Tag Archive for Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez

Murder charge for Riverside road rage attack, LA bike bridges to nowhere, and apparently I’m part of LA bike history

Before we get started, David Drexler reminds us that Sunday’s LA Marathon affords the perfect opportunity to ride through the streets of LA in relative comfort and safety. 

No word on whether the usual Marathon Crash Ride will take place before the race, though chances are people will show up for it anyway, officially sanctioned or not. 

But either way, major roads like Hollywood and Santa Monica blvds will be closed for hours because of the race, which will quiet nearby streets, as well. 

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Thirty-two-year old Riverside resident Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the death of Benedicto Solanga, after allegedly running down Solanga intentionally as he rode his bike last July.

Gutierrez reportedly made a U-turn to run down Solanga as he was riding in the opposite direction, following what may have been a traffic dispute.

In other words, he’a accused of using his car as a weapon following a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez remains behind bars on $1 million bail.

Hopefully, he’ll be there a long damn time.

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Not surprisingly, Curbed’s Alissa Walker offers the best take on the recent invitation-only opening of the Taylor Yard Bridge, in which people apparently more important than you or me were instructed to drive to the opening of a bridge for people walking or biking.

And people walking or biking were largely locked out.

There are three new car-free bridges on a widely used four-mile corridor of the L.A. River — one of the few places where it is a meandering naturalized channel not fully encased in a concrete chute — and this morning was a chance to honor all three at once. Standing before a sign that read “Bridging Communities” in the same bright orange as the bridge, elected officials from every level of government — city, county, and state — gave speech after speech about connection. California assemblymember Wendy Carillo cited the “walkable, livable green open space our communities need.” L.A. city councilmember Gil Cedillo called it “a win for everyone” that “brings neighborhoods together…”

…Instead, L.A.’s Taylor Yard Bridge just exposes the distance between the people who say they care about walking and biking in L.A. and the people who actually walk and bike in L.A. The ribbon-cutting invitation (which I did not receive) provided attendees with driving directions only. Meanwhile, people who arrived from the west that morning and actually came to the car-free bridge using car-free modes of transportation found themselves locked out, as the ceremony took place on the eastern landing. At the end of the event, after giving their speeches about the role of walking and biking connections in reducing traffic and smog, the elected officials each walked back to their SUVs and drove away.

It’s worth a few minutes of your time, as Walker succinctly illustrates the problem with riding a bike in the City of Angels, where people on bikes are second-class citizens.

And bridges for bikes don’t take you anywhere.

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Evidently, I’m officially part of LA bike history.

Carfree writer and artist Eric Brightwell responds to the recent jump in gas prices with a detailed history of bicycling in Los Angeles, from the first dandy horses through bikes in popular culture, to the places you probably ride today and the clubs you may ride with.

And somehow finds it appropriate to include yours truly among the more recent developments.

Bicycle culture began to rebound in the 1990s and 2000s when there was a marked upsurge in bicycle advocacy and group-cycling culture. Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was founded in 1998 by Joe Linton and Ron Milam. Critical Mass, a group cycling event, first launched in San Francisco in 1992, as “Commute Clot,” made its way to Los Angeles in or around 2001. Los Angeles Critical Mass is today the largest community bicycle ride in the US. In 2001 I bought my first Los Angeles bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sprite 27, from Lars Lehtonen, who around that time launched the bicycle event aggregator/calendar, Bike Boom. Wolfpack Hustle, a fast-paced ride, started in 2005. Midnight Ridazz, a late-night group bicycle ride, was launched in 2004. Ted Rogers started Biking in L.A. in 2008. You can also start or join a Bike Train.

2008? Has it really been that long?

No wonder I feel old.

It’s a surprisingly good read. And not just because Brightwell demonstrated the exceptional good taste to give this site a brief shoutout.

His “brief history” is anything but. It’s remarkably detailed yet still concise, and always entertaining.

But his relatively brief into should be mandatory reading for anyone who bikes or drives. Or gets around any other way, for that matter.

…As I write this I brace myself for rage from motorists. And while I sympathize with poor and working class people for whom gassing up truly is painful, so too is riding a bus bogged down in traffic or being hit by a car and when does a motorist every offer a cyclists or bus rider anything other than derision, a middle finger, and a blast from the horn? Cyclists, walkers, and mass transit riders have thicker skin, though — and if they’re car-free, save them an average of $11,000 a year in depreciation, maintenance, gas, repairs, parking tickets, registration renewal, and especially, paid parking that just may be the difference between having to live in a far-flung, car-dependant suburb and a dense, walkable, transitable, and bikeable communities in which a car is not only unnecessary but a burden.

So go ahead. Give it a read.

But give yourself a little time, because there’s a lot to digest here.

Thanks to E/Expo Line Ledger for the heads-up. 

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Calbike offers a roundup of all the bike-friendly bills that have been introduced in the new legislative session.

Much of it has a back to the future feel, with Assembly members reintroducing a series of bills previously vetoed by Gov. Newsom, with minor changes in hopes of getting them past his veto pen. They include bills to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, legalize safely crossing the street mid-block, and fund connected bicycle networks.

Another measure would permanently exempt bike lanes, and other projects that don’t add motor vehicle capacity, from environmental review.

Additional proposals would require cities to include significant bicycle, pedestrian and traffic calming elements in their general plans, and change the vehicle code to require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle.

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That feeling when you discover a bike/ped bridge over a car canyon that makes your commute that much easier.

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A little girl lies down on the job to giver her little sister a boost to learn how to ride a bike.

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San Diego bicyclists will ride next Saturday to show their support for the people of Ukraine, who more than deserve it.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver got just 22 months for killing a man riding a bicycle who he had just been drinking with at the local pub, then hid his van and lied to the police about it

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Local

Make money while you help build a more livable Los Angeles. The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is now hiring people to collect signatures to get it on the ballot; it would require the city to build out its already-approved mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

A former LA city planner calls for switching to sustainable transportation to put oil-funded autocrats out of business.

Authorities have identified the 28-year old woman who was found dead along a beach bike path in Long Beach, however, no cause of death has been released yet.

 

State 

A San Diego ebike rider questions whether bad drivers and poorly maintained streets make the city too dangerous for people on bicycles.

San Diego is celebrating the grand opening of the new Georgia – Meade Bikeway tomorrow morning. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tragic news from Mountain View, where a 13-year old middle school student was killed by a truck driver while riding to school; needless to say, police virtually exonerated the driver, saying the driver wasn’t speeding or under the influence, even though the crash is still under investigation.

No surprise here, as Tesla fired the whistleblower who released video of one of their cars nearly running over a bike rider while in autopilot mode; Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick says that proves plastic doesn’t offer enough protection to keep people on bicycles safe.

 

National

Triathlete explains the difference between road and triple bikes.

Henderson, Nevada is opening the final link in a 12-mile rail-to-trail conversion named after the late Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; the pathway connects to a 220-mile trail system.

A Minnesota man faces charges for punching a passing bike rider and robbing him while the victim was unconscious.

Even in the oil fields of Louisiana, bike use is booming as gas prices continue to rise. Bike sales are up in Cleveland, too.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Despite suffering from diabetes, a 79-year old Hemingway lookalike still rides his bike 15 miles every day through his Florida neighborhood, after cutting back from 20 to 25 miles a day when he turned 75. Although I’ll pass on the Papa look, thank you.

Friends of a legally blind Florida man launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new bike, after his was stolen when he chained it to a short post outside a Walmart; his poor eyesore kept him from seeing that a thief could just slide the chain off. The campaign has raised over $3,700 of the $5,000 goal.

The bridge tender who was operating a Florida drawbridge when a 79-year old woman fell off after it opened while she was walking her bike across the span has been arrested on a charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence.

 

International

Audi is partnering with Qualcomm and the maker of the Spoke app to develop a cellular vehicle-to-everything system that would alert drivers to the presence of bicycles. Presumably if you have the app installed and open.

Britain’s Parliament discussed the need to improve bike safety, following the deaths of two people riding bikes in Oxford in recent weeks. Somehow, it’s hard to picture Congress responding like that, even with nearly 850 deaths in the US.

Scary footage as a Welsh bike rider barely avoids getting crushed when a half-ton bale of hay falls off a passing truck.

Most bicycle companies are following the lead of other international corporations in pulling out of Russia; notable exceptions include French retailer Decathlon and German manufacturer Bosch.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside offers an insiders look at racing with the L39ion of Los Angeles team at Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.

Someone stole 12 racing bikes from the Mauritian National Team, just one day before they were due in Egypt for today’s All African Championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal an ebike, maybe put some clothes on first. Or even if you’re riding your own bike. Repeat after me — if you’re riding your bike with an outstanding warrant and nearly four ounces of meth, stop for the damn stop sign, already.

And that feeling when not knowing your front from your back leaves you feeling deflated.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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.

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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.

Riverside bike rider murdered by driver, Culver City considers Jackson gate, and selective enforcement in Highland Park

Murder.

That’s what Riverside prosecutors are calling it, in a crime you may have missed over the weekend.

Just one of three bicycling deaths that became public over the past three days.

According to reports, 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez briefly drove off after getting into what police termed a “brief interaction” with 46-year old bike rider Benedicto Solanga late last month.

Gutierrez then made a sudden U-turn, and came back to slam his Ford F-250 pickup into Solanga’s bike, before fleeing the scene.

Solanga died a few days later at a local hospital.

Gutierrez was arrested nearly three weeks after police found his damaged truck, and charged with using it as a weapon to murder Solanga.

He’s currently behind bars, being held on a whopping $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he stays there for a very long time.

Let the be yet another tragic reminder to be careful out there. And just who we share the road with.

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Streets For All reminds you to get your comments in to the Culver City city council in time for tonight’s meeting.

Because the NIMBYs are already lining up against it.

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Unconfirmed report that police will be targeting bike riders in Highland Park, at the behest of locals.

https://twitter.com/kairex/status/1429464169192038400

If true, that’s illegal selective enforcement.

Police are required to enforce traffic laws equally against all violators, without bias for or against any particular group. If they accepted a grant under these terms, they’re breaking the law.

Correction: Oops. A comment from Matt points out that the comment probably refers to Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhood, as a opposed to the Highland Park in Los Angeles. One more to add to a long and growing list of SoCal cities and neighborhoods that might not be. 

But it’s still selective enforcement, and should be illegal wherever it is.

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Hermosa Beach hosted the seventh annual Glow Ride for Cystic Fibrosis on Saturday; the Daily Breeze has photos if you can get past their paywall.

Meanwhile, Richard Masoner, aka Cyclelicious, offers a fun thread of photos from the monthly San Jose Bike Party.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1428944793590140928

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New York’s leading alternative transportation advocacy group is looking for help, for anyone who lives out that way. Or wants to.

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This is what happens when people are considered more important than cars.

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GCN goes bike riding with a two-year old.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A Las Vegas TV station reports that 19 people are being held at a local detention center for bicycle violations, including a lack of lights, in the wake of a man who was killed by Las Vegas cops after trying to flee when they tried to stop him for not having a light. Since when do police make an arrest for a simple traffic violation? Would they actually arrest a motorist who forgot to put his or her lights on?

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 12-year old suburban Denver boy and smashed the memorial where he died.

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

A 62-year old woman complains that the NYPD refused to investigate when a hit-and-run bike rider left her with a fractured spine, knocking her down while she was crossing the street and shouting that she took too long.

A 19-year old man has turned himself in for a horrific attack on a Philadelphia delivery driver; the recently married victim remains on a ventilator in the ICU nearly a week after he was surrounded and beaten by up to eight bike-riding teens.

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Local

A bike rider had to air lifted to safety after suffering non-life threatening injuries in a fall on Sullivan Fire Road near Pacific Palisades Saturday morning

The new mayor of West Hollywood points out the need for safer infrastructure, saying dockless bikeshare and e-scooters will only succeed when the city has protected bike lanes from one end to the other.

 

State

Caltrans gave Riverside County $5 million in grants for transportation projects; however, only $150,000 of that amount was dedicated to bike and pedestrian safety, for a project in Eastvale.

No bias here. Santa Cruz police and sheriff’s deputies both cited the 54-year old organizer of Saturday’s Santa Cruz Rideout for failing to get a permit for the event they said “jeopardized the safety of all riders and (the) motoring public.” Which would be like requiring a permit for Critical Mass.

Petaluma police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider, even though he appears to have been the victim in a pair of collisions while riding his motorized bike through a gas station.

Santa Rosa police busted a pair of bike thieves who tried to make off with a bait bike, which was valued at over $1,000 to ensure the thieves would be subject to felony charges. Los Angeles police still can’t use bail bikes, after the city attorney’s office bizarrely concluded it could constitute entrapment.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one from a few weeks ago, as MarketWatch makes the environmental and financial case for getting out of cars and onto buses and trains, arguing that improving public transportation is good for the economy and the planet.

A bike blogger looks back on the pre-1930’s history of Schwinn.

A Portland woman beat a bike rider with a plastic tube, and he was bitten by her dog, for the crime of taking too long in a public restroom; she was cited for assault and released at the scene.

This is who we share the road with. An Iowa bigot woman can look forward to spending the next 25 years in federal prison for intentionally running down two young kids because she thought they looked Mexican or Middle Eastern. She was already sentenced to 17 and a half years in state prison, which will be served concurrently. I can’t find who sent this one to me, so please accept my apologies and thanks, whoever you are.

An 18-year old Ohio man will play college football this year, nine years after he was nearly killed when he fell off his bike, and was impaled through the groin by his handlebars.

A seven-year old Buffalo NY boy born without a hand was able to ride a bike for the first time after kindhearted students at a local high school fabricated a prosthetic arm for him.

The return of New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour will have to wait another year, after it was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Henri this past weekend.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the roads, a 63-year old woman from Florida’s The Villages, the nation’s largest senior’s community, had her license suspended for ten years for driving with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit, but won’t spend a day behind bars despite two previous DUI arrests. But as long as she gets to keep her car, there’s nothing to stop her from driving anyway. Thanks to Victor Bale for this one. 

 

International

A London website says just 90 seconds of video illustrates the risks for bike riders at one of the city’s most dangerous intersections.

London bike advocates are fighting to get a bike lane reinstalled on dangerous Kensington High Street, which was ripped out by local leaders after just seven weeks because it inconvenienced drivers.

An Englishman was attacked by a pair of teens, who laughed as they punched him off his bike, kicked him in the head and rode away with it.

Road safety continues to be the biggest barrier keeping women from riding a bike in the UK, with 42% saying they don’t feel confident on the road, and 45% saying well-lighted bike lanes would encourage them to try riding.

After nearly 5,000 bicycles were stolen in Dublin, Ireland in just 16 months, a local website says new bike lockers, proper lighting and security cams are desperately needed at bicycle parking spots.

Here’s something to look forward to. Owen Wilson will play a bike-riding reporter in the fictional French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé (get it?), in director Wes Andersons new film, The French Dispatch.

Recognizing that women too often weren’t allowed to ride a bicycle in some conservative Middle Eastern countries, a German group is giving refugee women their freedom by teaching to do exactly that.

Afghanistan’s internationally celebrated women bicyclists now fear for their lives in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of the country. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Steve Bate plans to set a new record for crossing Africa by bicycle next year.

Your next bike could be a weird Chinese-made solar powered ped-assist tricycle, complete with two seats and a roof.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Sunday’s 9th stage of the Vuelta, as Primož Roglič proves my prediction wrong by giving the red leader’s jersey; Monday will be a well-deserved rest day.

Forty-one-year old Spanish great Alejandro Valverde’s cycling career may be over after he broke his clavicle riding off the roadway in Friday’s stage seven of the Vuelta, 12 years after he won the race.

Britain’s Ethan Hayter took a wire-to-wire victory in the four-stage Tour of Norway, for his first victory in a stage race. Bonus points if you even knew there was a Tour of Norway.

L39ion of Los Angeles continued its domination of the US men’s crit series with a pair of victories in Georgia.

 

Finally…

Nothing like having to ensure the public that bikeshare bikes were thoroughly cleaned after they were used for the local naked bike ride. To be honest, regular bikes hardly ever break out in flames.

And Road.cc calls this ode to anti-bike NIMBYs “the must-hear No.1 hit of the summer.”

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

Bike-riding Riverside man killed in July hit-and-run road rage attack, driver arrested for murder

Once again, a driver has used his vehicle as a weapon.

And once again, someone on a bicycle paid the price.

This time, it’s murder.

Multiple sources are reporting that 46-year old Benedicto Solanga was riding his bike on on Market Street near the 60 Freeway around 12:40 pm on July 29, when he had a “brief interaction” with a driver later identified as 31-year old Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez of Riverside.

Which sound like a bad euphemism for a road rage dispute.

Gutierrez drove off, then made a sudden U-turn and allegedly aimed his massive pickup at Solanga’s bicycle before slamming into him.

Solanga was rushed to the hospital in grave condition, where he died a few days later.

Police found Gutierrez’s Ford F-250 later that night on the 3200 block of Iowa Ave in Riverside, leading to his arrest on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the crash. He remains jailed on $1 million bail.

Let’s hope he gets used to it.

This is at least the 44th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Benedicto Solanga and all his loved ones.

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