Tag Archive for South LA

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

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Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

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Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

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Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

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Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

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British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

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Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

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

Man killed in South LA shooting and bike-riding 8-year old girl shot, and Bonin faces another right wing recall effort

There’s a special place in hell for whoever fatally shot a 22-year-old man in South LA Tuesday night — and also shot an eight-year old girl as she was apparently riding past on her bicycle.

Unfortunately, we seem to be going back to the bad old days when shootings were an everyday occurrence in Los Angeles, just like traffic collisions.

And just like traffic violence, innocent people are too often collateral damage. Like an eight-year old girl, who fortunately is expected to survive.

And just like traffic violence, it’s a problem that can be solved, if we all just care enough to do something about it.

Which sadly seems like a very big if these days.

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Bike and pedestrian friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin is just the latest LA official targeted by a recall petition.

And not for the first time.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1404858096426487814

Despite Bonin’s overwhelming popularity, winning 71% of the vote in the 11th Council District in 2017, he has been repeatedly targeted by conservatives who hate his policies, but haven’t been able to beat him at the ballot box.

Whether this latest recall attempt is a genuine effort to get him out of office, or just an attempt to harass and distract him, it seems like a remarkable waste of time and money for someone who will be up for re-election in less than a year.

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No hypocrisy here.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, outgoing CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz says hardly anyone uses the bike lanes in his Westside district.

That couldn’t possibly have anything to do with Koretz repeatedly blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other major streets in his district, though.

Could it?

People might be more likely to use them if they were safer and provided more separation from the Westside’s high speed traffic, legal and otherwise.

And if they connected with other safe bike lane in an actual network that could be used to travel throughout the district, rather than a handful of disconnected bike lanes that unexpectedly end, forcing riders to fight their way through heavy traffic.

A failure of planning that can be laid directly at Koretz’s feet, who is clearly all in favor of building bike lanes.

In someone else’s district.

Correction: Call it a poor word choice on my part. The failure was not one of planning, as former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery pointed out in the comments yesterday

I’d like to take issue with your use of the word “planning” in respect to the lack of bikeways on the Westside. It is not “a failure of planning” that the Westside does not have a sufficient bikeway network. What the Westside does not have is enough political will. The planning was done, the funding was available for implementation, and the projects were all blocked by the NIMBYs and sitting elected officials.

She’s right.

I should have known better, because I remember those losing battles all too well. My apologies for unintentionally placing the blame where it doesn’t belong. 

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

A Michigan bike rider was the latest victim of a driveby paintball shooting, which is a lot less harmless than it might seem.

No bias here. An op-ed in the New York Daily News says “ebike blood” is on the hands of New York’s progressive city council for the crime of finally making it legal to ride an ebike or e-scooter in the city. Then goes on to lump both together, without noting that the injuries and deaths he cites could just as easily have happened with regular bikes or skateboards.

Speaking of which, there’s tragic news from New York, where 65-year old actress Lisa Banes died over a week after she was struck by a hit-and-run rider on an e-scooter.

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

A San Francisco man rode his bicycle into a drugstore, dumped a shelf-full of merchandise into a garbage bag, then casually rode his bike out the door.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego’s Coast News Group visits North County’s bicycle-themed Rouleur Brewing Company.

SF Gate recommends everything you need to start commuting by bike. Except for the actual, you know, bicycle.

Once again, the bike rider gets the blame, after a 69-year old Sonoma woman suffered major injuries when she allegedly rode her bicycle into the path of a motorist. Which is hard to imagine, since she was riding west and was struck by a driver headed east on the same road; as always, a lot depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to corroborate the driver’s story.

Another tempting road bike route from Sacramento Magazine.

 

National

How to stop that dreaded tubular tire shimmy. Besides riding clinchers, that is.

Don’t ask me to explain the science. But studies confirm that wider road bike tires are faster than skinnier tires. Thanks to Austin Brown, aka Power Lama, for the link.

Cycling News offers advice on where to buy ebikes, which are in unexpectedly short supply these days.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of self-described old fogies, whose ages match the mid-70° Kansas weather, has been meeting for weekly rides for the last ten years, rain, snow or shine.

Twenty-year old Dutch IndyCar racer Rinus VeeKay will miss this weekend’s race in Wisconsin after breaking his clavicle crashing his bicycle on a training ride.

A Cape Cod woman says she may not have a view of the water, but she’s just as happy living next to a bike path.

Good news for Sheldon Brown fans, as the popular bicycle repair website penned by the late bike mechanic will live on, despite the closure of the Boston bike shop where he worked.

Once again, a driver is somehow unable to avoid crashing into a group of bike riders, as one person was killed and another wounded when the driver smashed into a group of four people riding bicycles in Syracuse NY. And once again, fled the scene, leaving his or her victims bleeding in the street.

A helmetless woman died after falling off her bike on a bike path in a Bronx park. Yet another tragic reminder that slow speed falls are exactly what bike helmets are designed for.

Bikes are still booming in Gotham, where ridership on bridges over the East River are still above pre-pandemic levels.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is one of us, riding his bike to a New York comedy club where he wasn’t planning to perform. But did anyway.

A New Orleans letter writer says he’s never seen a single bike rider obey basic traffic laws in 30 years. Which likely says a lot more about his powers of observation than it does the people on bikes.

No pun here, as a Miami paper says the city is driving to become more bicycle friendly, when it’s all that driving that made and keeps it unfriendly. But it’s interesting that they included Santa Monica, along with Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as their examples of bike and pedestrian friendly cities.

A grateful Florida man gets to thank the Florida paramedics who saved his life, despite suffering 47 broken bones when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Your next bike helmet could warn you in advance about a pending dooring.

A tech website says the world’s obsession with e-cars is impeding the race to net zero, and that more active transportation is needed, instead. Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

An Edinburgh, Scotland man says buying an adult tricycle was the best move he made during the pandemic.

Presenting the first belt-drive ebike capable of going 28 mph, from Dutch bikemaker Gazelle. A speed that requires a helmet here in the late, great Golden State, and can’t be legally ridden on a bike path.

The shortage or bikes and parts driven by the pandemic bike boom isn’t likely to be helped by a two week closure of Shimano’s Malaysia plant due to a government shutdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News suggests ten riders to watch in the men’s 2021 USA Cycling Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend. Then tops that with eleven riders to watch on the women’s side.

Popular American cyclist Tejay van Garderen is calling it a career after this weekend’s nationals.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — If you’re carrying meth and weed on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Valet your bike at the College World Series.

And that feeling when there’s no sensible way to mount a bike rack on your supercar.

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

Another bike unfriendly ranking for Los Angeles, more on South LA’s RideWitUs LA shop, and a mea culpa from, uh, me

Another day, another ranking of the best — and worst — bike cities.

PeopleForBikes released their annual city ratings, adding 107 international cities in 12 countries to the 660 American cities.

Evidently, to show just how badly we’re doing on this side of the Atlantic, and how far we have to go.

Shockingly, one American city — Provincetown, Massachusetts — interrupted the expected list of cities from the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Belgium in the top ten.

As usual, though, the ratings often make little sense, like faux Dutch Solvang coming in ahead of more noteworthy bike cities like Davis CA and Boulder CO.

Santa Monica is the highest rated SoCal city with a score of 52; Los Angeles comes in at a lowly 33, tied with San Diego, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks.

And bizarrely, one point above bike-friendly Long Beach.

But be prepared to be frustrated if you check out the site. The design is confusing, the search function is hidden in the upper right corner, and the links seem to freeze at random.

Or at least they did for me, regardless of browser.

As part of their survey, PeopleForBikes also examines how to build a bike city.

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A few weeks back, we told you about South LA’s Kellie Hart, and how the RideWitUs LA bike club she formed during the pandemic lockdown morphed into a brick and mortar bike shop.

Now the LA Times picks up the story, viewing it through the rising entrepreneurship in the Black community.

Researchers found that 440,000 Black business owners nationally shuttered their businesses between February and April 2020 — a 41% plunge. Those numbers represent a tremendous loss for Black communities, but they don’t paint the full picture. New data show there’s also been a surge in new businesses despite the pandemic, with Black communities experiencing the greatest increase in business registrations.

The paper explains how the club grew organically from a single woman out for a ride to a fixed schedule serving well over one hundred riders.

The rides became more frequent, and one by one, Hart’s crew got bigger. Friends brought friends, and sometimes people out biking alone saw the group of young, mostly Black and Latino cyclists and joined them. By April 2020, the informal bike rides had a schedule and the group had evolved into a club…

Members of the RideWitUs bike club are mostly in their 30s and 40s. Most are Black or Latino and hail from South L.A. neighborhoods. They number about 150 strong and ride between 12 and 25 miles three times a week including to Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and downtown L.A. Most did not see themselves becoming cyclists when they took their first rides, but they came back for the sense of community.

Then from that, to a thriving informal bike business.

Early on, Hart used her savings to buy three bikes and sold them within 24 hours. The next day, she bought five bikes and those sold immediately too.

“I haven’t stopped since that first day and the business has been booming,” she said.

From there, Hart grew into an actual bike shop.

And a Black-owned business was born, successfully riding the wave of the pandemic bike boom — one with big plans for future expansion into other services and events.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole story.

Then taking a few more to join the ride.

And shop the shop.

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Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

A few weeks back, I included a short link back to a group criticizing a code of conduct for a London Park to help bike riders and motorists get along.

Not that cars belong in parks to begin with, but still.

In doing so, I picked up Road.cc’s characterization of a bike group’s critical characterization of the code, writing ““A London park’s code of conduct tells bike riders not to scare the people in the big, dangerous machinesNo, really.”

Okay, I added the part about the big, dangerous machines. Because they are.

But Bryan Dotson wrote from Houston to tell me I missed the mark.

I followed the link and read the Code of Conduct.  It was on the website of a cycling group that had pushed for removing motor vehicles from the park.  It was 180 degrees from your short summary.

I tried to comment but it didn’t appear to go through.

Since then, there has been a fuller discussion of this on Road.cc:

Richmond Park Cyclists’ co-founder responds to critics of controversial Code of Conduct | road.cc

As I said, my read of their Code of Conduct is that it probably pretty reasonable.  (I’m not there and don’t know local conditions, so I would give them the benefit of the doubt on some items..)  Others may disagree on points,

I’m inclined more favorably to those who light a candle in the dark…

After following Bryan’s example and clicking through to the link he provided, I had to agree that the code of conduct does seem like a relatively reasonable attempt to keep the peace on sometimes contentious streets, and comes from the right place.

I’m the first to admit that I can be pretty flip, and quick with the snark; it’s both a reflection of my own personality, and a conscious effort to keep things light when I can, when so many of the stories we have to discuss can be so dark.

But sometimes I get it wrong.

And when I do, I count on you to help keep me honest.

Thanks to Bryan Dotson for doing exactly that.

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It was just a week ago that we learned about the death of Utah Jazz legend Mark Eaton, the 7’4″ shot blocking specialist who was found lying unresponsive in the roadway next to his bicycle, and died after being taken to a local hospital.

We still don’t know what caused Eaton’s death.

But Phillip Young writes to suggest that we all brush up on CPR in case a riding companion should suffer a similar collapse, or is involved in a crash during a ride.

Doctors with the University of Arizona have made a short, six-minute video explaining Continuous Chest Compression CPR, aka Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. 

It’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to watch it, and take notes.

As Young reminds us, heart attacks can be induced by exercise, even in seemingly healthy people.

And you might be called on to save a fellow bike rider’s life on some future ride.

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Apparently, LA drivers already know how to use protected bike lanes.

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Okay, so it feels good to have a president and first lady who celebrate her 70th birthday with a bike ride.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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This is the New York edition of the dreaded Bike Life that is apparently terrorizing drivers in the Northeast.

No, really.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the video.

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Here’s something else to worry about.

When your bike breaks, you may not be able to fix it.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the forward.

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Streets For All is hosting another in their series of online virtual happy hours next week.

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

Two men intentionally crashed a motor scooter into a 63-year old bike-riding New York man for no apparent reason, as well as kicking him while he was down, in what appears to be a totally random attack.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who punched a British teenager in the face, and rode off with his bicycle.

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

Santa Maria cops busted a man for a fatal shooting, as well as trying — and failing — twice to kill another man, while he was riding a bicycle in the city.

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Local

The wife of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley wants the residents of their St. Andrews Square neighborhood — and the rest of us — to know about this past Tuesday’s arraignment of Ronald Earl Kenebrew, Jr, accused of killing Findley as he made his getaway in a carjacked van in DTLA, then simply walking away from the crash. Meanwhile, the gofundme for Findley’s daughters remains a little over a thousand dollars short of the $45,000 goal. Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

A Culver City man got his stolen ebikes back when police busted a serial burglar who was riding one of them, and had the other with him.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Seth Davidson’s Cycling in the South Bay; today he announced he’s throwing in the towel and shutting down the popular bike blog after more than ten years and one highly entertaining book. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

State

A San Jose bike rider says traffic is no worse after a recent road diet and didn’t spill over into side streets, as the local NIMBYs had predicted.

You’ve got to be kidding. Oakland is proposing ripping out one of the Bay Area’s first and most successful protected bike lanes, on iconic Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, and replacing the barriers with buffers.

Sacramento Magazine recommends what looks like a very pleasant and placid 42-mile loop ride from Maidu Park to Flower Farm.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride bikes with kids. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Cycling News offers a quick primer on the different classes of ebikes.

Um, no. Best Reviews recommends the best commuter bikes, with a very short list that is oddly heavy on Schwinns and all available on Amazon.

Portland’s citizen police review board says yes, twerking in a bike lane a protest is grounds for arrest.

After an Oregon man died of ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease, his wife is fulfilling his bucket list wish to ride a bike through all 50 states.

The bighearted owner of a Tucson burger stand donated 100% of their sales on Tuesday to support the bike-riding victims of a red light-running tow truck driver who killed one woman, and seriously injured four others.

Engineers at the University of Minnesota have developed a smart, if somewhat awkward, ebike that can calculate a car’s trajectory, and honk to warn drivers who pose a treat. Then again, I can do that myself. And add some choice words and a gesture or two to go with it.

A Harvard professor may have still won a Nobel Prize even if he wasn’t “a bicyclist of quite an extreme kind.” But it probably didn’t hurt.

A New York prosecutor says victims of a terrorist who used a rental truck as a weapon as he sped along a Hudson River bike path are agonizing over the infinite trial delays in the case.

No surprise here, as a New York report found 70% of the city’s drivers exceeded the speed limit. Although chances are, Los Angeles drivers could easily leave that figure in their rear view mirror.

The annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride is set to roll from Georgia through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as six young members of the Cherokee Nation retrace the route their ancestors took in the infamous Trail of Tears, one of the most shameful events in American history.

Attorneys for the Georgia State House Whip are working to quash an indictment the Republican legislator earned for helping a friend cover up a hit-and-run by failing to report it to the authorities, in a test of political power versus any semblance of justice.

 

International

The UK’s Cyclist profiles America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

A new bike taillight incorporates an alarm to keep your bike from being stolen, and a GPS to help find it if it is.

In an effort to boost ebike adoption, the UK is considering a plan to allow people to try out ebikes at various events and popular holiday locations.

Never ride without full body armor, as a Paris startup introduces an inflatable flack jacket that turns into a full torso airbag if it senses you come off your bike.

Portugal is expanding bicycle factories and hiring new workers as they work to meet the sudden increase in demand caused by the worldwide bike boom.

Thanks to a bad day with my diabetes on Wednesday, we missed the observance of yesterday’s World Bicycle Day, as Entrepreneur looks at four Indian bike startups that are changing the way the country commutes.

Gulf News offers a photographic look at World Bicycle Day in the Mid East.

