsblog explains why they’re necessary.

A Georgia city goes beyond state law by passing a vulnerable users ordinance that increases penalties for drivers who hit or threaten bike riders or pedestrians. Or skate boarders, motorcyclists or scooter riders, for that matter.

 

International

Mark your calendar for International Bike Shop Day on December 7th. If any SoCal bike shops are participating, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to mention it.

Bike Radar examines the best bike saddles for the coming year.

Your next handlebars could warn you when drivers are sneaking up from behind. Or barelling straight at you.

A Canadian mountain biker describes how he celebrated his 45th birthday by fighting off a grizzly bear with nothing but his bike and a tiny Buck knife.

Business is booming at Vancouver bike shops, as commuters look for alternatives in preparation for today’s transit strike.

Once again the Mounties get their man. Or men, as they bust a pair of prolific British Columbia bike thieves.

Treehugger says Toronto offers a lesson in how not to do Vision Zero. To which Los Angeles replies, hold my beer.

Business owners on a Montreal street complain about a bike lane pilot project that replaced 275 parking spaces over the summer, saying their business was down $5,000 a month, although they don’t say if that was an average of all the businesses or collectively. Instead of complaining, maybe they should do something to entice the 800 riders who pass by on the bike lanes each day to stop and come in.

British police are cleared of wrongdoing for the death of a bike rider during a high-speed pursuit after the burglar being chased backed into a 75-year old man.

The Irish Times says ebikes are still a workout and not an effortless romp.

No trademark issues here. An Aussie startup wants to get delivery workers out of their cars and onto the company’s Bolt Bikes rental ebikes. Not to be confused with Usain Bolt’s bright yellow Bolt scooters, which got here first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News asks the burning question of whether WorldTour cyclists should use dropper seatposts to reduce the risk from high speed descents.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says receiving a Congressional Gold Medal is the biggest honor of his career.

Transgender cyclist Philippa York insists the idea that trans people are going to take over women’s sport is absolutely ridiculous.

 

Finally…

Always wear your bike helmet when you rob a bank. If you never learned to ride a bike in 84 years, a stationary cycling challenge is probably for the best.

And spreading kindness and carbs with free bike-borne bread deliveries.

 

Morning Links: Owner of Silver Lake hit-and-run car not talking, Solis honors fallen riders, and Ramona hit-and-run prelim

We mentioned this last week, but it’s worth a reminder. 

The first Monday after Daylight Savings Time ends is often among the most dangerous traffic days of the year

Drivers are still adjusting to the time change and the early darkness on their drive home. 

So ride with extra care today, and for the next few days.

And if you’re riding home after dark, put some damn lights on your bike, already.

………

The car that was allegedly used in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured is owned by a woman who works for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The owner of a Glendale auto body shop saw video of the crash, and contacted police after recognizing the car as one he had in his shop; the owner had brought it in claiming she found it vandalized when she got up the next morning.

Unfortunately, she refuses to cooperate with investigators and tell them who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

Which means the investigation could be stymied unless police can find a witness or other evidence to show who was driving.

That’s just one more way the law needs to be changed.

In the event of a crash or some other event, the owner of the car should be presumed to be driving, unless they can show that someone else was behind the wheel.

………

She gets it.

Thanks to LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis for recognizing the victims of traffic violence with a Dia de los Muertos altar and ghost bike at Grand Park over the weekend.

………

A preliminary hearing will be held tomorrow for the alleged hit-and-run driver who critically injured a Ramona woman riding her bike to work last month.

Thirty-four-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard faces up to nine years behind bars on charges of hit-and-run with death or permanent serious injury, and hit-and-run with injury.

He’s currently being held on $2.5 million bail.

His alleged victim, 53-year-old Ramona resident Michelle Scott, remains in a coma with few signs of brain activity over a month after the crash, although she is breathing on her own after being taken off a ventilator.

………

Evidently, Orson Welles wasn’t a big fan of cars.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging Irish driver was fined the equivalent of $500 and banned from driving for two years for crushing a bicycle with his car, then backing up and driving over it again, because the rider asked politely to get past him at a red light.

………

Local

One bit of very good news today. Roberto Diaz, the then-15-year old South LA boy who was critically injured when he was struck on his bike by a red light-running driver, and dragged 1,500 feet under his car, was finally released from the hospital after three months and a dozen surgeries.

A new street safety group will meet on Saturday the 16th to discuss how to pedestrianize Hollywood Blvd, starting from La Brea to Highland.

Justin Bieber is one of us, as he flashes his tatts riding his bike through Beverly Hills, with an IV still attached.

 

State

A San Diego man will spend the next six years behind bars for beating a 57-year old man to death, who tried using a bicycle to defend himself.

