Tag Archive for hit-and-run

A deep dive into an ebike tragedy, minibike rider killed in Downey hit-and-run, and driver appalled at bicyclists taking the lane

Let’s start with another deep dive from Peter Flax, who seems to specialize in finding the heart and complexities underlying our most heartrending tragedies.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the solo ebike crash that took the life of 12-year old Molly Steinsapir last year, when she and a friend crashed their Rad Power bike at the bottom of a hill in Pacific Palisades, unable to stop.

The crash has led to a lawsuit by her parents against the bikemaker, Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes.

This story also begins with two preteen girls on a bicycle—to be specific, since it matters, on an electric bike made by the ascendant Rad Power Bikes. It was the final day of January 2021, on yet another balmy morning in Los Angeles. An 11-year-old named Eme Green was piloting the e-bike, and her friend Molly Steinsapir, 12, was nestled behind her on a cushioned seat intended for a second passenger. Molly and Eme were friends and neighbors, and both lived about a half mile downhill from this dramatic perch. One can imagine or at least hope that the girls felt some awe and delight up there, marveling at the expanse of earth and ocean and blue sky before them.

But then they turned that e-bike downhill and a terror unfolded. As Molly’s parents would later allege in a lawsuit, Eme could not stop the RadRunner, and the two girls crashed at high speed near the bottom of the steepest stretch of Enchanted Way. Molly, who was wearing a bike helmet, hit the pavement hard and lost consciousness.

Tragically, she would never wake up. Despite a series of increasingly desperate surgeries to address her head injuries, Molly would be pronounced dead a little more than two weeks later.

That’s the part of the story we all know, if you’ve been following the case.

But Flax uses Molly’s tragic death as a platform to examine the burgeoning ebike industry, and the boom in ebike riders of all ages.

And the seemingly inevitable crashes that follow.

This story will raise questions that don’t lend themselves to straightforward answers. Some are philosophical questions that you’ll have to ponder yourself; some are legal questions that lawyers will argue and possibly a jury will have to deliberate; and some are questions that only legislative or regulatory bodies can address. Should children be allowed to ride e-bikes? How do you balance responsibility between parents and the companies that make those bikes? Should there be significantly more proactive regulation of e-bikes by the government, given that some e-bikes may not be as safe as they should be? And in the absence of such regulation, do the companies that make and market e-bikes—particularly the companies that sell relatively inexpensive e-bikes directly to the customer—have an ethical or legal obligation to do more?

Like anything He writes, it spins an emotionally compelling tale that’s exceptionally well written. And it exposes deeper issues we all should be concerned with.

In other words, it’s well worth the few minutes of your day it will take to read it.

You can read the story on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. 

Photo by Tucă Bianca from Pexels.

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A Downey paper reports a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night.

The victim was found lying on eastbound Telegraph Road over the San Gabriel River around 10:30 pm, after multiple witnesses reported the crash.

However, according to multiple other sources, the victim was actually riding a motorized minibike, rather than a bicycle.

Which doesn’t make it one bit less tragic. Or criminal.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

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A Santa Monica driver is unhappy to find himself behind a small group of bicyclists.

At first glance, I thought the bike riders were breaking the law by taking both lanes, before realizing that the lane to the right is actually a parking lane.  But in this case, they can legally take the full lane as long as they’re moving at the speed of traffic; otherwise they would be required to use the bike lane, which isn’t practical for a group ride.

One more reason to can California’s bike lane requirement.

Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up. 

Meanwhile, ChrisByBike offers his own example of what is unacceptable.

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The victim in Saturday’s Fullerton bike crash has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin.

Investigators believe he somehow rode into a the back of a parked truck with enough force to cause his death, even though a reported witness called it a hit-and-run.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little over half of the $12,000 goal.

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CicLAvia offers a reminder about the year’s first edition of what may be the country’s most popular open streets event later this month.

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This is what it looks like when bikes get priority, and cars are guests.

Maybe we’ll see that here someday.

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

A clearly frightened Toronto bike rider was subjected to homophobic slurs from a driver before he was run off the road; his attorney’s letter to the city’s mayor spells out what his attacker could and should have been charged with.

No bias here. A columnist on the British island of Jersey complains about a plan to encourage bicycling to cut pollution with an ebike rebate, even though he claims there’s no proof of a pollution problem. And he wants bikes to face even more stringent restrictions than cars, including a ban on bicycles in the city center.

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

An Ithaca NY bike rider learned the attempted coverup is worse than the crime when he gave cops a false name and struggled with officers after he was stropped for a traffic violation.

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Local 

No bias here. Spectrum TV’s LA Times Today discusses “the battle of ebikes on SoCal beach boardwalks.” But somehow illustrates the story with what looks like an electric motorcycle zooming along a highway.

A writer for WeHoVille wins the lottery for a free bike from the city as part of a pilot program to get more people riding. Then has second thoughts about the restrictions, including a requirement to ride a minimum of a relatively paltry 20 miles a month.

 

State

Carlsbad officials joined with the San Diego Bike Coalition to preach the mantra of bicycle safety, following the city’s two-month extension of its bicycle state of emergency.

Streetsblog talks with San Francisco bike advocate Stacey Randecker, who recently went viral — and not in a good way — after complaining about paramedics parked in a bike lane, gaining fame as the “entitled cyclist of San Francisco,” or alternately, as a bike lane Karen. And as usual, there’s another side to the story.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a Roseville bike rider was killed in an early morning crash after allegedly swerving in and out of the roadway in low light conditions.

 

National

Bicycling examines the eight bike skills they say every rider needs to know. Although I’d question the inclusion of drafting in that list, since only roadies who race or ride in groups really need that skill. Once again, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you. 

Women’s Health offers ten reasons to take up cycling, though they don’t differentiate between the indoor and outdoor versions.

Houston bike advocates are raising concerns after two bike riders and a man on an e-scooter were killed in just the first month of this year.

Ohio’s Bicycle Museum of America offer three floors of bikes covering more than two centuries of history, including bicycles used by Pee Wee Herman and Robin Williams.

He gets it. A Massachusetts letter writer objects to a proposal to remove new bikes, saying the traffic congestion opponents complain about will still be there, and bike lanes meet the state’s objective to serve people with lower incomes.

A New York driver is caught on video illegally using the bus lane, and fleeing the scene after crashing into a man on a cargo bike; the cargo bike was trashed, but at least his dog is okay. Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Mail claims he’s the same man that terrorized patrons at a New York McDonald’s with an axe last September.

That’s more like it. A Florida man will spend the next ten years behind bars after pleading no contest in the drunken death of a 73-year old woman, who lingered for eight months following the crash.

 

International

That explains a lot. Is anyone really surprised that a new British Columbia study shows sitting in traffic for “just” two hours is enough to cause brain damage?

A Toronto bike cop goes viral for ticketing a truck parked in a contraflow bike lane. Yet somehow, some people side with the truck driver.

A record-breaking Scottish bicyclist rode her bike for the first time since last September, after she had to learn to walk again when a hit-and-run driver broke her pelvis in four places; the driver who ran her down still hasn’t been found.

An English judge tells a 32-year old man to expect a very significant sentence  after he pled guilty at the last minute to the high-speed death of two boys sharing a bicycle.

An Amsterdam intersection saw so much bike traffic, it had to be redesigned to increase capacity while improving protection from motorists.

The Belgian city of Ghent is combining preservation with bicycling by converting a very cool unused medieval building into a public bike parking structure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A September mountain bike race with test the course for the Paris Olympics mountain bike events, with “breathtaking” views of the Eiffel Tower.

A petition drive is calling for pioneering Black world champion cyclist Major Taylor to be honored with a postage stamp and a Congressional Medal of Honor; a Hollywood movie about his life is also in the works.

Tadej Pogačar and Rafał Majka played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the winner in Tuesday’s stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

 

Finally…

Evidently, it’s a short journey from selling pretzels from a three-wheeled bike to becoming a Food Network Star. Your next bike could be a 900-pound DIY pedal-powered VW Bug.

And who can argue that bicycling isn’t cool when Clark Gable was one of us, too?

With no hands, no less.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Update: Fullerton bike rider killed riding into parked truck Saturday afternoon — or possibly the victim of a hit-and-run

For the third time in just four days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed in a Southern California crash.

This time in Fullerton.

And it’s unclear whether the victim rode into the back of a parked vehicle, or may have been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

According to a press release posted to Facebook by the Fullerton Police Department, the victim was found lying in the roadway on northbound Beach Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave around 12:55 pm Saturday.

Police investigators concluded that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s, rode into the back of a truck parked illegally in a no-stopping zone, and fell off his bike.

He died at the scene, despite the efforts of firefighters.

However, commenters to the Facebook post complained that the cops version of events just doesn’t take sense.

The first said the victim was struck by a hit-and-run driver directly in front of a friend’s house, and that local residents provided CPR until first responders finally arrived 30 minutes later.

Meanwhile, more than one person suggested it was more likely that the victim was struck by a driver while trying to pass the truck, while others suggested that a slight rise and clear sight lines make the official version unlikely.

Hopefully someone saw it, and can tell police investigators what really happened. Anyone with information is urged to Fullerton Police Traffic Accident Investigator Manes at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It follows other fatal crashes in Yucaipa and Pomona.

Update: The victim has been identified by family members as Robert C. Galvin. A crowdfunding campaign has raised a little more than half of the modest $12,000 goal. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert C. Galvin and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Bike rider injured in Santa Monica hit-and-run, a call to call it out when passing, and CicLAvia explains new CicLAminis

The good news is, my head did not explode.

Nor did I have it surgically removed, as tempting as it was. 

Thanks to the miracle of modern pharmaceuticals, my head is finally better, if not great, and I’m ready to get back to work. 

So let’s get to it. 

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Let’s start with some troubling news from our longtime friend Dr. Michael Cahn, who shares what he saw in Santa Monica yesterday afternoon.

Ocean Park, close to the intersection with Marguerita Ave, I saw a cyclist down on the middle of the roadway today around 3:20 pm.

The cyclist was conscious and able to move his limbs it seems. A bystander tells me later that according to the victim a car was involved that left the victim in the roadway (hit and run). From what I understood both cyclist and car were going South. A bystander tells me that another driver (going North) identified the fugitive driver as a woman.

The position of the prone cyclist in the middle of the road makes it difficult to reconstruct the event. There is a bike lane on Ocean Avenue. I was walking in the park around that time.

Let’s hope the victim is okay, and the heartless coward who left him bleeding in the street is quickly brought to justice.

Then again, let’s just hope the Santa Monica police take it seriously.

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I want to highlight a comment from Kate Johnson on Wednesday’s post.

Because she’s right.

Long time rider here, used to letting others know that I am coming up behind them (“Coming up behind you, passing on your left.”) and noticing that very few riders are doing that now. I can’t count the number of times I have been surprised by faster moving cyclists who pass without notice — they are trusting that I will stay in my lane, I suppose. Can’t we reintroduce this very simple way to avoid clashes? Please, people, call out “On your left!” before you pass someone, no matter if they are riding or walking!

 

If you’re not familiar with the practice, it’s longtime bike etiquette to announce when you’re passing someone.

I always do it, unless I can give the other persons at least the same three-foot margin I expect from motorists, and too often don’t get.

Her wording is also good. I find “passing on your left” is far more effective than the more common “on your left,” which can confuse people. And informing them you’re coming from behind can’t hurt.

So give it a shot on your next ride.

You might be surprised how much more pleasant it makes it for everyone.

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CicLAvia explains the new pedestrian-oriented CicLAminis scheduled for Watts and North Hollywood in May and September, respectively.

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Streets For All is hosting a public debate with five of the seven candidates who have qualified for the April special election to replace former Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6; an eighth candidate is running a write-in campaign.

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Walk Bike Long Beach is hosting a ten-mile community bike ride tomorrow, with plans to ride north from downtown through Wrigley to Steelcraft and back.

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Both Metro Los Angeles and Metrolink are offering free transit on Saturday, February 4th — one week from tomorrow — in honor of Transit Equity Day and the birthday of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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

Tell me again about those entitled cyclists. Streetsblog reports that LA’s entitled drivers have dismantled the modest Vision Zero improvements on the connector road between Silver Lake Boulevard and Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, where missing bollards have created a DIY slip lane, and the crosswalk is completely worn off. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

No bias here. A New York City councilmember has introduced a bill to ban ebikes and e-scooters until “they are registered, insured, licensed, and safe to operate, charge and store.” Never mind that cars and their operators are registered, insured and licensed, and they’re still a hell of a lot more dangerous than any ebike. 

An Irish judge cut a woman’s nearly $22,000 judgement against the country’s Motor Insurance Bureau for their failure to identify a hit-and-run driver by 20% because she wasn’t wearing a bike helmet. Even though most helmets wouldn’t have prevented the concussion she suffered. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

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

A Washington state man was arrested for robbing Home Depot at knifepoint, then leading police on a two hour bicycle chase, which included a bike and wardrobe change in a failed effort to throw them off his trail.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a man was acquitted of killing a pedestrian after allegedly blowing through a red light, and not having a working rear brake; like many drivers, he claimed the victim darted out from between parked cars, and he just didn’t see him in time.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD has arrested 31-year old Taylor Lee Harris, accusing him of being the speeding driver who fled the scene on foot after the crash that killed a 13-year old boy and his 18-month old brother in South LA earlier this month.

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee voted unanimously to end the bizarre practice of forcing developers to build brief street widenings in front of their buildings, on the off chance the street gets widened some day. And which end up being mistakenly blamed on, you guessed it, us.

BikeLA, the former LACBC, looks back at Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, while making the case for safer streets in the City of Angels; they also introduce their new YouTube channel, which doesn’t seem to have any active videos at the moment.

After graduating from high school, a Los Angeles teenager spent 527 days riding his bike from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway; now he plans to ship his bike home and backpack back home from Argentina to LA with his girlfriend.

 

State

Well, that will solve the problem. Carlsbad is asking everyone, but especially young ebike riders, to make a public pledge to do their part to be safe on the streets. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Sad news from eastern San Diego County, where someone riding a bicycle found a 55-year old man fatally injured in a motorcycle crash in the Anza-Borrego desert; the victim died despite efforts to revive him at the scene.

Palm Springs Life offers an insiders guide to the Coachella Valley bicycling scene ahead of the upcoming Tour de Palm Springs.

An Agoura Hills letter writer calls for approval of the city’s bike plan, saying that as a driver, better bike lanes would make her more comfortable sharing the road with bike riders.

The Carpinteria Creek Bike Path will remain closed for now due to debris and structural damage from the recent rains.

A Santa Barbara letter writer calls for approval of a proposed bike path next to Modoc Road, where he was struck by a driver five years ago; the person who hit him played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming he just didn’t see him because of the glare on his windshield.

The family of a Fresno university professor who was killed in a head-on collision with an Acura NSX while riding her bike last year is alleging in a lawsuit that the driver was racing, not one, not two, but four other drivers in a pair of Porsche 911s, a Lamborghini and a Ferrari at the time of the crash. There’s no word on whether the driver was charged, but if this is true, all five drivers should be charged with vehicular homicide, at the very least.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks how many broken limbs, life-altering injuries, and deaths is a parking spot worth, as an Alameda NIMBY sues block a Complete Streets project to preserve streetside parking.

 

National

CyclingSavvy discusses what the hell you should do at a stop sign. And no, they say coming to a full stop and putting your foot down usually isn’t it.

Bicycling examines the ongoing debate over bike helmets in the bicycling community. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Oregon’s proposed ebike rebate bill will get its first committee hearing next week; the current proposal calls for an instant rebate of up to $1,200 for a standard ebikes and $1,700 for a cargo bike.

Popular Seattle ebike brand Rad Power says mistakes were made, but they’re all better now that they have a new CEO.

Surly’s popular Big Dummy longtail cargo bike is getting some upgrades for its final year of production in 2023.

Heartbreaking story from Indiana, where a pet rescue used social media to find a new home for an orphaned Labrador retriever, after her owner was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

Accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov was convicted of a long list of charges in the 2017 Halloween Day vehicular attack on a Manhattan bike path that killed eight people and seriously injured several others; Saipov will face a second phase to determine whether he will be executed. Although personally, I think life without parole in SuperMax is a far harsher punishment than death, which just seems like the easy way out.

He gets it. A Philadelphia man argues that penalties for hit-and-run won’t be stiff enough until they equal the the minimum sentences for homicide or manslaughter, saying he’ll never be the same after he was a victim himself.

No surprise here, as a DC website says a study shows ebike subsidies are more effective than subsidies for electric cars.

A 74-year old man who used his bike as his only form of transportation was killed in an Annapolis, Maryland hit-and-run, directly next to the site of a planned bike path; the side path was funded three years ago, but hasn’t even gotten out of the planning stage yet; sadly, he paid the price for the city’s slow pace.

A North Carolina man will spend up to 13 years behind bars after he was convicted of using his car as a weapon to kill a man riding a bicycle, after a dispute at a gaming establishment.

Tragic news from Georgia, where a bike rider whose injuries led to five other people getting hurt has died, two weeks after the other people ran out into the road to protect and pray for him when he was struck by a driver, then he was struck again by a second motorist, along with all five people surrounding him.

 

International

The Guardian looks at the rise of the 15 minute city, which is quickly gaining ground in urban planning circles. I live in a one hour city here in Hollywood, where I can walk to get most things I need, but have to spend an hour on the bus just to see the doctor. 

Bike Radar explains how building an electric motor into a cargo bike designed to carry heavy loads increases its usefulness. The magazine also offers advice on how to tell when your chain needs to be replaced, and how to prevent it. Hint: When it keeps dropping every time you shift, no matter how you adjust it, sort of like mine does these days.

Shimano has patented a wireless system to recharge electronic components while you ride.

Jalopnik points out that Amsterdam’s new $65 million underwater bicycle garage isn’t even the biggest in The Netherlands.

Leading Dutch ebike maker VanMoof nearly went belly up when it ran out of money to pay its bills at the end of last year.

Two-time defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand has once again hired a pair of bicyclists to power hydraulics as they prepare to compete in next year’s America’s Cup in Barcelona.

 

Competitive Cycling

Thirty-three-year old cycling savant Peter Sagan says this will be his last year in the road cycling peloton, as he plans to retire at the end of the season to focus on mountain biking at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In a story that American cycling fans should be able to relate to, Columbian cycling has hit hard times after the glory years of Bernal, Quintana and Lopez. But at least their hard times don’t stem from eight Tour de France titles getting yanked due to doping. 

Merced’s Hincapie Gran Fondo gravel race has postponed until next year because damage from the recent rains mean the course won’t be ready in time for the planned March date.

 

Finally…

As if SUVs are dangerous enough, now they come armored, armed and electrified. And even the Army says put a damn light on your bike, already.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Two people killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver while riding against traffic in Rancho Cucamonga bike lane

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been murdered by a drunken hit-and-run driver.

Okay, make that two people.

KTLA-5 is reporting that an alleged drunk driver killed a man and woman riding salmon in a Rancho Cucamonga bike lane Tuesday night.

Although the fact that they were riding against traffic wouldn’t matter if the impatient driver hadn’t decided to use the bike lane as an illegal traffic bypass lane.

The victims, identified only as a 41-year old man and a 33-year old woman, both from Upland, were riding in the bike lane on Foothill Blvd and Etiwanda Ave around 8:20 pm.

That’s when 23-year old Fontana resident Robert Gubany allegedly swerved into the bike lane to bypass backed-up traffic, apparently without checking to make sure it was clear, and slammed head-on into the two victims.

The woman died at scene; her companion died after being taken to a local hospital.

According to The Daily Bulletin both victims were homeless; the paper also reports that the woman is 42-years old, rather than 33.

Gabney continued driving without stopping, until he was involved in another crash later that night.

He was arrested at the scene of the second crash on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hopefully, prosecutors will add a charge of felony hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators at 909/477-2800.

This is just the second and third bicycling fatalities in Southern California this year, and the first two that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

They’re also the first two bike riders killed by a hit-and-run driver in Southern California in 2023.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

Westlake hit-and-run victim in coma after 2 months, 7 candidates for CD6 special election, and bicycle Bollywood dancing

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A comment from J reports the victim of November hit-and-run may be moved to hospice care, following two months in a coma after a heartless coward left him bleeding in the street in LA’s Westlake neighborhood.

Luis Varela was just crossing street at Wilshire Boulevard and Park View Street around 7 pm on Nov. 11th when he was run down by the driver of a dark-colored SUV.

As usual, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury. That will rise to $50,000 if he dies of his injuries.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign started by Varela’s brother has raised just $1,325 of the $100,000 goal to help pay his medical expenses, and bring his mother in from out of the country to care for him.

The driver who left him there to die should be responsible for that.

And should get locked up for a lot longer than California’s lenient hit-and-run laws will allow.

But won’t be.

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There are now seven people officially qualified to run in the special election to replace former City Council President Nury Martinez, who resigned following the public leak of the racist and otherwise offensive recording she was heard on, along with two other councilmembers.

Which serves as a reminder that the lone remaining councilmember heard on the recording, CD14’s Kevin de León, still won’t do the right thing and resign.

https://twitter.com/DavidZahniser/status/1613734893040852993

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Norwalk is hosting its first community bike ride next Saturday.

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Well, it wouldn’t be the first crappy bike path I’ve been on.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Look Ma, no hands!

An Indian woman takes Bollywood dancing to the next level by doing it while she rides handsfree.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CnQ1QoeK5X_/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=b8c0d1ba-e1c3-4fcd-a3ed-1e074727506c

Then she does it again.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CmlXZoOqX3X/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=8f63a427-c0d3-4217-bb35-0724d019d08c

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

Seriously? Residents of Alexandria, Louisiana bring out the torches and pitchforks over a proposal for a bike path along the Red River levee, which would only occupy an otherwise useless strip of land that probably wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. After a Georgia bike rider was struck by a driver, a group of bystanders gathered around him to pray. Then just when he started to breathe again, another driver plowed into the group, sending six people to the hospital, with one in critical condition. And we can probably guess who that one is.  

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

A 75-year old London letter writer complains about “rogue” bicyclists who refuse to use bike lanes when there is a more convenient, but less legal, option available, writing “If people keep on demanding cycle lanes, then why do they not use the damn things?” Because it’s human nature to use a short cut when you find one.

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Local 

Streets For All has created a voter guide to help yo select pro-transit candidates for the ADEM party delegate election, for all you Democrats out there.

More from the report prepared by the nonprofit Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, we mentioned Wednesday, which addresses the rising rate of traffic violence in Los Angeles. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the die-in protest scheduled on Saturday, January 21st on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall. Because the City of Angels keeps insisting on making more of them.

 

State

The LA Times agrees with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to reduce spending to close a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit, but argues the state will need to make up for the $6 billion cut in climate change funding, including investments in public transit, bike and pedestrian projects.

A nice biking photo claimed runner-up in Laguna Beach’s recent photo contest  for people who live, work or exhibit their art in the city.

Public TV station KBPS has more on San Diego County’s plan to revitalize unincorporated Casa de Oro with wider sidewalks, on-street parking, roundabouts, protected bicycle lanes, and mixed-use housing.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike late Wednesday night.

A Bay Area bike advocate and behavioral counselor is using Legos to teach kids bike safety.

Now you, too, can be the proud owner of a gently used, $4,000 Rock the Bike Fender Blender Pro Recharge Station that the former World’s Richest Man apparently doesn’t want, for the low, low opening bid of just 25 bucks. Then again, Elon may need the money

 

National

Shades of Nipper. Your next throttle-controlled, dirt bike-style ebike could be distracted by listening to its master’s voice, as RCA makes a leap into electric bikes. Let’s hope its better than their electronics have been in recent decades. 

PinkBike reminisces about the things they miss about older bikes, like external cabling and not having to charge anything. Except the bike itself, when you paid for it. 

A new study of Google searches concludes that residents of Hawaii are the most curious about ebikes, with California second and Utah third; Mississippi residents were the least interested.

Salt Lake City announced plans to join the national Vision Zero Network in the face of rising traffic deaths and injuries. Let’s hope they actually fund and implement the program, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new bill signed by President Biden at the end of last year will allow the construction of a 280-mile wilderness bike trail stretching from the Idaho border to south of Salt Lake City.

Police in Durango, Colorado have charged a pair of football players from the local college as co-defendants in an alleged drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a firefighter; the two are accused of helping a third man flee the scene, leaving his car behind with the victim still lodged in the car’s windshield, and his bike stuck underneath.

You know a Chicago intersection sucks when a reckless driver kills a man riding a bikeshare bike, then a year later another jerk takes out his ghost bike.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Indianapolis is setting up a commission to review fatal traffic collisions, and offer public recommendations to fix them.

 

International

Bike Radar sings the praises of mountain bike winter onesies. Otherwise known as snow suits. 

An Argentine man’s tour of the Western Hemisphere is on hold after someone stole his bike in Mexicali, just south of the US border, when he stopped briefly to get hot water to make mate tea; to make matters worse, they also took the dog he adopted along the way in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

No irony here. Ford has stepped up to save the popular RideLondon from the chopping block, with the American carmaker funding the ten-year old event that takes place on 100 miles of carfree streets.

The Guardian takes a guided ebike tour along ancient singletrack trails in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in a section of Britain so remote they still use the Julian calendar. Just don’t stick around if you see the locals building a giant wicker man. 

Bicycle Dutch looks at the effect the pandemic had on bicycling in the Netherlands, where bicycling rates dropped 21% in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic 2019.

The BBC recommends riding a bike to explore the hidden history of Louis XIV’s iconic bachelor pad, otherwise known as Versailles.

Who says bicycling is expensive? A new Spanish-made Ti bike with “additive 3D printing” retails for anywhere from the equivalent of ten grand to a shade under a whopping $19K.

An Aussie website previews the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under, which begins today.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, unfortunately, as a Dutch study has shown a high prevalence of low bone density in the pro cycling peloton. If bicycling is your primary form of exercise, you should think about adding weight training and/or high impact exercises. 

It looks like we finally have a winner for all those Tour de France titles Lance unwillingly vacated.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re so drunk, you think a backflip will get you out of a DUI. Seriously, who doesn’t love a stirring march played by a bike-riding Dutch marching band in wooden shoes?

And save all your old bike parts, and maybe you, too, can build your very own F-35.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bolo Alert for Mid-Wilshire hit-and-run, NTSB ebike and e-scooter report a bust, and LAPD impaired driving holiday PSA

It’s the last four days of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just 96 short hours to show your love for this site, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Or even less, depending on when you read this. Never mind when I finally get it posted online. 

So let’s all thank James S, Brian N and Robert L for doing their part to ensure this site is here for you today, and every day!

Don’t waste another minute. Let alone another hour. 

Take a moment to donate right now via PayPal or Zelle. Then pat yourself on the back for doing a good thing. 

Because every contribution, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated. And needed. 

And seriously, I mean it. Our spokesdog and chief fundraiser is going to keep staring until you give in and give something.

Trust me, you don’t want that.

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The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a bike rider in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood earlier this month.

The victim was struck by the driver of a 2012 to 2017 Toyota Camry at the intersection of Venice and Hauser around 9 am December 7th.

No information has been given about the victim, who suffered serious, but thankfully, non-life threatening injuries.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 213/473-0234, or 877/527-3247 after hours.

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The first NTSB report on ebike and e-scooter crashes is a bust, as the agency concludes they just don’t have the data they need to reach any conclusions, after finding just 117 deaths on electric micromobility devices over a four-year period.

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A new holiday PSA from the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division sends a pretty clear message about the dangers of impaired driving.

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

Japan will become the fifth country to mandate bike helmets for adults, after Argentina, Cyprus, Australia, and New Zealand, in an apparent attempt to reduce ridership right when we need it most; however, there’s no penalty for failing to comply.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the Florida man who tried to use his bicycle to abduct a 14-year old girl who was walking with her friends. And hopefully, behind bars, soon. 

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Local 

California Senator Alex Padilla announced $80 million in funding for projects in the Los Angeles area; the list includes $5 million for Glendora’s ten-mile active transportation People Movement project, $4 million for Metro’s Rail to River Active Transportation Corridor, and $3 million for El Monte’s Merced Avenue Greenway. His office also announced $69 million in funding for the Bay Area, and $48 million for the Sacramento area.

 

State

Orange County cities are struggling to regulate e-bikes, with restrictions — such as a 10 mph speed limit on public streets in Lake Forest — that may be illegal under state law.

Fifty San Jose kids could win free bicycles and helmets if they pledge to reduce waste and be more environmentally aware.

A Michelin-starred San Francisco chef examines the parallels between riding a bike and running a restaurant. Although no one ever got a Michelin star for riding a bike, though some of us do use Michelin tires.

 

National

VeloNews talks pinch flats and how to fight them, while Road Bike Action wants to know why bike events are so damn long.

PinkBike considers whether elite bicyclists are at higher risk of heart problems and premature death, concluding there’s a slightly elevated risk, but it’s still significantly less than not riding at all.

The NYT’s Wirecutter recommends the best gifts for bike riders, ranging from olive soap to an otter-shaped water bottle and cage, as well as summer weight women’s jerseys from LA-based Machines for Freedom.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus asks if officials really care about record traffic deaths when they don’t do anything to solve the problem.

Kindhearted Seattle residents have raised over $1,600 to buy a new e-cargo bike for a young girl after someone stole the bike she used to ride with her father on Sundays.

Utah is suffering through a record number of bike and pedestrian deaths; bicycling fatalities are at least 50% higher than any year since record keeping began in 1994.

A bike path along a Nantucket roadway is wanted by virtually everyone except the homeowners who live alongside it, who call it a bike path to nowhere and fear bike riders “wandering around private property.” They also suspect people won’t be able to control their bladders after a modest ten-mile bike ride.

Some Cambridge, Massachusetts city councillors want to rip out a new lane reduction and separated bike lanes, rather than give it time for traffic patterns to settle in.

A New York man says riding outside is still better than riding in his basement, even after getting hit by an elderly driver, and that surviving the crash made him feel invincible. Oddly, getting hit by a road raging driver had the opposite effect on me. 

The Washington Post offers advice on how to stay safe while biking through the dark winter months. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t have their usual option to share it, so your ability to read it may vary.

A 91-year old Florida woman will spend what could be the last years of her life behind bars after running down a couple riding their bikes, then getting out to look at them, and just getting back in her car despite their serious injuries, and driving away to have it repaired at the local dealership; one of the victims called her “a heartless monster who only thinks of herself.”

 

International

Great idea. An English market district is using ebike-riding volunteers to make Christmas deliveries.

Cyclist talks with the British couple who just set a new world’s record for riding around the world on a tandem.

Ikea is experimenting with three-wheeled, solar powered e-cargo bikes to make deliveries in the Netherlands.

You could go for a Christmas bike ride through the streets of Cyprus tonight. Except it will probably be over by the time you read this, thanks to a ten-hour time differential between Cyprus and Los Angeles.  

Autoevolution considers a vaporware slap bike lock developed by a Korean inventor, designed to be easy to use and carry, but which currently exists only as trademark renderings.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling’s governing body will expand the Mountain Bike World Cup even further next year, with the introduction of enduro and E-enduro racing, which comes on the heels of adding cross-country marathon racing to the Cup.

No surprise here, as VeloNews names Annemiek van Vleuten their female cyclist of the year.

 

Finally…

Nothing like turning your e-cargo bike into a heavy duty snowplow. That feeling when your kid’s new Christmas bike was built by prison labor.

And don’t lie to your mom about wearing a helmet.

Seriously.

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Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today.

Chag Urim Sameach!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Ramona resident Michelle Scott dies, 3 years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike to work

This is a story I hoped I’d never have to write.

And to be honest, I’m struggling to write it now.

Because a Ramona woman has died, three years after she was severely injured in a hit-and-run.

Michelle Scott was 53 when she was the victim of a horrific collision while riding her bike to work on October 2nd, 2019.

She was struck by the driver of a Ford SUV at 6:30 am while riding on the right shoulder of northbound State Route 67, north of Dye Road.

The driver fled without stopping, with her bicycle still stuck in his grill for more than a mile before it finally fell off.

Police arrested then 34-year-old Ramona resident Chase Edward Richard six days later, holding him on $1 million bail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, after a neighbor spotted his damaged SUV hidden under cardboard in his garage and painted another color.

Richard served two years of a 44-month sentence after accepting a plea, and is now free on supervised probation, and still must serve 200 hours of community service.

Scott was initially hospitalized with a severe brain injury, and spent the next three years in various long-term care facilities. At best he was able to gesture with her thumb, and struggled to say the name of her husband of 35 years.

She died November 27 when she was disconnected from life support after developing an infection.

Michelle Scott will be buried at Miramar National Cemetery, thanks to her husband Don’s military service; a celebration of life is planned for January 4th.

This is at least the 81st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Scott is also at least the 26th bike rider to die as a result of a hit-and-run in Southern California since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Michelle Scott and all her family and loved ones. 

Update: 71-year old man riding bike killed by hit-and-run driver in San Diego’s Valley Center neighborhood Saturday

Go ahead and call it murder.

Because once again, a heartless coward has left an innocent victim to die alone in the street.

This time in San Diego.

According to multiple sources, the victim was riding north on the shoulder of Cole Grade Road above Horse Creek Trail in the city’s Valley Center neighborhood when he was apparently run down from behind by the driver of a northbound pickup or SUV around 5:34 Saturday evening.

The victim, identified only as a 71-year old Valley Center man, died at the scene.

The driver fled, leaving behind their right front headlight; police are looking for a Ford Expedition SUV or F Series pickup, no model year or color given.

There’s no word on how fast the killer driver was going at the time of the crash, or how long the victim lay in the street before paramedics arrived. Or whether he could have been saved if the driver had called for help after the crash.

But clearly, whoever was behind the wheel didn’t care enough find out.

A street view shows one lane in each direction, with left and right turn bays leading west to Horse Creek Road. Sadly, there is a bike lane on the recently repaved southbound side of Cole Grade, but not on the northbound side where the victim was riding.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Oceanside Area CHP office at 760/643-3400.

This is at least the 80th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

At least 25 of those have been killed hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 71-year old Mario Lucero of Valley Center; community members described him as a beloved grandfather, landscaper and friend.

The Oaxaca, Mexico native leaves behind his son and daughter, as well as six grandchildren. Family members are trying to return his body to Oaxaca for burial. 

Lucero was killed on his way home, shortly after stopping at his favorite restaurant after work. 

His 20-year old granddaughter wonders if he could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help. 

Good question. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Lucero and all his family and loved ones.

Crowdfunding campaign for San Jacinto man killed in deliberate crash, and road raging Maywood driver kills pedestrian

It’s the penultimate week of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just two more weeks share just a small part of your hard-earned income to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

So let’s take a moment to thank David H, Thomas A, Brandon H, David S, Walter L, Steven H, Erick H, Steven S, Gabrielle L, Glenn C and James B for their generous donations over the weekend so you can read this today.

Avoid the last minute holiday rush. Donate today via PayPal or Zelle to keep all the best bike news coming your way today, and every day. 

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Family of one of the many — too many — bicycling crash victims we reported on last week is raising funds to bury their loved one. Police say Margarito Castro was intentionally run down by a speeding driver in a San Jacinto hit-and-run.

So far, they’ve raised nearly $3,000 of the $15,000 goal.

Twenty-one-year old Savaughn Jojuan Colon Barnes of Hemet is being held on $100,000 bond on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death for killing Castro.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Maywood driver could face charges after allegedly running down a pedestrian in a fatal road rage collision Friday night.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon, because that’s almost all the information we have right now.

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Somehow, I don’t think LADOT’s favorite little car-ticker plastic bendy posts would have the same, uh, impact.

Although it’s hard not to watch this icy demolition derby without admiring the person on a bike who’s not letting the snow slow him down, let alone stop him.

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Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.

https://twitter.com/HowTheWestWS/status/1602176354912305153

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Maybe riding a Penny Farthing is harder than it looks. (Click on the tweets for the full thread.)

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‘Tis the season.

Costa Mesa’s TZone Fitness & Pilates is collecting bicycle donations for Orange County nonprofit Families and Communities Together, aka FACT, to provide rebuilt bikes to at-risk kids and teens.

Over 150 volunteers in Vancouver, Washington built 560 bikes to give away to local families, in an effort to ensure every kid in the county has a bike.

Rapid City, South Dakota balance bikemaker Strider Bikes hosted their 5th annul Jingle Bell Ride to benefit All Kids Ride. Which may or may not actually be All Kids Bike.

A Texas nonprofit gave away over 300 bikes to families in the Brazos Valley.

Thirteen years after he was given a new bike by a fireman at the local Christmas parade, an Oklahoma teenager and his father are paying it forward by giving away eight to ten bikes to random kids at the same parade.

A Dayton, Ohio man grew up reclaiming bikes from the trash and fixing them up because his family couldn’t afford one. Now he fixes up hundreds of bikes and gives them away to anyone who asks.

Madison, Wisconsin’s annual Santa Cycle Rampage rolled through the snow and slush of downtown to raise money for Safe Routes to School.

National nonprofit Free Bikes 4 Kidz gave away nearly one thousand refurbished bikes to kids in Minnesota, as part of a nationwide effort.

Nearly 100 bike-riding Santas participated in a Lapeer, Michigan toy ride for families in need.

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

Huh? An Edmonton, Alberta letter writer complains about the city’s $100 million plan to extend its bikeway network, saying the bike lanes will somehow lead to one-hour delays on local streets.

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

In an example of how hard it is to get bad cops off the job, a former San Antonio bike cop still carries a badge, despite being twice fired for giving a homeless man a literal shit sandwich, and spreading his and another cop’s crap over a toilet seat in the station’s women’s restroom. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

An Arkansas man got a well-deserved 15 years after he was arrested with a long knife while riding his bike to his girlfriend’s house after threatening to kill her. Having a boyfriend who rides a bike is a good thing, but something tells me she might want to rethink her taste in men.

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Before we go on, I received a very nice email over the weekend from an American expat now living a carfree life in Berlin.

However, he raised one concern about the section above. I often include links to stories in which someone used a bicycle to get somewhere to commit a crime or make their getaway. But as he points out, if we focused on a criminal’s mode of transportation, we could fill this site every day with people who drove to or from their crimes.

So what do you think? Should we keep mentioning people who only incidentally used a bike as transportation to commit a crime, or drop stories like that unless the bike actually had something to do with their crime?

Let me know in the comments below.

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Local 

As we mentioned last week, the state Transportation Commission approved nearly $1 billion in funding for 93 active transportation projects throughout the state, including $38.6 million to build three miles of Complete Streets in LA’s Skid Row neighborhood, complete with bike lockers and ebike charging stations.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers actionable transportation ideas for new Los Angeles Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, who defeated incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in the November election; Linton’s suggestions include a call to revisit the lane reductions and bike lanes cancelled by O’Farrell on Fletcher Drive and Temple Street, as well as a proposal to remove cars from Hollywood Blvd.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is hosting Friday Night Lights this Friday, offering a chance to ride the BMX and mountain bike trails under the lights for free.

 

State 

In yet another example of keeping a driver on the road until it’s too late, a 63-year old man riding a mountain bike was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in San Diego’s Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood; police arrested the 93-year old driver after witnesses gave them the car’s license number. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. 

A 60-year old man is lucky to be alive after falling 70 to 80 feet off a Carpinteria cliff while riding his bike; he lay at the bottom of the cliff, unable to move, for nearly an hour until he was discovered by a woman walking by on the beach.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 26-year old mother and college student died six days after she was struck by a driver while riding her bike to class.

The University of California rowing team is holding a fundraiser to raise $50,000 to purchase an eight-person racing shell, and name it after teammate Shawn O’Donnell, one of two State Department workers killed while riding a bike in DC this past year. Thanks to Steve Messer for the link.

A Bay Area letter writer asked how to get a dangerous driver to give up the keys, after trying to get an older woman with poor eyesight to stop driving; she only quit after she crashed into someone on a bicycle, injuring them.

 

National

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a 70-year old driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after he was sentenced to a lousy two years probation on a careless driving conviction.

A New Orleans man was apparently murdered for his bicycle;a security guard heard three shots, and looked out to see a man lying in the street and a woman riding off on his bike.

Life is cheap in Louisiana, where a 31-year old man will serve just three years behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run crash that killed a man riding a bike, after the judge suspended seven years of the original ten-year sentence.

 

International

Bike Biz recommends what they describe as six dream jobs in the bicycle industry in the US, UK and Europe. The UK used to be part of Europe, but they voted themselves off the island. 

Manchester, England unveiled the country’s first bicycle roundabout, leading to immediate confusion and comments that it only serves to endanger pedestrians and inconvenience less able-bodied people.

New bike lanes in Bath, England are called an accident waiting to happen because they force bus passengers to step into the bike lane to get off the bus, then cross over it to get to the sidewalk — even though people on bikes are required to stop for pedestrians.

A British man rode his bike to all 18 London professional soccer clubs in less than 36 hours to call attention to human trafficking in the sport.

That’s more like it. A South African man will spend six years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a man riding a bicycle.

An Aukland, New Zealand man will spend an additional three years behind bars for kidnapping and terrorizing a delivery van driver, on top of the five years and one month sentence he’s already serving for killing a bike rider while fleeing from police; the judge warned he will “almost certainly” re-offend once he gets out.

 

Competitive Cycling

Clara Honsinger made it a three-peat by winning her third straight elite women’s national title in the snow at the US Cyclocross National Championships

A writer for Road.cc remembers fallen Italian cyclist Davide Rebellin, who made him fall in love with cycling over his 30-year professional career.

More sad news, as former Tour de France cyclist Walter Beneteau was found dead in a Bali, Indonesia hotel room from unknown causes; the 50-year old French rider finished seven straight Tours between 2000 and 2006.

The popular Santa Cross rolls in Woodland Hills this weekend. (Click on the tweet for a more legible schedule.)

Also this weekend, the Velo Sport’s Center in Carson is hosting a full weekend of track cycling, hosted by the Los Angeles Racing Velodrome Association. Thanks to David Huntsman for the tip.

 

Finally…

Your next SUV could be an ebike. And if you were a foreign correspondent working in the Netherlands, wouldn’t you do your reports from a bike?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

31-year old Margarito Castro killed riding bike in high speed San Jacinto hit-and-run; driver arrested for voluntary manslaughter

Evidently, Sunday was a bad night for bike riders in the Inland Empire.

Less than two and a half hours before an unidentified man was killed in a Chino Hills hit-and-run, another man lost his life in San Jacinto.

And that driver also fled the scene.

According to My News LA, 31-year-old San Jacinto resident Margarito Castro was in the center lane waiting to cross State Street at Dillon Ave around 8:21 pm when he was struck by 21-year-old motorist Savaughn Jojuan Colon Barnes of Hemet.

Barnes was traveling south on State “at a high rate of speed” when he crossed into the center lane, striking Castro before speeding away.

Castro died at the scene.

Barnes was taken into custody at an apartment building four miles away on the 1900 block of Acacia Ave in Hemet, after a witness to the crash gave police the license plate number of his car.

He’s being held on $100,000 bail, after being arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Anyone with information is urged call the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station at 951/654-2702, or dispatch at 951/776-1099.

This is at least the 77th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Castro is also the 26th SoCal bike rider killed by a hit-and-run driver since the first of the year.

Update: I just got this response from Castro’s older sister.

Castro’s family is raising funds to pay for his funeral. So far, they’ve raised $3,000 of the $15,000 goal.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Margarito Castro and all his loved ones.

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