Right now coming through Los Angeles County headed towards the OC and points South, are 3 men on a mission to raise awareness about something that affects us all every-time we go for a ride: Distracted Driving.
Starting from Sacramento, the men are pedaling their way down the coast to finish this awareness campaign in San Diego.
Did you know this is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month?
Well it is, and that’s what these men are doing to help raise that awareness across our State.
As you may recall when we offered an opinion piece about the Protest Pedal,
Bob Okerblom’s son, Eric, was killed – hit from behind, while riding his bike by a texting driver in 2009.
Now Bob and 3 of his college buddies are about to traverse the County of Orange on 2 wheels using the coastal route after overnighting in Santa Monica.
After yesterday’s scary revelation of the actual number of injuries and fatalities in Newport Beach by bikeNewportBeach (averaging 1 car-bike collision a month for the last 9 years), I’m sure Bob and company could use a little help navigating their way through our patch of turf. Accordimg to the National Safety Council, an estimated 24 percent of crashes, or more than 1.2 million crashes per year, can be attributed to cell phone use while driving. Corona del Mar has the dubious distinction of having had 32 of the 116 car-bike collisions in Newport and we’ll be heading right for it.
This is an open invitation, be a part of the parade! Drivers will focus their attention and keep their hands on the wheel as the peloton moves southward. They do have a support vehicle driven by Cindy, who comments that she is amazed and touched by the cyclists that have joined in support of the ride/cause. There was a 74 yr. old cyclist that rode with them for over a hundred miles one day, and kept up with Bob, who is 18 yrs his junior! Bob’s wife Eilene remarks that,” It is amazing, the physical and mental effort cyclists are contributing to make a difference.”
For Riders wanting to join in, meetup at the border of our favorite county to the north (yay cicLAvia!) at the junction of PCH and the SGRT (south side of PCH), or anywhere along the route to join in. The Protest Pedal Peloton (or maybe we should re-name them “El Peloton de los Pedalitas Protestadores”) should pass here anywhere from 11:15 – 11:30. (updated w/new time window) They will go around RPV inland to the LA River Trail, and onto the Long Beach Coastal Trail to PCH.
The route will follow PCH for the most part with some possible diversions as we note here. Pace should average around 15-17mph (according to Bob and his buddies) but they might appreciate a wheel to hang onto as they take in the sights, as they will already have about 50 miles into the ride already! The weather looks to be is chamber of commerce-y perfect for a cruise down the coast. Hop on some wheels and join in.
We are all just 1 Distracted Driver away from not riding home after a ride. Help raise the awareness and visibility of this issue by being visible. We should arrive in San Clemente around 17:00ish, so there will be plenty of daylight left to make it home.
Eilene says,”What else can we do, but come together for the good of all. Eric’s life was important; he made the world a better place, and all we can do now, is honor his life with whatever good we can do.”
d’accord mon ami
(RiP – all the victims of Distracted Driving)
<insert musik mix>
Bring your face to the place,
don’t be a disgrace -to the human race
– don’t be a slouch sittin on the couch,
get on your wheels – it’s the real deal,
and then you can boast “I rode the coast”
when some should ask what you did today
Peace / Namaste
4/21-updated w/new arrival time and route info-Ed