Tag Archive for natural causes

Tragic reminder to always carry ID, LAPD recovers bike thanks to Bike Index, and Mexico City bike riders brutalized by cops

My wife and I spent a little time on Burbank’s Magnolia Blvd over the weekend. 

And we were struck by what a pleasant shopping street it is. 

Or more precisely, what a pleasant street it could be without the constant noise and fumes from all the cars and trucks funneling through. 

Maybe someone should explain to the merchants along the route just how much they could benefit from a Complete Street that makes room for their customers, and not just the cars they came in. 

And thanks to everyone who let me know this site was down Friday morning. I still don’t know what happened, but it seemed to resolve itself after an hour or so.

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

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Sometimes even I get tired of harping about the need to always carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when you ride.

And preferably something that won’t get stolen if you’re incapacitated, which sadly happens far too often.

But this comment, which is reposted with permission from Gravel Bikes California, offers a tragic reminder why it matters.

This is long, but please read to the end.

Yesterday I met my friend Adam Lopez for a ride. We met at Eroica California in 2018 and have ridden together a number of times since he got his gravel bike in 2019. We started in Summerland at 11am and did just a wonderful/casual/beautiful ride through Santa Barbara on fantastic pavement, dirt, and gravel. We stopped for a burger at 4pm and were headed back to the cars when he started slowing down on easy climbs. He said that his heart rate was fine but that the air felt cold in his lungs. We passed butterfly beach and stopped again right before the turn at Jameson. We were 2.5 miles from the cars. He decided to press on since we were mere minutes away. He was pacing me just a few yards behind. Every 15 seconds or so I would glance back and see his light. This happened for a about a mile, and then I glanced back and didn’t see him. I rode maybe 150 feet back and saw that he was collapsed over onto the chain link fence, still clipped in, unresponsive and staring. Myself and passers-by who stopped to help called 911. I started chest compressions until fire arrived just a few minutes later. They took over, shocked him twice, established an airway, and continued cpr for 15 minutes. Unfortunately he never revived. He was gone when he hit the ground. His mother died of a heart attack 9 months ago, and his brother died of a heart attack a few weeks ago.

Now for the reason why I’m telling you this: he didn’t have any emergency contact info on him. Although I’ve known him for a while I only had his cell number. The sheriff was required to follow protocol and have the law enforcement agency closest to Adam’s home do an in person notification. I was absolutely helpless. I did advise the deputy that I authorized him today to give my information to Adam’s family, and his wife made contact with me today. She was happy that at least he died doing the thing he loved. She also told me that he had been feeling tired for some time but hadn’t been checked out yet.

Had he had something like a Road ID wristband we would have much more information, and his family could have been notified much sooner.

Please, I BEG YOU, get something like a Road ID so fellow riders or first responders can help. Please look after your health and get checked. And ride with buddies whenever possible. No one should see and go through what I did. I’m deeply saddened and affected.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always wear a RoadID anytime I leave home, whether or not I’m on my bike.

It serves as both my ID and contact information, and a medic alert bracelet for my diabetes.

I’ve never needed it, and I pray I never will.

But as this story so painfully illustrates, I’d much rather have it on me and not need it, than the other way around.

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Do you really need another reminder to register your bike today?

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Nothing like protesting traffic violence, only to be met by police violence.

Tired of police inaction in the wake of too many deaths and serious injuries, bike riders in Mexico City took to the streets to demand better safety and protection from the police.

In fact, while motor vehicle traffic has decreased as much as 50% in the city due to the pandemic, bicycling deaths doubled over the past year.

But instead of addressing their concerns, the protesters were brutally attacked and beaten by the same officers they were pleading with for help.

Even people who were trying to leave were stopped by multiple cops and brutalized.

https://twitter.com/Andalalucha/status/1357907769198862336

A Spanish language news story Mexico City’s El Pais begins like this.

The police attacked this Friday night a group of cyclists who were demonstrating in Mexico City. The confrontation took place in the Periférico, one of the main arteries of the city, at the height of the Naples neighborhood, during a bicycle protest to demand justice for the deaths of cyclists in the capital. The head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, described as “unacceptable” the aggression of the agents to the demonstrators and assured that the Secretariat of Citizen Security will carry out an investigation to determine responsibilities. This Saturday, the mayor reported that “about 10” agents have already been removed from their positions.

Several protesters were injured in the head and face, according to images released on social networks, when they tried to access the second floor of the Periférico. In the recordings, it is seen how several agents surround some of the participants in the shooting and attack them with blows. The group was protesting to demand justice for the death of cyclists who died in traffic accidents in Mexico City, which in 2020 were more than 16, according to the Bicitekas association.

