From the La Grange Board of Directors

A cyclist's recent accident has highlighted longstanding dangers for cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road. In general the conditions there have worsened for cyclists and motorists over the past few years primarily due to the recent increase in construction projects. With only one point of ingress and egress, Mandeville is a dangerous narrow winding road in physically poor condition.

Changes in our neighborhoods and environment are happening on a daily basis and we as cyclists have to adapt by making changes that we may or may not like - but will ensure our safety and the safety of all around us. All users of our roadways need to cooperate with each other and learn to live in harmony, so that we can continue to enjoy the sport we love.

In response, your La Grange Board of Directors and the Upper and Lower Mandeville Canyon Homeowners Associations (HOAs) have formed a joint committee to implement ideas to make Mandeville safer for cyclists. These ideas include:

pressuring government officials to repave Mandeville, or at least provide a more useable roadway;
prohibiting or discouraging on-street parking in certain areas;
requiring flagmen to direct traffic around construction vehicles;
installing “Share the Road” signs when that becomes possible;
educating people about the rights of cyclists and the rules for sharing the road
- in the HOA newsletter for the residents;
- in a bi-lingual flyer for general contractors and their construction crews;
- in La Voix for our club members; and
practicing what we preach.

La Grange members can do their part - - most of all by riding properly. We must show respect to get respect, and as the “elite” cyclists we consider ourselves to be, we must set an example for other cyclists.

Besides riding safely and legally, we can use courtesy to build a better relationship with the residents. You can smile and say “hi” to joggers, dog walkers and construction workers. And if a driver is working to pass, you can acknowledge the presence of the car, which will make the driver feel more secure when it is safe to pass. And you can thank a particularly patient and courteous driver with a wave or a verbal “thank you”.

Cyclists must take responsibility for their own safety and constantly be aware of all risk factors. Being “in the right” is of no value if you have been hit by a car. Mandeville is an excellent place for a training ride, but the point of riding Mandeville is to work on your climbing. It is simply too dangerous to race downhill. There is an increasing amount of traffic, workers unfamiliar with the road and, people rushing to get to work - and there are many hidden driveways. Save your downhill racing for weekend riding in the Santa Monica mountains.

The La Grange Board of Directors has given careful consideration to these issues, and asks that club members follow the following guidelines on Mandeville:

  • NEVER ride more than double file, and when a car is trying to pass, SINGLE UP!! and move as far right as safely possible.
  • On the descent, control your speed so that you have reaction-time. TRANSLATION: SLOW DOWN!
  • On the descent, ALWAYS ride SINGLE FILE.
  • STOP at Stop Signs – including Chalon Road. It is dangerous not to stop, and the residents know that. And you can get a very expensive ticket!
  • USE EXTRA CAUTION if the view of the road ahead is obstructed - for example, by a parked truck.
  • LOOK AHEAD for cars pulling out of driveways, and watch for any signs of motion near hidden driveways.
  • USE HAND SIGNALS to indicate your intentions to turn left or right. They don't know if you don't tell them.
  • BE VISIBLE. In the early light, use a rear red blinking light and a front headlight. That's the only way that a driver can SEE you.
  • If you see a driver do something dangerous and/or idiotic, get the license plate number and report it to our La Grange-HOA joint committee, via Jeffrey Courion at Jeffrey Courion.
  • If you are truly harassed, endangered or threatened by a driver, get the license plate number and report it to the police as well as to Jeffrey Courion. And that's enough! Yelling and cursing never helps.

And be aware that if a driver sees you do something dangerous and/or idiotic, they will report it to the same committee – and you will end up on the wrong side of the conversation!

The Board welcomes your further suggestions. Address your comments and suggestions to Jeffrey Courion at Jeffrey Courion.





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