Tag Archive for Orange County

Morning Links: Stolen bike recovered through Bike Index; OC rider critically injured; cyclist jailed for riding in traffic

LA may have seen its first stolen bike recovered through Bike Index.

According to the Beverly Press, when LAPD detectives arrested a suspect on weapons charges last month, they recovered a bicycle they believed to be stolen.

After checking the Bike Index stolen bike registry — the same one you’ll find right here on this site — they were able to identify the owner and return the bike.

The story also notes the department recommends Bike Index as “a valuable tool for reuniting owners with stolen bicycles.”

It’s good the see the LAPD is checking the listings, and recommending it. And even better that a hot bike has finally made its way back home because of it.

But don’t wait until it’s too late.

Register your bike for free with Bike Index now, so you’ll have all the information available in an instant if anything should ever happen to it.

Think of it as the cheapest anti-bike theft insurance you can get.

And as this shows, one of the most effective.

Just to be clear, this site receives no compensation for hosting or promoting the Bike Index registry, financial or otherwise. Just the satisfaction of helping stolen bikes get back to their rightful owners.

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Prayers are needed for an Orange County woman after she and her husband were hit by a car while riding in San Juan Capistrano.

Leonie Mckenna reportedly was in critical condition with major trauma, including head injuries, after a driver rear-ended the couple as they rode together on newly opened La Pata Avenue Saturday morning; her husband, Kevin B. Mckenna, was less seriously injured.

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Authorities are attempting to revoke the bond of a Pittsburgh PA area man for the crime of riding a bicycle.

The 57-year old cyclist is charged with delaying traffic by riding in the middle of a traffic lane, preventing drivers from passing, not once, not twice, but eight times since 2012.

He was released from jail after posting bond in February, after apparently spending seven months behind bars without being convicted of a crime — for a damn traffic violation, no less — on the condition that he not ride a bicycle.

Never mind that bike riders are taught to ride in the traffic lane to avoid the door zone and debris on the shoulder, while increasing visibility and preventing unsafe passes.

Whether he was riding safely and legally, or took taking the lane to a dangerous extreme remains to be determined. But there is something seriously wrong when a simple traffic violation results in a single day in jail, let alone months.

And let alone without a conviction.

Although he’s clearly no saint; he also faces charges for threatening the staff of the DA’s office with a rock and several knives last year.

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Like any good serial, some bike stories keep revealing new twists and turns as they go on. And on.

Eighty-nine-year old former New York Mayor David Dinkins insists he had no idea he hit a bike rider as he rushed his wife to the hospital, and returned to the scene as soon as someone told him about it. He swears the rider hit him, rather than the other way around. Which seems strange; if he didn’t even know it happened, how could he know how it happened?

The Toronto cyclist who was run off the road by a cab driver faces charges himself for allegedly reaching into the car to assault the driver before the attack caught on viral video.

The road raging driver who repeatedly attacked bike-riding BBC personality Jeremy Vine last week says he provoked her; police evidently disagree, arresting the woman on an assault charge.

Meanwhile, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson says it was extremely rude of Vine to selfishly ride safely outside of the door zone, blocking the poor angry driver from whatever imaginary emergency she most likely wasn’t rushing to.

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It shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point to say Nairo Quintana may have put the Vuelta away over the weekend, as long as he can stay upright the rest of the way.

A man is caught on video pulling down a barrier in a French bike race, causing six riders to crash.

Worse, it was the father of one of the competitors who did it; Jonathan Boyer’s dad reportedly did it in anger because the peloton failed to wait for his son after he fell earlier in the race.

And an Aussie Paralympian apologizes for doping after he’s sent home for using EPO. Funny how people only seem to apologize after they get caught.

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Local

A 17-mile July bike ride explored environmental injustice along the LA River.

Santa Monica police say to prevent theft by locking your bike in a well-lit and populated area, and secure it with a U-lock. Although that didn’t help one guy, even though he was able to buy it back after it was stolen.

A new rest stop on the San Gabriel River Bike Trail in Pico Rivera features a Fixit station with tools and an air pump for minor bike repairs.

 

State

A new poll shows 83% of San Franciscans think bicycling is good for the city, and over half report riding a bike occasionally themselves.

Heartbreaking news from Oakley, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a traffic collision, just a month before he was scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from his mother after a lifetime of kidney disease.

 

National

As we all know, good beer and bicycling go together; a beer publication offers advice on where to plan your next brewery ride in the US.

Two injured vets in my hometown credit bicycling with saving them from depression and disability.

Nebraska revises the law to give cyclists the right-of-way in a crosswalk where a bike path crosses a roadway.

Columbus OH is the latest city to ditch Share the Road signs for the much clearer Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Although drivers are often confused when the signs go up, thinking they give riders new rights, rather simply clarifying the rights we already have.

More kindhearted people, as a New Jersey paramedic went to Walmart to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year girl who had been impaled by the brake handle of her bicycle; the Walmart manager donated a bicycle after hearing the story. This sort of injury happens far too often; there’s clearly a major design defect when children are put at risk by their own bikes.

An 89-year old man now faces up to 30 years behind bars after being convicted in the hit-and-run death of a former pro football player as he rode in a Florida bike lane. Even with good behavior, he could be well over 100 years old before he gets out.

 

International

A British cyclist discusses the 16,000 mile ride around North America he took after learning he had early onset Alzheimer’s at age 39.

Bicyclists say some of the existing portions of the nearly finished 15,000 mile bike path across Canada are better on paper than in reality.

A British driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while texting — after eight previous convictions for using his phone while driving. You’d think that after three or four convictions, someone would have taken his phone away. Or maybe his car. Or both.

Dublin is ordered to stop work on bicycle projects, after funding is pulled and resources diverted in favor of a massive traffic project. Proving once again that cyclists are second-class citizens virtually everywhere.

A 22-year old Namibian man hung himself following an argument with his brothers over who could use the family bicycle.

A New Zealand teen is building a prosthetic hand so his younger brother with cerebral palsy can ride a bike two-handed for the first time.

Maybe you could wear a disguise. Not only do magpies Down Under attack bike riders they perceive as a threat, they also remember and attack again the next time they see you. And every time after that.

A new bicycling jacket from New Zealand can automatically signal your turns. Manufacturers continue their attempts to improve bike safety by turning us all into cars, instead of expecting people in cars to operate them safely.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle after torching your ex’s car, make sure it’s the right car first. Your next bike could be a treadmill.

And everything you need to know before letting a helicopter drop you off for your next downhill ride.

 

Update: Anaheim bike rider killed in train collision Monday afternoon

This is not the news we wanted to end the holiday weekend with.

According to the Orange County Register, a man in his 40s was struck and killed by a train in Anaheim Monday afternoon.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, rode up to the railroad crossing on Sycamore Street just west of Vine Street around 2:40 pm after the crossing arms had been lowered. For some reason, he went around the barricades, and was struck by a southbound train.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This is a tragic reminder to never, ever go around crossing barriers on a railroad track, even if there doesn’t appear to be a train coming, or cross unprotected tracks after the light turns red.

This is the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 42-year old Jorge Leyva of Anaheim.

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

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and Bill Sellin for the heads-up.

Update: Boy killed killed by trash truck while riding in Newport Beach

Heartbreaking news from Orange County, as a young boy has been killed riding his bike in Newport Beach.

According to multiple sources, the boy was riding his bike at East 15th Street and Fullerton Ave around 1:30 this afternoon when he was struck by a garbage truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Daily Pilot reports he was eight-years old, while other sources list his age as between five and eight. According to KTLA-5, the truck belongs to Stanton-based waste and recycling company CR&R Environmental Services.

The location appears to be a typical residential neighborhood just a few blocks from Newport Heights Elementary School.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 39th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Orange County. It’s also at least the 12th in Newport Beach since 2010.

Update: The Orange County Register confirms that the boy, who has not been publicly identified, was a third grade student at Newport Heights Elementary. Police say there is no evidence that the driver was impaired or speeding.

Update 2: The Daily Pilot has identified the victim as Brock McCann, a third-grader at Newport Heights Elementary School, whose family lives near where he was killed. 

The paper also places the collision site at 15th and Michael Place, just southeast of the original location. He had apparently gotten out of school just 15 minutes earlier, and was riding or walking his bike home. 

A gofundme account has raised over $44,000 of the $100,000 goal. 

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that three bike riders and three pedestrians were involved in crashes nearby between 2010 and 2015.

And the Orange County Register says the CHP is still looking for witnesses; anyone with information is urged to cal CHP Officer Jeff Jones at 714/567-6000.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brock McCann and his family.

Thanks to John Dammann and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Local DUI bicycling death reverberates on the East Coast, and PCH study says OC’s got problems

This is the harm that traffic crimes cause.

The pain of Saturday’s drunken high-speed crash that took the life of 26-year old Tomas Brewer reverberates through his hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The budding screenwriter came to LA to break into the business; next week his family will come to take him home.

Correction: This piece initially misidentified Brewer’s hometown as Gloucester, England, rather than Gloucester, MA. I apologize for the error; thanks to Phillip, Jay, Sean and Yawfle for the correction. 

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A newly published $400,000 safety study points out the many safety problems for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on PCH through Orange County.

And needless to say, the possible solutions — and the willingness to actually do something about it — vary from one town to another.

Like Laguna Beach, where the city manager questions removing or reducing lanes or parking; nice to know a parked car could have more value than a human life.

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Maybe it’s yours.

Amid the steady drumbeat of stolen bikes registered through this site, news popped up yesterday afternoon about a bike that had been recovered during an arrest in Westwood.

According to the report, it’s a black, 2015 Fuji Transonic 2.5; the serial number has been removed, so they’re asking for distinguishing characteristics to identify the owner.

If you know someone whose bike has been stolen recently, pass the word along. It would be nice to see the owner get their bike back for a change.

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Even the judge is mad as a 19-year old Michigan driver is somehow allowed to plead down to a misdemeanor for killing a cyclist while high on drugs, resulting in a maximum six months in jail.

His comments are worth considering, since they apply to so many people who injure or kill others while driving impaired, distracted or aggressively.

“You don’t get it,” Alexander said. “You destroyed a life, you destroyed a family and you destroyed another life, yours. You don’t care. You just don’t care.”.

“You just think this is a little inconvenience,” Alexander said. “I don’t think you have any understanding of what you did. You took a life, you took a life and I don’t think you care.”

Maybe it will sink in for someone, somewhere.

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Still more bighearted people, as a Portland bike shop owner receives a $5,000 carbon bike after being selected as National Retailer of the Year. And promptly gives it to a 15-year old autistic kid.

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Local

CiclaValley recaps Tuesday’s meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable. Which I can attest was actually more of a semi-circular arrangement.

Richard Risemberg catches the Ballona Wetlands in full bloom, and says ride out to see it yourself for the good of your soul.

The LA Weekly previews the Los Angeles Bicycle Festival coming to Grand Park on May 8th.

Vin Diesel gives his latest co-star a BMX dirt bike for her 30th birthday. Then takes her ax-tossing.

The annual Tour de Cure Ship to Shore ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association rolls through Long Beach this Sunday. As a diabetic American, I’ll have to take part myself one of these days.

 

State

Coronado plans to reward bike riders of all ages with gift certificates and theater tickets for riding safely and following the law. Although they might improve safety a lot more if they rewarded motorists for driving safely around bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Tulare, as a bike rider was killed in a collision with a big rig truck; police insist the rider somehow crashed into the truck’s trailer.

After suffering serious injuries in a Fresno hit-and-run, a physician and life-long cyclist says bicyclists have a right to the road, and asks if we can all just get along.

A Berkeley bike rider is suing the city and several civic employees, alleging they were aware of dangerous road conditions that led to his injuries when he hit a pothole.

 

National

Men’s Journal explains why you should take your next camping trip by bicycle.

Portland biketavists are joining the Department of DIY to get their point across, from dropping orange cones to mark bikeways, to shaming drivers and posting signs to slow them down.

After supporting a billion dollar transportation tax last year, Seattle cyclists are understandably pissed off that promised bike lanes through the downtown area have disappeared from the implementation plan.

A New Mexico private security guard is charged with intentionally running down a bike rider with his car, then beating the crap out of him.

Fargo ND police take to a tandem to promote bike security.

Bob Mionske looks at the case of the Michigan rider illegally convicted of impeding traffic, and the $10,000 pro bono legal brief that got the $200 ticket dismissed on appeal.

After a witness proves them wrong, the NYPD finally gets around to correcting their report that said a woman was riding her bike against traffic when she was struck by a car; the witness also says the driver lied about the victim running a red light.

A North Carolina TV station offers a reality check for calls to license, register and tax cyclists; one commenter says riding a bike on the road “is dangerous, not too logical, actually disrespectful to every auto driver the roads were designed for.” But really, it’s bike riders who think they’re entitled, right?

A Florida mom is raising awareness of bike helmets for kids after her son suffered a skull fracture and brain hematoma that went undiscovered for two days, nearly costing him his life.

 

International

Experts say the Rio bike path that collapsed recently, killing three people, was destined to fail and should never have been built in the first place.

Vancouver disability advocates say plans to remove parking spaces near the city’s General Hospital to make room for protected bike lanes would make it too difficult for people to access healthcare services. Evidently, it’s the only major hospital in North America without onsite parking or drop-of zones.

The new law school dean at the University of Windsor, Canada walks the walk by riding his bike to work and meetings at the courthouse, year round. Shouldn’t that be pedals the pedals?

A Toronto columnist aptly observes that traffic tie-ups due to road construction are just a fact of life, but a project to test bike lanes on a busy street has everyone up in arms.

An Oxford, England bookseller returns home after a two-year, 20,000 bike trip around the world, motivated by the cyclists’ travel diaries he sold in the shop.

Evidently, telling a British women’s track cyclist to give up riding and go have babies can be detrimental to your career.

Afghanistan’s Nobel Prize-nominated women’s cycling team falls victim to the country’s notorious corruption; along with the loss of 40-newly purchased bicycles worth $100,000, the team’s recently dismissed coach was accused of using it as his “personal piggy bank and love playground,” marrying — and divorcing — three of the team members.

Aussie police urge bike riders to carry liability insurance in case they crash into someone.

 

Finally…

If your SUV has a blind spot so big it keeps you from seeing a five-year old riding her bike with training wheels, maybe you shouldn’t be driving it. Your long wait for fresh bicycle anime may soon be over.

And it’s about damn time we had a bike riding saint.

Woman dies after bicycling collision in Buena Park

New is just coming in that a woman died on Thursday after a collision in Buena Park.

According to the Orange County Register, 35-year old Buena Park resident Becky Sheehan was hit by a pickup while riding her bike at near Stanton Avenue and Page Street at 7:41 pm.

She died Anaheim Regional Medical Center an hour later.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a two-lane street with limited lane markings on Page, and a four-lane street with left turn lanes on Stanton; the intersection is controlled with a traffic signal.

This is the 28th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Becky Sheehan and all her family. 

Thanks to bike lawyer John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Update: Santa Ana bike rider killed in late night hit-and-run

Yet another person riding a bike has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

According to the Orange County Register, a bike rider identified only as an adult male was hit by an SUV shortly before 1 am on the 1400 block of West Warner Ave, just East of the South Pacific Ave in Santa Ana.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word at this time what may have caused the collision, or how it occurred. Witnesses reported the driver fled east on Warner, but no description of the driver or the SUV is currently available.

A street view shows a wide open three lane roadway east of Pacific, with no parking allowed and nothing to slow drivers down.

Anyone with information is urged to call Santa Ana police Cpl. Matt Wharton at 714/245-8209.

This is the 26th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth in Orange County; it’s also the second in Santa Ana since the first of the year. That compares with ten in the seven county SoCal region this time last year, and none in the county.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Ricardo Aguilar; no city of residence was given. The time of the collision has been changed to around 5 am. Note: The story in the Register misidentified the victim as Ricardo Martinez; his niece sent a correction in the comments below.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ricardo Aguilar and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Cyclist nearly rammed by Laguna Cyn driver; man buys bike with bad traveler’s checks in OC

An Orange County rider asks if he should report a horn-blaring driver who apparently tried to ram him while he was riding on Laguna Canyon Sunday afternoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiHMT1jNGb4&feature=youtu.be

The short answer is yes.

What he caught on video is a case of assault with a deadly weapon, no different than if the road raging driver had threatened him with a gun.

But even if the authorities refuse to prosecute, it can lay the groundwork for future action against the driver if he or she does it again. It was the prior police reports of Dr. Christopher Thompson’s threatening behavior towards other riders that helped ensure a conviction and a four year prison sentence in the Mandeville Canyon case.

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Costa Mesa police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who bought a $1,700 bike with fake traveler’s checks; anyone with information is urged to call 714/754-4873.

Wait. People still use traveler’s checks?

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The Malibu Gran Fondo is partnering with nonprofit organizations The Pablove Foundation and Network for Advancing Athletes for the March 5th and 6th event.

And wet your appetite for LA-based pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this November, combining “great bike riding” through the Malibu hills with the “classy fun of cookies” from celebrity chef Jeff Mahin.

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Legendary framebuilder Dave Moulton writes about the passing of San Marcos framebuilder Brian Baylis.

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It’s one thing for a rider to be attacked by one dog; surrounded by 25 or so is another matter.

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Local

Streetsblog reports Caltrans’ plans for a new toll flyover exit ramp off the 110 Freeway would dump freeway traffic onto South Figueroa, jeopardizing the long-planned MyFigueroa Complete Streets makeover, as well as a historic church. You have until March 21st to tell them where (else) they can stick it.

Metro is negotiating with Lyft to collect data on first mile/last mile trips that begin and end at transit stations, while looking forward to bikeshare to help solve some of that problem.

An LA model and former 30-mile a day cyclist returns to the runway after losing a leg, and nearly her life, due to toxic shock syndrome. Let’s hope she’s back on her bike, as well.

Santa Monica looks forward to a future offering real transportation choices, including the city’s Breeze bikeshare.

CiclaValley examines the hate some people spew towards cyclists on the Internet, usually, but not always, behind the mask of anonymity.

 

State

Grist considers Calbike’s proposal to rebate up to half the cost of a commuter bike under the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Ventura police still haven’t released any additional information in the hit-and-run death of a 14-year old bike rider last week.

A Laguna Beach woman founded Project Bike Love to empower women in developing countries through the gift of a bicycle.

This should be fun. The Monterey stage of the Amgen Tour of California will finish on the famed Laguna Seca raceway.

 

National

An Oregon cyclist says we should hold ourselves to the same standards we expect drivers to obey when it comes to following traffic laws.

A Seattle TV station examines how bike lanes are paid for, explaining that the view from city hall is taxing bicyclists for bike lanes makes no more sense than taxing pedestrians to pay for sidewalks.

The widow of a Colorado cyclist killed by a distracted truck driver has channeled her grief into a heartbreaking public service announcement begging drivers to pay attention.

Northern Iowa cyclists say proposed legislation that goes way beyond a three-foot law by requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a cyclists is much needed, following too many close calls.

Great story from Texas, as a three cyclists out for a ride through the country rescue 22 abandoned puppies; all of the pups were quickly adopted. And a good idea, as one of the women carries dog food on her bike just in case she sees a stray. That’s just one more advantage of riding a bike; anyone in a car would have likely driven by without ever seeing the dogs. Or maybe run over them.

Now that Houston has a new 709-mile bike plan, they need to come up with the money to pay for it. Sort of like pretty much every city everywhere trying to re-envision their streets for people instead of cars.

A story posted on the London School of Economics website examines the rapid rise of bicycling in Memphis, while asking whether new bikeways simply reinforce existing racial inequality and spur racialized gentrification.

Angry Tennesseans rise up to fight a proposal to prohibit funds from gas taxes from being used for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Randonneurs from around the world are concerned about Saturday’s North Carolina crash that took out four of their fellow riders, injuring two critically; one of the critically injured riders is the webmaster for bikelaw.com. Police say alcohol wasn’t a factor, but don’t say anything about other intoxicants; the driver who hit them was on probation for felony drug charges.

 

International

Vancouver will launch a 100 station bikeshare program this summer.

A Toronto constable helped change the conversation on cycling by becoming the city’s first bike cop in 1989, and advocating for bicycling ever since.

The last two cyclists attempting to break the year record set by American rider Kurt Searvogel last year have thrown in the towel.

A London cyclist suspects bike thieves are targeting certain bicycles to order after two men on a scooter attempted to push her off her Brompton.

WaPo looks at a Danish city so bike friendly, even five-year olds are encouraged to bike to school.

The next time someone tells you (insert city here) isn’t Amsterdam, remind them that Amsterdam wasn’t always like that, either. Gizmodo traces the transformation of the city through a compelling series of before and after photos. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and joninsocal for the heads-up.

A Basque women’s race issues a new poster designed by a woman rider after the previous one was withdrawn following charges it was sexist. Seriously, is it that hard to simply promote women’s racing as a competitive event?

The author of a petition to ban bikes entirely from roads through an Aussie mountain range swears it’s not anti-cycling; so far, it’s only gathered 30 similarly non-anti-bike signatures.

No anger issues here. An Aussie man is charged with deliberately chasing and running down a young bike-riding boy after he and his friends accidently knocked over the man’s garbage can.

A new study from the University of Duh shows real time weather information affects Singapore cyclists’ riding decisions. As does looking out the window and seeing it’s raining.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a semi-walking wooden Penny Farthing. Or maybe you’d prefer to ride your bike while working at your desk.

And it’s not often a driver apologizes for a dangerously close pass, let alone posts it on a freeway overpass; it’s even less often a thief returns a stolen bike a year later, complete with a note of apology.

 

Formerly homeless man dies five weeks after Yorba Linda collision

When someone is injured while riding a bicycle, we often never find out what happened after they are rushed to the hospital.

Today we did. And the answer was not the one we wanted.

The Orange County Coroner announced that 52-year old Yorba Linda resident Angel Preciado passed away late Monday, five weeks after he was hit by a motor vehicle in Yorba Linda.

The Coroner’s release places the collision around 7:13 am on January 12th, at Imperial Highway east of Eureka Avenue.

According to the Orange County Register, he was riding in a crosswalk on Imperial when he was left crossed by a truck turning from southbound Eureka onto Imperial. He was taken UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he remained in a coma until he was pronounced dead at 10:30 pm Monday.

A satellite view shows crosswalks on both sides of Imperial. The description of the wreck would place Preciado in the east crosswalk; no word on which direction he was riding.

The Register reports the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

Much will depend on how the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office interprets the law allowing cyclists to ride in a crosswalk. While state law permits crosswalk riding where bicyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk — which appears to be the case in Yorba Linda — it is often misinterpreted to say cyclists must walk in crosswalks or may only ride in the direction of traffic.

Preciado, who grew up in Venice Beach, was described as “an awesome, generous, loving guy,” who friends loved and could count on.

His roommate and best friend said they had both lived on the streets for some time before they were taken in by friends in Yorba Linda.

He said Preciado had borrowed a friends bike to run an errand; the next thing he knew, he was awakened by sheriff’s deputies dropping off the bike, which was unscathed.

This is the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Orange County. And it’s the first reported bicycling fatality in Yorba Linda in the past five years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Angel Preciado and his loved ones.

 

 

Describe Your Ride: Nearly run down by a speeding driver — with a twist

Unfortunately, not every ride is a happy one.

Today, an OC rider who prefers to remain anonymous describes a recent ride in which she had a brush with a speeding, overly aggressive driver in a high-powered car. Literally.

With a surprise ending that left her livid.

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Tuesday afternoon I was nearly swiped by a speeding Charger (Challenger?) whose incompetent driver, immediately behind me, suddenly punched the gas and squeezed between me and the box truck to his left. I had proceeded from a full stop at a red light, and had just cleared an intersection full of kids leaving school. Because of gravel on the gutter pan, I was gutterbunnying it, close enough to worry about pedal strike.

The pass was so sudden and so close that I was less articulate than usual, but managed to bellow WHAT THE F***! while wobbling. No remedial, YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY. No accompanying, GET YOUR HOMICIDAL ASS OFF THE ROAD. No PATIENCE IS A F****** VIRTUE, my most frequent high-volume communication. Me, speechless. If that’s at all believable. The passenger side was less than 8 inches from my bullhorns, and the side of the box truck to his left thundered the revving engine back at me. Before I had time to even want to smack the car’s window, I was looking at tail lights. That Charger had passed me in less time than it took for Shaun Eagleson to look over his shoulder. Somehow I stayed mostly upright, and didn’t even hit the concrete bus bench whose acquaintance I was certain I was going to violently make.

Though the lane ahead narrowed, the car continued to accelerate and then, despite its speed, took the corner like it was on rails.. The Charger was already out of sight by the time I made the corner by the hospital. But I stopped to ask a pair of orderlies at the ambulance bay if they’d seen a speeding car, and they confirmed it had turned left at the next street. As I approached the intersection, the westward gazes of some animated warehouse workers on the sidewalk indicated that the orderlies were correct. The next intersection was a T-intersection, and a group of workers had abandoned a steam shovel to walk south for a peek around the corner. When I turned right, there sat the Charger, crosswise in the middle of the intersection. Its driver had just stepped out, and stood next to it.

DSCN3354

Los Alamitos CopYes, A F****** COP IN AN UNMARKED F****** CAR. An extremely fast, extremely heavy car. Grey, camouflaged amid the asphalt and overcast sky. I’m going to assume that although it did have the blue and red in the back window (engaged eventually), it is not equipped with a siren that would have alerted me to pull over, because certainly a law enforcement officer traveling at that speed is required to alert road users of his presence, right?

 

A couple miles later, on the river path, I realized I was bleeding. I think my knuckle scraped the bus bench that I nearly landed on, but I can’t be sure. Frankly, I was kind of disappointed at how hilariously tiny the scrape is, considering all the dripping blood.

I’m not riding without my GoPro again. And I might get all FOIA on that Charger’s (possible) dashcam.

The Los Alamitos Police Department owes me an apology and some new bar tape.

 

Mountain biker dies of apparent heart attack in Crystal Cove State Beach

The Orange County Register is reporting that a mountain bike rider has died of natural causes in Crystal Cove State Beach.

The victim was riding in the park with a group of cyclists when he collapsed around 9 am Sunday.

His companions began CPR, and both paramedics, and a fire department flight medic lowered onto the trail attempted to resuscitate him from full cardiac arrest. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene after a prolonged effort to save his life.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; two of those have been the result of natural causes.

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

And condolences to his companions who tried to save his life.

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