Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Morning Links: Murder charge for killer of Costa Mesa fire captain, Mehta hit-and-run hearing, and racing with a feeding tube

Let’s catch up with a few court cases.

Starting with the allegedly stoned killer of Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza, courtesy of our anonymous courtroom correspondent.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa’s arraignment, scheduled for last Friday, was delayed again.

There are so many facets of this case that don’t look good for him: his status as an addict; his admission during interrogation that he should not have been driving; the amount and sheer number of drugs in his system; the presence in his vehicle of drugs obtained from an alleged overprescriber; his crash after “passing out” behind the wheel earlier in the year… etc.

He’s going down.

What perplexes me is the murder charge, because I can’t find any evidence of a prior DUI conviction — within LA or Orange County, at any rate. He could have priors elsewhere.

The Watson law is specific in its requirements: party has to be informed upon a DUI conviction of the possibility of a murder charge if said party kills someone while DUI.

So, this would mean, wouldn’t it, that Scarpa’s been convicted in some court at some point within the past 10 years?

A Watson advisement notwithstanding, PSA’s, American alcohol ads, and the DMV paperwork you sign before the state issues you a license all tell you that DUI is dangerous. But is that bombardment of facts enough to define malice, which is a required component of murder?

There’s one other thing that might convince a jury that Scarpa was aware of the dangers of DUI, enough so to convict of murder and not just manslaughter.

In 2011, as a student at Esperanza High, he participated in an Every Fifteen Minutes event, which is pretty comprehensive. In addition to pulling “dead” students out of classrooms every 15 minutes, a simulated collision is set up on campus, with the driver “arrested,” and moulaged “injured” & “dead” students extricated from the wreckage. These actors don’t go home that night; they’re sequestered overnight at a hotel, where they write a “Today I died” letter to their parents. (The parents also write to their dead kids.) The next day, these letters are read aloud at a school assembly.

Scarpa was one of the dead who was extricated from a mangled vehicle, who told his parents he died, who read this letter to his entire school.

I hope, every night before he falls asleep, he thinks of all the letters Mike Kreza never gets to write.

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Next up is yesterday’s hearing for the romance authorMedium contributor and Mercedes convertible driver convicted of a hit-and-run that left a Costa Mesa bike rider with a broken ankle.

Pratiti Renee Mehta is back from her vacation in Chowchilla Women’s Facility. She’s in custody in County, awaiting a court appearance this morning. I will be there, because I am a horrible person and will enjoy seeing her violent, unrepentant ass in saggy jail-issued fashion and shackles. The sentencing was in July, and I missed it. How it wasn’t  on my calendar, I dunno. (Busy week with the PAC on the 18th and the Caltrans D7 BAC on the 19th, but I wouldn’t have skipped the sentencing for anything.)

Due to a “clerical inadvertency,” Mehta had been sent up to state prison prior to a required sentencing assessment.

According to court records, on July 17th, the Defense’s request to reduce the felony hit-and-run count to a misdemeanor was denied, and then the judge sentenced Ms. Mehta to 3 years in state prison.

Two other things surprise me about the sentence: (1) The judge actually threw the book at her, wow. (2) The People didn’t request anything close.

That’s right, the People actually requested leniency: 90 days in County and an additional 200 hours of community service. For a woman who broke a guy’s bones, left him in the street, and then put in deliberate effort to lie to the cops about it. I remain furious that the ADW charge didn’t stick.

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Great piece about an 18-year old competitor in Saturday’s Hillclimb World Championships, who almost literally climbed out of her deathbed to become one of the top young American riders.

Hannah Jordan suffers from an unknown metabolic disorder that prevents her body from storing glucose; when she started on an intravenous formula from a Santa Barbara company, she began to thrive — and kick ass on her bicycle.

She’ll compete in Phil Gaimon’s hillclimb competition on Gibraltar Road with the feeding tube attached, then may train for international competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs CO.

And yes, her tube has been approved for competition.

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Four Boston kids were extremely lucky to avoid serious injury when someone drove directly into them as they stood with their bikes between two parked cars, then sped off with at least one of the bikes still stuck beneath the car; a man says the driver may have been his daughter.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew nearly gets impaled by someone’s pool cleaner.

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LA’s People for Mobility Justice needs your support for this year’s fundraiser.

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

An English bicyclist warned other riders to stop if a car pulls up next to them traveling at the same speed, after he was pushed off his bike by a passenger in a passing car.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 70-year old driver got two and a half years behind bars for using his car as a weapon to intentionally run down a bike rider and flee the scene — then came back to take pictures of his victim lying broken and bleeding in the street.

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

English police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who injured a woman getting out of a car when they collided as he was riding illegally on the sidewalk.

There’s a special place in hell for a Japanese man who rode his bike up from behind a bike-riding 17-year old girl and groped her breast as he rode past, telling police he just couldn’t control his lust for her. Which should be read as a confession from a total asshole.

Police in New York are investigating an apparent hate crime, after a man on a bicycle allegedly slapped a pedestrian in the face and called him “a dirty Jew.”

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Local

South Central bike riders marked the seventh anniversary of the still-unsolved hit-and-run death of Benjamin Torres as he was riding his bike to work in Gardena. I hope whoever did it can live with the guilt of murdering another human being; I know I couldn’t.

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC now has yellow-jacketed officers to encourage bike riders, skateboarders and scooter users to hop off before crossing the school’s Hahn Plaza, where they’re all banned.

Someone with a sense of humor offered a tongue-in-cheek response to traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving’s highly biased survey about streets and transportation in the Rose City. Thanks to Topher Mathers for forwarding today’s best laugh.

 

State

Republicans are complaining about funding from California’s recent gas tax increase going exactly where voters were told it would, with some funds going to transit and active transportation projects instead of being used strictly for road repairs.

Streetsblog says Gavin Newsom’s veto of the state’s Complete Streets bill stinks, and that Caltrans’ reasoning for fighting it is “hogwash.” Someone suggested that we should now call getting hit by driver on a Caltrans-controlled street “getting Newsomed,” just like we called a close pass “getting Jerry Browned” after he repeatedly vetoed the three-foot passing law.

Virgilio Lemus Garcia, the 60-year old victim in Sunday’s Santa Ana hit-and-run, remains in grave condition; police are looking for a dark blue mid-’90s, four-door Honda Civic with probable front end damage and a possible shattered windshield.

Caltrans unveiled plans for a bike lane paralleling I-5 through Encinitas; needless to say, some people — including one bike activist — weren’t pleased.

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, Caltrans will close San Diego’s Friars Road this weekend in preparation for adding a fourth lane in each direction, along with sidewalks and bike lanes. Hopefully, they’ll also consider how the hell pedestrians are supposed to cross that massive monstrosity.

Faux-Danish city Solvang has adopted a new bike plan; needless to say, some residents aren’t happy about it.

For once, bikes get an equal footing with cars. Even if it’s only a benefit show for a Los Gatos art museum. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died nearly three months after he and another man were hit while riding their bikes by a woman pulling out of a parking lot; the other man died at the scene. Seriously, how fast do you have to be driving to kill two people — let alone while exiting a parking lot?

It was the driver who lost his this time, after a San Jose motorist clipped a bike rider and crashed into a pole; the man on the bike was uninjured.

A San Francisco bike shop put a robot in charge of inventory so salespeople can spend more time with customers.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority votes unanimously to ban cars from the city’s iconic Market Street. Proving that it can be done on this coast, too. Are you listening, Mayor Garcetti?

 

National

Apparently, it’s okay to be nuts for nuts. But don’t eat too many because they can cause kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A new survey from Lime says scooter users don’t want to ride on the sidewalks, but do it anyway because they don’t feel safe on the street. Which is exactly the same reason many bike riders do. And the answer isn’t threatening or ticketing them, it’s building more and better bike lanes.

Seriously? LifeHacker belatedly discovers CO2 cartridges and figures they’re some sort of tire-filling hack.

This is exactly what we need in Los Angeles. A Tucson bike mechanic has developed an interactive map of low-stress residential streets connected with signalized intersections. It’s easy to find relatively low-stress streets in LA; the hard part is putting together a route with traffic signals to get you across LA’s many multi-lane traffic sewers.

Denver is losing its combination cafe, bar and bike shop at the end of the month.

A Colorado woman is riding four days, 158 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing over a high mountain pass, with a man suffering from cerebral palsy in tow.

There’s a rift in Iowa’s long-running RAGBRAI ride, as the entire staff resigned to start a new, seven-day ride across the state, in anger over how the newspaper sponsoring RAGBRAI handled racist tweets by the beer sign guy who raised $3 million for a children’s hospital.

Kansas City’s mayor wants to rip out a new protected bike lane less than a month after it was installed, saying it’s made things very difficult for businesses and residents. Apparently, it must have been installed on a whim, without any studies, since he wants to remove it the same way; any change to a roadway requires time for people to adjust to it before you know how its going to work out.

That’s more like it. A Wisconsin man faces up to 15 years behind bars and another 10 years of extended supervision after accepting a plea in the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old White Plains NY man is back on his bike and preparing for his 20th annual 30-mile charity ride, just two years after heart surgery.

Queens bike riders complain about a terrifying, treacherous but critical route across the borough, after a man becomes just the latest bicyclist to be killed in New York; Streetsblog says if the city can’t protect a veteran rider like the man killed on Sunday, it can’t protect anyone.

A New York public advocate calls for a single unified plan to address bike lanes, homeless shelters and affordable housing, rather than uncoordinated plans for each.

Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross is one of us, as she takes a bikeshare ride on Gotham streets in a dress and high heels.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery worker says he stabbed a racist, road-raging driver in self-defense, after the other man threatened to “beat the black off” him, tackled him and lifted him up in the air; he faces a charge of voluntary manslaughter, a big reductio from the original charge of first-degree murder.

It’s no surprise that bicyclists are riding on Orlando, Florida walkways when there’s no safe place to ride on the streets. And no surprise the city is the nation’s most dangerous place for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

International

Wired calls the new Van Moof the ultimate ebike. Although it seems like what they really liked was the extra power from the boost button.

The London terrorist who intentionally drove at multiple bike riders, police officers and a pedestrian outside the British Parliament has been jailed for life.

An English thief got four years and three months for seriously injuring a bike rider on his way to church, while fleeing police after bungling a burglary.

The wife of an American diplomat — or maybe a spy — who claimed diplomatic immunity to flee the UK after the hit-and-run death of a young motorcyclist admits she was driving on the wrong side of the road, and wants to meet the man’s parents in New York to take responsibility for his death. But not, apparently, return to Britain to face charges.

A new British study shows a cheap, widely available drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide if given in the first few hours after a head injury; the medication, called tranexamic acid, costs the equivalent of less than $8 in the UK. Which means it will probably sell for a couple thousand dollars a dose in the US.

A woman in the UK says she overcame her crippling anxiety by learning to ride brakeless in a velodrome.

My favorite Scottish bike blogger goes riding in the City of Lights.

A pair of Afghan men rode their bikes 225 miles to call for peace in the war-torn country.

Two Indian brothers rode a tandem nearly 400 miles from Kolkata to Darjeeling, despite one having a leg crippled by polio since childhood.

 

Competitive Cycling

Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx was in a Belgian ICU with a serious head injury he suffered in a fall while riding with friends on Sunday; the 74-year old, five-time Tour de France winner and noted bikemaker is considered by many to be the greatest rider of all time.

CyclingTips examines the cancellation of a WorldTour bike race through the gleaming towers of Hong Kong due to the protests in the troubled city. Is that enough to get this site blocked by Chinese censors, or do I have to try harder?

Bicycling says gravel is the new American road racing, while Cyclist says ‘cross may be the way to get more women into racing.

Next year’s Tour de France will feature all five of the country’s mountain ranges, as well as the shortest longest stage in Tour history.

Chris Froome could follow Greg LeMond in bouncing back from a life-threatening injury to win another Tour, especially if this year’s winner, Egan Bernal, agrees to support him in the race.

A 22-year old Australian driver has pled guilty to killing 23-year old pro cyclist Jason Lowndes while he was on training ride, after prosecutors dropped a distracted driving charge, accepting that she may have been using her phone moments prior to the crash, but not when she hit him.

 

Finally…

Fifty miles short of the goal, but still a wheelie long record. You may need your next e-scooter more than it needs you.

And it’s not a record jump if you don’t stick the landing.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site, and help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way (nearly) every day. 

I know I’ve said this before, but if everyone who visits this site today gave just $10, it would be enough to fund my work for a full year.

And maybe even get a new Corgi.

 

Morning Links: More of same as Newsom vetos Complete Streets bill, and Santa Ana hit-and-run gravely injures bike rider

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Evidently, not much has changed with a new, more progressive governor in Sacramento.

Former Governor Jerry Brown became famous for obstructing bicycle safety bills, to the point that “Jerry Brown” became a pseudonym for a dangerously close pass after Brown vetoed two versions of a three-foot passing law before finally agreeing to the watered-down version we have today.

And yes, I may have had something to do with popularizing that term.

Yesterday, Brown’s understudy, Governor Gavin Newsom, followed in his footsteps by vetoing SB127, the California Complete Streets bill.

The bill would have simply codified what Caltrans has already promised to do — include Complete Streets provisions whenever a roadway under state control is resurfaced or receives a major makeover.

Which is the primary reason Newsom gave for vetoing it.

But anyone who’s followed Caltrans for any length of time knows they’re notorious for promising change, then continuing with the same deadly, auto-centric policies.

Newsom’s veto message says Caltrans is already committed to Compete Streets “where reasonable and feasible.”

Which is simply another of saying if it gets hard in anyway, or anyone complains, just forget it.

And we’re left with a few minor changes to add sidewalks or bike lanes here and there — the “low hanging fruit,” as LADOT described it.

Newsom also cited Caltrans’ brazen, and successful, attempt to sabotage the bill, despite their many pledges of support for Complete Streets. The agency cited an absurdly high projected cost for the measure, claiming it would cost the state an extra $1 billion a year.

Which works out to $4.5 million per mile of blacktop. Even though the average cost of installing painted bike lanes is less that $50,000 per mile.

Usually a lot less.

Meanwhile, the average cost of building sidewalks is just $5.20 per square foot. So a full mile of concrete sidewalk five feet wide works out to $137,280.

Add that to the bike lanes, and double it for both sides of the street, and you’re looking at less that $375,000 per mile.

Just a tad less than that $4.5 million.

Maybe they were planning on some very expensive crosswalks, and a shitload of Share The Road signs.

Or maybe they just didn’t want to finally be held to account.

So once again, people who choose not to drive, for any length of time and for any reason, are left holding the bag.

Along with the communities these roads pass through. And the earth they’re built on.

And once again, we’re left with a self-proclaimed climate governor, like LA’s ineffectual climate mayor, who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the environment and fight climate change.

As long as that doesn’t mean inconveniencing drivers in any way.

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Yet another bike rider is barely clinging to life, thanks to yet another heartless coward behind the wheel.

KTLA-5 is reporting that a man was struck by a driver while riding his bicycle at Main Street and Warner Ave in Santa Ana early yesterday morning.

The driver fled the scene, leaving his or her victim lying in the street in “extremely grave condition” with a head injury.

No description was available for either the driver or the suspect vehicle. Although police somehow concluded that alcohol was believed to have played a role in the crash, but did not explain how.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Santa Ana Police Department’s Collision Investigation Unit at 714/245-8208.

It sounds like prayers or good thoughts for the victim are definitely in order.

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Sad news from Mexico, where longtime pro mountain biker Jordie Lunn was killed while trail riding with friends.

If the name doesn’t mean anything to you, this spectacular stunt from his self produced video series probably will.

The 36-year old British Columbia native was riding a trail in Cabo San Lucas when he fell, suffering a fatal head injury.

He started racing BMX at 11 before switching to mountain bikes at 15, rising to become the second-ranked North American rider in the 2003 World Cup standings.

He also became the first rider to land a Cork 720 a few years later. Even if he misses it here.

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It’s Firefly season again.

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This may be my new favorite song.

Then again, any song about a stolen bicycle, by a band featuring a woman on a tuba, can’t be all bad.

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

A San Francisco police officer is accused of lying under oath about beating the crap out of a bike rider, for the crime of riding a bike on the sidewalk.

After a close pass, a London driver tells a bike rider he “should have used the fucking bike lane.”

Sometimes the problem is just bald-faced bigotry directed to someone made more vulnerable by being on a bike. A British man intervened when a handful of teenagers surrounded a Jewish man, shouting anti-semitic slurs and threatening to take his bicycle. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people?

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for allegedly pulling a gun out of his waistband and shooting another man he accused of disrespecting him as he rode past on his bicycle; his bullet passed through the victim, and nearly struck a couple in the living room of their nearby home. Fortunately, the man he shot is expected to survive.

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Local

A Burbank photographer recently completed his 17th ride down the California coast with the Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bike Tour.

A man was fatally stabbed in South El Monte Friday evening after three men got out of a passing car, knocked him off his bike, and repeatedly stabbed him; the victim tried to get back on his bike and ride for help, but only made it another block.

 

State

Former motocross champ Mickey Diamond is in the ICU ward of an undisclosed Orange County hospital with a subdural brain bleed after apparently catching a knee on the handlebars of his time trial bicycle.

Over 10,000 people turned out for the 7th annual Open Streets event in Santa Cruz on Sunday.

Uber and Lyft rides could be subject to a small tax if a San Francisco ballot measure passes, with the funds going to public transit and street safety; the proposal got a quick endorsement from Streetsblog SF.

A Marin newspaper attacks a pilot project to put a barrier protected bike lane on the upper span of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge; the paper says the $20 million cost should have gone to better uses, and the space used to add a third demand-inducing motor vehicle lane across the bridge. However, the $20 million is a little more than half the cost paid to add a third traffic lane on the lower span last year.

 

National

A national transportation advocacy group calls for zeroing out funding for new roads and highways.

Uber Eats teams with the Governors Highway Safety Association to provide bicycle safety tips for their delivery riders. Which aren’t bad, for a change.

No, Grit Daily. Apple doesn’t make the Lumos Matrix bike helmet; they’re just selling it through the Apple Store.

An op-ed in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News looks back at the failure of the Interbike Trade Show, while expressing hope for something to take its place.

An Anchorage AK cop is facing an assault charge for punching a man outside his home, kicking him in the nuts and pepper spraying him, then taking him into custody on a false resisting arrest charge; the cop had earlier stopped him for riding without lights, then drove to his home with a ticket after the man was abusive, refused to show his ID and simply rode off. Thanks to Eric Grisiwold for the heads-up.

Good idea. Activating the bicycle sensor at a Portland traffic light will trigger a blue signal to let you know you were successful.

Ed Zink, a Durango CO bike shop owner and co-founder of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic died of a heart attack on Friday; he was 71.

He gets it. A Missouri writer recounts the history of bicycling from the beginning to explain that most bicyclists are utilitarian riders who only need good infrastructure, and fair treatment from law enforcement to protect them from harassment and reckless drivers.

After Tulsa police recovered a disabled woman’s stolen three-wheeled bike in unusable condition, a pair of Good Samaritans gave her another one.

A Queens city official suggests that bike riders need to trade protected bike lanes for a ban on bikes in certain areas — then immediately tries to walk it back.

Things keep getting worse in New York City. A 65-year old man was killed when a driver plowed into his bicycle, after bike lanes were temporally removed for street resurfacing; local residents had been trying to get a red light on the street for years. This is the city’s 25th bicycling fatality, an increase of 250% compared to last year.

The New York Times says, despite predictions, the apocalypse didn’t come when cars were recently banned from a section of New York’s 14th Street.

Life is cheap in New York State, where authorities plea bargained a case of vehicular manslaughter in the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider down to a simple hit-and-run injury case; the driver could be out in as little as 18 months. Also good to know that driving at nearly three times the legal limit is just an effing misdemeanor in the Empire State.

The University of Alabama football team has sent a football and jersey signed by star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the family of a 12-year old boy who was recently shot and killed by another boy because he wouldn’t give his bicycle; his family plans to have him buried with both.

 

International

The director of safety policy and advocacy for Bird writes to a Toronto newspaper, arguing that shared e-scooters are as safe as bicycles.

An English bus driver was fined the equivalent of over $750 for passing a bike rider so close the rider could reach out and touch the bus, after the victim was accused of having a vendetta against the company — and told by a cop he should get a hummer, instead.

Just in time for California fire season, a British sports site rates the best bike masks to protect against pollution. They should also come in handy for your next crime spree or DIY urban activism campaign.

Over 10,000 people have been busted for distracted bicycling in the four months since a ban on cellphone use while riding went into effect in the Netherlands.

Haute couture cycling, anyone? Vogue says the best way to visit Italy’s Puglia region is by bicycle.

A Kiwi driver says two bicyclists crashed into his trailer while descending a hill at 30 mph because local officials forced him to remove the convex mirror he’d placed at the entrance to his driveway, which would have allowed him to see around the blind curve.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good question. A gaming site wants to know if digital dopers should get banned in the real world, too.

 

Finally…

Think of it as critical mass for zombies. Don’t ride around that tree, just ride through it.

And if you’re going to suffer a life-threatening heart attack, there are worse places than in front of three off-duty doctors participating in a charity ride.

 

Update: Wrong way Oxnard bike rider killed in truck crash, police claim driver didn’t know

First it was a hit-and-run.

Then it wasn’t.

According to the Ventura County Star, a 45-year old man was killed when he was struck by the driver of a semi-truck while riding his bike against traffic on an Oxnard street.

Yet police say the driver had no idea he’d hit anyone, let alone killed someone.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck just after 11:30 am as he was riding east in the westbound lane of East Wooley Road, west of Saviers Road in Oxnard

He was dead at the scene before emergency personnel arrived.

The driver of the truck continued west without stopping. When Oxnard police stopped the truck shortly later, the driver reportedly cooperated with investigators, claiming he was unaware of the crash.

Unfortunately, they don’t explain how the crash happened. It strains credibility to believe the driver could have been unaware of a head-on collision; however, it’s possible he may not have known if he sideswiped the victim or hit him with the truck’s wing mirror.

Though one way or the other, he should have.

There’s also no explanation for why the victim was riding on the wrong side. Wooley Road is a divided highway with a planted median, and a bike lane that stops several hundred feet short of the intersection with Saviers.

This should serve as yet another reminder to never ride in the street against the flow of traffic.

This is at least the 56th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth in Ventura County; three of those have been in Oxnard.

Update: The victim has been identified as 45-year old Oxnard resident Javier Lopez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Javier Lopez and his loved ones.

 

Morning Links: Charges increased in Frederick “Woon” Frazier death, and WeHo drag queen run down on purpose

Maybe there will be justice for Woon after all.

I received the following email from an anonymous correspondent at yesterday’s scheduled prelim for Mariah Kandise Banks, charged with the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier and the attempted coverup that followed.

The People have filed an amended complaint against Ms. Banks in which the charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence has been upgraded to felony.

Judge Lynne Hobbs thanked Ms. Banks for being on time this morning. Alas, the prelim was trailed yet again.

The judge inquired about the prosecution’s previous request for an increase in bail due to the accused’s alleged harassment of the victim’s family (and frankly, she seemed willing and prepared to grant it). The prosecutor stated that she had spoken to the victim’s family two days ago and had received no further reports of harassment, so the bail stands as-is.

Ms. Banks was her usual muttery self as she exited the courtroom.

The increased charges mean Banks now faces six years for felony vehicular manslaughter, rather than one year for the misdemeanor count.

That’s in addition to a possible four years for felony hit-and-run.

However, it’s unlikely she’ll serve anywhere near that. The LA district attorney’s office has a well-deserved reputation for bargaining charges down to avoid a trial.

If Banks is smart, she’ll drop the attitude and cop a plea. And maybe get out in a couple years, rather than risk serving the full dime behind bars.

Photo of Frederick “Woon” Frazier taken from his original crowdfunding page.

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This is who we share the road with.

A popular West Hollywood drag queen says a driver fled the scene after apparently running him down on purpose as he was leaving a bar with friends two weeks ago.

The victim, Sasha Markgraf, says he was the only member of the group dressed in an effeminate manner.

In addition to being a drag performer and singer, Markgraf is also a costume designer. When he left the bar with his friends to cross Larrabee Street after 2 a.m. he was wearing high heels and suspects the driver may have intentionally hit him.

“It’s sad to say but I think he was coming straight for us. He didn’t have to go right. He didn’t have to veer to the right,” Markgraf says.

A crowdfunding page says the driver turned on his car as Markgraf stepped off the curb and revved his engine before plowing into him. So far, it’s raised just $2,100 of the $50,000 goal.

Unfortunately, the only description of the car is a silver Honda Civic. There’s no description available for the driver.

Lets hope they catch this jerk before he or she tries to kill someone else.

And maybe succeeds next time.

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Another crowdfunding page is raising money to buy a new bike for an Active SGV staff member whose bike was stolen, along with her panniers, wallet and clothes, at last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

So far it’s raised nearly $300 of the modest $500 goal.

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There’s no shortage of bighearted people in today’s news.

When the bike a Salem, Oregon man used as his primary form of transportation was stolen, his friends in the trading card community pitched in to buy him a new one.

The bike an Ohio man used as transpiration for himself and his one-year old daughter was stolen just two days into his new job, so his Walmart coworkers dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike and trailer for someone they barely knew, and most had never met.

A Pennsylvania man rode his bike across the US, raising $11,000 for a pair of small-town animal rescues.

Great piece about a British Columbia bike shop owner and inventor who earned the Lanterne Rouge in the 1955 Tour de France, joining another rider as the first British cyclists to finish the tour; after moving to Canada, he built the wheelchair used on an around-the-world journey, as well as refurbishing bicycles to give to those in need. Sadly, he died of cancer on Saturday.

Then again, some people would rather help themselves. After a thief stole the bicycle a nine-year old English boy got for his birthday, he set out to do odd jobs around town until he earned enough to buy a new one.

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Local

As we noted yesterday, LADOT is looking for volunteers for the city’s first-ever official bike and pedestrian count later this month, as well as using traffic cameras for part of the count. Volunteers are needed to count bicycles in Long Beach, too.

A pair of LA Times readers shake a metaphorical fist at the paper for celebrating the death of the High Desert Corridor through the Antelope Valley.

 

State

67-year old San Diego man was rear-ended on his bike in broad daylight, suffering what was described as a non-life-threatening brain bleed. A witness said he “came out of nowhere,” which is just another way of saying you weren’t paying attention.

The student newspaper at San Diego State University says the school made a bad decision in banning e-scooters and other micromobility devices, based on bad data and with little student input.

A Santa Barbara man was critically injured when he was hit head-on rounding a curve after allegedly drifting onto the wrong side of the road; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

 

National

Bicycling hosts a debate on whether someone on a bicycle is a cyclist or a biker. Apparently, a person riding a bicycle wasn’t an option.

A medical columnist says if you really want to avoid pain when you ride, hie thee to a bike fitter. Though he might not have phrased it quite that way.

A Hawaiian advocacy group will host a Noodle Ride, with participants using pool noodles to call attention to the three-foot passing law.

Seriously? An Oregon letter-writer says she’s fine with one bike lane, but why do bicyclists need one going the opposite direction on the other side of the street, as well?

Albuquerque paramedics are using bicycles to get through the crowds at the city’s annual hot air balloon festival.

Good advice. After surviving a serious collision while riding her bike, a Boulder CO woman says you should take published reports in the media with a massive grain of salt. Like this one, for instance.

A Houston man is dead after a cop driving at high speed — and without lights and sirens — slammed into him in a crash caught on dashboard video from a car parked nearby. In a tragic irony, the city launched a prescheduled campaign just hours later, calling on drivers to watch out for vulnerable road users.

A writer for Streetsblog Chicago says he’s willing to bury the hatchet after a city alderman backs down on his threat to ban bikes from the Riverwalk. But he wants those illegal Bicycles Must Be Walked signs taken down.

A Minnesota man just finished riding every public street in his county

A Pittsburgh man is making his third official attempt to set a new handcycle 24-hour record. The paraplegic athlete set an unofficial record of 407.7 miles in 2016, breaking the existing record of 403.8; however, the track wasn’t certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, so it didn’t count.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a 73-year old woman was killed in a left cross collision, and the driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket. There’s something seriously wrong when needlessly taking the life of another person amounts to nothing more than a simple traffic violation.

 

International

Cycling Tips says a British Columbia bikemaker is setting a new standard for environmental sustainability in the bicycle industry.

Heartbreaking story from Hamilton, Ontario, where a 14-year old boy was stabbed to death by a pair of brothers as his mother watched, after he had confronted the other boys for allegedly stealing his bicycle.

Life is cheap in Wales, too, where a woman got off with just 27 months behind bars for drunkenly driving “like a maniac” and plowing into four members of a family out for a bike ride, then fleeing the scene; one of her victims was lucky to survive. So naturally, she blamed the entire thing on her boyfriend.

A British truck driver was convicted of careless driving in the death of a bike-riding doctorhis view was obstructed by a dashboard tray full of ornaments and other items.

In news for my fellow diabetics, a new Australian study shows that while diabetics are prone to heatstroke, you can reduce your risk by training in the heat for a week in advance.

 

Competitive Cycling

Baltimore will host a one-day ProSeries race — one rung below the WorldTour — for the next three years.

Cycling’s governing body says it’s going to work with riders to improve safety in time for next year’s cycling season. If they really want to improve safety, they’ll get team cars and race motorcycles out of the peloton, and require riders to wait until someone can catch up for assistance.

 

Finally…

Nothing like circus friends to borrow a bike from. Apparently, there’s no bike lane that can’t be turned into a parking lot.

And nothing like turning a Santa Clarita bike path into your personal brass knuckle fight club.

 

Morning Links: NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, LA finally counts bikes, and bust made in near-fatal Ramona hit-and-run

Streetsblog takes a look at the highly biased survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep Pasadena Moving, chock full of leading questions designed to get just the responses they want about traffic in the Rose City.

But the best way to overcome their extreme NIMBY windshield bias is to get everyone you know who supports walking, bicycling, transit and safe, livable streets to take the survey themselves.

Because you already have, right?

Right?

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels.

………

LADOT will finally conduct its first-ever count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles.

Something they should have done years ago; previously, the city didn’t have a clue how many people actually biked or walked in LA.

Apparently, they were satisfied to rely on this count done in the early ’80s.

The only prior counts were conducted on a volunteer basis by the LACBC, later in conjunction with LA Walks.

Hardly a valid basis for any city to make solid transportation decisions.

Bizarrely, though, the story implies that the counts will only be done on weekends, which will provide little real information on bike commuting and transportation riding.

Almost as if the city has fallen for the old myth that the only people who ride bikes in LA are the weekend recreational riders.

By contrast, the LACBC counts were done during both morning and evening commutes, as well as on weekends.

However, that may not be totally accurate, as Sean Meredith suggests that the weekday counts may have been contracted out to a private company.

Let’s hope he’s right.

Update: The LACBC confirms that LADOT has contracted out to a private company to do bike and pedestrian count using traffic cameras. 

In fact, it may have already been done. 

………

The CHP has arrested 32-year old Ramona resident Chase Richard for the hit-and-run crash that critically injured Michelle Scott in Ramona.

The 53-year old woman was hit while she was riding her bike to work one week ago today;

The damaged car, which had stolen plates, was seized as evidence.

………

This is who we share the road with.

CiclaValley catches the end of a nasty U-turn by a driver who didn’t seem to care he was there.

Sort of like this impatient North Hollywood driver who uses the bike lane to zoom around slower traffic.

Even though someone was riding in it at the time.

………

Local

The LA Times reports the LAPD searches blacks and Latinos far more often than whites during traffic stops, even though white people are more likely to be carrying illegal items. That’s why LA’s mandatory bike registration program — which most people didn’t even know existed — was discontinued by the city council a decade ago, after it was used by police in some areas as a pretext to stop and search people of color riding bicycles.

The Orange County Register offers a schedule of the Long Beach Marathon events, including Sunday’s 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

Berkeley is considering a proposal to require the city to improve streets and add protected bike lanes on any repaving project, while devoting half the repaving budget to bikeways and high-collision streets. The ball’s in your court, Los Angeles.

San Francisco is finally nearing the start of construction on a 2.2 mile, $604 million makeover of iconic Market Street, turning it into a carfree bicycle and transit corridor.

A Sonoma writer looks back at the legendary Coors Classic, which had four starts in the city, along with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, who won the Coors the year before his first Tour win.

Unruly teenage bike riders participating in a ride out take over the streets of Vacaville, allegedly kicking and slapping vehicles, and attempting to open car doors at red lights. Police took several riders into custody for traffic offenses, even though those are ticketable violations, rather than crimes subject to arrest. Note to Daily Republic: Unless the kids were trying to sell something to the people in those cars, the word you’re looking for is “pedalers,” not “peddlers.”

 

National

The Netherlands Stop de kindermoord movement of the 1970s may have gotten its start with less successful anti-car demonstrations led by American women in the ’50s and ’60s.

A former bike shop owner says forget the romantic dreams of owning a bike shop, and run it like the business it is. Otherwise, you may end up like these former LBS owners on the other side of the ocean.

Neighbors are upset about a Kansas City sex offender’s front yard bike sculpture. Not because they don’t like it, but because their kids are drawn to it.

A Massachusetts Navy vet is on a three-year, 25,000 ride around the US to promote suicide awareness — one year for each time he tried, and failed, to kill himself. His depression finally lifted when a friend introduced him to bicycling.

This is how you do it. Atlanta will install its first pop-up bike lane for a week to judge the response and effectiveness. And inviting people to come out and help build it.

 

International

A crowdfunding campaign is raising capital for what promises to be the world’s smallest and lightest ebike conversion kit; they’ve already raised 1246% of the $25,000 goal with nearly a month to go.

The BBC has confirmed earlier studies that determined families that drive to school are exposed to more pollutants that those who walk or bike; bicyclists were exposed to just two-thirds the amount drivers were.

A finance worker’s helmet cam catches his head-on collision with another rider on a London bike path, after he swerved around a construction barrier.

A British roadie magazine tries to answer the question of whether you need a women’s specific bike. And concludes, maybe.

PinkBike ranks Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill’s top ten stunt videos, and wants you to vote on your favorite.

Here’s one for my bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes us bikepacking across Scotland. Unless maybe you’d rather add the Czech Republic to your mountain bike bucket list.

An Australian bike rider is looking for the Good Samaritan who saved his life after a hit-and-run driver left him unconscious in a ditch.

A Singaporean e-scooter rider will spend six weeks behind bars for crashing into the back of a man’s leg without slowing down. Seriously, they take this shit seriously over there. Thanks to Mike Cane — that’s C-A-N-E, with no R — for the heads-up. Despite how I usually seem to spell his name.

Three people — one mute, another with a bad leg — are riding their bikes over 1,600 miles across two Indonesian islands to prove to themselves that physical impairments don’t need to be obstacles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yet-another U-23 rider has lost his life. Twenty-two-year old Italian cyclist Giovanni Iannelli was killed in a fall during Saturday’s Trofeo Bassa Valle Scrivia in northern Italy; he fell in a sprint 100 yards from finish, hitting his head on a fence post with enough force to shatter his helmet.

The drug dealer who says he sold Italian cycling great Marco Pantani his final hit of coke now insists that the former Tour de France winner was murdered in his motel room.

The mountain bike course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is winning praise from competitors.

The 2023 Tour de France could kick off in Spain’s Basque Country. Then again, if they really wanted to ride the Basque country, they could have just gone to Bakersfield.

Aussie cyclist Brodie Chapman discusses six things she’s learned so far while riding on the Women’s WorldTour.

 

Finally…

This could be the first published poem about dooring. If you’re fleeing a robbery on your bike, try not to crash into a police car.

And Los Angeles is fun.

But not that much fun, apparently.

 

Morning Links: A short CicLAvia thread, NYT op-ed says cars are death machines, and Keep LA Moving summit on video

I had a little different CicLAvia yesterday.

My wife, who doesn’t ride a bike, wanted to go to CicLAvia this time.

So I left my bike at home, and we walked the section through the Civic Center and Little Tokyo, then combined it with a long-planned walking tour of the Arts District, ending with lunch at Smorgasburg.

Along with a stop at Angel City Brewery on the way back for a touch of Octoberfest and a half growler of their fest martzen.

And yes, a good time was had by all. With the exception of my new knee, which has been barking at me ever since we got home.

I should have sprung for the Vibranium model.

Or maybe unobtanium.

More a few people turned out this time. Just like every CicLAvia, going back to the very first one.

Whoever scheduled a Mole fest right next to CicLAvia deserves a promotion.

Who doesn’t love the incredible craftsmanship that goes into these lowrider bikes?

Thanks to Jason for a quick rundown on Pure Cycle’s new e-cargo bike.

I’m not saying everyone went to Angel City post CicLAvia…

…but it sure as hell looked like it.

 

Meanwhile, Sam Omar-Hall offers a great thread capturing the day.

And everyone’s favorite transit advocate reminds us that the final CicLAvia of the year comes in two months.

………

Today’s must read comes in the form of an op-ed in the New York Times.

Especially after her nine-year old niece was lucky to survive getting hit by an ice cream truck in Los Angeles.

Cars are death machines. Pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased 41 percent since 2008; more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2018 alone. More than 4,000 American kids are killed in car crashes every year – I am thankful every day my niece wasn’t one of them.

Here’s the thing: Statistics clearly don’t seem to persuade anyone of the magnitude of this problem. Not policy makers or automakers, technologists or drivers.

She goes on to quote from over 500 people who responded to her request for stories of getting hit by a driver.

And says autonomous cars aren’t going to save us.

Among the safety measures proposed by car companies are encouraging pedestrians and bicyclists to use R.F.I.D. tags, which emit signals that cars can detect. This means it’s becoming the pedestrian’s responsibility to avoid getting hit. But if keeping people safe means putting the responsibility on them (or worse, criminalizing walking and biking), we need to think twice about the technology we’re developing.

This may be the worst outcome of the automobile-centered 20th century: the assumption that it’s people who need to get out of the way of these lethal machines, instead of the other way around.

And neither are SUVs.

Because the front end of an S.U.V. is higher than the average car’s front end, it is far more likely to hit a pedestrian in the chest or head and twice as likely to kill walkers, runners, cyclists and children, compared to regular cars. And yet, S.U.V. sales account for 60 percent of new vehicle sales.

One of the easiest ways to make cars safer would be to make them smaller. Another way? Figuring out how to get people to drive less by providing safer, more sustainable alternatives to the car.

Seriously, take a few minutes to read the whole thing — including the quotes from the victims.

We’ll wait.

If you have any time left, The Guardian offers this long read on why the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians.

And for us.

………

Shameful.

The wife of an American diplomat stationed in the UK is claiming diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run that killed a British motorcycle rider.

She was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road when she slammed into the 19-year old victim while driving next to a US spy base.

After police tracked her down, she promised not to leave the country. Then did it anyway, presumably returning to the US.

His heartbroken parents have appealed to President Trump to return her to face justice.

But we’ll have to see if this administration has the integrity to do the right thing. Or will shield her from anything even resembling justice.

I know which one my money is on.

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Keep PDR Moving has posted a nearly four-hour video of the “national summit” for Keep LA Moving, which Peter Flax says amounted to about 25 NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers gathered in a restaurant.

He also says John Forester, aka the “father of vehicular cycling,” comes on about 30 minutes in, and proceeds to bore the room

If you have the time, and the stomach, to actually watch it.

………

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

A road raging Wisconsin driver got out of his car and repeatedly punched a man on a bike, then threatened to beat up the police officers when they arrived to break it up, after the bike rider made the mistake of flipping off the driver when he revved up behind him. That’s one key lesson I learned the hard way — never flip off the driver behind you.

………

Local

The LA Times celebrates the permanent hold placed on the freeway portion of the High Desert Corridor through north LA County, saying building a highway that will increase the amount of miles driven, at a time when the state is committed to cutting driving miles, is the wrong move. But notes that the high speed rail and bike path portions of the project can still go through. And should.

A former member of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Commission sets the record straight on Complete Streets, correcting the mistaken belief that Complete Streets only benefit of people walking or riding a bike.

This is who we share the roads with. An allegedly drunk Pasadena driver fled the scene after killing a pedestrian; the driver faces charges for vehicular manslaughter, DUI and driving without a license. More evidence just how desperately those Complete Streets are needed. And how desperately we need to do something to stop hit-and-runs.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, and Caltrans want your input on how to transform Beach Blvd between La Habra and Huntington Beach. Banning cars and turning it into a transit, bike and pedestrian corridor probably won’t fly. But it should.

An anonymous donor is offering a $25,000 reward for the heartless coward who fled the scene after running down 53-year old Michelle Scott as she rode her bike to work at her Escondido office on Wednesday, leaving her lying on the side of the road with critical injuries.

The Ventura County Star suggests riding a bike as one option for an eco-friendly commute during the county’s Rideshare Week starting today.

A bike-riding San Francisco columnist says the solution to conflicts on the road are bicycle turnout lanes that would allow bike riders to get out of the way of trailing traffic, just like the one he and his wife used to pull aside to leet a semi pass on a narrow roadway.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 24-year old man was the victim of a dooring; he was killed when someone opened the door of a parked car in front of him, knocking him into the path of a large pickup. I’m told the street had sharrows, which were due to be replaced with bike lanes. But it’s too late to save this man.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo drew nearly 5,000 bike riders from 14 countries to Sonoma County for the 11th edition of the annual ride.

USA Today picks up the story of the four bike-riding junior detectives who helped rescue a lost 97-year old Roseville woman with dementia.

 

National

Gear Patrol says their bike of the year is one you never heard of. For once, I have to agree.

A writer for Bicycling says ebiking has suddenly become his favorite new way to explore a city.

Bicycle-oriented development is the latest trend in housing targeting Millennials.

Seattle police appear to have abused their bait bike program, targeting poor and homeless people by leaving an unlocked bicycle outside of a Goodwill store; nine people were busted, but the only one that went to trial resulted in a not guilty verdict.

A Michigan woman pens a passionate plea dripping with windshield bias begging bike riders not to make her almost kill us.

NBA great Reggie Miller rode his first century in Indiana over the weekend to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 10-year old boy was killed riding his bike with the light while in a crosswalk; the driver, who didn’t have a driver’s license, reportedly attempted to flee with the bicycle still jammed under his truck. The boy was the 24th bike rider killed in the city this year, compared to just 11 for all of last year.

Good idea. Some New York city buses will be outfitted with cameras pointed at the right side of the road to catch people illegally parking in bike lanes; the drivers could eventually get tickets in the mail. But who will get the tickets for all those police cars parked in them

Delaware bicyclists are looking for a private property owner willing to host a ghost bike, when they had to take down the bike honoring a fallen bike rider after just two days because the local DOT was planning to remove it from the public property it was sitting on.

Los Angeles celebrated CicLAvia just one day after bike riders in DC enjoyed the city’s first open streets event.

South Carolina bicyclists say a road widening project left them with less room, not more.

 

International

The BBC talks with people with disabilities, who say that ebikes have changed their lives.

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker was one of us; the rock legend, who died on Sunday, gave up his dream of riding in the Tour de France after he was hit by a cab as a teenager.

Life is cheap in London, where a woman walked without a single day behind bars for slamming into a bikeshare rider with her Porsche and breaking his skull.

No bias here. A UK columnist says the spread of e-scooters are proof we’re doomed as a species, insisting that riders terrorize the sidewalk and look ridiculous. Yes, the way people look while riding a scooter is certainly the best argument against them.

A British man rode a BMX bike 300 miles in a monkey suit to raise funds and call attention to the problem of stillborn births, walking the last mile after breaking his chain. And learned the hard way that a plush monkey head works better than a bike helmet.

A writer for The Guardian wants to know why women bicyclists are targeted for abuse by aggressive male drivers, saying it’s “as though female cyclists are transgressing an invisible boundary in a way that some men find intolerable.”

A full 5% of Scottish commuters regularly get to work by bike, a number most American cities would envy, let alone the whole county. But that’s just half the country’s target for next year.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride with her boyfriend on a chilly UK autumn afternoon.

Finnish immigrants get free lessons in how to ride a bike in order to fit in with the bike-riding natives.

The Danish and Irish prime ministers went for a leisurely bike ride in Copenhagen, while the Dutch prime minister explains why he rides his bicycle to work nearly every day. Short answer, because he can.

Even Tehran is passing Los Angeles by promising to build 340 miles of cycle tracks over the next five years, although women can ride a little more comfortably here, without worrying about dressing conservatively or prohibitive fatwas. That compares favorably to LA, which “built or upgraded” just 13 lane miles of bike lanes — 6.5 miles of actual roadway — in fiscal year 2018-2019. 

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old Bolivian woman became the oldest woman to compete in the country’s 37-mile Skyrace extreme bike race on the legendary Death Road.

Now you, too, can cheat in cycling from the comfort of your own home.

 

Finally…

If you’re going use a mountain bike as your getaway vehicle, at least wait until you get the money. If you’re playing hide and seek from the cops with a stolen motorbike, maybe find a better hiding place than behind a telephone pole — and put a damn shirt on for your mug shot.

And your bike can take you almost anywhere.

Like to a good piece of cake.

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A special thanks to Linda T and Matthew R for their generous contributions to support this site. I rely on your support — emotionally and financially — to keep the best bike news coming your way every day.

And too often, the worst, too. 

Update: Drinking, unlicensed hit-and-run driver slams into four bike riders in El Centro, killing 44-year old man and injuring 3

It’s not often we hear from Imperial County. And when we do, the news usually isn’t good.

That’s the case today, when an unlicensed driver swerved off the road and struck a group of people who were riding their bikes in El Centro Sunday morning.

The four were riding north on the shoulder of State Route 111, just south of Interstate 8, when they were rear-ended by a 31-year old woman around 7:30 am, killing a 44-year-old man and severely injuring a woman.

Two others suffered minor injuries.

The driver was arrested shortly later after fleeing the scene. Officials said she had been drinking, but was not legally intoxicated, and didn’t have a valid license.

The victims were all reported to be Mexican citizens.

This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Imperial County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 44-year old Emeterio Millan of Mexicali, Mexico. 

The most seriously injured victim was flown from El Centro to Palm Springs for treatment, while the Mexican consulate was working to help the other victims and get Millan’s body back home to Mexicali. 

The driver, a resident of El Centro, is being held on $150,000 bond on felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Emeterio Millan and all his loved ones. And best wishes for a fast and full recovery to all those injured in the crash. 

 

Man killed riding bike in Sunland hit-and-run; LAPD waits two weeks to ask for public help

Sometimes it seems like LA neighborhoods like Sunland must be on the far side of the world, where it can take weeks for news to filter out.

Or maybe, for whatever reason, the LAPD just doesn’t want us to know what’s going on.

That’s because word finally broke on Friday that a man was killed in a hit-and-run over two weeks ago in the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood.

Why they waited so long to release the news is known only to them.

Especially when both the city and the state have adopted a yellow alert system intended to alert residents to hit-and-runs within hours, when there’s a far better chance of actually catching the driver.

Not two weeks later, after the driver has had his or her car fixed or hidden. And any potential witnesses may have forgotten exactly what they saw.

Instead, the LAPD waited until Friday to release news of the crash, when they asked for the public’s help finding the driver who fled the scene of the Sunland crash after killing a bike rider on Friday, August 23rd.

According to the Daily News, the victim, publicly identified only as a 55-year old Tujunga man, was riding west on Foothill Boulevard at Oro Vista Avenue at 2:15 am when he was rear-ended by driver and thrown into a parked car.

He died at a nearby hospital.

His killer continued without stopping.

Police are looking for what is believed to be a late model Prius with likely damage to the front passenger side. No description of the driver is available.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Traffic Division Officer J. Takishita at 818/644-8116, or anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. As always, there is a $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 47th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 20th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the tenth in the City of LA.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Man killed by hit-and-run driver while walking bike across street in South LA

Yet another bike rider has been murdered by a heartless coward on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

According to KABC-2, the victim was struck by a driver around 11:50 pm last night near 92nd Street and Grape Avenue in the Florence-Graham neighborhood of South LA.

The driver fled the scene, apparently without stopping, leaving his victim to die in the street.

The victim, publicly identified only as a man in his 50s, was dead by the time first responders arrived.

KCBS-2 provides more details, reporting that the victim was walking his bike across the street, though it’s unclear whether he was crossing 92nd or Grape.

He was found surrounded by aluminum cans, leading police to conclude he made his living by recycling them.

There’s no information available on the suspect or his or her vehicle at this time, and it was unclear which direction the driver fled.

It seems likely the victim was crossing 92nd, since it’s a through street, which would enable the driver to travel at high speed at that hour; 92nd has two lanes with a center left turn lane and bike lanes in each direction, while Grape is an unlined residential street that dead ends into 92nd.

The crash comes barely over 24 hours after Frank Mendez messaged to say he witnessed the aftermath of another crash just half a mile away at 92nd and Compton, suggesting a major safety problem on the street; fortunately, the victim did not appear to be seriously injured in that collision.

This is at least the 45th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 19th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the ninth in the City of Los Angeles.

At least six of those deaths in the county have resulted in hit-and-runs, half of which occurred below the 10 Freeway.

Yet city, county and state officials have done virtually nothing to halt hit-and-runs, even though a recent report found only 1% of LA hit-and-runs result in a conviction.

And meanwhile, we are literally being left to bleed — if not die — in the streets.

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

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

Morning Links: Arrest made in Boyle Heights hit-and-run, Jeff Jones ghost bike tonight, and bike tourism for a cause

The LAPD made fast work of its search for the hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike-riding father of five in Boyle Heights last week.

They got their man one day after announcing a $25,000 reward, arresting 23-year old Canoga Park resident Luis Raya-Flores for the crime.

Police said Raya-Flores knew why they were there as soon as they showed up at his door, telling them he fled because he panicked.

Which doesn’t excuse a damn thing.

Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Raya-Flores was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and being held in custody on an $80,000 bond.

The victim, 53-year old Boyle Heights resident Gabriel Lopez, was riding his bike to his job as a construction worker when Raya-Flores lost control of his speeding truck and smashed into him.

Now it will be at least a month before Lopez can return to the job he needs to feed his family.

And a lot longer than that before he gets justice in the case.

Photo from LAPD website.

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A ghost bike will be placed tonight for fallen cyclist Jeff Jones.

The well-known and well-liked bicyclist was killed Saturday on Griffith Park Blvd when a van driver made a U-turn in front of him.

………

Today’s common theme is bike tourism for a cause.

The annual Bike & Build program is rolling across the US to raise funds for affordable housing — and actually build it.

A Michigan man is riding 3,100 miles through the upper Midwest to call for an end to gun violence, and promote a hotline for people thinking about using a firearm to harm others.

And a man is riding from Maine to California, by way of West Virginia, to raise awareness of brain injuries after he suffered major brain damage when he was run down by a drunk driver several years ago.

Although sometimes, just a well-planned bike tour without a cause is good enough.

………

Take a four-minute mental health break and explore California’s undiscovered country with mountain biker KC Deane.

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Sometimes, it’s the people on bicycles behaving badly.

A white DC bike rider learned the hard way that justice goes both ways, after he gets a well-deserved three years behind bars for a racially fueled U-lock attack on a black motorist.

After bicyclists ignore a bike ban on an Aussie walkway, officials installed barricades that everybody hates.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast catches up with Active SGV director David Diaz.

Santa Monica police credit a reduction in e-scooters and a state law removing the helmet requirement to ride them with a nearly 500% drop in tickets to scooter riders.

 

State

San Diego bicyclists had their annual chance to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bay Bridge over the weekend.

Speaking of which, here’s your chance to take a relaxed bike tour of Coronado with Ken “Fat Woody” McNeil and his handcrafted artisan beach cruisers.

Bakersfield police book a killer driver on DUI charges with a 12% BAC. Yet still manage to blame the victim for turning her bike in front of his car. As always, the credibility of the accusations depends on whether there were any independent witnesses to the crash, since the driver has an inherent bias to blame the victim and see his actions in the best possible light.

If only cars had brakes. A San Jose driver is shocked when a jogger yelled at him for not giving him enough room as he passed a parked school bus, insisting he couldn’t give the runner any more space because there was a car in the lane next to him (last item). Because evidently, it’s impossible to slow down or wait until it’s safe to pass.

St. Helena residents are being urged to ride their bikes during next month’s Walk and Roll to School month.

 

National

The New York Times offers tips on tourism using dockless ebikes, scooters or motorbikes to get around a city.

Bicycling lends an ear to complaints about bike shops. So if you own, run or work for an LBS — aka local bike shop — pay close attention, because bad service is the best way to drive customers online. And you know they’re already looking there.

Your next Specialized bike seat could be the result of lattice-structured 3D printing, for a cooler, shock absorbing ride.

A Portland bike park was damaged in a brush fire, but all the staff was able to escape safely.

A bighearted Arizona special needs van builder bought a new adaptive bike for one of their young customers after learning his bike had been stolen.

Police in Fayetteville AR tell pedestrians, bike riders and motorists that the way to avoid crashes is just pay attention.

A Minnesota city approves a controversial mountain bike trail through a nature park, despite fears it could compromise the habitat for an endangered bumble bee. I gotta go with the environmentalists on this one; no use should be allowed that threatens any endangered species, because once they’re gone, they ain’t coming back.

A Detroit columnist complains about the city’s “tepid” response to the death of a nine-year old girl who was mauled by a neighbor’s dogs as she was riding her bike.

Cincinnati is the latest city to roll out a mountain bike-mounted EMS unit to get paramedics to emergency situations faster.

No shit. A Rhode Island legislator urges the state not to take $37 million earmarked to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians to fix roads and bridges for drivers.

No bias here. Yes, a Cape Cod bike rider may be at fault for a crash. But if he ended up on the hood and windshield of a car, he’s probably not the one who did the colliding.

The NYPD responds to a series of bike crashes in Central Park by turning out in force to slow riders down.

New York provides bike riders and pedestrians with a spacious, 20-foot wide path on a new bridge span. But neglects to give them a safe way to get there.

After kids in their early teens start a ride out group to keep away from drugs and gangs, Schenectady NY city leaders respond with an ordinance allowing police to impound the kid’s bikes, because they piss off drivers and are too young to ticket. Although one former cop would rather use an old Soviet tactic and just toss them in a psych ward.

South Philadelphia is one of the top bicycling neighborhoods in the US. But that doesn’t seem to matter to local residents, who refuse to sacrifice 24 parking spaces to protect human lives.

Sad news from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a 14-year old boy was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle, just days after making the football team at his middle school. Seriously, this shit has got to stop.

Either a Florida supermarket employs costume makers, or a local TV station doesn’t know how to spell customer. And apparently, neither one knows bike riders don’t have to ride in the crosswalk.

A Miami weekly says you can survive in the city without a car, but you have to bike at your own risk.

 

International

Mexico’s biggest bikemaker is building a $25 million maquiladora plant with plans to begin exporting to the US. Which isn’t a bad idea in light of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

Ottawa city councilors respond to a deadly year for bike riders by saying they want people on bikes to feel safe on the streets. Maybe Los Angeles city councilmembers could take the hint from them.

After getting back on his bike after breaking his leg in a major endo, a London writer finds drivers have gotten meaner. And hopes for a day when all city centers will be carfree.

Bike Biz takes a tour of Britain’s legendary Brooks saddle factory.

Time says the streets of Europe aren’t big enough for bicycle riders and e-scooterists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Watch two-time world mountain bike champ Danny Hart’s dream custom mountain bike build come together in 22 minutes.

Apparently, closing your eyes as you sprint for the finish in the fourth stage of the Vuelta makes you faster.

Evidently, Chloe Dygert Owen is doing a good job of overcoming her confidence issues, after demolishing the peloton to win all four stages of the Colorado Classic. Meanwhile, race organizers hope to add more European teams for next year’s edition of the women’s stage race.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike path when you’ve got the Great Wall of China? Despite what the company says, Peloton is less than a bike because bikes have wheels.

And if you’re going to burglarize a store, don’t leave the keys in your truck where a bike-riding car thief can find them.

 

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