Tag Archive for murder

Morning Links: Triathlete killed in crash during race, bicyclist talks abductor into freeing her, and Riverside cyclist t-boned

Just a quick warning.

We’ve got some rough stories to start with today. So you might want to skip the first few items if you don’t want to deal with that this morning.

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A triathlete was killed when she was run down by a semi while competing in the bicycle portion of the Ohio 70.3 Ironman triathlon.

Police say the right lane of a highway was coned off to provide a safety zone for competitors, but for some reason she was outside the safety zone.

Which apparently made her fair game.

Never mind that organizers somehow thought a few orange cones would offer sufficient protection from high-speed traffic and heavy trucks.

Or that no one participating in a race would go outside the cones to, say, pass other participants.

Meanwhile, Stephen Collins points out the sheer idiocy of noting that the victim was wearing a helmet, as if that would somehow protect her from getting run over by a massive truck.

Or that the driver was wearing his seatbelt.

Seriously.

Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels.

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In another outrageous story, an Australian triathlete was knocked off her bike by the driver of a delivery van, bound with electrical tape, then kidnapped and driven to a rundown house on the outskirts of town where she was stripped and beaten.

Yet somehow, 27-year old triathlete and former cycling champ Nathalie Birli managed to talk her abductor into releasing her — by complimenting his orchids.

Police later used the GPS on her racing bike to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Let’s hope they toss him in a very deep hole until he gets the help he obviously needs.

Meanwhile, Megan Lynch reminds us that this case is eerily reminiscent of the killing of American biologist Dr. Suzanne Eaton on Crete, who was struck twice with a motor vehicle before the driver abducted and raped her, then abandoned her in a World War II bunker to die.

The difference is that Birli was able to talk her way out of it.

Raising the question of just what the fuck is wrong with these people?

As well as just how easy it is to turn a motor vehicle into a weapon.

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Robs Muir forwards a Facebook post reminding us all to be careful out there, after a Riverside bicyclist was t-boned by a stop sign-running driver.

But aren’t the people on two wheels supposed to be the dangerous ones who run stop signs and jeopardize all those poor, innocent motorists?

Maybe not so much.

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Evidently, Denver has some pretty spectacular NIMBYs, too.

Even after a woman was killed by a garbage truck driver while riding her bike, residents of the street she was killed on still oppose a bike lane.

So a local newscaster called them out, suggesting that maybe they shouldn’t argue for the aesthetic appeal parking while bodies are lifted off the street.

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He makes a good point.

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Unbelievable.

A Milwaukee bicyclist was the victim of a strong-arm robbery while he was competing in a 24-hour race, after a man confronted him, then wrestled his bike away and rode off with it.

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Local

Los Angeles looks to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA and Vernon, creating a single 32-mile pathway in time for the 2028 Olympics.

The Long Beach Post goes riding with the Pedal Movement bike tour to visit the Pow! Wow! murals of the city.

 

State

Police in San Diego will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation today. So the usual protocol applies. Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

San Diego bike riders remember a fallen bicyclist a year after he was killed while inexplicably riding on a busy freeway.

A San Diego op-ed says everything is fine, just keep on driving and don’t let those bad, bad bureaucrats force you onto a bike or transit.

One last item from the self-proclaimed America’s Finest City, as Good Samaritans chased down a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light and knocked down a bike rider; the victim refused to go to the hospital, despite suffering a head injury.

A San Francisco op-ed by the head of Policy Initiatives for dockless e-scooter provider Spin says it’s time to rebuild cities for people, not cars.

Horrible tragedy in Turlock, where a bike rider was killed on the way to the hospital when the ambulance he was riding in after getting hit by a car rolled over when it was hit by a truck driver; five other people were injured. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Davis columnist says the city was dissed in PeopleForBikes ranking of California’s top ten bicycling cities, which was topped by San Diego and didn’t include Davis at all.

After seven year’s, Truckee’s bike park is still going strong.

 

National

A writer for Bicycling asks drivers if their time is really more important than his life. That loud roar you hear is impatient drivers across the US screaming “yes!”

An expert on autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence suggests the solution to getting more kids to ride bicycles is to get fully autonomous vehicles on the road — which will presumably be safer and not bang into them as much. I won’t hold my breath. Especially since current AVs have a problem recognizing and avoiding people on bicycles.

