Tag Archive for Orange County

Fullerton bike rider killed riding into parked truck Saturday afternoon — or possibly the victim of a hit-and-run

For the third time in just four days, someone riding a bicycle has been killed in a Southern California crash.

This time in Fullerton.

And it’s unclear whether the victim rode into the back of a parked vehicle, or may have been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

According to a press release posted to Facebook by the Fullerton Police Department, the victim was found lying in the roadway on northbound Beach Blvd north of Rosecrans Ave around 12:55 pm Saturday.

Police investigators concluded that the victim, identified only as a man in his late 30s, rode into the back of a truck parked illegally in a no-stopping zone, and fell off his bike.

He died at the scene, despite the efforts of firefighters.

However, commenters to the Facebook post complained that the cops version of events just doesn’t take sense.

The first said the victim was struck by a hit-and-run driver directly in front of a friend’s house, and that local residents provided CPR until first responders finally arrived 30 minutes later.

Meanwhile, more than one person suggested it was more likely that the victim was struck by a driver while trying to pass the truck, while others suggested that a slight rise and clear sight lines make the official version unlikely.

Hopefully someone saw it, and can tell police investigators what really happened. Anyone with information is urged to Fullerton Police Traffic Accident Investigator Manes at 714/738-6815.

This is at least the sixth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Orange County.

It follows other fatal crashes in Yucaipa and Pomona.

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

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

LA Times fans OC ebike mayhem panic, City Hall die-in this Saturday, and Slate questions efficacy of bike helmets

No bias here.

The Los Angeles Times reports on complaints about ebikes in Orange County, where they face bans and draconian speed limits on and near beach trails.

No, just the complaints.

At least until you reach the bottom of the story, by which time most Times readers have already moved on to Marmaduke.

Instead of reporting objectively, the paper settles for reprinting the long list of complaints from Orange County’s anti-ebike crowd, who seem to consider them the worst tech advance since Elon Musk bought Twitter.

Here’s how the paper frames the story, starting with a longtime Newport Beach resident who compares the local boardwalk to the 405 Freeway.

Three decades ago, Levine moved to what some refer to as the city’s “war zone,” a nickname given not because of crime but for the reputation of summertime rowdiness along the boardwalk, which now includes an abundance of electric bicycles. The strip’s 8 mph speed limit means nothing to some of these people, he said.

He’s watched people get mowed down, dogs hit and too many near misses to count, he said. City leaders for years have studied how to manage the proliferation of e-bikes along the route but have stopped short of banning them.

“What we’re witnessing on the boardwalk is mayhem,” Maureen Cotton, president of the Central Newport Beach Community Assn., told the City Council during a meeting urging officials to address e-bikes last year.

So, let me get this straight.

It’s been a war zone for decades. But ebikes have somehow ruined everything.

Sure, that makes sense.

Then the paper moves on to repeating the same tired and previously discredited stats we’ve been hearing for months from PR staffers at the local hospital trying to fan the flames of an anti-ebike pyre.

During the first 10 months of last year, staffers at Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo documented 198 e-bike injuries. Doctors saw 113 injuries in 2021 and just 34 in 2020, according to data provided by the hospital.

Between January and October of last year, 78 of the 198 people who suffered an injury on an e-bike were not wearing helmets and 99 suffered some type of head injury, data show.

“My feeling about the whole situation with e-bikes is that we got a device a little bit too fast, and the culture is not completely set for it,” said Tetsuya Takeuchi, the trauma medical director at Providence Mission Hospital…

Where to begin.

Evidently, some people who got injured riding ebikes weren’t wearing bike helmets. But most were.

And half of the people who were injured riding an ebike suffered a head injury. Which may or may not have been the 40% who weren’t wearing helmets.

It may come as a shock to the kind and caring people at Providence that some people who ride regular bikes don’t wear helmets, either. And some of them get hurt, too, though not always with head injuries.

Which is just one of the great, inexplicable mysteries of bicycling, that some people who don’t wear bike helmets don’t suffer head injuries, and some who do, do.

Then there’s the exponential increase in ebike injuries. Which just happens to coincide with the exponential increase in ebikes.

That doesn’t mean ebikes are dangerous. Just that a lot of people are using them now.

In fact, I’d consider 198 injuries a relatively small amount, given the untold thousands of Orange County residents who’ve adopted them.

Lastly, let’s consider the question of speed, which has apparently gotten “a little bit too fast.”

Under California law, which has been copied in most states, Class 1 and 2 ebikes, whether ped-assist or throttle-driven, are limited to 20 mph.

Which virtually anyone could top with a decent effort on a decent road bike. Never mind today’s lightweight, technological marvels engineered for every higher speeds.

The bikes, I mean, not the riders. Though some of them have been engineered for speed, too.

Yet somehow, those bikes aren’t considered too fast. And no one has banned 27 speed carbon-fiber bikes or their spandex-clad riders from the boardwalk.

And just wait until the good doctors at Providence learn how fast cars can go, and the damage they cause.

In fact, my stats show 12 people were killed by drivers while riding bikes in Orange County last year, a drop from the obscene 17 killed in 2021.

Ebike riders killed somewhere around zero in Orange County over that same time period, to the best of my knowledge.

So which of these is actually dangerous?

Then there’s the way the paper takes about halfway through the story, after fanning the flames of ebike haters, to even mention that there are different categories of ebikes, and dozens of different types.

And even then, fails to mention that the faster Class 3 ebikes are banned from bike trails that aren’t attached to roadways, beachfront or otherwise.

Or that even people on regular bikes struggle to meet those ridiculously low 8 mph speed limits without falling over.

But once again, no one is seriously suggesting that regular should be banned.

The key, as they finally get around to mentioning just before the end of the story, is behavior.

Someone who is a jerk in a car — or on a skateboard, or with a shopping cart — is just as likely to be a jerk on an ebike.

And a kid who has never been taught to ride a bike safely — electric or otherwise — is going to ride a bike or bike like a, well, kid.

Just what they’re riding doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it.

So let’s put away the torches and pitchforks, and learn to live with all those scary ebike monsters. Because really, they’re not bad, just new and different.

And seriously, LA Times, do better.

Ebike photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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We’ll let Streets For All put things in perspective with their call to participate in the Saturday’s City Hall die-in to protest traffic violence.

If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist in Los Angeles, you’re probably used to hearing about traffic fatalities in our community. But 2022 was a record-breaking year — in the worst way. Last year, there were 309 traffic fatalities in LA, breaking the 300 mark for the first time in more than twenty years. This is a staggering increase of almost 30% from 2020.

These statistics are tragedies in and of themselves, but they’re made even worse by the fact that pedestrians and cyclists are impacted the most by every measure. Cyclist fatalities alone went up 40% between 2020 and 2022.

We can’t keep living like this. Join us on the steps of City Hall on Saturday, January 21st at 9:30am for a die-in protest. It’s time for our electeds to start paying attention.

RSVP for more details

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A writer for Slate examine the limited efficacy of bike helmets, noting that “When it comes to the dangers threatening cyclists, wearing a helmet is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.”

They make the same argument I’ve been making for years — bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high impact crashes with motor vehicles.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t wear one.

The overwhelming majority of bicycling injuries result from falls, not crashes. Which is exactly what they’re made for.

I still credit my helmet with saving my grey matter, and possibly my life, during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident, and never ride without one.

But they should always be considered the last line of defense when everything else fails.

You’re a lot better off not getting hit by a car and its driver in the first place, rather than count on your helmet to save your life if you do.

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In a related story, the Manhattan Beach Police Department tells teenage bike riders not to be melon heads, as they gleefully smash watermelons as a metaphor for helmet-less bike riders.

Even though watermelons smash much easier that teenage skulls, and most heads aren’t filled with seeds.

And yes, I said most.

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Ted Faber finds a pothole that could be the gaping maw of the gates of Hell.

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This is who we share the road with.

An alleged drunk driver in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood backs through a crowd of people trying to stop him from getting behind the wheel, then takes off, leaving injured bystanders strewn in his wake.

Thanks to How the West Was Woke for the heads-up. 

………

This is who we share the road with, part two.

An South LA man apparently angry about his pending divorce decided to take it out on his wife’s house, and all the cars in the neighborhood.

But sure, tell us again about those OC ebikes.

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San Francisco Bay Area cyclist Nehemiah Brown is asking other people of color to join him in accepting the gift of gravel.

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More proof of our auto centric world, as Irish Tic Tok’ers are shocked to see a man transporting a new flatscreen TV on his bike.

Even if he’s just using it as a cart.

@all_about_rosalilla

Who thinks this TV is making it home in one piece? #fyp #onlyinireland #tiktokireland #irelandtiktok #fypage #nanocelltv #whatsontelly #foryoupage

♬ Crash – The Primitives

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And this video pretty well sums things up, I think.

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

No bias here. Plans for a Manhattan bike lane are being held up by judges who don’t want to give up their cushy curbside parking next to the courthouse, with one court official comparing their efforts to the French attempting to hold back Nazi Germany prior to WWII.

