Daily Archives: April 7, 2013

Running way late getting started on the post, Wreck-Free Sunday

I had to work today (more wrenching for the camping trip as I have a number of bikes that never see the light of day except when they go camping, which usually means replacing rock-hard brake blocks, lubing chains and pumping tires that haven’t been filled in 6 months or more. These bikes will be used to transport people from one end of the 101 acre camp site to the other as there is about a half mile from Refugee Camp in the back to Guardians’ Camp at the front of the camping area, which is quite a haul if you’re in a hurry. Even at just $10 per bike if you do enough bikes you can pay for your trip…

Something I have been wanting to discuss with you for a while is the guns vs cars comparison. You would have to be living under a rock with your fingers in your ears to not know that there have been a few million words flying back and forth in the gun debate, about who should own one and what hoops they should be made to jump through to buy more, and how many bullets you should be allowed to carry. That’s all well and good, but a gun is only 0.45% fatal average for every time the trigger is pulled in anger with only 1 in 20 bullets actually hitting someone, and 1 in 11 bullets that hit someone actually causing death. Motor vehicles on the other hand are 5% fatal against unarmored targets (pedestrians and cyclists) when traveling at 20 MPH. But up the speed to just 30 MPH (the statutory minimum speed limit in the state of Texas) and the death toll rises to 50% of cyclists and pedestrians. Interestingly enough from what limited data I have been able to find salmon cyclists are killed at a rate consistent with combined bike and motor vehicle speed, while the rest of us are killed independently of the cyclist’s speed and entirely dependent on the speed of the weapon vehicle. If you think about it it makes some sense, but it would be nice to have more bike speed equal less danger for the struck cyclist, if for nothing else as a reward for the effort expended… 😛

Anyway, getting back to cars vs guns, cars have a slight edge in deaths with 30K gun deaths vs 36K killed by motor vehicles last year. The number one killer of adults under 35 is motor vehicles, guns are not far behind though with gun deaths spread pretty evenly across the age groups while motor vehicle deaths concentrate near the young end of the range. This points out that not everyone killed in a car is driving it, or even inside the motor vehicle. Many killed by motor vehicles are walking or riding bicycles, or not anywhere near a street or road inside a building. Yep, several people every year are killed inside buildings by motor vehicles crashing from adjacent streets and highways. There is a good reason why I call motor vehicles WMD used as transportation…

And this is where I feel I should stop this post, that I have made my point and any further exposition is flogging a deceased equine.

PSA, Opus


I can’t believe I’m starting a post this late at night, and the Feed

I had stuff I had to do today, with a long trip away from the house and computers involved. I have that camping trip coming up, well part of that is I have to have a bike ready for a customer that is going to use said bike on that camping trip. I had consumables to buy (tubes and brake blocks) that need to be installed by Tuesday at the latest because the bike ships to the campsite Wednesday morning. I think I might have mentioned that I have been a bit under the weather lately and not much good at going out on trips and buying things or doing anything much more strenuous than placing the laptop sideways as I lay in bed and reading web comics. I’m feeling a bit more active now, so I did “stuff”, but now I’m feeling a bit tired again, so this may be a little terse again.

Up first is a story with more than one link about a little boy killed just feet from where he had been visiting, and only 7 blocks from his home. 10-year-old WA boy hit and killed while riding bike and Spanaway boy, 10, hit and killed by pickup truck while leaving friend’s house on his bicycle This was right in the middle of a residential area, the driver should have been going slow enough to stop when the kid entered the road. Also from the video it looked like this was an arterial road through a residential area and had very poor sight lines because of overgrown vegetation on the side of the road, a lethal combination. To avoid teach children that every driveway is an intersection and to use intersection protocols, to prevent have as few houses on arterial roads as possible, and where arterials have to pass through residential areas have the speed limits as low as possible. Forget the “85th percentile” BS when people’s lives are at stake. I have rather strong opinions on the “85th percentile” rule that I will get into in a Sunday post.

And from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike cyclist is left-crossed and blamed for his own death… WTF? Motorized bike rider dies following crash on NW 20th St. The narrative of the wreck makes the mode of the wreck quite clear, then blames the wreck on him for being there to get hit (note, from the comments left with this article, that might change). I checked the entire length of the street in question and there were no stop signs on the street, much less any traffic lights. But the directions of travel for this wreck don’t make much sense as the cyclist was riding on an east-west street if the location was right, or assuming that the directions of travel given for both vehicles was correct then the wreck could not have been on any street in that neighborhood because of a lack of places to travel north and have a car turn east in front of you. This is causing me another WTF? headache as none of the facts are matching the pictures of the area. In particular that bit about the “non-travel lane” as there are no lane markings at all on the street named in the article… I can’t tell you in good faith how to avoid or prevent this wreck until I figure out how it happened, and at this point I’m thinking that it might have happened in an alternate universe because I can’t get any of the facts given in the case match up with the geography of the area. The closest thing I can say is based on the narrative use intersection protocols to avoid and as this was a residential area cars should be moving slow enough to not impede the safety of bicycles or pedestrians.

Update on that wreck from yesterday about the SWCC in FL. Bicyclist hit, killed while crossing Dixie Highway in Deerfield Beach The second driver in this case was driving too fast for conditions if they were not able to see and avoid an adult human in the road for at least 10-15 seconds prior to impact, as the first driver pulled over and stopped and attempted to warn other drivers about the cyclist in the road. Intersection protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure right to prevent.

An OR cyclist rides drunk, into ditch. Cyclist injured after crashing bike in ditch Don’t ride drunk, and keep your vehicle under control at all times. Single-vehicle wrecks are so easy to solve…

A cyclist in Oz has a narrow escape. Struck cyclist is lucky to be alive The cyclist was trying to use the infrastructure as designed to be used and there was just too much speed on the part of the motor vehicles to actually ride a bike on the bike lane which vanished just as the cyclist got to the intersection.

A cyclist in Enn Zed on a paid ride with lots of signs warning drivers to be alert for cyclists on the road gets hit by an idiot. Cyclist injured on fun ride Of the four cyclists hit, only the 63YO victim needed transport. I’m sorry for the cyclists, but this comes down to drivers not paying attention to the roads as they use deadly weapons for transportation. Hit four at once with one needing hospitalization on a route that has signs warning drivers to watch for cyclists in the roads… If the driver wasn’t near-terminally stupid he should be charged with assault.

Infrastructure! news from NYS. Half a Billion to Treat Pedestrian and Cyclist Injuries, and That’s Just the Hospital Bills Those are direct costs of favoring the motor vehicle over all other modes of travel, and not even a full accounting of those costs as it doesn’t include any medical costs after the injured vulnerable road user leaves the hospital, and I can tell you that is an astronomical number, easily exceeding the amount spent in hospital. My total costs for just medical expenses came to almost $250K, of which about $100K was in-hospital…

Infrastructure in WY, as the bridge where a cyclist died from hitting bad pavement and then going over the guard rail gets repaved. Repairs set for bridge where fall killed biker According to the WYDoT spokesperson the work had been in the planning stages prior o the death of the cyclist…

Sad infrastructure news from Jolly Olde. Hackney council to remove ‘ghost bike’ in memory of killed cyclist Someone made the comment that the bike was a constant reminder to the council that bad infrastructure killed the cyclist and that’s why the bike had to go.

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

Billed @$0.02, Opus