Archive for Hit-and-Run

BOLO Alert: Bike rider seriously injured in East LA hit-and-run

This one is hard to take.

Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for the driver of a white Toyota pickup who plowed into an East LA bike rider, then simply drove off without so much as slowing down.

KTLA-5 reports the wreck, which occurred at 9:15 am Monday, was caught on a security camera; fair warning, the video is stomach churning, to say the least.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding east on the north sidewalk of Olympic Blvd when he attempted to cross Arizona Ave in the crosswalk. The driver of the pickup, which was headed south on Arizona, went through the red light, violently knocking the rider off his bike before turning right and speeding down Olympic.

The victim was transported to County USC Medical Center with major head trauma.

The CHP, which investigates major traffic collisions in unincorporated areas of the county, is looking for a white, mid-‘80s Toyota pickup with an extended cab, metal rack and black side graphics.

Anyone with information is urged to call 323-980-4600 or the Traffic Management Center (TMC) at 323-259-2010.

Let’s find this heartless jerk.

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Morning Links: El Monte rider victim of vicious attack, hit-and-run rewards passed, and why sharrows don’t work

Not too long ago, it was hard to find enough bike news to post. Now some days. there’s just too much news.

Like today, for instance.

So let’s not waste any time and just get started.

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An El Monte bike rider was critically injured in a frightening attack earlier this month.

Security camera footage shows the April 6th assault, as five men beat and stabbed the 36-year old South El Monte man for a full 45 seconds before getting back in their car; one of the men can’t resist the temptation to turn back for one last kick.

Most disturbingly, there appears to be no reason for the attack.

Police report the victim, who remains hospitalized, was an innocent bystander who was simply riding his bike on Elliot Ave at 12:15 am when a car passed him in the opposite direction, and one of the passengers shouted at him. The driver then made a U-turn, following the rider before stopping alongside his bike to confront him.

He tried to run away, but his attackers caught up and repeatedly hit, kicked and stabbed him.

Anyone with information is urged to call the El Monte Police watch commander at 626/580-2109.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and BikigninLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

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As expected, the proposal to offer standing rewards in hit-and-run cases passed the LA City Council on Wednesday.

Witnesses providing information that leads to a conviction in a hit-and-run case will now be eligible for rewards ranging from $1,000 for a property damage collision up to $50,000 for a hit-and-run resulting in death.

However, as with the city’s anti-harassment ordinance, the new law only applies with the Los Angeles city limits.

So if a driver leaves you lying broken and bleeding on the street in Beverly Hills, East LA or Compton, or anywhere else outside the LA city limits, you’re on your own.

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If you’ve ever wondered why I think most sharrows aren’t worth the paint they’re made from, Michael Schinderling, aka Mykee Steen, provides graphic proof.

The video was taken on Fountain and Avenues in Hollywood and Los Feliz, which is my new bicycling territory. And clearly demonstrates the lack of comfortable riding routes in the area.

Schinderling notes that Hollywood Councilmember that ‪Mitch O’Farrell told him that the sharrows were low-flow and safe, and that bike lanes are unnecessary.

Right.

Actually, I think the real purpose of those arrows with a bike symbol on such busy streets is just to help drivers improve their aim.

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Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a great interview with new LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler, who explains her focus on equity and social justice.

Nice to see a growing commitment to the whole community from SoCal’s leading bike advocacy group.

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Great ad from Cycling Canada shows bikes riding themselves to urge potential riders to just hop on. An accompanying video explains how it was done.

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Too much sad news today.

BikeSD reports that one of their founding members passed away; Hans Wangbichler was just 54.

The three-year old Kings County boy who was seriously injured when the bike trailer he was riding in was rear-ended by a driver doing at least 50 mph has died; no word on the condition of his father, who was riding the bike.

A 54-year old Pleasanton cyclist died while riding just weeks before he was due to retire; friends who were planning a retirement party will now be attending his memorial.

And a Humboldt County bridge has been renamed as a memorial for a cyclist who was killed in a February collision.

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Local

Bicycling offers a great interview with LA cycling legend Road Block, aka Don Ward. If you ask me what riders and bike advocates I admire most, local or otherwise, he’d be pretty near the top of the list.

CiclaValley attends the mayor’s State of the City speech; evidently, everything is awesome in the city of Angels.

The CSUN Sundial looks at the new protected bike lane on Reseda Blvd; not all bike riders are in favor.

RadPad’s blog explains how to avoid gridlock with breezy, mostly off-the-street biking in the east end of the SFV.

The South LA bike rider caught on a security camera allegedly being beaten by police claims that LAPD officers are harassing him in retaliation for his lawsuit.

BikeSGV is raising funds for the San Gabriel Valley’s first Bicycle Education Center and Co-op.

Long Beach police bust two bike thieves after they fall for a bait bike; the suspects already had two other suspected stolen bicycles in their possession at the time of their arrest. And yes, LBPD recommends using a U-lock and registering your bike.

 

State

Cyclelicious discovers Calbike has lost sponsors as a result of its successful fight against the proposed mandatory helmet bill. Anyone would pull their support from the state’s leading advocacy group over that needs to seriously rethink their commitment to bicycling.

That triangle curb protruding into a new San Diego protected bike lane is being removed, after a new paint job failed to pass muster.

Paso Robles hosted an Italian mayor last weekend as part of this country’s first L’Eroica. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caltrans installs barbed wire next to a San Mateo County bike path in an apparent effort to keep people and deer off a freeway — or possibly ensure painful injuries to anyone who falls or rides off the path.

A Sausalito councilwoman continues to push for a limit on rental bikes, evidently preferring that all those people drive and take up even more space instead. I guess creating space for those tourists to safely ride and park their bikes is out of the question. 

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets serious about helping local transportation planners count bikes and pedestrians; needless to say, LA is left out of the first round of the pilot program.