Aussie university researchers took a look at speeding drivers. And found they usually just keep speeding, regardless of tickets, fines or crashes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Something to look forward to. An eight stage women’s Tour de France will return next year, kicking off on the last day of the men’s Tour; the women’s Giro will also return to the WorldTour calendar after being downgraded.

If you’re in the mood for a European cycling vacation next summer, the 2022 European cycling championships scheduled for Munich in August is looking for English speaking volunteers. And nothing says you can’t stick around for Octoberfest the following month. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the link.

 

Finally…

That feeling when n+1 = 1, at least when it comes to a combination road and gravel bike. Your next bike could be more vegan than you are — and yes, that’s really a thing.

And learn how to ride a bike with rapper A$AP Ferg.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Bike rider critical after South LA hit-and-run, de Leόn opposes Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and cargo bikes of old

It’s happened again.

A heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent person on a bicycle seriously injured in the street.

Police are looking for the driver of a maroon Kia Optima, who was turning right onto Flower Street from Florence Ave in South LA, when he or she right hooked the victim, who was crossing Flower in the crosswalk around 6:55 Monday evening.

The driver fled south on Flower.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500, or call 877/527-3247 after hours or on weekends.

………

Disappointing news, as CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leόn comes out against the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, choosing cars over people and livability.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Rock Association has taken the opposite stance by endorsing the plan.

Maybe de Leόn is just trying to avoid angering anyone by allowing the removal of a traffic lane before his widely expected run for mayor next year.

But he could be making the same miscalculation too many others on the council have made, mistaking the loudest and angriest voices for that of the majority — many of whom prefer safe and livable streets to sucking in exhaust fumes and playing Frogger with speeding drivers.

Former CD4 Councilmember David Ryu learned that lesson too late to save his seat.

………

Apparently, there’s nothing new about cargo bikes.

Yes, bike riders have always been cool.

………

CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez calls for public participation to re-envision deadly Foothill Blvd in Lakeview Terrace.

………

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

A Redwood City man faces charges for attacking a woman riding on a beach bike path in Half Moon Bay, pushing her down a rocky slope before throwing her bicycle on top of her, then threatening a witness who tried to help.

No bias here. After New York’s outgoing mayor says he’s open to license plates on bicycles, a local news station gleefully points out all the scofflaw bike riders they can find. Never mind the ones who don’t break the law, or all those drivers who do. Or that it just doesn’t work

Unbelievable. A road raging British man will spend the next year behind bars for getting out of a car and repeatedly punching and choking a man on a bike, who had apparently offended him by swerving to avoid a cat — but then shook the victim’s hand and apologized, using his own shirt to clean up the man’s blood, when he realized a recording of the incident would be sent to the police. And later friended the frightened man on Facebook.

………

Local

No surprise here. As Los Angeles heads back to the streets and driving rates rise to pre-pandemic levels, road rage is making a big comeback, too.

LADOT will host a virtual meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Line bike path; expect the same entitled NIMBY opposition from homeowners as we’ve seen from the beginning.

UCLA’s Transportation department calls for biking your way to better health. It makes for healthier cities, too. And universities.

West Hollywood’s carfree weekend closure of Robertson Blvd got off to a slow start on Mother’s Day weekend. Although it might help if the city got the date right.

Racism has raised its ugly head in Santa Monica, where anti-Semitic graffiti had to be painted over on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path; similar offensive messages were painted on Abbott Kinney Blvd in recent weeks, as well.

Life is cheap in Long Beach, where a speeding drunk driver who lost control of his car, killing a young woman riding with him and injuring another driver, got a lousy 50 days of community service, 18 months of DUI classes and three years probation. He also lost his license for three years, which doesn’t actually seem to stop anyone.

 

State

A planned 1,230-mile bike trail stretching from Oregon to Mexico is around 70% complete; the pathway stitches together existing bikeways to make up the longer trail.

San Diego has taken a page out of LA’s book, as the city has become even deadlier, five years after adopting Vision Zero, although deaths there have gone down the past two years.

A group of Berkeley high school students spent the past year carving an unpermitted mountain jump course into the hills above the city; now they’re fighting to keep the city from bulldozing it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A 12-year old boy and a 50-something man in Sebastopol suffered major injuries when an alleged speeding drunk driver slammed into their bikes, before smashing into a tree and suffering major injuries himself.

 

National

Far from killing business as opponents predicted, Yelp data from five cities, ranging from Boston to Burbank, shows that interest in restaurants along newly carfree streets went up.

Lifestyle website Inside Hook says between gas shortages, fuel prices, climate change and the resurgent pandemic, there’s never been a better time to ditch your car for a bike. Permanently.

Pez Cycling News offers tips for beginning bicyclists to help new riders get out on the road, while Cycling News considers the things you should think about before riding an ebike for the first time, but probably haven’t.

Seriously, you shouldn’t have to remind anyone that cemeteries are sacred ground, and not the place to train on your bike. In Portland, or anywhere else.

Kansas City adopted a Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles has. Then again, it would be hard to do less. 

 

International

A new study of bicycling rates in 17 countries confirms what we already knew — women are the strongest indicator of a healthy bicycling environment. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

Cycling Weekly pays tribute to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper album with a cover collage of 130 people who changed bicycling. Hopefully for the better, because we’ve had more than enough of the other kind.

Trek does the right thing, and offers a free bicycle to a British Columbia nurse after hers was stolen while she was busy giving Covid-19 shots. Seriously, it takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone working to save lives.

