Bicyclist killed in Perris hit-and-run Thursday night; driver arrested hours later

Just over two weeks into the new year, a second bike rider has been killed in Riverside County, both the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a few hours later.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding through the intersection of Goetz Road and Mapes Road in Perris around 8:30 pm Thursday when he was struck by a car driven by 28-year old Perris resident Nathan Craig Rogers.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, died at the scene.

Rogers fled the scene, but Patch reports he was taken into custody around 11 pm Thursday.

At last report, he was being held on $75,000 bond on suspicion of felony fatal hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

Sadly, California’s lenient hit-and-run laws mean Rogers is looking at just four years behind bars, with another year in county jail for the misdemeanor manslaughter charge.

And that’s only if the judge rules the sentences should run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/776-1099, or the Perris Station at 951-210-1000.

This is at least the 4th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Half of those SoCal bicycling deaths have ben the result of hit-and-run drivers, both in Riverside County.

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

County releases draft LA River master plan, making bike theft a tad too easy, and gravel biking to the Hollywood Sign

Thank you all for the kind words yesterday. 

I’m still riding that diabetic rollercoaster, for no apparent reason other than my body wants to do to me what rioters did to the Capital last week. 

But if you’re reading this, it means I managed to power through this time.

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pexels.

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LA County finally released a draft of the LA River bike plan.

Including, as we noted on Wednesday, starchitect Frank Gehry’s proposal to leave the ugly concrete sewer in place, at least in places, and just cover it up with elevated parks so we don’t have to look at it anymore.

Not exactly the return to a natural state we’ve been promised.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton described it.

The county river plan is trying to strike difficult delicate balance on many issues. At this morning’s press event Supervisor Sheila Kuehl mentioned the balance between an overall “coherent holistic” vision and a “great deal of local community control.” Solis touched on the need for river revitalization to serve park-poor low-income communities of color, while addressing issues of gentrification and homelessness. Historically plans for the river have struggled to find the space to address a broad range of needs in communities it flows through; these needs include parks – with both active and passive recreation – housing, schools, and much more.

The plan ends up trying to address all of these issues within a fairly limited jurisdictional corridor. The river system is a tangled jurisdictional mess. County Public Works (acting as the County Flood Control District) controls the river channel structures, but the adjacent, and in cases underlying, land is the jurisdiction of various cities. The county’s jurisdiction is constrained by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which mandates flood damage minimization standards. The county has little control over the numerous freeways and several rail lines constrain the river. Many of the complex issues that impact the river – from watershed rainwater runoff to homelessness to gentrification – are largely situated outside the waterway corridor itself.

You can watch the presentation, recorded on Zoom like everything else these day. Just ignore the first minute where everyone sits around trying to not look awkward before it gets going.

Comments will be open for the next 60 days.

Of course, what matters to a lot of us is the ongoing plan to complete the gaps in the bike path, particularly through Downtown Los Angeles and the meat packing district to the south, to create a continuous bikeway along the full 51-mile length of the river.

But speaking strictly for myself, I’d much rather ride along a park-filled natural riverbank than on a concrete river underneath a lush park.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

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Seriously. At least make it hard for them.

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Gravel Bike California invites you to take a rocky ride to the Hollywood Sign.

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Now this is what a bikeshare system looks like.

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Here’s your Friday mountain bike break.

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

No bias here. A Montreal opposition leader says bike paths are disruptive to residents and merchants, and the city must ensure “social acceptability” before building any more.

Police in England are looking for the driver who intentionally crashed into a bike rider, leaving him with elbow, knee and hand injuries, after the bicyclist complained about the driver cutting him off.

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

A 25-year old Los Angeles woman pled not guilty to fatally stabbing a Metro employee as she rode the B Line (nee Blue Line) with her “distinctive” green bicycle near DTLA.

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Local

Metro is looking for feedback on the agency’s draft plan to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, which could present an opportunity to rethink our streets if they do it right. Or else turn it into another Covid long-hauler struggling to survive.

Speaking of the LA River, the LACBC is teaming with Metro’s BEST program to offer a tutorial on riding it next Thursday.

And speaking of the LACBC, the coalition is offering a half-off fire sale sale on merchandise with the discount code LACBC50off.

Bob Odenkirk is one of us, as the Better Call Saul star rides the streets of Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County has officially, if virtually, opened the new Oso Parkway bridge, complete with shiny new bike lanes. 

Someone appears to be targeting the owner of a Poway bike shop, after burglars broke in and vandalized the shop while stealing several high-end mountain bikes worth up to $9,000; another of his shops suffered a second high-end break-in, while a third was vandalized with swastikas and racist graffiti, causing $20,000 damage to a new shop truck.

Santa Barbara has begun work on a bike and pedestrian safety project around Stearns Wharf, and added bike infrastructure to the State Street promenade to improve safety.

An unlicensed San Mateo driver faces charges for the New Years Day hit-and-run that’s left a bike-riding 68-year old man in critical condition two weeks later.

They get it. San Leandro is considering a road diet on a major boulevard, cutting it from six lanes to four to improve safety for bike riders.

San Francisco is putting another 500 e-scooters on the streets.

 

National

They get it, too. US PIRG says it’s time to hit the reset button and take a fundamentally new approach to American transportation.

A writer for VeloNews takes a contrarian view, arguing there’s no need to increase diversity in bicycling if we’d just stop overlooking Black people who already ride bikes.

A Next City op-ed argues that the real test of whether Transportation Secretary nominee Mayor Pete really cares about cities will be what he does to protect pedestrians from self-driving cars.

Ford is continuing work on a project to allow bicycles and motor vehicles to electronically communicate with each other to improve safety.

No surprise here, as cars, and the drivers in them, remain the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, even as millions of Americans were theoretically confined to their homes. As Streetsblog notes, if a global pandemic can’t get Americans out of their cars, what will?

A new public safety campaign developed after the death of five Las Vegas bike riders reminds drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bike; the state is one of five that requires drivers to change lanes, rather than merely give a minimum passing distance. Then again, they could just as well remind drivers not to use meth before getting behind the wheel, like the alleged killer allegedly did.

Police in Austin, Texas have a new bicycle supplier, after Lance’s Mellow Johnny’s bike shop refused to sell to them any more in the wake of the George Floyd protests and the weaponization of police bikes by the cops.

New York police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a bike shop employee last summer after arguing with the man minutes earlier.

No bias here, either. A Virginia bike rider gets the blame for hitting a car after his brakes locked up crossing an intersection. But no word on what the driver may have done to make him brake so hard.

A Baton Rouge LA advocacy group is calling for an end to the city’s ban on riding bikes through drive-thrus.

A New Orleans woman awaiting trial for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider last January is back in jail for choking her drunk fiancé to death; she has a history of domestic violence arrests, despite blaming her late boyfriend for attacking her. On the other hand, she apparently only kills in January, so we should all be safe the other eleven months.

 

International

That’s more like it. Toronto is installing more secure bike lockers at a new transit station.

Cambridge, England is considering allowing electric vehicles to share bus lanes with buses and bike riders; one rider said at least you won’t have to smell any nasty fumes when you go over their hood.

Scottish authorities have finally found the body of man who disappeared while on a charity bike ride over three years ago; two men were recently arrested in connection with his disappearance.

British bike thieves continue to target frontline medical workers, as a doctor who hadn’t taken a day off since the pandemic started had his bike stolen — but kindhearted strangers crowdfunded a replacement within hours.

If anyone wants to move to the UK, Brompton is hiring.

An Irish court case hinges on whether a bike with a gas engine is still a bicycle.

A 36-year old Japanese company specializing in unique panda, dinosaur, cucumber and eggplant shaped bicycles is struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Sort of like everyone else these days.

An Aussie writer says he won’t be jumping on the gravel bandwagon because he’d love it too much, and doesn’t have room for another bike beyond the ten he already owns. Meanwhile, off-road.cc picks the gravel bike of the year and the best gravel gear and accessories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Women’s cycling great Anna van der Breggen will don double rainbow jerseys reflecting world titles in last year’s road cycling and time trial championships as she enters her final year in the pro peloton.

Sad news from Australia, where 1956 Olympian and Aussie cycling great Cliff Burvill died after falling off his bike riding a new crit circuit; he was 83 years old.

At last, there’s some good news about former CART and F1 driver Alex Zanardi, as the paracycling champ spoke with his family for the first time since his crash in an Italian paracycling race last summer, following a series of brain surgeries.

How to train your brain for bike racing.

 

Finally…

Calling the pun police. That feeling when a family stroll on a bike trail could make you lunch for a hungry kitty.

And when your Peloton bike is a national cybersecurity risk.

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

Move along, nothing to see here — diabetes edition

My apologies once again.

I’ve been struggling with my diabetes since the holidays, but managed to work through it most nights.

Not this time.

Tonight my blood sugar levels are kicking my ass, and making it impossible to get any work done.

I’m throwing in the towel and putting myself to bed in hopes it will come back down by morning.

So get out on your bike and enjoy this beautiful sunny SoCal weather. Or try a little Viking biking if you find yourself somewhere else.

And I’ll see you bright and early Friday morning to catch up on whatever we missed today.

Gehry wants to put a lid on the LA River, riding more is better for your heart, and Houston bike deaths spike while LA drops

When it comes to the LA River, Los Angeles starchitect Frank Gehry want put a lid on it.

Literally.

While environmental and advocacy groups have been working for years to restore the river to a more natural state, Gehry, who was invited to reimagine the river by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, wants to cover it up instead.

Gehry proposes addressing decades of social injustice by leaving the concrete river channel alone, while building a continuous park on platforms stretching above the river.

What that would mean for long-time plans to finally complete the LA River bike path along the full 51-mile length of the river isn’t clear.

There’s no word on whether it would be left where it is along the banks of the river, moved onto the new platforms, or buried beneath them.

Or just forgotten entirely as yet another inconvenience in the path of progress.

But the simple fact is, Los Angeles has turned its back on the river at its heart for far too long.

And burying it, when we have a chance to finally revive it, isn’t any better.

Thanks to Fatema Baldiwala for the heads-up.

Photo shows the 4th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River during CicLAvia.

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Keep riding if you want to live.

A new Oxford University study shows that every physical movement counts when it comes to improving cardiovascular health.

But people who exercise the most have the lowest risk of heart disease, with no upper limit to how much is beneficial.

Which means that a simple walk around the block helps, but a five-mile bike ride helps more.

And a 50 miler is better yet.

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Heartbreaking news from Houston, where a record 34 bike riders lost their lives last year as more people took up bicycling as part of the pandemic bike boom.

That compares to Los Angeles County, with over four times the population, where bicycling deaths inexplicably dropped from 34 in 2019 to just 16 last year.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a man walked without a day behind bars for leaning out of the car he was riding in to pull a bike rider off his bicycle, while bizarrely claiming he was acting in self defense.

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

A San Diego man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for riding his bike to conduct a series of brutal, gruesome attacks on homeless people, killing four and injuring several others.

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Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Long Beach mother and military vet was killed by a hit-and-run driver as she slept on a sidewalk; Stephanie Jackson became homeless after watching her fiancé die of liver cancer, but wouldn’t admit it even to her daughter.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Three-hundred miles were just added to the US Bicycle Route System, bringing the network to nearly 15,000 rideable miles.

VeloNews explains the tech behind the new crash-resistant bikewear.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner introduces a head-turning carbon fiber electric city bike that doesn’t look a bit like a typical ebike. Although the $4,500 price tag is kind of head-turning, too.

Kansas City’s bikeshare system is going dockless.

Your new Waco, Texas home could be a TV star, complete with a vintage bicycle attached to the wall.

The Chicago Tribune considers how to choose the right mountain bike helmet.

A Michigan town approves spending $115,000 to rip out a three-year old bike lane.

New York is considering an automated camera system to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, blaming them for an increase in bicycling deaths. Although they might want to start with their own police department.

A new poll shows New Yorkers are skeptical of Vision Zero, even though 70% know someone who has been injured or killed by traffic violence.

Miami Beach is expanding its Slow Streets program, which was originally scheduled to end in November after one month.

 

International

The BBC examines why some bikeshare programs work and others don’t — like the need to use ebikes in hilly cities.

Road.cc chooses their bike of the year for under £1,000, the equivalent of $1368. Meanwhile, sister site off-road.cc selects their mountain bike of the year.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s seven-mile bike ride, in apparent violation of his own lockdown rules, draws the ire of the populace — and worse, the British press. Or maybe not, as a police official says even a ride ten times longer is allowed under the rules. Either way, Johnson vows to keep riding, and do his running at Buckingham Place.

France will now require all new bikes sold in the country to be marked with a ten character registration code to help fight bike theft, with used bikes to follow starting in July.

 

Competitive Cycling

Masters ‘cross racer Lee Waldman offers lessons learned from a lifetime of bike racing to help the nation heal in the wake of last week’s insurrection in the US capitol.

Austrian cyclist Stefan Denifl ends up with a net eight month ban for six years worth of doping.

 

Finally…

Do your mountain biking at the zoo. Your next bike could be made from natural timber, metal work and vegetable tanner leather.

And your next bike could be a four-wheeled, two seat pedal-powered minicar.

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

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

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Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

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Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

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Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

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This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

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Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

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

The cost of traffic violence, vehicular cyclists versus protected bike lanes, and why people keep dying on the streets

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A British woman describes firsthand what it’s like to survive — barely — a near-fatal collision with a truck driver while riding her bike to church.

I heard a loud bang. A heavy thud. A violent bump. It was me. It was the noise of my body slamming against the lorry. And then falling to the ground.

I couldn’t work out what was happening. My heart was in my throat. I was staring up at the beautiful, bright blue sky, but at the same time sinking into darkness.

I was in excruciating pain as the heavy truck’s wheels – of which there were 12 in total – ran over my leg.

It’s a powerful story.

Especially this part.

I was desperate to see my kids, but I didn’t want to scare them. After two days, I put on my bravest face and held them when they visited me.

My son said, “Mummy, you’re not ready to die. We haven’t finished our story yet.”

Fortunately, she made it. And kept her leg, thanks to five separate surgeries, including one 12 hour marathon.

But something else to consider.

While she doesn’t mention it in her story, one vital aspect in getting back on her feet was the UK’s National Health Service, which meant she didn’t leave the hospital with a massive bill like she would have in the US.

In fact, chances are, she paid little or nothing, despite her month-long hospital stay.

So she was able to go home to her family and resume her life, even writing a book about her experiences.

Instead of being forced into bankruptcy like so many Americans after a similar experience.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune takes a deep dive into the city’s new protected bike lane network, and the problems it causes for some in the spandex-clad set.

“This is to attract the all-ages and abilities groups that are just trying to go places within their communities, but if you need to go fast, the (car) lane is always open,” said Everett Hauser, a traffic engineer focusing on bicycle infrastructure for the city of San Diego.

Many new projects around the region also include bicycle-specific traffic lights at busy intersections and reconfiguring streets to encourage slower driving especially at tight turns.

Still, not everyone’s convinced.

“These protected bike lanes that have appeared in the last few years are the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to bicycling in San Diego,” said Ralph Elliott, 70, historian of the San Diego Bicycle Club and a member for more than 50 years. “They’re unsafe. If there’s a car door in your face, somebody’s walking in the protected bike lane, skateboarding in the lane, dog in the lane all that’s dangerous because you can’t get out.”

Most studies don’t bear that out, however.

A recent 13-year study of 12 large international cities shows that separated and protected bike lanes improve safety for all road users, reducing traffic deaths by 44%.

Although a lot depends on the design and quality of the protected lanes.

But as the story points out, protected bike lanes are designed for casual bike riders who might not feel safe mixing with motorists.

Club riders and other experienced bicyclists who don’t want to slow down should be free to continue riding in the regular traffic lanes, where their speed won’t pose a danger to themselves or others.

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Sadly, two SoCal bicycle riders lost their lives over the weekend.

On Saturday, a 75-year old man was killed by a semi-driver in an Oxnard crash.

And on Sunday, a motorcycle rider somehow slammed into the trailing rider on a group ride in East San Diego County near Jamul; both the bicyclist and the motorcyclist died at the scene.

Two more tragic reminders that our streets aren’t safe enough for people on bicycles. And our safety is still in the hands of those we share the road with.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

An Iowa man who deliberately drove his car through a group of racial justice protestors because he thought they needed “an attitude adjustment” walked without a single day behind bars, despite leaving several injured people in his wake. To make matters worse, his conviction will be expunged if he stays out of trouble for three short years.

And a North Dakota woman walked away with two years probation after intentionally running down a man she’d been arguing with as he attempted to ride away on his bike.

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Take a 59-second mountain bike break.

