Thursday, October 29, 2009

Locos Only: The Cretins' Dia De Los Muertos Ride this Sunday

Plus pirate gypsy act Satan's Dance Party will be performing at a secret location at ride's end.

Come dressed up in all-black, calavera style.

Put some death into your life.

Friday nite!: Halloween Critical Mass & Footdown!

Halloween Critical Mass is usually the largest and most fun CM ride of the year!

Bring friends or make new ones. Dress up and come out! To make sure nothing too scary happens, don't forget to communicate positively with one another and with motorists. Keep it posi :)

After the ride stop by Footdown:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bicyclist, 12-years-old, Struck & Killed by Motorist

A 12-year-old boy riding a bicycle in North County was killed today after being struck by a motorist unable to slow down and stop in time, reports the North County Times.

PERRIS: Bicyclist, 12, dies after collision

By LUCIA WALINCHUS - | Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:25 pm

PERRIS---- A 12-year-old boy died after he was hit by a pickup truck while riding his bike, authorities said.

About 5:45 p.m. Monday, Randy Vargas, 12, of Perris rode his bicycle out of a driveway and into Jarvis Street, just south of Wallace Avenue. He was a hit by a Toyota Tacoma traveling northbound on Jarvis, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol.

Officers said the driver, Ralph Palmieri, 31, of Lake Elsinore tried to stop, but couldn't avoid Vargas.

Vargas, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center for head and internal injuries.

Note the apparent car-centric bias in the framing of this event: The journalist points out that the 12-year-old cyclist was not wearing a helmet but fails to provide the speed that the motorist was traveling. The journalist never addresses whether or not the motorist was speeding--an illegal activity which increases the likeliness of death in the event of a collision.

If the motorist was speeding on the same block moments before the collision, we hope and expect justice to be served.

Our condolences to the family and friends of 12-year-old Randy Vargas.

Bic Control Welcomes New Sponsor, Tour d'Afrique

Bic Control welcomes Tour d'Afrique--the cross-continent bicycle expedition tour group--as a new sponsor.

One of Tour d'Afrique's adventures across Africa became the subject of a full-length documentary, "Where Are You Go," which premiered worldwide at various Bicycle Film Festivals.

One extremely bold rider tours Africa on a tall-bike! Check the trailer if you haven't seen it yet:

For more info on their tours, you can visit their website here:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tonite!: Bike Nite at Tin Can Ale House, Screening No Cassettes

It's that time of the week again; bicyclists and friends are taking back Mondays!

Every Monday nite is Bike Lane nite at Tin Can Ale House (Fifth Ave. & Fir St.) in Bankers Hill neighborhood, near downtown San Diego.

Tonite DJ Bikerophone and DJ Charlie will be spinning records on the wheels of steel and fixed gear film No Cassettes will be screened.

So come out, park your bike inside, hangout with friends, or make some new ones at Bike Lane nite, tonite!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tour of California Not Returing To San Diego, Organizers Cite Difficulties with Local Officials

The Tour of California will not return to San Diego County in 2010, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The bicycling race, which, earlier this year, attracted nearly 300,000 spectators, 16 pro teams, and 150 racers--including Lance Armstrong--will bypass the city of Escondido and San Diego County next year.

Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, whose parent company owns Tour of California, cited San Diego County's bureaucratic inefficiency and difficulties as the reason why AEG decided to bypass San Diego next year.

Messick went on to say that, “With the exception of the city of San Francisco, we struggle more in San Diego County than anywhere else. Just with the day-to-day of getting stuff done. Permits, city services. What we call plumbing.”

(Photos by Charlie Neuman from The San Diego Union Tribune).

The article in its entirety can be read here or below:

Union-Tribune Staff Writer

8:07 p.m. October 21, 2009

The Amgen Tour of California cycling race will not return to San Diego County next year.

Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, whose parent company owns the event, confirmed via e-mail Wednesday that the stage race is bypassing San Diego.

Robin Bettin, Escondido's assistant director of community services, also said the race will not be back.

“It's unfortunate for the city,” Bettin said. “It was a great event.”

Race organizers have scheduled news conferences throughout the state Thursday to announce the 2010 course.

Started in 2006, the Tour of California has developed into the most popular stage race in the United States. Featuring a starting field of 16 pro teams and nearly 150 cyclists, the race came to San Diego County for the first time in February.

Buoyed by Lance Armstrong's presence after a 3½-year retirement, plus a taxing, scenic climb up Palomar Mountain, the 96.8-mile stage that started in Rancho Bernardo and finished in downtown Escondido attracted tremendous spectator turnouts. One source estimated the stage drew nearly 300,000 fans, although some believed the figure was inflated.

“This is the largest crowd I've ever seen on American soil in the last 25 years,” race director Jim Birrell said.

Australian pro cyclist Michael Rogers referred to the atmosphere along Palomar Mountain as “Tour de France stuff.”

But while he was encouraged with the fan support, Messick said organizing an event in San Diego County was difficult.

“With the exception of the city of San Francisco, we struggle more in San Diego County than anywhere else,” Messick said in March. “Just with the day-to-day of getting stuff done. Permits, city services. What we call plumbing.”

Messick would not comment further Wednesday other than to confirm the event was not returning.

Qualcomm CEO Jeff Jacobs and David Vigil, Qualcomm's vice president of business development, were instrumental in bringing the race here. Both donated money to cover expenses for the city of Escondido.

Between Jacobs and Vigil's contributions, plus money from race organizers, Bettin said there “wasn't a net loss” for the city.

Bettin said that on June 26, Escondido made a $200,000 “letter of commitment” to race organizers to host a 2010 stage.

Regarding the race now skipping Escondido, Bettin said, “It's kind of good news, bad news. It's bad news because we lost an event with a lot of visibility. To a much smaller degree, (it's good news because) we don't have to worry about raising that kind of money.”

Jacobs, an avid cyclist who had raced at Ironman Hawaii three times, said he would have been willing to financially support the race again next year.

A San Diego North Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesperson said the event accounted for 2,000 booked hotel room nights.

“It was a huge economic boost for the whole community,” said Debra Rosen, president and CEO of the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce. “It put Escondido on the map. There was just no negative to it. It was all positive.”

Said Lisa Grumel, co-owner of Vincent's restaurant in Escondido, “I'm disappointed it won't be returning. It brought so much energy to Escondido.”

Wow, what a serious loss for our county. The response offered so far by the city of Escondido seems rather soft. Robin Bettin, Escondido's assistant director of community services, told SDUT reporter, Don Norcross, that “It's kind of good news, bad news. It's bad news because we lost an event with a lot of visibility. To a much smaller degree, (it's good news because) we don't have to worry about raising that kind of money.”

This is quite a conservative analysis of what was lost. 'Visibility'? A lot more than just 'visibility' will be lost from Tour de California bypassing San Diego. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Plenty of visibility will be gained--the incompetence and inefficiency of San Diego's bureaucracy is becoming plenty visible and apparent to people throughout San Diego, in addition to cycling fans all over California and the U.S.

What will be lost is the opportunity for nearly 300,000 people to come together, to do something active at a "Tour de France-like" pro-bike social event in our very own San Diego county. In addition, what will also be lost is a significant degree of local economic generation; 2,000 people booked hotel rooms in Escondido for Tour de California earlier this year. The room fees that would have generated economic stimulation, including the money those visitors would have been spent on food and other goods, will be lost.

According to Bettin, the good news is that the city of Escondido and San Diego County don't have to work to raise the money [roughly $200,000 it seems], to put the event on. Since San Diego County failed to accommodate the Tour of California earlier this year, the tour will not involve San Diego in 2010--thus, with no Tour of California in San Diego, there will be no Tour of California-related work conducted by San Diego County employees.

How exactly is that good news for San Diego? That's only "good" news for the employees who would have had to do the work. Isn't that why it's called "work" and isn't that why you get paid to do it?

It sounds like someone's workload just got easier. And now we're being told that's the 'good news.'

San Diego officials dropped the ball on the Tour of California.

San Diego should be a mainstay of the Tour of California race and local officials should work harder and negotiate more firmly to make sure that it is.

Mr. Messick’s statements shed new light on the inefficiencies of San Diego’s historically troubled bureaucracy.

Some SDUT commenters, are calling for an investigation into who exactly dropped the ball on this issue:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Driving on Bald Tires, 85% of Taxi Cabs Out-of-Compliance

If you're already weary of the taxi cabbies that speed around the streets of San Diego, it probably won't comfort you to know that many of the cabbies were doing so on bald tires.

According to the original article published on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier today, MTS inspectors uncovered 144 safety violations and other violations during field checks from January 2008 through February 2009. Of those, the most common violations were bald tires and faulty lights.

(A MTS inspector writes a citation during a taxi cab inspection in San Diego, yesterday. Photo by KC Alfred of The San Diego Union-Tribune).

Tony Hueso, general manager of USA Cab, blames a sharp drop in business fueled by the economic recession as the reason why many cabbies are delaying necessary safety repairs.

The SDUT quotes Hueso in the full article (found here) as saying, “If the driver has less money, the driver is going to take more chances."

Well, we're sorry that the economy is negatively impacting your business, but don't 'take more chances' with the lives of pedestrians and cyclists who have to share roadways with cabbies who-- generally speaking--are speeding around our neighborhoods trying to make a buck. If a taxi cab driver wants to save money, cut back on other things that won't jeopardize the safety of innocent road users. In an emergency taxi-on-pedestrian/taxi-on-cyclist situation, a bald tire versus a safe tire could be the difference between a deadly collision and a close one.

We wonder how significantly, if at all, the economy really affected the local taxi cab industry and their inability to meet MTS' safety regulations. The best way to determine that, would be to compare the number of taxi cab violations from 2006-07 (before the recession) to the 2008-09 (during the recession); in addition to taking into account the total number of operating cabs, that is.

Either way, it looks like the streets of San Diego may be a little safer--MTS recently ordered 85% of taxi cabs off the street, due to safety violations and other violations.

Hopefully, those cabbies can get their repairs done promptly enough to at least give drunk people a ride home when they need it!...But then again, we wonder how many taxi cab passengers are actually drunk...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tonite!: Bike Nite at Tin Can Ale House with Goldsprint Races!

Plus in-door bike parking!

This is a super fun weekly bike nite for San Diego. Come check it out!

Please, ride safe.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be on Lookout!: Hit-and-run Motorist Leaves Cyclist in Critical Condition, Still At Large

San Diego News Network reports that a bicyclist is in critical condition after a motorist vehicularly collided with him last nite in El Cajon. The motorist, who was allegedly driving a dark-colored/maroon 90s GM sedan, is still at large! Warn your pro-bike/pro-justice friends in East County San Diego to be on alert and to keep eyes open for this perpetrator's vehicle!

A hit-and-run driver who struck and critically injured a 47-year-old man on a bicycle was at large Thursday, a police lieutenant said.

The bicyclist was struck shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday on East Madison, near Lindsey Street, said El Cajon police Lt. Jeff Davis. The driver fled before police and paramedics arrived, he said.

Paramedics took the cyclist to a hospital in critical condition, he said. Witnesses described the driver’s car as a dark-colored, 90s-model GM vehicle, similar to a Pontiac Grand Am or Buick.

The vehicle most likely has some front end and windshield damage, and may be maroon in color, according to Davis. Anyone with information about the motorist was asked to call El Cajon police at (619) 441-5559.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Advancing the Conversation: Distracted Driving & The Living Room-Mentality

The following entry is a follow-up to a very constructive comment written by Leroy Grinchy, in response to a Bic Control entry titled “Obama Administration: Distracted Driving is a Menace to Society” posted on 9/30/09. We dug the comment so much, that we decided to dedicate an entire post to further advance the conversation on the very important issue that is distracted driving. Also, blogspot wouldn’t allow us to post this in the comment section because it exceeded the word limit. We like words. Here are some that we hope you’ll enjoy, too:

Hi Leroy,

Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment; it's a very constructive and thoughtful piece.

You're right--driving can be pretty boring. And many people in American society do crave constant stimulation.

There is no simple "silver bullet" to combating the epidemic of distracted driving. Making it illegal to use cell phones while driving does help to some degree. But according to NHSC research (discussed above) cell phone usage is only responsible for 1.5% of drivers' distractions.

Nearly 54% of drivers' distractions are due to drivers acting like the inside of their cars are personal living rooms. This mentality, which we'll call the living room-mentality, is responsible for the following distractions in chronological order from largest to smallest:
-adjusting radio, CD, etc.
-"other" distractions, such as reaching for objects (pills & pens, etc.), writing down addresses and more.
-other objects in car
-eating & drinking
-cell phones

These figures are based off the NHSC graph and further defined in greater detail at the following link:

(By the way, 8% of distractions are due to 'unknown' causes).

There are two distractions which are particularly forgiving which we'll exclude for now--they are what NHSC calls 'medical problems' and 'child/infant distractions.' Even if you remove these two distractions from the equation, the % of distractions resulting from the living room-mentality is still astoundingly high; roughly 54%, in fact.

The advent of in-car televisions is further evidence that American motorists are
increasingly using their cars as portable living rooms.

(The device, pictured above-right, allows a motorist to use Windows and burn a dvd "on-the-go." Woooow. eHome Upgrade calls it 'Absolutely amazing.')

We believe that the living room-mentality that many Americans get into while driving--that being the idea that because their cars are privately-owned objects an owner can do virtually whatever he/she wants inside the car while driving on a road--is due to a larger social-psychological/cultural phenomena connected to privatism; further enhanced by suburban privatism.

Privatism--the old American desire to have one's "own [private] slice of the pie" w/ a front-yard, rear-yard, garage, etc.--is the main idea that built the suburbs. Post-WWII nuclear-scare era thinking further propelled the planning/development of suburban planning; which built isolation and radical privatism into urban design. Low-density suburbs, where homes were built far away from the workplace, allowed automobiles to flourish and even facilitated automobile dependency. Automobiles, and mainstream-America's fascination w/ automobiles, is a physical extension of the ideas of privatism.

One of the problems of suburban privatism is that when in privately-owned automobiles, many motorists act like they're still in their own private living room, where they can casually make phone-calls, eat food, take pills, send emails, shave or put on makeup. These things are normal to do in living rooms (or bathrooms) and fine to do when in private-automobiles while on private-property (such as a driveway). However, when the 3,000 lb metal private-automobile and the motorist controlling it venture onto a public-road, those above-mentioned behaviors need to be curbed—most importantly, for the safety of other innocent road users (especially cyclists, who are particularly vulnerable).

No one is a perfect driver; imperfection is a human characteristic. But we can all try harder to improve how we drive (and even ride).

A few months back, one of our writers was riding through Mission Valley. When said rider was riding though an intersection at a green light for him, a motorist approaching (a red light) from the perpendicular "crossing" street was traveling at an incredibly dangerous high-speed while talking on a cell phone. Luckily, our writer noticed this phone-using, speeding, driver approaching him and the rider began to slow down so that he would not be killed if the motorist decided to continue on with the same trajectory while running the light. The motorist did in fact decide to run the light and nearly completed his turn when he realized, at the last second, that there was a cyclist there. It was one of those high-speed, barely-yielding, right turn red-light runs. If our writer had not yielded to the speeding, cell-phone-talking motorist who intruded on our bike-commuting writer’s right-of-way, our writer may not have survived the near-collision.

Please note that the motorist offered no visible apology (i.e. a hand wave or an open hand) after nearly crashing into our writer.

The rider, now frustrated, continued on w/ his normal route as did the motorist. When the motorist was stopped a few blocks down the street and waited for a red light, the cyclist pulled over and communicated to the motorist, 'Hey. Hang up your phone!'

What was the motorist's response? His response was 'Mind your own business!'

Our writer responded 'My safety is my business!' And so on…

The speeding, cell-phone using, negligent motorist's response--'Mind your own business!'--is a perfect example of the "living room-mentality" in action. Many motorists think that because they're in a privately-owned piece-of-property they should be able to do virtually whatever they want while inside of their car, despite the fact that they're on public roads.

Again, this epidemic is a very complex social-psychological/cultural phenomena which is connected to larger things; such as suburban privatism, to name one.

To change this, we as a society need to have a mainstream paradigm-shift which re-examines our roles as motorists on public roads.

The Obama Administration's recent claim that distracted driving is an epidemic and menace to society is one huge step in that process. We applaud the Obama Administration for this. Thank you for getting the conversation going. It takes a lot for a White House Administration to stand up and “call out” deadly imperfections of one of America’s largest consumer groups; i.e. car-driving motorists.

And thank you, Leroy Grinchy for further advancing this very important conversation.

Leroy, your idea advocating for more round-a-bouts is a great one!

According to research cited in an excellent new book by Tom Vanderbilt, titled "TRAFFIC: Why We Drive The Way We Do and What It Says About US," the average speed in most roundabouts is half that of conventional intersections.

Not only that, but crashes in intersections are far less frequent in round-a-bout intersections compared to conventional intersections. According to one study (cited in the book), in intersections converted from signals and stop signs to roundabouts, the total crashes dropped nearly 40%, while injury crashes dropped 76%, and fatal crashes by 90% (Vanderbilt, 2008: pg. 178-179).

In short, our advocacy standpoint on round-a-bouts is the following:

Bic Control supports round-a-bouts, from a Livable Streets standpoint. Research shows that round-a-bouts calm automobile traffic.

Round-a-bouts force motorists to pay greater attention while driving on public roads.

When motorists are paying greater attention to the 3,000 pound vehicles they’re steering, and leave the living room-mentality for living rooms, public roads are safer for everyone.

Monday, October 12, 2009

These Arms Are Snakes

is the first band we've ever seen physically kick the ceiling of the Casbah. hahaha! How did that happen? You had to be there. Last nite was insane.

Our friends DD/MM/YYYY, touring all the way from Toronto, Canada, were rad last nite, as well.

(DD/MM/YYYY (above); photo by KidWithCamera from The New Gay)

What does this have to do with mics?
Plenty. We like kids with mic control.

What does this have to do with bikes? Not much; except that, earlier this year, our friend Matt (DD/MM/YYYY) collided with a pot-hole in Toronto, which flung him to the ground, face-first. The impact broke his front teeth in 6 places up inside of his gums. Matt, who sings in DD/MM/YYYY (pictured above), could not sing due to the broken front teeth. This forced the band to cancel a Canadian tour.

Poor guy. He's such a nice person, too. For some reason this makes bike crashes related to crumbling urban infrastructure seem even more unjust.

Matt is currently pursuing a claim against the City of Toronto. Good luck, buddy. Keep us updated on how it goes.

SD Two-year Birthday Video & Pics by Matt Lingo

straight broke

mic control

cam control by matt lingo

happy b-day sd, from the fools at bic control!

such a fun nite!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Be on Lookout!: Ian Dosland's Handcycle Stolen Days Before MS Benefit Tour

Our friend Ian Dosland had his handcycle stolen from the front of his apartment on Monday, October 5, 2009, just days before he was to use the new handcycle on a tour to raise money for his mother's MS treatment.

Here's more info directly from Ian:

My name is Ian Dosland. I am a UCSD student and disabled veteran without the use of my legs. I am planning on competing in the MS 150 this weekend in honor of my mother Kristeen Johanson who has MS. This afternoon my handcycle was stolen from the La Regencia Apartment complex in the UCSD/UTC area. It is a Quickie Shark handcycle that is very dark purple with Quickie written in gold on the sides. It is very low to the ground and has 27 speeds.If you have any information please contact me at 6192032666 or email me at

Please help me find this. I'll have the case number to you as soon as possible.
Thanks, -Ian

This is so unjust! Be on the lookout and help find this hand-cycle!

The Fixed Gear Bicycle is Evolving

It's becoming abundantly clear to anyone involved w/ fixed gear urban riding that riding styles are quickly changing and now the bike industry is starting to evolve alongside.

