Monthly Archives: July 2012

Going to vote today, full moon tonight, and the Feed

Today in the Suburbs of Hell we have a runoff election for slots not decided in the primary for the General Election in November. Some of the slots are unopposed by the “other party”, so in reality if you want a voice in who gets elected you have to vote now. Unfortunately this situation exists for both parties, effectively disenfranchising about half the electorate for once race or another. Then tonight at the church we are combining our Full Moon ritual with the observance of Lughnasadh (gesundheit!) or First Harvest. This is traditionally a celebration of the grain harvest, which traditionally is done with bread and beer (I guess it celebrates yeast as well?). So I have to arrive early at the church tonight to get the bread on for first rise. When the congregants arrive we punch down the dough and everyone gets to make a cupcake-sized “loaf” of bread and watch it rise, then we bake them and consume them. Since beer is one of the traditional parts of Lughnasadh this will be one of the rare times that alcohol consumption during ritual is encouraged (just not to excess!). There is a beverage that when it is the first part of making beer is called “wort”, I’m not sure what it’s called when the beverage is not intended to be fermented but drunk straight from the wort tub. Anyway this beverage is also a traditional part of the ritual, but I’ll be danged if I know where to find any outside of a homebrew store.

Up first on a day with almost no links is a hit-and-run in VA. Bike rider killed in hit-and-run on River Road Hit from behind so the hit-from-behind protocols might have helped avoid the wreck, getting the infrastructure right so that motor vehicles can’t get to the cyclists would prevent a similar wreck. Other than that I can’t tell you much about this wreck as the article has a big black square over it preventing me from reading it a second time.

A cyclist is hit incidentally in a van rollover in CT. [UPDATED] Van Strikes Bicycle Killing Rider in Fatal East Haven Crash and Bicyclist killed in East Haven accident There was an unconfirmed report that the van rolled trying to avoid hitting the cyclist. From the official description of the wreck I don’t know there was anything the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck, as the weapon vehicle was already on its side when it hit the cyclist, which pretty much puts the “avoiding the cyclist” story in the trash can unless the van driver reacted to suddenly noticing the cyclist was in front of her (cyclist induced driver blindness).

More on the NY wreck of a cyclist riding in the shoulder while a motorcycle rider flirted with a DUI driver in another vehicle. Fairport Teacher Killed While Riding Bicycle This was the one where the motorcycle rider was flirting with his GF in a car and passed her on the shoulder, running into the cyclist that was riding there legally. So much wrong in this wreck: The motorcycle rider passing on the right, the drunk driver in the second vehicle, operating the motor vehicle on the shoulder… Nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck, and about the only thing that infrastructure could have done would be physically separating the idiots in cars from the people riding bicycles, because this much Stupid is already jail-time illegal and it did not prevent this wreck.

A PA cyclist is killed in a wreck. Retired Teacher Killed in Bike Crash The report is rather strange, but not impossible, in that the cyclist hit the truck instead of the other way around. Pay attention to your bike and the road to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A MO wreck. Robert Pinar struck, killed by car while riding bike Another case of cyclist-induced blindness (I didn’t see him, the sun was in my eyes). Anyway, hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Last link, more on the CA cyclist who was shot near a fire station. Man shot and killed while riding bike in City Heights No way to avoid this one.

No links, but the UK is abroil over the onerous restrictions placed on the cyclists caught up on their commutes home when Critical Mass was arrested, some are prohibited from coming to work because of where they work, others are prohibited from going home because of where they live. IOW the bail restrictions were cookie-cutter (and on a photocopy) rather than being tailored for individual circumstances (like riding home from work on your bike and the police arresting everyone on a bike).

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

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Coffee, and the Feed

I don’t think anyone understands the intimate relationship between when this blog gets posted and the amount of coffee I consume. Mondays are the worst as I stay up late watching delay-broadcast motorsports (or the TdF in July) on the tube until 2 or 3 AM and then get up too soon to get started filtering the Feed and trying to make some sense out of the links and articles. If I didn’t down massive amounts of the precious Vitamin C2 there would be no blog post on Monday, but 2 on Tuesday (which has happened more than once). The rest of the week coffee is the difference between an early afternoon (US Central Time) posting and an early evening posting. One thing I have discovered is that there is no difference in effect between the cheapest coffee available (Dark roast Robusta from the dollar store) and expensive brands like Peet’s. they all produce pretty much the same boost to productivity. What does change is the better the coffee tastes, the more I drink of it earlier in the day and the quicker the post comes out, to a limit. That limit is of course if I spend all my time drinking coffee I can’t filter the Feed or compose the post, as with drinking lots of coffee comes lots of trips to the bathroom. So what inspired this particular riff? The first thing I did this morning after getting our of bed was shamble to the coffee pot and prepare a 16 oz. “cup” of coffee, then shamble back to turn on the computer. As I read my e-mails I finished the first 16 oz. and went for a second. and I’m about halfway through that as I compose this paragraph, and this isn’t even the good coffee, it’s Safeway store brand Classic Roast (not even the dark roast stuff).

Up first for no particular reason is more on the 7YO killed by a DUI hit-and-run driver in Ca. Community mourning 7-year-old killed in NE Fresno crash I can’t believe the people blaming the infrastructure instead of the drunk driver that killed a child and left the scene. Granted there could be some improvements in the infrastructure but the deficiencies did not contribute to this wreck. All the blame lies with the drunk driver that was exceeding the speed limit and failed to stop as signalled by the traffic controls. About the only thing that could have prevented this wreck would be retractable bollards triggered by the approach of a cyclist on the path. I watched video of one of these stopping a box van loaded to 50K pounds dead in its tracks at 50 MPH. I would like to see these deployed at all no-turn-on-red lanes that the turn would cause the vehicle to cross a pedestrian area or bike lane placing the pedestrian or cyclist in mortal peril.

Still in CA a cyclist who was killed has been identified. Cyclist Killed on Campbell Avenue Identified I hate SWCC wrecks, especially when I don’t have access to any pictures of the bike to confirm or refute the narrative.

Another CA link to the kind of cyclist fatality that you just can’t do anything about. Wounded cyclist dies at San Diego fire station I still don’t understand why people shoot cyclists when all they have to do is run them over from behind and claim blindness (I didn’t see him!). And apparently the cyclist was shot at more than one time as there were multiple wounds.

More on the cyclist hit-from-behind on a 4 lane road in KS. Bike crash kills local doctor remembered for his work in the community And still the cyclist gets blamed for riding in the road instead of blaming the driver for not moving over to pass in the adjacent lane. Edit: The comments have been removed from the link, apparently someone got the message about the driver being in the wrong in this wreck no matter how they tried to spin it otherwise.

More on the cyclist killed riding on a NC Marine base. Soldier with Utah ties is killed in bike accident at North Carolina Navy base While according to this article they are now saying the cyclist wasn’t at fault in the wreck they still are not actively placing any blame on the driver, either.

Updates on another NC wreck. Struck cyclist offers cash reward after hit and run Could we get a little more investigation from the people who get paid to do this, instead of having to post rewards and beg for information?

Update on the survivors of a hit-and-run in TN. Cyclists injured in hit and run still love the ride I’m wondering why it took 11 months to charge the driver when they had the driver within an hour after the wreck to prove DUI.

This must be important, the same story was up from three different URLs in the Feed. UPDATE: Bicyclist killed in Richmond hit-and-run The cyclist was hit from behind, so hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. I would suggest making hit-and-run a prison time felony as a starter.

I’m not sure which state this wreck happened in, but it was a really bad wreck. Friends Of Teacher Killed This Weekend Send A Message: “Stop Making Victims” OK, the cyclist was riding off the road on the shoulder when she was hit from behind by a motorcycle whose rider was trying to flirt with the DUI driver of the second vehicle that hit the cyclist. I’m still trying to figure out if it was even physically possible for the cyclist to avoid getting hit in this wreck, and I’m not having much luck in coming up with anything that would work. Short of executing idiots immediately after wrecks like this I don’t see anything that would allow the cyclist to avoid this wreck or prevent a similar one. And guys if she’s driving drunk she’s also probably not using birth control properly if at all, don’t even bother trying to flirt… Anyway to prevent shoot the drivers at the scene, tape it and show it on national TV for at least a month.

Infrastructure! news from Enn Zed. Cyclist blamed for her own death and Cyclists plan campaign to clear killed rider’s name What has locals in such a tizzy is the very spot where the cyclist died was identified as dangerous and potentially fatal 4 years prior to the wreck, but the coroner’s report blame her for her own death. There is a MUP next to the road, but it is segregated from the road by a railing and only accessible from either end with no signage directing cyclists that it even exists as bicycle infrastructure, and no way to get on it if you enter that road after the entrance to the path. It would be like blaming the customers in a bank robbery for not being behind the bullet-proof glass with the tellers when the bullets started flying.

And somewhat infrastructure related, apparently if there is a cyclist protest going on everyone on a bicycle is protesting? Critical Mass arrests: police charge three I would really like to see mass arrests of people in traffic jams for disrupting traffic, using the same logic… More Scotland Yard defends arrests of ‘Critical Mass’ cyclists and 3 charged for cyclist protest outside Olympic Park also Cycling arrests raise questions about legacy Olympic organisers want to leave What I find amusing is that as many as 50 of those arrested may have just been trying to get home from work with their normal mode of transit and were not a part of any protests, nor had they been notified that riding a bicycle there could get them arrested.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today…

Billed @$0.02, Opus

It’s still hot, and tweaks to the home-made sprts drink

The trip home from church was made in 100°F heat while the trip to church was “only” 94°F. The humidity is low enough that those were the heat indexes as well as the actual temperatures, but to be honest once the actual temperature gets above normal body temperature I don’t think it really matters any more you’re going to suffer. And while I didn’t suffer much, it was definitely uncomfortable riding around in the heat, especially now that I’m back in training for the standing ¼ mile. I was pushing a 82 inch gear on what is basically a beach cruiser with a storage shed on the back. It’s a great workout, but in this heat it’s an effort. The interesting thing is my average speed only went up about a mile an hour, but my cruise speed went up by about 5 MPH, from 13 to 18 MPH.

With all that heat, I have had to tweak the recipe for the sports drink. I had to reduce the amount of the Lite Salt I used because there just was not enough sugar in the world to make tea drinkable with ¼tsp of salt per 8 fl. oz. By only putting ¼tsp per 24 fl. oz. I can drink the whole 24 oz. quickly and get the benefits of the fluid and the salt. The taste still isn’t the best, I think that I may have to make the tea extra strong and add extra sugar to make it taste like tea with the salt added, which will make it taste like poo without the salt. And I’m reconsidering my decision not to use the citric acid in the drink because it was supposed to cut the extreme saltiness of the drink when added with extra sugar. Most of the taste altering parts of the recipe are sugar to hide the salt or to hide the taste of the things that are supposed to hide the taste of the salt. I’m trying to avoid either too much sugar or artificial sweeteners. So I’m getting some electrolytes but not as much as I would from a commercial electrolyte drink.

I mentioned that I was training for the standing ¼ mile, although I’m looking more to next year now than this. What I have been doing is using a gear about equal to the low gear I’m going to use on the drag bike but with a heavier bike that has a bunch more aero drag. Now the trick will be what will happen when I go from low to high which is 2.090909091 times higher than low or about 165 gear inches. But for the moment riding Blue with the same gear as what my low gear will be will get my legs used to pushing a huge load at a low cadence. My normal way of riding is to spin a small gear ridiculously fast so this is way different than what I normally do. Because of the nature of the standing ¼ mile I will need to be able to do both, mash the big gear and spin at ridiculous cadences. The modelling software says I’ll need to spin that low gear to about 150 RPM and spin the top gear to about 120 if I want a chance at the IHPVA record, set back in the late 20thCentury at 26.960 on 08/08/92 for a single rider or 20.642 on 10/02/82 for multiple riders. I might have a shot at both records if I train hard enough and build the bike light enough and stiff enough. The trick is to get the low speed part of the run done as quickly as possible, so that the vehicle is already moving fast for the early part of the run and still make it aero for the last half of the run. Track cyclists riding the 1000m time trial get close to or under 30 seconds for the ¼ mile without streamlining or the ability to change gears, so training, light-weight and stiff bike with decent aero, and just a bit of luck to make the attempt on a day when everything is going good for me physically and I might just be able to get a sub-27 second elapsed time.

Of course that pre-supposes that some clown on a cell phone doesn’t take me out while I’m waiting for a red light (you know, that thing that cyclists never do?).

PSA, Opus

If I ruled the world, and the Feed

If I ruled the world shareholders would get paid before CEOs, more people would ride bicycles because they wanted to not because they were made to, the air and water would be cleaner, corporate profits would be up dollar-wise but down as a percentage of revenues, a single person could actually afford to live alone on minimum wage without having to pack 5 people in a 2-bedroom apartment, and you could actually trust the government to do what was best for the country, not for a small group of already-rich-beyond-counting people. Vote for me!

More links on the cyclist doctor killed in KS. El Dorado doctor killed in bicycle accident Thursday Except that was no “accident” El Dorado optometrist killed when his bike was struck by a car Again, there was no reason for the cyclist to have even had a close call, there was another lane to the left going in the same direction of travel, plus two more lanes for the car to move over. This was a conscious decision of the driver to not move over to pass the cyclist, which makes it either assault with a deadly weapon or murder.

A single-bike wreck in WA. Tacoma businessman and civic leader Steve Albers hurt badly in Mount Rainier bike event AFAIK this was a case of the rider losing control of his bike on a corner and dropping the bike, which makes this wreck easy to avoid by just riding slower. Also, bicycle helmets are of little use in a wreck like this but are about the only thing we have to prevent head injury, so wear one anyway.

Although the article doesn’t come out and state it a cyclist is hit-and-run in GA. Barrow County cyclist injured in crash on rural road I wasn’t able to determine mode of wreck because the article did not admit there had been another vehicle involved, so I can’t say how to avoid this wreck, but it could be prevented with proper infrastructure that physically separates cyclists from fast-moving motor vehicles.

Infrastructure! news from an unlikely source, an online e-bike magazine that I read regularly. Americans with Disabilities Act Revisions Open Bike Paths and Rails-to-Trails to Cyclists with Disabilities Con I just say that this really came out of left field for me (for non-USAian readers, this means “out of nowhere”). I was aware of this provision of the ADA, I just didn’t think it applied to anything except powered wheelchairs.

A study in Oz gets it mostly wrong by asking the wrong questions. Study prompts safety precautions for cyclists You ask the wrong questions you get the wrong answers. The questions in this study pre-suppose that there is nothing that can be done about the actual cause of most serious bicycle injury, the motor vehicle with a driver that fails to see a bicycle and rider. As a result they focus on things like HiViz, lights, and helmets that will have only a temporary impact on crashes if any.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Ideas churning without a place to go, and the Feed

I have blog posts that are churning inside my head that would only be suitable for a Wreck-Free Sunday post. Unfortunately I only have time to do one of those a week, but I have many more ideas than that running around in my head that have a limited shelf life. As a “fer’instance” the day after the (alleged) nutjob in CO shot up a theater and killed 12 people with a gun here in TX one guy in a pickup truck killed 15 people with his vehicle. I have seen and heard nothing about that from the MSM. Right now more people are killed by motor vehicle wrecks than by gunshot wounds in the US. Right now the biggest killer of children in the US is motor vehicle wrecks. Right now the biggest killer of adults in the US is motor vehicle wrecks up to age 35, after that diseases caused by extensive automobility start to take over. The last year that we have access to statistics for 33,000 people were killed in motor vehicle wrecks including almost 5000 people that were not in cars, or about 15%. We don’t have good statistics for the people killed by pollution from motor vehicles and the support industries needed to support those vehicles, only estimates with wide windows of confidence, because pollution seldom kills suddenly like a wreck. All those ideas with no place to put them, no way to flesh them out.

Up first is another cyclist hit in OR on the “scenic bike route”. Cyclist injured in crash on U.S. 101 south of Bandon identified and Bicycle rider injured in crash near Coos Bay also Man struck while bicycling on Highway 101 south of Bandon Another cyclist is seriously injured with no apparent consequences for the driver. Hit-from-behind wreck but the cyclist was already in the escape route for this particular wreck, so even using the protocols would have been to no avail. However getting the infrastructure right including criminal charges for leaving the road to hit a cyclist would prevent a wreck like this, or at least sharply reduce the likelihood of a similar wreck.

Another wreck with lots of links is a cyclist hit in KS. El Dorado bicyclist hit by car, killed and Bicyclist killed after being hit by car near Augusta also El Dorado optometrist killed in bicycle accident Another hit-from-behind on a clear, straight road with almost no visual impediments and 3 of 4 lanes for the driver to use to not hit the cyclist. I mean, how hard is it to change a lane when you’re going the same direction as the cyclist? And don’t give me that BS about cyclists being hard to see, if you can’t see someone riding a bike, how the H 3 1 1 are you going to see the stripes on the road? Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. And as part of “getting the infrastructure right” could we please have a law that places fault on the rear vehicle in case of a fatality unless the rear driver has video or skid mark evidence that the front vehicle cut them off.