Nice to have bike lawyer Bob Mionske back online; today’s advice is to stay out of the door zone. But you knew that already, right?

A Portland paper explains why cyclists are attempting to get the bike-friendly ranking for the former-bicycling paradise downgraded.

Even Boise gets bike share before LA.

Minneapolis votes to keep their 10 mph speed limit for bicycling in parks, even if it’s unenforceable.

A Chicago alderman tries to force the city to move a protected bike lane from a busy street. Unlike LA, he apparently doesn’t have the near-dictatorial power to kill it all by himself.

Once again, a Florida-based gym co-opts the ghost bike movement by placing orange copies around Ann Arbor MI to promote their new location. Maybe they should place orange tombstones, instead; the message to cyclists would be about the same.

A suspected drunk driver is charged with the head-on collision that killed a popular Vermont cyclist after the driver drifted onto the wrong side of the road; in addition to the fatality, he’s charged with his fifth offense for driving with a suspended license. Once again, the system allowed a dangerous driver to remain on the road, legally or not, until he killed someone.

A New York councilmember comes out against a proposed ban on texting while bicycling. Gothamist notes that it’s actually already illegal, but rarely enforced; however, they’re wrong about it being illegal in California, where a proposed ban failed to pass.

Writing for the Washington Post, New York’s Bike Snob says they’re trying to turn us into cars. And that mandatory helmet laws and glow-in-the-dark spray paint show who really owns the roads.

The Atlanta Braves encourage bike riding instead of driving to their new stadium, due to open in 2017. Maybe the Dodgers should demand safer cycling routes to encourage more people to leave their cars at home.

 

International

British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins lines up to be the next in a long string of riders to attempt the hour record.

Swiss cyclists will now have to dodge Segways in the bike lane.

Ride recklessly in the UAE, and your bike could be seized by the state; police in one Emirates city took 117 bikes from cyclists in just four days.

An Aussie paper looks at the controversy over Volvo’s reflectorized Life Paint, and why bike riders aren’t rushing to spray themselves before riding.

 

Finally…

Two Arizona teenagers are arrested for trying to smuggle 3.5 pounds of marijuana across the border hidden in their bike tires; but how was the ride? Mazda is the latest car maker to design a bike, which appears to be a disc-wheeled single speed; I look forward to the day when the Cannibal introduces a new car model.

And yes, it is possible to ride a bike with a Corgi in a backpack.

No, I’m not going to try it.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist hit by two cars in Beverly Hills, cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, and Orlando Bloom’s bike shorts

A 47-year old bike rider was seriously injured when he was hit by two cars in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

KABC-7 reports the victim was crossing the intersection of Robertson Blvd around 9:50 am when he was thrown through the air after being hit by a car. He landed in front of an SUV stopped at the light, which somehow managed to roll over him before speeding away.

Yet remarkably, his injuries were not considered life-threatening. And for a change, the station noted the victim didn’t do anything wrong.

The second driver was arrested about a mile away after he was followed by a witness.

Both collisions were captured by a nearby security camera. As of Sunday night, the station had not posted the video online; fair warning, it’s not easy to watch.

Update: The video is now available online.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, appears to be riding east in the bike lane on Burton Way as he crosses southbound Robertson. He appears to swerve at the last second to avoid the impact, though LAist says he was turning right onto Robertson. 

It’s unclear how the wreck could have occurred unless the first driver went through the intersection before the light changed.

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German rider John Degenkolb wins on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix after winning the San Remo classic last month.

British great Bradley Wiggins fails to end his career on a high note as he finishes 18th, while Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan fell out of competition when his shifter broke.

And it’s not every day when the peloton is disrupted by a high-speed train; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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In today’s celebrity bike news, the gossip press freaks out when they catch of glimpse of the chamois in Orlando Bloom’s bike shorts as he pedals down PCH, suggesting he should wear a helmet and a jock strap. And keep his hands on the handlebars.

Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin looks angry when he gets a flat on his bike. Or maybe he’s just annoyed by paparazzi following his every move.

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Local

An animated GIF from KPCC shows how much LA’s bikeway network has changed in just 10 years, even though we still face a disconnected network filled with trash cans and mostly useless sharrows.

A seriously misguided Northridge letter writer questions the wisdom of devoting space to bicycling, insisting that only fit people ride bikes. And never at night.

Joel Epstein says Bicycle Coffee LA sets an example for the mayor’s new sustainability plan.

 

State

Huntington Beach police say they’ve busted the transient bike thief who’s been stealing expensive bikes from the pier. Although $2,100 is hardly expensive these days.

Hardly anyone bothers to show up when Escondido holds its first ciclovía. A little advance publicity or a longer course wouldn’t have hurt.

A San Bernardino bike rider is expected to survive after being shot several times.

Bike and safety advocates win one in Menlo Park, as the city’s planning commission chooses bike lanes over a third traffic lane.

A bike rider was killed when he was hit by a train in East Oakland on Saturday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 96-year old Woodland cyclist plans to celebrate his 100th birthday by riding a century.

Two motorists collide head-on near Calistoga. Yet somehow, a cyclist falling off his bike when emergency vehicles speed past seven miles away becomes part of the story. Thanks to John Murphy for the link.

 

National

People for Bikes offers 10 ways to win the battle over removing parking spaces for bike lanes; a Vancouver restaurant owner who unsuccessfully fought one in front of his place says business is better than ever a year later.

Vox makes the case for lowering speed limits, including a 25 mph cap in urban areas.

A new helmet-mountable cam promises to capture a 360° view. Including things you may not want to see as drivers speed by from every angle.

A Denver columnist asks whether the Mile High city has a policy of cyclists first, ignoring how much of its infrastructure is dedicated to motor vehicles.

Wyoming will study bike paths and bicycle tourism, including a possible state-wide bicycle network.

A Texas politician who swears he’s not anti-bike is pushing a ban on using state or federal funds for road diets. Apparently, he’s not anti-safety, either.

An Arkansas minister will bike across the state to raise money for a new church building.

A Florida writer takes up bicycling again after 23 years, while a letter writer insists we should all ride salmon.

 

International

Dubliners worry the city is too bike-unfriendly for its new bike share system, as a new docking station is vandalized just days after installation.

Ten Israeli cyclists are injured when the car accompanying them is rear-ended.

An Aussie cyclist says the ineffectual Australian Cyclist Party needs to get its shit together.

A Korean bike lane is covered with solar panels to protect riders from sun and rain while generating electricity. But who wants to ride down the center of a freeway, covered or otherwise?

A Chinese cyclist gets his stolen bike back after it was taken just days from the end of an 18,000 mile journey around the country.

 

Finally…

An Alaska criminal ends up bikeless when his intended purse-snatching victim refuses to go down without a fight. Former golfing great Greg Norman says Lance is a frigging disgrace, while, an Irish cyclist refuses to take part in a charity challenge if the ex-Tour de France winner rides.

And MCippollini unveils a $54,000 gold, platinum and diamond encrusted bike, for when you just have to show the world you’re an over-privileged SOB with no idea what to do with your money.

 

Weekend Update: CA bike helmet bill dead for now, LA council votes on hit-and-run rewards Wednesday

Just a quick update to catch up on some of the more important news this weekend.

First up, good news from Sacramento, as the proposed law to require all bike riders to wear a helmet is dead for now.

Faced with almost universal opposition, Sen. Carol Liu has amended SB 192 to require a study of bike helmet use instead. Also gone is the silly requirement for all riders to wear reflective hi-viz after dark, which would have criminalized commuting in normal street clothes during the winter months.

Let’s hope the study, if the revised bill is passed, goes beyond the junk science we usually see on the subject. And considers not just whether a bike rider was wearing a helmet, but whether the victim actually suffered a head injury and if wearing a helmet could have made a difference.

Thanks to Calbike and CABO for their opposition to the bill.

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The LA City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal to establish a standing reward for hit-and-runs this Wednesday.

The program would start at a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for property damage, rising to $50,000 if someone flees a fatal collision.

Anyone who has experienced hit-and-run first-hand — not just bike riders — is urged to attend the council session to tell your story in support of the proposed ordinance.

In addition, a press conference will be held at LA City Hall prior to the council session, starting at approximately 9 am; anyone who supports the proposal is urged to attend, whether or not you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run. This will also tie into the Finish the Ride event the following Sunday to call attention to the epidemic of hit-and-run on our streets.

If you can make it, email Damian Kevitt at damiankevitt@finishtheride.org to let him know you plan to attend, and give him a brief summary of your personal experience with a hit-and-run driver.

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Word is that the people pushing to keep Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive open to cars are keeping the pressure on city officials to make the temporary opening permanent — converting the treasured hiking, biking and horse riding trail into just another car-jammed street.

Which means we have to keep the pressure up, as well.

Swrve offers a sample email you can personalize and send to the following people:

I’d suggest adding your own city council member to the list, as well.

As a cyclist and hiker who regularly rides and hikes Mt Hollywood I urge you all to not open the Mt Hollywood gates, on the Valley and Observatory sides, to private vehicle or City tram traffic. It will create a hazard for cyclists, hikers and equestrians on the Mt Hollywood road, will disturb the serenity of one of the most popular trails and areas of GP, and needlessly congest a wild area.

Tram, private vehicle transit or parking on Mt Hollywood will crowd the road too greatly, be a new source of air pollution and will add to the safety hazards cyclists, hikers and equestrians already face in other areas of the park such as Fern Dell.

Thank you,

(your name)

You might also consider adding a line or two about the added risk of wildfires started by hot car engines parked over tinder-dry brush, or cigarette butts carelessly tossed by tourists who may be unaware of our current severe drought conditions — creating exactly the risk proponents say they’re trying to prevent.

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Finally, a handful of events you won’t want to miss this weekend.

We’ve already mentioned Saturday’s unveiling of the work done as phase one of the Reseda Blvd Great Streets, and the workshop for phase 2 from 10 am to 1 pm.

Anyone attending this weekend’s Redlands Classic is invited to join in a social ride and bike parade hosted by the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance at 3 pm this afternoon.

Flying Pigeon hosts their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Tour tonight, including an exhibit in the shop by Highland Park-based artist and musician Timothy Sellers.

Sunday evening, the LACBC is hosting a Pre-Climate Ride Party at the Angel City Brewery from 5 to 8 pm to raise funds for members of their climate ride team. The party is free to attend, but includes incentives for donating to your favorite Climate Rider:

  • $25 = 1 Beer Ticket
  • $50 = Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $75 = LACBC Membership + Beer + Raffle Ticket
  • $100 = LACBC Membership + 2 Beer Tickets in souvenir pint glass + 3 Raffle Tickets
  • Raffle prizes include a Tern folding bike, a Laemmle Theatres private screening for 13, George Lopez tickets, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, a Timbuk2 messenger bag and more.

And if you hurry, you may still be able to make it to Corgi Beach Day at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday morning. Unfortunately, our Corgi sends her regrets, since she’s not terribly fond of other dogs, particularly not ones as cute as she is.

Sienna-on-bed2

Morning Links: Hearing for OC hit-and-run driver, what a bike lane is for, and celeb chefs ride to end child hunger

Sometimes justice takes awhile.

It’s been over a year since Matthew Liechty was run down by an allegedly drunk driver while riding in a Huntington Beach bike lane. The driver was arrested after fleeing the scene on just three wheels, leaving his victim to die where he lay.

Now Antonio Magdaleno Jr. is finally due to be arraigned this Friday on felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury.

Yeah, I’d call death permanent and serious.

The hearing is scheduled for 8:30 am in W12 DUI court at the Westminster courthouse, 8141 13th Street.

If you can make it, it would be good to have a few cyclists in the courtroom to show support for Matt’s family and let the court know we care about the outcome of this case.

