Archive for General

I’m surrendering to my diabetes and throwing in the towel for this week; we’ll be back on Monday

I’m literally trying to save my life here.

I’ve been struggling with my diabetes for over a year, ever since my wife lost her job during the first pandemic lockdown, forcing major changes to my working habits.

That was exacerbated by a switch to Kaiser this year, forcing a change in one of the key medications that I’ve been on almost since my diagnosis seven long years ago.

Let’s just say that has not gone well.

The last two weeks have been the worst, however. I’ve struggled to get my blood sugar below 200 mg/dL — twice the normal level — while dealing with spikes as high as 250.

Any higher, and I’d be writing this from the emergency room.

As it is, I’ve been passing out from blood sugar spikes after nearly every meal, as the normal spikes after eating are compounded by a much higher baseline.

Which is what happened Monday night, when I passed out after dinner, and couldn’t wake enough to clear my head for over 16 hours.

As a result, I’ve made the difficult decision to put this site on hold for a few days, and take the rest of the week off to try and do something about my health.

It was not an easy choice to make.

I’ve always felt an obligation to post something here every day. Especially during the pandemic, on the assumption that you needed a few minutes of distraction as much as I did. Even if the news wasn’t what we all wanted to read sometimes.

In all honesty, though, it hasn’t been easy.

I’ve often found myself struggling to write after — or during — a blood sugar spike or crash, both of which can knock me on my ass for hours.

That’s on top of a change in my working hours with my wife home, when the work I used to do on this site during the day, while she was at work, shifted to the late night hours after she went to bed.

Which also shifted to later, since she didn’t have to get up in the morning.

That meant putting these pages, and myself, to bed after 4 am most mornings.

Add a puppy to that mix, and the extra time needed to care for it, and I’ve found myself getting to bed while the sun is rising lately.

The result has been a steady drop in my sleeping hours, accompanied by a steady increase in my A1C — rising from a pre-pandemic 6.1, to this year’s 8.3.

Or to put it another way, from a healthy non-diabetic level, controlled with medication, to uncontrolled diabetes.

So my plan is to take the next few days off, and get as much sleep as I can — or my wife and dog will allow, anyway — in hopes of lowering my blood sugar levels.

If not, I’ll be forced to make some hard decisions I really don’t want to make. Including the possibility, if not likelihood, of going on daily insulin shots.

Never mind the damage I’m doing to my body.

Either way, I’ll be back on Monday to make a fresh start. I hope to see you back here then, although I understand completely if anyone has had enough of our semi-regular schedule over the past 17 months.

Lord knows I have.

And I’ll be here if there’s any breaking news in the meantime.

But if you really want to help, keep your fingers crossed that someone, somewhere, gives my wife a job so we can both get our lives back.

75-year old Allen Hunter killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver, while riding on Coast Highway in Solana Beach last week

Finally, we have confirmation.

We’ve known since Thursday that a man was killed while riding his bike in Solana Beach last week.

But it’s taken this long for the San Diego County medical examiner to update their website, and for the story to make the news.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 75-year old San Diego resident Allen Hunter was the victim of a hit-and-run last Tuesday — one week ago today.

He was riding on the South Coast Highway 101 near Lomas Santa Fe Drive around 10:35 am on June 22nd when he was run down from behind by vehicle allegedly driven by 21-year-old Lucas Beau Morgans of Solana Beach.

Hunter was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in nearby La Jolla, where he died of multiple blunt force trauma around 6:30 that evening.

A Reddit post from last Thursday adds a little more information.

Morgans was arrested later the same day, about six miles from the crash scene, on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run resulting in death or injury and felony DUI causing great bodily injury.

He was released after posting bail, and isn’t due back in court until October.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Diego County already this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Allen Hunter and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Update: Cyclocross legend Laurence Malone killed Monday in head-on crash while driving near Lancaster CA

Note: This story has been rewritten to reflect details that have changed significantly since it was written Tuesday night.

More devastating news, as cyclocross legend Laurence Malone was killed in a collision near Lancaster on Monday

The tragic news was announced by the US Bicycling Hall of Fame, which said only that Lawrence was killed in a collision, leading to significant confusion and rumors.

Despite initial reports that he was riding his bike, Laurence, who was inducted into the hall four years ago, was killed in a head-on crash with a semi driver while driving his car on Highway 138 west of Lancaster.

Cyclocross Magazine had originally said Malone wasn’t carrying an ID or cellphone, and the only identification he had with him was his hall of fame badge.

However, in a detailed update to the quickly evolving story, the magazine explains that Malone’s wallet was actually hidden in the crumpled wreckage of his car.

