Tag Archive for South LA

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Or maybe just every street.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

 

Bike rider busted in anti-BLM assault, killer hit-and-run bike rider busted in San Jose, and bike ride for justice in Leimert Park

They got him.

Police arrested the spandex-clad bike rider who assaulted a group of teens on a Maryland bike path.

The victims were putting up posters calling for the prosecution of killer cops when the man ripped them out of their hands, then rammed his bike into the young man filming it.

Anthony Brennan III faces three counts of second-degree assault after police searched his home and found what appeared to be the clothes he was allegedly wearing during the attack.

He was turned in by people in his own neighborhood, despite hiding his helmet under his porch and stashing his bike several blocks away in an attempt to hide his involvement.

Needless to say, he apologized profusely for his “abhorrent” behavior, saying he was “sick with remorse for the pain and fear” he caused.

But only after he was caught, of course.

And to top off his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Brennan was fired from his job with a Pleasanton CA creative marketing job following his arrest.

Unfortunately, however, online efforts to identify the suspect led to at least three people being falsely accused, with threats against people who had nothing to do with the incident.

Something we saw here following the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check, when online sleuths quickly posted the home address and phone number for Dr. Christopher Thompson, who was ultimately convicted for the assault.

Except it was the wrong Dr. Christopher Thompson, leading to threats against an innocent man.

Which should be a reminder to all of us to avoid pointing the finger without proof. And without being absolutely certain it’s the right person.

And don’t threaten anyone, even if you have the right person.

Just don’t.

Today’s photo from comes from David Drexler, who says that’s what the upscale Rapha bike store looks like following last week’s looting, noting the restaurant next door was firebombed.

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Police have arrested a hit-and-run bike rider who fled the scene after a head-on collision with two other riders on a San Jose bike path, which killed one of the two victims.

It’s the second fatal crash San Jose bike path crash in as many weeks.

It’s also yet another reminder that people on bicycles have the same obligation to stop after a crash as someone in a car.

And just like with a driver, what might not have been a crime becomes one the moment you leave without exchanging information.

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The fight for racial justice took to two wheels on Sunday, as hundreds of people turned out on bicycles for a ride through Leimert Park.

https://twitter.com/bRuc14/status/1269457396344033291

The LA Times offers a video report from the scene.

Then again, that wasn’t the only ride calling for justice in South LA on Sunday, with the Compton Cowboys taking their steeds to the streets.

And no, that’s not a bike club. Or a metaphor.

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The good news, there are no cars parked in this DTLA protected bike lane.

The bad news…

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

A Seattle mother was shocked to be arrested for driving off after just “tapping” a group of bike cops with her car at a protest, injuring one officer; it probably didn’t help that she posted video of herself screaming “fuck the police” before the incident.

Then there’s the guy who smashed into a barricade on a Seattle street, and came out of his car swinging a gun around. Update: He did more than brandish his gun; he apparently shot a 27-year old man.

A New York driver forced his way through a group of bike-riding pedestrians, injuring one person.

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New York police arrested a criminal intent on committing mayhem at a Bronx protest.

Or maybe just a bike mechanic.

https://twitter.com/ShaneDPhillips/status/1269078212249653248

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Learn how to elevate black voices this Wednesday.

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

A Florida man faces charges for hurling racial slurs at a black bike rider, then threatening him with a socket wrench and a hockey stick.

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

An Eastvale bike rider faces an attempted murder charge after pulling out a gun out of a purse and shooting at a fleeing motorist, following an argument between them; no explanation of why he was riding with a purse.

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Local

Crosstown takes a look at the dramatic drop in LA traffic that made our streets a veritable paradise for bike riders and pedestrians, and the gradual uptick that’s making our streets more dangerous. You’ll also find your humble host quoted there, but you’ll have to read it to see what I said.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is sort of one of us, buying a Peloton to learn how to ride a bike without fear of falling off after a bad experience as a kid; she also has an adult tricycle, or maybe a bicycle with training wheels. Or both.

 

State

Roughly 1,000 people turned out for San Francisco’s Critical Mass ride Friday evening to honor George Floyd and call for police reform.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 54-year old bike riders was murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

The news was just as bad from Sonoma, as a man was killed when his racing bike was knocked off the road by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

Fuji Bicycles has responded to the protests by suspending sales of police bikes in the US, after police brandished bicycles as shields, weapons and crowd control devices. Meanwhile, Trek is taking heat for failing to take similar action.

