Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bike wars!

As we get into the lazy days of summer and the city council is doing no harm on its annual break, our eyes turn to regional happenings.

From the town of Pacific Beach (also known to San Diego tipplers as Baja Encinitas, we're told), Pacific Beach businesses push back against bike-sharing service:
A battle is brewing in Pacific Beach over who controls the local bike rental market.

"We're a small neighborhood shop," said Surf Monkey Bike shop owner Jake Russell.

"I'm going to lose rentals because of it," Russell added when asked about the new DecoBike bike-sharing stations popping up around PB.

Bike-sharing allows a customer to rent a bike from one location and return it to another.

"We want DecoBike to pack up and go back to the East Coast," Russell exclaimed.

Russell said the ride-sharing service will directly cut into his business and dozens of others who rent bikes. In some locations, parking spots will be lost when new stations open.
DecoBike is a company that started bike-share in Miami and has expanded to San Diego in partnership with the city of San Diego. Their locations are primarily around downtown San Diego for urban commuters, but the expansion into Pacific Beach puts them right in the tourist market.

In some ways, this is like Uber vs. the taxi cartels: entrenched incumbents complaining about disruptive innovation. But in important ways, it differs. Where Uber is a pure market innovator and the taxi cartels are a government-created oligopoly, in the PB case the bike shops are the free-market operators and the disruptor is coming in with government support in the form of unprecedented rights to hundreds of bike rack locations on public property (and who knows what other financial support from the city, SANDAG, et. al.).

Aside from the PB brouhaha, though, bike-share is a rapidly growing concept around the world.

Is it time for bike-share in Encinitas? Up to now, most of our bicyclists are the spandex-clad multi-color weekend Lance Armstrongs. We don't have the hotel zone or the flat east-west routes or the bike path around the bay for tourists that PB has. Would tourists, commuters, or shoppers use shared bikes to go over the ridge to or from El Camino Real? Is there enough demand for bike shares to work up and down the coast to Solana Beach and Carlsbad, or within Encinitas from Leucadia to Cardiff?


  1. Do a google search on bike sharing failure.

  2. You can get run down around here just walking - cars don't stop for pedestrians. I've had some very close calls. This is NOT a bike friendly town (safety wise).

  3. Bikes and cars should never be in the same vicinity. Someone will always lose their life and most likely it will be the biker. If you value your life, ride your bike in a safe area. People driving cars are too distracted by cell phones, kids, pets and who knows what else.

    The answer to your question in the blog, is No, No, and No.

    1. Replace cars and bikes in your comment with trucks and cars. Same thing, right?

      How would it sound to you if truckers suggested that they are too bad at driving to look out for your safety, and that you should find other roads to drive on?

      Hey, here's an idea: up the penalties for distracted driving and enforce the shit out of it. Better yet, add microwave RF shielding as a mandatory feature of all new cars, so that the cell phone becomes a brick inside the passenger compartment.

      But the best solution is for every one of us to be aware that every single rider's life is in our hands, and that each one is someone's brother, sister, mommy, or beloved child.

      Fatalism is not the answer; humanity is.

    2. 7:34 makes a silly, idealistic argument.

      Trucks are not to cars as cars are to bikes and pedestrians. That's not a good comparison because there's no equivalency.

      Regardless of enforcement, some people are not going to drive carefully and considerately, some people are going to drive drunk, and some people are going to be distracted.

      That's the reality. Pedestrians and people on bikes are inherently vulnerable. The more they're mixed with cars, the more will get hurt.

      If you want to ride a bike north to south or the reverse through Encinitas in relative safety, use Neptune and Third, not 101. Besides being safer, the route is a lot more pleasant.

    3. If not making excuses for bad drivers who kill cyclists is idealistic, then yes; please call me idealistic.

    4. OK, stick with your ideals and ride your bike in the sharrow lanes to spite the bad drivers.

      The reality is you'll get smashed. So much for your ideals. And the bad drivers will still be bad drivers.

    5. 2:14, I'm sure the folks on Neptune will love the extra congestion.

    6. There's not much bicycle traffic on 101. If it switched to Neptune, that wouldn't be a problem. More cars would be a problem.

    7. You want a club ride of 50 pounding out 30 mph down Neptune?

      I don't think so.

    8. The speed limit on Neptune is 25 mph.

      From Wiki:

      "In utility cycling there is a large variation; an elderly person on an upright roadster might do less than 10 km/h (6.2 mph) while a fitter or younger person could easily do twice that on the same bicycle.

      "For cyclists in Copenhagen, the average cycling speed is 15.5 km/h (9.6 mph).

      "On a racing bicycle, a reasonably fit rider can ride at 40 km/h (25 mph) on flat ground for short periods."

      Rather than displaying your ignorance, learn the facts before you post.

    9. Are you suggesting that a large pack of fit riders can't hit surge speeds of 30mph on flat tarmac?

      You don't know much about aerodynamics of pelotons do you?

    10. Put it this way: the record Ironman Triathlon bike split averaged 27.5 mph. That's over a 112 mile course. That's after swimming 2.4 miles. That's before running a marathon. And drafting is not allowed, so that's an individual rider maintaining that speed for four hours with no aerodynamic help.

      Would you like to change your answer?

  4. 7:50-

    You are a danger to society and should not drive. I pity people with your mentality. The same could be said about pedestrians. People need to drive responsibly. Through the book at them with they hurt someone from their neglect.

    Bicycling should be encouraged. Straight pipe vehicles should be enforced.

    Wake up City Council and direct the new City Manager to direct the Sheriff captain to direct the Sheriffs to begin enforcing the existing CVC laws regarding altered vehicular exhaust system.

    Peacefulness and the sound of birds and ocean is good.


    1. 7:37 That's the problem. The rules of NOT texting and using your cell phone when driving are not being enforced. I don't care how responsible you think a driver is, a couple of seconds of distraction means disaster.

      Wake up. People like you are a danger to MY society.

  5. "Pedestrian deaths rose 35 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report by the San Diego County Medical Examiner. That’s 88 people on foot struck down by vehicles last year. (Union-Tribune)"

    1. You failed to mention that most were drug related. 85 motorcyclists and 10 bikers were killed just last year. Some of the pedestrians were related to suicide.

  6. 11:20, I wonder how many new controlled intersections increased in the county from 2013 to 2014?

  7. Enlighten me if I'm mistaken.

    Since the speed limit on N 101 was lowered, the highway was resurfaced and bike lanes were designated, of the thousands of cyclists that ride along the 2 mile stretch each day, I've only heard of one bad accident. But a car wasn't involved. A woman fell off of her bike.