Tag Archive for Rob Dollar

Weak justice for fallen Big Orange cyclist, riding in memory of Kenyan cyclist, and more Griffith Park safety improvements

Life is cheap in Arizona.

And justice is slow.

According to a Facebook post, Annaleah Dominguez is just now facing sentencing for the stoned-driving death of former Big Orange Cycling club member Rob Dollar outside Phoenix AZ in 2017.

Yes, it’s taken five long years for the Orange County expat to see justice. Dollar had just moved to Gilbert in the weeks prior to the crash, and was in the process of forming an Arizona chapter of the bike club.

He was riding down South Mountain south of the city on October 29th when he was run down by then-19-year old Dominguez, who was reportedly passing another rider on the uphill side as she rounded a curve, and hit Dollar head-on.

He died at the scene. He was just 36.

Police investigators found cannabis outside the car, which Dominguez and her passengers had allegedly discarded after the crash. She reportedly admitted to drinking and smoking weed prior to the Sunday morning collision.

She now faces just one year to three and a half years for negligent homicide in an apparent plea bargain, since there’s no record online of a conviction or guilty plea.

She deserves to serve the max.

Eric Arentsen
13h
ROB DOLLAR

Big Orange member, Rob Dollar, was killed almost five years ago. An impaired driver crossed a double yellow line and took Rob’s life in a head-on accident as he was riding his bike. We encourage those that knew Rob to send a note to the Probation Officer encouraging the stiffest sentence possible. The driver is facing 1 to 3 ½ years in jail for negligent homicide. We hope you will make your voices heard at the sentencing by sending a note today.

Send your email to Diane.Knuepfer@jbazmc.maricopa.gov by September 28 with your thoughts about the sentence and how Rob’s death has impacted your life. Here are some bullet points to get you thinking:

  • How has Rob’s death impacted you? Please build on what Rob meant to you and the community.
  • How has the crime (guilty of negligent homicide) affected your life? If you are a cyclist, have you changed where you ride or how you ride?
  • What are your thoughts regarding the sentence the court should impose on the defendant?

Deadline is Sept 28.

As Jon suggests below, three and a half years doesn’t begin to address the severity of the crime, or the enormity of the loss to Dollar’s friends and family.

Even if it is all she can get in this case.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Aussie pro Lachlan Morton is riding the 530-mile Colorado Trail in memory of his friend, Kenyan cyclist Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi.

As you’ll recall, Kangangi was killed in a tragic fall ago during Vermont Overland gravel race just ten days ago.

Morton has already raised an additional $7,000 for Kangangi’s wife and children over the $70,000 raised by the crowdfunding campaign before he started his ride Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Kenyan Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed credits a conversation with Kangangi for her own keen interest in bicycling, and the country’s potential to develop into a cycling powerhouse.

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Planning efforts are still ongoing to improve safety in Griffith Park, in addition to the recent closure of Griffith Park Drive.

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Not only is NBA star Kevin Love one of us, he appears to be riding the ebike/sidecar combo we mentioned yesterday, with his dog safely in the passenger seat.

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

Virginia Beach VA is ripping out a pilot bike lane after a single year, even though it was the most popular part of the city’s popup safety project.

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

A Manchester, England bike rider is on trial for killing a 56-year old pedestrian, who died eight days after the rider allegedly ran a red light while wearing headphones.

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Local

At last, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is giving us enough notice of a planned bike and pedestrian safety operation to make a difference, with the crackdown scheduled for September 15th in West Hollywood. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. Or just avoid WeHo altogether that day. 

 

State 

Smart Cities Dive offers more details on California’s new $1,000 tax credit for carless low income households.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is visiting San Francisco to put a spotlight on bicycling, among other issues; she’ll travel to Texas later in the week.

 

National

A writer for Adventure Journal compares ebikes to snowboards, arguing that any controversy seems to stem from a fear of change, combined with a little arrogance and jealousy.

Cycling Weekly insists ebikes are the future of transportation, despite their  current status as an oddity in the land of the automobile.

Cycling News offers tips on how to increase the resale value of your bike.

A veteran bikepacker is attempting to be the first person to ride the entire 5,900-mile Eastern Divide Trail, billed as the world’s longest offroad trail. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Um, no. A Las Vegas paper bizarrely reports that “police suspect (a bike rider) was hit by a car” Tuesday morning, critically injuring the victim. Except there’s no suspicion about it. They the driver was operating the car that hit the victim — even though they fail to mention that the car even had one.

Baphomet Bicycles framebuilder Dillen Maurer lost a foot in a collision with an ATV rider while riding his bicycle near his Taos, New Mexico home over the long weekend; his left foot was somehow severed a few inches over the ankle.

A Denver columnist asks if people can live with ebikes on Colorado bike trails.

As usual, low-income neighborhoods populated by people of color get ignored by city officials, as residents of Chicago’s Far South Side complain about a lack of any bike infrastructure, let alone the protected bike lanes they want and need.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced a major expansion of the city’s bike lane network, with a goal of putting half of Boston’s population within in three-minute walk of a protected bike lane in just three years — although the initial expansion calls for just 9.4 miles of new bike lanes in the next year.

A Virginia letter writer questions the need for a local bike lane, saying he just returned from Paris where he saw hundreds of bicyclists, but very few bike lanes. Evidently, he also missed the news about the major expansion of separated bike lanes in the City of Lights, with plans to make the entire city 100% rideable.

 

International

A contentious London bikeway is exceeding expectations with ridership up 37% over 2019, despite the dire predictions of an anti-bike lane counselor. Meanwhile, London will make a trio of separated, pandemic popup bike lanes permanent.

A new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that regular exercise can help keep you from getting infected with Covid, and reduce the severity if you do get it. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Bicycling continues to grow more popular in Belgium’s Flanders region, though the increase in ridership is also accompanied by a jump in bicycling injuries.

A Welsh cycling club discovered the high cost of Brexit when they arrived in Spain for a 600-mile fundraising ride to battle prostate cancer, and were hit with over $8,400 in customs tariffs for their bikes.

King Oyo of Tooro is one of us. King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, the reigning Omukama of the Bantu kingdom of Tooro in Uganda, rode a section of the kingdom’s bike race with the peloton to start the competition.

A Kiwi longtail bike commuter complains about the abuse she faces from drivers on a daily basis.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič’s bold effort to reclaim the red leader’s jersey suffered a setback when he fell hard just 300 yards from the finish, as Mads Pedersen took the win in Tuesday’s stage 16; Although Roglič somehow gained eight seconds anyway, and now trails leader Remco Evenepoel by one minute 26 seconds.

Giro winner Jai Hindley nears the end of the Vuelta in tenth place, despite never seriously contending for the red jersey.

Cycling Weekly considers five things they learned from Tuesday’s Vuelta stage, including that Roglič is down, but he may not be out. Although the first test is whether he can even make Wednesday’s start.

That feeling when Piglet, Eeyore and Pooh come out to cheer on the peloton, along with some random monkey.

 

Finally…

Getting down with bike disco. That feeling when your Strava data reveals the location of top secret military bases.

And when you bust out of jail, and refuse to go back unless they let you ride a bike.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Morning Links: LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman is missing, and former a SoCal cyclist killed in Arizona

Unfortunately, we have to start the week with bad news.

Longtime Los Angeles bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been reported missing by his family, according to a message I received from his niece.

It’s unclear how long it’s been since anyone has seen or heard from the Toluca Lake resident; CiclaValley reports he has been missing for over two months, though a convenience store clerk said she’d seen him just two to three days ago.

Hindman is one of the city’s best bike safety and policy wonks, capable of digging into the smallest details of a project to highlight a specific issue, or uncover hidden problems or unexpected benefits.

He has been a supporter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for nearly a decade, if not longer. During my time on the board he was an active participant in virtually every committee I was involved in, and never failed to volunteer for the bike count or attend any LACBC event.

He’s also a semi-regular contributor to this site, as well as others. And a frequent commenter on LA Streetsblog dating back nearly to its founding, offering detailed statistics to back up his opinions.

And he’s someone I consider a friend.

Let’s hope this is just a big misunderstanding, and he turns up safe and sound, with a good explanation for why he’s been gone.

If you have any information on his disappearance or where he might be, please contact me and I’ll forward it to the right people.

Update: I’ve received more information from Hindman’s niece.

His family is concerned that he may have had a diabetic episode; apparently he was hospitalized at the end of August for extremely high blood sugar.

His rent was last paid in mid-September, and has not been paid for this month; a police officer visited his apartment and discovered the milk in his refrigerator had expired in August and his bicycle was missing. 

Where he was been for the last two months remains a mystery.  

Update 2: Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a local hospital. More details when they’re available.

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More bad news, as a member of the Big Orange Cycling club was killed in a collision while riding outside Phoenix AZ yesterday.

The victim has been identified on Facebook as 36-year old Rob Dollar.

No details on how the crash occurred are currently available; however, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests that a teenage driver may have drifted into his lane.

I’m told Dollar had recently moved to Gilbert, Arizona, where he was in the process of forming an Arizona chapter of the SoCal riding club.

He’s described as fantastic guy with a big heart, and “a total badass on a bike.”

This comes exactly one week after Big Orange member Dan Martin was severely injured in a crash while riding home last Sunday, leaving him in the ICU with a broken neck. A crowdfunding campaign to help defray his medical bills has raised over $18,000 in four days.

Update: A Phoenix TV station reports that 19-year old Annaleah Dominguez has been charged with manslaughter and drug charges in Dollar’s death. 

She was reportedly driving stoned when she crossed onto the wrong side of the road to avoid another cyclist, and hit Dollar head-on. 

Police recovered what’s described as “a quantity” of marijuana that had been tossed outside her car by Dominguez or her passengers.

Dollar had been descending from the top of South Mountain when he was struck by the car around 9:40 am; he died at the scene.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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Sad news of a different sort, as Bike SD founder and Executive Director Sam Ollinger is leaving the organization, which has helped turn San Diego into what is rapidly becoming one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Southern California.

I first encountered Sam when she emailed me asking what one person could be do to help make what was then a very challenging and bike-unfriendly city a little safer for people on two wheels.

I have no idea what I told her.

But I’ve watched as she’s become one of California’s leading bike advocates, helping pave the way for women to rise to the highest ranks of advocacy.

There’s no doubt that she will do well at whatever she chooses to do next.

But San Diego bicyclists owe her a huge debt. And the city will be much poorer without Sam’s voice.

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As we’ve noted before, the war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A Kentucky woman was injured by fishing line strung at neck level in an Elizabethtown park; police found several other booby traps hidden nearby.

A road raging Toronto driver brushes a bicyclist with his mirror, then tries to run him off the road.

A tailgating British driver get 17 months, along with a 21-month ban on driving, for attacking a bike rider who asked if he’d just robbed a bank.

And an Aussie rider was hit in the face with a cup of ice thrown from a passing car, breaking his glasses and cracking his helmet.

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On the other hand, bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Or the victims.

Tragic irony, as a 91-year old New Hampshire woman who had travelled the world by bicycle with her husband was killed in a collision with a bike rider as she walking along a roadway.

A 73-year old British man selling memorial poppies was seriously injured when he was stuck by a bike rider.

And a Singaporean bicyclist is facing charges for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a crash.

However, let’s not forget that, regardless of how the media portrays it, the person on the bike is not always at fault.

You should always use extreme care around pedestrians, grant them the right-of-way, and slow down to pass them with the same sort of margin you’d expect from a driver.

But people can be unpredictable under the best circumstances. I’m sure most of us have had someone step into the roadway to cross without looking, or make an unexpected turn into your path.

Just as drivers have an obligation to avoid us, we have an obligation to avoid crashing into people on foot if it’s at all possible.

But if it isn’t, it’s not always the person on two wheels who should get the blame.

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After all that, we could all use a little good news.

A Colorado bicyclist is back on his bike after keeling over from a heart attack in the middle of a ride; he can credit a pair of Good Samaritans with saving his life until paramedics could arrive.

When a British man had to stop mountain biking after ten years due to illness, his friends pitched in to buy him an ebike. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

After a road raging Brit driver posted video of a small group of cyclists riding in the lane ahead of him instead of a bike lane, the police respond by saying they had every right to be there.

No, really.

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Local

Don’t plan on riding the curb-protected bike lanes on South Figueroa anytime soon. Urbanize.LA reports the MyFigueroa project now won’t be finished until next spring.

The LAPD blames the victim — and the press parrots it — after a pedestrian was killed in a Venice crosswalk when a driver stopped for him in the right lane, and a speeding driver whipped around him on his left. Yet somehow, the police say the victim stepped out into traffic, even though he was in a crosswalk with the right-of-way. Take this as a warning to never cross a street, on your bike or on foot, until every driver stops.

This is the callousness some drivers — and some prosecutors — have. After a pickup driver slammed into two women walking in a crosswalk near the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, killing one and injuring her daughter, the driver got out and dragged the dead woman to the side of the road, then backed up, parked her truck and pretended to be a witness to the crash. And the LA County DA’s office refused to file the serious charges recommended by the CHP, opting for just a single misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter count with a max of one year in jail.

A UCLA podcast talks bikeshare on campus.

 

State

Shockingly, the Bike League ranks California third among bike-friendly states; Nebraska comes in dead last. The question is whether California was really that good, or everyone else just sucked that bad.

Around ten thousand people turned out for Sunday’s CicloSDias in San Diego. Or maybe it was only hundreds.

If you build it, they will try to destroy it. A transit-oriented San Diego community is fighting plans to put a freeway onramp in the middle of their neighborhood, after a local non-profit whose mission is to get people out of their cars inexplicably endorses it.

San Francisco bike advocates get a crash course on the ins and outs of building bike parking.

 

National

Two new studies suggest self-driving cars could lead to even greater congestion, while forcing bike riders off the road. Although at this point, you can probably find a study suggesting autonomous vehicles will lead to everything from a bicycling Nirvana to an automotive apocalypse.

A Las Vegas cyclist talks about the dangers riders face on the roads.

A Colorado man has developed a new bike racing board game based on the Little 500 made famous in Breaking Away.

A bridge over Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River gets a road diet to make room for a bike lane crossing it.

Detroit is naming a new bikeway after legendary boxer Joe Louis.

New York police shut down a bicycle jousting tournament, but can’t manage to kill it.

A New York writer says banning ebikes won’t solve the problem of scofflaw cyclists. Never mind that the people he’s complaining about are just trying to earn a living at the bottom of the food chain.

No disconnect here. A New York writer says nine bicyclists has been killed in the city so far this year, then goes on to say “bicyclists are the most dangerous group on NYC roads.” If getting killed makes you dangerous, then baby harp seals must be the most vicious animals on earth.

An Op-Ed in the Washington Post says there’s still some kinks to work out, but dockless bikeshare could be a success.

No disconnect here. A Virginia letter writer says cyclists should use common sense and stay off a road where drivers can’t seem to stay of the gas pedal.

Oh, nothing. Just a South Carolina man riding his bike with a deer slung over his shoulder.

 

International

A Vancouver man calls bike lanes the bane of his existence, suggesting any new bike lanes should have to be approved by referendum.

An Ottawa woman heads a group that rescues injured birds, setting out by bike early every morning to look for birds that have crashed into windows.

Montreal bike riders call for better safety, saying “If you do nothing, we will continue to die.”

An anonymous writer pens a heartbreaking letter to the speeding driver who killed his or her teenage sister as she rode her bike; decades later, the family is still waiting for an apology.

If you build it, they will come. A protected bike lane in Manchester, England is recording over 5,000 trips a day, comparable to London’s cycle superhighways.

A British bicyclist learns that a travel insurance policy offering “comprehensive cover while cycling” doesn’t exactly mean comprehensive. Or cover what you go cycling on.

Steve Katz forwards video of police in the UK going undercover to catch drivers making illegal close passes.

Pope Francis has been invited to launch the Giro d’Italia when it kicks off in Jerusalem next year.

Drivers in West Australia will now face a $400 fine and four points against their license for passing a bike rider closer than the equivalent of roughly three feet at up to 37 mph, or four and a half feet over that speed. In California, it’s just a $35 fine for passing closer than three feet at any speed. And even that is optional if the driver slows down to pass closer at a closer distance.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. An Australian writer says bikeshare is a terrorist’s best friend, because a bomb could be hidden in one. After all, it’s just so hard to find a cheap bicycle, or steal one, for that matter. Or some other object that could conceal an explosive device, like a car, backpack or baby carriage.

 

Finally…

Cyclists take part in a five day, week long ride through Israel; evidently, the weeks are shorter over there. If an underage kid gives you money to buy him beer, don’t just pocket it and ride away.

And if you missed it, a bicyclist twice saluted President Trump as his motorcade left his Virginia golf club on Saturday.

With one finger.

Thanks to Al Williams for the heads-up.

 

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