Archive for June 30, 2012

Eastside Independence Day, an Orange Ride, a celebration in South L.A and the Beverly Thrills Ride

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

Ride in the El Sereno Independence Day Parade with the Eastside Bike Club on Saturday, June 30th, followed by a concert and fireworks. Meet at 1 pm at the El Sereno Library, 5226 S. Huntington Drive to decorate bikes.

Explore the newly opened Orange Line Bike Path Extension with a medium-paced ride starting at the Valley Bikery, 14416 Victory Blvd. The ride assembles at 10 am, and departs at 10:30 am sharp; riders are encouraged to wear orange or dress as orange things.

The LACBC’s Sunday Funday rides take place on the first Sunday of every month, with the next ride scheduled for Sunday, July 1st. This month’s ride will be led by popular L.A. cyclist and blogger Will Campbell in cooperation with yours truly, with a special guest appearance by Mark Elliot of Better Bike, as we explore the mean streets, proposed bike routes and fascinating trivia of the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. The moderately paced, one-of-a-kind Beverly Thrills Ride will meet at 9 am and roll promptly at 9:30 am in front of the statue of John Wayne at 8484 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills.

Sunday, July 1st, Shuntain Thomas, the Real Rydaz and We Are Responsible People (WARP) will host a ride through the streets of South Los Angeles to raise attention to the problem of childhood obesity and streets as recreational space. The ride starts at 10 am at Exposition Park, and ends at a street festival from 10 am to 4 pm at Manchester Square, 86th Street and Vermont Avenue.

The next BPIT (Bike Plan Implementation Team) meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 10th in the California Bear Credit Union Community Room (first floor adjacent to Broad Plaza) at Caltrans District 7 Headquarters, 100 South Main Street, time to be announced.

The Antelope Valley’s High Desert Cyclists hosts a series of monthly Brunch Rides on the second Saturday of each month. The comfortably paced 15 to 20 mile rides will visit a local restaurant or coffee shop for brunch before returning to the starting point; organizers promise no rider will be left behind. The next ride is scheduled for Saturday, July 14th, starting at Forrest E. Hull Park, and riding a relatively easy 16.5 miles round trip to Foxy Landing Restaurant at William J. Fox airfield north of Lancaster.

with successive rides scheduled for August 11th, September 8th and October 13th.

Sunday, July 15th marks the opening reception for Country and City: Art by Rick Cummings and Joe Linton from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Barbara Mendes Gallery at 2701 S. Robertson Blvd. As you may know, Joe Linton is an exceptional artist in addition to being one of L.A.’s leading bike — and river — advocates, while Rick Cummings is Art Director at ARC School of Hope.

The 2012 GranFondo Cannondale Los Angeles rolls on Sunday, July 15th starting at Saddlerock Ranch at Malibu Family Wines31727 Mulholland Highway, offering rides of 40 and 75 miles; registration closes at 9 pm on Friday, June 8th.

Stately Pasadena will be invaded with cyclists when the Pasadena edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia settles in for a weekend of biking events, starting with a two day expo at Pasadena City Hall, followed by rides of 29, 64 and 83-ish miles on Sunday. It all takes place Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd; registration closes Wednesday, July 18th.

Also on Saturday the 21st, the High Desert Cyclists will bike to San Buenaventura State Beach for a beachfront barbeque; three starting points offer rides of 35 to 80 miles, arriving at the beach between noon and 1 pm. The ride is one way, so you’ll need to arrange transportation back to your starting point.

On Saturday, July 28th, join Wolfpack Hustle — yes, the cycling team that beat a jet to Long Beach — for the Midnight Drag Race: Codename “The Final Effin Sayso” as single speed cyclists race through Downtown’s famed 2nd Street tunnel. Sign-up starts at 10:30 at 2nd and Hill Street, with the first heats beginning at 11 pm.

Also on the Saturday 28th, the Mountains Restoration Trust and Heal the Bay offer a second opportunity to restore critical riparian habitats within Malibu Creek State Park by riding to sites that are too far to hike to. Mountain bikers — or anyone capable of riding a dirt fire road — are invited to join them on at Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Road; bring your sunscreen and be ready to work. I’m told the first event was very successful, and everyone had a great time.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Civic Engagement Committee at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 31st, at a location to be determined. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.

The 4th Annual California Tour de Dreams 2012 will take place August 9th through 19th as cyclists will ride 540 miles from UC Berkeley to UCLA to educate communities about the passage of the California Dream Act and advocate for passage of the Federal Dream Actregister online by May 31st.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Sunday, September 2nd marks your chance for fixed gear glory with the Lord of Griffith IV, a climbing, three lap track bike/fixed gear race in and around Griffith Park.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic invites you to ride down Highway 1 to raise funds for a cure. The ride rolls 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles from Sunday, September 9th to Sunday the 16th; a two-day option is also available on Saturday, the 15th and Sunday the 16th.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Mark your calendar for the next CicLAvia from 10 am to 3 pm on October 14th; more details to follow.

Now here’s a great idea for a ride. The Arthritis Foundation is teaming with one of the L.A. area’s favorite Cuban bakeries and cafés to offer the first ever Tour de Porto’s starting at 8:30 am on Sunday, October 28th. The ride starts at Porto’s in Glendale, travels a short distance to the Burbank Porto’s, then down the L.A. River Bike Path to the restaurant’s Downey location. If the entry fee includes a Cubano or Medianoche, count me in.

Will Campbell ups the Sunday Funday ante with this weekend’s Beverly Thrills Ride

So what are you doing Sunday morning?

One of the more enjoyable duties expected of an LACBC board member is to lead one of the popular Sunday Funday Rides.

In other words, we get to plan out a ride and spend a pleasant L.A. morning exploring this megalopolis we call home with a group of equally pleasant cyclists of every possible description.

Tough duty, I know.

And this Sunday is my turn.

On the other hand, I’ve always wanted to join in on one of the great rides lead by popular cyclist, blogger and big-hearted budding animal control officer Will Campbell.

If you’ve never been on one of his rides — and you can count me among that unfortunate group — you’ve missed out on what I’m told are some of the most entertaining bike rides in this City of Angels. And led by a native Angeleno — and survivor of the highly explosive Beverly Hills High — with a knowledge of local trivia unmatched by anyone, anywhere.

Or so I’m told.

Seemed like a no-brainer to me.

And just like that, Will graciously agreed to lead what will forever hence be known as the Beverly Thrills Ride, exploring the facts, fiction, food and fallacies of the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. The famous and infamous, the silly, salacious and sanctimonious sides of the city paved, figuratively at least, in Swarovski.

It starts at the incongruously placed statue of John Wayne at 8484 Wilshire Blvd, on the eastern end of the Flynt Enterprises building, home to videos and publications guaranteed to make the Duke blush. Maybe that’s why Wayne seems to be riding off, if not into the sunset, at least away.

The ride assembles at 9 am and departs sharply at 9:30 for what Will describes as an easy to moderate three hour ride with just a few gradual inclines.

In fact, the steepest climbs will undoubtedly be in disposable incomes, as we traverse from what passes for the poor part of the city where the hoi polloi huddle to the gold encrusted gates of the rich and fabulous.

And I’m told we can expect a cameo appearance by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, the man almost singlehandedly fighting to make Beverly Hills bike friendly — a task even Don Quixote would consider hopelessly daunting.

It promises to be an exceptionally fun, can’t miss ride. So don’t.

In other words, be there or… well, just be there.

Seriously.

………

Just a few other notes before I settle in for some desperately needed beauty sleep.

No, really.

You haven’t seen me lately. And there’s just not enough left in the budget for Botox before biking to Beverly Hills.

The busy San Gabriel River Bike Path is reopened and rededicated after being resurfaced in Long Beach and Seal Beach.

An Oklahoma driver forces two cyclists off the road, then steals one rider’s bike at make-believe gunpoint — and later tells police she bought it for $20.

And finally, evidently Saudi Arabia takes traffic crimes seriously, as a Saudi man is sentenced to beheading for killing two onlookers while drifting.

I mean, I’ve seen a lot of drivers lose their heads.

But never literally.

A Register writer points the finger, bike crime fighting councilmembers, and a trail full of bike links

The OC Register’s Dan Whiting calls for better etiquette from riders after a couple of roadies yell at a group of children scattered on the wrong side of the Santa Ana River trail.

While yelling at children who may not know any better is never the right thing to do, I question if the parents involved — and Whiting, for that matter — considered the danger uncontrolled children pose to themselves and those around them on shared trails.

Personally, I consider it child endangerment when parents allow their kids to run around on pathways oblivious to the presence of other path users. I’ve gone to the ER myself when I had to lay my bike down to avoid a small boy who darted out in front of my bike with no warning.

Whiting’s explanation is that the cyclists were simply unwilling to slow down. Having been there too many times, I’d suggest it’s far more likely they were worried about a collision that could have sent both them and the children to the hospital.

And responded in a predictable, if inappropriate, manner.

Yes, the situation he describes was a violation of trail etiquette, as well as safety. But he may be pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

While there are no shortage of rude riders — and walkers, drivers, skaters, equestrians and humans in general — as Rashomon makes clear, there are multiple perspectives to every story.

And please, enough with that bike bashing “Lance Armstrong wannabe” crap, already.

Meanwhile, Lovely Bicycle gets it pretty much right on how to share pathways with pedestrians.

………

After dragging on… and on… and on… it looks like we may finally see white smoke on the new federal transportation bill.

Despite rumors that negotiators were going to cave in to the more radical anti-bike and pedestrian elements in Congress — even though 83% of Americans support continued funding, as do over 70 national organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and 13 state governors — at least some protected funding for non-motorized traffic appear to have made it into the final bill.

………

A New York cyclist and bike researcher says it’s insane for the city to offer a bike share program without mandating helmet use, while the city’s CFO calls for mandatory helmet use, but gets the numbers, among other details, wrong.

So let me get this straight. Anyone wanting to rent a bike would have to bring their own helmet, or share one with the all the greasy haired, lice-ridden riders who used it before you?

Count me out.

Besides, there are other ways to keep cyclists safer.

………

Evidently, local politicians are going the extra mile to get the bike vote, as a Santa Cruz city councilmember chases a bike thief during a break in yesterday’s council session. And a Costa Mesa council candidate calls police after spotting a bike thief, leading to his arrest.

The bike thief, not the council candidate.

………

David Hembrow compares L.A.’s new bike plan to the Netherlands and finds it, not surprisingly, lacking. Streetsblog looks behind the scenes at the upcoming, and somewhat questionable, Bike Nation L.A. bike share program. Better Bike reports on the bike studies presented at the LACBC’s recent grad night. KCET Departures rides the L.A. River bike path, while the Orange Line bike path gets a four mile extension. South L.A.’s Real Rydaz are doing more than just getting paint on the street. The Source says potholes are good for nothing and we should get them fixed before they hurt someone; good advice, even if the repair is sometimes worse than the hole. Former BMX rider Stephen Murray still loves the sport that nearly killed him. Local riders prepare for the first Pasadena Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia; thanks to Matthew Gomez for the heads-up. Cyclists from Cal Tech are asking for east-west bikeways through Pasadena. Alhambra moves forward with the city’s first bicycle master plan. A Long Beach company is looking for test riders for their new bike.

AAA’s Westways magazine talks bikes this month. OC Girl Scouts create their own biking map of San Clemente. An allegedly drunk cyclist is seriously injured in a Hemet collision. Inspiring story as a former Camarillo CHP officer qualifies for the Paralympics cycling team five years after his spinal cord was severed by a drunk driver. A San Luis Obispo woman intentionally runs down a cyclist following an argument in a parking lot. Six women cyclists will ride the Tour de France course one day ahead of the men. Sunnyvale could be the third city to pass an L.A.-style bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance. A San Francisco attorney is charged with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor manslaughter for leaving a cyclist to die in the street; at least he shouldn’t have trouble getting a lawyer. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the Strava racing San Francisco cyclist charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian, and follows-up by answering questions about the case in detail. A 68-year old Sonoma cyclist was killed last week in an apparent SWSS after reportedly signaling for a left, then making his turn directly into the path of a big rig coming from behind.

Bicycling looks at Americans riding in this year’s Tour de France; we’re not so parochial as to only cheer for our fellow countrymen, are we? Bicycling’s Bill Strickland falls in love with the new, nearly $12,000 Trek Madone. Washington AAA now offers bike assistance; if they’d do that down here, I might reconsider renewing my membership — if they promise not to use my dues to lobby against bike safety legislation. American cycling scion Taylor Phinney takes his appointment to the U.S. Olympic team seriously. One Colorado highway, three world-class bike parks. The Colorado wildfires force postponement of a mountain bike race in my hometown, but don’t seem to affect the city’s Bike to Work Day. A Knoxville cyclist is sideswiped, then beaten by an angry driver — apparently for touching the car to keep his balance. A Louisiana man pleads not guilty to killing one cyclist and critically injuring another, despite a BAC of .307. Twitter gets a writer’s bike back just hours after it was stolen. Good news for New York drivers, as it’s still legal to kill a cyclist with your car door. Our North Carolina friend Zeke has lost his cycling mojo; any suggestions on how to get it back would likely be appreciated.

Bike advocates head to Vancouver for Velo-City. The Toronto Sun calls mandatory helmet laws a no-brainer; so is finding a new editorial writer if they can’t get past that tired no-brainer cliché. Or maybe the solution is to require helmets for drivers. A group of 25 Canadian opera singers are biking around the country to promote their art. Bookmark this page — a UK cyclist offers an extraordinarily detailed response to virtually every objection a motorist could have to bike riders. British bike traffic is up 18%. NBC re-ups to cover the Tour de France for another 10 years. An Aussie Olympic cyclist gets a slap on the wrist after being convicted of drunk driving in Spain. A German physician guesses there’s a high rate of drunk cycling crashes in his town. Here’s your chance to compete in a one day race in the Himalayas against the prince of Bhutan; one word of advice, it’s not always a good idea to finish ahead of the local royalty.

Finally, the Economist looks at the great Agenda 21 conspiracy in which a single sidewalk or bike lane will inevitably lead to one-world government.

They’re on to us, comrades.

Update: Cyclist killed in Huntington Beach hit-and-run; arrest made in nearby Seal Beach

A bad month for SoCal cyclists just got that much worse when a cyclist was killed in a Huntington Beach hit-and-run late this morning.

According to the Orange County Register, the collision occurred around 11:40 Friday morning on northbound PCH between Seapoint Street and Warner Avenue. The rider, who has been identified only as an adult male, was pronounced dead at the scene.

No details on how the crash occurred are available at this time. However, a commenter on the Register story says they heard the impact, and turned to see the rider flying through the air and skidding over 100 feet, suggesting a high speed hit-from behind collision.

Satellite photos show a long stretch of roadway with only limited access, while the street view reveals a marked shoulder next to a four lane highway, with a 60 mph speed limit. It’s possible the driver may have drifted onto the shoulder, or the cyclist could have been forced into the traffic lane by a parked car or some other obstruction.

But we won’t know until additional information becomes available.

The good news — if there can be good news in a story like this — is that a suspect was arrested about an hour later in nearby Seal Beach.

According to KTLA-5, a man lost control of a 2011 Hyundai and crashed on Westminster Blvd between Bolsa Chica and Seal Beach Blvds. Police investigating the collision discovered the car matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run, and took the driver into custody.

However, KCBS-2 says police were following the suspect by helicopter, and arrested the driver when he ran off the road.

This is the 27th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County. The cyclist was also the sixth SoCal rider killed by hit-and-run since the first of the year, and the seventh to die this month.

My prayers for the victim, and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Lois, David Huntsman and Weshigh for the heads-up.

Update: KTLA-5 has identified the victim as 63-year old Roger Michael Lippman of Huntington Beach, listed as a rider in last year’s Palm Desert and Stagecoach Centuries

KNBC-4 confirms that the driver hit Lippman from behind; aerial video shows Lippman’s body covered by a tarp on the right shoulder next to his crumpled bike. The web version of the story shows the bloodied face of the suspect driver, while the embedded video shows the crumpled front end and shattered windshield of the car he was driving, which was registered to a 59-year old Anaheim woman.

Meanwhile, the Times identifies the driver as 27-year old Joel Alexander Murphy of Mission Viejo. A comment from reliable source TQ reports that Murphy has been booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses, including DUI, dating back to 2005.

And yet, despite all that, he was still behind the wheel.

I’ve also seen unconfirmed reports that Murphy was racing another vehicle at speeds up to 80 mph when he ran off the road and murdered hit Lippman. 

Hopefully, this will be the last time he’s ever allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

Nordhoff hit-and-run victim identified; city to offer $50,000 reward

Two weeks after a cyclist was killed in an early morning hit-and-run on Nordhoff Street, we finally know the name of the victim.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the rider who was run down on Nordhoff Street on Friday, June 8th was 76-year old Northridge resident Paul Albert Helfen, who appears to own a number of properties in the Valley.

So let’s get this straight.

At 76, Helfen was healthy enough to be out riding at 2 am — and doing everything right, according to the police. And some coward not only runs him down, but leaves him lying there to die in the street.

Nice.

Fortunately, this city is taking this one seriously.

Friday morning — two weeks to the day after Helfen was murdered — city and police officials will announce  that the City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the heartless SOB driver of the 2007 – 2012 Nissan Sentra that killed him.

Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Bicyclist Dead $50,000 Reward Offered

WHAT:
Press conference to announce a $50,000 reward motion leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who caused the death of a 76-year-old cyclist.

WHEN:
Friday, June 22, 2012, 10:15 A.M.

WHERE:
Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber
200 North Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Room 340 Los Angeles, CA 90012

WHO:
Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Council District 12
Captain Ivan Minsal, Commanding Officer, Valley Traffic Division Detective William F. Bustos, Officer-in-Charge Valley Traffic Detectives Family members of Victim Paul Albert Helfen

WHY:
To announce a $50,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver who killed 76-year-old Paul Albert Helfen.

•Visuals will include a photograph of Mr. Helfen.

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $50,000 reward for anyone who will come forward with information that will help LAPD Valley Traffic Division Detectives solve a case of a fatal hit-and-run collision.

On Friday, June 8, 2012, at approximately 2:00 A.M., Valley Traffic officers responded to investigate a traffic collision involving a bicyclist near Nordhoff Street and Gaviota Avenue in the community of North Hills. The investigation revealed that Mr. Paul Albert Helfen, 76-years-of-age, was riding his bicycle eastbound on the south side of Nordhoff Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle. Mr. Helfen died at the scene as a result of suffering serious injuries during the collision.

The investigation has revealed that the possible hit and run vehicle is a 2007 through 2012 Nissan Sentra. The hit and run driver fled without stopping to render aid to Mr. Helfen or to identify himself or herself in accordance with the law.

Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of the driver or hit and run vehicle, are asked to contact Valley Traffic Detectives at (818) 644-8000 or (877) LAPD 24-7.

Address/Location
LAPD – VALLEY TRAFFIC DIV.
7870 Nollan Place
Panorama City, CA 91402

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 818-644-8000

This is the highest reward I’m aware of for the hit-and-run of a Southern California cyclist.

Maybe it will be enough to bring Helfen’s killer to justice.

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul Helfen.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg and Sam Ebnet for the heads-up.

Dangerous driver alert, cyclist critically injured in West LA, and your fresh summer solstice links

I received the following email last night, urging cyclists to be on the lookout for a dangerous driver who continues to drive despite a restricted — and possibly suspended — license.

And despite seriously injuring a cyclist in a collision late last month.

URGENT -Dangerous Driver Alert If you ride the Rockstore Loop you should be very concerned. (Agoura Road, Cornell Road, Mulholland Between Cornell & Lake Vista Dr.)

The Vehicle: 2012 Red Hyundai Elantra License 6TLN???* Damage to right front & right side. Missing right side mirror.

On 5/30/2012 @ 6:30 AM Local Cyclist Richard Harris sustained serious injuries and was Life Flighted to UCLA when he was run down from behind by a 45 MPH car while riding in the bike lane on Cornell Road � mile N of Mulholland. The 88 year old Driver of the car lives in Malibu Lake and is continuing to drive even though she has a restricted and possibly suspended license. She regularly drives back and forth between Malibu Lake & Agoura. This driver has been involved in multiple serious accidents in the last six months. The DMV has already been notified by the CHP that she needs a priority reexamination of her license. However she continues to drive in violation if the restrictions placed on her. If you see her driving call 911 so the CHP can impound her car.

*I’ve removed the last three digits of the license number to protect the online privacy of the driver; if you see a car matching that description with the first four digits of the license, contact the police and let them determine if it’s the right car.

And whatever you do, don’t try to deal with the situation yourself.

Thanks to Michael Byerts, Henry Hsieh and Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

………

A UC Berkeley and Santa Monica College student is critically injured in a collision with an SUV while riding her bike home last week. Tragically, her mother and sister discovered her lying in the street no more than a minute after the collision; she’s reportedly doing well, despite suffering life-threatening injuries.

………

Once again, the great helmet debate rears its ugly head. This time in our neighbor to the north.

No, further north.

The Ontario, Canada chief coroner gets it right by saying all of the 129 cycling deaths in the province since 2006 could have been prevented. And responds by calling for a 14-point plan to prevent bicycling deathsincluding a mandatory helmet law.

And that’s where the argument starts.

A writer for the National Post says prove helmets are effective before making them mandatory, while Quebec pediatricians call for a law mandating helmet use for children.

The Toronto Star says the coroner is right, while a Toronto writer likes most of the suggestions, except for that damn helmet law. Windsor cyclists say it’s a matter of choice; the local paper calls for better education — and maybe mandatory helmets. The Ottawa Citizen says it should be an adult’s choice, which is exactly my take on the subject, even though I never ride without one.

Meanwhile, cyclists call for easing British Columbia’s helmet law, while a letter writer says they must be brain dead. The Daily News says repealing the law would send the wrong message, noting the outcry that would occur if the requirement to wear a seat belt was withdrawn.

Then again, unlike bike helmets, seat belts are designed to offer protection in crashes above 12.5 mph.

And an Anchorage AK writer suggests bike lanes would do more to make riders safe than requiring — or even wearing — helmets.

………

The San Francisco cyclist charged with killing a pedestrian while allegedly trying to beat his time on Strava enters a not guilty plea. Meanwhile, the family of a fallen cyclist files suit against Strava for encouraging dangerous riding. And Strava changes their terms and conditions to absolve themselves of any responsibility for anything anyone does using their service; good luck with that.

And Dave Moulton wisely advises riders not to play pretend racer on city streets — and somehow does it without using the words jerk, idiot or anything derived from four-letter words; I’m not sure I could show that kind of restraint.

………

Bike share takes to the streets in Salt Lake City and New York, where the Post calls it a money-wasting crazed campaign backed by cycling-advocate groups and their stooges.

………

The bikelash rises in an attempt to stop a planned road diet on Honolulu Ave in Glendale, so City Council members delay a decision until July 10th. A writer for Patch explains the arguments for and against.

………

As noted here last week, Heal the Bay and Mountains Restoration Trust are calling for mountain bikers to help clean up sections of Malibu Creek State Park to remote to reach on foot this Saturday. The LA Sheriff Cycling Team hosts 350 riders for the second annual Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. The long awaited Main Street bike lanes are on their way, while the Source questions whether it’s legal to park in them; short answer, not in Los Angeles, where parking in bike lanes in banned by local ordinance — even if the police don’t seem to know that. Over 200 riders took part in this year’s L.A. World Naked Bike Ride. L.A. riders recreate the famous flying bike scene from E.T. — without the flying, of course. Letter writers to the Times call for protecting pedestrians from cyclists, although one notes that you can’t blame all riders for the actions of a few. Richard Risemberg discovers the Graffiti Bridge. Four Santa Monica schools will take part in the Safe Routes to Schools program.

A harrowing report on a left-cross collision from Orange County’s cdmCyclist; oddly, the badly injured rider found a link to his own collision right here. San Clemente is seeking funding to develop smart bicycling signs riders can scan with a cell phone to get local information. A San Diego writer says biking in that city means literally risking his life, while another is stunned to discover cyclists have a right to use the whole lane. Two San Mateo men are charged with deliberately running two boys off the road, as well as threatening them with a knife. Three years in San Quentin and a lifetime driving ban for a Saratoga hit-and-run driver with one prior DUI. Sadly, the retiring Sonoma State University professor severely injured by a hit-and-run driver — who said he didn’t stop because he had to get to work — has died of his injuries. A not guilty plea from an accused Bay Area hit-and-run driver with three prior DUIs; why is someone with a record like that even allowed on the road? BART police arrest a Major bike thief.

AASHTO, the national association of state departments of transportation, updates its guidelines but leaves out cycle tracks. A Portland cyclist credits the movie 127 Hours with inspiring him to climb back up a ravine with a broken neck, eight broken ribs and both lungs punctured after he rode off the road at 41 mph. Grim stars join in on Portland’s partly naked bike ride. Issaquah firefighters buy a new bike for a 4th grade boy after his is broken by a careless driver. In a bizarre twist, a Washington town may not be able to afford its mandatory helmet law; thanks again to George Wolfberg for the link. Colorado’s Attorney General seizes $300,000 worth of bogus bike parts and jerseys; this is why you have to be careful about buying from unknown sources. Cyclists are divided on installing a protected bikeway in Lincoln NE. Springfield Cyclist looks back on a successful Ride the Rockies. It’s time to take back the bike lane in Chicago. Dottie of Let’s Go Ride a Bike declares jerk driver season officially open; it takes a real jerk to steal a bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy. The police chief of Grand Rapids MI crashes into two boys on a bike. A New York paper points out pedestrians have little to fear from us pedalists, but everyone has to worry about cars. Why do police always assume a cyclist simply fell over when they find a badly injured rider on the road; sideswiping a rider could also result in serious injuries without damaging the bike.

Canada’s transport minister rejects a requirement for trucks to have side guards to protect cyclists and pedestrians; evidently, saving lives isn’t worth offending the trucking lobby. An Alberta cyclist asks local residents to control their dogs. The Economist says more UK residents are riding bikes, but it’s still a niche activity. London’s Boris Bikes bike share program is swindled out of £42,000. It takes a real schmuck to steal a man’s bike after he suffers a heart attack while riding. A 13-year old UK bike rider is killed by a driver racing his girlfriend at 80 mph, after his car flips and hits two girls riding on a bike path. With more people riding bikes, the Irish Times questions just how safe their streets really are. Even in Israel, deeply observant riders can’t compete in the national championships because their held on the Sabbath.

Finally, your next bicycle could fly; no, really. And a Massachusetts cyclist has his bike and jewelry stolen by a sausage-wielding attacker.

Update: Victorville-area cyclist killed in hit-and-run, 3rd fatal cycling injury in just 24 hours last week

Sometimes I just want to scream.

In the past two days, news has broken about three cycling fatalities in the Southern California Region, each injured in an 18-hour period last week.

This time, it’s the victim of a Victorville hit-and-run who died on Friday, two days after he was run down by a heartless coward and left for dead on the side of the road.

According to the High Desert Daily Press, 27-year old Alabama resident David Epperson was walking his bike on the east side of Ridgecrest Road south of Pebble Beach Drive in Spring Valley Lake, just east of Victorville, around 10:30 pm last Wednesday. A northbound SUV reportedly drifted off the road, striking Epperson and driving off without stopping.

He was airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in critical condition, where he died on Friday.

Judging by the street view photos, there does not appear to be a shoulder or paved sidewalk alongside the roadway, suggesting that Epperson may have been forced to walk in the street. And suggesting that poor road design may have played a part in his death, as well.

Authorities are looking for an early 1990s Ford SUV with possible front-end damage. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Victorville office of the CHP at 760/241-1186 or 800/78-CRIME (782-7463).

This is the 26th cycling fatality in Southern California since the start of the year, and the fourth in San Bernardino County — and the second rider to die of injuries suffered in San Bernardino County last Wednesday. Epperson is also the 5th cyclist to killed by a hit-and-run driver this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for David Epperson and his loved ones.

Update: According to the High Desert Daily Press, CHP investigators have arrested a suspect in the death of David Epperson. 

An anonymous tip directed officers to a home in Victorville, where they found the damaged car and arrested 26-year old Jason Thomas Scott.

The paper reports that Scott was allegedly drunk at the time of the collision, and has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony hit-and-run. He’s currently being held on $250,00. 

Scott has a history of arrests for DUI, disorderly conduct and assault with a deadly weapon. Yet once again, it wasn’t enough to keep him off the roads, and once again, an innocent person pays the price.

It will be interesting to see how authorities make their case that Scott was intoxicated at the time of the collision, since a full week had passed between the wreck and his arrest — more than enough time for any intoxicants to leave his system, or to argue that any substances remaining in his system were taken after the collision. 

Unless he has confessed to being under the influence, or they have witnesses who can attest that he was drinking heavily or taking drugs, the intoxication enhancement seem to be very difficult — if not impossible  — to prove.

Rancho Cucamonga cyclist dies after being found injured on bike trail

Monday was not a good day for badly injured cyclists.

Just hours after Lihsiang Chang passed away in La Jolla on Monday, 51-year old Robert Snedacker of Rancho Cucamonga lost his life after being found laying next to his bike on a noted biking and hiking trail.

A passerby dialed 911 at 8:19 pm last Wednesday after finding Snedecker lying on the Pacific Crest Bike Trail with a head injury; he was pronounced dead just after 10 pm on Monday. No information is available on what caused his injury, and no word on where he was found on the trail or if he was wearing a helmet.

While it seems obvious that he fell while riding, it’s also possible that he could have hit his head on a low branch or other object while riding or suffered a medical condition that caused him to fall, or less likely, that he could have been the victim of violence.

This is the 25th cycling fatality in Southern California this year and the third in San Bernardino County, as well as the sixth solo cycling death since the first of the year. That compares with seven solo bike fatalities in all of 2011.

My prayers for Robert Snedacker and all his family and loved ones.

San Diego cyclist dies five days after solo fall

It isn’t always cars that kill cyclists.

It can be a moment’s inattention, an obstacle in the road, a driver passing too close, or a rider exceeding his or her own ability.

We may never know why Lihsiang Chang fell while riding her bike last Thursday.

All we know is the 54-year old cyclist was riding north in the bike lane on the 11200 block of San Diego’s El Camino Real around 1:45 pm when she somehow lost control of her bike, on what’s described as a steep downhill — even though the road doesn’t look that steep.

She suffered a serious head injury and was placed on life support at a La Jolla hospital. Sadly, Chang was taken off life support yesterday and died around 5 pm.

No other information is available at this time; this is one instance when knowing if she was wearing a helmet might have mattered.

This is the 24th cycling fatality in the seven-county Southern California region this year, and the fifth in San Diego County as they carry over the nearly one-a-month rate of bike deaths from 2011. It’s also the fifth fatal solo collision this year.

My deepest sympathy to Lihsiang’s Chang’s husband and all of her family and loved ones.

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