Monthly Archives: March 2009

Evening update

A couple more reports came in this evening, one from FL and one from the UK, both updates on wrecks previously reported here.

From FL, Ft. Lauderdale comes more information on a SWCC. Lauderdale police ID bicyclist killed on Commercial Boulevard I can’t understand how LEO that would never accept the word of someone alone in a room with a body and a smoking gun would turn around and take as gospel the word of the only surviving witness in a wreck that contradicts the physical evidence. I have had no access to the physical evidence, so I can’t say that is what happened in this case. But I have seen it happen before.

And from the UK the cyclist that was killed in front of a pub was named. Dead cyclist named From the earlier reports on this wreck locals are blaming this on a bad stretch of road with the speed limit set too high for the sightlines. I will concede to local knowledge.

And that’s all for today. more later.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Not much to write about today

There wasn’t much useful in the Feed this morning. There was some good news, some bad news and some news that was just news.

The good news was the arrest of a driver who killed a cyclist in Ohio. Man charged in death of bicyclist The visibility at the time of the wreck was reported as around 10 feet, and the cyclist was hit at about 50 MPH in a 50 speed limit. In other words the driver was an idiot who insisted on trying to drive the speed limit when conditions were abysmal. In this case stupidity should be a capital crime.

From Jolly Olde is our bad story, and it isn’t even that bad, as a kid gets hit and slightly hurt. Boy cyclist hurt in Lowestoft crash I’m glad he wasn’t hurt worse than he was, but I’m sorry he was hurt at all.

and in the “just news” category is my report to examiner.com on the goings on in the TX Lege. Legislation report 03/30/09 Things are not looking good for the vulnerable road users bills.

That’s all I have this morning.

Billed @$02, Opus

Not too bad today

The Feed was not too bad today, a couple of injury wrecks and a link to where I work at examiner.com. I’m really proud of the link to my work at examiner.com because it validates my decision to work there.

And speaking of that link, every week I like to talk back to my readers about their comments the week before. Responding to comments 03/28/09 Want to get in on the conversation? Just use the “next” and “previous” buttons on the article to find an article you want to argue with me about. Don’t worry I won’t use the home field advantage to edit what you say to make you look like an idiot. You have to do that by yourself. 😉

The first of our wrecks was up there in MI, where a cyclist got hit from behind. Cyclist seriously injured by car The comments section is worth the price, how much did you pay for that article?

Our other wreck was in the same town in South Carolina that we have been having wrecks from all week long. Another bicycle rider hit in Seneca With this many wrecks in just a week one has to ask what is going through drivers’ minds to have 3 cyclists hit from behind. It seems to me that drivers are not passing far enough over, or maybe even hitting cyclists on purpose.

And that’s all for today, keep the proverbial ocular organ pointed in this direction.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Updates and disappointment

More news on the failure of the grand jury to indict the driver for killing a cyclist in Chattanooga, a driver sentenced for killing a cyclist in Ohio, legislation getting stalled in Iowa, and a right cross in Edinburgh. Left out were stories on Matt Lauer and the deer, more on Lance’s broken collarbone, and a kitten that likes to ride in the front basket of its owner’s bicycle.

Getting to the bad news first (well it’s all bad, but some is worse than others), we have two more reports on the David Meek case in Chattanooga. No Indictment In Cyclist Death and Chattanooga: Truck driver not indicted in death of cyclist also No Indictment In David Meek Case, Fatal Bicycle Incident In Chattanooga The comments sections of the articles are interesting, as there is some speculation that the driver was trying to buzz or brush back the cyclist but that the information wasn’t presented to the grand jury.

Some good news from Ohio was they sentenced the drunk driver that killed a cyclist to prison for 4 years. Man sent to prison for 2007 hit-skip Four years for killing a person and leaving him to die. Life is cheap in the United States.

An examination of what bills are going through and what bills are stranded in the Iowa Legislature includes bicycle related bills. Today considered second funnel deadline I still don’t know what happened to their safe-passing law, but I think they said it was one of the dead bills.

The final report we have today is on the right cross wreck of a cyclist in Edinburgh. Edinburgh cyclist injured following hit-and-run “People carrier”, isn’t that a description of any passenger vehicle?

And that’s it.

Billed @$.02, Opus

What does it take to get prosecution?

There was some good news and some bad news in today’s Feed. The good news is they arrested the driver in that SLC hit-and-run, the bad news is the Grand Jury declined to indict the driver that ran over the cyclist in Chattanooga. I don’t know what it will take to get prosecution against drivers that just ignore the rights of cyclists to be on the roads.

Getting to the good news first is the Deseret News report on the arrest of that hit-and-run driver. Man arrested in hit-and-run crash that injured cyclist This was the guy that witnesses say got out of the car and looked at the rider and then left the scene. As I stated before he is extremely lucky that I don’t have a say in his bail or sentencing. I hope he never drives again, and his Beemer gets crushed and sold for scrap to help pay the expenses of the injured cyclist. Word is that the female passenger seen at the wreck will also be charged.

And the bad news on the Chattanooga wreck. Grand Jury Does Not Indict Truck Driver In Bicyclist Death and Safety on Cyclists’ Minds Yes, the cyclists have a lot to think about now that they know that if someone hits them they have no backup from law enforcement. I wonder how hard the prosecutor pushed the facts in this case. What we know from the media accounts: 1. TN has a 3 foot passing law that has a stated minimum required clearance when passing a bicycle. 2. Mr. Meek had an “obnoxiously bright” LED blinky taillight for rear visibility. 3. Mr. Meek was riding legally in his lane when he was hit from behind with the truck. 4. The accident investigator declined to tell jurors that being able to see a bicycle is not a requirement to obeying the law, or that failing to see a cyclist is not an affirmative defense. The prosecutor reportedly did not make this plain to the jurors either. As a result the driver and the company he was driving for skate on all charges. As Grand Jury deliberations are secret we have no idea what if anything was going on inside the heads of the jurors when they were deciding whether or not to indict the driver. So, sorry TN cyclists, in spite of the laws you are on your own against drivers that buzz or kill you. I suggest discarding the law and instead obtaining a LAW with a HEAT warhead as they are recoilless and easy to aim even off balance. Even the sub-caliber training round will take out a car with ease and are much less expensive than the full-size round with the explosive warhead.

More bad news from Iowa as a man gets probation in the killing of a cyclist. Burlington man sentenced in bicycle death No jail and he gets his license back in less than a year. TANJ!

From SC comes news that a cyclist was hit-and-run by an SUV. Cyclist injured in hit-and-run near Oconee Nuclear There isn’t much to go on, a white SUV of unknown make and model with front end damage, At least someone is making the effort.

From Jolly Olde comes a report that a “HGV” was passing too close to a cyclist and may have caused a wreck with injury. Appeal after cyclist injured This is another case where LEO is getting it right, at least so far. With UK media laws it is sometimes hard to tell if the LEO are actually enforcing the laws.

A cyclist is killed outside a pub near Oxford. Cyclist killed in Burcot crash from the comments section it appears the speed limit there is poorly enforced where it is needed most.

A needed reminder that life is often messy, even when it’s good. Enjoy life’s ride through the mud I’m sorry over the author’s loss of his friend, who died because of a motor vehicle.

And from my co-worker in Denver comes a reminder that helmets are not a panacea against having a wreck. Motorcycle safety is the responsibility of the rider, not the nanny state Remember to ride responsibly, and keep a sharp lookout for idiots that want to kill you or who don’t care if they kill you. It’s the same on 2 wheels regardless of the size of the motor or even if there’s a motor.

And that’s all today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Wasn’t this one of the signs of the apocalypse?

Another strange one this morning. I mean really strange, Bizzaro strange, world upside down strange. I think we might be seeing signs of the Second Coming. Two drivers have gotten tickets for hitting cyclists in the same week. Yes, I know, that’s impossible, but it happened. I covered the one yesterday, and I have another today. I never thought it could happen.

And getting to that miracle first is this report from IA. Cyclist injured after being hit by truck The driver got a ticket for careless driving when he went into the bike lane and hit a cyclist. Was the LEO drunk or something? All kidding aside this is some of the best news I have read that had someone injured in it. I mean sure it sucks to have been the guy that got hit but it has to make it hurt that tiny bit less that the driver that hit him was given a ticket. I know that being hit-and-run and the driver escaping did nothing for my disposition during my recovery. And many if not most drivers that hit cyclists in TX never get a ticket or any other prosecution even when it’s blatantly obvious the driver was at fault. To have two reports in two days of drivers getting tickets, well it just astounds me. I’m speechless but obviously I can still type.

Chattanooga is still trying to educate drivers about where cyclists should be (on the roads) and sometimes the cyclists themselves aren’t too clear on the concept. Chattanooga: Cycling safely Articles like this remind me we still have a long way to go to get back to where we were as cyclists in the 1960s when it was recognized that bicycles were road vehicles with a right to use the roads.

The survivors of a victim of vehicular homicide are using the courts to extract some kind of justice from the situation. Bike fatality on Route 111 is subject of suit If LEO would do their jobs and arrest and prosecute drivers that kill cyclists there would be a lot fewer survivors having to seek justice in civil courts.

