Monthly Archives: March 2011

Another late report before going off-line for a while, and the Feed

I have been doing things I get paid for (woo!) and getting ready to go to an off-site job where I will be without internet access for the next 4 days, so I won’t be able to update the blog for a while after tonight. On the plus side I wouldn’t be doing the off-site if I wasn’t making money from it, so yay me!

Up first is a report that the man that hit-and-run a cyclist in CA isn’t as crazy as he claimed he was and will have to stand trial. Saratoga man accused of hit-and-run found competent to stand trial This has gone on entirely too long, I just wish they would get around to sending this guy to prison as soon as possible. There is very little doubt about his guilt, why prolong the pain?

The most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike has killed another one. Bike Florida cyclist hit by car, killed in Newberry and Bike Florida cyclist killed by motorist Wednesday is event’s first recorded fatality The cyclist was riding lawfully on the shoulder of the road and was hit from behind by a driver picking up a dropped cell phone? Not to mention that there were supposedly a number of signs alerting drivers along the route that there was going to be a large number of cyclists on the roads and to be careful to not hit them.

A rather large minority of people killed in DC are killed by motor vehicles while walking or riding a bike. Campaign to protect pedestrians, cyclists as number of crashes in the District rises It doesn’t surprise me at all that the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed continued to rise while drivers and passengers are getting killed less, cyclists and pedestrians don’t have tons of steel and multiple airbags to protect them in a wreck, just bare flesh with a little cloth to keep it warm.

A driver in the UK is sent to jail for running a red light and crippling a cyclist. Aughton driver Bradley Potter sentenced to 12 weeks detention I still don’t understand the thinking behind only 12 weeks for permanently altering another person’s life for the worse, but I’m not the judge in this case.

Still in the UK the furor over a bill to greatly increase the penalties for a cyclist killing a pedestrian while so many driver skate for killing cyclists is still at a high boil in spite of the bill being mooted. Furious cyclists The number of cyclists killed where the drivers get almost no penalty to no penalty at all, compared to the jail terms for both the cyclists found guilty of hitting a pedestrian has seriously cheesed off cyclists over the calls for stricter penalties against cyclists…

A change in the law in OK. New laws affect cyclists and motorists Most of the changes are restrictions on drivers, with some liberalizations for cyclists, so win-win!

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Still running around doing “stuff”, and the Feed

Yep, errands to run today, things to do and more parts to get for the headlight project. And the temperature was never above 50 F while I did it. I have had worse, this year even, but I had fur on my head then. Riding in the cold without the fur is not fun. The Feed was the dog’s breakfast thematically as there were so many wildly different kinds of stories today.

Up first by reason of number of links is another delivery cyclist hit in NYC. SUV Driver Sends Brooklyn Delivery Cyclist to the ER Biased in the other direction Cyclist Blows Red Light, Causes Crash and a completely different bias Atlantic Yards Causes Bike-SUV Collision The only thing I have to say is all 3 reports noted the lack of visibility at the intersection, and the cyclist’s side of the story hasn’t been heard. To avoid a similar wreck, watch for stale yellows and use intersection protocols.

Another LEO is hit while riding. Bicyclist injured after being struck by vehicle in Columbia This one was hit in PA, and the description is a typical right hook except that the cyclist appears from the report to have only road rash, not the typical result. The driver actually got a ticket in this wreck. I would have thought they would have given him a “trip” down the back stairs as well, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. Why can’t we get police brutality for someone that really deserves it? 😛

An amazing story from CA about a driver that actually got charged with murder for hitting a cyclist while driving drunk. Elderly cyclist killed in hit and run Actually there were several things about this that are amazing beyond the charges filed: Other drivers chased and captured the driver and held him until LEO arrived, The driver is being held without bail after a hit-and-run. If you have read my blog for any length of time you will know that for any of those things to happen in a bike wreck is uncommon, for all of those things to happen in a single story is unheard-of!

Link removed at request of copyright holder.

From far West Canuckistan comes a report of a different kind of bike wreck. Partially clad man gropes cyclist in Rutland I sometimes have that happen from passengers in cars, but I have never been groped by a half-naked human on foot. To avoid, ride fast.

Moving to Enn Zed a story on a road rider that went off-road, way off road… Cyclist badly injured in peninsula fall For the metric impaired, 6M is about 21 feet. That’s some wreck to not involve a car or other vehicle. To avoid a similar wreck ride slower than the guy that left the road.

