Tag Archive for speeding

Speeding ebike riders put others at risk, Times equates chokeholds with scuffed shoes, and driver flashes gun at bicyclists

Let’s start with this note from frequent link contributor Victor Bale.

I needed a break from the heat of the Coachella Valley so I spent Thursday thru today at the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach. I rode the length of the boardwalk all the way to Sunset Beach and other bike trails every day and I was struck by how many ebikes I saw. They were everywhere and here’s a couple of thoughts.

I love that ebikes are bringing new blood to the sport but I was bothered by the recklessness of “some” of the cyclists.

Many were traveling at speeds totally inappropriate (the speed limit on the boardwalk is 8 MPH) to a narrow boardwalk full of families walking, cyclists on beach cruisers, very young kids cycling or on scooters and seniors out for a lesurely stroll.

I watched as a young man knocked over a woman riding a beach cruiser. No harm to her other than road rash but she was lucky. When he passed me he was using throttle only and exceeding 20 MPH. I watched as people were cut off. I watched as ebikes rode on the boardwalk paperboy style at high speeds just to show off. It was crazy. I’m surprised high profile accidents haven’t happened yet.

Nobody likes onerous regulations and enforcement but I worry about what the future will bring if something isn’t done now about regulating ebikes and ebike usage. It’s only a matter of time before an ebike rider kills a pedestrian (if it hasn’t happened already).

Take that as a warning.

Coastal cities have cracked down on bike riders exceeding the admittedly exceedingly low speed limits on the beachfront boardwalks. And will undoubtedly do it again if they think things are getting out of control.

Never mind that it takes a major jerk to zip blithely along while putting everyone else at risk.

And while I’m not aware of anyone being killed or seriously injured by an ebike rider in Southern California, it has happened in other cities.

So slow the eff down, already.

Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.

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There’s something seriously wrong when a movie critic for the LA Times equates an “[expletive], entitled bicyclist who scuffs Buggin’ Out’s pristine Jordans,” with cops killing Black men with chokeholds.

Maybe someone should tell him there’s a difference between being an obnoxious jerk and, you know, actually killing someone.

Or maybe the Times should just do the right thing and remove this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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If you can’t afford to fix your bike, Pasadena wants to help.

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The Black Lives Matter movement isn’t stopping, with at least two bike rides to honor Breonna Taylor this weekend, in Richmond VA and Grand Rapids MI.

There was a similar ride in Los Angeles over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to be online yet.

Meanwhile, police in Ottawa, Canada apologized to a Black bike rider who stopped to rest on a bridge, only to have a white woman call 911 to demand he get off so she could pass uninhibited.

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GCN says wheel weight doesn’t matter after all.

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

An ugly incident caught on video, as a couple of bicyclists confronted a Florida driver who passed too close, and told them to stay the fuck off the road — and brandished a gun as he got out of his SUV. Or maybe not; it’s possible he was just putting it in his pocket as he got out, as he claimed.

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

San Francisco authorities are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a 44-year old man as he was walking along the street.

Bicycles seem to have become the getaway vehicle of choice, as the FBI looks for a weaponless bike rider who robbed a Chicago area bank.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee police are looking for a knife-wielding man who rode off on a bike after stealing merchandise from a pair of stores.

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Local

The LA Galaxy is teaming with the East Side Riders for a bike ride from Watts to Dignity Health Sports Park for the Galaxy’s match with LAFC this Saturday.

El Monte officially unveiled the new San Gabriel Valley ebike bikeshare, which will eventually grow to 840 bicycles.

Caltrans and Malibu will host a Zoom meeting Wednesday evening to discuss replacing the narrow bridge over Trancas Creek on PCH, including bike lanes and shoulders in both directions, as well as a westbound right turn lane onto Trancas Canyon Road.

Gerard Butler is one of us, as is his former model and house-flipping girlfriend Morgan Brown.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is offering a number of bike education classes over the next ten days, starting with one tonight.

Speaking of San Diego, the city has ordered cafes to remove outdoor tables that were blocking a bike lane.

Hundreds of young Santa Barbara bike riders turned out for an officially unsanctioned Familia Rideout on Saturday, though masks and social distancing appeared to be largely forgotten.

A bike-riding woman in Contra Costa County suffered major head injuries in a collision with a driver, although the Mercury News appeared to blame her for colliding with the car.

A San Francisco man is putting his lockdown time to good use by putting discarded and unloved bicycles back on the road.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offer tips on how to stay safe riding on a bike path.

Forbes suggests the best bikewear and accessories for women, apparently based on the mistaken assumption that everyone wants to sport spandex and ride roadies. And despite what the caption says, a bicycle is all you really need to start riding. So don’t let that other crap get in your way; you can always get it later if you want.

Popular Science continues their unexpected bike theme, explaining how to carry just about anything on your bike with a rack and some bungee cords. And offers tips on how to avoid common beginner’s mistakes.

Bicycling considers how to find the best bike routes when you’re far from home.

Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is one of us, though she’s definitely not in the spandex camp, with her bigass all-turquoise fat tire ebike.

Tragic news from Glendale AZ, where a man and woman were both killed when a driver slammed into their bikes as they rode together.

A Denver weekly examines the worst habits of pandemic drivers. Which would be all of them. Habits, that is. And drivers.

Tragic news from Laredo, Texas, where a 77-year old man died five weeks after he was beaten by two men who stole his bike after accusing him of breaking a window.

Great story about a Milwaukee bus driver who bought a ten-year old boy a new bicycle after he kept her company when her bus broke down.

Minnesota Public Radio talks with British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid about the coronavirus bike boom, as officials belatedly discover that people actually prefer clean air to heavy traffic.

For the first time, an 89-year old Ohio man opted not to ride his 1936 Shelby bicycle in the local parade, riding in a trailer instead while his grandkids rode his antique bikes.

Dockless Jump ebikes are returning to the streets of DC, just weeks after the company murdered tens of thousands of the bikes.

J.Lo is still one of us, even if she switched to an ElliptiGo for a ride through Miami this weekend.

Motocross rider Mike Alessi was lucky to escape with cuts, road rash and a cranial hematoma when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while training on his road bicycle in Florida; while he’s relatively okay, his bike was trashed.

 

International

You could soon be riding on dandelions.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, nine times over, as bicyclists around the world stepped up to make a difference during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a move that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, London is removing parking in the history City district to install bike corrals to accommodate the rising numbers of bike riders using the city’s expanding bike network. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, it seems to still be unthinkable.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver stoned on the opiate painkiller dihydrocodeine, as well as coke, weed and morphine, got just over two lousy years behind bars for killing a man riding his bike.

He gets it. Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas tells British GQ how to get started riding a bicycle, starting by suggesting a secondhand bike, without a single mention of spandex or high end gear.

An Irish writer says bring back the bicycle, suggesting we’d all be better off if we rode our bikes instead of driving whenever possible.

Bologna, Italy introduced a new campaign to get more people out on their bikes following the Covid-19 lockdown. Although the best way to do that is to provide more popup bike lanes, exactly like Los Angeles isn’t doing.

Covid-19 has brought Karachi, Pakistan back to the bicycling city it used to be before cars and security concerns chased people off the streets.

No more handheld cellphones while you ride your bike in Singapore after this month.

A New Zealand woman tells drivers an extra minute won’t kill them, but it could kill someone else — like it did her late husband, who died five days after he was run down by a truck driver. They’d been riding together ever since they met while bicycling across Canada 23 years ago; now she doesn’t know how she can ride again without him.

 

Competitive Cycling

A British semi-pro cycling champ credits an air ambulance with saving his life after he was hit by a dump truck while rounding a blind bend on a group ride.

PBS catches up with the pretend virtual Tour de France.

Cycling Weekly tracks down the virtual cyclists who virtually beat the virtually riding pros, and begs for their secrets.

 

Finally…

Political dirty tricks have seeped down to the animal kingdom, with a chipmunk attack on a bike-riding Democratic candidate. Apparently iguanas are out to get us, too.

And you don’t have to understand Italian to get the official song of the Giro.

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

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

This is who we share the roads with.

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

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Period.

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

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

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Even for women.

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

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

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