Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Suspect arrested in Oceanside hit-and-run, murder charge in meth-fueled San Diego crash, and East LA CHP hit-and-run

Thank you to everyone for all the kind words. Your support really means a lot to me. 

The good news is, taking most of last week off helped lower my blood sugar levels over 25%, down to a more normal level for diabetics. 

It also allowed me to realize that not all the symptoms I’ve been dealing with were caused by my diabetes; the last medication my doctor put me on to lower my blood sugar was apparently caused a long list of damaging side effects. 

So we’ll what happens now that I’ve stopped taking it. 

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Maybe we’ll see some justice in San Diego County after all.

Oceanside police arrested 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery for the hit-and-run death of Jackson Williams as he rode his bike on Oceanside Blvd July 15th.

At last report, she was being held on $150,000 bond.

The victim’s family had called for the public’s help in catching the killer. But it was a homeless man who recognized the car, and led police to Tennery’s home.

Let’s hope there’s a very large reward in the case. Or at least enough to get him off the streets permanently.

Meanwhile, the driver accused of the meth-fueled killing of 57-year-old Laura Shinn as she rode her bike through San Diego’s Balboa Park has pled not guilty to murder, as well as gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam David Milavetz allegedly ran away right after the crash and dumped a couple baggies of white powder over a fence, which police believe were filled with meth.

The murder charge suggests that Milavetz has at least one previous conviction for DUI, and was required to sign a Watson advisement indicating that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

He was also arrested on a separate DUI count on the 1st of this month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the Oceanside heads-up.

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It looks like the accused killer of a Palm Springs bike rider could be in the wind.

A Riverside County judge issued a bench warrant for Yesenia Bibriesca, who apparently failed to appear in court on charges of fleeing the scene after killing 43-year-old Christopher Jones as he rode his bike in Palm Springs last year.

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East LA residents are calling for the CHP to fire an officer who just drove away after running down a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike at Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue a month ago, leaving the boy with a concussion and shoulder injuries.

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A Sacramento sheriff’s deputy left the scene to respond to a call after backing into a bike rider, shoving the 65-year old man across a sidewalk and into some bushes; fortunately, the person wasn’t badly hurt.

A local TV station asks the obvious question — how the hell did the deputy not know she’d hit someone?

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Speaking of Sacramento, a man died nearly a month after an alleged drunk driver slammed into a group of bike riders on a Sacramento bike path.

Proving once again that there is nowhere safe from the big, dangerous machines and the equally dangerous people piloting them.

Case in point, this is who was share the living room with.

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the video, who blames the house for not wearing hi-viv, for the link. 

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Sunset4All is hosting a guided bike ride and happy hour this Wednesday. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign for LA’s first public/private bike lane partnership stands at 57% of the $25,000 goal.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Take a ride up Pacifico Mountain with Gravel Bike California.

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Who needs a mail truck when you’ve got bike lanes?

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

A mother bear in Yosemite spends heartbreaking hours trying to wake her cub who left to die by a passing driver.

Photo from Yosemite National Park Facebook.

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

Why, indeed.

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

Apparently, there really are bike riders who swerve into traffic without looking, like this Philippine bicyclist who crossed three lanes of traffic to hit the side of a passing bus.

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Local

The LAPD held a bike ride in Mission Hills on Saturday to honor a fallen officer who died of Covid last July, and raise money for his twin infant sons.

No surprise here, as Los Angeles Magazine names the Santa Monica Helen’s the best bike shop in Los Angeles. Which isn’t to say it necessarily is, just that it’s the obvious choice. Any suggestions for who you’d pick instead?

Santa Monica cops bust two men burglarizing a Santa Monica bike shop on the 2900 block of Main Street, after several people were visible inside on security cameras; the address corresponds with the Bike Attack Electric shop.

Now we know how Nick Jonas broke a rib falling off his bike earlier this year.

 

State

Streetsblog updates the current status of transportation bills in the state legislature, including weakening — but not eliminating — the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, as well as bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and funding an e-bike rebate program.

Nice story from San Diego, where a Chula Vista family has turned to tandem riding to overcome a near-fatal e-scooter crash, as well as the son’s blindness and chronic heart and lung disease, while helping others.

San Diego bike advocates are demanding changes after the city’s recent rash of bicycling fatalities. And that was before two more people were killed in the city last week.

Continuing our San Diego trifecta, residents are complaining about rogue mountain bikers riding illegally in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, damaging recently replanted areas.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A Fresno woman got shot in both legs in a domestic violence incident — then got on her bicycle and chased down the man who shot her, following him until police arrived. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from San Ramon, where New York Jets quarterback coach Greg Knapp died six days after he was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle; he had been an NFL coach for 23 years. The team’s head coach had asked for prayers for Knapp.

A white Sacramento woman accused a Black woman of selling drugs from her bicycle seat, apparently unable to grasp the concept that the woman was actually selling perfectly legal hair products.

 

National

Here’s one for my fellow diabetic Americans, as a new study shows bicycling reduces the risk of death from all causes for people with diabetes.

Another new study shows bikeshare saves the US $36 million in healthcare funds.

Vice compares today’s massive pickups and SUVs to the tanks that won WWII. And the tanks come out on the losing end.

Vans teams with SE Bikes for a new sneaker line celebrating Bike Life and BMX culture.

Bike Portland explains that sometimes, the best way to pass someone on a bicycle is not to.

A Colorado man faces up to six years behind bars after being convicted of killing professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag; oddly, there was no charge for hit-and-run, even though he tried to flee the crash on foot, and had to be restrained with a taser until police backup arrived.

Um, okay. A Nebraska man faces charges for threatening another man with a knife, after the other man refused his generous offer of the same knife in exchange for helping him pick a bike lock in broad daylight.

The New York native who made headlines across the US for riding a bikeshare bike from New York to Santa Monica in search of a new home will now be living on Tulsa time.

An Illinois man who killed a woman and seriously injured her husband while fleeing from police will spend the next 12 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Ohio man is still riding after 35 years, despite two new hips and four heart bypasses.

A Boston magazine wonders what would it take to leave cars in the city’s rearview mirror and become a place for people, instead.

Leaving the scene after crashing an ebike into a pedestrian could result in a felony hit-and-run charge if a New York legislator has her way.

A 16-year old Pennsylvania girl somehow missed their blinking lights and hi-viz, and slammed into a group of four people riding their bikes as part of an Ohio church group ride, killing one man and injuring three other people.

A new Penn study shows how planners can use biometric data to identify dangerous areas to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Florida man became alligator bait after losing control of his bike on a curve, and sliding down an embankment where he was bitten by the nine-foot gator. Fortunately, both man and reptile will survive; the former thanks to a man walking his dog. But maybe it wasn’t the gator’s fault.

 

International

No, you can’t call the Queen as a witness.

Be sure to great passersby with a cheery hello if you’re riding your bike naked in Liverpool.

Apparently frightening easily, London drivers are “terrorized” by red light-running, wheelie-popping teens on bicycles.

Former Vancouver bike advocates Melissa and Chris Bruntlett share lessons from their new life in the Netherlands, while busting common myths about car-light cities.

The BBC takes to the bike path to learn from the Dutch how to build a nation of bike riders.

Yes, it can be done. A Polish city built out a complete 800 kilometer bike network — nearly 500 miles — in just five years. We could do that here in Los Angeles if city leaders actually wanted it.

Police in India arrested seven people for flying kites with nylon strings after several people riding bicycles and motorcycles were injured, including a 12th grade girl whose throat was slashed by a kite string as she rode her bike.

A group of Singapore scientists claim to have developed a tougher and safer bike helmet, with an outer shell made of a new type of acrylic thermoplastic resin that’s reinforced with carbon fiber.

He gets it. A New Zealand writer says most Kiwi bike riders are anything but “elitist.” The same goes here in Los Angeles. And just about anywhere and everywhere else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz was the surprise winner in the men’s Olympic road race, while Belgian Wout van Aert took the silver; American Brandon McNulty was leading with Carapaz with three miles to go, but faded at the end to finish sixth.

Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer took the women’s road race, as the math PhD holder built a stealth lead with no one thinking to chase her. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly threw her arms up in victory, thinking she was first across the finish line, instead settling for silver.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera was riding in honor of her late father, who died of Covid earlier this year; she claimed seventh in the road race as the top American finisher.

An Indianapolis paper looks at how Chloe Dygert made it back from a devastating leg injury after going over a guardrail at last year’s Worlds to compete in three Olympic events.

Olympic cycling is one of the few events to actually have fans.

The head of cycling’s governing body swears two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is clean, and so is his bike.

VeloNews tells the “mind-blowing” backstory of how Leah Goldstein became the first woman to win the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

 

Finally…

Why bother pretending you’re riding a bike when you can pretend you’re in a video game? Tossing your bicycle off an overpass onto a highway isn’t one of the recommended uses, and could land your ass behind bars.

And then there’s this.

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

Update: 27-year old man killed in Oceanside hit-and-run late Thursday; tenth bicycling death in San Diego County this year

Another day, another Southern California bike rider murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

This time in Oceanside, where a man identified as 27-year old Carlsbad resident Jackson Williams was left to die on Oceanside Blvd late Thursday night.

Bypassers found Williams lying in the traffic lanes of Oceanside Boulevard just west of Interstate 5 around 11:30 pm; witnesses reported he was not moving or breathing, and suffering from severe head trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have a difference in this case.

Or not, depending on the speed of his killer’s car.

Investigators believe he was riding east on Oceanside when he was run down from behind by the driver of a black 2014 to 2016 Nissan Versa Note hatchback, based at least in part on evidence left at the scene. The car is likely to have damage to the front grill, hood and undercarriage.

It was last seen headed east on Oceanside past the I-5 bridge.

Anyone with informations urged to call Accident Investigator Kevin Lissner of the Oceanside Police Department at 760/435-4651.

This is at least the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County.

At least 14 of those deaths have been hit-and-runs, including four just in the last two and a half weeks.

Update: This is the cost of traffic violence. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jackson Williams and all his loved ones.

 

20 felony counts in attack on AZ bicyclists, Sunset4All halfway to public/private goal, and billionaire astronauts on bikes

The driver who allegedly ran down ten people participating in a seniors bike race in Show Low, Arizona last month faces 20 felony counts for intentionally using his truck as a weapon.

Thirty-six-year old Shawn Michael Chock will be arraigned today with running down victims and fleeing the scene afterwards, as well as fleeing from police.

Chock was shot by Show Low police following a standoff behind a hardware store. He has apparently been free after he was released from the hospital ten days ago.

Thankfully, none of the victims has died, although one of the charges for assault with a deadly weapon is a more serious felony, suggesting that one of the riders may have suffered longterm or life-changing injuries.

Meanwhile, hundreds of bike riders turned out in Tempe to show support for the victims.

Thanks to Richard Duquette and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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This is pretty much the only good smile I had yesterday, knowing we’re well on our way to LA’s first public/private partnership to improve a dangerous corridor for bike riders and pedestrians.

And maybe convince LADOT to actually do it.

You can donate here.

And yes, I put my own money where my mouth, or rather, keyboard is.

And where my heart is, too.

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A number of people complained about this tweet, for damn good reason.

He was a little kid, who deserved a hell of a lot better. And he didn’t “collide with a car,” he was struck by its driver.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it was the driver’s fault; a witness says the boy darted out into the street against the light.

It does mean we need to see the humanity in the victim, and the person who took his life life.

And do everything in our power to ensure it never happens again.

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Bikes just keep booming, as New York bike shops report what bikes they have are flying off the shelves.

Meanwhile, a New York BMX shop may shut because they can’t get enough bikes to meet demand.

And bike shop owners along the Illinois – Iowa border are having to be creative in order to meet customer’s need and actually have something to sell.

But somehow, the CEO of the Buzzbike bicycle subscription service says private bike ownership is dying.

Yeah, good luck making that case.

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Well, how else would you expect a billionaire astronaut to arrive for his first space launch?

Then again, let’s not forget that a monkey and a dog made similar flights 60 years ago.

Although they probably didn’t have to pay for it themselves.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

The streets of Wichita, Kansas are more dangerous today, after a woman was released after three months in jail when she made bail for allegedly running over 56-year old stranger riding a bicycle, then get out of her car and shooting him to death.

In yet another sign of how seriously the courts don’t take traffic crimes, a driver who fled the scene after seriously injuring a bike-riding woman in Delaware was charged with seven counts, including hit-and-run, and driving while stoned and without a license or insurance — with bail set at the low, low price of just $3,500. Presumably so he can get out and do it again.

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

Mountain View police are looking for a racist attacker who slapped an Asian jogger in the back of the head and threatened to punch him while shouting a racially charged comment, before hitting the man with his bicycle.

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Local

Apparently not grasping the concept of dockless scooters, a WeHo resident complains about the newly returned e-scooters “abandoned” on the streets.

The Santa Monica Daily Press offers a primer on the city’s four e-scooter and e-bikeshare providers.

After riding his bike to the DMV, a Santa Monica man waits in line for hours before getting turned away. And becomes convinced the guy ahead of him is a bike thief.

 

State

Orange County is testing bike-only trails to cut down on collisions and conflicts between mountain bikers and the non-wheeled public.

A San Diego columnist considers whether removing parking spaces and minimum parking requirements will revitalize the city, as advocates aver.

Santa Clara County, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, is moving forward with plans for the region’s first bicycle superhighway. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles is working on.

Bad news from the Bay Area town of Brisbane, where a bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run Saturday evening. Police are looking for the driver of a silver 1998 Honda Accord or similar vehicle, with likely front end damage, and possible damage to the windshield.

A Sebastopol man faces three felony counts of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter for the May crash that killed a 53-year old man riding his bike, and cost a bike-riding 12-year old boy his leg; the driver’s lawyer describes him as a “nice young man who made a terrible mistake.” Although I suspect the families of the victims might disagree.

 

National

The grizzly bear who dragged Chico, California bikepacker Leah Davis Lokan out of her tent and killed her in has been Ovando, Montana has been tracked down and killed. Although the real blame should probably be placed on humans encroaching on wildlife habitat, rather than the other way around. And no, it does not make me feel any better to know my brother will be bikepacking through the same area in a few weeks.

If you need a little inspiration today, consider Connecticut’s Korene Varano, who became a triathlete after 30 years of batting debilitating bone cancer — and four years after having her leg amputated.

The sponsor behind Buffalo NY’s summertime Slow Roll bike rides say a candidate for mayor is welcome to ride, but keep politics out of it.

Three-hundred-fifty people are pedaling their way on an eight day, 400-mile ride along the Erie Canalway Trail raise funds for parks and trails in New York. Good luck finding an offroad trail half that long in ostensibly bike-friendly California.

Kindhearted Orlando, Florida cops bought a new bike, lock and helmet for a young boy after his was stolen a couple months ago.

 

International

A Montreal woman and her roommate are walking now after construction workers removed the post their bikes were locked to in the middle of the night, and no one will tell them how to get them back.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a 76-year old van driver walked without a single day behind bars for carelessly killing a bike rider.

Despite the rising popularity of ebikes, most Belgian bike riders are still sticking with their non-electrified versions.

Hundreds of Berlin bike riders took to the streets for a topless bike ride in protest after police told a sunbathing mom to put her top on, with the protesters insisting “no nipple is free until all nipples are free.”

A man and woman are halfway through a tandem ride along India’s 3,600-mile Golden Quadrilateral highway connecting the country’s four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Life is cheap in India, where a 55-year old man was stabbed to death for parking his bicycle outside his neighbor’s home, partially blocking the narrow street.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s been a minute since an American actually won a stage at the Tour de France. Okay, a lot of minutes.

Congratulations to British sprinter Mark Cavendish on equalling the legendary Eddy Merckx’s equally legendary record for most stage wins in the Tour de France — especially since Cavendish wasn’t even on his team’s Tour roster until another rider dropped out at the last minute.

In a Tour marked by falls, loose gravel took several riders down yet again on Friday’s 13th stage.

If you have to ask how much a Tour de France bike costs, you probably can’t afford it.

VeloNews explains how to discuss the Tour with normal people, aka non-bike racing aficionados.

Road Bike Action relates how Canadian Alex Stieda became the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in 1986.

LA-based L39ion of Los Angeles (pronounced Legion) continues its winning ways, finishing 1-2-3 in the top men’s race at the Boise, Idaho stop on the USA Crits Tour, while the team took first and second on the women’s side.

And this is what women cyclists have to deal with. Even in the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

Apparently, the local TV station forgot what the Ride to Remember is supposed to. That feeling when some jerk stole the bike Buddy Holly’s wife gave you.

And that feeling when your food delivery order is really, really late.

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

 

Prison for racist bike lock attack, slap on wrist for hit-and-run coverup, and LACBC Bikes & Botany Ride this weekend

Once quick note. 

This Saturday, my 73-year old, former Iditarod mushing brother is leaving to ride up through the Tetons and Yellowstone to the Canadian border, then down the Continental Divide Trail to Mexico, and back up to Colorado.

And no, I’m not the least bit jealous. No, really.

Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

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A pair of high-profile legal cases finally came to a conclusion this week, with less than satisfying results in one.

In Michigan, a 43-year old man got a well-deserved five years behind bars for beating a Black teenager with a bike lock.

Lou Mouat confessed to shouting racist slurs while telling the Black teens they weren’t allowed on the public beach in last year’s hate crime.

Meanwhile, the owner of a Virginia landscaping company got off with a caress on the wrist for conspiring to cover up the 2018 fatal hit-and-run committed by one of his employees in a company truck.

Instead of just picking up the damn phone to report what happened after his driver killed a 50-year old man riding home from a group ride, 64-year old Robert Lee Strickland Jr. fired the worker and ordered him to get away. Then he had the truck towed to a bodyshop for repairs, and told workers to say the fired staffer had just hit a deer.

Due to what the DA termed a total lack of remorse, Strickland was sentenced to a year behind bars for his role in the cover up — a stiff penalty under state sentencing guidelines, which call for no more than six months in jail.

But shamefully light given the heinousness of the crime.

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The LACBC invites you to join their free Bikes and Botany Ride this Sunday, now open to everyone, rather than just LA Rivers Challenge participants, and starting at a top secret location somewhere near Griffith Park.

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Glendale wants your input on a proposal to build a safe active transportation greenway on along the Verdugo Wash.

And no, that’s not a Glendale laundromat.

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Gravel Bikes California takes a cruise through Gold Country, to visit Yankee Jims & the Auburn State Recreation Area.

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Pink Bike offers a beginner’s guide to setting up your mountain bike.

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Your periodic reminder that lowering speed limits remains illegal in California, thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law that allows drivers to keep pushing speed limits ever higher.

And for reference, 30 kmh works out to just 18 over mph.

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

No bias here. Delaware state police went out of their way to blame the victims after a 70-year old man ran down two girls riding their bikes in a crosswalk, leaving one in critical condition; troopers said the teen girls were supposed to walk their bikes in the crosswalk — which would put them at greater risk while crossing — and said the driver was somehow “unable to avoid them” despite a flashing warning beacon.

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

Authorities in Buffalo, New York are looking for a bike-riding gunman — or gunwoman — who shot two men in an early morning bike-by.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, awarded over $275,000 in Go Human mini grants to 31 LA and Orange County area organizations to help improve traffic safety, including Active SGV, Bicycle Kitchen, Los Angeles Walks, LACBC, Santa Ana Active Streets, Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE), and Streets For All.

 

State

A 15-year old cancer survivor has completed a 363-mile fundraising ride through all nine of California’s National Parks in 13 days; he’s raised $690 of his modest $1,000 goal for bicycling charities Team California Juniors and VeloYouth.

Rialto is opening a 16-dock, 100-bike e-bikeshare system, using a $1 million state grant.

A mountain biker is in good condition following a difficult rescue off a ledge, after he rode off a cliff in Nevada County, northeast of Sacramento.

The Montana mountain town where a Northern California woman on a bikepacking trip was dragged out of her tent and killed by a grizzly bear is popular with bikepackers riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Which may or may not be the same as the Continental Divide Trail my brother will be riding.

 

National

NBC News picks the six best bikes for kids.

Road Bike Action says you really need to carry a chain breaker with you when you ride.

There is something very wrong with America’s educational system when an Oregon university professor has to ride 1,600 miles to all of the state’s 17 community colleges just to raise funds to buy textbooks.

Breaking Bad fans can add this one to your bike bucket list — a guided bike tour through 12 Albuquerque shooting locations for the Emmy winning show.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Michigan man has ridden a total of 35,000 miles over the last ten years.

An Iowa woman has written a new book about her 26-year odyssey to travel every US state by bicycle, along with her husband.

The bike boom shows no sign of letting up in Memphis.

Fast action prevented a horrific crime, after a man snatched a 6-year-old Louisville, Kentucky girl off her bicycle and pulled her into his car; witnesses called 911 with a description of the vehicle, and police were able to arrest the 40-year old driver and rescue the girl within half an hour of the kidnapping.

Apple’s AirTag proves its worth, helping Boston cops recover a man’s stolen bicycle. Note to Gadget Lite: There’s no need to capitalize bicycle or bike in your story.

Momentum Magazine says New York may have hit peak bike boom with projects to add bike lanes to the iconic Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges. Although as we’ve learned from the Netherlands, no matter how bike friendly a city is, there is always room for improvement.

A Philadelphia man has been charged with knocking a Black Lives Matter protestor off his bicycle and beating him as he was on the ground; he was part of group of men armed with hatchets, baseball bats and golf clubs who confronted protestors in the city’s Fishtown neighborhood.

The wheels of justice grind slowly in North Carolina, but at least the results are worth it, as a 27-year old woman will spend up to six years and four months behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding man four years ago.

 

International

Eight thousand women and girls around the world stand to get new bicycles, after June’s Women on Wheels fundraiser collected a whopping $1 million for World Bicycle Relief.

An 83-year old British man is remembered for his record-setting achievements; Chris Davies held the record for riding 916,791 miles on his bike, the greatest distance ever officially recorded at the time. Davies passed away this week at 83-years old.

Chiang Mai, Thailand has been crowned the world’s best city for a ‘’beautiful bike ride’’ in a recent report from a British bicycle insurance company.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews profiles Austrian cyclist Michael Gogl, who swapped his cello for a bike, and now sits in fourth place in the Tour de France.

An inflamed knee has forced Peter Sagan out of the the Tour, eliminating a key competitor in Mark Cavendish’s quest to match Eddy Merckx’s record for most stage wins.

Cycling Weekly talks with British cycling fans lining the memorial to fallen British cyclist Tom Simpson on Wednesday’s climb up Mount Ventoux, where Simpson collapsed during the ’67 Tour.

The high altitude Crusher in the Tushar gravel bike race returns to Beaver, Utah tomorrow.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could use levers and pulleys instead of a chain, to move four times more efficiently. Your next bike could be a Lotus — yes, that Lotus.

And let’s hope this isn’t the most epic folding ebike video ever.

Even if it is.

 

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

CicLAvia returns with 3 dates this year, a first-hand view of traffic violence, and bike rider shoots driver in self-defense

We all have something to look forward to this year, with the return of America’s largest and most successful open streets festival.

In the best news we’ve had in a pandemic plagued year and a half, CicLAvia will return next month in Wilmington on August 10th.

That’s followed by the traditional Heart of LA route in Downtown Los Angeles on October 10th — the same date as the first CicLAvia, also in DTLA, eleven years earlier.

And last but far from least, a long-awaited return to South Los Angeles on October 5th.

Here’s what our bike-riding friend at KCBS2/KCAL9 have to say on the subject.

Photo of an earlier CicLAvia in DTLA by yours truly.

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Every day as I search through the news, I find heartbreaking stories about fatal and near fatal crashes from across the US.

For every one I link to, there may be a dozen or more I don’t.

Just more collateral damage in our incessant obsession with getting from here to there as quickly and inefficiently as possible

Like this story from the very tip of the Pacific Northwest, a stone’s throw from Canada, about a 76-year-old man struck by a trailer pulled by a pickup driver while riding his bike.

Normally I’d read it, maybe mutter a quick prayer, and move on. Just another every day tragic occurrence.

Except this time, the details dovetailed with an email I received yesterday, in the form of a script, from fellow bike rider and corgi aficionado Mike Burk, who moved from SoCal to the cooler and cloudier clime a few years ago.

Fade in:

Late morning, driver’s POV.

Coming home from town this morning when we’re diverted off the highway to a side road because of a road block. At the intersection, noticed a truck towing a poorly loaded trailer carrying an old backhoe. The truck was stopped, the driver getting a ticket by a couple of sheriff’s deputies.

Finally back on the highway and two or three miles down the road. Flashing lights ahead. As we inched along I noticed a bicycle on its side and no rider around. Whatever happened is over (it had been only 90 minutes since we came that way into town).

Seeing the bike and the emergency vehicles, I got a picture.

Photo by Mike Burk

Dissolve to:

Early afternoon, POV over shoulder, sitting at computer.

Me, during a Zoom meeting with our homeowner’s association Publications Committee. Going over articles for our next month’s Kala Pointer Newsletter. One of the committee members asked, “Did you hear about Stan Cummings this morning? He was riding his bike…”

You can guess the rest. Yes, that was Stan’s bike. He was medivacced (sp) to Harborview Hospital in Seattle (40 miles… if you’re a crow). He’s in their TBI unit, not expected to recover well, if at all.

It didn’t take too long for someone following to dial 911 — and then for the sheriffs, local police, and state police to locate and stop the truck.

Stan is active in the community and on his bike. We’ll see what happens.

Fade to black.

Burk adds this final thought.

I forget that this can happen anywhere. We’re in a REALLY small town. Even after all the miles I’ve put on my bike, the thought of getting out on that highway (WA19 and WA20) up here just terrifies me. I keep to the back roads.

Sadly, that’s exactly the case.

The news stories I see come from everywhere English is spoken, and many places it’s not.

From big cities and tiny towns in every state throughout the US, as well as Canada, Mexico and Central America, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, India, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. And virtually everywhere else, on every kind of roadway.

Yet somehow, the onus for safety inevitably rests on our narrow, unprotected shoulders, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines who pose the danger to people on bikes, and everyone else.

It’s like living in a village where monsters roam the streets, dragging people off at random. And instead of doing something about them, we merely tell the villagers to be careful and lock their doors at night.

Like this rabidly auto-centric anti-Vision Zero diatribe, in other words.

Which is kind of like telling gunshot victims to dodge the bullets, rather than suggesting that maybe gun owners shouldn’t shoot them.

Frankly, I don’t have the answers anymore.

I just know I’m so damn tired of reading every day about still more innocent people dragged off by the monsters.

And worrying that one day they’ll grab me, too.

………

Bike Talk talks protected bike lanes, from every angle.

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Speaking of which, the protected bike lane on Oakland’s Telegraph Ave has been so successful, the city wants to tear it out.

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Apparently, Minnesota’s annual Freedom From Pants Ride went off without a…well, you get the idea.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

Megan Lynch forwards this piece about a man seven years into a diagnosis of dementia, yet still riding his bike across Nova Scotia to fight the disease.

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Evidently, the Dutch city of Groningen was been a bicycle city for awhile.

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British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid explores England’s old Great North Road from London to Newcastle, traveling in style in a classic Morgan sports car, accompanied by a Brompton foldie in the passenger seat.

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

In a truly bizarre case, a man on a bike shot a road raging Houston driver in self-defense when the male driver told a bike-riding couple they couldn’t ride in that neighborhood, then deliberately knocked the woman off her bike; her pistol-packing partner was let go, while the driver was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon.

No bias here. After a driver intentionally knocks a British man off his bike, she claims to be an ex-cop, and the current cops don’t hesitate to blame the victim. And a driving instructor uses the incident for a training video.

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

A man on a bicycle remains at large after shooting an Arleta man following an argument Sunday night.

Seriously? There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for a 23-year old English man who was caught masturbating on his bicycle, riding one-handed as he pursued women and young girls. Yet the bike-riding perv somehow avoided jail despite doing it not once, not twice or even thrice, but four times, apparently because the judge thought he’s a “promising student.”

A Singapore bicyclist was criticized for leaving a painted bike lane to draft behind a trio of dump trucks. Although that would be perfectly legal in the US, though not necessarily smart, where most, if not all, states allow bike riders to take the lane if they’re riding the speed of traffic.

………

Local

The Gateway Cities Council of Governments will discuss the ill-advised plan to widen the 710 Freeway, displacing homeowners and fouling the air to create more induced demand. A much better option would be to spend the same amount on transit, bikeways and pedestrian improvements so people don’t have to drive the damn thing.

Brooklyn Beckham is one of us, as soccer great David Beckham’s grownup son goes for a Beverly Hills bike ride with a friend.

 

State

Just days after a woman was killed riding her bike on North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla near UC San Diego, another bike rider was injured when a suspected drunk driver drifted into the bike lane he was riding in, less than half a mile from where the first woman was run down.

The San Diego Union-Tribune considers how North Park’s new 30th Street protected bike lane will affect the community.

A Santa Barbara librarian says her new ebike was the best thing to come out of 2020.

San Jose police busted an alleged fence who specialized in high-end bicycles and construction equipment, while paying thieves a fraction of their actual value; he was caught with an estimated $100,000 of hot merch at the time of his arrest. If you’re missing an expensive bike anywhere in the Bay Area, give ’em a call, just in case.

Tragic news from South Sacramento, where a 76-year old man riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver who briefly stopped following the collision, then ran over the victim to make her getaway.

For anyone up in the Sacramento area, the Davis Bicycling, Street Safety and Transportation Commission will meet on Thursday to discuss a number of proposals, including a newly funded plan to widen the I-80 corridor (bad), while possibly adding bicycling improvements (good). Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

 

National

Seriously? Women’s Health asks if outdoor bike riding is good for weight loss. Hint: A resounding yes!

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a California man raised $13,000 to provide running water to families in the impoverished Navajo Nation by riding his bike from California to New Mexico.

A Santa Fe, New Mexico school is tapping into federal funds to get more kids to bike and walk to school. Which is something every school should be working on.

Boulder CO police say there’s a nationwide bike shortage, so use a damn U-lock, already. Although they may not have said it quite that way.

More proof that collisions with pedestrians are just as dangerous for the person on the bike, as a 28-year old New York woman was left clinging to life after she crashed into a pedestrian walking in a Prospect Park crosswalk while she was riding in the bike lane. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, who are just as unpredictable as people on bikes. And in cars.

An Atlanta bike rider flagged down paramedics after an 18-year old backup quarterback at Kennesaw State University was fatally shot near Pensacola, Florida; his 19-year old passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds when their attackers fired over 50 rounds at their car.

 

International

TechRadar rates the “super smart” Cowboy 4 as their top ebike, saying it feels like the future of bicycling.

Mashable offers tips on what to think about before entering the ebike world. But they get the first tip wrong, suggesting that ebiking is just a seasonal thing for everyone but the most extreme bicyclists.

Offroad.cc shares their thoughts on what to look for in a used mountain bike.

Um, okay. Pink Bike looks at all the things that didn’t happen in the world of bicycling last month.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day in jail for killing an 18-year old man riding a bike. But at least he called 911 before driving off.

A young Black man plans to file a complaint against the Montreal cops who roughed him up and handcuffed him for the crime of not having a reflector on his front wheel. Or maybe because he stopped to watch them question another man.

Life is cheap in the UK, too, where a truck driver walked without spending a day behind bars for killing a 73-year old ebike rider, because the judge thought he showed “genuine and enduring” remorse. Which, oddly, won’t do a damn thing to bring his victim back.

A Singapore bike rider unfairly gets the blame for riding in the traffic lane when a driver slams into him from behind, throwing him onto the windshield before landing in the roadway; the victim sat up following the crash, so hopefully he’s okay. Warning: The dashcam video of the crash is absolutely horrifying, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on it.

 

Competitive Cycling

By now, you should have had plenty of time to catch up on the Tour de France. So it shouldn’t come as a spoiler to reveal that last year’s winner Tadej Pogacar not only reclaimed the yellow jersey, but tightened his grip on it before Monday’s rest day.

Breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt argues the level of competition is much higher at this year’s Tour de France, thanks to a rash of young riders making their presence known.

Cavendish says he may be struggling, but don’t write off four-time Tour champ Chris Froome yet.

Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of the Tour after losing the yellow jersey to focus on winning mountain bike gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Judging by the video below, he might just have a shot.

A sports physicist considers how many calories you’d have to consume to ride like a pro in the Tour de France.

Nicholas Dlamini, the first Black South African to compete in the Tour, received a round of “rapturous” applause when he crossed the finish line on Sunday’s ninth stage of the Tour, despite failing to make the cut following a crash.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you get so drunk you can’t remember stealing a $1,000 bike. That feeling when you’re glad the bear only ate your bike seat.

And John and Yoko were both one of us.

Thanks to author Richard Risemburg for the heads-up.

………

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

Man riding bicycle killed by LA hit-and-run driver nearly two weeks ago; no mention in news until now

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

And once again, it never made the news.

According to My News LA, a man on a bicycle was run down by a driver at 2:30 am on Tuesday, June 22nd, while riding south in the west crosswalk of Melrose Ave at Normandie Ave, near LA’s Little Armenia neighborhood.

The driver kept going without stopping.

The victim, who still hasn’t been publicly identified nearly two weeks later, was taken to a local hospital, where he died sometime later.

As usual, there’s no word on why the public wasn’t informed until My News LA broke the story on Sunday.

Police are looking for the driver of a white two-door 2019-21 Camaro with a black convertible top, likely with noticeable front-end damage.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division detectives at 213/473-0236, or call Crime Stoppers at 800/222-8477. As always, there is a standing $50,000 reward for any fatal hit-and-run in Los Angeles.

This is at least the 32nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the tenth that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it’s also at least the fifth in the City of LA.

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

Justice grinds slowly in SoCal bike cases, reward in previously unknown hit-and-run, and DUI driver injures man on bike path

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from our anonymous legal correspondent.

She’s back today with a long list of cases that are slowly working their way through the court system.

Along with a few killer drivers scheduled to get out from behind bars too damn soon.

………

Mariah Kandise Banks, charged in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, has yet another prelim reset date coming up on July 13th. This case is just so long and drawn out, and meanwhile, Banks continues to drive and has not ceased her harassment of Woon’s family, in violation of Judge Hobbs’ repeated reminders,

On April 10th, I attended a group march from Woon’s mama’s house to the site of his slaughter, where a new ghost bike was installed. It is really horrible to have to see his mama right there at the scene where a stranger held her son as he died.

In speaking to our group, she told us all she was thankful that so many people showed up and are still fighting to make things safer.

The DA’s office has not been very communicative. I feel that the DA’s office is in violation Marsy’s Law. My understanding is that the clerk has even outright hung up on Miz Beverly. I spoke with Edin (Chief Lunes) at the event, and suggested that perhaps a calm, independent liaison would be helpful in exchanging information. Naturally he volunteered. I spoke to Miz Beverly about this and I think it is a relief to her that she doesn’t have to pick up that phone herself to harangue the prosecutor, who’s really dropping the ball.

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On the subject of long, drawn-out cases, Justin Scott German has his next appearance date on August 18th for the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of 41-year-old Binh Ngo in Huntington Beach.

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Scuzzy Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes, who told the mechanics who cleaned the blood off her dented car that she’d hit a dog, and subsequently fled to another continent, is eligible for parole in October. Yes, October 2021.

(Chan Reyes was sentenced to seven years just three months ago for the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez, after dragging Rodriguez the length of two football fields under her car as she sped away — then fleeing to Hong Kong and Australia in an ultimately vain attempt to avoid prosecution. Evidently, seven years doesn’t last as long as it used to.)

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I remain furious that Brandon James Lindsley only got 7 goddamn years for the hit-and-run death of Carla Becerra while illegally riding a motorcycle on the San Gabriel River Trail, but at least he’s not eligible for parole until… February 2023.

Becerra’s ghost bike is still there next to the river trail, so I added some flowers for her birthday a couple weeks ago.

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Unrelated to bikes, repeat drunk driver Maritza Joana Lara, who killed a dad on Father’s Day and critically injured four other people, then fled the scene on foot before her arrest in Mexico, will be eligible for parole in 2033.

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Stephen Taylor Scarpa, who left Costa Mesa Fire Captain Mike Kreza’s three little girls fatherless, is still set for a jury trial in August. Scarpa is charged with murder for allegedly driving while stoned when he killed Kreza as the popular firefighter was training for a triathlon while riding in Mission Viejo.

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Richard David Lavalle, charged with murder in the death of a 12-year-old autistic boy as he rode bikes with his dad in a Costa Mesa crosswalk, wants to fire his public defender. If this doesn’t happen, his prelim will likely proceed as scheduled September 21st.

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Robert Calvin Mata, who killed John Crouch at PCH & 1st in downtown Huntington Beach late last month, remains under investigation for DUI (drugs, not alcohol).

A commenter on your blog said that the crosswalk on the south side of that intersection had been removed, but I remember being surprised that one wasn’t intstalled after the new development went in, given the great increase in pedestrian activity it’s brought to that location.

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Ronald Earl Kenebrew, Jr., who was already locked up awaiting a court date on charges of robbery & indecent exposure, was arraigned yesterday on charges of murder, carjacking, and hit & run in the death of Branden Finley as he rode to the Ride For Black Lives in Downtown Los Angeles last year. The court website hasn’t been updated, so I dunno the outcome of his hearing.

LA Superior Court opens back up this week, and I’ll be there to do some digging into a backlog of cases.

_____

School teacher Molly Jane Hoene had a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 21st, and no further hearings scheduled as yet, but her bail still stands, so I don’t think the charges were dropped. Hoene was arrested for the 2019 hit-and-run death of a homeless bike rider in Silver Lake that was caught on security cam.

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Moises Iscaya, who fled the scene after killing South LA father Jorge Guerra on July 8th as he rode bikes home with his two kids last fall, is likely to be declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Investigators found Iscaya three months later, already in custody on multiple unrelated charges, including murder.

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Jared Walter Anderson, who allegedly squished the life out of scooter rider Evan Dyer Faram at Sunset & Vine in 2019, faces the judge again on July 15th.

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On a separate not, last month, on Friday, May 14th, I was waiting for the bus at Fig & Pico about 11am, and a ride rolled by… and rolled and rolled and rolled… I thought the river of bikes was never going to end. I honestly started wondering whether they had just looped a few blocks and were going around in a circle. A young man yelled an invitation, so I jumped in and followed a guy riding backwards for at least a half mile. To this day I still don’t know what this ride was!!!!! All ages. Guys, gals. Fixie trash. Insta-girls. Geezers on trikes. BMX kids. Dogs in backpacks, dogs in baskets. Spandex, cargo shorts, hot pants, and a skirt or two… everybody and all their neighbors. Just an amazing encounter. Los Angeles, 2021. Wow.

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The LAPD announced a $50,000 reward for the hit-and-run driver who killed Leo Dimeglio as he was riding his bicycle on eastbound Jefferson Blvd around 11:41 p.m on June 10th.

Unfortunately, this is the first we’ve heard of the fatal crash. It shouldn’t take nearly three weeks for the police to inform the public that an innocent person has been killed. Let alone ask for our help in apprehending a heartless, cowardly, killer driver.

I’ll have a more detailed story later today.

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Once again, a driver has gotten onto a supposedly carfree bike trail — this time with tragic results.

An alleged drunk driver somehow got onto Sacramento’s popular American River Parkway and slammed into the Sacramento Wheelmen group ride, leaving one rider in critical condition with severe injuries.

Let’s hope the victim makes a fast and full recovery, and that they secure the trail to keep it from ever happening again.

And that the driver is never again allowed behind the wheel.

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

A Boston man is under arrest for slashing a food delivery rider on the arm with an “industrial-style pocket knife” in an apparent random attack. The victim was treated at the scene but refused further medical attention.

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

San Francisco police are offering a $25,000 reward for the 2016 fatal shooting of a man in the Tenderloin District; a security cam captured an image of the suspect riding on the handlebars of another man’s bike; the bike rider has been cleared, but the shooter is still at large.

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Local

For the first time since the 1980s, Los Angeles doesn’t has the worst traffic in the US. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim region was number two last year, behind the New York-Newark area. Which, oddly, is exactly what it feels like to ride a bike here.

Progressive news site Knock LA looks at the fight to form a union representing Metro Bike workers, who don’t actually work for Metro.

The new state budget includes $4.3 million in funding for a proposed walking path along the San Gabriel River.

 

State

Streetsblog offers an update on key issues that passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday, including a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, a bill legalizing jaywalking, and a third allowing cameras on buses to capture bus lane violations. So we can have cameras on buses, but no speed cams in school zones. Got it.

San Diego safety advocates are calling for drivers to pay attention after the recent rash of bike deaths in the county.

A San Luis Obispo paper say the transportation bill currently taking shape in the US House — as opposed to the recently announced bipartisan bill — contains $20 million for transportation projects in SLO and Santa Barbara counties, including a bike path connecting Morro Bay and Cayucos.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls out a deadly combination of reckless driving and unsafe street design for the needless death of a man riding his bike home from work in Hayworth last week.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske examines the safety and legalities of modern roundabouts.

The Christian Science Monitor questions whether America even knows how to do infrastructure anymore.

They get it. The county surrounding Boise, Idaho is suddenly a national leader in protecting bike riders, committing to install protected bike lanes whenever they resurface any of the most dangerous multilane roadways in the region. Maybe the newly bike-friendly Caltrans can follow their lead. Let alone the ostensibly progressive LADOT.

Visions of cowboys on scooters, as e-scooters hit the streets of Cheyenne, Wyoming just in time for the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is expanding its 35-mile network of bike trails to serve the area’s one million annual users.

A Minnesota bike rider calls on drivers to look out for people on bicycles after he was nearly run down while riding in a crosswalk with his girlfriend while crossing with the walk signal.

The carnage continues in New York, where a 71-year old man was killed when he was stuck by a postal truck in an apparent right hook.

A New York county approves its own three-foot passing law after concluding bike riders need more protection than the state’s “safe distance” passing rule.

That’s more like it. A University of Pennsylvania cop goes viral for her friendly interaction with an Instagram star, as she and her partner join him in passing out sandwiches after initially responding to a call of bike riders blocking the sidewalk.

The DC bike community is in mourning after 61-year-old Jay Moglia died of a massive heart attack while leading a group ride last Saturday; the former bike messenger, racer and cycling trainer was a renowned figure in the Washington area.

 

International

Treehugger rates the year’s best ebike conversion kits.

Pink Bike takes a spin on Earthbound’s high pivot bamboo-frame enduro bike. And likes it.

A British Columbia man questions whether the motorcyclist who ran down his bicycle-riding mother caught a break because authorities thought he was a “nice” and “decent” man.

A Clinton, Ontario website looks back to the “Victorian age of muscular Christianity,” when a group of itinerant American clergymen rode into town on their Penny Farthings under the banner of the newly formed American Wheelmen.

He gets it, too. A Montreal writer questions whether an accident waiting to happen that puts children, bike riders and pedestrians at risk is still an accident.

A British transport minister says no, there is no chance bike riders will be required to wear license numbers, regardless of the demands of “Mr. Loophole,” a lawyer who specializes in getting wealthy drivers off the hook.

Okay, so they weren’t on a bicycle. It’s still worth mentioning two Indian men sharing a motorcycle who escaped a charging leopard by feeding him cake. Although something tells me the big cat will be waiting to blow to the candles when they come back.

A new Australian study hopes to determine whether “excessive” recreational riding leads to heart problems in non-elite bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: Skip this section if you still have yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France in your viewing queue. Still here? The news that aging Mark Cavendish won his first stage of the Tour de France in six years is just to big to hide behind a spoiler-free link; the win leaves the sprinter just three victories behind The Cannibal’s record of 34 Tour stage wins.

The entire peloton stepped off their bikes for a silent protest at the start of yesterday’s stage to call attention to the dangerous conditions that have led to a rash of crashes in this year’s Tour, arguing that someone could be killed next time.

The woman who caused a massive crash with her sign in the first stage of the Tour has disappeared after fleeing France to parts unknown.

Now you, too, can wear the same kit as LA’s own L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team.

 

Finally…

A driver cuts out the middleman and runs down bikes before they even leave the shop. Nothing will test your relationship like riding 3,700 miles on a tandem.

And that’s one way to do a multimodal commute.

………

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

75-year old Allen Hunter killed by alleged DUI hit-and-run driver, while riding on Coast Highway in Solana Beach last week

Finally, we have confirmation.

We’ve known since Thursday that a man was killed while riding his bike in Solana Beach last week.

But it’s taken this long for the San Diego County medical examiner to update their website, and for the story to make the news.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 75-year old San Diego resident Allen Hunter was the victim of a hit-and-run last Tuesday — one week ago today.

He was riding on the South Coast Highway 101 near Lomas Santa Fe Drive around 10:35 am on June 22nd when he was run down from behind by vehicle allegedly driven by 21-year-old Lucas Beau Morgans of Solana Beach.

Hunter was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in nearby La Jolla, where he died of multiple blunt force trauma around 6:30 that evening.

A Reddit post from last Thursday adds a little more information.

Morgans was arrested later the same day, about six miles from the crash scene, on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run resulting in death or injury and felony DUI causing great bodily injury.

He was released after posting bail, and isn’t due back in court until October.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in San Diego County already this year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Allen Hunter and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Driver in Arizona attack had long record of assault and DUI arrests, and killer Escondido driver gets 30 years — or less

Once again, the legal system did its best to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it was too late.

With predictably tragic results.

Authorities identified the driver who intentionally slammed into participants in a Master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona on Saturday as 35-year old Show Low resident Shawn Michael Chock.

The AP reports Chock has a long criminal record, dating back to a 2007, when he pled guilty to a reduced charge after being indicted for aggravated assault, followed by disorderly conduct with a weapon a few months later.

Three years later, Chock was allowed to walk with probation after prosecutors dropped three DUI charges, allowing him to plead to a single count of felony aggravated DUI, as well as shoplifting and another aggravated assault.

He ended up serving 19 months behind bars anyway, after violating his probation.

Now seven innocent people are paying the price for that extreme leniency, with six of Chock’s victims still hospitalized in critical condition, and another in stable condition.

Chock himself is in critical condition after he was shot by police during a standoff following the crash.

Maybe someday our courts will take driving under the influence seriously, and put the public’s right to safety on the roads above the privilege — not right — of driving.

But sadly, not now. Or anytime soon.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

Ex-con Jamison Connor was sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to felony charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in the death of 36-year-old mountain biker Kevin Lentz in Escondido two years ago.

Lentz was just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area when Connor rounded a blind curve at a high rate of speed, slamming into him head-on.

Yet despite a well-deserved sentence of 29 years and ten months, Connor could be out in just six years due to a quirk in California law, Prop 57, passed by voters in 2016, allows a prisoner to be considered for parole after completing the sentence for the primary offense if it was a nonviolent crime

Remarkably, Connor’s primary sentence of vehicular homicide is not considered a violent crime.

Although I’m sure Lentz and his loved ones would disagree.

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Cycling News went all in on Amazon Prime Day this year, with recommendations on the best bicycling deals, what Garmin deal to avoid and the ones you shouldn’t, and where else you can find good bike deals today.

Meanwhile, The National looks at the best Prime Day ebike deals.

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The Transport Workers Union of America reports that Metro Bike workers are trying to unionize.

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Crouching Tiger, Levitating Bicycle.

Apparently this was done by the construction crew so they could lay the new concrete without disturbing the bicycle.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

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

No bias here. Oklahoma residents are fighting plans for a bike path through their neighborhood, trotting out the trope that bicycles and pedestrians don’t mix — even though they’d be on separate pathways — and fears that people on motorcycles or small cars would use the pathway. Which says a lot more about the mentality of Oklahoma residents and drivers than it does about bicycles.

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

Tasmanian police strongly recommend riding you bike on the bridge, not across the arches supporting it.

………

Local

Tragic news from Compton, where a man was shot to death while riding a bicycle early Monday; no word on the identity of the victim, or how it happened.

Voting is underway for this year’s LA2050 Grants Challenge; CicLAvia is a finalist in the Play category, in addition to East Side Riders, as we mentioned yesterday.

 

State

The San Diego Reader accuses scooter companies of bullying, and says the tragic death of actress Lisa Banes raises safety concerns for the San Diego area, after she was killed by a hit-and-run e-scooter rider in New York. If they’re that worried about a single death caused by a scooter rider, just wait until they learn about cars and the people who drive them.

Santa Barbara is expanding its bikeshare system into the city’s Coastal Zone, after a successful introduction downtown earlier this year.

A Bakersfield TV station goes back to basics by explaining what an ebike is, as debate continues whether to allow them on the city’s Kern River Parkway Trail.

A Lodi man is preparing to spend the next few months riding across the US from San Francisco to Savannah, Georgia, to raise funds for five different charities.

A Sebastopol paper celebrates hometown boy Luke Lamperti, after the 18-year old cyclist won an unexpected victory in the road cycling national championships.

 

National

A new study of “socioeconomic and demographic changes in predominantly residential neighborhoods” in 29 US cities show that despite fears of gentrification, new bike lanes don’t result in the displacement of people of color and low income residents.

A writer for Forbes considers whether dooring will still be risk in the era of self-driving cars.

Yes, you can ride a bike when you’re pregnant, and it’s actually good for you.

Sad news from Colorado, where a missing man was found dead in a creek swollen with winter runoff, after he failed to return from a bike rider on Saturday.

A little more sanity from Oklahoma, where kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a man after learning he was walking 17 miles each way in the the scorching heat to get to his job at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

International

Treehugger offers tips on how to keep your bike safe at home, where half of all bike thefts occur.

Road.cc suggests ways to keep your bike from being a pain in the butt. Literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says we’ll stay off the sidewalk if you’ll stay the hell out of the bike lane. Actually, I may have added that hell part myself. Not that I’ve ever had to deal with recalcitrant pedestrians in bike lanes, or anything. 

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old British man is back on his bike, just two weeks after a major endo left him a “bloody mess.” I mean, aside from the endo and bloody mess, that is.

A new German-made taillight includes an HD video camera that automatically saves video of close passes, as well as the last several seconds of video if you hit the pavement.

The Financial Express says India is riding its way to a more bike-friendly future, as bike sales have jumped up to 400% during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers a stage-by-stage preview of the Tour de France, which gets off to an earlier than usual late June start this Saturday.

Bicycling offers a team-by-team guide to who will win this year’s Tour de France, while suggesting it may not be your favorite one. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

British sprinter Mark Cavendish was a surprise addition to the Deceuninck-Quick-Step roster, after missing the last three Tours.

Why just watch the races as an uninvolved spectator, when you can join the fun with Cycling Tips’ Tour de France Fantasy Competition?

Cyclist looks back to Frenchman Antonin Magne’s win in the 1931 Tour, which he repeated three years later.

Britain’s cycling team is looking to continue their success at the Summer Games, despite several years of scandals and conflict since capturing 12 medals in Rio.

A gritty 30-mile breakaway at the US road cycling nationals won a pro contract for 30-year old Lauren De Crescenzo. But only after she finishes her work with the CDC.

 

Finally…

Apparently, riding a bike isn’t just like riding a bike. If you can’t remember whether you stole the bike you’re riding, maybe cut back on the drugs a bit.

And that feeling when you’re cut off by a drifting weinermobile.

………

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

South Bay settles for sharrows, another closure on LA River Path, and carjacker busted in horrific DTLA hit-and-run

We’re taking a little different format today, after dealing with last night’s breaking news left too little time for the usual links.

But with far too much news to ignore. 

Meanwhile, Friday means we’re finally on the cusp of the summer’s first three-day weekend. 

So assuming you’re still here reading this, remember that holidays typically mean more drunks on the road, as people barrel into their cars after outdoor gatherings, or to make another drunken beer run. 

So get out and enjoy the great weather. And by all means, ride your bike. 

Just ride defensively, and assume ever driver you see after noon today has had a few. Or more than a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be too far off. 

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Call it much ado about nothing.

Or how to look like you’re doing something to improve bike and micromobility safety, while actually doing as little as possible.

And maybe even making things worse.

According to a presentation by the South Bay Council of Governments, the regional body plans to install a network consisting of 243 miles of sharrows throughout the region, for no apparent reason.

As we’ve pointed out before, sharrows serve little or no actual purpose, failing to grant riders a single right or inch of pavement to which they weren’t already entitled.

People on bicycles are already legally allowed to ride in the full lane in any substandard lane. Which means any that isn’t wide enough for a bike rider to safely share the lane with a motor vehicle, while remaining outside the door zone.

A definition that applies to most right lanes in Southern California.

At best, sharrows remind riders to position themselves in the center of the lane, while providing wayfinding and directing riders to presumably safer streets.

At worst — which is usually how they work — they merely position unsuspecting people directly in the path of angry drivers who fail to comprehend what the strange chevron-shaped symbols are for, while the little arrows simply serve to help them improve their aim.

In this case, the sharrows appear to be an attempt to shunt bike riders and micromobility users onto quieter side streets, and get them out of the way of entitled motorists on larger arterials, while providing more space for parking.

Yes, they want us out of the way so they can store more of the cars they aren’t using.

South Bay COG even pats themselves on the back, saying the network is likely to win an award of innovation.

Apparently forgetting that sharrows ain’t infrastructure, and don’t improve safety.

In fact, studies show that streets with sharrows do little or nothing to improve safety, and can actually increase the risk to people on bicycles.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton forwards news that a resolution calling for creation of the network was approved at last night’s board meeting of the South Bay COG.

But the already weak network was weakened even further when representatives from Torrance and other cities were assured that participation in the plan was strictly voluntary.

You can see maps of the proposed Local Traffic Network here.

Seriously, it’s nice that they are trying to do something, even if their motives are highly questionable.

But in this case, it seems like it really is the least they could do.

Illustration from South Bay COG.

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Speaking of Linton, he forwards news that long-suffering users of the LA River bike path will have to keep on suffering.

After years of closures due to flood control measures by the Army Corps of Engineers — and the damage they caused — as well as multiple bridge construction projects, the pathway north of the LA Zoo is closed once again.

The section from Victory to Zoo Drive will be shut down until future notice to repair damage and deterioration to the path.

Which is apparently engineer speak for “don’t hold your breath.”

According to an email from LADOT, the agency must first find funding for the project before a timeline can be announced.

Let’s just hope the work can be finished before next winter’s rains cause further damage, or put a halt to construction work.

Assuming we get any rain, which is far from guaranteed.

In the meantime, LADOT will once again be putting up signs to mark yet another detour.

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Phillip Young forwards news that an arrest has finally been made in the heartbreaking hit-and-run death of 46-year-old Branden Finley in Downtown Los Angeles earlier this year.

Finley was on his way to join the Ride For Black Lives on January 16th of this year, when he became the victim of a horrific careening crash as a speeding carjacker tried to make his escape through DTLA.

Following the collision, the thief simply walked away, bizarrely carrying the truck’s steering wheel, as the popular father of two lay dying in the street.

Now LAPD investigators have used DNA evidence to identify 36-year old Ronald Earl Kenebrew Jr. as the suspect, charging him with murder for Finley’s death.

They didn’t have to look far to find Kenebrew once they got a hit on DNA collected from the truck; he’s been in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department since February on suspicion of robbery.

He was also identified from security videos of the suspect as he walked away.

Normally, I say something like let’s hope they lock him up for a long time.

But that seems pretty assured in this case.

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This is who we share the road with.

Ted Faber forwards news of an anti-tax auto-borne terrorist who slammed her car through a Marysville, Tennessee vaccination site.

Thirty-six-year old Virginia Christine Lewis Brown was arrested after speeding through a through a vaccine tent in a mall parking lot, yelling “No vaccine!” as workers dove out of her way.

Witnesses described her as driving at a high rate of speed, while she somehow claimed she was only doing a sedate 5 mph.

If convicted on all counts and sentenced to the max — which is unlikely — she could face up to 105 years behind bars.

Which somehow seems slightly worse than getting a little jab in the arm.

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Just a couple more quick items.

A Pennsylvania man was busted after he hopped on his bike and pedaled toward’s his daughter’s house with a rifle in hand, after a drunken threat to kill blow his son-in-law’s head off.

Although he told police he was just “varmint hunting.” Which is an odd way to describe your daughter’s husband.

He faces charges of “simple assault, making terroristic threats and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as with the summary offenses of public drunkenness, harassment, criminal mischief and hunting without a license.”

I think we all know what he was hunting.

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Bike racing fan Peter Flax recommends Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 — the race made famous in Breaking Away — if you just can get enough.

And yes, that’s still the best damn bike movie ever made.

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Gravel Bike California gets a tour of gravel riding trails in California’s Great Not-So-White North.

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And finally, our last item of the day comes from Erik Griswold, who says don’t be like Kevin.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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