Tag Archive for Long Beach

Events: Malibu safety study, OC Bike bike wash for injured Marines, Pro Walk/Pro Bike and Tour de Fat

The City of Malibu is conducting a Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Safety Study in conjunction with the Southern California Association of Governments, with public hearings set for 6 pm to 8 pm on the next four Thursdays, at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Each session will focus on a specific stretch of PCH:

9/13 – Study Area 1 Topanga Canyon Road to Cross Creek Road
9/20 – Study Area 2 Cross Creek Road to Busch Drive
9/27 – Study Area 3 Busch Drive to Western City Limits
10/4 – All Study Areas

This is your chance to help remake one of the area’s most dangerous roads for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists; if you ever ride or drive PCH, you owe it to yourself to participate.


Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

A new support group has formed for people who have been involved in a bicycle collision. Everyone is welcome to share your experiences, gain insight and understanding into your emotional state and develop new coping strategies. The group meets every Saturday from 11:30 am to 1 pm at 6310 San Vicente Blvd, Suite 401. Current LACBC members receive a discount. To learn more, contact Aurisha Smolarski at 323/203-1526 or email aurisha.smolarski@gmail.com.

OC cyclists can get their bikes washed this Sunday, September 9th from 10 am to 4 pm at S.C. Rider Supply, 520 S. El Camino Real in San Clemente, to benefit the Semper Fi Fund for injured Marines. The event includes all day barbecue, live music and prizes.

The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic invites you to ride down Highway 1 to raise funds for a cure. The ride rolls 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles from Sunday, September 9th to Sunday the 16th; a two-day option is also available on Saturday, the 15th and Sunday the 16th.

The national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference takes place this Monday through Thursday, September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces. Long Beach will also host the country’s first National Women’s Bicycling Summit, as well as a Cycle Chic: Past, Present and Future fashion show on Thursday, September 13th in conjunction with the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference; tickets for both are $35.

Wednesday, September 12th, Cynergy Cycles hosts a lecture by world-class physical therapist Robert Forster on Getting Started – Basic Bicycle Training, as part of their Phase IV Lecture Series. The session starts at 7 pm at Cynergy, 2300 Santa Monica Blvd.

Friday, September 14th marks the opening night reception of the Bike Love Art Show at Society — A Vayden Roi Gallery at 635 North Pine Ave in Long Beach. The exhibit features artwork by members of the Southern California cycling community; the reception opens at 6 pm.

Also on Friday the 14th, the incomparable bike scribe Elly Blue returns to the L.A. area for a evening of Dinner & Bikes (& Cupcakes), hosted by LACBC affiliate chapter Santa Monica Spoke; Joel Biel will screen his new short film One Less Truck, with dinner prepared by celebrity vegan chef Josh Ploeg. Doors open at 6 pm, with dinner served at 7; 502 Colorado Blvd.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend. And should. Because it’s not just a fundraiser for the local bicycling community, it’s the most fun you can have with bikes and beer on a Saturday afternoon.

The massive Interbike trade show takes place in Las Vegas from Wednesday, September 19th to Friday the 21st. I had planned to be there this year, but the money gods have not been kind.

The Eastside Bike Club hosts Date Night on a Bike on Friday, September 21st. Riders will meet at 7:30 pm at Hecho En Mexico Restaurant, 4976 Huntington Drive in El Sereno, leaving for a short ride before returning for dinner. Participants are encouraged to bring bright lights for their bikes, and dress up in vaquero attire.

The second season of Cycle Claremont is set to take place on Saturday, September 23rd, with complimentary bike check and minor maintenance starting at 1 pm, and the ride set to roll at 2 pm.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Civic Engagement Committee meets at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 25th, at the Downtown Pitfire Pizza at 2nd and Main, across from LAPD headquarters. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.

Celebrate the return of Carmagedon on Saturday, September 29th as Wolfpack Hustle — yes, the cyclists who beat a Jet Blue jet from Burbank to Long Beach — invite you to ride your bikes from every point in the city to meet on the L.A. River bike path for the biggest ride ever with the All City LA River Ride; details to follow.

There’s a new date for the next CicLAvia, which has been moved up one week from October 14th to 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday, October 7th. The route has also been changed, with new spurs extending from Expo Park  in South L.A. to East L.A. and Boyle Heights.

The Bicycle Film Festival returns to Los Angeles this October, with a kick-off party at historic El Cid in Silver Lake on the 11th, followed by the debut of The Contender, the first BFF-produced film at Cinefamily on the 12th. Other screenings will take place at the Downtown Independent theater from 11 am to 10 pm on Saturday the 13th, with an all-ages DTLA block party the next day from 10 am to 6 pm. Convergence rides are planned for the various events. Email volunteerla@bicyclefilmfestival.com for more information or to volunteer.

Run or bike with the men and women in blue as the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division hosts the 5th Annual Randy Simmons 5K Challenge Run on Saturday, October 20th, with rides of 26 and 52 miles. The rides start at 1880 North Academy Road; register by Thursday, October 18th.

Sunday, October 21st, Hemet High School hosts a Grad Night Poker Ride featuring five climbs on a 55 mile route. First place prize for the best poker hand is $500, with a $50 prize for the worst hand; lunch provided by Sweet Baby Jane’s BBQ. Thanks to Scott Boyd for the tip.

Now here’s a great idea for a ride. The Arthritis Foundation is teaming with one of the L.A. area’s favorite Cuban bakeries and cafés to offer the first ever Tour de Porto’s starting at 8:30 am on Sunday, October 28th. The ride starts at Porto’s in Glendale, travels a short distance to the Burbank Porto’s, then down the L.A. River Bike Path to the restaurant’s Downey location. If the entry fee includes a Cubano or Medianoche, count me in.

San Diego protest ride, PCH bike meeting & Malibu Creek Restoration Ride — and that’s just this week

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to update the Events calendar. And there’s a lot happening this weekend, and over the next week.

But before we begin, there are a couple of events that deserve a little extra attention.

First up, as you may be aware, there have been far too many cycling fatalities this year. Especially in San Diego, which has suffered far too many biking deaths in a city that’s doing far too little about it.

And local cyclists have had enough.

They’re sponsoring a ride next Wednesday to protest these deaths, and demand action from city officials to improve safety.


San Diego, CA- Local bicyclists are organizing a memorial bike ride for riders who were struck and killed by motor vehicles in the past weeks.

Theodore Jones, a 56-year old San Diego resident, was pronounced dead on Sunday, July 8 after suffering severe head injuries when a vehicle collided with him on Tuesday, July 3rd on the 4700 block of Solola Avenue in Lincoln Park.

Angel Bojorquez, 18, of Escondido, was killed by a hit and run driver as he rode home from work in Rancho Santa Fe early in the morning of July 6, 2012. 19-year-old Jin Hyuk Byun has been arrested for the incident. Police say that Byun hit Angel with his 2008 Chevy Avalanche and left him in the bushes at the side of the road, where he died. If convicted of the charge of felony hit-and-run, Byun faces only 4 years in prison. His bail was set at only $50,000, a pittance given the senseless loss of life that he caused.

Angel’s brother Steve, said they both worked at the same place and often drove together, but Angel was riding his bike home because their schedules did not match.

These incidents raise the total of cycling fatalities in Southern California to 10 since July 4, and 39 year-to-date.

Angel Bojorquez was one of 10 fatal bike-related hit- and-runs in Southern California this year. There have been 4 just since July 6, 2012.

The people who are dying on our city streets are not just reckless or inexperienced bicyclists, they are often cautious and experienced riders who are often simply commuting to or from work and school.

Solutions to these tragedies are simple.  Protected bike lanes, reduced speed limits, safer road design, and grade-separated bike lanes will protect cyclists and give more people the opportunity to use this healthy, green, and practical transportation alternative.

The ride will take place Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 4:30pm.  It will begin at the fountain in Balboa Park and conclude at 202 C Street. in front of the City Administration Building.  At the conclusion of the ride, bicyclists will use chalk to trace their bodies to send a message to city officials that their continued failure to design safer roads is unacceptable.


Next up, Malibu hosts a special meeting to discuss the PCH Bike Route Improvements Project next Wednesday.

Please join us for a Special Joint Meeting with the Public Works Commission and the Public Safety Commission to review and discuss the preliminary design concepts for the Pacific Coast Highway Bike Route Improvements Project at Malibu City Hall on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.  Below are the meeting details:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at 6:00 p.m
Multi-Purpose Room
Malibu City Hall
23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, CA 90265

After receiving insightful community input from four public workshops and conducting a critical analysis of PCH, creative solutions have been developed to address issues pertaining to cycling throughout the project corridor. The meeting will provide an overview of the recommended design strategies that will improve safety and functionality along PCH.

We hope you can join us Wednesday, July 25.  We will send out a reminder as the date gets closer.

If you have any questions or can’t make the meeting and would like to learn more about the project, please contact Elizabeth Shavelson, Public Works Analyst at (310) 456-2489 ext. 254 or via email at eshavelson@malibucity.org


This is the group that gave up a Saturday morning earlier this year to help repair the Malibu Creek watershed.

Finally, on Saturday the 28th, the Mountains Restoration Trust and Heal the Bay offer a second opportunity to restore critical riparian habitats within Malibu Creek State Park by riding to sites that are too far to hike to. Mountain bikers — or anyone capable of riding a dirt fire road — are invited to join them on at Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Road from 8:45 am to noon.

Click here to sign up in advance, then bring your sunscreen and be ready to work.


Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The Bicycle Film Fest presents the Bike Movie Weekend all this weekend at the Silent Movie Theater at 611 North Fairfax Avenue. Showings include Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, The Best of the Bicycle Film Festival, the masterful documentary A Sunday in Hell and everyone’s favorite bike movie, Breaking Away (including an appearance by star Dennis Christopher) among others.

Stately Pasadena will be invaded with cyclists when the Pasadena edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia settles in for a weekend of biking events, starting with a two day expo at Pasadena City Hall, followed by rides of 29, 64 and 83-ish miles on Sunday. It all takes place Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd; registration closes Wednesday, July 18th.

Eric Lubeck of the Caltech Bike Lab is leading a bike ride to the Eagle Rock Brewery on Saturday the 21st. The ride departs from San Pasqual and Wilson Ave on the Caltech campus at 3 pm, and returns to the same location; riders who enjoy themselves a little too much can return via Metrolink.

Also on Saturday the 21st, the High Desert Cyclists will bike to San Buenaventura State Beach for a beachfront barbeque; three starting points offer rides of 35 to 80 miles, arriving at the beach between noon and 1 pm. The ride is one way, so you’ll need to arrange transportation back to your starting point.

Sunday, July 22nd, bike-friendly CD13 city council candidate Josh Post hosts a two-hour bike ride along the L.A. River to highlight his plans for a bike-friendly L.A. and a revitalized L.A. River. Riders meet at 9 am at Oso Park, 1050 Riverside Drive.

Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls Bike Friendly Business District is sponsoring a Kidical Mass Kid Friendly Bike Ride on Sunday, July 22nd. The ride begins at Los Cerritos Park at 1 pm, and will ride 2.5 miles round trip to Georgies Place, 3850 Atlantic Ave, returning by 3 pm.

Long Beach begins a series of monthly community bike meetings to provide an overview of what’s happening bike-wise in the city, as well as offering an opportunity to provide input on city plans. The first meeting takes place from 3 to 4:30 pm on Monday, July 23rd in the City Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd, and will be repeated on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6:30 to 8 pm at Exhibit A Gallery, 555 Pine Avenue.

Okay, so it’s not bike related, but it’s a rare combination of good wine, great food and a great cause, as Mama’s Hot Tamales hosts a Wine Tasting for a Cause on Wednesday, July 25th. For the uninitiated, Mama’s a non-profit café dedicated to teaching immigrants how to work in the food industry by serving some of L.A.’s best tamales and coffee. The event is being held to raise funds for a new freezer; 6 to 9 pm at 2124 W. 7th Street across from MacArthur Park.

On Saturday, July 28th, join Wolfpack Hustle — yes, the cycling team that beat a jet to Long Beach — for the Midnight Drag Race: Codename “The Final Effin Sayso” as single speed cyclists race through Downtown’s famed 2nd Street tunnel. Sign-up starts at 10:30 at 2nd and Hill Street, with the first heats beginning at 11 pm.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Civic Engagement Committee at 6:45 pm on the last Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 31st, at Pitfire Pizza at 2nd and Main in Downtown L.A.. Email bikinginla at hotmail dot com to be added to the email list.

The 4th Annual California Tour de Dreams 2012 will take place August 9th through 19th as cyclists will ride 540 miles from UC Berkeley to UCLA to educate communities about the passage of the California Dream Act and advocate for passage of the Federal Dream Actregister online by May 31st.

The Antelope Valley’s High Desert Cyclists hosts a series of monthly Brunch Rides on the second Saturday of each month. The comfortably paced 15 to 20 mile rides will visit a local restaurant or coffee shop for brunch before returning to the starting point; organizers promise no rider will be left behind. The next ride is scheduled for Saturday, August 11th; details to follow.

Registration has opened for the Santa Monica Museum of Art’s fourth annual Cause for Creativity: Tour da Arts on Sunday, August 19th, featuring an art focused bike tour and other bike centric artistic activities and exhibitions. Be sure to sign up early, because the free bike tour always reaches capacity long before the event.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

The Eastside Bike Club invites you to join them on the Dodgertown Bike Ride on Saturday, September 1st. The ride begins with a rally starting at 3 pm at El Arca, 3839 Selig Place before riding to see the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks, with game time starting at 6:10 pm. Buy your tickets in advance on the Dodgers website.

Sunday, September 2nd marks your chance for fixed gear glory with the Lord of Griffith IV, a climbing, three lap track bike/fixed gear race in and around Griffith Park.

The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic invites you to ride down Highway 1 to raise funds for a cure. The ride rolls 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles from Sunday, September 9th to Sunday the 16th; a two-day option is also available on Saturday, the 15th and Sunday the 16th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Celebrate the return of Carmagedon on Saturday, September 29th as Wolfpack Hustle — yes, the cyclists who beat a Jet Blue jet from Burbank to Long Beach — invite you to ride your bikes from every point in the city to meet on the L.A. River bike path for the biggest ride ever with the All City LA River Ride; details to follow.

There’s a new date for the next CicLAvia, which has been moved up one week from October 14th to 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday, October 7th. The route has also been changed, with new spurs extending from Expo Park  in South L.A. to East L.A. and Boyle Heights.

Now here’s a great idea for a ride. The Arthritis Foundation is teaming with one of the L.A. area’s favorite Cuban bakeries and cafés to offer the first ever Tour de Porto’s starting at 8:30 am on Sunday, October 28th. The ride starts at Porto’s in Glendale, travels a short distance to the Burbank Porto’s, then down the L.A. River Bike Path to the restaurant’s Downey location. If the entry fee includes a Cubano or Medianoche, count me in.

Wrist slap rescinded, as drunken hit-and-run driver John Hines resentenced to 4 years in state prison

So much for that slap on the wrist.

Former fire captain John David Hines, scion of a leading Long Beach fire fighting family, had the book thrown at him by an angry judge, turning a one-year sentence in a relatively plush pay-to-stay cell into over four years of hard time in the state penitentiary.

Hines had been sentenced for the drunken hit-and-run that left cyclist Jeff Gordon lying severely injured on a Seal Beach street, after drinking himself silly at a Long Beach bar last April Fools Day. When police arrested him at his home, drenched in urine soaked pants, Hines had a BAC of .24 — three times the legal limit.

In what many cyclists — or maybe just me — considered an overly lenient sentence, Santa Ana Superior Court judge Erick Larsh sentenced the former fireman to four years and four months in state prison — then suspended the sentence in lieu of one year in the Orange County jail and five years probation.

And rather than force him to consort behind bars with OC’s criminal element, the judge allowed Hines to buy his way into the Huntington Beach jail, where he could serve his time in greater comfort.

All he had to do was stay out of trouble for a few months.

Yet the former EMT-certified fire captain, trained to save the lives of victims just like the one he left lying in the street, couldn’t even manage that.

This past January, jailers noticed him wobbling, and discovered he had extracted alcohol from hand sanitizer by filtering it through salt. Then he drank enough of the resulting extract to result in a blood alcohol level of .22 — almost as high as when he nearly killed Gordon.

And enough to turn that gentle slap on the wrist into a good swift kick into the state pen.

That’s exactly what happened on Friday, as Judge Larsh ruled that Hines had violated his probation, and resentenced him to the full four years and four months of his original sentence, saying “I can’t fix you.

Don’t get me wrong.

I have no sympathy for hit-and-run drivers. And even less for anyone who gets behind the wheel after drinking — let alone nearly taking the life of another human being.

But Hines is clearly a very sick man.

Whether he’ll get the help he needs behind bars is highly questionable. We can only hope he comes out of prison a much healthier man than when he went in.


I’m told that Danae Miller, the DUI/distracted driver convicted of running down world-class triathlete Amine Britel in Newport Beach last year, is settling in nicely at the Chowchilla women’s prison, where she can expect to spend most of the next four years.


On a slightly less serious note, reader Mark Pryor sends a warning that Huntington Beach will host the 2012 Surf City Open later this month, from March 29th through April 1st.

And no, it’s not a bike race. Or even a surfing championship.

It’s a paint ball tournament. Which means that cyclists can expect to be used for target practice.

Consider Mark’s story —

In Spring of 2008 I was shot at close range with a paintball gun on PCH in Seal Beach while heading towards HB. I stayed up and was unaware of what happened, until a relative explained what it was later that day.

I was informed the next day that a major PB Tourney for Pros was underway in HB. I did report the incident to OC Sheriffs, but they were uninterested since I was OK.

My back was beet red from the injury, although nothing appeared to penetrate the skin.

Moral of the story: when the PB Players are in town, cyclists will be considered as easy targets.

Its shameful that the tournaments are allowed when people are victimized this way by participants traveling to and from the events.


Today’s news kept me from updating this week’s events tonight; hopefully I can get to that later this weekend.

But don’t forget Saturday’s Get Sum Dim Sum ride, or the early morning Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash race prior to the L.A. Marathon on Sunday; over 1,300 riders have already registered to take part.

Saturday is also St. Patrick’s Day, which means tens of thousands of amateur drunks will be on the roads all day.

So assume every driver you see on the streets has had about three green Guinness too many.

And ride accordingly.

Update: If you’re looking for something dry to do tonight, the Now Pro Women’s Cycling Team unveils their 2012 roster starting at 7pm at Cynergy Cycles, 2300 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

Analyzing 2011 SoCal cycling fatalities: Los Angeles — and door zones — may be safer than you think

Earlier this month, we remembered the people behind the statistics, the victims of cycling collisions on Southern California streets.

Now lets take a look at the numbers. And some of the surprising findings those statistics reveal — including some that suggest Los Angeles could be your safest place to ride. And that the door zone may be a hell of a lot safer than we all think.

But first, a couple of big important disclaimers.

These stats are based strictly on the fatalities that I am aware of, whether they have been reported in the press or have come to my attention in other ways. It is entirely possible that there were other bicycling-related deaths that I don’t know about.

These numbers also do not include non-fatal collisions. It’s possible that any given area could have had a high rate of injury collisions while having few or no fatalities. Or that one risk factor may result in a high rate of fatalities but few injuries — or the other way around.

The limited data I have to work with simply doesn’t show that.

Nor does it suggest why one area may appear to be more dangerous than another, even though I may make a guess at it.

And with that, let’s get on with it.

By my count, 71 cyclists were killed in traffic-related collisions in Southern California last year. That does not include another nine riders who were fatally shot — eight in Los Angeles County and one in San Diego.

Those 71 fatalities represent a dramatic increase over most recent years on record, with 55 cyclists killed in both 2008 and 2009. In addition, it’s slightly more than the five-year average from 2005 to 2009, at just over 68 traffic-relating cycling fatalities per year.

It also marks a return to the roadway carnage of 2005 and 2006, when 76 and 89 riders were killed, respectively.

Fatalities by county: 2011       2009*       2006**     Ave. 2005 – 2009

Los Angeles                24           22             24           24.2

Orange                       13           11             21           13

San Diego                   12           8               5             8

Riverside                     11           7              14            10

San Bernardino            6            4              11            7.4

Ventura                       4            2              11            4.6

Santa Barbara***        1            1               3             1.8

Imperial                       0            1               0             .4

As you can see, Los Angeles County has remained remarkably steady despite a dramatic increase in ridership, with an average of two riders killed per month. At the same time, while Orange County has dropped significantly from the horrors of 2006, it continues to reflect an average of more than one cyclist killed every month.

Meanwhile, San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties all showed a 50% increase over 2009, though both Ventura and San Bernardino were still below their five-year averages.

At first glance, it would appear that Los Angeles County is by far the most dangerous place to ride in Southern California. However, L.A. is also the most populous of the eight counties included in this count.

Ranking the counties in terms of risk of death per capita reveals some surprises, with the eight counties ranked from worst to best:

County                    Population               Rate of death

Riverside                  2,100,516               1 death per 190,956 population

Ventura                   797,740                  1 per 199,435

Orange                    3,010,759               1 per 231,597

San Diego                3,001,072               1 per 250,089

San Bernardino        2,015,355               1 per 335,893

Santa Barbara***    405,396                  1 per 405,396

Los Angeles              9,862,049              1 per 410,919

Imperial                  174,528                   0 per 174,528

Unfortunately, there’s no objective measure of how many people ride bikes in each county. But surprisingly, these stats suggest that heavily congested L.A. County may actually be twice as safe as other heavily populated counties.

Those fatalities occurred in 53 cities and unincorporated areas throughout the region, with eight cities suffering more than one fatality last year:

San Diego   7

Los Angeles  5

Long Beach  4

Garden Grove  2

Redondo Beach  2

Pasadena  2

Riverside  2

Oceanside  2

Again, using the measurement of deaths per population reveals some very surprising results:

City                               Population                 Rate of death

Redondo Beach              66,748                      1 per 33,374

Pasadena                       137,122                    1 per 68,562

Oceanside                      167,086                    1 per 83,543

Garden Grove                 170,883                    1 per 85,441

Long Beach                    462,257                    1 per 115,564

Riverside                        303,871                    1 per 151,936

San Diego                      1,301,617                 1 per 185,945

Los Angeles                    3,792,621                 1 per 758,524

While multiple deaths in smaller cities may raise a red flag, they don’t really tell us much. Two deaths apiece in each in the first four cities could be a statistical fluke; just one more in any of the other 45 cities not listed here, and they could have made this list, as well.

It’s also worth noting that some of these cities, such as Oceanside and Redondo Beach, are destination areas for cyclists, with a level of weekend ridership that can far exceed their relatively small populations as cyclists pass through from other areas.

More interesting is the fact that the City of Angels, with it’s long-held reputation for car culture, bad streets and open hostility to cyclists, has significantly fewer fatalities per capita than Riverside and San Diego. Combined.

And at least in terms of fatalities, Los Angeles is over six times safer than bike-friendly Long Beach.

That could reflect any number of factors, from the possibility of better trauma care and emergency response times in L.A., to more dangerous streets in Long Beach — including Los Coyotes and PCH — that have yet to see the improvements that have made biking safer in other areas of the city.

But it’s shocking to think that you may actually be safer riding your bike in bike-unfriendly L.A. than the streets of the self-proclaimed most bicycle friendly city in America.

Then again, the real shocker is that L.A. could a hell of a lot safer than most of us thought.

Myself included.

Now let’s look at some equally surprising stats on how these collisions occurred.

Again, bear in mind that most of this information has been gleaned from media reports; in some cases, they offer a detailed analysis of the collision, and in others, barely mention anything more than the fact that it occurred.

We’ll start with the question of who was at fault.

  • Driver:  32
  • Cyclist:  28****
  • Unknown or both:  11

This is my own analysis of the collision, based on the limited information I have; it does not necessarily reflect how the police, sheriff’s or CHP may have assigned fault.

Especially since many investigative officers tend to be poorly trained in bike collision analysis and investigation, and often appear to be biased in favor of the motorist.

In the absence of any information to the contrary, I assigned hit-and-runs to the fault of the driver, on the assumption that an innocent person has little motive to flee — while recognizing that is not always true.

I have also assigned fault for solo collisions and riders hit by trains to the cyclist. Even though it’s possible that other factors, such as near misses by motorists or poor road conditions, may have contributed to the death in some way.

These numbers also err on the low side, reflecting only the information I have been able to document; in many cases, there was not enough information to make a determination.

And there may be multiple factors involved in any given collision, so these won’t add up to a total of 71.

So let’s look at some of the other numbers.

  • At least 25 riders were hit from behind — by far the leading cause of cycling fatalities in 2010
  • At least 13 were hit-and-runs
  • At least 12 were hit at intersections or driveways
  • At least 10 involved drugs or alcohol — and not always on the part of the driver
  • At least eight were hit while riding on or leaving a sidewalk
  • At least seven were hit head-on, usually while riding on the wrong side of the street
  • Seven were solo collisions
  • Seven victims were over the age of 70
  • At least six were killed after running stop signs
  • At least six were killed while riding in a marked bike lane or off-road bike path
  • At least six were killed in right hook collisions
  • Six 12 years old or younger
  • Another five were between the ages of 15 and 17
  • At least four weren’t using lights after dark
  • Three were killed by trains
  • Three were killed by out of control vehicles
  • At least two were killed by drivers running red lights or stop signs
  • At least two were killed distracted drivers
  • At least one was killed in a left cross
  • One was killed by a truck backing into a loading bay
  • One was killed, at least in part, due to poorly designed infrastructure
  • And just one was killed as a result of a dooring

Stop and think about that.

For decades, we’ve been taught that the door zone is one of the most dangerous places to ride; vehicular cyclists often refer to it as the death zone.

Yet these stats show just the opposite. You are far more likely to be killed in a hit-from-behind collision or at an intersection than you are by getting doored. And yet, the solution we’re invariably taught is to ride in the traffic lane, directly in front of traffic coming up from behind.

Maybe that’s because so many cyclists are heeding that advice and avoiding the door zone, while placing themselves at greater risk of getting hit from behind. Or maybe because hit-from-behind collisions tend to occur at higher speeds, reducing survivability, while doorings tend to be relatively slow speed collisions that are more likely to result in injury than death — especially if the rider is wearing a helmet to protect from head injuries in a fall.

And that’s not to say that riding in the door zone is safe. But it may be far less deadly than we have been lead to believe.

Of course, that’s not the only conclusion that jumps out from these numbers.

Like far too many drivers are willing to flee the scene, leaving their victims to die in the street. Too many cyclists run stop signs — especially when other vehicles are present.

Sidewalks remain dangerous places for cyclists, particularly where they intersect with streets and driveways.

Riders can lower their risk simply by riding on the right side of the road and using lights after dark. And staying of the roads after drinking or using drugs.

Ditto for stopping for trains; once the warning signals chime and the gates drop, stay the hell off the tracks. And that goes for drivers trying to beat a train, as well.

Bike lanes are no guarantee of safety. Yet there were fewer cyclists killed in bike lanes than on sidewalks and crosswalks, and far fewer than on streets without them. But that may just speak to the scarcity of bike lanes in most of Southern California.

Then there’s the single most glaring conclusion we can make from these fatalities.

Too many people have died, and continue to die, on our streets.

One is one too many; 71 is an obscenity.

And it’s clearly headed in the wrong direction.

Update: in response to one of the comments to this post, I’ve added information on how many of the victims were under 18; six riders were 12 or under when they were killed, while another five were aged 15 to 17. In addition, seven of the victims were over the age of 70.


*Most recent year currently on record

**Worst of the five years on record

***I will drop Santa Barbara County from this count next year, to reflect the 7-county area included in the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG)

****Includes solo collisions and collisions with trains

Drunken Long Beach fire captain suffers a severe slap on the wrist

Is a single year in county lockup sufficient penalty for nearly killing a cyclist with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit?

An Orange County judge seems to think so.

Yesterday, Santa Ana Superior Court judge Erick Larsh sentenced Long Beach fire captain John David Hines to four years and four months in state prison — then suspended the sentence in lieu of one year in the Orange County jail and five years probation.

Reports could not be confirmed that Hines responded by grabbing his wrist and yelling “Ow!”

And yes, that’s slightly bridled sarcasm, as I find myself censoring what I’d really like to say.

It was almost three months ago that Hines pleaded guilty to three felony counts — driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level in excess of .08, and hit-and-run, as well as sentencing enhancements for having a BAC over .20 and causing great bodily injury.

Those charges stemmed from a bloody, drunken and reportedly urine-soaked April Fools Day episode that left cyclist Jeffrey Gordon struggling for his life.

And no, it wasn’t the least bit funny.

The scion of a leading Long Beach firefighting family, Hines spent the morning drinking at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach before climbing behind the wheel of his truck and attempting to drive home, despite a BAC measured at .24 over two hours later.

The legal limit in California is .08.

The bar should bear at least some responsibility for allowing Hines to get that drunk at their hands. Let alone letting him drive after serving him so much alcohol knowing full well how drunk he had to be at that point.

I hope Gordon has a great lawyer; if not, I’ll be happy to recommend a few. If there’s any justice, he’ll own the bar before this is done.

And hopefully, the first thing he’ll do is change that damn name.

As he reportedly wove his way across the roadway on Westminster Blvd, Hines lost control of his truck, drifting into the bike lane to hit Gordon’s bike from behind at an estimated 60 mph. The rider was thrown 70 feet through the air before landing in a crumpled, bloody heap.

His injuries were severe enough to require two weeks hospitalization, as well as limited mobility, and speech and memory loss that continues to this day. Then again, given the speed and severity of the impact, it’s a miracle Gordon survived at all.

Meanwhile, Hines continued to make his merry way to his Huntington Beach home, either unaware or unconcerned that he had nearly killed another human being. He was followed by two witnesses who reported his location to the police.

According to the Belmont Shore – Naples Patch, Billy Chisholm was a passenger in one of those pursuing vehicles.

“I was sick to my stomach the whole time,” Chisholm recalled. “He just hit him and left him to die like he was a skunk in the road. He had to have known he hit him because his truck was all busted up. That was a human being he left there to die. It’s not right.”

When police arrived, they found Hines in an obvious state of drunkenness, with a strong urine odor coming from his clothes. His parked pickup showed major damage to the front-end and hood — including blood spatter from the victim.

As so many scoundrels do these days, he immediately entered rehab after his release from jail, spending over five months in an alcohol rehabilitation facility.

Like Schrodinger’s Cat, whether that was a badly needed attempt to gain control over his apparent alcoholism or a blatant attempt at gaining leniency from the court depends on your perspective.

He also served a 90-day diagnostic evaluation — make that 86 days — in state prison to determine whether he is suitable to serve a sentence in the state penitentiary.

Maybe I’m just not up on current sentencing practices. But I doubt many gangbangers or bank robbers enjoy such sensitivity from the judge after pleading guilty.

Then again, not many felons come from such prominent fire fighting families.

And last but not least, Hines was ordered to pay $102,000 in restitution — most of which has already been eaten up in medical costs.

According to the Los Alamitos Patch, Gordon prepared a written victim impact statement to be considered at sentencing.

“I am a very active person who enjoys being outdoors with my family. I also have a very mentally and physically demanding job that I love. All of that was taken from me in just seconds.

“As a result of the impact, I was seriously injured, receiving an 18-centimeter head laceration, cranial bleeding, three broken vertebrae, a bruised kidney and multiple cuts, scrapes, and contusions over a large area of my body. Medical expenses are piling up from the long hospital stay and treatment from so many specialists… so far reaching nearly $65,000. The doctors are not yet sure when or if I will recover enough to return to full duty at work or to the quality of life that I had before.

“I have found myself becoming more and more upset by the possibility that the negligence of another person may have lasting effects on me, but the person who is responsible may suffer little or no consequences for his actions.”

An anonymous source who was in the courtroom for part of the sentencing hearing offers this assessment of Hines professional position, who has been severely criticized by many — including me — for causing exactly the sort of injuries he was trained to treat.

I wish to point out that although Hines undoubtedly responded as part of a pre-hospital care team to the type of vehicular crime he committed, he was not the one who would have been providing hands-on care to patients.  As a captain, he directed others on the response team.  In fact, Hines is not a paramedic; he holds only an EMT certificate (pending review), and this is probably the bare minimum medical education requirement for a person of his position within his agency.  At EMT level, he cannot even administer painkillers.  With his certification, he would not likely be the one in the back of an ambulance with a puking head trauma victim like the one he created last April, because injuries of that magnitude require paramedic-level response.  He could monitor vitals and provide oxygen in such situations, and that’s about it.

My opinion is that his interest in public safety is less about his interest, if any, in humanity than in the salary & inherent reputation of a firefighter, and the protection that such a reputation affords him as an alcoholic.  But this is just an opinion.

Meanwhile, the OC Weekly offers a scathing report on the lenient sentence.

As they suggest, current jail overcrowding problems make it highly unlikely Hines will serve the full year, joining local public enemy #1 Lindsey Lohan in the revolving door of SoCal jurisprudence.

And I’m sure her wrist is just as sore.

On the other hand, Hines acted as self-appointed judge and jury in sentencing the victim to a possible life sentence of disability.

As disgusted as I am by the apparent leniency, I honestly don’t know if a long prison sentence is the right answer in this particular case.

Alcoholism is an illness, and punishment in prison will do little or nothing to reform a dangerous drunk and return him to a productive member of society.

But I do know that until judges start taking cases like this seriously — and impose sentences that will serve as a warning and deterrence to other drivers — we’ll continue to experience the ongoing carnage on our streets.

And not everyone will be as lucky as Gordon.

A bloody few days in Long Beach — two cyclists critically injured, one intentionally

This has not been a good few days for Long Beach cyclists.

Two riders are critically injured — one because a driver ran a red light, the other because he was intentionally run down by a driver following a dispute.

In the first case, a 67 year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was riding east on Bixby Road at Cherry Avenue around 11 am Friday when he was hit by a pickup traveling south on Cherry. The Press Telegram reports that the driver of the pickup apparently ran the red light.

The rider was rushed to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The 66-year old driver was not charged at the scene; however the investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call Long Beach Police Department Accident Investigation’s detectives at 562-570-7355.

In the second, and in some ways, more serious case, the Press Telegram reports that a cyclist is clinging to life at a local hospital after being intentionally hit by a motorist, who then fled the scene.

The incident occurred around 3:20 Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Bellflower Blvd and 23rd Street, following a dispute between the cyclist and a driver.

According to KCBS-2, there’s no word on what caused the dispute. However, the victim, who again was not publicly identified, was described as a homeless man who was known to be aggressive and violent.

The station says some accounts — they don’t say whether from the driver or independent witnesses — have lead police to believe that the victim may have attacked the driver by reaching into his van.

The Press Telegram writes that witness followed the van for several blocks before flagging down a police officer who detained the driver and eventually arrested him for assault with a deadly weapon.

Remarkably, KCBS disputes that account, not only reporting that the driver turned himself in, but that he may not face charges.

Running an unarmed man over with a van is not self-defense, and even belligerent homeless people have a right to live. Unless the driver can prove he was attacked in an unprovoked assault, then inadvertently struck the victim in an attempt to get away, he should face an assault charge.

Or murder if the rider doesn’t make it.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Long Beach Police Department’s Accident Investigations Detail at 562-570-7357.

Meanwhile, the KCBS story is so different from the Press Telegram article that it raises serious questions, going out of their way to paint the driver as the real victim.

Did they uncover the story that the local paper missed? Or are they letting a bias against the victim — the real victim — color their story?

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.

Thanks to Rex Reese for the tip.

Another fatal shooting of a bike rider in Long Beach; should we care?

Does it really matter?

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, an unidentified man was shot and killed in Long Beach around 7:30 Saturday night; or rather, the authorities have not publicly released the victim’s ID yet.

Police found the victim on the 1300 block of Atlantic Avenue after responding to reports of shots fired; he was taken to a nearby hospital where he died of his wounds. Witnesses report he’d been riding his bike when he was shot, though police could not confirm that. However, a bike is clearly visible lying in the street in the news photos.

No description was available for the suspect(s), who remain at large. Police do not yet know if the shooting was gang related.

Chances are, though, it was.

Not because of any stereotypes about the location, though Long Beach has long had a gang problem, just like many or most cities in Southern California. But because most street shootings involve gang ties in some way.

Of the six — now seven — fatal shootings of cyclists in SoCal this year, at least four were suspected of being gang-related. One in Silver Lake last April involved an alleged gang member as the shooter, though the victim — and the reason for the shooting — had nothing to do with gangs. And last I heard, another April shooting, this time in San Diego, did not appear to be gang-related.

So what do these deaths have to do with the greater cycling community?

In most, if not all of these cases, the victims were not targeted because they were on a bike; the bike was merely the form of transportation they were using at the time.

That’s the argument several people have used in encouraging me not to give the same coverage to cases like this that I do to other cycling deaths. And why I no longer include shootings in my stats on cycling fatalities, instead separating them into their own category apart from traffic-related deaths.

Still others have questioned whether shooting victims should be honored with a ghost bike. Or if they should be, if not ignored by cyclists, at least not afforded the same concern and respect we show other fallen riders.

And should his death matter any less to us if it does turn out to be gang-related than if he was the victim of a road rage attack, killed precisely because he was on a bike and in the way?

My personal opinion is that all deaths matter, and that as cyclists, we should all be concerned when any one of us falls, for whatever reason.

For at least a moment, at the time of his death, this man was riding a bike. He was, however briefly or for whatever reason, one of us.

And he is now dead, like too many others. Whether they were victims of guns, or cars. Or their own riding errors.

He was one of us, and now he is gone.

So what do you think?

Should we care?

Or simply turn our heads and look the other way?

Update: the victim of the shooting has been identified as 29-year old Reynard Lionell Fulton of Palmdale.

Los Angeles, Orange County named Honorable Mention Bike Friendly Cities(?)

We’ll ignore the fact the Orange County is, well, a county. Not a city.

Or if you prefer, a lot of cities, even if they do tend to blend into one another at times.

But O.C. and L.A. have made the League of American Bicyclists list of Bike Friendly Cities, if only just barely. Both were named Honorable Mention, a step below the Bronze designation, in recognition of the steps each has made.

And just how far they have to go.

Los Angeles makes its claim on the basis of the new-found support from City Hall that has resulted in a widely praised new bike plan — which is just starting to result in new paint on the street — as well as the groundbreaking bicyclists’ anti-harassment ordinance.

But as Bikeside’s recent survey suggests, local cyclists face far too many unfriendly streets and drivers to deserve a higher ranking; I would read this more as recognition of the possibilities, rather than what’s already been accomplished.

Sort of like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. And I’ll let you decide how that’s turned out.

If — and it’s a big if — the city manages to stay on course, it may legitimately deserve a bronze designation next year.

Meanwhile, someone else who actually rides there will have to address whether the collection of cities and towns behind the Orange Curtain deserves its designation.

There seems to be an unfortunate tendency to blame rude and scofflaw cyclists for the county’s unacceptably high fatality rate, including a crackdown on the victims — even though the overwhelming majority of Orange County fatalities have been the result of careless, drunk or distracted drivers, rather than lawbreaking riders.

And at least one OC city seem to have an inexplicable fear of sharrows.

But there must be progress being made; Irvine and Huntington Beach have already made the list as Bronze level cities, joining northern neighbors Long Beach and Santa Monica.

And even though SaMo’s designation was widely derided at the time — including by yours truly — they seem to be making every effort to live up to it now.

So maybe there’s real hope for L.A. and O.C., after all.

We’ll just have to wait a few years and see.

Streetsblog benefit in SaMo, Walk It or Lock It in Long Beach, better biking in Beverly Hills & outrage in TN

I’ve got a long list of legal matters to catch up on — including reader insights into last week’s road rage assault in Santa Monica, first reported by Mihai Peteu on Bikeside.

As well as a letter written by the underage, allegedly drunk driver who nearly killed cyclist Adam Rybicki in Torrance earlier this year. And the driver who called police pretending to be a witness to the collision that killed cyclist Hung Do before being arrested for the crime himself.

But in the meantime, as I rush from riding to meetings to work and back again — let alone trying to squeeze in a little sleep into to process — let me offer a reminder about today’s Streetsblog benefit at Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse.

As it turns out, I won’t be able to make it this time. But if you can make it, I strongly recommended heading to 2911 Main Street for some New Belgium beer, raffle, auctions and a cargo bike worth of fun. Along with a lot of good people having a good time for a good cause.

And yes, there will be a bike valet.


Long Beach is kicking off the Walk It or Lock It campaign to remind cyclists that it’s against the law to ride bikes on the sidewalk in the city’s business districts.

Police will be handing out safety cards to instruct riders to either walk their bikes or lock them up in areas including Broadway and Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach, Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls, Second Street in Belmont Shore, “Retro Row” on Fourth Street, and Cambodia Town on Anaheim Street.

And if you haven’t already, Long Beach residents are encouraged to take five minutes to complete the city’s 2011 Bike Safety Survey.


Hats off to what — hopefully — will soon be the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Along with a number of other bike advocates and local residents and business people, I attended last night’s meeting of the city’s Ad-Hoc Bike Plan Update Committee.

For a town that currently lacks a single inch of biking infrastructure, the representatives from Beverly Hills were surprisingly committed to changing the situation and getting test projects off the ground — or rather, on the ground — as quickly as possible. And remarkably open to suggestions, including innovative ideas that are just starting to gain acceptance elsewhere.

Make no mistake. They have a very long way to go, and still have to sell the idea of biking infrastructure to a city government and populace likely to cast a wary eye on two-wheeled interlopers in their city.

And the toughest challenge, recreating Santa Monica Boulevard in a format that will be inviting to cyclists — or at least less likely to risk our lives — still awaits discussion down the road.

But they’re off to a good start. And with a far more positive and approachable attitude than many other cities I could name.

If you live or ride through Beverly Hills — or would like to if it was a little safer and more inviting — sign up with LACBC affiliate Better Bike to get involved and stay abreast of the latest happenings.


Finally, allow me a moment of sheer outrage, as a Tennessee woman is threatened with arrest for the crime of allowing her 10-year old daughter to ride her bike to school.

According to Bike Walk Tennessee, Teresa Tyron of Elizabethton thought her daughter had a reasonably safe 7 – 9 minute ride to school in the tiny town near the border with North Carolina.

Evidently, the authorities disagreed.

Teresa Tryon said, “On August 25th my 10 year daughter arrived home via police officer, requested to speak to me on the front porch of my home. The officer informed me that in his ‘judgment’ it was unsafe for my daughter to ride her bike to school.”

She followed up by contacting the mayor and chief of police. But instead of getting the apology any rational person would have expected, she was told that the officer would be contacting Child Protective Services — and that she could be arrested for child neglect if she allowed her daughter to ride to school in the meantime.

So let me get this straight.

A town of just 13,000 people is so dangerous that children can’t safely ride their bikes on the streets.

Of course, they don’t say whether the danger stems from the horrible traffic conditions, which surely must be far worse than those of the Los Angeles area, where children are encouraged to ride to class, though few actually do.

Then again, maybe the town is so overwhelmed with child molesters and other criminal sorts that it is unsafe for anyone to ever be outside of their homes day or night. Let alone a child.

Or maybe city officials have their collective heads so far up their own collective asses that the entire collective city government would have to visit a proctologist just to get their glasses cleaned.

If the problem is the condition of the streets, it’s up to the mayor and other city officials to make them safe — not parents to keep their children off them. If it’s a fear of criminal activity, the police should stop harassing parents and start arresting criminals until families don’t have to be afraid to let their children go out alone for less than 10 minutes on the way to and from school.

But if it’s the latter problem — which I would highly suspect — local residents should seriously consider riding the police chief, mayor and anyone else involved in this idiotic process out of town on a rail.

And replace them with far more rational people who understand that riding a bike to school isn’t a crime, and should in fact be encouraged in this day of rampant childhood obesity. And willing to do their damn jobs to make the streets safe for everyone.

Maybe they could use a little gentle encouragement to see the light.

Updated: Five SoCal cyclists dead in last 5 days; 6th fatality uncomfirmed

It is a sad irony that the same week local cyclists celebrate L.A.’s groundbreaking cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, we’re forced to confront one of the bloodiest weeks in recent memory.

Just this week, bike riders have been killed in Downtown Los Angeles and Big Bear; in addition, a Simi Valley man has been killed while riding in Hawaii, and a Long Beach man died of injuries he received in a collision on July 6th.

That’s in addition to news that a 17-year old cyclist shot and killed on over the weekend while riding his bike.

Five deaths in the last five days, spanning the spectrum of potential hazards facing riders.


Let’s start with the collision that killed a 63-year old man in Downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday evening.

While it was widely reported that this death may have been collateral damage resulting from a road rage incident between two drivers, multiple sources at City Hall have told me that the police are no longer investigating this as a confrontation between the motorists.

According to these sources, the collision occurred as a result of the drivers competing for lane space on the street, resulting in the driver of the Avalanche swinging to the right of the roadway where the victim, who has not yet been publicly identified, was riding.

As a result, the driver who had been taken into custody has been released.

This does not mean that no charges will be filed in the death, though; the investigation is still continuing.

Flying Pigeon offers a photo of the ghost bike that will be installed for the victim, if it hasn’t been already.


Twenty-three-year old Christopher Sop of Big Bear Lake was killed in an apparent solo riding accident on Mill Creek Road, approximately one mile south of Tulip Lane in the unincorporated part of Big Bear.

According to the Rim of the World News, the Big Bear Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a man down at 6:17 pm on Monday. Officers concluded that Sop had been travelling north on Mill Creek when he lost control of his bike and struck a rock; he was pronounced death at the scene, with time of the accident estimated at around 3:40 pm.


A 67-year old Long Beach man has died of injuries he received when a truck driver allegedly ran a red light on July 6th in the Bixby Knolls area.

According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, Louis Gabor was riding his bike east on Bixby Road when he was struck by a Chevrolet S-10 pickup while crossing Cherry Avenue at around 11 am. After nearly two weeks in critical condition, he died of his injuries on Tuesday.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, faces possible a possible charge of vehicular manslaughter once the investigation is concluded.


Maui Now reports that 24-year old Anthony Hernandez of Simi Valley was killed while riding in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday, July 16th.

Kona police found Hernandez laying next to his bike after responding to a report of a crash at 1:18 am. He reportedly lost control of his bike and fell, hitting his head on the pavement and suffering critical face and head injuries; he died of his injuries on Sunday the 17th.

The website reports that he wasn’t wearing a helmet; in this case, that information is actually worth mentioning, since this is exactly the sort of slow-speed impact helmets are designed to protect against. It also suggests that police are investigating the possible “influence of intoxicants” in the crash.

However, as in the case of Christopher Sop in Big Bear — and any case in which a rider is found unconscious or dead on the side of the road — the question is why he lost control of his bike.

It’s entirely possible that it was the result of carelessness or intoxication on the part of the rider. But it’s also possible that it could be due to road conditions, or being brushed, buzzed or harassed by a passing vehicle. With no physical evidence, it’s very easy to blame the victim for something that may or may not have been his fault.


Finally, the 17-year old cyclist killed in a shooting in Montecito Heights on Saturday evening has been identified as Jesus Lopez of Los Angeles. The Press-Enterprise reports that no arrests have been made; anyone with information is asked to call Detectives J. Rios or Cary Ricard at (323) 342-8959. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.


These deaths — excluding that of Anthony Hernandez in Hawaii — raise the total of confirmed bicycling fatalities throughout Southern California this year to 47; 5 by gunshots and 42 in solo accidents or collisions with trains or motor vehicles; 20 of those deaths have occurred in L.A. County.

My sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims.


Update: I had originally included a sixth fatality in this article; as noted on Tuesday, I had received an anonymous tip about a cycling fatality in Santa Maria; when I did a Google search for confirmation last night, I found an article from the Santa Maria Times that seemed to line up with the information I had, including the location.

However, I missed the date on the story. Even though I was searching for stories that had appeared online in just that last 24 hours, what I found was a story about a collision that occurred last November, as David Huntsman was kind enough to point out. As a result, I have removed references to the Santa Maria fatality while I wait for confirmation.

My apologies for the confusion.

Update: I’ve received confirmation that report of the Santa Maria collision was in error, and that no fatality occurred. And yes, that is very good news. 

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