Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Morning Links: DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh killed, DTLA cycle tracks starts work, and Metro Bikes free today

I lost a follower on Twitter last weekend. 

Which is nothing new.

Except this time it happened the worst possible way. 

Like a number of other people, I’ve followed Dave Salovesh, aka @darsal, for some time. And vice versa, for reasons only he knew.

The extremely popular DC bike advocate has been an outspoken supporter of protected bike lanes and safer streets, as well as taking action now to fight climate change. I’ve enjoyed his humor and insights, and learned a lot from him over the years.

Sadly, we won’t be following each other anymore.

Salovesh was killed Friday morning when the speeding driver of a stolen van ran a red light, crashed into a car and slammed into his bicycle before crashing into a tree.

It could be argued that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, collateral damage to someone else’s crime.

Except he was riding on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, where Salovesh had been fighting to get a protected bike lane.

Whether that would have been enough to save him, we’ll never know.  

Meanwhile, a bicycle columnist for a DC weekly remembers Salovesh as his good friend, confessing to raw emotions while adding that bike advocacy will go on, but it will be far less meaningful without him.

Over two hundred bike riders held a vigil and ghost bike ceremony in his honor on Sunday, starting and ending at the spot where the speeding car thief took his life. 

DC TV station calls his death a cruel irony, while bike riders attending the vigil demand for safer streets for all bicyclists

And the city announced, just a little too late, that it would increase enforcement against drivers who stop or park in bike lanes.  

Which is another of the issues Salovesh had long fought for.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost an ally and a friend, albeit one Ive never met. 

And now, never will.

Photo of Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike and the spot where the driver’s car came to rest by Ryan Keefe

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LADOT is beginning work next weekend to convert the bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets in DTLA to two-way protected cycle tracks. 

Now let’s just hope they also do something to keep drivers the hell out of them. 

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Metro, Metrolink and other SoCal transit systems are offering free rides today in honor of Earth Day.

They’re also providing free rides on the Metro Bike bikeshare system. 

Or you can just ride your own bike, which is always free, with or without a code. 

Meanwhile, Metro celebrates Earth Day by beginning a three-year detour of the Expo Line bike path next to Jefferson Blvd today

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LA’s hit-and-run epidemic struck close to home last week, when a man was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Sunset Blvd just walking distance from our apartment.

Even with the cane I’m currently confined to.

Compounding the tragedy, the victim was an Australian man who had been released from prison 12 years after he was wrongly convicted of murder.

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Pinkbike celebrated the weekend with videos of epic mountain bike fails. 

On the other hand, at least these people were out there riding, so there’s that.

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Local

Westwood Village applies for grants to improve the appearance and walkability of Westwood Blvd, as well as install bike racks. But apparently forgets to improve the actual streets and add bike lanes so people might actually use them. 

A writer for the USC paper says the future of LA sustainability begins with students, urging them to get involved at every level of planning and policy, including supporting more bike lanes. 

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride rolls May 5th, offering a preview of June’s popular LA River Ride

Claremont police ticketed bike riders and drivers in a crosswalk crackdown for rolling through the crosswalk instead of stopping for pedestrians, as the law requires. 

Food delivery drivers will get their own dedicated parking spaces in front of two restaurants in downtown Santa Monica for a three-month trial to keep them from double-parking in the bike lane. Now maybe they can do something about the FedEx and UPS drivers who park in the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente on a daily basis

 

State

Turns out the thief who stole a $5,000 bike from the Cyclist bike shop in Santa Ana just wanted to ride it, and cut off the ends of the handlebars because he’s a Phil Gaimon fan.

A San Diego community planning board voted to approve plans for a new cycle track in Point Loma

A bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries following a crash with a hit-and-run driver near the University of San Diego. 

A “gypsy family” of pedicab drivers stops in Coachella to provide rides at the music festival, one of several they serve as they make their way around the country. 

A San Jose newspaper says the popular road up Mt. Diablo needs more bike turnouts allowing drivers to pass bike riders without crossing the center line, and hopefully avoid the next crash. 

In a horrifying story, the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Merced woman to die on the side of the road after crashing into her bicycle; her body was found at 1 pm, hours after she was struck the previous evening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if she would have survived if she had been found sooner. Or if the coward who hit her had stopped to get help. 

 

National

Seattle bicyclists rode to all 27 public library branches in the city in an 11-hour, 70-mile ride to support investing in the city’s library system.

Speaking of Seattle, the city is bucking the trend by maintaining a fleet of dockless bikeshare bikes, even as providers pull dockless bicycles in favor of e-scooters. 

Talk about not getting it. A Texas man will spend the next ten years behind bars after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had originally gotten out after serving just 17 days of a two-year sentence thanks to a loophole in the law. You’d think someone would have enough sense to keep their nose clean after a gift like that. But apparently  you’d be wrong

She gets it. A Chicago letter writer says make safer bike lanes the norm

A Michigan outdoor campaign is putting a face on distracted driving by plastering photos of the victims of distracted drivers on billboards.

A Rhode Island man has spent the past nine years looking for a pair of nurses to thank them for saving his life after his front wheel locked up on a bike path.

A 74-year old New York man says he was attacked by a lawless gang of teenage bicyclists swarming down a riverfront path. 

The head of New York’s TransAlt advocacy group says the NYPD has to stop going out of its way to blame the victims

DC bike cops bust a prodigious bike thief, but aren’t able to find any of the bicycles he allegedly stole. 

Kindhearted Virginia deputies pitched in to buy a physically and emotionally impaired man a new bicycle when his was stolen, after they learned he had overcome the odds by learning to walk again following a crash left him in a coma.  

A South Carolina newspaper says not every street in the state has to be a Complete Street, but there are some where it’s necessary.   

 

International

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults

London’s formerly bike-friendly Sunday Times now says a reported drop in bicycling levels in the UK is a victory for motorists “in their long-running battle with cyclists.”

A writer for The Guardian says cars are ruining our lives and triggering environmental disasters, and must be phased out within ten years

Dutch bike maker VanMoof has sold 11,000 ebikes worth a cool $33 million and change

Afghan women are demanding that their rights be preserved in any peace talks, including the hard-won ability to ride a bicycle. 

South African police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene on foot after plowing into a 10 bicyclists, killing one and injuring seven others.

In a case of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, an 86-year Australian man faces charges for dragging a food delivery rider under his car the length of a football field before fleeing the scene; the 23-year old woman he hit suffered extensive injuries, including severe burns. 

In yet another case of an elderly driver who shouldn’t be, a Japanese man crashed his car into a group of people waiting at an intersection, killing a mother and daughter who were sharing a bicycle and injuring eight others. Police suspect the 87-year old driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake

Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, made up of more than 90 islands and islets, is promoting bicycling tourism, saying it’s the best way for tourists to explore the area

Beijing is opening a four-mile, bicycle-only roadway with one lane in each direction, along with a reversible lane in the middle. 

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling will field a national team at the Amgen Tour of California, naming ten young riders the team will be chosen from, including one who competes for an LA team. 

Belgium is mourning the death of track cycling great Patrick Sercu, considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

Finally…

Banned from riding your bike in a not-so-public public park. When you decide anyone who doesn’t ride like you do and go out of their way to ride in a bike lane is a selfish, entitled jerk.  

And if you’re carrying a number of controlled substances on your bike, don’t break any bylaws.

Whatever that means. 

Bike rider killed in Jurupa Valley; no details available

Yet another bike rider has been killed in Jurupa Valley.

And as usual, there’s virtually no information available.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, someone died while riding a bicycle on the 8800 block of Limonite Ave around 11:07 Saturday night.

There’s no word on whether the victim was a man or a woman, whether the death was the result of a crash, or whether there was anyone else involved.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also at least the fifth bike rider to be killed in Jurupa Valley since the city of just 100,000 people was incorporated in 2011.

Hopefully city leaders will care enough to determine the cause and do something about it.

Update: According to a report on KNBC-4, which hasn’t been posted online yet, the victim was a man who was killed in a hit-and-run.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 30-year old Rigoberto Guzman.

He was struck by a vehicle driven by 26-year old Andrew Scott Walters at the intersection of Van Buren Blvd and Limonite Ave around 11 pm Saturday. The force of the impact threw him to the far side of the road, where he died within a few minutes after impact.

Walters was arrested at his home after fleeing the scene, and booked on suspicion of hit-and-run resulting in death; he was released on $75,000 bond.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rigoberto Guzman and his loved ones.

Update: Bike rider killed in Sun Valley hit-and-run Thursday night

Once again, a man has lost life, simply for riding a bicycle.

