Tag Archive for traffic fatalities

Columnist who wrote about bus bike theft leaves LA, the massive cost of traffic violence, and restoring your faith humanity

LA Times City Beat columnist Nita Lelyveld penned her final piece for the paper, which included a reminder of one of my favorites.

In a story from nine years ago, she told how two strangers on a bus became close friends when one rescued the other man’s bicycle from a would-be thief.

A story that started right here a few months earlier.

She also told my own story of taking in a homeless man’s corgi so he could get back on his feet. Which literally saved his life when he saw the outpouring of love and support that resulted, much of it from readers of this site.

Along with a followup from earlier this year, relating how my wife and I had become friends with the now formerly homeless man, and the new puppy that filled the hole in our lives after our own corgi died.

To be honest, I’m not sure I would have trusted anyone else with the story.

Nita’s moving on to Portland, Maine, where she’ll be the new city editor for the Portland Press Herald.

Their gain, LA’s loss.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels.

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Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

So just let these numbers sink in: 112,519 people who weren’t in cars — mostly pedestrians and people on bicycles — have been killed by drivers since 9/11.

And nearly 2 million — yes, million — American traffic deaths since 1975, which would make it equivalent to the 5th largest city in the US.

Somehow, we have to make our fellow Americans care enough to finally do something about it.

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I’m usually not one for surveys, but I might make an exception this time.

PeopleForBikes wants your opinion on what it’s like to ride a bike where you live for their 2022 City Ratings, and promise it will only take five minutes of your time.

Anyone who does will be entered to win prizes, including this Schwinn Orange Krate bike.

From PeopleForBikes

Then again, the fewer people who respond, the better my chance of winning the bike I wanted as a kid, but never got.

So forget I said anything.

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This is who we share the road with.

Phil Gaimon posted video this morning of the aftermath of a road rage incident in Boulder, Colorado. Although it’s not clear if the driver severely beat the victim, or ran him down with his car, then got out to look at him.

The good news is, the driver has been identified, and may yet be held accountable for his crimes.

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As usual, drivers make the best case for protected bike lanes.

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Let’s interrupt the usual news with a few stories to help restore your faith in humanity.

A nurse on Hawaii’s Big Island discovered it takes a village to recover a stolen bicycle — in less than a day, even — while reminding everyone to get vaccinated.

Bighearted Texas cops used donations from local businesses to give a new bike, helmet, lock and lights to a man formerly homeless man who had been walking 14 miles round trip to get to his job in another town.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a special needs man, after the bicycle he used as his primary means of transportation was stolen.

Firefighters in Waukesha, Wisconsin opened their own wallets to buy a used bicycle for a man whose bike was destroyed in a collision with a driver, after learning it was his only means of transportation.

An anonymous Good Samaritan surprised a Virginia girl with a new bicycle, leaving it on her porch with an unsigned note a month after hers was stolen.

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Clean transportation nonprofit Calstart is looking for a new director of innovative mobility.

Although even after reading the job description, I’m still have no idea what that means.

But something tells me I’m probably not qualified, anyway.

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

A road raging Aussie driver drove over a bicycle and took off with a bicyclist clinging to the hood of his car, in a confrontation that began when a group of bike riders complained about the driver swerving into them; the driver can be heard on the video saying “I will fucking destroy you, I’ve got money mate.” And there’s nothing scarier than an angry driver with money, right?

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

A bike-riding parolee was busted for “terrorizing” a Venice community by slashing car tires with a folding knife and shattering a window in the west LA neighborhood with a brick.

A man was permanently banned from a Washington Walmart after entering the closed store on his bike, riding around the store pocketing drinks and candy bars before threatening security guards with a meat cleaver.

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Local

Los Angeles CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman appeared to throw long-standing plans for a 4th Street Neighborhood Greenway under the bus in a meeting with Larchmont area homeowners, agreeing to oppose proposals for bike and pedestrian traffic signals on 4th and Highland, and 4th and Rossmore. Even though they would benefit local residents as much as anyone else, without causing any harm.

Metro Bike is offering two weeks free for any passholders who refer a friend.

Simon Cowell is still one of us, taking his ebike for a ride through the ‘Bu, a year after shattering his back crashing an electric motorcycle. Which the press still insists on calling an ebike.

 

State

Paso Robles is looking for public input for a planned bicycle pump track, to be designed by the same firm that built the skate park for the Tokyo Olympics.

Drivers were outraged by the estimated 5,000 people on bicycles who turned out for the 5th annual Santa Cruz Ride Out and “clogged traffic for hours.” In other words, kind of like drivers do all by themselves multiple times a day.

 

National

Bicycling makes their picks for the best ebikes of 2021 — including LA-based Aventon — with prices starting at just $999 and going up. Way up. I can’t find this one on Yahoo, so you’re on your own if Bicycling blocks you.

A father and daughter duo rode their antique Penny Farthings across the US from San Francisco to Boston, covering 3,314 miles in 57 days. Then turned around and rode across the US from north to south, for a total of 6,100 miles.

Forbes reviews the new book by the guy who took a New York bikeshare bike on a ride across the US in search of a new home, before settling on — and in — Tusla OK.

Heartbreaking news from Wisconsin, where an 88-year old man was killed by a driver while trying to make a left turn on his bicycle. Anyone who makes it to that age deserves better, damn it — and safer streets to ride on. Never mind that it takes the local paper until the penultimate paragraph to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

Chicago Streetsblog tells the sad story of protected bike lane proposals killed by parking pushback. Something tells me Los Angeles could produce an even greater tearjerker.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 70-year old retired creative writing professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and former Alaska Writer Laureate was killed in a Maine bicycling collision last week.

 

International

After a Toronto councilmember had her own bicycle stolen, some unsympathetic residents blamed her for supporting shelters for the homeless, accusing them of taking her bike.

A pair of British men are on trial for murder in the death of a young father, after he accused one of them of stealing the other man’s bicycle to buy more drugs; the alleged killer swears he didn’t mean to harm the victim, despite repeatedly punching him and stomping on his head. I’d hate to see what he’d do if he did mean to hurt someone.

Welsh residents complain about plans for a “national standard” BMX track over fears that it will add to traffic congestion. More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s starting to look like the only thing that could keep two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič from the red leader’s jersey is falling off his bike. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Tragic news from Spain, where ultra-distance cyclist Ana Orenz was competing in the unsupported, nearly 2,00-mile Transiberica race when she suffered “devastating” injuries after crashing into a wild boar during a high-speed descent; Orenz suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries, as well as severe head trauma, and lay alone in the roadway unable to move for two hours before she was found. A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $41,000 of the $58,700 goal.

 

Finally…

Who needs a Bookmobile when you’ve got a cargo bike? Now you, too, can have your very own Louis Vuitton bicycle, complete with awkward hand brakes that look chic but will probably kill you, for the low, low price of $27,000.

And it takes a pretty smart dog to be this knowledgable when it comes to doping.

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

LA traffic deaths up while bike deaths spike, 19-year old San Pedro bike rider missing, and murder charge in AZ attack

No surprise here.

LAist reports that traffic deaths are up in Los Angeles for the first six months of this year, compared to last year’s already too high death total, with someone killed on the mean streets of LA an average of every 30 hours.

And it’s not just the people in the big, dangerous machines paying the price.

According to the site, serious pedestrian injuries are up 45%, while serious bicycling injuries climbed 34%. And bicycling deaths are up a whopping 40%.

It should also come as no surprise that hit-and-run deaths are up 25%.

In other words, we’re not exactly on track to meet Indian Ambassador Eric Garcetti’s — oops, I mean Mayor Garcetti’s — goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the City of Angels in the next three years.

Never mind all those safer streets we were promised as part of the mayor’s Green New Deal, which will now be up to whoever takes his place — thanks to Garcetti’s remarkably consistent failure to follow through on those promises.

