Monthly Archives: December 2011

The year of the DUI/hit-and-run driver, and the Feed

I’m not going to do anything “personal” in my opening paragraph today. In my review of the past year I have found that a huge number that made the media were either DUI or hit-and-run/presumed DUI. As a rough estimate about 45%(+/-) of the reports fell into this category, especially if I include the media reports from the UK which I normally don’t post in my blog. Part of that is the media, wrecks with no known perpetrator are “news”, and DUI wrecks are “news” as well. But part of it is just that there were that many people killed by/while DUI (a large number of wrecks were when the cyclist was above the legal limit for BAC%), and there has been an uptick in hit-and-run wrecks of all kinds, not just against cyclists. This is a documented phenomena, more and more people just don’t give a poop, or are not licensed or insured and don’t want to be caught without those. In many cases where they catch the driver, they left the scene because they just didn’t give a poop about hitting another human being who wasn’t in a car, if they were actual real people they would have been driving a car is the rationale.

First link today is a 5YO killed while riding her new bike. Shreveport child killed while riding bike The unlicensed driver backed out of a driveway into the street and right over the little girl. Normally at this point I would tell you that every driveway is an intersection, but hey. First of all the victim was a 5YO girl, second she was riding within sight of her home. I lay this entirely on the driver who did not have proper lookout when he pulled out of the driveway in a residential area with kids in the street. If you look at the picture you don’t see any sidewalks or other areas for pedestrians or kids riding tiny bikes, so there will be kids in the street there. Driver’s fault, even before considering the lack of a valid license…

A SWCC wreck in OH. Cyclist Hit In Late Night Accident I’m not going to state categorically that this cyclist wasn’t trying to cross the road as I don’t have any access to the physical evidence, and it was at an intersection. I wonder if there was a traffic light that was controlled by a loop sensor in the pavement, most of those will not change for a cyclist unless the cyclist knows where to put the bike for greatest sensitivity from the sensor, and a high percentage of those will not change even then. By law you have to treat those as failed traffic controls and act as if you were at a stop sign and proceed when the traffic on the cross road is clear.

And last links are form Oz as cyclists do not escape the holiday carnage. SA cycist dies after Christmas Day crash and National holiday road toll at 38 Note that the 5YO was hit on private property and won’t be counted as a road death.

And that’s all I have this year. Next year will start out with a Wreck-free Sunday post.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Home again, home again, jiggity jig, and the Feed

I went out to bring home my Christmas present from Mrs. the Poet today which ate up most of the afternoon and a good chunk of what was left of the morning after my first cup of coffee took effect. The neck roll of this helmet is a bit on the snug side if you are used to a Bellistic, but after a few minutes it is not an issue. I have to build mirrors for it to make it as useful as my Bellistic, but Mrs. the Poet pronounced it as “beautiful”, and I can see several design features that make it more protective than the Bellistic, so I’m happy with it for the most part. Of course I’m a tinkerer so no off-the-shelf product escapes my customizing touch, but aside from the aforementioned mirrors I think a little black paint on the underside of the visor while I’m mounting the mirrors to keep reflected glare from getting in my eyes will be the extent of it for this particular helmet. Note to BellSports: I wear a full-face helmet just about every day including 4 Hotter’n’Hell Hundreds since 2002. If you need a beta tester for all-mountain full-face helmets you really couldn’t do much better than yr fthfl svnt for testing the ability to shed heat and how well the ventilation works. This summer alone I rode more than 50 times where the temperature exceeded 100°F at some point of the ride. I plan on riding the HHH again in 2012, so if you’re interested, I’m available.

Second note to my anon donor to the Kickstand, I know who you are now. Nobody said anything, but I have access to information other than what comes through the 5 senses, plus I am one hell of a deductive reasoner, the brain damage didn’t touch that. I won’t spill the beans, your secret is safe with me. Oh wait, I’m the one that wasn’t supposed to know who you were. Still safe, I won’t tell anyone with Internet access.

