Tag Archive for vehicular homicide

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

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Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

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Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

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Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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She gets it.

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Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

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Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

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

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

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Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Murder charge for Riverside road rage attack, LA bike bridges to nowhere, and apparently I’m part of LA bike history

Before we get started, David Drexler reminds us that Sunday’s LA Marathon affords the perfect opportunity to ride through the streets of LA in relative comfort and safety. 

No word on whether the usual Marathon Crash Ride will take place before the race, though chances are people will show up for it anyway, officially sanctioned or not. 

But either way, major roads like Hollywood and Santa Monica blvds will be closed for hours because of the race, which will quiet nearby streets, as well. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Thirty-two-year old Riverside resident Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Benedicto Solanga, after allegedly running down Solanga intentionally as he rode his bike last July.

Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to run down Solanga as he was riding in the opposite direction, following what may have been a traffic dispute.

In other words, he’a accused of using his car as a weapon following a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

Hopefully, he’ll be there a long damn time.

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Not surprisingly, Curbed’s Alissa Walker offers the best take on the recent invitation-only opening of the Taylor Yard Bridge, in which people apparently more important than you or me were instructed to drive to the opening of a bridge for people walking or biking.

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

There are three new car-free bridges on a widely used four-mile corridor of the L.A. River — one of the few places where it is a meandering naturalized channel not fully encased in a concrete chute — and this morning was a chance to honor all three at once. Standing before a sign that read “Bridging Communities” in the same bright orange as the bridge, elected officials from every level of government — city, county, and state — gave speech after speech about connection. California assemblymember Wendy Carillo cited the “walkable, livable green open space our communities need.” L.A. city councilmember Gil Cedillo called it “a win for everyone” that “brings neighborhoods together…”

…Instead, L.A.’s Taylor Yard Bridge just exposes the distance between the people who say they care about walking and biking in L.A. and the people who actually walk and bike in L.A. The ribbon-cutting invitation (which I did not receive) provided attendees with driving directions only. Meanwhile, people who arrived from the west that morning and actually came to the car-free bridge using car-free modes of transportation found themselves locked out, as the ceremony took place on the eastern landing. At the end of the event, after giving their speeches about the role of walking and biking connections in reducing traffic and smog, the elected officials each walked back to their SUVs and drove away.

It’s worth a few minutes of your time, as Walker succinctly illustrates the problem with riding a bike in the City of Angels, where people on bikes are second-class citizens.

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

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Evidently, I’m officially part of LA bike history.

Carfree writer and artist Eric Brightwell responds to the recent jump in gas prices with a detailed history of bicycling in Los Angeles, from the first dandy horses through bikes in popular culture, to the places you probably ride today and the clubs you may ride with.

And somehow finds it appropriate to include yours truly among the more recent developments.

Bicycle culture began to rebound in the 1990s and 2000s when there was a marked upsurge in bicycle advocacy and group-cycling culture. Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was founded in 1998 by Joe Linton and Ron Milam. Critical Mass, a group cycling event, first launched in San Francisco in 1992, as “Commute Clot,” made its way to Los Angeles in or around 2001. Los Angeles Critical Mass is today the largest community bicycle ride in the US. In 2001 I bought my first Los Angeles bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27, from Lars Lehtonen, who around that time launched the bicycle event aggregator/calendar, Bike Boom. Wolfpack Hustle, a fast-paced ride, started in 2005. Midnight Ridazz, a late-night group bicycle ride, was launched in 2004. Ted Rogers started Biking in L.A. in 2008. You can also start or join a Bike Train.

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

It’s a surprisingly good read. And not just because Brightwell demonstrated the exceptional good taste to give this site a brief shoutout.

His “brief history” is anything but. It’s remarkably detailed yet still concise, and always entertaining.

But his relatively brief into should be mandatory reading for anyone who bikes or drives. Or gets around any other way, for that matter.

…As I write this I brace myself for rage from motorists. And while I sympathize with poor and working class people for whom gassing up truly is painful, so too is riding a bus bogged down in traffic or being hit by a car and when does a motorist every offer a cyclists or bus rider anything other than derision, a middle finger, and a blast from the horn? Cyclists, walkers, and mass transit riders have thicker skin, though — and if they’re car-free, save them an average of $11,000 a year in depreciation, maintenance, gas, repairs, parking tickets, registration renewal, and especially, paid parking that just may be the difference between having to live in a far-flung, car-dependant suburb and a dense, walkable, transitable, and bikeable communities in which a car is not only unnecessary but a burden.

So go ahead. Give it a read.

But give yourself a little time, because there’s a lot to digest here.

Thanks to E/Expo Line Ledger for the heads-up. 

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Calbike offers a roundup of all the bike-friendly bills that have been introduced in the new legislative session.

Much of it has a back to the future feel, with Assembly members reintroducing a series of bills previously vetoed by Gov. Newsom, with minor changes in hopes of getting them past his veto pen. They include bills to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, legalize safely crossing the street mid-block, and fund connected bicycle networks.

Another measure would permanently exempt bike lanes, and other projects that don’t add motor vehicle capacity, from environmental review.

Additional proposals would require cities to include significant bicycle, pedestrian and traffic calming elements in their general plans, and change the vehicle code to require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

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That feeling when you discover a bike/ped bridge over a car canyon that makes your commute that much easier.

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A little girl lies down on the job to giver her little sister a boost to learn how to ride a bike.

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San Diego bicyclists will ride next Saturday to show their support for the people of Ukraine, who more than deserve it.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver got just 22 months for killing a man riding a bicycle who he had just been drinking with at the local pub, then hid his van and lied to the police about it

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Local

Make money while you help build a more livable Los Angeles. The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is now hiring people to collect signatures to get it on the ballot; it would require the city to build out its already-approved mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

A former LA city planner calls for switching to sustainable transportation to put oil-funded autocrats out of business.

Authorities have identified the 28-year old woman who was found dead along a beach bike path in Long Beach, however, no cause of death has been released yet.

 

State 

A San Diego ebike rider questions whether bad drivers and poorly maintained streets make the city too dangerous for people on bicycles.

San Diego is celebrating the grand opening of the new Georgia – Meade Bikeway tomorrow morning. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tragic news from Mountain View, where a 13-year old middle school student was killed by a truck driver while riding to school; needless to say, police virtually exonerated the driver, saying the driver wasn’t speeding or under the influence, even though the crash is still under investigation.

No surprise here, as Tesla fired the whistleblower who released video of one of their cars nearly running over a bike rider while in autopilot mode; Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick says that proves plastic doesn’t offer enough protection to keep people on bicycles safe.

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

Henderson, Nevada is opening the final link in a 12-mile rail-to-trail conversion named after the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; the pathway connects to a 220-mile trail system.

A Minnesota man faces charges for punching a passing bike rider and robbing him while the victim was unconscious.