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Authorities are searching for a 19-year old man who was last seen riding his bicycle in San Pedro Monday morning.

Jankell Hernan Aguilar is described as 5’6″ tall and 150 pounds, with “wavy black hair, a thin black beard along his jawline and brown eyes.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323/890-5500.

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As expected, prosecutors in Arizona have amended the charges against pickup driver Shawn Michael Chock to add a felony murder count.

Chock is the driver who allegedly aimed his truck at a group of bicyclists participating in a senior’s race in Show Low on June 19th, intentionally slamming his truck into ten people; 58-year old Jeremy Barrett died nearly a month later.

Chock was shot by police after standoff behind a hardware store, but has recovered from his injuries, and remains jailed on half a million dollars bail.

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Make that $190 now.

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There’s a newly completed 13-mile trail leading from Kenneth Hahn to the coast.

Which doesn’t do a lot of good if you can’t get there safely.

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Sadly, it doesn’t take long for most Vision Zero programs to turn into empty promises when elected leaders lack the political will to follow through.

And Los Angeles is the poster child for those failed efforts.

So yes, it’s great that a federal Vision Zero bill has been introduced in Congress.

Let’s just hope it’s more than empty words this time.

Meanwhile, a second bill was introduced by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

The Vulnerable Road Users Safety Act implements National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, while directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration to —

  • Develop and update performance standards for visibility enhancement systems (i.e. for blindspot detection), connected vehicle technology, and vehicle headlamp systems
  • Establish standards for vehicle bumpers
  • Establish performance standards for automated pedestrian detection systems like automatic braking sensors
  • Include separated bike lanes and intersection safety treatments in the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiatives and Proven Safety Countermeasures program
  • Improve and coordinate information collection to share, combine and publish detailed crash data allowing policy makers and governments to make data informed decisions

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

Toronto bike riders are “annoyed” that drivers are pushing planters into bike lanes to create illegal parking spaces, blocking the bike lanes they were intended to protect. Annoyed seems pretty mild under the circumstances; more like pissed off and endangered.

Three British bike riders were collateral damage when a suspected drunk driver made an ill-advised pass, crashing into another driver before his car was pushed into a group of bicyclists; all three victims were hospitalized, with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. A driver in the UK gets annoyed at following a bike rider, and responds with a close pass and a brake check, followed by a punishment pass for good measure. And all he gets is a stern talking to from the cops.

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Local

Streets For All is hosting another Zoom happy hour at 5 pm on August 11th, featuring Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who has been fighting for safer streets as chair of the Transportation Committee.

NPR picks up the sordid tale of the $200,000 in out-of-network medical debt that buried LA’s Phil Gaimon when a major track cycling crash ended his efforts to make the US Olympic team, even though he had insurance coverage. And even they agree he got hosed.

Outside calls Catalina Island a hidden gem for gravel biking.

 

State

Encinitas residents are accusing the mayor and councilmembers of cronyism in approving an $11 million settlement for a local bike advocate who was severely injured when she was run down from behind riding on sharrows. Something tells me she’d be happy to give all of it back if it meant not having to deal with the pain and lasting injuries.

Squatters took over a historic Baptist church in El Cajon during the pandemic lockdown, using it for a chop shop for stolen bikes.

 

National

Trek finally figures out that helping more people ride means more sales for them, starting a nonprofit foundation to help build bicycling infrastructure and mountain bike trails. And outlines the steps they’re taking to improve sustainability.

Conde Nast Traveler talks with author Jennifer Weiner about how she got hooked on solo bikepacking on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

This is what it looks like when a Seattle cop right hooks a man on a bicycle.

Great idea. A Colorado bike shop is offering a 10% discount to anyone who picks up at least ten pieces of trash off a bike trail.

North Dakota bike riders can celebrate this Sunday by legally rolling stop signs, when a new Idaho Stop Law goes into effect allowing riders to treat stops as yields.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 95-year old man is taking part in the nearly 500-mile RAGBRAI, the eighth time he’s taken part in the popular ride across Iowa.

An Iowa town remembers a 2008 EF-5 that devastated the region with a sculpture of a tornado made entirely of bicycles.

Houston bike riders call on the city to get more aggressive in implementing Vision Zero to meet the 2030 deadline.

After suffering the embarrassment of a group of white cops filmed arresting a Black bike rider for not having a bicycle license, Perth Amboy, New Jersey is eliminating their bicycle registration requirement. But it’s still illegal to “practice any trick or fancy riding.” Because we all know how damaging “fancy riding” is to the fragile fabric of society.

Seriously? An Orlando urologist says men should maybe cut back on their time in the saddle if they’re trying to have a baby — and not spend more that two hours on a bike regardless. If I’d thought riding my bike would have provided birth control in my single days, I would ridden a lot more than I did. And I rode a hell of a lot.

 

International

An Ontario woman says you don’t have to be skinny to ride a bike.

Toronto is installing centerline speed bumps extending into intersections to keep drivers from dangerously cutting corners.

A London man will spend the next two years behind bars for jumping a red light and slamming into a 72-year old man crossing in a crosswalk, who later died; the Albanian bike rider turned himself in after initially fleeing because he was in the UK illegally.

About damn time. Great Britain is revising the country’s Highway Code to give pedestrians and people on bicycles priority over motor vehicles on the streets, although it still has to be approved by Parliament. Now do it on this side of the ocean.

UK Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson tells local governments to leave bike lanes in place for at least a year, or face a cut in funding.

An Irish bike advocacy group demands immediate action in response to a 13% jump in traffic deaths so far this year. Let’s hope their government listens better that ours does.

Organizers have called off a planned 124-mile Aussie charity ride, after concluding that the “appalling standard” of Tasmanian drivers, combined with “poor road infrastructure” and drivers’ “hatred towards cyclists” made it too dangerous for people on two wheels.

In a brutal irony, an Australian bike rider was killed in a collision moments after he ignored a police attempt to stop him for riding without lights or a helmet, which is required in the country.

A writer for Cycling Tips truly captures the beauty of bicycling with a moving piece recalling a ride through Australian woods to heal from the pandemic year and the death of his father from cancer — but not until his father got to meet his new grandson for the first time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic upgraded his 2017 world time trial silver medal with gold in the same event at the Tokyo Olympics.

A German official was sent packing after using a racial slur in urging Nikias Arndt to catch up to cyclists from Algeria and Eritrea in the men’s time trial; German cycling federation sports director Patrick Moster’s comment was picked up on camera and broadcast across the nation.

Dutch cycling great Annemiek van Vleuten finally got her Olympic gold in the time trial, days after mistakenly celebrating what she thought was a win in the road race.

Forget the Olympics. The race to watch this Saturday is the eight-year old Telluride 100 mountain bike race, sanctioned by UCI for the first time.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re falsely labeled a “brutal bike thief” on social media for picking up the bike your neighbor was donating for underprivileged children. Do home runs count for more if they nearly hit a bike rider outside the park?

And maybe they could have worded this headline just a little better.

Unless the bicyclists were charged with murder, too.

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

Update: Cyclocross legend Laurence Malone killed Monday in head-on crash while driving near Lancaster CA

Note: This story has been rewritten to reflect details that have changed significantly since it was written Tuesday night.

More devastating news, as cyclocross legend Laurence Malone was killed in a collision near Lancaster on Monday

The tragic news was announced by the US Bicycling Hall of Fame, which said only that Lawrence was killed in a collision, leading to significant confusion and rumors.

Despite initial reports that he was riding his bike, Laurence, who was inducted into the hall four years ago, was killed in a head-on crash with a semi driver while driving his car on Highway 138 west of Lancaster.

Cyclocross Magazine had originally said Malone wasn’t carrying an ID or cellphone, and the only identification he had with him was his hall of fame badge.

However, in a detailed update to the quickly evolving story, the magazine explains that Malone’s wallet was actually hidden in the crumpled wreckage of his car.

