Update: 8th Southern California cyclist killed in last 8 days, as Chula Vista cyclist dies in solo fall

I don’t even know what to say any more.

In the single worst period in memory for Southern California cyclists, eight riders have now died since Friday of last week, as a Chula Vista cyclist succumbed to injuries suffered yesterday in a solo fall.

According to a release from the Chula Vista police, a 39-year old bike rider, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was riding northbound on Broadway near C Street around 2:50 pm. A witness saw him lose control going downhill and tumble on the roadway, suffering a serious head injury.

He died shortly after being transported to the UC San Diego Medical Center.

The report notes that the victim was not wearing a helmet; for once, that actually might matter, since this would seem to be exactly the sort of collision bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Eight deaths.

A rate of one a day, distributed throughout the seven county SoCal region — although, as you’ll see below, San Diego County has suffered far more than their share, accounting for well over half of the cycling deaths in the last week.

And from a wide spectrum of causes, from solo falls to late night hit and runs, and cyclists of seemingly every possible description.

If there’s a common element, I can’t find it. And I have no idea how to stop this outrageous streak of roadway carnage.

All I know is this can’t go on.

It just can’t.

At the end of May, we were on a pace for just 48 bicycling deaths this year; as of today, that’s risen to 68.

This is the 37th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 10th in San Diego County — the same rate as Los Angeles County, but with less than one-third the population. He was also the fifth cyclist to die in San Diego County in just the last eight days.

And he was the eighth cyclist to die in a solo riding incident since the first of the year.

My prayers and condolences to the victim and his loved ones. And my prayers for everyone who rides today; may you all return home safely.

Thanks to Sam at Bike SD for the heads-up.

Update: The San Diego Union-Tribune identifies the victim as 39-year old George Sandoval of Chula Vista. According to the paper, Sandoval was riding on the sidewalk when he began of steer his bike into the street; his front wheel somehow detached and his fork dug into the road, throwing his over his handlebars and onto the street. He was pronounced dead a little more than an hour later.

Let this be a reminder to have your bike checked out by a qualified mechanic on a regular basis to avoid mechanical failures like this.

8 comments

  1. […] first is a post from BikingInLA and Ted Rogers. Update: 8th Southern California cyclist killed in last 8 days, as Chula Vista cyclist dies in solo f… I really feel for Ted right now, this would be an insane rate of cyclist deaths no matter where you […]

  2. Eric W says:

    Don’t defer basic safety checks to some guy at a bike shop you see once in a while. Unusual noise, sure. Basic checks you need to do yourself every time you ride.

    The LAB recommends a simple, quick ABC check. Check the tires for air, then that the brakes work, and that the cranks turn OK. Wiggle the wheels when you check the air. Play in the wheel? Look at the quick release – wheels should not move sideways.

    Everyone should check the front wheel quick release on their bike today. For it to work properly, it should be quite difficult to close. Usually that means you use the flat part of your palm to get it all the way towards tthe wheel.

    Is it seems above, if the front wheel gets loose, you’ll hit the ground head first. A easy check before you ride will prevent that.

    Eric W

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for the reminder, Eric. I always check my bike before I ride, but make a point of having it checked out professionally on a semi-regular basis, as well.

      And for those of us with carbon forks or frames, be sure to check them for cracks before each ride; a small unnoticed crack can lead to catastrophic failure while riding.

  3. KARL says:

    The nice thing for the survivors at least is if you bought your bike assembled at Walmart they’ll be able to pay for not putting the wheels on right or leaving the break disconected as a 700 return I saw recently was being offered to those who would of rode it away not knowing it lacked a break (as luck would have it NOT for them I wasn’t able to spare them that by buying it as they couldn’t figure out what to charge me for it).

    Let’s remember though that not that long ago many spokes got recalled- I mean forks, I owned one of them a very long time ago myself, for sudden failabiltiy. If you want yoru familuy to be made whole I think money spent on a ‘video’ camera ‘black box’ gadget is a better investment then a helmet especially ones old for it’s looks more then it’s protection- good protection is usually available for free if you must succumb to that temptation and care more about your brain then the false message your sending.

    You can buy a brand new ‘professionally’ (accouuntably) assembled bike every month or every other month fo rmuch less then owning any car. It’s when cheap bikes -or ICE cars- get passed from owner to owner (or thief along the way) over and over again, or returned and resold unlike underwear, when th erisks ar efar hgiher if not checked out (the bike mentioned above had “used, ok” written on it despite haivn gno front b reaking- I kid yo u not!) so in some cases shopping local, small, locally owned, is not prudent, and for bikes that’s, unless your sophisticatedand wealthy enough, the case.

    I wonder why he got scared of riding on the sidewalk- perhaps he feared enforcement? The law varies and is usually not well understood. My hometown used to register bikes for free- now you can’t even do that. Cars get free air in CA, but some stgations insist bikes pay, and bike shops should be funded to prvide decent safety checks not have htem be a sustaining revenue angle which historically most have been for the very poor, butthe proud tend to pay the first time and then go without.

    Yet we spend forutnes on striping etc. The money can be better spent buying broken frames, not tossing htem in dumpsters behind shops for cheapskates to resell and/or kill themselves with.

    THe basic bike frame can be built new for far too little money to gamble on ones iffy- bike share programs if not ridiculously overpriced for long term rental, are a solutioin. LONG TERM RENTAL_ limited overhead costs! $5 a week, that’s nearl y$300 a year, I say is sufficient for an unpowered model with free maintenance and lights lock(s) etc. We soon will be requiring wirless taggin for all vehicls, bikes and not, and if your not tagged being pullled over to inspect yoru ride for saftey is amost pallatable if deaths like this are as common as implied by suggesting all of us should wear helmets. For me wireless taggin is less invasive of my privacy then large numberfs and letters anyone can read- plates. But only certain peole shoudl be able to scan them- like bike cops perhaps only.

    P.S.

    I doubt anyone would pay $5 when for $15 they can get a more durable safer not ‘illegal’ assisted bike that as eas yto pedal and as fast or faster not just safer- and yeah I’m sure $15 is plenty frankly after three years an upgrade otherwise $25 a week would be offerable for the same $15. (that’s if they are not singled out for selective enforcement at redlights etc. as reported by your tagging followers other comments)

    …. the premise of this blog is that the loss of life is anomolous- it’s not clear to me it is, prior to the last such routine surge such deaths didn’t get heard of, they occured, the hundreds a month are nothing new and as chance is the biggest variable concentration in smaller counties is not meaningful to me- what is is that there too many per rider, becaus there are too few riders- if gas costs or job loss is increasing riders more then this death toll then we should be rejoicing. Any kind of energy consumption has a toll in life and health- if far far away on another continent- so when biking spikes enough gas can be saved to spare more lives then are lost. That comforts me.

  4. ozcar hernandez says:

    I’m from costco 908 this is at the optical lab. George Sandoval was great employee and a great friend I just want to say that Costco and I will always remember him as a good employee and a good friend . God bless him and his family too..

  5. mack12 says:

    Thanks for the reminder…. please don,t ride a motorcycle while not helmet…its dangerous for us.i continually wear a helmet before drive the bike…

    Cycling News

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