Morning Links: Sentence in Fiesta Island crash, red light-running SaMo driver, and a long list of bike events

Nineteen years.

That’s the sentence given to Teresa Owens in San Diego on Thursday, for the meth-fueled wrong way collision that injured a dozen cyclists on Fiesta Island last year, leaving one paralyzed from the chest down.

According to the Union-Tribune,

Owens, 50, was at Fiesta Island to try to catch her boyfriend cheating on her. She admitted doing “a small line of methamphetamine” 12 hours beforehand. She was also driving on a suspended license, and she was fresh off a previous DUI arrest.

She drove the wrong way on the one-way road around the island and slammed into a group of cyclists on a training ride coming around a corner. Several flew onto her car or smashed into her windshield.

After her arrest, she was also found with a bag of meth hidden in her snatch.

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While making a legal left turn on the yellow, bike rider Wes High was nearly hit by a Santa Monica driver who swerved into the bike lane to get around a stopped car and blow through the light long after it had turned red.

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A new study is quick to blame the victims after 40% of teenagers report being hit or nearly hit by cars while walking. Never mind that careless or distracted drivers may have had something to do with it. And no, walking after dark is not an unsafe habit; that’s what human beings have done since we first stood upright.

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Nice project from CicLAvia, as they want to give back to the community — as if they don’t already give enough — by donating 30 new bikes, helmets and lights to LA County kids who can’t afford them. They want your help to nominate a kid who deserves one; nominations close on December 2nd.

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We’ve got a long list of bike events coming up in the next few weeks.

Today: If you can still make it, Caltrans District 7 Bicycle Advisory Committee is meeting at 9:30 this morning at Caltrans headquarters in DTLA; they want your input on two separate closures on the LA River Bike Path (see below under Local for more information on one of the closures). Thanks to LADOT Bike Program for the heads-up.

Today: Walk Bike Burbank will offer free bike valet at the annual Holiday in the Park festival sponsored by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association.

Saturday: The LACBC will participate in Path Hack at the Spoke Café on the Elysian Valley Pedestrian and Bike Path, a series of free art workshops designed to create a slow zone on the pathway.

CICLE MacArthur Park rideSaturday: Join CICLE and Equitas Academy for a family friendly Bikes and Batidos Ride around the MacArthur Park neighborhood, sponsored by Metro’s Safe Routes to Schools Pilot Program.

Saturday & Sunday: Professional cyclocross comes to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday with the UCI CXLA Weekend.

Sunday: Celebrate the UCI CXLA cyclocross race by joining the Palms to Pines Ride along the San Gabriel River Trail, or take a shorter ride along the beach; proceeds benefit the LACBC and Bike SGV.

Some of the biggest names in international, national, and local cyclocross racing are coming to Long Beach’s El Dorado Park on November 21st and 22nd. As part of this weekend of racing, SoCalCross is offering a Palms to Pines community ride (Ride with GPS route is can be found here.) The ride, along the San Gabriel River Trail, will take riders from the palm trees and sand in Seal Beach all the way north to the pine trees at Azusa River Wilderness Park at the start of the San Gabriel Mountains, before returning to El Dorado Park in plenty of time to watch an afternoon of exciting racing action, enjoy food and beverages at the races, and visit the event’s sponsor Expo. The ride is 77 miles long, but you can ride as much or as little as you like. A shorter Ocean Breeze ride goes to the beach and back. Both are 100 percent on protected bike paths with no car traffic (only 3 street crossings). Registration is $45 ($55 day-of), less for the short ride, and includes an event t-shirt, lunch, pit stops, and a donation to LACBC and other local bicycle advocacy groups.

For more information and to register, go to SoCalCross.com

November 29th: The Encino Velodrome hosts the Encino Omnium track cycling race, sponsored by Burbank’s own Pure Fix Cycles.

November 29th: The SoCalCross Prestige Series: Turkey Trot Cross comes to Glendale’s Verdugo Park.

December 3rd: The LACBC hosts their annual open house, with drinks from Angel City Brewery; admission is free for LACBC members, so consider joining at the door.

December 3rd: Stan’s Bike Shop invites you to dress up in a holiday theme and join them as they ride in the Monrovia Christmas Parade.

December 3rd – 15th: Metro will be holding a second round of workshops to discuss their Active Transportation Strategic Plan, starting with North Hollywood and ending in Santa Clarita.

December 4th: The highly praised documentary Bikes vs Cars opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7.

December 5th: Ride your bike down to Long Beach for the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, featuring hundreds of festively dressed marching Corgis.

December 12th: Calbike is hosting a special Bikeways to Everywhere donor party in Los Angeles.

December 27th: Finish the Ride comes to the San Fernando Valley for the first time to combat hit-and-run and help create safer streets for everyone.

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Local

A USC student marketing group conducts guerilla marketing campaigns to promote bike safety and security, along with alcohol awareness and combating sexual assault.

The Eastsider reports a one-mile stretch of the LA River bike path along Griffith Park has temporarily reopened after being closed for three days in advance of a projected year-long closure; Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Way are reportedly being “enhanced” in anticipation of the detour.

Santa Monica gets a $300,000 grant to improve traffic safety and help make “streets a more pleasant experience for everyone.” Meanwhile, Seal Beach gets a $140,000 traffic safety grant of their own.

The BBC looks at the Venice Beach Electric Light Parade, as bicyclists light their rides with hundreds of LED lights.

Santa Clarita celebrates its Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Communities award.

 

State

A memorial will be held today for John Pavlisin, Sr., the 89-year old owner of the Orange Cycle bike shops in Orange and Santa Ana.

A Saratoga driver is being sought by police for intentionally swerving into a bike lane in an attempt to hit a bicyclist. Somehow, that doesn’t merit more than a couple lines in the police blotter, though.

Menlo Park plans to add buffers to an existing bike lane, along with pedestrian-activated crossing lights, to improve safety along a preferred school route.

Palo Alto plans to extend the nation’s first bike boulevard three decades after it was first installed.

Napa police arrest a man claiming to be a wolf who speaks 13 languages for stealing a bike at knifepoint. No word on whether one of the languages is Lupine.

 

National

Bicycling offers a cute look at eight ways having a baby changes your cycling.

No bikes involved, just another example of the mass insanity on our roads, as an allegedly drunk driver killed 38 sheep in a Colorado hit-and-run.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a custom–made bike from a Texas girl with cerebral palsy; fortunately, a kindhearted stranger has offered to replace it.

The Guardian looks at how Oklahoma City has overturned car culture and what can happen when cities kick the car habit.

A South Dakota business owner and bike advocate says forcing everyone into cars isn’t the solution to bike safety.

A New York radio station explores six things they’ve learned about biking in the city by studying over 3,000 photos of blocked bike lanes.

Forget all those cars, evidently the greatest danger New york bicyclists face comes from other riders. Seriously, that’s what she said; you can stop laughing now.

Not only is Pennsylvania’s Genesis Bicycles planning to close for Black Friday, the shop’s employees will donate that day’s salaries to a local charity.

Evidently, it’s legal to kill a cyclist in your sleep in Maryland, as a dozing Bethesda driver got off with just $690 in fines for negligent driving.

 

International

Toronto cyclists says just because a bike looks old or unmaintained, that doesn’t mean it’s been abandoned.

Caught on video: London’s mayor Boris is greeted with angry words and gestures as he opens the city’s first segregated cycle superhighway. The best part is his friendly wave in response to a one-fingered salute from a bike rider. Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the tip.

A London exhibition will display nine of the Cannibal’s racing jerseys; the jerseys, worn by five-time Tour de France winner and multiple world champion Eddy Merckx, are worth an estimated $304,000.

The Guardian looks at a dozen designs that revolutionized bicycling, from Brooks Saddles to fixies and 3D printing.

A coldhearted Brit writer says he only feels sympathy for the “poor car driver who will have the death of the blithering idiot on their conscience” if a ninja cyclist is killed.

Caught on video: A British bike rider stands his ground while demanding that a driver who violated his right-of-way back up instead of going around him.

A new UK company has developed a circular bike parking garage that stores bikes vertically, above or below ground. Can we have a few of those here? Or maybe a few dozen?

A Jewish woman rides a Vélib’ bike across Paris to visit a friend just days after the terrorist attacks.

Emirates and Dubai royalty join in the mourning the death of a champion cyclist and triathlete just a week before his wedding.

Islamic State, the group behind last week’s Paris terrorist attacks, has claimed responsibility for shooting a bike-riding Italian priest in Bangladesh.

A 20-year old South African student gets 13 years for fatally stabbing a man to steal his bicycle.

An Aussie driver with a provisional license apologizes on social media after the cyclist she nearly killed leaves a very polite note saying she looks too nice for prison.

 

Finally…

Evidently, doping predates the invention of the bicycle by a few millennia.

If you’ve been very good, maybe Santa or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a $75,000, platinum and diamond encrusted racing bike for your next club ride. Or you could sell it and by the world’s first bicycle/scooter hybrid for 115 of your closest friends.

And caught on video: Chinese cyclists crash head-on at the end of a Gran Fondo when the lead group somehow takes a wrong turn and sprints to the finish from the wrong direction.

3 comments

  1. One item in the Sun (Seal Beach) article on the Traffic Safety Grant:

    Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement.

    Call me a scrooge, but that sounds like if you roll your bike through a stop sign or walk across the street not in a crosswalk, you’re going to get a ticket.

    I do need to say that Seal Beach overall is mostly laid back when it comes to bike riders and pedestrians.

  2. Regarding the NYC story, the author actually didn’t make the comment about the danger of other cyclists. The supposed “bike guy” did;

    Still, Joseph explained, “The greatest danger to you is from other bikers.”

    I loved her final paragraph, which conveys much of what I feel about riding when others are driving:

    Being on a bike feels free and even rebellious, like you have subverted how the city is intended for subways and cars and pedestrians and carved out your own autonomous existence. And in that space, the city is peaceful and wide and filled with secret delights—water lapping against the shore under the Manhattan Bridge, graffiti only bikes can find, squished rats rotting in the morning sun and, yes, cobblestones too.

  3. Charles says:

    Yes the car ran the red light but the cyclist also entered the intersection on a stale yellow. He just cleared the crosswalk when it turned red. This put him at risk from cross traffic proceeding on the green.

    I suggest maybe he should be doing a little more defensive riding.

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