Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Morning Links: A reminder to always ride with water, and why drivers continue to flee following crashes

Got an email late Thursday telling me I almost lost a friend last week.

Long story short: Heatstroke.

I rode from Seal Beach to Azusa, then “rested” under a bridge by the San Gabriel River, viciously under-hydrated, out of water, with the temperature climbing, because I’m a moron.

I banged up my shoulder tripping against the concrete pier. I hallucinated. I blacked out. I threw up the first bottle of water that a good stranger gave me. Retrospect terrifies me: I actually could’ve passed out permanently under that bridge.

I’m heading back this afternoon to put up a thank-you poster because I never got the name of the guy who rescued me, got me water/Gatorade/ice, put me in his air-conditioned car, and kept me from wandering off. If he didn’t save the coroner a bunch of work, he at least spared me from crushing hospital bills.

Let that be a reminder to always carry more water than you think you’ll need. And remember to actually drink it, especially on hot days.

You should also make sure to have a little cash with you, so you can duck into a store or gas station to buy more in case you run out.

And always carry some form of ID when you ride, just in case a stranger finds you passed out under a bridge somewhere.

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Evidently, there’s no reason not to flee after collision.

A Whittier woman got less than a slap on the wrist — more like a pat on the back — for last year’s South Pasadena hit-and-run wreck that injured a couple and their baby, and killed the family dog. While driving on a suspended license, no less.

None of that seems to matter, though, as she threw herself on the mercy of the court. And was richly rewarded with just three years probation and 30 days Caltrans duty.

That’s it.

So as long as the courts refuse to take hit-and-run seriously, let alone a license to drive, why should anyone else?

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Looks like frequent contributor danger d now has his own blog. And the first post is a complaint about the problem of having to beg for a green light if you’re not driving a car.

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The often anti-bike LA Weekly offers a great profile of a third-generation, six-year old lowrider bicyclist. With training wheels.

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Now this should be interesting. The Vuelta a España kicks off with a team time trial on Saturday on a course that’s partly dirt and sand. The former director of Team Sky says put your money on Chris Froome.

BMC’s riders just switched places after the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge as Rohan Dennis won in a breakaway, taking the leader’s jersey from teammate Brent Bookwalter. But if you’re not going to win the stage, you might as well pop a mid-race wheelie.

The women’s three-stage version of the Pro Challenge kicks off today, offering prize money equal to the men’s race. And apparently not comprehending the message it sends, the same podium girls, too. Yahoo looks at women’s cycling’s token appearance at the Tour de France and the problems still facing the sport.

The new head of USA Cycling wants the organization to be vehemently anti-doping, with an increased focus on grassroots and women’s cycling.

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Local

LA Weekly wants your vote for your favorite bike shop; Helen’s, Golden Saddle and Flying Pigeon are the nominees.

CiclaValley professes profound indifference to the new bike lanes on Vineland. Here’s what usually happens: They put bike lanes where no one wants them, so no one uses them. Then say there’s no point in building more bike lanes, because we don’t use the ones we’ve got.

A great Vine illustration clearly shows how Pasadena’s proposed two-way, buffered cycletrack on Union Ave would work.

 

State

A Santa Ana cyclist suffered major injuries when he reportedly lost control of his bike and veered into the path of an oncoming pickup Wednesday night. The story reports he was riding east in a bike lane on the 900 block of East McFadden Ave; however, there aren’t any there for him to veer out of. Thanks to Lois for the heads-up, and thanks to David Huntsman for pointing out the lack of bike lanes.

Costa Mesa police revive their bike patrol after 15 years to deal more effectively with homeless people and drug abusers.

Garden Grove will hold their second annual open streets festival on October 10th.

Coronado residents rise up in opposition to a proposed multi-use path along the beach. And apparently, bike riders in general.

A dangerous Orinda bike lane will get a coat of green paint, rather than moving a turn lane leading to a freeway onramp to improve safety.

San Francisco police ride along with the city’s cyclists in an effort to mend fences after a recent crackdown on bike riders.

San Fran’s 2nd Street will get a road diet with raised, curb-protected bike lanes. And we get to be envious.

Nice. A 17-year old girl scout raised $8,000 to give every sixth grader at an Oakland Catholic school a new bike, helmet and assorted gear.

After police stop a man for suspicion of riding a stolen bike, they discover he skipped out on a Marin County drunk driving charge 21 years earlier.

The Marin County paper offers an in-depth obituary of Deb Hubsmith, founder of Safe Routes to Schools.

 

National

People for Bikes kids infographicA new infographic from People for Bikes provides stats on children and bicycling; despite the perception that kids don’t ride bikes anymore, 57% ride an average of 40 days a year. That could show a lot of improvement if more parents felt safe letting their children ride to school and more administrators would allow it.

Bicycling offers tips on how to finance your new bike. Just don’t buy more bike than you can afford, or go into debt if you can’t comfortably manage the payments.

This is so not what bicycles are for. A Montana man is under arrest for repeatedly punching his girlfriend and whacking her with his bike. Hopefully, she’ll get the hell out before he makes bail.

Five college-bound Chicago teens show up in a Mercedes to beat and pepper spray a man in an attempt to steal the $500 bike he was selling. That scholarship to Cal Poly won’t be used anytime soon.

The parents of a soldier killed in Afghanistan are fulfilling his dream of building a parking lot where Minnesota cyclists can safely unload their bikes away from a busy roadway.

A Minnesota writer pens an ode to the best month to ride a bike.

It takes a pair of real jerks to shoot a Detroit bike rider with a paint gun. And a couple of idiots to follow that by shooting it at a police SUV.

New York’s mayor is considering undoing the highly popular Time Square pedestrian plaza by reopening the street to cars to fight the scourge of body-painted breasts. Yes, breasts.

 

International

Caught on video: More than a half dozen people pitch in to lift a car off an injured British bike rider; a basket decorated with flowers is attached to the unseen bike and rider trapped under the car.

After she’s knocked off her bike by a hit-and-run driver, London novelist says the city’s cyclists are being scared off the road. Although maybe someone might explain the meaning of TMI to her.

A bike-riding Catholic nun is changing the lives of former sex slaves in the Congo.

An Aussie driver faces a minimum of 18 months for plowing into a pack of riders; somehow, he couldn’t see the seven cyclists directly in front of him for a full 17 seconds.

Thailand’s Crown Prince gives the equivalent of $2,200 to the family of a man killed in a collision while training to for a bike ride in honor of the Queen’s 83rd birthday.

 

Finally…

No point in working as a dog walker when you can do it by bikeshare. Now you can get a KOM while working on that new IPO.

And it’s okay if a man wants to ride a women’s bike.

No, really. It is.

 

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Thanks to Jeffery Fylling for his generous donation to help support this site.

Morning Links: Newport hit-and-run driver turns himself in, and more fallout from the new LA Mobility Plan

More on the 14-year old girl who was critically injured when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding in Newport Beach Tuesday night.

Thirty-six-year old Anthony Michael George turned himself in to police at around 2 pm Wednesday, which would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

Assuming he had been drinking, of course, which only seems like a given.

That was after his badly damaged car was discovered by a sharp-eyed Newport resident out for a run.

His victim, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of other riders, was on vacation with her family from San Carlos; she’s now fighting for her life after she was hit head-on with enough force to shatter the car’s windshield.

She was not wearing a helmet, despite state law requiring them for anyone under the age of 18. Whether it could have made a difference, given the description of the collision, is questionable.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link about the car discovery.

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The Daily News says the newly passed Mobility Plan offers promise, but questions whether the city is dictating new habits or anticipating them. Neither, actually. It’s aimed at improving safety while giving people the option of how they want to travel, rather than how they currently feel they have to.

LA Times readers offer surprisingly rational responses to yesterday’s story about the shift in LA transportation priorities.

KNBC-4 misses the point, saying community groups oppose taking travel lanes — not auto lanes, thank you — from streets like Westwood Blvd, even though current plan for Westwood don’t involve removing a single lane or parking spot. Which makes you wonder what the real reason for their opposition is, along with that of Councilmember Paul Koretz, who appears to be in the pocket of wealthy homeowners.

Larry Mantle discussed the passage of the Mobility Plan on KPCC’s Air Talk; the LACBC’s Tamika Butler made some good points by stressing it’s not just about bike lanes, although the remarks by motorhead Jay Beeber — and many of the comments — are infuriating.

Speaking of which, I’m told you should only read the comments on KFI’s Facebook page, home to the bike hating John and Ken, if you want to lose all hope for humanity.

And Bicycling wants to arm you with responses to the typical anti-bike comments you’ll find to any online story about bicycling.

Meanwhile, this is what the story looks like from an overseas perspective.

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Brenda Miller of the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County writes to say they’re looking for vendors with experience in hosting bike rodeos.

Orange County will be holding bike rodeos the month of September, 2015, and is seeking bids from vendors experienced with such bicycle education events. Funding for the rodeos is provided by the non-profit, Alliance for a Healthy Orange County, as part of a community health grant received from the CDC. Contact info, details/specs, and a list of Q&A’s submitted by potential vendors is downloadable via Dropbox HERE.

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Matt Brammeier, the cyclist injured in that horrific Tour of Utah crash, as been released from the hospital.

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Local

Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office is preparing a pop-up Great Streets installation on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista early next year, including improved — and possibly protected — bike lanes.

Richard Risemberg says even if we get bike lanes, once the paint dries, we’re on our own.

Bike thefts continue in DTLA, as six people have their rides taken, four after the locks were cut; one man was arrested trying to take one.

There will be a pop-up community open house for the Cesar Chavez Great Street, which doesn’t appear to include anything to improve bike safety, this Saturday. Maybe you can point out the error of their ways.

 

State

San Francisco police back off their heavy-handed crackdown on scofflaw bike riders in the face of angry bicyclists, after 200 riders were ticketed for rolling stops, running lights and not stopping for pedestrians in just a two-day period. A petition protesting the crackdown drew over 19,000 signatures.

The Yolo County driver who intentionally ran down three cyclists in succession behind the wheel of a stolen car now faces attempted murder charges and a sanity hearing. That’s Yolo, not YOLO.

 

National

Bicycling talks to the people behind everyone’s favorite bike comic.

VeloNews asks what the rise of e-bikes means for the world of bicycling. Less pedaling, for one.

Bloomberg notes that crowdfunding is the latest way to get bikeways built, but questions just what the purpose of taxes is, then.

Not a bad idea. A new light attaches to your brake cable, giving you an automatic brake light for just $10.

If a judge agrees, an Anchorage teen could get less than three years in juvie for the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider. The collision came just eight days after she completed — and evidently failed — a drug abuse program; she was on Ecstasy, coke and marijuana at the time of the crash.

A car is a man’s — or woman’s — castle in Kansas; just reaching inside could entitle the driver to use deadly force. Good thing that personal space doesn’t extend to the air around it.

Caught on video: This is what a dangerously close pass by a Texas driver looks like.

A fifth Minneapolis bike rider has been attacked by a rock-throwing SUV driver; the latest victim suffered a broken clavicle.

The Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to avoid neck pain caused by cycling. Or maybe you suffer from hay fever while riding, instead.

An Ohio driver gets a lousy three months in jail for sideswiping a cyclist with his trailer after following behind a group of riders for several hundred feet, honking and yelling at them out his window.

The athletic director at Middle Tennessee State University considers himself lucky after breaking two neck vertebrae and a wrist when he went off the road while riding his bike.

Bicycling casualties are raising red flags in Boston, where 13 people have been killed riding bikes in the city in the last five years. Nearly that many died in Los Angeles last year alone, with 11 bicycling deaths within the city limits in 2014.

A Florida man faces a manslaughter charge after killing another man with a single punch in a dispute over a stolen bike. Seriously, recovering your bike isn’t worth taking a life. Or spending the next several years behind bars.

 

International

Hundreds of cyclists formed a funeral procession for a popular British bike advocate who was killed in a road rage assault while driving his car.

Add this to the list of things you wouldn’t see while driving, as Town Mouse spots a very hidden young deer on her ride to town. And note that her definition of a busy road is spotting half a dozen vehicles in four miles.

The next time you’re in Amsterdam, look bikes with a yellow rack for a free ride on the back from an unofficial bike ambassador.

Australia’s Senate is told that mandatory helmet laws do more harm than good.

New Chinese augmented reality glasses currently raising funds on Indiegogo promise to give you a heads-up display while you ride. Because it just takes too much effort to look down at a Garmin.

Over 40,000 Thai cyclists have registered for a ride this Sunday to honor the country’s Queen on her 83rd birthday.

 

Finally…

Seriously, when a driver tells you to get off the road, just flip ‘em off if you have to respond, instead of causing $300 damage to the jerk’s car. If you’re riding a stolen bike armed with burglary tools and a stun gun, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And caught on video: A Chinese bicyclist just barely avoids serious injury when he hops off his bike milliseconds before it’s hit by a driver making a dangerous U-turn in a busy intersection. Naturally, police conclude it wasn’t really the driver’s fault.

 

Morning Links: OC truck driver goes on trial; Montebello hit-and-run reward; Metro bike workshops start tonight

The trial of truck driver Filemon Reynaga started on Monday in a Santa Ana courthouse.

And kicked off with one big revelation.

Reynaga is charged with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor manslaughter for the 2013 death of 19-year old Manuel Morales Rodriguez.

According to the Orange County Register, Reynaga was shown on surveillance video pulling out of a store parking lot after an early morning delivery, and making a blind right turn without stopping. He ran directly into Rodriguez’ bike, dragging Rodriguez under his trailer as he made a second right onto Orangewood Ave.

A witness testified that Reynaga got out of his truck and walked back to look at Rodriguez, coming within five feet of his body. Then he got back in his truck and drove away, leaving his Rodriguez lying in the street, where he was struck again by another car moments later.

Why that doesn’t warrant a murder charge is beyond me, since he knowingly left his victim lying in harms way.

To make matters worse, his defense attorney argued that Reynaga isn’t at fault because Rodriguez might have been killed by the second driver, instead. Even though the other driver probably wouldn’t have hit him if Reynaga hadn’t left him there unprotected in the early morning darkness.

Then again, he also argued that Reynaga a) didn’t cause the collision, b) may not have even hit Rodriguez, and c) may not have known that he hit him if he did.

Let hope the jury will pick d) he’s guilty as hell.

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Montebello is offering a $10,000 reward for the hit-and-run death of fallen cyclist Steven Vasquez Garcia last month.

Montebello Reward

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Metro is hosting a series of Open House Workshops to develop a  strategic plan for active transportation — including bikes and pedestrians — starting tonight in San Gabriel.

We want to hear from you! Metro is developing an Active Transportation Strategic Plan to identify needs, resources and strategies to improve and increase walking, bicycling and transit use in LA County, and your input will help create a meaningful, effective plan.

The workshops will:

  1. Gather input on improving first and last mile access to transit and improvements to the regional network of walking and bicycling facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways
  2. Explore opportunities for supporting local and regional partners to get these projects and programs implemented

The workshops are designed for planners, engineers, traffic safety professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, advocates, transit riders, transit operators, non-profit organizations, decision-makers, and other interested stakeholders. Each workshop will include information about the overall plan and information specific to the sub-region. We encourage you to attend the workshop specific to your sub-region; however, staff will be available to answer questions and gather input at all workshops.

Click here for dates and locations.

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The Tour of Utah brings big-time pro cycling to the Beehive State, with 10 riders to watch. However, two-time champ Tom Danielson won’t be one of them after failing a drug test; he could face a lifetime ban thanks to a previous six month suspension.

The best news in this year’s racing season is Taylor Phinney’s return to the peloton following last year’s horrific crash in the National Championships days after winning the time trial title. And better yet, he finished third in a breakaway in Monday’s stage.

Sunday’s competition in the Crested Butte Big Mountain Enduro race was cancelled after Will Olson was killed while competing in the off-road race on Saturday; competitors rode in his honor instead.

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Local

A new study shows bikeshare really is an effective form of transit; LA’s upcoming system could take that a step further by offering transfers to and from other forms of transit.

