Monthly Archives: December 2011

Getting busy in the “real world”, and the Feed

I do have a life away from this computer, sometimes. Today is one of those times. After I do the post I will need to go to Cathedral of Hope to rehearse my bit in the Earth Rhythms Winter Solstice Celebration. I’m not going to be onstage this year, I’m taking a year off to recuperate from the thrash of last year (we made a bicycle towed float only to find that it wouldn’t fit going around the corner I had to turn at the front of the stage from the aisle coming up through the audience, and had to redesign the float as a costume I could wear riding Blue, in about 2 weeks after spending all summer building the float). All I’m doing this year is ushering, but Ill need to find out what we are doing this year as there will be 2 performances instead of the single one we had in years previous.

Up first because I like it when we win, the man that put down tacks to flatten bicycle tires near Va. Beach VA is convicted and sentenced. Va. Beach man convicted in tack attack on bicyclists I think he got off easy as there could have been many deaths from people getting flat tires and losing control in front of moving motor vehicles. I’m also wondering why he wasn’t charged with federal anti-terrorist violations as he was trying to change behavior with violence directed against a group… I think the possibility of the federal charges was a large influence in pleading guilty and paying for all the damaged tires and medical bills of the injured parties, all 43 of them.

Another cyclist that was lit like a Christmas tree and covered in reflective gear is hit-from-behind, this time in OH. Bellevue woman hit on bike, seriously injured(N)o charges have been filed at this time, the patrol said.” [Angry stream of unintelligible syllables] Seriously, this bit has to stop. If a driver hit a brightly lighted and reflectored cyclist from behind that driver violated at least one law, most likely 2 or 3 at once. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, assuming that this idiot wasn’t aiming for the cyclist.

A SWCC wreck in Phoenix AZ. Police searching for family of injured man Since the only picture in this article is one of the victim in happier days I can’t say how truthful this report is, but given details like he was behind a truck when he crossed I would classify this as a hit-from-behind wreck by an inattentive driver. Apply the usual protocols.

While NYPD is busy handing out tickets to cyclists they were apparently too busy to stop and arrest the drivers of motor vehicles in parks during non-motor vehicle times. Prospect Park Bikepocalypse Continues: Another Cyclist Injured This was a different hit-and-run then the grey van incident, which means there were at least 2 motor vehicles driving around during the car-free period while NYPD was blocking the entrances to the parks. Can you say lawsuit? I can, “Civil rights lawsuit, constitutional protections of equal enforcement of laws.”

Another of those “red light running” cyclists gets hit. Kenosha police report bicyclist critically injured in weekend crash If the cyclist really ran the red, his bad. Don’t run red lights. I know at least one vehicle ran a red light in this wreck, and cyclists have a reputation for running red lights because so many lights won’t change when a cyclist is alone trying to cross an intersection. But I don’t believe that every intersection wreck involving a red light is the fault of the cyclist. I accept that some are because cyclists are human beings with human failings. BUT NOT EVERY TIME THERE IS A WRECK IN AN INTERSECTION CONTROLLED BY A TRAFFIC SIGNAL!

A wreck that quite simply boggles the mind in the degree of callousness it shows. Driver U-turns to look at cyclist he hits, then flees Not only did he know he hit the cyclist, he turned around to get a better look at his handiwork before leaving. Unfortunately his truck will be hard to find amongst all the other trucks in Singapore because that is not unusual damage.

Infrastructure! from Canuckistan. Pedalling change for cycling safety I agree with the lone comment visible when I read the article, many of the hot spots are caused by a congregation of cyclists in the area particularly the bridge that is the only way in or out of some areas without a 20 mile detour around the inlet it crosses, but that is no reason to not try to improve the infrastructure in that area. If anything it means there is more work yet to be done making the area safe for cyclists.

Final link, why the double standard for cyclists and drivers? Brilliant Reader Comment: The Double Standard on Bike/Car Behavior

That’s all the news that gives me fits.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Woke up with a serious case of the Mondays, and the Feed

It’s funny in a way. I “work” at this blog 7 days a week, with a minor respite on Sundays when I do a post with no wreck articles in it (and usually no links to create, either). But when I woke up this morning I was like “I do NOT want to get out of this bed” case of the Mondays. One day is pretty much like any other day for me, so why am I having a Garfield moment and hating Monday? I mean if anyone should have no reason to hate Mondays a cat that has no job to go to and pretty much eats and sleeps and otherwise takes care of biological functions without effort would be the most logical candidate, but Garfield is famous for hating Mondays. Maybe it’s a case of weather-related blahs as we have been in an extended period of grey skies and cool to cold, and damp weather. Whatever the cause I did not want to get out of bed this morning.

Up first is a strange link that seems to either have a reason or a result for FL being the most deadliest place to walk or ride a bicycle in the US now for the 5th year running. America’s Saddest Cities There was a preponderance of FL cities in the F grade section of the list. The highest grade for a FL city was Orlando with a D-. I’m not going so far as to claim cause and effect, just a correlation.

Eighteen months after a fatal wreck in NM, questions about the investigation (?) from tribal police still remain. U.S. Rep. Holden comments on investigation of death of Ringtown cyclist AFAIK the cyclist in this case was hit-from-behind on a road with great sight lines, the driver was never tested for drugs or alcohol, and the crime scene was cleaned up and all evidence destroyed by first responders almost as quick as they got there.

Another FL hit-and-run of a ninja cyclist. Lehigh Acres bicyclist injured in hit and run I keep harping on this, but if you’re going to make the choice to ride ninja than you have to ride as if you’re invisible. Otherwise get good lights and ride so you can be seen. Aside from that intersection protocols apply to avoiding this wreck.

A link that showed up in multiple folders in the Feed. Friends, Family Gather In Candlelight Vigil For Kirkland Cyclist Killed by SUV The more I read about this driver the more I want to strangle him with my own hands for driving in the condition he drove in. More about the story Bail Set at Half a Million for Man Who Killed Cyclist Yes, his bail was set at $500,000. Pittance, really. More Redmond man to be charged today in fatal DUI collision with Kirkland cyclist

More on the super safety-minded cyclist that was hit-from-behind crossing a bridge in PA. Cycling loses its ambassador That this is a column on how to reduce your living expenses expounding on how great a guy this was says more than I ever can about the quality of the man as a cyclist and as a human being.

When you kill with a motor vehicle if you get charged at all it is normally a misdemeanor. CHP urges misdemeanor charge in death of Fort Bragg cyclist Kill a man, get up to a year in jail and no felony convictions on your record… TANJ!

Still in CA a cyclist hit by multiple vehicles had large amounts of illegal drugs in his system. Cyclist killed on Thanksgiving tested positive for meth As cycling becomes more widespread in the population again this will become more common, what with people on bikes being people first.

Another link to the wreck of a cyclist hit by a van towing a trailer that drifted off the road. Cyclist struck by car, killed on Mulholland This wreck is now having serious questions asked as photographs of the scene show a greatly different result that the official story, but those pictures are not online to be linked to.

SC authorities seem more interested in blaming the victims than stopping the killers in pedestrian and cyclist deaths. With 5 pedestrian deaths already this year, authorities escalating enforcement efforts They issued 459 tickets and warnings against pedestrians, how many speeding tickets did they issue?

Authorities in AL are trying to keep cyclists from getting hit by motor vehicles, but it’s a challenge. Bicyclists, motorists urged to ‘share the road’ (video) The good thing about this article is that they were quite clear that many wrecks were officially not caused by cyclists, and in comments it was posted that many that were “officially” caused by cyclists were in fact the fault of the driver. But that doesn’t prevent a cyclist from having to be careful while riding.

Up in the Great White North there is some movement to reduce the numbers of cyclists killed, by improving the places where they ride to get where they’re going. Cycling advocate seeks city investment in biking safety This is wreck-prevention change in the infrastructure.

Cyclists mourn in Guelph. Guelph cyclists hold slow ride to honour fallen The ride not in sorrow, but in hope.

And that’s all the news I could stand to read twice today (once to filter and again to post the links).

Billed @$0.02, Opus

A desire to help, and a request, Wreck-free Sunday

Sometimes I ask for little things here in this blog, lights, maybe a helmet liner, nothing really expensive but I ask because I don’t have the money to get things on my own.

