Tag Archive for Balboa Park

Suspect arrested in Oceanside hit-and-run, murder charge in meth-fueled San Diego crash, and East LA CHP hit-and-run

Thank you to everyone for all the kind words. Your support really means a lot to me. 

The good news is, taking most of last week off helped lower my blood sugar levels over 25%, down to a more normal level for diabetics. 

It also allowed me to realize that not all the symptoms I’ve been dealing with were caused by my diabetes; the last medication my doctor put me on to lower my blood sugar was apparently caused a long list of damaging side effects. 

So we’ll what happens now that I’ve stopped taking it. 

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Maybe we’ll see some justice in San Diego County after all.

Oceanside police arrested 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery for the hit-and-run death of Jackson Williams as he rode his bike on Oceanside Blvd July 15th.

At last report, she was being held on $150,000 bond.

The victim’s family had called for the public’s help in catching the killer. But it was a homeless man who recognized the car, and led police to Tennery’s home.

Let’s hope there’s a very large reward in the case. Or at least enough to get him off the streets permanently.

Meanwhile, the driver accused of the meth-fueled killing of 57-year-old Laura Shinn as she rode her bike through San Diego’s Balboa Park has pled not guilty to murder, as well as gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam David Milavetz allegedly ran away right after the crash and dumped a couple baggies of white powder over a fence, which police believe were filled with meth.

The murder charge suggests that Milavetz has at least one previous conviction for DUI, and was required to sign a Watson advisement indicating that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

He was also arrested on a separate DUI count on the 1st of this month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the Oceanside heads-up.

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It looks like the accused killer of a Palm Springs bike rider could be in the wind.

A Riverside County judge issued a bench warrant for Yesenia Bibriesca, who apparently failed to appear in court on charges of fleeing the scene after killing 43-year-old Christopher Jones as he rode his bike in Palm Springs last year.

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East LA residents are calling for the CHP to fire an officer who just drove away after running down a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike at Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue a month ago, leaving the boy with a concussion and shoulder injuries.

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A Sacramento sheriff’s deputy left the scene to respond to a call after backing into a bike rider, shoving the 65-year old man across a sidewalk and into some bushes; fortunately, the person wasn’t badly hurt.

A local TV station asks the obvious question — how the hell did the deputy not know she’d hit someone?

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Speaking of Sacramento, a man died nearly a month after an alleged drunk driver slammed into a group of bike riders on a Sacramento bike path.

Proving once again that there is nowhere safe from the big, dangerous machines and the equally dangerous people piloting them.

Case in point, this is who was share the living room with.

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the video, who blames the house for not wearing hi-viv, for the link. 

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Sunset4All is hosting a guided bike ride and happy hour this Wednesday. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign for LA’s first public/private bike lane partnership stands at 57% of the $25,000 goal.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Take a ride up Pacifico Mountain with Gravel Bike California.

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Who needs a mail truck when you’ve got bike lanes?

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

A mother bear in Yosemite spends heartbreaking hours trying to wake her cub who left to die by a passing driver.

Photo from Yosemite National Park Facebook.

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

Why, indeed.

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

Apparently, there really are bike riders who swerve into traffic without looking, like this Philippine bicyclist who crossed three lanes of traffic to hit the side of a passing bus.

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Local

The LAPD held a bike ride in Mission Hills on Saturday to honor a fallen officer who died of Covid last July, and raise money for his twin infant sons.

No surprise here, as Los Angeles Magazine names the Santa Monica Helen’s the best bike shop in Los Angeles. Which isn’t to say it necessarily is, just that it’s the obvious choice. Any suggestions for who you’d pick instead?

Santa Monica cops bust two men burglarizing a Santa Monica bike shop on the 2900 block of Main Street, after several people were visible inside on security cameras; the address corresponds with the Bike Attack Electric shop.

Now we know how Nick Jonas broke a rib falling off his bike earlier this year.

 

State

Streetsblog updates the current status of transportation bills in the state legislature, including weakening — but not eliminating — the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, as well as bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and funding an e-bike rebate program.

Nice story from San Diego, where a Chula Vista family has turned to tandem riding to overcome a near-fatal e-scooter crash, as well as the son’s blindness and chronic heart and lung disease, while helping others.

San Diego bike advocates are demanding changes after the city’s recent rash of bicycling fatalities. And that was before two more people were killed in the city last week.

Continuing our San Diego trifecta, residents are complaining about rogue mountain bikers riding illegally in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, damaging recently replanted areas.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A Fresno woman got shot in both legs in a domestic violence incident — then got on her bicycle and chased down the man who shot her, following him until police arrived. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from San Ramon, where New York Jets quarterback coach Greg Knapp died six days after he was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle; he had been an NFL coach for 23 years. The team’s head coach had asked for prayers for Knapp.

A white Sacramento woman accused a Black woman of selling drugs from her bicycle seat, apparently unable to grasp the concept that the woman was actually selling perfectly legal hair products.

 

National

Here’s one for my fellow diabetic Americans, as a new study shows bicycling reduces the risk of death from all causes for people with diabetes.

Another new study shows bikeshare saves the US $36 million in healthcare funds.

Vice compares today’s massive pickups and SUVs to the tanks that won WWII. And the tanks come out on the losing end.

Vans teams with SE Bikes for a new sneaker line celebrating Bike Life and BMX culture.

Bike Portland explains that sometimes, the best way to pass someone on a bicycle is not to.

A Colorado man faces up to six years behind bars after being convicted of killing professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag; oddly, there was no charge for hit-and-run, even though he tried to flee the crash on foot, and had to be restrained with a taser until police backup arrived.

Um, okay. A Nebraska man faces charges for threatening another man with a knife, after the other man refused his generous offer of the same knife in exchange for helping him pick a bike lock in broad daylight.

The New York native who made headlines across the US for riding a bikeshare bike from New York to Santa Monica in search of a new home will now be living on Tulsa time.

An Illinois man who killed a woman and seriously injured her husband while fleeing from police will spend the next 12 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Ohio man is still riding after 35 years, despite two new hips and four heart bypasses.

A Boston magazine wonders what would it take to leave cars in the city’s rearview mirror and become a place for people, instead.

Leaving the scene after crashing an ebike into a pedestrian could result in a felony hit-and-run charge if a New York legislator has her way.

A 16-year old Pennsylvania girl somehow missed their blinking lights and hi-viz, and slammed into a group of four people riding their bikes as part of an Ohio church group ride, killing one man and injuring three other people.

A new Penn study shows how planners can use biometric data to identify dangerous areas to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Florida man became alligator bait after losing control of his bike on a curve, and sliding down an embankment where he was bitten by the nine-foot gator. Fortunately, both man and reptile will survive; the former thanks to a man walking his dog. But maybe it wasn’t the gator’s fault.

 

International

No, you can’t call the Queen as a witness.

Be sure to great passersby with a cheery hello if you’re riding your bike naked in Liverpool.

Apparently frightening easily, London drivers are “terrorized” by red light-running, wheelie-popping teens on bicycles.

Former Vancouver bike advocates Melissa and Chris Bruntlett share lessons from their new life in the Netherlands, while busting common myths about car-light cities.

The BBC takes to the bike path to learn from the Dutch how to build a nation of bike riders.

Yes, it can be done. A Polish city built out a complete 800 kilometer bike network — nearly 500 miles — in just five years. We could do that here in Los Angeles if city leaders actually wanted it.

Police in India arrested seven people for flying kites with nylon strings after several people riding bicycles and motorcycles were injured, including a 12th grade girl whose throat was slashed by a kite string as she rode her bike.

A group of Singapore scientists claim to have developed a tougher and safer bike helmet, with an outer shell made of a new type of acrylic thermoplastic resin that’s reinforced with carbon fiber.

He gets it. A New Zealand writer says most Kiwi bike riders are anything but “elitist.” The same goes here in Los Angeles. And just about anywhere and everywhere else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz was the surprise winner in the men’s Olympic road race, while Belgian Wout van Aert took the silver; American Brandon McNulty was leading with Carapaz with three miles to go, but faded at the end to finish sixth.

Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer took the women’s road race, as the math PhD holder built a stealth lead with no one thinking to chase her. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly threw her arms up in victory, thinking she was first across the finish line, instead settling for silver.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera was riding in honor of her late father, who died of Covid earlier this year; she claimed seventh in the road race as the top American finisher.

An Indianapolis paper looks at how Chloe Dygert made it back from a devastating leg injury after going over a guardrail at last year’s Worlds to compete in three Olympic events.

Olympic cycling is one of the few events to actually have fans.

The head of cycling’s governing body swears two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is clean, and so is his bike.

VeloNews tells the “mind-blowing” backstory of how Leah Goldstein became the first woman to win the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

 

Finally…

Why bother pretending you’re riding a bike when you can pretend you’re in a video game? Tossing your bicycle off an overpass onto a highway isn’t one of the recommended uses, and could land your ass behind bars.

And then there’s this.

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

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

Man killed in collision riding bike across Hwy 163 in San Diego’s Balboa Park Wednesday night

Let’s start with the fact that cars don’t belong in parks.

Let alone major highways bisecting one of Southern California’s most iconic public spaces.

Yet that’s the situation in San Diego, where multi-lane State Route 163 runs directly through the 1,200-acre Balboa Park.

Wednesday night, it cost a man his life.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a man was riding his bicycle across the southbound lane of the 163 just south of the Cabrillo Bridge when he was struck by a 63-year old driver around 9:05 pm.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The victim, who was not publicly identified, was reportedly trying to cross from the center divider to the right shoulder. There’s no word on why he was crossing where he did, rather than use the nearby bridge.

This is at least the 21st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Morning Links: Temporary solution to Balboa bike path parking, recycling bikes, and new Pure e-cargo bike

Danger d reports that LA Councilmember Nury Martinez’ office has come through on their promise to do something about drivers parking on the bike path through Balboa Park.

He says it may just be a temporary fix, but it will do until they can come up with a more permanent solution.

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Here’s a chance to help others while you get rid of any old, unused bikes you have sitting around.

You can drop your bikes off at 5619 Monte Vista St in Los Angeles, or call 323/255-6806 for more information.

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Burbank-based Pure Cycles is introducing a new, more affordable e-cargo bike called the CAPACITA.

Though why the name has to be in all caps is beyond me.

It features front and rear cargo racks, with disk brakes, full fenders and capable of 40-miles on a single charge. Not to mention it’s GPS enabled, and has built-in headlights and taillights.

And if you move fast enough, you can reserve one on their crowdfunding page for just $1399 — a 44% discount of the standard price of $2499.

I’ve been thinking about getting rid of my two-decade old car and replacing it with a ped-assist cargo bike, though the high price of most ebikes has given me pause.

But if I could get that much for my car, I’d give this one serious consideration.

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Local

A reporter for KPCC discusses LA’s problems implementing Vision Zero with a Chicago radio station. Definitely worth a listen, even if it’s not a pretty picture.

The LA Times goes for a ride along one of the possible routes NBA superstar LeBron James could take to get from his Brentwood home to the Staples Center. And it’s not a pretty picture, either. Personally, I’d take one of the two routes recommended by the LACBC’s Colin Bogart, which follows the route I used to ride from Westwood to DTLA with a few minor deviations.

Metro is hinting at good news, saying they’ll announce a fare makeover for the Metro Bike bikeshare system this Thursday.

On the other hand, Pasadena is planning to pull out of the Metro Bike system in the face of low ridership and mounting losses. The question is why would Pasadena continue to pump funds into a money-losing docked system, when dockless bikeshare can serve the same purpose at no cost to the city — and actually raise revenue through taxes and fees. 

 

State

Calbike’s annual California Dream Ride between Santa Barbara and San Diego is nearly sold out, with just five spaces left as of yesterday.

Streetsblog considers the relative slap on the wrist given the Marin driver who fled the scene after running down four bike riders — allegedly on purpose.

The president of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition offers advice for drivers and bike riders on how to stay safe on the roads. Although as usual, the first advice for riders is to wear a helmet and hi-viz.

 

National

A writer for Outside says enough with the ghost bikes, it’s time to get organized.

Great story about a Washington state fifth grader preparing for his sixth century ride — despite surviving hearing loss and a hit-and-run.

At least one Utah town gets the concept that outdoor recreation offers a better long-term survival strategy than destroying the natural beauty to pull minerals out of the ground.

A Des Moines IA couple gets their stolen bikes back thanks to social media and an observant pair of bike riders. Although someone should tell the local police that cable locks are just an invitation to steal.

An Arkansas bike rider complains about the lack of bike path courtesy, particularly faster riders who can’t be bothered to announce their presence before zooming past.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo has pulled out of Chicago, after licensing restrictions limit them to just 50 bikes in a 20 square mile area, or 350 if they require them to be locked to bike racks when not in use. Sometimes it seems pretty obvious that licensing terms are more about keeping dockless bikeshare out, as opposed to finding a way to work with it.

The bikeshare system in Minneapolis is changing its colors, dropping its prices and losing the docks.

After surviving a hit-and-run, a retired physician in Chattanooga says any talk about the city’s bicycle friendly status is just bull droppings.

The A Plus website considers why Boston bike riders bare all in the World Naked Bike Ride.

 

International

Tennis star Raphael Nadal is one of us, even if the US Open can’t seem to grasp that some people would rather bike than drive.

British bike advocates complain about the missed opportunity when the country fails to offer subsidies to buy electric bikes as part of the country’s plan to eliminate vehicle emissions. Which is exactly the problem we have in California, since drivers can receive both federal and state subsidies for buying an electric car, but get nothing for trading a car for a bike, electric or otherwise.

The driver who ran down British Olympic hero Chris Boardman’s mother in Wales was on his mobile phone moments before the crash.

Lime takes on the City of Lights, teaching Paris how to scoot.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen is taking heavy fire on Twitter over his comment that ebikes are an example of “white privilege” for “the laziest demographic in history.” Never mind that they allow virtually anyone to ride a bike, regardless of physical condition.

Whatever problems we have, be grateful you don’t ride in Western Australia, where a new survey says bicyclists should be forced to ride single file and banned from narrow streets. And half of respondents say bike shouldn’t be allowed on the roads at all.

Singapore is attempting to reign in dockless bikeshare with a new licensing program; three companies have pulled out of the city as a result, including Ofo.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reports on the team time trial in stage three of the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock says he intends to fight like hell to stay in the Tour — despite a broken scapula that will be put to the test if he makes it to the cobbles on the ninth stage.

CiclaValley considers the fashion side of the Tour de France.

Researchers from Canada’s Simon Frasier University have developed a new statistical-based method of spotting dopers.

Videos of the Tour of Flanders dating back to the 1980s are providing insights into the effects of climate change.

An Australian woman has been charged in the alleged distracted driving death of 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes last December.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can dress like the Cannibal. Your next bike could have a drive shaft instead of a chain — although that rear cassette looks deadly.

And we may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we hardly ever have to deal with stampeding police horses.

 

Morning Links: First day of LA LeBron bike mania, hope for Balboa bike path parkers, and a scary too-close pass

Call it the first full day of LeBron bike mania.

It seems like the only ones more excited about LeBron James joining the LA Lakers are his fellow bike riders.

Take the newly resurrected LAist, now operated by Pasadena public radio station KPCC, which offers advice on how the Lakers new star can stay alive while biking in LA.

Curbed imagines LeBron James as the newly crowned Bike King of Los Angeles, making the case for better bike infrastructure so he can ride safely from his Brentwood homes to Staples Center in DTLA or the Laker’s practice facility in El Segundo.

Too bad he didn’t make that a condition of signing with the team.

The LA Times warns LeBron that bicycling can be rough here in the City of Angels — thanks in part to an “ineffectual” mayor. And asks drivers to please not run him over.

Actually, knowing LeBron James may be on a bicycle could go a long way towards improving safety for people on bikes in Los Angeles.

As long as you’re a tall black man, since no one wants to be responsible for sidelining the new hope of franchise.

As for the rest of us, we’re on our own.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn, Steve and Stefan Mayer for the heads-ups.

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Maybe there’s hope yet for the Balboa bike path parking problem.

Danger D writes to say he’s been contacted by Councilmember Nury Martinez’ office, and told they’re looking into just what department has jurisdiction for enforcement on the bike path through Balboa Park.

Which is a problem on a lot of LA’s off-road trails, where even the various police and sheriff’s departments often aren’t entirely sure who’s responsible for policing any given section.

Then again, that hasn’t prevented parking in the new South Figueroa bike lanes by Staples Center, even though the LAPD has unquestioned jurisdiction there.

He suggests posting no parking signs, which seems like a pretty obvious and relatively low cost solution. And maybe put a red stripe along the edge of the pathway.

Let’s hope something gets done soon. Because LA needs safe bikeways a lot more than it needs more parking.

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Holy horse trailer, Batman.

This has got to be one of the closest near misses ever — it would have been a crash if the rider had his elbows out.

Even closer than this one, in fact.

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Always interesting to see what our community looks like to people on the outside. Streetfilms visits the Expo Line’s Culver City Station, and finds little consideration for anyone outside of a car.

Which anyone who has ever tried to catch a train there can attest to.

https://twitter.com/TransitCenter/status/1013478778075516928

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Local

Mrs. CiclaValley catches a red light running fender bender on dashcam, countering the guilty driver’s knee-jerk denial.

A travel writer for the New York Times discovers Long Beach, and wisely decides to tour the city by bicycle.

A Metro Bike day pass will set you back just $4 on the 4th. And you might win a free T-shirt.

 

State

A San Francisco architect makes the case that new residential buildings really don’t need parking. Or at least as much as currently required.

Streetsblog says a ten-year delay in building out a makeover of San Francisco’s Masonic Avenue has resulted in construction that is already out of date.

A mobile bike shop owner in the Bay Area is working to change the face of bicycling by offering free workshops to people who are often overlooked in the bicycling world.

Sacramento is planning street improvements to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians — including a proposal to reduce speed limits.

A Novato driver has been sentenced to a well-deserved three years in prison for fleeing the scene after plowing into four bike riders during a Marin County charity ride last October; witnesses said he appeared to intentionally aim for the riders, though his mother swears he would never do that.

 

National

Giro put a helmet inside a helmet to improve comfort while protecting your head from concussions. Which may come in handy once you consider what you paid for it.

No surprise here, as Lyft has followed Uber into the wonderful world of bikeshare.

An American Japanese Buddhist monk is just $52 short of his goal of raising $5,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation by riding his bike across the US.

Streetsblog lists six times the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has blamed pedestrians when it knew the deadly design of SUVs was most likely behind the jump in pedestrian deaths.

Tour de Fat returns to Chicago, as its 2018 tour once again bypasses Los Angeles.

A Detroit public radio station explains why some local streets are paved with bricks, crediting the bicycling Good Roads movement of the 1890s.

A bicycling physician at the famed Cleveland Clinic recommends eight “must haves” to ride a bike safely and comfortably.  Good advice, but the only must have you really need is a bike.

The Cambridge MA fire department will be putting their new paramedic bike team to work at tomorrow’s 4th of July celebrations.

WaPo says theft and destruction of dockless bikeshare bikes is a growing problem. And in other news, the Pope is Catholic and bears really do shit in the woods.

In a remarkably weak response to the bicycling death of a Baton Rouge LA city councilmember, the local newspaper calls on drivers to give riders a safe passing distance and follow the rules of common sense.

 

International

In a hard-hitting piece, a Toronto bike rider says the city’s leaders have blood on their hands for their failure to protect bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets. Change the names and a few other details, and he could be writing about Los Angeles.

A Canadian woman waxes lyrically about discovering a broken road bike in her parents garage, and letting it take her back to the person she used to be.

A writer for a Canadian driving website criticizes her hometown for yanking out a road diet because it added 16 seconds to drivers’ trips off peak. And notes that geese get better PR than bike riders.

London’s former bike czar says Oxford and Cambridge can and should become Britain’s first true cycling cities, since bikes offer the most practical solution to their congested city centers.

A British mother gets a year behind bars for running down a bike rider while high on coke — with her kids in the car. Then again, she wasn’t wearing her glasses, either.

You can now ride your ped-assist ebike up to 28 mph without getting booted out of a Danish bike lane.

A Brisbane, Australia bikeway is one of the most popular in the world, according to a bike counter maker, with nearly 950,000 riders so far this year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan says he loves to win, but really, he just wants to have fun. Which is easy to say when you’re Peter Sagan.

The Associated Press offers an overview of this year’s Tour de France course, which kicks off on Saturday.

Chris Froome is taking an early victory lap, saying he knew he would be exonerated in his doping case. Meanwhile, cycling fans around the world are left to wonder if anything has really changed.

A four-person team of sightless riders riding stoker on tandem bikes became the first blind team to finish the Race Across America.

 

Finally…

Dig under your cushions for some old gummy bears and Halloween candy, and you too can eat like a pro. As if dodging cars wasn’t enough, now we have to evade grocery crates falling like depth charges.

Once again, you can pedal your way to a pro cycling contract without actually having to go outside. Or anywhere else.

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Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Remember that bikes are the best way to get to and from fireworks displays. But watch out for drivers making their way through traffic, because they’re not likely to be looking out for you.

I’ll see you back here bright and early on Thursday.

Cyclist assaulted on bike path, former Amazon CFO killed in bike crash, confirmation Britel killer paroled

The last thing he remembers is a woman putting her hand on his thigh and pushing his bike over.

Somehow, I missed this story last month, when Jack Bornoff suffered serious injuries after he was pushed off his black and white Schwinn by a pedestrian, as he was passing her on a bike path in Balboa Park.

It happened on August 22nd, a Thursday, around 10 am.

I’ll let him tell the story.

I approached the intersection of Burbank and Balboa on my bike and I was riding in the bike path.  I turned onto Balboa northbound and was confronted by a view of a high density of pedestrians in both the northbound and southbound bicycle lanes, including 2 females pedestrians blocking the northbound lane directly in front of me about 50 ft. ahead.  Immediately, I slowed down.  I noticed 2 pedestrians walking towards me in the southbound lane who were at least 50 feet ahead of the 2 pedestrians in my lane and determined it was perfectly safe to pass on the left with this substantial interval between these pedestrian couples.  As I passed by, the female pedestrian closest to me placed her right hand on my thigh and pushed me.

It wasn’t just a fall. Bornoff landed with enough force to knock him cold, and suffered numerous fractures.

I have no clear memories beyond this for at least the next 10 to 15 minutes.  This incident resulted in numerous fractures of the clavicle, scapula and ribs including damage to my lung.

A month later, he still doesn’t know who attacked him, or why. Or even who might have helped him as he lay injured on the bike path.

If you were there and offered to help, thank you and I regret I don’t remember it.  However, if you were there and witnessed this happen, please come forward and notify LAPD Detective Thornton.  818-374-7792.  Case #9C4-4.   Thank you and be safe.

He plans to be back at that same bike path on Thursday, October 10th between 9:45 am and 10:15 am — exactly seven weeks after the attack — to look for witnesses. And would appreciate some help if anyone wants to join him in passing out flyers.

Or if you find yourself walking or riding in the area some other time, he’s prepared a small flyer you could distribute to people in the area (pdf).

Because it wasn’t just a push. It was a deliberate, dangerous assault that left a man seriously injured.

And it needs to be taken just as seriously.

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Last night, it was just another tragic story of a bike rider killed in a left hook; a 22-year old driver turning his minivan across the cyclist’s path in San Mateo County.

Today, word broke that the victim has touched the life of virtually anyone who has ever used the internet or ordered something online.

Fifty-year old Joy Covey was one of the founders of Amazon. A woman whose 173 IQ took her from high school dropout to Harvard Business School, and on to become the CFO who helped the company grow from a book-selling website to the world’s dominant internet retail site. As well as leading it through a highly successful IPO in the late ‘90s.

She was working as treasurer of the National Resources Defense Council at the time of her death.

Initial reports indicated she was wearing a helmet. However, I’m told she may have been traveling up to 40 mph as she descended a steep downhill; in a broadside collision at that speed, no bike helmet is likely to offer much benefit.

As the links above show, there’s already been much written about her tragic death, and the immense and needless loss suffered by so many who knew and worked with her.

And it’s true.

Just as it is for the other more than 600 bike riders who will lose their lives on American streets this year, most of whom will never see their names in print.

In life. Or in death.

My deepest sympathy for Joy Covey and her family.

Thanks to Michael McVerry and Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

……..

Finally, last month we reported that Danae Miller, convicted in the drunk and distracted driving death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel, appeared to have been released from prison after serving less than half of her original sentence.

Now the Orange County Register confirms that Miller was paroled on August 15th after serving just 18 months of her original four year sentence.

Unfortunately, most of the story is hidden behind their draconian paywall.

However, I’m told that the story goes on to quote a member of the Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, as well as the Newport Beach city council member who heads the committee, as expressing their disappointment at the early release.

Get used to it.

California’s prison overcrowding crisis means most people convicted of traffic crimes will serve only a fraction of their sentences. Which means we need to find alternative forms of punishment — let alone rehabilitation, which seldom if ever happens behind bars — if we want to stop the carnage on our streets. Let alone the hit-and-run epidemic.

I’m told that Miller’s family was very supportive of her during the trial. Not in the usual sense denying her obvious guilt, but actually being there and giving a damn while expressing deep and genuine sympathy for her victim’s family and fiancé.

No word on where she is right now. However, there is speculation that she received the relatively light four-year sentence — she could have gotten up to 10 years — in exchange for a commitment from her family to place her in rehab immediately upon her release.

Let’s hope that’s the case.

And let’s hope that Miller, who already had 11 traffic violations on her record when she took Britel’s life, is never allowed behind the wheel of a car again.

Thanks to the OC Register for crediting this site with breaking the story. That wasn’t necessary, but it’s sincerely appreciated.

Now about that paywall…

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