Monthly Archives: February 2013

Finally I get mule duties, and the Feed

Well the checks have cleared, and we have grocery money. That means I will have to pack the buckets over the tops (good thing I still haven’t put the lids back yet) and also put a lot of stuff on my back in the ALICE ruck I customized to my body about 15 years ago. Before I get the groceries I will have to make a side trip to the bank to get the money first, so this will be a short blog post. Maybe.

Up first a CA rider is hit from behind while riding in a legal manner. Madera Man On Bike Killed In Collision With Car Notice the description of the lane position for the cyclist “he noticed that the bike rider, whose name is being withheld pending the notification of his next of kin, riding on the right edge of the westbound lane.” IOW he was riding as far right as possible, maybe even past the “practicable” criteria of the law. Well I would say he was more right than was “practicable” because he got hit from behind by a driver that could not even move over a foot to not hit a cyclist. And I place some of the blame on Jerry Brown for vetoing not just one but 2 3-foot passing laws.

AAAnnnnd, that’s it? I have no more links in my Feed folder except for one UK link that tells even less than normal for a UK media wreck story.

Billed @$0.02, Opus


Waiting on a delivery, and the Feed.

Well Fed Ex robocalled yesterday as I was finishing up the blog post and left a message that a package requiring a signature for delivery was going to be here today and someone needed to be here to sign for it. So I’m up at 0800 waiting for a delivery that might not happen until 1600 or could be here in the next few minutes. So in the meantime I read some comics, and left comments on some comics, filtered the first part of the Feed. had a “cup” of coffee (my coffee cup holds a full pint), read some more comics, had another “cup” of coffee, read the newspaper (yes, they still make those), had another “cup” of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich, read some more comics and started to read the bike blogs of other people, had another… well you get the idea. I’m waiting for the rest of the Feed to hit my inbox and also for the FedEx guy to show up with this package. What I have so far in the Feed that I can use is entirely from Enn Zed again.

OK the FedEx guy just showed up with an envelope that had a Kroger gift card in it from their Portland OR office, nothing else on the envelope to identify the origin, why I got a Kroger gift card or anything else to explain why I just was handed the equivalent of a month’s grocery budget. Suffice it to say I’m more than slightly confused, as I have entered several contests for Kroger gift cards both online and at various events in the area and you would think that had I won they would have mentioned it somehow as part of the promotion instead of the card just showing up on the doorstep, and had it been one of you fine readers I would think that it would be a heckuva lot easier to just buy the card at the local Kroger and just mail it to me. So now I have a mystery on my hands: Why would Kroger send me a gift card directly via FedEx with signature on delivery? To add to the confusion, the contact information was my land line, not my e-mail. Well actually this clears it up a tiny bit, as the land line would mean that it was from one of the various contests and promotions I signed up for at the State Fair last year. Still trying to figure out which one it was, though…

Speaking of Portland OR, our first link is about a shooting and hit-and-run in that city. Man shot at with paintball gun and assaulted by man driving a car while riding in North Portland Fortunately the shooter was using a paintball gun, not an actual lethal firearm, but I can state with utter assurance that getting hit by a paintball fired at close range is no picnic, and being menaced with a motor vehicle is about as far from a walk in a park as you can get outside of a war zone.

A CA cyclist who was hit-and-run and dragged into a freeway after a left cross wreck loses a leg and is about to lose the other leg. Bicyclist in hit-run near Griffith Park left for dead, loses leg Let’s find this low-life and make him pay for the crimes he has committed. Intersection wreck, but as the guy was breaking line in a traffic jam I don’t think even intersection protocols would have avoided this wreck, nor would any infrastructure that had cyclists crossing motor vehicle traffic at grade level have stopped it. The only thing that would have prevented this wreck would be a driver’s license program that managed to filter out “drivers” like this.

Rampant windshield bias in this article about an AZ cyclist getting killed. PD: Elderly bicyclist hit, killed in Mesa The driver of the weapon vehicle was operating on a private road AKA a driveway. while the cyclist was riding on the public right of way, meaning the cyclist had the right of way and the weapon vehicle should have yielded to the cyclist instead of running him over. Intersection protocols to avoid, and educate PD about right of way laws to help prevent, as well as get the infrastructure right. I mean seriously, if they get it that wrong when a vehicle pulls from a driveway onto a public street and kills a cyclist when the cyclist clearly had the right of way, what will happen in wrecks where right of way is more nuanced? This is the Google Street View of the site. If the link came up right you should see an alleyway behind a shopping center. This was the only “private road” visible on the map view that had an east-west orientation (the driver was “westbound on a private road near Main and 48th streets“), all the rest were north-south.

The first of the Enn Zed links is an intersection wreck. Cyclist injured Note that the cyclist was seen to be wearing the hideous glow-in-the-dark clothing dictated by recent judicial findings, yet still was hit anyway…

And in the same paper a cyclist is hit from behind while being passed too close, and they blame the cyclist! Cyclist’s death an awareness reminderMr Crerar said that shortly before colliding with the car, Mr Scott had veered toward the centre of the road, into the path of an oncoming car.” and then”He did not know whether it was a deliberate manoeuvre by Mr Scott or the result of a wind gust“. If the wind was blowing that hard, shouldn’t the driver have been aware that the cyclist might get moved over a bit while being passed? And this is another case where the cyclist was doing more than required to ride his bike getting hit while riding with the right of way, and still getting blamed for getting hit. TANJ!

And those are all the links that gave me fits…

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Trying to keep a positive outlook, and the Feed

On the ride home from the ritualists’ meeting at church yesterday I stopped by an ATM and did a balance check. I have a touch under 10K in my balance, and $11.31 available. This is a week after I deposited a certified check from the brokerage house that has been handling the trust my parents set up. It takes less than 30 seconds to clear a check, but this one has been sitting in my account for 7 days now, and I still can’t get to my money. And that’s the rub right there, it’s my money in the bank. Not theirs. And I need to buy food, and TP, and bike parts… Not booze, not drugs (OK the bike parts might be seen as drugs, but it’s the good kind of “drugs”), not cheap floozies, but the necessities of living in this modern world. So, I’m trying to keep a positive outlook on things, that the longer I have all that money in my account the more I’m going to make in interest at 0.01% APR (my bank’s rate on savings accounts, same as the rate charged by the Fed for their loans). OK so maybe that was not the best way to stay positive on this, but it’s all I have at the moment. 😉

A CA wreck that has strong parallels to the wreck where I died (temporarily). McKinleyville cyclist killed on U.S. Highway 101 The victim was hit from behind by a city parks vehicle, just like me, but this does not appear to be a deliberate act (although the cyclist can’t give his version of the event). Anyway, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. And a request to make sure every parks department vehicle is only driven 20 MPH by a hyper-vigilant driver with an obsessive fear of lawsuits and jail, and also being haunted by ghosts if he kills someone. I’m serious about this, reading this link was not good for me… Lots of bad memories.

Update on he road rage assault on a cyclist in Enn Zed. Road rage leaves cyclist injured More on the injuries sustained by the cyclist, and that the driver is still in jail (as I post this), but nothing much of anything else to report because this is now a criminal case and Enn Zed media laws are similar to UK media laws in that nothing that can be used in a court or law as evidence can be disclosed beyond the bare facts that a crime has taken place. Also they are still looking for the driver of the other vehicle in this case, the one that was being passed when the truck driver almost hit the cyclist head on.

And final link has proof that they don’t keep the good stuff in China and dump the crap on everyone else. Chinese Student Impaled On Bicycle Seat Post OUCH! There are pictures in a link from this link if you absolutely must see the broken bits of bicycle protruding from the seat of this person’s pants.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today (some more than others).

Billed @$0.02, Opus

No beans for bean day, and the Feed

Yep, another Bean Day with no beans to cook, and I don’t know what to do. Fortunately I have lots of the brown rice and Spam dish I made for the potluck so it’s not like we are going to starve because I couldn’t buy beans the last trip to the grocery store. And the word on the rice dish is that it was tasty but “sneaky” in that the heat didn’t hit you until you were getting ready to put another bite in your mouth. Since I never felt any heat from it I’ll take them at their word, but Mrs. the Poet said it was “too hot” with her first bite, not even allowing for the “sneaky heat”. So the reviews have come back as tasty but too hot, tasty but not very hot, “needs more heat, and a little salt”, and “not hot”.

Apparently a non-drunk person hitting a cyclist from the back with a motor vehicle is just hunky-dory in IN. Law restricts making case in fatal bike crash According to this article there is no law against a sober person hitting a cyclist with their car and killing the cyclist. So as long as you can say “Oopsie” with a straight face and have no published statements that you want to go out and run over a cyclist, go ahead and run over a cyclist.

Road rage in Enn Zed results in assault charges. Ironman training road rage: Cyclist attack OK to avoid don’t throw the finger when drivers almost kill you, to prevent get psychopaths like that driver off the roads except walking or maybe riding a bicycle.

Still in Enn Zed, a cyclist is in a wreck similar to mine, but has a whole lot less in the way of broken bones and scars to show for it. Cyclist: I should be dead Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the freaking infrastructure right to prevent.

And I think we found a “volunteer” to pay for that infrastructure in Enn Zed. Businessman declares ‘war’ on cyclists With a published statement like that, I think a “slight” tax placed on his stupidity would cover installing a nationwide bicycle system with a few bucks left over for maps…

What cyclists in Oz are doing to combat the menace of road rage. Road rage on record: cyclists get armed “Armed” in this case means hidden and visible video cameras, not Uzis or Mac-10s.

Infrastructure! from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike for 9 years in a row (2012 data is still not tabulated). Complete Streets: Traffic program adds pedestrians, bicyclists to the equation As one person put it in the comments section, unless drivers and other road users are educated in how to use complete streets it won’t make a bit of difference especially in the entitled drivers that think every bit of pavement is theirs by right (including the sidewalks).

OOhh! All the pretty bikes! 2013 Handmade Bicycle Show I can’t say which one is my favorite because I would gladly take them all or any of them…

And more on e-assist bikes joining the mainstream. the e-bike revolution? I have been in conversations with many of the manufacturers in that article about things both intrinsic and extrinsic to e-assist bikes. As I have pointed out before I like e-assist as something that makes using bike as transportation more convenient.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Trying to stay calm on Wreck-Free Sunday

First of all, before I get into this post I need to let everyone know I got the post on turning a Halloween costume mask into winter gear fixed. I got the right URL for each picture and loaded that URL into the post where that picture went, and Voila!, pictures in the blog post. I still can’t get the alt text to work, but that’s not as important as the pictures were.

At the moment I’m watching the Daytona 500 on the idiot box. I can’t help it, I love NASCAR. Some of those guys are family to me, and I’m a geek for technology and finding an engineering solution to a competition problem. The new car is a very small box to work inside metaphorically, and the crews are NOT allowed to “think outside the box”. I’m still trying to find out some of the changes that were made for safety in the new car. I have heard that there are new roll bars added to the cage front and back, but all I have seen so far is the front bar that goes across the top of the windshield just in front of what used to be the halo hoop under the roof. So what I can find out about the car is that the extra bars are to give more bearing area to keep the roof from collapsing into soft dirt in a roll over. This allows the roof to be lower without much chance of the roof getting into the driver’s head in a wreck.

I had planned to do a huge diatribe about how dangerous cars are with the release of the preliminary numbers from the government of the people killed by motor vehicles, but that would be redundant for this blog. We already know that motor vehicles are more deadly than guns, by about 6K per year last year. All told more than 36K people died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, while just over 30K died from getting shot. But the attention is on guns because children were killed at school by a man with a gun. Make no mistake Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but guns are not even in the top 10 of things that kill children in this country. What’s the number one killer of children in the US? car wrecks. Until recently with the introduction of infant car seats that are miniature crash cocoons that make an armored car even more armored for infants, that statistic went all the way down to birth, now car wrecks are the number two killer under the age of five. Guns are not even close at any age up to 35.

Back to the race, Danica (yes, only one name just like a real celebrity) led some laps under green to be the first women to lead green flag laps at Daytona after being on pole to be the first woman to be on the pole at Daytona. Two of the three JGR Toyotas had engine failures just a few minutes ago, one a big blow-up (Kyle Busch) and the other just a bit of smoke. And after watching the race instead of blogging, the race is now over and Jimmie Johnson has won the Daytona 500. Danica finished 8th after the fustercluck behind Jimmie sorted out, and Mrs. the Poet’s favorite driver Mark Martin finished 3rd. The driver I was cheering for was taken out in an early race wreck, sorry Smoke (Tony Stewart). It was such a good race that even Mrs. the Poet was glued to the tube watching it with me. She usually hates racing (“cars going around in a circle”), but this one was such a nail-biter that even she had to watch. My friend Mikey managed to finish 22nd (I used to hang out in Darrel Waltrip’s speed shop in Franklin TN, and bought kart parts from Bobby and talked to Mikey from time to time).

OK I don’t like cars on the roads, but I love cars on the track. AFAIK nobody has killed a cyclist on track during a NASCAR race.

PSA, Opus

Still waiting for the money, and the Feed

So this is what Limbo feels like… Seriously we have a sum that is almost equal to our annual income after taxes sitting in my bank account, with almost nothing to eat in the house, and we can’t get to the money to buy groceries. If I wasn’t brain damaged I would be a raving maniac. Seriously, this is just so aggravating, and there is nothing I can do about it. If I ever had any money that I could just “spend” any time I wanted then not having access to this money might make me a bit more agitated than I am now, but since I’m only familiar with the concept of “disposable income” in the abstract sense, the fact I have money I can’t spend just means I still don’t have any money, status quo. I’m trying to come up with something I can slap together for the pot luck at the Full Moon ritual tomorrow, and all I can come up with is we have brown rice and Spam…

Up first the driver that killed a cyclist by pushing him into the path of a commuter train was driving basically blind (as well as without a license and as an illegal immigrant). Driver charged in fatal crash involving FrontRunner train in Provo The driver was trying to get around with only a tiny peephole cleared in front of her, and just did not see the cyclist waiting at the crossing. I’m still trying to figure out how an illegal immigrant could get such a late-model Escalade, one of those costs more than my house. There was nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck as he had stopped for the train to cross, the only thing that could prevent this would be preventing people who don’t have a license from getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Closure in a wreck in IN. Elkhart court hands down 18-year sentence for cyclist deaths The cyclists were hit from behind at a high rate of speed with virtually no chance of avoiding the wreck, this sentence is the best thing that could be done to prevent a similar wreck in the future.

Expect more about both these wrecks in tomorrow’s blog post. I know I call it Wreck-Free Sunday, and there will be nothing about the wrecks in specific.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Stuck in a ridiculous situation, and the Feed

I don’t have any coffee today, just tea. This means I will be in a less happy mood than normal, because no coffee. Why we have no coffee is such a ridiculous thing as to cause hair-pulling. Allow me to explain: Mrs. the Poet took a job cleaning a house, for which she gets $75. The check bounced and the bank charged us $35 for the privilege of being paid with a bad check even though we had isolated the check in an account we can’t spend from until we go to the bank and transfer the money from that account to another. That $35 was most of the grocery budget. We also got a rather large check from the insurance that my Dad had that was held 90 days while they tried to prove Dad was not dead (and considering the fact he was buried in a veteran’s cemetery if he wasn’t dead then he most certainly is dead now). The bank is holding that check for 7 working days (9 calendar days) to make sure it isn’t fraudulent. So we have just under $10k in the bank and can’t buy groceries because the bank is holding all our money. I wonder if I should charge the bank $35 for the privilege of holding our money and not letting us have it?

A CA cyclist is hit from behind so hard his body was stuck in a tree. Simi Valley cyclist killed after being struck by car and Location: Tierra Rejada Rd / Sr23 N Tierra Rejada Rd Ofr, Moorpark – Feb 21 2013 1:27PM also Bicyclist Dies in Hit and Run Accident News from locals says that the cyclist was hit while riding in the bike lane. To avoid use the hit-from-behind protocols, to avoid you have to get all the infrastructure right, including driver’s licensing that makes sure only people that can actually keep a deadly weapon inside its own lane are allowed to drive deadly weapons for transportation.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike closure approaches more than 3 years after a cyclist is killed by a DUI hit-and-run. Family Of Cyclist Killed On Rickenbacker Reacts To Suspect’s Guilty Plea The maximum sentence is 37 years, letters need to be sent to the judge now that anything less than 30 years is not acceptable for this case where the defendant kept out of jail and the court for as long as possible.

In what has to be a first in the US a man that killed a cyclist with a motor vehicle gets the maximum sentence possible under the law he was convicted of. Meegan gets 15-year sentence in death of cyclist I’m shocked, until I got to the part where the driver was HIV positive and taking shots at a bar. I suspect that the sentence was more to punish a gay man for having HIV than because he got drunk and killed a cyclist.

Another SC cyclist dies in a hit-and-run. Simpsonville Cyclist Killed In Hit And Run Hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. More Simpsonville Cyclist Dies in Crash AAAAnd they blame the lack of a helmet for the wreck….

A cyclist in Oz is hit by an apparently driverless truck… Cyclist injured in collision with truck in East Fremantle Nothing much on the actual wreck including no identification on either the driver of the weapon vehicle or the victim, but they did quote a politician that the roads are crap. (!?!) If it wasn’t for that quote this link would have not gotten past the filter stage.

Another wreck in Oz. Cyclist killed at Corio The description of the wreck indicates there was something in the road that caused the cyclist to fall into the path of the weapon vehicle. The rider was part of a group ride to raise money for charity when he fell and was killed. Infrastructure-related so fixing the infrastructure is the prevention required.

A wreck report from Enn Zed that was in such a hurry to be posted that not all of the First Responders had responded yet. Cyclist seriously injured in crash near Whitianga At this point they have sent a medevac helicopter. The wreck has not yet begun to be investigated, nor have any of the participants been publicly identified.

E-bikes at Interbike to try to capture hearts and minds. Getting the E-Bike Word Out! The Interbike Electric Bike Media Event [VIDEOS] From what I could tell the videos were bikes going by and talking heads, my office computer still doesn’t have audio so I don’t know what they were talking about (probably e-assist bicycles). But the text was about people finding out that e-assist bikes are practical fun, and that riding one does not mean turning into a fat old person, just that fat old people are among the early adopters of this technology. I can say from personal experience that an assisted bike is just oodles of fun and really extends the human range as you can use the motor to get you going and up hills while you use a steady amount of power for riding the flats, only you use that same amount of human power all the time. Believe me, using a steady amount of human power makes doing that amount of power for longer distances doable, and using assist to get to speed and keep your speed up on hills makes getting there faster for the same amount of effort so you end up riding longer distances.

And those were all the links that gave me fits in the bicycle department today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Some things are starting to improve, and the Feed

It looks like insurance will pay for the leaky roof here at Casa de El Poeta, as the adjuster is coming in today to look at what’s left of the roof which is shedding shingles faster than I can replace them every time we get high winds and/or heavy rain. We have little leaks all over the house that change depending on which way the wind is blowing, front bedrooms in a west wind, and garage in a south wind. Nothing seriously damaging to contents, but highly annoying all the same. The roof guy says the last few hail storms have pounded the shingles to powder leaving us with nothing to keep the water out of the structure. Hopefully this will change after we get the new roof.

A CA driver gets a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist and leaving the body on the side of the road. Driver Sentenced in Hit & Run that Killed Cyclist I’m beginning to feel like a black person during the 1960s, when lynchings were common and unpunished.

A cyclist is killed in South Africa. Cyclist dies after hit by car The report had the driver injured in the wreck as well as the cyclist. Deduction and previous experience tells me that the driver was driving at excessive speed, or hit something other than the cyclist during the wreck or a combination of the two. This means that the cyclist had little to no chance of avoiding the wreck and that getting the infrastructure right would be required to prevent a similar wreck.

Infrastructure! news from VA as they ignore vulnerable users to keep their roads safe for cars… Roads funding plan is reached, but the vote remains Note that there is a special tax on hybrids for “not using enough gas”. I’m not kidding.

Infrastructure from the Great White North. Separated bike lanes lower risk of cyclist injuries: study I should point out that removing bicycles from conflict with 2 ton killing machines is a no-brainer as far as keeping people from getting killed. Or injured.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I got money I can’t spend, and the Feed

The insurance from Dad’s estate finally cleared after 90 days, but I can’t spend the money, the check is being held because it triggers the fraud alerts at my bank. It could be worse, another $78 and change and they would have had to hold it until the DEA cleared it as not being drug money… which could take months. Since I don’t normally deal in large sums of money (my last big$$ bike sale was in 2005 or ’06, can’t remember that far back accurately), any large payment is assumed to be illegal. I wish the people that tanked the economy had been given this much oversight… In other news my club jersey arrived in the mail today, long sleeve with zippered pockets. I like the zippers on the pockets because it means I don’t have to worry about losing my phone on a ride as long as I remember to zip the pocket closed.

Non-UK, non-racing cycling news seems to be limited to this link from Oz: Alarm over number of NSW cyclist deaths At this point there is no explanation of the sudden rise in cyclist deaths, but to have 4 not even 1/6 of the way through the year when you have been running 6 or 7 per year strikes me as “very bad“. I suspect that drivers have been fed a media-driven agenda about “freeloading” cyclists not paying “road tax” and being “lawbreakers” to the point that they are acting irrationally.

There were a number of bike wrecks in the UK and Ireland in the last few days, but their media laws limit what we can do at this blog to little more than “tsk, tsk” without anything constructive to say about the wrecks. While such wrecks deserve to be counted, until WoaB can actually say something about the wrecks that contributes to safety for riders on either side of the “Pond”, we ain’t talking about them.

And those were all the links that gave me fits, except as specified in the previous paragraph.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Lots of fun today, and the Feed

I have lots of running around to do today after the blog post is done, with checks to deposit, bills to pay, people to catch up on… So there will be as little extraneous verbage as possible in the post today.

A Canuckistani cyclist confirms anti-cyclist bias. Cyclist injured after running red light Intersection protocols apply the most applicable one being to NOT RUN RED LIGHTS! And in most cases like this infrastructure would help if the cyclist could follow traffic signals.

From the UK a cyclist is injured when a car leaves the road. Cyclist injured after car mounts curb in Walker When the motor vehicle takes all the road and a chunk of the sidewalk (pavement in the UK) there isn’t much option for a cyclist to avoid a wreck.

And in VA the last bill in their legislature intended to protect cyclists an other vulnerable users dies a lonely death. Last bicycle tailgating bill dies in Virginia House A simple bill that makes riding the backside of a cyclist as illegal as riding the backside of a farmer on a tractor can’t pass in VA.

A PA bike shop has a special sales area and staff dedicated to the female cyclist, and special events for them as well. Pink Mechanic opens options for female cyclists

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus