Tag Archive for Chief Lunes

Mariah Kandise Banks, killer of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, finally sentenced; Griffith Park car ban is just the beginning

Before we get started, the LA City Council will consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s 10 am council meeting. 

This is an all hands on deck announcement. We’ll have more on this tomorrow, but clear your schedule if at all possible to be there and make every voice heard in support of this vital measure. 

Now buckle in, because we have a lot of ground to cover today. 

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Today’s photo shows a happy corgi enjoying a pedicab ride at yesterday’s CicLAvia, more proof that a good time was had by all. 

Even the four-footed attendees. 

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Friday finally saw justice served for the killer of Fredrick “Woon” Frazier, as Mariah Kandise Banks was sentenced to four years behind bars for hi hit-and-run death.

She has so far shown no sign of of remorse, and has reportedly been living the high life in the four years since is death, regardless of the impact it had on those left behind.

Woon’s friend Edin Barrientos forwarded the impact statement he wrote on behalf of the Chief Lunes bike crew.

Words To The Judge

I’m here on the behalf of the victim

Frederick Frazier and all the other cyclists /pedestrians killed by reckless drivers. I want to make it clear that the driver who took away Fredericks life back in 2018 was NO accident.

These speeding and reckless drivers who are out on the roads always use their cars as a means to intimidate and run us off the streets.

Every week we here news stories of people getting killed by violent drivers in our city.

It is a big injustice to the victims families and communities like South LA that harsher punishments aren’t being served to these mindless drivers. They don’t see us as equals on the roads and I feel that the Justice System sympathizes with drivers who kill the innocent.

Frederick left behind a loving mother and a baby boy behind who need his emotional and financial support.

Words for The Driver

You took away a father figure, you took away a loving son and a beloved cyclist in a welcoming community.

You deserve to be in jail for 10 years at least.

You tried running away with murder.

You’ve been free for 4 years, having the time of your life while knowingly having blood in your hands.

You’re a monster and monsters don’t deserve any freedom.

  • D.A fought for maximum sentence and was able to get the medium term
  • Charges: Vehicular Man Slaughter & Hit and Run
  • 4 years in State Prison
  • Moriah Banks was handcuffed and taken away by Sherrifs

Meanwhile, our anonymous courtroom corresponded had this to say.

This morning is Mariah Kandise Banks’ sentencing and the victim impact statement hearing. I don’t want to be there. I spoke with Woon’s mama in June and she was on the fence about speaking in court. What good can it do, she wondered. Nothing will ever bring her son back to her. She forgives Banks. I don’t, because I’ve attended her appearances and haven’t seen an iota of remorse. None. She’s just sorry she got caught.

Please pray for Woon’s family today.

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Our anonymous correspondent goes on to offer updates on multiple cases working their way through the courts.

On June 27th, a woman walking her three dogs was struck by a hit and run driver just two blocks from the site of AJ Brumback’s slaughter. (His little ghost bike and the large memorial are still there on Google Street View). This collision site is also two blocks southwest of Anita Sue Cherry’s last known address, on the corner of Seneca Dr. and Shawnee Rd.

The victim was hospitalized; the dogs are okay.

This echoes the Ali Zohair Fakhreddine case (going to trial next month), in which repeat drunk driver Fakhreddine killed a Newport Beach woman and her dog, then fled. I “watched” his arrest play out across two counties via the continuously updating CHP Live Incident page. Although Fakhreddine led police on a chase in his bloodied car, he was apprehended.

Next Thursday, Alexis Marvin Garcialopez, who killed 80-year-old Ernest Adams, will be arraigned for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Former bank robber Richard David Lavalle, who killed 12-year-old Noel Bascon as he biked in a crosswalk with his dad, has noir dire set for September 30th.

In regards to the recent hit and run death of the cyclist in La Habra, suspect Mario Poppop (the media gave the name as Popsuc, but jail & court records say Poppop) was released on the 15th. He’s charged with a single count of being an accessory after the fact. Since his son, the accused killer, is a juvenile, I’m unable to determine his status.

Still no court date for Amanda Martin, suspected in the hit and run death of Liem Bui near Mile Square Park last January. (Incidentally, only a week after her arrest, there was another major injury collision involving a cyclist near Mile Square.)

Unlicensed drunk driver Johnathan Martinez Aguilar, who fled after he ran down two female bicyclists (one a doctor) on PCH in Newport Beach in 2019, was sentenced on August 9th to 1 year in jail, 5 years of probation, restitution, and a First Offender Alcohol program.

Nicole Lorraine Linton, who killed six on South La Brea, isn’t the only killer driver with substantial mental illness. Ronald Earl Kenebrew, Jr. and Moises Iscaya, both remanded, remain under continued mental health evaluation.

My Favorite Lawyer™ Christien Petersen, the All-American Freedumb Fighter, will be arraigned on his assorted weapons and kidnapping charges on the 26th, and then the Court turns its attention to his drunk driving matter.

Anyway I have more updates than time to write.

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Evidently, the permanent ban on cars on Griffith Park Drive is just the beginning.

According to LAist, the closure of nearly a mile of the street in Griffith Park to stop commuters from using it as a dangerous cut-through route is just the first phase of the coming safety improvements.

The next phase will involve installing speed humps and speed feedback signs to slow speeding drivers.

That will be followed by creating a road buffet on Crystal Springs Drive, removing a car lane in each direction for new dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes, as well as buffer space for drivers.

This is the street where Andrew Jelmert was killed by an alleged speeding, DUI driver. Whether that would have been enough to keep him alive is questionable, but it’s a good start.

In addition, plans call for bike lanes to Zoo Drive, which is where Finish The Ride and SAFE founder Damian Kevitt was riding when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, and dragged a quarter mile underneath his van onto the 5 Freeway.

As you can see, the street closure is already creating smiles.

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This is who we share the road with.

The son of a 67-year old Azusa man has filed suit over the death of his father, who was killed by an Azusa motorcycle cop who somehow ran him down when he was just crossing the street; it’s unclear whether he was walking or riding a bicycle.

A 17-year old was murdered when he was run down by one or more hit-and-run drivers following a dispute at a warehouse parking lot party in South LA, apparently intentionally; the driver ran him down, then jumped into another vehicle and ran over him again. A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $5,000 of the $14,000 goal.

A Vancouver woman in her late 60s mistakenly hit the accelerator as she was pulling out of a shared driveway, and plowed into a wedding party, killing two people and injuring ten others, two critically. But police say it was just an “oopsie.”

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By all accounts, yesterday’s return of the Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia was a big hit, with a huge morning turnout.

The Los Angeles Daily News offers a nice photo essay, if you can get past their paywall.

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This is a very detailed and insightful submission to Redondo Beach officials, and worth a read for anyone who rides the South Bay.

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Bike Silicon Valley is looking for a new Program Coordinator/Manager who can speak Spanish.

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Congratulations to Chicago, on finding a crappy new way to door bike riders.

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If this doesn’t give you nightmares, you’re officially immune.

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

A Washington man vows to continue riding, after a road rage attack while training for an Ironman triathlon left him confined to a wheelchair.

This is the harm a single determined NIMBY can do, as one neighborhood lawyer appoints himself to halt a fully approved and funded Chicago greenway.

No bias here. A British lawyer welcomes a proposal to require numbers license plates, speed limits and liability insurance for bike riders, saying “bikes cause harm.” Just wait until someone tells him about cars.

No bias here, either. A British paper blares a headline calling bike riders “Red light rats!” after counting 26 bicyclists rolling through a red light in front of Buckingham palace in just one hour — but fails to mention that the road was closed to cars, and police urged riders to keep going through the intersection, regardless of red lights.

A jury in the UK found two men guilty of murder for intentionally running down a rival drug dealer as he was riding a bicycle, and leaving him to die in the street.

A Spanish driver was arrested following ten hours on the run, after he intentionally drove into a group of eight people riding bicycles, killing two and seriously injuring three other riders.

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

Bike riders tragically found themselves on both sides of the gun in Los Angeles this weekend; a woman was fatally shot near Seventh Street and Central Avenue early Sunday morning, after arguing with a man who fled by bicycle following the shooting. Meanwhile, a man riding a bicycle was the victim in a Friday shooting in Echo Park, when another man walked up and shot him as he rode by.

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Local

Streetsblog has more details on the “damning” report showing Metro’s highway building program more than offsets the climate benefits of all their bike, pedestrian and transit programs combined.

Streets For All urges you to complete a survey on LA’s Al Fresco Dining Program, which is currently under review; the program allows restaurants to convert parking spaces to outdoor dining areas, bringing more life to the city’s streetscape.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton interviews CD11 candidates Traci Park and Erin Darling to get their views on transportation issues as they vie to replace outgoing Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Outside considers the case of 12-year-old Molly Steinsapir, whose family is suing Rad Power Bikes after the girl was killed while riding on the back of a friend’s ebike.

Automotive website MotorBiscuit concludes that the LA-based Cero One is worth the $3,800 price tag if you can afford it, calling it the SUV of ebikes.

Active SGV co-founder Wesley Reutimann writes about the new GoSGV program, calling it the nation’s first ebike subscription program.

 

State 

Maybe you can’t walk on water, but you can pedal across it. An Orange County man is attempting to break a world record by pedaling from Newport Beach to Catalina.

A nine-year old boy was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver in San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood, suffering multiple fractures, a concussion and facial lacerations.

Kindhearted Fontana cops bought a new bike and birthday supplies for a seven-year old boy, after a thief stole his mom’s purse with the money she had saved for a birthday gift and party.

She gets it. A Santa Barbara op-ed says bikeways nurture cities.

A 45-year old woman was airlifted from the Santa Ynez Valley after suffering a head injury in a bike crash.

Apparently having learned absolutely nothing from the 2013 San Luis Obispo fiasco, Santa Rosa County is planning to refinish 50 miles of roadways with chip seal, making them virtually unridable for months afterwards

Prosecutors charged a 73-year-old Orinda man with felony hit and run for a July crash that left a 41-year old Oakland bike rider with a fractured pelvis.

 

National

Curbed’s Alissa Walker examines why it’s so hard to take a drivers license away from people who clearly shouldn’t have one. Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

They get it. A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case that slow transportation should be a human right.

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics sounds the alarm over decreased helmet use by children, as 52% of kids under 18 injured while skateboarding, snowboarding and bicycling weren’t wearing helmets.

Trek is recalling every existing 2021 and 2022 Emonda SLR and 2022 Speed Concept SLR bike over fears the carbon frame could break while riding.

A 60-year old man is in the midst of his 13th bicycle tour across the US to raise awareness of brain injuries; he’s been riding for 15 years and 37,500 miles, and is on his third bicycle and fifth bike trailer.

Redbook recommends nine bike friendly cities you can visit right now, without leaving the US.

State and federal leaders are teaming with bike advocates trying to save an aging bridge over the Potomac to use as a bike bridge when a parallel new bridge opens, despite the insistence of transportation officials that maintaining the bridge is not an option.

 

International

Winnipeg, Manitoba is painting murals on city streets in an effort to slow speeding drivers.

A Toronto paper discovers that some people are choosing to forgo planes, trains and automobile, and take trips by bicycle instead, often aided by ebikes.

The Guardian talks with Brompton’s “evangelist-in-chief,” who is trying to change the world one foldie at a time.

The news isn’t good for Welsh decathlete Ben Gregory, who is in a coma and on life support after fracturing his neck and skull when he was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle last week.

A former UK bouncer has turned himself into a bike-riding vigilante to fight crime, after someone vandalized his car, causing around $1,200 damage.

Doctors with Britain’s National Health Service will now be prescribing bike lessons, bike loans and long walks to improve their patients health.

A teenager appears to have set a new world record by riding his bicycle to 76 British castles in a single week, topping the old record of 67.

The Irish Times considers whether Denmark is Europe’s most bike-friendly country.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Dan Bigham set a new hour record of 54.723km, topping the 54.526km set by Bradley Wiggins in 2016 — the equivalent of 33,003 miles.

On Sunday, Austrian cyclist Marco Haller was a Hamburger, outsprinting Wout van Aert and Quinten Hermans to win the one Bemer Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany.

Team leader Richard Carapaz gave his Ineos Grenadiers teammates a scare when the Ecuadoran crashed hard after hitting a cone on a tight corner in Sunday’s stage three of the Vuelta.

The news wasn’t as good for Canada’s Michael Woods, who crashed out of the Vuelta with a concussion.

Swiss mountain bike specialist Mathias Flückiger was suspended pending an investigation after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Zeranol. But the era of doping is over, right? Or are most cyclists just getting away with it?

 

Finally…

Once again, President Biden took a bike ride along the beach, and did not fall off.

And there are a lot worse things you can do with an old bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Chief Lunes cyclist dies in Vegas car crash, removing cops from traffic enforcement, and no 15-minute city in LA

My apologies for Friday’s unexcused absence. 

Between my diabetes, neuropathy and whatever the hell else was going on, Thursday was one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory.

Just one more reminder that I’m not in charge of my own body any more.

Which is a very hard thing for a formerly dedicated bicyclist to face.

And another reminder to see your doctor, improve your diet, and do whatever it takes to keep your blood sugar under control. 

Because you really don’t want this shit. Especially now

Photo by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay.

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Let’s start with some heartbreaking news.

Many of us got to know Spencer Sims, either directly or through sites like this, following the hit-and-run death of bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA two years ago.

Like Woon, Sims was a member of the Chief Lunes cycling group, and was one of the leaders in the fight for justice for Frazier, as well as his mother and infant child, who was born after his death.

For well over a year afterwards, I got emails from Sims about the status of the case and the next moves in their battle for justice.

Sadly, I won’t be getting any more.

It took awhile to confirm, but Spencer Sims was killed, along with another man, in a single-car collision outside Las Vegas last week, when 19-year old driver lost control and the car they were riding in left the road.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt.

There were apparently no witnesses to the crash; a passerby reported finding the wreckage sometime later. Just a couple more sacrifices to the motor vehicle gods.

Now Woon’s mother will be even more alone and isolated without Sims looking in on her.

And he leaves this world without ever seeing justice for his friend and fellow rider. After a retracted confession and countless delays, Mariah Candice Banks, the woman accused of killing Woon in her high-end SUV, has yet to set foot in a courtroom for anything other than her arraignment.

Her long-delayed prelim is now scheduled for November 4th.

Sims won’t be there; let’s hope he and Woon are riding together somewhere. But maybe some of us can take his place.

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LAist makes the case for why we may not really need police to enforce traffic laws and curb traffic violence, suggesting there are effective alternatives like automated enforcement and self-enforcing street design.

This summer, a group of L.A. City Council members filed a motion calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and legislative officials to work with community members and report back on alternative methods of traffic enforcement, collision investigations and other traffic safety duties currently handled by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Some potential changes that will be explored: replacing LAPD officers with a “transit ambassador program” staffed by unarmed LADOT personnel and/or automated technology to monitor and cite drivers for speeding, illegal turns and other moving violations.

“Such a move would virtually eliminate the LAPD’s role in traffic stops, one of the leading forms of interaction between police and the public,” states the motion, which was filed by L.A. City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Herb Wesson.Breonna

It’s a challenging and thought-provoking read, well worth a few minutes of your time.

Because the current system really isn’t working for anyone.

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The C40 Cities — a group of 96 cities dedicated to taking action to fight climate change — says the concept of a 15-minute city is rapidly spreading around the world.

That’s the idea that you should be able to walk, bike or take transit to anything you need within 15 minutes of your home or office.

Except here in Los Angeles, of course.

Where the car continues to be king, nothing even slightly resembling a bike network exists anywhere outside of Downtown, and Metro just locked in major service cuts for at least the next year.

Never mind that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is the current chair of the Metro board. Not to mention chair of C-40 Cities.

Or are we not supposed to notice that?

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A truck driver floored it after encountering a Breonna Taylor protest in Hollywood, plowing through the crowd and seriously injuring a woman who was standing directly in front of his pickup.

That was followed by the driver of a Prius who forced his way through the crowd before being stopped and attacked with skateboards and bicycles.

A person was injured when a pickup driver plowed through a racial justice protest in Eureka, appearing to strike several people; the regional Coalition for Responsible Transportation condemned the attack.

A Milwaukee woman was injured when a driver accidentally hit her bike as she was riding on the wrong side of the road during a protest.

A Buffalo, New York woman faces charges for intentionally driving through a Bronna Taylor protest, seriously injuring a woman working as a bike marshal,

However, an Orange County woman flipped the script, seriously injuring two people by driving through a conservative, pro-Trump rally; 40-year old Long Beach resident Tatiana Turner was arrested.

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In a truly sickening action, a Seattle bike cop deliberately rolled his police bicycle over the head of a protestor lying prone in the street.

He was immediately placed on leave after the video surfaced, pending an investigation., while the victim decried the apparent disregard for human life.

Let’s hope this is the last time that cop wears blue.

A little further south in Portland, police threw an Uber delivery rider off his bike and hogtied him, even as he insisted he was just doing his job and had nothing to do with the protests.

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VeloNews follows along as five riders and a camera crew hope to inspire others with a 1,114-mile journey bikepacking tour exploring the Underground Railroad.

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Gravel Bike California goes riding in Puerco Canyon, as well as Latino Canyon and the iconic Rock Store.

For those Español challenged like me, that translates to Pig Canyon.

Just so you know.

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Slow Streets comes to Altadena, where most streets are, anyway.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A New York woman recounts her recent hit-and-run, describing a deliberate attack by a driver who knew he could get away with it.

Police are looking for a man who jumped off some rocks to attack two bicyclists with a bat as they rode on a paved trail through a Philadelphia park.

A Scottish cyclist reports an elderly “gentleman” tried to run him and another rider off the road, slowing down and swerving into them just after they completed a 31-hour, 560-mile ride. Although that pretty much defies any definition of gentleman I’m familiar with.

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

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who killed another man in an early morning bike-by shooting.

A defense lawyer in Canada’s Northwest Territories argues that his client was too drunk to form the intent necessary for murder, after killing another man following a day of bicycling in a drunken stupor.

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Local

Metro Bike is shutting down operations on LA’s Westside for a couple months starting today, as the system expands and unifies the Westside and Central bikeshare networks, as well as bringing in the popular ebike service.

Despite the budget cuts, Metro’s new long-range budget included plans to close the long-standing eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path, and provide better bike access to DTLA. Because evidently, those must be the only places anyone would ever want to go on a bicycle.

 

State

SoCal ebike maker Electric Bike Company has opened their first showroom in Huntington Beach.

A San Diego nonprofit is working with local small businesses to train young adults to work in the bicycle industry.

A Ventura man celebrated his miraculous recovery from a near-fatal mountain bike crash by paddle boarding 14 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor Marina from Anacapa Island.

Bay Area bike riders dropped Bike to Work Day and celebrated Bike to Wherever Day last week, instead.

San Francisco finally gets around to opening a carfree route through Golden Gate Park.

Seriously? A woman who was injured riding a Jump scooter in San Francisco has filed a class action suit against several e-scooter companies, including Uber and Segway, because…wait for it…no one warned consumers that scooters don’t have turn signals. No one tell her about bicycles.

 

National

How to access bicycling directions in the latest version of Apple Maps.

The former head of the League of American Bicyclists says it’s time to stop relying on commuter data as the primary measure to make traffic planning decisions, because there’s a lot more to transportation.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner is back in the bike business with a small line of carbon ebikes that are a far cry from the road bikes he used to be known for.

Minneapolis’ Black-led Major Taylor bike club has been working for two decades to get more people of color on bicycles.

How to navigate your next bike vacation in the Big Apple.

 

International

An op-ed from The Guardian calls for media reporting guidelines for traffic safety, arguing that how stories are reported and the language used contribute to the dangers on our roads and how the law is applied.

He gets it. Another writer for The Guardian says denying a child the joys of riding a bicycle is an abdication of parental responsibility, adding “No video game, Covid-19 lockdown or computer simulation can replace the childhood liberation of being alone on a bicycle.”

E-cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities around the world.

Chances are, a 13-year old dog may have visited more countries by bike than you have, traveling through 26 countries on a two-year bike tour of Europe and South America.

Cycling Weekly directs your attention to the best eco-conscious bikewear brands.

Needless to say, Vancouver bike riders aren’t happy about the closure of a popup bike lane through a park, because drivers somehow insisted they needed two lanes each way for their cars. Yes, choosing cars over people in a park.

A bighearted Cambridge University academic replaced a speech therapist’s stolen bike, because they’d helped him so much when he was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment as a child.

An 11-year old English girl rode a tandem 70 miles with her dad to visit all 12 cricket clubs in the North Staffordshire area, raising more than four times her original goal of £500 for cardiac risk assessments for young people; she’s raised the equivalent of over $2,800.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 93-year old British man raced competitively until he was 80, and still rides 150 miles a week.

A bike rider in the UK recorded 14 drivers traveling through a popup bike lane in just 35 minutes. Kind of makes you wonder how many went through it the other 23 hours and 25 minutes.

Forget CicLAvia. The entire city of Paris left their cars at home for one day for the city’s annual carfree day.

Parisian pedestrians find themselves competing for space with bike riders on the city’s busy streets.

France is introducing a new victim-blaming bike safety campaign as bicycling injuries go up with more people taking to the streets on two wheels.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. An Indian family is alive today because an anonymous bike rider was in the right place at the right time, leaping into action to pull them to safety after their car went off the road and into a natural drain before simply riding away afterwards; sadly, though, he wasn’t able to save the family’s three-year old girl.

Bicycling violations are up as in Japan as bicycling booms during the pandemic.

Malaysian bike riders take issue with a call from the country’s road safety institute to license bicyclists and require numbered plates, saying it would not improve traffic safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

Julian Alaphilippe won the world road championships with a late attack, becoming the first Frenchman to wear the rainbow jersey in over two decades.

Anna van der Breggen continued the Dutch dominance of the women’s road worlds, as the country placed three of the four top finishers; cyclists from the Netherlands have won the event four years in a row. Van de Breggen claimed the time trial title, too.

Last week we mentioned defending champ Chloe Dygert was injured after wiping out during the women’s time trial world championships. Turns out that injury was more gruesome than any of us probably imagined.

 

Finally…

If he really was Lucifer, why would he need to steal a bike? Two hundred miles in 32 hours is pretty good — especially when you’re doing it on your daughter’s little pink girl’s bike.

And evidently, moose don’t like cars any more than people on bikes do.

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

G’mar Chatima Tovah!

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