The San Diego Padres — the only major San Diego pro sport team that hasn’t moved to LA yet — will host their annual Pedal for the Cause bike ride to raise funds for local cancer research.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a man was killed after his bike somehow went off a cliff.

A San Francisco op-ed says a proposed tax on Uber and Lyft rides won’t work, and will only justify their drivers bad behavior. Like blocking bike lanes.

No bias here. A Marin columnist calls a new protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge a boondoggle even before it opens, saying his paper will be counting rush hour bike riders to prove it doesn’t work.

 

National

No, riding an ebike isn’t cheating. But it could put your car out of work.

Omaha, Nebraska considers changing the law to clarify that bike lanes aren’t parking lanes.

A San Antonio, Texas op-ed says it may seem counterintuitive, but if you want less gridlock, reduce road capacity.

They get it, too. Bike riders in Stillwater OK complain that a driver who injured a bicyclist wasn’t ticket for violating the three-foot passing law, saying it would be nice if the city recognized “bicyclists as people that are trying to get from point A to point B just like people in the car.”

A 38-year old Illinois woman with cerebral palsy is still enjoying her freedom on the adult tricycle her uncle built for her 26 years ago.

New York’s bicycle death toll rises to 27 — nearly three times the ten riders killed last year — when an 87-year old man died a day after he was hit by a speeding driver; naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim, even though witnesses said he wasn’t at fault. Some accounts put the city’s bike death toll at 25, after bizarrely excluding two people killed riding ebikes.

Evidently, those “virtually theft-proof” Van Moof ebikes aren’t so theft-proof after all, as New York police are looking for the owner after recovering one a thief was using an electric grinder to make off with.

Gothamist says this could be the beginning of the end for free parking in NYC.

Baton Rouge LA opens a key link in a planned 13-mile bike and pedestrian trail around the city.

A pair of Florida bike riders say they were arrested for running stop signs, although the local sheriff insists that’s not the whole story.

 

International

Road.cc looks at the stats, and concludes we’re not the demons some drivers insist on insisting we are.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a fallen Canadian bike rider.

A British police investigator somehow concluded that a bike rider who collided with a 79-year old pedestrian as he stepped into the street was doing a remarkable 38 mph at the moment of impact. Even though his Strava account says he was just doing 18.

A ten-year old Edinburgh boy starts an anti-bullying campaign after he was attacked and beaten by a group of older boys, who stole his bicycle.

Evidently, bike thieves start young in Scotland, where a toddler makes off with a balance bike from his daycare, then tries to convince his grandmother he bought it on Amazon.

Cycling Tips offers advice from a Melbourne, Australia psychologist on how to keep riding your bike after you become a father. Or a mother, presumably.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says there were a lot of problems that led to the demise of next year’s Amgen Tour of California, but a new state law requiring gender pay equity wasn’t one of them.

American pro Peter Stetina says everyone wanted to compete in the AToC, just to race in California. But the race won’t be finishing at the Rose Bowl again any time soon.

 

Finally…

Remember, only one person on a bike. If you’re going for a bike ride, don’t forget your shades — no matter how many legs you have.

And nothing says fall like a jack-o-lantern protected bike lane.

Morning Links: Molina Silver Lake hit-and-run car found, biking the civil rights road, and LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat

The search goes on.

KCBS-2/KCAL-9 talks with 57-year old David Molina, the homeless man who was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Silver Lake last week.

Molina remains hospitalized with a broken leg, broken arm and fractured spine.

Meanwhile, the LAPD is still looking for the heartless coward who sped away without stopping, leaving Molina bleeding in the street.

They have found the car, but need to identify who was behind the wheel. And the owner isn’t helping.

Which doesn’t seem suspicious at all, does it?

And yes, the $25,000 reward remains outstanding. So if you know anything, it could pay to come forward.

Literally.

Screen grab of LAPD security video via KCBS-2/KCAL-9.

………

Here’s today’s must read.

A white Baptist minister takes part in a 150-mile bike ride from Montgomery to Birmingham “through some of the most hallowed and blood-soaked ground of the Civil Rights Movement.”

On the way, he contemplates civil rights and white privilege, and the necessity of moving “from not-racist to anti-racist.”

It’s a troubling and powerful piece.

And must have been even more powerful to experience.

………

Let’s do better, folks.

People with limited eyesight and other physical disabilities need clear sidewalks to get around safely.

And almost out of the way just isn’t good enough.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

UK police are looking for a pair of motorists who forced a bike rider off the road by passing too close.

After a close pass from a driver forces a bicyclist into the back of a car parked in a Malta bike lane, leaving him fighting for his life, all some callous people cared about was whether he was going to pay for damage to the car.

