Daily Archives: December 5, 2011

It’s a bit chilly inside today, and the Feed

We had a major cold front move through the suburbs of Hell and as we are trying to reduce our energy consumption here we still haven’t turned the heat on, so it was a bit chilly this morning before firing up all the ancient electronics we use here, but still warmer than NYC rental standards as the temperature in my bedroom this morning was 62°F. I actually felt the need to throw on a T-shirt in addition to my normal pair of soccer shorts and socks/slippers.

As I was putting all this to keyboard (and eventually to be posted where you can read it) the mail arrived with the new hard drive for my laptop, which means that eventually I will be able to watch the videos I get in the Feed that don’t come with transcripts. The old hard drive was wonky but held together long enough for me to be able to use it to watch both canned and streaming live video, along with a lot of other things I can’t do with the ancient tower I’m using now. By third-world standards I’m rich, I have 3 computers of which soon 2 will be working, I have a nice bike and 2 more that are rideable if a bit uncomfortable for me which will eventually turn into one winter bike that will resemble a knobby tire version of Blue, and I have a house with indoor plumbing. Having lived in countries where indoor plumbing was rare at the time I know how luxurious that really is compared to going to the community faucet outside the pumphouse with the well and then bringing the day’s water home for cooking and cleaning. I never lived like that, but I saw how the people there lived. We had the indoor plumbing and the septic system. Eventually I will have the $$ to get the other tower up and running and migrate to it, all it needs is a 1TB hard drive…

The Feed was a bit thin today for bicycle-related links in spite of having lots of links that I had to read through. There were a lot of “bikes” that had anything from 150cc to 1200cc IC engines in them that were in wrecks that their status as motorcycles was not established until deep in the article. As the mode of wreck in most of these articles was a single vehicle travelling too fast for conditions they have near-zero application to a blog devoted to telling people how not to get killed by motor vehicles while riding bicycles. I will now demonstrate how little they have to do with bicycle wrecks: “Don’t ride your bicycle so fast that your tires will lose traction and slide out from under you when you go around a turn on the freeway.”

Up first is a wreck that is highly infrastructure related as a man hits a steel pole in the middle of a bike path. Bicyclist injured after hitting pole in Santa Cruz River Park Psrt of this was the guy not watching where he was going, but a big part of it was using a steel pole in the middle of the road to keep motor vehicles off the trail and mark the center of the road. I mean seriously, would anybody use a steel pole to mark the center of a 2 lane in opposite directions road? Cars and most other motor vehicles have bumpers and crumple zones and all kinds of things to prevent injury and nobody in their right mind would suggest using a steel pole as a lane marker, so why is that acceptable for vehicles without bumpers, crumple zones, and seatbelts/airbags?

Another cyclist hit trying to get across the Great Wall of California. Cyclist dies while crossing 101 The article doesn’t say exactly where the wreck happened, just “south of Broadway” but someone in the comments noted there is a pedestrian crossing at Broadway. I do not know how well that crossing was lighted, or if it was even visible from where the cyclist was hit. Infrastructure you don’t know exists is no better than infrastructure that isn’t there.

A cyclist is killed in Paradise. Cyclist from Toronto killed in Hawaii accident The description of the wreck sounds… fishy? incomplete? to me so I checked for more links. Canadian visitor dead in Valley Isle bicycle crash and Canadian tourist dies in bike accident on Maui Looking at the site as described by the local news sources the turn was near the bottom of a gulch or ravine but the turn looks very gradual and could have been negotiated easily by just about anyone on a bike. I’m going to classify this one as a SWSS wreck unless I can find pictorial proof the wreck was in the driver’s side of the road. It is possible that because the bike was a rental it wasn’t fitted properly and that caused a momentary loss of control that caused the cyclist to cross the centerline on a very gentle turn. Another link gives the make and model of the bike. Bicyclist, 65, dies in collision in Makawao

And a clueless writer/photographer in CA makes it more dangerous to ride a bike because he doesn’t know the laws. Bicyclists’ behavior endangers everyone The guy goes looking for illegal cycling behavior and then takes pictures of people riding legally and safely because they are doing things he doesn’t like, and calls it illegal and unsafe…

A call for drivers and cyclists alike to be more careful following a spate of bike wrecks in Oz. Bike crashes trigger safety warnings Some of the wrecks are just silly, like getting dizzy and falling off the bike, others not so much. There were 7 wrecks involving motor vehicles in a week, with 3 of them clearly the fault of the driver (or in one case the passenger that opened a door into a cyclist as he passed). To avoid, use all the protocols I list in the header of my blog, hit-from-behind, intersection and the anti-dooring protocols.

Another report from Oz about how mandatory helmet laws are keeping people from cycling. More people would cycle if helmets were not compulsory: new study Remember this is the country where we got the “85% reduction in head injury” report that was based on one hospital ER history without correlation to other modes of injury. Now they seem to be trying to redress that mistake.

More about the cyclist that won a lawsuit over an icy spot in a bike path in front of a bar. Lawyer: Man who won Florence bike crash settlement suffered brain injury The comments section is full of fools and trolls, I told you and now you don’t have to read it. This also corrects the initial article that reported the victim was riding some kind of assisted bicycle, he wasn’t.

This was all the news that I could use today, there was a lot more that gave me fits.

Billed @$0.02, Opus