Bicycle Fun Time This Weekend

Two great Bicycle Events

Bike the Pacific Coast, starting in Oceanside, you can choose the miles you want to ride. Continue through Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach …. Visit their website to learn more and to Register: Bike The Coast

Event #2 Benefits San Diego Mountain Biking Association too!

Go on a fun mountain bike ride, enjoy Green Flash Beer, Brats, swag, and your friends!

Bicycle Helmets

Buckle Up a Helmet to Save a Life
October 23, 2017
New York Times

Even a careful cyclist is likely to crash about once every 4,500 miles and, based on personal observation, many city cyclists are anything but careful. Although reliable details are lacking on bike share accidents in New York or elsewhere, one shattering statistic reported by New York City for cyclists in general stands out: 97 percent of cycling deaths and 87 percent of serious injuries occurred to people who were not wearing helmets.

“A very low-speed fall can be just as dangerous as a fall at higher speeds,” said Randy Swart, director of the consumer-funded Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. “All it takes is gravity – the distance to the ground – to cause a head injury.”

If you are traveling the USA, here is a handy link, map of USA states by bicycle helmet mandatory law

Bicyclists learn from bicyclists to break traffic laws. But perhaps the law should learn from them, researcher says.

Bicyclists learn from bicyclists to break traffic laws. But perhaps the law should learn from them, researcher says.
Washington Post
September 8, 2017

The study — which was conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska and published online in March in the Journal of Transport and Land Use — found that the reason most bicyclists (71 percent) violate traffic rules is a bid for self-preservation. Other reasons include saving energy (56 percent) or saving time (50 percent) or attempting to increase one’s visibility (47 percent). In other words, the study found that a large number of bicyclists tend to break the law because they think it will keep them safer.

Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety’s Sake

Anthony Rowe, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, wants bikes to feed information to nearby cars to avoid collisions. His bike is fitted with an array of precise instruments and a battery hidden in the water bottle.
NPR
All Things Considered
July 24, 2017

Proponents of self-driving cars say they’ll make the world safer, but autonomous vehicles need to predict what bicyclists are going to do. Now researchers say part of the answer is to have bikes feed information to cars.

How to Choose the right Bike for you

How to Choose a Bike, According to Science – 10 Factors to Consider

You might want a bike for training, touring, commuting, or for day rides around town. Some people require more rugged bikes to handle difficult terrain and the bumps, dirt, roots, and grass that comes with it.

Choosing the right bike and getting it set up is often more work than expected. This is a handy guide that lays out a lot of variations of what is available in bikes so that when you are thinking it is time to get a new bike, you can view a huge array of choices side by side….brakes? You may not have considered brakes as something you would have to think about but you may want to. Electric assisted bike? If you live in a hilly area e-bikes can be pretty awesome to help get you going on longer rides especially if say your commute to work is downhill which means your return home is all uphill.

In California, at least around San Diego, you probably have a pretty good option of going with a used bike verses a new bike. Do be careful as older bikes may have been through a serious crash and could have a bent frame, etc.

Then there is the question what size frame do you need? What if you are pretty comfortable but you really don’t like the handle bars or the neck stem?

Fixie bikes are certainly cool but are you up for the challenge or capable of changing the gears you are running per your ride and your training?

This handy guide lays it all out, more than first probably comes to mind about your options. It will get you a good head start before you visit your local friendly bike shop, you’ll have a little bit of an idea of what you want to see and try or hear their opinions on.

Of course if you are able, you might want to start out with bike share, a great option and you don’t have to maintain your own wheels.

Or if you are interested in some form of bike racing of some sort, there are plenty of great folks in San Diego and S. California who can help you out. Connecting with folks in the type of riding you are interested can also open up possibilities of finding excellent quality and condition used bicycles or components.

Out of Long Beach, this is a world class pro cyclist “bike fit” to make sure your bike is fitted correctly for you.

Drivers: Share the Road

People on bicycles have the same rights as people behind the wheel of a car.  And the same responsibilities.

  • Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed. This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.
  • In parking lots, at stop signs, when packing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
  • Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior

This NHTSA Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and behavior is from 2012 but it is relevant today in 2017.

One startling take away is that cyclists do feel threatened on their bikes on a fairly regular basis:

When asked whether they felt threatened for their personal safety while riding a bicycle on their most
recent travel day, one in eight respondents that had ridden in the past 30 days reported that they felt
threatened during some point on their ride.

And no surprise, bicycle lanes and bicycle paths are important to cyclists, and being able to have one nearby where you live and work makes a difference:

Respondents who had ridden a bicycle within the past year and who have bicycle paths available within a
quarter mile of where they live were more likely to use bicycle paths for at least some of their rides
compared to riders not living near bicycle paths.

Though cyclists want the “Idaho Stop” and California cyclists may soon get this law, the majority of cyclists know to obey the same roadway laws as car drivers and do stop at stop signs and lights:

Nearly all respondents were aware that the rules that apply to motor vehicles regarding traffic lights and
stop signs also apply to bicyclists. More than 9 in 10 reported that a bicyclist must stop at traffic lights
and stop signs.

Everyone is a pedestrian.

Respondents who had walked outside for five minutes or more at least once during the past year were
asked how often they walk during the summer months. Four in five respondents reported walking at least
once a week. Very few respondents claimed that they never walked during the summer months.

Cars and Bikes Share the Road

Good article from Ohio about Ohio bicycle laws for cars and bicyclists to better understand how to better share the road and be aware of each other. One important point that is emphasized is reminding drivers that bicycle riders are vulnerable road users, this includes the new law about leaving a passing buffer space around a cyclist and your vehicle.

Although these are Ohio bicycle laws, many of them are very similar to California, and many of them are just good common sense reminders about how we all can share the road safely, and get to where we are going without incident, stress, and hopefully with some fun along the way.

Breaking down Ohio’s bicycle laws

But, even though drivers and bicyclists follow many of the same rules on the road, both need to remain aware of the vulnerability of those on bikes, he said.
“If you pass me too close in your car or if you’re errant in that way, you can do serious human bodily damage,” Kuhn said. “We’re not driving a 4,000-pound cage with 10 airbags.”