Christine Dahab to face felony DUI charges, ID in July Downtown bike fatality, Cpt. Hines behind bars

December 8, 2011

Against all odds, justice prevailed in Culver City.

According to the Culver City Patch, Christine Dahab has been charged with felony DUI and DWI in the June collision that left 13 cyclists injured — some seriously — when she plowed into a group of riders stopped on the side of West Jefferson Place.

The DA’s office charged Dahab on Nov. 11 with violating California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (A) [Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol causing injury], and California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (B) [Driving while Intoxicated above a .08 blood alcohol content, causing injury].

Both charges are felonies. Dahab wil be formally arraigned at the Los Angeles Airport Court on Dec. 22.

Many local cyclists had given up on ever getting justice in the case, following an initial finding by the LAPD that the cyclists were at fault for standing in the roadway.

According to the finding, the riders became pedestrians the moment some had dismounted from their bikes to wait for stragglers, and so could not legally stand in the roadway — even though most, if not all, of the riders were waiting in the parking lane rather than the traffic lane.

And police falsely claimed that Dahab’s visibility was limited by a blind curve, even though a subsequent test by local riders made it clear that the cyclists should have been readily visible to any non-distracted driver.

To make matters worse, some irresponsible members of the press quoted an unidentified LAPD officer implying that the riders were engaged in a drunken orgy in the middle of the street, noting the presence of beer bottles and condoms in the area where the cyclists were waiting. Yet failed to observe that the area is a popular hangout for people looking for a secluded place to party, and that they could have been left there days or weeks before.

It’s a slander that has entered the public consciousness, as shown by today’s report by LAist that claimed authorities had “found alcohol, condoms and marijuana used by the group.” Even though no reports at the time had ever connected the objects to the riders themselves.

Fortunately, later examination of the city limits revealed that the collision had actually occurred in Culver City.

And while it may have taken a long time, the results indicate that the CCPD took the matter seriously despite the LAPD’s initial finding, and an investigation hampered by the reluctance of many witnesses to come forward.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

……..

Thanks to the efforts of cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, we finally have a name for the cyclist who was killed at 8th and Francisco in Downtown L.A. last July.

While the collision was initially reported as collateral damage in a road rage case, the LAPD investigators quickly ruled that out for a lack of evidence, despite witness reports that the driver had been arguing with another driver.

Instead, police investigators ruled that Victor Apaseo-Rodriguez was killed as a result of a narrowed roadway, combined with drivers angling to enter a freeway onramp.

Part of the delay in identifying Rodriguez was the difficulty contacting his next of kin, who lived outside the country. Yet even after they were notified, I was unable to get either the name of the victim or the driver charged with causing his death, despite repeated requests.

Fortunately, Wheels succeeded where I failed.

Acording to Wheels, the driver, Phillip Goldburn Williams, was charged with a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence on October 6th, and arraigned in Metro Court Dept. 60 on October 28th, case number 1MP09818. However, Wheels notes that Williams’ attorney did not enter a plea at that time, and the case has been continued to January 19, 2012.

It will be interesting to watch this case move forward, and see if there’s a reason why authorities were so reluctant to release information that should have been a matter of public record

……..

Speaking of Dj Wheels, we both had a brief scare earlier in the week when it appeared that disgraced Long Beach Fire Captain John Hines had been released on time served, despite a sentence of one year in Orange County jail.

And even that seems like a slap on the wrist for critically injuring cyclist Jeffery Gordon while driving drunk at nearly three times the legal limit — then driving home, reportedly without slowing down, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

This from a man trained to save victims just like the one he caused.

Fortunately, it was all a misunderstanding.

Wheel’s had followed up on Hines’ incarceration, only to discover that the OC Sheriff’s inmate locator page said Hines had been released at 9:40 am on November 30th. What it didn’t say, and what was missing from all the news stories about his sentencing, was that the judge took the current prison overcrowding problems into account in crafting his sentence, and ruled that Hines can spend his time in an approved city jail, monitored by the county probation department.

In effect, it’s a tougher sentence then he would have gotten in county lockup, where Hines could have enjoyed a Lindsay Lohan-like express route through the system, and been released after serving less than half his already light sentence.

Now he will be required to serve out the full time.

Wheels also notes that the judge specifically structured the sentence to prevent Hines from getting credit for his time in rehab. And that his five-year probation following his release won’t be an easy path, but instead will require monthly reporting duties and fees, along with possible warrantless searches — and that any screw-up anywhere along the way could mean an immediate trip to state prison to serve out the remainder of the probationary period.

So maybe, just maybe, this was less a slap on the wrist than a swift kick in the ass.

……..

Despite reports to the contrary, Stephanie Segal has not been sentenced in the death of cyclist James Laing.

There was some confusion when she was expected to plead to guilty at a hearing on November 29th. However, the defense balked after asking the judge for an indicated ruling — that is, an estimate of what the sentence would be if the defendant changed her plea in open court.

When the defense heard a possible sentence in excess of nine years, they immediately withdrew the plea; a preliminary hearing is now scheduled for December 13th.

It sounds like the judge is giving this case the serious consideration it deserves, and for a change, intends to hold Segal fully accountable for getting drunk and killing another human being.

Now if we could just get him to talk with the CHP.

……..

Last night, I received an email from one of the two riders who tried to assist Carol Schreder immediately after the collision that took her life on Mulholland Hwy last Saturday.

In it, he described comforting her until the paramedics arrived, noting that she was unresponsive, but did manage to squeeze his hand as he held hers. He did not want to share the devastating details in the comments on here, but wanted to come forward to help her family and friends as they try to piece together what really happened that day.

Personally, I can’t think of any higher act of kindness that any person could perform than to simply be there for someone so badly hurt, and let her know she’s not alone in her time of need. My heart goes out to him as he continues to struggle with the painful memories of that morning.

As well as my thanks for stepping up to help a total stranger.

He also mentioned that a doctor came along to help before the paramedics arrived, as well as a photographer to took some pictures of the collision scene. And sure enough, earlier this morning I saw a photo posted online that appeared to show Schreder’s bike shortly after the wreck.

While there was nothing identifying it as the bike she’d ridden, it looked identical to her bike in every way, and was dated the same day as her collision.

But what the photo showed was shocking.

While the CHP has stated that the driver’s van and trailer jackknifed, striking Schreder’s bike with the right rear of the van, this photo clearly showed the aftermath of a rear end collision. The rear wheel of the bike was jammed under the van’s left front wheel, and a gash in the frame corresponded to the upper ridge of the van’s front bumper, with the van coming to rest at a nearly 90-degree angle to the side of the road.

Simply put, it would have been physically impossible for the bike to have ended up in that position if the collision occurred the way the CHP described. Which calls into further question their already dubious decision not to file charges or ticket the driver, calling it just an “unfortunate accident.”

Unfortunately, shortly after I emailed the photographer to ask for permission to use his photo, the shot disappeared from his website, and I have not received a response as of this writing.

I can only hope that he will do the right thing.

And regardless of whether he ever lets me share it with you, that he will forward it to the CHP and Schreder’s family, so they can get the justice they deserve in this case.

……..

Finally, in one of the most bizarre cases I’m aware of, a Virginia driver is fined just $500 for recklessly running down a German tourist touring the U.S. by bike — then initially fleeing the scene before returning, claiming he was chasing a mythical driver who forced him off the road.

That’s $500 for putting a visitor to this country into a coma he may never come out of.

And that’s what too often passes for justice for cyclists in America.


LBFD’s John Hines guilty, 3feet2pass passes and L.A. Weekly goes off the deep end

September 7, 2011

You can now remove “alleged” from any reference to John Hines.

The Long Beach Fire Captain, scion of one of the city’s leading fire fighting families, changed his plea to guilty in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday.

He was convicted on three felony counts — driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of .08, and hit-and-run, as well as sentencing enhancements for having a BAC over .20 and causing great bodily injury.

Hines will serve a 90-day diagnostic evaluation in state prison to determine whether he is suitable to serve a sentence in the state penitentiary. After his release, he will be sentenced on December 2nd at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana; potential penalties range from probation to up to six years and eight months behind bars.

Hines reportedly spent the morning of April 1st drinking at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach before getting behind the wheel of his truck. Around 1:20 pm, he swerved into the bike lane on Westminster Ave in Seal Beach and plowed into the bike ridden by 47-year old Jeffrey Gordon.

Gordon was thrown over 70 feet, suffering critical injuries including severe lacerations, spinal injuries and head trauma; according to the Orange County Register, he was hospitalized for two weeks, and continues to suffer from limited physical mobility, as well as speech and memory loss.

Meanwhile, Hines fled the scene without slowing down; witnesses followed him to his home where he was arrested with a BAC of 0.24.

I have no idea why he needs to be evaluated for suitability for state prison; most inmates are simply sentenced without any say in the matter.

But we can only hope the judge imposes the maximum sentence.

Anyone who is trained to save lives, yet is so drunk and heartless as to leave a man laying broken and bleeding in the street does not deserve to walk free.

Or ever drive again.

Thanks to Rex Reese, Jim Lyle and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

……..

California cyclists may now enjoy a little cushion from passing vehicles, as the State Assembly passed SB 910, the 3feet2pass bill, by a margin of 41-20.

Do I really need to point out that 16 of the no votes came from the Republican side of the aisle, as the California GOP has swung so far to the right they feel a kneejerk need to oppose virtually everything?

However, six Republicans retained sufficient common sense to vote for the bill, while four Democrats felt California drivers still deserve the right to buzz cyclists as long as they don’t actually make contact.

What still remains to be determined is whether the dangerous exception allowing drivers to pass at less than three feet, as long as they slow to 15 miles above the speed of the ride, remained in the bill or was removed in amendments as we have been repeatedly promised.

In other words, if you were riding at 20 mph, a driver moving at up to 35 mph could pass you as close as they wanted as long at they didn’t actually hit you; yeah, good luck with that. And yes, that exception would be every bit as confusing and unenforceable as it sounds, forcing both drivers and police to guess how fast you’re riding.

And yes, it was still in the most recent draft of the law posted online on August 30th.

Let’s hope it really was removed.

Or this will be nothing but feel-good legislation that could actually make it more dangerous for California riders.

Update: Eric B and billsd wrote to correct my reading of the most recent draft of SB 910. The law has in fact been revised to remove the 15 mph passing exemption; it now allows drivers to pass at less than three feet only at speeds of 15 mph or less. Thanks to both for the correction.

……..

I’ve heard from a number of cyclists who are concerned about a rumor in the case of Joseph Fernandez, the driver convicted of killing Encino endurance cyclist Jim Swarzman.

They’re worried that judge K. Michael Kirkman may have found that Swarzman contributed to his own death though improper lane positioning by failing to ride far enough to the right. As the comment linked to above points out, that would suggest a basic misunderstanding of both state law and commonly taught safe riding practices.

As a result, I reached out to cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels, who looked into the question for me.

According to Wheels, it’s unlikely that the judge would have made a ruling like that, since it’s unrelated to the charges against Fernandez. He’s been found guilty of hit-and-run causing serious injury or death, rather than the death itself.

In other words, Fernandez was convicted of leaving the scene, not killing Swarzman — which makes where Swarzman was positioned  in the lane, and whether he contributed to his own death, irrelevant to this case.

As Wheels points out, that may be a matter that will be addressed in the civil case.

However, if anyone who was actually in the courtroom when Fernandez was found guilty has other information, please let me know.

Fernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on September 12th in San Diego Superior Court in Vista; he faces up to four years in prison, case #CN290834.

……..

Finally, did the L.A. Weekly deliberately lie about L.A.’s new cyclist anti-harassment ordinance? Or was it a case of journalistic incompetence and failure to fact check?

A blog post by Dennis Romero suggests that the new law will clog the courts with cyclists retaliating for the slightest insult.

Really. The law goes into effect today. (Ed. Actually, it was Monday, but who’s counting?) We can just imagine the court testimony:

Bicyclist: He called me an asshole.

Driver: Your honor, I would like to submit that he is an asshole, and that free speech is protected, especially when one speaks the truth.

And he concludes with a reminder abut First Amendment rights:

Added: Interestingly, we recall that court rulings over the years have held that even swearing at police is protected speech. Guess the bicycle gets more respect than the badge at L.A. City Hall.

Of course, as virtually every commenter on the story has pointed out, he is completely and totally wrong. (I particularly enjoyed the comment from local bikewear manufacturer swrve.)

Mere insults aren’t addressed by this law. In fact, as LAPD Sgt. Krumer pointed out, you can call a cyclist any damn thing you want and be perfectly within your rights. Although at this point, calling someone an L.A. Weekly reader could be particularly hurtful.

What you can’t do is threaten the life or safety of a cyclist, either through words or actions.

That’s it.

Don’t say “I’m going to kill you,” or attempt to run a rider off the road — or imply you intend to — and this law will never apply to you.

And for his suggestion in the comments that most cyclists will never read the law, so they’ll file countless worthless cases anyway, no lawyer is going to take a case unless he or she thinks they have a reasonable chance of winning.

Which means there has to be evidence and/or witnesses to support it. And even if a lawyer did take such a case, the courts wouldn’t hesitate to throw it out.

Which takes us back to the Weekly’s false and inflammatory story, which can only put cyclists at greater risk of actual harassment from angry drivers who might believe their load of crap.

So I demand — yes, demand — a complete and full retraction from the Weekly, as well as a public apology from the author.

And I hope you’ll join me in doing the same.

Thanks to Evan G. for the tip.


Be careful riding around schools, no news is very good news, and alleged Alvarado killer will face trial

September 6, 2011

School is back in session almost everywhere now.

So be especially careful riding around schools, particularly at times when parents are dropping off or picking up children. Someone passing by on a bike is likely to be the last thing they’re looking for in the mad rush to get back to their school routine.

……..

Keep your fingers crossed.

Despite seeing countless reports of cycling collisions throughout the U.S. and around the world — just a handful of which you’ll find below — I haven’t gotten any news of serious cycling incidents in the SoCal area.

I always hold my breath on three day weekends — the 4th of July was particularly bad. And sometimes, it takes a few days for news to filter in, as the press returns to work and police reports slowly leak out.

But in this case, no news really is good news.

……..

Dj Wheels reports that motions to dismiss or reduce the charges against Patrick Roraff, the teenage driver accused of killing pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado while street racing in April of last year, have been denied.

However, he still gets to travel to Texas to play soccer with his teammates, 17 months after his alleged victim was run down.

William Gladstone was right.

Meanwhile, Long Beach Fire Captain John Hines faces a preliminary hearing today in an Orange County courtroom for critically injuring a cyclist in an allegedly drunken Seal Beach hit-and-run. Maybe he’ll meet Renato Demartino, who is scheduled for a hearing today in the same courthouse; he’s accused in the Tustin hit-and-run death of cyclist Marco Acuapan last April, four months after Demartino allegedly ran him down.

I wonder what they would talk about.

……..

New bike lanes hit the pavement on First Street in Boyle Heights. Meanwhile, Zeke’s L.A.-based brother Dave reports that work has begun on new bike lanes on Cahuenga Blvd from Franklin to near the Hollywood Bowl; eventually, they should reach all the way to Lankershim.

But don’t hold your breath.

……..

Damien Newton wants your questions for bike lawyer Howard Krepack. The next meeting of the nearly named group to re-envision North Figueroa as a Complete Street takes place at 7 pm on Friday, September 9th at Flying Pigeon Bike Shop, 3714 North Figueroa. New signs pop up urging cyclists to share the L.A. River Bike Path with pedestrians in Elysian Valley. Santa Monica’s Ocean Park Blvd should soon be a significantly greener — and bike-friendlier — street. Santa Monica Spoke invites you to RSVP for dinner, bikes and cupcakes with Elly Blue. A driver reports hitting a bike in the HOV lane on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park, but no word on whether it was being ridden or just laying in the lane; we’ll hope for the latter.

HuffPo offers more than your daily dose of celebs on bikes; thanks to Rex Reese for the heads-up. Cyclists and motorists owe each other respect. According to Tucson Velo, a driver accused of hitting and killing a cyclist had previous DUI arrests; nice work keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until he finally killed someone. Tour de Fat draws 12,000 cyclists in my hometown of Fort Collins CO; it will be here on October 8th. After an Idaho boy’s new bike is stolen, replacement offers pour in. A Missoula cyclist is found dead on the sidewalk in an apparent solo collision; of course, as cyclists know but police can’t seem to figure out, you don’t have to actually hit a rider to cause a cycling collision. A Minnesota triathlete dies one month after a mountain biking accident in Colorado. A Vermont cyclist died after bypassing barriers closing a road damaged by Hurricane Irene; seriously people, when the road is closed, there may be a reason for it. A New York cyclist is killed after running a red light; that’s why you don’t do that, people. Cyclists open fire near the nation’s capitol; thanks to DC for the heads-up. A 75-year old Florida cyclist is killed by an 84-year old driver in a SMIDSY;* fortunately for the driver, failure to see your victim is the universal Get Out of Jail Free Card — especially in Florida.

Toronto Streets should be a delight, not a hospital waiting room. The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain officially takes flight; now the hard work begins. Progress is slow on London’s cycling revolution. Potholes in Sheffield UK threaten that city’s bid to host a stage of the Tour de France. Great bike art from Dublin. Instead of making the roads safer, Aussie authorities idiotically consider making hi-vis vests mandatory for all cyclists; maybe that way drivers will finally see the riders they run down. Another pro team bites the dust, as the Scheck brothers’ Leopard-Trek team merges with Team RadioShack and a bunch of riders prepare to get the boot. Investigation shows pro cyclist Riccardo Ricco gave himself a botched transfusion. A Chinese banking official is held for killing a cyclist while driving drunk.

Finally, David Hembrow reads L.A.’s new bike plan, finds it critically lacking and concludes we’re being fed a line. And the Economist says America is no place for cyclists, with a few notable exceptions.

*Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You.

Long Beach fire captain John Hines arraigned for drunken hit-and-run

May 4, 2011

An anonymous reader sent me the following email this morning.

In case it slipped under your radar, yesterday Fire Captain John D. Hines entered a preliminary plea of not guilty to three of his felony charges in the hit-and-run of of Jeffrey Gordon.  A judge then inexplicably denied the prosecutor’s request to increase the bail amount fivefold to $250,000, which incidentally was the amount of the arrest warrant issued on April 26th.  Hines has retained a bulldog of an attorney with a great deal of experience in keeping dangerous drivers on the streets.

Hines’ EMT certificate, #E030577, has not been revoked, and probably is not under review.

The writer goes on to note that Hines is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 17th.

And yes, it did slide under my radar, even though I’ve been following this case and scan the news for anything bike-related several times a day. So a big thanks for forwarding this information.

When I went back to look again after receiving the email, I found a number of stories like this one in the Contra Costa Times, each containing the same news release, virtually word for word, about Hines arraignment for running down a cyclist, then hitting the gas and fleeing the scene. And adding little to the story beyond what you see above.

Credit then, to the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch, which took the time to dig a little deeper into the story — including noting, as we speculated, that Hines reportedly had checked himself into rehab following his initial arrest.

No doubt at the suggestion of the afore mentioned bulldog attorney, Vince Tucci, in the hopes of getting leniency from the court.

Hines faces a maximum of six years and eight months if convicted on the felony DUi and hit-and-run charges; two hours after the collision, his blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit of .08.

“Instead of staying to render aid, he left the victim like common road kill in a pool of blood, and fled the scene…it is egregious,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said last week. “It’s 1 in the afternoon, he’s three times the legal limit. He’s a firefighter, no less, someone whose job it is to aid people in medical distress. It’s not some 18-year-old kid who had too much to drink. He knows better. He should know better.”

He’s released on just $50,000 bail, after the request to increase bail to the same $250,000 amount in the arrest warrant was denied.


LBFD Captain charged with DUI & felony hit-and-run; report on last weekend’s Sunday Funday ride

April 8, 2011

This one slipped under nearly everyone’s radar.

On Friday, April 1st, a cyclist riding in a Seal Beach bike lane was hit by a pickup traveling at roughly 60 mph. The driver, who fled the scene leaving the crumpled victim clinging to life, turned out to be a captain with the Long Beach Fire Department.

And yet the story didn’t break widely until a full week later.

Maybe they thought it was a particularly unfunny April Fool joke.

The still publicly unidentified 48-year old rider was headed east on Westminster Blvd east of Bolsa Chica Street at about 1:30 pm — the L.A. Weekly inexplicably places it at 1:30 am — when he was hit from behind by a Chevrolet truck, catapulting the rider onto the side of the road. According to press reports, he is still hospitalized with major head trauma.

To answer the inevitable question, there’s no report on whether the rider was wearing a helmet. And no, it doesn’t matter — no bike helmet is capable of protecting the wearing in a 60 mph collision.

According to multiple reports, the driver did not stop to check on the injured cyclist. Witnesses followed his truck to a home in Huntington Beach, where 38-year old John Hines was arrested on charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run; he was later released on $50,000 bond.

As it turned out, Hines is not only an LBFD captain, but the son of a retired captain and nephew of the department’s former chief.

Maybe he missed the memo that fire fighters save lives, not take them.

The first report I can find of the collision appeared on a local Seal Beach website the following Monday; not unusual for a story that breaks on the weekend. It identifies the driver only by name, age and place of residence.

The association between Hines and the LBFD first appeared the following day. Yet widespread coverage of the story didn’t occur until the Long Beach Press-Telegram took it up yesterday.

Just what took so long might make a very interesting story.

.………

Late word on the condition of cyclist Adam Rybicki, critically injured in an collision with an allegedly drunk, underage driver early Sunday morning. I won’t share the details, but it sounds like he could use your prayers.

.………

Eric Weinstein joined in on last weekend’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride. I invited him to offer his thoughts on the ride and the route we followed.

About 30 riders assembled in Westwood on Sunday morning for the Crosstown Traffic Ride. Latest in the LACBC rides, this one was lead by Greg (famous LACBC Board member), on a Dahon single speed folder. Many different, average, ordinary people were on this ride, with a multiplicity of bikes: a beach cruiser, an electric, a couple hybrids, a few fixies, and a bunch of road bikes. All suitable for this fun ride exploring the nice easy routes across town. There has gotta be a nicer way than Venice all the way to Downtown for me. And there is!

Sunday Funday riders gathered across from Angelus Temple in Echo Park

The route’s interesting details follow:

We started near the Westwood Federal Building (near to UCLA), turned onto Santa Monica Blvd, then demonstrated the trick of crossing to the opposite very wide sidewalk when the bike lane ends in Century City.

We then road through the Hilton and across Wilshire to North Beverly Hills. That is were the drivers are still BH friendly, and stop at intersections to wave you through first. Amazing.

From there, we took Carmelita across to Doheny at West Hollywood, returning to the Santa Monica Bvld. bike lane where it starts up again. When it ended, we turned north and rode up to Fountain. Fountain is not bad, passing near the Hollywood Bowl and Metro, and crossing the 101 on a quiet bridge. Brian sez “Watch for glass!” as he got one on this stretch.

A stop to fix a flat tire serves as a reminder...

After that, we turned onto the Sunset Blvd bike lane. Nice place and close to Dodger Stadium, if you ever go there. Then right on Park Avenue to Echo Park, around the lake on Glendale Blvd, and a quick jog west on Beverly Blvd before heading south down on Alvarado to MacArthur Park.

Excellent notable lunch stop at Mama’s Hot Tamales. Good, inexpensive, and politically correct, just as I like it. I’ll be back!

(Ed note: Mama’s offers some of the best coffee and tamales west of Downtown. And as for the politically correct part, it’s a non-profit restaurant that trains immigrants to work in the food service industry.)

A few Westward jogs and we’re on the famous 4th Street Bicycle Boulevard. Not a bad way across town, despite what they say about the potholes. After a few miles we turned left at Cochran, then south to 6th street, and kept on going West for awhile. Here’s where it got awkward. When 6th ends, turn left, then right on busy Wilshire for a few blocks to La Cienega. Walk the bikes across, then west to Le Doux, and a quick turn on wonderful Charleville through Beverly Hills.

...to look for rare beauty in unexpected places.

We followed Charleville across all of Beverly Hills. Nice! Where it ends bear left, then right, until you come to the next awkward part at Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City. You have to zoom across with the light, then get up on the same wide sidewalk next to the golf course that we took riding out.

Got that? I really, really like this route across Beverly Hills, but it’s quite hard to find.

Weirdly (to me) the ride dissipated from here towards the end. Almost everyone rode their bike to go on this ride, so they broke off near the end to ride on home. Clearly, this was a ride for people who ride.

You shoulda been on the ride!

Thanks to Greg and the LACBC for organizing this educational ride. Now I know a few nicer routes.

My apologies to Eric for the delay in getting this online due to this week’s breaking news.

..………

A New York cyclist is arrested a nearly getting doored, then chased in a road rage incident by a plain clothes cop who reportedly feared for his own safety. Yeah, a small woman on a bike is a real danger to a cop driving threateningly in an unmarked car.

Maybe it’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to call NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly on the carpet and ask him what the f*** is going on with his department.

..………

Way too many CicLAvia links to include here. I’ll try to catch up with them on my next post later tonight. In the meantime, Joel Epstein says he’s longing for CicLAvia in an insightful HuffPo piece linking Sunday’s event with the fight against obesity and diabetes. And fellow HuffPo writer Aaron Paley says CicLAvia is about overthrowing the tyranny of the automobile.

.………

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg says get involved, get out there on your bike, be visible and make some noise. LADOT is moving forward with bikeways around the city, including an extension of the Orange Line bike path, and wants your opinion on how to build bike lanes on Venice Blvd. LACBC reports on the Tuesday’s Altadena workshop for the new draft county bike plan; the Messenger Online looks at the Monday Topanga workshop. Street-hassel asks if Stephen Box blundered in deciding to head up Budget LA. Seventh Street will soon go on a road diet; the new bike lanes won’t be ready for this weekend’s CicLAvia, but could be there for the next. Congestion due to roadwork related to the 405 expansion offers an opportunity to promote bikes as an effective alternative. The C-Blog looks forward to Sunday’s Queen of the Classics, aka the Hell of the North. A Redondo cyclist will ride 500 miles to call attention to his friend’s rare illness. Confused by Claremont’s double standards and rider-less bike signs. This time, Long Beach’s biking expats are riding for a cause.

The Daily Pilot tells distracted drivers — and cyclists — to pay attention; evidently, it’s a world-wide problem. San Clemente revises a proposed I-5 onramp design after complaints from cyclists. Not surprisingly, Herman Lopez Gonzalez has pleaded not guilty in the Oceanside death of 18-year old David Mendez last month. Ross del Duca of Just Another Cyclist is the new head of VeloReviews. Art of the Group Ride continues its series on the anatomy of a great group ride. Book a room at San Francisco’s Clift Hotel and get use of a Dutch-style bike during your stay. Thursday was Bike to School Day in the City by the Bay.

The Lovely Bicycle says the Urbana bike I reviewed last year would make a perfect hi-vis rainbike, and discusses the problem of female saddle discomfort; maybe that’s why more women don’t ride. Levis introduces a new line of bike-friendly jeans. An introduction to bike riding for beginners, and six tips on how to help your significant other learn to ride. Tucson bike commuting stalls. An Anchorage cyclist’s GPS iPhone app captured his rides throughout the city — including the exact point where he was killed by a car. Edmond OK okays their own three-foot passing law. Evidently, St. Louis-area bikes and bikinis go together after all. Tennessee state senator and triathlete Roy Herron suffers a broken collarbone, handful of broken ribs and a slightly collapsed lung following a Sunday riding accident. Detroit cyclists rediscover a long-forgotten velodrome. A rising New York politician swears he’s pro-bike, but won’t take a stand on bike lanes. When a New Jersey cyclist is hit in a classic right hook, local police can’t figure out the driver is at fault. A writer for the Baltimore Sun says roads weren’t actually made for cars, and says those who can’t watch out for bikes and interact safely with them should seek instruction or stop driving. A drunk driver keeps going after killing father and son cyclists in North Carolina. Zeke says cycling is blooming like spring. New Orleans in suddenly on track to be a leading bike city; take it from me, if they can do it there, it should be easy here. Look ma, no hands — no really, it could be legal in Florida soon. Michelin introduces self-sealing inner tubes.

Tijuana cyclists roll on monthly Friday night Paseo de Todos rides. Now that’s what I call a mostly off-road bike race. Kate and Will gear up for the big day with healthy bike rides. An insightful UK MP calls for more reliance on bikes and less on cars. The City of London gets new public bike pumps. The Guardian asks what’s the best way to pass other traffic. Maybe bikeways wouldn’t suck so much if we had a hand in designing them. David Hembrow looks at the new innovative NACTO bikeway standards, and finds them lacking.

Finally, a Montana legislature actually stands up to defend drunk driving as a traditional way of life; maybe you’d better wear some serious protective devices if you’re planning to ride up there. And the next time you’re stuck behind a bus sucking diesel fumes, you’ll wish you had new First Defense Nasal Screenstm. Wonder if they’d keep my wife from complaining about the dog’s gaseous emissions?

No, seriously, it’s the dog. Honest.


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