Driver busted for Hawthorne hit-and-run, 16 LA-area bike riders shot by police, and bike-riding woman murders Metro worker

A couple quick notes before we start. 

Today is the last day to register to vote before next month’s presidential and city council elections, along with a number of other important federal, state and local offices. Not to mention a massive number of California state propositions. 

So take a few minutes to make sure your voice is heard.

Also, my apologies to everyone who tipped me to news stories over the weekend; with a few exceptions, I’ve somehow managed to lose track of who sent what. 

But please accept my thanks anyway. I always appreciate the help, even if my feeble brain fails me from time to time. 

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Hawthorne police have busted the driver who fled the scene after running a red light and slamming into a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Rosecrans Avenue earlier this month.

Twenty-eight-year old Darlene Delgadillo confessed to driving the car after police traced it to a home in Gardena.

Meanwhile, the now-15 year old victim remains in a coma with major head trauma, as well as a broken leg, arm and feet, more than two weeks after the crash.

Yet despite the horrific harm she allegedly caused, Delgadillo will face a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run under California law.

Maybe someday we’ll get our elected leaders to take this crime seriously.

Because they sure as hell aren’t doing it now.

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Apparently, Dijon Kizzee was just the tip of the iceberg.

An investigative report from the LA Times reveals that 16 bike riders have been shot by police or sheriff’s deputies in LA County over the past 15 years for what started out as simple traffic violations.

Eleven of those were killed.

The Times identified 16 cases since 2005 where a stop for bike violations in Los Angeles County resulted in a police shooting, according to interviews and a review of public records from the district attorney, coroner and various court cases. Most of the stops occurred in communities made up largely of Black and Latino residents. In 11 incidents, including Kizzee’s, the bicyclists — all male and Black or Latino — were killed.

Among those 16 cases, violations ranged from riding on the sidewalk to biking without a light or on the wrong side of the road. In 11 cases, authorities said they found a firearm. In one shooting, deputies found an airsoft gun they said looked like a semiautomatic handgun.

It’s an important read, because constantly having to worry about getting stopped by the cops for biking while Black or brown is bad enough.

But something is seriously wrong when people of color also have to worry about getting the death penalty for a simple traffic violation.

Thanks to everyone who sent this one to my attention.

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Police are on the lookout for a bike-riding woman who fatally stabbed an 18-year Metro employee Friday night following a dispute at the 7th and Metro station in DTLA.

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The city council’s Transportation Committee will consider the fate of the city’s current Slow Streets at 1 pm today, with options ranging from making them more permanent, to removing them entirely.

Here’s how to join in.

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Public radio station KPFK is in deep financial danger, and could take the popular Bike Talk program down with it without your help.

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Bicycling and SRAM will examine the issues facing people who have been swept under the rug for far too long.

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This is who we share the road with.

There’s a special place in hell for a Montana man who was charged with a sex crime involving an 11-year old girl, after he was previously charged with intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, claiming it was his bike. Although you’d think if it was really his bike, he wouldn’t want to run it over with his car.

You don’t need to speak Spanish to get that maybe this driver should pay attention to the road instead of complaining about people on two wheels.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

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This will restore your faith in humanity.

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Now this is art.

The newest Banksy that popped up on a Nottingham, England street incorporates an actual beat-up bicycle chained to a pole in front of wall art of a girl using the missing bike tire as a hula hoop.

Seriously, he can paint that on my wall anytime.

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Speaking of art, the annual Bicycle Film Festival is back on this weekend, after going virtual due to the coronavirus crisis.

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

Police in Chico, California are looking for a woman who fled the scene after flooring her car and slamming into a woman on a bicycle in an apparently intentional attack, before continuing on to run over an employee at a gas station; police have recovered her car, but the driver is still on the run.

Someone ripped out the plastic bollards marking a popup bike lane in Glasgow, Scotland, and tossed them into a canal.

A New Zealand bike rider was the victim of a road raging driver who repeatedly honked and rammed the back of his bike, before finally knocking him off; the 65-year old driver faces a charge of dangerous driving causing injury.

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

A 19-year old New York man could face a murder charge after a group of bike-riding teens argued with a 79-year man before pushing him to the ground; the victim died later after being rushed to a hospital. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

Police in Edinburgh are looking for the masked bike-riding man who stole a woman’s watch and diamond rings as she was walking on a bike path.

A Belfast, Northern Ireland bike rider says he’s really, really sorry for stabbing two women and punching two others in a one-day assault spree, for no apparent reason; fortunately, none of the women suffered life-threatening injuries.

A 67-year old Australian man recovering from open heart surgery was left bloodied and banged up after he was hit from behind by a bike rider while walking on a pedestrian bridge. Yet another reminder to alway ride with extra caution around pedestrians. Not only are people unpredictable, but they’re the only ones out there more vulnerable than we are.

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Local

A local paper profiles 26-year old Alexandria Contreras as she runs for a seat on the Downey city council; the bike-riding candidate is a big supporter of community involvement, housing, urban safety and the environment.

Kindhearted members of the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita donated 17 bicycles to veterans in need. Although those little kids don’t look like veterans to me. But what do I know?

 

State

A 49-year old San Diego man suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when a motorcyclist slammed into a group of bike riders in the city’s Pacific Beach neighborhood; the motorcyclist walked away with road rash.

The Los Angeles Times offers more information about the 14-year old boy facing a possible hate crime charge for punching a San Diego rabbi.

More bad new from Northern California, where a 14-year old boy was killed in a crash while riding his bike in Elk Grove.

 

National

Here’s your chance to buy that really cool, but really strange hubless ebike for under two grand; the bikemaker promises it’s virtually theft proof.

Despite last spring’s lighter traffic, the rate of traffic deaths jumped nearly twenty percent, mostly because of who was driving, and how. Or rather, how fast.

A new AARP survey examines bicycling among the over 50 set, concluding that many older American’s can’t imagine not being able to ride a bike.

Cycling Savvy offers a discussion of what to look for in rear view bike mirrors. Besides cars, that is.

Apparently, soap star Susan Lucci is one of us; Katie Holmes is one of us, too.

The kindhearted members of a Utah Masonic lodge gave new bicycles to 68 elementary school students as a reward for reading.

Tragic news from Texas, where a longtime scout for the NBA’s Houston Rockets was killed after he hit an open culvert in a construction zone with his bike.

A New York bus driver who killed a bikeshare user in 2017 isn’t content with the slap on the wrist he received, going to court in an attempt to have the city’s failure to yield law invalidated — even though he only got a paltry 30 days behind bars.

The partner of a New York man has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was critically injured by falling off a defective VanMoof ebike during a test ride, because missing screws allegedly allowed the fender to come in contact with the rear wheel; the victim remains in a coma over two weeks after the crash.

Speaking of New York, the bike boom means increasing numbers of bike riders are using the city’s bridges — but avoiding the iconic, if cramped and crowded, Brooklyn Bridge.

 

International

If you’re looking for speed, roll on latex in your tires.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 80-year old English woman celebrated her birthday with an 80-mile bike ride.

A British man set a new record for riding a bike without getting anywhere, riding a stationary bike for more than 11 days.

Seriously? Police in Dubai seized 370 bicycles in a single week because their owners violated traffic laws, in a bizarre campaign to improve traffic safety. If they were serious about improving safety, they’d seize cars from scofflaw drivers, instead.

A South African writer talks with Black and white bike riders, and concludes it’s the feeling of freedom that keeps us riding year after year.

Aussies are warned that the worldwide bike shortage means you need to do something now if you want to get a new bicycle by Christmas.

 

Competitive Cycling

An American cyclist is an unexpected hair’s breadth from the Giro podium. Twenty-two-year old Phoenix resident and former world junior time trial champ Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates rode to a third place finish in the individual time trial on Saturday, leaping from 12th to 4th, with another brief time trial in the final stage.

VeloNews offers a recap of who did well, and who cracked in Saturday’s time trial.

Thirty-nine-year old Aussie Adam Hansen is throwing in the towel after 13 years and 29 grand tours, saying he’s “kind of done with it now,” and looks forward to switching to triathlons next year.

Congratulations if you had Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel in your Tour of Flanders pool.

Great French hope Julian Alaphilippe broke his hand in two places when he became just the latest cyclist to crash into a race moto in the Tour of Flanders. Once again, there is no excuse for allowing motorcycles in the peloton. Keep them in front of the cyclists or well behind, for everyone sake.

Hats off to Swiss cyclist Camille Balanche, who became the first out and proud gay woman to win the world Downhill Mountain Biking World Championship.

 

Finally…

When is a bike path not a bike path? When there’s a big frigging utility pole in the middle of it. Your next bike helmet could be soft and squishy.

And maybe people don’t really love their cars after all.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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