Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Morning Links: Popular LA cyclist seriously injured, update on the San Diego crash that injured 8 riders

Lots of news today, so grab some coffee, limber up your clicking finger and settle in for a good read.

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Popular LA cyclist Jo Celso is hospitalized in San Diego after suffering serious injuries while riding at the San Diego Velodrome Tuesday night. Donations to defray medical expenses can be made through PayPal.

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The driver in the San Diego crash that sent eight cyclists to the hospital was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs, possibly including meth; she has a history of petty crime dating back to 2006.

One of the victims reportedly couldn’t feel his legs following the crash, while the Times says one of the injured — most likely the same rider — suffered a major vertebral fracture; sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order.

And BikeSD calls for charges against the driver.

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A Santa Maria TV station confirms the rumors that the passenger in the truck that killed Chula Vista randonneur Matthew O’Neill was the 18-year old son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado. Nicolas Maldonado was also a passenger in another fatal collision involving his mother two years ago.

According to the same rumors, the 16-year old driver who killed O’Neill is also a member of the Maldonado family.

Meanwhile, Stacy Kline offers a moving remembrance of her friend and riding companion.

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More on our fellow cyclist Robin Williams, his big heart and his love of bikes.

First up, noted bike rider Conan O’Brien relates how Williams tried to cheer him up following O’Brien’s dismissal from the Tonight Show by giving him an outrageously silly bicycle.

Then there’s the story told by Bay Area comic Johnny Steele, who said Williams bought him a custom-made bike and became his regular riding partner after Steele told him he didn’t ride because he couldn’t afford it. And all because Williams liked his joke about 65-year old men on $6,500 bicycles.

Meanwhile, a bike shop owning friend of the comedian says Williams told him cycling saved his life after kicking cocaine.

And the Wall Street Journal relates how he once met famed Italian bike builder Dario Pegoretti, and how Williams said he loved riding because it’s a close as you can get to flying.

I think we can all relate to that one. I’ve said the same thing myself more than once.

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Local

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a fundraising Firefly Ball the day before Halloween, honoring Andy Leeka of Good Samaritan Hospital, Long Beach’s Suja Lowenthal, and legendary BAC founder and bike advocate Alex Baum; tickets start at $250.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is holding a workshop on fundraising for bicycle advocates next Thursday.

Attend a live recording of the Bike Talk podcast at the Levi’s pop-up store this Friday with hosts Nick Richert, Melissa Balmer and Maria Sipin.

The Daily News takes a look at LADOT’s new Bicycle Friendly Business program.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers advice for walking or biking back to school.

 

State

California lists 147 projects that could get funding under the state’s new Active Transportation Program, including several in Southern California.

Calbike offers their monthly update.

New bike lanes are approved near Corona del Mar High School.

A 23-year old Big Bear rider competes in his first year as a professional cyclist.

 

National

Even the feds want you to take a bike tour.

Once again, a foreign tourist riding across the US is killed by a drunk driver, this time an Australian woman who was killed in Indiana just 500 miles from her destination.

Caught on video: Angry motorists confront a Vermont cyclist, saying they should have run him over. And to make matters worse, it was the rider got ticketed — for riding in the traffic lane.

Once again, the NYPD cracks down on the victims of traffic violence, rather than the cause.

 

International

Toronto cyclists win a fight for protected bike lanes.

London cop hops on a stolen bike to chase down a wanted bike thief.

Poetic justice, as a drunken Brit bike thief breaks his ankle when the bike he’s trying to make off with falls on him.

 

Finally…

Kids, don’t do this at home. A Kansas driver pulls into a parking lot to confront a bike rider, who promptly pulls out a gun and shoots him in the face; the rider was taken into custody nearby.

 

Riverside hit-and-run victim dies after being taken off life support

A heartbreaking week just keeps getting worse.

According to KABC-7, Riverside hit-and-run victim D’Andre Sutherland was taken off life support on Tuesday.

The 27-year old father of two was riding near the intersection of Magnolia Ave and Beechwood Place around 2 am Sunday when he was hit by an SUV driving north on Magnolia. The driver fled the scene, leaving Sutherland lying in the street with what police described as significant injuries.

He was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he remained on life support for the next two days.

None of the stories describe how the collision happened; however, KTLA-5 reports he was riding in the number two lane. Since Beechwood is just a single lane in each direction, that means he had to have been riding on Magnolia, which suggests that he may have been the victim of a rear-end collision.

A ghost bike was installed in Sutherland’s honor on Wednesday. As Mark Friis, Executive Director of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance observed, there have been too damn many of them required in the Inland area this year.

Police are looking for a silver or beige SUV, similar to a Ford Flex, with major damage to the windshield and front end. 

Anyone with information is urge to call Detective Felix Soria at 951/826-8720 or email FSoria@riversideca.gov. 

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in Riverside County, which compares with 12 for all of last year. Sutherland is also the 11th bicycling bike rider to lose his life in a hit-and-run since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for D’Andre Sutherland and all his family.

Bike rider killed in Vista train collision; popular randonneur killed Saturday in Santa Maria

Sometimes, all it takes is a single tragic error in judgement.

That was the case last night, as a bike rider lost his life apparently trying to beat a train in North San Diego County.

According to multiple sources, a 48-year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was hit by a Sprinter light-rail train in an unincorporated area of Vista. The collision occurred at a railroad crossing at the intersection of Woodland Drive and South Santa Fe Avenue at 8:07 pm Monday.

According to witnesses, the warning gates had been down for more than 40 seconds, with the lights and bells activated, when the victim rode around the gates and onto the track. He was struck by oncoming the train, which had been sounding its horn as it approached the intersection.

The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No explanation was given for why he attempted to cross the tracks despite multiple visual and audible warnings.

He was the third person killed by a train in the county in the last five days.

This is the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in San Diego County. He is also the third bike rider to be killed by a train in the seven-county SoCal region since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Rick Risemberg for the heads-up. 

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I don’t normally report on bicycling fatalities that occur outside the SoCal region.

However, I’ve gotten multiple reports of a cyclist killed on Foxen Canyon Road in the Santa Maria area over the weekend.

According to the Santa Maria Times, the victim was a 33-year old Chula Vista resident, who was hit by a 16-year old driver in a truck pulling a horse trailer.

Now word is coming in that victim was Matthew O’Neil, a popular randonneur well known in SoCal riding circles. I’m told that a group of riders participating in the ultra-distance event came upon the scene shortly after the collision, and recognized the victim by his unique Bacchetta recumbent bike.

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that the driver is the son of a woman involved in another fatal wreck on the same road in 2012.

Hopefully, we’ll have more information later.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew O’Neil and all his family and friends. 

Thanks to Mike T for the link

 

Update: 40-something cyclist killed in DTLA; second rider to die on Alameda Street in the last six months

More bad news, this time from Downtown Los Angeles.

According to a press release from the LAPD, the victim, identified only as a man in his early 40s, was hit and killed by a flatbed tractor trailer on Alameda just south of 20th Street at 1:10 pm Monday.

The police report says the cyclist was riding with traffic on southbound Alameda Street when he was sideswiped by the driver; he fell into the roadway, where he was run over by the truck’s rear wheels.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators; he was not suspected of being under the influence. Several vehicles initially stopped at the scene, but the drivers did not remain to talk to police.

According to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club, witnesses said the victim, who was riding a cruiser bike, was hugging the curb when the driver attempted to squeeze past in the same lane.

And clearly, failed.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713 or Detective Felix Padilla at 213/486-0753. You can also call the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/486-8344.

This is the 57th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County. It’s also the eighth bike death in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year, and the second cycling fatality on Alameda Street since February of this year.

Update: The Long Beach Post has identified the victim as 42-year old Long Beach resident Jarone Bartee; thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jarone Bartee and his family. 

Thanks to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club for the heads-up.

Bike rider killed in Orange; OC bike deaths match total for all of last year

Bad news from Orange County, with very few details.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, a male bike rider was hit by a car at the intersection of N Glassell Street and E Chestnut Ave in the City of Orange last Friday morning.

The collision occurred at 8:36 am; he was transported to UCI Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.

No other details are available at this time. The Coroner’s report doesn’t give an age or city of residence for the victim, which suggests they haven’t been able to identify him yet — another reminder to always carry ID whenever you ride.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County, which matches the total in the county for all of last year.

And it’s the second cycling fatality in the City of Orange this year, following the death of Joseph Robinson on Santiago Canyon Road in February.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Thanks to James Johnson of the Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Menifee collision; Riverside County bike fatalities twice as high as last year

A bad year for Riverside County bicyclists just keeps getting worse.

According to the Press-Enterprise, two cyclists were riding east on Domenigoni Parkway at Lindenberger Road in Menifee when they were rear-ended by a motorist around 5:20 pm. One rider, who has not been publicly identified, was killed, while the other was not seriously injured.

DailySoCal lists the location as Winchester, and describes the car as a single passenger vehicle driven by a man, who was cooperating with investigators.

No other details are available at this time.

A satellite view of the intersection shows what looks like a bike lane, suggesting the riders may have been in their own lane and should have been out of the way of through traffic when they were hit. No explanation was given for why the driver apparently drifted out of his or her lane to hit the riders.

This is the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Riverside County. That compares with just five in the county this time last year, and 12 for all of 2013.

Update: According to Menifee 24/7, the victim, described only as a man in his 50s, was declared dead at the scene.

The website also places the location at the top of a hill east of Lindenberger, and describes the roadway as the primary route between Menifee and Hemet. A photo shows a narrow, half-gutter bike lane or shoulder next to a thoroughfare with a 55 mph speed limit; however, Google’s street view shows a lane wide enough for two cyclists to ride abreast leading up the hill.

The site quotes Menifee resident Stephen Kaas as saying he was riding just ahead of the victim when the collision occurred.

I didn’t really see what happened,” Kaas said. “He was riding behind me. I just heard it and saw him flying through the air.

It’s unclear from the description whether the two cyclists were riding together, or if Kaas’ bike was struck, as well.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Cail at 951/210-1068.

Update 2: Menifee 24/7 has identified the victim as 55-year old Menifee resident Matthew Carp, who was riding in the bike lane with Stephen Kass when he was hit from behind by a car driven by 23-year old Luis Aranda Llamas of San Jacinto. 

Despite wearing a helmet, Carp suffered major head trauma and internal injuries. According to the site, Kass barely avoided injury himself. 

Llamas was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed when he hit Carp. While bike helmets can protect against injury at slower speeds, they aren’t designed to protect against high speed collisions, and do nothing to prevent injuries to other parts of the body.

Still no word on why Llamas drifted into the bike lane; he was booked for vehicular manslaughter and for displaying a fictitious license plate.

Update 3: More on the collision from a rider who lived nearby, and knew both the victim and his companion. Witnesses reported seeing the driver weaving in and out of the bike lane as if distracted; investigators seized his phone as evidence. Thanks to C Menjou for leaving the link in a comment below.

In a demonstration of just how hard this has struck the local community, Danny Gamboa tells me the city of Menifee reached out to ghost bike volunteers to request an installation in memory of Carp, and will be closing the street from 4 to 5 pm Saturday for a memorial. He also says the city recently removed a bike lane on another street, forcing riders onto Domenigoni where Carp was killed.

And in a heartbreaking tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, Carp’s oldest son apparently took his own life following his father’s death.

There are no words.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Matthew and Cameron Carp and all their family and loved ones.

Thanks to Zak for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Famed LA pediatrician dies six months after bike collision; more from Santa Paula police chief

Where do you put the ghost bike for someone who died months after he was hit by a car?

According to the UK’s Daily Mail, when much loved LA pediatrician Paul Fleiss died this past weekend, it was due to complications from injuries he received when he was hit by a car six months earlier.

The father of infamous Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, he reportedly rode with a friend every Sunday until that collision. An earlier story from a Chicago paper — which has since disappeared from online — quoted a family cousin as saying he appeared to have been recovering from his injuries before having difficulty breathing on Saturday.

No word on how or where to collision occurred, or just what injuries the 80-year old rider suffered.

My prayers and condolences for Paul Fleiss and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

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More on the controversy over Santa Paula’s bike-hating — and now dismissed — reserve cop Laura Weintraub, as the city’s police chief responds in the Santa Paula Times.

“The Chief of Police as well as the Santa Paula Police Department did not condone this video and are extremely embarrassed by it. This video did not and does not express the views of the Santa Paula Police Department nor the Chief of Police, Steve McLean,” the agency noted in a Sunday news release…

“Don’t hold us to Ms. Weintraub’s views, period,” McLean added…

“Some people are trying to paint us as anti-this or anti-that, especially bicyclists that we welcome here. We love them here and we treat them well… I don’t think we’ve ever given a recreational bicyclist a ticket ever. We’re fighting crime and drug dealers.”

Santa Paula, said McLean, “Is a friendly town that has made accommodations for bicyclists,” including the Bike Trail where there are racks for riders to park and secure their bikes and visit the downtown.

“I’ve been here a year,” said McLean, “and we’ve never had an incident with a bicyclist…”

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Cities throughout California are bypassing Caltrans to install protected bike lanes, LA included; the state bill to officially legalize such lanes continues to move forward.

Meanwhile, a Delaware study (pdf) shows they’re good for business.

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Local

Even pedestrians aren’t safe from hit-and-run drivers on LA sidewalks.

Meetings will be held tonight, tomorrow and Thursday to help plan how to integrate buses and bikes with the new Expo Line extension into Santa Monica.

Redondo Beach is finally preparing to tear down the wall that marks the end of the Hermosa Beach Strand, allowing the bike path to be extended south along the harbor.

 

State

Rose petals cover PCH like tears for the fallen at last weekend’s memorial ride for John Colvin and Debra Deem.

Santa Barbara police promise strict enforcement during the city’s popular, but unsanctioned, Fiesta Cruiser Ride. Meanwhile, the city’s bicycle coalition buys their headquarters building, while morning the death of a long-time advocate.

Silicon Valley cyclist fights greedy insurance companies after getting screwed following a bike collision in 2007.

 

National

Donations are being sought for an Oregon framebuilder seriously injured in a solo fall last weekend; Rob English won Best in Show in last years North American Handbuilt Bike Show.

Sixteen teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge next month.

Advice from my hometown on what to do if you’re in or see a bike crash.

Central Texas cyclists ask the public to protect the rights and safety of bike riders.

A Chicago alderman proposes putting Segways in bike lanes, which isn’t likely to go over well with the city’s bicyclists.

A dispute between legal and illegal rental bike vendors in New York’s Central Park leads to threats of decapitation.

 

International

The BBC looks at a new folding e-bike, and uses the opportunity to take a slap at American soccer fans.

A writer for the Telegraph asks if the law is too soft on drivers who kill cyclists. The answer there, as here, is yes.

Aussie cyclists go beyond creating a bicycle PAC to form their own political party.

 

Finally…

It’s now legal to ride three sheets to the wind in Hungary. A fun piece, as a Chicago bike blogger takes her dog on a ride fit for a king.

And I can’t help it. When Dennis Christopher — yes, that Dennis Christopher — retweets my comment about Breaking Away, it just kind of makes my month.

 

Update: Pomona bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning; 5th cyclist killed in the city in 17 months

This is not the news we wanted to start the weekend.

According to the Daily Bulletin, a bike rider was killed by a suspected drunk driver in Pomona early this morning.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s or 50s, was riding north on Garey Avenue when he was rear-ended by a white 2011 BMW 3351 just north of Philadelphia Street at 2:32 am. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died shortly later.

The driver, 25-year old Chino resident Rick Kyujin Lee, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving causing death and vehicular manslaughter.

The Daily Bulletin says the victim was riding on the right shoulder, while KABC-7 places him near the shoulder. However, a street view shows a typical four lane street with a center median, but no apparent shoulder; he may have been hugging the curb to the far right.

If they haven’t yet, someone will inevitably question in the comments why anyone would be riding a bike at that hour. Of course, bike riders travel at all hours of the day or night for all kinds of reasons, just as drivers do; it’s possible the victim may have been leaving work or coming home from a night out, or just out for a late night ride.

Given the frequent lack of follow-up, we may never know.

That said, the early morning hours after the bars close is one of the most dangerous times to ride due to the high number of drunks on the road at that time, requiring riders to be extra alert.

There’s also no mention of whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bike, as required at that hour. However, the police and press usually go out of their way to mention the lack of lights if a rider wasn’t using them.

And the victim could have been lit up like a Christmas tree and still been unable to avoid a driver apparently unable to control his car and keep it from drifting to the right.

This is the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 22nd in Los Angeles County. And it’s the 5th bike death in Pomona since the death of Ivan Aguilar in February of last year, suggesting that the city may have a serious safety problem.

Update: The victim has been identified as 57-year old Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Luis Raymundo Espinoza-Moreno and all his loved ones.

 

 

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Canoga Park, apparently the innocent victim of a two-car collision

Once again, a bike rider appears to have been the tragic collateral damage of someone else’s collision.

According to KTLA-5, a woman in her 40s, whose identity has not been publicly released, was riding her bike on the 7100 block of North Shoup Ave just below Sherman Way around 4 pm, when she was somehow involved in a collision with two motor vehicles.

Details are still very sketchy; the best clue to what happened comes from a fire department spokesperson who described it as “a two-car accident also involving a bicyclist.”

The rider was killed at the scene; at least one other person was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.

An aerial photo showed the victim covered by a tarp on the sidewalk, her mangled bike resting against the curb in front of the two vehicles that were apparently involved, one of which ended up on the sidewalk.

This is the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st in the County of Los Angeles. She is also the 7th bike rider to lose her life in the City of Los Angeles this year.

Update: A writer for the Huffington Post who lives in the neighborhood fills in some of the missing details. 