A pair of Oregon women spent their Saturday night shoplifting from TJ Maxx, then running down a bike rider as they made their getaway, leaving the victim with serious injuries.

An Iowa priest overcame a stroke to take part in this year’s RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, with the help of friends and a ‘bent built for two.

Former Texas congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s dad was one of us, hopefully passing along his passion for bicycling across the country, as well as his ability to lose well.

Once again, the Green Bay Packers rode borrowed bicycles to training camp, as area kids competed to to get their heroes attention and loan them their bikes.

A Chicago alderman wants to ban bikes on the city’s popular Riverwalk. Or maybe just the entire city.

The spirit of Major Taylor is energizing a Minnesota bike club, as they try to get more African Americans on bicycles.

She gets it. A St. Louis letter writer politely excoriates the local paper for calling a bike-car crash an accident.

Pennsylvania kids as young as 13 say the Bike Life movement helps keep them off drugs and out of trouble, even if they annoy the crap out of drivers when they swarm the streets.

Streetsblog says the Green Wave plan presented by New York’s mayor is “long-overdue — and not truly visionary,” but should make a clear difference, while the Daily News says now its up to the mayor to actually deliver on his promises.

No bias here. The traditionally anti-bike New York Post says in response to the previous news that “bike supremacy” is ruining the city, with “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.” Never mind that bike lanes don’t take an inch from sidewalks. Or that bike delivery people who use those bike lanes are just doing their jobs, just like the delivery drivers the Post champions. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

Aussie model Jordan Barrett is one of us, illegally riding on a New York sidewalk on a bikeshare bike with his newly bleached hair.

A North Carolina bridge dedicated to a fallen bike rider finally gets a plaque in his honor, 28 years after he died.

An Atlanta columnist kind of makes fun of Atlanta’s people protected bike lane last week but manages to get through the entire piece without saying much of anything. Although the protesters called it an LIT lane, for Light Individual Transport, to include scooters and other forms of micromobility.

 

International

An Ottawa newspaper succumbs to a severe case of both side-ism, telling everyone to act like adults and not attack one another when it comes to bicycle safety. Except the attacks were coming from a city councilor in response to bike riders saying they don’t want to get killed.

Speaking at a 288-mile fundraising ride in her honor, the family of assassinated British Member of Parliament Jo Cox says the country’s politics has gotten more toxic since she was killed by a far-right gunman.

Victoria’s Secret model Alexina Graham is sort of one of us, posing for a UK photoshoot astride a bicycle in the very practical riding attire of work boots and a tiny red bikini.

No, it’s not the English bikeshare system that failed when only 25 of the 5,000 promised bikes were ever delivered in the first place, it’s the people running it.

A doctor from the UK raised the equivalent of over $130,000 for a breast cancer charity by competing on a two-man team in the Race Across America.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed a member of Parliament who champions the benefits of bicycling and walking as the country’s new roads minister.

An Edinburgh couple agreed to bike around the world in their initial Tinder message; 18 months and 19,000 miles — and one Yosemite marriage — later, they’ve made it back home.

Evidently, banning cars is more popular than they thought. Madrid’s new mayor is backing off a campaign pledge to reverse the ban on cars in the city center after a citizen backlash rises to defend it.

Four New Zealand bicyclists ended up in the hospital following a car-free crash at “reasonably high speed” while on a club ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old Columbian Egan Bernal won this year’s Tour de France after gaining the lead in a controversial finish to stage 19, when organizers stopped the race early after hail covered the the course leading up to the finish, depriving France’s Julian Alaphilippe the opportunity to make up for lost time and defend his yellow jersey.

Newsweek tells you everything you need to know about Egan Bernal but were afraid to ask.

Team Ineos — the former Team Sky — marked Bernal’s win by turning Bernal’s bike yellow down to the water bottles, with special yellow-accented kits for his teammates.

Bernal says he doesn’t even know how to describe the feeling of happiness his victory gave him.

Billboard celebrates Bernal’s win with five bicycle-themed songs, most of which are, appropriately, in Spanish.

The Guardian says the only surprise is that it took a Columbian so long to win the Tour de France. Or anyone from South America, for that matter.

It wasn’t just Bernal. Bicycling lists the winners of all four categories that are celebrated with a colored jersey.

The pain of crashing out of the Tour with serious injuries is more than just physical. Especially when you’re carrying the hopes of the home country on your shoulders.