And finally from Jolly Olde comes another salvo in the helmet wars. Helmet-wearing issue is brought to a head again I’m getting tired of the same old arguments about saving one life yadda yadda yadda. Has anyone stopped to think about if that one life is worth saving? If fatal brain injury is reduced to catastrophic brain injury that counts as a life saved, but aside from breathing and growing moss on his north side can that person actually do anything? Was that life really saved? What about my case, where I was a spoken word poet and a computer help desk operator before the wreck and barely able to speak at times after the wreck? The life I have now is nothing like the life I had before, does that count as a life saved? US helmets are basically designed for a 12.5 MPH impact and become less and less effective above that speed becoming basically useless at impact speeds above 20 MPH, and do nothing to prevent rotational injury to the brain which can be much harder to detect and much worse for the social functioning of the person carrying the brain around. In fact the soft shells of the majority of bicycle helmets sold in the US actually contribute to rotational injury in cases where the head gets a glancing blow. The skull remains intact but the brain gets Osterized (and I know that’s an obsolete term, that’s what Google is for, look it up). Well folks the UK standard is even weaker than the US’. So what are they thinking about when they call for styrofoam hats to solve the problem of cars hitting cyclists?

And that’s all I have this morning, maybe more later.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another huge Feed

Today was another huge Feed with a pretty decent signal to noise ratio and a minimal number of dead motorcyclists. As much as I hate saying so in this blog I have as much sympathy for the scoot riders as I do for bicycle riders, even though some of you scoot pilots treat me personally about the same as many car drivers. But under the law proposed in TX you and we fall under the same classification when we are on the roads, vulnerable road users. As do everyone on foot regardless of how they got there, those riding horses, riding in horse drawn wagons or buggies, or driving open farm equipment. Everyone that uses the roads with potentially nothing between you and another vehicle in a wreck but your clothes is a vulnerable road user.

Up first today is another report of a driver getting a ticket for hitting a cyclist when not impaired by drugs or alcohol. Steamboat briefs: Woman receives citation after accident with cyclist That’s 2 weeks in a row that a driver has gotten a ticket for injuring a cyclist, that has to be some kind of a record. As for how you can avoid the same kind of wreck, well in this case you can’t. The cyclist was already using his escape route and was as far over as he could get when the driver hit him from behind, that’s one of the reasons she got the ticket. Sometimes you can be doing everything absolutely right and still get hit. For grins and giggles you can use the link to the original story on the right hand side of the article and read the anti-bicycle rantings of a certain driver who already has multiple major tickets and who was posting under his real name. Guess what is going to happen the next time he so much as buzzes a cyclist?

Another SoCal hit-and-run. Driver sought in Antioch hit-and-run that injured bicyclist From the description of the wreck, the cyclist was turning right when the driver turned left and hit him as they turned into the same lane. This is what we call a left cross wreck, where the driver failed to yield right of way to the cyclist as required by law or regulation in most states including CA. A great deal about this wreck is unknown to us mere mortals who write the news and comments, like if the driver was signaling or if the cyclist signaled his turn, but the cyclist’s signal would not have made any difference because the driver still was required to wait until the cyclist had cleared the intersection before turning. As before to avoid this kind of wreck you must always leave yourself an escape route and be willing to use it if drivers do something unexpected like turning into you at an intersection.

Still in SoCal, the OC to be precise, a man is hit by a right-turning vehicle while riding his trike through an intersection. Man killed while riding trike identified From witness descriptions of the intersection this guy never had a chance, as construction completely blocked his view of traffic and vice versa. Sometimes you end up in situations like this because of other’s stupidity or disregard. The only thing I can say about it is to get clear of the situation as quickly as possible when you can make certain that the way is clear. From the description of the other vehicle it wouldn’t have made any difference for the driver if the construction hadn’t been there as his vehicle had enormous blind spots up close and would not have been able to see the adult tricycle.

And a kid gets hit by a truck in MI. West Michigan cyclist, 12, killed by pickup truck There isn’t enough from the article to say what happened or how to avoid it, neither was there enough to say if a helmet would have made any difference.

Updating a report from earlier this week on a wreck Monday evening. FHP Indentifies Bicyclist Killed In Crash Additional information indicates that reduced visibility at the time of the wreck may have been involved in the cyclist’s decision to cross at that moment.

Police Chief suffers an “Oops!” moment while on a charity ride. Fall cuts short charity bike ride for North Miami Beach police chief Pack riding takes additional skills not picked up during solo rides, and as pointed out in the article the physical demands of riding can diminish one’s situational awareness, even for experienced riders.

Another lawyer choosing after the fact protection over before the wreck prevention. Wearing a Bicycle Helmet May Save Your Life if You are in a Bicycle Accident Helmets can save lives, but don’t depend on them.

Another person mistakes wearing a helmet for doing something about bicycle safety. A plea for bicycle safety The report also mis-states the stop as yield law pending before the Oregon legislature. The law allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields slowing to check for traffic and then riding through if clear, or stopping completely if not clear. You know, the way most people in cars treat them most of the time.

And from Jolly Olde comes the first of our reports on wrecks with no information. Cyclist seriously injured in Digmoor Road collision UK media laws can be so bothersome to those of us who need the information to protect our readers.

Some good news is that killing a cyclist will still get you a ticket in the UK. Man on crash charge after boy is killed Still nothing about the actual mechanics of the wreck to tell you how to avoid.

And finally another one gets jail for killing a cyclist. Jail for driver who left fatally injured cyclist in road I’m not sure if they are giving him the jail time for killing the cyclist or for hit-and-run, but he’s going to jail, that’s good enough for me.

More later as it comes in.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another wild and wacky Feed

Not much in the feed today, well actually there was a lot in the Feed, just not much that was applicable to this blog. Lance Armstrong broke his collarbone, painful for Lance but as it happened in a race and not out on the roads training it doesn’t matter for us, and articles about Lance’s collarbone were about half the Feed.

One article that superficially doesn’t have much bearing on us as cyclists actually has a great insight on the thought processes (such as they are) of legislators. Helmet act in memory of young rider advances Yes they are talking about making helmets mandatory when riding a horse! How many people are killed each year in falls from horses? What is the statistical exposure? Does the small amount of death that results from people falling off horses justify requiring helmets every time you ride? And what level of protection is going to be required? A bicycle helmet is barely enough protection to justify its existence for bicyclists, and a fall from a horse generates 4 times the forces on the head (speed when falling increases as the square of height discounting aerodynamic drag), so that’s obviously not the helmet to use. Motorcycle helmets would fall within the level of protection but would they be too hot to wear? Polo helmets were designed to equestrian levels of protection but do they come with certification? And how much do polo helmets cost?

More on Matt Lauer’s run-in with a deer. Matt Lauer injured in bicycle accident Matt needs to work on his panic stop techniques or start riding a recumbent.

There were already 2 cyclists injured in or near Steamboat Springs CO, and at least the media is concerned about it. 2 cyclists hurt this month Aside from mis-stating the language of the law, the old “as far right as possible” as opposed to the legal language “as far right as practicable” (emphasis mine) the article isn’t too bad. At least one of the commenters has a severe case of car-head implying that drivers of cars will not slow down even if it means killing someone on the roads to not slow down.

And finally we have another report on that driver that got a ticket for hitting a cyclist in TX a little old but still important. Cyclist injured in traffic accident I still love reading about this, not that I love reading about the injured cyclist, but that the driver will be punished. That is so rare in TX.

And that’s all for today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Wild, weird, and deadly Feed

The evening Feed had some interesting reports. Also some disturbing stuff from MD and FL.

The “interesting” part was Today show host Matt Lauer getting hit by a deer while he was out riding. OH, DEER! MATT’S BICYCLE BANG-UP Yes, you have to watch out for them deer, they’re sneaky illegitimate children, hiding in the ditch and waiting for unsuspecting cyclists so they could jump out and knock them down.

From MD comes a report on their attempt to pass a 3 foot passing law. ‘Dweeby,’ yes, ‘obnoxious,’ a few, but cyclists need that buffer Apparently they need better PR to go with that 3 foot passing law.

And FL kills another one. Bicyclist killed crossing Orange Blossom Trail I don’t know what to say about this one as it appears to be infrastructure related, and also stupidity related on the cyclist’s part. Cross at intersections, not mid-block. There was a light controlled intersection just a couple hundred yards away from the wreck site. You can see the crosswalk sign in the background of the picture with the article.

And that’s all.

Billed @$.02, Opus

More stuff from the cyclists’ world

OK that headline is a work in progress. I have to make this quick as I have been asking for 3 years now for my wife to clear away the furniture and junk from in front of my workbench in the garage and I find that she is trying to throw away my parts and supplies because they’re “junk” that I haven’t done anything with in years. Duh! I haven’t been able to get to someplace to work with them in 4 or 5 years since somebody came in and dumped a ton of stuff on and in front of my workbench in the guise of “cleaning up”. Also I have to keep her from putting the stuff that would be illegal toxic waste in the landfill into the garbage can instead of sending it to the recyclers to be legally disposed of.

Up first from the US is a man riding a single-speed cruiser bike across the country to raise awareness for brain injuries, like the injury I have. Man to raise awareness for brain injuries The first several crossings of the US by bicycle were done with single speeds, so it can be done, and there was even some people that did the RAAM on fixies. If he makes it he will be extremely fit. As to whether or not he makes it that will be mostly up to him and if he can maintain his health that long.

Next up is a report from South Africa on the difficulty of using a bicycle as transportation in that country. Terror on two wheels It seems in every Anglophone country bicycles are treated as toys, or something “Other People” use, rendering their operators as less than human. At least I know it isn’t confined to TX.

And from Oz is a story of a driver backing out of their driveway without looking and injuring a teen cyclist. Cyclist hospitalised after crash

And that’s the Feed for today.

Billed @$.02, Opus