These are the stories I hate to write.
Yesterday morning, a rising pro cyclist was killed in a collision with “car full of teenagers” in Highland, CA, northeast of San Bernardino.
Jorge Alvardo, a 27-year old native of Mexico living in Ontario, was on a training ride, riding on the shoulder of southbound Greenspot Road. A car headed north lost control, crossed over to the other side and continued up the west shoulder, apparently hitting Alvarado head on. According to the Press-Enterprise, he died in a field about a half-mile east of Santa Ana Canyon Rd.
The collision occurred at approximately 9:52 am. Drugs and alcohol don’t appear to have been a factor; however, late reports indicate the 18-year old driver was racing with two other cars when he lost control at over 70 mph. Amazingly, no arrests have been made.
Alvarado was one of several cyclists added to the Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team earlier this year, including former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who was later stripped of his victory. The team was founded by former Major Motion and Rock Racing star Rahsaan Bahati, a Compton native and the 2008 U.S. National Pro Champion in Criterium. The team’s Facebook page is rapidly filing with condolence messages.
Condolences to his friends, family and teammates.
Thanks to the Trickster for the heads-up.
Update: The latest news from the Press-Enterprise says the collision occurred at 9:45 am. Rather than “a car full of teenagers,” there was one passenger in the car that hit Alvarado, driven by 18-year old Patrick Roraff; all three cars were driven by seniors from a local, as yet unnamed, high school.
According to VeloNews, Floyd Landis and Bahati Foundation CEO notified Alvarado’s brother of the death, as of this morning, he was still trying to notify their parents in rural Mexico.
Alvarado won the recent UCLA Road Race and finished 5th in the Redlands Classic Pro/Am Criterion, and was scheduled to compete in the Dana Point Grand Prix this weekend.
Team Director Rick Crawford summed it up in the VeloNews story.
“For the love of God, you don’t want to wait until someone is gone to let someone know how you felt about them,” said Crawford.
“If there’s anything positive about this, it’s that he was on top when his life ended,” said Crawford. “He was winning races and he was on the team and loving it.”
Read more at VeloNews.
Update: The Press-Enterprise has posted a more detailed report online.
On the other side of the country, Boston cyclists have suffered a rash of serious collisions, with at least one fatality.
A 22-year old cyclist described by his father as “very, very safe” rider was killed in a collision with an MTA bus. The incident evidently occurred when he struck trolley tracks embedded in the street, throwing him under the bus.
The stories absurdly note that he was not wearing a helmet; for anyone unclear on the subject, a helmet will not save anyone’s life if they get run over by a bus.
These incidents may have happened on the other side of the country or far from L.A. in San Bernardino County, but they offer a warning to cyclists everywhere.
This time of year, people seem to be focused more on enjoying the spring weather and less on driving safely. I’ve noticed it lately on my own rides, as I find myself dodging far more cars and having more close calls than usual.
So be careful out there.
Drivers may not be watching for you. So you have to be watching for them.
Thanks to Peter for more information on the Boston collisions. And note that I try not to use the word accident — virtually every collision involves unsafe road conditions, or carelessness or traffic violations on someone’s part.