Archive for Bicycle Safety

Update: Bike rider killed in Santa Clarita hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon

More bad news.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, a man on a bike has been killed in a hit-and-run while riding in Santa Clarita.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was on the 20100 block of Placerita Canyon Road when he was struck by a car just before 4:30 pm. The paper places the collision near a curve just southwest of the entrance to Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

He was declared dead at the scene, his helmet lying nearby.

The paper reports the CHP conducted an intense hunt for the driver in the area; the suspect vehicle is described as a dark gray Mazda 3 with a roof rack and a possible broken windshield.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 53-year old Valencia resident Rod Bennett.

He was riding a blue Eddy Merckx road bike in the far right of the eastbound lane when he was rear-ended by the driver, who continued east as he fled the scene, apparently without stopping or slowing down. 

Update 2: The CHP has updated the description of the suspect vehicle. They are now looking for a Silver Lexus CT 200H; some unconfirmed reports indicate it may have a roof rack and a damaged front bumper.

Meanwhile, the San Fernando Valley News reports Bennett was the band director and math teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School. The site describes him as an avid cyclist, as well as a musician.

Various Facebook posts confirm his interest in cycling, as well as identifying him as a jazz musician who performed around the Valencia area.

Update 3: The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle, apparently taken from a surveillance camera. It appears to show a dark colored car, rather than silver; however, images like that can be deceiving. 

Update 4: According to the Signal, 28-year old Canyon Country resident Lucas James Guidroz was arrested after turning himself in at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station early Friday morning — five hours after the car believed to have been used in the collision was found in Newhall. 

Which gave him nearly 40 hours to sober up if he had been under the influence at the time of the collision. 

He was taken into custody on a single felony count of failing to stop at the scene of a collision causing injury or death.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition says all cyclists on Placerita Canyon encounter distracted drivers, as well as those who appear to intentionally frighten or possibly hurt people on bicycles. 

To which commenters respond by blaming “arrogant” cyclists, apparently for simply existing. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rod Bennett and his loved ones.

Thanks to John H for the heads-up. 

Update: Boy killed killed by trash truck while riding in Newport Beach

Heartbreaking news from Orange County, as a young boy has been killed riding his bike in Newport Beach.

According to multiple sources, the boy was riding his bike at East 15th Street and Fullerton Ave around 1:30 this afternoon when he was struck by a garbage truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Pilot reports he was eight-years old, while other sources list his age as between five and eight. According to KTLA-5, the truck belongs to Stanton-based waste and recycling company CR&R Environmental Services.

The location appears to be a typical residential neighborhood just a few blocks from Newport Heights Elementary School.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Orange County. It’s also at least the 12th in Newport Beach since 2010.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that the boy, who has not been publicly identified, was a third grade student at Newport Heights Elementary. Police say there is no evidence that the driver was impaired or speeding.

Update 2: The Daily Pilot has identified the victim as Brock McCann, a third-grader at Newport Heights Elementary School, whose family lives near where he was killed. 

The paper also places the collision site at 15th and Michael Place, just southeast of the original location. He had apparently gotten out of school just 15 minutes earlier, and was riding or walking his bike home. 

A gofundme account has raised over $44,000 of the $100,000 goal. 

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that three bike riders and three pedestrians were involved in crashes nearby between 2010 and 2015.

And the Orange County Register says the CHP is still looking for witnesses; anyone with information is urged to cal CHP Officer Jeff Jones at 714/567-6000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brock McCann and his family.

Thanks to John Dammann and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Update: Palos Verdes bike rider dies following apparent hit-and-run yesterday

More bad news for Bike to Work Day.

I’ve been informed that a member of the Palos Verdes Bicycle Club has died after an apparent hit-and-run Wednesday morning.

According to club member Jim Lyle, John Bacon had just finished relaxing with a small group of club members at Meyer’s Bakery in the Peninsula Center following a morning ride, and left to ride down the hill to his home.

Sadly, he never got there.

Lyle says Bacon’s daughter told him he was found by another cyclist lying in the street on the 1100 block of Granvia Altamira in Palos Verdes Estates around 9:45 am. He was taken a local hospital, where he passed away today.

However, the Daily Breeze reports police are looking for the driver of a white pickup who was seen on security camera following his bike, though they do not identify Bacon by name.

The driver reportedly stopped after the rider went down and attempted to flag down other people in the area, asking them to call 911, then got back in his truck and drove away.

The Breeze says police will not say whether the truck definitely hit his bike, but want to talk to any occupants to determine what happened.

The truck is described as a white, late 1990s to early 2000s Ford F-150, driven by a heavyset white man, around six feet tall and wearing a blue shirt.

