I’m actually starting this post on Sunday night after service because I’m still expecting the post-Christmas surge in reported bike wrecks to hit. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is my slow season, but usually I get a surge as kids on new bicycles are hit by drivers who had too much to drink at Christmas or New Year’s Eve parties. Normally by this time I would already have several posts filled with these wrecks by now. I can think of two possible reasons why this hasn’t happened yet: Parents are not buying kids bicycles this year or the media is not covering these wrecks like they did in the past. I don’t like either of those ideas. Of course it is possible that there was the normal number of kids who got new bicycles for Christmas but drivers were extra careful this year and didn’t hit any wobbling kids just learning how to ride in the street. No, I didn’t think so either.
The other reason I’m doing this early is Mrs. the Poet is having ideas about “not wasting” the last day she has off from feeding the teeming hordes of middle-schoolers tomorrow, as it is an “in-service” day for teachers with otherwise no school for the students and support staff, so I may have to do the rest of the post really late.
And here is a picture of what “not wasting” our last day off together entailed.
That’s Mrs. the Poet holding my bargain chainsaw up against the largest limb I had to remove from the tree that was damaged in the ice storm last month. Notice how the limb is larger in diameter than the length of the chain bar? Yes I cut that big tree limb with that bitty chain saw, because I’m a field engineer, dammit! I figure things out and get things done without causing further damage nor injury.
Up first is a really low-information article about a single-bike (maybe) wreck in Tucson AZ. Cyclist injured during afternoon ride The cyclist “lost control” in a group ride, but nothing about if the cyclist lost control because of sketchy road conditions, touching a wheel with another rider or because he was a kid acting like a kid.
Meanwhile drivers in SF are still complaining about cyclists as a cyclist and a pedestrian are hit and injured by motor vehicles. Pedestrian, Cyclist Hit in Two Separate Accidents Not much information on either wreck as SFPD has apparently learned their lesson and is not releasing preliminary findings until investigation is complete. So, Infrastructure to prevent.
Still in CA we get a suspected DUI killing another cyclist, just a few days into the new year. Riverside bike rider killed by suspected drunk driver; first SoCal bike fatality of 2014 I fear the spike in bike wrecks was just late this year. There is the possibility the driver was trying to pass the cyclist on the left as the cyclist prepared to turn left only to discover the cyclist was not on the far right lane. I don’t know what a cyclist can do about stupid drunk drivers like this one in the current built environment, but getting the infrastructure to Dutch standards would prevent this kind of wreck.
Still in L.A. County… Bike rider shot and killed in South LA; unidentified Pasadena cyclist suffers critical injuries; SD road rage charges Yeah, I don’t know how to keep people from walking up and shooting you six times in the chest while you wait out a red light either.
After that story here’s a good one to brighten your day, a road-raging driver is arrested for putting a cyclist in the hospital. Man Arrested, Cyclist Injured in Road Rage Incident This wreck happened back in October, but they just arrested the driver last week, after issuing the warrant a few weeks after the wreck. Nothing the cyclist could do to avoid this one and the infrastructure only works when drivers respect it, which this driver didn’t even do for the motor vehicle infrastructure. More Man Arrested after Road Rage Dispute Injures Bicyclist
Moving much further north… Police investigation continues into collision that killed cyclist Aside from the witness description of the wreckage there’s nothing to go on here except this was an intersection wreck, so intersection protocols to avoid or to mitigate the damages, and infrastructure to prevent.
More about a controversial UK wreck. ‘Coming up the near side of lorries causes many deaths’: Coroner’s warning at inquest into death of cyclist Dr Katharine Giles IOW using bicycle infrastructure as intended will get you killed, and large vehicles can’t stick to using only one lane when setting up for a turn in London because the infrastructure for both modes is borked. Bike lanes routinely put bikes to the left of trucks turning left while the trucks have to move a lane to the right to make the turn without hitting pedestrian railings or street furniture. Big trucks are physically incapable of using the infrastructure of London streets as built the same as other modes within a single lane.
And as a companion to the previous paragraph the predictable results of increasing cycling rates combined with crappy infrastructure and drivers untrained in how to deal with a bicycle on the road in front of them. Rate of cyclist injuries on London’s roads on the rise Fewer people in cars getting hurt or killed, more people riding bicycles hurt or killed, it’s a pretty fair bet the drivers did not get any better at driving.
A serious wreck in Oz. Cyclist critical after Helensburgh crash Hit-from-behind and hit-and-run. Protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent wrecks like this. As part of that infrastructure make fatal hit-and-runs punished the same as murder with a firearm. And recycle the weapon vehicle into something non-lethal like, say bicycles.
And something that might help in the built environment. Google Engineer’s Kickstarter Startup Solves Cyclists’ Turn Signal Problem It doesn’t “solve” the problem but it does add a layer of technology that might fail in the hopes that drivers are paying attention to the road in front of them and what’s on it.
A bit of lifestyle fun. Mississippi River Bridge TT An out and back Time Trial before opening the bridge to motor vehicle traffic? Let me grab my bakfiets!
And there was never any question about this in this blog, but it’s good to see other people making the same statement. THE BICYCLE IS BEST There are a few applications that a bicycle doesn’t fill the bill for, like moving heavy machinery, but for moving butts and light cargo for distances under 100 km, it is a tough argument against a bicycle versus other modes.
And those were all the links about bicycles that gave me fits today.
Billed @€0.02, Opus