Tag Archive for AIDS/LifeCycle

Vehicular homicide arrest in fatal Griffith Park crash, and man missing riding bike in Long Beach found dead of natural causes

Let’s start with Saturday’s senseless death of 77-year old Andrew Jelmert.

According to a story by the LA Times’ Rachel Uranga, Jelmert was killed by a speeding, possibly drunk, driver as he rode on Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Drive.

Jelmert was run down from behind as he neared the finish line of a training ride for this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, which would have been his seventh time completing the weeklong San Francisco to Los Angeles fundraising ride.

He had already raised over $20,000 for the ride, which could now be lost along with his life.

Thirty-seven-year old Jairo Martinez was attempting to pass another car when he slammed into Martinez with enough force to shatter the windshield of his BMW, as well as Jelmert’s bike. The impact scattered bits of the bike across the hillside, where they were later found by Jelmert’s husband.

The only blessing is that in all probability, Jelmert literally never knew what hit him.

Martinez was arrested by sheriff’s deputies shortly after the crash, after he attempted to run away on foot. At last report, he was being held on suspicion of vehicular homicide, with more charges likely to follow pending results of his blood tests.

Meanwhile, KNBC-4 reports on the installation of Jelmert’s ghost bike Monday night.

Uranga succinctly captures the problem bike riders face riding in the park/freeway bypass.

Griffith Park, which occupies more than 4,000 acres of rolling hills, is popular with cyclists who whiz down its tree-lined roads, often crossing over from the nearby L.A. River bike path.

But the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

Crystal Springs Drive parallels the 5 Freeway and is sometimes used as a cut-through during traffic jams. The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour, but many drivers go significantly faster.

Too often, drivers come off the 5 and 134 Freeways, and continue through the park at freeway speeds.

I’ve had the crap scared out of me by speeding drivers using the wide shoulder to pass slower cars on the right, while I was riding on it.

It’s also not far from where Damien Kevitt was infamously run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding on Zoo Drive, and dragged underneath the driver’s van onto the 5 Freeway, losing his leg in the process. And nearly his life.

The simple fact is, cars don’t belong in parks.

We should all demand — not ask — that city leaders move immediately to block the offramp leading into the park, as the first step in banning cars entirely from Griffith Park.

Let the park flourish as just that — a park, not a high-speed sewer for overly aggressive drivers.

Because the simple fact is, parks are for people, not cars.

And tragedies like this will inevitably keep happening if we don’t.

Photo from the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Facebook page.

………

Sad news from Long Beach, where Manuel Abotye was found dead at a local hospital after disappearing while riding his bike last month.

The 73-year old man from a small village in Mexico’s Sinaloa state was in Long Beach visiting his sister when he suffered shortness of breath, and died 30 minutes after being transported to the emergency room.

However, he went unidentified for weeks because he had left his ID at home, and was considered missing until his body was discovered on Saturday.

Yet another reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

………

Jim Lyle forwards a Nextdoor notice about a Palos Verdes resident targeting people on bicycles.

The male owner of this green truck has been accelerating towards people riding bikes on the street as though he’s intending to hit them with his car. And, I don’t mean the part of the street where cars belong. I mean the parking area near the gutter not in the way of vehicle traffic. He’s done this to me twice, once so close I was sure he was going to hit me. He swerves away before contact. Be aware of this truck if you ride…I don’t know his name or or know him personally. I learned from a neighbor who saw him accerlerate towards me this morning that he’s known for unsafe, aggressive behavior (I wasn’t given other examples). This info has been given to the sherrif’s department as well.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from longtime bike advocate, neighborhood council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee member Glenn Bailey, who forwards photos of Waste Management trash bins illegally blocking the heavily used bike lane on Reseda Blvd in Northridge.

He’s filed a complaint with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, so hopefully he’ll get a response soon.

Or better yet, actually get action to keep it from happening again.

………

Curses, Spectrum!

Because their service outage knocked me offline yesterday, we missed marking Bicycle Day, commemorating the 79th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered its psychedelic effects for the time.

Hoffman famously dropped a few tabs and attempted to ride his bike home, experiencing the first trip on a bike trip.

And inspiring both the best and worst music of the 60s.

Read the first link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

………

She gets it.

………

Catch up on the latest Bike Talk, as they catch up on Calbike’s recent Bike Summit.

………

Join Sunset For All and the LACBC as they explore the corridor while promoting local businesses and plans for protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd.