LA’s Mobility Plan comes up for a vote before a joint meeting of the city council’s Transportation and Planning and Land Use committees at 2:30 today at City Hall. At least two of the councilmembers who have been working to scuttle the plan sit on those committees, so we have our work cut out for us.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the only official voice for bicyclists in our city government — holds their bi-monthly meeting tonight; the location has been changed to the Meeting Room at Pan Pacific Park.

 

State

Get your resume ready. Delaware-based Blue Bicycles is moving to Orange County by the end of the year; the company will release over 20 models for its 2016 line after being off the market for two years following an unsuccessful merger.

People in Santa Barbara support a well designed bike network, but question whether the one currently under consideration fits that description.

Cyclelicious says don’t bother uglifying your bike to deter thieves.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid says Davis set the standard for what a bike friendly American city could be, though it’s going to take work to return it to bike paradise it once was.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the 13 best bike rides in US national parks. And asks pro cyclists to tell us about their favorite places to ride.

People for Bikes says cities can’t prioritize vehicle speed and volume, just as turning up a hose too far causes more harm than good. It makes more sense when you read it.

An architecture website offers seven rules for safer cities.

A cyclist shares what he learned from riding across the country.

An Albuquerque thrift store sold a man’s $1,500, 1937 antique bike to another customer for $4.99 while he shopped. I’m going to have nightmares about that one.

An Iowa bike rider is grateful for the hit-and-run that broke his leg, mangled his arm and cost him his job; if he hadn’t been hurt, doctors might not have found the tumor that probably would have killed him.

A heartbreaking story, as a Minnesota man returns to the site of the hit-and-run that took his wife’s life and left him seriously injured as they returned home from a bike tour one year ago.

Not many 12-year old bike riders have sponsors. A Minnesota boy runs his own advertising service by selling ad space on his bicycle.

Vermont police conclude a cyclist was at fault in the collision that killed him, even though the driver blew a .123 alcohol level right after the wreck — well over the .08 legal limit — and had Xanax, Sertraline and Nortriptyline in her system. But it’s just a coincidence that the driver is married to a cop, right?

A Virginia bike rider is shot in an apparently random act of violence. And a VA hit-and-run victim wants to know what kind of person would slam into a bicyclist, then leave him sprawling in a ditch without stopping. I suspect we know the answer to that one.

A North Carolina driver tells a reporter he didn’t do it on purpose after killing a cyclist while driving under the influence. Oh, well okay, then.

 

International

A cyclist died after going 50 feet off a bridge at the site of the worst traffic fatality in British history. Maybe it’s time to fix the damn road, already.

A 15-year old boy from India takes gold twice in the Special Olympics time trial events, after just one month of training; he didn’t even have a racing bike when he qualified last year.

Is nowhere safe from bike thieves? A South African woman was bike-jacked while competing in a mountain bike race.

Bicycling rates are up in Western Australia, though the Aussie state faces the same gender gap everywhere else does.

Evidently, Japan isn’t quite up for Vision Zero yet, planning to cut traffic deaths by 50%. Maybe they call it Vision Less; thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride through floodwaters, make sure you know where the damn curb is. Maybe you find spandex too confining, but please wear something. Anything. Except unsightly calf-high bike socks.

Especially if you’re planning to use what’s basically an adult balance bike.

 

Morning Links: Judge may release Gardena police video, BOLO alert for Ford pickup in Montebello hit-and-run

The LA Times reports that a federal judge says he’s inclined to release the dashcam video of the shooting of an unarmed man in Gardena.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was coming to the aid of two friends helping to look for his brother’s stolen bike when he was shot and killed by Gardena police last year.

The judge agreed there was a clear public interest in releasing the video, as requested by the Times and other media companies, noting that it’s hard to argue that the shooting was legal after the city agreed to a $4.7 million settlement to be funded by taxpayers.

Maybe he should tell that to the LA County DA’s office.

A final ruling on releasing the video could come as soon as today.

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Montebello police are looking for a Ford pickup in the hit-and-run death of 24-year old Steven Garcia as he was riding his bike home from work last week. Anyone with information is urged to call Montebello police Cpl. J. Dresser at 323/887-1212, ex. 353 or Cpl. R. Yap, ex. 337.

Although they could have offered a little better description of the suspect vehicle. There are a lot of Ford trucks out there.

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KCBS-2 picks up yesterday’s lead story about the CHP officer dangerously buzzing two cyclists on Glendora Mountain Road.

I’m told the CHP’s Southern Division HQ is looking into the video, so something may actually be done about it for a change.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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VeloNews looks at the highs and lows of the first full week of racing in the Tour de France. A TV station reports on the day’s happenings on the Tour’s first rest day, while Teejay van Garderen makes it the Fab Five.

Sadly, Ivan Basso was forced to drop out after he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor; there’s a high probability it’s cancerous, but more tests are needed to be sure. His withdrawal could adversely affect teammate Alberto Contador’s chances, but what really matters is his full and fast recovery.

A Billings MT cyclist endures rain, hail, snow, calf-deep mud and hallucinations to compete in the 2,745-mile off-road Tour Divide; another rider says the hardest part is knowing when to quit.

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Local

It’s been a busy day for the Times, as they look at the PCH safety study recently approved by the Malibu city council; the study lists 120 proposed improvements to the roadway, including bike lanes on part of the highway, along with another 30 recommendations for Caltrans.

KPCC’s Air Talk program discusses the Times’ report on the county’s 817 most dangerous intersections.

CiclaValley appears on the Bike Talk internet/radio program.

A new Replace Your Ride program will give you transit vouchers up to $4,500 if you turn in your gas-guzzling car. But not a penny if you trade it for a bike, damn it; thanks to Day One for the link.

Black Kids on Bikes and the Ride On! Bike co-op bring the Leimert Park community together with an open air tune-up session.

The 12-year old daughter of a space shuttle astronaut was found riding her bike in the Torrance/Redondo Beach area after being missing for 24 hours.

 

State

It took a bike-riding tourist to save the life of a 37-year old woman who collapsed from a massive heart attack while jogging in Carlsbad last year.

The wife of the Afghan refugee killed by an allegedly distracted driver while riding his bike in Sacramento feels lost without him; the family arrived in the US just a few weeks ago, after the electrical engineer risked his life by aiding US forces in Afghanistan. His 8-year old son also suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 36-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on the coast highway near Fort Bragg in NorCal.

 

National

California’s retiring Senator Barbara Boxer wins support for bike lanes and sidewalks in the new federal transportation bill.

Good news and bad news, as a new bikeshare study says yes, it provides economic and health benefits and encourages new cyclists, but there’s no proof that bike-sharing programs reduces congestion, gets people out of their cars or helps the environment.

The New York Times looks at the national trend of bike training classes for bicycling-challenged adults.

Not everyone supports Boulder CO’s removal of traffic lanes to make way for wider bike lanes. Shocking, I know.

An Illinois cyclist is nominated for ESPN’s ESPYAward, 20 years after losing his right arm in a construction accident.

Don’t try this at home. A 46-year old Pennsylvania man was killed trying to jump a homemade bike ramp on a children’s bike. Actually, it was probably a BMX bike, which most police departments don’t seem to be familiar with.

An exhibit at the Smithsonian looks at the impact bicycles have had on modern society.

A New Orleans man faces manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a bike-riding artist last week.

The Florida bike rider who crashed hard after slipping in the remains of a dead alligator on the roadway is making a slow recovery, with new titanium plates in his cheeks, forehead and clavicle; his wife calls him Titanium Tim. Now all he needs is a new Ti bike when he gets back to riding.

 

International

Toronto police bust a man for stealing a $19,000 custom made racing bike. Of course, that’s only $14,800 US.

Brazil’s Pan Am cycling team is escorted off a major highway by police after taking a very wrong turn.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A BMX rider lands the first quadruple backflip. A Pasadena motorist is caught on video playing acid jazz on a recorder while driving with no hands in moving traffic — and right next to a patrol car, no less.

And speaking of distracted driving, a Brit woman rear-ended a van, apparently because she was pleasuring herself with a vibrator while driving.

Then again, I once encountered something similar, myself.

 

Wednesday night hit-and-run death of Montebello bike rider confirmed

Sadly, we’ve gotten confirmation of another bicycling fatality.

Last night we mentioned unconfirmed reports that a bike rider had been killed in a hit-and-run earlier this week.

Scene of the collision; all photos by Danny Gamboa

Scene of the collision; all photos by Danny Gamboa

Today, the Whittier Daily News reported that 24-year old Steven Garcia was hit by a car around 10:30 pm Wednesday at the intersection of Whittier Blvd and Bluff Road in Montebello.

The driver — or possibly more than one, according to a Gofundme page set up to help raise fund to pay his funeral expenses — fled the scene, leaving him lying severely injured in the street.

He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died early Friday morning.

No description was available of the vehicles or drivers involved. And no details on how the collision occurred or who might have been at fault.

According to the paper, he lived in Montebello and worked at a local painting and sandblasting business. The Gofundme page says he was returning home from his job when he was struck.

Ghost bike and memorial for Steven Garcia

Ghost bike and memorial for Steven Garcia

A ghost bike ceremony was held in his honor Saturday night.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy for Steven Garcia and his family and friends.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

 Steven-Garcia-Crowd

Weekend Links: Unconfirmed report of fatal Montebello hit-and-run; the tragic fall of the Godfather of BMX

Still waiting for official confirmation, but it doesn’t look good.

A Gofundme page is raising funds to help pay burial expenses for a bike rider named Steven. The page says he was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike home from work near Whittier Blvd and Bluff Road in Montebello.

A Facebook post identifies him as Steven Garcia, and says a ghost bike dedication and vigil will be held in his honor at 8 pm tonight.

Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

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A heatbreaking story in the Desert Sun recounts the rise and tragic fall of Scott Breithaupt, revered as the Godfather of BMX racing. And tells how addiction eventually led to his death under a tent in a vacant lot.

Meanwhile, his mother describes his final months.

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As expected, Wednesday’s Tour de France leader Tony Martin crashed out with a broken collarbone just before the finish line on Thursday. Then again, Alberto Contador hit the pavement before he even made it to Friday’s starting line, when Mark Cavendish rode to his 26th career Tour win.

Chris Froome inherited the yellow jersey, but didn’t wear it Friday out of respect for Martin; American Tejay van Garderen sits a surprising third. Daniel Teklehaimanot donned the polka dot jersey as the first black African to lead the competition for King of the Mountain.

The doping era still casts a shadow over this year’s TdF, as Italian rider Luca Paolini was bounced from the tour after testing positive for coke. And not the bottled kind.

Legendary photographer Frank Capa turned his lens towards the Tour de France in 1939, while Bicycling continues the tale of the man who punched the great Eddy Merckx in the ’75 Tour. And Business Insider recommends 10 can’t-miss movies to watch when the day’s racing is over, even if you think you don’t care.

Evidently, an apology and a donation to charity is enough to make up for a racist slur uttered by a cyclist “in the heat of battle.” In the US, that would be followed by a stint in rehab.

Checking in on stage six of the Gira Rosa, the only women’s Grand Tour stage race, as American Megan Guarnier still holds the leaders pink jersey; just 14 seconds separate the top three riders. Meanwhile, American time trial specialist Carmen Small had her custom Cervelo stolen, along with other bikes belonging to her teammates.

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Local

The Times looks at the lawsuit over the single-sidewalk redesign of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Richard Risemberg says a road diet isn’t worth the pavement it’s painted on if the city doesn’t bother to maintain it.

CiclaValley looks at bicycling improvements that may be coming to the Valley as part of Metro’s biennial Call for Projects.

LA Street Services addresses the problem of how to keep protected bike lanes clean with a petite new street sweeper.

Santa Monica police bust a homeless bike thief on Pico Blvd.

Apparently not grasping the irony, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz will officially name the intersection of Westwood Blvd and La Grange Ave for the man who started LA’s leading riding group this Sunday, labeling it as Raymond Fouquet Square in honor of the late Velo Club La Grange founder. Even though, thanks to Koretz, Westwood remains unfriendly to bike riders, officially and otherwise.

Help the East Side Riders Bike Club build bikes for children this Christmas on the 18th.

Also on the 18th, Long Beach is hosting a bike-in screening of the Wizard of Oz; not the least bit ironic since the only bike rider in the movie turns out to be a wicked witch.

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments discusses transportation funding on the 23rd.

 

State

Orange County bike riders get the shaft when NIMBYs pressure a county supervisor and parks staff to unexpectedly oppose a long-planned bike trail in Peters Canyon.

A San Diego Amazon delivery driver is out of a job after being mistaken for a bike thief.

An 18-year old San Diego cyclist is expected to be okay after breaking his lower back in collision. Naturally, the driver claimed she never saw him riding his bike in the crosswalk, and needless to say, no charges have been filed.

A Coronado letter writer complains about visual pollution caused by bike lanes, and suggests that unused bike racks should be removed. Good idea; let’s do the same with excess parking spaces.

Cyclelicious points out some cyclists have opposed separated bikeways since 1898.

A Berkeley-based HuffPo writer says maybe it’s time for bike licenses to curb all that scofflaw riding.

 

National

Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of us, too.

A new series of videos will help you improve those mad mountain biking skills.

Caught on video (sort of): A road raging Chicago driver jumps out of his car to pummel a cyclist, after trying to squeeze the rider out of the bike lane to bypass stalled traffic, then punches another rider who tried to intervene.

A Minnesota cyclist offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Although he failed to mention moving out into the traffic lane at intersections to avoid being overtaken and cut off by turning vehicles.

Minneapolis approves plans for 30 miles of new protected bike lanes.

Times are good for Boston’s high-end custom bike makers.

New York’s Citi Bike employees become the nation’s first bikeshare employees protected by a union contract.

Caught on video: A passing bike rider reaches out and snatches a smartphone from the hands of a New York woman crossing the street.

Blocking motor vehicle access around the White House is bad enough; a local pol says blocking bike and pedestrian access has got to stop. Meanwhile, DC cyclists form a human shield to press for a protected bike lane.

New bike racks in Richmond VA would honor Union soldiers held prisoner in the Civil War.

The hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding three-year old Florida boy was only 14-years old and driving a van he borrowed from his mother without permission; a kind-hearted vet bought the victim a new bike.

 

International

Vancouver’s Chris Bruntlett says expecting drivers and cyclists to play by the same rules is like equating shotguns and water pistols.

A Canadian cyclist injured in the First Responders race that took the life of a Brazilian investigator earlier this month has been released from the hospital.

The Guardian looks at the gender imbalance on London streets, and asks if the city can make them safe for everyone.

The Brits threaten to bring back the Road Tax, just as cyclists were finally starting to convince drivers it doesn’t exist; a bike rider says he’d gladly pay if the numbers just added up.

A UK site asks if cyclists should be allowed to jump red lights, saying tests show it reduces collisions, while noting Paris has virtually eliminated cycling fatalities. So yes, it can be done.

A British letter writer says cyclists should rein it in on the Promenade or else ride in the road, rather than people just, you know, reining in their dogs. Another urges cyclists to slow down after her kitten is killed on a pathway by a rider who didn’t stop.

A Brit cyclist thinks he didn’t do anything wrong in spitting at and racially abusing a motorist; the judge disagreed to the tune of £1,500 — the equivalent of $2,300.

A British cyclist’s planned seven-week tour of the UK with his dog is still ongoing a full year later, and he sees no reason to stop now.

Sixteen months and 14,000 miles later, an Irish rider completes his journey around the world to raise attention for suicide prevention; he was the only one of four cyclists who set out on the World Cycle Race last year who actually finished.

In Denmark, even royals ride cargo bikes.

A Malaysian writer questions if cyclist safety is being taken seriously enough, after witnessing the aftermath of a fatal hit-and-run. Even there, some drivers refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

 

Finally…

Cyclists on a San Jose area bike trail will now ride past a mammoth sculpture, and not just in the big sense. Lots of criminals make their getaway by bike these day, although not many flee from New Hampshire to Florida.

And who knew bikes had steering wheels? Let alone that they could fall off?

 

Morning Links: Statewide hit-and-run alert bill in trouble; Gil Cedillo shares the outrage at tragedy he helped cause

As we noted last week, today is the last day to voice your support for the proposed California hit-and-run alert system before Tuesday’s vote in the state senate.

The bill faces unexpected opposition from the CHP, which evidently favors letting fleeing drivers get away with it.

………

Boyonabike says the death of a bike rider in Friday’s Highland Park hit-and-run is another outrage. As was the cancellation of the road diet that might have saved him; Richard Risemberg blames city council overreach for keeping our streets dangerous.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was single-handedly responsible for that cancellation, says he shares the outrage over this tragedy, and suggests we have to make better choices.

Let’s hope he takes his own advice.

……..

Looks like LA had a big turnout for Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride.

LAist offers all the NSFW photos you could want, although the best photo might just be a mirror image; thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, a Portland writer describes what it’s like to ride buck naked, while Breitbart doesn’t seem to get it — or the difference between #pdx and #lax, for that matter.

……..

An Aussie site looks at the big four in the upcoming Tour de France, which kicks off on Independence Day. Ours, not theirs.

Vincenzo Nibali is on a mission to defend his title, while some seem to question Chris Froome’s mental fortitude. In the absence of sprinter Marcel Kittel, it should be Mark Cavendish’s time to shine. And a parcel service offers an infographic explaining the tour’s logistics.

A team of Baltimore cyclists bike like a girl over 3,000 miles across the US while setting a team RAAM record.

Thankfully, the Danish cyclist critically injured in a collision while competing in the Race Across America is showing some improvement. Something is seriously wrong when someone can’t come to this country to compete without an American driver putting his life in jeopardy.

And UCI, cycling’s governing body, is seriously out of control as they fine an amateur racer for tweeting his objections about a lack of water and neutral support at the amateur national championships, where several cyclists succumbed to heat stroke.

Maybe someone should fine UCI for risking the safety of their riders.

……..

Local

Evidently, California’s police chiefs don’t want you to see what really happened when Gardena police fatally shot an unarmed man whose brother’s bike had been stolen.

 

State

The LA Times’ David Lazarus asks why bike riders aren’t entitled to free air at gas stations, like motorists are.

The Orange County Register explains how to report bad or hostile drivers to the DMV.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your stolen bike back, including reporting the theft for free with Bike Index. Which you can do right here; you can also register it before it’s stolen, which is a lot smarter.

One cyclist finds serenity riding the Columbia River Gorge outside Portland, while another loses his life there after losing control of his bike on a descent.

Apparently, Albuquerque bikes climb light poles.

Denver police say if you steal a bike, it just might be one of theirs; over 20 would-be thieves have taken their GPS-equipped bait so far. On the other hand, Georgia sheriff’s deputies go low tech by using scent dogs to track a 15-year old thief.

An Iowa City paper asks if removing traffic lanes can curb aggressive driving and promote bicycling. That would be, yes.

Hats off to a team of Houston cops riding to New York to raise awareness for leukemia and lymphoma, who stopped along the way to save the life of an Alabama driver after he’d gone off the road.

Vermont’s transportation secretary says the recent deaths of three bike riders should be a catalyst to further safety in order to meet the state’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

Boston gets a new bike counter. Not that we’re going to get one, but where would we put it if we did?

A Connecticut teen steals a $3,000 bike because he got tired of walking. On the other hand, what kind of idiot who leaves a bike like that unlocked on the porch at two in the morning?

A Bethlehem NY boy gets a new bike as a reward for quick thinking after his is destroyed in a collision where he could have been collateral damage.

 

International

A new Canadian study says those scary reports that bike riding can cause prostate cancer are probably wrong.

A Canadian recreational cyclist offers tips on bicycling etiquette — including advice to ride in the door zone.

A new bike light projects symbols on your back — like a stop sign, turn signals or a bicycle — while you ride; it can also be programed to project your own symbols. Yes, even that one.

Good article from London’s Telegraph, asking why serious bicycling injuries are increasing while fatalities are going down — and at a rate greater than the rise in ridership.

Brit bike riders go back to the future. Or maybe forward to the past.

Someone stole a $100 bike 20 minutes after it was donated to a British charity store. They seem to define racing bike a little oddly, though.

The Times of London looks at Dublin’s plans to ban cars from the city center and convert traffic lanes to segregated bike paths. Riots would break out if anyone suggested that here.

A New Zealand paper says if the country’s planned bikeways do what they’re supposed to, everyone wins.

 

Finally…

At least we only have to worry about LA drivers; six Florida cyclists were injured, one seriously, when his bike slipped on the remains of a roadkill gator. When you’re chasing a bike-riding suspect on foot, be sure to lock your patrol car first.

And when you’re riding with a digital scale, meth and heroin on your bike, put some damn lights on it. And don’t ride on the sidewalk.

And don’t crash into pole trying to get away.

……..

It has nothing to do with bicycling. But just thought I’d share the view out our window last night.

Dusk-6-28

 

Update: Arrest made in horrifying high-speed Highland Park fatal hit-and-run

North Figueroa was supposed to be safer by now.

Had LADOT been allowed to carry out it’s plans, the street would have undergone a road diet. Not just to install bike lanes, but to calm dangerous high-speed traffic.

Now a bike rider is dead, the victim of a speeding hit-and-run driver.

According to the LA Times, two bike riders were crossing Figueroa at Marmion Way in the crosswalk at 3:02 am when one was hit by car traveling at what police estimated as 80 mph, based on witness reports.

At that speed, there is virtually no chance of survival. Especially since the victim was dragged several hundred feet underneath the car as it sped away.

Witnesses say the driver never braked, before or after hitting the victim.

The second rider wasn’t struck. No word on whether they were riding or walking in the crosswalk.

The victim has not been publicly identified; he is described only as a man in his 20s.

The car’s bumper was left lying in the road, which should make the car easy to identify if it can be found. Police are looking for a small black sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima.

There should be an automatic $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver, based on the hit-and-run reward program recently passed by the city council.

Despite overwhelming support in public meetings, plans for a road diet to improve safety on North Figueroa were halted by Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Cedillo claimed he was canceling the plans for safety reasons, an argument this morning’s wreck has proven wrong.

Now he has to answer to the victim’s family. And the rest of us.

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th in LA County; it’s also the eighth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: An arrest has been made in the case.

According to KTLA-5, a witness tipped police to the location of the abandoned vehicle, which had biological matter from the victim on it.

That led them to 21-year old Alexis Virto, who was found asleep in bed with his girlfriend at 7:15 am, roughly four hours after the collision.

Virto was still drunk when he was taken into custody. He insisted that he wasn’t the driver; however, he had injuries consistent with a crash, and windshield debris clinging to his hair.

He was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and felony drunk driving with great bodily injury.

The LA Times reports the victim is a 33-year old man, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

The Times also says there were 68 collisions that resulted in severe injuries to bicyclists on that stretch of North Figueroa between 2002 and 2012; there were also nine pedestrians killed in that time period.

Meanwhile, anti-bike Figueroa activist and Boulevard Sentinel editor Tom Topping had this to say:

Why was this person on the street at 3am? Usually only meth-head criminals looking for something to steal are riding around on bikes at that hour.

Update 2: The LA District Attorney’s office has finally identified the victim as Jose Luna, also known as Bizzy.

According to the press release, his alleged killer, Alexis Virto, has been charged with one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing injury and hit and run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person. Not surprisingly, he entered a plea of not guilty to each count.

Virto reported drove the length of two football fields with Luna on the hood of his car.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose “Bizzy” Luna and his family. 

Thanks to everyone who tipped me off to this story. And thanks to fig4all and Terri Moore for their help in IDing the victim.

Update: Bike rider run over and killed in Stanton hit-and-run after falling in the street

More bad news, in what has been a very bad few days.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s department, as well as various news reports, a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run after falling in Stanton early today.

In a press release sent out earlier this morning, the department reports deputies discovered a man lying in the street at 4:43 this morning after receiving reports of a traffic collision involving a bicyclist.

The victim was dead when officers arrived.

He had apparently been riding in an alley next to Beach Blvd between Cerritos Ave and Main Street when he fell off his bike for some reason, and was run over by an SUV headed south on Beach.

The driver reportedly slowed for a few minutes, then sped off down Beach, and was last seen approaching Katella Ave. The vehicle was described only as a dark colored SUV; no description of the driver.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Bureau at 714/647-7000 or 949/425-1860.

This is the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County. That compares with nine in the county this time last year.

It’s also the seventh SoCal bicycling death this month, and the fifth in just the last six days.

Update: The Orange County Coroner’s office has identified the victim as 40-year old Jorge Covarrubias. 

Update 2: A witness who saw the wreck says he ran up to help after seeing Covarrubias fall off his bike, and got within a few feet before the SUV ran over him. He leaves behind a girlfriend and two children. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jorge Covarrubias and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of the Johnson Attorneys Group and Amy Senk of Corona del Mar Today for the heads-up, and thanks to Bill Sellin for the first update.

Update: 22-year old alleged sidewalk rider killed in South LA hit-and-run

Another bike-riding LA man has lost his life in yet another bloody hit-and-run.

According to the LA Times, 22-year old LA resident Manuel Enrique Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on the sidewalk along Slauson Ave in South LA, when he rode out into traffic and was killed by an unknown driver who fled the scene.

The collision took place on Slauson Avenue east of San Pedro Place around 8:25 pm Sunday.

LAist reports Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on west the sidewalk before veering onto the street, where he was hit by a car turning right onto Slauson from San Pedro Place. The driver hit Mendoza-Hernandez’s bike, knocking him into the street, before running over him and fleeing east on Slauson.

He was pronounced at the scene.

There were no apparent witnesses. However, evidence found at the scene indicates the suspect may have been driving a Toyota Corolla; no word yet on year or color.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for the LAPD to use the new hit-and-run alert system recently approved by the city council. No alert appears to have been sent out, though; the last update on the LAPD blog was nearly a week ago.

A tweet from Marccaz correctly notes there is no sidewalk on the westbound side, suggesting that the police report may have been wrong.

However, there is a sidewalk on the south (eastbound) side of the street. And nothing in the news reports indicate what side of the street Mendoza-Hernandez was riding on.

If he was riding on the south sidewalk against traffic, he could have been forced out into the street by several poles obstructing the sidewalk, where he would have been hidden from the view of the turning driver by the building that comes within a few feet of the intersection.

It would make sense then if the driver continue east on Slauson to make his or her escape, since that’s the direction the car was already headed.

Had the driver simply stayed at the scene, there likely wouldn’t have been any charges, since police investigators probably would have found Mendoza-Hernandez at fault for riding against traffic once he entered the street.

Although the fact that he was unable to stop after hitting the cyclist, so soon after making a right, would suggest the he was traveling at some speed and may not have come to a full stop at the stop sign before making his turn.

Instead, the driver could now face time in prison for a fatal hit-and-run, assuming police make an arrest in the case.

This is the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th in LA County; six of those have been in the City of Los Angeles. That compares with 45 in SoCal this time last year, and 17 and 4, respectively, in the county and city.

Update: Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Central Traffic Detective Felix Padilla at 213/486-0753.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Manuel Enrique Mendoza-Hernandez and his loved ones.

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