Archive for Special Offers

Nelson Rodriguez gets 15 to life for killing pregnant bike rider and 2nd man; 21 years for Long Beach man for bike dispute killing

That’s more like it.

The driver who killed two people in an apparent DUI hit-and-run in Chatsworth last year could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Sixty-year old Chatsworth resident Nelson Rodriguez was sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars after pleading no contest to two counts of murder last month.

Rodriguez was convicted of killing 37-year old Ana Hernandez, who was 29 weeks pregnant, and 58-year old Matthew Zink as they rode their bikes on Plummer Street in January, 2022.

He fled from the scene, crashing into several other cars and objects before finally coming to rest against a wall on Knapp Street, west of De Soto Ave, where he was finally detained by witnesses.

There’s no word on why he was charged with murder, which usually requires driving under the influence, after receiving a Watson advisement following a previous DUI conviction. That informs the driver that they could be charged with murder if they kill someone while driving under the influence anytime in the future.

The only other explanation for the murder convictions is that police investigators concluded the killings were intentional, but there’s been no suggestion of that in the press.

There’s also no word on why Rodriguez wasn’t charged with hit-and-run for leaving the scene of multiple crashes.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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A 26-year old Long Beach man will be well into middle age before he gets out of prison.

Junior Alexander Munguia was sentenced to 21-years in state prison for fatally shooting 46-year old Fernando Rodriguez five years ago in a dispute over who actually owned a bicycle.

As we’ve said many times before, no bicycle is worth taking another person’s life. Or giving your own.

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Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening, featuring Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle.

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The late, great River Phoenix was one of us.

And the Curries were, too.

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

No bias here. Michigan’s Supreme Court denied an appeal from a man who was injured when his bike hit a “yard-wide” pothole in a public park, after the park’s lawyers argued the pothole was pretty obvious and easy to see. And implying it was his own damn fault.

No bias here, either. Residents of a couple Baltimore neighborhoods rallied against traffic calming and expanding bike lanes, calling Complete Streets a “complete failure” that prioritizes special interest groups over the needs of everyday people. Because people who ride bikes or want safer streets aren’t everyday people, evidently. 

Multiple North Carolina bicyclists went down when they were brake-checked by a road raging driver, who had honked and yelled over having to briefly slow down when the group of bike riders took the lane as they climbed a blind hill; no word on whether the driver will face charges, even though he used his vehicle as a weapon.

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

Police in Brisbane, Australia are looking for a bike-riding man, after he apparently deliberately scratched 20 cars along the same road.

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Local 

LA Walks is looking for a new executive director.

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, helped install the first two ghost tire memorials to honor victims of traffic violence in Los Angeles County; the program is similar to ghost bikes, but for people who were walking or in cars when they were killed.

Streetsblog says the 500-foot long, tree-lined bike and pedestrian Alameda Esplanade is partially open, and should be finished later this month.

Electrek suggest Commerce-based ebike and electric motorcycle maker SONDORS may be the next ebike brand to fail, as all signs point to a serious financial meltdown at headquarters — in fact, their California headquarters appears to be permanently closed, and their website is no longer taking orders.

ActiveSGV wants your input on the Santa Anita Avenue Complete Streets project in South El Monte.

One of the world’s biggest fundraising triathlons will take place in Malibu next month, when the star-studded Malibu Triathlon returns to Zuma Beach for the 38th year.

Metro, Metro Bike Share and the Auto Club of Southern California are offering a free virtual class on bikeshare 101.

 

State

Sad news from Fresno, where a 35-year old man was killed when he allegedly rode his mountain bike off the sidewalk, and into the path of trailers being pulled by a semi-truck. Which sounds more than a little suspicious, since it would require attempting the impossible by riding between the truck and the trailers. Never mind that a local Central Valley website seems to think a bike helmet could have protected him from harm when he was run over with a truck

San Francisco Streetsblog says the protected intersection and bike lane project on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue is nearing completion, without the commercial armageddon feared by local business.

 

National

Streetsblog says young people of color must be at the forefront of the mobility justice movement.

Bicycling highlights 22 bicycle products they say are among the best made in the US. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Speaking of Electrek, a writer for the site says stop calling it an electric bike craze because we’re looking at the future of transportation. Although a Santa Barbara paper evidently didn’t get the memo.

A pair of Tacoma, Washington brothers face murder charges for killing a man they had robbed less than two hours earlier, after the victim spotted the men and chased them down an alley to recover his stolen bicycle and necklace.

F! cars don’t have lights, so Formula 1’s Red Bull Racing team used bike lights to light their drive down the Las Vegas Strip.

Nevada’s Burning Man has issued guidelines for ebikes at the festival after deciding not to ban them — for now.

Utah is opening new world-class downhill mountain bike trails as phase one of the new Solitude Mountain bike park.

A Denver couple were violently attacked with a bat and five-foot tow chain when they spotted their stolen bike, and tried to buy it back from the person who had it. Which is another reminder to let the cops deal with it — if you can get them to, that is.

Colorado bikewear maker Pactimo is donating $60 from the sale of bike jerseys and running t-shirts designed by a Maui artist to benefit victims of the recent fires on the island.

An Abilene, Texas newspaper says pedestrians are worried for their safety after a man riding a bike was hit by a driver, in a town with limited bike infrastructure. Evidently, they couldn’t find any bike riders to talk to. 

The Arkansas Farm Bureau is attempting to educate rural farmers on what to do when they encounter a spandex-clad bicyclist on a gravel road, and vice versa.

Kalamazoo, Michigan installed a lane reduction and two-way parking-protected bike lane on a major street, while insisting there’s still enough room for downtown traffic to flow freely.

A Michigan developer is suing a township over its requirement that builders fund bike lanes in order to get their projects approved, claiming it’s unconstitutional. Which should be a hard case to make, since it’s a pretty common provision throughout the US.

They get it. A Kentucky paper says yes, people on bicycles are required to stop for stop signs, then goes on to explain why someone reasonably might not.

Life is cheap in New York, where a 19-year old flatbed truck driver faces a whopping $500 fine or 15 days behind bars for killing a bicycle advocate as he rode his bike home from the market; the driver got a lousy traffic ticket for failing to yield.

New York’s Great White Way could soon have a two-way bike boulevard running next to Union Square.

She gets it. A Princeton, New Jersey pedestrian and bike safety educator says if people ride their bikes on the sidewalk, it’s because a lack of safe infrastructure means they don’t feel safe on the street.

Good question. The family of a Maryland man killed while riding his bike wants to know why the hell the driver hasn’t been charged.

Kindhearted Florida cops gave a 10-year old boy a new bike after a driver crashed into his old one.

 

International

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, who marks a full century since cars drove people walking off the roads.

He gets it. An op-ed from a Toronto ER doctor says the bicycling injuries he sees are preventable if the city would just build more bike lanes.

He gets it, too. A Halifax, Nova Scotia writer tries Googling “bicyclist” and “pedestrian” compared to “person biking” or “person waking,” and discovers the difference is more than semantics.

After a pair of Scottish men were convicted of killing and burying the body of a man taking part in a fundraising bike ride in a drunken crash, a government watchdog has launched an investigation into the police who investigated the missing person’s case.

James Corden is one of us, as the former Late Late Show host was ordered to move his bikeshare bike when he tried leaving it in front of a posh restaurant in London’s Mayfair district.

A British designer has launched a new line of bike-friendly streetwear in a collaboration with Lime, featuring the company’s lime green branding.

The largest bicycle association in the Netherlands announced they will no longer insure fat tire ebikes, citing a 90% chance they’ll be stolen. So there’s hope, then. 

A US Army major maintained her readiness by riding over 1,000 miles on local mountain bike trails while she was deployed in Poland.

After a writer buys a “super cheap” Chinese ebike, he quickly concludes it was a super bad idea.

A 14-year old Malaysian boy was injured when he crashed his bike into a house while being chased by a dog, which wisely ran away after he hit the wall.

 

Competitive Cycling

American Sepp Kuss is confirmed for the Vuelta, marking his fifth-straight grand tour in support of Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, as their Jumbo-Visma team looks to sweep all three of this year’s grand tours.

 

Finally…

Seriously, how bad a driver do you have to be if you can’t even escape bike cops with a Dodge Charger? That feeling when a DeSantis supporter’s naked bike rides and fake fuzzy balls would run afoul of Florida’s new drag ban.

And even the great fail sometimes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Guest post: Introducing Kyoku — personalized recovery drinks to reach your personal best. And get $15 off!

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you’ll know I try to support local bike-related businesses when I can. 

Recently, I heard from Harrison Valner, a fellow bicyclist and co-founder of Kyoku, a new LA-based startup making personally customized, plant-based recovery drinks tailored to your individual needs.

It sounds like a great idea to help get over those agonizing muscle aches when you push it a little too hard, and bounce back to hit it again even harder tomorrow.

They sent me a sample to try out, specifically tailored to accommodate my diabetes, with just eight net carbs. 

I’m looking forward to trying it out, since recovery is a big issue for me these days; even a short ride can knocked me out for hours afterwards. 

I’ll let you know how it works.

But in the meantime, I’ll let Harry tell you more. 

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Harry Valner and Ryan Roddy

Shortly after meeting each other in early 2018, Ryan Roddy and I both took an interest in the world of endurance sports.

We quickly found ourselves road cycling, mountain biking, and training for triathlons. How different this was from what we were doing before! Previously, our fitness backgrounds were rooted in anaerobic activities such as strength training, HIIT, and CrossFit, where post-workout recovery was such a significant focal point of training. As we learned more about endurance sports, we noticed many of these athletes, specifically road cyclists, focus on hydration and energy nutrition and often neglect recovery nutrition entirely. Although the training is different, post-workout recovery remains just as important.

We really understand that improvement begins with recovery, and we wanted endurance athletes to benefit from that. That’s how Kyoku was born. We set out to create a superfood recovery shake that was engineered to help riders replenish their body’s depleted nutrients, repair muscle fibers, and reduce inflammation. But why does this matter? We knew that if we could give this product to cyclists, their performance would improve each day. Over time, their rate of improvement would skyrocket! This was incredibly exciting to us.

Now we had an idea. But what was next? We had to get the right team assembled to create the product, and so we proceeded to work with a team of industry-leading M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s, and RDN’s in Los Angeles. They ultimately created a recovery shake system made from a personalized blend of plant-based superfood ingredients with nutritional properties tailored to help each rider recover faster according to their unique body type, riding style, and cycling goals.

Roughly 40-60% of Kyoku’s custom formulas consist of a plant-based protein blend. The remainder of the formulas contain a mix of potent herbal ingredients and superfoods that help tackle specific recovery goals. However, we understand that everyone is different, and we all have different goals. So how could we do our best to address such a wide variety of needs? Personalization, of course! That’s why everybody’s shake composition is different, allowing each and every individual to maximize their recovery and performance to reach their goals faster.

To get started, all you have to do is take a quick (but thorough) assessment at www.kyoku.com. After this, Kyoku cross-references your answers with our research database to customize a superfood recovery shake specifically made for your body type, riding style, and cycling goals.

But wait, there’s more!

For you, we’re offering something special. To get $15 off of your order, use discount code BIKINGINLA at checkout. Worried that this might not live up to its hype? Although we’re certain it will, we want you to be certain, too. Kyoku has a 30-day Personal Record (PR) guarantee, so if you don’t reach a new PR within 30 days of starting with Kyoku, we’ll either help refine your formula or give you a refund. There’s nothing to lose!

Kyoku’s on a mission to empower every cyclist to break their PR’s through recovery nutrition. We’ve helped countless riders break their PR’s so far, and now we want to help you!

