Tag Archive for Rancho Mirage

Man killed riding bike in Rancho Mirage collision; second fatal Coachella Valley bicycle crash in two weeks

Maybe it’s time to ask what the hell is going on in the Coachella Valley.

Because for the second time in less than two weeks, a Coachella Valley bike rider has been killed in a collision, this time in Rancho Mirage.

According to the Desert Sun, the victim was riding east across busy Bob Hope Drive in the crosswalk on Casino, in front of the Agua Caliente Casino, round 1:30 pm Friday when he was struck by the driver of a car headed north on Bob Hope.

The man, identified only as an elderly man or senior citizen, died after being taken to a local hospital.

There’s no word on who had the green light, or why the driver apparently didn’t notice an older man on a bicycle in the crosswalk directly in front of him.

The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police, and did not appear to be under the influence.

This comes less than two weeks after a Canadian man was fatally injured in a collision just eleven miles away in Indian Wells — at least the fourth bike rider killed in the Coachella Valley in the last year, according to the Desert Sun.

Which would make this man the fifth bicyclist to die in the valley, where surface streets are too often designed like freeways, encouraging drivers to exceed the already too high speed limits.

And what little bicycling infrastructure there is does far too little to keep riders safe.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Riverside County Sheriff’s department at 760/836-1600.

This is at least the 18th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 77-year old Palm Springs resident Jack Peterson.

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

Morning Links: Bike lanes promote safer passing, and Chino Incycle manager run down by bike thieves

Maybe that painted bike lane is safer than you think.

In a new study from a Canadian university, researchers rode bicycles equipped with sensors and a handlebar-mounted camera to measure how close drivers pass people on bicycles.

The results show that on two lane roads without bike lanes, motorists passed people on bicycles too closely 12% of the time, based on the equivalent of a three-foot passing distance.

But on roads with bike lanes, that dropped to just 0.2%.

On four lane streets, incidents of close passing dropped from 6% to just 0.5%.

The university plans to use that data to develop tools to determine where bike lanes would do the most good.

………

Bike thieves walked out of the Chino Incycle Bicycles with a $10,000 mountain bike, then ran over the manager when she tried to stop them.

Bike mechanic Raul Ureno chased the thieves in his car and managed to get the bike back, though he was unable to stop them.

The manager, who wasn’t named, suffered a broken pelvis, crushed ribs and fractured skull.

There’s a $10,000 reward for the suspects. Let’s hope someone takes them up on it.

………

A Rancho Mirage-area Strava user posted a photo of a powerful billboard featuring fallen cyclist Will Campbell.

Too bad we don’t have the money to put these up everywhere, one for every rider who loses their lives on the streets.

Maybe then drivers would start to pay attention.

Thanks to Steve S for the heads-up.

………

In yet another example of LA leaders’ rhetoric exceeding their actions, bike-friendly Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez were joined by the decidedly unfriendly Paul Koretz in calling for a Green New Deal for the City of Los Angeles.

Never mind that Koretz has consistently blocked much-needed bike lanes in his Westside district, forcing residents to rely on carbon fuel-driven motor vehicles. And gone out of his way to fight the density that would cut trips for work, school and shopping.

Koretz has long positioned himself as LA’s most ecologically minded councilmember.

But until his actions catch up with his words, they’ll remain just that.

Words.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

……….

Mountain biker Brandon Semenuk tells the full story behind the most viewed mountain bike video of all time.

If you’ve got four minutes to spare, it’s worth taking a brief break in your day to watch the original video. Which is a lot shorter than the 24-minute explanation.

………

Local

Good news, Los Angeles. You no longer have the worst traffic in the US. In fact, we’re not even in the top five.

CiclaValley offers a video essay on the best route from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, suggesting Fryman Canyon to Franklin Canyon, with a surprisingly low 442 feet of climbing. I’m going to save that one for my next trip over the Hollywood Hills.

State

A San Diego site says it’s time to reign in e-scooters, as the city’s mayor proposes to do just that.

More sad news, this time from Bakersfield, where a man was killed when he allegedly rode his bike out in front of an oncoming car at an intersection.

Redding prepares to open a new bike path connecting downtown to the Sacramento River, replacing what residents call a harrowing one-mile journey.

Work crews with the California Conservation Corp destroyed three popular, but unsanctioned, bike trails in the forests around Arcata, which a local news site called “the lifeblood of the community forest for generations of bike riders.”

National

Bicycling offers nine tips on how to get a stolen bike back, including recommending Bike Index as your best bet to register your bike after the theft. You can report your stolen bike with Bike Index right here on this site. Then again, why wait until it’s too late?

You can kiss the last remaining Performance Bicycle locations goodbye; if you don’t make it in before March 2nd, it will be too late. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the tip.

If you can get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, you can read about a Hawaii man who took a five-day ride around the coast of the Big Island once the Kilauea volcano settled down.

The rich get richer. Portland is attempting to reclaim its title as America’s leading bike city by building 16.5 miles of protected bike lanes. And getting rid of 1,000 parking spaces in the process.

Crosscut profiles the active transportation director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, asking if she can save bicycling in the state.

Caught on video: Police in Mesa AZ are looking for three people who attempted to run over a group of bike cops, crushing their bikes as they jumped out of the way.

Utah’s legislature is moving forward with a bill that would allow bike riders to go through red lights if they don’t change after stopping for 90 seconds, over the objections of law enforcement.

Um, sure. An allegedly drunken San Antonio driver who killed a bike riding surgeon says she fled the scene because she got frightened after thinking she ran over something. Meanwhile, his accused killer is out on $50,000 bond. Sure. Doesn’t everyone get terrified when they drive over a stick or a speed bump or something? Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

Lime is pulling the plug on it’s bikeshare service in Hartford CT, leaving the city scrambling for a replacement.

While Los Angeles bike riders wait for the DA’s office to finally file charges against the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier, the NYPD has failed to make arrests in four recent hit-and-runs involving people on bicycles, including two where they know the identity of the driver. Which begs the question, why should drivers take hit-and-run seriously when police and prosecutors apparently don’t?

About damn time. A well-funded global alliance launched in the nation’s capital with the goal of finally putting people before cars on our streets.

After that Greenville SC boy jumped on his bike to get help for his unconscious father, bighearted local firefighters surprised him with a new bicycle.

International

Vancouver police help a group of college engineering students recover their custom-designed, hand-built, one-of-a-kind racing ebike after it was stolen.

London is responding to the death of a bike rider by banning cars entirely from three roads leading into a busy junction in the city’s financial district.

Caught on video too: A London bike rider discovers an air horn can move mountains. Or at least pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Be sure to stay to the end for the totally unsurprising response; thanks again to Steve S.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is one of us, riding a bicycle into the English Premier League team’s Spain training camp, as they take a break from the title chase.

Amsterdam has a nine-year old junior bike mayor. Which is exactly one more than Los Angeles has, junior or otherwise.

Bari, Italy is now the first Italian city to pay residents to bike to work, up to the equivalent of $28 a month.

They get it. Melbourne’s leading motoring organization is recommending that bicycle superhighways move to the top of the state government’s infrastructure plans to fight traffic congestion in the city.

An Aussie writer calls for a little sympathy and tolerance after reading the disturbing comments following the death of a bike rider.

A Singapore man has been spotted again riding a bicycle while towing a strange ladder-like metal extension. Unless it actually is a ladder, in which case it’s not strange at all.

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock, the pro cyclist who finished dead last in his first Tour de France after riding the entire race with a broken collarbone, is working his way back to this year’s race with a new attitude as a new father.

Fifty-eight-year old former Tour de France stage winner Sean Yates has turned to an ebike to keep riding after suffering a heat defect that limits his pulse rate to just 90 beats a minute.

Rouleur talks with 1960s six-day race superstar Patrick Sercu.

Finally…

Apparently it’s against the law to ride a moped while carrying a bicycle in some places. Climbing the legendary Mont Ventoux without a seat.

And it may be about to get wet out there, but at least this is one problem we don’t have in LA.

https://twitter.com/driversofnyc/status/1095369152578183168

Update: Rancho Mirage bicyclist killed by speeding driver in possible road rage incident

Call it an act of self-defense. 

If you believe the driver, that is. 

According to Palm Springs TV station News Channel 3, a bike rider was killed in Rancho Mirage this morning by a speeding driver, who claims he was trying to get away from someone who was attempting to run him off the road. 

Sure, let’s go with that. 

The victim was struck at the intersection of Ramon Road and Rattler Road around 6:49 am. A photographer for the station who witnessed the crash reported that the victim was rear-ended as he was riding east on Ramon Road, with the force of the impact sending him cartwheeling through the air. 

He died at the scene. A Facebook post identifies him as road cyclist Will Campbell

The young driver of the white Honda Accord reportedly overcorrected as he was speeding down the road, swerving to the right and slamming into Campbell’s bike. He was handcuffed and taken into custody. 

Another driver reportedly stopped at a gas station a little further down the road, lending credence to reports that a second vehicle was involved. 

While road rage is a possibility, street racing is as well, especially since the crash occurred near a high school. 

street view shows Ramon Road is a six lane virtual highway, with a bike lane on the eastbound side. The street has a 55 mph speed limit, which the reporter at the scene says drivers frequently exceed.

This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Campbell’s death is the second fatal bicycling crash in Rancho Mirage this year, and the fifth on deadly Ramon Road since 2015. 

Update: A party will be held at 5 pm tomorrow at the La Quinta Brewery to celebrate Will Campbell’s life.

My deepest sympathy and prayer for Will Campbell and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Update: Bike rider killed in Rancho Mirage; driver may have drifted into bike lane

More bad news today.

According to KESQ-3, a man was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Rancho Mirage this morning.

The victim, identified only as an adult man, was struck near the intersection of Bob Hope Drive and Ginger Rodgers at 10:13 am.

He died at the scene.

The driver stopped after the crash, and was cooperating with investigators. Police do not think drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

The Desert Sun reports the crash occurred on a relatively desolate stretch of northbound Bob Hope Drive. The victim was found several feet from his bike, with a heavily damaged utility truck stopped nearby.

A street view shows two wide, straight traffic lanes in each direction on Bob Hope, with a 50 mph speed limit, and an unprotected gutter bike lane on each side.

According to KMIR-TV, the driver may have drifted into the bike lane.

This is at least the 14th bicycling fatality in Southern California, and the second in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 74-year old Victoria, British Colombia, resident Peter Harvey.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Peter Harvey and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

Palm Springs cyclist dies in collateral damage collision; 2nd fatality today, 3rd this week

Some drivers will tell you they’ve never seen a cyclist stop for a red light.

Yesterday, proving them wrong cost a 49-year old Palm Springs man his life.

Donald McCluskey was stopped at the red light on southbound Da Vall Drive at Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage around 12:15 pm Wednesday when a 2010 Chrysler Town and County minivan traveling in the opposite direction ran the red light.

The van overturned after it was hit by a 1998 GMC Sierra pickup traveling west on Ramon, plowing into McCluskey, as well as the car stopped next to him. He was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:40 pm.

Remarkably, Larry Wayne Goodman of Cathedral City, the driver who had the green light — not the one who ran the red light — was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence. No word on the identity of the Chrysler driver, who was hospitalized with moderate injuries, or why he blew through the light.

In other words, the two people who caused the collision were both breaking the law, while the person who died as a result of their actions apparently did everything right.

This is the 14th cycling fatality in Southern California since the first of the year, and the third in Riverside County. It is also the second bike death today, and the third in the last seven days.

My deepest sympathy to Donald McCluskey and his loved ones.

Update: Another biking fatality in Moreno Valley last week; no ID for Rancho Mirage victim

Somehow, this went under the radar over the weekend.

According to KTLA, 57-year old Jose Garcia-Espinosa of Moreno Valley was killed in a collision with a motor home on Saturday, July 22nd.

Garcia-Espinosa was riding on Cactus Avenue near the intersection with Lasselle Street when he was struck from behind after Joseph Gerald Edgerson of Moreno Valley lost control of his vehicle, which went on to strike a utility pole. Edgerson was reportedly incoherent following the collision and was taken to a local hospital in critical condition; KTLA reports he may have suffered a seizure.

A story by the Press-Enterprise suggests that Garcia-Espinosa may have been struck some distance from the final crash site, noting that he was found lying on the side of the road at 10:48 am. He was pronounced dead at Riverside County Regional Medical Center at 11:11 am.

This is the 42nd confirmed traffic-related cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 7th in Riverside County.

Thanks to Dj Wheels and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

……..

Still no public identification for the cyclist killed in Rancho Mirage on Saturday night. The 41-year old Hispanic man was riding against  traffic when he was hit.

I’m told that bike riders in some parts of Mexico and Central America are often taught to ride against traffic, and bring that habit with them when they ride the more heavily traveled roads of this country.

Sometimes with tragic results.

I can’t say that’s what happened here, though the delay in contacting his next-of-kin suggests that they may not be in this country.


Update: Salmon cyclist killed in Rancho Mirage Saturday night

According to MyDesert.com, a cyclist was killed while riding against traffic in Rancho Mirage last night.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was headed east in the westbound on Highway 111 near Atrium Way when he was struck by a car traveling west at around 10:50 pm. KPSP-2 reports that he was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other details are available at this time.

……..

Some bike riders believe it is safer to ride against traffic, since it allows them to see oncoming vehicles. However, it’s actually significantly more dangerous because motorists aren’t looking anything approaching them on the same side of the road, and it shortens time both rider and driver have to react to a dangerous situation.

It also dramatically increases the severity of the impact by combining the speeds of both bike and car, rather than reducing the speed of impact as it would if both were traveling in the same direction.

For instance, if a car was traveling at 30 mph in the same direction as a bike at 15 mph, they would collide with a force equivalent to hitting a stationary object at 15 mph. However, traveling in opposite directions means the force of impact would be equivalent to 45 mph.

And that makes a big difference. It’s said that a pedestrian hit at 30 mph has an 80% chance of survival, while one hit at 40 mph has an 80% chance of dying.

This is the 6th bicycling fatality in Riverside County this year, and the 43rd confirmed cycling traffic death in Southern California since January 1st.

Update: The rider has been identified only as a 41-year old Hispanic male. While the cyclist appears to be clearly at fault for riding on the wrong side of the street, at least one local TV station seems to be going out of its way to blame the victim, as they quote a local resident questioning why anyone would ride a bike at night:

“I’m very sorry this man was killed but the average bicycle rider doesn’t ride at 11 O’clock at night,” Wells said.

Unless, of course, the average bike rider needs to get home from work or school, has someplace they want to go or just happens to enjoy riding after dark. You know, sort of like people in cars, but with fewer wheels.

And writer Jim Lyle questions my physics, saying that force of impact in a collision isn’t as simple as adding and subtracting relative speeds

It doesn’t work that way.  Ignoring differences in mass, if two cars collide head on at 30 mph, the force of the collision is not doubled; it’s the same as driving into a wall at 30 mph for each car.

For a bicycle/car collision, the differences in the masses are so large that the force of the collision is only marginally different if you are hit from behind or head on.

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