Just last nite at SD's two-year anniversary ride our friend Isaac pulled off a trick which broke his fork so hard it became completely unattached from his bicycle. Kids (including our friend Isaac) are starting to experiment with DIY self-modifications and reinforcements to their forks.

Some frame-builders who are paying attention (and care about younger urban riders) are working more closely with those younger urban riders to remain at the forefront of urban road cycling.

For example, Leader Bikes, a San Diego-based, independent frame-building company, recently unveiled their new 'Trick frame.'

Our friend Kareem Shehab (director of Death Pedal), one of the younger urban fixed riders we're talking about, works directly with Leader Bikes to test new frames and forks.

When he returned to San Diego to visit this past week, he brought back this gnarly machine equipped with wider tires, a beefier fork mounted on the Leader Trick frame which has a shorter top tube than the average frame and features a unique head tube reinforcement. (More closely visible via their site; ).

(Photos by Matt Lingo. More photos available at )

Kareem's relationship with Leader is just one example of the emerging and developing relationship between younger urban riders and the bike industry. Some companies are starting to pay closer and closer attention to what our friends have to say. We think that's pretty awesome.

Just because you listen to punk-rock, or have tattoos, or ride a bike instead of driving a car doesn't mean you can't have great ideas.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tonite!: Two-year Anniversary Ride for SD

Come out tonite and celebrate SD's two-year anniversary.

The ride tonite meets at 8pm at Market & 8th Ave. in downtown SD--the old E.Vil Doers spot.

Ride safe.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bic Control Collaborating w/ UC Berkeley on Bike Theft-Prevention Research

We're honored to announce that Bic Control is now in collaboration with graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley to advance the field of bike theft-prevention.

We were contacted last nite by one of our friends, a grad student at UC Berkeley, whose working on a serious project to prevent bike theft via improved urban planning, bike parking facilities, bike-locking technology, and more.

The project is currently in its research phase. The project coordinator we spoke with was mainly interested in how and where we lock our bikes, in addition to informal consulting on suggestions for the improvement of urban planning and bike parking facilities.

Stay blogged for further developments on this interesting endeavor.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tonite!: Bike Nite at Tin Can Ale House! Death Pedal Screening, DJs, Fun!

All things bike friendly!
-Trackstand comps inside the bar (winner gets a free drink!)
-In-bar bike-parking
-DJs spinning fun jams you'll want to ride to

Tonite organizers will be screening San Diego's very-own, ultra-thrashing, globe-trotting fixed-gear film Death Pedal!

Plus director Kareem Shehab is back in town momentarily from the ATL! So show him some SD Bike Luvv at Bike Nite tonite.

Tour de Fat Raises Over $20,000 for Bicycle Advocacy in San Diego!

Tour de Fat's first-time in San Diego turns out to be a huge success!

Over $20,000 were raised for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the San Diego Mountain Biking Association!

New Belgium's Tour de Fat organizers informed Kathy Keehan, Executive Director of the Bike Coalition that San Diego's Tour de Fat was the most successful first-year Tour de Fat ever!

Congrats and thanks to everyone who made this year's event so awesome.

Your efforts and contributions have helped advance the cause of bicycle advocates throughout the San Diego county.

See you next year Tour de Fat!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bike Coalition & Zero-Waste: Volunteers Needed this Saturday @ Tour de Fat

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Zero-Waste (two non-directly-related non-profits) are looking for volunteers to help with San Diego's first-ever Tour de Fat festival tomorrow.

The Bike Coalition is looking for volunteers to help with free bike parking, setting-up, cleaning-up, and/or giving out free water. Even if you can help with just one of these things, the Bike Coalition would love you!

If interested, contact:
Kathy Keehan, Executive Director, SDCBC
execdir [at]
or call 858 487 6063
or just show up!

Zero-waste is looking for (age 21+) volunteers to help guide attendees to discard their resources in the appropriate bins. There are two shifts available:

1st Shift: 10:00am to 1:30pm (one spot available)
2nd Shift: 1:30pm to 5:00pm (5 spots available)

If interested in volunteering, please go to the following link ( and fill out the application and send it back to the following addy as soon as you can: contact [at]

See y'all there.