No bias here, either. After an Ontario, Canada man was hit by a cop while riding his bike, the local paper bends over backward to shift blame from the cop to an apparently sentient patrol car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old English paperboy’s bicycle while he was making his rounds.

A British man is calling for a change in the law to require that collisions involving bike riders are treated like crashes involving drivers, five years after his wife was killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle. Actually, they already are; in either case, the person on the bicycle almost always gets the blame.

In a European study conducted by Ford, people wearing headphones were four seconds slower to identify road hazards than those without them, whether traveling on two wheels or four.

A Kiwi bike rider narrowly escaped disaster when a shortcut across a New Zealand airport runway nearly led to him being cut in half by a glider tow cable.

Amazing bike cam video, as a trio of Aussie bicyclists were lucky to escape injury when a bolt of lightening struck the roadway just behind their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Giro got its third leader in four days, as Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won his first Grand Tour stage in Thursday’s 6th stage.

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin is back from his six-month non-retirement to reconsider his future, apparently deciding it will include next month’s Tour de Suisse.

VeloNews profiles Mavi Garcia, the double-Spanish national champ and top 10 finisher, who often flies under the radar on the women’s pro tour.

More evidence that motor vehicles don’t belong in bike races, whether race motor or team support cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike hub used to be a brothel. Politicians can’t catch a break when they bike.

And nothing like hopping around on your pogo bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

………

Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

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Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

………

Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

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This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

………

Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

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

Even if their owners assume they own all the road.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

Hard-hitting look at race in cycling, South LA teen killed in drive-by while riding bike, and a deep dive into SoCal bike deaths

Let’s start with a very hard-hitting essay from self-described Afro-Latino pro cyclist Ama Nsek, newly signed to the Los Angeles-based L39ION of LA cycling team.

It starts out rough, and doesn’t get any easier.

Note: I’m not censoring his language, even though it includes a word I would never use. 

I’ve had several people – even a “teammate” – call me nigger. I’ve had racists shout it from their cars as they pass me on my bike. I sat there as a white man criticized my Mom, who looks white, but is Hispanic, for being with a monkey, my father – a Black man. I had a woman tell me at the Redlands Classic she would never even think about dating a black man because “they’re too much trouble.” A girl I was dating told me she had racist grandparents. This came up only as they were potentially going to be joining us on a trip, a problem I’m sure many Black folks have run into.

After quoting LA’s former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati saying he feels like a raisin in a bowl of milk in the overwhelmingly white world of pro cycling, he finishes this way.

If you’ve gotten to the end of the article and you haven’t clicked any of the links, shared this message, or taken it upon yourself to educate yourself more, then the problem is lack of self-education in society and dismissal of stories like this. It’s the continued silence and lack of discussion from common people that supports racism and still propagates the idea that silence is safe.

Well, safe for whom? Clearly, not for people like me. If this struck a chord, please share this and begin the talks. It starts at the table with friends and family.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it.

And if it makes you uncomfortable, that’s the point.

………

Tragedy strikes again in South LA, where a 15-year old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting, for no apparent reason.

Carl Jackson, Jr. was an honor student, with no gang affiliations, who was just riding his bike back home.

The shooting helped push Los Angeles over 300 murders this year, a tragic figure the city hasn’t seen since 2009.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding account to pay for Carl Jackson Jr’s funeral expenses has raised over $3,500 of the $8,000 goal.

More proof that cars aren’t the only reason the streets aren’t safe for everyone.

And equity remains a pipe dream for many people of color.

Excuse my language, but there’s no fucking justification for this crap. Ever.

Period.

………

The Southern California News Group’s Steve Scauzillo takes a deep dive into SoCal bicycling deaths during the pandemic, and why lighter traffic has made the roads even more dangerous.

And yes, he has the excellent taste to quote c’est moi, as well as several leading SoCal advocates.

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Good question.

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This pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

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A pair of researchers at San Jose State University are want your help with a survey to gauge attitudes towards mandatory bike helmet laws, and how they affect rider behavior.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Santa Monica has replaced the painted bike lanes on Ocean Ave with new parking protected bike lanes.

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This classic comic pretty much nails it.

………

Yes, there was a time not the long ago when kids in Los Angeles actually rode bikes.

Even if it feels like ancient history now.

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This is what governments do when they’re actually concerned about safety.

………

Yes, please. We should have this on every residential street.

Or maybe just every street.

………

The latest video from GCN explains the difference between ‘cross and gravel bikes.

………

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

Oxford, England bike riders recount their complaints about motorists, including one rider who was knocked off their bike by a driver who then demanded money for the damage to his car.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Spanish woman faces a maximum of just four years behind bars — and could walk free — despite killing three bike riders and maiming two others while driving high on coke and at four times the legal alcohol limit in a 2017 crash.

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

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding gunman who robbed and groped a woman outside her Bronx apartment.

It takes a real schmuck to mug a woman while she’s holding a baby, like this English bike rider and his walking partner.

Mountain bikers are blamed for causing irreparable damage to an ancient woodland in the UK. Seriously, don’t do that.

………

Local

LA’s Slow Streets program is criticized for serving mostly wealthy communities on the Westside, where residents have the luxury of working from home.

Long Beach is moving forward with a Complete Streets remake of dangerous, car-choked Artesia Blvd, including bike paths, better sidewalks and improved traffic signals.

Usually when a bike rider is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, it’s the person on the bicycle who bears the brunt of the crash; this time, it was a Danville motorcyclist who was tragically killed when a bike rider somehow fell into the traffic lane and the victim crashed into the bicycle lying in the roadway.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. Police in Anaheim are looking for the driver who used his car as a weapon by intentionally backing into a pair of people outside the Anaheim Lodge hotel, seriously injuring them as well as a clerk working on the other side of the wall.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition warns that road work has reduced lanes on already dangerous Santiago Canyon Road, greatly increasing the risk on the popular riding route — as fallen bicyclist Hanna Tran apparently learned the hard way last week. Thanks to Bill Sellin and Victor Bale for the heads-up.

An Encinitas man has published a new book recounting his 5,000-mile cross-country bike ride back in the ’70s, when it was a much rarer achievement.

Santa Barbara officials aren’t happy to learn their newly approved e-bikeshare system will come with three nine-foot tall solar-powered enrollment kiosks that nobody bothered to mention before.

A judge rules a Goleta driver will stand trial for the alleged drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of a married couple as they were walking on an offroad bike path.

A San Francisco writer tries taking an ebike up the city’s steepest hill, and fails. Twice.

 

National

No, wearing a mask does not impair oxygen intake during workouts such as riding a bike.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss concludes that 20 miles is the ideal length for a bike ride. That used to be when I felt like I was just warming up; these days, I’d be happy just to get that far.

A new study concludes gravel riding makes you feel more tired and hungry because it takes more effort to ride rough surfaces. Which explains why LA bike riders feel worn out and starving after riding the city’s broken streets; as usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

A Maui motorcyclist discovers what it’s like when the hit-and-run driver who wrecked his Harley turns out to be the chief of police.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from a Minneapolis nonprofit containing 30 bicycles they used to teach children how to ride a bike.

Bighearted coworkers bought a new bike for an Indianapolis man after the bicycle he rode to work to support his three kids was stolen; kindhearted security guards at the courthouse where he works replaced it the first time.

Boston offers a network of new protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Streetsblog calls on New York to begin building bike boulevards. We were promised those in Los Angeles in the 2010 bike plan. Promises made, promises broken.

‘Tis the season. Florida volunteers pitch in to build bikes to ensure every kid in need can have one.

 

International

For people on a budget, Road.cc lists the best bikes for less than the equivalent of $665 — and starting for just half that.

A Road.cc reader recounts his journey from a self-professed petrolhead to a committed bicyclist.

A writer for Toronto’s Globe and Mail considers how the pandemic is propelling an urban biking and walking revolution, including the shift to a 15-minute city.

Speaking of Toronto, a family of five ditches their SUV and goes carfree, taking to their bikes even in the cold Canadian winter. And wishes they’d known about cargo bikes years ago.

We’re not quite ready to leave Canada’s largest city, where bike riders are demanding that flimsy new Toronto bike racks be removed because they’re too easy to unscrew from the sidewalk, rendering them useless.

Bike thieves will take anything. Even a broken-down bike that was part of Banksy’s latest artwork.

A London woman makes the unusual transition from stage manager to bicycle mechanic to survive the pandemic.

They get it. A leading Scottish newspaper calls bicycling “a life-saving form of transport we must invest in.”

A British study shows that most people support bike lanes, but the public usually overestimates opposition to them. Just LA’s mayor and councilmembers.

The UK’s Sun newspaper recommends gear you need if you want to use your bike to avoid public transit. None of which you actually need.

Former Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is one of us, as he rides the streets of Dublin on his way to work on the second season of Amazon Prime’s Modern Love.

Who needs an ebike? An Irish company has developed a ped-assist wheel that’s powered mechanically by your own weight. Evidently, the Design Boom website doesn’t think sentences need capital letters, either.

Bikeshare is booming in Zagreb, Croatia, as the system more than triples in size.

A Philippine broadcaster celebrated her 50th birthday by donating 50 bicycles to a program to help people who need a bike to get to work to keep their jobs during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling introduces the new Olympic Development Academy to help young cyclists develop Gold Medal skills. Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip, who calls it a sea change in their approach to Junior/U23 racer development.

Now you can own the bike Italian great Marco Pantani rode to victory on Mont Ventoux in 2000, beating the previously referenced ex-winner of that year’s Tour de France in the process.

The local newspaper remembers famed cycling coach and longtime Ramona resident Edward “Eddie B” Borysewicz, the man behind the top American cyclists in recent decades. Including one who won the most Tour de France titles ever, until he didn’t.

 

Finally…

This year, Santa rides a bike. You may never be a pro cyclist, but you can pretend with…Monopoly.

And that feeling when a wild boar eats your lunch.

No, literally.

 

………

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

Man killed riding bike in South LA hit-and-run Wednesday night; 7th fatal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Once again, a heartless hit-and-run coward left an innocent person to die on the street.

And once again, there’s a $50,000 reward to bring the killer to justice.

According to KTLA-5, the victim was run down around 9:15 pm Wednesday as he was riding Main Street, just north of 120th Street, in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South LA.

He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was described only as male, which could be an indication that police weren’t able to immediately identify him.

The driver continued north on Main without stopping; the suspect vehicle is described only as a dark-colored sedan.

There’s no other information available at this time. No word on how the crash happened, or whether the victim had lights on after dark.

Or if the driver did, for that matter.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Flannery or Officer Mitchell at 323/421-2500.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles, despite mention of just half that amount in the KTLA report.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

At least seven of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.

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

Sheriff’s deputies kill Black bike rider in South LA, driver rams LA bike protest, and Metro nixes Eagle Rock bike lanes

Biking While Black has long been treated like a crime.

But it’s not supposed to carry the death penalty.

Yet that’s what appears to be what happened Monday afternoon when a pair of LA County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a Black man riding a bicycle on Budlong Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA.

They attempted to stop him for some unspecified traffic code violation, which could have been anything from riding the wrong way to riding a cruiser bike with raised handlebars.

Or it could have just been a pretext to stop and search, despite a lack of probable cause.

Twenty-nine-year old Dijon Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and allegedly punched one of the deputies when they caught up to him a block later.

He dropped a bundle of clothing he was carrying; the deputies opened fire when they reportedly spotted a semi-automatic handgun in the bundle — making Kizzee just the latest in a long line of Black and brown men and women killed by police under questionable circumstances.

But LA Congresswoman Karen Bass asks the same questions I have. Especially why did the deputes shoot after Kizzee dropped his weapon?

A day later, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clarify, saying Kizzee had made a motion towards the weapon.

Which, again, can mean absolutely anything, from lunging towards it to merely pointing in that direction.

But what’s painfully clear is that he was not holding it or threatening them with it when both deputies shot him multiple times.

And continued firing after he was on the ground.

One witness insists he never had a gun, and what the deputies saw was his cellphone; however, authorities say a gun was recovered from the scene.

Another indicated that Kizzee had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting.

Sadly, I have no confidence in the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation of the shooting. Especially under the leadership of a sheriff who seems more interested in getting fired deputies back on the force than in protecting the people of LA County.

And one who continually denies the existence of tattooed gangs within the department, including a clique called The Executioners operating out of South LA.

The mere name of which raises questions anytime they fire a gun.

We need to wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about what actually happened, because initial reports are often wrong.

And we may never know what really happened, since the LASD doesn’t require body cameras on its deputies, although thankfully, that may soon change.

Yes, there’s an argument to be made Kizzee shouldn’t have run, and shouldn’t have fought with the deputies. Let alone carried a concealed weapon.

Although some of that could have been caused, or exacerbated, by Kizzee’s ADHD.

But nothing he did appears to have called for a summary execution without trial on the streets of LA County.

One thing is clear, though. 

It’s long past time to stop needlessly killing Black and brown people.

And no one should ever be executed merely for riding a bike with the wrong skin tone.

………

Somehow, this didn’t make the news here in Los Angeles.

A driver rammed through a crowd of bike riders, apparently part of a rolling Black Lives Matter protest, at Melrose and La Brea on Sunday afternoon.

And may have deliberately tried to run down a 14-year old boy.

………

Metro proposes taking a big step backward by removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and replacing them with bus lanes that bike riders can use.

As long as they don’t mind having a speeding bus run up their ass.

………

The candidates for LA City Council in CD4 will hold a virtual debate tonight.

https://twitter.com/bikethevote/status/1300636096330563584

………

In what’s definitely the best story of the day, after discovering a boy riding his bike in his driveway, a man responded by taking some chalk and drawing a racetrack for the kid.

………

Today’s common theme is an incredible string of violent assaults involving a question of bicycles, and who owns them.

A 19-year old New Mexico man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting another man in a dispute over the victim’s bicycle.

A Wisconsin man was arrested for using a knife to fight with another man, armed only with a belt, in the middle of a street over who owned a bicycle.

Police in New Jersey arrested two men for attempting to steal a bicycle, and swinging a bottle at the victim’s head.

An English man was knocked off his bike and punched in the face by a group of teenage boys, who then made off with his bicycle.

A 17-year old Irish boy faces a murder charge for allegedly stabbing an 18-year old man five times in a dispute over a possible stolen bicycle.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper blames a jump in rural bicycling injuries and deaths on weekend warriors chasing KOMs, without a single mention of the people in the big, dangerous machines.

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

A pair of Fresno men were injured when they were shot by someone on a bicycle, several minutes after first coming in contact with him.

An Arcata CA bike rider is under arrest for throwing several large rocks in a road rage incident, shattering a store window at a local shopping center.

Someone on a bicycle attacked a New York City judge, punching her in the jaw as she was walking to the courthouse Monday morning; it’s not clear whether she was the victim of a random attack, or if someone deliberately targeted her. Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

A New Jersey bike rider faces a sex charge for allegedly fondling a woman after circling back to assault her.

Apparently, it’s possible to have a drive-by shooting without a car, after a bike rider fired several shots at an Alabama home.

………

Local

Apparently, LA bicycle advocates have gone “way beyond the pale of being pro-mobility” and are somehow tied to crooked developers. In that case, I want to know who’s getting my take, cause I’m sure as hell not getting it.

The Harvard Park intersection of Slauson and Western Aves ranks as the most dangerous in Los Angeles, in terms of the number of collisions.

LADOT wants your input on creating safe, stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

Metro is celebrating a long-delayed Bike Month in September.  Uh, yay?

Pasadena police wrote 82 tickets during a seven-hour crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; 67 tickets went to drivers, while 11 pedestrians were ticketed, along with just four bike riders.

Pasadena is extending their free Project Wheelie low-income bike repair program.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are holding their own bike and pedestrian safety crackdown today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

 

State

The California legislature passed SB 288, which streamlines CEQA approval for environmentally friendly transportation projects such as bike lanes, light rail and bus lanes; now it goes to the governors desk for approval.

The rich get richer. Oakland has extended the parking protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue.

Newly rebranded Jump dockless ebikes will return to the streets of Sacramento, after Lime bought the brand from Uber.

 

National

Yahoo names America’s most bike friendly cities, led by Portland and Minneapolis; California is represented by San Francisco and Oakland, ranking fifth and twelfth, respectively, as well as a surprising Irvine at 24th. Needless to say, Los Angeles is nowhere to be seen.

SGV Media talks with new PeopleforBikes CEO Jenn Dice.

An Oregon man will spend this month riding down the Left Coast from Canada to Mexico to call attention to suicide awareness.

Unbelievable. After a Reno bike rider gets left crossed by a driver, a local  TV station blames the victim for hitting the car.

A Wisconsin family drove across the US to deliver 50 refurbished bicycles to a Lutheran mission in Texas, to donate to underprivileged children in El Paso and across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

New York responds to a jump in traffic deaths by lowering the speed limit on nine major streets. Which compares to Los Angeles, where speed limits only seem to go in one direction. And it ain’t down.

New York won’t be upgrading the bike network in the Bronx, despite four bicycling deaths in just three months; instead, the city will respond with heavier police enforcement, even though that didn’t help when they tried it earlier this summer.

New York Magazine offers advice on everything you need to start mountain biking, from the bike up.

A Christian radio host claims a bike rider harassed him as he was leaving the White House last week, while denying he tried to punch the other man, despite video appearing to show exactly that.

A North Carolina company is literally reinventing the wheel, creating a new bike wheel with carbon spokes half the weight of metal spokes.

A kindhearted Georgia cop bought a new bike for a Walmart employee, after a bike theif forced him to walk to work.

Kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies got a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on crosstown bike commutes.

Another reminder to slow down and ride carefully on bike paths — and always carry ID — after an unidentified Windsor, Ontario man suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with another bike rider.

Scotland will invest $100 million a year for the next five years to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, along with reallocating more road space from cars to bikes.

A new study shows that closing central Madrid boosted retail spending nearly 10%. Thanks to W. Corylus for the link.

Sad news from Australia, where 26-year old BMX legend Charlie Gumley apparently drowned while on a kayaking trip.

 

Competitive Cycling

In today’s spoiler-free Tour de France update, that guy with the unpronounceable name won the race’s first mountaintop finish

Sunweb cyclist Tiesj Benoot escaped without any major injuries after crashing over a guard rail in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour. But his bike wasn’t so lucky.

Bicycling looks ahead to today’s stage five.

The BBC talks with South LA’s Williams brothers about their efforts to diversify cycling and create bike racing superstars.

This is what is looks like when photographers don’t get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

This is what you get when bikemakers consider getting into the e-car business. Seriously, don’t touch the horses when you zoom by on your ebike.

And that feeling when you’ve got a big truck tire to move, and your cargo bike must be in the shop.

……

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

Man killed riding bike in South LA hit-and-run last month; no alert or information from police for nearly 4 weeks

Note: Because of the time spent writing this piece, there will be no Morning Links today; we’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

A hit-and-run alert system doesn’t do a damn bit of good if the police won’t use it.

That was the case last month, when a man was killed while riding his bike in a South LA hit-and-run.

Yet no information about the crash was released until a press conference was finally held yesterday morning.

The LAPD reports 57-year old Melvin “Peanut” Frye was killed when he was struck by a driver around 9:05 pm on June 27th, nearly one month ago.

Frye was run down by an unknown motorist as he was crossing Main Street at 103rd Street in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood; he was riding west across Main while the driver was headed south.

He died at he scene.

The driver kept going, without stopping or identifying themself as required by law. Authorities are looking for a black or dark-colored Dodge Durango; no description was given for the driver.

No announcement appears to have been made at the time.

Then again, Frye’s family wasn’t even notified until more than a week later, after frantically calling hospitals and checking jail bookings before they were finally contacted by the coroner’s office.

The press conference was held to request the public’s help in solving the crime. The city offers a standing $50,000 award for information leading to an arrest and conviction for any fatal hit-and-run, regardless of whether the reward has been announced by the police.

According to KTLA-5, the victim’s sister is urging witnesses to come forward.

Mishy Frye said people have called her to relay information about the type of car involved, “and then nobody can give the detectives no information.”

“I’m just shocked, because you guys know him,” she said. “Everybody know him in this area. Everyone. It’s not right…”

“I want justice for him, not through you calling me, but call the detectives,” she said. “Holding onto a secret makes you no better than the person that hit him.”

In addition to LA’s citywide hit-and-run alert system, California has approved a statewide Yellow Alert system to notify the public in the event of a hit-and-run. Both are intended to alert the public as quickly as possible to watch for the suspect vehicle in the event of a hit-and-run, and encourage witnesses to come forward while the event is still fresh in their minds.

Not a month later.

Had the police released information about the crash at the time, along with announcing the standing reward, someone might have come forward by now.

And maybe Frye’s family could have been spared the pain of not knowing what had happened to him for ten long days after the crash. Let alone knowing that the heartless coward who killed him is still out there.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Detective Keith Gonzales at 323/421-2500, or 323/421-2577 after normal business hours.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Half of those deaths in LA County have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Melvin “Peanut” Frye and all his loved ones.

 

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