Update: Bike rider killed by train in Upland; rash of NorCal and Central California bike deaths continues

Just when it looked like death may have taken a sabbatical from SoCal cycling, word comes of a rider killed in a collision with a train in Upland on Thursday.

Very few details are available at this time. However, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the male rider was hit by a Metrolink train near Benson Avenue and Eighth Street around 5:15 pm. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, apparently died at the scene.

A series of photos from the scene offer no additional information, other than showing a badly mangled bike.

The death is just the second SoCal cycling fatality this month, after a swarm of four fatalities in an eight-day period between May 25 and June 2nd, including bike racer Chris Cono, and Susan Stripko in Huntington Beach.

This is the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, compared to 23 this time last year, and the third in San Bernardino County. This is also the third bike rider killed by a train since the first of the year.

Unless the safety equipment malfunctions in some way, or the rider is somehow forced onto the tracks, there is simply no excuse for a collision with a train, which is confined to a clearly defined space on the tracks. Never ride under or around the warning gates or try to beat a train across the tracks.

I speak from experience, having barely beaten a train in a foolish attempt to race it across the tracks when I was a child.

A lesson I survived by just inches. And will never forget.

Update: The Daily Bulletin places the actual location as Montclair, and identifies the victim as 19-year old Pomona resident Brendan Allen Adams. Witnesses saw Adams riding south on Benson towards the train tracks, where he either ignored or didn’t see the crossing arms, for whatever reason. 

The Press-Enterprise confirms that Adams was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Update 2: The Inland News Today confirms Adams attempted to ride around the crossing arm. Never a smart thing to do.

My prayers and sympathy for Brendan Adams and his loved ones.


This has been a horrible week for bike riders Northern and Central California as well, as a woman cyclist became collateral damage when two trucks collided in San Jose, and one fell on her — the 6th bicycling death in just the last eight days, following fatalities in Sacramento, Dublin, Elk Grove, San Jose and the Modesto area.

Clearly, something is going on up there.

And it’s not good.


One other quick note.

The City Council vote on restoring Downtown’s Spring Street green bike lanes in the face of film industry lies opposition has been postponed until Tuesday’s council session.

Mark your calendar and be there if you can. Because it will take all of us to convince the council to values the lives and safety of bicyclists over the simple convenience of filmmakers.

And you can hear the LACBC’s Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, LADOT’S Nate Baird and others discuss the bikelash over L.A. bike lanes with Warren Olney on KCRW’s Which Way, L.A.?


  1. I had a neighbor who regularly ran the railroad crossing gates. I was standing right there when the odds finally caught up to him. He was in his truck but it was still far from a pleasant experience.

    I heard about that crash on Auzerais yesterday but didn’t realize a cyclist was involved.

  2. sevencyclist says:

    and there was yet one more, and it was about 5 minutes from my house. Don’t know if it was a fatality, but El Camino Real (the major drag here) was stalled for a while, because a man was walking his bike across the street, and he was hit, did quite a bit of damage to the car, pretzeled the bike … just a bad situation all the way around

  3. rebecca says:

    This is tragic. I knew brendan adams personally. He was a good friend of mine. My heart goes out to his family.

  4. victoria says:

    I knew him too and i cant believe hes gone…

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