Monthly Archives: April 2013

Can’t think of a funny headline, and the Feed

My comedy writing skills are eluding me at the moment and I can’t think of a short description of what I plan or what has been going on today. I was up until way after 2AM today because a mockingbird has roosted outside my bedroom window and has decided that midnight is the perfect time to start a 3 hour set of bird cover songs. I never hear this bird during daylight hours, but midnight to about 3 he cranks out (I’m assuming it’s male mockingbird that does the concerts) hit after hit from his extensive repertory. And that is why I can’t come up with a short funny headline.

I don’t remember this wreck from before, but there was a flurry of wrecks in CA the last few days so I might have covered this one and don’t remember. Bicyclist hit by car in Chula Vista dies Not much in the way of information on this one, intersection wreck so intersection protocols to avoid, a comment left by someone claiming to have been a witness said that the cyclist was at fault without supplying any information to back that up. Infrastructure to prevent, but getting all the infrastructure right is required, not just putting some paint on the road.

Another CA wreck with more questions than answers. Two bike riders injured in weekend crash Head-on wreck, and nothing was mentioned about salmon riders or crossing the centerline? This was either bad reporting or something is being covered up by LEO. But because this is a binary situation we know there is something missing, because there are only two ways for vehicles to crash head on, one has to be on the wrong side of the road, or in this case either the bikes were in the wrong because of bad education, or the driver was in the wrong because of …?

A UT cyclist is injured in a wreck with little information as of the posting of the link. Cyclist critically injured in Salt Lake City accident Intersection wreck but other than that I can’t say much, this was a crossing point for going to the other side of the freeway and as such was a bottleneck that jammed bicycle and motor vehicle traffic together without any alternatives for getting across the barrier of the freeway. More Bicyclist hit near freeway onramp in critical condition Interesting comment on that link as I post this Vehicle strikes bicyclist in downtown Salt Lake City and Driver who hit bicyclist likely won’t be cited With the other links the official story is the cyclist was trying to beat the light and didn’t make it.

A GA cyclist is killed in a confrontation with a police cruiser. 14-year-old boy on bicycle run over and killed by police car in Georgia From the witness reports it appears the young cyclist did not look before he pulled from a driveway into the highway. This is another case where the infrastructure was built for rural needs and the area became residential without any changes to the speed limits, a common situation in the southeastern US. Intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A wreck in MO that has weird written all over it. Bicyclist who fell in road is run over by vehicle and killed in Smithton The cyclist had been riding salmon but had stopped because of a problem, then fell off the bike for some reason and as another witness was calling 911 to request medical assistance for the rider the weapon vehicle ran the cyclist over. From my reading of this report the cyclist may not have even been on the bike when he fell into the road. More Bicyclist Killed On His Way To Work and Police: Cyclist falls onto road, killed by vehicle and a page of mostly good comments Comments for: Belleville man falls from bike, dies after being run over by car

A MI cyclist is killed crossing the street. Bicyclist killed in Holland crash The text reported the cyclist was riding salmon but the video said he was crossing against the light, so until they get the story straight I’m not saying how to avoid the wreck, but getting the infrastructure right still most likely would have prevented it. More Elderly Man On Bike Killed After Being Hit by Car also Holland Bicyclist Killed at Busy Intersection still more UPDATE: Police identify bicycle rider killed at U.S. 31-16th Street not done yet Holland Man Killed While Riding His Bike Identified another link Police: 70-year-old bicyclist dies after crash Getting close now Bicyclist struck by car, killed and last link 70-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed In Crash As the later links have come in the story is settled on the cyclist running the red into traffic moving “at highway speeds” after leaving a grocery store. So intersection protocols to avoid (especially the one about not running red lights), and as suspected infrastructure also had a great deal to do with the wreck. The grocery store the victim had just shopped at was located in such a way that the victim had to negotiate a busy highway in order to shop there. That should never be allowed to happen.

Death in the Great White North. Cyclist killed after hit by bus in L’Assomption At this point the narrative is the wind blew the cyclist unexpectedly, leaving the bus driver with no time to react. I don’t know if the cyclist was blown out of a bike lane or just in front of the bus as it passed him. The report as I read it now makes it look like the cyclist was not pointed in the direction he was headed, hence the suspected gust of wind.

Signs the economy is still down the tubes. Bike-By Shooting Wounds Two Teens In Crown Heights At least this time the guy on the bike was dishing it out instead of having to take it. 😛

A wreck in Oz that was particularly gruesome. Luke Stevens pleads not guilty to death of cyclist Richard Pollett, 25, on Moggill Rd, Kenmore in 2011 The driver “Jerry Browned” the cyclist who was left with no room to move away from the truck and went under the rear wheels. Not a wreck that a human cyclist can avoid without being willing to dive at speed from the bike onto the side of the road. The truck was right at 8 feet wide give or take a few inches, and the lane was less than 14 feet wide, or under TX laws not wide enough to share and the cyclist should have taken the lane. I’m not sure what Oz laws are on taking the lane, from what I have read they are not very good for cyclists.

