Tag Archive for friendship

Morning Links: Forgiveness and friendship follows near-fatal PCH crash, and no justice in fatal OC collisions

Sometimes a friendship can form in unusual ways.

Like getting run over by a truck.

After a La Habra man was nearly killed when a pickup driver ran him down from behind as he was riding on PCH last May, the driver — who was leaving an AA meeting — started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victim’s medical expenses.

He also modified his shower so it would be easier to get in and out as he recovered from multiple injuries.

That was after the victim’s wife reached out to tell him he was going to survive.

And they’ve been friends ever since.

Tom Sovilla hopes to get back on his back on his bike this year, with a goal of doing 5,000 miles before year’s end.

Meanwhile, the man who hit him, Jack Keith, went to five AA meetings the day after the crash, and looks forward to celebrating three years of sobriety in March.

Photo from Pexels.com; if they can be friends, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

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Looks like there may not be any justice for Sidney Siemensma.

The 51-year-old bike rider was stabbed to death just short of three years ago today on Irvine’s San Diego Creek Trail.

Police arrested a 41-year old transient acquaintance, Dennis Thomas Monson Jr., for the crime, as well as an unrelated child pornography charge.

However, despite having enough evidence to take the case to a jury, the case has been put on semi-permanent hold after the judge ruled Monson is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It’s possible he could still stand trial, if and when his mental state improves.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

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There definitely won’t be any justice for Laguna Nigel triathlete Scott Clark, who was killed when he was collateral damage in an alleged road rage dispute between two women.

According to Patch, the Orange County DA has concluded that there is no way to bring charges against driver Jamie Mulford after two independent experts were unable to conclude how the crash occurred.

Clark had the misfortune to run into a crosswalk just as Mulford allegedly cut off the other driver in the lane next to her, forcing the other car into Clark.

Despite what the Patch story says, Clark was training for a triathlon on foot, rather than riding a bike, at the time of the crash.

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It looks like noted equity advocate and former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler has left her widely applauded appointment to the California Transportation Commission; no word yet on why.

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A San Diego bike rider was allegedly assaulted by an impatient driver while taking the lane on a sharrowed street.

Unfortunately, whatever took place appears to have happened off-camera, and the brief description included on the YouTube page doesn’t clarify matters.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

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A Tesla dashcam captured a hit-and-run in Whittier last Saturday when a bike rider was right hooked by someone turning onto the street; fortunately, the victim doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt.

No word on whether the driver was arrested, or even ticketed.

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

A drunk Florida man faces charges for chasing a bike rider and throwing an empty beer can at him as cops looked on. After all, there’s no point in wasting a full one.

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

New York police are looking for a bike rider who spit in the face of a pedestrian in a crosswalk after accusing the man of cutting him off, then broke his wrist hitting him with a U-lock.

Also in New York, another bike rider — or possibly the same one — smashed a 61-year old woman in the face with some sort of hard object. Like a U-lock, for instance.

Florida police are police are looking for a hoody-clad man who fired his gun in a bike-by shooting; fortunately, no one was hit.

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Local

BMX riders are the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s new Volta show, opening this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says a new request for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes killed by CD5 Councilmember and faux environmentalist Paul Koretz appears to be falling victim to a dispute between Westwood-area Neighborhood Councils. Which one do you think the city will listen to — an NC representing students, or one advocating for wealthy NIMBYs? I know which one my money is on.

Speaking of UCLA, a DIY bike co-op in the John Wooden Center is teaching students and staff how to fix their own bicycles.

Bruce Willis is one of us, as he goes for an ebike ride in Brentwood. The cool thing about British tabloids is they’ll criticize someone for not wearing a helmet, then ridicule them if they do.

LA Curbed places tongue firmly in cheek, and lists 20 headlines you might read in the coming decade, but probably won’t — including permanent, year-round CicLAvia routes and an end to LA traffic deaths.

Alan Goldsmith, the former owner of Supergo, is returning to his roots by investing in Manhattan Beach’s South Bay Cycle bike shop, scheduled to open later this month.

Bike theft dropped 10% in Long Beach last year, despite an increase in violent crime.

 

State

In the wake of last year’s implosion of the Interbike trade show, the CABDA Expo West opens in San Diego today. Even though CABDA stands for the Chicagoland Area Bike Dealers Association, which this ain’t.

An 18-year old Barstow man faces attempted murder charges, along with a pair of underage teenagers, for a drive-by shooting spurred by the victim’s demand to get his stolen bicycle back.

A UC Berkeley neurologist has developed a new type of helmet designed to protect users from traumatic brain injuries caused by twisting impacts.

Lime is testing an accessible scooter for people with disabilities in OaklandAlthough it looks like all they did was bolt a seat onto their existing e-scooters.

San Francisco was already planning to install protected bike lanes along the Embarcadero next week; unfortunately, it comes too late for a woman who’s clinging to life after she was struck by a cement truck while riding an e-scooter on Monday.

Sacramento’s first food bike is peddling a 200-year old stroopwafel recipe.

 

National

American bikemakers are struggling to replace their Chinese supply chains after being priced out by Trump’s tariffs.

A new senior editor for Streetsblog explains her 15-year old transformation to a bike advocate.

A New Mexico state representative is once again riding her bike hundreds of miles across the state from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to attend this year’s legislative session.

My bike-friendly hometown is trying out back-in diagonal parking to improve safety for people on bicycles.

An Iowa woman will spend the next 40 years behind bars for stalking a man, before fatally running him over as he rode his bike in a parking lot, in a deliberate, drunken attack.

A Texas man faces charges for shooting a homeless man five times while trying to steal his bicycle.

Bad behavior has gotten Vermont mountain bikers kicked off parts of one of the East Coast’s best trail systems; Bike Snob says this is why they can’t have nice things.

A New York woman faces five well-deserved felony counts and four misdemeanors for the drunken, 85-mph crash that killed a man on a bicycle; she was still over twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, with bags of coke found all over her car.

A Manhattan councilmember calls for life-saving sensors on all large trucks to make drivers aware of people and things they can’t see from the cab. Like bike riders and pedestrians, for instance.

The allegedly racist, bike-riding jerk who was convicted of attacking a black DC driver with his U-lock lucked out when a second, similar charge was dismissed when the victim didn’t show up to court; he’s currently doing three years on the original charge.

A Miami man will face charges in the gruesome, apparently drunken, 100 mph hit-and-run crash that killed a homeless man riding his bike on a causeway last August.

 

International

A new bicycle from World Bicycle Relief can help lift children and their families out of poverty; the nonprofit has provided half a million bicycles in countries around the world.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to what you can look forward to on the bike tech front in the coming year.

The Guardian examines how Strava became a religion to bike riders and runners.

Arguing against building a bike lane, a Hamilton, Ontario city councilor estimates there are only 100 bicyclists in the entire city of 550,000; the city’s bikeshare system alone has over 33,000 members.

That’s more like it. An unlicensed English driver got six years for killing a man riding a bike, along with other unrelated charges; not only didn’t he have a license, he’d never even taken a driving test.

The founders of a British bike nonprofit have been banned for 11 years after paying themselves the equivalent of nearly $420,000 — nearly a quarter of the money it took in.

Staff members for Pink Bike design the mountain bike of the future as a joke. Then go to Taiwan and actually build it.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a truck driver who was caught on video crashing into a bike rider during a road rage dispute has been sentenced to just seven weeks behind bars and a $500 fine. He’ll also be banned from driving for two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s only remaining Tour de France champ is preparing to launch a new bike line made with a revolutionary “‘high-performance low-cost carbon fiber.”

Cycling Tips rates the team kits of the women’s pro peloton.

Pro/am gravel grinding is coming to the annual Sea Otter Classic this April.

A 17-year old Indian woman has won gold in the nation’s U-21 road race, bouncing back from a training wreck five years earlier that was so bad her mother ordered her to quit cycling, until her father intervened.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can zoom around on your new bike pretending you’re in Stranger Things. Nothing like having a bike tug-of-war with a fleeing meat lifter.

And don’t shoot guy you’re arguing with, shoot his bicycle instead.

 

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

When I started riding, cycling was a very small fraternity.

Especially there in the deep South, bikers were very few and far between. Those of us who could ride with any kind of speed, or had the skill and endurance to venture much beyond the city limits were fewer still.

And God help anyone brave enough to don spandex in those days.

As a result, we all got to know each other, by sight, if not by name. If you happened to pass another rider, you said hi, and maybe fell in together for a few miles if you were going the same way. Or at the very least, gave a nod or a wave as you passed by.

If there was another rider waiting next to you at a red light, it was the start of a conversation, and often, a friendship. And if a rider crashed or broke down on the side of the road, you stopped to help. There was a real sense that we were members of a very small and exclusive club, and there were no strangers rolling on two wheels.

Like most fraternities in those days, though, it was virtually all white, and all male.

In fact, I clearly remember where I was the first time I encountered a woman riding in real cycling spandex. I fell instantly in love. And judging by her annoyed reaction when I said hi, I don’t think I was the first one.

But those days are long gone.

In some ways, it’s changed for the better. Now there are many more riders, of every sort, sex, color and ethnicity. And instead of encountering just one or two other riders in a single day, now you can find more than that gathered at a single stoplight.

Unless they decide to run it, of course.

At the same time, though, something valuable has been lost. That sense of brotherhood, of sharing a bond with a rider I’ve never met before, for no other reason than because we ride, is long gone. These days, most cyclists share a red light without ever saying a word, and ride off their separate ways.

Still, I’ll nod when I see another rider who looks like he — or she — knows what they’re doing. Or acknowledge them with that little finger wave that you give without moving your hands off the handlebars. But getting one back?

That’s as rare as woman in riding spandex used to be.

 

Gary Rides Bikes, and offers a must read about peaceful coexistence on the road. Seriously, send the link to every cyclist and driver you know. On the same subject, Bike Girl attempts to educate a driver on the rights of turning left. Will Campbell declares victory over a vanquished bottom bracket. Science Daily and the L.A. Times both report on a study that suggests cutting of your nose to save your penis. And yes, you did read that right. A local advocacy group is offering free bikes to anyone attending Obama’s Democratic coronation in Denver. As if cell phone cyclists weren’t bad enough, now we have to worry about two-wheeled texters. And north of the border, they’re encouraging riders to follow the rules, and wear their helmets.

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