Tag Archive for Long Beach

Update: Bike rider dies of heart attack during Long Beach Marathon; was board member of Lightening Velo

The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that a man apparently died as a result of what was described as a major medical emergency during the bicycle segment of today’s Long Beach Marathon.

According to the paper, the man, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a cardiac arrest while riding near the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Prospect Ave in Belmont Shore at 6:30 am Sunday.

Despite the effort of paramedics, he was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Update: News like this is always tragic; it somehow seems even worse when it’s someone who’s well known in the cycling community.

While the victim still has not been publicly identified, I received the following email from Richard Rosenthal Monday evening.

I was on the ride with my girlfriend, and we both witnessed the paramedics giving CPR to a cyclist on ground. It really shook my up, as he was a older man in full kit, much as I am. It was on my mind the remainder of the ride, and when I found out Monday morning that the cyclist had died I was even more shaken.
The news just got worse for me personally. I found out that the deceased was my friend Steve Hernandez. We both served together on the Board of Directors of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. Steve was one of the kindest people I have ever met….an imposing bear of a man with long hair and beard, but his personality couldn’t have been more opposite. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, he was one of the most beloved members of our club, and he will be missed sorely.

Update: The LA County coroner’s office confirms his identity as 59-year old Steven Hernandez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Hernandez and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Fanning the fires of bike hate, LB hit-and-run suspect busted, and bike smash seen round the world

My apologies for the continued problems with email notifications for subscriber to this site. We’re still working on getting it fixed.


It doesn’t take much to bring out the bike hate.

Especially when people are allowed to post their comments anonymously.

Yesterday’s LA Times featured a well-reasoned Op-Ed from Tom Babin, author of “Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling,” and the bike blog Shifter.

In it, Babin argued that the laws governing traffic weren’t written with bicycles in mind, and don’t always work effectively for people on two wheels.

It’s true that Los Angeles is finally taking its first serious steps toward making the city more bike-friendly. But the focus is on building bike-dedicated infrastructure, which can be slow and expensive to build.

The Idaho stop law shows there are other ways for municipalities to encourage cycling while their infrastructure catches up. Cities around the world are demonstrating that simply changing the rules in favor of cyclists can make roads more welcoming.

He continues,

Yet streets are already governed by different rules for different users, such as laws that require slower speed limits for big trucks, or that mandate school buses to stop at uncontrolled railway crossings. Rather than demonize cyclists for their inability to conform to rules designed for cars, laws should recognize that riding a bike is different than driving.

All in all, a reasonable request to simply acknowledge that bikes are different that cars, yet bicyclists are forced to act like motor vehicles, regardless of whether it makes sense.

Yet based on some of the comments, you’d think he declared war on anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.

Like this from OptimisticOrgan, for instance. (Unfortunately, the Times makes it impossible to link to any one comment.)

Stop sign being a yield is fine by me. Cycling culture needs to change, though. Too many jerks are going 15 in a 45 in the middle of the lane. Then they act like yr the bad guy for being annoyed by the fact they’re impeding traffic flow. It’s like “I’m sorry brother, trying to stay far enough behind you,” but the cyclist is still pissed that your car is faster than his bike and projects ill will toward you.

Many commenters went great pains to point out that Los Angeles isn’t Idaho, with many times the population, in case we had somehow missed that point. Apparently failing to notice where he pointed out that the Idaho Stop Law is now in effect in auto-clogged Paris, with it’s 2.24 million population, and a reputation for roadway rudeness that makes our streets seem downright polite.

Other, such as feaco11, apparently couldn’t grasp Babin’s key point that bikes and cars are different.

Better yet, let’s change the law so that motorists can treat a stop sign as a yield sign. Just think of the gas that will be saved if our cars do not have to lose momentum going through an intersection. Maybe the same could be applied to red lights. It would certainly free up the court system because there would be less tickets written.

Then there’s this confession to illegal harassment from boneme8978.

i would not consider riding a bike on a suburban street . but i love the people that do . keeps me laughing all the time . you should see them jump when i blast them with my train horn ! the 300 i spent at ‘summit racing ‘ to buy that bad boy was worth every penny !

And it goes on and on, ad nauseum, just like on any other pro bike piece that appears online, filled with constant reminders of that one time a bike rider broke the law, which somehow projects onto every person on a bicycle who ever lived.

Damnable scofflaws, all.

