Tag Archive for Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Fugitive driver cops plea for 7 years in 2017 hit-and-run, and drugged driver busted in Moorpark hit-and-run

Seven years.

That’s the sentence Andrea Dorothy Chan got after finally pleading guilty to the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez as he rode his bike in Whittier.

Chan had to be extradited from Australia to face charges after originally fleeing to Hong Kong, and having her badly damaged car repaired and stored in Idaho in an attempted coverup.

Rodriguez died at the scene after he was dragged 600 feet — the length of two city blocks — underneath Chan’s car.

Seven years isn’t anywhere near enough for a cruel and heartless crime like that. Especially since she’ll likely do less than half of that before being released.

But it’s the max she could get under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

So it will have to do.

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A 38-year old Palm Springs man was busted for an allegedly drugged hit-and-run that left a Moorpark bike rider hospitalized with minor injuries.

Marco Martinez was being held in Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, and DUI, as well as possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Although the unnamed victim may have been more seriously injured than the story suggests, since minor injuries would only merit a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

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If you’ve never had the chance to meet, or at least listen to, CicLAvia’s Tafarai Bayne, you’re missing out on one of Southern California’s leading voices for bicycle and social equity.

So don’t miss this one.

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A SoCal startup is promising a new 33 pound ped-assist ebike capable of doing 33 mph, with a 33-mile range. Although the price is a tad more than $33.

However, a bike that fast exceeds California standards, which max out at 28 mph for a ped-assist bike.

And even that requires a driver’s license, license plate and a motorcycle helmet, and can’t legally be ridden on bike paths or in bike lanes.

Meanwhile, ebike prices are going up as manufacturers are being squeezed by higher costs.

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

A pair of Scottish bike riders were assaulted by three men for no apparent reason, when they stopped to fix one of their bikes on a footbridge; one of the men was injured badly enough to require medical treatment.

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

One of America’s most wanted men is one of us. US Marshals believe Lester Eubanks, aka Victor Young, may still be living in Los Angeles nearly 50 years after the convicted child killer escaped from an Ohio penitentiary; his ex-boss says he rode his bike to work every day when he worked at a Gardena waterbed factory.

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Local

Pez Cycling News talks with LA’s Phil Gaimon, whose cycling career has flourished after he retired from the pro tour. Which is usually not the way it works.

 

State

Here’s your chance to run the California branch of the Sierra Club, as the not-always bike and urbanist-friendly organization looks for a new director.

Bakersfield is considering giving the green light to ebike riders on the city’s bike paths.

San Luis Obispo County unveils plans for an $18 million, 4.5-mile extension of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail.

A Palo Alto bike rider says yes, distracted drivers deserve to get tickets, like the one who ran him down by jumping on the green light before he could get across an intersection.

Nearly 50 Sonoma County residents are suing the SMART rail authority for allegedly building bike and walking trails through their properties without permission.

They get it. A new regional transportation plan for the Lake Tahoe area says the region can’t build its way out of mounting gridlock by building more roads, calling for improved public transportation and building more bike paths. Now they just need to find a spare $1 billion under the cushions.

 

National

Transportation advocates and organizations, including NACTO and the League of America of American Bicyclists, are calling for a rewrite of the auto-centric Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; the head of the signals committee for the MUTCD’s parent organization bizarrely calls the campaign an example of “cancel culture.”

Heavy rates the 15 best balance bikes for the toddler in your life.

No bias here. If an Arizona bike rider can simply fall over and get run over by the rear wheels of a passing semi, the truck driver was too damn too close. Which is probably why the poor guy on the bike fell over in the first place.

Unbelievable. A Kansas woman with a long criminal record faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man who was riding a bike across an intersection — then reportedly getting out of her van to shoot him while he lay in the road.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders celebrate the city’s first bike lane, which opened just six months ago. Welcome to the 20th Century.

Life is really cheap in Milwaukee, where a killer driver walked with two years probation for taking the life of a man riding his bike — while driving with a suspended license, no less. What the hell is wrong with the judge and prosecutor when they can’t even manage a slap on the wrist for someone who wasn’t even supposed to be on the damn road in the first place?

More on the Montauk NY woman who faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down a man riding his bike home from work, while she was drunk and speeding at nearly twice the legal limit, with coke in her system.

A Florida TV station showed an incredible lack of basic human decency by posting security cam video of a bike rider getting run over a driver, which left the victim severely injured. I’m only linking to this to condemn the station for showing the full video without editing or blurring out the crash. I can’t recommend watching the video because you can’t unsee it; I wish I hadn’t. And I can only imagine the pain it will cause friends and family members of the victim.

 

International

A new book from record-setting endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont promises to teach you how to ride further than your current limits, whether that means a half century or riding around the world.

