Archive for Bicycle Safety

Man killed riding bicycle near center divider on the Pomona Freeway in South El Monte; 7th LA County death this year

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle in the traffic lanes of a major SoCal freeway.

And once again, it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

According to My News LA, which apparently broke the story, a man was riding a bicycle near the center divider of the eastbound Pomona Freeway, aka the 60 Freeway, just west of Peck Road around 8:15 pm Tuesday when he was struck by several drivers.

Not surprisingly, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A collision with one vehicle at highway speeds is not likely to be survivable, let alone multiple vehicles.

As in the other cases where bike riders have been killed while riding on a freeway, no explanation was given for what the hell he was doing there.

Just to be clear, while it is legal to ride a bicycle on some limited access highways where there is no alternative bicycle route, there are few, if any, places in the Los Angeles area where it is allowed.

And it is never smart to ride a bike to the left of the fog line, or right limit line, on any urban freeway.

This is at least the 24th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. 

Update: 67-year old Pasadena dies after losing consciousness while riding on Glendora Mountain Road

According to My News LA, someone was killed riding a bicycle on Glendora Mountain Road north of Glendora Friday.

The site reports the crash occurred shortly before noon at mile marker 12.06, according to the CHP.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

There’s no word on whether a driver was involved, if it may have been a hit-and-run, or if the victim was killed in a solo crash.

There’s also no information about the victim.

The location along a popular riding route suggests they may have been a road cyclist; however, that is pure conjecture at this time.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Update: Now we know what happened

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune has identified the victim as 67-year old Pasadena resident Stanley Swantek. 

According to the paper, Swantek was riding on Glendora Mountain Road when he lost consciousness due to an undetermined medical problem just before noon Friday. 

A passing Good Samaritan began CPR, and continued until paramedics took over. However, Swantek was declared dead less than half an hour later. 

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s Baldwin Park office at 626/338-1164.

Sadly, it’s yet another reminder that cars aren’t the only danger we face on the roads. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Stanley Swantek and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to John McBrearty, ActiveSGV and LB Acct Action Grp for the heads-up.

 

56-year old Robert Bronk died five days after he was struck by driver while bicycling in El Cajon

Sad news from El Cajon, where a man died days after he was gravely injured in a collision.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 56-year old Robert Bronk, who lived on the streets, was struck by a driver while riding his bike at El Cajon Blvd and West Lexington Ave around 10 am on Sunday, April 18th.

Actually, the paper says he was hit by a vehicle, with no mention whatsoever that it had a driver.

Bronk was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital with traumatic head injuries, and given end-of-life care due to the severity of his injuries.

He died last Friday, five days after he was injured; the tragedy of his death was compounded by the tragedy of his circumstances.

Like any human being, he deserved better.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Bronk and his loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Man killed in collision riding bike across Hwy 163 in San Diego’s Balboa Park Wednesday night

Let’s start with the fact that cars don’t belong in parks.

Let alone major highways bisecting one of Southern California’s most iconic public spaces.

Yet that’s the situation in San Diego, where multi-lane State Route 163 runs directly through the 1,200-acre Balboa Park.

Wednesday night, it cost a man his life.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man was riding his bicycle across the southbound lane of the 163 just south of the Cabrillo Bridge when he was struck by a 63-year old driver around 9:05 pm.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The victim, who was not publicly identified, was reportedly trying to cross from the center divider to the right shoulder. There’s no word on why he was crossing where he did, rather than use the nearby bridge.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Teen boy killed, two others seriously injured when hit-and-run driver plows through Port Hueneme bike riders

Horrific news from Ventura County, where one teen bike rider was killed and two others “significantly” injured in a Port Hueneme hit-and-run.

According to the Ventura County Star, the northbound driver plowed through a group of seven young bike riders at north Ventura Road and east Pleasant Valley Road  at 9:28 pm Monday, leaving bikes and debris strewn across the seven lane intersection.

The massive crash occurred directly in front of the naval base.

One victim, described only as a teenage boy, died after being taken to a local hospital.

Another boy was hospitalized in critical condition with what was described only as major injuries, while a third suffered significant lower body injuries.

The other riders apparently escaped unharmed.

The driver abandoned his car five blocks away on the 500 block of East Clara Street after fleeing the scene.

