Tag Archive for vehicular homicide

2nd driver charged in double hit-and-run death of two young brothers, and US bike deaths may have dropped in 2020

One quick note before we get started.

Almost a year ago, just before the world went to hell, the LA Times did a story about the foster corgi we took in to help a homeless man get back on his feet. 

This weekend they did a followup story, with an update how man and dog are doing and the ripple effect it had on everyone, my wife and I included. 

Along with the corgi puppy we adopted last summer. 

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The other shoe finally dropped.

A full month after 57-year old Grossman Burn Foundation co-founder Rebecca Grossman was charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter for killing a pair of young brothers in an alleged drunken street race last September, the other driver has finally been arrested.

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Scott Erickson was inexplicably charged with a single count of misdemeanor reckless driving, despite allegedly contributing to the deaths of the two young boys.

And despite the allegation of street racing.

Eleven-year old Mark Iskander and his eight-year old brother Jacob were crossing the street with their parents in a marked and well-lighted crosswalk when they were run down, one on his bicycle and the other on a scooter.

It easily could have been worse. Their parents were able to jump back with the boys’ younger siblings at the last second, barely sparing the family from being wiped out entirely.

And yet the 51-year old Erickson, who had a one-year stint with the Dodgers, faces a single lousy count of misdemeanor reckless driving.

Did I mention that both drivers are in their 50s, and should have effing known better?

Maybe prosecutors can explain their charging decision in this one, because it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

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The good news is bicycling deaths may — repeat, may — have dropped last year, from an obscene 857 in 2018, and 846 in 2019, to 697 last year.

So says Outside Magazine, which tracked every bike rider killed in the US last year, much like I’ve been tracking Southern California bicycling deaths for the last decade.

Or rather, all the deaths they’re aware of; there are undoubtedly more that never crossed their radar, for whatever reason.

Of those, slightly more than 80% were men, and over a quarter of the victims were killed in hit-and-runs.

No surprise on either count. Especially not the latter, which tracks very closely with what we’ve seen here in Southern California.

And sadly, no surprise that far too many of those deaths occurred here in California.

Louisiana, New York, California, Florida, and Texas were the five deadliest states for cyclists in terms of total fatalities. The latter three have been the most deadly states for cyclists for years, and New York’s fatalities have been on the rise as well—in 2019, it reported 46 cyclist deaths, with 29 in New York City alone. While these three states are also the most populous in the country, Florida and California have among the most cycling deaths per million people, as well. And Louisiana recorded 7.3 cycling deaths per million people, the most of any state. Louisiana’s total fatal crash numbers have remained in the twenties and thirties for the past five years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

No surprise that those deaths may have been driven in part by last year’s bike boom, either.

Though it’s too early to be certain, the cycling boom that took place after the COVID-19 lockdown orders may have contributed to the summer death rate. From January through November, $4.9 billion worth of bikes were sold in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. In Los Angeles and Houston alone, Strava found approximately a 100 percent increase in cycling trips in both cities in May 2020 compared to May 2019. More cyclists on the road seemed to correlate with more people on bikes being killed by drivers.

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Harrison Ford is one of us, as the once and future Indiana Jones star has a bike rack installed on his car for his new bicycle at the Santa Monica Helen’s.

New Bollywood sensation — and former porn star — Sunny Leone is one us, too, riding bikes with her husband and kids in Los Angeles before returning to India.

And new mother Katie Perry is still one of us, as is her fiancee Orlando Bloom, as they ride together in Santa Barbara.

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Consider this your periodic reminder that Bike Index works.

And it’s free. So what the hell are you waiting for?

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Mountain biking though a NorCal burn zone.

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Think you’ve got mountain bike skills? Trying riding downhill on a kid’s bike.

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GCN considers how to get your confidence back after a crash.

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

Just days after a Portland driver killed one woman and injured at least ten others in a 15-block rampage, another driver intentionally ran down a delivery rider; fortunately, this victim was able to bounce back up.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver was fined the equivalent of a lousy $549 for a fist-shaking punishment pass that caused a 68-year old man to fall off his bike, suffering life-changing injuries. But hey, at least he won’t be able to drive for a whole six months.

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

Santa Cruz police are looking for a bike-riding man who allegedly battered a motorist in an unprovoked attack. Although something tells me that unprovoked attack wasn’t.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider suffered a severely lacerated face when a delivery rider cut him off, forcing him into a glass bus shelter.

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Local

Noticing the explosive growth in ebike usage during the pandemic, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach respond by cracking down on scofflaw ebike riders who are apparently terrorizing the local populace, on and off the beachfront Strand. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

You only have until 3 pm today to urge Culver City to approve new bus and bike lanes, over the objections of local traffic NIMBYs.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with new California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman, including about her efforts to allow local communities to lower speed limits.

A kindhearted Santa Ana cop gives a pair of bike helmets to two young boys after they stopped her to ask if they had to wear one; she correctly noted that California law requires bike helmets for any bike riders under 18.

Carlsbad police busted a suspected drunken hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike-riding woman from Arizona; at last report, the 65-year old woman was unconscious with serious injuries.

San Diego County officials cut the ribbon on a new three-mile segment of North County’s Inland Rail Trail; the new segment means ten miles of the planned 21-mile trail is ready to ride.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed when a wrong way driver slammed into his bicycle, then drove off like the murderous coward he or she is.

A new plan promises to remake San Jose’s Eastside into a more welcoming place for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing the need for cars. Sadly, it comes too late for the victim above.

San Francisco bike shops say if you’re in the market for a new bike, you’ve got a long wait.

 

National

An engineering website examines the aerodynamics of bicycling to keep riding from being a drag.

Pink Bike wonders when, if ever, mountain bikes will be allowed in US wilderness areas.

A writer for Bicycling explains how he finally went carfree after he job went remote during the pandemic. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An American Sign Language professor at an Arizona college has turned his daily bike ride into a fundraising campaign for his students.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City columnist says bike riders have a right to be safe in traffic. And that’s why he supports a bill that would legalize the Idaho Stop in Utah, even if people on bicycles will still have to be alert, because too many drivers aren’t.

The full route has been released for this year’s RAGBRAI bike ride through Iowa, after last year’s ride was cancelled due to the pandemic.

A Missouri couple decide to open a bike shop. And then figures, why not sell pizza, too? Toss in some decent craft beer, and I’m all in.

A Rhode Island letter writer pleads with drivers to stop giving bicyclists the “wave of death.”

Yes, please. New Haven, Connecticut officials are pushing the state legislature to approve a bill that would allow automated traffic cams to enforce speed limits and crosswalks.

Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken NJ will add protected bike lanes to the singer’s eponymous street.

A retired Maryland man spent the pandemic providing free bike repair services for the local community; he’s fixed over 650 bicycles since last April.