Even in the oil fields of Louisiana, bike use is booming as gas prices continue to rise. Bike sales are up in Cleveland, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Despite suffering from diabetes, a 79-year old Hemingway lookalike still rides his bike 15 miles every day through his Florida neighborhood, after cutting back from 20 to 25 miles a day when he turned 75. Although I’ll pass on the Papa look, thank you.

Friends of a legally blind Florida man launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bike, after his was stolen when he chained it to a short post outside a Walmart; his poor eyesore kept him from seeing that a thief could just slide the chain off. The campaign has raised over $3,700 of the $5,000 goal.

The bridge tender who was operating a Florida drawbridge when a 79-year old woman fell off after it opened while she was walking her bike across the span has been arrested on a charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence.

 

International

Audi is partnering with Qualcomm and the maker of the Spoke app to develop a cellular vehicle-to-everything system that would alert drivers to the presence of bicycles. Presumably if you have the app installed and open.

Britain’s Parliament discussed the need to improve bike safety, following the deaths of two people riding bikes in Oxford in recent weeks. Somehow, it’s hard to picture Congress responding like that, even with nearly 850 deaths in the US.

Scary footage as a Welsh bike rider barely avoids getting crushed when a half-ton bale of hay falls off a passing truck.

Most bicycle companies are following the lead of other international corporations in pulling out of Russia; notable exceptions include French retailer Decathlon and German manufacturer Bosch.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside offers an insiders look at racing with the L39ion of Los Angeles team at Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.

Someone stole 12 racing bikes from the Mauritian National Team, just one day before they were due in Egypt for today’s All African Championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal an ebike, maybe put some clothes on first. Or even if you’re riding your own bike. Repeat after me — if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and nearly four ounces of meth, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And that feeling when not knowing your front from your back leaves you feeling deflated.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Invitation-only Taylor Yard Bridge opening excludes public, and killer distracted driver walks for running down bike-riding family

My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

After a previous false start, Los Angeles officially opened the new Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River, in an invitation-only event.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the bridge has been under discussion for a full 30 years, before work finally started in 2019.

When Metro re-industrialized the downstream end of Taylor Yard, siting a Metrolink yard there, community groups sued Metro for not following environmental law. In a 1992 settlement Metro agreed to pay for several community benefits, including a pedestrian bridge. For decades, the promised bridge project suffered from false starts. Ultimately Metro paid for the $25 million dollar bridge, which was built by L.A. City’s Public Works Department’s Bureau of Engineering.

Never mind that three decades of delays meant it ended up costing over five times the original $5.3 million estimate.

And no, Linton didn’t get an invitation, either, despite reporting on the bridge even longer that we have. But he ended up crashing it on a bicycle, ignoring both the lack of invitation and the admonition to arrive by car.

No, really. The city wanted everyone to drive to the opening of a bike bridge.

The good news is, the bridge is open at last, providing safer and more convenient access between Frogtown and Elysian Valley to the south, and Glassell Park and Cypress Park to the north.

A previous public opening was cancelled at the last minute, with the city doing such a crappy job of getting the word out that would-be attendees who showed up anyway were left wondering where everyone else was. No explanation was ever given for the cancellation.

Maybe they were afraid people from the bike community might actually show up.

Because this is how Linton ended his piece.

Cedillo and O’Farrell have histories of being hostile to bicyclists. O’Farrell’s bike antipathy has been more subtle, other than his notoriously snide anti-bike safety tweet in 2018. Cedillo’s anti-bike stance has been more overt. Both have canceled approved bike safety projects in their districts: Cedillo on North Figueroa Street and on the North Spring Street Bridge, and both colluded on the cancelling of a Temple Street road diet. Both are Democrat incumbents facing elections this year, with challengers to their ideological left. It is a sad state of affairs that it now appears that they fear allowing the public – including the press and those pesky cyclists – to celebrate the opening of a really great thing they have done for bicycling in L.A.

And yes, I was the one on the receiving end of that snide O’Farrell tweet.

Today’s photo is the invitation you didn’t get to the bridge opening, even though you — and the rest of us — paid for it. 

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Evidently, life is cheap in Massachusetts.

In the conclusion to story we’ve been following for the last two years, a 45-year old Massachusetts woman walked without a single day behind bars for the distracted driving death of a father as he was riding bikes with his family.

Ryane Linehan pled guilty to negligent homicide, admitting she was texting when she killed the man and seriously injured his wife and adult son.

Yet she still got just an 18-month suspended jail sentence, along with six months of home confinement, three years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Maybe it’s just me, but a lousy six months sitting at home watching TV and eating bonbons seems more like a staycation than punishment.

The only good news is she won’t be allowed to drive for the next 15 years. Which isn’t nearly long enough.

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Good question.

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

No bias here. An Iowa appeals court affirmed the right of a town to block a short street connecting two multi-use trails, forcing bike riders and runners moving between them to use a dangerous highway — because local residents didn’t want a trail through their community in the first place.

An English pub owner complained that a new bike lane was an accident waiting to happen, warning it would result in collisions between bike riders and pedestrians. Then blocked half of it with advertising barriers to help ensure he was right.

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

English police are looking for a bike-riding man who yelled racist abuse at a driver before kicking her car, after she challenged him for using a cellphone while riding.

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Local

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant to beautify Boyle Heights’ Hollenbeck Park. Except the only thing that would really beautify it is to move the damn 5 Freeway, which cuts directly through it. Except that would probably cost a hell of a lot more.

A woman in her 30s was found dead next to the beach bike path in Long Beach Sunday morning, with no apparent cause of death.

 

State 

A San Diego bike rider suffered a fractured skull when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver in Balboa Park Sunday night; fortunately, his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

San Luis Obispo is opening a new bike and pedestrian bridge connecting a new section of trail through the town.

East Bay bike advocates are pushing for the first protected bike lane through the San Francisco suburb of San Leandro.

Sad news from Modesto, where a 38-year old woman riding a bicycle was killed by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday.

 

National

Oklahoma has approved a 400 mile section of the US Bike Route 66 though the state.

That’s more like it. A 19-year old Florida man got 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a seven-year old boy riding his bicycle. Although anyone so heartless they could leave a little kid to die alone in the street deserves a lot more than that.

 

International

He gets it. Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says governments should subsidize ebikes instead of gas prices — including Gavin Newsom’s proposal to rebate gas taxes paid by California drivers.

No irony here. Toronto NIMBYs are demanding the removal of a protected bike lane by claiming it makes it too hard for ambulances to respond to injured bike riders, because all the cars get in the way.

Canada’s Prince Edward Island announced a $100 rebate on bicycle purchases, with a $500 rebate on ebikes.

A Welsh bike advocate explains how taking political candidates for a bike ride can help them seem the local community from a new perspective. Not to mention give them a better understanding of the dangers we face.

Life is cheap in Wales, where a 71-year old man walked with probation and a 15-month driving ban for yelling racist comments at a group of bike riders and telling them to go back to England, before backing his car up and crashing into them; fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

A new British poll shows broad support of using ebikes to reduce carbon emissions, even among people who aren’t currently thinking about buying one.

UK advocates are petitioning the government to stop using the word “accident” in official documents, and to use “collision” instead; if they get 100,000 signatures, Parliament will be required to take it up.

It took the 1973 OPEC oil embargo to put Copenhagen on the path to a bike-friendly future.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers five takeaways from last week’s Paris-Nice.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could look like folded paper, and be made by Yamaha. Rocking Rod Stewart, pothole repairman.

And meet a four-year old bike riding superhero.

https://twitter.com/biker_tiny/status/1503075842896932874?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1503075842896932874%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-14-march-2022-291043

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

San Diego bike rider allegedly murdered by driver, violent/deadly dirty cop tricks, and razing the Wright Bros 1st bike shop

We’re off to a rip-roaring start to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

After just three days, donations are already running well above last year’s record-setting pace!

So let’s keep it up! Your contribution will help fund this site until our sponsors renew in the spring, and ensure SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy keeps coming your way every day.

Thanks to Janice H, Michael S, Robert K, Kim D, Daniel F, Arthur B, Mark J, Joseph B, Andrew G, Theodore F, Megan L, Steven S, Elizabeth T, Jonathan P, Douglas M, Amy S, and Jamie S for their generous donations.

And that’s in addition to Robert L, Eric L, David V, Mitchell G, and Olivia K, who donated even before the official start of the fund drive on Friday.

Give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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Police allege a San Diego man may have been murdered by a hit-and-run driver, after witnesses apparently told them the driver deliberately attacked him Thanksgiving morning.

Relatives of 40-year old San Diego father Octavio Mendoza called for additional witnesses to come forward in hopes of catching the driver.

Police are looking for a light-colored, older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; unfortunately, there’s no description of the driver.

Mendoza is at least the 17th person killed riding a bicycle in San Diego County already this year, perhaps three or four times more than in most years.

It’s also the second time in just two months someone in the city has been accused of intentionally murdering a bike rider with their car.

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This is who we share the road with.

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say. So we’ll let NBC News start things out.

A New Jersey police officer is accused of fatally striking a pedestrian, taking the man’s body home to discuss what to do, and then returning to the scene with the dead man in his back seat, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

They on on to explain the off-duty cop and his passenger fled the scene without bothering to aid the victim or call for help.

Then this.

They reportedly went back to the scene multiple times before they put Dymka into the Honda Accord. They then went to Santiago’s home, where he, Guzman and Santiago’s mother, Annette Santiago, discussed what to do, Stephens’ office said.

Louis Santiago eventually went back to the scene, and his father, who is a Newark police lieutenant, called 911, officials said.

New Jersey State Police arrived and found Dymka dead in the back seat, the prosecutor’s office said.

Did we mention that he’s a cop?

Yet apparently, despite his training, he still had no idea what to do after killing someone with his car.

At least this time, there should be consequences. The killer cop faces charges including reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, and official misconduct, along with a raft of other counts.

Meanwhile, his mom and passenger are both charged with conspiracy to desecrate human remains and hindering apprehension, among other varied and assorted crimes.

No word on whether the cop and his passenger were drunk or stoned. But you’d sure as hell hope no sober person would do that.

Let alone a cop.

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

A Tucson woman face charges, apparently for allowing an angry driver to assault them.

And yes, he’s a cop, too.

Aloisi and her daughters were walking across the parking lot after brunch, they said, when a vehicle approached them fast before the driver abruptly stopped.

The driver, a man, waved his arms at them and appeared to be yelling, they said, though his windows were closed. The women waved their arms and yelled back at him. Aloisi has a leg problem that prevents her from walking fast after sitting for a length of time, she said…

“He zoomed into that back parking spot, jumped out of his car, threw his hands up in the air and screamed ‘Just f—ing walk’ at us,” Nicole Whitted said.

They tried explaining that their mother can’t walk fast, but the cop continued advancing towards them, before allegedly chest bumping one of the women and angrily taking her to the ground.

He then took the 62-year old mother to the ground as well, holding her down with an arm across her throat while pinning her daughter down with his knee, shades of Derek Chauvin.

Only the intervention of a bystander ended the ugly confrontation after their attacker identified himself, for the first time, as a cop.

Yet only the daughter he allegedly chest bumped was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, the alleged road raging attacker denied everything and placed all the blame on the three women, apparently getting off with a pat on the back.

And shamefully, did it all with his family waiting and watching in his car.

………

Some things are just wrong. And others are wrong as hell.

Zoning officials in Dayton, Ohio voted almost unanimously to allow the city to demolish the first bike shop operated by the Wright Brothers, overruling the city Landmark Commission, which voted to preserve the 129-year old building.

I mean, it’s not like those guys went on to do anything important or anything.

As justification, the city bizarrely cited the Florida condo collapse, somehow seriously equating the dangers of the collapse of an occupied 12-story building with the possible fall of the long-vacant two-story shop.

Apparently, irreplaceable historic sites must be a dime a dozen around there. Because they don’t seem to give a damn about this one.

………

Metro Bike is offering a pair of specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday Weekend – 30-Day Pass for $1
USE PROMO CODE:
BIKESEASON21
$1 for a 30-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $17)
Sign up for a 30-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Thursday, 11/25/2021 – Monday, 11/29/2021.

Cyber Monday – Save 50% on 365-Day Pass
USE PROMO CODE:
CYBERMONDAY21
$75 for a 365-Day Metro Bike Share Pass (Regular Price: $150)
Sign up 365-Day Pass online at metro.net/bikeshare.
Valid Monday, 11/29/2021 only.

………

Zachary Rynew reports progress on an extension of the San Fernando Road Bike Path, but notes there’s still work to be done.

………

Apparently, there wasn’t a lot of bikewashing at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year, unlike last year when ebikes made a splash. David Drexler forwards this photo of a Shinola bike, noting it’s the only bicycle he saw at the show this year.

Except for all of the mountain bikes used as props on the backs of SUVs, of course.

………

Our German correspondent, Ralph Durham, forwards a photo showing how bike lane detours are handled in a country where bikes, and the people on them, actually matter.

I’m sending you a picture of a short Bike and ped detour in Munich.

This is at the corner of Ludwigsbrucke (over the Isar river) and Steindorfstrasse. It is a major intersection. the bikes heading north and south have a direct path under the bridge and can avoid the issue. If you need to turn onto the bridge or off the bridge you will hit this. This bike path has a counter and records hundreds of thousands of trip per year.

The road is 2 lanes in each direction and there is work being done that directly impacts the pedestrian walkway and the 2 way bike path. So they shut down the two northbound car lanes and retriped for bikes and pedestrians to get around the construction.

A lot of care is put into allowing bikes and pedestrians to avoid direct interaction with motor vehicles when construction impacts roads and sidewalks.

Compare and contrast that with how your town handles it.

………

Remember this next time you have to lock your bike up to a street sign or parking meter.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

………

Over the long weekend, I received an email from a British man, asking me to mention the new foldie developed by his San Francisco brother-in-law — the first folding bike where the wheels fold, too.

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again, since wheels are the biggest size limitation for folding bicycles. And with just one day left to go, the Tuck Bike still has over $42,000 to go to meet their funding goal.

So if you’re in the market for a $1,300 bike that really folds, this is your chance.

………

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

No bias here. In an interminably long screed, San Diego’s bike-hating OB Rag accuses “extreme” bicyclists of holding sway over area planners for demanding crazy things like stop signs to slow speeding drivers, and not wanting to get killed when they ride.

A British YouTuber and self-proclaimed Voice of Reason offers a bizarre rant, concluding that “supercilious nature is out of control,” and bike lanes — or maybe bike riders — must be banned for the good of the planet.

An unlicensed Aussie driver was finally sentenced to a decade behind bars after repeatedly bragging to people for nearly ten years about the night she chased down and killed a Hong Kong man who was just riding his bike home from work, after he allegedly flipped her off, getting more racist with each retelling.

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

A bike-riding British man got three year behind bars for snatching a woman’s purse, and leaving her with hip and leg injuries after knocking her to the ground. Which is two years and three months more than a career criminal in the UK got for stealing four bicycles in five weeks, on top of more than 100 prior convictions.

………

 

Local

Streets For All urges you to contact the city council to support completion of the Expo Line bike path by closing the absurd Northvale Gap, which was skipped to appease homeowners on the afore mentioned Northvale Road, who worried criminals would ride their bikes into the neighborhood to steal their stuff. No, really.

Streets For All is also calling on everyone to support a Metro board motion scheduled for Thursday to provide an additional $2 million in open streets funding; current funding allows funding of just less than half of the 27 open streets proposals from around the county.

The student newspaper at Cal State Northridge calls on the university to use surplus funds to develop its own campus-wide bikeshare system.

The massive new Burbank bridge finally opened after 20 months of construction, featuring bike lanes on either side, but only a single sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. Evidently, they couldn’t squeeze in another sidewalk because the needed to make room for three traffic lanes and a freeway onramp lane in each direction.

 

State

The San Diego Reader celebrates all the infrastructure options available for bike riders in the city. Although sharrows are nothing to celebrate.

A Berkeley woman is expected to survive after she was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike; thankfully, she was revived after having no pulse and not breathing when paramedics arrived.

A bike rider was killed in a collision in Moraga Friday morning; unfortunately, no details were available about the victim or the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a 15-year old Stockton boy sprawled in the street after slamming into his bicycle, apparently not seeing the group of teens on their bikes directly ahead of him or her after rounding a corner.

 

National

A writer for The Atlantic confronts the deadly myth that human error is responsible for 94% of traffic fatalities — unless that human error is actually committed by the people who design and engineer our roads.

A blogger offers tips on buying an ebike, along with recommendations on what to buy.

Singletracks offers their favorite picks for Cyber Monday deals on mountain bikes and gear.

An author Philadelphia author relates how riding her bike helped her cope with a series of losses during the pandemic, including the death of her mother, who taught her how to ride a bicycle.

A five-year old Louisiana boy is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a dozen people who rode their bikes 108 miles from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, raising $30,000 to buy adaptive bicycles for handicapped kids like him.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a “groundbreaking” Florida neurosurgeon faces a vehicular homicide charge for killing a bike-riding triathlete while driving on the wrong side of the road at over four times the posted 20 mph speed limit in a borrowed Tesla; he’s been ticketed at least three times for speeding in the past five years, at speeds up to 112 mph.

 

International

A coalition of 125 community groups rode and rated Toronto’s bike lanes, concluding that nearly half deserved a failing grade. Anyone want to guess how LA’s bike lanes would fare?

It takes a major schmuck to steal an old, rusty bike from a Nova Scotia man, whole he was busy ringing the bell for a Salvation Army kettle.

That’ll teach ’em. After drivers complained about what they consider overly wide bike lanes, English officials threatened to narrow traffic lanes even more if drivers keep causing crashes.

You’ve got to be kidding. A judge in the UK ordered a former professional cyclist into rehab and wished him well following his drunken strong-armed robbery of a 13-year old girl’s bike.

A Irish man graduated at the top of his class as a bicycle mechanical engineer, 18 years after he was blinded in an assault as a teenager; he built his own tandem bike as part of his coursework.

Bike Radar reports on the cutting edge findings from the Science & Cycling Conference in Leuven, Belgium to help you go faster

An Indian district president rode his bicycle to thank voters for electing him to another term, as well as “raise awareness about the environment, simple living and fitness.”

An Indian man was busted for biking under the influence, just a day after a new Kolkata policy went into effect to give breath tests to suspected intoxicated bike riders.

A Philippine mayor was ticketed for riding a bicycle without a helmet, just a year after she signed a bill requiring them.

Philippine bike riders took to the streets to celebrate yesterday’s National Bicycle Day.

Once again, a member of New Zealand’s parliament has ridden her bike to the hospital to give birth, delivering a. healthy baby about an hour later; she also rode her bike to the hospital three years ago to deliver her first child. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly profiles rising American cyclist and college student Megan Jastrab, who won three world titles in 2019 as a 17-year old junior, and took Bronze in team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics in her first race at the elite level.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your training as a stunt person lets you walk away from a crash with another bicyclist, with nothing more than a bruised pinkie. Making bike thefts stats drop by giving up on reporting it.

And there’s more than one good use for an ebike.

Thanks again to Keith Johnson.

………

Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today!

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

Update: San Diego man murdered by hit-and-run driver in possible intentional crash while riding bicycle in Otay Mesa

Call it murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that a man was killed in a collisionwhile riding his bike in San Diego’s Otay Mesa West neighborhood late Thanksgiving morning.

And it didn’t take long for investigators to determine it could have been intentional.

The victim, identified only as a 40-year old man, was riding near Arey Drive and Picador Boulevard next to the Silverwing Recreation Center when he was run down by the driver of a light-colored SUV around 11:29 am Thursday.

He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The driver fled the scene without stopping. Police are looking for an older model Chevrolet Suburban or Tahoe; there’s no description available on who was behind the wheel.

There’s also no word on how the crash occurred, or why police determined it was deliberate, although people at the recreation center may have seen the crash.

Every hit-and-run driver who kills someone should face a murder charge. This one actually might, if police can find them.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego’s Homicide Unit at 619/531-2293.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th that I’m aware of in San Diego County, which is experiencing by far the bloodiest year in recent memory.

It’s also the second bike rider intentionally murdered by a driver in San Diego in just the last two months.

Update: The victim has been identified by relatives as 40-year old Octavio Mendoza, father of a ten-month old child, with another on the way.

Update 2: San Diego police have finally confirmed the victim’s identity as 40-year old San Diego resident Octavio Mendoza

A photo from the scene suggests why investigators initially suspected homicide, as muddy tire tracks suggest Mendoza’s killer jumped the curb and drove across the grass field to chase him down. 

Meanwhile, video from the scene shows his mangled bike lying in the gutter

A crowdfunding campaign to pay Mendoza’s funeral expenses has raised just over $6,400 of the modest $12,000 goal. 

Never mind that he leaves behind an eight-month old boy, with a second child on the way, who will never know their father. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Octavio Mendoza and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up on the updates. 

Bike rider allegedly murdered by driver while trespassing on San Diego horse ranch; 16th bike death in SD County

Horrific news from San Diego, where a man on a bike died up to a week after he was intentionally run down with an SUV.

The victim was reportedly trespassing on a horse ranch near the Mexican border on Monday, September 27th, when the owner’s adult son used his car as a weapon to slam into him with enough force to shatter his bicycle.

Allegedly, of course.

According to OnScene TV, the victim was a former worker on the Tijuana Valley ranch, who had reportedly been barred from the property.

The son gave chase in a Kia SUV, crashing into him at a high rate of speed, before losing control and smashing into bollards on the side of the dirt road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was rushed to Mercy Hospital with major injuries, where he died sometime on or before October 5th.

The driver also suffered serious injuries, and had to be extricated from his vehicle.

Video from the scene suggests the crash occurred on Rancho La Palma, at 2325 Hollister Street in San Diego.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Warning, this video shows the driver being removed from the SUV and placed on a backboard. So be sure you want to see that before clicking on it. 

 

Murder charge for Oxnard hit-and-run, bike lane funds stalled in infrastructure bill, and take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia

Ventura County prosecutors threw the book at the alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a bike-riding boy last week.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Sanchez was arrested at his home last Friday, a day after 16-year old Port Hueneme resident Andres Hernandes was run down from behind on an Oxnard street.

Police had found Sanchez’ abandoned car a few hours after the crash.

Sanchez pled not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

At last report, he was being held on a half-million dollars bail.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

……..

This is what we have to look forward to in the unlikely event Congress ever gets its shit together.

More bike lanes that are clearly separated from streets. More pedestrian-friendly street designs. And more safety features on cars

California and other states are in line for a lot more money to implement such plans, thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill the House is considering.

………

The Source reminds us about this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia. And encourages you to leave the car at home and take Metro, instead.

With your bike, of course. Or your feet, if you plan to walk it.

………

A series of free online bicycling symposiums will lead into next year’s California Bicycling Summit in Oakland, with leading bike researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher discussing Cycling for Sustainable Cities next Tuesday.

………

You may have follow a detour if you’re riding the Ballona Creek bike path for the next several days.

But that’s better than the Higuera Street bridge, which will be closed for more than a year.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free protected car parking in DTLA.

https://twitter.com/ChrisByBike/status/1445456484905611269

………

Call it a desire line, as the Department of DIY strikes along PCH in Orange County.

………

If you want to ride a bike badly enough, you can usually find a way.

………

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

No bias here. Enraged New York drivers see an “extraordinary” plot between Uber and Lyft, and a “militant local bike lane group” to deprive them of their God-given right to free parking by building a protected bike lane. Never mind that the ride-hailing companies support the city’s leading bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives because bike lanes and safe streets are good for their e-scooter and dockless bikeshare businesses. Or that Lyft manages New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare, as well. 

Bizarre story from Ontario, Canada, where a woman allegedly threatened two bike-riding teens with a knife after accusing them of being on her property — even though they were on the sidewalk — then apparently ran them down with her car after they tried to leave.

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

Police in New York are looking for a black-clad bike rider who punched a pedestrian in the face as he rode by, then calmly took $100 out of the man’s wallet before riding off.

………

Local

Ride Metro buses and trains for free today, as well get free Metro Bike bikeshare rides, to celebrate California Clean Air Day.

LA’s cool pavement project expands to NoHo, promising to reduce temperatures on the streets we ride, which can rise to as high as 140°.

The annual Bike It! Walk It! week returned to Santa Monica schools this week to encourage students to get out of their cars, or their parent’s cars, and walk or ride to class.

Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tomorrow to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

 

State

The San Diego Reader considers whether OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace could be behind the city’s soaring rate of bike thefts.

A woman who’s been hit by drivers twice while riding on Sunnyside’s 39th Street says stop signs and speed bumps aren’t enough to tame the city’s drivers, which is why a bike boulevard is needed. Needless to say, some of her fellow residents disagree.

Tragic news from Stockton, where a 13-year old girl was “struck and killed by a vehicle.” Judging by the article, the driver of said vehicle was apparently only coincidently involved.

Life is cheap in San Ramon, where a distracted driver walked with no charges for running down popular NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp as he was riding his bike, despite admitting to looking at his hands-free cellphone.

 

National

Seriously? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about the dangers of micromobility, with e-scooter, ebike and hoverboard injuries up 70% in the last four years, and 71 deaths over the same period. Just wait until someone tells them how many bike riders and pedestrians were killed in the same four years. And it only makes sense that injuries went up since micromobility use has skyrocketed.

Smart Cities says smart cities are beefing up their bike infrastructure in response to the pandemic bike boom. Then again, no one has accused Los Angeles of being a smart city in recent years.

Once again, a science website has concluded that bicycling is better for your overall health than walking. Even if walking ain’t bad.

United Airlines becomes the latest major airline to drop fees to fly with a bicycle, joining American and Delta in making the move.

Electrek examines why ebike sales are increasing 16 times faster than general bicycling. Hint: They’re fun, easy to ride and anyone can do it.

Ford is applying for a patent on a new kind of automated electronic derailleur.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Las Vegas 4th grade teacher and baton coach was killed while riding her bike to school when a driver blew through a stop sign.

A Denver nonprofit is encouraging bicycling by paying people between 15 and 30 cents per mile to ride a bike this month, for a maximum of $75

Colorado’s legislature has finally figured out the obvious problem with the state’s ridiculous opt-in Idaho Stop, aka Stop as Yield, Law, which allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to adopt it. And leads to confusion when bike riders have no idea when they’ve crossed from one city to another, and whether or not they have to come to a full stop.

A Chicago attorney is offering a reward to find the driver who pulled into a bike lane, where his passenger was caught on camera dooring a passing bike rider.

A Nashville walking and bike advocacy group says a recent deadly scooter crash calls out the need for more bike lanes in the downtown area to meet expanding demand.

Speaking of Nashville, country music star Chris Stapleton is one of us, finding balance by riding a mountain bike during the pandemic.

A seven-year old Long Island boy raised over $4,000 for the heroes of 9/11 by riding his bike 20 miles. And insisted on finishing despite crashing his bike into a thorny fence, saying he wasn’t in as much pain as people on 9/11.

A new study reveals what they describe as the “harrowing safety risks” faced by New York’s app-based delivery riders, with half of riders reporting they’ve been involved in a crash or some other incident.

New York police busted a 14-year old boy for randomly attacking several older Brooklyn residents, including an 81-year old man and a man riding a bicycle.