Malone typically kept his wallet under the driver’s seat, according to Price, but kept a few meaningful momentos on his dashboard, including his letter from cycling legend George Mount welcoming him into the 2017 class for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.

This letter was the form of identification authorities could easily retrieve from the wreckage. They contacted the Hall of Fame, and George Mount set about trying to reach Malone’s next of kin.

Malone was the first person to win the US men’s national cyclocross title after it was revived in 1970, and just the fifth since the race began in 1963; the women’s race didn’t begin until 1975.

He went on to win the title a remarkable five consecutive times, still the record for the most wins.

Malone was reportedly on his way back from Ojai to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He is the second noted cyclist to die in two days, after master’s age group national road champ Gwen Inglis was killed by an alleged stoned driver in Lakewood, Colorado on Sunday.

Photo by Aidan Nguyen from Pexels.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laurence Malone and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Happy LA Bike Month, Los Angeles Vision Zero fail, and Damian Kevitt calls for support for school zone speed cam bill

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Just another of the many and varied joys of diabetes, a cruel disease that can take you from feeling okay to passing out in a matter of minutes, for no apparent reason.

And yet another reminder to get yourself checked if you’re at risk, and do whatever it takes to avoid getting it. Because you don’t want this shit. 

Seriously. 

Today’s photo of irresistible cuteness by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

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Happy Bike Month, Los Angeles.

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Despite — or maybe because of — an up to 70% drop in traffic fatalities, roadway deaths declined just 3% in Los Angeles last year, thanks at least in part to a dramatic jump in speeding as empty streets encouraged drivers to use a heavy right foot.

This is how LAist explained it.

Based on preliminary data reported by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, 238 people died in collisions last year, compared to 246 in 2019 — a decrease of about 3%.

That slight dip pales in comparison to how sharply car travel fell in greater L.A. and beyond in the early months of the pandemic. Schools closed, many workers stopped commuting to their offices, and local and state stay-at-home orders drastically limited the places and activities we could drive to in our cars.

In mid-to-late March 2020, daily vehicle traffic fell as much as 70%. Last April saw traffic volumes decrease by 30% to 50% compared to the start of the year. Daily driving has been increasing since that historic plummet, but still remain below typical levels, according to city traffic data.

And despite a drop last year, bike and pedestrian deaths are still up over the five years since LA adopted Vision Zero in 2015.

Which isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working…

While fewer people were killed and seriously injured in crashes overall last year, not all L.A. communities experienced less traffic violence. According to preliminary data compiled by LADOT:

  • The number of pedestrians killed by drivers fell about 12% overall, but increased in some neighborhoods
  • Slightly fewer cyclists were killed last year (15, compared to 19 in 2019)
  • The number of motorcyclists killed in crashes jumped about 45%
  • Motor vehicle occupant deaths were nearly unchanged

Pandemic or not, it’s clear that LADOT’s piecemeal approach to reducing traffic deaths isn’t working.

And it isn’t Vision Zero, by any definition.

The basic philosophy behind Vision Zero is that humans will make mistakes on the road and crashes will happen, but by redesigning streets to reduce speeding and better protect vulnerable road users, those crashes don’t have to cause severe injuries and deaths. But as the data has shown in recent years, L.A.’s current approach is not working.

It’s long past time Los Angeles stopped talking about Vision Zero, and got off its collective ass and did something about it.

Because I’m every bit as tired of writing about fallen bicyclists as you are reading about it. And don’t get me started on all the other people needlessly killed on our streets.

For any doubters out there, yes, ending traffic deaths is possible. If — and only if — we have the political will to make it happen.

Speaking of LAist, just like their parent public radio station KPCC, they survive on public donations.

So open that wallet if you can spare a few bucks

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SAFE founder and Executive Director Damian Kevitt, who lost a leg — and nearly his life — to a hit-and-run driver who was never caught, makes a heartfelt plea to fight for SB 733, which would allow automated speed cams in school zones.

Sadly, California is one of the only nine states that expressly forbids speed safety cameras in school zones. This tool has been available since 1987 and is unquestionably effective. Data in cities across the country, such as New York, Seattle, and Chicago, show that speed safety cameras reduce traffic injuries and fatalities and change driver behavior. More importantly, there are already thousands of schools across the country that currently use speed safety cameras to protect kids, teachers, and parents.

The common sense bill, which would only impact people breaking the law and endangering innocent kids and adults, has been severely watered down by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat misrepresenting Long Beach, at least in this case.

As currently written after it was butchered in committee, the law would only allow a pilot project in four schools out of more that 20,000 in the state.

As Kevitt writes,

This is an insult to victims of traffic violence and the coalition of support, especially given the immediate problem and widespread, documented effective use of speed safety cameras across the country.

One of the harder things I have had to do is tell victims of traffic violence — who were emotionally prepared to testify in committee — that this lifesaving bill wouldn’t make it through committee due to political forces that are hard to explain. Why would police unions work to fill a bill that so obviously would help save lives? It is heartbreaking.

But we will pick ourselves up and gain strength. The voices of traffic violence will not be silenced. Safety advocates will not accept that denial of the science. Equity groups will demand accountability. And, in the end, we will save lives.

He urges you, and all of us, to call or email Gonzalez’s office to express your outrage, and demand this life-saving tool to protect innocent lives.

Here’s that link again for her contact information, and sample scripts you can follow.

I’m planning to do it later today. I hope you’ll join me

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I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which replaces their popular LA River Ride, as the world still struggles to shake off the pandemic.

Join us the entire month of June for a virtual challenge in place of the LA River Ride. 2020 was supposed to mark 20 years of River Ride, but we had to put our beloved event on hold due to the pandemic. We’re making up for it in 2021 by inviting you to 30 days of riding, walking and running the historic waterways of Los Angeles!

The LA Rivers challenge is all about doing the mileage goal that is best for you. Select the goal that excites you, tests your abilities, or that you can do with your family. There is a distance for everyone to ride, walk or run.

Opening March 15th, registration is just $40, but follow up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive discounts. You also have the opportunity to support healthy, sustainable and equitable streets by choosing to fundraise for LACBC while meeting your mileage goals. You can earn great prizes at key fundraising milestones and will qualify for The 2021 LA Rivers Challenge Drawing to win one of our grand prizes TBA! Whatever your contribution, you will be supporting the work of LACBC, as we try to make Los Angeles a safer and more inclusive place to ride, walk and run.

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This is who we share the road with, part one.

Part two.

Part three.

It’s no surprise that we can’t manage to do anything about man shootings, when we still can’t even do anything about stopping people from using their car as a multi-ton weapon of mass destruction.

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While we’re on the subject, there’s good news from Maryland, where bike cam video was used to convict a driver for an aggressive punishment pass.

We need to change the law here in California, where police are currently prohibited from ticketing drivers or charging them with misdemeanors unless they actually witness the infraction.

And no, witnessing it on video doesn’t count, for some strange reason.

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GCN offers advice on how to find good riding routes when you’re new to the area.

And GCN considers one of bicycling’s most vital questions, and one of the last remaining forms of legal doping.

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I’m all in.

Seriously, we could use this right here in Los Angeles.

And right now.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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A sharp-eyed Megan Lynch spotted LAFD bike paramedics on the red carpet of last week’s Academy Awards.

And thanks to Vyki Englert for spotting the LAFD logo on their panniers.

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Nothing sexier than someone on a bike.

Okay, maybe the right someone.

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

Someone sabotaged a beginners bike trail in Scotland with obstacles including tree branches, and fence posts with rusted razor wire, which could seriously injure an unsuspecting rider. Or worse.

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

A murder suspect accused of killing his wife has ridden his bike over 3,000 miles around Denver, despite being on house arrest — and posted it to Strava.