A road raging British driver is on trial for allegedly punching and choking a man riding a bike, after clipping the arm of the victim during a close pass; he blocked the victim’s path and got out of his car when the bike ride slapped it and called him an idiot.

Another road raging British driver gets a lesson in setting the handbrake before going off on a bike rider, who didn’t appear to be doing anything wrong.

 

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

A British runner justifiably blasts schmucks who park on the sidewalk to go mountain biking.

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Local 

Longtime KPCC and LAist reporter Frank Stolze introduces the seven candidates who have qualified so far to run in the race to replace ex-councilmember Nury Martinez in LA’s CD6.

Speaking of Streets For All, Streetsblog reports on their call to transform current-day Mid City car sewer San Vicente Blvd into a linear park.

 

State

Orange County will install a new traffic signal at Oso Parkway and Coto de Caza Drive, just outside Coto de Caza, where eight-year old Bradley Rofer was killed by a pickup driver in September. As usual, the long-needed traffic fix only comes several months after Rofer was killed.

Former NBA great Bill Walton reacts to being harassed by homeless people while riding his bike through Balboa Park by suggesting all the city’s unhoused residents should get rounded up and sent to a camp on a military base — voluntarily, of course. Because that worked so well last time, apparently.

The CHP is looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down a 22-year old Santa Barbara man riding his bike on PCH (scroll down) north of Ventura early Friday morning; there’s no description on the driver or vehicle, and no word on the condition of the victim.

 

National

Calvin, of “and Hobbes” fame, faces up to his greatest tormenters, including his bicycle.

Scott is recalling their 2022 Speedster road and gravel bikes due to a defective fork that could break during use.

Nonprofit group Black Girls Do Bike celebrates ten years of changing what the cycling world looks like by “providing welcoming, safe and fun opportunities for women of color to ride bikes.”

The Washington Post examines where cars outnumber drivers, let alone people. Surprisingly, California ain’t one of them.

In a report that should surprise absolutely no one, the Rhodium Group concludes that transportation is the leading source for climate damaging emissions for the sixth year in a row. To which bicycles contributed just this side of zero.

Apparently, not even Congresspeople are safe from traffic violence, as Oregon Representative Suzanne Bonamici and her husband were struck by a driver as they were crossing a Portland street Friday evening. Although CNN somehow manages to get through the entire story without mentioning that there was someone behind the wheel. 

A kindhearted Boise, Idaho group donated over 50 bikes to Ukrainian refugee children in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This is who we share the country with. Wyoming, the state where even Liz Cheney wasn’t considered conservative enough, continued its race to the bottom when state legislators proposed banning electric vehicles in a childish tantrum to protect the gas and oil industries.

The fight continues over a $12 million Houston road diet and bike lane project, as a county commissioner pushes it forward while a city councilmember works to halt it.

A pair of kindhearted Texas cops surprised a young boy with a new bike, after they fixed the chain on his old beat up bike so he could make it home from school.

Boston readers freak out over a single still photo of a woman on what looks like a bikeshare bike trying to merge onto a local highway, with her shopping bag dangling from her handlebars.

The New Yorker talks with the daredevil behind the city’s infamous bikeshare-riding stunt crew, the Citi Bike Boyz.

A DC proposal would give ebike buyers a $400 tax rebate, with an extra $500 for e-cargo bikes; low-income buyers could get up to $1,200 plus the e-cargo bike bonus.

At least 80 bike riders turned out to honor a pair of Baton Rouge, Louisiana high school cheerleaders who were killed in a collision with a cop at the end of a high speed chase; the cop was arrested and could face charges.

Young Miami bike riders conducted their annual MLK Day Wheels Up Guns Down ride. But somehow, all the local press could focus on was the usual heavy-handed police response, and the 58 felony and 11 misdemeanor arrests — not the hundreds, if not thousands, of peaceful riders and their message of hope. 

 

International

Havana, Cuba is installing their first public bikeshare dock, part of what promises to be a 300 bike fleet.

The former boyfriend of a Welsh woman killed while watching a mountain bike race in 2014 calls for more protection for bike race fans; she had come to see him compete.

Young “demon” ebike riders are accused of turning Amsterdam’s once angelic streets into a living hell, as they ride their souped-up ebikes at the unholdy speed of…24 mph. Which would make them relatively tame by Orange County standards.

India’s bike industry threatens a series of hunger strikes over a new requirement to install reflectors on bicycles; industry officials say the problem isn’t the mandate, but the penalties that would be imposed for failing to comply.

An Indian man was tied to a pole and viciously beaten and stomped after he was accused of stealing a bicycle. Look, I dislike bike thieves as much as anyone, but that’s going too damn far.

The bike boom continues, as Taiwan’s exports of bicycles and bike parts rose 23.11 percent annually to $6.15 billion. Or it could just means that more production is shifting to Taiwan from mainland China.

Gizmodo Australia misses the mark, insisting safety bikes came into widespread use about the same time cars did, and that bikes only enjoyed a few months as king of the roads before they were shoved aside by motor vehicles. Meanwhile, Adventure Journal marvels that bicycles were invented after the much more complex locomotives wereBut as Carlton Reid makes clear in Roads Weren’t Built For Cars, bicycles were widely adopted around the world long before cars ruled the earth. And if you haven’t read it yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

 

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Grace Brown kicked off the women’s cycling season by out-sprinting Amanda Spratt to win the Santos Tour Down Under, after Alex Manly led following the first two stages.

Sad news from the Netherlands, where 40-year old retired Dutch pro Lieuwe Westra was found dead, after suffering from depression for several years; nicknamed The Beast, Westra won stages at Paris-Nice, the Tour of California and Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as winning the Tour of Denmark and Driedaagse De Panne.

UCI is telling team cars to back off, instead of giving their riders an extra boost during time trials by changing the airflow behind the rider.

Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman has formally lost his medical license as a result of his involvement in a doping scandal, when he was caught ordering testosterone gel for an unnamed male cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you try a 30-foot jump on an ebike — and nail it. Maybe it’s time to put this “slightly used” VanMoof out of its misery.

And if you’re going to ride a kid’s Barbie bike across an entire country, always choose a small one.

Country, that is.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bad year for SoCal bike deaths, urban roads get deadlier, and Transportation Comm’s new vice chair is one of us

Last year was another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for SoCal bike riders.

But at least it was better than the year before.

Maybe.

According to our latest count, at least 82* people lost their lives while riding a bicycle in the seven county Southern California region last year, just two less than the previous year.

Although that figure is likely an undercount; I’ve heard of a half dozen or more deaths this year that I wasn’t able to officially confirm, but which undoubtedly happened.

It’s also the same number of SoCal bicycling deaths reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2019, the last year before the pandemic, when 81 SoCal riders also lost their lives.

The total for last year reflects the 26 bike riders I counted killed in Los Angeles County last year, which again is likely a dramatic undercount.

A total of 35 bike riders lost their lives in LA County in 2021, which was over twice the total of 17 that I had counted; I also counted 15 in 2020, compared to 27 reported by the NHTSA.

Which suggests that the local media is failing to report a number of bicycling deaths in the Los Angeles area, for whatever reason.

I also counted 14 bicycling deaths in the City of Los Angeles last year, which is in line with verified totals of 18 and 15 in 2021 and 2020.

Further afield, San Diego County suffered 12 deaths last year, which was a significant improvement over 17 in the previous year, though much higher than the 7 and 8 people killed riding bikes in the county in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Meanwhile, Orange County appeared to have their worst year in recent memory, with 17 people killed* riding bikes last year, compared to just 7 in 2021, 15 in 2020, and 13 in 2019.

Although it is important to note that only the totals for 2020 and 2019 have been verified by the NHTSA; 2021 data isn’t currently available through their website.

Riverside and San Bernardino Counties also showed increases last year, with 11 bicycling deaths in Riverside County, and 10 in San Bernardino County. Ventura County suffered 4 deaths — half the previous year’s total — while Imperial County recorded none for the third year in a row.

Here’s a quick recap of bicycling deaths for each of the seven counties.

Los Angeles County

  • 2022 – 26
  • 2021 – 35
  • 2020 – 27
  • 2019 – 38

Orange County

  • 2022 – 17
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 14
  • 2019 – 13

San Diego County

  • 2022 – 12
  • 2021 – 17
  • 2020 – 7
  • 2019 – 8

Riverside County

  • 2022 – 11
  • 2021 – 9
  • 2020 – 8
  • 2019 – 5

San Bernardino County

  • 2022 – 10
  • 2021 – 7
  • 2020 – 6
  • 2019 – 7

Imperial County

  • 2022 – 0
  • 2021 – 0
  • 2020 – 0
  • 2019 – 6

Ventura County

  • 2022 – 4
  • 2021 – 8
  • 2020 – 4
  • 2019 – 4

Source: 2021-2022 BikinginLA, except 2021 LA County data from Los Angeles Times; 2019-2020 NHTSA FARS data

While compiling records of this sort is necessary to bring about desperately needed changes to our streets, it also reduces human tragedy and loss to a statistic.

So if you want to see the people behind these numbers who we’ve so needlessly lost, start here and just keep scrolling.

Photo by Ted McDonald from Pixabay.

