California Springtime Protest Pedal

Title: California Springtime Protest Pedal
Location: Seal Beach to San Clemente
Description: Protesting the 2011 vetoes by Governor Brown of Senate Bill 28 to increase the fine for driver hand held cell use from $20 to $50, and Senate Bill 910 to require 3 feet of clearance for a car to pass a bicyclist in memory of his son.
Start Date: 2012-4-21
End Date: 2012-4-22

Be on the look-out for the California Springtime Protest Pedal arriving from Santa Monica to the OC sometime around April 21 as they head toward their over-night in San Clemente.

Starting in Sacramento, the riders are on an 11 day supported, cycling tour of California to advocate for safer roads and stronger enforcement of laws regulating cell distracted driving as they head to their finish in San Diego.

Preliminary itinerary and approximate mileage:
April 21 Santa Monica to San Clemente 74 mi
Arrive Friday 4/20: Best Western Plus Gateway,
Santa Monica 1920 Santa Monica Blvd, 310 829-9100
Depart Santa Monica Pier at 8:00 74 miles

April 22
San Clemente to San Diego 74 mi
Arrive Saturday 4/21:
Best Western Plus Casablanca Inn
1601 N. El Camino Real, 949 361-1644
Depart San Clemente
Metro Link Station (North) at 8:00

Local clubs and supporters of the 3′ foot clearance and against distracted driving are urged to come out and show their support. Plan to ride along part, or the whole route to draw attention to the cause.

Updates will be provided as soon as we get them.

I’m sure they would appreciate a little local press coverage too!

Distracted Driving strikes close to Home

On July 25, 2009, 19 year old Eric Okerblom went for a ride by himself near his home in Guadalupe.
On Jan. 19, 2011, 8 year old Andrew “A.J.” Brumback, was riding his bike to school in Westminster.

Despite their ages across the span of space and time, and the fact that both young men were riding their bikes, the sorrowful tragedy that links them both is that they never got to ride their bikes home.

Both were killed by inattentive drivers, who in their selfish self interests, took their eyes off the road and forever cancelled two promising young lives.

In Eric’s case, by virtue of examining the driver’s phone records, the driver was texting.
In “AJ”s’ case, the headline and opening sentence from the OC Register says it all: “Distracted driver gets probation in boy’s death
(Published: March 13, 2012 Updated: 1:06 p.m.)
WESTMINSTER – A driver who briefly looked down as she drove through an intersection last year, striking and killing an 8-year-old boy….”  (Contact the writer: 714-704-3764 or ghardesty@ocregister.com).

And there you have it; both drivers were “briefly” distracted from their prime duty of care in navigating their vehicles about the public roadways resulting in two voids that were the lives of Eric and “AJ”, and forever creating voids in the lives of families and friends who loved them.

The term for “briefly distracted” is properly known as Distracted Driving”.

D I S T R A C T E D   D R I V I N G   F A C T S:

  • Using a hand held cell phone increases the risk of a collision by 4 times
    (equal to that of legal intoxication).
  • Texting increases the risk by 23 times ( 5.7 times greater than drunk driving).
  • The average young driver texts over 70 times per day.
  • 90% of teenagers admit to texting while driving.
  • A texting driver has their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds.
    At 60 MPH, that is a distance of 1 and 1/2  football fields of cell blind driving.
  • Most teenagers mistakenly believe that texting while driving is safer than drunk driving.
  • Many states refuse to regulate hand held devices while driving, weakly enforce regulations, or have trivial penalties for violations. Automobile makers, cell phone producers and service providers minimize the risk of the devices they provide.
  • Currently, about 7%  of California drivers are using a hand held phone while behind the wheel at any given time
  • More Americans die annually (about 6000) from driver cell related distraction than have been killed in both  the combined Iraq and Afgan Wars.

So you see, it is the cyclists’ fault for impeding the progress of these self-important, self-absorbed drivers who fail the prime directive of driving: “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel”.

The courts are tougher on sex offenders than distracted drivers.  While sex victims remain above the ground and breathing, cyclists killed by distracted drivers (no matter how briefly), are laid to rest underground or are reduced to ashes.

Perhaps dead cyclists are just “collateral damage”, or “roadkill” if you will,  in the progress of  civilization as drivers are increasingly allowing themselves to be distracted by all the shiney new modern gadgets around them.  Sad to say, perhaps it will take Someone Really Important to perish at the hands of the somone else’s lastest tweet, text, instant this, f*book that, for the courts to get it together.  Until that time, the carnage and death from drivers who choose to focus on other things besides driving safely on our roadways will continue.

Last year Govenor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 28 (to increase the fine for driver hand held cell use from $20 to $50) in September, and in October he also vetoed Senate Bill 910 (to require 3 feet of clearance for a car to pass a bicyclist).

In protest, Eric’s father is cycling from Sacramento to San Diego to raise awareness and support for passage of this year’s Senate Bill 1310 which was just submitted to increase the base fine to $50 for driver cell violators, and Senate Bill 1464 which is a revamped SB910 introduced by Senator Lowenthal.  Both bills remove the language that caused their prior veto.

Dr. Robert Okerblom last cycled from Ocean Beach in San Diego to St. Augustine Florida in 2011. Riding in memory of his son with a dream to make roads safer for other cyclists, he made stops along the way to present lectures about Distracted Driving and road safety.  He also led the pledge of allegiance at the Arizona state legislature, which in March approved SB 1334, a state ban on texting and driving.  Hopefully Arizona will fare better than California which, according to a survey by the Auto Club, found that texting while driving has actually doubled since California made it illegal.

The California Springtime Protest Pedal will begin this April 12th in Sacramento, to advocate for stiffer penalties and enforcement of driver hand held cell phone laws.  It should arrive at the LA/ OC border around April 21st. after an over-night in Santa Monica.  From Santa Monica, he will then overnight in San Clemente, then on to the finish in San Diego.

The cycling community has lost two brothers, unknown to each other, perhaps unknown to our minds, but known in our hearts; as the joy of cycling transcends space and time.  Our thoughts and prayers go to the families and friends of  Eric and “AJ”.  May they find peace and courage to continue on while the hole in their lives (that can never be filled) slowly begins healing to the extent that it can.

Area riders, please plan on forming a “safe passage” escort in support of  the memory of “AJ”, Eric, and his father, in raising the awareness of Distracted Driving and its consequences.

On his blog about his TransAmerica, Robert shares a dream which strikes a chord:
“Last night Eric appeared to me in a dream. Smiling, he ran up to me and then past me, neither responding to my entreaties nor looking back. He was happy and carefree. As Eric moved forward, so must I. I must strive to be a person with the compassion, acceptance, actions, and character that my children would be proud to call their father. I lack both the resilience and fortitude for the task, but cannot concede the struggle.”

And neither can we Robert.

-Sprocket

This post is updated as we received further routing and speaking schedule details.
Updated 4/4..added SB1464 and links to the bills.
Updated 4/20..link to post

 

Old Highway 101 Bike Path Closures Scheduled

Title: Old Highway 101 Bike Path Closures Scheduled

Description: Pacific Bike Route Detour

Start Date: 2012-04-16

End Date: 2012-04-20

Bikepath Closure Notice (click to enlarge)

The bike route between San Clemente and Oceanside will be closed to cyclists from 4/16-4/20.
The detour will require traveling on the shoulder of Interstate 5 from Basilone Road to Harbor Drive.

If riding in a group, riders should ride single file.  No double rotating pacelines – please!

Be aware of rumble strips carefully hidden in the pavement.  If there is an obstruction such as a vehicle on the shoulder, try and pass it on the right if possible.  Passing on the left is dangerous and you could loose control crossing the rumble strips twice.  Worst case, you may have to walk you bike off of the shoulder around the vehicle on the right.  Oh, and there are snakes also!  As scary as this may sound, it is actually a pleasant ride (except for the noise).  The shoulders are wide and given that you will be riding the off and on ramps, you won’t really be on the freeway proper for too many miles.  Don’t be surprised if you receive encouragement from motorists as they pass by.  In fact, if traffic is backed up, you will be going faster them them!

Cyclists Northbound:

Continue on 5-N from Harbor in Oceanside and use every off ramp through the rest area, Las Pulgas, and the inspection station (another rest area if you need it) to exit at Basilone to continue on the Pacific Route North into San Clemente.

Enter 5-N from Oceanside

Approx distance and Elev

Basilone Road

Exiting at Basilone, turn LEFT and cross over the freeway.  The road will bend to the left and you will see a chain link fence with the bike path behind it on your right.  Enter through the break in the fence, and continue north on the bike path which will  “T” into Cristianitos road.

Cyclists Southbound:

Enter 5-S at Basilone and use every off ramp, at the weigh station, at the viewing area, at Las Pulgas, and at the rest area until you exit on Harbor Drive into Oceanside.

Basilone Road

Approx miles and Elev

Harbor Drive Exit

Beware of a “tire-catcher” storm grate which lies just to the right of the fog line on the off-ramp on Harbor Dr.  There is room to safely pass it on the right if there’s not too much debris.
At the traffic light, a right turn will take you into the harbor, while going straight will put you onto the Pacific Coast Highway southward.

Have a safe and uneventful ride, and tailwinds on your journey.

PCH Improvement Workshop

Title: PCH Improvement Workshop
Location: Malibu City Hall
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2012-03-31
End Time: 12:00

For our friends in the county to the North, or anyone concerned with improving a vital bike link:
PCH Bike Route Improvement Project Public Workshop

The City of Malibu is scheduling a series of public input workshops on ways to improve the existing bicycle route from the county line to Busch Drive. The first workshop will be held Sat., March 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Malibu City Hall.

For questions about how to participate contact Elizabeth Shavelson, Public Works Analyst/Project Manager at 310-456-2489 x254 eshavelsonATmalibucity.org  (change the AT to @) Malibu City Hall – Multipurpose Room 23825 Stuart Ranch Road Malibu 03/31/2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm.

A great way to ride in beautiful country and contribute

Route: Laguna Hills/San Juan Capistrano

No climbing. Direct connection, Laguna Hills to the beach.

July 24, ’11 – Update Construction at the La Paz/ I-5 freeway underpass. Use caution, merge early to/from Cabot and LaPaz.

This route follows the railroad and Oso Creek along the historic alignment of US 101. The original highway was ripped out when the I-5 freeway, and later, a sewage treatment plant were built. But by using the stairs at the Aliso Viejo Metrolink Station and the service road over Oso Creek, bicyclists can still enjoy the lowest at-grade route between inland Orange County and Doheny Beach.

map 1

Cabot Rd. below Rapid Falls

Camino Capistrano south of the Metrolink station.

Google Earth image of Oso Creek service road.

At La Paz Rd. ride:

South     Cabot Rd.

At Rapid Falls (signal):

Left        onto service road

Cross     Oso Creek on service road

Exit       through gate, and

South     onto Forbes Rd.

Cross Crown Valley Pkwy.

Left into Metrolink dropoff

Walk downstairs, under tracks

Right south, Camino Capistrano

Continue into San Juan Capistrano

— to Doheny S.P. and the beach —

Continue on Camino Capistrano, or
Jog Right   Oso Rd.

Left      de la Vista, to end

Left      San Juan Creek trail to the beach