A British man was lucky to walk with a suspended sentence after he was busted with the equivalent of over $2,700 worth of amphetamines when police stopped him as he rode his bicycle with a bloody face; no word on how his face got that way.

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Local

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom announces his candidacy for County Supervisor, basing his run in part on a 20-year record of advocating for a transit, bike and pedestrian-friendly Westside.

That’s more like it. Pasadena is considering four north-south corridors for bicycle boulevards.

A teenage mountain biker was airlifted from the Santa Monica Mountains after suffering painful wrist and shoulder injuries on Sunday.

A young boy celebrated his eleventh birthday Saturday with a 111-mile ride along the beach bike path from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes and back until he completed a century plus an 11-mile victory lap. When I was eleven, I was happy to ride around the block by myself.

Clearly, Long Beach isn’t afraid of road diets, proposing a lane reduction and bike path for a 1.4-mile section of Spring Street. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

 

State

A 38-year old man in El Cajon suffered serious lower body injuries when he was struck by a driver moments after getting off his bicycle.

San Diego’s SANDAG has received a $12 million grant to complete a seven-mile segment of the Inland Rail Trail from San Marcos to Vista.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom take their eight-month old daughter for a ride through Santa Barbara on their massive ebikes.

Apparently, San Jose leaders aren’t afraid of road diets either, or LA’s seemingly inevitable angry driver backlash to them.

You know you’ve got a serious safety problem when two disabled people are killed crossing the same San Jose intersection in a single month.

Why pro cyclists like to train in Sonoma County. Surprisingly, it’s not the wine. Or maybe not just the wine. 

A Redding man calls it a life-changing moment when he wins a new ebike.

 

National

Cycling News considers the best ebikes for under two grand.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers advice on how to not get your bike stolen.

A British website highlights “four epic cycling adventures that showcase the incredible landscapes of the USA,” starting with a ride down the Left Coast from Seattle to San Diego. My brother did that one just a couple years ago — along with riding to the Northwest from Western Colorado, and back again to Colorado from San Diego.

The American Southwest experienced a bigger bike boom than anywhere else in the world, including Europe and the rest of the US.

It takes a real schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bicycles from a Dallas Boy Scout camp.

A Texas man is suing a sporting goods store after a bike fell off an upper display rack and landed on his head. Which is not funny at all, except that it is.

A Minnesota town is repurposing an old abandoned bridge over the Mississippi as a bike and pedestrian bridge, 40 years after it was closed to cars.

Celebrate Bike Month with a visit to Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America, where over 800 bikes are on display, dating back to an an 1816 draisienne invented by Karl Drais that they credit as the first true bicycle. Although not everyone agrees. You can read that second link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you, which it probably will unless you’re a subscriber.

New York mayoral hopeful Eric Adams pledges to build another 300 miles of protected bike lanes in the city during his first four years, if he’s elected, an annual rate nearly three times the 28 miles installed last year. Let’s get the candidates for mayor in next year’s LA election to make a similar pledge. And hold them to it.

A crowdfunding page raised $75,000 for a New York delivery worker who was killed when driver went into the bike lane to pass another car, hit the scooter the victim was riding, then went on to hit two parked cars and slam into an outdoor restaurant.

Two men with the same name are fighting back against a cease and desist order from the City of New York to remove their unpermitted dockless ebikes from the streets.

New York police stopped a salmon cyclist, and discovered they had nabbed a hate crime suspect responsible for a rash of anti-Jewish vandalism.

A Florida driver faces charges for intentionally driving off the road to run over a man she knew who was riding a bicycle.

 

International

Your next Subaru could be a single-speed mountain bike. If you live in Canada, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. A deadly Montreal underpass where a woman was killed riding her bike seven years ago now has a bike path with a concrete barrier to protect riders from passing drivers. And the ghost bike that was installed in her honor was removed Sunday to be transferred to a museum, where it will highlight the dangers on the streets.

Former Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams is one of us, as she goes for a London bike ride in a see-through top while filming a new six-part bio-series based on a memoir from Sex Pistols bassist Steve Jones. Sorry guys, they blurred that part out.

A Scottish bicyclist was forced to abandon his attempt to set a new record for the greatest distant ridden in a single week, after suffering a knee injury on the fourth day.

Those e-cargo bike front wheel skids may soon be a thing of the past, as Italian brake maker BluBrake introduces the world’s first ABS, aka anti-lock braking system, designed for electric cargo bikes. Thanks to Thomas Riebs for the tip.

She gets it. Germany’s first professor of bicycle traffic management says cars should give up space to make room for people on bicycles.

Ebike and electric scooter riders will now have to pass a theory test before they’re allowed to ride in Singapore, starting next month.

She gets it. The widow of a Kiwi bicyclist says a single mistake shouldn’t cost someone their life, while opposing jail for the truck driver who killed him.

 

Competitive Cycling

According to Cycling News, 21-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel stands suspended between stardom and superstardom since breaking his pelvis at Il Lombardia last August.

Cycling News also examines the omertà in women’s pro cycling, where virtually no one is talking about the shameful poverty wages — or no wages at all — paid to riders below the WorldTour level.

Cyclist talks to pro cyclists about their less-than-favorable reaction to UCI’s new safety rules.

The popular Over the Hump mountain bike race series will make a comeback at Irvine Lake on July 20th.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike has a sidecar. That feeling when the bike lane is blocked by a city bus, whose driver is busy having sex onboard.

And if you’re riding your bike after dark while carrying two bags of meth, put a damn light on it, already.

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Thanks to Matthew R for his monthly donation to help keep this site coming your way every day; your support is always welcome and appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Cost of traffic violence — 3 killed in SD crash, air better worldwide in pandemic, and bike quotes to get you riding

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Yesterday’s rains drove even more people than usual living on the streets to a San Diego underpass Sunday night, because they had nowhere else to go to seek shelter from the storm.

They paid for it with their lives the following morning when an allegedly impaired driver plowed onto the sidewalk, killing three people and injuring six others, two critically.

Seventy-one-year old Craig Voss arrested for three counts of vehicular manslaughter, as well as five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI for driving under the influence of drugs.

Police believe Voss was the subject of a call to 911 shortly before the crash reporting a possibly intoxicated driver.

But at least he remained at the scene and attempted to aid the victims.

Beyond the sheer tragedy of three more innocent victims sacrificed on the alter to motor vehicles, it’s heartbreaking that so many people who’ve already lost everything and have to live without a roof over their heads — for whatever reason — aren’t safe along the streets they’re forced to live on.

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One more sign of the damage done by motor vehicles.

Air quality improved in 84% of country’s worldwide when pandemic lockdowns forced many people to stop driving.

An improvement that will undoubtedly be reversed once businesses open back up and people go back to work.

Especially in places like Los Angeles, where so little was done during the closures to encourage more bike riding, walking and other forms of alternative transportation.

That compares to cities throughout Europe, which are doubling down on their successful efforts to encourage bicycling as a safe form of socially distanced transportation, with 600 miles of “cycle lanes, traffic-calming measures and car-free streets” installed over the last year.

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Parade Magazine, of all sources, dishes up 50 bicycling quotes to inspire you to get out and ride, including these —

“Everyone in their life has his own particular way of expressing life’s purpose – the lawyer his eloquence, the painter his palette, and the man of letters his pen from which the quick words of his story flow. I have my bicycle.” – Gino Bartali

“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr. K.K. Doty

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” Elizabeth West

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The good news is the city continues to improve safety for bicyclists in DTLA.

The bad is it seems to come at the expense of the rest of the city.

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Invest a short 20 seconds of your life to understand the freedom a bike can give someone with a disability.

And how easy it is to take it away.

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I want to be like him when I grow up.

A 77-year old Arizona man turned down his daughter’s offer to take him by car, and rode his bike nearly 50 miles roundtrip to get his Covid vaccine shot.

Although that might be trumped by a much shorter ride from a much older Dutch woman.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver with a history of violence walked without a single lousy day behind bars when a judge gave him a suspended sentence for assaulting a young couple who had stopped to fix a flat, first punching the man before knocking the woman down and stomping on her head. Seriously, what the hell are jails for, then?

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Local

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will hold a virtual joint meeting of the Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees starting at 1 pm this afternoon.

Spectrum News 1 looks at what’s driving pedaling the ebike boom.

 

State

Cooler heads prevail in Santa Barbara, where police reject calls to arrest young bike riders — primarily people of color — for riding bikes and performing stunts on the newly installed bike lane on the city’s State Street pedestrian plaza, with police saying they don’t want to “criminalize children for riding bikes.”

The good guys finally won one for a change, as police busted a pair of burglars who broke into a Larkspur bike shop and temporarily made off with seven bikes worth $29,000, after the owner spotted them inside his store on a live security cam.

Napa’s proposed new general plan envisions making the city’s main streets more walkable and bikeable.

 

National

Planetizen says ending traffic fatalities once and for all isn’t as farfetched as it seems.

That’s more like it. A Nogales AZ man will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider, while he was stoned on meth.

In an unusual move, dozens of volunteers teamed with Houston planning and public works officials to paint a new high-comfort popup bike lane. Maybe that could be a model for Los Angeles to finally end the auto-centric stasis on our streets.

Nine of the 21 candidates for a Queens city council seat took part in a bike ride through the district to examine problems and policies before the upcoming election. For years, the LACBC’s candidate surveys asked people running for city offices if they’d be willing to meet or ride with bicyclists if they were elected; even though most agreed, no one ever asked them to.

If you find yourself riding a bike in New Jersey, keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals. And put a damn bell on it.

Biking is booming in the City of Brotherly Love, too.

A Virginia op-ed calls for lowering speed limits to 15 mph to save lives. Although here in Southern California, a 15 mph speed limit means most drivers would still do 25 to 30 mph. But at least that would be an improvement for most drivers, who currently do 35 to 45 in a 25 mph residential zone.

That’s more like it. A North Carolina man got 33 to 49 months behind bars for the November hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Nice move from bikemaker Subrosa, which gave a new bike to a 15-year old Florida boy whose bicycle was destroyed in a hit-and-run crash; the company teamed with Adventure Cycling to give him the first bike from next year’s line, ensuring it will be a one-of-a-kind bike for the next several months.

Bike riders often spot things drivers don’t. Like a body lying near a Florida bike path, for instance.

 

International

Cyclist celebrates world bicycle speed record holder Denise Mueller-Korenek as Monday’s inspirational woman.

Gates Carbon Drive promotes a half-dozen new bikes using the company’s belt-drive products.

A neurodivergent Saskatoon, Saskatchewan kid will get a $3,500 adaptive bike back, after a bike thief was busted when he listed the unique bike for sale online.

A Mexico City woman is forging her own way in the traditionally male-dominated custom bicycle scene as the owner of the city’s only woman-run bike shop.

Damn straight. An English op-ed calls for trusting the experts when it comes to bicycling and traffic planning.

Germany’s Rose Bikes joined ranks with Commencal, Propain, Santa Cruz and other bike brands in announcing price increases due to rising costs caused by the pandemic.

Apparently, things are pretty much the same everywhere, as drivers continue to park in Philippine bike lanes, with most of the scofflaw vehicles belong to the government.

Remarkably, an Aussie bike rider was able to bounce back up when a dash cam video catches him in a frightening crash while trying to ride across a street.

 

Competitive Cycling

Writing for Red Bull, bike scribe Peter Flax profiles multi-time national champ and L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced “legion”) founder Justin Williams, and his drive to drag cycling into the age of diversity, kicking and screaming if he has to.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar continues to hold the lead after the penultimate stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico race, with Danish cyclist Mads Würtz Schmidt claiming his first WorldTour stage win.

British barrister and time trial specialist Jonathan Parker claims to have shattered the world record for 100 miles, checking in a slant two seconds under two hours and fifty minutes, beating the existing record by eight minutes.

UCI pulled the plug on the season opening Mountain Bike World Cup downhill race after Slovenian health officials urged them to reschedule due to the ongoing pandemic.

A 16-year old Georgia boy’s only goal was to finish the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational fat bike race; instead, he somehow managed to finish third.

 

Finally…

Turn your body into a mini-electric generator when you ride. Another reminder why your bike should sleep indoors, especially during a massive winter storm.

And maybe this will get drivers to give you a little space.

https://twitter.com/svblxyz/status/1371401312177377280

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Apropos of that aforementioned winter storm, I love this image from my home state, where the snow is nearly one corgi deep.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for the laugh.

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

Examining the carnage caused by speeding drivers, the bike boom runs on batteries, and early LA bike cops

Speed kills.

In a column for the LA Times, the paper’s Steve Lopez examines the rising carnage on our streets caused by speeding drivers.

Lopez constructs his story through the lens of the needless deaths of 68-year old Larry Brooks, killed by a driver in $280,000, 200 mph McLaren, and 32-year-old Monique Munoz, whose life was taken by a 17-year old in a $200,000-plus Lamborghini SUV.

Not that you need a high-end super car to speed. Or take an innocent life.

In fact, it seems to be a rising trend.

In the first month of the pandemic last spring, the California Highway Patrol reported that although traffic volume was down 35%, the number of citations for driving in excess of 100 miles an hour had increased by 87% over the same period a year earlier. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 4,851 more CHP citations were issued for speeding at 100 miles an hour or more, a 93% increase over the same period a year earlier.

And too often, the people who pay the price aren’t the ones with their foot glued to the gas pedal. Three years ago, speeding played a role in roughly a third of all crashes resulting in death or serious injury, according to the most recent stats from the CHP.

Not that more timely statistics would help prevent more deaths, or anything.

Then there’s the broken promise of Vision Zero, which was supposed to be well on its way to ending traffic deaths in the City of Angels by now.

Not making more of them.

The Vision Zero campaign, announced by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2015, set an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries and making streets safer for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists by 2025. The progress, and the reviews, have not been sterling. In the Arts District, where Larry Brooks was killed, residents have begged for more sidewalks and crosswalks. A $15-million state grant for such improvements has yet to be put to work.

Budgets, bureaucracy, politics and competing priorities have stood in the way of safety improvements such as turn lanes, crosswalks, signage and enforcement throughout the city. But (LADOT General Manager Seleta) Reynolds said progress is being made and her department has identified 450 miles of city streets where more than two-thirds of the fatal and serious collisions have occurred, with improvements there being prioritized.

Except nibbling at the edges of traffic safety wasn’t what we were promised. And won’t bring about the wholesale changes to the city’s traffic grid necessary to make a substantial dent in the rate of traffic deaths.

Let alone end them in the next four years, as the mayor committed to in announcing the plan six years ago.

Or do much to reduce the number of speeding drivers on LA’s over-engineered streets, as evidenced by the LAPD’s own stats.

(LAPD Traffic Division Cmdr. Gerald) Woodyard ran stats for the 12 pandemic months ending Feb. 28 of this year and found that fatal collisions in which speed was a factor increased from 15% to 21% of the total. Of the 253 fatalities, 117 involved pedestrians, and 48 of the victims were identified as “homeless or transient.”

Let’s hope that the state legislature gets serious about eliminating that deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to set speed limits with their right foot, and legalizing automated speed enforcement to slow them down.

And maybe Los Angeles can spend some of the $1.35 billion it will be getting in the latest Covid stimulus package to fully fund Vision Zero, and stop using that for an excuse for why nothing gets done.

Then our elected leaders will just have to grow a spine. Or at least enough of one to stand up to angry drivers who demand the right to keep going zoom zoom on our streets, unimpeded by anything that might slow them down.

Like a person, for instance.

If not, maybe we can replace them with new leaders who already have one.

Take a few minutes to read the full piece. It’s worth your time to grasp the full cost of drivers who insist on putting the pedal to the metal.

Because let’s face it, you can’t spell “carnage” without “car.”

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR from Pexels.

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Speed kills, part two.

Two people were killed, and four seriously injured, when a speeding driver lost control on Vineland Ave in North Hollywood, slamming into two other cars and killing a man who had just stepped out of a liquor store; a passenger in one of the cars was the other person killed.

The crash occurred just blocks from the bike lanes on Vineland.

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More proof that much of the current bike boom runs on batteries.

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Actually, it looks like most of those “hats” are helmets on the heads of the LAPD’s first bike cops.

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

It takes a real lowlife to torch a Cambridge, Massachusetts ghost bike.

People are attacking a Welsh bikeshare provider, with an average of two bikes damaged each day over a five-week period; 20 people have been arrested so far for vandalizing the bikes.

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

Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter complains she almost channeled her rage-filled superhero alter ego when she was rudely hit on by a bike riding man while walking on a sidewalk.

British police bust a 19-year old, bike-riding serial groper accused of attacking 12 woman on a Cambridge bike path.

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Local

Officials conclude that a proposed bike lane on Western Ave in Rancho Palos Verdes won’t have a negative effect on traffic.

 

State

Calbike says it’s time for California to legalize the Safety Stop, which would allow bike riders to legally treat stop signs as yields, as most bike riders — and many drivers — already do. Actually, it was time about 30 years ago; now it’s way past time to get it done.

Encinitas will host a free ebike seminar on the 26th.

No bias here, either. A Santa Barbara letter writer says the new bike lanes on State Street make no sense, and accuses leaders of kowtowing to “the minority bike lobby.”

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Saturday evening; he was allegedly riding the wrong way when a driver hit him head-on.

Kindhearted members of a Cal Fire crew bought a new bicycle and helmet for an eight-year old Pescadero boy after his were damaged when he was hit by a driver.

No bias here. A Chico State student investigating police bias and racial profiling in campus traffic stops unexpectedly finds himself stopped by three university police officers in a pair of squad cars as he was riding his bike, long after leaving the campus. He was told he somehow looked suspicious because he rode his bike away from the cop he didn’t see, who wasn’t trying to stop him. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

 

National

City Lab examines the irrational growth in the sheer size of pickup trucks, some of which now weigh as much as 3.5 tons, posing a dramatically increased risk to everyone on the road around them. Correction: I originally wrote the pickups weigh up to 7 tons, rather than 3.5. Thanks to Andy Stow for the correction.

Washington state is moving forward with a bill to bar sales tax for ebikes.

Bodycam video appears to show a 17-year old Arizona boy reaching for a gun after fleeing from police on foot, after what originally began as a simple traffic stop for not having a headlight on his bike; he died three weeks after the shooting — and after begging the cop not to let him die. Thanks to BGD Reporters and Rafe Husain for the tip.

A Utah bike rider was stabbed in the arm in a random attack, moments after an attacker robbed another person just to smash their phone on the ground.

PeopleForBikes spends a day with a bike-borne Boulder CO food rescue.

Despite their new found legal status, ebike and scooter riders find themselves banned from New York’s Hudson River Greenway.

Once again, a driver has fled after running down multiple riders; one woman was killed and another seriously injured when they were rear-ended by the heartless, cowardly driver while on a Florida bike club’s annual member appreciation ride.

 

International

A new Cannondale ad campaign is appearing at iconic sites around the world, as the bike boom pushes the company into the mainstream.

Take a single-track excursion on a Mexican mountain bike Mecca built by a Walmart heir.

We already knew Harrison Ford was one of us, as he dons his spandex for a nearly 800-mile ride from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas. Although some people can’t seem to get over his “skintight outfit.”

Canada’s Liberal government is attempting to solve the country’s first mile/last mile problem by allocating a whopping $400 million for bike paths.

Thieves are feasting on bicycles from bike shed in an English housing development certified as secure by the local police department, because of ventilation holes big enough for someone to reach in and unlock the door. Evidently, the police wanted to ensure the bikes got plenty of fresh air when they weren’t in use.

A UK prosthetics experts is back on his bike after becoming his own patient when he lost his right arm in a bicycling collision with a truck driver.

Photographic proof that the British royal family are no strangers to bicycles.

When is a bicycle not a bicycle? When you strap a gasoline engine to it in Ireland.

A man was fatally shot after threatening a Paris bike cop with a knife outside a train station.

Spanish former F1 champ Fernando Alonso will now have to race with two titanium plates patching his fractured jaw after collision while riding his bike last month.

Peshawar becomes the first city in Pakistan to open a bikeshare service.

An Israeli man who once rode 41,000 miles around the world is credited with saving seven lives by donating his organs when he was hit by a bus driver while making an Everesting attempt near Haifa.

South African bike thieves are using pepper spray to knock riders off their bicycles. But at least they haven’t put a stop to the Cape Town edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

Business is booming for Taiwanese bikemakers, with revenues up as much as 80%, even though delivery times are down.

An Aussie woman thanks a passing driver for saving her daughter’s life when the bikes failed on the girl’s borrowed bicycle, and she crashed into a parked car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Another reminder that there’s no sure thing in bike racing. Slovenian cyclist Primož Roglič lost his firm grip on the Paris-Nice podium by falling twice on the last stage and dislocating his shoulder. Germany’s Max Schachmann made up a 52-second deficit to take the win.

 

Finally…

Evidently, your body is a bicycle. Your next bike could have no crossbar, fork or seat.

And who hasn’t ridden 163 miles just to get a cup of coffee?

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

Wealthy LA-area man accused of shielding son in deadly crash, cargo bikes and dogs, and ride like a bike messenger

Is this who we share the road with?

A Reddit user accused an LA-area millionaire of allegedly using his money and influence to protect his speeding, Lamborghini-driving son from the consequences for killing a woman driving another car on Olympic Blvd in Westwood.

Monique Munoz was killed when a 17 year old, driving a $200,000 Lamborghini at over 100 MPH crashed into her at 5PM. The drivers father, James Khuri, is a millionaire and has been throwing money to get any news coverage of the incident pushed to the back of google and have positive articles of himself populated instead. Meanwhile, following Moniques death Khuri has been posting about his lavish lifestyle on Instagram and deleting and blocking  anything in reference to Monique. It’s been two weeks and no charges have been pressed.#JusticeForMoniqueMunoz

Update: Anyone interested in helping please email DA Gascon to move forward with the case at info@da.lacounty.gov and keep the story alive on socials. #JusticeforMoniqueMunoz

Photo by Sundesh Chaudhary from Pexels.

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Dogs and bikes. What’s not to like?

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How to ride like a bike messenger.

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This is the difference a well-planned bikeway can make.

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

A British woman claimed a bike rider somehow threw himself onto the hood of her car, and flashed a salute as he slid off. Although we can probably guess what kind of salute it was, and how many fingers he used.

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Local

Today is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the neighborhood council elections in the Hollywood and Mid City areas.

LA street safety PAC Streets For All will host a free virtual happy hour with bike-friendly Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin on Wednesday.

 

State

San Clemente has banned ebikes from the city’s eponymous pier, as well as the city’s beachfront trail.

Sad news from Turlock, where a 44-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; police are looking for the driver of a gray or charcoal Mercedes sedan with possible front-end or side damage.

The news wasn’t any better in San Jose, where an 81-year old man was killed when he was right hooked while riding his bike; the case will be reviewed by the DA’s office to determine if the driver will face charges.

And still more bad news from the Bay Area, where a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when her bike was hit by a van driver in Golden Gate Park. Which raises the eternal question of what the hell are motor vehicles doing in a public park in the first place?

