Tag Archive for Brian Gray

Lots of fresh 2013 links, surprising health studies, and more on the last SoCal cyclists killed in 2012

Looks like we all made it through the holiday’s in one piece.

At least, I’m still here. And if you’re reading this, I have to assume you’re still with us, as well.

So welcome to 2013; oddly, it doesn’t seem any different here in the future than it did way back in those fateful final days of 2012.

And speaking strictly for myself, I’m happy to have the holidays behind us and move on to whatever it is that passes for normal these days.

So settle in for a quick read. Then get up and get out on your bike if you can.

Because it looks like we’ve some great riding weather to start off the year.


The L.A. Times reports that Johnathan Coontz, who was killed in a collision with a cyclist on the Santa Ana River Trail last week, was homeless at the time of his death and had multiple convictions for drinking in public. However, they contradict earlier reports that he was riding a bike.

It’s sad enough that Coontz lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident. The real tragedy is how he ended up on the streets with an apparent drinking problem, after growing up as a skilled athlete and surfer.

And no, the problems he had in life do nothing to negate the tragedy of his death.

However, it does throw into question how many cyclists died on SoCal streets and trails last year. As it stands now, the count remains at 74 after the OC Coroner concludes lifeguard Brian Gray wasn’t riding his bike when he died, while Coontz appears to have been riding or may have been walking his; authorities plan an autopsy to determine exactly how he died.

Unless they conclude he wasn’t actually riding or walking his bike, he’ll end up as the region’s final cycling fatality of 2012, barring any late-breaking news.

And frankly, I’d say 74 fallen bike riders is about 74 too many.


Not surprisingly, much of today’s news involves getting in shape. What’s surprising is some of the conclusions they reach.

For instance, fructose, which now permeates the typical American diet, may cause overeating; although as long as they keep it out of whiskey and craft beers, I should be safe. You may only need a hard ride around the block every day to get back in shape. Olympic athletes may not be healthier than your average golfer. And maybe being a little fat may not be so bad for you after all.

Then again, I’d tell you to take these studies with a grain of salt, but that’s supposed to be bad for you, too.


Be on the lookout for a 74-year old Hispanic man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who disappeared in West L.A. while riding a light blue bicycle. When you stop and think of it, the ding of a bike bell does sound a lot like a lot like the ring of a cash register. Will Campbell offers one of his typically great timelapse videos of his last off road ride of 2012. Biking to yesterday’s Rose Bowl game.

Calbike unveils their strategic plan for the next five years; then again, you know who else used to make five year plans, so maybe those Agenda 21 wackos are onto something after all. The Orange County Register names globe trotting paraplegic triathlete and marathoner Beth Sanden their Outdoor Sportsperson of the Year. Thanks to me, cdmCyclist’s Frank Peters is now paranoid about motor vehicle traffic; I guess my work here is done. Yerba Buena gets artistic new bike racks. If you’re carrying illegal drugs on your bike while on parole and probation, you’re probably better off not running from the police for a simple traffic stop.

The Atlantic Cites hopes pedestrians vs. bikers vs. drivers vs. bus riders vs. train commuters is a trend that dies a rapid death in 2013. Create your own bicycle light wheel animations. For every MIIR bike you buy, they’ll donate another to someone in need. A popular bike blogger vows not to preach about cycling, at least at home. Ranking the 10 worst Colorado bike collisions of 2012. An unusually honest Columbus woman tries to find the owner after realizing she may have purchased a stolen bike for her nephew. If bikes are really the biggest complaint in Boston’s North End, it must truly be a paradise. A hospital employee wants to require hi-viz reflective vests for all cyclists so drivers will see us; God forbid we should expect drivers to actually pay attention. If you’re wanted on various criminal warrants and illegally carrying a semi-automatic handgun on your bike, maybe you shouldn’t run stop signs. Memphis goes from worst to most improved in bicycling; then again, you pretty well have to suck to begin with to be the most improved in anything. A South Carolina man is killed when he tries to carry his bike between the cars of a stopped train; never go through or in front of a stopped train, and be damned careful about crossing behind one.

London’s bike boom appears to have switched direction; maybe the city’s cyclists are tired of ending up under its trucks. A London cycling organization tries to turn a notorious bike hater into a school cycling supporter. More bikes mysteriously trapped in trees. Scots are urged to get on their bikes, as the country invests the equivalent of $86.5 million in new bikeways in 2013. Ireland plans to expand a free bike share program to up to four new cities. Istanbul tries to get bike friendly with help from everyone’s favorite bicycling nation. Japanese police say 32% of cycling violations are for brakeless fixies, and recommend safety training for reckless cyclists.

Finally, maybe an Aussie highway isn’t the best place to take a nap. And Cyclelicious looks back at a booming year in bike music, which should keep you entertained for awhile.

Bad news on Christmas Eve — Hero Newport Beach lifeguard dies in apparent solo fall

This is not the news any of us want on Christmas Eve.

According to Corona del Mar Today, a hero lifeguard has died after an apparent solo fall.

Thirty-eight-year old Brian Gray was found laying face down near his bike at 2:02 am Friday at the intersection of 26th Street and Newport Blvd in Newport Beach. A police spokesman says he was simply fell while riding his bike; he died the following day in a local hospital.

The news site reports that Gray, a lifelong resident of Newport Beach, was one of the rescuers who saved the life of 13-year old Dylan Scott of Riverside when he was buried in the sand in 2006; he received the Bravo Award from the American Red Cross, along with other lifeguards involved in the rescue.

In addition to his work as a lifeguard for the past 21 years, Gray worked as a courier for the Newport Beach Fire Department; paramedics reportedly recognized him at the scene.

Of course, as in any solo fall, the question is why.

Given the hour, it’s possible that Gray may have been drinking and simply fell off his bike.

However, it’s also entirely possible that he fell as a result of being brushed or buzzed by a passing car, leaving little or no evidence behind to point to a dangerous pass that may have resulted in the rider’s death — which I suspect happens far more often than any of us realize.

Or he could have simply lost control of his bike for any number of reasons, something that happens to even the best riders, myself included.

This is the 73rd cycling fatality in Southern California this year, three above the total for last year, and the 14th bicycling death in Orange County this year. Remarkably, it’s the third bicycling fatality in tiny Newport Beach, with a population of just 86,000 — though it should be noted that the area is a popular biking destination, drawing in far more riders than its small size would suggest.

Gray is also the 14th SoCal rider to die in a solo fall in 2012, and third in Orange County.

So please, let’s be careful out there.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Gray and all his family and loved ones. It’s hard enough to lose someone you love, but especially tough this time of year.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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