Tag Archive for La Jolla

Bicyclists call for safety improvements after fatal La Jolla crash, and hundreds turn out for Culver City Pride Ride

San Diego area bicyclists call for better education and safety improvements on La Jolla’s deadly Torrey Pines Road, in the wake of Wednesday’s crash that took the life of scientist and mother Swati Tyagi.

However, advocates are split on the benefits of installing a protected bike lane on the busy roadway, with some fearing it could do more harm than good on the steep downhill grade.

It’s been too long since I’ve ridden that area to recall specific details of the roadway. However, in many cases, it’s safer to have a separated lane with a wide buffer to give riders room to maneuver if need be, rather than trapping riders in a protected bike lane.

Which is exactly the opposite of what’s called for on the uphill side, or virtually any other situation.

It also doesn’t help that bicyclists haven’t even been consulted about planned improvements to the street.

(La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board) Chairman Dave Abrams asked (bicyclist Kurt) Hoffman and others to confer with a La Jolla Community Planning Association subcommittee, which LJCPA President Diane Kane said was looking into pedestrian and car access in and out of The Village, including via Torrey Pines Road.

On June 24, Kane told the La Jolla Light that the subcommittee, called the Village Visioning Committee, has “been working diligently on streetscapes in The Village and on entrances into La Jolla,” such as Pearl and Nautilus streets.

She said she hasn’t seen anything yet for Torrey Pines Road. “So far, bicyclists haven’t been part of the committee’s conversation on traffic calming and streetscape enhancements but will be welcome once the initial concepts are melded into a coherent whole,” Kane said.

Unfortunately, that’s how planning too often works.

And why it too often fails us.

Meanwhile, the Salk Institute issued a statement mourning the death of their colleague Swati Tyagi.

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A Redditor catches Sunday’s Culver City Pride Ride on his dashcam, featuring what appears to be hundreds of riders.

Although we could do without the idiotas y pendejos popping wheelies while they play chicken with drivers on the wrong side of the road.

Just saw this huge bicycle group ride through Culver City, where are they from? from BikeLA

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up. 

Correction: That wasn’t the Pride Ride. This is the Pride Ride. 

Thanks to Joni for setting the record straight. 

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Alabama Representative Mo Brooks is one of us, unlocking his bicycle from a rack outside the nation’s capitol as the Big Lie backer refuses to talk to a reporter from CNN, saying he doesn’t trust the network to be honest.

Which is a great way to duck the hard questions.

Meanwhile, Uber’s CEO is one of us, too, spending a day working as one of his own Uber Eats delivery riders in San Francisco, even as Twitter users decry it as a publicity stunt.

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No bias here.

Apparently, in Hamilton, Ontario, you’re supposed to wait patiently at a stop sign until drivers in each direction wave you through the intersection.

Which will never, ever happen in real life.

And never wear headphones on a bike, even though you can usually still hear traffic noise, unless you’ve got the volume cranked up to ridiculous levels.

Unlike, say, drivers in their hermetically sealed vehicles, with the sound up so high they can’t even hear a fire truck bearing down on them.

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

A man was caught on video leaning far out of a car’s passenger window in an attempt to push a British man off his bicycle. However, the jerk’s failure to succeed in his terroristic attack against an innocent bike rider shouldn’t affect any possible charges one damn whit.

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Local

A preliminary Metro study suggests congestion pricing really would reduce driving in several areas around Los Angeles.

 

State

The popular Belgian Waffle Ride is back in San Diego’s North County after last year’s cancellation, including a two-day Expo and beer garden. Let’s hope the riders visit the beer garden after the race, though.

Officials in Encinitas are scaling back plans to remake the North Coast Highway 101 corridor, settling for modest re-striping in one section instead of the original plans to change the entire corridor at once.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a 61-year old man was killed by a truck driver in a right hook crash.

A Napa Valley paper calls for repealing California’s jaywalking laws.

 

National

Streetsblog explains why slower speeds are better for “affordable, healthy, equitable, accessible and resource-efficient communities.”

US cities are pushing to make pandemic-era street changes permanent, despite the inevitable auto-centric pushback.

Once again, all it takes to convert a city official to a bike advocate is getting hit by a driver, as a Moline, Illinois alderman becomes a strong voice for better bikeways.

A Nashville bike rider wisely gave up his bicycle when he was threatened by a man with a machete; police later busted the thief, finding meth and drug paraphernalia on him, as well as the hot bike.

A 76-year old New Jersey man faces three counts of hit-and-run for the April crash that left three bike riders seriously injured.

A writer from Lafayette, Louisiana says her bicycle joy went full circle as she rediscovered her love of riding a bike during the pandemic.

A Florida man has just 1,500 miles to go on an 11,500-mile ride crisscrossing the US to raise funds to fight cancer; he’s raised nearly $93,000 of his $100,000 goal for cancer nonprofit Chemo Noir.

The husband of a bike-riding Florida woman who was run down by a hit-and-run driver is worried that the 89-year old woman is still driving while out on bail, even though she somehow couldn’t see two adult people on bicycles directly in front of her. Or cared enough to stick around after getting out of her car to look at the crumpled riders she’d nearly killed. Yet another example of authorities not taking the keys from an elderly driver until it’s too late.

 

International

A Toronto columnist goes all in on bicycling after buying an ebike.

Nat Geo recommends the five best bike day trips starting from London, for your next trip to the UK.

That’s more like it. Britain’s Bicycle Association issued new standards for bike parking, calling for safe, easy-to-use bike racks accessible by all bike riders, including disabled riders.

A former Scottish cycling champ now spends his days traveling the country to support renal failure patients and their families, five years after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant.

India’s Hero Bicycles takes on Chinese ebike manufacturers by cracking the European market for the first time.

A whopping 1,500 bike riders turned out for a mass bicycle parade in Budapest, after it was delayed a year and a half by the pandemic.

An Indian anthropologist says the answer to the country’s choking smog is to bicycle or perish.

A Philippine columnist says yes, the country’s new bike lanes really work.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? A 52-year old woman won the brutal Race Across America, aka RAAM, for the first time, as Leah Goldstein crossed the finish line in 11 days, 3 hours and 3 minutes.

The Dutch dominated the one-day women’s La Course race which preceded the Tour, taking three of the top four spots as Demi Vollering out-sprinted Denmark’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and former champion Marianne Vos.

Eighteen-year old Sebastopol CA resident Luke Lamperti recounts his surprise win in the crash-marred US national road championship.

The big news from the Tour de France is a first stage crash that took out nearly half the peloton in one fell swoop. What appeared to be an over-enthusiastic fan giving a shoutout to her grandparents knocked down Tony Martin with her sign, causing the others to fall like dominoes, although only Germany’s Jasha Sutterlin was knocked out of the race. Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

Tour officials threatened to sue the woman, even though they have no idea who she is after she slipped away during the chaos; French police are looking for her, too. However, the director of the Dutch Jumbo-Visma cycling team blames Tour de France officials for the massive crash.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the day’s only massive crash, though.

Bodycam video shows a mechanic for Team Jumbo-Visma leap out of the team car and sprint through the peloton with a fresh bike for one of the downed riders.

Since the race is being televised in the US, we’ll go back to our usual mostly spoiler updates for the next three weeks. Hence this blind teaser that the yellow jersey changed hands yesterday; you’ll have to click the link to learn who’s wearing it now. Or why it fulfills his famed grandfather’s dream.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be extremely extremely cool looking and made of wood. And here’s your chance to own a DeLorean of your very own.

Flux capacitor optional.

https://twitter.com/dorfman_baruch/status/1409359704271245314

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

Update: 34-year old woman killed in La Jolla collision; eighth bicyclist killed in San Diego County already this year

What the hell is going on in San Diego this year?

News is just breaking that a woman was killed in a collision while riding in La Jolla yesterday afternoon, continuing the county’s unusual rash of bicycling deaths.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which appears to be the only source reporting on the story so far, the crash occurred in the south lanes of North Torrey Pines Road approaching La Jolla Village Drive around 4:20 pm.

The victim, identified only as a 34-year old woman, was reportedly riding in the right lane of the roadway when she merged into the left lane, and was struck by a 74-year old driver.

She died at the scene.

The driver remained following the crash — which should not need to be said, but sadly, does — and was not suspected of being under the influence.

However, the report raises a few questions, since there is a bike lane on Torrey Pines Road where she would have presumably been riding, unless she had shifted into the right lane in preparation for merging into the left lane.

In which case, why didn’t she see the large oncoming Mercedes to her left — and why didn’t the driver see her?

There is also the question of why she was merging into the left lane, since there is no street to the left on the three-way intersection. It’s possible she was attempting to make a U-turn, or may have been turning onto a pathway that appears to lead to the UCSD campus on the north side of the roadway.

And as always, the question is whether there were any independent witnesses, other than the driver, who actually saw her move in front of the car that killed her. Although there should have been several people around the busy intersection at that hour who may have seen the crash.

The story reports that the collision is still under investigation, so hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

This is at least the 29th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth that I’m aware of in San Diego County already this year, in what is turning out to be an exceptionally bloody year.

Update: The victim has not been publicly identified. However, comments below indicate she was from India with her husband, and the mother of a one-year old child.  

Meanwhile, Douglas Alden left the following comment.

I passed by the crash on my bike commute home shortly after it happened. It occurred in the southbound lanes of North Torrey Pines Road just north of the intersection with Revelle College Drive. The police had closed the road in both directions and several cars were pulled over. The body of the woman that was killed was covered by a yellow sheet and was still lying in the street in front of the car. It is possible that the cyclist was crossing lanes to make a left from southbound North Torrey Pines onto Revelle College Drive. There is a protected left turn lane at the intersection. It is hard to speculate without knowing all the facts.

There are a number of other comments below that add insight to this tragedy.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as 34-year old Swati Tyagi, a postdoctorate researcher with the Salk Institute, who was working on the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia. 

Which raises the tragic question of what scientific breakthroughs in the field could be lost or delayed because of her needless death. 

Tyagi leaves behind her husband of six years, a scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, and their 11-month old son, who is just shy of his first birthday. 

Meanwhile, her parents and other family members have been unable to enter the US due to Covid restrictions in India, or to get her body sent back to the country of her birth, compounding the tragedy. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Swati Tyagi and all her loved ones. 

Bike rider busted for beating La Jolla driver, kids shot over bikes, and LA missed list of worst bike cities — but SD doesn’t

Something tells me there’s more to this story.

A San Diego bicyclist riding with a group was busted after being chased down by a police helicopter for allegedly beating a driver in La Jolla.

Members of the group reportedly beat the man unconscious, before leaving after bystanders intervened.

The helicopter pilot tracked the group to Mission Bay, where a man police identified as the main aggressor was taken into custody on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and assault likely to result in great bodily injury.

However, what’s missing from the story, as usual, is any indication of what the driver may have done to set the riders off like that, if anything.

Because it’s highly unlikely they picked some random person in a car to attack just for the hell of it.

But whatever the reason, let’s all try to remember that violence is never the answer, tempting as it may be in the moment.

Lord knows, there have been more than a few drivers I’ve wanted to punch. But thankfully, didn’t.

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What the hell is wrong with these people?

More information today about the Michigan man who shot his six-year old neighbor, apparently for the crime of leaving a bicycle on the man’s yard.

When the boy and some young relatives came over to retrieve it, Ryan Le-Nguyen came out of his house and confronted the kid, unsuccessfully swinging a sledgehammer at the boy, who was able to avoid the blows.

Le-Nguyen then went back inside, and fired a shot through the window, hitting the boy in the arm.

Despite being charged with assault with intent to murder, Le-Nguyen is already out on a ridiculously low $10,000 bond. And presumably back home, next to a kid he tried to kill.

Let’s hope no one else leaves a bike on his lawn.

Just two days later, an 18-year old Delaware man was busted for shooting an 11-year old girl in the abdomen with a BB gun, following a dispute over her riding his bicycle.

Seriously, kids in this country face enough problems just trying to ride a bike without some asshole shooting them over it.

And yes, I use that term advisedly.

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Our new president certainly knows how to make a friend.

Meeting with Britain’s Boris Johnson for the first time as president, Joe Biden gave the bike-riding prime minister a new American-made bicycle, custom made for BoJo by family-owned Philadelphia bikemaker Bilenky Cycle Works.

Evidently, they’re so small they don’t even have a website.

Johnson responded with a framed photo of an Edinburgh mural of Frederick Douglass.

Point, Biden.

Update: Bilenky does have a website. Thanks to k_david for the correction.

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For once, there’s a list of bike cities Los Angeles can be glad it didn’t make, as 24/7 Tempo follows up on their clickbait list of America’s best bike cities with a  similar clickbait countdown of the 25 worst.

No real surprise that Bakersfield and San Bernardino make the list at 25 and 24, respectively.

Bizarrely, though, so does newly bike friendly San Diego at number 18, which has made huge strides in accommodating bikes and other forms of alternative transportation in recent years, while neighboring Chula Vista joins them at 12.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina came out at the bottom, as their pick for the nation’s worst bike city.

Although LA’s Sunset Boulevard did make the list of the world’s coolest streets, in the non-temperature sense.

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More proof that free lifetime bicycle registration from Bike Index works.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

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Local

A writer for City Watch insists the fix is in, as Metro plows over Eagle Rock with the planned NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit project, regardless of resident’s wishes. Or, hear me out here, maybe a lot of local residents actually support the plan, even as others continue to oppose it. Kind of like every other project ever built, planned or proposed. 

For sale: An RV big enough to hold all your bikes, and double as your next home when you get priced out of LA’s housing market.

 

State

A Sacramento man tracks down the burglar who tried to break into his home. And gets his neighbor’s bike back in the process.

 

National

For a change, the Wall Street Journal’s notorious paywall lets you see four of the six rewarding rail trail routes they recommend throughout the US, including Lassen County’s Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail in Northeastern California.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 70-year old lifelong bike rider from Tennessee wants you to know that riding an ebike isn’t the end of your bicycling career. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Spokane, Washington paper says bicycles were the ultimate safe recreation choice during the pandemic. And they still are.

Las Vegas bike advocates continue to call for safer streets, a day after a killer truck driver was sentenced to up to 40 years behind bars for the meth fueled crash that killed five bicyclists.

Bike-riding Tulsa OK residents were invited to try out the city’s first popup protected intersection.

New York bicyclists will ride today to demand the city disband the NYPD’s bike-riding Strategic Response Group, the so-called Goon Squad that has used bikes to batter protestors at recent demonstrations.

Streetsblog says New York state legislators are continuing to stall on legislation to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe.

Five Black bike riders followed the route of the Underground Railroad from Alabama to DC to honor the spirit of their ancestors. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Shimano put Pioneer power meter users on notice that they have just one week before Shimano pulls the plug on the website supporting the Pioneer products, ruthlessly driving a stake through the still-beating heart of the product line they acquired last year.

Life is cheap in Alberta, Canada, where a woman walked with a lousy $1,000 fine for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle.

British king-in-waiting Prince Charles took a rare public bike ride to launch the 250-mile Palaces On Wheels ride to benefit the British Asian Trust. Although the prince didn’t look too steady on a bike that appeared to be set much too low for him.

Indian buyers of GoZero ebikes will now enjoy a corporate roadside assistance program.

 

Competitive Cycling

A deep US cycling team will be heading for Tokyo with ambitions of gold in next month’s Olympics, which appear to be happening as scheduled, pandemic be damned.

Ten-time world champ Chloe Dygert will compete in three events, just nine months after she was seriously injured following an apparent speed wobble in the world time trial championships; SoCal’s world-beating Coryn Rivera also made the team.

The only women’s rider representative on the UCI Safety Commission thinks the sport has been allowed to cut corners far too long, and needs to do more to protect cyclists.

 

Finally…

Get a lawyer before calling your family if you get hit while riding a bike. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with drivers blocking bike lanes, now we have to share them with robots.

And your next bike may be able to ride itself and come when you call.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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