Malone typically kept his wallet under the driver’s seat, according to Price, but kept a few meaningful momentos on his dashboard, including his letter from cycling legend George Mount welcoming him into the 2017 class for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.

This letter was the form of identification authorities could easily retrieve from the wreckage. They contacted the Hall of Fame, and George Mount set about trying to reach Malone’s next of kin.

Malone was the first person to win the US men’s national cyclocross title after it was revived in 1970, and just the fifth since the race began in 1963; the women’s race didn’t begin until 1975.

He went on to win the title a remarkable five consecutive times, still the record for the most wins.

Malone was reportedly on his way back from Ojai to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He is the second noted cyclist to die in two days, after master’s age group national road champ Gwen Inglis was killed by an alleged stoned driver in Lakewood, Colorado on Sunday.

Photo by Aidan Nguyen from Pexels.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laurence Malone and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Today’s post called on account of pain — post stitches edition

Yes, I know. We just got back.

The good news is, the bandages from my surgery were cut off yesterday, and the stitches removed.

And yes, it’s every bit as tender and sore as that picture over there suggests.

And that’s the bad news. Because as much as I tried, I couldn’t find a keyboard position comfortable enough to write for more than just a few minutes.

So I’m throwing in the towel tonight, taking my pain meds and hoping things thing work better in the morning.

Move along, nothing to see here — post surgical edition

No, we’re not back yet, unfortunately.

I’m still typing with one hand after last week’s surgery. My right hand is still heavily bandaged, mostly immobile and relatively useless.

Which is a big improvement over last week, when it was totally useless.

The good news is the doctor says the surgery went well, and I should regain full use of my hand. Just not as fast as I had hoped.

So check back later in the week. Hopefully I can be back to two-handed typing, and back to work.

We’ll have a lot to catch up on.

Today’s post called on account of pain

When it comes to my health, some nights are better than others.

And this is definitely one of the others.

My neuropathy has me writhing from the knees down, while my thighs are spasming like I just finished a century ride without training.

Or water.

Meanwhile, bilateral carpal tunnel has me in pain from my finger tips up.

Normally, I’d just try to work through it. But the meds I have to take for both have turned my brain to mush tonight. And the ones I took because the others aren’t working will knock me out any minute now.

So I’m throwing in the towel, making my way to bed while I still can, and hoping that, as usual, it goes away by morning.

Please accept my apologies, and come back tomorrow to catch up on anything we may have missed today.

Move along, nothing to see here — diabetes edition

My apologies once again.

I’ve been struggling with my diabetes since the holidays, but managed to work through it most nights.

Not this time.

Tonight my blood sugar levels are kicking my ass, and making it impossible to get any work done.

I’m throwing in the towel and putting myself to bed in hopes it will come back down by morning.

So get out on your bike and enjoy this beautiful sunny SoCal weather. Or try a little Viking biking if you find yourself somewhere else.

And I’ll see you bright and early Friday morning to catch up on whatever we missed today.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Writer and adventurer Roy Wallack killed in mountain bike crash in Santa Monica Mountains Saturday morning

Roy Wallack wrote that bicycling would help you live to be 100.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Irvine resident, author of Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, was just 64 year old when he died following a crash on the Guadalasca Trail in Pt. Magu State Park Saturday morning.

According to the Ventura County Star, Wallack was riding with friends on the difficult trail when he fell around 9:20 am, although he had not been publicly identified yet in the original story.

The crash took place on the Guadalasca Trail, he said, which cuts through steep, technical terrain near the Backbone Trail. The cyclist, a man in his 60s, had reportedly been riding with friends when he crashed his bike and lost consciousness, Worthy said. The cyclist’s city of residence was not immediately known Saturday.

The man’s friends called for emergency medical assistance and performed CPR until the sheriff’s helicopter arrived with paramedics and a flight nurse. The crew continued life-saving measures but the cyclist did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Worthy said.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

A former columnist for the LA Times, Wallack was a prolific writer, according to the Star.

Wallack was a health and fitness journalist who had penned stories and columns for publications including The Los Angeles Times, magazines including Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal, and had authored a book, “Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100…and Beyond,” according to his online profile on Twitter and on his Muck Rack page. His most recent tweet from Nov. 17 links to an LA Times story offering tips on buying and selling fitness gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google search shows he’s the author of at least eight other fitness books.

The Times describes Wallack as a avid hiker, runner and bicyclist who took part in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, as well as the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike tour.

Wallack’s work for The Times spanned barre classes, triathlons, kayaking, the L.A. Marathon and more. He penned a gear column for many years, keeping fitness fans in the loop about the hottest must-haves.

He began a 2016 piece: “Hiking the Grand Canyon was not on my bucket list. A marathon, yes. Bike 200 miles in a day, yes. Ironman triathlon, absolutely. But for some reason, a mere day hike, even in one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, was never on my radar.”

Wallack ended up being won over by the 15-mile trek, describing it as “an otherworldly journey into a land before time” and “a true bucket-list adventure.”

The paper also describes his efforts to keep his 84-year old father active, despite being housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper reports that he recently finished one last book, about Richard Long, the founder of GT Bicycles, who was killed in a collision with a truck while riding his motorcycle to a bike race in Big Bear in 1994.

Tributes were beginning to pour in as word of his death began to spread Sunday evening.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Roy Wallack and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Mike Burk for the heads-up.

Mayor Pete tapped to head US DOT, register to run for Hollywood Hills West NC, and drawing dicks with ebike tires

It’s Day 20 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Jamie S for a generous donation to help bring all the best bike news and advocacy to your favorite screen every morning — and especially for the kind words. 

Don’t wait. Give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

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Today’s common theme is the nomination of former South Bend IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg to take the helm of the US Department of Transportation in the new Biden administration.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says Buttigieg isn’t a transportation visionary, but he may not need to be because his new boss is.

Streetsblog considers what Mayor Pete would mean for the Transportation Department, noting some of his progressive campaign promises, as well as a few problems.

And The Points Guy considers what hims nomination means for transportation.

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Here’s your chance to add another bike-friendly voice to your neighborhood council, if you live or work in Hollywood.

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

Aussie authorities are looking for the man responsible for the bizarre crime of using the throttle on his ebike to draw phallic symbols on a bike path with the bike’s tire.

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Local

Metro Bike offers tips on how to stay safe riding a bike during the holidays. No, from Covid-19.

Pasadena police wrote 155 tickets during their latest bike and pedestrian safety crackdown, writing up 108 drivers, 25 bike riders and 22 pedestrians. Even though the biggest danger the last two posed was to themselves, which isn’t the case for the people in the big, dangerous machines.

Santa Monica is establishing a one-square mile, first-in-the-nation zero-emissions delivery zone in the downtown area, which should lead to an abundance of e-cargo bikes and delivery vans.

 

State

Bicyclists in Encinitas called for safety improvements in the coastal San Diego County city as a ghost bike was installed for Dr. Dr. Jennings Worley, a noted authority in the battle against cystic fibrosis, who was killed in a collision while riding his bike last month.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where word broke that the chief financial officer of the Sports Basement was one of the five victims who were killed last week when a trucker smashed into a group ride outside of Las Vegas.

 

National

Streetsblog says 2021 could be the tipping point when driverless cars become inevitable.

Cycling USA is raffling off a pair of Cannondale/Rapha/Palace bikes used in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, with funds going to support co-ed teams at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities for the next three years

Popular Science tries out the new Harley Davidson ebikes.

‘Tis the season. A Tulsa OK organization donates over 200 bikes for local family in need.

Police in Ohio are looking for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 60-year old man out for a bike ride on his birthday.

Boston police recovered dozens of hot bikes after a large-scale investigation.

New York will finally begin work on finishing the long-delayed Queens Boulevard protected bike lane next year, even after the mayor attempted to pull the plug at the behest of a car-centric community council member.

Snopes confirms that a Florida manatee really did free itself from a bike tire that was stuck around its body for up to a year.

An 89-year old resident of a massive Florida retirement community pled not guilty in the hit-and-run that injured two bike riders, one seriously. Yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what the bike industry can learn from the bizarre Tesla ebike prototype.

Portugal is mourning legendary, record-setting cyclist and firefighter Carlos Vieira, who died of Covid-19 at 68.

Bike riders in Calcutta, aka Kolkota, asked the police commissioner to allow bicycles on all of the city’s streets, as a growing number of people, many of them poor, are riding to work to avoid crowded public transport during the pandemic; bikes are currently banned from major arterials.

Two Chinese college students filed suit against former dockless bikeshare giant Ofo in hopes of getting their deposits back. Meanwhile, Ofo competitor Mobike is shutting down after being purchased by another company.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for diversity-based cycling team L39ion of Los Angeles, which just announced a sponsorship agreement with deep-pocketed Zwift. You can join a virtual Zwift ride with the team next Tuesday.

A new documentary recounts the long road to recovery for Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx, who was nearly killed in a horrific collision with a race moto in the 2016 Tour of Belgium, after almost miraculously awakening after six months in a coma.

 

Finally…

Just sprinkle a few kids bikes around the neighborhood in hopes that someone who needs one finds it. When traffic backs up at a drive-through holiday event, always blame the people on bikes.

And that feeling when your only motorcade is a bicycle.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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