Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

It’s Monday, time for weird in the Feed

Yes, the stuff that comes in in the Feed over Sunday and Monday has fewer wrecks and more LifeStyle and Infrastructure! articles than the rest of the week, but it seemed a little more weird than usual this week. That might just be me being less oblivious to weird than usual, or it might be not the quantity of weird but the quality of weird that’s setting me off this morning. Or it might be something about the wrecks, I don’t know.

One wreck I have been hearing about over the weekend was this hit-and-run that was caught on camera in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Video: Hollywood police seek fatal hit and run driver caught on camera Because of my computer being on its last legs I wasn’t able to see the whole video, so I can’t comment on the cyclist’s rear lights, but I can see that the cyclist was wearing a reflective vest that stood out quite prominently in the video that I could see. Anyway, hit-from-behind with a high curb blocking the cyclist’s escape to the right with the excessive speed of the driver combined to leave the cyclist with no escape route, no way to avoid this wreck. A combination of bad infrastructure and an oblivious, or impatient driver killed this cyclist.

Moving out to the West coast, we have a cyclist hit in one of Bugs Bunny’s favorite towns. Female bicyclist dies in Walla Walla crash Aside from the existence of the wreck there wasn’t any information released at the time the link was posted for me to tell you how to avoid a similar wreck.

Another report on the salmon cyclist hit by a truck in OR. Cyclist Killed on Oregon Highway The only reason I’m using the cyclist’s direction of travel was to identify this particular wreck, as the cyclist was not actually in the road until the crumbling pavement made him fall in front of the truck. Now for this particular wreck the cyclist’s direction of travel made a difference because it placed him on the same side of the road as the truck that hit him, but the crumbling pavement on the shoulder was what really killed him.

Moving to AZ, we have another hit-and-run. Public help sought to find hit-run driver It is small consolation that the cyclist survived (so far) this wreck, apparently a hit-from-behind. With a damaged windshield this car will be easy to find, just put a warrant out on places that sell replacement windshields. Most body work is within the realm of a DIY repair, but you can’t fix a busted windshield with a hammer, dolly, and a can of spray paint like I did the body panels after bouncing my Civic off a bumper during an ice storm 30 years ago. All you can do with a busted windshield is replace it with a new or used one that isn’t busted, so placing shops that sell them under court order to tell LEO if a car matching the description of the weapon vehicle shows up for a new one will eventually turn up the culprit unless the vehicle is driven or towed someplace outside the jurisdiction of the LEO in charge of this case.

A cyclist saw the vehicle that hit-and-ran, leading LEO to find the driver. Hit-run injuries jeopardize man’s firefighting career; police seek felony charges against woman Yeah, her “boyfriend” really threw this woman under the bus, or pickup truck in this case, by claiming she “stole” the truck when she hit the cyclist. At any rate the insurance (assuming there was any) would not cover this wreck with the vehicle being “stolen” which places then entire financial liability on the driver. Good luck on getting any compensation out of this wreck. And as far as avoiding the wreck, the cyclist was already in a bike lane when he was hit, not leaving him much of an escape route, but on the other hand there shouldn’t have been any motor vehicles in the bike lane, either.

A Canadian cyclist is compensated for injuries suffered as a result of bad infrastructure. Cyclist gets $200,000 for pothole mishap Had the government paid up promptly instead of delaying endlessly they would have had much less to pay out, as witnessed by the increase of 76% between the award by the court and the payment by the defendant, from just over $114K to just under $200K, Canadian. The wreck was basically an endo, caused by the front wheel getting stuck in the pothole while the rider was travelling at a relatively high speed, turning the bicycle into a catapult or trebuchet.

A cop gets killed riding a bike in the UK. Cyclist killed in Llanover named as police sergeant I wouldn’t want to be in the driver’s shoes now.

A cyclist in Oz isn’t going to take a wreck lying down, even if he has to lie down frequently during the day. Cyclist sues driver for $1 million Basically the guy survived almost being a basket case caused by the driver’s actions, and now he wants enough money to pay the bills caused by what the driver did. I think that’s perfectly reasonable. Plus a bit just because the driver was a twit, say?

A writer in CA gets all existential and angst-y over cycling infrastructure and road behavior. Cycling Safety Seriously, dude, switch to de-caf. Having to back-track against traffic because your route has been blocked does not make you a cold-blooded killer. It doesn’t even make the cyclist that killed the guy you referred to in your first link a cold-blooded killer, who was just trying to deliver some food to an address on that block when he hit the guy that died, because the guy that died hit his head when he fell.

More infrastructure news from VT. Vermont lags in making roads safe for all As someone in the comments section noted, the roads they have now are falling apart from lack of maintenance, with no money to repair them, but now they have to include bicycle and pedestrian facilities when the roads are repaired? Well, yes. If the roads had included accommodation for non-motorized modes of transportation they would have lasted a bit longer, both because putting bike-ped accommodations at the edge of a road prevents deterioration from starting at the edge and progressing to the main travel lanes, and because bikes are anywhere from 1/1100 to 1/8000 as damaging to roads as passenger vehicles, and about 1/160,000,000 as damaging as a legal-limit semi. From a roads standpoint if the cargo could be transported by bicycle in smaller chunks of ~300 pounds it would be much better to transport it by bicycles. as a comparison, an 80000 pound GVW semi is carrying about 65,000 pounds of actual payload. Divide that by the 500 pound payload capacity of a cargo bike and you’re looking at 130 bikes to move the cargo at essentially zero damage to the roads or environment, aside from the food that 130 cyclists moving 500 pound payloads would have to eat. Now for cargo that can’t be sent out in tiny chunks, the roads will still need to be maintained and rebuilt, but the more we move with non-motorized transportation the less maintenance and rebuilding we will have to do.

Interesting article from Canada about bicycle politics there. Bay Street bikers: Not every cyclist is a lefty pinko I’m slightly liberal in my politics, as in “Free to make your own choices that don’t prevent others from making their choices” liberal, but I don’t consider transportation policy to be a left or right wing situation. Transportation policy should be moving people and goods safely from point A to point B-Z” inclusive, by whatever mode is most suitable to the user. If that means moving 3 tons of furniture by bicycles and trailers down the street, or moving butts across the country in a jet, or getting in a car to go to work, the end user should be the one making the decision at the time, not some political hack in an office thousands of miles away years earlier deciding what modes of transport they are going to allow to be accommodated, and everything and everybody else can bugger off.

Another Wounded Warrior ride in NC. Injured vets on a roll in Soldier Ride As always WoaB asks you support this effort.

And final link is to a dilemma I have mentioned in this very blog. Taking the racing line – revvy or not? I have mentioned my long personal involvement with NASCAR, having made friends with many of the drivers, and worked in the behind-the-scenes jobs that keep the sport running. Also I have built cars for SCCA competition, and actively participated in those activities many years ago. I also built custom cars before I moved to building custom bicycles many years later. I like cars, I just don’t like driving in normal traffic any more. Even the last car I owned, a 1988 Hyundai Excel, was way more car than I needed to drive on the street. I was no way even close to the performance capabilities of even that modest vehicle. Can you imagine the unused potential of a 2011 Corvette on the street? The only way you can get close to the edge of the envelope with a modern car is to take it to a track, and just how often does that happen? I remain convinced that requiring regular track day attendance by drivers to retain their licenses would be a good thing both in teaching where the limits are for emergency maneuvers and for allowing a bit of release for drivers that never get to actually have fun driving. Just have a half day of review of emergency techniques in the morning followed by n afternoon of hot-lapping, then more hot laps in the dark to let them know the limits of their lighting systems. This would let them find out just how bad a driver they really are, and keep them from proving how bad a driver they are around me on my bicycle…

And that’s all I have today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus