Tag Archive for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong

Healthy Streets LA submits signatures, moves forward in city council; and Moriah “Mo” Wilson killer busted in Costa Rica

So, did I miss anything last week?

Thankfully, my head and stomach finally returned to their standard state late last week, after doing my best to sleep it off all week. 

Now we’re back, with a lot to catch up on.

And no, that fool photo up there refers to the following story, not me. Although the resemblance is uncanny. 

Photo by 1195798 from Pixabay.

………

As a former president famously said, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…won’t get fooled again.”

Let’s hope we don’t.

It was more than a decade ago when a group of LA bicyclists calling themselves the Bike Writers Collective developed the Cyclists Bill of Rights, calling for common sense entitlements for people who ride bikes.

(Full disclosure, I was briefly a member of the group after this Bill of Rights was written.)

Like the right to “travel safely and free from fear”, the “full support of the judicial system,” and the “right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.”

It made so much sense, it was provisionally adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2008.

Which is apparently what they do when they want to make something go away.

The proposal was sent to the city attorney’s office for review, before being routed to various city agencies and council committees, with an ultimate goal of writing it into city code and including it in the upcoming 2010 bike plan.

And that was the last anyone ever heard of it.

Which should serve as fair warning as the city considers preemptively adopting the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

This past week, Streets For All submitted over 102,000 signatures in support of the proposal, which would require the city to implement the long-forgotten mobility plan whenever a street mentioned in it is resurfaced.

Assuming enough signatures are validated, it would go before city voters, possibly as early as this fall.

But that’s where it gets interesting.

Because before the public has a chance to vote on it, it will go before the city council, who will have the option of adopting it outright.

If they do, it will immediately become law, and require a vote of the public before it can be modified or repealed.

Meanwhile, the city has also voted to move forward with their own version of the plan, based on the Healthy Streets initiative.

The motion, which passed unanimously — although safe streets opponents Paul Koretz and the recently defeated “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo were absent, along with former mayoral candidate Joe Buscaino — sends it back to the city attorney’s office to draft it into an ordinance.

Sound familiar?

The council will have the option of adopting the Healthy Streets plan, their own plan, or approving both. Or neither., for that matter

According to Streetsblog, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says the best approach would be for the city to adopt them both.

“There are things in the ordinance, good things, that aren’t in the initiative,” explained Schneider after delivering the signatures earlier today. His advice to the Council? “Adopt ours, and then adopt yours as the implementation mechanism.”

The worst option would be for the city to approve a watered down, toothless version of the ordinance that would allow them to back out of implementing the plan whenever a councilmember decides it would be inconvenient to someone — whether motorists, police or the fire department.

Which could be altered or revoked by future council action at any time.

And which is pretty much what we have right now, resulting in less than 3% of the mobility plan being striped, seven years after it was adopted. And just 13 years before it’s supposed to be completely built-out.

Which means, if the city does adopt a weak-ass version, it will be up to the voters to correct their mistake.

So it’s great that the city is moving forward with their own version of the Healthy Streets LA proposal.

But it’s up to us to stay on top of them, and at the same time, keeping moving forward on the ballot initiative, to ensure we don’t get fooled again.

Or as another former president put it, “Trust, but verify.”

………

While we were gone, Kaitlin Marie Armstrong was busted in Costa Rica, after 43 days on the run for the May killing of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

The 34-year old fugitive was captured at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas.

Armstrong was reportedly traveling on a borrowed passport under an assumed name. She was returned to the US to face murder charges.

Wilson was repeatedly shot, apparently in a fit of jealousy for the crime of briefly dating Armstrong’s boyfriend, 35-year old cyclist Colin Strickland, and maintaining their friendship.

US Marshalls tracked Armstrong down by following her obsession with yoga classes, despite dying her hair in an effort to hide her identity.

………

The LACBC has taken a stand against the recently passed ordinance criminalizing bike chop shops, urging the mayor to veto it.

………

Enough said.

………

This is how fast a tragedy can happen. And how it can be avoided by a matter of inches, and sheer luck.

https://twitter.com/adamatic521/status/1540765682689658884

………

Women cyclists competing in the road race at the US Road Cycling National Championships took a knee to protest the recent overturning of Roe vs Wade.

………

This is what it looks like when a whole country bikes instead of driving.

https://twitter.com/annaholligan/status/1542205441069010946

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link. 

………

They get it. A British police department explains why drivers don’t really want people on bikes to ride single file, regardless of what they might think.

………

We haven’t had much success getting Hollywood to #biketheOscars.

Maybe we’re just asking the wrong country.

………

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

No bias here. After six-year old boy was knocked down on a San Diego bike path by a pair of kids on ebikes, a surf website says ebikes are “piloted exclusively by the lazy and selfish and/or young and spoiled, (who) fly down bike paths, sidewalks, anywhere pedestrians amble at full speed cloaked in the gauze of “environmentalism.” Um, sure.

No bias here, either. A chain of UK coffee shops says they don’t serve people on bicycles in their drive-throughs because “they’re not road legal, taxed or insured.” 

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

A 17-year old English boy faces a dangerous driving charge for fleeing the scene after running down an 80-year old pedestrian with his ebike. Yet another reminder to always slow down and ride safely around pedestrians. And stop if you hit someone, dammit. 

Also in the UK, a 29-year old man faces a charge of “wanton or furious driving while being in charge of a bicycle” for killing a 29-year old woman as she was crossing the street.

………

Local

Cars are now officially banned from a roughly one-mile section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, at least for now. More on that tomorrow.

Once again, bad police training has raised its ugly head, after an LAPD spokesperson tells Spanish speakers it’s illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, even though it’s perfectly legal as long as you respect others on the sidewalk.

A man was in stable condition after he was shot while riding a bicycle in central Long Beach early yesterday morning; police have not identified a suspect or motive.

CicLAvia is back, taking over the streets of South LA this Sunday. Or a street, anyway.

Speaking of Streets For All, the transportation PAC is hosting a another virtual happy hour on July 13th, this time featuring LA County District 1 Supervisor Hilda Solis.

 

State 

Several thousand bike riders turned out for a patriotic bike ride through Huntington Beach, in just the ride’s third year.

A kindhearted Castro Valley man fixes up donated bikes, and gives them to people who can’t afford one.

 

National

He gets it. Former President Barack Obama called on cities to fight sprawl and create “livable density…that allows us to take mass transit and take bicycles.”

Writing for Jalopnik, the co-host of The War on Cars podcast says “ban cars” is an inaccurate and incomplete summary of a complex issue, but he means it anyway.

A writer for Slate calls out Joe Biden’s “misguided” plan to suspend the federal gas tax.

A British man is riding across the US to call attention to testicular cancer, under the hashtag #BikingForBalls. No, really.

The Chicago Police Department has opened an internal investigation after a man claiming to be an off-duty cop was filmed pinning a 14-year old boy to the ground, and accusing him of stealing his son’s bike; the boy’s mother accused the cop of racial bias, saying when the boy simply tried to move it because it was blocking the sidewalk.

Police in the Bronx are looking for a hit-and-run driver in a stolen Jeep who killed a bike rider in a high speed crash, then removed a baby from the back of the Jeep, and made off in another SUV.

The carnage continues on American roads, when a DC driver crashed into a man on a bicycle before slamming into a fireworks stand; both the bike rider and a worker at the stand were killed. The driver apparently lost control due to a medical event.

 

International

Amazon is replacing its London delivery vans with a fleet of mini delivery van-style e-cargo bikes.

A British bicycling website says abuse on the roads keeps many women from riding, who might otherwise take to their bikes. The same story could be written for any American city or state.

Copenhagen’s bicycling chef is combining bikes and cuisine to give customers a ride to remember.

A new German study puts ebikes ahead of electric cars as the most popular and attractive form of electric vehicle.

Horrible news from Kolkata, India, where a 25-year old man was electrocuted when he tried to remove fallen electrical wires that got tangled with his bicycle wheels.

A 57-year old Kiwi man has ridden his bike everywhere for more than 40 years, without ever owning a car.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Stefan Küng learned the hard way that you’re not supposed to grab another competitor’s helmet, grasping Ruben Guerreiro’s skid lid during Saturday’s stage two of the Tour de France.

Danish rider Magnus Cort was a hero to the hometown crowds during Sunday’s stage three, cementing his hold on the polka dot climber’s jersey with an 81-mile breakaway.

There always seems to be a mass crash during the early stages, and Sunday’s stage three was no exception, with several of the leading contenders losing time they’ll have to make up in the coming weeks.

Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten cemented her lead in Italy’s Giro Donne with a win in stage four.

LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles swept the podium for the women’s national crit championship, as Kendall Ryan took a bunch sprint ahead of teammates Skyler Schneider and her own sister, Alexis Ryan; 19-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti successfully defended his title on the men’s side.

Kyle Murphy and Emma Langley won the men’s and women’s road cycling Nats.

Veteran cyclist Alejandro Valverde suffered minor injuries when he and a teammate were struck by a driver while training in Spain on Saturday.

Team Novo Nordisk, the pro team composed entirely of cyclists with type 1 diabetes, is out with a new documentary; you can see it here.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you’ve never ridden a bicycle at 169 mph, with or without a tow. Now you, too, can ride your bike on half a wheel.

And I seriously need this one on my wall.

https://twitter.com/davidguenel/status/1541360691742916608

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Arrest warrant issued in Mo Wilson love triangle murder, and bike & pedestrian bills move forward in CA legislature

Before we start, I’ve received a number of reports that someone on a bicycle was killed while riding in Claremont on Friday. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation yet. 

I’ll let you know if I learn more.

………

It’s one of the oldest stories in Hollywood.

But this isn’t Hollywood. And this time, it’s not just some filmmaker’s fantasy.

Because it turns out the murder of rising gravel cyclist and mountain biker Moriah “Mo” Wilson was the result of an old fashioned love triangle.

Wilson was shot multiple times and killed August 11th while in Austin, Texas to prepare for the Gravel Locos race.

After investigating, police have issued a first degree murder warrant for 34-year old Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the business partner, and off-and-on romantic partner, of pro gravel cyclist Colin Strickland, who operates a vintage trailer restoration business.

Strickland said he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson last fall, before reconciling with Armstrong.

Apparently, they were on a “break” at the time.

Wilson and Strickland had gone swimming together that afternoon, before he dropped her off at the apartment of a friend she was staying with.

According to The New York Times, police had taken Armstrong into custody a day after the shooting, but let her go hours later.

The day after Ms. Wilson was found dead, the police took Ms. Armstrong into custody on an unspecified misdemeanor warrant but were then informed that the warrant was not valid and told Ms. Armstrong she could leave if she wanted to, the affidavit said…

The affidavit said the police had received a tip from an anonymous caller. The caller said Ms. Armstrong had said in January that she wanted to kill Ms. Wilson after learning that Mr. Strickland was in a romantic relationship with Ms. Wilson while he was dating Ms. Armstrong.

Now they have no idea where she is.

A Boston website reports Strickland originally lied about his own whereabouts the day of the shooting in an effort to hide his involvement with Wilson.

He also bought two guns last winter, for himself and Armstrong — including the weapon apparently used to kill Wilson.

The murder has left the Austin bicycling community in shock.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page to “help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about” has raised over $60,000 of the $100,000 goal.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……….

Streetsblog notes that most bike, pedestrian and transit bills in the state legislature are moving forward.

That included the Bicycle Omnibus Bill and another attempt at getting the Stop As Yield bill, aka the Idaho Stop, past the governor’s desk.

However, it also includes a bill requiring bikeshare and e-scooter companies to insure their riders, which would likely put them all out of business.

………

Mark your calendar to help make biking better in Orange County.

………

An Indian man and his son can’t contain their joy over buying a used bike.

………

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

Seriously? After bike-riding Miami couple were killed by a fatigued driver who may have been sleeping at the wheel, the local police respond by reminding bike riders and drivers to obey the law, saying safety is a shared responsibility. Even though the victims didn’t do a damn thing wrong, except share the road with a driver without enough sense to pull over when he was too tired to drive.

Two London bike riders were attacked by a driver who pulled up next to them before tossing thumbtacks in their path.

After a British truck driver was caught on video buzzing a bike-riding cop in hi-viz, angry drivers tried to defend the close pass by insisting the driver stayed in his lane.

A member of Britain’s national cycling team was lucky to escape serious injury when he was intentionally rear-ended by a road raging hit-and-run driver.

More proof drivers are the same everywhere, as a road raging Parisian driver ends an argument with a bike rider by driving over his bike, and dragging it under his car as he tried to drive off without stopping.

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

After Fresno’s mayor posts a video suggesting he rode his ebike to work for Bike to Work Day, it turned out he didn’t really ride, and doesn’t even own the bike he was riding.

A Houston robbery victim ran over the thief’s bicycle getting away after the robber had shot him.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Metro’s annual tradition of lying to justify their ever-expanding highway widening budget, which jumped 33% this year, on top of an 80% increase last year — despite promising to switch to a more multimodal approach. Never mind that they’re burning money while helping to set our world on fire in the midst of an ever-worsening climate emergency.

The BBC takes a look at my friend and bike shop owner Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club he founded in 2008.

 

State 

Menifee is building a new six acre bike park.

Sad news from Fremont, where a seven-year old chid was killed when they were struck by a driver while riding a bicycle. Even if a San Francisco website can’t decide if the kid was riding a bike or walking.

 

National

Best Products says cheap ebikes are taking over the streets, while apparently defining cheap as under two grand.

An 82-year old writer for CleanTechnica shares the lessons he’s learned in eight years of ebike ownership and maintenance.

This is who we share the bike path with. An Iowa driver faces DUI and reckless homicide charges for killing one person and injuring two others as they were walking on a multi-use path at two in the morning, after driving nearly the entire length of the pathway.

 

International

A London, Ontario writer reminds pedestrians they don’t belong in bike lanes.

A new Canadian study shows women are more concerned about drivers, and bullying and abuse, than they are about infrastructure.

You’ve got to be kidding. After Scotland’s transport minister says ebikes are the future, a Lycra-clad neanderthal columnist insists ebike riders are cheating.

Half of British women would like to ride their bikes more, but don’t feel safe on the roads and worry about a lack of infrastructure.

A kindhearted teenage Ukrainian refugee in the UK gave his new bike to a fellow refugee so she wouldn’t have to go without one; he was rewarded with an even better bike a few days later.

Companies in Brussels, Belgium are rethinking deliveries, and trading delivery vans for “more environmentally friendly, and often faster, cargo bikes.

New research from the Netherlands suggests that roundabouts are less safe for bike riders than traditional intersections.

Bike sales are surging in Beijing as the city closes parts of its transit system to combat Covid.

An aide to a Malaysian elected official was killed when he fell off his bike on a descent.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, where a Good Samaritan was stabbed to death by a 15-year old boy, after he tried to stop the teenager who had just stolen a bike from a younger boy; the 15-year old was arrested, but has yet to be charged.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Simon Yates took the win in Saturday’s 14th stage, while Ecuadorean pro Richard Carapaz slipped on the pink leader’s jersey.

All the action took place on Saturday, as an exhausted peloton eased into today’s rest day on Sunday’s stage 15, with Carapaz retaining his newly won leader’s jersey despite an early fall.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin threw in the towel on Saturday’s 14th stage, dropping out early in the race, explaining that his “body is worn out;” meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde dropped out of contention after losing eight minutes following a flat.

Former pro Robbie McEwen was forced to apologize for inadvertently using a homophobic slur during a Giro stage 10 broadcast.

 

Finally…

Maybe Obsessive Cycling Disorder isn’t the best name for a bike shop if you don’t want to piss off the OCD community. That feeling when you’ve been visited by the bike fairy.

And it looks like Trevor Noah is one of us. At least when he’s in The Netherlands.

Thanks to Glenn Crider for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

%d bloggers like this: