In one of the most horrifying attacks in recent memory, a Los Angeles man may have kept his bike, but lost one of his thumbs.
And nearly his life.
According to multiple sources, a 43-year old man was walking — or possibly riding — his bicycle near the intersection of West 12th Street and South Burlington Avenue around 12:30 am Sunday, when he was attacked by four men who tried to steal his bike and wallet.
One of them hacked at him with a two-foot machete, resulting in a severe cuts to both arms, as well as a fractured skull, in addition to having his left thumb cut off; early reports suggest he was likely to lose his right hand, as well.
Despite his injuries, he somehow managed to run a few blocks to get help; at last report, he was hospitalized in critical condition. However, he was able to keep both his bike and his money.
The attackers were described only as young adult men, possibly 18 – 21 years old, who fled in a green four-door sedan. According to police, the attack did not appear to be gang related.
For some reason, the victim was initially described as an 18-year old man before police corrected the report.
Let’s hope he recovers quickly, and that police catch his attackers.
And let this be a reminder that no bike is worth your life.
Brace yourself for bad news.
A man was found dead on Hemet biking trail on Sunday, hours after a 33-year old mountain biker was reported missing.
The victim has not been identified yet, and here’s no confirmation yet that it’s the missing cyclist. But it doesn’t look good.
Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.
Update: Authorities have identified the man found dead as 33-year old Hemet resident Shane Gainer, but for some reason, won’t confirm if he is the missing cyclist. No cause of death has been determined.
Now let’s switch to a happier subject.
On Sunday, my wife and I made a short trip to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market at Ivar and Selma, just a few blocks from the Hollywood and Vine Metro station.
Sans bikes, since she doesn’t ride. And without the Corgi, since even well-behaved dogs aren’t allowed under LA County health rules.
The purpose of our journey was to find the elusive Bicycle Coffee Company.
Elusive, because the LA branch at Santa Monica and Western is only open Friday though Sunday. And despite our best efforts, we hadn’t been able to get there when the doors were open.
On the other hand, we knew they were at the farmer’s market every Sunday, just a short subway ride way from our apartment.
It took some searching to find their Nishiki-towed bicycle cart — yes, there’s a reason for their name — hidden back behind the other vendors near the Arclight, nee Cinerama, Theater, and just in front of Umami Burgers.
We left with a couple bags of what is reputed to be some of the area’s best coffee, each accompanied by a free cup of joe with purchase.
And the knowledge that next time, we can just order our beans and they’ll deliver by bike within a roughly 10-mile radius.
On the way out, I stopped to admire a bike belonging to one of the security guards with the BID Patrol at the farmer’s market.
And found myself talking with retired LAPD officer and dedicated cyclist Jim Rosales, who was happy to point out the 29” wheels and disc brakes, as well as the rear rack for the panniers he usually uses but decided to leave at home that day.
We talked about his volunteer work patrolling the Santa Monica mountains, the road bike he rides in his spare time, and the fixie he’s currently building. As well as his favorite bike shops, including the Performance Bike his brother-in-law wrenches for in Pasadena.
All in all, a pleasant talk with another rider. And one more example of a conversation that would never have happened behind the wheel.
Then just as we were about to leave, I noticed the pink handgrips on his partner’s bike. So he called her over, and fellow BID security officer Cortney Kanagi was happy to show us her matching pink handcuffs and the pink grip on her handgun.
Proof that you can be feminine while riding a bike.
Or subduing a suspect.