Monthly Archives: May 2009

Still plugging along, the Sunday Feed

Well we have an interesting report for today. The thermometer in the room is reading 90 Fahrenheit, down from 91 last hour, so I’m having to pace myself as I type because of the heat put off by the computer. But enough about my miserable working conditions, you’re here to read about bicycles and the bicycling lifestyle, not how much I’m sweating doing it.

The big story for today was a SWSS in NC. Bicyclist killed near Mebane and Bicyclist Killed In Orange County Accident also Bicyclist killed in wreck near Mebane Even assuming the report from the driver was accurate, there are several reasons to give shoulder cyclists as much clearance as is safely possible because “stuff” that collects on the shoulder may cause the rider to move over to the travel lane.

The other big story for today is a teenager involved in a SWCC. 15yearold bicyclist killed near Mankato and Bicyclist killed in Blue Earth County, Minn. No outside witnesses so as far as I’m concerned this is still unsolved.

Ideas on how drivers should behave around cyclists from a paper in Marin CA. Kim Baenisch: Injured cyclist a tragic reminder There wasn’t much the cyclist could have done in this one as the driver was impaired by drugs and not in control over the car. The suggestions for drivers would be helpful if drivers first believe that cyclists have a right to be on the roads.

A charity group gives away helmets to prevent brain injury. Good news, Got helmet? At least they didn’t make it sound like wearing a helmet would prevent a wreck, just mitigate brain damage if there was a wreck.

A multiple report story from Jolly Olde. Cyclist killed in car crash and from the Beebe Cyclist dies after car collision Typical UK reporting.

An update on an earlier report from Enn Zed. Police name cyclist killed in collision Still not much on the mechanism of the wreck has been released.

Third world transit systems take their toll in human lives. 34 injured in accidents Trying to not kill a cyclist he didn’t see until too late and he injures 30 passengers instead. For India this was a smart move as had he hit the cyclist his passengers may have beaten him to a bloody pulp.

And that’s all I have today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

More “stuff” happened pt. M

For those of you that clicked on this a while back and found nothing I apologize for hitting the wrong key and accidentally creating an empty post.

More “stuff” happened today, with much of it updates to earlier reports or reports that were created at the same time as articles linked here earlier but not showing up in my Feed until now.

Another article where the facts were not known prior to putting the article up, and more example of car-head thinking. Bicyclist hit by car, injured The sentence structure in this article makes it seem that cars are autonomous instead of in the control of a human being who might be at fault in the wreck. But there isn’t enough information in the article to say what happened except that it was at an intersection where a rider’s situational awareness must be at maximum and in 360 degrees, because threats are on all sides.

From NoCal comes another story about a “fixie” rider that failed to control the speed of the bike. Fixie Rider Injured I have nothing against using 19th century technology where applicable, but there is a learning curve involved with this type bicycle that must be at least covered to the point of flattening out before attempting to ride in traffic. Not to put too fine a point on it, but situations like this one are part of the reason brakes and freewheels were invented.

Another hit-and-run in Tucson. 55-year-old killed in hit-and-run This is another report about the driver weaving through traffic and driving on the shoulder where the cyclist was riding. Again this is a hard one to avoid as the driver apparently was making sudden lane changes for several miles and either just happened to make the lane change into the cyclist, or maybe decided to “teach the cyclist a lesson” and drove at him on the shoulder and hit instead of buzzing. Either way it was deliberate and a crime, and nearly impossible to avoid.

Another report on the Misty Bassi wreck in MA. Amherst woman killed while cycling From the article there is a bike path in the area going to the same place as the cyclist, but for some reason (length of ride, not happy going over to the path when the destination is on the road?) the cyclist was where she got hit. This does not absolve the driver of one iota of guilt for hitting the cyclist.

A report from Enn Zed about a bicycle/truck contretemps. Cyclist killed in collision with truck Once again the story came before the facts came out, so aside from noting the death there is nothing to see here.

Police start ticketing cyclists in Vancouver BC. Police campaign targets careless cyclists in Vancouver I’m of two minds on this issue, one the one side this is like reducing rape by writing tickets for women wearing “immodest” clothing. But on the other hand, there are laws controlling behavior on the roads, to which cyclists are still subject.

My colleague at the Denver branch of examiner.com expounded on getting back on the bike after an injury. Getting back on the bike after a serious injury I found nothing in the article that I could seriously disagree with, all the information was accurate and factual.

