Monthly Archives: January 2012

Drivers are batshit crazy, and the Feed

OK what do I base this headline on? Sunday’s SUV rollover wreck with bicycle collateral damage? Several SWSS wrecks in the Feed? The driver that pulled out into my left hip with his passenger side headlight as he made a left turn and I rode past on the through street? Or all of the above? If you answered “all of the above” DING! you got it right. That collision I mentioned I was in was not serious (I didn’t even slow down much, much less get knocked off Blue) but it could have been with just a few more mm of moving forward on the part of the driver, and he knew it. He followed about 200 feet behind me all the way to the next stop light and left about 5 car lengths between us while we waited for the light. I have never seen a more sheepish looking driver in my life. So maybe they’re not all batshit crazy, but the problem is there are enough of them on the roads to make riding a bicycle like playing Russian Roulette. The difference is there are a lot more empty chambers when you play it with a bicycle…

Of course not all the crazy is on the part of the drivers, as this article proves. Grabbing a Tow Has Tragic Results For Young Cyclist The cyclist in this wreck was “skitching”, grabbing a tow off a vehicle not designed for such activity (there are such vehicles, they have grab handles that extend to the rear of the vehicle in such a way that it’s hard to lose balance and if you do you fall well clear of the vehicle). To avoid, well, DUH! More Spanish Springs boy suffers head injury trying to grab pickup from bicycle

Moving closer to WoaB World HQ in the beautiful suburbs of Hell. Cyclist Seriously Injured in Vehicle Accident Looking at the pictures this was obviously a right hook, as the cycle front wheel was hit from the left, and there is a big dent in the passenger-side rear fender of the truck, and the wreck scene was at a driveway entrance. I couldn’t read the brand on the bike, but that frame design looks very familiar from a high-end touring bike I saw a few years ago. Anyway, to avoid remember that every driveway is an intersection and use intersection protocols.

More on the “investigation” of a cyclist hit head on by a driver driving in the bike lane on the wrong side of the road in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle. Fort Myers cyclist’s parents losing patience with speed of crash investigation Eight months for a toxicology screening for a driver that has already had a DUI conviction? Are they just trying to wait until the heat blows over so they can quietly drop this case? This is one of the reasons why it’s so dangerous to ride a bike in FL, they are missing the third E, enforcement. Well actually they are missing all of them, education, engineering and enforcement. It’s just that in this article the Enforcement part of the triad is so glaringly missing.

A SWSS in NC. Teen bicyclist hurt south of Shelby The cyclist was hit head-on by a 75YO driver. I have such a driver in my family, and his SA is not always the best, even after his cataract surgery put in new lenses. And he tends to drift in and out of his lane…

More on a PA hit-and-run. Suspect in deadly hit-and-run surrenders This was the cyclist hit by a dark green Saturn last week, giving the driver ample time to sober up after the wreck. The cyclist was riding home after a late night shift at UPS…There may have been video of this wreck. More Police: Vehicle involved in deadly hit and run located and Driver Of Deadly Hit And Run Crash In Harrisburg Surrenders to Police also UPDATE(2): Driver turns himself in in deadly hit and run OK we now know that the driver had a suspended license, why it was suspended I don’t know yet. And there were several different colors for the Saturn in the wreck…

And final link from Enn Zed is to the trial of a man accused of causing a cyclist to fall in front of a moving vehicle by presenting the “door prize”. Witness predicted cyclist would be in accident – court Well, that link certainly has changed since I first did the filter. Now it’s a diatribe against the victim in the wreck…

And that’s all the links I have for you today. Now I have to go deliver the mortgage check, as well as the toxic recyclables. I have a bunch of defunct CFL bulbs, as well as SLA batteries that won’t take a charge, and there is a local place that just opened up a couple of months ago that accepts such things for recycling.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Dealing with a damaged Blue, and the Feed

Poor old Blue got knocked over in the bike rack at church yesterday and the front fender ended up smashed into the tire. It’s a simple thing to fix, there is just the one fender stay that is bent causing the fender to rub, but fixing it requires taking the whole front apart to get access to the damaged part. It isn’t like I could just grab the stay and pull it into position (I tried that) this will require use of a hammer and dolly to fix. As I have a great deal of things I have to do outside the house today I will have to forego the cosmetic repairs to concentrate on the functional repairs.

To open the CARnage, because it’s in the same state and also because it’s weird, an SUV rolls over on a bicycle in Lubbock, killing 2 in the SUV and the cyclist. (Updated) Driver arrested, hospitalized after three die in pickup vs. bicycle crash near Texas Tech That was the original link Accident involving SUV and bicycle kills three and 3 die in accident involving SUV and bicycle from a more local to me source SUV-Bicycle Accident Near Texas Campus Leaves 3 Dead And from Faux News 3 Killed in Lubbock SUV-Bicycle Crash There were several other links that were basically just repeats of the AP story condensed from the Avalanche-Journal article, complete with the original headline. As it appears now the cyclist wasn’t even on the same street as the weapon vehicle, that’s how out of control the weapon vehicle was. The driver of the weapon vehicle is facing manslaughter charges if he ever leaves the hospital. As for avoiding a wreck like this as a cyclist, are you kidding me? This wreck started a half a block away on a different street than the cyclist was riding on. It would require preternatural SA, or psychic powers, to avoid being caught up in a wreck like this.

Moving on a cyclist is killed in VA. Bicyclist killed on U.S. 17 in Stafford Reading the comments we find the cyclist was fully lighted and reflectorized far in excess of legal minimums, but was blamed for the wreck because he was “riding in the travel lane” when he was hit from behind.

A little north of that a PA cyclist is killed on his way home from work by a hit-and-run driver. Harrisburg bicyclist killed in hit-and-run Hit from behind and left to die, and more than half the comments blamed the cyclist for being there to get hit.

A cyclist in OR is hit-from-behind in broad daylight. Cyclist struck by car, killed in Polk County I noticed that the usual “dark clothing” bit was not included so he cyclist was likely wearing a glow in the dark clown costume.

A cyclist is killed in the Great White North, but aside from that nothing more is known about by the public this wreck. Rider killed in Brantford Not even enough of a location to find it on Google Maps.

LifeStyle as a memorial ride is held in Baton Rouge for a cyclist killed and another cyclist critically injured by a drunk driver. Memorial bike ride for Nathan Crowson

And that’s all the links I have today, fortunately.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I finally got that image I was looking for, Wreck-Free Sunday

Now I have to figure out how to get that image out of the library and into this post.

How a pedestrian crossing feels Incidentally, image © Winston Rowntree, 2012

Now how the preparations are going for the Bike MS, I still haven’t been getting much in the way of long rides but I have been working on my climbing skills by riding in my 20 MPH gears all the time. This increases my low cadence power immensely, in fact it upped my average speed by over a full MPH to just under 13 for the church round trip. Apparently my endurance cadence is in the high 90 to low 100 RPM range but I make the most power under or around 70. Whodathunkit?

The other Bike MS preparations are in slow more at the moment as we have until April to get things really rocking and the $$ collected. Our web mistress is trying to get the code to install the button to send donations to a separate account in our PayPal account so that we can keep donations to Bike MS separate from donations to our church (hint: Do both). Our artists are still learning how to draw on jersey material, and we have some incredibly talented artists so I am expecting to have the best looking custom jersey at the event. I don’t know how long it will last after the event, but I will look good during the event.

In grandbaby news, the due date has been refined to September 6, 2012. The balance bike project is getting refined as the rake and head angle are being set to give a zero trail so the kid has quick handling to teach how to balance on 2 wheels. The tricycle is still in concept stage as I try to decide what kind of trike would be best for indoctrinating my grandchild into the recumbent lifestyle. A tadpole trike would be better at growing with the grandchild, but a delta would have significantly more “cool” factor as it would look more like other kids’ trikes. Not to mention that a rear-steer delta could “spin out” or “drift” by using the pendulum effect to break traction on the rear wheels. Now for adults that would be a problem, but for kids that would be a positive thing. It may have been more than 4 decades since I was a little kid, but I still remember that I wanted to do the handbrake 180 like the commercial for the original Marx Big Wheel. The trick for that was you needed to have really short legs to do that as the rear wheels had to be lightly loaded for that stunt to work, and by the time the Big Wheel came out my legs were already too long. To be brutally honest I was outside the size range for the Big Wheel by a standard deviation or more, as my butt would just fit on one if the backrest was completely removed. “Butt” for my grandkid I can make the trike to his or her specific size, or make it grow to fit the child so they can do bootlegger turns to their heart’s content. Actually for a rear-steer trike it would be a reverse 180 facing backwards. I could “grow” the trike by turning the seat around and moving the pedals forward from what had been the front wheel that is now the rear wheel, and the steering is now in the front instead of the rear, et voila what had been a front-drive rear-steer delta for a toddler is now a tadpole trike for a 4-6 YO. Good enough until I can make a mini-StratusXP clone that will grow through their tween years.

And now I need to veg out with some comics and a cuppa, before I have to help with evening services tonight.

PSA, opus

Surrounded by crazy, and the Feed

We have a person that rents a room from us here at WoaB World HQ in the suburbs of Hell, who is a little strange. She has “issues” to put it mildly. I have this habit of keeping my projects out where I can pick them up and work on them as I get inspired, which she hates. So she “tidies” my stuff up, which I hate because then I can’t find where she puts parts and tools I have left out (left out on purpose). Well recently she went beyond her best. She had been putting my stuff into boxes until there was no more stuff to put in boxes, so now she’s putting the boxes… in bigger boxes. After she did that she rearranged the plates in the cabinet, according to her ideas of how plates should be stacked.

Up first is a bike hit by a train with fortunately only property damage, not a fatality. Man hurt after bike hit by train in Industry I don’t know if the crossing signals were working properly or if the cyclist ignored the gates, but missing a similar wreck is simple. Remember Stop. Look, and Listen from way back in the what was it, the ’60s? Trains are very easy to avoid if first you only cross the tracks, don’t ride on them or beside them, second never go under or around the grossing gates, and third stay away from the tracks when there is a train coming.

More on the AL death of a teen cyclist. Columbia High School students, faculty mourning 15-year-old student killed riding his bike home from school We now know that the cyclist was riding salmon for some reason. But that still doesn’t explain being hit from the right side, unless the cyclist was trying to move to the side of the road that would be right if the road was 2-way, or trying to get in position to get on the correct side of the road at the next cut-through. Anyway, this could be avoided had the cyclist been on the correct side of the road. Infrastructure changes that could help would be a bicycle cut-through of the median near bicycle parking at the school to remove the temptation to ride salmon to save a few feet of riding in the wrong direction.

A MO wreck in a parking lot highlights the chaos in such places. Wednesday accident The article seems to indicate that the driver failed to maintain a proper lookout when he hit the cyclist as the end of the article admonishes drivers to be aware of bicycles at dusk and in other low-light conditions. Other than that I can’t tell you what you could do as a cyclist to avoid parking lot wrecks, as most places are surrounded by seas of mostly-empty parking required by zoning. If you want to ride a bike to do things, you have to ride through parking lots with the cars even if you rode on the sidewalk to get there.

From Oz what should be the final word on a terrible bicycle wreck. Seven years’ jail for man whose ‘despicable’ act ruined Heather’s life This was the driver that made the U-turn to hit the cyclist, which he claimed was not an intentional act (hitting the cyclist, not the U-turn, he made the U-turn on purpose). Police couldn’t prove the wreck was intentional, but he was convicted of being criminally negligent, and now he will spend at least the next 5 1/2 years in jail. Anyway, hit-from-behind wreck, using the protocols might have averted the wreck.

From Enn Zed, a driver that pulled out in front of a cyclist giving no time to react has to pay for medical expenses and a new bike. Injuries to rider cost driver $1500 The unusual thing about this wreck was the witness that said the cyclist had the green light when the driver pulled in front of her, otherwise it probably would have been another “cyclist runs a red light” wreck.

LifeStyle in Baton Rouge as cyclists protest the hit-and-run fatality of a cyclist by a drunk driver. Critical Mass ride honors lost cyclist, injured survivor makes first sign of recovery While I’m gratified to read about the continued recovery of the injured cyclist, that still doesn’t make up for the deceased one.

Legal Infrastructure! in PA. Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Lawyer Urges Adoption of ‘Safe Passing’ Law for Cyclists’ Safety Yes, hold the people with the WMD accountable for controlling them and not hitting other people that don’t use WMD to travel.

And that’s all the links I have today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I just made a massive change in my browser, and the Feed

One of the features of my OS is they use an open-source browser that gets frequent updates as security holes are found and corrected, or as non-standard web sites cause the browser to break. Up until today I was on a custom-for-the-OS version of Firefox3.6. This afternoon I’m running FF9.0.1 for Ubuntu, with a new spell-check and a bunch of other features I still haven’t figured out yet. I haven’t quite got the handle on things yet so this might take a bit longer than usual to write.

One of the big stories in the Feed today was the 65YO cyclist that shot two of the three teenagers who were assaulting him. As this was not a wreck but an assault by pedestrians on the cyclist I won’t be linking any more articles about this, but I thought I would let you know about it.

Up first is a teenager hit mid-block in AL. Teenage Bicyclist Killed in Accident The odd thing is the pavement markings indicate the cyclist was hit in the inside lane of a divided highway, but the bike shows signs of being hit from the right, like he was crossing the road or someone drove at him deliberately as they passed.

A CA rider is at fault for being hit from behind because he wasn’t wearing a glow-in-the-dark clown costume. Man riding his bike at night hit by car, injured Obviously having more reflective material helps drivers see you, but I’m getting sick and tired of drivers driving faster than they can see to stop and then blaming the cyclist for what was the driver’s fault.

A wreck murder in NJ. New Brunswick Man Killed in Hit-and-Run Wednesday Have I mentioned lately how much I hate hit-and-run drivers? How about hit-and-run drivers that cross into the oncoming lane to hit a cyclist head on? There was no way to avoid this wreck short of riding somewhere else, this was either a driver so drunk they couldn’t stay on the road, or a deliberate attempt to kill a cyclist. More Driver sought in fatal hit and run in New Jersey and Driver Sought In New Brunswick Hit-And-Run Fatality another one Driver wanted in deadly NJ hit & run also Family Man Headed Home From Work Dies In Hit And Run not done yet Search For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Fatally Mowed Down Bicyclist Last one Authorities search for driver who fled after fatally striking bicyclist in New Brunswick

A pedestrian walks in front of a cyclist on a MUP crossing a bridge, pedestrian ends up in the road. Pedestrian Critically Injured In Clark Memorial Bridge Crash I don’t know how you can avoid a wreck like this as the MUP was clearly sub-standard, and barely qualified as a sidewalk.

Left cross in NC . Truck hits ASU cycling president No way to avoid this except to be aware that every driveway is an intersection and use intersection protocols.

A cyclist is killed JRA in the Great White North. Cyclist killed in crash and Brantford cyclist, 60, killed in crash Not much in this one other than the cyclist was not at fault. I couldn’t tell you the mode of the wreck, cyclist’s direction of travel, or anything about the location from the articles linked.

Pedestrians colliding with cyclists is a minor theme today as we have another one in the UK. Rider falls foul of pedestrian walking in cycle lane The cyclist tried to pass the pedestrian who wouldn’t get back on his side of the MUP.

Another cyclist in the UK has a wreck dodging a pedestrian in the street. Cyclist badly injured after freak crash This goes to show that when it comes to crashes, it’s much better for the pedestrian if the other traffic is a cyclist rather than a motor vehicle.

LifeStyle about the Baton Rouge cyclist killed by a drunk driver. Memorial held for cyclist killed in crashThe Baton Rouge Police Department reported the man accused of hitting Crowson, Joseph Branch, had a blood-alcohol level of .307” That is very close to the level of death by alcohol poisoning for non-alcoholics.

And a LifeStyle link from closer to home here at WoaB World HQ in the suburbs of Hell. In memory of Megan: 300 cyclists compete in race Megan was a local racer that was killed training for her college racing team back east, in the same general area as the left-cross wreck mentioned a few paragraphs back.

And that are all the links I have for you today. Now I have to go grocery shopping with Blue.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I saw something funny and I can’t figure out how to share it

While perusing my de-stress system (I read about 40 web comics a day after I filter and post the Feed) I got a link to a comic that was a different riff on the current subject of the comic I was reading the comments for (that subject being cop vs sphinx). There were two panels in that comic I wanted to share with you, that were standing somewhat alone on the right-hand side of the page. I’m going to try to pull those from the rest of the comic to post here, but in case I can’t, here’s the link to the whole page third anniversary comic

I had to get rid of a bunch of stuff off my hard drive to enable my system to run updates and fix security holes in my OS, and I think I might have dumped my image manipulation program during the purge, but if I can find it I’ll post those 2 panels to a specific blog post all by its lonesome.

PSA, Opus

Still drying out, and the Feed

We are still trying to get soaked wearables dried out here in the suburbs of Hell where we had another day of downpours during the morning commute. We are getting lots of runoff which is good for the local lakes and reservoirs, but we need to get deep soil moisture back for this drought to truly be over.

On a different note the battery pack I was building for my new tail light has a bad cell that will have to be replaced. No biggee except it’s in the middle of the pack and will require un-gluing it from its neighbors as well as unsoldering the interconnects, then replacing all of that when the new cell is installed. In case you were wondering when I did the last burn test of the pack I was checking cell voltages as well as pack voltage and that cell went consistently bad first, dropping to essentially zero volts 3 hours into the first burn test, and under safe minimum levels 1.5 hours into the second burn test, for what should have been a 12 hour burn test to safe minimum voltages. This is where the OCD comes in handy, had I not been so obsessive about details I would have been out on the road when the pack failed instead of watching volt meters at the dining room table. The world needs people like me, I’m just not sure it needs so many people like me.

Up first is a new technology invented to protect us from hazards created by another new technology, the cell phone. This little box will prevent your kid from texting and crashing I foresee a day when technology like this will be required for all new cars with all new cell phones required to function in concert with it. The only place you will be able to text or take calls while in motion in a vehicle will be public transit. You will have the choice of staying connected or with using a car, which I think is a perfectly rational place to be.

Recall news has some replacement handlebars being recalled because they can break in use. Bicycle Handlebars Recalled by Euro Asia Imports; Handlebars Can Break Resulting in Loss of Control and Fall Hazard Yeah, get those replaced. Instructions for getting a replacement are supposedly in a link in the article. I didn’t check that link as none of my bikes are equipped with the recalled handlebars. I do know their link to the picture of the recalled item is broken.

A common theme of the Feed today is cyclist-involved shootings. One teen killed, another wounded in shooting along Schuylkill River trail At this point all I know is the cyclist was in a confrontation with 3 teenage boys and 2 of the boys were shot. Who had the gun, if any of them, is known only to LEO as I compose this post. From what I know about civilian shootings any of the people could have had the gun including one of the boys that was shot. More Man, 65, Kills Teen Robber That Knocks Him Off Bicycle The armed bike in the picture with the article is obviously only transporting the weapon, not having it ready for use. Had it been intended for quick use the weapon would have been positioned so that it could be mounted to the shoulder without having to dismount from the bicycle.

Continuing on that same track we have a man being charged in the shooting of a cyclist. Trial nearing for man accused of killing Watsonville teen in 2005 Sheesh! Coming up on 7 years after the crime here. The shooter running for 4 years and then getting caught breaking the law in another state had a bit to do with that, but they still could have started the trial any time in the last 3 years.

Now we find that both cyclists hit by a DUI driver in Baton Rouge were employed by TV stations, just not the same ones. Mother of injured cyclist staying strong The dead cyclist was employed by the ABC affiliate, the surviving cyclist is employed by the NBC affiliate. The DUI driver will be an unpaid employee of the state shortly…

More on the Lefèvre wreck in NYC, as we discover that the Brooklyn DA’s office has an investigating unit for investigating vehicular crimes not submitted by the NYPD for prosecution. Now why would they have someone to do that? Brooklyn DA Reviewing Deadly Cyclist Hit-and-Run After NYPD Investigation Criticized Why indeed?

Another report on the driver that ran over a 6YO cyclist riding on the sidewalk in the Great White North. Driver charged in young cyclist’s death I know this looks exactly like the link from yesterday, but this is from a different media outlet.

Another Canuckistan wreck, this one an apparent hit-from-behind. Regina cyclist killed in collision At this point the released details are sparse but both vehicles travelling in the same direction is a good indication that this was a hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid a similar wreck.

A Ghost Bike stands silent guard over an intersection that has just gotten a Barnes Dance pedestrian crossing. At ‘Ghost Bike’ crossing, pedestrians will be able to stop traffic 4 ways And yeah, I don’t know what a bicycle fatality has to do with improving pedestrian facilities either, but I’m glad some good has come from it.

Infrastructure! in SC. Charleston cyclists want access to bridge Well it’s either let them use the bridge that’s already there, or pay to build a new bridge, or force drivers from a different bridge for sole bike/ped use.

And that’s all the links I had today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus