Archive for category news

(less than) half the battle

This morning I was chatting with Sam about the proposed 3-feet-to-pass law in California and how it always feels like the onus of road safety for cylsits is almost always on the cyclist (the 3-feet-to-pass law address this to some extent) and almost seconds later I read the following:

In 2007, the state Department of Transportation teamed up with Sussex Cyclists and police agencies to set up bike checkpoints to inform cyclists about laws, safety and make sure the bike is in working order. This year, DelDOT has planned about 15 bicycle checkpoints.

Now, I’m all for educating cyclists on how to ride safely – especially if many of the cyclists are minors and, perhaps, just need a nudge in the right direction – but when was the last time you saw a check point for drivers educating them about how to drive safely?

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Midtown Sacramento launches bike-share initiative

Ride Your Own Way, a new bike-sharing program for mid-town Sacramento, is set to launch on June 11th, says Brandon Darnell of The Sacramento Press. The bicycle-rental initiative is sponsored by Ikon Cycles, the tiny boutique bike shop on 18th St run by local cycling advocate Adrian Moore.

Moore donated the bikes to the program, saying “I had some extra money and I thought it was kind of an investment in Sacramento.” The bikes were purchased in a closeout sale from Italian manufacturer Bianchi. Moore spent $4,000 on 12 bicycles, a small but significant initial fleet of rental units for the planned six-month trial period.

“I’d like to see a private entity be able to run it and profit from it, but the reality is there really is very little profit in bike share programs.” Added Moore. His own donation of bikes was part of a group including Curb Locking Systems, the company which donated the bike locking stands, and the Midtown Business Association.

The first bike stations will be located at 28th and J Street in midtown, where customers will be able to rent a bike for free for the first 30 minutes. After the initial time-period is up, users’ credit cards will be billed a $2 fee for each additional 30-minute period. The bikes must be returned to their original location, otherwise the user will be charged $500 to “keep” the bike.

Rob Kerth, Executive Director of the Midtown Business Association is enthusiastic about the bike-share program.

“I see this as having many uses. Folks who don’t have a bike but don’t want to deal with parking at lunchtime would be a perfect example.”

Kerth envisions future bike stations situated at light rail stations and bus stops, enabling commuters to pick up bikes from all kinds of locations around Sacramento, and eventually drop them off at any other bike station.

“It wouldn’t take very much at all to keep this going”, Kerth added. ” Sacramento is great bicycle country, we have tree-lined streets, it’s flat, and the weather is great for it.”

Users are encouraged to bring their own cycle helmets, but Moore will also be renting helmets from his shop for a nominal $3 day-use fee.

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in other news

An Oregon man was found guilty of public indecency for cycling in the nude.

“He told me he enjoyed riding his bicycle in the nude,” Goodwin said, adding that Lamb was also wearing a shirt at the time he spoke to the officer. “I asked him if he found that it turned him on, so to speak. … He said that it was a sexual feeling of excitement.”

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CHP announces new fines for cyclists

The California Highway Patrol has announced plans to introduce penalties for cyclists who use a cellphone while riding. The fine – $20 (before additional fees) is for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders would face fines of $50 for each incident.

The new penalties were outlined in a bill that was approved by the state Senate on Monday, April 25th. The bill also increases penalties for drivers who use a cellphone while driving. They could face fines of more than $500 for repeat offenses, once fees have been tacked on to the basic fine. The bill was introduced during April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

As cellphones become ubiquitous, it is not unusual to see cyclists pausing to retrieve a ringing phone from a pocket while they cruise along city streets. Motorists have been doing the same for many years, often with tragic results.

But the bill has its opponents among cycling advocates, who maintain that cyclists need greater protection, not more restrictions, when riding on the road.

“This is only going to be one more obstacle for someone who uses their bicycle for transportation.” Said Tani Walling, a bike shop owner from southern California. “Everything about how our streets and sidewalks are set up favors cars.”

Every year, law enforcement hands out tens of thousands of citations in California for drivers using cellphones to talk or text while driving. Over 18s are required to use hands-free devices, while under-18s are prohibited from using any kind of phone while driving a car.


Troubled Elk Grove mall site donates dirt for bike park

A new dirt-bike and BMX park in Elk Grove will be constructed using tons of dirt from the stalled Elk Grove Promenade mall site. The bike park, the first of its kind in the south Sacramento area, will be located on the western edge of the Elk Grove Regional Park, replacing the Green Diamond softball field, which will move eastward inside the park.

The Consumnes Community Services District approved plans to spend $365,000 on the new park, awarding the contract to Parker Landscape Development, Inc. The donation of dirt from the mall site will save the district an estimated $200,000.

“This is going to be a quality park…the design really reflects the needs of the cycling community.” Said local dirt-bike park advocate Keith CoBen in the Elk Grove Citizen.

The 2.4 acre park will feature a series of challenging jumps, mounds and pathways, many of which were designed by local cyclists. Bike park specialist Hillride also contributed to the overall design. Volunteers are on hand to see the park through the construction phase.

The new park is scheduled to open in August, 2011.

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Driver in Sacramento cyclist death case finally booked

The family of Patrick O’Connor, the 27 year old Sacramento resident who was killed on his bike on September 1st, 2010, took comfort last week when the driver of the car that killed him, 21 year old Vanessa Carrillo, was formally booked in Modesto on Wednesday, April 6th.

At an earlier hearing, Carrillo was assigned a new public defender, adding to the growing list of reassignments, misdirections and general confusion which has characterised this case since last September. A new prosecutor has also been appointed, this time bringing promise of a new investigation and pre-trial hearing. For Patrick’s father, Jim, who has repeatedly expressed frustration at way the Stanislaus County District Attorney has handled the case, there seems to be a small glimmer of hope:

“Next Tuesday (April 12th) we will travel again to Modesto to lend support to the new prosecutor and his new investigative team and observe the proceedings.”

Jim O’ Conner was astonished to learn, however, that Carrillo had been stopped and issued a citation by police on the 25th March. Carrillo, whose license had been suspended and physically confiscated by the DMV, was caught driving illegally.

“She was not brought into jail or charged, just ticketed and released.” He said at the time, his anger and dismay palpable.“What does it take to get Carrillo booked? She has never been booked for anything. No picture, no fingerprinting, no bail, no jail time, just a complaint warrant that she killed someone in Stanislaus County.”

(At the pre-trial hearing on the 12th April, a charge of Driving While Suspended was added to the manslaughter charge.)

Patrick’s family, who live in Northridge, have traveled hundreds of miles to Modesto repeatedly since the start of the year to attend pre-trail hearings and to meet with the staff of the DA’s office. One such trip, Jim confided, led him to discover that Carrillo – a Senior at Stanislaus University – is majoring in Criminal Justice.

“(Carrillo) has been riding along with local law enforcement for some time. We found out that she “tweets” a lot, and has done so while driving. We hope that the new DA, Mr Mury, has subpoenaed her phone records as part of the new discoveries.”

A Facebook group – “In Loving Memory of Patrick O’ Connor” has been created to document the progress of the case, which, thanks to the efforts of Jim and his wife, Mary, is starting to gain much-needed attention in the local press.

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Garmin sues Bryton for patent infringement

Over Bryton’s new Rider 30 GPS Unit, Garmin files and seek injunction on U.S. sales. The Bryton is alleged to share the same GPS navigation, traning data and lap results as the Garmin Edge series. Way to go Bryton…

Garmin Ltd. has filed a lawsuit against Bryton Inc., claiming that the Taiwanese technology firm built its bicycling computers to copy the design and functionality of Garmin’s cycling products.


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Superbowl Sunday car/bike hijinks

Intoxicated you say?

SACRAMENTO, CA – A high speed chase along Interstate 5 ended when the driver crashed just north of Sacramento Sunday night.

The chase started with the man driving the wrong way down “L” St. in downtown, police said. Police said an officer on a bicycle tried to pull him over, but the driver took off and turned on to I-5.

Police chased the man north through the city of Sacramento before he exited the interstate at Garden Highway before losing control and going over an embankment, leaving his car totalled and the driver himself hospitalized.

Police on the scene tell News10 they believe the driver was intoxicated.

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Bike sign mistake cost’s city thousands

To become a more bike friendly city, Oklahoma City, took part in posting signs to tell drivers to share the road with cyclists.
At the end of last year they began to install the signs only to find out they weren’t in compliance with new federal language on signage. In essence, they left out an important word…

“The signs say ‘use full lane.’ The new signs will say ‘may use full lane,'” explains Oklahoma City Councilman Bowman.

Also, the city council recently learned the city ordinance needed some work as well due to it currently making it difficult to prosecute drivers not giving cyclists enough feet of space.

All in all, a good effort to improve the well being of cyclists in Oklahoma City, tough, at a price tag of $18,000.

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Mom rides her bike a mile to hospital to give birth

Numerous people are giving up their cars and taking their bikes, whether it is to save money or help the environment such as running errands or picking up their kids from school. One expecting Wisconsin woman decided after she rode her bike to her first pre-natal appointment, that is how she would like her birthing plan to be. Her and her husband began the one mile trek in the morning and enjoyed the ride together. They made it safely to the hospital where twelve hours later they gave birth to a healthy little girl.

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