Biking in Big Cities: PA/NJ Cyclists Receive Much Needed, Brotherly Love

Philadelphia may be more than 2,200 miles away from our law offices in California but no matter. Distance cannot stop the kinship we feel with those who think of biking as a way of life. Accordingly, we were pleased to read about what The Delaware River Port Authority is doing for fellow bikers who call the City of Brotherly Love and New Jersey their respective homes.

In case you missed it, they’re about to launch a cycling focused, construction project that may go a long way in preventing biking accidents on bridges. We’re excited for them and can’t wait to see what the proposed ramp will look like in 2019 when it’s expected to be open to the cycling public. In addition to preventing accidents, we sure it, as well as the revamped Circuit Trails, will make the area more pleasant for local and out-of-town bicycling enthusiasts alike.

Some may recall that California has had its own share of bridge-related, biking accidents. As a matter of fact, a high-profile one occurred earlier this year. It was so horrific, that it was covered by national media sources, including but not limited to the LA TimesGrindTVSB Nation, and Esquire Magazine. Those affiliated with the Delaware River’s Port Authority are no doubt hoping their plans will help prevent similar occurrences and more from happening there.

But what about bicycle enthusiasts who don’t live anywhere near Pennsylvania or New Jersey? Will they see relief from bicycle accident related problems in the coming months too? In a word, the answer is, “Maybe.” As it stands now, Californians involved in bridge related, bicycle accidents must generally turn towards the court system for relief and that can be a tough road to travel without legal representation. To learn more about what people and their bicycle lawyers are doing in our state about that, please contact Attorney Gary Brustin today.

Should There Be a Bicycle Tax?

There’s a new slogan coming out of a few select lawmaker’s offices – “We share the road, we should share the costs.” This slogan speaks to what could be a growing trend of a “bicycle tax” that states that adults should pay a small tax on bicycle purchases that go to local governments to support transportation costs. As you would expect, opinions are highly mixed on the issue.

This new tax comes immediately from Oregon where they passed a law that states that adult bicycle purchases over $200 now have to pay an additional $15 to the state to support road costs. Now other towns in Colorado are looking at passing a similar law, and if it succeeds, it could be coming to your bike-friendly town next.

Naturally, bicycle riders and bicycle shop owners lean against the law since it would likely affect a person’s decision to purchase a bike. However, non-cyclists and lawmaker’s argue that it is only $15 and as car drivers, they have been paying such taxes for years. With many cities now putting in dedicated bicycle lanes for cyclists, many are calling for them to help pay for it.

Naturally, this will likely be the cause of much debate over the coming years. Cycling is a body and Earth-friendly way of getting around, and those who care for the environment want to encourage more people to make the switch. However, would a small tax discourage it?

Regardless of the cost of buying a bicycle, people will likely still do it, and this means accidents will still happen. If you have been the victim of bicycle discrimination or a serious accident, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to supporting the rights of cyclists.

Is It Time To Replace Your Bicycle Helmet?

As your most important piece of safety equipment, it is crucial you maintain your bicycle helmet so that you can have your head protected on every ride you take. However, while it seems pretty sturdy, a helmet doesn’t last a lifetime. It needs to be replaced, and too few cyclists realize that. So when should you replace your bicycle helmet?

Have You Been in a Crash?

Some damage to a helmet is pretty obvious. If you can see cracks or splinters, then that is a pretty obvious sign that you need to replace it. However, not all damage is obvious. If you have been in a crash where you fell on your helmet, then the integrity of it could very well be compromised. In the next crash, your head may not be protected quite as well.

What’s the Shelf Life?

Believe it or not, most manufacturers put a shelf life on their helmets. Typically it is recommended to replace them every 3 to 5 years. This might be a ploy to sell more helmets, but typically age can affect the integrity of the materials. That being said, helmets are made with safer and safer materials each year as well.

Does Your Helmet Fit Properly?

This is more typical of children, but it can happen with adults too. Sometimes you just outgrow your helmet or you find that it doesn’t fit as well as it should. If your helmet doesn’t fit properly, it is definitely time to replace it since it clearly won’t do its intended job.

Bicycle helmets protect you, but not all of you. If you have been in a cycling accident and want to make sure your injuries are coveredcontact us today.

How to Ride Safely in a Bicycle Group

When it comes to road cycling, typically riders are pretty knowledgeable about the rules. It is the drivers that tend to be less knowledgeable. However, while riding solo is pretty intuitive, riding in a group can be a much different experience. Many solo riders who group up for the first time find this out the hard way. So for the solo cyclist getting ready for their first group ride, here are some tips.

  • Call Out Cars – When riding as a group, there are a few blind spots. The bikes up front often aren’t aware of cars in the rear while the riders in front have first sight in cars up front. Good front and rear guards will call out cars with “car up” or “car down” respectively so the cyclists can tighten up the group structure.
  • Ride Two by Two or Single – When you are in a cycling group, you may feel a bit safer riding three deep because it feels like you actually have a presence on the road. However, if you start taking up an entire lane going at bicycle speed, don’t be surprised if you get some honks. Typically, you want to ride two deep so the car feels like it can pass you, but will still pass you properly by going into the other lane for safety.
  • Leave Car Spaces on Uphills – If you are going uphill, around a curve, or on a narrow road, spread your group so there is a car’s length space between each biker. This allows cars to pass safely in between without trying to bypass the whole group at once.

It may seem like riding in a group is safer, but no amount of cyclists will make it safe if drivers don’t know how to deal with them. If you have been in a cycling accident with a car, contact us today.

The Basic Rules of Locking Up a Bike

Accidents aren’t the only way your bicycle can get damaged or destroyed. If you live in even a moderate-sized city, all you need to do to lose your bicycle is to leave it outside overnight without a lock. It probably won’t be there in the morning. However, if you know the basic rules of locking up a bicycle, then you can keep it safe.

First, you should buy yourself the best bike lock you can afford. A bike chain and combination lock are fine, but they can easily be cut through. A sturdy U-lock is best. Typically, to ward off except the most hardcore bike thieves, all you need to do is put the effort into locking up your bike. However, if you have a new or particularly flashy bike, never leave it locked up outside overnight.

Once you have the lock, you need to know where to lock it up. Bike racks should be your first choice, but you don’t always have the option. The next best option is somewhere that is both unmovable, but also highly visible. You may feel safer locking it up in an alley, but bike thieves are more likely to strike in places where there aren’t a dozen eyes on them at all times. Keep your bike visible and random pedestrians will keep it safe. As for where to lock it, anywhere unmovable is fine, but you need to consult your city ordinances to make sure areas like lamp posts or street signs are legal venues to lock your bike to.

While locking up your bike keeps it safe, it won’t always be safe on the road. If you have been in a cycling accident and need legal representation, contact us today.

Bicycle Safety Inspection Checklist – Read Before Riding

Before riding your bike, it’s important that you check to make sure that all of its parts are in perfect working order. Just one malfunctioning part can have dire consequences. Here is a bicycle safety checklist to take care of before riding out.


  • Do the tires have enough air?
  • Are there cuts or bulges in the tires? Is there a good tread?
  • Do the wheels spin without any problems?
  • Are any spokes broken?


  • Do they work properly?
  • Do they stop the bike smoothly without sliding?
  • Make sure your bike does not move when the brakes are applied.


  • Make sure there is no rust and that the chain is clean.
  • Make sure the chain is lubricated.
  • Make sure the chain fits snugly.


  • Is it firm and secure?
  • Do you feel comfortable on it?
  • Is it straight?
  • Is it the right height?


  • Make sure there is no looseness in any nuts or fasteners. Make sure all parts, such as the seat, handlebars, etc are fastened tightly.
  • Make sure the frame is clean and without large patches of rust.
  • Make sure the handlebar is straight and aligned with the front wheel.


  • Make sure you have a red reflector light in the back which can be seen 300 feet away.
  • Make sure you have a white light in the front which can be seen 300 feet away.
  • Make sure the lights are straight, firmly attached and are working.

If you ever suffer an injury while riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us immediately for legal help.

General Bicycle Safety Recommendations

Biking is generally a very safe sport, but not without some inherent dangers. Following a few general bicycle safety recommendations will dramatically reduce your chances of injury.

1. Wear a helmet. 

This tip cannot be stressed enough; in many states, it is the law that you wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing a helmet is the cheapest and easiest way to stay safe on your bicycle, regardless of state laws. Also, if your helmet gets damaged in any way, it is now unsafe to use. Replace it immediately with a brand-new helmet.

2. Get regular professional bike tune-ups. 

Ensuring that your bicycle is always in good shape is an excellent way to stay safe. Loose bolts, worn components, and worn tires create unsafe riding conditions and will increase your risk of an accident. Bring your bicycle into a local bike shop to get the recommended tune-ups regularly.

3. Keep your eyes open. 

Be attentive to your surroundings when cycling. Constantly look at the pavement ahead to avoid any nasty potholes or curbs, and be aware of any nearby traffic. Riding your bicycle distracted is certainly a recipe for disaster.

4. Know your comfort level. 

Don’t ride your bike on a busy road if it makes you uncomfortable. Practice safe riding techniques on side roads and residential streets before you attempt to ride on busier roads, and even then avoid riding during rush-hour.

These are just a few general safety recommendations bicycles. Contact us if you have any questions about filing a claim for a bicycle-related accident.

What Every Cyclist Should Check before Hitting the Road

When it comes to bicycle safety, not only do you need to know how to stay safe on the road, but a big part of that is making sure your bicycle is safe to ride. By performing a simple pre-ride check each time you are getting ready to head out can make sure that you are as safe as can be.

A pre-ride check should include:

  • Check tire air pressure and add air as needed for an easier ride.
  • Check the tread on your tires to make sure they are not completely balled. This should also include checking for any debris stuck in the treads that could cause a flat.
  • Check that the wheels are secured tightly and the quick releases are secure so that the wheels don’t come loose while riding.
  • Check the brakes to make sure they are grabbing. Make sure they are grabbing the rims of the wheels and not the wheels themselves as well to prevent wear and sudden flats.
  • Compress and release suspension to make sure it is working properly.
  • Check your chain for dryness and add lube if needed.
  • Spin the wheels looking for wobbles. If wheels are wobbly, make sure to get them trued.

The above may seem like a lot of steps, but they can actually all be done rather quickly. By doing this pre-ride check every time, it is just one more variable of bicycle safety to remove. However, if you have been in an accident, you shouldn’t have to suffer it alone. If you need representation to make sure your rights aren’t stomped on, contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin today.

Three Skills to Master Before Road Cycling

There is a reason that you hear about bicycling accidents in the city so often. It is because road cycling is one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do. The honest truth is that very few drivers know how to deal with sharing the road with a cyclist, and it is that lack of knowledge that gets cyclists hurt. While drivers should work to educate themselves, so, too, must cyclists work to prevent accidents. Before even getting on the road, you should be a master of these three skills.

Riding a Straight Line

It sounds like common sense, but we have all had to ride behind that sloppy and unpredictable cyclist at some point. You don’t want to bethe cyclist in the bike lane that is weaving all over the place not only because it can weave you into traffic, but it puts other cyclists at risk of hitting you.

Looking Back Without Curving

You know how sometimes when you look back your entire bike moves with you? Well, when you are one slight swerve from being in front of a car, you definitely can’t let that happen. It requires some practice, but you need to know how to observe your surroundings without causing your bike to veer in any direction.

Control Speed

It is easy (and super fun) to pick up speed on a bicycle, but when you are riding a busy road, you need to focus on being able to stop quickly and safely avoid any obstacles. You better believe you will have something unexpected happen almost every time you get out there, too.

Have you been in a bicycle accident and need to make sure your rights are represented? Contact a California bicycle accident lawyer today, we fight for the rights of cyclists.

California Law Bans Headphones for Cyclists

If you are a cyclist cruising down your regular cycling strip to work in California with your headphones on and your favorite songs blaring through them, as of the first of the year, you have officially been breaking the law. Unaware cyclists are already finding punishment over this new law that some call overbearing.

According to the Section 27400 of the California Vehicle Code, cyclists are now prohibited from wearing a headset, earplugs, or earphones in both ears, something that many cyclists do to drown out street noise. However, as many have already found out, breaking this new law will net a fairly hefty $178 fine.

While many are outraged at such prosecution of a victimless crime, there are other cyclists that realize there are victims of wearing headphones. The victim’s are the cyclists themselves. So long as they are mindful, a cyclist listening to music probably won’t end up hurting anyone. However, that also means they won’t hear any vehicles coming up behind them. This puts them in grave danger of not being able to react to a negligent motorist. Of course, there would be no need for such laws if motorists were better trained to share the road and more bicycle lanes were installed throughout major cities.

While there won’t be much fighting these fines, if you are a cyclist that has been in a cycling accident due to the negligence of those who need to share the road with you, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin fights for cyclists and their right for their share of the road.

Bicycle Safety Needs to Go Beyond Dedicated Lane Legislation and Rebates

As the California Bicycle Coalition works hard to establish a statewide rebate program for commuters, others are fighting to get more bike lanes in place. Over the years, both efforts have been stymied due to a variety of reasons. However, people concerned for bicycle safety are starting to feel hopeful. Signs of headway being made on both fronts are behind their new-found elation. But will all of the recent movement turn out to be enough?

Sadly, we think not. Having more dedicated lanes will certainly help matters as will financial incentives for people to buy new bikes. Unfortunately, those efforts won’t stop shoddy manufacturing practices and poor driving. For example, many lobbyists would like to see environmentally safe lanes being used by eco-friendly, e-bikes. That’s great but what about e-bike and cycling helmet recalls?

They are still occurring. As far as e-bikes are concerned, there have been notable problems with batteries. In some cases, the batteries posed fire or acid burn risks. In additional cases, e-bikes were found to have different problems, like defective forks and seats. Plus, other types of bicycles and biking accessories are being recalled too. Some of the most recent recalls were for a series of standard bikes with defective frames, wheels and quick releases.

Although different, all of the bicycle recalls had the potential to send cyclists in to the path of oncoming traffic. So for riders using those defective products, any protection afforded by the designated bike lanes could be lost. The same could be said for riders who are struck by inexperienced or distracted motorists.

And we haven’t talked yet about accidents that occur in areas where there are no bicycle lanes or poorly maintained ones. They are issues that need to be looked at seriously by bicycle safety experts too. To learn more about what’s going on with bicycle safety related legislation and how lawyers may help injured riders, please contact us today.

Bicycle Safety: How to Dress Properly for Cycling

There are a lot of bicycle safety “rules” for you to keep in mind if you want to stay safe while you’re out on the road. One thing that you might not be putting enough thought into, for example, is what you wear when you hop on your bike. Ensuring that you dress properly, however, can help keep you safe. These are a couple of tips that can help prevent accidents.

Make Sure Clothes are Properly-Fitting

First of all, you should make sure that your clothes fit properly when you’re on your bike. Although it might seem more comfortable to wear loose-fitting clothing, loose clothing can get caught in your chain or tires. Wear clothing that fits you somewhat tightly but that is still comfortable.

Wear Bright Colors

It really isn’t safe to hit the road on your bike when you’re wearing dark colors. Look for clothing in your favorite bright colors so that you can ensure that motorists can always see you, even if you find yourself riding early in the morning or after dark. If you do not wear brightly-colored clothing, you should at least wear a colorful vest with reflectors to ensure that motorists are aware of your presence when you’re on the road.

One important part of bicycle safety is ensuring that you are dressed properly. Follow these tips, and you can help keep yourself safe on the road and elsewhere. If you do find yourself in a bicycling accident, however, you can contact us at the Law Office of Gary Brustin today.