CyclingSavvy class in Orange April 24th and 25th

Register Here

OCBC is proud to announce our first CyclingSavvy course of 2015 on April 24th and 25th in Orange.

CyclingSavvy is a program of American Bicycling Education Association, Inc. (ABEA). The course teaches the principles of Mindful Bicycling:

  • empowerment to act as confident, equal road users;
  • strategies for safe, stress-free integrated cycling;
  • tools to read and problem-solve any traffic situation or road configuration.

The course is offered in three 3-hour components: a bike-handling session, a classroom session and an on-road tour. The classroom and bike-handling sessions may be taken individually, the road tour requires the other two as a pre-requisite.

Sample Lesson

The object of the course is not to turn people into road warriors. Being a confident, competent cyclist has nothing to do with speed or bravado. You don’t need either of those things to have access to the entire transportation grid.

Even most confident cyclists prefer to use quiet routes when feasible. In many cases, it is only an intimidating intersection or short stretch of busy road which hinders a cyclist’s preferred route. This course is designed to show students simple strategies to eliminate such barriers, and ride with ease and confidence in places they might never have thought possible.

The philosophy and intent of our course is best described in this quote by Aimee Mullins:

…all you really need is one person to show you the epiphany of your own power and you’re off. If you can hand somebody the key to their own power… the human spirit is so receptive… if you can do that and open a door for someone at a crucial moment… you are ‘educating’ them in the best sense. You’re teaching them to open doors for themselves. In fact, the exact meaning of the word “educate’ comes from the root word ‘educe.’ It means to bring forth what is within. To bring out potential.

The 3 Part Course
Our course is designed to be taken as individual sessions or as a complete course. Train Your Bike (bike handling) and Truth & Techniques (classroom session) can be taken individually in any order. To sign up for a Tour of Orange, you must have taken or be signed to take the other two classes prior to the tour class. Individual sessions are $30 per session. A package of three sessions (the full course) is $75. A package may be used to take the sessions at any time.

Train Your Bike! (3 hours):

This session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase students’ control and comfort handling their bikes in various situations. Drills include:

  • Start/Stop, Power Pedal & Balance Stop
  • Snail Race, Slow-speed Balance
  • Drag-race, Gears & Acceleration
  • Ride Straight, One-handed
  • Shoulder Check
  • Object-avoidance Handling, Weave, Snap
  • Turning: Slow-speed Tight Turns, High-speed cornering, Emergency Snap-turn
  • Emergency Braking

The Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling (3 hours):

Through guided discussion with video and animation, this session familiarizes students with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Students discover that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.

Tour of Orange* (3.5 hours):

This session is an experiential tour of the roads in the city of Orange. The course includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his/her travels. The students travel as a group, stopping to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, the students ride through individually and regroup at a nearby location.

* The Tour session is only available with the full course. The other two sessions may be taken á la carte, in any order.

More information
Origins & Principles of CyclingSavvy

Register Here

 


Update!

To ensure that your bike is in perfect operating condition for the class, Jax  will extend a 50% discount on the labor charge for a “basic service” at any Jax Bicycle Center for anyone who signs up for a Cycling Savvy or TS 101 class. The basic service is $69.99. Jax will  provide a coupon to anyone who signs up for one of the classes for 50% off on the labor charge ($35.00). Any parts that are needed for the service will be at the regular price.

Email lci@ocwheelmen.org if you would like a coupon for a tune-up!

Safe Holiday Wishes on PCH

According to AAA, more than 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles from home or farther during this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. About 90 percent of those travelers–39 million people–plan to travel by automobile.

In a related note, Doug  Irving of the OC Register reports on results of a study that found more drugged than drunk drivers on California roadways like the drivers that killed Donald Murphy and Candace Tift; killed while riding their bikes in Newport by drivers impaired by prescription drugs.

In the most medicated nation on the planet, this study should really come as no surprise, but it’s encouraging to see the recognition, and quantification of the issue.

When drugged drivers are combined with poor road design, construction zones, lax local enforcement, and lenient courts, it is people riding their bikes on the same roadways that pay the highest price.

One such roadway is the Pacific Coast Highway which also goes by various other names depending which city or county it happens to pass through. Sadly bikes riders are typically an afterthought in the consideration of construction, road maintenance, or even public transportation along this roadway.

To illustrate; in Huntington Beach a short section of the northbound roadway’s shoulder was closed to accomplish the construction of a guardrail which forces riders into the high speed traffic lane. After the work was completed, the obstructions remain without making allowances for safe cycle travel between the k-rail and guardrail.

In Seal Beach; a public transit bus parks in the bike lane causing risky merges and poor sight lines for bike riders and drivers alike.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the k-rails on PCH will be removed this coming Sunday morning, a week ahead of when Caltrans emphatically said they wouldn’t be removed until 12/1. While we also requested the a temporary path for safe travel through the construction zone, at this time we don’t know if the maintenance crew was able to get that done. Your report is welcomed!

With the holiday traffic and condition of drivers as noted above, please exercise greater care when traveling this roadway, especially through Newport Beach as seen below:

Pacific Coast Highway Injuries

Pacific Coast Highway Injuries

We’ll have an update on the Seal Beach bus parking issue when we receive an update from the responsible agency.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday weekend!

Safety never sleeps.

Danger Roads

Quick, can you name the most dangerous roads in the OC?

To qualify, the road must have at least 1 bike related collision in the last 11 years.

Thanks to the blocked bike lane last month (surprise!) on northbound PCH before Warner, and the fact that the k-rails were still there this week after work was completed, we thought we’d take a look at roads and bike collisions in the OC. to see if perception matched reality.

Since CalTrans failed to notify the cycling community before the lane closure, and failed to remove the barriers in a timely fashion, we could wail about the injustice of it all, but we won’t.

We also wonder what else is going on about the county putting bike riders at risk. If you see something, send us a short note (anonymous if you’d like), and we’ll follow up on your tip. Thanks!

The Candidates:

The current contenders in the Danger Road category are:

Danger Road Contenders

Danger Road Contenders

As seen, RT 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway leads the contenders so far at 331 bike related collisions.

We are only counting collisions without regard to death or injury at this point; an aggregate total count if you will.

The road travelers among you know some of these roads go through many cities, and some might even change names as they do.

What you might not know is spelling prowess is lacking in some of the records reported to the CHP, and some roads have various derivations. For example; BROOKHURST ST is #7 on the contender list, yet in the database there’s also BROOKHURST, BROOKHURST RD, SOUTH BROOKHURST ST, N BROOKHURST ST, SOUTH BROOKHURST S, NORTH BROOKHURST, NORTH BROOKHURST ST, S BROOKHURST, S BROOKHURST AV, and let’s not forget BROOK HURST (space between). I’m sure you get the point, so might Brookhurst move up to earn the title of “Danger Road”?

Care to guess? Have a favorite? Let us know your choice for top “Danger Road”, winner gets to ride it at their own risk. When we open the envelope with the winner, we’ll either update this post or create a new one.

updated 11/18/12

The “Winners”:

Danger Road Winners

Danger Road Winners

A tie for 10th place at 121 collisions as 17th street moves up to equal the number of collisions on Newport Blvd.

The overall “winner” at 425 collisions is RT 1, aka Coast Hwy, PCH, W Coast Hwy, E Coast Hwy, Pac Cst, and all the other names for this road in the database.

Yes, we went through line by line for all the roads including Brkhrst, Brookherst, and all the others to arrive at this list.

With 150 more collisions than any other road, PCH (or RT 1) travels the length of the county, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise given ridership, traffic, and the probabilities inherent in the mixing the two.

What’s interesting is the distribution of collisions along the road as seen here:

City by City

City by City

Newport Beach is clearly above all others and not in a good way which is one of the reasons we support local efforts to improve cyclist safety in this city.

We’ve documented (and mapped) plenty of Newport related items and issues which you may find here.

 

We also thank all those that turned out for the NPB Memorial Ride and Fundraiser last October.

With 9 riders killed and 442 injured from the above 425 collisions, the chart below attempts to discern any seasonal effect in collisions.

Collisions by Month

One would expect greater numbers of riders in the summer months, and the chart shows the highest injuries happening in July and decreasing into the winter. The high count in March may be weather related due to unexpected rain and road conditions.

Collisions and injuries are not a 1:1 proposition. Sometimes there are more than one person injured in a collision and sometimes no injury is reported from a collision, hence the difference in numbers between collision and injury counts.

The complete breakdown looks like: 462 total injuries from 425 collisions involving people on bikes.

442 bike riders, 6 motorcyclists, 3 pedestrians, and 11 drivers were  injured during this reporting period ending the 3rd quarter of 2012 with the most recent entry to the CHP database dated 7/28/12.

Nine bike riders are dead as a result of collisions with no other fatalities recorded for other road users.

With your continued support, we aim to identify, notify, and assist in reducing ridership collisions.

Paris Imports Idaho Bike Law

Cycling on the Place Concorde Photo: ALAMY

A while back we wrote about the Idaho Stop Law in our post about Why Cyclists Run Red Lights and are pleased to discover that an American export has taken hold in Europe.

Paris (France) is the latest city to experiment with allowing people on bikes to proceed through red traffic lights after first making sure it is safe to do so, and holding cyclists responsible in case of a collision.

Signage posted on the traffic poles will inform riders of their options, and is considered safer than having dedicated cycling lights installed.

Bike riding has soared in Paris since hundreds of new cycle lanes have been added and the availability of the ‘Vélib’ rental bikes encourages commutes, errands, and even city tours by bike.

Infrastructure encourages participation

Thanks to the increased availability of safe cycling lanes (sometimes against traffic) and the availability of cycles to ride on them by tourists and locals alike, problems arise at intersections with masses of bike riders crowding around cars and filtering up to the light.

When the light changes, cars must re-navigate their way around the riders until the next light and so on, until tempers flare and frustrations boil over to confrontations.

According to the municipal authorities, “It makes cycle traffic more fluid and avoids bunching up cyclists when the traffic lights go green for motorists.”

Outside the capital, the law has been tested in the cities of Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Nantes where, “these experiments have led to no rise in the number of accidents,” according to Paris’ town hall.

Commuters love the idea as it saves time in their commute and is less stressful.

Courtesy and Consideration go a long way

France is the latest country bringing a piece of their own “private Idaho” into their borders.

The law has already been adopted and is in force in Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway).

Even as we continue to add cycling infrastructure and bike rentals around the south-land, (with 23 funded projects set to begin), the atmosphere of mutual respect for users of our roadways is lagging the countries mentioned above, not to mention several other states!

With appropriate planning and consideration for Complete Streets, perhaps the current entitlement attitude expressed by the few, will bloom into the realization that roads are for people, and with the expected increase in density on our roadways, we may experience a private Idaho of our own.