It’s a reminder of who we share the road with. As well as the Internet.

Protected by layers of glass and steel on one, anonymous pseudonyms on the other.

Spelling and punctuation challenged though they might be.


Long Beach police arrested a hit-and-run suspect at gunpoint after he was found hiding under a car. Witnesses said the speeding driver hit a bike rider after running a red light, then drove erratically, running red lights and nearly striking pedestrians as he attempted to escape.

Both the victim and the driver were transported to a local hospital; no word on their conditions.


Turns out the bicycle smashed in two by an angry rider in Milan’s Red Hook Crit wasn’t even his.

Deadspin calls it the pinnacle of human rage, though anyone who has dealt with a road raging motorist — or an angry online commenter — would probably disagree.

Meanwhile, VeloNews puts it in the context of other great bike throws in recent years.



Bicycling finally gets around to posting last year’s profile of LACBC executive director Tamika Butler online.

LAist calls the coming My Figueroa project the city’s first truly protected bike lane.

Bike the Vote LA offers a guide to the candidates in November’s Santa Monica city council election.

In the latest round of anti-developmentism, Redondo Beach residents could vote on whether to cancel ambitious plans to redevelop the city’s aging waterfront, including plans for an improved bike path through the area.



New tests from Stanford conclude the unnamed Hövding airbag helmet actually works. And reduces impact up to six times over conventional bike helmets.

A Chico couple propose to replace their daughter’s ghost bike with a sign memorializing her, along with the phrases “How to save a life? Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Share the Road, Drive with Care,” pending approval from Caltrans. Which is not likely, unfortunately.



A Portland Op-Ed writer complains about car-hating social engineering, while completely missing the point of Vision Zero.

After being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a Nebraska man takes up bicycling and a better diet, and loses 75 pounds while bringing his illness under control.

An Arkansas paper takes a look at bikepacking.

A road raging DC driver gets offended when a cyclist slapped the back of his car after he deliberately tried to run her off the road, then gets out and repeatedly slaps her before stealing her phone when she tried to call 911.



A body found near a Halifax trail could be a missing mountain biker who disappeared without a trace two years earlier.

A Scottish parliament member says even a small increase in bicycling could lead to an improvement in air quality, while calling for a decrease in speed limits around schools and residential areas.

At least it’s a creative protest. A Scottish man shows his objection to a new separated bike lane by rowing in it.

Any writer who uses the tired cliché that bike safety is a two-way street should receive a six-month sentence in journalist jail.

A San Francisco rider joins 400 other cyclists in the Haute Route timed cycling event in the Pyrenees; a US event is planned for the Rocky Mountains next year.

Glamour admires the glamorous Iranian women defying the religious edict against bicycling in public.

A South African provincial transport minister says bicycling must be seen as a form of mobility, disputing plans by the mayor of Johannesburg to halt bike lane construction in the city.



You can’t compete in your first pro race if you’re stuck in traffic. If you’re fleeing police on your bike, you really just need two legs.

And your next helmet could give a whole new meaning to helmet hair.

Or you could let your kid steer you like a bike.


Morning Links: Reader gets Long Beach to warn cyclists about jet blast; and a handful of upcoming bike events

Recently, we discussed the case of a cyclist who was literally blown away when he was caught in the engine blast from a plane taking off at LAX.

And wondered why there wasn’t a sign warning cyclists using the Aviation Blvd bike lanes to beware.

Now there is.

Except it’s not at LAX.

A reader who prefers to be anonymous was inspired to reach out to the staff of the Long Beach Airport to ask that signs be installed there.

The result was newly installed signs warning of jet blast just off Cover Street, and Lakewood Blvd. And at her insistence, with a self-explanatory graphic for non-English speakers.

LB Jet Blast


The nationally recognized Tour de Taco hosted by Stan’s Bike Shop and the Eastside Bike Club rolls this Saturday, with stops promised at six taco stands on the 25-mile social ride.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition will host a bike ride and community meeting on the 19th, and a bike-in movie on the 30th.

The third annual Tour de Laemmle rolls on July 24th, as you’re invited to ride with chain president Greg Laemmle to visit all the Laemmle Theaters in a single day.

Join the Los Angeles Public Library’s Book Bike for a community bike ride in San Pedro at the end of this month.

The Eastside Bike Club will hold a Menudo Breakfast Ride on August 6th. No, not that Menudo.

Get in some high elevation riding with the annual Tour de Big Bear, offering rides from 25 to 100 miles, also on August 6th.


The owner of Britain’s Team Sky does not take kindly to questions about possible motor doping by team leader Chris Froome at the Tour de France.

Evidently, Aussie rider Michael Matthews isn’t jinxed anymore. Alberto Contador, on the other hand, may be, as it’s announced that his injuries from the Tour will keep him out of the Rio Olympics.

The Feds call Lance a “doper, dealer and liar” in legal papers. So tell us something we don’t know.



An Op-Ed in the LA Times says the vehicular cycling philosophy that pitted drivers against cyclists for 40 years is finally giving way to separated bike lanes.

The first Los Angeles roundabout in modern times is coming to Northeast LA where the Riverside Bridge intersects with North Figueroa and San Fernando Road. We still can’t seem to get a bike lane on North Fig, though.

The LACBC is hiring a full-time development director.

KPCC looks at attempts by car markers to muscle in on the bicycle business, concluding their bikes are more of an automotive fanboy thing.

The Daily Breeze says yes, it’s illegal to get buzzed and ride your bike.

A Long Beach teenager will ride 525 miles from San Francisco to LA this fall to raise funds to fight juvenile arthritis, after overcoming the disease herself.

Long Beach will install diagonal parking — but not, evidently, back-in parking — on Ocean Blvd to slow traffic and make room for a bike lane.



Newport Beach becomes the latest SoCal city to crack down on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians today. So ride safely and obey the law.

Huntington Beach police identify the barbeque and bike thief caught on video; now they want your help finding him.

A North San Diego County columnist calls for five communities along the coast highway to band together for a more complete Complete Streets plan.

Clovis police are waiting for an expert witness to review the evidence in a fatal bicycling collision before deciding whether to file charges; the police chief says the rider was struck even though he didn’t do anything wrong. I’ll be happy to review the case for them. Trust me.



A woman with just one hand will ride around Oahu 12 times to raise $180,000 to buy 12 service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

The Denver area driver who killed the Good Samaritan that stopped to help another driver retrieve a bicycle that had fallen off his car will face charges of vehicular homicide and DUI.

Clearly, not everyone who visits Copenhagen gets it, as the editor of the Denver Business Journal calls on the Mile High City to ditch plans for bike lanes, shortly after returning from the bike-friendly Danish capital.

Drivers in Cedar Rapids IA can’t seem to stop blocking a diagonal-parking-protected bike lane, which relies on drivers not to pull too far forward.

Boston’s city council president says bicycling fatalities can, and should, be prevented with protected bike lanes.

Evidently, it’s open season on bike riders in New York, as a road raging driver chases a pair of bicyclists through a protected bike lane in an attempt to run them down. But good luck getting the NYPD to do anything about it.

Spider-man is one of us, as the web-slinging wall-crawler appears to stop a thief and ride off on his bike during filming of the new movie in Atlanta.



A Canadian man is riding across the country to call attention to opioid abuse after recovering from his own addiction.

Toronto considers catering to the anti-bike crowd by charging riders for bicycle licenses to pay for bike lanes. Even though everyone else who has studied the idea has concluded it would cost more to license bicyclists than the program would bring in.

A British writer points out what should be obvious, saying we bicyclists aren’t all in this together, despite the perceptions of many drivers. Something I considered myself awhile back.

A new Danish study shows bicycling can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. It didn’t work for me, but hopefully you’ll have better luck.



We may have to deal with road raging drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about being chased by rapid groundhogs. Then again, we could be dodging baby alligators on Minnesota bike paths.

And how better to end today’s update than with a bike-riding raccoon?

Then again, anyone could ride with training wheels. And did anyone check his bike for motor doping?


Update: Long Beach bike rider killed in Saturday morning hit-and-run by driver of stolen car

KNBC-4 reported Saturday morning that a woman was killed in a hit-and-run wreck while riding her bicycle early that morning.

The collision occurred around 1:20 am in the 400 block of East Market Street.

According to an article posted today by the Long Beach Gazettes, the victim, who was not publicly named, was riding westbound with a friend in the center median on Market when she was struck by a speeding car.

Emergency personnel found her lying unconscious in the eastbound lane; she was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The driver was illegally passing another car when he or she struck the victim’s bike from behind before fleeing the scene.

Police later found the vehicle, a 2013 Kia Optima, abandoned 5300 block of Atlantic Avenue. The car, which had a smashed windshield and major front end damage, had been reported stolen in a carjacking the day before.

There’s no word on why the couple were riding in the painted center lane instead of in the traffic lane, where they presumably would have been protected by the car that was being passed.

Police are looking for four people who were reportedly in the the stolen car at the time of the crash. Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach collision investigations detective Brian Watt at 562/570-5520; tips can also be reported online at www.lacrimestoppers.org.

This is the 48th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 20th in Los Angeles County. And it’s at least the tenth fatal bike crash in Long Beach since 2010.

Update: The victim has been identified only as a white woman in her 40s, pending notification of next of kin.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Unidentified bike rider killed while crossing Terminal Island Freeway

Once again, a bike rider has died on a Southern California freeway.

According to the Long Beach Gazettes, the victim was illegally crossing the Terminal Island Freeway north of PCH in Long Beach around midnight last night when he was hit by a semi-truck at 11:56 pm.

Like most California freeways, bikes are banned from the highway, also known as the 103 Freeway.

The victim, who was not carrying identification, was in the left lane of the northbound side when he was stuck by the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a four lane highway with an unobstructed center divider, making it relatively easy to cross; the victim may not have expected to encounter traffic at that hour.

My News LA places the time of the initial call at 11:56 pm Sunday, while the Gazettes says the police were dispatched at 12:07 pm.

He is identified only as appearing to be in his 60s, while the coroner’s office attempts to determine his ID.

This is the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 61-year old Jaimes Guadalupe.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jaimes Guadalupe and his loved ones.


Morning Links: A sad goodbye to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduño, and it’s up to you to Bike the Vote this spring

Sad news from Long Beach.

Octavio Orduño, one of the world’s oldest bike riders, passed away recently at the age of 106.

Orduño rode his three-wheeled bike nearly every day, after giving up his two-wheeler at the insistence of his wife — at the ripe old age 100.

Here he is riding on his 104th birthday, captured on bike cam by his good friend and neighbor, former Long Beach mobility coordinator and Calbike board vice president Charlie Gandy.

I don’t even know what to say.

Except we should all be so lucky as to live and ride that long.

Rest in peace, Octavio. You’ll be missed.


More on your chance to bike the vote in this spring’s elections.

Flying Pigeon points out how easy it is for a few voters to make a big difference, thanks to LA’s dismal voter turnout. Which could be a big opportunity for bike riders — if we get out and vote for our own self-interests.

With that in mind, be sure to make your reservation for the CD4 Livable Streets Candidate Forum at the Hollywood United Methodist Church on February 5th to meet the candidates in LA’s most competitive district. And yes, I’ll be there, after moving into the district a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the LACBC has developed a list of hard-hitting questions for city council candidates to gauge their support for bicycling in their district.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but I won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t complete it.

After all, let’s not forget that CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo didn’t respond to the LACBC’s questionnaire when he was running for office two years ago, despite promising elsewhere to support the planned bike lanes on North Figueroa.

And look how that turned out.


Interesting idea.

Instead of insuring their bicycles, some riders are forming syndicates by agreeing to pitch in to pay for each other’s bikes if they get stolen, so they only have to pay up if something bad happens.



A cyclist who lost his leg when a big rig truck cut a corner on Alameda Street now struggles to lead a normal life and support his family.

An OpEd in the Daily News says we should embrace climate change as an opportunity to rethink transportation in LA, and get people out of their cars by making it easier to walk, bike and use transit.

KCRW talks with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton about LA’s proposed bike share program.

Boyonabike joins in on a exploratory ride through east Pasadena to raise awareness of the need for better bike infrastructure. Or virtually any, for that matter.

The Milt Olin Foundation and Yield to Life are sponsoring a fundraising rally against distracted driving next month.



Yet another bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver, this time in Berkeley.

Oh, please. Despite successful bike share programs around the world, the Orange County Register concludes it just doesn’t work, based strictly on the recent failure of the Fullerton system. Evidently, they think the world ends at the Orange Curtain.



The conservative AASHTO bikeway guide, the bible for street planners across the country, is slowly moving towards endorsing protected bike lanes.

Cyclelicious offers photos of Viking biking from the East Coast blizzard.

Young professionals come out in force to support endangered bike lanes proposed for Cheyenne WY.

The Oklahoma City council calls for uniform regional bike regulations after turning down a ridiculous reverse three-foot law requiring bikes to stay three feet from motor vehicles.

A pair of mixed-use developments in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are offering their own private bike share programs.

Now that’s what I call a good life. A 93-year old South Carolina woman passed away Saturday; she’d toured Europe by bike shortly after the end of WWII.



Bike riding is up in Calgary thanks to warmer weather; I’d love to see a bridge like that over the LA River.

London’s Mayor Boris gives the okay to begin work on two protected bikeways crisscrossing the city at a cost of over $88 million.

London planners ask for one bike parking space per bedroom to approve a new residential project.

Celebrate the Cannibal’s birthday with a $17,500 limited edition Eddy Merckx bike.

Egyptian women defy conservative social norms to ride bikes; actually, it doesn’t sound all that different from what women bike riders complain about here.

At least that’s one thing we don’t usually have to deal with here. South Africa attempts to increase cycling despite a rash of bikejackings.



Evidently, kangaroos have declared open season on cyclists Down Under. You may never have to wash your bike again.

And repeat after me: When you’re carrying a stolen driver’s license and credit card, don’t swerve in and out of traffic while riding salmon.


80-year old Long Beach bike rider killed in collision with medical van

Would an 80-year old bike rider really run a red light?

That’s what we’re being asked to believe, after a cyclist lost his life on a Long Beach intersection Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, 80-year old Long Beach resident Mariano Carasaquit Libron was riding in the crosswalk on eastbound 16th Street, attempting to cross Long Beach Boulevard, when he was hit by a medical van.

The collision occurred at 1:27 pm as Libron reportedly ran the red light in front of the southbound transport vehicle driven by a 24-year old Long Beach resident. The Orange County Register reports responding officers found him lying unconscious in the roadway; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The satellite view shows a very wide six lane intersection, divided by two railroad tracks and a center median.

While anyone can make a mistake, it seems to strain credibility that an 80-year old man conservative enough to ride in a crosswalk — and presumably, on the sidewalk leading up to it — would blow through a light directly in front of oncoming traffic.

What seems far more likely is that the light may have changed while a slow-riding Libron was already in the intersection, and the transport driver somehow failed to see the rider directly in front of him after the light turned green as he approached the corner.

It’s also possible that the driver of the van may have been the only surviving witness; unless there were independent witnesses, investigators only have his word that the light was green.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Collision Investigation Detail Detective Steve Fox at 562/570-7355.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. This is also the eighth bike rider to die in Long Beach in the last four years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mariano Libron and all his loved ones.

Long Beach proves separated bike lanes even work here, despite arguments to the contrary

There’s big news from Long Beach.

We’ve seen a number of studies in recent years showing that separated bike lanes are good for business, as well as cyclists.

But now we have solid proof from right here in our own backyard that separated lanes benefit everyone on the streets.

According to a federal study conducted over the last year, the separated bike lanes on Broadway and Third Street in downtown Long Beach resulted in a 33% increase in ridership over the last year, while increasing pedestrian use along the streets by 13%, and cutting vehicle use by 12%.

In other words, not only did they improve the streets for cyclists, but made it more inviting to walk next to them, as well.

At the same time, bike collisions dropped 80%, from five to one, and motor vehicle collisions went down 44%. Average vehicle speeds also dropped to 27 mph on Third and 26 mph on Broadway.

And yes, that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, the rate of sidewalk riding, the bane of pedestrians everywhere, decreased as much as 42%.

It’s hard to argue that separated bikeways haven’t been proven effective when the results show they benefit everyone on the road.

Even here on the Left Coast, where the hegemony of the automobile has long reigned supreme.


And yet, the father of vehicular cycling says if you prefer bike lanes — even the sort of proven separated bike lanes discussed above — you’re an “incompetent cyclist.”

No, really. That’s what John Forester says.

He goes on to say that, despite the sort of evidence shown in the Long Beach study, there’s no proof that bikeways increase safety.

Well, none if you choose not to believe it, anyway.

Sort of like global warning.

I’ve ridden vehicularly for over 30 years. Not because of Forester’s book, which came out four years after I started riding, but because my own experience taught me it was the safest way to ride in the almost universal absence of effective infrastructure in those days.

But I’ve never, ever considered it better, safer, more enjoyable or effective than riding in a good bikeway.

And the demonstrated growth in ridership that can be traced back to new bike lanes (pdf) in cities throughout the world — including this one — would suggest that I’m not alone.

John Forester created an effective tool for a time when cyclists could not rely on well-designed roads or effective bikeways.

But those bad old days are, thankfully, fading fast.

As the Long Beach study clearly shows, well-designed bicycling infrastructure and a complete streets approach benefits everyone.

And it’s long past time we all demanded it.

Thanks to Christopher Kidd for the link.


I’m told that the LAPD has discussed the dooring-by-cop incident mentioned here last week with the cyclist involved, and that the officer in question has expressed her regrets for her behavior.

Wes says he’s very pleased with the response from the department, and sees no need for formal discipline in the matter.


At least two of the four candidates for mayor of Los Angeles see bikes in the city’s future; oddly, they may not be the ones you’d think. Downtown’s Spring Street should get new parklets next week to go with its semi-green mostly buffered bike lanes. Metro wants your input on the Union Station master plan; a few extra bike votes couldn’t hurt. Highland Park Patch asks if slower traffic is worth it to add bike lanes to North Figueroa and Colorado Blvd; personally, I think slowing traffic in a state where angry drivers honk at anyone who has the audacity to actually drive the speed limit is good thing. LADOT recaps the recent BPIT meeting. CLR Effect’s new cycling cap takes those of us with long memories back to the land of sky blue waters.

The latest update from Calbike, including their 2013 legislative agenda — which includes hit-and-run reform, but not a third opportunity for Governor Jerry Brown to veto a three-foot passing law. Riverside’s mayor rides with local residents; the LACBC asks candidates for mayor if they’ll commit to leading a similar ride. The Classic Gran Fondo San Diego takes place on April 14th; make sure you have your taxes finished first. San Diego cyclists are urged to support bike-friendly changes on the Coast Highway in Encinitas. Great photos of a practice crit from the San Diego Union-Tribune. A Palo Alto woman faces misdemeanor hit-and-run charges after hitting a cyclist and two occupied cars. The story behind Verizon’s romantic new bike ad, courtesy of Cyclelicious. San Francisco lays out big plans — and possibly big money — to improve bicycling and walking. Apple is granted a patent for a new smart bike system.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske offers advice on what to do if a cop stops you for a bicycling violation. Lance Armstrong offers to help clean up cycling; in other news, John Dillinger has offered to come back and help stop bank robberies. People who commute by car gain more weight than those who commute by bus, bike or train. Fans of Lovely Bicycle will be happy to learn she now has a new weekly column in Bicycling. A Washington driver stops to look at the bike rider she killed and the one she merely injured, then drives off like the heartless coward she— allegedly — is. Perhaps the most bike and alternative transportation-friendly USDOT secretary in our lifetimes sadly says it’s time to go. Maryland considers a mandatory helmet law. A Baton Rouge cyclist is shot three times without warning by a 16-year old thief who wanted his bike. Win the free use of a bike share bike at this year’s Super Bowl. Better bike lanes and crosswalks could help kill fewer pedestrians and cyclists in the country’s second and third most dangerous city for both, respectively.

Simple solutions would help get Great Britain cycling. A British bicyclist is stabbed to death the same day another rider buys him a bottle of brandy to apologize for a bike-on-bike collision. UK police tried to stop a driver just before he killed a couple on a tandem and fled the scene on foot. Potholes cause an estimated 10% to 15% of Brit cycling wrecks. An Aussie cyclist is injured when he hits a man sleeping on a bike path. The excuse a Chinese BMX racer gave for testing positive for steroids couldn’t possibly be true, a sports nutritionist says. Two Singapore brothers sharing a bike are killed when they’re hit by a cement truck; but what kind of sick s.o.b. would circulate photos of their bodies online?

Finally, despite the overwhelming success and popularity of New York’s new bike lanes, separated and otherwise, the city’s Daily News can’t seem to get their collective heads out of their own collective asses.

With all due respect, that is.

Bike rider killed in Long Beach last night; victim may have run a red light

Maybe it was the cold that kept less committed cyclists of the streets.

Whatever the reason, Southern California had suffered just one cycling fatality since the first of the year, compared to four this time last year.

Unfortunately, that unusual combination of good luck and — hopefully — safer streets came to an end last night, as a 50-year old bicyclist was killed while riding in Long Beach.

According to the Press-Telegram, the Long Beach resident, who has not been publicly identified, was riding west on Atherton Street at 7:17 pm when she allegedly ran the red light and was struck by a green 2002 Honda Odyssey headed south on Bellflower Blvd. The 19-year old driver stopped at the scene and attempted to render aid; unfortunately, the victim died of her injuries at a local hospital four hours after she was struck.

The Long Beach Post reports the driver was released at the scene, and no charges are pending.

What none of the stories answer is whether anyone other than the driver witnessed the collision. Reports that the rider ran a red light should be taken with a grain of salt unless it can be confirmed by independent witnesses. It’s a common problem in investigating bicycle collisions that police often only get one side of the story when the victim is unable to speak for him or herself.

A satellite view reveals a wide, complicated intersection that required the rider to cross 10 lanes of traffic get to the other side. It’s entirely possible that she started out with a green light, which may have turned red before she could get all the way across.

It seems unlikely that anyone would try to blow through the light at such a wide intersection, especially at such a relatively early hour when traffic could have been expected. But it’s always possible that she may have thought she could make it and didn’t see the car that killed her until it was too late.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Brian Watt of the Long Beach Police Department’s Accident Investigation unit at 562-570-7355.

This is the second cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in L.A. County; there were 24 bike-related fatalities in the county last year, and 74 in the SoCal region. There were no bicycling deaths in Long Beach last year, following five in the bike-friendly city in 2011.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and her loved ones.

Update: The Press-Telegram has identified the victim as 50-year old Susan E. Curtis of Long Beach. 

According to the paper, Curtis’ bike was her primary form of transportation, which she used to get to her two part-time jobs, as well as working as a pet sitter and dog walker. She leaves behind a dog and six cats, along with an assortment of other pets, which are now in need of a new home.

Belmont Shore – Naples Patch reports that her friends don’t consider her someone who would run a red light under any circumstances. 

Meanwhile, Opus the Poet, who writes the Witch on a Bicycle blog, crunches the numbers to suggest that Curtis if entered the entered the intersection near the end of the green light, she could have easily failed to make it across the wide 10-lane intersection before the light turned green on Bellflower Blvd. And leaving her stranded and vulnerable in the path of oncoming traffic.

I’m not say that’s what happened, but it’s possible.

And it makes more sense than the idea that a 50-year old safety-conscious woman would intentionally run a red light on such a wide, busy intersection. 

Breaking news — Long Beach hit-and-run driver runs down two cyclists on PCH Saturday

I’ve just received a first-hand report about a Long Beach attempted hit-and-run that left two riders injured — possibly seriously — on Saturday.

The writer, who prefers to remain anonymous, reports that he was riding on PCH, waiting at a red light between Sunset Beach and Seal Beach, when passing motorists called out to him to stop an elderly driver who had just hit two cyclists riding 100 feet apart.

He says the driver waived his handicapped parking placard at him as if to say he had a free pass, and claimed he didn’t know he’d hit anyone. Even though he reportedly later told police investigators that both riders were out in the middle of the road and he couldn’t avoid them — despite what the writer describes as a 10-foot wide bike lane in that area.

According to my source, the police seemed to be buying that explanation — which he described as total BS, and which was contradicted by his earlier statement that he didn’t know he hit anyone. However, it’s always possible the officer was playing along to get more information from the driver.

He indicates that one of the victims was in bad shape with what he described as a nasty head injury, and that the other, who appeared to be a member of local riding club Velo Allegro, had suffered a hip injury.

If you have any more information on the collision or the condition of the riders, let me know.

Update: I’ve just been forwarded word from Velo Allegro that their rider suffered road rash, while the injuries to the other rider are not life threatening. According to them, the 85-year old driver was arrested by Seal Beach police, apparently on site.

Update 2: Carey left the following comment to this post, including contact information for the Seal Beach police.

A good friend of mine was one of the cyclists injured in the crash. I have since spoken with the officer investigating the case and he would like to hear from anyone who saw anything, including what happened after the driver fled the scene. Please contact the Seal Beach Police Department at (562) 799-4100 and any officer would be able to help you. Let’s try and help make the road safe for all cyclists.

If you have any information, please call them right away so we can get this driver off the road.


%d bloggers like this: