Throughout California, both in the cities and outlying areas, bicycles have become increasingly popular for both recreational and commuter use. In San Francisco, bikes flood special bike lanes on Market street, in the Mission district, South of Market area, the “wiggle”, Golden Gate Park, and along the waterfront in specially marked bike lanes with traffic devices called “Sharrows”, placed there by the City of San Francisco and the State to increase signage and awareness of bike use. Motorists and bicyclists are learning, sometimes slowly, that each have the right  to use the road.

In the wine country, mountains, and coastal areas bikes are a common sight on shoulders of two lane roads.  There are even locations on California freeways where bikes are allowed, although putting bikes in unprotected shoulders that vehicles need for a refuge often creates a trap for car and bike alike.
 
We frequently hear of recalls in cars but most people overlook the fact that bikes can have safety issues too.
 
One of the more popular brands is TREX, who on October 28, 2011 was the subject of a CPSC recall of some 27,000 FX and District bicycles because “the bolts that secure the seat saddle clamp to the seat can break causing you to fall”. The bikes were sold at specialty bike shops from May to September 2011.

In May 2009 Trex recalled the Trex model 7300, 7300 WSD, and 7500 because “a small number of bikes were made with a fork that was assembled incorectly”, which could allow the front wheel to turn unexpectedly .
 
In 2008 there was a recall of Trex MT 220 Girls bicycles made in 2005, 2006, 2007 that were made with “a front frame that was welded incorrectly”.
 
When you go riding, make sure you have the proper protective equipment, including helmets. But be aware there as well. On May 4, 2006 Trex and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of Trek Anthemn C Elite and Anthemn C Elite WSD bicycle helmets because Consumer Union tests showed the helmets “did not meet the CPSC guidelines.”
 
If you are in the market for bicycles or related equipment this Christmas season, be an informed consumer and check for recall and safety issues with your dealer and on line. (See www.cpsc.gov)
 
Our office has represented a number of bicyclists in actions involving defective bikes and unsafe practices by public entities in improper markings, failing to have bike lanes, as well routing bikes into areas where they had no protection whatsoever. We have obtained recoveries for injured bicyclists from manufacturers and public entities.  For more information, contact The Brandi Law Firm www.brandilaw.com