Tag Archive for bike vs pedestrian

Morning Links: More media frenzy over fatal NY bike/ped collision; fallen SD cyclist was keeping blog of his trip

The cyclist who killed a pedestrian in New York’s Central Park calls it an unavoidable accident.

And claims he was only riding eight to nine mph at the time of the impact.

Or course, the key to riding safely is to respond to situations, especially those involving pedestrians, before a collision becomes unavoidable. And if he was riding so slowly, the question becomes why he was couldn’t stop and had to scream for people to get out of his way.

When I ride that slowly, which isn’t often, I can stop on a dime. And it’s hard to believe an impact at such a slow speed could cause the serious injuries the victim reportedly suffered.

Meanwhile, a writer for HuffPo asks when New York will crack down on reckless cyclists. And gets just about everything wrong, including blaming a delivery rider in the bike lane for riding too fast instead of the driver who right hooked him.

On the other hand, City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear does a good job of putting it all in perspective, noting that two New York pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in the past five years, while 156 pedestrians were killed by drivers in the city in 2013 alone. Yet still makes it clear that does not absolve cyclists of the need to ride safely.

And New York Streetsblog says every New York traffic fatality should be investigated like this case has been.

……..

Just heartbreaking.

Kerry Kunsman, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition board member killed while riding in Oregon over the over the weekend, was keeping a blog of his West Coast tour; the last entry was just hours before he was run down by a 74-year old driver.

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Local

Okay, so it doesn’t even mention bikes. But the contest between Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver for County Supervisor could be the most important race in the November election; the Time’s Jim Newton says there really is a difference between the two.

Meanwhile, Kuehl talks bicycling and transit issues with Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next in a 30 minute video.

KCET offers a good in-depth examination of the debate over putting bike lanes and sidewalks on the redesigned Hyperion Bridge.

LA2050 and Atlantic Live invite you to a twitter party this Wednesday afternoon; no, not to celebrate my birthday but to discuss placemaking and what it means to be an Angeleno.

The LACBC hosts the first Firefly Ball awards dinner on Thursday, October 30th.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at the new bikeways bills signed by Governor Brown last week.

The Laguna Beach Independent offers more information on the lawsuit filed by the husband of fallen cyclist Debra Deem against California and Newport Beach.

An LA student wins a $1000 Bicycle Accident Scholarship; Gabriel Ybarra, who will be attending Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, was riding with a friend who was hit and killed by a texting driver. Thanks to Sam Maher for the heads-up.

 

National

Unbelievable. Or maybe all too believable. After a fleeing driver leaves a Colorado cyclist lying in the street, another man walked up and stole her belongings.

The motorist who left American pro cycling legend Dale Stetina with life-threatening injuries faces up to one year in prison after pleading guilty to careless driving in Boulder CO.

A Minneapolis writer says the city’s cyclists are ghosts after dark, and suggests following military rules requiring helmets and reflective vests. But this outfit is definitely not the answer.

The bike-friendly mayor of Pittsburgh wants to Copenhagenize his city

New York considers doubling the fines for hit-and-run, but only if the driver knows or should know that an injury has occurred; laws that hinge on a perpetrator’s state of mind are almost always unenforceable, if not unconstitutional.

A Columbia University professor takes his students on an all-night bike tour to examine the history of New York.

 

International

Toronto cyclists start a sticker campaign to shame drivers who park in bike lanes.

A London cyclist tackles the Tour de France’s legendary Mount Ventoux — not once or twice, but six times in one day.

Yes please. Cycling through France’s Loire Valley.

 

Finally…

A Tucson cyclist tells what it’s like to avoid getting run over by a street car by mere inches. The Chicago Blackhawks invest in bike share. And a Colorado writer apologizes to motorists for the profanity he used when one of their number almost killed him; a good read and definitely worth the click.

 

Cyclist assaulted on bike path, former Amazon CFO killed in bike crash, confirmation Britel killer paroled

The last thing he remembers is a woman putting her hand on his thigh and pushing his bike over.

Somehow, I missed this story last month, when Jack Bornoff suffered serious injuries after he was pushed off his black and white Schwinn by a pedestrian, as he was passing her on a bike path in Balboa Park.

It happened on August 22nd, a Thursday, around 10 am.

I’ll let him tell the story.

I approached the intersection of Burbank and Balboa on my bike and I was riding in the bike path.  I turned onto Balboa northbound and was confronted by a view of a high density of pedestrians in both the northbound and southbound bicycle lanes, including 2 females pedestrians blocking the northbound lane directly in front of me about 50 ft. ahead.  Immediately, I slowed down.  I noticed 2 pedestrians walking towards me in the southbound lane who were at least 50 feet ahead of the 2 pedestrians in my lane and determined it was perfectly safe to pass on the left with this substantial interval between these pedestrian couples.  As I passed by, the female pedestrian closest to me placed her right hand on my thigh and pushed me.

It wasn’t just a fall. Bornoff landed with enough force to knock him cold, and suffered numerous fractures.

I have no clear memories beyond this for at least the next 10 to 15 minutes.  This incident resulted in numerous fractures of the clavicle, scapula and ribs including damage to my lung.

A month later, he still doesn’t know who attacked him, or why. Or even who might have helped him as he lay injured on the bike path.

If you were there and offered to help, thank you and I regret I don’t remember it.  However, if you were there and witnessed this happen, please come forward and notify LAPD Detective Thornton.  818-374-7792.  Case #9C4-4.   Thank you and be safe.

He plans to be back at that same bike path on Thursday, October 10th between 9:45 am and 10:15 am — exactly seven weeks after the attack — to look for witnesses. And would appreciate some help if anyone wants to join him in passing out flyers.

Or if you find yourself walking or riding in the area some other time, he’s prepared a small flyer you could distribute to people in the area (pdf).

Because it wasn’t just a push. It was a deliberate, dangerous assault that left a man seriously injured.

And it needs to be taken just as seriously.

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Last night, it was just another tragic story of a bike rider killed in a left hook; a 22-year old driver turning his minivan across the cyclist’s path in San Mateo County.

Today, word broke that the victim has touched the life of virtually anyone who has ever used the internet or ordered something online.

Fifty-year old Joy Covey was one of the founders of Amazon. A woman whose 173 IQ took her from high school dropout to Harvard Business School, and on to become the CFO who helped the company grow from a book-selling website to the world’s dominant internet retail site. As well as leading it through a highly successful IPO in the late ‘90s.

She was working as treasurer of the National Resources Defense Council at the time of her death.

Initial reports indicated she was wearing a helmet. However, I’m told she may have been traveling up to 40 mph as she descended a steep downhill; in a broadside collision at that speed, no bike helmet is likely to offer much benefit.

As the links above show, there’s already been much written about her tragic death, and the immense and needless loss suffered by so many who knew and worked with her.

And it’s true.

Just as it is for the other more than 600 bike riders who will lose their lives on American streets this year, most of whom will never see their names in print.

In life. Or in death.

My deepest sympathy for Joy Covey and her family.

Thanks to Michael McVerry and Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

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Finally, last month we reported that Danae Miller, convicted in the drunk and distracted driving death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel, appeared to have been released from prison after serving less than half of her original sentence.

Now the Orange County Register confirms that Miller was paroled on August 15th after serving just 18 months of her original four year sentence.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind their draconian paywall.

However, I’m told that the story goes on to quote a member of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, as well as the Newport Beach city council member who heads the committee, as expressing their disappointment at the early release.

Get used to it.

California’s prison overcrowding crisis means most people convicted of traffic crimes will serve only a fraction of their sentences. Which means we need to find alternative forms of punishment — let alone rehabilitation, which seldom if ever happens behind bars — if we want to stop the carnage on our streets. Let alone the hit-and-run epidemic.

I’m told that Miller’s family was very supportive of her during the trial. Not in the usual sense denying her obvious guilt, but actually being there and giving a damn while expressing deep and genuine sympathy for her victim’s family and fiancé.

No word on where she is right now. However, there is speculation that she received the relatively light four-year sentence — she could have gotten up to 10 years — in exchange for a commitment from her family to place her in rehab immediately upon her release.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

And let’s hope that Miller, who already had 11 traffic violations on her record when she took Britel’s life, is never allowed behind the wheel of a car again.

Thanks to the OC Register for crediting this site with breaking the story. That wasn’t necessary, but it’s sincerely appreciated.

Now about that paywall…

South Bay cyclist victim of a hit-and-walk

One of the primary arguments used to attack bicyclists lately has been the alleged carelessness — or aggressiveness — some bike riders show around pedestrians.

Never mind that a solid  collision between a cyclist and someone on foot is likely to result in injuries to both. And while people can point fingers at a handful of cases where careless riders have seriously injured — or even killed — pedestrians, it is a problem that goes both ways.

As just about anyone who has ever ridden any of Southern California’s beachfront bike paths can attest.

Case in point, this email I received yesterday from frequent South Bay contributor Jim Lyle.

Nine days ago, I was returning home from my morning ride up the coast.  As I navigated the bike path under the Redondo Beach pier, a woman ducked under the chain that separates the bike path from the pedestrian walkway directly in front of me.  I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting her and went down, hard.  As I hit the pavement, I heard a “pop” and knew it wasn’t going to be a good thing.  I unclipped and tried to get up, but couldn’t bear any weight on my left leg due to the pain.

Here’s where it gets surreal.  The woman, with a bunch of her friends, did not offer to help me, did not ask if I was OK, or if I was hurt; they simply walked away as if nothing had happened.  Does that qualify as a “hit and walk?”

I was able to pull myself up using the bike to lean on and hobbled to an open area where I had cell phone coverage.  I called a friend who lives near the pier and asked her to come get me.  She arrived, put the bicycle in the truck bed, but I couldn’t get into the cab, it was too high and it hurt too much to move the leg.  I started to go into shock, tunnel vision and losing consciousness.  My friend called 911.  The EMTs arrived, put me on a gurney, and transported me to emergency.  X-rays revealed I had snapped a bone on my femur, but there was no displacement.  They gave me pain meds and crutches and sent me home.  I return to the orthopod in a couple of weeks to make sure there’s been no movement of the bone and I’m on the road to recovery. Otherwise, they’ll have to do surgery.  Meanwhile, I’m moping around the house feeling sorry for myself.  It could have been worse, much, much worse.

As you know, it is illegal (CVC and city ordinances) for pedestrians to use the beach bike path.  There are signs posted and “BIKES ONLY” is painted on the path every few yards.  Because these laws are not enforced, pedestrians, nannies, dog walkers, skaters, illiterates, and scofflaws use the bike path instead of the pedestrian walkway which is often within spitting range.  I always knew this created a dangerous situation for cyclists and pedestrians. And, now, I’m a victim.

In the past, a polite “on your left” or “bikes only, please” would be sufficient.  In future, when I’m back riding, I am no longer going to be very pleasant when I encounter the brain dead idiots who insist on endangering my health.  Police chiefs in the beach cities are going to know my name.  All it would take is a little public education and the occasional ticket to make the beach safe for all users, on two wheels or none.

I’m still fuming about the lack of humanity shown by people.  Surely, they’re in a minority, or are they?

Make no mistake.

Pedestrians are the only class of road users more vulnerable than we are. And we need to go out of our way to protect their safety, especially when riding on sidewalks and through crosswalks, where they should have unquestioned right-of-way.

And yes, I’ve seen cyclists plow through a crowded crosswalk, seemingly oblivious to the harm they may cause. And a Santa Monica cyclist was recently convicted, fairly or not, of assault with a deadly weapon for doing just that.

But as Jim’s email suggests, we aren’t always the problem. And we are just as vulnerable to their carelessness as they are to ours.

One other point.

Had he been able to stop the woman, she could have been held liable for his injuries, just as a bicyclist can be held legally liable for injuring a pedestrian. Or another bike rider, for that matter.

But whether she could be charged with leaving the scene of a collision is a question I can’t answer.

Update: Homeless man dies in collision with bike on Santa Ana River Trail

The Orange County Register broke the news late last night that someone had been killed in a collision with a bicyclist on the popular Santa Ana River Trail yesterday evening.

The collision occurred on the trail around 6 pm just north of Atlanta Avenue; the victim was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he died an hour later. Initial reports were unclear whether the victim was another cyclist or a pedestrian.

This morning, a reliable anonymous source in a position to know wrote to clear up the confusion.

58-year-old pedestrian Johnathan Charles Coontz was struck and killed by a cyclist on the Santa Ana river trail in Huntington Beach yesterday evening. He was a homeless guy, the type who collect recyclables, and he usually had a bike that he used for transportation and collecting cans, so my guess (just guessin’ here) is that at the time of the collision, maybe he was pushing a heavily laden bike, either while scavenging, or while returning to his encampment.

Homeless camp out in the clumps of thick shrubbery along this stretch of path. It’s not a place I ride, but not because of the homeless, who generally keep to themselves.  It’s just dark, you need really bright lights and you need to look out for drunks crossing the path.

Still hoping to find out anything about the cyclist.

There was some initial confusion about jurisdiction, but CHP will be the investigating agency.

It’s rare that a collision with a bike results in death, but as this incident shows, it can happen — and has happened before — usually involving a pedestrian, through fatal collisions with other cyclists have occurred, as well.

The statistic I’ve heard is that roughly six people are killed each year nationwide as a result of collisions with bicycles; however, I don’t know where that stat came from or how valid it may be.

But it’s a reminder to ride carefully in areas where other people may be present. I’ve seen cyclists plow through crosswalks crowded with pedestrians, forcing people to dodge them to avoid being knocked down.

And you don’t want to be the one who has to live with something like this for the rest of your life. Which is not to suggest the cyclist is at fault in this collision; we have no way of knowing yet what happened in this case.

As this recent helmet cam video from Michael Eisenberg clearly shows, it’s not always the cyclist’s fault — in fact, he reports he likely would have hit the man if he hadn’t he slowed down to 8 mph in anticipation of pedestrians in the area.

Update: The Register confirms the identity of the victim, though they list his age as 58 — or possibly 52, judging from the headline — rather than 62, and say he was a resident of Costa Mesa.

According to the paper, Coontz was riding north on an Electra Cruiser when he drifted onto the southbound side of the trail, where he collided with another rider. The other cyclist, a 52-year old man from Midway City, was hospitalized, as well.

And let’s not discount the tragedy because he was apparently homeless at the time of his death. Many people have fallen on hard times in this troubled economy, for any number of reasons. Whatever combination of factors may have brought Coontz onto the streets, there are undoubtedly those who loved him, and will miss him.

Update 2: Koontz’s family and friends remember him as one of the best surfers in Newport Beach in the 1970s.

Please accept my prayers and condolences for Jonathan Coontz, and all his loved ones.

LAPD rules no contact in closing Pinkyracer investigation; manslaughter charges against SF cyclist

The LAPD has concluded their investigation into the Susanna Schick/Pinkyracer case. And concluded that she fell on her own while riding at a near miraculous 30 to 35 mph.

Don’t get me wrong.

I really, really want to believe that the police have conducted a full and fair investigation in this case, and ruled out any other possibilities before coming to the conclusion that her injuries were the result of an unaided solo fall.

But as long as they continue to insist that she was riding up to 35 mph — just moments after stopping for a red light, no less — it only goes to show how little they understand bicycling. And by extension, how to investigate bicycling collisions.

Which does not bode well for any of us.

I’m not saying they didn’t conduct a full investigation. Or that their conclusion is necessarily wrong. But their insistence that Schick was riding at a world record pace defies plausibility.

Schick herself doesn’t buy it either, insisting that she was riding at a more reasonable 18 mph when she fell. And that she’s sure there was another car involved.

Meanwhile, I’m told that the confusion over the lack of a police report when news broke about Schick’s injuries stemmed from the fact that the officers on the scene filed an injury report, rather than a collision or crime report.

As a result, when the press started calling looking for information on a road rage assault and hit-and-run, the police didn’t have any idea what they were talking about.

Only when they connected Schick’s name with the injury report did they put the two together.

The good news is, she’s reportedly working hard in rehab, and making good progress in recovering from her injuries.

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Vehicular manslaughter charges will be filed against San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere in the death of 71-year old pedestrian Sutchi Hui.

Bucchere was caught on security camera entering the intersection on the yellow, but apparently made no attempt to stop before hitting Hui. According to witnesses, he was riding in a reckless manner for several blocks before the collision, speeding in a downhill 25 mph zone and blowing through stop signs and red lights.

Consider that yet another reason to stop for signals; it could come back to haunt you if anything goes wrong later.

The San Francisco Examiner reminds us all to keep this case in perspective.

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I’ve gotten word from 4th District L.A. City Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office that a section of the L.A. River Bike Path will closed for a 5K fun run on Sunday, May 6th.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge will host a 5K Fun Run on May 6, 2012 in celebration of the Los Angeles River. The route will take runners (and walkers!) along the banks of the river, in celebration of its beauty. Cyclists should note the closure of the Los Angeles River bike path from 4:00 AM until 11:00 AM. on May 6th from Los Feliz Boulevard to Marsh Park. lariverfunrun.com

Meanwhile, the USC racing team invites you to join them for the rescheduled Trojan Cycling Benefit Ride this Sunday. Riders of all abilities are welcomed, and coffee and pastries will be served prior to the 9:30 am roll out at Bike Effect at 910 West Broadway in Santa Monica; there’s a suggested $20 donation.

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Amazingly, a San Diego police lieutenant says a driver can’t be charged with a crime for a collision if the victim survives; if you want justice down there, evidently you have to die first.

I was shocked when I heard O’Hanlon state that no charges were filed against the drivers responsible for two cases where the bicyclists survived.

O’Hanlon responded, “to be charged with a crime, there has to be a death.” Thus, the only recourse for the party injured is to pursue the case in Civil Court for damages. In order for a case to go to the District Attorney’s office the case has to be a felony – and the criteria for a felony includes intent, malice, gross negligence or substance abuse. But in a case that is not a manslaughter, “the law is very restrictive. We don’t have a misdemeanor.” Intentional road rage acts have “malice and premeditation and you have assault with a deadly weapon.”  Absent that, “you have a vehicle code violation”.

Evidently, misdemeanor charges aren’t an option in San Diego.

Nor, evidently, is justice for victims who survive.

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Advice on how to safely ride the new Expo Line bikeway. Joe Linton explains why the Bicycle Kitchen wants a new home and how you can help. Why volunteer at the Bikerowave. Better Bike recounts the second Bike Route Pilot Meeting in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. A writer for the Daily Trojan says USC should discourage bike use rather than develop a new bike plan; the solution, according to her — more skateboards and scooters. Ride the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California before the pros. No, really. Mr. Bicycle Fixation says you don’t have to join the Navy to see the world, just get on your bike and ride. The current LADOT Bike Blog meister talks with the previous one. A virtually invisible Agoura speed bump takes out yet another cyclist. The Claremont Cyclist offers beautiful views of a ride up Marshall Canyon. What happens if you bike to work and an emergency calls you back home?

California cyclists could see another attempt to ban distracted cycling; Cycleliscious says it could ban your Panda pictures. The San Diego cyclist who confessed to slashing a local cop, among other charges, now wants to withdraw his guilty plea. Everyone who felt taken in by Floyd Landis’ ultimately losing defense against doping charges can take comfort in news that he is now the subject of a grand jury investigation; the Feds couldn’t get Lance, so maybe they’re going after an easier target. A 25-year battle to build a bikeway between an Louis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Another band is touring the Bay Area by bike. Alta selected to run a Bay Area bike plan. Frightening first person bike cam view of a Berkeley hit-and-run that took out two cyclists.

Ten tweets to help boost cycling in cities. Once upon a time, authorities actually took traffic deaths seriously. A new series of stamps will honor bicycling. A well-lit cyclist is hit by a car at 70 mph due to driver inattention, yet the driver isn’t charged — resulting in a Powerpoint on how to be seen. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says Durango CO police made up a law, then did the cycling collision victim a favor by not charging him with it. The University of Utah plans to increase bike usage. Former President George W. Bush hosts a Wounded Warriors ride. An Ohio cyclist is killed after running into a post designed to keep cars off a bike path; I’ve come within inches of those myself. A Michigan group adapts the Bike League’s Smart Cycling course to help cyclists with disabilities. The media says Detroit is becoming surprisingly bike friendly. New York bike lawyers unveil a bike crash app. A bike riding perp fakes a collision in an attempt to get away. A look back at 25 years of a multi-town Rhode Island bike path. DC authorities clearly get it, expecting three out of every four area trips to be made car-free within 20 years. An autopsy shows a North Carolina cyclist died of head trauma after a police officer used a stun gun on him as he rode his bike; what the hell did they think was going to happen?

England’s iconic Raleigh bike brand is now a Dutch bike. A UK cyclist keeps the camera running as he’s forced off the road by a double-decker bus. London bike bloggers play a role in the city’s upcoming mayoral election. How a planned bike paradise apparently failed. A Westmoreland writer encourages cyclists to stay off area roads if they don’t want to get killed. A legless Scot war vet plans to compete in this year’s Race Across America (RAAM). A look at 23-year old Eritrean pro cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Finally, the Department of DIY opens a motor vehicle chapter in Studio City, as someone has repeatedly painted over a red curb on Colfax. Bikeyface looks at how the big kids ride. And the Onion offers their own eye-watering bike safety tips; thanks to Where to Bike Los Angeles co-author Jon Riddle for the heads-up.

