Tag Archive for vehicular assault

Guilty verdict in bizarre Palm Springs attacks, South Pas rips out safer streets, and new CicLAvia summer event maps

Just 277 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re now up to 1,029 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until the mayor agrees to meet with us! 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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A 29-year old Palm Springs man was convicted on nearly a dozen charges for a bizarre series of attacks against other motorists and a bike rider.

Including forcing a man to jump off his bicycle to avoid getting run over when the seemingly maniacal driver suddenly hit the gas and jumped the median, aiming directly at victim at an estimated 60 mph.

Juaquin Mercer Moraga was found guilty of three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, two counts each of misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor vandalism, and one count each of felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery, after less than a day of deliberation.

The defense argued that Moraga was suffering from paranoid delusions at the time of the attacks, as a result of “major depressive disorder,” “cannabis use disorder” and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Which the jury clearly didn’t buy.

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It’s now 100 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 33 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

Austin, Texas claims it’s cracking down on people illegally parking in bike lanes. Although it’s hard to call it a crackdown when they’ve cited an average of less than two people a day.

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

London’s Daily Mail reports on “amazing videos” depicting “exploding” rider-on-ride road rage. Which amounts to a motorcyclist gently criticizing bicyclists for riding through a red light, and a trailing bicyclist berating another bike rider for not undertaking a large truck.

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Local 

Los Angeles Public Press has more on Metro’s decision to give ride-hailing service Lyft the heave-ho, and keep the Metro Bike bikeshare program’s union-managed operating system in place, at least for now.

The LAFD used a hoist to airlift a 19-year old man out of a remote area in Tujunga Tuesday, after he suffered an arm injury while mountain biking.

Los Angeles County will hold a virtual public meeting April 16th to discuss the county’s Bicycle Master Plan.

 

State

Following the death of her friend on a Berkeley street last month, a writer for Cal Matters calls for safer streets through the passage of a pair of Senate bills, which would force Caltrans to adhere to its own Complete Streets policies, and require speed governors to limit the ability of drivers to exceed the posted speed limit by more than 10 mph.

San Francisco marked ten years of the city’s failed Vision Zero program, as the city doubles down despite rising rates of traffic deaths, and city officials pinky swear to do better.

Oakland is down to the last five days for public input on proposals to redesign one of the city’s most dangerous streets by reconfiguring traffic lanes and auditing bike paths. Just please, please, please don’t put the bike paths in the middle of the damn roadway. No, seriously.

 

National

CBS News reports traffic deaths are spiking in the US, despite billions spent on improving safety. Except the $2.4 billion they’re talking about doesn’t go very far when spread among all the cities and states in the US, and doesn’t do a damn thing to reduce the size of SUVs, or get drivers to put down their phones and stop speeding. 

E! Online rates the best bikes and kick scooters for your little kids. Or grandkids. Or whatever.

Good Housekeeping recommends gifts for mountain bikers, triathletes and casual bike riders to put in your Easter, Passover or Ramadan basket this year. 

A 76-year old Oregon man says goodbye to his trusted and rusted J.C. Higgins bike, which was originally purchased from Sears three years before he was born.

Oregon’s bicycle tax, the only statewide bike tax in the US, reflects a significant bike boom in 2022, followed by a moderate bust back to pre-pandemic levels for 2023.

Rounding out today’s Oregon trifecta, federal funds from the 2020 Great American Outdoor Act will pay for new dirt on a “stomach-churning” singletrack trail along a cliff in the Columbia River Gorge.

Colorado’s $450 ebike rebate program kicks off on Tuesday, even though only 24 bike shops in the entire state are participating, after being told they could wait over a year to be reimbursed. Although something tells me the odds are somewhere north of 100% that California’s $750 ebike voucher plan will take even longer — if it ever launches.

Telugu actor Naveen Polishetty is one of us, after breaking his arm recently while riding in Dallas.

An Indiana city repealed its bike licensing law, a registration requirement so old, hardly anyone knew it existed.

Streetsblog considers the disaster on Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, questioning why we treat major transportation tragedies with so much urgency, while ignoring “our collective car crash epidemic” with over ten times the number of victims on the bridge dying as a result of traffic violence in the US every day.

A South Carolina traffic engineer says he’s not ready to tell his peers he represents one of the safest biking towns in the US, when the city’s new bike lanes are just a thin painted strip in the middle of the roadway.

 

International

Gaza’s paracycling team has turned to delivering more then $70,000 in aid, after their dreams of competing in Paris were shattered by the war with Israel.

Velo visits a Giant factory in Taiwan to see how normal-sized carbon fiber bikes are made.

 

Competitive Cycling

Olympic favorite Wout Van Aert faces an uncertain schedule to return to the peloton after surgery to repair multiple fractures, following his high speed crash in the Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday; he could miss May’s Giro d’Italia, as well as the spring classics.

Velo offers the “ultimate guide” to the upcoming gravel racing season.

 

Finally…

Iron Man’s ebike is a Porsche. Many drivers may act childish, but not many actually are one.

And someone’s taking vehicular cycling just a tad too far.

https://twitter.com/motorisms/status/1773566868684505246

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Santa Monica cops cool with vehicular assault, opponents misrepresent HLA, and group rides offer up close view of LA

Just 319 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just 55 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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I’ll be off for President’s Day on Monday, but we’ll have a guest post from Cal Poly Pomona history professor John Lloyd critiquing the new bill that would impose an online test and permit before anyone without a driver’s license can buy or ride any type of ebike or e-scooter, and ban kids under 12 from riding them. 

Meanwhile, Calbike doesn’t like the damn bill either, saying it “would create an unnecessary new bureaucracy and mostly harm youth of color in California while not taking the steps necessary to make our streets safer for all users.”

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What happens when you get threatened with a motor vehicle in Santa Monica?

Apparently nothing.

Even if you catch it on video.

In this case, Twitter/X user Mobility For Who reacted to a driver attempting to run a stop sign with a polite “Whoa, buddy!”

The driver naturally responded politely in kind.

Yeah, no. The driver responded with an angry honk as the bike passed in front of him, then revved his engine and squealed his tires in what can only be interpreted as a threat, which had the intended effect of scaring the hell out of Mobility For Who.

Unless you’re a Santa Monica cop, that is.

In that case, they try to blame the victim for using a handheld phone — which isn’t illegal, even if it was true. Also for running the stop sign, which again wasn’t true.

And while the cop was correct that road rage itself isn’t against the law, the actions resulting from it often are. Even just exiting your vehicle to approach another road user is prima facie evidence of assault, according to an LAPD officer.

In this case, what you see on the video is, at a minimum, a misdemeanor case of assault with a deadly weapon — which means threatening someone, rather than actually making contact.

As others pointed out on Twitter/X in response to these posts, had this occurred in Los Angeles, it would have made a good case under the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

But not in Santa Monica, or anywhere else in Los Angeles County.

I’ve met with the police chief in Santa Monica, along with representatives of BikeLA Neighborhood Chapter Santa Monica Spoke, to address the department’s lack of enforcement to protect bicyclists and other vulnerable road users.

And left with promises they’d look into it, and ensure the law was enforced fairly against dangerous, aggressive and/or threatening drivers.

But that was four chiefs ago, as the department’s revolving door on the top floor has prevented any continuity or progress in protecting the rights and safety of vulnerable road users. And allowing street level officers to regress in their commitment to protect bike riders and pedestrians, instead of the current policy of just enforcing laws against them.

I encouraged Mobility For Who to meet with the current chief, whoever that may be now, to press their case — if not for this case, then for the next person it happens to.

And yes, I do know the current chief is Ramon Batista.

For now, anyway.

But that’s the problem. Whatever progress we might make by taking our concerns up with the chief would only last as long as he does in that role. And if past history is any indication, you might be better off buying ripe bananas than counting on the Santa Monica Police Chief to stick around.

It’s a problem that will have to be addressed with, and by, city leadership, who can require the department to better protect people walking and on bikes.

Or more likely, the inevitable lawsuit that will come from their failure to do anything.

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The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure continues to make news.

A rally in support of Measure HLA, as it is referred to on election ballots, brought out four of the six City Councilmembers in favor of the measure to encourage voters to mark yes on their ballots.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton,

Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez spoke movingly of meeting a 29-year-old man who had barely survived a car crash. The victim’s mother told Hernandez that “before, he was very active – he would ride his bike everywhere.” When Hernandez met him, “he was in a bed in a hospital, having been there for months already… he got hit while he was riding his bike…”

Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez spoke of the urgency of passing Measure HLA. “These High Injury Network streets happen to be in the most poor areas of our city – the ones that have historically been redlined – and it’s mostly working class people that are biking, walking or taking public transit… who are being killed every single day,” he said.

Both Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Katy Yaroslavsky spoke of their fears as mothers of young children, and how scary it is to cross unsafe streets just to walk their kids to school.

Raman drew attention to the need for Mobility Plan improvements to be implemented citywide, “in a way that is connected, that enables people to get out of their cars.” She concluded by calling Measure HLA “smart public safety-oriented policy-making.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles firefighters union held their own event to oppose Measure HLA, while demonstrating both their lack of understanding of mobility issues, as well as an inherent windshield bias and commitment to car culture.

Take this quote from California Professional Firefighters President Brian Rice, who Linton says was repeatedly dismissive of bicycles and transit, in addition to displaying his own misinformed conservative political bias.

“I hate to tell you men and women, California – and Los Angeles in particular – this is a car community. You may not like it,” Rice declared, “but it is.” Rice derisively asked, “Do you really think you’re going to see buses go faster than 12 miles an hour?”

Rice declared that “a small group of elite… Democratic Socialists” are behind Measure HLA…

However, many of the people behind the measure are far from elite. And while I suspect most probably are Democrats, given the political makeup of LA County, none have cited Marx, Che Guevara or Mao in any of their conversations with me.

But I digress.

Rice concluded his remarks emphasizing fiscal issues that firefighters don’t lead with, but which appears to be among their core concerns: spending money making streets safer competes with more resources going to firefighting.

