Tag Archive for Los Angeles County

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: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.


Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.


LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.


Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.


UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.



Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.



The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.



Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.



A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.



Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

Bicyclist killed in Palmdale after running red light, struck by two cars

A bad month has gotten worse, as a bike rider was killed in Palmdale Monday morning.

According to the Antelope Valley Times, 39-year old Lancaster resident Amin Hopkins was riding south on Country Club Drive at 6:50 am yesterday when he allegedly rode his bike through the red light at Rancho Vista Blvd.

He made it across the westbound lanes, but was struck by a car in the left lane of the eastbound side and was knocked into the right lane, where he was struck by a second car as he was sprawled in the street.

Both drivers stopped after colliding with Hopkins. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A street view shows a two lane divided residential street on Country Club, with three lanes in each direction on Rancho Vista.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Palmdale Sheriff Station’s Traffic Department at 661/272-2400

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth fatal SoCal bike crash in the last 13 days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Amin Hopkins and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the heads-up.

Update: 20-year old bike rider killed in Inglewood hit-and-run

Not again.

Just hours after news broke of a fatal hit-and-run on PCH Monday night, word comes that another bicyclist was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver in Inglewood just hours later.

According to the Daily Breeze, 20-year old William McGee was hit by a vehicle around 2:25 this morning at Crenshaw Boulevard and 109th Street. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died soon after.

No other information is available at this time, and no details were provided on the driver or the vehicle involved.

A street view shows a divided four lane street on Crenshaw, while 109th is a narrow residential street that enters on a T-intersection controlled by a red light.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Inglewood Police Department at 310/412-5211.

There’s no excuse, ever, for leaving another human being to die in the street. If the driver is found, he or she should face a 2nd degree murder charge, along with a permanent loss of driving privileges.

This is the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and 23rd in Los Angeles County this year.

Update: KNBC-4 reports a burning van was found nearby with damage consistent with hitting a bicyclist, suggesting the driver had set it on fire to coverup the crime.

The youngest of three sons, McGee had just celebrated his 20th birthday six days before he was killed.


My deepest sympathy and prayers for William McGee and all his loved ones.

Update: Bicyclist killed in North Hollywood

There’s been a report of a bicycling fatality in North Hollywood this morning.

Westondeboer posted the following comment on Reddit this morning:

My father was killed riding his bicycle this morning. He was a seasoned rider, Had been riding all of his adult life. He started riding his bike to work when I turned five, this was 31 years ago. We lived at the 170 & 5 freeway, and he worked in hollywood at Santa Monica and highland for Hanna Barbera. He rode his bike to work everyday. He owned one pair of pants and wore shorts everywhere, even when we went to the snow.

What is happening that we are moving too fast in our cars that we cannot notice those around us? Be it, walking, on a motorcycle, or on a bicycle.

What can we do to protect pedestrians these days as pedestrian deaths are rising.


A follow-up comment indicated that the crash occurred at Victory Blvd and Tujunga Ave at 8:15 am.

However, there’s no independent confirmation of the crash at this time.

This is the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the sixth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: Urban Avenger says the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division has confirmed the fatality, and will issue a press release on Monday. 

Update 2: I’ve received additional confirmation of the death from the LAPD, though no further details are available at this time. 

Update 3: Still waiting on a promised press release from the LAPD with more information; however, the have confirmed the identity of the victim as William DeBoer. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William DeBoer and his family.

Thanks to BikeLA redditors for the heads-up.

Morning Links: CA exceeds national average in bicycling deaths, Caltrans studies bike crashes in LA County

Maybe we’re not quite as bad as it seems.

It’s been reported that California leads the nation in bicycling fatalities, with Florida a close second.

That doesn’t take into account the difference in population, though; as the nation’s largest state, it’s not surprising we lead in this most unwelcome category.

But if you look at the rate of bicycling deaths on a per capita basis, you get a very different picture. Stats man Ed Ryder created a graph to put things in better perspective, showing the Golden State ranks sixth in deaths per one million population.

Deadliest States by Population

Which is still too damn high.

As his next chart clearly shows, California has exceeded the national average every year since 2004. And probably before that.

CA bike deaths re: US

Which leaves us with the question what are we doing wrong?

And what are we going to do about it?

You can read his full report here.


Caltrans and UCLA offer a detailed study of bike crashes in Los Angeles County based on the CHP’s SWITRS data, correlated with ridership based on local bike counts.

Both of which can be problematic; SWITRS relies on voluntary reporting of crashes by local police agencies, not all of whom provide accurate or timely data.

And bike counts only offer a snapshot of who is riding in a given area at a given time. Unfortunately though, it’s the only data available for many areas, since both the city and county of Los Angeles have long failed in their responsibility to collect accurate ridership data.

Without accurate data, it’s impossible to make the informed choices necessary to meet save lives and meet the needs of bike riders.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into the study yet. However, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious called out a few key points.

  • Right turn only lanes double the risk for cyclists
  • LA Metro Rapid bus lines have a higher risk of bicycle crashes when compared to other primary roads without rapid bus lines
  • Locations with the highest crash risk tend to have below-average bicycle ridership
  • Roads with vehicle volumes over 20,000 have significantly higher average crash counts and crash rates for bike riders
  • There is a higher number of crashes and crash rates in poorer, non-white neighborhoods than higher income, white neighborhoods
  • People of color have higher risk of bike crashes than whites
  • If you ride your bike in high income neighborhood, you’re less likely to crash your bicycle
  • Vehicle speeds above 30 mph are associated with about 30-40% more crashes, but about 200-300% higher crash risk per cyclist
  • Lower-hanging fruit in terms of safety interventions is where ridership is moderate but risk is high

Masoner credits CABO’s Jim Baross for forwarding the report.


Great post from Detroit’s Wheelhouse, explaining how to drive like you don’t want to murder cyclists.

Seriously, this should be required reading for anyone who drives, or is even thinking about it.


Britain’s Lizzie Armistead has been cleared to compete in the Rio Olympics, despite missing three drug tests in a 24-hout period. And despite ample warnings. However, a doping official says they made the right call to reinstate her.

A South Korean cyclist is the first casualty of the Olympics as he gets mirrored on a training ride.

NBC presents the full schedule of Olympic cycling events, which will be available for live streaming.

Nineteen-year old South African cyclist Keagan Girdlestone is making a near-miraculous recovery after he was nearly killed crashing into a support vehicle during Italy’s Coppa Della Pace in June.

Former doper and ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is now in the ganja rub business.

With the departure of its founder, Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge has semi-officially bitten the dust. Although it could be replaced by a seven-stage race for amateurs who can afford it.

London’s mass RideLondon race will be the first and only British event on the WorldTour pro cycling calendar next year.

Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will feature a new 50-minute race for junior riders.



LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the people who pistol-whipped a doctor after he refused to pay $150 for allegedly damaging a bicycle.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on the South LA Vision Zero focus group, stressing the importance of getting to know the South LA community before “presuming to plan for it or construct campaigns targeting it.” Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton has his own comic thoughts on Vision Zero.

Anti-bike incumbent councilmember Gil Cedillo has raised $250,000 for his re-election campaign, far more than grass-roots challenger Josef Bray-Ali.

A writer for The Source tries the new Metro Bike bikeshare, and she likes it.

LA Downtowner visits The Wheelhouse coffee shop/bike shop in DTLA. Not to be confused with the aforementioned Detroit establishment of the same name.

CiclaValley begins counting down LA’s ten most essential climbs.



Streetsblog writes about the state legislation that would lower the fine for drivers who roll through red lights to make a right turn. Meanwhile, the LA Post-Examiner takes a look at the issue as well, and gives this site a shout-out in the process; thanks to Tim Forkes for the link and the kind words.

Costa Mesa police are looking for the thief who stole a $3,000 bike from a 22-year old man’s garage while he was spending his birthday at Children’s Hospital donating blood; he used the bike for physical and emotional therapy after suffering a series of medical issues. Seriously, there’s a special place in Hell for whoever took that bike.

A Santa Barbara rider explains the origins of the city’s annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride in 1979.

When a Bakersfield man agreed to meet someone at a park to sell a bike he’d advertised on Craigslist, the buyer stole his bike, then shot at him as he pursued the thief’s car. Best advice I’ve seen for similar situations is to meet the other party at the local police station for any exchanges.

A bike rider killed in Sacramento last month had moved to the city to start over after kicking his addiction to drugs.

An Auburn mountain biker was rescued after a fall when people heard his screams for help.



Bike lawyer Bob Mionske explains how to lower your legal responsibility when organizing a group ride.

A 23-year old Spokane man is facing a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider when they quarreled over a pair of speakers.

A second man has been charged with spreading tacks along a popular Denver-area cycling route; the suspect is a cousin of the man charged last week. And both should go away for as long as the law allows.

A Houston restaurant is under attack by eco-friendly, bike riding vandals.

A Chicago jazzman has been practicing his saxophone under an overpass for decades as drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians go by.

Evanston IL residents bring out the pitchforks and torches after a new protected bike lane is installed, calling it dangerous and poorly thought out; one protester noted that drivers had to move into the parking lane to let a fire truck pass. Which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Michigan bike riders are increasingly wary as roads become more dangerous.

A New Hampshire man has been commuting seven miles to work by bike for the last 16 years, towing his dog behind him in an open trailer.

New York police still haven’t made an arrest in the hit-and-run murder of a bike rider last month; police recovered the car the driver used as he appeared to intentionally swerve into the bike lane to run down the victim from behind.

The Alabama road rage victim whose dreams of riding across the US were shattered when a rampaging truck driver ran over his bike will leave the state with fond memories after all, as people donated over $4,000 to keep him going.



A Winnipeg writer says bicyclists want to get off the road as much as motorists want them to.

After being confronted by a racist, road-raging driver and his passengers, an Edmonton, Canada bicyclist says he won’t back down in the face of online harassment, because as a bike rider, he already knows what it’s like to be marginalized.

Brompton’s quirky folding bikes have achieved cult status.

A cop in the UK was honored for saving the life of a bike rider trapped under the wheels of a double-decker bus.

The mayor of Paris says she wants to “give Parisians back the space that cars have taken from them.” I’d love to hear LA’s Mayor Garcetti say that. And mean it.

Israeli border guards take a bike from an eight-year old Palestinian girl and throw it into the bushes, apparently to reserve the road for Jewish settlers; only one of the two officers involved was disciplined.

A Sydney, Australia bike rider suffered third degree burns on his upper thigh when his iPhone exploded after he fell off his bike. Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich and Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Not every cyclist who gets it wrong is an “arrogant arsehole,” a newly minted Perth, Australia bike commuter warns; they might just be incompetent.

Relatives of a Philippine cyclist fatally shot by an angry driver call for restraint in the hopes that he may be the last victim of road rage.



Your next bike could be an ad. How to spot a female cyclist. Besides that whole woman on a bike, thing, that is.

And it’s a rocky and humiliating road to being a “real” cyclist.


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.

Medical researcher died following May bicycling injury in Pacific Palisades

Too often, when a bike rider is injured, the story never makes the news.

And even if it does, we may not learn how it turned out for weeks afterwards. If ever.

That’s what happened in this case, as word has just come in that Dr. Keith Nolop, a 63-year old resident of Pacific Palisades, died on May 31st after suffering head injuries while riding his bike in the Palisades on May 6th.

I’m told told his injuries occurred on Temescal Canyon Road.

No other information is available at this time. There’s no word on whether there was a vehicle involved, or exactly where the crash occurred.

The neighborhood Palisades Post reports he worked as a medical researcher, helping to develop the sinus treatment Nasonex, as well as a groundbreaking melanoma treatment and other highly-engineered cancer therapies.

That’s in addition to writing over 50 peer-reviewed articles and holding several patents.

This is the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dr. Keith Nolop and all his loved ones. 

Update: Bicyclist killed in Baldwin Park collision Thursday night

Another SoCal bike rider has lost his life, struck by a car in Baldwin Park.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the victim, believed to be a 30-year old Baldwin Park resident, was crossing Baldwin Park Blvd on La Rica Avenue when he was hit by a BMW traveling north on Baldwin Park at 9:23 pm.

A helicopter was called to rush him to emergency treatment, but he succumbed to his injuries before it arrived, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 19-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

The paper describes the intersection as having stop signs on La Rica, but uncontrolled on Baldwin Park. There’s no word on which direction the victim was riding or if he stopped before entering the intersection, or how fast the driver was traveling.

A street view shows a four lane divided roadway that would encourage high speed travel at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Baldwin Park Police at 626/960-1955.

This is the 46th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 34 in SoCal Last year, and 14 in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 30-year old James Hernandez, who lived just around the corner from where he was killed.

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

Update: LA cyclist killed in multiple car Beverly Grove hit-and-run

Another bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

LA’s KNBC-4 broke the news late last night that a bike rider had been taken to a hospital in critical condition following a hit-and-run collision in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.

Sadly, the station confirmed this morning that the victim, identified only as a 58-year old man, has died.

According to the news report, he was riding on the 100 block of North Crescent Heights Blvd, between Beverly Blvd and First Street, around 9 pm Tuesday night when he was rear-ended by the driver of a red Ford SUV, who fled the scene.

He was struck with enough force to throw his body 75 feet, landing near the driveway at 109 N Crescent Heights, where he was struck by another vehicle; that driver stopped and cooperated with police.

It’s likely the SUV driver was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit to strike the victim with that much force.

Screen grab from KNBC report

Screen grab from KNBC report

His bike, a blue road bike with green handlebar tape, lay mangled on the side of the road. A red tail light is visible on the seat post.

The driver of the SUV fled on foot after crashing into a parked car a block away, leaving her wrecked car behind. Initial reports indicated the driver was a woman, but police were unable to confirm that.

The station reports both the victim and the driver of the SUV were westbound; however, it appears they were actually traveling south, since it’s a north-south street.

Crescent Heights is afour-lane street,  mostly residential, with commercial buildings on the major cross streets. The right lane is a mixed traffic and parking lane; at that hour, it’s likely there would have been numerous parked cars, pushing him into the left lane to avoid the zone.

Police say the second driver won’t face any charges.

It’s impossible to know which of the vehicles struck the fatal blow. However, the driver of the SUV should face a homicide charge, since she — or he — made the decision to flee the scene, and leaving the victim unprotected to be struck by another car.

This is the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in LA County; it’s also the fourth in the City of Los Angeles.

Update: KNBC has updated their report to say the driver was a woman, but police have no other description at this time.

Update 2: The Beverly Press reports the victim is a 59-year old Santa Monica resident, but still has not been publicly identified.

According to the paper, he was headed west on 1st Street and ran a stop sign to cross Crescent Heights, as well as ignoring a right-turn only sign; if the driver had stopped, she might have been released without charges. 

Instead the driver, who was operating a rental car, is wanted for felony hit-and-run. Police are trying to identify who had rented the SUV. 

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


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