Gear Patrol offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle online.

Maybe you should cut back on the long-distance riding if you’re trying to get pregnant; a new study shows high levels of exercise can result in miscarriages in early pregnancy.

A new study shows aerobic exercise — like bicycling — is your best bet for avoiding dementia.

Bike shops have had to adapt on the fly to a new way of doing business during the pandemic, even as demand for bikes has gone through the roof.

Kindhearted police and firefighters in Kansas City, Kansas surprised a nine-year old boy with a new bicycle after his was destroyed when an out of control driver plowed into his bedroom. Probably didn’t do his bedroom much good, either.

Over 700 Michigan bike riders turned out to support victims of police brutality.

A Massachusetts website recommends bikes and accessories for all kinds of riders. But hardly the “best,” despite the headline.

A Niagara Falls man lost his bike when he tried to stop a man from pissing on the sidewalk, and the other man pulled a knife on him and stole his bicycle.

The NYPD has been even more out of control than usual this past week, including arresting a bicycle delivery rider for violating the city’s curfew, even though delivery riders are considered essential workers and he was making deliveries at the time.

Yes, Spike Lee really is one of us, joining in on an NYC protest on his bike.

A New Jersey letter writer say put your damn mask on, already.

A bike rider was killed in Pennsylvania when a speeding, unlicensed driver blew through two stop signs and slammed into him.

A Charleston SC bike shop owner struggled to save a stash of vintage 1970s bicycles from looters and arson, even as they emptied out his retail storefront.

 

International

Former UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva is one of us, crediting his bike helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; it was his second serious bike crash in four years.

No bias here. A Toronto car columnist says leaders should stop paying attention to what he alleges is the small bike lobby, and pay more attention to the “huge” car crowd. Which is the best way to ensure that traffic congestion, smog and climate change will keep getting worse.

Our neighbors to the north get it. Canada is installing bike lanes across the country on an urgent basis to accommodate commuters afraid to take public transit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A British fashion site recommends the best bikes, whether you’re commuting, running errands or exercising. And want to look good doing it.

Tragic news from the UK, where two men are likely to face a murder charge for beating another man to death on a public street, after an argument over a bicycle.

Bikes are really booming in Great Britain, where bicycle use shot up 300% during the coronavirus lockdown. Which may be why most Londoners support making the city’s temporary bike lanes permanent.

Lisbon, Portugal has unveiled a three million euro plan — the equivalent of $3.39 million — to increase bicycling, including nearly doubling the amount of bike paths over the next year, and offering incentives up to $564 to buy a bicycle.

Bicyclists are heroes in Kyrgyzstan, delivering desperately needed insulin to to diabetic patients in the country’s capital.

They get it. A New Delhi TV station says getting more people on bicycles can prevent a post-coronavirus lockdown traffic congestion crisis.

A single bicycle has helped four generations of a single Indian family get around for the past 70 years.

A Philippine city will now require bikes to be registered before they can be ridden, and will strongly recommend liability insurance.

Avanti has recalled their Corso and Giro models in Australia due to defective seat clamp bolts; no word on whether that recall extends to models sold in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

If all those protests have inspired you to support greater diversity in cycling, you can start with a fundraiser for LA’s elite Legion of Los Angeles cycling team, which was founded by US track, road and crit champ Justin Williams to bring more people of color into the sport; the crowdfunding campaign has already topped the $50,000 goal, raising more than $52,000 in just two days.

Speaking of Williams, he has some suggestions on how to rethink cycling kits to make it easier for fans to follow their favorite teams and riders.

 

Finally…

Don’t throw your bike at horses, police or otherwise. Then again, don’t throw your bike, period.

And here’s your chance to own Peter Sagan’s papal bike.

Or better yet, just buy it for me.

………

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

Small low-income bike shops on the brink, rain breaks Arroyo Seco path again, and no LA streets closed for social distancing

It ain’t necessarily so.

At least not here in Los Angeles. Or parts of it, anyway.

Despite all the talk about a coronavirus bike boom keeping bike shops across the country busy, Peter Flax writes in Bicycling that smaller shops in some of LA’s less prosperous neighborhoods are really hurting.

And yes, that means the predominantly black, Hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods mostly south of the 10 Freeway, along with other area in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.

