Tag Archive for James Laing

Breaking news — Stephanie Segal sentenced to 9 years for DUI death of cyclist James Laing

I’ve just received word that Stephanie Segal was sentenced today to nine years in state prison for the drunken hit-and-run death of popular cyclist James Laing.

Laing was riding in a designated bike lane on Agoura Hills Road on October 23rd, 2010, when a car driven by Segal drifted into his lane and hit him from behind before speeding off. Witnesses followed her car to a nearby parking lot where she was arrested with a blood alcohol level of .26 — over three times the legal limit.

According to an attorney who was in the Malibu courtroom, Segal was sentenced to four years for vehicular manslaughter, with a five year enhancement for leaving the scene.

From what I’ve been told, Segal never accepted responsibility for her actions; that, along with the heinous nature of her crime, may have contributed to the unusually stiff sentence.

Finally, a judge has treated the death of a cyclist with the seriousness it deserves. Judge Mira deserves our thanks for sending a strong message that fleeing the scene after killing another human being — especially when drunk — cannot and will not be tolerated by a civil society.

Now if only a few other judges would get the message.

If she serves her full term, Segal will be 53 years old when she gets out of prison.

Maybe by then she’ll finally grasp the needless heartache and loss she caused Laing’s widow, his brothers and sisters, and all those who knew him.

She is scheduled to begin her sentence on April 16th.

Update: The Ventura County Star offers a few more details, including word that Laing’s widow received a substantial settlement prior to the sentencing, according to her attorney, Oxnard-based Mark Hiepler.

“It is our hope that today’s nine-year sentence, as well as the civil accountability, will send a message to the community about the real life consequences of drunk driving,” he said. “The death of James Laing continues to produce an ongoing ripple effect in the lives of his wife, their families, the cycling community, and in the lives of each of his students who admired him.

“It also is our hope that this criminal sentence will force people to be more respectful of the rights of law-abiding bicyclists and cyclists,” Hiepler said.

Stephanie Segal pleads No Contest in last year’s Agoura Hills death of cyclist James Laing

Jim Laing, photo courtesy of his sister Peggy Laing-Krause

It looks like the Laing family may get closure for Christmas.

I heard from a reliable source Wednesday afternoon that Stephanie Segal has entered a plea of No Contest to both counts in the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills last year.

That means she is not admitting guilt in the case, but won’t fight the charges, and will accept the court’s judgment in the case.

The judge has already indicated that he intends to impose a sentence of at least nine years in state prison, with formal sentencing to take place in late January of next year.

Laing was riding on in the bike lane on Agoura Hills Road on the afternoon of Saturday, October 23rd of last year, when he was run down from behind by Segal’s car and died at the scene. She fled the scene, and was followed by witnesses to a nearby parking lot, where she was arrested with a blood alcohol content of .26 — over three times the legal limit.

She almost immediately entered a rehab facility, where she spent much of the past year, whether in a genuine attempt to get help, or a callous — and failed — attempt to get leniency from the court.

By all accounts, Segal has refused to take any responsibility for getting drunk and climbing behind the wheel, let alone needlessly taking the life of an innocent human being.

I’m told that her testimony — against the advice of both the court and her own attorney — in the preliminary hearing was contradictory and confusing, backpedalling repeatedly as she attempted to shift the blame and explain away her actions.

Her attorney seemed to be making the case that she hadn’t attempted to flee, but merely continued driving until reaching a safe place to stop.


Laing’s sister Carolyn also reports that she tried to blame Laing for kicking her Mercedes Benz, which appears to have been a last-ditch effort to push away from her car in a failed attempt to save his own life.

In other words, he saw it coming. And there was nothing he could do.

Somehow, kicking a car in self defense seems to pale when compared to the drunken murder of another person. But Segal still doesn’t seem to get that.

By all accounts, she came off as arrogant and argumentative during her ill-advised testimony; I suspect her attorney strongly advised her to plead guilty to the charges to avoid digging herself in any deeper.

As one person put it to me, failure to do so after her dramatic failure on the stand probably would have been legal malpractice.

Of course, she’s not likely to spend the full term behind bars. The current prison overcrowding problems mean she’s likely to be released long before the nine years are up. And as a non-violent offender, she may even do her time in county jail.

But I wouldn’t count on getting time off for good behavior, either.

We can only hope that she’ll finally grasp the consequences of her actions as she sits in her cell, for however long that may end up being.

But at least the loved ones Jim Laing left behind can finally end this year with the light of a very long and tragic tunnel firmly in sight.

Update: An anonymous comment below indicates that Segal will be required to spend at least 85% of her sentence behind bars due to the nature and severity of her crime, and that the sentencing will take place on January 26th in the Malibu courthouse.

Christine Dahab to face felony DUI charges, ID in July Downtown bike fatality, Cpt. Hines behind bars

Against all odds, justice prevailed in Culver City.

According to the Culver City Patch, Christine Dahab has been charged with felony DUI and DWI in the June collision that left 13 cyclists injured — some seriously — when she plowed into a group of riders stopped on the side of West Jefferson Place.

The DA’s office charged Dahab on Nov. 11 with violating California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (A) [Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol causing injury], and California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (B) [Driving while Intoxicated above a .08 blood alcohol content, causing injury].

Both charges are felonies. Dahab wil be formally arraigned at the Los Angeles Airport Court on Dec. 22.

Many local cyclists had given up on ever getting justice in the case, following an initial finding by the LAPD that the cyclists were at fault for standing in the roadway.

According to the finding, the riders became pedestrians the moment some had dismounted from their bikes to wait for stragglers, and so could not legally stand in the roadway — even though most, if not all, of the riders were waiting in the parking lane rather than the traffic lane.

And police falsely claimed that Dahab’s visibility was limited by a blind curve, even though a subsequent test by local riders made it clear that the cyclists should have been readily visible to any non-distracted driver.

To make matters worse, some irresponsible members of the press quoted an unidentified LAPD officer implying that the riders were engaged in a drunken orgy in the middle of the street, noting the presence of beer bottles and condoms in the area where the cyclists were waiting. Yet failed to observe that the area is a popular hangout for people looking for a secluded place to party, and that they could have been left there days or weeks before.

It’s a slander that has entered the public consciousness, as shown by today’s report by LAist that claimed authorities had “found alcohol, condoms and marijuana used by the group.” Even though no reports at the time had ever connected the objects to the riders themselves.

Fortunately, later examination of the city limits revealed that the collision had actually occurred in Culver City.

And while it may have taken a long time, the results indicate that the CCPD took the matter seriously despite the LAPD’s initial finding, and an investigation hampered by the reluctance of many witnesses to come forward.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.


Thanks to the efforts of cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, we finally have a name for the cyclist who was killed at 8th and Francisco in Downtown L.A. last July.

While the collision was initially reported as collateral damage in a road rage case, the LAPD investigators quickly ruled that out for a lack of evidence, despite witness reports that the driver had been arguing with another driver.

Instead, police investigators ruled that Victor Apaseo-Rodriguez was killed as a result of a narrowed roadway, combined with drivers angling to enter a freeway onramp.

Part of the delay in identifying Rodriguez was the difficulty contacting his next of kin, who lived outside the country. Yet even after they were notified, I was unable to get either the name of the victim or the driver charged with causing his death, despite repeated requests.

Fortunately, Wheels succeeded where I failed.

Acording to Wheels, the driver, Phillip Goldburn Williams, was charged with a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence on October 6th, and arraigned in Metro Court Dept. 60 on October 28th, case number 1MP09818. However, Wheels notes that Williams’ attorney did not enter a plea at that time, and the case has been continued to January 19, 2012.

It will be interesting to watch this case move forward, and see if there’s a reason why authorities were so reluctant to release information that should have been a matter of public record


Speaking of Dj Wheels, we both had a brief scare earlier in the week when it appeared that disgraced Long Beach Fire Captain John Hines had been released on time served, despite a sentence of one year in Orange County jail.

And even that seems like a slap on the wrist for critically injuring cyclist Jeffery Gordon while driving drunk at nearly three times the legal limit — then driving home, reportedly without slowing down, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

This from a man trained to save victims just like the one he caused.

Fortunately, it was all a misunderstanding.

Wheel’s had followed up on Hines’ incarceration, only to discover that the OC Sheriff’s inmate locator page said Hines had been released at 9:40 am on November 30th. What it didn’t say, and what was missing from all the news stories about his sentencing, was that the judge took the current prison overcrowding problems into account in crafting his sentence, and ruled that Hines can spend his time in an approved city jail, monitored by the county probation department.

In effect, it’s a tougher sentence then he would have gotten in county lockup, where Hines could have enjoyed a Lindsay Lohan-like express route through the system, and been released after serving less than half his already light sentence.

Now he will be required to serve out the full time.

Wheels also notes that the judge specifically structured the sentence to prevent Hines from getting credit for his time in rehab. And that his five-year probation following his release won’t be an easy path, but instead will require monthly reporting duties and fees, along with possible warrantless searches — and that any screw-up anywhere along the way could mean an immediate trip to state prison to serve out the remainder of the probationary period.

So maybe, just maybe, this was less a slap on the wrist than a swift kick in the ass.


Despite reports to the contrary, Stephanie Segal has not been sentenced in the death of cyclist James Laing.

There was some confusion when she was expected to plead to guilty at a hearing on November 29th. However, the defense balked after asking the judge for an indicated ruling — that is, an estimate of what the sentence would be if the defendant changed her plea in open court.

When the defense heard a possible sentence in excess of nine years, they immediately withdrew the plea; a preliminary hearing is now scheduled for December 13th.

It sounds like the judge is giving this case the serious consideration it deserves, and for a change, intends to hold Segal fully accountable for getting drunk and killing another human being.

Now if we could just get him to talk with the CHP.


Last night, I received an email from one of the two riders who tried to assist Carol Schreder immediately after the collision that took her life on Mulholland Hwy last Saturday.

In it, he described comforting her until the paramedics arrived, noting that she was unresponsive, but did manage to squeeze his hand as he held hers. He did not want to share the devastating details in the comments on here, but wanted to come forward to help her family and friends as they try to piece together what really happened that day.

Personally, I can’t think of any higher act of kindness that any person could perform than to simply be there for someone so badly hurt, and let her know she’s not alone in her time of need. My heart goes out to him as he continues to struggle with the painful memories of that morning.

As well as my thanks for stepping up to help a total stranger.

He also mentioned that a doctor came along to help before the paramedics arrived, as well as a photographer to took some pictures of the collision scene. And sure enough, earlier this morning I saw a photo posted online that appeared to show Schreder’s bike shortly after the wreck.

While there was nothing identifying it as the bike she’d ridden, it looked identical to her bike in every way, and was dated the same day as her collision.

But what the photo showed was shocking.

While the CHP has stated that the driver’s van and trailer jackknifed, striking Schreder’s bike with the right rear of the van, this photo clearly showed the aftermath of a rear end collision. The rear wheel of the bike was jammed under the van’s left front wheel, and a gash in the frame corresponded to the upper ridge of the van’s front bumper, with the van coming to rest at a nearly 90-degree angle to the side of the road.

Simply put, it would have been physically impossible for the bike to have ended up in that position if the collision occurred the way the CHP described. Which calls into further question their already dubious decision not to file charges or ticket the driver, calling it just an “unfortunate accident.”

Unfortunately, shortly after I emailed the photographer to ask for permission to use his photo, the shot disappeared from his website, and I have not received a response as of this writing.

I can only hope that he will do the right thing.

And regardless of whether he ever lets me share it with you, that he will forward it to the CHP and Schreder’s family, so they can get the justice they deserve in this case.


Finally, in one of the most bizarre cases I’m aware of, a Virginia driver is fined just $500 for recklessly running down a German tourist touring the U.S. by bike — then initially fleeing the scene before returning, claiming he was chasing a mythical driver who forced him off the road.

That’s $500 for putting a visitor to this country into a coma he may never come out of.

And that’s what too often passes for justice for cyclists in America.

No news is good news? Stephanie Segal sentencing delayed

As many of you may know, Stephanie Segal was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday for the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills last October.

However, when there was no word last night on the sentencing, I reached out to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels to see if he’d heard anything. As it turned out, he’d already checked with the court clerk, who informed him that the hearing had been continued to November 29th; no reason was given.

Personally, I’m hoping the judge will give us a strict sentence we can be thankful for around Thanksgiving, instead of a terrifying slap on the wrist just before Halloween.


Wheels also reports that Shawn Fields is appealing his seven-year sentence in the drunken hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Danny Marin, case number B236186. His opening brief is due in mid-December; however, he’s still waiting for an attorney to be appointed, so expect a delay.

And a trial date has finally been scheduled for Patrick Roraff in the alleged street-racing death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado in April of last year. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for December 19, with a trial readiness conference January 20th, and the actual trial is set to begin on January 23rd. As Wheels notes, we’ll have to see how firm those dates turn out to be.

After all, Roraff may have some more soccer matches scheduled.

Getting the royal road treatment from Hollywood police, and encouraging a motorist to drive better

Earlier this week, I was cut off by a driver who pulled out from a side street without ever looking in my direction.

So I jerked on my brakes and yelled out a warning. And he responded by calling me an asshole before speeding on his way.

So let me get this straight.

He drives in a careless manner, putting other people’s lives at risk. But I’m the asshole for trying to avoid getting killed?

Or maybe just being on the planet?

Fortunately, experiences — and drivers — like that are the exception.

Santa Monica Spoke member and bike advocate Eric Weinstein had a couple of much better encounters recently, demonstrating that there is hope for détente on our streets.

And that maybe things are better out there than it seems sometimes.

Sunday I was cycling back from a bar near Universal City. So, I’m southbound on Cahuenga Bvld, through the pass, which I expect to be difficult, with a narrow road and fast cars. Well…the auto traffic is conveniently stopped on most of the downhill portion. About 3/4 of a mile of cars: all nose to tail, not moving at all.

They can’t hurt you if they’re not moving! Nice!

So, I ride between the lanes and arrive at the Hollywood Bowl entrance intersection. There is an event starting, with a bunch of traffic and police types, and everyone waits for quite a few minutes until the cross traffic is stopped. When it’s time to go, the traffic officer points to me and says “You first.” I go, all alone, and she holds the rest for at least 30 seconds, which gives me time to accelerate to speed, take the lane, etc. Nice!

Then I get to Highland and Hollywood Boulevard, where my route turns right. Another line of cars, all turning right, all stopped by a traffic guy and a large bunch of pedestrians in the crosswalk. I cruise up the outside, because you all know you do not want to be between a car and a right turn!

When I get to the head of the line, the cop asks me “ You turning right?” “Yep” I say. Where else would I be going stopped at a right turn. The pedestrian mob ends, and he points to me and says “Go now!” and he holds the rest of the cars until I’m well clear. Nice! And much safer.

Are there new instructions on this to the Hollywood Traffic police? Have any other cyclists been allowed go first like that? This was a great experience! I really felt that a cyclist belonged in traffic.

The following day, I was biking down Colorado in Santa Monica near 20th. It was the part where it’s pretty commercial — the road is two lanes per side with some parking, some curb. It’s reasonably wide.

An unfortunately typical thing happens – the squeeze. When I bike there, I take 1/3 of the lane, putting me just outside the door zone. At almost 20 mph I expect the cars to follow me until there is room to pass in the lane to their left.  When there’s room on my right I put over to let them past.

What surprised me was that a small silver sports car could just squeeze by in the 2/3 of a lane remaining at about 35 mph. Always brings that feeling of mortality when there’s a car zooming by right next to your handlebar.

Sometimes, though, you catch them at the next light. That’s what happened this time, so I put up next to the open passenger side window and say “Hey” to the driver.

The driver is a blond woman, who is hunched over, looking down and texting! She is very, very startled as she realizes someone is talking to her from outside the car and sits up, looking guilty. I say, “You just did the same thing to me back there!”

Pause while she (maybe) remembers passing me a minute ago. If anything she looks more guilty. Next I say “Please don’t text!” She says apologetically “I wasn’t texting back there.”

“Please leave more space when you pass,” I say. “Sorry,” she says. And I think she means it. She really looked very embarrassed.

The light changes, and we drive off. I think she got it.

And, I hope, another driver converted to changing their ways.

Something tells me that the driver I encountered wouldn’t have responded quite so well had I been able to catch him.

Not that I tried, of course.


As you may recall, Stephanie Segal is currently facing charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run for the death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills last year. Laing was riding in the bike lane on Agoura Road when Segal allegedly ran him down, with a blood alcohol content of .26%.

Now, in what promises to be a very emotional day, Victim Impact Statements are scheduled to be heard on September 7th, starting at 8:30 am in Department 1 of the Malibu Courthouse, 23525 Civic Center Way.

Cyclists are urged to attend to show support for the victim and his family. I’m told that a room full of riders in bike jerseys would make a real statement to the court and offer comfort to the family; however, wear long pants, because shorts — bike or otherwise — are not allowed in the courtroom.


Bicycling offers a look at the top contenders and 3 stages to watch in next week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, aka Tour of Colorado. It doesn’t bode well for the Pro Cycling Challenge that another Colorado bike race is sabotaged. Mark Cavendish and his HTC-Highroad team want to win one last grand tour at the Vuelta before the team is dissolved at the end of this season.

And then there’s this:

Q. Do you think Lance cheated?

A. Evelyn Stevens. Marianne Vos. Emma Pooley. Jeannie Longo. Kristin Armstrong.

Those are just five of the hundreds of female pro cyclists who deserve more attention and discussion than the question of whether Lance cheated.

That beautiful, brilliant response comes from competitive cyclist Kathryn Bertine, along with her responses to nine other questions cyclists get asked.


After getting hit by a car 10 years ago, Simon Richardson recovered to become a Paralympic cycling champion. Now he’s fighting for his life, a victim of a hit-and-run collision on Wednesday.


The L.A. Weekly decides the city’s new bike plan is already in trouble, just four months after it was adopted. Richard Risemberg points out that the biking black hole of Beverly Hills has a golden opportunity to do something that would benefit cyclists — and everyone else. Stephen Box says Metrolink passes the bike friendly test. Leading bike scribe and advocate Elly Blue’s Dinner & Bikes tour comes to Santa Monica on Saturday, September 10th; word is another local date is in the works on Monday the 12th. More on Temple City’s plans to construct the city’s first bikeway with separated bike lanes on Rosemead Ave. Long Beach makes a long leap towards livability. The L.A. firefighters riding to New York for 9/11 make a side trip to visit the victims of the Joplin MO tornado.

Two Orange County teenagers are under arrest for shooting passing cyclists with a BB gun. San Diego’s Courteous Mass and Critical Manners ride may not bring about world peace, but it’s a start. A driver gets two-years for killing a cyclist in a Bay Area hit-and-run. A Cupertino cyclist rides across Iowa at age 70 after taking up riding just last winter.

As usual, Bob Mionske nails it with a look at internet trolls who respond to every cycling news story from a highly biased and usually inaccurate windshield perspective. Bicycling says follow this diet, and you’ll be able to ride longer on less food and never bonk. Another example showing cyclists are at least as likely as pedestrians to be seriously injured in a collision between the two; oddly, I don’t hear anyone calling for dangerous scofflaw pedestrians to be taxed and licensed. Five easy steps to buying your next bike; they forgot to mention step six, which is finding a way to pay for it. After the rear cyclist on a tandem is killed in a collision, a witness is arrested for going through their belongings. So let me get this straight — did a teenage cyclist riding in a crosswalk dart out and hit a passing truck, or did the driver ignore the girl riding in the crosswalk and cut her off? Springfield Cyclist asks if you’ve ever done anything dumber than locking your bike to a post without the key; maybe that’s what happened here. An Ohio driver is charged with killing a bike-riding judge while driving with a blood alcohol content of nearly .29. New York cyclists may have won the lawsuit over the popular Prospect Park West bike lanes, but some local residents still think they suck — the cyclists and the bike lanes, that is. The sore losers at the Daily News complain about NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s highhanded ways; then again, they’d probably complain if she picked up the tab for drinks. Our North Carolina friend Zeke points out that road rage is relative, as drivers patiently line up behind a slow moving tractor without a single horn or finger.

A Canadian cyclist is injured after firecrackers are thrown from a passing car. A Vancouver cyclist is fighting British Columbia’s mandatory helmet law in court; although a little helmet hair isn’t a bad trade-off when your skull is at stake. A 10-year old Brit cyclist is impaled on his handlebars; fortunately, he’ll survive, but this seems to happen far more often than it should. Cyclists and driveways don’t have to be in conflict. Sydney bike riders would feel safer using the city’s bikeways if pedestrians and buses wouldn’t.

Finally, genius must have skipped a generation, as a bike thief is arrested after mentioning on his Facebook page that the bike he’s trying to sell is stolen.

And after nearly getting turned into bug splatter by a stop sign-running VW Beetle on my way home Wednesday night, I’ve come to the conclusion that my last words on this planet may very well be “Oh fu…!”

But then, aren’t we supposed to be the ones who run stop signs?

Legal update: DUI driver arraigned for injuring Adam Rybicki, Valencia sentencing today

These days, it seems like there are as many court cases involving cyclists than there are riders on the streets.

Fortunately, cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels has done his usual great job of keeping us up to date with the latest legal proceedings — including charges against the under-aged, allegedly intoxicated driver who ran down who hit Adam Rybicki head on, and Thursday’s sentencing for Marco Antonio Valencia, convicted in the hit-and-run DUI death of Joseph Novotny.

Editor’s Note: While Dj Wheels provided updates on these cases, any commentary or information beyond the actual status of the cases are mine. So blame me, not him.

Jaclyn Andrea Garcia:  Charges were filed May 19th at the Torrance Courthouse for the DUI collision that critically injured cyclist Adam Rybicki this past April. The Supervising Judge recused all the judges there from hearing the case, with no public explanation for his actions; however, rumor has it that Garcia’s mother is a court reporter in Torrance, which would explain the recusal.

As a result, arraignment was held Tuesday in Department 5 of the Inglewood Courthouse, Case #YA081126. Garcia’s attorney, George Bird, entered a plea of not guilty to all four counts:

1) CVC 23153(a) – DUI w/ injury
2) CVC 23153(b) – DUI w/ BAC over .08 and injury
3) CVC 23153(a) – DUI w/ injury
4) CVC 23153(b) – DUI w/ BAC over .08 and injury

Bird also informed the court on the record that his client has voluntarily surrendered her driver’s license, entered into a three-month alcohol program, voluntarily attended 18 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and has begun electronic alcohol monitoring with the SCRAM device made famous by Hollywood’s favorite outlaw.

Too bad it’s just a little too late.

Had Garcia sobered up a few months earlier, Adam Rybicki might not be in a coma right now, the victim of a 20-year old woman still drunk and behind the wheel at 7:15 in the morning.

And you can bet that none of the actions Garcia took in surrendering her license or entering rehab were her idea; it was no doubt ordered by her attorney in an attempt to show remorse and get his client released with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

After all, it’s worked for any number of Hollywood celebrities, whose first stop after hitting the tabloids is usually a stint in luxury rehab.

And by all accounts, Garcia’s high-priced attorney knows what he’s doing. Maybe if Dr. Thompson’s attorney had ordered him straight into rehab, he might be a free man today.

Let’s hope that the court takes this case seriously, and doesn’t let yet another driver buy her way out of taking responsibility.

Speaking of the infamous Good Doctor:

Dr. Christopher Thompson:  The date for oral arguments has been continued upon the court’s own motion in the appeal of Dr. Thompson’s conviction for intentionally injuring two cyclists in Mandeville Canyon by slamming on his brakes in front of them.  The new date is now 6/29/11.

Marco Antonio ValenciaValenica was convicted last month in the hit-and run DUI death of cyclist Joseph Novotny. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for today (Thursday) at the San Fernando Court; he faces up to 24 year to life in prison.

Shawn Fields:  Fields is charged with the hit-and-run DUI death of 17-year old cyclist Danny Marin in Pacoima last October. Fields reportedly told investigators that he thought he might have hit something, because he remembered seeing sparkly dust flying over him — from the windshield shattered by Marin’s body. Pretrial/Trial Setting Conference is scheduled for 6/22.

Patrick Roraff & Brett Morin:  Roraff and Morin are charged with causing the death of rising pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado in April of last year. The two were allegedly street racing when Roraff lost control and slammed into Alvarado, who was riding on the opposite shoulder. Pretrial conference is scheduled for 7/7.

Stephanie Drew Segal:  Segal is charged with the hit-and-run DUI death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura last year (notice a theme here?). She allegedly plowed into Laing after leaving a local wine tasting room, and entered into a rehab facility after her arrest. Preliminary setting is scheduled for 6/28; Wheels notes that the docket says the DA has been ordered to have victims present, which is unusual for this type of hearing.

Renato Demartino:  Demartino is charged with the hit-and-run death of 22-year old cyclist Marco Acuapan, who died in April, four months after he was allegedly hit by Demartino’s car while riding in a bike lane in Tustin. A pretrial conference scheduled for 6/1.

Danae Marie Miller:  Miller is charged with the death of world-class triathlete Amine Britel; she was allegedly drunk and texting when she rear-ended Britel, who was riding in a marked bike lane. Pretrial conference scheduled for 7/15.

Captain John David Hines:  Hines, a Long Beach Fire Captain, is accused of plowing into cyclist Jeffrey Gordon, then fleeing the scene, despite legal, and professional, obligations to stop and render aid. He had allegedly been drinking for hours in a local bar before getting behind the wheel, and had a BAC of .24 at the time of his arrest — three times the legal limit. And once again, he reportedly checked into rehab right after his arrest. Pretrial conference scheduled for 6/17.

Satnam Singh:  Singh is charged with killing 20-year old college student Nick Haverland in yet another hit-and-run DUI — this time, in a hit-and-run rampage involving three separate collisions in a matter of minutes that left five people injured and Haverland dead. Pretrial conference scheduled for 6/14; Singh remains in custody with the Ventura County Sheriff.

Cyclist killed in Indio area, suspected Jim Swarzman killer released, Marco Antonio Valencia on trial

I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to write this.

Last night, the CHP reported a collision involving a cyclist in the Indio area; the cryptic feed indicated that the coroner had been called.

As I searched for confirmation, though, I found another report online that said the coroner call had been cancelled, and the rider had been transported to the hospital with major injuries. The CHP feed was later updated to indicate that, as well.

Unfortunately, the good news didn’t last.

According to a story in the Desert Sun, 39-year old Travis Carroll was pronounced dead at 8:17 last night, after being hit by a van while riding on Avenue 42 in Bermuda Dunes. The collision occurred between Washington and Adams Streets at around 7:35.

The sparse description of the collision in the Desert Sun doesn’t really make sense.

The paper reports that Carroll was riding on the north side of the street, which suggests he would have been riding west if he was riding with traffic. He then reportedly began riding southeast, which would mean he either had to make a U-turn, or had actually been riding against traffic and drifted across the roadway before being struck by the west-bound van,

However, that raises the question of why he would cross the path of an oncoming vehicle which should have been clearly visible as he faced it — especially since the paper reports that alcohol does not seem to be a factor.

According to reports, the investigation is ongoing.


The same day Encino endurance cyclist Jim Swarzman was laid to rest at Forrest Lawn, word came that the driver suspected of killing him was released from custody.

According to San Diego’s KGTV, Joseph Ricardo Fernandez was released at the last moment before being arraigned. Reportedly, the reason stemmed from the three day limit authorities have to file charges after taking the suspect into custody.

The station indicates that the delay is due to ongoing forensic work to ensure that Fernandez’ Dodge Ram 1500 pickup was in fact the vehicle that took Swarzman’s life; following that, the DA needs to be able to show that Fernandez was actually the one behind the wheel.

I would hope that they are also investigating his actions before the collision; I suspect they may find that he was drinking heavily.

The reports I’ve heard say the collision was extremely violent; I’ll spare you the details, but it would have been virtually impossible for the driver to have been unaware he hit something, putting to question Fernandez statement to the police that he thought he might have hit something.

Unless he was in a significantly altered state, the driver had to know damn well that he hit something, making his flight afterward a purely intentional — and illegal — act.

The investigation is ongoing, and I have no reason to believe the San Diego DA’s office isn’t taking this case very seriously. But we may want to keep on top of it, just in case.


I’ve been on the run the last few weeks, and haven’t had a chance to update the ongoing legal cases (my apologies to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, who has done a great job of keeping me abreast of the ongoing cases).

Wheels reports that the trial has begun in the case of Marco Antonio Valencia, charged with killing Joseph Novotny and seriously injuring three other riders in an alcohol and drug-fueled hit-and-run.

The Signal reports on yesterday’s testimony from the surviving riders; it’s difficult to read, but offers the clearest picture yet what happened on that tragic day. Here’s one brief excerpt:

Chad Lewin, 25, was riding in front of Munana and Novotny during the ride.

As Lewin was riding around a right turn, he saw the bicyclist in front of him slam on his brakes abruptly.

To avoid crashing, Lewin testified that he swerved into the roadway to his left to avoid crashing.

In an instant, he was knocked to the ground by the truck. As he slid, Lewin said his skin was ripped off — in some instances to the muscle.

“As I was sliding backward, I saw Joe 20 feet in the air and hit the mountainside,” Lewin said.

Dj Wheels has been attending some of the court sessions, and offers these thoughts:

It appears that Valencia’s defense will mainly focus on avoiding the “Watson” 2nd degree murder charge by arguing that although he was awake and able to drive, he was not “conscious” of his actions and thus did not have the required specific intent for murder, which would be implied malice.

I don’t know all the case law on these types of DUI murder charges, but essentially Watson says when you have been previously convicted of DUI, you should know all ready that driving drunk can cause serious injury or death, which would establish the intent requirement of malice.  The CA legislature later enacted CVC 23103.5.  As a resulty, many county courts and district attorneys offices for several years now have required defendants to sign a declaration admitting that you acknowledge these risks and that you may be charged with murder if someone dies as a result of their drunk driving.  I believe this declaration can also be used as evidence.

However, under CA Jury Instructions 8.47 says “If you find that a defendant, while unconscious as a result of voluntary intoxication, killed another human being without intent to kill and without malice aforethought, the crime is involuntary manslaughter.”

So my guess is that the defense will try to establish that none of the witnesses actually saw the driver of the vehicle (specifically his face/body) in the seconds before the collision and during the collision in order to establish a reasonable doubt about whether he was indeed “conscious.” I think the only defense witness will be the expert who will testify that someone can be unconscious due to voluntary intoxication, but still be awake.

As long as we’re on the subject of biking collisions and court cases, we might as well keep going.

Danae Marie Miller will be arraigned today on one count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated in the death of world-class trialthlete Amine Britel in Newport Beach last month. She’s currently out on $100,000 bail.


John Stesney reports that a pretrial hearing is scheduled next week in the death of local scientist and cyclist Doug Caldwell. The hearing for accused driver Gordon Catlett Wray will take place at the San Fernando Courthouse, 900 Third Street in the city of San Fernando, on Wednesday, April 20th at 8:30 am, case #0SR05313.

My sources indicate that despite numerous questions that have been raised that the defendant was using a cell phone at the time of the collision, the prosecutor either can’t get the records, or won’t request them for some reason — even though they could offer proof of distracted driving in fatal collision.

Maybe a few cyclists in the courtroom could stiffen the DA’s resolve, and show how seriously we’re taking this case.


Dj Wheels reports that Shawn Fields was arraigned on March 30th for the heartbreaking hit-and-run death of 17-year old Danny Marin in Pacoima last year; a description of the injuries suffered by Marin — again, I’ll spare you the details — suggests another extremely violent collision.

Wheels offers some revealing testimony from the case:

According to the arresting officer, Fields was asleep at home by the time they arrived at the location where the vehicle was registered. He wouldn’t wake up at first after knocking and banging on the windows from where they could see him sleeping.  Fields also volunteered a statement before being taken to the police station that he shouldn’t have driven home because he had too much to drink at a wrap up party at the Roosevelt in Hollywood. He also saw many bottles of various alcoholic beverages inside Field’s house.

Also, the officer that administered the breath test at the station noted that his BAC was .14/.15 at about 4:15 a.m. The collision occurred about three hours earlier.

The investigating officer who interviewed Fields at the station also testified. Fields told him he got to the party around 10pm and drank a long island ice tea, a red label whiskey, a gin and tonic, beer and some water before leaving. After walking out, he had a bacon wrapped hot dog on the street, threw up on himself, debated whether to drive home, waited in his car for a while then finally drove.  He did not have a recollection of actually driving home, but recalled he may have hit something because he remembered being at a stop light close to home and looking at sparkly dust on his arms from the shattered front windshield.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 28th at 8:30 am in the San Bernardino Superior Court in the case of Patrick Roraff and Brett Michael Morin for the street racing death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado last April.


A preliminary hearing is also scheduled for May 11th in the case of Stephanie Segal, charged in the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills last October.


Jim Lyle forwards news that Richard Schlickman, the cyclist critically injured when he lost control of his bike due to newly installed speed bumps in Palas Verdes Estates, is showing amazing progress and determination, and may be transferred to a rehab facility by the end of the month.


Meanwhile, reports are that your prayers continue to be needed for Adam Rybicki, critically injured by an alleged underage drunk driver in Torrance on April 3rd.

Breaking News — Charges filed against Stephanie Segal in the death of cyclist James Laing

Somehow, this one slipped past us.

Along with a number of other cyclists, I’ve been carefully following the case of Stephanie Segal, the driver accused of killing James Laing in a drunken Agoura Hills hit-and-run last October. And wondering why it was taking the DA so long to file charges in a case that seemed so open and shut.

Wonder no more.

The question isn’t when charges will be filed, but why no announcement was made.

After doing a little digging — okay, a lot of digging — cyclist and attorney Dj Wheels discovered that charges were filed on December 27, and Segal was formally arraigned last Thursday. She pleaded not guilty to one count of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, PC 191.5(a); and one count of felony hit-and-run with injury, CVC 20001(a), and is scheduled to appear for a Preliminary Hearing Setting on March 3rd.

More interesting, perhaps, is that the case is being heard at the same Malibu Courthouse where Robert Sam Sanchez was convicted in the hit-and-run death of Rod Armas — and by the same judge that sentenced Sanchez to 4 years after he pleaded no contest to hit-and-run with injury and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Although I doubt there are very many people in cycling community who would be satisfied with four years in this case.

Wheels also notes that the judge has ordered Segal not to consume alcohol or controlled substances without a valid prescription, and that she has entered a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility, and was ordered not to leave without the permission of the court or program director.

In other words, she seems to be playing the same Get Out of Jail Free card favored by countless celebrities, entering rehab in hopes of leniency from the court.

The problem is, she may — or may not — sober up. But James Laing will still be dead simply because she chose to get drunk and get behind the wheel — then fled the scene, leaving a husband, son and brother to die in the street.

So let’s hope the judge is too smart to fall for that one.

But let’s make sure they know we’re watching, just in case.


In other news, the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee offers up a very full agenda for their meeting Tuesday night at the Community Room of the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Avenue. The meeting is open to the public and cyclists are encouraged to attend.


The sister of fallen cyclist James Laing pauses to say thank you

Jim Laing, photo courtesy of his sister Peggy Laing-Krause

Chances are, you didn’t notice it.

It was just a comment that appeared on here Monday, on a story I wrote a couple weeks ago. But who wrote it, and what she had to say, speaks volumes.

It seems like such small and insignificant gestures to install a ghost bike or hold a ride in memory of a fallen cyclist. Not nearly enough to ease our overwhelming sadness and anger, or bring comfort to the families of the victims.

Let alone result in real change on our roads to keep it from happening again.

Then I read this comment from Peggy Laing-Krause, the sister of James Laing — the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk driver in Agoura Hills last month:

What a beautiful tribute to my brother to ride in his honor and visit the accident site.  I have come down from Sacramento 3 times since Jim’s death and each time I visit the site, it has grown larger than the last. So touching to me, and to my family who live in So. Cal., to see the compassion from all the riders.  Being an avid cyclist myself, I know of the close unity that exists in the bicycling community… no matter where you live.  Thank you for your tremendous support and thoughtful coverage of Jim’s accident.  You ARE making a difference.

I must have read that a dozen times over the past couple days. And it’s brought a tear to my eye every time.

And yes, it makes me feel even more guilty that I wasn’t able to be there for the memorial ride.

So to the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club, who sponsored the ride in memory of James Laing, and the Bicycle Johns Agoura Hills, who went out of their way to accommodate the riders and make it happen — thank you.

And to everyone who has taken the time to remember James, Danny Marin, Michael Nine or any of the far too many other riders who’ve fallen on SoCal streets in recent months, in whatever way, take just a moment to take Peggy’s comment in.

You are making a difference.

For the families of the victims. And for all of us.


After his eponymous bike team imploded in a disastrous year with the death of team member Jorge Alvarado and the very public confession of Floyd Landis, who was hired to join the team this year, Compton’s own national criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati rebounds by joining the SoCal-based SKLZ-Pista Palace team.

Meanwhile, Fabian Cancellara joins the Schleck brothers in the new Luxembourg-based team. And UCI president Pat McQuaid calls Landis a liar; after Floyd denied doping for so long before finally coming clean — and pointing a finger at virtually the entire peloton — doesn’t that go without saying?


LACBC helps put more bike racks in Pico Union, and offers advice on how to find the right frame size. Metro’s bike program is now under new management. The 4th Street Bike Boulevard comes another step closer to reality as LADOT doubles the sharrows on the street and adjusts signal detectors to recognize bikes. CicLAvia invites you to help bring the event to South L.A. Gary reminds everyone about the open house for the Santa Monica bike action plan, and as he reported last week, riding on the sidewalk in Santa Monica will now be an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. A call for better buses and bikes in L.A. instead of expensive trains. GT takes a shine to his trainer. UCLA will screen The Triplets of Bellevue on Friday. Long Beach’s Hub co-op invites you to recycle your bicycle. Claremont Cyclist looks at the Gene Galindo Memorial Turkey Trot Cross; so does the Glendale News-Press.

San Jose is just the latest California city to drop bike licensing. Is there really a conflict between lycra and tweed? Cyclelicious offers his own bike routing map, so see if it works better for you than Google’s bike directions — it did for me. A Redding cyclist dies after a Monday hit-and-run (3rd item), and police identify the victim by his keys; another reminder to always, always carry ID when you ride.

People for Bikes reaches 150,000. NPR looks at the bike commuting phenomenon. Unlike our counterparts overseas, Americans aren’t stealing and trashing bike share bikes. Turning campaign signs into bike fenders, among other things. A 72-year old Missoula woman rides 3,000 miles this year alone. Madison WI police arrest the city’s notorious Bike Path Flasher. A 71-year old cyclist is found dead from a bullet wound in a deer hunting area near Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at ghost bikes. An Op Ed in the NY Daily News examines why New York needs to make room for cyclists, while the city passes a law forcing the NYDOT to explain why streets are chosen for “rampant” bike lanes and pedestrian plazas. A cyclist breaks her collar bone, and questions why cycling accidents are different from other injuries; thanks to Stanley for the heads-up. Residents fight a bike bridge because it could bring outsiders and crime from the other side of the river. A Louisiana sheriff continues a two-decade tradition of giving donated bikes to area children.

An Ontario hockey team honors their teammate killed while riding his bike. A Toronto cyclist says drivers must love bike lanes, since they use them so often to pick up their cleaning or make a call. In a case of the rich getting richer, the Dutch government commits to spending €80 million on new bike routes. How to avoid buying a stolen bike. Road.cc offers a gift list for discerning cyclists. The London Assembly questions the safety and value of the city’s new cycle superhighways. Danny MacAskill rides the streets of London as only he can. Someone is causing flats by spreading metal screws on the streets of a UK town. A New Zealand teen accepts the blame after a riding collision leaves him “broken.” Presenting the hubless, belt-drive bike of the future. Now that’s what I call a bike calendar.

Finally, Commute by Bike examines four myths about helmets and safety, and discovers that the subject is more controversial than they thought. And bike lawyer Bob Mionske nails it when he says people who ask if a cyclist was wearing a helmet in a collision might as well ask if he was wearing a magic talisman.

Happy Chanukah!

Memorial ride for James Laing, and why it’s important to remember those who died

Jim Laing, photo courtesy of his sister Peggy Laing-Krause

Late word is that the memorial ride for James Laing scheduled for Saturday morning will be held rain or shine.

Sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club, the easy, 16-mile ride is being held in memory of the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver in Agoura Hills on October 23rd, and will visit the roadside memorial where he was killed. The ride is scheduled to begin at 8 am at the Agoura Hills Bicycle John’s, 29041 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be there; if you can’t, or if you read this later, I hope you’ll join me in offering a short prayer or a moment of silence for Jim, his wife Lulu and all of their family and loved ones.


A couple of friends raised a good point lately.

They said that, while they enjoy reading about biking in this overgrown traffic-choked city we call home, it’s depressing to read about the seemingly endless barrage of deaths on SoCal streets lately.

I couldn’t argue with them; that’s something I’ve worried myself. And trust me, if you think it’s depressing reading things like that, try writing about them.

So let me explain why I do it.

It’s certainly not to suggest that cycling is dangerous. The number of people killed or injured on bikes pales in comparison to the number of miles we ride every day. And as studies have shown, the benefits of bicycling more than outweigh whatever risks we may face on the roads.

Though you can certainly improve your odds by doing simple things like using lights after dark, signaling, stopping for red lights and riding with traffic.

But there are reasons why these stories need to be told.

First, it’s import to remember the victims.

Except in rare cases, traffic fatalities seldom make the news. Or if one does, it’s usually just a few paragraphs buried in the paper or on a news website.

If you’ve been a reader here for awhile, you may have noticed that few things offend me more than a news report that doesn’t tell you much more than someone was killed while riding a bike.

Nothing about how it happened or why, or who was responsible; nothing about the victim or the heart-wrenching hole that’s been torn in the lives left behind. Sometimes, not even a name, or any follow-up once it’s released.

On rare occasions, the press gets it right. Other times, I feel like someone has to make sure they aren’t forgotten. And when I look around, I see that someone is usually me.

I’ve received enough comments and emails from family and friends of the various victims to know that it offers at least some comfort to know that someone, even a total stranger, cared enough to say something.

Second, I want to put whatever pressure I can on the mainstream media to same them into reporting these stories.

Somehow, we long ago reached the point where traffic fatalities ceased to be news. The 33,000 or more deaths that occur on American roads each year have come to be seen as collateral damage, the cost of getting from here to there — if we even stop to think about it at all.

We don’t want to consider the carnage on our highways, or the 93 people who leave home every day and never return.

But it’s something we have to think about, because the cost is too damn high.

The average American driver has long ago forgotten that a motor vehicle is an exceptionally dangerous thing. When we look at our cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, we see friendly, almost anthropomorphic machines that carry our loads and get us where we want to go.

And no one ever looks in the mirror and sees a careless, distracted or overly aggressive driver.

But maybe we should.

It’s responsibility of the press to be that mirror, and force us to take a cold, hard look at ourselves. Even if we don’t like what we see.

It may be too much to ask them to report on each of the nearly 31,000 or more fatal collisions every year (the numbers don’t add up because some collisions result in more than one death). But the relative handful of bicycling deaths — 630 nationwide last year — can, and should be, reported.

Because along with pedestrians, we’re the ones most vulnerable to the actions and distractions of those with whom we share the road.

Finally, it has to stop.

No one should have to risk their life simply because he or she decided to go out for a bike ride, or chose to benefit our city and planet by choosing a healthier and less harmful mode of transportation.

Compared to 33,000 total traffic deaths, 630 may not seem like much. But even one death is one too many — let alone 14 in the last four months alone.

As others have pointed out, the death of a cyclist is no more tragic than the death of pedestrian or a motorist, or any of the other countless accidental or violent deaths that occur in our cities everyday.

I learned a long time ago, though, that I can’t fight every fight, no matter how much I may care. But this is one I can take on.

I’m a cyclist, and this website is about bicycling.

That makes it my fight.

Our fight.

And I intend to do everything in my power to make sure that the last bike death was the last bike death.

If we can do that, then the loss of people like Jim Laing and Danny Marin may not feel any less tragic or heartbreaking than they do today.

But maybe, just maybe, some good will come out of them.


In a non-bike related case, a driver with two previous DUI convictions gets 15 years to life for causing a fatal freeway collision by trying to pass rush hour traffic on the shoulder at over 70 mph while high on grass and prescription drugs.


Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Flying Pigeon sponsors its next Get Some Dim Sum Ride on Sunday, November 20th, including a visit to the Arroyo Arts Collective 18th Annual Discovery Tour; riders meet at 10 am at Flying Pigeon LA, 3714 N. Figueroa St. in Highland Park.

Flying Pigeon and the Bike Oven host the free Spoke(n) Art Ride on the 2nd Saturday of every month; the next ride will take place on Saturday, December 11th, starting 6:30 pm at 3714 N. Figueroa St. in Highland Park.

Bike Long Beach sponsors a two part Traffic Skills 101 Course to teach cyclists how to ride in traffic. November’s session has been cancelled due to expected rain; the next class is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15th from 6 – 8 pm, with part two following on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 9 am – noon at Cal State Long Beach.

Mark your calendar for the LACBC’s all-day Holiday Open House on Tuesday, December 28th at the Library Alehouse, 2911 Main Street in Santa Monica. Festivities begin at 11 am and continue until closing with great food and beer, fun and raffle prizes; a percentage of the days sales will be donated to the LACBC.

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside, exhibition continues through December 31st.

The Bikerowave will ring in 2011 with a New Years Eve party, starting at 8 pm on December 31st at 12255 Venice Blvd.


Damien Newton presents three more candidates to lead LADOT; lets just hope the Mayor reads Streetsblog. Bicycle Kitchen still has workshops open this month, including one Saturday morning on wrenching bottom brackets and headsets. And I though getting a flat from a late night pothole was a problem. CicLAvia explores uncharted territory, as the biking community finally discovers South L.A. Work starts on the northern extension of the Orange Line Bikeway. Bikes and ebikes crash the L.A. Car Show. Pasadena City College students discuss why they ride. Bike-banning USC may soon provide cyclists and pedestrians with their own bike boulevard; maybe one day they’ll even be a Bike-Friendly University, but I’d put my money on UCLA first. Charlie Gandy invites you to ride Long Beach in search of the perfect tres leche. Just Another cyclist covers the vital topic of bike lights, particularly now that it’s getting dark earlier. A Palo Alto cyclist is hit by a salmon hit-and-run driver. To clip or not to clip, that is the commuting cyclists’ question. San Francisco cyclists get five new green boxes on Market Street.

Sure, you can prepare your bike for winter storage, but why would you — especially if you live in L.A.? Good advice: grant yourself permission to be a beginner. Helmet cams and carbon wheels for junior racers won’t be banned after all. A comparison of bike commuting benefits in the US and the UK. A Portland writer says please don’t dump your trash in the bike lane, or you’ll hurt his dad. Serial numbers and Samaritans unite three hot bikes with their owners. An OKC thief makes his getaway by bike with a large flat-screen TV. A Chicago cyclist decides to keep riding after getting doored. People for Bikes offers an introduction to federal funding for bicycling, while Streetsblog DC says the GOP wants to take transportation funding back to the 1950s and an influential group fights bike projects in the district. A DC cyclist gets hit by a cab, then ticketed while still in the hospital — without ever speaking to a cop about the collision. Family members question whether a rider’s apparent solo accident was actually a homicide.

A Toronto cyclist killed in a collision with a streetcar may not have been able to see the traffic signal. Alejandro Valverde fails to overturn an Italian doping ban. Biking Barcelona’s beachfront bikeway. After a Kiwi cyclist is fatally doored, officials decide to remove the offending parking spots. Unbelievably, the Singapore driver who hit a cyclist, bouncing him off her windshield, before driving home with the bike still stuck under her car, gets off with an $800 fine. Pneumatic tires — like the ones on your bike — were invented because John Dunlop Jr. had a bumpy ride on his trike.

Finally, to help get you in the mood for the upcoming holiday season, how about a Christmas tree made entirely of bikes?