Tag Archive for bicycle helmets

Anaheim Hills bike rider died from solo fall last year; his family makes moving video calling for helmet use

Too often, when a bike rider is seriously injured, it never makes the news. Especially if there’s not a car involved.

Even if it does, there’s seldom any word on what happens after that; no one other than family and friends usually know if the victim bounces back or suffers permanent injuries, or worse.

That’s what happened last year in Anaheim Hills, when bike rider died a month after he was injured in a solo fall.

According to the Orange County Register, 25-year old Gary Lofgren died in an Orange County hospital last October after falling while riding to a park to play football with friends.

A heartbreaking Facebook page created by his sister adds more information.

Lofgren was just two blocks from his home when he fell while riding downhill on September 20th. A neighbor heard him crash as he fell into some trash cans, and ran out to see him try to stand before collapsing hard onto the street.

That was 19 years to the day after his father died.

He was hospitalized with multiple brain bleeds as well as a fracture. And died exactly one month later, apparently without regaining consciousness, a few days after he was taken off life support.

And no, he was not wearing a helmet.

With the help of two friends, his family made a very moving video showing just how much they have lost. And calling for cyclists to wear helmets to keep others from suffering the same fate.

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you may know that I never ride without a helmet. But I am also aware of their limitations.

Bike helmets aren’t designed to protect against high speed collisions, where the force of impact can exceed their design capacity. They aren’t a substitute for riding safely, and should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails.

But relatively slow speed falls like this are exactly what they are designed for.

A bike helmet is a cheap form of insurance against traumatic brain injury, as I know all too well. In 30 plus years of riding, I have only needed my helmet once; in that case, it probably saved my life.

Whether or not to wear one is your choice, as it should be. But like losing weight or giving up smoking, it’s something you do as much for those you’d leave behind, as much as you do for your own benefit.

As this video drives home quietly, and powerfully.

This raises the number of bicycling fatalities in Southern California last year to 86, with 20 in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gary Lofgren and all his loved ones.

Weekend Update: CA bike helmet bill dead for now, LA council votes on hit-and-run rewards Wednesday

Just a quick update to catch up on some of the more important news this weekend.

First up, good news from Sacramento, as the proposed law to require all bike riders to wear a helmet is dead for now.

Faced with almost universal opposition, Sen. Carol Liu has amended SB 192 to require a study of bike helmet use instead. Also gone is the silly requirement for all riders to wear reflective hi-viz after dark, which would have criminalized commuting in normal street clothes during the winter months.

Let’s hope the study, if the revised bill is passed, goes beyond the junk science we usually see on the subject. And considers not just whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet, but whether the victim actually suffered a head injury and if wearing a helmet could have made a difference.

Thanks to Calbike and CABO for their opposition to the bill.

………

The LA City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal to establish a standing reward for hit-and-runs this Wednesday.

The program would start at a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for property damage, rising to $50,000 if someone flees a fatal collision.

Anyone who has experienced hit-and-run first-hand — not just bike riders — is urged to attend the council session to tell your story in support of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, a press conference will be held at LA City Hall prior to the council session, starting at approximately 9 am; anyone who supports the proposal is urged to attend, whether or not you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run. This will also tie into the Finish the Ride event the following Sunday to call attention to the epidemic of hit-and-run on our streets.

If you can make it, email Damian Kevitt at [email protected] to let him know you plan to attend, and give him a brief summary of your personal experience with a hit-and-run driver.

………

Word is that the people pushing to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive open to cars are keeping the pressure on city officials to make the temporary opening permanent — converting the treasured hiking, biking and horse riding trail into just another car-jammed street.

Which means we have to keep the pressure up, as well.

Swrve offers a sample email you can personalize and send to the following people:

I’d suggest adding your own city council member to the list, as well.

As a cyclist and hiker who regularly rides and hikes Mt Hollywood I urge you all to not open the Mt Hollywood gates, on the Valley and Observatory sides, to private vehicle or City tram traffic. It will create a hazard for cyclists, hikers and equestrians on the Mt Hollywood road, will disturb the serenity of one of the most popular trails and areas of GP, and needlessly congest a wild area.

Tram, private vehicle transit or parking on Mt Hollywood will crowd the road too greatly, be a new source of air pollution and will add to the safety hazards cyclists, hikers and equestrians already face in other areas of the park such as Fern Dell.

Thank you,

(your name)

You might also consider adding a line or two about the added risk of wildfires started by hot car engines parked over tinder-dry brush, or cigarette butts carelessly tossed by tourists who may be unaware of our current severe drought conditions — creating exactly the risk proponents say they’re trying to prevent.

………

Finally, a handful of events you won’t want to miss this weekend.

We’ve already mentioned Saturday’s unveiling of the work done as phase one of the Reseda Blvd Great Streets, and the workshop for phase 2 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Anyone attending this weekend’s Redlands Classic is invited to join in a social ride and bike parade hosted by the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance at 3 pm this afternoon.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Tour tonight, including an exhibit in the shop by Highland Park-based artist and musician Timothy Sellers.

Sunday evening, the LACBC is hosting a Pre-Climate Ride Party at the Angel City Brewery from 5 to 8 pm to raise funds for members of their climate ride team. The party is free to attend, but includes incentives for donating to your favorite Climate Rider:

  • $25 = 1 Beer Ticket
  • $50 = Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $75 = LACBC Membership + Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $100 = LACBC Membership + 2 Beer Tickets in souvenir pint glass + 3 Raffle Tickets
  • Raffle prizes include a Tern folding bike, a Laemmle Theatres private screening for 13, George Lopez tickets, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, a Timbuk2 messenger bag and more.

And if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Corgi Beach Day at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday morning. Unfortunately, our Corgi sends her regrets, since she’s not terribly fond of other dogs, particularly not ones as cute as she is.

Sienna-on-bed2

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