Daily Archives: July 24, 2012

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