15 to life in HB DUI hit-and-run, MI cops accused of beating bike rider, and CA Sen. Portantino buzzed on bike by driver

Happy first day of Spring, even if it doesn’t look or feel like it here in Los Angeles today. 

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An Orange County man could spend the rest of his life behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run death of a man on a bicycle.

Twenty-nine-year old Garden Grove resident Victor Manuel Romero was sentenced to 15 years to life following his conviction for second-degree murder and hit-and-run causing permanent and serious injury in the death of 33-year old Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach four years ago this month.

The wreck that killed MacDonald, a homeless resident of Huntington Beach, was just the second of three crashes in an alcohol-soaked crime spree that night.

Romero started off with a bar fight outside a local nightclub, following by crashing into the bar owner’s Caddy on his way out of the parking lot. He then slammed into MacDonald, before crashing into a tree, all without stopping until the tree stopped him.

He still had a blood alcohol content of .18 — over two times the legal limit — when he was tested hours after the crash.

Romero was subject to the murder charge after signing a Watson advisement following a 2012 DUI conviction, and admitted to police that he remembered signing it when he was arrested after running off from the last crash — after trying to claim that he’d been carjacked.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels.

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Three Michigan state troopers are facing criminal charges for beating the crap out of a bike-riding man last August.

All three have been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, while one of the officers also faces a felony count of misconduct in office for the incident that began with a simple traffic stop, for not having lights on the victim’s bike.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, attempted to flee by riding off on his bike on the sidewalk after officers approached him, likely because he allegedly had a small amount of suspected fentanyl and/or heroin on him.

According to UpNorthLive,

A traffic stop was then conducted and the bicyclist was placed in to custody after “several physical strikes, taser deployment and OC spray deployment,” according to the report…

As the head of the state police said, excessive force against anyone by a police officer is “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Especially for not having lights on a damn bicycle.

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Clearly, state senators — and Congressional candidates — aren’t any safer out there than the rest of us.

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Streets For All produced their own PSA.

Which in this case, stands for Public Safety Ad.

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After years of talk and wishes, extending the Ballona Creek bike path eastward from the current terminus at Syd Kronenthal Park could be on verge of becoming a reality.

Or at least, a study to determine the feasibility of extending it could be.

Trying to extend it westward from its current terminus near the Pacific would just mean a lot of soggy bike riders.

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In just nine seconds, this clip perfectly captures the problem with riding on the sidewalk, particularly against traffic.

Because drivers entering from side streets and driveways tend to look towards oncoming traffic, and may not see someone coming from their right.

Let alone note someone traveling at greater than walking speed.

https://twitter.com/Bicicleto_ZGZ/status/1637143240523632642

Which is not to say they shouldn’t. But I prefer not to trust my safety to some motorist not having his or her head up their ass.

Then again, they should also stop after crashing into someone, unlike the jerk in the video.

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Celebrating 120 years of great bike art.

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The war on cares may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.

No bias here. A Menlo Park columnist says bike-riding councilmembers display their own bias through an unwillingness to preserve parking in a bike lane project intended to improve safety for school kids, arguing that there’s very little risk of a kid getting doored or hit by a driver backing out of a parking space.

Police in Denver are looking for the road-raging occupants of a stolen car who shot and wounded a man riding a bicycle, after a confrontation that began when they nearly crashed into him.

No bias here, either. A Florida columnist and retired paramedic says no kid needs a $2,000 ebike, because he once saw a kid riding one roll through a stop sign while looking at his cellphone. And somehow uses the tragic 40-year old case of boy who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt to illustrate the dangers of ebikes.

A bike rider on the Isle of Man was stopped by police three times and ordered to put his bike in their van after drivers complained about being unable to see him in foggy conditions. Which means they should slow down and drive more carefully due to the conditions — not have someone on a bike kicked off the road.

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Local 

A suspect could face charges for shooting a man who was riding his bicycle on the Expo Line bike path near the Sepulveda E Line Metro station, nee Expo Line. Police detained the bike-riding suspect after he was spotted by fire fighters responding to the scene; no word on what may have led up to the incident.

 

State

Calbike calls for passing AB 825 in the state legislature, which would legalize sidewalk riding anywhere in the state on streets and highways that don’t include a Class I, Class II, or Class IV bikeway.

The San Diego Union-Tribune looks back on the city’s first mass bike ride in 1921.

After the front wheel of a Palm Springs man’s bike was stolen — not his whole bike, despite what the headline says — he sees the futility of getting it back as a sign of the breakdown in the fabric of society.

A Palm Spring organization installed a ghost bike for fallen bicyclist Nelson Esteban, who was killed in an early morning collision last week. Although it will only stay up for 30 days, and no other form of memorials will be allowed.

Heartbreaking news from Bakersfield, where a 16-year old girl riding a bicycle suffered life threatening injuries when she was struck by a motorist. Which is a hell of a lot better way to say it than their headline, which managed to remove the humanity from both parties. 

Tragic news from Sacramento, where a man riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night.

San Francisco’s Financial District now has its first protected bike lane; meanwhile advocates push back against a proposed center-running bike lane on Valencia, calling it worse than nothing.

 

National

Portland bike riders mark the last day of winter with the annual Worst Day of the Year Ride.

Life is cheap in Sitka, Alaska, where a 21-year old woman got just four years for the hit-and-run death of a 20-year old man on a bike, after drifting onto the wrong side of the road while coming off a meth-high from the night before; she then drove to her father’s house and attempted to conceal evidence of the crime.

Oregon’s ebike rebate bill received an extreme makeover in the state legislature, making the rebate program an extension of Oregon’s existing Clean Vehicle Rebate Program while modeling it after Denver’s highly successful program; general residents will now receive just a $400 rebate, while low-income residents will be eligible for up to $1,200 on the purchase of a new ebike.

Dartmouth football coach Buddy Teevens is one of us, as the “avid cyclist” was hospitalized after being injured in a collision while riding his bike; no word on the condition of the five-time Ivy League champ.

Nearly 1,000 people turned out for an annual 51-mile Selma to Montgomery, Alabama bike ride, beginning at the famed Edmund Pettus Bridge and ending at the State Capitol.

 

International

Road.cc looks back fondly on the Diamondback Andean, which they call the craziest bike of the last decade.

British Columbia’s Stolen Bicycle Avengers use Facebook to reunited purloined  bikes with their owners.

A writer for The Guardian credits the Dutch city of Groningen, where two-thirds of all trips are made by bike, with building the template cities all over the world are using to increase bicycling and reclaim streets from cars.

Josh Reid, son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, relates his flight-free journey by train and ferry to Africa to take part in an 830-mile unsupported race skirting the Sahara Desert.

The 58th Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye, the country formerly known as Turkey, has been postponed until October due to the recent deadly earthquakes.

Half of Pakistanis admit they don’t know how to ride a bike.

An Aussie Lamborghini driver faces charges for running down a man riding a bicycle in a Melbourne nightclub district, which was voted the city’s scariest area for bicyclists a few years ago.

An Australian man was the latest to learn the dangers of overheated ebike batteries, after he was forced to jump from a second-floor balcony to escape flames; another man’s ebike battery exploded while he was riding it, setting off a small grass fire. .

Continuing Down Under, a new $6 million project by the Australian government and bike safety nonprofit Amy Gillett Foundation aims to educate “governments and engineers about best-practice road building for safe cycling,” as well as testing new methods of documenting how safe streets currently are.

Still more from Australia, where a 24-year old man faces life behind bars for killing a bike-riding 84-year old man while illegally riding his dirt bike up 55 mph while popping wheelies on a bike trail.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel dropped the entire peloton in a solo breakaway win at Milan-San Remo, the year’s first Monument and the third Monument win of his career.

Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar said he had no regrets after falling just shot of the Milan-San Remo podium in fourth place.

Indian paracyclists competed with general category bicyclists in a race across the country, with the top paracyclist finishing in third place in just nine days; the top women’s paracyclist — and only woman in the race — finished in 16 days, despite riding with just one leg.

Cycling Tips offers photos from a rainy, foggy and muddy LA Tourist Race, featuring 50-miles on dirt trails through the mountains above Los Angeles, while packing 7,500 feet of elevation into 21 mile segments.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to bash another man over the head with a baton in a dispute over an allegedly stolen BMX, after police refuse to intervene. Nothing like sightings of a bike-riding ghost regularly plunging to his death by riding off a quarry cliff.

And no, you can’t ride your bike on Formula 1 courses before zipping around at 200 mph anymore.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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