The Men in Kilts are one, uh, two of us, as they bike the Scottish Highlands in their latest episode. No word on whether they had to use a penny to keep their skirts down

Life is cheap in the UK, where a killer driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 17-year old boy as he was riding his bike; the driver told police he hit a deer.

A 94-year old British man also walked without a day in jail for killing a bike rider, the only punishment was a four year driving ban, and having to retake the test to get his license back when he’s 98.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old English veteran of World War II has been raising funds for charity by riding his exercise bike 15 minutes every day. Even if he is doing his riding inside.

The capitol of India’s Jharkhand state is encouraging residents to go carfree every Saturday to reduce air pollution.

A new study shows a program in India’s Bengaluru state to give students new bicycles led to improvements in enrollment, retention of students and academic performance.

Cycling Weekly tells the tale of Josh Reid — son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid — who picked up his new bike off the Chinese production line and rode it 9,300 miles home to the UK, relying on strangers along the way.

A rear-view camera captures an Aussie bicyclist getting rear-ended by a distracted driver; you can actually see the cell phone she’s holding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off with two stages in Bilbao, Spain. Which is not the Spanish name for the main character in the Hobbit.

The entire board of cycling’s drug testing agency resigned en masse in anticipation of a transfer of responsibility to the independent International Testing Agency, which controls drug testing for over 40 other organizations worldwide.

Two-thirds of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was quarantined when British cyclist Matt Walls was diagnosed with Covid-19, meaning the team will miss out on both the Ghent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen one-day classics; needless to say, the team manager was not pleased.

Powerhouse British cycling team Ineos-Grenadiers swept the podium at the week-long Tour of Catalunya stage race, with Adam Yates finishing ahead of teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

Cycling Tips remembers Belgian pro Antoine Demoitié five years after he was killed in a collision with a motorbike rider, just six months after he married a woman he’d known since they were both 14.

VeloNews talks with Belgian cycling legend Freddy Maertens, who they call the greatest classics rider who never won one of the Monuments.

A writer for Road.cc explains why he decided to pull out of Europe’s Transcontinental race. Although it sound like he’s still trying to convince himself.

Pugilistic French pro Nacer Bouhanni was DQ’d in Sunday’s one-day Cholet-Pays de la Loire classic after bodychecking another cyclist during the final sprint; Italian Elia Viviani won the race.

 

Finally…

This track cycling ebike prototype may be thrilling, but a commuter bike it ain’t.

And that feeling when you get knocked off your bike by a passing UFO.

Even if the bike in question was a motorbike.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Catching up on killer driver court cases, still more bike giveaways, and last day of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

It’s the last day of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Robert H, William C and Jo Y for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And help keep it free for everyone, all the time!

So don’t wait.

Take a moment right now, and give to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

And a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous new year to you and all your loved ones. 

As usual, I’ll take a much needed break between the holidays to shake off the dust of this awful year. But we’ll be around if there’s any breaking news, and see you bright and early on January 4th.

Just be careful out there.

I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you ran into a burning building to rescue a bunch of puppies or something. 

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous courtroom correspondent, which she more than makes up for this morning.

Here’s what she has to say.

In a heartbreaking story, Randle Wayne Ommen was the cyclist killed by the allegedly impaired semi driver on Route 76 down in San Diego County last week. He would have turned 59 on December 28th.

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Also last Thursday night, a cyclist was knocked unconscious at Manchester & Normandie (near where Woon was killed) and transported by ambulance. This is all I know, and I’m furious that I can’t really find out more. With the current hospital capacity, the old method of walking around talking to the locals just unnerves me too much.

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Rojelio Martinez-Cuin accepted a plea deal in the hit-and-run death of 51-year old Michael David Tomlinson.

He pleaded guilty on December 2nd and was sentenced last Thursday. The misdemeanor count of driving without a license (due to a prior DUI conviction) earned him 6 months in County (time served).

For the vehicular manslaughter count, he received 4 years; the enhancement was dismissed. For the hit and run count, he received one additional year, to be served consecutively.

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Scuzzy Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s jury trial was pushed back to next February, and now the Defense will be filing a Pitchess motion on January 5th. Hmm. A homicidal, hypocritical, repeat impaired driver now wants to question the credibility of an officer involved in the investigation. The defense attorney who argued in the prelim that Scarpa is also a victim in this case is now attempting to portray the investigator as the bad guy. Bold strategy, Cotton.

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Samantha Cunha, who ran over her friend during a bizarre case of road rage last January, has been charged with… a single count of hit and run. She’ll be before Judge Hobbs next month, the same judge who’ll be presiding over Mariah Banks’ prelim the following week.

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Still trying to find court info about Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes, the hit-and-runner accused of killing Whittier bike rider Agustin Rodriguez Jr., who ran all the way to a new life on another continent.

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Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling is one of us.

Christopher Krebs, former CISA dude, is also one of us. Before he deactivated his Twitter account, he made it known that he would be spending his newly gifted free time on his bicycle. Oh, and with his family, of course.

