Tag Archives: daytona 500

I’m ALIVE! and Wreck-Free Sunday

The headline refers to the difficulty I had in learning to pilot the new bike. The bed does not have a lot of clearance so lean angles for cornering are not high and the steering does not have a lot of travel, especially to the left so catching the bike with steering is not easy. Then there was the whole “bending too far over to stay on the seat” business that had to be adjusted out. That required reversing the stem to reduce the reach in the horizontal plane, then raising it to the minimum insertion point to get the handlebars up where my knees didn’t hit them. Then I could ride the bike a little, but still not very well. The combination made for evil low-speed handling until I could get ahead of the curve, literally. The builders and I are working to get rid of the steering lock issue and to retrofit it to the other Clydes already on the road (both of them). It appears that the other Clyde on the road is not having these issues because it has a fairly powerful throttle-demand front hub motor assist to go with the pedal power applied to the rear wheel. This gets it out of the low-speed regime in a big hurry, maybe fast enough that the owner never noticed how bad the low-speed handling really was.

One reason the new bike is important is transitioning the campgrounds at the Council of Magickal Arts from golf carts to cargo bikes as the golf carts age out. They were used and not a lot of life left in them when the campgrounds were first built back around the turn of the century but we are coming up on the middle of the second decade of the century and those used carts are spending as much time getting repaired as they are running people and cargo around the festival site. Also the carts are not as aligned with the core values of the organization Council of Magickal Arts as using bicycles to move things around. Eventually they plan on moving to something else for moving stuff and the infirm around, my vision is cargo bikes and pedicabs with a large number of people using powering the units as their community service to help keep the festivals running smoothly.

But moving on from the new bike, today is the opening race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. As I type this the Daytona 500 is under a rain delay (again), so they are showing last year’s race on the station that is supposed to be carrying today’s race. The racing was good until the rains came, but now they are under a tornado warning and everybody is under the stands where it is somewhat safe until the weather blows over. And now they are saying there is about 10 minutes until coverage resumes. And it resumed watching the track driers out drying the track for about 20 minutes then went back to last year’s race replay. It looks like another 90 minutes until they get the track dry.

So, while I wait for the track to dry I’m going to muse about the modified BMX bike I’m working on for someone to ride during the festival this Spring. The idea is a crank forward bike that the rider can reach the ground to dab when things get yucky (technical term) while still having the crank far enough away from the seat that the rider gets full leg extension. I have a batch of square tubing to use to make the seat tube, and I’m going back to the metal supplier to get the right size to make the seat post. I’m even going to give my “secret” jig settings for building this bike from the modified BMX frame. The wheelbase is 42″, the bottom bracket is 19″ from the front axle and 3″ (center, 1 15/16” edge) above the axle, and a 45° seat tube angle. I’m preserving the head tube angle of the donor BMX bike to match the fork on the hardtail version, but the full suspension version will have a slack 70° headtube to go with the suspension fork I have. The real work will be the swingarm mounting points and shock mount points. Then I have to work the seat tube around those mounting points. For that bike about the only parts that will survive from the donor bike will be the down tube and the head tube.

OK they are saying that it will still be at least 60 minutes before the race resumes, so I’m going to stop trying to live blog the race and post the blog.

PSA, Opus

Trying to stay calm on Wreck-Free Sunday

First of all, before I get into this post I need to let everyone know I got the post on turning a Halloween costume mask into winter gear fixed. I got the right URL for each picture and loaded that URL into the post where that picture went, and Voila!, pictures in the blog post. I still can’t get the alt text to work, but that’s not as important as the pictures were.

At the moment I’m watching the Daytona 500 on the idiot box. I can’t help it, I love NASCAR. Some of those guys are family to me, and I’m a geek for technology and finding an engineering solution to a competition problem. The new car is a very small box to work inside metaphorically, and the crews are NOT allowed to “think outside the box”. I’m still trying to find out some of the changes that were made for safety in the new car. I have heard that there are new roll bars added to the cage front and back, but all I have seen so far is the front bar that goes across the top of the windshield just in front of what used to be the halo hoop under the roof. So what I can find out about the car is that the extra bars are to give more bearing area to keep the roof from collapsing into soft dirt in a roll over. This allows the roof to be lower without much chance of the roof getting into the driver’s head in a wreck.

I had planned to do a huge diatribe about how dangerous cars are with the release of the preliminary numbers from the government of the people killed by motor vehicles, but that would be redundant for this blog. We already know that motor vehicles are more deadly than guns, by about 6K per year last year. All told more than 36K people died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, while just over 30K died from getting shot. But the attention is on guns because children were killed at school by a man with a gun. Make no mistake Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but guns are not even in the top 10 of things that kill children in this country. What’s the number one killer of children in the US? car wrecks. Until recently with the introduction of infant car seats that are miniature crash cocoons that make an armored car even more armored for infants, that statistic went all the way down to birth, now car wrecks are the number two killer under the age of five. Guns are not even close at any age up to 35.

Back to the race, Danica (yes, only one name just like a real celebrity) led some laps under green to be the first women to lead green flag laps at Daytona after being on pole to be the first woman to be on the pole at Daytona. Two of the three JGR Toyotas had engine failures just a few minutes ago, one a big blow-up (Kyle Busch) and the other just a bit of smoke. And after watching the race instead of blogging, the race is now over and Jimmie Johnson has won the Daytona 500. Danica finished 8th after the fustercluck behind Jimmie sorted out, and Mrs. the Poet’s favorite driver Mark Martin finished 3rd. The driver I was cheering for was taken out in an early race wreck, sorry Smoke (Tony Stewart). It was such a good race that even Mrs. the Poet was glued to the tube watching it with me. She usually hates racing (“cars going around in a circle”), but this one was such a nail-biter that even she had to watch. My friend Mikey managed to finish 22nd (I used to hang out in Darrel Waltrip’s speed shop in Franklin TN, and bought kart parts from Bobby and talked to Mikey from time to time).

OK I don’t like cars on the roads, but I love cars on the track. AFAIK nobody has killed a cyclist on track during a NASCAR race.

PSA, Opus

Running ridonkulously late after visits to the Lab Rat Keeper and a potential source of income, and the Feed

Yep, I had another visit to the LRK for more meds to control my BP (which is V good, average under 116/75) and record my weight (holding just under 206). I also visited the local plasma center to find out how much I could get selling my blood plasma ($50/month) until my job reviewing road and highway projects for not killing bicyclists comes through. Another reason I was late today was because the Daytona 500 ran into Tuesday morning after Juan Pablo Montoya’s car broke at the exact wrong time while passing one of the jet dryers and ran into the trailer with the jet engine and 200 gallons of jet fuel and then hit the truck towing it breaking the 50 gallon tank of diesel fuel, causing a fire that burned for quite a while until trackside firefighters could get it under control and then out. I have been watching NASCAR racing since I was tiny (OK tiny-er much smaller than I am now) and this is the first time I can remember seeing or hearing about a race car hitting a safety vehicle during a caution. I recall there were a couple of incidents in F1 back about 20 or 30 years ago that led to changes in yellow flag rules to prevent such things from happening again, and a tow truck was hit during an SCCA race back in the late pleistocene when someone was passing the car being towed and didn’t see the truck actually towing it.

I open the day’s link-fest with this bit of non-yogurt bicycle culture. Tiny Bike Shop Concert Returns Thursday If you are in the area drop in for a listen and/or watch. And a pretty picture, too

First up, a sentence that seemed to come from Bizarro World. Colorado Springs man sentenced to 8 years in prison in crash that killed cyclist Yes, you read that right, a halfway reasonable sentence for killing a cyclist, even when they couldn’t prove the driver was drunk. More Eight years in prison for driver in cyclist hit-and-run and Man gets prison time for crash that killed cyclist

Arrest in a fatal hit-and-run in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Tampa police arrest man in deadly hit-and-run In the comments we find the victim had not exactly led a spotless life as a driver or as a cyclist, but that still doesn’t mean that he deserved to die at the hands of a drunk driver.

Another guilty driver gets a hefty sentence in SC. Man sentenced to 15 years in fatal hit-and-run I have to say that just a short couple of years since an off-duty firefighter shot a cyclist in the helmet and got away with it the fact that a driver in a fatal wreck with a bicycle was given such a harsh sentence surprizes me some. More Clover driver pleads guilty in crash that killed Rock Hill bicyclist So many of the comments were about the drunk driver being in the wrong in this case after the last link.

Another report on a NJ bike wreck. Bicyclist killed in Egg Harbor Township identified as Mays Landing teen, 2010 Mainland graduate AFAIK this was a hit-from-behind wreck which most likely would be the fault of the driver, but since the driver is LEO what will be decided is questionable.

A kid in IL gets trapped under a car that hit him while he was legally crossing a street in a crosswalk. UPDATED: Bicycling Teen Trapped Under Car, Seriously Injured in Darien From the report it appears the driver was seriously distracted by an impending court appearance. As for the cyclist he had no chance to avoid this wreck as he had committed to the crosswalk and was not going fast enough to be able to avoid a motor vehicle crossing his path.

A terrible situation in CT. Cops: Teens Beat Girl, Rob Bicycle A group of older children/young adults assaulted the girl in the road in broad daylight and beat her up after stealing her bicycle. Not something you can avoid except by looking “badder” than the punks, which is hard for a 14YO girl to do.

Cyclists in Oz share a common complaint with cyclists everywhere, LEO go after cyclists out of proportion to their numbers and their offenses because cyclists are easier to catch than any other vehicle. Bikes ‘the focus’ in cop road sting In spite of cyclists only being 2% of the traffic, and cyclists not breaking the law more than any other group on the road, the cyclists managed to rack up 10% of the tickets…

Infrastructure news from NYC. Bike, walk or run in Prospect Park? Big changes coming down the road Changes are made to reduce the exposure to the most dangerous thing in the park, the motor vehicles, Car time is reduced to a couple hours a day during the week and none at all during the park’s heaviest use during the weekend.

More infrastructure news from the Big Apple. Making Cities Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians The trick is if you get enough people out of cars you automatically make life safer for everybody else, because the deadliest thing in a city is the motor vehicle. In NYC motor vehicles kill more people on the sidewalks in a week than bicycles kill anywhere in the city in a year. In Dallas we had a fatality in 2010 that was the first pedestrian killed by a cyclist in the entire state in this century, so the fewer cars you have on the roads and the more people you have riding bicycles and walking, the fewer people are going to get killed by any means or method of mobility.

Infrastructure news from the Great White North. Trail’s dangerous rail crossing to be fixed If they had bothered to build it right in the first place they wouldn’t have to be spending more money now to tear out the mistake and build it right.

And that’s all the news I can stand today (tonight?).

Billed @$0.02, Opus