No bias here. Florida cops fall over themselves to absolve a killer hit-and-run driver of responsibility, saying he knew he hit something, but didn’t know it was a person on a bicycle. Because apparently, it’s just too much to expect someone to get out of his car to see what the hell he hit hard enough to cause front end damage.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks at the clothes you’ll need to get through the coldest, wettest days on your bike. Or you could just do like most Angelenos, and stay home any day there’s a sprinkle or the temperature dips much below 70°.

Eight bicyclist-inspired songs for your bicycle playlist.

An entrepreneurial 13-year old girl in Edmonton, Canada turned her pandemic baking into a business, delivering fresh loves to customers by bike every weekend.

London’s popup bike lanes and Low Traffic Neighborhoods could be in jeopardy, after a judge rules that they could adversely affect disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly. Because apparently, older people don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

They may have a point. A London paper questions whether a 300-foot bike lane in an English town is the country’s stupidest bike lane; the street with the contraflow bike lane — aka wrong way — is so narrow that even small vans don’t fit in the traffic lane and have to extend into the bike lane.

More on the British man who responded to the death of his brother and a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer by riding from the UK to Beijing on a tandem, sharing the other seat with people he met along the way.

I want to be like him when I grow up. After getting tired of people laughing at him, an 83-year old Pakistani man rode his bike over 1,100 miles to prove age is just a number; he’s been riding since buying his first bicycle 66 years ago.

An enterprising 15-year old Indian boy is too young to legally ride a Vespa-style scooter, so he turned his bicycle into one.

After her politician father was arrested on what she insists are trumped-up charges, an Indian teen refused to accept a free bicycle from a government-run program in protest.

A quick-thinking Indian bus driver is credited with saving the lives of two little boys after they fell off their bikes into the path of the bus.

Apparently, they take driving in a protected bike lane seriously in Qatar, as a driver has his car seized on the spot.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — a biking tour of old Taipei.

A Wellington, New Zealand bike rider says the city needs a lot more than just bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fortune favored the Dutch in this year’s cyclocross worlds, as 31-year old Lucinda Brand and 26-year old Mathieu Van der Poel took the women’s and men’s elite titles. Riders from the Netherlands took four of the top five places in the women’s race, and two of the top five on the men’s side; the only American to finish in the top five in either race was Clara Honsinger, who placed 4th in the women’s race.

The New York Times examines how the horrific crash that nearly took the life of Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen at the Tour of Poland has increased pressure on the sport’s governing body to make much needed changes to protect the riders in the peloton.

 

Finally…

Remember, kids, always pickle your bike lanes before a storm. Your next car could be an ebike. Or maybe the other way around.

And your long, dark wait for LEGO bike lanes is over.

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

Dangerous hazard on LA River path, harrowing account of Portland rampage, and Santa Monica Mtns gravel guide

Robert Karwasky forwards a photo of a dangerous situation on the LA River bike path, just north of the Colorado Street overpass, as a collapsing fence post juts out over the pathway.

Here’s how he describes the problem —

It poses a risk for very serious injury and when traveling south on the path at dusk or night, in blends in with the tunnel and is very difficult to see.

The problem comes in figuring out just who’s responsible for fixing it.

It could be the City of Los Angeles, or maybe Glendale; it could be LA County or Caltrans. Or whoever the property owner is whose fence is collapsing.

If anyone knows, let me know so we can get this fixed before someone gets hurt.

Or if you know someone who already got hurt there, I know some damn good lawyers over there on the right.

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A Portland delivery rider offers a firsthand account of the harrowing vehicular rampage that left an elderly woman dead and injured another ten people, mostly on foot or riding bikes.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, while offering an ever-shifting array of motivations.

Needless to say, police suspect some form of intoxication or illness, physical or otherwise.

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Gravel Bike California is back with the ultimate Santa Monica Mountains gravel guide.

Who knew I was a trend setter back in the day, when I rode gravel farm roads through eastern Colorado on my inappropriately skinny-tired bike.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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Caltrans wants to know what intersections need help.

And while “every intersection” is indeed the correct answer, it’s probably not the one they’re looking for.

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Spend 14 minutes bikepacking in the Sierras through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks (scroll down), and exploring the devastation after a wildfire.

Or you could spend less than half that time with Danny MacAskill’s latest insane bike video.

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

A car passenger in Yorkshire, England pushed a 70-year old man off his bicycle. Then added insult to injury — literally — by getting out and stealing the man’s bike as he lay incapacitated on the street.

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Local

The LA Times says yes, you can do bike — and hiking — tours on the cheap.

 

State

A San Clemente writer and longtime ebike rider gets a positive response to a column promoting ebikes, but reminds riders to stop for stop signs and red lights. Even if teen girls laugh at you.

An op-ed from a former San Diego bike commuter says bicycling rates are remaining flat, despite the city’s investment in a quality bike network. And offers suggestions on how to change that, including a call to subsidize ebikes for commuters.

Who knew? Former Vice President Spiro Agnew was one of us, taking to his bike to ride through the Coachella Valley after resigning in disgrace in 1973.

 

National

Bike Portland clarifies that AAA’s shift away from calling crashes accidents that we mentioned yesterday was actually from a large group of member organizations, rather than the national AAA itself.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa man got a well-deserved eleven years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, while driving drunk and texting.

The Chicago Tribune offers advice on how to bike in the snow. A skill you’re not likely to need here in Southern California; how to ride with pontoons may be more appropriate today.

The mother of a New York State teenager is suing the owner of the car that killed her daughter, alleging he loaned it to the drunk driver who swerved into a bike lane and struck the girl as she rode her bicycle; the driver was sentenced to a well-deserved five to fifteen years behind bars.

In a huge victory for Brooklyn bike riders, the city’s eponymous bridge will finally get curb protected bike lanes on both sides of the iconic span; the somewhat less famous Queensboro Bridge will get a pair, as well.

In addition to the new bridge bike lanes, New York Mayor de Blasio pledged to build new bicycle boulevards in each of the city’s seven boroughs, calling them the key to an equitable Covid recovery. That deafening silence you hear is LA Mayor Garcetti in response.

Call it an inside job. A pair of New York bike thieves enter an apartment building with bolt cutters, and take the elevator up to steal an ebike used by food delivery rider that was locked in the hallway. Which suggests they somehow knew exactly where to find it.

A member of Gotham’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club celebrates the namesake that inspired similar clubs across the US.

A Florida advocacy group is highlighting 21 bike-riding women for their commitment and dedication to bicycling to serve as role models for women interested in riding.

 

International

No surprise here, as a British bike advocacy group says removing bike lanes hits young riders the hardest. Sometimes literally.

An Indian man proves you don’t have to be able to see to compete in an ultra climbing bike race.

