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The Days of Our Ridazz.


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Thread Box:
The Times on the Ktown Collision
Thread started by alicestrong at 06.20.11 - 7:45 am

Other thread is long...

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
June 20, 2011
Bicycling activists have responded forcefully in support of cyclists involved in a collision last week with a drunk-driving suspect accused of plowing into them near a hilltop park in Culver City, sending 11 to hospitals.

Cycling advocates at Bikeside LA have posted a video reconstructing the early-morning incident from their perspective and organized fundraisers and legal representation for the victims. And they have complained to police and media outlets about suggestions that cyclists bear some responsibility in the collision, which is under investigation.

RELATED
Car slams into cyclists in Baldwin Hills; one critically injured

High-tech cycling clothes eliminate the need for a shower and change of clothes

The driver involved in Thursday's crash, Christine Dahab, was booked on a charge of misdemeanor drunk driving and released on $15,000 bail.

Early accounts identified the injured cyclists as part of a Midnight Ridazz group, but the Ridazz website organizer, who goes by "Roadblock," said there isn't an organized group any longer. His initial posse of eight friends in 2004 has grown to 12,000 registered users, with the site becoming a forum to organize rides and communicate.

Motorists have valid complaints against individual cyclists who don't follow road rules or common courtesy, said cyclist Mikey Wally, 26, a downtown resident; but regardless of fault, a cyclist nearly always loses in a collision with a car.

Wally was among cyclists gathered at the Flying Pigeon bike shop in Cypress Park for a ride on the evening after the accident. They aired complaints, including some about uninvestigated accidents and officers who sided with motorists.

But some riders have praised officers, including Los Angeles Police Sgt. David Krumer, who responded directly to concerns from cyclists on an Internet message board within hours of the crash.

On Wednesday, about 60 riders began their ride to Culver City in Koreatown, as they have weekly for two years, and setting off about 10 p.m.

"We enjoy the freedom of not having traffic," said organizer Jesus Lizama, 20, of East Hollywood. "The city becomes this really big playground for us to enjoy."

The destination was the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City. The entry from Hetzler Road abuts an open stretch of Jefferson Boulevard "without a lot of traffic signals," said Culver City Police Sgt. Mike Poulin, who asked crash witnesses to contact his department. "People do have a tendency to drive over the posted speed limit."

Deborah Harris, who lives in the area, said fast-moving traffic around the increasingly popular park poses risks for "people jogging, walking dogs, skateboarding, and bicycling — all healthy and positive activities."

Lizama said some of the riders last week probably stopped to enjoy the view from the park with a beer but were not riding recklessly. And enough riders had reflective gear to make the group visible, he said. Shortly before 2 a.m., most were waiting at the Jefferson intersection for stragglers to return from the park.

"We yell 'car back' when we see lights or hear an engine, and we move to the right," he said. "Other drivers had circled around us. This time the driver came through on the right going pretty fast."

A 16-year-old girl sustained a shattered jaw, elbow and pelvis and broken legs. A man had a broken nose, jaw and leg. A woman had two broken legs and a separated shoulder. Only seven riders made the return trip by bike after the crash, Lizama said.

Lizama said he wanted to postpone the next Wednesday ride. "But even some of the injured riders are saying I can't stop," he said, "that I have to keep it rolling."

Biking has surged in the Southland, with some pedaling to be hip or fit and others trying to save money, spare the environment or simplify commutes.

Tensions among cyclists and motorists were highlighted after a 2008 crash on Mandeville Canyon Road in Brentwood, when an enraged driver slammed on his brakes, causing serious injuries to two riders. He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and other charges and was sentenced to five years behind bars.

howard.blume@latimes.com

reply


thanks Alice! I especially like the part about high tech cycle clothing eliminating the need for showers!

but seriously... I feel like that quote from Mikey Wally is off a bit. like it's taken out of context or there was more that had been edited out. It just feels strange. I could be wrong v



animosity
06.20.11 - 12:51 pm

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there's a bunch of stuff off in the media... and I really really tried to make it clear but they still got it wrong. I never told this guy that midnight ridazz doesn't happen anymore.. fuck it... it's a big cluster fuck. I guess the only good part is that bikeside got the link and credit for our line of sight video so at least all the LA TImes hate comments get deposited there. haha





Roadblock
responding to a comment by animosity
06.20.11 - 3:25 pm

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well, there's something, at least... I mean - I infered that the midnight Ridazz is bigger than one ride, and has evolved into an avenue for riders network and participate in goings on around la; that didn't bother me too much, but the Mikey comment seems to imply that Ridazz are a nuisance and contributed to the accident, whereas, I'm sure he meant (and I agree) that there are certain Ridazz within the community who routinely practice impolite and reckless riding, however that is not indicative to all Ridazz and all rides, and is most certainly not the case in this situation!



animosity
responding to a comment by Roadblock
06.20.11 - 3:38 pm

reply


I also think it's silly to throw in the tensions are high bit... it's like fueling the fire with a three year old log!

sure road rage against cyclists existed then and somewhat continues, but I've seen a notable change from when I took my first ride 5 years ago, when I gave up the car 2 years ago and now.

I feel that change is happening much quicker than we are willing to admit to in our oppressed angry mindset!

but perhaps I suffer less, riding around with my dog in back.. I think it's automatic eternity in hell if you run over a young (ish) girl on bike with do in basket!



animosity
06.20.11 - 3:45 pm

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*dog ing basket*



animosity
06.20.11 - 3:47 pm

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Tensions are high.



jericho1ne
06.21.11 - 9:49 am

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i talk about it on my blog -> http://mikeywally.com/2011/06/21/my-words-on-the-la-times/

"I think I actually said, “Everyone needs to be held accountable to the predictable consequences of their actions. If a car runs a red light and hits a cyclists, the cyclist dies. If a cyclists runs a red light and hits a car, the cyclist dies,” but I’m not mad at Mr. Blume. I liked the article. Hopefully it will bring people together."



mikeywally
responding to a comment by animosity
06.21.11 - 4:28 pm

reply


Ha a little of the side bar that should have been edited...(Hey if I buy those clothes do I still need to wash my hair??;))


I was a little surprised that the article wasn't more in-depth, he spent an awfully lot of time talking to different people...



alicestrong
responding to a comment by animosity
06.21.11 - 5:14 pm

reply


sonny



Roadblock
responding to a comment by mikeywally
06.21.11 - 6:35 pm

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sorry Alice, the hair's not covered (by the clothes or the warranty)!



animosity
responding to a comment by alicestrong
06.23.11 - 12:25 am

reply

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