It is the first Friday of April, 15 days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other large cities in California—as well as in many other states—bike shops have been classified as essential businesses, a move that has been celebrated by some and derided by others. Some critics have argued that bike shops primarily cater to privileged fitness-oriented hobbyists and that putting shop staff in harm’s way (and risking community spread of disease) to serve recreational riders is unwise. But that assumption renders invisible the thousands of neighborhood shops in cities across the country that serve customers who mostly rely on bicycles to facilitate their livelihoods, customers from some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the U.S.

In LA, for example, Paisano’s and other shops in neighborhoods like Compton and South Los Angeles provide a vital service to people who depend on bicycles to get to and from work. These small businesses are perhaps 15 miles and universe away from LA’s affluent coastal suburbs where bike shops are typically stocked with $300 bib shorts and $10,000 road bikes.

Shops that many of us are familiar with, or at least heard of.

Like the aforementioned Paisano’s, subject of a Steve Lopez column in the LA Times.

And Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, home of the legendary Manny Silva, known as the godfather of lowrider bikes.

Along with others you may not know, like Linares Bike Shop, and Filipe’s #2 in Pico Union.

Shops where new bicycles sell for as little as $200, purchased on layaway. And where essential takes on a whole new meaning for people who have no other way to get to work.

Census data indicates that one in eight households in the city of Los Angeles don’t have a car. That figure is considerably higher in a low-income community like South LA.

Consider the neighborhood known as South Park—where Paisano’s is located, as well as another popular shop called Linares. Here the community is 79 percent Latino, 19 percent black, and zero percent white. According to data compiled by the real estate brand Trulia, households in this zip code have only 0.37 vehicles per capita, roughly half the median in LA. And according to an analysis published by the Los Angeles Times, the median household income in South Park is $29,518.

Many customers rely on their neighborhood shops because they don’t have the luxury of doing repair work themselves. “If you have a bad cut, you go to a doctor,” says Tejeda, who notes that most of his customers lack even the most basic tools like pumps and levers. “People bring their bikes here. It’s a trade for a reason.”

According to Flax, though, the owners are scared.

Scared of a virus that could come in undetected, carried in by a careless customer or some other visitor. And perhaps even more scared of losing their employees and businesses to a prolonged economic slump.

When asked how things are really going, Linares looks at his feet for a minute and bites his lower lip. “I’ve started closing the shop earlier now. I’m worried a lot about the business,” he says, pointing to the register. “What we make today is what me and the employees have for the day.”

And this.

When asked how business is going, Ambrosia gets animated as he responds in Spanish. “He says business has gone down a lot because people have no money, no jobs,” Mendoza says, translating before he adds his own commentary. “He is scared to work in the shop now, but he has no choice. He needs money for his house.”

Bike shops like these are the backbone of these neighborhoods and our communities, and need to be saved.

But the question is how.

The people in the local communities can’t do it. Too many are on the bottom rungs of society as it is, and the ones most hurt by the shutdown of so many businesses.

A crowdfunding campaign might make sense. But it would be hard to bring in enough donations to make a difference, and harder still to distribute it equitably to the many shops that so desperately need help right now.

If these businesses were more sophisticated, we could just visit their webpages and buy something, anything. Maybe pay off those layaways, or buy one of those sub-$200 bikes and give it to someone who needs one.

But few even have a website, and fewer still are set up for e-commerce.

As in, none.

So the best solution may be to take your bike in for service if you can, and maybe pick up something while you’re there.

Will that be enough to save these shops, and the countless other small local bike shops that are struggling to survive in these desperate days?

Probably not.

Maybe someone smarter than me has the answer.

Because you might never visit one of these shops. But we’re all going to miss them when they’re gone.

Whether we know it or not.

………

So much for that.

Only two short months after the Arroyo Seco bike path was finally reopened, 13 months after it was damaged by heavy rains, it’s happened again.

Let’s hope they can get it fixed a little faster this time.

………

The Guardian says cities from Berlin to Bogotá are opening new sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes to provide safer commutes for essential workers, and allow people to exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Case in point, Oakland closed a whopping 74-miles of streets to motor vehicles; things apparently started slowly, but picked up speed as the weekend went on.

And Massachusetts is closing parts of three parkways to expand access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is closing paths, parks and trails, and just telling bike riders and pedestrians to stay home, while allowing motor vehicles to maintain their near-exclusive hegemony over the newly nearly empty streets.

Streets for All and the LACBC are working to get street closures here. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

America’s mostly empty highways meant a team competing in this year’s edition of the very illegal Cannonball run set a new record, making the trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than 27 hours.