A Singapore bikeshare rider learns the hard way that it’s probably not the best idea to bribe an enforcement officer so he won’t seize your illegally parked bike. Or maybe just offer more next time.

 

Competitive Cycling

The French bicycling calendar kicks off this weekend with the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise. And no, you probably can’t see it here.

Peloton remembers the late, great Raymond Poulidor, who made the Tour de France podium eight times in 14 appearances in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

Finally…

You know you’ve finally made the big time when there’s a sand truck named after you. Youth must be served, as a toddler kicks ass on a pump track with a pacifier in his mouth.

And this driver should be charged with bicycle cruelty.

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Apropos of nothing, here’s a little corgi action from my personal Twitter account to get you through the weekend, until we meet again.

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

Driver identified in Portland rampage that left 1 dead and 10 injured, and AAA says it’s crash not accident

We finally know who was — allegedly — responsible for the murderous vehicular rampage that left a 77-year old Portland woman dead, and as many as ten others injured.

And why, sort of.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, including second degree murder and multiple assault and hit-and-run charges.

Unbelievably — literally — he had shifting explanations for why he intentionally ran down so many people, most of whom were walking or riding bicycles.

Rivas initially claimed his Honda Element was having brake problems and that he was searching for an auto repair shop.

Other times, he suggested the injuries could have been inflicted by “another, similar looking” Honda car, not his; and he admitted at one point to striking a bicyclist but characterized the collision as an “emergency maneuver” he made to avoid a more serious crash with oncoming traffic, Multnomah County prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

This despite running down the elderly woman as she was crossing the street, then making a U-turn and slamming into her again, dragging her to her death under his SUV.

Yeah, sounds like bad brakes, all right.

The descriptions of his attacks are simply horrific.

Donald Hinson was riding his bicycle on Southeast 18th Avenue when the Honda “drove straight at him without slowing,” sending him and his bicycle onto the hood of the Honda. He fell onto the street and suffered injuries to his leg and a cut to his nose, the affidavit said…

Raymond Chihak said he was on the sidewalk near Southeast 19th Avenue and Stark when he heard screaming. That’s when he noticed the Honda speeding directly toward him. It struck him as he stood on the sidewalk, he said, then sped off, according to the affidavit. Chihak also was treated for his injuries at a hospital.

Bicyclist Juan Caicedo-Gomez was riding in the bike lane on Southeast Belmont Street when the Honda swerved into the lane and hit him from behind, throwing him off his bicycle, according to police.

Pedestrian Faviola Palomera said she was walking in Laurelhurst Park and saw the Honda doing U-turns nearby. “The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital,” with a head injury after she had been knocked unconscious when the Honda was seen driving out of the park and struck her while walking, according to her statement to police and a witness’ account, the affidavit said.

Yet those are just a few of the victims who were lucky enough to survive.

And yes, those were real people.

https://twitter.com/mckra1g/status/1354525420503396352

That crowdfunding campaign to replace their bikes and help with medical expenses has raised nearly $1,000 of the modest $4,000 goal.

After repeated denials, Rivas finally admitted to detectives that he was the one behind the wheel of the killer SUV.

According to police, he denied drug or alcohol use and did not appear to be under the influence, leading them to suspect he suffered from some sort of mental illness or physical ailment.

Let’s hope it’s enough to keep him off the road for the rest of his life.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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That sudden chill you feel is hell freezing over.

Update: It turns out that statement wasn’t from the national AAA; instead, it came from the organization’s second largest affiliate group

But still, it’s a start.

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Your periodic reminder that being one of the greatest cyclists of all time wasn’t even close to the most important accomplishment of Gino Bartali’s life.

Bartali is credited with saving dozens, if not hundreds, of Jews during WWII as he transported forged documents hidden in the frame of his bike.

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But at least you can tell the cop it was gluten free.

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When life gives you a geyser, take a shower.

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And no hands, no less.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

That other chill you feel is formerly auto-centric Caltrans asking for your input on creating long-distance carfree bicycle highways in the Bay Area. Now if they could just get around to it down here in SoCal, where the weather is usually more conducive to year-round riding.

Calbike is sponsoring AB 117 in the state legislature, which would create a $10 million fund to provide incentives for ebike purchases; you can sign a petition to support the bill hereAlthough something tells me they could probably go through that much in the first week alone.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy organization sings the praises of Quick-Build Projects, saying it’s more equitable to vet a project on the ground than on paper. It also sidesteps the endless series of angry meetings that allow NIMBYs to kill much-needed safety improvements simply by showing up and screaming en masse.

 

National

Your next Lime scooter could be a mo-ped.

A bike industry op-ed says promoting diversity in bicycling must be more than just a gesture.

Utah considers adopting the Idaho Stop Law, as a legislative committee votes 8 to 3 to pass it on to the full state house, even if state transportation officials don’t exactly like the idea.

He gets it. A Montana columnist says before you try to pass an expensive and unnecessary bike safety law, try talking with some actual bicyclists first.

An Ohio city manager responds to an online petition to yank out a new bike lane by saying just give it a chance, already.

A New York councilmember calls on the city to develop a real-time map showing where bike lanes are blocked. Wouldn’t a better solution be to just keep them from being blocked in the first place?

No bias here. After a New York driver gets “terrorized” by a bunch of teenaged bike riders, a state legislator calls for a new law to help police pinpoint cellphone 911 calls. But bike riders get terrorized by drivers on a daily basis, and no one cares.

 

International

Nothing like a little Chilean mountain biking in a total eclipse.

Once again, a bike rider can credit his Apple Watch with saving his life, after it automatically dialed the equivalent of 911 when he was swept away by an English river.

Britain’s Independent professes to tell you how to pick the right kind of bike for the way you’ll ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 88-year old man walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after a judge sentenced sentenced him to a lousy 16-week curfew.

Sad news from Dublin, where a teenaged boy was stabbed to death when he attempted to intervene in an argument over a stolen bicycle.

A Mumbai teen hangs a banner thanking the police for recovering her bicycle less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

When an Indian boy’s bike was stolen after his disabled father had struggled to buy it, a kindhearted government minister stepped in to buy him a new one.

 

Competitive Cycling

It looks like former USA Cycling Team member, Orange County attorney and frequent BikinginLA contributor David Huntsman’s son is following in his dad’s tread tracks, as Eddy Huntsman joins three other new riders on the Continental Tour Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team. Thanks to proud papa David for the heads-up.

Bicycling says we should celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s sabbatical from the pro peloton. As usual, you can find it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you unsuccessfully try to make your getaway by bike after stealing a car while high on meth, then returning it and fighting with the owner. That feeling when you get drunk and ride your bike on the freeway.

And maybe this is why she wouldn’t return your call.

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

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

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That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Five years for hit-and-run death of OC bike rider, more on death of bike writer Roy Wallack, and the first HBCU cycling team

Just three days left in the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Samer S, Terence H, Michael S, Matthew H and Georgia M for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

And help keep it free for everyone, while keeping you informed — and hopefully, entertained a little.

So don’t wait. Drop what you’re doing and give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive now!

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An Orange County man got a well-deserved five years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of 51-year old Michael David Tomlinson in Aliso Viejo last year.

And should have gotten a lot more.

Thirty-two-year old Lake Forest resident Rogelio Martinez-Cuin was sentenced after pleading guilty to felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, as well as driving with a suspended license.

Martinez-Cuin was reportedly speeding and ran a red light before slamming into Tomlinson’s bike.

He was arrested after abandoning his car about a mile away.

In a heart-rending coda to the tragedy, Tomlinson’s wife learned about the crash when she drove up on the scene in his final moments.

Hit-and-run carries a maximum penalty of four years in California, while vehicular manslaughter is punishable by a max of six years in state prison.

That suggests that Martinez-Cuin may have accepted a plea, or else lucked out with a lenient judge.

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More on the death of bike and fitness writer Roy Wallack following Saturday’s mountain biking crash in the Santa Monica Mountains

Bicycling reports on Wallack’s tragic death on a rugged trail in Pt. Magu State Park . Read it on Yahoo if you can’t access the Bicycling site.

Road Bike Action remembers the man they call the “ever irrepressible,” “wild, crazy and loved” Roy Wallack. Thanks to Mike Bike for the link.

Wallack is survived by his wife and adult son, as well as his father, brother and two sisters.

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A new video series follows the creation and first year of competition for the new cycling team at North Carolina’s St. Augustine’s University.

The first episode of the Chasing History series was released this week, as they become the first cycling team from a Historically Black College or University, aka HBCU, to take to the streets.

Like Justin Williams’ L39ION of Los Angeles, and Rahsaan Bahati’s Bahati Foundation before that, it’s a big step forward in the long-overdue efforts to diversify the sport.

And it matters.

As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

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Another day, another Amazon driver blocking the bike lane.

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You may finally be able to rent a scooter or dockless ebike in WeHo, leaving Beverly Hills as the Westside’s lone e-scooter desert.

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‘Tis the season, indeed, with still more bike giveaways to help ensure as many kids as possible have a bike in their stocking for the holidays.

The Ventura Bike HUB teamed with Mucho Gusto Barber Shop and other local businesses to provide bikes and toys for kids in need.

Sixty-three Denver 2nd graders got new bicycles, courtesy of carbon belt-drive maker Gates Corp.’s fourth annual bicycle giveaway. And yes, they all got belt-drive bikes.

A local group worked with Toys for Tots to give 237 bicycles to kids in a North Carolina trailer park.

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Now you can finally predict how likely a driver is to be drunk based solely on what they drive.

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No bias here.

A British lord calls for six months behind bars for riding a bike on the sidewalk, or bad ebike parking jobs.

Seriously, has he ever seen how motorists park?

Or drive, for that matter.

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

An Oxford, England city councilor says he was assaulted by a truck driver who then ran over his bicycle, but one letter writer bizarrely accuses him of being easily intimidated.

Extremely petty London drivers are blamed for digging up planters protecting one of the city’s Low Traffic Neighborhood streets, as a protest against making streets safer for people who aren’t in cars.

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Local

Streetsblog talks with newly elected Burbank Councilmember Konstantine Anthony, who was endorsed by Streets For All for his advocacy for complete streets, protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes, as well as his work on climate change and homelessness.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A San Diego car thief is accused of intentionally running down a pedestrian while fleeing from police, leaving the victim with life threatening injuries.

Bad news from Indio, where a bike rider was hospitalized with major injuries following a collision yesterday afternoon.

A Santa Barbara letter writer calls for three-foot passing signs to prevent more ghost bikes.

Speaking of Santa Barbara, the city’s iconic State Street will be home to 17  docking stations for the new ebike-based bikeshare system starting next month.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss questions how to maintain our own love of riding in the wake of the Nevada bike massacre that left five experienced riders dead, let alone raise awareness of the dangers bike riders face without scaring people off.

The newest non-folding e-cargo bike from Tern is rated at a whopping 28 mph, which puts it in Class 3 under California’s ebike rating system, requiring a bike helmet regardless of age and prohibiting its use on most bike paths.

A writer for Clean Technica says yes, ebikes are everything they’re cracked up to be.

The new Topeka, Kansas-based Steve Tilford Foundation was established to honor the former world and national champ who was killed in a car crash in 2017, and help young people develop a passion for bicycling.

Nice. Waco, Texas plans a network of trails that will be within a ten minute walk of anywhere in the city.

A cartoonist for New York Streetsblog sums up the difference between protected and painted bike lanes.

 

International

He gets it. A British Columbia letter writer says it’s time to debunk the myth that people with disabilities don’t use bike lanes.

Women in Bengaluru, India are reluctant to ride due the city’s dangerous streets and heavy traffic, as well as the additional burden of simply being a woman in the conservative country.

Ghana will now criminalize dangerous bicycling or driving that leads to the death of an unborn child; presumably, that could apply to the mother, as well as other drivers and bike riders.

The overwhelming majority of Malaysian bicycling deaths were the result of collisions while riding for transportation, rather than recreational cycling.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new film recounts the remarkable journey back to life for Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx, who was nearly killed in a collision with two race motos in the tour of Belgium; he spent months in a coma, as doctors feared he would never regain consciousness. Or you can watch the film for free with a membership in the website’s VeloClub.

Team vehicles for Britain’s Ineos Grenadiers were tagged by anti-chemical climate protesters in Belgium.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be carved from Welsh wood. Don’t attack security guards in a grocery store when they ask you take your bike outside.

And at least your neighborhood bike lane doesn’t require a snorkel.

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

Wicksted gets 16-years for intentional killing of Claremont bike rider, and popular wheel light maker goes belly up

Sixteen years.

That’s the price a Claremont woman will pay for running down and murdering a bike-riding stranger with her car.

Sixty-three-year old Sandra Marie Wicksted agreed to a deal to plead no contest after prosecutors took a murder charge off the table for intentionally running down 54-year old Leslie Pray as she was riding her bike in Claremont two years ago.

She was also charged with swerving her car at two other people riding bikes in separate incidents before slamming into Pray.

Wicksted copped to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, along with two counts of attempted murder.

What remains unanswered, however, is the most basic question of all.

Why?

What could possibly have convinced Wicksted to try to kill not one, not two, but three total strangers for no other reason than they were riding bicycles?

We’ll probably never know.

But now an innocent woman is dead because of it.

And Wicksted has thrown away what’s left of her own life.

