Tag Archive for ninja cyclists

Oxnard cyclist killed in Sunday collision; 14th SoCal bike death in last four months

In yet another SoCal cycling fatality, 20-year old Rene Ambritz was struck and killed in Oxnard on Saturday.

The collision occurred about 6:45 pm at the intersection of Ventura Road and West Hemlock Street. The Ventura County Star reports that Ambritz was riding against traffic with no lights, and was struck by a van driven by Paul Castenada after Ambritz ran the red light. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His death marks the 14th cycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California since the beginning of August.


In other cycling collisions, an unidentified ninja cyclist is in intensive care after reportedly running a red light and getting hit by a car in Thousand Oaks late Sunday; the rider was wearing dark clothing and riding without lights, and had no identification on him at the time of the collision.

And fifty-nine-year old cyclist Donald Schick suffered major injuries in a Castaic hit-and-run on Sunday afternoon. Stephanie Leann Argo of Castaic was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run.

Outside the Southern California area, a teenage Vacaville cyclist was killed after being hit by two cars last week; thanks to Witch on a Bicycle for the link.

Meanwhile, a noted NorCal track coach was severely injured in a hit-and-run while riding his bike; reading between the lines, it sounds like it could have been an intentional assault by an impatient driver. And a dangerous stretch of highway may finally get a bike lane, too late for the rider killed there two weeks ago; it was the 2nd cycling fatality for the driver involved.

Finally, Jose Luis Huerta Mundo, the driver who killed OC cyclist Michael Nine last July, is currently on trial for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. A Costa Mesa writer notes that Mundo was in the country illegally and had been cited four previous times for driving without a license, as well as once for not registering his truck, and had ignored two signs prohibiting the illegal maneuver that resulted in Nine’s Death. However, he stresses that now is not the time to hate.

Seriously, as angry as we may get, is there ever a good time for that?

An encounter with a red light-running Frogger-playing Ninja cyclist and other assorted items

I received this email yesterday from a rider who related his encounter with a lycra-clad, lightless red light-running roadie with an attitude.

Funny story from yesterday.

I was riding home from work along Venice Blvd. about 7:30pm.  As I was sitting at the stoplight at Sawtelle another cyclist pulled up on a road bike decked out in his race gear.  After pausing and looking around, he then goes through the red light just as the opposing side got the green arrow.  I immediately realized this was the same idiot I saw a few weeks ago run every ride light on Venice, including playing frogger as he crossed La Cienega on a red – I was absolutely sure he was going to be a hood ornament.

Now, some background on the last time I saw him is necessary.  Because I was getting so annoyed that he kept running red lights, in addition to wearing all black and I don’t think he had any lights (or maybe a tiny blinker in the back), I thought it was worthwhile to pass him on my mountain back as that always pisses the roadies off.  I clearly could have made a comment about it maybe not being smart to run all of those lights, but he probably already knew that.  So, I blew past him in my highest gear, pushing my heavy beast as fast it would go and I immediately hear him clicking away at his gears and he comes past me huffing and puffing with his head down.  I was topped out so he got ahead of me and disappeared as he continued to run red lights, including the aforementioned light at La Cienega.

Now, back to last night.  I caught up to him again a couple of blocks down, drafted off him for a second, he realized I was behind him and moved over.  We came to a red light and stopped.  He paused, looked around and took off, to which I yelled “yeah buddy, run it!”  He immediately slammed on his brakes, did a 180 skid and rode back through the red light toward me and said, “I wiped your ass last time I saw you out here and I’ll do it again smack mouth!”  I laughed at him, because he just said something about wiping my ass and he pulled off again.  I yelled “Awww, that’s not fair, you’re getting a head start…!”  He made some baby talking noises and rode off into the dark, running red lights the whole way.

I may not obey every law on the road (namely stop signs when there is no cross traffic), but I draw the line at running red lights at busy intersections, especially when there are cars everywhere, because it just gives drivers more ammo when they complain about how cyclists ride; and it’s really dangerous.  I bet good money, this guy is the same dip shit no matter what.  I guess the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter what your mode of transportation is, if you’re gonna be dumb, you’re gonna be dumb.  Although, I was slightly flattered he remembered me.


Will Coley of Aquifermedia offers video look at a day in the life of Bicycle Kitchen volunteer and LACBC staffer Ramon Martinez.


Interesting essay by a cyclist and urban planner on how to promote cycling and design cities to encourage biking and walking.

However, I disagree with his suggestion to downplay helmet use. He suggests that safety in numbers will do more to improve bicycle safety than helmet use, but that will only reduce the number of collisions with cars — for which helmets offer only minimal protection.

According to the Mortiz study, only 11% of cycling accidents involve moving motor vehicles, while 59% result from falls — exactly the sort of accident in which helmets are most effective in preventing injury.

Surely we can encourage people to ride while still promoting the only protective device cyclists have — and one that can actually save lives, as it did mine.


Here’s your chance to help turn the Backbone Bikeway Network into a workable plan this Saturday. Paris Hilton gets busted for driving in a WeHo bike lane; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads up.  Stephen Box offers another take on last week’s TranspoComm meeting with LAPD Chief Beck, and suggests that LA’s new sharrows pilot program has gone of track before it even starts. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports on efforts to re-open Westwood’s Los Angeles National Cemetery to bike access, including a quote from yours truly. According to USC’s student newspaper, students can now ride on campus sidewalks and crosswalks, as long as it’s done safely. Pasadena’s proposed bike master plan may do a lot, but LACBC says it could do more. Long Beach’s cycling expats sum up their visit to West Texas in their typically beautiful photos. Biking for a better booty? Colorado’s cycling governor, still in the hospital after Tuesday’s riding accident, endorses a mandatory helmet law for anyone under 18. The hit-and-run epidemic spreads north; this time, the driver of a SF Muni bus takes off as passengers beg him to stop. San Francisco’s Critical Mass could be in critical condition. Bike activists are concerned that the state’s new distracted driving bill includes cyclists; really, is it that hard to stop riding long enough to finish your call? Glass in a Portland bike lane takes out several tires, and raises questions about maintenance of the city’s vaunted bikeways. Evidently, LA isn’t the only regional city to host a ciclovía; Tucson is holding one, too. A two-year doping ban for former Rabobank and Silence-Lotto pro rider Thomas Dekker. British Waterways offers £1.7 to help ease conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on canal towpaths. A Brit cyclist fined for injuring a child while riding on the sidewalk says the street was too dangerous. Evidently, it’s open season on Melbourne cyclists, as 11 — no, make that 14 — riders are injured in a single day. A UK cyclist replaces her stolen bike in what’s become an annual tradition, while another refuses to go to the Lycra Dark Side. Saskatoon cyclists criticize a revised licensing plan. Aussie police in Israel to investigate a reputed spy hit are involved in a cycling hit-and-run.

Finally, a British rider amazingly survives a hit-and-run collision in which he’s dragged over 3,000 feet — and left trapped underneath when the occupants abandon the vehicle.

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