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

A Vancouver bike rider gets offended when another rider runs a stop sign, so he tweets that he hates cyclists and wishes the guy had gotten clipped by a car. Then gets offended when people who ride bikes get offended.

………

Local

Once again, LADOT rolls out the unwelcome mat for people on bikes.

 

State

An opinion piece in the New York Times says the refusal of Californians to live sustainably means the end of the state as we know it.

San Diego County creates a program allowing low-income residents to dump their gas guzzlers for cleaner options, including an ebike. Almost makes it worth moving down there again.

Speaking of San Diego, they’re considering becoming the latest city to ban cars from a busy street by converting eight blocks of Fifth Ave in the popular Gaslamp District to a pedestrian plaza. Your move, LA.

A Belmont hit-and-run victim reminds drivers to give bicyclists the three-foot passing distance required by law (scroll down).

An annual Los Altos event aims to keep used bikes out of landfills by asking residents to drop off their unloved bikes so volunteers can clean and fix them, and pass them on to people who need one.

 

National

A writer for Slate says self-driving cars and hyperloops aren’t the future of transportation, but bicycles and buses are. And elevators.

Scientific American says a few algorithms could make bikeshare more efficient.

Fox Business takes a look at five smart locks to help you hold onto your bike.

Outside recommends gear to make a cold bike commute more bearable. Most of which has little or nothing to do with the temperature outside.

Sad story, as a survivor of the New York bike path terrorist attack says she still feels lost and guilty for surviving when others died, two years after the Halloween attack

DC bike riders spread out across the river, and use an app to count over 300 bike lane violations by Arlington VA drivers in just five hours.

Tampa FL officials promise a new crosstown cycle track will transform transportation in the city once it’s finished.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A Scottish driver is caught on bike cam pulling away from the curb without looking, barely missing the bike rider next to him.

Slovakia bans handheld cellphones, and limits bicyclists to a BAC of .05.

There’s something seriously wrong with people who find amusement in watching a Singapore bike rider slam into the back of a car, whose driver stopped short in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on next year’s “hiatus” of the Amgen Tour of California.

Britain’s looking for more success in Olympic track cycling next year with a new bike built by Lotus to be as light and aero as possible.

 

Finally…

Fleeing from police when riding your bike drunk only makes you look more suspicious.

 

Morning Links: Big Easy drunk driver gets 91 years, Cathedral City bike rider critically injured, and safety in numbers real

Come back after 10 am today for a guest post from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, as she updates a number of recent stories — including the case of hit-and-run driver Pratiti Renee Mehta, who walked despite showing no remorse for her crime, or any sympathy for her victim. 

………

Now that’s taking traffic violence seriously.

A New Orleans judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed two bike riders and injured seven others when he plowed through them at 80 mph during a Mardi Gras parade to 30 years for each death, plus 30 years and six months for the injured riders — and added another six months for also crashing into parked cars.

Then ordered the sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 91 years behind bars.

As others have noted, that’s a life sentence for the 32-year old man.

………

More bad news from the Coachella Valley, where a 50-something bike rider was critically injured in a Cathedral City crash; he was hit by an SUV driver while in a crosswalk.

Meanwhile, a ghost bike will be installed a week from today for Raymundo Jaime, killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in Palm Springs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Seriously. Turn yourself in, already.

Because there’s a $25,000 reward if you don’t.

………

A new Rutgers University study confirms the safety in numbers effect, even while injuries are rising, especially among riders 55 to 64.

Although the latter stat is probably explained by the jump in ridership among older people.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A witness got involved when a road raging DC driver got out of his car and pushed him off his bike, for the crime of taking up too much of the roadway while trying to make a left turn.

………

Local

Today’s must read is great look at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero program due to the refusal of city leaders to implement it. Or as the author calls it, Vision Non-Zero.

More homeless people are dying on the streets of Los Angeles than ever before, with over 1,000 deaths last year alone; 9% of those deaths were due to bicycle and pedestrian crashes.

You may not see Uber’s Jump Bikes on the streets of Los Angeles soon, as the company files suit against LA after refusing to share bikeshare data with the city.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was hospitalized after getting hit by a motorist backing out of a driveway; no word on his or her condition.

A Long Beach-area paper profiles a Signal Hill bike shop dedicated to helping bike riders navigate their choices. Sort of like any good LBS.

 

State

Your next ebike could be a California bikemaker’s 36 mph bicycle made to look look like a vintage motorcycle, and designed by the grandson of the legendary Carrol Shelby. Although the 36 mph top end means it will require a helmet and a motorcycle license. And can’t be ridden in bike lanes or pathways.

 

National

The new HBO documentary Any One of Us focuses on the severe spinal cord injury suffered by professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia at the 2015 Red Bull Rampage and his fight to recover from the injury.

A bipartisan bill in the US Senate would require automakers to build alcohol breath or touch sensors into all light vehicles by 2024, to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Although I’d like to see some sort of cognitive test to detect any form of impairment. And include trucks and commercial vehicles, too.

Zwift wants you to help raise $25,000 for Movember to help fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health struggles and suicide prevention by riding your bike indoors.

Once again, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss nails it, saying smart helmets won’t save bicyclists when the real problem is drivers who won’t put down their phones.

Cosmo says yes, the bizarre crash in this week’s episode of 9-1-1, where a driver hit a bike rider, the drove home and parked overnight with the victim embedded in her windshield, really happened; it was based on this equally strange 2014 crash. And yes, both the real and fictional victims survived.

Kindhearted Utah cops and school officials give a new bike and helmet to a teenaged girl after she was hit by a driver on her bike while leaving school.

Once again, authorities keep a dangerous motorist on the road until it’s too late, as an Ohio motorcycle rider faces vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 15-year old boy riding his bike; he was riding on a on a suspended license and had several outstanding warrants for traffic violations.

We’ve seen a few bicyclists ride every street in their city or county lately. But how many do it pedaling an ice cream bike?

The New York Times explains why the city has committed to spending $1.7 billion — yes, with a B — to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes over the next ten years.

The New York Daily News says blame policymakers for the nationwide jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.

 

International

Bike Mag reviews the updated Camelbak Podium bottle, and flips over now being able to disassemble the lid to clean it. However, the insulated Podium Ice water bottle remains the best bike bottle ever in my book.

Here’s a few more trips for your bike bucket list, as Travel & Leisure recommends 12 unforgettable vacations that are best done by bike, even for beginners.

No surprise here, as the family of the British man killed by an American diplomat’s wife while riding his motorcycle, who fled the country after claiming diplomatic immunity, is suing the Trump administration for its handling of the case.

A South African man made seven calls to his wife after he was knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver, saying the same thing each time, because a brain injury meant he couldn’t remember he’d already called her.

 

Competitive Cycling

So much for that. AEG has pulled the plug on next year’s Amgen Tour of California, saying they need to take a year off to figure out a business model that works better. Which is another way of saying we probably won’t see it again.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fat tire Surly for surly weather. Lots of classical buildings have statues atop the dome; not many have bikeshare bikes there.

And seriously, don’t punch your foreign bus passengers when they have trouble with their bikes.

 

Morning Links: $25,000 reward for heartless hit-and-run driver, LA chef dies after cycling heart attack, and Gatto gets it

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after slamming into someone on a bicycle.

But this time, it was caught on security cam.

And yes, it’s every bit as hard to watch as you might think, so be forewarned.

Remarkably, the victim survived the crash, but is hospitalized with severe injuries.

The wreck took place around 11:45 pm in the 3000 block of Berkeley Avenue in Silver Lake as the hit-and-run driver rounded a curve, and slams into the victim head-on.

Then keeps going without even slowing down.

And this time, there’s no arguing that the driver may not have known it happened.

I’m told the victim may be a homeless man who lives in the area.

Police suspect the hit-and-run driver may live in the neighborhood; they’re looking for a late model red Mini Cooper with a white roof and sunroof, with probable damage to the front-end and windshield.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713. As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury to the victim.

Let’s find the jerk.

………

A surprising number of chefs in the Los Angeles area ride bikes.

Sadly, it may have cost one his life last week, as famed LA chef Joe Miller died weeks after suffering a heart attack while riding his bike.

Family members announced the Michelin star-winning chef behind the groundbreaking Joe’s on Abbot Kinney lost his battle to survive on Wednesday, due to complications from a cardiac arrest on a September cycling trip.

This is a tragic reminder that while bicycling provides exceptional cardio-pulmonary benefits, it can also trigger underlying medical conditions.

It’s vital to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure you’re up to the stresses you put on your body, especially those of us who like to ride hard.

It’s natural to think you’re bulletproof and avoid seeing a physician when you’re strong on a bike.

It’s also a mistake.

For nearly two decades after I started riding, the only time I saw a doctor was in the ER when they were patching me up after my latest two-wheeled wipeout.

If I had, it’s possible someone may have caught my diabetes before it did so much damage.

If you see a doctor regularly, good for you. Just push him or her to look a little harder and make sure everything’s okay under that muscular physique.

Well, muscular from the waist down, anyway.

If you don’t, what the hell are you waiting for? Stop reading, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

We’ll wait.

………

Now that everyone is back, today’s must read comes from former Burbank state representative Mike Gatto, as he makes the case for establishing a walkable, shopable and carfree retail district in each of LA’s 15 council districts.

………

Once again, the business community gets it wrong, insisting that plans to eliminate street parking on San Diego’s 30th street will harm businesses and won’t save the climate.

Studies have shown that business owners consistently overestimate the percentage of their business that comes from motorists, and underestimate how much comes from bicyclists, pedestrians and transit users — let alone how much more would if customers had more complete, livable streets.

Those same studies show that bike lanes are good for business, increasing sales, reducing vacancy rates and increasing property values in the surrounding area.

But who would want that?

As for the climate, we have to start somewhere.

And the best place to start is reducing the number of motor vehicles on the streets. Which means creating walkable, bikeable, transit-rich communities so people don’t have to drive.

If that also benefits businesses and residents, everyone wins.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Phoenix family is alive today because a crash saved them from a red light-running driver.

………

This is the difference a single bicycle can make to someone in need.

Thanks to the One Bicycle Foundation for the link.

You can help make a difference in someone’s life for as little as $25. Or donate a bike yourself for just $170.

………

And this is just a practice session.

Meanwhile, Bike Mag offers some very cool photos of death-defying aerials from the actual Red Bull Rampage on Friday.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Victorville man faces charges for pistol whipping a 16-year old boy with a semi-automatic handgun for the crime of simply riding a bicycle in the area. Apparently he did it with the gun loaded and the safety off — and it went off while he was beating the boy with it. Let’s hope they find a very deep pit to drop him in.

………

Local

The long-discussed Red Car Pedestrian Bridge is slowly taking shape over the Los Angeles River, using trusses from the old Red Cars to give bicyclists and pedestrians a less-convenient alternative to the soon-to-be-rebuilt Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The Southern California Association of Governments’ popular Go Human safety campaign will go on, after receiving a $1 million grant from the state.

Metro wants your comments on proposals to close the DTLA-Vernon gap in the LA River bike path to create a single route from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Burbank is moving forward with plans to complete a protected bike lane connecting with the city’s Metrolink station, and building out a bike network that will connect with other cities in the region.

 

State

A writer for the LA Times tagged along with the eight-day, 525-mile California Coast Classic; the 195 riders raised $1.1 million to fight arthritis.

A Carlsbad street will get new bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping for an underpass crossing I-5.

The California Public Utilities Commission signed off on plans to build a bike and pedestrian underpass to provide a safe route across a rail line in Encinitas.

A 51-year old Bonita man suffered “major but not life-threatening” injuries when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck while riding his bike.

San Diego streets shut down on Sunday — or rather, opened up — for that city’s CiclaSDias open streets celebration.

More bad news from Palm Desert, where an 82-year old man suffered major injuries when he was left crossed on his bike by a 77-year old driver. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Once again, the threat of a recall is enough to get city officials to rip out a protected bike lane, after residents of Grover Beach couldn’t figure out that you have to step over the curb on a new curb-protected bike lane. And can’t drive over it, either. Sort of like every other curb, anywhere else.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bicycle was killed by a stoned driver who got high in her car on her lunch break.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Berkeley woman walks without a single day behind bars after she left crossed a 69-year old man on a bike, dragging him under her car for several seconds, then got out, yanked his bike out from underneath her car, and drove off as the victim and a witness tried to stop her. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from Petaluma, where someone on a bicycle was killed in a collision with a semi driver.

 

National

Fast Company questions whether SUVs should be banned, at least in cities. New York’s DOT commissioner appears to agree, blaming SUVs for the city’s alarming jump in bicycle fatalities this year.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a Portland ghost bike after twelve years.

Aspen CO resident Lance Armstrong pitched in along with a former Colorado governor to build over one hundred bicycles to offer to every second grader at a local elementary school.

Forget the bikes; check out the speaker on that Victrola in this turn of the century Colorado bike shop.

Kindhearted Colorado sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy a new bicycle for an autistic high school student who had outgrown his.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma man faces a first-degree murder charge for repeatedly stabbing another man in a fight over a bicycle.

Outside says frozen Minnesota is an ideal year-round bicycling spot.

Providence RI will rip out a brand new two-way cycle track after just six weeks because the city failed to consult residents before putting it in.

New York’s senior senator, the Democratic leader in the US Senate, calls for a plan to replace all gas-powered motor vehicles with electric ones by 2040. Great idea, except that until the US achieves 100% renewable power, it just exchanges one form of carbon-burning power for another, and doesn’t take a single car or truck off the road.

Heartbreaking news from Brooklyn, where boy got a new bicycle for his eighth birthday. And was killed riding it just two years later.

New York City considers adopting a three-foot passing law to pre-empt the state’s requirement for a safe passing distance. But will only fine drivers a lousy fifty bucks for breaking it.

Good news for Gotham bike riders, as a judge tosses a lawsuit from wealthy NIMBY condo owners trying to have the popular Central Park West protected bike lanes ripped out, calling the lawsuit meritless.

They get it. An editorial in an upstate New York paper calls for a new law to penalize drivers who injure or kill another person.

The DC City Council responds to bike and pedestrian deaths with proposals to lower speed limits, ban right turns on red lights and allow private citizens to ticket drivers blocking crosswalks and bike lanes, as well as require protected bike lanes anytime a street in the bike plan gets overhauled. Maybe we could get them to come teach their LA peers what to do to make Vision Zero work.

Tampa FL police say they’re getting a handle on the problem of biking while black, saying they’re stopping and ticketing fewer African American bike riders, though black riders are still more likely to get a ticket or warning than a white person.

 

International

Road.cc offers inexpensive hacks to help keep you on your bike this winter.

A writer for Bike Radar offers five common quotes guaranteed to deflate the mood on your next group ride.

You know ebikes have officially arrived when they’re featured on a Trump-less British version of The Apprentice. And sell a combined $2.2 million worth.

An English woman in her 70s was knocked cold by a hit-and-run bike rider. Seriously, don’t be like people in cars. Just stop, already.

Always hit the back brakes first. A UK bike cop pulls a major endo in the middle of the street while chasing a suspect.

I want to be like her when I grow up, too. A 72-year old grandmother in the UK battled it out with a suspected bike thief when the man tried to reclaim it from her son’s shop after being told it was stolen.

A British woman starts her own bikeshare company after dropping out of Oxford to study design; what initially began as a school project is now available on the streets in three cities.

An Irish pedestrian group says you should have to wear an identity badge anytime you ride your bike. How about one of those convention badges that read “Hi, my name is ….”?

Egyptian women are overcoming societal restrictions to claim space on Cairo streets for them and their bicycles.

In a highly questionable Qatari study, not one single bicyclist who was admitted to a hospital with a serious head injury was wearing a helmet, and only 3% of riders admitted with any kind of traumatic injury during the six-year study had a skid lid on.

Former Aussie rugby player and current CrossFit star James Newbury is one of us, even if he won’t be riding for awhile after hitting gravel and pulling an endo, then hitting a tree and fracturing his back.

This is who we share the roads with. Five people are dead and nine injured after a Shanghai driver went on a hit-and-run rampage, starting by hitting a taxi and an ebike rider, followed by crashing into an SUV after running a red light, and wrapping it all up by slamming into three non-motorized vehicles and several pedestrians. And yet, Xinhua still calls it an accident. Let’s hope that’s just a bad translation.

What if you built a state-of-the-art automated bicycle parking garage in Singapore and nobody came?

Tokyo wants to force bicyclists to carry liability insurance when they ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. Just zap your brain, instead.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll ride both the Giro and the Tour de France next year, forgoing the Amgen Tour of California.

Rouleur selects this year’s inductees for their Cycling Hall of Fame, selecting America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as well as Marianne Vos, and Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin.

The US team finished seventh in the men’s road cycling race at the World Military Games, with the top individual finisher crossing the finish line in 11th place.

How to ride a bike at 183.9 mph. Which is very similar to my cruising speed these days, as long as you remove the one and the eight.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to tell the cops you were injured in a hit-and-run after cutting your hands breaking into a store, get rid of the damn merchandise you took, first. Apparently, we’re not even safe from golf cart drivers.

And as long as your dog has a license, might as well let him use it.

Morning Links: DA bargains away drunk driving charge against actor, and a Silver Lake bike theft in reverse

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An actor on the Showtime series Ray Donovan walked with just three years probation and a six month license suspension after the LA District Attorney’s office bargained down his drunk driving and child endangerment charges.

Marion “Pooch” Hall was arrested in Burbank last year after crashing into a parked car with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Yes, three times.

And with his two-year old son on his lap, no less.

In fact, witnesses reported the child was holding the wheel as Hall weaved in and out of traffic.

So Hall gets to keep his license. And in six months, he’ll be back on the streets. Hopefully sober this time.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

And next time, someone else could pay the price.

………

Call it a reverse bike theft.

Someone broke into a Silver Lake studio while the owners were away, and instead of taking anything, just left a nice folding bike behind.

………

Local

Just one week after Pasadena reconfigured the Rose Bowl ride and bicyclists warned someone would get hurt, that prophecy came true when a rider went over his handlebars after rolling over the base of a warning cone.

An 18-year old mountain biker was rescued from the hills above Altadena after he fell off his bike and attempted to hike out.

KCBS-2 catches up with the proposal from Hilda Solis’ to build more protected bike lanes in LA County.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will conduct another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on Monday. Usual protocol applies; ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

State

Del Mar has approved a one-year pilot bikeshare program; reading between the lines, it sounds like a mix of dockless bicycles and ebikes.

Santa Barbara will install reverse angled parking on Cabrillo Drive as part of a road diet to improve safety and make room for bike lanes in each direction.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever rode his bike up to a Turlock 7th grader and yelled racial slurs before flashing a knife at her.

San Francisco has responded to the demands of bicyclists for safer streets by announcing plans to extend the protected bike lanes on Howard Street to the waterfront, after a woman was killed riding on an unprotected section of the roadway.

Speaking of San Francisco, the city is considering plans to make more streets carfree to improve safety; plans are already underway to remove cars from iconic Market Street. Make a fist and count your fingers; that’s how many carfree streets you’ll find in Los Angeles.

Oakland bike riders are getting impatient with the city’s still unfulfilled plans to fix the streets, in part due to a number of vacancies in the city’s Department of Transportation.

The Sacramento Bee says two recent deaths in San Diego and Santa Monica show just how dangerous e-scooters are. But fails to mention that the Santa Monica victim was killed by a hit-and-run driver after falling off his scooter.

Sacramento residents are upset that someone who apparently doesn’t get the concept locked a pair of Jump dockless ebikes to a fire hydrant, and no one’s done anything about it. Seriously, the point of dockless bikeshare is that you don’t have to lock them up, you just leave them when you’re done — hopefully out of the way and not on the sidewalk. And never blocking a fire hydrant.

National

Gear Patrol says your brain should thank Trek for its new WaveCel bike helmets, designed to help prevent concussions as well as protect your skull.

If you have a Stromer ST5 ebike, it may be recalled due to a risk of the stem breaking.

Wyoming says yes to ebikes, adopting the same regulations pioneered by California.

Looks like it will stay against the law to ride a bike or a horse under the influence in North Dakota, after the state Senate killed a bill that would have changed that.

The Department of DIY is back, with permission this time. A Montana advocacy group installed its own temporary traffic circle to calm traffic, along with cameras to measure how effective it is.

New York bike advocates are calling for a temporary, weekend-only bike lane on the iconic Verrazano Bridge this summer. And say if it turns out a weekend-only bike lane causes too many problems, just make it permanent.

The New York Post says the city has hated bicycles for 200 years.

New York will install speed cameras around every public school in the city, after cameras previously installed at some schools cut speeding 60% and resulted in a 50% drop in fatalities. Yet another reminder that speed cameras save lives. And that they’re still illegal in California.

A Boston group is auctioning a $10,000 Boston Strong-themed bicycle commemorating the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that was ridden in the 2015 Amgen Tour of California; the money will benefit a man suffering from ALS.

A Massachusetts town is “torn,” and “a town in crisis,” by a state proposal to install a rail-to-trail conversion. Seriously, if that’s the biggest problem they have, they should let go of each other’s throats and throw a party to count their blessings.

New Orleans officials travelled to Seville, Spain for ideas on how to improve bike infrastructure and safety in the Crescent City.

A New Orleans man will spend 33 years behind bars for a long string of crimes, including a half-dozen robberies and the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while driving a stolen car.

International

Now that’s what I call a beautiful ebike.

Horrifying case from the UK, where a 14-year old boy riding on a pathway with friends was beaten, kicked in the face and doused with beer — after the attackers stole his bike.

Bike riders formed a people protected bike lane in a British city.

No surprise here, as US bike companies are finding ways to work around Trump’s China tariffs.

Finally…

No, seriously. If you’re already wanted for kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon and accessory to a felony, don’t ride salmon. If you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant, nearly 7 grams of meth and a thousand bucks, put a damn light on it, already.

And if you’re carrying meth and drug paraphernalia on your bike, try not to get hit by the mayor.

Morning Links: Help keep Rowena safe next Wednesday, and London bike riders attacked by road raging driver

Keep Rowena Safe urges you to show up at Wednesday’s meeting of the excessively named Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

And ask why they would even consider undoing the road diet on Rowena Ave, which has proven itself successful in slowing traffic and improving safety.

Once again putting the imagined convenience of a few motorists over the safety of everyone else, and the livability of the entire community.

Then again, you might want to put the same questions to Councilmember David Ryu, since it was his office that shelled out $80,000 to study making Rowena more dangerous again.

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London bicyclists are stunned when an aggressive motorist deliberately drives at a long line of riders in a marked bike path, then threatens them with his car when they catch up to him.

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Local

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies wrote 67 tickets during yesterday’s four-hour bike and pedestrian safety operation, mostly for distracted driving. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Santa Monica-based Bird announces plans to donate $1 per day for every scooter in operation to help build more bike lanes. While that could quickly add up to a lot of money, the real problem is developing the political backing to build bike lanes, rather than finding the funding, as we’ve repeatedly seen in Los Angeles.

