Tag Archive for San Diego

Update: San Diego cyclist killed by distracted driver; fourth SoCal bicycling fatality in just the last four days

Yet another bike rider has lost his life, in what has turned out to be a horrible few days for Southern California bike riders.

According to the Union-Tribune, a bicyclist was killed while riding in San Diego’s Torrey Highlands neighborhood Sunday afternoon.

The victim was riding in the bike lane on Camino del Sur near Torrey Meadows Drive around 3:24 pm, when a southbound car driven by a 40-year old distracted driver drifted into the bike lane and hit the victim.

Correction: The Union-Tribune reports they gave the wrong location for the collision due to inaccurate information from the police. The wreck actually occurred Camino del Sur near Carmel Valley Road.

Distracted driving usually refers to using a handheld cell phone while operating a motor vehicle; however, it can also refer to anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road. In this case, the paper does not explain how the driver was distracted, though it does mention that her six year old daughter was in the car.

The victim has been identified only as a man around 50. He died after being transported to a hospital. Note: earlier information said he died at the scene.

This is the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Diego County; it’s also the fourth in the city of San Diego. That compares to four in the county, and none in the city, this time last year.

This is also the fourth SoCal bicycling death in just the last four days.

Update: The victim has been identified as 64-year old Roger Roux, senior vice president and CFO for Rady Children’s Hospital in Serra Mesa. He is survived by a wife and son, and two grandchildren.

Just one more reminder that no one is safe from traffic violence.

The wreck is still under investigation.

Update 2: NBC San Diego confirms that police suspect the driver was somehow distracted by her child when she drifted into the bike lane and hit Roux’s bike. They also quote a defense attorney who questions why she hasn’t been charged.

And they note that Roux was wearing a helmet; clearly, it wasn’t enough to save his life.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Roger Roux and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up, to Lois for the update and to John McBrearty for the second update. And thanks to Christine for the correction.

Morning Links: Injured SD cyclist needs your help, CA keeps dopers on the road, and Winnipeg ups the ante on ciclovías

Once again, a bike rider needs your help.

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that a San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong way driver tried to enter a mall parking lot through the exit lane. However, the story didn’t identify the 61-year old victim.

Now it turns out he’s well-known in the San Diego area.

Paul Kroeger is a 40-year veteran of the bicycling industry, and the long-time Master Mechanic at Hi-Tech Bikes. According to the shop’s Facebook page, Kroeger is in stable condition despite suffering major injuries, and faces a long, hard recovery.

A fund has been established to help cover expenses; in the first 11 hours, it had raised nearly $6,000 of the $25,000 goal.

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California legislators reject a proposal for roadside testing of suspect drug-using drivers, evidently opting to keep dope-impaired motorists behind the wheel, where they can do more harm.

Smart.

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Love this idea.

Instead of a ciclovía, Winnipeg is closing some of the city’s streets on Sundays and holidays to turn them into designated bike routes.

Drivers who travel more than one block on any of the four streets face hefty fines for violating the closures.

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Bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein looks at the weather forecast for next week, and asks if the Amgen Tour of California is the cure for the state’s drought.

But lost in the excitement over Sunday’s start of the Amgen Tour of California is Saturday’s start of the Giro d’Italia.

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Local

Metro says give your car a break and take a bike instead. Although sell your damn car and use the proceeds to buy a few Pashleys for your family has a ring to it, too.

More on the unveiling of a new PCH safety video produced by the PCH Taskforce, along with the kids’ bike rodeo in Malibu on Friday. Full disclosure: I’ve helped represent the LACBC on said taskforce for several years, though I had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

New LA-made bike socks offer maps of some of the city’s iconic bike routes.

The LA Weekly looks at Long Beach’s young, gay, Latino and bike-friendly mayor.

 

State

A San Diego County Supervisor rides 25 miles along the coast to work, promising to promote safe cycling and demonstrate how much fun bike commuting can be. I dare any LA County Supervisors to do the same; hell, I double dog dare you. So there.

In a new podcast series, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with BikeSD’s Sam Ollinger, who somehow managed to turn a bike blog into a powerhouse advocacy organization with 1,200 paying members. And counting.

Carlsbad police recover 35 stolen bicycles; if you lost a bike recently, call 760/931-2142 or email judy.thomas@carlsbadca.gov. And register your bike now so it can be identified if does ever happen to you.

The Great Western Bicycle Rally offers a four day bike fest in Paso Robles at the end of this month.

San Francisco plans to lower bicycling injuries by elevating bike lanes. The city is also testing triple bike racks on some of the hillier bus routes.

A Marin County cyclist collided with an 80-year old woman while riding on a multi-use pathway. Bike riders should always use extra care when riding near any pedestrians; on the other hand, the local paper never even considers the possibility that it might not have been the rider’s fault.

Nice story, as the victim of a fatal Chico hit-and-run is still having a positive effect on the world two years later. Note to ChicoER: A drunken hit-and-run — with a BAC four times the legal limit, no less — is a crime, not an accident.

 

National

The Travel Channel lists the nation’s top 10 cycling cities. LA must have come in at number 11, right?

A new bike helmet includes built-in front and rear lights. I just happened to see one of these on Sunset Blvd Monday evening; it wasn’t that bright at dusk, but should stand out after dark.

A road raging Portland bike rider is photographed throwing a U-lock at a teenage driver’s car. I’ve said it before — no matter how angry you are or how much you think the driver deserves it, never resort to violence. Period. Great photo, though.

A new Salt Lake City poll shows nearly everyone loves the city’s bike lanes. Except Republicans.

A French cyclist has his recumbent stolen from his Colorado campsite, just one week into a planned 18-month round-the-world tour.

The NYPD is decriminalizing sidewalk riding, opting to issue traffic tickets instead of criminal summons.

Tragically, a Louisiana bike rider is killed by a hit-and-run driver just one day before his 46th birthday.

Florida commits to installing buffered bike lanes when possible. Which wouldn’t have helped the rider who was intentionally run down, then shot at by a driver; the suspect faces multiple felony charges.

 

International

An Ottawa writer suggests kicking bikes off the bike paths.

London’s Telegraph expresses concern that the increase in bicycling is putting Britain’s economic recovery at risk, because a whopping 5% of people polled had taken out personal loans to buy either a car or a bike. No, really, I think they’re serious.

A pair of Scot students design a bike rack with a built-in lock, so you don’t have to tote a heavy U-lock everywhere you go. Or have one to throw at the driver behind you, for that matter (see above).

The great-grand-nephew of its founder is reviving a classic Latvian bike brand.

An unconscious Aussie man was found lying in the street wearing a bike helmet; police eventually found the bike the apparent hit-and-run victim was riding in the top of a tree.

The Thai hit-and-run driver who plowed into a group of cyclists, killing one, turns himself in four days later. But swears he wasn’t drunk and that he pulled over to talk on his cell phone. Honest.

 

Finally…

Here’s one problem we don’t have in LA, as a noted South African cyclist faces surgery after colliding with a water buffalo; sadly, the buffalo didn’t make it. The next time a truck runs you off the road, it may not have a driver to yell at.

And if you’re carrying a billiard ball wrapped in a bandana, put some damn lights on your bike…wait, what?

 

Weekend Links: Super-secret discipline for Milt Olin deputy; SD’s Fiesta Island wreck caused by invisible boyfriend

We’ve got a lot to catch up on today.

So feel free to take a break and go out for a ride. This could take awhile.

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The LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed former Napster exec Milt Olin has been officially disciplined by the department. But since it’s considered a personnel matter, we’ll most likely never know what that discipline is.

And there will be no discipline for the department, which reportedly encouraged its officers to use their onboard computers while driving, despite an official policy against it.

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A psychiatrist says the alleged meth-using wrong way driver who plowed into 10 cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, leaving one paralyzed, “has bipolar disorder with chronic or long-standing mania and psychotic features, but also depressive features.”

Oh. Well, okay then.

She reportedly blames the crash on an invisible boyfriend who somehow popped up, apparently inside her car, before disappearing.

And she had a bag of meth in her vagina when she was arrested.

Allegedly.

Update: Despite the testimony of the psychiatrist, Theresa Owens was found competent to stand trial on Friday. 

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Three bikes take a 100 year journey to Bike Week LA, coming next month.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link.

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Update: I’ve been reminded that the OCTA Bike Festival will be held this Sunday from 9 am to 1 p in Huntington Beach.

Although how I can be reminded of something I didn’t know about to begin with is beyond me.

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Local

Note to CMs Gil Cedillo, Tom LaBonge and Paul Koretz: A Virginia study confirms what we’ve been trying to tell you. More bikes on the streets will actually increase traffic congestion unless we have bike lanes to ride in. But hey, go ahead, keep blocking those planned bike lanes on North Figueroa, Lankershim and Westwood until traffic improves.

If you’re looking for a new job, CicLAvia is hiring a new head honcho; meanwhile, the Times talks with outgoing exec and founder Aaron Paley. Although I wish he could remember the role the LACBC played in assisting the birth of CicLAvia; one of the first votes I cast as a board member involved approving a cooperative agreement to help get the first event off the ground.

Caught on video: Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks a Malibu’s new bike lane on PCH, a first for the formerly bike-unfriendly city. Speaking of the LACBC, the coalitions’s Eric Bruins deserves much of the credit for the coastal city’s change in attitude.

 

State

California Streetsblog interviews Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who insists Governor Brown will sign a Yellow Alert hit-and-run notice this time around; he vetoed a similar bill last year.

Caltrans effectively unblocks protected bike lanes; the state transportation agency will hold a summit on the newly legalized Class IV bikeways next month.

Is someone targeting bike riders in OC? After a Santa Ana bike rider is shot in a possible gang-related driveby, he continued riding to a nearby residence for help; another man riding a bike was shot in the same city just a day later.

Huntington Beach police are looking for a man and woman who tried to steal a purse from a bike rider’s basket, then ripped it out of her hands when she fought back. Thanks to Louis for the tip.

The cities of Highlands and Redlands in San Bernardino County are working together to build a proposed bike lane connecting the two; a separated lane is one possibility.

Sad news from Palo Alto, as the 61-year old woman hit by a cyclist while crossing the street has died. The rider was descending around a blind curve at about 25 mph when he crashed into her; he has not been charged. The victim, Kathryn Green, was a noted philanthropist with local ties to the LA area; she was born in Santa Monica and grew up in the Palisades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog SF picks up the story of the Belmont bike rider blamed by auto-centric police for talking on a cell phone and riding sans-helmet — both legal — when he was left crossed by a car; the 90-year old motorist who illegally violated his right of way wasn’t held responsible in any way.

The Uber driver who allegedly ran down a San Francisco bike rider in a road rage dispute has surrendered his drivers license.

San Francisco’s director of transportation and public health director team up to explain the city’s Vision Zero policy. It would be nice if we could see something like that here; most Angelenos have no idea what Vision Zero is, let alone that the city has adopted it.

NorCal’s Arcata posts a YouTube video explaining the new bicycle boulevard running through the center of town. So why can’t we have nice things like that? See Cedillo, et al, above.

 

National

Phoenix cyclists agree with the city’s low ranking for bike-friendliness.

Organizers unveil the route for this year’s Tour of Utah, which includes a whopping two whole days of women’s racing. Which is better than none, I suppose.

A Houston bike rider has become the latest cyclist to be killed in a collision with a police car; the victim reportedly ran the red light.

Ever wondered what happened to the guy who inspired Breaking Away by almost single-handedly winning the 1962 Little 500?

An Ohio driver gets probation for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, and tampering with evidence to hide the crime afterwards. Evidently, life is cheap there. And the law seems pretty meaningless, too.

To celebrate the launch of Philadelphia’s bike share program, Uber brought bike riders a new helmet for just $10. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the tip.

Bike riders in South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island say harassment is common, after the arrest of a driver for yelling at a woman to get on a bike path, then getting out of his car and grabbing her arm to scream some more.

Caught on video: A Georgia truck driver gets out of his vehicle and pushes a bike rider over after the rider flipped him off for passing too closely; the driver claims he was in fear for his life after the rider kicked at his massive, multi-ton steel truck. Sure, let’s go with that.

Unbelievable. The 2013 police shooting of a Florida bike rider was caught on dash cam video; he was left paralyzed from the waist down — even though his only weapon was a cell phone.

The Justice Department will review the Tampa Bay police department’s ticketing of African American bike riders, who received 79% of the city’s tickets for bicycle violations even though they make up just 26% of city residents. The paper that broke the story asks if police will now stop the biased enforcement while the review is underway. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

 

International

They never learn. A young British driver becomes the latest to lose her job after tweeting about hitting a bicyclist without stopping.

A Brit woman may have suffered permanent scars resulting from a collision with a grinning hit-and-run cyclist.

A formerly morbidly obese man from the UK loses 210 pounds in a single year after taking up bicycling; he’s now planning to run a half-marathon — and have 14 pounds of excess skin removed.

Now that’s what I call fleeing the scene. An Irish driver gets six-and-a-half years for causing the death of a cyclist. He first fled to the UK, then Australia; he was arrested after being recognized in an ill-advised return to the UK.

Join the Army, and you too can experience the German equivalent of a ciclovía.

Kazakhstan-based pro cycling team Astana somehow manages to keep its top-tier racing status, despite a number of team members busted for doping.

Unbelievable. An Aussie man jailed for killing a cyclist in a 2011 hit-and-run killed another man in a second hit-and-run the same month, and hid his body under some bark and leaves.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A llama joins the peloton. In Canada, no less, where the animals aren’t exactly native.

If you’re going to climb into a driver’s vehicle and drive off after coming to blows in a road rage dispute — with the owner still clinging to the outside of his car — try to make a clean getaway without crashing into a parked car. But if you want to experience just one angry, honking driver on your ride to work, make sure you have a police escort.

And Bo Jackson says nobody’s perfect. Not even his buddy Lance.

 

Correction: San Diego cyclist dies in solo fall after suffering medical problem; bicycling deaths down over 60% from last year

Sad news from San Diego, as a bike rider has died in a solo fall.

According to the Union-Tribune, the 59-year old cyclist crashed his bike in the Lake Murray area after apparently suffering some sort of unidentified medical issue.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding on Kiowa Drive near Lake Murray Blvd when he fell around 7:30 pm Thursday. He died after being taken to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

Remarkably, this is just the 12th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared with 31 in the seven-county SoCal region this time last year — a drop of nearly 61%.

However, it’s the fourth bicycling death in San Diego County, compared to two last year at this time.

Update: San Diego’s Fox 5 places the scene of the incident as on a bike trail near the baseball fields.

Correction: The original version of this story mistakenly said this was the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; it was actually the 12th. The story has been amended to reflect the accurate total. My apologies for the error.

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

Weekend Links: Bicyclist voices heard in Griffith Park flap, but not in San Diego; Seattle driver doesn’t give a f***

They got the message, anyway.

The LA Weekly covers Thursday night’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which discussed the controversy over the ill-advised test project to turn Mount Hollywood Drive, which had previously been closed off to cars, into parking for tourists visiting the Hollywood Sign.

The predictable outcome was a promise to look into the matter, though it’s clear board members got the message from hikers, equestrians and bike riders that another solution has to be found. What, if anything, they’ll do about it after the project’s planned April 12th closing remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, an online petition asks the city to keep cars and trams off the road, but KTLA-5 says pity the poor tourists who just want to get a close-up view of the sign.

And CiclaValley offers video evidence of what all the fuss is about.

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Bike SD offers a report on Wednesday’s meeting to discuss planned bike lanes in the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where the Urban Planners group voted unanimously to protect parking spaces instead of human lives; the OB Rag says passionate pleas for safer streets fell on deaf ears.

Even though a new study shows complete streets not only result in improved safety for everyone, but also lead to increased sales, higher employment rates and greater property values.

But sure, keep fighting for those parking spaces while you chase potential new customers away.

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If, like me, you had to miss Thursday’s discussion between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and our own LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds, you can watch it again for the first time. Thanks to Dennis Hindman for the link.

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Clearly, not all cyclists oppose the proposed law that would require all California cyclists to wear bike helmets, as well as reflective gear after dark. Even if Bike Snob calls anyone who supports a helmet law a traitor and a heretic.

A new temporary clear spray paint from Volvo could solve the reflective problem. Maybe if you just spray your head it will look like you have a helmet on, at least after dark.

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The Bike League is calling on you to contact your Senator to help preserve federal funding for biking and walking.

Meanwhile, over 120 organizations joined together to call for increased funding for active transportation in California.

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A Seattle driver tells a bike rider she literally doesn’t give a fuck about anything he has to say after she parks in a supposedly parking-protected bike lane. And right next to a sign saying she can’t do it, no less.

Although, I think she meant figuratively, not literally, unless she was actually declining a free sexual encounter.

A writer for c|net asks if the rider, while right, might have been a tad sanctimonious.

See what you think.

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More transportation clickbait, as Thrillist ranks the 10 best cities to get around without a car.

LA checks in at a surprising number nine, despite ranking lowest among the top 10 for bikeability, and second from the bottom for walkability.

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Local

A Los Angeles woman makes chandeliers out of used bike parts; her work can be seen at Sunset Plaza, as well as Neil Patrick Harris’ New York home, if he lets you in.

Big improvements are coming to North Broadway in DTLA.

A new Glendale greenway will connect three parks in the city via bike lanes and sharrows.

Join Metro, From Lot to Spot and CICLE on Saturday for the Hot SPOTS bike tour of formerly blighted lots that have been converted to urban green spaces.

 

State

A La Mesa cyclist was critically injured in a horrific wreck when he was hit by an armored car, which proceeded to run over him with both sets of tires.

A trio of Palm Springs thieves are arrested after apparently trading a possibly stolen bike for the SUV they’re accused of taking.

San Bernardino students get bikes for perfect attendance. If they’d done that when I was a kid, I might not have faked a fever so often.

A 32-year old bike rider becomes the year’s first, and hopefully last, traffic fatality in Salinas.

A Silicon Valley bicycling movement is powered by wine, women and chocolate. None of which my wife will let me have these days.

San Francisco police are once again accused of conducting a crappy investigation and unfairly blaming the victim of a bicycling fatality.

 

National

A new documentary examines the conflict between bikes and cars — or more precisely, the overdependence on the latter — including LA voices like Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Don Koeppel, founder of the Big Parade.

Smart move. To reduce costs and build better relations with the community, Albuquerque police plan to take officers off their inexpensive bikes and put them in expensive patrol cars, where they will be isolated from the public.

The Dallas Observer says a new bill to ban texting while driving will only give cops an excuse to pull drivers over; evidently, they expect people to stop texting behind the wheel on the honor system, which has clearly worked well so far.

A former Mad City mayor calls for a Wisconsin bike highway system.

A Pittsburgh bridge gets a road diet and bike lanes, even if a local carpenter calls them useless.

Showing a rare skill for making a bad situation worse, a Tampa Bay man faces a burglary charge for attempting to get his impounded bike back.

 

International

Welsh police needs at least four cops and a helicopter to arrest a wine drinking bike rider.

A new 700 space bike parking structure gives a whole new meaning to Stockholm syndrome; thanks to joninsocal for the heads-up.

A new documentary looks at Italian Jews who survived WWII and the goys gentiles who helped them, focusing on legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, who should be on a fast track to sainthood already.

A West Australia driver gets five years for killing a cyclist in a wreck he was too drunk to remember.

Thailand will build bike lanes leading to two international airports, while a 14 mile bike path circling another airport will get toilets, lights and security cameras provided by a local bank. We have a lot of banks in LA, right?

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur promises to build more bikeways if enough buildings turn their lights out for Earth Hour. So if they don’t, bike riders get screwed?

 

Finally…

A new women’s jersey is designed to carry your choice of concealed weapon while you ride. If you’re carrying three kilos of coke and heroin in the trunk of your car, don’t obscure the license plate with your bike rack.

And an Illinois town asks bike riders to please stop pooping on the bike path.

 

Morning Links: Justice for San Diego thrill kill victim, Griffith Park feeder ride, and CD4’s Ryu finally responds

Sometimes there’s justice after all.

Even if it takes awhile.

When a bike rider gets shot, it’s almost always gang involved in some way. The 2011 death of San Diego cyclist Jordan Hickey was the exception.

The developmentally disabled man was just minutes from his home while riding back after visiting his girlfriend when he was gunned down for no reason.

Or more precisely, just for the hell of it.

Two men were allegedly driving around just looking for someone to kill when they spotted Hickey on his bike, and one leaned out of the car window to fire the fatal blast from a shotgun.

On Wednesday, the driver, Juan Ignacio Gomez, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder; he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Humberto Emanuel Galvez, the accused shooter, faces a possible death sentence when he goes on trial in May.

Which is exactly what he’s accused of sentencing Hickey to, without a trial.

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A feeder rider to tonight’s Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting will roll out from Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake to protest plans to open Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars to placate Beechwood Canyon homeowners, who are tired of being overrun by tourists looking for the Hollywood Sign.

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While I wasn’t looking, CD4 city council candidate David Ryu finally responded to the LACBC’s candidate survey; turns out like most bike riders, his remains in the garage most of the time. Carolyn Ramsay, his opponent to replace Tom LaBonge in the May 19th runoff, submitted her response back in February.

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Local

LADOT offers up a Pico Blvd bike love story with a happy ending.

Hollywood’s Amoeba Records is holding a charity auction hosted by comedian Kurt Braunohler on April 4th; proceeds will benefit the kids ride and activities at the LACBC’s River Ride in June.

Expect rolling closures on PCH in western Malibu for the next two days as work continues on the highway’s Bike Route Improvements project.

A Burbank writer looks back on Sunday’s Valley CicLAvia and asks what effect a similar event would have on the city.

Ride for a great cause, as the Bear Claw Classic rolls this Saturday in Westlake Village to raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery.

 

State

Clear registration stickers from California’s Anti-Theft Dots could help recover your bike if it’s stolen.

Once again, the CHP rules harm, but no foul, as a driver escapes responsibility for taking his eyes off the road and seriously injuring a cyclist when his vehicle drifted to the right. Evidently, drivers are no longer required to pay attention and maintain control of their cars and trucks in California.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider becomes the latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run.

A San Jose writer provides a first-person account of simple solo fall with a not so simple result — multiple broken bones, collapsed lung and nearly a half million dollars in medical bills.

San Francisco supervisors want more bike education classes in their districts.

 

National

AAA Distracted DrivingDashcam video in a new PSA shows texting teen drivers swerving off the road; as the BAC’s David Wolfberg asks, how much of teens’ distracted driving behaviors did they learn from watching their parents?

Denver prosecutors throw the book at a driver who nearly killed a bike cop while having a seizure; he faces up to 32 years in jail for crashing into the officer after hiding his medical condition when applying for driver’s license.

A Houston website says it’s open season on bike riders in the Texas city following a horrific hit-and-run that left a cyclist critically injured.

Good news from North Dakota, as bike collisions are down 50% in Rapid City.

A 70-year old man who collapsed on the street can credit his life to the quick actions of a couple of Chicago bike cops.

Whether a protected bike lane on a busy Boston street is a good thing or a bad thing depends on who’s telling the tale. Meanwhile, a Boston city councilor bemoans the loss of revenue from the 73 parking spaces that will be removed to make room for the cycle track, evidently valuing money over the lives of people on bikes.

Baltimore plans to add up to 100 miles of bike lanes over the next 15 years; the question, as always, is whether the plan will be funded.

A Florida driver faces up to 30 years in prison for the death of a bike rider; he was reportedly doing at least 102 mph at the time of the impact.

 

International

The UK’s Cycling Weekly reminds us all why we got on a bike to begin with; however, they forgot to mention the most important reason. It’s fun.

Formerly anti-bike Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson rides off on one after being fired by the BBC for punching a producer; he faces possible criminal charges, as well.

Caught on video: A first person view from the hero cyclist who chased down three British bike thieves.

Dubai develops a specialized six-wheel ambulance — including bike rack on the front — to rescue cyclists injured while riding in the desert.

An Indian official sets out on a “bicycle march” to end injustice, lawlessness and corruption in the country. Although he disappointed his mother, who wanted him to get married first.

A Bangkok writer calls for his countrymen to stop using the term accident to refer to crashes, saying most, if not all, are preventable. You’re preaching to the choir, dude.

 

Finally…

After riding 5,000 from Los Angeles to Miami, then up to Charleston, a cyclist gets a ticket for unlawful passing — just one hundred yards from his final destination. That silly looking German adult balance bike is now a real thing, for no apparent reason.

And how many times has this happened to you?

51-year old San Diego police detective died from solo fall earlier this month after being taken off life support

Too often, when bike riders are seriously injured, it never makes the news.

Especially if there’s not a car involved.

That appears to be the case here, as a San Diego police detective died after being taken off life support earlier this month, following a solo fall.

According to a press release from the San Diego Police Department, Det. Tim Williams was seriously injured when he somehow fell off his bike on February 27th near the end of a 30-mile ride.

The 51 year old cyclist, a near 30-year veteran of the department, was revived at Palomar Hospital and placed on life support; he died minutes after being taken off on March 4th, surrounded by friends and family.

San Diego’s CBS8 places the location of the fall as near Carmel Ridge Road and Ted Williams Parkway, but doesn’t give a time of day or specify what road he was riding on. There’s also no word on what caused him to fall.

According to the department, it had been his wish to donate his organs in the event of his death; three people gained a new chance at life thanks to his kindness.

He leaves behind a wife and four children; a memorial service was held earlier today.

This is the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. He is also the first cyclist to die in a solo fall this year.

My prayers and deepest sympathy for Tim Williams and all his family, as well as his comrades with the SDPD.

Update: 89-year old bike rider killed in San Diego; police blame the victim

Sadly, it couldn’t last.

After suffering just three bicycling fatalities in the first six weeks of the year, four Southern California bike riders have lost their lives in just the last week.

The latest, an 89-year old man who reportedly rode out into traffic on a busy San Diego street.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was leaving a parking lot on Imperial Avenue near Marketplace Avenue around 10 am Tuesday. The paper reports he rode straight out into the roadway, heading north, despite a right turn only sign.

He made it nearly all the way across the four lane avenue before he was struck by a pickup traveling west in the right lane.

No word on how fast the driver was going, or why he wasn’t able to stop in time. Despite the apparent victim blaming in the U-T report, and another from KUSI-TV suggesting he rode “directly” in front of the oncoming truck, he should have been visible to the driver after crossing three lanes of traffic.

The victim was taken to a hospital with a broken pelvis and major head injuries; he died there later the same day.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.

Note:I am not attempting to blame the driver in this collision. As billsd and Jennifer point out in the comments below, the victim appears to have broken the law in some way and may well bear at least some responsibility.

What I am questioning is how the collision could have occurred as it has been reported. A cyclist who manages to make it almost all the way across a four lane roadway cannot be described as riding out into traffic, let alone directly; it had to be clear at least part of the way for him to make it that far. So the question becomes why the driver was unable to see and avoid someone who presumably was riding slowly across the street, and why the victim thought he could make it across. 

Maybe the driver’s view was obstructed by another vehicle; maybe the victim couldn’t see the car coming or misjudged its speed. We simply don’t know based on the limited information available. 

Another possibility is that the police gave the wrong direction for which way the victim was traveling. If he was headed south out of the cemetery on the north side of the road, rather than north out of the shopping center parking lot to the south — where there is no exit, as billsd points out — then he might have ridden out in front of an oncoming car, and the driver may have been unable to stop in time.

All I know is that this story does not make sense as it has been reported.

And as Jennifer points out, I may have been overly critical of the press, as they appear to have relied on the information provided by the police.As a result, I have changed the headline which initially criticized the news sources for blaming the victim.

Update: A comment from Bill Jordan may clear up the confusion. He suggests the collision could have occurred further west at the parking lot drive identified as Edgefield Way, which does have a no right turn sign, and roughly correspond’s with the KUSI report, which placed the collision on the 4300 block of Imperial Ave.

He also says the site is just west of a hill, as well as trees in the median, both of which could have hidden the victim and the driver from one another until it was too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family. 

 

Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

Evidently, it’s our fault.

Mostly, anyway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an analysis of San Diego bike crashes since 2011 shows cyclists at fault in nearly 60% of collisions.

Of course, those stats are based on police collision reports. And as the story notes, the results are subject to question.

Their accuracy depends largely on the individual officer’s knowledge and interpretation of bike law, ability to properly investigate bike collisions — especially when the injured cyclist is often unable to give his or her side of the story — and a lack of bias.

The simple fact is that few California police officers receive adequate, let alone in-depth, training in the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, as evidenced by the frequency with which riders are ticketed for things that aren’t actually illegal, such as riding in the traffic lane or two or more abreast.

And none are trained in the unique forensics of bicycle collisions, which differ dramatically from typical automobile crashes.

As for bias, with the exception of bike cops and officers who ride on their own time, most cops see the world from the same windshield perspective as other motorists.

All of which means that stats like this may provide support those who want to write bike riders off as law-breaking scofflaws.

But until we demand better bike training for traffic investigators — and police officers in general — they will have little basis in reality.

………

Local

Not even zoo animals are safe from LA’s hit-and-run drivers, as a big horn sheep is killed after escaping its enclosure, and the jerk behind the wheel just keeps on driving.

Velonews reports on the first day of the CXLA Weekend at the Greek, with victories by Katerina Nash and James Driscoll in the elite races. Cycling Across LA offers video of the race.

A ride will be held on December 7th to honor fallen cyclist Milt Olin, roughly three months after the DA dishonored him by refusing to file charges in the case.

BikeSGV delivers their monthly newsletter filled with upcoming events in the San Gabriel Valley

 

State

Neil Storm Stephany entered a not guilty plea Friday in the alleged intoxicated hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last month. Stephany faces a well-deserved murder charge based on a prior DUI conviction.

Short-sighted San Clemente votes not to include bike lanes in a coming reconstruction of Calle Frontera, apparently not realizing that giving people an alternative to driving could reduce traffic.

‘Tis the season: A Pismo Beach man donates 57 bikes to the local sheriff’s department to give away for Christmas.

 

National

Great news from Tucson, as former Rep. Gabby Giffords gets back on her bike three years after the near-fatal shooting.

A road raging Seattle driver faces just three to nine months in jail following her conviction for second-degree assault for intentionally running down a cyclist in a horrific attack.

An allegedly very drunk Chicago bike share rider is critically injured after being hit by two cars.

Turns out that Wolverine-playing song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride on the streets of New York.

A father and daughter finish their 4,200 mile trip from Washington to Key West to benefit wounded vets.

 

International

E-bikes are on a roll in Europe, but just starting to catch on in the US.

Bikes will be banned from a bucolic garden bridge over the Thames because they would allegedly spoil the peaceful walking atmosphere. And as we all know, it’s impossible to ride a bike peacefully.

Caught on video: A London cyclist captures a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be hit by an unseen cab; the footage is evidence in a civil case.

Down Under girls just want to have fun on fixies. That is, if they’re not collecting a menagerie of bikes.

A newborn Aussie baby is safe, thanks to the cyclists who discovered him hidden in a storm drain where he had been abandoned up to five days earlier.

 

Finally…

Turns out rocket powered cyclists are nothing new. British cyclists have a better knowledge of road safety than motorists do; not surprising, since people on bikes are a lot more vulnerable on the roads those who can rely seat belts, air bags and crumple zones.

And a Boston man confronts the thief who’s stealing his bike, and wins.

 

Morning Links: A rough weekend for bike riders in San Diego and Orange Counties; the Times talks war on cars

We’ve got a lot of news to get to after a busy weekend.

But if you don’t like reading about the bad things that can happen when people on two wheels share the road with those on four, skip the next two sections.

……..

Too much bad news from San Diego this weekend.

No three-foot passing distance here, as a bike rider suffers a broken arm when he’s clipped by the foot peg of a passing motorcycle.

A San Diego cyclist is seriously injured when a car veers into the bike lane he was in while riding next to friends competing in a triathlon.

Her family pleads for the driver to come forward, as a hit-and-run victim remains in the ICU with a traumatic brain injury a week after she was run down by a heartless coward. A fund established in her name has raised $13,000 out of a goal of $25,000.

……..

Then again, the news from Orange County isn’t much better.

A 13-year old Huntington Beach boy is seriously injured when he’s hit by not one, but two Mercedes cars.

An Orange County cyclist suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a suspected drunk driver while riding on PCH Sunday evening. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling and Lois for the heads-up.

……..

News for all you low riders, as BentRider reports on Recumbent Cycle-Con 2014; thanks to LA BAC member David Wolfberg for the tip.

……..

Scary news when it comes to painted bike lanes, as a recent UK study shows they don’t make any difference in drivers’ passing distance. If the drivers even notice them.

On the other hand, a new survey shows overwhelming support for London bikeways.

……..

Local

The LA Times says it will take strong leadership to put cyclists, pedestrians and transit users on an equal footing with drivers in order to avoid a war on motorists. Maybe it’s time we all dropped the phrase “war on cars/drivers/motorists,” since the only victims of this mythical war are the ones on foot or two wheels.

The LA Register correctly points out that cyclists aren’t legally required to carry ID — although it’s always a good idea to have something with you, just in case.

Bike the Vote LA offers a bike oriented voter’s guide, but wisely avoids endorsing our bike-unfriendl, and anti-hit-and-run reform governor.

 

State

I want to be just like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Mission Viejo man rides 80 miles on his 80th birthday — and one more for good measure.

Newport Beach’s proposed Bicycle Master Plan goes before the city council.

Two-hundred brightly lighted cyclists celebrate Cycledelic in Palm Springs.

Just a little bias here, as the San Francisco Chronicle claims a proposition in the city’s upcoming election will put buses, bikes and pedestrians on the fast track while moving cars to the slow lane.

Over 100 Stockton riders turn out for the fifth annual San Joaquin Bike Festival.

 

National

Utah’s Bamboo Cyclist gets four years for running a non-bike related Ponzi scheme.

Laramie WY, where I used to get run off the road by pickup driving cowboys on a regular basis, is now among the top 10 towns for bike commuting, with a nearly 7% mode share.

Evidently, the life of an Iowa cyclist is worth less than the bike he was riding under current state law.

Good idea. A new Michigan law requires driver education courses to include instruction on bike and motorcycle laws.

A fire hose came loose from a Toledo fire truck on an emergency run, and yanked off the rear wheel of a bike while it was being ridden down the street; fortunately, the rider escaped with scrapes and a broken leg.

Arterial streets make up just 15% of New York roadways, but account for over half of the city’s bike and pedestrian collisions. I suspect the same thing would hold true here.

A writer for the New York Times says if cities want to encourage bicycling, they need to lose the emphasis on bike helmets.

A prominent New York investment banker doors a cyclist, then throws his business card to the limo driver and takes off running.

Evidently, Charleston police have a habit of blaming the victims in deadly bicycling collisions, regardless who is actually at fault.

 

International

Unbelievable. A UK milkman continued on his route after running down a bike rider. And gets a measly £3,000 fine — the equivalent of just $4,800.

Bicycling hits the mainstream as leading British fashion designer Ted Baker unveils his line of haute bikewear. Though I’ll pass on the hip-brushing sport coat paired with above-the-knee shorts.

Zac Efron celebrates his birthday by biking through the streets of Amsterdam.

Sounds like fun. A new bike tour promises to take you through the former East Germany from Berlin to Dresden.

Bicycling is gaining popularity in Delhi, despite the city’s deadly streets.

Tragically, the New Zealand cyclist who rode into a pothole suffered a broken neck, but may owe his life to the dog who stayed with him and barked for help for seven hours. Now that’s a good dog.

Fall is tweed season, even in Jakarta, Indonesia, which hosted its first ever tweed ride — attracting even the Norwegian and Danish ambassadors.

 

And finally…

Maybe she’s got long ears. An Austrian cyclist warming up for a time trial is shot by a hunter who mistook her for a hare. ‘Tis the season, as zombies on bikes take over Key West.

And a new Aussie study shows how to benefit from wheelsuckers.

 

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