At speeds averaging over 100 mph — and topping out at nearly twice that.

Which means that any collision would have been instantly fatal, both to themselves and anyone they had the misfortune of slamming into.

Never mind that the likelihood of a crash increases exponentially with each tick of the speedometer.

Needless to say, the states they pass through don’t look very kindly on the scofflaw race.

………

Today’s theme is babies and bikes.

An Indian man tried to carry his pregnant wife six miles to the hospital on his bicycle after she went into labor; unfortunately, the baby wanted out after three.

Meanwhile, an Indian doctor delivered a baby in more ways than one, rushing the newborn by bike to a nearby hospital after it developed breathing problems following a C-section.

………

Social distancing may mean staying at least six feet away from other people. But no one says you can’t go vertical, rather than horizontal.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live offered a trio of sequestered MasterClasses, including a parody of Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin teaching bicycling.

And denying she killed her husband.

………

Local

The LACBC is maintaining a list of LA-area bike shops that are remaining open during the Covid-19 shutdown. And they’ve started a Bike Match program to connect people with extra or unused bicycles with essential workers who need safe, reliable transportation.

If you’re a lucky winner, you could get your next weed order delivered on a bicycle by Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for playing Deebo in the Friday movies.

No, you don’t need a mask to ride your bike in Los Angeles. And neither does your dog.

Five Feet Apart star Cole Sprouse is one of us, riding his bike through the Hollywood Hills, sans mask and skid lid.

Santa Clarita urges everyone to maintain social distancing on the city’s trails, whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.

 

State

You can keep your vintage bike on ice over the summer, because the Eroica California has been postponed until September.

A 20-year old Delhi man faces felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly killing Patterson resident Frankie Sanchez as he was riding his bike in Stanislaus County.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike when cars aren’t the only danger you face. And takes a look at how your car’s bike rack affects your gas mileage.

Bicycle Retailer questions whether the current mini bike boom will last; Specialized’s founder says yes.

A Wisconsin public radio station offers tips on how to get your bike ready to ride and what to take with you.

Chicago’s mayor says she’s not reopening the city’s lakefront bike path, even if is used by essential workers to get to their jobs.

A 13-year old Boston boy got his stolen bike back after police busted another boy with a long rap sheet riding it.

A pair of North Carolina siblings are pedaling homemade bagels to raise funds for local charities; they deliver the bagels by bike after baking them fresh every morning.

A North Carolina man made it as far as Texas on his planned cross-country ride, blissfully unaware of the coronavirus that would eventually force him to fly back home once he found out.

Former Deadliest Catch star Jerod Sechrist is one of us, attempting to make his getaway by bicycling after allegedly stealing over a thousand bucks worth of electronics from a Florida Ikea — the fifth time he had allegedly stolen from the same store. And yes, they carry electronics. Who knew?

 

International

Road.cc says unless you’re planning on road racing, a gravel bike might be the only bike you’ll need. And they take a look at 21 of the best lightweight, high-performance bike helmets. But don’t recommend which one to buy.

Bike Radar says keep riding your bike to maintain your sanity during the lockdown.

Pink Bike proves once again that pets and bikes just naturally go together.

Everton soccer manager Carlo Ancelotti is taking advantage of the English Premier League shutdown by getting on his bike to rehab his knee and get back in shape.

An English nurse is grateful to the local police, who gave her a spare bike after hers was stolen while she was working, and busted the men who allegedly took it.

Scottish mountain bikers are up in arms after the country’s top medical official tells them to stay home during the pandemic.

A British jerk on a dirt bike taunted an ebike-riding cop who was trying to stop him for violating the country’s lockdown guidelines.

Bicycling says add a trip to Mallorca to your bike bucket list.

An HIV+ Ugandan soccer coach rented a bicycle to deliver HIV and AIDS medication after the country shut down public transportation.

A Canadian cyclist finds himself on lockdown in Nepal, rather than racing in Spain as he’d planned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just in time for the worldwide pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of virtually everything in the world of bike racing, USA Cycling is putting a new emphasis on wellness.

The Olympic Channel questions whether three-time world champ Peter Sagan can win Olympic gold in 2020That would be no, since the games have been postponed until next year, as the story makes clear.

2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas wants this year’s race to go on as planned, while 2019 champ Egan Bernal is just trying not to think about it. Meanwhile, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is taking advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to completely recover from the crash that almost ended his cycling career.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says just call off the 2020 Tour de France now, and use the time before next year’s race to create a true women’s Tour de France.

