Monthly Archives: January 2009

Here and there, and a waste of human skin

Well the Feed was entirely in the US today, at least the bike related stories were, but thematically it was all over the map, from reports on a woman charged in a hit-and-run, to a fluff piece on fixie riders, to an opinion piece on bike lane laws.

Getting to the waste of human skin first, the driver in a hit-and-run waives her right to a preliminary hearing. Woman waives court hearing in bicyclist’s death and with a little bit more information Preliminary hearing waived in bicycle hit-and-run case For new readers, this was a very nasty wreck. The second article recounts some of her shenanigans to hide her involvement in the wreck, which by some accounts she stopped at but left, then staged a second wreck to hide the damage from hitting the cyclist. The evidence against her is pretty bad, I hope Justice will prevail. As the saying goes give her a fair trial and a decent hangin’.

From FL the top of the letters column has an opinion on their proposed bike lane law. Instead of bike lane law, enforce existing ones I see a potential law restricting bikes to unsafe bike lanes just because there are bike lanes there as a field day for unfriendly law enforcement.

And bringing up the rear is a fluff piece on Fixie “culture”. The fixie is in Yeah, I’m not big on fixies but I understand the attraction. I’m a big fan of engineering end a fixie is the simplest solution to the problem of getting the power from the rider’s legs to the ground, other than the penny farthing bike.

And that’s all I have this morning. There will not be a late night update tonight, as I will be at open circle by Dragonlair, celebrating Imbolc, and may not get home until after midnight.

Billed @$.02, Opus

The Feed looks like the dog’s breakfast again

Yes the Feed was a bit scattered again today, with more motorcycle wrecks than all the bicycle stories combined. There was one story in my feed of a skateboarder accident in the road that I guess made my Feed because the first responder on the scene was a bicycle cop…

A “cute” story has an unusual first “responder” to a bike wreck. Smart Hound Aids Injured Biker Yes the first “responder” on scene was a 7 month old Labrador puppy. I have to give the pup credit for being able to tell the cyclist was injured just by seeing him on the ground. Good dog!

Some are incredulous at how many cyclists are riding without helmets. Most adults ride without helmets As most of my regular readers know I advocate that everyone wear a helmet every time they ride. I also am adamantly opposed to mandatory helmet laws until the standard for bicycle helmets is raised to cover an impact with a motor vehicle at normal traffic speeds.

In one CA community they are considering bicycles in their transportation master plan. Bicycle master plan calls for cyclists, drivers to share the road The plan is for cyclists to ride on the roads with motor vehicle users without educating drivers that bicycles have the right to use those roads, while giving lip service to educating cyclists about their rights…

From Jolly Olde is another report on someone getting hurt by a motor vehicle, details in 8 months to a year. Cyclist injured [sarcasm]Yes, that was a deeply informative article with great detail on the actual wreck. [/sarcasm]

Another report from the UK is this report on a hit-and-run. Teen cyclist injured in hit and run The irony here is this would not have even merited a mention in US media, it wouldn’t have even gotten a police report in many jurisdictions. But in the UK we have the media report but they are legally prohibited from actual reporting the crime, they’re only allowed to report the existence of the crime.

And finishing up we have a rare English language report on bicycle and other roads user’s fatalities. Pedestrian deaths top fatalities among vehicle riders for first time since 1974 What is interesting was the number of bicyclist fatalities was so much higher than in the US when we killed 698 to their 717 when the populations are so much higher in the US. As another point of comparison we killed 30,401 inside motor vehicles compared to Japan killing 5,115 total on the roads for a ratio of 6.134:1 for Japan and 43.554 for the US, 7.100423866970981 times more bicycle fatalities per motor vehicle fatality for Japan.

And that’s all I have for today. More later as it comes in unless it comes in when I’m at church tonight at the Drum Jam in which case I won’t get to it until tomorrow morning.

Billed @$.02, Opus

FL kills another cyclist, and other stuff

The evening Feed had more death and carnage, and more actual articles that had something to do with bicycles than the morning Feed.

And going with the headline of this blog post, there was another cyclist killed in FL. Brooksville bicyclist killed in hit-and-run this makes 6 this year and we haven’t even finished the first month yet. This being a hit-and-run makes it even worse than usual.

In OH police charge a driver that hit a cyclist with vehicular homicide. Driver charged in cyclist’s death When this blog was hosted on MySpace I reported on this wreck, and at the time I posted that the cyclist had done everything right, that the driver that hit him was at fault, and it turns out I was right. I hope they throw the book at him, Webster’s Unabridged…

And from Oz another hit-and-run driver is arrested. Man arrested after cyclist death Other than he struck a cyclist and ran there isn’t much information available from the article. I could only speculate as to why the driver ran or even who he hit or how.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Rant on accountability behind the wheel

I was sent to a post in the blog of the guy that wrote the book Traffic on bills before the legislatures of 2 states making killing someone while breaking traffic laws more serious than a ticket, as is happening now in many states. A mother’s death, a son’s loss deepens. There are other stories out there if you choose to go looking for them, but that example has some egregious examples of the situation taking place.

