Tag Archive for DUI

Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza died, 2 days after he was struck allegedly stoned driver in Mission Viejo

In the end, a man who spent 18 years saving others couldn’t be saved himself.

News broke this morning that Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Captain Mike Kreza had died, two days after he was after he was run down by an allegedly stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo.

Kreza was training for an Ironman Triathlon when his bike was struck by a car driven by 25-year old Stephen Taylor Scarp around 8 am Saturday on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos.

He was reportedly hit from behind as he was riding in the bike lane on eastbound Alicia Parkway, suffering critical wounds to the head and body.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department had reported that he was unresponsive as a Sunday afternoon, and surrounded by family and friends.

Scarp remained at the scene. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI after police found multiple prescription medications in his car. At last report he was being held on $100,000 bond, pending a hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

Kreza leaves behind a wife and three young daughters.

This is made even more tragic, not just because of the families he leaves behind — both his own and the close-knit firefighter community — but because so many of us owe our lives to the men and women who devote theirs to saving others.

He died, sadly and needlessly, not in a courageous effort to rescue someone else, but as one of us.

A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised over $126,000 in just two days, more than five times the original $25,000 goal.

This is at least the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mike Kreza and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to Megan Lynch, Steve S and Steven Bonadio for the heads-up.

 

 

Morning Links: Keeping our streets deadly, biking to a surf record, and hard-hitting non-LA Vision Zero ads

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

San Gabriel police arrested a man for the hit-and-run death of a grandmother and her one-year old granddaughter as they walked in a crosswalk last week.

The suspect, who was taken into custody leaving a local hospital, has three previous arrests on DUI charges. Yet was still driving, and posing a risk to everyone on the road around him.

So once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the streets until it was too late.

And another innocent family had to pay the price.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Brazilian big wave surfer Maya Gabeira combined running and riding intervals on her bike to get back in shape, five years after she was nearly crushed to death by a monster wave.

The result was a new world record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman.

 

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A hard-hitting public service campaign uses actual broken bicycles, helmets and personal possessions belonging to people who were killed on Toronto’s streets to drive home the message of the city’s Vision Zero campaign.

These definitely succeed at cutting through the usual ad clutter, and eliciting a strong visceral response.

The question is whether it’s enough to convince people to drive more carefully. Or just convince people that riding and walking are too dangerous, as Marc argues in this Twitter thread.

I’m not sure just where I come down on that debate.

But I do know they’re a hell of a lot more effective and impactful than this embarrassing effort from LA’s Vision Zero program.

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Let’s catch up with a few coming events.

SoCalCross is hosting a weekend of cyclocross racing at Lake Casitas this weekend, including a Halloween-themed Spooky Cross.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday Ride will roll from the Spoke Bicycle Cafe to the free 2nd Annual Griffith Park Harvest Fest this Sunday.

Bike SGV reports Arcadia is hosting what may be its first ever public meeting on November 7th to discuss bicycle improvement projects throughout the city.

The East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice will host their annual LA River Bike Toxic Tour on November 18th. And no, I don’t know what that means.

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Local

After losing at City Hall, LA’s overly litigious, self-appointed NIMBY watchdogs have filed suit against the City of Los Angeles to halt the recently approved plans allowing for greater density near Expo Line stations.

 

State

Life is cheap in San Diego, where a 20-year old woman will serve just four months of a one-year sentence for killing a Fallbrook man as he was riding just minutes from his home, while she was under the influence of antidepressants.

Sad news from Marin County, where a popular teacher was killed when her bike was rear-ended by an alleged drunk driver.

More bad news, this time from nearby Sonoma County, where a woman was run over by a loaded dump truck as she was riding her bike in a Santa Rosa crosswalk.

 

National

Zwift wants you to ride for a good cause starting next week, including helping pay the medical expenses for former pro Adrien Costa, who lost a leg while rock climbing in Italy, as well as raising funds for African bike charity Qhebeka, among others.

A Michigan charity group is getting into the holiday spirit already, gearing up to distribute 101 bicycles to needy families.

This is who we share the streets with — and who polices them. A Massachusetts police lieutenant is on administrative leave after a series of columns he wrote for a police publication came to light, including calls to “meet violence with violence” while complaining about Lime Bikes, bike lanes and Tour de France wannabes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Gothamist asks if just tossing protective bollards in pedestrian areas and bikeways is enough to protect New Yorkers against another truck terrorist attack.

Baltimore has officially changed the fire code to allow bike lanes on narrower streets, despite the mayor’s failure to sign the bill.

After a North Carolina man was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding on a narrow street, a local resident says bicyclists should ride on the nonexistent sidewalks.

Four experienced Florida bike riders were critically injured when they reportedly changed lanes in front of an oncoming car, and were run down by the 92-year old driver; police blame the victims for an improper lane change. Bicyclists said the popular riding route where they were struck is dangerous, but local residents say bikes belong on the sidewalk instead.

 

International

Here’s another way of looking at Vancouver’s successful bike registration program — it helps return an average of one stolen bike a day to their original owners.

An Ottawa, Canada woman says bike riders should stay off the damn sidewalk already. No matter where we ride, people will complain that we should be somewhere else. Or anywhere else. So just ride safely, legally and courteously, and let it be their problem.

Caught on video: Just moments after safely passing one bike rider, an English bus driver nearly takes out a second bicyclist by cutting in way to close after passing to avoid oncoming traffic.

A British sporting goods company has saved a chain of bike shops from insolvency, while warning that half of the stores may be shut down.

A researcher in the UK finds no evidence that bicyclists pose an elevated risk to disabled people, but says that cars do.

Irish bike riders are posting photos of their bikes outside of polling stations as part of an “I Bike I Vote” campaign. If anyone wants to share photos of how you Bike the Vote next week, I’ll be happy to post them on here.

A New Zealand bicyclist penned an Op-Ed decrying the growing anger on the roads, after an impatient driver posted an irate video showing his group delaying her car for a whole 20 seconds.

Beleaguered Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo appears to be in retreat around the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former American national champ Larry Warbasse was back in pro cycling’s WorldTour, just days after his Aqua Blue team unexpectedly folded after he had signed a new two year contract.

Cycling Tips profiles former U-23 national champ Keegan Swirbul, who finds himself without a team at the ripe old age of 23; he may be the only rider to make the leap from parkour to the pro tour.

 

Finally…

Honestly, who doesn’t need a $6,000 sort-of bamboo e-cargo bike?

And why bother with brake levers when you can just brake with your butt?

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Happy Halloween! Use extra caution if you drive tonight, and watch for kids early and over-indulging revelers late.

And if you ride your bike, ride defensively, because drivers won’t be looking for you tonight.

Morning Links: Higher crash rates in states with legal cannabis, and driver gets life for killing LAPD officer

This is who we share the roads with.

A new study shows that crash rates are up six percent in the four states where cannabis is legal, compared to neighboring states.

Which is a good reminder that it can take a full 24 hours or more to metabolize marijuana. And driving under the influence of cannabis is just as illegal as alcohol, if harder to quantify.

Meanwhile, Wednesday marked the first day cannabis was legal in Canada.

And it only took one hour before the first ticket was issued for toking behind the wheel.

Photo by Michael Fisher from Pexels.com.

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A 25-year old driver got life behind bars for intentionally ramming an LAPD patrol car and killing the officer inside, in an attempt to help his friend in another car escape a police chase.

Which couldn’t be more deserved.

But remember that the next time a driver gets a slap on the wrist for deliberately running down someone on a bicycle.

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And combining the last two themes, Jeffrey Fylling forwards a press release from the Orange County DA’s office announcing that a 24-year old woman will face up to 10 years in prison for killing an 81-year old man while allegedly driving high on cannabis.

Which gives a whole new meaning to the term weed killer.

It would be nice to see prosecutors take it that seriously the next time a California driver kills someone on foot or on a bicycle.

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CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez is asking for your input in designing a Safe Routes to School program to improve walking and bicycling to Van Nuys Elementary and Panorama City Elementary schools.

A public meeting will be held at each school next Thursday to discuss a Walking Safety Assessment.

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Local

Curbed talks with East Side Rider’s founder John Jones III about the club’s efforts to inspire change in the local South LA community through bicycling. Although I had no idea they had chapters in other cities across the US. And thanks to whoever sent this to me; my apologies for losing track of it. 

CiclaValley previews Monday’s Donut Ride on Reseda Blvd.

Forget the candy this Halloween. Metro Bike is offering a bulk discount on single ride bikeshare passes. Although that doesn’t guarantee you won’t get egged or TPed by kids who’d rather have a sugar high than a free ride.

Helen’s Cycles is hiring a part-time cashier for their Santa Monica store.

 

State

Over 1,000 bicyclists are expected to turn out for the annual Tour of Upland next month.

About 40 veterans and first responders are making their way down the California coast as part of the eleventh annual Project Hero United Healthcare California Coastal Challenge to highlight the health issues they face, including PTSD.

Chico is updating its bike plan after just five years. So naturally, the local TV station quotes a driver complaining about scofflaw bicyclists. I wonder if they also bring up lawbreaking drivers whenever someone wants to build a new overpass.

 

National

They get it. AARP suggests ten ways bicycle friendly streets are good for people who don’t ride bikes, while offering a reminder that people of all ages like to ride bicycles. Print this one out before your next public meeting, and leave a copy on every seat. Especially since older people tend to be more resistant to bike-friendly changes.

A writer for a travel site says you can participate in adventure travel, even with a hidden disability.

Forbes suggests what you can do in your own neighborhood to slow climate change. Hint: It has pedals and two wheels, and maybe a battery.

Motherboard says e-scooters reveal America’s urban transportation crisis, adding they’re fun, but nobody knows what to do with them yet.

Portland experiments with raised, floating bus platforms to reduce crashes with bike riders. For once, Los Angeles got there first with raised platforms on Los Angeles and Figueroa.

Nebraska tourism officials are told they can bicycle their way to prosperity by hitching a ride on the bike tourism boom.

No bias here. A Chicago writer complains about an “abundance of rude (maybe even psychotic) bicyclists” who ride on the sidewalk, instead of in the “bike lanes that have disrupted and uglified” downtown streets, while adding that police should ticket downtown bike riders instead of sidewalk riders in black neighborhoods. Nothing opposing bike lanes, as well as people who don’t feel safe using them.

Chicago’s Bike Lane Uprising is a crowdsourced civic tech platform designed to make it easier to report drivers blocking bike lanes or other obstructions.

St. Paul MN discovers they can trick drivers into stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks.

New Orleans bike riders will no longer face a $150 fine for failing to failing to register their bikes; the city revoked its mandatory registration after one rider received nearly $1,000 in tickets for a single traffic stop, including one for failing to register his bike.

The police chief in Tampa FL says his cops stop bike riders mostly because they don’t have lights, run stop signs or ride salmon. It’s just a total coincidence that 80% of the bike riders they stop are black.

A Tampa TV station says a three-foot wide curb bike lane is dangerous by design, putting bicyclists too close to passing cars. Especially since that three feet appears to include the gutter.

 

International

Treehugger says it’s time to face the dangers cement trucks pose to the people around them, and put safer trucks on the roads.

Road.cc lists 18 things they “reckon” every bike rider hates. I hate the word reckon, but I reckon that’s my problem.

A new urban bike promises to be weatherproof and maintenance-free, with airless, puncture-proof tires, a carbon belt drive, and seven speed internal hub. Although the nearly $2,000 price tag could put a dent in your wallet.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not made.

Drivers in the UK could be required to give bicyclists and pedestrians the right-of-way in every situation under a proposed revision to the country’s Highway Code.

A trio of bighearted British kids raised the equivalent of over $6,500 for a hospice for terminally-ill children and adults; two rode 300 miles across England, while the third, who suffers from Cardio Facio Cutaneous Syndrome, rode 30 miles on his adaptive bike.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham has shattered the women’s record for bicycling around the world in just 124 days, beating the existing record by 20 days.

France considers a mandatory bicycle registration program to fight bike theft as part of a 25-point, $401 million plan to boost bicycling — including a proposal to pay people up to $458 a year to bike to work.

Volkswagen’s new smart headlights promise to recognize and highlight people walking or riding bikes in low light. Which the drivers probably won’t notice because they’ll be too busy with their phones.

An Israeli soccer player is expected to be charged with hit-and-run and DUI for a crash that killed a teenage boy illegally sharing a friend’s ebike; the other boy could also face charges for carrying a passenger, swerving into the driver’s path and riding without a helmet.

A legendary Aussie firefighter wants to thank the stranger who tossed his bicycle in the back of his SUV and drove him home after he took a bad fall in traffic, injuring his shoulder.

A Manilla legislator proposes a nearly five-foot passing distance to improve safety for people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at the complicated case of newly crowned women’s masters champ Dr. Rachel McKinnon, saying the debate over the first transgender world champ can’t be solved, but it can be better understood.

Former Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins says like it or not, Lance is iconic, and was singled out for doping when he wasn’t the only one doing it.

Surprisingly, the winner of last year’s Zwift indoor cycling competition has thrived in the pro peloton, signing with pro team Canyon-SRAM for a second season.

 

Finally…

When you really want to go retro with your water bottle. If you don’t think drivers hear your warnings, get a grip.

And when your marriage goes downhill as soon as you say your vows.

 

Morning Links: 40 years behind bars for drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre, and new ways to drive distracted

Forty years.

That’s the minimum sentence the driver convicted of the Kalamazoo massacre will serve, after being convicted in the drug-fueled death of five bicyclists, and injuring four others.

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to 40 to 75 years behind bars, meaning he’ll be at least 92 when he gets out if he serves his full sentence.

But at least Pickett said he sorry.

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and everything else and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

The judge wasn’t having any of it, though.

The judge called Pickett’s apology “woefully inadequate,” saying that until that point, he didn’t appear remorseful for his actions. The judge also pointed out Pickett had many opportunities to stop driving before he hit the cyclists, but didn’t.

At least one survivor said his tearful apology was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases. But driving under the influence is a choice.

One that can have devastating consequences for innocent people on the roads.

As well as the not-so-innocent people behind the wheel.

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Just what we need. Another way for people to be distracted behind the wheel.

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Local

As usual, the LA Times gets it, saying e-scooters aren’t a scourge, they’re a solution. And says Elon Musk is going to destroy Los Angeles in a dumb attempt to save it.

LA Taco looks at the arrest of Mariah Kandise Banks in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA, and the low rent attempted coverup that followed.

CiclaValley watches the Nichols Ride again, but gets some great photos in the process. And he has a good excuse for not riding.

 

State

Laguna Beach police conducted their annual Road Safety Expo to help stop bike and pedestrian deaths; they focused on the dangers of distracted driving, as well a bicycling and walking skills.

The people behind anti-road diet group Keep LA Moving continue to export their traffic safety denial program, this time taking up shop to halt safety improvements in Tustin. Credit Peter Flax with the link.

Ocean Beach planners approve a concept for parking protected bike lanes along West Point Loma Avenue.

A San Diego girl was lucky to escape with a bruised leg after she was hit by a turning car while allegedly riding salmon.

After a successful trial, NorCal’s Caltrain is expanding a program allowing bicycle riders to board bike cars first to make boarding more efficient.

Sad news from the Tahoe area, where a man was killed when a driver veered right into his bicycle.

 

National

This is who we share the roads with. A Minnesota motorist fleeing from police plowed into a playground, critically injuring two small children, as well as injuring their brother.

Akron OH looks to Copenhagen for inspiration on how to become bike friendly.

Massachusetts police can’t figure out who’s responsible for a road rage incident, so they just charge everyone (scroll down).

New York drivers can’t seem to figure out that they don’t go when the bicycle-shaped traffic signal turns green.

 

International

A film critic offers seven anecdotes marking the 15th anniversary of the bike-themed The Triplets of Belleville. And if you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

Talk about not getting it. Ontario, Canada police release a bike safety video, telling bicyclists to ride a far right as possible — even when there are sharrows on the street.

After a Nova Scotia man traded his car for a bicycle, he hopes a revised vehicle code will finally treat bike riders and drivers equally. And he’s not the only one.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame does a little bicycle myth busting in the Guardian.

According to The Atlantic, bakfiets — aka cargo bikes — are the new symbol of gentrification in the Netherlands, as upscale white mothers take to two or three wheels in place of the family minivan.

Reporting from the Netherlands, People for Bikes says the Dutch ride a lot, but don’t go far.

Uber’s Jump e-bikeshare service has made its first foray into Europe, landing in Berlin following a botched entry with their carshare service.

Australian site The Conversation discusses how traffic signals are designed to favor cars and discourage walking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada may be getting close to legalizing marijuana, but it remains banned for cyclists under international doping rules. Seriously, has a little weed ever enhanced a cyclist’s performance? It usually has the opposite effect. Or so I’ve heard.

VeloNews recounts competitors tales from the recent 206-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Twenty-seven-year old Aussie BMX champ Caroline Buchanan will compete in Texas later this month, just six months after a serious crash nearly ended her career. And her life.

 

Finally…

At least someone’s fixing potholes. Advice for your first naked bike ride.

And she didn’t just marry into royalty, she married into cycling.

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Thanks to Mark H for his generous support of this site.

Morning Links: Bike rider injured in hit-and-run protest; driver charged with murder in Tour de Palm Springs death

Just one day after Frederick Frazier was killed in a brutal hit-and-run in South LA, another rider was struck in the same intersection.

During a protest over Frazier’s death.

And yes, that driver fled the scene, too.

A group of Frazier’s friends gathered to block the intersection at Manchester and Normandie with their bicycles to call attention to the death and demand justice for their fallen friend.

The protest got out of hand after several people attacked an LAPD SUV when police arrived to break it up, smashing its windows with their bikes.

According to Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman, the young men were angered after graphic photos of the man they knew as Woon were posted online overnight, showing their friend splayed out on the street as another rider attempted to comfort him in his final moments.

A woman in a tan car, who had previously gotten out to argue with one of the protesters, forced her way through the intersection, running a red light in the process, and deliberately slammed into a rider identified as Quatrell Stallings, throwing him into the air.

She then gunned her engine and fled the scene as Stallings stumbled to the curbed.

He was taken to a local hospital; reports are he was not seriously injured.

Now police are looking for two hit-and-run drivers.

One with a $50,000 bounty on his or her head for leaving Frazier to die in the street; another who could — and should — be facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

A memorial ride will be held for Frazier this Friday.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

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A Desert Hot Springs man has received a well-deserved murder charge in the death of Washington man participating in this year’s Tour de Palm Springs.

Twenty-one-year old Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. is accused of driving up to 100 mph while stoned before slamming into 49-year old Mark Kristofferson, killing him almost instantly. He was taken into custody after the arraignment hearing, and held on a $1 million bond.

He’s also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

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The LAPD’s Van Nuys Division misses the mark with a bike safety awareness flier.

The piece tells bicyclists to “Always ride in single file,” even though there’s nothing in state law that prohibits riding two or more abreast. And riding abreast is often safer in lanes that are too narrow to share with a motor vehicle by increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

The piece also says riders should walk their bikes across busy intersections, which increases the risk by decreasing mobility and exposing riders to careless and distracted drivers for a longer period of time.

And never mind that a bike helmet may be a good idea, but it’s not required for anyone 18 or older.

But if the point is to increase awareness of bike safety, where is the companion piece telling drivers to always watch for bikes, pass with at least a three foot distance, and open doors with your right hand to prevent dooring?

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Local

Metro released their draft strategic plan for the next ten years, as they transition from a transit provider to focusing on the entire mobility ecosystem.

CiclaValley explains what it’s like getting cut off in the bike lane by a Metro bus driver in DTLA.

A writer in Azusa encounters a 43-year old gang member at his local bike shop, realizing that bikes bring everyone together.

 

State

A pair of UC Santa Barbara graduates are nearing the completion of their self-supported bike tour from California to Columbia.

The bizarre anti-bike hysteria continues in San Luis Obispo, where the city council is accused of dirty tricks after re-affirming plans for a bike boulevard. Meanwhile, older SLO residents are up in arms over plans for an e-bikeshare system with a hub on the coast, worrying about whether they’ll be run off the sidewalk.

The San Francisco Chronicle shares the five best bike rides around Santa Cruz.

Testimony in a preliminary hearing fills in some of the blanks in the death of a San Francisco woman run down in Golden Gate Park last year, one of two people killed in the city by hit-and-run drivers just hours apart.

 

National

Another good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who considers the ethics of breaking traffic laws, noting that obeying the letter of the law isn’t always the safest way to ride.

Wired says Uber’s acquisition of dockless ebike provider Jump means they want to control every way you move, while Bicycling examines dockless bikeshare in the wake of Uber’s entry into the field.

Curbed says cities need to step up to the challenge of controlling streets and sidewalks as bikeshare and shared scooters begin to take over.

Don’t count on glowing infrastructure lighting the streets anytime soon.

A local news site says Honolulu drivers are complaining about the loss of a few hundred parking spaces to make room for bike lanes, somehow blaming that for the traffic congestion in the city.

No bias here. Police in Portland OR ignored a road rage assault on a bike rider that left him with a broken jaw, refusing to even file a report on the case.

A local weekly says Portland’s bike renaissance begins now.

A Lincoln, Nebraska man gets three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a city councilmember from a nearby town lying badly injured in the street.

The Catholic bishop of Davenport, Iowa is one of us; he’ll be riding across the state in this year’s RAGBRAI.

Three Illinois priests are riding across their Diocese to promote religious vocations.

Seriously? A road raging North Carolina man gets a gentle caress on the wrist for punching a bicyclist in an attack caught on video, as he’s sentenced to just three days behind bars. That will certainly send a message — one that says go ahead and attack other people on the roads.

 

International

A British man has been charged in the death of a 91-year old cyclist, who was killed while trying to set a national age record.

A transportation technology project from the University of Melbourne says to improve safety and performance on our streets, we’ll all have to be connected in a single network including cars, buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.

An Aussie ultracyclist set a new record by riding 555 miles in 24 hours.

 

Competitive Cycling

The head of cycling’s governing body says women cyclists deserve more than they’ve been getting, and he dreams of a Paris-Roubaix Feminine.

An autopsy concludes that Michael Goolaerts suffered a heart attack while riding in Paris-Roubaix last Sunday; there had been speculation that his heart stopped as a result of the fall.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Jonathan Vaughters reminds us that bike racing is a dangerous sport, where tragedy can happen any day.

 

Finally…

Hit a pothole on your bike, and get a bill for breaking it. Your next wheel could weigh ten pounds and make riding easier.

And no, dockless bikes don’t belong in trees.

 

Morning Links: 15 years for Oceanside drunk driver, ebike regulations, and young cyclist dies in Paris-Roubaix

For once, the charges — and the conviction — fit the crime.

An Oceanside woman faces up to 15 years behind bars after she was convicted of second degree murder for the drunken hit-and-run crash that took the life of a homeless man.

In an extreme case of heartlessness, she drove over a mile with the victim’s body embedded in the seat next to her. Then parked the car around the block from her house and walked home.