Outside says the motor-doping tests at the Tour de France are a joke, accusing officials of just going through the motions rather than actually looking for motors on competitors bikes.

Canadian Michael Woods became the first person to both run a sub-four minute mile and finish the Tour de France.

Gear Patrol questions when athletic gear so innovative it might be cheating should be banned from the sport, like Graeme Obree’s record-setting homemade track bikes.

 

Finally…

Never leave your bigass truck unlocked with the keys inside, or someone on a bike may ride up, toss his bike in the back and drive off with it. Pedal your bike up to your secluded treehouse; no, literally up.

And seriously, if drivers can’t see a rider on a one-ton horse, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

 

Morning Links: A mea culpa, discussion of bikes & climate change in the ‘Bu, and murder change for speeding NoHo driver

Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

Let me start with a profound apology for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

Usually when my blood sugar crashes, I get warning signs, like uncontrollable shaking or yawning, sleepiness, or the cold sweats, that allow me to catch it before it’s too late.

But sometimes, none of those thing happen. And that’s when it’s most dangerous, when I have no idea that my blood sugar has dropped to dangerous levels.

That’s what happened Tuesday night.

When I checked my blood sugar before taking the Corgi out for her last walk of the day, I felt fine. So I was shocked to discover it was just 53 mg/dl.

Normal for you is around 100; normal for me, as a diabetic, is 100 to 150.

And much below 50, for too long, is dead.

In fact, that’s the point where my doctor has instructed my wife to get me to the ER, stat, if I can’t get it back up.

I was just four points from that before I even knew there was a problem.

Fortunately, a fig bar and a bowl of ice cream got me back up around 80 mg/dl  within half an hour.

And no, the irony is not lost on me that my life-saving medication is dessert for anyone else.

But the damage was done.

The symptoms, when they finally came, hit with the impact of a failed parachute.

Then once I got that under control, I passed out. Except this time, it didn’t last for just an hour or two, allowing me to resume work once I woke up.

Instead, it was 4:30 in the morning before I could rouse myself just to make it from the couch to the bed. Then almost noon before I woke up enough to take the Corgi out, sleeping through a number of alarm clocks and a phone call from my wife along the way.

Not to mention one hell of a headache.

So my apologies for not posting yesterday, or even posting about why I wasn’t posting. But I was in no shape to write anything.

And frankly, too out of it to care.

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On the other hand, there’s one bit of good news before we get started.

My physical therapist has given me the okay to actually ride my bike out on the street, instead of on the trainer, once I feel up to it.

Problem is, I don’t feel up to it right now.

If I lived in a quieter neighborhood, or had better access to an offroad path like the LA River of Ballona Creek, I’d give it a try.

But here in Hollywood, with its heavy traffic and almost complete lack of bicycling infrastructure, I need a lot more strength in my newly repair leg before I’m confident enough to mix it up with LA drivers.

And don’t even get me started on those laughable sharrows on Vine Street.

I’m getting stronger every day now, though, and hopefully I’ll have enough confidence in my new knee to give it a try in the next week or two.

Because we definitely won’t be getting any new bike lanes anytime soon.

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A team of UCLA “climate explorers” is riding from Oakland to Los Angeles as we speak, to learn “first-hand about climate change impacts and solutions.”

They’ll pitstop in Malibu on Saturday, June 22nd for a panel discussion about climate change and sustainability.

And presumably, what they learned along the way.

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Now that’s more like it.

A 24-year old woman faces murder and hit-and-run charges for the high-speed crash that killed a motor scooter rider in North Hollywood last week.

Now if we could just see charges like that when someone runs a bicycle rider down.

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A British bike rider blocked a pair of angry salmon motorists from taking a short cut on the wrong side of the road. And got so many pats on the back from fellow bike riders and passing drivers he may not be able to wear a backpack for a few weeks.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Police are looking for whoever strung rope at varying heights in several places along a Newport RI bike path with “the intent to cause harm.”

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Local

LA Councilmember Paul Koretz tries to shove the genie back in the bottle, declaring his fevered desire to get rid of e-scooters entirely, while calling them anti-Vision Zero. In which case he should support them, since he’s been fighting Vision Zero since the beginning. And if he really wants to talk anti-Vision Zero, wait until he hears about cars.

Long Beach responds to drivers complaints about the new Broadway parking-protected bike lanes by ending street-sweeping in favor of sweeping just the bike lanes, and restoring 65 parking spaces.

CiclaValley shows you the sights and sounds of PedalFest 2019. And he’s leading a Pacifico Mountain Ride for Gravel Bike California on June 30th.

 

State

Lyft is dumping their association with Ford and the Ford GoBike brand for their Bay Area bikeshare system, and will bring their new black and pink ebikes to San Jose next.

Bird buys its way into the San Francisco e-scooter market by buying scooter competitor Scoot, after being blocked out by the city.

Bicycling remembers Petaluma master framebuilder Bruce Gordon, who passed away last Friday.

A Modesto paper calls Yosemite’s bike trails among the park’s best kept secrets.

 

National

Bicycling lists eleven things you need to start riding on gravel. Or you could just get a bike, put wider tires on it, and ask CiclaValley to take you for a ride.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske is back with advice for how to deal with an assault by an unfunny prankster. Best advice — always ride with a bike cam. I mount mine on my helmet; the minimal neck strain is offset by the ability to focus it anywhere I turn my head.

Your next ebike could be made of plastic.

An Oregon man is riding across the US in memory of a friend who died of breast cancer — despite suffering seven strokes himself.

Great idea. Denver public libraries will now allow you to check out a bike repair kit, including tools and a tire pump.

Bike cops in an Illinois town will now be patrolling the streets on a pair of massive, “military-grade” ebikes.

A Michigan bike rider is shocked when an SUV driver rear-ends his bike — then blames him for the crash before fleeing the scene.

Louisville KY police recover a boy’s brand new bike after it was stolen, and personally deliver it to the emergency room where he was taken for apparently unrelated injuries.

He gets it. A Nashville op-ed writer says don’t give up on e-scooters, following calls to ban them after a man was killed.

Best argument so far for not stopping at a red light. A Chattanooga bike rider was injured when someone walked up and shot him as he was stopped at an intersection.

Tuesday night races are back on at a defunct Brooklyn naval air base after nearly getting priced out of existence.

City Limits says if New York’s Vision Zero isn’t working, blame the lack of consequences for drivers who hit bike riders and pedestrians.

New York rapper A$AP Ferg is one of us, partnering with Redline to market his own limited-edition line of BMX bikes showcasing his own mad skills.

A New York Streetsblog editor picks the best bikes for foldie lovers on a budget, testing “a bunch” of bikes to pick the best folding bikes for under $1,500.

An op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer says a bill under consideration to legalize parking-protected bike lanes in Pennsylvania would improve safety for everyone, while helping to improve people’s heart health.

You’ve got to be kidding. The hit-and-run driver who fled after crashing into a Charleston SC pedicab while driving with a BAC of .24 — three times the legal alcohol limit — walked with less than a slap on the wrist, as a judge sentenced her to a fine and a lousy 48 hours of community service. If you want to know why people keep dying on our streets, this is it.

Best product placement ever. A Florida bike rider refuses to go to the hospital after he was hit by a truck driver until someone bought him a Coke. They did, and he did.

 

International

National Geographic gets it, saying bikes are the best way to tour cities around globe. And good for the planet, too.

Saskatoon takes a big step backward, ripping out protected bike lanes because the city’s drivers somehow couldn’t figure them out, and wanted more parking places, anyway.

An Ottawa bike rider made the point the hard way when he was hit by a driver just blocks from a protest at city hall calling for safer streets.

A Berlin group is helping refugee and migrant women gain confidence and independence by learning to ride a bike.

When Aussie bike riders post a video of crashes and near misses, commenters are quick to blame the people on two wheels. Even though a kangaroo caused one of them.

A writer for Cycling Tips pulls out his deerstalker hat and pipe to uncover the strange tale behind the rapid rise and sudden disappearance of disruptive Chinese smart bike maker SpeedX.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome suffered a major setback in his quest for a fifth title when he crashed into the side of a house at high speed. Froome had just finished a descent when he took his hand off his handlebars to blow his nose, and a sudden gust of wind blew him off the road; he’s currently in intensive care with undisclosed injuries.

VeloNews looks at LA’s Justin Williams and his new Legion of Los Angeles cycling team following his two stage wins and second place finish in last weekend’s Tulsa Tough.

Maybe the thief just wanted to take a joy ride. The Jumbo-Visma cycling team was victimized by a bike thief who struck when the team mechanic turned his back for a moment, then left the distinctive looking bike on the side of the road the next day.

 

Finally…

Pedal harder, or no Netflix for you. On the other hand, how slow can you go?

And you might want to hold off on using the New Orleans bikeshare for awhile.

 

Morning Links: Whittier hit-and-run fugitive captured in Australia, bad guys on bikes, and no justice for killer cops

It’s Day 6 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give today to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

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In a surprising development, Australian police have arrested a woman for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider in Whittier last year.

The FBI lost the trail of 33-year old fugitive Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes after tracking her to Asia when she fled the country, just five days after killing Agustin Rodriguez Jr.

The father of four died when a driver stopped to let him cross the street on his bike, then was struck by Reyes after she swerved around the stopped car. She dragged Rodriguez and his bicycle the length of two football fields.

Reyes was found living in Adelaide and using 11 different aliases.

She now faces extradition to Los Angeles on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run. Reyes could spend up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on both counts.

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Bike riders aren’t always the good guys.

LA County is offering a  $10,000 reward in the racially motivated shooting death of Long Beach resident Fred Taft, hours after he was harassed by a group of white men on bicycles. Long Beach is offering another $20,000.

In the same story, the Long Beach Post reports the county is considering renewing a $25,000 reward in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Cole Micek last March; Micek was run over by two separate drivers, who both fled the scene.

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Once again, LA’s DA refuses to prosecute a cop, declining to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy responsible for a crash that killed two small children.

The DA’s office also refused to file charges against the distracted sheriff’s deputy who killed Milt Olin, along with the trigger-happy Gardena cops who fatally shot the brother of a bike theft victim.

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No irony here.

Thanks to a crappy locking job, this Stolen Brand bike wasn’t. Just mangled and stripped to the bones.

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Local

Alhambra’s city council was scheduled to vote last night on whether to return to the recent auto-centric past by banning bikeshare and e-scooters from the city. Thanks to M for the heads-up; no, not James Bond’s boss in MI6. Probably.

A governing website talks with the policy director of Santa Monica-based Bird about the boom in e-scooters, and what cities should be doing about it.

Speaking of scooters, Long Beach wants your input on the city’s e-scooter program.

 

State

California’s former Governator is one one of us, proclaiming his desire to bicycle all over the world.

Monterey’s hugely popular Sea Otter Classic is exporting itself to sea otter-free Ontario, Canada.

San Francisco is on its way to becoming the first major US city to toss minimum parking restrictions out the window.

A Marin County bicycling organization is pushing for more bike access to Point Reyes National Seashore; as always, a group of equestrians wants to keep them out.

 

National

A Portland-area paper kvetches about streetcar tracks in the bike lane. Which is both dangerous and stupid; the streetcar tracks, not the kvetching. 

A popular Texas bike shop is trying to raise enough funds to stay in business after it was scammed out of $3,000 worth of bikes and accessories.

A longtime Denver talk show host with his head firmly planted up his…uh, in the auto-centric past complains about what he calls the “folly of bike lanes, insisting that no one uses them and they just get in the way of all those poor, put-upon drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on…and on. Bike riders in Boulder CO report finding tacks in their tires after riding on a popular bike route.

Chicago bicyclists faced treacherous conditions after the city failed to clear protected bike lanes after a snowstorm.

Gray-haired New Yorkers are furious over a plan to allow bicyclists to ride through a park they frequent to access a new esplanade on the East River.

New York’s city council is preparing to go to the mattresses over a proposal to legalize ebikes and e-scooters. Although someone should tell them it’s all those cars that make the city’s streets dangerous, not the people on two wheels.

America’s other ex-Tour de France champ is challenging the validity of Trump’s acting attorney general, using his nearly settled lawsuit against Lance as leverage.

Sad news from Florida, where a second bike rider has died after an apparently distracted driver slammed into a group of riders when she was blinded by the sun.

 

International

Now that’s more like it. Halifax, Nova Scotia is paying nearly a quarter million dollars to install side guards on a fleet of privately owned garbage trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from getting trapped underneath.

London’s Scotland Yard releases video showing its officers dealing with lawbreaking moped and motorcycle riders by ramming them with their patrol cars. Which would be assault with a deadly weapon if anyone else tried it.

Three British bicyclists attempted to ride 5,000 miles across Europe to raise money for a charity; only one finished the journey after one rider was hit by a driver, and the other injured a knee.

An Irish bike rider saw his case against the driver who hit him thrown out of court after the judge concludes the pedestrian path he was riding on wasn’t a bikeway, even though it was frequently used as one.

Wine Enthusiast considers the L’Eroica vintage bicycle tours through the sun-drenched wine country of Tuscany.

Ten Indian men set out to ride around the world in the 1920s and 1930s; seven made it.

Cycling legend Gary Fischer talks mountain bikes with an Indian newspaper.

A South African cyclist is riding over 1,200 miles to raise funds to save the rhinos.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist records six dangerous passes and left hooks — the equivalent of our right hook — in a single ride. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, any day that ends in Y.

Tickets for bicycling offenses have dropped dramatically in New Zealand, as police have shifted enforcement towards motorist behaviors that pose a greater risk to others.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips says the elite women’s cyclists are saving cyclocross, even as the men’s races are becoming boring.

A Rwandan woman dreams of forming a cycling team, 34 years after she competed in a bike race as the only woman in a field of men; it was five years before she would face other female competitors.

 

Finally…

Look at your phone when you step into the street, and pay $200. A Sketchers ad is officially non-offensive, even if a bike rider crashes while staring at Kelly Brooks in a tight sweater.

And nothing says ’tis the season like Santas on bikes.

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Thanks to William S and Phillipa M for their generous donations to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your gift helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day! Any amount is truly and deeply appreciated.

Update: Driver arrested on murder charge for intentionally running down a Claremont bike rider

Wrecks are seldom accidents.

But they’re usually not on purpose, either.

Yet that was the case in Claremont today, where a driver is facing a murder charge for intentionally running down a woman as she rode in a bike lane.

According to the Daily Bulletin, 54-year old Leslie Pray was riding north along the 1900 block of North Mills Avenue near Radcliffe Drive around 11:30 am today when she was deliberately struck by the driver of a 1996 station wagon.

Pray was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested 61-year old Claremont resident Sandra Wicksted at a nearby hospital after a brief investigation.

There’s no word on how — or why — the crash happened, or whether the two women knew each other.

Wicksted is being held on $2 million bond. Then again, if she could pay that, she probably wouldn’t be driving a 22-year old station wagon.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Claremont Police Department at 909/399-5411.

This is at least the 42nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 21st that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

And the first one that was, allegedly, on purpose.

Update: KABC-7 reports that Wicksted was driving in the opposite direction on Mills, and swerved across the road to strike Pray’s bicycle.

The presence of skid marks on the street demonstrates her path across the road, as well as indicating she was braking as she crossed the roadway. Which is odd for a driver who was attempting to hit someone. 

However, the station also says other bike riders told police that Wicksted had swerved towards them just moments before she killed Pray.

She is also suspected of being under the influence; several empty liquor bottles were found in her car after the crash.

Tragically, Pray had just started riding a bike this summer.

Update 2: A ghost bike will be installed at 7 pm today

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and Megan Lynch for the heads-up. Photo by Erik Griswold. 

Driver uses car as weapon to murder San Bernardino bike rider in intentional hit-and-run

Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a San Bernardino crash.

But this time, it was not an accident — in any sense of the word.

According to a press release from the San Bernardino Police Department, 52-year old San Bernardino resident Elroy Preston was riding on the 1400 block of E. Date Street around 6:27 pm Sunday when he was struck by a driver, who fled the scene.

Preston was taken to a local hospital, where he died later that night.

Witnesses reported he was struck by a black Dodge Magnum driven by 34-year old Dominic Deshaun Simmons of Fontana; the two men had been at the same home just before the crash.

Police spotted a vehicle matching the description at a gas station in Rialto, and arrested Simmons on suspicion of murder. He is currently being held without bail.

Simmons has an extensive criminal record, as well as several outstanding warrants for failing to appear for hearings on various charges.

Preston also had a record, though no details are available; no word on what the relationship was between the two men, if any.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Oldendorf at 909/384-5619 or Sgt. Kokesh at 909/384-5613.

This is the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th in San Bernardino County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Elroy Preston and all his loved ones.

Update: Echo Park bicycling fatality confirmed; 22-year old DUI driver book for murder

This is not the news we wanted.

After reaching out to the LAPD, Detective Felix Padilla confirmed that a 27-year old man was killed while riding his bike on Temple Street at Burlington Avenue Saturday evening.

According to the press release prepared by Det. Padilla, a sergeant with the Rampart Division observed a driver traveling at an estimated 60 mph while headed north on Burlington Avenue at around 6:15 pm.

However, before the officer could catch up to him, he heard the driver, identified as 22-year old LA resident Cruz Tzoc, lose control and smash into a parked car before proceeding into the intersection, where he slammed into a man riding his bicycle east on Temple.

The victim, who has not been identified pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tzoc was found to be over twice the legal alcohol limit, and was booked at the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of murder.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD Central Traffic Division Detectives at 213/833-3713, Detective Felix Padilla at 213/833-3713 or the Central Traffic Division Watch Commander at 213/833-3746. Tips can be made anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222/8477, or texting to 274637, beginning the message with “LAPD.”

This is the 34th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in Los Angeles County; it’s also the second in the City of Los Angeles since the start of the year.

Update: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has identified the victim as 26-year old Tomas Brewer, no city of residence given.

His death was collateral damage when Tzoc collided with the parked car and went through the intersection backwards, dragging Brewer 25 feet to his death  before striking a tree.

Tzoc has been charged with a single felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and was expected to be arraigned on April 26 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, case #BA446088; prosecutors are asking for $130,000 bail.

He faces up to 10 well-deserved years in prison upon conviction.

Let’s hope the DA’s office doesn’t bargain this one away.

Update 2: This is the damage traffic crimes do, as the pain of Brewer’s death reverberates in his hometown of Gloucester, MA. The budding screenwriter had moved to LA in 2013 after graduating college to get into the business.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Tomas Brewer and his loved ones.

Update: Arrest made in Expo Park road rage attack; driver charged with murder, hit-and-run

Evidently, it was a secret.

In a surprise announcement, My News LA reports a suspect in last month’s fatal road rage assault near Exposition Park is under arrest — and has been since four days after the October 15th incident.

Thirty-two-year old Andrew Williams was scheduled to be arraigned today on felony counts of murder and hit-and-run in the death of 35-year old Ruben Wharton Vanegas, who had not been previously identified.

That confirms an earlier witness report that Williams had been arguing with Vanegas, and had threatened to run him over before doing exactly that.

Williams has apparently been in jail the past 16 days in lieu of $1 million bond. He faces 25 to life upon conviction, according to the site.

Update: Williams arraignment has been delayed until November 20th.

Morning Links: Palmdale man killed defending his bike; LA cyclist rides to hospital after being stabbed by driver

This is why you don’t try to save your bike from robbers.

The Daily News reports that a bike rider, who has not been publicly identified, was shot and killed outside a Palmdale restaurant Tuesday night. KNBC-4 identifies the location as in front of Sky Burgers.

The 41-year old victim reportedly tried to stop four men from stealing his bike outside the restaurant on the 1800 block of E. Palmdale Blvd around 9:40 pm. He was assaulted by all four, described by witnesses as gang bangers, before one pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times.

Seriously, if you see someone trying to steal your bike, don’t attempt to stop them. Let them take it, and call the police; it’s their job to deal with it.

No matter how much your bike cost, your life is worth more.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones. Let’s hope the police catch these assholes.

……..

Seriously, WTF is wrong with some people?

LAist reports that a man was stabbed in the neck after he asked an SUV driver to turn off his lights — evidently because it was disturbing his meal in the parking lot of a Mid-City Carl’s Jr.

The driver is seen on security video getting out of his vehicle and approaching the man, who tried to back off before attempting to defend himself. The driver then pulled out a knife and stabbed him, after which he calmly got back in his car and drove off with a woman passenger, who evidently did nothing to stop the assault despite briefly getting out of the car.

The victim got on his bike and rode to a nearby hospital for treatment; the website says he was okay, despite his wounds.

Police are looking for a suspect. Then again, if the driver had just used his car instead of a knife, he probably could have driven home without a ticket.

If anyone ever tries to tell you bike riders aren’t tough, show them this.

……..

Once again, Long Beach is giving you a brief window to experience your own mini-ciclovia, as the city opens up the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race course to cyclists, skaters, runners and walkers from 11:30 am to 1 pm next Tuesday.

It would have been nice if they’d mentioned the date on their website, though.

……..

Proposed legislation would require any car sold or leased in California to have a temporary license plate before it’s driven off the lot — just like many, if not most other states require — which would allow it to be identified in the case of hit and run or other crimes.

You can sign a petition to support the bill here; as it says, there is no reasonable reason for opposition.

Thanks to Ann Frederick for the heads-up.

