Monthly Archives: November 2009

Another potential Gigi public appearance, and the Feed

My friends(?) at the Dallas Winter Solstice celebration (SolstiCelebration) have asked if I can ride my bicycle as part of the opening festivities. I have already been asked to wear a penguin costume (Opus, the comic strip character) so I guess I’m supposed to ride Gigi indoors, surrounded by people, while I wear a penguin costume. This could get interesting. Well at least this time I was asked to come first, then Gigi was requested. Last time it was Gigi that was requested and since it was my bike I could ride it her.

Up first because it is a sign of the Apocalypse. Police charge woman in death of Va. Beach cyclist That’s right, a cyclist was killed and the driver wasn’t drunk, on a cell phone, texting, or otherwise distracted, and still charges were filed against the driver. I wonder what the end of the world will be like… The cyclist in this case was wearing a helmet and hi-visibility garb.

Another report on the drug-dealing driver that hit a cyclist while texting a drug deal negotiation. Personal Injury Accident Notice: Texting driver strikes cyclist in N.J. Lawyer blather, but the interesting thing in this wreck was now we know the cyclist was wearing some kind of body armor when hit besides the helmet and reflective vest. “She had been wearing protective gear and a reflective vest and helmet when she was struck by the car.” Still didn’t prevent broken bones but to be honest even being inside a car doesn’t prevent broken bones when you get hit by a car or truck.

This is the only time I like seeing someone get hit riding a bicycle. Bike thief struck by vehicle during getaway try, police say Unfortunately the thief will most likely survive his close encounter. But given the nature of the injury what little smarts he had will be long gone, so even if he doesn’t go to prison he will get to be housed in an institution.

CHP is trying to work out how the cop hit the cyclist (again?!) in San Diego. Police reenact crash that killed bicyclist in University City I’m willing to bet that if they do a good reenactment they will find the cop was at fault and/or speeding.

Another report on the City of Brotherly Love over-reacting to a statistical blip in bicycle/pedestrian wrecks. Council’s problematic bicycle crackdown For perspective, “The proposed fine for headphones ($300) is almost three times the fine for running a red light

And another report that just really chaps me off. Former Asheville firefighter pleads guilty in cyclist shooting He pleads guilty to trying to kill the cyclist with a gun, should have been attempted murder, and he gets, wait for it… 120 days in jail. Not years, not A year, not even a full 4 months. one hundred twenty days! I hope the DA can sleep with the knowledge of how badly he has dropped the ball on this case.

And thank the Lady Ghisallo, we are done with today’s article. Reminder unless there is breaking news of great import there will be no post for tomorrow. My sanity is more important than the weak Feeds I get on Sundays any way.

Billed @$.02, Opus

More examples of craptacular stupidity, the Feed

I had a huge Feed to filter today, and almost nothing to show for it. In order to get as many actual wreck articles as possible the search parameters are a bit on the coarse side using NI (Natural Intelligence) to do the final selections, and today I got all kinds of garbage, including a sale at Canadian Tire on bicycles, a guy in a bicycle company with prostate cancer, people in Taiwan riding bicycles, and the last Buell motorcycle leaving the production line. Those were at least related to 2 wheel vehicles, but wait, there’s more! I also had articles on life cycles of animals, and consumer products, and climate cycles! To say your friendly neighborhood blogger is a little frazzled is not an overstatement. I will be so glad to finish work and read a few web comics today…

Up first because something has to be, and it’s close, is this report on the assault on a cyclist in Austin, who was shot with a pellet gun from a car. Police: Man charged with assault for shooting cyclist with pellet gun If you’re going to read the comments please post to Time4Change that he is not welcome to drive his car in Garland as he has not paid any Garland taxes to use our roads. Thanks in advance.

A crime of either great malice or great stupidity in MA. Cyclist in Natick dragging alive, condition unknown I can’t believe, refuse to believe, that someone could hit a cyclist, and then drive down the road for almost a quarter of a mile with the cyclist and his bicycle wedged under the car, turn a corner at an intersection, and not know there was something under the car. This person needs to never drive a car or operate a motor vehicle again ever in her life or get sent to prison if she does. And every time she does. If she acted out of malice, well then it’s assault with a deadly. If she didn’t know she was dragging a bicycle and its screaming rider under her car then she is just too stupid to safely operate a motor vehicle. Either way, she’s gotta go by something other than a motor vehicle. EDIT: I was checking the link and now they have posted a second picture of the wreck scene showing the drag marks where the driver made a right turn with the cyclist stuck under the car. You have to click the thumbnail to view the picture in detail.

