Too many bike riders never came home, 3 DUIs in 2 years for killer Newport Beach driver, and bike stats for every occasion

Just two days left in the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Kent S and Jose P for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning — and free for everyone!

So don’t wait.

Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today and avoid the last minute holiday rush!

And be sure to come back tomorrow when we’ll mark Christmas Eve with an extensive recount of OC court cases, courtesy of our anonymous correspondent. 

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In a heartbreaking story, Outside remembers nine people who went out for a bike ride and never came home, just a tiny fraction of the nearly 700 people killed on American streets this year.

It’s also a reminder that yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the DUI collision that killed Australian James Rapley as he rode a rented bike on Temescal Canyon.

Rapley was on a layover at LAX, making his way home for the holidays, when he was run down on a Sunday morning by an underage driver still wasted from the night before.

Every one of the nearly 1,000 bicycling deaths I’ve written about haunt me, but some are always with me; Rapley’s death is one of those, because it was just so damned needless.

His death almost resulted in a parking protected bike lane on Temescal, too late to help Repley, but which might have kept the next driver from taking a life by drifting into the painted bike lane on the curving climb.

But despite my best efforts, and those of others, the proposal died amid the fierce backlash over road diets in Playa del Rey.

It would have been a fitting memorial to a life needlessly lost, to go with the white bicycle-shaped bike rack installed by Rapley’s family in the park next to where he died.

Instead, his spirit will continue to haunt me until we finally take steps to ensure not one more bike rider will die there.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik blames the high bicycle death count on a lack of pedestrian crash testing, allowing oversized trucks and SUVs to proliferate on American roadways.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets.

A 22-year old Newport Beach woman allegedly ran a red light directly before slamming into another car, killing a young couple, and leaving their three small kids orphans.

Court documents allege Grace Elizabeth Coleman had a blood alcohol content of more than .20, over one and a half times the legal limit. And she had no reason to be on the road after she had already been driven home from a local brewery.

This is apparently her third DUI in just two years, including a June 2019 hit-and-run for which she assumed financial responsibility without being charged, as well as a pending DUI from this past August.

She’s currently being held without bail.

Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late.

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Livestrong is alive and well, even without He Who Must Not Be Named, who we’re all expected to pretend never won the Tour de France once, let alone seven times.

The cancer charity slash website offers an extensive and useful compendium of 95 bike stats, ranging from global cycling to crashes — not accident, please — and broken down by sex, race and ethnicity.

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Who knew?

You can get a free QR code sticker from Bike Index to help secure your registered bike.

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‘Tis the season for still more bike giveaways.

The San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles teamed with the Pechanga tribe to distribute 200 bicycles and helmets for LA-area kids.

A San Antonio, Texas ministry gave away over 700 bicycles and toys to less fortunate children.

Members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity gave 14 new kids bikes to struggling families in Selma, Alabama.

A Savannah, Georgia bike advocacy group donated nearly 60 refurbished kids bikes to families facing hardships.

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

Italian pro Andrea Vendrame was the victim of a road raging driver, who got out of his car and punched him following a punishment pass on a training ride, all for no apparent reason other than Vendrame was riding on the roadway.

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Local

Sunset For All offers their own gift guide from bike-friendly shops on the iconic boulevard.

Around on Bikes talks with Streets For All’s Michael Schneider about the bike and pedestrian PAC’s efforts to transform transportation on the streets of Los Angeles.

LADOT is looking for feedback on the long-delayed 4th Street Street Neighborhood Greenway project.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will be free on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Years Eve and New Years Day.

 

State

A bike-riding man was critically injured in an East Oakland hit-and-run collision.

 

National

A new study of aggregate insurance data shows over half of all collisions involve someone using a phone.

Boulder, Colorado police have busted a pair of bike burglars blamed for stealing nearly $60,000 worth of bicycles.

A Colorado TV station examines the anatomy of a bicycling crash, as an entry into the 4225 crashes resulting in injuries to bike riders over the past decade in which drivers were believed to be at fault.

An accident reconstruction specialist deconstructs a recent fatal bike crash in Illinois, saying as cyclists, “we accept risk in return for the beauty of our sport, but we cannot ignore the risks.”

A Detroit father of five was surprised with a new car after his fellow Carvana employees took pity on him for riding his bike 30 miles to work in frigid weather. Which might be warmer, but may or may not be a improvement.

Not bloody likely. Michigan sheriff’s deputies believe an 82-year old man just happened to fall off his bike, fatally striking his head, at the exact moment an SUV driver was passing him.

They get it. A Nassau NY newspaper considers how motorists can drive safely around bike riders.

A candidate for New York District Attorney says the DA should use all available laws to bring dangerous drivers to justice; his opponent says criminalizing collisions is the wrong way to go.

New York drivers quickly moved to take over formerly protected bike lanes after snow plows took out the flex posts.

DC discovers the hard way that more traffic cops does not necessarily translate to fewer drivers being ticketed for parking or driving in bike lanes during a pandemic.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South Carolina band director suffered major injuries when he was struck by a cowardly driver while on a half-century ride; the driver was apprehended shortly after fleeing the scene.

Insurers settled with the family of a homeless Georgia man for a whopping $7.5 million in a Christmas Day crash two years ago, after a pickup driver ran him down on his way to church just one day after a Good Samaritan had given him the bike he was killed on.

 

International

Don’t count on a Canyon bike under the tree if you live in the UK, as the German bike brand has become one of the first Brexit casualties.

Pink Bike considers what the coming no-deal Brexit will mean for British bike customers.

A Polish bike builder dressed as Santa Claus broke the record for the world’s tallest tall bike, on a bicycle shaped like a Christmas tree; the previous record stood for seven years, set by LA’s own Richie Trimble’s Stoopid Taller bike in 2013.

A Mumbai researcher says non-motorized transportation is the way to travel for smart cities of the future. And the present, too.

An Indian laborer left his wife and twins at home, riding 260 miles to join a multi-day protest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Newly signed L39ion of Los Angeles women’s cyclist Kendall Ryan is focusing on next year’s Tokyo Olympics, with the support of the team.

An aspiring young British cyclist says yes, the sport has a serious safety problem, even if he doesn’t think about it when he’s competing.

 

Finally…

Your next e-cargo bike may not even need you.

And, um…

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

2 comments

  1. Eric Weinstein says:

    Ted – The bike lanes on Temescal Canyon are not parking protected. It’s a door zone lane, on a wide road. I drive it weekly and think about that unlucky visitor every time. In constant use too.

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