Ride, compare electric bicycles Dec. 7

Myron's electric bicycle shop

Sam Townsend, owner of Myron’s Extreme Machines, one of Orange County’s largest electric bicycle dealers, is offering customers a chance to test ride and compare models of electric bicycles Saturday, Dec. 7.

Here’s a chance to ride an electric bicycle, and compare brands.

Myron’s Extreme Machines, Fullerton’s Electric Bicycle Center, is having an electric bicycle show 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7.

All the bicycle brands sold by the shop will be available for test rides, Sam Townsend, owner, told the Veggie Biking. “We stock a total of 12 different brands and over 50 floor models to choose from making us one of the largest retail stores in the nation to sell electric bikes,trikes,and kits. We even stock an electric motorized trailer,” he writes on his web site.

Brands Include: iZip, eflow, eZip, E-motion, Motiv, Hebb, EG Bike, e-Joe, Juiced, eMoto, and BionX.

Myron’s, as a store, has 25 years experience selling and servicing gas and electric bikes. The shop offers test rides and side-by-side comparisons of bike brands. The Veggie Biker recently took a test ride on a pedal-assist electric bike that interests him. He has his electric Hebb bicycle serviced by Sam.

The store is open six days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The store started dealing in electric bikes in 1988. However, the lithium battery kicked off the electric bicycle industry in 2008.  Over the last 5 years electric bikes have been the fastest growing segment of the bicycle industry, Sam writes.

There are bike shops in Orange County who do not let customers test ride electric bikes. This is a chance to try before you buy.

Neighbors United for Fullerton, bicyclists lobby county

This Press Release was forwarded to Veggie Biking By Vince Buck, North Orange County Bicycle Advocacy Coalition (NOCBAC)

neighborsunitedforfullertonlogoNeighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) is offering a chance Monday night for bicyclists tired of the biking deaths in The O.C. to lobby County Supervisor Shawn Nelson to make the streets physically safer. Nelson also sits on the Orange County Transportation Authority who controls much of the funding for developing bicycle lanes and sharrows.

THE PRESS RELEASE READS:

On Monday, November 18, 2013, Public Library:

“ISSUES IN THE OC??? with SUPERVISOR SHAWN NELSON
What are the major issues facing the OC today? Orange County Supervisors Chair Shawn Nelson will answer this and other questions at a free public forum Monday, Nov. 18 presented by Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) in the Osborne Room of the Fullerton Public Library, 353 West Commonwealth, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

Nelson, elected to the OC Board of Supervisors in 2010, will offer insights on countywide challenges, how the county government is responding, and what lies ahead. Following his presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions related to the topics.

A longtime Fullerton resident, Supervisor Nelson served on the Fullerton City Council from 2002 to 2010, serving twice as Mayor, and has been active in numerous civic and youth athletics organizations. In his capacity as Supervisor, he is also a member of the audit oversight committee (Chair), Orange County Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair), Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), Orange County Council of Governments, Orange County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Southern California Association of Governments, Southern California Water Committee and the Transportation Corridor Agency.

Supervisor Nelson has been an outspoken advocate for fiscal restraint and accountability, and he has written about his interest in improving transportation options, notably bikeways in our district. He has expressed concerns about High Speed Rail and has opposed implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
# # #
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Neighbors United For Fullerton is a nonpartisan organization committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in the city of Fullerton, CA through political action. We offer public forums in which we present information of community interest and opportunities for civic involvement. Membership is open to anyone interested in making a difference in the community in which we live and work.

Bicyclists are dying for OCTA public education

Freeway entrances are feared by bicyclists as California Transportation Authority  engineers replace bike lanes with acceleration lanes. It is an ugly conflict zome between car and bike.

Freeway entrances are feared by bicyclists as California Transportation Authority engineers replace bike lanes with acceleration lanes. It is an ugly conflict zone between car and bike.

Editorial

It was ugly.

The high-dollar, black sedan pulled up behind me. The driver laid on his horn scaring me and causing me to swerve. The car then swooped to my left and up next to me. He rolled down the window and began shouting, “Get off the road! Bicycles don’t belong here. There’s no bike lane here!???

I yelled back. “You’re wrong. You’re supposed to wait until I get by. You don’t know the law.???

 It got uglier.

We were in the north-bound entrance to Interstate 5. I was churning up the overpass and he was trying to enter the freeway. Most bicyclists fear freeway ramps where CalTrans just abandons us in a no-man’s land of accelerating cars.

Finally, he hit the gas, cut hard right in front of my bike and zoomed down the freeway ramp.

