Tag Archive for Carlsbad

Hunt is on for road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist, and stoned Michigan driver to face charges in Make-A-Wish crash

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served our country! 

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Before we get going, it’s time to start digging under your sofa cushions to save up for the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive later this month. 

The fund drive page is now live, which wasn’t hard to do since I never got around to taking down last year’s page, in case anyone feels an urgent need to contribute before we officially get going on the 25th. 

And I’m open to suggestions if you can recommend a good payment app, since there are always people who ask for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle each year.

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We now have a photo of the road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens.

The man reportedly responded to being yelled at by one of the kids by trying to open their car door and punching a window, before smashing their windshield. He then rode off, but allegedly lay in wait for them down the road.

As we have repeatedly said, there is never any excuse for violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time.

Now instead of being the victim of an angry driver, a bike rider finds himself a wanted criminal who could face serious charges and be subject to damages once he’s found.

And he will be found.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

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A Michigan woman has been ordered to stand trial later this month in the drugged driving crash that killed two people participating in a Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

Forty-two-year old Mandy Marie Benn was reportedly visibly impaired on a cocktail of drugs including Vicodin, Suboxone, and Lorazepam. She was also participating in a Facebook group chat while she drove, saying moments before the crash that she wanted to die.

Instead, she took two innocent lives.

She faces up to 15 years each on two felony counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance causing death.

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If you’re feeling more crowded on the roads, it’s because you are.

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

A Vancouver woman was seriously injured when she was pushed off her bike by a bystander acting on the orders of a fake cop, for the crime of riding too close to a man who claimed to be an off-duty police officer.

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

Authorities in Florida discovered “concerning manifestos” in the home of a bike-riding man who was seen shooting bullets into the ocean, then seen four hours later riding his bike near where a man was found shot to death under an overpass.

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Local

Streetsblog offers updates on new bike lanes in DTLA, as well as plans for a quick-build bike lane on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, as well as a bike rodeo next month, to gather input on first mile/last mile connections for the Sepulveda G LIne, nee Orange Line, station.

Glendora is working with Active SGV to finalize plans for a new greenway trail along the San Dimas Wash.

Speaking of Streetsblog, the transportation news site is honoring LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell with their Streetsie Award for 2022 Elected Official of the Year at Mercado La Paloma on December 1st.

 

State 

The Contra Costa County district attorney has decided not to prosecute officers involved in a fatal shooting, who was killed by police after a passing bike rider noticed the victim dumping a woman’s body off the side of the road.

A woman suspected in a Tulare County hit-and-run has turned herself in, four days after the crash that killed a man walking his bicycle.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses new infrastructure projects designed to make cities safer for bike riders and pedestrians, saying there are places where cars wouldn’t make any sense if you were starting from scratch.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride with your dogMy best tip is to get a tandem with an usually low stoker position, and let the dog do its own damn pedaling. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Seattle-based Rad Power is recalling 30,000 RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bikes due to a defective wheel strip that can allow tires and tubes to become damaged while in use.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 13-year old Washington boy who was killed by a driver who went through the crosswalk he was riding in; fortunately, the bike was returned when someone at a scrap yard recognized it and returned it to his family.

The news keeps getting worse from Las Vegas, where it turns out the two mountain bikers killed by an alleged drunk driver during a serial hit-and-run were a couple who had been dating for ten years.

Nevada state police officials are reporting a startling increase in bicycling deaths this year, with eleven people killed riding bikes so far this year — double the number this time last year.

A local group is giving away 500 bicycles, helmets, locks and a t-shirt to kids in need before Sunday’s El Tour de Tucson.

Utah has banned offroad ebike use in protected wildlife areas.

Boise, Idaho is redrawing plans for a protected bike lane after complaints that it would interfere with parents picking up their children from a Catholic school, apparently thinking the ability to drive up to the door is more important than allowing their kids to safely bike there.

That’s more like it. A 22-year old Michigan man will spend 20 to 40 years behind bars after he was sentenced for the hit-and-run death of a five year old boy who was riding his bike in a crosswalk with the rest of his family; his two younger siblings remain traumatized after witnessing the crash.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts judge expressed skepticism over new bendy post-protected bike lanes, saying in response to a lawsuit intended to stop them that the streets appear to be too narrow for them. Which isn’t a decision a judge with no traffic planning experience should be making.

The Boston Globe says a tandem is the perfect way to double your pleasure on the road.

A 12-year old Erie, Pennsylvania boy was severely beaten by two unknown attackers as he was riding his bike somewhere in the city; police were having trouble locating the site because the boy doesn’t speak English and was relying on a translator. No word on whether he was attacked for his bike, or for some other reason.

 

International

Amazon is being criticized for selling tuning kits that can override ebike speed restrictions, allowing the riders to exceed European limitations.

Bike commuters in Manchester, England complain that road signs blocking a bike lane and construction work on the roadway have turned the street into a “lethal mess.”

The death of a Berlin bike rider after climate protestors blocked a roadway, delaying the arrival of first responders, is provoking debate over the tactic even though a doctor insists his death wasn’t caused by the delay.

A delegate to the COP27 climate conference from the Côte d’Ivoire, aka Ivory Coast, has gained a reputation as Africa’s cycling ambassador as he attends every session wearing his hi-viz bike helmet.

A South African construction worker was found dead on the road after he was knocked off his bicycle by someone swinging a piece of wood, then stabbed in the neck; he was killed after winning a large sum of money at a local bar.