DC is now requiring e-scooter users to lock their scooters to a bike rack when they’re done, which isn’t likely to improve safety or reduce clutter, while blocking parking access to bike riders who need it.

No bias here, either. After initially fleeing the scene, a Florida hit-and-run driver returned to blame the victim, insisting he didn’t know “why that person was in the road;” fortunately, he was arrested anyway.

 

International

Where to rent a bike on your next trip to Tobago.

Ontario, Canada’s equivalent of the Motor City used to be a bicycling paradise — if you go back 130 years.

After England suffers major flooding, a London cabbie somehow blames bike lanes for causing it. Which doesn’t explain why the streets without them flooded, too.

A man from Jersey spent his pandemic lockdown filming bike rides on routes throughout the British island, allowing bike riders around the world to share his rides from the comfort of their own homes.

Britain’s ongoing gas shortage has led to a 119% jump in bike sales, with sales of commuter bikes up 194%.

British advocates argue that bicycle infrastructure has to extend to rural areas, as well as cities, after a 43% jump in bike deaths on country roads last year.

A writer for the UK version of GQ accepts a challenge to ride the full length of the country, and shares what it was like to cover 970 miles in a week and a half riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

More proof life is cheap in Great Britain, where a hit-and-run driver gets a lousy 12 months behind bars for killing the 31-year old daughter of a member of Parliament as she was riding her bike.

Dutch neurologists call on people in the bicycle-riding country to wear bike helmets, despite — or maybe because — virtually no one does, even though Dutch riders suffer roughly 16,500 bicycling brain injuries each year.

France is offering drivers the equivalent of $2,975 to trade in their old smog-belching cars for clean new ebikes.

High-end Italian bikemaker Colnago says their blockchain cryptosecurity is the solution to bike theft, but you’ll just have to trust them on that. But at least you can trust Yahoo to let you read it if Bicycling won’t.

A trio of Aussie researchers analyzed bikeshare data from 40 international cities to determine where bike riders are most likely to brave the rain and snow, with Dublin, Ireland and Seville and Valencia, Spain taking the lead.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers a cyclist’s-eye view of last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Longtime Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche is calling it a career after 17 years in the pro peloton.

There’s more than one way to stop when you don’t trust your disk brakes.

 

Finally…

This may just be the best bike name ever. Who needs rain gear when you can carry a roof with you?

And that feeling when you try to steal the same bait bike twice.

………

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

First-ever CicLAvia could be coming to Beverly Hills next year, and bizarre Santa Monica bar rage vehicular murder

We may be burning in California, but hell has officially frozen over.

The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills continues to burnish its new-found bike friendly image, with plans to co-host a CicLAvia with West Hollywood and Los Angeles sometime next year.

The proposal would reprise the 2019 route that ran along Hollywood Blvd to Highland Ave, and south to Santa Monica Blvd. If Beverly Hills can work out the details, it would then extend west to Beverly Drive.

Even more surprising, Beverly Hills is the driving force behind this effort, rather than the other way around.

And no, I never would have imagined it when we were butting heads with less enlightened city officials back in the day.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A Culver City man faces charges for intentionally running down a man standing outside a Santa Monica restaurant on Monday.

Except he ran down the wrong man.

We’ll let the Santa Monica Daily Press try to explain the bizarre attack.

According to SMPD, Sloan was asked by restaurant staff to leave Busby’s on Santa Monica Blvd. before the incident. Sloan, angered by this demand, exited the establishment, and retrieved his vehicle. He then drove through the parking lot in an aggressive manner before attempting to intentionally hit a customer standing in front of the business. However, Sloan only ran over the foot of his intended target and instead struck the victim.

Oops.

To make matters worse, he knew the guy he actually killed, and had been drinking with him before he went berserk behind the wheel.

The driver, Nicholas Ralph Sloan, was arrested 15 miles away in the San Fernando Valley when the CHP stopped his Porsche Panamera for speeding.

He was booked on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and DUI.

………

This, too, is who we share the road with.

A Rhode Island woman was pulled from her car and brutally beaten by a group of ATV and dirt bike motorcycle riders when she had the audacity to honk after they sat through two green light cycles.

To make matters worse, they did it in full view of her friend’s eight-year old daughter, who was inside the car along with the girl’s mother.

Needless to say, the victim was “shaken and injured” in the aftermath of the attack, but didn’t need to be hospitalized.

There’s just no fucking excuse. Ever.

Period.

………

And you thought things were bad on this side of the Atlantic.

https://twitter.com/philsturgeon/status/1394708129166802947

………

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

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer calls plans for a recently approved bike boulevard “racist, ableist, ageist, elitist, and plain mean, nasty, and rotten to neighborhood residents…” But seriously, how does he really feel?

No bias here, either. A local British paper spends a few paragraphs reporting the death of a man riding a bicycle, then devotes another 17 paragraphs to how much the locals hate people on bikes.

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

New York police are looking for a pair of men sharing an ebike who stabbed two men in a car in an apparent road rage attack following an argument.

………

Local

If you’ve been waiting for the long promised bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge, you can keep holding your breath. Streetsblog reports work still hasn’t begun on the the bike lanes, which were expected to be completed three years ago; local advocate point the finger at CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who has fought bike lanes and other safety projects in the district since taking office.

Good news from San Pedro, where a 19-year old man who disappeared while riding his bike has been found; no word on his condition or where he’s been for the past two weeks.

 

State

Sacramento Magazine considers the most useful bicycling apps.

 

National

Forbes shares their picks for the best ebikes. And for once, the choices make sense.

A Portland lawyer is suing aerosol makers and companies that sell them in an effort to halt “driving zombies,” after woman was killed while riding in a bike lane, by a driver who was caught on security cam huffing a computer keyboard dusting spray outside a Home Depot. Interesting approach, but good luck with that.

A Minnesota paper offers tips on basic fit and maintenance to keep your bike rolling.

Tragic news from Detroit, where an 18-year old nursing student was killed in a shootout as she was riding her bicycle in front of a friend’s duplex a couple weeks ago; police now say she was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire.

A 68-year old man has come forward, claiming to be the only witness to the crash that killed a companion to heiress Doris Duke when he was a 13-year old paperboy riding his Schwinn ten speed; it has long been rumored that the Rhode Island crash was murder, along with the earlier “accidental” death of Duke’s husband.

New York’s popular TD Five Boro Bike Tour returns this Sunday; the 40-mile ride through the city’s five boroughs, which Forbes calls America’s biggest bike ride, expects to draw a pandemic-restricted 20,000 riders instead of the usual 32,000. Although CicLAvia usually draws more than that on a bad day.

A newly signed bill will now require New Jersey drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

 

International

Your new ebike could be a Harley. But only if you’re willing to go to Europe to buy it.

British bikemaker Hope Technology unveiled a road bike prototype of the innovative Olympic track bike they developed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. Although it’s allegedly based on a stolen design

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a three-year old boy was killed when his own father backed over his bicycle while he was riding on their Welsh farm.

A British trucking trade group apparently wants defend their right to keep killing people, complaining that a proposed rewrite of the country’s Highway Code to protect vulnerable road users is “inherently unjust.”

RM, one of the masterminds behind K-pop stars BTS, is one of us, sharing his love of bicycles with a fan site.

 

Finally…

If you insist on riding your bike drunk, try to stick with roads where bikes are allowed — and to just one lane at a time. A gun site says always wear a bike helmet when carrying a concealed weapon on your bike.

And yes, bike riders have to pull over for emergency vehicles.

Just like most drivers don’t anymore.

………

Thanks to Mark J for his generous donation — and kind words — to help keep this site going; as always, any donation, no matter how large or small, truly helps and is deeply appreciated. 

………

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

Man injured in Show Low vehicular attack dies, and Phil Gaimon and fiancé threatened by road raging LA driver

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where one of the victims of last month’s vehicular assault on a senior’s bike race has died.

Fifty-eight-year old Jeremy Barrett took a turn for the worse after initially showing improvement following the crash, and passed away on Saturday.

Barrett had been flown to a hospital in Flagstaff suffering from internal injuries, and was due to be transferred to a hospital in Tucson before suffering a stroke and deteriorating in the days that followed.

He was described by friends as someone who went out of his way to help others, and frequently hosted touring bicyclists in his home.

A police spokesperson says that additional charges are likely to be filed in the wake of Barrett’s death, on top of the 20 felony counts already faced by 36-year old driver Shawn Michael Chock for the alleged intentional attack.

………

You really hate to see this.

Everyone’s favorite retired pro cyclist and his fiancé had an ugly run-in with a road raging driver, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to slow his Porsche down on his way to the golf course.

While Phil Gaimon and Emily may not be able to make a case for assault with a deadly weapon, the driver could and should be charged with battery after allegedly shoving the petite woman confronting him.

It’s also a textbook case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows for a civil case with an award of three times the actual monetary damages or $1,000, whichever is higher.

And the driver could be required to pay any attorney’s fees they may incur while preparing the case.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

West Hollywood offers advice on how bike riders and pedestrians can avoid getting run over by motorists.

But sadly, not one word for drivers on how to avoid running over anyone.

Overall, though, their tips for people on bikes aren’t bad.

Although someone should remind them that signaling while stopping isn’t a great idea for people with hand brakes. And you should stop signaling before starting a turn so you can have both hands on the handlebars.

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UCLA’s Chris Giza talks with KNX-1070 radio about the benefits of turning a fake pandemic commute into the real thing.

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After failing to be named to this year’s Tour de France roster, Aussie Lachlan Morton took it on himself to ride the entire race route, alone and unsupported, and try to beat the peloton into Paris.

Yesterday he got there, beating the riders competing in the race by nearly a full week.

And still got the traditional champagne at the finish.

https://twitter.com/EFprocycling/status/1414792643163435010

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

A Las Vegas man faces a murder charge for intentionally running over a homeless man riding a bicycle, after exchanging words in a parking lot. However, this wasn’t a random incident; the two men knew one another, and had once been roommates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with California Streets Initiative board member and CD5 city council candidate Jonathan Weiss.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 72-year old Diamond Bar man as he was walking in a crosswalk; his niece says Bruce Bodel preferred to walk or bike rather than driving.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom happy hour from 5 to 6 pm this evening with UCLA parking maestro and professor emeritus Don Shoup.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop bring you the return of the popular Tour De Taco ride this Saturday. Say hi to my friend Carlos Morales if you go.

 

State

Bay Area firefighters are preparing to ride across the country to Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

National

Maybe they finally get it. The new federal infrastructure plan includes a focus on smart infrastructure and Vision Zero to maybe actually build and fix roads so they don’t kill people, along with $20 billion specifically earmarked to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians. Now let’s hope it can somehow get through our hopelessly divided and dysfunctional Congress.

The Wall Street Journal examines the cycling fans who hoard hundreds of team jerseys. Although, as usual, half their story is hidden behind a paywall.

Tech Radar rates the year’s best bike locks, ranking Kryptonite one, two and three.

Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez offers advice the Singletracks podcast on how to get and stay fast on the mountain.

This one’s going on the top of my bike bucket list. A Navajo-owned Dzil Ta’ah Adventures is offering overnight bikepacking and half-day tours of the spectacular Southwestern US Navajo Nation, combining unspoiled wilderness with tribal creation stories.

Hundreds of retired and active duty police officers will ride nearly 1,000 miles around Indiana, visiting twelve cities across the state to honor fallen officers and law enforcement survivors.

 

International

Germany’s version of the Auto Club is now offering roadside assistance to bike riders in Berlin and Brandenburg, with plans to expand the service throughout the country. AAA offers similar services in someparts of the US, but not in Southern California, where the group prefers to pretend that its members don’t ride bicycles.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University will work with experts in machine learning to develop new technologies to capture data on dangerous interactions between bike riders and motorists, in order to map where bicyclists are most at risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a record-setting run of stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has no plans to retire anytime soon.

With the yellow jersey seemingly wrapped up already, Bicycling considers what else there is to look forward to in the final week of the Tour. Cavendish, anyone? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Rouleur considers the youngest and oldest riders in this year’s Tour, and how they rank in the race’s history; at 41, Alejandro Valverde would be the oldest stage winner ever if he claims one this year, while 22-year old Brit cyclist Fred Wright is the youngest rider in the peloton.

Cyclist goes straight to the top, talking with the French woman who runs the company that owns the Tour de France.

Bicycling asks how high Colorado’s Sepp Kuss can climb after winning his first stage in the Tour, suggesting he could win a Grand Tour one day — if he really wants it. Although the Yahoo version of the story has a much better headline, in case Bicycling blocks you. Thanks to our friend Richard Duquette for the link. 

Bicycling questions the legitimacy of the obscure crypto currency company that’s now the new co-sponsor of the Africa-based Qhubeka cycling team, which will be Qhubeka-NextHash starting next year. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Bicycling says the racers turned out for an outstanding Giro Donne stage race won by Anna van der Breggen, even if women cyclists deserve “far more than pathetic payouts and embarrassingly bad livestream coverage.” Here’s the Yahoo link if…well, you know.

Three-time world road champ Peter Sagan is in danger of missing the Tokyo Olympics following surgery to treat an infection caused when he gashed his knee on the chainring in a crash during the Tour.

 

Finally…

So that’s where Luca got his rusty, old bike. Tom Hanks is one of us, thanks in part to wife Rita Wilson.

And that feeling when you’re riding your bike on a haunted highway, and find a head dumped by a mafia hitman.

Good times.

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

 

Murder charge for intentionally killing Port Hueneme teen, San Diego hit-and-run victim ID’d, and bike riders behaving badly

More on the murder of a teenage Port Hueneme boy riding his bike.

Twenty-eight-year old Samuel Matthew Rocha faces one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder for intentionally plowing his car through a group of teen bike riders.

The attack came just ten minutes after he assaulted a couple at an Oxnard laundromat, and hit an employee with his car as he fled the parking lot.

His 16-year old victim has still not been publicly identified.

Rocha is being held without bail pending a June court hearing. Hopefully he’ll spend the rest of his life there.

Sadly, that wasn’t the only murder of a bike rider last week.

A Chowchilla man faces homicide charges for the DUI hit-and-run death of a man riding a bike, after telling police investigators he “intentionally wanted to kill someone.”

Let’s hope that one goes away for a very long time, too.

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Bike Portland identifies the victim critically injured in a San Diego hit-and-run last week as a former Portland woman.

Seattle resident Lindsay Caron suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run down from behind on Ingraham Street in Pacific Beach last Monday; she’s currently in a medically induced coma.

A friend has started a Facebook support group for her.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Diego PD’s traffic division at 858-495-7805, or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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Call it a snapshot of LA bike history from 1983, apparently taken back before the city was colorized.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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A Scottish advocacy movement calls for fighting climate change by making the country bike-friendly.

Make that the world, and we might actually still be here this time next century.

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Well, that’s certainly a horse of a different color. And a couple of cranksets.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the forward.

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Good question.

GCN examines how a bicycle can cost the equivalent of nearly $14,000.

They also have advice for big and tall bike riders on how to get the most out of your bicycle.

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

No bias here. An Aussie sports talk station complains about the “absurd” reason a pop-up bike lane has been declared a success after nearly doubling the rate of women on bicycles, while a business person blames the bike lanes, not the pandemic, for business being off last year.

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

A beloved Santa Barbara street performer suffered a broken wrist and cuts on his hand when he was knocked to the ground while playing his guitar by a thief who stole his tips before fleeing on a bicycle.

An Arkansas man got five years for a pair of drug cases, as well as riding his old bike into a Walmart and riding out with a new one while claiming it was okay because he was a police officer. He isn’t, and it wasn’t.

Greensboro NC drivers complain about a bike rider who was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic, blocking and hitting cars while harassing their drivers; police were unable to find him after getting a single complaint.

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Local

In news that would have been unbelievable just a few years ago, the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills adopts Complete Streets as a “high-level concept,” though just what that will mean on the streets will need to be fleshed out. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

 

State

California police organizations teamed with the ACLU to gut proposals for automated speed enforcement to help keep our roads deadly. SB 735, which called for legalizing speed cams in school zones, was amended to death, while AB 550, which would allow speed cams in high crash zones, survives for now, albeit in a reduced form.

Grab your bike for a 13-mile self-guided scavenger hunt through Solana Beach next month.

A pair of Santa Barbara residents complain about the city’s recently approved Westside bike lane project, arguing that it will create a traffic nightmare in their Eastside neighborhood.

A Palo Alto writer says bike routes should be safe routes, but too often aren’t.

 

National

Nice to see the national GOP fighting for the rights of drivers to use their cars as weapons to run over any protesters that happen to get in their way. Because evidently, there’s just not enough traffic violence in American politics.

Brompton is recalling its ebikes in the US to fix a bug that can keep the e-assist going even when you’re not pedaling.

A writer for Outside sings the praises of the humble handlebar bag.

Road Bike Action lists nine essential skills every bike rider needs to master. Actually, some of these only apply to roadies, and only if you plan to ride in a group. Unless maybe you plan to bump cruiser bike riders on the beach bike path.

Portland takes a whimsical approach to bike lane markers.

A Billings, Montana writer discusses the joys of early season bike riding in Yellowstone National Park, as long as you dress in layers and watch out for bison, goose and elk poop.

Wannabe bike thieves drove a truck into the front of a Denver ebike shop, causing $100,000 in damages to the store and bicycles, without getting away with anything.

An op-ed from an Iowa paper says bike licensing laws are rarely enforced, but can lead to over policing, as we saw in New Jersey last week.

A Texas father complains that the drunk driver who killed his bike-riding son may escape jail time, due to a plea deal in the works.

After initially cancelling their annual Christmas bike giveaway, Fayetteville, Arkansas’ Bicycle Man organization donated 1,000 bikes to local kids; the group has given away over 27,000 bicycles since starting in a couple’s backyard 31 years ago.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Kentucky man faces a DUI charge in Wisconsin after he was found sleeping in his car with the engine running; this is his fifth DUI in four different states. The law has to be changed to make drunk and drugged driving offenses follow drivers from state to state, so they can’t escape prosecution for multiple violations.

Chicago students honored a military family by giving their kids new bicycles.

No surprise here, as a New Jersey professor says that Black and brown bike riders too often bear the brunt of police enforcement, with minor traffic violations used as a pretext to stop and interrogate them. Meanwhile, Bloomberg examines the problem of racial profiling and discriminatory enforcement of bike registration laws.

Florida clarifies its three-foot passing law to say drivers must pass at a safe distance of at least three feet, or safely follow a bike rider or pedestrian until they can.

 

International

Bicycling says Baja is a mountain biking paradise, and one of bicycling’s best kept secrets. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A folding military bicycle has come home to Canada, nearly 80 years after a Canadian soldier gave it to a French boy after landing in Normandy, who passed it down to his daughter.

Crossdressing British comedian Eddie Izzard is one of us.

Bikes can take you anywhere. Even to the cemetery of a 920-year old Northumbrian church, where the father of the UK’s National Health Service rests, along with a leading WWII-era British Nazi and, briefly, half of his best-selling author son.

An Indian man discusses watching the liberalization of Calcutta from the seat of his bike, as well as using it for collective ganja runs in college.

Bikeshare comes to Jerusalem, with 120 ebikes and 80 standard bikes at 25 stations across the city. Let’s hope that’s just a start, because 200 bike won’t go very far.

Dubai police stop a company worker for carrying the equivalent of nearly $275,000 on his bicycle in a plastic bag, insisting he put himself at risk of robbery by not transporting it in a car. Because people in cars never get robbed, right?

Even Nairobi is outstripping Los Angeles, with plans to invest 1.47 billion Kenyan shillings in new bikeways and walkways outside of the city center, although that converts to just $13.5 million. But as Stormin’ Norman points out in forwarding the story, the average Kenyan consumes just 2% of the resources of the average American, so that figure is a lot higher in context.

A writer for Outside says no, you probably can’t Everest Mt. Everest, because of that whole certain death thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar claimed his first one-day classic by out-sprinting world champion Julian Alaphilippe to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday. Meanwhile, Dutch cyclist Demi Vollering sprinted past Annemiek van Vleuten to win the women’s race.

Like father — and grandfather and uncle — like son, as an Irish man takes up the family tradition as an Olympic hopeful cyclist, while his brother goes his own way as a pro soccer player.

 

Finally…

As long as you’re riding across the country, might as well stop for a half-marathon along the way. Is that a pruning saw in your pocket, or are you just happy to be riding your bike?

And why walk down the aisle when you can ride in style?

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Thanks to John H and Megan L for their generous, and unexpected, donations to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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