Tag Archive for ghost bikes

A moving look at local ghost bikes, Pico Blvd cyclist threatened with knife, and your weekend reading list

Ghost bike for Compton victim Pete; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike photo by Danny Gamboa

I’ve long been a fan of LA Times columnist Steve Lopez.

And not just because he’s been a long standing supporter of safer bicycling, on the mean streets of LA or the seemingly serene Santa Monica bike path.

Today, he offers a moving look at the local ghost bike movement. It’s a must read. And one in which he quotes me extensively, as well as ghost bike builder Anthony Novarro, who lost his own 6-year old bike-riding son, and documentary maker and ghost bike photographer Danny Gamboa.

The comments that follow, not so much.

And while we’re visiting the Times, after writing last year about braving LA traffic as a bike commuter, writer Ben Poston calls it quits after getting right hooked by a pickup; not everyone approves.

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A cyclist says a road raging driver threatened him with a knife for riding on the street on Pico Blvd Friday afternoon.

Hopefully he reported the incident to the police; just brandishing the weapon should be enough for an assault with a deadly weapon charge. It’s bad enough when they threaten us with their cars.

And if he has witnesses to the threat — or other evidence, like an arrest or criminal charge — it could allow him to file suit under the city’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

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The Amgen Tour of California begins May 11th, with three SoCal stages — Santa Clarita to Mountain High on May 16th, Santa Clarita to Pasadena City Hall on May 17th, and a final Thousand Oaks stage on May 18th that offers four ascents of the famed Rock Store Climb.

The full roster of teams is announced. And for the first time, this year’s race also includes two women’s races; hopefully, a full women’s stage race won’t be far behind. Cycling in the South Bay says you can help that happen.

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The case against the sheriff’s deputy who killed entertainment lawyer Milt Olin on Mulholland Highway last December goes to the DA to determine if charges will be filed.

Meanwhile, a bike rider suffered severe injuries when he was hit from behind in South LA Friday night.

And a Santa Ana man who may have been on a bicycle was the victim of what may have been a gang shooting.

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Great article on the non-spandexed women cyclists and riders of color who make up a large but largely unnoticed part of the LA cycling community. Better Bike says Beverly Hills is making little progress on traffic safety, and may have the most dangerous streets for any city of its size in the state. Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg looks at last weekend’s successful Bicycle Commuter Festival and Summit. LA County Supervisor candidate Sheila Kuehl calls for bike valets at Expo stops; I like it, but it will take more than that to win my vote. Streetsblog maps out the upcoming 20 miles of new sharrows recently promised by LADOT. Outside looks at LA’s upcoming NELA Bike-Friendly District. If you’re an early riser, you may still have time to ride for dim sum with Flying Pigeon. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune applauds connecting the Rio Hondo river trail to the El Monte bus station. Redondo Beach will get a new bike sculpture over the bike path.

Cyclelicious offers a look at bike-related bills before the state legislature, including a plan to tax new bike sales to fund bike path repairs and appease motorists who mistakenly claim we don’t pay our way. I don’t feel it’s my place to criticize a guest post on here, but I can always count on others to have my back. San Diego’s North Park — my old neighborhood when I lived down that way — could become a better place to ride a bike. On the other hand, a bike lane could spell the death of the Hillcrest entertainment district by removing up to 91 parking spaces; cause, you know, no one would ever ride a bike to go out or anything. A participant in the recent fatality-marred Tour of Palm Springs looks at the event and finds it lacking. The Man in Black’s daughter offers her blessings to the new Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom.  If you see someone riding your stolen bike, try not brandishing a knife to get it back. A San Francisco Good Samaritan ends up behind bars after attempting to help and injured bike rider; thanks to my friends at the new and improved Altadena Point for the heads-up.

The long forgotten protected bikeway boom of 1905. Even Las Vegas is getting bike friendlier. The next step in better bike infrastructure could be protected intersections for cyclists. A cyclist is seriously injured attempting to ride through a tunnel in Zion National Park. My hometown newspaper says it’s time we all got along on the roads; not getting along may create conflict, but it’s seldom the cause of traffic collisions. Once again a bike wins, beating two buses, a pedestrian and a driver in rush hour traffic, this time in Austin TX. Dallas bike rider brawls with police after being stopped for not wearing a helmet. A Chicago rider says the cycling community can — and must — do better when it comes to including women and treating them fairly. A remarkably big-hearted Indiana family forgives the drunk driver who killed a cyclist. New York’s new mayor pushes for a 25 mph speed limit to save lives; I wonder if LA will ever have the courage to slow drivers down to safer levels.

A British Columbia bike rider is ordered to pay over a quarter million dollars for running down a walker on an off-road trail. British driver gets two years for leaving a cyclist for dead after hitting him at 80 mph; thankfully, the rider survived, but lost an arm. A UK van driver gets a lousy six months for laughing while deliberately attempting to run down a group of cyclists; a rider tells the story from the victims’ perspective. A Brit truck driver walks after claiming he couldn’t stop or swerve to avoid killing a cyclist, so he just ran him over. Amsterdam struggles to accommodate an ever increasing number of bike riders. An Aussie anti-bike group says keep to the right because you own a bike, not a Mack truck.

Finally, adding insult to injury, a Seattle man finds his bike stolen on Valentines Day, with a pile of crap left in its place. No, literally.

And a rider on the Santa Monica bike path has seemingly solved the problem of riding with your best friend.

Dog-Bike-2

Possible justice, and justice delayed, in OC; CPP students and faculty remember Ivan Aguilar

A couple quick updates on legal cases from behind the Orange Curtain.

I’m told that Joel Alexander Murphy, the driver accused of slaughtering cyclist Roger Lippmann in a high speed PCH hit-and-run last June, has pleaded guilty to all charges against him, which at one time included felony hit-and-run, driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and violating probation for prior drug offenses.

Sentencing is scheduled for next month; my source says the prosecutor in the case is tough as nails, so we should be able to expect some significant jail time.

Meanwhile, the same source tells me that lawyers for Juli Ann Brown, the driver charged with running down three cyclists in a drunken Seal Beach hit-and-run last February, have had a lot of meetings in chambers, which suggests they may be working out a plea deal. She already has at least two prior DUI convictions, so anything less than actual jail time — and permanent loss of her license — would be a significant miscarriage of justice.

And still no charges against Becki Lee James, who was arrested last July on suspicion of felony DUI causing great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of cyclist Kenneth Prevatte. Kind of makes you wonder what the OC DA is waiting on.

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That petition calling on Governor Brown to sign a three-foot passing law after screwing cyclists vetoing similar bills twice was up to 78 signatures in less than one day the last I checked. If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign now and send a message that it’s long past time to protect our safety; not everyone agrees, though.

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A ghost bike was installed for fallen Cal Poly Pomona student Ivan Aguilar Thursday. LACBC-affiliate chapter Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition calls on the university to create a safer and more bike-friendly campus, while CLR Effect offers moving photos of the tribute.

Meanwhile, a writer for several Inland Empire publications somehow managed to capture the moment beautifully, in just 140 characters:

The silence among the hundreds of those left behind at the memorial after the bicyclists ride off is broken only by frequent sniffling.

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The Times looks at the idea of taxing bikes; I’ve said before I wouldn’t object to a reasonable fee if all the funds raised went to improving bikeways and safety. DTLA Bikes invites you to ride with them on the last Sunday of each month. Hopefully, the rain will stop in time for ArtNight Pasadena Friday night. The Culver City police team with Target to give a 10-year old girl a new bike after hers is wrecked in a collision.

Once again, police crack down on the victims of our auto-centric streets rather than the ones who place them at risk, this time in San Diego. Now’s your chance to make La Jolla more bike friendly; it wasn’t very when I lived down that way. A Sacramento-area high school coach is killed in a bizarre bicycling accident when he’s impaled on a metal gate after he looks back to wave at a student; thanks to Louie Garcia for the heads-up. San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere will stand trial for felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian last year; if we expect to hold drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel, we should expect cyclists to be held to the same standard. A Chico man may have ridden his bike to a highway overpass at 2:30 am, leaned it against the railing and jumped to his death. Teams are announced for the Amgen Tour of California.

Elly Blue explains how to bike to the airport. A marketing specialist says it’s time to tone down the bike evangelism. Commuter Age offers a big FU to Opel for their blatant attempt to sell cars using bikes. Portland businesses seek out spaces next to bike lanes. The new healthcare plan pisses an Iowa cyclist off so much he’s riding 7,000 miles at age 70 to protest it; no, I don’t really get it either. A proposed 924 mile off-road hiking and biking route would connect Michigan and Wisconsin. Bikeyface suggests bike shops are ignoring the future of bicycling. A Boston-area woman is 61, deaf and rides her bike everywhere. Bikes mean business on Capital Hill.

UK cyclists saved their country’s economy tens of million of pounds and kept hundreds of thousands of tonnes, uh, tons of carbon emissions out of the air; no wonder Brit drivers hate them. Even cardinals on their way to elect a new pope ride bikes. An Aussie car passenger warned the driver about a cyclist five seconds before he hit the rider. A dooring could silence a New Zealand string quartet for three months.

Finally, an Israeli town plans an innovative elevated bikeway to allow cyclists to U-turn without crossing the road. Nice, but somehow I can’t picture anyone actually using it, especially since it only works for people who don’t want to ride past the city limits; seems much easier to just turn around.

Stupid Driver Tricks — bizarrely impatient Brentwood driver; and knee-jerk Hollywood anti-bike hatred

Maybe it was something in the water.

Or maybe it was a little lunar lunacy in anticipation of tomorrow’s Blue Moon.

But Thursday’s ride to Manhattan Beach and back was marked with more Stupid Driver Tricks — and not just drivers, as a few cyclists and pedestrians insisted on getting into the act — than I usually see in a month.

But this one takes the cake.

All this woman had to do was wait a few seconds until the light changed, and she could have easily gotten out of that parking lot with her dry cleaning.

Instead, she pulled out directly towards the car in front of her. When that didn’t work, as he failed to magically disappear from her way, she backed up, pausing as I pulled up next to her. Then looked directly at me, and cut me off anyway — as the driver next to me and I both shook our heads, arms extended in the universal WTF gesture.

And yes, I may have made another gesture that didn’t show up on camera as I pulled up next to her.

No, not that one.

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Streetsblog offers a good look at what you should do if you encounter my pet peeve — bike lanes needlessly blocked by Hollywood production crews.

Even though experience has taught me that Corgis make much better pets than peeves.

As they note, film crews are required to have a permit before they’re allowed to block a bike lane, or any other traffic lane, for that matter.

And yes, a bike lane is a legal traffic lane, albeit one reserved for bikes, just as HOV lanes are reserved for vehicles with more than one occupant. Or people willing to pay for the privilege of driving alone.

Which means that, without a permit from the city — which is remarkably easy to get — film crews have no more right to block a bike lane than they do the center lane on Wilshire Blvd. Though that never seems to stop them from doing it anyway.

The story also notes, correctly, that you have every right to demand to see that permit, whether they like it or not. And that if they don’t have one, you’re entitled to call the police — or Film LA — and demand that they move the offending cones to reopen the bike lane.

Although getting someone to actually care enough to do something about it can be another matter.

Then there are the seemingly inevitable comments from film crew workers unwilling to even attempt to obey the law.

Including this one from a self-described Assistant Location Manager who threatens to have anyone who asks to see the permit arrested on false charges.

As an Assistant Location Manager, the guy whom you will probably be approaching for a film permit, which will then be followed by your venting hippie diatribe about why my working trucks are blocking your bike lane here’s what I am going to do….Ask to see my permit, which I will produce for you. Then it will be I who will call the cops and claim that you threatened my production company with extortion, which I will be able to produce witnesses for. I will also suggest to the officer who responds that we spotted you taking illicit drugs not far away from my set, which I will also produce witnesses for. Being that most bikers I know engage in the occasional to regular use of drugs, I will most likely be right. When your being cuffed and taken to jail, I will then sell your bike on ebay….I may even use the funds to put gas in my Ford F-150 (not a Prius). You guys want a fight, your going to get one…

Point is, we are losing production jobs everyday to other states and cities because of BS like this. My methodology may seem machiavellian but I will do whatever it takes to keep filming in Los Angeles, keep food on my family’s table, and not be forced to move to keep working in film industry which provides a much needed paycheck and health benefits to family and I. Be warned, if the working trucks are parked in a bike lane, bike around us and go on your merry way…

Nice way to put a good face on Hollywood, dude.

And summing up exactly why many people in this town are fed up with self-entitled production crews, regardless of the jobs they create.

Yes, we all want to put an end to runaway productions, and keep those high-paying jobs right here at home.

But Hollywood needs to take a long, hard look at itself, and accept that other people in this city have rights, as well.

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Joe Devito forwards a photo of the ghost bike for Michael Vega, the 25-year old cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver earlier this week in Rancho Cucamonga.

And judging by the comments, it sounds like we’ve lost a great guy.

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A few other quick notes:

Flying Pigeon looks at Tuesday’s meeting of the LACBC Civic Engagement Committee. Downtown is rapidly being redrawn to support bicycling. Glendale letter writer doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that bike lanes make streets safer, not the other way around. Three San Diego firefighters are on trial for beating the crap out of two bike riding brothers after calling one a bicycle faggot. A rocket scientist Ventura motorcyclist hates on California’s new three-foot passing law, missing the concept that it is actually possible to drive safely; and that emergency vehicles get an entire lane, while bicyclists only get three feet.

Trial has begun in the case of the driver who killed tandem cyclists Greg and Alexandra Bruehler, resulting in the single saddest photo I’ve ever seen. Here’s a good reason not the be an idiot, as a road-raging Detroit cyclist runs a red light, hits a truck, punches the driver — and gets fatally shot as a result. A PA cyclist is the victim of an early season drive-by pumpkining. Maybe cyclists should be licensed — and paid to ride. Ex-framebuilder Dave Moulton notes that doping has been around as long as competitive cycling.

Finally, I’ve always like fast women, as Bikeyface nails it once again. And it’s so hot, Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali is fixing bikes in his tightie whities reds.

Come back a little later in the day Friday, when we’ll have a giveaway contest to celebrate National Trail Mix Day. No, really, there actually is one. And I’ll see if the video came out on some of those other Stupid Driver Tricks over the next few days.

Caltrans trashes ghost bikes, silver medalist decries sexism & Brits have something extra in their pants

Time to catch up on a little non-breaking news.

And thankfully, non-broken cyclists, for a change.

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The soon to be removed Erin Galligan ghost bike; photo courtesy of George Wolfberg

The heartless bastards bureaucrats at Caltrans have removed the San Diego-area ghost bike for Nick Venuto, while Charles Gilbreth‘s ghost bike has been removed by the City of San Diego.

I’m also told that Caltrans plans to remove the recently installed ghost bike for Santa Monica hit-and-run victim Erin Galligan any day, if it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, Murrieta cyclists ride to remember fallen rider Randy Pruett on his daughter’s sixth birthday.

Correction: Sam of Bike SD — a must read for SoCal cyclists — notes that the Gilbreth bike was removed by the City of San Diego. I’ve corrected the paragraph above to reflect that.

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Marianne Vos takes an exciting women’s Olympic road race, while Gilroy’s Shelley Olds finishes 7th in the women’s Olympic road race after suffering an ill-timed flat. However, American cyclists still have a shot in the time trial, which 4th place men’s finisher Taylor Phinney has been targeting. Taylor finished one place better than his dad did in 1984; at this rate, the family should win gold in just three more generations.

Meanwhile, Brit silver medalist Lizzie Armistead calls out the overwhelming sexism in professional cycling. And loses her lucky sunglasses, prompting a police search.

It’s long past time that pro cycling took women riders seriously. The late, great Coors Classic — still the greatest bike race to take place on American soil — offered a parallel women’s tour nearly four decades ago. So why can’t the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge seem to manage it?

Bike commentator Phil Liggett says BMX and mountain bike events don’t belong in the Olympics.

And evidently, British track cyclists have a secret weapon in their pants.

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The Times covers Saturday night’s Wolfpack Hustle Midnight Drag Race; you never would have seen a story like that a couple years ago. Flying Pigeon hosts a night of Streetfilms to benefit C.I.C.L.E.’s Shay Sanchez. L.A. cyclists are about to see their first Bicycle Friendly Street on Yucca Street in Hollywood. L.A.’s original bike advocate will be honored with a rededication of the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge. Bikerowave offers a list of their August classes. New buffered bike lanes appear on 6th and 14th Streets in Santa Monica; I’ve also noticed the buffered lanes on Montana have been extended all the way to Ocean. Bikes and Hikes L.A. is offering a discount on bike tours to West Hollywood hotel guests. Beverly Hills finally gets around to discussing bike racks on Thursday; could someone please invite them to join the rest of us here in the 21st Century? B.I.K.A.S. says don’t assume I drive or that driving is safe. Long Beach will host the first National Women’s Bicycling Summit on September 13th.

A bill is advancing in the state legislature to exempt bike lanes from the requirements of the state’s air quality (CEQA) rules; of course, something that makes that much sense will probably get vetoed by our three-foot-law-denier governor. A Santa Cruz cycling coach says we’re people, too. A legally drunk Fresno high school basketball coach kills a 7-year old boy riding his bike in a crosswalk, while injuring his father and 18-month old sister; thanks to Michael Byerts for the heads-up. Commuting by bike is more than just a ride to work. Oakland area efforts to get women into cycling. A Shasta County recumbent rider is killed and another injured after a driver loses control and hits both bikes.

Conflicts between drivers and cyclists caught on video. GM is developing a smartphone app to keep pedestrians from getting hit; the problem is what happens when drivers get used to it and encounter a pedestrian who isn’t using one. Lovely Bicycle asks what to do when spouses worry; I’ve learned not to tell my wife about any of the problems I experience on the road, and she’s learned not to read this blog. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says you could be liable for a collision with another rider. A Colorado cyclist complains that state police should know the law before they stop riders like him. Police in my hometown clearly get it, as they prefer to focus enforcement on drunk drivers than intoxicated, but relatively harmless, cyclists. It could take just a cheap and simple transformation to get people on their bikes. Evidently, Texas cyclists are a source of danger. Not every bike lanes is a cause for celebration. Bike Safe Boston says avoid the door zone, and remember dooring is always the driver’s fault — unless you’re in Santa Monica. New York City ponies up a $225,000 settlement in the case of a then-17-year old cyclist whose jaw was broken by a cop after she called him a rookie. Bikes are becoming more popular as DC-area getaway cars.

Once again, ill-placed rumble strips may have played a roll in the death of a cyclist, as Calgary riders work to make roads safer. John Forrester, the father of vehicular cycling, bizarrely accuses London cyclists of throwing themselves to their deaths under large trucks. Instead of gridlock, London’s Olympic Lanes have created a cyclist’s paradise. Cycling greases the wheels of the British economy. London’s Critical Mass turned into a bust — literally — as 182 riders were arrested after challenging Olympic security lines, but only three ended up being charged; the whole thing did not go over well with local cyclists. A fear of city streets keeps Dubliners off their bikes. Now those are a pair of bike quads. A Kiwi writer says it’s better to look naff wearing a helmet than be killed without one. China attempts to crowdsource problematic intersections. Karma can be a bitch, as a Brazilian billionaire takes a dramatic fall as investors flee, not long after — but not because, unfortunately — his son runs down a cyclist and both blame the rider.

Finally, the SF Weekly says forget distracted drivers, the real problem is distracted pedestrians.

Memorial rides and ghost bike for Gustavo Ramirez tonight and tomorrow

Just a quick reminder about the memorial ride and ghost bike dedication for Gustavo Ramirez. The popular Manhattan Beach REI employee killed when he collided with a semi-truck on East Shoreline Drive in Long Beach last week.

Actually, there will be two rides.

The first will take place tonight, meeting at 8 pm at Lincoln Park in Long Beach, and leaving at 8:30 pm, following one of Gustavo’s favorite routes.

The second will take place tomorrow morning, following the same route and stopping at the memorial. The ride meets at the same location at 8 am, departing at 9 am.

Full details are available on the Midnight Ridazz website for both Friday’s and Saturday’s rides, as well as on the ghostbikes.org website.

Hats off to the Ridazz for organizing these rides and preparing the ghost bike, and deepest sympathies to Gustavo’s family and friends.

Let’s make this the last one we’ll need this year.

Unfinished business: Alejandro Hidalgo & Dr. Christopher Thompson sentencing

Jesus Castillo, a 44-year old day laborer from Sonora, Mexico, was riding his bike — his only form of transportation — on Glendale Boulevard in the early hours of Sunday, April 19th last year.  As he rode south, he was struck and killed by a car driven by Alejandro Hidalgo, who fled the scene in his Mitsubishi Gallant.

Fortunately, a witness was able to take down the license number, and police were able to take Hidalgo into custody less than two hours later, as well as tracking down a passenger in his car who indicated that Hidalgo had been driving under the influence.

According to recently married cyclist/attorney DJ Wheels, last November the District Attorney had offered Hidalgo a plea bargain that included prison time for the three charges he faced. Since he hadn’t received an update from the D.A.’s office, he decided to look into the case, and discovered that Hidalgo is scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday.

According to Wheels,

I decided to request a copy of the docket today at the clerk’s office.  I learned that on November 12, 2009, the district attorney requested that count 1 for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Penal Code 191.5a) be changed to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence (Penal Code 191.5b).

Hidalgo then changed his not guilty plea to no contest on this particular count.  Judge Craig Richman entered his conviction under 191.5b, a felony, and ordered him to return for sentencing on January 6, 2010 in Dept. 35 at 8:30 am.

There were still two counts of drunk driving on the original complaint, but the minutes do not state whether those were vacated as part of the plea bargain.

It should be noted that 191.5a requires a state prison term of 4, 6 or 10 years. On the other hand, 191.5b, requires imprisonment for 16 months, 2 or 4 years.

We’ll have to see what sentence the judge imposes. But even four years seems like a relative slap on the wrist for killing another human being, simply because someone felt compelled to get behind the wheel after having a few too many — or maybe merely capable of making it home in that condition — then running away and leaving a man to die in the street.

Meanwhile, Dr. Christopher Thompson is scheduled for sentencing at 8:30 am this Friday at the Airport Courthouse, after being convicted on five felony counts for intentionally injuring two cyclists in Mandeville Canyon on July 4th, 2008.

And in another tragic case, a ghost bike was installed for Robert Painter, the cyclist killed by yet another hit-and-run driver in North Hollywood last month.

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A reminder that it’s not just cyclists who are vulnerable to hit-and-run drivers. Will notes upcoming rides, including his rapidly growing, Five Seven Eight Presidents Ride. Biking through the snow in Cambridge, Mass. Advice on sharing the road from a cycling instructor in my old home town. New York remembers cyclists and pedestrians killed last year. Yes, that really is an impressive bike rack. How people who don’t live in SoCal keep warm on winter rides. Where are Singapore cyclists supposed to ride when there’s no good place for Singapore cyclists? 2,500 Aussie cyclists ride to raise safety awareness. A road raging driver in the UK beats a cyclist after a near collision. Finally, yet another Facebook page for people who love to see cyclists get hurt; evidently, the well of human compassion online doesn’t run very deep.

Ghost bike for Echo Park cycling fatality; Police-blessed vehicular assault Downtown

Stephen Box managed to get the information I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Earlier in the week, I’d written about the cyclist killed by an intoxicated hit-and-run driver in Echo Park early Sunday. Despite my best efforts, I wasn’t able to learn any more about the victim than had been included in the initial reports; Box reports that he was a day laborer from Sonora, Mexico, who used his bicycle as his primary means of transportation.

Just one of the countless nameless, faceless workers we Angelenos pass every day without a second thought.

Yet he died as one of us. 

And he is being memorialized this evening where he was killed on Glendale Blvd. As Box put it:

Let’s work together to make sure this is the last Ghost Bike placed in our community.

Meanwhile, the local cyber wires are buzzing with the news that a cyclist was injured late last night when he was struck by a driver in Hummer with no license plates — apparently intentionally. The occupants of the vehicle then threatened the other riders with guns and gang violence, and ran over several of their bikes when they tried to block the vehicle until police arrived.

But the real injustice came when the lead officer let the driver go, and told the cyclists that he would have done the same thing the driver did — and suggested that he might have used a gun, as well.

So who exactly is he trying to “protect and serve”?

As a number of people have commented on the Midnight Ridazz forum, some of the other officers on the scene were far more sympathetic. But this represents an anti-cyclist bias that seems far too common in the L.A.P.D. — one that I’ve experienced myself, when I was threatened with arrest after being the victim of a road rage incident a few years back.

The difference is, now there really is a cycling community in Los Angeles, and protests are already being planned for next week. And in fact, may be occurring right now, as there were plans to extend the Ghost Bike ride into a protest at Parker Center.

And less than a week after Jesus Castillo was killed in Echo Park, another cyclist was the victim of yet another hit-and-run in Orange County today.

Some run away.

And some just get away with it.

How many cyclists have died in this Brentwood boutique?

Will the carnage never end?

Ghost bike used as a display in Brentwood boutique

Ghost bike used as a display in Brentwood boutique

I noticed this window display the other night when my wife and I stopped in Brentwood for a bite to eat, and stopped by on my ride today to take a picture.

My best guess is, whoever does their displays saw a ghost bike along the road somewhere, and thought it looked cool — without realizing the symbolism. Or maybe they did know what it was, and wanted to send a subtle public service warning to the many riders on San Vicente Blvd to be careful out there.

It could be a not-so-subtle warning to Critical Mass riders to keep out of their store. Or maybe a cyclist really was killed trying to ride between their display racks.

Whatever.

Or am I the only one who thinks it’s incredibly poor taste to use a memorial to dead cyclists to pimp women’s athletic wear?

ghost-bike-window2

 

Will relates a truly frightening tale of a roadway confrontation. Maybe I really am lucky mine got away last week. The Sunday Santa Monica Farmers Market now has a bike valet. Which brings up Stephen Box’s latest post about bicycle parking in Hollywood, or more precisely, the lack thereof. And he picks up the story of how the Orange Line Bikeway became a homeless encampment.

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