Surrounded by mayhem, gore, and death, and then I opened the Feed

Now that I have your attention, things have been a “little rough” lately outside the world of bicycle blogging. As in more than 2/3 of my news feed outside my bike news Feed was filled with pictures and verbal descriptions of atrocities in Africa and the Middle East. I also got a cat video of a kitten being cute, but that one cute video just doesn’t compensate for death and destruction in several pages of links. The problem is I am not an island and I can’t just get the news about bicycles, I have to accept the “other stuff” as well in order to get access to the bike links. Also this is part of the cost of being a good “citizen of the world” these days. You can’t do anything about evils you don’t know about, but I have not the slightest clue of what I’m supposed to do about some of this stuff where and who I am at the moment. Superman, or Green Lantern, or maybe Iron Man would have the abilities and resources to do something about it, but being Opus the Poet, Bicycle Blogger is only slightly north of squat when it comes to “doing something” about wars, and rape gangs terrorizing school girls.

Up first, a cute kitten. Kitten discovers mirror Ahh, much better.

First wreck, a cyclist runs into the side of a train crossing the bike path? Bicyclist dead after being struck by Rail Runner and Cyclist hit, killed by Railrunner train Crossing was not signalized and I don’t know which side of the street the cyclist was riding on to know if he could see the crossing lights and guards on the street. The street has a reputation for being “too dangerous” to ride on (heavy traffic moving at high speeds, the typical “ten over the limit” thing and nowhere to escape for the hit-from-behind protocols) so almost all cyclists are on the sparsely used sidewalks here. There has been speculation in a forum I can’t link to that there was some kind of brake failure on the bike right when it got to the crossing and that was why it went into the side of the second car of the train when the train was so obviously crossing the sidewalk. Speculation of mechanical failure aside most of the time avoiding getting hit by trains is easy, the trains don’t deviate from the tracks (during normal operation), are generally quite noisy even when the operator is not trying to alert you of their presence, and are large and usually colorful to boot. The “secret” is to not be on the tracks at the same time as the train, and generally that is easy to do. Why that did not happen here with the level of experience this cyclist is credited with I have no idea beyond the previously noted speculation.

Update on an old story. Driver who killed Richmond cyclist transferred to state prison I don’t see why the killer first of all got such a light sentence, and second of all why he was allowed to spend so much of what was supposed to be a state prison sentence at a county jail. And the bit about having to use a CPAP so he couldn’t go to prison is just so much… I can’t say that and keep the PG-13 rating of this blog. (I’m treading perilously close to losing that for a couple of F-bombs last month.)

Things have been busy over in Boise this week. Boise man pleads guilty in hit-and-run that killed cyclist Likely sentence is “not much” but the guilty plea will result in a felony record, so that’s something at least.

And one wreck almost taken care of, so I guess time for another? Cyclist seriously injured after being hit by truck in Boise Intersection wreck as the cyclist was t-boned, the driver says the cyclist was running a red light. I don’t know what the cyclist said, but he was reported to be conscious at the scene and deteriorated on the way to hospital. Intersection protocols to avoid including being aware of stale greens and staying out of intersections when you can’t clear them before the light goes red in your direction. And get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” to prevent, just like 95% of the rest of the wrecks I link to in my blog.

The scourge of the cycling world falls upon CA. Cyclist Injured In Hit-And-Run Crash In Sacramento Another hit-from-behind in the bike lane and the driver left the scene, again. The cyclist was already doing everything possible to avoid this wreck, but the sub-standard infrastructure failed her. The only thing that can be done is to get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” ASAP.

They caught the “bad guy” in this wreck just outside NYC. Suspect Arrested In Hit-And-Run That Injured Cyclist In Medford, L.I. Cyclist was hit from behind riding on the shoulder, I strongly suspect that this was the only through route to his destination. Not much if any place for the cyclist to go to execute the hit-from-behind protocols, which leaves getting the infrastructure “up to Dutch” as the only alternative to avoid or prevent this wreck.

This wreck in NC is yet to be solved as I compose this post. Cyclist struck, killed in hit-and-run on Barry Oak Road Nothing directly on the mode, but the narrative strongly suggests a hit-from-behind on the shoulder. Regardless, getting the infrastructure “up to Dutch” would prevent another wreck like this one.

Update on an OH wreck with an outcome that was about as good as could be expected. 3 years prison for East Dundee DUI hit-and-run that injured cyclist This was a very low-end sentence for a combined DUI and hit-and-run. The cyclist escaped death by fractions of an inch or a few degrees of angle, and the driver essentially skates. Well aside from the $11k fine and $2k court costs that have to be paid after leaving prison.

Not sure if this was “skitching” or if the cyclist was buzzed by the vehicle and then couldn’t let go after preventing the collision. Brockton bicyclist injured after grabbing onto back of tractor trailer, police said Either way the trick is to aim the bike away from the motor vehicle and let go as soon as there is room to get away safely. And need I say that with Dutch-style infrastructure the cyclist and the truck would never have had this kind of confrontation?

Why has the name of the driver of the weapon vehicle in this wreck been made a state secret? Vasquez: Why no charges in cyclist’s death?

A cyclist in Oz runs out of sidewalk and into traffic. Cyclist critically injured in crash at Tempe Intersection wreck, so use intersection protocols to avoid or to reduce injuries. Get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” to prevent. And really sidewalks are very poor bicycle infrastructure even after they are designated as such. Unless rebuilt specifically as bike infrastructure they are not safe for riding at typical commuting speeds (even “Dutch typical” of 12 MPH) and have poor sight lines especially at intersections.

Still in Oz, a report on a right cross (Aussie and UK version of the left cross because they drive and ride on the “wrong” side of the street). Lucky to be alive: Cyclist trapped under garbage truck in Surry Hills The cyclist was caught by a truck turning right across his direction of travel, so intersection protocols to avoid or reduce injuries and get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” to prevent.

Today is the day for bike/train wrecks. Major delays on Frankston line after train hits and kills cyclist Again, still in Oz, and nothing specific about the wreck aside from the kinds of vehicles involved, so standard advice about trains and how to avoid meeting with one unexpectedly applies.

A really low-information report from Enn Zed. Cyclist injured in accident I got more information about the traffic delays than I did the wreck, but it was in an intersection so those protocols would probably have been helpful in avoiding or reducing injury, and getting the infrastructure “up to Dutch” would have probably prevented the wreck.

Our Daily Ted is extremely good today. Morning Links: Cyclist critically injured in Laguna Beach; lawsuit filed against LA County, LASD in Milt Olin case I was wondering what the delay in the Olin wreck was after he was hit from behind while riding in the bike lane.

Infrastructure! news from VA after that SUV/bike wreck on a MUP crossing a Freeway. After crash, VDOT makes changes on bridge walkway As someone pointed out in the comments, it’s a pedestrian crossing, if the employee needed to be there that badly why couldn’t he walk?

More infrastructure from NYC. NYPD: 1,160 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, Nine Killed in Traffic in April When motor vehicles collide there is usually only property damage, when motor vehicles hit pedestrians or cyclists there is usually a trip in an ambulance or a coroner’s car Note the disparity in the statistics, in more than 16K wrecks, there were more than 33K drivers and passengers involved, but only 2847 were injured and only 12 died, for a fatality rate of 0.04% when rounded. Pedestrians died at a rate of 1% while cyclists died at a rate of 0.3%. Or to look at it another way in a city hat has a vehicle ownership rate around 45% there were almost as many pedestrians killed as everybody in motor vehicles, not counting cyclists, and NYC still devotes most of its public space to moving and stored vehicles. A tiny fraction of that space is devoted to moving pedestrians, but an even tinier fraction is set aside for cyclists who must fight for space with both pedestrians and motor vehicles to get around the city. The fact that so few cyclists are killed or injured is more a testament to the skill and road sense of cyclists as well as their pathetically small mode share than it is to the quality of the infrastructure.

Lifestyle article for the MD cyclist killed in KY after having a mechanical incident. Friends To Finish Miles For Cyclist Killed During Charity Journey

And after all that I need another kitty video. Most Hilarious Videos Of Cats 2014 – Best Funny Kitten Compilation

And those were all the links that gave me fits and giggles.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

2 responses to “Surrounded by mayhem, gore, and death, and then I opened the Feed

  1. There’s a photo of the crossing where the cyclist hit the train at http://labikes.blogspot.com/2014/06/is-safety-getting-too-dangerous-for.html

    Blaming brake failure here seems a stretch. Even if true, it doesn’t speak well for the cyclist’s instincts for survival. After all, it isn’t like the crossing is at the bottom of a hill. Perhaps the iPod earphones survived…

    • Opus the Poet

      If brake failure was involved the evidence points to it being of a sudden nature like a broken cable. The only way I can see it working that way is the cyclist was expecting to make a hard stop just as he got to the crossing only to find no brakes and going too fast to prevent impact with the train. And the bike was so heavily damaged in the wreck that figuring out if the brakes were working is going to be difficult at best.

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