Archive for Legal Cases

Weekend Links: Super-secret discipline for Milt Olin deputy; SD’s Fiesta Island wreck caused by invisible boyfriend

We’ve got a lot to catch up on today.

So feel free to take a break and go out for a ride. This could take awhile.

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The LA County sheriff’s deputy who killed former Napster exec Milt Olin has been officially disciplined by the department. But since it’s considered a personnel matter, we’ll most likely never know what that discipline is.

And there will be no discipline for the department, which reportedly encouraged its officers to use their onboard computers while driving, despite an official policy against it.

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A psychiatrist says the alleged meth-using wrong way driver who plowed into 10 cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island, leaving one paralyzed, “has bipolar disorder with chronic or long-standing mania and psychotic features, but also depressive features.”

Oh. Well, okay then.

She reportedly blames the crash on an invisible boyfriend who somehow popped up, apparently inside her car, before disappearing.

And she had a bag of meth in her vagina when she was arrested.

Allegedly.

Update: Despite the testimony of the psychiatrist, Theresa Owens was found competent to stand trial on Friday. 

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Three bikes take a 100 year journey to Bike Week LA, coming next month.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the link.

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Update: I’ve been reminded that the OCTA Bike Festival will be held this Sunday from 9 am to 1 p in Huntington Beach.

Although how I can be reminded of something I didn’t know about to begin with is beyond me.

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Local

Note to CMs Gil Cedillo, Tom LaBonge and Paul Koretz: A Virginia study confirms what we’ve been trying to tell you. More bikes on the streets will actually increase traffic congestion unless we have bike lanes to ride in. But hey, go ahead, keep blocking those planned bike lanes on North Figueroa, Lankershim and Westwood until traffic improves.

If you’re looking for a new job, CicLAvia is hiring a new head honcho; meanwhile, the Times talks with outgoing exec and founder Aaron Paley. Although I wish he could remember the role the LACBC played in assisting the birth of CicLAvia; one of the first votes I cast as a board member involved approving a cooperative agreement to help get the first event off the ground.

Caught on video: Streetsblog’s Joe Linton looks a Malibu’s new bike lane on PCH, a first for the formerly bike-unfriendly city. Speaking of the LACBC, the coalitions’s Eric Bruins deserves much of the credit for the coastal city’s change in attitude.

 

State

California Streetsblog interviews Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who insists Governor Brown will sign a Yellow Alert hit-and-run notice this time around; he vetoed a similar bill last year.

Caltrans effectively unblocks protected bike lanes; the state transportation agency will hold a summit on the newly legalized Class IV bikeways next month.

Is someone targeting bike riders in OC? After a Santa Ana bike rider is shot in a possible gang-related driveby, he continued riding to a nearby residence for help; another man riding a bike was shot in the same city just a day later.

Huntington Beach police are looking for a man and woman who tried to steal a purse from a bike rider’s basket, then ripped it out of her hands when she fought back. Thanks to Louis for the tip.

The cities of Highlands and Redlands in San Bernardino County are working together to build a proposed bike lane connecting the two; a separated lane is one possibility.

Sad news from Palo Alto, as the 61-year old woman hit by a cyclist while crossing the street has died. The rider was descending around a blind curve at about 25 mph when he crashed into her; he has not been charged. The victim, Kathryn Green, was a noted philanthropist with local ties to the LA area; she was born in Santa Monica and grew up in the Palisades. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog SF picks up the story of the Belmont bike rider blamed by auto-centric police for talking on a cell phone and riding sans-helmet — both legal — when he was left crossed by a car; the 90-year old motorist who illegally violated his right of way wasn’t held responsible in any way.

The Uber driver who allegedly ran down a San Francisco bike rider in a road rage dispute has surrendered his drivers license.

San Francisco’s director of transportation and public health director team up to explain the city’s Vision Zero policy. It would be nice if we could see something like that here; most Angelenos have no idea what Vision Zero is, let alone that the city has adopted it.

NorCal’s Arcata posts a YouTube video explaining the new bicycle boulevard running through the center of town. So why can’t we have nice things like that? See Cedillo, et al, above.

 

National

Phoenix cyclists agree with the city’s low ranking for bike-friendliness.

Organizers unveil the route for this year’s Tour of Utah, which includes a whopping two whole days of women’s racing. Which is better than none, I suppose.

A Houston bike rider has become the latest cyclist to be killed in a collision with a police car; the victim reportedly ran the red light.

