At least 83 people killed riding bikes in SoCal last year, no more “car oopsies,” and Sartre and Hackman are one of us

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s news.

As we noted, 18 people were killed riding bicycles in Los Angeles last year, a 20% jump over the year before. And ten more than the eight we had counted.

That news confirmed that running total of bicycling deaths maintained on this site was a dramatic undercount. Because too many tragedies on our streets never make the news, and the LAPD is often too slow in releasing reports of bicycling deaths.

If they ever get around to it at all.

Adding those 10 extra deaths to our totals comes out to 35 bicycling deaths in Los Angeles County last year, which compares to 34 in 2019, and around 30 in 2020, when we saw a similar problem confirming bicycling fatalities.

Orange County showed just seven deaths last year, which again seems like an undercount compared to 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

San Diego County suffered through a horrible year, with 17 bicycling deaths, compared to just seven in 2020 and four in 2019.

The nine deaths in Riverside County fell in line with previous years, with ten in 2020 and eight in 2019.

The same is true for San Bernardino County, where seven people lost their lives riding bikes last year, compared to five in 2020 and eight the year before.

Ventura County showed a significant jump, with eight deaths in 2021, double the total of four for 2020, and six in 2019.

Finally, there appeared to be no bicycling deaths in Imperial County last year or the year before, compared to two in 2019. Although it’s easier to get light out of a black hole than news from Imperial County, so take that with a grain of salt.

But bear in mind these are only rough estimates, based strictly on reports in the press or announced by the police, the coroner or some other credible source.

Each death included here has been confirmed, eliminating any risk of an overcount; if anything, this is more likely to be an undercount. I’ve heard of several bicycling deaths over the past year that I haven’t been able to confirm, and so haven’t included them in these totals.

That leaves us with at least 83 people killed riding bicycles in the seven county Southern California region last year.

Eighty-three mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones who were not here to greet the new year.

And likely more.

Maybe many more, when we finally see the official government totals in a few years.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

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The older term was more accurate.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

And boy do I want to be like him when I grow up.

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A soaked Sartre on a foldie.

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Those vintage ice bikes we shared with you yesterday?

They’re still a thing, if somewhat more stable now.

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

No bias here. And apparently, no sense of irony either, as a proposed new Virginia law would would charge people on bicycles twice as much as motor vehicle drivers for rolling a stop sign, despite the people in the big, dangerous machines posing a much great risk to others. And just try impounding people’s cars for a simple traffic violation.

At least they’re honest about it. The BBC backtracks on an earlier story claiming new bike lanes are responsible for making London the world’s most congested city, correcting it to lay blame on a number of factors; a reporter admits that the “anti-cycling angle ‘gets more readers.'”

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

Reminiscent of the infamous Crimanimalz ride on LA’s Santa Monica Freeway more than a decade ago, over 100 people taking part in a Berkeley ride out took over the right lanes of the I-80 Freeway on Sunday, before they were escorted off by a CHP officer. As someone else pointed out, despite their scofflaw behavior, fewer people are killed by bicycle ride outs than everyday motor vehicle traffic. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Huh? A San Diego letter writer criticizes the Union-Tribune for using the widow of a fallen bicyclist to illustrate the need for safer bikeways, saying that safety was never raised as a reason for bike lanes on 30th Street, because everyone knows it was too dangerous to ride a bike there.

A 20-year old Merced woman is under arrest after she was found with a man’s stolen bicycle, which was taken when the man was smashed in the head with a hard object; her alleged partner in crime is still on the run.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a fix to the formerly unprotected bike lane used by an SUV driver to bypass stalled traffic last year, killing a pedestrian in the process, still wouldn’t stop anyone with its new car-tickler plastic bendie posts. Although that may not be quite the way they phrased it.

 

National

How not to bonk on your next mountain bike ride.

E-pickup maker Rivian has applied for an ebike trademark, suggesting a foray into bikemaking could be in their future.

A Houston paper says the local bike lanes in the auto-centric city are an “absolute joke and incredibly dangerous to any cyclist who decides to risk it and ride in them.So, it’s like most other major cities, then.

A writer for Chicago Streetsblog questions who we should really be building bike lanes for, concluding that they should be for inexperienced bicyclists who’d like to ride more, rather than more confident, experienced riders.

 

International

UK GQ recommends stylish and practical panniers for your bike. I’ll take the bright yellow leather ones, thank you very much. 

That feeling when a drunk Irishman breaks into your home and demands an ebike charger. Probably for the e-scooter he just stole to carry your television out on.

A German sociologist concludes that bicycles are becoming status symbols, since poorer people are more likely to drive to show they can afford it, while bike riders tend to be wealthier and more educated, and more likely to send a message by choosing to ride. Methinks he’s full of scheisse.

Life is cheap in Israel, where a professional soccer player was given early release for good behavior after serving just two years for the hit-and-run death of a 17-year old ebike rider.

Popular Bangladeshi actor Bappy Chowdhury is one of us, taking a spill after losing his balance while filming a scene on a bicycle.

An Indian man learns the hard way that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as he orders a $600 bicycle from a discount site for just $155 — and gets a box full of scrap.

No surprise here. A Singapore report shows an average of 560 serious crashes involving bicyclists in each of the past five years, compared to just 90 a year on bike paths and park connectors. Meanwhile, the island city-state requires ebike and e-scooter user to pass an online test and carry a certificate with them when they ride.  And no, I don’t know what a park connector is, either.

Most of Japan’s abandoned and second-hand bicycles end up in Cambodia’s thriving used bike market.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team of Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new Guinness record for a relay team by riding 1,037 miles in just 48 hours.

VeloNews says UCI is disrespecting women’s cycling by banning team kits, while disrespecting women’s cycling themselves by hiding the editorial behind a paywall.

It’s time to head to Austria and get your snow bike racing on.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your toddler arrives in a bike trailer like an aristocrat. Stop your kid’s balance bike by remote control.

And can we have these on every street?

Please?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

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