Archive for May 31, 2014

Breaking news: Bike rider killed on 5 Freeway in Santa Ana

This one doesn’t make a lot of sense.

According to the Orange County Coroner’s office, a male bike rider was killed while riding on the 5 Freeway in Santa Ana last night.

The collision took place on the southbound I-5 north of 4th Street just before 11 pm, when the rider was struck by multiple vehicles. The victim has not been publicly identified; no word on whether authorities know who he was, or if it is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

No information is given for how the collision occurred, or whether he was riding on the shoulder or in the traffic lanes. However, there is an exit ramp at 4th; if he was attempting to continue on the freeway it would have put him in the path of exiting vehicles.

And no explanation is given for what he was doing on the freeway at that hour. Or at all.

Hopefully more information will become available later that will shed light on this troubling case.

This is the 43rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth in Orange County; that compares to just two in the county this time last year. And he is the fifth cyclist to be killed in Santa Ana in the last 36 months.

Update: It gets even stranger.

According to the Orange County Register, 21-year old Tustin resident Jordan Ames was riding south in the center carpool lane — not the right shoulder — when he veered in front of traffic and was hit by a Honda CRV. He was then thrown into the main traffic lanes, where he was hit multiple times.

How he even got to the car pool lane on a busy freeway — let alone what he was doing there — is still to be determined. A lot of questions will have to be answered before this one makes any sense.

Meanwhile, a commenter describes coming on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the crash. But be warned, the description is very graphic; you may not want to read it.


My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jordan Ames and his loved ones.

Thanks to James Johnson of Johnson Attorneys Group for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Help fund a People St plaza for Granada Hills, and a documentary on a bike-riding comic

Now here’s a project we can get behind.

Granada Hills resident Linda Williamson proposes transforming a right turn lane into a bike and pedestrian friendly plaza, like the popular Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake.

The plaza would be build under the city’s new People St program, which is dedicated towards helping local residents reclaim underused roadways as public spaces. Oddly, though, some people don’t seem to get it, fearing that a turn lane allowing motorists to drive past their storefronts would somehow be better for business than a plaza that would draw people to them.

Which is a pretty good indication of just how auto-addled our city has become.

And even though it would only be built on a 12-month trial basis, allowing the decision to be reversed if it didn’t work out.

As if.

You can show your support by signing a petition backing the project, and contributing to a Kickstarter project to raise $11,000 to fund construction of the plaza.

And if you live or ride in the area, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by some of the local businesses that would directly benefit from the plaza — whether they realize it or not — to encourage them to back the project.

Because you’ll probably be back a lot more often and spend more money if they just make it more inviting to come and stay awhile.


Meanwhile, a new Kickstarter project funds a documentary about a bike-riding comedian’s attempts to kickstart his comedy career.

After all, as the title of the piece says, what’s the worst that could happen?



More on the next year’s first Valley CicLAvia.

Streetsblog says the bike lanes on Grand Avenue in DTLA are getting even grander with an extension into South Los Angeles.

Most candidates for the Glendale city council oppose more bike lanes within the city, apparently preferring a return to auto-centricity. Meanwhile, both Glendale and Burbank failed to apply for funding to host an open streets event.

I love it. The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a Riff Raff Ride into San Marino, whose residents — some, anyway — worry bike lanes would bring outsiders into their overly exclusive community.

Redondo Beach’s Catalina Coffee Co. is recognized as the South Bay’s first bike-friendly business.

Downey joins the 21st Century by ditching a 1958 law requiring bike licenses.

Gizmodo interviews former LA and current Long Beach transportation planner Nate Baird.



In a closely watched case from the Bay Area, a teen driver who killed a Pleasanton cyclist and injured her husband while driving at 83 mph — in a 40-mile zone, no less — gets nine well-deserved years.

Surprisingly, though, he’s not one of the motorheads backing a San Francisco ballot measure to maintain automotive hegemony over the streets. I’m only surprised no one has proposed something like that here yet.



In a major disconnect, the US House Appropriations Committee calls on the Department of Transportation to cut bike and pedestrian deaths at the same time the House is trying to gut active transportation funding.

Good for them. Members of my old fraternity are riding from San Francisco to DC to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities, while People for Bikes rides on Chicago to raise funds and awareness.

A 93-year old Idaho cyclist puts safety first, and isn’t afraid to correct other riders. If he can catch them.

As usual, when bus, bike and car commuters race, the bike wins. Even in Des Moines.

What is it with self-absorbed young women who don’t seem to care about the harm they cause? In yet another example, an Ohio judge nearly doubles the sentence of a 20-year old driver who killed a cyclist while high on dope because of her lack of remorse.

A driver is charged with murder in a Louisiana cold case after police conclude the death of a cyclist was an intentional act.

A Clemson University study says people who ride bikes are happier than other commuters. But you already knew that, right?



It’s seldom a bike lane in Toronto if everyone else is parking in it.

A London neurosurgeon goes against the grain of the medical community by saying bike helmets are worthless.

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Australian cities are years behind others around the world in providing bike infrastructure.

Kiwi drivers speed down bike lanes. Then again, Kentucky drivers don’t do any better.



Proof you can carry anything on a bike. Even a goat. And pro cyclist Peter Sagan does some impressive mountain biking.

But seriously, can he carry a goat?


Calendar: LACBC Advocacy Training & Sunday Funday Ride, Santa Clarita Kid’s Bike Fest, and Calbike House Party

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

Downtown’s Just Ride LA bike shop hosts weekly no one left behind Monday evening and Saturday morning shop rides1626 South Hill Street.

Santa Clarita concludes Bike Month with a Kids Biking and Walking Festival on Saturday, May 31st from 10 am to 2 pm at Fair Oaks Ranch Community School, 26933 Silverbell Ln in Canyon Country. 

LACBC Empowerment WorkshopsThe Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting a series of workshops aimed at empowering local advocates. The next workshop, focusing on winning campaigns, is scheduled for 10 am on Saturday, May 31st at LACBC Headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street in DTLA; see poster at left for additional dates, times and topics.

Santa Monica is offering free bike and appliance repairs and repair clinics from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, May 31st, 1450 Ocean Ave.

The California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike, will host a Los Angeles Better Bikeways House Party from 6 to 9 pm on Saturday, May 31st at RAC Design Build3048 N. Coolidge Ave. Donations will be requested to support their campaign for better bikeways throughout California.

The next edition of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s popular Sunday Funday Rides rolls on Sunday, June 1st with a fun and historical tour through Long Beach, from Snoop to Siem Reap and Everywhere in Between. Meet at 9:15 am at the Anaheim Blue Line Metro Station at Tee’s Donuts, 325 E Anaheim St in Long Beach, rolling at 9:30; free for LACBC members and a guest.

Tuesday, June 3rd is election day in LA County, with vital elections for LA County Supervisor and Sheriff, both of which will influence how and where you can safely ride in the County. Read the candidates responses to the LACBC’s questionnaire before you cast your ballot — and be sure to Bike the Vote.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets on the first Tuesday of every even-numbered month; the next meeting takes place at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 3rd at Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd.

Friday, June 6th, visit the Art of Cross Exhibit and Happy Hour Mixer as part of the Sierra Madre Art Walk, from 6 to 9 pm at CENTRICsport, 49 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.

The Cycling Savvy bicycle safety course comes to Southern California for the first time Friday, June 6th through Sunday, June 8th. Sessions include Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling on Friday evening, Train Your Bike on Saturday and Sunday morning, and on-road training rides through Santa Ana on Saturday and Sunday afternoon2701 W. 5th Street in Santa Ana.

Learn the basis principles of bicycle and traffic safety with CICLE’s free Traffic Basic Safety Class on Saturday, June 7th from 11 am to 1 pm, in conjunction with the Caltech BikeLab; Caltech Y Ground Floor Meeting Room, 505 S. Wilson Ave in Pasadena.

Helen’s Cycles host a no-drop Men’s Group Ride on the first Saturday of each month; the next ride is scheduled for 7:45 am on Saturday, June 7th, at the Santa Monica location, 2501 Broadway.

The Chatsworth Neighborhood Council invites you to ride the COLT — the 2nd annual Chatsworth Orange Line Tour — on Sunday, June 8th. Meet for the family-friendly bike rally and health walk at 9 am at the Chatsworth Train Depot Parking Lot A, 10040 Old Depot Plaza Road.

The next round in the fight for a safer, saner North Figueroa takes place on Thursday, June 12th, from 6 to 9 pm with a public forum at Franklin High School, 820 North Avenue 54. supporters are asked to wear green. 

The Eastside’s Ovarian Psychos teams with Rio Contreras to host a three-part bike mechanics class for women and those who identify as women on consecutive Thursdays, starting June 12th from 6 to 9 pm, 1214 East 1st Street.

The San Fernando Valley Bike Club offers a twice monthly Compagni Group Ride — Italian for companion — on the second and fourth Sunday of every month; the next ride takes place on Sunday, June 14th. Click here for details and other rides; lots of other great sounding rides on the list, too.

Sunday, June 14th marks the first Tour de Downey bicycle ride, followed by the second annual Make Music Downey concert. The $25, 35-mile ride to Long Beach and back departs from Downey City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave, at 7 am; there’s also a free six-mile Community Ride departing at 9 am.

Santa Monica’s Helen’s Cycles host a no-drop Women’s Only Group Ride on the third Saturday of each month; the next ride is scheduled for 8 am on Saturday, June 21st, details TBD.

LA’s most popular fundraising bike ride rolls on Sunday, June 22nd with the 14th edition of the LACBC’s Los Angeles River Ride. Ten rides of varying lengths, with starting points in Long Beach and Griffith Park, including two centuries, a 15-mile family ride and a free kid’s ride; discount prices available through May 27th.

Mark your calendar for the Peace Love & Family Ride for Crohn’s and Obesity in South LA on July 5th and 6th. Great cause; more details when they become available.

Bike racing returns to Downtown LA on Saturday, July 12th with Wolfpack Hustle: The Civic Center Crit; racing takes place from 1 to 8 pm on the streets surrounding LA City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

The Honor Ride Irvine rolls at 8 am on Saturday, August 2nd, starting at A Road Bike 4U, at the corner of Main St & Red Hill Ave in Irvine.

The California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour rolls from San Francisco to Los Angeles September 13th through 20th to benefit the Arthritis Foundation; participation is limited to the first 300 to register.

The year’s second CicLAvia takes place on Sunday, October 5th with a new variation on the classic Heart of LA route through Downtown LA, from Echo Park to East LA.

Paso Robles hosts a Wine and Roses Bike Ride on Saturday, October 11th; the event is limited to the first 350 riders to sign up.

Downtown Garden Grove is scheduled to go car-free on Sunday, October 12th with the city’s first open streets event.

Calbike is hosting the inaugural California by Bike Surf ’N Turf Tour. The multi-stage ride travels from Santa Barbara to San Diego, starting on Halloween and ending November 5th; registration is now open.

The first winter — or late fall, anyway — CicLAvia is also the first to roll through historic South LA on Sunday, December 7th, from the cultural center of the Southside in Leimert Park to the birthplace of West Coast Jazz on Central Avenue.

Find bike racing schedules and other cycling events at SoCal Cycling.

Morning Links: A slightly less sucky Westside intersection, victory for cyclists on PCH, and spreading ciclovias

It still sucks.

Although maybe a little less.

Despite the city’s best efforts — that would be Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills — the dangerously convoluted intersection of Burton Way and San Vicente and La Cienega Boulevards near the Beverly Center remains a confusing and dangerous place to ride a bike.

Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg notes that Los Angeles has added a bike lane along northbound San Vicente, with sharrows directing cyclists riding through to Burton Way.

The southbound side, which evidently is within the Beverly Hills city limits, currently has none. Nor am I aware of any plans to paint any bike lanes anywhere within the city other than the two already in existence, including one that matches up with LA’s lanes on Burton Way.

As it turns out, I found myself riding home from a meeting Downtown on Wednesday night, so I gave the newly restriped intersection a try.

To be honest, the bike lane on San Vicente was a significant improvement. While you still need eyes in the back of your head to watch out for speeding drivers on the overly wide lanes, I was able to ride more comfortably on the street than I ever have before — especially since parking is confined to an access road, eliminating the risk of dooring.

The problem comes in attempting to continue through the intersection on San Vicente or navigate the turn onto Burton Way.

Either of which requires contending with busy traffic on the multi-laned intersection, while somehow avoiding vehicles jockeying for position to end up reasonably close to where they want to go.

Meanwhile making the turn onto Burton Way requires crossing over three traffic lanes, then waiting for the light to change on sharrows in the middle of the street — which disappear in the middle of the intersection where you need them most to let drivers know you are, in fact, in the right place, and not just riding in the middle of the damned intersection for the hell of it.

It was bad enough at 10 pm when light traffic allows drivers to turn San Vicente into their own private speedway. I can’t imagine attempting it in the unforgiving traffic at rush hour.

I applaud the city for trying.

But unless and until bike-specific signalization is installed to give riders a head-start before motorized traffic is released, this will remain a dangerous place for bikes to be.

And I will continue my long standing practice of avoiding the intersection entirely by turning left at Colgate, then right on Holt to illegally, but safely, cross over to westbound Burton.


After a cyclist on a group ride is illegally ticketed by LA County Sheriff’s Deputies for the unforgivable crime of riding abreast in an unsharable traffic lane on PCH, Cycling in the South Bay teams with the LACBC’s Eric Bruins to win the right riders should have already had.

And got the ticket dismissed when the officer fails to appear in court.


CicLAvia-style Open Streets events will soon be spreading throughout LA County, including the long-rumored San Fernando Valley CicLAvia and a possible 50-mile(!) CicloSGVia through the San Gabriel Valley.



The LA City Council votes to sponsor a California-wide Medina alert to notify the public about serious hit-and-runs. Hopefully, this one wasn’t serious enough to qualify.

LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee — the city’s only official voice for bike riders — meets Tuesday at Pan Pacific Park. Meanwhile, the next community meeting to discuss the inexplicably troubled North Figueroa bike lanes is scheduled for June 12th.

A new Facebook group has been formed to Bike the Vote in Los Angeles.

KCET looks at getting your bike ready to ride with a visit the Bicycle Kitchen.

Turns out Angelenos are sort of fit, after all.

The LAPD offers advice on how to keep your bike from being stolen.

Plans to save the old Riverside Drive Bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians goes down in flames.

Beverly Hills’ Parks and Recreation director says local kids have no safe places to ride a bike in the city. Then again, adults don’t have many, either.

Long Beach gets new sharrows by the shore.



The Newport Bay Conservancy won’t back a ban on cars on the Back Bay; oddly, they didn’t seem to have a problem restricting bike use, though.

San Diego cyclists raise $425,000 for cancer research.

The road-raging San Diego driver who seriously injured a cyclist on a charity ride is bound over for trial. The aptly named Douglas Lane, who failed to remain in his, could face up to three years behind bars.

Riverside County authorities ask for the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver who took the life of an Eastvale bike rider.

In attempting to reopen a long-settled matter of law, a professor argues that San Francisco’s bait bikes are a form of entrapment designed to target poor people. As long as those poor people happen to carry bolt-cutters with them.

Cyclelicious notes “the sun was in my eyes” is the not-so-secret password of the vehicle code. Oddly, it only seems to work for drivers, though.



Motor vehicle crashes cost every American an average of nearly $900 a year. And $871 billion to American society.

Bicycling is the fastest-growing mode of commuter travel.

Elly Blue examines what it really costs to ride a bike.

What would it cost to make the whole country as bikeable as Minneapolis.

New York City gets serious about Vision Zero, passing 11 bills to improve traffic safety.

Pro cycling scion Taylor Phinney has a second successful surgery to repair injuries he suffered during Monday’s national road championship.



A London writer says police inaction jeopardizes every cyclist.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks if bike racing is the world’s worst spectator sport.

Adelaide cyclists cause gridlock by riding the streets at rush hour; clearly, all those cars had nothing to do with it.

Seriously? An Aussie woman calls the country’s helmet law sexist because it forces women to suffer helmet hair.



Champion cyclist at 18, international drug kingpin at 32. If you’re riding under the influence, just stop for the damn stop sign. Or at least, for the cops chasing you.

And eHarmony offers 15 reasons to date a cyclist. I’ve always wondered why riders aren’t in greater demand, since anyone who can spend several hours in the saddle isn’t likely to collapse in exhaustion after five minutes of usuallly less strenuous exercise in bed. I’m just saying.


Please forgive the lack of Morning Links yesterday; between Wednesday night’s meeting followed by a bad bout with bouncing blood sugar levels, writing just wasn’t an option. Hopefully today’s extended version will make up for it.

Whittier rider dies of injuries suffered in Downey collision last month

Ghost bike in memory of Sal Sahagun; photo by Danny Gamboa

Ghost bike in memory of Sal Sahagun; photo by Danny Gamboa

Most bicycling collisions never make the news.

Even when they do, there’s seldom any follow-up. So we may never know if an injured rider made a full recovery or succumbed to his or her injuries days or weeks after the collision.

And no one other than a handful of people close to the victim will ever know.

That’s exactly what happened when a bike rider was critically injured in a collision with a big rig truck in Downey last month.

According to the Los Cerritos News, a 46-year old Whittier resident was hit while he was riding his bike at the intersection of Florence and Fairford Avenues around 8 am on Friday, April 25th. A satellite view shows a busy intersection leading to a freeway onramp, with heavy truck traffic visible in the photo.

No word on how the collision occurred; however, at that hour, he was most likely riding to work. The paper reports the driver was not charged, though the investigation was ongoing at the time.

Then no further word until someone reached out to the LACBC last week, asking for help in honoring a co-worker who had passed away recently after being injured in a collision on April 25th. However, they couldn’t find any information confirming the death, and reached out to me to see if I’d heard anything.

Sadly, that news came today, when a family member confirmed that Sal Sahagun has died of the injuries he suffered in that April 25th collision.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to get more details later.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 17th in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sal Sahagun and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Colin Bogart for the heads-up.

54-year old bike rider killed in Ramona collision

Sometimes it’s clear that something bad has happened.

But exactly what often isn’t clear for hours — or sometimes days — afterwards.

That’s what happened Wednesday morning when word broke of a serious collision involving a bike rider.

First reports from the CHP put the collision west of San Diego in El Cajon, then later reports placed it in Ramona — even though the two cities are miles from one another. That was followed by initial news reports in which a CHP spokesperson confirmed someone had died, but said it wasn’t clear if the victim was the cyclist or the driver.

It took until late Wednesday afternoon before it was clear what had really happened.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 54-year old Ramona resident Juan Perez Alarcon rode out of a dirt driveway on Warnock Drive at San Vicente Road just before 6:30 Wednesday morning, and directly into the path of a westbound car traveling at 45 mph. Other reports place the collision a long block away at Warnock Drive and Keyser Road.

Alarcon died at the scene shortly after the collision, despite the efforts of the driver and two others to tend to him.

No explanation is given for why he was apparently unable to see the oncoming car or stop before entering the roadway. However, judging from the satellite view, it’s possible the driver could have rounded the corner at San Vicente and gotten up to speed before either had a chance to react, if he’d been driving aggressively.

The paper notes he was not wearing a helmet, but does not say if he suffered a head injury. A side impact at that speed is unlikely to be survivable, with or without a helmet.

This is the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in San Diego County. He is also the third cyclist to be killed in Ramona, with a population of under 21,000, in the past four years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Juan Alarcon and his family. 

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up. 


Morning Links: A massive list of post-holiday bike news; San Marino dreads outsiders on bikes

After San Marino rises up against the great unwashed masses on bikes, a writer for the Pasadena Star-News takes offense at residents taking offense.

Actually, we should all take offense at that.

Unlike the mad rantings of the Wicked Witch of Wall Street, who feared New York’s blue hued Citi Bikes would besmirch her fair city, at least some San Marino residents fear the mere presence of less-entitled outsiders on bikes.

What, exactly, they think we’re going to do there is beyond me. Though the story suggests at least one anonymous fear-monger implies we’re going to molest, or at least annoy, their children and shower in their schools.


To the best of my knowledge, the city’s proposed bike plan merely makes it more convenient for residents and outsiders alike to ride in and through the city.

Hopefully city officials will discard the mad rantings of xenophobic anti-bike residents, and opt for better safety for everyone, instead.

Thanks to Wesley Reutimann and Day One for the heads-up.


Speaking of Citi Bike, the popular New York bike share program celebrated it’s first birthday on Monday.

Surprisingly — for critics, at least — the city did not grind to a halt. Nor did it see a bloodbath of helmetless tourists run down on the streets.

Although it did get hit with a $1 million parking fine.


The Giro d’Italia moves on towards this weekend’s conclusion, as Columbian rider Nairo Quitana stole the leader’s jersey on a snowy climb; officials may or may not have caused mass confusion in the peloton by neutralizing the descent.

Apparently, Taylor Phinney’s violent crash in the national road race championships on Monday was caused by a race motorcycle that suddenly appeared in his path after he rounded a blind curve. He’s expected to miss this year’s Tour de France — if not the entire season — after surgery for a compound fracture of both bones of the left lower leg.

Velonews profiles the Scottsdale chiropractor who unexpectedly became the new national road champ.

And British TdF champ Chris Froome insists he doesn’t use anything stronger than espresso. Then again, didn’t that guy from Texas who insists he won seven Tours say the same thing?



Former Talking Head and noted bike rider David Byrne falls in love with DTLA, and proclaims it the perfect place to start a bike program. Maybe he missed all those bike lanes spreading throughout Downtown.

Steetsblog is in the final days of a month-long fund-raising drive .

The Bike League profiles John Jones III of the Eastside Riders Bike Club.

Ovarian Psychos is sponsoring a three-part DIY Road Bike Mechanics Class next month.

Volunteers are needed to conduct bike counts in the San Gabriel Valley.

Unless he somehow rear-ended a stopped car, it’s highly unlikely a cyclist was responsible for colliding with a car in Saugus since they were both travelling in the same direction, despite what the story in the SGV Signal suggests.

A Long Beach bike rider is shot and killed after fleeing police.



A new Newport Beach bike lane could have been better.

San Diego combines bike lanes, sharrows and quiet streets to form a downtown bike loop.

Two Menlo Park residents set national age group cycling records.

The NY Times says San Francisco police are going high tech to catch bike thieves.

State Assemblywoman Christina Garcia receives a petition in support of Andy’s Law to stiffen penalties for hit-and-run — and take away the driver’s license for up to 10 years.



Bike and pedestrian advocates and urbanists need to work together if either are going to succeed.

Ten rules to build better bike parking.

A nationwide summer camp program mentors girls through bicycling.

New York police bravely crack down on scofflaw cyclists; evidently they’re the ones whose behavior must be tamed before the city can reach its Vision Zero goals.

