Tag Archive for Sidney Siemensa

Morning Links: Forgiveness and friendship follows near-fatal PCH crash, and no justice in fatal OC collisions

Sometimes a friendship can form in unusual ways.

Like getting run over by a truck.

After a La Habra man was nearly killed when a pickup driver ran him down from behind as he was riding on PCH last May, the driver — who was leaving an AA meeting — started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay the victim’s medical expenses.

He also modified his shower so it would be easier to get in and out as he recovered from multiple injuries.

That was after the victim’s wife reached out to tell him he was going to survive.

And they’ve been friends ever since.

Tom Sovilla hopes to get back on his back on his bike this year, with a goal of doing 5,000 miles before year’s end.

Meanwhile, the man who hit him, Jack Keith, went to five AA meetings the day after the crash, and looks forward to celebrating three years of sobriety in March.

Photo from Pexels.com; if they can be friends, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us.

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Looks like there may not be any justice for Sidney Siemensma.

The 51-year-old bike rider was stabbed to death just short of three years ago today on Irvine’s San Diego Creek Trail.

Police arrested a 41-year old transient acquaintance, Dennis Thomas Monson Jr., for the crime, as well as an unrelated child pornography charge.

However, despite having enough evidence to take the case to a jury, the case has been put on semi-permanent hold after the judge ruled Monson is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It’s possible he could still stand trial, if and when his mental state improves.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

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There definitely won’t be any justice for Laguna Nigel triathlete Scott Clark, who was killed when he was collateral damage in an alleged road rage dispute between two women.

According to Patch, the Orange County DA has concluded that there is no way to bring charges against driver Jamie Mulford after two independent experts were unable to conclude how the crash occurred.

Clark had the misfortune to run into a crosswalk just as Mulford allegedly cut off the other driver in the lane next to her, forcing the other car into Clark.

Despite what the Patch story says, Clark was training for a triathlon on foot, rather than riding a bike, at the time of the crash.

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It looks like noted equity advocate and former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler has left her widely applauded appointment to the California Transportation Commission; no word yet on why.

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A San Diego bike rider was allegedly assaulted by an impatient driver while taking the lane on a sharrowed street.

Unfortunately, whatever took place appears to have happened off-camera, and the brief description included on the YouTube page doesn’t clarify matters.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

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A Tesla dashcam captured a hit-and-run in Whittier last Saturday when a bike rider was right hooked by someone turning onto the street; fortunately, the victim doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt.

No word on whether the driver was arrested, or even ticketed.

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

A drunk Florida man faces charges for chasing a bike rider and throwing an empty beer can at him as cops looked on. After all, there’s no point in wasting a full one.

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

New York police are looking for a bike rider who spit in the face of a pedestrian in a crosswalk after accusing the man of cutting him off, then broke his wrist hitting him with a U-lock.

Also in New York, another bike rider — or possibly the same one — smashed a 61-year old woman in the face with some sort of hard object. Like a U-lock, for instance.

Florida police are police are looking for a hoody-clad man who fired his gun in a bike-by shooting; fortunately, no one was hit.

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Local

BMX riders are the stars of Cirque du Soleil’s new Volta show, opening this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin says a new request for the Westwood Blvd bike lanes killed by CD5 Councilmember and faux environmentalist Paul Koretz appears to be falling victim to a dispute between Westwood-area Neighborhood Councils. Which one do you think the city will listen to — an NC representing students, or one advocating for wealthy NIMBYs? I know which one my money is on.

Speaking of UCLA, a DIY bike co-op in the John Wooden Center is teaching students and staff how to fix their own bicycles.

Bruce Willis is one of us, as he goes for an ebike ride in Brentwood. The cool thing about British tabloids is they’ll criticize someone for not wearing a helmet, then ridicule them if they do.

LA Curbed places tongue firmly in cheek, and lists 20 headlines you might read in the coming decade, but probably won’t — including permanent, year-round CicLAvia routes and an end to LA traffic deaths.

Alan Goldsmith, the former owner of Supergo, is returning to his roots by investing in Manhattan Beach’s South Bay Cycle bike shop, scheduled to open later this month.

Bike theft dropped 10% in Long Beach last year, despite an increase in violent crime.

 

State

In the wake of last year’s implosion of the Interbike trade show, the CABDA Expo West opens in San Diego today. Even though CABDA stands for the Chicagoland Area Bike Dealers Association, which this ain’t.

An 18-year old Barstow man faces attempted murder charges, along with a pair of underage teenagers, for a drive-by shooting spurred by the victim’s demand to get his stolen bicycle back.

A UC Berkeley neurologist has developed a new type of helmet designed to protect users from traumatic brain injuries caused by twisting impacts.

Lime is testing an accessible scooter for people with disabilities in OaklandAlthough it looks like all they did was bolt a seat onto their existing e-scooters.

San Francisco was already planning to install protected bike lanes along the Embarcadero next week; unfortunately, it comes too late for a woman who’s clinging to life after she was struck by a cement truck while riding an e-scooter on Monday.

Sacramento’s first food bike is peddling a 200-year old stroopwafel recipe.

 

National

American bikemakers are struggling to replace their Chinese supply chains after being priced out by Trump’s tariffs.

A new senior editor for Streetsblog explains her 15-year old transformation to a bike advocate.

A New Mexico state representative is once again riding her bike hundreds of miles across the state from Las Cruces to Santa Fe to attend this year’s legislative session.

My bike-friendly hometown is trying out back-in diagonal parking to improve safety for people on bicycles.

An Iowa woman will spend the next 40 years behind bars for stalking a man, before fatally running him over as he rode his bike in a parking lot, in a deliberate, drunken attack.

A Texas man faces charges for shooting a homeless man five times while trying to steal his bicycle.

Bad behavior has gotten Vermont mountain bikers kicked off parts of one of the East Coast’s best trail systems; Bike Snob says this is why they can’t have nice things.

A New York woman faces five well-deserved felony counts and four misdemeanors for the drunken, 85-mph crash that killed a man on a bicycle; she was still over twice the legal limit more than three hours after the crash, with bags of coke found all over her car.

A Manhattan councilmember calls for life-saving sensors on all large trucks to make drivers aware of people and things they can’t see from the cab. Like bike riders and pedestrians, for instance.

The allegedly racist, bike-riding jerk who was convicted of attacking a black DC driver with his U-lock lucked out when a second, similar charge was dismissed when the victim didn’t show up to court; he’s currently doing three years on the original charge.

A Miami man will face charges in the gruesome, apparently drunken, 100 mph hit-and-run crash that killed a homeless man riding his bike on a causeway last August.

 

International

A new bicycle from World Bicycle Relief can help lift children and their families out of poverty; the nonprofit has provided half a million bicycles in countries around the world.

Cycling Weekly looks forward to what you can look forward to on the bike tech front in the coming year.

The Guardian examines how Strava became a religion to bike riders and runners.

Arguing against building a bike lane, a Hamilton, Ontario city councilor estimates there are only 100 bicyclists in the entire city of 550,000; the city’s bikeshare system alone has over 33,000 members.

That’s more like it. An unlicensed English driver got six years for killing a man riding a bike, along with other unrelated charges; not only didn’t he have a license, he’d never even taken a driving test.

The founders of a British bike nonprofit have been banned for 11 years after paying themselves the equivalent of nearly $420,000 — nearly a quarter of the money it took in.

Staff members for Pink Bike design the mountain bike of the future as a joke. Then go to Taiwan and actually build it.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a truck driver who was caught on video crashing into a bike rider during a road rage dispute has been sentenced to just seven weeks behind bars and a $500 fine. He’ll also be banned from driving for two years.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s only remaining Tour de France champ is preparing to launch a new bike line made with a revolutionary “‘high-performance low-cost carbon fiber.”

Cycling Tips rates the team kits of the women’s pro peloton.

Pro/am gravel grinding is coming to the annual Sea Otter Classic this April.

A 17-year old Indian woman has won gold in the nation’s U-21 road race, bouncing back from a training wreck five years earlier that was so bad her mother ordered her to quit cycling, until her father intervened.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can zoom around on your new bike pretending you’re in Stranger Things. Nothing like having a bike tug-of-war with a fleeing meat lifter.

And don’t shoot guy you’re arguing with, shoot his bicycle instead.

 

Morning Links: Possible murder on Irvine bike path; public meeting tonight to discuss traffic in Griffith Park

A bike rider may have been murdered along a popular bike path in Irvine.

Police responded to a report of a man lying on the San Diego Creek Trail, which parallels the 405 Freeway, around 7 am Tuesday.

They found a man death from multiple injuries; a bicycle was lying nearby, but it was unclear if it belonged to the victim.

According to KNBC-4, the victim was later identified as 51-year old Irvine resident Sidney Siemens. Police are investigating his death as a homicide.

The station reports that a resident in a nearby apartment complex hear a loud argument around 4 am and realized something was wrong, but didn’t do anything because it wasn’t her problem.

Nice.

Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

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The Parks Department has come up with a plan to ease congestion in Griffith Park, by providing a free shuttle service to encourage people to park at underutilized lots at the base of the park.

The downside is that the plan calls for running the shuttles along Mt. Hollywood Drive, which has been closed to motor vehicle traffic for the last few decades. CiclaValley explains why this could be a disaster for bike riders.

A meeting will be held at 7 pm tonight to discuss the plan at the Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Dr.

Be there if you ride or hike in Griffith park, since this could directly affect your safety and enjoyment of the park. Or if you can’t attend, email your thoughts to the officials listed on the CiclaValley link.

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You’re invited to attend a Bicycle Awareness Event hosted by the LAPD’s South Traffic Division from 10 am to 1 pm today at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Hoover near the USC campus.

Officers from the South Traffic Division will be accompanied by Southwest Division Senior Lead Officers and representatives of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to educate students and bike riders about bicycle and motorist safety, as well as the laws affecting bicyclists.

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The man killed by a train while walking his bike along the tracks near Oxnard on Monday has been identified as 18-year old Oxnard resident Lisandro Licea; the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death an accident.

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A national consumer watchdog group calls the proposed tunnel to complete the 710 Freeway one of 12 highway boondoggles in the US. Glendale’s mayor prefers an option that would convert the current freeway stubs into great streets, including bike lanes and transit.

The group is no fan of the failed 405 widening project either, which added HOV lanes through the Sepulveda pass at a cost of $1 billion without improving traffic.

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Local

Not too surprisingly, as Downtown LA has boomed, so has crime, including bike thefts. So always lock your bike securely, and in a highly visable public place whenever possible.

Bicycling talks with the president of Los Angeles-based Bike Angels, which loans bikes to people participating in charity rides.

Pierce Brosnan and family are one, uh, three of us, as they go for a beachy bike ride in the ‘Bu.

Santa Monica Spoke invite you to welcome New York’s Jeffrey Tanenhaus as he completes his cross-country journey on a bikeshare bike.

The route has been announced for Long Beach’s Beach Streets Downtown ciclovía, aka open streets event, on March 19th; parts of Fourth Street, as well as Pine, Linden and Cherry Avenues will be opened to non-motorized traffic.

 

State

Oceanside officials consider a road diet on the Coast Highway in response to the death of a 12-year old boy riding his bike to school last year.

The count is now up to 53 bicycles and three motorcycles confiscated for riding on a San Diego Marine base.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted off a Thousand Oaks hiking trail Tuesday morning; no word on the rider’s condition.

 

National

It probably won’t come as a surprise to most bike riders that many drivers think “share the road” signs mean you’re supposed to get the hell out of their way.

City Lab looks at the worldwide boom in bikeshare, which will now include downtown Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a new study shows bikeshare systems in the US aren’t reaching the poor. Not too surprising, when you consider that most require a credit card and membership fees.

A Texas driver gets nine years after being convicted of drunk driving for the ninth time. Evidently, the other eight weren’t enough to convince authorities he doesn’t belong on the streets.

Minneapolis cyclists call for lowering speed limits to 25 mph.

An Ohio man gets nine years for the drunken hit-and-run death of a cyclist last year.

New York’s mayor says Vision Zero is working, even if others think the city isn’t moving fast enough. Meanwhile, a cyclist says sometimes conflict zones aren’t the fault of a bad bike lane, but rather an inadequate sidewalk.

WaPo looks at what riders need to know to keep riding through the winter.

 

International

Norway has begun deporting refugees who exploited a loophole by bicycling across the border with Russia.

While Copenhagen moves forward with a series of bike and pedestrian bridges, some complain they’re focusing on spectacular designs over practicality.

A 59-year old Italian jazz musician with a passion for cycling has been banned from the latter for doping.

A drug-sniffing Swiss police dog travels via his own custom cargo bike. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A South African cyclist is recovering from severe injuries he received when someone shoved a stick through his spokes, then hit him with a brick to steal his cellphone.

When Brisbane’s city council refuses to take action to improve a dangerous intersection, cyclists commission their own plan for a $5 million bikeway.

Not content to hurl abuse, a carful of Aussie jerks came back to hurl a 1.25 liter soda bottle at a cyclist, denting her helmet and knocking her off her bike.

 

Finally…

If you still haven’t gotten your 2016 calendar, how about one featuring sober naked male cyclists? Who says bike helmets don’t grow on trees?

And maybe you could be a little more gracious when you ride your bike.

 

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