Tag Archive for hit-and-run

Update: Man killed riding bike in Desert Hot Springs hit-and-run; 5th Riverside County bike death in 30 days

Please make it stop.

Just one day after reporting on two bicycling deaths in Southern California, another man was killed riding in Desert Hot Springs sometime overnight.

And no, the coward behind the wheel didn’t bother to stick around. Or even call for help.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was found lying next to his mangled bicycle around 5:45 this morning on Two Bunch Palms Trail near Cholla Drive in Desert Hot Springs. However, police were unsure on exactly when or where the crash occurred.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

There’s no description yet of the suspect or the vehicle. There’s also no word on whether the victim had lights on his bike, or what kind of bike he was riding.

He was found lying in the eastbound lane on the lightly traveled road, leading a bicyclist passing by the crash scene to note that drivers can be blinded by the rising sun, which came up at 5:42 this morning — about the time his body was discovered.

With little traffic at that early hour, it’s likely the driver could have easily exceeded the posted 45 mph speed limit on the straight, unbroken roadway.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Palm Desert Police Officer Chris James at 760/329-2904, ext. 351, or the PDPD watch commander at 760/329-2904, ext. 302.

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

It’s also the fifth bicycling death in the county in the past 30 days.

Update: The Desert Sun has updated their story to indicate the victim was a 43-year old man, though he still hasn’t been publicly identified. 

Police are looking for a maroon 2006-2009 Lexus IS250 sedan, last seen heading west on Two Bunch Palms Trail. Which would suggest that driver was headed away from the rising sun, not towards it. 

Investigators determined that the victim was riding in the middle of the roadway, though they don’t know which way he was going. 

Presumably, they mean in the middle of the lane, rather than down the center line. However, with no shoulder on either side, there’s nowhere else to ride without hugging the edge of the road. 

It’s also important to note that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine the exact point of impact in bicycle collisions; police often rely on where the victim’s body and bicycle landed, which can have little or no relation to where they were hit. 

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 43-year old Palm Springs resident Christopher Jones. Police now place the time of the crash as around 5:30 am.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the Christopher Jones and his loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale and Phillip Young for the heads-up.

LA County shuts down beach bike path, attempted mugging on San Gabriel River trail, and hit-and-run driver cops a plea

You can forget those plans for a 4th of July ride along the beach this weekend.

LA County officials responded to a dramatic uptick in Covid-19 cases by once again closing beaches within the county, including the iconic beachfront bike path.

As Hahn’s tweet states, the beach and bike path closures go into effect this Friday, and are scheduled to last through the following Monday, at least for now.

Although the sheriff says he won’t bother to enforce it.

As you can imagine, though not everyone is pleased. This is what one person, who asked to remain anonymous, had to say.

You don’t see me shoot profanities very often, but a re-closure of the bike path is pure bullshit!

Cyclists on a path are not the cause of increasing virus cases.

It’s bars, restaurant sit-ins, people socializing at people homes without masks, people I saw paying at parks together with no mask, people at the beach I saw often playing volleyball with no mask, it’s just stupid people who think they know better and don’t want to be told what to do along with a President that is not wearing a mask as an example of what everyone should do. Why is the President not on TV everyday with a mask telling people I wear mask and you should too.

We live in a country of A-holes and ignorants and that is why the virus is spreading.

Forgive my outburst — I can’t believe they need to punish cyclists and I needed someone to bitch to

That’s what I’m here for.

But make no mistake. The idea that Covid-19 would go away without severe restrictions has clearly revealed itself as the fairy tale it is.

And we’re likely in for a long, deadly battle that will touch most of us in some way before it’s over.

Photo of recent bike path closure by David Drexler

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That wasn’t the only email I received from a concerned bike rider yesterday.

Another person who asked to remain anonymous said he was attacked by a stoned homeless man over the weekend.

Just a brief heads up for your readers — watch out at those underpasses on the San Gabriel bike path, especially the one at Imperial Blvd in Norwalk.  Regular riders of that bike path know Imperial Blvd because of all of the graffiti.

I was riding early Sunday morning and had a transient try to knock me off my bike as I came up from the underpass (with a kick). Presume they may have been after my bike. Not too smart as they chose someone much larger than they.

I’m fine, no worse for wear, knocked off balance but not off my bike. I reported to 911, so hopefully, the sheriff will keep an eye out, too.

Crazy times.

Attacks like that aren’t common, but they do happen. So just be careful anytime you find yourself isolated and hidden from public view.

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Thirty-five-year old Chase Edward Richard accepted a plea for the hit-and-run crash that severely injured fellow Ramona resident Michelle Scott as she was riding her bike to work in Poway last October.

Richard pled guilty to felony counts of reckless driving and vandalism in exchange for a three year and eight month sentence, with just two years of that behind bars in county jail.

Meanwhile, his victim remains in a nursing care facility, as she struggles recover from a major brain injury.

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LA’s Metro Bike bikeshare is free this weekend, with discounts on memberships, as well.

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277783961872355329

https://twitter.com/BikeMetro/status/1277785192401448961

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Riverside’s mayor invites you to join a family friendly, socially distanced 4th of July bike ride.

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LADOT will host a webinar tomorrow to discuss what will be South LA’s first protected bike lane.

And speaking of webinars, the Vision Zero Network will host one at 11 am PDT (2 pm EDT) to discuss the myth of distracted pedestrians.

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They get it.

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Nice piece, as the director of a Canadian mountain bike camp wants to make riding easier for the kids in his charge.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever hurled a racial slur at a 14-year old New Mexico, then followed up by hurling a rock at his head.

No bias here. The British lawyer who calls himself Mr. Loophole for his ability to get dangerous drivers off the hook is back with yet another anti-bike rant. (Scroll down to second item)

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

British Columbia police are looking for a road-raging bicyclist who whacked a bystander with his U-lock after the man complained when he ran a stop sign. As we’ve said many times, violence is never the answer; just take a breath and ride away.

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Local

Advocacy group Streets For All needs your help to make LA’s Slow Streets permanent, and ensure the city follows its own mobility plan when it repaves city streets.

Isla Fisher is on of us, as a British tabloid swears that’s really her under that mask riding her bike.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is hiring a part-time Outreach Coordinator.

 

National

A new guardrail along an Oregon highway may improve safety for people in cars, but it makes the road more dangerous for people on bikes.

A pair of pro cyclists from my bike-friendly hometown offer unusually practical tips for riding a bike, including practice etiquette and find a local bike shop you love.

Sad news from Minneapolis, where a motorcycle rider was killed in a collision with a bicyclist; police say speeding and alcohol use appeared to be factors in the crash.

Up to 1,000 people rode through Manhattan in support of Black Lives Matter over the weekend.

Former New York transportation commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, who popularized the term, is proposing a carfree bike/ped bridge connecting Queens and Manhattan to avoid exactly that.

The New York Daily News says its time to finally bring an e-scooter pilot program to the streets of Gotham, nearly three years after they swept the rest of the world.

A US Army Band member rode his bike 500 miles in 33 hours to raise funds for a startup organization to mentor high school students to get into college; it took 250 laps around a two-mile Baltimore circuit to complete the ride.

 

International

Cyclist tells you how to check your chain for wear and tear.

A man in Canada’s Prince Edward Island is giving free ice cream coupons to people wearing bike helmets, 50 years after he suffered a brain injury while riding his bike.

Edinburg and Glasgow, Scotland, are offering free bikeshare rides to encourage bike riding as the UK starts to come out of lockdown.

Once again, an English pedestrian has died in a collision with a bike rider as he was crossing a bike lane. This time, the man on the bike stayed at the scene, but probably doesn’t know the 51-year old victim died later; police were never called to the scene, so they want to talk with him.

A British paper shows how it’s done, mentioning a hit-and-run driver in the headline and again in the first line of the story, rather than just blaming a driverless van.

An Irish chef taught her kids how to ride their bikes, even though she didn’t know how to ride one herself; she used the country’s lockdown to correct that situation.

Megan Lynch forwards news that Geneva, Switzerland’s temporary popup bike lanes will get a reprieve through September; they had been scheduled to be removed next month.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports website says WorldTour cyclists make a minimum of $2.35 million, which could come as a surprise to most of them.

CyclingTips examines what it takes to ride 174 miles a day competing in this year’s virtual Race Across America without ever leaving an Aussie car showroom.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be a 3D-printed honeycomb dome made from caster bean oil.

And am I the only one who sees a problem here?

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

“Slight recovery” for Ramona’s Michelle Scott in 2019 hit-and-run, NYPD blames victim, and Tamika talks bikes & racism

The news on Ramona bike rider Michelle Scott is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

According to the Ramona Sentinel, Scott is showing slight progress towards recovery even as she remains confined to a rehab facility, seven months after she was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver while riding to work last October.

The driver who put her there, 35-year old Chase Richard, faces trial on multiple charges next month, including two felony hit-and-run counts, and remains in custody on a $2 million bond.

But even if Richard is found guilty, he likely faces just four years behind bars.

Yet another example of the failure of our society to take traffic violence seriously.

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Peter Flax examines what he calls the “infuriating” conclusion of the NYPD’s investigation into the death of Robyn Hightman, who was killed by a truck driver who claimed he never saw the victim.

And never stopped, despite witness reports that he had to know he’d hit someone.

Not surprisingly, the decidedly bike-unfriendly NYPD blamed the victim for the crash, even though the 20-year old bike messenger was an experienced bicyclist, and a New York bike lawyer says Hightman was probably doing everything right.

Which sadly doesn’t count for much in the auto-centric city.

Flax had written about Hightman’s life and needless death for Bicycling shortly after the fatal crash.

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Boston public radio station WGBH will host a webinar with former LACBC Executive Director and social justice advocate Tamika Butler, among others, to discuss “how cycling, transit, and other systems and infrastructure in our cities and neighborhoods perpetuate the excessive monitoring and policing of Black and Brown bodies in public spaces.”

But you’ll have to register in advance. And get up early, because it starts at 9:30 am Eastern Time on Friday.

That’s 6:30 am here.

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For once, the people South LA aren’t being forgotten as the city moves forward with implementing the Slow Streets program.

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Local

The LA Times says a guided multi-day bike tour could be your safest vacation bet this summer.

Gear Patrol says the new MIPS helmet from LA-based Thousand will actually make you want to wear your helmet.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader asks whether the current bike boom will outlast the pandemic.

 

State

California ski resorts are open for mountain biking, with the usual post-pandemic restrictions.

One-legged bicyclist Leo Rodgers is moving to Costa Mesa to pursue his dream of “influencing and inspiring people,” while a crowdfunding page for his new foundation has raised just over $2,300 of the $10,000 goal; Rodgers was featured on the cover of the latest issue of Bicycling.

The Daily Pilot looks at Newport Beach-based ebike maker Electric Bike Co, whose first brick-and-mortar location is opening in the city on the 4th of July.

Work is continuing on San Diego’s Rose Creek Bikeway, but no estimate was given for completion of the construction project. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bonita’s new bike park is finally back open, but with a mask requirement to get in, and riders have to stay at least six feet apart.

Supporters of Vision Zero ask if opponents of San Jose’s plan are really that selfish. Yes, they are

 

National

Bicycling says stats on aerodynamics are great, but what really matters is how much they affect how you ride. On the other hand, Road.cc says forget wheel weight and just focus on getting more aero.

Bicycling considers just what it takes to stay safe on your bike in the age of Covid-19.

A hand and wrist physiotherapist explains the causes and treatment of cyclist palsy, the nerve irritation caused by gripping your handlebars for extended periods.

Brit+Co says we’re all riding bikes now, so you need some bike gear that’s actually cute. Assuming you’re a woman, that is; evidently, men don’t need cute bikewear.

Yahoo says this tiny folding e-scooter is the future of bicycling. Hint: It’s not.

A free Colorado e-bikeshare program is helping chronically homeless people get back on their feet.

A St. Louis man and woman were busted for riding bikes that were stolen during the looting that followed the death of George Floyd.

Document Journal examines the New York social justice cycling collective that brought 10,000 bike riders out to the streets of Gotham to support Black Lives Matter. Which is about 9,900 more than have ever turned out in Los Angeles, with the exception of Critical Mass.

A former New York transportation commissioner is proposing a new carfree bridge to connect Manhattan and Queens to accommodate the boom in bike riding; although some advocates aren’t exactly thrilled with the idea.

New York is doubling the amount of temporary protected bike lanes in the city in response to the jump in bike ridership, although that’s still just an increase from nine miles to 18. However, that’s 18 miles more than LA has installed.

Two New Jersey men were busted for mugging a bike rider, just hours following their release after getting busted as porch pirates.

Kindhearted Pennsylvania cops gave a new bike and pump to a man who was saving up to buy a bicycle, while riding multiple buses to two jobs to support his five kids.

A South Florida bike shop teamed with a local foundation to donate a new tandem bike to a blind nine-year old boy so he can ride with his father for the first time.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett is teaming with community leaders and police in his Florida hometown for a two-day bike ride to build stronger community bonds. However, the wisdom of doing that in the middle of a pandemic, in a state with surging Covid-19 cases, is highly debatable.

 

International

The Conversation considers how cities can keep the new riders create by the Covid-19 bike boom on their bicycles.

She gets it. A Canadian columnist says if a Toronto woman is convicted of DUI, while already on parole and a ten-year driving ban for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding man, she should never be allowed to drive again. Then again, she wasn’t supposed to be driving now, so the question is what are they willing to do to stop her.

How to fix a bent derailleur.

The BBC examines whether the coronavirus crisis has brought us any closer to tackling climate change.

A Scottish bike rider is dead because an 84-year old man with failing eyesight ignored his doctor’s instructions not to drive.

A British man convicted of stealing a nurse’s bicycle while she was at work treating Covid-19 patients gets a slap on the wrist with less than four months behind bars.

A Dutch traveler’s association is calling for lower speed limits on bike paths, as more people are taking to bicycles to avoid public transit during the coronavirus pandemic; bicyclists are currently allowed to ride up to 27 mph.

Flanders, Belgium is giving away 10,000 free bikeshare rides in an effort get more people on bicycles during the pandemic.

The bike boom is exploding across Germany, too.

Taiwan’s “Pokémon Go grandpa” now has 64 smartphones spread out like peacock feathers on his handlebars to help him play the game. Although that means he probably can’t see the road right in front of him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pro cycling will look different this year in the wake of Covid-19, and here won’t be any hugs or kisses on the podium at this year’s Tour de France. Which means this is the perfect opportunity to get rid of podium girls once and for all.

NPR considers the ups and downs of Everesting in the wake of Lachlan Morton’s new record, set just outside my hometown.

 

Finally…

If your life’s dream is to own a Segway, you’d better hurry. Who needs a hotel when you can tow your own RV?

And how not to wash your bike.

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

Signal Hill bike rider critical after hit-and-run, Everesting record falls again, and trade your car for an ebike — next year

Maybe some day our elected leaders will care enough to stop hit-and-runs.

Unfortunately, that day, if it ever comes, will be too late for a Signal Hill bike rider, who was severely injured in a hit-and-run on Monday.

According to the Press-Telegram, the man is in critical condition after he was struck by a driver while riding on Skyline Drive at Cherry Avenue around 11:55 pm.

He was run down by a southbound SUV while crossing the intersection while riding west on Skyline. Which means either he or the driver ran the red light.

But regardless of who was at fault, the driver is now wanted for felony hit-and-run.

Police are looking for a dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe. Hopefully they’ll find the heartless coward who was driving it.

And his victim will make a full and fast recovery.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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Once again, we have a new record for Everesting, after Aussie pro Lachlan Morton dropped the time required to climb the height of Mt. Everest on a bike to just 7 hours 32 minutes and 54 seconds.

And he set it on a road I grew up riding, on Rist Canyon just outside my Colorado hometown.

Which makes me just one degree of separation from the new world record.

Right?

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District is finally getting around to implementing a recent state law allowing you to trade in your older car for a new ebike.

But only if you can wait until next year.

I can’t, unfortunately.

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Local

South LA bike and community advocacy group East Side Riders teamed with the LA Galaxy to feed 600 people in Watts on Tuesday. Or maybe 1,000, depending on whether you believe the headline or the news story.

Pasadena police busted a bike rider who fled from an attempted traffic stop; they found him hiding under some bushes with a gun and ammunition magazine.

 

State

About damn time. San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill that would exempt transit, bike and pedestrian projects from CEQA reviews, which have been twisted by opponents to delay — or halt — environmentally friendly transportation projects.

Lompoc approves plans to expand the city’s bike network in hopes of promoting it as a bicycling destination. Although as we’ve learned in Los Angeles, approving a new bike plan doesn’t mean you’ll ever see paint on the street.

An 18-year old Mountain View driver faces charges for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage bike rider, who suffered what were described as moderate injuries.

An artist is welcoming the world back from the coronavirus shutdown by adding a bit of beauty to a Sacramento bike path.

 

National

Clean Technica says every ebike and electric car brings $10,000 in social benefits.

How to wear and care for your bike helmet.

Welcome to Portland, where tall bikes were killed by high housing costs.

A Wisconsin bike shop was forced to close for 14 days after an employee was exposed to someone with Covid-19.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, as a Wisconsin man was booked for his third drunk driving offense for fleeing the scene after running down a teenage girl riding with her mother.

A Chicago man was an accidental victim of gun violence, after he was killed by a stray bullet while riding his bike past a street shooting.

A Maine bicycle coalition is launching a campaign to make it socially acceptable for drivers to slow down and drive the speed limit. Good luck with that.

A New Jersey kid made a troubling discovery when he found a dead body on the side of the road while riding his bike.

Rhode Island restaurant and beverage workers hit a local trail on their bikes, raising $8,000 for bartenders, bars, restaurants and hospitality nonprofit organizations.

New Orleans bike riders rode through the city to demand name changes to streets named after Confederate leaders.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The son of a Miami rabbi, who was a star high school soccer player, died after clinging to life for nearly two months when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike.

 

International

Covid-19 is keeping students in Bolivia out of school. So a bike-riding teacher is bringing school to them.

Police dispatchers in an Ontario, Canada town pitched in to buy a four-year old girl a new bicycle, after some jerk stole the Frozen-themed bike she’d just learned to ride on.

Gordon Ramsey’s one-year old son is one of us now.

The next bike from British motorcycle maker Triumph will have pedals. And be electric.

The coronavirus bike boom has hit Paris, too.

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault is leading an effort to rescue Mavic, the financially troubled French bike component maker.

Model turned Bollywood actress Aisha Sharma is one of us, too.

The Philippine president may be just this side of a dictator, but at least he’s expanding bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

This year’s mountain bike nationals could take the form of a trail time trial in an effort to maintain social distancing. If it happens, which is a big if at this point.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can get an e-foldie for under seven hundred bucks. Your next spokes could be made of plastic.

And Everesting is even harder when there aren’t any hills around.

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

Bike rider dies five days after Jurupa Valley hit-and-run; third Riverside County bicycling death in past week

It’s happened again.

A cowardly Southern California driver fled the scene of a crash, leaving an innocent person dying in the street.

Only this time, it took five days for the victim to pass away.

According to the Press-Enterprise, a man was found lying in the street on the 9400 block of Mission Boulevard in Jurupa Valley around 10:43 pm last Thursday, after reports of a crash involving someone on a bicycle.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was taken to a local hospital suffering from major injuries; sadly, he was pronounced dead on Tuesday.

The driver didn’t bother to stick around.

The suspect vehicle is described as a white 2012-2018 Ford Focus sedan, missing its passenger side mirror; it was last seen driving west on Mission.

Unfortunately, there’s no description of the heartless killer behind the wheel, or any word on how the crash happened.

Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Nancarrow at 941/955-2600.

This is at least the 27th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

It’s also the second Riverside County bicycling death in just the last four days; a third rider was found dead on Saturday after going missing late last month.

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

Update: 21-year old Corona resident killed by hit-and-run driver late Thursday night

Once again, someone on a bicycle has been left to die in the street by a heartless coward.

This time in Corona.

According to a press release from the Corona Police Department, 21-year old Corona resident Benjamin Montalvo was riding south on the 1600 block of Rimpau Avenue with two friends when he was run down from behind by an unidentified driver just before midnight Thursday.

Montalvo died at the scene, while his killer fled without stopping; the suspect vehicle was described only as a dark-colored sedan.

Authorities place the time of the crash around 11:54 pm.

Unfortunately, there’s no other information available at this time.

A street view shows a four lane road with a center turn lane in a business district, transitioning to a residential area a few blocks later. It would likely have been quiet and dark at that hour.

Anyone with information is urged to call Corona Police Officer David Dopson at 951/817-5845, or email David.Dopson@CoronaCA.gov.

This is at least the 25th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: A 22-year old Riverside woman has been arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run after turning herself in Friday night; other charges may be considered. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benjamin Montalvo and all his family and friends. 

Bike rider busted in anti-BLM assault, killer hit-and-run bike rider busted in San Jose, and bike ride for justice in Leimert Park

They got him.

Police arrested the spandex-clad bike rider who assaulted a group of teens on a Maryland bike path.

The victims were putting up posters calling for the prosecution of killer cops when the man ripped them out of their hands, then rammed his bike into the young man filming it.

Anthony Brennan III faces three counts of second-degree assault after police searched his home and found what appeared to be the clothes he was allegedly wearing during the attack.

He was turned in by people in his own neighborhood, despite hiding his helmet under his porch and stashing his bike several blocks away in an attempt to hide his involvement.

Needless to say, he apologized profusely for his “abhorrent” behavior, saying he was “sick with remorse for the pain and fear” he caused.

But only after he was caught, of course.

And to top off his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Brennan was fired from his job with a Pleasanton CA creative marketing job following his arrest.

Unfortunately, however, online efforts to identify the suspect led to at least three people being falsely accused, with threats against people who had nothing to do with the incident.

Something we saw here following the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check, when online sleuths quickly posted the home address and phone number for Dr. Christopher Thompson, who was ultimately convicted for the assault.

Except it was the wrong Dr. Christopher Thompson, leading to threats against an innocent man.

Which should be a reminder to all of us to avoid pointing the finger without proof. And without being absolutely certain it’s the right person.

And don’t threaten anyone, even if you have the right person.

Just don’t.

Today’s photo from comes from David Drexler, who says that’s what the upscale Rapha bike store looks like following last week’s looting, noting the restaurant next door was firebombed.

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Police have arrested a hit-and-run bike rider who fled the scene after a head-on collision with two other riders on a San Jose bike path, which killed one of the two victims.

It’s the second fatal crash San Jose bike path crash in as many weeks.

It’s also yet another reminder that people on bicycles have the same obligation to stop after a crash as someone in a car.

And just like with a driver, what might not have been a crime becomes one the moment you leave without exchanging information.

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The fight for racial justice took to two wheels on Sunday, as hundreds of people turned out on bicycles for a ride through Leimert Park.

https://twitter.com/bRuc14/status/1269457396344033291

The LA Times offers a video report from the scene.

Then again, that wasn’t the only ride calling for justice in South LA on Sunday, with the Compton Cowboys taking their steeds to the streets.

And no, that’s not a bike club. Or a metaphor.

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The good news, there are no cars parked in this DTLA protected bike lane.

The bad news…

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This is who we share the roads with, protest edition.

A Seattle mother was shocked to be arrested for driving off after just “tapping” a group of bike cops with her car at a protest, injuring one officer; it probably didn’t help that she posted video of herself screaming “fuck the police” before the incident.

Then there’s the guy who smashed into a barricade on a Seattle street, and came out of his car swinging a gun around. Update: He did more than brandish his gun; he apparently shot a 27-year old man.

A New York driver forced his way through a group of bike-riding pedestrians, injuring one person.

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New York police arrested a criminal intent on committing mayhem at a Bronx protest.

Or maybe just a bike mechanic.

https://twitter.com/ShaneDPhillips/status/1269078212249653248

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Learn how to elevate black voices this Wednesday.

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

A Florida man faces charges for hurling racial slurs at a black bike rider, then threatening him with a socket wrench and a hockey stick.

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

An Eastvale bike rider faces an attempted murder charge after pulling out a gun out of a purse and shooting at a fleeing motorist, following an argument between them; no explanation of why he was riding with a purse.

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Local

Crosstown takes a look at the dramatic drop in LA traffic that made our streets a veritable paradise for bike riders and pedestrians, and the gradual uptick that’s making our streets more dangerous. You’ll also find your humble host quoted there, but you’ll have to read it to see what I said.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is sort of one of us, buying a Peloton to learn how to ride a bike without fear of falling off after a bad experience as a kid; she also has an adult tricycle, or maybe a bicycle with training wheels. Or both.

 

State

Roughly 1,000 people turned out for San Francisco’s Critical Mass ride Friday evening to honor George Floyd and call for police reform.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 54-year old bike riders was murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

The news was just as bad from Sonoma, as a man was killed when his racing bike was knocked off the road by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

Fuji Bicycles has responded to the protests by suspending sales of police bikes in the US, after police brandished bicycles as shields, weapons and crowd control devices. Meanwhile, Trek is taking heat for failing to take similar action.

Gear Patrol offers tips on how to buy a used bicycle online.

Maybe you should cut back on the long-distance riding if you’re trying to get pregnant; a new study shows high levels of exercise can result in miscarriages in early pregnancy.

A new study shows aerobic exercise — like bicycling — is your best bet for avoiding dementia.

Bike shops have had to adapt on the fly to a new way of doing business during the pandemic, even as demand for bikes has gone through the roof.

Kindhearted police and firefighters in Kansas City, Kansas surprised a nine-year old boy with a new bicycle after his was destroyed when an out of control driver plowed into his bedroom. Probably didn’t do his bedroom much good, either.

Over 700 Michigan bike riders turned out to support victims of police brutality.

A Massachusetts website recommends bikes and accessories for all kinds of riders. But hardly the “best,” despite the headline.

A Niagara Falls man lost his bike when he tried to stop a man from pissing on the sidewalk, and the other man pulled a knife on him and stole his bicycle.

The NYPD has been even more out of control than usual this past week, including arresting a bicycle delivery rider for violating the city’s curfew, even though delivery riders are considered essential workers and he was making deliveries at the time.

Yes, Spike Lee really is one of us, joining in on an NYC protest on his bike.

A New Jersey letter writer say put your damn mask on, already.

A bike rider was killed in Pennsylvania when a speeding, unlicensed driver blew through two stop signs and slammed into him.

A Charleston SC bike shop owner struggled to save a stash of vintage 1970s bicycles from looters and arson, even as they emptied out his retail storefront.

 

International

Former UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva is one of us, crediting his bike helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike; it was his second serious bike crash in four years.

No bias here. A Toronto car columnist says leaders should stop paying attention to what he alleges is the small bike lobby, and pay more attention to the “huge” car crowd. Which is the best way to ensure that traffic congestion, smog and climate change will keep getting worse.

Our neighbors to the north get it. Canada is installing bike lanes across the country on an urgent basis to accommodate commuters afraid to take public transit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A British fashion site recommends the best bikes, whether you’re commuting, running errands or exercising. And want to look good doing it.

Tragic news from the UK, where two men are likely to face a murder charge for beating another man to death on a public street, after an argument over a bicycle.

Bikes are really booming in Great Britain, where bicycle use shot up 300% during the coronavirus lockdown. Which may be why most Londoners support making the city’s temporary bike lanes permanent.

Lisbon, Portugal has unveiled a three million euro plan — the equivalent of $3.39 million — to increase bicycling, including nearly doubling the amount of bike paths over the next year, and offering incentives up to $564 to buy a bicycle.

Bicyclists are heroes in Kyrgyzstan, delivering desperately needed insulin to to diabetic patients in the country’s capital.

They get it. A New Delhi TV station says getting more people on bicycles can prevent a post-coronavirus lockdown traffic congestion crisis.

A single bicycle has helped four generations of a single Indian family get around for the past 70 years.

A Philippine city will now require bikes to be registered before they can be ridden, and will strongly recommend liability insurance.

Avanti has recalled their Corso and Giro models in Australia due to defective seat clamp bolts; no word on whether that recall extends to models sold in the US.

 

Competitive Cycling

If all those protests have inspired you to support greater diversity in cycling, you can start with a fundraiser for LA’s elite Legion of Los Angeles cycling team, which was founded by US track, road and crit champ Justin Williams to bring more people of color into the sport; the crowdfunding campaign has already topped the $50,000 goal, raising more than $52,000 in just two days.

Speaking of Williams, he has some suggestions on how to rethink cycling kits to make it easier for fans to follow their favorite teams and riders.

 

Finally…

Don’t throw your bike at horses, police or otherwise. Then again, don’t throw your bike, period.

And here’s your chance to own Peter Sagan’s papal bike.

Or better yet, just buy it for me.

………

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

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in hit-and-run; driver moved the victim before fleeing

SoCal streets are getting more dangerous as our cities reopen from their Covid-19 slumber.

The latest example comes from San Diego, where a man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike in the city’s Rolando neighborhood Tuesday evening.

According to the Union-Tribune, the victim was riding west on the sidewalk near the Salvation Army Kroc Center on University Ave around 7:05 Tuesday evening, when he allegedly turned in front a westbound driver at University and Alamo Drive.

The driver then got out of his car and moved the victim back into the street, before fleeing the scene. Although why he moved him, and from where, is unclear.

It’s also not clear why the victim would have turned in front of the driver’s car when Alamo exits to the right off westbound University, rather than the left.

The victim died after being taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest; he’s described only as a man who appears to be in his late 40s.

Police eventually found the suspect’s car abandoned a little over a mile away, at El Cajon Boulevard and 68th Street.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon to help clear up the apparent discrepancies.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in San Diego County.

Update: Police arrested a 30-year old man later the same night, alleging he was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash. 

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

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

Covid-19 fuels inequitable urbanist fantasies, YouTube stars recovering from hit-and-run, and carry anything by bike

A powerful piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the coronavirus isn’t fuel for urbanist fantasies.

Instead, the virus is revealing the inequities that have long existed in our cities. And which need to be addressed if we’re going to make any real progress.

Even before the staggering impact of the novel coronavirus had been fully revealed, the people who write and think about cities were busy writing prescriptions for their recovery. But instead of bearing witness to mass death as a moment of reflection, many urbanists are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to accelerate their pre-pandemic agendas—agendas which ignore the issues that made COVID-19 more catastrophic than it should have been.

This was first obvious by early April, as cities including Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago began to report that black and Latino residents were dying at a higher rate than the rest of the population. Latinos, in particular, were at greater risk because they are more likely to work at essential jobs. Living situations—including overcrowding in small apartments due to high rents—were also pinpointed as a reason the virus was ravaging certain communities.

It’s not an easy read.

Especially if you insist on holding on to your own biases. And yes, we all have them.

But it’s important one, if we’re going to build the kind of cities we say we want.

………

YouTube stars Kristin and Marcus Johns are both out of the hospital, a week after they were apparently the victims in last week’s allegedly intentional hit-and-run while riding their bikes in Toluca Lake.

Police chased the suspect, but lost his car somewhere near Universal Studios.

………

Yet more proof you can carry anything on a bike.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s blocked.

View this post on Instagram

Dedicated. 😔

A post shared by Ted Faber (@snorerot13) on

As in this view of the Venice Blvd protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the photo.

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Evidently, kids love gravel biking almost as much as their parents do.

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Local

Metro finally dumps its balky app, replacing it with the popular multi-city Transit app, which includes integrated transportation options like bikeshare, dockless e-scooters and ride-hail services.

An LA Times columnist straps on her face mask and bikes to Venice Beach, questioning why people breaking the rules by tanning on the beach aren’t getting tickets; apparently, talk radio station KFI doesn’t like what she had to say — or the Times, for that matter. Fortunately, she didn’t try riding on the bike path, or she could have been the one getting ticketed. Although that doesn’t seem to be enforced, either. 

A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News complains about over-engineering on the newly reopened and carfree Rose Bowl Loop.

Santa Monica plans to tear down an old church across from Santa Monica College to build low-income housing, with over twice as many bike parking spaces as car parking slots.

Long Beach approves an “open streets initiative,” allowing streets, sidewalks and parking lots to be repurposed for outdoor activities, including dining.

A Redondo Beach motorcycle rider tries out a beach cruiser-style ebike, and finds his commute to Santa Monica takes twice as long, but is much more peaceful.

 

State

Deadly car crashes have spiked in California during the coronavirus lockdown, as relatively empty streets entice too many drivers to put their foot down.

San Diego celebrates Bike Month by unveiling a new Better by Bike campaign. Can’t argue with that one.

A Bay Area street has been closed to car traffic, becoming home to daily cello concerts.

Davis police were able to quickly identify and arrest a thief who broke the window of a bike shop and made off with $1,600 bike. Note to CBS Sacramento — $1,600 is hardly “pricey” anymore. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Police in San Rafael busted two bike thieves using bait bikes. Something that the LAPD has still never tried, over fears of entrapment claims.

A travel website says you’ve got to add Tahoe’s West Shore Bike Cruise to your bike bucket list.

 

National

Inside Edition discovers the current Covid bike shortage, while CBS News picks up on the coronavirus bike boom, while noting that 50% of current riders plan to keep riding when the pandemic ends. Which will hopefully be much closer to sooner than later.

A writer for Grist takes a contrary position, questioning whether Covid-19 will halt the progress towards a carfree future.

Ebikes are the perfect antidote for coronavirus anxiety, according to a writer for a Santa Fe NM paper.

Even though Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Classic scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled, local residents worry mountain bikers will show up and try to do the ride anyway.

A Dallas woman is looking for the Good Samaritan who stayed with her and comforted her after she was hit by a driver, just days after she started riding a bike again.

Ben Stiller recounts how his late father Jerry ran through the streets of New York to chase down the kid who stole Ben’s bike when he was a child — then came back empty handed, saying the kid who stole it needed the bike more than he did.

Slow Streets slowly make their way to Atlanta.

Florida police busted a bike thief who made off with a bike that a woman had ridden across the US; they also recovered the bike — or what’s left of it, anyway.

 

International

Six ways to make city streets safer for pedestrians. And everyone else.

FloBikes tells you how to replace an inner tube. But you already know that, right?

Toronto bike advocates are calling for a two-wheeled post-pandemic future.

Britain’s bike industry is joining together to promote a new PR campaign, telling the public that Bike is Best. Which is true, even if it feels a little grammatically challenged.

British thieves are taking advantage of the bike boom, too, with bike thefts up nearly 50%.

The UK’s Alzheimer’s society says a bike ride or brisk walk three times a week can help stave off dementia in people over 60. So what are you waiting for, already?

An Irish paper says children are the future, so get them on bicycles.

French bike parts maker Mavic may be circling the drain, but a pair of unnamed former pro cyclists may be preparing to ride to the rescue.

A Manila op-ed says a connected bike lane network is just what the Philippine city needs. It’s just what Los Angeles needs, too. But Manila might actually get it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Makes sense. Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says Everesting is having a moment right now because, as George Mallory famously said, it’s there. And nothing else is right now.

Road Bike Action remembers the late, great Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled due to financial problems just in time to avoid being cancelled by Covid-19.

Word has it Lance doesn’t like the way he’s portrayed in the upcoming ESPN documentary about him. Which raises the burning question, who cares?

Rouleur examines the worst bike kit of the modern era.

And the road worlds could be coming back to the US.

 

Finally…

You, too, can be the proud owner of a 1959 Schwinn cruiser bike for the low price of just $800. Bold move, declaring this is Bike Month when there’s only ten days left.

And no, bikes aren’t the new toilet paper.

They’re much harder to use, and nearly impossible to flush.

………

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

Slow Streets finally coming to Los Angeles, face masks now required in LA, and YouTubers injured in hit-and-run

Finally.

Los Angeles County has given a long-overdue blessing to the concept of Slow Streets.

And LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has suggested the city may give them a try.

According to a story from Time Out,

On Wednesday, the county announced that as part of an update to its “safer at home” order, it would allow cities to close off streets to car traffic and temporarily turn them into pedestrian-only areas.

“Local public entities may, if they want to, temporarily close certain streets or areas to automobile traffic and this would allow for increased space for persons to engage in recreational activity that’s permitted by the health officer orders,” said Department of Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer in her daily briefing.

Slow Streets, a term that was virtually unheard of before the concept spread rapidly across a world afflicted by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdowns, are fully or partially closed to motor vehicles to allow people to get outside for a little fresh air and exercise, while providing enough space to allow for social distancing.

Without having to worry about getting run down by a speeding, distracted driver. Or having to leave their own neighborhood.

But as usual, LA appears to be wrapping the concept in needless red tape.

Instead of simply choosing several streets to close down across the city, as countless other cities have done, Los Angeles will make residents apply if they want one near them.

Which may or may not be approved, depending on whatever criteria will be used to vet the request.

Most likely, though, it will depend on whether the local councilmember wants them, in a city where they are virtual kings and queens in their own districts, with the power to bless or kill any street proposal.

So we may be able to get out for a little air soon. But I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet.

As usual, though, this comes because bike and pedestrian advocates fought for it.

………

You’re now going to have to wear a face mask anytime you go outside in the City of Angels.

Although whether that would apply if you’re riding your bike, and not around other people, remains to be explained.

But just like deciding to ride without a helmet, you can expect to be harassed and publicly shamed by self-appointed safety vigilantes if you’re not wearing one.

………

YouTube stars and influencers Marcus and Kristin Johns were both injured by a hit-and-run driver, who they say swerved directly at them in an intentional attempt to run them down as they were riding their bikes.

The driver was apparently fleeing from police following a burglary.

Neither one suffered major injuries, though they were both hospitalized. Unfortunately, however, they don’t give any date or location for the crash.

But it could explain why this story about Monday’s Toluca hit-and-run has unexpectedly blown up, with over 10,000 page views in the last two days.

………

ESPN has released the trailer for their upcoming documentary about Lance Armstrong, titled simply Lance.

Which reminds me of this old classic.

………

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

A pair of “respected” retired woman are suspected of sabotaging a British bike trail by building traps using rocks and branches to stop unsuspecting bike riders.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says there are new bike lanes on two sections of York Blvd in NELA, with a two-block gap on a narrow section in between.

Streetsblog looks at the opening of the Rose Bowl loop to people, not cars. Meanwhile, a Pasadena writer suggests repurposing Old Town’s Colorado Blvd for outdoor dining.

Watchmen actress Malin Akerman celebrated her birthday with an unmasked ride with friends and family through the streets of Venice.

Final Destination star Ali Larter is one of us, riding through Pacific Palisades with her five-year old daughter.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, too, riding with his with wife in Pasadena, with the family dog in tow.

 

State

San Diego is trying to pump new life into May’s moribund Bike Month by encouraging people to try bike commuting. There may never be a better time to give it a shot, with motor vehicle use at a historic low.

He gets it. Writing for a Yucaipa paper, a veteran bike cop says the far to the right law is widely misunderstood, and you’re not expected to be a gutter bunny. Although he may not have used that exact term. But still.

An allegedly intoxicated Fresno teenager hit the trifecta, crashing into a parked car, a bike rider and an apartment complex while fleeing from police; no word on the rider’s condition.

Vallejo’s annual tongue-in-cheek Obtanium Cup bike festival has been cancelled.

 

National

Time to start hoarding bicycles. The Guardian says bike usage is soaring across the US, while Bike says we’re running out of bikes, and it’s not just due to the coronavirus.

Lifehacker offers tips on learning to ride a bicycle, even if you’re an adult. Although once you actually get on a bike, you won’t feel like one.

The Verge says something better may emerge from the ashes of the scooter-sharing industry, which has ground to a halt over coronavirus fears.

A pair of Seattle bike cops are suing the city, alleging they were injured due to poorly maintained bicycles.

Los Angeles isn’t the only city enjoying cleaner air during the coronavirus lockdown. Denver is getting long-overdue relief from the city’s notorious brown cloud.

Evidently, that flawed study that incorrectly asserted that bike helmets reduce head injuries up to 85% will never die, rearing its head once again in an editorial from a Kansas paper. More accurate studies suggest helmets can reduce the risk of head injury 48%, and serious head injury 60%.

An Illinois letter writer complains that bike riders are discriminated against at drive-up windows. Just another example of windshield bias and the hegemony of motor vehicles.

Boston is considering four options to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing, including Slow Streets and pop-up bike lanes.

New York is opening another 12 miles of Slow Streets now to allow for social distancing outside, along with another nine miles of protected bike lanes later this month.

An Alabama man was killed by his neighbor in a shooting that began with a dispute over the victim’s son, who was riding his bike down the street with a slingshot.

That’s more like it. A Florida city is building a new visitor’s center to attract people on bicycles.

 

International

The World Economic Forum suggests the Covid-19 pandemic could usher in a golden age of bicycling.

Cycling News looks at how ebikes are powering a worldwide revolution in post-lockdown transportation.

Road.cc lists their picks for the best road bikes priced from roughly $1,222 to $1,833. Which makes a lot more sense when you consider that translates to a nice, round £1,000 to £1,500 in the UK.

London’s historic Square Mile financial district will block some streets to motor vehicles as the city comes back to life, encouraging people to walk and ride bikes instead of driving.

The Standard says this is a chance for a more bike-friendly London.

A suspected British bike thief experiences instant karma, falling off the bike into a patch of nettles and breaking his ankle as he tried to make his escape.

The Sea Otter Classic is pulling the plug on the inaugural Australian edition of the annual Monterey bike fest.

 

Competitive Cycling

Covid-19 claims another major event with the cancellation of Colorado’s iconic Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

If Oregon gives the okay to resume bike racing, it will be up to promoters to prove the race is safe from the coronavirus.

Cycling News looks back at the first American to ride in the Giro d’Italia, nearly 50 years before the first American team made its debut.

 

Finally…

When protesters try to disrupt your bike shop opening, just give them a deal. Your next ebike could be a balloon that fits in a backpack. No, really.

And this is what happens when someone who’s apparently never ridden a bike tries to design facilities for them.

………

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

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