The driver involved in the hit-and-run accident which killed 52 year old cyclist Charles Waldrop has been apprehended. The suspect, 23 year old Timothy M. Kissida, traded in his 1992 BMW under the Cash for Clunkers program and blamed the damage on having hit a javelina. An anonymous tip was received by Phoenix Police from someone that heard the vehicle description via an unspecified media report. Full story on KTAR.com.

Thanks to the anonymous tipster!

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Please be on the lookout for a silver BMW 4 door sedan with dark tinted windows having significant damage to the passenger front end including a missing marker & fog light and possibly a cracked windshield. A bicyclist was hit by the motorist of said vehicle who swerved into the bike lane on Cave Creek Road and Mountain Gate Pass at a high rate of speed striking the bicyclist and killing him instantly. The motorist made no effort to stop. The license plate is an Arizona plate but no numbers were obtained by witnesses. To read the report on ABC15 or to report information on the collision click here. Our condolences to family and friends of the victim.

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What is The Bicycle Cellar you ask? You may know it as the indoor bike parking & locker/shower facility that’s been built and sitting dormant at the Tempe Transportation Center. It’s opening August 24th as “The Bicycle Cellar” and you can learn more about the facility here: http://www.thebicyclecellar.com.

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Some of you may know, or know of Scott Nowicki, one of the founders of Tempe Bicycle Action Group. We recently learned courtesy of a blog post on Tucson Bike Lawyer’s blog that he’s now residing in Boulder City, NV and commutes 23 miles (one way) four days a week to his teaching post at UNLV. The Las Vegas Sun recently profiled Scott, his thoughts on lack of bicycle infrastructure in Vegas and lengthy commute in an article which can be found here.

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Come join us for the next Cupcake Ride on Saturday, August 1, meeting at Tempe Beach Park at 7 pm.

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Some logistical matters came up, so the cupcake ride will happen on Saturday, August 1. Flyer to follow in the next couple of days. Again, we will be meeting up at the Tempe Beach Park entrance at Rio Salado and Mill for the 9-mile ride to downtown Phoenix to visit Conspire Coffee and enjoy some vegan cupcakes. Our cupcake suppliers are looking for suggestions for your favorite flavors.

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Plots and schemes are underway for a cupcake ride to downtown Phoenix on the evening of Saturday, July 25. We will depart from the entrance of Tempe Beach Park at 7 pm. I am waiting for confirmation from some folks downtown before details will be finalized. We may also visit a couple of bars after enjoying some cupcakes, if there’s enough interest…

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dooringWhen is a bike lane potentially unsafe? When using it puts you at greater risk for a specific type of motorist / bicyclist collision. The dooring collision. In a roadway configuration where the bike lane is between the parking lane and travel lane, traveling in the bike lane often puts you directly in the “door zone”. A dooring collision is where a motorist opens their door into the path of a cyclist approaching from the rear. Cyclists rarely escape injury in a dooring collison. The responsibility here lies with the motorist, laws state they must make sure it’s safe to open their door. When using these bike lanes, of which there are many miles in downtown Tempe, you should take the following precautions.

  • The easiest way to avoid a dooring collision is to ride OUTSIDE the door zone. In some cases this will put you out of the bike lane in traffic, but as the mantra goes: Cyclists fare best when they act like, and are treated as drivers of vehicles
  • Always watch for movement inside the vehicles parked to your right, if you see movement, be aware and safely* move out of the door zone. An additional action you may wish to perform is ringing a bell if you have one. During the day one can also ride with a front bicycle light in blink mode to potentially increase awareness among occupants in the vehicle.

* safely here means you’ll want to glance over your left shoulder to check if it is safe to move over, signal that you are moving over to the left (arm extended straight out to the left, pointing a finger helps), look once more to be sure it’s safe. Then move over to your left and out of the door zone.

Other dangers of which to be aware: Doorings can happen with cars to your left as well. An example here would be a car that stops in the traffic lane to quickly let a passenger out. I’ve witnessed taxi cabs doing this on Mill Ave when traffic is crawling.

If you happen to be riding in the bike lane and a car door is opened into your path, instinct will likely dictate that you swerve to the left. This can put you directly into the path of a vehicle approaching from your rear or an oncoming vehicle if you can’t regain control and remain left of the center stripe (on an undivided street)!

Ride safe and stay hydrated!

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Erik Ryberg’s blog, TusconBikeLawyer.com should be on every cyclist’s daily visit list. I wanted to share one recent post in particular with everyone here in the Valley. In “You want to get a ticket or dontcha” Erik discusses what he sees are serious shortcomings in the Tuscon Police Department’s policies toward bicyclists who have been involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. In the absence of a serious injury to the cyclist Erik warns of the consequences of a report not being taken by the police. Erik states:

If the officer determines the cyclist was at fault, he will then often give the cyclist a choice: you can leave here and forget about all this, or you can stay and get a ticket. Which do you pick?

Erik’s post tells the full story, but the moral is, always request a report be filed even if the officers determine you were at fault and “Take the Ticket” as it can be immensely helpful to your legal case! Read Erik’s post here.

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Ryan Van Duzer is riding from San Diego to Washington DC on a New Belgium bike, three speed with a coaster brake. He’s raising money for Community Cycles in Boulder, CO and doing some bike advocacy during his ride.

He’s also filming and taking photos of bike culture along the way.

He will be at Boulders on Broadway at 7:30pm, tonight, Friday June 26th. Get the word out to anyone you know who rides a bike, bring out the fixters, roadies, mountain bikers, commuters, curmudgeons, the polo crew, bro’s on cruisers, whatever. It would be great to see the lobby packed like it was after Tour de Fat.

Check out his blog on Team Wonderbike: http://www.newbelgium.com/team-wonderbike/duzer or visit http://ryanvanduzer.com or http://duzertv.com. You’ll find the video from Scottsdale earlier today titled DAAM-Bike lovers in Scottsdale at http://ryanvanduzer.com.

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