Another Mule Day, and the Feed

Well I still haven’t gotten the hang of riding the new bike, so still getting the ride from the son from the store with the groceries today. The new bike steers oddly, to be mild about it. Turning left is limited by the tire hitting the tie rod connecting the remote steering to the fork, turning right is limited by the tie rod and steering arm on the fork approaching a straight line and not having any lever arm, but this is at a much higher steering angle than the left turn. I’m still constantly dabbing when trying to make a turn in less than the full width of the street, and that ain’t good. This is not a crank forward bike and in order to be able to reach the ground to dab without grounding the box I have to ride with the seat too low for my knees. This is what they call “adaption” to the bike, but I don’t know if I can do it at my age. I have been riding recumbents and crank forward bikes since I got back on a bike after the wreck, except for a few times to test a repair job and that one time to just see if I still could right after the wreck, and I have gotten used to putting my feet forward from the seat to find pedals.

Up first in this infrastructure-heavy post is another drunk hitting another cyclist from behind in a bike lane. Another drunken OC driver, another fatal hit-and-run; arraignment tomorrow in death of Pasadena cyclist As much as I hate drunk drivers, there is something else wrong here as well. Look at the speed limit of the street where this happened, and see the narrow bike lane adjacent to the street. Also witness the curb on the outside of the bike lane. This “design” would get the designer tossed in jail if not an insane asylum in the Netherlands, but in the US this is considered “good” bicycle infrastructure, even when it puts cyclists at risk from drunk or distracted drivers. The death rate for cyclists and pedestrians hit at this speed is roughly 85%.

From the former most deadliest and new #2 killer of cyclists we get a hit-from-behind wreck. Driver, bicyclist both cited after North Naples crash Another hit-from-behind in the bike lane by a person who legally should not have been driving. The cyclist’s lack of rear lighting contributed as did the lack of physical segregation from motor vehicle traffic by the infrastructure. Another bike lane painted on the wrong side of the curb on a 45 MPH speed limit highway.

A cyclist in far West Canuckistan is left crossed. Cyclist injured in vehicle-bike collision on Quadra Intersection wreck, protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure RIGHT to prevent.

A UK wreck with slightly more information than usual. Family loses a loving father This appears to have been a hit-from-behind wreck partially caused by bad infrastructure design. I suggest not riding in the UK to avoid. If that is impossible because you live there then the normal hit-from-behind protocols modified to fit riding on the wrong side of the road.

Another link to that $DEITY-awful sentence for running a cyclist over from behind and not budging an inch from his lane. Argos lorry driver who killed Wearside cyclist walks free

Not even idyllic Enn Zed is immune from the dreaded hit-and-run zombie. Cyclist killed in hit-and-run Near as I can tell this is another hit-from-behind wreck, protocols to avoid and infrastructure to prevent. Heavy emphasis on the part LEO has to play in the infrastructure portion of this fix.

Infrastructure! news from SC. Ashley River bridge biking path hits skid “Oh, heavens we could never give up a single lane of pavement from our holy death machines!” “We can’t ride bicycles we’re ‘Mericans. And too fat.”

Portland sends a missive in the infrastructure debate. Portland designer/planner unveils ‘protected intersections for bicyclists’ This design is actually a couple of generations behind the current standards in the Netherlands. That makes it 30 years ahead of anything in the US. :P

And West Canuckistan sees a problem that killed a cyclist and tries to fix it. Stanley Park causeway bike lane survey underway This was the area where a cyclist was thought to have been pushed off the shared path in front of a bus last year.

UK infrastructure is death-driven. Death of cyclist sparks calls to make ‘lethal’ Watlington Road near Garsington safer

And those were all the links that gave me fits about bicycles today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

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2 responses to “Another Mule Day, and the Feed

  1. Notwithstanding the admonition concerning gift horses and mouths, why not sell the balky new cargo bike to someone who’ll have an easier time coping with its idiosyncrasies? Then use the proceeds to buy a conventional semirecumbent and a trailer.

    I’ve been using a similar setup — standard-frame 27-speed touring bike plus inexpensive two-wheel trailer — to haul loads of up to 150 pounds for years. That’s an extreme case, of course. A typical shopping run involves a round trip of some 20-odd miles on a mix of rural roads and urban streets, returning home with an 80-pound load and climbing 700 feet in the process. It’s tiring, but eminently doable. And I average 12-14 mph overall.

    To my mind, this gives me the best of both worlds. When I have a heavy (or bulky) load to haul, I hitch up the trailer. The rest of the time, I ride free. And there are no tie rods to get in the way of my wheels when making a low-speed turn. Loading and unloading are easy, too. (I use a two-legged kickstand that holds the bike upright while I pack the trailer. It’s a lot easier than packing panniers.)

    The combination is both nimble and safe, too, though I have to confess that the (lightly-loaded) trailer was once flipped on its side by a gale-force wind gust I failed to anticipate. My bike stayed upright, however, and I was back in business in a couple of minutes. That’s been the only mishap in thousands of miles.

    Cheers! Hope you’re soon back in the saddle.

    • I’m working with the builder to get the steering straightened out, no pun intended. I don’t know why they didn’t have this problem with the first one they sold, but he immediately put a hub motor assist on his which probably takes care of the low-speed handling issues. I think he was planning the hub motor before he even took delivery, http://oakcliffcargobicycles.com/2013/12/30/customer-review-the-clyde/ so he never had to deal with the wobble at startup problem.

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