I don’t know how much time Magdaleno faces, but it’s a lot less than what he sentenced his victim to.

Thanks to Michael Liechty for the heads-up.

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Apparently, the topic du jour is what, exactly, a bike lane is for.

It’s not for pedestrians, as a Chicago writer apologizes for her fellow bipedalists. Nor is it a parking spot, as a Houston writer goes to great lengths to point out.

On the other hand, California bike lanes could soon be for electric skateboard riders; the Weekly enjoys a moment of schadenfreude as they note cyclists could learn how motorists feel when they’re crowded out by bikes.

As if.

And a Santa Monica letter writer says they’re for sidewalk cyclists, which is banned in the city.

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Now you can have that $500 full-face bike helmet that actually meets DOT standards for motorcycle helmets that you’ve always wanted; no word on whether SB 192 has been amended to require them for all bike riders.

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Thanks to my friends at CLIF Bar for sending me a care package of their new Organic Trail Mix Bars.

The bars are all certified USDA organic, gluten free, and 200 calories or less. And they have a low glycemic index, which means you won’t get that sugar rush followed by a crash.

They come in seven flavors — Coconut Almond Peanut, Cranberry Almond, Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Raspberry, and Wild Blueberry Almond — four of which I’ve tried so far, and all of them good.

There should have been seven bars in this photo, but I ate one. And it was good.

There should have been seven bars in this photo, but I ate one. And it was good.

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Speaking of food, a group of chef’s will be riding for a great cause this summer.

Last year, celebrity chefs Jason Roberts and Allan Ng rode from New York to Washington DC with a small group to raise money for the No Kid Hungry campaign, to ensure that every child has access to healthy food where they live, learn and play.

This year, they’ve organized a group of 50 professional chefs for Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry to ride 300 miles in three days. One group will ride from New York to DC the weekend of June 7th through 9th, while a second will go from Santa Barbara to San Diego June 14th through 16th.

You can follow their progress on their website and contribute to the cause by clicking here; so far they’ve raised enough for over 336,000 meals.

Not bad, but we can do a lot better.

Maybe a Napa Valley Gran Fondo/progressive feast where you can ride along with well-known chefs, winemakers and former pro cyclists will inspire you to dig deeper.

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Local

This Thursday, you can Ride South Southeast LA: Bell Gardens with the LACBC and East Yard Communities.

Montbello hosts a Bike Fest Walk and Roll this Saturday, while Flying Pigeon holds their popular monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride that night.

The Eastside Bike Club invites you to be a fabulous member of the Tour de Phat People on Saturday the 18th.

Wolfpack Hustle’s Short Line Crit is back on May 30th as part of the annual Long Beach Bike Fest, and the first event in the Unified Title Series.

 

State

Streetsblog now covers all of California, including a report that says a draft Caltrans transportation plan calls for less driving in the state and no more highway expansion.

In San Diego, cyclists sometimes have to ride half an hour just to go 644 feet. But at least the city has finally linked a pair of bikeways formerly separated by a block-long gap.

An accused hit-and-run driver is arrested three months after he allegedly killed a Bakersfield bike rider.

Two San Francisco thieves are busted following a strong arm bike theft from a cyclist riding on the sidewalk.

A Santa Rosa Cycling Club member uses RideWithGPS data to track down the owner of a lost Garmin.

A Lodi paper offers a useful glossary of bike race terms for those new to the sport; I always thought Gruppetto was the guy who made Pinocchio.

 

National

A driver’s cone of vision narrows significantly with just a simple jump from 20 to 30 mph. Of course, it takes a pretty crappy driver to keep his or her eyes narrowly focused straight ahead, instead of scanning the full roadway like good drivers are trained to do.

We can dream, can’t we? Wired calls on US cities to follow the example of Paris in spending $160 million to boost bicycling.

Turns out mountain bikers have bigger muscles and better bones than roadies.

Portland develops a plan to give abandoned bikes to community organizations.

Albuquerque breaks ground on a 50-mile bike path circling the city.

Someone apparently stole an Oklahoma ghost bike.

A Muncie bike rider is under arrest for operating a mobile meth lab in his backpack.

And in Florida news…

Palm Beach zoo employees are biking to work to cut their carbon footprint and show what individual people can do to protect wildlife habitats.

It takes a serious schmuck to hit a little girl with his SUV while she rides to her school, get out and apologize, then drive off leaving her crying in the street.

A paper calls for protecting cyclists in a two-page editorial, but offers only one-and-a-half sentences calling for motorists to drive safely.

Police arrest a man for punching out a bicyclist because he — the puncher, not the punchee — heard someone was looking for him. And apparently, because he didn’t like the rider’s age.

 

International

Caught on video: Some motorists actually like people on bikes, as a London car passenger leans out to high five a passing rider.

A UK bike thief is convicted of making monthly trips from London to Cambridge to steal bikes; victims included the local police.

Evidently UK drug dealers ride tandems; as the judge said, “It’s not exactly Miami Vice.”

An Aussie writer bikes the boulevards of Vienna in sturdy knickers.

A double tragedy, as a Russian truck driver hangs himself three days after killing a 72-year old cyclist who was riding across the country to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

A Kiwi bike rider was arrested when he got too aggressive with police who responded when he was knocked off his bike.

 

Finally…

Portland authorities are on the lookout for a hit-and-run cyclist who left a dying duck in his wake. Somehow, a Wisconsin cyclist goes flying over a car when a peddler is cut off by a motorist who failed to yield. Or maybe they mean pedaler, rather than an itinerant salesperson.

And a word to the wise: You might want to dump your dope and clear up those nagging outstanding warrants before you report a bike jacking to the police.

 

Morning Links: Serial hit-and-run driver allegedly attacks three in Venice, including two people on bikes

Sometimes, the news barely makes the news.

Especially if there are bikes involved.