A New Zealand woman blames a moment’s inattention by a driver for the crash that left her with a badly broken arm. But at least the driver hit her bike just outside the emergency room at a local hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist and former ski jumper Primož Roglič will be out of commission for another month following shoulder surgery, after dislocating it in a high-speed crash during stage 5 of the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Why take the blame for losing an MMA title fight when you can blame it on a “vicious” bike crash?

And that feeling when you’re chasing a bear, rather than the other way around.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Update: Man riding bicycle killed by motorcyclist fleeing police near Carlsbad State Beach; 4th San Diego County death in 10 days

What the hell is going on in San Diego County?

For the first seven months of this year, it was one of the safest places to ride a bicycle in Southern California, with just four deaths.

Even though just one is one too many.

Yet the county has doubled that total in just the last ten days, with the latest death coming yesterday in Carlsbad, where the victim was collateral damage in a police chase.

According to multiple sources, the victim was killed when he was struck by a motorcyclist who was being chased by a state parks officer for speeding and reckless riding.

The crash occurred around 1 pm at Carlsbad Boulevard near Palomar Airport Road, either in or near Carlsbad State Beach.

The San Diego Union-Tribune places the crash near North Ponto Beach.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene, while both the 28-year old motorcyclist and his passenger, a 22-year old woman, were hospitalized with serious injuries.

There’s no word on when or where the pursuit started, or how fast the motorcyclist was going at the time of the crash.

However, it raises inevitable questions about the wisdom of police chases that place innocent people at risk, and whether a parks cop was properly trained in how to conduct a chase.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Investigator Adam Bentley at 442/339-5559.

This is at least the 58th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

It’s also the 4th bicycling death in the county in the last ten days, and the second in Carlsbad.

Update: According to the Union-Tribune, the victim has been identified as 68-year old Solano Beach resident Brad Allen Catcott

Catcott was reportedly moving from the bike lane to a turn lane when he was run down by the fleeing motorcyclist, and succumbed to blunt force trauma. 

The paper reports Carlsbad Police referred questions to State Parks officials, who said there “is no new information to share with the public” ten days after the crash. 

Not that they’re trying to cover their collective ass or anything. 

My deepest prayers and sympathy for the Brad Allen Catcott and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

35-year old woman riding ebike dies after collision with SUV driver in Carlsbad; her 16-month old daughter unhurt

Because of last night’s breaking news, there will be no Morning Links today.

We’ll be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed. 

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Three crashes. Three deaths. Three counties. Two hit-and-runs.

All in less than 20 hours.

A horrible weekend for the bicycling community finally concluded with the last of three innocent victims, who died simply because they rode their bicycles on Southern California streets.

Multiple sources are reporting that a young mother died after she was struck by the driver of a massive SUV in Carlsbad Sunday evening.

The 35-year old woman, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter when they were struck by the driver of a Toyota 4-Runner around 5:45 pm, near Basswood Ave and Valley Street.

She was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries, and died the next afternoon. Her child appeared to be unhurt, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

At least the driver stuck around this time, unlike the other two crashes.

The 42-year old woman reportedly cooperated with police investigators, who don’t believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on how the crash may have occurred. A street view doesn’t offer any help, showing a pair of two-lane residential streets, controlled with a four-way stop.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Corporal Matt Bowen at 442/339-2282.

This is at least the 54th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Hit-and-run drivers critically injure bike riders in San Dimas and Carlsbad, LA begins process to lower some speed limits

Breaking news: The Citizen app is reporting that a man on a bicycle was killed by a driver in Highland Park. 

The crash occurred at South Ave 60 and the offramp to the 110 Freeway around 12:20 am. 

Hopefully we’ll get more news later. 

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LA County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man on a bicycle in San Dimas late last month.

The 37-year old victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding along the curb on Fifth Street west of Eucla Ave around 6:30 pm on January 27, when he was run down from behind by the driver of a dark colored Dodge Ram pickup.

The driver briefly stopped a short distance away before driving off, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

Investigators ask anyone who lives in the area to check their surveillance cameras for any video that might show the crash or the suspect.

Something sheriff’s investigators should have done themselves in the first few days, if not hours, following the crash, before any video would be deleted or recorded over.

But maybe they were, like, busy or something.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Dimas Traffic Detective Christopher Bronowicki at 909/859-2818.

The video is difficult to watch, so make sure you really want to see the crash and its aftermath before you click play, because you can’t unsee it once you do. 

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A San Diego County family is looking for answers five days after a retired Los Angeles firefighter was found unconscious and badly injured next to his bike in the middle of El Camino Real in Carlsbad.

Seventy-four-year old John Burgan is in a coma in critical condition with internal injuries, as well as fractures all around his skull, face, ribs and right femur, after an apparent hit-and-run.

The location and condition of his undamaged bicycle suggest he may have been struck by the wing mirror of a driver’s vehicle while making his way to the left turn lane at Hosp Way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Officer Adam Bentley at 760/931-2288 or email adam.bentley@carlsbadca.gov.

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Finally, a little good news from LA City Hall.

Streetsblog is reporting that the City Council Transportation Committee has taken the unprecedented step of — wait for it — actually lowering speed limits in the City of Angels, in hopes of maybe making a fewer of them.

Angels, that is.

The city’s hands have long been tied by the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which worked in conjunction with speeding drivers to push limits ever higher, regardless of whether the new speeds were actually safe.

It took a new state law, sponsored by Burbank Assemblymember Laura Friedman, to reform, but not repeal, the 85th Percentile Law to allow the city to begin reducing speeds on city streets.

However, the committee’s action covers just 177 miles out of LA’s more than 6,500 miles of streets.

But it’s a start.

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It looks like New Yorkers overwhelmingly support safer streets, and using automated traffic cams to do it.

Even if their efforts are hindered by the state legislature, which should sound familiar to anyone in California.

New Yorkers want these changes to make streets safe. An Emerson College poll found that 68% of city residents support lowering the speed limit to 20 mph, and 72% want the city to have authority to set its own speed limits. A Siena College poll found that 85% of New York City voters, including 84% of car-owners, support red light enforcement cameras. More than three-quarters of New York City voters, including just about the same share of car owners, support automated speed safety cameras.

Not only are the speed and red light cams popular, they’re also effective.

As one example of the consequences, consider New York City’s speed safety camera program, which is currently only permitted by Albany to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. In effect, Albany forces cameras to be off for more than half of the hours in any given week. Speed safety cameras are wildly effective: A 55% drop in all traffic fatalities and a 72%decline in speeding followed the launch of the program. Speed safety cameras also avoid racial biases that may be present in armed police stops and avoid risks of stops turning violent or deadly. However, in 2020, nearly 40% of people killed in fatal traffic crashes died in speed safety camera zones, but when the cameras were forced to be off. Speeding doesn’t sleep, but state law forces our speed safety cameras to get plenty of shut-eye.

Let’s hope California legislators are paying attention.

Not to mention the LA City Council, which cancelled the city’s red light camera program, for reasons that mostly boiled down to angry drivers who didn’t like getting tickets for breaking the law.

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I wouldn’t count on plastic bollards to keep you safer. Even if these are better than the flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1494014664346259457

Personally, I consider anything marked by plastic bollards to be a separated bike lane, rather than a protected bike lane.

Because those little posts don’t protect anyone.

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Burbank police will be offering bicycle registration next Wednesday afternoon.

And cookies, too.

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A new movie documents a woman’s efforts to get back on her mountain bike after struggling with Crohn’s disease.

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

No bias here. A Cincinnati op-ed calls bike lanes a “misappropriation of funds,” calling for the money to be spent fixing potholes rather than catering “to a small group of citizens that happen to bicycle.” Never mind that potholes are more dangerous for people on bikes than those safely ensconced in a couple tons of steel and glass.

You’ve got to be kidding. Residents of an Ontario, Canada city claim proposed bike lanes would violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Because the bike lanes will have to be built over their dead bodies, evidently.

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Local

A Metro committee approved a five-year, $6.1 million contract for new keyless bike lockers at a number of Metro stations, replacing the much derided keyed lockers currently in use.

Bicycling rides through Malibu Creek State Park with volunteers from the National Park Service’s Mountain Bike Unit, which helps introduce kids to mountain biking while making the trails more inclusive. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

State 

PeopleForBikes released the schedule for next months 2022 Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point.

Riverside County prosecutors rejected a hit-and-run charge against a man who killed a 62-year old bike rider outside of Hemet last week, as well as a charge of driving without a license, sending the case against Carlos Arturo Acosta back to the CHP for further investigation.

Three San Luis Obispo men pled guilty to killing a man riding a bicycle in a 2019 gang shooting.

San Francisco Strava artist Lenny Maughan marked the Year of the Tiger by using his bike to sketch the prowling cat atop the city map, riding 90 miles in four days to create the intricate artwork.

 

National

A Seattle website calls for the repeal of the county’s bike helmet mandate, saying it leads to biased enforcement against the homeless and people of color, while a local public radio station considers the hopefully soon to be repealed law.

The owners of a Dolores, Colorado bike shop do the right thing, applying for state historical funds to restore the 116-year old building they call home in the town of less than 900 people.

A new report shows Austin, Texas leads the nation in building bike lanes, with nearly 100% of the spending devoted to protected bike lanes. That compares with Los Angeles, where less than 40% of our already paltry efforts goes to protected lanes.

After Chicago bike riders complained about the removal of a bike lane, the city painted sharrows on the sidewalk and said “ride there.”

A Long Island legal columnist offers advice on what to do if you’re struck by a driver while riding your bike. Although he gets the order wrong; contacting your insurance company can wait until you preserve the evidence and get your ass to a doctor.

Sad news from New York, where an ebike rider died nearly a month after he was doored by a taxi passenger; naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim, allowing the driver and his passenger to go their merry way.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a man got a lousy 30 months for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bicycle, then tried to blame an innocent co-worker for the crash. Never mind that it was the third time in six years he’d been accused of DUI. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

Popular BBC presenter Jeremy Vine was knocked unconscious when he hit a pothole while riding a Penny Farthing over the weekend, and was thrown over the handlebars; he was lucky to escape with just a black eye. And from that height, it’s long damn way down.

A 93-year old South African man got his stolen bike back after neighborhood watch members spotted a man walking it down the street; he was given the bike by his parents for his 21st birthday, and has ridden it for more than 70 years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Egan Bernal continues his recovery from a near-fatal training crash by riding a stationary bike for the first time since he was injured over three weeks ago in Colombia.

Belgian ‘cross star Toon Aerts professes his innocence after testing positive for a banned drug before his sixth place finish in the worlds. Although it’s kind of hard to explain why a healthy cyclist would have a breast cancer drug in his system if he wasn’t doping.

 

Finally…

How to ride a six-legged tandem. If you’re going to bust out a bike shop window to steal a $7,000 e-mountain bike, maybe try riding off instead of walking it down the street.

And maybe make sure the paint is dry first before riding through it.

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

Carlsbad GOP candidate gets proposed ebike bill all wrong, sexist anti-bike bias, and the high cost of traffic violence

No bias here.

A Republican candidate for the California Assembly from Carlsbad takes aim at a proposal to provide a tax rebate for part of the purchase price on a new ebike.

The proposal, AB 117, is supported by current Assembley Member Tasha Boerner Horvath, whom she hopes to unseat.

At a price-point anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, they are a noteworthy investment, but should the government be subsidizing these purchases without accountability? Absolutely not. Yet Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath wants to spend unlimited amounts of money to do just that.

Maybe someone should tell her about the massive rebates the state already gives to people who buy electric cars.

But rudeness, rather than money, seems to be her chief objection.

Worse, many of us have witnessed near collisions between e-bikes or e-scooters and vehicles. Personally, I have been almost struck while crossing the street in a crosswalk, and many people have observed near-catastrophes on a daily basis.

So, from her point of view, we should make it harder to buy ebikes, because someone almost struck her while riding one.

Because apparently, no one on a regular bicycle — or a scooter, skateboard, roller skates or running shoes — would ever do such a dastardly deed.

And she’s evidently never experienced the way rude, aggressive and/or inattentive drivers treat people in crosswalks, either.

But the most frightening part, from her bizarre perspective, is that the bill would provide up to $10 million in state tax rebates. Never mind that California currently has an $85 billion — yes billion, with a b — tax surplus.

Which, by my English major math calculations, works out to less than 0.012% of that surplus.

Now the state government wants to fund incentives for purchasing electric bicycles — atop significant out-of-control spending already happening at the state level.

Think I’m kidding? One of Boerner Horvath’s latest bills — Assembly Bill 177 — states that the purpose of her newest taxpayer-funded program is to “fund…incentives for purchasing electric bicycles” under the guise of an “air quality improvement program.”

But wait, there’s more!

Despite Horvath’s empty virtue signaling to the environmentalists, the government should not be incentivizing us to purchase electric bicycles when they are already affordable and available. That’s the job of Lime, Bird, and other companies in the San Diego region. Plus, those companies are held accountable by the cities in which they operate — not by nameless bureaucrats in Sacramento.

Maybe $1,500 to $4,000 — or a lot more, actually — is affordable to her. But it’s a major stretch for many of the constituents she hopes to represent.

And she apparently has no idea what Lime, Bird and other e-scooter providers actually do.

Or what bikeshare is, for that matter.

Then she trots out the usual bike hater screeds.

This legislation is a disaster in the making. Beyond the notion that this isn’t the role of government, there are no safety precautions, no spending limits, and no licensing requirements. Above all, there is no accountability to determine the efficacy of the program or its reduction in air pollution.

So, she wants to license ebike riders. Or maybe all bike riders.

Never mind that California already regulates ebikes into three distinct classes, with increasing levels of safety restrictions and requirements.

And did we mention that $10 million spending limit?

As for reducing air pollution, she’s got a point. Everyone knows the paltry electricity consumed by a little ebike, and its burrito eating rider, would create far more emissions than your average massive gas-guzzling SUV.

Right?

Let’s hope that, contrary to her wishes, AB 117 does see the light of day.

And the very confused and uninformed 

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Then again, they’re blaming ebikes in New York, too.

On the other hand, Cycling Savvy discusses ebike etiquette so you won’t be one of those few ebike-riding jerks justifiably complains about.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority who aren’t.

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You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this hard-hitting op-ed from a New Zealand environmental sociologist and bike rider.

When white men start using a bike, I often think they experience a sort of status shock. They see what marginalisation feels like: the dehumanisation, the fear, the threat of violence. If you ride a bike and you belong to another group who already lives with this threat, there is a familiarity to it all…

Being a cyclist often reminds me of being a woman. If someone hurts me it’s my fault because I didn’t wear the right thing, I didn’t defer to them and “know my place”, and I didn’t just smile and put up with their abuse. Power imbalances foster bullying.

So, avoid them if you can, the dehumanising stereotypes. All the comparisons to vermin this past fortnight on conservative radio and social media – cockroaches, rats, lice, etc –  have been way out of line. Even the fixation with lycra. It’s something male sports cyclists usually wear. The obsession with men wearing tight revealing clothing in public so often veers into an obviously homophobic place. Just don’t.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

Because it probably matters more than you think.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

Bystanders had to lift a pickup off an 11-year old boy, after an alleged drunk driver ran the kid down while he was riding in a crosswalk, then continued on dragging the boy underneath his truck for a “considerable distance,” leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

One of the top dog handlers missed out on this year’s Westminster Dog Show after his van was rear-ended in Laramie, Wyoming while driving ten canine competitors cross-country to the show; he ended up in the hospital, but fortunately, the dogs were uninjured. Which goes to show how much safer cars could be if everyone inside just rode in the human equivalent of a dog crate.

Speaking of Wyoming — Wyoming, Delaware in this case — a 74-year old man was killed in a collision when he was run down by a driver while mowing his lawn when a driver lost control of her SUV, pinning him underneath.  Naturally, no charges have been filed yet, because it was just an oopsie.

A Canadian woman complains that the drunken hit-and-run driver who fatally rear-ended her 27-year old son as he rode his bicycle could be out of prison in just one and a half years, despite a BAC over twice the legal limit after an admitted 13 drinks that day prior to getting behind the wheel — leaving a hole in her family that can never be filled.

In another form of violence due to motor vehicles, the grave of Robert Meacham, who rose from slavery to Florida state senator and helped establish the state’s public school system, is likely buried unmarked and unremembered under a Tampa parking lot, along with the bodies of hundreds of other Black people.

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Sarah Silverman is one of us now.

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GCN dives into the endless debate over roadies versus gravel bikes (gravelies?).

They also consider whether Shimano’s integrated shifters and brake levers were the greatest bike innovation of all time.

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

A road raging woman from an undisclosed location got out of her car to demand a young bike-riding woman give her “everything” in compensation for an invisible scratch to her apparently very expensive car.

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Local

Streets For All wants you to call on the city council’s Transportation Committee to support walking, bicycling, and micromobility and maximizing traffic signal priority for the Expo Line, as part of the LA’s Green New Deal, which could finally be getting long overdue traction.

A year ago, LA Times readers were asked to envision life post-pandemic, but only one lonely response addressed how nice life was with fewer cars on the streets. The simple fact is, if we go back to life as normal pre-pandemic, with cars maintaining hegemony over our streets, we will have failed. And looking outside, it appears we already have.

 

State

Two armed Orange County men were busted after blocking the path of a pair of Garden Grove bike riders with their car, robbing the woman of her bike, pack and cellphone while her male companion bravely rode away; police seized six guns from their home, was well as gun parts.

Family-owned Hesperia bike shop Hi-Desert Bikes is shuttering in August after 30 years in business, sending its owner into an unplanned early retirement.

 

National

If you still long for the little red wagon of your youth, Radio Flyer is riding to the rescue with a pair of fat tire ebikes.

Streetsblog marks Pride Week by examining how the design and planning needs of LGBTQ+ can make public spaces more inclusive.

Livestrong recommends this years best bike locks, starting at just $14.99.

An Anchorage paper says bicycling is a great way to visit different Alaskan towns, while finishing your ride with a local brew.

The Las Vegas bicycling community joined family members in remembering the five bike riders killed by a meth-fueled truck driver, six months after the fatal crash.

The popular bike repair website written by the late Sheldon Brown could be in jeopardy, as the Boston bike shop where he worked, which maintains the site, is shutting down.

More on the custom handmade bicycle President Biden got on the cheap for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from Philadelphia’s Bilenky Cycle Works at a steep presidential discount, and in record time. And no, he didn’t get a Wikipedia printout in returnThanks to k_david for the link.

Kindhearted members of a West Virginia police community group bought a new bicycle for a young boy, after the Spider-man bike he got for Christmas was stolen off his porch.

Kindhearted New Orleans cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a nine-year old boy, after his was stolen when he was pushed off it by a group of older boys.

A Florida artist makes a statement for inclusion in bicycling with a 215-foot Ocala mural depicting bike riders of all ages, genders, nationalities and abilities.

 

International

Vancouver bike riders shed their clothes for the city’s first post-pandemic edition of the World Naked Bike Ride. And in New Orleans, tooAt least, we can hope it’s post-pandemic, despite rising overseas variants and a high level of unvaxxed people in the US and Canada.

They kinda get it. An editorial in Toronto’s Globe & Mail unexpectedly emerged from behind the paper’s paywall, asking — and attempting to answer — what if cities were designed for the safety of people, instead of the convenience of cars. Although cities could go way beyond Vision Zero, and consider designing them for the convenience of people, as well. 

An Oxford, England writer complains that the way the media reports on crashes involving bike riders, including use of the word accident, just fuels the conflict between bicyclists and motorists.

A heartbroken English mother called on parents to pay more attention to their bike-riding children, after her 12-year old son was killed by a driver the first time he rode his bike on the streets, while being watched by her estranged husband.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this survey gathering responses from disabled bike riders in the UK; if you live or ride in the UK with a disability, or care for someone who does, they want to hear from you.

Advocates in Lagos, Nigeria are calling for more robust provisions. policies and affordability for non-motorized transportation, including walking and bicycling.

Bike riders in Jakarta are calling for a bicycle revolution in Indonesia’s capital city, as the governor calls for building 310 miles of bike lanes, as well as a $56,000 monument to bicycling in the city’s main thoroughfare.

An Aussie writer says riding a bicycle is sweet freedom, even if it might kill her. And it lets her eat more of her wife’s cakes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bike racing returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time since the pandemic reared its ugly head, only to face near total domination from our hometown L39ion of Los Angles, which took all three men’s podium spots and the top two women’s spots at the Tulsa Arts District Crit. And swept the top spot on all three individual race titles and omniums on Sunday.

Congratulations to Colorado’s Riley Amos, who became the first American man to win a U23 World Cup mountain bike race.

Cycling Weekly writes that new unions for both men’s and women’s pro cyclists could be about to change the shape of top level bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next bikepacking campsite could be a portable treehouse trailer towed behind your bike. And probably not the best idea to ride a children’s bike along the crowded train platform you’re supposed to be guarding.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Safety of Cardiff protected bike lane questioned, SD biking safer than you think, and adventures in bad headlines

San Diego bike advocate Phillip Young is a frequent contributor to this site.

I always appreciate his insights. But we part ways when it comes to protected bike lanes.

Young penned a guest post for Cycling Salvation, suggesting that protected bike lanes only give the illusion of safety, while posing a hidden risk to new and experienced bike riders alike.

Bordered by raised asphalt barriers and bright plastic pylons, these “protected bike lanes” create a sort of “safety bubble” that protects cyclists from vehicles moving alongside them, in the same direction. In theory, cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and scenery, while cars and trucks whizz by in the adjacent vehicle lane. Motorists will see the fun loving bikers not slowed by traffic jams and join them in droves. Soon, we’ll all be pedaling together, in cycling bliss.

But those rosy assurances crumble, when we confront the real dangers of “protected bike lanes”, and the emotional and economic cost of the accidents, injuries, and deaths that plague them.

He directs his barbs in particular at a recently installed curb-protected bike lane on the coast highway through Cardiff.

According to statistics gathered by North County cycling advocates, there were 24 accidents — all at slow speeds — in just 8-months on a 1-mile flat “protected bike lane” stretch installed last year on the Cardiff 101 beach route. Fifteen of those crashes were caused by cyclists who collided with the raised asphalt barriers designed to keep vehicles away from the bike traffic. A ten-year-old rider flopped into the traffic lane after colliding with an asphalt barrier – fortunately, not run over by a vehicle. Many of these crashes resulted in ambulance rides to a hospital including: 1-knocked unconscious, 1-neck injury, 2-multiple bone fractures, 1-broken pelvis, 2-pedestrian crashes, and 1-hit surfboard.

The “protected bike lanes” on popular beachfront roads also attract pedestrians, joggers, families with strollers, beachgoers carrying umbrellas, coolers, and chairs, and scores of other non-cyclists. Those pedestrians don’t always pay attention to the cyclists, which creates a serious hazard for everyone. Raised barriers are also a pedestrian trip hazard. When a “protected bike lane” is on a steep grade, the added bike speed makes the situation even more hazardous.

Young also points to the death of a bike rider on another protected bike lane, with a design that prevented the driver from merging into the lane before turning, as required by California law.

A cyclist on Leucadia Blvd suffered a much worse fate. A truck driver made a right turn in front of the rider, who was killed when he collided with the truck. The plastic pylons designed to “protect” the cyclist had the opposite effect; they prevented the truck driver from slowly moving towards the curb as he prepared to make that right turn onto Moonstone Ct.

It’s a well argued piece, worth the click and a few minutes of your time.

However, the suggestion that protected bike lanes increase danger to bike riders runs counter to virtually all of the studies I’ve seen, including this endorsement from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Even the most critical recent report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most protected bike lanes improve safety for bike riders, with a few limited exceptions like narrow two-bike lanes or protected lanes broken up by numerous driveways and turns.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 24 bicycling crashes he refers to along a single stretch of road in an eight-month period works out to just three per month.

And yes, that’s three too many.

But it’s stat presented out of context. What matters isn’t how many crashes there were after the bike lanes went in, but how that compares to before they were installed.

If there were five crashes a month before the lanes were installed, a reduction to three a month would reflect a significant improvement in safety.

On the other hand, if there was an average of two bicycling crashes a month prior to the protected bike lanes going in, then it would mark a 50% decrease in safety.

The same holds true with the severity of the crashes. Even if there are more crashes now, if the victims are less seriously injured, the protected bike lanes are doing their job.

That said, looking at a photo of these particular bike lanes suggests several serious safety deficiencies.

First, the bike lane doesn’t appear to be wide enough to accommodate two bicycle riding side-by-side, making it challenging to safely pass slower riders. And no one is going to patiently ride in single file behind someone riding at a fraction of their speed.

The proximity of the parking lane also means passengers will exit onto the bike lane, potentially into the path of a passing rider — not to mention cross the bike lane on their way to the beach laden with blankets, umbrellas, coolers and kids.

And the narrow, unwelcoming walkway to the right means many, if not most, pedestrians will choose to walk in the bikeway, instead.

As much as I support protected bike lanes, this particular one does not appear to pass the smell test.

Or any other test, for that matter.

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While we’re on the subject, Phillip Young added some more thoughts in an email exchange yesterday afternoon, which is worth sharing here.

Doing research for my article, I came across San Diego County car vs bicycle accident data:

Average number of San Diego County car vs bicycle accident / crashes annually: 629

San Diego County population 3+ million people

The majority (60%) of the accidents are “Bicycle Riders Acting Badly”:

  • Ran a red light or stop sign
  • Cutting in between cars
  • Taking unnecessary chances

Inexperienced male bicycle riders between ages of 15 and 19 account for most accidents.

The overwhelming majority (92%) of the accidents, the bicycle rider sustains non-severe injuries:

  • 1% Deaths (Not all bicycling deaths are solely the car or truck driver’s fault: e.g. gun shot, alcohol / drugs, medical event, bicycle equipment failure, no lights or reflectors at night, etc.)
  • 7% Severe Injuries
  • 92% Complaint of pain and other visible injury

It is very unlikely a car will hit you on your next bike ride (Average 629 annual crashes with a population of 3+ million people). Even if you are unlucky and a car does hit you, 92% chance it will be a non-severe injury.

It’s way more likely you will hit something and crash — we don’t need more stuff sticking up to crash into or bad road surfaces with holes and debris to cause a fall. Even a slow speed bicycle crash can be serious.

Money is much better spent building Class I Bike Paths and Class II Buffered Bike Lanes.  Building more miles of Class IV Cycle Tracks (Protected Bike Lanes) will just multiply our problems.

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The victim in the fatal Florida bike crash during the 72-hour Sea to Sea endurance race has been identified as Dr. Troy Manz.

The former Marine was a first-year resident at an Indiana hospital, and a member of the Air National Guard.

Two women riding near Dr. Manz were seriously injured. They were among the nine bicyclists involved in four collisions during the race.

Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the driver will face charges.

After all, it is Florida, which isn’t exactly friendly to bike riders.

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Who knew?

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is one of us, too. 

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A bike messenger and fixie crit racer toured Southern California, looking for the fastest descents the state has to offer.

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Adventures in bad headlines.

Apparently, the driver. or maybe a bystander, was violently killed after hitting the bike rider.

Or at least, that’s what the headline and story implies.

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Sometimes it seems like there’s nothing in our future that The Simpsons hasn’t already predicted.

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

A “mob” of teenage bike riders rode through a UK grocery store two days in a row, becoming abusive when staffers asked them to leave.

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Local

The family of 31-year old Victor Valencia have filed suit against the LAPD for fatally shooting the mentally ill man as he allegedly waved a bicycle part resembling a gun.

UCLA Transportation wonders if an ebike is right for you.

Pasadena police wrote 138 tickets during the latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, the overwhelming majority of which went to motorists; just 17 bike riders were ticketed for violations like riding salmon or on the sidewalk, or blowing through stop signs and red lights.

 

State

Kindhearted La Habra cops pitched in to buy a new bike for a 13-year old boy after the one he got from his dad for Christmas was stolen the very next day.

Awful news from San Diego, where a 40-year old former BMX coach was convicted of sexually assaulting three young boys, at least one below the age of ten, after first plying them with porn.

Bakersfield police are looking for the driver of a white, late 1990s Toyota Avalon for the hit-and-run crash that injured a bicyclist last month.

A Sacramento man faces 61 years behind bars for wrapping a woman in his coat and carrying her off a bike path after seeing she was in distress — then fatally stabbing her without warning, for no apparent reason.

Good news, as police in Concord recovered a stolen shipping container filled with nearly 500 bikes that were headed for Botswana; no word on whether the people who stole it were arrested.

 

National

Writing for Bicycling, bike scribe Joe Lindsey tells the Bike Twitterati to give the former Mayor Pete a break, because what really matters is that the Transportation Secretary is on a bicycle. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. Which really makes you wonder what the point of their paywall is, anyway.

Speaking of Buttigieg, he’s scheduled to address the Bike League’s National Bike Summit tomorrow.

Rolling Stone — yes, the music magazine — recommends the best helmets for bike riders.

A Washington man got a well-deserved nine years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while high on meth; he stopped to dislodge the bike from under his car, and told someone he thought he hit a mailbox. Because lots of mailboxes ride bicycles, apparently.

That’s just why everyone goes to Vegas, to ride a Peloton in your hotel room.

He gets it. An op-ed from the head of a Utah council of business and governmental leaders calls on the state to increase investment in the post-pandemic bike boom.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike that a disabled Missouri man relied as his only form of transportation. And just the opposite for the kindhearted stranger who replaced it.

A Kentucky man admits to being the hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider while high on marijuana and meth.

A Black Rhode Island woman is working to get more women of color on bikes.

A new study shows investing in more bicycling and walking could save as many as 770 lives and $7.6 billion annually in the Northeast states alone.

That’s more like it. A coalition of New York transportation, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy groups are calling on the city to convert 25% of the city’s streets to spaces for bikes, buses and walkers by 2025. Meanwhile, Slate considers what the city could do with all that space.

Key West says get your ebikes off the sidewalks. And slow down, already.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains why roundabouts suck for people on bicycles.

Bike sales figures suggest the bike boom has survived a gloomy British winter.

Tour Christchurch, New Zealand by bike on your next trip to the island nation.

 

Finally…

That feeling when everyone’s reading the tea leaves in your Peloton bio — except you don’t have one. Everyone knows Ozone is bad for people on bicycles.

And who needs protected bike lanes, anyway?

https://twitter.com/anderspreben/status/1366440759113756674

………

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

OC bike path could be allowed to just wash away, and Carlsbad man gets 20 years for attacking bike-riding ex-girlfriend

It’s Day 12 of the 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Elizabeth T, Michael W and Wayne H for their generous support to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day! And especially for the kind words that came with it.

So take a few minutes right now to join them is supporting this site, and help keep all the freshest bike news coming to your favorite device every morning!

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The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says a meeting of the California Coastal Commission could determine whether a Capistrano Beach bike path will be allowed to wash away during the winter.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

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A Carlsbad man got a well-deserved 20 years behind bars for viciously attacking his 72-year old ex-girlfriend in a Costco parking lot — while still wearing an ankle bracelet due to previous threats against her.

Sixty-for-year old Charles Higgins was sentenced to 19 years and eight months for inflicting corporal injury on a former significant other, after a jury deadlocked on an attempted murder charge.

Up until the attack, the victim, who wasn’t publicly identified, rode her bike up to 100 miles a week. Now that’s been stolen from her by her injuries and a subsequent stroke.

Higgins was still under a protective order to keep away from her at the time of the attack.

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This isn’t the only site that needs your help right now.

And deserves it.

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GCN offers tips for ebike maintenance.

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Overcoming broken bones, stolen bikes and a global pandemic in a four year quest to stitch together a two minute video of mountain biking in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult tricycle a Clovis special needs man relied on for transportation.

Sad news from Richmond, where a 56-year old man was killed after allegedly running a red light on his bicycle. As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who saw him do it.

Fremont moves to improve safety by banning cars from a narrow canyon road, while leaving it open for hikers and bike riders.

Cyclist traces the history of Mountain Home-based Specialized.

 

National

Ped-assist cargo ebikes could change delivery as we know it.

Cycling Tips’ Caley Fretz looks back on ten bike products he loved this year.

‘Tis the season. A Knoxville, Tennessee nonprofit donated 259 kids bikes to a local rescue mission.

More proof New York bicycling is still booming, as bicycling rates have doubled along a popular Brooklyn waterfront greenway.

Too typical. An upstate New York letter writer calls for a greater awareness of bicycle safety. But all the advice falls on the people on two wheels, not the ones in the big, dangerous machines that pose the biggest threat to them.

Central American immigrants band together to demand better treatment for New York food delivery riders, including fair wages, bathroom access and a place to shelter from the cold. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A kindhearted Alabama cop dug into his own pocket to have a three-wheeled bike repaired for a special needs student with cerebral palsy.

The eight best mountain bike trails in relatively flat Alabama.

A reminder not to dump your old tires, after a Florida manatee finally freed itself from the bike tire that was stuck around it for nearly a year.

 

International

Cycling News considers the best women’s ebikes for all kinds of riding.

An English woman somehow miraculously survived a 100 foot fall onto rocks after accidentally riding her bike off a seaside cliff. But she didn’t escape unscathed, suffering a broken skull and right eye socket, a dislocated and broken jaw, two broken wrists, two broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, a broken elbow and some broken fingers, as well as a “horrendous” bone-deep lacerated thigh.

Kindhearted UK cops bought a new bike for a man after discovering him riding a lightless kids bike to get to work.

There’s something seriously wrong with anyone who would intentionally vandalize a British toddler’s balance bike.

A rider in the UK learned the hard way not to leave his $8,000 bike unattended, even if his son needed help with a pay toilet.

 

Competitive Cycling

Greg LeMond’s hometown newspaper celebrates the award of the Congressional Gold Medal to America’s last remaining Tour de France winner.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you promise the 12 best bike trailers to ride with your dog, but only manage to name one. No, throwing your bike at a police cruiser to avoid getting busted is not a step up from threatening officers with a samurai sword.

And a futuristic ten grand tri bike probably isn’t the supercar of tomorrow.

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This one’s for Elizabeth T, who requested more sleepy corgi puppy pics when she made her donation, which I’m happy to oblige.

Even if it is a little light on the belly view she asked for.

………

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

Update: Man killed in Carlsbad train collision in what may be first San Diego County bike death this year

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that a 24-year old man was killed when he was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks in Carlsbad Thursday night.

According to the paper, the victim, who has not been publicly named, was riding east on the sidewalk near Grand Ave and Washington Street when he rode onto the tracks, and somehow struck the side of the train around 7:30 pm.

He was taken to an Oceanside medical center, where he died.

Sadly, he was on his way to meet friends in Carlsbad Village, the Times of San Diego reports.

A street view shows the railroad crossing is controlled by warning lights and crossing arms. However, the arms don’t extend to the sidewalk where the victim was riding. No explanation is given for why he apparently either didn’t notice the train, or was unable to stop in time to avoid it.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at 858/565-5200.

This is at least the 53rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be the first in San Diego County.

As we’ve noted many times before, a train crash is the easiest kind of collision to prevent because you know exactly where it will go, and get a clear warning of when it’s coming; it’s also the most difficult to survive.

So never ride through or around crossing arms or warning signals, and never stop on the tracks.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune reports the victim has been identified as 37-year old San Diego County resident Jason Lynn Holsinger, despite initial reports that the victim was 24.

The San Diego medical examiner confirms that Holsinger rode around the crossing gates and into the side of the train.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jason Lynn Holsinger and all his loved ones.

 

Update: Woman killed riding bike in Carlsbad when she reportedly veered out of bike lane

The deadly beat goes on, as a woman was killed riding her bike in Carlsbad this morning.

According to multiple sources, the 59-year old woman was riding south on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Blvd when a witness reports she drifted out of the bike lane in front of high-speed traffic, and was hit by a car sometime after 10 am.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A photograph from the scene show an aqua beach cruiser lying between the number one and two lanes, while another shows her tarped body resting on the bike lane marker itself. Which raises the question of just how far she strayed out of the bike lane, if at all.

Lining up a street view with the photos places the collision site somewhere along here, with a door zone-buffered bike lane next to two lanes of traffic.

The left turn lane suggests she may have been attempting to make a U-turn or turn left into the power plant. Or she may have swerved to avoid an obstacle or a vehicle pulling out from the curb.

There’s a 35 mph speed limit on the street; however, the straight, uninterrupted traffic lanes are likely to encourage speeding through that section.

This is the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and remarkably, the sixth in San Diego County. That compares with ten in SoCal this time last year, and three in the county.

Correction: I originally located the collision site further north away from the turn lane; thanks to Skip Pile for the correction.

Update: The victim has been identified as 59-year old Joyce Smith of Carlsbad.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Joyce Smith and her loved ones.

San Diego-area bike rider killed when minivan driver drifts into bike lane

Bad news from San Diego’s North County, as a 46-year old man was killed while riding in Carlsbad Wednesday evening.

According to the San Diego County Coroner’s office, Eric Steven Glasnapp was riding in a marked bike lane on College Blvd roughly one mile north of Palomar Airport Road at 6:32 pm when a minivan drifted into the lane and hit him from behind.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene just nine minutes later.

No drug or alcohol use was suspected.

And yes, Glasnapp was wearing a helmet; it clearly wasn’t enough to make a difference. A street view shows a virtual freeway with a 50 mph speed limit; a collision at that speed is not likely to be survivable, with or without a helmet.

Sadly, he leaves a wife behind.

This is the 38th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh in San Diego County; it’s also at least the fourth cycling death in Carlsbad since 2010. That compares to 56 in SoCal this time last year, and four in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eric Steven Glasnapp and all his loved ones.

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