Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Newsworthy Bikes, for all the Wrong Reasons...

By now you are probably aware of the riots that started in London, and have since spread to other cities in England. Check out the IbikeLondon blog for a story about how bicycles are/were being used by the rioters to get around and spread their violence. It seems that the bicycle's speed and maneuverability in the crowded urban landscape is a good thing, not just for law-abiding citizens, but for others intent upon violence as well. Riders would search out areas free of police presence, report the information to the rioters, and the mayhem would spread to new areas quicker than law enforcement could react.

A little closer to hand, I read of three incidents which occurred in Claremont recently. First, on July 27, an elderly woman was hit and knocked to the ground by a man riding a bike, suffering injuries serious enough to require transport to a local hospital. The story in the local paper is a bit confusing and short on information. The victim was apparently walking along 1st Street, toward Harvard Ave, according to the story; yet further along it says the bicyclist was riding north on Harvard. Perhaps the woman had finished walking toward Harvard, and was crossing that street at the time she was hit. Anyway, no additional information on what became of the bicyclist; did he stay at the scene, or was it a hit-and-run?

The second incident (which actually occurred in June, and I am not sure why it is just now being reported) a man riding a bicycle sexually assaulted a woman in Claremont. A witness scared the perp away, leaving his bike behind in the process. Police took possession of a blue Pacific Talon as evidence, and report that similar crimes have recently occurred in other local communities.

In a third incident (and again, the information given is a bit sketchy), a cyclist traveling east on Foothill Blvd was it by a vehicle exiting the Buca di Beppo parking lot. Since the restaurant is located on the north side of Foothill, this suggests to me that the cyclist was traveling against traffic, or on the sidewalk, not recommended in either case. The cyclist suffered only minor injuries and refused treatment. Avoid the same, by traveling with traffic, and off the sidewalk, where you can be seen.

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