On Thursday, June 22, independent bicycle dealers, bicycle industry representatives, bicycling advocates and political representatives joined forces in a valuable Rider Safety Visibility (RSV) summit to discuss how bicyclists can better deploy the latest in technology to become more visible and safe whether they are road riding, commuting to work or cycling to school. The RSV event, moderated by Nathan Fletcher, was held at California Bicycle, Inc., 7462 La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla, Calif.

Former California Assemblyman and now Professor of Practice at UC San Diego Nathan Fletcher and NiteRider’s Mike Ely during the RSV presentation. (Kim A. Merrill)

The event, co-sponsored by the San Diego Sports Collective and the San Diego Sport Innovators, focused more than 40 attendees on the latest in RSV technology, including LED helmets with integrated brake and turn signals; day and night time running lights; high visibility clothing and commuter bags; and other RSV technologies that are effective at ensuring that cyclists increase visibility in an increasing era of distracted driving.

Former California Assemblyman and now Professor of Practice at UC San Diego, Fletcher, led the discussion on how people on bicycles have to take the lead and stack the deck in their favor as much as possible by utilizing lights for both day and night time riding, and deploying some of the latest technologies like integrated LED helmets, reflective clothing and other high visibility accessories to better identify themselves to motorists.

Mike Ely, COO of San Diego-based NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems, addressed the group on the importance of bicyclists using front and rear lights during the daytime as well as at night. Today, new cars and motorcycles are equipped with day time running lights – to be seen by other motorists, the same reasoning is used for bicyclists for illuminating their position on the road. He said that cost barrier to entry in terms of cyclists purchasing bike lighting has been greatly reduced. Ely pointed to a comprehensive display of lighting systems that are available at California Bicycle, Inc.

Brother Bill Walton and Ed Clancy with Proviz gear (Kim A. Merrill).

“There is a major push to use bicycles as a way to reduce car trips and improve our environment, at the same time these same cyclists are interacting with traffic in an era of increasingly distracted drivers. Bicyclists today need highly effective and visible options to stack the deck in their favor in terms of being better seen during the day and night,” said Ed Clancy of the San Diego Sports Collective, the event sponsor.

NBA Hall of Famer and Executive Chairman of the San Diego Sport Innovators Bill Walton was in attendance to throw his support behind the effort and spoke to the group about this own efforts to be visible on the road using reflective clothing and lights on the front and rear of his bicycle.

Nathan Fletcher suggested calling on bicycle manufacturers to put integrated lights on all models in the immediate future, while better enforcement and significant fines for motorists violating the 3-foot law plus driving/texting could be a positive deterrent.

Kevin Millard, owner of La Jolla’s California Bicycle, Inc., said that San Diego County’s cycling infrastructure makes commuting very difficult and intimating especially to newer cyclists. However, improvement is taking place but cyclists must put safety into their own hands as well. “Education and visibility are both ways to take action. Proper riding etiquette will increase motorist awareness and respect while decreasing the fear of riding in traffic. Being seen with the use of day time running lights and bright clothing are simple and effective ways to greatly improve safety,” Millard said.

Discussion also highlighted how retailers can create Rider Safety Visibility displays in store to focus consumer attention on the latest products and technologies; as well as encouraging club/team to casual riders to adhere to a riding code of conduct to include all participants have lights at all times.

From left to right: Kim A. Merrill, Bill Walton, and Ed Clancy (Kim A. Merrill).

About the San Diego Sports Collective
This event is produced by the San Diego Sports Collective. The Rider Safety Visibility (RSV) initiative was created to improve rider visibility by creating programs that tie together companies, bicycle advocates, alternative transportation, climate action, and business and community leaders. San Diego Sports Collective is a group of passionate sports enthusiasts who want to share and support action sports and facilitate an active lifestyle in San Diego. Our action sports events include surfing, cycling, snowboarding, skiing, hockey, and more! For more information, www.sdsportscollective.com

About SDSI
SDSI is a nonprofit business development organization focused on the Sport and Active Lifestyle (SAL) industry. Working with Executive Chairman and NBA great Bill Walton, our 100 company membership represents the “San Diego Lifestyle” and includes leading sports and technology brands, nutrition and yoga, surf, skate, cycling, golf and retail, as well as some of San Diego’s bests service companies. We focus on relevant and actionable C-level content that benefits our member companies. SDSI’s award winning SDSI Springboard business accelerator program features a 20-week mentor-led curriculum whose graduates have raised $47.5 million and have an 89% success record. For more information, visit www.SDSportInnovators.com.