Tag Archive for Travis Carroll

More on the death of Travis Carroll, your chance to Ride with the Dutch, dream rides & upcoming events

The Big Bear Grizzly fills in some of the blanks in the death of cyclist Travis Carroll in Bermuda Dunes on Thursday. According to the paper, he was riding against traffic without lights when he was hit head on by a van driven by Palm Desert resident Jack Woodward

Carroll was reportedly riding at 20 miles per hour while Woodward was driving at 35 mph, resulting a virtually un-survivable 55 mph speed differential. The story notes that he was “ejected from his bike,” apparently not grasping the concept that riders, unlike car passengers, aren’t enclosed within their bikes; nor do they seem to understand that a helmet is just this side of worthless in a head-on collision at that speed.


Here’s your chance to bike with the Dutch — and share your experiences with new-found fans around the world.

Earlier this week, I received the following email announcing the contest:

For the first time ever, the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Schiphol) have created a 10-City Bike Tour of Holland using KLM’s iconic ceramic blue houses as inspiration for the trail! And now we’re on the search for two incredible duos to bike their way through Holland, serving as travel hosts and sharing their experiences online with our thousands of fans across the globe!

Could two of YOUR readers at BikinginLA have what it takes to bike through Holland’s authentic towns and countryside? We’re looking for entries that showcase engaging on-air personalities, prove the team’s adept biking ability, and of course, demonstrates a passion for Holland! Audition videos can be uploaded and entered via Holland or KLM’s Facebook pages starting today through May 1, so please encourage your readers to enter this unique trip of a lifetime and upload their audition video today!

We will announce the two winning biking teams and how your readers can follow their adventures (and win special prizes just for watching!) in mid-May, so be on the lookout for a second announcement in a few weeks!

To enter or find out more info about this exciting contest, please go to either:


I’d enter, but my wife doesn’t ride. And somehow, I don’t think the corgi is up to the task, either.


I was touched by this comment that followed the funeral of cyclist Jim Swarzman on Thursday.

As Jim Swarzman is laid to rest today, I won’t give in to fear of what killed him, but will respect & mitigate risks all the more.


VeloNews offers the Ultimate Ride Guide to help you find your dream ride, from self-guided tours along the Blue Ridge Parkway to luxurious pampering overseas. Along with how to prep, pack and what to expect; you can get a taste online, and find the full issue on sale now.

Of course, you’d probably want a new bike to take on that ride. VeloNews can help you out with that, too, with their new searchable Bike Buyer’s Guide, while Bicycling unveils their 2011 Editor’s Choice winners.


A writer for London’s Evening Standard says we sanctimonious Lycra louts have had it too easy for too long, and somehow equates the 16% rate of drunk driving collisions to the 0% rate of pedestrians killed by cyclists with a metaphorical straight face, or at least a stiff upper lip.

Thankfully, the response has been an overwhelming yawn; after a full day online, only 17 people had “liked” the story as of 8 pm our time; 3am local time. Meanwhile, most of the comments were along the lines of “This utterly moronic BS does not dignify a comment…”

Evidently, the Independent disagrees, with a cover story saying it’s time to save our cyclists; I couldn’t agree more.


Settle in for an ever-growing list of upcoming events, followed by your weekend reading list:

Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition hosts a special Family Ride on Saturday, April 16th to tour the bicycle and pedestrian improvements planned for the Safe Routes to School grant recently awarded to Linwood Howe Elementary School; riders meet at Town Plaza near the Culver Hotel at 10 am. with the ride starting at 10:30 or 11.

Saturday, April 16th, C.I.C.L.E. invites you to join in on the Lorax Ride II to celebrate Earth Day and Pasadena’s greener side; ride begins and ends at Pasadena Memorial Park, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Also on the 16th, Bicycle Fixation will host a Miracle Mile Art Ride in conjunction with the Miracle Mile Art Walk; meet at the Lamp Sculpture in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) at 3 pm.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting its Second Annual Earth Day Fun-Ride in conjunction with the 16th Annual Earth Day Celebration and Concert in Polliwog Park; riders assemble at 10 am in the Marine Park parking lot at the intersection of Marine Ave and Redondo Ave. LACBC offers a list of other Earth Day rides and events.

Sunday, April 17th, join in the races, or watch the racers go by at the L.A. Circuit Race at Los Angeles International Airport, open to riders from beginners through Masters and Elite categories. The race takes place on the north side of LAX on what is described as a fast, challenging course; direction and sign-up information on the link above.

Glendale’s Safe and Healthy Streets plan will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, April 19th at Glendale City Hall, 613 East Broadway.

Join Bike SGV on the Earth Day Community Bike Ride in Monterey Park on Saturday, April 23rd from 7:30 am to 9 am, beginning and ending at Barnes Park.

Long Beach hosts the official grand opening of their new separated bikeways on the Promenade between Broadway and Third from 11 am to 2 pm, with the opening ceremony at noon.  Events include a scavenger hunt, bike rodeo, guided bike tours, bike decoration and a screening of Riding Bikes with the Dutch.

Thursday, April 28th, help craft the Glendale Bikeway Master Plan at the first community meeting for the updated plan. The meeting will be held at the Glendale Central Library, 222 East Harvard Street from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Also on the 28th, L.A.’s draft Bike Parking Ordinance will be presented to the L.A. Planning Commission at 10 am Downtown City Hall; comments are still being taken through April 19th at tom.rothmann@lacity.org or 213-978-1891.

Attention Boss fans. Take in select screenings of the new Bruce Springsteen documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town at a Laemmle Theatre near you, and half of all ticket sales will go to benefit the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, April 28th, 30th, May 1st and 2nd.

The Dana Point Grand Prix will be held on Sunday, May 1st, featuring a .8 mile criterium; the start/finish will be located at the intersection of PCH and Del Prado in Dana Point.

If you can’t make it to Dana Point, don’t miss the May edition of the LACBC’s Sunday Funday Rides, with a tour of historic Northwest and Northeast L.A.; riders assemble at the Echo Park Boathouse at 9:30 am on May 1st.

The Antelope Valley Conservancy sponsors the 16th Annual Antelope Valley Ride on Saturday, May 7th with rides of 20, 30 and 60 miles; check-in begins at 7 am at George Lane Park, 5520 West Avenue L-8 in Quartz Hill.

The annual Long Beach Bicycle Festival takes place on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th in Downtown Long Beach. The festivities include the Tour of Long Beach on Saturday, May 14th with rides of 4, 31 and 61 miles to benefit Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

L.A.’s 17th annual Bike Week takes place May 16th through the 20th, with an emphasis on bike safety education, and events throughout the city. This year’s Blessing of the Bicycles will take place as part of Bike Week from 8 to 9:30 am on May 17th at Downtown’s Good Samaritan Hospital, 616 S. Witmer Street. And Metro is looking for Bike Buddies to guide inexperienced cyclists on Bike to Work Day.

The San Diego Century ride takes place on Saturday, May 21st with rides of 37, 66 or 103 miles, starting in Encinitas, along with free admission to an expo featuring sports, local cuisine and live music.

The next two CicLAvias will take place on July 10th and October 9th; anyone who was at the one last Sunday probably doesn’t need a reminder to mark their calendars.

L.A.’s favorite fundraiser ride rolls on June with the 11th Annual River Rideadvance registration is open now. Volunteers are needed now and on the day of the ride, email RRvolunteer@la-bike.org for more info and to sign up.

And mark your calendar for the 2011 L.A. edition of the Tour de Fat on October 9th, unless you happen to be an observant Jew, since it falls on Yom Kippur this year.


Great bike photos from Thursday’s Bike Night at the Hammer. The newest contributor to the LADOT Bike Blog hopes BREATHE LA turns out to be a breath of fresh air; while the site offers a recap of the recent BAC meeting. Celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson misses her next gig after taking a tumble dodging a car in Venice. The Bike Shop Decal Project continues to grow. LAist looks at the city’s bicycle co-ops. Manhattan Beach cyclist Doug Wheeler reaches the 100,000 mark. Glendale breaks ground on a new section of the L.A. River Path. Rapha rides the desert west of Palm Springs; I’d know that wind farm anywhere. The first ever Women’s International Time Trial Challenge will be held in Solvang in conjunction with the Amgen Tour of California. Right now, you’re missing one of the nation’s largest bicycle classics.

Good advice — okay, great advice — on how to ride a bike; I particularly like #5, Don’t be a dick to drivers, and #6, Actually, don’t be a dick to anyone. Researchers figure out why your bike doesn’t fall down when you ride, and it isn’t what they thought. Denver’s new mayoral candidates support cycling. Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas’ excellent op-ed on the conflict between cyclists and drivers appears in the pages of the Columbus Dispatch after we got a preview yesterday; it’s a very good read and definitely worth a click. NYC’s Prospect Park West bike lane civil war may finally be nearing an end as it gets final community approval; not everyone agrees but at least the French are pleased. Georgia approves a three-foot passing law; too late for the hit-and-run driver who left a third grade teacher lying in the road. Another hit-and-run driver takes the life of a 23-year old North Carolina cyclist in Florida.

The UK’s Automobile Association was formed with cyclists as speed trap spotters; they handed out helmets and hi-vis vests on Friday because that’s what drivers want us to wear. Italian officials conduct a doping raid on an undisclosed top pro team. Top Australian pro rider Matthew Lloyd has been fired from the Omega Pharma Lotto team for behavior issues, but the team notes it has nothing to do with forbidden products; meanwhile, Lance Armstrong met with accused doping doctor Michele Farrari as recently as last year.

Finally, New York police arrest a passerby for ridiculing a cyclist as they were ticketing him for riding on the sidewalk; evidently, they’ve never heard of the 1st Amendment. Meanwhile, Gotham’s seriously out-of-control finest bust a bike commuter for carrying a purse on her bike; they’re rapidly becoming a laughingstock.

And when a bike is stolen, a fairy dies.

Cyclist killed in Indio area, suspected Jim Swarzman killer released, Marco Antonio Valencia on trial

I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to write this.

Last night, the CHP reported a collision involving a cyclist in the Indio area; the cryptic feed indicated that the coroner had been called.

As I searched for confirmation, though, I found another report online that said the coroner call had been cancelled, and the rider had been transported to the hospital with major injuries. The CHP feed was later updated to indicate that, as well.

Unfortunately, the good news didn’t last.

According to a story in the Desert Sun, 39-year old Travis Carroll was pronounced dead at 8:17 last night, after being hit by a van while riding on Avenue 42 in Bermuda Dunes. The collision occurred between Washington and Adams Streets at around 7:35.

The sparse description of the collision in the Desert Sun doesn’t really make sense.

The paper reports that Carroll was riding on the north side of the street, which suggests he would have been riding west if he was riding with traffic. He then reportedly began riding southeast, which would mean he either had to make a U-turn, or had actually been riding against traffic and drifted across the roadway before being struck by the west-bound van,

However, that raises the question of why he would cross the path of an oncoming vehicle which should have been clearly visible as he faced it — especially since the paper reports that alcohol does not seem to be a factor.

According to reports, the investigation is ongoing.


The same day Encino endurance cyclist Jim Swarzman was laid to rest at Forrest Lawn, word came that the driver suspected of killing him was released from custody.

According to San Diego’s KGTV, Joseph Ricardo Fernandez was released at the last moment before being arraigned. Reportedly, the reason stemmed from the three day limit authorities have to file charges after taking the suspect into custody.

The station indicates that the delay is due to ongoing forensic work to ensure that Fernandez’ Dodge Ram 1500 pickup was in fact the vehicle that took Swarzman’s life; following that, the DA needs to be able to show that Fernandez was actually the one behind the wheel.

I would hope that they are also investigating his actions before the collision; I suspect they may find that he was drinking heavily.

The reports I’ve heard say the collision was extremely violent; I’ll spare you the details, but it would have been virtually impossible for the driver to have been unaware he hit something, putting to question Fernandez statement to the police that he thought he might have hit something.

Unless he was in a significantly altered state, the driver had to know damn well that he hit something, making his flight afterward a purely intentional — and illegal — act.

The investigation is ongoing, and I have no reason to believe the San Diego DA’s office isn’t taking this case very seriously. But we may want to keep on top of it, just in case.


I’ve been on the run the last few weeks, and haven’t had a chance to update the ongoing legal cases (my apologies to cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels, who has done a great job of keeping me abreast of the ongoing cases).

Wheels reports that the trial has begun in the case of Marco Antonio Valencia, charged with killing Joseph Novotny and seriously injuring three other riders in an alcohol and drug-fueled hit-and-run.

The Signal reports on yesterday’s testimony from the surviving riders; it’s difficult to read, but offers the clearest picture yet what happened on that tragic day. Here’s one brief excerpt:

Chad Lewin, 25, was riding in front of Munana and Novotny during the ride.

As Lewin was riding around a right turn, he saw the bicyclist in front of him slam on his brakes abruptly.

To avoid crashing, Lewin testified that he swerved into the roadway to his left to avoid crashing.

In an instant, he was knocked to the ground by the truck. As he slid, Lewin said his skin was ripped off — in some instances to the muscle.

“As I was sliding backward, I saw Joe 20 feet in the air and hit the mountainside,” Lewin said.

Dj Wheels has been attending some of the court sessions, and offers these thoughts:

It appears that Valencia’s defense will mainly focus on avoiding the “Watson” 2nd degree murder charge by arguing that although he was awake and able to drive, he was not “conscious” of his actions and thus did not have the required specific intent for murder, which would be implied malice.

I don’t know all the case law on these types of DUI murder charges, but essentially Watson says when you have been previously convicted of DUI, you should know all ready that driving drunk can cause serious injury or death, which would establish the intent requirement of malice.  The CA legislature later enacted CVC 23103.5.  As a resulty, many county courts and district attorneys offices for several years now have required defendants to sign a declaration admitting that you acknowledge these risks and that you may be charged with murder if someone dies as a result of their drunk driving.  I believe this declaration can also be used as evidence.

However, under CA Jury Instructions 8.47 says “If you find that a defendant, while unconscious as a result of voluntary intoxication, killed another human being without intent to kill and without malice aforethought, the crime is involuntary manslaughter.”

So my guess is that the defense will try to establish that none of the witnesses actually saw the driver of the vehicle (specifically his face/body) in the seconds before the collision and during the collision in order to establish a reasonable doubt about whether he was indeed “conscious.” I think the only defense witness will be the expert who will testify that someone can be unconscious due to voluntary intoxication, but still be awake.

As long as we’re on the subject of biking collisions and court cases, we might as well keep going.

Danae Marie Miller will be arraigned today on one count of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated in the death of world-class trialthlete Amine Britel in Newport Beach last month. She’s currently out on $100,000 bail.


John Stesney reports that a pretrial hearing is scheduled next week in the death of local scientist and cyclist Doug Caldwell. The hearing for accused driver Gordon Catlett Wray will take place at the San Fernando Courthouse, 900 Third Street in the city of San Fernando, on Wednesday, April 20th at 8:30 am, case #0SR05313.

My sources indicate that despite numerous questions that have been raised that the defendant was using a cell phone at the time of the collision, the prosecutor either can’t get the records, or won’t request them for some reason — even though they could offer proof of distracted driving in fatal collision.

Maybe a few cyclists in the courtroom could stiffen the DA’s resolve, and show how seriously we’re taking this case.


Dj Wheels reports that Shawn Fields was arraigned on March 30th for the heartbreaking hit-and-run death of 17-year old Danny Marin in Pacoima last year; a description of the injuries suffered by Marin — again, I’ll spare you the details — suggests another extremely violent collision.

Wheels offers some revealing testimony from the case:

According to the arresting officer, Fields was asleep at home by the time they arrived at the location where the vehicle was registered. He wouldn’t wake up at first after knocking and banging on the windows from where they could see him sleeping.  Fields also volunteered a statement before being taken to the police station that he shouldn’t have driven home because he had too much to drink at a wrap up party at the Roosevelt in Hollywood. He also saw many bottles of various alcoholic beverages inside Field’s house.

Also, the officer that administered the breath test at the station noted that his BAC was .14/.15 at about 4:15 a.m. The collision occurred about three hours earlier.

The investigating officer who interviewed Fields at the station also testified. Fields told him he got to the party around 10pm and drank a long island ice tea, a red label whiskey, a gin and tonic, beer and some water before leaving. After walking out, he had a bacon wrapped hot dog on the street, threw up on himself, debated whether to drive home, waited in his car for a while then finally drove.  He did not have a recollection of actually driving home, but recalled he may have hit something because he remembered being at a stop light close to home and looking at sparkly dust on his arms from the shattered front windshield.


A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 28th at 8:30 am in the San Bernardino Superior Court in the case of Patrick Roraff and Brett Michael Morin for the street racing death of pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado last April.


A preliminary hearing is also scheduled for May 11th in the case of Stephanie Segal, charged in the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills last October.


Jim Lyle forwards news that Richard Schlickman, the cyclist critically injured when he lost control of his bike due to newly installed speed bumps in Palas Verdes Estates, is showing amazing progress and determination, and may be transferred to a rehab facility by the end of the month.


Meanwhile, reports are that your prayers continue to be needed for Adam Rybicki, critically injured by an alleged underage drunk driver in Torrance on April 3rd.

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