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Just to be clear, I haven’t received anything of value in exchange for this guest post, other than that box Kyoku to try out and review. 

So check it out, and give ’em a try. And pass along the discount code to everyone you know, and everyone they know.

You’ll be helping a local bike business get off the ground, despite the worst economic environment in memory. 

And we might even talk them into sponsoring this site if enough people respond. 

It could happen. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to get a little sleep tonight, which seems to be in short supply lately. 

We’ll be back tomorrow with our regular Morning Links to make sure you don’t miss anything. 

Morning Links: LA chosen Vision Zero Focus City, another Glendale cyclist threatened, and a special bike offer

Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten Focus Cities to lead the effort to eliminate traffic fatalities.

According to the Vision Zero Network,

Cities across the nation face similar challenges in ensuring safe mobility for all. The new Vision Zero Focus Cities program creates a collaborative network of early-adopter Vision Zero cities to build a common vision, and to develop and share winning strategies toward eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Recognizing the importance of a stepped-up, multi-departmental, collaborative approach to advance Vision Zero, participants in the Focus Cities program will include representatives of each city’s Mayor’s Office, Transportation Department, Police Department, and Public Health Department. In addition, a concurrent track for collaboration will bring together Vision Zero community advocates from each of the Focus Cities.

Let’s hope this means a real commitment to Vision Zero here in Los Angeles, rather than allowing councilmembers to put riders at risk by arbitrarily carving streets out of the Mobility plan.

If Vision Zero is to work, it has to be the policy for all of LA, in every neighborhood and on every street.

Period.

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Just days after video surfaced showing cyclists assaulted by a driver on a Glendale street, a Glendale teenager was cited for apparently threatening a bicyclist with a 10-inch knife from a passing van, after his mother had followed the rider honking her horn at him.

Why that didn’t merit the arrest of both the boy and his mother is beyond me.

Glendale police clearly need to do something to tame their streets before someone gets hurt. Or worse.

Meanwhile, LAist says the video shows that neither of the two Glendale cyclists who were assaulted by that brake-checking driver were remotely close to hitting the car. And they urge everyone to drive safely.

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Maybe you’ve noticed.

The past few months, my curiosity has been piqued by a new bicycle from Fortified Bicycle, which promises to be virtually theft proof and indestructible, and built to survive the rough roads of an urban environment.

I’ve even linked to their Kickstarter a few times, both here and on my Twitter account.

Evidently, they noticed, because they contacted me yesterday with a special offer for the readers of BikinginLA.

I’ll let them explain.

Fortified 1THE ULTIMATE URBAN BIKE

Invincible is a sleek, bulletproof urban bike that is literally guaranteed against theft. Plus, Fortified Bicycle (the creators behind this project) have offered a special deal.

What makes Invincible a truly compelling urban bike? For one, every single component was selected for standing up to a rough urban environment. Parts that are commonly vulnerable to theft—lights, wheels, seat, handlebars—are secured with bolts that feature a proprietary drive geometry that opportunistic bike thieves will not be able to operate. But the biggest innovation here is their new cycle registration and theft protection service, Fortified Protect. Not only will Fortified send you a new bike if yours is stolen, they’ll also try and hunt down your stolen bike on third party seller marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. That’s just cray.

The folks from Fortified are cutting Everyday Messenger backers a special deal. If you pre-order Invincible on their current Kickstarter project, they’ll add a free Invincible Rear Bike Rack ($45 value) to your rewards.

How to redeem this offer:

  1. Back Invincible on Kickstarter. Choose a reward level of at least $399 or more.
  2. Send a direct message on Kickstarter to Fortified Bicycle (the Invincible creators). Include the code “BIKINGINLALOVE” in that message. They’ll take care of things from there.

Fortified 2

Sounds like a good offer to me. But hurry if you’re interested, because there’s just six days to go before their Kickstarter ends.

And no, just to be clear, I don’t have any relationship with the makers of this bike, financial or otherwise.

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Women, here’s your chance to try out for a pro cycling team. Without ever having to get on a bike.

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Local

The LA Times says the plan to relieve traffic congestion in Griffith Park is a good idea, but doesn’t go far enough; the paper calls for improved transit and protected bike lanes leading to the park.

KCET talks with Flying Pigeon owner, Bike Oven founder and all-around good guy Josef Bray-Ali.

Dallas Mavericks teammates JaVale McGee and J.A. Barea are one, make that two of us, as they take a tandem ride along the beachfront bike path near the Santa Monica pier.

LA’s own Phil Gaimon says barring small Pro Continental cycling teams from WorldTour races might reduce injuries, but it would unfairly limit opportunities for riders.

 

State

Police have a person of interest in custody, but not yet charged, in the murder of bike rider Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path earlier this month; they say this was not a random attack.

Newport Beach says not so fast about that legal settlement we mentioned yesterday requiring them to work towards fixing a deadly intersection on PCH.

A senior planner for Alta Planning + Design describes their efforts in orchestrating a pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign. Clearly, they still have some work to do.

Local bike shop owners and their supporters will ride to protest San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare program, arguing that it’s hurting their bottom line.

Apparently, bicyclists are being banned from a Santa Rosa pathway because of a typo; Portland bike riders have a similar problem, but for a different reason.

St. Helena proposes removing on-street parking in favor of a bike lane, while the owner of a local retirement community says that’s a bad idea, preferring parked cars to moving bikes.

Platinum-level bike friendly city Davis is aiming to be the first American city to reach Diamond status. After that, the next level would be Unobtainium.

Evidently, if you want to steal a bike, feel free to do it in front of UC Davis students, but don’t try to make your getaway in front of the sheriff.

 

National

Fifty percent of teens admit crossing a street while distracted. And the other half probably lied about it.

A Portland workshop is helping women overcome their fear of bicycling by teaching them how to fall. Which follows this sage advice from a few decades back.

A 77-year old Dallas truck driver is charged with driving under the influence after hitting a nine-year old child riding his bike around a mobile home park; fortunately, the boy is now in stable condition.

A bike riding Missouri bank robber gets nearly five years after stealing $14,000 to support his heroin addiction. He was caught trying to walk away after ditching the bike; if he’d kept riding, he might still be a free man, albeit with a monkey on his back.

A bill in the Tennessee legislature to encourage teaching students the right way to wear a bike helmet somehow became a bill to ban school districts from collecting teachers dues; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A fascinating set of graphs paint a picture of usage for New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system. Including the deeper the snow depth, the less bikes are rented.

Speaking of which, a New York bike messenger discusses what he learned riding during the recent blizzard.

Once again authorities choose safety for motorists over safety for cyclists on a popular riding route by installing rumble strips, this time in Florida.

 

International

A Montreal memorial uses white shoes as the equivalent of a ghost bike for a fallen pedestrian.

Mother Jones says the jury is still out on that British study saying wearing a bike helmet makes you take more chances.

Scot authorities vow to get tough on illegal dumping, aka fly tipping, after a dog is maimed by a rusting bike left along a busy pathway. The more I do this, the more I learn English, as in the in the county, as opposed to what passes for it here.

Self-governing British dependency Isle of Man proposes legislation protecting cyclists, including a safe passing law and some form of presumed liability.

A Scottish newspaper looks at the man they credit with inventing the bicycle. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Gallego gets suspended for steroid use, just three days after joining his new team.

A Kiwi mountain biker plans to compete in a seven day, 310 mile race, a year after a reaction to a bee sting left him legally blind.

 

Finally…

Yes, the correct place to put a sign promoting a meeting to discuss cycle tracks is directly in the bike lane. Probably not the best idea to get loaded and throw a kid’s bike through the rear window of a cop car. Although yelling “boom” is a nice touch.

And most of us would have a hard enough time keeping our bike upright while working a Rubic’s cube, let alone solving 111 of them in two hours.

 

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