Tag Archive for murder

Scarpa trial Monday for killing Costa Mesa fire captain, wrist slap for killer SD AG, and Malibu postpones PCH meeting

The allegedly stoned driver who killed a popular Costa Mesa fire captain will finally face justice next week.

The Daily Pilot reports that 27-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa will go on trial for murder on Monday for fatally running down 44-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita resident Mike Kreza as he was training for a triathlon in 2018.

According to the paper,

Kreza was off duty and riding his bike in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3 when a van driven by Scarpa drove off the roadway at Alicia Parkway and traveled 8 feet across the curb line, a sidewalk and an embankment, striking Kreza.

Police found Scarpa sitting on a curb following the crash, apparently intoxicated. He admitted to investigators he had shot up a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl while at a party, along with taking an anxiety medication.

Kreza died two days later, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

The murder charge suggests this wasn’t Scarpa’s first DUI arrest, and that he had probably signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while intoxicated, following a previous conviction.

The paper reports Scarpa has remained in county jail for 1,032 days since his arrest — nearly three years — by the time he goes on trial Monday.

Chance are, he’ll end up serving a lot more than that.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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If you want to get away with killing someone, use a car.

Or better yet, get elected attorney general.

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg was sentenced Thursday for a fatal hit-and-run crash. And walked without a single day behind bars.

The judge gave Ravnsborg a gentle caress on the wrist, allowing him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for a total of $1,000 in fines.

Which is apparently what a human life goes for in South Dakota these days.

Even an order to do some sort of public service to mark the anniversary of the victim’s death was put on hold, when Ravnsborg’s attorney argued it wasn’t allowed under the statute.

Authorities allowed Ravnsborg to claim he kept driving because he thought he hit a deer, rather than a man walking along the roadway. Even though the victim did a face plant in the AG’s windshield, leaving his glasses in the car where investigators found them the next day.

You’d think most people would have recognized a human face staring back at them through the windshield. Or at the very least, stopped to see what they hit.

But apparently, that kind of logic isn’t required for elected office in the state.

By continuing home, Ravnsborg may also have escaped a DUI count by delaying a blood alcohol test until 15 hours after the crash, by which time any alcohol consumed at the political fundraiser he attended would have been safely out of his system.

And it was.

Ravnsborg capped it off his extremely minimal sentence with a very self-serving statement.

The state’s governor and at least some legislators are calling for Ravnsborg to be impeached, since he refuses to step down.

We can hope, anyway.

Thanks to Pat Benson for the heads-up.

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To be continued.

Malibu pulled the plug on last night’s planned discussion on widening the shoulder on a two-mile segment of PCH, rescheduling the meeting for next month.

Supporters describe the proposed project as improving safety for people on bicycles. But others fear it would just move us into the door zone, instead.

I’m told that the wider shoulders will allow plenty of room for both bikes and parked cars, without posing a risk to the people on two wheels.

But let’s get serious.

That would require at least seven to eight feet to the right of the roadway and the left of parked cars. Anything less would be in the door zone.

So if there’s that much space already built into this plan, why don’t they just install bike lanes, instead?

Or better yet, a parking protected bike lane.

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CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León wants to know what you want to see on Huntington Drive.

You know what to tell him.

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Good news for anyone who walks. Or crosses the street.

https://twitter.com/LosAngelesWalks/status/1430988640298012672

On the other hand, the legislature killed AB 1401, which was murdered died in committee; the bill would have allowed cities to reduce parking minimums for new buildings near transit stations.

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This is what you call expert level trolling.

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A brilliant solution for locking your bike.

Unless the thief has a chain tool.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for forwarding the tweet.

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

Two British men have been charged with murder, and a third with assisting them, for intentionally running down a man as he and a woman were riding bicycles; the men allegedly abandoned and burned the car they used in an attempt to coverup the crime.

An Australian man faces charges for deliberately ramming three people on bicycles in three separate incidents just minutes apart as they were riding in a bike lane earlier this month; fortunately, none of the victims was seriously injured.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton politely takes LADOT and the LA Bureau of Engineering to task for a number of missed opportunities to install bike lanes, or protect the ones they did install.

Climate Resolve considers Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan to remake Colorado Blvd into a green, safe and vibrant street, calling it an opportunity for climate action.

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 parking hacks they say every driver should know. Although the best hack is to just take transit. Or ride a bike.

LA firefighters have made it to the halfway point in St. Louis on their cross-country ride to the former site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack.

 

State

A tandem-riding San Diego couple are fed up with the trash lining the city’s Kearny Villa Road, saying nothing has been done despite repeated complaints to the city. On the other hand, when Phil Gaimon got tired of seeing all the trash and litter on Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, he organized his own volunteer clean-up operation.

A Monterey County writer makes an impassioned defense of an unfinished “bike path to nowhere,” insisting it will be worth it once it’s completed and connects to other bikeways.

A Chico man got his bicycle back six months after it was stolen when police noticed it in a homeless camp, because he had recorded the bike’s serial number and reported it to the police. Although an even better option is to register your bike now so you have all the information before anything happens to it.

 

National

Cycling Tip’s Caley Fretz wants to know where his stolen bike was for the past three years, after it suddenly showed up locked to a Boulder, Colorado fence, mostly intact, not far from where he lived when it was taken.

Boise, Idaho will host a “wonderfully weird” pedal-powered party to celebrate the removal of the dreaded bike tire-puncturing Goathead plants.

How to explore Kansas City by bicycle on your next BBQ pilgrimage.

Continuing with this week’s theme of restoring our faith in humanity, a firefighter foundation in Wausau, Wisconsin bought a new bike for a teenage boy after the bicycle he used to deliver newspapers and care for lawns was trashed in a collision.

Someone is targeting Chicago bikeshare riders by stealing their bikes at implied gunpoint after they unlock them.

A Cleveland website says the only risks you face on Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island are horse poop, bike traffic and distracted pedestrians.

Speaking of Cleveland, a 58-year old man had to relearn how to walk after shattering his leg in a motorcycle crash, and celebrated his recovery by riding a bicycle 3814 miles through 14 states.

New York is moving forward with plans for congestion pricing, after reaching an agreement with the Biden administration to conduct an environmental review of charging drivers a toll to enter central Manhattan; it would be the first such fee in the US. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are doing what they do best, conducting a study of Metro’s congestion pricing proposal. Which usually results in studying it to death.

 

International

Bicycling can be a pain in the back, literally. So read this Cycling Weekly story about the causes of lower back pain, and how to prevent it.

Toronto bicyclists demand immediate improvements after an 18-year old man was killed by the driver of a dump truck, after he was forced to ride through a construction zone when a bike lane ended and dumped him into busy traffic; a bike advocate had warned something like that was likely to happen just two days before it actually did.

Treehugger responds to the same Toronto death by arguing that it’s time for the construction industry to prioritize the safety of people who walk or bike.

Los Angeles becomes the poster child for bad scooter behavior, as a Dublin letter writer uses it as a bad example of what he hopes the Irish city won’t become.

Paris continues to make huge strides towards safety and livability, by reducing speed limits on most streets to just 18 mph.

A former Afghan government minister is happy just to have a job, working as a bicycle delivery rider after moving to Germany in hope of a better future.

Cycling News reports on efforts to get women cyclists out of Afghanistan over fears they will be targeted by the Taliban for breaking traditional taboos.

Dozens of bicyclists took to the streets of Yemen’s capital to call for peace in the war torn country.

One hundred people faced road rage charges in Japan last year, with 24 tagged for brake checks and 20 sudden lane changes; four of the cases were blamed on bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprisingly, two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič lost more time in Thursday’s stage 12, now standing almost two minutes behind oddly named leader Odd Christian Eiking of Norway.

LA-based Continental cycling team L39ION of Los Angeles lived up to their usual winning ways in the team’s first-ever stage race, taking both the men’s and women’s races in the opening stage of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Joe Martin Stage Race.

VeloNews dives head first into the debate over whether there should be separate categories for elite women gravel racers.

 

Finally…

Think of it as a fondo where you reduce your time by eating donuts. That feeling when your winning breakaway is suddenly halted by a car fire.

And it turns out Dutch kids aren’t born on bikes, after all.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1430600351028191235

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

Arraignment set for pickup driver charged with murder, Culver City opens Jackson gate, and San Diego debates bike safety

My News LA reports Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 2nd for using his truck as a weapon to murder a bike rider last month.

As we reported over the weekend, Gutierrez allegedly made a U-turn in his massive Ford pickup and deliberately slammed into Benedicto Solanga on July 29th, in an apparent road rage attack.

Solanga died three days later, while it took nearly three weeks for authorities to conclude Gutierrez had been behind the wheel, after finding his truck hours after the crash.

Gutierrez is expected to be charged with murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for using his truck as a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

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Chalk this one up as a win for people on two wheels or feet.

For anyone who’s wondered why one of the easiest and most convenient entrances to Ballona Creek has long been closed to everyone but maintenance workers, the Culver City Council just voted to change that last night.

And better yet, to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the city also voted to support extending the Ballona Creek bike path the full length of the creek from where it emerges from underground.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune explores the ongoing debate over bike lanes in a series of op-eds, saying the city is experiencing unintended consequences in the quest to get more people on bicycles.

Not everyone is in favor of the city’s move to expand bike lanes and get more people on bicycles, however.

Just wait until someone tells that last guy what it costs to keep building more traffic lanes.

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CicLAvia has officially unveiled the route for October’s return to the Heart of LA, running from MacArthur Park to Chinatown, and east to Mariachi Plaza.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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The perfect bike for when you’re ready to live your dream to chuck your job and become the neighborhood fruit vendor.

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Today’s mountain biking break is a first-person view of a “beyond black diamond” bike trail from Canadian mountain biker Dave Herr.

Unless maybe you’d prefer a first impression of the new Killington, Vermont Bike Park.

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

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a Black teenage taekwondo star was killed when a driver slammed into his bicycle as he was trying to escape a group of alleged drug dealers armed with large knives.

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

A Washington man faces charges for allegedly chucking rocks at a road crew when they asked him to move his bicycle, before he escalated to shooting arrows at them.

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Local

The New York Times takes a look at the effect of pandemic era street dining and Slow Streets in the Los Angeles area, saying it’s chipping away at Southern California’s notorious deference to cars.

Speaking of which, hundreds turned out for Santa Monica’s first carfree weekend on Main Street this year, with two more planned for September and October.

 

State

A homeless man has been convicted of second degree murder for fatally stabbing another homeless man outside an Escondido Burger King, because he thought the man was trying to steal his bicycle.

Fremont is using plastic pylons to buck the trend of rising bike and pedestrian deaths, with a 45% reduction in major traffic crashes involving death or severe injury in the three years since they adopted Vision Zero, and a 23% drop in major crashes involving bike riders.

 

National

After concluding that Amazon was a driving force behind the problem, a company in the Pacific Northwest pulled their bike parts off the platform, taking a hit in sales to directly supply bike shops affected by the pandemic-driven shortage of bikes and parts.

Reno bike riders are staying inside as smoke from the massive California wildfires forces them off the streets.

Phoenix officials shoot down longstanding plans to install bike lanes on a major street, instead telling bike riders to be happy they’ll get new sharrows on an existing bike boulevard.

A writer for Singletracks tries racing a then top-of-the-line 1990’s mountain bike, surprisingly finding that it held its own against more modern bikes. And ends up selling it to a collector who promised to give it a good home.

A Pittsburgh children’s charity is devoted to letting kids be kids, while giving them more independence by providing them with adaptive bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

International

Treehugger offers a review of the new longtail e-cargo bike from Blix, which sells for a relatively reasonable $1,999 for the twin battery version.

A Canadian man is finishing his summer-long bike tour to visit all 18 of the country’s residential schools in an effort to reconcile with Indigenous students.

Another Canadian man rode 745 miles on his recumbent bike, despite a broken collarbone, to benefit a nine-year old Alabama boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, four decades after beating the disease himself.

Officials in Dorset, England are defending a road makeover that narrowed traffic lanes while installing a spacious 11-foot bike lane, saying the bike lane has to accommodate wobbly riders traveling in both directions, while the traffic lanes are more than wide enough if drivers just obey the speed limit.

Forget the Hound of the Baskervilles. An English mountain biker encountered the apocryphal big cat of Cornwall.

In a bizarre tragedy, a British search and rescue team stumbled on the body of a mountain biker who had apparently crashed his bike while they were on an unrelated call to rescue a teenaged old boy suffering from hypothermia.