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for keeping a small street next to the city’s new transit center open to people and closed to cars, instead of converting it to an access ramp for a new parking garage.

 

National

Advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen, including using multiple locks, taking your seat with you, and letingt your bike sleep inside whenever possible when not in use. Or you could just make potential thieves vomit all over your bike.

Bicycling says riding a cargo bike is the perfect way to instantly add joy to any outing. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Yahoo version this time in case bicycling blocks you.

VeloNews offers a new website for women gravel grinders.

A retired army colonel is riding his bike from San Diego to Florida’s St. Augustine Beach to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project; so far he’s raised $12,000 of the $100,000 goal.

A Sitka, Alaska driver learns the hard way that it may not be the best idea to flee the scene after killing a bike rider when you live in a town of less than 10,000 people.

Seattle researchers discover racial disparities in traffic stops and tickets are prevalent throughout the city, including enforcement of the city’s mandatory helmet law.

A Bellingham WA driver questions whether a bike rider belongs in the center of a traffic lane with those funny symbols of a bicycle and some arrows; the local newspaper patiently explains that those things are called sharrows.

Chicago suffered the city’s first bicycling fatality of the year when a woman was killed by an unlicensed driver in an apparent right hook.

Gothamist examines where the candidates for mayor of New York stand on the future of bicycling in the city.

 

International

This is who we share the road with, part 2. A Brazilian motorcyclist clung to a large truck for dear life as the apparently unaware driver carried him 19 miles following a crash that took his wife’s life.

A Kenyan TV station marks International Women’s Day by talking with the bike-riding head of the country’s World Wide Fund for Nature, who founded a public awareness and advocacy campaign calling for safety for everyone, including bike riders and pedestrians, without prejudice, on Kenyan roads.

A Aussie driver faces charges for allegedly killing a 57-year old bicyclist while driving stoned, then ditching a large quantity of illegal narcotics following the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s first Tour de France winner was a woman.

Former Tour de France competitor Peter Stetina continues his post-pro tour winning ways by capturing Alaska’s 100-mile Gravel Hugger Race.

 

Finally…

Coyotes don’t attack people on bicycles — except, apparently, when they do. What good is karate if it can’t protect your dojo from cars?

And no, this probably isn’t the right message for International Women’s Day.

Or any other day, for that matter.

https://twitter.com/AwesomeCycling/status/1368501816363806722

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

LA brags about modest bike lane mileage, resource guide for traffic violence victims, and Trek sued over WaveCel claims

Los Angeles continues to nibble at the edges of bike safety, as the city touts the installation or improvement of 61 miles of bike lanes in 2020.

That includes nearly 13 miles of new bike lanes on South LA’s Avalon Blvd.

However, it’s important to remember that LADOT measures bike lanes in lane miles, which means that each side of the roadway is counted separately. So that 61 miles really means bike lanes were added or improved on just 30 miles of streets.

That’s a big step up from the ten lane miles installed in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but still just a fraction of the annual totals built during Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure as mayor — although the city is installing more protected and separated bike lanes now.

However, it still neglects large segments of the city, and makes no attempt to create a connected bike lane network crossing Los Angeles — let alone the three interconnected networks called for in the city’s mobility plan.

Bike lane construction for 2021 is expected to concentrate on Figueroa Blvd in DTLA and Broadway in South LA.

So who knows?

Maybe someday the city will finally get around to building bike lanes where you ride while you’re still young enough to use them.

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Losing a loved one is hard enough under any conditions.

Let alone losing someone you love to traffic violence.

That’s why Southern California Families for Safe Streets, a project of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, is offering a free resource guide for people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss.

The guide was prepared by people who have gone through it themselves, including tips on how to turn your grief into effective action.

Let’s hope you never need it.

But roughly 3,500 California families did in 2019. And probably will this year.

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Why wait for local leaders to rip out a bike lane, when you can just turn an offroad bike path into your own personal car lane?

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It’s not new, but this video offers a recumbent tour of a unique California neighborhood where homes have hangers instead of garages, and taxiways in place of streets.

Thanks to the free, daily California Sun newsletter for the link.

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Forget the latest high-end, high-tech wonders. Pink Bike takes a look at what everyday bike riders are riding.

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

Someone has been removing bollards from a protected bike lane in the UK and just tossing them across the surrounding area, creating a hazard for people riding bicycles, as well as others who might trip or drive over them.

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

An Aussie bike rider unloads on a motorist after the car’s passenger threw litter at him. Seriously, don’t do this, kids. Violence is never the answer. Although I may have been known to toss trash back through the driver’s window.

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Local

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition reminds the city — and everyone else — that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just people on bikes.

 

State

Six women will set out to break three world records on Saturday by riding elliptical bikes up San Diego’s steep Mt. Palomar, with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in just 12.5 miles.

Santa Barbara has embarked on a stunning remake of Los Positas Road to add a 2.6-mile multi-use path connecting to the beach.

 

National

Maybe there’s hope yet. Streetsblog says the victories by Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia opens the way for a long-delayed revamp of the national transportation bill to create greater sustainability, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation.

A new lawsuit accuses Trek of falsely claiming its Bontrager WaveCel helmets are up to 48 times more effective than traditional foam bike helmets in order to command a higher price.

The Drive recommends their picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

Anyone can build up an existing frame, so learn how to weld your own, instead.

Las Vegas bike advocates are responding to the recent death of five experienced bicyclists at the hands of a meth-using truck driver by pushing for greater safety for people on two wheels, including a call for a presumed liability law that would shift the burden of proof to the person in the more dangerous vehicle.

A Nyack NY bike shop is shutting down after nearly 50 years, after long days due to the pandemic bike boom took all the fun out of it for the owner, and emptied all the shop’s inventory, anyway.

New York suffered its first bicycling death of 2021 when an ebike rider inexplicably rode into the back of a parked SUV, the same day Southern California saw the year’s first first bike rider killed in a Riverside hit-and-run.

Great idea. A New Jersey business district is offering shoppers free twice-weekly delivery by cargo bike.

 

International

Road.cc rates 15 aluminum disk brake bikes, calling them today’s best value bikes.

More evidence of the worldwide bike boom, as London’s bikeshare system saw a record-setting 157% increase in registrations during the pandemic.

Two Irish cousins will spend at least a couple decades behind bars for murdering another man in a case of mistaken identity after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle; one man got a life sentence while the other received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

A Dutch university has developed a tool to wirelessly recharge ebikes through the kickstand.

Admitting to mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, Milan’s mayor is committed to changing how people get around the formerly auto-centric city, including plans for 185 miles of new bike lanes, with 21 miles already installed during the initial lockdown.

A horrifying crime, as Indian vigilantes kidnapped 30 women and children because they suspected men in the nomadic tribe of stealing bikes. Although they may have accused them of stealing motorcycles, rather than bicycles, since the Indian press uses the same term for both.

Malaysian bicyclists say new bike riders inspired by the pandemic bike boom are giving the rest of them a bad name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, the pros do care what you say about them. So be nice.

Former doper and current gelati maker Riccardo Riccò just says no to the Covid-19 vaccine, thanks to a newfound concern over what he puts in his body.

 

Finally…

Just what every aspiring fashionista needs — a $27,000 haute couture bicycle. Your lifelong wait for bike shorts with built-in artificial intelligence and stimulating electrodes is finally over.

And if you’re using your bike to burglarize motor vehicles, just put a damn light on it, already.

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

After Pasadena NIMBYs shouted down safety improvements, deadly Orange Grove Blvd claims two more victims

Let’s pause for a moment before we start to remember the victims of two Orange County bicycling collisions just hours apart on Sunday.

Never put it past OC to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence by adding to them. 

Then wonder what the hell is going on down there, as the county suffers its 15th bicycling death of the year — the same as Los Angeles County, with over three times the population of OC.

And six weeks still to go.

Be careful out there.

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Pasadena learns the cost of doing nothing after NIMBY’s coordinated by anti-road diet pressure group Keep LA Moving literally shouted down plans to install protected bike lanes to improve safety on deadly Orange Grove Blvd.

Peter Flax points the finger directly at Keep LA Moving and its founder, as well as local chapter Keep Pasadena Moving.

Sadly, more people will continue to die until something is finally done to reduce road space and cut traffic speed.

And just like the coronavirus, the people concerned about it can’t do much to improve things until everyone else starts to care, too.

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They get it.

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Harry Styles is sort of one of us, posing for Vogue with an antique bicycle while wearing a kilt.

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

Call it a greatest hits of careless passes from just one UK town.

https://twitter.com/northumbriapol/status/1328280503938641922?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1328280503938641922%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.itv.com%2Fnews%2Ftyne-tees%2F2020-11-16%2Fpolice-release-shocking-video-to-show-how-dangerous-drivers-put-cyclists-lives-at-risk

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Local

KABC-7 visits the East Side Riders Bike Club, which is working to help kids stay out of gangs by keeping them occupied on their bikes two hours a day.

A number of proposals are on the table to restore the Ballona Wetlands, but only two including expanding bicycle access.

 

State

A seven-mile stretch of Carlsbad Blvd, aka Old Highway 101, will form part of U.S. Bicycle Route 95 running the length of California.

Next year’s Sea Otter Classic is scheduled for May 20th through 23rd in Monterey, after this year’s event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Sonoma County won’t appeal a $1.3 million judgement for a bike rider who was badly injured after hitting a pothole.

 

National

A writer for Electrek gets the first test ride on Harley Davidson’s new ebikes, while TechRadar finds the prices, starting around $3,400, surprisingly affordable.

And completing today’s Peter Flax trifecta, he visits the Horton Collection, America’s greatest collection of bicycling memorabilia. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Memphis is pushing for ways to improve a deadly intersection after a bike rider was killed and another seriously injured in a crash; both were collateral damage in a collision between two motorists as they were waiting on the red light.

A new ten-mile Vermont mountain bike trail fills a vital gap in a planned network of mountain bike trails crossing the state.

New York Mayor de Blasio dismissed a proposal to remove traffic enforcement duties from the NYPD, saying it would be counterproductive, because Vision Zero requires “a very muscular approach by law enforcement.” Which is actually the opposite of how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

Maybe it’s not too surprising that an increase in bike thefts has followed in the wake of the bike boom, with bike theft up statewide in North Carolina.

 

International

Cyclist relates how ebikes are getting people back into bicycling after years off their bikes.

English bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid talks with shop owners about London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, and discovers they’ve gone from opponents to supporters.

The British government continues to promote bicycling as an alternative to driving and transit during the pandemic, with a second round of bike repair vouchers to help people get their bikes in ridable condition.

No surprise here. A new study from the UK shows men are three times more likely than women to drive over 100 mph.

Police officials in a British town say they’ve taken action against drivers on 80% of close pass videos sent to them by bike riders. We need to change the law so that can happen here; currently police in California are unable to use video for traffic violations and misdemeanor infractions.

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars after being convicted of manslaughter for stabbing another boy five times in a dispute over a bicycle. We’ve said it before — no bike is worth a human life, yours or someone else’s. Just let it go.

Berlin may be a cycling city, but it’s still plagued with some of Europe’s worst bike lanes.

A Venezuelan Olympic gold medal fencer is delivering food by bike for Uber Eats in Poland to feed his family as he trains for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is just one step away from being one of ten individual athletes to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal; a bill to do that is on President Trump’s desk waiting for his signature.

Popular former pro Ted King set a new record in winning the 1,017-mile Arkansas High Country endurance race; finishing right behind him was the only woman in the race, who also had a record winning time.

 

Finally…

So who needs a seat post on a tri bike, anyway? Ticketing kids on bikes since at least 1963.

And apparently, even NFL stars toss their bikes in anger.

Not to be confused with tossing your cookies, which is an entirely different thing.

………

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

LA traffic collisions — and bike deaths — drop dramatically, our debt to Alex Trebek, and Culver City bus/bike lanes

No surprise here.

Traffic collisions dropped nearly 42% in Los Angeles during the pandemic lockdown earlier this year, as many drivers stayed home and off the roads.

What’s more surprising is that’s also reflected in the dramatic drop in bicycling deaths in LA County this year, at less than half of last year’s total — 14 so far this year, compared to 34 for all of last year.

Now if we could just keep it that way, as traffic creeps back up to pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s photo comes courtesy of David Drexler, combining two of my favorite things — bikes and coffee.

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Your periodic reminder that some people can live forever, and still be gone too soon.

And this.

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Here’s your chance to weigh in on proposed bus/bike lanes in Culver City, which is rapidly lapping Los Angeles in the race for safe streets.

Then again, it’s not hard to lap someone who never left the starting gate.

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This is who we share the roads with.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could just drive off and leave an 87-year old man to die in the street.

And hopefully, a special place behind bars, for a very long time.

Meanwhile, if they really want to put a dent in street racing, make the impound permanent.

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John McBrearty forwards this short video about his bike club’s annual bike build program for kids at the YMCA.

While the video is a couple years old, he assures me it’s taking place once again this year if you want to get involved.

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We can thank Bart Anderson for forwarding this YouTube version of last month’s BBC report on Europe’s bike boom, which wasn’t previously viewable in the US.

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The Bike League is looking for speakers for their upcoming virtual Bike Summit.

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

Monterey bike riders can breathe a little easier tonight, after the local DA announced a man who threw acid on a bike rider 20 years ago will stay in a mental hospital for the foreseeable future.

A Nevada man is being held on $120,000 bail for allegedly shooting a 14-year girl with a BB gun as she was riding her bike; he faces charges of conspiring to commit child abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

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Local

Looks like Metro is finally getting it, after moving to open up highway funds so local communities can use the money for bike, pedestrian and transit projects, instead.

The Los Angeles Business Journal examines how LA bike shops are struggling to keep up with increased demand due to the bike boom.

A man faces charges for pepper spraying and robbing someone on the beachfront bike path in Santa Monica at 1:37 in the morning; a second suspect was released to…wait for it…his mommy.

Long Beach receives a $275,000 state grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety education programs.

Streets for All is hosting a virtual happy hour with the founders of CicLAvia tomorrow.

 

State

Fontana police are looking for the driver who fled the scene after rear-ending a bike rider last week.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is keeping up the fight for a safer Market Street after the city tries cutting corners by cancelling plans for a raised bike lane.

 

National

Bicycling considers the best bike trailers to ride with your kids. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager offers advice on how to overcome common bike riding fears, like descending wet roads and riding in traffic. Once again, you can read it on Yahoo

A Seattle-area man committed suicide just hours before a jury convicted him of raping and murdering a young woman nearly 50 years ago as she was riding her bike. Speaking of a special place in hell, he’s probably already roasting. 

Remarkably, a Las Vegas driver remained at the scene following a high speed crash that took the life of a man riding his bike, despite some outstanding arrest warrants. Then again, if he’d been arrested sooner, the victim might still be with us.

 

International

The BBC looks at the technological advances in the never-ending war against bike thieves.

Good news for ebike riders, as a new Dutch study shows ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes. Although another study blames ebikes for the rise in traffic deaths among elderly riders.

Madrid’s El Pais maps out how cities around the world are responding to the coronavirus crisis by expanding their bike networks. Note that LA was not included, despite its grand total of zero popup bike lanes.

Ebikes are encouraging Kiwis to get off the couch and start exercising again.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to ride a bike cross-country; another to make the trip on a Penny Farthing. If you leave the parking meters next to the curb after installing a protected bike lane, where the hell do they think people will park?

And we’re finally training someone to fill in and write these posts when I can’t.

 

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

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