October 2015

California Bicycle Laws: Safety Starts with the Rules

Some basic rules of the road:

Ride on the Street:

You have a right to ride on the street.  You are not required to ride on the sidewalk.  Exception:  Freeways and some bridges may have signs posted forbidding bicyclists.


Obey All Signs, Street Markings and Signals:

Bicycle riders must obey the same rules as drivers.  This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs.


Ride With Traffic, Not Against It:
You must ride on the right half of the roadway, with the flow of traffic.  Exception: you can ride on wither the left or right side of one-way streets.


Look and Yield Before You Go:
You must yield to traffic before entering the roadway.


Ride Outside the Door Zone:
It’s the responsibility of motor vehicle drivers to make sure it;s clear before opening a door.  Despite this, a practical guide is to ride at least 3 feet from parked cars.


Signal and Yield When Moving Left or Right:
Use hand signals to indicate  when you are turning, changing lanes, or stopping.  Move left or right only when it’s clear to do so.


Download the the ‘Rules of The Road’ courtesy of Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition



Tour de France 2016 edition to feature Mt. Ventoux, ‘The Terrible Mountain’

It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult and challenging climbs in France. At an average gradient of 7.6% and maximum of 12% over it’s 21.4 km, this is one tough climb.  Read more here.

Santa Barbara Century

Santa Barbara 100 – October 17, 2015

Think you know the rules of the Road?

How much do you really know about the CA Vehicle Code as it applies to bicyclists? Take Bike East Bay’s online Bicycle Law Quiz and find out. You may be surprised.

Ingredients Found in Cycling Foods

For anyone who has ridden endurance cycling events or raced their bicycle, you know how important nutrition on the bike is.  But what exactly is contained within many of the most common cycling food products.  Here’s a list of 10 common food ingredients.


Found in: Hammer, Gu, and Clif products (though Clif uses organic maltodextrin)
This simple carbohydrate is found in many brands’ offerings as one of the main sources for calories in gels, blocks, and drinks. Technically, maltodextrin is a non-sugar carbohydrate. But that’s why it’s included in many sports drinks and gels: While not technically a simple sugar, it metabolizes just as quickly, “straddling a gray area” between simple sugars like glucose and more complex carbohydrates like starches.


Found in: Honey Stinger products

Dr. Stacy Sims, founder of Osmo Nutrition, states, “Honey is good when it is in something, but its higher fructose content can cause gastrointestinal issues if used straight-up. Raw honey is the best, as it has a lower (Glycemic Index) hit, which allows for more sustained energy,” and less likelihood of drastic blood sugar swings.


Tapioca Syrup
Found in:
 Clif Bar products and Skratch products
Tapioca syrup is another more natural, whole-food style of sugar. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but you don’t need your on-bike food to be whole food—especially if you’re not putting in massive hours on the bike and eating most of your daily calories while you ride.

Tapioca syrup, though, is perfectly fine for sports performance purposes. It’s lower on the Glycemic Index than many other sugars typically used,  and works as a much healthier replacement for corn syrup.


Organic Brown Rice Syrup
Found in: Clif Bar products

People associate brown rice with health foods, which is what makes an ingredient like “organic brown rice syrup” sound better than many of the more chemical or sweet-sounding sugars, but it’s ultimately the same thing: a sugar that will fuel your ride.


Found in: Gu products
Some caution riders against consuming fructose, especially those riders susceptible to stomach problems and GI problems on the bike. Note that while fructose isn’t the sole form of sugar Gu uses, it is one of them.


Found in: Gatorade and Skratch products (though Skratch uses cane sugar)
Both cane sugar and regular sugar are sucrose.  A multi-source form of sugar like sucrose is much better for ‘parallel processing,’ as it allows the stomach to absorb more total sugar.


Found in: Skratch and Gatorade products
Dextrose is a simple sugar, but it will do the job and fuel your pedaling. As a simple glucose, it can come from corn, grapes, and beets, which makes it ideal for vegan athletes, who, Sims notes, have a very difficult time finding diet-approved simple sugars. If that’s a sticking point, make sure you check with a company before you start using its products.


Sodium Citrate
Found in: Gu, Gatorade, and Skratch products
Sodium and potassium citrates are easier electrolytes to absorb than straight sodium or potassium.  Sodium citrate is ideal when used as the primary sodium source. It is the ‘sweet salt,’ in that it allows a greater amount of sodium in a product without creating an overly salty taste. The citrate also works with aerobic metabolism, so there is no negative byproduct.


Potassium Citrate
Found in: Clif and Skratch products
The reason electrolytes were originally included in sports drinks was because the guy who came up with Gatorade figured if you lose salt in sweat, you should replace it.  As with sodium citrate, potassium citrate doesn’t produce any negative byproducts from its metabolism during exercise—meaning no nasty stuff transcends the kidney and ends up in our urine.


Found in:
 Clif and Gatorade products
Salt is just sodium chloride. While good in small doses, don’t reach for a salt lick while you’re riding. It pulls water into the gut because the sodium needs to be diluted before it can be absorbed, and the chloride changes the membrane potential of the intestinal cells, allowing them to open up, contributing to ‘leaky gut.’” And no one wants a leaky gut on the bike.

Source : www.bicycling.com

A Los Angeles Plan to Reshape the Streetscape

Los Angeles has historically been a bustling center where people from all over the world have come to explore the possibilities this city has to offer. For the 3.8 million who have made it their home; they have given this city its unique identity comprised of distinct neighborhoods. Numerous places to go, things to

do, warm weather, and a strong economic base all contribute to making Los Angeles a great place to live and work in. A city as diverse as Los Angeles requires a transportation system that offers equally diverse and viable choices to accommodate all.

Mobility Plan 2035 (Plan) provides a roadmap for achieving a transportation system that balances the needs of all road users. As an update to the City’s General Plan Transportation Element (last adopted
in 1999), Mobility Plan 2035 incorporates “Complete Streets” principles and lays the policy foundation for how future generations of Angelenos interact with their streets.

In 2008, the California State Legislature adopted AB 1358, The Complete Streets Act, which requires local jurisdictions to, “plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways, defined to include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation, in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban or urban context.”

The City’s transportation system will continue to evolve to fit the context of the time and situation. Today, we are faced with environmental constraints, public health issues, and some of the longest traffic delays in the nation. The way Mobility Plan 2035 addresses these issues through policy initiatives today will set the stage for the way we move in the future.

Read entire plan outline here

Ticketed Cyclists offered a Chance to Take Safety Classes to Reduce Fines Thanks to New Law

Existing law specifies the penalties for a violation of the Vehicle Code or an ordinance or resolution adopted under the Vehicle Code, including the imposition of fines, fees, and forfeitures, and imprisonment, as specified. Existing law also specifies procedures related to the imposition of those penalties and the disposition of fees, fines, and forfeitures. Existing law provides that a local authority may not allow a person who has committed a traffic violation under the Vehicle Code to participate in a driver awareness or education program as an alternative to the imposition of those penalties and procedures, unless the program is a diversion program for a minor who commits an infraction not involving a motor vehicle and for which no fee is charged.


This bill would instead allow any person of any age who commits an infraction not involving a motor vehicle to participate in a diversion program that is sanctioned by local law enforcement. The bill would eliminate the requirement that such a program charge no fee. The bill would make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.

Read more.

1.5 Million Bikes Recalled; Faulty Quick Releases Blamed

Seventeen bike brands announce recall of affected disc brake bikes.

Last April, bikemaker Trek announced a gigantic recall of almost one million disc brake-equipped bikes due to a problem with quick release skewers that attached wheels to its bikes. Since the quick release in question was broadly used by a number of bike companies, the question was whether—and when—additional recalls would be announced.

Read More…

Money-Saving Home Bike Repairs

Create Your Home Shop

Before you can fix your bike, you will need a few tools. A set of hex wrenches ranging from 1.5 mm to 10 mm and a preset torque wrench, so you don’t overtighten bolts and crack your carbon frame or components. A quality floor pump with a gauge is a necessity—you should check your tire pressure before every ride. And a work-stand will give you easier access to all parts of your bike.

Shop for stands.


Clean Your Ride

A simple wipe-down can help you spot damage early, when it’s most likely easier—and cheaper—to fix. Also, you will be able to spot any frame cracks, which can really save you from a damaging fall.  Do this at least once a month: Avoiding the chain and cassette, spritz your bike with a spray cleaner like Bike Lust and wipe it off with a clean rag, checking for chips and cracks in the paint. If you notice any, take the bike to your local shop to confirm that the damage is only cosmetic.

Shop for Spray Cleaners.


Clean Your Chain

Dirt causes wonky shifting, tight chain links, and added wear on the derailleur and cogs, which are pricey to replace (trust me). To thoroughly clean your chain, all you need is a scrubber—a plastic gizmo filled with brushes and sponges that snaps into place around the chain (or an old kitchen sponge that has an abrasive side), cleaning solvent, and lube. Start by shifting your chain onto the middle or smallest front chainring and the smallest rear cog. Add cleaner to the fill line of the scrubber, or onto the sponge. Then attach the scrubber to the chain, or grip it with the rough side of your sponge, and spin the crank backward for about 30 pedal strokes. Remove the scrubber, rinse the chain with a gentle stream of water, wipe it dry with a cloth, then lubricate it.



Check Chain Wear

Use a 12-inch ruler or a chain checker designed specifically for the task. With a chain checker, turn the gauge to zero and place both pins into the gaps between the links. Replace your chain when the reading hits about 0.75 percent. Or, hold a ruler up against the chain so that the first line is in the center of a pin. The last line on the ruler should also fall in the center of a pin. If the pin is between 1/16- and 1/8-inch over, you need a new chain. More than that? Start cassette shopping.



Replace Your Brake Pads

If you hear a gritty sound when braking, if the brake pad grooves have disappeared, or your braking ability has decreased, it may be time for new pads. Choose the right ones for your rims. Alloy-and carbon-specific brake pads exist for a reason: They will protect your wheels and increase your braking ability. To change rim-brake pads, loosen the set screws in the pad holder with a hex wrench and slide out the pad. Then turn the brake-cable adjustment clockwise until it is fully screwed in, slide the new pad into the holder according to the directional arrow on the pad, and replace any screws. How long will they last? It depends on riding conditions, how often you brake, and—ahem—how clean you keep your bike.


Swap Out Cables

A broken cable could leave you stuck in one gear or, worse, without the ability to stop. Plan to replace your cables at the end of every riding season or when you notice them fraying, shifting becomes slow and inaccurate, or braking feels sticky. Learn how with our repair videos at bicycling.com/brakecables and bicycling.com/shifter-cables.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Here is a link to products specifically benefitting cancer-related charities.