Now I’m asking for something really big, so that whatever else I need I can get it on my own from my own resources. And if I get this thing lots of other people will benefit from it. I’m asking for a job.

I’m not asking for just any old job making metric buttloads of money. I’m asking for a particular job, a job that doesn’t exist yet that can help save lives and save money. Someone mentioned that NCTCOG is considering adding an actual cyclist to their review process to go over transportation projects as they are created and make sure they are safe to ride a bicycle on or designed in such a way that people on bicycles can get to where they need to go without using them directly. This can save lives, time, and money because making sure a project will work for everybody before it gets built means that other projects to fix the problems caused by the first project aren’t needed and that money can go to solving other problems.

Now the problem for me is at this point the job is not even a written proposal. It is a detailed suggestion, written around my qualifications, of something that is needed. I need for that suggestion to go all the way to fully-funded position, with me doing that job. How can this happen? The idea is for me to have meaningful work that saves lives and saves money, lives of people that use the projects, lives of people that don’t use the projects but start cycling because the projects help create a safe environment for riding a bicycle, and everybody’s tax dollars.

You want safe places to ride a bicycle in North Texas? You want the most good with the least expenditure of tax money when these projects are built? Help me figure out how to get this job.

PSA, Opus

Up way too early for a Saturday, and the Feed

The cat decided that I had spent enough time in bed and that it was now time for me to pay attention to him, so I had to get up. Even if I had locked the cat out of the bedroom I would have had to get up and remove the cat from the bed and the room and then shut the door, by which time I would have been awake and up enough to not be able to get back to sleep. So I got up about 4 hours earlier than normal for a Saturday. I think this will be another 2 pot of coffee day, as I only got a little over 4 hours of sleep…

The Feed today consisted of exactly two links, one of which was a motorcycle wreck in Oz. Then we have this wreck of a sidewalk cyclist in Upstate NY. Bicyclist killed after sliding under dump truck Apparently this cyclist discovered he was having a brake failure while he was going downhill and tried to drag his feet to stop but the dump truck pulled out in front of him without checking to make sure the sidewalk was clear of traffic. When police got there to check out the bike the brakes were in pieces, and from what I could see of the bike in the picture the wheels were not so hot either. one good thing about this article was that someone recognized that a bicycle helmet is useless in a wreck with a dump truck, even an empty dump truck.

Tonight I have a very full schedule. At 1830 I have our monthly Vegetarian Pot Luck and in conjunction with that I have a Faith Development meeting where we decide who does what service when. After the meal we have a Full Moon Service at 2000 which I will only be attending as a congregant this month, not as a ritualist. I don’t have another Full Moon for quite a while.

And that was all the news, pretty much.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Warming with a chance of rain, and the Feed

I realize that the bitching about the weather constant weather reports on a bike blog are …boring?… but I figure since I harp all summer about living in the suburbs of Hell, I should get to complain a bit about when it gets cold, too. Right?

I now have one of those pre-paid cards to buy stuff on the internet with. Now somehow there is supposed to be a way for people to go to a web site and load money to this card with my permission, but I still haven’t got that figured out yet. When I do I’ll let you know I know and if you desire to help me keep body and soul together, or just help me go on a trip or something, leave a message and I’ll e-mail you how it works. I just got the card and from reading the brochure I have to approve transfers to my account that I don’t initiate on my own. There is s small fee involved, and a $10K limit on the account balance. That means that if the amount someone sends me causes my balance to go $10,000.01 or higher my account gets frozen until I figure out how to get the excess out. Of course getting money out of my account when it is frozen… can you say rock and hard place? I do not foresee this ever becoming a problem for me.

Up first is a link that was sent to me by a reader via e-mail. As U.S. road deaths drop, more pedestrians getting struck Pedestrians are an indicator when cyclist statistics aren’t available because while people have a choice about riding bikes, everybody walks. If people aren’t riding bicycles but are getting wiped out in droves while walking that area is very infrastructure-sick, with no accommodations for modes of travel that don’t use a motor at high speeds. Notice that Florida tops the charts again this year, with the top three metropolitan areas in the country for killing pedestrians… I noticed that this was just a press release, the FARS web site still hasn’t been updated with the 2010 data and here it is almost 2012.

Our first link from the Feed is a CA man hit in a crosswalk. Cyclist seriously injured on Jefferson Street I thought it was funny that they couldn’t decide if the guy was walking or riding his bike in the crosswalk. This is a pretty large legal consideration in CA as there are significant legal differences between a pedestrian with a bike and a cyclist riding in the crosswalk. Until I can find out more about this I can’t say how to avoid a similar wreck, but from what I know right now this was not a wreck a cyclist could have avoided, particularly if the cyclist had become a pedestrian pushing a bike in the crosswalk.

More links to that story about the hyper-safe and -vigilant cyclist hit on a bridge in PA. Tragic, ironic accident in Bethlehem and Injured Bethlehem architect and avid cyclist dies early this morning I don’t know what more to add that I didn’t already say before.

A cyclist is killed outside Seattle on his way home from work. Bicyclist struck and killed in Kirkland and UPDATE: Bicyclist Killed in Crash Identified as Kirkland Resident Now the story is the driver that hit the cyclist was DUI, a detail that was missing when I filtered this earlier. Reports are that the rider was dressed in a glow-in-the dark clown costume (only a slight exaggeration) and covered in blinking lights.More Bicyclist struck and killed in Kirkland and That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means and also SUV driver was impaired in crash that killed cyclist, Kirkland police say I have to side with the PubliCola writer that fumes at the use of the word “accident” when referring to a wreck caused by a DUI. Once you decide to drive drunk, whatever happens next is a direct consequence of that decision and is no longer an “accident”. Also in that last Seattle Times link there were a greater number of people who blamed the drunk driver for his multiple DUIs than people that blamed the cyclist for being there to get hit, I think like a 5:1 ratio. Now can we please do something to get drunk drivers off the roads BEFORE they kill someone? This driver had “multiple” (which I guess means 4 or more) DUI convictions plus drug and other traffic convictions. There is no way he should have ever been driving something as large and dangerous as a Ford Exploder, or anything larger than a moped.

In Jolly Olde the father of a cyclist killed because the infrastructure was not designed to do anything but make motor vehicles go faster rails against the political body that refused to consider making changes to prevent future deaths. Ellie Carey cycle death: Father attacks London Assembly You may remember that the conservative party left en masse when the question of making changes to the streets to make cycling less dangerous was brought up, preventing debate by removing quorum. There is a parliamentary rule that would have allowed debate and decisions to stand, that quorum is established at the beginning of the meeting and assumed to remain until the meeting is adjourned. Obviously this rule was not invoked at this particular meeting of the London Assembly…

In other infrastructure news from the UK someone thought some kind of cycling license would be a good idea so they know who they are writing tickets for. “You’re nicked!” Lord Sugar sparks debate on whether cyclists should carry compulsory ID The guy that propose this is the UK equivalent of Donald Trump and has a similar show on UK TV, with a similar level of self-importance.

And that’s all I have today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Mule day again, and sorry about the rush job

I have another Mule Day to do, and Mrs. the Poet asked for me to bring her Army surplus ruck to the store along with mine and the kitty-litter bucket panniers, That means we are going to be getting a lot of bulky items again this trip, as well as some heavy ones. [eeyore voice]Yee haw.[/eeyore voice]

It’s official, Rick Perry has decided to go after the stupid and uneducated vote with his latest batch of campaign adds, look up his YouTube channel to see. Someone at church was showing some to me. The thing that scares me is that there might be enough stupid and uneducated people in the US to make him president.

Up first is a driver ignoring traffic on the sidewalk and hitting a cyclist (could have been a pedestrian, but it was a cyclist this time), Bicycle vs. Car Near Lincoln High, Student Injured As usual comments blamed the cyclist for riding on the sidewalk or on the wrong side of the street instead of the operator of the WMD. To avoid remember every driveway is an intersection and apply intersection protocols.

What was initially reported as a serious injury wreck has been changed to a fatality in PA. Avid cyclist dies after Bethlehem crash The irony about this wreck is the wreck was a hit-from-behind in a shared lane marked with sharrows. For most of the country this is what passes for state-of-the-art bicycle infrastructure… To avoid use the hit-from-behind protocols and have a lawsuit ready to file against the people that pawn this kind of “infrastructure” on us as being adequate…

A MO cyclist is hit-and-run. Bicyclist injured in hit and run accident Another hit-from-behind wreck where the driver left the scene. Hit-from-behind protocols might have helped or just made targeting easier.

The driver that caused a German bicycle tourist to be in a coma has been “punished” for driving off the road in his delivery van that he was driving without a license. Driver fined for wreck that injured German bicyclist Anyone that thinks a $500 fine is an appropriate punishment for leaving a person dead but still breathing while in illegal possession of a WMD has some serious mental issues. That’s all I have to say about that.

Still in VA, the relatives of a cyclist killed by police officers making a doughnut run (responding to a non-emergency call) sue the officers after they were convicted of reckless driving. Relatives of cyclist killed in Norfolk crash sue officers I don’t see how the cops (soon to be ex-cops) are going to weasel out of this one, they were already convicted of the criminal charges.

A drunk kills a cyclist in Washington state. Bicyclist struck, killed by suspected drunk driver I was amazed reading the comments that about 40 were made before someone blamed the cyclist for being there to get hit by the drunk driver. And yes, someone should shoot the driver, once in each knee. And maybe that guy that made the comment about the cyclist being to blame, too. The police reported the cyclist had done everything possible to avoid being in a wreck but still got killed anyway.

Another hit-from-behind wreck this time in far West Canuckistan. Cyclist, 17, critically injured in collision on Hwy 2 That seems to be the theme for today’s post, that and really stupid drivers…

Good news from the UK as the man that hit-and-run (another “theme” of today’s Feed) an Olympic medal winning cyclist goes on trial. Driver faces trial over cyclist hit-and-run crash and Man accused over paralympian crash OK a DUI hit-and-run that injured a national hero from the previous Olympics, if this guy doesn’t see serious jail time then there isn’t a driver in the UK that would.

Other news from Jolly Olde, Conservative pols walked out of a council meeting on doing something about the dismal state of the roads for anyone not driving a car (they aren’t all that great inside a car either from what I’ve heard). Politicians, cyclists and victim’s family united in shock and anger at Tory GLA walkout (+ video) I don’t know what the problem is with cyclists and conservatives in the Anglophone countries, but it seems their meme is that only socialists and communists ride bikes, and poor people but then poor people hardly count anyways.

And last link a cyclist in South Africa is hit and killed. Cyclist killed in CT Another hit-from-behind wreck by a driver that was oblivious until the cyclist was tumbling down the road after getting hit.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Still really chilly here, and the Feed

I realize that part of the problem here is I have gotten old and no longer have the cold tolerance I had even just a few years ago, and another part of the problem is I lack the proper clothing for dealing with this cold. I still don’t have a winter helmet to wear (hint, hint) or more than one outfit that works below freezing. Much of what I wear in cold weather is improvised from what I have on hand, including long sleeved T-shirts I got for donating blood or working some event, women’s long underwear I got to fit over my cycling-enhanced butt (I wear a size 16, LOL) and other clothes that were not intended to be worn in cold weather that combined with more clothes that were not intended to be worn in cold weather can be used in cold weather (AKA hyper-layering). As I posted a while back when I was getting my winter clothes ready we don’t usually get much extended cold weather here, and our stores are not stocked to deal with it. Instead we get clothes that look like winter clothes that have no actual warmth or insulation qualities to them. They are glorified raincoats if they have any water repellency qualities at all, otherwise they are psychological winter wear for people that don’t actually experience real winter.

Up first is a situation that can be defined as the epitome of irony, no make that Irony with a capital iron. Cyclist Hit by Van During Cops’ Crackdown in Prospect Park That’s right, during the car-free time for the park with an army of cops watching, a cyclist was hit-and-run by a van driver and seriously injured, and the driver managed to get away un-noticed by any cops. Can somebody PLEASE! file a civil rights suit against these clowns like yesterday? This is unacceptable that a flagrant violation by a motor vehicle is ignored while minor technical violations are being enforced against the victims.

Still in NYC the driver accused in the hit-and-run of a Canadian cyclist invokes the Bart Simpson defense in his case. Driver Who Killed Williamsburg Cyclist Says There’s No Proof He Was Driving In case you’re too young or too old the Bart Simpson defense is “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, can’t prove a thing”. More After a Son Is Killed, Facing a Police Runaround

A GA cyclist gets hit and the driver invokes the Get Out of Jail Free card. Cyclist Hit by SUV Driver, Delays His Plans to Fly The driver “failed to see” the cyclist and faces no charges in the wreck. Hit-from-behind protocols apply in this case, the cyclist was riding too far to the right which prevented the driver from noticing he was there.

Another AZ cyclist is hit-and-run. Bicyclist Injured by Hit-and-Run Driver Another drunk or stoned driver hits another cyclist in the bike lane, shades of Tasha Borland. And the laundry list of offenses: Passing on the right, passing in a bike lane, hitting a vehicle from behind, leaving the scene of a wreck without tendering aid, driving too fast for conditions… As for avoiding this one, not possible. The cyclist was already using bicycle infrastructure and there was a curb to his right, placing him already in the escape zone for avoiding cars. I’m still shocked that Phoenix LEO are pressing charges of assault with a deadly.

A UT cyclist runs into sidewalk furniture avoiding pedestrians and dies from the injuries. Multiple accidents leave 1 dead, others critically injured Lots of other wrecks in this report that are “questionable”, like the driver that hit the skateboarder because he had sun in his eyes at 4PM when sunset is at about 5:30 or so? Anyway to avoid a similar wreck as the cyclist in this case, don’t ride on the sidewalk.

A case that has been causing a bit of buzz over on BikePortland, a cyclist apparently runs a stop sign and a city bus has to make a sudden stop. Bicyclist blows stop sign in downtown Portland, leading to injured riders on TriMet bus And the comments section quickly degraded to an argument about licensing bicycles. To avoid is a simple matter of not running stop signs or waiting for a bigger gap in this case, as some watching the video claim the cyclist can be seen at a full stop then pulling in front of the bus.

Still trying to identify the cyclist killed in Guelph. Guelph cyclist killed This is why you need to carry ID that can’t get lost in a wreck. I use a set of custom dog tags from an Army/Navy store, but for those with more money I suggest the RoadID system as you can link your medical records to your ID so that doctors will be better able to treat you in a wreck.

In far West Canuckistan LEO are still trying to figure out what happened in a wreck between a cyclist and a dump truck. Witnesses sought for collision that killed cyclist Apparently the bicycle was too badly mangled by secondary collisions with the truck after the first impact to determine direction of impact. I hate it when that happens, not just because of the mess it makes of the cyclist but because then you have to depend on the only surviving witness, the driver of the weapon vehicle who in this case did not even know he had hit the cyclist. He claimed he never saw the cyclist on the road before the wreck and never felt the wreck happen. As a former truck driver I know a fully loaded truck drives, well like a truck, and that the weight difference between a bicycle and a fully loaded dump trailer would tend to damp out any felt impact to nothing. Heck, I know a driver that ran over a cinder-block shed in the lot and never knew it because he was right at the 80K pound limit. He destroyed that building and it didn’t even spill his cup of coffee in the cab.

Anther report on the woman injured in a collision with a bicycle in Oz. Elderly woman unconscious and unidentified after bike accident Now the report is the woman stepped in front of the cyclist as a tram was pulling into the stop, giving the cyclist no time to react before hitting the pedestrian.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I don’t know about Hell, but its ‘burbs froze over, and the Feed

Things must be getting pretty chilly in Hell, because we in the ‘burbs woke up to a thin glaze of ice this morning. It wasn’t everywhere as there were still lots of places that had enough heat stored in their mass to resist freezing, but we did have ice this morning. I also had a covering of cats as they went to the open room with the warmest body in the bed to snuggle up to, which would be me in my bed. I kicked the heat on yesterday after I posted my blog, and depending on the wind direction the temperature in my office/bedroom has varied between 64 and 66°F, most of the time settling on 65° I find this temperature comfortable with my soccer shorts from the thrift store and a t-shirt and a pair of mid-calf crew socks. Everyone else in the house has gone to multiple layers of sweaters and in one case a knit scarf around the neck. Of course I admit that some of this might be due to the fact that I live on strong, hot, sweet coffee with lots of milk that raises my internal temperature and provides a few hot-burning calories for my high-carb metabolism. The funny thing about that is my normal body temp is in the 96°F range, approaching hypothermia for “normal” humans.

Up first is a link that didn’t come from my Feed but directly from WordPress about science literacy in the US. Religion reduces science literacy in America This is a major clue to why it is so hard to get decent bicycle infrastructure in the US. We who advocate bike infrastructure do so from evidence-based arguments about the safety and health benefits of such infrastructure, and about the durability of bike infrastructure compared to motor vehicle infrastructure because of the tiny amount of damage bicycles do compared to motor vehicles. The people were are trying to convince of this are resistant to fact-based arguments that conflict with previously-held beliefs. So, we must shift away from fact-based arguments to more emotional appeals that are still based in facts. My suggestion would be “think of the children” as childhood obesity is now endemic in this country, and as motor vehicles are the main cause of death for school-aged humans in this country. While many parents say they drive their kids to school to “protect” them they actually place their kids in much greater risk of death and long-term disability by putting them in the car/SUV/mini-van than letting them walk or ride a bicycle, not to mention the emotional damage this lack of independence fosters. But enough about that.

Up first from the Feed is another report on the cyclist that was killed in a hit-and-run wreck two months ago in the Williamsburg area of NYC. Report: Hit-and-run trucker must have known that he’d killed cyclist! Now that the official police report has been made public that shows the impact on the bike and the truck people are starting to put 2 and 2 together and getting 3.9999 that NYPD at some point lied through their teeth about this wreck. And I hope that HTML code survives the cut-and-paste to Same story from a different part of the paper, with better comments. Report: Hit-and-run trucker must have known that he’d killed cyclist!

A very unusual wreck in OH. Wrong-way bicyclist injured in collision The drunk cyclist riding the wrong way on the street is not unusual, the driver pulling out from a parking lot without looking for something or -one in front of him is not unusual, the unusual thing about it is the driver was a cop and charges are still pending for hitting a bicycle that was ridden in front of his stationary vehicle before he started to move. Cops are (almost) never given tickets for hitting things when they pull out of a parking lot.

A bar that may have over-served a driver that went out and hit-and-run wrecked with a cyclist may face charges related to the wreck. State liquor panel probes Exeter bar I find this heartening in that because of limitations in the law they can’t get the driver for DUI assault or any other DUI crimes, but they decided to expand the investigation so they can charge the people that sold him the alcohol that led to the wreck. That is very unusual and either shows dedicated LEO trying to get justice for the cyclist, or a psychological problem on the part of the investigator obsessed with charging anyone connected with a DUI wreck. Personally as long as the obsession is in our favor for getting dangerous drivers off the roads I say go for it, it’s the cops that try to blame a cyclist for being there that I have a problem with.

A SWCC is killed in the Great White North. 77-year-old Chatham cyclist killed by truck The cyclist died at the scene and the truck driver wasn’t injured, so guess whose version of the facts gets told to LEO?

Talk about a slow investigation, a driver that killed a cyclist in East Canuckistan back in July will face charges in court this January. Man charged in fatal collision with cyclist The wreck was an intersection wreck that was apparently discovered to be the fault of the driver. This is small consolation for the family of the cyclist that died, but it is something.

More on that tourist that crashed in Maui. B.C. man killed in Hawaii bicycle crash Now they are saying he was from B.C. not Toronto, and that he locked up the back tire and slid into the center of the oncoming lane coming down the mountain. When I looked at the wreck site in Google maps yesterday the turn didn’t look all that sharp, especially compared to the one right after it turning the other way, but I’ll concede to local knowledge. And unless the bike shop had swapped the tires for fat road slicks the knobbies on the bike would not have provided much grip on pavement.

An Ohio man went all the way to Guelph, Ontario in the Great White North, and killed a cyclist with a pickup truck. Cyclist killed in collision with pickup truck in Guelph The cyclist was riding in the crosswalk when he was hit, but because I can’t say for certain who had the right of way I can’t tell you for certain how to avoid this wreck if it happens to you.

From Oz another tandem bike hit from behind wreck like the one near San Angelo on TX16 in 2009. PICTURES: Cyclists killed by truck at Merricks Looking at the pictures of the bike the back of the bike was just crushed and destroyed to the point you can’t even tell at first glance that the bike was a tandem. You can also see the weapon vehicle in several of the pictures that was barely scratched in the impact. I also noticed lots of skid marks from both ends of the weapon vehicle in the pictures, which tells me that driver was going too fast to be able to stop in the distance he could see. It also tells me that this was not a wreck caused by the driver’s animosity to cyclists but rather by bad driving in a vehicle that takes a long time and distance to stop. More Two cyclists killed as truck hits tandem

Still in Oz a woman steps in front of a moving cyclist too close for the cyclist to stop amd she dies from the wreck. Elderly woman fights for life after bike crash When I was filtering the Feed the link said the woman was 83 and dead, but apparently that information was premature. The cyclist was also badly injured in the wreck but not as badly as the woman. Ordinarily I would advise caution around pedestrians to avoid a wreck like this, but truth is sometimes you can’t avoid the pedestrians.

And that’s most of the news that gave me fits today, there was some stuff I couldn’t share with you because it wasn’t even peripherally bicycle-related.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

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

Watching the rain come down, Wreck-Free Sunday post

I actually had to get a ride to church this morning. After riding in the rain last night coming home from the RPG group my rain gear was soaked through especially my shoes which are still damp after standing in front of the heater having hot air blown over them for 2 hours, and wearing them for 4 more hours today. I don’t mind being wet as long as I’m not cold, and I don’t mind being cold, as long as I’m not wet. but if I had gone out on my bike today I would have been cold and wet, which I don’t like at all. I don’t know what it is but the combination of being both cold and wet just really makes me miserable.

Another thing I have to worry about when it rains is the reduced visibility when it rains. I have a blinky tail light that was glued to the back of the bucket pannier brackets, but the wet weather caused the glue to fail and the light was just barely dangling off the bracket by a thread of the glue when I got home from the RPG game, but I have already been working on a brighter light that will bolt to that bucket pannier bracket. I’ll tell you what it is after I have had a few miles of testing to make sure it works as intended, but I can say it’s a variation on the Honkin’ Huge Tailighttm riff, taking a light that was made for motor vehicle use and applying 12V battery power to it and mounting it on the back of a bicycle, but this one will be just for Blue instead of trying to make something that everyone could use like the original Honkin’ Huge Taillighttm.

As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice in clothes. Well I have discovered that the rain gear I bought won’t work for the 7 mile round trip to church twice in one day. I’m sure the riders in the Pacific NW of this country or in the UK have a much better solution that I have been able to buy here in TX where most people just don’t ride in the rain. What I have been using has been the Performance vented vinyl rain jacket which works for one round trip to church, and the vinyl coated fabric rain pants that were discontinued a few years back that work by are too tight through the thighs when I had the right waist size, some waterproof Rocky branded Goretex oversocks that I have had so long I’m no longer sure where I bought them, and a pair of water-resistant gloves that are likewise only good for one round trip to church. Some of this stuff works and always has, like the oversocks. Some of it works when I got it but no longer works now, like the gloves. And some of the stuff was a bad choice of clothing for anything except emergency use, like the vinyl rain jacket. Of this equipment everything except the gloves was bought mail-order, the gloves were not initially intended as rain gear on my part but pressed into that service based on claims of water resistance.

Aside from the clothing issues riding in the rain is not too bad, I kind of like it. There’s a kind of joy in splashing through puddles and riding in the mud when the fenders do their jobs and keep the water and mud away from me, it makes me feel like a kid again only without the “issues” of acting like a kid as an adult. Like nearly everything else about riding a bike, it’s a stress reliever.

PSA, Opus