Tag Archive for vehicular assault

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

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What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

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Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

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Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

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Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

Arrests announced in the double South LA hit-and-runs that killed Frederick Frazier, and injured Quatrell Stallings

No Morning Links today due to today’s breaking news.

I’ll try to catch up tomorrow with a rare Saturday edition; if not, we’ll see you on Monday. 

………

We finally know a little more about the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick Frazier.

Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, was killed on April 10th as he rode near the intersection of Manchester and Normandie in the Manchester Square neighborhood of South LA.

Twenty-three-year old Mariah Kandise Banks was initially arrested after turning herself in on May 11th.

However, KTLA-5 reports the LA District Attorney’s office referred the case back to the police for further investigation.

Banks was taken into custody again on Wednesday; Streetsblog LA reports she will likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

LAPD officers said she traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman described it.

From the surveillance footage, it appears abundantly clear that Banks was speeding.

She was also flying through a gutter lane peppered with parked cars along the length of Manchester, meaning that, at the very least, her intent was a self-centered one: to get around other vehicles she saw as moving too slowly. To do so, she was likely weaving in and out of the gutter lane as quickly as possible – there was even a car parked in the lane thirty or forty yards up from where Frazier’s body lay.

She deliberately put herself in a position where her only options were to slow as she approached parked cars until there was an opening in the adjacent lane that she could move into or to intermittently accelerate and weave recklessly at high speed.

According to the police, Banks admitted she was driving the SUV, and told investigators she simply panicked and fled.

Which does not explain why police found her formerly white Porsche Cayenne painted black in an obvious attempt to disguise it, apparently with a brush, when they served a search warrant in Moreno Valley.

Banks called police a few hours after that to turn herself in.

The LA Times reports police are still investigating, and other arrests are possible.

Which seems appropriate, since initial reports indicated there were two passengers in the car, who both failed to come forward after the crash. And there may be others who aided in the cover-up.

Remarkably, Frazier’s mother has forgiven Banks, according to the Times.

“I have compassion for the lady,” Owens said “I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, I can’t imagine what it feels like living with this.

“There’s no good ending to it,” she added.

KTLA reports she had previously said Frazier had Type 1 diabetes, and rode a bike to manage his weight.

“He worked full time and he has a car but he wanted to get his miles in, so he rode his bike,” she said at the time. “He didn’t deserve to die because he rode his bike.”

No one does.

There’s an effort led by some of Frazier’s friends to get protected bike lanes on Manchester — as called for in both the city’s mobility and Vision Zero plans — in response to his death.

But as usual, it only comes after it’s already too late.

Especially for Frederick Frazier’s mother and his pregnant girlfriend.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for video of the press conference. Top photo from Facebook via Streetsblog. 

………

Police also made an arrest in the intentional hit-and-run that followed the next day.

The LAPD took 19-year old Alana Ealy into custody on May 30th on suspicion of attempted murder following a nearly two-month manhunt.

Ealy had been caught on video arguing with bicyclists who had blocked the intersection of Manchester and Normandie on April 11th to protest Frazier’s death.

She was then filmed plowing directly into Quatrell Stallings as he blocked the intersection with his bike, and nearly hit a woman as she was crossing the street with her dogs.

Police found her car the next day, but were unable to locate Ealy.

According to Streetsblog’s Sulaiman,

They were able to identify her from images that had been captured of her altercation with cyclists and forensic evidence gathered from the car. But they speculated that she could be hiding in one of several different locations. Ealy was finally located by the Fugitive Task Force on the evening of May 30. According to LASD records, however, despite being charged with attempted murder, she was released on $50,000 bail in the early hours of June 1. No court date has yet been set in that case.

Meanwhile Stallings is still recovering from injuries that include head trauma, a broken leg and ankle, head injuries and surgery to repair his knee.

Sadly, the crowdfunding page to help pay his medical expenses has raised less than $500 of the $20,000 goal.

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in hit-and-run protest; driver charged with murder in Tour de Palm Springs death

Just one day after Frederick Frazier was killed in a brutal hit-and-run in South LA, another rider was struck in the same intersection.

During a protest over Frazier’s death.

And yes, that driver fled the scene, too.

A group of Frazier’s friends gathered to block the intersection at Manchester and Normandie with their bicycles to call attention to the death and demand justice for their fallen friend.

The protest got out of hand after several people attacked an LAPD SUV when police arrived to break it up, smashing its windows with their bikes.

According to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, the young men were angered after graphic photos of the man they knew as Woon were posted online overnight, showing their friend splayed out on the street as another rider attempted to comfort him in his final moments.

A woman in a tan car, who had previously gotten out to argue with one of the protesters, forced her way through the intersection, running a red light in the process, and deliberately slammed into a rider identified as Quatrell Stallings, throwing him into the air.

She then gunned her engine and fled the scene as Stallings stumbled to the curbed.

He was taken to a local hospital; reports are he was not seriously injured.

Now police are looking for two hit-and-run drivers.

One with a $50,000 bounty on his or her head for leaving Frazier to die in the street; another who could — and should — be facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

A memorial ride will be held for Frazier this Friday.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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A Desert Hot Springs man has received a well-deserved murder charge in the death of Washington man participating in this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Twenty-one-year old Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. is accused of driving up to 100 mph while stoned before slamming into 49-year old Mark Kristofferson, killing him almost instantly. He was taken into custody after the arraignment hearing, and held on a $1 million bond.

He’s also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

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The LAPD’s Van Nuys Division misses the mark with a bike safety awareness flier.

The piece tells bicyclists to “Always ride in single file,” even though there’s nothing in state law that prohibits riding two or more abreast. And riding abreast is often safer in lanes that are too narrow to share with a motor vehicle by increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

The piece also says riders should walk their bikes across busy intersections, which increases the risk by decreasing mobility and exposing riders to careless and distracted drivers for a longer period of time.

And never mind that a bike helmet may be a good idea, but it’s not required for anyone 18 or older.

But if the point is to increase awareness of bike safety, where is the companion piece telling drivers to always watch for bikes, pass with at least a three foot distance, and open doors with your right hand to prevent dooring?

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Local

Metro released their draft strategic plan for the next ten years, as they transition from a transit provider to focusing on the entire mobility ecosystem.

CiclaValley explains what it’s like getting cut off in the bike lane by a Metro bus driver in DTLA.

A writer in Azusa encounters a 43-year old gang member at his local bike shop, realizing that bikes bring everyone together.

 

State

A pair of UC Santa Barbara graduates are nearing the completion of their self-supported bike tour from California to Columbia.

The bizarre anti-bike hysteria continues in San Luis Obispo, where the city council is accused of dirty tricks after re-affirming plans for a bike boulevard. Meanwhile, older SLO residents are up in arms over plans for an e-bikeshare system with a hub on the coast, worrying about whether they’ll be run off the sidewalk.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares the five best bike rides around Santa Cruz.

Testimony in a preliminary hearing fills in some of the blanks in the death of a San Francisco woman run down in Golden Gate Park last year, one of two people killed in the city by hit-and-run drivers just hours apart.

 

National

Another good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who considers the ethics of breaking traffic laws, noting that obeying the letter of the law isn’t always the safest way to ride.

Wired says Uber’s acquisition of dockless ebike provider Jump means they want to control every way you move, while Bicycling examines dockless bikeshare in the wake of Uber’s entry into the field.

Curbed says cities need to step up to the challenge of controlling streets and sidewalks as bikeshare and shared scooters begin to take over.

Don’t count on glowing infrastructure lighting the streets anytime soon.

A local news site says Honolulu drivers are complaining about the loss of a few hundred parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, somehow blaming that for the traffic congestion in the city.

No bias here. Police in Portland OR ignored a road rage assault on a bike rider that left him with a broken jaw, refusing to even file a report on the case.

A local weekly says Portland’s bike renaissance begins now.

A Lincoln, Nebraska man gets three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a city councilmember from a nearby town lying badly injured in the street.

The Catholic bishop of Davenport, Iowa is one of us; he’ll be riding across the state in this year’s RAGBRAI.

Three Illinois priests are riding across their Diocese to promote religious vocations.

Seriously? A road raging North Carolina man gets a gentle caress on the wrist for punching a bicyclist in an attack caught on video, as he’s sentenced to just three days behind bars. That will certainly send a message — one that says go ahead and attack other people on the roads.

 

International

A British man has been charged in the death of a 91-year old cyclist, who was killed while trying to set a national age record.

A transportation technology project from the University of Melbourne says to improve safety and performance on our streets, we’ll all have to be connected in a single network including cars, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

An Aussie ultracyclist set a new record by riding 555 miles in 24 hours.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body says women cyclists deserve more than they’ve been getting, and he dreams of a Paris-Roubaix Feminine.

An autopsy concludes that Michael Goolaerts suffered a heart attack while riding in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday; there had been speculation that his heart stopped as a result of the fall.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Jonathan Vaughters reminds us that bike racing is a dangerous sport, where tragedy can happen any day.

 

Finally…

Hit a pothole on your bike, and get a bill for breaking it. Your next wheel could weigh ten pounds and make riding easier.

And no, dockless bikes don’t belong in trees.

 

Morning Links: Dennis Hindman found safe, terrorist attacks bike riders in New York, and Bruins joins Bonin’s staff

Let’s start with the good news.

According to his sister, longtime LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a San Gabriel hospital after being missing for two months.

Apparently, the Toluca Lake resident has been in the hospital for the entire time he’s been missing.

No word on Hindman’s condition yet, or why his relatives were never notified.

However, a hospital stay of that duration is never a good sign; let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers until we have more information.

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This time, it was us.

At least eight people were killed when a terrorist claiming an allegiance with ISIS drove 20 blocks down a New York bike path, leaving crumpled bikes and bodies in his path.

At least eleven others were injured.

Five of those killed were Argentine tourists who were visiting the city to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. One of the dead, and three of the people injured, were from Belgium.

The killer was shot by police after crashing his rental truck and exiting waving pellet and paintball guns; at last report he was hospitalized in grave condition after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year old native of Uzbekistan has been a legal resident of the US since 2010; he would have been unaffected by the recent travel bans.

The Associated Press lists other attacks where vehicles have been used as weapons.

Thanks to John Dammann for the heads-up.

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Congratulations to former LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who is joining CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s staff as Transportation Policy Director, replacing longtime aide Paul Backstrom.

Or maybe we should offer our congratulations to Bonin for landing him. And to the people of CD11 for the exceptional hard work and dedication they’re about to receive.

Let’s hope they have the good sense to appreciate it.

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Nothing like rounding a corner in San Clemente, and nearly getting hit head-on by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Although that little honk from the scofflaw motorist was a nice touch.

Credit Eric Fleetwood for the video, and thanks to David Drexler for forwarding it.

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There may be a lot of cyclists looking for work soon, as UCI’s new president calls for reducing the size of pro cycling teams to just six riders, after next year’s reduction to eight.

And former LA pro Phil Gaimon offers the latest in his Worst Retirement Ever series, as he tackles Colorado’s legendary Mt. Evans Hillclimb, the highest paved road in North America.

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Local

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Susanna Schick, who writes about Move LA’s efforts to keep the city moving, while noting that every time she’s tried to push back against traffic, the cars push back harder.

Selena Gomez is one of us, as she stops to talk with fans while riding her bike in Studio City.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second birthday with a day of free rides this Saturday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes movingly about his friend Rob Dollar, who was killed by an allegedly drunk and stoned teenage driver while riding outside of Phoenix on Sunday.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets wants to know what you thought about this past weekend’s open streets event in the city.

 

State

California’s new twelve cent gas tax increase will kick in today.

San Juan Capistrano will widen Del Obispo Street to remove a bottleneck, adding a lane in each direction, along with bike lanes on either side.

Orange County will begin restricting access to the Santa Ana River Trail in order to control the homeless camps that have sprung up along the trail; starting today the path will be closed from 6 pm to 7 am through the end of February, then 9 pm to 7 am until next October 31st.

San Diego’s city council makes the tough choice to remove parking to make room for bike lanes on University Avenue as part of the city’s Vision Zero program, reducing a gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, the city approved a new connector road that will split existing neighborhoods, which would help complete a regional bike network, even though they’ve failed to track whether they’re meeting ambitious bicycling and transit goals to reduce greenhouse gasses.

An Arroyo Grande man says bike riders aren’t paying the “overinflated vehicle registration fees” car owners do, and suggests an annual $75 fee to ride a bike on the road. Never mind that bikes cause virtually no wear and tear on the road. Or that most bike riders already pay those same vehicle registration fees for one or more motor vehicles.

A middle-aged man was shot in the face while riding his bike near a San Jose light rail station. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the link.

San Francisco police are looking for a pair of brutal bike-riding San Francisco hat thieves.

 

National

A TV website lists ten things you probably didn’t know about American Flyers.

NACTO says a future of autonomous cars calls for a transportation blueprint that puts people first.

Forbes asks if private dockless bikeshare will become a fixture on college campuses.

Lil Kim is sort of one of us, too, as she teaches her three-year old daughter how to ride a bike.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Colorado’s bike-riding bank robber, the Sneaky Cyclist Bandit. No word on what makes him so sneaky, though.

No bias here. A Denver TV station says the city’s efforts to become more bike-friendly may have hit a snag, because drivers don’t like a new sidewalk, calling it twice as wide as it needs to be.

A Dallas writer says the city can’t handle dockless bikeshare, where abandoned bikes are littering the sidewalks.

Chicago cab drivers are no longer required to drop passengers off at the curb, reducing their liability if someone doors a bicyclist.

Minneapolis has a bicycle-riding, unicorn-costumed candidate for mayor. Maybe Garcetti should consider that approach if he runs for president in 2020.

A Detroit bike co-op gave a new bike to a man with undisclosed medical problems, after the bike he used as his only form of transportation was stolen when he stopped to rest for a few minutes.

A Louisville KY bicyclist declares victory after authorities dropped charges of running a red light and obstructing traffic for not riding in a bike lane; he had claimed there was debris in the bike lane that could have given him a flat.

A New York bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor for the death of a bike rider last year, the first bikeshare rider killed in the city. But at least the driver honked before running him over.

 

International

You can now own your very own $815,000 cycling watch, which comes complete with a limited edition Colnago bike. For that price, it should also come with your own private bikeway to ride it on.

A bike-raging Toronto bike rider gets 18 months probation for an incident caught on video last August, in which a taxi driver intentionally turned into him after he had repeatedly slapped the cab and reached inside for the keys.

A road-raging London driver gets two years for intentionally running over a bike rider, breaking his back — then getting out of his car and telling the injured rider he’d run over him again if he had to.

Apparently they take repeated DUIs seriously in the UK, at least if you kill someone. A woman with three previous drunk driving arrests got eight years for the death of 17-year BMX rider after downing three pints of beer.

Caught on video: A British bicyclist confronts a motorist for driving on the sidewalk to get around a traffic diversion, who was none too happy about it.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t shoot your gun in the air while riding stoned, especially with a previous felony conviction. Your next ebike could run on hydrogen.

And you can now ride your bike through Graceland.

No, not that Graceland.

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Thank you to Alice Strong for her very generous donation to help support this site; you can make a donation anytime to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day using the PayPal link.

 

Morning Links: Marin driver arrested for swerving into 4 cyclists, and traffic deaths up in US, including bicyclists

Call it attempted murder.

In just the latest horrifying attack on the streets, four cyclists participating in the Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin were injured when a driver allegedly swerved his truck into them.

The pickup driver fled the scene after smashing into them from behind, in an attack that witnesses described as intentional.

One of the riders is in stable condition after suffering major injuries; the other three were not seriously injured.

It’s probably not what any of them expected when they signed up to ride with cycling legend Jens Voigt.

Police later arrested 21-year old Novato resident Aaron Michael Paff, an off-duty maintenance worker for the Marin Municipal Water District.

He was taken into custody roughly 12 hours after the attack, and released on $50,000 bond. There was no word on possible charges as of Sunday night.

However, this should be a case of assault with a deadly weapon, at the bare minimum.

Dr. Christopher Thompson got five years in state prison for a similar assault, in which he intentionally brake-checked a pair of riders on Mandeville Canyon Road in 2008.

Photo of suspect vehicle from CHP. Thanks to everyone who let me know about this case.

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that our streets are getting even deadlier.

In the latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities shot up another 5.6% in the US last year, coming on the heels of an 8.4% increase the year before.

According to the report, there was an increase in almost every category, from pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, to DUIs and day versus night crashes.

A total of 37,461 people were killed on American streets last year, up from 35,485 the year before.

Four hundred ninety-two pedestrians lost their lives, the highest figure since 1990. And 840 bicyclists were killed, a 1.3% increase and the most since 1991.

It’s worth noting, especially in light of the next item, that an average of over 102 people died in crashes in the US every day — dwarfing the 58 killed in Las Vegas last week.

But no one is holding vigils. No one is sending thoughts and prayers.

And hardly anyone even seems to notice.

Or care.

………

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has written a hard-hitting piece comparing gun violence with the violence on our streets.

In the first instance, Americans have decided that mass shootings are a reasonable and acceptable cost of being able to easily and legally obtain weapons of virtually any kind. In the second, Californians have decided that individual killings of cyclists are a reasonable and acceptable cost for being able to drive as fast as possible to get where they want to go.

Whether or not you agree with his premise, it’s worth the read. Because this is a conversation our country will have to have sooner or later.

And it’s already a lot later than it should be.

………

A Belgian cyclist is lucky to walk away after flipping over a barrier at the Giro di Lombardia, as Vincenzo Nibali takes his 50th career win.

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Local

An LA company presents its vision for a four-mile section of the LA River, calling it the LA River Gateway.

One letter writer in the LA Times asks if drivers who object to bike lanes have a better solution, while another says traffic has always been bad in Playa del Rey, and it’s not the bike lanes’ fault.

 

State

New bicycle wayfinding signs go up in Highland.

The Southern California Association of Governments has approved nearly $10 million in funding for active transportation projects in the Coachella Valley.

Ventura County approves construction of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Lake Sherwood.

Sad news from Arroyo Grande, where a woman was killed while riding her bike on the popular Corbett Canyon Road; the driver played a variation of the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes. Even though admitting something like that should be a confession, not an alibi. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

A drunk San Francisco salmon cyclist was responsible for one of the 13 crashes involving GM’s driverless cars when he crashed into the car’s bumper after its human operator had stopped the vehicle.

 

National

A Spokane WA woman is considering a civil suit after a bike rider plowed into her on a multi-use trial; the rider yelled “hot pizza” as a warning, somehow thinking that would make her get out of his way. Pedestrians are unpredictable. So slow the f*** down around them and pass carefully. It’s not that hard.

Dozens of wounded vets joined 71-year old former president George W. Bush on his annual Warrior 100K mountain bike ride.

A driver in Austin TX says he only drove drunk, ran down a cyclist and fled the scene because there was a two-hour wait for a cab.

A Montana man is working to send bikes to Central America to be converted to pedal-powered machines.

An Indiana man rode 2,800 miles from Portland, Oregon to his home state, despite suffering from epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Facing 35 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, a Kentucky driver tries to withdraw his guilty plea, saying it wasn’t fair because the crash wasn’t intentional. And the drinking — and getting behind the wheel afterwards — was probably an accident, too.

Over one thousand bicyclists turned out to ride with actor Patrick Dempsey at his annual fundraiser ride in Maine.

A New York man died a week after he was attacked with a hammer by five teenagers who were trying to steal his bike. We’ve said it many times before — no bicycle is worth your life, so just let it go.

A New York woman has died a month after she was struck by a drunk, unlicensed driver who plowed into several bicyclists who were on a fundraising ride. As I recall, there were allegation that this crash may have been intentional, as well.

A homeless man in Florida has been ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the stabbing death of a man who was riding his bike from Connecticut to Miami to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A Toronto columnist asks if there’s a war on cars in the city, why are drivers the only ones racking up a body count? It’s a question we should be asking here, and every city where drivers claim ownership of the streets. Which is pretty much everywhere. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

No bias here. Britain’s Daily Mail offers a breathless headline saying two pedestrians are killed or maimed by bicyclists every week. Then in smaller type mentions that there’s no information on who was at fault, and that it still amounts to less than 1% of pedestrian injuries each year on British roads.

Caught on video: A road raging London driver loses it because a bike rider had the audacity to be in front of him.

A London priest is urging his parishioners to pray to stop a bikeway from being installed in front of the church, claiming it would do more harm that the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

Caught on video too: A British man learns why you don’t ride under crossing gates.

A man in the UK rode his bike 450 miles through France and Great Britain to deliver a petition to the prime minister’s office to cancel Brexit.

A new Scottish study shows riding a bike on bad roads for as little as 16 minutes is enough to cause nerve damage in the hands and arms. Which means that most LA bike riders could have trouble just picking up a pencil.

An Australian state supreme court justice is one of us, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a boat. Any band can travel by bike between gigs, but how many perform along the way?

And if you’re going to suffer a heart attack while riding, do it in front of a restaurant full of medical professionals.

 

Morning Links: Laguna driver runs down cyclist and tries to hit another, stolen bikes, and Vision Zero news

Talk about getting the story wrong.

The Daily Pilot reported yesterday that a Laguna Beach driver had attempted to crash his car into a bicyclist who tried to stop him after he’d hit another rider.

But what they failed to mention was that the first crash was intentional, as well.

The Laguna Beach Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the driver fled after intentionally crashing into a man riding his bicycle, then trying to run over the second rider as he attempted to confront him.

Thankfully, he missed.

Fifty-three-year old Laguna Beach resident Kevin O’Neill was arrested on Saturday, after witnesses and victims picked his photo out of a lineup following the twin attacks Thursday morning at Bluebird Canyon Road and South Coast Highway.

No word on the condition of his victim.

Fortunately, this took place in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime seriously. We should expect a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

But let this serve as yet another reminder that it’s not worth your life to confront an angry driver.

Gather whatever information you can, from the make, model, color and license of the vehicle to a description of the driver, as well as any photos or video, if possible.

Then get hell out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Mug shot of Kevin O’Neill from Laguna Beach Police Department Facebook page.

………

Let’s catch up with a couple of quick stolen bike announcements.

Bobby Close of LA’s popular Velo Club La Grange sent the following notice.

One of our members had his bike stolen recently in Ventura California, his name is Marc Thomas. His bike should be easy to spot as it’s a 66cm custom made Landshark bicycle YES Marc IS TALL!!! Marc is one of the great members we have in LaGrange as he is constantly teaching new and old cyclists in his world famous “ Drills for Skills” clinics. Along with being a key member of the club he was one of the many people instrumental in making the Brentwood Grand Prix happen for so many years.

Attached is a picture of the stolen bike. The bike should stand out as only NBA basketball players are tall enough to ride it.

I’ve asked for additional information on exactly when and where the bike was stolen, but haven’t heard back yet.

And Mina Moskol of the LACBC’s Santa Clarita Chapter forwards a flyer for a bicycle stolen from one of the competitors in the World Police and Fire Games staying at a Palmdale hotel last week.

………

In the never-ending battle over the Playa del Rey traffic safety improvements, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will debate a motion to approve a letter calling for a reversal of the all the Playa del Rey lane reductions at tonight’s meeting.

Despite what opponents of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project are saying, Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream in Mar Vista may be closing, but it has nothing to do with the lane reductions.

And a new online petition asks you to show your support for Vision Zero in the face of attacks from angry drivers and talk radio jocks.

………

Forget the worst retirement ever; LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon ranks the top ten cookies in the United States.

……….

We’ll catch up with bike events later this week, but I can’t resist this one. Which could be the best idea for a kid’s bike safety workshop ever.

Correction: This event takes place on Saturday the 19th, not on the 21st. Thanks to the LACBC for the correction.

……….

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t the final stages of the Colorado Classic yet, skip this section.

And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

Italy’s Manuel Senni and Romanian Serghei Tvetcov held off the peloton to win the inaugural Colorado Classic after a two-man breakaway in Saturday’s Stage 3, as Colorado’s Alex Howes lost the lead he gained on Stage 2.

Despite the accusations that her birth sex gave her an unfair advantage, trans cyclist Jillian Bearden finished in the middle of the women’s field, while 21-year old Canadian Sara Poidevin swept to victory.

The race introduced a number of young American cyclists to international competition. Or maybe the other way around.

Cycling Tips offers some great photos from the four stage race, as well as the women’s two-stage competition.

A Denver business site offers a look at the festival that accompanied, and helped pay for, the bike race.

Cycling News points out a number of problems with the race and accompanying festival, but the chairman of the Colorado Classic says based on feedback, the race will probably be back next year.

……….

Local

The Source offers photos from Sunday’s CicLAvia, while some local businesses in San Pedro complain about traffic and say they weren’t consulted. CicLAvia always puts a significant effort into outreach, for as long as a year prior to a new event; businesses that respond and cater to the people passing by are usually richly rewarded; those who don’t, aren’t.

The Expo Line bike path was abruptly closed for the next three months between Centinela and Stewart Street for undisclosed maintenance work on Monday; Santa Monica Next says the detour around the work zone could be made safer simply by moving a few parking spaces.

A new bike and pedestrian pathway and bridge along the Pacoima Wash should offer a significant cut in non-motorized travel times through the northern San Fernando Valley.

While LA is busy battling NIMBYs, Burbank is reinventing itself as a denser, more walkable and bikeable community.

The LACBC is offering a free indoor class on basic bicycling skills tonight.

CiclaValley offers video evidence that going down Mt. Baldy is a lot faster than going up.

 

State

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run scumbag who left a 29-year old woman in a medically induced coma after running her down in Encinitas on Friday.

A San Diego mountain biker was airlifted out of Sycamore Canyon suffering from head and neck pain.

In a horrific crime, San Francisco police are looking for a man on a bicycle who blinded a woman by pouring bleach on her after telling her to leave.

San Francisco bikeshare bikes are vandalized once again, as a local columnist says bikeshare is resented as a sign of gentrification.

A kindhearted San Francisco cop bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Nineteen bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes finish a 4,248-mile from New York to Napa County.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where yet another hit-and-run coward killed a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a roadway.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends reforming the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows speeding drivers to dictate speed limits. Or better yet, just get rid of the damn thing entirely.

People for Bikes offers free photos and a detailed explanation of what makes an effective neighborhood greenway, formerly known as bicycle boulevards. AKA bicycle friendly streets here in LA, though no one seems to have any plans to actually build any anytime soon.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get police to take your bike cam video seriously. Which is a problem with most police departments — including here in LA.

Bike Snob says “on your left!” needs to die already, even though there’s no way to pass anyone on a trail without scaring the crap out of them. I’ve found that simply adding the word passing, as in “passing on your left,” in a polite, conversational tone solves the problem almost every time. But what the hell do I know?

Treehugger says cars really should wear hi-viz, their drivers should wear helmets, and car radios should be banned. The latter would have the added benefit of keeping radio shock jocks from fueling drivers’ anger and contributing to road rage.

A Washington bike rider was killed by a driver with a suspended license. Proving once again the difficulty of keeping dangerous drivers off the road unless their vehicles are impounded as well. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park invites you to bike the park on September 30th.

An Arkansas man finishes an extreme Alaska triathlon just within the cutoff time, despite losing a leg 32 years earlier.

The famed Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to get back to riding a bicycle. And why.

Despite testifying that he was simply riding safely by taking the lane, the Pennsylvania cyclist on trial for obstructing traffic was convicted last week; sentencing is in three months, even though he’s already served a full year in jail awaiting trial. It sounds like the real problem was that he was too militant about his rights as a bicyclist, refusing to move over even when traffic backed up behind him.

New York tells dockless bikeshare companies to get lost.

The NY Daily News says only in New York could a truck driver leave the scene after running down a bike rider, and not be charged. Obviously, they’ve never been to Los Angeles.

Speaking of Bike Snob, as we were earlier, his alter ego offers 15 unwritten rules of bicycling in New York City you’re probably breaking. Or maybe would be, if you actually rode there.

Delaware state police blame a rider for wearing dark clothes in low light conditions and taking the lane after he’s rear-ended by a driver. Correction: I originally criticized the police for bending over backwards to blame the rider after noting that the crash occurred two hours before sunset. However, as Andy S pointed out, the crash actually took place before sunrise, not sunset. I apologize for the confusion.

A Louisiana astronomer has been riding across the US for the last 450 days to educate Americans about next week’s solar eclipse, covering over 9,000 miles before his planned finish in Nashville on Monday.

 

International

A fifth of all bicycling deaths in Montreal are caused by collisions with trucks, usually when riders are right hooked and dragged under the truck. Something that could be avoided by requiring sideguards.

A London court is told a fixie rider could have avoided a fatal collision with a pedestrian if he hadn’t been riding brakeless; he blamed the woman for walking distracted, instead.

Bicycle Dutch reviews the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage.

Cycling Weekly lists seven rides in Italy to add to your bicycling bucket list.

An Aussie parliament member who opposes same sex marriage says he loves the guys he bikes with, but he doesn’t want to marry them. And apparently doesn’t get it, either.

An Australian study shows men are more likely to commit acts of violence on the road, but women drivers tend to be angrier.

 

Finally…

The problem isn’t potholes, it’s the fairies. Most bike riders only have to worry about dog bites, not two-foot long iguanas — or bears.

And just what every single cyclist needs, bicycle speed dating.

 

Morning Links: Ugly incident in Koreatown, and lawsuit alleges driver killed Palos Verdes cyclist on purpose

Things got ugly in Koreatown Thursday night.

In a violent confrontation only partially caught on video, a swarm of people on a group bike ride pulled the driver of a BMW out of his car at 6th and Hobart in Koreatown. And forcibly pinned him to the street, holding him down until police arrived.

The video begins with the riders breaking the window of the BMW as the car’s trunk is already open, then shows several riders milling around as the driver appears to shout from his prone position on the street.

The LA Times fills in some of the missing details.

Apparently a group of roughly 50 people were riding their bikes through the Koreatown intersection when the traffic light changed. Rather than split the group, one or more riders tried to cork the intersection, blocking the drivers who had the green light.

The driver of the BMW attempted to go through the intersection anyway, and got into a shouting match with the rider blocking traffic. When the rider tried to grab the driver, he responded by stepping on the gas, plowing into the group and running over a bicyclist’s leg.

The driver then reportedly attempted to flee, but the riders in the group swarmed his car to keep him from leaving.

That’s where the video appears to begin.

While corking may be a common practice, it’s still illegal, even though police usually look the other way.

But as BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen points out, the driver could — and perhaps should — be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for aggressively driving into the group of riders.

Although chances are, he may have claimed he was only get away because he was frightened by the cyclists swarming his car.

As LAPD officers have explained similar situations to me in the past, however, the bicyclists may have crossed over the line the moment they broke the driver’s window.

Had they merely surrounded the driver’s car, they would have been within their rights to keep him from fleeing. Or they could have taken down his license number and let him leave, likely leading to a charge of felony hit-and-run.

But by damaging his car, and physically assaulting him by dragging him out of it and forcing him to the street, they’ve left themselves open to the possibility of criminal charges, as well as a civil suit for the damage to his car and any injuries he may have suffered.

Although both sides may have lucked out, since KCBS-2 reports that no one was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

Investigators may just wash their hands of the whole ugly mess, concluding that they both contributed to the confrontation.

Since the video only shows the second half of the incident, though, and not the driver’s actions that led up to it, it will only serve as fodder for the people who already think we’re all a bunch of lawless thugs. And seem pathologically incapable of separating the actions of a few from everyone else who travels on two wheels.

This looks like a case where no one wins.

Least of all the rest of us who had nothing to do with it, but may ultimately bear the burden anyway.

………

The family of fallen bicyclist John Bacon have filed a lawsuit alleging the driver who took his life did it on purpose.

Bacon was headed back home from a group ride last May when the 68-year old man was run down from behind in Palos Verdes Estates by the driver of a white pickup truck. The driver fled the scene after stopping briefly and calling for someone to call 911.

The driver, later identified as James Rahman, was caught on security video following Bacon’s bike at an uncomfortably close distance. The suit alleges Rahman honked at Bacon before swerving at him and striking him with the wing mirror of his truck.

However, no charges were ever filed, and no details of what happened were ever released.

In fact, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has alleged that the local police never took the case seriously. It took an alert cyclist to spot the truck days later, and even then couldn’t get the police to respond.

He’s also written that several other bike riders in the area had reported being harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of Rahman’s truck.

But again, crickets from the cops.

Even though, if this lawsuit is correct, this wasn’t hit-and-run.

It was murder.

Update: I have been contacted by Joan Bacon, John Bacon’s wife, who wants to correct the information above indicating a lack of concern on the part of the Palos Verdes Police Department. 

I want to be very clear that I and my family are very grateful to Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and in particular to Detective Hellinga and Detective Reed for their year-long effort and hundreds of hours put into the investigation of John’s death… The Police Department kept me informed along the way, were very gracious and kind and I know did a great job. It is also important that you know the decision to not prosecute the offending driver involved in the crash was not the decision of the Palos Verdes Police Department but rather a decision made by the District Attorney’s Office.

You can read the full press release from the family’s attorney below.

………

Needless to say, readers responded to the LA Times’ recent hard-hitting editorial criticizing opponents of street safety projects by insisting they’re not selfish, and they really do care about safety.

And is anyone really surprised that the incredibly ugly comments to LA’s new video explaining the need for Vision Zero paint it as nothing more than propaganda and alternative facts?

Because actually taking it seriously would require caring about the lives of others, and placing someone else’s safety above their own convenience.

Which apparently is a bridge too far for some people.

Especially this guy, who’s willing to consider the lives of others, as long as it doesn’t cost him more than four minutes out of his commute.

………

Spoiler alert: If you still have the Tour of Utah on your viewing list, skip the last line of this section.

Marianne Vos won her third European road cycling championship.

A Colorado Springs CO newspaper examines the inaugural Colorado Classic beginning this Thursday, looking at both the men’s four-stage race and the women’s two stages.

US anti-doping officials remind Lance Armstrong that he’s been banned from cycling. And that could extend to his podcast if organizers of the Colorado Classic pick up his tab for covering the race.

Twenty-two-year old American pro Tyler Williams is hoping to rise to WorldTour status along with his Israel Cycling Academy squad.

Canadian pro Rob Britten held on to win the Tour of Utah after leading since the individual time trial in stage three.

……….

Local

A new rendering offers a flyover — and under — of the new Sixth Street Bridge scheduled to open in three years. Although that still looks like a steep climb up the spiral bike and pedestrian ramp.

The Ovarian Psychos annual Clitoral Mass ride was transformed into a Black Mass to protest gentrification in Los Angeles this past Saturday.

A man in his 30s was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle at Walnut Street and North Wilson Ave in Pasadena Saturday evening; as of Sunday morning, he was in stable condition. The 74-year old driver remained at the scene.

Hermosa Beach celebrated the 50th anniversary of its sister city program with a bike ride along the beach for middle school students from Hermosa Beach and Loreto, Mexico.

 

State

A young boy was dragged by a car while riding his bike through a Huntington Beach apartment complex Sunday morning. More proof that kids need safe places to ride their bicycles.

A Chula Vista mom turns detective to track down the hit-and-run driver who gave her bike-riding son a fake name and address after crashing into him.

San Diego officials accept most of the recommendations in the ambitious plan presented by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, agreeing with 25 of the 32 proposals.

A former BMX champ is rebuilding his life after addiction and prison, and helping at-risk Fresno middle school students pedal their way to a better attitude.

 

National

A ten-year old Washington kid credits his new Mohawk-style helmet with saving his life in a crash.

Colorado land managers are struggling to deal with ebikes on mountain trails, where they are often banned — and easy to spot, since they go uphill faster than non-motorized riders.

A writer drives 1,000 miles to ride the legendary singletrack on the 100-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota.

The war on bikes continues, as a Denton TX driver apparently gets away with brake-checking a bicyclist.

Houston police promise to start enforcing the city’s three-foot passing law after writing less than three dozen tickets in 30 months. Maybe we can get them to come up here and enforce California’s three-foot law, since no one here seems to want to do it.

When a bighearted Michigan kid won a new mountain bike, he turned around and gave it to someone who needed it more.

A Staten Island website says don’t bother with Vision Zero, because bicycling fatalities have remained stable in recent years, despite a dramatic increase in ridership. And because bike riders break the law.

Illegal rental bike vendors are hustling tourists away from the only legal bicycle vendor in New York’s Central Park.

A new 20-year study from New York confirms the safety in numbers theory, clearly showing that safety improves as more bike riders take to the streets.

A North Carolina writer says yes, he screwed up while he was driving, but a pair of cyclists didn’t help their cause by swearing at him. On the other hand, he left crossed a father riding a bike with his kid in the child seat, and undoubtedly scared the crap out him; Mother Theresa would probably have a hard time keeping her cool under those circumstances.

Macon, Georgia’s six mile long pop-up bike lane network has been honored with an Excellence Award from New York’s Center for Active Design; the project resulted in a ten-fold increase in people riding to work or school.

 

International

Ottawa, Canada solves the problem of whether bicyclists can ride in the crosswalk by installing a bike crossing right next the crosswalk on a dangerous intersection.

Speaking of Ottawa, the city has discovered they can save $41 per meter — a little more than three feet — by building cycle tracks next to new roadways, rather than painting bike lanes on the streets.

London has already removed 130 dockless bikeshare bikes from the city’s streets for blocking sidewalks. Maybe it’s just me, but using the term “yellow plague” — or even “yellow bike plague — seems pretty damn tone deaf in reference to a Chinese company, even if that’s the color of the bikes.

A UK writer says it’s just politics, not geography, tradition or cost, that prevents cycling becoming a key transport mode. And that bicycling needs to be a key part of the Labour party’s transportation policy.

Sometimes the punishment really does fit the crime. After an English boy is caught on video trashing a bikeshare bike, he’s sentenced to learn how to fix it.

Caught on video: After a British bike rider was hit by a car, he responded by repeatedly punching the driver through an open window; the man who filmed it said he’d never seen anything so violent. That’s the fastest way to go from victim to criminal. So don’t do that. Ever.

E-mountain bikes are bringing France’s spectacular Vercors Massif mountain range into reach of average riders.

Beirut bicyclists are trying to revive cycling in what might be one of the world’s most bike-unfriendly cities.

A 186-mile supported bike tour through bad roads from Sierra Leone to Liberia is changing lives.

Not surprisingly, fines for scofflaw cyclists have surged in Australia’s New South Wales in the first year after instituting draconian fines for relatively minor offenses, including a jump from $337,000 to $1.99 million for not wearing a helmet.

A new ride aims at promoting unity among Malaysians, as many young people seem to have lost faith in the county.

Japanese bike riders can pump up their tires with free bike pumps at any police box.

A Thai website looks at the world’s longest elevated bikeway in Xiamen, China.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a bicycle from the grounds of the Russian embassy. It might not be the smartest move to call the police to say you’re being followed, if the person following you is the father of the kid whose bike you just stole.

And if you’re going to flee from police after running a stop sign, make sure the cyclist you end up crashing into isn’t an off-duty cop.

 

Morning Links: Playa traffic lane restored, TN cyclist allegedly run down intentionally, and Pendleton closed

Work began over the weekend to restore a second traffic lane to eastbound Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.

The modification came one month after the traffic safety projects were installed; they will be re-evaluated after three and six months to determine if additional changes are needed.

Which is exactly what Mike Bonin has been saying all along, even if opponents refuse to believe it.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, as well as the safety projects in Playa del Rey, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting tomorrow night.

………

The war on bikes goes on.

A cyclist riding on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway was the victim of a hit-and-run driver who allegedly targeted him on purpose, after driving at another rider a few minutes earlier.

The driver was arrested after police viewed the video, and faces charges of reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to immediately notify of a crash, and failure to render aid.

They should have included assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder charges. Although those charges would require proof of intent to show that the crash was a deliberate act, and not merely the result of carelessness or distraction.

Meanwhile, the lack of seriousness with which this case — and far too many other bicycle cases —is taken is reflected in the driver’s measly $11,500 bond.

Fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured, and was released from the hospital to recover at home. But says he’s done with bicycling.

Especially since this was his first ride since he was a kid.

Meanwhile, a Calgary man’s neck was sliced when someone strung barbed wire over a bike trail. Intentional acts like this should be investigated as terrorist attacks intended to kill or maim people legally riding their bicycles, rather than mere pranks.

………

If you were planning to ride through Camp Pendleton today, you might want to make other plans.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the heads-up.

………

Great piece from LA’s Phil Gaimon, who answers the question of whether he misses being a pro cyclist. And covers a lot of territory with his answer.

………

Lots of news from the Tour de France today.

An Op-Ed writer in the New York Times says the Tour de France broke his heart when Peter Sagan got the boot.

The Guardian says the Tour missed the chance to honor Tom Simpson by not climbing Mont Ventoux on the 50th anniversary of his amphetamine-fueled death during the race.

A rash of crashes thinned the peloton on Sunday, with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas among the 12 riders knocked out of the race.

Fabio Aru and Nairo Quintana were accused of poor sportsmanship for attacking when leader Chris Froome changed bikes on Sunday, though they slowed later. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says they were right to attack, while cyclist Simon Yates called it a dirty move.

Twenty-six–year old Czeck rider Ondrej Clink is competing in the Tour just six months after switching from mountain biking.

And to the surprise of absolutely no one, Bicycling concludes that riders in the Tour de France are pretty damn healthy.

……….

In other racing news,

Bicycling says you should have been watching the Giro Rosa this weekend, where Belgium’s Anna van der Breggen successfully defended her title.

Tragic news, however, as 21-year old Giro rider Claudia Cretti remains in a medically induced coma with a severe brain injury.

USA Cycling finally released guidelines for transgender cyclists.

Two of Lance’s co-defendants have reached a settlement in the federal lawsuit brought by Floyd Landis, allowing them to withdraw from the case.

An Indian physician tells his story as the first rider from his country to finish the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

A Georgia man overcomes homelessness, divorce and getting hit by a sleeping driver to compete in the unsupported Trans Am bike race across the US, to raise funds for disabled athletes.

A Healdsburg man also completed the Trans Am race, despite being hit by a car mirror just hours after passing the scene where another competitor was killed — and five years after surviving throat cancer.

………

Local

The California legislature set aside $98 million to help revitalize the Los Angeles River.

The Metro Bike program celebrates its first birthday averaging just one ride per bike per day, far below more established systems.

Metro unveils designs for the planned Rail-to-River bikeway, which will eventually connect South LA to the LA River on an abandoned railway line; the first phase of the project should break ground next year and be finished in 2019.

A letter writer says La Verne treats bicyclists like a fringe element, favoring road projects that actually discourage bike and pedestrian usage.

Business Insider looks at the brief, only partially completed LA-to-Pasadena elevated toll bikeway, which later formed the basis for the Pasadena Freeway.

No need to go to a bike shop for a repair when Pasadena’s Velofix van will come to you.

Kesha is one of us, as she goes for a beach cruiser ride through Venice. Keri Russell is one of us, too, saying it feels over-the-top decadent to ride her bike in high heels.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson went to court to fight 11 bogus tickets for violating CVC 21202(a) written when a sheriff’s deputy pulled over an entire riding club, calling in a half dozen other deputies for backup. And won 11 times, with one acquittal and ten dismissals.

 

State

Orange Coast Magazine looks at OC’s women-only Trail Angels mountain biking club.

The Daily Pilot calls for Newport Beach’s Mariners Mile along PCH to become a bike and pedestrian-friendly destination like Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar.

A new $15.6 million bike path will open in September, providing the only safe bike route through San Diego’s Mission Valley.

San Diego’s BikeSD rebuts attempts by the Hillcrest Business Association to gut the city’s planned Uptown Bikeway. Any business group that fights bike lanes is just shooting themselves in the cash register, since bike lanes usually result in an increase in sales by making the neighborhood more bikeable, walkable and livable.

A pair of bike-riding thieves mugged a woman walking from a San Francisco market, taking her groceries, purse and cell phone.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a $110,000 reward for a bike-riding Oakland arsonist who is suspected of torching four partially completed apartment complexes.

A Marin columnist says trying to encourage bike commuting in semi-rural areas is a lost cause.

 

National

Talk about blaming the victim. An Arizona letter writer calls for banning bikes from a two-lane highway because of angry, impatient drivers who refuse to pass safely. So if it’s the drivers who won’t play nice, wouldn’t it make more sense to ban cars?

Police in a Colorado town plan to patrol by bicycle once a key bridge closes down for repairs, after concluding bikes will be the most efficient way to get around.

Denver drivers can’t seem to grasp that the separated green curb lane with the white bicycle symbols is not a parking lane.

A new study shows Chicago may be bike-friendly, but its auto-centric suburbs aren’t.

A kindhearted Illinois man bought a bicycle for a convenience store clerk who had to walk two hours each way to get to and from work.

Minnesota’s Artcrank celebrates 10 years of exhibiting bicycling art.

New York’s Vision Zero is paying off for pedestrians; bike riders, not so much.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 69-year old DC woman is planning to ride 1,000 miles in 30 days around Quebec, New Brunswick and Maine; it’s her ninth ride of a week or more, including a 3,100-mile ride from Seattle to Pittsburgh.

 

International

Caught on video: London cops intentionally door a thief riding a bikeshare bike to make an arrest after he rifled through an unlocked SUV. While it may look harmless, dooring should be considered a use of deadly force, just like firing a weapon, because it can have serious consequences.

A British paper says biking to school is the best way to reduce the amount of air pollution your kids are exposed to.

A Welsh man is attempting to become the fittest man in the world by riding a century, rowing and running 10 miles each, and lifting 100 tons of weights, along with thousands of sit-ups, press-ups and squats. All on his 30th birthday — despite being told he’d never live that long after being born with cystic fibrosis.

The first cycle track in Hyderabad, India has been jackhammered to make room for more cars, resulting in a dramatic drop in ridership.

A pair of sisters on the Afghan women’s cycling team gave up on the threats and harassment, and moved to France as refugees to continue training in hopes of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

You can now order Bollywood star Salman Khan’s Being Human ebikes on Amazon. As long as you live in India.

Conducting bicycle diplomacy in Jerusalem.

Chinese Police busted a gang accused of staging crashes on bikeshare bikes, then blackmailing the drivers to settle on the spot.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to attempt to steal a woman’s purse, try riding a less distinctive bicycle. There’s distracted driving, and then there’s really distracted driving.

And if you’re afraid of hearses, take your last ride on a cargo bike.

 

Update: One bike rider killed, another injured in Winnetka hit-and-run; driver may have targeted the victims

Breaking: An arrest was made in this case on this on Friday; no details available.

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This time, it might be murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that one man was killed and another injured in an early morning hit-and-run in Winnetka.

According to KTLA-5, the victims were riding north on the 6500 block of Winnetka Ave around 12:45 am after leaving their jobs at a nearby restaurant, when they were struck by the driver of a pickup.

A witness reported seeing the driver swerve into one victim, then swerve again to strike the other, in what may have been an intentional attack.

The driver reportedly stopped to look at the crash scene, then got back in his truck and calmly drove away.

Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital, where one of the men died. The other was reportedly conscious with serious injuries.

Neither man has been publicly identified at this time.

Driver may have targeted victims

LAPD investigators were attempting to determine if the attack was intentional or if the driver may have been under the influence.

It’s also possible that they may have been followed from the restaurant at Ventura Boulevard and Tampa Avenue.

Police report the victims were riding in the number three lane when they were struck, which would have placed them in the parking lane on the wide residential street.

The LA Daily News offers a description of the driver and suspect vehicle.

The vehicle was described as a white Ford or Chevrolet “utility style” pickup truck with toolboxes on the sides and possible front-end damage. The motorist was described as a white man in his late 30s or early 40s, with “close cropped” hair on his head and facial hair.

Anyone with information is urged to call 877/527-3247.

This is the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Video from the scene makes it clear the victims had lights on their bicycles at the time of the crash.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be placed at the site at 9 pm tonight.

The Daily News offers an update on the story, focusing on the dangers of the street. Which is irrelevant if the driver really did attack the victims on purpose. Just like the LAPD’s tone deaf suggestion to use lights and helmets, which aren’t likely to fend off someone intent on murder.

Update 3: The LAPD has released news that the two victims were both Hispanic men; as the Daily News noted, they were leaving their work at the Cho Cho San sushi bar in Tarzana. 

The victim has still not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the delay suggests that they are outside of the country. Meanwhile, the surviving victim has been released from the hospital and is resting at home.

Here is video of the suspect truck police are looking for. 

If you have any knowledge of the crash or driver, you’re urged to contact Valley Homicide at the numbers below.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Bureau Homicide, Detective Doerbecker at 818-374-1943. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit ww.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones. And my prayers for the second victim for a full and fast recovery. 

Thanks to Steve S, Ed Ryder and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Road rage assault in San Diego County, and LAPD looking for shooter of Echo Park bike rider

Come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Mr. CiclaValley himself as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

San Diego’s 10News reports a road raging driver intentionally knocked a local radio host off his bicycle as he was escorting a disabled cyclist on the Coast Highway in Carlsbad, just a few miles from the end of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge.

As the rider worked to make it up a small hill, an impatient driver began honking his horn, despite a support van warning cyclists were ahead. So KOGO host Bob “Sully” Sullivan rode back to explain that his riding partner was a paraplegic using a handcycle to get up the hill.

“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”

Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Yet despite the presence of an off-duty Carlsbad cop riding in the opposite direction, no charges have been filed.

“I think he needs to be arrested,” Sullivan said. “Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn’t be driving a car right now.”

Seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed a bike rider in Echo Park last week; 37-year old William Perea was hit with gunfire as he rode at Mohawk and Montana the night of October 17th.

………

LADOT says safety remains the top priority on the LA River bike path, as they remind both walkers and bike riders about the statutes governing the pathway and the need to share it safely, in the wake of a collision with a bicyclist that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

………

Equity is the common theme of the day.

Momentum Magazine looks at the nationwide movement to build greater equity in bicycling.

People for Bikes says the massive racial wealth gap is a major barrier to bicycle use, noting that a bike can’t save you money if you don’t have enough to buy one.

And Curbed looks at the speech given by the LACBC’s Tamika Butler that brought down the house at last month’s NACTO conference.

The LACBC deserves a lot of credit for starting this conversation, even before Butler came on board, with its outreach to lower income immigrant communities in the last decade. Along with notable presentations at the National Bike Summit that marked the bike coalition as a national leader on the subject.

………

Don’t forget to vote for LA Bike Trains and SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) for this year’s LA2050 challenge grants; voting ends tomorrow.

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Local

KCET discovers the delicious marriage of bicycling and desserts that is Sweet Ride USA, with new episodes appearing online every Wednesday through November 16th.

KPCC discusses solutions to the first mile/last mile problem for transit users.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association discusses how to improve business and better serve the surrounding community. Oddly, making it safer to walk and bike there doesn’t seem to be an option, even though both would benefit the Village’s long suffering businesses.

Pasadena’s bikeshare system is expected to open next July as the Metro Bike system expands northward; the system is expected to have 400 bikes at 34 docking stations around the city.

The new and improved Agoura Road, complete with shiny new bike lanes, opens in Agoura Hills after a year of construction.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recounts Tuesday’s civil obedience protest ride and lengthy council session in Palos Verdes Estates in his own inimitable style.

 

State

Hats off to OC’s Special Spokes and the San Clemente Rotary for providing special-needs kids with adaptive bicycles. With all the negativity this election year, it’s nice to see people working to make a real difference in kids lives.

A Clovis driver faces up to a year in jail for fatally rear-ending a bike rider last April.

An unidentified man was shot and killed as he rode his bike in Fresno Tuesday night; police are unsure if the shooting was gang-related.

 

National

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a bicycle on loan to a vet from Ride 2 Recovery so he could ride across the US with his dog, who’s suffering from terminal cancer. And in my hometown, no less.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about a new Close Call Database allowing bike riders to report punishment passes from angry motorists to establish a paper trail in case the driver does it again. Or worse.

A Texas rider says learn to ride safely and obey the law, or don’t ride at all.

A Maine newspaper says the technology for today’s carbon fiber bicycles got its start in the state with Aegis Bicycle, but the company couldn’t hold out against increasing competition and the demand for ever lighter frames.

New York tells cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves more visible, and drivers to pay more attention, in advance of the end of daylight savings time next month. Meanwhile, a new proposal would allow bike riders to get a head start at traffic signals by going with the walk signal for the leading pedestrian interval.

Who was that masked man? A Bronx bike rider is a hero after retrieving a woman’s stolen purse, then riding off before she could thank him. No word on whether he left a silver bike chainlink behind.

Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year old boy in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who got off his bicycle to try to stop an armed robbery; he faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Bikes and dogs are now officially banned from Arlington National Cemetery.

A Charleston writer says the city deserves the distinction of being called America’s worst city for bicycling.

 

International

You know Calgary has a lot of bike riders when the city’s bike counter gets maxed out with 68 days still left in the year.

Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how to recover mentally from a bicycling crash.

Life is cheap in Belize, where champion cyclist Marlon Castillo is fined just $13,000 for the careless driving collision that killed his friend.

Ottawa police release a new PSA campaign explaining how to use and drive around the city’s new bike box and bi-directional bike lanes.

Caught on video: A British cabbie clips a cyclist with his mirror, then launches into a foul-mouthed temper tantrum claiming the rider somehow hit him. And yet some actually question who was in the right.

Tom Cruise is one of us, as he reportedly rides through the English countryside with his new girlfriend.

A Brit cyclist born with just one arm is raising funds to buy a prosthetic arm so he can compete in the Paralympic Games; a Go Fund Me account has raised a little more than half of the £7,500 goal, the equivalent of $9157.

A nine-year old cyclist may be a better climber than most of us, topping Italy’s famed Mt. Ventoux and Stelvio climbs in under 48 hours.

An Aussie writer says Sydney needs to focus less on fining bike riders and more on building some decent infrastructure for them.

A German cyclist survives a night in the snake and crocodile-infested Australian wilds after taking a header over his handlebars and dislocating is shoulder.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bicycle to make your getaway after stealing a bag-full of booze, try not to ride into a lamppost. Why settle for a mere sag wagon when you can have your very own bike butler?

And in LA we have police chases; in London, it’s investment bankers biking away from bobbies.

 

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