San Clemente’s Brenda Miller

Bike advocate extraordinaire, Brenda Miller, leads off "South County cycles towards safety" in the Orange County Register, San Clemente edition.       Continue Reading

AQMD Staff Report Proposes Beach Burning Ban

The much anticipated AQMD Staff report has been released. In it are new definitions of Rule 444 and 445: A new definition is added for "beach burning" which is prohibited beginning January 1, 2015 under this amendment. However, using charcoal and liquid/gaseous fuels for cooking at beaches is still permitted. Other types of recreational, ceremonial, or open burning remain exempt, such as those at regional parks and camp grounds not covered by the new definition... Under PAR 444 a city or ... Continue Reading

Fire Rings Fruit Cake Bingo!

Some of you are wondering... has this site been taken over by a bunch of anti-fire rings fanatics? I'm still checking my web logs, but in the meantime, let me fire one last shot across the bow! Soon I'll be back on my meds and riding my bike, then these other advocacy issues will blow away like a puff of smoke. Along those lines, I'm pulling back from the limelight. It's kinda intoxicating to be seen on TV and quoted in the Press. As a 7-year blogger on a variety of topics, that's what ... Continue Reading

At the AQMD

Barbara Peters speaks in favor of removing the beach fire rings. It was a thrill to be the first speaker called to the podium at the AQMD's hearing this morning as they consider banning beach fire pits along the Los Angeles and Orange County coastlines. There's a large crowd attending, many from the Huntington Beach Visitors Bureau, who will be speaking against their removal. Back at Bristol Farms Continue Reading

Auction Fundraiser

Thursday night: party and fundraiser! It's time for the Share the Road Charity Fundraiser and we're out to raise money for bike safety improvements in Newport Beach. It's a true win-win because all monies raised are matched 3:1 by the City. We're out to raise a total of $600K and we're well within reach, if you'll come out for this event. Barbara counted 16 bikes that'll be up for auction, maybe 17. All types of bikes, too, so if you've got someone on your naughty or nice gift list ... Continue Reading

Was He Wearing a Helmet?

My neighbor is a family medical doctor; we crossed paths recently while she was washing her car and I was taking out the trash. We got to talking about the recent bike fatalities. It's one of my standard questions of every patient: 'Do you wear a helmet?' She was surprised when I didn't nod my head. And even more surprised when I told her there's a lot of talk about helmets discouraging more people to get on bikes. "Helmets kinda reaffirm that cycling is dangerous," I told ... Continue Reading

Bayside Road Rage on the way to the HB Bike Fest

The day started out with anticipation — this would be my maiden voyage on the new touring bike. What I didn't know was how quickly I'd be testing the brakes. The night before as I'm drifting off to sleep I remember assembling the front brakes; they had to come off again as I installed the front rack, but as I toss and turn on my way to dreamland I realize I must remove the brakes one more time, to move the washer that fits it tight into the bike frame. It's a minor adjustment, but ... Continue Reading

Commission Recommends Clean Air

In Newport Beach last night a divided Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission voted to recommend to the City Council the removal of all beach fire rings. It was a raucous session with several residents interrupting Commissioner Roy Englebrecht at one point as he proposed converting the wood burning fire rings to natural gas; the clean burning fuel would remove a major concern of the residents: the airborne carcinogens in the smoke. Trying a different tact, Commissioner Anderson implied that without a full scientific inquiry, the residents' complaints of ash sticking to their patio furniture might prove to be the rubber from tire wear, as an investigation of the area surrounding the John Wayne airport apparently once found. These subterfuges would not deter the majority of the Commission members who voted 4 to 3 to send their recommendation to the City Council: complete removal of the fire rings.

Wave goodbye? Pallets are particularly poisonous when burning

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The Fire Rings Delusion

On a cold night, most people consider a well-tended fire to be one of the more wholesome pleasures that humanity has produced. A fire, burning safely within the confines of a fireplace or a woodstove, is a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. We love everything about it: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and—unless one is allergic to smoke—the smell that it imparts to the surrounding air... I am sorry to say that if you feel this way about a wood fire, you are not only wrong but dangerously misguided.
Just this week UCLA neuroscientist and author Sam Harris published his "Fireplace Delusion". It comes at a good time; just as the Newport Beach Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission is set to review the beach fire rings. As a cyclist, I'm gulping air as I pedal around town. I'm riding for my health and often ride the coastal routes, thinking the air is cleaner there. I've lived here 14 years and as I do the math I wonder to what extent I've shortened my life by breathing smoke-filled air from the Big Corona fire rings. There are 27 of these smoke-belching fire pits just a hundred yards from my home. No pity for the poor people who live at the beach, you say? The carcinogens from these wood burning rings float all over Orange County, poisoning us all. ... Continue Reading


Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff, Bike Safety Committee member Denis LaBonge and I have been working on a family fun bike ride. We've settled on Sunday May 15th at 8am departing from the Oasis Senior Center in Corona del Mar. For all the details visit Join me for this family fun ride. Continue Reading