Tag Archive for Michael Bastien

Morning Links: Justice at last for OC’s Michael Bastien, and the bike world strips for the World Naked Bike Ride

It’s taken two years, but there’s finally been justice for Michael Bastien.

And with far more jail time than initial reports would have suggested.

This comes from our anonymous Orange County correspondent —

On a sunny Labor Day afternoon, Michael Bastien and his son Matt were riding their bikes down Bolsa Chica when they were hit from behind by a drunk driver. Michael was killed; his son survived.

On Friday, June 3rd, Michael John Perez accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for felony vehicular manslaughter. He’ll be out in half that, of course. His ass is currently in County awaiting transfer to Wasco.

Michael Bastien’s brother is still calling the collision that resulted in his brother’s death a “DUI accident,” which is pretty damn big-hearted of him, because I consider “repeat drunk driving” and “vehicular manslaughter” to be crimes, not accidents, and I am incredibly disturbed at the idea that the collision (whose aftermath I passed on my daily commute) was in any way unavoidable and free of blame.

Once again, the Orange County DA’s office has gotten a conviction in a traffic case resulting in serious jail time. While other local district attorneys don’t even care enough to try.

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Hundreds of people turned out for the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride Sunday; a surprising number chose to bare all on a cloudy morning. (Both links NSFW).

Riders also turned out in force for the Toronto and London editions.

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Michigan lawmakers respond to the Kalamazoo bike crash tragedy by introducing a bill that would impose up to 15 years in jail for causing serious injury or death with a motor vehicle.

Nice gesture from Lance Armstrong, who will join members of the victims’ cycling club to finish the ride they started before the crash.

Meanwhile, the judge ordered the killer held without bond on Friday.

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Former German world champ Rudi Altig has died of cancer at age 79; Altig once spent 18 days in the leader’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France.

Peter Sagan set a new record by winning his 12th stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

The New York Times looks at efforts to hold bike racing motor doping at bay.

An Aussie website talks with veteran cycling announcer Phil Ligget.

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Local

A 10-year old girl was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Boyle Heights, as someone fired multiple shots at a bike rider in an apparent gang attack, and hitting her in the head instead; at last report she was in critical condition.

Good looks at LA’s Great Streets Initiative, saying the city is reinventing itself one street at a time.

A writer for the LA Times goes for an illuminating LA Noir Ride with the Los Angeles Explorers Club.

Richard Risemberg says don’t be a blockhead, put some sunscreen on any uncovered skin when you ride. You won’t get any argument from me; I’ve already had cancers carved out of my nose and calf as a result of riding unprotected in my youth.

Around 300 people turned out for the Rod Bennett Memorial Bike Ride in Santa Clarita on Saturday; Bennett was killed in a hit-and-run while riding on Placerita Canyon last month.

 

State

A Santa Barbara newspaper says the new sharrows being installed in the city may be useless. Sort of like most sharrows, in other words.

A new mural remembers a Salinas man who was killed in a hit-and-run two years ago; his killer was never found.

Sad news from Campbell, as a bike rider was killed in a collision Sunday afternoon.

 

National

The Federal Bureau of Land Management has created a map of the nation’s 20 top mountain bike destinations, only one of which is in California.

NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Josh Wise and Landon Cassill are each one of us, as they take a 71-mile bike ride with their crew members through Michigan’s Irish Hills.

In another case of bighearted cops, when DC police officers were unable to fix a 12-year old boy’s bicycle, they pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

Bicycling under the influence may not be illegal in Canada, but it’s not recommended. But it is illegal in Californiawith a fine up to $250, but no points against your driver’s license.

A bike commuter writing in the Guardian says too many drivers forget we’re all human; motorists will survive being delayed a few seconds by a bike rider, but the rider may not survive their anger. Case in point: A bicyclist in the UK suffered a serious eye injury when someone threw an egg at him from a passing car.

A Scottish rider visits Copenhagen, and says cycling utopia really does exist.

In a new study from the University of Duh, British researchers discover that kids who bike as children are more likely to ride as teenagers.

An eight-year old Kenyon boy breaks down in tears when he’s given a new mountain bike for finishing at the head of his elementary school class.

 

Finally…

Having a bike stolen sucks — especially if you haven’t even gotten it out of the box yet. If you’re not happy with a bike shop’s prices, don’t run off with their tip jar.

And forget bike Nazis; we’re now a “cycling Talibanforcing unwanted changes on poor, oppressed drivers.

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Come back later this morning, when we’ll have a heartbreaking guest post from the daughter of one of the victims in the Moorpark distracted driving crash that left two people dead; the Ventura County DA has inexplicably filed the charges as misdemeanors, against the wishes of the CHP and any form of common decency.

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Thanks to an anonymous donor for her generous donation to support this site.

 

Morning Links: OC driver faces DUI vehicular manslaughter charge, and a long listing of bike academic papers

The Orange County DA’s office may not move fast, but they take traffic crimes seriously.

I’m told they just filed a felony charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence against Michael John Perez in the death of Michael Bastien one year ago today.

Bastien was riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane when he was run down from behind by the car driven by Perez, who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI.

He now faces between four and ten years in state prison upon conviction.

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Great post from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, as they ditch the usual weekly blog roundup in favor of recent academic papers regarding bicycling. I don’t know about you, but this should keep me reading for the next week, at least.

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Pro cyclist Kris Boeckmans will remain in a medically induced coma for at least a week after crashing hard in the Vuelta.

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Local

The LA Weekly catches up on DTLA’s coming bikeshare program.

Ryan Seacrest really is one of us now. He was sideswiped by a car while riding in the bike lane on San Vicente Blvd and knocked into another cyclist; needless to say, the driver claimed she never saw him. And apparently didn’t care. Sounds like an obvious violation of the three-foot passing law violation, along with a failure to yield.

Over a dozen bike riding firefighters roll through Malibu on their way to Santa Monica on the final leg of a 400 mile fundraising ride from Sausalito.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for an Outreach/Communications Director, as well as a part-time tour guide.

 

State

The California legislature’s second attempt to create a hit-and-run alert system using freeway signs now awaits Governor Brown’s veto pen signature; he vetoed a similar bill last year.

An injured off-road rider was airlifted out of Crystal Cove State Park Sunday evening.

OC cyclists are invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on improving regional bicycling connectivity in the foothills area.

Caught on video: A San Francisco Critical Mass cyclist attacks a car with his U-lock after the driver bumps him when the rider blocks his car while riding on the wrong side of the road. Just Another Cyclist says this shows the time for Critical Mass has passed. Incidents like this only serve to convince the general public we’re all Critical Massholes, since most don’t seem to be able to distinguish the actions of one jerk on a bike from the rest of us.

A former bike messenger recalls the glory days of two-wheeled risk-taking delivery in the Bay Area.

A business group calls for reinstalling a third traffic lane on the undulating Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, which would force bikes into the traffic lane, rather than riding on the shoulder as they can now.

A Vacaville driver is arrested for a hit-and-run that left a bike rider with major injuries; a friend of the victim spotted the damaged truck in the trailer park where she lives.

Bad news from NorCal, as a 16-year old bike rider was killed in Hanford, and a 79-year old man died after being hit by multiple cars in Modesto; most of the drivers in that crash fled the scene.

 

National

Riders in Vancouver WA will soon enjoy the city’s first raised bike lane.

Interesting idea, as Chicago allows developers to buy a new bikeshare station in front of their properties. Something like this could help LA’s nascent system expand faster than planned.

Minnesota Public Radio hosts a discussion on bridging the gap between commuter and recreational cyclists.

It’s the usual argument in Duluth MN, as bicyclists call for a protected bike lane on a major street, while business owners argue against a loss of parking spaces. Because no one on a bike ever spends money, right?

It’s one thing to ride a bike to school; two Connecticut men are written up for riding on one.

There are a lot of good people out there. Rhode Island man replaces a boys mountain bike after it was stolen.

Streetsblog NYC says banning bikes from exiting the bridge to Roosevelt Island isn’t the way to improve safety.

New York cyclists will get their first bus bike racks on a route crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Seriously, don’t ride through a construction zone after dark or you might go off a cliff, as one Pennsylvania bike rider learned the hard way.

 

International

Make your plans for the first Gran Fondo in Havana this October, newly accessible to Americans thanks to the recent rapprochement between the US and Cuba.

Alberta cyclists call for an Idaho stop law.

A West London man will serve six months in jail after losing an appeal on his conviction for beating a cyclist with a baseball bat after the rider kicked his car during a dispute.

Dublin considers making bike and car sharing mandatory for all new apartment buildings in the city center.

Paris plans to take ciclovía a step further by banning cars from most of the city’s streets for one day later this month.

Treehugger takes a photographic ride along the new bike and pedestrian bridges of Copenhagen.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews rise up in opposition to a planned bikeshare system in Jerusalem, fearing it will desecrate the Sabbath.

After Christchurch, New Zealand suffered a devastating earthquake, the city used it at an opportunity to return to its roots as a bicycling city.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be 3D printed and turned into compost when you’re done with it. Nothing like having a few hundred naked bike riders photobomb your wedding photos.

And if you’ve used your bike as a getaway vehicle after successfully robbing five banks, don’t ditch it after the sixth one.

 

Morning Links: Feeding the homeless by bike, a damaged OC Ghost Bike, and the LA Ride 2 Recovery Honor Ride

You can learn a lot on a bike.

It was on a ride through tiny town of St. Martinville, Louisiana, on the edge of the massive Atchafalaya swamp, that I stumbled up a beautiful little church, one of the first built in the state.

And first learned the story of St. Martin de Tours who, as an officer in the Roman army, used his sword to cut his own cloak in two so he could give half to a tattered beggar.

That image has stuck with me ever since, gnawing on the back of my mind as I wonder whether I do enough for others in need.

That’s why I was struck by this first person report from the Eastside’s Aurelio Jose Barrera, who gets up early a few times a week, loads up his bike with donated food, and rides out to feed those in need while the city is still sleeping.

I don’t know if that makes him a saint.

But in my book, it makes him a hero.

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I received the following report from an Orange County rider this morning, and thought it was worth sharing.

On Friday night, going southbound on Bolsa Chica, I noticed a length of purple ribbon lying in the gutter. I thought: Is that the purple ribbon from Michael Bastien’s memorial? And on approach, I noticed that the bike was kind of awry. It also looked unchained, but without time to check it out, I was left wondering all weekend. On Sunday morning I investigated, and sure enough… the purple ribbon wrapped around the power pole was drooping and the purple flowers were atilt. I tied a bow as best I could and started tidying up. The flowers in the hollow saddle had been flung to the ground, so I replaced them. The reflector had fallen from its conspicuous perch next to the cross nailed into the pole, and I couldn’t affix it so I just angled it between a spoke & the seat stay so it would catch headlights.

And then I just kind of stared. Because the busted lock and chain are just lying on the sidewalk. Dunno how long they’ve been there, or whether there’d been a theft attempt or what, but the ghost bike’s been unlocked & unmolested for at least the past three days.

Meanwhile, still no action by the DA against Bastien’s killer.

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HR-Los-Angeles_15-PosterBy now, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of Ride 2 Recovery, a program that uses bikes to help wounded vets recover and make it all the way back after their service overseas, physically and emotionally.

On March 28th, you’ll have a chance to help out while enjoying some of the most scenic and challenging roads in Southern California when the first ever 103-mile Bear Claw Classic — aka Seven Canyon Climb — rolls through the Santa Monica Mountains.

There will also be a 55-mile route, and a much easier 25-mile Honor Ride Los Angeles, or Cub Route, through Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks.

Sounds like a good ride for a great cause.

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Local

CiclaValley reports there will be two CicLAvia meetings in the San Fernando Valley tomorrow; motivated riders could make both.

Getting around the Hollywood and Highland area will be a challenge for the next week as they gear up for Sunday’s Oscar celebration — even blocking LA’s one and only Bike Friendly Street.

Speaking of which, will any of the many bike riding celebrities have the courage to ditch their limos and #biketheOscars? With all the street closures, they could have their own mini-CicLAvia.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist is hospitalized after he was hit while allegedly running a red light; as always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw him go through it.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero group maps out where you’re most likely to be hit by a car while walking or riding.

Petaluma cyclists are split over the proposed law that would require all bike riders to wear a helmet; so are Sacramento area riders.

 

National

Next City looks at what the last four presidents have done for bicycling, while the Atlantic points out Washington’s birthday used to be celebrated by bike. And Streetsblog offers photographic proof that most of the recent presidents rode, too.

Lance is ordered to repay $10 million of the $12 million he received from a promotions company.

Residents of a low-income Baton Rouge neighborhood will finally get sidewalks along a dangerous street, with a multi-use bikeway on one side. And yes, that street was pretty hair-raising when I lived down there a few decades back.

The hit-and-run epidemic has hit Florida, doubling the number of incidents in Pensacola over the last three years.

Nice. After a 12-year old Florida girl’s bike is badly damaged in a collision, sheriff’s deputies not only ticket the driver, one arranges to get the girl a new bike from Walmart.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. A Brit teenager gets a year in jail for injuring a bike rider by throwing a bottle at him from a moving car. Note to US police: he only pled guilty after his DNA was found on the bottle, proving it is possible to actually investigate assaults against cyclists like you would any other hate crime.

Alberto Contador plans to hang it up after the 2016 season; interesting that so many journalists conveniently forget he was stripped of one of his titles, just like Lloyd and Lance.

In LA, you’re lucky if you can even find a bike rack; in Japan, cyclists get fully automated underground bike storage systems.

 

Finally…

Evidently, DC bike lanes are even a hit with street walkers. A London flashmob cheers on bike commuters as if they were in the Tour de France; not the first time we’ve seen something like that.

And a new kind of steel promises stronger, lighter bike frames, replacing titanium for high-end bikes at a fraction of the cost.

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On a personal note, many thanks to C.S. Meszler. Your note made my day.

Update: Huntington Beach bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver

It’s the curse of a holiday weekend.

Bicyclists can encounter drunk drivers any day of the year. But the risk rises exponentially on holiday weekends — and seems to be even worse in beach communities.

That’s appears to have been the case in Huntington Beach Monday evening, as yet another bike rider lost his life at the hands of a suspected drunk driver.

According to the Orange County Register, a cyclist identified only as a man in his 50s was struck from behind while riding on Bolsa Chica Street north of Heil Avenue around 6:30 pm. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The driver, a resident of Huntington Beach, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI.

KNBC-4 reports that the victim was a father from Huntington Beach, while the driver was behind the wheel of a Mercedes. According to the station, several witnesses rushed to aid the victim following the collision, including medical professionals and a lifeguard.

The station offers a single photo from the scene, showing a crumpled bicycle in the middle of the street, while a satellite view shows a six lane roadway with a bike lane on either side.

Meanwhile, someone who came upon the scene shortly after the collision reports seeing two bikes at the scene, apparently recumbents. A white Mercedes was stopped in the left turn lane, while one bike — apparently the one photographed by KNBC — was in the center of the three lanes, and the other was in the bike lane.

That suggests there may have been more that one rider involved, either in the collision or riding with the victim.

This is the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in Orange County; that compares to 12 for all of last year in the county. And it’s the 4th bicycling death in Huntington Beach this year alone, and the 9th since 2011.

Update: I’m told the driver was cited for DUI and released on his own recognizance overnight. 

Update 2: According to the Register, the victim has been identified as 55-year old Michael Bastien of Huntington Beach. The paper reports he was riding a motorized bicycle, and places the location as just below Kona Dr

For some reason, though, the police arrested the 51-year old driver, who they have not identified, on a single misdemeanor DUI count, rather than what would appear to be a more appropriate felony. The difference between misdemeanor and felony DUI is that the driver’s drunken state resulted in the injury or death of another person. 

That would suggest that the police may be blaming the victim for causing the collision, despite the driver’s apparent drunken state.

Never mind that the paper says police located the driver nearby, suggesting he did not remain at the scene and failed to stop and offer assistance, as required by law. 

And yet, he was only arrested on a single misdemeanor DUI charge.

However, police are still investigating, and anyone with information is urged to call Investigators Tai Huynh at 714-536-5670 or Robert Barr at 714-536-5666.

Let’s hope any witnesses will come forward. Because this one is starting to stink already.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael Bastien and his family. 

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