Yo! Venice reports that three people — two of them riding bikes — may have been intentionally targeted by a hit-and-run driver Saturday morning.

According to the website, a cyclist was riding with friends across the intersection of Speedway and Venice around 10:30 am when a red Honda CRV clipped the back tire of his bike; witnesses at a nearby restaurant reported the driver didn’t even hit his brakes before speeding off.

As the victim and his friends gave chase down Speedway, they called out a warning as they saw him approach another rider. After the second cyclist pulled to the side of the road, the driver appeared to intentionally veer towards him, knocking him to the ground and leaving him with a cut on his left side, his mangled bike lying in the roadway.

The site reports the driver then ran over a third victim around 25th and Speedway; no word on whether that person was riding or on foot. Both of the last two victims were transported to a local hospital.

The driver was taken into custody later that day.

Yet somehow, despite the serial hit-and-run and the apparent vicious nature of the alleged attack, the story failed to make a much of a dent in the local media.

Even though it’s reminiscent of another allegedly intentional attack in which a driver plowed through tourists on the crowded Venice boardwalk just feet from Saturday’s incident.

KCBS-2 was the only major media outlet to pick up the story, confirming that two victims, possibly cyclists, suffered substantial, but non-life threatening injuries.

The TV station also reports that the suspect was arrested when witnesses were able to provide police with the Honda’s license number.

Frighteningly, police say he knew he’d struck people when they contacted him, and that he did not appear to be intoxicated.

Thanks to Joe Ryan for the heads-up.

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Urbanful lists five fun social bike rides around the US, including our own CicLAvia; the next one walks and rolls through Pasadena’s Old Town on May 31st.

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Local

CiclaValley offers a recap of Thursday’s Griffith Park Advisory Meeting, where the recent opening to cars of popular biking, hiking and horse riding route Mt. Hollywood Dr. was discussed; Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a detailed report on the meeting.

Work begins on the city’s first parking-protected bike lane as part of the Great Streets program on Reseda Blvd.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says more and better road diets are the solution to trash bins blocking the bike lane. That’s been a long and recurring problem in the City of Angels, even though it’s illegal to block a bike lane, period.

A San Dimas stage race brought road racers from around the world, while mountain bikers race around Castaic Lake.

 

State

No bias here, as a San Diego TV station says plans for a bike lane through the Hillcrest neighborhood would destroy “prime” parking spaces.

Sad news from San Diego, as a 47-year old bike rider isn’t expected to survive after being shot in the city’s East Village neighborhood.

Mountain bikers are overwhelming the 20,000-acre Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, described as the Louvre for off-roaders.

No bias here either, as a San Francisco website accuses a seriously injured cyclist of smashing into a car on a Highway 101 onramp.

A 27-year old woman is honored as one of the Outstanding Women of Monterey County for her role in Ciclovia Salinas.

A Bay Area woman has taken over 25,000 kids back to nature on mountain bikes, often for the first time; her Trips for Kids non-profit now has 90 chapters around the world.

Seriously? A Petaluma website seems shocked that anyone would ride a century, while calling a bicycle seat the world’s most excruciating sitting device.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 famous people who worked as bike messengers, nine of whom took me by surprise.

Two Yuma AZ cyclists were hit by a car, one injured critically, by a driver with a suspended license who admitted he just wasn’t paying attention.

A Utah cyclist on a training ride with a group of 100 other riders was somehow hit and killed by a semi-truck traveling in the same direction even though neither appeared to be distracted; a GoFundMe account has been set up to pay her funeral expenses.

Rocky Mountain National Park will open to mountain bikes for the first time.

Some people just don’t get the benefits of bike tourism; Kansas commissioners question why they would want a US Bike Route besmirching their county, especially if they have to pay for the signs.

A Chicago rider is suing after she was doored by a police officer while riding in a marked bike lane; naturally, the cop blames the victim.

The field is set for the Little 500 made famous by Breaking Away after qualifying for the men’s and women’s races.

 

International

A cyclist in his 80s rides over 6,200 miles across Canada, despite Parkinson’s and macular degeneration.

A new British study says bike riders are healthier and less stressed than non-riders. But while biking may be the new golf, London professionals are still afraid of the city’s streets.

Good read from the Guardian, saying what’s lacking from Lance’s attempt at rehabilitation is humility. If Armstrong really wanted to rebuild his reputation, he could start be becoming an advocate for bike safety.

We only seem to hear about pedestrians injured in collisions with cyclists, but the bike riders often get the worst of it. That was the case with woman in a London park, who was seriously injured when she collided with a runner.

That Brit bike rider attempting to ride over 75,000 miles this year was on target, riding a minimum of 205 mile a day; however, his attempt may be in jeopardy after his ankle was broken in a collision with a moped.

Danish bike riders get their own bike-through McDonalds, but only for a limited time. Sort of like McRibs.

 

Finally…

If you’re using a bike as a getaway vehicle following a burglary, it’s probably not a good idea to have a stolen weed-eater sticking out of your backpack. Put Carlos Santana in the Interested but Concerned category, as the guitar great is afraid to ride his new bike because of what happened to Bono, who fears he may never play guitar again after his solo bicycling crash in Central Park.

And a French mountain biker has set a new world record of over 138 mph.

Downhill, of course.

 

Morning Links: Glendale legislator wants to mandate helmets and hi-viz; help Finish the Ride fight hit-and-run

Forget riding in regular clothes. Or going out for a quick ride without your helmet.

Or even building a successful bike share program.

All those are likely to be tossed out the window if Glendale State Senator Carol Liu has her way.

Not that she’s anti-bike. In fact, I’m told that she’s a regular supporter of bike initiatives.

But on Wednesday, Liu surprised everyone by introducing a proposed law that would require all bike riders, even those over 18, to wear a bike helmet every time they ride. Along with reflectorized hi-visibility clothing anytime they — that is, you — ride after dark.

And by surprised, I mean blindsided. Even people who regularly work with the senator on bike issues had no idea this bill was in the works.

The reaction was almost instantaneous. And universally negative.

Cyclelicious calls it the “Remove Cyclists From California Roads Law of 2015″ or, alternatively, the “Harass Minorities On Bikes Law of 2015,” both of which have been the result of misguided attempts to impose and enforce helmet laws elsewhere.

Longbeachize cites stats and studies to support the argument that the choice to wear a helmet should remain just that.

And Streetsblog points out it doesn’t address the actual dangers on our streets, like distracted driving and speeding.

Let’s ignore the fact that while requiring bike helmets has been shown to reduce the level of head injuries in other countries, it’s done so by reducing the level of bike riding. Fewer cyclists on the road mean fewer riders getting hurt.

And that helmet laws for riders under 18 in this country have been blamed in part for the dramatic drop-off in bike ridership by America’s youth.

Never mind that Australia’s restrictive helmet law has been blamed for the failure of bike share programs in that country, since no one can legally rent one without donning a helmet.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are not the magic safety devices many people wish they were.

Bike helmets are only designed to provide protection in impacts up to 12.5 mph. In other words, a relatively slow fall off your bike, not a collision with a speeding car.

Yes, they can offer some degree of protection in a wreck. But thinking of them as the bicycle equivalent of a seat belt or air bag is dramatically off base.

And while they can help prevent head trauma, they aren’t designed to prevent concussions. Or to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Which is something Senator Liu should understand, since her own nephew was wearing a helmet when he was killed, and his girlfriend paralyzed, in a collision with a drunk driver in 2004.

Yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I never count on it to save my life.

A bike helmet should always be seen as a last line of defense if all else fails, not the first. It’s far better to avoid collisions and falls in the first place.

And like the requirement to wear hi-viz after dark, it puts the responsibility for safety on cyclists, rather than on government officials, road planners and yes, drivers to ensure our roads are safe.

Just like those ridiculous flags pedestrians are expected to wave as they cross the street. And in a marked crosswalk, no less.

It leaves it up to us not to get hit, rather than up to drivers not to hit us.

A far better alternative would be to encourage, rather than attempt to force, helmet use allowing bike riders to discount the cost of a helmet on their taxes. And encouraging federal officials to raise the safety standards for bike helmets to do more good in real world situations.

Along with taking steps to educate both cyclists and drivers, and improve out streets to prevent collisions in the first place.

Let’s hope this wannabe law dies a quick and quiet death in the legislature. Before it ends up killing the bike boom we’re currently experiencing.

Thanks to Bill Davidson for the heads-up.

……..

Davidson also points out that other ridiculous proposed bike law, which would have required bikes to have a blinking white tail light after dark has been amended to require a blinking red light instead.

Probably because as originally written, it would have gone against traffic safety regulations for virtually every country around the world, which require white lights in the front and red lights on the rear of virtually every vehicle.

On the other hand, many cyclists are currently breaking the law by using a red tail light, rather than the red reflector our outdated laws currently require.

Bike riders should have the option to use a red light, blinking or steady, in place of a reflector. And to use lights, ankle straps or other means of signaling their presence in place of the wheel and pedal reflectors currently required.

The point should be to maximize visibility and safety.

Not adhere to obsolete regulations that do neither.

……..

Damian Kevitt’s Finish the Ride foundation is preparing to post their first billboards to fight the epidemic of hit-and-run.

But they need your help to raise the funds needed to put them up.

He’s also looking for input on which of the two alternative concepts you prefer. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure he sees them.

H&R Billboard 1

H&R Billboard 2

……..

Must read piece by Stephen Corwin on LA’s disastrous addiction to cars, which he compares to cancer. And says driving less won’t fix it.

……..

Good advice from CABO on how to fight a bad bike traffic ticket.

……..

A webinar will be held on Friday, February 27th to discuss how stress level analysis can result in more effective bike network planning.

……..

Local

Flying Pigeon says South Pasadena officials deserve to be sued for blocking LA bike lanes from connecting with their equivalent on the other side of a dangerous bridge.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department recommends registering your bike to keep it from being a target for thieves.

CICLE is looking for Web Developer/SEO Engineer.

Santa Monica’s upcoming bike share program is officially named Breeze. Which will inevitably lead to comments like “Breeze blows” the any time a problem develops.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art Ride rolls this Saturday.

The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles will host a ride with the LACBC this Sunday to the Pointe Vincente Lighthouse.

Malibu is hosting a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the PCH Public Safety Study. If you ride the notoriously dangerous highway, make plans to be there.

 

State

A Laguna Beach writer says the city has done a lot in response to recent bicycling fatalities, but there’s more to be done. However, sharing a bike lane with pedestrians is never a good idea.

A Riverside cyclist is severely injured in yet another hit-and-run.

Safety is the top priority for this weekend’s Tour de Palm Springs after Lavonne Koester was killed during last year’s ride.

Bike advocates say San Francisco isn’t doing enough to fulfill its commitment to Vision Zero. On the other hand, they’re doing more than LA is.

Bike racks sprout in downtown Merced.

 

National

CityLab takes an in-depth look at road rage, and says the solution may lie in better street design and road planning. Meanwhile a Seattle writer says middle fingers won’t solve anything.

An Arizona hit-and-run driver admits to smoking dope on a daily basis, but blames his eight-year old victim anyway.

My hometown newspaper concludes their devastating look at a local hit-and-run by asking if justice was done. Also a must read.

A Pennsylvania man rides his bike every day. And has for 32 years.

Now that’s more like it. A severely drunk Louisiana driver faces up to 30 year in prison for killing one cyclist and severely injuring another; the driver’s BAC was nearly four times the legal limit.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Which should be very easy to do here in LA.

Just in time for Valentines Day, Vancouver gets heart-shaped bike racks. Then again, so does London.

After a Canadian bike rider is seriously injured in a collision, he gets a $6,000 bill from the driver’s insurance company for damage to the SUV that laid him up for three months.

Twitter helps a London cyclist get his bike back four months after it was stolen and taken to Spain, while another Brit can’t seem to get rid of one.

Plans for that London bike superhighway hits a snag when British officials decide they don’t want bike lanes besmirching Buckingham Palace. But all those traffic lanes in front of the palace are perfectly okay.

Evidently, it’s a universal problem. After Egypt installs bike lanes, they turn into parking lots.

An Aussie website compares underground bike racing to the Fast & Furious, and uses LA’s bike scene as the prime example.

 

Finally…

You’re not a MAMIL, you’re a grown man on bike. A Montana lawmaker’s proposed legislation would ban yoga pants, among other “provocative” garments, in response to Missoula’s equivalent of the World Naked Bike Ride is appropriately laughed out of committee.

And when you buy this $52,000 bike basket they’ll throw in the bike for free.

 

Morning Links: LA finally gets tough on hit-and-run, Calimesa driver convicted in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Now that’s more like it.

After years of rampant, unsolved hit-and-runs that have made this the City of Fallen Angels, Los Angeles is finally getting tough on fleeing drivers.

Streetsblog reports LA will establish its own Amber Alert-style emergency notification system after Governor Brown vetoed a similar statewide system last year. Alerts will be sent out on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to warn the public to be on the lookout for drivers responsible for serious hit-and-runs.

In addition, the city is establishing a standing reward for information leading to the conviction of runaway drivers, ranging from $1,000 for a collision resulting in property damage with no injuries, up to $50,000 for fatal collisions.

It won’t remove the incentive to flee.

But maybe if more drivers are convicted of the crime, others may think twice about flooring it following a wreck.

……..

William Donald Johnson has been convicted in the allegedly booze and drug-fueled hit-and-run death of cyclist Phillip Richards in Calimesa at the end of 2013. He reportedly fled the scene after crossing the center line to hit Richards head-on.

Johnson faces up to 15 well-deserved years in prison.

……..

Local

The next Bicycle Roundtable is scheduled for 6:30 pm this Thursday at Metro headquarters. The agenda includes updates on bike share, bike platform symbols and complete streets policy; the latter earned them national recognition for last year’s efforts.

A USC student was hit by a car while she was riding in a marked intersection near campus, while those darn cops refuse to play fair, hiding behind cars and trees to catch law-breaking Trojans.

Ciclavalley examines the Forest Lawn Death Trap as part of a series on the worst bike lanes in Los Angeles. Which sadly seems to be a much longer list than the best ones.

South Pasadena’s Monterey Road may be up for a road diet.

 

State

San Diego finally hit the on switch for its long-delayed bike share system.

A salmon cyclist suffers two broken wrists in Brea collision when she’s hit by a car pulling out of a parking lot; drivers seldom look for anyone coming against traffic.

Participation will be off at this weekend’s Tour de Palm Springs due to a lack of available hotel rooms, while riders taking part in the tour may have to wait for the presidential motorcade to pass.

A Texas man and his dog bike from Main to Monterey the long way.

 

National

An Anchorage man averaged a speedy six mph on a 225 mile fat bike race along the frozen Iditarod trail.

Someone is removing ghost bikes from the streets of Houston. But at least the city is getting green lanes downtown.

Only 18 bicyclists have been injured using Chicago’s bike share system since it was introduced 2-1/2 years and 3.2 million rides ago. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s successful bike share is expanding into neighboring Kentucky.

The seemingly endless battle of bikeways versus parking rears its ugly head once again, this time from St. Paul business owners. Because only motorists could conceivably spend money, not bike riders. Right?

Wisconsin’s conservative governor takes aim at funding for bike and pedestrian projects.

Stickers saying “I parked in a bike lane” are called too passive aggressive for New Yorkers, who are more likely to simply bash a windshield with a U-lock according to one Gotham cyclist.

How to ride a Mississippi roundabout.

A road raging West Palm Beach driver intentionally crashes into a bike rider, then gets out and punches him, apparently just for being in his way.

An Orlando writer discovers biking to work is more fun than driving, though a DC writer might disagree after giving up biking to work following a solo crash he can’t remember.

 

International

A look at the history of bicycling superhighways, both real and vaporware, starting with the elevated bikeway that eventually became LA’s first freeway. Meanwhile, City Lab criticizes all those farfetched plans to remove bikes from the streets, because it’s not the bikes that are the problem.

Safety fears keep British kids from bicycling.

London cyclists stage another massive die-in to call for safety.

Talk about distracted driving. A Scottish driver is photographed using headphones, a mobile phone and a laptop computer while he drove, all at the same time.

Greg LeMond handicaps this year’s Tour de France, saying Froome is the favorite but don’t Quintana count out. And says cycling needed Lance to crash and burn.

A cold-hearted Aussie woman actually bragged to family and friends about fleeing the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving him to die of hypothermia in a ditch.

Caught on video: riding on top of a car may be taking sharing an Australian road just a tad too far.

 

Finally…

You might have to wait awhile to print your own bike, at least if you actually want to ride it.

And Walmart’s newest bicycle shaped objects are assembled in the US from foreign-made parts, while Scottish kilts come from Long Beach, courtesy of a cyclist who evidently wanted to air things out after a hard ride.

 

A rider fallen, family and friends shattered, and a young woman on the verge of hard time

It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year.

Yes, all traffic deaths are tragic.

But some seem more troubling than others, haunting the edges of memory until something — an anniversary, a ghost bike, a news story — brings it back full force. And you’re struck once again by the incredible waste of it all.

A life taken for no reason.

Other than a driver’s carelessness and — alleged — criminal behavior.

A 21-year old bike shop worker taking the long way to work early on a Sunday morning, run down from behind by an 18-year old girl accused of having meth in her system from the night before.

It was exactly one year ago today that Joseph Robinson was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a bike lane on Santiago Canyon Road in Orange while on his way to Jax Bicycles in Irvine. Sommer Gonzales was charged with the crime after being arrested in a parking lot not far away on Santa Margarita Parkway, reportedly while hiding evidence in a friend’s car.

It was thanks to an off-duty firefighter that Robinson was discovered off the side of the road, on the verge of death. And that a police officer had the information he needed to spot Gonzales’ car and make an arrest.

OC Battalion Chief Mark Stone was on his way to work when he spotted the badly damaged car traveling in the opposite direction, and began looking for what — or who — the car had struck. The only visible sign of the crash was a tumbleweed smashed against a guardrail, and a single bike shoe resting on the road.

Evidently, I’m not the only one who’s been haunted by Robinson’s needless death.

A memorial ride was held in Irvine this morning; hundreds of riders were expected to participate, escorted to the site of his ghost bike by Irvine police and CHP officers.

Meanwhile, Gonzales faces felony charges for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury, hit-and-run causing death and possession of a controlled substance.

In addition, she’s charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, with sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury and fleeing the scene of a crime, according to the MyNewsLA website.

The site reports she could spend over 15 years in state prison if convicted on the felony charges, with an additional six months in county for the misdemeanor count.

Our anonymous South Bay correspondent was in the courtroom recently for the preliminary hearing for Sommer Gonzales.

………

The preliminary held Wednesday, January 21st, was lengthy and at one point during some protracted questioning by the defense, the judge interrupted to remind him that the purpose of the prelim is to present only the most germane facts.

And the facts appear to be these:

Sommer Nicole Gonzales had been hanging out at a private residence in Anaheim on Saturday night. About 3 am on the morning in question, she allegedly smoked meth. A couple hours later, she began her drive to visit a 24-year-old gentleman friend in South County, taking a route familiar to her. Her undamaged vehicle is seen on the video surveillance of a Villa Park 76 Station shortly before she reached Santiago Canyon Road. At 6:47 am she texted a reply to the persistent gentleman friend, saying she was going through Santiago Canyon.

At approximately 6:55 am, she left a frantic message on another friend’s mom’s voicemail, stating that she had “hit something” and needed help. (The mom, for the record, disapproves of her son’s acquaintanceship with Gonzales, and immediately deleted the message.)

Although video surveillance from the gated entrance of the nearby Loma Ridge Emergency Operations Center didn’t capture the impact that flung Joey’s body 200 feet through the air, it shows that Gonzales stopped and exited her damaged vehicle. She did not walk back towards the site of the collision. Instead, twenty-five seconds later, she got back in the driver’s seat and continued driving southbound on Santiago.

OCFA Battilion Chief Marc Stone, commuting northbound, noticed the smashed hood and shattered windshield of Gonzales’ car as it passed him by the south entrance of Irvine Lake. The magnitude of the damage to her windshield initially, very briefly, made him think the car had struck a deer, but his intuition instantly put him on alert. Three miles up the road, he spotted crunched-up tumbleweeds and a lone bike shoe nearby. The same surveillance video shows his truck slow and flip a U-turn. Off camera, he found Joey’s body and dialed 911. Just up the hill, the dispatchers at the Loma Ridge Facility, which houses the county’s emergency communications bureau, relayed the description of the damaged maroon Toyota to law enforcement.

A sharp-eyed Sheriff’s deputy located the suspect’s vehicle, along with the suspect and her 24-year-old gentleman friend, in a parking lot. She had burn marks on her lips and paraphernalia in her purse. She had all sorts of nystagmus and was uncooperative with officers who attempted to administer a field sobriety test. After very few questions, she was taken into custody.

The judge listened to both sides impassively, examining all the exhibits and asking pertinent questions. Throughout the hearing, he was observant, neutral and unreadable, even during the defense’s closing arguments that dropped jaws in the audience.

The defense, possibly sensing the hopelessness of requesting a dismissal of charges, contended that Gonzales’ behavior that night did not meet the definition of gross negligence. The judge disagreed, and stated several reasons to support his opinion: She was high. She was texting. She was on a road familiar to her as one popular with cyclists. She, for whatever reason, maneuvered her vehicle straight into a marked, eight-foot wide bike lane. She failed to investigate the cause of the damage to her vehicle. Fifteen miles away from the scene, she parked her car head-in so that the damage would not be so visible to passers-by. She called pretty much everybody except 911. She made conflicting statements to law enforcement. Her “credibility,” concluded the judge, “is a question for the jury to decide.”

And, despite his calmly expressed finding that the evidence in the case clearly merits a more thorough examination by trial, there was no mistaking his own incredulity at the defense’s claims. I’m fairly sure everyone else in the courtroom (with the exception of Gonzales and her lawyer) wanted to yell “YESSS!” and add a fist pump for good measure.

………

She goes on to offer her personal take on the case:

Gonzales is an idiot for not taking whatever lenient plea deal she was offered, because it’s off the table now. Let alone for not learning anything about how to manage her addiction during three (count ’em, three) stints in rehab as a minor.

And it’s disgusting that her gentleman friend hasn’t been charged as an accessory after the fact. He was helping her remove her possessions from her damaged vehicle when the two were discovered. He’s also the brilliant mind who suggested that she reposition her vehicle so that the damage would be less noticeable, and “accidentally” deleted the texts he sent and received that morning (it took a subpoena to his carrier, but the DA has them all).

Meanwhile, Orange County traffic engineers still think 55 mph is an acceptable speed on a downhill stretch with a blind vertical curve. And the tower visible off in the distance from where Joey was killed, the one that looks like a steeple?

It belongs to the county’s 911 dispatch center.

………

Two lives were destroyed that morning; two families shattered and countless friends shaken.

Sommer Gonzales may have a chance to rebuild hers once she finally gets out of prison — assuming she’s convicted, of course.

Joseph Robinson will never get that chance.

 

 

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