Italy’s pro cyclists remain shutdown by the country’s coronavirus lockdown until May 3rd. Although Italian pro Davide Martinelli found a way to ride and give back at the same time by delivering food and medicine to elderly people in his home village.

Riders for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team offer their insights on the 124-year old Paris-Roubaix race. None of which will matter until next year, at the very least.

Speaking of Paris-Roubaix, GCN wonders if a gravel bike would do better on the cobbles.

 

Finally…

If you can’t bring people to the church, get on your bike and bring the church to the people. What’s more Easter than a big bunny on a blinged-out BMX bike — unless it’s Easter Bunny stealing a cargo bike?

And seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants and nearly an ounce of weed, put a damn light on it.

………

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

Morning Links: CicLAvia returns to South LA next month, bike part leads to LAPD shooting, and Ballona Creek path closure

Great news!

CicLAvia is returning to South LA on the 23rd of next month, with a route down legendary Central Ave — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — from South Central to Watts.

While I’m told the first South LA CicLAvia had a smaller turnout than some of the other CicLAvias, several people have said it was one of their favorites.

Unfortunately, I missed it when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and neuropathy. I don’t plan on letting that happen again.

The Ride for Love will offer a preview the CicLAvia route on February 9th, starting from the Watts Towers.

Meanwhile, CicLAvia will be hosting their annual fundraiser on the 2nd.

………

Several people reached out over the weekend, both sad and angry over the death of an apparent homeless man after a police supervisor mistook a bike part he was holding for a weapon.

I’d probably think that was a gun, too. Photo courtesy of LAPD.

The shooting occurred earlier this month when a witness spotted the man holding the Schwinn part near Sepulveda and Venice Blvds, and called police to report a man with a gun.

When the officer arrived, the man, identified by LAPD Chief Michael Moore as 31-year old Victor Valencia, reportedly pointed the part at him; already primed to find someone with a gun, the cop fired, hitting the man once.

Sadly, in this case, once was enough.

Whether this tragic shooting was justified will undoubtedly hinge on the officer’s dash cam and body cam videos, and whether they show the victim brandishing the part like a gun, or merely holding it in his hand.

Either way, it once again points to our society’s continuing failure to care for the homeless and mentally ill.

Thanks to everyone who sent this for the heads-up.

………

You might need to find another route through Culver City to the coast for the next three weeks.

During January 21 through February 14 certain bike path entrances/exits will be closed due to a site improvement project. The schedule is below:

  1. January 21 – January 24: East Sepulveda Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  2. January 27 – January 31: Overland West Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  3. February 3 – February 7: Overland East Bike Path Entrance/Exit
  4. February 10 – February 14: Duquesne Avenue Bike Path Entrance/Exit

………

Evidently, I’m a bad influence on my local neighborhood council members.

………

Once again, authorities do their best to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, as Chris Willig forwards news of a Bay Area man who was busted for drunk driving – while he was out on parole for his 11th DUI.

Yes, eleven.

………

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

Call her a bicycle serial killer. A Louisiana woman was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — seven years after she killed a bike-riding teenage boy in another hit-and-run. And on the same damn highway, no less.

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

After a man with two black eyes and a possible broken nose rode his bicycle up to a Massachusetts bar, the bartender refused to serve him. So he left for a few minutes, then came back and slashed all four tires on every car in the parking lot.

An Indian motorcyclist was killed in a road rage dispute when he was beaten to death by a bicycle rider and his friends, after they accused the victim of hitting the man’s bike with his motorcycle.

………

Local

The Red Car Bridge over the LA River is scheduled for its official ribbon cutting on this Saturday at 11:30 am; the bicycle/pedestrian bridge runs parallel to the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge in Atwater Village, on pilings used by the legendary Red Car streetcars.

The New York Times interviews a woman who is happy she went carfree in the City of Angels, even if they can’t quite seem to believe it.

As we noted last week, some Pasadena residents are calling for a return to the outdated, auto-centric LOS method of measure traffic at the expense of everyone else. Even though a local website says the Rose City has to take up the slack in addressing climate change.

A Malibu website concludes that the Expo Line, which doesn’t even go to there, is somehow responsible of an uptick in crime in the wealthy coastal city. Because evidently, there are no local criminals in the ‘Bu, and bad guys are afraid to drive PCH. Like any sane people. 

A Long Beach man is on trial for murder after shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bicycle and which of them owned it. Once again, no bicycle is worth your life; if it comes down to that, just let them take it. And no bicycle is worth killing for, either. Thanks to John Damman for the tip. 

 

State

A bike rider was injured in an El Cajon hit-and-run on Sunday. Sadly, that sentence is almost longer than the entire story.

Sad news from Concord, where a 54-year old woman was killed in a collision as she was riding her bike.

Seriously? Just a few short months after opening a $20 million bike and pedestrian path over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it will be shut down for four days — just so bridge inspectors can park their bigass truck in it while they examine the other lanes.

Sonoma County officials want to clear out a mile-long homeless encampment stradling both sides of a popular bike path. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A UC Davis student attending on a BMX scholarship asks for the public’s help after her bikes were stolen. Rase your hand if you had no idea you could even get a BMX scholarship.

Arcata city hall is now officially bike friendly.

 

National

A national group of bicycling and pedestrian professionals tells the NTSB in no uncertain terms that bike helmets may be a good idea, but mandating them isn’t.

A new survey of America’s mayors shows they’re concerned about climate change and think the country’s cities are too car oriented and unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Just don’t ask them to do anything about it.

No irony here. A cop assigned to Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force had his police bicycle stolen when he handcuffed it to a rack outside the courthouse after forgetting his U-lock. And when he got out of court, the cuffs were all that was left. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

About damn time. A Colorado state senator proposes a bill that would give people on bicycles the unquestioned right-of-way in a bike lane. There’s simply no excuse for making bike riders second-class citizens in our own traffic lanes. So how about doing the same thing here in California?

A bighearted Texas man bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after the bicycle the kid had won in a church raffle was stolen; the man knew the feeling, because his bike was stolen when he was ten, too.

The Scottish round-the-world cyclist who was nearly killed when he was run down by a Texas driver should finally be flying home this week, despite a fractured skull.

Saying the city hasn’t been bold when it mattered, Philadelphia hasn’t followed through on its bold Vision Zero plan, according to a local magazine.

Fat biking takes on a whole different meaning as the Washington Post talks with a pair of self-described fat cyclists who want to get more large people out on their bikes.

Newly crowned NCAA football champ LSU is now building bike lanes through the campus. Only a few decades too late to do me any good.

A kindhearted Louisiana cop bought a new bicycle for a nine-year girl just days after hers was stolen.

The nationwide rash of bicyclist shootings goes on, as someone hit a 16-year old Miami boy in a drive-by shooting as he rode with friends.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Florida, where a driver who killed a woman riding her bike in a crosswalk won’t face any charges, despite causing the crash by running a stop sign.

 

International

Road.cc rates 17 of the best bike taillights. Which is almost as many as you need to get some drivers to notice you.

Bicycling talks with a pair of women who are 13,000 miles into an 18,000-mile tandem bike ride around the world, learning that California has the most beautiful coastline while New Zealand has the angriest drivers.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a driver got just 27 months behind bars when detectives tracked her down for fleeing the scene after slamming her car into four family members riding their bikes, seriously injuring three of them — including one woman who nearly died from a pair of heart attacks while waiting for paramedics.

Scottish bicyclists took matters and rakes into their own hands to remove dangerously slick leaves from a bike path, doing in two hours what the local government couldn’t get done in four months.

After buying a $1,700 stolen bike for the equivalent of $104, a kindhearted British man set out to find the owner so he could return it.

A member of Britain’s House of Lords wants to make the penalty for bike riders who injure or kill others equivalent to the penalties for motorists, subjecting riders to up to 14 years behind bars. Never mind the much lower risk bike riders pose to other people on the roads.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist Ian Boswell will be taking this year off from the WorldTour to spend more time on his tractor. Yes, tractor.

Dutch cycling star Mathieu Van der Poel will spend the year bouncing between disciplines, competing in ‘cross, road cycling and mountain biking, with an emphasis on the Olympics and Spring Classics.

Vuelta champ Primož Roglič says he should be the favorite for this year’s Tour de France. Even if no one can figure out how to pronounce his name.

Cycling Tips explains why the Tour Down Under matters.

 

Finally…

Telling police you couldn’t stop during a chase because your bike doesn’t have any brakes probably isn’t the best excuse. It’s still hit-and-run, even if you throw a wad of cash at the victim before driving off.

And if this kid can bike to school at 40 below — Celsius or Fahrenheit — never let anyone tell you it’s too cold to ride a bike in Los Angeles.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider fatally shot in South LA, Peloton’s “awful” new ad, and why people keep dying on our streets

Today is Giving Tuesday.

So take a few moments, and a few dollars, to help make a difference in our world. Or more than a few dollars, even.

Give generously, wherever your heart leads, and to whatever inspires you.

Because Lord knows, this world could use the help.

………

Sad news from South LA, where a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in an apparent drive-by.

The 20-something victim was found lying dead next to a bicycle, in the traffic lane near the intersection of Figueroa and 89th Streets around 9 pm Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, there is a lot of gang activity in the area, which may or may not explain the motive for the shooting.

Seriously, the only thing more wasteful than unintentionally taking the life of another human being with a car is doing it on purpose with a gun.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

This one just cracks me up.

Today’s best read comes from USA Today’s For The Win! website, begging someone to “please help the woman from Peloton’s awful new ad,” and saying it earns the indoor cycling brand “our collective wrath.”

For the second year in a row, no less.

The woman’s terrified face is so disconcerting, her distress so obvious that it’s impossible to focus on anything else happening in the ad. She’s already trim and gorgeous, and yes, even though exercise should be about more than self-image, it’s clear this woman is trying to compensate for something. Is it her crumbling marriage? Her husband’s not-so-subtle suggestion she drop a few pounds?

The zeal with which she attacks the Peloton clearly speaks to some deep, unfulfilled need somewhere in her life.  Here she is — young, beautiful, successful, with a child and financial security– and yet, something inside her is still so obviously and utterly broken that only an unhealthy fixation on indoor cycling can help mend it.

Meanwhile, the online world quickly jumped in to offer its own takes.

Like this one.

The writer wraps it up this way.

It’s clear this woman doesn’t need a Peloton. She needs a good therapist and a divorce lawyer.

Maybe you won’t find it as funny as I did, after working most of my career in advertising and marketing.

But take the time to read it if you want a good laugh.

Unless maybe you work for Peloton, in which case it’s probably not funny at all.

………

This is why people keep dying on the streets.

A Michigan man was convicted of driving a motorized bicycle without a headlight or a driver’s license, with a BAC over twice the legal alcohol limit.

Which is nothing new for him, though. He had 13 previous DUI convictions on his record, including four stints behind bars.

He’d had just finished adding the motor to his bike.

A Margaritaville-branded bike appropriately enough, given the circumstance.

Meanwhile, a distracted Canadian driver was still on the road despite being cited for cellphone use nine previous times.

………

Metro and the LACBC want to help you learn to ride your bike safely.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Yesterday we mentioned that Michigan volunteers built 240 bikes for Toys for Tots. Today we learn that 130 of those bikes were donated by a single bighearted nine-year old girl, who collected cans all year to pay for them.

Toledo, Ohio police and firefighter unions donated and built 52 kids bicycles for the county children’s service department.

………

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

A road raging Russian driver intentionally swerved into a bike rider after brake checking him, knocking him into another car.

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

A Texas woman lost her wallet to a bike-riding bandit, even after she managed to sink her teeth into him.

………

Thanks to Theodore F, Mark J, Moore R, James L, Matthew R and Jack M for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Or nearly every day, anyway.

………

Local

Apparently misunderstanding the “new” in news, the LA Times gets scooped by a full five days on the arrest of the LAUSD teacher in the caught-on-security-cam Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider critically injured.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew throws down the gantlet for the Militant Angeleno with his preview of this Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia. Meanwhile, CicLAvia clarifies whether ebikes are allowed. Short answer yes, as long as you have to pedal to make it work.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the executive director of the I,400-member SD Mountain Biking Association

The less rural than it used to be Santa Ynez Valley could soon have a bike plan offering a network of new and enhanced bike lanes.

A Bakersfield professor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace a retiring congressman; the Republican former college teammate of Pat Tillman — the Army Ranger who walked away from a successful NFL career after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan — once rode his bike 3,468 miles across the US.

Caltrans wants Sonoma bicyclists to help them identify to area’s worst roads.

 

National

Singletracks reviews eight hip packs for mountain biking. Because no one wants a fanny pack.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a Washington man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation.

It could take up to two years to repair a 195-mile long Nebraska bike path, one of the longest in the US, following massive flooding last spring.