Correction: A comment from Dawn made it clear that I had miscategorized a story about her father’s August death in Irvine. 

*After correcting the error and adding it back into the totals for OC, that made 17 people killed riding their bikes in the county last year, and 82 in Southern California, instead of 16 and 81, respectively, as I had originally written.

My apologies for the mistake. 

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On a related subject, rural areas are becoming safer, while urban environments are growing ever deadlier.

And the photo at the bottom of this thread goes a long way towards explaining why.

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Promising news about the new LA City Council Transportation Committee members we mentioned yesterday, at least two of whom have taken bike tours with the new BikeLA (formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, or LACBC).

Meanwhile, new CD11 Councilmember and Committee Vice Chair Traci Park is one of us, as well.

Now if she just votes that way, we should be in good shape.

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Transportation PAC Streets For All is hosting their next virtual happy hour next Wednesday, featuring my councilmember, CD4’s Nithya Raman.

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

A former contestant on the UK’s version of The Apprentice criticizes plans for traffic filters on Oxford streets, saying you won’t be able to drive more than 15 minutes in any direction — and somehow manages to get the whole thing wrong.

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

A British Columbia man faces charges for stealing a truck and using it to smash through a gate, then hoping on a bicycle to make his escape after the truck was disabled in the crash. Which raises a lot of questions, like whether the fact that he wasn’t charged with stealing the bike means he just happened to have it with him in case he needed to pedal away from the crime scene.

There’s a special place in hell for the Kiwi ebike rider who faces charges for repeatedly kicking a wheelchair-bound handcyclist in the head for no apparent reason, unless he was upset that she could go faster than he could on his ebike. Which is a ridiculous reason to do something so horrific.

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Local 

Protected bike lanes are usually intended to improve safety, but Burbank residents wanted the new quarter-mile protected bike lane on Leland Way in order to halt graffiti and drag racing.

A travel magazine recommends touring West Hollywood by ebike, but apparently can’t distinguish between WeHo and nearby Beverly Hills.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Even an automotive website questions whether the newest generation of electric SUVs are too big, too heavy and too fast. Depends on whether the goal is to get from here to there, or to send as many people as possible to the promised land.

Forbes looks at five trends this year that could impact the future of transportation. Although the modest state and local tax rebates for ebikes pale in comparison to the massive federal benefits for electric car buyers.

A writer for Adventure Journal geeks out over an 1880s ad for a Penny Farthing from Boston’s Columbia Bicycle Company. Then again, he’s not the only one geeking out, since I have a version of that ad on a t-shirt.

House Beautiful recommends the best bike storage racks for your home or apartment.

Singletracks considers the ethics of editing trails to preserve them or remove hazards.

Digital Journal addresses one of the burning questions of our time — how to take your dog with you when you ride your bike.

My friends at West Seattle Blog managed to scoop the local news media about hit-and-run and vehicular homicide charges against an alleged killer driver who fled the scene after running down a 63-year old man riding his ebike home from work.

An Arizona man has made a remarkable recovery following the crash in a Show Low, Arizona master’s race that killed one man and seriously injured several riders; 37-year old Shawn Michael Chock was quietly sentenced to 26-1/2 years behind bars for second-degree murder and felony aggravated assault.

Denver announced the return of the city’s highly popular ebike rebate program at the end of this month, although at a reduced level, with $300 vouchers for buyers or regular ebikes, and $500 for e-cargo bikes.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is giving away bike helmets to organizations to give away to people who need them.

St. Petersburg, Florida, is remaking a dangerous residential boulevard with barriers at four intersections, forcing motorists to turn while allowing pedestrians and bike riders to pass through, and effectively turning it into a bicycle boulevard, even if they don’t use the term.

A kindhearted Florida man spends his days refurbishing and assembling bicycles so children in need can get to school, and adults can ride to work.

 

International

Calgary bicycle advocates are calling for safer bike infrastructure, after reports of snow and ice clogging bikeways and creating a hazard for riders. Here in SoCal, our snow and ice comes in liquid form, but still creates hazards on days like this. So be careful out there. 

Bike Portland goes riding in London. Which I deeply regret I didn’t get a chance to do when my wife and I visited earlier this century.

British foldie maker Brompton will begin sourcing more parts from other countries, over fears that tensions between China and Taiwan could result in supply chain disruptions.

If you’re already wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear, maybe illegally riding your bike on a pair of UK highways isn’t the best idea.

The newly crowned world darts champ credits a broken hip suffered in a bicycle crash when he was 15 year old with setting him on the path to pointed greatness.

The Guardian follows along as an Australian woman attempts to set a new record by riding 2,500 miles in 13 days.

No surprise here, as a new Aussie study shows the biggest barrier to biking is a fear of cars. Personally, I’m not afraid of cars. But the people driving them scare the shit out of me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four time Tour de France champ Chris Froome will finally get a chance to go for five after his Israel Premier Tech team got one of two wildcard invitations to the race, with the other going to Norway’s Uno-X.

A ‘cross fan captures the chaos after Ryan Cortjens crashed at the Superprestige Diegem, and apparently forgot to get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own DIY 6-passenger, throttle-controlled ebike. That feeling when no one wants to steal you bike, even if you want them to.

And who says you need two wheels to mountain bike?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

62-year old Garden Grove man killed by alleged DUI driver while riding bike in Fountain Valley early Tuesday

Yet another Southern California bike rider has fallen victim to a drunk or stoned driver.

Allegedly.

According to the Daily Pilot, 62-year old Garden Grove resident Phong Khuu was killed by a U-turning driver while crossing the street just north of Square Mile Park in Fountain Valley early Tuesday morning.

The driver, identified as 43-year old Scott McDonough of Fountain Valley, was traveling north on Los Coches Street around 4:30 am when he made a U-turn at Sunn Avenue, and slammed into Khuu as he was crossing Los Coches on his bicycle.

He died at the scene.

McDonough remained after the crash, and was arrested on suspicion of DUI causing injury, and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. At last report, he was being held on $100,000 bond pending yesterday’s arraignment.

Fountain Valley Police Chief Matt Sheppard reports the department makes an average of 15 to 20 DUI busts each month.

Which is about 15 to 20 too many.

Anyone with information is urged to call the traffic bureau of the Fountain Valley Police Department at 714/593-4481.

This is at least the 74th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 16th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

That’s one more than in 2020, which was the county’s worst year in recent memory.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Phong Khuu and all his family and loved ones. 

Thanks to bike lawyer Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

Update: Man killed riding road bike in Newport Beach hit-and-run; 3rd fatal OC bike crash this month, and 15th this year

News broke late Sunday morning that a bike rider had been seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in Newport Beach.

It was this evening before we learned that the victim didn’t survive.

Although as video from the scene makes clear, he never had a chance.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was riding on the 3000 block of Jamboree Road near Camelback Street when he was struck by a driver around 8:30 am.

The driver fled the scene following the crash.

Initial reports suggested that the victim had suffered major injuries, with a watch commander with the Newport Beach Police Department stated his condition was “not real good.”

As it turned out, that was quite an understatement.

Raw video from the scene shows the coroner arriving and removing the victim’s body from a tent alongside the road, making clear he had died at the scene, and was never even taken to a hospital.

A black road bike can be seen lying in the bike lane with a shattered rear wheel, suggesting that the victim had been run down from behind. Meanwhile, the police tent where his body had been secluded sat a couple dozen yards up the road, making it clear he had been hit with significant force.

The posted speed limit on the street is 55 mph, making the crash almost impossible to survive. There is simply no excuse for speeds that high on any surface streets.

Police were looking for a white sedan with a cracked windshield, no make or model given. However, the Orange County Register reports a driver has been detained for questioning, though it was unclear if they have been arrested.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Newport Beach Police Department at 949/644-3681, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855/847-6227.

This is at least the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Orange County. That equals the county total for all of 2020, which had been the worst year in recent memory.

It’s also the third fatal bike crash in the county just this month.

Twenty-one of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Note: I’m not embedding the video, since it shows the victim being loaded into the coroner’s van, and his loved ones don’t need to see that.

Update: The Daily Pilot has identified the victim as 43-year old Costa Mesa resident Randon William Cintron. The paper reports a woman was taken into custody two miles away from the crash site; however, she has not been publicly identified. 

According to the website 2urbangirls, the alleged driver was found with her car on the 2100 block of Eastbluff Drive near Corona del Mar High School, where she was detained and arrested. 

Commenters to this story indicate the crash occurred on the uphill side of Jamboree Road, with no driveways or connecting roads that would justify merging into the separated bike lane

A crowdfunding campaign has met the $20,000 goal in just one day. 

Update 2: The driver has been identified as 36-year old Anaheim resident Adriana Rivera Bernal. She was reportedly high on an undisclosed drug at the time of the crash. 

Bernal reportedly has a history of drug abuse, petty theft, ID theft and auto theft, as well as multiple DUIs. She’s being held on $1 million bond on charges of murder and hit-and-run, and faced arraignment Tuesday on two previous Orange County arrests. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Newport Beach Police Investigator M. Keyworth at 949/644-3746.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Randon William Cintron and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Oceanside bike lawyer Richard Duquette, Mark Herda, Bill Sellin, Christian and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

 

 

Update: 72-year old Irvine Bicycle Club member killed riding bicycle in Laguna Hills collision; 15th OC bike death this year

A man was killed riding a bicycle in Laguna Hills Friday morning.

And that’s almost all we know right now.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck by a driver near Paseo De Valencia and Alicia Parkway around 10 am.

There’s no word on how the crash occurred, or whether the victim died at the scene or was transported to a hospital.

The driver apparently stopped after the crash, and was questioned by the police.

Unfortunately, that’s all we know at this time.

This is at least the 64th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 15th that I’m aware of in Orange County. That’s more than the county saw for the entire year in 2019 and 2021, and one less than 2020.

And it’s only September.

Update: Bill Sellin forwards a post from the Bicycle Club of Irvine, which identified the victim as 72-year old BCI member Jeff Rosenthal. 

Rosenthal was reportedly approaching Alicia Parkway in the westbound bike lane on Paseo de Valencia when he was rear-ended by a motorist, who has not been publicly identified. 

He leaves behind his wife of 41 years, as well as an adult son and daughter and their children.

I also received the following email from Ed Rubinstein, Orange County bike lawyer and a longtime friend of this site.

Thank you for your reporting, but I cannot let the rider who was killed remain anonymous. He was my best friend.

I do not have any information on how or why the crash happened, but I do know the wonderful human being whose life was snuffed out too soon.  His name was Jeff Rosenthal. He was 72 years old, retired, and he had just celebrated his 41st anniversary with his wife Barbara. Jeff, like me, originally was from Long Island, NY. He was an experienced cyclist who used to ride over 7000 miles per year until he reduced the frequency of his rides slightly as he recently got back into surfing.  He rode with the Bicycle Club of Irvine where we met about 10 years ago.  He was my best friend, the witness at my wedding and we rode together no less than weekly. Jeff had a quick wit and was always smiling. He was the friend you could always count on to help, but he never wanted to bother others. He was out riding Friday morning. He butt dialed me that morning. He told me he had a flat. and I offered to pick him up as it was hot outside. He said he was almost home, and would call me if he needed any help. I wish he had accepted my offer. I now suspect I was the last person with whom he talked to that day.  I am gutted and the world has lost someone precious.

Jeff (right without glasses) and myself in 2019 after riding a self-supported century

 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jeff Rosenthal and all his family loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Ed Rubinstein for their help. 

8-year old boy taken off life support following Coto de Caza collision; 14th fatal OC bike crash this year

Ghost bikes come in children’s sizes, too.

We mentioned Friday that an eight-year old boy was seriously injured when he was struck by a pickup driver in Coto de Caza Thursday morning.

Now we’ve learned that the boy was taken off life support Saturday afternoon.

Eight-year old Bradley Rofer was walking his bicycle through a crosswalk on his way to school, with members of his family watching, when he was run down at 7:25 am.

He was rushed to Mission Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Bradley was crossing Coto de Caza Drive at Oso Parkway when he was struck by the driver of an older Ford 150 pickup turning left from Oso onto Coto de Caza; it was his first day riding his bike to school.

This is how The Orange County Register described it.

It was supposed to be a fun day —  Bradley was going to ride his bike to school for the first time. He’d learned proper bike safety rules and would be wearing a helmet. His family would be watching and cheering him on. He was ready.

Eight-year-old Bradley Rofer was used to impressing people in his Coto de Caza neighborhood. Riding his bike solo, starting a business that raised money for children with cancer, reading a 300-page plus Harry Potter book at age 7 — those were normal things for the Wagon Wheel Elementary School student.

According to his mother, Bradley was doing everything right when he was hit, including wearing his bike helmet, which firefighters initially credited with preventing more serious injuries.

The driver, identified only as a 53-year old Tustin man, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. There’s no word on why he couldn’t see a boy walking his bike in a clearly marked crosswalk.

There was no crossing guard at the site when Bradley was struck, 20 minutes before children were expected at the school.

His mother broke the news on Facebook.

A crowdfunding campaign to assist with funeral costs and other expenses has raised over $23,000 of the $40,000 goal.

This is at least the 63rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 14th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Bradley Rofer and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to William Sellin for the heads-up. 

Update: 69-year old man killed crashing his bike into parked truck in Irvine bike lane; 11th SoCal bike death this month

Someone please make it stop.

For the 11th time in 22 days, a person riding a bicycle has been killed on the mean streets of Southern California.

This time in Irvine.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding on Alton Parkway between Technology Drive and Mauchly when he ran into the back of a landscaping truck parked on the side of the road at 7:25 this morning.

The victim, identified only as a 69-year old man, died at the scene.

The location places the crash east of Technology Drive, where I’m told that the truck was parked in a marked bike lane.

California law prohibits parking in a bike lane, although it makes an exception for public or private utility trucks — but only if there are warning devices displayed on the truck.

There’s no mention of whether the truck had its flashers on, or displayed warning cones or some other safety warning behind the vehicle.

It’s not as unusual as it might seem to ram into the back of a parked vehicle. There have been several cases in recent years, both here and around the US, where riders appeared to be focused on the road directly in front of their wheel, rather than on the roadway ahead, and ran into an obstacle directly in front of them.

It’s also possible that a passing car could have blocked him from leaving the bike lane, and he might not have been able to stop in time. Or he could have suffered some sort of medical emergency.

Unfortunately, only the victim knows what really happened.

Anyone with information is urged to call Irvine Police Detective Robert Solis at 949/724-7024.

This is at least the 61st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 13th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 69-year old Lake Forest resident James Henry McKane

My deepest sympathy and prayers for James Henry McKane and all his family and loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin and Lois for the heads-up.

Update: 67-year old grandfather killed riding bike in Fullerton hit-and-run; 19th SoCal bike rider killed by hit-and-run drivers this year

Yet another heartless coward has left an innocent victim to die in the street.

Just because the victim was riding his bike to work, like he did every morning.

According to a press release from the Fullerton Police Department, a 67-year old man was riding his bike west on Chapman Ave approaching Ladera Vista Dr  when he was rear-ended by an unknown driver around 5:07 Thursday morning.

He was thrown into a planter on the north side of the street, suffering significant injuries; his bicycle was found a short distance away.

He was taken to a local trauma center, where he was pronounced dead. Family members identified the victim as Elfego Andrade.

A witness followed a green 1999 Ford F-250 pickup that was missing a tire and traveling on the rim, though it wasn’t clear if the driver was responsible for the hit-and-run.

He abandoned his truck nearly four miles away near Delphine Place and Jacaranda Place, and fled on foot. He is described as a Hispanic man approximately 5’8” tall, with a stocky build and wearing all black clothing.

Andrade was described as a great-grandfather, who had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary. He was riding his bike to his job in Fullerton when he was killed.

KNBC-4 reports he and his wife were planning to retire to Mexico, which will now never happen, thanks to a killer driver.

A crowdfunding page described him like this.

“He was a very happy man with the most humble heart. He was hard working and always did what he could for his family,” the fundraising page read. “We are heart broken for our believed husband, father, grandfather, father in law to leave us too soon.”

At the time of this writing, the crowdfunding campaign to help defray funeral expenses has raised just over $900 of the $15,000 goal.

Anyone with information is urged to call Fullerton Police Accident Investigator J. Manes at 714/738-6812 or email joshua.manes@fullertonpd.org.

This is at least the 59th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the twelfth that I’m aware of in Orange County.

Nineteen of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The driver was arrested at the Fullerton police station late Thursday afternoon. 

Twenty-one-year old Anaheim resident Jonathan Ocampo was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run. He was being held on a half-million dollar bond. 

There’s no word on whether Ocampo was in fact driving the F-250 pickup followed by the witness. 

It’s possible that Ocampo did the right thing, heeding calls to turn himself in. Or he may have simply given himself enough time to sober up before taking responsibility for his actions. 

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Elfego Andrade and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

42-year old man killed riding ebike against traffic in Huntington Beach, 70-year old driver arrested for DUI

Once again, Southern California’s killer highway has claimed a life.

But this time, the victim was at least partly at fault for riding salmon — even though he was struck by an allegedly stoned driver.

According to the Daily Pilot, 42-year old Huntington Beach resident Timothy John Briley was killed when he was struck by a driver while riding an ebike against traffic in Huntington Beach Tuesday evening.

Briley was reportedly riding north in the southbound lanes on Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Admiralty Drive, around 6 pm when he was struck head-on by an SUV driven by 70-year old Barbara Front of Huntington Beach.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died 40 minutes later.

Front remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence at 7:40 pm.

There are no bike lanes or other bike infrastructure on PCH north of Admiralty, and no word on whether Briley was riding in the parking lane or traffic lanes.

There’s also no word on why he was riding against traffic, although some people mistakenly believe they’re safer facing oncoming traffic. However, the reality is just the opposite.

Anyone with information is urged to call Huntington Beach traffic investigator Jeremy Rounds at 714/536-5670.

This is at least the 55th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 11th that I’m aware of in Orange County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Timothy John Briley and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Bill Sellin for the heads-up. 

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