Monthly Archives: November 2008

I hope you have a pleasant Sunday, and now the Feed

Well the Feed today wasn’t too bad, with a couple of updates on a previously reported story, an infrastructure story, an uninformed rant against the existence of cyclists on the roads, and to wrap it all up in a pretty package a feel-good story about adapting cycles for people with severe handicaps.

First up is that update on the CA cyclist hit head on by a pickup or SUV that crossed the centerline and went almost to the shoulder of the opposite lane to get him. Hit-And-Run Driver Reward Raised To $10,000 and Funeral held for cyclist killed in hit-and-run The second report on the funeral was posted before the reward was raised. As more information becomes available the worse this story becomes. I almost feel sorry for the driver, except that he or she did such a terrible thing and killed a human being. There’s no feeling sorry for someone that takes a life except in cases of self-defense.

In suburban Chi-town an infrastructure project finally gets started at almost the exact same spot as a cyclist was killed this summer. Improvements begin where cyclist died You know there’s no way any infrastructure project can go from idea to dirt flying in that amount of time, the project must have been in the planning and approval stages, or even in the final letting of the contract, when the wreck happened. Steps were being taken just not soon enough to save this guy from himself. And that’s the thing this project would have done, as he went off the end of the sidewalk and into traffic against the flow of traffic. He would have been better off not getting on that sidewalk and taking the lane riding with traffic. He might not have been as comfortable, but he would have been alive.

The uninformed bike bitching was in a letter to the editor in this web site. Those Bicycles On The W Road – And Response (2) The response seems more like a Greek chorus in agreement with the author, and brings up the lie that “bicyclists don’t pay their way” as if by owning a bicycle you become magically immune to every tax, not just the ones paid by the owners of motor vehicles. I have a friend that works for TDOT, I’m going to ask her about ongoing maintenance costs per lane-mile per year, and where the money comes from. I’ll report back on what she says.

And our feel-good story is a report on a Berkley CA shop that adapts and in some instances builds from scratch people powered vehicles for people who would otherwise not have the opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors without helpers and support vehicles. Berkeley shop adapts bikes for any disability Imagine not being able to ride a bike. Well I don’t have to imagine it because right after my wreck I couldn’t even sit on a regular bike without experiencing severe pains to my posterior, and couldn’t get the pedals around the full circle when I was standing on the pedals. I eventually recovered and can ride a regular bike today, but for a long time the furthest I rode a regular bike was about a half block to make sure I had done repairs properly. I have also modified bikes and built trikes from scratch for people with disabilities, but I had to give that up as I couldn’t force myself to charge people enough money to break even, I sold them parts at cost and discounted my labor so much that I ended up losing a small amount of money on every project…

And that’s the Sunday Feed, please keep an eye peeled on this site for further updates as they become available.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Small, relatively non-fatal Feed today

Well the morning Feed was relatively small, with no reports on dead motorcyclists or horseback riders, and only one new fatality for bicyclists, praise the deity of your choice. This blog is a religious act for me, but I’m really trying to not impose my religion on my readers. Now, on to the mayhem.

Our only US report is on the ride from the foot of the Queens bridge to protest the dangerous infrastructure that has created a Boulevard of Death. On a 12-Lane Road Riders With an Agenda All those lanes and no bicycle infrastructure is it any wonder that people don’t die by the ton lot on that street? The fact that they don’t die by the ton lot is mostly due to most people on bikes avoiding the street until the absolute last minute to get on the Queens bridge. The riders in this report had a police escort for part of the trip and they were still harassed and threatened during their ride. Not being able to use this street increases most bicycle commutes by at least a mile to a mile and a half each way.

For new readers to my blog, I have “pet names” for some of the Anglophone countries. I refer to Canada by two different names, from Manitoba on west I call Canuckistan, east of Manitoba I call Canadia. We had two reports from Canadia today, the first was an update on a cyclist injured by a right-hooking truck back in October. Cyclist run over by truck dies of injuries The identity of the cyclist is being withheld at the request of his family.

And our last report is also from Canadia, is about a cyclist hit by a police car on the sidewalk. SIU seeks witnesses to cyclist incident When I told my wife about this report she asked what a cop car was doing on the sidewalk in the first place, and even if he was pulling the cyclist over wasn’t hitting him with the car a bit over-reacting?

That’s all for now, but remember what the little girl said.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Thanks to Patrick O’Grady

I really should have posted this sooner but with all the dead and injured cyclists plus having to filter the feed to get rid of the dead motorcyclists and horseback riders I’ve been a little busy lately and after posting my usual rants on the daily Feed I just didn’t feel like being creative and pulling more words from my brain.

The only reason this blog exists is because the head of Mad Dog Media went to his backup blog and created a post to be sure that it could be done with Firefox running under Linux. So you can thank (or blame) him for the dismal and voluminous news digest I have been posting every day. You can do so at his WP blog located at maddogmedia.wordpress.com or his hosted blog at Mad Blog Media where they practice “Arf for arf’s sake”.

Tell him Opus sent you.

The late Feed

We had a couple of items come in late tonight.

That girl that was hit head on by an SUV driving in the bike lane died yesterday. Young Bicycle Rider Dies 2 Days After Getting Hit Well now the stakes have been raised, the victim is dead. Now the charges start at manslaughter. From the pictures of the scene it appears the bike path was bidirectional and physically separated from the roadway by a grass verge. I know that’s not much of a barrier to an SUV, but still you would have to be willfully stupid not to notice you had left the road surface even in an SUV. Apparently taking that cell phone call was more important than a little girl’s life. The Christians have a place where the guilty suffer in torment for eternity, I think sending this driver there for a while might make her next life be a little more considerate of others instead of acting without thinking of the consequences.

A news report on what to bring on a ride after the bicycle and the ugly bike clothes. 9 items to pack on every ride While I might disagree on some items I think he has a well thought out list. As for what this list has to do with safety, obviously you have never had a breakdown along a busy highway.

And that’s the late Feed, as the little girl said about her chest watch this space for further development…

Billed @$.02, Opus

Nice quiet day today

Well except for one small item today’s Feed was a low level. I’ll get that one item out of the way first, my elder daughter was proposed to and accepted yesterday. This is the daughter that has been studying in Scotland for the last 3 1/2 years and was scheduled to graduate this July which appears to be on track to happen. So congratulations to Rachel in Scotland where nothing is crap.

First up is an article on dangerous infrastructure in Seattle. Bridge dangerous for bike riders To give you an idea of just how poorly thought out this was, look at the picture of the bike lane exit at the end of the bridge. To get off the bridge and back on the road a cyclist has to come to a stop and make 2 right angle turns or wait with the bike sitting crossways to oncoming bike traffic trying to get on the bridge. And after you get out of the bike lane your are dumped into a lane that has a high speed limit. And get on on the bridge requires crossing 4 lanes of traffic just to get to the bike lane. Whoever designed this bike lane never actually rode on a bike in traffic, I can say that with utter assurance.

We have another cyclist killed with “more conventional” weapons. Bike rider dead in shooting in Palmetto and Officials seek aid in death of cyclist This comes down to riding where you can be seen vs riding where the cars aren’t. Personally I don’t ride in alleys except as part of the initial ride (from my garage out to the street) or if the place I’m going has their bike parking in the alley. I have never been shot, but I have been hit by a maniac with a truck, so you pays your money and you takes your chances.

Another report on that CA rider who was hit-and-run. Reward Offered For Info On Fatal Cyclist Hit-And-Run As I posted yesterday it is becoming increasingly unlikely that they will find this driver unless somebody turns him in or he turns himself in.

And that’s all I have for you today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Happy Thanksgiving, here are your dead and injured cyclists

For all my overseas and non-USofAian readers out there today is one of the most holy of the US secular holidays, Thanksgiving. On this day we are to gather with our families in a big feast to remember all that we have to be thankful for, thanking whatever deity you follow or none if that is your belief. The feast is to remind us of all that we have here in the US, and is a throwback to ancient pagan ways before we had modern methods of food storage when the last Fall harvest was followed by eating oneself into a food coma so as to store up as much fat as possible to live off of during the Winter. Since we don’t have to survive off our body fat anymore in the US reasonable people just eat about twice their normal daily intake, or bicyclists go for a couple hundred mile trips (two 100 mile trips or one 200 mile trip) so they have “pre-burned” the calories from the feast with the trip. I didn’t do that either as I walked to the grocery store and carried the ingredients for the feast home on my back, what fit in my backpack. I let my wife carry the eggs and the rolls in her pack as one, I didn’t have room and two, they would have gotten squished and three, they didn’t weigh much. I have so much to be thankful for especially in these times when the economy is in such bad shape. The bare fact that I’m typing this and posting it to the Internet makes me already richer than 80% of the world’s population, so I’ll just leave the thankfulness there and get to what you really come to my blogs for.

We had a pretty large Feed today with some very bizarre reports on some very disturbing behavior. Fruit attacks in the UK, felonious assault with a motor vehicle in Ireland, and massive stupidity behind both the wheel and the handlebars in the US.

From Jolly Olde we have two reports on that fruit attack on a cyclist, fortunately with minimal damage to the cyclist. Cyclist seriously injured after flying orange hits him in eye and from the Beeb Cyclist injured in fruit attack Like the constable said, this could have been much worse, and like one commenter said, how did they know it was a tangerine and not some other citrus fruit? This is another one of those situations that is impossible to avoid unless you give up cycling. More from the UK later in my blog post.

A cyclist is killed by a train in SoCal. Bicyclist killed by train in the Florin area Sometimes I wonder about the emotional state of cyclists hit by trains, as trains are generally large, colorful, and noisy which should make them easy to avoid (not to mention that trains are confined to run only on train tracks). When they perfect the blood test for depression that works post-mortem I guess we will know, until then we will only guess.

A list of driver we cyclists won’t have to deal with in FL. Convictions I don’t know why it takes so long to get dangerous people off the roads, one of these people had six convictions of driving without or on a suspended license within seven years.

And another one from SoCal, this time a man getting right hooked by a garbage truck. Bicyclist killed in accident identified as Hawthorne man The author of the article wrote the man rode into the side of the truck for an unknown reason, hey try the other way around the truck rode over the cyclist to the right for an unknown reason. That’s why the wreck is described as a right hook To avoid this stay away from the right sides of vehicles at intersections unless you are occupying a lane as a vehicle, and don’t filter up the right side of the lane.

Still in CA a reward has been offered for the arrest of the hit-and-run driver that killed a newspaper employee who happened to have been riding a bicycle when he was killed. Reward offered in hit-run that killed bicyclist Usually if a hit-and-run is not solved in the first 24 hours they generally never get solved unless the perp turns him or herself in, but a reward sometimes gets results.

More from SoCal is another right hook by another big rig. Cyclist seriously injured The part that sets me to a high simmer was the comment that the truck driver was at fault but would not be charged or ticketed, because “he felt really really bad”. How about the cyclist? He was just sitting in front of a truck and suddenly he was sitting under said truck with 2 broken legs and no warning. I’m sure he feels a lot worse than the driver, and the driver doesn’t even get a ticket? TANJ! How to avoid? Stay away from trucks. I have said this many times that big rigs and other large trucks have blind spots you could hide a peloton in, but it appears in this instance that the cyclist was hit while stationary and the truck had pulled up behind him. This situation left the cyclist with no place to go except under the right front tire of the semi.

We have two reports on this wreck, an early one and then a later one from the same newspaper. 10-year-old girl seriously injured in south Fort Collins car crash and later Police identify girl critically injured by SUV She was hit head on in the bike lane and no charges have been filed. And they are trying to lay blame who may or may not have been wearing a helmet (near useless styrofoam hat, not a magic amulet to prevent getting hit by cars). The driver “may have been distracted”. Y’ think? I should hope to all deity that the driver was distracted, because otherwise she just drove into the bike lane and ran over a kid on a bike for no damn reason. How to avoid? The usual; keep your head on a swivel, ride with one eye on your rear view mirror, and always leave yourself an escape route in case of homicidal or stupid drivers.

From DE a report that almost tells what happened. Bicyclist injured in crash with van in Salem OK the bike was going north, the van was going east, and the cyclist has a sore left knee. Unknown is who got to the intersection first, or if anybody ran the 4 way stop. To avoid this assume the driver of the van doesn’t see you, proceed accordingly.. The commenters appeared to have reached a judgment on who was at fault, though…

In the same part of the country (near DC) another cyclist is hit-and-run murdered. Bicyclist Killed in Tysons Corner Hit-and-Run Identified From the picture of the bike it appears the cyclist was struck from behind at a high rate of speed. At this point I don’t know enough about this wreck to give more than the standard advice to keep your head on a swivel and an eye peeled on your six.

And another one in FL. Cyclist critically injured in Coconut Creek Again hit from behind, not much else. Comments are worthless.

And last US report is an ID lawyer’s eye view of bicycle law. Bicycle Safety from a Personal Injury Lawyer’s Point of View You know, for a lawyer he doesn’t seem to know much about the law or about the way humans think and operate. Even when he quotes the law first he mis-interprets “may” as meaning “must” and says not to, on the ID red light and stop sign laws. Use some sense, just because the law says you don’t have to come to a complete stop at a stop sign doesn’t mean blast through it means treat it as a yield, and red lights are to be treated as stop signs would be treated by motor vehicles, stop and see that the way is clear. Saves ID from having to install better sensors at all their traffic lights, and also removes cyclists from being hassled over stop signs installed as traffic calming devices.

Getting back to the UK we have a report from Scotland about a senior citizen hit crossing a road with her bike. OAP hit by car severely injured Still trying to figure out where the bike came in on this one.

And a celebration as a memorial is installed for a fallen cyclist in Islington. Tribute to killed cyclist Yes that appears to be a Spiral Dance being performed at the Ghost Bike installation, no joy in her death but joy in her life as she lived it.

And a 10 YO is hit by a van. Cyclist, 10, injured in van collision By the comments left with this report it seems the locals think this is an infrastructure problem.

And from the Emerald Isle is a report on a hit-and-run that witnesses are determined to see solved.. Witnesses help gardai in cyclist hit-and-run case I hope they catch the low life.

And our final report is from Oz, on an injured cyclist recovering from his injuries. Injured cyclist optimistic for full recovery This is another example of why riders shouldn’t pack up and draft except in controlled environments that have removed the danger of motor vehicles.

And that’s the Feed for the day, drop back in later for updates.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Huge Feed today

Well we had a huge Feed today with a pretty good signal to noise ratio. That means that his is going to be a large post and have many links, and we have some stories with multiple links.

Our first story is an update on the El Tour de Tucson hit-and-run wreck.Driver who hit bike riders identified The authorities are not naming the perp because of fears for his safety? What about the safety of the people this sociopath almost killed? Or don’t they count just being bicyclists and all? I say give the man a choice, life in prison going out the back door of the courthouse, or let him walk out the front door into a mob of angry cyclists with U-locks and chains and frame pumps…It’s not like we have a shortage of used bicycle chains.

We also have a Big Story with lots of links from SoCal. Martinez cycling team member killed in hit-run and Martinez bicyclist killed in hit and run aaand Cyclist killed in Port Costa hit-and-run Yeah it looks like we have another sociopath on our hands… As for how to not get hit in the same situation, it appears you can’t. This person apparently deliberately took a human life and then left the dying body lying in the road.

Another update on that Broward county FL wreck from last week has the perp driving off the road to hit the cyclist. Bicyclist who died in accident west of Boynton Beach identified The original report had the cyclist in the middle of the lane, now they are saying the driver went into the bike lane and took out the cyclist.

And another FL wreck has a guy on a BMX bike making a beer run and getting hit crossing a busy highway. Bicyclist killed at CR 42 and U.S. 441 I didn’t see any lights on the bike in the pictures, probably a contributing factor. LEO stated there was an alcohol smell on the cyclist but it could have been the beer he was carrying spilled on him. As for how you can avoid ending up like this guy, well light up your bike, have a rack to carry your beer, and be the designated rider until you get home when you can consume alcoholic beverages.

More on that OR rider that was hit in the fog. Bicyclist killed in crash with Portland driver in heavy fog From other reports I have seen but can’t link to said this might be another case of crossing the center line rather than a wrong way cyclist, but since those reports have been removed then it seems like the rider was riding on the wrong side of the road. I don’t think I need to tell you how to avoid this situation on your own.

From down the roads in San Antonio another cyclist is hit, this time by two SUVs. Bicyclist Killed Along Austin Highway I still don’t know if there was a traffic light controlling the intersection and if there was could it be triggered by a bicycle. To avoid finding yourself in the same situation, assuming that the light wouldn’t change, you have to wait until you can see that you can get at least to the median on a divided highway or all the way across a multilane city street. In TX if the light won’t change then you can treat it as a stop sign and cross when you can see a gap.

From Northern CA is a colorful protest against a busy street with inadequate bicycle accommodations. Bicyclists on parade ride for new alternatives With all the people that have been killed or injured on this street something needs to be done, but IMHO it would be a whole bunch cheaper to give big fines to motor vehicles that don’t share the road with bicycles and use the money to run education programs that teach drivers and cyclists how everyone can share the roads safely.

In a bicycle related story a KS man is planning a 7000 mile trip down the eastern side of Africa. Hutch High graduate embarking on a bicycle journey through Africa I wonder who the math genius was that said Mr. Becker would average 62 miles a day for 100 days to go 7000 miles. I applaud Mr. Becker’s courage and daring in this endeavor.

In another big ride is a man riding 24 hours for charity on World AIDS Day. WORLD AIDS DAY 24-HOUR BIKE RIDE Again a worthy cause, one that I would be participating in if there was an event nearby.

From Canadia is a report on a Ghost Bike. ‘Ghost bike’ honours cyclist I reported on this wreck a day after it happened, as soon as I could find a link. The cyclist had filtered up alongside the truck that hit him, and was right crossed.

From Jolly Olde is a report on a BMX rider found unconscious and bleeding in the street. Police need help after BMX bike rider found dead Police don’t know if this was a hit-and-run or just a stupid stunt gone hideously bad.

And that’s the Feed for today, finally.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Well until I can find the link posting problem and fix it on WordPress, I’m experimenting with formatting here. The Feed was only mildly aggravating today, with a very high signal to noise ratio.

One report hat had my blood at a low simmer was this one on a wreck during El Tour de Tucson. Search continues for motorist who hit pack of El Tour cyclists Yes he hit 10 out of a group of 60 cyclists, got out of his car, checked it for damage, then got back in his car and left the scene. Some people are just a waste of human skin, one wonders what other atrocities this man has committed recently. Now as to what you can do to avoid becoming a victim in a similar situation? Keep your head on a swivel and your fingers on the brakes, because people like this guy don’t give a tinker’s dam about you and your life or property. Having an Uzi set to full auto might help catch the guy, but then you would have to have been one of the riders that was missed by the car, and shot to stop his escape. I don’t advocate going Spike Bike on his posterior, no matter how much he needs the experience.

And another report on a similar incident has a man getting more than 6 year in prison for assaulting riders on a paid group ride using his motor vehicle. Man who struck cyclist gets 6.5 years in prison Slight correction to the headline, he didn’t strike one cyclist but 3, sending one to hospital. The other 2 only had injuries requiring first aid at the scene. Your best options for avoidance? Same as before, head on a swivel and fingers on the brake levers. In this case the cyclists weren’t even on the road, they were hit on the shoulder of the road. As the judge ruled this was nothing more than a case of assault with a deadly weapon.

Another OR incident has a man riding the wrong way on a highway, Ore. cyclist dies after collision with car What can I say? Ride with the flow of traffic as the law states. Riding against the flow places you in a position where drivers are not looking for you, and your speed is added to their speed resulting in reduced reaction time and a more deadly impact. In a city street collision a rider going just 10 MPH and a driver doing 20, going the same direction as traffic and getting hit from behind gives an impact speed of only 10 MPH which is within the design and certification specs of all helmets sold in the USA, and for unprotected impact (no helmets) still has a 90% survival rate. Riding against traffic raises that impact to 30 MPH more than twice the impact speed bike helmets are certified at in the US, and which has a survival rate of just 20%. I don’t know about you but a 90% survival rate is a whole lot better than a 20% survival rate.

And our final report is from South Africa where a cyclist was hit from behind on his bike and the driver actually talked to the injured man and then drove off. Cyclist in a rage after trucker breaks word Yeah, scum. What should you do? Well don’t trust any driver that says he’s going to go up the road to turn around and get help without getting his driver’s license first. Have some means of finding the driver if he absconds from the scene if at all possible.

And that’s all for today, more later.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Disappearing links

I don’t know what’s going on but all my links have been removed from my blog posts. I write the posts, then save them and hit the button to make the post visible on the front page of the blog, then when I test the links there is nothing there. The text looks like a link, but there is nothing to click on when I mouse over them. I checked the FAQ to make sure WP doesn’t use some off flavor of HTML, but the FAQ instructions look exactly like the way I coded my links before I hit the button to let you guys see it. So can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong, or am I just getting screwed by WP like I did from MySpace?

Opus

Pictures have been added, and I finally have a Feed

I haven’t actually seen my blog page with the pictures yet, I may have some serious HTML editing to do as I don’t do this very often. But I have a Feed to disseminate now, so Onward!

First up is a report on someone getting hit on a bike while crossing a busy road near San Antonio TX. Cyclist Killed on Austin Highway and Bicyclist killed crossing Austin Highway Apparently from comments that accompanied the article this was a light controlled intersection, but it is unclear at this time if there is any way for cyclists and pedestrians to activate the light to cross the road. There are a large number of intersections where the light will only change for a motor vehicle and there is no option to push a button to change the light for pedestrians or cyclists.

From Jolly Olde comes a report on another Scottish cyclist getting hit. Cyclist Killed After Collision This is a typical UK wreck report, in that while we know the victim had recent facial reconstruction surgery after a brutal mugging, we don’t know which direction he was traveling when he was hit by a blue Ford Transit van.

And finally from Oz we have a report that the number of cyclists getting hit has doubled, but the number of cyclists in the streets and on the roads has more than doubled. Number of cyclists killed doubles in year This is another example of the “Safety in numbers” theory, which states that as more cyclists and pedestrians take to the streets and roads, the less likely that any one pedestrian or cyclist will get killed by motor vehicles.

And that’s the Feed for today, watch for further developments as they are sent to me by Google.

Billed @$.02, Opus