Infrastructure! news out of DC. League Statement: Nomination of Anthony Foxx for Transportation Secretary I reserve judgement until I see more facts.

The modern-day version of the bake sale to get stuff for your school. Students ‘crowdfund’ bike racks for school One question, do the students have to go begging to get the parking lot paved and striped? If not then why do they have to go beg to get bike parking restored?

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Wow, that went over well, and the Feed

Every so often you write something that you just do stream-of-consciousness, that doesn’t feel like it has any structure nor rhyme nor reason, and in spite of everything people like it. Yesterday’s post, people liked. Whoodathunkit? Right now I’m drinking my coffee, nibbling on a PopTart, and going through the morning e-mails, then I will filter the rest of the Feed I didn’t filter last night. There were a lot of motorcycle wrecks in the weekend Feed…

Up first another report on a hit-and-run from the other LA. Shreveport cyclist killed in suspected hit and run I don’t know where they got “suspected” from, there’s a dead cyclist with major impact injury not consistent with a bicycle’s speed range in that area, and there’s no motor vehicle in the area. Leaving the scene constitutes a hit-and-run. Again, like I said Saturday, this looks like a hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid. And publicly execute hit-and-run drivers to prevent. More Shreveport police identify cyclist killed in hit-and-run crash

Another hit-from-behind in LA. Bicyclist killed in Lafourche Parish Hit-from-behind protocols including lights and reflectors to avoid, and from the comments it seems that infrastructure played a part in this wreck as well.

A hit-from-behind wreck in CA that was caught on video. Three riders walk away from horror LA bike crash The wreck appears to have been the result of “target fixation” where the motorcycle rider saw the cyclists but just did not avoid them because he could not look away from them to plot an alternate course. There was no way human cyclists could have avoided this wreck as there was not enough time between being able to see the motorcycle behind them and react to its path. More Motorcycle hit cyclist on the snake Mulholland

A serial cyclist-killer awaits sentencing in the UK. Family calls for tough sentencing on driver who killed cyclists 30 years apart This driver needs to learn a lesson, and the first application of the clue-by-four was not effective. The next application needs to have a longer duration than the 8 months he got the first time.

A bit of good news from Jolly Olde on drivers actually seeing cyclists. Cyclists Actually ARE Invisible to Drivers Depending on the driver, as many as one third don’t see cyclists on the roads in front of them. It isn’t that so many are hit, it’s that so few are that is the great credit to the traffic skills of the average cyclist.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today, less the motorcycle wrecks not including bicycles, and the UK links that had basically zero information.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Random musings on a Wreck-Free Sunday

As I was riding to RPG group last night I was reminded that this is Li’l Bitty Flying Bug season in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, and that LBFB are suicidally attracted to ANSI Safety Lime. The ones that didn’t get caught on my shirt and reflective vest got me in the face, eyes, mouth, and nose. You don’t know aggravating until you get a swarm of LBFB up your nose, and this is from the guy that died, came back, had multiple broken bones repaired, had a skin graft, and his face sewn back on. None of that was as aggravating as the LBFB going up my nose. More painful, sure. Life-threatening, you don’t get much more life-threatening than being dead. But for aggravation, nothing is as aggravating as a swarm of LBFB up the nose.

I have noticed a trend in illegal passing in the last few months. When I take the lane because of the lane not being wide enough to safely share, there are some people who will not cross the centerline nor wait until it is safe to pass me. There isn’t enough pavement to pass safely so what these brilliant morons do is use the shoulder (or the ditch, sidewalk or whatever) to pass me on the right. If as is true most of the time there is nobody walking on the shoulder, sidewalk or in the ditch then this is mostly dangerous to the motor vehicle operator as there is no guarantee that any of these areas are safe to drive over. However there are more pedestrians on the side of the roads than there used to be and sometimes one is in the area one of these brilliant morons is using to try to pass me. Nobody has been hit yet.

One of the nice things about riding a bike is one is still a part of the environment, instead of the occupant of a moving sound-proof mobile environment that is completely disconnected from the rest of the world. One of the ways I notice this is when I address cats on the side of the road. Most cats think they are invisible to people on the street, because they are ignored to that extent. When I say “Hello” to a cat (usually I say “Hi, kitty”) frequently they will jump, jerk or otherwise act like I hit them with a stick unexpectedly. My favorite is the jump and spin when I inform the cat facing away from me that I can see it, as it faces me with the slightly arched back of a cat that finds itself in a potentially dangerous situation.

This has been one of the strangest Springs this witch has experienced since I came to Texas, and given what passes for “normal” in Texas, that’s saying something. Here it is almost Beltaine, and I still have winter biking clothes not in storage that I have used in the last week and may use in the coming week. But we have already had several days where I was riding in temperatures above 90°F, which was followed, sometimes in less than 24 hours, with near-freezing morning lows and highs in the low 40s, with high 80s again in a couple of days. I can’t acclimate to weather changes like that like I can extended periods of heat or cold. But the Yo-yo days will be gone soon and I can focus on acclimating to lows in the mid 80s (30°C) with highs above 100 (38°C) for extended periods of time.

I took my new computer with me to RPG group last night, but I think I will need to use a different method as putting the laptop in the buckets bounces it around too much. I have a light backpack that gives small things like the laptop I’m currently using a much smoother ride than sticking them in the buckets. The laptop is not ready for prime time yet in RPG as I haven’t transferred my character sheet over to the spreadsheet version, but the dice rolling app was running perfectly and gave me some useful dice rolls (high when I needed high and low when a low roll was in my favor). I don’t know how well the speadsheet function of ChromeOS will deal with the D&D3.5 spreadsheet character sheet, so we will have to see about that. I have a little less than 2 weeks to get everything up and running before the next session.

Speaking of ChromeOS, I’m having an issue with the .pdf reader that comes with the OS. I can’t find a way of accessing the pages from the table of contents of the document I’m using and have to do Page Down over and over again until I get to the right page. Well doing this for a D&D guide would be major pain in the backside as there are thousands of pages in each book, and several books to go through to find a particular rule or spell or whatever I needed. I currently have the Complete Arcana, and the Player’s guide for 3.5, and they take up a couple hundred megs in my thumb drive. Having to Page Down (or Up) for each page of a thousand page doc makes for a tedious research session. What I really need is to do what a car repair book I got online did, place each chapter in a separate folder and each sub-chapter as a separate doc in that folder.

I’m looking at project cars to build when the will finally gets probated, so that Mrs. the Poet and I aren’t as subject to TSA strip searches as we have been just for trying to get from one place to another by public transit. Some people might not be bothered by forfeiting their 4th Amendment rights in order to use public transit, but as a veteran I am very bothered. Anyway, I have been looking at two kits in particular. The one that I like is the DELUXE ’27 T-BUCKET FRAME KIT W/ STANDARD BODY, UNCHANNELED FLOOR from Speedway Motors as it gives a car that weighs about 1700 pounds with a cast-iron small block with cast-iron heads and an automatic transmission, while the brakes are assembled from various 4000 pound vehicles to make a system that is balanced for the weight and CG height of this kit, which means that pretty much you will never be able to abuse the brakes enough to not have good brakes so long as you don’t wear the pads out. The other kit I was looking at was TYPE 65 COUPE from Factory Five. I like this because the donor vehicle is once again considerably heavier than the kit so the brakes are pretty much abuse-proof, as well as not having much weight for the engine to move. Either kit would fit my needs, but Mrs. the Poet is not so happy about what I want to do with the ’27 T kit. I want to leave the windshield off and wear motorcycle helmets and use a snap-on tonneau cover to protect the interior and use their steering column with the removable steering wheel anti-theft measure. That works by having the steering wheel attached by a quick-release hub and taking the wheel with you when you park. Mrs. the Poet is not think this is such a good idea. She is much more in favor of the Type 65 Coupe kit as it has “a windshield and a roof” as well as a big trunk that can carry 4 full-sized suitcases (because the vehicle it replicates was built to a rule set that required that exact trunk capacity). I would not mind driving this as it is a practical vehicle and it would still be bags of fun to drive. Minuses are a 41% higher curb weight and 3 times the cost for a finished vehicle compared to the ’27 T. Also the ’27 T has almost as big a trunk, the difference being that you have to fold the seats forward and fold a bulkhead down to get to the trunk where the Type 65 has a hatchback and you can reach between the seats to get to the trunk from the inside, so slight edge to the Type 65 on the trunk.

So now I’m done for a little while.

PSA, Opus

RPG day and maybe mowing the lawn, and the Feed

I finally get to attend another Role Playing Game tonight, and it looks like I will have good weather for the ride to and from the session. Also today is the birthday of our hostess so there may be cake and ice cream during the game. There has been a complaint made about my Eldritch Lesser Pantsing spell so maybe I will have to choose another invocation for my allocation from my level up. The complaint is that the spell/invocation does not follow the rules of magic in the game and is too powerful a spell for a caster of my level. My counter is that the spell is only effective for a few turns and does not provide a major advantage aside from a temporary reduction of AC for the duration of the spell. And I might go buy gas for the mower so I can waste it cutting grass… 😛

Up first a serious reward is offered for the arrest of a hit-and-run driver. $50,000 reward considered in hit-and-run that killed bicyclist I hope they catch this guy, then recycle his SOV/SUV with him in it. More Hit-and-Run Leaves Bicyclist Seriously Injured

From the other LA a cyclist is killed in a hit-and-run assault by another huge vehicle. SPD: Bicycle rider dies after hit-and-run with pickup Nothing official released yet but from the crime scene picture it appears to have been a buzz job or a hit-from-behind. Use the protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike 9 years in a row, there was another bicycle collision. Bicyclist, Motorcycle Driver Hurt in Crash at First Avenue North OK I looked at the Street View for this wreck scene and there is no reason why the bicyclist should have been hit except that he ran the stop sign, or as was suggested in the article stopped but didn’t yield. Intersection protocols to avoid and prevent this wreck. Infrastructure only works where people are willing to use it, and this case was one of not using the existing infrastructure properly.

A CO cyclist is injured by parts falling off a truck that was in a wreck. Boulder police: Cyclist injured by dislodged truck topper in multi-vehicle accident This was another one of those wrecks that there was nothing the cyclist could have done to protect himself from. There were 3 vehicles involved and the cyclist was mostly shielded from the wreck by the third one. Unfortunately the top of the truck bed was taller than the front fenders of the third vehicle and the third vehicle was not able to block flying parts off the truck. Infrastructure might have prevented this injury, might not.

Another proposed helmet law gets debated, this time the people proposing the law admit they don’t know how many injuries the law would prevent if any. Bicycle helmet need at odds with county health district records I love it when nanny state regulations are shown to be more intrusive than they are worth.

Still in WA a cyclist argues for more use of their vulnerable users law. Injured cyclist fighting to keep fellow bikers safe The comments section is… interesting

And those are all the links that gave me fits today. Now I’m going to go get gas for the mower… UGH!

Billed @€0.02, Opus

There are a lot of activities I’m supposed to go to this evening via Blue, but the weather forecast is “iffy” at best, so I’m not sure what I will be doing tonight. There is a Full Moon service scheduled for tonight at church, preceded by a Heathens Study group, and after the service we will be rolling straight into our monthly drum jam (I go to dance, not drum). And sometime this week I need to waste time and fossil fuels reducing the height of the ground cover and grass in the yard. That is rough on the bad leg, but I have to do it if I want the city to stay off my back (not to mention Mrs. the Poet).

Update on a wreck in AZ. WOMAN RECEIVES 4.5 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FATAL DUI THAT KILLED CYCLIST Apparently obstructing justice after killing someone isn’t that big a deal as long as the victim was a cyclist and the weapon is a motor vehicle.

More on that attempted murder by motor vehicle in CA as two more videos have been released by BHPD. New BMW Suspect Vehicle Video #2 I sincerely hope they catch this guy and put him away for a very long time. And permanently bar him from driving ever again on arrest for illegal possession of a deadly weapon…New video released in Beverly Hills ‘road rage’ attack

Not a single wreck, but the aggregated wrecks from NYC for the month of March. NYPD: 1,182 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 12 Killed in Traffic in March Notice the last line in the list of causes, two wrecks were caused by tampering with the weapon vehicle prior to the wreck, out of more than 16K.

Another hit-from-behind wreck in the Great White North. Cyclist injured in crash near Tucker’s Corners Hit-from-behind the protocols might have helped, getting the infrastructure right would probably have prevented including making getting and keeping a license to use a WMD as transportation much harder. If I ruled the world this driver would lose his license for a very loong time and have massive hurdles to jump through to get it back.

UK story of another blind driver. Worcester death crash accused breaks down recalling incidentHe told the court he pulled up after the incident and walked back to where a witness was with Mr Francis and gave his details before carrying on, unaware there had been a collision.” And deaf as well. I have driven trucks and I know that when you hit a small bird with the cab of the truck you can hear it, so I’m not buying the “I didn’t know I did it” story. He saw the cyclist’s Hi-Viz, even if only for a fraction of a second so he knew that there was a human involved, and just who did he leave his details with. Bad reporting or maybe bad laws controlling what can be reported. But still, sit in your car or truck and look out the windshield for 8 seconds. That was the amount of time the cyclist was in plain view before he was hit. Had the driver actually been looking out that window instead of doing something else he would have seen the cyclist and been able to slow or change lanes to avoid him.

