I can’t even get twelve hours of peace.
Just Wednesday night I was coming off some pride leading a successful Ride of Silence.
Truthfully, I can never say that with a whole heart because there’s guilt in mentioning success tied to a memorial ride, but I am proud how the cycling community represented itself.
The next morning, I woke up still out of sorts from the night before, but also uneasy taking my 3 1/2 year old to another medical procedure.
We had to get up ultra early and even though my daughter was in a super good mood, everything didn’t seem aligned.
Somewhere, about halfway over on my drive to UCLA another person lost their life.
This man was also from the valley and a cyclist, but I wouldn’t accept these facts until hours later.
A view of the oversized Woodman Speedway
I was on internet silence most of the morning in the hospital, but once the messages started to intermittently appear, I didn’t think much of them.
To me, I thought these were just those random posts that Facebook recirculates months later. There couldn’t be a cycling death just hours after we went by a ghost bike?
Now unfortunately, Cairo Castaneda is not alone.
A man was killed on Woodman Ave. yesterday between Strathern and Cantera at 5:42am.
Can I speak to the dangers of this stretch? Absolutely.
If you read this column frequently, one of my 818 themes is how difficult it is to get out to the northeast portion of the valley.
Me and my friends would take Woodman up to Osborne, but abandoned that route because Woodman is just so dangerous.
Even the portions with bike lanes.
Let’s not fool ourselves. The posted speed limit is 35 mph, but everyone drives closer to 50 mph.
Another Ghost Bike will be placed tonight
Earlier this year, I was planning out a Sunday Funday route to help people reach the Pacoima CicLAvia from the NoHo Red Line Station.
On Google Maps, Chandler to Woodman seems to offer the most protection, but my real life experience told me to look elsewhere.
Because the idea of this ride was to show how someone could reach CicLAvia biking alone, I knew different rules had to apply when not riding in a large group.
That’s why I had to avoid Woodman south of Roscoe and especially in the section where there’s no bike lanes in between.
Anyone who’s ridden this stretch knows how unsafe it is. Why the street needs to expand to three lanes for this small portion is beyond me, but someone thought it was worth it to risk a person’s life.
Unfortunately, that someone lost a bet.
If you want to see coverage placating this viewpoint, check out KNBC’s story from yesterday, especially the second half:
You would think it’s not that bad, since it was only just a “tragic accident”, but try sitting down with the victim’s family and see if they shrug it off so easily.
What bothers me more than the man who seems more than the guy who had his truck hit is the reporter’s quick conclusion that this was all an accident WHILE POLICE AS SEARCHING FOR THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE PASSENGER! Doesn’t it already sound like something nefarious is going on top of it all?
We’ll be placing a ghost bike tonight at 8014 Woodman Ave. at 9:00pm.