Tag Archive for Glendora Mountain Road

Weekend Links: Scary head-on GMR driver, bikes for the zombie apocalypse, and a beer keg messenger bag

Halloween is just a week away. So let’s start with something scary.

Like an SUV driver coming around a blind curve on the wrong side of the road on Glendora Mountain Road after an ill-advised pass, courtesy of Ron.

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Washington Bikes spells out what I’ve been saying for years, with 13 reasons why you’re going to need a bike when the zombie apocalypse starts.

You can practice for the days of flesh-eating doom with Walk Bike Glendale’s 4th Annual Zombie Walk tonight.

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Forget a messenger bag. What you really need is this Timbuk2 keg-carrying backpack.

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Local

DTLA’s new and still unnamed bikeshare system needs a General Manager. Why shouldn’t it be you?

Frogtown’s Spoke Bicycle Café wants your help to expand into a full-fledged restaurant, microbrewery and coffee roaster along the LA River bike path; they’re trying to raise $25,000 via Indiegogo

Talk about not getting it. A Santa Monica coffee shop owner strikes gold by having a Breeze bikeshare station placed directly in front of her business, and freaks out over the loss of one or two parking spaces. If people aren’t using the bike racks next to her business, despite the city’s boom in bicycling, that should tell her something. But probably won’t. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Santa Monica moves towards its own Vision Zero plan.

The Ride 2 Recovery will be wheeling into SaMo today if you want to help welcome the wounded vets at the end of their week-long ride down the coast.

Say goodbye to the iconic Sixth Street Viaduct today from 2 to 10 pm, with free bike valet courtesy of the LACBC.

Don’t forget the Grand Opening of the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center, complete with costume bike train, on Sunday.

 

State

There may still be time to get to Santa Barbara for its third annual Open Streets event today, offering two miles of beachfront boulevard free from cars.

An Oakland bike rider gets a $2.5 million settlement after she was hit by a left-turning bus just after escaping from another one.

 

National

Can a little green paint improve the lowly and much maligned sharrow? Probably not.

A website on governing looks at the Complete Streets movement spreading across the country.

A Spokane city councilman claims it costs $63,500 to paint one mile of bike lanes; he’s right, as long as you include all engineering costs and expenses to repaint the entire roadway after repaving. In other words, it’s impossible to break out the relatively minor cost of bike lanes from roadwork that would have been done anyway.

A member of the Denver Broncos is raffling an autographed, custom Broncos Trek to help make Colorado children better readers.

Nice. A 98-year old Wisconsin man gets one last bike ride on a three-wheeled rickshaw.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Boston researcher killed while riding her bike this past August was part of a team that just announced a major breakthrough in using stem cells to grow a new thyroid.

Boston bike advocates are ambivalent about the possibility of an Idaho stop law.

Streetfilms looks at DC’s protected bike lanes, while African American churches in DC are joining in a fight to preserve 75 street parking spaces used primarily on Sunday. Instead of bike lanes that would be used every day, and could help fight obesity in the community.

A League Cycling Instructor in Virginia — not a Licensed Cycling Instructor, thank you — says forget better lights, electronic turns signals and bike lanes, just learn how to ride more safely.

A New Orleans man is under arrest for intentionally running down a bike rider he suspected of trying to break into his car.

 

International

Let’s face it. Pro cyclists are just flat out better riders than the rest of us.

A group of international scientists will run and bike to Paris from both poles to demand action on climate change; although people coming from the South Pole have a hell of a lot further to go.

Even drivers are more comfortable on streets with protected bike lanes, as a Toronto survey shows.

Caught on video: This one is tough to watch, as a UK cyclist shares a first-person helmet cam view of his epileptic fit while riding a mountain bike.

Despite the headline, a British lawyer’s comments about Chinese President Xi Jinping had absolutely nothing to do with his two-wheeled mode of transportation.

A 19-year old Brit career criminal stole a car, blocked the path of a bike rider, then get out and attacked him before intentionally ramming two taxis as he made his getaway; he got three years for his efforts.

Perth, Australia is about to get its first bike boulevards. Although for some reason, the rendering still shows cars tailgating the bikes.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a speeding taxi driver gets a whopping two weeks behind bars for killing a slow-speed salmon cyclist; at least he’s banned from driving for the next three years.

 

Finally…

Maybe the answer is bike therapy, or it could be better riding through hypnosis. You don’t have to understand Spanish — or maybe Portuguese, despite what the story says — to enjoy seeing bike thieves get punked; thanks  to Brian Dotson for today’s language lesson.

And now you too can buy your very own ice bike from Hammacher Schlemmer for just $2,500, plus shipping and handling.

 

Morning Links: Glendora cyclists buzzed by CHP officer; LA Times maps the most dangerous intersection

I received the following email from cyclist Ken Adams Sunday night, relating a dangerous encounter with a CHP officer who buzzed their bikes, then came back to argue his apparent misunderstanding of California bike law.

Re: Encounter with Maniac CHP Officer While Cycling on Glendora Mountain Road / Glendora Ridge Road

I’m trying to spread the word of my experience yesterday as far and wide as possible, because it was quite unbelievable and extremely dangerous.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the roads I mentioned, but they are very popular cycling routes, especially for Saturday morning rides.  I was riding with a friend, starting from his house in Glendora.  There was another training ride with about 9 people starting from a coffee shop in Glendora that I was aware of because of an event invite on Facebook.

We started our ride just after 8 am.  We started the climb on GMR at about 8:15. At approximately 8:30, about 2-3 miles North of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV passed us dangerously close – probably about 2 feet away. Neither of us gave the incident much thought, as it happens frequently, although it is unexpected from law enforcement.  A few miles later, the same CHP vehicle was stopped and the officer had exited the vehicle.  He was standing on the shoulder and commented something to the effect “watch out, there are cars coming up”.  We turned and looked, but saw nothing.  We assumed he was referring to some type of event that was occurring, so we were extra vigilant.  We never saw any unusual vehicle traffic – in fact, traffic was unusually light for a weekend.

We continued riding, past East Fork road, where GMR becomes GRR.  Approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, this time much more closely.  He was no more than 1 – 1.5 feet from us.  At that point, the road was straight, there were clear sight lines for at least ½ mile, no oncoming traffic and we were riding single file on the white line.  There are also no lane demarcation lines painted on the road, as the road is less than 2 lanes wide at that point.

We both raised our arms as he passed in a “what the heck” gesture.  The officer continued down the road, but we could see that in the distance he was turning around.  My friend started recording as he returned.  I raised my arm again in a “what the heck” gesture and the officer slowed and started lowering his window.  We stopped our bikes and an animated conversation ensued.  I have included a link to that video on my FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/ken.adams.9484/videos/1116460408367279/

Subsequent to this incident, we continued our ride.  We encountered additional riders and described our experience with the CHP SUV.  Incredibly, they told us they had experienced the same thing.  When I returned home, I went to the FB event page I mentioned earlier and posted about my experience, asking if anyone else on that ride had experienced an issue with a CHP SUV.  I got a number of responses from cyclists who had either witnessed or experienced brushes from this same CHP officer.

It is my opinion that this officer had some type of agenda yesterday.  He either has some type of antipathy towards cyclists, was trying to prove a point, or was trying to provoke a confrontation that he hoped would escalate to the use of force.  Even in a best case scenario, as you can ascertain from viewing the video, he is woefully misinformed about cycling laws and vehicle interactions with cyclists.  Most troubling to me was his cavalier attitude about endangering my life and the life of my friend.  He seemed completely unconcerned, not to mention excessively arrogant.

I filed a complaint on the CHP website yesterday, but I hardly trust the CHP to police themselves with this matter.  In case you’d like to read the content of that complaint, here is what I wrote:

I was riding my bicycle on Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road on the morning of 7/11/2015. At approximately 8:30 am, on Glendora Mountain Road, about 2 miles north of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV with license plate number 1365395 passed me and the cyclist with whom I was riding with significantly less than 3 feet (I’d estimate about 2 feet). We continued riding and at approximately 9:55 am, on Glendora Ridge Road, approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, barely missing us, by approximately 1 foot. The officer continued on for some time, then turned around and returned. We flagged him down and had a conversation with him. We have a video of this interaction, which I would be happy to share with you. I would like to point out that Glendora Ridge Road is a very desolate spot with minimal vehicular traffic. The road is less than 2 lanes wide and has no lane demarcation lines painted on the road. At the point we were passed by the CHP vehicle, there was no oncoming traffic, the road was straight with clear sight lines for at least 1/4 – 1/2 mile and we were riding single file on the white line. During our conversation, the officer claimed that he must drive on the right half of the road and that he “cannot violate a law to follow a law” when asked about California’s 3-foot cycling law. He seemed completely unconcerned when I pointed out that he had just needlessly endangered my life. In the course of the rest of my ride and subsequently via social media, I learned that this same officer passed numerous other cyclists dangerously close during this same time period on the same stretch of road.

This officer endangered my life twice, the life of the person I was cycling with twice, at least 4 other cyclists that I’ve been in contact with and who knows how many others. I suspect this type of aggressive and unsafe driving behavior is not what you expect from your officers. This incident has significantly affected my trust in the professionalism of the CHP as an organization. Cycling on California’s roads is sufficiently dangerous without our law enforcement officers adding to the danger. I sincerely hope that this officer receives some additional training on correct and safe vehicular interaction with cyclists, because it is clear that he currently is lacking in this area.

I would very much like to get the dash cam video from his tour yesterday, as I’m sure it clearly shows his two assaults on us, as well as the numerous other assaults on other cyclists.

This officer is a menace to cyclists and needs to be dealt with, swiftly and harshly IMO.  It is bad enough when Joe Citizen behaves this way.  It is completely unacceptable when law enforcement does.

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The LA Times crunches the numbers, and identifies LA County’s most dangerous intersections.

According to the story, just 1% of intersections account for 25% of pedestrian collisions; chances are, those same intersections are just as dangerous for people on bicycles. And bike lanes could be part of the solution, along with other traffic calming efforts.

They also report LA Mayor Eric Garcetti will announce a Vision Zero plan next month to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city within 10 years.

The question is whether the city is really willing to make the hard choices necessary to get there.

After all, they can’t even get bike lanes promised in the unanimously approved 2010 bike plan installed on Westwood, Lankershim and North Figueroa, thanks to roadblocks thrown up by a few councilmembers.

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Chris Froome keeps the lead in the Tour de France, as his Team Sky finishes just one second behind BMC in the team time trial; the injury riddled Orica-GreenEdge team tanks it. Cycling Weekly offers five talking points following Sunday’s ninth stage.

Chris Froome continues to lead, but Teejay van Garderen is just 12 seconds behind.

The New York Times looks at the unexpected success of Eritrean riders at the Tour, while WaPo explains why it matters.

Mayuko Hagiwara becomes the first Japanese woman to win a stage at the Giro Rosa. Meanwhile, it looks like the Tour de France’s La Course stiffed some of the women competing in last years race out of their already ridiculously low prize money.

And US women sweep the bronze mountain biking medals in the Pan Am Games. Am I the only one who didn’t know the Pan Am Games were even going on right now?

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Local

A teenage boy was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Florence neighborhood of South LA. Something that’s happening far too frequently these days.

Bike Metro posts a photo of what looks like secure bike parking at the Beverly Connection shopping center on La Cienega.

 

State

Another bike rider has been hit by a car in Newport Beach; fortunately, he’s in stable condition. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition urges you to sign a petition to preserve plans for a Class 1 bike trail through Peters Canyon.

CSU Fullerton police recover three stolen bikes off campus.

A San Diego cyclist’s life was changed forever by the alleged stoned driver who plowed into a group of riders on Fiesta Island last year.

Oceanside’s Strand will be widened, including a shoulder for cyclists and pedestrians, only 35 years after it was damaged in a storm.

San Francisco’s Sunday Streets visits some of the city’s sketchier neighborhoods in the Tenderloin.

A Sacramento bike advocate says the city is lagging behind in planning for bicycles.

A distracted driver killed a Sacramento father and critically injured his eight-year old son as they rode their bikes; the 25-year old driver was reading a text message when he drove into the bike lane they were in. Tragically, the victims were refugees from war-torn Afghanistan, and had only been in the city for a few weeks.

No Trespassing signs go up on a Modesto bike and pedestrian trail, presumably by mistake.

 

National

Redbook suggests riding a bike together could make you fall in love all over again.

My hometown considers joining other Colorado city’s in embracing bikeshare; the city already enjoys a successful bike lending library.

Someone apparently deliberately rigged a truck to crash into an Oklahoma bike shop.

Tragic news from Minnesota, as a small town ambulance crew responds to a bicycling collision, and finds their own boss fatally injured.

Fifteen-hundred cyclists ride 160 miles across the state of Indiana.

Connecticut bike riders no longer have to ride as far to the right as practicable, only as far to the right as they deem safe. We so need that wording change here.

New York is working to improve safety by reducing left turns. Banning left turns on busy streets would improve safety in LA, while allowing the near-ubiquitous center turn lanes to be reconfigured to make space for bike lanes. And yes, it is possible to avoid a left turn and still get where you’re going by just driving around the block.

The NYPD has issued a BOLO Alert for the hit-and-run bike rider who critically injured pedestrian last month.

 

International

A Winnipeg paper calls for approval of the city’s proposed bike and walking plan, despite the overt objections of some city councilors.

Londoners react to the latest subway strike by doubling usage of the city’s bikeshare system.

A new Brit bike satnav system attaches to your handlebars and lights up to indicate where to turn.

Once again, UK police stop a “silly cyclist” from riding on a major highway.

A British soldier tracks down the thief selling his stolen bike on Ebay, and finds the trail leads to a fellow soldier in his own barracks. Oops.

No offense, but who would confront 25 angry teenagers to stop a bike-jacking? Props to this British man for trying, but seriously, when you’re outnumbered 25 to three, just let the damn bike go, already.

Copenhagen may be a bicycling paradise, but it’s also a popular spot for bike thieves; a bike shop owner was arrested after being caught with hundreds of hot bikes.

Israel will construct a nearly 100 mile bicycling network, including 10 cycling expressways.

A writer for the New York Times gets busted for borrowing a bike from Japan’s unofficial bikeshare.

Bangkok officials clean up the streets to prepare for a bike event in honor of the queen’s birthday.

 

Finally…

Talk about crappy customer service; a Utah bike shop employee decks a deer that wandered into the shop. You can get Audi’s new limited edition racing bike, as long as you’re willing to travel to Dubai. And not a deer, presumably.

And a Kiwi website offers advice on how to deal with the bike haters on social media.

 

Long delayed news of Redondo bike fatality; cyclist rescued in dramatic Glendora mountain fall

I’ve never understood why the death of a human being on our streets isn’t news.

Sometimes a serious injury makes the news; often, in fact. I find stories about injured cyclists throughout the country almost every day. Unless there’s something unique about the story, I usually don’t comment on them; I have to write about enough bad news as it is.

Even when they’re close to home.

Yet other times, a rider is killed right here, and not one word makes the news, as if it never happened. Or didn’t matter.

And yet, every death matters to someone.

And every fallen cyclist deserves to be remembered.

Somehow, the death of 69-year old cyclist Robert Gary Garvin slipped through the cracks. Or someone, somewhere, decided it just wasn’t worth mentioning.

According to the Redondo Beach News, Garvin was hit by a black pickup at PCH and Agate Street in Redondo Beach around 7 pm on January 5th, suffering a “substantial head injury” after being knocked from his bike. He died eight days later at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance.

Yet the story didn’t make the news until the police put out a request for witnesses a full month after the collision.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like it may have been a hit-and-run since the story says the police have identified a suspect. Yet another reason you’d think someone would have mentioned it.

Thanks to Steve Montalto for finding the story.

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Then again, sometimes the stories about injured cyclists are worth mentioning.

In a dramatic mountain rescue that was carried live on a number of L.A. TV stations, a sheriff’s department air rescue crew airlifted a cyclist to safety after he slid off Glendora Mountain Road around 10 am Tuesday.

Just a month after the death of cyclist Kevin Unck on the same road, a 22-year old cyclist, identified only as a Hispanic resident of Walnut, lost control of his bike during a high speed descent and plunged 200 to 300 feet down the mountainside.

Despite his injuries, he was able to reach his cell phone and call for help; without it, it’s entirely possible that no one would have known he was there — let alone that he needed rescue — until it was too late.

Remarkably, reports indicate that the cyclist’s injuries are not life threatening.

George Wolfberg, who seems to have his finger on everything bike-related in the L.A. area, forwards an excellent description of the morning’s events from Captain Mike Parker of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

(Note: while the story refers to the rider as a mountain cyclist, the footage on KABC Channel 7 appears to show a road bike.):

Mountain bicyclist rescued by Sheriff’s helicopter crew after 300 foot fall in Glendora

A 22-year mountain bicyclist lost control while riding alone down a steep mountain road Monday, falling nearly 300 feet down the mountainside in rugged terrain in Glendora.

The male Hispanic resident of Walnut, an experienced mountain bike rider, said he was unable to slow down in time as he picked up too much speed on Glendora Mountain Road at Glendora Ridge Mountainway in the Glendora area of the Angeles National Forest.

He was unable to stop as he went over the edge and fell a distance about the length of a football field. Injured, he called rescuers from his cell phone in the remote area at about 10:10AM. Surprisingly, he was able to get a phone connection.

Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, as did officers from the Glendora Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including San Dimas Sheriff’s Station for a mutual aid effort to find and rescue the man.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Air-5 rescue helicopter and flight crew including deputy sheriff paramedics were in the area and found the man at about 10:45AM. Sheriff’s helicopter rescue Crew Chief Deputy Darrel Airhart lowered two paramedic sheriff’s deputies via a hoist, while the deputy pilots hovered over a deep ravine.

Paramedic Deputies Mark Desmarteau and Dan Aleman were lowered from the helicopter into position. They provided emergency medical attention, secured the injured man into a gurney, and prepared to have him hoisted up into the helicopter.

As Deputy Desmarteau was hanging off the side of the gurney to protect and secure the injured man, the deputy was dragged through trees and brush, but the injured man was kept clear of these hazards. The team was able to bring the man safely up into the helicopter, which must have been an unnerving but necessary experience for the injured hiker.

By 11:15AM, about one hour after being notified, the deputies were bringing the injured man into the helicopter. Soon thereafter, they flew him to an area hospital for medical treatment. Although injured, the bicyclist’s injuries are not considered life-threatening. The rescued man was very appreciative and thanked the deputies for their efforts.

“Given the terrain, we were surprised to see he could get cell phone reception, especially on the back side of the ridge line,” said Deputy Airhart. “It’s a good thing he did or who knows how long he could have been laying there.”

Parademic deputies said the more difficult aspects of the rescue included trying to get their footing and balance so they could secure the injured man into the gurney. Meanwhile, the helicopter rotor wash (the winds created by the helicopter blades) loosened dirt and rocks on the steep terrain, causing the footing to be more difficult and causing the deputies to have to protect the cyclist from flying debris.

The Air 5 rescue helicopter crew and the eight Search and Rescue teams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department average about 350 search and rescue missions every year, making it one of the most active counties for search and rescue missions in the nation.

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This is just another reminder to always carry your cell phone with you when you ride. In fact, it may be the single most important bike safety device you own; if I had to choose between a wearing a helmet or taking a cell phone, I’d take the phone every time.

After all, I’ve landed on my helmet once in 30 years of riding, while I’ve used my cell countless times to report drunk or dangerous drivers, call in collisions or use the camera to defuse dangerous situations with road raging drivers.

That last point was driven home tonight when a friend of mine, Joe Anthony of Bike Commute News, was threatened by an angry driver who quickly calmed down once Joe started recording the interaction on his cell phone.

Thank God he came out of it okay. And had the presence of mind to defuse the situation.

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Today’s news took precedence over my take on Sunday’s I the Westside ride; barring any more breaking events, I’ll try to get my thoughts and photos online Tuesday.

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