GVCC President's Column: June 1, 2014
Bicycle Spoken Here, GVCC President: Doris Phinney
968-3143, cyclebug@aol.com

NEWCOMERS RIDE: Saturday, June 7, 9:30am, Java Station, Doris, 968-3143. Everyone is welcome to join this leisurely paced ride around Goleta or downtown for coffee. No one is ever left behind. You must wear a helmet to ride with the Goleta Valley Cycling Club.

GVCC JUNE ANNUAL POTLUCK MEETING (Members Only): Sunday, June 22, 1pm, 223 Saratoga Court (home of Doris & Owen). Please bring food to share and a chair to sit on (if you ride your bike we’ll supply the chair); GVCC will provide plates, napkins, utensils and bottled water. Agenda will include the election of officers and future plans. Please RSVP to me by June 20 at cyclebug@aol.com or 968-3143.

GVCC TANDEM: We have a nice Santana tandem donated by Hal and Fran Finney in 2010. Contact me if you would like to ride it sometime.

WANT TO SUGGEST A RIDE? Contact Lori anytime to get your ride on the calendar: lorbonz@gmail.com. In addition to the club calendar on the GVCC website, Lori has set up a Meet Up group, Santa Barbara Cyclists that you might like to join. Here is the website: http://www.meetup.com/santa-Barbara-Cyclists

Cars Versus Bicycles: Where's the Justice?

by Marc Lindsay

Car vs bike

In 15 years of cycling, I'd never had a close call with a car. But after relocating from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California this past year, I had a wake-up call. Well, two actually. I was struck by a car while riding in the bike lane, twice, in less than two months.

The first accident was the result of the driver's failure to stop at a stop sign. The second was the result of youth: a 16-year-old test driving a new car with her father and a salesman made a right-hand turn right into me as they pulled into a dealership. Neither accident was avoidable, but luckily I wasn't seriously injured.

These things just happen, right? After all, I could be killed in an airplane crash, or in a car on the crazy California freeways. It's a risk that cyclists have to accept, frightening as that may be.

What was much more of an eye opener for me was the lack of accountability that the drivers in each incident were held to. In both cases, neither driver was cited for any wrongdoing, nor were tickets issued.

How could this be? If a car turned right into another car's path for no reason other than they didn't see it, someone would be ticketed, wouldn't they?

This controversy isn't a new one. Last year, a New York Times article asked: "Is it OK to Kill Cyclists?" The article brought up several incidents in which cyclists weren't only injured, but killed, and no traffic citations were issued. In fact, several cyclists were issued citations for holding a vigil at the scene where one of these accidents took place.

According to Seattle-based cycling attorney John Duggan, this scenario is all too familiar.

"There have been few criminal prosecutions in bike-versus-car cases that didn't involve a DUI or hit-and-run situation," Duggan said. "The reason is that most of the situations didn't rise to the level of vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter because of the lack of intent or reckless disregard for human life."

"In most situations, it's simply a situation where the car driver fails to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist because the car driver doesn't see the cyclist. Car drivers are looking for other cars, not bicycles."

Be that as it may, bicycles have just as much legal right to the road as a car. It may be true that most noncyclists view bicycles as nothing more than a toy. Sadly, this point of view causes cyclists to be treated as second-class citizens in the eyes of police and the judicial system. And if this is in fact true, how can cyclists continue to ride on the road without fear? Drivers aren't aware of cyclists, and the justice system has given them little reason to change this behavior.

OWEN HIT BY DISTRACTED DRIVER:

On May 1 at about 8:15am, Owen was hit by a car west of Ellwood School on Hollister Ave. The driver admitted that she was at fault and that she was reaching for her sunroof and veered into the marked bike lane. There was a credible witness following her who stopped to give a statement to the motorcycle officer who wrote the report of the accident. The witness estimated the vehicle speed at about 35 mph and stated that the driver swerved into the bike lane. The report states that the primary collision factor was a violation of CVC 22107

Turning Movements and Required Signals

22107. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

Inattention was also mentioned in the report as a factor and the conclusion is that the car driver caused the collision and was traveling at an unsafe speed (the speed limit in the school zone is 25mph).

And finally, the driver was not cited. Why not???


New Santa Barbara County Bike Touring Site

Bike touring fans can find a wealth of information on bike touring in Santa Barbara County on a new website: bike-santabarbara.org


Join our rides for fun and fitness!

The club offers a variety of rides from monthly newcomer rides to tougher tours up the local hills. Check the calendar and come ride with us!
Although many of us wear colorful biker clothes and have road bikes, we are tourers, not racers. Our greatest passion, and perennial source of discussion, is safety on the roads -- how routes can be configured for better bike safety and how bikers can make wise riding choices to maximize safety.
While it is true that some GVCC members enjoy chasing down younger race kit-clad speedsters, club rides are cooperative, not competitive..
Non-members are always welcome to come meet club members and try our rides out. Check the calendar and join us.


GVCC Email Mailing List

Goleta Valley Cycling Club has an email list at Google Groups. Club members can join or get off the list by contacting Janaki.
Please be aware when you reply to a group email, the reply goes to the whole group. If you only want to reply privately to the sender, don't send the reply to the gbike group. Instead, copy out the email address of the sender and send your email to that person.
In order to avoid exposing GVCC members' email addresses to the public, the messages and message archives are only viewable by group members. The mailing list is also not listed in the Google Groups directory and does not have a Google webpage.
Email posts go to all list members. Post by emailing gbike@googlegroups.com. Learn about Google Group options at Google Groups.