Tag Archives: fun on a bike

They finally finished counting the votes and I’m screwed, and the Feed

The votes are counted and batshit insane won out over just crazy. I’m screwed because batshit has made public statements against government spending on any bicycle infrastructure as being “socialist”. News flash for you Batshit, all infrastructure is socialist to some extent. Installing bicycle infrastructure just gives people a choice as to how they use it. Right now we have a choice between cars, trucks, and SUVs when selecting our mode of transportation, but public transit is kinda sorta useful if you have the time. Riding a bicycle is physically uncomfortable because of the climate and emotionally uncomfortable because there are so many cars, trucks, and SUVs using the infrastructure that the operators have no earthly idea of how to share with bicycles. And Batshit wants to make that worse for people riding bicycles. Of course opposing bicycle infrastructure is a minor issue with this guy, oppressing women and voters of the “wrong” kind is much higher on his agenda. This is still not good for me because I’m the “wrong” kind of voter: “not-rich”.

Up first is a hit-and-run from down south a few day’s ride. Deputies: Hit-and-run suspect later found unresponsive behind the wheel and Driver arrested in FM 1960 hit-and-run Let’s see, line of cars moving over a lane to make a legal pass on a cyclist legally using the road, one driver moves out of the line and hits the cyclist then merges back in line and leaves the scene, later found slumped over the wheel of the weapon vehicle and unresponsive to LEO commands. No toxicology report back yet but I’m willing to bet alcohol, drugs, or possibly an out-of-control blood sugar level. I’m putting my money on good old-fashioned ethyl alcohol.

Update on an OH left cross fatality. Trial date set for truck driver charged with death of cyclist The cyclist’s family is being very understanding and Stockholm Syndrome about it claiming the fact that the driver is disturbed about having killed “is punishment enough”. Listen people, everyone is disturbed about the first time they kill if they have any shred of compassion in them. The ones that aren’t just need to be placed where they can’t hurt the rest of us ever. But if drivers are allowed to kill and face no sanction for killing, no matter what the mode of transport of the victim, then there is zero incentive for the drivers that don’t have that shred of compassion to not run over the cyclist or pedestrian that causes them to have to slow down a bit. Swerve enough that the vehicle isn’t damaged too much to drive and keep on trucking, because you will get a worse ticket for tossing a cigarette butt out the window than for leaving a dead or dying human on the side of the road.

A MD driver that killed a cyclist tries to get the sentence dismissed because the felony conviction interferes with her life? Sentence in death of bicyclist stands Another sociopathic driver thinks it’s all about her after leaving a corpse in the road. Consequences are a bitch, aren’t they honey? Less than a year in jail with work release after killing a human and discarding the body like a cigarette butt and you want that expunged so you can “get on with your career”? You changed your career path when you left the person to die on the road, now you have to live with that choice. And this was not the first time you hit a cyclist either, you hit one in 2008 that left the victim with a permanent and life-altering brain injury, for which you essentially skated.

A cyclist in the UK is killed by a pothole that the relevant authority was notified about weeks before the wreck. Cyclist mown down during charity bike ride after hitting a four-inch deep pothole that police had warned about more than a month before One thing I like about UK tort laws is they specifically allow local governments to be sued when they commit an action or an inaction that results in people getting injured, unlike here in the US where most municipalities invoke “sovereign immunity” at the first hint of a lawsuit.

And another cyclist hits the pavement because it has holes in it. Exeter pharmacy staff help “pot-holed” cyclist The cyclist was lucky to not have been hit by a motor vehicle like the previous paragraph.

Even comic strip characters can’t escape the pothole monster. Frazz by Jef Mallett I do hope that one goes to “freeze-thaw cycle”, it’s impossible to test.

Lots of infrastructure news today. This one is from America’s Copenhagen, Portland OR. Video of right-hook collision shows risks at NE Couch and Grand First up this video is a near-perfect example of using intersection protocols to minimize damages from a right hook, the cyclist ran out of road before the driver finished the turn.

Infrastructure news from CA. Beverly Hills tells bicyclists to drop dead; LAPD to focus — finally — on traffic violations this year As I commented in the article Beverly Hills needs to be sued for violating CA’s Complete Streets law. They have been reminded several times of the law’s requirements, I think a little smackdown from a judge would be appropriate. More Beverly Hills City Council Disses Road Safety, Slaps Riders in Santa Monica Boulevard Session

A slightly fun infrastructure link. If Your Local Elites Have Gone Completely Bonkers, You May Have Bikelash It would be impossible to tell here, our “elite” varies between “disturbed” and “batshit crazy” every other minute.

An infrastructure link that is only marginally about bicycles. Detroit study to examine effects of bad air quality As we all know installing bike lanes reduces the local pollution on streets that have them, I don’t know how well that transfers to networks of bike lanes in entire cities. That’s something that hasn’t been studied.

A really unhappy lifestyle story from CA. Popular pre-L.A. Marathon bike ride canceled after city permit snag I thought that the powers that be liked the Crash because it acted like an additional sweep of the course the organizers did not have to pay for.

And those were all the links that gave me fits about bicycles. There were a couple more that just were kinda “blah” so I thought “Why include “blah” in my blog?” Also apparently I have been missing a lot of clicks to this blog because I don’t put a tag on the Daily Feed posts that this is about bicycles. What, they can’t look at the blog title and tell that most of the posts are going to be about bicycles? But anyway I’m going to be adding a “Bicycles” and “bikes” tag to the Daily Feed posts so that people looking for information about bicycles can find these posts.

> sigh <

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I’m having “employee” problems, and the Feed

There are two “employees” for this blog: me and the cat. Lately we have been having difficulty getting the cat out of the bed, which would not be a problem except that the bed in question is not the cat’s bed but mine.

This makes making the bed difficult. I sometimes wish that Bryan (the cat) did things that were more active and photogenic, but he’s reaching middle age for a cat and has started to “settle down” a bit. His biggest interaction “bit” is begging to be let out the back door so he can run around the house and beg and scratch to be let in the front door. Apparently this is great fun for him… Cats, if they had brains they would be dangerous.

Up first a cyclist is left for dead a hard day’s ride south of WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Cyclist injured in hit-and-run crash in Cedar Park When are LEO going to start treating these like murders or attempted murders? Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. And confiscate and crush the vehicles used by hit-and-run drivers. All the vehicles, not just the one they used to hit and run with.

A peloton is left crossed in CO. 2 cyclists hit by car, 1 seriously injured in LaPorte There were 7 cyclists in that pack, and the driver still managed to “not see” and hit 2 of them? That indicates severe vision or processing problems, or anger management issues. Anyway, intersection wreck, use the protocols to avoid or to mitigate injury, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Just because FL is no longer the most deadliest state to ride a bike (they are still figuring for the pedestrian “crown”) does not mean that it is by any stretch of the imagination “safe” as shown in this hit-and-run. FHP asks for help to find truck suspected in fatal St. Lucie County accident | Video That bike was clobbered hard. In a bike lane by someone driving a pickup truck. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if the cyclist could get hit by a motor vehicle going that fast then the infrastructure was Not Right for that location. Nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck.

Another link to the story about the UK racing driver who killed a cyclist. Mobile phone death driver sent to prison I’m pretty sure this will be the last time anyone hears of this driver…

Intersection wreck in the UK. Cyclist hurt after Lancaster pedestrian crossing collision Intersection wreck with a strong indication of the weapon vehicle failing to yield to the cyclist with the right of way. Protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent as a pedestrian crossing is not proper bicycle infrastructure even if it was legal for the cyclist to use. And a repeat of the “seize and destroy all their vehicles” from one of the preceding paragraphs.

Infrastructure! news from NYC. “Cooper’s Law” Would Suspend Cabbies Who Kill Or Maim Pedestrians This one would have gotten the driver that was attempting to assault a cyclist with his cab and lost control, severing the foot of a UK tourist. In TX that would be a felony with a mandatory 20 years because the innocent person was collateral damage to assault with a deadly, but in NYC the cabbie got 6 weeks off without pay. More Mother of boy killed by cab pushes for ‘Cooper’s Law’

More infrastructure of the legal kind from NYC and surrounds, LI in this case. Wife of Cyclist Killed in Calverton: ‘The Laws Have Too Many Loopholes’ When you can drive across 5 lanes of traffic to hit a cyclist head on on the other side of the road and only get 6 months for the death, there is definitely something wrong with the laws.

Lifestyle and infrastructure from FL. Friends Remember Cyclist & Push For Tougher Penalties I’m still trying to figure out what headlights had to do with the wreck since the cyclist was hit from behind and had lights…

Lifestyle from CA. RIVERSIDE: Memorial ride honors cyclist killed in crash

Legal infrastructure combines with struggles using the built infrastructure in Portland. Q&A on ‘Vision Zero': Three fatalities put city’s new safety promise to the test

Your daily link to BikingInLA. Your decidedly un-presidential President’s Day bike news roundup, including mayoral support for MyFig

When a bicycle and a snow shovel love each other very much, this is what you get.

We already know your car makes you sick, now we know it makes you crazy, too. Commuting makes you ‘unhappy and anxious’, says ONS Interestingly enough riding a bicycle counters this effect.

Bike parking in a Sweden. Malmö Opens Fantastic Bike&Ride Parking at Central Station They even have special Bakfiets parking. :o

Sometimes you have to be smarter than your bike computer. Beware the route of all evil in using GPS I would not buy a bike GPS that did not have a mode for avoiding hills. I’m built nothing like Marco Pantani, I don’t climb like a homesick angel, and all my bikes are made from “sturdy steel, made to last” instead of crabon and unobtanium.

Keeping the equation balanced. When N+1 meets S-1* The ideal number of bikes is when N+1 is equal to S-1. And I ask you to read the link instead of explaining that here.

And those were all the links that gave me fits today, I’ll let you try to figure out what kind of fit went with each link. ;)

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Another grocery shopping day that I don’t have to play a mule, and the Feed

I’m waiting to see if there are any good links in the Feed today (that I haven’t already used) so a little commentary on life in general while I wait. Regular readers know that Blue was stolen back in August of 2013. What I haven’t been talking about is I haven’t had a bike I could ride without pain since then. All the bikes I have at my disposal are either too big or way too small (kids’ bikes). The other problem is my local source for small batches of steel tubing in bicycle diameters and wall thicknesses has ceased its retail operations and gone strictly to big batch orders that would be a 40-50 year supply for my operation and tie up thousands of dollars in metal inventory. This prevents me from building something on my own that would fit and be comfortable. Having tools and designs doesn’t help if I can’t get the materials to build them. And I find this to be incredibly frustrating, to have all these ideas floating around in my head and no way to make them real. The closest analogy I can think of is being perpetually pregnant, only without the bladder issues.

And segueing from pregnancy to the other problem I’m having is I’m gaining weight. I really need active transportation for two reasons, not the least of which is I need the exercise. There is a reason I don’t do the “e word” except for my rehab stuff, and that’s most of it is a waste of time and energy. I’m using the term “waste” in the sense of “for no purpose”, because if I’m going to be working that hard I want the work to be accomplishing something other than “exercise”. Most of the things I can think of to do already require some degree of fitness, they’re not things you do to get fit but they are activities that let you hold on to what fitness you already have. Also they require a degree of sociableness that I’m not comfortable with. Riding the bike was something I could do without having to participate in team sports, but it did require interacting with entitled idiots who think the world revolves around internal combustion engines. Also it was a “useful” form of exercise, I was moving my butt from A to B and frequently also various amounts of cargo so that things would get done. It was also my social outlet in that point B commonly involved interacting with other people. And it was cheap, after the initial costs were amortized. I could make trips similar in length to what people around here drive for the cost of a bottle of water and a PBJ sandwich which I would have needed to buy anyway just to keep alive. So basically for me the costs of riding a bike were nil.

First up, while I’m no great fan of JB I wasn’t a hater either until this. Justin Bieber Arrested For Alleged DUI And Drag Racing In Miami OK for someone like JB to get arrested for this in Miami where a minor pop singer from South America is treated like a foreign dignitary when he kills a cyclist while DUI tells me 2 things: first that he was so blitzed that he was a danger to himself and others, second that there has been a major change in LEO attitude in Dade County. I keep hearing rumors that Canada may deny him re-entry into the country if he tries to return. Bicycle related content: About 30-40% of cyclist fatalities involve weapon vehicle operators that are DUI.

Up close to WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, a cyclist gets hit by a train (again). Bicyclist injured in collision with Metro rail car C’mon people, we have hashed and re-hashed this until it’s practically meat puree, not getting hit by a train is about the simplest traffic safety thing you can do. Trains can only be found on train tracks and normally have crossing guard systems or other warning devices. Granted this is light rail in the street, but there are still multiple warning systems that are supposed to keep you off the tracks when a train is coming. Add to that the size and noise of a train, even the light rail variety, and well it takes a rare combination of multiple lacks of awareness or a total disregard for what’s going on around you, or even a personal disregard for safety. Stay away from train tracks to avoid and be very careful and alert when staying away from the tracks proves impossible.

From the former most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike (pending confirmation) another cyclist is hit. Lakeland Man Charged in Bicyclist’s Death OK this is another one that needs to have the car crushed with the driver inside. Drunk and hit the cyclist on the wrong side of the road (salmon driving) and swerved into the cyclist. This isn’t manslaughter it’s murder… and the cyclist was riding exactly where the haters say cyclists should ride, in a park.

From WA, it seems bike paths are a bad place to have high-speed motorcycle chases. Man on stolen motorcycle killed on Renton trail while fleeing Washington State Patrol trooper Those things are full of obstacles that (rarely) kill and (much too often) injure people riding bicycles. Riding on one at high speed with a motorcycle ain’t gonna work out well.

A little south of that wreck a cyclist is injured by a driver who did not hang around. Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run in San Luis Obispo Another candidate for the car crusher. The damage and location of this wreck lead me to deduce the weapon vehicle hit the cyclist as the vehicle left the parking lot to the store and as the victim proceeded straight. So that would imply intersection protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages, infrastructure to prevent.

Nearby a cyclist is hit with a bus. Breaking news: Pomona cyclist killed in collision with Foothill Transit bus

Final outcome in the criminal charges against a driver that hit a cyclist waiting to turn in Jolly Olde. Widow: ‘No sentence can ever match my loss’ and Family to sue driver over death crash A year’s driving ban and a six month suspended sentence. And the driving ban will most likely not be enforced because I didn’t see anything about relinquishing the keys or the car. So effectively no punishment for killing a driver waiting to turn from the opposite lane.

A wreck in Oz results in charges against the driver. Engadine woman charged with injuring cyclist at Helensburgh Nothing on the mode because it was a hit-and-run and the cyclist could not remember what happened, but it looks like hit-from-behind so protocols to avoid and infrastructure to prevent. Along with crushing the weapon vehicle, of course. Nothing prevents a second hit-and-run quite as well as destroying the means of doing so.

They REALLY don’t like bike riders in Pakistan. 15 killed, Spaniard injured in attacks in Pak’s restive areas They killed 6 national police trying to get one bike rider. I don’t think the fact he was riding a bike was the issue, more that he was an infidel foreigner. I do know how to read for content.

A bit of e-assist bike news from the EU. Working Group Decides on Standardized E-bike Interfaces When I first started working with e-assist they couldn’t even settle on a common charge plug so that you could grab a few watt-hours on the road without having to pack a charger, now they have a common software interface with the BMS. That’s progress.

And “old people” who used to ride a lot still ride a lot when they get e-assist. E-Bikes Boosts Bike Usage Among Elderly Whodathunkit? People ride bikes when it doesn’t hurt.

Along the same lines people will take cruises to locales that are fun places to ride bikes and the they ride bikes. Luxury cruise and biking? Turns out it’s a surprisingly good combination for adventurous types

Last link, runners do more damage to bike trails than bikes do to hiking trails. Runners repair their damage to park’s bike trail

And those were all the links I could find about bicycles.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

A sudden change of focus on my projects on a Wreck-Free Sunday post

Well my project focus has changed as a result of Blue getting stolen from the grocery store Friday. I had been planning on building an awesome T-Bucket, now I’m getting stuff together for that full suspension 20/20 crank-forward cargo bike. I’m going to use the tried and true “throw the parts on the jig in the correct places and build a frame to connect them” design process ;)

This is an evolution of the “Crank-forward bike that fits on a bus rack” project from a couple of years back when I discovered that Blue would rest on the frame instead of the back tire when sitting on a bike rack as mounted to buses in our local transit system, just with an extended top tube to support some cargo carrying containers. I have a back wheel, rear swingarm, rear shock, suspension fork, stem, handlebars, head tube, bottom bracket, crank, 44 tooth chainwheel, and brakes. I need to buy a shifter (I’m making this a 1 by 9 or 10 system so only a rear shifter needed), brake handles, a front wheel to match the rear one (I have the rim but I need a hub to match the rear hub), rear derailler, cassette, chain, and some nesting square tubing and bar stock to build the seat tube and seat post so they don’t twist when sat upon, and a few pieces of light 1″ round tubing. I should also mention I have a set of fresh, clean, bright yellow, kitty litter buckets and about 2 square feet of DOT reflective stickers, ready to mount for cargo carrying.

The specs are fairly straight-forward: 42″ wheelbase with a 70° head tube angle and a 45° seat tube angle so that the cockpit is open but there isn’t an excessive reach to the controls, the seat will sit close enough to the ground to get both feet down for slow speed maneuverability and balance but still allow for full leg extension as was pioneered by the Vision Thoroughbred (RIP Vision Bikes).
The bottom bracket will be 19″ from the front axle giving a slight toe overlap but not enough to be a problem giving 23″ from the bottom bracket to the rear wheel.

I’m doing this not because I don’t miss Blue or I was chomping on the bit to build another bike, but because my transportation options without a bike are severely limited in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Mrs. the Poet gets around strictly by public transit but that’s because she can use me on the bike to do things she can’t get to on the bus, or that the bus is not convenient to use to get to. I seriously need a cargo bike for a bunch of stuff around here. Also I need to get some practice with the new welder I bought and would prefer to practice on a practical project than just throwing bits of metal together at odd angles. But the need for a bike is greater than the need to practice welding.

And I had better get to it.

PSA, Opus

Drumming night, and the Feed

Tonight is the regularly-scheduled night of the month to drum and dance around the fire at my church, something I look forward to with great anticipation. I have been involved with percussion in one form or another since childhood, getting my first set of bongo drums at 11, playing the bass drum in marching band and snare in orchestra. I have also been a (poor) dancer almost as long, having my first dance class as a senior in HS, and belly dance for men in my 30s and 50s. I am a creature of rhythm even if I can’t spell it on the first try, ever. (I keep trying to put the voiced short “i” in the written word.) I can’t explain it so I just revel in it…

Up first on a happy note, semi-famous bike blogger Bikeyface has a new bike that she gushes about here LEFT BANK BIKE I’m sure Gigi is as happy for her about this as I am, wherever Gigi is now.

Big story, what is being described by some as a right hook and by others as the cyclist failing to use brakes, with lots of links. Cyclist dies in SF garbage-truck crash and Bicyclist dies after striking garbage truck in the Mission also Cyclist killed in San Francisco garbage truck crash More Clayton Cyclist Hit and Killed By Garbage Truck in San Francisco and Bicyclist killed in collision with San Francisco garbage truck was 21-year-old from Clayton not done yet Cyclist in fatal S.F. crash identified nearly there Bicyclist killed in Mission District identified as Clayton resident Last link Dylan Mitchell Identified as Cyclist Killed by Recology Truck Earlier reports that have since been deleted had the cyclist impacting the truck just in front of the rear wheels on the right side and being trapped in the rear wheels and dragged for almost a block. Now they are just saying “back” of the truck and not explaining how hitting the back of a garbage truck results in massive blunt trauma and crushing injuries, or how a cyclist can be dragged almost a block after hitting the back of the truck. Anyway, right hook, intersection protocols to avoid and infrastructure corrected to prevent. The truck was signalling a right turn but there is some question if the cyclist was in a position to see that signal.

Another story with more than one link is a hit-and-run in AZ. Suspect arrested in Tucson hit-and-run death and UPDATED II: CYCLIST KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY last link Sun Tran driver killed while cycling to work Intersection wreck, but at this point it does not appear that intersection protocols would have helped avoid the wreck in any way as the drunk driver appears to have ignored a traffic control when he hit the cyclist. This also strongly implies that any at-grade infrastructure that relied on traffic controls to maintain separation would have been equally unlikely to prevent this wreck and the only thing that could have would be grade separated with a barrier infrastructure which would have been unlikely in this location. I mean there aren’t even any sidewalks for the nearby residences, bike infrastructure would be secondary after pedestrian infrastructure.

An AR cyclist is hit. 7-year-old girl struck and killed while riding her bike Nothing about the mode of the wreck except listing the location as “near” an intersection, so going with intersection protocols to avoid, and getting the infrastructure right to prevent. As the wreck was in a residential area “getting the infrastructure right” would consist of making sure cars were moving at a safe speed and that intersections had good sight lines so that children on bikes could be seen.

A cyclist’s death leads to charges in the Great White North. Vernon cyclist death results in charges The cyclist was struck from behind by a person driving a vehicle in the bike lane at 70 km/hr (44MPH). Given the lack of space to maneuver and the curb to the right hit-from-behind protocols would have been not-very-useful, and the wreck was in bicycle infrastructure the driver was ignoring, so no chance of preventing either except for inventing some way of keeping drunk drivers from being able to start the vehicle…

And those are all the links that gave me fits today… and one that didn’t.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I can’t dress properly for an entire ride this week, Wreck-Free Sunday

All of the rides I took this past week I was over or under dressed for part of the ride. The weather here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell has been a pattern of temperature extremes lately. Last night it was mid-50s F on the way out to RPG group, and just over 40 on the way home. On the way to church it was right at 60 out, and almost 70 back. That wasn’t as bad as last night but I was still overdressed for the trip back. And there is a huge difference in the clothing for mid-50s and the clothing for 40 F. You can get hypothermia at either temperature but a whole lot faster at 40F, and what works for mid-50s will get you hypothermia at 40F. With temperature swings like we have here in Texas, dressing for the weather is a guessing game that I play to the warm side. I will be uncomfortable but not in danger, either way. On the days where I dress a little cool expecting warmer on the return trip I’m usually right, on the days I expect it to be a lot colder on the return trip I’m about 50/50 for the amount of drop, so some times I’m too warm in both directions, and some times I’m perfect on the way back, and once in a while it drops more than forecast and I’m too cool both ways because I didn’t pack enough additional layers.

Moving on to the RPG group, I’m still waiting to level up my warlock. We have been fighting with a demon that teleports in and out of the battle and has damage reduction except against magic, meaning the only people that have been able to inflict damage against this monster are the people with lots of muscle and big weapons (our barbarians) and me. The problem I have been having is the monster knows I can inflict damage unchecked against it and has been avoiding me and the barbarians while swatting the less powerful members of the party and inflicting huge amounts of damage against them. I find this annoying to say the least.I’m hoping that since it is now dark and everybody is tired (and the monster has taken a lot of damage) that we will get to let our characters sleep and recover (and let my character get his level up) at this rate I will be at level 7 before I can use any of my upgrades I get at level 6 as we go into the 4th game session since I reached level 6 without being able to claim my level up. With the quality of the monsters we have been facing we have been getting 300-500 XP per session with bonuses for good Role Playing and I’m about 1/5 of the way to my next level already… And next level I get a bigger attack bonus and 4d6 damage from my magic weapon. (That’s a lot of damage.)

I’m still working on the 20/20 crank forward full suspension bike so I have a bike that I can take on the bus bike rack. This is important because I can take a bus through places where riding a bike would be unsafe, and because full suspension means I can ride on the worst of the roads around here without permanently injuring my back. The combination would mean that I would have extended range from transit to about 90% of the DFW area pretty safely. And I have a year to get it ready for the Autorama that I won class in back in 2004, 10 years earlier. This is the bike that the solar bike light is being built for. I think that particular feature may be the tipping point to winning next year. The time I won my competition was a pedal car kit that was built stock with a fancy paint job versus my heavily modified bike with a simple monochromatic paint job. I don’t know that my competition will be so easy this time, so I’m thinking that little things like lights made for the bike will make a difference. I’m pretty sure there won’t be more than 2 other vehicles in my class because of the number of classes available to compete in. I know I won’t be in the lowrider bike class because this bike will have a fairly high bottom bracket and not having the pedals scraping the pavement. The seat will be low, but the pedals will be at a normal riding height.

And that’s all I have today.

PSA, Opus

Well that was fun (not), and the Feed

I just want to tell what a rip-off I got from Target when I went to exchange some clothes that were the wrong size. I first had a problem because I didn’t get a gift receipt, the second problem I had was after I finally found the same merchandise as I got in my gift I was charged for the exchange because the price had changed. The price changing was not my concern, I exchanged like for like in a different size and should have gotten a direct exchange, not charged the current price after being refunded the original price. This is a common rip-off method used by big-box retailers to extract more money from exchanges. At least I got a 10 mile ride out of the deal, riding through the maelstrom that is the pickup after school for a middle school on the bike route I took on the way. Something needs to be done about that mess.

Also this is another Mule Day as I need to haul home the week’s food. I glued the reflective strips (in ANSI Safety Lime) from the deceased blinky vest to the back of my ALICE ruck to make me a bit more visible as I pedal to and from the store. You would think I would be visible enough as it is with something that big on my back, but all my online research shows me that drivers in the US are Not Very Bright at looking where they are going and not running into things in the road.

And the only live link I have today is from NZ about infrastructure. NZ researchers create online injured cyclist-door crash map Before you can deal with a problem you need to know what the problem is. This is a good first step as to where enforcement of anti-dooring laws should take place.

And since I have to go make like a mule today, I’ll leave it at that. And send a nasty note to my search provider about sending only a page of ads with no links for the subject I requested.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

No post yesterday because Church Fair! and the Feed

I was working our church harvest festival (Redneck Pagan Fall Festival) and spent all day wearing an old bike helmet with a pair of deer antlers duct taped to it as part of a ring-toss game. One of the things we had was a contest to name things that could not be “fixed” with duct tape and zip-ties good enough to get you home, given a large enough supply of “tools”. Basically the only things that couldn’t be “fixed” that way would be things that operated at too high a temperature for the “tools” to survive, like an exhaust pipe, coolant line to a nuclear reactor (“you are in a nuclear submarine…”) or other such thing, and even then the repair might still hold if you weren’t too far from home, and there was enough duct tape available. So I was spending all day doing this, came home just long enough to get a bite to eat and roll back out for evening services which was a long one because this was when the “twice a year” pagans come out to communal circles. The other six Sabbats can be done properly by a solitary at home, but Samhain (pronounced “SOW en”) and Beltain (pronounced “BELL tane”) are both Sabbats that need to be celebrated with other people. Samhain is a remembrance of the dead, while Beltain is a celebration of the renewal of life. Both of those are much easier to do with others of like mind. Hence the rather large gatherings near the end of October and the first of May. Samhain also marks the end of the Celtic year, making November the 1st the Witches’ New Year.

Up first, after a car runs you down on the sidewalk, it’s not a good idea to go punch it out. Police: Bicyclist arrested after punching car I know (oh believe me, I KNOW!) that after having a near-death experience with a car that adrenaline levels spike to panic-attack levels and the fight-or-flight response is kicked way high and your first instinct is to attack what almost killed you.

From cycling’s Mecca in the US, they can’t decide if a cyclist was hit pushing a bike, or a pedestrian was hit near a bike that he had no connection with. Man dies after Hawthorne Bridge crash Whatever the mode of transportation that victim was using, he was apparently on the sidewalk when he was hit. From what little I know of the area the sidewalks on this bridge leave much to be desired in the way of room and make even a person walking without a bike feel very vulnerable. Since I have no idea how to keep from getting hit while walking on a sidewalk I have to say that this is strictly an infrastructure question.

A hit-and-run in CA. Hit-and-run vehicle injures cyclist; Redlands police seek public’s help Another reason to have wearable ID like RoadID or a dogtag with your name, phone number, and address stamped on it (blood type is good also) because LEO still don’t know who the victim was. Hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right, so that a wreck like this is physically impossible, to prevent. If you can’t make the wreck physically impossible then make the criminality of hit-and-run so costly for drivers that running becomes a worse option than staying.

Another hit-and-run, this one in KY. Police looking for suspects after cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver Given that what people said in the comments about the road was true that there were few roads that could be used to bypass the area, the cyclist probably did not have much choice in which route was to be taken to avoid this calamity. Use the hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and fix the infrastructure to prevent. Interesting comments that as I write this mostly blame either the driver for being drunk and leaving the scene to avoid DUI Homicide charges or the infrastructure and the people that built it for not making any space for anything except motor vehicles.

A SWSS wreck in OH. Van Wert woman killed while riding her bicycle and VW woman dies in bike-car crash Nothing useful about the wreck, the cyclist just pulled in front of a speeding SUV like she was trying to kill herself. And once again the driver gets let off for murder because the victim was riding a bicycle and the killer was driving a motor vehicle. Since the wreck was not actually in the intersection but “near” it, I have to assume the driver was not paying attention to the cyclist’s presence on the road until after the impact. Hit-from-behind and intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. Notice that neither report has the lane position or direction of travel of the weapon vehicle.

From the Great White North a cyclist is killed. Teenager killed after being struck by vehicle while riding bike in Innisfil and Teen cyclist killed on IBR Since LEO won’t say the cyclists were not using lights or reflectors at the time of the wreck it’s usually a pretty good bet that they were. Hit from behind, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. A good start would be making it automatic that anyone hitting multiple cyclists in a single wreck charged with assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder.

A really rare case in the UK. Driver who mowed down teen cyclist sees jail sentence doubled Wow, just nothing else but Wow! Three and a half years for driving more than 40 MPH over the limit in a residential area and killing a cyclist, after the initial 18 month sentence was appealed.

A cyclist in Oz survives a hit-and-run assault with a deadly weapon. Hit-run rider left for dead Hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. More Hit-run cyclist left for dead

LifeStyle from TX, and did you see that picture of the cyclists? Injured cyclist’s allies to drivers: Pay attention In many areas there is no way to avoid riding on frontage roads if you want to get places. They build the destinations on the frontage roads so you have to ride the frontage roads to go there. Also these highways are like walls or rivers that have been plopped down in the middle of existing road networks with no way to get around them.

LifeStyle in CA. Thousands attend memorial for 2 cyclists killed in accidents and Memorial Ride Draws 1,200 Cyclists

And to close, this is the second time in a month that this has happened in the UK. Cyclist killed after stopping to exchange details The first time was about 2 weeks ago, but the bike wasn’t stolen in that one. This time someone came up and stole the dead man’s bike. In the first wreck the dead cyclist’s bike was destroyed when he was hit by the second vehicle, and I can’t find the link for that one… More Sunderland cyclist killed and bike taken after crash

And those were all the links that gave me fits and were about bicycles. There were lots more links that gave me fits, but they weren’t about bicycles.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Trying to help, and the Feed

For my FB friends I have created a Cause that you can donate to as my Birthday Wish. I think everyone knows that here at the “Casa de las Aves Acuáticas Voladoras” we be “P’ “, we can’t even buy a vowel to be po’. But I still want to help, beyond the drum-banging I do on this blog, so I got together with Causes and FB to make a Birthday Wish to raise $1,000,000 for the Thunderhead Alliance to get small, local advocacy a national voice. The actual work needs to be done at the local level on the streets and roads that bicycles use (or would use if they were safe), but the problem is national in scope. Towns and cities don’t like to be “out on their own” on transportation for the most part, not the least of which is the issues of connecting one town to another when you have bicycle infrastructure. There are so many different approaches that you might end up with 2 towns with a common street grid but incompatible bike infrastructure that prevents cyclists from riding from one town to another. This is unacceptable. What Thunderhead could do with that $1M would be to help local groups lobby for interconnected bike infrastructure that allows cyclists to ride from one town to another as easily as driving from one town to another. Transportation is a basic human right. Let’s work to keep it that way.

A SWSS of a kid on a small e-bike. 8-year-old boy on electric bike killed by pickup truck in San Jose Hit from behind protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. Also stop believing everything the driver says in a wreck the cyclist is not conscious to respond after.

A MA cyclist is injured. Man riding bike in Boston struck and killed Hit from behind, use the protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. Since it wasn’t mentioned in the article it must be assumed that the cyclist had more than the legal requirement of lights and reflective materials

A wreck in CA as a semi passes a cyclist. Ukiah cyclist hit by semi-truck Following distance violation by the cyclist combined with a too close pass by the semi combined to result in a broken leg for the cyclist. There were way too many things that went wrong in this one to say how to avoid, but getting the infrastructure right would prevent it.

Infrastructure! from the UK. Cyclists set to get their own traffic lights What they are trying to do is get a separate set of lights that will allow bikes through on an all-red phase for motor vehicles, something like a “Barnes Dance” crossing for pedestrians except that bikes would not go in every direction. A similar idea would be a separate phase to turning movements when through lanes would be red in both directions.

Infrastructure from OH, as drivers don’t seem to get that cyclists have a right to the roads. Sharing the road with cyclists

And those are all the links that gave me fits (not counting the motorcycle wrecks, they give me fits, too but are not “fit” for this blog).

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Random thoughts on Wreck-Free Sunday

Well I don’t have anything coherent planned for today, just a few random thoughts.

Last night my church selected Hestia as our patroness for the coming church year. The problem is finding 6 virgins to tend the eternal flame out of a committee of 4 ritualists, with half of those being males and a different half being over 50 YO. That kinda makes us fresh out of virgins. On a related note we missed having Lakshmi as our patroness by a single point for the selection process. A few food items or a few votes would have swung the process either way.

Here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell the citizens are an important unpaid part of the PD and streets department. Both are reliant on citizen input to fix problems whether those problems are drivers that drive like they have the only vehicles on the roads or roads that are changing from paved to potholed gravel. I mentioned that I can do camera enforcement of road infractions if I buy the cameras and install them on the bike, well I also need to tell the Streets Department where the dangerous pavement is. Part of the problem is that what is most dangerous for a bicycle is a complete non-issue for a car, cracks and steps along the direction of travel. Those can trap a wheel and throw a bike (and rider) to the ground in a heartbeat.

Fun stuff I’m up to is I have a few parts that I’m using to improve the altermotor assist bike. Since I never mentioned this bike before, the short story is I’m converting a junkyard car alternator to a brushless motor that adds power to the drivetrain of the bike and has no additional drag when it isn’t assisting. The idea is to climb easier, or faster with the same amount of human power, so only about the same power as a human can produce is added to the mix. The original setup had a small sprocket attached directly to the converted alternator pulling the chain so that it saw the gears used on the back but not the front. There were 2 problems with this method. The first was that there was a limited range of RPM that could be used, and all of them were very low. This kept the motor below the speed where it developed the most power at the voltage used which caused a big current drain and also caused the cranks to spin too fast when the motor was activated in the middle and granny gears on the crank taking those gears away from use with assist. So, to get better power and use less electricity I needed to get the motor speed up above power peak at the voltage used and also do something so that I have granny gears even with assist, so that no matter how steep the climb I have the option of adding assist. The plan is to use the same sprocket on the motor driving a jack shaft with 3 output cogs and one input cog for human power and one for assist. This reduces the pedal speed to human levels and also gives granny and mid-range choices for both the rider and assist as both power sources have a single input that feeds through a choice of 3 outputs. I’m still building this so I’m not sure about the ratios yet for the motor side of the shaft. The human power side of the shaft uses a 48 tooth chainring to a 16 tooth cog on the shaft, with an 11 tooth small cog up to a 22 tooth big cog with a 16 tooth middle cog, converting that to what the equivalent crank would be is 33 granny, 48 mid, and 66 big going to a 20″ drive wheel. The equivalent for a full-size bike would be 25, 37, and 50. I still haven’t figured the power peak or the speed that happens at with the motor as I’m building a new controller that will run at full power. The old controller would only run at a maximum of 95% power because of using the power switching process to run a circuit that allowed the high-side FETs to be saturated when turned on. Also I was running the motor at such a low speed that the controller would lose commutation (knowing which phase of the motor to turn on). The new controller uses different high-side FETs that don’t require that circuit to function at full efficiency. This will allow the motor to be run at 100% without any worries about burning up the FETs in the controller. I think the free-spin RPM at the voltage this system runs at will be something between 800 and 1000 RPM. But I’m not sure because there are 2 parts to the equation, the power applied to the rotor which controls the magnetic field in the motor with a stronger field making a slower motor but more torque, and the Kv of the stator windings which I have no idea what it will be because that is a measured variable that I haven’t measured yet. Incidentally that power applied to the rotor is the main reason why this project exists, when there is no power applied to the rotor there is no drag from the motor, which means that a single control lets me select assist or no assist with no drag.

And that’s what has been banging around the inside of my skull this week.

PSA, Opus