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Old 07-23-09, 10:44 PM   #1
jeffc7
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Another cycling fatality - Newport Coast

Happened on Ridge Park in Newport Coast. That can be a hairy descent with cars. Person was hit by car, no details, I'm guessing he was going down not up. I feel for the family, anyone know any further details?

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/t...-2505811-birch
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Old 07-23-09, 11:31 PM   #2
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terrible news and it hits close to home b/c i ride ridge park both up and down very often... i wish some more details were available. ridge park is a pretty wide single lane road and despite the absence of a bike lane, i have never felt in danger on it. the descent can get upwards of 45+mph and i know many riders, myself included, sometimes take the lane... maybe that's how it happened or alternatively a car maybe made a right turn out of tesoro and did not see the fast moving descender.
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Old 07-23-09, 11:54 PM   #3
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terrible news and it hits close to home b/c i ride ridge park both up and down very often... i wish some more details were available. ridge park is a pretty wide single lane road and despite the absence of a bike lane, i have never felt in danger on it. the descent can get upwards of 45+mph and i know many riders, myself included, sometimes take the lane... maybe that's how it happened or alternatively a car maybe made a right turn out of tesoro and did not see the fast moving descender.
yea, this is bad news. so sorry for the family.

ride that all the time and do take the lane since it's usually low traffic and very wide street. that Tesoro area is where most people are really coming in hot - it's 40+ easy thru there. never had any probs up there - the residents are generally very polite and give way since so many people train on that road.
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Old 07-24-09, 02:59 AM   #4
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Condolences to friends and family.
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Old 07-24-09, 09:21 AM   #5
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Hello,

The article is a bit confusing because Ridge Park Road essentially runs east-west. However, if the driver was making a left turn from Tesoro on to Ridge Park, most likely Mr. Benefiel was going downhill (west).

My condolences to his family.

I ride that road regularly and Tesoro definitely scares me on the way down.
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Old 07-24-09, 09:34 AM   #6
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...the obligatory helmet question...
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Old 07-24-09, 11:30 AM   #7
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I googled his name..he seems like an avid racer at cat 3
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Old 07-24-09, 12:33 PM   #8
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its been so hot these days that i have been riding sans helmet, but at 45+mph slamming dead onto a car, its pretty much lights out. but i'm going to be extra careful around that tesoro t-section because it comes right before a bend and it may be hard to see and judge just how fast cyclists are going.
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Old 07-24-09, 04:20 PM   #9
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...the obligatory helmet question...
Excellent question Alice! I'm sure if the guy had a helmet he would have been alive.
Please do me a favour and don't use the tragic death of a cyclist to bring up the helmet topic again. How about we talk about rétarded drivers who drive like maniacs and wouldn't see even a camel on the road. Probably the arsehole will get away with a small fine and traffic school.
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Old 07-24-09, 04:27 PM   #10
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Excellent question Alice! I'm sure if the guy had a helmet he would have been alive.
Please do me a favour and don't use the tragic death of a cyclist to bring up the helmet topic again. How about we talk about rétarded drivers who drive like maniacs and wouldn't see even a camel on the road. Probably the arsehole will get away with a small fine and traffic school.

I was referring to the article mentioned, and the fact that the newspaper writer asked the question, not asking myself.

I think it's dumb they always seem to bring it up, that's all.
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Old 07-24-09, 05:13 PM   #11
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I haven't ridden this particular road, but I ridden Newport Coast between Irvine and Newport Beach on several occasions. I also commute by bike between Irvine and Costa Mesa (near Harbor and 405) via Main St. and Sunflower.

My reason to be on the road with my bike during rush hour is purely for transportation reasons (ie necessity). I would never choose to go on a recreational or training ride during the time of day that this accident occured (especially in a residential area). It is just too risky with all the people driving home from work or coming home from restaurants/bars at this time of day. On my afternoon commute, I'm primarily on arterial roads with no hills or "blind spots". My route has plenty of marked bike lanes, and 1/3 of my route is off the road MUP. So I feel reasonably safe during my afternoon rush hour commute. And I most certainly will not commute by bike on Fridays. My observation are that drivers are far less attentive at the end of the week.
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Old 07-24-09, 06:49 PM   #12
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My condolences to those affected. Watch out for intersections when descending at high speeds, and be safe out there.
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Old 07-24-09, 07:09 PM   #13
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Prayers to the family.
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Old 07-24-09, 07:36 PM   #14
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Not to belabor this but, to describe this a "residential area" makes it sound like the rider was putting himself at risk in a high-traffic area. Hardly the case.

The road is a popular climbing route. It's between 9-11% grade - a good 1-1.5 mile climb. Very little traffic, it's on the top of Newport Coast in an area with gated communities only. No commercial traffic to speak of.

The "intersection" is barely that - you just don't see much traffic up there. I haven't read a full description of the accident yet but, this is not an area with congestion.
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Old 07-24-09, 07:50 PM   #15
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what's surprising is that the residents there are very aware and from my experience very cool to cyclists. i always get a "you were flying downhill, that looks like fun" comment at the bottom of the hill. as another poster pointed out, the time might have played a role as people are generally trying to rush home from work, tired and maybe not paying as much attention. i usually refrain from immediately blaming drivers in accidents but in this case, i just can't fathom a scenario where it could be the cyclists fault.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:38 AM   #16
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Ridge Park

Yes that is a hairy decent and I personally keep it around 35mph. Btw, that is the speed limit. If you chose to go faster, you are doing so at your own risk and may piss off the residents. Its a somewhat windy decent, so why chance it anyways? You want some speed and good acceleration - go mountain biking next door at Morro.

And why assume so quickly it was the driver's fault? I have also found ppl in the area to be polite to cyclists.

I wouldnt be surpised to see cops in the area watching cyclists/cars for speed this week.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:03 AM   #17
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And why assume so quickly it was the driver's fault? I have also found ppl in the area to be polite to cyclists.
i said i normally don't rush to blame drivers, but in this case, the cyclist was descending and had the right the take the lane and its not like there were any lights or stop signs that he could have blown through... so he would have the right of way in all scenarios. in this case, it was incumbent upon the driver making the left to see that that the oncoming lane was clear of vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, etc... the driver clearly did not. you could argue that the cyclist was doing 45+ and thus breaking the posted speed limit, but that still does not equate to much fault in an accident like this.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:18 AM   #18
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i said i normally don't rush to blame drivers, but in this case, the cyclist was descending and had the right the take the lane and its not like there were any lights or stop signs that he could have blown through... so he would have the right of way in all scenarios. in this case, it was incumbent upon the driver making the left to see that that the oncoming lane was clear of vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, etc... the driver clearly did not. you could argue that the cyclist was doing 45+ and thus breaking the posted speed limit, but that still does not equate to much fault in an accident like this.
Agreed - it appears cyclist had right-of-way. No matter how you slice it, its tragic. All I am saying is use common sense. If you're jamming down at 45+ and there are driveways coming up, assume there may be traffic merging. Now when descending Newport Coast - different scenario. I usually let it fly there.
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Old 07-25-09, 01:56 PM   #19
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If you're jamming down at 45+ and there are driveways coming up, assume there may be traffic merging. Now when descending Newport Coast - different scenario. I usually let it fly there.
There are no driveways. As someone mentioned above, "residential neighborhood" is not entirely accurate. There are no houses that line the street. The 35mph speed limit is ridiculous, you will not find a car doing less than 50mph. Easy to hit 45mph coasting and 40mph while scrubbing speed.
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Old 07-25-09, 06:52 PM   #20
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Very very very sad.

This accident is precisely why I almost NEVER go down Ridge Park ... always Vista Ridge. On both streets I can hit 40+ easily.

Ridge Park has (a) too many manhole covers in the wrong places (b) bad entrances on the R side [such as Tesoro, where the guy got hit (and 5p this time of year is broad daylight)].

Vista Ridge doesn't have the manhole location problem and the entrances are all clearly visible (3 on your R, 1 on your L) from very far away.

Also, I rarely go down Newport Coast toward Bonita Canyon for similar reasons. There are ramps from the 73 on NC. I don't need some fool to misjudge my speed and ... wham ... I'm somebody's hood ornament. Safer to take San Joaquin Hills to San Miguel (and around) or El Capitan to Spyglass Hill to San Miguel (and around).
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Old 07-26-09, 12:00 PM   #21
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moment of silence at this morning's Como (aka Marketplace) Ride for the cyclist no longer with us

I've nearly been the victim of inattentive drivers turning left in front of oncoming traffic, even when there is a car in the lane beside me...both of us slamming on brakes to avoid the person making the left...
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Old 07-26-09, 12:12 PM   #22
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I have not seem much new info about it except this...

JULY 25, 2009 - The Newport Beach Police Department is investigating a collision that killed a 43-year-old bicyclist. Daryl David Benefiel of Newport Beach was pedaling south on Ridge Park Road about 5 p.m. when he collided with a vehicle making a left-hand turn from Tesoro, which is the entrance street to a gated community in Newport Coast, according to Newport Beach police. The victim, who was wearing a helmet, was declared dead at the scene, authorities said. The driver of the car, identified as Nathan Tsuchiya, was not injured. The Newport Beach Police Department is seeking witnesses as part of its investigation into the bicycle accident.
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Old 07-26-09, 08:01 PM   #23
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I was referring to the article mentioned, and the fact that the newspaper writer asked the question, not asking myself.

I think it's dumb they always seem to bring it up, that's all.
Sorry Alice, my bad. I didn't read the article. The journalist is allowed to ask stupid questions - that's part of her job and probably she can't even balance on a bicycle. I apologize again for barking at you for no reason but I'm getting paranoid with all these helmet questions. I ride without a helmet fairly often and you won't believe the shít I get from other riders.
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Old 07-26-09, 10:31 PM   #24
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I ride without a helmet fairly often and you won't believe the shít I get from other riders.
its funny, back when i was smoking a half a pack a day, i got less flack from friends than i do now for not wearing a helmet when riding. i'm almost certain that the smoking was much worse in the long-run.
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Old 07-27-09, 01:05 PM   #25
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its funny, back when i was smoking a half a pack a day, i got less flack from friends than i do now for not wearing a helmet when riding. i'm almost certain that the smoking was much worse in the long-run.
That's an excellent point, lowlife1975,

Now that I think about it, I've ridden with JimmyNH many times, yet I have never seen him smoking while riding without a helmet. Never seen him smoking while riding with a helmet (yes, it happens!) either.

I usually go up Ridge Park and down Vista Ridge . . . think I'll stick with that plan! I know I descend there too fast, but that's just me. I'll try to remember to slow down in the future.

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