One of my favorite authors pens a epitaph for the US auto industry. The End of the Affair I can remember when driving was still fun, and not just another job that had to be done to do all the other jobs we needed to do. That is what killed cars, when driving became just something else that had to be done to get other things done. Even when my job was driving, delivering pizza in a semi-rural area near Nashville TN, I still was having fun behind the wheel. But as roads became more crowded, and tempers got shorter, driving became less and less fun and more a chore. By 1995 I had totally fallen out of love with cars. Well, not totally, but let’s just say that there were irreconcilable differences that led to a breakup.

And that’s all there is today. I’m going for a ride in the sunshine.

Billed @$.02, Opus

May His Noodley Appendage protect you

Yes, this is another post for all the people searching for a FSM cycling jersey and getting sent here. I’m trying to find someone to design the jersey, as I’m a writer and a metal worker, not a graphic designer. If you’re a graphic designer and need a project, here it is. I only ask that I get the first one off the line that will fit my 48″ chest. One one side you need a Pirate Fish, and on the other you need His Noodley Benevolence, and somewhere you need to put an Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Another light Feed day, and click my button

Yes, I’m still trying to get you to click my button and help me win a new bike so I can help out around the house by picking up things from the store. Also check out the bikes they have to sell, pretty please?

The Feed was practically weightless this morning, and I had a choice to either leave in some of the more fluffy pieces, or not have anything to link to in the post today. I will tell you in the sentence I put the link in if I consider something to be “fluffy” or not. Except for one article that is, which while I consider it to be “fluffy” I also consider it to be worth reading because of my personal history.

Maybe a little fluffy, not hard news but still of importance for cyclists is this report of a Ghost Bike installation. Ghost Bike Memorial Created for Eagle Cyclist If you’re reading this it’s probably too late for the memorial ride at 1:45 this afternoon, if it isn’t get thee hence.

A cyclist is struck by an ATV while on a segregated bike trail in OH. Local bicyclist injured in Ohio accident Why was there an ATV with 2 riders on a bike trail? To avoid a similar wreck set up an idiot-proof shield around your bike. Seriously, I don’t know what to do to prevent this, the ATV was in an area where it was not legally allowed to be, doing things it should not have been doing, going too fast for conditions.

I’m more than a little confused about this one in Canadia. Cyclist badly injured after hitting van in west-end bike lane The only thing that can be determined from this report is that the van turned into the cyclist, but I can’t tell if it turned left from the opposite direction or passed the cyclist and turned right I don’t know, both types of wreck were given in the article. I think the van was turning left and the cyclist turned right to avoid it and other traffic, but that is a guess based on the poorly written story and my psychic powers. Journalists are not supposed to use psychic powers even if we have them because the information gained thereby is not verifiable. But assuming I have given the correct interpretation of the incident the cyclist in this case did the correct thing by turning right to minimize conflict, but he didn’t cut the turn tight enough to eliminate a collision.

A UK story that has me scratching my head even more than usual. Knebworth cyclist injured in crash The victim was found outside a big-box retailer on a main road, but almost lying in the doorway of the store. How does a cyclist end up with severe head injuries and wind up in front of the entrance to a store after getting hit by a car? The question boggles the mind. Especially when they had the driver and the car that was used to hit the cyclist.

And if you’re in the area this would be a good place to go. Events planned to help ‘Wounded Warriors’ Yes, I’m a veteran, and yes I think this would be a “Good Thing” to do. Think of it as a mitzva.

Now, go click my button some more, I really want that bike.

Billed @$.02, Opus

My new button, get me a new bike

In the sidebar to the right you will see a new button with a logo. If you click that enough you will provide me with a new bicycle, suitable for hauling things around like mass quantities of groceries. Trust me on this one, it’s a cute bike, if you like the long, husky look on a bike. I don’t get bikes for their looks, I get them because they can move me, or in this case a couple weeks worth of groceries including the frozen foods and the big bags of cat food and kitty litter. With that kind of cargo capacity it could look like Quasimodo in drag and I would still ride it.

And if you click this link MADSEN Cargo Bikes I’ll get another chance at the bike. While you are there take a look at the bike(s) and check out the cargo capacity of one

Updates and new reports, still Feedy

Yes, we have some updates on old stories and some new stuff, but it’s all “Feedy” for your perusal.

Update on the KC MO ht-and-run on the Interstate. Bicyclist Hit and Killed Identified as Isle of Capri Casino Employee The truck driver thought he might have hit something, but there was no damage to the truck. I keep mentioning this in my postings here, but it bears repeating, big trucks have so much mass that they can destroy a small building and never know it or show any damage themselves. That still doesn’t absolve the driver in this case, but I give him credit for coming back when he heard there had been a wreck in the area where he thought he might have hit something.

Another update, this one on the cyclist killed in Amherst MA. Parvin Niroomand of Amherst to face vehicular homicide charge in death of bicyclist Misty Bassi So now we know the cyclist was hit head-on by a vehicle crossing the centerline, which is almost always a non-survivable wreck. Hell, it’s low-survivable in a car, on a bicycle it’s homicide, as per the charges filed.

You have to read all the way to the bottom of the article, but a kid on a bike was hit when someone failed to stop at an intersection with poor sight lines. Teen injured in collision One thing I do know is the brakes on the bicycle should have been maintained better, as the cyclist admited that the brakes did not work when called upon to stop the bike. This is what the ABC check before riding is supposed to catch, the “B” is for “brakes”.

The cyclist in this wreck got everything but the license number of the car that hit him/her. Cyclist injured in hit-and-run collision I mean really, you saw the driver had a reddish beard, but missed the plate number? And cherries hanging from the rear view mirror but no model on the car? I guess it just goes to show what the mind fixes on during times of crisis. Unfortunately the article didn’t give any kind of mechanism for the wreck which means I can’t tell you how to avoid a similar wreck except to stay away from 4-door Hyundais in London, Ontario.

And our last wreck report is from the UK, and you know what that means. [rant]Why does the UK media interpret the laws against details in criminal cases to prevent them from doing their duty in reporting how a traffic wreck occurred? By withholding such information they prevent their citizenry from learning how to avoid a similar situation should they be faced with it in the future.[/rant] Cyclist injured in collision on Knutsford Road, Latchford And someone desperately needs to make http tags that let people know about sarcasm, rants, and hissy fits.

A bike rodeo that didn’t have helmets as the sum total of the safety message, run by a bike shop, naturally. Rocky’s, firefighters stress bicycle safety awareness Yes, when a bike shop runs the bike rodeo the bikes are checked first to make sure they are safe before the rider gets on, and helmets are mentioned prominently but they are not the sole message. The rider up the road from me in OK needed this message.

And a significant boost for cyclists’ rights from NY. Court Rules Bicycling Is a ‘Leisure’ Activity, Finds No Assumption of Risk In a nutshell the court said that riding a bicycle on the roads is a leisure activity like driving to watch the leaves change color in the fall, and not always a “sporting activity”. Therefore cyclists have an expectation that roads will be maintained in a safe condition for their use. The case in question involved what was essentially a trap for bicycles and motorcycles when a partial paving job left a 1″ high ledge running down the right hand side of the road, low side to the right.

A non-bike note, with “funny because it’s true”. Non Sequitur 5/28/09

And that’s all I have for you today, more when I get it.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Getting back to “normal”

Well now that the holiday is passed and the RoS in the rear view also the Feed is at its normal levels both in volume and stupidity. As unbelievable as it might sound we have not one but 2 stories today in which the driver left the scene knowing he had hit somebody on a bicycle and admitted as much to LEO and the drivers were NOT immediately clapped in cuffs and hauled off to the hoosegow, but were allowed to remove the weapons from the scene. “I know I shot that woman standing on the side of the road, but I was scared and didn’t have my cell on me.””That’s OK son, take the gun and go home.”

Up first, a sidewalk cyclist is hit and severely injured by a driver that did not look before pulling out over the sidewalk. Bicyclist knocked from bike, dragged under car The irony of this report is the same drivers complaining about cyclists on the roads getting in the way also complained about the cyclist that got hit on the sidewalk getting in the way. As for how you can avoid a similar fate, well number one don’t ride on the sidewalk, and two don’t ride the wrong way on a one-way street. Had the cyclist been riding in the street a block north or south of this street then this wreck would have been averted.

A MA cyclist died and nobody wants to say what happened. Bicyclist killed in car accident At this point all that is known is the victim died, and apparently the car was driving by itself as the driver was not identified, or even mentioned. Darn DARPA to heck! for making cars that drive themselves.

The first of the stories on drivers that hit-and-run and are them allowed to take the car with them when they return. Bicyclist Struck, Killed By Vehicle Yes this is an update on a story I posted here yesterday, and they still haven’t said if the cyclist was even on the road at the time she was hit. One thing that the local commenters agree on was that traffic routinely exceeds the speed limit in the area after dark with one person saying 6o MPH on the 25 MPH limit street was common. At this point it’s no wonder that LEO don’t know if the victim was even on the street when she was hit.

The other hit-and-run. Bicyclist killed in hit & run At this time I can’t tell you how the cyclist was hit or why they shut down an Interstate to investigate the wreck, although the location indicated that the cyclist may have been trying to cross the river into the MO side of KC. Bike and pedestrian access in the area is very poor with no dedicated crossings or even non-highway crossings.

The home of The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) sees a cyclist and a motorcyclist killed in separate crashes. Bicyclist, motorcyclist killed in crashes The cyclist killed was a SWCC who was hit twice, once by an eastbound and then a secondary collision with a westbound vehicle. Only the driver of the first vehicle was named. The motorcyclist was killed by a left cross, something we all share as a hazard of riding 2 wheels rather than 4.

An update on a wreck from last week in Canuckistan, still with little information. Cyclist killed on 232nd Street From the information in this article it might have been a hit from behind wreck.

A cyclist is involved in a single vehicle wreck in Scotland. Bridge parapet fall hurts cyclist Another apparent case of too fast for conditions, only this time it was the cyclist’s fault (couldn’t have been anybody else’s fault, nobody else was there).

A cyclist is hit in Jolly Olde. Cyclist injured in crash Well more than a typical UK report, but still not much.

More Ghost Bikes going up in Boise ID. Boise cyclists erect memorials for crash victims For those not keeping up there were 2 cyclists killed right before the RoS last week in Boise.

A comparison of helmet laws for motorcyclists and bicyclists from state to state. How much wind is in your hair depends on the state you’re in I’m sure they could save even more lives by banning cars, but see how fast that happens.

A colleague on examiner.com tries to find bicycle insurance with as much luck as I had. Bicycle accident insurance in America For those of you living in TX the only insurance a cyclist without a car can get is agreed-upon coverage, basically a straight out bet that if you get hit your bills will be paid to a certain limit, generally a rather low limit with lots of deductions. There are not many companies offering this coverage and I’m not going to tell you which ones are because the premiums stink compared to the payouts.

A columnist with the Huffington Post compares cars with tobacco. Cars Are Like Cigarettes; The New Pariah OK a little extreme, maybe? Cars kill other people, mainly. Tobacco kills the user, mainly. That makes tobacco less bad than cars? More bad, because tobacco has no useful purpose? and the columnist makes no distinction between side-effect death caused by cars (pollution, loss of habitat) with primary effect death caused by cars (getting run over). The comments section is hilarious, between the “You’ll get my car keys when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers” crowd and the “Save the planet, kill your lazy fat American ass” crowd. Nothing like reasoned discourse, eh? 🙂

And close to home, the “Safe Passing Bill” has made it through the Texas Senate and House and is in conference to reconcile the differences between the bill passed by the Senate and the House amendments. Texas Legislature Online

And that’s it for today, grass needs cutting and bikes need riding.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Post-Memorial Day mayhem minimal

Lots of “m”s in that headline. Not many out on bicycles over the weekend I guess because there were few squished cyclists in the Feed today. Most of the Feed consisted of opinion pieces and infrastructure articles, and sometimes both in one.

The “big” story today was a 19YO that was hit-and-run by what witnesses said was a taxi. Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run crash and Bicyclist, 19, injured in hit-run on Elmwood There shouldn’t be too many taxi companies in that city with red and white lettering, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the vehicle and from that the perp. No word on the mechanism of the wreck, so I can’t tell you how to avoid it.

An “Arkie” gets hit-and-run, but they caught the guy a little later. Bicycle rider struck and killed At this point they don’t even know if the cyclist was even on the road when he was hit and killed. So, what’s the going price on a pack of rabid wolverines to put in the pit with the guy that hit the cyclist?

The cop that killed a kid and then left the scene has his bail set at $2M. Chicago cop in fatal hit-and-run case: Bail set at $2 million This cop was accused of so many violations that he may never get on the road as a driver again.

A cyclist is killed in South Africa. Top PE cyclist killed At this point LEO are not releasing any details about the wreck.

The first of our infrastructure/opinion pieces, this one for PA. Bike safety paramount for all ages There is a link to relevant laws in the article (if you pursue it far enough) and nothing that will get you in trouble either with LEO or with cars on the roads. There is some good advice in the article, but nothing regular readers of my blog or the bike wreck thread on BikeJournal.com wouldn’t already know.

Another opinion piece on bike lanes. Middleburg Heights cyclist who bikes to work sees danger in bike lanes Lessee, build new infrastructure, or teach people how to use the infrastructure you already have safely? Seems like a “no-brainer” to me, but them I come from a long line of Scotsmen.

An opinion article that ignores 27 years of hard data in favor of the writer’s sense of fairness. Bicycling: “Idaho Stop” bill could have fatal consequences

An article on my favorite class of bicycles all the way up in AK (Alaska). Easy riders Yes I know Gigi (photo at top of page) isn’t a ‘bent, but recumbents are my favorite type of bicycle. I have ridden my 1983 RANS Stratus on trips of over 300 miles, and more than 120 miles in a single day, without getting anything worse than tired. I have also had days when I rubbed the skin off where I broke my coccyx back in college and it healed back crooked, but that was after 100 miles out of 158 on the second day of a 250 mile trip. I wouldn’t ride any other kind of bike for a really long trip, not even Gigi, who starts getting hard on the tush after about 20 miles and 50 is about the practical limit.

And that’s all I have for today, more tomorrow.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another easy Feed, and a rant (yay!)

I know many of you enjoy the rants I sometimes post when I’m not feeling overwhelmed by the death and destruction. Well I have another rant coming on today…

Speaking of rants, here’s another person trying to restrict the right of travel for cyclists. Rant Bicycles in the City: Licence and Insure The author is trying to conflate the hazard of multi-ton steel boxes traveling at speeds over 30 MPH with bicycles that weigh less than a tenth of that that on a good day can get up to 30 MPH but are normally traveling at less than 20 MPH. The likelihood of getting killed by a bicycle as a pedestrian is such that there were fewer documented cases worldwide of a pedestrian getting killed by a bicyclist than there were pedestrians killed by cars in NYC.

Our only other story from North America is a report on the benefits of bicycle riding. 95 Year Old Bicycle Rider Even starting late in life riding a bicycle can extend your life and keep you healthy longer, assuming of course that you don’t get hit with a car driven by a cranky old guy from NYC.

A cyclist is hurt in Jolly Olde. Cyclist injured in collision And no you know all there is to know about the wreck. Did I mention that I hate UK media laws?

A jeep (jeepny?) loses control and hits a cyclist in the landing zone of the crash. Biker killed, 2 hurt by wayward jeep This is a case where the wreck started behind the cyclist and ended up on top of him, not something you can do anything about as a cyclist.

[rant]I’m reading a lot of anti-bike blather on the intertubes about bike clothes, and why can’t they wear regular clothing. I never read about how you can’t dig ditches wearing a coat and tie, or scrub a bathroom in pearls and high heels, because people realize that for everyday activities you can’t wear dressy clothing. Well riding a bicycle is a physical activity that requires clothing that is appropriate for physical activity. Even bike people that rant about spandex turn right around and sell special clothing for riding bicycles. Special clothes for riding? Basically all this guy is doing is substituting wool with a more relaxed non-aero fit for synthetics that fit closer to the body. Well I’m going to come out and say that sometimes I wear spandex when I ride, Sometimes I wear wool socks, and sometimes I wear baggy nylon mesh shorts when I ride. I have some baggy moisture wicking T-shirts that I wear as often as I can get away with. Basically I wear clothing that is appropriate to exert myself in during the weather I’m riding in, and to the distance I plan on riding.[/rant]

Billed @$.02, Opus

Finally a lower weight Feed

After Feeds that have busted the 5000 character limit where I post the North American portion of these blog posts to their wreck thread on bikejournal.com, I have a full Feed that has only 5 articles in it. This is bliss to me. No endless lists of dead or injured cyclists that I can’t do anything more than just note the name and the wreck, and move on to the next name. They deserve better treatment than that, and not being able to do that for them eats at me.

What I hope are the final RoS links for this year. Ride of Silence honors cycling’s fallen, injured and Twin Cities Ride of Silence remembers cyclists killed in road accidents I hope this ride, and the Ride in general, will raise awareness for cyclists’ rights to the roads.

Another hit-and-run in FL. Tallahassee bicyclist injured after hit-and-run At least this rider survived his wreck, many in FL don’t survive. The driver in this wreck was “buzzing” the cyclist, and hit him with the passenger side mirror.

They almost got Boris in London. London Mayor Nearly Killed While Cycling If you look at the video a passing truck has a loose door that catches a parked car and slings it over the cyclists as it passes them. Fortunately London has good surveillance cameras especially when there is a government official out on the town. No word yet on what will happen to the truck driver.

Finishing off with a “feel good” story from OR. Get giddy over that new bike I remember my last “new” bike from when I finished building up Gigi, but actually none of the last few bikes I have had have been “new” new, but they were new to me. Need a “pick me up”? Buy a new bike or save an old one from the dump.

And that’s everything today, I’m going to watch some racing on the idiot box.

Billed @$.02, Opus