Tag Archive for bicycling fatlity

SF bike rider killed by hill bombing skater, fighting back from a heart attack to ride again, and uncuttable bike locks coming

Earlier this week, I made a decision not to link to a hill bombing event in San Francisco.

After watching a number of videos, it became clear it was just for skate boarders, and the only bikes were being held by spectators on the sidelines.

What I didn’t know was that Andrew Sanders was killed when he was hit by a skater while riding his bike on the hill.

Now the city is installing rows of Botts Dots across the base of the hill to put an end to competitions like this.

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Take a few minutes to read this great thread from a man who worked his way back on his bike after nearly dying from a heart attack; just click on the date to load the full thread.

Thanks to Tim Rutt, Rickard’s friend and former coworker, and my friend for over four decades, for the heads-up.

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There may be hope yet in the battle with bike thieves.

A new material promises to make bike locks that can’t be cut — even by an axle grinder.

Seriously, take my money.

Please.

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This is who we share the road with.

A British bike rider blames an overly close pass on the perceived protective powers of a thin strip of magic white paint.

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This is exactly what we’ve been worried about.

https://twitter.com/anneramsey740/status/1285002157264117770

If we can’t give them safe places to ride, those new bike riders who started during the coronavirus lockdown are likely to head back to their cars after getting frightened off the streets.

And a once in a generational opportunity to reimagine our streets will be lost forever.

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

Utah police are looking for a killer driver who appeared to intentionally run down a man on a bicycle, then turn around and run over him again before fleeing the scene.

No bias here. A British TV fashion advisor apologized after saying she “fucking hate(s) cyclists” and wants to kill them all with her car — including her own bike-riding husband. Although her apology only came after extensive online criticism, and doesn’t change the fact that she said it to begin with.

There’s a special place in hell for the reckless wrong-way Welsh driver who ran an 85-year old bike rider off the road; remarkably, he wasn’t seriously injured, despite his age.

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

If your “friend” beats you to death in front of his daughter for trying to use his bike, you probably weren’t really friends to begin with. Just saying.

A Scottish couple vowed to never use a bicycle delivery service again after a road-raging bicyclist spit on their car window when they honked to alert him to their presence. Although something tells me the bike rider might tell the tale just a tad differently.

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Local

The East Side Riders Bike Club teamed with the LA Galaxy for a ride to the closed-to-the-public Dignity Health Sports Center for Saturday’s match with LAFC; it didn’t help, though, as the Galaxy fell to their crosstown rivals.

The West Hollywood City Council was asked to reconsider the city’s ill-conceived ban on e-scooters, which is blocking a dockless ebike bikeshare pilot program.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man riding a bike was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

Santa Barbara County has completed a temporary bridge in Montecito crossing the mudflow from the disastrous flooding in January 2018, allowing bicyclists to finally ride through the area without using busy highways. Although hopefully, they’ll pause to remember the 23 people who died that night.

SF Gate professes to offer tips on how to maintain your bike, when all they’re really doing is pimping online sites for tool kits and accessories.

 

National

If you haven’t already hit the extremely low, four article monthly limit on the Bicycling website, they have tips on how to ride with no hands like a pro.

Gear Patrol looks at the outdated concept of men’s and women’s bicycles, when they really mean the differences between top tube and step through frames.

A new four-wheeled bike promises an offroad ride for wheelchair users.

A Nebraska man was the victim of a violent thief who chased him down and assaulted him with a baseball bat to steal his bike.

The community rallied to support bike riders after Chicago police seized the bicycles of people serving as bike marshals during recent protests.

After a bighearted Tennessee boy won a new bike in a drawing, he turned around and gave it to his neighbor.

The New York Times examines the problem of ensuring marginalized residents are heard in the rush to repurpose streets due to the coronavirus, and that outdoor dining, Slow Streets and popup bike lanes don’t just benefit wealthy white residents. At least the last one’s not a problem in Los Angeles, because the city doesn’t have any.

Sad news from New York, where a 26-year old TV reporter was killed when she was thrown from the back of a Revel Vespa-style dockless scooter; neither she nor the man she was riding with were wearing the helmets that come with the scooter rental, even though they’d been disinfected.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare celebrated its 100 millionth bike ride.

A physician assistant capped off eight weeks on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis in a New York hospital with a 3,500-mile coast-to-coast bike ride.

New Jersey residents are complaining about obnoxious kids on bikes. Again.

 

International

No bias here, as Toronto bike riders celebrate a new bike lane, but the headline on the website only focuses on people who oppose it.

Despite writing for a London site, a woman offers 11 reasons why living outside the city is better, including safer places to ride a bike.

An 84-year old British driver will be nearly 87 before he’s a free man again, after he was sentenced to 30 months behind bars for killing a bike rider, despite being told twice to stop driving due to his poor eyesight.

The UK has allotted the equivalent of $48 million for popup bike and pedestrian routes in response to the coronavirus crisis. Which compares favorably to the zero dollars approved by the US for the same purpose.

An English bike rider says no, a new popup bike lane didn’t endanger an ambulance on an emergency call.

Dueling petitions call for opening a seaside Brighton, England street back up to motorists, or keeping it closed to everyone but bike riders and pedestrians.

A UK dentist recalls a 2018 bike commuting crash that nearly ended his dental career, leading him to sell his handmade fixie and promising to never ride a bike again.

Some European countries are great for bicycling; evidently, Luxembourg isn’t one of them.

Just like our friend above, a South African man is back on his bicycle following a “remarkable recovery,” just 16 months after a mountain biking crash left him a quadriplegic with little hope of improvement.

 

Competitive Cycling

More on the cancellation of this year’s Colorado Classic women’s stage race to prevent crowds from gathering during the pandemic.

They get it. A WorldTour team offers advice on how to safely watch cycling again as they prepare to start the season. But say if you’re in doubt, just stay home.

Or better yet, just stay home, period.

 

Finally…

Bike helmets may not protect against cars, but evidently, they can be used to protect against federal secret police. Your next bike could be a brand new 40-year old racing bike.

And listen to the founder of the Major Taylor Cycling Club discuss America’s first Black sports hero with his son. (Correction: I originally misread that as a discussion with Major Taylor’s son, even though he didn’t have one, and would be pretty old if he did. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link, and Andy Stow for the correction.)

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

Breaking news: Bike rider killed in Sunland collision Saturday night

More bad news.

I’ve just received confirmation that a bike rider was killed in Sunland on Saturday night.

Late Sunday afternoon, I received an email reporting that a young man was hit and killed by a car on Foothill Blvd around 7 pm. Numerous comments on the Facebook page of the Foothills Paper recount seeing a body covered by a white tarp at the intersection of Foothill and McVine, with a bicycle lying nearby.

Now the Foothills Paper has just confirmed that Sunland-Tujunga resident Billy Martinez was killed in a left cross collision at that intersection around 7:20 pm Saturday.

According to the paper, Martinez was riding home from his job at Von’s in Tujunga when a car turned left in front of him; another report indicates that he may have been riding at speed without lights, but that is unconfirmed at this time. Employees at the ARCO station on the corner attempted to help him, but the paper reports he died of internal bleeding at the scene.

A memorial was held for him Sunday evening at the same location, at about the same time he was killed.

A comment on the Facebook page identifies him as the father of two small children.

This is the 71st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 31st in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second bicycling death to occur in the county at almost the same time Saturday night.

And it’s the 13th cycling fatality in Los Angeles this year; a death that earlier had been attributed to Los Angeles actually occurred in unincorporated South LA.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Billy Martinez and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Meghan Jenks for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in hit-from-behind collision; 5th cyclist killed in Lake Elsinore in past three years

We ended last week with a fallen cyclist.

And tragically, we start the week with another.

Just two days after James “Mitch” Waller was killed and another rider seriously injured when they were run down from behind while riding in Laguna Canyon Road near Laguna Beach, word comes of yet another Southern California bicycling fatality.

And like the others, she died after her bike was struck from behind.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 38-year old Lake Elsinore resident Lucia Ruano was riding south on Grand Avenue at Marvella Lane in Lake Elsinore when she was hit by a silver Ford F150 pickup at 8:37 am. She was pronounced dead just 35 minutes later at the Inland Valley Medical Center.

A street view indicates what looks like a rough shoulder there.

As too often happens with fatal collisions in the Inland area, there’s just too little information in the story to give a clear idea what happened. However, a comment on the Lake Elsinore – Wildomar Patch site offered a second-hand report that the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed, trapping the bike underneath.

And yes, the witness says the victim was wearing a helmet; from the sound of it, it probably didn’t matter.

Depending on exactly where the collision occurred, the driver may have drifted off the roadway, or Ruano may have entered the traffic lane to avoid an obstacle on the shoulder. Or the driver may have hit her while turning onto Marvella.

This is the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Riverside County; that compares to 29 and five, respectively, this time last year. Remarkably, it’s also the fifth cycling fatality in tiny Lake Elsinore, population 53,000, since 2010, and the second on Grand Avenue.

And if that doesn’t indicate a serious problem, I don’t know what does.

Meanwhile, bicycling fatalities are nearly 45% ahead of last year in the seven-county SoCal area just halfway into the year. And this comes as we head into the 4th of July weekend, which is traditionally one of the most dangerous times of year for area bike riders; last year seven cyclists were killed within a week of Independence Day.

One death is one too many; 42 in just six months is an obscenity.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Lucia Ruano and her family. 

Thanks to Zak and Walter Lars for the heads-up.

Update: Call this one a homicide. 

According to the Press-Enterprise, CHP officers arrested the driver, 40-year old Lake Elsinore resident Jay Dustin Sorrell, an hour after the collision for investigation of drunken driving and gross vehicular manslaughter.

According to authorities, Sorrell allowed his truck to drift onto the right shoulder, where he hit Ruano’s bike at around 40 mph, killing her. 

Yes, he was too drunk to drive at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. 

And now an innocent woman is dead because of it.

38-year old cyclist killed in Palm Springs

Evidently, we couldn’t escape November without another cycling fatality after all.

Details are still sparse, but The Desert Sun reports that 38-year old La Quinta resident Corey Holley was hit by a car at South Palm Canyon Drive at Avenida Palmera in Palm Springs at 9:07 pm Friday.

According to the paper, Holley was in the right lane when he was struck by a southbound Ford Thunderbird. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:20 pm.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; drug or alcohol use is not suspected to have been a factor.

No other details are available at this time.

There’s no word on whether Holley was riding with or against traffic, or if he may have been crossing the roadway when he was hit. And no information on how he was dressed or whether he was using lights after dark.

There’s also no mention of whether the driver may have been speeding, using a hand-held cell phone, or been otherwise distracted or driving carelessly in some way.

All we know is that a rider who should have been visible to those around him evidently wasn’t, for whatever reason.

And now a man is dead because of it.

This is the 69th bicycling fatality in the seven-county Southern California region this year, one behind the total of 70 for all of last year. It’s also the 12th cycling fatality in Riverside County, which is one more than last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Holley and all his loved ones.

Update — 20-year old cyclist killed in Buena Park; cyclist injured in Culver City

More bad news from Orange County.

According to the Orange County Register, a 20-year old man was hit by a vehicle while riding his bike at the intersection of Knott and La Palma Avenues in Buena Park around 6 pm Monday. The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

The driver was taken to West Anaheim Medical Center with undisclosed minor injuries. He was not identified other than as a man in his 40s; no description was given of the vehicle involved, or how the collision occurred.

The Register reports that alcohol was not believed to have been a factor, and police are investigating who had the right-of-way.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Buena Park Police traffic bureau at 714/562-3940.

This is the 67th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th in Orange County, just one behind the total for all of last year. It’s also the second bicycling death in Buena Park this year.

My deepest condolences and prayers for the victim and his family.

Update: A post on SoCal Trail Riders identifies the victim as Jeremy Kidder, a former employee of Buena Park Bicycles, and a sometimes employee of Fullerton Bicycles.

Update 2: The Orange County Register confirms the victim was 20-year old Jeremy Kidder of Buena Park. The paper reports he was hit by a Chevy SUV while crossing near the crosswalk; no word on what direction he was going or how the collision occurred. Police say there are conflicting witness accounts. 

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Culver City Patch reports that a cyclist was hit by a car at the corner of Washington Place and Sawtelle Blvd in Culver City around 4:45 pm Monday.

According to police, witnesses said the cyclist, who was not publicly identified, ran the red light; he was taken to UCLA Medical Center.

No other information is available at this time.

Update: Another month, another cycling fatality — bike rider killed in Lake Elsinore area

That didn’t take long.

After an exceptionally deadly month of July, in which 13 SoCal cyclists lost their lives, yet another rider was killed on the very first day of August.

According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, the victim was hit by a pickup at approximately 4:50 pm on Grand Avenue near the intersection with Blackwell Blvd in Lakeland Village.

The Lake-Elsinore-Wildomar Patch reports that witnesses saw the rider enter traffic quickly, leaving no time for the driver to respond before the collision.

A satellite view shows an uncontrolled intersection on Grand, with stops signs on Blackwell. However, there’s no indication whether either party may have entered from the side street, or who may have had the right-of-way.

A man who lived nearby heard the impact, but didn’t hear the sound of brakes prior to the collision. He ran out and called 911, then knelt down and put his hand on the victim’s chest, reportedly feeling a heartbeat but no breathing. Paramedics declared the man dead at the scene.

Patch reports the cause of the crash is under investigation; the victim has not been publicly identified.

A photo on the Patch site shows a badly mangled road bike with panniers and what appears to be a cooler on the back rack, suggesting he may have been riding home from work at the time of the collision.

This collision also occurred at the same intersection as another fatal bike collision in 2010.

This is the 43rd traffic-related bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in Riverside County.

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

Update: The victim has been identified as 46-year old Harry Dettloff of Lake Elsinore. The NC Times says he was hit while crossing Grand Avenue just north of Baldwin, and puts the time of death as 5:08 pm.

Update 2: According to the Press-Enterprise, Dettloff was riding with traffic on the west shoulder of Grand Avenue when a Nissan Frontier truck driven by 60-year old Patrick Wattson of Wildomar struck him from behind at around 40 mph.

A CHP spokesman said the truck drifted off the road because Wattson was “momentarily inattentive.” The officer also notes that Dettloff wasn’t wearing a helmet, though it’s not clear how much benefit a helmet would have provided in a collision at that speed.

Now a man is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to pay attention while operating a two-ton truck.

But hey, it was just an accident, right?

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