Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Los Angeles bike rider killed in North Hills hit-and-run; 2nd LA bike death — and 2nd LA hit-and-run — this year

It’s happened again.

Another person has been killed riding a bicycle. And yet another driver has fled the scene.

According to multiple sources, the 38-year old man, who has not been publicly identified, was fatally run down in LA’s North Hills neighborhood around 4:20 Saturday morning.

The victim was riding south in the crosswalk on Sepulveda Blvd at Roscoe Blvd when he was struck by a driver headed east on Roscoe.

He died at the scene before paramedics could arrive.

The driver continued without stopping, leaving his victim to die in the street.

There’s no word on who had the right-of-way on the signalized intersection or how fast the driver was going. Or whether the victim had the required lights and reflectors on his bike in the early morning darkness.

Police are looking for a dark-colored 2007-2011 Toyota Camry; there’s no description given for the heartless coward behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call 818/644-8022. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

This is at least the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County, as well as the second in the City of LA.

Shamefully, seven of those 13 deaths have been hit-and-runs — as have both of the bicycling deaths in Los Angeles.

And if that makes you mad, it should.

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

Victorville bike rider killed in midnight hit-and-run; no description of driver or car

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

According to the Victorville Daily Press, the victim was riding west on Mojave Drive, east of Amethyst Road in Victorville, when he was rear-ended by a driver early Wednesday.

San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies responded to find the victim, whose identity is being withheld, lying unresponsive in the roadway at 12:29 am.

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died just 35 minutes later.

No word on whether the crash was reported right away, or how long he may have been lying there before he was discovered. Or if any delay in receiving treatment may have contributed to his death.

However, it’s unlikely that a crash on a roadway with a 60 mph speed limit would have been survivable, in any case.

There’s also no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike that would have made him more visible in the late night darkness.

No description has been given for the driver or the suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputies C. Bennington or T. Wetzel at 760-241-2911.

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

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

Hahn moves to study safety after Woods crash, sheriff calls it oopsie, and parking matters more than bike rider’s death

It only took the near death of a celebrity.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn is finally pushing for much needed safety improvements on Hawthorne Blvd, where golf legend Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a high speed end-over-end collision.

Hahn directed the county Department of Public Works to review safety on the stretch of roadway where the crash occurred, which residents described as a scene of frequent crashes.

However, no one ordered a similar review when a 32-year old homeless man, identified as Jonathan Valbuena, was killed in a hit-and-run a few miles north on the same deadly corridor.

And no one ordered immediate action despite the corridor’s inclusion on the equivalent of the High Injury Network under the county’s Vision Zero plan, which doesn’t seem to have made any more progress than LA City’s seemingly forgotten plan.

Then again, none of the six people who were killed or seriously injured over a five-year period in that deadly section of the street were famous.

Which, sadly, seems to make all the difference.

That’s not to say the dangerous downhill street where Woods crashed doesn’t need to be fixed.

But maybe we could do something where the rich and famous don’t live and drive, too.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

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On a related note, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has given Tiger Woods a pass on the crash, saying his wreck was just an oopsie.

Apparently, Woods was traveling without a driver to film a low-budget documentary show for Discovery when he crashed.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

San Diego business owners complain about the loss of 22 parking spaces to create a temporary separated bike lane where a bike rider was killed last year.

Even though they’ll get them back when it’s converted to a protected bike lane later this year.

Yet there’s not a single mention of 65-year-old Dan Sweeney, who died nearly two months after a hit-and-run directly in front of their restaurants. Or that the driver left him in the street to die after getting out of his van and moving Sweeney’s bike out of the way.

Almost as if they don’t even care.

Nor, apparently, did anyone seem to care that the driver, 29-year old Mauricio Armando Flores, now faces up to four years behind bars after pleading guilty to leaving Sweeney bleeding in the street after running him down from behind.

He’ll face sentencing next month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the last link.

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Local

Opponents of the planned restoration of the Ballona Wetlands have filed a lawsuit to stop the project, saying it’s not needed and could be harmful.

Billie Eilish is one of us, riding her bicycle while listening to the Strokes’ latest album.

 

State

Encinitas is starting construction on a long-awaited streetscape project to add a roundabout, buffered bike lanes and wider sidewalks to the Coast Highway in Leucadia.

A Chula Vista man was killed when a driver crashed into his motorized wheelchair as he was using a crosswalk.

Livermore officials back down and let a bike repairman keep working from home, at least for now, after over 9,000 people signed a petition supporting him.

A bike helmet offers protection against an overly aggressive Bay Area coyote.

Famed Beat poet, censorship-fighting publisher and City Lights Bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was one of us, too.

 

National

A new US administration means the reintroduction of the 2019 Complete Streets bill, which would encourage safer, people oriented street designs throughout the country.

A new study of Chicago’s bikeshare system shows low-income workers and people of color relied on bikeshare more than their wealthier counterparts during the pandemic.

Minnesota-based Park Tools continues to rule the bike work bench.

Some people just don’t learn. A Boston vlogger took an “epic” ride on the frozen Charles River, just one week after he fell through the ice.

America’s first congestion pricing plan could get the go ahead now that the former Mayor Pete is heading the Department of Transportation, clearing the way for New York’s proposed program. Which could bode well for Los Angeles — if local leaders have the courage to move forward with Metro’s congestion pricing proposal.

He still can’t start a fire without a spark, but evidently Bruce was just drinking in the park.

A Newport News, Virginia man is using his pandemic downtime to ride every street in the city of !80,000 people. Which is a lot easier than it would be here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina politics could put the brakes on the bike boom in the state.

 

International

How to minimize the environmental impact of buying bike tires.

Road.cc examines where to find plus size bikewear, including LA-based Machines for Freedom.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a drunken hit-and-run driver got just two years and a month behind bars, despite leaving three bicyclists lying in the road with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. Italy has given food delivery companies 90 days to improve the way they treat bicycle delivery riders, saying the mostly immigrant workers are practically treated like slaves.

Maybe they see the bike writing on the wall. Volkswagen is now in the bicycle and ebike leasing and financing business, at least in Germany.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after an Indian man wrestled a leopard to the ground when it attacked his family as they were riding bikes together.

Kiwi bicyclists say another three years is too long to wait to improve safety on a popular riding route where a 65-year old man was killed riding his bike last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Teams have been announced for the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix.

The route for this year’s Giro has been officially unveiled, while Cycling News highlights five key stages in the race.

Bicycling highlights twelve cyclists to watch during the upcoming racing season; Sepp Kuss is the only American rider to make the list. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

No bias here, either. Aussie women’s cyclists face discouragement over the lack of recognition and prize money given to their male counterparts.

 

Finally…

How did Kermit ride his fixie, anyway? Turning your single-seat bike into a six-legged tandem, even if some people don’t like it.

And don’t hold any bake sales for Lance just yet.

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

51-year old Anthony Duran killed walking bike in Indio crash; alleged driver held on felony hit-and-run charge

A man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike in Indio last week.

But because the news stories identified him as a pedestrian, it didn’t cross my radar until the driver was arrested on Wednesday.

The victim, identified as 51-year old Indio resident Anthony Duran, was found lying badly injured in the street at Monroe Street and Avenue 42 around 4:50 am on Thursday, February 4th.

Police determined Duran was walking his bike across the intersection when he run down by a pickup driver, who fled without stopping.

Duran died at the scene. There’s no word on just how long he had to lay there, alone and bleeding, before someone saw him.

Police arrested 28-year old Mark Bravo of Indio on Wednesday; he’s being held on $75,000 bond on a single count of felony hit-and-run.

If there was any justice, he’d face a second degree murder charge for allegedly leaving his victim there to die; there’s no way of knowing if Duran could have survived if he’d gotten help sooner.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Anthony Duran and his loved ones.

2nd driver charged in double hit-and-run death of two young brothers, and US bike deaths may have dropped in 2020

One quick note before we get started.

Almost a year ago, just before the world went to hell, the LA Times did a story about the foster corgi we took in to help a homeless man get back on his feet. 

This weekend they did a followup story, with an update how man and dog are doing and the ripple effect it had on everyone, my wife and I included. 

Along with the corgi puppy we adopted last summer. 

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The other shoe finally dropped.

A full month after 57-year old Grossman Burn Foundation co-founder Rebecca Grossman was charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter for killing a pair of young brothers in an alleged drunken street race last September, the other driver has finally been arrested.

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Scott Erickson was inexplicably charged with a single count of misdemeanor reckless driving, despite allegedly contributing to the deaths of the two young boys.

And despite the allegation of street racing.

Eleven-year old Mark Iskander and his eight-year old brother Jacob were crossing the street with their parents in a marked and well-lighted crosswalk when they were run down, one on his bicycle and the other on a scooter.

It easily could have been worse. Their parents were able to jump back with the boys’ younger siblings at the last second, barely sparing the family from being wiped out entirely.

And yet the 51-year old Erickson, who had a one-year stint with the Dodgers, faces a single lousy count of misdemeanor reckless driving.

Did I mention that both drivers are in their 50s, and should have effing known better?

Maybe prosecutors can explain their charging decision in this one, because it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

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The good news is bicycling deaths may — repeat, may — have dropped last year, from an obscene 857 in 2018, and 846 in 2019, to 697 last year.

So says Outside Magazine, which tracked every bike rider killed in the US last year, much like I’ve been tracking Southern California bicycling deaths for the last decade.

Or rather, all the deaths they’re aware of; there are undoubtedly more that never crossed their radar, for whatever reason.

Of those, slightly more than 80% were men, and over a quarter of the victims were killed in hit-and-runs.

No surprise on either count. Especially not the latter, which tracks very closely with what we’ve seen here in Southern California.

And sadly, no surprise that far too many of those deaths occurred here in California.

Louisiana, New York, California, Florida, and Texas were the five deadliest states for cyclists in terms of total fatalities. The latter three have been the most deadly states for cyclists for years, and New York’s fatalities have been on the rise as well—in 2019, it reported 46 cyclist deaths, with 29 in New York City alone. While these three states are also the most populous in the country, Florida and California have among the most cycling deaths per million people, as well. And Louisiana recorded 7.3 cycling deaths per million people, the most of any state. Louisiana’s total fatal crash numbers have remained in the twenties and thirties for the past five years, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

No surprise that those deaths may have been driven in part by last year’s bike boom, either.

Though it’s too early to be certain, the cycling boom that took place after the COVID-19 lockdown orders may have contributed to the summer death rate. From January through November, $4.9 billion worth of bikes were sold in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. In Los Angeles and Houston alone, Strava found approximately a 100 percent increase in cycling trips in both cities in May 2020 compared to May 2019. More cyclists on the road seemed to correlate with more people on bikes being killed by drivers.

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Harrison Ford is one of us, as the once and future Indiana Jones star has a bike rack installed on his car for his new bicycle at the Santa Monica Helen’s.

New Bollywood sensation — and former porn star — Sunny Leone is one us, too, riding bikes with her husband and kids in Los Angeles before returning to India.

And new mother Katie Perry is still one of us, as is her fiancee Orlando Bloom, as they ride together in Santa Barbara.

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Consider this your periodic reminder that Bike Index works.

And it’s free. So what the hell are you waiting for?

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Mountain biking though a NorCal burn zone.

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Think you’ve got mountain bike skills? Trying riding downhill on a kid’s bike.

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GCN considers how to get your confidence back after a crash.

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

Just days after a Portland driver killed one woman and injured at least ten others in a 15-block rampage, another driver intentionally ran down a delivery rider; fortunately, this victim was able to bounce back up.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver was fined the equivalent of a lousy $549 for a fist-shaking punishment pass that caused a 68-year old man to fall off his bike, suffering life-changing injuries. But hey, at least he won’t be able to drive for a whole six months.

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

Santa Cruz police are looking for a bike-riding man who allegedly battered a motorist in an unprovoked attack. Although something tells me that unprovoked attack wasn’t.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider suffered a severely lacerated face when a delivery rider cut him off, forcing him into a glass bus shelter.

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Local

Noticing the explosive growth in ebike usage during the pandemic, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach respond by cracking down on scofflaw ebike riders who are apparently terrorizing the local populace, on and off the beachfront Strand. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

You only have until 3 pm today to urge Culver City to approve new bus and bike lanes, over the objections of local traffic NIMBYs.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with new California Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman, including about her efforts to allow local communities to lower speed limits.

A kindhearted Santa Ana cop gives a pair of bike helmets to two young boys after they stopped her to ask if they had to wear one; she correctly noted that California law requires bike helmets for any bike riders under 18.

Carlsbad police busted a suspected drunken hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike-riding woman from Arizona; at last report, the 65-year old woman was unconscious with serious injuries.

San Diego County officials cut the ribbon on a new three-mile segment of North County’s Inland Rail Trail; the new segment means ten miles of the planned 21-mile trail is ready to ride.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed when a wrong way driver slammed into his bicycle, then drove off like the murderous coward he or she is.

A new plan promises to remake San Jose’s Eastside into a more welcoming place for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing the need for cars. Sadly, it comes too late for the victim above.

San Francisco bike shops say if you’re in the market for a new bike, you’ve got a long wait.

 

National

An engineering website examines the aerodynamics of bicycling to keep riding from being a drag.

Pink Bike wonders when, if ever, mountain bikes will be allowed in US wilderness areas.

A writer for Bicycling explains how he finally went carfree after he job went remote during the pandemic. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

An American Sign Language professor at an Arizona college has turned his daily bike ride into a fundraising campaign for his students.

He gets it. A Salt Lake City columnist says bike riders have a right to be safe in traffic. And that’s why he supports a bill that would legalize the Idaho Stop in Utah, even if people on bicycles will still have to be alert, because too many drivers aren’t.

The full route has been released for this year’s RAGBRAI bike ride through Iowa, after last year’s ride was cancelled due to the pandemic.

A Missouri couple decide to open a bike shop. And then figures, why not sell pizza, too? Toss in some decent craft beer, and I’m all in.

A Rhode Island letter writer pleads with drivers to stop giving bicyclists the “wave of death.”

Yes, please. New Haven, Connecticut officials are pushing the state legislature to approve a bill that would allow automated traffic cams to enforce speed limits and crosswalks.

Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken NJ will add protected bike lanes to the singer’s eponymous street.

A retired Maryland man spent the pandemic providing free bike repair services for the local community; he’s fixed over 650 bicycles since last April.

No bias here. Florida cops fall over themselves to absolve a killer hit-and-run driver of responsibility, saying he knew he hit something, but didn’t know it was a person on a bicycle. Because apparently, it’s just too much to expect someone to get out of his car to see what the hell he hit hard enough to cause front end damage.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks at the clothes you’ll need to get through the coldest, wettest days on your bike. Or you could just do like most Angelenos, and stay home any day there’s a sprinkle or the temperature dips much below 70°.

Eight bicyclist-inspired songs for your bicycle playlist.

An entrepreneurial 13-year old girl in Edmonton, Canada turned her pandemic baking into a business, delivering fresh loves to customers by bike every weekend.

London’s popup bike lanes and Low Traffic Neighborhoods could be in jeopardy, after a judge rules that they could adversely affect disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly. Because apparently, older people don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

They may have a point. A London paper questions whether a 300-foot bike lane in an English town is the country’s stupidest bike lane; the street with the contraflow bike lane — aka wrong way — is so narrow that even small vans don’t fit in the traffic lane and have to extend into the bike lane.

More on the British man who responded to the death of his brother and a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer by riding from the UK to Beijing on a tandem, sharing the other seat with people he met along the way.

I want to be like him when I grow up. After getting tired of people laughing at him, an 83-year old Pakistani man rode his bike over 1,100 miles to prove age is just a number; he’s been riding since buying his first bicycle 66 years ago.

An enterprising 15-year old Indian boy is too young to legally ride a Vespa-style scooter, so he turned his bicycle into one.

After her politician father was arrested on what she insists are trumped-up charges, an Indian teen refused to accept a free bicycle from a government-run program in protest.

A quick-thinking Indian bus driver is credited with saving the lives of two little boys after they fell off their bikes into the path of the bus.

Apparently, they take driving in a protected bike lane seriously in Qatar, as a driver has his car seized on the spot.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — a biking tour of old Taipei.

A Wellington, New Zealand bike rider says the city needs a lot more than just bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fortune favored the Dutch in this year’s cyclocross worlds, as 31-year old Lucinda Brand and 26-year old Mathieu Van der Poel took the women’s and men’s elite titles. Riders from the Netherlands took four of the top five places in the women’s race, and two of the top five on the men’s side; the only American to finish in the top five in either race was Clara Honsinger, who placed 4th in the women’s race.

The New York Times examines how the horrific crash that nearly took the life of Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen at the Tour of Poland has increased pressure on the sport’s governing body to make much needed changes to protect the riders in the peloton.

 

Finally…

Remember, kids, always pickle your bike lanes before a storm. Your next car could be an ebike. Or maybe the other way around.

And your long, dark wait for LEGO bike lanes is over.

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

Vandals attack Slow Street in Valley Village, GoFundMe raises $25k for Black Lives bicyclist, and blocking bike lanes in SaMo

It’s a blustery day in LA, and much of Southern California.

With makes it a great day to get that KOM, as long as you can keep the wind at your back. Otherwise, it could feel like riding with an anchor.

And as someone who used to deal with Colorado’s notorious Chinook winds, bear in mind that an ill-timed gust can literally blow you off your bike, or all the way across the roadway.

Or both.

So maybe you’re better off just staying home with a good book.

Photo by Anja from Pixabay.

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No bias here.

Someone clearly isn’t a fan of the Slow Streets movement, at least not in Valley Village.

Or maybe they’re just a fan of speeding cars and keeping the streets the deadly domain of dangerous drivers.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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The family of fallen Ride for Black Lives bicyclist Branden Finley call for help finding the carjacker who killed him in a hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles, as a crowdfunding page for his family raises over $25,000 the first day.

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What do you call a bike lane when it’s not a bike lane?

A loading zone.

I tried fighting that same battle on San Vicente nearly a decade ago.

It wasn’t hard to get FedEx and UPS to agree that parking in a bike lane violated their internal policies, and pinky swear promise they wouldn’t do it anymore.

And while the Santa Monica police couldn’t grasp the concept that a bike lane is a legal lane of traffic reserved for bicycle, or that blocking one is a clear violation of state law, the chief agreed that double parking is illegal, at least.

But that was several SaMo PD chiefs ago. And nothing ever changed.

Delivery drivers kept parking there. Cops kept ignoring it.

And bike riders continued risking their lives mixing with impatient drivers who couldn’t comprehend that blocked bike lanes mean bike riders have to merge into the traffic lane.

Clearly, adding Amazon delivery vans to the mix hasn’t helped, either.

The only solution is to make it a protected bike lane, which it should be anyway.

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

Frightening bike theft in Stockton, where a man in a car pulled a gun on a 54-year old woman and demanded the bike she was riding, tossing it in his backseat before speeding away.

A Healdsburg CA driver lays on his horn to demand a man riding with his son get the hell out of his way. And when they don’t, he rams the father from behind.

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

Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who grabbed a woman’s butt before riding off on his bicycle. And no, that’s not cute or funny — it’s sexual assault.

A Singapore food delivery rider faces charges for crashing into an eight-year old girl as she walked home from school with her mother, breaking her glasses and seriously injuring her eye.

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Local

No surprise here. Los Angeles once again has the worst traffic of any major city in the US. Yet the city still isn’t taking any significant steps to provide alternatives to driving and get people out of their cars.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride with his wife and daughter.

 

State

Good news from behind the Orange Curtain, as Caltrans agrees to remove the ill-conceived rumble strips on PCH through Bolsa Chica that posed a needless risk along the popular riding route. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield advocate calls for the city to establish a Vision Zero program to become a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

National

There may be hope for all those many and varied bicycle-to-vehicle communication systems that are supposed to be the salvation bike riders and pedestrians, as a consortium of bicycle and automotive companies finally agree to set a common standard that will work across platforms.

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t commute by bike.

An editor for Vice learns that riding a bicycle is just like riding a bike, even at the ripe old age of 29.

The Sierra Club offers suggestions on how to store your bike inside during the winter. Or better yet, let your bike sleep inside, and keep riding it outside, regardless of the season.

Who needs bikewear when you’ve got a $180 pair of denim overalls?

A new report shows Washington State needs to spend $5.7 billion to fix the state’s roads and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians, while advocates say the existing strategies clearly aren’t working. Which is pretty much the same story in California, and just about everywhere else.

A Boise, Idaho nonprofit hand-delivered nearly 60 bicycles to families in need to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy of service.

Even in rural Kansas, a driver can turn his or her car into a lethal weapon to deliver a punishment pass, as a bicycling trio learned firsthand.

Chicago is considering what looks like a curb-protected two way bike lane through the city’s Fulton Market.

When a Virginia pastor had trouble finding a new bike after his was stolen, he responded by starting a new ministry to repair and refurbish bicycles for people in need.

 

International

The bike industry clearly has the gravel bug, as Road.cc rates 18 of the hottest new gravel bikes from some of the most popular bike brands. And while they’re at it, they also pick the year’s best commuter bike, with prices starting at the equivalent of just $500.

Bike Radar gets a jump on next year’s holidays with a guide to the best gifts for bicyclists in 2021, starting with a five buck DVD of Breaking Away.

An Oxford University professor says forget the WHO’s guidance, and wear a mask when you run or ride a bike.

You know there’s a problem when South African bike riders are warned away from a particular road because the risk of getting robbed is too high.

Cyclist examines how Taiwan’s Giant became the, well, giant of the bike world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome blamed an undiagnosed strength deficit and an inexplicably painful screw resulting from his horrific 2019 crash for a disappointing comeback season in 2020. But that may be behind him, as he takes a couple KOMs on a “Super Saturday” ride through the Malibu Hills as he rehabs in Los Angeles.

Twenty-two year old Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar stands in the way of Froome’s search for a record-tying fifth Tour title, as he commits to defending his yellow jersey before tackling the Vuelta.

 

Finally…

Saying a boy’s bike is easy enough for a girl probably isn’t the best marketing idea. For 25 grand, they could at least give you more than one gear. It’s not a giant Ferris wheel, it’s a bike tire.

And since we started the day with Winnie the Pooh, we might as well end it with a little Tickety-Boo.

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

Man riding bicycle killed in double Menifee crash, as 2nd driver leaves scene; 3rd fatal Riverside County bike crash this year

For the third time in just three days, a bike rider was killed in Southern California.

And for the third time, a driver left the scene — although police were quick to excuse it.

According to the Press-Enterprise, 43-year old Lake Elsinore resident Alex Herrera was crossing Highway 74 just west of Briggs Road in Menifee around 10:45 Saturday night, when he was struck by a westbound driver, flung onto the other side of the roadway, and run over by another driver headed east.

Herrera died at the scene before police could arrive.

The first driver stopped and waited for police, though he was unsure who or what he struck on the dark roadway.

The second driver kept going without stopping, but lost his license plate in the crash. Police were able to track him down and were quick to absolve him of responsibility, suggesting he may not have known he hit anyone.

Because evidently, it’s perfectly normal to keep driving after feeling a large, unexpected bump without stopping to see what the hell it was.

Like maybe another person, for instance.

Police said there was no sign drug or alcohol intoxication played a role in the crash, and neither driver was ticketed or arrested at the scene.

There’s no word on why Herrera was crossing the highway west of the intersection with Briggs, with no street lights or businesses to light the roadway.

There’s also no indication if he had lights on his bike that would have made him visible in the darkness.

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

Drivers have left the scene in all but two of those deaths, including all three in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alex Herrera and his loved ones.

Update: Man riding bike killed by carjacker in horrific DTLA hit-and-run crash; victim was on his way to join a group ride

This time, it really is murder.

A 46-year old bike rider is dead, the innocent victim of a speeding carjacker trying to make his escape through Downtown Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Now police are looking for the car thief and killer, who simply walked away after a second crash.

According to KABC-7, the series of events started when a passing pedestrian asked a newspaper delivery driver for a ride on the 900 block of Wilshire Blvd. When the driver refused, the man jumped into the running pickup while the man was stocking a newsstand.

A flier from the LAPD places the time of the theft as 7:50 am.

Unable to get back into the truck, the delivery driver jumped into the back as the man sped off towards DTLA, then wisely jumped out a few blocks later, tumbling to the ground.

Witnesses saw the carjacker careening through the streets, weaving from side to side at a high rate of speed while driving on the wrong side of the roadway.

After turning onto eastbound 7th Street, he slammed into a man who was riding east just before 7th and Olive Street.

However, according to the police flier, the victim riding against traffic in the westbound bike lane — which means the driver rear-ended him while all the way on wrong side of the street.

The victim landed on the hood of the truck, and was carried nearly 100 feet before being thrown off, then tumbled another 150 feet before coming to a rest at Hill Street, a full block from where he was hit.

KTLA-5 reports friends of the victim identified him as Branden Finley, a member of the Ride for Black Lives group; he was reportedly on his way to join a group ride when he was killed.

Paramedics attempted without luck to revive him, before declaring Finley dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the driver continued east on 7th until he crashed into a pair of vehicles and took off on foot, melting away on the Downtown streets.

Bizarrely, he was walking barefoot and carrying a steering wheel, presumably from the truck he stole.

He was described as a Black man around 5 foot 6 inches tall and 150 to 160 pounds, and may have suffered a head injury from hitting his head on the windshield.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white hoodie and black pants, after removing the blue hoodie he was originally wearing.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in the City of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD Detective Juan Campos at 213/833-3713, or e-mail hm at 31480@lapd.online. During weekends and off-hours, call 1-877/527-3247.

This is at least the fifth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County and the City of LA.

Three of those deaths have been the result of hit-and-runs.

Update: The LA County coroner has confirmed the victim’s identity as Branden Finley, a 46-year old father of two.

“I still don’t even think it’s real. I feel like it’s a dream. Right now, it’s a nightmare, and I feel tomorrow I’m going to wake up and this day will never exist,” his daughter, Koi Finley, told ABC7.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Branden Finley and his loved ones. 

Bicyclist killed in Perris hit-and-run Thursday night; driver arrested hours later

Just over two weeks into the new year, a second bike rider has been killed in Riverside County, both the victims of hit-and-run drivers.

But at least this time, the killer was caught a few hours later.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding through the intersection of Goetz Road and Mapes Road in Perris around 8:30 pm Thursday when he was struck by a car driven by 28-year old Perris resident Nathan Craig Rogers.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, died at the scene.

Rogers fled the scene, but Patch reports he was taken into custody around 11 pm Thursday.

At last report, he was being held on $75,000 bond on suspicion of felony fatal hit-and-run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.

Sadly, California’s lenient hit-and-run laws mean Rogers is looking at just four years behind bars, with another year in county jail for the misdemeanor manslaughter charge.

And that’s only if the judge rules the sentences should run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Kiebach at 951/776-1099, or the Perris Station at 951-210-1000.

This is at least the 4th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 2nd that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Half of those SoCal bicycling deaths have ben the result of hit-and-run drivers, both in Riverside County.

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

Man fixing bike severely injured in South LA hit-and-run, and what white allies can do to help build greater bike equity

The LAPD is looking for the driver of a glass utility truck who ran over a homeless man as he worked on a bicycle in South LA, leaving the victim with severe injuries.

The crash happened on Monday, January 4th, at the intersection of Adams Boulevard and Nevin Avenue in the Central-Alameda neighborhood.

The driver had just turned the corner when he struck the man as he knelt near the curb. He briefly stopped, then continued on without getting out of his truck.

The crash was caught on a security cam across the street.

But be warned before you click on it, because it clearly shows the innocent victim getting hit by the driver’s truck. And there’s no way to unsee it once you do.

As always, there is a $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run that results in serious injury, under LA’s standing hit-and-run reward program.

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Good piece in Bicycling from the “People’s Bike Mayor of New York,” who explains what white allies can do to make bicycling more equitable for all riders.

Starting with this.

The biggest and most important thing an ally can do is shut up, listen, and amplify the voices of Black and brown folks, who are often silenced.

That’s an important message.

Because too often I’ve heard well-meaning white people explain to people of color what they need, instead of asking them first.

And sometimes, I’ve been one of them.

We’ve come a long way from the days when a friend told me you’d never see him or any other Black person on a bicycle, because everyone would just assume they couldn’t afford a car.

LA groups like East Side Riders, Black Kids on Bikes, Major Taylor Cycling Club and Black Girls Do Bike, as well as the Bahati Foundation Cycling Club and the Legion of Los Angeles, founded by former national champs Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams, respectively, have made great strides in getting more people of color out on bikes.

But clearly, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Here’s the Yahoo link if Bicycling’s site blocks you out.

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Any chance they might be willing to trade national leaders for a few days?

Thanks to W. Corylus for the heads-up.

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Another SoCal stolen bike recovered thanks to Bike Index’ free lifetime bike registration and nationwide bike theft database.

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This one will probably come in handy some day.

If it hasn’t already.

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

No bias here. A Singapore news site somehow concludes a bike rider was in the wrong for getting right hooked after stopping a few feet beyond the stop line, as if the truck driver that nearly hit him had no obligation to see or go around him. I would have flipped him off, too, under the same circumstances.

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

A bike-riding Chicago-area man was busted for allegedly committing 15 car burglaries while wearing ten different shirts and five pairs of pants; whenever he was caught on security cam he’d take off a layer to make himself less recognizable. Didn’t work, though.

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Local

LAUnscripted invites you to customize your ebike with Newport Beach bikemaker Electric Bike Company.

 

State

A Coachella bike rider was lucky to escape with a minor head injury after being struck by a driver.

Bike shop owners in California’s Central Coast are enjoying the benefits of the lockdown-induced bike boom.

Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic bike fest will be pushed back from May to October, in hopes the coronavirus pandemic will recede by fall and allow the event to be held.

A San Francisco advocate is calling for the elimination of beg buttons, which prioritize motor vehicle traffic over pedestrians; the buttons often force bike riders to ride up onto the curb to push the button in order to get the light to change.

 

National

An Arizona preacher complains he almost became a hood ornament for a careless driver, who somehow didn’t see him on his bike directly in front of her car.

Bicycling takes a look at — and recommends — New York’s massive, 750-mile cross-state Empire State Trail, which allows you to bike across the state, from north to south and east to west. Or vice versa.

Speaking of New York, they could become the next state to adopt the Idaho Stop Law, after an upstate legislator introduced a bill calling for bike riders to be allowed to roll through stop signs and go through red lights after coming to a full stop.

 

International

Do as he says, not as he does. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding his bicycle in London’s Olympic Park, seven miles from his home a 10 Downing Street — despite the country’s Covid lockdown orders requiring people to stay close to home. Needless to say, some people were none too pleased.

Singapore drivers are fed up with bicyclists hogging the roadway “like nobody’s business.” Which is another way of saying streets are for cars, and anyone else is just in the way. Especially when there’s another lane to go around them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cyclist and mountain biker Lachlan Morton offers tips on how to ride during the winter. Almost none of which applies in sunny Los Angeles.

Cycling Weekly plays fashion critic, ranking which women’s WorldTour team has the best kit.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is looking forward to riding for a new team this year, saying competing for the same team year after year felt like copy and pasting. Never mind that he’d already been pushed from the leadership of what is now Team Ineos.

 

Finally…

If Zwift has gotten too boring for you, try being a bike messenger from the comfort of your own home. That feeling when your failed wheelie ends up with a swim.

And nothing like guitar legend Robert Fripp accompanying your exuberant exercise bike vocal performance.

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

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