Tag Archive for solo fall

Update: Experienced cyclist dies in Eagle Rock solo fall; 9th LA bicycling fatality this year

Sometimes, all it takes is a crack in the street to take a rider down.

That appears to be what happened last week in Eagle Rock, as a bike rider died in a solo fall on Colorado Blvd.

Details are still very sketchy. However, reports are that Edgardo Gabat, reported to be 55 or 56 years old, was riding on Colorado Blvd east of Figueroa last Thursday when his wheel got caught in a crack or seam in the pavement and he fell hard. He was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he died some time later.

No other details are available at this time. And no word on whether he was wearing a helmet; this appears to be the sort of slow speed fall that bike helmets are designed for, as opposed to the often high speed impacts of traffic collisions.

A ghost bike ceremony will be held at the scene at 9 pm this evening.

This is the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 24th in LA County. It’s also the 9th bike death in the City of Los Angeles, which compares to 11 in the city this time last year.

Update: According to Carlos Morales of the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia, Gabat was a very experienced cyclist who always wore a helmet. He was also a popular member of Adobo Velo, Southern California’s largest Filipino-American cycling club. 

He also notes that the area around this intersection is notorious for poor pavement conditions, resulting in several traffic incidents involving cyclists. In fact, Morales is aware of at least one lawsuit that has been filed against the city by a bike rider who injured there. 

Update 2: In a comment below, Joseph Pagulo says that he was riding with Gabat, and that his fall came in the middle of a descent, so it did not occur at a slow speed.  

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Edgardo Gabat and all his loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker dies from solo fall at Snow Summit

Not every bicycling fatality involves another vehicle.

Sadly, sometimes all it take is one bad fall.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 54-year old Valencia resident Mario Steven Cruz was riding on a downhill trail at the Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear on Friday morning when he fell from his bike. He was not breathing when an off-duty ski patrol member arrived at the scene around 9:35 am.

Cruz was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died the next day around 10:35 am.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in San Bernardino County; he is also the third bike rider to die in the county in just the last week.

Update: In tragic news for a department that has already suffered too much loss in recent months, Brion reports in a comment below that Cruz is a retired LAPD Motor Officer.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Cruz and his family.

 

Former Pasadena councilman Sid Tyler dies after bicycling fall

Sad news this morning, as word broke yesterday that a longtime Pasadena city council member died after falling from his bike on Thursday.

Sid Tyler, who served on the council from 1997 to 2009, was disconnected from life support on Friday after family members arrived from around the country to be at his side. According to the Pasadena Star-News, he was in his early 80s.

Unfortunately, few details are available, and there are conflicting reports about just what happened.

The Star-News reports he was riding on California Blvd when he signaled for a left turn, lost his balance and fell into the street. He reportedly suffered a severe neck injury as a result.

The paper notes witnesses said he was wearing a helmet; unfortunately, a helmet offers no protection against a neck injury, and may exacerbate it under certain circumstances.

However, the Pasadena Now website suggests he may have suffered a heart attack and fallen into the path of an oncoming car. They place the site of the fall as California Blvd near Morengo Ave.

Tyler was a former Marine, and long-time employee of Tenet Healthcare, retiring in 1994 as executive vice president. He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, as well as four grown children.

According to Pasadena Now, flags were lowered to half staff at Pasadena City Hall in his honor.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Los Angeles County. He is also the third Pasadena bike rider to lose his life in the last nine months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sid Tyler and all his family. 

Update: LA rider killed in solo fall earlier this month; 5th cycling fatality in Los Angeles already this year

Ghost bike for Josh "Monster" Michael; photo from Ghost Bikes-LA.

Ghost bike for Josh “Monster” Michael; photo from Ghost Bikes-LA.

Not every fallen cyclist makes the news.

Sometimes riders lose their lives, and no one even notices aside from family and friends. And we may never know we lost a brother, a sister, a friend we never knew, and now never will.

That’s what almost happened here.

A rider died earlier this month, only a few miles from where I live, on an intersection I know well. But the only hint came in a tweet from filmmaker and photographer Danny Gamboa, who posted a photo of the newly installed ghost bike.

And that’s how I learned Josh Michael, aka Monster, had died earlier this month.

The details are still sparse. What I’ve been able to gather from Facebook is that it appears Michael was riding on the weekly Night Owls ride on Tuesday, February 11th (actually the 4th), when he somehow fell at the intersection of Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights.

Tragically, while he normally rode with a helmet, he’d forgotten it that night, but decided to ride anyway. And he was only planning to join the group for a few miles, just to say hi to his friends.

But something caused his bike to go down, hitting his head on the pavement. He passed away almost two weeks later on Sunday the 16th.

We’ll never know if he would have survived if he’d been wearing his helmet. But this type of solo fall is exactly what bike helmets are designed to protect against.

This is the 18th bicycling fatality this year, and the seventh in Los Angeles County. He’s also the fifth rider to die in the City of Angels already this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Josh Michael and all of his loved ones.

Update: Now it makes a little more sense.

According to his friend Huey JD Steven, Michael was riding downhill on Crescent Heights towards Sunset with a group of riders around midnight on Tuesday, February 4th.

He was riding at speed, maybe a little faster than necessary, when he somehow missed the call for a right turn, bumped another rider and fell, landing on his head.

He was taken off life-support on Sunday the 16th.

As Steven put it, 

He went out loving what he did.

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