And once again, a coward has fled the scene instead of stopping to take responsibility, this time in Sun Valley.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the victim was struck by the driver of a red Dodge sedan while riding his bike at 8558 North San Fernando Road in Sun Valley around 8:35 pm Thursday.

The driver kept going without slowing down. Witnesses attempted to follow, but were unable to catch him or capture his license plate.

No word on how or why the hit-and-run crash occurred.

A street view shows a narrow two lane street squeezed between railroad tracks and an industrial district.

Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is urged to call the LAPD at 877/527-3247. And as always, there is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver in any fatal hit-and-run crash.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: The LAPD is now saying the victim was a pedestrian who was walking across the street outside of a crosswalk. Still no ID on the victim, and no explanation for why witnesses said he was riding a bicycle. 

Update 2: Family members have identified the victim as Samuel Hernandez; sadly, he won’t be there to witness his daughter’s graduation from Cal State Northridge next month.

They also clarified that he was walking his bike across the street when he was killed. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Samuel Hernandez and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Heartbreaking story of justice at last for Woon, $1000 bike theft reward, and war on bikes goes on

Call it today’s must read.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes movingly about the needless death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last year.

And the justice that may finally be in the offing, with charges finally pending against the young woman who ran him down while speeding in the parking lane, and left him to die in the street.

As well as the heartbreaking effect the loss of her only son — and the father of her newly born grandson — has had on his mother.

“Look what you did. Look what you created!” he repeated, still marveling over how strong he had become. “I love you, Momma – you know you my queen.”

“I love you, too, son,” she said.

“I’m about to go out here, I’m bout to ride my bike. I’m bout to have me a good day,” he said, smiling. “I feel good today, Momma. Man, I’m free…”

Five minutes later, he was dead.

Seriously, if you can get through this story without tears in your eyes — or anger over a city where people on bicycles are nothing more than car fodder — you’re a stronger person than I am.

And don’t get me started about the heartlessness it takes to leave another human being bleeding in the street.

Or the snail’s pace of justice that takes a full year to file charges after the driver confessed.

I’ve been a fan of Sulaiman’s writing for years, ever since I briefly worked with her as a guest editor for Streetsblog.

But this may just be the best work she’s ever done.

A fundraiser and memorial ride will be held for Frederick “Woon” Frazier next Sunday. And a crowdfunding page for his son is still open, having raised just over $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

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There’s now a $1,000 reward for the thief who rode off with a $5,000 road bike from a Costa Mesa bike shop.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on.

A Toronto man faces a charge of attempted murder for whacking a 40-year old bike rider with a golf club, knocking him off his bicycle; the victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

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Local

Nineteen-year old Lenrey Briones was accused of being the bike-riding South LA Slasher who permanently disfigured seven people in a series of random knife attacks; he’s charged with seven counts of aggravated mayhem, two counts of attempted aggravated mayhem and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.

This is who we share the roads with. You know you’re drunk when you back through a Culver City intersection, hit a parked car, then pass out while you’re being frisked. Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

State

Officials in Carlsbad says bad behavior by scofflaw mountain bikers is destroying the city’s nature preserve. Seriously, always ride with respect for the environment. And stick to the damn trails.

A San Diego man will receive a whopping $20 million settlement for a solo bike crash that left him confined to a wheelchair after riding into an open construction trench in the Sorrento Valley; the city is on the hook for $1.5 million of that. Although something tells me he’d give back every penny just to be able to walk and ride a bike again.

A BMX rider from San Diego ran off to join the circus. And came back this week as one of five BMX riders performing with Volta by Cirque du Soleil.

Apple Valley police are looking for a bike-riding burglar who broke into a coffee shop early Saturday; he should be recognizable by a “distinct” mustache and mismatched wheels on his bike.

Sounds about right. Concord conducted its own traffic safety crackdown on Saturday, ticketing 33 drivers, 27 pedestrians — and just two bicyclists.

CBS looks back at a 20-year old 60 Minutes story about a Citrus Heights man who got 35 to life for stealing a bicycle under the state’s three strikes law; he finally got out after 19 years.

National

Now that’s more like it. A Flagstaff AZ city intern is mapping every sign, trashcan, bench, bollard and fence on the city’s 54-mile trail system to upload it to the city’s digital mapping system. It would be nice if Los Angeles did something similar so they had some idea what the hell is going on with our trail and bikeway system. And notice I didn’t use the work “network,” because it ain’t even close to being one.

A nonprofit bike advocacy group in my bike-friendly hometown is looking for a new executive director.

Arkansas is three months away from being just the second state to implement the full Idaho Stop Law. California could have been, but opposition from truckers, AAA and the CHP killed it every time it’s been introduced in the legislature.

Wisconsin’s new Democratic governor wants to restore the ability of state and local governments to use eminent domain to build bike and pedestrian paths.

Don’t mess with mom. A Georgia man is behind bars after an angry mother tracked down her son’s stolen bicycle online, and identified it for police.

She gets it. The mayor of New Orleans introduces a bike safety initiative by reminding residents that we are all traffic. And the tips for motorists are on target — especially reminders that harassing bike riders is illegal, and to expect to see bicyclists in the traffic lanes.

Speaking of the Big Easy, an op-ed by an urban planner says the city’s rules and roadways are stacked against bicyclists and pedestrians.

International

Even Havana, Cuba has a new public-private bikeshare system, and bike lanes to support it.

A former Canadian cop saved a life on a busy Hawaiian road when he stopped in the middle of a descent to shepherd a rare triceratops-like chameleon to safety; the lizard clearly took a liking to him, following his bike across the roadway, then climbing up on his seat to say hi.

British police arrested an 18-year old serial bike thief after five weeks on the run; he was convicted in absentia on five counts each of stealing and damaging bicycles

An English father wants to know why his son is still behind bars, 12 years after he was convicted of stealing a bicycle when he was 17.

An Irish writer describes what he calls the six kinds of bike riders you’ll meet in Dublin, saying they’re all crazy. Or as he puts it, “Cycling in Dublin always felt like the behavior of post-Catholic masochists to me, stubborn fools at war with reality.” Meanwhile, the Irish Times says at least ten percent of the city’s transportation budget should be devoted to bicycling.

Obeying the law on your bike could get you a cash prize in Dubai.

A 65-year old Pakistani blacksmith is turning heads with his homemade double-decker tall bike. Just more evidence that we have more in common with people from other cultures than we might realize.

Yes, we have to avoid angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge ‘roos.

He gets it, too. The mayor of the ancient Nepalese city of Patan wants to rectify past errors and revitalize the city through a new emphasis on bicycling, saying he wants to correct the “fundamentally flawed perception that new and wide roads are a solution.”

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-five-year old Italian pro Alberto Bettiol scored his first career victory with a surprise eleven-mile solo breakaway in the grueling Tour of Flanders.

The women’s triathlon team from my hometown university swept the podium at this year’s Collegiate Club National Championships.

UCI declares a turf war, ordering cyclists not to participate in an e-mountain bike race sanctioned by a motorcycling group.

Finally…

Pizza delivery rider by day, crime fighter by night. If you’re going to review a kid’s bike, might as well let a kid do it.

And before you jump out to attack a bicyclist, remember to put your car in park.

Man killed riding bike in early morning Huntington Beach hit-and-run; driver possibly under the influence

Yet another life has been needlessly taken by a cowardly driver who didn’t bother to slow down, let alone stop as required by law.

According to multiple sources, the unidentified victim was riding in a crosswalk on Beach Blvd at Adams Ave in Huntington Beach at around 2:10 am when the driver of a BMW blew through a red light and slammed into him.

The victim, described only as a man in his 30s or 40s, died shortly afterwards.

The driver apparently crashed into a tree about a half-mile away in Huntington Beach, and fled the scene on foot. He was taken into custody about a mile from that crash scene, based on information police found in the car, and booked on suspicion of vehicular homicide.

Police are investigating whether he was drunk or stoned at the time of the crash, which seems highly likely.

Video from the scene shows a mangled cruiser bike with plastic baskets front and rear, and a large amount of debris strewn in the street, suggesting the victim may have been homeless or collecting recyclables.

However, that is just speculation at this point.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach Police Accident Investigator B. Atkins at 714/536-5666, or Investigator A. Turner at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Orange County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified by his mother as 33-year old Ray MacDonald, who lived in the Huntington Beach area for the past three years; he was killed the day after his birthday.

He leaves behind a daughter, and a loving family and friends.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ray MacDonald and all his loved ones.


Update: Riverside road cyclist left dying in the street by hit-and-run driver

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been killed by a cowardly hit-and-run driver.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Riverside police found the 53-year old victim lying in the westbound bike lane on Victoria Avenue, just west of Myers Street, around 7:45 Saturday morning, after receiving a report of a bicyclist down.

He was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

Police initially thought the man, who has not been publicly identified, had fallen off his bicycle. However, hospital officials reported his injuries were consistent with being hit by a motor vehicle.

Unfortunately, no witnesses have come forward, so there is no description of the suspect or the vehicle used in the crime.

Video from the scene shows a black road bike and silver helmet lying on the side of the road.

Screen grab from KTLA report

No other information is available at this time.

Regardless of how the crash may have happened, there is simply no excuse, ever, for leaving a crash victim bleeding in the street. The driver should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let the victim die, rather than calling for help and providing assistance as the law requires.

We’ll never know if he might have survived if he’d gotten help right away.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Zach Fishell at 951-826-8723, or email [email protected]

Let’s hope they find the coward responsible for this crash. And that prosecutors treat this needless death with the seriousness it demands.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: The Press-Enterprise has identified the victim as 52-year old Riverside resident Brian Sabel.

Despite wearing a helmet, he died of a head injury at Riverside Community Hospital roughly 45 minutes after he was found in the roadway.

No word on how long he had been lying there before help arrived.

This would appear to be his Strava profile.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Sabel and his loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Morning Links: DUI crash injures PCH bicyclists, drunken Mardi Gras bike wreck, and Beto’s dad was one of us

This is how I roll.

For now.

The good news is, the doctor said my knee replacement surgery went well, and I should get back to near 100%. Eventually.

The bad news is that the damage to my knee was so extensive that what is usually a two-hour operation took nearly four. And the recovery promises to be just as extensive and difficult as that implies.

And don’t get me started on the pain. Or constant sleepiness, nausea and confusion caused by the meds to control it.

Let alone the constant nickel and diming for medical services and devices that oddly aren’t covered as part of the surgery.  Even though I couldn’t have it without them.

But I’ll get there.

The only thing standing in the way is the willingness to do the work and fight through the pain to get to where I’m going.

And I think we bike riders know something about that.

But in the short-term, it’s seriously affecting my ability to think clearly and get any work done.

So instead of getting back to our usual Morning Links this morning, let’s go with a more limited edition to try and ease back in.

Call it Morning Links Lite.

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My biggest fear when life forces me to take time some off is that we”ll miss an important story while I’m not able to share it with you.

Which is exactly what happened this time.

Last Wednesday, Allyson Vought forwarded news of a DUI crash on SoCal’s Killer Highway in Newport Beach that left two riders seriously injured.

Our friends Dr. Sherri Bates  & Allison Prendergast were hit by a DUI driver at 8am in Newport Beach today on PCH near Superior Blvd. Not sure of direction of their travel. We do know that the driver tried to run away but was stopped by witnesses and later arrested. 

Gil Bates, Sherri’s husband, just spoke with the plastic surgeon. Sherri needs facial surgery to repair sinus cavity, eye-socket and nose. Could be done tonight if the swelling subsides. Most incisions can be hidden but one will be at eyebrow line. Her knee is sore and swollen but not serious. 

Sheri is going for a neck MRI in a little bit.

Meanwhile, Allison has a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip. Will possibly have surgery tonight. Really bad so early in the morning.

Unfortunately, there was no way I could write anything from my hospital bed that night, or do anything more than the bare minimum after I was released the next day.

That was followed on Friday by this email from Jay Doyle of the Velo Allegro cycling club.

On Wednesday, February 27th, Sherri Bates and Allison Prendergast went for an early morning bike ride from Long Beach and headed south on PCH. They were riding side-by-side in the bike lane and as they approached and passed Superior Avenue in Newport Beach they encountered slowed and stopped morning traffic. 

A northbound van turned left between the stopped southbound traffic to enter a strip mall parking lot on the west side of the street. Due to the stopped traffic the van driver, as well as Sherri and Allison, did not see one another. As the van crossed the bike lane, Sherri and Allison had no time to react and they both slammed into the right side of the vehicle. Both Sherri and Allison took the brunt of the impact head and face-first.

Sherri and Allison had to be taken by Paramedics to the closest trauma center at Orange County Global Medical in Santa Ana.

Sherri needed to undergo facial surgery to repair her sinus cavity, right eye-socket and nose. She also sustained neck and head trauma. 

Allison needed to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur at the hip socket and torn lip.

As serious as these injuries were, thank God they were not life threatening. Both Sherri and Allison had successful surgeries and will be going home on Friday for many weeks of recuperation.

