BICYCLE ACTIVITY LEVEL: Has bicycle activity been on the rise in California? Is this one of the reasons for an increase in California bicycle and motorist accidents?

Yes.  Bicycle activity has been on the rise in California.  Due to the increase in bike traffic throughout the United States and California, many cities have constructed special bike lanes to accommodate for the increase of bicycle traffic. Parks now have trails which are accessible to bicycles, and some vehicle manufacturers are even offering bike racks as standard equipment. However, many motor vehicle drivers do not respect the bicyclists' rights to share the roads and, more importantly, many cyclists have not been properly educated on how to legally and safely share the roads with automobiles.  This is one of the reasons that accidents happen at all - not fully understanding the bicyclist rights in California, and driver inattention or failure of the bicyclist to fully discern or anticipate the motor vehicle traffic.