According to Lyle, Bacon was a retired engineer in his late 60s; he describes him as a safe rider who always obeyed stop signs.

I’m told his family is aware of his death and has gathered with friends to mourn.

Anyone with information is urged to call Sgt. Luke Hellinga at 310-378-4211.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 14th in Los Angeles County. It’s third bicycling fatality in the Palos Verdes area this year.

Update: Fox-11 reports Bacon was unconscious when paramedics arrived, and appeared to have suffered a head injury despite his helmet. 

Update 2: Larry Altman of the Daily Breeze offers a nice profile of John Bacon, identifying him as 68-year old John William Bacon III of Torrance. The retired father of three was described as a “very gentle soul” and an extremely safety conscious, 100-mile a week cyclist. 

Altman also reports police have located the driver in question, but haven’t made an arrest. Or even confirmed that he was struck by a vehicle. 

Update 3: According to Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, a cyclist called the police after spotting what appeared to be the truck in question on Thursday, yet they never bothered to respond to the call; the driver finally left on his own without the police ever coming to check it out. 

He also reports that the person who turned himself into the police on Friday did not match the physical description of the driver, and may not have been be the owner of the truck. 

And that since Bacon’s death, four cyclists have come forward to report they had previously been buzzed and harassed by the driver of a truck that matched the description of the suspect vehicle.

Which raises the question of whether this may have been an intentional act that went too far. And whether the police are going to investigate it fairly. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for John Bacon and all his family and friends.

 Thanks to Jim Lyle and Michael C Barr for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Panorama City; police term it a “tragic accident”

Another bike rider has lost his life on our streets, just hours after the annual Ride of Silence honored fallen cyclists.

According to KTLA-5, a person riding a bicycle was struck by a car on Woodman Ave just north of Strathern St. in Panorama City around 5:42 am this morning.

The northbound vehicle then spun out of control and struck several parked cars before coming to rest facing in the opposite direction; the victim’s mountain bike can be seen a short distance away.

The bike rider, who has not been publicly identified in any way, was towing a shopping cart full of recyclables when he or she was struck just minutes before sunrise. There’s no word on how the collision occurred, or whether the bike had lights or reflectors.

Police say the driver was not under the influence, and termed the collision “just a tragic accident.” That’s even though the multiple impacts suggest the driver was moving a high rate of speed; a commenter on Reddit says the car struck a parked truck with enough force to obliterate the bed of the pickup.

This death is even more tragic since it comes on the Bike to Work Day, the one day of the year set aside to honor people on bicycles.

This is the 37th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Los Angeles County; it appears to be the first in Panorama City since 2011.

Update: The Daily News reports the victim was a man in his 20s.

Update 2: Contradicting the earlier report, the Daily News says the investigation is still ongoing, and police are looking into whether speed was a factor; the street has a 35 mph speed limit.

According the story, the victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the right lane while apparently holding his handlebars with one hand and pulling the shopping cart with the other. He was struck from behind by the driver traveling in the same lane, who went in to hit four other vehicles. 

While police don’t advise pulling a shopping cart — or anything else — while riding, the detective in charge of the case noted that the victim had a right to use the full lane, and drivers are required to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance. 

A ghost bike will be placed at the scene at 9 pm Friday.

Update 3: KNBC-4 reports police are looking for a passenger in the car who fled the scene after suffering facial injuries in the collision.

Which raises the question of why someone riding shotgun would run away while the driver stuck around.

Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.

Thanks to Joe Linton and John Morlock for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: The aftermath of a bike collision, bikeshare’s really happening, and cop dogs behaving badly

Great news! We’re now up to 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So who wants to be the next to sign up now or renew your membership and get it up to 20 today? It’s worth it just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get — let alone the difference you’ll help make on our streets and in our communities.

………

Mike Wilkinson, who frequently forwards news tips — and graciously serves as my unpaid proofreader — came upon the immediate aftermath of what thankfully appears to have been a relatively minor bike collision on Monday.

Yesterday while out for my lunch time “blast” I came upon the scene of a collision just a minute after it happened. The photo shows what I saw as I arrived. Look carefully, and you may see that the car’s rear view mirror is broken, and there is a dent above the front wheel.

Collision

I’m not going to write about the details of what I saw and heard. I will say that the things I saw and heard reminded me of the importance of gathering information immediately after any kind of collision, even if the collision seems to be minor. The following items seem important to me:

  1. Get a picture of the other party’s driver’s license.
  2. Take a picture of the other party’s insurance ID.
  3. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, including the licenses plates.
  4. Get contact information from any potential witness.
  5. Don’t say anything about who may be at fault for the crash.

I’m sure that more experienced minds have more comprehensive lists. Remember also that the state of California DMV requires notification for any crash that results in injury, no matter how minor, or damage exceeding $750.

Finally, be careful!

I’ve offered my thoughts on what to do if you’re in a collision here and here, based on my personal experience. And BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass provided expert advice from a bike lawyer’s perspective.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said a crash must be reported to the DMV if there was property damage over $500, rather than $750, and failed to note that injuries must be reported, no matter how minor. 

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Metro’s still unnamed bikeshare system is finally becoming a reality; thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood decides to name its new bikeshare WeHoPedals. Although the rejected WeHoGo name was a lot better. Or maybe even Zuzu’s Pedals.

And Global Green celebrates Bike Month with Santa Monica’s much better named Breeze bikeshare, and the coming of the Expo Line this Friday.

………

Let’s catch up on Bike Months news here in the LA area and around the US.

Commuting on Bike to Work Day is about to get a little easier as a new BikeHub opens in Covina on Thursday.

At least 20 Santa Clarita businesses will compete against one another to see which can get the most employees to ride to work.

An OpEd in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says every month is Bike Month, and education is the key to encouraging more, and safer, bicycling.

A Minneapolis bike commuter offers practical advice on how to do it yourself.

And a Louisiana radio personality explains why he bikes to work. Anyone who names his dog named after a zydeco legend has my undying respect.

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This time it’s a four-legged cop, and a cop’s dog, behaving badly.

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot a CHP officer’s pit bull after the dog bit his 12-year old son as the family was getting ready for a bike ride.

And a Mississippi police dog chewed his way out from under a fence, and bit a boy riding his bike.

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First year pro Giulio Ciccone won the 10th stage of the Giro, while Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels moves into the leader’s jersey. The race now moves into the brutal climbs of the Dolomites, as a writer remembers falling in love with his first Giro.

Twenty-three-year old French rider Julian Alaphillipe won Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California on the slopes of the famed Gibraltar climb above Santa Barbara, dropping American Peter Stetina with an uphill sprint to take the leader’s jersey.

CiclaValley offers some great pictures from Monday’s Stage 2, while a Santa Barbara website posts photos of Tuesday’s Gibraltar finish.

Sacramento is looking forward to the added exposure of hosting the finish of both the men’s and women’s races in the ToC.

Cycling Tips has a preview of the four stage women’s tour, which starts Thursday in South Lake Tahoe. But good luck if you actually want to watch it if you can’t be there in person.

And you’d ride faster if there was a guy in a chicken suit chasing you, too.

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Local

MyFigueroa offers an update on the long-delayed project which will result in what would have been DTLA’s first protected bike lane, if Los Angeles Street hadn’t jumped to the head of the line.

The Daily News looks at tonight’s Ride of Silence in the San Fernando Valley.

The LA Weekly provides a slide show from Sunday’s CicLAvia. Not bad for a publication that wrongly predicted the first one would create a traffic nightmare.

 

State

Westminster’s mayor pro tem recounts the journey to convert a rundown two-mile strip of Hoover Street into a landscaped recreation corridor for biking and walking.

The head of CABO teaches a 14-hour bike safety class tailored to San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.

The San Francisco cyclist hit by a police car last week says the city must do more to protect bike riders, and do it faster.

A Sacramento ER doc wants you to ride your bike, but put on a helmet when you do; he also says to follow the rules of the road and ride defensively. And a physician with the Cleveland Clinic says make sure it fits correctly.

 

National

Redfin ranks the nation’s most bikeable downtownsBut forget finding LA or any other SoCal city on the list.

Bike lanes build jobs.

A new line of women’s bikewear from Scott promises to eliminate road rash, at least on the parts it covers.

Now that’s more like it. A travel company is offering a trio of bike tours leading to the some of the nation’s leading microbreweries.

Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira was one of us, as he passed away in Texas Monday, despite riding his bike every day to get back into shape.

Sinead O’Connor lashes out at her family following her disappearance on a Chicago ebike ride.

Leave the car at home and join an organized group bike ride to see the Indianapolis 500. Now if they could just get the drivers to ride to work.

A Philly cyclist makes the argument that crashes aren’t accidents and can be avoided, while the Associated Press finally agrees, more or less.

Pennsylvania releases a new interactive mapping tool that combines detailed bike routes, traffic volumes and speed limits, and as well as state parks, forests and trails.

A New York website calls Janette Sadik-Khan the prophet of bike lanes, and lists the best things about biking in the city. Meanwhile, Sadik-Khan’s heirs at NYDOT make plans to put bikeways and improved sidewalks on bridges connecting Manhattan and the Bronx.

A New Orleans bike rider barely survives a robbery attempt, after a gun misfires when a trio of men force him off his bike and rifle through his pockets.

 

International

Thirteen cities around the world where bicycling is gaining modal share. None of which are named LA. Or anywhere else in North or South America, for that matter.

A Winnipeg woman gets back on a bike for the first time in 18 years, and likes it.

A London bike rider is mugged by moped riding thieves.

Paris ups the ante in its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, including cleaning up the Seine River and building a bike path linking venues for the games. Your move, Los Angeles.

Lawyers for an Australian woman argue she shouldn’t face jail for killing a cyclist while high on meth because she has a 10-month old baby, even though her actions left the victim’s three children without a mother.

What the hell did Aussie officials think would happen when they protected pedestrians from bicyclists, instead of protecting riders from cars?

 

Finally…

Don’t throw a fit if your bike doesn’t fit in a Fit. Nothing like a bike path where bicycling is banned, unless it’s telling Danny MacAskill he’s no Danny MacAskill in a nearly undecipherable brogue.

And yes, we cyclists are just here to fuck you up.

 

Update: Cyclist killed riding wrong way in Lincoln Heights collision

Once again, riding on the wrong side of the road has claimed the life of a Los Angeles bike rider.

The Eastsider reports a bike rider identified only as a Latino man in his early thirties was hit and killed in Lincoln Heights early this morning.

The victim was riding south on Humboldt Street on the wrong side of the road when he was struck by a driver traveling north on Avenue 26 at 1:30 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other information is available at this time. The site notes the investigation is ongoing.

A street view shows an intersection with four lanes on 26th, with an offset crossing at Humboldt controlled by a stop sign.

While some people believe riding against traffic is safer because they can see cars coming, it’s actually one of the most dangerous things you can do. According to the LAPD, riding salmon is leading cause of serious bicycling collisions in many parts of Los Angeles.

In this case, the victim would have been hidden from view by the upholstery shop on the right side of the street, as well as any cars parked on the lot until the last moment — particularly if the vehicle was traveling at speed, which is likely given the hour. And the vehicle would have been hidden from his sight, as well.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The Eastsider has updated its story to identify the victim as 22-year old Los Angeles resident Giovanni Cali.

He was riding with a companion who saw the car and was able to avoid it; unfortunately, Cali did not see it in time. The driver remained at the scene, and was not under the influence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Giovanni Cali and his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

South El Monte bike rider killed crossing Rosemead Blvd

A man was killed in a collision while riding his bike near South El Monte Wednesday.

According to the San Gabriel Tribune, 39-year old South El Monte resident Jose Antonio Resendez was crossing Rosemead Blvd at Rush St at 9:35 pm when he was struck by a car headed north on Rosemead in unincorporated LA County.

No word on which direction Resendez going or who had the right-of-way; he died at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The driver remained at the scene.

The story notes both the bicycle and the car suffered moderate damage; as usual, the victim fared worst in the impact.

This is the 35th bicycling collision in Southern California, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year, and eight in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Antonio Resendez and his family. 

Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

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It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

………

At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

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Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

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Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

………

Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Morning Links: Local DUI bicycling death reverberates on the East Coast, and PCH study says OC’s got problems

This is the harm that traffic crimes cause.

The pain of Saturday’s drunken high-speed crash that took the life of 26-year old Tomas Brewer reverberates through his hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The budding screenwriter came to LA to break into the business; next week his family will come to take him home.

Correction: This piece initially misidentified Brewer’s hometown as Gloucester, England, rather than Gloucester, MA. I apologize for the error; thanks to Phillip, Jay, Sean and Yawfle for the correction. 

………

A newly published $400,000 safety study points out the many safety problems for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on PCH through Orange County.

And needless to say, the possible solutions — and the willingness to actually do something about it — vary from one town to another.

Like Laguna Beach, where the city manager questions removing or reducing lanes or parking; nice to know a parked car could have more value than a human life.

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Maybe it’s yours.

Amid the steady drumbeat of stolen bikes registered through this site, news popped up yesterday afternoon about a bike that had been recovered during an arrest in Westwood.

According to the report, it’s a black, 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.5; the serial number has been removed, so they’re asking for distinguishing characteristics to identify the owner.

If you know someone whose bike has been stolen recently, pass the word along. It would be nice to see the owner get their bike back for a change.

………

Even the judge is mad as a 19-year old Michigan driver is somehow allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor for killing a cyclist while high on drugs, resulting in a maximum six months in jail.

His comments are worth considering, since they apply to so many people who injure or kill others while driving impaired, distracted or aggressively.

“You don’t get it,” Alexander said. “You destroyed a life, you destroyed a family and you destroyed another life, yours. You don’t care. You just don’t care.”.

“You just think this is a little inconvenience,” Alexander said. “I don’t think you have any understanding of what you did. You took a life, you took a life and I don’t think you care.”

Maybe it will sink in for someone, somewhere.

………

Still more bighearted people, as a Portland bike shop owner receives a $5,000 carbon bike after being selected as National Retailer of the Year. And promptly gives it to a 15-year old autistic kid.

………

Local

CiclaValley recaps Tuesday’s meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable. Which I can attest was actually more of a semi-circular arrangement.

Richard Risemberg catches the Ballona Wetlands in full bloom, and says ride out to see it yourself for the good of your soul.

The LA Weekly previews the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival coming to Grand Park on May 8th.

Vin Diesel gives his latest co-star a BMX dirt bike for her 30th birthday. Then takes her ax-tossing.

The annual Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association rolls through Long Beach this Sunday. As a diabetic American, I’ll have to take part myself one of these days.

 

State

Coronado plans to reward bike riders of all ages with gift certificates and theater tickets for riding safely and following the law. Although they might improve safety a lot more if they rewarded motorists for driving safely around bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Tulare, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a big rig truck; police insist the rider somehow crashed into the truck’s trailer.

After suffering serious injuries in a Fresno hit-and-run, a physician and life-long cyclist says bicyclists have a right to the road, and asks if we can all just get along.

A Berkeley bike rider is suing the city and several civic employees, alleging they were aware of dangerous road conditions that led to his injuries when he hit a pothole.

 

National

Men’s Journal explains why you should take your next camping trip by bicycle.

Portland biketavists are joining the Department of DIY to get their point across, from dropping orange cones to mark bikeways, to shaming drivers and posting signs to slow them down.

After supporting a billion dollar transportation tax last year, Seattle cyclists are understandably pissed off that promised bike lanes through the downtown area have disappeared from the implementation plan.

A New Mexico private security guard is charged with intentionally running down a bike rider with his car, then beating the crap out of him.

Fargo ND police take to a tandem to promote bike security.

Bob Mionske looks at the case of the Michigan rider illegally convicted of impeding traffic, and the $10,000 pro bono legal brief that got the $200 ticket dismissed on appeal.

After a witness proves them wrong, the NYPD finally gets around to correcting their report that said a woman was riding her bike against traffic when she was struck by a car; the witness also says the driver lied about the victim running a red light.

A North Carolina TV station offers a reality check for calls to license, register and tax cyclists; one commenter says riding a bike on the road “is dangerous, not too logical, actually disrespectful to every auto driver the roads were designed for.” But really, it’s bike riders who think they’re entitled, right?

A Florida mom is raising awareness of bike helmets for kids after her son suffered a skull fracture and brain hematoma that went undiscovered for two days, nearly costing him his life.

 

International

Experts say the Rio bike path that collapsed recently, killing three people, was destined to fail and should never have been built in the first place.

Vancouver disability advocates say plans to remove parking spaces near the city’s General Hospital to make room for protected bike lanes would make it too difficult for people to access healthcare services. Evidently, it’s the only major hospital in North America without onsite parking or drop-of zones.

The new law school dean at the University of Windsor, Canada walks the walk by riding his bike to work and meetings at the courthouse, year round. Shouldn’t that be pedals the pedals?

A Toronto columnist aptly observes that traffic tie-ups due to road construction are just a fact of life, but a project to test bike lanes on a busy street has everyone up in arms.

An Oxford, England bookseller returns home after a two-year, 20,000 bike trip around the world, motivated by the cyclists’ travel diaries he sold in the shop.

Evidently, telling a British women’s track cyclist to give up riding and go have babies can be detrimental to your career.

Afghanistan’s Nobel Prize-nominated women’s cycling team falls victim to the country’s notorious corruption; along with the loss of 40-newly purchased bicycles worth $100,000, the team’s recently dismissed coach was accused of using it as his “personal piggy bank and love playground,” marrying — and divorcing — three of the team members.

Aussie police urge bike riders to carry liability insurance in case they crash into someone.

 

Finally…

If your SUV has a blind spot so big it keeps you from seeing a five-year old riding her bike with training wheels, maybe you shouldn’t be driving it. Your long wait for fresh bicycle anime may soon be over.

And it’s about damn time we had a bike riding saint.

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

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