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.
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.