Daily Archives: March 23, 2011

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