LACBC and Streets for All virtual holiday events, big jump in distracted driving, and bust made in Venice bike theft death

Welcome to Week Two of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning! 

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes right now to join him in supporting this site!

Seriously, don’t make me beg.

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The LACBC will host their free virtual holiday party and potluck this Thursday.

You can register for the event and purchase raffle tickets here.

Meanwhile, Streets for All will host a virtual happy hour this Wednesday to chat with Hayes Davenport, host of the LA Podcast and an advisor to new LA Councilmember Nithya Raman.

He also has the perfect old Hollywood name right out of Central Casting.

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No surprise here, as Streetsblog announces distracted driving has skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Something anyone who’s spent much time riding or walking the streets can attest to.

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Culver City 311 announces that police have apparently re-arrested the bike thief who killed a 73-year old man while trying to wrestle his bicycle from his grasp; the victim died when he fell and hit his head hit the pavement.

Let’s hope his killer faces the murder charge he so richly deserves.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council is looking for a few good men or women; we need to get more bike and pedestrian advocates on the council so we can finally see some positive changes around here.

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In a special shoutout to former pro Phil Gaimon, here’s the LA Times’ tips for making the best holiday cookies.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

A Montana man pled guilty to booby trapping a popular forrest trail with a nail-spiked board hidden under debris to discourage mountain bikers from using the trail; instead it seriously injured a father walking with his kids.

An Aussie man admits outside court that his idiotic stunt of pushing a shopping cart into a pack of bicyclists riding at speed after a 12-hour bender could have gotten someone killed.

Gee, ya think?

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Local

Angelenos are once again being told to stay home to avoid spreading the coronavirus; the order specifically prohibits travel by “foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, car or public transit,” though there are countless exceptions, and debate over whether they really mean it.

 

State

Bad news from the Central Coast, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a driver on the 101 Freeway in Arroyo Grande. Naturally, initial reports blamed the victim.

San Luis Obispo’s new active transportation plan commits to completing 100% of the city’s 52 highest priority bike and pedestrian projects within the next ten years — even though 93.5% of the projects are still outstanding. As Los Angeles bike riders can attest, though, a promise like that is only as good as the city’s willingness to live up to it.

More bad news from Tracy, where a 73-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike; police immediately blamed the victim for wearing dark clothes and riding without lights after dark, as well as not using a crosswalk to cross the roadway — even though bicyclists aren’t required or even expected to.

Still more bad news, this time from Lake County, where another 73-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike; the CHP caught the driver several hours later after she abandoned her car at a nearby hotel.

 

National

Gear Junkie looks at the best fat bikes for the coming year.

America’s last remaining Tor de France winner is back in the bike business with a new line of ebikes.

Police in Lincoln NE busted three men, including a 16-year old boy, accused of getting out of their car to mug a 69-year old bike rider and steal his belongings.

Wisconsin’s only Black-owned book store is currently doing business on the back of a big blue tricycle. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

Sad news from Philadelphia, where a local community is mourning the death of a long-time neighborhood bike cop from Covid-19.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a man got two years home detention for fleeing the scene after slamming his SUV into two kids sharing a bike; fortunately, both recovered after suffering serious injuries.

Florida has completed a study for a bike trail along the state’s coast highway south of Jacksonville where retired ABC News correspondent Tim O’Brien was killed while riding his bike, but it hasn’t been funded.

 

International

Road.cc offers a holiday gift guide for awkward cycling fans, most of which is surprisingly affordable.

Cycling News turns the tables on yesterday’s men’s gift guide for bicyclists with a guide for bike-riding women. Because evidently, men don’t use bike tires or CO2 inflators.

An Ontario, Canada woman reached out to other female mountain bike riders three years ago to form a new group; she now has a network of over 100 active riders.

A Toronto letter writer complains that the city spend $240,000 to build, then remove, a protected bike lane, and concludes that building bike lanes that will be used just “four or five months out of the year” is insanity. Who knew Canadians are that afraid of a little cold weather?

Over 300 Montreal residents complained about bike paths and pedestrian streets that popped up in the city during the pandemic. Which means the other roughly 4,220,700 people in the metro area didn’t.

A British writer takes a 1,307-mile bikepacking trip across the entire length of the UK. Which may be the only place Brits can go once Brexit kicks in at the end of the year.

A Hungarian man is all smiles after riding over 8,000 miles from Hungary to India, despite four weeks in a Pakistani jail when he tried to cross the border.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mountain bike downhill legend Rachel Atherton welcomes the pandemic bike boom, saying everyone has finally discovered what she already knew about bikes.

Eleven of the biggest names in women’s cycling are calling it a career, including American Katie Hall.

Cycling scion Axel Merckx, who ought to know, warns today’s top young cyclists not to burn out too early.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride your ebike like a motorcycle. Who needs the power company when you’ve got a bicycle?

And introducing a thousand dollar full carbon balance bike for the weight weenie toddler in your life.

No, seriously.

Photo from Specialized’s website.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Painful history of NY ghost bikes, Calbike unveils initiatives tonight, and Mexican shopper chains herself to Walmart scooter

It’s Day 7 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Diana R and SSK Press for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! And for their kind words, which mean every bit as much to me as the donations. 

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes right now to join them in supporting this site!

I mean, seriously, who can resist that pretty face?

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Today’s must read is a beautiful piece recounting the first few ghost bikes in New York, and painful steps that go into one.

Writing for Bicycling, NY bike advocate Jessie Singer captured in a few words exactly how I feel writing about a fallen rider.

What I remember most was the sadness that wafted in with the white cloud of paint. Painting that first bike, I thought of a woman I knew nothing about except that, like me, she rode a bike. I imagined her life and horrible death. I pictured the people she left behind. In the act of making, I felt mournful about something that before, I might never have known.

Then there are the lessons to be learned, including who is most likely to be killed, and how.

Which again tracks with my own experience.

The more ghost bikes I built, the more I found even broader lessons. Across boroughs, for example, ghost bikes were needed at intersections and on streets without bike lanes, because those places were where most were killed. In this way, the ghost bikes mapped what needed to be done: Fix a street. Build a bike lane. Protect an intersection. Each death was a lesson, and by marking the dead, the lessons appeared stark.

But there were other patterns too, ones that a ghost bike offered nothing for. These emerged only after years of building ghost bikes, as I met the families of the dead. The people we built ghost bikes for were disproportionately Black, Latino, and Asian. Often they were immigrants; often they were killed on the job, or riding to and from work in the dim of late night and early morning…

In New York and across the United States, transportation access is a racial and economic barrier. Today more than a million unemployed people have stopped looking for work because family or transportation issues make returning to work impossible. While other markers of the economy have improved, this number has not. With public transit budgets being cut nationwide, and even the cheapest used car costing a few thousand dollars, the simplest and most affordable transportation option is a bike. For people who ride bikes because they have no other choice, a bike can bring transportation freedom, access to a paycheck, and also vulnerability to premature death.

And he sums it up this way.

What is the difference between a ghost bike for a person who chooses to ride a bike and a ghost bike for a person who must ride a bike? Nothing. And that is where the ghost bike falls short.

Take a few minutes to read it.

Because it will likely be the most moving, and challenging, thing you read today.

Then multiply that over 800 times every year, in cities and towns of every size throughout the US. And you’ll just be starting to understand the problem.

Like this one, for instance.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

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Calbike will unveil their top initiatives for 2021 in an online conversation this evening.

Let’s hope it includes tackling California’s hit-and-run epidemic and eliminating the deadly 85th Percentile Law that lets drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

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This is who we share the stores with.

A woman in Mexico chained herself to a motor scooter until Walmart agreed to honor the posted price of just 14.999 pesos — the equivalent of 75¢ — instead of the intended 14,999 pesos.

No word on whether she was successful, after the store agreed to sell it to just one person at that price.

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‘Tis the season.

Christmas came early for nine Kansas City kids, as a pair of nonprofits gave them bikes and taught them how to ride them.

A Pennsylvania man is hosting a bike drive to ensure local kids don’t feel the pain of finding nothing under their tree this year.

Georgia bike advocacy groups are working to get new bikes for kids throughout the state.

‘Tis not the season, in this pandemic plagued year. An annual bike giveaway sponsored by a Louisiana law firm is the latest casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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CD5 council candidate Scott Epstein will be the featured guest on this week’s Bike Talk.

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GCN considers how often you should lube your chain.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

New York police are looking for a pair of grinning bikeshare-riding jerks who stole the hats off the heads of several Hasidic men.

A pair of Scottish teens punched a woman in the face as she walked on a pathway, apparently at random, before riding off on their bikes.

And at least one bike rider was a scofflaw villain nearly 120 years ago.

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Local

They get it. BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners writes we need more and better bike lanes.

 

State

San Francisco agreed to a $330,000 settlement with Lyft, after the city solicited bids for dockless bikeshares that would compete with the docked bikeshare system operated by a subsidiary of the company.

Davis police busted a pair of alleged bike thieves suspected in a bike shop burglary last month that resulted in the loss of several bicycles worth over $17,000.

 

National

Who needs an SUV when you can have a three-wheeled Dutch cargo bike for just six grand?

Now you, too, can get your very own official Gryffindor-themed Harry Potter bike at your neighborhood Walmart. Hopefully, you won’t have to chain yourself to it.

Wired says the pandemic gives us a chance to reconsider how we get around our cities.

No sexism here. Cycling News offers a Christmas gift guide for male bike riders. Even though most of the suggestions would work just as well for women.

Bike Portland critiques a questionable police report that blames the victim in a bicycling collision.

A Houston man was arrested for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle after he drove home, and family members told him to go back and turn himself in.

Speaking of ghost bikes, a new one was installed to mark the opening of a new curb-protected bike lane honoring a Boston University student killed on the street eight years ago. Which will hopefully save other lives, even if it comes too late for him.

Kindhearted deputies in New York’s Ulster County bought a boy a new bike after learning he’d had several bicycles stolen over the past year. Let’s hope they gave him a good lock to go with it.

The heartbroken mother of a bike rider killed in Mississippi two years ago while on a cross-country fundraising bike ride says she’ll finish the ride he started, beginning right where he died.

An Alabama website offers an affordable gift guide for the bike rider in your life. Even if that’s you.

 

International

Cycling News recommends several entry-level gravel bikes to get you started.

A 74-year old Quebec bicyclist has donated over $20,000 to cancer research at a Jewish hospital by selling his artwork, despite taking up painting just a few years ago — and he painted his bike club’s jersey.

Writing on a driving website, a Toronto writer explains that bike lanes won’t hurt you, and could save others. And wonders why some people have a problem with that.

The BBC examines whether there will be enough bikes to go around this Christmas. Short answer: Maybe not.

London police post a gallery of seized hot bikes in hopes of returning them to their owners.

The director of a London bike co-op explains how to properly maintain all those new — or new to you — bikes purchased during the pandemic.

He gets it. London’s mayor says the city’s road to recovery can’t be clogged with cars.

A French hunter will spend a year behind bars for killing a Welsh mountain biker as he rode down a popular cycling route, apparently mistaking him for a wild boar; he’ll also be banned from owning a gun for five years, and from hunting for ten.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Canadian pro Alex Stieda says the rules have to be clarified, or it could be the end of traditional sprint finishes. Meanwhile, five-time world track champ and former WorldTour cyclist Theo Bos suggests adopting rules from track cycling to make final sprints safer. Thanks to JoninSoCal for the heads-up.

Cycling News looks back to the rise and fall of the late, great Tour of California.

After former team owner Rochelle Gilmore tweeted to blame Indigenous people for breaking into her car, Wiggle High5 cyclist Elinor Barker put her autographed team kit for sale on eBay, with the proceeds going to support Aboriginal rights.

 

Finally…

Who wouldn’t want a solar-powered ebike from a company that makes flying cars? Unless maybe you’d rather have a leather-wrapped bespoke Louis Vuitton model. Or a handcrafted bike inspired by a high-end purebred pony.

And this might be just a tad hard to do.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Former Long Beach bartender Sky Sunday killed riding ebike in Landers hit-and-run

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has died alone on the side of the roadway because a heartless coward couldn’t be bothered to stop or call for help.

According to the Hi-Desert Star, 37-year Sky Sunday was killed Thanksgiving evening when he was hit by the driver of a Ford Explorer in Landers, in San Bernardino County.

Sunday was riding south on Belfield Boulevard just past Encantado Road when he was run down shortly after dark, around 5:25 pm.

The driver fled the scene.

Sunday’s body was discovered by a Yucca Valley family, about 15 minutes after they’d spotted him riding his ebike wearing a yellow helmet.

A CHP officer attempted CPR until paramedics arrived, but it was too late. There’s no way to know at this time whether he might have been saved if he’d gotten help sooner.

A Minnesota native, Sunday had worked as a bartender in Long Beach until he lost his job as a result of the pandemic. He was staying with his dog in a friend’s cabin in Landers when he was killed.

Now his dog waits in vain for Sunday to come back home.

Friends described him as a beautiful soul, and the definition of a free spirit. Now he’s dead, and the driver who murdered him remains free.

Friends were able to locate security video showing the SUV, but not in enough detail for investigators to identify who was behind the wheel.

It’s described as a 1995 to 2001 Ford Explorer, color unknown, with extensive front end damage including a missing grill.

Anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer Schmidt at 760/366-3707.

This is at least the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sky Sunday and his loved ones. 

‘Tis the season for bicycles, Walton rides high in the San Gabriels, and LeMond set to receive top US civilian honor

It’s Day 6 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Take a few minutes right now to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Don’t worry. We’ll wait. 

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‘Tis the season.

Gear Junkie recommends 16 biking gifts for the bike rider in your life. Even if that’s you.

Nice story from Southern Colorado, where a kindhearted woman reached out to replace a boy’s bicycle after learning he was the victim of bike theft for the second time, then she and her kids ended up “adopting” the boy’s family for Christmas.

Florida’s famed Jack the Bike Man is struggling to buy a building to get out from under their $175,000 annual rent, and continue their mission of refurbishing bikes for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have one for the holidays.

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Former basketball great Bill Walton regaled fans with his tale of biking in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, seemingly forgetting the game he was there to cover.

Although someone should tell them that Mountain High is a ski resort off the Angeles Crest Highway, not a reference to riding in the mountains while high.

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America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is expected to become just the 10th individual athlete to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

Greg LeMond will receive the honor, one of the country’s highest civilian awards, this weekend unless Trump vetoes the resolution.

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Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker asks the burning question of whether new LA councilmember and urban planner Nithya Raman can fix Los Angeles and save the city from itself.

Glendora has installed a temporary protected bike lane on Glendora Avenue as part of an effort to improve first mile/last mile connections with the coming L Line station, née Gold Line.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is one of us, making the news for falling off his bike in Manhattan Beach after catching a wheel while riding with fellow entertainment moguls Brian Grazer and Bryan Lourd. Who wants to bet at least one of those three bike-riding Hollywood hotshots reads this site every morning? Yeah, probably not.

 

State

A Georgia man will stand trial for the hit-and-run death of bike rider Dan Sweeney in San Diego last August; Mauricio Armando Flores got out to look at Sweeney bleeding on the pavement, then moved his bike and fled the county.

 

National

Cycling News asks whether women can ride men’s bikes, and if we even need gender-specific bikes anymore. Which sounds a lot like a return to the bad old days of “pink it and shrink it.”

Authorities in Boulder, Colorado have dropped charges against a man originally accused of killing another man in a fight over a stolen bicycle in a convenience store parking lot, after additional evidence revealed the victim’s meth use and a heart condition contributed to his death.

Houston is using $1.3 million in federal funds left over from building a commuter train line to build protected bike lanes, and encourage Texans to leave their cars at home and take a multimodal trip to work.

The mobility coordinator for Fayetteville AR makes the case for why you should stay off the sidewalk and ride in a bike lane, for your own safety.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a semi-truck driver walked with just a $500 fine for illegal passing after killing a bike rider. Evidently, passing within 100 feet of an intersection is illegal, but slamming into someone riding a bicycle is just fine.

The bike boom is alive and well in New York, as ridership on bridges leading into the city jumped an average of 21% this year compared to last year, with a whopping 30% increase in October.

A New York columnist calls for returning the city’s streets to the people.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a group of newly retired friends take a 334-mile journey along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal trails over the Eastern Continental Divide through Virginia and Pennsylvania.

When a North Carolina mom struck out trying to teach her son to ride a bike, she walked across the street to the local police station, and asked them to teach him. So a kindhearted cop set his paperwork aside and did.

A Georgia newspaper remembers a local man who completed an inadvertent ride around the world on his single speed bike in the 1930s.

Tragic news from Florida, where retired ABC News correspondent Tim O’Brien was killed in a collision while riding his bike; the 77-year old Emmy-winning attorney served as the network’s Supreme Court expert for 22 years. O’Brien was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers as he was riding on a sidewalk.

 

International

Toronto is taking a step back on Vision Zero by ripping out a protected bike lane just four months after it was installed. Although I have a hard time calling  a painted bike lane set off from motor vehicles by a few bendy plastic posts “protected” in any way.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Toronto bike rider was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a cement truck, 15 years after he walked away from a successful real estate career to become a teacher.

Tragic news from the UK, where a pair of cousins killed a man by tracking him down and repeatedly stabbing him in the mistaken belief he had stolen their bicycle.

The European Union has slapped a stiff 25% tariff on US framemakers, collateral damage in the ongoing feud over commercial aircraft subsidies.

Bicycling Australia offers a refresher course in why bicyclists ride two abreast, while making the case that it’s better for motorists, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

The New York Times picks up the story of multiple US cycling champ Justin Williams in his battle to diversify the sport through his L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team.

Win the Cannondale SystemSix bike Rigoberto Uran rode into Paris on the final stage of this year’s Tour de France.

Sad news from Italy, where former pro cyclist Celestino Vercelli, founder of Vittoria Cycling Shoes, passed away at age 74; the company notes his death was not related to Covid-19.

A Colombian cyclist learns the hard way to wait until you cross the finish line before celebrating your win.

 

Finally…

How not to build a bike lane. If you ever get tired of your mountain bike, just turn it into a DIY snowmobile.

And speaking of the protection value of flex posts…

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

AAA tow for a bike flat, mountain bikes and the people who love them, and gravel grinding in Southern California

Today is Giving Tuesday!

Seriousl, don’t feel obligated to donate to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

But take a little time and money today to give to someone or something. Even if it’s just handing a few bucks to a homeless person, or dropping it into the Salvation Army kettle. 

Because there are a lot of people who need help out there right now. And giving from the heart will do you as much good as it does them.

Photo from Pexels.com

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Nothing like getting a little help for your flat.

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Today’s common theme is mountain bikes and the people who love them.

No surprise here. Several mountain biking videos have been nominated for Vimeo’s best videos of the year awards.

Pink Bike’s latest podcast raises the question of what it takes to be a responsible mountain biker. Hint: Don’t leave the trail or surrounding woodlands worse than you found them. Better yet, don’t leave any sign you were even there.

Singletracks highlights eleven new mountain bike trails around the world.

And IPSO concludes that e-mountain bikes are a blessing for the environment, despite initially being non-sustainable.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew forwards a guide to gravel riding in Southern California.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

No bias here. Top Gear and The Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson hates London’s new bike lanes, calling the mayor an imbecile and maniac who must be stopped for approving them.

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Local

Chris Pratt is one of us. And so is his eight-year old son Jack.

 

State

Menifee has adopted an extensive new Active Transportation Plan that promises to transform the 92,000 population city. Assuming it actually gets built, of course.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick tells Caltrans it’s personal this time, after he was knocked down by a wire strung between fences while riding across a parking lot. Tell him I know some good lawyers if he needs one (Hint: see above right).

 

National

After a Massachusetts city puts climate change warnings on gas pumps, a Streetsblog writer says it’s time to put danger warnings on cars themselves.

Food delivery services are booming in New York and other cities, even as delivery riders continue to struggle as work condition get worse. Meanwhile, things are no better Down Under, where food delivery riders put their lives on the line for the convenience of others.

Tragic news from Maryland, where the head of the national association of transportation labor unions was killed in a collision while riding his bike near the entrance to Great Falls Park.

A Virginia website offers advice on how to maintain your ebike to keep riding through the winter. Some of which even applies to LA’s mostly mild winter weather.

A Virginia bike storage company plans to go nationwide with their line of weatherproof, theft-resistant bike capsules.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says it’s time to “stop hating on flat bar gravel bikes and embrace all bikes and all types of riders.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

After his friend was killed riding a bike, a man set out on a 3,200-mile ride across the country to raise awareness for bicycle safety, riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

An ex-Dyson exec is getting into the ebike business, raising the equivalent of nearly $2.7 million for the Scottish company, thanks in part to their innovative transmission system.

Britain’s Evening Standard considers whether a new bicycle subscription service that bills itself as “Netflix for bikes” is good option for commuters, concluding it’s an affordable way to test out bike commuting before making an investment.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the best hybrid bikes for under the equivalent of $667.

A Dublin mom is looking for the hit-and-run bicyclist who apologized to her six-year old daughter after crashing into her while she played in the street, then rode off when she went to get her mother.

Unlike virtually every other major city, Paris vows to fight back against the jump in bike theft inspired by the coronavirus bike boom. That compares with Santa Monica, where I’m told the cops couldn’t be bothered to investigate and recover a $5,000 stolen bike after the owner spotted it for sale online; sadly, it had already been sold by the time he realized they didn’t give a damn.

A Ghanan bamboo bike program is working to build a bicycling culture in the African country to create a cleaner environment.

ABC — no, the Australian Broadcasting Corp — talks with the bicyclist who was clipped by a passing driver, which sent him flying into other riders in the paceline; fortunately, he’s recovering well.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly talks with multi-time national cycling champ Justin Williams about his LA-based L39ION of LA cycling team, and his plans to put the first black rider in the yellow jersey.

A Belgian research lab is investigating whether artificial intelligence can be the future of bike racing broadcasts.

After growing up in Sonoma County, Nikita Ducarroz has developed into one of the world’s best BMX competitors.

South African police made a cold case bust in the 13-year old torture and murder of South African cycling champ Etienne van Wyk.

 

Finally…

Recharge yourself while you recharge your ebike. Your next ebike could look like some sort of otherworldly geometric experiment.

And next time, maybe wait until the waves die down a little.

Just a suggestion.

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It was a little quieter day on Monday for the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive after a very busy opening weekend. Thanks to Janice H for her generous support to help keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite device every morning. 

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Why too-close passes matter, Cyber Monday bike deals near and far, and the ever-expanding world of ebikes

We’re of to an amazing start for the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, with our best ever opening weekend!

Thankfully, that led to my first haircut in three months, before I was forced to  become a hermit and move to a shack in Montana. 

Which doesn’t sound all that bad, given the year we’ve all had. 

So thanks to everyone who opened their hearts and wallets to help keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite device every morning.

Now let’s keep it going!

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

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This is why close passes matter.

An Aussie driver clips a bicyclist riding in a double pace line, sending him flying into the riders around him — even though all of the riders were outside the traffic lane.

Naturally, social media users blamed the victims for riding too close to the white line, instead of blaming the driver for crossing it and breaking the country’s one-meter passing law — the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

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It’s Cyber Monday, which is sort of like Black Friday, except online and a few days later.

Business Wire recommends their picks for the best bike deals of the day, as well as the best ebike deals online.

And Cycling Weekly offers UK-centric choices for the best deals for gravel grinders, along with other bicycling deals.

But before you buy anything online, check with your local bike shop to see if maybe they can give you something just as good, or better.

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Today’s common theme is the ever expanding world of ebikes, and the many uses for them.

Arnold is back on his ebike, riding through Santa Monica with his adult kids just a month after heart surgery.

Robin Wright is one of us, too, riding ebikes with her husband through the streets LA.

A Streetsblog writer says she tried an e-cargo bike for 30 days, and didn’t need to touch her car the whole time.

Canadian parcel delivery firms are shifting from trucks to e-cargo bikes in some cities.

Smart move. An anti-bike lane Parliament member had an epiphany after a bike dealer lent him an ebike to get around during the pandemic.

The Netherlands is turning old outdoor ashtrays into ebike charging stations.

A Parisian tech firm unveiled a new e-bicycle ambulance designed to efficiently slice through traffic to arrive at crash scenes and other rescue situations faster than a traditional ambulance. Meanwhile, Clean Technica considers how bike ambulances can save lives by reaching urban victims faster.

And the Bike League offers a recorded webinar discussing how ebikes can replace car trips in your community.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

In what may be the grossest attack ever, a bicyclist out for a walk spotted a parked bicycle with a used condom stretched over the nose of the saddle.

A 60-something Irish ebike rider says he’s all in favor of bike lanes, but those damn “pseudo-racing cyclists (are) a complete menace.”

Angry British drivers are vandalizing traffic cams and new bike lanes less than a day after they’re installed.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

A bike-riding UK teen gets seven and a half years for being a one-man crime wave, including robbery and sexual assault, even though his lawyer argued he was just a nice, well-adjusted boy.

Another British teen was shot in the leg by another bicycle rider as he was riding his bike; a 26-year old man was arrested for attempted murder.

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Local

The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that an LAPD sergeant was justified in killing a mentally ill man holding a bike part that several witnesses had mistaken for a gun.

KCET offers a guide to LA’s best foot — and in most cases, bike — bridges.

Now that David Ryu is out in LA’s 4th Council District, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests a number of actionable transportation ideas for new councilmember Nithya Raman.

Beverly Hills will host a zoom meeting this Sunday to discuss the gilded city’s Complete Streets plan.

 

State

An Irvine couple was busted for stealing a GPS-equipped bait bike, which police tracked to the back of their car following the theft.

La Jolla considers a proposal for protected bike lanes on Gilman Drive.

There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who could steal 200 new tricycles that had been donated to a San Francisco firefighters’ toy program for underprivileged kids.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where an 81-year old man was killed by an allegedly stoned driver as he was walking his bike on the sidewalk.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on when to replace your bike helmet.

A HuffPo writer investigates Dunkin’s weird donut-branded tandem, and concludes it’s not the real bike being offered.

CleanTechnica says the pandemic is driving urban transport to micromobility.

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to safely control the lane around blind curves.

NPR looks at how a nine-year old Nevada kid ended up with a $19,000 hospital bill for a few stitches after falling off his bike, when the insurance company unexpectedly denied the claim.

Colorado cops bust a man suspected of attacking and killing a 71-year old man riding a bike earlier this month, on unrelated charges.

After a grocery store worker’s bike was stolen while he was at work, kindhearted Illinois firefighters shopping at the store heard about it, and replaced his bicycle using union charity funds before the man’s shift ended.

A father and daughter successfully rode from their homes in Monroe County, Michigan to Monroe County, Florida on Penny Farthings.

A Long Island couple faces charges for chasing a 13-year old boy and tackling him off his bike in a case of mistaken identity.

The New York Post’s resident anti-bike curmudgeon celebrates news that the head of the city’s transportation department is stepping down, while blaming the “bullying bike lobby” for never being satisfied.

An on-duty Louisiana cop killed a man standing with his bicycle just inside the the traffic lane in a collision.

 

International

How to beat the bane of bicyclists by overcoming back pain resulting from time in the saddle.

Cycling TipsJames Huang discusses ten products he loved this year, ranging from a $5 used crockpot to a Specialized S-Works bike that costs too much to ask.

Touching story from British Columbia, where children made a small memorial for a stranger who died from a medical emergency while riding his bike, saying “…we are sure you were a great person and we hope you make it to heaven.”

Brompton is struggling to stay on track, despite being buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic and the Brexit exit from the European Union.

A local London site says the government is boosting spending on bike lanes, following a 300% jump in bicycling rates during the pandemic. However, London’s anti-bike Mail celebrates efforts to rip the bike lanes out, accusing them of clogging up “our” towns. Evidently, bike riders aren’t part of their towns, as far as they are concerned.

A 16-year old British boy will spend the next eight years behind bars for repeatedly stabbing a man in front of his kids, after the man accused him of stealing his son’s bike; the victim nearly bled to death before doctors were able to save him.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunk driver got a lousy 18 months behind bars for crashing into a pregnant woman riding in a bike lane, causing her to lose her baby. At least he lost his license for six years, although it should have been for life.

Life is even cheaper for the driver who walked with community service for killing a bike-riding father, after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card of claiming the sun was in his eyes; the victim’s wife insists “picking up litter is not justice” for taking a human life.

Sticking with deadly drivers in the UK, a bike rider forgives the drunk driver who nearly killed him on a group ride.

British road rage incidents have spiked over the past three years, including attacks on people riding bicycles.

A new report from a German testing institute says cargo bikes are safe for children, but only if they’re strapped into seat belts and they should be wearing helmets.

Angry Budapest residents want to know why the city’s bikeshare program is being closed for an overhaul in the middle of a pandemic, when more people are relying on bikes for safe transportation.

There’s a special place in hell for the Indian man who pushed a nine-year old boy off his bicycle in a strong arm robbery.

A Philippine paper says riding a bicycle is a key step towards improving your health.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, please. Cycling Tips’ Caley Fretz urges broadcasters to stop showing repeated replays of horrific cycling crashes until we know how the victim is.

French cyclist Mikaël Cherel was lucky to avoid serious injury when he was taken down by a loose dog that ran in front of his bike on a training ride; naturally, the owner made a quick escape with his dog while Cherel was still down on the pavement.

 

Finally…

Why rip out protected bike lanes when you can just ignore the bollards? Tesla’s  scary new ebike concept makes their awful truck look good.

And don’t run over your little brother with your bike.

………

Thanks to Arthur B, Eric L, John C, Stephen T, David R, Michael S, the Muir’s , Michael F, Paul F, Andrew G, Alan C, Mike B, Andrew B, Mark J, Robert K, Glenn C, Theodore F, Domus P, Patrick J. M, Michael C, Lisa G and Michael V for their very generous support to help keep bringing SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy you way every day!

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Man killed in Encinitas bicycling crash; no word about the victim or the driver who killed him

Once again a bicycle rider has been killed.

And not one word about the driver — or whether there even was one.

According to multiple virtually identical sources, a man died following an apparent right hook collision in Encinitas late Saturday morning.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was struck as some sort of vehicle was turning right from westbound Leucadia Boulevard onto Moonstone Court around 11:50 am.

He died after he was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, despite the efforts of bystanders to revive him before paramedics arrived.

The closest any of the stories came to mentioning that the vehicle even had a driver was a brief reference that police investigators don’t think alcohol played a role in the crash.

That determination also implies that the driver remained at the scene.

A street view shows a wide, four-lane divided highway on Leucadia with a faded green bike lane on either side.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time, or are likely to learn before the holiday weekend is over.

This is at least the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Give to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

Donate now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Welcome to the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Think of it as sort of like a pledge drive for your favorite public radio station. Except we don’t take away the reason you came here while we ask for your money.

Or maybe plead is a better word this year.

Like a lot of people, we’re hurting this year, emotionally and financially, after my wife’s job disappeared along with the company she worked for during the first Covid-19 lockdown. And we’re facing an even bigger cliff when her health insurance disappears along with her job at the end of the year.

Good times.

But those are my problems. You’ve undoubtedly got your own right now.

Which is why I’m not asking for your help if you’re struggling, too. If you can’t afford it, don’t sweat it. Just coming here to read this site means more than I can ever begin to tell you.

But if you’ve to a few extra bucks lying around, keep reading.

Because running this site is a more than full-time job, for a lot less than minimum wage. And while I truly appreciate each of our sponsors, their support, as valuable as it is, doesn’t begin to cover what’s needed to keep this site going.

I count on whatever comes in during the annual fund drive to tide me over until those sponsors renew in the spring.

If they do in the middle of this pandemic, which could be in doubt, just like everything else right now.

But that’s where you come in.

Your support helps fill in that gaping gap, and allows me to devote my working hours to bringing you all the latest bike news, from around the corner and around the world.

And devote whatever time I have left in this world to helping make it a safer place for people on bicycles, and a more livable world for all of us.

Because we can’t fix the problems we all face if we don’t know what they are. And our elected leaders can’t hide the truths we shine a light on.

So please, give what you can, or what you want.

But give something if you can.

You can contribute with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the using the Zelle feature that came with the banking app already on your phone; just send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla.com (after removing the spaces, of course).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated. And will help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day.

Thanks to Arthur B and Eric L for their generous contributions before this fund drive even began.

And a special thanks to Todd Rowell, who came up with the idea for this fund drive in the first place.

Finally, say hi to the new corgi puppy, as she takes a break from training to be a diabetic service dog to make her debut as official spokesdog for the Holiday Fund Drive!

 

Your help needed for precedent-setting legal case, Epstein enters CD5 council race, and reward for hit-and-run drivers

This has been a rough year for all of us.

And riding a bike hasn’t always been enough to get through it, emotionally or otherwise. 

So take some time to find something you can truly be thankful for, and give your heart and mind a break for a few days. 

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here bright and early when we return to our regular programming on Monday.

Meanwhile, Friday will mark the launch of this year’s 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The corgi puppy is already hard at work preparing for her debut as our new spokesdog. 

But feel free if you want to get a jump on donating and beat the holiday rush. 

Update: Thanks to Arthur B for kicking the fund drive off!

………

Today I learned what depublishing means — and what we can do about it.

Recently, we mentioned a legal ruling from a California appeals court that held Sonoma County responsible for injuries a woman suffered when her bike hit a pothole at 25 mph, setting a precedent that would make it easier for other injured riders to hold local governments accountable for bad roads, and their failure to maintain them.

But now lawyers for the county are asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the ruling, which means it couldn’t be used as a precedent for other cases, claiming she was engaged in an “extreme sport.”

This is how the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition described the case.

The argument put forth by appeals attorney Nadia Sarkis, representing the County, focused on the length, speed, and purpose of Williams’ ride, claiming that as she was engaged in an “extreme sport” and was not an “ordinary user” of the road, she assumed the “inherent risk of the sport.”  In other words, she should have known she could get hurt riding a bike and that County liability for poor road condition therefore does not apply to her.

The Justices’ line of questioning really hammered on this idea that the County’s liability varies based on the speed and purpose of a cyclist’s ride on a given day. One Justice gave Sarkis some hypotheticals and asked in which cases the County has duty. They included a woman riding at the same speed and distance but to work; a teenager riding the same speed but on her way to soccer practice; a 65-year-old woman riding the same speed on an electric bike she bought after having a knee replacement. They all seemed somewhat incredulous only Williams’ incident, but not the rest of these situations, should release the County from liability for the cyclist’s injuries and questioned the whole idea of defining “ordinary” versus “extreme” bicycling.

(Sarkis had quoted a study on “average” speed and distance for recreational versus transportational cyclists and implied that anything above “average” was “extreme.”  The speed and distance of Dr. Williams’ ride were certainly those of a fit and serious rider, but nowhere near what any of us would consider “extreme.”)

Which is ridiculous, of course. And has nothing to do with the failure to ensure a safe riding surface.

Which is where you come in.

Alan Charles Dell’Ario, the plaintiff’s attorney, is asking for letters from bicyclists to forward the Supreme Court within to oppose depublishing the ruling, and keep it as a precedent that could prove invaluable to other injured riders.

You can email your letter to him at Charles@dellario.org.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, a longtime friend of this site, has shared his own letter to serve as a guide.

Just hurry, because it’s due at the Supreme Court by the end of next week.

Update: Mr. Dell’Ario sends word that your letter must follow the format below to be forwarded to the court.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

This year’s city council election ended less than a month ago. But the campaign to replace termed out Paul Koretz in CD5 is just getting started, as Scott Epstein tossed his cycling cap into the ring.

Epstein is a life-long bike rider and advocate for safer streets, and a long-time leader with both the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Mid City West Community Council.

I’ve known him for over a decade, and it’s hard to imagine a better replacement for the pseudo-environmentalist Koretz, who has opposed virtually every bike project in his district.

Epstein has my unqualified support. And you can find a long list of other endorsements by clicking on the thread above.

………

This is who we share the road with.

The LAPD is looking for a motorcyclist and two drivers who ran down a South LA man in a deadly triple hit-and-run.

Fifty-year old Jose Fuentes was crossing Central Ave near 78th Street when the motorcycle rider slammed into him, followed by both drivers running over him, one after the other, as he lay in the roadway.

And not one had the basic human decency to stick around afterwards, let alone call for help or render aid.

Meanwhile, 76-year old Kuen Ham died several hours after she was run down by yet another hit-and-run driver as she was crossing Miramar Street at Union Ave in the Westlake District, dragging her several feet as they fled the scene.

As always, there is standing $50,000 reward offered by the City of Los Angeles for information leading to an arrest and conviction in any fatal hit-and-run, which applies in both these cases.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the Fuentes heads-up.

………

Four people find the balance between mountain biking and skiing.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going. 

A road-raging Pittsburgh man faces a raft of charges including attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man riding a bicycle in a dispute that following a collision.

Someone has been sabotaging a rail-to-trail bike path in the UK by strewing large branches on the pavement, as well as throwing sticks at passing riders.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Lincoln, Nebraska police are on the lookout for a pair of bike-riding teens who confronted a family jogging on a bike trail, and flashed a gun when they were asked to move out of the way.

………

Local

Metro is offering Black Friday deals on bikeshare passes this weekend.

 

State

San Luis Obispo released the city’s new active transportation plan for public review.

A Santa Cruz man faces a murder charge after telling police his girlfriend was killed falling off her bike, even though neighbors reported her screams for help.

Tragic news from San Leandro, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a van driver, who remained at the scene. Police are looking for a second driver who left the scene and may have been involved, as well.

Davis police are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of bike shop burglaries targeting high-end bicycles. And it’s not just bike shops falling victim, either.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for bike riders, along with ten cutting-edge gifts for tech-loving bicyclistsUnfortunately, these don’t seem to be available on Yahoo yet.

Gear Junkie recommends the best mountain bikes for under a grand.

The NYPD has finally done the right thing, and cancelled dozens of outstanding ebike tickets after the city belatedly got around to legalizing them; the department’s crackdown fell primarily on immigrant delivery riders who could least afford it.

New York’s Department of Transportation overrules a community board to build a cargo bike corral near a Manhattan Whole Foods.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio says it will be up to the next mayor to finish Vision Zero, even though the city has barely made a dent in it.

 

International

Cyclist looks at the relatively brief history of Cervélo, as the cutting-edge brand reaches the quarter century mark.

The Guardian considers how to stay safe running or biking after dark this winter.

Wired looks at the surge in bike lanes in cities around the world, as they react to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The CBC profiles London, Ontario residents who plan to keep riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

Bike Radar has the best Black Friday bike deals from the UK, as well as a few from the US.

Cycling Weekly examines how London’s Pearson, reportedly the world’s oldest bike shop, launched its online business in the middle of the pandemic.

Brazen London thieves used an angle grinder to steal a locked ebike in front of witnesses in broad daylight.

British residents say a local bike rider might not have been killed if completion of a half-finished bikeway hadn’t been pushed back to 2027.

That’s more like it. An Irish man has until the end of the year to pay a nearly $24,000 fine for seriously injuring two bicyclists while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, after an appeals court ruled his original 18-month sentence was too lenient.

A Borneo op-ed says it’s time to consider installing bike lanes on the Malaysian island.

Australia’s food delivery riders complain about dangerous conditions after five riders were killed in just two months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is back on his bike, three months after a horrific crash during the final sprint in stage one of the Tour de Pologne.

Pez Cycling looks forward to five things they want to see in road cycling next year.

 

Finally…

Not all bike riders are saints, but at least one bike riding priest is one his way. And when the shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France champ didn’t even make the local paper (Scroll down. No, seriously, keep scrolling.).

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Update: Man killed riding bike in Fullerton crash Monday evening; 16th Orange County bike death this year

A bad year for Orange County bike riders just continues to get worse.

According to multiple sources, a 33-year old man was killed riding his bike in Fullerton Monday evening.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding in the area of Bastanchury Road and Lancer Way when he was struck by a Mercedes-Benz driver headed south on Bastanchury around 5:43 pm.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital.

The driver remained at the scene, and Fullerton police do not believe drug or alcohol use played a role in the crash.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have at this time. No word on how the crash happened, or whether the victim had lights on his bike after dark.

However, an email from Lois adds a few more thoughts.

This is a super dangerous crossing where a downhill proceeds to a right turn on a busy road with no clearance. Mountain bikers with no road riding experience frequently cross to the far side and ride salmon style to make the next left back to the Fullerton Loop. There’s a much safer but slightly longer and less exciting route to get to the same place. It has a light at the crossing. Maybe the city should have a sign to direct the Loop riders in that direction but many still won’t take it.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Accident Investigator H. Barclay of the Fullerton Police Department at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the 60th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Orange County, which has seen an already too-high average of 12 bicycling deaths in recent years.

That puts it neck-and-neck with Los Angeles County, which has also seen 16 bike deaths this year, with over three times the population.

Update: The victim has been identified as 33-year old Joshua Pumphrey, who was killed just two weeks after he’d gotten married.

The Fullerton Observer explains how the crash happened.

Pumphrey was in a group of 11 riders on the “Fullerton Loop,” a popular series of interconnected local bike trails that sometimes cross major streets. According to witnesses, as the group of riders headed westbound on Valley View to Bastanchury, they turned right and hugged the right curb as cars were coming their same direction, northbound. The cars passed and the group merged across northbound traffic to the left turn lane which would put them westbound on Lancer Way. It was then that Pumphrey was struck by the car.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $43,000 in just one week to pay Pumphrey’s funeral expenses, more than double the $21,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers forJoshua Pumphrey and his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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