As my life is getting busy with rehearsals for the Winter SolstiCelebration and church business that has to taken care of here at the holidays ( and we at least note several holidays this time of year at my church, plus actually celebrating several more ) this is a rather hectic time for me, even more than it is for Christians with just Christmas. This year we noted Hanukkah and Santa Lucia day, we will be celebrating Winter Solstice and Yule in separate services this Sunday, we will be participating in the secular aspects of Christmas, noting Kwanzaa, and having simultaneous parties for New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night. Throw in my wife’s birthday into that mix and Whoopie! party ’til you drop.
Up first is our only North American report, on a UNM teacher who “lost control” of his bicycle. Bicycle death prompts outcry There are parts of the story that just don’t pass the BS detector on this one. The first thing is this paragraph from the report:”Vollmann was killed Dec. 2 when he lost control of his bicycle commuting down Comanche Road and fell under a city dump truck. Albuquerque Police Department determined the driver was not at fault.” Right off the bat there is a conflict of interest when the same city that might be liable for damages if at fault investigates to find out who was at fault. Then a bit further into the report you find this gem:”[A] member of the bike advocacy group BikeABQ, said bicyclists in that area have less than two feet of space between lanes of traffic and the sidewalk.” Are they saying that there was a bike lane in the 2 feet between the outside traffic lane and a curb? OK I honestly can’t say what happened here aside from the cyclist ending up underneath the dump truck. I smell a huge lawsuit if there was a designated bike lane or a mandatory shoulder in the 2 feet between the outside lane and the curb. A 2 foot wide lane leaves no room for wobble which fast moving traffic would cause just from aerodynamic effects even if there was no wind that day. A crosswind from the left that was suddenly blocked by the truck would have caused the rider to suddenly veer left into the truck, even if the rider had seen the truck coming and anticipated the blocking effect. I don’t know what the wind conditions were at the time of the wreck, but I’m willing to bet that being Albuquerque it was windy. To avoid, take the lane and ride big. If LEO gives you a hard time about not being in a 2 foot wide bike lane offer your bike for a test ride in that 2 foot space with traffic just off your (their) left elbow.
It’s not “No worries, Mon” in Jamaica as a cyclist is hit from behind to start a chain reaction wreck. One dead, three injured in crash Don’t ask me how to avoid this wreck, I still haven’t figured out how it happened aside from the car hitting the bike from behind. I would hazard a guess that maybe following hit-from-behind protocols would have helped since that was how the wreck started. The problem is not with what the bicyclist did, but what was the driver doing that caused this wreck.
In India 2 kids out for a joyride hit a pedestrian and a cyclist and killed one. Underage drivers claim life There used to be a term for underaged drivers way back in the dark ages BI (Before Internet): Squirrels. You never know what is going on in the tee-niny brain of a squirrel, and ditto for an underaged driver. The problem with a society that used to have very rigid caste lines with privileges that went with being upper caste that are now available to everybody is that the younger members of the upper castes are going to believe that because they are upper they get all the privileges that the lower castes get as rights because of their exalted status, what are privileges for the lower castes are rights for them. When those privileges are age-based rather than caste-based is where you get problems with thinking like that. As for how to avoid, maybe publicly flogging underaged drivers on national television, maybe banning underaged drivers for life with illegal weapons charges if they are caught behind the controls of a motor vehicle would work with fewer visible scars.
And that’s all the news that isn’t racing-related for this day. If you want to read about Stuart O’Grady breaking his ribs I’m sure there was an article in Velonews about it.
Billed @$0.02, Opus