San Diego cyclist died following Aug 6th collision with another cyclist; 2nd bike-on-bike fatality in 10 days

Unfortunately, the news media doesn’t always get it right.

A few weeks ago, TV stations in San Diego reported that two bike riders had collided on a bike trail at Lake Miramar, sending a 73-year old rider to the hospital. However, San Diego’s NBC-7 reported that the victim’s condition had improved, and he had been released later that same day.

But as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

Sadly, it turns out that the victim, Gus Pabalan, died at 4:30 the next day, 24 hours after the bike-on-bike collision that took his life.

The much-loved rider was injured around 4:30 pm on Wednesday, August 6th, when he collided head-on with another cyclist. According to the news reports, he suffered major head trauma, while the other rider was uninjured.

No word on whether he was wearing a helmet; however, all the photos of Pabalan on the website of his local bike club, Mira Mesa Cycling Club, show him with one. Photos of the scene show a 10 mph speed limit, which a commenter says is often ignored.

A well-attended memorial ride was held for Pabalan last Sunday.

No word on why the riders ended up on a head-on trajectory, or whose fault it might have been. However, this should be yet another reminder to always ride safely around other cyclists and pedestrians; it only takes a momentary mistake to change someone’s life forever.

Or end it.

This is the 62nd bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the sixth in San Diego County. And he is the second cyclist to lose his life as a result of bike-on-bike collision in the county in less than 10 days.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Gus Pabalan and all his friends and love ones.

Thanks to Smorg for the heads-up.



  1. JD says:

    Our prayers go up for the family and friends of Mr. Pabalan.

  2. Lianda says:

    I walk and ride at Lake Miramar. Many cyclists ride very fast down this path where runners, mothers with strollers, people wearing headphones are totally unaware that stepping out of their path could result in a terrible accident. This is NOT the place for fast riding, but no tickets are given to riders who don’t follow the rules.

    I was a witness to an accident where a cyclists NOT wearing a helmet collided with the fence, rebounded and landed on the back of his head. He was taken to a trauma hospital where he remained in a coma for 3 months!

    And he did not carry any ID either. Wear a helmet, carry ID, and follow the laws. It can not only improve your chances, but prevent innocent people from getting injured.

  3. The thing about speed limits is there has to be a way for vehicle operators to know their speeds +/- 1 MPH. I don’t know what the criteria for issuing tickets in in CA but in some states only a warning can be issued below 10 MPH over. Some states require 10 MPH +10% for a ticket because of “faulty” speedometers that can’t be read any more accurately than that.

  4. Smorg says:

    Thanks very much for keeping track of these accidents! This was a very sad loss indeed. I’m afraid the ‘cyclists speeding on multi-use paths’ is something that needs more coverage on. I don’t know if the two riders that crashed at Miramar were speeding (seems it happened at one of the blind curves. Maybe one was passing at the wrong spot on the path), but I do often see fellow cyclists going way too fast and passing too close to runners/hikers on multi-use paths… and often they don’t give warning before they pass. It’s a frustrating thing to see… many us do the same things to pedestrians that we hate it when cars do to us. :o(

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