Tag Archive for Evan Vanroy Smith

Pasadena bike rider victim of random attack, and bike issues at today’s LA city council committee meetings

Let’s start with a personal note.

When I was a kid, I watched my diabetic mother struggle to inject insulin, and vowed I would never live my life tied to a needle, like she did.

So I started riding a bicycle, and never stopped, eventually riding for nearly four decades, and well more than 150,000 miles.

Yet I ended up getting diabetes anyway. In retrospect, an athletic lifestyle and a natural diet only served to hide the condition for around 20 years after I developed it.

And despite my best efforts, I lost my battle to avoid insulin yesterday.

Which goes to show that no matter how hard or fast you ride, you can’t outrun your own body.

………

A Pasadena bike rider was the victim of a random violent attack Monday evening.

The Pasadena Police Department is reporting that a Pasadena resident in his 40s was riding his bike when he stopped to check his phone, and was physically assaulted after exchanging words with the suspect.

He suffered a three-inch cut on his head, as well as cuts to the mouth and a bloody nose.

The suspect was described only as a Hispanic man in his 30s, who was last seen walking north on Holliston.

………

Streets For All says there are two important city council committee meetings today.

The Transportation Committee will hear reports on multimodal improvements on Lincoln Blvd, a study of multimodal transit improvements in CD13, and a report on recent street safety upgrades in CD15 at 2 pm today.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Committee will consider a call for transportation infrastructure investments in CD1, and shutting down a portion of the Arroyo Seco for ArroyoFest at their 3:30 pm meeting.

………

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting their monthly virtual happy hour this evening, featuring County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath.

………

In a bizarre report, Fox News says the ex-wife of Evan Vanroy Smith, the man accused of running down, then fatally stabbing ER Dr. Michael Mammone in Dana Point last week, was afraid of him in the weeks before the attack.

The network cites a story in the New York Post crediting Smith’s former father-in-law as the source of the statements.

However, the Post backtracked in a later story, quoting Smith’s ex as denying those claims, saying there was never any violence in the marriage, and that reports of a bitter dispute over child custody were untrue, as well.

Her father also retracted his earlier statements. Yet no mention of that made it into the Fox story.

Then again, that’s not too surprising, considering the source.

Meanwhile, a website for physicians examines the role road rage may have played in the murder of Dr. Mammone.

MDLinx notes that a recent report found 17% of American drivers had witnessed someone exit a vehicle in a fit of rage, and 7% had seen someone use a weapon in a road rage attack.

………

A video from CNBC explains the concept of induced demand. And why building more lanes and highways doesn’t solve traffic congestion.

………

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

No bias here. A British councilor complains that “Nothing compares to the overly sensitive lycra lobby that throw tantrums if you don’t worship at the altar of “active travel”. Or, looking at it another way, maybe they’re just tired of having their lives threatened by drivers and the civic leaders who enable them. 

No bias here, either. Drivers in Sydney, Australia criticize “genius” bicyclists for ignoring a bike lane to ride in the traffic lanes, even though locals describe the seriously deficient bike lane as unfit for the intended purpose.

………

Local 

Spectrum News 1 looks at the role speeding drivers and a lack of safe infrastructure play in LA’s rising rate of traffic deaths, resulting in a 24% increase in bicycling fatalities last year.

Returning West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman called for putting the brakes on a proposal for protected bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd; Heilman said the city should wait until work begins to extend the Crenshaw line into WeHo, which may not follow Santa Monica Blvd, and may not happen for decades.

 

State

Costa Mesa is improving safety by reducing speed limits in 17 locations throughout the city, thanks to a recent change in state law authored by Burbank Assembly Member Laura Friedman.

The parents of convicted DUI driver Adam David Milavetz have established a $50,000 architecture scholarship in the name of his victim; Milavetz pled guilty to killing Laura Shinn as she biked to work through San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Sad news from Cupertino, where a 69-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle.

San Francisco broke ground Monday on a misguided effort to reconstruct the city’s main thoroughfare, which will continue forcing bike riders to share the street with taxis and delivery trucks; Streetsblog describes the plan, which omits the previously promised sidewalk-level bike lanes, as half-assed.

Richmond is planning to construct several quick-build protected bike lanes and repurpose traffic lanes in advance of a new $40 million bike and pedestrian bridge spanning two roadways and a pair of railroad lines, in an effort to close a deadly gap in the city’s Greenway.

UC Davis receives a paltry $71,000 grant to improve bicycle safety on the ostensibly bike-friendly campus, where a student was recently killed by a truck driven by a campus worker.

 

National

Momentum Magazine recommends more bicycling to improve your mental health during the winter months.

Mother Jones makes the case for legalizing jaywalking, which was just decriminalized in California this year.

In a question that should resonate everywhere, a Portland writer asks why we’re neglecting something so essential as bicycling infrastructure.

A Michigan driver says he’s changed his mind about bike lanes in downtown Kalamazoo, after being convinced that prioritizing traffic and parking is bad for local businesses and livability.

 

International

Bike Radar considers the best bikes for older riders.

Road.cc offers the top tips on how to winter proof your bike to prepare for harsh weather conditions. Most of which apply here in LA, where harsh weather usually just means getting a little wet.

An Irish man proves you don’t have to be sighted to build the country’s first first Irish-designed and manufactured cargo bike.

Australia’s New South Wales released an Adventure Cycling Strategy that envisions a “burgeoning new regional tourism sector” based on “bundling existing cycling disciplines in an exciting new ways.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark Cavendish’s wife Peta describes the terror their family felt when a group of thieves held them at knifepoint in a 2021 home invasion, after two of the men were jailed for 15 and 12 years, respectively.

Canada claims a surprising third in the recent world ‘cross championships, behind expected leaders the Netherlands and Belgium.

Power company SoCal Edison talks with one of their senior It Services advisors about the challenges of becoming a world champion, after Vikki Appel claimed the individual pursuit title at last year’s Masters Track World Championships in Los Angeles.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own DIY bamboo gravel bike. Nothing like a brisk 135-mile bike race at 30 degrees below zero.

And maybe the world’s narrowest bike lane actually isn’t.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Alleged Mammone killer pleads not guilty to murder, and 85-year old San Diego man critically injured in crash with bike rider

Let’s begin today with a not-so-brief update on the horrific murder of ER Dr. Michael John Mammone as he rode his bike in Dana Point last week.

If you’re not interested, or the subject understandably makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip down to the next section.

Mammone was riding his mountain bike north on PCH when he stopped at the red light at Crown Valley Parkway around 3 pm Wednesday.

That’s when a white Lexus allegedly driven by 39-year old Long Beach resident Vanroy Evan Smith slammed into him from behind, traveling fast enough to blow through the red light, despite the impact with Mammone’s bike.

Smith then got out of his car, walked back to Mammone and repeatedly stabbed him as he lay injured in the street; Mammone died less than three hours later in the same Providence Mission Hospital ER where he sometimes worked.

Smith was disarmed by a pair of witnesses who detained him until police arrived.

Frighteningly, there is no known connection between the two men, and nothing to suggest it was a case of road rage — though that remains one of the most likely explanations — making the crash appear to be totally random at this time.

Smith faces 25 to life, plus one year, after he was arraigned Friday on a charge of felony murder, with a felony enhancement for the personal use of a knife. He pled not guilty, and is currently being held on $1 million bail.

There have been some reports that Smith was armed with a gun, or possibly a BB gun, and fired several shots either before or after stabbing Mammone; however, there is no mention of a gun of any kind in the OC DA’s press release.

There is also no mention of reports that Smith shouted “White privilege!” as he stabbed Mammone, which was originally reported by Fox News, and has been repeated by a number of conservative news sources. However, Fox appears to have removed any mention of that from their story.

That does not necessarily mean those things did not happen, but there is currently nothing to confirm either accusation. Although RssRyan relates in a lengthy Twitter conversation that a neighbor heard the alleged racist statement, and will be speaking with prosecutors.

Smith did reposted a video discussing white privilege nearly three years ago on what appears to be his Facebook page.

However, Smith’s’ ex-wife denied reports than he was violent or made racist comments during their marriage, noting that the mild-mannered native Jamaican accountant was mixed race, and over half white.

We need to be careful spreading rumors that may ultimately prove to be false.

There is a danger that these reports being spread on conservative media may lead to confirmation bias among some in their audience, incorrectly confirming their false beliefs about people of color.

They could also be used as justification by someone with racist views to retaliate against the next Black or brown bike rider they see.

Also troubling is a photo on Smith’s Facebook page suggesting that he may have been one of us.

How someone who rode a bicycle, even infrequently, could commit such a horrific act against a fellow bike rider is beyond me.

Then again, how any person could do it to anyone is, too.

Photo of Dr. Mammone ghost bike by Photo by Walt Arrrrr. Thanks to Good Citizen for the Facebook information.

………

Awful news from San Diego, where an 85-year old man suffered life-threatening brain injuries when he was struck by a bike rider on North Torrey Pines Road near Torrey Pines State Beach.

The victim was reportedly standing in the bike lane when he was struck by a bicycle ridden by a 63-year-old man. He apparently hit his head on the pavement, suffering a skull fracture and brain bleed, while the bike rider suffered a cut above his left eye.

Anyone with information is urged to call the San Diego Police Department Traffic Division at 888/580-8477.

Thanks to Steven Young for the link.

………

Streetsblog looks at the newly unveiled semi-protected bike lanes on Central Ave in South LA. Correction: I originally mistakenly assumed they were on Alameda in DTLA. My apologies.

………

Nice to see Jersey City NJ bicyclists aren’t taking the case of the hit-and-run councilwoman lying down.

DeGise was convicted after pleading guilty to hit-and-run for fleeing when she crashed into a bike rider last year; that alone should be an automatic disqualification for public office.

Instead, she walked with a slap on the wrist when the judge fined her five grand and suspended her license for a whole year.

https://twitter.com/bikejc/status/1622320013498613762

………

This video convincingly makes the case that if there weren’t any cars, we wouldn’t need traffic lights.

………

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

Bike riders in Edinburg, Scotland are ridiculing a new advisory lane that is literally narrower than a set of handlebars, calling it a “unicycle lane.”

Huh? After a London cabbie is filmed driving in a protected bike lane, rather than moving over into the taxi lane next to it, commenters claimed he’s not responsible for the lane markings. No, he’s just responsible for obeying them.

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

No, tossing a bicycle on British railroad tracks is not one of the approved uses for one.

@cycling_in_london

Definitely did that ok purpose lol #london #fyp #cyclist #cycling #londonlife #cyclepath #bikepath #cyclelane #cyclingtiktok #londonstreets #bromptonbikes #ebike #taxi #londontaxi #cabbie #londoncabbie

♬ original sound – Cycling in London

………

Local 

LAist looks at last week’s mobility debate for the candidates running to replace disgraced CD6 Councilmember Nury Martinez, sponsored by Streets For All. Unfortunately, video of the event doesn’t seem to be posted online yet.

No surprise that the former Governator was involved in a Brentwood bicycle collision, since Arnold Schwarzenegger rides an ebike nearly every day. Except this time, he was driving his massive GMC SUV — making it his second injury crash behind the wheel in a year — although police concluded it was just another “oopsie.” The victim was transported to a hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, while Arnold took her bike into a shop to have it repaired. Thanks to mcderpy87 and Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.

VeloNews looks at LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati to help children of color succeed in life through bicycling.

 

State

A proposed bill would improve driver sightlines at crosswalks and intersections through daylighting, by removing parking next to the intersection.

Irvine-based electric truck maker Rivian could be entering the micromobility field, though it’s unclear whether they plan to build an ebike or an e-motorcycle.

San Diego has begun work on a Complete Streets makeover of Park Blvd, including painted bike and bus lanes.

A Santa Barbara writer credits her neighbor with turning a long-neglected tandem gathering dust in the garage into a remade ride for two worth $800.

San Francisco is beginning a long-planned makeover of iconic but deadly Market Street, although plans for sidewalk-level bike lanes have been axed, requiring bike riders to continue sharing the lane with taxis, paratransit and commercial vehicles.

Healdsburg is slated for a $11.8 million grant for a road diet and protected bike lanes on Healdsburg Ave.

 

National

The US Department of Transportation has issued a Call to Action campaign, asking stakeholders to commit to specific actions in the coming year to reduce serious injuries and deaths on American roadways.

Lyft plans to fight clutter by docking its bikeshare bikes and e-scooters. Which kind of eliminates the whole point of dockless mobility, doesn’t it?

CNN examines the problem of head injuries leading to suicides in female athletes, using the tragic case of US track cyclist Kelly Catlin as one example; Catlin took her own life in her Stanford dorm after suffering a dramatic personality change following a concussion.

People for Bikes ranks the best new bike lanes in the US. Guess how many are in Los Angeles. No, seriously, take a guess.

The Daily Beast says forget electric cars, ebikes are the future of transportation.

They get it. A Yakima, Washington paper says you don’t have to ride that far to catch up with the little kid inside you.

The party is over in Tempe, Arizona, where New Belgium Brewing has pulled the plug on the annual Tour de Fat fundraiser, a decade after the Fat Tire brewers halted the Los Angeles edition.

It may soon be legal to ride your bike drunk in North Dakota. Or your horse, for that matter.

Oklahoma City police released bodycam video of the arrest of a man who allegedly took his own life in jail, after he was originally stopped for riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the street.

Sad news from New York, where yet another ebike fire has left two children with critical injuries, and another child less seriously injured.

A Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit over a collision allegedly caused by an Ocean City police officer as both men were riding their bikes on the boardwalk, accusing the cop of riding “at a high, dangerous and unnecessary speed.”

DC now has two competing ebike rebate bills, one of which would provide up to two grand on the purchase of an e-cargo bike, or $1,500 off a standard ebike.

 

International

A website offers a questionable list of the world’s top 15 “most famous and best” bike brands, ranking Taiwan’s Merida over better know bike brands like Trek, Specialist and Schwinn.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, as the Theory Of Everything actor had to get off his bike to ask for directions in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

PinkBike takes a mountain bike trip through Slovenia in the new short film Road to Trieste.

Your next bike ride could be 1,000 feet in the air above a Chinese theme park. I’ll pass, thank you.

 

Competitive Cycling

As expected, Sunday’s world ‘cross championship came down to a battle between Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel and Belgian Wout van Aert, with van der Poel prevailing in a final sprint to the finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when it’s time to put a beloved bike down. Why ride an ebike when you could ride a 10-foot-long electric dinosaur.

And meet the very tongue-in-cheek DC Nimbee.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.