Tag Archive for Mark Leones

Updates on Mark Leones and Margaret Conway, Box bites back on city bike ed and a bakfiets full of links

A few quick notes to start the week, starting with a few good follow-ups on two recent cycling deaths behind the Orange Curtain.


The Orange County Register offers a nice profile of Mark Leones, who died last week after his bike hit a groove in the pavement on a steep downhill in Laguna Beach. They also provide a look at Margaret Conway, killed on her way home from work at Disneyland on October 13th.

Sounds like both will be very missed.

And thanks to the Register for their much-improved coverage of local cycling issues.


In a must read, former city council candidate Stephen Box says the bike plan is great, but L.A. cyclists would benefit even more if all city agencies were to educate their employees on the rights of cyclists.


LACBC has been selected to conduct a vital study of the economic effects of bike lanes and road diets on NELA’s York Blvd. KCRW’s Steve Herbert looks at the dangers of dooring and how to avoid it. Nagging pays off as Rick Risemberg gets bike racks installed in Playa del Rey. Friday’s monthly Critical Mass should be a costumed affair. Could separated bike lanes help transform Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock into a safe, sustainable and vibrant street? South Pasadena gets the San Gabriel Valley’s first bike plan. Simi Valley will soon connect a gap in a key bikeway, allowing cyclists to ride to the local Metrolink station. Evidently, those folks at the Bikerowave know how to party. The recumbent world holds it’s first trade show in Pomona this past weekend. Long Beach plans to survey bike use to determine next steps. One last chance to learn how to track race this year at the Encino Velodrome; speaking of which, if you’re looking for a good cause to support L.A. cycling, they could use the help.

Corona del Mar bike advocate Frank Peters beautifully captures the feeling of a single night’s ride; if you’ve ever wondered why we ride, this is a pretty good answer. A Navy corpsman is honored for saving the life of an injured cyclist in Oceanside last spring. NIMBYist landowners block extension of a Yuba City bike trail. A hit-and-run driver knocks down a homeless couple in Chico. A Sacramento cyclist helps capture three teenage home burglars. Richard Masoner, author of one of the nation’s leading bike blogs, barely survives a near miss with a brand-new Chevy crossover.

American cyclist Joseph Papp gets his penalty reduced to an eight year ban for doping, in addition to three years probation, including six months of house arrest, for distributing EPO and human growth hormone. Bicycling looks at energy bars. A Tucson cyclist is killed after reportedly running a stop sign, while Oregon Live asks if it’s worth it for cyclists to run red lights. The victim of a Brooklyn cycling collision was a well-known New York artist. An NYC community board backs off a proposal to license and register riders. Eighty percent of Manhattan voters embrace plans for a new bike share program. Kathy Perry and Russel Brand ride through Gotham. A New York Times columnist nears the end of his 4,100 mile cross-country bike ride; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up. A Mississippi driver faces up to 13 years for killing a Dutch cyclist while high on morphine. Cyclists rally to support a German bike tourist injured in a Virginia collision. A Florida cyclist dies after falling over a guard rail on a highway ramp; as always, the question is why?

Bicycling profiles Eddy Merckx, possibly the greatest bike racer of all time; meanwhile, another candidate for best ever is the 23rd best triathlete. Toronto police propose licensing cyclists to improve enforcement; yes, the solution to over crowded streets is to make it harder for people to get out of their cars. Despite five local cyclists hit by cars in just two weeks, Sussex, UK press call for a crackdown on selfish cyclists; they’ve got a point, it is rude of us to bleed all over their cars. Tensions rise between German cyclists and drivers, while the Transport Minister threatens to mandate helmets if user rates don’t rise. How the Dutch got their cycle paths; Dutch drivers and cyclists often share the road without exactly sharing the road.

Finally, a sad day as former Aussie cycling champ Bob Ryan passes away at age 73. And a special note to occasional Kiwi correspondent the Trickster, and any other New Zealanders who may be reading — congratulations on a well-deserved victory by the All-Blacks.

And don’t forget that President Obama is coming into L.A. at rush hour Monday night; sounds like a perfect excuse to bike to work.

Update on death of Mark Leones, a call for peace in Downey, L.A. County releases bike plan

Finally, a little more information on the death of cyclist Mark Leones in Laguna Beach on Sunday.

According to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, the 28-year old Costa Mesa man was riding with a group of six or seven riders when he lost control coming out of a curve on a downhill, struck the curb and was thrown from his bike, striking his chest and the back of his head.

Road conditions were not a factor, and no other bikes or vehicles were involved.

I can’t speak for you, but I’ve been in that same position hundreds of times over the years, where a slight wobble or patch of gravel could have meant disaster on a high speed descent.

We all want to credit our skill for the successful completion of a ride like that. But often, luck can be just as much a factor.

Maybe Leones pushed his just a little too far that day.

There but for the grace of God.

My prayers for his family and loved ones.


The family of bike rider Genaro Ramirez calls for peace after his shooting death in Downey early Monday morning, and hopes no one will try to retaliate. It may already be too late, though, as the investigation continues into the death of cyclist Juan Gutierrez, who was shot and killed about 10 miles away less than 24 hours later.

My sympathy to the families of both victims.


The County of Los Angeles unveils the final draft of their proposed new bike plan, offering a more than 500% increase in bikeways. Your last chance to comment of the plan could come before the County of Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission, Wednesday, November 16th at 9 am in the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 West Temple Street in Downtown L.A.

Meanwhile, Oxnard’s new bike plan calls for 122 miles of new bikeways, while Bakersfield cyclists push for a new plan they can call their own.

And the City of Los Angeles is looking for federal funding to fill in gaps in the L.A. River Bike Path.

Update: I just got late word that the South Pasadena City Council has ordered its staff to draft a cyclist anti-harassment ordinance based on the recently passed L.A. law. Hat’s off to South Pass for taking this key step to protect cyclists — and taking the lead in spreading this vital law beyond L.A. city borders.


The LACBC has reduced the price of tickets for next week’s 2nd Annual City of Lights Dinner to just $45 for both members and non-members alike. However, the planned Tour de Taste scheduled for next month as been postponed, with the date to be determined.

And Cannondale is teaming up with Junk Food Clothing to design two urban Bad Boy bikes to be officially unveiled at Antenna Magazine’s ReMix Lab in New York. The art, music, fashion and cultural festival will hit L.A. December 7th through 11th, at a site to be selected.


My newly bike-riding brother officially announces he’ll be competing in the 2012 Yukon Quest.

With dogs and a sled, not wheels.


In bike-riding celebrity news, Shia LaBeouf bikes his way back from a barroom beatdown, Gwyneth Paltrow rides through Central Park, and Will and Kate Boris Bike their way through London Town.


Stephen Box offers a powerful indictment of L.A.’s frequently blocked bike lanes. LADOT explains separated bike lanes, and says the new Commuter Express buses will have triple bike racks. LA Cycle Chic discovers a new upscale bike shop on Venice Blvd. The Path Less Pedaled unveil their new 2012 Calendar; expect Russ’s usual breathtaking photos — and they’re working on new T-shirt and sticker designs to help pay their way to New Zealand for the winter. The Claremont Cyclist looks at last weekend’s Spooky Cross, and finds it spooky, indeed. Redondo Beach votes to approve the proposed South Bay Bike Plan and build it in 12 years rather than 20. Turns out California had a pretty decent bike route system over 100 years ago. Tour de Pink rolled through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties last weekend. Doing the Furnace Creek 508 by fixie. All it takes to ruin a ride is a good screw. An angry cyclist delays a Bay Area Caltrain.

How slow is too slow for the Slow Bicycle Movement, and how chic do you have to be for cycle chic? The Urban Country explains what, exactly, a Dutch bicycle is. Dave Moulton says don’t be a gutter bunny. An unidentified Oregon drowning victim may have bought his bicycle in La Mesa, CA. Once again, an idiotic radio shock jock tries to boost ratings improve safety by calling for a ban on bikes, this time in Seattle; as long as he’s in the mood to blame the victims, how about ending armed robbery by banning banks and liquor stores? A Salt Lake City news anchor returns to the air eight weeks after being cut off by a hit-and-run driver. The recent Pro Cycling Challenge brought in $83.5 million to the Colorado economy. Oklahoma driver Tausha Borland files an appeal of her 24-year sentence for running down three cyclists, killing two, after drinking and taking pain killers; Witch on a Bicycle calls for respectful letters to the judge considering her appeal. Which one is really the a**hole — the slow cyclist or the impatient driver? No helmets necessary for New York bike share riders. A popular bayfront Brooklyn bike path is a mess; I so know the feeling. A Hudson Valley ninja cyclist is killed; always, always use lights and at least some light-colored or reflective clothing after dark. Politicians on both sides of the aisle agree bikes are cool. Maybe the tide is finally turning when it comes to justice for South Carolina cyclists, if you consider 90 days and five years probation justice. Zeke makes a mess of building a building a bike rack but gets it right eventually. Bike trails pump $42 million into the Central Florida economy; link via Baltimore Spokes. A fatal Florida hit-and-run may have been homicide, or maybe not.

Almost inevitably, fashion designers discover the bicycle. Not all bike racers ride marvels of modern science. Should corporate manslaughter charges be filed when known road defects cause bike or pedestrian fatalities? A new online photo library will offer free images of happy cyclists and positive infrastructure. A UK town provides bike lockers to protect local’s rides. A Sussex cyclist is deliberately assaulted with a jeep after asking the driver to kindly get off the sidewalk. Lancashire police are cracking down on bike theft, but does anyone ride with proof of ownership? Feast your eyes on next year’s official time-trial heavy route for the Tour de France. Riding two-way bike lanes on Vienna’s one-way streets. Copenhagen Cycle Chic on the five senses of cycling. Two Moscow cops run down a rider after getting drunk on the job. When a toddler is run down by a Chinese hit-and-run driver, bystanders just walk around — or drive over — the child.

Finally, even a clown can be a victim of bike theft. But at least they get it back. And look for a tongue-in-cheek — among other places — parody of the popular Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. But it may not be a bike he’ll be riding this time.

Update — 28-year old Costa Mesa cyclist dies in solo Laguna Beach collision

Very few details are available yet.

However, the Orange County Register reports that 28-year old Mark Leones of Costa Mesa apparently lost control on a steep downhill and crashed in a solo bicycle collision.

The wreck occurred on Park Avenue in Laguna Beach shortly after 11 am; Leones reportedly died on route to the hospital. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.

Leones is the 59th cyclist confirmed to have died as a result of a bicycling collision in Southern California this year, compared to 55 in each of the last two years on record. He is also the eighth fatality in Orange County since the first of the year, and the 6th to die in a solo collision throughout SoCal this year.

My deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.

More information when it becomes available.

Update: Still very little information on this wreck. Laguna Beach Patch reports that Leones fell on the 1900 block of Park Avenue. Commenters on Slowtwitch.com described the location as a steep downhill with a nearly 20% grade where riders can easily reach very high speeds; combined with the sweeping curves in that section of roadway, that can present a very dangerous combination that demands a high level of skill from a rider. 

If anyone has more information, please let me know.

Update: The Orange County Register offers a nice profile of Leones, explaining who he was, as well as how he died.

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