In Jolly Olde cyclists are working to establish better legal infrastructure to prevent deaths from HGV, or BIG trucks. London Cycling Campaign calling for No More Lethal Lorries support Let’s see, on the one hand you have a huge truck that emits tons of pollution every year, tears up the roads, makes its operators overweight or obese, and kills people way in excess of its numbers on the roads. On the other hand you have a bicycle which does almost no damage to the roads, creates no pollution, makes the rider more healthy than without it, and so seldom kills another road user that most places don’t even bother keeping statistics of it. Which do you get rid of? Ponder, ponder, ponder… Hmmm…

Lifestyle of the cyclist and famous in IA. Siouxland cyclists gear up to share the road Good advice for IA cyclists in the article, which applies to cyclists in most other states, too.

And that’s all I can take for one day. I’m going to go read the funnies.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Good news from the Lab Rat Keeper, and the Feed

First, this post is late because I had to visit the Lab Rat Keeper again, but I had good news. The new med is actually keeping my BP well within normal limits, subject to normal fluctuations due to emotional stress that go away when the stress goes away. Now all I have to do is just remain calm, Zen out with my mantra, and become one with everything, and everything will be all right… 😉

Up first is another report on the cyclist killed by a dump truck driver outside San Antonio. Cyclist killed in Schertz identified I’m still trying to figure out why a driver that stormed out of a driveway at excessive speed and killed a human being has not been charged with anything yet. I’m sure had he hit a small car or even a pedestrian crossing the driveway at the shoulder of the road there would have been charges, why nothing in the death of a cyclist?

LEO in Corpus Christi are doing something about a guy killed while riding a bicycle. Police Closer to Finding Hit-and-Run Driver It doesn’t matter the cyclist was homeless, a crime was committed and culprits will be brought to justice.

More on the OH trial of a drunk driver that killed a cyclist. Arresting Officer Takes Stand in Deadly DUI Trial Just a minor quibble with the previous link, the driver blew a 0.109, not a 1.9 Defense attorney challenges sobriety tests in trial over bicyclist’s death The defense in this case is grasping at straws, the BAC was well over the limit, by 0.029, or more than a third. the cyclist was both well-lit and reflectored, plus it was almost full daylight, and the only witness on his side was as blitzed as he was. I suggest throwing himself at the mercy of the court, after all it was only a guy riding a bike that was killed, if it had been someone important they would have been driving a car… 😛

Moving to Jolly Olde, they are taking the death of a cyclist killed in a collision with a police car very seriously, including moving the investigation to the UK equivalent of Internal Affairs. Probe launched after city cyclist is killed in crash with police car Since this is a UK report the level of information is just stunning. stunningly useless for this blog trying to keep you alive and in one piece. But the investigation is ongoing, and it is not unknown for cops to get charged for driving offenses in the UK, even while on duty.

Still in the UK we finally find out the details of the wreck that killed a budding fashion designer back in 2009. Cyclist killed by bus ‘was dragged under wheels like cardboard box’ So, it appears the bus driver just drove straight over the cyclist that was in front of her at the stop light, crushing and mangling the cyclist’s body in the process. This one would be hard to avoid as a cyclist because the cyclist did exactly what the law required of her, she went to the stop box at the head of the line so that she would be visible to the lead driver and waited for the light to change. Then when the light changed the bus driver just pulled up and over the cyclist. Apparently the bus driver thought watching out for objects (like people) in front of a bus was optional.

And a driver in Israel admits to driving stoned when he hit-and-run assaulted a cyclist Man charged in hit-and-run admits to having driven under influence of hashish It is unfortunate that the cyclist was the son of a former Supreme Court (of Israel) Justice, unfortunate for the accused driver. The LEO community there is like a family, and family of family is still family. I would say this guy is also boned, and about to be filleted.

Moving on to Infrastructure! an explanation of why we need Safe Routes To School. Program helps children battle obesity Notice that they have a very expensive program to help kids reduce their weight, when those kids have to be driven practically across the street every time they leave the house, because the streets are not perceived to be safe to travel for children. It’s not that kids are eating too much, it’s they’re not getting enough activity every day. Having safe places to walk or ride a bike for transportation would fix that. I didn’t start graining weight until I moved out to the country and could no longer walk or ride my bike to where I needed to go. I also had a severe case of anemia which made what little opportunity I had to exercise physically painful for several months.

San Jose CA has an interesting infrastructure problem. San Jose council considers shorter dog leashes on park trails How is this a bicycle infrastructure issue? Well have you ever tried to navigate a trail with dogs running from one side to the other on what seems like mile-long leashes? You have the dog to dodge then you have the sometimes nearly invisible leash to not get tangled up in. Having shorter leashes is a big thumbs up in my book. Just a note one of the people quoted in the article states in the comments section that the “quotes” were fabricated.

In CO they are trying to fight childhood obesity. Fort Collins, Loveland receive money to make walking, biking safe for children You have to start small, and take baby steps, to get stuff like this past the bean counters and the Tea Baggers.

How to make a cycling city, a little bit at a time. A Cycling City Gets “Street Smart” It is unfortunate that one of the dynamos behind the scenes in this did not live to watch the fruits of his labors.

Infrastructure of the legal kind in CA. CHP continues pulling suspected DUI drivers off the road Yes, you can get DUI for riding a bicycle while drunk in CA. So don’t. Above and beyond getting arrested it’s just a really bad idea.

In the UK a possible tool to reduce the CARnage. City wants 20mph limit in bid to save cyclists’ lives Not the silver bullet, but impacts at 20 MPH and below have a 5% fatality rate with cyclists and pedestrians hit by motor vehicles, while just 10 MPH faster gets you 50% killed. That’s a huge reduction in mortality for a measly 10 MPH reduction in speed.

Finally an English-language paper that covers most of Asia and the western Pacific Rim reports on one country’s work in reducing cyclists’ fatalities. Are roads now safer for cyclists? I think the country they’re talking about is Singapore. Later parts of the article confirm that and also show that almost anywhere the English language has been established drivers hate cyclists. Is there something about being Anglophone and hating cyclists?

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

After my rough weekend, you get the Feed

Yeah, well it was entirely self-inflicted. Nobody twisted my arm or anything like that, I just had a lot of “stuff” show up on my plate all on the same weekend. I ended up making 5 loaves of bread from 4 different recipes which all required a 2 hour initial rise period before I could start the next batch, which ended up taking pretty much all of my day on Saturday, along with selling bread that I had already made. I mentioned yesterday the problems I have been having with my yeast while making the bread. Then on Sunday I had 2 services on dealing with Chaos as a force of nature, which didn’t let me get home for dinner until almost 9 PM (2100). The only good thing about yesterday is that I had some howling tailwinds pushing me to church that managed to die off nicely on the way home, unlike Saturday when I had headwinds, very strong headwinds at that, both ways on my ride as there was a FROPA during the day while I was at church. That’s always fun to be on your feet all day and just be bone tired, and the wind has changed so what would have been a nice tailwind to push you home is now a roaring whistling headwind.

Up first is an update on the cyclist killed in NYC when he fell off his bike in front of a bus. MTA Finds Bus, Driver Involved In Fatal Crash With Cyclist and Bus That Hit and Killed Cyclist Is Located New information has come out since the story broke on Friday. The cyclist was knocked from his bike by slick/uneven metal plates used to cover holes in the street and fell in front of a bus that was moving to the right to avoid another vehicle that had encroached in his lane and the cyclist got run over because motor vehicle operators refused to slow to a safe speed while going through a construction zone. I don’t know how well this construction zone is marked, there could be very little warning before reaching the zone to alert drivers they need to slow down. Also the direction of travel for the cyclist is now known, he was riding with the flow of traffic in the same direction as the bus that killed him, not running a red light as had been previously questioned before direction of travel was known.

What sounds like another SWSS from the initial description given from this article, in the most deadliest place to walk or ride a bike in the US. Police: Cyclist struck by car seriously injured Yep, drivers in FL can’t be trusted to keep their cars under control and not hit anyone, so you shouldn’t ride a bicycle in front of a car, you should get out of the roads and push your bike through intersections.[/sarcasm] Hit-from-behind protocols for the cyclist and a clue-by-four between the eyes for the driver, and possibly the LEO in this case.

Lifestyle from NY state, a race series honors a LEO killed in the line of duty. Cyclists from all over northeast compete in Coxsackie race Still one more race left in the series to watch.

Infrastructure! news from the Emerald Isle. RSA launches cycle safety campaign It is important to dress like a clown when walking or riding a bicycle because motor vehicle operators lose 20 IQ points whenever they get behind the wheel.[/sarcasm] Twice in the article they stress wearing high-visibility clothing, and only once did they stress watching where the hell you’re guiding multiple tons of deadly machinery.

