Wicksted gets 16-years for intentional killing of Claremont bike rider, and popular wheel light maker goes belly up

Sixteen years.

That’s the price a Claremont woman will pay for running down and murdering a bike-riding stranger with her car.

Sixty-three-year old Sandra Marie Wicksted agreed to a deal to plead no contest after prosecutors took a murder charge off the table for intentionally running down 54-year old Leslie Pray as she was riding her bike in Claremont two years ago.

She was also charged with swerving her car at two other people riding bikes in separate incidents before slamming into Pray.

Wicksted copped to one count each of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, along with two counts of attempted murder.

What remains unanswered, however, is the most basic question of all.

Why?

What could possibly have convinced Wicksted to try to kill not one, not two, but three total strangers for no other reason than they were riding bicycles?

We’ll probably never know.

But now an innocent woman is dead because of it.

And Wicksted has thrown away what’s left of her own life.

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Sad news from popular wheel light maker MonkeyLetric, which is closing out its remaining inventory and going out of business, at least for the foreseeable future.

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Local

A 20-year old man was hospitalized after a driver hit his bike while riding in Canyon Country; no word on the victim’s condition.

This is who we share the road with. A new lawsuit accuses an LA County sheriff’s deputy of drunk driving and street racing in the Torrance crash that killed a 23-year old passenger in his car.

 

State

San Diego adopts a new Complete Communities plan, including fees for developers in the city’s most car-dependent areas, which will be used to build bike and pedestrian projects in denser urban areas.

San Jose wants to know how residents want to get around in the years to come.

Palo Alto will keep two key streets carfree through next May.

Yes, please. A proposal before San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors would make it harder to delay projects by filing an appeal under California’s CEQA air quality laws, a process that has been abused in recent years to halt bikeways and transit projects.

Streetsblog San Francisco’s Roger Rudick argues the city has abandoned Vision Zero in its cost-saving cutbacks to the Better Market Street project, suggesting it should now be renamed Bummer Market Street.

 

National

GQ recommends the best bike gear for “persnickety” bicycle riders caught up in the pandemic bike boom. Meanwhile, Gear Patrol says these bikes and accessories prove the future is now.

Next time you’re in Seattle, hop the ferry to the Bainbridge Island Cycle Museum, where you can see exhibits like a rare three-wheeled lawnmower bike and a signed yellow jersey worn by He Who Must Not Be Named.

Maybe there’s hope for LA bike riders yet, after Chicago finally opened a new bike and pedestrian bridge 15 years after it was blocked by a city alderman.

Speaking of Chicago, a local magazine considers former mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prospects for serving as US transportation secretary.

An Ohio man was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for the distracted driving death of a prominent lawyer who was riding his bike, while the driver was high on opiates.

The bike-riding Virginia woman who was elected county supervisor after flipping off Trump’s motorcade says it’s time to heal now that Joe Biden has been elected president; needless to say, not everyone agrees.

 

International

A Colombian college student was knocked off his bike and severely beaten by thieves when he chose to avoid traffic by riding a bike path through a dark tunnel known locally as “the tunnel of death” for its high crime rate.

A London bait bike leads police to a stash of 60 stolen bikes with individual values as high as $6,600.

British bikemaker Dawes tells its popular Galaxy touring bikes to hit the road after 49 years.

An essential worker in the UK had his bike replaced by a kindhearted stranger after it was stolen while he was working.

Dutch ebike maker VanMoof agrees to hobble their bikes in the European Union, where ebikes are restricted to 15 mph, rather than the 20 mph limit allowed in the US.

Now that’s more like it. A new Spanish law will restrict speed limits to 18 mph in urban areas, and just 12 mph in spaces shared with bike riders and pedestrians.

The bike boom has hit Indonesia, as well, as residents share their experiences riding in the age of Covid-19.

Join the club. A third of New Zealanders think drivers are going too fast on their streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Primož Roglič’s victory in the Vuelta has pulled it out at the wire, beating Tour de France champ and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogačar for the #1 spot in the UCI World Ranking for 2020, while Anna van der Breggen topped the women’s list. No American made the top ten on either list.

American world time trial champ Chloe Dygert says she’ll do whatever it takes to heal in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics after suffering a horrific gash to her left quad that severed 80% of the muscle. She’ll be riding for the Canyon-SRAM women’s team next year.

Cycling Weekly recalls ten unforgettable moments of the 2020 cycling season.

 

Finally…

Seriously, just slow the hell down around slower or less experienced bicyclists and pedestrians. Never a good idea to punch a traffic cop, even if they did just door you.

And probably not the best idea to have your six-year old daughter act as lookout before making a bike-borne escape from a shoplifting spree.

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

2 comments

  1. Andrew says:

    In reference to the Wicksted case. I live in Claremont and a friend of ours used to work with her father. She has had mental health issues all her life. She may have been having some sort of psychotic episode. Still, I don’t think 16 years is enough.

  2. Ben Castro says:

    I also am a resident of Claremont and an avid cyclist for over 40 years. The plea deal made by Deputy District Attorney Doug Baek and Wicksted’s attorney is a sad day for the cycling community and cycling commuters in general. This un-just sentence has already sent shock waves of fear through the cycling community. The location of the attempted murders and murder were located on and near an extremely popular route in the foothills of Claremont and I have already heard of cyclists giving up their road bikes in fear of another motorist willfully killing cyclists. The DA’s office and DDA have no clue how this will adversely affect commuter and recreational cycling for years and decades to come with the removal of murder from the “deal”. I imagine that with good behavior and/or early release due to COVID-19, 63 year old Wicksted will be out in society with the ability to commandeer a car and go murder again.

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