Ever wondered what happened to the guy who inspired Breaking Away by almost single-handedly winning the 1962 Little 500?

An Ohio driver gets probation for the hit-and-run crash that left a bike rider seriously injured, and tampering with evidence to hide the crime afterwards. Evidently, life is cheap there. And the law seems pretty meaningless, too.

To celebrate the launch of Philadelphia’s bike share program, Uber brought bike riders a new helmet for just $10. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the tip.

Bike riders in South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island say harassment is common, after the arrest of a driver for yelling at a woman to get on a bike path, then getting out of his car and grabbing her arm to scream some more.

Caught on video: A Georgia truck driver gets out of his vehicle and pushes a bike rider over after the rider flipped him off for passing too closely; the driver claims he was in fear for his life after the rider kicked at his massive, multi-ton steel truck. Sure, let’s go with that.

Unbelievable. The 2013 police shooting of a Florida bike rider was caught on dash cam video; he was left paralyzed from the waist down — even though his only weapon was a cell phone.

The Justice Department will review the Tampa Bay police department’s ticketing of African American bike riders, who received 79% of the city’s tickets for bicycle violations even though they make up just 26% of city residents. The paper that broke the story asks if police will now stop the biased enforcement while the review is underway. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads-up.

 

International

They never learn. A young British driver becomes the latest to lose her job after tweeting about hitting a bicyclist without stopping.

A Brit woman may have suffered permanent scars resulting from a collision with a grinning hit-and-run cyclist.

A formerly morbidly obese man from the UK loses 210 pounds in a single year after taking up bicycling; he’s now planning to run a half-marathon — and have 14 pounds of excess skin removed.

Now that’s what I call fleeing the scene. An Irish driver gets six-and-a-half years for causing the death of a cyclist. He first fled to the UK, then Australia; he was arrested after being recognized in an ill-advised return to the UK.

Join the Army, and you too can experience the German equivalent of a ciclovía.

Kazakhstan-based pro cycling team Astana somehow manages to keep its top-tier racing status, despite a number of team members busted for doping.

Unbelievable. An Aussie man jailed for killing a cyclist in a 2011 hit-and-run killed another man in a second hit-and-run the same month, and hid his body under some bark and leaves.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A llama joins the peloton. In Canada, no less, where the animals aren’t exactly native.

If you’re going to climb into a driver’s vehicle and drive off after coming to blows in a road rage dispute — with the owner still clinging to the outside of his car — try to make a clean getaway without crashing into a parked car. But if you want to experience just one angry, honking driver on your ride to work, make sure you have a police escort.

And Bo Jackson says nobody’s perfect. Not even his buddy Lance.

 

Update: Guilty plea in case of fallen OC cyclist Joseph Robinson

A source calling from the courthouse in Orange County has just reported that the driver who killed 21-year old Jax Bicycle Center employee Joseph Robinson has pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and drug charges, and will face significant jail time.

Sommer Niclole Gonzales, just 18 at the time of the collision, was sentenced to spend the next 11 years of her life behind bars after she admitted responsibility and waived her right to appeal.

Robinson was taking the long way to work on a sunny February morning last year when he was run down from behind while riding in the bike lane on Santiago Canyon Road.

He was hit with enough force to knock him and his bike completely off the roadway; his body was only discovered because an off-duty fire captain spotted a car with a shattered windshield speeding in the opposite direction, then saw a single shoe lying on the side of the roadway.

Gonzales was arrested in a parking lot a short time later as a friend helped her transfer her belongings into another car, in an apparent attempt to cover up her responsibility for the crime. She was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at the time of her arrest.

No word on why her friend wasn’t charged for assisting in the attempted coverup.

The victim’s family was reportedly in tears following the sentencing.

According to the source, the judge’s final words to her were “What a tragedy. Just because you wanted to do meth.”

Update: I corrected the above quote from the judge, which was off slightly due to a bad phone connection.

Gonzales will get credit for 888 days served, reducing her sentence by nearly two-and-a-half years; she’ll also serve three years parole upon her release.

Update 2: According to a press release from the Orange County DA’s office, Gonzales was found guilty of:

  • Felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated
  • Felony hit and run with death
  • Misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance
  • Misdemeanor use and under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia
  • Along with a sentencing enhancement allegation for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter

Robinson’s family offered emotional impact statements, including this video from his mother showing him riding in happier days.

Then there’s this moving quote from his sister.

“My heart literally hurts when I think about my brother, I can’t think about him without crying. My drive to work takes me right past the accident site where his ghost bike is still hanging. Every morning and night as I pass that spot, I tell Joey aloud that I love him and cry.”

If you’ve ever wondered what harm driving under the influence can cause, that pretty much sums it up.

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the press release.

Update 3: My News LA adds more details, including quotes from Robinson’s family members and his girlfriend. 

The story also quotes Gonzales’ attorney explaining that she had first tried marijuana at age 12, and quickly moved on to meth, which she had been her drug of choice ever since.

According to the attorney, she knew she had hit something, and stopped to see what it was, but continued on when she didn’t see Robinson or his bike. 

Weekend Links: Guilty in plea hit-and-run death of Anaheim mother, San Clemente rider 6th in Paris-Roubaix

A Buena Park man pleaded guilty to fleeing the scene after killing a bike-riding mother of eight in Anaheim last November.

That was after Junior Rigoberto Lopez received a promise from the judge that his sentence will not exceed three years. Because, evidently, leaving a mother to die in the street isn’t really that big a deal in the OC.

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Hats off to San Clemente resident Daniel Willett for his sixth-place finish in last weekend’s juniors’ Paris-Roubaix classic; he finished just 33 seconds off the winner’s time.

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My formerly sled-dog racing and now fat-tire riding brother sends word from the Great White North that biking and running the famed Iditarod Trail is no picnic, either. Especially this year.

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Local

Your new and improved Crenshaw Blvd could have protected bike lanes for a stretch before bikes are shunted off onto alternate streets, apparently to make more room for cars.

KCET looks at the Rio Hondo Confluence, one of the few places in the LA area where you have your choice of bike paths; a long promised park and bike rest stop is still in the works.

Over 50 SaMo businesses sign up to bike, carpool, walk or take transit in an alternative transportation challenge.

 

State

A former Intel exec broke his hip and dislocated his shoulder in a solo fall while descending at 32 mph east of San Diego; he and his teammates were just 700 miles into a planned 5,000 mile ride for heart disease and stroke awareness.

NIMBY-ism rears its ugly head in Rancho Mirage, as residents rise up against a planned 50-mile bike and pedestrian path because it might be bad for landscaping, and could make it harder for vehicles to turn on or off the highway. Seriously, where is a tiny violin when you need one?

A search for a solution to slippery olives falling on a Davis bike path turns into a successful olive oil business.

A Salinas truck driver walks away without charges in a fatal bike collision despite right-hooking the victim, because the rider was high on meth and riding brakeless. Neither of which had anything to do with the driver’s illegal turn, of course.

Santa Clara County officials reject a proposal for an LA-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance because they’re worried about foul-mouthed bike riders harassing motorists in their multi-ton, hermetically sealed vehicles.

 

National

Fifty-one percent of all Americans never ride a bike; on the other hand, only three percent of Midwesterners don’t know how to ride one.

GQ says the new trend in travel is to ditch the rental car and have a bike-cation.

So much for 41-year old two-time Olympic champ Kristin Armstrong’s comeback, as she’s bounced from the US team for the Pan Am Championships just days after she was named to the roster.

Caught on video: A Portland school bus driver gets a summons from the cops after buzzing a bike rider, then slamming the bus door on the rider’s hand when he confronts him.

Seattle police seize 60 bicycles after busting a bike chop shop, while Washington cyclists no longer have to wait forever for a dead red light to change.

Both the newly reborn Chicago Streetsblog and a local columnist explain what’s really going on with a proposal to permanently remove the city’s first protected bike lane. But with radically different perspectives.

Not only was the driver in a fatal Vermont cycling collision arrested for being under the influence, his drunken passenger was, too; the driver was also charged with driving with a suspended license — for the fifth time.

Caught on video: A Buffalo NY cop double parked in a bike lane, apparently because he was having a pizza emergency. Meanwhile, a Massachusetts state trooper tells a cyclist his department really doesn’t care about enforcing the bike lanes on a Boston bridge.

A 16-year old South Carolina driver has been charged with attempted murder for trying to run members of a local bike club off the road not once, not twice, but on seven separate occasions, because he blamed them for the collision that killed two of his friends; police say the cyclists weren’t responsible for the earlier wreck. You’ve got to be a pretty crappy driver if you can hit a bunch of bike riders in seven tries.

 

International

Saskatchewan drivers need more training about bicycling. Just like drivers everywhere else.

