Tag Archive for Sebastian Montero

Morning Links: The online war on bikes goes on, fallen rider’s bike recovered, and spotting the good guys in the TdF

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Especially online

A British Columbia sports editor gets it, having the misfortune to moderate the online battle on Facebook and Twitter.

In most instances, though, “traffic” is not caused by bicycles. When I’m stuck in traffic, there’s nothing I want more than to be on a bicycle. That’s one of the reasons I find the hysterical rhetoric of the bike debate so strange. Cyclists, for the most part, are just trying to get around quickly, efficiently, cheaply and healthily. They aren’t the problem…

Sure, bikes can be infuriating but you just have to let it go if you’re in a car. The power difference is too great. Yes, bikers do stupid things, but so do drivers. And when it goes wrong between them, cyclists always lose.

Meanwhile, a Sonoma County columnist wonders why there’s so much misplaced hatred at bicyclists any time a bike story appears online. Or in real life, for that matter.

And yes, your car is 4,000 pounds and my bike is 20 pounds. But because something is bigger, stronger and faster does not give a driver of a vehicle ownership or priority on a public road. Might does not make right. It makes a bully.

Not every driver is a jerk. Not every cyclist is an angel. But let’s not lose sight of our individual humanity, however we choose to get around this beautiful county we call home.

And a Philadelphia-area paper says bicycles — and bike lanes — benefit everyone.

Biking may not be for everyone, but the health benefits to children, environmental benefits to leaving the car at home, and the economic benefit that gives those in poverty a way to get to work are reasons enough.

Share the road. We’ll all be better for it.

………

One bit of good news in a very hot LA weekend, as KTLA-5 reports the bicycle belonging to falling bike rider Sebastian Montero has been recovered, five months after it was stolen.

Montero was riding a friend’s borrowed bike this past Easter Sunday when he was killed by an alleged speeding driver at Burbank and De Soto.

His own bike had been stolen two months earlier, and his mother had begged for its return to remember him.

………

Sometimes it’s not hard to spot the good guys.

American Lawson Craddock went down with a bloodied eye and a broken scapula in Stage 1 of the Tour de France. And not only finished the stage, but challenged himself to finish the race.

And Compton’s own Rahsaan Bahati offered to match the amount.

……..

Local

LA has posted information about proposals to close the absurd Northvale Gap in the Expo bike path. Which exists only because NIMBY homeowners in the area successfully fought construction of the bike path when the Expo Line was built, after failing to halt construction of the train line itself.

The LA Times‘ Robin Abcarian decides that e-scooters are fun, but too damn dangerous after falling off one when she collided with a bike rider on the Venice bike path, and patched up another woman who skinned her knees. Both of which could have happened if they were on roller skates instead of scooters.

A Los Angeles writer says the car still reigns supreme in Southern California, where “Much of the region’s built environment is designed to accommodate the presence of private vehicles and to punish their absence.”

Pomona plans to build a Class I shared use trail along San Jose Creek; the 14-foot bikeway would provide safe access to Cal Poly Pomona, as well as four schools and a similar number of parks.

 

State

San Diego plans to install hundreds of bike racks throughout the city.

The fight over bikeshare in Santa Cruz is nearly settled, as the docked Jump ebikes are becoming ubiquitous in town, despite the objections of some residents.

 

National

Streetsblog says no, drunk walking isn’t behind the rise in pedestrian deaths, despite last week’s incredibly misguided and one-sided PBS report.

Bicycling offers eleven great bike paths to add to your bike bucket list, two of which are in California. And one of which — Colorado’s Trail Ridge Road — my brother just rode last month on his bike tour of the state.

Denver Streetsblog profiles former Boston bike advocate and bicycle rabble rouser Jonathan Fertig, who recently moved to the city.

A Dallas publication points out that some people actually make a living off all those dockless bikes and scooters. Not to mention the invaluable data being generated by them.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A five-year old Michigan boy was killed when he was struck by a food delivery driver while on his first ride without training wheels.

The FBI has gotten involved in the hit-and-run death of a Michigan woman as she rode her bike home from hearing her husband’s band perform in 2013; the bureau is offering a $25,000 reward, to go along with a $50,000 reward offered by a private group. It would be interesting to know the basis for the FBI’s involvement, since hit-and-run, fatal or otherwise, is a state crime.

No surprise here, as the bicyclist who was run down by a drunk hit-and-run driver on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway — allegedly intentionally — has filed suit for nearly $2.5 million. Driver Marshall Grant Neely will remain in rehab until he’s sentenced after violating his probation by getting drunk every day.

Now that’s more like it. A Connecticut car dealer will give you a loaner when you have your vehicle serviced. But it will have two less wheels than the one you brought in.

A New York website looks at the city’s fight over ebikes through the eyes of two bike riders on opposite sides of the issue.

The Vision Zero Network looks at the efforts to end traffic fatalities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

International

The CBC offers advice on how to avoid a right hook. Moving left and taking the right lane just before an intersection greatly reduces the risk, but some idiots may still try to go around; I’ve been right-hooked by drivers turning from the left lane.

A new European study shows bicycling is great for reducing obesity — unless you ride an ebike. Of course, the question is whether the study was based on ped-assist bikes, which still require the rider to pedal, or throttle-controlled bikes, which don’t.

A London man develops a friendship with the bike-riding woman who comforted him after he was struck by a truck driver as part of last year’s terrorist attack on the Westminster Bridge.

Vice infiltrates a London ride out to see what it’s like to pop wheelies in traffic with hundreds of mostly teenage riders.

Caught on video: A pair of Irish bicyclists get left hooked — the equivalent of our right hook — by a cab driver while riding in a narrow bike lane; remarkably, both men were unhurt.

A Change.org petition calls on Google and Apple to do more to fight cellphone addiction after an Australian man is left a paraplegic by a crash with a distracted driver while riding his bike.

The former Thai Navy SEAL who died during the attempt to rescue a teen soccer team trapped in an underground cave was one of us; 38-year old Samarn Kunan’s Instagram account reportedly contained several pictures of him mountain biking

 

Competitive Cycling

An Irish writer mourns the death of anti-doping after four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is exonerated in his asthma inhaler doping case. Froome was soundly booed by spectators at the start of the Tour’s second stage.

Speaking of Froome, he started the Tour by riding off the road and losing 51 seconds. Which inspired a look back at the unwritten rules of crashing in the race.

Cycling Tips recaps stage 1, while Peter Sagan had to take of his rainbow jersey and slip into yellow after stage 2.

A writer for Outside says yes, there are cheaters in pro cycling, but we should watch it anyway to support the ones who don’t. The problem with that is we have no way of knowing who they are. Or aren’t.

Ten books to feed your Tour de France fever when you’re done watching the day’s stage.

Lest we forget, there’s another top-level WorldTour stage race going on, with the women’s Giro Rosa.

Phil Gaimon has posted video of his grudge match victory over Fabian Cancellara.

Very sad news from Kansas, where 64-year old John Egbers died three weeks after he was hit by a car while competing in the 4,300-mile Trans Am Bike Race. A second rider struck in a separate collision remains hospitalized.

 

Finally…

Riders in the Tour de France hardly ever get attacked by elephants. Maybe you should put your helmet over your kidneys if you ride indoors.

And your next Pashley could be a Morgan.

Just in case anyone gets me on their secret Santa list this year.

 

Morning Links: Montero ghost bike ceremony, and Nashville declares transportation independence

Maybe Los Angeles is finally getting fed up with traffic deaths.

Steve S reports at least 100 people turned out last night for the ghost bike installation honoring 15-year old Sebastian Montero, who was killed by an alleged speeding driver in Woodland Hills yesterday.

Montero’s bike was installed on De Soto Ave and Burbank Blvd, across from the entrance to the Kaiser medical center.

Let’s hope the turnout leads to demands for safer streets, so some good can come from this heartbreaking tragedy.

And maybe we won’t have to install another one.

Meanwhile, the GoFundMe account to raise funds for Montero’s funeral expenses has exceeded the original $8,000 goal, and is closing in on the new goal of raising $10,000.

All photos by Steve S.

………

Nashville TN has become the first city in the US to declare transportation independence.

Somehow, I can’t imagine today’s LA leadership having the courage to adopt this over the objections of the city’s entitled drivers.

Even though they should.

………

Local

CiclaValley shares his photos of Saturday’s San Fernando Street Festival.

You have an hour and a half today to ride, walk, scoot or skate the course of the Long Beach Gran Prix in what amounts to a mini-ciclovía. Although it would be nice if they gave people a little more time to come out and enjoy it.

State

The San Diego Union-Tribuneprofiles a former software engineer who quit his job, gave up his car and now works part-time for the San Diego County Bike Coalition.

National

Scottsdale AZ is providing a pair of free bike tours to view public art in the city.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a drunk driver gets just three and a half years for falling asleep behind the wheel and running down a bike rider before fleeing the scene, leaving the victim on the brink of death for weeks.

An Ohio man is riding up the east coast from Key West to Maine in search of positive people and good vibes.

No bias here. If a Boston truck driver couldn’t even see a bike rider due to the truck’s massive blindspot, why the hell does it matter if the victim didn’t signal? And why the hell are trucks that blind their drivers to human beings in the roadway even allowed on city streets?

New Yorker and former Talking Head David Byrne says riding a bike used to be considered completely uncool, but now bikes are cool in different ways.

Bicycling looks at the New York bicyclist who developed an algorithm to measure how often bike lanes are blocked by motor vehicles. Spoiler alert: 40% of the time, round the clock.

Streetsblog complains about insane overcrowding on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, saying the it could be relieved overnight by repurposing a traffic lane for bike use.

The New York Times says city planners are getting distracted by the bright, shiny objects that are self-driving cars, rather than focusing on proven safety measures.

A Baton Rouge LA advocacy group is close to getting eleven parishes — the Louisiana equivalent of counties — to sign off on a 300-mile US bike route from Texas to Mississippi.

International

Canadian bicyclists oppose a proposed law that would dramatically increase fines for law-breaking bike riders.

A Canadian writer says bicycling can transform your health.

A bike club in London — no, the one in Canada — says don’t waste money bringing bikeshare to the city when it could be spent on safer streets to encourage more people to ride.

An Aussie writer says he hopes California’s ebike regulations will migrate Down Under.

A Dutchman living in Australia explains why he doesn’t support the country’s mandatory bike helmet law, even though he credits his with saving his life.

Time says China’s bike fever has reached the saturation point. Although what they really mean is dockless bikeshare, not bicycling.

Finally…

You may have been illegally overcharged for your silicone gel wristband. Ebike racing is a sign of the apocalypse.

And now you can own your very own slightly used time trial bike for just $25,000.

Credit Peter Flax with finding that one.

Update: Teenage bike rider killed by alleged speeding driver in San Fernando Valley Easter Sunday

Tragic news, from what should have been a joyous day.

Word broke this morning that a 15-year old bike rider was killed in a collision in the San Fernando Valley on Easter Sunday.

A GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral expenses reports that Reseda High School student Sebastian Montero was struck head-on by a speeding driver at the intersection of De Soto and Burbank.

No time of the crash, or any other information is available at this time.

There are two intersections for De Soto and Burbank, as the street jumps a block north before continuing; no word yet on exactly which one the crash occurred on. However, there appears to be bike lanes on either side of De Soto.

Hopefully we’ll have more information soon.

This is the 13th bicycling fatality I’m aware of in Southern California, and the sixth in Los Angeles County. It’s also the fifth in the City of Los Angeles.

A ghost bike will be installed at 9 pm tonight.

Update: According to a source with the LAPD, the crash took place at the south intersection, directly in front of Kaiser Medical Center, as Montero was crossing De Soto headed east, where the crosswalk would be if one was painted. 

The driver reportedly shifted to the right lane, and accelerated through the intersection as soon as the light changed, catching Montero before he could get across the street.

No information yet on who may be at fault or any possible charges. 

Update 2: The Los Angeles Daily News says the crash occurred around 11:40 am Sunday. He died about an hour later after being taken to a local hospital.

Police are investigating the timing of the traffic light, as well as the speed of the driver. 

Montero was riding with a friend, who was unharmed. 

Photos from GoFundMe page

Photo by Steve

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Sebastian Montero and all his family and friends.

Thanks to Steve and Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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