Tag Archive for hit-and-run

53-year old man killed in El Cajon hit-and-run; Kevin Wilson 2nd San Diego County bicyclist killed this year

Last year, there were just four confirmed bicycling fatalities in San Diego County for the entire year.

Or maybe five, if we include a man who reportedly died in the hospital after he was struck by the driver of a pickup while ghost riding another bike in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood last November, but which I have been unable to confirm.

After yesterday, there’s already been two bike riders killed this month alone.

According to multiple sources, 56-year old La Mesa resident Kevin Wilson of La Mesa was riding east in the bike lane on Dehesa Road east of Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon Monday morning, when he was run down from behind by 56-year old Craig Wendell Nelson around 10:45 am.

Wilson was taken to San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nelson reportedly veered his car into the bike lane, slamming into Wilson’s bicycle before fleeing the scene; there are no word on whether he stopped or slowed down before speeding away.

He abandoned the damaged car on Sloane Canyon Road, and was arrested after a police helicopter crew spotted him hiding in the bushes.

He’s being held at the San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run, and expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP’s El Cajon area office at 619/401-2000.

This is at least the third bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in San Diego County; two of those three deaths have been hit-and-runs.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Wilson and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Jeff Kucharski for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider murdered in Arleta hit-and-run; first LA bicycling death of 2018

They call it hit-and-run.

I call it murder.

According to the LA Daily News, a man was killed riding his bike in the Arleta neighborhood of Northwest Los Angeles, in what appears to be the first fatal bicycling collision this year.

And almost needless to say, driver fled the scene, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

The crash occurred on Branford Street west of Arleta Avenue around 7 pm last night.

The victim, identified only as a 30-year old man pending notification of relatives, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Police are looking for the driver of a light-colored Mercedes sedan. No further information was given for the car or the heartless coward who stepped on the gas instead of stopping and rendering aid, as required by law.

And no explanation was given for why the police asked for the public’s help in finding the driver, yet once again failed to use the hit-and-run alert systems established by both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.

As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run within the city — not $25,000, as this story, or the other two virtually identical stories containing the same error, suggests.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8022.

When they find this driver — or any other killer hit-and-run driver — they should be subject to a second-degree murder charge. Because the crash may have been unintentional, but the decision to leave their victim dying in the street wasn’t.

This is at least the second bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also the first in the City of Los Angeles. That compares to at least 17 in the city last year, and 34 for the county.

And leaves us with a 100% hit-and-run rate for fatal bike crashes this year.

Update: KCBS-2 has identified the victim as 36-year old Los Angeles resident Jesus “Gallo” Urbina; he was married with two sons, nine and six. 

Urbina, who had recently been homeless, was taking water to his friends on the street when he was killed. 

As a friend of his described the hit-and-run, “That’s heartless. That’s demonic. That’s evil.”

That sounds about right.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD detectives at 818/644-8022.

A ghost bike will be installed at the location this Thursday

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jesus “Gallo” Urbina and all his family and loved ones.

Morning Links: AB 582 raises fatal hit-and-run penalties, grading CD14 candidates, and tilting at Major League windmills

Sometimes I get it wrong.

After a friend alerted me to a bill in the California legislature that appeared to lower the penalties for hit-and-run in the state, I went on Twitter to raise the warning like a digital Paul Revere.

Except in this case, the Red Coats weren’t coming.

While the marked-up text of AB 582 made it look like a number of assembly members had signed on to a bill to reduce prison sentences for hit-and-run causing injury or death, it was actually sort of the opposite.

As currently written, the bill would leave the penalty for misdemeanor hit-and-run — not resulting in serious injuries — just the same as it is right now, with up to one year in jail and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

The penalty for felony hit-and-run causing serious, permanent injury would also stay the same, from a minimum of 90 days in county jail to up to four years in state prison.

However, under AB 582, the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run would go up slightly, ranging from 90 days in county to up to six years in state prison, rather than the current four.

Which sounds good. But it’s a big drop from six to eight years in prison, as the bill was originally written.

So while it’s nice to see the legislature finally address the hit-and-run epidemic, AB 582 won’t do a damn thing to keep drivers from hitting the gas after a crash, and leaving their victim bleeding — or dying — in the street.

If they really want to do something, it will either take a dramatic increase in prison time, or a more creative alternative approach to sentencing.

And don’t get me started on why a driver who fails to kill his victim should get rewarded with a lower sentence, when the intent was exactly the same.

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The good folks at Bike the Vote LA grade the candidates for the March primary in CD14, but decline to make an endorsement in the race.

The big surprise is that former Senate president pro tem Kevin de León graded so highly.

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LA Councilmembers “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and Paul “Killer” Koretz once again demonstrate that they have apparently solved all the real problems in Los Angeles, and have nothing better to do than tilt at Major League windmills.

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Get your headshots out.

Here’s your chance to break into cycling cinema.

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CiclaValley offers a recap of last Saturday’s LA Tourist Race, which set gravel bikers, mountain bikers and combined riders on a route-less dash cross the San Gabriels.

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A new ebike introduced at CES folds down small enough to fit in a backpack.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who stole a paralyzed Phoenix man’s wheelchair from his driveway.

An off-duty New York cop was hit in the face with a bicycle chain in an apparently random attack while riding the subway, which does not necessarily mean the attacker was one of us. And no, New York Post, calling a large black man a “brute” isn’t racist at all. No, really.

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Local

Street closures will be in effect in DTLA Saturday for the annual Women’s March, as well as an anti-abortion march held the same time; other marches will take place in Riverside, Hemet, Idyllwild, Coachella and Yucca ValleyIf you’re planning to attend, leave the car at home and take transit or ride a bike.

A Pasadena writer says the Rose City needs its own Green New Deal, including better options for walking and bicycling.

Overall thefts are up in South Pasadena, while bike theft remains high.

Redondo Beach may not be the scene of a Women’s March this Saturday, but it will be home to a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation, so ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits line.

 

State

Streetsblog has more on Tamika Butler’s unexpected resignation from the California Transportation Commission after just four months.

Santa Maria Police will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation today, so the usual protocol applies. See Redondo Beach, above.

This is what a Fresno ebike thief looks like. Note to Fox26News: If you’re going to do a story about a bike thief caught on video stealing an ebike, maybe you should, you know, actually show him stealing the ebike. Just a suggestion.

A Fresno man was shot in the leg as he was riding his bike; he’s reportedly not cooperating with investigators.

 

National

Bicycling finally gets around to addressing the Deloitte study that says ebikes and bikeshare will lead to a doubling of bike commuters around the world in just the next two years; we mentioned it here nearly two weeks ago. And the magazine offers yet another reminder to get medical care ASAP if you’ve had a head injury.

The new China trade agreement eliminates tariffs on kids bikes and ebikes, but leaves a 25% tax on most other bike-related products.

Forget the fight for bike lanes on the street; where we really need them is on LEGO streetscapes.

A Chicago man was killed in a drive-by shooting while apparently riding his bike home from the market.

An Illinois man is suing Walmart for $50,000 after a tire on his new bike exploded, throwing him to the ground; the other tire had exploded before he even left the store.

An Ohio bike rider redefines collateral damage by ending up in the hospital when he’s struck by a flying deer after it was hit by a car.

A five-year old Virginia boy refuses to let getting hit by a car keep him from riding his bike, getting back on it just weeks after getting out of the hospital for breaking “everything” but his “brain.”

 

International

Toronto’s best known ghost bike disappeared without a trace after ten years in place, then reappeared with a new lock and a fresh coat of paint. The bike honors bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, who was killed as he was holding on for dear life after he was hit by the provincial Attorney General at the time, who repeatedly swerved in an apparent attempt to shake him; needless to say, the AG wasn’t held accountable in any way.

Speaking of Toronto, the city is rocked by allegations that bike lanes get priority over regular traffic lanes when it comes to clearing snow. Which could just be because it takes less snow to create dangerous conditions for bicycles than motor vehicles.

A cross-border bike trail could bring bike financial benefits to the US and Canada. If Trump doesn’t decide we need a wall there, too.

Josh Quigley, the 27-year old round-the-world bicyclist who miraculously survived a high-speed crash in Texas last month, is finally preparing to fly home to Scotland.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a hit-and-run driver who left his victim lying in the street walks with a lousy four months probation and a two-year driving ban.

Curbed examines how the City of Lights became an unlikely bicycling success story, setting an example American cities can and should follow. Especially Los Angeles, which doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the Olympic host city just before us. Right, Mayor Garcetti? 

Muscular Bollywood star Salman Khan is one of us, taking to his bike to shuttle between sets in Mumbai.

Now that’s a close pass. An Aussie bike rider is literally bumped by a passing trailer after the driver cuts it way too close.

A new proposal calls for bike lanes in Shanghai, with bicycle expressways in suburban areas.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Santos Women’s Tour Down Under kicked off today, which is already yesterday there; Australia’s Chloe Hosking took the first stage. The men’s race kicks off on Monday.

Former pro Ted King offers a tourist guide to his Healdsburg hometown.

Who knew he was a bike racing fan? His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, rushed to the aid of a cyclist who fell during a women’s race in Dubai Wednesday.

 

Finally…

When you want to ride around the world, but can’t live with a hot espresso. Your next bike could be copper plated, 3D printed and cost $9,500 — and without a seat tube.

And nothing like a little Welsh chariot bike racing.

 

Bike rider killed on Whittier Blvd in unincorporated LA County; second Whittier Blvd bicycling death in one week

Nothing like marking the holidays with yet another fatal hit-and-run.

Even if officials are unlikely to call it that.

According to the Whittier Daily News, 64-year old Whittier resident Alfred Tiscareno Jr. was riding west on Whittier Blvd when he was struck by a driver near the onramp to the 605 Freeway in unincorporated LA County near Whittier, around 6:50 Monday evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

There’s no explanation for how the crash occurred; hopefully, more details will be available after the holiday.

The driver, identified as 69-year old Rameshbhai L. Bhakta of Montebello, fled scene, but later called CHP investigators to report his involvement. He was reportedly cooperating with authorities, and has not been arrested.

And even though he he failed to stop and render aid, as required by law — or presumably, even call 911 to report the crash — he probably never will be.

Especially since Bhakta is not believed to have been under the influence, which too often seems to be the only thing that matters.

The crash is still under investigation; anyone with information is urged to call CHP Officer G. De Luna at 562/868-0503.

Tiscareno’s death comes just one week after Whittier’s beloved “Tricycle Man” Danny Martin was killed, also on Whittier Blvd, less than seven miles away. Over 250 bike riders turned out to honor him on Sunday.

Now the Whittier bike community has one more victim to remember. And one family’s Christmas season will never be the same.

This is at least the 76th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 34th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

Tiscareno is also the eighth SoCal bike rider to be killed this month, in what is turning out to be a very bloody December.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Alfred Tiscareno Jr. and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Brits say no immunity for killer driver, Iowa racist runs over girl, and round-the-world rider nearly killed in Texas

It’s the last day of the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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The wife of an American intelligence officer has finally been charged with killing a British motorcyclist.

Even though the US and Britain can’t even decide if she has diplomatic immunity.

Anne Sacoolas allegedly fled the scene after crashing into the 19-year old motorcyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road. Then promised to cooperate with investigators before fleeing the country under cover of darkness, claiming diplomatic immunity.

And has refused to return to the UK to face charges, despite still more promises to do so.

In other words, using her questionable immunity to avoid taking responsibility for killing a young man. And making her no better than any other hit-and-run driver.

Needless to say, our president has tried to turn the whole mess into a particularly messy episode of reality TV.

And written the whole thing off by saying “American drivers often get confused because motorists in Britain drive on the left side of the road.”

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A racist Iowa woman says she drove her car up onto a sidewalk to run over 14-year old girl simply because she thought she was Mexican.

And followed that up by hurling racial epithets, as well as objets, towards a convenience store clerk and the store’s customers just 90 minutes later.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

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Once again, a bicycle tourist visiting the US has been brutally run down by an American driver.

This time, it’s a Scottish man whose around the world journey ended abruptly when a Texas driver smashed into him from behind at 70 mph. Remarkably, he somehow survived with a fractured skull, ankle, heel, pelvis and ribs, as well as a punctured a lung.

There’s something seriously wrong when people from other countries can’t ride a bicycle here in the US without taking their lives in their hands.

And just as wrong that the story isn’t even considered newsworthy on this side of the Atlantic.

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Robert Leone forwards news that San Diego has started work on a bikeway project which promises to mess up commutes for the next two years.

On the other hand, unlike some much larger cities to the north — okay, one in particular — they’re actually doing something to improve the streets.

And warning people in advance about the road work.

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The founder of Fairdale Bikes offers a slightly strange look at one of the great moments in BMX history.

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

A Riverside man was arrested for carrying meth and car burglary tools, along with violating his probation for car theft. But at least he was riding a bike, right?

If you’re going to ride your bike to illegally poach elk literally in Colorado residents’ backyards, at least take your backpack and phone with you when you flee from the game wardens. Schmuck.

A “nasty” bicyclist broke the arm and shoulder of a British woman in her 70s by dragging her as she fought to hold onto the purse he was trying to steal. Double schmuck.

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‘Tis the Season.

Santa brought new bicycles to 26 Redding families as part of a CHP kids’ program.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office gave more than 80 bicycles to Oroville-area children on Friday.

A Missouri church made sure 150 kids celebrated a happy Christmas with a new bicycle.

After a Virginia boy’s bike was stolen, a local cop bought him a new one. And threw in one for the boy’s sister so they could ride together.

A Hollywood women’s club teams with the local police to buy bikes and helmets for 25 kids. No, the other Hollywood.

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It’s the final day of this year’s BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And you though we’d never get here. 

Thanks to John M, Tim Z, Robert L, Risers Music, John H, Anne K and Brian N for their very generous donations. In fact, we’ve already set a new record for the greatest number of donations, and we’re just a few hundred dollars short of our goal for this year. 

So don’t let this last day — and the Corgi’s last days as this site’s official spokesdog — pass by unnoticed.

Give today to help to keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

Because the time to wait is over. 

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Local

Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, aka Roadblock, talks with vegan dietician, LA bike scene OG and founder of the famed Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb Matt Ruscigno, as well as CD14 city council candidate Cyndi Otteson on this week’s Bike Talk podcast.

Teachers at a Pasadena school have started a crowdfunding page for a 9th grade student who was critically injured in a hit-and-run last month, as well as his father, who has been at his son’s side and unable to work for over a month.  It’s currently less than $2,000 short of the $15,000 goal.

Long Beach business owners continue to complain about the Broadway road diet, saying the protected bike lanes are driving customers away.

 

State

A new statewide nonprofit is working to build more off-road trails; founders include the head of LA-based CORBA.

The popular Buck Gully Trail in Newport Beach is now one-way, to the chagrin of some area mountain bikers.

An Oxnard man was rushed to the hospital after he was stabbed while apparently riding his bicycle; police believe he was homeless.

 

National

A new book tells the horrifying story of a Hawaiian woman who was apparently intentionally run down while riding her bike in 1991, then raped, beaten and murdered. Nearly a decade later, two men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though some still believe they’re innocent.

An Oregon bike rider will get a $350,000 settlement after he was struck in a bike lane that passed in front of a freeway offramp.

Supporters of a Colorado velodrome are making one last push to save it before the track is sold to a developer.

Heartbreaking news from Missouri, where a pair of kids died when they somehow drowned in a pond while riding their bikes.

Brooklyn residents demand the redesign of a dangerous street where four people who weren’t in cars have been killed this year.

The New York Post calls a Bronx man a superhero for recording driver indiscretions and posting them to his Twitter feed.

 

International

Newly re-elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a bike for Christmas. But evidently, no one likes him enough to give him one. And he hasn’t been good enough to get one from Santa Claus.

A coroner in the UK questions whether posted speed limits should apply to bicyclists, after a 79-year old man was killed when he stepped in front of a bike rider doing 38 in a 30 mph zone. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely. It’s up to you to ride safely when pedestrians are around. And your responsibility if you if you don’t. 

Parisians are keeping cool and carrying on by riding their bikes in the face of a three-week transit strike, as well as e-scooters, mopeds, walking, and yes, cars.

An Israeli strategic plan calls for getting more people on bicycles.

Nepal’s bike-riding Kung Fu Buddhist Nuns are back in the news, organizing bi-yearly bike tours to combat human trafficking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly ranks the top ten pro cyclists of the past decade. And for once, a man doesn’t come out on top.

Cycling News looks at the most dramatic moments in pro cycling this year.

 

Finally…

Evidently, you can’t get a new bike if your name is Seinfeld. Your next handlebars could spin to make parking and storage easier.

And who says it’s a happy ending when they give someone new car so he doesn’t have to bike to work anymore?

Sounds more like a curse to me.

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Hanukkah Sameach to all those celebrating the Festival of Lights this week!

I’m no expert. But I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to look on the first night.

Update: Bicyclist killed in Hesperia crash Tuesday evening; 8th SoCal bike death in ten days

Then there were eight.

Eight people killed riding their bicycles in Southern California in just ten days.

Eight families who won’t have a happy holiday, now and most likely for years to come.

According to the Victorville Daily News, the latest came in Hesperia Tuesday evening.

A man was riding his bike at Seventh Avenue and Cactus Street when he was struck by a driver around 6:28 pm, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time. There’s no information yet about the victim, or how the crash might have occurred.

A street view shows a wide open two lane road with sand-covered shoulders on Seventh, intersected by a narrow paved street to the west and a dirt road to the right.

No speed limit sign as visible, but multiple signs call on drivers to give bicyclists a three-foot passing distance.

This is at least the 75th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in San Bernardino County.

Update: The Victor Valley News has identified the victim as 50-year old Hesperia resident Armando Salinas. 

The paper reports he was killed in a hit-and-run by the driver of a pickup traveling south on Seventh. Paramedics found his body lying in the southbound lane just below Cactus Street. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Deputy D. Whitson or Deputy D. Caudle at the Hesperia Sheriff’s station at 760/947-1500.

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

And let’s all pray this tragic streak stops now. 

Morning Links: Charges for Escondido hit-and-run driver, fight for Reseda bike lanes, and bikes beat lemmings in cars

I depend on your support to help keep this site going, bringing you all the best bike news from around the corner, and around the the world. 

And to keep the foster corgi in kibble. 

So stop what you’re doing, and donate to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. 

We’ll wait. 

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Forty-one-year old Jamison Connor pled not guilty yesterday to charges unrelated to the death of an Escondido bike rider last month.

Connor, who is accused in the hit-and-run death of Kevin Lentz as he was riding with a group of fellow mountain bikers, was arrested for parole violations and multiple other charges just five days after the alleged head-on hit on Lentz.

Police arrested Connor on Thanksgiving Day as he was apparently driving drunk and stoned, with a loaded gun and a bag of meth in his pickup — along with his four-year old son.

According to TV station 7 San Diego, Connor faces 16 felony counts, along with three misdemeanors.

Connor faces one count of each of the following charges: child cruelty resulting in injury or death, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unlisted handgun, carrying a loaded firearm in public, carrying a concealed weapon with a prior conviction, having a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction, possession of a controlled substance while armed, use of controlled substance while possessing a firearm, crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for drugs, DUI for alcohol or drugs, DUI for alcohol and drugs, and violating probation, according to (Escondido Police Department).

He also faces three counts of crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for narcotics and four counts of possessing ammo while prohibited, according to EPD.

And that lengthy list doesn’t even include charges for killing Lentz and fleeing the scene.

If he’s lucky, he may see that kid again someday.

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Streetsblog takes a look at car-centric, anti-safety Councilmember John Lee’s attempt to rip out LA’s first Great Streets project — and first protected bike lanes — noting that he’s calling for a totally subjective public opinion survey, rather than an actual study of the safety and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Keep Rowena Safe tells you where to send your comments if you’re ready to fight back.

And the LACBC shares the message they sent to members and supporters in Lee’s district.

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Speaking of the LACBC, don’t miss their annual open house tonight. It’s free for members; if you’re not one yet, you can sign up at the door.

I plan to be there to help them honor my friend, site sponsor and former fellow board member Jim Pocrass, so be sure to say hi.

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Robert Leone forwards news of another closure of Camp Pendleton to people on bicycles next week.

This is how a representative of the base described it.

Due to military operations bicycle access will be closed on Old Pacific Highway from San Onofre State Park to the Las Pulgas gate entrance. Bicyclists may ride on the I-5 shoulder during the indicated days of the Old Pacific Highway closure.

Closure time: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

When: Daily, from December 9-13

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Turns out our means of transportation is far more efficient than anything else.  Including those mice and lemmings in cars.

Thanks to Yves Dawtur for the heads-up.

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Los Angeles ranks a surprising 14th on a list of international cities most ready for the coming mobility revolution; LA is one of the top three American cities, behind New York and San Francisco.

Singapore topped the list, followed by Amsterdam, London and Shanghai.

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That much-loathed Peloton ad is turning into a disaster for the company, costing it $1.5 billion — yes, with a b — in market value.

The New York Times says the ad is being called sexist and dystopian, while Reuters says it’s being mocked as sexist.

Even advertising industry bible AdAge called out the “commercial’s bizarre vibe,” while a psychologist called it a complete male fantasy.

But the company says it’s not their fault, it’s yours for misunderstanding what they were trying to say.

As someone who has stuck his feet in his mouth so many times I now wear favored socks, I can safely say when everyone thinks you got it wrong, chances are it’s your fault.

Not theirs.

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‘Tis the Season.

Over one hundred Tennessee kids asked for a bike through the county’s Angel Tree program; thanks to the Salvation Army and a local bike charity, they’ll all get one for Christmas.

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Sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A 17-year old Hawaiian boy will be tried as an adult in the death of an 85-year old woman, who fell and hit her head when he rode his bike up as she walked with her husband and snatched her purse.

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Local

This is the last week to offer your comments on a proposal to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Congratulations to Santa Clarita for being named a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer says give the new bike lanes time to catch on, already.

Mountain View has prohibited parking RVs in bike lanes; the ACLU finds that “disturbing.” Yes, people who live in RVs need a place to park them, but bike lanes have no value, and offer limited safety, if no one can actually ride in them.

A Newark CA truck driver isn’t a fan of the Idaho Stop because bike riders blow through red lights and stop signs anyway; others say the real problem is the people in cars doing it. Or maybe everyone.

 

National

A homeless Maui man was given a “last chance” probation for attacking a bike commuter with a broomstick, just six days after he was released from prison.

Portland will now require larger buildings to include a bike room. Even though bike thieves love them; if they’re not monitored 24/7, it’s just an invitation to steal multiple bikes at once.

Over half of the dockless Lime and Jump ebikes in Seattle’s bikeshare system are unrentable.

An allegedly stoned 17-year old girl was cited on a juvenile manslaughter charge for killing a 76-year old man who was riding his bike on the sidewalk.

More on New York’s decision to start replacing delivery trucks with ped-assist ebikes.

A New Orleans magazine says people are dying of indifference in the city, as officials, cops and the news media ignore the problem of reckless drivers.

Police in Pensacola FL are pulling over bicyclists without lights — not to ticket them, but to give them a free set.

 

International

Just in time for the holidays, Cycling News takes a look at the best saddle packs, while Bike Radar lists the best “affordable” stocking stuffers for bicyclists. Because really, who doesn’t want bum butter in their stocking?

Bike riders in the Canadian capital complain that the city’s new Vision Zero plan is really just a Vision 20, calling for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths each year.

Tragic news from the UK. Yesterday we questioned what kind of heartless coward could run down a pregnant woman riding a bicycle and leave her bleeding in the streets; today we learned just who is accused of the crime — and that the victim’s baby died.

The family of a Polish man killed by a 17-year old Maltese driver while riding his bike have forgiven him, as he appeals his four-year prison sentence and lifetime driving ban.

A Bangladeshi op-ed says bicycling should be encouraged in the capital city, despite roads that are ill-equipped for people on bicycles.

The future is cloudy for Cambodia’s nascent bicycle industry; a German website talks with workers it calls exploited.

Honda engineers seriously studied the effects of a collapsible bicycle frame on head injuries after getting hit by a car. And not, say, making the cars safer instead.

 

Finally…

What does it mean when a bike hub replaces a former brothel? And even a broom knows drivers should stay out of the bike lane.

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Thanks to Hamid V and Ryan D for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Driver busted in Escondido hit-and-run, Bike Index saves ebike from Tijuana swap meet, and ET flies again

It’s the first full week of the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

I count on your support to help close the long and challenging gap after the sponsorship funds for this site run out, and before they start to renew again in the spring. 

So give today to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

And keep me from having to work the next few months for free. 

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Good news from San Diego’s North County, where Escondido police have arrested a suspect in last month’s fatal hit-and-run that took the life of a young father and former mountain bike racer.

Forty-one-year old Escondido resident Jamison Connor was identified as the driver who allegedly ran down 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz, leaving him to die in the street, and forcing his one-year old son to grow up without a father.

Connor was initially taken into custody on unrelated parole violation allegations related to “various weapons charges, drug charges, and driving under the influence allegations,” according to a police spokesman.

Which matters, because unless Escondido authorities can come up with other charges, the most Connor could get for a fatal hit-and-run in California is just four years.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page has raised over $101,000 for his wife and son.

………

More proof of the power of bicycle registration, as Bike Index helps recover a $6,000 ebike stolen from San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado at a Tijuana swap meet.

Seriously, if you haven’t already, stop what you’re doing and sign up for their free, international, lifetime bike registration.

Before it’s too late.

Speaking of Bike Index, Facebook will match any donations to the nonprofit organization on tomorrow’s Giving Tuesday.

………

In case you missed it during Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ET once again phoned home — and once again rode a flying bicycle with the children of now-grown Elliott, carrying on the family tradition.

But even if you saw it, you may have missed all the many hidden references to the original.

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Who needs a seat, anyway?

………

No, you don’t need an SUV to carry your Christmas tree.

Or even a car.

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Keep your eyes peeled on the streets of Los Angeles for Princess Leia, the bike-riding bulldog.

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David Huntsman goes for a bike ride on the “organically evolved” bike paths of Paris.

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An Indian website asks if video of a Malaysian teen riding a 3 meter high bicycle — the equivalent of over nine feet — is the tallest bicycle ever.

Then answers the question themselves, suggesting they knew all along that the ridiculously tall, 6.15 meter — 20 feet 2.5 inch — STOOPIDTALLER™ bike from LA’s own Richie Trimble holds the record, making it more that twice as tall as the Malaysian bike.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Michigan volunteers put together 240 bicycles to be given away through the local Toys for Tots program.

Apparently, Santa rides a bike in Portugal.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging Aussie driver turned himself in after an attack that was caught on video, running up from behind to punch a bike rider in the head, knocking him off his bike and out cold, before throwing the bike at the victim. All because the bike rider complained about the driver encroaching on a bike lane.

………

………

Local

An op-ed from a UCLA professor says e-scooters are a growing public health challenge, and users need mandatory helmets and training. Because evidently, all other modes of transportation are so much safer, and scooter users kill so many other people. Except they aren’t, and they don’t. 

New LA advocacy group Streets for All says you need to give your input on Beverly Hills’ surprisingly complete Complete Streets plan, saying your voice is needed to keep bike riders and pedestrians from being drowned out by the city’s wealthy NIMBYs.

Redondo Beach considers what’s basically the opposite of Vision Zero, concluding that it has fewer total crashes than the regional average in the northern reaches of the city, so no improvements are necessary — despite a recent rash of traffic deaths it blames on “incorrect behavior” and other “non-systemic issues.”

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson takes issue with Peter Flax’ recent Bicycling piece about the real reason’s bike riders keep dying on our streets. And Flax takes issue with Davidson taking issue.

 

State

Bad news from San Diego, where a 46-year old man suffered life threatening injuries when he allegedly swerved his bike in front of a pickup driver in San Ysidro. As always, the question is whether there are any independent witnesses who saw him swerve. Besides the driver, that is.

San Diego bike rider Mike Cohen has finished his journey across the US, mostly by bicycle, to meet the family of the Navy flight surgeon whose donated heart allowed Cohen to make the trip.

Temecula has opened a new bike pump track. Which actually has very little to do with bicycle pumps.

Police have released security cam video of the suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that killed a San Jose bike rider.

The San Francisco Chronicle wonders how — and whether — bicycles can become a preferred means of transportation in the city.

The Sacramento Bee explains what the area will get if a proposed transportation sales tax passes, including a new bicycle bridge and enhancements to Vision Zero. Meanwhile, a Sacramento writer says the city’s goal of surpassing Portland as America’s most livable city is just a pipe dream unless city leaders actually do something.

 

National

Bicycling considers how society’s words are failing people on bicycles.

Fast Company says your next helmet could lose the foam in favor of a new squishy material that absorbs impacts up to 48% better than traditional insulation.

A Seattle weekly disagrees with the local paper, saying no, the city shouldn’t enforce its existing bike helmet law.

A group of indoor cyclists are riding to make the world safer for outdoor ones, attempting to set a record for Longest Static Indoor Cycling Class at a Denver cycling studio to raise funds for PeopleForBikes.

A Montana man calls the police because he fears a beanie-wearing man on a purple bike is going to go into a store grocery bathroom a shoot up drugs. Because he’d seen “those types of people in California.” No, really.

When a Texas surgeon was needed for an emergency operation while out on a long bike ride, a Good Samaritan picked him up and drove him back to town. And yes, the patient is doing well.

The decidedly bike-unfriendly New York Post complains that the city’s bikeshare provider keeps posting pictures of bike riders without helmets. Because they need to set an example, so everyone will always have one with them on the off chance they might decide to actually rent a bikeshare that day.

An attorney for the victim says the NYPD botched an investigation into a bike rider’s death, and that even a cursory examination of the evidence would have shown she wasn’t at fault.

Streetsblog says ticketing an unresponsive New York bike rider following a dooring is a new low for the city’s police. Evidently the department agrees, cancelling the ticket.

A New Jersey paper visits a bike shop founded by an Italian immigrant “right off the boat,” where four generations of the same family have served bike riders for 93-years.

Three Maryland counties are helping ex-cons get back on their feet by getting them on two wheels.

Call it broom protected bike lanes in DC.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero, as a young Miami man rescues a female construction worker from a hammer-wielding assailant.

 

International

We’re winning, comrades. An electric vehicle website says more carmakers are developing ebikes and scooters because they see the writing on the wall for traditional motor vehicles.

The UN says the quickest way to reduce emissions and climate change is to stop making massive SUVs.

A writer for Forbes asks if ebikes are the new delivery vans.

A Vancouver cab driver is caught on video driving in a bike lane across a busy bridge; local riders say it happens all the time.

Once again, a bicycle turns out to be the fastest way across a major city, this time in London as a bike rider beats the city’s famed Tube.

Life is cheap in the UK, as yet another motorist walks with community service and an 18-month ban on driving after rear-ending a bike rider. Meanwhile, an Aussie barrister — aka trial lawyer — considers whether community service and a fine is fair punishment for killing someone on a bicycle. Hint: regardless of what the law says, it’s not.

The Guardian examines which political party offers the best promises for British bicyclists.

If you’re going to suffer a heart attack, you could pick a worse place than a UK bike cafe where a nurse and her partner are dining.

A British county is attempting to improve safety by installing hi-tech signs warning drivers when bike riders are present.

Mumbai will get a junior bicycle mayor within the next three months to encourage more kids to get on their bikes.

Hundreds of Pakistani bike riders turned out to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine.

An Australian paper considers what it will take to break Sydney residents’ addiction to cars. If they figure it out, let us know.

Local governments around Japan are passing ordinances requiring bike riders to carry liability insurance, but without penalties for failing to comply.

 

Competitive Cycling

Five-time Tour de France champ Miguel Indurain is coming out of retirement at age 55 to compete in the six-stage Titan Desert mountain bike race from the Maghreb region of Northern Africa to the Sahara Desert.

Belgian pro cyclist Sofie De Vuyst was suspended by her team after testing positive for steroids, one of the few women’s cyclists to be busted for cheating. But the era of doping is over, right?

A 22-year old Danish pro learns the hard way about the dangers of dancing, breaking his leg while cutting a rug with his teammates; he’ll be off his bike for the next six weeks.

A bike rider discovers what pain is by finishing dead last in the 629.4-mile North Star Bicycle Race ultracycling race.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your own hi-tech police bike for a mere ten grand. Even turkeys are running interference for scofflaw drivers.

And forget the limo; nothing beats riding away from your wedding with your new bride riding sidesaddle on the top tube.

 

Morning Links: Teacher arrested in Silver Lake hit-and-run, Main Street bike lane opens, and LA promises zero emissions

One quick note before we get going. 

This has been a very hard year for me.

But I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with a self-made job I truly love. And the readers who make it possible. 

Because without you, all this would just be empty words in cyberspace. 

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with family, friends or on your own this year. And ride safely, because I want to see you back here when we return next week. 

Although you’re more than welcome to return over the weekend, when we kick off the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

And the last one that will feature the late, great Corgi as our official spokesdog.

Photo by Nikita Lyamkin from Pexels.

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Let’s start with some good news today.

The LAPD announced yesterday they’ve made an arrest in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured last month.

Fifty-two-year old Silver Lake resident Molly Jane Hoene was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Palm Springs around 8 am Tuesday.

Meanwhile, her victim remains hospitalized in stable condition after enduring multiple surgeries.

No word on who, if anyone, will get the $25,000 reward.

………

Los Angeles officials celebrated the official opening of the 1.5-mile Main Street protected bike lane, a near twin of the Spring Street bike lane one block away.

The two-way lane is positioned on the left side of the roadway to avoid conflicts with bus stops and parked cars.

Although whether it will become another parking magnet for movie production trucks and delivery vans, like the lanes on Spring Street, remains to be determined.

KNX radio reporter Margaret Carrero offered a brief look at the new lane.

Although not everyone was pleased, as our anonymous correspondent makes clear.

A couple thoughts on the bike lane.

On Saturday, before the Art Crash ride, I gave the new lanes a spin, heading north.

First. The signals. The #¢&ing signals. The bike signals are short, and you will sit there, staring agog at a green pedestrian signal, while the red bike signal mocks you. The fury will be interrupted only by the terror of close left turns by motorists.

Just north of 6th Street, I paused to reflect upon my unplanned nap (and accompanying skull fracture) at the exact location that is now the buffered zone of the new bike lane.

In the northbound Main Street lane at 5th Street, as I sat at an unnecessarily long red, thinking unkind thoughts about our traffic engineers, a left-turning motorist rolled by within inches of my front wheel. Had there been a bollard there, I imagine she would’ve scraped it, and then blamed me.

Halfway to 4th Street, I parked at the curb to drag a scooter away from its repose in the northbound bike lane. The heavy, ungrateful thing beeped angrily for having its slumber disturbed.

Upon reaching 3rd Street, I whipped left, and hit the brakes, because there’s only one bike lane, and it’s contraflow! There’s no warning about this. No “NO LEFT TURN” or bike-lane specific “ONE WAY ONLY” signage. How does design this dangerous pass review?

So, once you reach 3rd, and you wish to continue westbound, you have to either share the westbound #1 lane with cars, or cross over to the #3 lane, which has a sharrow.

AAAAUUUUGHHHH. It’s like LADOT gave their interns a couple gallons of paint, a couple gallons of whiskey, and free rein.

I want an apology.

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LA has announced a clean transportation plan designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets.

The Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0 aims to drastically cut emissions and traffic in time for the 2028 LA Olympics, through a shift to electric cars and buses, micromobility, and yes, bicycles.

L.A. has a reputation as a car-dependent city. But the city also now has the country’s most ambitious plan for cutting emissions from transportation. In less than a decade, it wants the majority of new cars to be electric and all city buses to be electric—and it wants 20% of trips that currently happen in single-occupancy cars to shift to public transportation or active transportation like biking.

Good luck with that.

According to the plan, in just nine years, Los Angeles will have a complete fleet of electric buses, and 30% of the cars on the street will be electric.

Then there’s this.

Expanding micromobility can also help; a recent report in Santa Monica found that 49% of the trips that people were taking on electric scooters and shared bikes were replacing short trips that otherwise would have happened in cars. Some projects now are working to expand access to micromobility in neighborhoods that don’t have many options. Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, for example, is running a pilot with a nonprofit building a solar-powered e-bike share project in the community of Huntington Park. (Other pilot projects are expanding access to electric car sharing in low-income neighborhoods; if residents use that option instead of owning cars themselves, they also may be likely to drive less.) Designing streets to make it safer to ride a bike—such as a two-way protected bike lane that was installed in downtown L.A. earlier this year—is also a key part of helping people shift away from cars.

As usual, the question is whether there will be any follow through this time.

Unlike, say, the city’s stagnant Vision Zero plan. Or the dust-ridden 2010 bike plan, or the equally ignored Mobility Plan 2035 it was subsumed into.

Or any number of other plans that were announced with great fanfare, and quickly forgotten because our elected leaders lacked the political will to actually implement them.

So we’ll see.

But considering they only have nine years to accomplish this massive transformation of the city’s streets, they’d damn well better get started.

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The Bike League issued their biennial ranking of the nation’s most bicycle friendly states — with California coming in a surprising 4th, behind Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.

Although it’s clear from the state’s individual report card that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Starting with convincing Gavin Newsom to sign the next Complete Streets bill that crosses his desk, after vetoing it this year.

………

Now that’s more like it.

Australia’s New South Wales state gets serious about distracted driving by installing new high-def cameras to catch cellphone using drivers in the act; violators will be subject to a $344 fine and five points against their license.

We desperately need these in California, where the view from a bike seat makes it seem like every other driver is holding their phones.

I was briefly in touch with the company behind these cameras, before losing their emails during my drug-addled post-surgical state earlier this year, who said they’re working to bring them to the state.

It was founded by a friend of James Rapley, the Australian man tragically killed by a stoned driver while riding a rented bike on Temescal Canyon just days before Christmas in 2013.

Personally, I can’t think of a better memorial to Rapley than legalizing them in the state where he died.

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This is what a dooring looks like.

Watch the right side of the street just two seconds in.

To make matters worse, the police apparently ticketed the victim because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane, even though he was barely conscious.

And even though drivers or their passengers are usually at fault for dooring anyone, because they’re required to only open a car door when it’s safe to do so and doesn’t interfere anyone, and only leave it open as long as necessary to exit the vehicle.

Which this driver clearly failed to do.

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Yes, handicapped people can ride bikes. Despite what angry NIMBYs insist at bike lane public meetings.

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A Chinese bike rider was very lucky to survive when he was struck in the head by an overturning truck in an extremely cringe-inducing crash.

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‘Tis the Season.

Every student at a St. Louis elementary school got a new bicycle and helmet, thanks to two men who had visited earlier in the year for a safety fair.

A pair of Florida Good Samaritans bought a new bicycle for the son of a Florida firefighter after the one he rode every day was stolen.

Lime announced they will match all donations made through their Lime Hero program between Thanksgiving and next week’s Giving Tuesday.

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Local

South Pasadena passed its $204,000 citywide bicycle parking plan.

 

State

Caltrans admits its current policies aren’t working, and commits to determining how much additional traffic new projects will generate.

Apparently, gang violence even happens in small towns, as a bike rider was the victim of a drive-by shooting in rural Sanger. And no, I didn’t know where that is, either.

Work off those Thanksgiving carbs and calories with a turkey-shaped bike route around San Francisco.

Streetsblog SF shines a light on a trench that turns into a booby trap for bike riders whenever it rains.

A Sonoma County man riding his bike with five outstanding arrest warrants learned the hard way that he can’t outrun a police dog.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for the libertarian website Reason says even though he was in a wreck while riding an e-scooter, he doesn’t want them banned, because the real danger is people in cars.

Singletracks goes behind the scenes with mountain biking Sketchy Trails artist Kristina Wayte.

A researcher says Denver kids don’t walk or bike to school because the city’s streets are so dangerous no one wants to walk or bike in them in the first place.

A self-described lifelong bicyclist in Austin TX wonders if it’s time to require licenses for bike riders. Short answer, no — for a very long list of reasons.

A bike-riding Kansas City photographer uses her Instagram account to encourage other women to take off on solo adventures.

The Second City gets New York’s seconds, as hundreds of Big Apple bikeshare ebikes were stripped of the defective electric components that caused them to randomly burst into flames, then converted to regular bikes and shipped to Chicago for their bikeshare system; both programs are operated by Lyft.

The Daily News looks at New York Mayor De Blasio’s call for bike and pedestrian mayors, otherwise known as an Office of Pedestrians and an Office of Active Transportation; Streetsblog explains why they’re necessary.

A Georgia city goes beyond state law by passing a vulnerable users ordinance that increases penalties for drivers who hit or threaten bike riders or pedestrians. Or skate boarders, motorcyclists or scooter riders, for that matter.

 

International

Mark your calendar for International Bike Shop Day on December 7th. If any SoCal bike shops are participating, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to mention it.

Bike Radar examines the best bike saddles for the coming year.

Your next handlebars could warn you when drivers are sneaking up from behind. Or barelling straight at you.

A Canadian mountain biker describes how he celebrated his 45th birthday by fighting off a grizzly bear with nothing but his bike and a tiny Buck knife.

Business is booming at Vancouver bike shops, as commuters look for alternatives in preparation for today’s transit strike.

Once again the Mounties get their man. Or men, as they bust a pair of prolific British Columbia bike thieves.

Treehugger says Toronto offers a lesson in how not to do Vision Zero. To which Los Angeles replies, hold my beer.

Business owners on a Montreal street complain about a bike lane pilot project that replaced 275 parking spaces over the summer, saying their business was down $5,000 a month, although they don’t say if that was an average of all the businesses or collectively. Instead of complaining, maybe they should do something to entice the 800 riders who pass by on the bike lanes each day to stop and come in.

British police are cleared of wrongdoing for the death of a bike rider during a high-speed pursuit after the burglar being chased backed into a 75-year old man.

The Irish Times says ebikes are still a workout and not an effortless romp.

No trademark issues here. An Aussie startup wants to get delivery workers out of their cars and onto the company’s Bolt Bikes rental ebikes. Not to be confused with Usain Bolt’s bright yellow Bolt scooters, which got here first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News asks the burning question of whether WorldTour cyclists should use dropper seatposts to reduce the risk from high speed descents.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says receiving a Congressional Gold Medal is the biggest honor of his career.

Transgender cyclist Philippa York insists the idea that trans people are going to take over women’s sport is absolutely ridiculous.

 

Finally…

Always wear your bike helmet when you rob a bank. If you never learned to ride a bike in 84 years, a stationary cycling challenge is probably for the best.

And spreading kindness and carbs with free bike-borne bread deliveries.

 

Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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