Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sturgeon’s Law applies to the population in general, too, and the Feed

I know that the pronouncement in the headline will go right over the heads of many of my readers, but I don’t care. For those of you interested you can look up Theodore Sturgeon in the Wikipedia. If you’re really interested you can do a follow-up on Kilgore Trout and Kurt Vonnegut. That literary journey of discovery will place you square in the middle of Wonderland, enjoy.

Up first because it’s closest is a wreck in Houston. Cyclist, 68, struck by car in fatal NW Harris crash I noticed that many papers have disabled their comments sections when reporting a bicycle wreck in their online editions. That saves a lot of agita for me. This wreck seems very well defined, the car ignored a traffic control and hit the cyclist in the intersection, the driver is expected to be charged after the grand jury hears the case. I fully expect this case will not languish because of the close relationship between the decedent and a member of the 4th estate.

In ID a driver is jailed for hitting a cyclist while driving drunk, before he sobered up. Caldwell man charged after car hits, injures cyclist The driver was jailed on charges of aggravated driving under the influence until his case can be heard and bound over for bail/bond. Why can’t TX do that? Why can’t AZ do that?

Another trial over injury to a cyclist that took even longer than TTTWLAMWAMD to come to trial. It’s been a long road to trial in cyclist’s death This was a homicide, the other case was a simple case of assault with a deadly weapon, and yet in spite of the evidence in this case it still has taken more than a year to come to trial. The wait must have been terrible for the family of the victim.

In UT a cyclist asks that drivers hang up and drive. Bicyclist’s instruction Don’t read the comments section, while there is some sentience in there the babbling of the semi-sentient will drive you insane.

In Enn Zed they are cranking up their warm months campaign to alert drivers that there are other people on the roads besides people driving cars. Share the road this Summer Equally, cyclists are very vulnerable and the road can be a scary place if you don’t have the protective shell of a car body. Amen Brutha’! Also, as cyclists we need to obey traffic controls, even when they don’t make a lot of sense for bicycles, and work on legislators to get traffic rules that make sense for cyclists and drivers, even if that will require making different rules for drivers and cyclists.

Another “Share the roads” event, in Oz this time. Riders pedal message to share the road Again the comments section ruins a perfectly good article.

Even in South Africa they are having issues with drivers that don’t want to give up an inch of their precious pavement to other road users. Appeal over Tour training as cyclist killed You have to do a couple of page downs to get to the actual article as there is some kind of issue with the layout in FF or Opera. I don’t have IE because I have a Linux system so I can’t tell you how it looks on that browser. The fact that cycling clubs are leasing race tracks to train because the roads are too dangerous should be a wake up call to the politicians that something needs to be done, ASAP if not sooner.

A motorcycle/bicycle wreck in Nepal kills the motorcycle rider and severely injures his passenger and the cyclist. One killed in Saptari This is one of the few wreck modes where the cyclist is on even terms with a motor vehicle operator in terms of relative injury. In the long run that makes motorcycle operators our allies in the battle to make roads safer.

And an article about something very close to the author of this blog, brain injury. Changed in a moment: Inside the lives of those living with brain injury Yes I have a brain injury, no you can’t tell from my blog. I have a permanent limp, that I try very hard to disguise and mostly succeed in doing so. I have aphasia when I speak, so sometimes my speech is slow and halting. I have anger issues and poor anger control; if you make me mad I will let you know about it in no uncertain terms if I can get the words to come out.

And that’s all I have for today, it’s such a nice day out I think I’ll go for a ride with Gigi.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another ginormous Feed, but not much to show for it

I had an enormous Feed to filter today, but not many articles about bicycles in it. What I did have was massive numbers of articles on people named Rider getting killed or injured by various means. It was really absurd after a while, all these articles about people with either the first or last name “Rider” getting killed or injured, most by some interaction with a motor vehicle but a couple of them were just weird, like the guy that broke his ankle kicking field goals I think at some park, but it might have been a Jr. High athletic field.

Up first because something had to be is an update on the cyclist killed in Yuma AZ while riding in the bike lane. No charges filed yet in cyclist’s death Apparently in AZ you can kill cyclists with impunity as long as you are not drunk or taking drugs, as that is the holdup on filing charges in this case. It doesn’t matter if you are driving in the bike lane when you hit a cyclist from behind as long as you are not chemically impaired when you do it. Neither does it matter if you cross the centerline to hit a cyclist head on, so long as you are not chemically impaired, and you are passing another vehicle without crossing a double yellow line. TANJ! What you can do as a cyclist in the same situation, try to angle your body so that you go through the windshield and take out the driver, because that will be the only retribution you get in AZ.

A spate of cyclists getting killed in the downstate NY area. Teenage Long Island bicyclist killed in collision; third common case in six weeks Looking through the wrecks in question there is a common thread that the light was green for the motor vehicle when the cyclist was hit, but when there was more than one witness the witness states the cyclist waited for a green light in their direction before proceeding. This sounds like a case of when the signal control detects a cyclist the light period is not long enough to get all the way across from a dead stop, so that by the time the cyclist gets to the far traffic lane the light has been green a few seconds already. You can imagine what happens next as motor vehicles see the green light but not the cyclist still in the intersection. I’m not sure what you can do to avoid a similar situation, as quick lights at night are all too common all over the US, there is one just down the street from me. It only picks up that I’m there about 1/3 of the time, and by the time I get to the far lane of the 5 in that intersection the light has already cycled through to green in the other direction.

This is one of those “don’t read the comments” articles as there were calls to kill all cyclists on the roads “made for cars”. Critical Mass cyclists to ride in honor of teen killed in accident The cyclist was hit from behind by a speeding driver and had all the lights and reflectors, and yet some bozo says there should be a bike curfew. I have a better suggestion, how about a car curfew to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of drunks and psychopaths? Bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles only between 11 PM and 5 AM. Does that make more sense than a bike curfew?

Another report on the CARnage in Toronto this week caused by bad weather and worse drivers. Four men seriously injured in four separate collisions Again they (the paper) blame the guy hit from behind by the van because he wasn’t wearing a helmet, what’s the deal here? Why not blame the guy that was driving too fast for conditions, like the police charged the driver.

A wreck involving a UK citizen that happened in South America. Driver at fault in crash that killed cyclist, say police At least they decided that as the case was out of UK jurisdiction the media laws that bound the paper did not apply in this case as there was no jury to contaminate prior to the trial that won’t be anywhere near the island of Jersey. But still they won’t even say what kind of wreck it was… 😛 Have I mentioned recently that I hate UK media laws (as can be seen by the fact I have a tag for it in my tag cloud)?

More on the female cyclist killed in London this week. Talented fashion student is 12th London cyclist killed this year So many female cyclists getting killed, all out of proportion to their numbers, what is the deal here?

Good news for cyclists and pedestrians in Austria. Cyclist and pedestrian death tolls down Whatever they are doing in Austria is what we need to be doing in Garland, as our cyclist death toll is way out of proportion to the number of cyclists… The entire country of Austria has only killed 36 cyclists this year, a 35% drop over the same period the year prior.

And finally, a good story about a cyclist injured in a pileup crash in a pack of cyclists. Jackson cyclist bounces back after injury I say from experience that facial injuries are a bear even when there isn’t massive amounts of pain involved.

And that’s all I have today. remember no post Sunday as I need some time away from the blog to remain sane.

Billed @$.02, Opus

This just in, driver hits cyclist and dies, cyclist not seriously injured

Just in from CA, a driver hit a cyclist then a tree and died from the injuries at the scene. Driver Dies After Colliding with Bike The cyclist sustained minor injuries.

OK that raises the drivers killed by cyclists world wide total to 3.5, giving the tree half credit on the kill, and the US total is 1.5. The ratio is still 700 : 1.5, with almost all the drivers killed also killing the cyclists except for the guy that hit the tree. Either we need to figure out how to kill these homicidal drivers without having deceased cyclists go through the windshield (the “normal” way for a cyclist to kill a driver) or we need to figure out how to prevent drivers from killing cyclists. I vote for the latter, less dead people is always better than killing people that killed other people.

PSA Opus

If I had any money I could have gone to the Black Friday sales, a Sunday weak Feed

Fortunately the nature of the US Thanksgiving holiday makes for very few drivers on the roads, which makes for very few cyclists getting hit yesterday.

From the US we don’t have anything, only one North American report on a cyclist rear ended in the fog in Toronto. Deadly week on GTA roads includes four fatalities Interestingly enough the cyclist that was rear-ended was not among the fatalities from that day, but I don’t know if he’s still alive today.

And from Jolly Olde, they killed another woman with a large vehicle, a bus this time. Cyclist in bus collision dies When I read about this wreck back when it first happened I was hopeful that we had a survivor, one of the few heavy vehicle/bicycle wrecks in London that didn’t kill the female victim. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive. I have nothing on this particular wreck, but what I know about the other wrecks is the majority are from heavy vehicles making left turns through the cyclist’s path, a Limey left hook (because they drive on the wrong side of the road) when the cyclist is stationary while waiting for a stop light. I don’t know how to fix that kind of wreck except to make turning across a cycle lane illegal, which will bollux up the works no end. That would be the equivalent in the US of making right on red illegal, and all right turns where there is a bike lane illegal. Think about how that will fly.

And that’s all there was today, yay! I like days that don’t have many killed or injured cyclists.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Before I eat turkey, here are a bunch of road turkeys, the Feed

For people living in the USA this is a major holiday. For the rest of you it’s Thursday, but today is the day we have set aside to reflect on our lives and to be thankful to whatever deity we follow.

This is what I’m thankful for. I’m first and foremost thankful that I’m alive and here to share “wit” and “wisdom” with you. I know I’m not always witty and that I’m frequently not wise, but I have my moments. I’m thankful I have a nice bike that I can use to move my butt and stuff that I need to move from place to place. I’m also very thankful for my church community without whom I would just be spending 24/7 at the house, making angry posts to this blog and nasty comments on other web sites about the evil things drivers do behind the wheels of their cars and trucks. They help keep me sane and mostly functional. I’m most thankful for the people around me that put up with the “stuff” I do as a result of the brain damage I have. I know I’m not easy to live with, but I’m very glad that there are people that choose to live with me, and that put up with the way I am.

Up first is an update on the Natick MA man that was dragged 860 feet (initially reported as 300 yards) and around the corner of an intersection. Natick police question injured bicycist I strongly suggest reading the full article if you think you have the stomach for it. Lots of new information there.

Another cyclist injured in FL, the deadliest state in the US for cyclists. Bicyclist injured in Seminole crash Mode of the crash hasn’t been released yet. People in the comments are saying this is a bad intersection for cyclists no matter where you ride. Apparently drivers won’t give cyclists any room on the road, drive too fast and don’t pay much attention to the sidewalks either. But until I get more information on the wreck I can’t say for certain how to avoid a similar wreck.

Another cyclist is hit with a bus, this time in Chicago. Bicycle rider injured by CTA bus Lots of information about the bus movements, but nothing about the cyclist. Interesting that the FD says the cyclist is in serious condition but the bus company says the injuries were minor. In this case I would place more credence in the FD than the bus company.

And in the spirit of the holiday. Cyclist thankful to be alive after wreck Yeah, them dogs can be a major pain when you ride a bike.

And that’s all I have this Thanksgiving day, enjoy your meal, even if you’re having tofurkey 😉

Billed @$.02, Opus

Running late due to trying to donate blood and Thanksgiving perparations, the Feed

I’m officially out of the blood donating business for a long time, I’m still anemic. That would explain the lack of legs on long rides and especially on hills, and the low cruise speeds. I’m still as strong as ever in sprints and up short hills where oxygen-carrying capacity is not the limiting factor, so the strength training has been working, I just lack the oxygen-carrying capacity to go the distance at tempo. meh. For people who have followed my blog from MySpace you know this problem first reared its ugly head summer of 2007 and made my ride at the HHH that year a fiasco, as little girls on BSO MTB with knobby tires passed me any time the road made a slight inclination against me and I had to SAG out at the first rest stop as my pulse wouldn’t come down and my BP went up drastically. Up until them I had been donating every 8-9 weeks, but I haven’t been able to get my counts up high enough since June of ’07. I guess this would be a good time to get that tattoo.

Up first because something has to be, and because this was appropriate for the season, a bike race/food drive. An Outlaw Street Race, for a Good Cause Basically it’s a race, but to win the race you have to buy the major makings to a Thanksgiving dinner for donating to a food bank. The Witch on a Bicycle blog heartily supports such an endeavor. We’re real big on food around here.

The other US story was about a month old, but still has lessons to be learned. Bicyclist seriously injured in Bybee Blvd. collision Yeppers, it was a left cross wreck, one of the most common but fortunately one that is usually survivable, if you turn with the car to reduce the impact. that assumes of course you have time to recognize the impending wreck and decide if you can stop in time or need to turn, then institute the turning movements to reduce the angle of impact with the car. I’m not too good with that, but fortunately I don’t get that kind of wreck very often and so don’t have to make those decisions very often.

More on the cop v bicycle wreck in SD CA. ‘Ghost Bike’ Honors Cyclist I would really like to see that report from the CHP given all the facts that have come to light since the wreck, the years of experience of the cyclist, the safety gear worn by the cyclist, the lack of flashing lights or siren used by the cop on the way to assist a fellow officer, claims that the officer was at least keeping up with other motor vehicles in the near vicinity contrary to the claim the LEO was driving under the speed limit…

Cyclists are suing the city of Toronto for failing to keep the streets safe for their cycling employees, the bicycle police patrol and the bicycle paramedic squad, total of about 530 employees working the streets on bicycles. Law backs cyclist’s quest for safe roads If you can’t get then to do right by you as a taxpayer, make do right for their employees, and then they also do right for the taxpayers.

On a similar note, the family of a UK cyclist killed in London asks for better infrastructure for cyclists. Family of cyclist killed in crash call for improved safety Really it isn’t all that hard, you just have to decide that too many people are getting killed, and build the infrastructure to prevent that.

And the last story is from Oz, as a man riding home from work is run over by a co-worker (not the legendary cow orker). Cyclist injured At least they charged the driver with something more serious than failure to maintain lane position.

And that’s all I got tonight. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your meal tomorrow. Best wishes to our servicemen and women who are having Thanksgiving dinner in the chow hall or out in bivouac in the boonies. I’m thinking about you, and glad I’m not doing that anymore.

Billed @$.02, Opus

After I picked up around the yard, a Feed

I have been doing some more pruning on the live oak out back and discovered we had some more damage from the tiny-nado last spring. We couldn’t hear it because of the wind noise, but one of the branches of the live oak was broken and laid over the other direction, but because we couldn’t see through all the small branches that sprouted since the last pruning nobody noticed. so after clearing out a huge number of branches to get to some deadwood I discovered that like half the tree was dead and sitting on top of the live part. And now it’s sitting in the driveway because it’s too big to move to the curb out front until it gets cut into smaller pieces. I’m going to tell the people at church that we have some U-Cut firewood sitting behind the house this Sunday, and if they don’t come get it by Tuesday it’s going to the curb Tuesday night. I think by then I will have recovered enough to actually be able to move that thing with some help. And now the Feed.

New Haven has injured another cyclist. Injured cyclist remains ‘stable’ Don’t read the comments, my head is “pre-exploded” so I can read that “stuff” without damage, you shouldn’t take that risk. The cyclist in this wreck was being harassed by the driver behind him when he rode into the oncoming lane of traffic. All I can say is no matter how bad the sub-human life form at the controls of the WMD aimed at you is behaving you have to watch where you’re going.

Kill a cyclist, and maybe get your hand slapped if you don’t stick around to leave your contact data. Man accused of leaving fatal accident scene faces trial Note that he faces no charges for hitting and killing the cyclist, just for leaving the scene without talking to the cops.

An English cyclist is killed riding the Americas. Islander killed in charity ride and from the Beeb Tributes paid to charity cyclist Even though the wreck happened in another country and is outside UK judicial jurisdiction, old habits are hard to break and the actual mode of the wreck is not to be found here.

What appears to be a hit-and-run on a cyclist in Gloustershire, which is somewhere in the UK from what I’ve been told. Gloucestershire cyclist injured in mystery incident The cyclist has no memory of the wreck, so good luck figuring out how this one happened.

And home of the famous smile without a cat… Ellesmere Port cyclist suffers serious injuries after collision The female motorist was not injured in the incident and is assisting police with their enquiries. Isn’t that just ducky? She’s helping the police. Wanna bet she’s lying like a rug as she “helps” the investigation?

Another wreck in the UK. Bas Clarke killed on A1 – Police seek witnesses to collision You have to watch out for those trucks, even when they’re not trying to hit you they have so many blind spots that they can kill you and the driver would never even notice he hit anything.

And from Oz comes the reports (finally) on the cyclist killed in the middle of the street by a tour bus. Tram tracks trapped cyclist’s wheel: inquest told and Tram tracks a trap for cyclists, police tell inquest and finally Bus travelleling slowly when cyclist killed, inquest told So, synopsis of the proceedings so far, the infrastructure was a deathtrap with less than 5 feet between the tram tracks to the right and the bus traffic to the left with the cyclists in the middle, and this particular one got her wheel trapped in the tracks trying to avoid a bus and fell into the path of the bus, so suddenly as to not give the driver time to react even though he was driving at a walking pace because of the congestion in the area. This is what we used to call a FUBAR in the Army. The situation has been rectified by removing the buses from the area and giving the entire left to cyclists and pedestrians.

I think that’s everything for today, if it ain’t I ain’t coming back to post more until tomorrow anyway.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Support something entirely unrelated to me or bicycling

Now that I have your attention, I am donating 4 loaves of bread to support the SolstiCelebration. The loaves are going as a set, no bidding on individual loaves but you can bid as a group for the lot and then divvy up the spoils amongst yourselves.

The auction runs until 12/13 and you can only get delivery local to me, because there are no preservatives in this bread so anything short of Santa’s Sleightm isn’t going to be fast enough to prevent spoilage, you have 5 days or so to eat this from the time I bake it before it goes bad, unlike store-bought bread that may take 5 days to get to the store before you buy it. This bread will be baked by me the day of delivery and either you come pick it up at my church, or I deliver it in Garland, or the third alternative is to pick it up at the SolstiCelebration at the Cathedral of Hope. If you choose that option the bread will be on the red bicycle ridden by a penguin, make sure you get the bike with the penguin 😉

PSA Opus

More shameless begging

OK I am in serious need of some charity here.

Part the first is my computer, which is dying. The CD-ROM drive is dead and fails to recognize a disk in the drive which makes fixing the OS problematic, which is another problem I have with my computer. I can’t access my MySpace page or talk to any of my friends there until I upgrade my browser, which requires I upgrade my OS which requires I have a computer that can reboot and also a working CD-ROM drive. The rebooting issue is a problem because I can’t shut down the computer because of a flaky power supply that works for as long as it isn’t turned off, but sometimes doesn’t want to restart after being shut down. What that boils down to is the ‘puter is on its last legs.

Part the second, I need to get some fenders for Gigi. I’m getting tired of shoes full of water when the wet stuff is on the streets or falling from the skies and then on the streets. Also Gigi would stay a lot cleaner and would look better if mud and clag would stay confined in the area of the tires instead of getting sprayed all over the bike. And safety would be enhanced if the front tire wasn’t throwing water and road grime in my face when my speed exceeds 13 MPH. If I wasn’t wearing glasses it would be different but after a few minutes of road gunk getting sprayed in my face my outward visibility is drastically impaired.

Third is this:

Isn't this lovely to look at every day?

I have been asking about getting it made into a tattoo, but I have zero budget and I have been quoted prices ranging from $250 to $2000 to get it made beautiful. It’s not just the ugly scar that is the problem, there is also what the scar represents in my mind. Every day I get up with huge scars, both on my body and in my mind and psyche, while the guy that tried to kill me gets up with no consequences for his actions whatsoever, except whatever karma has placed on him in this life. I’m tired of the ugly reminder that someone tried to kill me because I was there doing something that had absolutely no negative impact on his life whatsoever, and he gets to live his life while I’m scarred physically and mentally and unable to work. So, what I’m asking for here is either a tattoo to make it beautiful, or plastic surgery to make it go away. I’ll still be physically and mentally scarred, but at least I won’t have that monster reminding about it me every day. And it will then remind me that there are people that care.

PSA, Opus

Meet the new boss NASCAR, same as the old boss, and the Feed

As for what I do when I’m not battling for your (and my) rights to the roads, well I watch motorsports. Yesterday I watched Denny Hamlin win the race at Homestead Miami, while Jimmie Johnson won his 4th straight championship, a Cup record and I think a NASCAR record. Now why do I watch stock car racing? Well for one thing, there are a lot of people in that line of work that I know personally, having lived in the South all my adult life. But I was a fan of Cup since they called it Grand National, before Winston ever graced the series’ name. Even when I was living in Hawaii I knew Fireball Roberts and Junior Johnson (no relation to Jimmie) were race car drivers, and I would build models of race cars. When I was a young father I would race my Honda CVCC in SCCA Solo II competition because that was safe and also as much as I could afford. Then I built a few cars for the Modified Category in that type of competition. Then I moved away from having a place to work on cars, started working 60 hour weeks in a factory, and had to give all that up. But enough of ancient history, we have a Feed to get through.

Up first is another report on the pellet gun drive-by shooting of a cyclist in Austin, from my examiner.com colleague. Cyclist assaulted with pellet gun Notice that even though they know the location of the perp, no mention has been made of an arrest, just charges. It was just a cyclist, don’t want to go to too much trouble. If the perp comes back to TX before the statute of limitations on the charge runs out he might get arrested and tried. Don’t hold your breath.

A cyclist is hit while not riding on the road and is charged for the wreck? Teen bike rider hurt in crash with pickup I don’t know if this is a result of him being a cyclist or having an Islamic-sounding surname, or if he might be a person of color, any of which would explain why he was charged with a traffic offense in spite of not being on the road when he was hit. The only thing I can say about this wreck was the cyclist was riding against traffic direction when he was not on the road but near it.

A similar incident to the Austin TX shooting except multiple victims and no known perp yet, in Enn Zed. Drive-by paintball gun shootings probed The main difference between the weapons used is a paintball gun has a lower muzzle velocity and a much heavier projectile that normally doesn’t penetrate but instead produces blunt force trauma in a very confined area.

Also in Enn Zed is a protest over cyclists’ rights and a memorial ride. Cyclists hold memorial ride for killed colleague

Finally, an infrastructure article from CA. Protecting California Bicyclists No matter where you ride infrastructure both real and legal is important, especially the legal infrastructure. Having roads to ride on won’t matter a hill of beans if there is no legal protection on those roads. And of course laws are useless without law enforcement to back them up.

And that’s all I have for you today. I hope you had a nice weekend and I hope you have a magnificent Thanksgiving feast for my USAian readers, the rest of you have a nice week, too.

Billed @$.02, Opus