Tag Archive for Ventura County

Mountain biker dies of apparent medical emergency on Newbury Park trail

Cars and their drivers aren’t the only dangers bicyclists face.

Sometimes, our own bodies attack us.

That appears to be what happened in Ventura County Sunday morning, where a man died after suffering an apparent medical emergency while mountain biking in Newbury Park.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a mountain biker crashing on a trail near the 101 Freeway Scales and the park area by Hill Canyon.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 50s, was pronounced at the scene.

Investigators initially suspected he died as a result of a mountain biking crash, but later concluded his death was caused by some sort of undisclosed medical problem.

This is at least the 52nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the seventh that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

Update: 16-year old Port Hueneme boy killed riding bike in Oxnard hit-and-run, 39-year old Oxnard man arrested

Yet another Southern California bike rider has lost his life to a heartless coward in a car.

Except this time, the victim was just a 16-year old boy.

According to the Ventura County Star, he was riding his bike on Hemlock Street in Oxnard, east of N Street, near the boundary with Port Hueneme around 8:35 Wednesday night, when he was apparently run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver.

The victim, identified only as a Port Hueneme resident, was rushed to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died.

Police investigators concluded that he was riding west on Hemlock, and had the right-of-way when he was struck.

The driver’s car was found abandoned less that a mile away near Hemlock and Patterson Road. The 39-year old owner was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.

According to an Oxnard police spokesperson, the victim had a headlight and reflectors on his bike, although it was so badly mangled as a result of the crash that police couldn’t tell if he had a taillight.

However, he was not wearing a helmet, as required for anyone under 18 under California law. Although whether that matters would depend on whether he suffered a head injury, and whether his injuries might have been survivable with one.

And that could depend on how fast the driver was going, on a street where residents have long complained about speeding drivers, and have repeatedly requested speed bumps, with no response from Oxnard city officials.

This is at least the 51st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

At least 18 of those deaths have involved hit-and-run drivers.

Update: The victim has been identified as 16-year old Andres Hernandez, who died of blunt force head trauma.

So his lack of a helmet may be relevant, depending on the speed of the impact. 

His alleged killer, 39-year old Julio Sanchez, was being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Andres Hernandez and all his family and loved ones. 

Arrest made in fatal Vista Del Mar hit-and-run, PCH shoulder closing near Point Mugu, and feds cut ebike tax rebate

It looks like the LAPD got their man.

Police arrested 39-year old Darwin Dantzler for the hit-and-run death of a mother as she carried her three-year old son across Vista Del Mar last weekend.

Wendy Galdamez Palma was attempting to make her way from the beach to her car parked on the other side of the deadly roadway. She reportedly turned away from the onrushing car, sacrificing herself to save her child.

Palma would not have had to cross the street if city leaders had the courage to keep a road diet in place that shifted parking to the west side of the street to protect beachgoers, after a 16-year old girl was killed crossing the street several years ago.

The city settled a lawsuit over that crash for $9.5 million.

Palma’s death will likely cost Los Angeles a lot more, after city leaders caved in to demands from angry pass-through drivers used to using the street as a free-flowing  freeway bypass, ripping out the road diet and returning Vista Del Mar to its previous dangerous state.

And making another death virtually inevitable.

Authorities showed just how seriously they don’t take traffic crime in California, releasing Dantzler on a remarkably low $50,000 bail, given the seriousness of his crime.

Then again, he faces a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run. And if he’s convicted, he’ll likely serve less than half of that with good behavior.

Meanwhile, Wendy Galdamez Palma was — allegedly — given the death penalty at Dantzler’s hands.

And her husband and kids will have to somehow find a way to go on without her.

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Caltrans will be closing a section of shoulder on southbound PCH in Ventura County for several months to repair damaged retaining walls.

If you ride through that area, you can expect to share the right lane with motorists.

But at least they’ll be dramatically lowering the speed limit through the construction zone. Let’s just hope drivers obey it.

Especially when someone on a bike is in front of them.

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PeopleForBikes is urging everyone to voice your support for a proposed federal ebike tax credit and bike commuter benefit.

Although Treehugger argues, correctly, that ebike incentives are laughable compared to those for electric cars — especially after the House Ways and Means Committee cut the proposed benefit in half to just 15% of the purchase price, with a max of a lousy $750.

But at least that’s $750 we wouldn’t get otherwise.

Meanwhile, Calbike wants you to email Governor Newsom and urge him to sign AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which will allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of us already do anyway.

AAA and the CHP had an outsized influence on our last governor. Hopefully they won’t oppose this bill. Or if they do, let’s hope Newsom listens to more enlightened voices and signs it anyway

And congratulate him on keeping his job while you’re at it.

It never hurts to suck up a little.

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Valley Blvd is well on its way to getting shiny new curb-protected bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/boyonabike62/status/1438329554058186753

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More proof, as if you need it, that Bike Index works.

So what are you still waiting for? Get free lifetime registration now, before you need it.

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This could be huge.

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Evidently, the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge pass inspection.

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Milan is reclaiming space from cars, and giving it back to people.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1438388469785575431

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We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about avian dive bombers.

https://twitter.com/gplama/status/1437311200002408451

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

I don’t even know what to say about this one, as a cop tells someone on a bicycle that it’s not safe to ride in a bike lane, because of all the cars in it. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

Be on the lookout for bike-riding Santa Monica cello thieves.

Dallas police are looking for a shirtless, purple-pantsed, pistol-packing bike rider who fired a shot into a vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

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Local

Metro Bike bikeshare is now brought to you by Doordash.

Los Angeles approved plans to make street improvements, such as bulbouts, speed humps and traffic circles, to deter street racing, which should improve safety for everyone by slowing all traffic.

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León will host an open house to discus plans for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit through Eagle Rock on October 2nd; if you live, work or ride in the area — or want to — show up to support the Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets plan.

 

State

Caltrans offered an update on $100 million in funding for Complete Streets projects on state roadways, including three projects in Los Angeles County, as well as others in Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Yuba Bicycles is moving its HQ to San Juan Capistrano, with a couple new jobs in the front office.

Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing is working with a number of bike brands to give away a couple of custom bicycles, to raise funds and awareness for a pair of nonprofits working to repair severe damage to trail systems due to flooding and wildfires in Northern California and North Carolina.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips for better trail etiquette on your next off-road expedition. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Streetsblog op-ed offers advice on how to take on the NIMBYs, and beat opponents of street safety.

A physicians website argues that riding a bicycle to work can make you a better doctor.

Cycling News takes a deep dive into the “unique sizing, geometry and design of gravel bikes.”

Your next bike helmet could filter the air you breathe while you ride.

A new app promises to help you get your bike fit right.

Scary news from Alaska, where a doctor is urging everyone to leave their bikes at home because all the hospitals are full of Covid patients, and they may not be able to treat you if you get hurt.

You’d think it would be hard to go belly up in the middle of a worldwide bike boom, but a Denver bike shop would beg to differ.

An Oklahoma driver had his manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence for killing a 12-year old, bike-riding Cherokee boy overturned, after the state Supreme Court ruled it had no jurisdiction on Indian lands.

A 74-year old Wisconsin man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a teenage boy riding a bicycle on the eve of his trial; he allegedly drove off after the crash, then returned to slowly drive by the crash site before fleeing again, leaving the boy to die in a ditch on the side of the road.

Shades of Vista Del Mar, as a Chicago bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a street where parking protected bike lanes were ripped out eight years ago, just because homeowners wanted to park next to the curb.

NatGeo sings the praises of Minneapolis as a bicycling city and a leader in the urban bicycling movement.

This one will put a smile on your face, as an Indianapolis paper profiles a 72-year old woman who’s famous locally for riding her pink bicycle everywhere she goes in her neighborhood.

A DC writer argues that every block matters in the fight for safer streets and a better climate.

Nice story from South Carolina, where a young boy riding an old bike crashed into a stranger’s car because he didn’t have any brakes, so instead of screaming at the boy, the man bought him a new bicycle, presumably with brakes that work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to shifting.

A woman riding through Mexico discovers firsthand what it’s like to run out of water in the middle of the desert; fortunately, she stumbled on total strangers who saved her.

Britain’s ex-health secretary is one of us, as he was spotted riding a Lime ebike through Trafalgar Square after being forced out of the government over an affair, while leaving his wife to suffer through long Covid alone. Schmuck.

Paris continues to free itself from the tyranny of motor vehicles, as Slate talks with David Belliard, the city’s adjunct mayor for transportation and public space.

Time is running out for Afghanistan’s women’s cycling community following the Taliban takeover of the country; a campaign to evacuate and resettle 28 bicyclists and their families has raised nearly $100,000 of the $250,000 goal.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams is attempting to jumpstart the moribund heart of American cycling with a one-day, $100,000 crit in Sacramento next month, including equal payouts for men and women.

Of course, the way they’ve performed this season, there’s a good chance L39ion will just win all of that money back.

 

Finally…

One sure sign you’ve got too much money — paying $65 for an ounce and a half of chain lube; then again, what else would you use on your $12,700 ebike? Your next bike could come complete with a retractable plastic roof.

And always ride with a friend.

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

Update: 32-year old bike rider killed in collision with Amtrak Surfliner in Oxnard; 6th SoCal bicycling death in less than 2 weeks

Another day, another ghost bike.

But at least this time there wasn’t a motorist involved.

Ventura talk radio station KVTA reports a man was killed when he was run down from behind by an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks in Oxnard Tuesday morning.

The victim, publicly identified only as a 32-year old Oxnard man, was reportedly riding north on the railroad tracks roughly 100 yards from the Oxnard Transportation Center when he was struck by a northbound train just after 11 am.

The Ventura County Star places the collision at 11:09 am, on the tracks at Fourth and Meta streets.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Oxnard Police Commander Luis McArthur, the engineer of Pacific Surfliner Train 763 sounded his horn several times and tried to stop, but couldn’t bring the train to a halt in time, despite witness statements that it was traveling at just 20-30 mph before the crash.

The victim made no effort to get out of the way as he rode with a hoody pulled over his head; however, there’s no evidence that he was wearing headphones or earbuds.

Which raises the question of why he wasn’t aware of the massive train bearing down on him. Let alone what he was doing on the tracks in the first place.

This is at least the 33rd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which exceeds the total for all of last year.

It’s also the sixth Southern California bike death that’s come to our attention in less than two weeks.

Update: The victim has been identified as 31-year old Oxnard resident Esau C. Castaneda.

Investigators have ruled out suicide as a cause of death, but still have no explanation why he didn’t hear the train approaching.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Esau C. Castaneda and his loved ones.

 

Teen boy killed, two others seriously injured when hit-and-run driver plows through Port Hueneme bike riders

Horrific news from Ventura County, where one teen bike rider was killed and two others “significantly” injured in a Port Hueneme hit-and-run.

According to the Ventura County Star, the northbound driver plowed through a group of seven young bike riders at north Ventura Road and east Pleasant Valley Road  at 9:28 pm Monday, leaving bikes and debris strewn across the seven lane intersection.

The massive crash occurred directly in front of the naval base.

One victim, described only as a teenage boy, died after being taken to a local hospital.

Another boy was hospitalized in critical condition with what was described only as major injuries, while a third suffered significant lower body injuries.

The other riders apparently escaped unharmed.

The driver abandoned his car five blocks away on the 500 block of East Clara Street after fleeing the scene.

Twenty-eight-year old Port Hueneme resident Samuel Rocha turned himself in to police sometime overnight. He was still being processed at 9:30 this morning.

KABC-7 reports Rocha has been booked on one count of homicide and two counts of attempted homicide, in a story that hasn’t been posted online yet.

Let’s hope they’re right, and authorities are taking this crime seriously for a change.

This is at least the 20th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fourth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

That matches the county’s total for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victims and all their loved ones.

 

Fugitive driver cops plea for 7 years in 2017 hit-and-run, and drugged driver busted in Moorpark hit-and-run

Seven years.

That’s the sentence Andrea Dorothy Chan got after finally pleading guilty to the 2017 hit-and-run death of Agustin Rodriguez as he rode his bike in Whittier.

Chan had to be extradited from Australia to face charges after originally fleeing to Hong Kong, and having her badly damaged car repaired and stored in Idaho in an attempted coverup.

Rodriguez died at the scene after he was dragged 600 feet — the length of two city blocks — underneath Chan’s car.

Seven years isn’t anywhere near enough for a cruel and heartless crime like that. Especially since she’ll likely do less than half of that before being released.

But it’s the max she could get under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

So it will have to do.

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A 38-year old Palm Springs man was busted for an allegedly drugged hit-and-run that left a Moorpark bike rider hospitalized with minor injuries.

Marco Martinez was being held in Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, and DUI, as well as possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Although the unnamed victim may have been more seriously injured than the story suggests, since minor injuries would only merit a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge under California’s weak hit-and-run laws.

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If you’ve never had the chance to meet, or at least listen to, CicLAvia’s Tafarai Bayne, you’re missing out on one of Southern California’s leading voices for bicycle and social equity.

So don’t miss this one.

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A SoCal startup is promising a new 33 pound ped-assist ebike capable of doing 33 mph, with a 33-mile range. Although the price is a tad more than $33.

However, a bike that fast exceeds California standards, which max out at 28 mph for a ped-assist bike.

And even that requires a driver’s license, license plate and a motorcycle helmet, and can’t legally be ridden on bike paths or in bike lanes.

Meanwhile, ebike prices are going up as manufacturers are being squeezed by higher costs.

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

A pair of Scottish bike riders were assaulted by three men for no apparent reason, when they stopped to fix one of their bikes on a footbridge; one of the men was injured badly enough to require medical treatment.

Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

One of America’s most wanted men is one of us. US Marshals believe Lester Eubanks, aka Victor Young, may still be living in Los Angeles nearly 50 years after the convicted child killer escaped from an Ohio penitentiary; his ex-boss says he rode his bike to work every day when he worked at a Gardena waterbed factory.

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Local

Pez Cycling News talks with LA’s Phil Gaimon, whose cycling career has flourished after he retired from the pro tour. Which is usually not the way it works.

 

State

Here’s your chance to run the California branch of the Sierra Club, as the not-always bike and urbanist-friendly organization looks for a new director.

Bakersfield is considering giving the green light to ebike riders on the city’s bike paths.

San Luis Obispo County unveils plans for an $18 million, 4.5-mile extension of the Bob Jones City-to-Sea Bike Trail.

A Palo Alto bike rider says yes, distracted drivers deserve to get tickets, like the one who ran him down by jumping on the green light before he could get across an intersection.

Nearly 50 Sonoma County residents are suing the SMART rail authority for allegedly building bike and walking trails through their properties without permission.

They get it. A new regional transportation plan for the Lake Tahoe area says the region can’t build its way out of mounting gridlock by building more roads, calling for improved public transportation and building more bike paths. Now they just need to find a spare $1 billion under the cushions.

 

National

Transportation advocates and organizations, including NACTO and the League of America of American Bicyclists, are calling for a rewrite of the auto-centric Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; the head of the signals committee for the MUTCD’s parent organization bizarrely calls the campaign an example of “cancel culture.”

Heavy rates the 15 best balance bikes for the toddler in your life.

No bias here. If an Arizona bike rider can simply fall over and get run over by the rear wheels of a passing semi, the truck driver was too damn too close. Which is probably why the poor guy on the bike fell over in the first place.

Unbelievable. A Kansas woman with a long criminal record faces a murder charge for allegedly running down a man who was riding a bike across an intersection — then reportedly getting out of her van to shoot him while he lay in the road.

Sioux City, Iowa bike riders celebrate the city’s first bike lane, which opened just six months ago. Welcome to the 20th Century.

Life is really cheap in Milwaukee, where a killer driver walked with two years probation for taking the life of a man riding his bike — while driving with a suspended license, no less. What the hell is wrong with the judge and prosecutor when they can’t even manage a slap on the wrist for someone who wasn’t even supposed to be on the damn road in the first place?

More on the Montauk NY woman who faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading guilty to running down a man riding his bike home from work, while she was drunk and speeding at nearly twice the legal limit, with coke in her system.

A Florida TV station showed an incredible lack of basic human decency by posting security cam video of a bike rider getting run over a driver, which left the victim severely injured. I’m only linking to this to condemn the station for showing the full video without editing or blurring out the crash. I can’t recommend watching the video because you can’t unsee it; I wish I hadn’t. And I can only imagine the pain it will cause friends and family members of the victim.

 

International

A new book from record-setting endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont promises to teach you how to ride further than your current limits, whether that means a half century or riding around the world.

The Men in Kilts are one, uh, two of us, as they bike the Scottish Highlands in their latest episode. No word on whether they had to use a penny to keep their skirts down

Life is cheap in the UK, where a killer driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 17-year old boy as he was riding his bike; the driver told police he hit a deer.

A 94-year old British man also walked without a day in jail for killing a bike rider, the only punishment was a four year driving ban, and having to retake the test to get his license back when he’s 98.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 100-year old English veteran of World War II has been raising funds for charity by riding his exercise bike 15 minutes every day. Even if he is doing his riding inside.

The capitol of India’s Jharkhand state is encouraging residents to go carfree every Saturday to reduce air pollution.

A new study shows a program in India’s Bengaluru state to give students new bicycles led to improvements in enrollment, retention of students and academic performance.

Cycling Weekly tells the tale of Josh Reid — son of British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid — who picked up his new bike off the Chinese production line and rode it 9,300 miles home to the UK, relying on strangers along the way.

A rear-view camera captures an Aussie bicyclist getting rear-ended by a distracted driver; you can actually see the cell phone she’s holding.

 

Competitive Cycling

Next year’s Tour de France will kick off with two stages in Bilbao, Spain. Which is not the Spanish name for the main character in the Hobbit.

The entire board of cycling’s drug testing agency resigned en masse in anticipation of a transfer of responsibility to the independent International Testing Agency, which controls drug testing for over 40 other organizations worldwide.

Two-thirds of the Bora-Hansgrohe team was quarantined when British cyclist Matt Walls was diagnosed with Covid-19, meaning the team will miss out on both the Ghent-Wevelgem and Dwars door Vlaanderen one-day classics; needless to say, the team manager was not pleased.

Powerhouse British cycling team Ineos-Grenadiers swept the podium at the week-long Tour of Catalunya stage race, with Adam Yates finishing ahead of teammates Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.

Cycling Tips remembers Belgian pro Antoine Demoitié five years after he was killed in a collision with a motorbike rider, just six months after he married a woman he’d known since they were both 14.

VeloNews talks with Belgian cycling legend Freddy Maertens, who they call the greatest classics rider who never won one of the Monuments.

A writer for Road.cc explains why he decided to pull out of Europe’s Transcontinental race. Although it sound like he’s still trying to convince himself.

Pugilistic French pro Nacer Bouhanni was DQ’d in Sunday’s one-day Cholet-Pays de la Loire classic after bodychecking another cyclist during the final sprint; Italian Elia Viviani won the race.

 

Finally…

This track cycling ebike prototype may be thrilling, but a commuter bike it ain’t.

And that feeling when you get knocked off your bike by a passing UFO.

Even if the bike in question was a motorbike.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Update: 39-year old man killed riding bike in Oxnard collision; 3rd fatal Oxnard bike crash this year

Then there were three.

According to KEYT-TV, a 39-year old Oxnard man was killed when a van driver slammed into his bike early Thursday morning.

Which makes him the third bicyclist killed in the city already this year.

He was reportedly riding on Channel Islands Boulevard west of J Street when he was run down by a 51-year-old Oxnard man driving west on Channel Islands at 4:25 am.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, died at the scene.

There’s no word on which direction he was riding, or if he had lights on this bike in the early morning darkness.

The Ventura County Star reports the driver was behind the wheel of a 2018 Ford Transit Van, which has a van’s high, flat grill that dramatically increases the risk to anyone not inside a vehicle.

Like someone on a bicycle, for instance.

The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators; police don’t believe intoxication played a role in the crash.

Anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Officer Joseph Clarke at 805/385-7750, or email joseph.clarke@oxnardpd.org.

This is at least the 11th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Ventura County, which usually averages that many bicycle deaths in an entire year.

Update: The victim was identified as 39-year old Oxnard resident Rojelio Minjarez

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Rojelio Minjarez and his loved ones.

73-year old man killed riding bike in Oxnard collision; 2nd bike-riding Oxnard septuagenarian killed in three weeks

For the second time in three weeks, someone has been killed riding a bicycle in Oxnard.

And each time, the victim was a man in his 70s.

The Ventura County Star reports 73-year old Oxnard resident Eliseo Ramirez was riding on the shoulder of northbound Rice Road shortly around 8:13 Tuesday morning.

Somewhere south of East 5th Street, Ramirez allegedly swerved left into the path of a 49-year old woman driving in the left lane of the four lane, 55 mph roadway.

He died at the scene.

The driver stayed, and was not charged, though her truck was impounded as evidence.

No explanation was given for why Ramirez crossed the roadway, or why he apparently didn’t see the large black pickup speeding up on him.

His death comes just three weeks after 75-year old Adolfo Ambriz Heredia was killed less than three miles away.

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

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Eliseo Ramirez and all his loved ones.

 

Update: 75-year old man killed by semi driver in while riding bike in Oxnard collision

A 75-year old man was killed in an Oxnard collision Saturday morning.

According to KEYT-TV, the victim was struck by a semi-truck driver while riding his bicycle around 3:43 pm Saturday, at South Oxnard Boulevard and West Wooley Road.

The victim, who has not been publicly identified, was struck as the driver was headed north on Oxnard after turning off of Wooley.

He died at the scene.

A police spokesman, speaking on a video from the scene, said the victim appeared to already be in the busy five-way intersection when he was run down.

The video, which is disturbing to watch, shows a mangled mountain bike under the truck, along with the victim’s body covered in a shroud. So be warned before you click the link, because you may not want to see it.

This is at least the 2nd bicycling fatality in Southern California already this year, and the first that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 75-year old Oxnard resident Adolfo Ambriz Heredia.

Still no word on why the truck driver hit Heredia’s bike, or whether he will be ticketed or charged for the apparent right hook crash.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Adolfo Ambriz Heredia and his loved ones.

Writer and adventurer Roy Wallack killed in mountain bike crash in Santa Monica Mountains Saturday morning

Roy Wallack wrote that bicycling would help you live to be 100.

Sadly, he didn’t make it.

The Irvine resident, author of Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100, was just 64 year old when he died following a crash on the Guadalasca Trail in Pt. Magu State Park Saturday morning.

According to the Ventura County Star, Wallack was riding with friends on the difficult trail when he fell around 9:20 am, although he had not been publicly identified yet in the original story.

The crash took place on the Guadalasca Trail, he said, which cuts through steep, technical terrain near the Backbone Trail. The cyclist, a man in his 60s, had reportedly been riding with friends when he crashed his bike and lost consciousness, Worthy said. The cyclist’s city of residence was not immediately known Saturday.

The man’s friends called for emergency medical assistance and performed CPR until the sheriff’s helicopter arrived with paramedics and a flight nurse. The crew continued life-saving measures but the cyclist did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Worthy said.

And yes, he was wearing a helmet.

A former columnist for the LA Times, Wallack was a prolific writer, according to the Star.

Wallack was a health and fitness journalist who had penned stories and columns for publications including The Los Angeles Times, magazines including Outside, Bicycling and Men’s Journal, and had authored a book, “Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100…and Beyond,” according to his online profile on Twitter and on his Muck Rack page. His most recent tweet from Nov. 17 links to an LA Times story offering tips on buying and selling fitness gear during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Google search shows he’s the author of at least eight other fitness books.

The Times describes Wallack as a avid hiker, runner and bicyclist who took part in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, as well as the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris bike tour.

Wallack’s work for The Times spanned barre classes, triathlons, kayaking, the L.A. Marathon and more. He penned a gear column for many years, keeping fitness fans in the loop about the hottest must-haves.

He began a 2016 piece: “Hiking the Grand Canyon was not on my bucket list. A marathon, yes. Bike 200 miles in a day, yes. Ironman triathlon, absolutely. But for some reason, a mere day hike, even in one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, was never on my radar.”

Wallack ended up being won over by the 15-mile trek, describing it as “an otherworldly journey into a land before time” and “a true bucket-list adventure.”

The paper also describes his efforts to keep his 84-year old father active, despite being housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper reports that he recently finished one last book, about Richard Long, the founder of GT Bicycles, who was killed in a collision with a truck while riding his motorcycle to a bike race in Big Bear in 1994.

Tributes were beginning to pour in as word of his death began to spread Sunday evening.

This is at least the 66th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the fifth that I’m aware of in Ventura County.

My deepest condolences and prayers for Roy Wallack and all his loved ones. 

Thanks to Zachary Rynew and Mike Burk for the heads-up.

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