Morning Links: Graphic testimony in the case of a fallen PCH cyclist; riding the Reseda protected bike lanes

It’s been just over a year since John Greg Colvin was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding on PCH in Laguna Beach.

Last week, a preliminary hearing was held for the driver, Dylan Rand-Luby, on charges of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for driving over a mile from the scene before stopping, despite a windshield too shattered to even see through.

A source, who prefers to remain anonymous, reports on the hearing from inside the courtroom.

Warning — some of the information presented in the hearing was very graphic. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you may want to skip to the next section.

Dylan Thomas Rand-Luby’s preliminary hearing was Tuesday morning, and surprisingly, the word “texting” never came up. The word “objection,” on the other hand, popped up a couple dozen times like a poorly written comedy.

A witness in a vehicle traveling behind Rand-Luby’s Prius in the #2 lane had just moved over into the #1 lane to pass him. When the witness glanced at his rear-view mirror, he saw a bicyclist’s body going onto the hood of the Prius, and then up and over. Despite the shock, the witness immediately scanned the roadway to see where he could pull over. He was unable to move into the #2 lane, because Rand-Luby was accelerating. Alarmed, the witness told his confused wife to call 911 (she hadn’t seen the actual collision, and as you might imagine, had to be told several times why to call 911.) Meanwhile, Rand-Luby had rolled down his driver’s side window in order to see the road. He was clearly terrified, and yelled, “I have to pull over!” But he didn’t pull over until he reached the El Morro School parking lot, over a mile down the road; the distance surprised the witness, who followed him into the parking lot. Rand-Luby was crying, trembling and covered in shards of glass as he stepped out of his car and approached the witness, who hugged him and told him that 911 was already on the way to help.

Another witness had been in the #2 lane when Rand-Luby came up behind her. His tailgating led her to believe he was distracted, and she was so nervous that she sped up to create distance. In her rearview, she saw the Prius drift to the right, hit the cyclist, then swerve to the left and accelerate. She had merged into the #1 lane, and upon observing the shattered windshield as the Prius passed her in the #2 lane, she grabbed her cell phone to call 911.

A young Department of Fish & Wildlife officer in a marked DFW vehicle was traveling northbound in the #2 lane and hit the brakes upon approach to the scene. He immediately parked in the lane, activated his emergency lights, and ran to the victim. Bike parts and clothing were strewn on the shoulder. A woman at the scene identified herself to him as a nurse, and as the DFW officer had no advanced first aid training, he allowed the nurse to provide care, and returned to his vehicle to contact dispatch.

Within minutes, LBPD was on the scene. The first arriving officer observed the road shoulder littered with bike debris, and two Good Samaritans, one in scrubs, attending to the victim, who was bleeding about the face, head and arm. One swollen arm indicated a fracture. The officer attempted to initiate chest compressions, but the victim’s ribcage was no longer intact. The officer identified Mr. Colvin by his Road ID.

The lead investigator, who testified, is a cyclist himself. When the defense pressed him about his qualifications to assess whether the friction mark left by Colvin’s rear tire was actually created by a bicycle, he first mentioned his familiarity with bicycles, and road bikes especially, and then listed his pertinent professional training as an investigator.

The defense suggested, without much success, that perhaps the victim had been riding to the left of the solid white line that delineates the shoulder. Don’t know what she was getting at there?… She, and the paid criminal investigator, made a big deal about the overgrown shrubbery encroaching a little bit into the right side of the shoulder. It can’t be helpful for the defense to insinuate that the victim may have been lawfully riding in the #2 lane, and would therefore have been even more visible to a motorist approaching from behind. But there you go, excellent strategy. The defense’s own investigator also made a big deal about the thirteen “NO PARKING ANY TIME” signs between the point of impact & the school parking lot, suggesting that Rand-Luby did, in fact, pull over at the first lawful opportunity. Naturally the defense skipped over the part about Rand-Luby’s inability to actually see these signs.

In sending the case to trial, the judge cited separate witnesses who corroborated Rand-Luby’s sudden acceleration immediately upon hitting the victim, and she agreed with the prosecutor that operating a motor vehicle with a completely opaque windshield for over a mile on a highway with a 50mph speed limit is certainly an aggravating circumstance. The judge also denied the defense’s request to reduce the hit and run charge to misdemeanor.

Rand-Luby, who was just 19 at the time of the collision, faces up to four years in prison if he’s convicted.

………

It’s not always easy to get from one part of this vast city to another, especially on two wheels.

Which means most LA riders haven’t had a chance to try out the new protected bike lanes on Reseda Blvd. Or even know they exist, for that matter.

Reader danger d makes up for that with a video tour of the full length of the northbound lane, including a lingering look at the sidewalk treatments and outdoor furniture that make up the city’s first Great Street.

………

Way too much news to wrap up the Tour de France, which ended Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Élysées.

After weathering three weeks of doubt and abuse, not to mention comparisons to He Who Must Not Be Named, Chris Froome rolled into Paris as the winner of the Tour de France; maybe he should have crossed the finish line in a yellow polka dot jersey. He also explains why he keeps his head down when he rides. But that doesn’t explain his awkward elbows-out cycling form.

The BBC asks where Froome ranks in the pantheon of British bike racing. Peter Sagan wins his fourth green jersey in a row as the Tour’s best sprinter, while Alberto Contador has no regrets after failing to win a rare Giro – Tour double.

Here are the full standings in every category at the end of the race, which ended with a bang — and a shooting.

Bicycling talks to the man behind the spectacular artworks carved into farm fields at the Tour. The Wall Street Journal offers video of the crazed fans atop the Alpe D’Huez, while Cycling Weekly offers a GoPro view from inside the peloton.

And a writer for Forbes explains how pro cycling’s 6.8 kilo rule leads to more innovation.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen wins the rain-soaked women’s La Course preceding the final stage of the Tour. A racer looks at the misconceptions that have kept women from having more than a token race before the finish of the Tour de France. But while progress has been made, women’s racing still has a long way to go.

………

Local

KPCC looks at bike commuting in the City of Angels, while NPR rides with LA’s Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club.

Rick Risemberg says when it comes to city councilmembers blocking bike lanes, just sue ‘em. Couldn’t agree more. Any lawyers out there want to volunteer?

CiclaValley rides the LA area’s equivalent of Alp d’Huez.

Glendale votes to build parks and extend the bike path along the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk.

 

State

Ride too far on San Diego’s Mission Trails, and you could be cuffed and busted by armed Marines, and your bike seized as evidence.

The owner of a bike rental shop in San Diego’s Pacific Beach complains about the city’s bikeshare program competing with his business. Even though bikeshare is intended for short-term rentals, and could bring more customers to his shop.

San Carlos-based Beeline Bikes receives financing to take their mobile bike repair shops nationwide.

The library bike movement spreads to San Francisco.

Bicycles and riders of every description flock to Oakland’s Jack London Square for the city’s Pedalfest.

A Bay Area hit-and-run driver tries to cover-up the crime after hitting a cyclist. Literally.

The managing editor of the Stockton paper calls for peace and consideration on the streets after getting an unwanted shower while riding. And is just glad it was Gatorade instead of something else.

Sacramento police discover most bike thieves are habitual criminals. Which really shouldn’t shock anyone.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to buy a saddle, while Treehugger asks if we really need all those gadgets on our bikes. Surprisingly, most bikes still function even without Strava and GPS.

Plans are underway to encircle Detroit with a 26-mile bike and pedestrian path, although an 8.3 mile gap still needs to be plugged.

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? A New Mexico mountain biker drove himself to the hospital after being impaled through the neck with a tree branch.

A Texas woman calls for locks on bus bike racks after her bicycle was stolen. Suggested solutions range from locks where the key stays in the lock until used, to a solenoid controlled by the driver.

Chicago is transforming a roadway into a three-block long shared street accommodating bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

After a Pittsburgh-area woman accuses a road raging driver of pushing her off her bike, he claims they were the ones harassing him and she just fell off her bike as he ran screaming towards her. Sure, let’s go with that.

Bikeyface has lane envy.

 

International

Winnipeg’s anti-bike councilors aren’t giving up, despite the city’s adoption of an aggressive bike and pedestrian plan.

A Brit pedalcab operator says he was justified in charging a pair of tourists the equivalent of $320 for a one-mile trip because he was riding uphill. Most of the peloton didn’t make that much per mile riding up Alp d’Huez.

A Welsh hotel is going out of its way to make bike tourists feel at home.

After a similar video appeared online last month showing a Brit cyclist being pushed off his bike from a moving car, some Irish jerks film themselves pushing over a bike rider as they drive by. Seriously, there’s not a jail cell dark enough or a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

Over 150 cyclists will race across India in six-member teams to promote amateur cycling.

An Aussie writer questions whether bicycling is really in decline in the county.

 

Finally…

If you’re wanted on an outstanding warrant and carrying drug paraphernalia on your bike, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

A YouTube video looks at the tragic plight of the bicyclists’ nearest living relative, the endangered North American biped.

And in a must watch video, a bike-riding Aussie TV host makes some strong points with tongue planted firmly in cheek, telling drivers “don’t be a wanker.” Update: As mwandaw points out below, this video is no longer online. Let’s hope it comes back soon.

Seriously, this could be the best five minutes of your day.

 

3 comments

  1. mwandaw says:

    Sorry but clicking on the “Don’t be a Wanker” button gets you a “This video is not available” message. I clicked on the link that goes to the original article on road.cc, but the results were the same. I ever searched YouTube.com with no luck.

    Too bad! I was looking forward to “…the best five minutes…” of my day!

  2. Brian says:

    Looks like the link to the story about the British pedalcab operator is incorrect. It appears to be pointing to the same place as the story about the Irish idiots pushing someone over from in their car.

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