Monthly Archives: December 2008

After doing other things, A Feed

Yes, I had other things to do today, including a trip to PCF to get a new sensor harness for my cyclocomputer, so this post is a bit late getting posted. On top of that we had a huge Feed with a middlin’ good signal to noise ratio, which took a while to get through. I hope someone can learn something from what I have written and refined and left for you here.

First up is a repeat of a favorite, from another source, the old man that ran into all those cyclists in Tucson is indicted on charges of hit-and-run. Driver, 91, who hit bike riders in Ariz. indicted Some may not have seen this before, but it was the result of a long and arduous process. The indictment was handed down more than a month after the wreck, in spite of the perp having been caught destroying the evidence by washing his car.

A 5 year study of bicycle wrecks in and around Boise ID brings some major surprises. 5-year traffic study shows where bicycles and cars collide in Ada County One of the surprises was that the places with the highest number of bike wrecks were not the places that had the most bike traffic, but places that had moderate traffic. The comments section was priceless in the classic sense of the word, without value.

Lawyers weigh in on the cyclist hit by a train story. Bicyclist Killed By Train The lawyer-speak has so many qualifications as to be generally useless. I’m only including it as an example of how lawyers get in the way of justice, when they are supposed to help find justice.

Police are still trying to solve that hit-and-run in the Richmond district of San Francisco. Richmond police still seek witnesses in fatal hit-and-run crash As I pointed out when this story first broke, if the second driver had just stopped then even if they were DUI the worst they could get would have been the DUI. But now they are facing felony charges for fleeing the scene of a wreck, and failing to render aid.

Also in SoCal is another drunk driver taking out another cyclist. Hemet bicyclist killed in collision, alcohol a possible factor Yes, a drunk running a red light in a pickup truck, I would say there was alcohol involved. As for how you can avoid finding yourself in the same situation, first don’t cross a street in a crosswalk, take the lane like a vehicle; second keep that head on a swivel, intersections are the most common place for fatal wrecks involving bicycles. In an intersection you have threats coming from 4 or more directions, and have to see and avoid in any direction to stay alive.

A cyclist dies after being hit by a police car exceeding the speed limit. Bicyclist Killed in Crash with Police Cruiser What are you supposed to do when there’s a cop car behind you without a siren but the flashing lights on? I know, head on a swivel and watch your six between intersections. And always leave yourself an escape route.

From Canadia is the sad news of a cyclist in an induced coma to try to prevent permanent brain damage. Praying for his son’s recovery The drunk driver was driving on a suspended license when he drove on the shoulder and hit the cyclist. Dead ain’t good enough for that guy.

A commentary with notes on FL bike laws. Guest Commentary: Ride safely In spite of an over dependence on helmet usage as wreck prevention, most of the advice is pretty good, and is an accurate recounting of FL laws.

From Jolly Olde, a report on multiple cyclists getting killed on Christmas Eve. 16-year-old cyclist is killed in Christmas Eve collision Typical UK reportage, due to UK media laws.

In this story it appears that the cyclist survived a hit-and-run with a huge semi. Cyclist hurt in lorry collision I’m assuming an “articulated lorry” is some kind of huge semi. If it isn’t I’m sorry and post a link to what it really is, please?

And from Oz is a report on 2 cyclists getting hit on Christmas Eve and one succumbing to injuries. Driver charged over cyclist’s death At least they caught the driver and put him in jail for the time being.

And that’s the Feed for today. If anything else comes in I’m not even going to pull up the link.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Still no rest for the weary, the Feed never sleeps

BLEARGH!! it never ends. Those sadistic drivers are bent on killing us each and every one not driving a car on “their” roads. 😉 I’m going to shut my computer down for the night and watch Discovery or Animal Planet, or maybe the Funimation Channel, and then Leno for Headlines tonight.

First up is news that the driver that ran over a drunk that fell off his bike was caught and is going to be charged. Charges laid after teen cyclist hit, killed by alleged drunk and Charges laid in cyclist’s death

And in Richmond CA it took 2 cars to kill a cyclist. 2 drivers sought in fatal Richmond hit-and-run The stupid thing about this report is the second driver would not have been charged if they had just stopped the car and waited until the cops showed, but now they are facing a felony hit-and-run charge.

And to finish up is a report on another cyclist that has been riding around the world since 1998 trying to bring peace. Cyclist for peace makes Saipan his 139th stop I am sympathetic to the cause, but we can’t even get people driving cars to stop killing cyclists, how is riding a bike going to get people to stop having wars?

And that’s the late Feed, as soon as I get this posted I’m going to shut this thing down and watch some TV. Peace out.

Billed @$.02,Opus

Nobody died in today’s Feed

There was only the one article in today’s Feed, and the victim as of the article posting was still alive. I hope the dry spell we have been having for reports will end soon because I know that cyclists are still getting hit and killed, maybe not at the same rate as during the Summer in the Northern hemisphere, but it just doesn’t make the news like it did earlier.

In Hamilton, Ontario (in Canadia) a man was hit-and-run by a drunk driver. Cyclist clings to life, Hamilton man charged in hit-and-run According to reports the price tag was still on the victim’s bike, it was so new, and the victim was not wearing a helmet or reflective gear. Given the violence of the crash it is not known if the helmet would have made any difference in the injuries sustained. The driver was still drunk when questioned by Police later in the day. If the victim dies more severe charges will be brought against the driver.

Well, ride as safely as you can out there. Head on a swivel and all that. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Intertubes for more reports for you.

Billed @$.02, Opus

A positive post

I had a Feed report that didn’t have any stories about people getting killed or injured while riding their bicycles, just one about a guy riding his tadpole trike across the lower 48 at 3 MPH average speed. Odyssey takes Oregon man through snowy Utah – slowly It’s stories like this that give me a small ray of hope, that when I say to Hell with it and load the camping gear on the bike and just ride off that it will be possible for me to survive (although I don’t plan on riding at 3 MPH). Shhh! nobody tell my wife about this. She has this “thing” about creature comforts like hot showers, and a varied diet, and having a warm place to use the potty. Me, not so much as long as I get fed somehow, I’m fine with beans and rice 6 days out of 7, sleeping in a tent, washing out of a bucket and taking a dump behind a bush. Indeed for the majority of the history of the human race such conditions would be considered luxury, not privation. The only thing I feel a need for is this computing device I use to create this blog, those are kind of a problem to use from a primitive campsite on the side of a road in BFE.

Billed @$.02, Opus

No rest for the weary; the Feed

Yes we had a small Feed with a very high signal to noise ratio today, and lots of stories about cyclists getting killed and injured. We had one report that had it not been a fatality it would have been hilarious.

Getting to the funny side first is a report on a Chinese cyclist killed by a suicidal jumper that managed to clear all the catch nets and land in the street. Chinese cyclist killed after suicidal man jumps from 35th floor “Well you see, St. Peter, I was just delivering a batch of noodles when all of a sudden this guy falls on me from over 100 meters up.” “Yeah, yeah, grab your harp and halo…”

And in sunny SoCal a cyclist was helping his friend get out of the road after falling off his bike and gets hit by a car that was trying to avoid the guy that fell. Chico bicyclist dies from Skyway crash injuries Apparently during the first crash whatever lights and/or reflectors were on the bike and/or cyclist were disarranged or non-functional and the elderly driver could not see the victim of the car wreck portion of the crash.

From the snow swept steppes of Wisconsin (J/K) is a story about the victim of a drunk driver. Bicyclist told wife days earlier he was leading fulfilling life I’m glad the victim said he had a fulfilling life just before he died, but I would rather he been fulfilled a bit longer than killed by a drunk driver.

From Oz we have a story recounting the cyclist fatalities of the holiday weekend. Two cyclists killed, holiday road toll 39 That was an overview and kind of sparse in details. This report only mentions the one wreck that killed one and injured his brother. Injured cyclist dies in hospital Yes you have to be very careful when riding this time of year when so many people consume so much alcohol, and stay alert right through the days after the New Year.

And that’s the Feed for today, keep an ocular organ peeled and pointed in this direction for more later.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another quick note

I got a little mini-Feed in the last hour, with another report on the hit-and-run in SC. It doesn’t add much to what we already know, but it is an extra set of eyes on the story. SC bicyclist killed in Christmas night hit-and-run What was added to what we know was he was hit from behind, and that he died before he could be transported. What we now know is he was hit from behind by a 2002-06 Silverado or a 2007 Sierra pickup truck, he hit the right front quarter and most likely hit the windshield, and that the right headlight and DRL lenses are broken, and that the truck may have been dark silver or pewter in color. Using my witchy powers of divination I have determined that the driver was a Caucasian male 30-35 YO, dark hair, brown eyes, and a scar on his left forearm, and that he was employed as a construction worker, probably a carpenter. His BAC at the time of the wreck was 0.11% and he was in a bad mood. I don’t know if he saw the cyclist before he hit him.

I have never gone this far out on a limb with one of my predictions, can somebody local to the area keep an eyeball peeled for updates to this story?

Billed @$.02, Opus

Post-Christmas wrecks

One of the sad parts about giving bikes as gifts is there will be a portion of the recipients killed the next day, which then make it into my inbox the day after.

First up among the noobs killed on their new bikes is a 7 YO boy killed at the intersection of a bike path and a major highway. Boy, 7, Killed When Bicycle Is Hit By Pickup The comments section is pretty much equally divided among those who blame the kid, the kid’s mother who was with him and witnessed the wreck, the elderly driver of the pickup truck, and whoever decided that having a bike path cross a busy highway several times on blind turns was a good idea. Personally I think the intersections need warning signs and 4 way stops so that everyone has a chance to see what is coming on the other thoroughfare, but then I’m just a guy with more than 40 years experience riding a bicycle on the roads with an engineering background, what would I know?

And in the same paper is a report on a 13 YO that also got hit in an intersection. 13-Year-Old Bicyclist Hit By Car In Largo, Survives The question on this wreck was did the cyclist enter on a green light that changed before he could clear the intersection? That is what’s known as a “pale green”, as light timings seldom take bicyclists speeds into account. It is known that the driver had a green light at the moment of impact, but LEO are still investigating this wreck.

Another report on that SC hit-and-run I related in this morning’s post. Cyclist killed in hit-and-run accident on Christmas Day Except that this report is from a different news outlet there isn’t much different from the morning report.

And last on the list is an infrastructure report from AZ. Arizona helps develop national interstate routes for bicyclists They are participating in a Federal program to identify routes that are relatively bike friendly, or at least not totally unsafe for bicycles to use, using existing roads and highways. Unfortunately the people adding comments to the report mostly failed to read the it, leading to some unintentionally hilarious comments.

That’s all for this Feed, there may be more later.

Billed @$.02, Opus

What’s up with this weather?

For all of you suffering below freezing temperatures and snow and blizzard conditions, I feel for you. Unfortunately I can’t say I feel your pain, because yesterday was 83F in the DFW area. I was riding in shorts and a short sleeved jersey yesterday. Yes I know, the weather is nuts, but what can you do about it?

In other news I only had one new bike safety story in the Feed today. In SC a cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Bluffton bicyclist struck, killed by hit-and-run driver, Bluffton PD says The thing I like about modern forensics is they can determine the make, model and year of a vehicle just from the headlight and turn signal lenses. I don’t know for sure but I think they include tracking microtags in the plastics. Read the tags, look up the tags in a table, and voila! the suspect vehicle is IDed.

This link to a picture of the Matamoros wreck where a drunk driver went head on into the lead peloton of a bike race after going around police cars blocking the road (and on the wrong side of the road) is a stark reminder of how fragile we are as cyclists on the road. A Year of Danger Mexican police caught the driver, no word on whether he survived his incarceration.

And that’s all I have today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Happy Boxing Day

Well there wasn’t much in the Feed this morning, just a drunk driver using the Braille Method of driving that happened to bounce off a cyclist in the process. More on that later.

I have noticed a sharp drop off in bike wrecks reported on the Web, at the same time as such incidents are being reported as being on the rise. I don’t know if this is because of the reduction in staff at most news gathering agencies, or just a “It’s a guy (or girl) on a bike, we don’t cover the poor and/or homeless” attitude. But wrecks are up and reporting is down, whatever the reasons.

That drunk driver was in Corpus Christi. Car hits gate, cyclist; police arrest driver I don’t know which make me angrier, the drunk driving by Braille, or the paper deciding property damage was more important than human casualties in the headline. In the how do I avoid this part of the blog post, it’s the same old answer as before, keep your head on a swivel and watch your six for bogeys. If you put yourself in the mindset of a fighter pilot behind enemy lines, without ammo and running low on fuel, so that you have to avoid any conflict like Mao’s Guerilla Fish, then you will live a little longer, or at least die of something else first.

And that is all I have for the news today, tune in tomorrow, same bike time same bike channel. (and you get some serious pop history kudos points if you can tell me where I stole that from).

Billed @$.02, Opus

Listening to some awesome music

Yeah, I know you were expecting to find stories about dead and/or injured cyclists here, but I decided to give it a rest today and Stumble some music. Well I found a flash video from a group called Evil Nine, which while it’s a cool name there are only the two of them and they aren’t evil. Anyway the name of the track was “Crooked” from the CD You Can Be Special Too. (shhh, don’t wake the baby)

So I Googled the band name and found the CD on Last.fm I think the best tracks are “Crooked”, “Restless”, and “Earth”. I had heard “Restless” before somewhere, but it doesn’t ring a bell as to where, probably some commercial somewhere. The CD is all over the musical map, mostly electronica, but “Earth” has a distinctly ska flavor, and “Restless” is like a new Classic Rock song from 1973, plus other tracks that sound more hip-hop. Whatever they are these guys are versatile. “Hired Goons” is a pretty good instrumental that sounds even more like 1973 than “Restless” but isn’t as good as that track. But really there isn’t a bad track on the CD, just some that are less to my liking than others.

Well that’s about enough on this topic.

PSA, Opus