Monday, November 16, 2009

Update On The Thompson Case

As some of you have no doubt heard, the jury has reached a verdict in the Thompson case. The jury found the defendant guilty on all seven counts charged:
- Count 1: Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 2: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Ron Peterson)
- Count 3: Battery with Serious Bodily Injury (victim: Christian Stoehr)
- Count 4: Reckless Driving (victims: Patrick Watson and Josh Crosby)
- Count 5: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Ron Peterson)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 6: Assault with a Deadly Weapon (victim: Christian Stoehr)

NOTE: The jury also found that the defendant had committed a Special Allegation of "Causing Great Bodily Injury"

- Count 7: Mayhem

If you are unaware of this case and the verdict I copied some links below for you to review.
The range for the defendant is anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison and the District Attorney is anticipating that the defense will submit a boatload of letters to the judge and/or the probation department on his client's behalf. Please, if anyone from the community who has views on the sentencing you are also allowed to write the judge and/or probation officer.

As the defense will probably argue that no one else's opinion is relevant to this defendant, the District Attorney will indicate that we are offering letters toward the issue of general deterrence, in other words, simply because the defendant was in his car does not change the blunt nature of the unmitigated assault on the cyclists and that drivers everywhere must become aware that they have to share the road. To that end, anyone who would like to contribute a letter or an e-mail may send it to the District Attorney's office (below) or to the District Attorney herself, her e-mail address is also below. She will package all the letters and e-mails for us and submit them with her motion so the judge gets them all at once instead of a slow trickle. She plans to file the motion at the end of next week so it would be great if she had the letters/e-mails by then. And, yes, the more, the better.

Please address your letters appropriately, like we were able to touch on in court, which is that cyclists are not some alien breed of monsters that are claiming the streets, but regular people, fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, police officers, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers.... So, if anyone is writing a letter, it would be nice if you could begin with an identifying fact such as what your occupation is and that you are a motorist and a cyclist. I truly appreciate everyone's commitment to this request and I hope you all feel the same as I do in making sure the defendant serves his appropriate time in prison for all 7 counts the jury found him guilty on and not just a slap on the wrist and probation. Please make your voice heard as I spent a great deal of my own personal time throughout this entire process and because I'm passionate about trying to make our community a better place to ride our bikes. Also, please forward on to your cycling community and make your voice heard throughout your area. This has resulted in National attention and the more letters from across the country the louder our voice will be heard.

Thank you,
Patrick Watson
Mary Stone
E-mail Address:
District Attorney's Office
Attn. Mary Stone
11701 S. LaCienega
Los Angeles, CA 90045,0,761131.story

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Divide Peak!


Here are a few shots from this mornings MTB ride. Another great turnout today! Seems like this Mountain Bike thing is catching on. Brian Bermudes and Brad Jellison came out of hibernation to join us for awhile which was nice, and Shaun Condon finally made a Chicken Ranch ride. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of all three of those guys. Chris Brown only flatted once today which is a vast improvement from his usual 6 or 7 flats. Of course nobody stops to help him anyways so it doesn't really affect the rest of us. Dave Lettieri actually crashed today which is an extremely rare occurrence, so I feel lucky that I got to witness it. Nothing too serious...just a front tire washout on the Divide Peak fireroad.....but very entertaining! It's good to see Dave with a little dirt on his jersey now and then. Matt Perry and "new guy" Aaron pretty much dusted everybody up the climbs but for the most part we kept the group pretty tight.

Great views of Jameson Reservoir and the coastline from up on the Ridge. Nick and his buddy Brom went to go check out Blue Canyon trail so I'm interested to hear how that trail looks for future adventures. Looking forward to seeing all you next Sunday for more off-road fun!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Mercury Mine Recap!

Hello Eveyone,

We had a great ride this morning to the Gibralter Mercury Mine and back. Spectacular weather with breathtaking views and good company......that's hard to beat.

We had another fantastic turnout with I believe 24 riders starting out the ride at the base of Gibralter. I saw a lot of new faces and a few old faces making it out as well. Mitch Karno finally showed up on a dirt ride. John Bostwick came out of retirement and showed he's still got plenty of life left in his legs. Randy showed up, Susie Willett, Mark Weinke and David Jurist made it... as well as a bunch more. Paul Donohoe, Dave, Robert Ramirez, and Alfredo were all sporting brand new bikes too! Roberts new Trek Top Fuel with XX and 2X10 is a thing of beauty, and it gave him those "new bike legs" you see when someone rides better than they ever have just because they're all jacked-up about their new ride. Usually, that only lasts for a week or two. I'm hoping that's the case 'cause Ramirez is tough to be around when he's riding well. Paul D. broke in his new bike by crashing on the descent down Angostura and almost taking Dano with him. A bent brake lever and a few scratches is all it really cost him. A couple flat tires, and a broken chain rounded out the list of mishaps. As usual with a big group it's a little tuff to keep everyone together but we had most of the group intact as we began the final climb up Angostura. I can't really tell you how everyone else was feeling because by the time I got to the top I was so tired my field of vision had been reduced to about 3 feet in front of my face and all I could think about was an ice cold Coke and a sandwich. I hope everyone made it out and back home in one piece. The views coming back down Gib were incredible! Total ride time about 4:15:00 Distance 37 miles with around 5800 feet of climbing.

All in all a fantastic way jumpstart the new month. We'll have another fun route planned for next Sunday. So clear the calendar and tell your secretary to hold all calls. See you next Sunday!