Linda Milazzo reports seeing news of the collision on her Twitter feed, then driving to the collision site after seeing a helicopter hovering overhead.

According to Milazzo, the victim was standing on the sidewalk next to her bike when a northbound car turning left onto Sherman Way collided with a car driving south on Shoup; the second car went onto the sidewalk where it struck the victim, who suffered “multiple traumatic injuries to her face and body.”

The victim wasn’t wearing a helmet; Milazzo was told no when she asked an investigator for the Coroner’s office if that could have made a difference. 

And this is why you should always carry ID when you ride. The victim, identified only as a woman around 40 years old, didn’t have any with her. While authorities think they know who she is, final identification will have to wait for confirmation from fingerprints or dental records next week.

Update 2: The LAPD Valley Traffic Division reports that it was a DUI collision. And while the victim has not yet been publicly identified, a comment from Jocelyne below says she knew the victim, who was most likely standing on the corner waiting for a bus; suggesting that the bike may not have been hers.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Thanks to Melissa Pamer for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Bike rider collateral damage in Compton drive-by, moving memorial to fallen cyclist Milt Olin

Sad news from Compton, as a woman riding her bike was killed in a drive-by shooting on the 800 block of West Cherry Street around 1 pm Monday.

LAist suggests she may not have been the intended target, but just happened to be riding by when the shooter(s) targeted a group of people standing in a driveway.

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After the ghost bike for fallen cyclist and former Napster CEO Milt Olin was removed recently — over the wishes of local officials — family members install a new one with a moving message for all of us.

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Former winner Andy Schleck is out of the Tour de France after crashing into a spectator, while Chris Froome may have dodged a bullet and the peloton rides through the ghostly remnants of the Great War.

Just thinking the other day I was thinking the Tour should ride through the Channel Tunnel — aka Chunnel — from the UK to France. Now it turns out Froome just did.

Meanwhile, the world’s best women are racing, too, as Marianne Vos wins stage four of the Giro Rosa and retains the leader’s jersey.

A little closer to home, Erica Allar and Ken Hanson win the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, as Rahsaan Bahati puts you right in the middle of the last three laps; thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

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Local

The LACBC offers free ride marshal training this Saturday.

The third annual Clitoral Mass — yes, you read that right — rolls on August 16th.

What a difference two feet make, as Pasadena gets a new buffered bike lane.

Long Beach’s Third Street needs a facelift to improve safety for cyclists and motorists.

The Beach Babe Bicycling Classic comes back to Long Beach this weekend.

Pedal Love and Women Talk Bikes talk bikes on Bike Talk.

 

State

A Saratoga drunken hit-and-run driver gets out of prison with orders to never drive again for leaving a bike rider with permanent injuries. And immediately goes back to driving drunk and fleeing the scene.

A San Francisco supervisor considers lowering speed limits in the City by the Bay.

We’ve mentioned this one before. But if you haven’t yet, sign the petition to support Andy’s Law to increase penalties for hit-and-run; thanks to Mario Gastelum for the reminder.

 

National

How to pay for innovative bicycling infrastructure (pdf).

Bike share programs reduce the risk for all riders, despite a misleading study suggesting the opposite.

Off-duty Albuquerque fireman uses the inner tube from an injured rider’s bike to save her life, if not her leg.

Louisiana prison inmates fix bikes seized by New Orleans police to donate to children.

New Jersey considers a $500 fine for any motorist who commits a traffic violation resulting in a collision with a bike rider.

Jerry Seinfeld rides a bike in New York, but the Mail can’t get over his toned arms.

Evidently, any DC bike rider who doesn’t want to get killed — or needs a boost up a steep hill — is a bully.

Confused — or maybe just confusing — Athens GA writer says there must be some truth to the scofflaw cyclist trope, even though he’s never seen one. And even then, not all bike riders should be held responsible for the actions of a few, unless maybe they should.

 

International

Ghost bikes come to Uruguay.

A British Columbia bike thief returns a boys stolen bike with a note apologizing for being such a drunken fool.

Toronto gets serious about parking in bike lanes.

A London bike rider says hell isn’t other people, it’s other bike riders. Especially the ones on Boris bikes. Then again, maybe other bike riders aren’t really the problem after all.

Caught on video: Gut-wrenching first-person view of a head-on cycling collision; fortunately, the rider survived with broken bones.

Dressing up in spandex beats sleeping with the secretary. Then again, who says you can’t do both?

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying homemade bombs on your bike to celebrate the 4th, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk. Esquire says Lance may not be in hell, but at least he’s in Purgatory.

And ride without fear; it turns out bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction or infertility after all.

 

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