Tag Archive for Van Nuys

Morning Links: Van Nuys bike rage leads to murder and car theft, Guidroz gets ten years, and a sidesaddle Sagan

Horrifying story of an apparent road rage murder in Van Nuys.

According to the Daily News, the whole thing started when a bike rider hit a car’s windshield after the driver honked at him Sunday night. The driver responded by getting out of his car, only to get punched by the bicyclist, who then got into the other man’s car and drove off, as a passenger bailed out the right side.

When the driver tried to grab the door of the car as the bike rider was driving away, the rider responded by ramming the driver’s side of the car into parked cars, forcing him to let go.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The suspect was last seen driving away on Sepulveda Blvd in the victim’s car. He’s described as a Hispanic male approximately 20 to 30 years old, around 5’11” and between 140 and 160 pounds, wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Steve Castro at 818/374-1925.

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As expected, Lucas James Guidroz was sentenced to ten years after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run resulting in death in the May death of math teacher, music director and musician Rod Bennett as he rode his bike on Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita.

Guidroz apologized before the sentence was announced, saying he’d take it back in a heartbeat if he could.

The problem with remorse is it always comes too damn late.

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Caught on video: Peter Sagan rides sidesaddle.

I used to do that all the time to make my patented flying dismount, before switching to cleats made sticking the landing a tad problematic; the real trick is to pedal from that position.

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Local

UCLA is gearing up for the sixth annual Bike (Re)cycling Day this Sunday, when students, staff and faculty can claim abandoned bikes and parts.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce calls for moving the planned Union Street two-way cycle track to the north side of the street to avoid conflicts with businesses on the south side.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is offering 20% rentals to help you cast your vote this election day.

A member of the Big Orange Cycling club suffered head, rib and back injuries when she was rear-ended in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday; witnesses report her shoes were still clipped into her pedals following the crash.

 

State

A Laguna Beach newspaper remembers surfer and sailor Jack Meehan, a local resident killed while riding his bike in Santa Cruz last month.

A competitive cyclist is calling for safety improvements, including narrowing the 14-foot wide traffic lanes, after he was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in an Encinitas bike lane last August.

A lightless San Diego bicyclist suffered a broken leg when he allegedly rode through a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming car.

Someone at UC Santa Barbara is apparently going after a Masters in sarcasm, reporting that the university has decided to turn the entire campus into a bike lane.

Authorities are looking for the bicycle a young man was riding before he was found buried in a shallow grave on the Sonoma State University campus.

 

National

Bloomberg notes that bike lane networks can even improve the health of people who don’t ride, and are more cost-effective than the majority of preventive health measures. However, that’s actual networks, not a few disconnected lanes like we have in Los Angeles.

Seattle dropped speed limits on over 2,400 miles of city streets in order to improve safety. Which is exactly what LA needs to do, but probably can’t due to the outdated and deadly 85% law.

Denver’s bikeshare system is free today only to encourage people to ride to their polling place.

A Minnesota writer says a ghost bike is a beautiful sentiment, but the best way to honor fallen riders would be to actually improve safety.

The driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre last June has been ordered to stand trial for the allegedly drug-fueled crash that killed five cyclists and injured four more; he faces up to life in prison if convicted on any of the five second-degree murder counts.

Durham NC installs green bike lanes through an intersection in a continuing effort to improve safety on a notoriously dangerous street.

A non-driving Atlanta writer tells drivers to just calm down, while noting the irrational anger many motorists exhibit when a bicyclist breaks the law, even though they don’t obey traffic laws, either.

An Alabama letter writer complains about “unsightly” Share the Road signs that he insists are for the benefit of outsiders, since no one he knows rides a bike.

 

International

The victims of a British Columbia crash were all members of a club that raises funds for the local Parkinson’s Society; one rider was killed and two others seriously injured when a driver plowed into the six riders.

Nice piece from London Cyclist discussing five things cyclists should learn to love, from Bromptons and ebikes to airbag helmets and yes, drivers.

A UK cycling magazine discusses the need to look after your heart, noting that heart disease can affect anyone, even if you’re great shape. Seriously, take a few minutes to read this one; it could save your life some day. But remember, the symptoms of a heart attack can be different for women.

Caught on video too: The Sun insists hundreds of wheelie-popping London teens caused mayhem by riding through red lights and weaving through cars while on a ride to raise awareness for a cancer victim. Yes, they rode recklessly, but it’s quire a reach to describe the minimal disruption they appear to have caused as mayhem.

For the first time, there are more bikes than cars in Copenhagen’s city center.

Bicycling is once again becoming cool in China.

 

Finally…

Seriously, if another rider stops to help you after a fall, don’t repay him by whacking him with your bike. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a park.

And we should know later today if Donald Trump’s candidacy will grab the yellow jersey or go the way of his ill-fated bike race, while the one he tried to sue to stop is still going strong.

Now go vote already.

Update: Riverside County cyclist killed on Friday; bike rider injured in Van Nuys hit-and-run

Sometimes, news seems to take a long time to file in from the Inland Empire.

I’m just now learning about the collision that took the life of a Riverside County bike rider on Friday. Although the liability lawyers seem to have found out about it long before I did.

And as usual for most collisions that occur east of the LA County line, the details are sparse, at best.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 57-year old Perris resident Pascual Vega Jr. was hit by a pickup on Menifee Road near Long Street at 8:30 pm, in the unincorporated Nuevo area east of Perris. He was pronounced dead at the scene 10 minutes later.

That’s it.

Not one word that isn’t contained in the equally sparse Coroner’s report, such as how the collision occurred.

Less, in fact, as the Riverside County Coroner places the collision about 500 feet north of Long Street, in an area that doesn’t appear to have cross streets or driveways, suggesting that it was most likely a hit-from-behind, or possibly head-on, collision.

And based on previous experience, I wouldn’t count on a follow-up report, either from the local press or the Coroner’s office.

This is the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County. That compares with 47 SoCal bike deaths this time last year, and nine in Riverside County.

My sympathy and prayers for Pascual Vega Jr and all his loved ones.

Update: Surprisingly, there’s has been a follow-up from the Press-Enterprise adding a little more information. 

According to the paper, Vega was riding north on Menifee when he was hit from behind by a 2000 Nissan Frontier driven by 59-year old Carlos Hernandez Sr. of Nuevo. The truck was reportedly traveling at 40 mph when he hit Vega’s bike, which did not have lights or reflectors, even though it was roughly an hour after sunset at the time of the collision. 

Tragically, a comment from Joyce reveals he was a cousin of Michael Vega, killed by a hit-and-run driver in Rancho Cucamonga last August.

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The Daily News reports that a bike rider was injured in a Van Nuys hit-and-run Monday night.

According to the paper, the collision occurred on the 13000 block of Oxnard just before 8:30 pm. However, the report also places the location as near the intersection of Oxnard Street and Buffalo Ave, which is several blocks west of the 13000 block. The second location might make sense, since it’s a crossing point for the Orange Line bike path.

The victim was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries; no word yet on his or her condition or any identification. And no description on the suspect vehicle or how the wreck happened.

Let’s hope this one doesn’t turn out to be serious. And that the cowardly jerk behind the wheel is quickly brought to justice.

Breaking news: Bike rider killed in Valley hit-and-run

It’s happened again.

A bike rider has been killed killed by a heartless coward who left him to die on a San Fernando Valley street.

According to a release from the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, 44-year old Van Nuys resident Max De La Cruz was riding west on Roscoe Blvd east of Balboa Blvd around 11:30 pm last night when he was struck by a pickup truck.

The driver fled the scene; De La Cruz was transported to a local hospital where he died of his injuries.

Police are looking for a white truck with cargo in the back, possibly a Chevrolet or GMC, with damage to the front end. More information as it becomes available.

If you have any information, contact Valley Traffic Division Officer Fuentes at (818) 644-8022. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800)-222-8477).

This is at least the 25th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in L.A. County; there was another death that occurred in West Covina while I was offline last week, more on that later. It’s also the fourth fatal hit-and-run involving a cyclist in Southern California since the first of the year.

My heartfelt condolences and prayers for De La Cruz and his loved ones.

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