Deliberate vehicular assault in Point Loma hit-and-run, CA ebike rebates, and comment on Redondo Beach Blvd plan

Now we know what happened.

This past Monday, we called attention to a bicyclist seriously injured in a hit-and-run in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood last week.

Tristan Gonzalez, a former San Diego police helicopter pilot and a high school mountain bike league board member — and, I’m told, a really nice guy — was riding on Catalina Blvd near Bernice Drive when he was run down by the driver around 4:50 pm.

He posted about the crash from his hospital bed, describing the suspect as a white male around 35-45 years old, wearing a lighter colored baseball cap, and driving a smaller white pickup truck with an extended cab and non-tinted windows.

According to San Diego’s CBS8,

He said he first encountered the driver of a white Toyota Tacoma a block earlier near Catalina Boulevard and Narragansett Avenue. He said he sensed the driver was getting dangerously close to him. At one point, he said the driver hit the handlebars of Gonzalez’s bike.

Gonzalez said he approached the truck and looked into the window. He said the driver stared straight ahead and didn’t acknowledge him.

As they both continued down Catalina toward Bernice, he sensed he was about to be hit.

“All of a sudden, I hear honking. I hear a car speed up, and sure enough, the same white truck came up alongside me,” said Gonzalez. “I just had time to look over and to see it was the same truck and to see the driver steer and turn the truck and speed right into me. I went flying and landed in the street with several injuries.”

To make matters worse, I’m told a witness pulled over to help, but accidentally left her car in drive, only stopping when Gonzolez’ helmet was wedged between the front tire, fender and bumper as a wheel chock.

He was hospitalized with a broken hip, clavicle and punctured lung. The good news is, he was scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Police are reportedly taking the incident seriously, investigating the crash as an assault with a deadly weapon. Although it should be considered attempted murder.

A still photo taken from a doorbell video shows the white extended cab pickup.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the San Diego Police Department.

Photo depicts Tristan Gonzalez from his hospital bed. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Streetsblog has more information about California’s ebike rebate program, which we mentioned yesterday, saying it’s on track for a soft launch in June, and full operation in the third quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, Bicycling examines the growing list of ebike incentives offered by cities and states across the US. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

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Here’s your chance to comment on plans for the Redondo Beach Blvd Active Transportation Corridor Project.

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

No bias here. A Vancouver, Washington letter writer can’t comprehend why the city has so many bike lanes when it rains eight months out of the year, suggesting no one is going to ride their bike to work in the rain. To paraphrase a famous quote of unknown origin, the person who says no one will do it shouldn’t interrupt those who are doing it. 

Shades of Culver City. A Toronto mayoral candidate swears he’s not anti-bike lane, even as he threatens to rip out a busy bike lane on a major street.

An anti-bike member of the British Parliament called for removing a bike lane where 59 people have been injured in the past year as a result of a pale line painted the same color as a curb, creating an optical illusion; he has also used racist terms in the past in criticizing bike lanes. Or they could just paint one or the other a different color, and solve the whole problem.

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

Frequent British tabloid target Jeremy Vine was criticized for not stopping to help while riding his bike past a crash scene. Even though dashcam video shows the BBC presenter stopping to talk with someone before riding on.

Bike riders in the UK are warned against the increasingly common practice of bike commuters “half-wheeling” by riding with half a wheel’s length in front of another bicyclist.

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Local 

The LA Times gets it, saying walking to school shouldn’t be deadly, in the wake of the crash that killed a mom and critically injured her daughter as they crossed the street to get to the girl’s school. Then again, biking to school shouldn’t mean risking life and limb, either.

Metro says this year’s Bike Week is scheduled for May 15-19 and Bike Day, formerly known as Bike To Work Day, will be Thursday, May 18. Let’s just hope it doesn’t fizzle out for lack of interest like it did last year.

Speaking of Metro, the Los Angeles County transportation agency says upgrades will be rolling out for their bike locker program in the coming months, starting with the Culver City Expo Line Station.

Finishing our Metro trifecta, the agency invites you to join their commissioned artist Geoff McFetridge and Ride-On! Bike Shop/Co-Op on a 5-mile community bike ride from the Ride-On! Bike Shop in Leimert Park to the K Line’s Westchester/Veterans Station. 

 

State

The family of fallen Encinitas bicyclist Jennings Worley have begun settlement talks in a lawsuit against Shea Homes, three years after Worley, a leading scientist working on a cure cystic fibrosis, was killed when moving truck driver right hooked him turning into one of the builder’s developments. Which raises the question of how many CF patients will needlessly suffer because he isn’t there to develop a treatment for the devastating disease. 

A California website calls the bike and pedestrian Redding Sundial Bridge an architectural marvel promoting art, culture, and environmental sustainability.

A San Diego letter writer says cutting parking in the city’s Balboa Park for new bus and bike lanes doesn’t help the environment. Apparently confusing smog-belching cars for some cleaner form of transportation — like buses and bikes, for instance. 

 

National

Writing for the New Yorker, novelist Joyce Carol Oates offers a novella centering on a bicycle crash.

Prolific author Judy Blume is one of us, shown riding bicycles with her husband in a new documentary.

Bike Rumor looks at 3D-printed banana holders.

Writing for Outside, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a defense for biking in the suburbsYou can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bike Portland says a relatively minor shift in how the city will regulate a few parking spaces is being “framed as a sinister scheme by PBOT to ban trucks across a swath of downtown Portland,” while hurting local businesses at the same time.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes continues to hemorrhage employees, undergoing its fourth round of layoffs.

A Spokane, Washington website says 750 bike riders have been struck by drivers in the city since 2014, along with 1,500 pedestrians, and examines what can be done to stop the carnage.

A 23-year old Illinois woman was sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a man riding an ebike while she was high on weed.

New York is deploying streetlight-mounted artificial intelligence-enabled sensors to “collect anonymized data on modes of transportation such as cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, scooters, pedestrians and others and the paths they take,” and how they interact on the streets.

Grubhub will provide free use of ebikes to at least 500 New York delivery workers, along with access to over 50 hubs where workers can store bikes, exchange batteries and collect delivery rider gear.

 

International

Road.cc explains what all-road bikes are, describing them as “drop-bar bikes that are fast and capable on any kind of road surface from smooth asphalt all the way to light gravel tracks.” In other words, what we used to call a “bicycle.”

Canadian ebike maker Velec announced an “innovative” anti-theft protection program offering replacement bikes and unlimited roadside assistance anywhere in Canada. Which is pretty much what VanMoof innovated five years ago

Two-time Tour de France champ Gino Bartali is the subject of a new musical premiering in London’s West End theater district for his heroism saving Jews under the nose of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini during WWII.

The truck driver who killed a 74-year old British man as he rode his bike was spared prison time when the victim’s wife pleaded with the court to show him mercy.

Bike riders in Hyderabad, India are pleased with progress being made on a long-awaited, three-lane, 15 mile cycle track.

No surprise here. Danish Crown Princess Mary is one of us, as she’s spotted riding a bike on a royal visit to her native Australia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mathieu Van Der Poel plans to skip major mountain bike races to focus on road racing until after this year’s Road World Championships.

Seventeen-year-old Coronado High School Junior Eddie “Shreddie” Reynolds is officially turning pro, and will henceforth ride for the Kona Bikes Factory Team. When I was a junior in high school, I was just happy to ride my bike carrying a Sousaphone without falling.

LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles is launching three new cycling kits designed by Rapha, while L39ION founder Justin Williams announced the formation of the new Circuit Racing International Tour, or CRIT, bike racing league, calling it the future of cycling.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying meth and fentanyl on your bike, with four outstanding warrants, try not to almost fall off in front of the cops. Fall of your bike, and your jeans turn into airbags, even if they make you look like a old-time motorcycle cop.

And your next new cranks could cost more than most people’s bikes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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