Alleged Mammone killer pleads not guilty to murder, and 85-year old San Diego man critically injured in crash with bike rider

Let’s begin today with a not-so-brief update on the horrific murder of ER Dr. Michael John Mammone as he rode his bike in Dana Point last week.

If you’re not interested, or the subject understandably makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip down to the next section.

Mammone was riding his mountain bike north on PCH when he stopped at the red light at Crown Valley Parkway around 3 pm Wednesday.

That’s when a white Lexus allegedly driven by 39-year old Long Beach resident Vanroy Evan Smith slammed into him from behind, traveling fast enough to blow through the red light, despite the impact with Mammone’s bike.

Smith then got out of his car, walked back to Mammone and repeatedly stabbed him as he lay injured in the street; Mammone died less than three hours later in the same Providence Mission Hospital ER where he sometimes worked.

Smith was disarmed by a pair of witnesses who detained him until police arrived.

Frighteningly, there is no known connection between the two men, and nothing to suggest it was a case of road rage — though that remains one of the most likely explanations — making the crash appear to be totally random at this time.

Smith faces 25 to life, plus one year, after he was arraigned Friday on a charge of felony murder, with a felony enhancement for the personal use of a knife. He pled not guilty, and is currently being held on $1 million bail.

There have been some reports that Smith was armed with a gun, or possibly a BB gun, and fired several shots either before or after stabbing Mammone; however, there is no mention of a gun of any kind in the OC DA’s press release.

There is also no mention of reports that Smith shouted “White privilege!” as he stabbed Mammone, which was originally reported by Fox News, and has been repeated by a number of conservative news sources. However, Fox appears to have removed any mention of that from their story.

That does not necessarily mean those things did not happen, but there is currently nothing to confirm either accusation. Although RssRyan relates in a lengthy Twitter conversation that a neighbor heard the alleged racist statement, and will be speaking with prosecutors.

Smith did reposted a video discussing white privilege nearly three years ago on what appears to be his Facebook page.

However, Smith’s’ ex-wife denied reports than he was violent or made racist comments during their marriage, noting that the mild-mannered native Jamaican accountant was mixed race, and over half white.

We need to be careful spreading rumors that may ultimately prove to be false.

There is a danger that these reports being spread on conservative media may lead to confirmation bias among some in their audience, incorrectly confirming their false beliefs about people of color.

They could also be used as justification by someone with racist views to retaliate against the next Black or brown bike rider they see.

Also troubling is a photo on Smith’s Facebook page suggesting that he may have been one of us.

How someone who rode a bicycle, even infrequently, could commit such a horrific act against a fellow bike rider is beyond me.

Then again, how any person could do it to anyone is, too.

Photo of Dr. Mammone ghost bike by Photo by Walt Arrrrr. Thanks to Good Citizen for the Facebook information.

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Awful news from San Diego, where an 85-year old man suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was struck by a bike rider on North Torrey Pines Road near Torrey Pines State Beach.

The victim was reportedly standing in the bike lane when he was struck by a bicycle ridden by a 63-year-old man. He apparently hit his head on the pavement, suffering a skull fracture and brain bleed, while the bike rider suffered a cut above his left eye.

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Diego Police Department Traffic Division at 888/580-8477.

Thanks to Steven Young for the link.

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Streetsblog looks at the newly unveiled semi-protected bike lanes on Alameda Blvd in DTLA.

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Nice to see Jersey City NJ bicyclists aren’t taking the case of the hit-and-run councilwoman lying down.

DeGise was convicted after pleading guilty to hit-and-run for fleeing when she crashed into a bike rider last year; that alone should be an automatic disqualification for public office.

Instead, she walked with a slap on the wrist when the judge fined her five grand and suspended her license for a whole year.

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This video convincingly makes the case that if there weren’t any cars, we wouldn’t need traffic lights.

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

Bike riders in Edinburg, Scotland are ridiculing a new advisory lane that is literally narrower than a set of handlebars, calling it a “unicycle lane.”

Huh? After a London cabbie is filmed driving in a protected bike lane, rather than moving over into the taxi lane next to it, commenters claimed he’s not responsible for the lane markings. No, he’s just responsible for obeying them.

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

No, tossing a bicycle on British railroad tracks is not one of the approved uses for one.

@cycling_in_london

Definitely did that ok purpose lol #london #fyp #cyclist #cycling #londonlife #cyclepath #bikepath #cyclelane #cyclingtiktok #londonstreets #bromptonbikes #ebike #taxi #londontaxi #cabbie #londoncabbie

♬ original sound – Cycling in London

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Local 

LAist looks at last week’s mobility debate for the candidates running to replace disgraced CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez, sponsored by Streets For All. Unfortunately, video of the event doesn’t seem to be posted online yet.

No surprise that the former Governator was involved in a Brentwood bicycle collision, since Arnold Schwarzenegger rides an ebike nearly every day. Except this time, he was driving his massive GMC SUV — making it his second injury crash behind the wheel in a year — although police concluded it was just another “oopsie.” The victim was transported to a hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, while Arnold took her bike into a shop to have it repaired. Thanks to mcderpy87 and Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.

VeloNews looks at LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati to help children of color succeed in life through bicycling.

 

State

A proposed bill would improve driver sightlines at crosswalks and intersections through daylighting, by removing parking next to the intersection.

Irvine-based electric truck maker Rivian could be entering the micromobility field, though it’s unclear whether they plan to build an ebike or an e-motorcycle.

San Diego has begun work on a Complete Streets makeover of Park Blvd, including painted bike and bus lanes.

A Santa Barbara writer credits her neighbor with turning a long-neglected tandem gathering dust in the garage into a remade ride for two worth $800.

San Francisco is beginning a long-planned makeover of iconic but deadly Market Street, although plans for sidewalk-level bike lanes have been axed, requiring bike riders to continue sharing the lane with taxis, paratransit and commercial vehicles.

Healdsburg is slated for a $11.8 million grant for a road diet and protected bike lanes on Healdsburg Ave.

 

National

The US Department of Transportation has issued a Call to Action campaign, asking stakeholders to commit to specific actions in the coming year to reduce serious injuries and deaths on American roadways.

Lyft plans to fight clutter by docking its bikeshare bikes and e-scooters. Which kind of eliminates the whole point of dockless mobility, doesn’t it?

CNN examines the problem of head injuries leading to suicides in female athletes, using the tragic case of US track cyclist Kelly Catlin as one example; Catlin took her own life in her Stanford dorm after suffering a dramatic personality change following a concussion.

People for Bikes ranks the best new bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles. No, seriously, take a guess.

The Daily Beast says forget electric cars, ebikes are the future of transportation.

They get it. A Yakima, Washington paper says you don’t have to ride that far to catch up with the little kid inside you.

The party is over in Tempe, Arizona, where New Belgium Brewing has pulled the plug on the annual Tour de Fat fundraiser, a decade after the Fat Tire brewers halted the Los Angeles edition.

It may soon be legal to ride your bike drunk in North Dakota. Or your horse, for that matter.

Oklahoma City police released bodycam video of the arrest of a man who allegedly took his own life in jail, after he was originally stopped for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Sad news from New York, where yet another ebike fire has left two children with critical injuries, and another child less seriously injured.

A Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit over a collision allegedly caused by an Ocean City police officer as both men were riding their bikes on the boardwalk, accusing the cop of riding “at a high, dangerous and unnecessary speed.”

DC now has two competing ebike rebate bills, one of which would provide up to two grand on the purchase of an e-cargo bike, or $1,500 off a standard ebike.

 

International

A website offers a questionable list of the world’s top 15 “most famous and best” bike brands, ranking Taiwan’s Merida over better know bike brands like Trek, Specialist and Schwinn.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, as the Theory Of Everything actor had to get off his bike to ask for directions in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

PinkBike takes a mountain bike trip through Slovenia in the new short film Road to Trieste.

Your next bike ride could be 1,000 feet in the air above a Chinese theme park. I’ll pass, thank you.

 

Competitive Cycling

As expect, Sunday’s world ‘cross championship came down to a battle between Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel and Belgian Wout van Aert, with van der Poel prevailing in a final sprint to the finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when it’s time to put a beloved bike down. Why ride an ebike when you could ride a 10-foot-long electric dinosaur.

And meet the very tongue-in-cheek DC Nimbee.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Dana Point murder victim ID’d as OC ER doc, why an OC ghost bike needs to stay, and $800 million for safe streets

Let’s start with a quick update on the horrific events in Dana Point Wednesday afternoon.

The victim of the incident has been identified as 58-year old Michael John Mammone, an emergency physician with Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.

Mammone was reportedly stopped in the bike lane at the red light on PCH at Crown Valley Parkway, when a Lexus driven by 39-year old Long Beach resident Vanroy Evan Smith slammed into him from behind.

Smith then got out of his car and stabbed Mammone as he lay on the ground; Mammone died at a nearby hospital approximately three hours later.

After stabbing Mammone at least once in the back, Smith pulled out a gun and began shooting, apparently at random. Adding to the bizarre nature of the incident, there are reports that the weapon may have been a BB gun.

So far, investigators have found no link between Smith and Mammone, suggesting that it may have been a road rage attack, or possibly a case of mistaken identity.

Or it may have been completely random, which is even more frightening.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714/288-6740.

You can read more about Smith’s murder of Dr. Mammone here.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Yesterday, longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin included me in his email response to someone asking about an Irvine ghost bike.

I found his response so moving and insightful, I asked for his permission to share it with you here.

Thanks for reaching out.

I know it was placed shortly after the killing of Barbora Kabatova, 26 years old (July 11 2020) by her close friend(s).

I offered, but did not help place it, and I understand it is actually one of Barbora’s own bicycles.

Kabatova ghost bike photo taken from Facebook page

 

I do not know what Caltrans policy is, but I would be happy to see it in kept in place until Caltrans applies their own ‘Complete Streets’ best practices to call out the Jeffrey Class II bikeway where it is merged across by their freeway entrance, or better yet removes the free-right acceleration lane across the bikeway and makes a 90° intersection to ’square off’ this old style dangerous condition.

Since that fatality nothing has been done to deal with this hazardous condition, where the bike lane turns into a shoulder of the entrance, and even a pedestrian or sidewalk cyclist can be killed by high speed accelerating motorists.

Not even an on-demand warning light for those trying to use the crosswalk, much less a curb bulb-out.

Irvine has not reduced posted or actual speeds on Jeffrey either.

Every time I ride past it I think of Barbora and her death. It’s a good reminder. I am grateful that Caltrans has not removed it for the last 2 1/2 years.

Your resident is correct – it has been out there, motionless, day and night, rain or shine, silent, for over 2 years.

If it were her friend or daughter killed, she might understand it’s value.

If there was a ghost bike located at the site of the other 16 Orange County cyclist who died in 2020, and the 7 in 2021, the 19 in 2022 and 2 already in 2023, the motorists and traffic engineers might take greater steps to slow down and make our roads safer.

We can only hope.

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After so much bad news, we have a little good news to share.

The US Department of Transportation announced the first $800 million of the five year, $5 billion — yes, with a B — Safe Streets and Roads for All Program that was established in the new federal budget.

Fast Company reports that’s just a down payment, with another $1.1 billion to be released later this spring.

California is set to receive $133 million of that, including six large “transformative” projects which will receive a combined $100 million, three of which are in Southern California.

  • Los Angeles County will receive $21 million for Florence-Firestone for All, a Vision Zero plan along corridors with high collision rates.
  • The City of Los Angeles will get $9 million for the La Brea Avenue Complete Streets Project. Or maybe only sort of complete, since it doesn’t include any bicycling infrastructure or improvements.
  • And as we mentioned yesterday, Wildomar is set to receive $2 million for the Sedco Blvd Improvements.

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Somehow I missed the announcement that California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman is running to replace Adam Schiff in the United States House of Representatives 30th District, as Schiff runs for Diane Feinstein’s US Senate seat.

While we’ll miss her strong advocacy in Sacramento for active transportation, she’ll offer an even stronger voice in DC.

Thanks to Blake Dellinger and Ravener for the heads-up.

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

No bias here. An “avid bicyclist” says a hit-and-run Jersey City councilwoman may have been wrong, but the bike rider she hit doesn’t deserve a $1 million settlement because he’s “everything that serious bikers, like myself, detest.” Like riding in flip flops, for instance.

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Local 

Rides will be free on LA Metro, Metrolink, LADOT and San Bernardino County Transportation Authority buses and trains this Saturday to mark the 6th Annual Transit Equity Day celebrating the birthday of Rosa Park.

Metro is planning to start construction later this year on a “multimodal” widening project on the 605 Freeway, which somehow fails to include any actual multimodal elements.

Registration is now open for the 45th LA Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk, including 2 and 40-mile bike rides.

 

State

A San Francisco bike messenger worker’s collective strives to straddle the fine line between competing with large businesses, and relying on them for business.

 

National

Apparently, justice delayed isn’t always justice denied. A Las Vegas driver was arrested for DUI ten months after he killed a bike rider while driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone; he wasn’t arrested at the scene after passing field sobriety tests, but a blood test showed THC, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Bad enough when Denver drivers run down bike riders, but they don’t have to kill their ghost bikes, too.

NPR looks at efforts to remove a bike lane on Kansas City’s Truman Road, as business owners complain about the loss of parking spaces, as usual. Even though multiple studies show bike lanes are good for business

Four Pittsburgh cops will fight their suspensions in an effort to regain their jobs, 16 months after a man was killed when he was tased ten times in a matter of minutes, for the crime of test-riding an abandoned bicycle that had been left on the sidewalk; no charges have been filed, and prosecutors have still not released video of the incident.

According to Streetsblog, entitled New York drivers have been whining about a lack of parking for over a century. Los Angeles drivers have been whining at least as long, even though DTLA has more parking per acre than any other site on Earth, according to UCLA parking meister Dr. Donald Shoup.

Momentum talks with New York City cargo-biker Michael Palacios, who was intentionally run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding with his massive dog; he was also the person who allegedly went on a axe-wielding rampage at a New York McDonald’s.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 12-year old Menlo Park NJ boy’s bicycle in a strong-arm robbery.

She gets it. A Philadelphia student says for her low-income, immigrant family, bicycling wasn’t recreation, it was a question of survival. And helped her get a full-ride college scholarship.

This is who we share the road with. After a severed human penis was discovered in the parking lot of an Alabama gas station, investigators said it belonged to a motorcyclist who was killed in a collision with multiple vehicles on a nearby highway, and carried to the station on the grill of a truck; it fell off when the driver parked at the station.

 

International

A professional driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he killed a Welsh bike rider because the sun was in his eyes; however, it didn’t work this time, because he was found guilty anyway.

Three people, a man and two women, have been arrested in the death of a father and his teenage son who were killed when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding their bikes in the UK last month; another man was arrested when the abandoned car was discovered shorty after the crash. At least one man faces a possible murder charge.

Bicyclists in Cyprus called for the immediate repeal of a new mandatory bike helmet law just hours after it went into effect, as critics called it a step backwards that will make safety worse, not better.

 

Competitive Cycling

France’s first major bike race of the year came to a sudden halt, when a major pile-up forced organizers to cancel stage 2 of the Etoile de Bessèges with less than 15 miles to go.

Cyclist rates the year’s best pro cycling kits.

 

Finally…

Forget the sports drinks, and quaff an alcohol-free beer instead. Why ride out in the hot sun when you can ride a 57-mile long climate-controlled bike path?

And that feeling when you insist your rust-ridden tetanus express just needs a tune-up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bike rider murdered in Dana Point crash & stabbing, and unidentified woman in Mission Hills hospital after bike crash

Let’s get the worst news out of the way first.

If you missed it last night, someone riding a mountain bike in Dana Point was murdered in one worst cases of traffic violence in memory.

The victim was was riding north in the bike lane on PCH when a driver rammed them from behind, then came back around, got out of his car and stabbed the bike rider as they lay helpless on the ground.

The victim died a few hours later at a nearby hospital; the driver was arrested after being detained by witnesses.

You can read the full story here.

But be forewarned, it contains contains security cam video that clearly shows the crash, though not the stabbing. So you may want to think twice before hitting play.

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Hospital staffers are asking for the public’s help identifying two unknown and unconscious patients in LA County hospitals, including a woman who was injured riding her bike in Mission Hills.

The woman is described being in her late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 153 pounds, with medium-length dark brown hair, brown eyes and a medium skin tone.

She has a tattoo on her right forearm with a red and green heart outlined in black, and the words “One love.”

It’s possible that she may be homeless.

Anyone with information is urged to call Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills at 818/365-8051.

Just one more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you when you ride.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

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The LA Times looks at California’s plan to boost ebike sales through an equity-based point-of-sale incentive — not a rebate, as we’ve been told.

The paper also notes that many of lower-income residents who could benefit most from the program live in areas with the most dangerous streets.

Yet projects in the city’s mobility plan to alleviate the problems remain on hold, perhaps permanently, with just 3% of the plan build out, over seven years into the 25-year plan.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s KPBS says that city’s bike shops are abuzz about the program. As they should be, since our neighbor to the south is actually doing something to encourage bicycling and protect people on two wheels.

Personally, I’ll get excited when and if they actually roll it out, and without such stringent qualifications that virtually no one actually qualifies.

And if they don’t manage to fuck it up some other way. Which I wouldn’t bet on, given the long delay in rolling it out.

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

More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a British burglar makes off on his bike with a homeowner’s purloined TV.

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Local 

Los Angeles-based women’s all-sizes bikewear brand Machines For Freedom has come to an ignominious end, shut down by parent company Specialized just five years after it was purchased from the brand’s founders; the shutdown leaves a sizable hole in the market for women who don’t fit the bike industry’s usual petite stereotype.

Bike riders participating in this month’s 45th Annual L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run will have the opportunity to ride through the Pasadena area on a 40-mile ride beginning and ending in Chinatown.

Manhattan Beach will receive a $1 million grant to improve a bike path and close gaps in a bike lane connecting to the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail, one of five South Bay grants contained in December’s federal appropriations bill.

 

State

San Diego will receive a $680,000 US Department of Transportation grant as part of the federal appropriations bill; the funds will help add a “comprehensive speed management plan, a historically disadvantaged community quick build program and slow streets program to the city’s existing Vision Zero Strategy.”

Wildomar received a $2.2 million grant to improve Sedco Blvd by adding bike lanes, improving sidewalks, and installing three roundabouts along a short 0.19-mile segment connecting two planned bicycle corridors.

Santa Maria cops conducted a bait bike operation by hiding a bicycle under a tarp in the back of a pickup parked in a hotel lot; one man is in custody after two men took the bait, then ran away to avoid arrest. Yet that’s something that the LAPD still refuses to do, despite the city’s unacceptable rate of bike thefts, over fears of entrapment accusations. Even though dozens of other California police agencies don’t seem to have a problem with that.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at new California laws that affect bike riders, pedestrians and motorists, including the requirement to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle when possible.

Tragic news in Tracy, where police shot and wounded a 17-year old Afghan refugee when the boy failed to comply with orders to get off his bicycle; local groups working with the Muslim community questioned why less lethal methods weren’t used, suggesting a likely language barrier kept the boy from understanding the cop’s commands. He’s reportedly recovering in the hospital after undergoing two surgeries.

No bias here. A Marin bike advocate complains about “fighting for scraps to fund bike/ped projects” while the county spends $7.5 million to repave a parking lot.

 

National

Seattle-based Rad Power’s RadWagon 4 e-cargo bike is back on the market, following a recall that affected nearly 30,000 of the company’s bikes.

Separated bike lanes in Flagstaff, Arizona are posing a problem this winter, blocked by snow piled by plowing traffic lanes, and forcing riders to mix it up with drivers in icy streets — even though the city purchased smaller plows just to keep them clear.

No surprise here. Denver’s latest round of 860 ebike rebates were all claimed within 20 minutes of when they became available. Now let’s hope more people actually use them

A Kansas City councilmember calls for a compromise on a contested bike lane, calling for returning one side to parking, while installing a two-way bike lane on the other.

An Iowa paper talks with a then-18-year old man who was one of the few bicyclists to complete the first RAGBRAI 50 years ago.

They get it. An editorial that originally appeared in the paywalled Des Moines Register calls on the legislature to celebrate bicycling in Iowa by committing to safety, starting with passing a ban on distracted driving.

Chicago bike advocates are split on the city’s plan to ticket drivers who block bike lanes, with some calling it a good first step and others saying it doesn’t go far enough. One of the rare cases when both sides are right.

In a very confusing story, a man from Mexico was sentenced to 18-months behind bars for killing a 68-year old bike rider from Paris. Although it makes more sense once you realize they’re both towns in Maine.

A brother from a Louisiana Christian order is planning a 6,000-mile ride to benefit a charity supporting the special needs community, in honor of his nephew with Down Syndrome; he intends to ride up the East Coast from Florida to DC, then across the country to San Francisco.

 

International

Five Canadian mounties face charges for the 2017 death of an Indigenous man who died after he was pepper sprayed while trying to flee on his bicycle.

Over 1,000 people have signed a petition urging officials to rip out a nearly one-year old bike lane on an English road, accusing it of causing congestion. No, too many cars cause congestion; bike lanes help alleviate it by providing a safe alternative to driving.

A British fan site examines how Steven Spielberg pulled off the iconic flying bike scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, despite the limited special effects available over 40 years ago.

Aussie TV star Grant Denyer is one of us, crashing into another bicyclist while trying to pop wheelie, just minutes after posting an on-bike selfie.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Lizzie Deignan continues to ride through her pregnancy, while planning to return to racing in May following the birth of her second child.

Italian pro Davide Formolo says the streets are no longer safe, following the death of longtime friend and mentor Davide Rebellin, who was killed by a truck driver in November.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to take a leak in front of bike cops on the Las Vegas Strip when you’re also wanted for murder.

And that feeling when a month off alcohol leaves you wondering whether to stay dry or down every drop in the fridge, and what either choice means for your bicycling.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Update: OC Dr. Michael John Mammone murdered in Dana Point collision and stabbing; killer arrested at the scene

This time there’s no question.

It’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that a mountain bike rider has died after being run down by a driver, who then got out and stabbed the victim before being restrained by witnesses.

The victim was riding in the bike lane on northbound PCH when he was rundown from behind by the driver of a white Lexus while approaching Crown Valley Parkway around 3 pm Wednesday.

The force of the impact tossed the victim into the intersection. The driver made a U-turn, got out out of his car, then stabbed the victim as they lay injured on the ground.

The victim, who hasn’t been identified, was rushed to a nearby hospital, and died around 5:52 pm.

The driver was arrested at the scene.

Police are unsure if the driver knew the victim, but suspect the initial impact was a deliberate act.

The stabbing definitely was.

There’s no word yet on the charges, but the driver should face a felony murder count.

This is at least the seventh bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It’s also the first one that’s clearly intentional.

Update: Security cam video clearly captured the collision, showing the driver appear to run a red light to slam into the victim.

The stabbing doesn’t appear to be visible, but be forewarned the crash is very graphic. You may want to think twice before clicking on the link.

Update 2: Gut-wrenching doesn’t begin to describe this very public murder. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has identified the victim as 58-year old Michael John Mammone, an emergency physician with Providence Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach — likely the same hospital where he spent the last moments of his life, as doctors worked feverishly to save him. 

His killer was named as 39-year old Vanroy Evan Smith. 

According the sheriff’s department, there’s no answer yet as to why Smith murdered Mammone in the middle of a busy Orange County intersection. 

At this time, there is no known connection between the suspect and the victim. Investigators will work to determine what led to this incident. This incident is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail.

If you have any information related to this crime, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-288-6740. Anonymous information may be provided through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

The Laguna Beach Independent reports the knife was recovered at the scene. 

A news story from Fox11 indicates Smith stabbed Mammone at least once in the back, then pulled out a gun and fired several shots before he was disarmed by witnesses; no word on whether anyone was struck by the bullets or if the weapon was recovered.

The station also posted photos of Mammone’s killer, somehow obtained from a Long Beach law firm

The report from Fox11 also included this statement from the hospital where Mammone worked:

The hospital released the following statement saying, “We are stunned by this devastating tragedy. The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone’s dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care.”

Update 3: As expected, the Orange County District Attorney’s office has charged Smith with murder, along with a felony enhancement of the personal use of a knife.

He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, plus one year. Which apparently means if he dies in prison, they’ll keep him propped up in his cell for another year.

Smith pled not guilty to the charges, also as expected; he’s currently being held on $1 million bail.

However, there’s no mention of a gun in the DA’s press release, which calls into question reports on Fox News that he fired multiple rounds after the stabbing.

The DA added this statement in the press release:

“An innocent man is dead because he took a bike ride to enjoy a beautiful California day along the beach and he was hit with a car and stabbed to death by someone he apparently never met,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The murder of a complete stranger in broad daylight for what appears to be absolutely no reason is the stuff of nightmares. This unspeakable act of violence will forever haunt those who were forced to witness it and it will forever haunt all of those who loved Dr. Mammone.”

Meanwhile, a comment from MamieMTB clarified that Mammone was likely taken to the trauma center at Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach.

LAist compares the incident to the infamous Mandeville Canyon case, in which road raging Dr. Christopher Thompson was convicted of brake-checking three bicyclists, seriously injuring two.

However, we should be careful at this point, because there is nothing yet to indicate this was a case of road rage, even though that is one of the most likely explanations.

There could have been some yet-unknown connection between the two, or it could have been a completely random incident.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michael John Mammone and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to mcderpy87, Victor Bale, Phillip Young, Edward Rubinstein and Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

A deep dive into an ebike tragedy, minibike rider killed in Downey hit-and-run, and driver appalled at bicyclists taking the lane

Let’s start with another deep dive from Peter Flax, who seems to specialize in finding the heart and complexities underlying our most heartrending tragedies.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the solo ebike crash that took the life of 12-year old Molly Steinsapir last year, when she and a friend crashed their Rad Power bike at the bottom of a hill in Pacific Palisades, unable to stop.

The crash has led to a lawsuit by her parents against the bikemaker, Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes.

This story also begins with two preteen girls on a bicycle—to be specific, since it matters, on an electric bike made by the ascendant Rad Power Bikes. It was the final day of January 2021, on yet another balmy morning in Los Angeles. An 11-year-old named Eme Green was piloting the e-bike, and her friend Molly Steinsapir, 12, was nestled behind her on a cushioned seat intended for a second passenger. Molly and Eme were friends and neighbors, and both lived about a half mile downhill from this dramatic perch. One can imagine or at least hope that the girls felt some awe and delight up there, marveling at the expanse of earth and ocean and blue sky before them.

But then they turned that e-bike downhill and a terror unfolded. As Molly’s parents would later allege in a lawsuit, Eme could not stop the RadRunner, and the two girls crashed at high speed near the bottom of the steepest stretch of Enchanted Way. Molly, who was wearing a bike helmet, hit the pavement hard and lost consciousness.

Tragically, she would never wake up. Despite a series of increasingly desperate surgeries to address her head injuries, Molly would be pronounced dead a little more than two weeks later.

That’s the part of the story we all know, if you’ve been following the case.

But Flax uses Molly’s tragic death as a platform to examine the burgeoning ebike industry, and the boom in ebike riders of all ages.

And the seemingly inevitable crashes that follow.

This story will raise questions that don’t lend themselves to straightforward answers. Some are philosophical questions that you’ll have to ponder yourself; some are legal questions that lawyers will argue and possibly a jury will have to deliberate; and some are questions that only legislative or regulatory bodies can address. Should children be allowed to ride e-bikes? How do you balance responsibility between parents and the companies that make those bikes? Should there be significantly more proactive regulation of e-bikes by the government, given that some e-bikes may not be as safe as they should be? And in the absence of such regulation, do the companies that make and market e-bikes—particularly the companies that sell relatively inexpensive e-bikes directly to the customer—have an ethical or legal obligation to do more?

Like anything He writes, it spins an emotionally compelling tale that’s exceptionally well written. And it exposes deeper issues we all should be concerned with.

In other words, it’s well worth the few minutes of your day it will take to read it.

You can read the story on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

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A Downey paper reports a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

The victim was found lying on eastbound Telegraph Road over the San Gabriel River around 10:30 pm, after multiple witnesses reported the crash.

However, according to multiple other sources, the victim was actually riding a motorized minibike, rather than a bicycle.

Which doesn’t make it one bit less tragic. Or criminal.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

A Santa Monica driver is unhappy to find himself behind a small group of bicyclists.

At first glance, I thought the bike riders were breaking the law by taking both lanes, before realizing that the lane to the right is actually a parking lane.  But in this case, they can legally take the full lane as long as they’re moving at the speed of traffic; otherwise they would be required to use the bike lane, which isn’t practical for a group ride.

One more reason to can California’s bike lane requirement.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, ChrisByBike offers his own example of what is unacceptable.

………

The victim in Saturday’s Fullerton bike crash has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin.

Investigators believe he somehow rode into a the back of a parked truck with enough force to cause his death, even though a reported witness called it a hit-and-run.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little over half of the $12,000 goal.

………

CicLAvia offers a reminder about the year’s first edition of what may be the country’s most popular open streets event later this month.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1620542911627534338

………

This is what it looks like when bikes get priority, and cars are guests.

Maybe we’ll see that here someday.

………

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

A clearly frightened Toronto bike rider was subjected to homophobic slurs from a driver before he was run off the road; his attorney’s letter to the city’s mayor spells out what his attacker could and should have been charged with.

No bias here. A columnist on the British island of Jersey complains about a plan to encourage bicycling to cut pollution with an ebike rebate, even though he claims there’s no proof of a pollution problem. And he wants bikes to face even more stringent restrictions than cars, including a ban on bicycles in the city center.

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

An Ithaca NY bike rider learned the attempted coverup is worse than the crime when he gave cops a false name and struggled with officers after he was stropped for a traffic violation.

………

Local 

No bias here. Spectrum TV’s LA Times Today discusses “the battle of ebikes on SoCal beach boardwalks.” But somehow illustrates the story with what looks like an electric motorcycle zooming along a highway.

A writer for WeHoVille wins the lottery for a free bike from the city as part of a pilot program to get more people riding. Then has second thoughts about the restrictions, including a requirement to ride a minimum of a relatively paltry 20 miles a month.

 

State

Carlsbad officials joined with the San Diego Bike Coalition to preach the mantra of bicycle safety, following the city’s two-month extension of its bicycle state of emergency.

Streetsblog talks with San Francisco bike advocate Stacey Randecker, who recently went viral — and not in a good way — after complaining about paramedics parked in a bike lane, gaining fame as the “entitled cyclist of San Francisco,” or alternately, as a bike lane Karen. And as usual, there’s another side to the story.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a Roseville bike rider was killed in an early morning crash after allegedly swerving in and out of the roadway in low light conditions.

 

National

Bicycling examines the eight bike skills they say every rider needs to know. Although I’d question the inclusion of drafting in that list, since only roadies who race or ride in groups really need that skill. Once again, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you. 

Women’s Health offers ten reasons to take up cycling, though they don’t differentiate between the indoor and outdoor versions.

Houston bike advocates are raising concerns after two bike riders and a man on an e-scooter were killed in just the first month of this year.

Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America offer three floors of bikes covering more than two centuries of history, including bicycles used by Pee Wee Herman and Robin Williams.

He gets it. A Massachusetts letter writer objects to a proposal to remove new bikes, saying the traffic congestion opponents complain about will still be there, and bike lanes meet the state’s objective to serve people with lower incomes.

A New York driver is caught on video illegally using the bus lane, and fleeing the scene after crashing into a man on a cargo bike; the cargo bike was trashed, but at least his dog is okay. Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Mail claims he’s the same man that terrorized patrons at a New York McDonald’s with an axe last September.

That’s more like it. A Florida man will spend the next ten years behind bars after pleading no contest in the drunken death of a 73-year old woman, who lingered for eight months following the crash.

 

International

That explains a lot. Is anyone really surprised that a new British Columbia study shows sitting in traffic for “just” two hours is enough to cause brain damage?

A Toronto bike cop goes viral for ticketing a truck parked in a contraflow bike lane. Yet somehow, some people side with the truck driver.

A record-breaking Scottish bicyclist rode her bike for the first time since last September, after she had to learn to walk again when a hit-and-run driver broke her pelvis in four places; the driver who ran her down still hasn’t been found.

An English judge tells a 32-year old man to expect a very significant sentence  after he pled guilty at the last minute to the high-speed death of two boys sharing a bicycle.

An Amsterdam intersection saw so much bike traffic, it had to be redesigned to increase capacity while improving protection from motorists.

The Belgian city of Ghent is combining preservation with bicycling by converting a very cool unused medieval building into a public bike parking structure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A September mountain bike race with test the course for the Paris Olympics mountain bike events, with “breathtaking” views of the Eiffel Tower.

A petition drive is calling for pioneering Black world champion cyclist Major Taylor to be honored with a postage stamp and a Congressional Medal of Honor; a Hollywood movie about his life is also in the works.

Tadej Pogačar and Rafał Majka played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the winner in Tuesday’s stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoCjo7XrV3O/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=3e68acb0-17ea-4fed-8207-9323fb92edc5

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s a short journey from selling pretzels from a three-wheeled bike to becoming a Food Network Star. Your next bike could be a 900-pound DIY pedal-powered VW Bug.

And who can argue that bicycling isn’t cool when Clark Gable was one of us, too?

With no hands, no less.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Journalists criticize fatally flawed Wilson shooting story, and $11.3 million grant for San Jose Creek Multi-Use Bikeway

Last week we linked to Outside’s deep dive into the murder of rising gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson.

As you’ll recall, Wilson was shot to death in Austin, Texas last year in what reportedly amounted to a one-sided love triangle.

Wilson was — allegedly — murdered by Kaitlin Armstrong in a fit of jealousy, after Wilson spent an afternoon with top men’s ‘cross pro Colin Strickland. Armstrong, Strickland’s on-and-off-girlfriend, apparently saw Wilson as a rival for his affections, even though Strickland and Wilson both denied any romantic involvement.

But not only did Strickland buy the gun Armstrong allegedly used, he also bought the ammunition.

Now top cycling journalists are strongly criticizing the magazine for what they see as basically an apologia for Strickland, written by his friend, Austin-based writer Ian Dille.

Not exactly the objective reporting you’d expect from a credible major magazine.

https://twitter.com/joelindsey/status/1620099550773141504

For some reason, I can’t get the tweet from Laura Weislo to load, but here is what she had to say.

Great work from @outsidemagazine and @iandille on this – not only re-traumatizing everyone close to Mo with this salacious slanted story but also naming those who wanted to stay anon & possibly setting yourselves up for libel suits for some of the details.

I don’t pretend to know enough about the situation or the people involved to offer any objective insights.

But I do know when people like that are telling the magazine to do better, maybe they should listen.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels.

………

That’s more like it.

Pomona announced an $11.3 million grant from LA Metro to build the San Jose Creek Multi-Use Bikeway, completing a missing link in the San Gabriel Valley  Regional Greenway Network.

Although that kind of pales in comparison to the nearly $300 million the agency is spending to create still more induced demand-induced traffic congestion on the 57/60 Freeways. Never mind that it comes in the midst of a climate emergency, when we desperately need to reduce driving, not encourage more of it.

Maybe they could reverse the funding, and give $300 million to bikeway expansion and the relatively paltry $11.3 to freeways.

It’s a thought.

………

Calbike is still in the market for a new executive director, in case you’re looking for something to do with all your free time.

https://twitter.com/CalBike/status/1620104760656334860

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Minnesota Public Radio goes for a winter fat bike ride through the snow.

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

When a San Francisco bike rider blocked a driver from illegally entering a Shared Space street, where non-resident drivers are prohibited on weekends, an enraged driver yelled “You’re the fucking white people that should die” before speeding off. And yes, the driver looked to be white, too.

No bias here. British Columbia’s no-fault insurance program somehow ruled that liability was evenly split between a bike rider and a driver — even though the road raging motorist drove over the victim’s bike, rather than going around her.

Someone used a large vehicle to crush a controversial bike hanger in the UK, which had somehow enraged motorists for the crime of occupying a single parking space; fortunately, none of the bikes inside were harmed.
But sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Tres shock! A writer for Road.cc confesses to not waving at other bicyclists when out for a ride, questioning why a simple nod isn’t enough.

………

Local 

Streetsblog looks forward to a long list of open streets events in and around the City of Angels, including CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets, as well as handful of other events. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that no one was even sure the first CicLAvia would succeed, let alone all the others that have followed.

This is who we share the road with. A pipe-wielding Tesla driver has been arrested in a string of road rage attacks against other motorists stretching back for months.

Our friend Michael Wagner writes CLR Effect about the first bike rodeo held by advocacy group Sustainable Claremont. You really should be reading his site if you ride on the other side of LA County, if you don’t already. And you do, right?

 

State

They get it. The Los Angeles Times says California’s CEQA laws are too easily and too often used to block housing and slow environmental progress.

Mission Viejo’s Providence Mission Hospital is giving away free bike and multi-sport helmets for kids between 2 and 17 at the hospital gift shop.

Streetsblog takes a look at Oceanside’s planned Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101, saying one of the project’s key drivers is drivers using it as a cut-through to bypass traffic on the 5 Freeway.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero program is going the wrong way, as the city suffered the most traffic deaths since the program was adopted in 2014.

Speaking of Streetsblog, Roger Ruddick rides the new Hesperian Boulevard Corridor Improvement Project in Alameda County, describing the ostensible Complete Streets makeover as a hellscape, and concluding that Alameda County once again “lived up to their well-earned reputation for not having a clue how to build a multi-modal corridor.”

 

National

The Bike League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program has now topped 500 communities, spread throughout all 50 states.

Cracked looks back to the good ol’ days “when men thought bicycles wold make women ugly and slutty.

Winter Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day returns to my platinum-level bike-friendly Colorado hometown next week. Which serves as a reminder that we still don’t have a winter Bike to Work Day here in Los Angeles, where the winter weather is so much better. Then again, judging by the last few years, we barely do a regular Bike to Work Day any more, either.

Surprisingly, nearly half of all the ebike vouchers went unused in Denver’s exceptionally popular ebike rebate program, with just 56% actually redeemed to purchase a new ebike.

A Harvard researcher asks if bicycling is safe, particularly for women, and other groups like less-fit men, seniors and parents with children, concluding the answer is no. And not surprisingly, that the danger comes from cars and their drivers.

Connecticut’s legislature is considering 18 recommendations from the state’s Vision Zero committee, including increased use of speed cams to combat the state’s record traffic deaths.

What’s wrong with this picture? A Louisiana bike rider was killed in a head-on collision, even though police investigators later concluded both the victim and the driver were traveling in the right directions on the right side of the road; the driver was booked for vehicular homicide, possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, and driving on the right side of the road. Which usually isn’t a crime, and doesn’t explain how they crashed if they were both in their own lanes.

 

International

Bicyclists participating in the weekly Bikes and Beer ride in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico passed on the usual raucous celebration to remember the victims of the city’s rising toll from traffic violence.

A Toronto committee backed a staff recommendation to make a contentious popup bike lane through the city’s midtown neighborhood permanent, despite opponents claims that they cause gridlocked streets. Meanwhile, Canadian Cycling profiles a fierce advocate of the contested bike lanes.

No bias here, either. A British driver is “horrified” to see — or rather, not see — so many bike riders and pedestrians failing to wear hi-viz or carry flashlights in the early morning gloom. Apparently, she’s unaware that cars have headlights, and drivers are supposed to slow down in low light conditions so they can actually see others on the roadway.

Clean Technica joins the pack extolling Amsterdam’s massive new 7,000 bike underwater parking garage.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler somehow needs a $1080 titanium balance bike, complete with carbon fork. When you feel the need to show the world your cut on the butt from your “near fatal” bike crash.

And who doesn’t need an e-scooter that magically converts to a throttle-controlled ebike?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Lack of art and infrastructure in Redondo Beach, driver injures 3 Temecula bike riders, and screening Biking While Black

If you’re planning to ride today, remember drivers won’t expect to see you out in the rain.

Or even afterwards if the day turns out to be cold but dry after the overnight rains.

Despite the evidence of their own eyes, too many drivers assume no one would ever ride a bicycle in less than ideal conditions.

So light yourself up. Ride defensively. And even more than most days, assume you’re invisible. Because chances are, you might as well be.

Today’s photo: Bike themed food court seating in Culver City.

………

Dr. Grace Peng offers a thread on Redondo Beach’s lack of safe and secure bike infrastructure.

And art.

Click on the tweets to read the full thread. 

https://twitter.com/gspeng/status/1619808057395134464

………

Seriously, jus how crappy a driver do you have to be to take out three Temecula bike riders at once?

Fortunately, no one was killed this time.

………

UCLA’s Lewis Center will host a screening of Yolanda Davis-Overstreet’s documentary Biking While Black a week from tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/lacivilrights/status/1618640923251933185

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The Community Social Planning Council is hosting a free virtual panel discussion tomorrow to discuss ways to reduce minimum parking requirements

………

The Bike League is offering a reduced rate to attend their annual Bike Summit in Washington DC this March through the end of this month.

………

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

No bias here. A Toronto columnist complains about plans to make protected bike lanes on a commercial corridor permanent, saying the city needs to put safety concerns over ideology. But safety for whom? Why should the theoretical slowing of a theoretical fire truck outweigh the very real safety needs of daily bike riders?

………

Local 

Urbanize looks at a plan for the proposed Arts District Metro station, which could include a connection to the LA River bike path once it’s extended through DTLA.

A Claremont letter writer says he opposes the re-installation of red light cams, even though he counts the red light-running drivers on his daily bicycle commute.

 

State

An exploding ebike battery apparently set off a fire that torched a Huntington Beach apartment; a local fire marshal recommended avoiding overcharging ebike batteries, while noting that ebikes are not inherently dangerous.

Oceanside is regaining its sanity, announcing plans for a lane reduction on the Coast Highway 101 from four to two lanes for a one-mile section, as well as installing bike lanes, pedestrian crossing and roundabouts.

Carlsbad’s city council voted to extend the city’s bicycle, ebike and mobility device state of emergency through March 25th.

Bakersfield opened a 2.5-mile, $1.1 million multi-use path and bridge connecting West Bakersfield with the Kern River Bike Path.

San Francisco is reaching out to underserved communities as the city develops its Active Communities Plan, which comes after it already remade its streets by making many of the temporary pandemic-era bike lanes and Slow Streets permanent.

 

National

They get it. A government technology website says ebikes are great for replacing car trips, but they’re only as good as the infrastructure they travel, which is often lacking from low-income neighborhoods.

Maui, Hawaii is now limiting commercial bicycle tours, after the popular rides evidently became too popular, particularly descents of the Haleakalā volcano.

While Orange County is panicking over teenage ebike riders, Hawaii has proposed giving high school students ebike rebates up to $2,000 to help keep more cars off the roads at school times.

A wishy washy Oregon editorial questions whether Oregon should establish an ebike rebate program, without voicing an opinion one way or another — except to say it could result in wealthier Oregonians getting some of the money.

A Las Vegas man without a permanent home gives back to the community through near-daily bikeshare rides to deliver homemade sandwiches to the city’s homeless people.

The official route has been announced for this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, the 50th anniversary of the ride.

Two women in Wisconsin offer advice on riding through the state’s frigid winters. Meanwhile, we’re often told at public meetings that no one would want to ride in a chilly LA winter, where it sometimes gets all the way down to 50°. Brrrrrr.

An Illinois columnist complains about stepping into a linguistic minefield when he referred to the “cross-through” bike his daughter wanted as a girl’s bike, apparently conflating a cross bike with a step-through.

Nashville advocates held a memorial on one of the city’s deadliest streets for the 48 pedestrians and two bike riders killed on Music City streets last year.

A Maine op-ed credits the state’s DOT with providing bike riders and pedestrians with a glimmer of hope by creating the state’s first-ever active transportation plan.

A new Massachusetts law starting April 1st will require drivers to stay four feet from bike riders and other vulnerable road users.

A Jersey City man has filed a $1 million claim against the city, saying he was the victim of a hit-and-run when he was struck by a councilwoman who didn’t bother to stop, after allegedly riding his bike through a red light; she has already been fined $5,000 and lost her license for a year as a result.

 

International

A new backpack takes the Hövding inflatable bike helmet a step further, deploying into an airbag designed to protect your head, shoulders and chest, while automatically dialing 911 in the event of an impact. No word on cost or how much it weighs. 

Londoners are now being offered free e-scooter rides to scrap their older gas-guzzling cars.

A British writer credits a bikeshare tour of the duchy of Cornwall with rekindling his love of bicycling.

The prize for Britain’s shortest bike lane goes to the city of Birmingham, which installed a seven-foot bike lane purportedly to improve safety.

Former MMA champ and all-around human train wreck Conor McGregor is one of us, as he insists he could have been killed when a driver hit his bike while riding in Ireland.

A travel site lists nine reasons bicyclists will fall in love with Ireland, from Galway to Guinness. I cold sum it up in one — it’s Ireland. 

A local bike club donated 70 bicycles to 12 schools in Ghana to help students get to class without being too tired to study, though the Chief of Boko — ie, head of education — warned the students not to use the bikes to road aimlessly. Because the last thing you’d want to do is ride a bike just because it’s fun, right?

Concerns are rising about the effect of Japan’s new helmet mandate on the country’s bikeshare systems; Yokohama’s BayBike system will experiment with loaning out bike helmets, with just three helmets available for its 178,000 registered users. Yes, 3.

A bill in the Philippine Senate would create a nationwide bike lane network.

A pair of Aussie university professors ask the difficult question of “what do cyclists wan,” and mostly get it right, from safe infrastructure to bicycling as the new normal. Although they somehow leave out donuts, coffee and beer.

 

Competitive Cycling

There may be hope for American pro cycling yet, as Neilson Powless claimed his third pro victory and first of the year with a solo breakaway in Sunday’s Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille.

Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal talks about last year’s near-fatal crash, as the 2019 Tour de France champ says people thought he was dead after riding his bike into the back of a parked truck during a training ride.

American pro Ayesha McGowan says she’s finally ready to race after uterine fibroids derailed her first year on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you pedal the entire length of the East Coast on one wheel, instead of two. Dear Abby says no, you don’t have to touch a sweaty bike rider.

And nothing like mistakenly crediting your ancestor with inventing the bicycle, as if merely inventing the treadle bike wasn’t good enough.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Update: Fullerton bike rider killed riding into parked truck Saturday afternoon — or possibly the victim of a hit-and-run

For the third time in just four days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed in a Southern California crash.

This time in Fullerton.

And it’s unclear whether the victim rode into the back of a parked vehicle, or may have been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

According to a press release posted to Facebook by the Fullerton Police Department, the victim was found lying in the roadway on northbound Beach Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave around 12:55 pm Saturday.

Police investigators concluded that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s, rode into the back of a truck parked illegally in a no-stopping zone, and fell off his bike.

He died at the scene, despite the efforts of firefighters.

However, commenters to the Facebook post complained that the cops version of events just doesn’t take sense.

The first said the victim was struck by a hit-and-run driver directly in front of a friend’s house, and that local residents provided CPR until first responders finally arrived 30 minutes later.

Meanwhile, more than one person suggested it was more likely that the victim was struck by a driver while trying to pass the truck, while others suggested that a slight rise and clear sight lines make the official version unlikely.

Hopefully someone saw it, and can tell police investigators what really happened. Anyone with information is urged to Fullerton Police Traffic Accident Investigator Manes at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It follows other fatal crashes in Yucaipa and Pomona.

Update: The victim has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than half of the modest $12,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert C. Galvin and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Update: 30-year old man killed riding bike in Pomona collision, few details available

As if today’s news about fallen Yucaipa mountain biker Monique “Pua” Parmalee wasn’t bad enough, now another bike rider has been killed, just over 24 hours later and 44 miles away in Pomona.

According to SGV CityWatch, the victim was riding at East First Street and San Lorenzo Street in Pomona when he was struck by the driver of an SUV just before 7:30 pm Thursday.

The 2 Urban Girls website places the time of the crash at 7:28 pm.

The victim, described only as a 30-year old Latino male, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver remained at the scene, and was not suspected of being under the influence.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

A street view shows a T-intersection with narrow two lane streets in an industrial area bounded by railroad tracks on one side. However, there’s no way of knowing at this time just where or how the crash occurred.

Anyone with information is urged to call the traffic services bureau of the Pomona Police Department at 909/802-7741 or 909/620-2048.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as Adan Orozco; no city of residence was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adan Orozco and his loved ones.

Thanks to mcderpy87 for the heads-up.

Bike rider injured in Santa Monica hit-and-run, a call to call it out when passing, and CicLAvia explains new CicLAminis

The good news is, my head did not explode.

Nor did I have it surgically removed, as tempting as it was. 

Thanks to the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals, my head is finally better, if not great, and I’m ready to get back to work. 

So let’s get to it. 

………

Let’s start with some troubling news from our longtime friend Dr. Michael Cahn, who shares what he saw in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon.

Ocean Park, close to the intersection with Marguerita Ave, I saw a cyclist down on the middle of the roadway today around 3:20 pm.

The cyclist was conscious and able to move his limbs it seems. A bystander tells me later that according to the victim a car was involved that left the victim in the roadway (hit and run). From what I understood both cyclist and car were going South. A bystander tells me that another driver (going North) identified the fugitive driver as a woman.

The position of the prone cyclist in the middle of the road makes it difficult to reconstruct the event. There is a bike lane on Ocean Avenue. I was walking in the park around that time.

Let’s hope the victim is okay, and the heartless coward who left him bleeding in the street is quickly brought to justice.

Then again, let’s just hope the Santa Monica police take it seriously.

………

I want to highlight a comment from Kate Johnson on Wednesday’s post.

Because she’s right.

Long time rider here, used to letting others know that I am coming up behind them (“Coming up behind you, passing on your left.”) and noticing that very few riders are doing that now. I can’t count the number of times I have been surprised by faster moving cyclists who pass without notice — they are trusting that I will stay in my lane, I suppose. Can’t we reintroduce this very simple way to avoid clashes? Please, people, call out “On your left!” before you pass someone, no matter if they are riding or walking!

 

If you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s longtime bike etiquette to announce when you’re passing someone.

I always do it, unless I can give the other persons at least the same three-foot margin I expect from motorists, and too often don’t get.

Her wording is also good. I find “passing on your left” is far more effective than the more common “on your left,” which can confuse people. And informing them you’re coming from behind can’t hurt.

So give it a shot on your next ride.

You might be surprised how much more pleasant it makes it for everyone.

………

CicLAvia explains the new pedestrian-oriented CicLAminis scheduled for Watts and North Hollywood in May and September, respectively.

………

Streets For All is hosting a public debate with five of the seven candidates who have qualified for the April special election to replace former Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6; an eighth candidate is running a write-in campaign.

………

Walk Bike Long Beach is hosting a ten-mile community bike ride tomorrow, with plans to ride north from downtown through Wrigley to Steelcraft and back.

………

Both Metro Los Angeles and Metrolink are offering free transit on Saturday, February 4th — one week from tomorrow — in honor of Transit Equity Day and the birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

………

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

Tell me again about those entitled cyclists. Streetsblog reports that LA’s entitled drivers have dismantled the modest Vision Zero improvements on the connector road between Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, where missing bollards have created a DIY slip lane, and the crosswalk is completely worn off. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

No bias here. A New York City councilmember has introduced a bill to ban ebikes and e-scooters until “they are registered, insured, licensed, and safe to operate, charge and store.” Never mind that cars and their operators are registered, insured and licensed, and they’re still a hell of a lot more dangerous than any ebike. 

An Irish judge cut a woman’s nearly $22,000 judgement against the country’s Motor Insurance Bureau for their failure to identify a hit-and-run driver by 20% because she wasn’t wearing a bike helmet. Even though most helmets wouldn’t have prevented the concussion she suffered. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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

A Washington state man was arrested for robbing Home Depot at knifepoint, then leading police on a two hour bicycle chase, which included a bike and wardrobe change in a failed effort to throw them off his trail.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a man was acquitted of killing a pedestrian after allegedly blowing through a red light, and not having a working rear brake; like many drivers, he claimed the victim darted out from between parked cars, and he just didn’t see him in time.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD has arrested 31-year old Taylor Lee Harris, accusing him of being the speeding driver who fled the scene on foot after the crash that killed a 13-year old boy and his 18-month old brother in South LA earlier this month.

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee voted unanimously to end the bizarre practice of forcing developers to build brief street widenings in front of their buildings, on the off chance the street gets widened some day. And which end up being mistakenly blamed on, you guessed it, us.

BikeLA, the former LACBC, looks back at Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, while making the case for safer streets in the City of Angels; they also introduce their new YouTube channel, which doesn’t seem to have any active videos at the moment.

After graduating from high school, a Los Angeles teenager spent 527 days riding his bike from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway; now he plans to ship his bike home and backpack back home from Argentina to LA with his girlfriend.

 

State

Well, that will solve the problem. Carlsbad is asking everyone, but especially young ebike riders, to make a public pledge to do their part to be safe on the streets. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Sad news from eastern San Diego County, where someone riding a bicycle found a 55-year old man fatally injured in a motorcycle crash in the Anza-Borrego desert; the victim died despite efforts to revive him at the scene.

Palm Springs Life offers an insiders guide to the Coachella Valley bicycling scene ahead of the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs.

An Agoura Hills letter writer calls for approval of the city’s bike plan, saying that as a driver, better bike lanes would make her more comfortable sharing the road with bike riders.

The Carpinteria Creek Bike Path will remain closed for now due to debris and structural damage from the recent rains.

A Santa Barbara letter writer calls for approval of a proposed bike path next to Modoc Road, where he was struck by a driver five years ago; the person who hit him played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming he just didn’t see him because of the glare on his windshield.

The family of a Fresno university professor who was killed in a head-on collision with an Acura NSX while riding her bike last year is alleging in a lawsuit that the driver was racing, not one, not two, but four other drivers in a pair of Porsche 911s, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari at the time of the crash. There’s no word on whether the driver was charged, but if this is true, all five drivers should be charged with vehicular homicide, at the very least.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks how many broken limbs, life-altering injuries, and deaths is a parking spot worth, as an Alameda NIMBY sues block a Complete Streets project to preserve streetside parking.

 

National

CyclingSavvy discusses what the hell you should do at a stop sign. And no, they say coming to a full stop and putting your foot down usually isn’t it.

Bicycling examines the ongoing debate over bike helmets in the bicycling community. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill will get its first committee hearing next week; the current proposal calls for an instant rebate of up to $1,200 for a standard ebikes and $1,700 for a cargo bike.

Popular Seattle ebike brand Rad Power says mistakes were made, but they’re all better now that they have a new CEO.

Surly’s popular Big Dummy longtail cargo bike is getting some upgrades for its final year of production in 2023.

Heartbreaking story from Indiana, where a pet rescue used social media to find a new home for an orphaned Labrador retriever, after her owner was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov was convicted of a long list of charges in the 2017 Halloween Day vehicular attack on a Manhattan bike path that killed eight people and seriously injured several others; Saipov will face a second phase to determine whether he will be executed. Although personally, I think life without parole in SuperMax is a far harsher punishment than death, which just seems like the easy way out.

He gets it. A Philadelphia man argues that penalties for hit-and-run won’t be stiff enough until they equal the the minimum sentences for homicide or manslaughter, saying he’ll never be the same after he was a victim himself.

No surprise here, as a DC website says a study shows ebike subsidies are more effective than subsidies for electric cars.

A 74-year old man who used his bike as his only form of transportation was killed in an Annapolis, Maryland hit-and-run, directly next to the site of a planned bike path; the side path was funded three years ago, but hasn’t even gotten out of the planning stage yet; sadly, he paid the price for the city’s slow pace.

A North Carolina man will spend up to 13 years behind bars after he was convicted of using his car as a weapon to kill a man riding a bicycle, after a dispute at a gaming establishment.

Tragic news from Georgia, where a bike rider whose injuries led to five other people getting hurt has died, two weeks after the other people ran out into the road to protect and pray for him when he was struck by a driver, then he was struck again by a second motorist, along with all five people surrounding him.

 

International

The Guardian looks at the rise of the 15 minute city, which is quickly gaining ground in urban planning circles. I live in a one hour city here in Hollywood, where I can walk to get most things I need, but have to spend an hour on the bus just to see the doctor. 

Bike Radar explains how building an electric motor into a cargo bike designed to carry heavy loads increases its usefulness. The magazine also offers advice on how to tell when your chain needs to be replaced, and how to prevent it. Hint: When it keeps dropping every time you shift, no matter how you adjust it, sort of like mine does these days.

Shimano has patented a wireless system to recharge electronic components while you ride.

Jalopnik points out that Amsterdam’s new $65 million underwater bicycle garage isn’t even the biggest in The Netherlands.

Leading Dutch ebike maker VanMoof nearly went belly up when it ran out of money to pay its bills at the end of last year.

Two-time defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand has once again hired a pair of bicyclists to power hydraulics as they prepare to compete in next year’s America’s Cup in Barcelona.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-three-year old cycling savant Peter Sagan says this will be his last year in the road cycling peloton, as he plans to retire at the end of the season to focus on mountain biking at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In a story that American cycling fans should be able to relate to, Columbian cycling has hit hard times after the glory years of Bernal, Quintana and Lopez. But at least their hard times don’t stem from eight Tour de France titles getting yanked due to doping. 

Merced’s Hincapie Gran Fondo gravel race has postponed until next year because damage from the recent rains mean the course won’t be ready in time for the planned March date.

 

Finally…

As if SUVs are dangerous enough, now they come armored, armed and electrified. And even the Army says put a damn light on your bike, already.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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