The city released a misleading cost estimate for Measure HLA implementation: $250 million annually. (Safe streets advocates can only wish that HLA gradual implementation could ever result in that kind of annual investment. Measure HLA proponents estimate annual costs to be more like one tenth of the city’s estimate.) The city estimate rolls in some non-HLA costs, including the cost of the city’s annual street repaving program which already has been and will continue to be in the city budget, regardless of HLA. It also inflates per-mile bikeway and bus lane cost estimates well above what the city currently spends.

Nope. No bias there.

A writer for LA Progressive also takes a very non-progressive stand, saying he’ll vote against the measure because it “ignores two essential criteria that bicycling on LA’s streets must be safe and bicycle paths and lanes must directly connect to each other.”

Except that’s exactly what LA’s mobility plan, and by extension, Measure HLA, does.

Former LA City Planner Dick Platkin adds that HLA offers a “deceptively simple way to solve LA’s traffic congestion, just switch from cars to bicycling and walking.”

Even though it does no such thing, since the mobility plan is based on the assumption that most Angelenos will continue to drive, while offering safe alternatives to those would prefer other options.

He goes on to site Councilmember Traci Park, one of the city’s least progressive councilmembers.

And repeats the city’s extreme $2 billion cost estimate, which Linton explained above includes inflated figures, as well as the city’s entire resurfacing budget, which it is already committed to and HLA has no bearing on.

HLA would only add the cost of paint and any additional barriers, along with the basic design costs for each street restriping.

So maybe Platkin should try writing for a less progressing site.

Oh wait, he did.

Never mind that it was the previous LA city planners and engineers who got us into this car-centric mess to begin with.

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Nice piece from freelance writer Michael Charboneau for the LA Times The Wild newsletter, introducing four group rides offering an up close and personal view of the City of Angels.

He nails his introduction, kicking it off this way.

Riding a bike in Los Angeles is an act of defiance — against car culture, against endless sprawl, against bike lanes that disappear without warning and against gaping potholes. But on the best days, riding a bike is a pure joy. And I’ve found that you can get even more out of those moments with this one easy trick: Ride your bike with other people.

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Calbike will host a webinar on March 6th to discuss the state bike advocacy group’s campaign to demand Complete Streets on Caltrans Corridors.

Speakers: Senator Scott Wiener; Kendra Ramsey (CalBike); Jeanie Ward-Waller (Fearless Advocacy); Laura Tolkoff (SPUR); Sandhya Laddha (Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition).

Please join us to learn more about our statewide campaign for Complete Streets and Complete Corridors on Caltrans’ State Highway System. Our joint campaign is bolstered by SB 960, authored by Senator Scott Wiener, which will require Caltrans to implement safe streets for people biking, walking, and using transit. Along with the senator joining us, we will also have state and local experts demonstrating the path needed for Complete Streets and Complete Corridors on Caltrans’ roads that run through your community.

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CicLAvia will kick off their 2024 season this evening with the release of Los Angeles Ale Works seek-la-VEE-ah West Coast IPA, after it was rained out last week.

(Did I hear someone say “Oh please, not another IPA!”? Or was that just me?)

The free event will be held in conjunction with the Ivy Station Night Market, featuring food trucks, music, games, local vendors and kid-friendly activities.

It comes just over a week before the year’s first CicLAvia a week from Sunday on Melrose Ave between Fairfax and Vermont.

In addition to the usual two-wheeled frivolity, I’m told we can expect the first-ever CicLAvia corgi parade, though the time and location are still TBD.

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It’s now 57 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. The president of a San Francisco merchant’s association offers an alternative to the “well-intentioned, but ill-conceived” Valencia Street bike lane, while offering a gratuitous slap at bike advocates, saying “diehard bike advocates can come across as a little sanctimonious and zealous,” even though “they’re doing the Lord’s work.”

Planetizen correctly says New Jersey’s proposed requirement for liability insurance for low-speed ebikes would have a chilling effect on micromobility, effectively halting any transition away from cars.

No bias here, either. A writer for the London Telegraph says bicyclists are the rudest, most entitled people in the UK today, with Lycra-clad boors giving off “an almost palpable air of smug self-satisfaction, even as they make life miserable for fellow road users.” Just wait until someone tells her about drivers. However, you’ll have to either subscribe to the paper or sign up for a free trial if you want to read the damn screed. 

English authorities have launched a murder investigation following the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle, after reports that he was also assaulted by an occupant of the vehicle, either before or after the crash.

A Singapore driver pled guilty to committing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others, despite claiming she tried to de-escalate a confrontation with a road-raging bike-riding woman several times.

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

And no bias here, either. A 12-year old boy on an ebike somehow collided with a 66-year old Key Biscayne, Florida woman riding a bicycle in the opposite direction, killing the older woman. So local officials immediately called an emergency meeting to ban ebikes and e-scooters, ignoring 1) the crash was caused by one or more people riding where they shouldn’t have in the middle of the street, and 2) the tragic results might not have been any different if both were on non-electric bikes.

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Local 

Jacobin looks at the LA bikeshare worker’s opposition to the proposed takeover of the Metro Bike operations by Lyft.

LAist offers an overview of the Pasadena city council election.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would ensure that all California bridges will remain toll-free for bike riders and pedestrians.

Costa Mesa has received $7.4 million in grants from the Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, to “create three interconnected, separated bike lanes as part of a major expansion of the City’s bicycle network.”

A Novato driver was busted on felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence of prescribed medication after he ran down two 15-year old boys as they rode their bicycles, followed by crashing into a pickup a block away; fortunately, everyone is expected to survive their injuries.

 

National

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has ordered a recall of Bell Soquel Youth Helmets due to risk of injury resulting from a balky strap.

Portland bike advocates want to change the narrative after bicycling rates rebounded slightly, following last year’s precipitous drop.

Oregon has their own ebike bills under consideration, including one opposed by Portland’s The Street Trust that would create California-style ebike classifications, and legalize ebikes for kids under 15, while banning throttle-controlled ebikes for the same age group.

Denver is down to just four bike messengers for the entire city, including one world champ.

A potential new helmet padding design developed at the University of Colorado could absorb as much as 25% more impact than existing foams, improving protection from bicycle helmets, as well as other types of helmets.

Kindhearted Texas cops bought a new bike for a local boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

New York celebrated a full decade of Vision Zero, despite just a 12% reduction in overall traffic fatalities and a record number of bicycling fatalities last year.

That’s more like it. A Mississippi man will spend 12 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the DUI death of a Tupelo bike rider.

 

International

Bicycling says bike riders in Nuevo León, Mexico are fighting to take back their streets, following two decades of drug cartel violence. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The first woman to win the 3,000-mile Race Across America has been disinvited to speak at an Ottawa, Canada Women’s Day event because she served in the Israeli Defense Force 30 years ago.

Canada’s bicycling minister says he didn’t mean what he said when he said the country will stop funding large highway projects. Or so he says.

A new report says Croydon is failing bicyclists and pedestrians, as the only London borough not seeking funding for greater bicycle infrastructure and bus priority lanes. Their semi-pro football, aka soccer, team kinda sucks, too.

The CEO of British foldie maker Brompton answers questions for Cycling Weekly, saying “People see us as a little, quirky, odd bike.” Which is exactly how most people view them.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Magnus Sheffield says he’s “incredibly lucky to be alive” after crashing on the same descent that killed Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder in last June’s Tour de Suisse, adding it’s a reminder of how fragile life can be. Amen.

A Guyana bike race celebrates the country’s “rich history of bicycling excellence.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when something gets lost in translation between Dutch bike infrastructure and Chorlton-Cum-Hardy. Or when a bike needs a new forever home after its owner dies.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Driver blames bike rider for riding legally, Bob George ghost bike gone, and no SoCal counties deadliest for bike riders

Just 321 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just over 70 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Norwood Paukert recounts the story first told here last week about being intentionally run down by a pair of young men on Griffith Park’s Zoo Drive.

I have no memory of the impact, but I was told by the park ranger on scene that witnesses had watched a car with two young men inside intentionally swerve into the bike lane and ram me from behind, throwing me over the handlebars into the street, and then laughing as they sped away.

We’ve seen similar stories coming from all over the world — as near as Huntington Beach and Las Vegas, and as far as Australia — of young men deliberately running down people on bicycles, usually while driving stolen cars.

Yet no one seems to be connecting the dots here, despite with rumors circulating of a hit-and-run challenge targeting bicyclists.

Meanwhile, another letter on the same Times link asks a “bike enthusiast” to explain why an Eagle Rock bike rider would be riding against traffic on the sidewalk, right next to the painted bike lanes on Colorado Blvd.

When there was a large gap, I checked again for pedestrians, and started to move forward. Out of nowhere, here comes a bike rider, on the sidewalk, coming from my right against the traffic flow. I came within millimeters of knocking him down.

I have seen many cyclists use the bike lanes correctly, but I have also seen them riding in groups so that they overflow the bike lanes into traffic. I’ve seen them at night with no reflective gear on.

Let’s start with the idea that the rider came “out of nowhere.”

Bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Los Angeles, and drivers have a responsibility to look both ways. That includes looking for anyone walking or biking on the sidewalk, which is bi-directional — meaning there is no right direction, and people are entitled to travel in either direction.

Even people on bicycles.

Secondly, there is no requirement to ride in the street, even if it has a bike lane.

It’s possible that riding with traffic on the opposite side of the street may have been inconvenient if the rider was heading to or leaving a business or residence on the near side of the street, or connecting to a street on that side.

Or they may have just been uncomfortable riding on a busy street with nothing more than a thin strip of paint for protection.

And it’s odd that drivers can accept illegal, dangerous and otherwise bizarre behavior from other drivers, but somehow can’t comprehend when someone on a bicycle does something similar.

People are people, regardless of how they choose to travel. And people will inevitably do what’s most convenient, or which seems to make sense at the time.

So maybe it’s time to lighten up when someone on a bicycle acts like a human being.

Meanwhile, GCN examines just what we do that manages to piss drivers off so much.

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Sadly, the ghost bike for fallen bicyclist and Hollywood producer Bob George has been removed already, his memory erased from a town that forgets too easily.

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A new report from personal injury law firm Bader Scott analyzed data the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to determine the nation’s most dangerous counties for bicyclists.

To the surprise of no one, the worst offenders came from Florida. In fact, the top three counties, and 14 of the top 20, are in the state, which is the nation’s deadliest state to ride a bike in.

California was also represented near the top, with San Joaquin County ranking eight, and Stanislaus County 15th. (Hint: Stop the page from loading to get around the paper’s paywall.)

Surprisingly, no SoCal county ranked in the top 20. Although it would be interesting to see what the rest of the list looks like.

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There’s still time to reserve your spot in next weekend’s L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year, Year of the Dragon.

Here’s how a recent press release described the event.

The 46th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run/1K Kiddie & PAW’er Dog Run/Walk & 20/50-Mile Bike Ride – which will be held over the weekend of February 24-25, 2024, where thousands will take to the streets and where the events start and end, as well as a free to the public post-event festival at the historic Los Angeles Chinatown Plaza (Event Festival until 3pm on Saturday as well as a Lantern Paw Festival in Blossom Plaza from 11am-4pm in conjunction with Saturday’s Paw’er Dog Walk, and on Sunday, the Firecracker event festival goes until noon).

In addition, the 50-mile Bike Ride snakes through DTLA, LA River, “Frogtown”, LA Zoo, Travel Town, Burbank, Glendale, Verdugo Foothills, Montrose, La Canada, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, and much more.

The L.A. Chinatown Firecracker is one of the largest and oldest running races in the U.S. which had its humble beginnings from a few Belmont High School Alums (a public school located in the Westlake community just outside of Chinatown).

Meanwhile, there’s just two weeks left to get early bird pricing on the April Finish the Ride and Finish the Run in Griffith Park.

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It’s now 55 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

No bias here. A San Diego TV station blames the victims by suggesting the safety of Encinitas ebike riders is in the hands of Gen-Z, meaning teenage ebike riders. Even though the real danger comes from the drivers they’re forced to share the road with, thanks to a lack of safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. In a clear indication of who they think poses the greatest risk, Fresno police cited 32 drivers in their latest bicycle and pedestrian safety operation — and 96 bicyclists and pedestrians.

Or here. A London bike rider famous for riding with his cat was scolded for riding around a car, after the driver had just pulled out and cut him off.

An Irish driver complains that a bike rider must “enjoy playing with traffic” by riding in the traffic lane when there’s a perfectly good bikeway right next to it — even though it’s blocked by a bollard.

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Local 

The LA Times sums up the prosecution’s case against wealthy socialite and Grossman Burn Center co-founder Rebecca Grossman as “Liquor, Valium, speed and recklessness;” Grossman is on trial for two counts of murder for the high speed hit-an-run deaths of two little kids as they crossed the street with their parents and siblings in Westlake Village last September.

Yo! Venice offers video of the badly damaged Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which collapsed during last week’s heavy rains; remarkably, the bike path appears to have been build with little or no rebar or other means of support beyond the concrete itself.

Hermosa Beach is considering a proposal to allow cops to impound bicycles and ebikes of riders cited for traffic violations. Although that would appear to violate state law, which does not permit it.

 

State

Sad news from Los Altos, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a collision.

San Francisco State Sen. Scott Wiener discusses his proposed bill to require speed limiting devices in all new cars, which keep drivers from exceeding ten miles over the speed limit. And which would probably do more to save lives than anything else the state could do right now.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for Bicycling says stop the ebike hate, and love your fellow bicyclists regardless of how they dress or what they ride. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you may be screwed if the magazine blocks you. 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a writer for Visor pens a love letter to bicycling, expressing “the simple yet profound joy of riding a bicycle.”

Portland, Oregon rebounded from a “precipitous drop” in bicycling rates last year with a modest 5% increase in this year’s count.

The rich get richer. On top of Denver’s successful ebike voucher program, residents of the city can now get paid $1 a mile to ride their bikes instead of driving, up to a maximum of $200 a month.

New York bicycling deaths dipped just slightly last year, a full decade into the city’s failed Vision Zero program.

A pair of bills in the New Jersey legislature would impose an $8 annual registration fee and require a $35,000 liability insurance policy for even slow-speed, ped-assist ebikes, as well as e-scooters, in an apparent attempt to kill the ebike boom and keep people in their cars.

 

International

A new report suggests the post-pandemic sales slump affecting the worldwide bike industry will last through at lease next year; meanwhile, sales at Shimano’s bicycle division were down 30% last year.

A writer for Cycling Weekly describes what it’s like to ride in the worst bike lane in the world.

Momentum offers ten ways to go on a bicycle date.

Cyclist explains how to get more aero on your bike. Unless you ride an upright bike, in which case, as you were. 

Canadian Cycling Magazine nominates a Toronto driver for the most egregious case of driving in a bike lane. Which sounds like a challenge to SoCal drivers.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A driver walked without a single day behind bars, despite being convicted of intentionally ramming a bike rider into a large truck, breaking the victim’s spine and leaving him a “hollow shell of a person.”

Harry Styles is one of us, as he goes on a late-night bikeshare ride through the streets of London with girlfriend Taylor Russell.

Dublin, Ireland offered a plan to halt pass-through traffic in the city center to make room for buses, bicyclists and pedestrians, along with drivers who actually have a destination in town, after a study showed that 60% of downtown Dublin drivers were just passing through.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Seattle, as former Giro and ‘cross cyclist, and longtime bike industry pro, Tim Rutledge died following a battle with cancer at age 65.

 

Finally…

At 15, most of us were happy just to ride a bike, not run your own bike shop. Now you, too, can ride your bike like the Swiftie you are.

And a corgi on an ebike is all I really ask of life.

Thanks to Dr. Grace Peng for forwarding the tweet, or whatever the hell it’s called these days.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Vehicular assault on Griffith Park’s Zoo Drive, plastic protection on Imperial Hwy, and section of beach bike path closed

Just 327 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re over 900 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000!

Graphic by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

………

Let’s start with a comment yesterday from Norwood Paukert, who reports being the victim of a violent vehicular assault in LA’s Griffith Park on Sunday.

I was deliberately struck by a vehicle when riding in the bike lane on Zoo Drive in Griffith Park Sunday afternoon about 12:30. At least that’s what the park ranger told me today based on testimony from several witnesses. Unfortunately the plate # reported turned out to be wrong or impartial. I have no memory of being hit…I regained consciousness as I was being put on a stretcher to go to County ER. I fortunately suffered cuts, bruises, and contusions but no broken bones or serious injuries. I had no contact with any vehicle, verbally or in any other way…I have no idea why this driver deliberately tried to take out a 72-year-old man riding his bike in the park.

If anyone has any information, let me know any I’ll forward it to Paukert.

And let’s hope he reported this to the LAPD, because this appears to be a crime, and should be treated no differently than if he was the victim of any other assault with a deadly weapon.

If it can be shown that the act was intentional, the driver could also be subject to treble the actual damages under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment law, as well as lawyers fees and possible punitive damages.

Which could add up, given the high price of emergency care these days.

………

Los Angeles is finally getting around to closing the thousand-foot bike lane gap on Imperial Highway next to LAX.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports construction is underway on new ADA compliant sidewalks and what passes for a protected bike lane in Los Angeles, with a slim row of car-tickler plastic bendie posts, which are somehow supposed to magically keep drivers out.

This is how Linton describes the previous state of affairs.

For many years there have been basic unprotected bike lanes on Imperial Highway east of the Aviation Boulevard C Line Station. In this area, Imperial has a posted speed limit of 50mph, which many drivers exceed. It’s effectively an extension of the 105 Freeway. That freeway ends a mile east of the city’s project, dumping drivers onto Imperial. It’s not a pleasant place to bike, but it is one of very few roadways that connect to the coast through the somewhat impermeable airport-industrial area.

The existing Imperial lanes got within a half-mile of the beach, then dropped just east of Pershing Drive, leaving a ~1,000 foot gap before the bike lane resumed west of Pershing. Some signage directed cyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Linton’s description of it as “not a pleasant place to bike” is a significant understatement; I rode there once myself, and vowed to never do it again.

Somehow, I can’t see those white plastic posts keeping any cars out. Or even surviving very long, since they’re likely to get plowed down by drivers speeding along the road after exiting the freeway.

………

The popular beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail is closed between Chautauqua Boulevard and Entrada Drive due to damage from the recent storms, after an elevated segment of the path collapsed onto the beach below; no word on when repairs will begin, let alone be completed.

………

More on the Waymo self-driving cab that crashed into a San Francisco bike rider, who picked himself up and rode off on his own, after reporting just minor scratches.

According to a representative for Waymo,

The Waymo vehicle was at a complete stop at a four-way intersection. An oncoming large truck progressed through the intersection in our direction and then at our turn to proceed, we moved into the intersection.
The cyclist was occluded by the truck and quickly followed behind it, turning left and crossing into the Waymo vehicle’s path. When they became fully visible, our vehicle applied heavy braking but was not able to avoid the collision. Waymo called police to the scene and the cyclist left on their own, to our knowledge reporting only minor scratches. We are making contact with relevant authorities surrounding this event.

Thanks to Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, founder Damian Kevitt for forwarding the statement. 

………

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news that the San Diego Association of Governments is still looking for input on their regional transportation plan.

As a reminder, in 2023, we gathered input from people across the region about their priorities for improving our transportation system. To help the public understand how we used your feedback, we made a report about how this input is guiding the projects, programs and policies being considered in our Draft 2025 Regional Plan.

Thank you to everyone who viewed that report and sent in comments so far—your feedback has been passed along to our Board and staff.

Our SANDAG Board will continue reviewing the initial concept of our Draft 2025 Regional Plan this Friday, February 9 at 10 a.m. and providing feedback to our staff. If you would like to send in your feedback for that discussion too, you can:

  • Send an email to clerkoftheboard@sandag.org by 4 p.m. on Thursday, February 8 (with “Regional Plan” in your subject) and/or  
  • Make a comment at the Board meeting virtually or in person. Note, comments may be limited to one minute per person.

Thank you for staying in contact with us,

………

Here’s your chance to support CicLAvia while quaffing a quality craft West Coast IPA in Culver City tomorrow.

CicLAvia Kicks Off 2024 Season with Beer Collaboration and Fundraiser

LA Ale Works Releasing “seek-la-VEE-ah” West Coast IPA on Friday evening, February 16 at Ivy Station in Culver City

Who / What:  CicLAvia has partnered with Los Angeles Ale Works to kick off the 2024 season and launch a beer collaboration with a West Coast IPA affectionately named seek-la-VEE-ah. This venture is all about the “miles of smiles” that Los Angeles’ extremely popular open streets events create.

Where:  Los Angeles Ale Works, at the Ivy Station Complex, 8809 Washington Blvd, Culver City

When:  Friday, February 16, Culver City Arts District Night Market is open 5-10 pm, LA Ale Works open 12 pm– 2 am

Why:  To kick off CicLAvia’s 2024 events schedule and debut a West Coast IPA affectionately named

seek-la-VEE-ah. A portion of the proceeds from the event, and all future sales of seek-la-VEE-ah will be donated to CicLAvia, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Outside of LA Ale Works’ tasting rooms in Culver City and Hawthorne, the beer will be available in cans and on draft throughout Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. From neighborhood craft beer bottle shops up to larger retailers like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Total Wine. Partners who are interested in carrying the beer, please contact LA Ale Works.

“Near and dear to our hearts, our team has participated in CicLAvia events since the early days of the organization,” says Los Angeles Ale Works Managing Partner Andrew Fowler. “We are inspired by how CicLAvia safely brings Angelenos together, the positive environmental impacts it makes, the connections we feel to our communities during the events and the promotion of public transportation. We believe so strongly in public transportation that our new Culver City location is literally built into the Metro E Line station.”

How:  Free. No RSVP required. The event will be in conjunction with the where there will be several food trucks, music, games, local vendors, and kid-friendly activities including The Ballusionist balloon artist. CicLAvia will be on site selling merchandise and sharing information about the 2024 schedule. All ages welcome.

Beer Style:  West Coast India Pale Ale, ABV: 6.5%, Hops: Wakatu, Azacca, El Dorado, and Idaho 7

Description:  Catalyze your senses with vibrant notes of stone fruit and California citrus as we celebrate active transportation, public spaces and car-free streets. Available on draft and in 4-packs of 16 oz cans.

………

It’s now 49 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

Um, no. The mayor of a small Irish town called for removing a protected bike lane from one side of a roadway, arguing that the current bollards and armadillos create a health and safety hazard for motorists. Because apparently, drivers can’t manage to drive safely and stay where they belong, and bollards evidently cause cancer, or Covid, or the common cold or something.

………

Local 

Streetsblog offers more details on the lane reduction and protected bike lanes on the eastern section of Hollywood Blvd between Gower Street and Lyman Place, just west of the intersection with Sunset Blvd; 56 people were killed or severely injured along that stretch over the last decade.

Students, staff and faculty at University of California campuses, including UCLA, can get discounts ranging from 15% to 60% off ebikes from Dirwin Bike, Lectric Bike, Ride1Up and Velotric. Which is yet another reminder that we’re all still waiting on California’s moribund ebike incentive program.

A columnist for the conservative Los Angeles Daily News calls for rejecting the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, calling the city’s mobility plan a con, and saying “this is no way to plan transportation in Los Angeles.” And in the process, somehow managing to get most of it exactly wrong. 

Spectrum News 1 explains how to file a claim for damages caused by the ever-growing number of potholes pockmarking streets in the City of Angels.

 

State

Megan Lynch forwards news of the passing of outrageous San Diego musician and former Ocean Beach bike mechanic Mojo Nixon, who died of a heart attack after performing with his band The Toad Toadliquors during the week-long Outlaw Country Cruise; Nixon was best known for MTV hits Elvis is Everywhere and Don Henley Must Die.

 

National

A writer for Medium says riding an ebike will change your perspective.

Tomorrow is Winter Bike to Work Day in Colorado, and other cities and states where the winter riding conditions are nowhere as good as California, which doesn’t observe it.

If you happen to find yourself in the Big Easy over this Mardi Gras weekend, you can follow the bike-friendly Purple Way to the French Quarter and the Uptown parades.

 

International

Forbes offers what they call a “complete and comprehensive guide” to the year’s best bike brands.

A British Columbia letter writer says moving bike riders to the back of an island ferry so they don’t interfere with drivers zooming off the boat is a step backward, effectively telling bike-riding visitors they aren’t welcome; another letter writer says supporting bicyclists requires improving infrastructure.

Congratulations to Edinburgh, Scotland for topping the list of the world’s worst bike lanes. Although it makes you wonder if they’ve ever seen a “protected” bike lane in Los Angeles.

Bike riders are once again welcome on London’s Hammersmith Bridge during a pause in stabilization work, caused when a boatload of soccer fans crashed into it.

A new report says bike riding in the UK peaked 75 years ago, due to a lack of funding and government policies locked in car dependency.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Magazine fantasizes about a number of wild ways substitute riders in the Tour de France could completely change racing, like tag-team breakaways.

 

Finally…

This is either a very badly worded headline, or the driver committed murder after the crash. If you’re carrying over 3.5 ounces of meth laced with fentanyl on your bike, don’t ride salmon, bro.

And we may worry about LA drivers running up our ass, but at least we don’t have leopards biting our butts.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Las Vegas teens face life in Probst murder, bicycling up 37% in US, and SAMOCAN talks with Streets For All founder

Yesterday I found out the hard way what happens when you accidentally inject long-acting insulin directly into a vein, rather than the fat surrounding it. 

The result was a rapid fire, 300 point blood sugar swing that knocked me on my ass for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

So if I had any sense, I’d be in bed already. 

Instead, I’m going to try to get through this, then pull a pillow over my head and sleep for the rest of the weekend. Or maybe the rest of the month. 

Which is the best way I know to face another birthday, anyway. 

So Gamar hatimah tovah to everyone observing Yom Kippur on Monday. 

Stay safe, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

Two teenagers charged with the video-recorded, hit-and-run murder of former Bell, California police chief Andreas Proust as he rode a bike in Las Vegas made very brief initial appearances in adult court on Tuesday.

The two teens were held without bail on several charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, due to their ages, they won’t face the death penalty, since Nevada law imposes a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in state prison for murder committed before the age of 18.

The driver, Jesus Ayala, was 17 at the time of the crime, while Jzamir Keys, the passenger who recorded the attack, is just 16.

Their two-hour crime spree included three cars thefts, a burglary and an attempt to murder a second bicyclist, who apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Ayala’s mother was quoted as saying “I don’t know why he did this. I don’t know if God can forgive this.”

Her son, who just turned 18, told police he expected to get a slap on the wrist, and “I’ll be out in 30 days, I’ll bet you.”

I’d take that bet.

Ayala now matches his age with 18 criminal counts, including murder, and already has a lengthy record as a juvenile. So if he’s lucky, he might be out in 30 years.

But I wouldn’t count it.

Meanwhile, The Guardian observes the “firehose of hatred” unleashed on the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, after rightwing pundits linked to a photo of an outdated headline that didn’t mention the intentional attack, but was later changed to reflect the murder charge.

The Washington Post blames Elon Musk’s “itchy Twitter finger” for riling up the online mob.

………

A new report from Streetlight Data indicates bicycling rates grew a whopping 37% in the US since 2019, with the top ten states showing at least a 25% increase over that time frame.

Not surprisingly, New York showed the highest growth, followed by San Diego, Bakersfield(!) and Las Vegas.

The first two have made significant investments in bicycling infrastructure; the last two, not so much, to the best of my knowledge.

………

Climate Action Santa Monica offers a recording of yesterday’s SAMOCAN talk with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Meanwhile, Streets For All is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow featuring guest speakers including Councilmember Katy Yuroslavsky, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur and State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino.

The group says pay what you can if you can’t afford the full $100 ticket price.

………

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

A writer for City Journal cries “E-nough,” arguing that ebike and gas-powered mopeds are “reversing more than a decade’s progress in making New York’s dense streets safer for pedestrians and traditional cyclists.” Or maybe they’re just encouraging more people to get out of cars, which pose the real risk, and onto two wheels, which don’t. Although I’d distinguish between ped-assist ebikes and any kind of throttle-controlled or gas-guzzling bikes. 

………

Local 

An anonymously penned Streetsblog op-ed says Metro should treat walking and biking projects with the respect they deserve. Amen, brother. Or sister.

West Hollywood is installing a pair of bike repair stations.

The Elysian Valley Arts Collective invites you to illuminate the night on the Taylor Yard Bicycle & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Cypress Park tomorrow night.

Streetsblog also provides a schedule of public meetings to discuss extending the popular Ballona Creek Bike Trail east into LA’s Mid-City neighborhood, beginning this Sunday in Culver City, with additional meetings Monday and Wednesday, and via Zoom on October 7th.

 

State

Good question. A Streetsblog op-ed asks why fare evasion is punished more severely in California than speeding, as the recently passed AB 819 gives the governor an opportunity to change that.

The Orange County Register examines Huntington Beach’s plan to begin impounding ebikes that are misused by riders. Although it’s not clear if they have that authority under state law. 

Encinitas has received a $3 million grant to make the North San Diego County city safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders

 

National

Shimano recalled over 3/4 of a million Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks after thousands of failures that pose a crash risk to users; the recalled products include the Shimano Ultegra FC-6800, Dura-Ace FC-9000, Ultegra FC-R8000, Dura-Ace FC-R9100 and FC-R9100P 11-Speed Bonded Hollowtech II g Rts. Thanks to Al Williams for the tip. 

Electrek offers tips on how to choose the right ebike for your teenager. My take, avoid throttle-controlled ebikes, and anything with a top speed over 20 mph.

Momentum recommends idyllic settings for a bicycle-themed Thanksgiving getaway.

CNN says yes, Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 longtail e-cargo bike can replace a car for most trips.

Houston could soon have two docked bikeshare systems, as the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority considers opening its own bikeshare to compete with Houston’s struggling BCycle system

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 44-year old man was killed when he was right-hooked by the driver of a school bus as he rode his bike at what residents describe as a dangerous intersection; the bus was carrying around 24 students, who will likely need counseling after witnessing the crash.

There’s not a pit deep enough for the man who man pulled a knife on a 13-year old Staten Island boy to steal his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a Mennonite man to die alone on the side of the road next to his crumpled bicycle, in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

Bicyclists could soon become second-class citizens on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles from Shenandoah to the Smoky Mountains, as a new draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”

This is who we share the road with. A Georgia man faces charges after plowing his truck into a group of motorcyclists, killing one man and injuring four others, then fleeing the scene with a motorcycle still embedded in the truck’s grill.

 

International

An East London neighborhood council has gone against public opinion and scrapped the majority of the area’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, despite overwhelming public support.

A new study shows over half of Swiss bicyclists wear a bike helmet, although that ranges from nearly three-quarters in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to just 43% in German-speaking areas.

Romania is now the European Union’s second-largest producer of bicycles, behind Portugal and ahead of Italy.

Apparently, it ain’t easy being a bicyclist in India’s Goa state, either.

Australia saw its highest August traffic death toll in five years, with bicycling deaths jumping 37% over last year, while pedestrian deaths climbed 27%.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling calls out pro cycling’s concussion protocol, or maybe the lack thereof, after Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng finished the European championship road cycling time trial with a busted helmet and bloodied face; Los Angeles-based former pro Phil Gaimon posted that cyclists need to respect their brains, and that there was “nothing inspiring or bad ass” about Küng’s photo. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Call it a Pashley parade through Shakespeare’s hometown. Tough love doesn’t mean shattering your spouse’s mountain bike dreams.

And you can see a lot of things riding a bike. Like the King of England, for instance.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Both sides rest in Solanga vehicular murder case, and Culver City bicyclists crowdfund to save protected bike lane

We could have a verdict before the end of this week.

Both sides rested Tuesday in the murder trial of 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez, who is accused of using his truck to run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga in Riverside two years ago.

Gutierrez allegedly flipped Solanga off as Solanga walked his bike with another person, then made a U-turn to come back to slam into Solanga, killing him.

Prosecutors have not said if the men knew each other, or why he attacked Solanga with his truck.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

………

No bias here.

A Culver City councilmember says kids are much better off riding on circuitous side streets than in the direct, protected bike lane he wants to rip out.

He’s got a point.

Studies have shown that bicyclists are exposed to higher particulate levels when riding next to busy roadways. But it’s unclear whether those particulates have a measurable effect on lung function.

Meanwhile, a new crowdfunding campaign has been established to fight the council’s blatantly illegal decision to replace the bike lane with another lane for motor vehicles, bizarrely claiming it would have no environmental impact and doesn’t require a CEQA review.

As of this writing, it’s raised nearly half of the modest $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

https://twitter.com/bikinginla/status/1701845885712568829

………

The California state legislature has approved the bill to establish a limited speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as well as three NorCal cities — as long as they meet a number of preconditions.

The state Senate also passed a bill legalizing sidewalk riding everywhere in the state, overriding any local prohibitions.

Assuming the governor signs it, of course.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1701704009709425101

………

More proof that lane reductions and protected bike lanes work. Someone please tell the Culver City Council.

Oh wait, they already know.

………

Let’s pause our bike news for a moment for a couple of brief help wanted notices.

Los Angeles Walks is hiring an Incoming Executive Director to manage the pedestrian advocacy group; you have until the end of this month to apply.

And if any planners out there are looking for work, Oregon could be looking for you.

Statewide Recreation Trails Planner (Limited Duration)

In this capacity, your role will revolve around being a planner and fostering partnerships. This will involve the facilitation of high-level trail planning initiatives, requiring close coordination with various stakeholders, including state and local agencies, tribal governments, trail advocacy groups, and trail user constituencies. You will also be tasked with the development of comprehensive processes to manage all stages of trail project delivery effectively. Building internal and external partnerships will be key to ensuring the efficiency and success of these processes and systems, all while prioritizing the department’s Mission in your decision-making.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up. 

………

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

Police in Downey are investigating after a man was captured on video randomly shoving a man off his bike while he rode with another man along the riverbed on Florence Ave, moments after attacking another bike rider.

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

San Diego is cracking down on ebikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks, two years after an unenforced and universally ignored ban went into effect.

………

Local 

LA County broke ground on the 3 mile, $8.1 million Vincent Community Bikeway, which will combine a creekside bike path with on-street protected bike lanes through the unincorporated community.

Streetsblog looks at Pasadena’s new Union Street protected bike lane.

More on the effort of three Santa Monica city councilmembers to stop truck drivers from parking in the city’s bike lanes, which has been a problem as long as the city has had them.

 

State

Caltrans and the California Office of Traffic Safety are launching a new “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” public awareness campaign to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety. Probably because they couldn’t come up with anything more boring and less impactful, despite their best efforts. 

San Francisco bicyclists are taking to social media to complain about drivers illegally using the controversial new centerline protected bike lane on Valencia Street,

 

National

The bike industry’s ebike battery recycling program has collected 43,000 pounds of batteries since it began two years ago.

Direct marketing brand Canyon is having a sale on a number of their bikes, across the categories.

Popular Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes is out with their updated new lineup, as the financially troubled company commits to using only UL certified lithium-ion batteries.

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned hundreds of slightly used, but very muddy, bicycles, which are going to the Reno Bike Project to find loving new homes.

Heartbreaking story about the death of Colorado endurance bicyclist Greg Bachman, who was killed by a Kansas driver the night before last years Unbound Gravel race; his widow calls out anti-bike bias from Kanas Highway Patrol, which destroyed evidence, failed to examine the driver’s phone or the victim’s GPS, and went out of their way to incorrectly blame the victim.

Omaha bike riders are calling for better “road awareness” from both bicyclists and motorists after a noted local cardiologist was killed by a driver while riding his bike.

A three-day Iowa Underground Railroad bike ride will explore 136 miles of the state’s abolitionist history.

Kindhearted Missouri cops surprised a man with a new bike after the one he used to get to work was stolen.

New York City councilmembers slammed the city’s transportation department for falling behind on building new bus and bike lanes, which are legally mandated by the city’s transportation master plan. Which is what happens when city leaders actually give a damn, and draft a plan with real teeth, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis I could name. 

 

International

Momentum explores the top styles of bicycles for active aging.

The annual, worldwide, women-only Fancy Women Bike Ride rolls this Sunday, though there doesn’t appear to be one scheduled for anywhere in Southern California.

A columnist for a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the road to safer bicycling in the city is sadly “paved with blood,” suggesting that despite deaths and injuries, the debate about safe bicycling always seems to come down to cost. Sadly, it seems to be the case everywhere that nothing happens until it’s too late.

Montreal, Quebec’s ghost bike group marked its tenth anniversary by filling a busy intersection with 645 pairs of white shoes, indicating the number of people killed while walking in the province over the past decade.

Britain’s Conservative government is considering new laws to confront dangerous bicycling, including a pledge to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law, after concluding the existing laws are old and inadequate.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro cyclist Nathan van Hooydonck was injured in a car crash after becoming unwell while driving with his pregnant wife on Tuesday; an update from his Jumbo-Visma team indicated his condition was “not critical,” despite earlier reports.

American race leader Sepp Kuss lost time to his own teammates in the Vuelta yesterday, after Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard attacked to win stage 16 and move just 29 seconds behind Kuss.

L39ION of Los Angeles co-founder Justin Williams has reportedly been suspended for a second time in consecutive years for causing a crash in last month’s Audi Denver Littleton Criterium; reports also indicate Thomas Gibbons was fined for swearing after Williams caused him to crash.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton overcame “trench foot, freezing rain, wildfire detours, mental demons and a busted derailleur” to record the fastest ever time on the Tour Divide bikepacking route, completing 2,670 miles and 192,000 feet of climbing in 12 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. But his time won’t go down as a new record, because the camera crew that accompanied him isn’t allowed under official rules.

Anyone betting the National Cycling League wouldn’t make it to their second season should collect your winnings, as the fledgling US bike racing league laid off two-thirds of the riders they had under contract.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own dream cargo bike.

And you think you’ve got bike skills?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Hunt for killer driver in anti-bike rampage, police search for Metro-riding bike shop burglars, and NoHo CicLAmini Sunday

It’s the 16th anniversary of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Encounter, the solo crash that laid me up for four months. And in a roundabout way, set me on the path to bike advocacy, and starting this site. 

Yet somehow, I’ve never thanked those bees properly for not killing me that day. 

Image by Gerd Altmann for Pixabay.

………

No update yet on the search for a rampaging hit-and-run driver who appeared to intentionally run down three bike-riding men in separate incidents in Huntington Beach Sunday night, killing one man.

Keep your eyes open for a black Toyota four-door sedan, with significant damage to the front bumper on the passenger side. Even if the car turns out to be stolen, it could provide vital clues leading to the killer.

If you see the car, or have any other information, call the Huntington Beach Police Department’s WeTip hotline at 714/375-5066, or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855/TIP-OCCS (855/847-6227).

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times quotes Mario Obeja, vice president of the Southbay’s Beach Cities Cycling Club, saying attacks from road-raging drivers are all too common.

………

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two men photographed riding the Metro A (Blue) Line with several brand-new bikes that appear to have been stolen from Irwindale Cycle, with price tags from the shop still attached.

The men, apparently part of a group of five who burglarized the shop early Monday morning, were last seen as they exited the train at Pasadena’s Memorial Park station at 5:30 am.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money to help the shop, which faces the risk of closing after losing $40,000 worth of bikes in the theft.

………

CicLAvia is hosting their second CicLAmini open streets event on Sunday with a one-mile excursion along NoHo’s Lankershim Blvd, along with brief legs extending along Magnolia and Chandler.

There’s easy access from B (Red) Line subway at the North Hollywood Metro Station, directly across from the CicLAmini route.

Meanwhile, SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, is looking for volunteers to help them work the event.

And while we’re on the subject, SAFE is also looking for volunteers to help assess the condition of LA County bike paths.

………

Streets For All is hosting CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt for their latest virtual happy hour tomorrow evening; Hutt was appointed by the council to replace recently convicted councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Streets For All is also calling for support for a pair of motions at tomorrow’s LA City Council Public Works Committee meeting to the accelerate the design, construction, and implementation of transportation infrastructure projects, and create better coordination between city agencies who build and maintain public infrastructure.

………

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

A British man accused the local police of doing nothing after thieves broke into his home and stole four high-end mountain bikes worth more than $54,000; he spent the equivalent of $7,500 to track them down and fly to Poland to recover them.

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

A Singapore driver complains that many cyclists think they’re “king of the road” and expect everyone else to give way, after a spandex-clad bicyclist taking part in a group ride pounded on his car’s hood in retaliation for honking at them. No, he shouldn’t have honked. But violence is never the right answer. 

………

Local 

A producer for LAist’s How To LA podcast discusses how he lives carfree in the car capital of the world.

Altadena residents discussed local traffic safety issues at a popup event that featured a demonstration bike lane, mini-park and a curb extension.

Culver City’s newly conservative city council is trying to abuse California’s CEQA laws as an excuse to rip out the existing Move Culver City protected bike lane.

Santa Monica councilmembers will discuss a proposed study of how to keep drivers out of bike lanes at tonight’s council meeting, along with repurposing taxi stands and extending the city’s shared mobility program.

 

State

Calbike is calling on you to contact your state Assemblymember to support SB50, which would ban the sort of pretextual traffic stops too often used to target Black and Latino bike riders.

Streetsblog calls for everyone to complete Calbike’s rider survey of Caltrans Complete Streets efforts, or the lack thereof, as the statewide advocacy group prepares to issue a report card of state-controlled routes that double as local streets.

The CHP says a 71-year old Paso Robles man suffered a concussion and broken nose when he rode his “performance bicycle” into uneven pavement on the shoulder of a state highway near Cambria, blaming his unfamiliarity with the roadway and riding too fast for conditions. But not for Caltrans’ failure to maintain a safe road surface. 

A crowdfunding account for a 55-year old Hayward bike rider killed by a hit-and-run driver has raised over $36,000, as police continue to look for the Mercedes driver who left him dying in the roadway.

 

National

Cycling Weekly says the sport has a body image problem, as bicyclists face pressure to conform to a lithe physical standard.

Electrek offers tips on how to ride your ebike around cars and the people who drive them, and live to tell the tale.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 47-year old man killed by a Nebraska driver while riding his bike on Sunday was identified as a “talented and compassionate” Omaha cardiologist.

Police in Massachusetts still haven’t filed any charges against the driver who killed an 86-year old man as he rode his bike last week.

A 13-year old Long Island boy is clinging to life, the victim of a cop responding to a 911 call with lights and sirens as the boy was riding his bike.

A Baltimore basketball player faces charges for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bike-riding man, but still hasn’t been served with a warrant a full year later.

 

International

Momentum lists the top ten bicycle-friendly North American cities to visit this fall. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

More proof we face the same problems everywhere, as a bike rider in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan decries the city’s hostile environment for bicyclists after a 36-year old man was killed by a driver while riding his bike.

British Cycling, the UK’s governing body for all things bike-related, joined with a law firm to publish a paper in Parliament complaining about a “hazardous leniency” in sentencing drivers who kill or injure bicyclists and pedestrians, which “enables even the most persistent and reckless offenders to evade justice.”

Volkswagen is the latest carmaker to get into the ebike business, announcing a bike-building partnership with the Netherlands’ Pon Holdings.

 

Competitive Cycling

When you’re finishing the final climb of a major stage race near your hometown, you might as well enjoy a beer with your drag-wearing brother.

Finally…

Chances are, your mountain bike won’t look any better with a mullet than you would. Biking along an LA River wall of mulch.

And that feeling when you singlehandedly halt a slow speed stampede.

Although maybe they’d just never seen anyone in spandex before.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Update: Killer driver arrested after 3 Huntington Beach bike riders struck — one fatally — in apparent vehicular rampage

This time it’s murder.

A Huntington Beach bike rider has been killed after a rampaging driver appeared to intentionally target three people riding bicycles in less than an hour Sunday night.

According to KABC-7, the attacks started around 10 pm when a man was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a crosswalk at Warner Avenue and Edwards Street, suffering minor injuries.

That was followed half an hour later as a second man suffered minor injuries when he reported being deliberately sideswiped by a hit-and-run driver just a few blocks away on Edwards Street at Brad Drive.

Then as police were investigating that crash, a third victim who had been riding a bicycle was found lying in the street less than a mile away near Heil Avenue and Springdale Street around 10:45 pm, suffering from major injuries.

He died at the scene.

At this time, none of the victims have been identified.

Huntington Beach police investigators believe the same driver was responsible for all three crashes, in a single night of vehicular mayhem.

Witnesses describe the vehicle as appearing to be a black Toyota four-door sedan, which suffered significant damage to the front bumper on the passenger side.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Huntington Beach Police Department’s WeTip hotline at 714/375-5066; anonymous tips can be submitted to OC Crime Stoppers at 855/TIP-OCCS (855/847-6227).

This is at least the 35th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It also appears to be the second intentional murder of a bike rider in the county this year, following the February death of Dr. Michael John Mammone in Laguna Beach.

Update: KTLA-5 talks with another bike rider, who says he was also chased by a driver who tried to strike him on Sunday night. He had to ride between two cars to escape. 

A neighbor who witnessed the fatal crash says the driver never slowed down after hitting the victim, and that the car may have been a Volvo rather than Toyota. So look for a black sedan with major damage to the right front. 

They also report Huntington Beach police are struggling to identify the man who was killed. 

Which is yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID with you. And preferably something that won’t be stolen if you become incapacitated, like a RoadID or some other form of wearable identification. 

Update 2: Now two lives could be effectively ended. 

KABC-7 reports police have arrested an unnamed juvenile for using a car as a weapon to attack at least three people riding bicycles, murdering a 70-year old man and injuring two others. 

There’s no word on possible charges, but it’s likely the kid will face at least one felony murder count, as well as charges of assault with a deadly weapon. If he’s tried as a juvenile, he could be held until he turns 21; if the Orange County DA charges him as an adult, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. 

Or worse. 

The victim has been identified as 70-year old Huntington Beach resident Steven Gonzales.

No motive has been announced for the attacks, but it could have been a copycat of the East Bay Area attacks from earlier this year, in which young people in stolen cars attempted to door or strike people riding bicycles or e-scooters.

The difference is, no one was killed then. 

Update 3: According to The Daily Pilot, the boy was arrested Tuesday night on one count of homicide and and two counts os assault with a deadly weapon after they found the suspect’s vehicle in the 6000 block of Warner Ave.

He’s being held in OC Juvenile Hall. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steven Gonzales and all his loved ones.

Trial starts for alleged Riverside road rage murder, ghost tire memorial in South LA, and new Metro Active Transportation Plan

Welcome to your last pre-Thanksgiving three-day weekend — not to mention the opening weekend for college football. 

Which means you can count on a higher than usual percentage of drunks and otherwise intoxicated people on the roads. 

So the usual protocol applies. 

Ride defensively. And if you’re riding anytime after noon today, assume every driver you see has had a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be far off. 

I expect to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. And I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you pull a pack of puppies out of a burning building or something. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

A 33-year old Riverside man is going on trial for murder with a deadly weapon enhancement, for the alleged road rage killing of a man riding a bicycle.

Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to reverse direction and run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga from behind following an apparent traffic-related dispute between the two men.

Gutierrez was arrested three weeks after the July, 2021 vehicular assault, and continues to be held on $1 million bond.

………

This is who we share the road with.

LA’s second ghost tire memorial was installed yesterday to honor the three Uber passengers killed in a high speed crash in South Los Angeles.

The victims, including two sisters, were riding in the back seat of the Uber when 31-year old Gregory Black slammed into them while racing through red lights at up to 100 mph.

Black, described as a known gang member with an extensive rap sheet, was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, and held on $4 million bond.

So much for the myth that bail is based strictly on the suspect’s ability to pay. And not a reflection of how seriously prosecutors take the crime.

Black was already serving a five-year probation following his release from prison for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, a 17-year old Las Vegas boy faces a murder charge for intentionally killing a bike-riding man, after video posted online indicated the fatal hit-and-run two weeks ago wasn’t an accident.

The teen was allegedly driving a stolen car and already fleeing an earlier hit-and-run.

………

Metro unveiled the LA County transit agency’s new Active Transportation Strategic Plan on Tuesday.

According to Southern California Newsgroup’s Steve Scauzillo, the plan will “create a chain of paths, regional bikeways and pedestrian crossings to connect passengers who are walking, rolling or bicycling to and from the transit agency’s train lines, bus stops and depots.”

Metro, during a virtual public meeting Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29, outlined three areas for improvement, identifying 602 “first and last mile” areas located near transit, 81 pedestrian districts and 1,433 miles of regional bikeways.

Just completing the list of regional bikeways, which would connect to existing ones, would cost about $36 billion, which is four times the entire LA Metro annual budget.

The plan has a focus on equity, improving service and safety first in areas where fewer people own cars, including including mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods.

But as we’ve seen with the City of Los Angeles, it’s one thing to make a plan, and another to implement it, as ActiveSGV’s special programs director Wesley Reutimann pointed out.

He said Metro should redirect budget dollars from highways toward completing bikeways and walkways. But getting the OK from cities and landowners can gum up the works. Metro is also asking cities to help fund the projects or apply for grant dollars. This can delay or nix projects altogether, he said.

“Long story short: Metro did a plan (in 2016) and most of it was never implemented. It just feels like this plan update is window dressing,” Reutimann said.

Even a fraction of what the agency wastes on highway engorgements could go a long way towards actually implementing this plan.

Let’s hope someone over there figures out how to do that.

………

This will be great if it actually happens.

And that’s a big if.

A pair of Los Angeles City Council motions call for streamlining operations between LADOT, LA Street Services, the Bureau of Engineering, and the Bureau of Street Lighting, as well as developing a five-year infrastructure spending plan for the city.

Correction, they both call for a pair of studies on how to do it.

Which is what the Los Angeles city government does best — study problems, rather than actually solve them.

And as we saw with the city council alternative to the Healthy Streets LA initiative, those 60 day deadlines can easily slip to a full year, if ever.

So this will be great if it actually happens. But we’ve been here too many times before.

Let’s hope someone holds the city’s feet to the fire and makes it happen this time.

………

A Denver TV station provides more information on the crash that severely injured professional ultra endurance bicyclist Jay Petervary as he was attempting to set a new record for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Investigators concluded Petervary was riding on a mountain highway in central Colorado when he was rear-ended by a 16-year old driver, who may have been speeding, while attempting to pass on a “straight on a wide, open road with no trees or obstructions.”

Petervary says he landed about 20 yards from his bike, skidding face first on the roadway.

He is now focusing on his recovery while his wife organizes his transport back home to Idaho, his future care and the legal repercussions. Donations are still being accepted for the Be Good Foundation. As of Thursday morning, he had raised about $9,500 of the $20,000 goal.

Petervary has a lengthy history with long-distance racing. The sponsored athlete has competed for 25 years, exploring new routes and races. But he also loves providing experiences and opportunities for others, he wrote on his website. He has adopted the mantra “Ride Forward” in not only his athletic endeavors, but in his business, relationships, friendships and more.

“It also meant to not have regrets or get bogged down in the past but also reflect and learn to move forward more fluidly,” he wrote online.

………

While we’re catching up on crashes, an Arizona TV station talks with the Flagstaff bicyclist who was sideswiped by the driver of a passing RV, taking out around a dozen riders on a group ride like so many bowling pins.

Saturday, Wallace was biking on Lake Mary Road with a local cycling group, “Team Pay and Take” when he was hit in the head by an RV’s side mirror. His helmet came off, and he then crashed into multiple cyclists behind him, causing a pileup. “I mean, these people are like family,” Wallace said. “You know you ride with them every week. My partner was on the ride as well and she crashed right behind me. So your first thought is just like is everyone OK?”

Wallace said the person driving the RV stopped and cooperated with police, but this is an important reminder to share the road as it’s state law to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space. “I think it’s just a sad point that when we get behind the wheel of a car, we don’t see our fellow humans out there as someone who has someone to go home to after the ride,” Wallace said.

No word yet on whether the driver will faces charges; at last report, he was only ticketed for an unsafe pass.

………

Good question.

………

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a handcycle from a disabled paracyclist.

https://twitter.com/SiebeforORD1/status/1697281499496886388

Some schmuck did the same thing in St. Louis, too.

………

Canada’s prime minister is one of us. And so are his kids.

………

No surprise here, as a new Belgian study shows you’re twice as likely to be killed in a collision with a bigass pickup or SUV than with a typical passenger car.

………

What’s the point of bike skills, if you can’t use them to clear a little litter off the road?

………

Why settle for a hoverboard when you can turn it into a LEGO-like DIY Franken-ebike?

With sideways wheels, no less.

………

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

No bias here. The editor of WeHoVille continues his campaign against bike lanes in the city, citing the removal of the MOVE Culver City project as a warning for West Hollywood, while mischaracterizing the highly successful project that was removed by Culver City’s newly conservative council.

No bias here, either. Residents of León, Guanajuato, Mexico protested plans for a new bike lane, arguing that “about 8 cyclists pass the whole morning,” while official stats say over 65 times that many people ride it every day. Never mind that many more would probably ride there if they felt safer. 

………

Local 

Far from abandoning bike lanes, Culver City is proposing mostly 2.5-mile protected bike lanes for lower Overland Ave below Venice Blvd.

Pasadena will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony a week from tomorrow for a new 1.5-mile-long, two-way protected bike lane on Union Street between Arroyo Parkway and Hill Ave; the project, which includes a 1/3-mile bicycle boulevard, is the first of its kind in the city.

Claremont residents debate whether to protect kids on their way to and from school with safety improvements including a curb-protected bike lane, but what’s the life of a little kid when it might inconvenience older bike riders or someone ordering pizza? Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Shaq is one of us, riding a custom-made 36″ mountain bike nicknamed The Thompson Beast.

 

State

The CHP has introduced a free, learn-at-your-own-pace online ebike safety class, as required by a new bill signed into law by Governor Newsom last year; the bill was authored by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, who is behind the current effort to require licenses to ride ebikes — and who snatched the state’s latest effort to pass a Stop As Yield law from the jaws of victory.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation agency to tow drivers who park in bike lanes, after talking the staff at a bagel shop into refusing to serve a driver who parked in a protected bike lane in front of the shop. Note to traffic engineers and planners — if someone can park in it, it’s not protected.

Oakland residents are calling for more protected bike lanes, after the tragic death of a four-year old girl who was doored while riding on the back of her father’s bike. And yes, she was wearing a helmet and strapped into her seat.

 

National

A new study provides some of the data we’ve been missing on pediatric ebike usage, showing that while riders of regular bikes under the age of 18 were more likely to suffer injuries, ebike riders were 2.4 times more likely to suffer severe injuries requiring hospitalization.

A writer for Electrek takes the contrarian view to the current ebike panic, arguing that we need more teenagers on ebikes, not fewer.

Retired Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon accurately called Lance Armstrong a cheater when the ex-Tour de France winner argued trans athletes should compete in their own division, when both were competing on the Fox show Stars on Mars.

Outside says you should spend at least $250 on bike bibs, arguing that high-end bibs will literally save your ass. I’ll reserve comment, since I’ve never spent more than a fraction of that, and my ass is still firmly attached.

Washington state is set to begin a $1,200 ebike rebate program next year, as well as establishing a series of ebike lending libraries across the state.

Boulder, Colorado threatens to beat California to the ebike rebate punch with the city’s second round of ebike vouchers, before California gets around to issuing its first.

An 83-year old Iowa man was killed by a 77-year old driver, which once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive. Anyone who can still ride at that age deserves better. Then again, so do the rest of us.

A 30-year old Milwaukee man has been arrested for the hit-and-run, street racing crash that killed an 11-year old boy, even though police were quick to blame the victim for veering into traffic and not wearing a helmet.

A Vermont armed robbery suspect made his getaway from the cops by car, on foot, on a stolen bicycle and a purloined sailboat; at last report, he was still on the lam.

Streetsblog explains a new, “very controversial bill from a noted opponent” of increased bicycling that would require ebike registration in New York City.

Madonna is still one of us, riding around New York with friends and her personal trainer, just weeks after surviving a life-threatening infection.

That’s more like it. A Louisiana semi-truck driver is facing a negligent homicide charge for killing a man riding a bicycle by sideswiping the victim while attempting to pass his bike on a curve; the charge is an upgrade from an initial ticket for violating the state’s three-foot passing law.

New Orleans workers organize the first e-bikeshare employees union. Which is actually the second, because Metro Bike employees beat them to it, unless you want to split hairs since LA’s system includes both ebikes and regular bikes

A Florida transit bus driver has been busted for hit-and-run after allegedly crashing into a bike rider, then just continuing on his route rather than stopping; fortunately, the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

 

International

Cannondale is the latest bikemaker to jump on the e-cargo bike bandwagon, with the bikes premiering in Europe this fall for the equivalent of $4,300.

Momentum offers ten reasons why cargo bikes top mini vans as the perfect family vehicle.

An English town swears their new ban on bikes in the city center won’t target disabled or “old and slow” bicyclists, after police ticked an 82-year old man for violating the ban.

A Welsh cop who was tailing two ebike-riding teenagers just before the crash that killed both of them now faces a criminal probe for dangerous driving; the deaths sparked riots when the cops denied following the boys.

Dockless scooters have been scoured from the streets of Paris, on the eve of a ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.

Dutch ebike-maker VanMoof will live on, after the company was purchased out of bankruptcy by Britain’s Lavoie, which makes high-end scooters based on McLaren’s Formula 1 tech; current VanMoof owners appeared to welcome the purchase.

Germany’s Buycycle is bringing its online marketplace for used and refurbished bicycles to the US. Let’s hope they have some mechanism in place to weed out stolen bikes. 

An Italian city counselor warns bicyclists not to ride in Milan because it’s too dangerous; the city is attempting to improve safety by requiring sensors on heavy vehicles to detect bike riders and pedestrians.

An Indian woman is calling for a fresh approach to urban planning, saying the country needs a greater emphasis on bicycling to boost the enrollment of girls in both urban and rural schools, increase productivity for individuals, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Philippine bicyclists and motorcyclists reject a proposal for a shared lane along a busy roadway. Seriously, just because they’re both called bikes and have two wheels doesn’t make them compatible.

 

Competitive Cycling

American super-domestique Sepp Kuss soloed to victory in the sixth stage of the Vuelta, high-fiving fans the final 50 yards; meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel lost time to key rivals Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, as he handed the leader’s jersey to France’s Lenny Martinez.

The annual Tour of Britain kicks on in Manchester tomorrow; Cycling Weekly offers a complete guide to the race.

 

Finally…

When life gives you a No Cycling sign, just turn it into a heart. That feeling when it takes longer to certify a record for riding around the world than it did to set it.

And why pedal through Burning Man when your butt can do the work?

@spotlightrose

Wierd people doing weird shit! #burningman

♬ original sound – Annie Bond

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Guns versus cars, NIMBYs want to ban beach bike bridge in park named for late bike advocate, and SaMo anti-bike bias

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me. 

I’d like to say I’m better now, but my blood sugar is still more reminiscent of a ballistic missile than a placid stream. And my mental state is still swirling around the drain, in part due to my health issues, and in part due too many stories like the ones below. 

The former should get a boost when I see my doctor this week, and impress on her the need for more urgent and aggressive action; the latter should improve once the former does.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t count on the health of our streets getting better anytime soon. Or our society, for that matter.

Now let’s catch up on a little news. 

I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the last week, so let me just apologize in advance and thank everyone who sent me something.

And I’ll try to do better next time. 

………

This is who we share the road with.

On Saturday, an alleged rightwing extremist stepped out of a car in Allen, Texas armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing eight people and injuring at least seven others, before he was killed by a police officer.

The next day, a speeding driver plowed into a crowd of migrants standing outside a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas, killing eight people and injuring at least eleven others, in a crash witnesses allege was intentional.

If there is a difference between these two events, it appears to be one without distinction.