………

Local

Good news for sidewalk riders, or anyone who walks anywhere, as LA agrees to spend $1.3 billion over the next 30 years to fix the city’s broken sidewalks.

KPCC’s Larry Mantle talks with lame duck councilmember Tom LaBonge and Rec & Parks Superintendent Joe Salaices about the test project to allow cars on Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive. Mantle also talks LA traffic with the Source’s Steve Hyman and new LACBC ED Tamika Butler.

UCLA Transportation says bike lanes are needed on Westwood Blvd to encourage students and faculty to bike to campus; the school’s many bicycling improvements that have helped make it a Bike Friendly University aren’t worth much if people can’t get there safely.

DTLA’s Chinatown installs an unusual, but apparently effective, bike corral.

Torrance cyclists will get new bike lanes on Palos Verdes Blvd following the street’s $2.1 million makeover.

CICLE is hosting an adult learn to bike class on April 12th.

 

State

The allegedly stoned wrong-way driver who plowed down a group of cyclists on San Diego’s Fiesta Island will face a competency hearing on Wednesday.

Santa Maria police are bringing back their old bikes to support a new crop of bike cops.

A Visalia motorized bike rider is in critical condition after being hit from behind by an SUV.

Riding the other route to SoCal from the Bay Area.

A San Francisco website maps out where cyclists are most likely to be hit by a distracted driver.

Marin County supervisors tell bike path riders to slow down, you move too fast; whether they sang it in two-part harmony is unclear.

 

National

Memphis decides to rip out a two-way separated bike path that took over one side of a four lane street, but promises some sort of complete street will return following a future repaving.

WaPo shows the ineffectiveness of most bike networks by mapping out what they look like without streets for a handful of major cities; I shudder to think what LA’s would look like.

 

International

VeloNews discusses the bike path to parity in women’s cycling.

A Brit jerk posts video of a car passenger pushing a cyclist off his bike that the jerks at Facebook declined to take it down, at least initially.

London in funneling money into bicycling infrastructure, while other UK cities lag behind for a lack of funding.

Three Ghana girls create a successful bamboo bike business.

Unbelievable. An Aussie driver is fined a whopping $1,000 for running down a cyclist from behind — even though the victim was tricked out with a hi-viz vest, plus two flags and several lights.

Calling the case an absurdity, a Kiwi judge refuses to disqualify a French tourist from driving for recklessly running down a pedestrian while riding his bike on the sidewalk.

 

Finally…

Even Bay Area fifth graders know most cyclists stop for stop signs, though many motorists might argue otherwise. Bike Radar lists products they wish were April Fool’s pranks.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a pointed April Fools discussion of the bike projects LADOT will ignore this year.

……..

No, really, the late post isn’t my fault this time. I had it ready to upload, but lost my internet connection when the electrician turned off the power to fix a balky outlet. Honest.

 

Update on tragedy: North Hollywood hit-and-run victim dies

According to the LAPD, the cyclist injured early this month in a North Hollywood hit-and-run has died.

And the driver who left his broken body laying in the street as he fled the scene is now wanted for murder.

In an assault that reportedly left an experienced police detective outraged, Robert Painter was struck by a dark green or black Jeep Grand Cherokee at approximately 5:10 pm on December 2nd, while riding his bike in the crosswalk where Archwood Street crossed Laurel Canyon Boulevard. According to the LAPD, the impact “launched Painter off his bike into the air,” resulting in severe injuries; the suspect immediately fled without rendering aid.

Paramedics transported painter, a Canadian citizen living in North Hollywood, to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries this past Saturday, December 12 — 10 days after he was struck.

From the LAPD blog:

The driver of the car is described as a male Hispanic 30 to 35 years old with dark hair and dark clothes.  There was also a female passenger who was described as possibly wearing a red coat.  The suspect’s car is said to have collision damage on the front end of the driver’s side.  The suspect’s car was last seen entering an Arco gas station at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Van Owen Street a block north of where the collision occurred.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Valley Traffic Division Detectives Doug Larkin at (818) 644-8036 or Detective William Bustos at 818-644-8020.  During off-hours, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “Crimes” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

The cycling community has tens of thousands more eyes on the street than the police, so keep an eye open when you ride. If you see a vehicle that matches the description, don’t try to stop it; call the police and let them do their job.

And let’s put this son-of-a-bitch behind bars where he belongs.

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