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

A 73-year old Novato, California woman blames a pair of aggressive mountain bikers for spooking her horse, resulting in a broken wrist, shattered eye socket and a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. Seriously, don’t do that.

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Local

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge died unexpectedly last week at 67; he was known for his frequent recreational rides through his district, though he also blocked a number of bike projects, including the long-planned 4th Street Bike Boulevard.

Streets For All says there’s still time to run for your neighborhood council; a Thursday webinar will discuss how you can add more bike and pedestrian voices to your council — starting with yours.

Glendora wants your input on plans to improve bicycle access to the city’s upcoming Gold Line — aka L Line – station.

 

State

A La Jolla woman ‘fesses up to being the person who installed a free trading post along a bike path in the city.

Federal authorities seized 600 girls bikes worth $84,000 that were headed to a company in San Bernardino County; the Chinese-made bikes had an excessive level of lead in their pink paint.

A Lompoc paper considers the role the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition plays in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bicycles.

After barely surviving stage four throat cancer, a Bakersfield man took to two wheels to regain his life.

No San Francisco, a sharrow on a four-lane arterial roadway does not a safe bicyclist make.

 

National

Bicycling says the best deals are on used bikes these days, and wants to help with your shopping by listing what they consider the best buys.

Cycling Tips offers more details on the proposed class action lawsuit alleging Trek vastly overstated the effectiveness of their WaveCel technology for Bontrager bike helmets.

A young former soap opera star is one of us, as the kid who played Danny Morgan on General Hospital needed a number of stitches after doing a face plant off his bike.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a paraplegic Denver man’s three wheeled adaptive handcycle.

It’s been eight months since a Colorado woman disappeared after reportedly going for a Mother’s Day bike ride; no trace has been found, despite a massive search.

After setting out to ride 2,020 miles across the US in 2020, a South Dakota teenager overshot the mark, ending up with almost 3,000 miles.

Good news from North Carolina, where a 14-year old girl was found safe, three weeks after she had disappeared while riding her bike.

 

International

Now your bike can actively remove pollution from the air, rather than just not adding to it.

A writer for Bike Radar says it’s worth the time and research required to ride comfortably in the winter. Although in LA, that sometimes means just deciding to go with a lower SPF.

Conde Nast Traveler recommends seven bike trails from around the world, from India to Germany — including our own beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail.

Forget how well it protects your head; what really matters about your new bike helmet is whether it works with you ponytail.

A Vancouver man set a new world’s record by riding 7,100 miles to visit 24 European capitals in just six months.

Road.cc calls it an “unexpected outbreak of common sense” as bicyclists get a rule overturned banning bikes from a shopping district, even if they’re just being walked.

London’s city council will take another look at the knee-jerk removal of a popular bike lane after drivers complained it was causing congestion; since the removal, drivers have just used it as a parking lane. As we’ve said before, though, the only real cause of traffic congestion is too many cars.

After riding nearly 50 miles just to get there, a group of men are turned away from a Welsh bike trail for breaking the UK’s lockdown restrictions; they’re told they’ll face arrest if they come back.

British and European bike brands remain in flux as they struggle to adapt to the new Brexit trade rules.

The pandemic-fueled bike boom manifested itself in Ireland, as well, as the city of Cork saw a 35% jump in bicycling last year.

This is what LA could be doing, but isn’t. Paris has approved a $300 million plan to convert the car-choked Champs-Élysées into “an extraordinary garden” running over a mile across the city.

Record-setting 109-year old bike racer Robert Marchand wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, asking that bicyclists be exempted from Covid lockdown rules that restrict biking or running to within roughly two-thirds of a mile from home.

A new Belgian ebike parking unit allows you to securely lock up your heavy bike, while recharging the battery.

Another Chinese bikeshare bicycle dumping ground swamps the city of Chengdu.

No bias here. A Singapore paper asks if bicyclists and drivers can ever get along — but only includes rules for the people on two wheels, with barely a word on how motorists can drive safely around people on bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

German doctor Mark Schmidt faces up to five and a half years behind bars, as well as losing his medical license for five years for his role in the Operation Aderlass doping scandal that took down at least six riders on the pro tour.

 

Finally…

You can’t use stadium seats for sports fans anymore, so you might as well use them to display your massive team cycling jersey collection. If you’re going to steal a tip jar from a business, don’t leave the bike you stole behind.

And yes, the royal family rides bikes, too.

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

Update: Motorcyclist and bicycle rider collide near Jamul in East San Diego County, both victims killed

One crash. Two bikes. Two dead.

In a rare double tragedy, a man on a bicycle was struck by another man on a motorcycle near Jamul in East San Diego County.

Both died within minutes.

According to multiple sources, the victim on the bicycle was riding at the end of a group of road cyclists as they rode east on Otay Lakes Road near the Pio Pico RV Resort and Campground.

The motorcyclist was riding east with three other motorcycle riders when he somehow slammed into the other man on the narrow two-lane road around 9:30 am today.

They both received CPR at the scene, but were pronounced dead after ten minutes.

They were described only as men in their mid to late 30s.

There’s no word on what may have caused the crash.

This is at least the 3rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 40-year old Chula Vista resident Julius Cunanan; he leaves behind his wife and two young sons, one just a month old. 

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $25,000 in two days, surpassing the $15,000 goal. 

Update 2: The motorcyclist has been identified as 43-year-old Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, also from Chula Vista. 

Still no word on why Charbonnet collided with Cunanan’s bicycle.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Julius Cunanan and Jonathan Michael Charbonnet, and all their loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Update: 75-year old man killed by semi driver in while riding bike in Oxnard collision

A 75-year old man was killed in an Oxnard collision Saturday morning.

According to KEYT-TV, the victim was struck by a semi-truck driver while riding his bicycle around 3:43 pm Saturday, at South Oxnard Boulevard and West Wooley Road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck as the driver was headed north on Oxnard after turning off of Wooley.

He died at the scene.

A police spokesman, speaking on a video from the scene, said the victim appeared to already be in the busy five-way intersection when he was run down.

The video, which is disturbing to watch, shows a mangled mountain bike under the truck, along with the victim’s body covered in a shroud. So be warned before you click the link, because you may not want to see it.

This is at least the 2nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 75-year old Oxnard resident Adolfo Ambriz Heredia.

Still no word on why the truck driver hit Heredia’s bike, or whether he will be ticketed or charged for the apparent right hook crash.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolfo Ambriz Heredia and his loved ones.

LA brags about modest bike lane mileage, resource guide for traffic violence victims, and Trek sued over WaveCel claims

Los Angeles continues to nibble at the edges of bike safety, as the city touts the installation or improvement of 61 miles of bike lanes in 2020.

That includes nearly 13 miles of new bike lanes on South LA’s Avalon Blvd.

However, it’s important to remember that LADOT measures bike lanes in lane miles, which means that each side of the roadway is counted separately. So that 61 miles really means bike lanes were added or improved on just 30 miles of streets.

That’s a big step up from the ten lane miles installed in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but still just a fraction of the annual totals built during Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure as mayor — although the city is installing more protected and separated bike lanes now.

However, it still neglects large segments of the city, and makes no attempt to create a connected bike lane network crossing Los Angeles — let alone the three interconnected networks called for in the city’s mobility plan.

Bike lane construction for 2021 is expected to concentrate on Figueroa Blvd in DTLA and Broadway in South LA.

So who knows?

Maybe someday the city will finally get around to building bike lanes where you ride while you’re still young enough to use them.

………

Losing a loved one is hard enough under any conditions.

Let alone losing someone you love to traffic violence.

That’s why Southern California Families for Safe Streets, a project of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, is offering a free resource guide for people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss.

The guide was prepared by people who have gone through it themselves, including tips on how to turn your grief into effective action.

Let’s hope you never need it.

But roughly 3,500 California families did in 2019. And probably will this year.

………

Why wait for local leaders to rip out a bike lane, when you can just turn an offroad bike path into your own personal car lane?

………

It’s not new, but this video offers a recumbent tour of a unique California neighborhood where homes have hangers instead of garages, and taxiways in place of streets.

Thanks to the free, daily California Sun newsletter for the link.

………

Forget the latest high-end, high-tech wonders. Pink Bike takes a look at what everyday bike riders are riding.

………

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

Someone has been removing bollards from a protected bike lane in the UK and just tossing them across the surrounding area, creating a hazard for people riding bicycles, as well as others who might trip or drive over them.

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

An Aussie bike rider unloads on a motorist after the car’s passenger threw litter at him. Seriously, don’t do this, kids. Violence is never the answer. Although I may have been known to toss trash back through the driver’s window.

………

Local

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition reminds the city — and everyone else — that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just people on bikes.

 

State

Six women will set out to break three world records on Saturday by riding elliptical bikes up San Diego’s steep Mt. Palomar, with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in just 12.5 miles.

Santa Barbara has embarked on a stunning remake of Los Positas Road to add a 2.6-mile multi-use path connecting to the beach.

 

National

Maybe there’s hope yet. Streetsblog says the victories by Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia opens the way for a long-delayed revamp of the national transportation bill to create greater sustainability, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation.

A new lawsuit accuses Trek of falsely claiming its Bontrager WaveCel helmets are up to 48 times more effective than traditional foam bike helmets in order to command a higher price.

The Drive recommends their picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

Anyone can build up an existing frame, so learn how to weld your own, instead.

Las Vegas bike advocates are responding to the recent death of five experienced bicyclists at the hands of a meth-using truck driver by pushing for greater safety for people on two wheels, including a call for a presumed liability law that would shift the burden of proof to the person in the more dangerous vehicle.

A Nyack NY bike shop is shutting down after nearly 50 years, after long days due to the pandemic bike boom took all the fun out of it for the owner, and emptied all the shop’s inventory, anyway.

New York suffered its first bicycling death of 2021 when an ebike rider inexplicably rode into the back of a parked SUV, the same day Southern California saw the year’s first first bike rider killed in a Riverside hit-and-run.

Great idea. A New Jersey business district is offering shoppers free twice-weekly delivery by cargo bike.

 

International

Road.cc rates 15 aluminum disk brake bikes, calling them today’s best value bikes.

More evidence of the worldwide bike boom, as London’s bikeshare system saw a record-setting 157% increase in registrations during the pandemic.

Two Irish cousins will spend at least a couple decades behind bars for murdering another man in a case of mistaken identity after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle; one man got a life sentence while the other received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

A Dutch university has developed a tool to wirelessly recharge ebikes through the kickstand.

Admitting to mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, Milan’s mayor is committed to changing how people get around the formerly auto-centric city, including plans for 185 miles of new bike lanes, with 21 miles already installed during the initial lockdown.

A horrifying crime, as Indian vigilantes kidnapped 30 women and children because they suspected men in the nomadic tribe of stealing bikes. Although they may have accused them of stealing motorcycles, rather than bicycles, since the Indian press uses the same term for both.

Malaysian bicyclists say new bike riders inspired by the pandemic bike boom are giving the rest of them a bad name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, the pros do care what you say about them. So be nice.

Former doper and current gelati maker Riccardo Riccò just says no to the Covid-19 vaccine, thanks to a newfound concern over what he puts in his body.

 

Finally…

Just what every aspiring fashionista needs — a $27,000 haute couture bicycle. Your lifelong wait for bike shorts with built-in artificial intelligence and stimulating electrodes is finally over.

And if you’re using your bike to burglarize motor vehicles, just put a damn light on it, already.

………

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

Update: Bike rider killed in Riverside hit-and-run Thursday morning; first SoCal bike death of 2021

Sadly, it should surprise anyone that the first Southern California bike rider to lose his life this year was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

According to MyNewsLA, the victim was riding south on Jackson Street at Colorado Ave in Riverside, in a dedicated bike lane, when he was struck by a driver around 6:30 am this morning.

The driver slowed down briefly, then took off without stopping.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to Parkview Community Hospital, where he died a short time later.

KTLA-5 reports the initial investigation indicates he left the bike lane and entered the regular traffic lane just before he was run down.

However, a street view shows a broken line on the bike lane prior to the intersection, which could have given the impression he left the bike lane.

Unfortunately, there’s no description of the hit-and-run suspect or the vehicle at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Police Detective Anderson at 951/826-8723.

This is the first bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County

That compares 65 bicycling deaths in Southern California last year, and ten in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 66-year old Riverside resident Lin Tae Kim

The suspect vehicle is described as a 2002 – 2008 Mini Cooper, with the driver’s side window and mirror missing, as well as several pieces of side trim.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lin Tae Kim and his loved ones. 

 

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