No license, no problem. An unlicensed New York driver faces a whopping $500 fine for killing a cyclist. Good thing the NYPD has its priorities straight.



A new Canadian smart bike evidently does everything but turn the pedals for you.

Not surprisingly, Vancouver merchants discover bikes are good for business.

New survey says 82% of Brits think bicycle education should be part of the basic curriculum for school children.

Endurance cycling can help you live longer.

A Russian fat cat loses weight by bicycling, even though its owner does all the work.

Queensland cyclists will still be required to wear helmets, but registration is off the table.

File this one under duh, as a New Zealand study shows demand for safer bicycling routes.



A camera-clad biking superhero fights for truth, justice and the British roadway, while another rider films himself hurling abuse at scofflaw pedestrians. And a real estate agent plans a bike ride to promote Boyle Heights to prospective clients, but cancels after a blowup over a tone-deaf approach to gentrification.


80-year old Long Beach bike rider killed in collision with medical van

Would an 80-year old bike rider really run a red light?

That’s what we’re being asked to believe, after a cyclist lost his life on a Long Beach intersection Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, 80-year old Long Beach resident Mariano Carasaquit Libron was riding in the crosswalk on eastbound 16th Street, attempting to cross Long Beach Boulevard, when he was hit by a medical van.

The collision occurred at 1:27 pm as Libron reportedly ran the red light in front of the southbound transport vehicle driven by a 24-year old Long Beach resident. The Orange County Register reports responding officers found him lying unconscious in the roadway; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The satellite view shows a very wide six lane intersection, divided by two railroad tracks and a center median.

While anyone can make a mistake, it seems to strain credibility that an 80-year old man conservative enough to ride in a crosswalk — and presumably, on the sidewalk leading up to it — would blow through a light directly in front of oncoming traffic.

What seems far more likely is that the light may have changed while a slow-riding Libron was already in the intersection, and the transport driver somehow failed to see the rider directly in front of him after the light turned green as he approached the corner.

It’s also possible that the driver of the van may have been the only surviving witness; unless there were independent witnesses, investigators only have his word that the light was green.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Collision Investigation Detail Detective Steve Fox at 562/570-7355.

This is the 40th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th in Los Angeles County. This is also the eighth bike rider to die in Long Beach in the last four years.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mariano Libron and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: A local bike shop worker moves up, a cycling triple crown, and a bad break for Phinney

Congratulations are in order for one of my favorite bike people.

Chris Klibowitz of the Santa Monica Helen’s Cycles, and former manager at the Westwood location, is leaving the bike shop after six years for a new job as editor at ROAD Magazine.

You’ll never meet a nicer guy. Or anyone more knowledgeable or passionate about bicycling, or more deserving of the opportunity.

And now that I think about it, maybe it’s ROAD that deserves the congratulations.


Talk about dominating your sport.

Just two days after winning the national time trial championship, UnitedHealthcare rider Allison Powers takes the road course win to go with her previous national crit title.

SmartStop Pro Cycling rider Eric Marcotte outsprinted teammate Travis McCabe to take the men’s road race title.

Meanwhile, newly crowned national time trial champ Taylor Phinney sees his season come to an unexpected end as he breaks his lower left leg in two places and damages the same knee after apparently crashing into a roadside barrier on a steep descent. Best wishes for a full and fast recovery from what sounds like a very nasty injury.



Santa Clarita will cap bike month with a Kids Walking and Biking Festival this Saturday.

If you missed it over the weekend, what exactly is the LA County Sheriff’s Department trying to hide by releasing news of the Milt Olin investigation — and not much at that — over a holiday weekend?



An agreement with state parks officials will allow the Santa Ana River trail to pass through Chino Hills State Park, eventually creating a continuous 110-mile pathway from the Pacific Coast Trail to the beach.

After a Visalia cyclist is killed in a hit-from-behind collision, the driver says he just didn’t see him. Oh, well okay, then.

A San Francisco cyclist is critically injured after allegedly running a stop sign. Meanwhile, a formerly anti-bike Bay Area columnist says local riders deserve better.



A Wall Street website lists the top six American bicycling cities. For a change, Portland isn’t at the top of the list, and as usual, San Francisco is the only California city on it.

When intersections are designed for cars, bike riders break the law; when they’re designed for everyone, most people follow the rules — cyclists included.



A Canadian bike rider spots his recently stolen bike going the other way on a bus rack, and steals it back at a red light.

Caught on video: A teenage Aussie cyclist clings to the back of a bus traveling at 50 mph.

Cyclists protesting Australia’s mandatory helmet law won’t be ticketed by police after all.



A UK cyclist goes out for a ride in the country and ends up in a rave. And no bias here, as a Virginia TV station not only claims a cyclist collided with a car, but that authorities found him “passed out” on the median. Or maybe he was just unconscious because he’s just been in a collision.


Morning Links: Remember what Memorial Day is all about, Calendar update, and 2 new National Champs

My father fought in World War II, in both Europe and the Pacific.

In fact, he was training for the invasion of Japan when the war ended; his unit had been told to expect a 100% casualty rate. If Japan hadn’t surrendered when it did, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

Or be, period.

My grandfather was a doughboy in World War I; exposure to poison gasses probably contributed to the emphysema that eventually took his life, along with a lifetime of smoking.

My brother served in Vietnam, thankfully without serious incident.

They all made it back home. A lot of the men and women they served with didn’t. Along with countless others who fought in earlier and later wars.

Several of the kids just few years ahead of me in school went to Vietnam and never came back, while a Marine friend of mine — the husband of a co-worker — was one of the few Americans to die in the first Gulf War.

And we’ve lost too damn many good men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So please, take just a moment amid the bike rides and barbeques and sales going on today to remember what Memorial Day is really all about. And say a prayer for all those who have given their lives for their country, if you’re so inclined.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to ride today, allow me to make a suggestion.


You can find this week’s upcoming events on the updated Calendar page.


Cycling scion Davis Phinney takes his second US national time trial title in Chattanooga; Allison Powers wins the women’s championship. Next up for both is Monday’s road race.

Meanwhile, Velo News proclaims 23-year old rider Fabio Aru, winner of Sunday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, is Italy’s next big thing.



Richard Risemberg goes multi-modal meandering.

Downtown Garden Grove will go car-free on October 12th for the city’s first open streets event.

Cycling in the South Bay asks if Stava is killing bike racing. If you ask me, it ain’t helping.



San Clemente’s bike plan wins an American Planning award.

San Diego gets its first road diets.

San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow tells drivers how to avoid right-hooking cyclists. And offers the heartbreaking tale of a priest who comforted a teenage cyclist as she lay dying following a traffic collision, only to lose his own life in a cycling collision years later.

Palo Alto residents agree changes to a contentious roadway should include measures to alter human behavior.



Tucson’s new street car tracks have caused over 80 bicycling collisions.

Cyclists take over Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive for a few short hours.

Writing for the New York Times, Eben Weis — aka Bike Snob NYC — argues that if Citibank got a bailout, Citi Bike should, too.



After a Toronto cyclist is screwed over by the insurance company of the driver who hit him, the local paper rides to his rescue.

A new French 360-degree helmet cam can take immersive video of your ride. Or capture dangerous drivers on video no matter what direction they come from.

You know you want to. Three inexpensive ways to tour Italy by bike.

Aussie roundabouts are responsible for one in every ten bicycling collisions in the state of Victoria.



Several cyclists riding with the bicycling Australian prime minister are taken out by an oil slick. Somehow, I can’t imagine any American president riding in a peloton.

And the LA Weekly says never pick a fight with a cyclist because you’ll lose, and they — we — get mad; looks like they’re finally learning. Thanks to Serge Issakov for the heads-up.