Daily Archives: August 25, 2013

Another stream of consciousness post on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Yep, another day that I sat down at the computer with absolutely no idea what was going into the post this afternoon.

One thing that was brought to mind was the anniversary of the March on Washington for civil rights for black people. In many ways cyclists are the new black people, but there are some important differences. When black people were killed in the South it was mostly acts of intentional violence, people were deliberately killing black people for whatever warped reason they had. When most cyclists are killed it isn’t because of any emotional reason or intent, it’s because of indifference to the point that a cyclist is never seen, much less seen as a fellow legal road user. They just don’t care that there is a cyclist on the roads with their car or truck. That’s at least 90% of the deceased cyclists out there, anyway. But there are still an unknown number that are killed because of a violent hatred for the existence of cyclists. These are the equivalents of the lynchings and torchings. And then you get the guy that hit me back in 2001, who went out of his way to try to kill me. I have only encountered one person like that in nearly 50 years of riding on the roads, but that once was almost too much.

It was a really good race last night. Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kaine raced the last few laps clean when Kasey could have done the “bump and run” to get around for the win. Come to think of it I don’t remember any deliberate bumping incidents the whole race last night, although I’m sure there were a couple that took place away from he camera’s attention. That’s not to say there was no contact. The piles of wrinkled sheetmetal cut from wrecked cars scattered around the garages is a testament to there being contact last night in droves, it was just (mostly) incidental racing collisions where one driver or the other went just a tiny bit past the limit of adhesion and had to “borrow” the other car’s grip to not hit the wall or anything else.

I’m still having no luck at finding the tubing I need to build the cargo bike to replace Blue, who replaced Gigi, who replaced the Stratus when it blew up back in 2007… And don’t ask me how a bicycle can “blow up”, it just did and bent the frame in the process… The problem is still finding small lots in the sizes and alloys I need. Local suppliers don’t want to talk to you unless you’re buying a “bundle” which is a half-ton as near as I can make out, all of the same tube in whatever length they want to sell. I need 4 different sizes in 2 alloys to go with the scrap bikes I’m using for their headtubes and bottom bracket shells. Buying “bundles” of metal would cost me thousands of dollars and leave me with enough tubing to build about 6000 bikes. I might make maybe 2000 bikes in my lifetime if all the stars align and everything goes my way, so buying “bundles” of tubing is not a good idea for me at this late date in my career.

Interestingly enough finding tubing for the T-bucket is much easier and local suppliers are willing to sell single-job supplies in those sizes, at reasonable prices. One would almost think I was supposed to build the T-bucket instead of the cargo bike. Judging by the amount of time my meditations get sidetracked into dimensions and geometry for the T-bucket instead of whatever I was supposed to meditate about when I wasn’t interested in the T-bucket you would think my personal deities are trying to get my going in that direction, too. The design details that keep getting shoved into my mind are mostly in the trunk area where the fuel tank and battery go while working around the rear suspension. That’s the tricky part really, leaving room for the suspension links to move while getting the battery mounted as close to the axle as possible but still in front of the axle to reduce the polar moment. Since this car will have to do many things I need to stuff 10 pounds of “stuff” into a 3 pound sack.

If I change the tires, shocks, and springs for racing then I can make the car much more civilized for street and long trip use. Since I was planning on using coilover shocks as my spring/damper system replacing the unit replaces the spring and the shock on that corner with a simple 2 bolt swap to remove the street unit and install the race unit, times 4 corners. Racing I’ll use quick pins to speed up the swaps but I’ll have to use bolts for street use to pass inspection. For street use I have selected 205/75R15 tires on all 4 corners running on 15 X 7 aluminum DOT race wheels (stronger and lighter than the steel versions at a lower price, a win-win-win), while for racing I’m looking at 25-13.5/15 on 14 inch wide wheels. Add the spring and shock change and the only thing about the car that will be similar in race mode will be the cockpit and engine. I’m getting a 12V impact wrench to use to loosen the shock bolts and swap wheels when I go racing. I’m trying to decide if I need to have an anti-roll bar on either end of the car to swap between street and race. I might be able to connect an anti-roll bar to either axle and forget about swapping the springs, or maybe both axles. Still 2 bolts at each corner to swap out, but hooking up sway bar links (the other name for an anti-roll bar) is a heck of a lot easier than swapping coilover units.

I’m also thinking about running Moon Discs for the street version to clean up the wheels aerodynamically. Aero drag is the main reason I picked the skinny 205 section tire for street use and cleaning up the outside of the wheel with the Moon Disc would just add to that. The Bonneville vibe of skinny tires and Moon Discs would also be a plus. Also the tall sidewalls of the street tires help cushion the ride while the race tires would reduce the ride height by about an inch without adjusting the springs. This is a “Good Thing”.

Well it’s lunch at Casa De El Poeta, and Mrs. the Poet wants to see my whole face there, not just the part that sticks out over the top of the laptop screen, so I’m going to have to wrap this up here as soon as I can.

PSA, Opus


Running way late after spending most of the day running errands, and the Feed

I spent almost 6 hours on the road (well out of the house, anyway) sweating like a race horse in a long race. My clothes are covered in salt stains from all the sweat I lost today. The good news about that is that I now have my new helmet from the store and I’m working on the new mirrors to put on the visor. When I get that done I’ll be back on the road.

Up first is more Stoopid from that cabbie. Cabbie Who Maimed Tourist Holds Press Conference Outside Victim’s Hospital Yes the cabbie that by his own admission deliberately tried to run down a cyclist because the cyclist “frightened” him inside his cab when the cyclist pounded on the hood of the cab that was behind him and pushing to get ahead. Now he’s trying to blame the cyclist for the entire wreck because somehow he knew the cyclist had a criminal record (completely unrelated to any vehicular offenses), trying to deflect attention away from the litany of vehicular convictions for the cabbie. More Cabbie In Midtown Crash Speaks Outside His Victim’s Hospital

Another cyclist is run over from behind in NY State with “no criminality suspected”. Cyclist dead after collision with tractor-trailer in Saratoga Springs Hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. One thing they might want to do is to make convicting someone of killing with a motor vehicle easier to prove than an outright murder. More `Cyclist killed in crash is Clifton Park man, 20

Another wreck in El Paso creates a call for changing the infrastructure. Death of boy in Central El Paso has groups pushing for road safety awareness Intersection wreck, but the real cause of and cure for this wreck is to reduce the speed limit in residential areas. Seriously, TX has a minimum speed limit of 30 MPH and school zones can’t be any lower than 20 MPH while in the EU 18.3 MPH is considered “too fast” for a residential area and the limit for an urban area is reduced to 12.2 MPH in the residential area.

Another cyclist is killed by a semi, this time in NH. Woman killed in collision with tractor-trailer truck in Nashua At this point it looks like either a hooking wreck or a hit-from-behind immediately following a turn, because the wrecked bike was near an intersection and behind the trailer with the blood on it…

Update on that fatal hit-and-run from NC. Suspect in death of cyclist allegedly set apartment fire This confirms what I got yesterday, that the driver was running from a previous crime scene when she ran that stop sign and killed the cyclist. More Police: Suspect in arson hit and killed cyclist

Another wreck in NC. Police: Man struck by car while riding bike,seriously injured The wreck was at a Railroad Crossing, meaning there is a possibility the cyclist fell in front of the vehicle. There is equally the possibility that the cyclist slowed to negotiate the crossing and got hit from behind because the car didn’t. The wreckage though looks like the cyclist had both slowed and went at a more direct angle across the tracks, as the bike has little damage and the car has a smashed windshield. Infrastructure to prevent.

A wreck in AL. Cyclist hospitalized after struck by car Nothing on the mode or location, so I’m going to go with infrastructure, especially since what little known about the location is it was on a university campus.

A wreck from the other Lumberton in MS. Lumberton bicyclist killed in hit-and-run The cyclist was struck from behind so protocols to avoid or mitigate damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. An if you’re in the area BOLO for a F250 missing the passenger side headlight. Suspect is considered armed and dangerous so use of deadly force is authorized. Of course every driver is “armed” when you’re riding a bicycle.

A WI cyclist is seriously injured in a major wreck. Bicyclist struck by dump truck Not enough on the mode or location to say how to avoid, or if infrastructure would have prevented the wreck (it usually will, however).

One reason why WI cyclists are subject to being killed at random. One Year in Jail for Killing Bicyclist? The only “good part” of this story is the driver has to spend 100 hours a year wearing a prison jumpsuit talking to kids about why texting and driving is not a good idea for the next 5 years. Public humiliation is a powerful deterrent factor in preventing people from committing crimes.

An IL cyclist is killed because cars. St. Peter Teenager Killed When Bicycle Hit by Vehicle(T)he teenager was riding near the centerline of the highway about 5:30am and said it was still dark and rainy at the time of the incident” so the cyclist was in the most visible place he could ride and still got hit because, “cars”. Notice what is missing from this report? Yep it was missing that the cyclist wasn’t lighted or reflectored sufficiently, most likely because he was riding with lights and/or reflectors.

Another update on the OR cyclist critically injured in a hit-and-run wreck that left him with a mouthful of broken glass from the weapon vehicle. Woman charged in crash that injured cyclist Still not a lot a human cyclist could do to avoid a similar wreck. I hope they put the driver away for a long time.

The kind of wreck I hate to link to. Seattle pedestrian severely injured in crash with bicyclist Don’t hit the pedestrians, don’t hit the pedestrians, DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS. DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS! More Man critically injured after being struck by person on bike in Madison Park

A cyclist is killed in East Canuckistan. Manitoba boy, 14, killed in crash while riding bike Even before I read the rest of the article I knew that bad infrastructure was involved after I read it took place in a First Nations area. Their infrastructure in general ranges from minimal to appalling, and that’s just in general, their bike infrastructure is even worse. The wreck was a SWSS, probably because the side of the road was crumbling and not safe to ride on, which would have the same result with either version of the story (cyclist riding in middle of lane, or cyclist having to move from the far edge of the road because it wasn’t safe to ride there and in front of the car). Infrastructure to avoid (BASIC) and prevent (bike-specific). More Waywayseecappo Teen Dead After Collision with Vehicle

Why cyclists get killed in the UK. GP drove into cyclist while facing drink-driving charge Let’s get this straight: The driver was banned from driving because of his previous drunk driving charge but was still behind the controls of a motor vehicle when he hits the cyclist, so instead of permanently banning him or taking the car away from him they put points on this license when he gets it back? TANJ!

Infrastructure! news from S.F. CA. Amelie Le Moullac: Cyclist’s Death Highlights the Need for Segregated Bike Lanes

Infrastructure from NYC. Cyclist Gary Zammett Sr. Killed in Howard Beach; Where Is Eric Ulrich?

And those were all the links that gave me fits tonight. Also I was watching the Bristol Sprint Cup race while I did parts of the post, so congratulations to Matt Kenseth on your win and to Kasey Kaine for the clean attempts to pass Matt in the closing laps of the race.

Billed @€0.02, Opus