Montreal’s mayor is spotted riding one of the city’s bike share bikes.

The Times of London sets the standard for how newspapers can bike the vote, while one of the city’s top architects says the construction industry has to stop killing cyclists.

The truck driver who killed South African Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander has been found guilty of culpable homicide and running a stop sign.

After a nine-year old Philippine boy’s bike is commandeered by a police commando fleeing rebels, the regional governor gets him a new one.

 

Finally…

A San Francisco man volunteers himself to referee a popular cycling route, complete with yellow flags; no word on whether his call can be overturned upon further review. An amateur cyclist plans to ride the entire Tour de France route on a 1970’s kid’s chopper bike; no wait, maybe he’s a pro.

And here’s a great series of videos produced by high school students to raise awareness of distracted driving. And don’t feel any obligation to vote for the one titled The Distraction Game, even though it was produced by my nephew and his partners.

No, seriously. It’s okay.

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I’ll see you all bright and early Sunday morning at Finish the Right to help end the epidemic of hit-and-run once and for all.

Right?

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time to save $10 with discount code FTR10.

Morning Links: Driver arraigned in death of Matt Liechty; ribbon cutting planned for bike-friendly PCH in the ‘Bu

Our anonymous Orange County correspondent was in the courtroom when the driver accused of killing cyclist Matt Liechty briefly appeared before a judge for his arraignment last Friday.

Antonio Magdaleno was present in court. He was wearing a suit with a pale blue shirt & blue tie, and accompanied by three worried people who I assume are his family. His unease made him come across as younger, and I think he was holding his breath in between his almost inaudible answers the judge’s few questions.

Members of Liechty’s family were there as well. Sitting a few rows behind, one snapped a cell phone picture of the defendant. The bailiff (this particular one is very competent and absolutely humorless) actually missed it, but a few minutes later he marched over to sternly inform the guy to turn the phone off or leave the court room.

Magdaleno and his entourage left the courtroom to confer in the hallway, followed a few seconds behind by Matt’s family; the Liechtys’ chain-reaction rear-end pile-up indicated that they noticed this instantly, and they retreated.

From what his lawyer said, it sounds like Magdaleno has been working really hard at sobriety, so they’re going to use this as an indicator that he doesn’t deserve the maximum penalty.

Twenty-nine-year old Antonio Magdaleno is accused of running down Liechty from behind as he rode in a Huntington Beach bike lane, then fleeing the scene on just three wheels after losing one in the collision.

He faces felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of a collision and hit-and-run with permanent and seriously injury.

So that maximum penalty, if applied, could add up to a very long time behind bars.

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All that work on PCH is about to pay off, as Malibu hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the Pacific Coast Highway Bike Route Improvements Project and the first bike lane in the ‘Bu at 10 am on Wednesday, April 29th at PCH and Morning View Drive.

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If you were planning to attend the hit-and-run press conference at City Hall today, it will now be held after the council votes to approve a standing reward program for hit-and-runs.

Which they will, since LA’s conflict-free city council seldom, if ever, votes down anything once it’s been approved by committee.

However, hit-and-run victims are still urged to attend to press their case before the council, and appear afterwards with Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who deserves a lot of credit for his efforts to end the hit-and-run epidemic.

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Local

CiclaValley offers up his origin story, and explains why he supports Finish the Ride, which rolls through the streets of Hollywood this Sunday. And thanks for the shout out.

Santa Monica’s California Incline closes on Monday, and will reopen next year in a new and improved version. With bike lanes.

It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says instead of a study of bike helmet use, the state should study whether helmets could help prevent head injuries for everyone. And yes, he means everyone.

 

State

Formerly auto-centric Caltrans takes a page from British bike scribe Carlton Reid’s book, and admits that roads weren’t built for cars.

Cyclelicious looks at a superfluous proposal in the state legislature that would require bike riders to pull over on two-lane roads when there are five or more cars following and unable to pass, which we are already required to do, just like anyone else.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition is hosting its first CyclingSavvy course on the 24th and 25th of April.

San Diego cyclists complain about a triangle curb that juts into a new separated bike lane, with no warning other than a little freshly applied paint.

Ojai wants to become friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Actually, most cyclists have never even heard of chamois cream, despite what a writer for the Sacramento State newspaper insists.

A Davis coffee roaster pedals a stationary bike to turn his roasting drum, then delivers the coffee by bike.