 

State

VeloNews talks with San Diego’s SportRX about what to look for in prescription bicycling glasses, and reviews several models. Full disclosure: SportRX provided me with a pair of prescription Oakleys several years ago, which are still by far the best glasses I’ve ever owned, for bicycling or anything else. And getting them was one of the easiest processes I’ve gone through, without ever setting foot in the store. 

Orange County is considering options for a bike path along Avenida La Plata between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

A Highland bicyclist takes issue, at great length, with the new law clarifying that bicyclists who ride off after crashing into someone on a bike path can be charged with hit-and-run.

Santa Barbara police will be out in force to take the fun out of enforce traffic laws during the annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride this Sunday.

Talk about not getting it. A Santa Maria newspaper complains that removing a whopping 24 parking spaces next to a Solvang park to make room for bike lanes would ruin “Solvang’s tourism quaint, wow factor.” And that encouraging more bicycling — without removing a single traffic lane — would somehow force drivers off the street and into the surrounding neighborhood. As if anyone visits the faux Dutch community to see its quaint parking spaces.

 

National

USA Today offers a long list of guided bike tours to get you back on your bike, after first reciting a brief history of the bicycle, in case you’ve forgotten.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride in gravel and other uneven surfaces.

Streetsblog questions why “bull bar” grill attachments are the hot fashion accessory for US police vehicles, when they’re outlawed abroad, and deadly for any pedestrians who get in their way. I’m less concerned about police using them than I am the jerks in massive pickups and SUVs who insist on putting them on their trucks for no apparent reason.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not manufactured. Then again, so could the bike you use it on.

Dockless bikeshare companies are bailing on the Big D after Dallas developed regulations requiring the companies to pay for the number of bikes or scooters they have on the streets; just 3,500 bikes remain compared to a peak of 20,000.

A couple of Chicago kids achieve their goal of riding their bikes a total of 100 miles over summer vacation, turning it into a chance for three generations to ride together. While that’s something to be proud of, someone should tell the reporter that a 13.5 mile ride is no big deal for a lot of people. Even kids.

Evidently, athleticism runs in the family, as the great-grandfather of NFL All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was a star of the Buffalo NY bike racing circuit in the 1920s.

Good for him. A Philadelphia bike rider sues a hotel and its valet parking manager for blocking a bike lane.

A Delaware city is using stenciled messages on the sidewalk to tell riders over 12 to walk their bikes. That’s actually a good idea. In too many cities, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether and where you’re allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk; putting a notice there removes any confusion.

DC bicyclists pair up with blind riders for weekly tandem rides.

Dockless bikeshare providers Mobike and Ofo have pulled out of DC, as well.

A former North Carolina sheriff’s lieutenant is riding his bike to recover from PTSD, after he was nearly beaten to death on the job more than 17 years ago.

 

International

London’s deputy mayor for transportation calls a local government council disgraceful for opposing plans for one of the city’s cycle superhighways, at the same time a bike rider was fighting for her life following a crash a few miles away.

You’ve got to be kidding. English social media users blew up when a driver complained about two bicyclists riding abreast on a quiet country road — which is perfectly legal in the UK — saying, “It doesn’t take a lot of my time to pass them – it’s the principle.”

The daughters of a fallen bike tourist says she would never have attempted riding the steep downhill on the Irish road where she was killed if there had been warning signs to tell her how dangerous it really was.

Australian bus drivers are put on bicycles to learn what it’s like to be passed by a bus, and how to drive around bike riders. Can we do that here, Metro? Pretty please?

Life is short in Singapore, where a bus driver got a whopping six weeks behind bars for a negligent crash that left a 36-year bike rider in a nursing home with permanent brain damage.

 

Competitive Cycling

Team Sky road captain Luke Rowe helped guide fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, one year after breaking his leg in 25 places while white water rafting.

Now that Thomas has won a Tour, he may chuck it all to take up triathlons.

Admit it. You always wanted to know more about the woman who rides a motorcycle with a chalkboard at the head of the peloton.

A day after we got a Roman Catholic look at the Tour de France, we get the Anglican view, as an English minister considers the parallels between the Christian faith and professional cycling.

CiclaValley uses the Tour to illustrate how cyclists are tougher than other athletes.

A local paper previews the prologue of the Tour of Utah, which kicks off on Saturday.

The initial rosters have been released for this month’s Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Yes, a bicycle and clothing are basic requirements for women who want to ride bikes. If you have to wave a flag just to cross a street, it should be a white one, instead.

And how to tell you’re a really crappy driver who probably shouldn’t be one.

 

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

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