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On my commute Sunday, at an intersection that’s seen at least half a dozen collisions his year (including two crashes into a building and a recent car vs. bike), I was diverted around yet another solo collision that had pushed the guardrail three feet across the sidewalk.

At this location (with a clear line of sight to Mariah Banks’ last known address, btw), I always scootch up onto said sidewalk because the asphalt’s gouged from the frequent crashes and permanently littered with debris. The sidewalk wan’t cordoned off, probably because Johnny Law thinks nobody uses it. I got barked at by an officer (who I feel should’ve secured the damn crime scene better) after I’d hit the brakes ’cause there was about 40 pounds of debris laying on the path, which I repeat was already constricted by the incursion of the guardrail.

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In personal news, Santa baby just slipped a Surly under my tree, early. Time to wrap her with tinsel & lights!

Also. At the end of October, my boyfriend (who had the rona in April) & I spent a night at the Millineum Biltmore. We got confirmation that it was okay to bring our bikes into the room. Everything was cleared. Then, at check-out, they tried to charge us $50 for garage parking!!! We contested this at reception desk while standing there with our bikes. Sigh.

And. Noooo more hotel stays till after this virus gets its ass kicked. The button plate in the elevator and the balcony handrail above the Instagrammer-magnet as-seen-in-movies lobby were filthed up with smudges, full on handprints even. So repulsive, even if there wasn’t a pandemic going on. I’m incredibly disappointed in the Biltmore.

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Until recently, the aforementioned boyfriend had been storing his bikes, a Kilo WT & his beloved carbon fiber, in a Metro locker at the De Soto Orange Line station.

They were stolen. Right out of the locker.

He has elected to keep his new Cinelli in a storage facility a half mile away from his apartment.

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On a personal note, I’ve often complained about FedEx trucks parked in the bike lanes.

But let’s give credit where it’s due.

Last night the corgi puppy somehow slipped her harness, and was running rampant on the streets of Hollywood, ignoring my every command and attempt to entice and corral her.

I’d probably still be chasing her if a FedEx driver hadn’t dropped his packages, and managed to snag her on his fourth attempt, delaying her just long enough for me to slip the harness back on.

Unfortunately, I neglected to get his name.

But thank you, Mr. FedEx driver, whoever you are!

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‘Tis the season for still more bike giveaways.

A Hollister teen is leading a toy and bicycle drive to ensure every kid has a gift under their tree.

Kindhearted firefighters in a suburban Denver county bought a new mountain bike for a 16-year old boy after his was stolen.

A six-year old Tennessee girl started her own bike giveaway program, donating 23 refurbished bikes in just its first week — starting with her own.

A New Hampshire musician bought out all he bikes at a local Walmart to give to kids in need.

Several organizations came together for a bike and toy giveaway in Alabama’s Chattahoochee Valley.

And things like this are why I love South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

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Thank goodness for drop handlebars, or this rider could be looking for a new head.

https://twitter.com/WigansDannyB/status/1340973757163331584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1340973757163331584%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-december-2020-279681

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Local

Santa Monica-based Spinlister has a new owner, after the bikeshare platform was purchased by LA ebike manufacturer Rokit Made.

 

State

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which is arguably the most influential bike advocacy group on the Left Coast, is looking for a new full-time community organizer.

A 63-year old Stockton woman is spreading holiday cheer on her brightly festooned pedicab, complete with a glowing unicorn leading the way.

Better late than never. Sacramento is finally jumping on the Slow Streets bandwagon, opening six miles of streets to bike riders and pedestrians while closing them to motor vehicles.

 

National

Ford is touting their new warning system to help prevent doorings. Instead of warning drivers and bike riders about a potential dooring, maybe they could just keep the damn door locked until the danger is past.

Clean Technica says the new Akhal Shadow from Extans Design, with its bespoke monocoque carbon frame, is just too beautiful to ignore. Although as always with over-designed bikes like this, the question is less how does it look, and more how does it ride.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $24,000 to buy a new car for a Hawaii security guard who rode his bike an hour out of his way to return a woman’s wallet after she left it in the store where he works. Maybe he could turn down the car and buy a bunch of new bikes, instead.

The alleged meth-using truck driver who killed five Nevada bike riders is scheduled to appear in a Las Vegas courtroom today after he was extradited from Arizona, where he was taken into custody.

A new nonprofit bike and coffee shop is trying to fill the gap on the Navajo Nation, where many children and adults ride bikes, but there wasn’t a single bike shop despite being the nation’s largest Native American reservation. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you out.

The employees of a Denver bike shop have been keeping the operation going for most of this month, as the owner recovers from a hit-and-run while he was driving home.

Speaking of Denver, the city will maintain its Slow Streets program through the winter, with changes to adjust for winter weather.

Ugh. The carnage continues on the streets of New York, where the Daily News goes into way too much detail in describing how the most recent bike-riding victim lost his life; the city has seen 25 people killed while riding their bikes this year.

A Maryland man faces a raft of charges, including homicide and vehicular manslaughter, for the drunken head-on crash that killed one man and injured two others when he crossed the road to plow into a group ride.

Good idea. Chapel Hill NC bike riders are decorating their bicycles for the holidays to honor frontline workers.

A refurbished bike program started by the owners of an Ohio chain of car dealerships and bike shops has given away over 125,000 bicycles in the past 38 years.

 

International

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walks without a single day behind bars for assaulting two bike riders in a royal park.

 

Competitive Cycling

The sports director of men’s cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation is leading the way for women in pro cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a suspected hit-and-run victim got drunk and fell off his bike, instead. A bike ride as metaphor for the dumpster fire that was 2020.

And taking your Christmas tree — and your family — home by bike in Amsterdam.

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

Man killed struggling with Venice bike thief, Whittier hit-and-run driver jailed, and driver busted for South LA hit-and-run

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover after missing the final two days of last week.

Thanks for your patience while I dealt with a seemingly endless string of medical tests and exams, which is finally drawing to a close today, just in time for tomorrow’s Election Day. 

So let’s get right to it. 

And remember, if it society devolves into complete and utter chaos after the polls close, a bicycle is your best way of bugging hell out of here.

Wherever here happens to be. 

Today’s photo comes courtesy of David Drexler, who spotted this bike wheel table in a high-end WeHo furniture store. 

Just in case anyone has me on their Secret Santa list after this is all over. 

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Just horrible.

A 73-year old man is dead after a struggle with a Venice bike thief.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was standing with his bike on the corner of Victoria Ave and Beethoven Street around 1:45 pm Wednesday, when a man identified as 33-year old Dylan Brumley tried to wrestle the bicycle out of his grasp.

The victim fell to the ground as he clung to his bike, hitting his head on the pavement; he died at a hospital early Saturday morning.

Brumley only held his ill-gotten prize half an hour before he was busted by sheriff’s deputies.

No word on what he’s charged with. But murder sounds good to me.

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We may finally see justice for a Whittier bike rider, nearly three years after he was killed in a hit-and-run.

Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes was arrested in Australia and extradited to the US for allegedly fleeing the scene after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr. in January, 2018.

Rodriguez was dragged nearly the length of three football fields under his killer’s car.

Investigators located Reyes’ car in Idaho, with other evidence found in Las Vegas. The FBI tracked her first to Hong Kong, before she moved on to Australia.

She faces felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in death and vehicular manslaughter; charges will likely be added for fleeing the country.

Thanks to John Damman and my friends at Mumford Brewing, as well as an anonymous source, for the heads-up.

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In yet another fatal hit-and-run, Moises Iscaya was busted three months after fleeing the scene when he allegedly killed Jose Guerra, as Guerra rode his bike with his daughters in South LA.

Iscaya reportedly slammed into Guerra’s bike while traveling at a high rate of speed, taking his life in full view of his two young daughters, who may never get over the emotional and psychological trauma.

He’s currently being held on $2 million bail.

Which sounds about right.

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Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a bike rider who was struck by a semi driver in Hacienda Heights Thursday afternoon.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was taken to a hospital in undisclosed condition.

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Remarkably, a bike rider jumped back up after going over the roof of a car whose driver was doing donuts during the impromptu Dodgers World Series celebration in DTLA Tuesday night.

Needless to say, the driver didn’t bother to stick around afterwards.

Here’s another view.

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If you had a bike stolen near Tilt Coffee in DTLA recently, you may be in luck.

Thanks to Jojo for the tip.

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Old Pacific Highway will be closed through Camp Pendleton during daylight hours this week, from 7 am to 6 pm; bicycles are allowed on the shoulder of I-5 during the closure.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the news.

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Take a moment to voice your support for protected bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd in the Pico neighborhood.

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You can now officially bike from the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the beach at Playa Vista, on LA County’s newly completed 13-mile Park to Playa Trail, connecting to numerous parks and recreation areas along the way.

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Mountain bike legend Gary Fisher says we should all check out his son’s El Prado bar in Echo Park.

And thankfully, it has take out service.

Because after tomorrow, we’re all going to need it.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the forward.

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Speaking of Huntsman, he found a Jack O’Lantern that must be absolutely terrifying to many LA drivers.

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A reminder to Bike the Vote, if you haven’t already.

Although I maintained tradition and Corgied the Vote, as usual.

But cast my vote for the most bike-friendly candidate on this year’s ballot.

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Add a little gravel to one of SoCal’s most iconic climbs.

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The worst ways to end a bike ride.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Seattle man who dragged a cat behind his bike for an unknown distance; police took the cat to a local vet, and threw the schmuck behind bars.

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Local

Good news, as Bike Index is now the official bicycle registration partner of the LAPD.

A Lancaster bike safety program is urging school students to See and Be Seen. Because that’s so much cheaper than actually building safer streets.

Kate Hudson is one of us, as is her dad Kurt Russell, as they go for a ride through LA along with her longtime boyfriend.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is one of us, going for a mountain bike ride in Calabasas (scroll down…keep scrolling…no, further…).

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the San Diego Bicycle Coalition’s Oliver Zuniga, saying the San Diego man is using his passion for bikes to make bicycling more inclusive and accessible. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

A Temecula man was booked for DUI after slamming into a 13-year old boy riding a bicycle, leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a 48-year old man was killed after apparently losing control of his bike and getting hit by a pair of drivers.

San Francisco bike riders are understandably up in arms over the removal of a raised bike lane from plans for a revised Market Street, due to budget cuts resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

 

National

PeopleforBikes offers tips on how to keep biking throughout the fall.

Bloomberg examines whether bikes can keep booming post-coronavirus.

Short bicyclists can ride big wheels on the trails, too.

Writing for Outside, a bike-riding woman describes what it’s like to hit someone on a bicycle with your car.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske considers when you should ride with daytime lights, concluding it’s better to just use them all the time. And reminds us that a lack of lights at night will be used against you in the event of a collision.

The victim who was killed when she was pushed off her bike in Las Vegas last week was remembered for her kindness; the man who killed her fell to his death, while the driver of the van is being held without bail. Her husband called it “an unnecessary tragedy that was 100% avoidable;” Michelle “Shelli” Weissman had just started riding a bike during the pandemic. Thanks to Steve Hansen and John McBrearty for the links.

After some coldhearted schmuck stole a trailer containing 18 bikes and helmets used by students at a Colorado middle school, the community pitched in to replace them — donating nearly 50 bicycles and helmets to the school.

A Colorado man is facing a pair of vehicular homicide charges for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. The 18-year old driver was allegedly drunk and stoned on weed, speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and driving on the shoulder when he slammed into the victim.

A Texas man spent nearly two months riding over 3,000 miles around the perimeter of the state.

My new hero. An Ohio fourth grader rode his bike in the rain to pick up a curbside lunch for his brothers and sisters.

He gets it. A Brooklyn prosecutor says it’s time for cops to stop blaming the victims in fatal crashes.

Angry DC residents protested when a mo-ped scooter rider was killed in a collision while he was being chased by police for…wait for it…not wearing a helmet. Seriously.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A hit-and-run driver took the life of a prominent Ohio criminal defense attorney as he was riding his bike.

A South Carolina bikemaker says only automation can bring factories back to the US.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever pulled a gun on a 13-year old Mississippi boy to steal his bike; fortunately, an outpouring of community support ensured he got a new one.

 

International

Bike Radar considers just how green bicycling really is, determining it compares favorably to walking, transit and cars, and ebikes are even better.

A London bike rider lost control while riding with no hands, flipping over a parked motorscooter, then getting up and riding off as an angry delivery chased after him on the damaged scooter.

A London bicyclist was awarded the equivalent of nearly $64,000 after suffering permanent brain damage going over the handlebars when a dog ran in front of his bike.

Carfree neighborhoods are the surprising new frontline in the UK’s culture wars.

That’s more like it. A British appeals court added the equivalent of a $23,000 fine after concluding that a driver got off way too easy for crashing into two bike riders while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

A new Dutch study concludes that ebike riders are no more likely to suffer serious injuries than people on regular bicycles.

Wall Street is suddenly in love with bicycling, as Germany’s 30-year old Canyon cashes in.

An eye-raising Indian government report says bicycle riders killed 195 pedestrians last year; traffic safety experts say not so fast.

Seniors in India’s Goa state are pedaling their way to better health.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett had his victory in the Vuelta’s ninth stage stripped after he was relegated when helicopter footage showed him repeatedly body checking another rider; Bennett said anyone who races would understand his actions.

Next year’s Vuelta will be the first bike race to actually start inside a cathedral.

No surprise here, as the first major bike race of the 2021 season has been cancelled; the Tour Down Under hopes to roll again in 2022.

The former Dirty Kanzaa gravel race has rebranded itself as Gravel Unbound, after the belated realization that the name was slur against a Kansas Native American tribe.

 

Finally…

When you specialize in using loopholes to get guilty drivers off the hook, maybe you’re not the best authority on how bicyclists should ride. Your next bike helmet could be one big solar cell to power your electronic devices.

And no. Just…no.

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Thanks once again to Matthew R for his very generous monthly donation, which is very appreciated. 

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

Morning Links: Whittier hit-and-run fugitive captured in Australia, bad guys on bikes, and no justice for killer cops

It’s Day 6 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give today to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

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In a surprising development, Australian police have arrested a woman for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Whittier last year.

The FBI lost the trail of 33-year old fugitive Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes after tracking her to Asia when she fled the country, just five days after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

The father of four died when a driver stopped to let him cross the street on his bike, then was struck by Reyes after she swerved around the stopped car. She dragged Rodriguez and his bicycle the length of two football fields.

Reyes was found living in Adelaide and using 11 different aliases.

She now faces extradition to Los Angeles on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Reyes could spend up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

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Bike riders aren’t always the good guys.

LA County is offering a  $10,000 reward in the racially motivated shooting death of Long Beach resident Fred Taft, hours after he was harassed by a group of white men on bicycles. Long Beach is offering another $20,000.

In the same story, the Long Beach Post reports the county is considering renewing a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Cole Micek last March; Micek was run over by two separate drivers, who both fled the scene.

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Once again, LA’s DA refuses to prosecute a cop, declining to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy responsible for a crash that killed two small children.

The DA’s office also refused to file charges against the distracted sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, along with the trigger-happy Gardena cops who fatally shot the brother of a bike theft victim.

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No irony here.

Thanks to a crappy locking job, this Stolen Brand bike wasn’t. Just mangled and stripped to the bones.

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Local

Alhambra’s city council was scheduled to vote last night on whether to return to the recent auto-centric past by banning bikeshare and e-scooters from the city. Thanks to M for the heads-up; no, not James Bond’s boss in MI6. Probably.

A governing website talks with the policy director of Santa Monica-based Bird about the boom in e-scooters, and what cities should be doing about it.

Speaking of scooters, Long Beach wants your input on the city’s e-scooter program.

 

State

California’s former Governator is one one of us, proclaiming his desire to bicycle all over the world.

Monterey’s hugely popular Sea Otter Classic is exporting itself to sea otter-free Ontario, Canada.

San Francisco is on its way to becoming the first major US city to toss minimum parking restrictions out the window.

A Marin County bicycling organization is pushing for more bike access to Point Reyes National Seashore; as always, a group of equestrians wants to keep them out.

 

National

A Portland-area paper kvetches about streetcar tracks in the bike lane. Which is both dangerous and stupid; the streetcar tracks, not the kvetching. 

A popular Texas bike shop is trying to raise enough funds to stay in business after it was scammed out of $3,000 worth of bikes and accessories.

A longtime Denver talk show host with his head firmly planted up his…uh, in the auto-centric past complains about what he calls the “folly of bike lanes, insisting that no one uses them and they just get in the way of all those poor, put-upon drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on…and on. Bike riders in Boulder CO report finding tacks in their tires after riding on a popular bike route.

Chicago bicyclists faced treacherous conditions after the city failed to clear protected bike lanes after a snowstorm.

Gray-haired New Yorkers are furious over a plan to allow bicyclists to ride through a park they frequent to access a new esplanade on the East River.

New York’s city council is preparing to go to the mattresses over a proposal to legalize ebikes and e-scooters. Although someone should tell them it’s all those cars that make the city’s streets dangerous, not the people on two wheels.

America’s other ex-Tour de France champ is challenging the validity of Trump’s acting attorney general, using his nearly settled lawsuit against Lance as leverage.

Sad news from Florida, where a second bike rider has died after an apparently distracted driver slammed into a group of riders when she was blinded by the sun.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. Halifax, Nova Scotia is paying nearly a quarter million dollars to install side guards on a fleet of privately owned garbage trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from getting trapped underneath.

London’s Scotland Yard releases video showing its officers dealing with lawbreaking moped and motorcycle riders by ramming them with their patrol cars. Which would be assault with a deadly weapon if anyone else tried it.

Three British bicyclists attempted to ride 5,000 miles across Europe to raise money for a charity; only one finished the journey after one rider was hit by a driver, and the other injured a knee.

An Irish bike rider saw his case against the driver who hit him thrown out of court after the judge concludes the pedestrian path he was riding on wasn’t a bikeway, even though it was frequently used as one.

Wine Enthusiast considers the L’Eroica vintage bicycle tours through the sun-drenched wine country of Tuscany.

Ten Indian men set out to ride around the world in the 1920s and 1930s; seven made it.

Cycling legend Gary Fischer talks mountain bikes with an Indian newspaper.

A South African cyclist is riding over 1,200 miles to raise funds to save the rhinos.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist records six dangerous passes and left hooks — the equivalent of our right hook — in a single ride. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, any day that ends in Y.

Tickets for bicycling offenses have dropped dramatically in New Zealand, as police have shifted enforcement towards motorist behaviors that pose a greater risk to others.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says the elite women’s cyclists are saving cyclocross, even as the men’s races are becoming boring.

A Rwandan woman dreams of forming a cycling team, 34 years after she competed in a bike race as the only woman in a field of men; it was five years before she would face other female competitors.

 

Finally…

Look at your phone when you step into the street, and pay $200. A Sketchers ad is officially non-offensive, even if a bike rider crashes while staring at Kelly Brooks in a tight sweater.

And nothing says ’tis the season like Santas on bikes.

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Thanks to William S and Phillipa M for their generous donations to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your gift helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day! Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero plan, call for killer driver to turn herself in, and OC man has 9 DUIs in 6 years

As we noted last week, the City of Los Angeles has finally released its Vision Zero Action Plan, explaining in detail how it plans to reduce traffic deaths by 20% this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025 — just eight years away.

Comments to the plan continue to roll in.

Today, Vision Zero Alliance member Bobby Peppey is sharing a letter he wrote in response to the plan.

Note: While Peppey is a member of the VZA, he want to make it clear that these are his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the alliance. 

………

There is a serious problem with LADOT’s Vision Zero Action Plan (VZAP) that wasn’t mentioned in LACBC’s excellent letter.

The lack of mention of lowering speed limits from the deadly 35/45mph to safer speed limits of 25/15 mph on Los Angeles HIN or other City streets in the VZAP.

Safer, slower top speed limits have been instituted by New York City, Seattle, Boston and in other North American cities.

Yes there is the California Speed Trap law and its 85 percentile rule that  supposedly forces City’s to raise limits as Joe Linton mentions in his article last spring. There are exceptions in the law to this rule that are manifest on all of the HIN streets that can easily be implemented to lower the speed limits on these streets.

On page 15 is the only mention of lowering speed limits in the plan, “A speed-limit reduction may be more appropriate on streets where children walk to school.” In my experience children walk on all sorts of streets and not only to get to school.

There is some amorphous language on page 36 as follows, “Vision Zero for Los Angeles will pursue local, state, and federal legislation that strengthens traffic safety policy…”, but the VZAP doesn’t go on to then state what policy changes will be pursued by the City.

More ominous in VZAP are the BENCHMARKS on page 37. The second row concerns finishing speed surveys conducted by LADOT but does not state what the results of these surveys will be.

In Joe Linton’s June 9th article in StreetsblogLA concerning the City Council Transportation Committee meeting of June 8th, he states that “LADOT General Manager Reynolds stressed that speed surveys and resultant speed limit increases are needed.”

Earlier at the same meeting Ms. Reynolds stated “IF WE COULD GET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY TO SLOW DOWN TO A SAFE SPEED, WE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.” This quote is verbatim from the printed minutes of the meeting.

We live in a City (second largest in the US) that is now facing down the full brunt of the power of an arch-conservative unified federal government on the issue of immigrants rights, one of the most significant human rights battles of this century for our Country.

That the City of Los Angeles is not willing to deal with the same vigor towards Caltrans, and the State of California’s terribly inequitable Speed Trap Law; when our City is suffering from an epidemic of Kills and Serious Injury (KSI) of persons who walk, ride a bike or use transit on its sidewalks, crosswalks and streets is stunning.

Sincerely,

Bobby Peppey

Vision Zero Alliance member

Advisory and Policy Committee

Enforcement Committee

………

Meanwhile, a governing website explains what Vision Zero is, and says the hardest part for cities is making the long-term commitment necessary to make it work.

………

KCBS-2 reports that relatives of Agustin Rodriguez, the bike rider killed in a hit-and-run in Whittier Monday morning, call on the driver to turn herself in while describing her as a monster who murdered the father of three.

Considering that she dragged him the length of two football fields, they’re probably right. Anything less than a murder charge would be an abject failure of justice.

………

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Orange County man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after crashing into a utility box in Placentia and attempting to run away.

Police quickly discovered that the driver, 52-year-old Derek Stacy Haskayne, was already on probation for a previous felony DUI conviction.

In fact, he’s had eight DUI convictions since 2011.

Read that again. Eight DUI convictions — not just arrests — in the last six years. And yet he somehow still manages to remain behind the wheel, placing every other human being on the roads at risk.

We can talk all we want about Vision Zero. But as long as people like this are allowed own, buy, rent or borrow a motor vehicle of any kind, innocent people will continue to die.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

The route was announced for this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as the separate but unequal four-stage Breakaway from Heart Disease women’s race. The last three stages will be set in SoCal, including a Mt. Baldy finish in stage 5, a Big Bear time trial, and a Pasadena finish for the final stage, while the women won’t get any closer than Sacramento.

Deadspin says if motor doping exists, the 60 Minutes report didn’t prove it. Of course it exists; the only question is whether it’s actually being used in the pro peloton.

………

Local

A bike rider was one of three victims stabbed in an apparent random attack on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood before police shot the attacker inside a Jack in the Box.

A bike-riding homeless man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the unprovoked fatal stabbing of a AAA tow truck driver in Pico Rivera last year.

Los Angeles now has the largest bicycle paramedic corps in the US, allowing rescuers to quickly navigate crowded streets and sidewalks.

The East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz BC invite you to join them for the annual Ride for Love on February 12th.

Actress Bella Thorne is one of us, going for a beachfront bike ride in Santa Monica.

The former Governator goes for a bike ride in Venice after calling out Trump for making the US look stupid.

LA Downtown News looks at former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali and his uphill battle to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st Council District.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with BikeSD founder Sam Olinger, who’s helping to reshape San Diego into one of California’s safest city’s for bicyclists.

Bad enough an Escondido man got carjacked at knifepoint; they also got away with his bike.

Hop on your bike later this month for a tour of the doors of Palm Springs.

Santa Cruz police bust five bike thieves using a bait bike.

It looks like Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic will be around for awhile, after inking a contract extension with the Laguna Seca racetrack for the next 15 years.

A San Jose columnist defends a local road diet, calling it a proven safety measure even if some people don’t like it. Speaking of which, Streetsblog reports on Oakland’s successful Telegraph Avenue road diet, which cut all crashes by 40%.

 

National

A new study shows that physically active children are less likely to be depressed, just like teens and adults. Which is as good a reason as any to get them started riding a bicycle as early as possible.

Bicycling offers beginners tips on how to ride every day, and why you should.

Women’s Day tells drivers to use the Dutch Reach, aka opening a car door with your right hand to avoid dooring bicyclists.

The Denver Post calls on the state to pass the proposed Idaho Stop Law, while noting it’s probably a bill before its time. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman isn’t sure about the proposed law after she was seriously injured by a red light-running bike rider. Even though running a red light would remain illegal; the law would require riders to come to a full stop, then proceed only when it was safe to do so.

Nebraska introduces a new bike-themed license plate.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where killing a bike rider taking part in the state’s annual RAGBRAI ride only merits a misdemeanor charge.

A Houston writer looks at her great uncle’s bike tour of Europe in 1939, culminating in a photo of the Fuhrer as the continent geared up for war.

 

International

Once again, the bike rider wins in a race across a city, this time in London where a cyclist beat someone traveling by the tube by 17 minutes. Apparently driving was so hopeless it wasn’t even worth trying.

Kindhearted UK cops pitch in to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, not once, but twice as he travelled to see his sister at a children’s hospital.

A British writer says, contrary to what the country’s transportation secretary says, cyclists are not part of the problem.

A Brit driver faces charges for driving onto a pathway to run down a bike rider after hearing rumors the man may have been the one who stole his bike.

A British government inquiry hears that London’s bicyclists are being failed by the justice system, and vows to investigate the problem. Chances of that ever happening with the US Congress are somewhere south of zero.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver is fined the equivalent of just $471, after claiming he had no idea he hit a bike rider because his music was too loud. Or maybe he just turned it up so he couldn’t hear the screams of his victims.

Riding a bike in Johannesburg can be a matter of life and death — not from distracted drivers, but because of armed bikejackers.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. You should have a flasher on your bike, not be one. Actually, the biggest mistake you’re making at SoulCycle is not getting outside on a real bicycle.

And what’s next, mandatory ladder helmet laws?

 

Update: Bike rider killed in Whittier hit-and-run this morning; police looking for woman in newer pearl-colored Lexus

Yet another person has been left to die by a heartless coward in a motor vehicle.

According to the Whittier Police Department, a man was riding a bicycle on the 9100 block of Calmeda Ave when he was struck by the driver of a newer pearl-colored Lexus around 7:30 this morning.

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

The woman who struck him fled the scene, and was last seen traveling west on Lambert Road.

Calmeda is a two lane residential street which should provide a safe place to ride. However, it connects two major streets and could offer a convenient cut-through route to avoid rush hour traffic.

The car is described as a four door with tinted windows and paper license plates, and is likely to have front end damage. Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Richard Jensen at 562/567-9261, Officer Esteban Medina at 562/567-9259 or the Whittier police Crime Tipline at 562/567-9299.

Once she’s caught, she should face a lifetime ban on driving as well as a lengthy prison sentence. Anyone without the common decency to stop for another human being, let alone observe the law, doesn’t belong on the streets.

Let’s hope that one day lawmakers, prosecutors, judges and the DMV will finally figure out that out.

This is the fourth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Los Angeles County; it’s also the seventh fatal bike crash in Whittier in the last four years.

Update: According to a reporter for KABC-7, the victim, who was on a BMX bike, was dragged 600 to 800 feet by his killer. Let that sink in — at least the length of two football fields. 

That should elevate the case from simple felony hit-and-run to second degree murder. But it won’t.

Update 2: KTLA-5 confirms the victim was dragged across two city blocks, while police report the bike rider appears to have done nothing wrong that would have caused the crash.

Update 3: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Whittier resident Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

Update 4: KCBS-2 reports Rodriguez was killed when one driver paused to let him go by, and a driver following behind went around the stopped car, hitting him head-on. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Agustin Rodriguez Jr. and his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.  

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