A UK driver got three years and four months behind bars for the speeding, hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News peers into its crystal ball, and predicts the Vuelta is Primož Roglič’s to lose.

VeloNews credit’s Jennifer Valente’s physical and intellectual gifts for her gold medal in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, along with a lifelong background in track cycling.

World ‘cross champ Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of this week’s mountain bike worlds due to lingering back pain stemming from a crash in the Tokyo Olympics, though he still hopes to ride in next month’s road championships.

 

Finally…

That feeling when proper bike lanes are too “ideological” for LEGO. Who needs gas when you can buy a cool used bike for the same price?

And when building a shed for your bike would create to much “visual clutter.”

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

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

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Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

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Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

https://twitter.com/kairex/status/1429464169192038400

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

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Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

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New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

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This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

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GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

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Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

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

Bike-riding Riverside man killed in July hit-and-run road rage attack, driver arrested for murder

Once again, a driver has used his vehicle as a weapon.

And once again, someone on a bicycle paid the price.

This time, it’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that 46-year old Benedicto Solanga was riding his bike on on Market Street near the 60 Freeway around 12:40 pm on July 29, when he had a “brief interaction” with a driver later identified as 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez of Riverside.

Which sound like a bad euphemism for a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez drove off, then made a sudden U-turn and allegedly aimed his massive pickup at Solanga’s bicycle before slamming into him.

Solanga was rushed to the hospital in grave condition, where he died a few days later.

Police found Gutierrez’s Ford F-250 later that night on the 3200 block of Iowa Ave in Riverside, leading to his arrest on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the crash. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he gets used to it.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benedicto Solanga and all his loved ones.

First-ever CicLAvia could be coming to Beverly Hills next year, and bizarre Santa Monica bar rage vehicular murder

We may be burning in California, but hell has officially frozen over.

The former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills continues to burnish its new-found bike friendly image, with plans to co-host a CicLAvia with West Hollywood and Los Angeles sometime next year.

The proposal would reprise the 2019 route that ran along Hollywood Blvd to Highland Ave, and south to Santa Monica Blvd. If Beverly Hills can work out the details, it would then extend west to Beverly Drive.

Even more surprising, Beverly Hills is the driving force behind this effort, rather than the other way around.

And no, I never would have imagined it when we were butting heads with less enlightened city officials back in the day.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Culver City man faces charges for intentionally running down a man standing outside a Santa Monica restaurant on Monday.

Except he ran down the wrong man.

We’ll let the Santa Monica Daily Press try to explain the bizarre attack.

According to SMPD, Sloan was asked by restaurant staff to leave Busby’s on Santa Monica Blvd. before the incident. Sloan, angered by this demand, exited the establishment, and retrieved his vehicle. He then drove through the parking lot in an aggressive manner before attempting to intentionally hit a customer standing in front of the business. However, Sloan only ran over the foot of his intended target and instead struck the victim.

Oops.

To make matters worse, he knew the guy he actually killed, and had been drinking with him before he went berserk behind the wheel.

The driver, Nicholas Ralph Sloan, was arrested 15 miles away in the San Fernando Valley when the CHP stopped his Porsche Panamera for speeding.

He was booked on suspicion of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and DUI.

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This, too, is who we share the road with.

A Rhode Island woman was pulled from her car and brutally beaten by a group of ATV and dirt bike motorcycle riders when she had the audacity to honk after they sat through two green light cycles.

To make matters worse, they did it in full view of her friend’s eight-year old daughter, who was inside the car along with the girl’s mother.

Needless to say, the victim was “shaken and injured” in the aftermath of the attack, but didn’t need to be hospitalized.

There’s just no fucking excuse. Ever.

Period.

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And you thought things were bad on this side of the Atlantic.

https://twitter.com/philsturgeon/status/1394708129166802947

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

No bias here. A San Luis Obispo letter writer calls plans for a recently approved bike boulevard “racist, ableist, ageist, elitist, and plain mean, nasty, and rotten to neighborhood residents…” But seriously, how does he really feel?

No bias here, either. A local British paper spends a few paragraphs reporting the death of a man riding a bicycle, then devotes another 17 paragraphs to how much the locals hate people on bikes.

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

New York police are looking for a pair of men sharing an ebike who stabbed two men in a car in an apparent road rage attack following an argument.

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Local

If you’ve been waiting for the long promised bike lanes on the North Spring Street Bridge, you can keep holding your breath. Streetsblog reports work still hasn’t begun on the the bike lanes, which were expected to be completed three years ago; local advocate point the finger at CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who has fought bike lanes and other safety projects in the district since taking office.

Good news from San Pedro, where a 19-year old man who disappeared while riding his bike has been found; no word on his condition or where he’s been for the past two weeks.

 

State

Sacramento Magazine considers the most useful bicycling apps.

 

National

Forbes shares their picks for the best ebikes. And for once, the choices make sense.

A Portland lawyer is suing aerosol makers and companies that sell them in an effort to halt “driving zombies,” after woman was killed while riding in a bike lane, by a driver who was caught on security cam huffing a computer keyboard dusting spray outside a Home Depot. Interesting approach, but good luck with that.

A Minnesota paper offers tips on basic fit and maintenance to keep your bike rolling.

Tragic news from Detroit, where an 18-year old nursing student was killed in a shootout as she was riding her bicycle in front of a friend’s duplex a couple weeks ago; police now say she was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire.

A 68-year old man has come forward, claiming to be the only witness to the crash that killed a companion to heiress Doris Duke when he was a 13-year old paperboy riding his Schwinn ten speed; it has long been rumored that the Rhode Island crash was murder, along with the earlier “accidental” death of Duke’s husband.

New York’s popular TD Five Boro Bike Tour returns this Sunday; the 40-mile ride through the city’s five boroughs, which Forbes calls America’s biggest bike ride, expects to draw a pandemic-restricted 20,000 riders instead of the usual 32,000. Although CicLAvia usually draws more than that on a bad day.

A newly signed bill will now require New Jersey drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

 

International

Your new ebike could be a Harley. But only if you’re willing to go to Europe to buy it.

British bikemaker Hope Technology unveiled a road bike prototype of the innovative Olympic track bike they developed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. Although it’s allegedly based on a stolen design

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a three-year old boy was killed when his own father backed over his bicycle while he was riding on their Welsh farm.

A British trucking trade group apparently wants defend their right to keep killing people, complaining that a proposed rewrite of the country’s Highway Code to protect vulnerable road users is “inherently unjust.”

RM, one of the masterminds behind K-pop stars BTS, is one of us, sharing his love of bicycles with a fan site.

 

Finally…

If you insist on riding your bike drunk, try to stick with roads where bikes are allowed — and to just one lane at a time. A gun site says always wear a bike helmet when carrying a concealed weapon on your bike.

And yes, bike riders have to pull over for emergency vehicles.

Just like most drivers don’t anymore.

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Thanks to Mark J for his generous donation — and kind words — to help keep this site going; as always, any donation, no matter how large or small, truly helps and is deeply appreciated. 

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

LA traffic deaths up while bike deaths spike, 19-year old San Pedro bike rider missing, and murder charge in AZ attack

No surprise here.

LAist reports that traffic deaths are up in Los Angeles for the first six months of this year, compared to last year’s already too high death total, with someone killed on the mean streets of LA an average of every 30 hours.

And it’s not just the people in the big, dangerous machines paying the price.

According to the site, serious pedestrian injuries are up 45%, while serious bicycling injuries climbed 34%. And bicycling deaths are up a whopping 40%.

It should also come as no surprise that hit-and-run deaths are up 25%.

In other words, we’re not exactly on track to meet Indian Ambassador Eric Garcetti’s — oops, I mean Mayor Garcetti’s — goal of eliminating traffic deaths in the City of Angels in the next three years.

Never mind all those safer streets we were promised as part of the mayor’s Green New Deal, which will now be up to whoever takes his place — thanks to Garcetti’s remarkably consistent failure to follow through on those promises.

………

Authorities are searching for a 19-year old man who was last seen riding his bicycle in San Pedro Monday morning.

Jankell Hernan Aguilar is described as 5’6″ tall and 150 pounds, with “wavy black hair, a thin black beard along his jawline and brown eyes.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323/890-5500.

………

As expected, prosecutors in Arizona have amended the charges against pickup driver Shawn Michael Chock to add a felony murder count.

Chock is the driver who allegedly aimed his truck at a group of bicyclists participating in a senior’s race in Show Low on June 19th, intentionally slamming his truck into ten people; 58-year old Jeremy Barrett died nearly a month later.

Chock was shot by police after standoff behind a hardware store, but has recovered from his injuries, and remains jailed on half a million dollars bail.

………

Make that $190 now.

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There’s a newly completed 13-mile trail leading from Kenneth Hahn to the coast.

Which doesn’t do a lot of good if you can’t get there safely.

………

Sadly, it doesn’t take long for most Vision Zero programs to turn into empty promises when elected leaders lack the political will to follow through.

And Los Angeles is the poster child for those failed efforts.

So yes, it’s great that a federal Vision Zero bill has been introduced in Congress.

Let’s just hope it’s more than empty words this time.

Meanwhile, a second bill was introduced by Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

The Vulnerable Road Users Safety Act implements National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, while directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Highway Administration to —

  • Develop and update performance standards for visibility enhancement systems (i.e. for blindspot detection), connected vehicle technology, and vehicle headlamp systems
  • Establish standards for vehicle bumpers
  • Establish performance standards for automated pedestrian detection systems like automatic braking sensors
  • Include separated bike lanes and intersection safety treatments in the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiatives and Proven Safety Countermeasures program
  • Improve and coordinate information collection to share, combine and publish detailed crash data allowing policy makers and governments to make data informed decisions

………

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

Toronto bike riders are “annoyed” that drivers are pushing planters into bike lanes to create illegal parking spaces, blocking the bike lanes they were intended to protect. Annoyed seems pretty mild under the circumstances; more like pissed off and endangered.

Three British bike riders were collateral damage when a suspected drunk driver made an ill-advised pass, crashing into another driver before his car was pushed into a group of bicyclists; all three victims were hospitalized, with one suffering life-threatening injuries.

You’ve got to be kidding. A driver in the UK gets annoyed at following a bike rider, and responds with a close pass and a brake check, followed by a punishment pass for good measure. And all he gets is a stern talking to from the cops.

………

Local

Streets For All is hosting another Zoom happy hour at 5 pm on August 11th, featuring Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who has been fighting for safer streets as chair of the Transportation Committee.

NPR picks up the sordid tale of the $200,000 in out-of-network medical debt that buried LA’s Phil Gaimon when a major track cycling crash ended his efforts to make the US Olympic team, even though he had insurance coverage. And even they agree he got hosed.

Outside calls Catalina Island a hidden gem for gravel biking.

 

State

Encinitas residents are accusing the mayor and councilmembers of cronyism in approving an $11 million settlement for a local bike advocate who was severely injured when she was run down from behind riding on sharrows. Something tells me she’d be happy to give all of it back if it meant not having to deal with the pain and lasting injuries.

Squatters took over a historic Baptist church in El Cajon during the pandemic lockdown, using it for a chop shop for stolen bikes.

 

National

Trek finally figures out that helping more people ride means more sales for them, starting a nonprofit foundation to help build bicycling infrastructure and mountain bike trails. And outlines the steps they’re taking to improve sustainability.

Conde Nast Traveler talks with author Jennifer Weiner about how she got hooked on solo bikepacking on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

This is what it looks like when a Seattle cop right hooks a man on a bicycle.

Great idea. A Colorado bike shop is offering a 10% discount to anyone who picks up at least ten pieces of trash off a bike trail.

North Dakota bike riders can celebrate this Sunday by legally rolling stop signs, when a new Idaho Stop Law goes into effect allowing riders to treat stops as yields.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 95-year old man is taking part in the nearly 500-mile RAGBRAI, the eighth time he’s taken part in the popular ride across Iowa.

An Iowa town remembers a 2008 EF-5 that devastated the region with a sculpture of a tornado made entirely of bicycles.

Houston bike riders call on the city to get more aggressive in implementing Vision Zero to meet the 2030 deadline.

After suffering the embarrassment of a group of white cops filmed arresting a Black bike rider for not having a bicycle license, Perth Amboy, New Jersey is eliminating their bicycle registration requirement. But it’s still illegal to “practice any trick or fancy riding.” Because we all know how damaging “fancy riding” is to the fragile fabric of society.

Seriously? An Orlando urologist says men should maybe cut back on their time in the saddle if they’re trying to have a baby — and not spend more that two hours on a bike regardless. If I’d thought riding my bike would have provided birth control in my single days, I would ridden a lot more than I did. And I rode a hell of a lot.

 

International

An Ontario woman says you don’t have to be skinny to ride a bike.

Toronto is installing centerline speed bumps extending into intersections to keep drivers from dangerously cutting corners.

A London man will spend the next two years behind bars for jumping a red light and slamming into a 72-year old man crossing in a crosswalk, who later died; the Albanian bike rider turned himself in after initially fleeing because he was in the UK illegally.

About damn time. Great Britain is revising the country’s Highway Code to give pedestrians and people on bicycles priority over motor vehicles on the streets, although it still has to be approved by Parliament. Now do it on this side of the ocean.

UK Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson tells local governments to leave bike lanes in place for at least a year, or face a cut in funding.

An Irish bike advocacy group demands immediate action in response to a 13% jump in traffic deaths so far this year. Let’s hope their government listens better that ours does.

Organizers have called off a planned 124-mile Aussie charity ride, after concluding that the “appalling standard” of Tasmanian drivers, combined with “poor road infrastructure” and drivers’ “hatred towards cyclists” made it too dangerous for people on two wheels.

In a brutal irony, an Australian bike rider was killed in a collision moments after he ignored a police attempt to stop him for riding without lights or a helmet, which is required in the country.

A writer for Cycling Tips truly captures the beauty of bicycling with a moving piece recalling a ride through Australian woods to heal from the pandemic year and the death of his father from cancer — but not until his father got to meet his new grandson for the first time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic upgraded his 2017 world time trial silver medal with gold in the same event at the Tokyo Olympics.

A German official was sent packing after using a racial slur in urging Nikias Arndt to catch up to cyclists from Algeria and Eritrea in the men’s time trial; German cycling federation sports director Patrick Moster’s comment was picked up on camera and broadcast across the nation.

Dutch cycling great Annemiek van Vleuten finally got her Olympic gold in the time trial, days after mistakenly celebrating what she thought was a win in the road race.

Forget the Olympics. The race to watch this Saturday is the eight-year old Telluride 100 mountain bike race, sanctioned by UCI for the first time.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re falsely labeled a “brutal bike thief” on social media for picking up the bike your neighbor was donating for underprivileged children. Do home runs count for more if they nearly hit a bike rider outside the park?

And maybe they could have worded this headline just a little better.

Unless the bicyclists were charged with murder, too.

………

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

Canoga Park bike rider wanted for fatally shooting driver, and accused Oceanside hit-and-run driver pleads not guilty

LAPD detectives are looking for a bike-riding man who murdered a driver in Canoga Park on Monday afternoon.

The shooting took place around 2:18 pm, when the man on the bike shot into the driver’s car following some sort of dispute near the 6400 block of DeSoto Ave.

Forty-three-year old Glendale resident Mkher Alaverdian was pronounced dead after he was taken to a local hospital.

There’s no description of the shooter or his bicycle, and no word on whether this was a road rage dispute or some other kind of argument.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide at 818/374-9550, or 1-877/LAPD-24-7 after business hours.

………

Twenty-four-year old Bailey Tennery pled not guilty to a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death yesterday.

Tennery is accused of being the driver who sped away after killing Jackson Williams as he rode his bike in Oceanside on July 15th.

She remains in custody on $150,000 bail.

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This is why protected bike lanes are necessary.

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Like more of this, please. And not just in Willowbrook.

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1420217792062582797

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The cycling fuckups continue at the Tokyo Olympics.

World time trial champ Anna van der Breggen was abruptly threatened and pulled off her bike while doing a recon ride on the time trial course, by a security guard who didn’t recognize her as an Olympic competitor.

It also doesn’t help when an official walks across the track while you’re training.

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

A pair of Wisconsin men face charges for allegedly shouting at a bike-riding couple from their car and telling them to ride on the sidewalk, then getting out to confront the victims and steal their phones, keys and IDs.

………

Local

Los Angels Magazine says LA and California stand to lose big if the proposed bipartisan Senate infrastructure plan fails, which is looking more likely every day.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says it’s fine with restaurants taking over parking spaces, as long as they play by the rules, and replace any bikeways they might block.

Twelve young women stopped in Lompoc on their way down the West Coast on a 1,700-mile bike ride from Seattle to San Diego to call attention to human trafficking.

Bay Area bike riders will get a new protected cycle track near UC Berkeley.

Kindhearted Richmond cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a 12-year old boy, after his new bike was stolen just two days after his birthday.

An Oakland bikemaker who works out of his garage gets tasked with building a custom bike for 6’6″ Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson.

 

National

A federal ebike rebate bill has been introduced in the US Senate; like a previous House bill, it would provide a 30% refundable tax credit on the purchase of ebikes up to $1,500.

Outside recommends their favorite bicycling base camps, including one in California.

Colorado mountain bikers are joining with residents to fight a proposed 63-acre expansion of a Salida gravel mine that would force the realignment of a popular bike trail.

An Illinois bike shop was collateral damage in a police shooting, when a 19-year old woman was shot and killed by police after waving a gun while complaining about a closed drive-thru, then attempting to speed off with a cop hanging inside her window; she crashed into the shop after she was shot while allegedly aiming her car at the cop who opened fire.

Not even a slap on the wrist for a Moline, Illinois cop who killed a 13-year old boy while responding to an emergency call, even though she slammed into his bike while driving well over the speed limit without lights and siren activated.

After the story of a Michigan boy’s stolen bike was shared on Facebook, a Good Samaritan stepped up to buy him a new one.

A pair of Ohio brothers decide to shut down the bike shop they grew up in, opened by their parents 67 years ago.

A New York man is planning to bike 8,000 miles through ten states to get more kids on bicycles, raising funds to donate new bikes to underprivileged children around the country; the Black bike rider who grew up in the city’s low-income Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood says if he can do it, most people can.

The New Jersey legislature has passed a bill requiring drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders; it now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

Evidently, the bicycling death of former Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi is about the only thing that can bring about a bipartisan agreement in DC.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever left a ten-year old Florida boy lying in the street after slamming into the bike he was riding. And no, turning yourself in later does not make it all better.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at five petite handlebar bags for riding around town. I’d go for the last one, myself. But I’ve always been a sucker for that classic look.

A Toronto architect wants to transform a “car sewer” with scary bike lanes into an “inhabited bridge” for people, as well as cars.

An English man was sprayed with bleach by an attacker who attempted to steal the bike he was riding; the victim was treated and released at the scene. Police later arrested a 28-year old man for the attack.

Add this one to your bike bucket list — a five-day Coast and Castle ride through England and Scotland.

 

Competitive Cycling

Switzerland stands alone atop women’s Olympic mountain biking, as the country swept the gold, silver and bronze medals, led by winner Jolanda Neff.

VeloNews offers a photo essay of the men’s Olympic cross-country mountain bike race won by Tom Pidcock of Great Britain.

The inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale got the green light for this August; the 233-mile, four stage gravel grind will roll through the indigenous Ktunaxa Nation in the Canadian Rockies, featuring around 23,000 feet of climbing.

 

Finally…

The LEGO bicycle of your dreams may finally be here — if you can read German. Now you, too, can own a pair of weird-looking, 3D-printed carbon bike shoes, for the low, low price of just $1,900.

And who needs energy bars when you can just tape pizza and potatoes to your top tube?

………

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

Suspect arrested in Oceanside hit-and-run, murder charge in meth-fueled San Diego crash, and East LA CHP hit-and-run

Thank you to everyone for all the kind words. Your support really means a lot to me. 

The good news is, taking most of last week off helped lower my blood sugar levels over 25%, down to a more normal level for diabetics. 

It also allowed me to realize that not all the symptoms I’ve been dealing with were caused by my diabetes; the last medication my doctor put me on to lower my blood sugar was apparently caused a long list of damaging side effects. 

So we’ll what happens now that I’ve stopped taking it. 

………

Maybe we’ll see some justice in San Diego County after all.

Oceanside police arrested 24-year old Oceanside resident Bailey Tennery for the hit-and-run death of Jackson Williams as he rode his bike on Oceanside Blvd July 15th.

At last report, she was being held on $150,000 bond.

The victim’s family had called for the public’s help in catching the killer. But it was a homeless man who recognized the car, and led police to Tennery’s home.

Let’s hope there’s a very large reward in the case. Or at least enough to get him off the streets permanently.

Meanwhile, the driver accused of the meth-fueled killing of 57-year-old Laura Shinn as she rode her bike through San Diego’s Balboa Park has pled not guilty to murder, as well as gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam David Milavetz allegedly ran away right after the crash and dumped a couple baggies of white powder over a fence, which police believe were filled with meth.

The murder charge suggests that Milavetz has at least one previous conviction for DUI, and was required to sign a Watson advisement indicating that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence.

He was also arrested on a separate DUI count on the 1st of this month.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the Oceanside heads-up.

………

It looks like the accused killer of a Palm Springs bike rider could be in the wind.

A Riverside County judge issued a bench warrant for Yesenia Bibriesca, who apparently failed to appear in court on charges of fleeing the scene after killing 43-year-old Christopher Jones as he rode his bike in Palm Springs last year.

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East LA residents are calling for the CHP to fire an officer who just drove away after running down a 14-year old boy as he rode his bike at Whittier Boulevard and Williamson Avenue a month ago, leaving the boy with a concussion and shoulder injuries.

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A Sacramento sheriff’s deputy left the scene to respond to a call after backing into a bike rider, shoving the 65-year old man across a sidewalk and into some bushes; fortunately, the person wasn’t badly hurt.

A local TV station asks the obvious question — how the hell did the deputy not know she’d hit someone?

………

Speaking of Sacramento, a man died nearly a month after an alleged drunk driver slammed into a group of bike riders on a Sacramento bike path.

Proving once again that there is nowhere safe from the big, dangerous machines and the equally dangerous people piloting them.

Case in point, this is who was share the living room with.

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the video, who blames the house for not wearing hi-viv, for the link. 

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Sunset4All is hosting a guided bike ride and happy hour this Wednesday. Meanwhile, the crowdfunding campaign for LA’s first public/private bike lane partnership stands at 57% of the $25,000 goal.

So what are you waiting for, already?

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Take a ride up Pacifico Mountain with Gravel Bike California.

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Who needs a mail truck when you’ve got bike lanes?

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This, too, is the cost of traffic violence.

A mother bear in Yosemite spends heartbreaking hours trying to wake her cub who left to die by a passing driver.

Photo from Yosemite National Park Facebook.

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

Why, indeed.

https://twitter.com/NYCBikeLanes/status/1418998097838055424

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

Apparently, there really are bike riders who swerve into traffic without looking, like this Philippine bicyclist who crossed three lanes of traffic to hit the side of a passing bus.

………

Local

The LAPD held a bike ride in Mission Hills on Saturday to honor a fallen officer who died of Covid last July, and raise money for his twin infant sons.

No surprise here, as Los Angeles Magazine names the Santa Monica Helen’s the best bike shop in Los Angeles. Which isn’t to say it necessarily is, just that it’s the obvious choice. Any suggestions for who you’d pick instead?

Santa Monica cops bust two men burglarizing a Santa Monica bike shop on the 2900 block of Main Street, after several people were visible inside on security cameras; the address corresponds with the Bike Attack Electric shop.

Now we know how Nick Jonas broke a rib falling off his bike earlier this year.

 

State

Streetsblog updates the current status of transportation bills in the state legislature, including weakening — but not eliminating — the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, as well as bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and funding an e-bike rebate program.

Nice story from San Diego, where a Chula Vista family has turned to tandem riding to overcome a near-fatal e-scooter crash, as well as the son’s blindness and chronic heart and lung disease, while helping others.

San Diego bike advocates are demanding changes after the city’s recent rash of bicycling fatalities. And that was before two more people were killed in the city last week.

Continuing our San Diego trifecta, residents are complaining about rogue mountain bikers riding illegally in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, damaging recently replanted areas.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A Fresno woman got shot in both legs in a domestic violence incident — then got on her bicycle and chased down the man who shot her, following him until police arrived. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Sad news from San Ramon, where New York Jets quarterback coach Greg Knapp died six days after he was critically injured in a collision while riding his bicycle; he had been an NFL coach for 23 years. The team’s head coach had asked for prayers for Knapp.

A white Sacramento woman accused a Black woman of selling drugs from her bicycle seat, apparently unable to grasp the concept that the woman was actually selling perfectly legal hair products.

 

National

Here’s one for my fellow diabetic Americans, as a new study shows bicycling reduces the risk of death from all causes for people with diabetes.

Another new study shows bikeshare saves the US $36 million in healthcare funds.

Vice compares today’s massive pickups and SUVs to the tanks that won WWII. And the tanks come out on the losing end.

Vans teams with SE Bikes for a new sneaker line celebrating Bike Life and BMX culture.

Bike Portland explains that sometimes, the best way to pass someone on a bicycle is not to.

A Colorado man faces up to six years behind bars after being convicted of killing professional cyclist Benjamin Sonntag; oddly, there was no charge for hit-and-run, even though he tried to flee the crash on foot, and had to be restrained with a taser until police backup arrived.

Um, okay. A Nebraska man faces charges for threatening another man with a knife, after the other man refused his generous offer of the same knife in exchange for helping him pick a bike lock in broad daylight.

The New York native who made headlines across the US for riding a bikeshare bike from New York to Santa Monica in search of a new home will now be living on Tulsa time.

An Illinois man who killed a woman and seriously injured her husband while fleeing from police will spend the next 12 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 90-year old Ohio man is still riding after 35 years, despite two new hips and four heart bypasses.

A Boston magazine wonders what would it take to leave cars in the city’s rearview mirror and become a place for people, instead.

Leaving the scene after crashing an ebike into a pedestrian could result in a felony hit-and-run charge if a New York legislator has her way.

A 16-year old Pennsylvania girl somehow missed their blinking lights and hi-viz, and slammed into a group of four people riding their bikes as part of an Ohio church group ride, killing one man and injuring three other people.

A new Penn study shows how planners can use biometric data to identify dangerous areas to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A Florida man became alligator bait after losing control of his bike on a curve, and sliding down an embankment where he was bitten by the nine-foot gator. Fortunately, both man and reptile will survive; the former thanks to a man walking his dog. But maybe it wasn’t the gator’s fault.

 

International

No, you can’t call the Queen as a witness.

Be sure to great passersby with a cheery hello if you’re riding your bike naked in Liverpool.

Apparently frightening easily, London drivers are “terrorized” by red light-running, wheelie-popping teens on bicycles.

Former Vancouver bike advocates Melissa and Chris Bruntlett share lessons from their new life in the Netherlands, while busting common myths about car-light cities.

The BBC takes to the bike path to learn from the Dutch how to build a nation of bike riders.

Yes, it can be done. A Polish city built out a complete 800 kilometer bike network — nearly 500 miles — in just five years. We could do that here in Los Angeles if city leaders actually wanted it.

Police in India arrested seven people for flying kites with nylon strings after several people riding bicycles and motorcycles were injured, including a 12th grade girl whose throat was slashed by a kite string as she rode her bike.

A group of Singapore scientists claim to have developed a tougher and safer bike helmet, with an outer shell made of a new type of acrylic thermoplastic resin that’s reinforced with carbon fiber.

He gets it. A New Zealand writer says most Kiwi bike riders are anything but “elitist.” The same goes here in Los Angeles. And just about anywhere and everywhere else.

 

Competitive Cycling

Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz was the surprise winner in the men’s Olympic road race, while Belgian Wout van Aert took the silver; American Brandon McNulty was leading with Carapaz with three miles to go, but faded at the end to finish sixth.

Austria’s Anna Kiesenhofer took the women’s road race, as the math PhD holder built a stealth lead with no one thinking to chase her. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly threw her arms up in victory, thinking she was first across the finish line, instead settling for silver.

SoCal’s Coryn Rivera was riding in honor of her late father, who died of Covid earlier this year; she claimed seventh in the road race as the top American finisher.

An Indianapolis paper looks at how Chloe Dygert made it back from a devastating leg injury after going over a guardrail at last year’s Worlds to compete in three Olympic events.

Olympic cycling is one of the few events to actually have fans.

The head of cycling’s governing body swears two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is clean, and so is his bike.

VeloNews tells the “mind-blowing” backstory of how Leah Goldstein became the first woman to win the Race Across America, aka RAAM.

 

Finally…

Why bother pretending you’re riding a bike when you can pretend you’re in a video game? Tossing your bicycle off an overpass onto a highway isn’t one of the recommended uses, and could land your ass behind bars.

And then there’s this.

………

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

Update: San Diego bike rider killed in Balboa Park collision Tuesday morning; murder charge for alleged DUI driver

The death toll continues to mount in San Diego County.

Just five days after the county saw its tenth bicycling death of the year, another rider lost their life riding in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

The victim, who has yet to be publicly identified in any way, was riding on Pershing Drive, south of the Morley Field Disc Golf Course on the northwest side of the massive park, when he or she was struck by a driver around 7:30 this morning.

The rider was found lying unresponsive in the roadway when first responders arrived, and died after being transported to a similarly unidentified hospital.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene, and was cooperating with investigators; no word on whether police suspect distraction or intoxication played a role in the crash.

Video from the scene shows a mangled road bike off to the side of the road.

A street view shows a four lane roadway with no visible bicycle infrastructure. No other information is available at this time.

This death comes three months to the day after another person was killed riding across Highway 163 through the park.

This is at least the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the eleventh that I’m aware of already this year in San Diego County, which seems to be rushing to keep up with Los Angeles County, with roughly three times the population.

Update: Sasha Jovanovic reminds us that the stretch of Pershing where the crash occurred was supposed to have a separated bikeway by now

Update 2: The San Diego Union-Tribune has identified the victim as 57-year old San Diego resident Laura Shinn

According to the paper, Shinn was a prominent architect and planner who regularly commuted to her work at San Diego State University, where she oversaw the planning and design of several campus facilities.

Laura Shinn worked as SDSU’s director of facilities planning and was serving as the 2021 president of the board of directors of the American Institute of Architects’ San Diego chapter. She also was a founding member of the Women in Architecture group in San Diego.

In a statement, SDSU described Shinn as “an incredibly talented architect who helped oversee much of our university’s development and growth.”

Shinn was run down from behind as she rode north on Pershing, which the paper says does have a bike lane.

Thirty-eight-year old Adam Milavetz was arrested on suspicion of DUI after allegedly drifting into the bike lane to strike Shinn. 

The paper reports he was jailed on “suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.” The murder count suggests this was not his first DUI, and he had likely signed a Watson advisement as a condition of a previous conviction. 

He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday. 

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Laura Shinn and all her loved ones.

Thanks to Phillip Young for heads-up.

No mask needed when you ride a bike, life behind bars for murder of bike-riding boy, and how a protected intersection works

Go ahead and leave you mask at home on your next bike ride.

If you’ve had your shots.

California and LA County are going along with new directives from the CDC, which conclude that masks are no longer necessary for people who’ve received both shots when you’re outside and away from crowds.

And they specifically call out bicycling as safe to do without a mask.

So feel free to breathe freely.

But maybe keep one handy in case you decide to go inside somewhere, or find yourself around people who may not have had their shots yet.

Just to be safe.

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko from Pexels.

………

Kenneth Rasmuson was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the cold case murders of a couple of six-year old boys in the 1980s.

Jeffrey Vargo was riding his bike near his Anaheim Hills home when he was kidnapped and strangled by then 19-year old Rasmuson in 1981.

Five years later, Miguel Antero had just stepped off the school bus when Rasmuson grabbed him, and stabbed him multiple times.

The plea deal means the 59-year old Rasmuson will die in prison.

Which couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

………

This is how a protected intersection works.

And no, I can’t seem to get rid of that top tweet, so just skip to the next one.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

A modern British remake of Vittorio De Sica’s classic Bicycle Thieves will premier on streaming platforms next week.

The Guardian likes it, but says it could be better.

………

This is who we share the road with.

In a rant that will sound familiar to most bike riders, a road raging British driver complains that horses don’t belong on the roads, and uses his car as a weapon to attack a woman on a horse.

Although hardly anyone complains about bike riders pooping on the streets.

………

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

A Visalia man faces an attempted murder charge after stabbing another man in a dispute over a bicycle; fortunately, the victim’s injury wasn’t life-threatening.

A pair of Canadian burglars demonstrate that you can carry anything with a bike. Even a stolen safe.

………

Local

Cities Today celebrates LA’s pre-pandemic 22% jump in bike ridership, which is likely to be even larger when the post-pandemic numbers finally come in. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another two years to get a snapshot of current ridership, like we did last time.

Santa Clarita is hosting a self-guided community bike ride on May 15th.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Long Beach is considering a lane reduction and bike lanes on Spring Street through El Dorado Park, where five people have have been killed over the last nine years.

 

State

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria will be the keynote speaker for the San Diego Bike Coalition’s virtual Bike Month kickoff on May 1st.

The San Diego Padres popular Pedal the Cause returns in a virtual format May 8th; over 1,200 people hav already registered, raising more than $700,000.

The executive director of the high successful San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is stepping down after five years.

Police in Roseville are looking for the pickup driver who stopped briefly after running down a man on a bike, then left the victim sprawled in the road with serious injuries.

 

National

Pink Bike asks bike shops how far ahead they’re scheduling bicycle tune-ups these days. And for the most part, the news ain’t good, but it’s better than last year.

C|net reviews Brompton’s ebike foldie, and isn’t thrilled. Never mind that the bike has already been recalled over a firmware problem.

Portland has waived an $11 million fine against the US government for blocking one of the nation’s busiest bike lanes for the better part of a year with a fence surrounding the federal courthouse, to protect it from protesters.

The bike boom goes on, as bike riding is up 20% over last year in Las Vegas.

American pro cycling pioneer and US Bicycling Hall of Famer Ron Kiefel is officially out of the bike business, after selling the Denver-area bike shop that’s been in his family for nearly 50 years.

Thieves take their time cleaning out the bike storage room at a Denver apartment complex, easily walking out with six bicycles. Another reminder that most storage rooms just offer bike thieves a more convenient place to shop for your bike.

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with the hit-and-run death of a 71-year old Texas man riding a bicycle; the crash occurred while he was off duty.

A Maine man had to relearn how to talk, walk, run and ride a bike after suffering a traumatic brain injury while mountain biking in Boise, Idaho. And may never know what happened to cause it. I can attest to that last part; it’s been over 13 years since the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident, and I still have no memory whatsoever of the crash. And probably never will. 

New York police investigators have identified a suspect in the murder of a New York delivery rider, who was shot when he refused to hand over his ebike.

A Brooklyn city council candidate wanted to get to know his district, so he spent a month biking every block.

New Jersey bike advocates call for repealing laws that discourage bicycling, arguing that wheelies are not a crime, in the wake of the arrest of a Black teenager who refused to let a group of white cops confiscate his bike.

A Philadelphia mystery shopper tries out the city’s bikeshare system, concluding it’s an easy and efficient way to get around town, despite problems with maintenance.

Pennsylvania’s Bensalem Township faces intense criticism online after police announced plans to create a web portal to report scofflaw children and teens on bicycles. And deservedly so.

Someone please tell the Virginia State Police and WWBT-12 that someone can be a pedestrian, or riding a bike. But not both at once.

Orlando, Florida’s new director of the transportation department envisions giving the traditionally auto-centric city a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover. So if they can do it, why the hell can’t Los Angeles?

 

International

Presenting the five best bike paths for your net trip to Winnipeg, Canada.

Saskatoon city leaders approve plans for a bike lane, but choose to protect parking spaces over trees to make room for it.

Now you, too, can own a piece of crowdsourced European bikeshare provider Donkey Republic, which is preparing for an IPO on the Dutch stock exchange.

Germany is investing more funds in bicycling than ever before, with just under 1.5 billion euros — the equivalent of $1.81 billion — committed to bikes through 2023.

A nightmare scenario from Spain, where a bicyclist may have died of anaphylactic shock after inadvertently swallowing a bee and getting stung in the throat while on a group ride.

The container ship Ever Given may have been freed from the Suez Canal, but your new bike may still be stuck in Egypt because the ship and its cargo are being held as ransom until the company forks over $900 million in damages.

No surprise here, as children’s bike injuries shot up 42.7% in Western Australia during the pandemic, with more kids at home and on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey argues that UCI, bike racing’s parent organization, is risking a PR nightmare by continuing to punish riders for using the supertuck position. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the headline says advocates battle Sharks over parking and safe streets, but it has nothing to with a Sharknado. That feeling when you go from rock star dreams to a real life bike lock star on Shark Tank.

And never let a little thing like a bike race get in the way of your bike commute.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

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