Tag Archives: helpful hints

Been doing some thinking, and the Feed

Interesting things have been happening here at WoaB! I have a student, and I didn’t even know I was a teacher. I have been approached by a person who wants me to teach them about magick (with a “k”) and religion (because they’re intermingled and inseparable in how I learned). The reason why I’m posting this is to warn people that Wreck-Free Sundays are going to get… “different” for a while. I’m going to post the public part of what I’m teaching on Sundays, starting with the ethics of magick (with a “k”) and just teaching religion in general. My student will have to tell me (or send an e-mail) what they understand I said about ethics, not just regurgitate word for word. Second thing: I’m thinking of changing the focus of this blog. As people have been telling me for years, it isn’t healthy to wallow in all this death and mayhem when there ain’t a damn thing I can do about it. As it is now I have probably read more wreck reports about bicycles than any currently living human. That number is so large I lost count years ago. I think it’s somewhere over 6000, but that’s just a SWAG based on the number of links average per post and the number of posts I’ve done. That doesn’t count the reports I read but did not link to because there wasn’t anything I could teach from them, so maybe 10K counting them? That is a crap ton of broken bodies and souls. And it just occurred to me that the last day in March would have a better time to make this announcement, just so that you could spend the next two days thinking that this was all an elaborate April Fool’s joke while I posted cat pictures to my blog and left recipes for love potions.

Anyway, expect the blog to veer away from wrecks and more into infrastructure, because I have discovered that more than 95% of the wrecks I post to this blog are either directly related to bad infrastructure, or could have been prevented by good infrastructure. That means I’m going to have to learn a lot more about creating good bike infrastructure than I know right now, which can be summed up as “Keep the cars away from the people riding bicycles.” I think the best metaphor I have for that is this picture I swiped and edited from Subnormality:
Cars are bullets

Up first is a blind driver running over a cyclist wearing clothes in CA. Cyclist Hit, Killed in Turlock and Bicyclist killed in fatal collision The cyclist was riding in the right side of the lane and the driver did not see him until just before hitting him, and instead of blaming the driver for not watching the road they blame the cyclist for “failure to wear glow-in-the-dark clown suit”. And don’t get me started on how they de-humanized the cyclist: “The report states Medina didn’t see the bicyclist until it was a short distance away.” Last I checked the AP style sheet required referring to members of the human race by either gendered pronouns when the gender of the subject was known, or as “they” when gender was unknown. In this case not only did they have a gender, they had an age and a name to go with that gender, “39-year-old Jose Borjes“. Also note that the lights and reflectors on the bike were never mentioned just the cyclist’s wearing normal clothing. TANJ!

Up in MN a cyclist was doing everything right (including the glow-in-the-dark clown suit) but is still dead. Bicyclist fatally run over was new to Minneapolis, careful about bike safety Hit-from-behind by a drunk driver with snowbanks cutting off the escape route, which moots the protocols. There was infrastructure present, under the snowbanks. This demonstrates that if you want the infrastructure to do its job it has to be maintained.

A driver is convicted of killing a cyclist in FL. Driver guilty in accident that killed bicyclist in Tampa Now to see what kind of pansy “sentence” he gets. He was also convicted of driving without a license in the wreck which should be an aggravating circumstance especially as he was racing on the street at the time, but I have my doubts since the victim was a cyclist riding in the bike lane in a park…

What appears to be a SWCC in NC. Police: Bicyclist injured in wreck The “crossing west into the southbound lanes” combined with “Hit in the inside southbound lane” has the cyclist coming from the left when hit, but no place for the cyclist to have come from. As you can see from the Street View this was an undivided 4-lane highway in the middle of a residential area.

A weird wreck in Jolly Olde. Cyclist’s lucky escape as bike skids under bus Not sure how this happened but kid, bus, crushed bicycle, and no blood makes it “not bad”.

An unknown type of wreck in Oz. Australind cyclist injured in mystery crash The cyclist was found on the ground with head injuries and an undamaged bicycle, pretty much the calling card of a buzz job. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure right to prevent.

What to do if you’re first or one of the first on scene at a bicycle wreck. Guest Column: Bikes Have Rights™*

A conflict-free commute on You Tube. Count the number of moving cars in my bike commute video Yes, it happens.

As someone pointed out if you have an activity that demands you be crazy to participate, you get people being crazy, but if you make the activity appear safe enough for everybody to do it, the ratio of crazy to not declines from over unity to under. NYC Cyclists Are Getting More Considerate, Study Shows And you get results like this.

And those are all the links that I could find about bicycles, that may or may not have given me fits.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I’m back from the Doctor and the news ain’t good, and the Feed

OK I went to my scheduled trip to the chiropractor today, and that little fall I took Sunday turns out to be not so “little”. I had dislocations in 2 ribs and my right clavicle. They would have eventually worked their way more or less back into position but getting them back sooner was better in the long run. Add that to the bleeding problem I had Sunday and yesterday and that was a very expensive bike ride, at least in pain if not in actual money. Fortunately nothing was actually broken, just not where it should have been. I knew something was “off” because my other shoulder hurt right behind the shoulder blade when I woke up this morning. Anywho, everything is back where it should be and all I have to deal with is the lingering inflammation from the injury that should clear up by morning.

Up first is a man getting killed about as far south as you can go and still be in Texas. Cyclist hit, killed and Cyclist killed was peddling to work I don’t know what he was peddling, but he was pedaling a bicycle. Intersection wreck and they aren’t blaming the cyclist in this one so maybe the driver of the weapon vehicle ran a red light and it was caught on a redlight camera. Intersection wreck, use the protocols to avoid or to mitigate injury, and get the infrastructure right to prevent, assuming the driver did not run the red light, because if that was the case no amount of infrastructure can “fix” this as the wreck would have been averted by simply using the existing infrastructure correctly.

And it seems Houston cops can’t be bothered to enforce a law that protects cyclists as a string of the exact kind of wrecks the law was enacted to prevent happens with zero tickets for breaking the law. Houston bike riders upset by cycling deaths No tickets for breaking the 3-foot passing law in the entire 6 months the law has been in effect? They are not looking very hard, I got passed within a foot 3 times in 7 miles Sunday.

More on a cyclist death in FL. Police: Driver was drunk in September crash that killed cyclist The cyclist had no chance of avoiding this wreck, I’m more and more certain every time more information is released about it. And since he was hit riding in a park designated as a place cyclists could train for long bike rides and races the only infrastructure that will help is the legal kind that takes bad drivers off the roads and away from motor vehicles.

Even cops can’t avoid people trying to run them over when they ride their bikes in UT. Las Vegas man arrested for evading police, nearly hitting bicycle cop with car OK this does not fall into any of the usual categories of wreck I cover, but I’m including this because, well because I wanted to. Ordinary cyclists would not be trying to pull over a car full of potheads.

And speaking of bike cops… MPD officer chooses bike over squad car during cold snap There are great tips about riding in extreme weather in this bit.

Sometimes even barrier protected bicycle infrastructure isn’t enough. Cyclist falls from overpass after car collides with jersey barrier Since the cyclist was parked and admiring the view when the barrier was hit and knocked him over the side I place this in the category of unavoidable wreck. And since it was on a barrier protected bike lane that pretty much excludes physical infrastructure from preventing another wreck like this. The only thing that could work would be legal infrastructure that takes away the cars of stoopid drivers, hopefully before they hurt someone.

Update on a CO wreck. Cyclist killed in hit-and-run crash near Windsor identified Still a hit-from-behind wreck, still use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Up in Canuckistan a cyclist is hit-and-run. Cyclist in critical condition in Calgary hospital after Sunday-morning suspected hit and run There were bits of the weapon vehicle left at the scene and an injured cyclist so they “suspect” a hit-and-run? Since this was in the middle of a bridge that pretty much moots hit-from-behind protocols because there was no escape route, infrastructure that protected cyclists behind a barrier would most likely prevent the wreck (see the Seattle story earlier in the post).

I don’t know how a cyclist is supposed to avoid this. Cyclist injured by flying shed roof OK first of all he wasn’t even riding when he got hit, he was trying to hide in the shelter of a bus stop. Second since the bus stop was virtually cleaned off the pad by the force of the impact it was good it hit him while he was in the shelter instead of out on the road.

Still in Jolly Olde, justice for a dead cyclist goes to the hands of a jury. Jurors retire over Southampton cyclist death crash verdict The jurors have to decide if driving while blind and killing someone is careless or dangerous or just one of those things. As there are no cyclists on the jury I suspect the driver will be “just one of those things”.

A SA cyclist is mugged for his bike and cell phone. Cyclist down but not out after mugging I guess this would be a bike-jacking?

Better news in another stolen bike story in this country. Velo Posse Recovers Stolen Bike. Thieves Beware Too bad they couldn’t let the thief “fall down” a few times as they already had him locked up when they recovered the bike.

Surprising news from Jolly Olde on the relative morbidity and mortality of bicycles and motor vehicles. Motorists and cyclists create army of walking wounded Actually motorists create the army, cyclists create a small platoon, and when it comes to mortality drivers are far better killers than cyclist both because the vehicles are more deadly, and because they spend more time on the road than cyclists. Last year the ratio was 253:1 in favor of the cyclists, while in the last 10 years the ratio was 145:1 in favor of the cyclists.

A little infrastructure news from MD. Maryland proposal increases distance between drivers, cyclists I like seeing laws that make hitting cyclists a crime, but I like seeing those laws enforced even better.

Some mixed good and not-so-good news from BikingInLA. Help a badly wounded rider get back on his feet, BAC Bikeways subcommittee minutes, and ride with Greg Laemmle

Last link is a funny. How To Be A Road Biker At least I think it was supposed to be funny, I have so many tabs and windows open right now that the video crashed repeatedly while I was trying to watch it, but other people who watched it thought it was amusing.

And those were all the links that made me laugh or cry or pitch a fit.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Just about the time we warm back up it gets cold and precipitative, and the Feed

The back yard here at Casa de El Poeta does not drain well and has been a swamp since last week’s Icepocalypse here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell (does that mean Hell froze over? I’ll leave that discussion to y’all) and had just about dried out enough that I could get enough traction to actually start on the remains of the live oak. But today I awoke to the lovely visage of freezing fog and drizzle, meaning the drying out process in the back yard was halted and most likely reversed. So I still have a back yard full of downed tree limbs that I can’t move enough to get the chainsaw to them to haul them away… Oh, and during the week when it finally warmed up a bit the ice didn’t just melt away and run off as water, it separated from the trees and buildings and bridge superstructures in large chunks. Some of those chunks were big enough to crush cars and cause casualties among pedestrians on sidewalks. Fortunately because nobody walks here pedestrian casualties were minimal, and because our LEO were actually on the ball streets and highways that were under areas of falling ice were closed until the ice cleared. So, except for the first few people who were in the line of fire when the falling ice began civilian casualties were minimal among the automotive group as well.

On the personal front this weather has been playing hell with my injuries. Specifically the cold has triggered “phantom pains” in my injured leg. I’m talking 8 on a scale of 10 pains in my foot that nothing I did made them go away except suffer through them. I have hydrocodone pills to deal with actual residual pains from the wreck, but opiates are useless against this kind of pain. Things like this are one reason why I was so upset to not get on the study of medication that specifically treated this kind of pain. What they had been giving me before I couldn’t wait until the onset of the pains to start taking the meds and the side effects of the meds we awful, from strange and disturbing dreams to altered senses of taste and smell. I couldn’t live with the side effects so I have to live with the pain.

Up first is a disturbing update about the Milt Olin wreck. Sheriff handling own investigation into cyclist’s Mulholland Highway death No way this could ever be a cover-up. These guys have no reason to hide any information from the public, like how the cruiser that hit Olin “just happened” to not have a dashcam even installed, much less functioning at the time of impact. Like how there are no skid marks at the scene aside from the one in the bike lane where Olin was hit. Like how the cruiser was at high speed in a residential area without the lights and siren going. Like exactly how fast the cruiser was going (I have seen pictures from the scene, and some show roof damage to the weapon vehicle and some don’t). And an editorial on the subject from the same media outlet. Cyclist’s death renews controversial debate

Update on a door prize in L.A. CA. Cyclist Critically Injured After Clipping Opened Vehicle Door in Brentwood Clarifying that presenting a door prize to a cyclist is a against the law, with possible fines and loss of license.

A blotter report on a bicycle wreck in PA. Sentinel police log for Dec. 12 The report is the second one after the “Middlesex Township Police (249-7191)” headline. Nothing on the mode, but since the driver was given a ticket we know who was at fault here. Infrastructure to prevent.

A hit-and-run in NC has a quick resolution. Woman charged in hit and run that injured cyclist They found the weapon vehicle and arrested the driver before the first media report could come out. Hit-from-behind wreck by a driver that left the road to hit the cyclist, reasons for leaving the road not yet published. Since the driver left the road protocols are mooted as the driver was using the cyclist’s escape route. Not sure if infrastructure without some kind of barrier would have helped here either. One thing that would have helped is making sure drivers are capable of driving in all conditions and that vehicles are capable of responding to emergency changes of speed and direction to avoid obstacles i.e. legal infrastructure changes.

Sort of infrastructure-ish news from NYC. Citi Bike Still Popular In The Cold Go CITIbike.

Lifestyle from CA. Mourners pack service for San Jose teen killed while riding bike

And another helmet article (that looks like a copy and paste from last year’s article) from west of the WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Planning to give a bicycle for Christmas? Don’t forget the helmet for goodness sake! >sigh<

And those were all the links that gave me fits, or not, about bicycles today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Last night was a killer, and the Feed

Last night I didn’t get home until after 2100 because of the snafoodle with the local mass transit agency, and we didn’t even get to stop for dinner along the way, so lunch was a cup of coffee about 1300 and I didn’t get anything else to eat or drink until 2200. Needless to say the reheated leftovers were the best food I had in ages…

First up, more on that entertainment industry lawyer killed by a LACS deputy over the weekend which is still the Big Story. Former Napster Executive Fatally Hit By Police Car While Biking also Ex-Napster COO Milton Olin Jr. Killed After Being Struck by Sheriff’s Patrol Car and Former Napster exec killed on bike after being struck by sheriff’s patrol car LACS has seriously screwed the pooch on this one, not only did they kill a lawyer, the killed a lawyer with a multi-million $$ PR firm under retainer, and hey, they killed a lawyer who was minding his own business. And hey I found some more links. Milton Olin RIP, and a San Jose memorial ride also LASD Sheriff Strikes and Kills Cyclist in Bike Lane with Police Cruiser and from the UK Former Napster COO, 65, killed after his bike is struck by sheriff’s patrol car

More on that MI SWSS wreck from yesterday that I only had a blotter-style report of. Bicyclist killed after swerving in front of truck and Bicycle rider hit by truck, killed Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate injury, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

I’m still trying to figure out how NYPD can tell e-assist bikes from regular bikes and illegal bikes from legal electric mopeds. Video: Delivery Workers Plead For Relief From Electric Bike Ban

And last link is a bit of privately created infrastructure for S.F. CA cyclists. The Ingenious Way One San Francisco Bicyclist Is Making It Easier to Commute Having good bike routes is nice, but generally useless unless people know they are there and where they go and how to get to them. This solves some of those problems.

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Late post today, and the Feed

As I type this I’m getting ready to depart on a rather lengthy trip to procure that danged music wire and to pay the communications access bill (everything comes bundled in one bill to save money, but if I forget to pay that bill I lose all contact with the outside world except my cell phone). So the rest of this post will be coming late again. And it looks like tomorrow’s post will be late as well, because out of 3 objectives for today’s trip I managed to only succeed in performing one, the purchase of a Powerball ticket for tonight, the music wire was sold out and the place to pay the communications bill was closed. So I got hot and tired and walked miles to and from several bus stops to accomplish almost nothing. And I get to do almost the same thing again tomorrow…

A SWSS of a 70 YO cyclist in OK. Elderly Tulsa Bicyclist Injured After Struck By Car All I have to say is if the cyclist turned left, why is the damage directional from the right? Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate the damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. The Dutch have ages 8-80 using bicycles safely, why can’t the “advanced” United States?

A report that just leaves me shaking my head. Dad Who Cops Say Drove On Methadone With Kids; Hit, Killed Cyclist, Back in Court Words cannot do this justice, the killer is still wandering the streets after killing someone while on drugs with kids in the car. For those who need their memories jogged, this was the driver that crossed an entire highway and hit the cyclist head on in the bike lane last year.

A bad wreck in CA with a death that could have been prevented. Cyclist dies after being struck by two vehicles in Boyle Heights* The dead cyclist was struck while incapacitated from the first wreck, which could have been prevented has the first driver not left the scene of the crime. Hit-from-behind the first time, so use the protocols to avoid or to mitigate damage, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. The second wreck was pretty much outside of any cyclist’s control after being knocked from the bike making reflective clothing about the only thing a cyclist could have done to avoid the second wreck, and I can’t believe I’m actually endorsing the glow-in-the-dark clown costume to avoid a wreck.

And another CA cyclist is sent to hospital by contact with a motor vehicle. Cyclist air-lifted to Reno after being hit by car in Truckee Location points to a hit-from-behind wreck but nothing else in the narrative supports or refutes that, but getting the infrastructure right will prevent a similar wreck, I hope.

Another link to the act of terrorism that could have decapitated a cyclist. Cyclist’s neck gashed in possible prank on Folsom trail

Another CA cyclist is hit from behind in the bike lane. UPDATE: BPD: Driver at fault in fatal crash involving bicycle Apparently the driver was in zombie mode due to the telephonic device stuck in his ear. Worse than a drunk driver. Hit-from-behind protocols for what good they could do to avoid or mitigate damage, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A cyclist is hit from behind by a school bus in Canuckistan. Cyclist struck by school bus in Lethbridge And yet another article that feels the need to point out that people inside a heavy vehicle with light armor are uninjured in a collision with a cyclist. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate the damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A cyclist is killed in the Great White North. Female cyclist struck and killed in Etobicoke This is a breaking story as I link it with nothing aside from the gender of the cyclist known at the moment…

UK link about a driver going into road rage after nearly hitting a cyclist. Impatient soldier fined for road rage attack on cyclist The driver was close enough to the cyclist that cyclist could touch the car not once but twice, and then went over the edge when the cyclist “tapped” on the car to warn him away.

Another form of wearable ID. Cyclist encouraged to take part in Rider Alert Program

Infrastructure! news from South TX. Alice Elementary School Launches New Bicycle Course About the only thing I object to is the pushing helmets. Should the reaction to the Sandy Hook shootings have been providing bullet-proof vests to kids or getting mentally ill people treatment before they shoot up a school? Then why are we making kids wear foam hats to protect them from crappy drivers with killing machines? And make sure drivers that kill get more than a slap on the wrist.

Infrastructure from Enn Zed as their cyclist-killing season begins. Wellington ‘worst place in NZ to ride’ And the blame game from drivers began about 30 seconds after the article was posted…

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I’m going to get piano wire, and the Feed

OK I see question marks popping over everyone’s heads over that headline, so a quick explanation is in order. I got spokes that were too short to make Beer View Mirrors when I picked up some broken ones at the LBS (all they had on hand were ones that broke in the middle) so I’m going to the local Hobby Lobby to get some music wire to make the struts for the mirrors. I have the time because there is nothing in the Feed folder this morning. So there will be a time lapse between the opening paragraph ant commencing on the main body of the post. And I’m back, minus music wire. None of the places I went that sell crafts and hobby supplies had any music wire, in fact I was told it had been a while since they carried it. So, I guess I have to find an internet source for this once-common hobby supply. Seriously WTF? with not being able to get music wire? And a quick Google Search gives me a local vendor for industrial quantities of music wire at a price that I can afford I just need to buy 95 feet at a time. Seriously that’s like $0.12 a foot for as much as I need…

Blotter report on a bike wreck in NY. Police: Disorderly Youths; Injured Cyclist; Burning Package Reported Other than the cyclist’s broken arm there is not enough to discern the mode of wreck or even if there was another vehicle involved. Infrastructure to possibly prevent the wreck.

More links to that terrifying wreck in VT. 2 bicyclists injured in Vt. crash Still horrifying to read a day later… And with even more information. Two bicyclists critically injured; Shoreham man faces drunk driving charges

A wreck in GA injured a young cyclist. Young Boy on Bicycle Hit and Injured on Cherokee Road SWSS wreck with unconscious rider removed from the scene before he could be interviewed by LEO who took the driver’s version as gospel, again. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, an update on an earlier fatality. Letter from Lawyer Alleges Driver In Lake Hollingsworth Bike Crash Was Drunk This was the cyclist hit by a salmon driver a short while back.

Update on an OR wreck. Cyclist still recovering after hit-and-run crash Cyclist was lit and reflected way past common sense, and still got hit from behind.

A cyclist is injured in a possible act of terrorism in CA. Cyclist’s neck gashed in possible prank on Folsom trail To call this a “prank” is to vastly underrate the danger. At least the comments show the seriousness of the incident. Seriously, this is like about the second most dangerous thing you can do to a cyclist.

A wreck of unknown cause in the Great White North. Cyclist seriously injured in Burlington and Cyclist seriously injured in rural Burlington accident Severe head injuries despite wearing a magic foam hat, whodathunkit? except every person that knows bicycle helmets. At this point LEO are not ruling out hit-and-run, but that is only one of the hypothesis on the table. Also on the metaphorical table are front flat and debris that caused a front-end washout at speed (essentially the same effect from different causes). If it was hit-and-run then it would have been a buzz job, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages, and infrastructure would have prevented two and a half of the three potential causes.

Infrastructure! news from PA as someone tries to sabotage a bike race. Reward offered in Millersburg bicycle race incident This has become a common tactic to harm cyclists on known heavy traffic routes. This time it could have been fatal had it not been that higher skilled riders went first through this area.

When you have a small area to cover and need to keep moving over it constantly, nothing beats a bicycle for security patrols. Secret Service to procure 90 TREK bikes for its bike patrol And if it’s good enough for the people that protect the POTUS, it’s good enough for anybody.

A bit of lifestyle in NJ RED BANK: BIKERS TO RIDE FOR INJURED PAL

Another “safety” article, this one from KS. Don’t become a statistic; follow bicycle safety rules This one is actually pretty good, but nothing my regular readers don’t see some of every day. It is good to get it all in one place from time to time.

Last links, I don’t normally cover racing, but this is more like R&D for the future of cycling. ‘Flying Scotsman’ Cyclist Obree Sets A New Speed Record Obree goes more than double nickels on a prone bike with a crappy fairing, while Sebaastian Bowier set a new absolute world record at 83.13 MPH. If there was a safe place on the roads for vehicles like this, with electric assist or even tiny ICE people could ride long distances burning little to no fossil fuels.

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Things are cooking this Saturday, and the Feed

Slowly getting back in the at-home routine here in Casa de El Poeta here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, minus the hot water since the water heater died while we were gone. I have been looking at replacements for the about-15-year-old water heater that was leaking steadily from the inlet fitting at the top of the tank, which means I get to make another trip to the home improvement stores around here to pick out a new one. This after I replaced the double cylinder deadbolts with single cylinder models that can be opened from the inside without a key so we don’t get trapped if there is a fire or other deadly circumstance and the keys are in whatever place we keep our keys when we are in the house and not in our outdoor clothing. So I get to choose (with input from Mrs. the Poet) the new water heater.

We went to a new burger place in town for lunch today. There was a place called “Burger Fi” that opened up in the giant strip mall north of WoaB World HQ and the kids and grandkid all went there with us for lunch. I had what they called the “B.A.D Burger”, not that it was bad, the “B.A.D.” stands for “breakfast all day”. What was ungood about it was one of the components caused rapid bottom bun disintegration that ended up with my having to finish my sandwich with a knife and fork as the fried egg was a bit on the runny side and leaked all over the bun and made a major mess of things. It was a very tasty burger, though. The fries were about as spectacular as french fries can get, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside with the skins left on after cutting into the standard french fry shape.

Another train wreck with a cyclist, this time in CA. JURUPA VALLEY: Metrolink train strikes, kills person There was next to nothing about the wreck, but a whole lot on how inconvenienced the passengers were. Nothing was said about how inconvenienced the cyclist was however. Being dead is a terrible inconvenience. Again train/bike wrecks are easy to avoid as they are only encountered on train tracks, they make a lot of noise, and are easy to see. And not to mention that most places where a bike encounters trains there is usually some kind of signal or crossing guard.

A SWCC wreck from Upstate NY. Bike-car collision sends teen to hospital And the headline changed as I was making the link. The original link blamed the cyclist right in the headline, while the link I have now waits until the third paragraph. Interesting that the driver saw the cyclist come out from behind the house all the way into the street and still managed to not stop before impacting the cyclist. Anyway every driveway is an intersection, so use the protocols to avoid or mitigate damages, and as this was a residential area this wreck probably would have happened there with the same driver, so make getting a license much harder and losing one much easier to prevent. Seriously the driver was tracking the cyclist from the time she came from behind the house until impact, in the Netherlands this would be an at-fault wreck for the driver because of the location and victim.

Update on a wreck in MA. Cyclist injured in P’town leaves hospital I’m assuming this was a different rider than the one hit by a garbage truck, mostly because I recall that the rider hit by a garbage truck was described as a local and this guy was from NY.

Another residential area wreck in UT. Youngster on bicycle runs into slow-moving pickup in Prospector Fortunately the weapon vehicle was moving at about walking speed when the cyclist was hit so everybody was fine. It should be repeatedly stated that the wreck was in an area where children play so the driver should have been alert to that fact.

A really bad wreck in CO. Cyclist seriously injured in crash north of Wolcott As of this posting LEO are not saying who was crossing the center line, but one of the two did. Given what I have read from this outlet in the past the driver was most likely at fault in this wreck because if there was anything to suggest the cyclist was in the wrong they would have been on it like white on rice. This is not a wreck that can be avoided by human cyclists, and getting the infrastructure right is the only thing to prevent a similar wreck.

A SWSS wreck in CA. Teen bike rider dies in collision near Marysville The cyclist was hit just to the left of the fog line, so hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. And the majority of the comments are ignorable.

Update on another CA wreck. Teen Arrested In Connection With Crash That Killed Cyclist In Pleasanton The charges seem appropriate to the crime, except there should be an assault with a deadly weapon charge for hitting the surviving cyclist.

A hit-and-run in FL. Cyclist Injured in Walton County Hit and Run This was either a drunk or distracted driver or a murder attempt. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right including taking sociopaths and psychopaths off the roads to prevent.

A minor wreck in far West Canuckistan. Cyclist slightly injured in Penticton Nothing on the mode, so I can’t tell you how to avoid or mitigate, but to be honest any more “mitigated” and this wreck would not have happened.

A wreck report from the Great White North that is almost UK-ish in the lack of information presented. Cyclist killed in Ajax Hit by a truck “near” an intersection, so I guess intersection protocols to avoid or mitigate but getting the infrastructure right almost always leads to wrecks not happening. Just look at the Netherlands and how few cyclists get hit by motor vehicles there in spite of almost as many cyclists in a country barely as big as some of the medium-sized eastern seaboard states. They got it figured out. More Cyclist struck and killed in Ajax

Really big news from the UK in that a driver was convicted of the most serious charge possible short of using your vehicle to commit murder. Cyclist killed after driver looked at sat nav and Distracted driver caused cyclist’s death also Driver killed cyclist while adjusting sat-nav more Distracted driver who killed cyclist convicted This is the most serious charge I have ever seen a driver convicted of in the UK except for the guy that used his truck as a weapon against a cyclist and actually confessed he hit the cyclist deliberately. That’s how unusual this conviction is. Now lets see if the sentence is anywhere near the guy with the truck, or more like the guy that got a $200 fine and 300 hours of community service. I’m pulling for the years in prison sentence but I’m expecting the hours of community service.

A left hook from Enn Zed, a country where they drive on the wrong side of the road. Injury highlights cyclists’ vulnerability As originally posted this wreck was totally the driver’s fault as he was not even halfway past the cyclist before turning across his lane and running him over with the trailer as it tracked inside the turn of the tractor. Nothing the cyclist could do to avoid this wreck and apparently he did everything he could to mitigate it which led to his survival. As the article points out this is something that will have to be taken care of by infrastructure because it was bad infrastructure that caused the wreck in the first place.

Lifestyle from Charleston SC. Cyclists gather Saturday for Edwin Gardner memorial ride This was the cyclist hit from behind on the shoulder of the roadway and knocked over the guard rail into a swamp.

Lifestyle from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Widow of cyclist Aaron Cohen gives emotional talk at MADD event

Lifestyle from the Great White North. Cyclist uses helmet camera to capture bad drivers

Legal Infrastructure! from CA. Cyclists: What to Do After You’ve Been Hit by a Car

Infrastructure news from the uK. Medics call for measures to protect cyclists in London The medicos’ advice is simplistic in that it is impossible to avoid riding on routes frequented by HGV if there is any significant distance to be covered because of a lack of permeability away from major thoroughfares where those pesky killer HGVs are to be found. I agree the badly-named “superhighways” are a big part of the problem, they are glorified bike lanes not “cyclist superhighways” and in many places are not even bike lanes but mere wayfinding via blue paint on the road “if you keep going this way eventually you will find a bike lane”.

And this one just leaves me gobsmacked. Man who killed Patterson faces new charges Less than 3 months out of prison for killing a cyclist because of his bad driving he has a string of charges against him in another vehicle-related case. I want to beat some sense into him but I don’t think I have that much cardio endurance. He already went to prison once for his bad driving, how much more does he need to learn to drive right?

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

This weather is insane in Texas, Wreck-Free Sunday

My last 2 trips I had to pack 2 different outfits for the outbound and returning legs because of wild temperature swings from outbound to inbound legs of the trip. Last night I went to the RPG group, and leaving Casa del Poeta I was riding in mid-60′s F (18°C). On the return leg I was riding in 44°F (7°C) temperatures, slightly more than 20°F (11°C) colder. That requires completely different types of clothing for a 6 mile bike ride (each way). Riding outbound I was wearing cotton shorts and a short-sleeve jersey (I needed to have pockets, so I wore the cotton shorts) but on the way back I wore heavy tights under the shorts and a heavy sweatshirt over the jersey and was still slightly chilled.

This morning as I was laying out my clothes for the day the temperature was 56, but the hourly forecast called for a temperature of 42 for the time I was going to be riding. By the time I was finished with my shower the outside temperature had jumped to 62 and by the time I was out the door it had gotten to 65, and was 70°F on my return leg from morning services. I was wearing tights under cotton shorts (needed pockets again) and a lightweight long-sleeve jersey and was way over-dressed for the conditions even on the way out, definitely for the return leg of the trip. This is much more like March weather than what we normally get this time of year in TX. I have no idea what to wear for the ride to evening services, maybe mukluks and a parka?

For those who may be wondering, this was our celebration of Imbolc, where Winter fights a retreating battle against Spring. We blessed our tools both magical and mundane for the upcoming season. It was interesting looking at the things that were on the altar to be blessed, ranging from paper notebooks to notebook computers, sticks with twine wrappings to swords, kitchen tools of all descriptions, and my helmet standing in for all of my bike stuff. For things that could not be removed to bring into the building there were paper notes naming the items that were blessed in absentia

The DIY bike light project is still going on as I tested the solar cells to determine which side was “+” and which terminal was “-” as I want to recharge the batteries, not quick-discharge them. Also while testing for positive and negative I found the solar units were under-rated for voltage, as I was getting readings of 4.77V as I was trying to find which terminal was which. I wasn’t testing the current out but the rating was 90ma at 4.5V and 200ma short-circuit. As I put in an earlier post, these units were made to charge solar yard lights with 3S NiMH cells and 3 will put out C/11 into my NiMH AA pack. This is a very safe charging rate and will top the cells nicely.

One of the things I have to do is make the bracketry work for the handlebars I’m using on this project with the large horizontal brace between the actual bars I hang on to. The light has to clear the bars when they are laid back at a comfortable angle as it will be almost 8″ wide at its widest point (lots of LEDs). Placing the solar power behind the lighting units will move the wide part of the light about 2½” forward from the bars so that the light has clearance to swing down and shine on the road rather than the trees and clouds overhead. I also have to be careful about running the wires where they won’t get damaged in handling and normal use, and are esthetically pleasing (mostly invisible). I’m slightly torn about some of the esthetics of this build. I could frame the lights with angle and weld the angle to the backplate and extend the part where I mount the solar power units forward to act as a visor to help keep stray light from getting in oncoming drivers’ eyes, or I could just mount the lighting units to the backplate and the solar units behind the backplate, leaving the lighting units completely exposed and also allowing that stray light to light up street signs (and get in oncoming drivers’ eyes). So 6 of one and half a dozen of another. The good part about framing the backplate with angle is that it automatically jigs the top panel for the solar units at right angles to the backplate. One thing I know I’m doing is running angle from the backplate to the mounts to the handlebars to reinforce the top panel against bending, so I might as well go ahead and frame out the backpanel while I’m doing it. Another thing I’m doing is using an Altoids tin as a battery box as they are (mostly) weatherproof, especially if they are protected against direct spray against the hinge line and since I’m putting the box behind the backplate it will be protected against direct spray. It won’t withstand direct immersion, but for riding around on a bicycle it will be fine, especially mounted under the solar top panel and behind the backplate.

So, the bike light project is moving forward, the project the bike light is going to be attached to is moving forward, and I survived another cross-quarter celebration with hair still on my head. By the next solar sabbat I will be shaved of head and my fuzzy locks will be lining local birds’ nests and keeping the chicks comfy, and maybe I’ll be riding the new bike and debugging the design.

PSA, Opus

Trying to decide what I want to be when I “grow up”, Wreck-Free Sunday

I desperately need to find some kind of steady income that I can get legally. I think I have posted that my last job interview was back in 2006, and that I gave up applying for jobs back in 2009. I figured that three years of no interviews meant I was pretty much never going to get a job again. I haven’t driven since 1995, so getting a job driving trucks looks to be out of the question. That kind knocks me out of about 2/3 of the jobs openings I see posted either online or in the local papers. Jobs doing what I do here, writing and researching on the Internet, are gaspingly rare, and ones that actually pay a steady income are rarer still.

I lack the social skills to be a bike mechanic, or pretty much any job that would require interacting with actual people on a regular basis. I like people, most of the time, I just don’t like to be around them except in limited circumstances that I can control and be able to leave when I need to. It’s real easy for me to get over-stimulated around people and shut down as in “Don’t talk to me” shut down. In a job situation that is generally considered too not be good for business. Part of that is my personality from before the wreck, and part is what happened after the wreck, and just a tiny bit is because of the actual wreck itself. I have a touch of PTSD, which is what I consider to be what happened after the wreck with GPD totally ignoring the case, and this is not made any better by riding my bicycle in traffic with crazy people. I don’t know many bike commuters personally, but every one has this to some extent, even the ones that haven’t been hit yet. And for many years in Dallas County it wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when” you would get hit as a bicycle commuter even if you followed the laws like a pharisee, so most of the bicycle for transportation people I know have been injured by a motor vehicle while riding their bikes.

So, again I ask my readers what I can do to make a steady income, knowing my limitations. I also have to be working at a job that makes to world a better place, or at a bare minimum does not make the world any worse than it already is (so no Wal-Mart greeter jobs, or anything like that). I don’t know that I could work for myself as I seem to lack the ability to motivate myself to “do things” outside of posting this blog 7 times a week. And that is because I have to write, I get really bad if I don’t get to write something of meaning to me. Ideally if I could make money writing, that would be fantastic. Realistically that ain’t going to happen. There are just too many people that are writing for free for that to ever happen. Just look at the people that are doing web comics, the ratio of people drawing comics to people making a living at drawing comics. The ratio of people doing blogs, to the people making a living doing blogs, is likewise. You have your Huffington’s and your Drudge’s making 6 figures a year at top, and you got a bunch of people like me with niche blogs down at the bottom. In the middle you get a few making enough to not have to work a regular job but they’re not even in the middle third of the middle class. I wouldn’t mind making a living in the bottom third of the middle class doing this, but will it happen? Not unless I start writing about something other than bicycles.

So any suggestions about what I could do to make a steady income? Leave a comment.

PSA, Opus

Infrastructure ideas just get dumped in my lap, Wreck-Free Sunday

I sometimes get amazing Infrastructure! ideas just dumped in my lap from the most unlikely sources. Seriously, this Instructible came in the morning e-mail dump and I’m just blown away with how easy it would be to execute, how it manages to do all the things that a system of this type is supposed to do, and how it does it better than anything else out there.

This project takes the concept of the HAWK crosswalk warning system ans turns it upside down and sideways. so that not only are drivers alerted that pedestrians want to cross, they are shown where the crosswalk is on the road, and where the pedestrians are in the road. How to Make a ‘Glowing Crosswalk’ Urban Prototype The prototype system was created to be a portable demonstration system, but the principles and much of the hardware would be the same for the permanently installed system. I particularly like the battery-backup so that the crossing works even if grid power is down, meaning even in a power failure pedestrians can safely cross the street (assuming drivers aren’t taking advantage of the chaos to be assholes).

I see this as being ideal for mid-block crossings that would be hard to notice otherwise, as drivers have become conditioned to only seeing pedestrian crossings at intersections. As I see it it would be far more useful than the HAWK system that sits at the side of the street and does not light the middle of the street. It has the potential to be far less expensive to install than the HAWK system, which runs between $77K and $125K depending on the complexity of the installation.

My riding has been ahead of projections so far this month, I was planning on a 2K mile year this year, and my “trend” line at BikeJournal.com is way ahead of that. Part of that is because I generally have a lot of places to ride to at the beginning of the year as I have to make many trips to banks to deposit checks that came over the holidays, and meetings for various church committees that form over the holidays to do things in the coming year, plus just the usual banging around I do for keeping the household running and doing what I do. Then I have less to do during February and March that I can do on my bike and I fall behind a bit, then things get real busy during the late Spring and Summer as I run all over town doing things and going places. Then I usually get most of my miles in for the year. Last year was a bit different because of me Dad getting sick and then passing, with several weeks away from home and a bicycle living in a town that had no use for either bicycles or walking. That is not likely to happen this year as I’m all out of parents. That last sentence was a lot more jarring than I intended, but I have tried several times to come up with some other way to say it and all of them are even more jarring.

I’m still trying to get the pictures to show in the build story for the winter face mask I made from the Halloween mask, but nothing seems to be working. I’ll take another stab at it today, maybe it will work this time…

PSA, Opus