And that’s all I have for you today, fortunately.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

On yeasts, politicians, and other things we can’t live without but wished we could

I got a bad batch of yeast that I have to work through before I can get a new batch. I have tried using the amount I normally use when baking bread, the amount recommended on the label, and twice the amount on the label, and I still get bread that rises in a very lack-luster manner. Previous batches have risen very nicely, even a little exuberantly, but this batch of yeast has been positively “meh”.

I have been dealing with a local politician to get some bike facilities built in Garland, the biggest thing would be some secure bike parking. We both agree that the current code situation is excessive for car parking, I mean the local stores still have parking spots open when the stores are absolutely packed for Black Friday. I’m trying to get the codes amended to allow bike parking to replace car parking in any amount, because you can park 16 bikes in the space required for one car, and most businesses don’t really need all that parking IRL. There is a big plan to build a “bicycle highway” from Mesquite to Richardson, but most of the route is in a flood plain. I ask you, how many “highways” do you know that are the sole route for cars that are built in a flood plain? Are we supposed to not go to Mesquite or Richardson when it rains?

I did a service this morning on harnessing chaos in our lives now that Spring is here so that we can get things done, that was supposed to use children acting like clowns to get rid of the chaos we don’t need. Unfortunately the children were not all that interested in acting like clowns… so they didn’t. There was no way to convince the kids to act like clowns so I had to call an audible on the service, to borrow a football term for changing plans of the fly. Instead we had the adults acting a bit like kids, playing with a ball in the sanctuary.

I have to get ready for evening services, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow with the Feed for today and tomorrow.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Late report after working all day, the Feed

This report got started very late because I was at my church selling baked goods for our annual Spring Bazaar (Bizzare). I spent way too much time on my feet, which are hurting like the dickens, and afterwards we had a little Shearing of the Sheep ceremony, where I lost my hair and beard as I transition to Summer. I had to tighten the chin strap on my helmet after the event, and my head feels much lighter.

Up first by reason of proximity is a fatal wreck in San Antonio. Bicyclist killed in Schertz accident OK, this is another one of those wrecks that just makes my blood boil. The cyclist was JRA, minding his own business when the truck pulls out from a driveway moving fast enough to kill him on impact. So, this should be a simple case, right? Yes, simple as in no charges brought against the truck driver for violating the cyclist’s right of way and killing him.TANJ!

The big story of the day is the cyclist that was hit-and-run by a city bus in NYC. Cyclist Killed By MTA Bus In Manhattan and Police: MTA Bus Kills Bicyclist on Upper East Side and Delivery bicyclist killed in collision with city bus and finally a video that I can’t watch here at WoaB Cyclist Hit By Runaway Bus – New York Post OK distilling the text articles down we find that the cyclist was going west to east, was hit by the front of the bus so had to be in view for at least a second, at this point nobody knows who had the right of way, and as of the last article posted the bus had not been found, so onboard video of the wreck has not been reviewed. Regardless of who was at fault, the bus driver committed a hit-and-run, and must be prosecuted. There is no provision in the law that allows a driver to “not know” that they have hit someone, there is only did the driver leave the scene of the wreck without lending aid to the victim, leaving contact data and giving a statement to the police in case of a fatality or serious injury. None of those happened in this case, so the crime has been committed. Now the question is will the police bring charges and will the prosecution prosecute?

Moving halfway across the country to OH the trial of the drunk driver accused of killing a cyclist continues. Trial Continues In Crash That Killed Cyclist Let’s review the facts of the case as they are known: The driver blew a BAC% of 0.109 at the scene, the driver had been drinking for almost 24 hours and awake even longer, whether the cyclist had reflective gear and a tail light or not was not relevant because depending on which web site you believe sunrise was either before the wreck or 5 minutes after, so daylight conditions prevailed, the cyclist was riding legally on the road, not facing traffic, and oh, yes THE DRIVER WAS DRUNK. That one fact negates anything the cyclist might have done. To avoid a wreck like this as a cyclist, use the hit-from-behind protocols. It couldn’t hurt, and you might save your life.

Moving about as far west as we can and still stay in the Lower 48, a minor celebrity in Seattle dies in a mysterious bike wreck. Seattle stage actor dies following bicycle accident The report was long on obituary, miniscule on cause of death.