In the blog How We Drive author Tom Vanderbilt writes about bills before the legislatures of MD and WA that would lower the bar for bringing felony charges when traffic laws are broken and people get killed. ‘A Culture of Accountability on Our Roads’ The fact that someone can speed, run red lights, and break other traffic laws, and only get a ticket, or even several tickets, for killing someone. To quote my wife “That ain’t right!”

For my state rep Joe Driver, if you or your legislative assistant are reading this blog, TX needs this law, or a similar law. For most people they thought there was already a law like this, the fact that killing or seriously injuring someone while breaking traffic laws is not considered a felony or even a serious misdemeanor.

Billed @$.02, Opus

And the poor signal to noise ratio continues

I tell you I’m getting so tired of wading through dreck to find the occasional nuggets of information. After spending hours of wading through the Feed today, I found only 2 articles of interest to cyclists, one legislative and another from the UK. Yeah, hours reading dreck and all I have for you is a debate on treating stop signs as yields, and another article from UK media that has everything but what happened that I can use to tell you how to not end up in the same situation.

Well, getting to the stop sign article from OR first. Should bicyclists be allowed to roll past stop signs? The debate is what is called “The Idaho law” treatment on stop signs, that allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yields because of their superior visibility from the driver’s seat of the cycle, and because stop signs take a much harder toll on rider’s energy than it does for motor vehicles. A scientific study found that frequent stop signs can reduce a rider’s speed 40% at the same output or cause rider’s energy output to increase as much as 500% to maintain average speed. I wish I could find those articles but the links are no longer active to the stories that had live links on those reports.

And from the UK is that report on a cyclist that got hit. Cyclist, 66, injured in road collision And now you know as much as I do on this wreck…

Aaaaannnnnd that’s all the useful information I have from this morning. Keep an ocular pointed in this direction for more information as I get it.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another late night Feed

I don’t know what is going on with the Feed the last couple of days, but the signal to noise ratio has been abysmal. I must have seen more dead motorcyclists than all the bicyclist reports in the Feed, you guys with motors on your bikes are much more adept at killing yourselves…

There’s a bit of an infrastructure tiff in Tucson AZ. Bike Paradise It seems that a new skate park was built with fund raising by, among others, local BMX clubs under the impression that bikes would be allowed to use the facility, and who were surprised to say the least when the final rules of use prohibited them from it…

And a drunk driver pleads to killing a cyclist. Benton Man Pleads Guilty in Bicyclist’s Death For those that are new to any of my blogs, drunk drivers are the lowest of the low, using a WMD as transportation, but not in total control over it, kinda like W with The Button. When caught after killing someone they should be thrown under the jail, and if they manage to dig their way out, thrown under 2 jails. I have seen the damage drunks can do behind the wheel, and personally pulled survivors from the wreckage and kept kids from rubbing their faces and eyes when they were full of glass from broken windshields.

There will be more later.

Billed@$.02, Opus

A glazed over Feed

No the Feed isn’t glazed over, the ground outside my house is glazed over, with ice. There ain’t much moving out there, and what is moving isn’t moving very fast if they’re smart. There are also a lot of stupid people out there sliding off the roads and into ditches, light poles, and each other. Wheeeeeee! What is really unfortunate is that I know what to do about this to make my bike ridable in these conditions but this is likely to be the last ice storm until next winter, which means that I would be investing either large amounts of money or time in preparing for an event that will happen at most twice a year. The local agencies that are responsible for the roads are in the same situation, and are woefully unprepared for the situation as their budgets are not equipped to handle ice removal on any large scale. A light glazing of bridges and overpasses which happens several times a year they are prepared for, this mess is beyond the capacity of the equipment…

Getting to the Feed and away from local weather we have an infrastructure report from Folsom CA. Mayor: There is some good news in Folsom The bicycle part of the story is that after Homeland Security closed the roads over all the dams in the country to prevent terrorists from blowing them up, the city of Folsom created a new bridge to carry the same traffic, but with bike and pedestrian facilities. As for blowing up dams, when I did this stuff for the Gov’t back in the 1970s dams were one of our favorite targets, because a small bomb with a pressure switch detonator could take out a dam, slowly, which would give the populace enough time to evacuate if their government was on the ball about watching for signs of dam collapse. Ours isn’t. ‘Nuff said.

A 13 YO girl outside Shreveport LA is injured crossing I20. Updated: Teen injured crossing I-20 on bicycle I don’t know why she was trying to cross the Interstate, but there’s a reason why crossing Interstate highways is illegal, and the results here illustrate why.

The rest of this morning’s Feed is from outside North America, starting with this report from the UK. Castle Hedingham: Hit and run leaves cyclist injured Fortunately the cyclist suffered mainly road rash and a few bruises.

Also from Jolly Olde: Cyclist, 77, injured in collision They didn’t say what color the van was, so no way of knowing if White Van Man attacked again. 😉 I’m being flippant about this because the cyclist was listed as being shaken up and bruised but not seriously injured.

Still from the UK another cyclist was shaken, not stirred. Cyclist injured in road crash Treated at the scene and allowed to leave would not have even gotten a police report in TX, much less a mention in the paper. This must have been one of the most gentle car/bicycle wrecks on record.

And from Oz, the idiot that did a swoop and squat on a whole group of cyclists is defending himself at the trial. Man represents himself over cyclist pile-up The lawyer that represents himself at trial has an idiot for a client. Old saying but true in this circumstance. He was an idiot for doing the swoop and squat, and he’s a double idiot for trying to do his own defense at the trial.

And that’s everything from this morning, remember what the little girl said and watch this space…

Billed @$.02, Opus

Afternoon Feed, more hits

That would be cars hitting cyclists, not America’s Top 40. Casey Kasem is not going to be counting these down any time soon if ever…

LEO have released the name of the cyclist killed in a SWSS/SWCC wreck in FL last week. Name Released of Bicyclist Killed In Collison with Bus I still can’t get any pictures from the crash site, so I can’t say one way or the other, but my intuition is telling me that the cyclist was alredy riding in the road before he was hit. If I can get more information on this wreck I will update this in a later blog post.

Some more good news from SoCal. CHP recommends manslaughter for motorist suspected of causing Gilroy cyclist’s death I’m happy charges will be filed, but I still think that this deserves more than a misdemeanor. That means in CA that the most the killer driver can get for killing a cyclist would be a year in a county jail.

And from Jolly Olde a cyclist that was killed in a wreck was twice the legal limit for BAC% when she was hit. Death crash cyclist was twice drink-drive limit I know that if you’re going out for a drink or 2 on your bike there’s no way to have a designated driver, but if you find yourself having had too much lock the bike in a safe place, and get a ride from somebody or sleep it off until you are safe to ride again.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Still weird Feed today

The Feed was really weird again, with almost nothing that pertained to bicycles in any way shape or form. It gets like that sometimes. Some days I get wall to wall wrecks, infrastructure, and legal questions stories, some days I get wall to wall dreck. Today was dreck.

Well, mostly dreck. We have a report from FL on the FHP finding and arresting a hit-and-run driver that tried to destroy the evidence. Driver arrested in hit-and-run that left cyclist in critical condition I’m impressed by the fact that FHP actually went and got divers to find the passenger side door in a lake behind the perp’s house.

A CA woman gets a slap on the wrist for DUI assault. Woman Who Hit Cyclists Avoids Prison Term What I found amazing in this article was there were 27 comments on the article and not a single mention that the cyclists were at fault because they were there to get hit, or any other such stupidity. All I saw was outrage against the judge and DA for the light sentence.

A relative of Jose “Guapo” Rincon who was killed by a woman who had a BAC of .249% more than 2 hours after the wreck writes this article in the Tucson Citizen. Teen columnist: Cousin Guapo’s smiling spirit lives on I have nothing but contempt for the waste of human skin that killed Jose and injured his friend as they were walking their bikes about 15 feet off the edge of the road surface. He wasn’t even riding on the road, for crying out loud, he was hit by a driver that could not tell the difference between driving on the grass on the side of the road and the road. She got what the family wanted as far as prison time is concerned, so if they’re happy, I’m happy.

A press release on road safety is wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to enumerate them. Ten Tips on Nighttime Safety for Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Motorists By Vedante Can you see it? The whole list is so biased in favor of not making cars slow down at night that it’s almost useless for other roads users.

And that’s all I can pull out of the Feed this morning. Be watching this site for further updates as they come in.

Billed @$.02, Opus

An all-Oz Feed today

Well there wasn’t much useful in the Feed this morning, very bad signal to noise ratio and all that. Translated there was an awful lot of non-cycling reports in there with much gore and stupidity, that I have spared you from. You’re welcome.

We have 2 stories to report on this morning both from Oz and both a bit stupid. The first is something that we have experienced in the US several times. Barbed wire, spikes found near picnic spot Yes another idiot taking it upon himself to prevent people from doing things he doesn’t like (and in these stories it is invariably a male) and potentially killing or permanently injuring someone. I hope they catch the guy and put him away for his own safety.

And another salvo in the never-ending war over bicycle helmet laws from the UK via Oz. Name’s the game It’s a bit down the page look for this headline before the paragraph: “Heading for trouble” I have already made my views known on helmet laws, I won’t waste bandwidth restating them here.

And that’s the distilled wisdom from the Feed for this morning. More later as I catch it.

Billed @$.02, Opus