Texas jogger dies after colliding with a cyclist; is it just a matter of time before it happens here?

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Last week, a jogger on a popular shared use trail in Dallas suddenly turned to reverse direction and collided with a cyclist who was attempting to pass her. She struck her head as she fell, resulting in a fatal brain injury.

The reports I’ve seen don’t say how fast the rider was going or how close he was passing, or if he tried to warn her first. It didn’t help that her headphones may have kept her from hearing the rider as he approached.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to spend much time riding along the beach in Santa Monica and Venice to realized that a similar tragedy could happen here anytime.

Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians occur on the beachfront bike path on almost a daily basis.

Like the elderly rider I saw go over his handlebars when a small child on a tricycle suddenly strayed onto the wrong side of the path. Or the cyclist who was knocked of her bike as she tried to pass a group of pedestrians who stopped to talk without moving off of the path they shouldn’t have been on to begin with.

I’ve had several close calls exactly like this one myself, where someone has turned directly into my path without checking to see if anyone is behind them. Sometimes it’s a pedestrian or jogger, sometimes another rider making a left turn without bothering to look back first, evidently operating under the assumption that they’re the only ones there.

I’ve also had a number of close calls when a pedestrian has stepped onto the bike path without looking in either direction for oncoming traffic.

Call me crazy, but I’d think the mere existence of a bike path is a pretty good indication that there could, maybe, just possibly be bikes on it. And simple prudence would suggest that looking for them before attempting to cross would be a good idea.

But hey, that’s just me.

The Texas tragedy has reverberated around country, as the Bike Portland says it shows the need for more, and therefore, less crowded trails, as well as more courtesy on them, and Witch on a Bicycle offers advice on how to ride a multi-use path. Meanwhile, some people have responded by saying a 10 mph speed limit may be necessary on multi-use trails.

But it’s not a question of how fast you ride. It’s a matter of riding safely, and being prepared for other people on the path to do the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.

I’m usually one of the fastest riders on the bike path. But I make a point of riding with my hands on my brake levers whenever there’s someone else around, which is most of the time. And passing other riders and pedestrians with the same three-foot or more passing distance I expect from drivers.

If I can’t, or if the other person’s actions make me suspect that they may somehow pose a hazard, I’ll announce my presence and tell them I’m about to pass — even though it’s often wasted breath, too many people can’t hear me or anything else over their headphones.

Sooner or later, though, something like this is bound to happen here. And when it does, the question isn’t whether the fault will lay with an overly aggressive cyclist or careless pedestrian.

It’s whether the city agencies who have repeatedly failed to enforce the path’s bike-only restrictions will be held accountable for it.

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The Santa Monica Public library will host a free discussion with David Herlihy, author of The Lost Cyclist tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard; thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the heads-up.

David V. Herlihy, author of the acclaimed Bicycle: the History, will discuss and sign his new book, The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.  The book tells the true story of Frank Lenz, a young photographer who disappeared in Turkey in the spring of 1894 while trying to complete a round-the-world bicycle ride.  Herlihy will show photographs by Frank Lenz, taken before the world tour, when he rode an old-fashioned high-wheeler bike, and during the tour, when he rode a modern-style “safety” bicycle across North America and Asia.  A book sale and signing, courtesy of Diesel Bookstore, will follow the program.

And speaking of L.A.’s city by the bay, the Santa Monica Spoke invites you to attend a social mixer to talk bikes with the candidates for Santa Monica City Council tomorrow evening from 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm at 502 Colorado Blvd.

Plan carefully, and you could even make an evening of it.

………

Rumors that Alberto Contador’ blood contained traces from a plastic IV bag have evidently been confirmed, as the New York Times reports that a new test first used in this year’s Tour de France showed plasticizer levels eight times over the allowed limit; a spokesman for Contador calls the story unfounded.

The Times quotes Bernhard Kohl, who finished 3rd in the 2008 Tour de France before being disqualified as saying:

“It’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping…. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do.”

Lance Armstrong’s test samples from his riding days could be subjected to the same tests in a seemingly relentless effort to prove the new-retired rider cheated. Fortunately, not every cyclist is dirty.

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Word came yesterday that the Massachusetts LAB-certified cycling instructor who was stopped repeatedly and arrested for the crime of riding in the roadway on a state highway had his charges dismissed last month, though authorities still have a few days to appeal.

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The video may be three years old, but it’s relevant today since it shows the current front-runner for mayor of Toronto. On it, he says his “heart bleeds” for cyclists killed on the streets, but at the end of the day it’s their own fault, comparing bicyclists riding with traffic to swimming with the sharks.

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Evidently, the anti-bike backlash has extended to wildlife, as riders are taken out by squirrels and wallabies in separate attacks; this comes on the heels of an elite New Zealand rider whose season was ended by a magpie.

………

A warm welcome to L.A.’s newest cycle chic. KPCC’s Larry Mantle had a good program on distracted driving on Tuesday; maybe the solution is hands-free texting. KABC-TV offers a mostly balanced, if somewhat lightweight, look at the conflict between bikes and cars; Damien Newton artfully deconstructs it. A new 3,000 square foot bike shop opens Downtown; link courtesy of @LosAngelesCM. USC’s Neon Tommy says the draft bike plan could make L.A. bike friendly, and reminds us there’s still time to submit your comments. Lisa Simpson, bike shop owner. Census data shows my hometown in the nation’s #3 cycling city behind Boulder CO and Eugene OR; L.A. checks in at a surprisingly high #26. In Oregon, anyone can write a traffic citation, even if the police and courts don’t always know it. And remember to wear orange if you ride there during hunting season. The Wisconsin bike shop owner who was hit by a car five yeas after barely surviving a racing accident died on Tuesday; the driver says he couldn’t see the riders in front of him because the sun was in his eyes. Don’t even try to figure out who’s at fault in this wreck as a salmon cyclist is hit by two drunk drivers in rapid succession; link courtesy of the previously mentioned WoaB. Advice on how to ride with another cyclist. After an Augusta driver hits five riders, critically injuring one, debate rages over how to keep cyclists safe — or whether we even belong on the roads. If you see someone riding your son’s stolen bike, don’t hit him with your SUV. Get out that ugly bridesmaid dress you thought you’d never wear again, as bike Pittsburgh hosts their first Bridesmaid Dress Ride. Rhode Island authorities look for the young motorists who intentionally forced a rider off the road during a triathlon. A London cyclist who was charged with assault after being strangled with his own scarf during an argument with a cab driver has his case dismissed; the court rules the driver’s version of events wasn’t credible. A driver in Singapore hits a cyclist with enough force that the rider smashes her windshield ­— then drives home with his bike jammed under her car, convinced that she was hit a falling branch; amazingly, the judge believed her. A bicyclist is killed when a school bus overturns in India’s Uttar Pradesh province, injuring 12 students; the driver ran away following the incident.

Finally, drivers evidently don’t stop for stops signs, either; then again, there are worse things than getting a ticket. And it looks like the LAPD won’t be pulling anyone over using jet packs, after all.

Cyclist killed in collision with pedestrian in Redondo Beach

News broke yesterday that a 73-year old bicyclist has died of injuries following a collision with a pedestrian earlier this month.

According to the Daily Breeze, Eldon Johansen was riding at the intersection of Avenue F and The Esplanade in Redondo Beach on September 10th when he crashed with a woman walking a dog, and fell into the street.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that the woman and dog were not seriously hurt, but Johansen, a retired Palos Verdes firefighter living in Manhattan Beach, fell into the street and suffered head injuries; he died three days later without regaining consciousness.

Falling into the street suggest that Johansen was riding on the sidewalk, legal in Redondo Beach unless a prohibition is posted, which does not appear to be the case here. However, a cyclist familiar with the area says that it’s unlikely he would have been on the sidewalk, due to the wide bike lanes on the street.

He suspects it’s more likely that either the pedestrian was walking in the bike lane or that Johansen may have been riding on the wrong side of the street, both of which are common in the area.

Both articles note that Johansen was not wearing a helmet. While cyclists may debate the need for helmets, this would appear exactly the sort of slow-speed impact for which they are designed to be most effective in preventing injuries.

Police note that there were many people in the area at the time of the 7:45 am collision, and ask that anyone with information call Traffic Investigator Jeff Mendence at 310/379-2477, ext. 2721.

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