Tag Archive for mountain biking

Update: Mountain biker killed in Escondido hit-and-run; victim hit head-on during group ride

Yet another SoCal bike rider has lost his life to a hit-and-run driver.

According to multiple sources, the victim was struck by a driver at 11:52 Saturday morning on the 1600 block of La Honda Drive, just below the entrance to the Daley Ranch Recreation Area.

Reports indicated he was headed south on the narrow street with a group of other riders when he was hit head-on by the driver of a dark colored Toyota sedan, who continued without stopping.

The victim, identified only as a 36-year old Vista resident, died at the scene before rescuers could arrive.

Police later found the heavily damaged car abandoned half a mile away, on the 600 block of Aster Street.

They note the victim was wearing a helmet; clearly, it was not enough to save his life.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union-Tribune absurdly reports that police don’t know if the driver was under the influence. Which is probably true, considering they don’t even know who was behind the wheel.

Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Adan Martinez of the Escondido Police Department at 760/839-4465.

This is at least the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year; remarkably, it appears to be just the third in San Diego County.

It’s also the 23rd fatal hit-and-run I’m aware of involving a bike rider since the first of this year.

Update: The victim has been identified as 36-year old Vista resident Kevin Lentz; the former mountain bike racer leaves behind his wife and one-year old son.

The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road, after rounding a blind curve.

A crowdfunding page has raised nearly $52,000 in just one day.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Kevin Lentz and his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Morning Links: The real reasons bike riders keep dying, $100k OCTA bike safety grant, and Oaxaca Day of the Dead race

Last week, Peter Flax explained why the NTSB — the National Transportation Safety Board — was wrong about their call for mandatory bike helmets to cut the rising rate of bicycling fatalities.

This week he’s back to spell out the real reasons people are dying on our streets.

And it ain’t a lack of helmets.

He starts by recounting the last decade’s decline in bicycling deaths.

Then this.

The situation seemed great—until it wasn’t great. Right around 2011, things started arcing in the wrong direction. In 2010, a total of 618 cyclists were killed—hardly miraculous, but the lowest toll in at least 40 years. Then every year after that, the number of casualties has gotten progressively worse. The newly released 2018 statistics mean that the fatality rate for riders has risen 37 percent in just nine years—and NHTSA data indicate that the death rate for urban and female cyclists has soared even more.

So while the NTSB analysis focused primarily on encouraging or mandating greater helmet use, as well as things cyclists, road designers, and carmakers should do so riders are more conspicuous to motorists, those factors don’t really explain why a serious, sustained uptick of deaths began in 2011. It’s not like helmet use had a major decline, or cities ripped out quality protected bike lanes, or high-viz apparel or auto headlights got worse. These factors, especially related to road design, might have an impact on fatalities going forward, but they don’t explain why more cyclists have been dying in the past decade.

It’s a must read for anyone who wants to understand what the real problems are, and why we keep dying.

And do something about it.

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Orange County’s OCTA announces a grant to improve bicycle safety and education.

The Orange County Transportation Authority has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a year-long community program dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle safety classes and distribution of safety equipment for people walking and biking.

The aim of the program is to increase safety and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities. OCTA will use the funding as part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to deliver transportation solutions, including for active transportation – biking, walking and skating.

“OCTA appreciates the strong partnership we have formed with the state’s Office of Traffic Safety to work toward enhancing safety on our streets,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a City Council member in La Habra. “OTS has provided grant funding for the past three years to develop programs improving conditions for walking and biking, and ongoing grant funding will help us with one of our primary goals of reinforcing safety throughout Orange County.

Activities to be funded by this year’s grant include:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety classes
  • Distribution of bicycle lights and helmets
  • Distribution of reflectors for pedestrians

The need for increased safety training is clear. Bicycle and pedestrian-related collisions have been on the rise for the past decade.

“No matter which way you get around, you play a part in roadway safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “These grant programs are intended to educate residents on ways they can make themselves and those around them safe when they walk or bike.”

