Tag Archive for Ukraine

Russian soldier faces war crimes trial for killing bike rider, drivers behaving badly, and Metro releases draft 405 corridor plan

Ukraine announced plans to try a 21-year old Russian soldier for war crimes, for killing a 62-year old civilian walking his bicycle just feet from his home.

He reportedly was ordered to shoot the man as a group of Russian soldiers were fleeing a Ukrainian counterattack in a commandeered car during the first days of the war, so the victim couldn’t report their location to Ukrainian forces.

According to The Washington Post,

The prosecutor’s office said that Ukrainian investigators collected evidence of the soldier’s involvement, finding him “in violation of the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder,” and that the crime can carry a penalty of 10 to 15 years or life in prison. The statement did not provide details on the nature of the evidence or how the Russian soldier ended up in Ukrainian custody.

He is the first Russian soldier to be charged with a war crime while in Ukrainian custody, though ten soldiers were charged in absentia last month for the torture and mutilation of civilians in Bucha.

Ukraine reports evidence of more than 10,000 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces, with 5,000 open investigations.

He faces 10 to 15 years if he’s convicted.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Photo by Matti from Pexels

………

On a related subject, our anonymous courtroom correspondent writes in with a few observations, including turning heads with her two-wheeled support of the country under attack by Russian forces.

I’ve been flying a little (12″x18″) Ukrainian flag on my rear bike basket for a couple months now but constantly reconsider because whoo boy does it attract the honking.

………

Remember Santa Barbara’s intention to designate In-N-Out a nuisance due to the traffic it attracts? Santa Ana just plans it into the street. Those pesky cyclists are never in the way of hungry drivers turning, or just waiting on the roadway to turn!

………

In the latest edition of Motorists Behaving Badly:

Last week at the Pasadena DMV, a driver hit a DMV examiner, and then (sigh) backed up into a parked vehicle. This was an already licensed motorist, btw. Somehow.

Meanwhile, in Orange County the same night, a speeding driver smashed into a house on Newport Blvd…and then caught fire. The road road here has the CMUTC’s minimum-width bike lanes, and a (maximum) speed limit of 50mph. County officials remain confused as to how a collision possibly could’ve happened.

………

Metro is looking for public comments on their draft comprehensive multimodal corridor plan for LA County’s I-405 Corridor 

Meanwhile, Streets For All is calling for everyone to tell Metro to stop wasting billions on freeway widening projects that only create more induced demand.

The agency’s new draft budget increases freeway spending 33%, on top of last years massive 80% boost.

………

Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, corrects yesterday’s item saying there’s no Ride of Silence planned for Los Angeles County this Wednesday.

He notes that The Cycling Connection in Rancho Cucamonga will host a Ride of Silence as part of the international movement to honor fallen bike riders and other victims of traffic violent.

There will also be a daytime Ride of Silence on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

………

As former New York DOT Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan wrote, first they’ll fight it, then they’ll fight to keep it.

………

Grist offers an explainer on the deadly 85th Percentile Law, using LA’s deadly Zelzah Ave as a case in point.

………

No argument here.

Although we may never know how that feels.

………

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

No bias here. Britain’s Express newspaper asked its readers if “cyclists should own the road or should drivers have priority?” And got exactly the responses you’d expect by wording it that way.

………

Local

The Los Angeles Times continued their string of endorsements of progressive candidates for city council, recommending civil rights attorney Erin Darling to replace outgoing Mike Bonin in the Westside’s CD11. Darling also earned my endorsement a few weeks ago for his support of safe, livable streets.

LAist offers a detailed voters guide to the upcoming June primary election.

Join a family friendly ride with Walk Bike Glendale and Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian this Saturday.

 

State 

Berkeley approves a new mile-long protected bike lane on Hopkins Street, despite the usual panic over removing parking spaces.

San Francisco moves to ban racially biased pretext traffic stops, preventing police from stopping people for minor traffic infractions such as broken tail lights, jaywalking, or tinted windows.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

 

National

Cycling Weekly profiles the young women who will ride this year’s 950-mile Remember the Removal Bike Ride, retracing the route taken by their Cherokee ancestors during the infamous Trail of Tears; over a quarter of the 16,000 members of the Cherokee Nation ordered out of their ancestral lands by the US government died of starvation, disease or exposure during the forced march.

L’Étape by Tour de France promises to bring the full Tour experience to Las Vegas next year, with a new 25 mile, 50 mile and 75 mile fondo through Sin City. But will there be someone dressed as the devil to chase you?

Hats off to Salt Lake City, where the city council voted unanimously that 20 is plenty, reducing speeds on 70% of the city’s streets to 20 mph. Meanwhile, the city is forming a task force to fight road rage, and boosting spending on traffic safety to combat a jump in pedestrian deaths.

Aspen, Colorado is moving towards requiring ebike renters to watch a bike safety video before they’re allowed on local trails.

One more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Davenport, Iowa man was sentenced to a whopping 55 years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after driving aggressively and running multiple red lights; it was his third DUI offense. Although even I think that sentence might be just a tad extreme.

A Rhode Island op-ed says it’s both the best and worst of times for the state’s bicyclists, as they mark Bike Month while a hostile DOT has stalled any progress.

Authorities in New Jersey’s Hudson County are standing in the way of the area’s first bike lane, preferring parking over the safety of people on bicycles.

 

International

Cyclist explains the mechanics that make an ebike tick. Meanwhile, a writer for the magazine says she crashed her bike for the first time in years, and learned…nothing.

Kingston, Ontario voted to eliminate parking minimums, replacing them with maximum limits on parking spaces for commercial and residential buildings, as well as requiring parking for bicycles, e-scooters and shared vehicles.

A Toronto website offers tips on how to maximize your speed crossing the city on two wheels.

A former Antigua national cycling champ is fighting for his life after a driver claims he was at the wheel when he ran down four bicyclists training for a weekend race, which was cancelled in the wake of the crash; another victim says the collision has left him mentally struggling.

Evidently they know something we don’t. As American road deaths climb to levels rivaling the bad old days, European traffic fatalities continue to drop, declining 17% in 2020 to continue a nearly 20-year trend.

 

Competitive Cycling

Frenchman Arnaud Démare won a mass sprint for the finish line in Wednesday’s 5th stage of the Giro, while 2nd place finisher Fernando Gaviria risked a sponsorship blowup by blaming his “shit” bike for the loss.

 

Finally…

We might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to confront rogue bulls on the loose. Now you, too, can own a home just off the Marvin Braude bike trail in Santa Monica for a mere 13 million bucks.

And let’s finish today with a peppy ode to new bike day. Which may be my new favorite song for the summer.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Not so fast on schooling Long Beach cop, bike community raises funds for Ukraine, and teaching truckers urban bike skills

Well, maybe not.

That video we linked to yesterday showing a BMX rider educating a Long Beach cop and standing up for his right to ride may not have gotten it right after all.

This comment from Steve suggests that the cop may have been right, if the video was filmed after 10 am, and the riders were going any faster than a slow walk.

Re schooling the cop…the law was a bit more complex and of course no one bother to look the law up and read it. Typical. the cop was right (unless the riders were under 3 mph..looks like it was daylight hrs from the video..after 10 am?)
§ 16.08.502. Bicycles on Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.
Latest version.

Bicycle riding on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade is prohibited in excess of three (3) miles per hour between the hours of ten o’clock (10:00) a.m. and ten o’clock (10:00) p.m., except City employees in the performance of their duties.

(ORD-08-0014 § 31, 2008)

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

………

Nice to see the cycling community step up to help Ukraine following the invasion and massacre of civilians by Russian troops.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton raised over $200,000 for the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund by riding 42 hours straight from Munich to Ukraine’s border with Poland, a distance of 661 miles.

Tennessee bikemaker Obed is auctioning an aero carbon gravel bike painted in the country’s colors to benefit UNICEF’s Protect Children in Ukraine Fund.

Former cycling great Jan Ullrich is auctioning off one of his own bikes from the 1998 Tour de France marred by the infamous Festina Affair to raise funds for A Heart for Children, to support sick kids and orphans in war-torn Ukraine.

Although personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing someone crowdfund money for a cruise missile pre-programmed for Putin’s dacha.

But maybe that’s just me.

………

A DC website says maybe the viral bike rider shown below giving the so-called “People’s Convoy” truck driver’s protest a taste of their own medicine was just demonstrating safe urban bicycling skills.

………

Why wouldn’t William Shatner ride an ebike accompanied by a robed gospel choir?

………

Today’s mountain bike break comes from just outside Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

……….

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

British broadcaster Jeremy Vine calls for a “toxic” van driver to be fired for driving up on the sidewalk to get around a stopped taxi. Never mind the recently removed bike lane that might have prevented it.

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

Apparently, Irish police don’t take too kindly to someone riding the roads with a “dangerously defective” DIY gas-powered mountain bike.

………

Local

Streetsblog takes a second look at the new Taylor Yard bike bridge.

Burbank/Glendale Assemblymember Laura Friedman will join CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman, LA Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds to discuss transportation projects in the San Fernando Valley via Zoom Thursday evening.

LAist looks at the difficulties faced by the US branch of Ukrainian ebike maker Delfast, headquartered in a Whittier storefront, following Russia’s merciless invasion of the East European country.

 

State 

Singletracks profiles the San Diego Mountain Bike Association as they advocate  for trails in California’s second most-popululated county.

Hats off to the Bay Area’s Bike East Bay, which is celebrating 50 hard-earned years of advocacy.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on getting a bike helmet your kid will actually want to wear. Although I’m partial to the ones with a faux mohawk, myself. 

Washington State votes to ban new gas-powered vehicles by 2030.

The accused hit-and-run driver who killed an older married couple riding their bikes in Tucson, Arizona Saturday morning claims he blacked out and has no memory of the crash; he admits to drinking and getting stoned the night before, and was still apparently wasted at the time of the 10 am wreck.

A Kansas woman copped a plea to reduced charges for running down a man riding a bicycle, then getting out and shooting him to death. No word on whether she knew the victim.

San Antonio, Texas bicyclists say a poorly designed bike trail crossing that hides oncoming traffic from view was responsible for a bike rider’s death. The crossing calls for bicyclists to dismount and walk their bikes across the street, demonstrating that the people who designed it live in an alternate reality.

A Minnesota man faces up to ten years behind bars for killing a 73-year old priest when he drove onto the shoulder and rear-ended the man’s bicycle.

A bike shop founded by a Michigan couple works to provide bicycles to people in need, including former convicts in need of transportation after their release.

 

International

PinkBike looks at five new products from small European manufacturers.

A UK website considers the advantages of bicycling rather than driving, but leaves out most of them. Like actually enjoying your commute while you help save the planet, without putting oil money in Putin’s pocket.

Retired pro cyclist Dan Craven is starting a new brand of handmade steel frame bicycles in his native Namibia to help put skilled craftsmen to work in his home town of Omaruru; the brand name Onguza “comes from the Namibian word ‘okuti-onguza’, meaning ‘the great expanse of desert out there’ in the Himba and Herero languages.”

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews unveils what the top 20 male pro cyclists earn in annual salary, led by Tadej Pogačar with the equivalent of $6.59 million. Although lower paid members of the WorldTour peloton squeaks by with a relatively paltry minimum salary of $40,000. And women on the WorldTour earn considerably less, with the top pros getting less than $90,000.

Bad news from stage two of Spain’s Tour of Catalunya, where 31-year old Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli collapsed after taking second place to stage-winner Michael Matthews following an intense up-hill sprint to end the race, and was given CPR after losing consciousness; Colbrelli was competing just two weeks after a bout with bronchitis. At last report, he was hospitalized in stable condition.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting pushed off our bikes by a cantankerous monkey. Banned from the cycling cafe due to coffee ambivalence.

And this is either a weird jungle gym or a just bizarre attempt to keep anyone from accessing the trail.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Gas rebate plan excludes non-drivers, arrest in Otay Mesa hit-and-run murder, and bike helmet blamed for Ukraine war

Let’s start with a look at the soaring price of gas in the Golden State.

With the state average now well over $5 a gallon — and approaching $7 in some areas — Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a tax rebate to refund some of that pain at the pump.

The advantage of a rebate, rather than suspending the state gas tax, is that it won’t affect critical funding for road repair and improvements, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

However, a rebate targeting only people who own motor vehicles will miss everyone who choses not to contribute to the problem, by riding transit, riding a bike or walking. Even though everyone pays higher gas prices in the form of climbing prices for food, and everything else that’s transported by truck.

Particularly when LA Metro just made drastic cuts in bus and train service.

A tweet from David Weiskopf offers the best suggestion, recommending that the rebate take the form of a general transportation credit, which can be applied to transit, bicycles, ebikes, bikeshare, electric vehicles or just “pissed away on gasoline.”

As he suggests, it would be interesting to see just what people actually choose. And getting people out of their cars would reduce some of the demand forcing prices up.

Although I want to see who people blame for high gas prices when oil companies start reporting record profits in a few months.

Meanwhile, blame once again falls on LA’s failed leadership, or the lack thereof.

Los Angeles has had a full decade to build out the city’s bike and mobility plans, which should have been 40% complete by now if city leaders plan on meeting their self-imposed deadline of 2035.

Instead, both plans are gathering dust in some dark corner of the city servers, instead of providing the safe, convenient alternatives to driving that Angelenos were promised a decade ago.

So if you or your loved ones feel like you don’t have any practical alternative to driving, despite the rising prices, you know who to thank.

Evidently trees are out to get us, too, with today’s photo of fallen tree limbs attacking the Metro Bike dock at Runyon Canyon. And a dog, too.

………

Maybe Octavio Mendoza will see justice, after all.

The 40-year old father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Otay Mesa this past November, in an attack that police investigators believe was intentional.

Now 51-year-old Fernando Salazar faces a murder charge, after he was arrested for the killing while coming back into the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday.

It’s not yet clear whether this was a random case of road rage, or if the men knew one another.

………

Apparently, if Obama hadn’t worn a bike helmet, Ukraine might not be under attack today.

BoingBoing looks back to the good old days of 2014, when Fox News blamed the then-president for Putin’s invasion of Crimea and the Donbas by insisting his bike helmet made him look weak.

No, really.

………

For some reason, I still can’t embed tweets on here, so we’ll have to settle for a few semi-decent descriptions.

First up, Dr. Grace Peng asks us to join her in requesting that the Redondo Beach Police not to lump mopeds and high-powered ebikes capable of traveling over 25 mph in with other bikes and ebikes, after a huge jump in bicycle citations due to bike riders exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on residential streets.

………

A Denver bike owner got their stolen bicycle back when bike shop workers checked Bike Index when someone tried to sell it to them.

Yet another reminder to register your bike, for free.

Now.

………

Really disappointing that we can’t embed this one, since it features a really cool short video of a 1956 handcycle, with the hand crank awkwardly mounted on the crossbar of a standard bicycle frame.

More modern handcycles are a tad more practical, however.

………

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

Continuing this week’s theme of dangerous drivers from across the pond, a British motorist deliberately swerved into a bike rider after shouting abuse for not riding in a bike lane.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a suspect who slapped a pair of women on the butt as he rode past them on his bike, while making suggestive comments. And for anyone unclear on the concept, that’s not flirting, it’s not a prank, and it’s definitely not funny. It’s sexual assault. Period.

………

Local

Streetsblog officially endorsed the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan when streets in the plan get resurfaced.

The Mid City West neighborhood council is hosting a CD5 virtual candidate forum at 7 pm tonight; click here for the zoom link.

Streets For All is hosting a mobility debate on March 28th with at least four of the candidates to replace the resigning Mike Bonin in CD11.

British TV star Michelle Keegan is one of us, taking a bike ride on Venice Beach with her husband.

Your next ride along the San Gabriel River Trail could be a lot more pleasant, after the US Army Corps of Engineers removed 128 tons of trash and debris from the riverbed.

 

State 

Someone stole a teenage boy’s ebike in a strong-arm robbery on a La Jolla bike path, shoving the victim off his bike and taking off with it; police are looking for multiple high school-aged kids, including the primary suspect who rode off on the victim’s bike wearing a full motorcycle helmet and moto goggles.

 

National

Cycling Tips‘ James Huang says the new line of carbon fiber ebikes from America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks intriguing, but he has a lot of questions. Like why the website is short on photos and specs just four months out from the projected delivery date.

Wired talks with the woman who was behind the wheel, but allegedly watching videos on her phone, when a self-driving car prototype killed a bike-riding woman in Tempe, Arizona four years ago.

Seriously disappointing news from Denver, where my former LBS is going out of business after 51 years; Turin Bike Shop was a victim of rising rents and supply chain problems, as well as the owner’s pending retirement.

A Kansas City columnist reacts to news of a 60-something couple riding a tandem across the US by suggesting that too much togetherness means a “bicycle built for doom.” There’s no better test for the strength of any relationship than riding a tandem. Let alone across the country.

Texas officials are asking for the public’s help to rename and brand a more than 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting Fort Worth and Dallas. How about the Better Than Anything Here In Southern California Trail.

Cambridge, Massachusetts will intentionally miss a deadline to build out quick-build separated bike lanes by May 1st, saying they need more time to engage local stakeholders. Evidently, they don’t understand the concept of “quick-build.” And somehow couldn’t manage to engage those stakeholders in the six years since a bike rider was killed there. 

A group of 25 people riding from Florida to Texas stopped in Hammond, Louisiana to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Ida.

Police in Daytona, Florida are searching for a person of interest in the horrific murder of a married couple, whose throats were cut while they were out riding their bikes last weekend.

 

International

Momentum offers a beginners guide to learning to ride a bike after middle age.

Next City profiles World Bicycle Relief and their work to provide inexpensive, reliable transportation for thousands of people around the world every year, calling bicycles one of the cheapest and easiest ways to lift people out of poverty. They have the same effect in this country, too.

Someone called out Oxford, England for a pair of recent bicycling deaths, crossing out “Cycling City” on the city’s welcome sign and writing in “One month, two dead cyclists.”

The British government wisely rejected a call for bike riders to be required to use a bell when they ride, saying there are other ways foe people on bicycles to make their presence known.

After thieves stole $153,000 worth of bikes and frames from a family-owned Irish bike shop, the owner has been overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips examines the greatest rivalries in the modern women’s peloton.

In an all-too familiar story, the Colorado Classic women’s stage race is on life support, unless a sponsor steps up with $3 million to keep the race alive; otherwise, it will follow the late, lamented Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge into the “ever-growing graveyard of American pro cycling races.”

 

Finally…

Always use a coaster brake when riding at the beach, even if your bike doesn’t have one. Your next bike could have all-wheel drive, no hubs, a minimalist frame and wheels that run the full length of the bike.

And maybe there’s a loophole in the bicycle ban on LA’s Runyon Canyon.

Like just use one wheel instead of two.

………

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

%d bloggers like this: