Tag Archive for San Diego

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

Update: Alleged red light running cyclist killed in San Diego; first bicycling death in city this year

This is not the news any of us wanted to wake up to.

Multiple sources report a 57-year old bike rider was killed when he was trying to cross Camino del Rio West at Hancock Street in San Diego around 11:15 pm last night. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was headed west on Hancock when he was struck and killed by a Jeep SUV traveling south on Camino del Rio.

According to San Diego’s ABC 10 News, a witness reportedly saw the west-bound victim run the red light before he was hit by the Jeep that had just exited the freeway. Police say the driver does not appear to have broken any laws.

“He was crossing the street while the light was green,” witness Kevon Smith said. “It wasn’t his light, it was the opposite light. And he just went on his bike, didn’t stop… A Jeep, it was already coming off the freeway, it tried to slow down, (and) hit him.”

Advocacy group Bike SD describes Camino del Rio West as a virtual freeway with six lanes of traffic where speeds frequently exceed 50 mph. And notes that cyclists often have a hard time triggering the traffic light on Hancock, which could explain why the rider went through it; it’s not clear whether he stopped before proceeding or just kept going without stopping.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 9th in San Diego County; surprisingly, it’s the first bike-related death in the city of San Diego since the first of this year.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune identifies the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Edmund Nicholas Davis. According to the paper, Davis was riding in the crosswalk, against the light, when he was hit.

The paper also says he was a registered sex offender who had been convicted of child molestation, as well as rape. 

My sympathy and prayers for Edmund Nicholas Davis and his loved ones, as well as his victims.

Morning Links: Sad Fiesta Island news, for and against the 3-foot law, and a new reflector could stop cars sooner

We have a lot to catch up on after yesterday’s unexcused absence,* so let’s get to it.

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Bad news from San Diego. The wife of the cyclist critically injured by an allegedly drunk and/or high wrong way driver on Fiesta Island says he’s on a breathing machine and fighting for his life; if he survives, he’ll be paralyzed from the waist down.

Sounds like prayers or good wishes are in order, whichever you’re comfortable with.

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The family of fallen randonneur Matthew O’Neill encourages drivers to observe the new three-foot passing law and change lanes to pass a cyclist.

Meanwhile, a website uses video from the Rock Store climb, aka The Snake, to suggest the three-foot law will make driving impossible, even though passing at an unsafe distance has always been illegal; the only thing this law changes is specifying just what a minimum safe distance is. And the rider in question is legally taking the lane on what is clearly a substandard lane.

Bottom line, as a side-by-side comparison of these two stories make clear, observing the three-foot law is a question of safety — that is, someone’s life — versus a minor inconvenience to impatient motorists.

I know which side I fall on.

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This could be a big step forward in bike safety, as a new reflector tricks the Crash Avoidance System found in many new cars into seeing a cyclist or pedestrian as being closer or larger than they really are. The makers are looking for a strategic partner to help bring it to the right markets; this could be a great investment for someone with the right knowledge.

And yes, I want one. Now.

Thanks to new ROAD Magazine editor Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

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Time to loosen up those wallets. The Kickstarter for BikinginLA sponsor AnyKicks has just over $18,000 to raise with two weeks to go.

Let’s push ‘em over the top and show bike shops and manufacturers that advertising on here really works. And fund a deserving project while we’re at it.

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Evidently, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, either. The father of the teenage driver who got off using the affluenza defense was arrested last month for impersonating a police officer.

If you’ll recall, his 16-year old spawn got away with killing four people in an under-aged drunken crash when the judge agreed his parents were too rich for him to be expected to take responsibility for his own actions.

Thanks to the Witch on a Bicycle for the link.

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Elia Viviani wins the fourth stage of the USA Pro Challenge after retiring rider Jens Voigt fades after a 40 km solo breakaway; that other famous bike rider from my hometown keeps the leader’s jersey.

Is it just me, or is there less interest in the Pro Challenge this year? There seems to be a lot less press coverage this time around. Except for the drunk driver who somehow made it onto the closed course.

Italy’s economic woes lead to the merger of the Cannondale/Liquigas and Slipstream teams. And Vavel previews the first seven stages of the Vuelta, along with the seven that follow.

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Local

Boyle Heights residents worry the new Eastside extension of the Downtown CicLAvia route will lead to increased gentrification, while LA’s incredibly popular open streets event officially comes to the San Fernando Valley next March.

A ride marshal is ticketed — and may have been intentionally doored by police — for running a red light on the Clitoral Mass ride.

The LA Times looks at the new Timbuk2 store on Abbot Kinney in Venice.

Sweet Ride USA invites you to explore the intersection of bikes and sweets in Little Tokyo this Saturday. The Santa Monica Museum of Arts’ Tour Da Arts rolls on Sunday, as does the LACBC’s Sunday Funday ride through Carson.

A chef famed around the world for his cuisine and temper gets his new bike on at Cynergy.

The bike friendly Fiesta La Ballona takes place in Culver City this weekend.

LACBC local chapter Bike Walk Glendale sponsors Operation Firefly to give free bike lights to riders without them.

 

State

The state legislature passes a bill allowing local jurisdictions to tack an extra $5 onto vehicle registration fees to fund bicycle infrastructure. But what are the chances of actually getting 2/3 of drivers to tax themselves to fund bike projects?

Laguna Beach votes to explore ways to ease congestion and improve bike and pedestrian access on Laguna Canyon Road.

The Bike League profiles BikeSD’s own Sam Ollinger, who has quickly risen to become one of the leading bike advocates — not women’s bike advocate, thank you — in the US.

An Ohio man pleads no contest in the alleged DUI hit-and-run that took the life of a Chico State cyclist.

The EPA honors a 116-mile bike path from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake; when a new segment opens, it will be 75% complete.

 

National

CNN asks if Lance’s lies and bullying can be forgiven. The former, maybe; the latter, not so much.

Protected bike lanes are rapidly spreading throughout the US.

Our own Boyonabike looks at riding in bike friendly Portlandia.

Life is cheap in Utah, when not even killing a bike riding judge while driving distracted is enough to get authorities to take traffic crime seriously, as the driver gets off with a lousy $670 fine and six months probation.

Seventy-year old basketball great Rick Barry is slowly recovering from a bad solo bike crash in Colorado.

University of Chicago Hospitals illegally applies stickers to discourage legal bike parking.

A New York cyclist is fined $675 and loses her drivers license for running a red light on her bike and not having a bell — $5 more than some states fine drivers for killing someone.

The Washington Post asks if bike riders should be allowed to roll stop signs. The obvious answer is yes, but good luck convincing most motorists. And voters.

 

International

A writer for the Vancouver Sun says bike lanes will do more to protect cyclists than helmets.

Toronto authorities exonerate a local police department on accusations that they whitewashed a case involving the wife of an officer who killed a cyclist. Even though they failed to test the driver for drugs or alcohol and allowed her to drive home while the investigation at the scene was still ongoing.

Northern Ireland plans a two week bicycling festival.

Caught on video: An Edinburgh cyclist learns first hand the dangers of getting a wheel caught in tram tacks.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Sometimes it’s the other riders you have to watch out for. It doesn’t even take a whole car to send a cyclist to the hospital; sometimes, a stray part is enough.

And Gizmodo looks at seven bikes that, thankfully, didn’t change bicycling forever.

……..

*My apologies for missing yesterday’s post, as well as a few others in recent weeks. I try to post every weekday; however, while my diabetes is officially under control, I’m still having major health problems that may or may not be related, and which leave me largely incapacitated for much of the day — and have kept me off my bike for the better part of two months. Most days, I’m able to rally long enough to get a new post online, but others — like yesterday — find me down for the count.

Hopefully, my doctors will finally figure out what’s going on, and this too shall pass.

 

Review: Prescription riding glasses from Sport Rx — great glasses and an even better experience

Oakley Half Jacket

These are prescription sunglasses. No, really.

What is your vision worth?

I’ve long argued that effective eye protection is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your safety on a bike.

Not just sunglasses to cut the glare, but impact resistant lenses that cover the full eye socket to block flying objects.

Like the rocks, glass and yes, bees, I’ve watched bounce harmlessly off mine over the years that could have easily taken out an unprotected eye. Or caused a dangerous fall as a result of being startled by pain or unexpectedly blinded.

As well as the occasional face plant that could have resulted in serious injury if I hadn’t been wearing glasses to ward off the impact.

But there’s one factor I’ve ignored over the years, as Rob, the lead optician at San Diego’s SportRx, recently reminded me.

And that’s the ability to see clearly as you ride.

Despite the fact that I’ve worn prescription glasses for over three decades, I’ve never had prescription riding glasses.

Contacts don’t work for me. And my regular prescription glasses didn’t offer the eye protection I needed, or block the wind from blowing into my eyes. I’ve tried wearing goggles over glasses, but found the combination too awkward and uncomfortable.

Instead I just made due with regular lenses. And struggled to read road signs or spot potholes in time to avoid them.

So when the people at SportRx offered to send me a pair of prescription riding glasses to review, I jumped at the chance.

The process was surprisingly easy.

I could have gone to their website and picked out the glasses I wanted and placed my order online, possibly taking advantage of the live online chat they offer to assist customers. Or if I found myself in the San Diego area, I could have ridden directly to the bike-friendly store, which is located along a major bikeway.

When I say bike-friendly, I mean it.

SportRx puts out a sag stop for passing cyclists every day, and allows riders — customers or not — to use their restrooms. And judging by this report, they put out by far the best Bike to Work Day spread I’ve ever seen.

But I wanted some serious guidance in making the right choice for my needs. So I went through their 800 number, and let Rob guide me through the process.

A cyclist himself — in fact, we spent a large part of our conversation comparing our various riding wrecks and injuries — he took his time to understand how and where I ride, and under what circumstances.

Like the fact that I do a lot of fast riding along the coast, with conditions that can vary from bright sunshine to overcast and fog in a matter of minutes. And I commute to a lot of nighttime meetings, so I need lenses that work in afternoon sunshine, evening dusk and full night.

My solution in the past has been to buy glasses with exchangeable lenses, then stop and swap them out when conditions change.

And as noted before, a primary concern was the need to protect from flying debris.

Then there was one more factor. If these were going to be prescription lenses, I wanted to be able wear them anywhere to replace the outdated prescription on my sunglasses. Without feeling like I was wearing the eyewear equivalent of spandex in public.

Then I sat back and waited for Rob to tell me where I was going to have to compromise, since I knew I was expecting too much.

He didn’t. And I wasn’t.

Yes, they get dark. Very.

Yes, they get dark. Very.

Instead, he suggested the Oakley Half Jackets XLJ 2.0, replacing the stock lenses with their proprietary Sport Rx Day and Night lens.

It’s based on their Signature Series lenses made of Trivex, offering the impact resistance of polycarbonate, but with better optics and scratch resistance. Then they add an Ultra-Premium Anti Reflective coating to cut glare, repel dirt and oil, and improve resistance to scratching even more.

The result, he said, is a lens that transitions perfectly from brilliant light to full darkness, from dark lenses to nearly invisible.

It sounded like the perfect solution, so I placed my order.

And that’s when Rob casually mentioned that he’d have to ride over to his computer to take down my information. Because he’d spent our entire conversation riding a fixie around the office while we spoke.

Like I said, very bike friendly.

In less that two weeks, my new glasses were in my hands. Or rather, on my face.

Which is the last time I’ve even bothered to take my old prescription glasses — regular or sun — out of the case. Or my old riding glasses, for that matter.

As promised, while the black frames are clearly an athletic style, it’s subtle enough that I can wear them anywhere without embarrassment, and the lenses transition quickly enough that I no longer have to fumble with switching from sunglasses to regular lenses when I go inside or out. In fact, in over a month of testing, they always seem to offer the exact degree of tint I need, whether on my bike, walking or inside a building or car.

Rob promises I can even wear them to walk to the movie theater, then sit through a film without having to take them off.

I haven’t tried that one yet. But based on my experience so far, I have no doubt he’s right.

Of course, the real test came when I got back on my bike.

And on that count, I couldn’t be more pleased.

In fact, they arrived just in time for first day back on my bike as I rode to the Blessing of the Bicycles last month.

The frames were light and comfortable enough that I actually forgot I was wearing them, and more than once found myself reaching up to my nose to make sure they were still on.

I may look like a helmet-cammed bike geek. But my glasses look good.

I may look like a helmet-cammed bike geek. But my glasses look good.

The only minor downside was that the wide bows had to go inside my helmet straps; wearing them on the outside pushed the glasses up and off my nose every time I looked down. Which considering the condition of LA’s cracked and potholed streets, is pretty damned often.

Every other ride since has had the same results, with the lenses adjusting beautifully to any light conditions. Even riding back from a Downtown meeting in full darkness, the lenses were perfectly clear and offered a crisp view of the road, with no fogging or glare from passing headlights.

And my newly improved vision allowed me to dodge the broken pavement hidden in the semi-darkness of 4th Street that I’ve painfully plowed into in the past.

In short, they are – by far — the best riding glasses I’ve had in over 30 years of road cycling. Including several previous pairs of Oakleys.

Then again, you can find that brand, and other high quality riding glasses, just about anywhere. And any good optician should be able to order prescription lenses to fit them.

But what you won’t find elsewhere is Sport Rx’s proprietary techniques and materials. Or their intimate knowledge of bicycling and the unique needs of cyclists, however you happen to ride.

Let alone their commitment to providing highly personal service to ensure the best possible vision for every customer. Whether you deal directly with Rob, or any of the other experienced opticians you’ll find on the other end of the line.

I’m sold.

I couldn’t be happier with my new glasses.

Or with the entire experience, from start to finish.

Correction: I originally wrote that Sport Rx’s sag stop is available on weekends only; actually, it’s open every day of the week. Nice.

Update:  I’m not the only one who thinks Sport Rx has a great attitude; Outside Magazine just ranked them 10th on a list of the best places to work in America.

 

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