Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

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Update by an edhat reader
August 7, 2018

I was the cyclist injured Saturday, my name is Neil Myers.

The tally?  In an accident that lasted perhaps 12 seconds:

  • Broke 10 bones:  Tibia, wrist, 6 ribs, nose in two places.
  • 200 stiches to bind a host of lacerations on my head, forehead, nose, checks, legs, arms, chest and back.

I am slowly healing at Cottage. They are MIRACLE WORKERS ( 50 people so far).  I love these people.

It will 6 months to get back to my racing shape, but that process starts after my leg operation for my broken tibia Wednesday.

Lessons:  I will slow way down on my descents.  I was in my lane, but I didn’t have time to avoid this gentleman.  I will go slower so that in the future I have the ability to survive.

Let me say once more:  I WAS LUCKY.  There were fifty amazing people (including the pickup driver) who helped save me.  I was so lucky they were on my side that evening.  Words are not enough, I won’t forget this.

Reported by Roger the Scanner Guy
5:00 p.m., August 4, 2018

Traumatic Injury of a bicyclist struck by a vehicle in the 2900 Block of Gibraltar. Fire Department, Medics, Mutual aide City, County and Cal Star responding.

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a-1533432020 Aug 04, 2018 06:20 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Thanks, Roger. It was one bicyclist.
Very quick response by Station 15 - first responders all came thru for this man.

a-1533434684 Aug 04, 2018 07:04 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Such a frequent issue up there!! Sadly I won't drive Gibralter anymore because the bike riders are too many and they are dangerous! It's already narrow and too many times there are bike riders ximint

a-1533434812 Aug 04, 2018 07:06 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Bike Riders in the road when you come around a blind corner and they're not to the side of the road, they're in the middle of the road and I've had too many near misses. It won't matter whose fault it is if I hit someone on a bike, it will devastate me I sure do wish the bike riders would stay off the twisty Mountain Roads or at least go slow when they're coming down so they're able to control the bike and stay to the side And reduce the danger.

MissBleu Aug 04, 2018 07:27 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Actually even on flat Danielson Road as it turns into South Jameson Lane ...
so many want to be Lance Armstrong bicyclists are not looking up
nor ahead as they round a blind corner. They seem to be looking down...
Even through ongoing construction . Very scary.

MissBleu Aug 04, 2018 07:54 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

On this safety note for anyone else , bicyclists, pedestrians or
car drivers a tad concerned about the upcoming round about plans for
Olive Mill Road and Coast Village Road and or San Ysidro Road and North
Jameson? Seems like a colossal unnecessary and dangerous idea.

mattyboy Aug 04, 2018 08:09 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Nothing could be worse than Olive Mill @ Coast Village. People can't even negotiate a regular 4 way stop, nevermind that cluster...

mtndriver Aug 05, 2018 01:09 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

I would love to see a roundabout there. As it is now it's a six-way and people are forever getting confused and indecisive about who has the right of way. Roundabouts work very well, once people learn how to use them. More fuel-efficient, too.

a-1533438849 Aug 04, 2018 08:14 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

MISSBLEU. As a cyclist, pedestrian, driver I LOVE roundabouts. The roundabout installed at Hot Springs Rd. and Coast Village Rd. should have been put in many years earlier. There are plans to install a roundabout at Olive Mill and Coast Village Rd? Hallelujah. Round about time. (Please note: roundabout is all one word.)

MissBleu Aug 04, 2018 10:18 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Roundabout...One word. Duly noted.
However I cannot recommend pedestrians
or fellow bicyclists to transverse the Hot Springs
roundabout without extreme caution. Folks in cars are
just are encouraged to zoom through without any thought
of stopping for anyone else.

a-1533842911 Aug 09, 2018 12:28 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

"zoom through"

It's hard to zoom through a roundabout.

"without any thought of stopping for anyone else"

You're not supposed to stop in a roundabout. Of course you are supposed to stop behind the line when entering the roundabout if there's oncoming traffic.

"Seems like a colossal unnecessary and dangerous idea."

No, seems like an excellent idea that will greatly reduce danger.

420722 Aug 04, 2018 10:52 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Nothing against this injured cyclist but I do see lots of them flying down that mountain as if cars don’t exist like they have armor built into the spandex. Hope this guy is ok though and I’m not speculating that he had spandex on.

Bird Aug 05, 2018 12:17 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

It would be helpful to have some follow-up on these bike v car / car v. bike incidents: how seriously hurt was the cyclist; whose fault; how could the accident have been prevented? More info, follow-ups might deter other cyclists from racing down Gibraltar and motorists from not watching out....

a-1533842709 Aug 09, 2018 12:25 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

" motorists from not watching out...."

It's not that the motorist didn't watch out, it's that he was driving in the middle of the road. (And obviously the cyclist was recklessly going too fast, since he was unable to deal with such a not-unlikely occurrence.)

Devin Leonard Aug 09, 2018 01:07 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Hey Roger - who is NH? I would like to make sure my accident is registered, and understand more about these follow ups, here but also nationwide.

a-1533668001 Aug 07, 2018 11:53 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Glad to hear he's OK. But this doesn't make sense - " I was in my lane, but I didn’t have time to avoid this gentleman." - If you were in your lane, then why did you have to avoid the driver? Was he/she in the wrong lane?

a-1533842509 Aug 09, 2018 12:21 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

" this doesn't make sense "

You're the only person for whom it doesn't.

" Was he/she in the wrong lane? "

So it only took you two sentences to finally make sense of it. Congratulations.

Yeti Aug 07, 2018 01:02 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Thank you cyclist for sharing your story. The tally of your injuries terrifies me!
Your story definitely helps to humanize this story.
Since there are so many people, kids included, that fly down these mountain roads, I encourage you to consider giving some presentations at the local schools to encourage kids to slow down a little bit. You may help save a life.

EastBeach Aug 07, 2018 01:19 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Neil I can't imagine the injuries you've sustained but as you've discovered, you're in good hands. The staff at Cottage (I know a few nurses) is dedicated and caring and they'll help you get back on your feet again. I've been down Gibraltar many times on my mountain bike and motorcycle so I know what it's like. As in your case, you never know when an oncoming driver will be completely or partially in your lane. It's happened to me before as well. Heal well!

Flicka Aug 07, 2018 05:31 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

How horrible for this man. Sounds like he has a positive attitude which will help with his recovery. When I was growing up we rode our horses up "Depression Drive" and never saw any vehicles. It was mostly a dirt road. I didn't know it was called Gibraltar for many years, always heard Depression Drive; it was built during the 1930s depression by the CCC crews.

EastBeach Aug 07, 2018 11:51 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

That's right. Somewhere along Gibraltar Rd there used to be a plaque identifying the CCC as having built the road. My memory is fuzzy but it might be near Gibraltar Rock where all the rock climbers do their thing - just before you get to the old Brotherhood of the Sun commune (now inhabited by others).

a-1533689323 Aug 07, 2018 05:48 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Very glad to hear that you will be okay! That is definitely a sketchy road to ride the bike down because it's so narrow and twisty and the blind corners create such a hazard for everybody using that road! And you're right, Cottage is amazing!!

EastBeach Aug 08, 2018 12:05 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

It's not as bad as you think. So long as you take it slow downhill through the switchbacks and ride defensively, it is very doable for most adult riders in good shape (of course the requisite riding skills and situational awareness are required as with any sport or endeavor - weird that I need to state that obvious caveat but you know how forums are these days). It's my hope that Neil will recover fully and wiser than before the accident and continue to ride our beautiful mountains.

mtndriver Aug 08, 2018 04:06 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Let's see. Olive Mill in two directions, Jameson Lane on the northeast, Coast Village on the west, the freeway onramp on the east. Just five, sorry, unless I missed something. I guess it just feels like six.

mtndriver Aug 08, 2018 04:13 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

So glad you survived, Neil! And listed the lessons learned. Living in the area, I see riders come down Mtn. Drive from Gibralter many times daily, so fast, and many if not most barely slow down for the stop sign at the bottom, where Mtn. Drive turns right toward town. Really dangerous not just for them but for any pedestrians in the area, and there are plenty, lots walking their dogs, no sidewalk of course. Cars drive like demons on that road as well, both uphill and down. Slow down and live.

pii Aug 08, 2018 08:37 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Neil, glad you are mending and many thanks for the update. I do some century rides and am often amazed at participants zooming downhill with no room for error. Some rides are on roads closed to traffic and still, accidents happen due to uncontrolled speed. The Death Ride comes to mind.
I like to ride on Figueroa Mountain Road because there is little traffic.

LoveMySB Aug 08, 2018 08:56 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Neil thank's for the update on your condition. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Gibraltar road is awesome and dangerous for both cars and bicyclist. Both need to be situationally aware at all times because there really are no lanes. I have driven it many times with some scary moments of people either driving or bicycling up or down the center of the road.
One thing I don't understand on this comment thread is how it went from Neil's accident on Gibraltar Road to talking about roundabouts way over by Olive Mill Road, Jameson Lane, Hot Springs and Coast Village Road. These streets are not even close to Gibraltar Road. It would be nice if comments stayed on topic.

gsurfdog Aug 08, 2018 10:59 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Prayers to you and Leigh......may you recover fully and get back to you triathlon winning status again.
Gary and JilI...your neighbors

Devin Leonard Aug 09, 2018 10:37 AM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Welcome to the dubious club of bicyclists struck by cars. :< I was the injury on Park Lane last October, head on into a vehicle. Long list of injuries, chronic pain from spine injury. I will not be back on a road bike, and unable to enjoy the unique views and Camino Cielo the way I once did.
No one is keeping accurate statistics of bicycle accidents in Santa Barbara; if we were, we'd realize that road biking in the hills is about the riskiest thing you can do in Santa Barbara. Tough to say what kind of awareness or behavior is warranted, but slowing down should be on everyone's agenda, bikers and drivers alike. Neil, you have my deepest sympathy, and I hope that your recovery is complete and speedy.

oops Aug 09, 2018 02:16 PM
Bicyclist Struck by Vehicle on Gibraltar

Devin, so sorry for your accident and hoping you do make it back. Was the car on the wrong side of the road in your situation or just an unlucky cycling accident?

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