Monthly Archives: February 2011

A major job filtering the Feed

Well, there were a lot of links in the Feed this morning, and I had to read every one of them to find out if they were suitable for inclusion in this blog. Most were not, some were, and all that reading took a couple of hours plus breaks for sanity recovery. I’m not sure how much sanity there was to recover, but however much I had to begin with I still have now. I think.

Up first is a right hook in Baltimore, MD. Biker hit by vehicle, critically injured The person writing this article had a very poor grasp of the facts, the headline has the victim as a biker, the first paragraph describes him as a pedestrian, then in the fourth paragraph he becomes a bicyclist. Anyway, right hook over the bike lane, failure to yield to vehicle in adjacent lane on the part of the driver, no tickets issued. Not the cyclist’s fault that an 83 YO women turned in front of him and then ran him over after he fell off the car, but LEO aren’t going to charge the driver for not watching where she was going either. Just a reminder, every driveway is an intersection, so you have to constantly be on high alert in areas with frequent driveways.

A college paper in FL recognizes that FL is the most dangerous place in the country to walk or ride a bike. Cyclists Beware: Florida Streets Remain Unsafe They read the same report I read, last year, but they failed to comprehend just how bad FL is for the non-motorized on the roads. States with much larger populations and numbers of cyclists had much lower numbers of killed cyclists and pedestrians than FL, and eight percent of the cyclists killed in the US in 2008 died in just 3 FL counties. Stop and ponder that a minute. There were 734 cyclists killed in 2008, more than 50 died in just 3 counties, that’s about one a week in just those 3 counties.

The father of a cyclist killed by a texting driver embarqs on a cross-country bike ride to bring attention to the dangers of texting and driving, after the driver that killed his son is let go without even having to do this simple thing. Cross-country ride to highlight dangers of texting and driving I mentioned this case a while back, the driver not getting anything near in sentence what the severity of her actions resulted in, she killed a person and got probation and a few hours of cleaning parks and toilets as punishment, plus 8 hours telling other teens about the dangers of driving while paying more attention to your phone than the road.

A single person died from being hit by a bicycle in 2009 in the entire city of NYC, and some people had a hissy fit that’s still going on, but the event did highlight a serious shortcoming in traffic statistics. Westfield woman whose husband died in bicycle accident joins New York Mayor Bloomberg in signing bike safety law The new law requires keeping statistics of people injured in bike wrecks that do not involve motor vehicles. Previously people trying to track bicycle/pedestrian wrecks had to use hospital records, and not too many of those wrecks require hospitalization. Now there is a requirement to record injury wrecks between pedestrians and cyclists even if only first aid is required. I think they will discover that not many wrecks between cyclists and pedestrians happen and that the cyclist is more at risk of injury than the pedestrian. I have been hit by a person riding a bicycle while I was walking, and by a motor vehicle while I was riding a bike and while I was crossing a street while walking. Let me tell you the car hurt a lot worse than the bike. I only had a sprained ankle when I was hit by a bike, the car that ran a red light and hit me in the crosswalk bruised me pretty badly and caused a lot of road rash that was very painful while it was healing, and of course most of you know about the truck that hit me from behind while I was riding my bike home from work, it’s in my bio page on this site.

Finally, a report on both sides of killing a cyclist, one from a victim’s sister, another from a driver that killed a friend accidentally while driving. Darin Strauss: Two cars, two deaths Neither wreck had anything to do with the other, they happened in different countries even. But for drivers that have consciences killing someone is a terrible thing.

And that’s all the news that gave me fits.

Billed @$0.02, Opus


The NASCAR season has begun

As I’m trying to come up with something to post about, and the Sprint Cup race from Phoenix is on the tube. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I have a personal connection with NASCAR and the Sprint Cup. One of my early jobs was as a tire wrangler at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, working for Cup driver Sterling Marlin. I wasn’t on anybody’s pit crew or anything like that, but I did handle about 1/3 of the tires used on a typical Saturday night. I made as much money on Saturday night as my “day job” paid in the rest of the week.