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Sad news from popular wheel light maker MonkeyLetric, which is closing out its remaining inventory and going out of business, at least for the foreseeable future.

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Local

A 20-year old man was hospitalized after a driver hit his bike while riding in Canyon Country; no word on the victim’s condition.

This is who we share the road with. A new lawsuit accuses an LA County sheriff’s deputy of drunk driving and street racing in the Torrance crash that killed a 23-year old passenger in his car.

 

State

San Diego adopts a new Complete Communities plan, including fees for developers in the city’s most car-dependent areas, which will be used to build bike and pedestrian projects in denser urban areas.

San Jose wants to know how residents want to get around in the years to come.

Palo Alto will keep two key streets carfree through next May.

Yes, please. A proposal before San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors would make it harder to delay projects by filing an appeal under California’s CEQA air quality laws, a process that has been abused in recent years to halt bikeways and transit projects.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick argues the city has abandoned Vision Zero in its cost-saving cutbacks to the Better Market Street project, suggesting it should now be renamed Bummer Market Street.

 

National

GQ recommends the best bike gear for “persnickety” bicycle riders caught up in the pandemic bike boom. Meanwhile, Gear Patrol says these bikes and accessories prove the future is now.

Next time you’re in Seattle, hop the ferry to the Bainbridge Island Cycle Museum, where you can see exhibits like a rare three-wheeled lawnmower bike and a signed yellow jersey worn by He Who Must Not Be Named.

Maybe there’s hope for LA bike riders yet, after Chicago finally opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge 15 years after it was blocked by a city alderman.

Speaking of Chicago, a local magazine considers former mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prospects for serving as US transportation secretary.

An Ohio man was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for the distracted driving death of a prominent lawyer who was riding his bike, while the driver was high on opiates.

The bike-riding Virginia woman who was elected county supervisor after flipping off Trump’s motorcade says it’s time to heal now that Joe Biden has been elected president; needless to say, not everyone agrees.

 

International

A Colombian college student was knocked off his bike and severely beaten by thieves when he chose to avoid traffic by riding a bike path through a dark tunnel known locally as “the tunnel of death” for its high crime rate.

A London bait bike leads police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes with individual values as high as $6,600.

British bikemaker Dawes tells its popular Galaxy touring bikes to hit the road after 49 years.

An essential worker in the UK had his bike replaced by a kindhearted stranger after it was stolen while he was working.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof agrees to hobble their bikes in the European Union, where ebikes are restricted to 15 mph, rather than the 20 mph limit allowed in the US.

Now that’s more like it. A new Spanish law will restrict speed limits to 18 mph in urban areas, and just 12 mph in spaces shared with bike riders and pedestrians.

The bike boom has hit Indonesia, as well, as residents share their experiences riding in the age of Covid-19.

Join the club. A third of New Zealanders think drivers are going too fast on their streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Primož Roglič’s victory in the Vuelta has pulled it out at the wire, beating Tour de France champ and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar for the #1 spot in the UCI World Ranking for 2020, while Anna van der Breggen topped the women’s list. No American made the top ten on either list.

American world time trial champ Chloe Dygert says she’ll do whatever it takes to heal in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after suffering a horrific gash to her left quad that severed 80% of the muscle. She’ll be riding for the Canyon-SRAM women’s team next year.

Cycling Weekly recalls ten unforgettable moments of the 2020 cycling season.

 

Finally…

Seriously, just slow the hell down around slower or less experienced bicyclists and pedestrians. Never a good idea to punch a traffic cop, even if they did just door you.

And probably not the best idea to have your six-year old daughter act as lookout before making a bike-borne escape from a shoplifting spree.

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

Morning Links: LA as West Coast e-scooter capital, vehicular murder slap on wrist, and CiclaValley takes a spill

Assistant Director of LA Bureau of Street Services Greg Spotts says Los Angeles could become the shared mobility capital of the West Coast.

Spotts notes that 11 companies have applied to provide a total of 37,000 e-scooters, dockless bikes and ebikes to the mean streets of LA.

The city has a series of community meetings coming up to discuss dockless mobility, starting with one in DTLA on the 26th.

Putting 37,000 alternatives to driving on the street is a good thing. But key to the success of any dockless mobility program is providing safe places to ride and park them.

Hopefully, this will spur development of the city bike plan, as city leaders finally recognize the need for safety. And drivers are more willing to sacrifice a few feet of roadway to get scooters out of their way.

It could happen.

The city also needs to provide on-street parking facilities — ideally converting one parking space per block for e-scooter and bike parking.

We should also require every e-scooter to be equipped with a low-volume beeping device to warn pedestrians when one is approaching. And let people with limited sight know when one is parked in their way.

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Talk about getting the story wrong.

Yesterday we linked to a Kansas story about a teen driver getting a reduced sentence for killing a bike rider in a hit-and-run, but criticized the paper for leaving out just how long he would be behind bars.

Apparently, they left a lot more than that out.

Like actual length of the sentence, which turned out to be just two years — far less than the 16 years the prosecution requested.

Not to mention the fact that the crash was intentional.

A passenger in his car told police the driver passed the man as he was riding in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to deliberately run him down from behind before fleeing the scene.

And never mind that the victim was Latino and the driver was white, giving a racial tint to both the murder and the lack of justice. .

Amazingly, the judge excused the driver’s behavior because of his young age, clean record and that he had accepted responsibility. Although that came long after he had abandoned the car and gone home to play video games, later calling the police to report his car had been stolen.

Sure sounds like taking responsibility to me.

But no matter how sorry he might claim to be, there is no way to justify just two years behind bars for murder.

If he had used any other choice of weapon, from a gun or knife, to a rock or broken beer bottle, it would undoubtedly have been taken more seriously.

Or maybe the problem was just a victim on two wheels, with a Hispanic name.

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A conservative columnist goes out of his way to illustrate exactly what’s wrong with America’s political divide, saying it’s time for liberals to get the hell out.

And they should use “public transportation or ride your ridiculous bikes in your ridiculous bike shorts to your shriveled hearts’ content!” somewhere else, while all those “normal” Americans keep gleefully destroying the planet with their massive SUVs.

Except by repeatedly plugging his books makes it all come off as a shameless effort just to sell a few more.

I don’t care whether you’re conservative, liberal or anything else. Or whether you walk, bike, ride transit or drive.

We’re all need to stop demonizing one another, and work together to make this country succeed.

Period.

And the same goes for our cities and states.

Because the alternative isn’t pretty.

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CiclaValley offers a firsthand view of what it’s like to blow a tire during a descent.

And to have members of one university cycling team help you up while their rival school just rides on by.

Fortunately, he escaped relatively unscathed, walking away with a few bruises and a banged up wheel.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

A 73-year old Cherokee elder in Oklahoma overcame excessive weight and crippling diets by taking up bicycling in his 60s; now he’s off insulin, and rides across the reservation when he’s not competing in races around the world.

A 77-year old Chicago woman is biking across the US with a group of other older riders.

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Local

You still can’t legally ride an e-scooter in Torrance. The city is slow-walking approving e-scooters, even as other South Bay cities are moving forward with legalizing them.

Speaking of the South Bay, a Kiwi writer raves about his visit to the beachside cities, including an extensive description of a guided bike tour along the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Long Beach is planning a $1 million project to add bike lanes along Edwards Blvd to connect the quarter-mile street with the beach. Correction: Wrong Long Beach, dammit; this one’s in New York. Thanks to Chris Buonomo and James for the correction.

Long Beach police use fake bullets to apprehend a bike rider with a fake gun.

State

The Mercury News comes to the not-so-shocking conclusion that some people don’t like Complete Streets or improving safety if it means they’re going to be slightly inconvenienced.

At least one city is making progress in fighting bike theft, as the crime drops 25% in San Francisco.

Speaking of San Francisco, Uber-owned Jump dockless ebikes are cutting into Uber’s own car-hailing business in the Bay Area. And the company says they couldn’t be happier.

National

The Atlantic says Washington’s Birthday used to be celebrated by taking your bike for a spin, instead of countless car and mattress sales.

Traditionally libertarian Nevada is considering a proposal to require anyone under 18 to wear a bike helmet when they ride.

The Colorado legislature is considering following LA’s bad example by banning red light cameras in an apparent attempt to keep the streets dangerous.

A bighearted Michigan man founded a program to give bicycles to local kids, refurbishing and buying 150 bicycles in its first year.

Cambridge MA is making progress in its goal of reducing car ownership, but is only halfway towards its goal of a 15% reduction by next year.

Residents in a Louisiana city vow to fight a plan for an offroad bike path that could require removing trees and roadside signs.

Kindhearted Florida cops dug into their own wallets to buy a new bike for a man in his 80s after his was stolen.

Heartbreaking story from Florida, where a man was killed in a crash while riding his bike, the same day searchers fund the body of his missing daughter in a swamp; relatives don’t believe he had learned about her death before he was killed.

International

Ella Cycling Tips examines the studies, and concludes that what you wear or what sex you are may affect how closely drivers pass you. Or maybe not.

Cycling Weekly examines how much protein bicyclists really need in their diet.

Bike Radar considers what they consider the five most confusing topics in bicycling.

You may be out of luck if your bike gets stolen in London, as a special police bike theft unit is redeployed to fight youth knife crime.

A British woman got three years for crash that left a bike rider with serious brain damage; she was still high on coke from the night before when she ran him down in the early afternoon crash — 16 times the legal limit, in fact.

A polite Brit bike thief returned a purloined two-wheeler with a note of apology, saying he borrowed it to avoid a three-mile walk home at three in the morning.

A new Irish TV series explores the lack of bike lanes in the Emerald Isle compared to the rest of Europe. If you can’t imagine a TV show like that in the US, let alone a series, there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list, which must be getting kind of long by now — a mountain biking trek through the South Caucasus Mountains in Azerbaijan. Unless maybe you’d rather experience India’s tropical state of Goa.

Officials say road safety must be improved in Zambia, where bicyclists and pedestrians make up 70% of traffic deaths.

Competitive Cycling

No ego here. The legendary Eddy Merckx says yes, Peter Sagan is complete cyclist, but he was better.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas insists he is definitely not riding in the Giro this year.

A Canadian cyclist rode 5249 laps around a velodrome in 24 hours — the equivalent of 457 miles — to raise funds for much needed repairs; he brought in over $59,000, more than doubling the original $25,000 goal.

Finally…

Nothing goes together like bikes and booze. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a monitor lizard stuck in our spokes.

And why shovel the stuff when you can just ride your own bicycle snow plow?

Morning Links: OC fire captain critical after DUI crash, Claremont cyclist murdered, and hit-and-run driver ID’d

Tragic news from Costa Mesa, where an 18-year veteran of the fire department is fighting for his life after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver.

Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza was riding on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo around 8 am when he was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp, who remained at the scene.

Scarp was being held on $100,000 bond after police found multiple prescription medications in his car.

Kreza remains unresponsive; the Costa Mesa Fire Department tweeted that the next several hours will be critical.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $70,000 in just 24 hours, nearly triple the original $25,000 goal.

Let’s all say a prayer, or whatever you’re comfortable with, for Mike Kreza’s full and fast recovery.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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In case you missed it over the weekend, there was more bad news from Claremont, where a bike rider was murdered by a driver who allegedly used her car as a weapon.

Police say that Leslie Pray, a 54-year old Claremont resident, was intentionally run down by 61-year old Sandra Wicksted, also from Claremont.

Wicksted reportedly had swerved in the direction of other bicyclists just moments before turning her wheel towards Pray, and swerving across the roadway to slam into her bike as Pray rode in the bike lane on North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive.

Police found several empty liquor bottles in Wicksted’s car after the crash. She was arrested on suspicion of murder, and being held on a $2 million bond.

Tragically, Pray had only started riding a few months earlier.

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The combative hit-and-run driver who killed a Van Nuys bike rider hours after Halloween, then fought with police who tried to take him into custody, has been identified as 20-year old Santa Monica resident Alexander Daniel Furtado.

No word yet whether he was actually in the military, as he claimed, or if the camo fatigues he was wearing were just a Halloween costume.

Furtado is being held on $50,000 bond for suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The victim still has not been publicly identified.

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The LACBC’s annual Operation Firefly campaign, which hands out free bike lights to riders who need them, kicks off in San Pedro tonight.

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Lest ye forget, tomorrow is Election Day. And your chance to Bike the Vote for awhile.

Speaking of which, Bike the Vote LA offers their indispensable voters guide for tomorrow’s election.

The LA Times provides their total list of 2018 election endorsements.

LAist has advice on how to pick a judge to vote for.

Los Angeles Magazine explains what all those confusing propositions actually mean. And has a list of businesses that will give you a deal if you come in with your I Voted sticker .

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Local

No surprise here. Bird has filed suit against Beverly Hills and their misguided total ban on dockless bikes and scooters. The only question is what took them so long?

The map has been released for next month’s CicLAvia as it returns to the Heart of LA.

California announced the latest round of Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Grants, including $550,000 to SCAG’s Go Human campaign, and a total of $375,000 to the City of LA; Pasadena and Long Beach received $175,000 and $150,00, respectively.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton digs into the lawsuit from self-appointed NIMBY activists Fix the City trying to halt desperately needed growth along the Expo Line. And apparently not grasping that more residential building means less traffic, not more.

 

State

Riverside has opened its first bikeshare system with 55 ped-assist ebikes.

Ride through the Anza Borrego Desert State Park on November 17th, and get rewarded with a cold beer.

Hundreds of bike riders rode through Ventura County in the annual fundraising ride in honor of Mike Nosco, 14 years to the day after he was killed when his truck collided with an unlighted farm vehicle.

A new $13 million bike and pedestrian bridge with provide Palo Alto residents with a crucial link over the massive Highway 101 for the first time in 60 years.

San Mateo County bicyclists now have a safer, green bike lane across a dangerous bridge. Even if the photo clearly shows an SUV driving in it.

Uber’s JUMP Bikes ped-assist dockless e-bikeshare system has expanded throughout the Sacramento area, including bike friendly Davis.

 

National

Good question. A drivers website asks why hit-and-runs are at an all-time high nationwide, but doesn’t really come up with an answer. Although someone should tell them hit-and-run is a crime, not an accident.

General Motors is getting into the ebike biz — and they want you to name it.

A Portland homeowner posted a huge sign in his or her window demanding that bike riders cut some slack when they try to access their own driveways.

The Houston Chronicle says walking and biking in the city can be way too dangerous. Meanwhile, a Houston bike advocacy group is increasing the frequency of their bike safety classes, including what to do in an emergency situation, in the wake of a deadly year for the city’s bicyclists.

Once again, Texas copies California — this time our hit-and-run drivers, and the low bail for the crime. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A Cincinnati TV station reminds us of the dangers to bike riders and pedestrians after yesterday’s time change. Speaking of which, this is what you look like to drivers in the dark without lights.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Wisconsin driver smashed into a group of girl scouts at they were picking up trash along the shoulder of a highway before fleeing the scene; three girls were killed along with a parent, and another girl is in critical condition.

A 57-year old New Hampshire man rode 5,000 miles across the US, accompanied by his eight-year old dog following behind in a trailer.

A New York resident tries various ways of getting around the city, giving ebike riding an A+ rating — if you can tolerate universal loathing.

A DC website says Philadelphia is kicking the district’s butt on Vision Zero, while a Philly magazine says the city is making progress, but still has a long way to goNever mind that they’re both miles ahead of LA.

A year after Hurricane Irma, a beachfront Hollywood FL bike path is still covered in sand.

One of the four Florida bicyclists run down by a 91-year old driver last week has been released; two others remain in serious/critical condition, while a fourth is in stable condition.

 

International

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in Canada. The father of an Ottawa crash victim called the verdict a disgrace as a driver was acquitted in the speeding, hit-and-run death of his bike riding son; the driver claimed he fell asleep at the wheel and had no idea he hit anything, despite awakening to a loud bang.

An English bike rider is snatching phones from unsuspecting women as he rides by.

Shocking yes, but not surprising. Six out of seven drivers who kill bike riders in the UK get off without any jail time. And only a third lose their licenses. It’s probably no different on this side of the Atlantic.

Horrible story from Britain, where an injured bike rider froze to death waiting for help in a cemetery, after police drove off when they didn’t find her when they responded to a call.

Great idea. An Irish politician proposes offering financial incentives to encourage kids to bike to school, similar to the country’s bike to work program.

No bias here. An Irish columnist calls for detente and cooler heads in the conflict between bicyclists and drivers — while painting bicyclists are crazed maniacs willing to go to war with the poor motorists, who have no choice but to drive.

How to plan your fall culinary tour of Copenhagen.

Caught on video: A 24-year old German artistic cyclist performs stunts Peter Sagan could only dream of.

Your spare parts could help keep riders on the road in Kampala, Uganda.

Logging the way to better Kiwi mountain biking.

Melbourne, Australia’s Green Party proposes a 10-mile, multi-lane bike superhighway as the centerpiece of the city’s nascent bicycle network.

The Australian version of Lifehacker considers weather you should get an ebike; among the downsides, they say, is people will hate you and you might hate yourself.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins defends his defense of Lance Armstrong, saying he’s “sick of being told how to feel about the sport by people who have never ridden a bike.”

The Cannibal heads Rouleur’s inaugural Cycling Hall of Fame class, along with famed bike builder Ernesto Colnago and British icon Beryl Burton.

VeloNews debates the merits of next year’s Tour de France versus Giro d’Italia routes.

 

Finally…

Forget bike riders, golfers should be the ones wearing helmets. If you’ve wanted to see Lance suffer, you finally got your wish.

And Apple wants to copy cycling’s pelotons for their electric cars.

Hopefully they’ll avoid taking half of it down by crossing wheels.

 

Update: Driver arrested on murder charge for intentionally running down a Claremont bike rider

Wrecks are seldom accidents.

But they’re usually not on purpose, either.

Yet that was the case in Claremont today, where a driver is facing a murder charge for intentionally running down a woman as she rode in a bike lane.

According to the Daily Bulletin, 54-year old Leslie Pray was riding north along the 1900 block of North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive around 11:30 am today when she was deliberately struck by the driver of a 1996 station wagon.

Pray was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested 61-year old Claremont resident Sandra Wicksted at a nearby hospital after a brief investigation.

There’s no word on how — or why — the crash happened, or whether the two women knew each other.

Wicksted is being held on $2 million bond. Then again, if she could pay that, she probably wouldn’t be driving a 22-year old station wagon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Claremont Police Department at 909/399-5411.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

And the first one that was, allegedly, on purpose.

Update: KABC-7 reports that Wicksted was driving in the opposite direction on Mills, and swerved across the road to strike Pray’s bicycle.

The presence of skid marks on the street demonstrates her path across the road, as well as indicating she was braking as she crossed the roadway. Which is odd for a driver who was attempting to hit someone. 

However, the station also says other bike riders told police that Wicksted had swerved towards them just moments before she killed Pray.

She is also suspected of being under the influence; several empty liquor bottles were found in her car after the crash.

Tragically, Pray had just started riding a bike this summer.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be installed at 7 pm today

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

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Megan Lynch for the heads-up. Photo by Erik Griswold. 

Morning Links: Bike auction to benefit BikeMS, why drivers don’t face murder charges, and Venice ain’t Bird’s fault

It’s getting closer. 

Just two more days before we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and ask LA city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

Something that has been seriously lacking in the past year.

You still have time to send in your letter if you can’t make the 10 am city council meeting. 

You can find all the information here

And come back this afternoon when we’ll post another open letter to the LA city council, this time from Sean Meredith. 

………

It’s not every day you can get a deal on great bike, and support a good cause at the same time.

The CBS2/KCAL9 Cycling Team is auctioning off the new men’s Giant Defy 1 Disc Brake bicycle show above to raise funds for BikeMS.

The bike, which was donated by the Newbury Park Bike Shop in Newbury Park, has a retail value of $1,500. It’s still in the box, ready to be picked up from the shop or shipped anywhere in the US.

And every penny raised by the auction will go to BikeMS to support people living with muscular sclerosis.

The 15-member CBS2/KCAL9 team has already raised over $10,000, and is one of the top fundraising teams leading into the June 3rd ride.

………

Another good, but challenging, read from Peter Flax.

He examines the death of fallen cyclist Mark Kristofferson in this year’s Tour of Palms Springs, who was killed at the hands of a drunk and stoned driver doing 100 mph, with a suspended license and a long history of traffic violations.

And wonders why it’s so hard to charge motorists with murder. Let alone actually get a conviction.

The easiest way to kill someone and get away with a slap on the wrist is to make sure your weapon is a car. But there has been some recent progress in how fatal crashes play out in the legal system as the problem gets greater attention from judges, state legislators, and police departments. “Ten years ago, it was really rare to get a felony conviction if a driver killed a cyclist,” (bike lawyer Peter) Wilborn says, noting that his own brother was killed in 1998 while riding a bike after an underage driver ran a red light. “Now I’d say that in cases that involve death or catastrophic injury, close to 50 percent of the time we get felony charges. I see a system that isn’t perfect, but also one that’s caring more than it ever did before.”

Wilborn asserts that it’s a logical fallacy to call the majority of these crashes murder. “I’ve been at this every day for many years and see the negligence and its impact,” he says. “I have seen the surge of distracted driving, and I know how a six-inch deviation in a car’s line can lead to a cyclist dying. We have a public-health crisis that needs to be solved, but it’s also true that very few motorists are using a car as an intentional weapon. So it’s only in extreme cases that the charge is murder.”

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

In one of the most bizarrely wrong-headed Op-Eds in recent memory, a former player for the Denver Broncos now living in Venice blames Bird scooters for allowing tech bros to avert their eyes from the homeless lining the streets as they zoom by.

Except people have been ignoring homeless people for years, if not decades. And it’s even easier to ignore them while zooming past in your hermetically sealed automobile, with the windows rolled up to block out the sounds and smells.

The real problem is a lack of caring at worst; a feeling of helplessness to do anything about it at best.

It has nothing to do with a mode of transportation. Even if you do need a smartphone and a credit card to use it.

Meanwhile, Bird scooters are getting the blame for a Nashville hit-and-run that injured two women, instead of the coward who fled the scene after hitting them.

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Pasadena Now looks at Bike Week in the Rose City, including tonight’s Women’s Bike Night.

And don’t forget tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, which is basically like trick or treat for adult bike commuters.

You can find a map of most, if not all, of the morning pit stops on the Metro website.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan hospital, including a way too cute photo of little tricyclists getting blessed.

Santa Monica could get the area’s first protected intersection near the Santa Monica College stop on the Expo Line. Although at a cost of 94 parking spaces, which could be enough to make the traffic safety deniers get out the pitchforks and torches.

A planning website talks with LADOT General Manager Selena Reynolds, who says she wants people to have a “symphony” of transportation choices, with driving alone being the last resort. Except that will never happen as long as LA councilmembers live in constant fear of angry drivers, and have the power to cancel projects on their own, for any reason. Which is one more reason to #CrashCityHall

Culver City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night.

 

State

Streetsblog California looks forward to tonight’s Rides of Silence throughout the state.

A San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when his bike was struck by a 33-year old driver after allegedly riding into oncoming traffic.

Bicycling collisions are up in San Diego, rising nearly 30% in the first four months of the year. Maybe injuries are up because an increase in bikeways in the city is getting more people out on bikes, rather than due to dockless bikeshare, as the story implies.

A Ventura museum is hosting an exhibit on the artistic beauty and love of bicycles.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time to get rid of the right turn on red lights, which may be more convenient for drivers, but increases the risk for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Treehugger aptly observes that the problem with Bike to Work Week is that it requires the infrastructure to enable people to ride to work all year.

A Phoenix weekly offers tips on using dockless bikeshare, most of which involve where not to leave it.

Former pro cyclist Mara Abbott bemoans the slow death of her hometown Boulder CO newspaper at the hands of its hedge fund owner, after the editor was fired for pointing out what was going on.

A Denver writer demands more and wider roads, making it clear he’s never heard of induced demand. Or global warming.

Maintaining a spectacular Vermont bikeway that crosses four miles of Lake Champlain could prove more difficult than building it, after it’s battered by wind-driven waves.

BikeBiz talks with the co-creator of the Boston-based lighted Lumos bike helmet.

New Yorkers will be racing through the city on bikeshare bikes this weekend.

A columnist for the Philadelphia Enquirer says a protected bike lane would have saved the life of a bike courier who was killed in a crash last weekend.

A 22-mile bike path currently under construction in Florida could open the way for bicycle agritourism. And no, I never heard of agritourism, either.

A Florida bike rider says please stop killing my friends.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where killing a bicyclist while driving without “due care” results in just an $1,800 fine and a one-year drivers license suspension.

The Guardian offers up five scenic backcountry bike rides in England’s West Country to add to your bike bucket list.

Britain’s Road Safety Week will tell bicyclists and motorcyclists to Bike Smart. Of course, it might help more if the message was Drive Smart, for truck drivers and everyone else.

A UK website suggests bicycling your way to a healthier and wealthier future.

It looks like Zwift is getting a Romanian competitor for the world of virtual cycling.

Bikeshare comes to North Korea in bike-friendly Pyongyang.

 

Competitive Cycling

A look at Monday’s Stage Two of the Amgen Tour of California by a local Santa Barbara site.

VeloNews says 20-year old American cyclist Brandon McNulty came of age on Monday’s climb up Gibraltar.

Crowds turned out for the start in King City and the finish at the famed Laguna Seca race track for Stage Three, which was won by a cyclist breaking from the pack to seize the victory in today’s spoiler-free update.

In a reflection of the sad financial state of pro cycling, two of the teams competing in the AToC are racing for sponsors, as well as stage wins.

Cyclocross legend Katie Compton switches sports to compete in the Women’s Amgen Tour of California, riding as a domestique for teammate Megan Guarnier. The four stage women’s race starts tomorrow — and no, you can’t see it on TV.

Ella Cycling Tips talks with 22-year old former Aussie world juniors champ Macey Stewart, who will be rebooting her racing career for the second time when she starts at the Tour of California on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, there’s still a men’s race going on in Italy.

Outside profiles Marianne Vos, calling her the world’s best cyclist and a fighter against gender inequality.

 

Finally…

When the drunk who runs you down is a cop. Forget riding, just take a hot bath.

And a $24,000 fine for running a traffic signal may sound extreme, until you realize that works out to less than 200 American dollars.

On the other hand, ten days behind bars works out the same no matter what country your in.

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