Imagine someone you love traveling across the country to follow her faith and feed the hungry.
Now imagine getting a call from an LAPD detective telling you she’s been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.
Although they probably didn’t use that word.
Then imagine that the police won’t return your calls. And you have no idea what’s going on with a case that seems to be going nowhere, and doesn’t seem to be a priority.
You’ve just put yourself in the shoes of the entire family of fallen bike rider Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize her name. I only recently learned it myself, confirmed by her relatives.
Brazzle was the woman who was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she rode her bicycle around a Venice intersection this past August.
She’s one of 18 victims of hit-and-run drivers in Southern California this year. And yet another Black bike rider or pedestrian sacrificed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where people of color die from traffic violence at a rate far disproportionate to their share of the population.
Never mind that Pacific Avenue, the street where she was killed, is on LA’s High Injury Network as one of the deadliest streets in the city. And was scheduled for bike lanes in the city’s long-forgotten mobility plan and 2010 bike plan.
Which could mean Los Angeles bears at least some legal responsibility for knowing about the dangers of the street, and failing to fix it.
Prynsess Brazzle had traveled from her family’s Pennsylvania home to Georgia, then west to Los Angeles, believing she had been called by God to feed the homeless.
Only to have her life taken by someone who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop their damn car after slamming another human being early in the morning of August 20th.
Unfortunately, since then, the trail appears to have gone cold.
The only information police have released is a blurry security cam video of a black, large-sized SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.
That’s despite a $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for information “leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.”
So let’s be honest.
Someone out there knows something. Maybe you’ve seen an SUV with a mangled front end. Or heard someone talk about an early morning crash in Venice, or acting strange the next day.
Maybe you’ve got video or other information the police missed.
And maybe you could use a cool 50 grand. Or just want justice for a young mother taken far too soon.
And yes, you can still get the money if you contact the police anonymously.
Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to bring justice for Prynsess Brazzle has raised just $139 of the modest $5,000 goal.
We could easily top that today if everyone who reads this digs in to give what they can. And forwards this piece to anyone else who might be interested in helping.
And keeping their eyes open to bring her killer to justice.
Sometimes I could just cry.
A Wisconsin man was killed while on a 4,000-mile ride to raise awareness of hunger on the Navajo reservation, and raise fund for a mountain biking scholarship.
Twenty-seven-year old Tyler Droeger was nearly 3,000 miles into the ride, when a driver drifted off the roadway and ran him down from behind as he rode on the shoulder of a Utah highway, knocking him into a ravine.
Chances are, he literally never knew what hit him.
It’s heartbreaking to think someone could be trying to do good for others, and still end up a needless victim of traffic violence.
Droeger wrote that, when he began his journey, he “wasn’t even aware of the inequality we have here in our homeland.” And he offered this advice:
“Be good to the strangers you meet. No matter their situation. it could just as easily have been you in those shoes.”
Needless to say, no charges have been filed.
Droeger’s crowdfunding campaign has continued to raise money despite, or maybe because, of his death.
When I first saw the news on Friday, he had raised a little more than double the $4,000 goal. It’s now over $11,000.
If you have any extra money lying around after donating to Prynsess Brazzle, I can’t think of a better place to put it.
Let’s hope CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León is paying attention.
Great ebike ad from Specialized.
The Department of DIY strikes again, even if it’s no match for drivers’ love of parking in bike lanes.
Maybe they should have just used a more seasonal barrier, like the people below.
It’s hard to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.
So you’ll have to settle for this, courtesy of Orange County bike lawyer David Huntsman.
A British kid can’t use the bike lane during Back to School Week, because it’s full of cars lined up to get gas during the country’s crippling fuel shortage.
Maybe one day, we’ll finally get to the point where we don’t need ghost bikes anymore.
I only hope we all live long enough to see it.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.
An older Brooklyn man was knocked off his bicycle when he was sucker-punched by a young man, in what appears to be part of a series of similar attacks on elderly people.
A British driver decides if an easily-passed bike rider is going use the roadway, then he’ll drive on the separated bike lane.
Pettiness abounds from IdiotsInCars
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Police are looking for a man on a purple bicycle who groped a woman on a University of Hawaii campus.
A valet at a Nashville hotel was shot by a bike-riding burglar; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.
Scotland Yard is looking for a bike-riding man wanted for a series of East London sexual assaults, exposing himself and masturbating in public.
Disappointing to see the weekly newsletter from CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin discuss what his office is doing to promote transit and safer streets, without a single mention of bike lanes. Let alone bicycles.
The Easy Reader says ebikes are revolutionizing transportation in the South Bay’s beach cities.
A rare genetic brain disease robbed a marathoner of her ability to run, but she will still take part in a 220-mile Santa Barbara-to-San Diego ride on her recumbent to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge fundraising ride.
A triathlete in San Luis Obispo County recalls the red light-running driver that left her with “two shattered collarbones, two broken ribs and horrific memories of the impact,” then fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.
A Fresno bike rider was critically injured after allegedly running a red light; police also blamed him for riding outside the crosswalk, as if bicycles aren’t allowed in the street. Someone should tell the Fresno Bee that the victim didn’t collide with a vehicle, he was struck by a car, which had a driver.
The San Francisco Examiner looks at California’s most significant bicyclist safety initiatives. They may not be the best source, however, since they cite LA’s dusty, nearly forgotten Vision Zero and mobility plans.
Lafayette considers safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists after a school crossing guard was killed in a collision last month, but not before heroically pushing school kids in a crosswalk out of the way, sacrificing himself to save them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.
Popular Mechanics recommends the best cheap bikes for beginners. The real surprise isn’t the price of the bikes. It’s that Popular Mechanics is still around.
Las Vegas Raiders fans turn out on their custom, low rider bicycles to show their love for the team.
Good news from Kansas, where searchers found a 13-year old girl who had gone missing on a bike ride.
Shades of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. A Nebraska man crashed his bicycle after a bee got in his bike helmet and began stinging him. Except in my case, they didn’t sting me. And I got hurt a lot worse.
Even in Oklahoma, speeding drivers get the blame for a jump in traffic fatalities.
Chicago finally gets around to installing a road diet and bike lanes on the deadly street where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed riding his bike, 13 years after another bike-riding man was killed at the same site. This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work, just not so slow.
A Columbus, Ohio newspaper recommends riding the area’s scenic bike paths.
After a man was killed in Mississippi on a cross-country fundraising bike ride from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego three years ago, his mother is planning to finish the ride, picking up where he was killed; his ride raised over 12 times his original $10,000 goal to help children with cancer.
The New York Times examines the rising carnage on the city’s streets, despite outgoing Mayor De Blasio’s promise to reduce traffic deaths under Vision Zero.
A trio of kindhearted Florida deputies got a new bike for a man after the bike he used for his transportation was stolen.
Kindhearted Fort Lauderdale firefighters replaced a young boy’s bicycle after it was burned in a house fire.
A Welsh website says life has gotten crazy at local bike shops during the pandemic.
Sponsors are bailing from the UK’s Black Cyclists Network after allegations of bullying and harassment by the organization’s founder.
Even British drivers support a 10 mph speed limit and speed cams to improve traffic problems.
No bias here. As Paris shifts its transportation focus from cars to walking, biking and transit, all the New York Times can see is the “anarchy” of scofflaw bicyclists. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.
There’s a special place in hell for a retired French police officer who confessed to being a serial killer and rapist in his suicide note; victims included a pair of 11-year old girls, with one victimized after being pulled off her bicycle.
An Indian paper asks if bicycling is safe for women in Chennai, concluding women on long rides face the lack of accessible and clean public toilets and the threat of harassment and discrimination as well as a lack of bike lanes.
Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli was the surprise winner of Sunday’s Paris-Robaix on the rain-soaked cobbles; Colbrelli didn’t even expect to finish, let alone win.
Cycling Weekly offers talking points from the race.
Britain’s Lizzie Deignan overcame bloodied hands to win the inaugural women’s Paris-Robaix race, aka Paris-Roubaix Femmes.
Cycling Tips offers a photo essay revealing the “grit and glory” of the women’s Hell of the North, while Cycling News offers their conclusions from the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, 125 years after the first men’s race.
Bicycling talks with Ayesha McGowan about her successful fight to become the first Black woman in professional cycling, and her goals to make the sport more inclusive for everyone. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
Buy a kid a bike, get free tickets to Tom Brady’s homecoming game. A little skitching will get you a big fine.
And your next bike could be a two-wheel drive, hydraulic-driven, gas-powered bicycle.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.