Another UK wreck where hitting a cyclist was NBT (no big thing). Cyclist injured after a van crashed into him I have the sneaking suspicion that had the driver disputed fault in this wreck he would have been sent on his way with an apology. Anyway, hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

In Oz it seems that drivers don’t stop just because they hit and killed someone, they have things to do and places to be, and besides if those people were important they would be in a car… Man dies in Footscray hit-run, cyclist injured in Scoresby, Seville pedestrian dies in crash All of those wrecks were vulnerable road users and each one was a hit-and-run. The cyclist wreck was especially egregious as he was hit while on the sidewalk/MUP and not even in the street or road in the first place. There is no way a human cyclist could have avoided this wreck, and as it was on infrastructure that was already segregated upgrading the infrastructure would not have done much either. The only thing that would have made any difference is keeping people with mental defects from getting access to huge killing machines. If crazy people need to get about let them walk, use transit, or maybe ride a bicycle. More Cyclist injured in Melbourne hit and run

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Time for Mule Duty already? and the Feed

One thing is nearly constant when you’re a cyclist, eating, followed by running out of food. The pantry here at Casa de El Poeta is once again resembling Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard from the nursery rhyme. So after Mrs. the Poet gets off work Blue and I will schlep our sorry selves over to the local purveyor of comestibles and secure caloric sustenance, then return said sustenance to the Casa.

From CA terrifying video of a driver ramming a cyclist. Raw: California driver sought for ramming bike You can see the driver makes a 3-point turn to reverse direction then deliberately tries to smash the cyclist against a trash bin. That is attempted murder in my book, but as a survivor of a similar assault in 2001 my judgement might be a little biased.

Also from CA a cyclist is hit because she was in the bike lane and the driver wanted to be where she was? Bicyclist Hit, Injured by ‘Impatient’ Driver I strongly disagree with the subhead on this article, this was no an “accident” but another deliberate assault with a deadly weapon.

What appears to be a Jerry Browning of a cyclist turns fatal. San Rafael man dies in bike crash How else would the cyclist have ended up under the truck if it had not been passing too closely?

More on the VA single cyclist wreck during a group tour. Cyclist injured in crash in Bedford County I’m still trying to find what might have caused the cyclist to leave the road in the first place as something just does not pass the “smell test” on this one. More Iowa Man Airlifted After Bedford Co. Bike Crash

More on that UK story about the guy with the suspended license driving drunk and running from the police. Man admits killing couple riding tandem bike near Bristol As I posted earlier about this story, there was no way for a human cyclist to be able to evade a drunk driver weaving at high speed through traffic, and infrastructure would not have helped much either (drunk drivers are already breaking many laws why should they pay any attention to a bit of paint on the roads outside a residential area?).

Infratrcuture! news from CA. Of broomsticks and bikes NBC Universal after a little arm-twisting decided it would be in their best interests to no longer impede this vital stretch of bike path, and instead they should help pay for it. I would have loved to been a fly on the wall for that negotiation session.

A handy new link I have found for judging if an e-assist bike will work for you. Electric bike trip simulator If you have the efficiency of your motor over a wide range of speeds (like you get by using the ebikes.ca motor simulator) then you can plug in the percent effciency at the various speeds (I assume this is at full throttle) and get a fairly accurate range determination for your route.

Last link, a drunken bike thief returns the bike with an apology, and a coupon good for a free piece of cake at a local restaurant. Bike Thief Apology: Intoxicated Bandit Returns Bicycle With Priceless Note, Domino’s Coupon (PHOTO) While the coupon was a nice gesture, returning the bike was even better, and regretting the actions taken while inebriated tops all.

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus (Have I mentioned I love having the “€” key on this computer?)

Lots of miles today, and the Feed

I have a massage therapist that lives almost exactly 10 miles from Casa de El Poeta, that I had a visit with this morning, which means I had a nearly 20 mile trip in suburban traffic this morning. I’m beginning to wonder about the utility of seeing this therapist, as all the knots she undoes on the table get put right back in on the trip home. And I also have meditation class tonight to further reduce my stress levels only to have then go right back up on the trip home. As you might have guessed, it’s not the trip distance that is causing the problems, it’s the dealing with cars on the route that is causing the trouble. No cars, almost no stress, practically zero stress; ride with cars, constant low-level stress at best. Anyway, the two trips add up to about 27 miles that I will get to log today.

Up first is a number of updates on the 9YO killed in a wreck in NY last week. Name of 9-year-old hit, killed on bicycle released and Accident kills 9-year-old boy riding bike in Gloversville Also Fatal accident claims life of Gloversville boy last link Accident claims life of boy on bike in Gloversville Finally a mode of wreck after waiting a week for links. The weapon vehicle made a left turn into the street where the cyclist was riding and struck the cyclist in the street, direction of travel for the cyclist not given, and I still haven’t been able to find any pictures of the damaged bike or weapon vehicle. Apparently the cyclist was near but not at the intersection from what few crime scene pictures have been released. So while I can’t say what the cyclist could have done to avoid the wreck other than not be a kid in his own neighborhood riding like a kid, I can say that this wreck was at least partially the fault of the driver for not going slowly and not watching for cyclists in the residential street. This area would have been an 18 MPH (30 km/hr) speed limit in the Netherlands so the risk to the child playing would have been minimal, especially given that their laws make hitting a child cyclist at least 99% the fault of the driver before any analysis is done.

Another young cyclist is injured in the neighboring state of PA in this update. Bike Ride Planned To Support Critically Injured Boy From what I have been able to piece together from both front and back channels of information the SUV driver was going a bit over the speed limit, but not enough to get a ticket. That combined with the excessive size of the vehicle combined to create havoc in this wreck. The “excessive” size can be determined by the fact that the vehicle had only the driver on board, and that the victim was able to go completely under the vehicle and not get crushed.

A IA cyclist is injured in a VA wreck(?). Man injured in Bedford County bicycle wreck Lots of missing information in this one, but at this point there doesn’t seem to be motor vehicle involvement so infrastructure remains the answer for how to prevent the wreck, and if the initial report is correct riding within one’s means of control to avoid.

One of “those” days in the Great White North. Police chase of cellphone-using driver ends with property damage, injured cyclist I haven’t even read the second paragraph yet, but I can already tell you that this was not the kind of wreck even the best cyclist could avoid. Police chases are chaotic at best when the fleeing suspect is just trying to get away from the cops. This chase seemed like the fleeing suspect was trying to do as much damage as possible before he got caught.

A rare case of a driver accepting blame for a bicycle wreck in the UK. Bristol cyclist deaths: disqualified driver admits killing ‘perfect couple’ Still nothing on why he was out driving after being banned from driving. That should result in some kind of enhancement when he gets sentenced next month.

Infrastructure! from Oz. Injured cyclist calls for dedicated bike lanes Even what he’s suggesting falls way short of what’s really needed to make cyclists safe, which would include making hitting a cyclist in the bike lane a felony on a par with assault with a deadly weapon.

And I haven’t had one of these reports lately, but here’s a report on adding an electric “pusher” trailer to carry stuff and make the bike better able to carry stuff. Cycloboost Electric Bike Trailer: Add Some Boost & Cargo to Your Bike! [VIDEO] Cargo capacity and a major hill-climbing boost, all in one simple package. “Brilliant!”

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Back from a ride in the rain, and the Feed

Well I’m back from getting checked out for a gig that didn’t work out, which involved a 16 mile round trip with the return in the rain. It wasn’t a bad ride, nor the meeting unpleasant, but the gig just didn’t pan out. The worst part of the ride back was trying to see past the raindrops on my glasses, otherwise I was just damp. The forecast had been for thunderstorms, and when they didn’t appear I chose to ride Blue instead of the bus. The rain that got me never even showed on radar…

Another PA kid gets hit by another SUV. Boy critical after getting struck by SUV while riding bike in Point Breeze The condition of the wrecked bike indicates a hit from the side, the location was a marked (pavement markings) and signed bike route, but the complete location and directions of travel for both the bike and the weapon vehicle are not given. From the tone of the video it seems the SUV driver may have been at fault but not criminally so (shades of NYPD’s “no criminality suspected”). Until I get a better location and directions of travel I can’t say how o avoid this with the built infrastructure, but getting the infrastructure right, including laws that make hitting pedestrians and cyclists crimes rather than “oopsie’s” would prevent.

More on the CA cyclist hit from behind in the bike lane. Name of cyclist killed in bike lane released Still no word on why the car was in the bike lane other than that is unequivocably where the car was when the cyclist was hit. Still not sure if hit-from-behind protocols would have helped the cyclist avoid the wreck, backchannel reports are that the cyclist never had the chance to react to the car moving over, kinda the inverse of the SWSS. I’m still of the opinion that getting the infrastructure right so that the cyclist would not need to be on the highway he was riding to get where he was going would have prevented this wreck.

A cyclist in Paradise falls into a guardrail during a group ride. Koloa cyclist injured by guardrail As this is officially a single vehicle wreck, none of the protocols apply. The only infrastructure changes that would apply would be making guardrails more rounded on top so that no sharp edges are presented on the side of the rail facing cyclists. Aside from that I got plenty of nuttin’.

Three UK links to the same story. Nurse, 67, drunk on three G&Ts mowed down and killed 15-year-old cyclist before throwing his bike out of the way and carrying on to work and Drunk nurse jailed for killing teenage cyclist also Drink-drive nurse, 67, hit and killed teenage cyclist, tossed bike out of the way then drove off The nurse had a BAC of .084, drunk in the US by a hair but well over the legal limit in the UK, and also got one of the more severe sentences I have seen for killing with a motor vehicle in the UK. After recent uproars against killer drivers being sentenced to community service for a few weeks, 5 years and 4 months with 50% to be served before the possibility of parole is astounding. That’s 2 years 8 months for those too busy to do the math.

Infrastructure! news of a different kind from PA (again). Pa. Turnpike to offer electric car charging stations Now if they could do something like that for e-assist bikes…

Continuing coverage from West, TX. West Fertilizer Plant’s Hazards Eluded Regulators For Nearly 30 Years and Obama Dispatches FEMA To Aid In West, Texas Relief Apparently everyone thought this was somebody else’s problem, generating a massive SEP field that rendered the plant invisible to regulators. And while I make this statement mainly in jest as a reference to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide”, the facts of the case point to exactly that. The owners of the plant were woefully uninformed of the regulations and when regulations were brought to their attention they complied with them, the problem was that there was no clearinghouse for the kinds of regulations this plant was subject to, like the DHS regulation that they be informed of any accumulations of AN fertilizer in excess of 400 pounds. One would think that 270 tons of the stuff going to the same address would have waved some red flags somewhere, but apparently it didn’t. So numerous balls were dropped by myriads of people, and now 14 people are dead and 200 pr so injured, like the kid in the video that lost his hearing. And how does this relate to the main subject of this blog, bicycle safety? Only as an illustration of what happens when we become too familiar with something potentially deadly, as we have with motor vehicles. The only difference in this explosion and a big wreck is the amount of property damage and the size the area the injured were spread over. Even a big wreck tends to be a compact crime scene compared the explosion at West. BTW you really need to “czech” out the Czech Stop for kolaches or those little sausage wraps, Exit 353 off I 35 on the east access road, or just south of FM 2114 if you’re coming by bicycle. They are seriously that good. And if it seems like I have a soft spot in my heart for this town, that’s a distinct possibility.

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Another Bean Day, and another Feed

Still banging about after not doing much yesterday, except I got an order for a crank-forward single-speed bike for one of the people I was camping with earlier this month. Her balance is a little wonky because she doesn’t ride much, so she wants a low saddle, but she made a less than 2 mile ride on the last day of the campout to go visit the vendors and came back complaining of knee pain, which I was told later did not go away until 3 days after returning to “civilization”. So once again her friends are getting together to get her something she needs. I’m doing most of the work, and directing, while other people are bringing in the supplies. For ease of transport I’m modifying an existing BMX bike into a 20/20 crank-forward, putting in my version of an anti-rotation seat post/tube combination and adding tubing to fill in the gaps created when moving the bottom bracket forward. I think the woman who gets this bike will be both surprised and pleased.

A PA cyclist is injured and is not at fault (!). Pickup truck driver to be cited after hitting bicyclist in Carlisle The comments are “interesting” in that while the cyclist was totally absolved of blame in this wreck, the people making the comments blamed the cyclist for being there to get hit… The more things change, the more they stay the same. Intersection wreck, use the intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

True crime in CO. Family of man killed by car while riding bike in Boulder has mixed feelings about plea deal and T.J. Doherty’s friends, family wrestle with plea deal in fatal Boulder crash One hundred hours of community service for killing a man, slightly more than double the sentence he would have gotten for littering. That’s 2 1/2 weeks of mowing lawns and picking up trash off the side of the roads for the state. Want to commit a random murder? You can’t go wrong by using a motor vehicle as your weapon, if you just stop and tell LEO “I didn’t see him!” you get away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist if you even get prosecuted which makes this CO case highly unusual. In NYC the driver wouldn’t have even gotten a ticket.

A hit-from-behind wreck in CA. Bicyclist Dies After Being Struck by Vehicle on El Camino Real One of two cyclists riding in the bike lane, and the driver still couldn’t manage to see and avoid hitting the victim. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and make sure that drivers actually are able to drive under the harsh conditions of clear weather and dry roads that prevailed at the time of this wreck, to prevent. Really, how could anyone place any blame on a cyclist hit from behind in a bike lane? More Bicyclist dies following traffic accident I hate the term “accident” Cyclist dies after being hit by vehicle also BICYCLIST IN BIKE LANE HIT BY VEHICLE, KILLED still more Cyclist dies after being hit by vehicle

Another CA bike wreck, this one caused by a combination of bad pavement and excessive speed. Bicyclist Injured on Golden Lantern Sunday Afternoon To avoid modulate your speed on downhills, to prevent keep the road surfaces clean and smooth. This could have just as easily been a motorcycle rather than a bicycle.

An AL race wreck that could happen to anyone riding on the street, especially THAT street. Pro cyclist injured after dog runs onto Foothills Classic course Dogs running in front of a bike is a hazard that no cyclist can be fully prepared for. Hitting Fido usually causes the bike to fall over no matter what the rider does. Leash laws and other infrastructure to prevent.

A UK driver loses his license for running over a cyclist wearing hi-viz and running a blinking taillight in daytime. Road ban for driver who killed A1 cyclist Dozens of other drivers managed to see and avoid the cyclist, which I think was a major factor in this conviction. You would think that the driver would have noticed the other vehicles moving to the center of the road to pass the cyclist… More Suspended sentence for lorry driver who admitted killing A1 time trial cyclist

A driver in South Africa invokes the universal get-out-of-jail-free card after hitting a cyclist in the back wheel. Cyclist injured in BV accident Numerous trucks parked close to the intersection lends more credence than usual to the claim of blindness for the driver, as he really could not see oncoming traffic until he had pulled far enough into he lane to have his eyes beyond the trucks.

More LifeStyle from NYC. ‘Ghost Bike’ Tour To Honor Cyclists Killed In New York City (PHOTOS) and Photos: 20 More “Ghost Bikes” To Remember Killed Cyclists

And more on West, TX. Regulatory And Oversight Problems Led To Fertilizer Plant Explosion There were 240 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in a site authorized to store 400 pounds of the stuff, that’s 1200 TIMES the legal limit, or about 239.8 tons more than they were allowed. The plant owners should be facing state and federal criminal charges, but as it currently stands I don’t see any such charges being filed.

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

Billed @€0.02, Opus (price increase because I have the € on my keyboard now 😉 )

Thoughts on a sturdy but cheap cargo trike on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I think I mentioned that I was volunteered to organize replacing using golf carts as mini-pickup trucks with cargo bikes/trikes instead. I have been contemplating on how to do that for things that are too heavy or bulky to throw on the back of Blue. I have also been wondering how to make this doable for people who can’t ride a bike. The answer is a trike made just for hauling of course.

The quickest was to do this would be to add an HP drive unit to an existing cargo trailer, add a 12V headlight and a power source for the rest of the lighting system, and call it good. I was thinking about using this trailer as it has more than enough load capacity to carry what needs to be carried plus a rather large power unit, and the modularity of the construction allows replacing the drive portion when a better design drive unit is built by just unbolting 4 bolts and placing those bolts on the new unit.

Obviously this will have to be a FWD drive unit as there is no way to send power to those tiny wheels. I’m really busy trying to figure out how to add brakes to it much less trying to drive those tiny wheels. Obviously I will have to fabricate something to put a brake caliper on the axle and a disk on the hub, but the design work on that will have to await actually having hands on the trailer to see what I have to work with. For simplicity this will have to be a single-speed drive with fairly low gearing, but that’s OK because there is a blanket 5MPH speed limit on the property. The only vehicle allowed to exceed that is the golf cart ambulance that brings injured or ill people to the medical facility on property, and to the front gate if they need to be transported off property. And even that unit needs to be replaced as it ages out of service. But that aside, this will have to be a very simple and slow unit capable of moving significant loads over a very rough road system, but with only one significant hill/valley area to negotiate to get to the front gate.

So, I’m thinking something on the order of a 20″ front wheel with either direct drive (Unicycle wheel) or basically the same thing with a crank, chain, and coaster brake. Making this a very large adult tricycle with either the seat mounted to the fork and the handlebars mounted to the trailer for making tight turns and reversals, or the seat on the trailer and the handlebars on the fork for higher pulling power for climbing out of that valley I mentioned. I’m thinking at this point that the ability to ride backwards to get out of tight spots is a feature that will be little-used, while the ability to climb away from the Troll Bridge with a heavy load is something that will get frequent use, but I could be wrong. Or it could be that both abilities are vital, so I would need to build more than one trike, a light version for getting in and out of tight locations with a moderate load, and a heavier version to ferry people and supplies to the front gate over the Troll Bridge. After writing that I think the front gate hauler would get more use, especially if it had a seat that would allow it to be used as a pedicab so that people who don’t walk so good (like me?) could get a lift to gate duty for their community service.

Doesn’t this sound like a fun project?

PSA, Opus