 

National

How the bike movement can achieve real equality on the streets. For everyone.

Two-time Olympic time trial champ Kristin Armstrong decides to un-retire for the 2015 Pan Am Continental Road Championships, and possibly the 2016 Olympics.

A cycling instructor in my hometown says cyclists everywhere run stops, but it’s not always dangerous. And maybe the law should be changed.

Houston bicyclists want drivers to know the city’s new protected bike lanes aren’t just green parking spaces.

Minneapolis consider raising the 10 mph speed limit for bikes in the city’s parks, calling the current limit exceedingly slow for modern bikes.

An Ohio writer discovers it is possible to bike to work in normal clothes.

 

International

Pro cyclists will be allowed to try out disc brakes for two months at the end of the summer; cycling scion Taylor Phinney’s long road back from a devastating racing injury may finally be complete just in time to try them out.

There’s something seriously wrong when Brit bike riders have to pair up to avoid being attacked.

A new bike from the UK comes complete with roll bar and adult-sized child seat to protect you from a collision with a semi. Yeah, right.

Famed British racing mark McLaren is just the latest supercar maker to make a super-high end super road bike.

Nice. Nearly 20 cyclists rode 55 miles from Auschwitz to Krakow last year to raise funds to send 30 elderly Jews, most survivors of the Holocaust, on a trip to Israel.

A former West Australian transport minister says cyclists are useless, and need to be taught the rules of the road to avoid being killed.

 

Finally…

In a potentially brilliant move to avoid a DUI, a New Jersey driver flees the scene after running down a cyclist and heads straight to a bar. Turns out that Simon Cowell had his bike stolen; no, not that Simon Cowell.

And which is faster in LA traffic, a pro cyclist on a high-end racing bike or a stunt driver in a Ferrari?

Do you really need to ask?

 

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.

 

Weekend Links: Parking protected biking finally comes to LA; gunman guilty in shooting of San Diego bicyclist

LA takes a big step forward, as Northridge gets the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

The new Reseda Blvd bike lane uses the parking lane, and the cars in them, to form a protective barrier between bikes and motor vehicle traffic on the busy street. Even if some drivers don’t seem to get the idea.

The sidewalk got a makeover, too.

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The man accused of shooting and killing a developmentally disabled San Diego bike rider just for the hell of it has pled guilty to first degree murder.

Twenty-two-year old Humberto Emanuel Galvez leaned out of a car window and shot Jordan Hickey with a shotgun as Hickey was just blocks from his home as he rode home from visiting his girlfriend four years ago.

Galvez will be sentenced to life without parole for the shooting; by pleading guilty, he took a possible death sentence off the table.

His partner in the crime, 24-year old Juan Ignacio Gomez, also faces life without parole after being convicted last week.

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Local

Routing bike riders onto alternate back streets that don’t form a complete grid isn’t the right answer, a lesson CiclaValley says ostensibly bike-friendly CD4 candidate Carolyn Ramsay needs to learn.

Flying Pigeon explains why the upcoming school board election should matter to you, whether or not you have kids.

KPCC correctly notes that LA’s incomplete bike network makes it impossible to cross the city using designated bikeways. Although they could have found a more current map.

Good ideas are contagious. The success of CicLAvia prompts Glendale to consider their own ciclovía on Brand Blvd this September.

 

State

A 13-year old bike rider suffers non-life threatening injuries when he’s apparently right hooked by the driver of a car.

Build it, and they will come in droves. Buffered bike lanes in San Diego result in a 347% increase in ridership since 2012.

Former baseball great Curt Schilling joins with other San Diego residents to help replace the 18 custom bikes stolen from wounded vets; so far, they’ve raised $25,000 to replace bikes valued at $45,000.

San Diego cyclists will gather on April 19th for the second annual 35.5-mile memorial ride to honor long-time cyclist and bike advocate Gordy Shields. We’re still waiting for LA to do something, anything, to memorialize our own Alex Baum after his passing.

Plans for a 48-mile bike path through the Coachella Valley could be jeopardized as Rancho Mirage threatens to pull its support.

San Francisco’s bike share program could expand from the current 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes in cities throughout the Bay Area.

A San Francisco bike theft victim gets his $7,000 ebike back when the built-in GPS pinpoints its location.

Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who plowed into three SF cyclists, seriously injuring one, as she fled after rear-ending a car and before hitting another one.

 

National

I want one. Or maybe two. Trek’s Bontrager line introduces a new tail light designed for daytime use, said to be brighter than a car taillight and visible for over a mile away.

A Harvard study says police are still using outdated collision report forms, missing out on vital data that could help prevent bike collisions; Los Angeles cyclists have been asking the LAPD to improve their forms for years.

Despite complaints, a Portland road diet slows drivers an average of just one minute per trip.

Nice story. A 12-year old boy in my hometown who was born without arms will soon be able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to the efforts of his new friend.

A Milwaukee writer says it’s not riding a bike that’s hazardous to your health.

A Minnesota public library is introducing The Book Bike, a bicycle-towed trailer designed to bring books to local kids.

Even the Motor City is getting its first parking-protected bike lane.

Some people just don’t get it. A Syracuse paper says parking is more important than bike lanes, even though getting more people on bikes could reduce the need for it.

A New Yorker who helped paint the city’s first ghost bike says he’ll keep building them until they aren’t needed anymore.

The Baltimore bishop accused in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider has pled not guilty; she faces trial on June 4th. So much for confession being good for the soul.

New Orleans cyclists turn to social media to track down suspected bike thieves.

No bias here, as a Florida rider died after being doored, yet the local press blames him for running into it. Note to Tampa Bay Times: If someone dies of his injuries, they were life threatening, even if they didn’t appear that way at first.

 

International

Montreal cyclists say the city has a long way to go to improve safety; a new bike path could have only been designed by someone who doesn’t ride.

A two-year old Brit boy is the proud owner of perhaps the world’s only penny farthing balance bike.

Paris plans to double the size of its bike lane network to over 860 miles in the next five years, including protected bike lanes on the Champs Elysees and other major avenues. Seriously, if they can do it there…

VeloNews looks at Easter Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

At least Mercedes AMG didn’t build yet another high-end racing bike, like so many other car makers dabbling in bicycling. They built a mountain bike instead.

Bystanders join together to lift a car off a Chinese cyclist when she’s pinned underneath following a collision. For some reason, though, they illustrated the story with a photo from CicLAvia, and a caption about LA’s planned bike share program.

 

Finally…

Someone stole the new sign asking people to stop pooping on an Illinois bike path; to be honest, given the opportunity, I might have taken it myself. When you’re wanted on two outstanding warrants and carrying nine packets of heroin on your bike, put a damn bell on your bike if that’s what the law requires.

And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California, as a San Raphael rider blows twice the legal limit after blowing a stop sign.

……..

Please accept my best wishes for a happy Passover, a happy Easter, or just a damn fine weekend, whatever you may observe.

 

Morning Links: Justice for San Diego thrill kill victim, Griffith Park feeder ride, and CD4’s Ryu finally responds

Sometimes there’s justice after all.

Even if it takes awhile.

When a bike rider gets shot, it’s almost always gang involved in some way. The 2011 death of San Diego cyclist Jordan Hickey was the exception.

The developmentally disabled man was just minutes from his home while riding back after visiting his girlfriend when he was gunned down for no reason.

Or more precisely, just for the hell of it.

Two men were allegedly driving around just looking for someone to kill when they spotted Hickey on his bike, and one leaned out of the car window to fire the fatal blast from a shotgun.

On Wednesday, the driver, Juan Ignacio Gomez, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder; he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Humberto Emanuel Galvez, the accused shooter, faces a possible death sentence when he goes on trial in May.

Which is exactly what he’s accused of sentencing Hickey to, without a trial.

………

A feeder rider to tonight’s Griffith Park Advisory Board meeting will roll out from Sweet Salt in Toluca Lake to protest plans to open Mt. Hollywood Drive to cars to placate Beechwood Canyon homeowners, who are tired of being overrun by tourists looking for the Hollywood Sign.

………

While I wasn’t looking, CD4 city council candidate David Ryu finally responded to the LACBC’s candidate survey; turns out like most bike riders, his remains in the garage most of the time. Carolyn Ramsay, his opponent to replace Tom LaBonge in the May 19th runoff, submitted her response back in February.

………

Local

LADOT offers up a Pico Blvd bike love story with a happy ending.

Hollywood’s Amoeba Records is holding a charity auction hosted by comedian Kurt Braunohler on April 4th; proceeds will benefit the kids ride and activities at the LACBC’s River Ride in June.

Expect rolling closures on PCH in western Malibu for the next two days as work continues on the highway’s Bike Route Improvements project.

A Burbank writer looks back on Sunday’s Valley CicLAvia and asks what effect a similar event would have on the city.

Ride for a great cause, as the Bear Claw Classic rolls this Saturday in Westlake Village to raise funds for Ride 2 Recovery.

 

State

Clear registration stickers from California’s Anti-Theft Dots could help recover your bike if it’s stolen.

Once again, the CHP rules harm, but no foul, as a driver escapes responsibility for taking his eyes off the road and seriously injuring a cyclist when his vehicle drifted to the right. Evidently, drivers are no longer required to pay attention and maintain control of their cars and trucks in California.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider becomes the latest victim of a fatal hit-and-run.

A San Jose writer provides a first-person account of simple solo fall with a not so simple result — multiple broken bones, collapsed lung and nearly a half million dollars in medical bills.

San Francisco supervisors want more bike education classes in their districts.

 

National

AAA Distracted DrivingDashcam video in a new PSA shows texting teen drivers swerving off the road; as the BAC’s David Wolfberg asks, how much of teens’ distracted driving behaviors did they learn from watching their parents?

Denver prosecutors throw the book at a driver who nearly killed a bike cop while having a seizure; he faces up to 32 years in jail for crashing into the officer after hiding his medical condition when applying for driver’s license.

A Houston website says it’s open season on bike riders in the Texas city following a horrific hit-and-run that left a cyclist critically injured.

Good news from North Dakota, as bike collisions are down 50% in Rapid City.

A 70-year old man who collapsed on the street can credit his life to the quick actions of a couple of Chicago bike cops.

Whether a protected bike lane on a busy Boston street is a good thing or a bad thing depends on who’s telling the tale. Meanwhile, a Boston city councilor bemoans the loss of revenue from the 73 parking spaces that will be removed to make room for the cycle track, evidently valuing money over the lives of people on bikes.

Baltimore plans to add up to 100 miles of bike lanes over the next 15 years; the question, as always, is whether the plan will be funded.

A Florida driver faces up to 30 years in prison for the death of a bike rider; he was reportedly doing at least 102 mph at the time of the impact.

 

International

The UK’s Cycling Weekly reminds us all why we got on a bike to begin with; however, they forgot to mention the most important reason. It’s fun.

Formerly anti-bike Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson rides off on one after being fired by the BBC for punching a producer; he faces possible criminal charges, as well.

Caught on video: A first person view from the hero cyclist who chased down three British bike thieves.

Dubai develops a specialized six-wheel ambulance — including bike rack on the front — to rescue cyclists injured while riding in the desert.

An Indian official sets out on a “bicycle march” to end injustice, lawlessness and corruption in the country. Although he disappointed his mother, who wanted him to get married first.

A Bangkok writer calls for his countrymen to stop using the term accident to refer to crashes, saying most, if not all, are preventable. You’re preaching to the choir, dude.

 

Finally…

After riding 5,000 from Los Angeles to Miami, then up to Charleston, a cyclist gets a ticket for unlawful passing — just one hundred yards from his final destination. That silly looking German adult balance bike is now a real thing, for no apparent reason.

And how many times has this happened to you?

Breaking news: OC lawyer guilty in 2013 DUI death of cyclist Eric Billings

Word is just coming in that an Orange County attorney has been convicted in the DUI death of cyclist Eric Billings two years ago.

According to a press release from the OC District Attorney’s office, Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti pled guilty to a single felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on Tuesday.

The DA reports the 41-year old Rancho Santa Margarita woman had prescription drugs — including Xanax and Suboxone — in her system when she ran down Billings’ bike from behind on March 15, 2013, as he rode in a marked bike lane on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti was apparently unable to plead down to a lessor charge; she was convicted on the same count she was originally charged with, which is unusual in cases that don’t go to trial.

According to the press release, she is currently out on $100,000 bond, and faces up to four years in state prison when she is sentenced on May 8th.

She also faces possible removal from the state bar following her conviction; she has been an active member of the bar since 2005.

Thanks to Edward Rubinstein, and Amy Senk of Corona del Mar Today for the head-up. (And apologies for misspelling Rubinstein’s name at first.)

 

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.

 

Weekend Links: OC hit-and-run driver charged in death of PCH cyclist; fund set to help injured bike rider

It looks like LA’s District Attorney could learn something from her counterpart in Orange County when it comes to traffic crime.

The OC DA announced Thursday that 20-year old Dylan Thomas Randluby of Emerald Bay has been charged with felony hit-and-run with injury and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of 55-year old cyclist John Colvin.

Colvin was riding in the bike lane on North Coast Highway last June when he was run down from behind by Randluby’s car. Randluby allegedly kept driving despite a shattered windshield; he was followed by a pair of witnesses and arrested after stopping a mile later.

In too many other cases, hit-and-run has been essentially forgiven when drivers stopped nearby, returned to the scene later or turned themselves in even days later. It’s nice to see Orange County prosecutors treat it like the serious crime it is, even if the charges could be a little stiffer.

Randluby has apparently been released on $50,000 bond; KTLA-5 reports that no one by that name was in custody as of Thursday.

Thanks to Amy Senk and Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

………

A Giveforward account has been established to help raise $30,000 for a bike rider who was severely injured when she was hit from behind at an estimated 50 mph while riding in a bike lane.

And an LA rider wants your help thanking the firefighters who came to his aid when he was injured on Angeles Crest.

………

Local

KNBC-4 says LA has a crack problem — potholes and surface cracks in the streets that can seriously injure cyclists. And quotes BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass, as well as frequent contributor Patrick Pascal.

The LACBC shares an interview with new Executive Director Tamika Butler.

Santa Monica officials propose naming their coming bike share program “Breeze;” the city is also hosting a Valentine’s Day Kidical Mass family ride.

 

State

Rather than improve safety on the Coast Highway, Laguna Beach installs sharrows and signage to steer riders away from it.

Does a bike co-op by any other name smell as sweet? Santa Barbara City College opens a DIY bike shop.

A Danville court case could determine whether the safety of cyclists should be considered in the environmental review process for new developments. Maybe we should be classified as an endangered species.

One of the victims in that recent Mendocino County collision where an 18-year old driver mowed down five riders in rapid succession recounts her story in horrifying detail; she remembers seeing the driver sneer at her through the windshield before she fell under the car and was dragged 400 feet.

 

National

If you wondered who would ever buy that $20,000 S-Works McLaren Tarmac, the answer is cyclist and former baseball great and alleged doper Barry Bonds.

Charges have been dropped against a 74-year old Arizona woman who kept going after hitting a bike rider, blew through a red light and t-boned a truck, killing the driver — while on Ambien, no less — because she was found incompetent to stand trial. And to drive, evidently.

After a 14-year old Kentucky boy with Cerebral Palsy has his bike stolen, a stranger reaches out to buy him a new one.

Deadspin drops in, unwelcomed, on the nation’s second-oldest alley cat race in Minneapolis; thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the link.

A Maryland county finds drivers are at fault in 58% of collisions involving bike riders.

The Baltimore paper looks at why some drivers flee after a collision; maybe because they’re at fault 58% of the time.

A Florida county becomes the first in the state to criminalize harassment of bicyclists, pedestrians and people in wheelchairs.

 

International

Get your video fix from Road.cc with this roundup of the year’s best bike videos, including a texting driver shouting at a rider to get in the bike lane and a massive pile-up in the Tour Down Under.

The head of London’s licensed taxi drivers association says maybe he went a tad too far in comparing bicyclists to terrorists. If we were really like ISIS he would have been beheaded for that remark.

In yet another pie-in-the-sky — or maybe pie-in-the-ground, in this case — plan, a London design firm proposes converting abandoned subway tunnels into underground bikeways.

Kind-hearted Londoners raise £6,000 to send the body of a bike rider killed in the city back home to Greece.

British authorities have finally dropped charges against a bike rider who was fined £50 after he swerved out of a bike lane to go around a phone booth. Yet no one seems to ask why was there a phone booth in the bike lane to begin with.

A Brit bike rider is called the most hated man on two wheels after using his helmet cam to help police convict 70 scofflaw drivers.

A Czech group has sent 200 bikes to Cameroon to help protect African elephants. And no, they aren’t so the elephants can ride them to safety whenever poachers show up.

In one of the most over-the-top editorials in recent memory, a “hard-hitting” writer for the Sydney, Australia Telegraph accuses the Lord Mayor of desecrating the city with gridlock-inducing bike paths.

 

Finally…

Plans for a Halifax, Nova Scotia bike lane are put on hold when a hot dog vendor complains it will put him out of business; evidently, bike riders don’t eat hot dogs in the Great White North. A British bike lock goes high fashion.

And if mountain biking isn’t challenging enough, maybe it’s time to try it with one wheel. Or perhaps racing through shopping malls.

 

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