Minnesota police get the law wrong, merely ticketing the impatient driver who killed a woman on a bike by going around a car that was stopped to let her cross in a crosswalk, as well as the courteous and law-abiding driver who stopped for her.

Police in Detroit don’t hesitate to absolve a driver for the crash that seriously injured a bike rider — right up to the point he fled the scene.

Many college students survive on dorm vending machines, but University of Kentucky students can get their bike parts the same way.

A Pittsburgh letter writer blames bike lanes, and the accompanying loss of parking, for threatening the city’s commercial district. Even though all that parking apparently didn’t help the major department stores stay in business before the spaces were removed. And never mind that drivers “speed through listening to music and (ignore) the rules of the road, too.”

DC-area suburbs are adopting Vision Zero plans to protect bike riders and pedestrians on auto centric streets.

A North Carolina pickup driver turned himself in to police Monday afternoon for the Thanksgiving hit-and-run collision that killed a bike rider. Which probably gave him plenty of time to sober up before turning himself in.

A 15-year old Florida boy tragically demonstrated the dangers of skitching, losing control of his bike and slipping under the truck he was holding onto when the driver slowed for a right turn.

 

International

A Toronto writer says e-scooters may be dangerous and annoying, but the city needs them anyway — or anything else that provides an alternative to driving. No, scooter riders can be annoying, but cars and their drivers are dangerous.

Horrible story from China, where three people are missing after a giant sinkhole swallowed a truck and an ebike rider.

A South African writer makes a bike tour of Bangkok sound like a real adventure. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

The famed Paris-Roubaix just got a little less rough. A nearly one-mile section of cobblestones near the end of the race was partially paved, allowing riders on either side to travel a smoother road than those in the middle.

That Congressional Gold Medal for America’s last remaining Tour de France winner isn’t a done deal yet, still needing approval from the Senate after it was approved by the House.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist delivery ebike could be a refrigerator, too. Your next BMX could steer from both ends.

And if you’re going to file a fraudulent insurance claim after a bike crash, turn off your Strava and stop posting to Facebook first.

 

Man killed lying in street next to bicycle in South LA’s Hyde Park neighborhood

KTLA-5 is reporting that a man with a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a driver in South LA Sunday night.

According to LAPD investigators, the victim was lying in the street next to a bicycle on Arlington Ave, near the intersection with West 48th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood, when a driver swerved around him just before midnight.

Unfortunately, another driver following in the same direction was unable to stop or go around him in time.

He apparently died at the scene.

There’s no explanation given for why the victim, publicly identified only as a 58-year old man, was down in the street. It’s possible that he may have fallen or been knocked off his bike, suffered a medical emergency, or simply passed out under the influence.

The coroner’s office shows one possible victim on that date, a 58-year old black man identified as Larry Mitchell; unfortunately, there’s no location given so it’s hard to say for sure if that’s who it was.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County. It’s also the 11th bicyclist killed in the City of Los Angeles this year.

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

 

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while walking bike across street in South LA

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless coward on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

According to KABC-2, the victim was struck by a driver around 11:50 pm last night near 92nd Street and Grape Avenue in the Florence-Graham neighborhood of South LA.

The driver fled the scene, apparently without stopping, leaving his victim to die in the street.

The victim, publicly identified only as a man in his 50s, was dead by the time first responders arrived.

KCBS-2 provides more details, reporting that the victim was walking his bike across the street, though it’s unclear whether he was crossing 92nd or Grape.

He was found surrounded by aluminum cans, leading police to conclude he made his living by recycling them.

There’s no information available on the suspect or his or her vehicle at this time, and it was unclear which direction the driver fled.

It seems likely the victim was crossing 92nd, since it’s a through street, which would enable the driver to travel at high speed at that hour; 92nd has two lanes with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in each direction, while Grape is an unlined residential street that dead ends into 92nd.

The crash comes barely over 24 hours after Frank Mendez messaged to say he witnessed the aftermath of another crash just half a mile away at 92nd and Compton, suggesting a major safety problem on the street; fortunately, the victim did not appear to be seriously injured in that collision.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles.

At least six of those deaths in the county have resulted in hit-and-runs, half of which occurred below the 10 Freeway.

Yet city, county and state officials have done virtually nothing to halt hit-and-runs, even though a recent report found only 1% of LA hit-and-runs result in a conviction.

And meanwhile, we are literally being left to bleed — if not die — in the streets.

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

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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