………

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

Texas authorities are looking for the driver of a white jeep caught on camera swearing at a bike rider, who responds by flipping the bird; the driver then makes a U-turn and veers onto the wrong side of the road to threaten the rider, nearly sideswiping him.

Also from Texas, the owner of a car customization business is catching well-deserved flack after posting video of a pickup driver rolling coal at an unsuspecting bike rider, then claiming to be just “vaguely aware” of the video he himself posted, while suggesting that someone’s personal actions shouldn’t reflect on the business they work for. Or own, evidently.

A British bus driver avoided a fine for a punishment pass because the cops didn’t use the right form for their prosecution notice.

………

Local

Metro and Metrolink will both offer free rides on Friday for Earth Day, including free Metro Bike rides.

A new poll shows Los Angeles voters want real action to address air pollution and extreme heat caused by climate change. Let’s hope our elected officials are listening, and actually do something for a change. Like building out the mobility plan and the transportation portion of the mayor’s Green New Deal. 

Los Angeles received a $5 million grant from Congress to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the Pacoima Wash to provide safer access to the planned El Dorado Park.

Streets For All calls on everyone to reach out to the Metro Board today and next Thursday to help get Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit line over the finish line.

Pomona has opened a beautiful new two-way curb-protected bike lane on Valley Boulevard.

The popular 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns to South Pasadena, San Gabriel and Alhambra on May 1st.

 

State 

Something doesn’t add up. Just days after we learned that California is the nation’s sixth most dangerous state for bicycle riders on a per-capita basis, the Bike League ranks the late, great Golden State as the 4th most bicycle-friendly state in the US. Evidently, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it’s a great place to ride. If you live.

The CHP and Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a purple Toyota Scion, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year old man riding his bike near Santa Maria, leaving the victim with major injuries.

 

National

No, bicycles don’t cause traffic congestion or slow down your commute.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to shop for a new kid’s bike.

A Utah woman is suing Seattle ebike maker Rad Power Bikes, claiming a loose stem on the bike she assembled caused her to crash, since the instructions didn’t tell her to check the tightness of the stem.

Speaking of Utah, a cute video captures an eight-year old Utah boy teaching his four-year old little sister how to ride a bike for the first time.

A Colorado judge dropped the murder case against Barry Morphew, whose wife disappeared without a trace after leaving for a Mother’s Day bike ride two years ago. However, it was dismissed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to refile when and if they have a better case.

New York commits $11 million to sweeping streets and bike lanes.

 

International

Lebanese commuters are taking to their bikes in increasing numbers, driven — so to speak — by the a fuel crisis aggravated by the war in Ukraine.

More proof that bike lanes increase property values, as rental units close to London’s cycle superhighways draw a 20% premium over similar units elsewhere.

Five-time British Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins revealed that his struggles with depression stem, at least in part, from being sexually groomed by his cycling coach when he was just 13 years old.

Justice delayed, as a Malaysian appeals court has stayed the six-year prison sentence given to the woman who killed eight teenage bike riders after plowing through the group of kids riding modified bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian world champ Elisa Balsamo was disqualified from Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femme, after getting a little too much assistance from the team car in returning to the peloton after suffering a flat.

VeloNews offers a photo essay from last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix, aka The Hell of the North; Cycling Tips does, too.

Once again, a bike race spectator has taken down a competitor, as a fan applauding on the side of the roadway caught the handlebars of Belgian pro Yves Lampaert during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Maybe that jersey pocket isn’t necessary after all. That feeling when your 1950’s style ebike offers a very illegal 40 mph.

And maybe put the helmet on before you try riding off on the bike you just stole.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update — Bike rider killed in Griffith Park AIDS/LifeCycle hit-and-run; driver may have been under the influence

News is just breaking that someone on a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run in LA’s Griffith Park this afternoon.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was stuck by a driver shortly before 4 pm, in the 4600 block of Crystal Springs Drive.

They were dead by the time first responders arrived at 4:54 pm.

The driver fled on foot; KCBS reported on air that he or she had been captured by police.

There is no information on how the crash occurred.

Video from the scene shows two cars, one with a shattered windshield and apparently missing a wheel; a broken white road bike lies in the center of the street some distance up the road.

The station reports the victim had just left a bicycling event in the park, which may have been the AIDS/LifeCycle SoCal Day on the Ride. Another comment suggested he or she was just a mile from the finish line when he was killed.

Hopefully we’ll learn more later.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth this year in Los Angeles County.

Eleven of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim reportedly was a man in his 70s. The driver appeared to be under the influence, following his arrest by park rangers

Update 2: AIDS/LifeCycle has identified the victim as Andrew Jelmert, a five-time participant in the annual fundraising ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 

UPDATE 3: WeHo Times cites participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride expressing shock at Jelmert’s death, with one saying the driver passed him at an estimated 80 mph just moments before the crash, despite the park’s 25 mph speed limit. 

According to the site, Jelmert had worked as a real estate agent and investor for over 30 years. 

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andrew Jelmert and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lionel Mares and Metaverse HOA President for the heads-up.

Morning Links: AIDS/LifeCycle Ride arrives with Pride, Gotcha wants ya, and World Naked Bike Ride around the world

Over 2,000 bike riders rolled up to LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday during LA Pride celebrations, ending the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride that began in San Francisco last Sunday.

US Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy was the top fund-raiser for the ride, bringing in over $238,000 to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and HIV/AIDS services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

………

New San Gabriel Valley e-bikeshare provider Gotcha is looking to fill several positions in the LA/SGV area to help get the system up and running, including —

I might consider the first one, but only if they changed the title to Minister of Propaganda.

………

Bike riders around the world dare to go bare for the World Naked Bike Ride, calling for better bike safety by asking “Can you see me now?”

Rides took place in ChicagoClevelandNew Orleans, Mexico City, London and throughout the UK,

Meanwhile, bike riders in Laredo, Texas kept their clothes on while lighting themselves up.

But seriously, are you really naked if you’re armed to the teeth?

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A North Hollywood motor scooter rider was killed by a speeding driver while stopped at a red light, who proceeded to crash into several parked vehicles after fleeing the scene, then tried to walk away after her car caught on fire.

Police said it was unclear if drugs or alcohol were involved, demonstrating that they really do have a sense of humor.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the heads-up.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

An off-duty New York firefighter used his car as a weapon to deliberately try to run over a bike rider after smashing the rider’s cell phone, when the bicyclist had the audacity to complain about nearly getting run down by the red light-running motorist. Naturally the driver says it’s no big deal.

And someone intentionally placed an old railroad tie across the entrance to a Portland bike path in an apparent attempt to injure riders.

Seriously, this shit has got to stop.

………

Local

City  Councilmember Bob Blumenfield say the new bike lanes on Winnetka Ave  “won’t prevent all accidents, but it certainly will save some lives.” The new lanes close the gap where Ignacio Sanchez Navarro was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago.

Architectural leaders say LA architects have to step up their game, like designing more buildings to accommodate bicycles, because cars may be a thing of the past due to the city’s “notorious traffic congestion.” We can only hope.

Evidently, riding a bicycle on LA freeways is a thing now.

A meeting will be held tomorrow in Pico Rivera to discuss the city’s first protected bikeway.

A Santa Clarita writer looks at the faces behind the area’s many roadside memorials, including ghost bikes for Teresa Mae Angeli and Rod Bennett.

 

State

San Diego city planners are refining efforts to make the city’s iconic Mission Blvd safer and more welcoming to people, whether they travel on two feet or two wheels.

A salmon cyclist was luck to escape with just a broken leg when he was hit by a driver in San Diego; he also had a passenger on his bike, who wasn’t injured.

Great idea. Chico residents celebrate the city’s 10th annual Bicycle Music Festival by riding to several locations to hear live music, all the while being serenaded by a musician on a bike, amplified with a pedal-powered generator.

Bike author Richard Fox offers safer alternatives to get around locations where bike riders were killed in the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where an elderly man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision.

Roughly 100 Santa Barbara teens turned out for a Ride Out on Saturday, sending drivers into a tizzy; good thing they didn’t try it today, when the city is conducting a bike and pedestrian safety sting.

A Santa Cruz writer says you can reduce your carbon footprint by riding a bikeshare ebike.

 

National

The Flagstaff AZ city council backed off plans to ban ebikes from gravel trails, and will continue to allow soused riders to pedal home.

Boulder CO has placed a monument in a local park to honor the late, great Red Zinger Bicycle Classic and the legendary Coors Classic bike races.

The former head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Grizzly Bear Recovery Team says yes, mountain bikers pose a grave threat to grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area.

Young descendants of the Cherokee tribe made their way through Southern Illinois on the Remember the Removal bike ride, retracing the route taken by tribal members in the infamously brutal Trail of Tears.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a disabled Michigan man’s new bicycle just minutes after he bought it.

Louisville KY bicyclists rode to honor Muhammad Ali, the self-proclaimed greatest fighter of all time.

Maine bike riders say the way to deal with gridlock on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is to take your bike and leave the car at home. But they don’t expect tourists to take that advice.

Nice piece in the New York Times profiling a historic black bike club in Brooklyn that may have produced America’s next track cycling star. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

WaPo says your GPS is breaking your brain.

No surprise here. A poll of DC residents shows drivers are worse than bike riders and pedestrians — or scooter riders, for that matter — when it comes to breaking traffic laws. Meanwhile, a DC writer says it’s time to take a stand against car supremacy, and dethrone cars from their policy throne.

A Florida bicyclist says it was the camaraderie and sense of belonging he found with his fellow bike riders that got him through chemo.

 

International

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is one of us, relaxing between races by riding his mountain bike.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says studies show bike lanes boost urban businesses.

No bias here. Calgary bike riders caught riding just 6 mph over the city’s 12.4 mph bike path speed limit could face a $400 fine; a driver would have to be doing nearly 20 mph over the limit to face a fine that high.

Montreal merchants are carefully aiming a shotgun at their feet by demanding the cancellation of plans for a bike lane that would result in the removal 275 parking spots. Even though studies consistently show bike lanes are good for business, and bike riders spend more per month than drivers do; see the CBC report two stories up.

A writer for The Guardian says even riding the French Alps is no sweat on an ebike. Meanwhile, another article in the paper recommends some of Europe’s best easy bicycling holidays.

A bronze Mahatma Gandhi rides a bicycle to promote food safety. Even if he does look more like Dobby in the photo.

For years, we’ve joked about airbags for bike riders. You can stop joking now, thanks to an Indian inventor.

Rising Palestinian cycling champ Alaa al-Dali is making a remarkable comeback as a paracyclist after losing a leg to an Israeli sniper

Unbelievable. An 18-year old Saudi Arabian boy faces beheading for leading a bike protest during the Arab Spring when he was just ten years old. Yes, ten.

A South African bike rider learns the hard way that there’s a lot we don’t know about concussions after losing consciousness for several minutes after a fall on her way home.

An Australian father reached out and tried to pull his 12-year old son out of the way as a van driver careened out of control, smashing into them and critically injuring a pedestrian. Although it might be nice if the writer didn’t wait until the very end to even mention that the van had a driver. And then only in passing.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a Kiwi woman’s bicycle as she’s trying to rescue a loose goat.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews considers the women who ride the Dirty Kanza.

What do you do if you crash your bike in sight of the finish line? Just make a run for it.

 

Finally…

If someone steals your bike, just pull a page from Reservoir Dogs. What do you do if you’re diagnosed with a grave medical condition? Ride a ‘bent across the US, of course.

And don’t try to snatch the Governator’s bike — at least not when his bodyguards are on duty.

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for that last one.

 

Morning Links: 4th Annual Resolution Ride this Saturday, local advocates nominated for Streetsblog awards

Update: The Resolution Ride has been cancelled for this weekend: 

The Resolution Ride has been postponed due to inclement weather! But don’t worry, you’ll still get a chance to continue your resolutions on our rescheduled date of February 12th! Same time, same place – and with the added bonus of happening alongside our annual Expo! This means more chances to win, more fun, more resolutions, and even more reason to come out and ride with us.
If you can’t attend the rescheduled date and would like a refund, please contact Gonzalo Garcia (gogarcia@aidslifecycle.org) to do so. Keep those resolutions going in the new year and come ride with us February 12th!

I’m a sucker for a good cause.

This Saturday, AIDS/LifeCycle is hosting their 4th Annual Resolution Ride in Griffith Park to raise funds the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

With rides of 15 and 35 miles, the very reasonable $30 pre-registration fee — $35 for day-of registration — is even more reasonable when you consider it includes lunch and music.

If the name sounds familiar, AIDS/LifeCycle hosts the hugely popular 600-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles ride each year, benefitting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.

Here’s what they have to say about the day’s events.

WHAT:  4th Annual Resolution Ride

Join AIDS/LifeCycle for a fun bike ride to keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions going! Roll into the new year with two fully-supported bike rides (15-mile or 35-mile) and festival in beautiful Griffith Park. This annual event is for riders of all skill and fitness levels. The day includes a bike skills and safety clinic for new riders, a fitness festival with local businesses, nutritious food, and great music! Participants will have a chance to win a new bike from Just Ride LA.

Register at resolutionride.org.

The 4th Annual Resolution Ride is produced by AIDS/LifeCycle and benefits the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

WHEN:  Saturday, January 7, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.                             

WHERE:  Griffith Park – Crystal Springs Picnic Area, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.

COST:  $30 Registration Fee until January 6. (Registration fee increases to $35 on-site on January 7.)

Lunch is included.


Each rider is required to bring a bicycle, identification, and a Consumer Produced Safety Commission-approved helmet.

A limited number of loaner bikes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis courtesy of Just Ride LA. To reserve a bike, email chris.v@justridela.com.

For more information, visit resolutionride.org.

………

Congratulations to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew on his nomination for Streetsblog’s 2016 Journalist/Writer of the Year; as of this writing, he’s leading with over half the vote.

You’ll also see familiar faces among the candidates for Advocate of the Year, including Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald and CicLAvia’s Romel Pascual, and Advocacy Group of the Year, where Bike SGV leads Investing in Place with LACBC.

Voting ends at noon tomorrow.

………

Thirty-one-year old Belgian pro Gianni Meersman is forced to retire after discovering he has a heart condition, blocking his transfer to a new team.

Newly retired Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins attempts to follow in the tracks of Britain’s Eddie the Eagle by competing in ski jumping TV show.

American Olympic cyclist Missy Erickson talks about being sexually abused by someone close to her when she was 17.

I want to be like him when I grow up. France’s Robert Marchand will attempt to break the world senior hour record he set five years ago when he was just a wee lad of 100 years old.

………

Local

The LACBC’s Colin Bogart is raising funds to go on this year’s Climate Ride, asking 200 people to donate $20.17 apiece.

Boyonabike looks back at year’s developments in car-free transportation in the San Gabriel Valley.

Time is running out to tell Metro where to put their bikeshare stations in Pasadena and Venice. Although we desperately need to come with a good nickname for them.

Ride smart in Hawthorne today, where police are conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation, focusing on violations by drivers, cyclists and people on foot that can lead to crashes.

Chris Brown is one of us, even if he’s just riding past his fleet of luxury sports cars at his Tarzana home.

Caught on Video: Long Beach expats and famed bike travelers the Path Less Pedaled return to SoCal for a ride to the Tree of Life in the Verdugo Mountains.

 

State

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog gets a horn-blaring punishment pass from an Uber and Lyft driver while riding in San Diego, for the crime of riding a bicycle — legally — on the street.

A suspected drunk driver faces charges after crashing into a Concord bike rider on New Years Eve.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by one driver, then struck by another; and yes, he was riding with lights and a helmet.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their annual bike buyers guide, with bikes ranging from $950 to $10,000.

That’s one way to get a ride home on New Year’s Eve. Oregon state police drop a bike rider off at his home after citing him for bicycling under the influence.

A Washington drunk driver will spend more than three years behind bars for killing a lightless, intoxicated bike rider.

China’s massive LeEco electronics conglomerate unveils two new smart bikes at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; both have a built-in four-inch screen with an Android operating system.

Wichita KS will spend $1.6 million to expand three bike paths this year.

Missouri police shoot and kill an armed bike rider who they suspect of being mentally ill.

A popular Indianapolis charity ride loses its booty.

A New York TV station looks at the perennial complaints about NYPD officers jeopardizing the safety of bicyclists by parking in the city’s bike lanes. So naturally, they focus on the people who think cyclists should just get over it.

Even though Savannah GA leads the state in bike commuting, the city has just two bike lanes to serve over 150,000 residents.

 

International

How to be a weight weenie.

Montreal residents are fighting a bike path behind their back yards as a symbol of densification and the direction the city is headed.

A London politician calls on the city to put plain clothes bike cops on the street to watch for bad drivers who put cyclists at risk.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver’s phone magically drops his phone from his hand when he realizes his texting is being filmed by a cyclist.

Northern Ireland’s police service says bike theft is the new car theft.

A German collector is selling his entire collection of 75 steel road bikes and frames on eBay for $35,000.

An Aussie rider describes what he saw on a 2,800 mile ride along the South Australian coast.

Another app-based Chinese bikeshare company hits the streets, putting 70,000 bicycles to work in just one month; unlike the dock-based American bikeshares, the Chinese systems use GPS to locate a nearby bike, allowing bikes to be picked up and left anywhere.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about e-rickshaws. You can see a lot of things on a bike — like an alligator engaging in a death match with a Burmese Python.

And just stick it in your ear, already.

%d bloggers like this: