Yesterday was busy, so busy that I didn’t even get to my e-mail until almost 2300. Mrs. the Poet and I got up early and rode the DART train to Fair Park and spent the day taking in the Sate Fair of Texas. Now I’m positive this is only coincidence but my entire adult life I have lived in or inside normal commuting range of a State Fair. In fact for the first 3 years of my marriage I was within a few blocks of the TN State Fair in Nashville. Now I live a short train ride from Fair Park.
We did the usual stuff we do every State Fair, we wandered the car exhibits looking for a car that would fit our lifestyle, if our lifestyle extended to making car payments. We saw some that we really liked in the mini car segment: the Hyundai Veloster was the first to grab our interest, with my liking the Turbo model. The next one that got interest was Subaru’s new GT that had a collection of letters that were not pronounceable as a name and that I have already forgotten because they did not have paper brochures to remind me. The next one we saw was the Nissan Leaf, but as nice an EV as the Leaf is it still can’t do the one thing we actually need a car for, the drive from here to TN where my Dad lives. We could buy one and leave it in TN to drive when we go there, but the infrastructure right now is such that driving from TX to TN is impossible in any EV larger than an e-assist bicycle, which technically is a parallel hybrid like a Prius or other gas-burner with a small battery and an electric motor. We looked at the new Fiesta, which was nice, and the Scion iQ, which makes the Smart look like a stretch limo. We also took a look at the Volt, which was a little large for our tastes, and the new Spark which unfortunately is not available in TX as either a hybrid that can be made into a PHEV or a straight EV. Both of those models are available outside TX.
Looking at matters with the cold light of logic if we decided to go back to driving (and Mrs. the Poet is leaning in that direction) then what we need to do in the way of transportation could be very easily covered with an EV or PHEV with a 30-50 mile electric range that could charge overnight from a standard 110V outlet, for 95% of our trips, that other 5% is the problem. Currently we use Greyhound and airlines to make those trips that can’t be walked, biked or done with local public transit. Those are also trips that could not be done with any straight EV given the current state of the infrastructure and battery technology. As the transportation system currently exists we need a car that burns fossil fuels, either gas or diesel, to make that 5% possible without Greyhound. What we need is something like the Volt, only smaller, like the PHEV version of the Spark, which is not available in TX.
Another thing we always do when we visit the State Fair is try the new fried foods, like Fried Butter, Fried Pickles, Fried Beer (a terrible thing to do to a fine beer like the Shiner Bock they used), and this year’s interesting offering Fried Cactus Bites. Of the various fried foods we have tried over the years the only one that I could see eating as a regular part of my diet was the Fried Cactus Bites. They were tasty, with a mild spiciness before the Jalapeno mayo dipping sauce and a definite bite with it, they had a mild crispness that was accentuated by the batter, and most important of all they weren’t greasy or slimy. The prep consisted of julienning the cactus into quarter-inch strips about an inch to an inch and a half long, dipping them in a spiced corn batter made with corn flour instead of the more common corn meal, flash-frying them and then serving hot. I could see these making weekly or more frequent visits to the the Poet household menu if they come out with a ready-to-fry version for Mrs. the Poet.
Up first LA County Sheriffs discover you can’t PIT a bicycle. Bicyclist Killed in Collision With Sheriff’s Patrol Car [UPDATED] OK obviously the cyclist not stopping is the primary cause of this, ignoring the excessive use of force in using a motor vehicle to stop a person riding a bicycle, but what little I can come up with says the cyclist may have had some bad experiences with LEO where false charges were made, and in this case he was being chased because they thought he was brandishing a handgun that was never found. How can you “not find” a handgun when his “brandishing” was the reason for the chase in the first place? I’m sorry and I apologize to the honest members of the LEO community, but this looks like murder by cop to me, or at a minimum excessive use of deadly force. More Bicyclist killed in crash with sheriff’s cruiser ID’d by family and Bicyclist killed in crash with Los Angeles County deputies also Man on Bicycle Killed in Collision With Deputy’s Vehicle in Inglewood
Still in CA a driver hits a pack of four cyclists sending 2 to hospital. 2 bicyclists injured in Highway 29 crash According to commenters quoting the police report the cyclists were hit from behind in the bike lane and the motor vehicle then continued on to hit a pole. Oooohhhh-kaaayyyy. This was either a deliberate attack or the driver had some kind of medical issue. Looking at the Street View this road has a nice bike lane in one direction, and a wide shoulder that is crumbling at the edges in the other direction. So, hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent, including making using a motor vehicle as a weapon the same a using a gun. Since the driver’s age wasn’t given I can’t say that there was anything that could be done for the medical issue side of the probability equation.
Not done abusing CA as a cyclist dies from the very kind of wreck that helmets are made to protect against. Fremont: Woman dies from injuries in bike crash I have never said to not wear a helmet, only that it should be a choice. This is why you should make that choice to wear a helmet.
A cyclist dies in WI. Bicyclist struck, killed in Dane County Hit from behind on the shoulder by a vehicle that swerved to the right. This sounds like assault with a deadly weapon to me, why doesn’t it sound like assault with a deadly weapon to LEO? That’s right because they spend 6 to 8 hours a day sitting behind a steering wheel, it’s not a “deadly weapon” to them, it’s just “transportation”. They don’t realize that a motor vehicle at highway speed is the equivalent of a 6″ Naval rifle or a 155mm howitzer in destructive force, or that their “deadly weapon” on their hips is only about 0.45% fatal when they pull the trigger compared to 5% for a motor vehicle at walking speed to 20 MPH against a pedestrian or cyclist, or 50% fatal at just 30 MPH. Jut as a point of comparison 30 MPH is the minimum full-time speed limit by law in TX, without getting permission from the legislature for a variance, while 20 MPH is the minimum speed for a school zone. The only public roads that have lower speed limits without permission from the legislature are roads under Federal control like National Parks or military bases. More Cyclist killed in Dane County identified and Bicyclist struck, killed near Wis. state park also Madison woman, 37, killed when bicycle hit by pickup truck and an explanation? Pickup driver fell asleep in crash that killed bicyclist, authorities say So just execute him now for failing to control his deadly weapon?
Another WI cyclist gets some restitution. Norton ordered by judge to pay $220K in injured cyclist case
A cyclist runs the red in GA. Bicyclist struck, killed in Austell This one is simple to avoid, don’t ride through the red light, But I have seen people get caught in an intersection after the light changed when they entered on a stale green almost get hit because drivers see a green light as permission to run over anything still in “their” intersection. So this becomes another case where getting the infrastructure right will prevent deaths, even deaths by people running red lights. More Austell bicyclist hit, killed by vehicle after riding through red light
A terrorist act injures a cyclist in CO. Cyclist injured after striking barbed wire on Littleton bike path The article called this a “freak accident” but make no mistake a strand of barbed wire across a bike trail is a terrorist act. If you can tell me how to avoid getting caught in a bombing, I’ll tell you how to avoid one of these without the terrorists winning by keeping you off the bike path they booby-trapped. More Bike rage?: Cyclist injured by barbed-wire trap on South Platte Trail
A WY cyclist is hit by a vehicle exiting a parking lot with the driver not looking for bicycles. Man injured after being struck on bicycle Every driveway is an intersection use intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent, including arresting people in possession of unregistered deadly weapons, like the driver in this wreck.
A NV kid playing in the parking lot of his apartment is hit because: driver. Pickup / Bicycle critical injury traffic collision occurred in the parking lot of the Portofino Villas Apartments The driver was not operating under the assumption that there would be children playing in the common area in front of their homes, and this kid suffered for it. I place this 100% on the driver not watching for kids being kids.
A NM driver gets the maximum sentence possible for killing a cyclist on a bike path after crashing through a fence from an adjacent road. Driver who killed Albuquerque cyclist gets 90 days Yep the most they could give her was 90 in County lockup. For. Killing. A. Cyclist. Note that the link to add a comment to the article is missing…
Another cyclist is killed in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle the last 8 years running. Safety questions after fatal bicycle accident Hit from behind by a driver not watching where she was going (“blinded by the rising sun” on a completely overcast day, read the comments), use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. I’m afraid that with FL “getting the infrastructure right” will entail re-doing thousands of miles of roads that were rural highways before they were swallowed by sprawl. More Cyclist killed on Nocatee Pky remembered for warm heart
More from FL as they don’t kill another cyclist. Boynton Beach cyclist injured in wreck Supposedly a red-light running cyclist, but the cyclist was screened from view of the driver by “traffic” which makes this look to me like another cyclist caught by a “stale green”. Intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. More PBSO: Woman who hit bicyclist Monday in suburban Lake Worth wasn’t at fault OK now the geometry does not make any sense at all. She was turning left but didn’t see the cyclist because traffic from her direction of travel was blocking her view, which would have been to the right. The light went from green to yellow as she approached the light which meant that the traffic on the right would have to stop because they would have a red light. Then CYCLIST! in front of her car from the right? Through the traffic she couldn’t see through? I think we have discovered Schrödinger’s Cyclist that can appear through a solid wall of traffic. This story only makes sense if the driver was the one running the red. Also the cyclist was probably riding salmon on the sidewalk. But still the cyclist crossed 3 lanes of traffic against the red and was hit by a car in the left-turn lane? While the driver “didn’t see” the cyclist because of the traffic the cyclist was riding across/through? This link earns special mention for the “Something Smells” tag in my blog.
A cyclist from somewhere north of the US-Canadian border gets hit allegedly running a red light. Cyclist injured in late night accident As was posted above, don’t run red lights, and get the infrastructure right so there aren’t as many red lights for cyclists to run.
Another dead cyclist in Mississauga. That’s part of the Great White North. Cyclist killed in collision with truck on Airport Rd. No mode given but that bike looks like it was hit from the rider’s left, indicating an intersection wreck. Also given is that it was at high speed because they left the cyclist’s body under a sheet for hours instead of transporting it to the nearest trauma center. So, intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.
More on a wreck earlier in Mississauga. Police appeal for witnesses after cyclist struck and killed The geometry as described pretty much tells the tale on this one. Unless the cyclist was running the red, he had right of way over the truck making the right turn, and if the cyclist was running a red then there must have been only one other vehicle at that light, the truck that killed the cyclist, because otherwise the cyclist would have been hit by the other traffic or the other traffic would have alerted the truck driver by screeching brakes or honking horns.
Lots of dead people that were driving, riding in, or hit by motor vehicles in the GWN. Deadly weekend on Quebec roads The bike wreck was covered Monday I think it was a hook or cross wreck.
Another reason why I generally don’t link articles from the UK. Police officer spared jail after hitting musician cyclist with ‘catastrophic, life changing injuries’ while driving 68mph in a 30 zone This was the guy that was running without lights and siren to an emergency of some kind that hit the cyclist from behind at more than twice the posted speed limit, and no jail or prison… TANJ!
More on the cyclist killed in Enn Zed after an SUV rollover. Police name cyclist killed in crash with 4WD
A different Enn Zed wreck. Cyclist and car collide Someone needs to tell the writer the difference between the front and rear of a bike. That bike was hit from behind and the rear “tyre” is off the rim, not the front. As for the rest of it, that frame is toast as at least one seat stay is gone completely. Anyway, hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. Also ban white vans without prominent markings identifying the business that owns it with the physical addy and phone number.
LifeStyle from IA. Rest area dedicated to late cyclist Breedlove Bob Breedlove was killed riding in the 2005 RAAM the year before I started writing this blog on any server.
LifeStyle from MI. health: Bike ride this weekend to support injured triathlete
Another helmet article from OR, this one not based on fear so much as it is the practical aspects of wearing a helmet. Finding the right cycling helmet; It’s important to get a helmet that fits your head and your riding discipline OK there is a little bit of fear in the article, but mostly it’s about how to wear a helmet, not why.
And finally after 13 hours of going through links and tearing out my hairs (both of them), those are all the links that gave me fits today, and into the night.
Billed @$0.02, Opus