Twenty-eight-year old Port Hueneme resident Samuel Rocha turned himself in to police sometime overnight. He was still being processed at 9:30 this morning.

KABC-7 reports Rocha has been booked on one count of homicide and two counts of attempted homicide, in a story that hasn’t been posted online yet.

Let’s hope they’re right, and authorities are taking this crime seriously for a change.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

That matches the county’s total for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

Two bike riders killed in Malibu collisions on PCH; just two of five fatal crashes on LA’s killer highway in recent weeks

My biggest fear when I agreed to surgery on my arm and hand was that someone would lose their life riding a bike, and I wouldn’t be able to write about the victim.

Which is exactly what happened in Malibu.

And not once, but twice.

The first came when three men were crossing Pacific Coast Highway just west of Busch Drive around 10:35 pm on Easter Sunday, one of whom was apparently walking a bicycle.

According to the Malibu Times, the man with the bike was struck and killed by a driver headed west on PCH.

A few moments later, one of his companions was struck and killed by a second driver as he scrambled to collect the victim’s belongings from the roadway.

Both men apparently died at the scene, just minutes apart. According to the paper, there have now been three people killed at the same spot in recent years.

Six days later, another man was killed while riding his bike at PCH and Corral Canyon.

The crash occurred sometime after dark on Saturday, April 10th.

The victim was riding without lights or reflectors when he was run down by a driver headed east on PCH at 51 mph, as recorded on the vehicle’s black box. He was knocked onto the other side of the highway, where he may have been struck by another driver.

There’s no word on whether the victim was riding on PCH or trying to cross the street. There’s also no word on whether the second driver remained at the scene.

Unfortunately, no identification was given for any of the victims, other than the first two men were homeless, while the third may have been.

But they all deserved better.

These are at least the 18th and 19th bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the fourth and fifth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

They are also just two of at least five people killed on PCH in Malibu since early March, along with another pedestrian and the driver of an SUV who went off the road.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for all the victims and their loved ones.

Thanks to Valley Duke for the heads-up.

 

 

 

 

80-year old man riding bike killed by alleged stop sign-running DUI driver in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon

Sometimes the needless death of an innocent person doesn’t merit even a few inches in the local paper.

Let alone a passing comment on the nightly news.

On Monday, I started hearing reports of someone killed in a collision while riding a bicycle in Costa Mesa, based on posts from the notoriously unreliable Nextdoor app.

By Tuesday morning, the location had shifted to nearby Newport Beach, along with comments suggesting the driver had been arrested. But still no confirmation from the coroner’s office or any of the local news outlets.

Sadly, that changed with this cryptic press release from the OC Coroner.

The coroner reported that 80-year old Ernest Adams died at a Santa Ana medical center early Monday morning, following a collision somewhere in Newport Beach Sunday afternoon.

That was followed by a post on a Newport Beach news blog placing the 3:16 pm collision at 16th Street and Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

According to the site, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspect blow through a stop sign before slamming into Adam’s bike; a street view shows a residential street controlled by a four-way stop, with bike lanes in three directions, next to Newport Harbor High School.

Twenty-year old Norwalk resident Alexis Garcialopez was reportedly arrested for DUI causing serious injury after failing a roadside sobriety test.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to vehicular homicide in the wake of Adams’ death. Because after 80 years on this earth, he definitely deserved a better ending.

This is at least the 17th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Ernest Adams and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

Fugitive driver cops plea for 7 years in 2017 hit-and-run, and drugged driver busted in Moorpark hit-and-run

Seven years.

That’s the sentence Andrea Dorothy Chan got after finally pleading guilty to the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez as he rode his bike in Whittier.

Chan had to be extradited from Australia to face charges after originally fleeing to Hong Kong, and having her badly damaged car repaired and stored in Idaho in an attempted coverup.

Rodriguez died at the scene after he was dragged 600 feet — the length of two city blocks — underneath Chan’s car.

Seven years isn’t anywhere near enough for a cruel and heartless crime like that. Especially since she’ll likely do less than half of that before being released.

But it’s the max she could get under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

So it will have to do.

………

A 38-year old Palm Springs man was busted for an allegedly drugged hit-and-run that left a Moorpark bike rider hospitalized with minor injuries.

Marco Martinez was being held in Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, and DUI, as well as possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Although the unnamed victim may have been more seriously injured than the story suggests, since minor injuries would only merit a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

………

If you’ve never had the chance to meet, or at least listen to, CicLAvia’s Tafarai Bayne, you’re missing out on one of Southern California’s leading voices for bicycle and social equity.

So don’t miss this one.

………

A SoCal startup is promising a new 33 pound ped-assist ebike capable of doing 33 mph, with a 33-mile range. Although the price is a tad more than $33.

However, a bike that fast exceeds California standards, which max out at 28 mph for a ped-assist bike.

And even that requires a driver’s license, license plate and a motorcycle helmet, and can’t legally be ridden on bike paths or in bike lanes.

Meanwhile, ebike prices are going up as manufacturers are being squeezed by higher costs.

………

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

A pair of Scottish bike riders were assaulted by three men for no apparent reason, when they stopped to fix one of their bikes on a footbridge; one of the men was injured badly enough to require medical treatment.

Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

One of America’s most wanted men is one of us. US Marshals believe Lester Eubanks, aka Victor Young, may still be living in Los Angeles nearly 50 years after the convicted child killer escaped from an Ohio penitentiary; his ex-boss says he rode his bike to work every day when he worked at a Gardena waterbed factory.

………

Local

Pez Cycling News talks with LA’s Phil Gaimon, whose cycling career has flourished after he retired from the pro tour. Which is usually not the way it works.

 

State

Here’s your chance to run the California branch of the Sierra Club, as the not-always bike and urbanist-friendly organization looks for a new director.

Bakersfield is considering giving the green light to ebike riders on the city’s bike paths.

San Luis Obispo County unveils plans for an $18 million, 4.5-mile extension of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail.

A Palo Alto bike rider says yes, distracted drivers deserve to get tickets, like the one who ran him down by jumping on the green light before he could get across an intersection.

Nearly 50 Sonoma County residents are suing the SMART rail authority for allegedly building bike and walking trails through their properties without permission.

They get it. A new regional transportation plan for the Lake Tahoe area says the region can’t build its way out of mounting gridlock by building more roads, calling for improved public transportation and building more bike paths. Now they just need to find a spare $1 billion under the cushions.

 

National

Transportation advocates and organizations, including NACTO and the League of America of American Bicyclists, are calling for a rewrite of the auto-centric Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; the head of the signals committee for the MUTCD’s parent organization bizarrely calls the campaign an example of “cancel culture.”

Heavy rates the 15 best balance bikes for the toddler in your life.

No bias here. If an Arizona bike rider can simply fall over and get run over by the rear wheels of a passing semi, the truck driver was too damn too close. Which is probably why the poor guy on the bike fell over in the first place.

Unbelievable. A Kansas woman with a long criminal record faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man who was riding a bike across an intersection — then reportedly getting out of her van to shoot him while he lay in the road.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders celebrate the city’s first bike lane, which opened just six months ago. Welcome to the 20th Century.

Life is really cheap in Milwaukee, where a killer driver walked with two years probation for taking the life of a man riding his bike — while driving with a suspended license, no less. What the hell is wrong with the judge and prosecutor when they can’t even manage a slap on the wrist for someone who wasn’t even supposed to be on the damn road in the first place?

More on the Montauk NY woman who faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down a man riding his bike home from work, while she was drunk and speeding at nearly twice the legal limit, with coke in her system.

A Florida TV station showed an incredible lack of basic human decency by posting security cam video of a bike rider getting run over a driver, which left the victim severely injured. I’m only linking to this to condemn the station for showing the full video without editing or blurring out the crash. I can’t recommend watching the video because you can’t unsee it; I wish I hadn’t. And I can only imagine the pain it will cause friends and family members of the victim.

 

International

A new book from record-setting endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont promises to teach you how to ride further than your current limits, whether that means a half century or riding around the world.

The Men in Kilts are one, uh, two of us, as they bike the Scottish Highlands in their latest episode. No word on whether they had to use a penny to keep their skirts down

Life is cheap in the UK, where a killer driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 17-year old boy as he was riding his bike; the driver told police he hit a deer.

A 94-year old British man also walked without a day in jail for killing a bike rider, the only punishment was a four year driving ban, and having to retake the test to get his license back when he’s 98.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old English veteran of World War II has been raising funds for charity by riding his exercise bike 15 minutes every day. Even if he is doing his riding inside.

The capitol of India’s Jharkhand state is encouraging residents to go carfree every Saturday to reduce air pollution.

A new study shows a program in India’s Bengaluru state to give students new bicycles led to improvements in enrollment, retention of students and academic performance.

Cycling Weekly tells the tale of Josh Reid — son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid — who picked up his new bike off the Chinese production line and rode it 9,300 miles home to the UK, relying on strangers along the way.

A rear-view camera captures an Aussie bicyclist getting rear-ended by a distracted driver; you can actually see the cell phone she’s holding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off with two stages in Bilbao, Spain. Which is not the Spanish name for the main character in the Hobbit.

The entire board of cycling’s drug testing agency resigned en masse in anticipation of a transfer of responsibility to the independent International Testing Agency, which controls drug testing for over 40 other organizations worldwide.

Two-thirds of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was quarantined when British cyclist Matt Walls was diagnosed with Covid-19, meaning the team will miss out on both the Ghent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen one-day classics; needless to say, the team manager was not pleased.

Powerhouse British cycling team Ineos-Grenadiers swept the podium at the week-long Tour of Catalunya stage race, with Adam Yates finishing ahead of teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

Cycling Tips remembers Belgian pro Antoine Demoitié five years after he was killed in a collision with a motorbike rider, just six months after he married a woman he’d known since they were both 14.

VeloNews talks with Belgian cycling legend Freddy Maertens, who they call the greatest classics rider who never won one of the Monuments.

A writer for Road.cc explains why he decided to pull out of Europe’s Transcontinental race. Although it sound like he’s still trying to convince himself.

Pugilistic French pro Nacer Bouhanni was DQ’d in Sunday’s one-day Cholet-Pays de la Loire classic after bodychecking another cyclist during the final sprint; Italian Elia Viviani won the race.

 

Finally…

This track cycling ebike prototype may be thrilling, but a commuter bike it ain’t.

And that feeling when you get knocked off your bike by a passing UFO.

Even if the bike in question was a motorbike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Update: Unidentified man killed riding bike in Indio collision Sunday morning; second fatal Indio bike crash in two months

Then there were three.

A bad weekend for Southern California bike riders got worse, when an unidentified man was killed riding a bike in Indio Sunday morning.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was struck around 11:45 am on Avenue 48 east of Jefferson Street.

He apparently died at the scene.

The driver, identified only as man, remained after the crash and cooperated with investigators.

Unfortunately, no other information is available at this time; even the police spokesman had to speculate that the crash occurred in the middle of the road, because police shut down in both directions.

And yes, this serves as yet another reminder to always carry ID with you when you ride.

This is at least the 16th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County; he’s also the second person killed riding a bike in Indio in just the last two months.

His death comes after two other people were killed riding bicycles in SoCal crashes this weekend, in Irwindale on Saturday and Escondido Friday night.

Update: The victim has been identified as 73-year old Indio resident William Mohan

My deepest sympathy and prayers for William Mohan and all his loved ones.

Update: Irwindale woman killed in drunken hit-and-run early Saturday; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been killed by a cowardly drunken driver who lacked the basic human decency to stick around after the crash.

Allegedly.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports a woman was discovered lying in the roadway on Huntington Drive near Foothill Boulevard in Irwindale early Saturday morning.

Police found the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, on the 2900 block of Huntington Drive shortly after 1:21 am, surrounded by parts from her shattered bicycle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on how the crash happened, or whether she had lights or reflectors on her bike in the late night darkness.

Twenty-one-year-old La Puente resident Adrian Ortega was arrested by West Covina cops shortly afterwards in the area of Francisquito and Sunset Avenues, after officers spotted evidence connecting him to the crime.

At last report, he was still being held on $100,000 bond, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving and hit-and-run.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no bike lanes or shoulder, with the San Gabriel River Trail visible in the background.

At that hour, it’s unlikely there would have been anything to keep drivers from exceeding the posted speed limit.

This is at least the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Shamefully, over half of those deaths have been hit-and-runs — as have all three bicycling deaths in LA County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 22-year old Antonia Ramirez; no city of residence was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Antonia Ramirez and all her loved ones.

 

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