Moving to Jolly Olde we get another report on the HGV wreck that killed a cyclist in London, Cyclist killed in HGV collision named as student from Spain Nothing added to the story besides the name of the cyclist and official reporting that getting hit by a big truck causes multiple major injuries that are non-survivable.

Moving a little further north to Scotland a woman driver hits a cyclist, who returns the favor. Driver on A8 injured by cyclist’s punch in the face Can’t say I haven’t wanted to do that a few times, a day!

Loads of Infrastructure! articles today: this one was close to home. Death on Dallas trail sparks concern about safety of Austin’s trails

Baltimore and the entire state of MD. A call for better bicycle safety This might help, enforce the law and prosecute people that hit cyclists in bike lanes. What a concept!

The widow of a pedestrian killed by a delivery cyclist on the sidewalk calls for cyclists to stay in the street. NYer Of The Week: Widow Of Man Killed By Cyclist Now Pushes For Road Safety Education The “road safety education” is just so much palp, what she really wants is to get cyclists off the sidewalks. Problem is until cyclists feel that riding in the street is safe they will continue to ride on the sidewalk. Even so cyclists riding on the sidewalks isn’t the real danger to pedestrians as drivers kill pedestrians by driving on the sidewalks at a rate of about 1 a week in NYC, while cyclists kill about 1 a year in the city. I would prefer that cyclists ride in the street, preferably in a bike lane or other bicycle infrastructure. Ideally, all 3 modes would be separated with each having a space, with consequences for violating that space by the less vulnerable user. And I mean that for bicycles violating pedestrian space as much as I mean that for motor vehicles violating bicycle and pedestrian space. Everybody has to have a “safe” place for transportation that doesn’t require “buying in” with a motor vehicle.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Making a second stab at this, and the Feed

I got an emergency security update to FF via my OS provider to patch a hole in FF’s security, which required closing all my browser windows right after I finished filtering the Feed. Fortunately I was able to mark the stuff I picked in the Feed folder in my e-mail (Yay! filters) and get everything back up and running very quickly after I rebooted. Which is Good, because there was some interesting things in the Feed this morning.

Up first is an update on the OR hit-and-run that put an elderly man in the hospital. Family of injured Molalla cyclist urges hit-and-run driver to turn self in Well, from looking at the crime scene pictures I would never have taken that bike for a Townie, that’s how bad the wreck was. The location was straight and fairly flat with nothing to impair the driver’s sight lines. Either the driver was impaired or distracted, or the driver hit the man on purpose. If the driver was distracted he or she would have come forward by now, which leaves drunk or on purpose. In my book there isn’t much difference between the two, unless someone spiked your orange juice. But given the time of day drunk driving is unlikely, not impossible but unlikely, so the most probable situation is the driver did it on purpose. There is a special circle in Hell for drivers that intentionally hit cyclists, where demons slice bits off the bodies of the Damned, rub salt on the wounds, and then stick the parts back on to be sliced off again.

They are finally getting to the trial for that guy that ran a cyclist down from behind back in 2009 in OH. Defense blames cyclist for his death and Trial Starts In Crash That Killed Cyclist Notice that the first thing the defense offered was a lie, about the bicycle and the clothing the cyclist was wearing when he was hit. I looked up some of the reports from earlier in the story and the cyclist was wearing a reflective vest and had something like the Planet Bike 1W blinky on the back of his bike (probably not the same light, but something similar), unlike the defense statement the cyclist had no lights or reflectors and was wearing a dark jacket. I wonder if the defense’s further statements will be as accurate with the facts? This new report just came in as I was proofreading the post. Spiegel: Friend not drunk when truck struck cyclist

In SC a bike ninja gets hit by a cop on a response to a call. Cyclist killed on Hwy. 51 Lights and reflectors at night people. Regular clothes will not cut it when riding at night, until a strict liability law is enacted and even then if you don’t have lights at night you’ll be at fault. Even if you do wear a reflective vest the driver’s lawyer will lie about if you had it on (see previous paragraph).

From Jolly Olde, another HGV has killed another cyclist in nearly the same spot. Cyclist killed in Tanner Street collision and Cyclist and pedestrian killed by lorries in crashes on London’s roads also Black day for cycling in London If you look at the crime scene you can see that the bicycle was nearly undamaged, but the cyclist’s clothing at the scene was ripped to shreds by the railing he was squeezed against by the truck. There were 3 similar wrecks recently in the same area, 2 in the same spot less than a year ago. This has to be one of the most deadly 100 yards in London for cyclists… To avoid, well this would be a really good place to take the lane so you don’t get squeezed into that cheese-grater railing, unfortunately other roads users won’t allow it as has been demonstrated from earlier wrecks.

Moving on to Infrastructure! articles, bike valet parking has become very popular in CA. Yay! Bike valet at Clovis events Bike valet helps with the problems of bikes getting locked to anything that doesn’t move, and the resulting lack of security about bikes getting stolen.

And a new bike store is opening in an underserved portion of CA. Now open: Skid and Destroy Yeah, I’m not one of the kind of people that would use such a bike shop (except for front hubs, BMX hubs are beyond bulletproof and are perfect for use on an urban commuter).

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

UGGGHHH! and the Feed

Some of the web sites I’m linking to are heavily infested with Flash ads, which makes my poor antique computer run painfully slow. I mean when you’re rocking a 733 MHz PIII and you have 8 open windows and 6 of them have multiple Flash ads running, your CPU is going to be maxed out. It’s so bad that the window I compose these posts in has crashed twice, and the words I type are only appearing after a delay of several seconds. As you can imagine this makes correcting typos a very slow process.

Up first and one of the sites that has so many Flash ads that I was telling you about is a report on a cyclist assaulted by a person with a motor vehicle after the cyclist slapped the car to push away from it. Off-duty Portland cop allegedly assaulted while biking to work Why does it take a LEO getting assaulted for other LEO to take the problem seriously? This kind of situation happens with monotonous regularity, with most cases either getting ignored or the cyclist being charged. But now since a LEO is the victim the case is taken seriously? I mean if the motor vehicle is in the same lane with a cyclist and close enough that the cyclist can touch it, much less slap it hard enough that it “disturbs” the driver then the motor vehicle is TOO DAMN CLOSE!

Staying on the West Coast for a minute, a cyclist’s death is being taken somewhat seriously by local LEO. Crash with van that killed LB bicyclist being investigated At this point I don’t know what to say, as something has changed this from a bike ninja to potentially something else. I look forward to the findings of a real investigation, should one take place.

A IN teen with a visual impairment gets hit on his blind side. NEW: Mooresville teen cyclist collides with semitrailer According to the report as it appeared when I filtered the Feed, the cyclist was visually impaired in his right eye from a previous wreck, and was also wearing a MP3 player, so it appears the cyclist never saw or heard the semi coming. He may have even stopped to check and missed seeing the truck, or mis-judged its speed and distance, and proceeded through the intersection. To avoid when you ride with mono-vision either temporary or permanent, leave your ears exposed to raise your situational awareness, and be extra special careful about using intersection protocols.

Moving to West Canuckistan, we get a more detailed report on the cyclist hit while making a left turn. Cyclist Gregory Paul Curran killed, Cowichan Valley BC Much more detail, but what I still take away from this wreck was that the cyclist did not wait until all oncoming traffic had cleared before beginning his left turn. This was a reverse left-cross, the cyclist left-crossed the motor vehicle instead of the other way around, with typical left-cross results.

In Jolly Olde a bill to make cyclists more responsible for pedestrian deaths or injuries than drivers of motor vehicles has gone down in flames from the very start. MP proposes Dangerous Cycling Bill, CTC calls it a ‘distraction’ The bill would have not materially changed the number of pedestrians hit by cyclists, already a miniscule number, but it would have punished cyclists much more severely than an equal offense in a car. At any rate it was defeated as soon as it was proposed. It seems Parliament has more sense than some US legislations. 😉

Moving to Enn Zed charges against a trucking company over one of their drivers falling asleep at the wheel and killing a cyclist are dismissed when the company was able to createprovide records that showed they had reprimanded the driver on several occasions not to drive longer than allowed by law to make deliveries. Charge over German cyclist’s death dropped This still doesn’t change the fact that as long as drivers are paid by the mile but their expenses accumulate by the month they will drive as many hours as they physically can, and beyond.

Back in the US for a NM group to advocate against unsafe infrastructure practices. Coalition teaches that bicycle safety is a two-way street I would seriously like to see a campaign that places the issue with the user of the deadly weapon instead of blaming the victim. So long as “I didn’t see (the cyclist)” remains a universal “Get Out Of Jail Free” card then nothing a cyclist can do will ever be enough.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Plugging away on a Secret Project, and the Feed

OK so it isn’t all that big a secret Secret Project, but I’m using a buttload of T 1 3/4 white LEDs on a backplane behind a lens with a beam guard at the focal point to create a very bright headlight with a sharp horizontal cutoff of the beam pattern. The hard part is laying out and drilling 117 5mm holes in hexagonal closest packing array, which I’m still doing, everything else except painting and final assembly has been done. The light will run off a 8 Ah 12v SLA I had laying around and with the tail light I had to work with it should have about a 12 hour burn time without noticeable dimming. The tests to get the beam guard placed properly were done with only 24 LEDs, and even at that low power the beam was blinding to look into. With the full 117 it should be almost as bright as a car low beam, which means no more hidden road trash to get run over in the dark, yay! me.

Lots of hit-and-run in the Feed today, and a few updates. Many of these stories are achingly sad, just as a warning.

Up first is what I think is an update on an earlier report, or it could be I have done this so many times all the reports are starting to blur together into a mental pile of broken bodies and bicycles. Oak Park bicyclist injured in hit and run I hope the catch the driver and find a place under the jail to keep him for a long time. No bail because he already demonstrated that he is a flight risk by leaving the wreck and not turning himself in, I use the pronoun “he” because it’s most likely that the actual driver that hit the cyclist was male. The person that owns the car and was arrested for the wreck is male.

A lively elderly person is hit-and-run in GA. Update: Hit & Run driver injures cyclist Apparently this was a pretty severe hit as the man’s bicycle was dragged over a quarter of a mile from the impact site, stuck under the weapon vehicle. The cyclist in this case seems to have done everything in his power to prevent this wreck except shooting the driver before he started the car. I think that in this case that might be the only thing that could have prevented this wreck.

After police refuse to act, an injured cyclist’s family turns to civil law for justice and recompense. Injured cyclist’s family sues car driver for $10M and Comatose bicyclist’s family sues 83-year-old driver for $10 million The cyclist in this case was right-hooked in the bike lane by a driver turning into a driveway. The cyclist did not have any time to react before hitting the car and going under it by one story, another report has him locking up the brakes and sliding under the car trying to avoid the wreck. Either way this was not a wreck that the cyclist could have avoided and under MD law is 100% the fault of the driver. Why LEO refuse to prosecute the matter is beyond my comprehension.

Going west to OR, we have another hit-and-run against an elderly cyclist Just Riding Around. Van’s Driver Sought After Bicyclist Hit-And-Run From the crime scene pictures I don’t see how this could not have been deliberate, the road was straight and nearly flat with nothing that would have prevented the driver from seeing a cyclist. The remains of the bike in the one picture were blood-curdling, as it appeared the bike was lying broken in a pool of blood in the ditch, the van had to be travelling at a high rate of speed to do that kind of damage. I sincerely hope the cyclist recovers from this wreck, but having been through something similar in the past when I was much younger and knowing how hard it is for older people to heal up, I’m afraid this guy’s cycling days may be over if he even survives the complications of so much blunt force trauma.

Moving to the Great White North (and many thanks to SCTV for coming up with this nick-name for Canada) a cyclist riding without lights or reflectors after dark is killed while making a left turn. Cyclist killed after being struck on Island highway Yes, the cyclist did so many things wrong in this wreck it isn’t even funny, but wearing a helmet was not going to save this cyclist. He didn’t wait until traffic was clear before starting his turn, riding without lights or reflectors after dark, his choice of clothing was not appropriate for the time of day he was riding… but not wearing a helmet was not the main issue in this wreck.

In Jolly Olde that bill to punish cyclists that hit pedestrians more severely than drivers that do the same is generating some comment. Commons to hear of Buckingham girl killed by cyclist and Comment: Reckless cyclists should face the consequences I wouldn’t mind them changing the law for cyclists killing pedestrians if it wasn’t that drivers kill pedestrians at a rate thousands of times that of cyclists in the UK and kill cyclists (and other drivers) and are given not even a slap on the wrist, I mean drivers have been found guilty of killing cyclists by careless driving (same charge as the cyclist that killed the pedestrian was found guilty of) and have only paltry court costs to pay, not even a fine. Make killing someone with a motor vehicle a serious offense and then we start worrying about the cyclists that kill once in 3 years. Unlike the US the UK keeps track of pedestrians injured by cyclists and that happens at a rate of one bicycle wreck induced injury to a pedestrian per 263 motor vehicle wreck induced injured pedestrians. The fatality ratio is even wider with 500 pedestrians getting killed by motor vehicle wrecks in the most recent reporting period (2009) against an average of 0.3 per year for bicycles, or one bicycle wreck fatality per 1500 motor vehicle wreck pedestrian fatalities. So, given the hullaballoo over the cyclist hitting that one pedestrian 3 years ago, being found guilty and paying close to the maximum fine, shouldn’t there be 1500 times the ruckus over the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicle drivers? And as always, don’t hit the pedestrians.

Last link, the widow of the last person killed by a bicycle in NYC is working to reduce all those pedestrian deaths caused by cycling. Nancy Gruskin Launches Delivery Cyclist Safety Campaign Again, one person a year on average gets killed by a cyclist in NYC, but the last one was almost 3 years ago now. And this is the most important thing she could do to remember her husband’s death? She could do more by creating a bike lane or other infrastructure on every major street in NYC, reducing the speed of traffic to the speed limit, or even just getting all the illegal drivers off the roads. But in the meantime, don’t hit the pedestrians, mm’kay?

And, finally, that’s all the news that gives me fits today. The weather is nice, I might go for a ride today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Imitating a decapitated chicken, and the Feed

I had some running around to do this morning before I got on the computer. and let me tell you the winds are fierce today. I had a mostly tailwind component for my crosswind outbound leg and I accelerated from 15 to 20 MPH without pedalling. Coming back was a different story as now the crosswind had a major headwind component, and I had a gust that stopped forward progress and moved me about 3 feet to the right. Fortunately I was on the left-hand side of the left turn lane when this happened and was not blown over a curb or into a lane of fast-moving traffic. I’m sure the cop behind me was also glad for that because he would have been the one I would have been blown into.

Our only new wreck and only North America wreck, is a blotter report on a hit-and-run in Philly. Cyclist Injured In Accident at Fairmount Park, Medical Marijuana Coming to New Jersey, and Sammy Hagar’s Alien Encounter When the bike wreck is in the same headline as medical pot and an alien abduction, you know this is serious news[/sarcasm]. Not much to say about the wreck, except it appears to be a random assault against a cyclist. When they start targeting cyclists there isn’t much you can do except ride in packs and ride armed so that someone can shoot back. The .45 ACP was designed to penetrate a car body and still retain enough energy to inflict a fatal wound, the .50 ACP was intended to go through the grill and radiator and still be capable of cracking an engine block of a 1920’s era car (when the round was developed). Just a suggestion, take it for what it’s worth. The original report had much that could have been improved upon. Cyclist Lands in Hospital After Being Run Down by an SUV“He has a broken knee cap, a broken ankle, rib fractures, he has a large collection of blood in his abdomen,” said James’ girlfriend Kristie Nichols. The injuries could have been worse if James wasn’t wearing his helmet, doctors said.” And just how could that be since there was no mention of any head injury or helmet damage?

A request for legal infrastructure commensurate with the problem in MD. Stopping tragic ‘right hooks’ that kill and injure cyclists What do you do when the cops refuse to enforce laws that protect you when you’re obeying the law?

A court in Jolly Olde rules that a cyclist was on the wrong side of the road when he was hit. ONGAR: Veteran cyclist’s death deemed a tragic accident While I find the driver’s story far-fetched, the court didn’t and ruled accordingly. I doubt that a man that had been riding for more than 50 years would have been so reckless, but the court didn’t.

A complete and utter waste of Parliament’s time is proposed… New legislation would target cyclists who kill or injure pedestrians Apparently the danger of cyclists running over pedestrians is just so much greater than cars that it warrants much stricter enforcement, in spite of the fact that official statistics are that cyclists hit pedestrians at a rate of once for every 263 incidents with motor vehicles, and have only killed 3 pedestrians in the last 10 reporting years that have averaged more than 500 pedestrian deaths per year caused by motor vehicles.

And a Lifestyle event that WoaB suggests you do. Community to cycle with wounded service members in Soldier Ride I’m not just saying this because I’m a vet, or because I ride a bicycle everywhere, I’m saying this because it is a good thing, and it will be fun. For the most part these guys are much more upbeat than I am, much more positive about recovering as much as they can and finding a way to work around what they can’t recover from. Go there, do the ride. You’ll be glad you did.

And that’s all the news that gives me fits this morning.

Billed @$0.02, Opus