A drunk driver in CA hits 3 cyclists in a group, killing one and injuring the others. Child Killed In Suspected DUI Crash; High School Coach Arrested No mode of wreck listed but since the wreck was not reported to have been in or near an intersection I’m going out on a limb here and say that the drunk hit the cyclists from behind and will claim blindness or lack of lights/reflectors on the victims’ bikes as some kind of mitigating factor that he drove drunk into a group of cyclists and killed one outright and may have killed the other two. What the relation of the surviving adult rider and the 2YO were to the dead victim was not released. EDIT: there were a huge number of links that just appeared in my Feed about this wreck. Central HS coach arrested in DUI crash, 1 dead, 2 injured and Police Say Fresno Coach Who Hit Father and His Two Children Was Possibly Driving Drunk more Fresno basketball coach facing DUI charges another one 7 Year Old Boy on Bike Hit by Fresno Basketball Coach Dies not done yet Fresno Basketball Coach Facing DUI and Manslaughter Charges There was a lot of victim blaming and trying to find the drunk driver innocent of actually hitting the cyclists in that link Young boy dies, suspect out of jail And the driver is freed on bond before the victim’s body has had a chance to get cold Basketball Coach Accused of Fatal DUI still more 7-Year-Old Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver another one High school basketball coach faces DUI, manslaughter charges even more Dozens gather to remember boy, 7, killed in suspected D.U.I crash this is a bit ridiculous now Vigil held for boy killed in suspected DUI crash getting closer now Fresno Boy Killed In D.U.I. Hit & Run, Driver Was Central High Coach As I keep reading reports the distance the deceased victim was dragged has gone from “several” yards to 200 yards to almost a quarter of a mile Child’s death in suspected DUI shocks Fresno; arrested coach ‘devastated’ last link Hit & Run Victim Brings Community Together When I first filtered this story there was only the one link at the top of the paragraph to look at, which while devastating enough was not nearly the whole story here. The whole story is just so vile, so reprehensible, so disgusting that I just can’t wrap my head around it. The crossing is fitted with flashing lights to alert drivers they have to stop for traffic on the trail, which has the right-of-way at this crossing, and the driver went through in excess of the speed limit and dragged one victim, the deceased, almost a quarter of a mile (final report was “1000 feet”), and the driver then left the scene. And there were still comments that blamed the kid for riding his bike in the street. I don’t know how long they will stay up as I marked them as offensive every time I could. Getting back to avoiding and preventing this wreck, the cyclists were on good bike infrastructure that gave right of way to them as users and a drunk driver still hit them and killed one of them. And this wasn’t just any drunk driver, this was a coach that had made repeated speeches to students about the dangers of drunk driving. So aside from making the driver watch his car get recycled from the inside, I’m at a loss as to how to prevent another wreck like this. Obviously with no car and no driver to drive it this won’t happen with them again, but how often does the death penalty prevent other kinds of killing?

Another wreck in CA, with much less information. cyclist Killed In Campbell Crash All LEO have released to date is there was a cyclist hit by/with a car.

A GA cyclist is killed. Pooler bicyclist killed after being struck by car in Bloomingdale Thursday And another hit-from-behind wreck that they try to blame on the cyclist… Although to be fair a lot of comments were blaming the driver for DWO (Driving While Old). So hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Not a bicycle wreck, but a rare assault and attempted murder charge for a driver. Police: Man charged with attempted homicide after hitting man with car No word about if the victim was driving, walking or riding a bicycle.

Infrastructure! news from Enn Zed as the fallout from a door prize continues to reverberate. Outrage over claim cyclist caused own death So, the cyclist opened the door herself?

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0,02, Opus

Cheap is when you make your own sports drink, and the Feed

I found a site on the web a while back for making your own sports drink out of whatever water-based beverage (no alcohol) you prefer. Basically you take your beverage of whatever flavor and add ¼tsp of Lite Salt (the sodium/potassium chloride mixture) and 1tsp of sugar per 8 fl. oz. of beverage. Some beverages also needed ¼tsp of citric acid but I didn’t get that as I’m making mine from iced tea and I hate lemon in my tea. I mention this because I picked up a $2 container of the Lite Salt today at the store that will make 222 8 oz. portions of sports drink. that works out to 13.875 (7/8) gallons of sports drink from non-sports beverages. How much does 14 gallons of Gatorade cost in the 24 oz. containers?

Up first from just a bit down the road west of the WoaB World HQ in the beautiful Suburbs of Hell, a hit-and-run driver is arrested. Fatal hit-and-run driver arrested The cyclist was riding home with traffic after his shift got out at 0030 hrs when he was hit from behind. So hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. More Cyclist killed in early morning hit-and-run

A bit west and way south of that wreck is another DUI killing of a cyclist in TX. Cyclist struck, killed east of Alpine Drunk at 1415?!? This was why I didn’t cue up the “recycle the car with him in it” rant with the last link. I was saving it for this one. The cyclist was hit-from-behind on a sunny day with no visibility issues at all (still trying to pull up the wreck site on Google Street View). Given the location this is about the best infrastructure we can expect from this area, but if the driver had been alert and sober this would not have been any problem for a bike rider. And yes, this is a wreck that definitely needs the driver to witness his car getting shredded prior to recycling from the inside of the vehicle. Not that getting a 2008 Kia recycled would be any great loss to the world.

Steeltown USA has another cyclist hit-and-run fatal this time.
Pittsburgh hit-and-run crash kills bicyclist
I was trying to link to this story yesterday but the URL had nothing but the picture of the cyclist and “BREAKING NEWS”. The equipment list on the bike was just slightly north of ludicrous (turn signals? who could even see them?) but it did go to show the cyclist was doing everything in his power to be visible, and all it got him was his getting knocked 6 feet more or less than his bike was moved in the wreck. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid if it had been physically possible to avoid this wreck, and get the infrastructure right to prevent, including giving the driver an up close and personal look at his car getting shredded and recycled. More Mother of bicyclist killed by hit-and-run driver makes tearful plea also Bicyclist dies in Point Breeze hit-and-run

Another kid killed in IL near Chicago. Boy, 10, dies after being struck while riding bicycle in Broadview Nothing about the
actual wreck so I can’t tell you what to do to avoid the wreck, but kids should be able to ride their bikes in their own neighborhoods without having to worry (or their parents having to worry) about getting killed by a car, so fix the dad-gummed infrastructure and prevent any more wrecks.

A MI cyclist is targeted by a hit-and-run driver. Pregnant cyclist struck in hit-and-run OK hit-from-behind protocols to avoid if avoiding the wreck was even possible, and make hitting a cyclist on purpose the same as either attempted murder or assault with a deadly weapon to prevent. Add in watching the vehicle get recycled if convicted, watching from the inside of the vehicle if the cyclist dies.

Update on one of the cyclists hit-from-behind by a car on RAGBRAI. Cyclist still in good condition at Mercy Again with the lights when the bikes had legal reflectors and the motor vehicle had headlights. More Three RAGBRAI Bicyclists Injured In Two Separate Vehicle Accidents and RAGBRAI rider recovering after being hit by car in Lake View, Iowa

A CT wreck that as of this post appears to involve a cyclist drunk at 1030. Bike rider runs into car in Bridgeport All I can say is don’t salmon and don’t drink and ride.

Another wreck that has appearances of being deliberate or the driver was just incredibly stupid. Car Hits Bicyclist Near Costco Nothing on if this was a hit-and-run, but if the driver had remained on scene I’m pretty sure there would have been his side of the story published as well as (instead of) the cyclist’s. Anyway, driveways are intersections, intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A SWCC wreck in the Great White North. Cyclist hits truck, seriously injured Classic SWCC narrative. If the narrative is correct then intersection protocols to prevent, otherwise hit-from-behind protocols, and get the infrastructure right to prevent however it happened.

More on the scooterist hit by a truck that ran a red light in the GWN. Family hires lawyer after e-bike rider killed in Windsor and Family of dead e-bike rider seeking civil suit: lawyer

A wreck in Oz, that was initially believed to have been a result of a team sport rivalry. Injured bike rider in surgery Looking at the scene the revised narrative seems unlikely as it is almost the classic SWSS narrative with again no place for the cyclist to have “swerved” from. Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Infrastructure! news from Enn Zed. Inquest into Tamaki Dr cyclist death and Cycling watchdog had alerted council to Tamaki Drive also Inquest underway into cyclist’s death last link Compulsory high-vis clothing for cyclists? Are they kidding about making Hi-Viz clown suits mandatory? New safety ideas for cyclists floated

A request, nay a DEMAND! for better infrastructure in the UK and Ireland after Wiggo wins the TdF. Honour Wiggins -protect cyclists

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Feline alarm clocks, and the Feed

I’m up early today because the cats were still eating when the last person that does the early morning thing left the house. Well after a while they got done eating (the cats) and decided that after a brief nap or reading the paper or whatever it was they did I had to get up to let them out about 2 hours later. This is about 2 hours earlier than my normal waking time, and our cats have become accustomed to how hard it is to wake me up. They don’t just sit on the pillow and yowl at the top of their lungs in my face, oh no, no, no. They reach out and slap me in the face with their paws, and if that doesn’t work after the first couple of tries they use their claws. Where Mrs. the Poet was during this noise I don’t know, as she wasn’t in the bed this morning. I think she may have been in the bathroom.

So here I am at the keyboard working the first of what will probably be several 16 fl. oz. “cups” of coffee, trying to pull coherent thoughts out of the cotton fluff around my mind at this time of day. I’m still filtering the Feed, and trying to make sense of what I find there.

Up first is a messy RAGBRAI this year as heat and cars take their toll on the participants. Two RAGBRAI Riders Hurt in Accident and UPDATE: 3 RAGBRAI bicyclists hurt also Third RAGBRAI rider injured another link UPDATED STORY: 2 hurt in RAGBRAI crash From what little I have been able to find out all 3 of these wrecks were hit-from-behind by a driver that “didn’t see” the cyclist, or in the first wreck two cyclists side by side (legal in IA). What gets me is there are signs warning drivers that there are going to be many cyclists on these roads and still they manage to “not see” cyclists. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, with getting the infrastructure right to prevent, with making “I didn’t see him” an admission of guilt instead of a get-out-of-jail-free card being among the first things to do. Looking at the pictures from the last link I can see reflectors on at least one if not both of the bikes.

A single-bike wreck in CA. Tulare woman injured in bike crash Mountain bike on the road, generally not a good idea because knobby tires do not have the same level of traction on pavement as road slicks. Also tire pressures that work off-road can cause wrecks on paved surfaces.

Another hit-from-behind wreck in AL. Bicyclist hospitalized after being hit by car Another driver uses the get-out-of-jail free card of “I didn’t see him”. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and jail time for drivers that can’t see what’s on the road in front of them to prevent.

Apparently LEO in the Great White North are using the principle that if a cyclist could be given a ticket for any violation then any wreck is the cyclist’s fault in spite of any other circumstance. Cyclist injured, ticketed after collision with truck in Waterloo Never mind that the driver hit someone in a crosswalk proceeding with the light, cyclists aren’t supposed to be in crosswalks so it was the cyclist’s fault. Intersection wreck, use intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

And it was a light Feed today, so those were all the links that gave me fits.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Why do we have grass again? And the Feed

The front lawn is looking kind of shaggy, and Mrs. the Poet is complaining about it. Since I don’t like grass (the stuff tries to kill me at least twice a year) I tend to not mess with it. But also having green space around the house keeps the temperatures inside the house down a degree or two (F), so I have grass instead of planting a xeriscape. So since Mrs. the Poet has volunteered to push the mower if I will fetch the gas, later today I will strap the gas can to Blue and fetch some gasoline to run the lawnmower, the only ICE powered device I currently own.

Some day I will figure out how to make the remains of the reel mower we got when we moved in here back in the 20th Century into a human powered riding mower so I don’t have to negotiate the drought-induced bumps and holes in my yard with the mobility-impaired leg and its weak ankle. The bad thing about a reel mower is it can’t mow much that grows above about the middle of the reel unless you make the reel so you can raise it and lower it about a foot (300mm) to get the seed stems that can literally shoot up overnight when you get a rain shower in a period of extended drought. This is one of the engineering problems I have been dealing with in this project, the other one being the issue of a slow moving mower with a fast turning reel from the same power source that works between 70 and 100 RPM. The reel should turn about twice that speed, while the tires should turn much slower as the reel is designed for an intake speed of 3 MPH or less. Then add the normal constraints of any vehicle design of brakes and steering, and well it’s a bit of a mess. And before anyone asks, I can’t just put pedals on a regular riding lawnmower because the power requirements of the rotary blade exceed even the output of a fully-doped member of the pro peloton. A small rotary mower requires a 3 HP or greater ICE or a 1 KW electric motor.

Up first are more links to that kid getting hit riding his bike in a residential area of Seattle. 8-year-old hit by car, killed while riding a bike and Boy, 8, killed while riding bike in Federal Way that link at least acknowledged that a bike helmet is of little use when hit by a motor vehicle Federal Way Boy Killed While Riding Bike At Night more 8-year-old boy hit, killed while riding bike another one 8-year-old hit by car, killed while riding bike

Next is a bit of cyclist-on-cyclist crime in VA. Va. Beach man arrested, charged with raping cyclist I just don’t know what to say.

Another cyclist is severely injured riding in CO. Terence ‘T.J.’ Doherty critically injured by car while cycling north of Boulder The mode of wreck was a left cross, intersection protocols to avoid, and fix the freaking infrastructure to prevent any more senseless deaths.

A cyclist is hit by a car in CA and one of the first things mentioned in the report is that he wasn’t wearing a helmet?!? Bicyclist injured in collision with car near downtown Santa Rosa The narrative suggests the cyclist had to dodge to avoid a door prize and was hit from behind by a driver that was passing too close (one of the reasons for the 3-foot passing law). To avoid ride outside the door zone and let driver figure out how to pass you safely, to prevent fix the infrastructure so that cyclists aren’t forced to ride in the door zone or force drivers to figure out how to pass them.

A MA cyclist is killed riding his bike. Worcester man dies after his bicycle collides with a car The bike was hit from behind and trapped under the car then placed as seen in the picture after the rider was transported from the scene. Note the undamaged front wheel and the buckled rear wheel, unlike the commenters that failed to notice the damage to the bike. Hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A wreck in TX caused by a lack of communication or a failure on the part of the LEO to pay attention to what he was supposed to be doing. Competitor Injured In Local Triathlon Remains In Serious Condition From what I can tell from the article LEO was supposed to control the intersection so that the cyclists did not have to stop for red lights or dodge traffic. Since this was in a race the cyclist was told traffic was being controlled and had no way to avoid this wreck. To prevent maybe the LEO could have done as he was supposed to do and prevented motor vehicles from entering the intersection when the cyclist was there.

From the Great White North, a scooterist using the bike lane is killed by a driver, driver doesn’t get any charges. No criminal charges laid in fatal e-bike collision Could they have made the headline any bigger? You would think they are celebrating this. But a different outlet had a completely different report on the same wreck. Charges laid in deadly e-bike crash This one reports the driver ran the red light when he hit the scooterist. WTF?!?

Another GWN wreck. Cyclist, 33, using bicycle path dies after he is struck by truck and Cyclist dies in collision with truck Cyclist gets left-crossed, truck driver uses universal get-out-of-jail-free card (“I didn’t see him”) and escapes without so much as a ticket for breaking the law and killing a human being. Note that the CBC article had the geometrically-impossible-in-North America right cross wreck.

Infrastructure! news from Enn Zed as cyclists suffer disproportionately from potholes. Potholes prove headache I read that report and just shuddered.

Infrastructure news from Jolly Olde. Safety measures for cycle danger spots can’t come soon enough, says widow of Bow Roundabout victim The death toll in the UK is just appalling, particularly in London.

LifeStyle report from SC. Saving puppies, promoting cycling, and stuffing faces Yay. puppies.

People who have done other versions of this event constantly tell me what a rush it was, so you might want to take this in if you’re in the area. Tour de Fat This Saturday

And last post, because I need a pretty picture of bicycles not involved in mayhem or murder even if you don’t. Twin Cities Bike Picture of the Day: 7.24.12

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Zip tie engineering does it again, and the Feed

To explain the headline, I have a 25 YO frame pump that I got with a used bike I bought back in the BushI administration. It’s Presta only, and will take a bike tire up to about 125 PSI with some difficulty. Repeated use will cause excessive pectoral and triceps development. But after the failure of my mini-pump to reappear on command, it’s the only bike-portable source of compressed air I have. The problem is it’s only bike-portable on bikes that are equipped to carry it, which Blue wasn’t. Notice the past tense in that sentence? Via the miracles of zip tie engineering and the fortuitous presence of a discarded stub of seat stay material from a previous bike build I was able to put a pump mount on an aluminum framed bicycle. It was tested on the numerous railroad crossings on my trip to church this weekend and did not vibrate free or allow the pump to get free, but did permit access to the pump at desire. The down side is I had to remove the jaunty little frame bag to give room for the pump, and relocated the contents of the frame bag to the right pannier. If I can find my mini-pump or if I get another one I will put the frame bag back on Blue and take the tube, tire levers, and lock out of the right pannier and put then with the mini-pump in the frame bag. If I could get a picture from my camera into my computer I could show the world what Blue looks like now with the frame pump under the top tube and the kitty litter buckets on the back and lights and reflective material just about everywhere. Actually I have some discarded license plates with round red mailbox reflectors in the middle on the back of the kitty litter buckets as most of the reflective material, and the OE bike reflectors as the rest, for now. Plans are to get some of that stuff they put on the back of semi trucks for the sides of the kitty litter buckets, and some 12V Christmas lights made for outside use to put on the frame and handlebars.

I should also mention that I have to figure out some way of repairing the twist grip shifters that came with Blue. The shifting part still works perfectly, it’s the grip part of the twist grip that is literally going to pieces. The combination of the atrocious air pollution and my corrosive sweat has turned the right grip to a sticky, slimy goo that comes off on everything. I already know what I need to do to fix this with handlebar tape, I just need the handlebar tape and a few minutes when I don’t have anything else to do. This may mean I need to give the blog a day off while I go to the bike store to get the supplies and then remove the gooey remains of the grip and install the tape. And of course I will have to do this to the other grip to keep Blue symmetrical.

Up first is a report of a cyclist hit in Seattle. Boy hurt after being struck by vehicle while riding bicycle and 8-year-old boy struck, killed by car while on bicycle more 8-year-old hit by car, killed while riding a bike Notice the narrative in this report, only once in either article was there any mention of the fact that the vehicle had a driver that was responsible for maintaining control over it and was responsible for making sure that the vehicle was operated in such a manner that people were not harmed. The narrative was also pretty shaky as to how the cyclist was hit, taking on the characteristics of the SWSS in that the cyclist was described as entering the road, with no mention of where he entered the road from. The second link was even worse than the first, blaming the cyclist with nothing on what he did prior to the wreck except not wear a helmet. With so little to go on I can’t say how to avoid this wreck, but getting the infrastructure right might have prevented it. Looking at the wreck site in Google Street View this appears to be residential in nature and would be shared space in even the best infrastructure models, except that when I tried using the addresses from both articles there was a several mile discrepancy between the two sites as well as the age difference between the victims of the two reports. I’m beginning to think that this might be two different wrecks in residential areas miles apart. Still there would have to be some legal accountability from the driver for the wreck in a residential area in order to prevent wreck(s) like this(these).

A crime most heinous in CO. Denver cyclist killed by hit-and-run driver The bicycle was removed from the scene by the driver, on purpose or just because it was stuck under the car. Either way, the driver had to know he hit someone so the -and-run part is deliberate. Cue the rant about what to do with hit-and-run drivers that kill, and fire up the car shredder…

One article with 2 wrecks from NJ. Cyclists injured in two separate accidents in Ocean County The article has just enough information on both the wrecks for rampant speculation, but not enough to actually be able to tell what happened and how to avoid them. But I can state with absolute authority that getting the infrastructure right would prevent wrecks like these.

From OH a report that recalls some of the worst in UK wreck reports. Cyclist Struck, Killed Along Fisher Road We have a rough idea of the location, not enough to find it in Google Maps, the driver did not leave the scene, and it was after 10 PM and before midnight…

More fallout over the DUI fatality of a hyper-prepared cyclist in the Great White North. Family vows to take up cyclist’s cause Looking at the picture from the video of the cyclist as she was dressed the day of the wreck with her bike, the driver would have had to be drunk or insane to not see the cyclist between the red, the yellow, the ANSI Safety Lime and all the reflectors on either the bike or the cyclist.

Also from the GWN, a driver faces charges over hitting a cyclist. Driver charged after seriously injuring cyclist All I can say is it must have been a pretty egregious wreck with no possibility of blaming the cyclist for this to happen (jaded, Moi? never). The cyclist was wearing a helmet which failed to prevent his arms from being injured (?!), so the wreck must have been the fault of the driver.

And another wreck report from north of the border, Canuckistan this time. Motorcyclist badly injured, cyclist not so bad, in pair of collisions in Victoria The motorcyclist was left-crossed, the bicyclist was right-hooked, and I’m beginning to think that just maybe drivers from up there have no clue as to how to drive around anything smaller than an original Mini. Intersection protocols and y’all be careful up there, ok?

Infrastructure! from NC. Pedestrian, cyclist-involved crashes climb in Charlotte From the article Charlotte lacks even basic pedestrian infrastructure over most of its area listing about 2400 miles of streets and roads with no sidewalks or shoulders, even in Downtown areas of the city. The entire city seems to be laid out as a single-mode transport system dependant on door-to-door private motor vehicle use, with transit tacked on as an afterthought. The Democratic National Convention is going to be interesting with all the people trying to get from hotels to the convention center without their private motor vehicles that they left at the airport they departed from. Not to mention that NC is very much a red state that hates anyone that doesn’t drive a car. I foresee a bloodbath.

Infrastructure from the Twin Cities. Trail Closures Everywhere I can’t tell you how jealous I am of these guys. Here in the Suburbs of Hell we haven’t even begun building our bicycle infrastructure and they are already repairing theirs.

LifeStyle from the Niagara region. Niagara Velomobile Happening SAT/SUN Sept 15 – 16 , 2012 I really like velomobiles, as they are mobile shade here in TX. More northerly climes like them because they can be sealed up and the rider acts like a heater allowing shirtsleeve riding in sub-freezing weather, other places like them because they keep the rain and other precipitation off the rider.

Thanks to Cycle Twin Cities for a pretty picture of a bicycle in the wild to help calm my nerves. Twin Cities Bike Picture of the Day: 7.23.12

And those are all the links that gave me fits (or not) today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Driver’s licenses, Wreck-Free Sunday

Something I keep harping about in this blog is that it is too easy to get a driver’s license, and too hard to lose it, exactly the opposite of how it should be. Something that keeps coming up in private communication is exactly how hard do I think it should be to get a driver’s license?

This is what I think the US standard should be for getting a driver’s license: At 16 you get a learner’s permit. If you get caught driving without an adult over 21 in the passenger seat while you have that learner’s permit, or get in a wreck, or get a ticket, you don’t get to drive until you’re 21. You drive daytime only with one adult over 21 and no other passengers until you turn 18. When you turn 18 and if you have been driving with a learner’s permit, you can take another road test and get a short probationary driver’s license, which means that if you don’t get in any wrecks or get any tickets for 6 months, then you can get a “permanent” license. If you get in a wreck, you wait until 21 or 2 years whichever is longer to get a license. You get a ticket you wait a full year until you apply again for a probationary license. If you’re over 21 when you apply for a license the first time you can get the short probationary license like 18 with 2 years learner’s permit. For those over 18 but under 21 without the 2 years of learner’s permit driving after passing the written and road tests you get a “long” probationary license, with the same restrictions as the short probationary except instead of 6 months of driving like your first mistake will end your life it is a 12 month period. Notice that for the probationary licenses the first ticket takes you back to the 18-21 stage without the learner’s permit, that is a full year of the probationary license after waiting a full year from the ticket and paying the test fees and taking the tests all over again.

If you paid attention you probably noticed that for the first several years of the process until the driver turns 21 the first ticket or wreck restarts the whole process after an extended period of not driving. That means any moving violation, even “rolling” a stop sign, causes you to lose your license. Also pay attention to the point that getting back into the license process takes you to an even more precarious process that has you under probation for a full year. This is true for any reason to lose your license that still allows you to get one back, you are back at the beginning and have to take all the tests and also pay all the fees to take those tests, and after passing all the tests you have a full year of probation.

Also the written test covers all the laws of driving including how to interact with pedestrians and people riding bicycles. You should have learned the laws for riding a bike and walking while you are in elementary school so testing for that knowledge would be redundant. I can’t see requiring testing for the number of the paragraph for each law, but knowing the gist of every law and the meaning of it would be required. I see a minimum of 80% correct to pass except for the bits about being around cyclists and pedestrians where if you miss anything you failed the test.

Now the road test should be in 2 parts, the second part on an actual road where the examiner watches for anything that could result in someone getting injured if another person is there, in other words for the purposes of the road portion of the test assume there are pedestrians and cyclists EVERYWHERE! which if this license scheme works out would be the way things are because drivers would be terrified of losing their licenses so that non-motorized road users would feel safe enough to actually use the roads. The first part of the test would be on a closed course, where the candidate would have to demonstrate accident avoidance, ability to detect and get out of a skid on a wet skid pad, and knowledge of the proper line through a corner, including braking zone, apex, and exit. This becomes important when traction goes away in wet or freezing conditions.

As you might imagine driving schools would be like technical schools, with long classroom sessions and test tracks that were literal test tracks for teaching the accident avoidance test and the cornering tests. Classroom sessions would be about both the laws that would be covered by the written test and the theory of driving needed to pass the practical tests (you couldn’t really call them “road” tests as more than half would be on the track). The comic stereotype of the “Driver’s Ed” teacher would become a thing of the past as most of the early training that teaches new drivers how the controls of the car work would be on the track in a closed environment long before the driver ever gets to real streets and roads.

You might have noticed that even in the description of how to get a driver’s license in this new cyclist’s paradise most of the description is how to lose that license, temporarily. That’s because of the second half of the equation, losing the license would happen at the drop of a hat. When you’re not established as being worthy of having a license, anything that cast a negative light on your driving abilities like a moving violation or a wreck would force a re-set back to square two, the one after you finish the driving school. In addition if there was too high a percentage of driver candidates that had to re-set a driving school could lose their certification and either have to replace instructors or sell to different owners and re-do the entire curriculum.

Once you establish that you have earned the privilege of controlling a weapon of mass destruction you have a little leeway, a single ticket would not cause you to lose that license. However, that first ticket puts you in a somewhat precarious position. Under my rules in the cyclist’s paradise if you get 3 moving violations in a year you lose your license for a year, subject to passing the tests again (and paying the fees to take those tests). Having a wreck not involving a cyclist or pedestrian also loses your license for a year and requires taking the tests again.

Now if you have a wreck that involves a cyclist or pedestrian and you’re not at fault it’s treated as a “normal” wreck with another vehicle and you just lose your license for a year. If you are at fault when you hit a cyclist or pedestrian well your world just went pear-shaped. You will lose your license for at least 2 years for “minor” wrecks where you only had a technical violation and the victim is only injured, For “major” violations where it takes either a deliberate action on the driver’s part to commit the violation or a wreck where the victim does not survive the driver loses that license for 5 years. For a combination of a “major” violation combined with a fatality of the cyclist or pedestrian you can kiss your license good-bye forever, after you get out of prison. For any wreck that involves a cyclist or pedestrian the process to recover the license also involves going back to driving school, partially because after that time your driving skills would be very rusty, and partially because your knowledge of the laws is demonstrated to be lacking and needing re-education. In addition after a wreck involving a fatality the driver is on permanent probation, meaning the first ticket is another year walking or riding a bike.

As you can imagine non-motorized road users would feel quite safe in this environment. Drivers, not so much. To go with this legal environment would be an infrastructure that was equally as protective of cyclists and pedestrians, so that drivers would have very little opportunity to use that knowledge of how cars and cyclists interact. In my mind, this would be truly a paradise to the non-motorized road user.

PSA, Opus