The pedestrian and bicycle safety program and distribution of safety materials will occur throughout 2020. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on bicycle programs and safety in Orange County, and to stay updated on where classes are being scheduled, visit octa.net/bike.

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The LACBC is looking for volunteers to help give out free bike lights to riders who don’t have them in Koreatown next week.

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Tune into Bike Talk at 6 pm tonight to hear, and maybe chat with, Juli Briskman, the Virginia woman who lost her job after flipping off Trump’s motorcade.

And responded by running for office — and winning.

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

A 13-year old New York boy credits an Emergency 911 app on his phone with scaring off a group of older boys on bikes who tried to rob him.

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Local

A 35-year old Fontana man was arrested for a Pasadena hit-and-run that left a juvenile bike rider hospitalized with critical injuries; he was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and DUI resulting in serious injury or death. Let’s all say a pray or offer best wishes that the kid makes a full and fast recovery.

People for Bikes invites you to join the weekly Ride and Pint mountain bike ride rolling out of Pedlar’s Fork in Calabasas every Thursday. You can find it, and other great rides, through their Ride Spot app.

The future of Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is in doubt as it faces stiff competition from dockless bikeshares; the city will have to fork over $225,000 in subsidies just to keep it operating for the next year. West Hollywood has already pulled the plug on its money-losing sister operation.

 

State

Seven Orange County communities will host the first Meet on the Beach festival, offering a carfree open streets experience along 1.5 miles of Beach Blvd to reimagine what the street could be. Thanks to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition for the heads up.

Temecula is opening a new pump track bike park this Tuesday.

A new 32-page manual put together by a pair of San Francisco advocacy groups explains how to build protected bike lanes that work for everyone, including pedestrians and disabled people.

The long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge connecting Contra Costa and Marin counties will open tomorrow, despite continued efforts in some quarters to convert it to a yet another lane for motor vehicles. Because everyone knows just one more traffic lane will solve all our traffic problems forever.

 

National

EcoWatch makes the case for why your next car will be a bike.

Joe Biden attempts to boost his run for president with a new infrastructure plan that’s heavy on high-speed rail, transit and bicycling.

An Oregon Republican proves conservatives can support bicycling, too, as he announces his run for Congress.

Be careful carrying that bike. A 74-year old Detroit man was found dead after he fell down the stair while trying to carry his mountain bike up them.

He gets it. An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls for eliminating free parking to pay for free transit.

Britain’s Beryl bikeshare brand makes a beachhead in New York’s Staten Island, booting Lime and Jump; meanwhile, Lyft is pulling the plug on their e-scooter operations in six smaller market cities.

After a Virginia boy’s new bike was stolen, his bighearted neighbors pitched in to buy him a new one. Stories like this remind us that there’s still a lot of good in this world, despite how it may seem these days.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man says he needs a miracle to keep giving thousands of refurbished bikes to kids in need, after the building housing the nonprofit was sold and the new owner jacked his rent up over $100 grand a year.

 

International

Cars could be killing us even without touching us. A new study has linked pollution from motor vehicles to brain cancer for the first time.

Bicycle Retailer reminds us that Trump’s trade war with China is still going strong, and the bikes are losing.

Your next bike helmet could be a custom-made, 3D printed number with individual hexagon-shaped crumple zones that the company says is safer than MIPS or WaveCel — if you have an extra $390 on hand.

A writer for Gear Patrol offers lessons learned from Trek’s mountain bike camp at the Whistler resort in British Columbia.

A pair of British doctors set a new Guinness record for circumnavigating the globe on a tandem bike, covering 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours, breaking the previous men’s record by nine days.

He gets it. An Irish letter writer reminds the anti-bike crowd that roads are a public service that we all pay for.

A European bikemaker came up with a smart, if somewhat creepy and invasive, sales promotion, scanning Paris license plates to determine how much CO2 each car puts out, and using that figure to offer the owner a discount on a new bicycle.

Tom Vanderbilt explains how he went from riding solo to taking his family along, thanks to a trip to Italy.

Now that’s more like it. A stoned, speeding Australian driver will spend the next 11 years behind bars and be prohibited from driving for two decades after walking away from the crash that killed a Dutch woman riding a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Cyclist magazine recalls the Motorola team that rose from the ashes of America’s late, great 7-11 team after the convenience chain declared bankruptcy — including the tragic death of Italy’s Fabio Casartelli in the 1995 Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates cycling team is considering legal action against Croatian pro Kristijan Đurasek following his four-year ban for doping. But cycling officials keep telling us the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can get your very own ebike branded by your favorite soccer team — as long as your favorite team is Paris Saint-Germain. When your round-the-world bike trip gets interrupted by a water-logged passport, just fly home and get a new one.

And nothing like a little Dia de los Muertos mountain bike racing in the middle of Oaxaca.

 

Morning Links: DIY red cup protected bike lanes today, LA traffic deaths up despite Vision Zero, and a busy bike weekend

It’s National Red Cup Project Day. 

So go out and stake out your own protected bike lane by using your favorite brand of plastic red cups to mark your favorite bike lane for just a few bucks.

And knowing LA drivers, for just a few minutes before they run them over anyway.

But still.

Then send me the photos or video, and I’ll post them on here.

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Good piece from the LA Times’ Laura Nelson, who writes that, despite Vision Zero, traffic fatalities are up significantly in Los Angeles; advocates blame inaction by the city and a lack of commitment to improve safety if it means inconveniencing drivers.

I’d say that about sums it up.

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It’s a busy bike weekend in the LA area.

Culver City is looking for volunteers to clean up Ballona Creek on Saturday, presumably including the bike path.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosts his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride in Reseda Saturday morning.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event takes place on Saturday, as well.

And the ever-popular CicLAvia rolls through the streets of Wilmington on Sunday, with their first event of 2015.

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KCBS-2 looks forward to Monday’s arrival of LA’s first two-way bike lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

Although unlike the photo they use to illustrate the story, it probably won’t be cobbled.

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Kindhearted Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies surprised a young boy with a new bike after his was stolen; credit the local Bicycle John’s outpost for donating the bike.

Thanks to Nina Moskol, Chairperson of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition for the heads-up.

Speaking of Santa Clarita, the city’s mayor looks forward to next month’s visit by the Amgen Tour of California, while encouraging residents to explore the city by bicycle.

And a columnist for The Signal decries a “relative bloodbath of pedestrian and bicycle accidents” in the area, saying more must be done to improve safety, especially on busy six-lane McBean Parkway.

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Today’s common theme: mountain bikes.

Recently retired football great Rob Gronkowski is one of us; Bicycling offers a little unsolicited advice as he takes up mountain biking.

Congratulations to gun maker Smith & Wesson, whose attempt to enter the mountain bike market ranks 41st on USA Today’s list of the 50 worst product flops of all time.

Finishing our mountain bike trifecta, Outside offers seven tips for beginning mountain bikes, whether or not they answer to Gronkowski.

But wait, there’s more!

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting takes a docent-led mountain bike tour through the volunteer-managed Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which he says most people have never heard of, even though at 40,000 acres it’s nearly as big as Bryce Canyon National Park and even more spectacular.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 is the latest LA news outlet to look at the city’s new program to install permanent memorials to fallen bicyclists.

A former LA city planner states the obvious, suggesting that LA traffic congestion is only going to get worse and that solutions like walking and biking remain woefully underfunded, without the safe infrastructure necessary to make them work. However, he also blames increased density and transit oriented development, as well as reduced parking requirements, calling them frauds, without citing evidence to back it up.

An op-ed in the LA Daily News says California drivers won’t willingly give up their cars.

This is who we share the beach with. A woman tells what it was like to get run over by an LAPD SUV while sunbathing on Venice Beach.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program could be on the chopping block due to competition from dockless bikes and e-scooters, as the city faces budget cuts and layoffs under a program to speed payment of its $448 million unfunded pension liability. 

He gets it. An op-ed from the vice chair of the Long Beach Transit board of directors says everyone deserves safe streets.

This is who we share the roads with. A Long Beach bus driver faces charges for sideswiping more than a dozen cars while driving at three times the legal alcohol limit.

Signal Hill police will be cracking down on violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians net month.

 

State

California’s Complete Streets bill moves forward after passing through the Senate Transportation Committee; SB127 would require Caltrans to consider the safety of all road users on any state-owned road.

That’s more like it. An El Cajon woman driving with a suspended license got three years behind bars for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a nine-year old boy who was riding his bike to school.

A San Diego TV station says bike riders and skaters at a new pump track think the park isn’t big enough for both of them.

A 75-year old Indian Wells man was hospitalized with significant injuries after he somehow crashed into the back of a parked city van Thursday morning.

Riverside sheriff’s deputies are still on the lookout for the red light-running hit-and-run driver who killed a 21-year old Eastvale man as he was biking home from work five years ago; deputies originally arrested a man who admitted to driving while “drunk out of his mind” and thought he had hit something that night, but phone records placed him miles from the crash site.

The speeding driver in the Sunnyvale crash who intentionally rammed eight pedestrians and bike riders as they waited at a red light was reportedly suffering from PTSD from his time in the Army; witnesses said they heard him repeatedly moan “Thank you, Jesus” following the crash.

 

National

A tax bill pending in Congress could mean an extra $53 a month in your pocket for commuting by bike.

Fast Company says people only realized just how much they’d miss ebikes after they were taken away.

Breaking a sweat today can provide health benefits up to a decade later.

An Oregon weekly offers its annual bicycling edition, with stories ranging from BMX and gravel grinding to low stress bicycle networks.

Phoenix says what’s a few traffic deaths between friends, bucking the national trend by voting not to adopt a Vision Zero plan.

A new study from an Arizona professor recommends leading bicycle intervals or split LBIs to reduce the risk of collisions with right-turning drivers.

Colorado comedian Wally Wallace discusses the second edition of his bicycle and comedy festival in tiny Trinidad CO, choosing the city of slightly more than 8,000 people because it’s halfway between Los Angeles and Chicago by train.

A Boise, Idaho bike cop is about to log 100,000 miles on his bike.

A Minneapolis transportation columnist says if you want a happy commute, travel by bicycle.

The NYPD is cracking down on red light-running bike riders, after a woman suffered a fractured skull that left her in a coma when she was struck by a food delivery rider who blew through the light. Seriously, unless you live in Idaho or Arkansas, stop for the damn red light, already — especially when pedestrians are present.

A DC website says it’s very charitable to conclude that the cop who hit a bike rider as he rode in a crosswalk actually had the right-of-way, as the local police insist.

Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a speeding driver who killed an 18-year old basketball star while he was riding his bike walked with just 75 days behind bars — and even that was suspended.

A travel writer visiting New Orleans says bikeshare is a surprisingly good way to tour the city.

 

International

Research papers usually tell just half the story about exercise science, since they too often leave women out of the equation, according to a Cycling Weekly writer.

Heartbreaking video from England, where a balance bike-riding three-year old became collateral damage in a road rage dispute between two drivers; remarkably, the truck driver who killed him was cleared of wrongdoing. Evidently, road rage is perfectly legal in the UK, even if it kills an innocent person.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Britain, where a “remorseless” hit-and-run driver walks without a single day behind bars for leaving a triathlete with serious injuries after deliberately cutting in front of her bike — and saying she deserved it, calling it karma, for the crime of delaying his car for a few moments. Let’s wish him well, because karma’s got a nasty way of coming back to bite you in the ass.

Seriously? Japan Today points out the dangers of reckless bicycling, while noting that police blame bike riders for “nearly 100%” of crashes with pedestrians. While we have an obligation to ride safely around people on foot, anyone who’s ever had someone step off a curb or turn around in front of them knows that’s pretty damned unlikely.

The Japanese man whose wife and three-year old daughter were killed when their bike was struck by an 87-year old driver calls attention to elderly people who can no longer drive safely. We’ve got to find a better way to identify unsafe drivers and take the keys out of their hands. Because despite what Elon Musk says, self-driving cars are a long way off.

 

Finally…

When you’re sexually harassed by your e-scooter.  Here’s your chance to tour Winterfell by bike.*

And yes, I would.

In a heartbeat.

*dragons not included

Guest Posts: An attack on children and mountain biking, and LACBC response to last week’s FedEx bike death

Sorry to disappear on you this week. 

My St. Patrick’s Day was interrupted by a sudden sharp pain, a panicked trip to the emergency room, and an unplanned stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Where their firewall somehow prevented me from logging into this site. Not that I was capable of doing much in my morphine-induced haze, anyway.

Now I’m finally back home, a handful of kidney stones, a few pounds and a couple thousand bucks lighter.

I’m still trying to shake the last of that drug fog and make up for some lost sleep, so let’s skip the Morning Links one more day, and catch up on a couple of recent guest posts.

First up is a one from Mike Vandeman arguing against allowing kids to take up mountain biking. While it’s not something I agree with in any way, I’ll let him make his case. As he said in an email to me, you can’t argue with facts. We’ll let you decide just what those facts are.

Next, I had planned to share the LACBC’s press release on the tragic death of Elisa Gomez in Monday’s post, so we’ll finish with that today. As you’ll recall, Gomez was killed by a FedEx driver who pulled out from a stop sign while she was directly in front of his truck, then run over after he failed to stop, and fled the scene. A suspect was taken into custody, but no word on an arrest.

Then barring any unexpected setbacks, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Morning Links tomorrow.

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Children and Mountain Biking

by Mike Vandeman, mjvande@pacbell.net

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking,
besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is
extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very
first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13!
Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told,
mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1)
they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural
areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand
and object to this activity. For 600+ examples of serious accidents
and deaths caused by mountain biking, see
http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996:
http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm. It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to
say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have
EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that
good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more
harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and
that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle
the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited,
and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see
http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm). I found that of the seven studies
they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every
case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to
the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided
mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not
favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches
kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s
good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm.

Note: It’s the policy of this site not to post personal contact information; however, Mike Vandeman’s email address has been included at his request.

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LACBC CALLS ON OFFICIALS TO ACT FOR SAFER STREETS: 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON BICYCLE KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday morning, Elisa Gomez was hit by a delivery truck southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and left to die in the middle of the street. The 54-year-old bicyclist was riding Eastbound on Washington Avenue at around 8:30 in the morning and was struck from behind by a FedEx delivery truck, which then sped away. This tragedy is indicative of the grim realities faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on our county’s streets.

Los Angeles County is known as the “hit-and-run capital of the nation” with 50% of all traffic crashes categorized as “hit-and-run.” The national average is 11%. In 2015, over 28,000 hit-and-run crashes were reported across the county. That averages out to one hit-and-run crash every 18 minutes in Los Angeles County, a number that glaringly shows the risks faced by those walking or biking in our county.

Making streets safer for all road users has to be a priority for the City of Los Angeles,” stated LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen. “Simple steps can be taken to calm traffic and make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking. We know how it do it — other cities have shown immense progress building infrastructure to decrease speeds, make turns safer, and build a city at a human scale. Angelenos deserve safe streets and they deserve elected officials willing to show real leadership to make it happen.

Elisa was killed a block away from the Washington Blue Line Metro station southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. In 2017, LACBC partnered with other community organizations and Metro to conduct community engagement along the Blue Line to assess the safety and access needs for people walking and biking to stations. LACBC chose to focus on Washington Station, an area surrounded by the High Injury Network, to work to prevent tragedies such as these. Currently, Metro is using the data collected through this process to apply for funding to make infrastructure improvements identified by the community.

The widely-accepted belief that people dying on our streets is inevitable is a false one. These tragedies are wholly preventable, and that’s why we call them “crashes” and not “accidents.” LACBC calls upon our city and elected officials to be leaders for safe streets and commit to adequately funding and implementing initiatives like Vision Zero. Without their leadership, Elisa Gomez will not be the last bicyclist who will be killed on Los Angeles streets.

I reached out to Jansen for further comment, and received the following response.

Elisa Gomez didn’t have to die. While the driver is ultimately responsible for running her down and leaving her to die on the pavement, her death could have been prevented by ensuring Angelenos have access to safe streets. We know how to make streets safe, and Elisa Gomez deserved elected officials willing to show real leadership to end traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. We need action, and not just another plan sitting on a shelf.

It’s good to see the LACBC take an active lead in fighting for safer streets. Because if there’s any good that can come from this senseless tragedy, it will be keeping it from happening to someone else.

Mountain biker found dead after being missing overnight in Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Mountain biking is usually a safe sport, resulting in nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises.

Yet for the second time in less than ten days, a mountain biker has been killed riding on an off-road trail in the Inland Empire.

According to KABC-7, 43-year old Long Beach resident Sokha Pho was found dead today in a remote region off the Raptor Ridge Trail in Carbon Canyon Regional Park, just over the San Bernardino County line from Orange County.

However, KCBS-2 places the location in Chino Hills State Park.

The station reports he had gone riding yesterday morning, and relatives called authorities when he did not return as expected yesterday afternoon. Rescuers from Orange and San Bernardino Counties conducted a search by foot, vehicle and air before spotting his body around 2:30 pm, suffering from obvious signs of trauma.

Commenters on a member’s only Facebook group said the trail, which is normally safe, was overgrown with foliage and virtually impassible; one rider told me she decided not to ride the trail yesterday because she couldn’t get through the overgrowth.

This is the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in San Bernardino County.

Correction: KABC-7 originally identified the trail as Rafter Ridge, rather than Raptor Ridge. I’ve changed the story to reflect the correct location. Thanks to Bob for the catch.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sokha Pho and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

Murrieta mountain biker killed in trail riding fall last Saturday

The Murrieta Patch is reporting that a mountain biker has died after losing control of his bike on a local trail.

Sixty-five-year old Murrieta resident Dennis Fabozzi was reportedly trailing a group of riders around 1 pm Saturday on a dirt trail near Tenaja Road and Via Volcano, when he fell and struck his head on a rock, resulting in a serious neck injury.

Witnesses performed CPR until paramedics arrived; however, he died at the scene without regaining consciousness.

The story notes that he was wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, that would have done nothing to protect his neck from blunt force trauma.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first in Riverside County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Dennis Fabozzi and all his loved ones.

Update: Mountain biker found dead after search in Angeles National Forest

An overnight ground and air search for a missing mountain biker led to bad news in the hills above Altadena.

According to KCBS-2, a Torrance man was found dead in the Angeles National Forrest around 10:30 Saturday morning, after going missing while riding on Friday.

The victim, whose name has been withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead after his body was discovered on the Brown Mountain Truck Trail.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, which suggests he may have died of natural causes, or perhaps succumbed to exposure from being lost on the mountainside overnight.

This is the 10th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County.

Update: The Pasadena Star News reports that, contrary to the earlier report, the victim did show trauma consistent with a fall. His body was discovered a short distance from his bike, which had been spotted by a hiker around 10 am about three miles up the trail. 

He had gone for a ride Friday morning; a search was initiated at 9 pm Friday when his cellphone was traced to an SUV parked at the trailhead.

Update 2: SFV Media identifies the victim as 49-year old Torrance resident Evan Bruce Sisson. The site reports he was discovered partway down a cliff, with his bike at the base.

Update 3: The LA County Coroner confirmed that Sission died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, rather than a fall.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Evan Bruce Sisson and his loved ones.

Morning Links: Examining 2015 SoCal bicycling fatalities, and San Diego mountain bikes seized by Marines

Seventy-three.

That’s how many people lost their lives while riding a bicycle in Southern California last year.

While far too many, that is a significant improvement over the year before, when 86 riders were killed on SoCal streets, and in 2013, when 89 people died riding their bikes.

Of those,

  • 29 died in Los Angeles County, compared to 31 in 2014
  • 17 died in Orange County, compared to 20 in 2014
  • 12 died in San Diego County, compared to 9 in 2014
  • 10 died in Riverside County, compared to 13 in 2014
  • 3 died in San Bernardino County, compared to 11 in 2014
  • 2 died in Ventura County, compared to 2 in 2014
  • No one was killed either year in Imperial County

Meanwhile, 11 riders were killed in the City of Los Angeles in 2015, which is the same as in 2014.

Of the 52 Southern California cases where there was enough information to reasonably assign blame, it was evenly divided, with cyclists at fault in 26 of the fatalities, and drivers at fault in the other 26.

A few other key stats from last year,

  • 59 bike riders died in traffic collisions
  • 8 bike riders died in solo falls
  • 3 bike riders died in train collisions
  • 2 bike riders died of natural causes while riding

In addition,

  • 32 of the fatal bicycling collisions occurred at night
  • 23 occurred during the day
  • 7 occurred at dusk
  • 3 occurred at daybreak
  • 12 of the fatal bicycling collisions were hit-and-runs
  • 10 involved drug or alcohol use; in two of those cases, it was the cyclist who was under the influence
  • 2 involved drivers cited for distracted driving
  • No cyclists died as a result of dooring

And in the cases where it was indicated,

  • 16 of the victims weren’t wearing a helmet
  • 9 of the victims were wearing a helmet

It should be noted that these stats are complied primarily through published reports, as well as other confirmed sources. It is likely that one or more fatalities may not have been reported, and therefore, not included in these totals. Not all amounts will add up to total since some factors, such as the time of the incident, are not always reported.

………

Seriously, you don’t mess with the Marines.

Roughly 45 San Diego-area mountain bikers learned that the hard way over the weekend when they were stopped by armed Marines, ticketed and had their bikes confiscated for trespassing on military property.

The riders had evidently strayed onto the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, formerly home to the famed Top Gun school before the base was transferred from the Navy to the Marine Corp.

According to a thread on the mtbr forum, riders had received plenty of warnings that the trails were closed to the public, since they were close to areas where live fire drills are conducted. However, many riders complained that they were poorly marked, if at all, even though the Marines indicated notices had been posted on all trails and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association has been warning about the closure for months.

The riders were escorted off the base, and forced to walk back to their cars or have someone pick them up. They can reclaim their bikes once the citations have been adjudicated and any fines paid.

………

Local

The Times reviews a sandwich shop just off the LA River bike path in Frogtown, where the dishes are named after public radio hosts.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson issues his recommendations for the governing body for SoCal bike racing.

 

State

A new parking structure in Old Towne Orange will include a bike plaza with bike racks and lockers.

Sad news from Oxnard, where a teenager was killed while walking his bike along a train track.

 

National

Bicycling talks with five cyclists — or maybe six, they can’t seem to decide — about how it feels to get hit by a car, and how it changed the way they ride.

If riding your bike isn’t environmentally-friendly enough, Grist talks eco-friendly bike lube.

Gear Junkie is the latest to discover the all-black company of bike-riding Buffalo Soldiers of the 1890s. Though someone should tell them quite a few non-elite cyclists ride more than 1,900 miles.

Oregon district attorneys want to make it a felony to hit a bicyclist with a car, presumably intentionally.

Boulder CO, a platinum level bike friendly community, is removing a pair of protected bike lanes, in part because of complaints from cyclists.

An Iowa paper looks at how Minneapolis became a bicycling mecca and asks why not us?

Eight years after a legally blind Columbia MO Army vet took up bicycling, he’s gained independence, improved his fitness and competed in his first triathlon.

Chicago tries, and fails, to have all the bike lanes in the city declared recreational zones to avoid liability for failing to maintain them. Under that standard, all the streets would be racetracks.

New York’s mayor agrees to reduce the number of horse drawn carriages in Central Park, while kicking out their pedicab competition. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the heads-up.

North Carolina boy scouts offer advice for aspiring cross-county charity cyclists after raising $35,000 in memory of a schoolmate who died of cancer.

 

International

Rio, Brazil opens a beachfront bike path that the BBC calls one of the most beautiful in the world; the city plans to complete 450 kilometers of bikeways — roughly 280 miles — in advance of next year’s Olympics.

A pioneering new stem cell treatment is delivering “miraculous” results, enabling formerly wheelchair-bound patients to walk again; a former triathlete is even able to ride his bike.

Heartbreaking story of a young Toronto cyclist taking a tour through the Deep South looking for the roots of American music. And the half-assed investigation into his death that exonerated a truck driver who claimed he had committed suicide by riding head-first into the truck, while witnesses and evidence indicated the driver actually ran him down from behind.

A British website looks at suits specially made for bicycle commuting.

Denmark will install bike boxes at busy intersections to prevent right turn collisions.

An entrepreneurial Egyptian couple build their own bike-borne sweet potato street food cart for the equivalent of just $255.

The beat goes on, as a South African mountain biker is the latest cyclist busted for doping.

The woman riding through the Southern Hemisphere to collect 1001 stories about climate change pauses to catch her breath in New Zealand.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to give 110% effort; it’s another to get overwhelming support for bicycling when a whopping 156% of local residents respond. Do you really need a new law to clarify that bike riders have the right-of-way when they have the right of way?

And what good is a cycling superhighway if a driver is going to tailgate you on it?

 

Mountain biker dies from trail fall in Riverside County

Sad news from the Inland Empire, as a mountain bike rider has been found dead following a fall on a Riverside County trail.

According to the Idyllwild Town Crier, the body of 57-year old Pinyon resident James Thomas was discovered on nearby trail around 8 pm Sunday.

He had been riding downhill on a dirt trail two-tenths of a mile southwest of California 74 and Pinon Flats Transfer Station Road around 1:55 pm, when he apparently lost control after hitting a rocky patch.

Thomas suffered significant head injuries, despite wearing a helmet. He was found by a hiker about six hours later.

The story does not report how the authorities can be so specific in pinpointing the time of the crash.

This should serve as a tragic reminder to always tell someone where you’re going, and give them a time when you’ll be back.

This is the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eighth in Riverside County. He is the second SoCal trail rider to be killed in a solo fall since the first of the year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Thomas and his family.

 

Update: Mountain biker dies from solo fall at Snow Summit

Not every bicycling fatality involves another vehicle.

Sadly, sometimes all it take is one bad fall.

According to the San Bernardino Sun, 54-year old Valencia resident Mario Steven Cruz was riding on a downhill trail at the Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear on Friday morning when he fell from his bike. He was not breathing when an off-duty ski patrol member arrived at the scene around 9:35 am.

Cruz was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he died the next day around 10:35 am.

This is the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in San Bernardino County; he is also the third bike rider to die in the county in just the last week.

Update: In tragic news for a department that has already suffered too much loss in recent months, Brion reports in a comment below that Cruz is a retired LAPD Motor Officer.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Mario Cruz and his family.

 

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