That was the second incident between a bicyclist and a car during my ride to work today. A bicyclist was riding properly on the right side of Commonwealth in Fullerton. He changed lanes safely, crossing traffic and entering the center, left-hand turn lane. He was turning into a strip mall.

A car behind him just had to honk at him for no reason.

Potentially Fatal Failure to Communicate

What we have here in Orange County is a potentially fatal failure to communicate.

octalogo2My Orange County Transportation Authority representative, Gail Eastman, asked this Veggie Biker to write a letter about the problems he observes commuting about Orange County. But, I also need a blog post this week to keep up my “Likes,??? so I am writing the letter as a post.

I have received similar (but not as violent) abuse from drivers of all descriptions. And I have observed bicyclists of all descriptions doing totally stupid things.

Most people, like the man today, appear to think bicycles should only be in bike lanes or, if there are no lanes, on the sidewalk.  Few bicyclists are aware that one must ride with traffic—even on the sidewalk. Few bicyclists,  and certainly no drivers, are aware several cities ban riding on sidewalks. And few pedestrians on a sidewalk want to get hit by a bike averaging 17 miles per hour.

But wait! There’s more! Bicyclists text while riding, nearly running into other bikers. I have seen this not just once, but several times.

And few if any drivers know they should check for bikes when opening car doors. Twice I’ve had drivers just stand there, zombie-like, unable to understand why I should be upset they almost “car-doored??? me.

And I was car-doored by a truck that stopped in the left lane, and the passenger jumped out into the bike lane. He hit the door. I didn’t.

Drivers and Bicyclists Never Trained

I believe much of the stupidity comes from the fact the California drivers’ test has only two bicycle questions, none relevant to anything above.

OCTA has a legal obligation to teach Orange County drivers and bikers California laws. The campaign has to be in English and Spanish. Most bicyclists with whom I commute appear to be poor immigrants.

I suggest the rear of every OCTA bus should have large posters that cars can read. “Yes, bicyclists can do this!??? The posters would show bicyclists riding properly in the street or making left-hand turns, as examples.

The right  sides of busses should be devoted to messages for bicyclists. (I do understand, that ad revenue pays many of the bills.)

As I noted in another post, riding in the older cities of North Orange County is just a series of missed opportunities to die. (I could not believe when I rode through Irvine Friday just how nice urban biking can be with a choice of trails and really wide bike lanes.)

Last Mile & Last Minute

Our OCTA representatives, including Ms. Eastman, are very concerned about the last mile problem. How do people (and Orange County is getting older every year) get from the train station and bus stops to their final destinations?

I suggest Marshrutkas. These yellow mini-busses zip around Ukrainian towns following a set route, but not set times. They can stop anywhere to get as close to anyone’s apartment as possible. It’s a “swarm??? of public transportation. Forget the big hogs that flex in the middle; Give people little busses that totally flex. (Using bicycles to haul supplies, instead of using large trucks, is how General Giap won the Vietnam War.)

The Metrolink gets better every day. I no longer drive to Los Angeles in the mornings. But it is the devil to go from North County to South County in the mornings—or to go anywhere in the middle of the day.

We need more trains going opposite directions at more times.

My wife retired because she no longer wanted to waste up to four hours of her life each day in the Orange Crush. She needed a train that left Fullerton at 6 a.m. and arrived in Tustin by 6:45 a.m. She could easily walk the two miles to her office—plus earn exercise points. She worked a 10-hour day, four days a week. But the trains stopped running northward before she could walk back to the station at night. And, as in North County, South County busses, are much slower than just walking or biking.

Our OCTA representatives are caught in a chicken-and-egg quandary. We voters must get on board the entire concept of mass transport, not just a bus or train.

I can’t solve this one. But I believe I can solve the problem of public ignorance about bicycling. Let’s just do it!

Road killings are going to happen

This Public Education program cannot wait until next year. People are dying for it. Really, It’s getting ugly out here.

white bike

The number of white bicycles often placed at the site of bicycle deaths could be reduced with an Orange County Transportation Authority bicycle rights and responsibilities campaign for drivers and bicyclists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buena Park Police not told of 3-foot bike buffer

buena park police logo

There is no evidence Buena Park police officers have been briefed of the Sept. 16 enactment of the 3-foot bicycle safety buffer zone.

The question about Buena Park Police training in bicycle law arose after an incident on Crescent in which the Veggie Biker believes a car came much closer than three-feet to him. A Buena Park police car was driving just behind and to the left of the silver compact sedan during the incident.

A violation of AB1371 would be punishable by fines starting at $35. If unsafe passing results in a crash that injures the cyclist, the driver could face a $220 fine.

Corporal Andy Luong, public information officer and police training officer said he is aware of the law. However, he has sent out no information about the new law as part of his training officer duties. He said, in a telephone interview Monday afternoon, if he receives such information from the police chief, he will disburse it.

Luong said he was unaware of any modification to the California bicycle laws by the Buena Park City Council. Fullerton has a law banning bicycles on downtown sidewalks, for example.

The police enforce the California traffic code as it applies to bicycles, Luong said. He cited riding on the wrong side of the street and not wearing a helmet by people under 18 years of age as common tickets.

The city of Buena Park, it appears when one consults the Orange County Transportation Authority Map, has never accommodated bicycle commuters in the city. There are no bicycle lanes and no share-the-road streets shown on the map. Cities surrounding Buena Park show large networks of such accommodations.

Riding across Buena Park at twilight some days is a series of missed opportunities to die.

Yet there is no training even as bicycle commuting becomes more common. Luong said, “No special training on bikes I’m aware of.”

 

Will Buena Park enforce 3-foot bicycle buffer law?

Buena Park Police Dodge Magnum

Buena Park Police Dodge Magnum

There ought to be a way to Yelp police departments. This is as close as Veggie Biking can get.

Facts:

The Veggie Biker waved at a Buena Park policeman while bicycling west on Crescent, east of Beach. The shaved-headed officer glared back from behind his Foster Grants. His vehicle, in which he was making a u-turn in a side street intersection, looked like the Dodge Magnum above. Bad day?

A minute later, 9:36 a.m., the Veggie Biker was passed rapidly by a silver compact sedan, which was much closer than 3 feet. The new Bicycle Buffer Zone Law requires California drivers to stay at least 3 feet away when passing bicyclists.

AB1371 went into effect Sept. 16. The previous law required a driver to keep a safe distance when passing a bicyclist but did not specify how far that was. At least 22 states and the District of Columbia define a safe passing distance as a buffer of at least 3 feet.

As the silver compact was passing, the Veggie Biker saw the Buena Park police car one lane over, and just behind the silver compact. The Veggie Biker pointed at the speeding silver compact as the officer passed. However, the officer not only went on by, but ultimately passed the silver compact. He continued on toward Beach Boulevard where he waited for the light and made a left-hand turn. The silver compact made a right-hand turn.

The Veggie Biker is sure the officer will say he had more important things to worry about than bicycles. Or just did not see the violation. The silver compact driver will say he or she did not know about the law. All could be true., particularly the latter.

However, Buena Park City Council members have stated bicycles are a traffic hazard. The council has refused to create bike lanes, as one can tell by examining the current Orange County Transportation Authority bike trails map.

A telephone call to the number listed for the captain’s desk at the Buena Park Police Headquarters went to a secretary’s voice mail. Veggie Biking saw no reason to leave a message at this time. There is no email one can easily access on the BPPD website.

Questions:

Have Buena Park police been trained to enforce the 3-foot bicycle buffer zone law? Or do they reflect their leaders’ disdain towards bicycle commuting?

 

Future Fullerton Bikeshare memberships available

2013_8_Rideshare_BikeLink_MembershipW

OCTA has announced a new bike sharing program for Fullerton.

Basically, you rent a bike, ride it to the next rental station, and leave it. It has been proven effective in such large cities as Denver and Washington, D.C.

The are many questions that are not answered in this poster or the website. Here are some of the answers from OCTA BikeLink and other sources you need to understand the potential value of BikeLink in your life.

  1. There are said to be 10 stations initially planned in Fullerton: Fullerton Train Station, Fullerton City Hall Complex, Cal State Fullerton,  Fullerton College and College Plaza Shopping Center. But that’s only five stations on the list; and the map only shows eight stations.
  2. During the two-year pilot program, BikeLink bikes will operate only within the city of Fullerton.
  3. Meanwhile, Bike Nation, a Tustin-based company, which is the company it appears is installing the bikes in Fullerton (it is never stated clearly), has installed 10 kiosks and 100 bikes in Anaheim. Initial reviews from Veggie Biking audience members say that system is less than satisfactory.
  4. BikeNation’s 4,000-bike Los Angeles bike sharing program is reported by the Los Angeles Times to be on hold until a financial backer or an advertising program can be found to augment the program’s, rental fees.
  5. There is no mention of reciprocity between the Fullerton and Anaheim systems. So you cannot, it appears, take bikes from one city to the other, a natural thing for college students to do.
  6. You can buy a one-day or seven-day Fullerton Bikelink Access Pass* from any OCTA BikeLink station. It appears you must use a credit card for this, as a $100 refundable deposit is placed on the card every time you rent a bike. Can you charge a trip using your smartphone as in Washington, D.C., or do you have to use the Kiosk?
  7. A BikeLink Access Pass ranges from $5 for a one-day Pass to $12 for a seven-day pass.
  8. The first 30 minutes of riding on every trip is free.
  9. If your trip is longer than 30 minutes you will be charged overtime fees (see pricing).
  10. Or you can buy an annual pass which gives you an annual membership card with which you can simply tap the kiosk and remove a bicycle.
  11. Annual memberships are available for purchase online.
  12. If there are no empty docks, go to the kiosk, swipe your credit card and you will receive a 15-minute credit. You will then be directed to the nearest station with empty docks. (Do you get a free bus pass to get back to where you wanted to be?)
  13. You can check the BikeLink station map online prior to your ride for real-time information such as available docks and bikes.
  14. However, there is no mention of using the smartphone Spotcycle app which gives information for over 40 cities world wide, including Long Beach.
  15. The bicycles have easy adjusting seat posts with calibration marks to ensure the right seat height for you every ride. The bicycles also have step-thru frames for ease of use and low center of gravity.
  16. The BikeLink bicycle utilizes airless tires and chainless shaft-driven drivetrain.
  17. All the bicycles have baskets in the front for your personal belongings.
  18. DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CHECKED-OUT BICYCLE IF IT DOESN’T WORK!, warns OCTA. It remains your responsibility until properly returned. Return and lock it at the dock and push the red mechanics button on the dock.You can return the bike at any of the stations located in the city of Fullerton. Simply put the bike into any available dock, wait for the green light to blink to make sure it locks and you are done until your next ride. (Is there a pick-up service such as the bike rental shops provide?)
  19. Call the OCTA Bikelink 24-hour Customer Service Center at 800.980.7942 if you have any questions.

OCTA asks you share this information a friend or associate. If you want questions answered in person, you can bike to the Orange County Transportation Authority, 550 S. Main St., Orange, CA, 92863-1584.

Bike Coalition members advocate Fullerton pursue easy bike safety fixes ASAP

Fullerton Sharrow Logo

The City of Fullerton is looking at “low-hanging fruit” improvements in bicycle transportation safety, including painting signs to create sharrows–traffic lanes in which motorists are informed bicycles by law have full rights to use traffic lanes. It would be the first improvement in 15 months.

By Jane Rands, North Orange County Bicycle Advocates Coalition
Fullerton City bicycle advocates are pushing for inexpensive initial improvements now in bicycle safety in the city while pursuing larger projects.
A long overdue North Orange County Bicycle Advocates Coalition (NOCBAC) gathering of the usual crowd with the usual fare (pizza and beer) met Aug. 5 at Davis Barber’s office at the Villa Del Sol in Fullerton.
Among the attendees were OCTA Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) members, Vince Buck, Roy Shahbazian, and Laurel Reimer, and Alta Planning consultant, Paul Martin, who is assisting OCTA in developing the Districts 1 & 2 Bikeways Strategic Plan, which is currently in public review.
The Fullerton City Council will be discussing bicycle issues at an upcoming meeting, possibly August 20.  Vince Buck thought that NOCBAC should recommend some inexpensive bicycling facilities such as signage and sharrows.  NOCBAC members shared ideas, such as signage to fill gaps in class II and class III routes, sharrows where bike lanes abruptly end and should be placed outside of the door zone, and resurfacing roads, especially the shoulders.
Cities are adopting a common nomenclature to describe biking facilities. Class I bike routes are completely separate from traffic. Class II bike routes have on-street, outlined bike lanes. Class III bike routes are streets with signs denoting that it is a bicycle route; which can be the hash-marks-and-bicycle icon, sharrow, painted on the street.
CAC members noted that $4 million in federal Clean Air funds will be available in the fall as grants through Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for projects that are “shovel ready,” like segments in the Bikeways Master Plan that just need paint or signage.
Fullerton Mobility Planner, Jay Eastman, has applied for a grant through the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to fund the planning phase of the Wilshire Bike Boulevard.  The bike boulevard will help riders traversing between California State University-Fullerton and downtown Fullerton via the upcoming “BikeLink” bike sharing sponsored by OCTA.  Buck expressed concern over waiting for another grant to implement the bike boulevard.  Instead, NOCBAC can advocate for inexpensive initial improvements.
Wikipedia has more information on bicycling infrastructure around the world.