Archive for Injuries and Fatalities

Bicycling “disaster for traditional economy,” bike-born antisemitic attack in New York, and LA scores another pitiful bike score

Just 190 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. 

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In probably the worst take ever, the CEO the Caribbean-based Euro Exim Bank called bicycling a disaster for the traditional economy.

That’s because bicyclists don’t buy cars, make loan payments, or pay for car repairs. And never mind the reduced healthcare costs because people who ride bikes tend to be healthier than people who drive.

Even though reduced healthcare costs and a healthier population are a net benefit to society, and people who ride bicycles still buy stuff — and have more money left over to do it with.

And if bicycling is such a threat to the traditional economy, maybe it’s the traditional economy that needs to change.

Then again, the billionaire owner of discount Euro airline Ryan Air wasn’t much better, tweeting his discontent over environmentalists and bicyclists with the hashtag #AirTravelOverBicycleRide.

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WTF is wrong with some people?

Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding middle-aged white man bigot who yelled “Fuck you, Jew,” then tossed a bag of dog poop through a driver’s open window before riding off on his bicycle.

Which raises the obvious question of who the hell rides a bike carrying a bag of dog poop?

Never mind that it remains unclear whether or not his intended victim actually was Jewish.

It’s also unclear whether this had anything to do with the current tensions over Gaza, or if it was just some asshole taking advantage of the current tensions.

But regardless of any possible political motives, there’s just no excuse for antisemitism or bigotry of any kind, no matter how you get around. Ever.

Period.

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People For Bikes is out with their seventh annual City Ratings, showing things appear to be getting better for bicycling in the US.

Los Angeles scored a pretty pitiful 25 out of a possible 100, though they cited the passage of the Measure HLA Complete Streets mandate as reason for hope. But at least that’s a little better than last year’s even more pitiful 19.

Meanwhile. Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island was rated the country’s top city for bicycling, which is a lot easier to do when you don’t have drivers and their big, dangerous machines to contend with.

Outside the US, London leads the UK in bikeability, but the UK continues to trail the rest of Europe.

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There’s another bouncing baby bike lane on the bike-friendly UCLA campus.

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Mark your calendar for a friendly Orange County bike ride at the end of the week. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

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It’s now 186 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

A new study shows that despite the wailing of local businesses, San Francisco’s centerline Valencia Street bike lane didn’t actually hurt their sales.

Chicago bike advocates are questioning whether city workers really removed a ghost bike by mistake, or if it was taken down in preparation for next month’s NASCAR race in the city.

While Cambridge, Massachusetts drivers fight to halt expansion of bike lanes, a second person has been killed riding a bicycle in the Ivy League town in less than a month, just as PeopleForBikes proclaims it as a top city for bicycling. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

American professional skateboarder Tyshawn Jones was kicked off his bicycle by another bike rider while riding in Paris last week, for no apparent reason.

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Local 

Good question. The LA Times asks why you should need a driver’s license for a job that doesn’t involve driving?

Police in Los Angeles are looking for a man riding a “distinctive” pink bicycle, who’s accused of fatally stabbing another man before riding off late Saturday afternoon.

 

State

A San Francisco news outlet asks candidates in a city council race if they support the proposed quick-build Frida Kahlo protected bike lane project.

Sad news from Oakland, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run early Friday morning. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

A writer for Tom’s Guide says Trek’s $200 CarBack Radar Rear Bike Light is like having eyes in the back of your head, pairing with your smartphone to give you a view of cars approaching from behind.

A columnist for Cycling Weekly bemoans his favorite-ever bike ride, as the effort to repeat it turns from a cherished memory to a nagging reminder of subsequent inadequacy.

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that childhood bicycling deaths have dropped significantly since 1975. Although that probably reflects a drop in childhood bicycling rates more than any safety improvements. 

The 17 Cherokee bicyclists who took part in the annual Remember the Removal bike ride returned to when it started in Oklahoma, following the nearly 1,000-mile ride that traced the route of the historic Trail of Tears.

Wisconsin conservatives continued to freak out over the Madison edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, after last year’s complaints, with one official insisting they need to protect the children from seeing naked and nearly naked adult bodies on bicycles, and that the participants “desperately need Jesus.” Then again, the need to protect children from the effects of climate change is exactly the point the bike riders were trying to make. 

Pittsburgh is providing adaptive bicycles through the city’s bikeshare program.

When a 12-year old Buffalo NY boy started a lemonade stand to raise money for a new bicycle after his was stolen, a generous stranger gave him a brand new BMX bike, instead.

Iconic artist Edward Hopper was one of us, as New York’s Whitney Museum scheduled a 60-mile bike ride to celebrate the “avid” bicyclist’s 142nd birthday.  But he doesn’t look a day over 131.

Electrek calls the Key Biscayne, Florida ebike ban the “Footloose for ebikes.”

 

International

Is Manchester, England really the booming European Capital of Cycling, or is it just a vague tagline on a t-shirt?

An Irish writer says after doing the math, spending the equivalent of $6,400 for an e-cargo bike didn’t seem outrageous compared to buying a second car.

She gets it. Even in the Netherlands, the same debate goes on, as a spokeswoman for a victim’s support charity says fixing the causes of bicycling crashes should be a higher priority than getting people to wear bike helmets.

The BBC celebrates the “endless dunes, romantic windmills, historic Hanseatic towns and abandoned forts” of Poland’s “glorious” Velo Baltica cycling route along the Baltic Coast.

 

Competitive Cycling

One of the greatest ever women’s cyclists is making an unexpected comeback, after the Netherlands’ Anna van der Breggen announced her return to competition three years after her last race.

Magnus Sheffield and Matteo Jorgenson will join Brandon McNulty on the US cycling team for the Paris Olympics, as the USA attempts to end a 40-year men’s medal drought; Chloe Dygert and Taylor Knibb will take the two women’s spots.

Toronto was transfixed by the city’s long-standing Dunlop Trophy Road Race back in 1894.

Twenty-three-year old Italian cyclist Andrea Piccolo was fired from the US-based EF Education-EasyPost cycling team after he was arrested for carrying human growth hormone into the country.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike conversion kit bursts into flames while you’re riding it. And Sisyphus may have been condemned to push a rock up a hillside for all eternity, but some bicyclists ride up the same hill every time because they want to.

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Thanks to David Erickson for his unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep bringing you all the best bike news everyday, from around the world and around the corner. Donations of any amount, for any reason, are always welcome and appreciated

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

54-year old man from Alaska killed riding bicycle in early morning Westminster crash

Too often these days, the news leaves us with more questions than answers.

The was the case on Friday, when news broke that a man from Alaska was killed riding a bicycle in an early morning collision in Westminster.

According to KCAL News, the victim was riding in the traffic lanes near 20th Street and Beach Boulevard around 5 am Friday, when he was struck by the driver of a Lincoln Town Car.

The driver stopped and called 911 after the crash, and police did not suspect he was under the influence.

The victim, identified only as a 54-year old Alaska resident, died at the scene.

However, there’s no explanation of whether he was visiting Orange County, or was living here now.

There’s also no word on what was meant by “riding in the traffic lanes.” He would have been in the traffic lanes if he was crossing Beach Blvd. Or if he was riding on Beach, there’s no other place he could have been, since there are no bike or parking lanes.

And there’s no word on how fast the driver was going, or whether the victim had lights on his bike in the pre-dawn darkness.

Hopefully, we’ll get more answers soon. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Anyone with information is urged to call Westminster Police Department Traffic Division Investigator Stewart DeJong at 714/548-3787.

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

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

Update: 17-year old boy killed by San Diego Amtrak train after riding around crossing gates; 2nd SoCal bike death Friday

Sadly, there was more bad news for the Southern California bicycling community on Friday.

According to multiple reports, a 17-year old boy was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train in San Diego’s University City neighborhood early Friday afternoon.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was crossing the railroad tracks on Sorrento Valley Blvd, between Sorrento Valley Road and Roselle Street, when he was hit by the southbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner at 12:34 pm.

He died at the scene.

The victim was one of three boys who stopped their bikes at the railroad crossing gates to wait for a northbound train to pass. But as so often happens, he rode around the gates after that train had passed, not realizing another train was coming in the opposite direction.

Tragically, Fox5 reports that the victim’s parents arrived shortly after the crash, while officials were still removing his mangled bike from the tracks.

The other two boys were not injured. It’s not clear if they were riding with the victim, or just happened to stop together at the gates.

This is yet another tragic reminder to always wait until the gates go up to cross any rail tracks, regardless of whether it seems safe at the time.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department’s non-emergency line at 858/565-5200.

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

Update: The victim has been identified 17-year old Alex Segal. He was a student at Torrey Pines High School in the Del Mar Heights neighborhood, and a member of the junior varsity soccer team.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alex Segal and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Update: Man riding bicycle killed in early morning rear-end collision near CSU Long Beach; 6th LA County bike death this year

Friday was a bad day for Southern California bike riders — starting with a deadly pre-dawn wreck in Long Beach.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding east on 7th Street at Bellflower Blvd around 5:05 am, when he was run down from behind by a driver traveling in the same direction.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene before paramedics arrived.

The driver stopped after the crash. Police don’t believe that speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence were factors in the crash.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike in the pre-dawn hour, or why the driver was apparently unable to see him riding directly in front of their vehicle.

It’s unclear exactly where the crash occurred, however, as Patch Long Beach places the location four-tenths of a mile away, at 7th Street and Campus Drive across from CSU Long Beach.

According to reports, the victim was riding in the right traffic lane when he struck by the driver, who also has not been publicly identified.

However, there is a bike lane on 7th, which the victim would likely have been riding in unless it was blocked, or he was moving across the roadway to make a turn.

Since his body was found on the sidewalk, it seems more likely that the driver drifted into the bike lane, knocking him to the right, than the other way around.

Anyone with information is urged to call Long Beach Police Detective Joseph Johnson at 562/570-7355, or Crime Stoppers at 800/222-TIPS.

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: The victim has been identified as 42-year old Keith Moore, no city of residence given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Keith Moore and all his loved ones.

Man dies 4 days after he was rear-ended on his bicycle in Apple Valley; victim identified as 54-year old Victor Cunanan

Earlier in the week, we mentioned that a man had suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver in Apple Valley on Monday.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Victor Valley Daily Press is reporting that 54-year old Apple Valley resident Victor Cunanan died from his injuries at Loma Linda University Medical Center on Friday.

Cunanan was riding east on Thunderbird Road at Wichita Road around 9:10 pm Monday, when he was rear-ended by an SUV driver traveling in the same direction at a high rate of speed.

The 36-year old driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

A message from his church the next day had asked for “fervent prayers” for Cunanan, as well as his wife and children.

The earlier story had said Cunanan was riding in the traffic lane when he was struck. However, that was not repeated in the second story reporting his death; there is a westbound bike lane on Thunderbird, but not headed east.

The crash remains under investigation. Any with information is urged to call the Apple Valley Station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 760/240-7400, or Sheriff’s Dispatch number at 760/956-5001.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Victor Cunanan and all his family and loved ones. 

Update: Man killed riding bicycle on I-805 in Chula Vista last week; victim identified as 66-year old Victor Keith Fields

Once again, someone has been killed riding a bicycle on a Southern California freeway.

This time on the 805 in Chula Vista last week.

According to San Diego’s Fox 5, 66-year old Victor Keith Fields was riding on the shoulder of southbound I-805 around 7:40 pm on Wednesday, May 29th.

As he was approaching or exiting onto the Palm Ave offramp, the driver of a Toyota sedan swerved to the right without explanation and slammed into him — most likely striking Fields at freeway speeds.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on whether the driver was ticketed or charged. And as with other similar cases, there’s no information on why Fields was riding on the freeway.

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

Update: A comment below from Ron Hidinger explains why Fields was riding on the freeway. He also points out that a bike path was supposed to be built parallel to the 805, but no work has started on it. 

I have the answer why the deceased was riding on the freeway shoulder. The section of I805 from Main St to Palm Ave is marked with signage allowing bicycles. Or at least it was, I haven’t been that way in a while. The reason is that there is no way to bike from Chula Vista to South San Diego without using the 805 without going way around. The toll road 125 is similarly marked.
I preferred the north bound side as it was relatively safer. The south bound exit at Palm is a typically chaotic, car centric CALTRANS design seemingly designed to imperil cyclists and pedestrians regardless of whether they’re on the ramp or not.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Victor Keith Fields and all his loved ones. 

National City teen dies 2 days after he was struck by a driver while biking to school — and just days before his graduation

Heartbreaking news from National City, where a teenaged boy died two days after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

And just one day after his 18th birthday.

Edgar Burciaga was riding his bike to school Tuesday morning when he was severely injured in a collision at J Ave and East 18th Street in National City.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how or when the crash occurred. His mother was informed by police around 10 am on the morning of the crash.

His family gathered around Edgar’s bed on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday — a day after he was rushed into surgery, and one day before he was declared brain dead.

They gathered again yesterday to celebrate Edgar’s high school graduation, before his body was wheeled into an operating room to donate his organs.

This is how San Diego’s NBC-7 describes it.

His family said Edgar was bigger than life and he always had a heart for others.

“That’s why his father and I decided he was the perfect candidate to donate his organs to those who are in a critical health condition,” she said.

Edgar was a son, brother, and a senior at Sweetwater High School in National City. He was expected to graduate next week.

“I feel very proud of him, his life, and everything that he was,” said Rutilio de Haro, Edgar’s father.

There will be an empty seat at his high school graduation, but others will go home to their families thanks to his family’s generosity.

The driver remained at the scene; there’s no word on whether they were charged or ticketed.

This is at least the 20th 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 Edgar Burciaga and all his loved ones. 

52-year old Huntington Beach man killed in Fountain Valley hit-and-run; nearly half of all 2024 SoCal bike deaths hit-and-runs

There seems to be no end to the rash of cowardly hit-and-run drivers on Southern California streets this year.

Including in Fountain Valley Sunday morning, where a 52-year old Huntington Beach man was killed while riding his bike.

According to the Daily Pilot, Antonio Huerta was riding in the bike lane on eastbound Slater Ave, just west of Santa Maria Street, just after 7:05 am when an unknown driver entered the bike lane and ran him down.

The driver fled east on Slater without stopping.

First responders found Huerta on the sidewalk suffering from traumatic injuries. He died the next day after he was taken to a local hospital.

There’s no description at this time of the suspect vehicle or the heartless coward behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Fountain Valley Police Department’s traffic bureau at 714/593-4481.

This is at least the 19th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and already the fifth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Nine of those victims — nearly half — were killed by hit-and-run drivers.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Antonio Huerta and all his loved ones.

31-year old Palm Springs woman riding bike killed in Cathedral City hit-and-run; 8th fatal SoCal biking hit-and-run in 2024

Once again, someone riding a bicycle in Southern California has been left to die in the street by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time Wednesday night in Cathedral City.

According to multiple sources, the victim, identified only as a 31-year old woman, was struck by a driver at Ramon Road and Landau Blvd around 11:10 pm.

First responders found her lying unresponsive in the street suffering from severe injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver fled before police arrived.

There’s no description of the suspect vehicle or the person driving, and no word on how the crash occurred.

There is a bike lane on Landau, but the southbound side disappears near the intersection with Ramon, where it’s most needed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Cathedral City Police Traffic Investigator A. Felix at 760/770-0343 or the Cathedral City Police Department at 760/770-0300.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and already the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

This was also the eighth SoCal bike rider killed by hit-and-run drivers this year.

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

Oceanside man dies in hospital, nearly a month after he was struck by a driver while riding ebike

Too often, we never hear what happens after a victim is hospitalized following a crash.

The rare times we do, the news usually isn’t good.

That’s was the case today, when we learned an Oceanside man died nearly a month after he was hit by a driver in a pre-dawn crash.

According to a report from City News Service, 56-year old Oceanside resident Kevin Cerv died on Friday, 24 days after he hospitalized with severe head and neck trauma.

Cerv was riding his ebike at Corporate Centre Drive and Ocean Ranch Blvd in Oceanside when the driver struck him shortly before 4 am on Tuesday, April 9th.

There’s no description of how the crash occurred, or which way Cerv was riding. There’s also no word on whether the driver, who has not been identified, was ticketed or charged, or if the crash is still being investigated.

Nor is there any reason at this time to believe that the type of bike he was riding contributed to the crash.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County. It’s also the second bicycling death in Oceanside in less than two months.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Cerv and all his loved ones.