The body count is remarkably similar; the only difference is the choice of weapon, and the only question is one of intent. Which something tells me matters not one wit to the victims or their loved ones.

We will continue to fail as a nation, and a society, until we take comprehensive action to rein in guns and cars, and the out-of-control people in possession of both.

………

George Wolfberg, right, talks with LA County’s Kristofor Norberg.

I received an email from a friend who lives in the Pacific Palisades area while I was out of commission last week.

She writes that a new park in Potrero Canyon has been named after our mutual friend George Wolfberg, a lifelong civic advocate and volunteer who fought for better beach bike paths, bike lanes and other safety facilities to help Angelenos bike more and drive less, both for cleaner air and to combat climate change, and just for the sheer joy of riding a bike.

George worked on what will now be known as George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon for over 30 years, part of his larger vision of an interconnected Los Angeles.

What he envisioned was a park that would be open to all of the public, an oasis for recreation and beauty, in a fully sustainable environment of coastal native plants, while a restored riparian water capture system would protect the canyon.

Sadly, though, George didn’t live to see the park he worked for decades to build, passing away three years ago at age 82.

And taking nearly eight decades of civic pride and advocacy with him.

But more than just a park, George envisioned a bikeway that would safely allow average people to ride from downtown Pacific Palisades, through the park and across a bridge to the beach, as well as connecting to the bike path to take riders south to the Metro Expo (E) Line in Santa Monica, or even further to Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes.

The final step seemed to be when Senator Ben Allen and others earmarked $11 million for the bridge and bikeway,

But as we’ve seen too often in the past, someone always seems to step in at the last minute to throw a wrench in the whole thing.

In this case, it’s a group of wealthy NIMBY homeowners who bizarrely don’t want bikes of any kind to besmirch a park honoring a lifelong bike advocate.

Here’s how she described it.

HOWEVER, there is a group of homeowners in the Palisades with homes on or near the rim of the park who have been very vocal about not wanting any bicycles or any type or e-bikes to be allowed in the park (which goes against what the community came to agreement upon years ago). They are making a lot of noise and asking to return the funds and cancel the bridge.

  • Even though the Coastal Development Permit for the Potrero Canyon Park requires access to the beach;
  • The Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners’ approval for the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon envisions a bridge access across PCH to the beach parking lot;
  • A bridge would provide safe passage across PCH rather than the danger of people trying to cross through the traffic on foot;
  • The bridge is also something that Caltrans supports (and it does not support adding a crosswalk or light at that location).

Yes, they want to cancel an already funded, and potentially life-saving, bike project.

Where have we heard that before?

But here’s the problem.

Because it was assumed that this was moving forward and funds were set aside, elected officials are only hearing from people opposed to the project, and not from anyone advocating FOR the bridge.

To complicate matters, supporters of the project only learned about the opposition last Wednesday, while the vote is set for this Wednesday, May 10.

Which means if you want a bike path and connectivity to the beach via a safe bridge over PCH, you need to speak up now.

No, now.

Email your support to the following California state senators today —

I’m counting on you.

Because banishing bikes from a park named for one of their biggest advocates would be this city’s ultimate bike fail.

………

Speaking of NIMBYs, a group of motorists are once again raising their anti-bike heads to demand the removal of a SoCal bikeway, this time Santa Monica’s new 17th Street bikeway project.

And once again, they are arguing that a Complete Streets project designed to improve safety for everyone somehow makes them less safe for people in motor vehicles.

Which is just a socially acceptable way of saying they don’t want to be inconvenienced, and are willing to risk sacrificing human lives for their God-given right to go zoom! zoom! to their hearts content.

You can sign a free petition thanking the Santa Monica City Council and Mobility Division for the project, and expressing your appreciation for their work to make our streets safer.

Meanwhile, a new video explains how Santa Monica is turning into Amsterdam. And as you’d expect, drawing more people on bikes.

………

Streetsblog spots new and improved bike infrastructure in Silver Lake, after motorists managed to destructively dismantle the previous effort.

………

Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with special guest CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez on Wednesday.

After all, anyone who could get “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo off the city council deserves all the support she can get.

………

Mark your calendars for SoCal’s largest Pride ride on June 3rd.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityPride/status/1653863048577445888

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Speaking of Culver City, drop in for a Bike Month Handlebar Happy Hour this Friday.

https://twitter.com/Atticuz85/status/1653991731980034049

Meanwhile, LA’s Bike Week is next week, while Bike Day — formerly known as Bike to Work Day — will be Thursday, May 18th; Streetsblog offers an overview of Bike Month in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

And Santa Clarita is hosting its annual Bike to Work Challenge next week, as well.

………

Gravel Bike California grinds it out in the Cleveland National Forest. Which, oddly, is nowhere near Cleveland, thankfully.

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Count on former Talking Heads frontman and bike advocate David Byrne to make a statement in white at the Met Gala.

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God only knows how many times I’ve been tempted to do exactly this.

………

Who needs bike shorts, when you can just ride naked like Aquaman star Jason Momoa?

Although most bike riders don’t have that little bottle to follow us around.

………

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

Good question. A Montana writer wants to know when bicycle safety became a partisan issue.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British hit-and-run bicyclist who left a two-year old boy lying in the street, after hitting him hard enough to knock the kid out of his shoes.

A Nairobi man faces charges after he was stopped while riding the bicycle he allegedly stole during a violent robbery of the bike’s original owner; his alleged accomplices are still at large.

………

Local 

LA Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton writes about the whiplash of Culver City caving to car culture, while other cities, like Alhambra, are resisting it; he also said Culver City’s ill-advised move made it a horrible week for ‘climate friendly’ cities. 

LAist explains how you can get involved in reshaping the size and structure of the Los Angeles City Council.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to email the California State Senate and the Senate Budget Committee to demand that California policymakers to “divest from regressive road-building” and invest $10 billion in Complete Streets and California’s transportation future. Works for me.

California saw a whopping 10% increase in pedestrian deaths last year, with a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.29 deaths per 100,000 people — a full 25% above the national average.

This is who we share the road with, too. A Corona man was found guilty of killing three teenagers, and critically injuring three others, when he ran their car off the road and into a tree, for the crime of playing Ding Dong Ditch and speeding off after mooning him.

The executive director of Bike SD says San Diego’s decision to widen SR-56 simply prioritizes short-term convenience over long-term sustainability.

San Diego’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths spike on the city’s streets.

Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco’s Presidio will get a protected bike lane, after world masters champ Ethan Boyes was killed there last month. Although as usual, the decision to improve a dangerous street only came after it was too late. 

Hundreds of people rode their bikes in the annual Davis Loopalooza, as residents tried to reclaim their city in the wake of a serial stabber who killed two people, including one who was killed as he rode his bike through a local park.

 

National

If your favorite cyclist or bike advocate now has a blue check on Twitter, there’s a good chance they didn’t ask for it, let alone want it.

American men are three times more likely to ride a bike as American women, unlike many other countries.

Pinkbike’s editors explain what bike saddles they use on their own bikes and why.

A Spokane, Washington woman is — allegedly — a two-time hit-and-run loser, charged with killing two people after getting drunk and falling asleep behind the wheel, a decade after she was convicted of fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which is precisely why drivers should lose their license for life after a single hit-and-run, because they’ve shown themselves to be unwilling to obey even the most basic requirement for driving. Let alone human decency. 

The definition of chutzpah. An Arizona driver, apparently dissatisfied with the gentle caress on the wrist he received for the hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, appealed his conviction and sentence of less than six months behind bars and five years probation; thankfully, the appeals court politely told him to pipe down and do his time.

A Salt Lake City TV station takes advantage of Yellowstone’s annual carfree soft-opening for a bike ride through the snowy Wyoming national park.

A Pittsburgh columnist argues the city should commit to zero traffic deaths by 2035. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, it’s one thing to commit to no traffic deaths, but it’s another to get elected leaders to actually invest the money and make the hard choices to make it happen.

If you build it they will come. No surprise here, as a controversial Staten Island lane reduction and bike lanes is seeing more two-wheel traffic as the weather warms.

There’s something wrong when a longtime advocate for bikes and improving New York’s deadly streets becomes a victim of them.

New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour brought 32,000 bike riders out for a 40-mile carfree ride through the city.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The Washington Post looks at DC’s failure to rein in dangerous drivers, as one motorist manages to run up $186,000 in unpaid traffic fines. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until its too late.

WaPo also examines the dirty underbelly of “clean” electric vehicles, and explains why free street parking could cost you thousands more in rent.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where former track champ and Tour of Britain director Tony Doyle died after a brief battle with cancer; he was just 64.

An Irish columnist feels unsafe on the street after arriving at her office, then returns to find her bike missing.

They get it. France will spend the equivalent of $2.21 billion to boost bicycle use over the next five years.

More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a Pakistani photographer catches a street vendor with his bike overloaded with garlic.

That’s more like it. A Johannesburg taxi driver has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, after driving nearly one thousand feet — more than three football fields — with the victim trapped under his van.

 

Competitive Cycling

The home side was victorious in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Giro, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan took the day, and reigning world champ Remco Evenepoel held onto the leader’s jersey.

Dutch cyclist Martijn Tusveld survived a dramatic crash late in Sunday’s stage 2, but his bike didn’t, snapping in two when he was sent flying into a roadside barrier.

Cycling Weekly profiles four-time world champ Annemiek van Vleuten, saying Remco Evenepoel isn’t the only former soccer player to win the cycling worlds.

Conservative media was up in arms over a “biological man” winning the women’s Tour of the Gila, saying it renewed calls to ban trans women from competitive cycling. Which would only seem to matter if you ignore all the other times a trans woman didn’t win.

An Ohio woman finished the 2022 Race Across America, aka RAAM, in 11 months and seven days, completing the final 262 miles ten months after a crash into a wooden bridge left her with a broken hip.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you visit a Marin bike museum, and find your mother’s seatless bike on display. Your next bike could have brake levers poking out of the handlebars, even before you crash it.

And fortunately, this helped mitigate the trauma caused when Britain’s new figurehead not only failed to include a regiment of royal corgis in the coronation parade, but didn’t even his loyal four-foot soldiers a shoutout.

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.