Allison is self-employed as a massage therapist and will be out of work for an extended period of time. A Go Fund Me account is being set up to assist her with her medical and personal expenses. As soon as more information is obtained regarding the account we will let you know. Any financial donation that you might be able to make to help Allison would be greatly appreciated.

Regarding the driver of the van, NBPD was able to identify his whereabouts within the parking lot area. The male suspect exhibited signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was arrested.

Accidents like this are tragic, especially when it occurs to fellow Velo Allegro family members that we know and love. Please, be careful out there! Unfortunately, our fate is in the hands of strangers driving past us on the road. We can only hope that they are sober, paying attention to the road, and giving us at least 3-feet of passing clearance. This is sad news but it could have been much worse. We wish Sherri and Allison a quick road to recovery and we hope to see them back on the bike soon. Get well soon! We love you guys!!

Unfortunately, I can’t find a crowdfunding page for either of the victims, but I’ll be happy to share any links once they come online.

And let this be yet another painful reminder that there’s no time of day when you’re completely safe from drunk and stoned drivers.

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This is what happens when attempts to encourage people to walk and bike to Mardi Gras celebrations meet an entrenched car culture in a community dedicated to laissez les bons temps rouler.

AKA, letting the good times roll.

A celebratory night in New Orleans was ruined when the adult son of a New Orleans cop slammed down a few drinks too many before getting behind the wheel of his car, and plowing into a group of people on famed Esplanade Ave.

The multi-block rampage, which took place just blocks from the popular Endymion Mardi Gras parade, left two people dead and three critically injured, along with another four less seriously injured.

Most, if not all of those, were believed to have been riding bikes at the time of the crash.

The driver, Tashonty Toney, tried to flee the scene on foot, but was stopped nearby by bystanders, who described him as “blind drunk.”

A witness said the 32-year old Toney had swerved his sports car into the bike lane on Esplanade to go around slower traffic, then stumbled out of his car after coming to a stop, and passed out on a street corner.

He later told police he had a drinking problem and should have gotten help.

No shit.

This came just two years after another driver plowed into crowds at the same Endymion parade.

Toney is being held on $510,000 bond.

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Stephen Katz forwards a reminder that unannounced Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke’s father was one of us.

And it didn’t end well.

Prominent Texas Judge and cross-country cyclist Pat O’Rourke was killed while during a solitary recumbent ride on July 3rd, 2001, before having an El Paso bike trail named after him 16 years later.

Clearly, it hasn’t scared his son off.

………

Who said women can’t compete with the men?

A Belgian women’s cycling competition had to be halted by race officials after the lead racer caught up with the back of the men’s race, despite giving the men a ten minute head start.

Unfortunately, she ended up finishing 74th when the peloton caught her after being forced to cool her pedals for so long.

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Speaking of Belgium, the country’s E3 Harrelbeke race once again rushes into sexist territory where wiser minds would fear to tred, following a number of regretful marketing misfires in recent years.

The poster for this year’s race features what at first glance appears to be a frog — but on closer examination turns out to be two naked, intertwined women painted green.

What that has to do with bike racing, we’ll probably never know.

Or, chances are, want too.

………

And finally…

Who says bicyclists aren’t tough? Like riding 30 minutes to get help after a rattlesnake bite.

At 75 years old.

………

Thanks to Bryan Z and Matthew R for their generous and unexpected donations support this site and help pay for my new knee.

I couldn’t have been more surprised by their kindness. Or grateful.

Man killed riding a bike on Manchester Blvd in South LA hit-and-run

Once again, another innocent person has been murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, once again on Manchester Blvd in South Los Angeles.

And once again, don’t count on our elected leaders actually doing anything about it.

According to KTLA-5, the victim, identified only as a man in his late 20s, was riding eastbound on Manchester Blvd at South Gramercy Place when he was run down from by an unknown driver around 9 pm last night.

The victim, who appeared to be on a knobby-tired bicycle, died at the scene. The impact was hard enough that a witness described finding his shoes on opposite sides of the wide, four lane street.

Unfortunately, there is no description of the suspect or his or her vehicle.

An infuriating report by KCAL-9 says the victim was riding in the street despite the presence of a wide sidewalk, implying that’s where he should have been.

This is the second fatal hit-and-run involving a bicycle rider on Manchester Blvd in less than a year, following the death of Frederick “Woon” Frazer at less that a mile away at Manchester and Normandie last April.

That driver still hasn’t been charged, despite admitting to being behind the wheel, and allegedly repainting and hiding her SUV in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Which makes you wonder just what it takes to get the DA to file charges.

In addition, no action has been taken to improve the deadly street that has now taken the lives of two bike riders in recent months, despite the presence of both Manchester and Normandie on the city’s High Injury Network.

As with any fatal hit-and-run in LA, there is a standing $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the third in the City of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

South LA man killed in possible street racing crash while riding his bike in Florence neighborhood

This morning we mentioned a breaking news report about a fatal crash between two drivers in South LA’s Florence neighborhood that may have involved two people on bicycles.

Sadly, our worst fears have bee confirmed, although several of the details were wrong.

According to multiple sources, 54-year old James Findley was killed when he was struck by a single driver around 10:35 pm at the intersection of 82nd Street and South Broadway in the Florence neighborhood of South LA.

The reports indicate Findley was riding on 82nd Street when he was run down by one of two drivers who were allegedly street racing north on Broadway.

That driver remained at the scene after crashing into several parked cars, while the other took off without stopping.

Findley was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other bike rider was involved in the crash, despite the presence of two badly mangled bicycles, as seen in this screen shot from the KNBC-4 broadcast, with one attached to a bike trailer.

Findley may have been ghost riding the other bicycle, which is where a person rides one bicycle while towing another riderless bike alongside.

It’s also possible that the second bike may only appear to be damaged, and could have been left by a bystander.

He was just a half block from the Florence home he shared with his sister, who heard the crash and immediately recognized his bike.

Findley is described as the second youngest out of nine brothers and sisters, and leaves behind an adult son.

According to KCBS-2, the driver who hit him admitted to street racing; however, that has not been confirmed by other sources. He was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter.

Police are searching for the missing motorist on a possible charge of hit-and-run. Drivers can be responsible for hit-and-run if they leave the scene after causing a crash, regardless of whether they were actually involved.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the city of Los Angeles.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Findley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Steve S and Sindy Saito for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Yes, bikes can ride abreast, killer NM meth driver set free, and attempted murder over a snowball

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reports there was a fatal crash between two drivers at 82nd and Broadway in South LA’s Florence neighborhood, which appears to have involved a pair of bike riders in a collateral damage crash.

No word on who was killed, but chances are, it was one or more of the people on bicycles.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Update: Sadly, our fears were confirmed. The only good news is that there was only one victim.

………

The Riverside Press Enterprise tries, and fails, to answer the question of whether bicyclists are allowed to ride two or more abreast.

Not so simple answer: There is nothing in California law that forbids riding abreast.

Some police agencies attempt to use CVC 21202 to forbid riding abreast, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, concluding that the outside rider is violating the law.

However, they fail to consider the many exceptions to CVC 21202, which make it clear that the requirement to ride to the right does not apply on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is most of the right hand traffic lanes in Southern California.

In which case there is no limit to the number of people who can ride abreast — as long as you remain within a single lane.

However, you still have to pull over to the right when safe to do so if there are five or more vehicles following behind you and unable to pass. But once again, that does not apply in some circumstances.

Like if there are two or more lanes in the direction you’re traveling, in which case drivers can simply change lanes to pass.

It’s also worth noting that the law doesn’t apply if you’re riding at the speed of traffic around you.

So if you’re riding the speed limit, or drivers are slowed to your speed by congestion, you can ride wherever the hell you want.

Including riding abreast if that’s what you want.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Albuquerque man remains free despite killing a bike rider in a horrific hit and run, and testing positive for meth at least twice; his lawyers say the case should be dropped because he suffers from PTSD, ADHD and depression.

And yes, there is video, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Some things you just can’t unsee.

At least the judge told him not to drive, though. And everyone knows meth heads do exactly what they’re told.

Right?

Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the heads-up.

………

This is what’s known as a disproportionate response.

A road raging Seattle woman tries to run people over after someone hit her car with a snowball. Then gets out of her car and physically attacks them until she was restrained.

Seriously.

Attempted murder is never an appropriate response.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the tip.

………

Norm Bradwell forwards a new video that explains how Toronto increased bicycling rates a whopping 1095% on two busy roads for a paltry $1.25 million.

Or less than one million in US dollars.

………

Evidently, dockless bikeshare is pretty chill in Seattle these days.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

State

San Diego agreed to pay $1 million to a bike rider who seriously injured his face and jaw after hitting a pothole; advocates say it illustrates the city’s inadequate bicycle infrastructure.

A San Jose newspaper takes a look at bike and pedestrian safety from a decidedly windshield perspective, telling the people not in the big, dangerous machines to wear reflective clothes and pay attention in parking lots so drivers won’t hurt them. Or worse.

Uber’s Jump dockless bikeshare service is cutting into the company’s eponymous ride-hailing service in San Francisco.

Lyft donates $700,000 to Oakland to provide bikes and transit discounts to underserved community members, including establishing a bicycle lending library and starting a process to bring bikeshare to the city.

Sad news from Stockton, where a bike rider was killed when he was struck by two drivers as he was crossing an intersection, one of whom fled the scene.

National

A new report says US bicycling fatalities are at their highest level since 1991. Or at least they were in 2016, which is the last year for which national stats are currently available. And chances are they haven’t gone down much since then, if at all.

Bike Snob grabs a pipe and dons his cardigan sweater to offer some fatherly advice on how to teach your kid to have a positive attitude about bicycling in a bike-unfriendly world.

NBC says riding a bicycle with her husband helped “reignite the lust” in a woman’s marriage, even though she just says it reconnect them with the romance of earlier days. Which isn’t exactly the same thing.

A writer for Bicycling shares nine tips she learned from riding almost every kind of bicycle.

Next month, you can trade your current bike in for a new Trek roadie with disc brakes.

That Portland woman who killed a bike rider while high on her dog’s Xanax got a well-deserved 15 years behind bars. Hopefully that comes with a mandatory drug treatment program for both of them.

A Seattle man recovered his stolen Bianchi with the help of a local Facebook group and a BOLO alert among Jimmy John’s delivery riders.

If there can be peace between Alaskan winter bike riders and cross-country skiers, maybe there’s hope for our nation’s political divide.

Over 200 people turned out on a night with a wind chill of 50 degrees below zero to honor a fallen Chicago bicyclist who was killed in a crash while riding home from work last week.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner will fix up 200 bicycles donated by the state police to give to local kids who don’t have one; last year they collaborated to give away over 2,000 bikes.

No surprise here. Pittsburgh bike riders say they’re more comfortable sharing streets with self-driving vehicles than with their human counterparts.

A South Carolina second-grade teacher helped save the father of one of her students; she spotted the seven-year old riding his bicycle on a busy highway to get help after finding his dad passed out from a diabetic episode.

He gets it. An op-ed in a Florida paper says the three E’s — education, enforcement and engineering — aren’t enough to lower the state’s worst in the nation bicycling death rate; it will take solid data, and real action based on that data.

Florida lawmakers consider making the same mistake California made by raising the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $1,500, although the Golden State only made it $1,000. Problem is the value of most bicycles is far less than that, making it the equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card for bike thieves.

A Florida woman is suing Lime for a crash that left her daughter in a persistent vegetative state over instructions that tell e-scooter users to ride in the street, even though that’s illegal in the state. In California, it’s illegal to use motorized scooters on the sidewalk. Thanks to David Drexler for the tip. 

International

Another day, another smartphone app promising to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders and pedestrians. But only if the driver and the person on the bike or on foot both have it installed and turned on. Not to mention convincing drivers they don’t have to pay attention because the app will do it for them.

A writer from Calgary offers tips on relatively cheap ways to keep warm riding your bike on winter days.

An Irish cycling coach says 2019 will be the worst year ever for bicycle crashes, because too many people are learning to get fast on virtual trainers before they develop the skill to ride safely on the streets.

Colnago celebrates the 87th birthday of founder Ernesto Calnago with a $56,000 gold-plated bike.

A former Nigerian governor died nearly 45 years after he escaped an army general by fleeing to Lagos on his bicycle.

Competitive Cycling

Italian cycling pros launch a petition calling for better laws to protect bicyclists in the country in memory of fallen Giro winner Michele Scarponi, including a requirement for bike lanes and a safe passing distance.

More proof the Era of Doping hasn’t ended yet. A 50-year old amateur cyclist from Alabama was banned for four years after she failed a urine test.

Finally…

Who needs Vision Zero when you have some of the nation’s crappiest drivers? Seriously, when you’re riding your bike with five outstanding warrants while carrying drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon, obey the damn traffic laws, already.

And it’s probably not the best idea to text your husband to say you’re at the local tavern after just attempting to run his bike down with your car.

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