Anyway, NASCAR and I go way back to when Darrell Wartrip ran the #88 Gatorade Monte Carlo for Di-Gard racing. DW had a speed shop in Franklin TN that I used to spend my days off haunting. I was buying go kart parts from Bobby, and sometimes I actually got to talk to Darrell. Back them nobody wanted to talk to Mike, today Michael Waltrip Racing is a major force in the Sprint Cup. Funny, huh?

So, NASCAR has been a part of my life since the end of the 1970s, how I made my living for a couple of years during the late ’80s, and still something I follow every year. So how do I reconcile loving NASCAR, all the series, with being a bicycle advocate? Simple, they race on a track, away from the roads where bicycles go. Carl Edwards rides a custom Ti road bike to the races whenever he can. Most of the drivers and crews are neutral at worst to using a bicycle as transportation, many are quite positive about bicycles as transportation. Most of the people in the top tier of NASCAR are bright people, and they know that more people riding bicycles means more space on the roads for the people still in cars, more gas at a lower price, and a generally healthier population, all of which are financial pluses for getting their jobs done. Also a plus for them, using a bicycle as your major transportation means more $ in your pocket, which means more people that can afford a ticket to a race or travel to a race that they couldn’t get to when they drove a car daily.

But mainly I watch NASCAR because I like watching NASCAR. No further explanation needed.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Busy day planned, and the Feed

Yes, I have a busy day coming up. At 1330 I need to be at church to help tie-dye the booth decorations for the Spring Bazaar/Bizzare. Then I pop home real quick to eat, then back to the church for our monthly D&D game. But before that I have to get this post done which will give me just enough time to grab a bite before I leave to tie-dye. (pant-pant)

The US portion of the Feed was updates on previous wrecks, the rest of the Feed was from the UK. The first update is about the AL hit-and-run that left a man dead. Cyclist killed in hit and run I was mistaken about the vehicle involved, forensic analysis of the debris reveals that the cyclist was hit by (with) a Hyundai. The man’s bike is still missing, so police are looking for a Hyundai with a bicycle stuck under it abandoned on side roads in the area. This link showed up in the article I just linked to, they caught the driver. Man charged in hit and run Well I wasn’t too far off on the vehicle, it was a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe, a big SUV, but not a pickup. I am surprized at the age of the driver charged, 21.

More on the drunk driver that killed a cyclist and left the scene in CA. Cops: DUI Driver Who Killed Bicyclist Had 16 Traffic Tickets Since 2005 The ticket count has been all over on this story, the most comprehensive report I read before this report was 17 tickets with 11 convictions on various counts. But this shows a pattern of disregard for traffic laws, and by extension all laws. I agree with one comment that was made almost verbatim by many commenters, “How is she still on the road?”

More on that cyclist who was badly injured by a truck merging into two cyclists in a roundabout in Jolly Olde. Old Street crash: Police appeal after cyclist seriously injured The cyclist that got injured was pretty badly broken up with facial injuries, a broken shoulder, and a broken ankle in spite of wearing a helmet [/sarcasm].

And Infrastructure! news from London. London cyclists’ needs neglected in redesign of Blackfriars Bridge I am shocked, shocked! that TfL failed to include cyclists (or pedestrians) when it rebuilt Blackfriars Bridge. This is after all the same entity that took sidewalk space away from pedestrians and re-purposed it for storage of unused private motor vehicles in many of the suburbs of London (see Crap Cycling & Walking in Waltham Forest). If they are the people who are in charge of making cycling infrastructure, I’m not surprized to find it sub-standard or missing.

And that’s all I got today, plus I have to run. Y’all have a good one, and I’ll have something without dead or injured cyclists tomorrow.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

After posting a huge success, a tiny Feed

Yes, my previous post on the limitations of binary gendered pronouns in the English language has been a huge success, becoming one of my highest-rated posts not covering a breaking conviction or sentencing. Those posts are still bringing in hits, some of them are over a year old. Well that post got almost as many hits per hour as the one about Tasha Borland pleading guilty. To quote a Mad Magazine movie parody from the 1960s, whodathunkit?

Starting out with some non-wreck news, the Bicycle Slut relates from her blog that while she was competing and touring in Oz, her storage facility was broken into and some of her bicycles and an expensive and powerful compound bow were taken. Break in at the SEEKRIT BUNKER So, UK readers (both of you) keep an ocular peeled for someone trying to dump one of these at a boot sale or flea market, the owner is watching the online places where stolen bikes get laundered. I just know if I ever get my hands on the low-lives that took Gigi broken bones will ensue, and I’m not that hospitable to these crooks that took 8 bikes from that lady. She has a link to the Blag Hag on her blogroll so she’s good in my eyes. 😉

From CO another reason not to ride stoned, you’ll get a ticket. Cyclist Hit By Car Gets Ticket Nothing on the mode of the wreck, but the cyclist wasn’t injured so the impact was probably at walking speed or less. But, yeah, don’t ride with drugs or alcohol in your system if only to avoid legal problems.

It seems that UK truck drivers can’t avoid cyclists, here’s another one they killed. Leicester cyclist dies after lorry crash For those keeping score at home, that’s 3 hit this week with (at least) 2 fatalities. For a country that has slightly more than twice the population of Texas in slightly more than 1/3 of the land, they have way more trucks hitting cyclists than we do, and a much higher rate of cyclist fatalities than even car-sick TX. Seriously, what’s up wi’ dat?

And from the “Bad boys, bad boys, what ya gonna do?” files, a purse snatcher rides a bike. Boynton police seek purse-snatching cyclist Given the attire of the “cyclist” the bike was probably stolen too.

And that’s all I have today. Y’all have a great weekend, get yourself a ride in or give that bike some love in the form of some maintenance.

Billed @#0.02, Opus

We need more pronouns

That is the conclusion I reached after a convergence of several things. First was the Welcoming Congregation training we got in my church. Second was having (at least) 2 transgendered persons joining said church, one MtF and one FtM. I say at least because there may be more who don’t want to discuss the matter, and I don’t care. I knew these people when they were in their birth genders, which is why I know about their transitions, but there might be other people that were already transitioning when I met them so unless they made a “thing” about it I wouldn’t know. And to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t care.

The third thing is a webcomic I read regularly is going through an arc with a character who identifies as female, but is very proud of her fully functioning penis. This has resulted in many pages of discussion in the fora connected with this comic.

And one of the upshots of all this is not having enough pronouns in the English language. We have the masculine he, him, his; the feminine she, her, hers; the plural they, them, and theirs which are gender-neutral; but we don’t have anything for either those in-between, or for those situations when identifying the sex or gender of the person that is the object of the sentence is not appropriate.

The one thing that has happened is the use of the gender-neutral plurals to refer to single individuals, which can be confusing when you have one person interacting with a group and you don’t want to or can’t specify the gender of the individual. This results in sentences that while grammatically correct and gender non-specific, are totally incomprehensible.

I have read science-fiction stories about genetically engineered humans who had both sets of genitalia in working condition because their environment was so harsh that reproduction became nearly impossible because of the need for having members of the opposite sex both in the same location at the same time became, urmn, inefficient. For that environment it became much better to have 2 random people show up, and at random have one become masculine and the other feminine and procreate. Otherwise given the mobility required to maintain life in that environment and the scarcity of encounters a woman could live her entire reproductive life without seeing a male when she was fertile, thus losing her genes to the society, ditto with males never seeing a woman in her fertile state. There are several examples of this but the one I read first was leGuinn’s Left Hand Of Darkness . LeGuinn did not handle this one well in my opinion as all the inhabitants of that world were referred to by masculine pronouns except when mating, but this did move the idea forward. There were other, later stories that used portmanteau of the existing pronouns for inhabitants of the planet, while keeping existing pronouns for outsiders.

So, how do we refer to members who are not one thing or another but are gender * i, whose sexuality is not on a simple line between Male and Female, but who are on a completely different axis? And to be honest I’m not even sure how many axis there should be, we have the previously accepted axis of Male-Female, and heck it wasn’t even an axis until the last part of the 20th Century. Before that it was just 2 sides to a coin that got tossed when you were conceived. Now we have at least 2 axis, one of gender, one of sexuality, and maybe a third of biological sex, and none of those are binary except at their extremes.

Let’s tackle those axis for a minute. let’s start with the sex axis, the one determined by biology. On the face of it this would be one of the easier ones to deal with because for most of us it was determined by the presence or absence of a Y chromosome at conception, but after that there are the in-utero hormones and analogues and their effects. So you might have that Y chromosome, and a vagina. Or conversely 2 X chromosomes and a penis. Your gonads would be determined by your genetics but your genitalia would be set by the hormones in your mother’s womb. Or you might be someplace “inbetween” with both a vagina and a penis, but missing the parts that were built from those parts in the opposite sex, like a clitoris or a scrotum, and gonads that were just a mush. That would be near the middle of the “sex” axis.

“Sexuality” on the other hand would be “Attracted exclusively to males, not attracted to females” on one end and “Attracted exclusively to females, not attracted to males” on the other end, with two middles of “Not attracted to either males or females” and “Equally attracted to males and females” as the “other middle”. I think this covers sexuality without reference to gender as in “hetero-sexual” and “homo-sexual”.

Then there is the gender axis, which is where a lot of people get horribly screwed up, because this is where your head is. IN YOUR MIND are you primarily male, female, or something inbetween? For most of us gender is something we select because of our sex, but not always. And this is where trans-gendered persons come from. It’s not women who want to be men, they ARE men, but their bodies are “wrong”. It’s not men who want to be women, they ARE women, they just lack the parts that look like women’s parts. It isn’t a case of hating what you were born as because of stereotyping, you hate the gender you were born as because IT AIN’T RIGHT!

Which brings us back to the reason for this post. We lack the pronouns to meaningfully refer to people who are not one sex or the other, one gender or the other, or who are one sex but a different gender. Ursula LeGuinn solved that by calling everyone by masculine pronouns except when female was definitely on display, but this was in the late 1960s when these concepts were first being bandied about, and as much as I admire LeGuinn as a writer (in spite of butchering her surname repeatedly), she was not prepared to change the English language single-handedly. We lack the pronouns to refer to someone who is mostly attracted to someone of their sex, but of the opposite gender, and at the same time not attracted to someone of the opposite sex unless they are of the opposite gender. And I’m just a simple blogger, who is not qualified to do anything in this matter except say, “Webster’s, we have a problem.”

PSA, Opus

Having cat issues, and the Feed

My cats are having “issues” right now and want me to let them in my lap and pet them, problem with that is I only have a thin pair of shorts on at the moment and the cats are happily flexing their toes while I pet them and well, they have these sharp things on the ends of their toes and I have this funny thing about keeping my blood inside my skin. I know, keeping your blood internally is highly over-rated, but I prefer it that way. Besides it’s hard to type and pet the cat plus dis-engage claws from legs, all at the same time.

Up first is a kid getting hit by a person driving a truck too fast on a residential street. 4-year-old cyclist dies after being struck by truck Not much to say there, the kid was riding a recumbent tricycle and the driver wasn’t paying enough attention to his situation (bad SA in fighter-pilot terms) and he ran over the kid. The kid was doing what kids do, playing, and a 4 YO is not old enough to be responsible for getting out of the way of a car or truck that’s moving too fast for where it is.

More on the cyclist hit by a drunk driver with 16 violations. Police release name of cyclist killed in crash with DUI suspect and Killed cyclist owned a Newport Beach travel agency Why the driver was even on the roads in that condition at that time of the day is one question, another question is was the rider in the cycle lane when he was hit (which really is not material to the case because it is always illegal to drink and drive, but there are many legal reasons to not be in the bike lane). From these reports the driver has enough money or her parents have enough money to pay her bond without the use of a bailbondsman. This might explain how she was still driving in spite of having 16 violations.

Still in CA, a 9 YO is hit in the crosswalk. Accident sends 9-year-old to hospital Once again the driver wasn’t paying attention to the road and the cyclist suffered for it. FYI a cyclist under 12 is considered the same as a pedestrian in CA (at least according to some web sites) and in CA a pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk.

Moving east a bit we have a hit-and-run in Northern AL. Crossville cyclist killed in apparent hit-and-run near Boaz As I pointed out in the comment I left on the article, more than likely the bike ended up under the vehicle that was used in the hit-and-run, and given the area was most likely a pickup truck. There is a very good possibility that this was deliberate and head-on, unavoidable for the cyclist, but it might have been a hit-from-behind wreck by someone not paying attention to the road, so in that case following hit-from-behind protocol might have helped prevent this wreck. But all fatal hit-and-run is manslaughter and the driver should get a lengthy prison term.

From Jolly Olde a construction truck hits 2 cyclists in a roundabout, sending one to hospital. Old Street crash: woman cyclist critically ill Wrecks in roundabouts are usually because of unsafe lane movements by people entering the roundabout, which in this case was the truck. The fact that there were 2 cyclists hit tells us the driver of the truck was at fault, because one cyclist might do something suicidally stupid but the odds of 2 cyclists doing the exact same suicidally stupid thing at the same time in the same place are so low as to be not significant. Most likely mode of the wreck, the truck merged right without allowing enough room for the cyclists instead of merging behind the cyclists. Given the high curbs of the roundabout this would trap the cyclists against the curb and one went under the wheels.

From Oz, a report on a wreck where after notifying authorities after hitting a cyclist, an ambulance was sent but not a LEO. Police seek witnesses to Shenton Park cycle crash Initially this was treated as a hit-and-run but the ambulance attendants reported the driver stayed at the scene until after they left, and the driver eventually had to use an internet reporting form from his home to report the wreck. But at any rate hit-from-behind protocols might have reduced the severity of the injuries if not prevented the wreck.

Just weeks after a law went into effect requiring cyclists to dress like clowns when riding, a cyclist dressed like a clown gets hit from behind in the UAE. Man killed in Sharjah hit-and-run incident It isn’t the clothing, it’s the drivers. If a driver is not going to see a human being on the road in front of him/her then adding a clown suit isn’t going to change that.

And that’s all the news that gives me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

My prejudices have been confirmed, and the Feed

Doncha just love it when science confirms your prejudices? I will link to an article later in this post that confirms that there is nothing about you or your mode of travel that makes drivers honk at cyclists and run them off the roads, those people are just rectal sphincters. Actually that term is impolite, to real rectal sphincters. The rectal sphincter is a noble muscle that must remain in a near permanent state of contraction and still be able to relax on command without cramping up. The counterpart on the road is equally tense but instead of keeping shit in like the noble rectal sphincter they spew it all over the roads and frequently get it on other people who have to share the roads with them. Anyway, they have discovered that this is a form of mental illness, caused by stress. Gee, I thought it was a personality trait…

Up first is a teen that pinballed from one collision to another while riding a bicycle. Teen cyclist injured in Medford accident I’m glad they didn’t charge the driver in this case, this was not caused by the motor vehicle. A wreck like this is very hard to avoid as a cyclist’s attention is mainly on things at ground level, and this was caused by an obstruction at head level. BTW if anyone knows which Medford this happened in please leave a comment. I know of one in OR, and another one in CT, if this was one of those or someplace else leave a comment 😉

Moving to the UK, a cyclist’s claim against a local government for damages caused by poor road repairs is covered by insurance, so why the protracted legal battle? Insurers to pay costs of cyclist’s accident claim The cyclist rolled through a puddle (I think, this has been in court for 3 years, I may have conflated 2 stories together) with a deep, squared edge, pothole under the muddy water and was thrown from the bike and suffered a broken jaw and a broken bicycle. After all this time the cyclist’s costs for bike repairs and lost time at work have finally been repaid. There are time when I wish that I could sue for roads that are “broken” and cause my vehicle damage. That’s one of the reasons why I was riding a full-suspension MTB with slicks when I got hit, I needed that suspension to keep from losing lights from the rough streets breaking the light brackets (avg life span, 2 weeks).

Lifestyle in UT, a woman rides for fallen LEO. Local Woman in Police Unity Tour 2011 Even as much as I disagree with LEO about bike matters, these guys put their lives on the line for us. When that check gets cashed we should remember and honor that cost of human life.

PA cyclists are getting ready for Spring. Carlisle area women ready their bikes Go! ladies Go!

Recall About 1,550 Felt adult bicycles, manufactured by Felt Bicycles of Irvine, Calif Possible fork failures leading to injury or death. Ouch.

And finally, the article I alluded to in the opening paragraph about road rage being a mental illness. Study: ‘Sidewalk Rage’ Plagues New York City Streets Yes the thing I thought was a personality trait is now a mental illness: “intermittent explosive disorder.” And the comments show just how widespread this disorder is…

That’s all I have for today. See you tomorrow, I’m going for a bike ride today before it gets really hot here in the suburbs of Hell.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Trending weird, the Feed

As long as “weird” does not include “many dead and injured cyclists” I can accept “weird”. Actually the weirdest wreck in the Feed this morning was the guy that fell during the keirin race at the track World Cup race and took a 7″ splinter off the wooden velodrome in his calf muscle. You won’t see that link because it was bicycle racing, and WoaB lets Velonews handle the bike racing stuff. I want to keep you safe(r) and celebrate riding a bicycle to get places. I really like riding to get places, it’s fun and I burn calories rather than gas or diesel. This means I get to eat more, and I REALLY like eating. One of these days I’m going to do a food blog, and ride my bike between restaurants so I burn off the calories and don’t get fat(ter).

Up first is yet another FL cyclist hit by an oblivious driver. Bicyclist Hit By Car Injured; Dog OK Yes there was a dog involved, the cyclist had a trailer with a dog in it, and there is a picture of the dog and trailer in the article. Details are sketchy at this point, but the only thing definite from the damages was the cyclist was hit from the side, but not hard enough to actually damage the bicycle (or be able to tell which side he was hit from). I don’t know exactly what happened so I can’t tell you how to avoid the wreck.

Another UK story, this one about a cyclist hit from behind and then left for dead.
Man charged after Pendle cyclist’s death
Because of the UK restriction on media reports of pending criminal cases I don’t have enough detail to say anything about the wreck except that hit-from-behind protocol might have been helpful in this wreck, maybe not.

One of the nicer things about trending weird is trending small, I’m still waiting on the last report of the day and I have put all the road cycling articles that I had this morning in my report. While I’m waiting for that last report that’s due @1415 CST, I have been using Google Chrome as my web browser for the last week, alternating with my usual FireFox3. At first there were some things I greatly liked, as well as some things that drove me batty. one thing that drove me batty was Chrome always opening a link in a new tab instead of a new window. Then I discovered the keyboard shortcut to switching between tabs in Chrome (ctrl-tab) which made my life so much easier. One thing I still haven’t found out is the keyboard shortcut to use the Bookmarks. I checked the list of keyboard shortcuts and bookmarks was noticeably absent. If someone knows of a keyboard shortcut to access the bookmarks in Chrome, please leave a comment.

Back after the latest report from the Feed, a drunk driver hits a CA cyclist from behind and flees the scene. Cyclist Struck, Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver I don’t know what you can do in a case of this nature as details are skimpy at this point.

Sort of an infrastructure bit, the latest version of the loudest jersey in the world is… talked about but not shown. Bicyclist Creates Jersey for Greatest Possible Visibility From the description this sounds so loud and ugly that drivers may hit you just to put you out of their misery so they don’t have to see that jersey again.

And finally a letter to the editor from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike asking for more bike paths. Letter: Lack of bicycle paths has cyclists fearing for their safety Actually it is the hordes of idiot drivers that has cyclists fearing for their safety, but that isn’t PC.

And that’s all the news that gave me fits. I’m sure there will be more news and fits tomorrow. 😛

Billed @$0.02, Opus

A light Feed for a Monday

Well, fingers crossed but the life I have away from this blog is not too shabby this morning. Granted I’m still without continuing gainful employment, and I still have days when my injuries from the wreck are more than just a discomfort, but this morning I don’t hurt, I have something to do that’s constructive, and I have a full pot of coffee. Life is good, today. Now if I could just get enough money to pay the bills, fix the various things around the house that need fixing (both bathrooms, the stove, kitchen faucet, roof) and have a little left over for bike projects life would be perfect.

Up first is the only road wreck I have, a hooking wreck of a bicycle cop in the UK. Hunt for hit-and-run driver who knocked down PCSO cyclist This was entirely the fault of the driver not paying attention to where he was going when he turned on to the street with the cyclist. There was no way for the cyclist to have been any more conspicuous than she already was given that she was on a police bike with all the reflectors and doo-dads, and she was wearing essentially a clown costume of Hi-Viz greens and yellows. Add in the fact that the driver stopped, got out of the car and looked at what he hit and then left the scene and you get a strong degree of pre-meditation. There was no way to avoid this wreck as the driver did not give enough reaction time with the turn for any human cyclist to avoid the wreck. I strongly suggest that the car be shredded on Top Gear possibly with the driver still in it, handcuffed to the steering wheel with the doors welded shut. Side note I find it interesting that so much more information was released for a wreck involving a cop than what is normal for a UK wreck report.

In the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike a memorial rally for a cyclist hit from behind in the bike lane. Cyclists rally for awareness in Jensen Beach Everyone should gang up on TCP user Anakin about how the cyclist was using infrastructure for bicycles when he was killed by a person driving a car, how this was not a case of cyclists using roads “made for cars” but a driver using a road made for everybody and killing another road user on the part of the road reserved for that user. Feel free to be as abusive as you want. Threaten his family, his pets, and his entire lineage of descendants. In other words, make him feel like a cyclist on the roads in FL.

And finally, the former motorcycle racer who recovered from a serious spinal injury is riding a bicycle from the San Diego Supercross race to the Daytona Beach Supercross race to raise money for spinal cord injury research. Former Motocross Rider Cycling For Spinal Cord Research WoaB strongly urges you to contribute to this cause.

And that’s it for today. Only one, minor fit getting the news filtered and posted.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

“Death-free” Sunday rant

OK after another Sunday from Hades, I have a few minutes to kick back and not talk about people getting hit by motor vehicles while riding a bicycle. What I’m going to discuss is a small but very important part of infrastructure, the lowly traffic light control sensor.

I think I have mentioned that of all the thousands of intersections in Garland, there is only one that will semi-reliably detect my bicycle, the one down the street on Pleasant Valley, northbound at Country Club. I know that this is because when I stop at the stop bar I block the next vehicle behind from reaching the sensor. This results in a line of cars behind me waiting for the light to change because I’m the only vehicle that can reach the sensor and I won’t run the red. Even so I can only get about a 75-80% success rate in getting the light to change without a car snuggled up behind my bike…

On the way back from the NCTCOG meeting last week I rode with the head of the Garland Traffic Department, and we discussed that there was a simple change that would make every light capable of detecting a bicycle waiting to change the light, the dipole loop detector. This simple change combined with the MUTCD-approved pavement marking that shows where bicycles need to be positioned to trigger the light makes every intersection Bicycle- and motorcycle-friendly. The problem is there are as I wrote earlier thousands of intersections in Garland that need the better sensors and markings. even if the cost is only a few hundred $ per intersection the total would be close to or over a million $. That ain’t in the budget for Garland in this economic climate. But what was discussed was a possible “Adopt an Intersection” program where churches, corporations, and private individuals could pay for installation of the sensors and pavement markings in exchange for publicity and signage. I discussed the possibility of this with the Social Justice committee at my church and they seemed positive about it. We have church members that ride motorcycles and they are also positive about the possibility of installing better sensors.

So, what do you think? Do you think that sponsoring intersections would be a good idea for fixing broken infrastructure faster? Or would pulling money from car-centric building projects and diverting it to making the built infrastructure work for all users be a better idea?

Billed @$0.02. Opus