Or rather, a bad reaction to my pain meds.
Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet once the drugs wear off, and we’ll be back on track tomorrow.
Or rather, a bad reaction to my pain meds.
Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet once the drugs wear off, and we’ll be back on track tomorrow.
For anyone who downloaded the full PDF of PCH bike crash stats yesterday, please note that I inadvertently linked to an earlier draft of the report compiled by Ed Ryder; the link has now been corrected to provide full stats through the end of 2015.
My apologies for the mistake.
Our anonymous Orange County correspondent offers some belated, and very hard-hitting, notes from the recent Neil Storm Stephany case.
The impact statements presented at Stephany’s sentencing were brutal. The Register didn’t (and couldn’t) print half the poignancy. At one point, Eagleson’s mom yelled “I hate you! I fucking hate you!” at the back of Stephany’s head, which he kept bowed for most of the proceedings. She told the judge that no matter how long the murderer’s sentence is, it will never be enough, and she will be at every parole hearing he ever has. She ended her statement with, “I am Shaun’s voice.” No mama should ever have to say that.
Sandra, Shaun’s widow, presented two statements. One detailed the inescapable darkness left by the absence of her husband, who was “my past, my present, my future, my forever.” Although she didn’t quite offer Stephany forgiveness, she wasn’t going to hold onto her hatred, because she recognized it eclipsed everything her husband loved about her. As she was writing her statement, “each word was killing the woman Shaun loved so much. With every ugly word I wrote, I was killing Shaun’s best friend.”
Her second statement was a letter to her unborn child, begging forgiveness: “Once again, I have failed you. Please forgive me. I have cried for you since the first time I lost you. Please find your father wherever he is and tell him I love him.” She described the rush to the hospital, and the denial that flooded her as she clung to her husband’s lifeless body: “Wake up. This isn’t real. We still have adventures to go on.”
GODDAMMIT WHO PUT ALL THESE ONIONS ON MY KEYBOARD WHERE THE HELL IS THAT KLEENEX.
Stephany wrote a letter of apology to the family, but it didn’t get him any reduction in sentence, although the judge did grant 450 days of credit for time served. When the defense argued that “some degree of mercy is a appropriate here,” tsk’s of incredulity arose from one side of the courtroom.
Judge Paer used the word “mind-boggling” several times while pronouncing sentence. He pointed out that Eagleson, like many others who use that stretch of PCH, was a vulnerable road user. The judge was mindful of the irony that such “an ugly event could occurring one of the most beautiful places in the county.” “Hopefully,” the judge said, “this case will send a message.” That message is: If you’re gonna engage any homicidal activity, make sure you use a motor vehicle, ’cause otherwise you’re goin’ away for a long time.
My jaw dropped when the judge said, “Believe it or not, I have to give Mr. Stephany a Watson advisement again.” He then recited the advisement, even though it didn’t do Mr. Stephany any good the first time. He also revoked Stephany’s current probation, since it’d expire long before Stephany could even start hoping for release.
(As a side note, one probation was for assault; the victim died of a heroin overdose a month after the assault, with his broken jaw still not fully healed.)
Stephany’s sister is an LA County Sheriff’s Deputy; their uncle is a homicide investigator for the OC Sheriff’s Department. Young Neil was a Boy Scout, First Class. He played team sports in high school, while also taking ROP classes in fire science & first aid. He earned his Professional Mariner’s certificate. Unfortunately, he fell in love with a girl whose family had moved from up north to get her away from unsavory characters who influenced her opiate addiction. It didn’t help; the contagion spread to Neil.
On the day Shaun was murdered, Neil had left his apartment knowing he was going into rehab. When his parents went to his apartment to retrieve his belongings, they found his bags already packed, with his Bible and a rosary his mom had given him for strength.
In December, a juror recognized Neil’s mom and approached her. They spoke; the juror said they think of the family a lot, and hoped that Neil would get help. How kind to get a hug from someone who had to convict your son of murder.
The Stephany case is going to stick with me. Such a small percentage of people, especially in Orange County, commute by bike. Of that tiny percentage, even fewer do so because they like to, rather than out of economic necessity. And out of that number, how many commute fixed? I might be the only one left.
Camp Pendleton riders, don’t panic. Not yet, anyway.
There’s still a lot of confusion over upcoming changes in the access policy for bicyclists at the Marine base.
So Mike Wilkinson reached out to Joe A. Grabman, Assistant Services Officer with the base’s Provost Marshal’s Office, and got this response.
A final decision on the procedure for recreational bicyclists after 01 Feb 2016 has not been made.
Which is about as clear as the mud the base’s Marines have to crawl through after an El Niño rain storm.
I was confused by Officer Grabman’s response, so I called and left a voicemail asking for clarification. He called back just a few minutes ago and told me this:
- There will be a process or an accommodation that will allow recreational bicyclists who comply with certain requirements to ride through Camp Pendleton.
- The exact form and requirements of that process or accommodation have not been determined yet. However, they are scheduled to be in place by March 1.
- Until March 1, bicyclists will be able to ride through Camp Pendleton the same as they have been able to do recently. They will need to present a U.S. or state government issued identification card.
I wish that I had some exact quotes for you, but Officer Grabman talks very quickly. He told me he has been contacted by hundreds of people about this issue, so I guess he’s a busy guy.
Based what I have learned on my own, those who want to ride through the base should remember the usual advice: Your ID must be the original – no copies; comply with the traffic rules of the base, because as you wrote a couple of days ago, “…don’t mess with the Marines!;” the base closes from time-to-time, some times on short notice.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the proposed new Griffith Park plan is a step in the right direction, but questions why a currently car-free road has to be opened up so tourists can avoid a lousy 1/3 mile walk to see the Hollywood Sign.
A Streetsblog piece says the proposed anti-growth Neighborhood Integrity Initiative would ban the planning process, and throw a wrench into plans to reshape Los Angeles around transit and bikeable, walkable streets. Meanwhile, LA Curbed says the initiative would be dangerous for Los Angeles, and maintains the city’s addiction to parking.
Downtown’s new upscale residents are looking forward to bikeshare coming to DTLA.
It looks like the 41-year old Hermosa Cyclery will survive despite leasing their property to a developer; plans are announced to move into a new hotel to be built on the site.
San Francisco’s Streetsblog looks at the psychology of road rage, and asks if Bay Area drivers and cyclists can get along.
Former LA newsman Roger Rudick says bike advocates must never yield to regressive politics, despite the veto of San Francisco’s proposed Idaho stop law.
A road raging Mill Valley driver gets a slap on the wrist for brake checking a cyclist who flipped off his horn-honking wife; he gets off with just two years probation and 80 hours of community service. Although someone please tell me what the hell difference the make of car he was driving makes.
Lake Tahoe will break ground on a three mile, $27 million separated bike path, which planners say promises to be one of the most spectacular bikeways in the US.
Here’s what happens if your bike has to live outside.
A sales slowdown at the UK’s leading bike dealer suggests the county’s bike boom may be ending.
What to do when you call off your celebrity divorce? Go for a romantic bike ride through the streets of Paris, of course.
Sometimes a new wheel just isn’t enough. After American pro Tyler Farrar crashed into a ditch at 40 mph in Australia’s Tour Down Under, a fan loans him his bike. And his shoes.
And if you’re riding a stolen $5,000 bike, remember to leave your drugs and paraphernalia at home.
Let me take just a moment to thank everyone who contributed to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive over the last month.
Thanks to your support, what had started as joke became a real thing. And what had looked like a bleak holiday season became much brighter.
And for that, I couldn’t be more grateful.
So please accept my most humble thanks, and my best wishes for a very merry Christmas. Or the happiest of holidays, whatever you may observe.
BikinginLA will be taking the next week off, as I plan to do a little work under the hood and make some long-delayed changes.
So unless there’s breaking news, we’ll see you bright and early next year.
So enjoy the holidays.
Ride safe and ride happy.
And don’t forget Sunday’s Valley Finish the Ride.
Special thanks to David Aretsky for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.
And to everyone who has contributed out of their own pockets, far too many to thank here individually; your generosity means more to me than I can ever express.
I am grateful, too, for everyone who has contributed a guest post, forwarded a link or commented on here, for helping to keep the conversation going.
But most of all, I am thankful for the readers of this site. Without you, these would just be meaningless words lost in the ether of cyberspace.
It’s your readership that keeps this site going.
After spending Thursday night with the LACBC at another successful Firefly Ball, I’m too exhausted to get today’s post online.
So lets take the day off. Go out and ride your bike, and come back tomorrow for an extra large Weekend Links.
Lately the bike news that seems to be increasing at an exponential rate, while find myself fighting to focus despite a change in medications that has me working at half speed.
Sunday it all caught up with me.
So let’s hit the reset button, to steal a phrase from our former Secretary of State. I’m taking today off in order to get some rest, and try to function like a normal person again.
That means no new post today.
Get out there and ride your bike, and I’ll see you bright and early on Tuesday.
The bill allows local jurisdictions to create diversion programs for traffic violations committed by non-motorists, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Which means you could pay your penance with a few hours of class instead of a large fee.
But the real benefit is that it will provide a way to educate bike riders who may not be clear on the law, such as salmon cyclists who believe they’re riding the right way by facing traffic.
I’m told by police officers that many cops have been reluctant to ticket bike riders because they don’t think the relatively minor infractions are worth the large fees.
Of course, there are exceptions.
So you might be more likely to get a ticket when you roll that stop. But you could actually learn something from it.
That last link came courtesy of Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who’s been on a roll lately.
And I don’t mean with his new titanium pulley wheels.
He tells the story of accompanying a bike rider to court for a bogus ticket for riding inside the traffic lane, which is legal anywhere there is not a marked bike lane.
Anything right of the limit line is not considered part of the roadway, and you aren’t legally required to ride there, though you can ride on the shoulder or in the parking lane if you choose.
The single exception is that you are legally required to ride in a bike lane where one exists, though you’re allowed to exit it to avoid obstacles such as debris and parked cars, to pass another rider or pedestrian, or to make a left turn.
These kind of must-use laws should be repealed, as they have been in some more enlightened states; it should be up to the rider to decide where he or she feels safest, without second guessing from a cop who may not understand the many safety choices riders are forced to make.
Getting back to Seth, he finds the law on his side when he’s assaulted by a teenage ham and mustard-throwing car passenger, for a change.
He also pens a post dripping in sarcasm about a call to the courthouse on November 18th for the arraignment of a driver who aimed his car at a cyclist just for the hell of it.
And he’s hosting his own awards show at the Strand Brewing Company in Torrance next month, which should be a hell of a good time. If I win anything, I’ll expect someone to step up and speak about the plight of Native Americans on my behalf.
Seriously, Seth writes one of the best blogs on bicycling, here or anywhere else. Put it in your reading list, and make a point of checking in now and then, if not daily.
And I’m not just saying that to return the favor.
Mad Men producer Tom Smuts rode to the Emmys from his home in Santa Monica for the second time, accompanied by an entourage of actors and fellow producers, along with bike advocates and former pro cyclists, to send a clear message about everyday bicycling for anyone paying attention.
Peter Flax of the Hollywood Reporter went along for the ride.
Now if we can just get some of the many bicycling actors to join Ed Begley Jr in riding to next year’s Oscars.
Yes, I’m taking to you, Russell Crowe.
Not to mention Anne Hathaway, Patrick Dempsey, Liev Shreiber, Naomi Watts, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and far too many others to single out.
Speaking of Peter Flax, the former Editor in Chief of Bicycling magazine offers a great overview of the current state of bicycling in the City of Angels for Los Angeles magazine. And pretty much nails it.
Which shouldn’t be too surprising for someone with his background.
Call it your must read for the day.
My understanding is he’ll be penning a regular column for the magazine, so let’s hope this is just the first of many.
Once again, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo has blood on his hands.
A pedestrian was critically injured in a hit-and-run while trying to cross North Figueroa in a marked crosswalk Friday evening, in an area that would have undergone a road diet a couple year ago. Not just to install bike lanes, but to slow traffic and improve safety.
Instead, Cedillo arbitrarily cancelled the fully funded and paint-ready project for reasons known only to him. And personally guaranteed the street would remain one of the most dangerous in Los Angeles.
Nice work, councilman.
Copenhagenize sends word that you’re safer on a bike than on a sofa, at least in Denmark.
The Christian Science Monitor writes about the return of the world championships to the US, although a restaurant owner says the races are bad for business. And mixing the races with Civil War imagery? Probably not the best idea.
US women scored first and second in the under-23 junior women’s individual time trials at the world championships, while a Danish rider won the men’s title; the top American man finished 10th. WaPo looks at two young men competing in the U23 road races this week who could be the next superstars of American cycling.
American great Kristin Armstrong will attempt to cement her comeback from her latest retirement in today’s time trial; a podium spot would guarantee her a place on the US team for the Rio Olympics. But New Zealand’s top women’s time trial rider is out with a broken collarbone that refused to heal in time.
This is what the racers competing in the world championships might be riding if there were no rules limiting bicycle design. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.
Not even a closed-off race course is safe from intoxicated drivers, as a Richmond driver with a long list of traffic offenses led police on a brief high-speed chase after somehow driving onto the worlds course; not surprisingly, police say he was under the influence of some unspecified substance.
A Westside Urban Forum panel tackles the question of healthy communities; bikes are just part of a very big picture.
Feeder rides are already starting to form for next month’s CicLAvia. This one from USC looks to be both educational and fun as they travel up from campus along the coming MyFig corridor.
A San Diego cyclist looks for the hit-and-run driver who nearly severed her foot.
It’s the age-old battle of bike lanes versus parking spots in Chula Vista, as businesses worry about the loss of parking for bike lanes that would help get riders off the sidewalk.
A Riverside welder turns discarded bike parts into art.
Cyclists from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties call for Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths in their area.
A majority of San Francisco supervisors support allowing cyclists to treat stop signs as yields; however, they can’t change state law, and the non-binding ordinance will need the support of the SFPD to have any effect.
The bike-riding ranger of Mount Diablo State Park has retired after 24 years of rescuing riders and ticketing scofflaws.
Chico makes a well-intentioned proposal to stop bike thefts by banning ghost riding and dismantling bikes in public. Nice idea, but it would also stop people from fixing their bikes in the driveway or riding home with a friend’s bike.
Protected bike lanes are popping up in unexpected places. A writer for the Green Lane Project says they’re are even more useful in snowy climates. Which is not a problem we’re likely to have anytime soon.
Caught on video: Dashcam view of a cyclist getting hit by a Seattle police car after the rider went through a red light; the cop was using lights and siren at the time.
Sales go up nearly nine percent after Salt Lake City installs a protected bike lane, though local merchants credit the overall street improvements; business in one store jumped 20% when a 20 mph speed limit went into effect.
What good is an Albuquerque bike lane if drivers are allowed to park there illegally?
Chicago’s bike plan improves equity after all.
New York’s mayor says he believes in bike lanes and they should be “well established” in all five boroughs, even though installation has slowed under his administration. If you say you don’t believe in bike lanes, does another one die?
A writer for the New York Times says bicycling doesn’t need to be a collision course, citing the need for better infrastructure, more alert motorists and safety-conscious cyclists.
More proof cyclists are tough: After a New Jersey man is shot in the back while riding with his nephew on his handlebars, he keeps going until he gets to a friend’s house.
The DuPont manager who killed a Delaware cyclist in a hit-and-run admits he was on the wrong side of the road, admits to drinking even though he swears he wasn’t drunk, and thought he just ran over some tree branches. You’d have to be pretty damn drunk to mistake a bike rider for a tree branch.
The Birmingham AL bikeshare system scheduled to start this week has been delayed due to inclement weather; a Taiwan typhoon prevented production of the bikes.
A 23-year old New York woman is taking a solo trip around the globe to collect stories about climate change.
Montreal proposes a revamp to its code for bicycling; one without mandatory helmets, unlike other Canadian cities, and allowing cyclists to roll through stop signs if no other traffic is present. But drunk and distracted biking is out.
When is a Canadian bike rack not just a bike rack? When it looks like a swastika.
Caught on video: After a British cyclist gets buzzed by a delivery van, the driver apparently tries, and fails, to do the same thing with the car stopped just ahead.
A Parisian writer offers lessons learned from learning to ride a bike at the ripe old age of 29 using the city’s bikeshare system.
An Indian cyclist makes a stop in Cameroon on his round-the-world journey to promote HIV/AIDS awareness; it’s the 106th country he’s visited since 2004.
A South African cyclist spends two years riding his bike 25,000 miles to see the rugby World Cup. Only to watch his team suffer the greatest upset in the history of the event.
Don’t argue with a man who nearly runs you over while looking for his cat, or you might both be charged with disorderly conduct after he whacks you with his cane. We may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about kangaroos.
And if you’re going to pull up in your car and demand money from a bike rider, make sure he’s not a plain clothes cop first.
One last note. I really wanted to attend Thursday’s discussion on what Vision Zero means for LA, with LADOT maven Seleta Reynolds and Leah Shahum of the Vision Zero Network.
But it just happens to fall on the 30th anniversary of my 29th my birthday, so I’m going to be spending that night with my family, instead.
If you’re planning to attend and would like to cover it in a guest post for BikinginLA, just let me know.
Not mine. My dog’s.
The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of vet visits, unplanned pre-dawn walks walks, and the scent of second-hand kibble wafting through our apartment.
Not to mention trying to comfort a sick puppy. And explaining to a hungry Corgi who hasn’t kept her last two meals down why she isn’t getting the next one.
So please forgive today’s absence.
Hopefully there will be good news from the vet today. And we’ll be back tomorrow.