Apparently the only thing this driver stopped for was to make sure she had hit the cyclists. 2 bicyclists injured in hit-run accident I couldn’t make up stuff like this, I don’t have that depraved of a mind. The driver stopped and asked if the cyclists were OK and when they said no then she left. This was at the very least assault with a deadly (in the bike lane), if not attempted murder. If they ever catch her at the very least she needs to be permanently banned from ever owning a motor vehicle ever again and also driving, or if caught she needs to be charged with illegal possession of a weapon. To avoid this kind of wreck I suggest a Desert Eagle, M1911, or similar large caliber handgun prominently displayed in ready grasp, and practice off-hand and weak-hand shooting to get as many rounds on-target as possible. The .45 ACP round was invented back in the 1920s to penetrate car bodies after it was found that the low-powered .38 rounds in use by police were stopped by the doors of Ford cars. There is a sabot round that will penetrate engine blocks and truck wheels, but I don’t know of a legal handgun that can fire it.

A cyclist is severely injured in SF CA. Cyclist Injured in Crash on the Wiggle The cyclist sustained multiple fractures. At this point it isn’t known who violated the right of way, just that someone did.

A bike is hit in Evanston IL. Police investigating bicycle accident Even though they don’t know anything about the wreck yet, the reporter managed to blame the cyclist for “weaving in and out of traffic”. >sigh<

More on Philadelphia politicos losing their minds about bicycles. Rise in Bicycle Accidents in Philadelphia is leading to more Bike Laws Really, over-react much in the city of brotherly love? They managed to find 3 pedestrian collisions with bicycles this year, and they pitch a bloody fit over it while ignoring the pedestrians killed weekly by cars and trucks. TANJ!

A reporter calls his outlet to task for failure to report a major bicycle event in their own back yard. GAUVIN: Media overlook Last Gasp charity bike ride, thus, human interest tales This might be why local newspapers are not faring well in these economic times.

And that’s all the bicycle news that ain’t racing for the day.

Billed @$.02, Opus

The LA county DA wants (needs) to hear from you, and the Feed

Opening up with a strange request from the LA County DA’s office for cyclist input on the sentencing of TTTWLAMWAMD. You can use this link to get more information and a mailto link for the DA.

Clearing this one out of the queue early because of the heavy Flash content of the site is making my computer slower than I type and causing typos, a texting driver hits a cyclist and when they find him they also find thousands of dollars worth of drugs and other items. Police: Drug-Deal Text Lead To Crash The cyclist will pull through, but good luck on getting any compensation from the driver until after the prison sentence is completed…

Another bicycle wreck in AZ (are they sure they aren’t just FL without the beaches?) Woman killed in motorcycle-bike wreck identified From what I can find out about this one back-channel the cyclist was hearing impaired and went through a red light unable to hear the unmuffled motorcycle approaching. This was a case of not paying attention to surroundings, which in this case was fatal. Aside from not running red lights while you ride the best way to avoid a similar wreck is just to be alert, and don’t impair your hearing when you ride. for those reading that might be hearing-impaired, this means keeping that head moving and looking at more than just the road in front of you. This motorcycle was visible if the cyclist had just looked in that direction before entering the intersection.

And from one of my old stomping grounds in the far NW corner of WA, another Bike Ninja gets clobbered. Bellingham cyclist injured after slamming into side of truck Reflectors would not have helped in this wreck, the only thing that would have made this rider visible was lights. If you’re going to do the Bike Ninja thing, you have to behave as if you’re invisible. Or you could just buy lights and either keep them charged or keep spare batteries around for when the old ones die. I’m a big fan of big lights myself, click on the tag for the Honkin’ Huge Taillighttm to find out how to make one for yourself. I’m still working on the companion headlight, that is both cheap, energy efficient and powerful without glaring into oncoming road users. I have the low beam “seen by” light, still trying to find a good high beam “see by” light.

Austin area cyclists are annoyed that when things got tight they got banned “for their safety” from a road near the city. Cyclists oppose new road ban in Manor Construction on the road made sharing impossible at the speed limit, so instead of lowering the speed limit to a level that was safe (legal in TX) they just banned bicycles.

Philadelphia thinks they can license bicycles. Bike riders may have to sign up First of all, city bicycle licenses have never worked, second what about people from outside the city that ride their bikes in the city, third how young are they going to go on the license?

Finally an article from Bob Mionske on the violations of the civil rights of cyclists when they get injured by drivers of motor vehicles. Traffic Injustice What can I add to that?

That’s all I have today, more as I get it.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Live in LA CA? You could be semi-famous!

Here’s the deal: I want to be among the first to post a report on TTTWLAMWAMD getting sent to prison and for how long. Contact me here and I’ll give my e-mail addy to you to post the results. I keep a window open to my inbox and a new post ready to go on the day of the sentencing, and when I see your post in my Inbox I read it, do a copy and paste with your name on it and add my own pithy commentary and repeat your name several times as the reporter on scene. You become semi-famous and I get high Google search results driving up my blog traffic and making me more attractive to advertisers should I move to my own web site.


Should there be a tougher written exam for driver’s licenses? and the Feed

After reading so many reports on drivers that don’t know the laws on how to drive their cars (there were a lot of car wrecks in the Feed this morning that had nothing to do with bicycles) I have come to the conclusion that either we need to have recurring testing for drivers with a zero tolerance passing standard, or drastically need to increase the PSAs for new laws that are passed for driving. There are just so many people that don’t know how to drive their WMDs within the laws, and who kill or seriously injure other people in the process. Something has to be done. The only other alternative would be to make killing or injuring someone while breaking a traffic law a felony, so that some legal bite could be applied to drivers, and so that LEO could get clear direction about the seriousness of motor vehicle crime.

Up first because there were more than one report on the wreck is a story out of AZ about a possible right hook of a cyclist by a garbage truck. 23-year-old cyclist killed in traffic collision identified and a later report Cyclist dies in collision The media outlet placed a copy of the AZ statute on making turns in the second article to demonstrate the level of care required by law to make a right turn. Many of the comments displayed a shocking lack of concern about the law as it stood and tried to substitute their own anti-cyclist interpretations (the cyclist deserved to be hit because he was there). I’ll continue to keep an ocular opened in this direction for more news.

More proof that gang-bangers are stupid. Cyclist killed in Norwalk, gunman sought See what I mean? They are in control of the perfect murder weapon, all they have to do is run the guy over and then claim he swerved in front of them, and the cops will believe it even after the heated argument if the cyclist is dead. Actually I don’t know which group is more stupid, gang-bangers or cops.

Speaking of stupid cops… Police Cracking Down On Rogue Cyclists Two pedestrians killed in one year and the politicians and the cops go nuts over “rogue cyclists” but how many pedestrians are killed in a month by motor vehicles without a similar crackdown? I won’t say that this was a waste of resources, because there are an awful lot of cyclists that were never taught the laws, but I think a similar effort every time a cyclist or pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle would also be a good idea. Massive traffic enforcement after every fatality has a proven effect on lowering the fatality rate.

The cyclist from Oz that crippled a team mate while driving drunk loses his appeal of his sentence. Cycling-Australian mountain biker loses appeal against jail term No sympathy from me, as a cyclist he should have known better.

Cycling News has an article about Dave Zabriskie’s campaign to reduce car/bike wrecks in their daily blotter report. First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 18, 2009 The Zabriskie article is second down the list.

Not a cycling specific story but if you wind up on one of my posts this will be valuable information to have. Injured Uninsured More Likely to Die in ER than Insured Yeah, when you wake up (if you wake up) in the ER you stand a better chance of survival if there is some kind of insurance covering you, which makes hit-and-run just that much worse. That is why there needs to be federal level laws that cover against hit-and-run.

More on distracted driving and infrastructure. Breakfast links: Consequences of distracted driving, biking Yeah, some doubleplusungood things going down here. For those who haven’t read 1984 that means very very bad.

Infrastructure in suburban LA. Two wheels and the future They are facing a monster of Hobson’s Choice there, can’t afford to go it, but can’t afford to not do it either. Not building bicycle infrastructure will cost them millions in increased medical costs and lost productivity from traffic jams, while building will also cost millions to build and maintain. I say go in the direction of increased happiness and health when faced with this dilemma.

And infrastructure in Jolly Olde. Convex Mirrors to be trialled on cycle super highways Given the huge number of cyclists killed, well actually not huge in absolute numbers but in proportion to other modes of fatality, killed by large vehicles turning left at stoplights (right cross for those of us driving on the right side of the roads), this is potentially a major invention. Trucks and buses turning over stationary cyclists at stop signs and lights are a major mode of cyclist fatality in London.

And that’s all I have this morning.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Ugly wrecks and multiple reports, the Feed

We had some ugly wrecks in the Feed today, which is not to imply that there are ever any pretty ones, just more or less ugly. Today we had some that were very ugly indeed.

The worst of those was a cyclist/pedestrian wreck with a little boy and a hit-and-run cyclist. Boy injured by alleged hit-and-run cyclist Don’t hit the pedestrians, if you do hit the pedestrians don’t leave until contact information has been exchanged and/or the pedestrian has been transported by medical caregivers. Or until you are transported, because bicycle/pedestrian wrecks are one of the few modalities that allow pedestrians to give as well as they get. But, don’t hit the pedestrians.

And this one was ugly because of a lack of information. Cyclist Killed By Car OK all we know at this point was the car hit the kid on the bicycle, it wasn’t a hit-and-run and the driver will get away with it.

Another SWSS in WA state. Bicyclist killed in collision with tow truck and Leavenworth bike rider killed in collision Interesting how the cyclist turned left but still got hit on the shoulder of the road… For those trying to avoid a similar wreck, use hit-from-behind protocols posted elsewhere in my blog. Use “protocol” as your main search term.

And more multiple reports of the man killed on US 23 in OH. Crash kills Piketon bicycle rider on U.S. 23 and Cyclist struck, killed in Ross County Another hit-from-behind wreck, what was once the most rare of wrecks is still pretty rare but extremely fatal as cars are going faster and drivers pay less attention to things outside the car.

A wreck caused by bad infrastructure in MA. Cyclist dies from Rt. 2 crash The cyclist hit a hole that was either unmarked or poorly marked and partially hidden by fallen leaves. The fact that the cyclist was riding on a sidewalk is not germaine to this particular case as leaves pile up on streets and roads as well as on sidewalks and there are utility access panels on streets as well.

This is an interesting wreck. Cyclist hurt in smash with car in Solihull I wonder what made the car overturn and was the car in the act of overturning before or after it hit the cyclist? This could have been a very interesting story had it happened outside the UK.

Another hit-and-run cyclist, but with a twist. WALTHAMSTOW: Injured artist calls for change to “dangerous” road layout The victim never saw the cyclist before the wreck, and from the article the cyclist never saw the victim, and the victim is blaming the infrastructure rather than the cyclist. Presumably the sight lines were such that a cyclist would be screened from pedestrian view and vice versa and cyclists would be therefore intent on oncoming traffic from the left rather than expecting a pedestrian from the right.

A report on the death last year of an Australian cyclist. Cyclist saw Swanston St rider fall to her death Heavy bicycle traffic and streetcar tracks, and adjacent bus traffic equals dead cyclist. Not a pretty equation, and to be right next to it would be horrific.

Another bike ride to honor another cyclist murdered by a driver. Cyclists Honor One Of Their Own There have been too many of these rides lately, even one is too many. Something must be done so that cyclists can ride without drivers trying to kill them.

And that’s all I have for you this day.

Billed @$.02, Opus

You didn’t miss anything yesterday, but I feel much better

Well, in spite of not making a post yesterday you won’t miss anything because I didn’t flush the Feed I just waited until today to post the link from it. You didn’t misread that I did in fact use “link” singular rather than the plural form of the word. Sunday has been the lightest day for the Feed followed closely by Monday, so it looks like from here on out I will be posting only 6 times a week barring breaking news items getting sent to me like the conviction of TTTWLAMWAMD. BTW if someone in the LA area would like to place themselves in the courtroom for his sentencing and e-mail me what the outcome of that is I could make you semi-famous. That and $3 will get you a cup of coffee that you could get for $2.60 otherwise… Seriously I will post your name or Internet handle, pseudonym, or any other form of written identification (I’ll even make up a cool acronym) if you so desire if you send me an e-mail when TTTWLAMWAMD is sentenced, whatever sentence he gets. I won’t even blame you if he gets probation 😉

First up is your link from Sunday. Bicyclist without helmet critically injured Obviously the lack of a helmet caused this wreck. Actually what caused the wreck was whatever made the cyclist lose traction while rounding a corner around 25 MPH (a speed which I find highly suspect as I have heard people estimate the speed of my bicycle at anywhere from 5 to 40 MPH at the same time and in the same place (18 MPH)). Not having a helmet only contributed to the severity of the subsequent injury. I should also point out that this is a situation for which helmets were intended to be of use, even though the certification test doesn’t do anything to test for the motion of the helmeted head over the ground.

A wreck in OH that we don’t know much about because of a news blackout by LEO. Bicyclist Killed In Collision With Van At this point the best guess from what limited information is available (and my OH backchannel is shut down for this story) is the cyclist was hit from behind, and because of the blackout there is a strong possibility that the driver did it intentionally. I’ll continue to keep an ocular open on this story.

An ME cyclist in a single vehicle wreck requires extraction from a bad location. Cyclist hurt in York woods near Folly Pond Fortunately for the cyclist he was in an area with cell reception so he could call for help. This is a good idea for every cyclist even if you never leave concrete and asphalt paving. Always carry a cell phone and make sure the battery is charged before you leave, If you’re going on a several day long trip you might want to have spare batteries, depending on how good your phone is on talk time. Obviously if there is any doubt about capacity or endurance you’ll want to leave the phone turned off until needed.

From Oz the report of a little girl injured on her bicycle by someone with a learner’s permit. Cyclist, 13, injured in learner driver collision This sometimes happens with new drivers. The Witch on a Bicycle blog understands that and will refrain from calling for the hide and various bits of the driver’s anatomy in retribution for this CARnage. Should the driver be at fault, the staff at Witch on a Bicycle suggest that a 6 month ban on driving and a requirement to ride a bicycle during that ban be imposed on the driver in lieu of a jail or prison sentence.

A year after a driver hit 10 cyclists injuring 5 and nearly killing one of those, it’s time for El Tour de Tucson again. Focus on safety as countdown to bicycle race begins And it took only 4 comments before the strawman of bicycle taxes was brought up by Jim S. (kingrat). Well Mr. S. I strongly suggest that you stay west of the NM/TX border, as you have not paid TX taxes so you are not permitted to use our roads 😛

A memorial ride for the cyclist murdered in NC. Memorial Bike Ride Honors Man Killed in Hit-and-Run I don’t care what the charges are, when someone crosses the road to hit a cyclist head on and then hangs a U-turn to escape that’s a murder in my book, maybe not 1st degree or capital (in TX) but murder at any rate.

A suggestion that cars share the roads with cyclists is falling in hearing-impaired ears in SD. Proposal: Let bicycles, cars share road Don’t read the comments on this one either.

And that’s all I have today.

Billed @$.02, Opus

A near-empty Feed

Not much cooking in today’s Feed, but a lot going on with me. I had committee meetings out the wazoo today starting at 10 AM and not ending until after 5 PM at church, plus more in the coming week. Yuck! Being in an Organized Religion is a lot of work. Imagine all the work you have to do as a solitary and then double it as you have to either teach your rituals to someone else, or learn how to do their rituals. This ain’t like sitting in a Christian church and listening to the preacher spout, uh-unh. Not only are you responsible for your religious celebrations but you have to bring along the nubes and hold their hands until they get up to speed and can work without the training wheels. It’s called giving to the next generation and passing on what you have learned. And it’s my turn.

Up first because something had to be, is a family asking LEO to be more cognizant of dealing with human beings when they kill someone while on duty. Cyclist’s Family Wants Cops to Care Yeah, good luck with that one guys.

A compliment to the previous article is this one on s cyclist killed in the turn lane blamed for his death because he was riding a bicycle in the street. Death highlights bike safety The cyclist was more than visible enough under the street light while trying to make his turn to be seen and avoided, but to remain blameless you need to have a headlight and taillight on your bike. I strongly recommend such any time you are out after dark, so that you can be seen and also so you can see. It doesn’t do any good to be lit up like a Xmas tree for drivers to avoid hitting you if you can’t see where you’re going.

Infrastructure in CA, funded by a Girl Scout door-to-door fund raising drive. Girl Scouts go door-to-door to raise funds for speed bumps on 38th Avenue What gets me about this was not that the cyclist was hit, but the drivers honking their car horns at the people trying to help because they blocked the road, and then the people having to raise money to protect themselves from the city’s poor planning and failure to enforce the speed limits.

People helping other people while riding bicycles. Taking the chai road Raising money for a kids hospital and riding in Israel, what a deal.

And that’s all I have today. Just a reminder I will be out having a life tomorrow after church, so no blog post until Monday evening.

Billed @$.02, Opus

Good news for a change

An occasional commenter on this blog went missing in Portland OR this week. As I’m not entirely an unfeeling bastard yet, let us all celebrate that Aaron has found his way back home. Aaron Tarfman returns home after thoughtful sojourn And thanks for reminding me that I haven’t sunk to the unfeeling bastard stage yet. There are days when I wonder, but I guess wondering if I’m becoming an unfeeling bastard is the best sign that I’m not.

In other news I started my winter workouts yesterday, and today I feel like I have lead noodles in place of where my legs used to be. I build up strength during the winter and endurance during the summer, and right now I don’t have a whole lotta strength. My quads and glutes are killing me 😛

Billed @$.02, Opus

Another mild Feed

Yes we had another mild Feed today, with only 6 bicycle-related links, and one of those was not related to a wreck or infrastructure, with one other infrastructure article, so 4 wrecks or related to wrecks. That’s a Good Thing in my book.

Getting to the one that wasn’t a wreck or about infrastructure first, there was a bike-jacking in Daphne AL. Man shoots Eastern Shore teen in the arm, steals his bicycle, police say A bike thief with a gun, joy. Well if you’re too stupid to cut a chain or pick a lock then you have to steal them when they aren’t locked. I hope when they catch this guy they throw a couple of tons of books at him, but since he’s already 24 and still robbing kids on bicycles (with a gun) I don’t hold much hope that trying to educate the perp is going to help much, you can’t cure stupid. To avoid a similar situation, shoot back and aim center mass.

A situation that a little more experience and judgment on the part of the cyclist might have helped prevent. High school student on bike injured after hitting firetruck in Santa Rosa The cyclist was riding the wrong way in the bike lane and the firetruck had the flashers going and the backup alarm sounding and still the kid hit the firetruck. I am hopeful he learned something from this experience. I am also hopeful he continues to ride his bike with a greater appreciation of the safe way of doing so.

From Jolly Olde a bad wreck. Cyclist fighting for life after accident The driver was uninjured, joy.

They laid a cycling advocate to rest in Greenburgh, NY. Riders pay tribute to Greenburgh bicycle advocate killed in bus collision The best thing I can say about this wreck is it illustrates exactly what the guy was trying to tell people, that frequently the only option to get someplace by bicycle is to ride in traffic on high speed feeders and arterials because there are no other connecting routes. This is the same problem we have in Garland, the planning done in the 1970s and ’80s created superblocks that were only connected by arterials with 40-45MPH speed limits, and all the commercial development (grocery stores and other retail) was on those arterials. This is great as long as everyone has a car, not so great if people want to walk or ride a bicycle.

A NYC weekly complains about infrastructure that is supposed to protect cyclists from cars still being overrun by motor vehicles. Make bike lanes safe The wreck in question was on a protected bike lane that was commandeered by a garbage truck. An analogy would be herded animals on a freeway, they don’t belong there and create a hazard for those for whom the infrastructure was intended.

And finally if your bike is equipped with an Easton EA30 stem, stop riding it immediately (well, you might want to ride home very carefully and then park the bike) and contact your LBS about a replacement. Bicycles Recalled by Easton Sports; Stem Failure Poses Fall Hazard The stem was OEM and also available as an aftermarket replacement part, so be sure to check which stem came on your mountain or hybrid bike. I built the stem on Gigi myself, so I don’t have to worry about this recall, just the quality of my workmanship.

And that’s all I have for this morning.

Billed @$.02, Opus