In the videos posted on social networks, protesters are seen with swollen faces and cuts on their faces after the confrontation. “We were protesting, we were leaving, and they ran, and they grabbed me like eight policemen,” one of the injured assured one of the reporters who was at the scene. “They cut my head open, they hurt my ribs,” said another, sitting on the sidewalk, when the protest, which had gathered around fifty people, already seemed dissolved.

The paper goes on the quote officials as saying an investigation has been launched into who ordered the attack, and the officers who carried it out. And that while some riders also attacked the police, the police had an obligation to maintain the peace, and ones responsible for their actions would be fired.

Which is exactly what should happen.

If they’re serious.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

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The annual Bicycle Film Festival takes part entirely online this year; any tickets purchased this week will benefit Sacramento and Davis advocacy organizations.

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One more reason flimsy plastic bendy posts do not a protected bike lane make.

In case you’re wondering what happened to the bike lane markers on Grand St…. from jerseycity

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That feeling when visitors drop in without warning.

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Bicycles hardly ever…well, you know.

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Take a break to catch a little air at a Virginia mountain bike park.

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GCN offers a pair of videos, pitting a GPS bike computer against a rider using an old-fashioned map and compass…

….and asking if hybrids can be just as fast as roadies.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Clemente is the latest SoCal coastal town to consider restricting ebikes on trails.

A San Diego paper asks if 2020 was the year that changed bicycling in the city for good. Let’s hope so.

Coachella’s Grapefruit Blvd is set to get a Complete Streets makeover, including sidewalks, trees and bike lanes. Although it’s also set to get a couple more traffic lanes, as well.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of off-duty cardiac care nurses hopped off their bikes to save the life of an Aptos mountain biker who had collapsed on the side of a trail.

 

National

Luxury site the Robb Report suggests ebikes for any kind of terrain, although most of the prices are what you’d expect for a site where money is no object. Then again, $3,200 is apparently considered entry level for an e-cargo bike these days.

Which of these is not like the others? A design website urges readers to commute in style with several outlandish-looking, planet-friendly ebikes, while a road bike and a couple foldies stand out just for not looking strange.

A Portland photographer documents a year of change as the city confronts the Covid-19 pandemic, while riding his new ebike 5,000 miles through the city.

They get it. The Las Vegas Sun reports that efforts to protect bike riders are gaining traction in the wake of the meth-fueled crash that killed five bicyclists near the city last month, while correctly noting that people on bikes pay for the road, too.

An Albuquerque NM woman got her stolen bike back just a day later after Facebook users spotted it for sale on Craigslist and OfferUp, and concerned cops posed as buyers to bust the thief.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who ran down a Texas boy and just kept going in a crash caught on security cam; fortunately, the kid only suffered a few scrapes, even though he thinks the driver hit him on purpose.

A kindhearted Good Samaritan replaced a young Arkansas boy’s stolen bicycle, just hours after it went missing.

When a teenaged Chik-fil-A employee won a new car at the company Christmas party, she immediately gave it to a coworker who was riding a bike seven miles each way to work every day through the frigid Wisconsin winter.

Nice story from Florida, where a goodhearted stranger bought a new bicycle for an autistic man she’d just met after noticing the bike he was riding to work was worn out and had no functioning brakes. Then more strangers pitched in to replace it when the new bike was stolen the next day.

 

International

Specialized promised there wouldn’t be any major interruptions in retail sales after their UK headquarters went up in flames.

Internationally known London bike shop Geoffrey Butler Cycles closed its doors without warning, shuttering the shop overnight after 60 years, while the mail order business will shut down in July.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill could have some competition in a few years from a two-year old English stunt rider.

An independent press organization rules that Britain’s Mirror was wrong to publish a photo of identifiable bike riders apparently ignoring distancing guidelines.

Acclaimed Irish author Colum McCann learned to listen and developed his voice as a writer on a two-year bike trip across the US.

A Philippine official broke up an unsanctioned early morning bike race, even though it was taking place at 4:30 on a Saturday morning.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is reportedly doing well, after he and a pair of teammates — including his brother — tested positive for the Covid bug.

The maskless Australian Road Nationals show what’s possible when a country has the coronavirus under control.

Forget gravel, and do your racing on the white stuff without a front wheel.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to rob a couple convenience stores, maybe put a mask on first — and not just for the coronavirus. Before you steal a bike, you might want to make sure it doesn’t belong to the daughter of a mixed martial arts fighter first.

And who knew Thor rides an e-fat bike?

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Thanks to Robert L for his generous donation to help keep SoCal’s source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Our annual holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Santa Clarita mountain biker dies on Simi Valley trail Saturday morning

Cars and drivers aren’t the only dangers we face.

Sometimes it’s your own body that lets you down.

That’s what happened yesterday morning on trail above Simi Valley, where a man apparently died of natural causes while riding with a group of friends.

According to the Ventura County Star, the victim was riding on the Undertow Trail, which they describe as a popular mountain bike trail south of Hummingbird Ranch outside Simi Valley, when he began to feel ill around 10:40 am.

His riding companions told him to turn back, and called 911.

The Ventura County Fire Department and a county helicopter crew responded; sadly, the 52-year old Santa Clarita resident died before rescue personnel could arrive.

This is at least the 30th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

It’s also a reminder to see your doctor on a regular basis — especially if you’re having unexplained chest pains or difficulty breathing, no matter how fit you may feel.

It may not have made a difference in this case.

But it might in yours.

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

Morning Links: Whittier bike rider dies of heart attack, LACBC hosts cop talk, and Amgen ToC comes back to SoCal

Sometimes the dangers we face don’t come from careless drivers, but from our own bodies.

That was the case last month, when the owner of the Toyota of Whittier dealership died of an apparent heart attack while riding on the Greenway Trail. Curt James was just 53 when he succumbed on October 21st, while riding the bicycle he had purchased in July.

His death serves as a tragic reminder that while bicycling may be good for your health, you should always talk to your doctor before changing your riding habits or beginning any new physical activity.

His death is the 68th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 28th in Los Angeles County; at least four of those deaths have been due to natural causes.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Curt James and all his family.

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As we mentioned last week, BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass will be part of a free panel discussion on bicycle laws hosted by the LACBC on November 14th, along with representatives of the LAPD, CHP and LA County Sheriff’s Department.

ask_an_officer_flyer_f

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Next year’s Amgen Tour of California — America’s only men’s WorldTour race — will feature four SoCal stages, with finishes in Santa Clarita, Mount Baldy and Big Bear, along with the final stage in Pasadena. It won’t drop south of Los Angeles this time, although it may come back to San Diego in the future.

Cycling Tips talks with LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about retirement and reinvention. Or you can hear Gaimon speak for himself on his weekly podcast.

Petaluma’s Alison Tetrick became a successful pro cyclist after trading one saddle for another.

The German-based Giant-Alpecin cycling team is looking for closure in civil and criminal cases against the 73-year old British driver who crashed head-on into six members of the team on a training ride last year.

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Local

A writer for the Guardian looks at three American cities addicted to cars and their efforts to kick the habit, including our own City of Angels. And goes for an informative ride with Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

The LACBC offers their endorsements on the local measures on Tuesday’s ballot, along with a questionnaire from county commissioner candidate Janice Hahn. It says something about our local government that Hahn wants to step down from the US Congress to serve on the county board. And I’m not sure that it’s good.

KPCC’s AirTalk program examines five things you should know before voting on Measure M.

A bike rider standing on a Norwalk street corner pulled out a rifle and took several shots at a motorist who slowed down because he thought the man looked suspicious. Evidently, he was right.

 

State

Oceanside hosts a century ride this Saturday with the Bike the Coast/Taste the Coast Ride and Exposition.

San Diego’s eight-term Republican Congressman Darrel Issa campaigns by bicycle as he struggles to retain his seat.

The San Diego Bike Coalition is giving away free bike lights this afternoon in anticipation of the clock change this weekend.

Hesperia authorities are looking for a bike-riding man in a hockey mask who stabbed another man outside a convenience store.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s office is looking for unloved bicycles that can be refurbished and given to kids for the holiday’s. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

Outside Magazine sounds the death knell for the local bike shop, as they face increased competition from direct-to-consumer sales by bike makers. Although online dealers can’t set up your bike for you, and won’t be there for you when you need help down the road.

Evidently, a Portland driver thought repeatedly driving on a suspended license was funny, even after he killed an innocent bike rider.

A Seattle bike writer says plans for a new eight-lane waterfront roadway are too car-centric, despite having pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

A Colorado city is spending $30,000 to rip out bike lanes on one street, after spending $39,000 to paint them. All because confused drivers couldn’t figure out what to make of them.

The Guardian offers a photographic look at Detroit’s custom bicycles. Some of which almost stack up to LA’s own East Side Riders.

Bighearted Connecticut cops buy a 14-year old boy a new bike after his was stolen at gunpoint.

After years of complaints, New York asks bicyclists to report blocked bike lanes. Whether that will have any effect on the NYPD, which is among the city’s worst offenders, remains to be seen.

A road raging New Orleans-area cyclist faces charges for punching a woman in the face after she honked at him for swerving into his traffic lane. No matter what a driver may do, violence is never the answer. Period.

A Florida newspaper gets it, saying the death of a young cyclist should be a wakeup call for a community that too often gets caught up in debates over bike lanes, and misses the point that better-designed roads are safer for everyone. Actually, any traffic death, anywhere, should be a wakeup call, but seldom is.

Apparently, if you want to avoid jail time for a fatal hit-and-run, you just have to be old. An 89-year old Florida man got one year of house arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bicycle; on the other hand, he won’t be able to legally drive again until he’s 99.

 

International

A travel website lists the Europe’s five most epic cycling climbs.

If you have wear hi-viz, at least it can look good.

Police in a British city insist they don’t have the manpower to investigate dangerously close passes, but do have the time to stop 450 law abiding bike riders to give them a safety chat.

A New Zealand bike rider gets 20 points against his driver’s license for riding through a stop sign, even though he doesn’t have one.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a bus driver got a whole 15 days for carelessly killing an elderly bike rider. Meanwhile, a writer says the island city/state must do more to make bicycling a better alternative to driving. Like maybe stopping bus drivers from killing people.

 

Finally…

Stressing over KOMs can be harmful to your relationship. Who needs an engine when your car has pedals?

And yes, you can be a country music star and still wear spandex when you ride your bicycle.

 

Update: Bike rider dies of heart attack during Long Beach Marathon; was board member of Lightening Velo

The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that a man apparently died as a result of what was described as a major medical emergency during the bicycle segment of today’s Long Beach Marathon.

According to the paper, the man, who has not been publicly identified, suffered a cardiac arrest while riding near the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Prospect Ave in Belmont Shore at 6:30 am Sunday.

Despite the effort of paramedics, he was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

No other information is available at this time.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 25th in Los Angeles County.

Update: News like this is always tragic; it somehow seems even worse when it’s someone who’s well known in the cycling community.

While the victim still has not been publicly identified, I received the following email from Richard Rosenthal Monday evening.

I was on the ride with my girlfriend, and we both witnessed the paramedics giving CPR to a cyclist on ground. It really shook my up, as he was a older man in full kit, much as I am. It was on my mind the remainder of the ride, and when I found out Monday morning that the cyclist had died I was even more shaken.
The news just got worse for me personally. I found out that the deceased was my friend Steve Hernandez. We both served together on the Board of Directors of Lightning Velo in Long Beach. Steve was one of the kindest people I have ever met….an imposing bear of a man with long hair and beard, but his personality couldn’t have been more opposite. Always quick with a smile and a laugh, he was one of the most beloved members of our club, and he will be missed sorely.

Update: The LA County coroner’s office confirms his identity as 59-year old Steven Hernandez.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Hernandez and his family.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa and Richard Rosenthal for the heads-up.

Mountain biker dies of apparent heart attack in Crystal Cove State Beach

The Orange County Register is reporting that a mountain bike rider has died of natural causes in Crystal Cove State Beach.

The victim was riding in the park with a group of cyclists when he collapsed around 9 am Sunday.

His companions began CPR, and both paramedics, and a fire department flight medic lowered onto the trail attempted to resuscitate him from full cardiac arrest. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene after a prolonged effort to save his life.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third in Orange County; two of those have been the result of natural causes.

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

And condolences to his companions who tried to save his life.

Newport Beach bike rider dies after fall, apparently due to natural causes

Another cyclist has died on the streets of Southern California.

For once, though, no one seems to be at fault.

According to Corona del Mar Today, a 61-year old Costa Mesa man apparently fell off his bike while riding in Newport Beach; sadly, he passed away after being taken to Hoag Hospital.

The Orange County Register reports that police responded to word of a collision on Jamboree Road north of San Joaquin Hills Road at 10:32 am Thursday.

When they arrived, they found the victim in the roadway with no sign of a collision. He appeared to have suffered some sort of medical emergency and stuck his head while falling; no word on whether he was wearing a helmet.

It’s not clear whether his death was due to the head injury or some other cause. An autopsy will be performed later this week.

This is the 31st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in Orange County. That compares to 47 in SoCal this time last year, and ten in the county.

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

 

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