Up first, what BikingInLA Calls a murder of a cyclist. Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run in Pomona The reason Ted(?) calls this a murder is the dragging of the cyclist after the impact. I have been inside and outside vehicles that have hit large dogs (not close to adult human mass) and take it from me you know in an instant that you have hit something. To continue on with the cyclist (or the bicycle) under the car indicates a degree of intention on the part of the driver. If there wasn’t intention to kill before the impact (and despite my personal experience with that 99.9999% of drivers are not homicidal maniacs), there is ample evidence of intent to kill after the impact… As I finished filtering the feed another link came in, they now have the murderer in custody… Gabriel Perez Facio, Pomona Cyclist, Killed in Hit-and-Run; Dragged Half-Block by SUV

Another CA story, as a driver that hit a cyclist in 2008 faces trial for her crimes. Updated: Testimony concludes in vehicular manslaughter trial and this head line from a sidebar: Motorist guilty of vehicular manslaughter in cyclist’s death means that she will get at least some jail time for her killing a cyclist. The verdict has determined the driver pulled in front of the cyclist as she was trying to cross an intersection with a 2-way stop at the time. It took over 3 years, but a small measure of justice has been done.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, a hit-and-run driver is arrested. Man Arrested in Hit-and-Run that Killed 13-Year-Old Brien Andrew Alvezios The driver was trying to hide pieces of the weapon vehicle in his pockets and under the passenger seat when he was caught, he should be charged with a lot more than hit-and-run…

LifeStyle! from the Carolinas, as a cyclist hit from behind gets bits and pieces of his life back during his rehab. Injured cyclist undergoing rehabilitation I hate how they point out the lack of a helmet on a cyclist that was hit at a speed more than 3 times the design impact speed of a US bicycle helmet.

And that’s all I have today, tomorrow I will do my end of year thoughts, plus whatever is in the Feed, while I take my wife to learn how to use the Nook she got for Christmas, and go participate in a NYE D&D game. I realize that will require me to be in more than one place at the same time, I’ll figure it out somehow.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Read the comments to my last post, and the Feed

If you read my last post you know I announced that Rick Smith had found a way to actually turn a profit from Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery. Well you should read the comments to that post, and thank you whoever you are. That sentence will make sense after you read the comments.

Up first is a story with multiple links about a man killed s few miles from where I used to live in TN. Cyclist Struck By Vehicle, Seriously Injured and Cyclist struck, seriously injured At this point media and LEO are not blaming the cyclist, which in this case is a strong indication that the driver of the motor vehicle ran the red light at this intersection. I haven’t ridden a bike there, but I have been to this intersection and from what I remember it is a nightmare for a cyclist, with either 8 or 10 lanes to cross whichever street you’re riding, plus a wide median on one of the streets, basically an intersection that a cyclist can’t cross unless they are first or second in line when the light changes or they have reached cruise speed shortly after the light changes, crossing under a stale green would be nearly impossible without spending several seconds still in the intersection after the light goes red. More MPD: Cyclist in ‘critical but stable condition’

A Tulsa sidewalk cyclist is blamed for being there to get hit. Cyclist Injured After Being Hit By A Truck Obviously the driver was not expecting a cyclist on the sidewalk entering the road (or apparently anyone else either) and hit the cyclist because of that. To avoid ride where drivers can see you in the road, but if you are a regular reader of my blog I don’t need to tell you that.

Another story that generated a lot of links was this MIT graduate getting hit near Boston. MIT 2010 alum killed in traffic accident and Bicyclist struck, killed by tractor-trailer in Cambridge also Bicyclist Dies In Cambridge Crash more Cyclist Struck, Killed By Truck In Cambridge another one Cyclist struck, killed by truck in Cambridge Yes that last link was from Louisiana Bicyclist dies after being hit by truck in Cambridge More Bicyclist struck and killed by truck Another one Bicyclist killed by truck was MIT graduate Next to last link MIT graduate is identified as victim in bicycle-truck collision Last one Cyclist killed in Cambridge accident ID’d After reading all the reports this appears to be a right hook, and the final position of the bicycle indicates the truck driver was at fault. The Wicked Local link stated the bicycle was under the rear wheels of the tractor portion of the vehicle, which was a tanker semi-trailer and a tractor. Anyway, if this wreck could have been avoided intersection protocols would have been the way to do it.

A cyclist is hit and killed in AZ. Elderly cyclist struck by car and killed in Oro Valley The bike in the picture looks like it was hit from the side, and the place where it was hit looks like a sharp S-curve from the picture. One way that this wreck makes some kind of sense from a physics point of view is the driver was buzzing the cyclist to “teach him a lesson about riding in the street” and swerved into the cyclist from the side, or the driver was cutting the corner while the cyclist held his line and the driver pushed the cyclist to the side. Same wreck, just one is stupid pretending to be smart, and the other is just oblivious.

And another reason why drivers aren’t worried about hitting a cyclist, Kalifornia Edition. CHP recommends manslaughter for motorist suspected of causing Gilroy cyclist’s death The date in the link stated the cyclist died more than 3 years ago in October 2008, leaving less than 9 months to bring the driver to trial before the statute of limitations expires on these charges.

Infrastructure! news from the UK. Call to change safety mirror rules If I read this article correctly, a Cabinet-level official has to approve these vital bits of infrastructure, each one individually. This sounds like it was intentionally made to make this as difficult as possible so it wouldn’t get done unless the Secretary was in a magnanimous mood.

I wonder how many Interstate highways were financed with bake sales and golf tournaments? Residents vow to raise private funds for Yorkville bike path

And that’s it for today, I can’t take it any more.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Yehuda Moon back up, and the Feed

Yehuda Moon appears to be back in business on a Mon-Fri schedule behind a paywall after the previous 4 years was Kickstarted to dead-tree format. While I’m happy for Rick finding a way to turn a buck at it, I’m going to miss the comics and the comments as I don’t have the money for things like helmets and headlights for my bike, or to keep working computers in my office. So as much as I enjoyed the comic when it was free I won’t be able to read it now that it’s behind a paywall.

Up first an Amish woman is hit-from-behind in OH. Amish woman 1 mile from home when killed The woman was wearing a reflective vest and had a blinking taillight, so it wasn’t like she couldn’t have been seen had the driver been looking. or may she was seen and targeted for riding a bicycle on the road like I was. Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, not that I think they would have done much good given all the other measures the cyclist took to avoid getting hit. Interesting side note, the comments on this link are disabled.

One driver hits 2 cyclists with the right of way in Phoenix AZ, no charges filed. Two Cyclists hit in Cave Creek AFAIK this was a right-hook of cyclists who were using the bike trail where it crossed this road right where it intersected a road parallel to the bike trail. I can’t see the video, but the picture I could pull up seemed to show the cyclists ended up in the wrong lane for a right hook or a left cross, the driver would have had to be pulling into the wrong lane for the cyclists to end up where they did. So at this point I don’t know exactly what is going on on this one, but it looks like it might have been an assault on the cyclists who were crossing the road.

Infrastructure! news from GA as drought conditions are tearing apart a bike trail. Safety concerns for cyclists on Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail This is exactly the same kind of destruction the drought is inflicting on the roads here in the suburbs of Hell.

Final link is infrastructure from Montreal up in the Great White North. Clear bike paths of snow and ice, study says More people would ride if the bike lanes and paths were kept clear after snow falls. I wonder if they did a similar study of drivers staying in if roads were not cleared (ow! I sprained my tongue sticking it too far in my cheek).

And that’s it and I’m out of here as I go get more things to make my new taillight more awesome. With the new stuff this light will actually exceed the output of the Honkin’ Huge Taillighttm, while using less power from the more powerful but physically smaller and lighter battery, which means longer burn time, 17.5 hours theoretical based on the rating of the cells. And there is room to add even more light to the bracket should I desire it at a later date…

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Running late after fixing Blue, and the Feed

Yes, I had to leave the house to repair and retrieve Blue from church. It was a simple case of replacing a missing nut on a bolt that was too short when I installed it, so I had to go buy a longer bolt first then recuperate from the walk to the hardware store to get the bolt, then take the bus to repair the bike and ride home. While I was out I went ahead and picked up the cells and switch for the new tail light since I was going to be using the bus pass anyway. The new battery for the light is going to be 2.1Ah and less than half the size of the 1.3Ah SLA battery I used during testing, but at almost 3 times the cost of the SLA battery and I need to build it up from cells rather than just plug it in to the circuit.

Not many links today, which is good. I don’t like spending all day reading about people getting hit riding their bicycles. Up first is a letter from a man in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle. LETTER: Cyclists deserve better Basically it says until LEO gets its act together people in cars will continue to kill people on bicycles without having to worry about anything more than getting their cars repaired. This was in reference to the wreck during the past summer where a cyclist was hit from behind by a 19 YO driving a Benz, and no charges were filed because they couldn’t decide if the cyclist was in th4e lane of travel or riding on the shoulder.

I wonder if this was in retaliation for a road incident previous to the altercation. Man shot and killed in Vermont Knolls Lord and Lady know I have wanted to do just this any number of times after a driver decided to “teach me a lesson”, but back channel says this is more likely a gang-related killing than a case of extended road rage.

Last link is a wreck in Oz, where a woman hit a cyclist from behind in a roundabout. Cyclist injured in roundabout collision Not much to say here as from a cyclist’s perspective a roundabout is the combination of the worst things about intersections and JRA in heavy traffic. What would have been just a single point of conflict for cyclists is made into 4 or more points of conflict from either the left in drive to the left countries like Oz and the UK or from the right in the rest of the world.

And that’s it for today, nice break from the usual run of multiple links with death and destruction, isn’t it?

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Getting back in the swing of things, and the Feed

OK things are getting back to what passes for normal around here. I went to the local hardware store to pick up that bolt, which I will install on the bike when I’m out getting the cells for the 12V rechargeable battery for the new taillight, and the switch for it too. I’m building a charger for the battery from a 12v trickle charger that ran a little high on the trickle charge voltage and boiled one of my SLA batteries last year. I’m a real big believer in re-using things, adapting what doesn’t work for one use to make it suitable for a different use. Well this failed trickle charger is going to make a slow charger for my NiMH 12V battery for Blue.

Up first is another wreck in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle. FHP Identifies Plant City Man Who Died in Bicycle Accident One of the things that makes me so angry about FL is the insistence in the media (and probably by LEO as well) for blaming the victims of motor vehicle wrecks for their own demises. There’s nothing in this report about any traffic controls that might have been at that intersection, just a generalized blame for the cyclist being there to get hit. There isn’t enough detail to this report to let you know how to avoid a similar wreck except to not ride a bicycle in Florida.

Update on a cyclist in OR is hit by a drunk driver. Police: Driver who hit bicyclist was DUII and Deputies: Man arrested for DUII after hitting bicyclist also Bicyclist hit by suspected drunk driver, Clackamas sheriff deputies say even Molalla motorist accused of DUII and assault after striking bicyclist, authorities say finally Vehicle strikes bicyclist in Clackamas County; driver arrested for DUII This was a story that I linked to last week but with much less detail than I could get from all of the links I brought you today. Anyway. hit-from-behind protocols might have helped but there was no place for the cyclist to go except the ditch. If the cyclist survives, then ban the driver from ever driving again, or be guilty of illegal possession of a deadly weapon if he does. Then recycle his truck into cargo bikes. If the cyclist dies, well when they recycle the drunk driver’s truck just leave the driver in there too…

Hit-and-run in OK. Hospitalized teen in Oklahoma City identified through social media When you tell someone where you are going make sure it is someone that gives a poop about if you live or die…

When I shuffle off this mortal coil, I hope I make one of these lists, far, far in the future. Notable deaths of 2011 I include this article because of the number of cyclists killed this year on the list.

Background on the cyclist hit by a train in AZ last week. Cyclist killed by train remembered by cousin Apparently this was a great guy who got a little disoriented as he left the BICAS store and went on the tracks instead of the road.

A cyclist on a new bike in CA is hit-and-run. Boy, 12, Riding Bicycle Injured In Hit-And-Run You know my feelings on hit-and-run drivers.

And that’s all the links I have to bicycle stories today. Not bad, eh?

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Merry Christmas, it’s Wreck-Free Sunday

I just got back from trying to fix my bike at the church where I had to leave it Friday. Now before anybody panics all that happened was I have a bolt that doesn’t quite reach holding the front of the right kitty-litter bucket to the rack and the nut fell off. I can’t ride the bike with that bolt not tying the kitty-litter bucket down, because it could destroy the entire mounting system and both buckets. So I need to get a longer bolt for a buck or so from the hardware store.

Now this is Christmas Day, and while I was walking from the transit center to the church this person pulls over and asks if I need a blanket or something. My wife says I look like a homeless person because I have been letting my winter fur grow out, making me no longer look like a suburban home-owner. I thought it might have been because of the thrift-store clothes I wear when I’m not riding my bike, or because I have a noticeable limp and my cane is rather battered since I have been driving it for the last decade. Let’s just say that in British parlance I “look a bit second-hand” and leave it at that.

The combination of this being Christmas Day and Sunday has resulted in a Downtown Garland that looks like 3 weeks after the Zombie Apocalypse, at least from a traffic count point of view. Seriously, I’m talking a handful of cars in the 1.6 miles I walked to and from the church. I wish I had been riding my bike instead of walking, it would have been heavenly.

I have been heavily using 2 of my Christmas presents in particular, the new mouse which I plugged into the computer almost as quick as I unwrapped it, and my new “watch”, a SanDisc Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player with stopwatch and clock, plus a FM radio. I knew I wanted a MP3 player. I just didn’t know how useful they made them these days, before you even load in the MP3s.

Since we had the big dinner yesterday we’re having leftovers for Christmas, which means round 2 for the ham, sweet potatoes, stuffing and rolls, but Mrs. the Poet had to make a fresh batch of mashed potatoes because we went through yesterday’s batch like locusts they were that good. So sometimes re-runs are still as good as the first time.

Well it’s just about time to eat dinner, so I’m going to cut this one off here. you go have you a good dinner, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Merry Christmas, and the Feed

As I compose this I have not opened the Feed folder yet, so aside from some lingering pain from the pulled Gluteus Medius in my right hip I’m in a good mood. Even having to leave my bike at church last might after losing one of the nuts holding the kitty-litter buckets on the bike isn’t dampening my mood, because all of my kids that live in the US are going to be here this afternoon. Also I have enough money to get all the computers up and running and finish the taillight on Blue. So, as I type this in I’m in a Good Mood. The only really annoying thing I have is my new mouse is sitting in my stocking and I can’t use it until tomorrow, so moving my cursor from left to right or right to left is a long, involved process that requires much hand waving, as I pick up the mouse and return it to the opposite side of the mouse pad to roll it across and pick it up again. This mouse has outlasted 2 computers, so it’s not like I didn’t get my money’s worth from it, it’s just annoying using a bad mouse when there’s a good mouse sitting a couple rooms away from my office.

Up first because I can’t click on another link is a drunk driver in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike hitting a cyclist from behind and leaving him to die. Man killed in St. Petersburg hit-and-run Since there was no mention of a helmet, lights, or reflectors and this was a MSM outlet we have to assume the cyclist was so equipped because if he wasn’t the paper would have been all over it. Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols, and the driver needs to be handcuffed to the steering wheel as they run his car through the shredder to recycle it into bicycles.

Another drunk driver, this time in OR. Cyclist in critical condition after being struck by drunken driver in Beavercreek This driver wasn’t even on the road when he hit the cyclist. At least this time the cyclist was alive when medical help arrived. Anyway, again hit-from-behind protocol for whatever they’re worth might have helped in this case, but given that the cyclist was already in the escape area for riding in the road when he was hit by the truck.

And, Blessed Be that was all the bicycle links in the Feed today that were not racing-related. Just 2 drunks, and only one fatality. I’m not near as pissed off as I normally am after doing one of these posts, and that’s a good thing. Because I get pissed off I do the posts to let you know about what’s going on, and because I’m not as much in that condition on Christmas Eve that means when my kids get here I will actually have some spirit of the season.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Running late again after more shopping, and the Feed

Today was the last day we could get any shopping done before family Christmas this Christmas Eve (son-in-law is a LEO and we had to choose ahead of time, also my son will be working Christmas day at his store). I got a few stocking stuffers and other small gifts for the kids (the youngest is over 30, but they’re still “the kids”), and Mrs. the Poet bought me a Bell Sanction full-face helmet in silver and white (chosen for their ability to shed heat in a Texas summer) size M. I also picked up a new mouse to replace the one I have used on the last 2 computers I had, that I have been using almost every day since early January of 2005. It has almost stopped working, with the Y-axis (horizontal movement of the cursor) very slow when it works, which is less and less often these days. 😦

Up first a driver that was loopy from a high but legal dose of Vicodin has 3 wrecks in one day, the last being a hit-from-behind of a cyclist in the bike lane. Palm Beach woman who crashed into cyclist ordered held on $100,000 bond There’s not a lot I can say about this one, the cyclist never had a chance to avoid this one as the diver couldn’t tell she was wandering in her lane (an out of it too) and thought the cyclist weaved into her lane.

A halfway reasonable sentence handed down against a killer driver, in OR. Five year prison sentence handed down in hit-and-run that killed Dustin Finney Something I seldom see even in cases like this is a lifetime revocation of the driver’s license. I covered the wreck when it happened and it wasn’t something that mere humans could have avoided.

Up in the Great White North Courts rule that just because a road is fit for a car doesn’t make if a fit road. Quebec courts rule for Cyclists, and against city governments

And that’s all I have right now, I have to go tend to my aches and pains.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Happy Solstice! and the Feed

Today is the actual Solstice, the shortest day with the longest night, in the Northern Hemisphere. When I was a little child Solstice was on the 21st, but the precession of the Earth’s axis has finally moved the Equinoxes and Solstices a day later than it used to be. Now it has only moved a few minutes later in my lifetime, but it has moved enough to place the date a day later on the calendar.

It was a very light Feed this morning with only 3 of the links being bicycle related (and you would not believe the number of links I get to reports of injured NFL and college football players riding stationary bikes because they are injured).

Up first because it aggravated me most, a truck driver is charged with a minor misdemeanor after killing one and injuring a second out of a group of 4 cyclists riding in single file on a country road. Driver charged in fatal bike accident It really irks me that the best they could do in a fatal wreck is a minor passing violation. What would the charge have been had the driver been shooting and one bullet killed a man and permanently injured a second of 4 guys standing on a corner? Would that have been a misdemeanor, too?

Another court case as the driver that hit-and-run a cyclist in a fatal wreck that might have been survivable had the wreck been reported in time is charged in the death. Cops and Courts, Dec. 22, 2011: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run to stand trial I wonder what the charges would have been had the weapon used been a gun instead of a motor vehicle? I’m pretty sure they would not have been misdemeanors.

Last link is an Infrastructure! report from Oz. Drivers urged to switch hands to save cyclists It seems absurd that such a simple thing could practically eliminate a serious threat to life and limb, but door prizes are a serious threat to cyclists in Australia. I read in another article that is no longer on line that the single largest mode of wreck involving injury to cyclists in Australia was the door prize. Other modes are fatal more often, but cyclists hit by open doors causes the most injuries. Most of the door prizes don’t make the media unless there were 2 on one day like last week, or the cyclist dies either directly from the door prize or the dooring causes the cyclist to be tossed in front of another motor vehicle that kills him/her.

And that’s all I have this morning, mostly good news.

Billed @$0.02, Opus