Tag Archive for Riverside

26 to life for Riverside vehicular killer, SaMo bike network cuts crashes by 52%, and Ghost Tire placed for 15-year old boy

It’s the final week of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just seven days left to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy.

Thanks to Alfred D, Jim W and Lilly L for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way every day. 

So don’t wait — give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program as promised this fall: 3

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Two quick reminders.

The WeHo City Council is scheduled to consider the city’s first Vision Zero Action Plan at tonight’s 6 pm council meeting, in the council chambers at the new West Hollywood City Hall, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. It’s Item 5C on the Council agenda.

And if you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.

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That’s more like it.

A Riverside man was sentenced to 26 to life behind bars for intentionally killing a man walking a bicycle in 2021.

Thirty-three-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez was driving his pickup when he saw 46-year old Benedicto Solanga walking his bike with a friend on the other side of the road, and flipped the men off.

Then he made a U-turn, came back and intentionally drove into Solanga, running him down from behind.

Solana died three days later.

Riverside police arrested Gutierrez three weeks later, after he had run a red light to shake witnesses who attempted to follow him after the crash.

He was convicted in September of first-degree murder with a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

No motive was ever given for the attack.

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Bike riders in Santa Monica were ruled at fault in 26 of the city’s 72 crashes resulting in death or serious injury since 2010, while drivers were at fault in 31; the remaining 15 investigators were unable to assess blame.

That works out to 36% and 43%, respectively, which a local paper somehow thinks is almost even.

And let’s not forget that blame is usually assigned by cops suffering from a windshield bias and a lack of training in bike law and investigating bicycle crashes.

However, the good news is that crashes involving bike riders has dropped by more than half — 52% — since the city began building a safe bike network over a decade ago.

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Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, placed another ghost tire memorial yesterday, this time for a 15-year old boy killed by a driver while walking home from school in October.

This is from the press release for the event, which arrived too late for advance notice.

On 27 October 2023, 15-year-old Felipe Manuel Infante-Avalos (affectionately known as Pipé) was crossing the road at 110th and Main St in the crosswalk, on his way home from school, when he was hit by 34-year-old Arturo Mercado Garcia. Pipé was hospitalized and died from his injuries on 8 November 2023. Arturo, who fled from the scene of the collision, was later caught and arrested and is awaiting trial. Per the judge for the case, evidence was found that Arturo was watching TikTok videos while driving.

Pipé, who was autistic, was sweet and gentle and his family loved him dearly. He loved school and was part of the ROTC. He loved playing with his siblings and going on their many family outings.

Pipé’s death is part of a worsening public health crisis on the roads of Los Angeles that has been skyrocketing since 2020. Per LAPD reports (as of 9 December 2023) the total number of traffic fatalities is higher than this time last year by 7% at 307 lives lost. Keeping in mind that the 312 fatalities in 2022 were the highest in well over 20 years. What’s worse is the number of pedestrian fatalities is up by 11% (162 lives lost) compared to this time last year, the number of hit-and-run fatalities is up by 26%, and the number of DUI-related fatalities is up by 32%.

A Ghost Tire Memorial will be placed to remember Pipé by the non-profit Streets Are For Everyone. Pipé’s parents, friends, and family along with other community members affected by traffic violence will be present.

Over 30 family members and friends, many of whom have flown in from out of town, are expected to attend. Adriana, Pipe’s mother, will be demanding that Arturo Mercado Garcia be given the maximum penalties allowable by law for killing her son. She’ll also be calling for the Mayor of Los Angeles to do more to protect the lives of our communities.

The Ghost Tire Memorial was inspired by the Ghost Bike: a bicycle roadside memorial placed where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured by the driver of a motor vehicle. Ghost Tires are tires painted white and placed on the side of a road with the name and date of the person killed. Ghost Tires were created by the road safety advocacy organization Streets Are For Everyone, sometimes called by its acronym, SAFE.

You can do your part by signing the petition to demand a public forum with the mayor to hear our complaints about the dangers Pipé and the rest of us face just walking and biking in Los Angeles.

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Unbelievable.

Life is cheap in Hilo, Hawaii, where a 70-year old man faces a maximum of a 15 years behind bars for negligent homicide and hit-and-run — even though prosecutors say he intentionally killed a woman riding a recumbent bike because she was “going too slow all the time.”

The judge ordered him to undergo a mental health exam, which is probably a good idea under the circumstances.

They should also give one to the prosecutors who undercharged what should have been a murder case.

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Fallen standup comic Kenny DeForest continued to make an impact after his death riding an ebike near Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, donating seven of his organs to five people, to give them a second chance at life.

DeForest died a week after he reportedly rode his ebike into a parked car, suffering serious head injuries.

That could have happened for a number of reasons, from distraction to excess speed resulting from the ebike, or being crowded out by a driver’s too-close pass.

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‘Tis the season.

Electrek suggests last minute stocking stuffers and gear for ebike enthusiasts. I’d settle for getting the ebike vouchers we were promised, and that California taxpayers have already paid for. 

Slate offers a gift guide for bike riders, saying no drivers allowed.

‘Sweet’ Alice Harris continued a 40-year tradition of giving for the holidays, helping ensure 300 students from Watts and Compton area got new bicycles, toys and backpacks filled with school supplies and other essential items.

A Maui bicycling group teamed with a “grassroots movement dedicated to bringing joy to children and families impacted by the Maui wildfires” to bring holiday gifts and entertainment to local families, and distribute 80 bicycles to kids who had requested one.

Fayetteville, Arkansas revived the city’s long-running “Bicycle Man” bicycle giveaway program for underprivileged kids, which gave away over 60,000 bicycles over a 33-year period.

A local website says don’t let anyone tell you New Bedford, Massachusetts sucks, after a nine-year old boy gets his stolen bike back in what they call a Christmas miracle.

London bike riders brought Christmas shopping on the city’s iconic Oxford Circle to a standstill with their annual Santa ride.

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If anyone really has any question who is at fault here, they probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

https://twitter.com/ClownWorld_/status/1735342319069696457

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A powerful British short film attempts to humanize “bloody cyclists” after they were run down by motorists.

And yes, they mean that literally.

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GCN considers the bike upgrades that just aren’t worth it, but bicyclists insist on doing anyway. Along with how to avoid “getting a numb penis” while riding a bike.

They said it, not me.

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

No bias here. The Port of San Diego is now banning all ebikes, e-scooters, hoverboards and most pedicabs, even though non-electric versions of all of the above are still allowed.

It takes a major schmuck to vandalize the ghost bike for a Colorado triathlete and soon-to-be father — not once, but twice.

No bias here, either. An elderly man in Glasgow, Scotland man says he’s afraid to leave his house due to busy and confusing streets, construction barriers, trash everywhere and people biking on the sidewalks — but a British tabloid only frames it in terms of irresponsible ebike-riding food delivery workers blighting the neighborhood.

Someone has been deliberately sabotaging a London bike lane for over a year, repeatedly spreading drawing pins in an apparent attempt to puncture riders’ tires. While it may sound like a harmless prank, a sudden flat could lead to serious injury, as well as needless expense and inconvenience. 

Police in Birmingham, England insist they’re really trying to arrest the people responsible for violent robbery attacks on bike riders, after coming under fire for merely advising a crime victim to ride somewhere else.

But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Clean Technica says let’s not overreact to the dark side of ebikes, after her bike is somehow blamed for the actions of a Canadian porch pirate.

A Singapore bicyclist risked an S$500 fine by riding inside a Metro station.

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Local 

Bike Talk discusses the departure of Santa Monica’s bike-friendly mayor, along with Maryland’s “Come By Bike Farm” — as well as discussing some of the latest headlines from BikinginLA.

 

State

San Diego adopted its first-ever Complete Streets policy.

Police arrested four men in Lemon Grove after tracking down a BMW that was used in an ebike theft spree.

Bad news from Moorpark, where a man riding a bike suffered major injuries when he was struck by a driver. But at least the woman who hit him stuck around afterwards.

Napa County opened the area’s first bike skills park.

A Napa County paper lists 20-year old pro cyclist and Sebastopol native Luke Lamperti among their 24 people to watch in 2024.

 

National

Men’s Journal says yes, you can run in the bike lane. Except where you can’t.

A kindhearted cop in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown worked with a local used bike shop to give a 13-year old boy a new bike after his was stolen in a burglary.

Police in Golden, Colorado are looking for two people who ran away from their abandoned car after running down three people riding bicycles, and injuring two of the victims — one seriously. No word on whether the crash may have been intentional.

A Texas bicyclist is able to fight the insurance company and win after he got right hooked, in part because he had front and rear bike cams.

This is who we share the road with. A Texas hit-and-run driver slammed into a pedestrian, then drove 38 miles to a Jack in the Box with the victim’s dead body in his car, after he went through the driver’s windshield; the man claimed he though he hit an animal. Sure, let’s go with that.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike an Indianapolis mom bought for her autistic son for Christmas, before she could even give it to him.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that’s where whoever threatened a 13-year old New York girl with physical harm and stole her bike in a strong-arm robbery belongs.

The Washington Post looks at the effort in Congress to belatedly honor Black cycling legend Major Taylor, 124 years after he became world champion.

A Florida man shot a neighbor in the leg with a shotgun after the victim strayed onto his property looking for his stolen bicycle; the man said he shot him because he tried to break into his RV — even though police found the shotgun shell 150 yards away.

 

International

Three men responsible for robbing a number of South African bike riders have been arrested; the gang is accused of stealing their bikes and belongings, and fatally stabbing one man.

Interesting idea. Singapore hopes to promote bicycling by creating a “bike village” under a viaduct next to a transit station, in an area already popular with bicyclists, where they can shop for bicycle gear, grab a bite or meetup for rides.

This is why elections matter. The new Transport Minister for the newly conservative government in New Zealand has slammed the brakes on dozens of bike, pedestrian and public transit projects across the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Palo Alto third-grader Mia Reyna, the new BMX national champ for her age group.

As if being a two-time Tour de France champ and double runner-up wasn’t enough, now Tadej Pogačar plans to go for a double by competing in the Giro, too.

 

Finally…

Your next bike tires could use NASA’s airless Mars Rover tech. Full-floating suspension for your butt.

And it’s just like the hubless, motorized Penny Farthing great-granddad used to ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Both sides rest in Solanga vehicular murder case, and Culver City bicyclists crowdfund to save protected bike lane

We could have a verdict before the end of this week.

Both sides rested Tuesday in the murder trial of 33-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez, who is accused of using his truck to run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga in Riverside two years ago.

Gutierrez allegedly flipped Solanga off as Solanga walked his bike with another person, then made a U-turn to come back to slam into Solanga, killing him.

Prosecutors have not said if the men knew each other, or why he attacked Solanga with his truck.

Photo from Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.

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No bias here.

A Culver City councilmember says kids are much better off riding on circuitous side streets than in the direct, protected bike lane he wants to rip out.

He’s got a point.

Studies have shown that bicyclists are exposed to higher particulate levels when riding next to busy roadways. But it’s unclear whether those particulates have a measurable effect on lung function.

Meanwhile, a new crowdfunding campaign has been established to fight the council’s blatantly illegal decision to replace the bike lane with another lane for motor vehicles, bizarrely claiming it would have no environmental impact and doesn’t require a CEQA review.

As of this writing, it’s raised nearly half of the modest $10,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

https://twitter.com/bikinginla/status/1701845885712568829

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The California state legislature has approved the bill to establish a limited speed cam pilot program in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, as well as three NorCal cities — as long as they meet a number of preconditions.

The state Senate also passed a bill legalizing sidewalk riding everywhere in the state, overriding any local prohibitions.

Assuming the governor signs it, of course.

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More proof that lane reductions and protected bike lanes work. Someone please tell the Culver City Council.

Oh wait, they already know.

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Let’s pause our bike news for a moment for a couple of brief help wanted notices.

Los Angeles Walks is hiring an Incoming Executive Director to manage the pedestrian advocacy group; you have until the end of this month to apply.

And if any planners out there are looking for work, Oregon could be looking for you.

Statewide Recreation Trails Planner (Limited Duration)

In this capacity, your role will revolve around being a planner and fostering partnerships. This will involve the facilitation of high-level trail planning initiatives, requiring close coordination with various stakeholders, including state and local agencies, tribal governments, trail advocacy groups, and trail user constituencies. You will also be tasked with the development of comprehensive processes to manage all stages of trail project delivery effectively. Building internal and external partnerships will be key to ensuring the efficiency and success of these processes and systems, all while prioritizing the department’s Mission in your decision-making.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up. 

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

Police in Downey are investigating after a man was captured on video randomly shoving a man off his bike while he rode with another man along the riverbed on Florence Ave, moments after attacking another bike rider.

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

San Diego is cracking down on ebikes and e-scooters on beach boardwalks, two years after an unenforced and universally ignored ban went into effect.

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Local 

LA County broke ground on the 3 mile, $8.1 million Vincent Community Bikeway, which will combine a creekside bike path with on-street protected bike lanes through the unincorporated community.

Streetsblog looks at Pasadena’s new Union Street protected bike lane.

More on the effort of three Santa Monica city councilmembers to stop truck drivers from parking in the city’s bike lanes, which has been a problem as long as the city has had them.

 

State

Caltrans and the California Office of Traffic Safety are launching a new “Safety is Sharing. Safety is Caring.” public awareness campaign to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety. Probably because they couldn’t come up with anything more boring and less impactful, despite their best efforts. 

San Francisco bicyclists are taking to social media to complain about drivers illegally using the controversial new centerline protected bike lane on Valencia Street,

 

National

The bike industry’s ebike battery recycling program has collected 43,000 pounds of batteries since it began two years ago.

Direct marketing brand Canyon is having a sale on a number of their bikes, across the categories.

Popular Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power Bikes is out with their updated new lineup, as the financially troubled company commits to using only UL certified lithium-ion batteries.

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned hundreds of slightly used, but very muddy, bicycles, which are going to the Reno Bike Project to find loving new homes.

Heartbreaking story about the death of Colorado endurance bicyclist Greg Bachman, who was killed by a Kansas driver the night before last years Unbound Gravel race; his widow calls out anti-bike bias from Kanas Highway Patrol, which destroyed evidence, failed to examine the driver’s phone or the victim’s GPS, and went out of their way to incorrectly blame the victim.

Omaha bike riders are calling for better “road awareness” from both bicyclists and motorists after a noted local cardiologist was killed by a driver while riding his bike.

A three-day Iowa Underground Railroad bike ride will explore 136 miles of the state’s abolitionist history.

Kindhearted Missouri cops surprised a man with a new bike after the one he used to get to work was stolen.

New York City councilmembers slammed the city’s transportation department for falling behind on building new bus and bike lanes, which are legally mandated by the city’s transportation master plan. Which is what happens when city leaders actually give a damn, and draft a plan with real teeth, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis I could name. 

 

International

Momentum explores the top styles of bicycles for active aging.

The annual, worldwide, women-only Fancy Women Bike Ride rolls this Sunday, though there doesn’t appear to be one scheduled for anywhere in Southern California.

A columnist for a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan newspaper says the road to safer bicycling in the city is sadly “paved with blood,” suggesting that despite deaths and injuries, the debate about safe bicycling always seems to come down to cost. Sadly, it seems to be the case everywhere that nothing happens until it’s too late.

Montreal, Quebec’s ghost bike group marked its tenth anniversary by filling a busy intersection with 645 pairs of white shoes, indicating the number of people killed while walking in the province over the past decade.

Britain’s Conservative government is considering new laws to confront dangerous bicycling, including a pledge to create a “death by dangerous cycling” law, after concluding the existing laws are old and inadequate.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian pro cyclist Nathan van Hooydonck was injured in a car crash after becoming unwell while driving with his pregnant wife on Tuesday; an update from his Jumbo-Visma team indicated his condition was “not critical,” despite earlier reports.

American race leader Sepp Kuss lost time to his own teammates in the Vuelta yesterday, after Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard attacked to win stage 16 and move just 29 seconds behind Kuss.

L39ION of Los Angeles co-founder Justin Williams has reportedly been suspended for a second time in consecutive years for causing a crash in last month’s Audi Denver Littleton Criterium; reports also indicate Thomas Gibbons was fined for swearing after Williams caused him to crash.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton overcame “trench foot, freezing rain, wildfire detours, mental demons and a busted derailleur” to record the fastest ever time on the Tour Divide bikepacking route, completing 2,670 miles and 192,000 feet of climbing in 12 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. But his time won’t go down as a new record, because the camera crew that accompanied him isn’t allowed under official rules.

Anyone betting the National Cycling League wouldn’t make it to their second season should collect your winnings, as the fledgling US bike racing league laid off two-thirds of the riders they had under contract.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can build your very own dream cargo bike.

And you think you’ve got bike skills?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Trial starts for alleged Riverside road rage murder, ghost tire memorial in South LA, and new Metro Active Transportation Plan

Welcome to your last pre-Thanksgiving three-day weekend — not to mention the opening weekend for college football. 

Which means you can count on a higher than usual percentage of drunks and otherwise intoxicated people on the roads. 

So the usual protocol applies. 

Ride defensively. And if you’re riding anytime after noon today, assume every driver you see has had a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be far off. 

I expect to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. And I don’t want to have to write about you, unless maybe you pull a pack of puppies out of a burning building or something. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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A 33-year old Riverside man is going on trial for murder with a deadly weapon enhancement, for the alleged road rage killing of a man riding a bicycle.

Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to reverse direction and run down 46-year old Benedicto Solanga from behind following an apparent traffic-related dispute between the two men.

Gutierrez was arrested three weeks after the July, 2021 vehicular assault, and continues to be held on $1 million bond.

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This is who we share the road with.

LA’s second ghost tire memorial was installed yesterday to honor the three Uber passengers killed in a high speed crash in South Los Angeles.

The victims, including two sisters, were riding in the back seat of the Uber when 31-year old Gregory Black slammed into them while racing through red lights at up to 100 mph.

Black, described as a known gang member with an extensive rap sheet, was charged with three counts of vehicular manslaughter, and held on $4 million bond.

So much for the myth that bail is based strictly on the suspect’s ability to pay. And not a reflection of how seriously prosecutors take the crime.

Black was already serving a five-year probation following his release from prison for attempted murder.

Meanwhile, a 17-year old Las Vegas boy faces a murder charge for intentionally killing a bike-riding man, after video posted online indicated the fatal hit-and-run two weeks ago wasn’t an accident.

The teen was allegedly driving a stolen car and already fleeing an earlier hit-and-run.

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Metro unveiled the LA County transit agency’s new Active Transportation Strategic Plan on Tuesday.

According to Southern California Newsgroup’s Steve Scauzillo, the plan will “create a chain of paths, regional bikeways and pedestrian crossings to connect passengers who are walking, rolling or bicycling to and from the transit agency’s train lines, bus stops and depots.”

Metro, during a virtual public meeting Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 29, outlined three areas for improvement, identifying 602 “first and last mile” areas located near transit, 81 pedestrian districts and 1,433 miles of regional bikeways.

Just completing the list of regional bikeways, which would connect to existing ones, would cost about $36 billion, which is four times the entire LA Metro annual budget.

The plan has a focus on equity, improving service and safety first in areas where fewer people own cars, including including mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods.

But as we’ve seen with the City of Los Angeles, it’s one thing to make a plan, and another to implement it, as ActiveSGV’s special programs director Wesley Reutimann pointed out.

He said Metro should redirect budget dollars from highways toward completing bikeways and walkways. But getting the OK from cities and landowners can gum up the works. Metro is also asking cities to help fund the projects or apply for grant dollars. This can delay or nix projects altogether, he said.

“Long story short: Metro did a plan (in 2016) and most of it was never implemented. It just feels like this plan update is window dressing,” Reutimann said.

Even a fraction of what the agency wastes on highway engorgements could go a long way towards actually implementing this plan.

Let’s hope someone over there figures out how to do that.

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This will be great if it actually happens.

And that’s a big if.

A pair of Los Angeles City Council motions call for streamlining operations between LADOT, LA Street Services, the Bureau of Engineering, and the Bureau of Street Lighting, as well as developing a five-year infrastructure spending plan for the city.

Correction, they both call for a pair of studies on how to do it.

Which is what the Los Angeles city government does best — study problems, rather than actually solve them.

And as we saw with the city council alternative to the Healthy Streets LA initiative, those 60 day deadlines can easily slip to a full year, if ever.

So this will be great if it actually happens. But we’ve been here too many times before.

Let’s hope someone holds the city’s feet to the fire and makes it happen this time.

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A Denver TV station provides more information on the crash that severely injured professional ultra endurance bicyclist Jay Petervary as he was attempting to set a new record for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Investigators concluded Petervary was riding on a mountain highway in central Colorado when he was rear-ended by a 16-year old driver, who may have been speeding, while attempting to pass on a “straight on a wide, open road with no trees or obstructions.”

Petervary says he landed about 20 yards from his bike, skidding face first on the roadway.

He is now focusing on his recovery while his wife organizes his transport back home to Idaho, his future care and the legal repercussions. Donations are still being accepted for the Be Good Foundation. As of Thursday morning, he had raised about $9,500 of the $20,000 goal.

Petervary has a lengthy history with long-distance racing. The sponsored athlete has competed for 25 years, exploring new routes and races. But he also loves providing experiences and opportunities for others, he wrote on his website. He has adopted the mantra “Ride Forward” in not only his athletic endeavors, but in his business, relationships, friendships and more.

“It also meant to not have regrets or get bogged down in the past but also reflect and learn to move forward more fluidly,” he wrote online.

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While we’re catching up on crashes, an Arizona TV station talks with the Flagstaff bicyclist who was sideswiped by the driver of a passing RV, taking out around a dozen riders on a group ride like so many bowling pins.

Saturday, Wallace was biking on Lake Mary Road with a local cycling group, “Team Pay and Take” when he was hit in the head by an RV’s side mirror. His helmet came off, and he then crashed into multiple cyclists behind him, causing a pileup. “I mean, these people are like family,” Wallace said. “You know you ride with them every week. My partner was on the ride as well and she crashed right behind me. So your first thought is just like is everyone OK?”

Wallace said the person driving the RV stopped and cooperated with police, but this is an important reminder to share the road as it’s state law to give cyclists at least 3 feet of space. “I think it’s just a sad point that when we get behind the wheel of a car, we don’t see our fellow humans out there as someone who has someone to go home to after the ride,” Wallace said.

No word yet on whether the driver will faces charges; at last report, he was only ticketed for an unsafe pass.

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Good question.

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There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a handcycle from a disabled paracyclist.

Some schmuck did the same thing in St. Louis, too.

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Canada’s prime minister is one of us. And so are his kids.

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No surprise here, as a new Belgian study shows you’re twice as likely to be killed in a collision with a bigass pickup or SUV than with a typical passenger car.

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What’s the point of bike skills, if you can’t use them to clear a little litter off the road?

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Why settle for a hoverboard when you can turn it into a LEGO-like DIY Franken-ebike?

With sideways wheels, no less.

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

No bias here. The editor of WeHoVille continues his campaign against bike lanes in the city, citing the removal of the MOVE Culver City project as a warning for West Hollywood, while mischaracterizing the highly successful project that was removed by Culver City’s newly conservative council.

No bias here, either. Residents of León, Guanajuato, Mexico protested plans for a new bike lane, arguing that “about 8 cyclists pass the whole morning,” while official stats say over 65 times that many people ride it every day. Never mind that many more would probably ride there if they felt safer. 

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Local 

Far from abandoning bike lanes, Culver City is proposing mostly 2.5-mile protected bike lanes for lower Overland Ave below Venice Blvd.

Pasadena will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony a week from tomorrow for a new 1.5-mile-long, two-way protected bike lane on Union Street between Arroyo Parkway and Hill Ave; the project, which includes a 1/3-mile bicycle boulevard, is the first of its kind in the city.

Claremont residents debate whether to protect kids on their way to and from school with safety improvements including a curb-protected bike lane, but what’s the life of a little kid when it might inconvenience older bike riders or someone ordering pizza? Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Shaq is one of us, riding a custom-made 36″ mountain bike nicknamed The Thompson Beast.

 

State

The CHP has introduced a free, learn-at-your-own-pace online ebike safety class, as required by a new bill signed into law by Governor Newsom last year; the bill was authored by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, who is behind the current effort to require licenses to ride ebikes — and who snatched the state’s latest effort to pass a Stop As Yield law from the jaws of victory.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation agency to tow drivers who park in bike lanes, after talking the staff at a bagel shop into refusing to serve a driver who parked in a protected bike lane in front of the shop. Note to traffic engineers and planners — if someone can park in it, it’s not protected.

Oakland residents are calling for more protected bike lanes, after the tragic death of a four-year old girl who was doored while riding on the back of her father’s bike. And yes, she was wearing a helmet and strapped into her seat.

 

National

A new study provides some of the data we’ve been missing on pediatric ebike usage, showing that while riders of regular bikes under the age of 18 were more likely to suffer injuries, ebike riders were 2.4 times more likely to suffer severe injuries requiring hospitalization.

A writer for Electrek takes the contrarian view to the current ebike panic, arguing that we need more teenagers on ebikes, not fewer.

Retired Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon accurately called Lance Armstrong a cheater when the ex-Tour de France winner argued trans athletes should compete in their own division, when both were competing on the Fox show Stars on Mars.

Outside says you should spend at least $250 on bike bibs, arguing that high-end bibs will literally save your ass. I’ll reserve comment, since I’ve never spent more than a fraction of that, and my ass is still firmly attached.

Washington state is set to begin a $1,200 ebike rebate program next year, as well as establishing a series of ebike lending libraries across the state.

Boulder, Colorado threatens to beat California to the ebike rebate punch with the city’s second round of ebike vouchers, before California gets around to issuing its first.

An 83-year old Iowa man was killed by a 77-year old driver, which once again raises the question of how old is too old to drive. Anyone who can still ride at that age deserves better. Then again, so do the rest of us.

A 30-year old Milwaukee man has been arrested for the hit-and-run, street racing crash that killed an 11-year old boy, even though police were quick to blame the victim for veering into traffic and not wearing a helmet.

A Vermont armed robbery suspect made his getaway from the cops by car, on foot, on a stolen bicycle and a purloined sailboat; at last report, he was still on the lam.

Streetsblog explains a new, “very controversial bill from a noted opponent” of increased bicycling that would require ebike registration in New York City.

Madonna is still one of us, riding around New York with friends and her personal trainer, just weeks after surviving a life-threatening infection.

That’s more like it. A Louisiana semi-truck driver is facing a negligent homicide charge for killing a man riding a bicycle by sideswiping the victim while attempting to pass his bike on a curve; the charge is an upgrade from an initial ticket for violating the state’s three-foot passing law.

New Orleans workers organize the first e-bikeshare employees union. Which is actually the second, because Metro Bike employees beat them to it, unless you want to split hairs since LA’s system includes both ebikes and regular bikes

A Florida transit bus driver has been busted for hit-and-run after allegedly crashing into a bike rider, then just continuing on his route rather than stopping; fortunately, the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

 

International

Cannondale is the latest bikemaker to jump on the e-cargo bike bandwagon, with the bikes premiering in Europe this fall for the equivalent of $4,300.

Momentum offers ten reasons why cargo bikes top mini vans as the perfect family vehicle.

An English town swears their new ban on bikes in the city center won’t target disabled or “old and slow” bicyclists, after police ticked an 82-year old man for violating the ban.

A Welsh cop who was tailing two ebike-riding teenagers just before the crash that killed both of them now faces a criminal probe for dangerous driving; the deaths sparked riots when the cops denied following the boys.

Dockless scooters have been scoured from the streets of Paris, on the eve of a ban overwhelmingly approved by voters.

Dutch ebike-maker VanMoof will live on, after the company was purchased out of bankruptcy by Britain’s Lavoie, which makes high-end scooters based on McLaren’s Formula 1 tech; current VanMoof owners appeared to welcome the purchase.

Germany’s Buycycle is bringing its online marketplace for used and refurbished bicycles to the US. Let’s hope they have some mechanism in place to weed out stolen bikes. 

An Italian city counselor warns bicyclists not to ride in Milan because it’s too dangerous; the city is attempting to improve safety by requiring sensors on heavy vehicles to detect bike riders and pedestrians.

An Indian woman is calling for a fresh approach to urban planning, saying the country needs a greater emphasis on bicycling to boost the enrollment of girls in both urban and rural schools, increase productivity for individuals, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Philippine bicyclists and motorcyclists reject a proposal for a shared lane along a busy roadway. Seriously, just because they’re both called bikes and have two wheels doesn’t make them compatible.

 

Competitive Cycling

American super-domestique Sepp Kuss soloed to victory in the sixth stage of the Vuelta, high-fiving fans the final 50 yards; meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel lost time to key rivals Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, as he handed the leader’s jersey to France’s Lenny Martinez.

The annual Tour of Britain kicks on in Manchester tomorrow; Cycling Weekly offers a complete guide to the race.

 

Finally…

When life gives you a No Cycling sign, just turn it into a heart. That feeling when it takes longer to certify a record for riding around the world than it did to set it.

And why pedal through Burning Man when your butt can do the work?

@spotlightrose

Wierd people doing weird shit! #burningman

♬ original sound – Annie Bond

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Update: 48-year old Riverside man riding bike killed in alleged drunken hit-and run; driver followed and arrested

Once again, a Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a drunken hit-and-run driver.

Allegedly.

According to My News LA, the driver fled the scene after running down the victim in Riverside Saturday night.

But for a change, the driver was captured a short time later.

The victim, identified only as a 48-year old Riverside man, was crossing Indiana Ave on La Sierra Ave on his bike when he was run down by a speeding driver traveling east on Indiana; there’s no word on what time the crash happened

He was taken to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Witnesses followed the driver, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was identified as a 40-year old man from Corona, but no name was given.

This is at least the 49th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the ninth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

Update: KCBS-2 puts the time of the crash as around 10:10 pm.

Update 2: The victim has been identified as Riverside resident Jerry Hodges. The driver has still not been identified. 

Update 3: The Riverside Police Department has identified the alleged driver as 40-year old Corona resident Jose Luis Cacho Jr. He was released on $75,000 bond after being booked on vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and DUI charges.

Cacho was also charged with violating probation on a previous DUI conviction. That raises the question of why he hasn’t been charged with murder, since he would have received a Watson notice informing him that would be possible if he killed someone while driving drunk anytime in the future. 

Maybe that’s a question we should ask Riverside County DA Michael Hestrin

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jerry Hodges and his loved ones. 

Thanks to Accident News Now and Eric Lewis for the heads-up. 

Plea deal in death of 15-year old Javier Gonzalez, grieving families fight for safer streets, and housing for people not cars

Happy World Bicycle Day!

Now get out there and ride one.

And contact your elected leaders to demand safer streets when you get back.

………

It looks like there will be justice for Javier Gonzalez, after all.

If you consider over six years justice for fleeing the scene after killing a teenage boy.

Thirty-seven-year old Riverside resident Rosendo Morales Caldera pled guilty to hit-and-run resulting in death, with a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a crime, after prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Caldera was accused of killing Gonzalez last March as the 15-year old boy rode salmon with his friends on a Riverside street, slamming head-on into his bicycle before speeding away without stopping.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13th. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of six years and eight months, significantly above the standard penalty of four years for a fatal hit-and-run in California.

And yet, it seems like it’s still not enough.

Caldera has a lengthy criminal record, with prior convictions for car theft, possessing a forged driver’s license, vandalism, and being felon in possession of a firearm; he was out on probation at the time of Gonzalez’ death.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

………

Today’s must read is a hard-hitting, inspiring and heartbreaking piece from the New Yorker, about families of fallen pedestrians and bike riders who banded together to fight for safer streets — leading to the country’s first Vision Zero in New York, and traffic safety wins at city hall and the state capital.

And balanced out by just as many losses.

The group they founded, Families for Safe Streets, has grown to include chapter across the US, including here in Southern California. Each of whom has lost a family member to traffic violence.

But this is what they’re up against.

By century’s end, cars had grown progressively larger, better insulated from the feedback of the surrounding environment, and safer for the people inside them. Those on the outside were less lucky. The U.S. automotive lobby resisted regulations enacted in Europe that made cars and trucks less lethal, and, by 2018, the number of pedestrian and cyclist deaths per kilometre in the United States was more than four times higher than in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Among the most vulnerable are older adults, who in 2020 made up twenty per cent of killed pedestrians, and people who live in low-income neighborhoods where there has been little investment in safe road design.

Between 2010 and 2019, as the number of U.S. drivers or passengers who died in collisions held fairly steady, deaths of those on bikes rose thirty-six per cent, and deaths of those on foot nearly doubled.

It’s a long piece. But more that worth the time you’ll invest in reading it.

………

A columnist for The New York Times says California has to flip the paradigm of having too much housing for cars, and not enough for people.

Farhad Manjoo calls for the passage of AB 2097, which would prohibit minimum parking requirements near public transit, or at least SB 1067, which gives developers more leeway to get around parking minimums.

Meanwhile, UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup calls for enforcing the state’s parking cash-out law to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

………

For early risers, the LACBC will host a Twitter Space to discuss women, children and bicycling starting at 6:00 this morning.

Yes, 6 am.

So chances are, you may have already missed it.

………

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

No bias here. Call it friendly fire, as a self-professed non-leg-shaving cyclist says everyone hates bike riders, so we should ride cringingly at the edge of the road to keep from annoying drivers more than they already are. Even in the English countryside where he says hedges block drivers’ views, making it far safer to take the lane, regardless of who you piss off.

Horrible news from the UK, where a woman riding a bicycle was left with a life-changing injury when a man sicced one of his large dogs on her, forcing it to bite her upper leg and clamp down for several minutes until she managed to break free, after accusing her of nearly running into his kid on a bike path. Let’s hope he goes away for a long time. And those dogs — and his kid — get a new home with someone who isn’t so cruel.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch pushes back on the recently approved plans for a bus rapid transit line on Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock, calling the reallocation of traffic lanes undemocratic because it doesn’t give all the road space to people in cars. Even though it seems far more democratic to reserve space for pedestrians, bike riders and yes, transit users, too.

The LACBC is working with Los Angeles Walks on a pilot program to encourage business owners in Wilmington and San Pedro to use ebikes.

 

State 

Calbike offers an update on active transportation bills in the state legislature, with a number still alive, including bills to legalize jaywalking, treat stop signs as yields, and require cities to include bike and pedestrian facilities in their circulation plans.

An op-ed from an Escondido urban planning student says California cities are unwalkable, unbikeable and dangerous, but they don’t have to be.

Très scandaleux! A San Diego TV station claims to have caught the 30th Street bike counter double counting some bike riders, not counting others, and even counting an armored truck illegally parked in the lane, which some local business owners claim proves the new bike lane is underused.

Berkeley residents are fighting for a carfree future on Telegraph Ave north of the UC Berkeley campus; as usual, business owners along the street are fighting back, unable to imagine any customers walking or biking to get there. If customers won’t walk or bike a few blocks to do business with you, there’s something seriously wrong with the way you do business.

 

National

NACTO says the US Department of Transportation is still taking comments on proposed safety regulations to make massive trucks and SUVs safer for bike riders and pedestrians; you have through Wednesday to voice your concerns. Or you can follow their template.

Portland is now installing lengthy lines of bike racks along sidewalks in an effort to keep homeless people from sleeping there.

Housing inspectors in Minneapolis are saying goodbye to their SUVs and using Rad Power ebikes to conduct their inspections instead; the city purchased five of the ebikes for a total of $12,000, and have already put 1,200 miles on them. Which is a hell of a lot less than they would have paid for five motor vehicles.

Syracuse NY is expected to approve a $700,000 settlement for a man who was critically injured when a speeding cop slammed into his bicycle; witnesses said the police car was traveling without lights or siren.

That’s more like it. New York City officials call for automated bike lane cams to crack down on scofflaw drivers who can’t resist turning them into parking lots.

One casualty of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was New York’s ultrafast bicycle delivery startup Buyk, which was forced to declare bankruptcy and layoff all of its American employees when US sanctions cut off access to its Russian co-founders and parent company, as well as financing from Russian banks.

Very Local highlights the top five “bicycling adventures” in the Big Easy. Although I suspect most New Orleans bike riders would prefer if riding there wasn’t quite so adventurous. 

Life is cheap in Florida, where a Vero Beach driver walked with a lousy $148 fine for swerving into a bike lane and killing a 63-year old man riding a bike, despite his long record of traffic violations and refusal to take a blood test.

 

International

Financial Times calls bicycles the cheap, green, low-tech solution for the world’s poorer megacities. Then again, they’re a pretty good solution for the rich ones, too. You can also read it here if you can’t get past their paywall.

Mounties in New Brunswick have written just 121 tickets in the five years since the province passed the equivalent of a three-foot passing law, known locally as Ellen’s Law, for a rising pro cyclist who was killed by a passing driver.

A Philippine transport group marks World Bicycle Day by calling on the government to ensure people on bicycles arrive alive.

A new study from a Sydney, Australia hospital shows injuries to delivery bicyclists are dramatically underreported, with delivery riders 13 times more likely than other bicyclists to be injured between the hours of 8 pm and midnight.

Melbourne, Australia will halt the installation of new bike lanes in the central business district, apparently unprepared for an entirely predictable bikelash from businesses and delivery drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 89-year old Texas man is determined to complete this weekend’s 200-mile Gravel Unbound race, after missing the time cut at the 120-mile checkpoint last year.

European carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website ranks the three greatest domestiques of all time.

 

Finally…

Start your new career as an NYC bike lane inspector. Fix your own bike, already.

And face it, you just can’t duck karma, instant or otherwise.

https://twitter.com/naturecampanion/status/1532350421062553602

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Hit-and-run driver busted in death of 15-year old Riverside boy, and Metro active transportation virtual meeting next week

Maybe there will be justice for Javier Gonzales after all.

Police in Riverside arrested 37-year old Rosendo Morales Caldera for the hit-and-run death of the 15-year old bike rider, who was killed on the first of this month.

Gonzales was riding salmon with a group of friends when he was run down by by the driver of a large black pickup, who kept going without slowing or stopping.

Caldera is currently being held behind bars in lieu of bail.

Police impounded his black Chevy truck as evidence, which should happen in every alleged hit-and-run.

But too often doesn’t.

………

Here’s your chance to tell Metro what you need to be safer in your commute and community.

And maybe mention it’s time to stop wasting money on highway projects in the middle of a climate emergency.

https://twitter.com/MaverickMPA/status/1507238721891889153

………

SoCal’s killer highway continues to claim new victims.

I’m told the victim works at the Getty Villa, which leaves no viable option to commute by bike other than PCH, which continues to operate as a cut-through highway when it should be Malibu’s Main Street.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up. 

………

Slow roll Adams Blvd on Sunday to check out LADOT’s safety improvements on the formerly dangerous corridor.

………

LACBC invites you to attend their first-ever Bike Salon on Thursday, which will actually be held in person, rather than virtually.

………

OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson is parting ways with his lovingly used tandem.

https://twitter.com/mikeocbike/status/1507128123044687873

………

Apparently, even a five-year old can beat rush hour traffic on his way to school Britain. Even without decent bikeways.

………

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

In a prime example of too little, if not too late, Las Vegas area cops clamped down on drivers who endanger bike riders, enforcing traffic laws and educating motorists on how to share the road — for a whole four hours. Now they just need to do something the other 8,756 hours in the year.

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

Police busted a man who robbed a Kansas gas station, then made his getaway by bicycle. Maybe he was really just an anti-car freedom fighter raising funds for the rebellion. It could happen. 

………

Local

No bias here. The Hancock Park Homeowners Association hosted a candidate forum for the people running to replace Paul Koretz in CD5 — but notably excluded former Mid City West Neighborhood Council chair Scott Epstein, a longtime supporter of a bike-friendly street on 4th Street opposed by the wealthy neighborhood.

 

State 

A 58-year old Rancho Bernardo man is planning to ride 3,400 miles across the US to raise funds for diabetic research, inspired by his 25-year old daughter, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just eight months old.

A 32-year old Fresno man was stabbed when he tried to defend himself from a group of men who demanded his bike; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Sad news from Eureka, where someone on a bicycle was killed when they were run down by the driver of a pickup.

 

National

PeopleForBikes celebrates the removal of Trump’s 25% tariffs on Chinese-made bicycles and parts.

USA Today says you need an ebike to cope with rising gas prices. Meanwhile, CleanTechnica provides a primer on the proper care and feeding of your ebike.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a recall for Ninebot Children’s Bicycle Helmets for failing to meet minimum federal safety standards.

Black and brown Colorado bike riders say the state’s proposed Stop As Yield law, aka the stop sign part of the Idaho Stop Law, would keep them safer from both cars and cops, reducing the risk of Biking While Black or Brown stops that target people of color, as well as reducing potentially dangerous interactions with police. Maybe that argument that would finally get a California bill past Newsom’s veto pen.

Hurry up to Yellowstone, where you can enjoy 49 miles of blissfully carfree roads for the next three weeks, before the national park is opened to motor vehicles. Although you still need to keep an eye peeled for bears and bison, among other potentially unfriendly fauna.

Even in Iowa, people are biking to work instead of driving, while a writer for the University of Iowa student newspaper says now is the perfect time to start bicycling.

A Memphis man is turning old car and truck tires into decorative barriers to protect people on bicycles.

Boston bike advocates point out the benefits of bicycling while calling for safer conditions on the streets.

A Louisiana driver who killed a bike rider last month tested positive for narcotics following the crash, though there’s no mention of what he was allegedly on.

A Florida man was convicted — again — of killing a teenaged boy over a stolen bicycle when he was just 15 years old. The victim had purchased the boy’s stolen bicycle, not knowing it was hot, then offered to sell it back to him for just $10; he returned with a gun after riding the bike home because he felt disrespected. The original conviction had been overturned because police had questioned him after he requested a lawyer. We’ve said it before — no bike is worth taking or sacrificing a life. Period.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a buyers guide to bike trailers, while confessing that yes, they do change how you have to ride and the way your bike feels

Bizarre case from Wales, where a woman played doctor — literally — by treating the victim of an ebike crash, despite having no medical background. Yet she somehow walked with the equivalent of a lousy $790 fine.

Oops. Scofflaw drivers who parked in an English shared bus and bike lane will get their fines refunded, after the city discovered the authorization for the lane had expired and they hadn’t bothered to renew it.

Life is cheap in Jersey, where a 67-year old driver walked with the equivalent of a $6,500 fine for the right-cross crash — the equivalent of a left-cross in the US — that likely left a bike-riding woman with lifelong pain from a broken back, fractured rib and collapsed lung.

A new study from a UC Berkeley researcher looks at the remarkably rapid Parisian bike boom, as the city transformed itself during the Covid pandemic.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid rides the 75-mile car-free Vennbahn rail-trail through Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, which remains a 30-foot wide swath of Belgium even as it passes through the other countries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Milan-San Remo winner Matej Mohorič says it wasn’t just the dropper post that delivered his victory, he also used oversized disc rotors and new, secret wheel bearings.

 

Finally…

Maybe God is out to get us, too. People are more likely to bike commute when slower drivers are less likely to kill them.

And that feeling when you try to break an iPhone by riding your bike off a phone booth.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Driver leaves bike-riding woman to die alone in violent Riverside crash; 8th fatal SoCal bicycling hit-and-run this year

It never stops.

Yet another Southern California bike rider has been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

According to LA’s FOX-11, Riverside police found a woman lying dead on the side of the roadway early Wednesday morning, her bike and belongings strewn for a full block behind her.

The officers discovered the victim, who has not been publicly identified, while responding to a call at Orange and Center streets in Riverside a few minutes before 2 am.

There was no sign of the driver, and no description of the suspect vehicle. It’s not clear if she was riding or walking the bike at the time of the crash.

The lengthy debris field suggests she was either struck at high speed, or she and her bike were dragged under the vehicle for at least a block.

There’s no way of knowing at this time how long she had been there, or if she could have survived if the driver had stopped and called for help, as both the law and basic human decency requires.

When and if the driver is found, they’ll face a maximum of just four years for felony hit-and-run resulting in death under California’s overly lenient hit-and-run statute.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Riverside Police Department.

This is at least the 23rd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Eight of those SoCal deaths have been hit-and-runs.

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

15-year old boy riding salmon killed in Riverside hit-and-run; 22nd SoCal bike death this year, 7th fatal hit-and-run

The carnage continues on Southern California streets, as yet another person riding a bicycle has been killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver.

This time, the victim was just 15-years old.

According to multiple sources, he was struck by a driver while riding in the 2200 block of Main Street in Riverside, near Poplar Avenue, around 9:30 pm Tuesday.

The victim, identified as Colton resident Javier Gonzales, died at the scene less than 25 minutes later, after suffering major injuries.

Security cam video acquired by KCBS2/KCAL9 shows Gonzales was riding against traffic with three other boys when he was struck by the driver of a speeding pickup, who kept going without slowing down.

His friends immediately dropped their bikes and chased after the driver, but weren’t able to catch him or get the license plate.

Police are looking for a black or dark-colored full size pickup. Anyone with information is urged to call Riverside Police Department Traffic Detective Jeff Derouin at 951/826-8722, or email Jderouin@riversideca.gov.

They note that this is the fifth fatal crash in the city in just six days. But the other drivers at least had the basic human decency to remain at the scene.

Ironically, the driver would have been unlikely to face charges in this case if he or she had simply stopped after the crash. Now they face up to four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run.

This is at least the 22nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

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

Update: Police have arrested a 37-year old man as the hit-and-run driver who killed Javier Gonzales. As of March 24th, Rosendo Morales Caldera was being held without bail. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Javier Gonzales and all his family and loved ones.

Repeat hit-and-run driver gets 31 years for killing Riverside bike rider, and LA city council votes to ban outdoor bike repair

That’s more like it.

A California judge got a one-man hit-and-run crime wave off the road by sentencing a 35-year old man with a long criminal record to a whopping 31 years behind bars.

Steven Allen Watson Jr. was convicted for the Riverside hit-and-run that killed bike rider Brian Sabel, as well as another hit-and-run 21 months later that left a 56-year old woman walking with a cane.

He served time for car theft in between — just one of his 17 other felony convictions, along with three misdemeanors.

Watson will have to serve at least 85% of that sentence before he’s eligible for parole, which means he’ll be at least 61 years old when he’s released.

Hopefully, he won’t be allowed to drive once he is.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

The Los Angeles City Council voted 10 to 4 to draft an ordinance banning bike repair or sales on city streets.

The ordinance is intended to halt the bike chop shops that have proliferated in plain view around the city, contributing to the rash of bike thefts.

However, it would also criminalize legitimate bike repair services for homeless residents, and prevent them from earning a modest income by repairing and selling abandoned bicycles.

Hopefully the city attorney’s office will find a way to split the baby that halts criminal activity without preventing other legal activities.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

………

That 2.7 earthquake in Silver Lake yesterday was probably just the shock of drivers finding out LA’s Riverside Drive is getting a road diet (scroll down).

A half-mile stretch of one of the two northbound lanes between Glendale and Los Feliz Blvds will be removed to calm traffic and make room for protected bike lanes on either side.

You can only imagine the shockwaves that would have resulted if they had tried to remove parking spaces, too.

………

NBC’s LX site talks with the founders of the East Side Riders Bike Club the about using bicycles to cross gang lines and stop the cycle of hunger and violence.

As a child, East Side Riders Bike Club co-founder John Jones III was told there were lines he couldn’t cross in the neighborhood of Watts, Los Angeles. Today, he and his organization — co-founded by his father — regularly cross those gang lines by bicycle to deliver meals to anyone struggling with homelessness or food insecurity.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed this one.

But take a few minutes to click the link and watch the video. And see how bicycles can do so much more than just get you from here to there.

It may just be the best six minutes of your day.

………

They get it.

https://twitter.com/MetBranchTrail/status/1491140136259981312

………

Take a guess how much Monterey’s leading bike advocacy organization operates on.

And no, I don’t know the answer, either. But after years of working on a low budget myself, I can take a guess.

https://twitter.com/BikeMonterey/status/1491278239918362624

………

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

A Canadian truck driver was fired after he was caught pushing a bike rider out of his way with the grill of his semi, as a group of riders apparently tried to stop him from joining the country’s protests over vax mandates.

https://twitter.com/AnthonyFloyd/status/1490400873154957312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1490400873154957312%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdllife.com%2F2022%2Fvideo-driver-nudges-bicyclist-out-of-way-for-blocking-intersection%2F

No bias here. The Irish Times reviews a Czech-built Toyota SUV from the perspective that “cities are no longer that welcoming to the motor car” so you need a “rough and tumble off-roader to survive the cyclists’ scorn and snide remarks.” And the higher view puts drivers at eye-level to bike riders and pedestrians, “so you can look your abusers in the eye.” No, really.

No bias here, either. A BBC host was under fire for discussing the recent bike and pedestrian friendly changes to the country’s Highway Code by asking her guests a series of highly slanted questions about why they hated people on bicycles.

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

Police in Manchester, England stopped 30 bike riders for blowing through red lights in just 90 minutes, joining a growing list of British cities cracking down on red light jumpers.

………

Local

You can now visit the previously fenced-off Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, complete with bike racks, on your next ride on the Ballona Creek bike path. For those of you outside LA — and some inside — it’s pronounced bi-yoh-na.

Pasadena Now talks with State Senator Anthony J. Portantino about his new bill to improve bike and pedestrian safety by requiring local communities to develop a High Injury Network map, and commit to fixing it within 15 years.

 

State

Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin has been appointed to lead the California State Transportation Agency, aka CalSTA, after less than two and a half years on the job; he’s credited with shifting the state transportation agency’s focus from widening highways to building Complete Streets. Which means Governor Newsom needs to appoint someone who will continue that shift.

San Marco is opening a new two-way protected bike lane in ten days.

Streets For All is teaming with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on a new Twitter-based crash tracker, which will tweet news of San Diego bike and pedestrian crashes in real time. You can follow the one-year old Los Angeles version here

San Diego will settle a lawsuit filed by an injured bike rider for $1.3 million, to compensate for the severe facial injuries he suffered when he crashed his bike due to a broken sidewalk in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood. Just the latest in a series of multimillion dollar settlements due to the city’s damaged sidewalks.

This is who we share the road with, too. Weeks after Elon Musk questionably claimed that no Tesla using the Full Self-Driving Beta had been in a crash in two years, a San Jose YouTuber filmed his car crashing into a protected bike lane bollard, just moments after it ran a red light. Oops.

Streetsblog says Berkeley ripped out a section of a new protected bike lane in front of a hospital, alleging the medical center lied about not being able to get oxygen deliveries.

 

National

Prism says efforts to make American cities more welcoming for people on bicycles are being hindered by over policing of Black and brown bike riders, as well as poor infrastructure in lower income areas.

This is the cost of traffic violence. American Olympian Colby Stevenson took silver in the Men’s Freeski Big Air, after spending five years fighting his way back from a near-fatal car crash caused when he fell asleep behind the wheel.

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to pick a kids bike helmet.

The New York Times Wirecutter asks whether it’s a bad idea to buy a Peloton right now, as the company dumps 2,800 employees in response to crashing stock prices. But at least their severance packages include free fitness classes.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders are counting on the city expanding its bicycle network, which is currently limited to a single bike lane.

A new petition calls for an anti-dooring ordinance, after a North Carolina man was killed when a driver threw their car door open in front of his bike. And as we mentioned last week, the local press immediately blamed the victim.

A heartbreaking story gets even worse, as the Florida woman who fell to her death when a drawbridge opened while she was walking her bike across has been identified as 79-year old woman. The obvious question is why isn’t there someone or something in place to watch for people so that doesn’t happen? Thanks to Mike Burk and Edward Rubinstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who fled the scene after running down a Florida boy, even if he wasn’t hurt.

 

International

This is who we share the road with. After an English man drove a company van into the back of another car, his boss checked the in-cab video, and watched him swigging champagne strait from the bottle and rolling a cigarette while driving with no hands.

A British MP suffered a broken arm falling off his bike while riding to Parliament.

An Indian writer says better bicycling policies, combined with designing cities to better support the working class, could help the country pedal to a more sustainable future.

A photographer catches a Pakistani street vendor walking a bicycle loaded down with wooden stools.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Zealand driver is appealing his sentence for injuring a bike-riding lawyer and totaling his $7,000 bicycle, because he wasn’t told the lawyer had a previous drunk driving conviction. Which has nothing to do with why he was riding his bike, or why the driver slammed into him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome now has his own bikewear line, including a $95 t-shirt and $220 hoodie. Um, I’ll pass, thanks.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin was filmed drafting a truck with a few of his teammates on a training ride, and internet commenters were not kind.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you drive F1 for a living, and would still rather ride a bike in the rain than spend 20 minutes stuck traffic. Who doesn’t need $1,100 titanium mudguards on their bike?

And see all the WorldTour team kit colors in 46 seconds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

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

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

And better yet, to keep it open.

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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

https://twitter.com/may_gun/status/1430060121514676224

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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