And did all that after her friends warned her she was too drunk to drive, but got behind the wheel anyway.

At least she’s not likely to be driving again for a very long time.

Drunk or otherwise.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes and the rules governing them.

City Lab considers New York’s recent, and way too late, approval of ped-assist ebikes.

Popular Mechanics questions when ebikes cease to be bicycles.

And the Washington Post looks at changing ebike regulations across the US.

Meanwhile, police departments are quickly adopting ebikes as the best tool for bike cops.

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Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix bike race, stop reading now and skip to the next section.

Still here?

World Champion Peter Sagan out sprinted Swiss rider Silvan Dillier to take the cobbled Monument after taking off on a breakaway with 33 miles to go.

But don’t take my word for it.

https://twitter.com/Paris_Roubaix/status/983003465222905856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Ftheradavist.com%2F2018%2F04%2Fthe-last-moments-at-this-years-paris-roubaix-spoiler%2F

If that wets your appetite, SoCal Cycling has posted video of the full race broadcast. And in a piece written before the race, a Scottish website says Sagan is a throwback to an earlier era.

All was not good, however.

The race known as the Hell of the North lived up to its billing with the heartbreaking news that 23-year old Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts died of cardiac arrest in a Lille, France hospital several hours after the race.

Goolaerts heart reportedly stopped 65 miles into the race, as medical staff struggled to resuscitate him as he lay on the side of the road; it was unclear if he collapsed while riding or as the result of a crash.

His team released a statement announcing the death, and asking everyone to respect the privacy of Goolaerts’ family.

He had posted this moving photo on Instagram just two weeks ago.

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Local

A new report shows what the lower LA River could look like as you ride through, once the existing gaps in the bike path are finally closed.

An Op-Ed in the LA Times says almost no one walks to or from LAX because the airport has made it virtually impossible to do. But those who do may find some hidden gems. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Culver City goes to the polls Tuesday; Bike the Vote LA has your voter guide.

 

State

A section of the Santa Ana River Trail near Angel Stadium has finally reopened after authorities cleared out a massive homeless encampment. Although they can’t seem to find anyone willing to take the people in.

Dockless bikeshare comes to downtown San Diego.

San Francisco celebrates Walk to Work Day with a tone-deaf distracted walking tweet from the fire department.

The US Bicycling Hall of Fame in Davis is now accepting nomination for this year’s class.

 

National

Great piece from elite cyclist Ayesha McGowan on the need to go beyond tokenism in bike marketing, and bring more diversity to the bike industry. McGowan is working to become the first African-American woman on the pro tour.

Fast Company makes the case that the Trump administration blew it by focusing on highway projects in their infrastructure plans, rather than bike and pedestrian trails that can revive rural economies.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says you can’t be a climate mayor if you’re making room for more cars. Let’s hope LA Mayor Eric Garcetti reads that.

It only took Goodyear 120 years to get back to making bike tires.

Seattle’s new mayor puts the brakes on plans for a promised bike lane on 4th Street, delaying it until at least 2021 over fears of slowing traffic. Because everyone knows people on bikes don’t count as traffic. Right?

The Durango, Colorado newspaper calls on everyone — or mountain bikers in particular — to respect the land, and stop using closed trails and building illegal ones.

Denver’s bikeshare system is adopting a hybrid program to compete with dockless bikeshare, allowing riders to leave bikes in hundreds designated bike corrals, or leave them anywhere for a small additional fee. Something Metro may want to consider as dockless bikes expand through Los Angeles.

New York bicyclists ride to call for safer streets and remember a father killed by a drunk driver as he rode his bike.

Treehugger says you could solve the problem of New York’s salmon cyclists by getting rid of one-way streets. Or at least installing contraflow bike lanes.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The University of Georgia remembers an award-winning professor and experienced cyclist who was killed while riding her bike last week; the driver was accused of following too close and not giving a safe passing distance.

 

International

Road.cc explains why cycling clothes are better for long rides, and why you probably don’t need them around town.

A Costa Rican website recognizes the need to improve bike safety, but questions whether a new 9.5 mile bike lane in the capital does more harm than good.

A Canadian broadcaster has been cited by two government agencies for calling on drivers to hit “idiot” bicyclists.

A Vancouver Op-Ed says bicycling is often more convenient than driving in major cities. I’ve found that true in Los Angeles, where I could commute from Westwood to DTLA in the same time it took to drive, with far less hassle and aggravation.

Around 4,000 young Londoners took over the streets as they rode to call for an end to knife crime in the wake of several recent murders. Meanwhile, a website looks at the movement bringing young riders onto the streets of the city.

A UK bike rider kicks the car habit after 20 years, and says it feels great.

A British newspaper asks if it’s time to make bike helmets mandatory after a young helmetless rider suffers major facial injuries after going over the handlebars. While some studies have shown helmets can help prevent facial injuries, he would have had to wear it over his face to prevent most of his; a good pair of glasses probably would have done more to prevent his eye injuries.

An English town tries “cyclist speed dating” to get more people on bikes.

An Egyptian man set off on a two month, 3,000 mile ride to Russia to watch the 2018 World Cup after Egypt qualified for the first time in 28 years. And the US didn’t. I’m just saying.

Walking and bicycling could be the best solution to Nairobi’s crushing traffic.

An allegedly drunk South African driver was convicted of killing two cyclists on a group ride in a high speed crash after leaving a night club at 5 am.

No bias here. A Kiwi columnist proudly admits to road rage when it comes to people on bicycles — especially MAMILS in colorful Lycra.

An Aussie study suggests that suggests that speed limits and lane widths may be more to blame for crashes with bicyclists than bad driving. However, a Canadian study shows that nearly half of bike collisions are the result of driver error and following too closely.

A 15-year old Australian cyclist takes bike-hating drivers to task for their shocking attitudes.

 

Competitive Cycling

London’s Independent talks with the author of a new book about the dark side of cycling.

A pair of Kiwi cyclists rode Paris-Roubaix in honor of nearly 60 members of the New Zealand Cycling Corps buried nearby, who were killed on the Western Front in the war to that was supposed to end all wars. Except it didn’t.

Tom Boonen hints that he believes Fabian Cancellara used motor doping to beat him in the 2010 Tour of Flanders. 

In an absolutely unnecessary display of stupidity on the part of race organizers, American cyclist Lawson Craddock was lucky to escape without injuries after crashing into one of several parked cars that were left on the race course on the final stage of the Tour of the Basque Country.

 

Finally…

Stopping dockless bikeshare vandalism 19¢ at a time. When a bike lane is just a hippie plot to make construction workers ride bicycles.

And the next time you find yourself being attacked by angry cows on a bike ride, call a plumber.

 

Morning Links: Justice for Deborah Gresham, bike settlements soar due to bad LA streets, and BAC meets tomorrow

Finally, there’s justice for a fallen bike rider.

It’s been 16 months since Walking Dead fan page author Deborah Gresham was hit by a driver while riding her bike in Stanton.

And left to die in the street, literally within site of her own home.

The driver, Ricardo Hernandez Sandoval, was arrested less than an hour later after horrified witnesses followed him to his home. He was booked on charges of felony hit and run, felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Now I’ve been informed that he was sentenced on Friday to four years for vehicular manslaughter under the influence, and five years for the fatal hit-and-run, to be served consecutively.

In other words, nine years total, along with fines and restitution.

I’m also told the assistant DA had to wipe tears from his eyes when Gresham’s children gave their witness statements.

It won’t bring Deborah Gresham back. But for once, a fallen SoCal cyclist got justice from the courts.

If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read Peter Flax’s moving, must-read story about this tragedy. Photo from Ghost Bikes LA.

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Great story in the LA Times about the soaring cost of settlements involving bike riders who were injured due to the city’s failing streets.

According to the story, the City of Los Angeles settled with 17 bicyclists last year for a total of $19 million, over four times more than in any previous year.

That’s $19 million that could have gone to fixing the streets before anyone got hurt, rather than waiting until it was too late.

It was those settlements that inspired Councilmember Mitch Englander’s misguided proposal to ban the striping of bike lanes on any streets with less than an A pavement grade, and removing any existing ones from streets with a B or less.

Which would leave few, if any, bike lanes anywhere in Los Angeles.

And only serve to increase the city’s liability when bike riders continue to get injured on streets that used to have bikeways.

The story quotes me on that, as well as talking with BikinginLA sponsor and Calbike board member Josh Cohen.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet tomorrow night in Hollywood; the BAC is the only official voice for bike riders in the City of LA.

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The LACBC has unveiled a new video explaining who they are and what they do as part of their 20th Anniversary Celebration.

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Local

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s ridden a bike through there to learn that the intersection of Devonshire Street and Reseda Blvd is the most dangerous one in the state.

LA2050 is offering a total of $1 million in grants to five organizations for projects designed to make Los Angeles, “the best place to learn, create, play, connect and live.” Applications will start being accepted on March 1st.

A bike rider was hit by a car in Pacific Palisades last Wednesday; no word on how the victim is doing. The driver somehow claimed to be driving just 15 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the crash.

Tomorrow the UCLA Bicycle Academy intends to confront the members of the Regents Health Services Committee to demand that the statewide UC Health system lose its automotive bias and recognize the health benefits of bicycling.

LA celebrated the official opening of a one-block long Green Street in the Del Rey neighborhood, connecting Westlawn Ave with the Ballona Creek bike path.

 

State

Sad news from Hesperia, where a father drowned rescuing his nine-year old son from the California Aqueduct, after the boy slipped in as they rode their bicycles along the canal.

Caltrans is warning about construction delays on the the coastal bike path north of Ventura through the month of February, though the path will remain open.

A decision could be made this week on the proposed San Luis Obispo bike boulevard that has brought the anti-bikeway NIMBYs out of the woodwork.

For the first time, you won’t need a vintage bicycle to participate in the Eroica California in Paso Robles.

More sad news, this time from Oakland, where a man on a bike was killed in a collision with a big rig truck.

 

National

Slate says requiring bicyclists to wear sensors so self-driving cars don’t crash into them is cheating, and autonomous vehicles should be able to spot people riding bicycles on their own, without outside help.

Details have been released for this year’s Ride the Rockies bike tour through the Colorado high country; it will cover 418 miles and nearly 26,000 feet of vertical climbing in six days. And it will visit the tiny lakefront town where my mother worked as a waitress when she was just 18.

Seriously? The death of a Kansas cyclist competing in the state time trial in 2015 was the catalyst for a proposed state law prohibiting negligent driving. Except the penalty would be a whopping $45, which isn’t likely to change anyone’s driving habits.

Michigan is doubling the width of a four-foot bike lane and adding other safety improvements, after two women were killed there two years ago. Maybe they could try making improvements like that before someone gets killed. Which goes for Los Angeles, and everywhere else, as well.

New York news media goes berserk after mobs of “crazed, angry cyclists” swarm drivers, smashing a car window and punching a driver. Although it turns out it was really just 16 teenagers on bicycles, and the cop who was injured was hit by a car making a U-turn to go after them.

 

International

Canadian cross-country ski clubs are slowly opening their trails to fat bikes.

Ofo dockless bikeshare comes to London, as the Guardian says it will be to cycling what Uber is to taxis.

LA bike riders aren’t the only ones who have to deal with crappy pavement.

The economic impact of bicycling adds the equivalent of nearly $1 billion to the Scottish economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie Compton had to settle for second place in the women’s world cyclocross championships, finishing behind Belgian Sanne Cant.

Belgium’s Wout van Aert won the men’s world cyclocross title for the third consecutive year.

 

Finally…

Buy a bike, bore your dinner companions. UFC champ Connor McGregor is one of us.

And yes, you just got dropped by a priest on a folding bike.

No doubt staged, but still fun.

Morning Links: Sharing the road with flying cars, and maybe bike riders aren’t scofflaws after all

They drive among us.

Maybe you somehow managed to miss the multitude of new stories over the weekend about the allegedly stoned driver who managed to plant his car on the second floor of a dental shop in Santa Ana.

No, really.

According to reports, the driver, who hasn’t been publicly identified, hit a center median with enough force to launch his car into the air, across three lanes of traffic, and embed it into the wall of the shop while still gaining altitude.

The inevitable question of how fast he had to be traveling to launch his car with such force is only partially answered by security camera footage.

As well as the view from an oncoming bus that was nearly taken out by the airborne ballistic automobile.

Lets hope he loses his license.

Permanently.

And it’s not just LA.

A Denver motorist literally drove into a Catholic church, finally stopping inside the vestibule with shards of stained glass scattered around.

But at least that one seems to have stuck to the ground.

Top photo from Orange County Fire Authority. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Wes Salmon for the heads-up.

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Pot, meet kettle.

It’s long been common knowledge, among drivers at least, that people who ride bicycles are a bunch of reckless scofflaws who pay no attention to the law.

And anyone who has argued to the contrary, by pointing to studies showing most bike riders actually do stop for red lights and stop signs, or that countless drivers treat speed limits and stop signs as mere suggestions, is usually shouted down.

Often by people on both sides.

Never mind that even the most reckless bike rider is primarily a danger to him or herself, while a reckless driver is a danger to everyone around them.

That should have changed a few years ago, when a study from the University of Colorado showed that drivers and bike riders broke the law at nearly the same rate — 8% to 9% for drivers, and 7% to 8% for bicyclists.

As well as a follow-up study that showed when drivers broke the law, they did it for convenience, while people on bikes did it out of concern for their own safety.

Except that the both studies were greeted with crickets by the mainstream media.

Let alone the motoring public.

Now another study has shown virtually the same thing.

Writing for Outside, Peter Flax has taken a look at the recent Florida study that showed drivers broke the law at a slightly higher rate than the bike riders participating in the study.

In the end, the results indicated that cyclists were compliant with the law 88 percent of the time during the day and 87 percent of the time after dark. The same study determined that drivers who interacted with the study subjects complied with the law 85 percent of the time. In other words, drivers were slightly naughtier than the cyclists—even without measuring speeding or distracted driving.

In a conversation with three of the researchers who conducted the study, I asked if they had any insight into why the findings vary so significantly from public perceptions about scofflaw cyclist behavior. “Many drivers simply don’t know the rules that concern people on bikes,” says Cong Chen. “About how much space to give cyclists, for instance, or when riders should get the right of way.”

The study also offers suggestions on how to improve safety.

In any case, based on the study findings, the researchers offered a number of recommendations to help mitigate the frighteningly high rate of close calls. For infrastructure improvements, they suggested wider and protected bike lanes; reflective green markings on bike lanes; improved lighting on roadways that see significant bicycle traffic; and so-called “through lanes,” which reduce conflicts between bicyclists and turning vehicles at intersections by letting riders be safely positioned before cars turn. “Based on what we saw and measured, we recommend measures that promote separating more than sharing,” says Kourtellis. “We think creating buffers between cars and bikes is smart.”

But once again, don’t bother trying to find any mention of the study in the mainstream media.

Evidently, dispelling a widely held misperception too often used to demonize people on bicycles just isn’t news.

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Speaking of demonizing bicyclists, one Aussie rider caught skitching — holding onto a moving vehicle to hitch a ride — is used to attack everyone who rides a bike for wanting “extra rights” on the road.

Never mind that most bicyclists haven’t done that, and never will.

And the only extra right we want is the right to ride a bike, and get home in one piece.

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Local

LADOT laid down the new Hollywood-approved green paint on the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista over the weekend.

Speaking of Mar Vista, Bikerowave is hosting a bike swap on Sunday the 28th; coffee and donuts will be available if you get there early enough.

Los Angeles County’s outgoing Health Services director says he didn’t expect to fall in love with LA after moving here from San Francisco, but riding his bike to work from Hancock Park to DTLA certainly didn’t hurt. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Repaving started this past weekend on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax to prepare it for the half-measure safety improvements pushed through by Councilmember David Ryu, against the wishes of local residents who were fighting for a road diet. Any hope that the road diet might go through died following the fiasco in Playa del Rey, where recently installed road diets were yanked out after an outcry from motorists.

The latest Bike Talk podcast features John Russo and Karla Mendelson of Keep LA Moving, who successfully fought to have the Playa del Rey road diets removed, and want to halt any future lane reductions in the city.

Walk Eagle Rock shows that it’s possible to do more with less space on narrow streets.

The long discussed new section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail through South Pasadena is scheduled to open late next month.

The LA Times examines Chinese counterfeiting of small San Marino bikewear maker Team Dream.

Claremont is moving closer to a $16 million makeover of Foothill Blvd, including median divided bike lanes.

Long Beach surpasses its mobility goals for last year, with over 1.1 million bike riders and pedestrians passing a counter near the pier.

 

State

The co-founder of PayPal is one of us.

A Santa Ana cyclist was injured in an apparent gang shooting.

Tehachapi opens a new class 1 bike path along Tehachapi Blvd.

You never know what you might find while riding your bike. Like a boa constrictor with a broken jaw on the side of a Bay Area highway. The good news is, the snake has fully recovered.

The bike-friendly new Oakland bridge will be at least two years late and $6 million over budget.

Sad news from Paradise, where a bike rider was killed when she was rear-ended by one driver, then knocked into the path of another.

 

National

An ebike pioneer argues that an ebike charged using fossil fuels is actually greener than a regular bicycle when you consider the extra food needed to fuel the rider. Because everyone loads up on food before they ride to the corner market, right?

Meanwhile, TreeHugger says there’s an ebike revolution coming, and bikes and ebikes will eat cars.

An Oregon town posts a sign telling drivers not to text and drive, in honor of a 16-year old boy who was killed by a texting driver while riding his bike. Which will undoubtedly cause every driver to put down their phones. If they even bother to read it.

A Montana newspaper looks at the benefit bike tourism can have on small towns.

An Austin TX paper asks if an ordinary guy can ride 10,000 miles in two years. Considering that’s less than 100 miles a week, sure.

Kay Perry may be one of us, but she still takes Dallas to task over abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

The Chicago Tribune supports bringing bikeshare to the city’s transit deserts.

Bike registration rears its ugly head in Vermont, where a new bill would impose a $28 annual fee to ride a bicycle on public streets. Which is fine if your goal is to discourage bicycling, and keep people from taking ever down those unused bikes hanging in the garage.

An Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Enquirer considers how to make the city a safer place to ride a bike.

 

International

If you can’t ride your bike on a Manitoba highway because of the ice, get out your hockey skates. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

A Toronto Op-Ed says lowering speed limits throughout the city would save lives.

The Guardian offers a photo essay of a custom framebuilder in the UK.

Just a year after finishing a seven year, 43,000 mile around-the-world bike tour, an English man is planning to set a new record by riding across Europe in less than 20 days.

A Scottish woman is looking for homes for two stray dogs she rescued in Brazil while riding around the world.

A British father shares gruesome photos of his son after the boy crashed face-first into a brick wall, saying it’s a reminder to always wear a helmet. Which might have actually helped, but only if he’d worn it over his face.

An Aussie woman says she deserves a reduced sentence because the bike rider she left bleeding on the side of the road while driving high on ice didn’t die, but merely suffered permanent, life changing injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Australian driver was fined for throwing a cup filled with ice that hit a bicyclist in the head. By the EPA. For littering.

An Aussie cyclist walks with probation for bike rage tirade against a distracted driver who cut him off in traffic, after arguing that “fuck” is not obscene.

Seriously, don’t be this guy. A bicyclist in Australia cuts directly in front of a driver, then flips the motorist off for good measure.

After an Australian man loses his driver’s license for six months, he discovers he feels better, weighs less and actually likes riding a bike. Even if he doesn’t take responsibility for those speeding tickets.

A New Zealand bicyclist is shocked to discover an 18-inch wide bike lane that’s narrower than her handlebars.

A bike shop in Yangon, Myanmar leads a weekly nighttime bike ride in the city, where bicycles are banned by tradition, if not law.

A distracted ebike rider in Singapore got a $2,000 fine for colliding with a bicyclist when his mobile phone rang.

A Chinese man rode nearly 10,000 miles from Benin back to his hometown to raise funds to help install solar power stations and water wells in the African country.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary Katie Compton won her 14th consecutive national cyclocross championship, while the recently unretired Meredith Miller took the singlespeed title.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where BMX star Jelle Van Gorkom is in a coma after a training accident, with no word on when he might awaken.

The Guardian looks at the tenuous finances of lower tier pro cycling teams.

Cycling Weekly talks with recently retired British track cyclist Becky James about the importance of finding a balance between work, training and family life.

South African cyclist Louis Meintjes learned the hard way to put on sunscreen under his mesh jersey. I once ended up with the Canari logo tanned onto my back after wearing my favorite jersey a little too often.

A self-trained Kenyan cyclist will compete in the grueling Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race, despite having a bullet lodged in his stomach from a shooting that killed his father when he was 15.

A Kiwi cyclist wins New Zealand’s U-23 cycling championship just one year after taking up the sport.

 

Finally…

Nothing like using a fat bike to make a really fat snow bike. Apparently, bottling a bicyclist is a thing.

And if you’re going to ride stoned, leave the illegal prescription meds, butterfly knife and counterfeit bills at home.

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Thanks to John H for his generous donation to help support this site.

Update: Bike rider killed by allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver in Koreatown

Yet another person has been the victim of an — allegedly — drunk coward who fled the scene of the crash.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding south on Western Ave near San Marino Street when a driver struck him from behind just before 2 am.

The 26-year old driver fled the scene, but was arrested nearby after police found a white sedan with damage consistent with the collision. Fox 11 reports he was speeding at the time of the crash, and was found in his car obviously intoxicated.

The victim has been publicly identified only as a Latino in his 50s. He died at the scene.

He appears to have been riding a mountain bike with reflectors, but no lights are visible in the news reports.

A street view shows a four lane road on Western with center left turn lanes in both directions at San Marino, and no bike lanes. And little or nothing to slow a speeding drunk at that hour.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 23rd in Los Angeles County; it’s also the eighth in the City of LA.

At least 19 of those 52 fatal crashes have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified as 48-year-old Los Angeles resident Mario Calderon.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Calderon and his loved ones.

Breaking news: Bike rider killed by apparent drunk driver on Imperial Highway in Hawthorne

The Hawthorne Police Department is reporting that a bike rider was killed crossing Imperial Highway Saturday afternoon.

According to a press release from the department, the victim was riding south across the roadway on the 4300 block of West Imperial Highway when he was struck by a westbound car around 3:50 pm.

He was thrown approximately 100 feet, which suggests he was struck at a significant rate of speed. The car veered into the center median before slamming into a palm tree, sheering it off at the base.

The victim, who hasn’t been identified, was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he later died.

Thirty-year old Hawthorne resident Andrew Figueroa was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drunk driving, and could face a manslaughter charge.

A street view shows a divided roadway with three lanes in each direction, with an unsignalized intersection at either end of the block.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective John Dixon of the Hawthorne Police Department Traffic Bureau at 310/349-2701.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the 21st in Los Angeles County.

And it should be yet another reminder to always carry ID whenever you ride.

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