Daily Archives: October 5, 2010

MUP and how to use them

Ah, the MUP. Or for those not familiar, a bicycle highway with a playground in the middle. Or what happens when bicycles are thought of more as toys than as transportation. A prime example is the Texas version of the Katy Trail. In the regional transportation plan the KT is a major bicycle corridor between WRL and Downtown Dallas, eventually part of a system that will run from Plano to Downtown Dallas contiguously. The problem is somebody forgot to tell the joggers and dog walkers that. They think it’s their playground and the people riding the bikes should get the hell out. Such a dichotomy results in the recent fatality we had where a jogger did a U-turn directly into a cyclist that had been warning her that he was passing to her left, which she didn’t hear because she was using headphones and listening to loud music.

So, how to deal with MUP?

First and foremost, don’t hit the pedestrians! They don’t know that this was supposed to be a transportation corridor. They were told it was a recreational facility. As far as they are concerned it’s their playground and you’re trespassing with your vehicle.

Second, move slowly. You’re mixing with pedestrians and joggers, move at a jogging speed of 8-10 MPH. Yes I know that’s too slow, but you’re in their playground, they don’t know it was planned as your highway first.

Third, even though most of them are going to be semi-zombified by earbuds and headphones, loudly announce your intentions before passing. Think of this as your aerobic workout, as you repeatedly bellow out “Passing to your left!” 50 or 60 times per mile to people that couldn’t hear a gunshot 3 feet from their heads.

Fourth, be prepared for then to do stupid things like turn in front of you right as you pass them. Remember the headphones and earbuds from their portable music devices? They don’t have the slightest idea that you even exist in the same space-time continuum.

Fifth, a little offence can be beneficial. if you can’t dodge or warn them try to hit them in such a way that they fall on what they think with rather than their heads. Yes that’s a crude way of telling you to knock them on their keisters. Keisters are muscular and can withstand considerable impact, heads on the other hand are chock full of fragile bits and are not very well protected, and you can cause much more permanent damage if they fall on their noggins rather than their keisters. Recumbent bikes might be better for this than upwrongs as you have to make the majority of your momentum connect about waist high. Using the quick-turn in reverse and not correcting to bring the bike back under you will help at this and also get the bike and all its sharp edges away from the pedestrian. This takes a little planning and practice, you might actually be able to dodge better than knocking them on their keisters. Remember, it is only if it becomes obvious that a collision is unavoidable that you should try to arrange the collision so that they fall on their keisters rather than their heads.

Sixth, as a last resort you might have to sacrifice your own body to protect theirs. I’m not going to comment on the wisdom of hurting yourself to prevent hurting those who can’t be bothered to not get hurt on their own, but sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Lastly, carry a first-aid kit with blood-absorbing compresses, AKA Maxi-Pads. Yes, I’m telling you to get a major first-aid supply from the feminine-hygiene aisle of your local drugstore or supermarket. That’s where the Army gets theirs, and no I’m not kidding. Many of the injuries you are likely to see from a bike/ped wreck bleed like a stuck pig, and to minimize the HazMat cleanup you need something that sops all that up at the source. A full sized MaxiPad can hold up to a pint of blood without leakage. That’s something else I learned while I was in the Army.

And that’s all I have to say on this subject at this time.

PSA, Opus

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Another day in which I hold my nose (figuratively) while filtering the Feed

Yes, today was a real stinkerooney of a Feed. Not so much the wrecks, wrecks are just wrecks, they happened and you can’t make them unhappen so you have to accept them and go on and do what you can to make sure a similar one doesn’t happen again. The comments and the opinion articles were what just made me billious. Needless to say, don’t read the comments and I won’t link to the toxic opinions. If you really need to read the toxic opinions BikinginLA has all the same links as I had in the Feed as far as toxic opinions are concerned, there’s a link to that blog in my blogroll. There’s also some stuff I missed, and I have stuff that he missed.

And one of the articles with the most toxic comments is this one about 2 cyclists struck from behind in WI. Bike shop owner injured in crash with car All 3 vehicles were headed east at about sunrise so glare might have been a problem, along with car-head thinking that just because you can’t see that doesn’t mean you need to slow down in case there is something moving more slowly on the road in front of you like a tractor or a child waiting for a school bus, or a bicycle or 2.

In a case of WTF a cyclist is hit by not one but 2 drunk drivers, the second time in mid-air from the first hit. Cyclist injured in 2-vehicle crash The cyclist was “salmoning” north on the west side of the road (east is to the right when facing North), but still 2 DUI drivers that close to one another? That’s like 2 bolts of lightning in quick succession, somebody was going to get him.

A doctor and soldier from a post where I was stationed during my active duty is hit during a group ride by a distracted driver in an SUV. Cyclist seriously injured when hit by SUV during group ride Note that there were 5 cyclists hit, but the doctor is the only one reported on by the media outlet. Also note the dichotomy of the road description, with the driver calling it “narrow and curvy” and a local cyclist saying the accident site was fairly wide and had good sight lines “for about a mile”. I can’t pull up a street view of the wreck site (not enough details) so I can’t say who is right, but I do know that hitting 5 cyclists requires either a tremendous amount of distraction or a low double-digit IQ, or both…

In Spokane a van and cyclist come together in an intersection with bad results for the cyclist. In brief: Crash injures cyclist, closes intersection You know just once I would like to see a repeat of that wreck where the car hit the cyclist and then the driver died. Not that I wish bad things to happen to people, I’m just really tired of the bad things always happening to the cyclist in a car/bicycle wreck. To avoid, use intersection protocol and hope the van isn’t running the red light…

Another report on that St. Louis wreck where they won’t know if charges will be filed in at least 3-4 months. St. Louis police: Bicyclist hit, killed by car At this point I have to say that if it takes 4 moths to get a toxicology screen back, you need to revamp your police lab or start just shooting drunk drivers.

Lifestyle, in OH the survivors of a cyclist that died of head injuries sustained in a wreck donate more than 100 helmets to give away free. Free helmets in memory of cyclist WoaB says that gloves and helmets are the only PPE we have and while not perfect they do reduce injury in some cases and only rarely increase injury over not wearing them. So wear your helmets, learn the right way to wear them, and put one on before you ride a bike. Just don’t go making it a law…

And if you haven’t been following Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery they just finished a very intense arc that has left Yehuda temporarily (I hope) both bald and beardless. The arc started with the September 1st strip and ended yesterday, now they are dealing with the aftermath… I’m personally a cross between Fred and Yehuda from the strip, where I differ from Fred is I didn’t stay dead. And I don’t sabotage cars, either.

And that’s all the news that gives me fits. Y’all have a pleasant Tuesday.

Billed @$0.02, Opus