Huerta guilty of murder in Tour de Palm Springs crash, more Bike Week news, and annual Ride of Silence rolls tomorrow

Guilty.

To the surprise of no one, Ronnie Ramon Huerta Jr. was convicted Monday of killing Washington resident Mark Kristofferson in the 2018 Tour de Palm Springs.

A Riverside jury deliberated three days before convicting Huerta of 2nd degree murder, as well as driving under the influence of drugs resulting in great bodily injury, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.

Although, for some reason, Huerta was not charged with severely injuring Huntington Beach resident Alyson Lee Akers in the same crash.

Huerta was high on weed and driving without a license when he ran down Kristofferson while driving at speeds up to 100 mph; he was arrested after being detained by witnesses in a nearby field as he attempted to run away on foot to high the cannabis he’d been smoking.

Huerta was remanded into custody after the verdict was announce, after being free on a quarter million dollar bond while awaiting trial. He now faces a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

On the other hand, Kristofferson received the death penalty at Huerta’s hands, while his loved ones were sentenced to life without him.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Santa Clarita residents kicked off Bike Week a day early with a self-guided bike tour along the city’s bike path system Saturday morning.

Bike riders in Paso Robles can enjoy a Bike Breakfast of free coffee and breakfast burritos tomorrow morning.

Metrolink is one-upping Metro’s free rides on Thursday’s Bike Day by offering a full week of free rides this week if you board with your bike. Thanks to J for the heads-up.

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In more Bike Week news, tomorrow marks the annual international Ride of Silence to honor the victims of traffic violence, with memorial rides scheduled throughout Southern California.

Although there doesn’t appear to be a ride scheduled for San Diego County, which had at least 12 bicycling deaths last year, and 17 the year before.

Los Angeles
Contact: Rafael Hernandez   <–Send email
Distance: 10 mi
Notes: Location is tentativ
Pasadena
Contact: Thomas Cassidy    <–Send email
Distance: 12 mi.
Notes: Contact the organizer for more details.
Fullerton
Contact: Jane Rands   <–Send email
Distance: 10
Notes: Meet 6:30 pm at the plaza on E Wilshire Ave between Harbor Blvd and Pomona Ave. There is a parking garage with no charge if you enter before 9pm. We will begin riding east on the Wilshire Bike Blvd at 7pm, go south on Acacia, north on Commonwealth, cross Nutwoood and continue north on the county bike trail through the CSUF campus. We will loop south to Dorothy, cross State College and continue on Dorothy to Hornet way where we will turn right onto Berkeley, south on Lemon and west on E Wilshire to return to our starting location. Feel free to join us at any point if you miss our departure at 7pm.
Redding
Contact: Lisa Creps   <–Send email
Distance: 8.5 mi.
Notes: Contact the organizer for more details.
Riverside
Contact: Michele Hampton   <–Send email
Distance: 8 mi.
Notes: For details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/riversidebicycleclub
Palm Springs
Contact: John Siegel   <–Send email
Distance: 4.5 mi.
Notes: https://fb.me/e/Vpz3NHYT

When: Wed. May 17th, 6:30 PM, Ruth Hardy Park, Palm Springs

We will gather at the south parking area, with brief comments from community leaders and elected officials.

This year we will have great support from the Friends of CV/Link, Volunteer Palm Springs, clubs and the City of Palm Springs.

We also encourage non-cyclists to join us. Walkers can use the one mile loop around the park, and all can show support by joining us at the brief ceremony. There is parking for those not arriving by bike. We will honor people we have lost.

The Ride of Silence is held at 7:00 pm local time around the globe.

Thousand Oaks
Contact: Linda Coburn   <–Send email
Distance: 10 mi.
Notes: Bicycle riders of all ages and abilities are encouraged to join the Conejo Valley Ride of Silence. We ride silently together for 10 miles on some of the busiest Thousand Oaks roads during rush hour. By doing so we remind drivers that cyclists are traffic too and educate drivers to be more attentive and careful when sharing the roads. To ensure the safety of all, the Ride of Silence is escorted by the Thousand Oaks Sheriff’s Department.

Gather at The Oaks Mall near Pedals & Pints Brewing beginning at 5:30pm. A ceremony at 5:45 will honor cyclists who have lost their lives to vehicular violence. After the ceremony, at approximately 6:00, the entire group will roll out. The solemn procession of silent riders will keep an even pace of about 10-11 miles per hour, making it achievable by most riders. Helmets are mandatory.

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Yes, please.

The head of the National Traffic Safety Board calls for the federal government to step in to mechanically or electronically limit the speeds of motor vehicles.

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A viral video captures a bizarre interaction with a white woman in medical scrubs apparently trying to forcibly take a New York bikeshare bike which had already been checked out on Black man’s account.

https://twitter.com/Imposter_Edits/status/1657581292681064451?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1657581292681064451%7Ctwgr%5Effcff880297ca99cddc5557df14036845a671e73%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.insider.com%2Fwhite-woman-video-citi-bike-black-man-2023-5

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A 70-year old London man somehow managed to fight off four blacked-out, moped-riding bike rustlers who tried to make off with his Brompton, while armed with an angle grinder.

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

Maybe ostensibly bike friendly Portland, Oregon wouldn’t have a declining bike ridership rate if they’d stop scaling back already announced plans for protected bikeways.

Police in Philadelphia are looking for the thieves who knocked a 48-year old man off his bike with their car, then jumped out and beat him unconscious before stealing his wallet and keys.

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

A Lafayette, Louisiana DJ calls out “idiots” he somehow thinks are unique to the city for riding their bikes down the center turn lane on busy streets, rather than riding to the right, calling them “soon-to-be customers” of the local ambulance service. Although somehow he didn’t mention the bike rider killed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk in the same city over the weekend.

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Local 

Streetsblog reports an open house will be held tomorrow night to discuss plans to extend the LA River bike path another mile north from the current terminus at the Riverside/Zoo bridge, including an equestrian trail along with an extension of the multiuse path; a virtual meeting will take place Wednesday. You can provide feedback using an online survey.

Hermosa Beach is dedicating a new bike corral this Sunday at Hermosa Ave and 10th Street, in honor of late South Bay bicycle advocate Julian Katz.

 

State

San Diego Magazine recommends a scenic, leisurely and food-filled trip down the coast highway from Carlsbad to Seaside Reef. Which is a lot safer these days when I used to do that ride on a semi-regular basis.

Richmond bike co-op and community organizers Rich City Rides has started a $6 million fundraising campaign to buy three properties, including their longtime HQ; so far they have received commitments for up to $4.5 million, including an offer of a $3.3 million loan from an anonymous donor.

 

National

PeopleForBikes is partnering with a battery recycling company and a San Francisco-based creative consultancy to create the new Hungry for Batteries campaign to recycle ebike batteries from 52 different bikemakers.

Tragic news from Arizona, where a Flagstaff woman was killed when she fell off her mountain bike and tumbled down a rocky embankment.

Police in Goodyear, Arizona are calling for witnesses to come forward to provide more information about the pickup driver who plowed into a large group ride last February, killing two people and injuring 19 others, after prosecutors rejected the case; the driver claims his steering wheel locked up, forcing him to drift into the victims. Apparently his brake blocked up, too, since he somehow couldn’t stop, either.

This is who we share the road with. When a man in rural eastern Colorado was pulled over for speeding, he switched seats with his dog and tried to convince the cop the dog was driving to avoid getting busted for DUI.

The husband and daughters of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew, who vanished while riding her bike on Mother’s Day three years ago, have spoken out for the first time since filing a $15 million wrongful arrest suit, even though he reportedly remains the primary suspect in the case.

There’s a special place in hell for the 80-year old hit-and-run driver who knocked a ten-year old North Dakota boy off his bicycle, and left him severely injured in the street. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

In the understatement of the year, bike advocates in Lincoln, Nebraska respond to separate collisions that injured two bike riders, including a nine-year old run down by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, by saying that drivers need to be more careful. Well, no shit.

The man behind the infamous collapse of China’s Ofo dockless bikeshare is now placing his bets on a new boba coffee chain in New York. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave hundreds of thousands of abandoned coffee cups scattered around the city, like he did with bikeshare bikes in China.

US prosecutors are calling for multiple life sentences for convicted New York terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, who killed eight people and injured several others by driving a rented truck down a Manhattan bike path in an ISIS-inspired attack.

Maybe the viral video of the bikeshare skirmish we lined to above was good advertising, as New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare saw record ridership last week.

 

International

Venture capital-backed ebike startup Civilized Cycles aims to make riding to work as luxurious as driving, with a patented suspension system that adjusts to the rider’s weight with a touch of a button. Get back to me when they offer air conditioning, surround sound and in-dash touch screens.

Surprisingly, a new Canadian study released this month shows the legalization of adult-use marijuana in the country has not resulted in an increase in car crashes.

Up to 20,000 people are expected to turn out for a pair of Montreal bike rides celebrating the return of the annual Go Bike Montreal Festival, following cancellations the last few years due to the pandemic.

Australia’s Bicycle Network is joining with the nations LGBTQ+ community to mark tomorrow’s IDAHOBIT Day, which stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia.

 

Competitive Cycling

Teams competing in the Giro are going back to protocols they used in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, in the wake of race leader Remco Evenepoel dropping out with Covid hours after winning the time trial to regain the pink leader’s jersey.

Bicycling says not everyone is convinced Evenepoel really has the disease, suggesting it could just be an excuse to pull out of the race. Read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

Britain’s Cyclist recaps the first week of the Giro, from a dog-induced crash to positive Covid tests.

Who pooped in their cornflakes? Cyclist also throws a little shade on the current cycling scene, saying it’s not a golden age if the same riders win all the races.

Cycling Weekly calls Indiana University’s recently completed Little 500 the “coolest bike race you’ve never been to.” Unless you have, of course.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me — if you’re carrying fentanyl, weed and multiple cellphones showing drug buys on your ebike, don’t ride salmon.

And now you, too, can build your own bike-based RV camper.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

3 comments

  1. Catherine Des Lauriers says:

    I want to know the name of the person who killed the mother and injured her kid in the crosswalk at the school near Park LaBrea. And is he going to face justice?

    • bikinginla says:

      Probably not. Police backed off their initial reports that the driver was under the influence, and said he may have been experiencing a medical emergency.

  2. J says:

    Oceanside and San Clemente etc. maybe reachable, or not, with a voucher provided by metrolink after about ten days of service being restored last month. ON Friday emergency work began that might finish next week, and rail might again use the tracks.

    So I erred when I said “of course Oceanside” and didn’t bother to put a street address in. THE voucher is good for up to $50 or was on the first day of renewed disaster. The free ebike contest is at a store not reachable this week and they where closed when I was there as well.