Monthly Archives: October 2014

Well, now I have two “I Voted” widgets up, and the Feed

I just looked at my blog again and now there are two of the I Voted widgets over in the Widget Bar, one top and one at the bottom. I shall have to do something about that tonight. Or maybe not, as the widgets don’t significantly change the site load time. I’m only going to leave them up until the week after the election anyway.

Up first is another stolen bike report from Ted Rogers, posted right after I published last night’s post. BOLO Alert: New Linus bike stolen from Lincoln Blvd Ralph’s in Santa Monica

Also from Ted is this report of a DUI victim dying after the driver was already in prison for the wreck. Finally, the Foxen Canyon tragedy is complete, as a mother sits behind bars and a cyclist slowly slipped away The real tragedy in this is the then 8 month-old strapped in the car seat during the wreck, but the dead cyclist is right up there, too.

NYPD oversaw pedestrian injuries hitting a 5 year high last year. NYC Pedestrian and Cyclist Traffic Injuries Hit Five-Year High in 2013 My hypothesis is drivers know they won’t get charged in a wreck as long as they are sober and remain at the scene so the only thing protecting cyclists and pedestrians is the inconvenience of filling out the reports and the basic decency of the driver.

Infrastructure! news from the DFW area. (long) BICYCLE PUBLIC HEARING

Back to CA, with infrastructure news. Newport approves $22 million bike-safety plan a week after latest death and Days after cyclist’s death, Newport Beach OKs $22-million safety plan

And infrastructure news from the UK. Shock figures show cyclists injured daily Quelle suprise, when presented with crappy infrastructure that is frequently unusable cyclists tend to get injured frequently while attempting to use said infrastructure.

And that’s all I got today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet


OK now I Voted, and the Feed

Just checked, and the I Voted Widget is working for this blog now. So officially I Voted.

You may have noticed the “and the Feed” has returned to the headline. This does not mean I will return to posting wreck links, it means I have found links to bicycle “stuff” that is not wrecks.

First up, NYPD gets taught the laws about hitting people with motor vehicles. Cops Are Learning How To Charge Drivers Who Break Laws I thought they went through Police Academy for learning this stuff, silly me. The big problem is the Rule of Two that requires 2 traffic violations when yu run someone over before you can be charged with reckless driving and NYPD has been very lax about finding that second violation, this training is supposed to correct that. In other news an airliner reported a mid-air collision with a pig…

Over in CA Ted Rogers has a stolen bike report… BOLO Alert: Three bikes stolen from Venice garage on Wednesday As a multiple victim of bike theft myself I say if you find this guy please leave enough behind to identify him from his DNA. Don’t go overboard mind you, CSI doesn’t need much more than a decent size smear…

Proof that MHL are more about revenue and harassment than safety, in Oz. Police issue 223 infringements to cyclists including 121 for not wearing helmets during operation to improve rider and pedestrian safety When more than half of the tickets are for helmet law violations, it was just a show to get some sweet, sweet easy $.

Last link, does your car insurance cover you on your bike? How about homeowners? What Do Bicyclists Need to Know About Insurance?

And that’s all I got today, I have to say it feels a heck of a lot better winding up one of these posts than the ones I used to do with all the wrecks.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

This is frustrating

I got a call from the PCP designated by my insurance company this morning, and he’s not taking any new patients insured under my plan. Which leaves me with Not Much from what looked like a great plan on paper (or in the web site). I mean seriously, it didn’t cover half of the meds I was prescribed for side effects from my study meds that aren’t covered by the study, when I developed a condition not covered under the study neither of the doctors I was referred to accepted the coverage, and when I tried to get a doctor that would accept my insurance I find the gatekeeper doctor won’t even see me. Basically I have catastrophic insurance that says if I have to go to the ER I won’t go completely broke.

Need a horse for your Halloween costume, but live someplace that doesn’t have space to keep a horse? Then you need a horse bike. Giddy-up, pilgrim! Yes it’s silly, but cute.

I went out and voted today, I think the “I Voted” widget is up and running by now. I voted against Prop 1 that would create a stable source of income for highways for two reasons: First and foremost, hidden down deep in the official language for Prop 1 is a clause that prohibits spending transportation $ for anything except highways, explicitly including bicycle and pedestrian projects in that ban. Second the “stable” funding is diverted from the fund used to pay for disaster recovery, meaning that while we could build roads etc. there would be no money to repair them in case of natural disasters or other unusual damages like a tanker fire under a bridge like happened in Dallas a few years back. Instead of getting money from the comptroller out of the “rainy day fund” to pay for these events, we would have to wait until the next scheduled legislature session and hope they decided to cover the repairs in the general budget… This combination was just untenable. And you know me, I’m a big transportation project wonk, but not a pro. If I can see this with just a cursory reading of the full text, what are the active transportation pros doing about this?

I have to go now because the old tenant is having a squabble with one of the new tenants about the fact that she used to be a he, and the other one used to be a she and is now a he. Since gender identity is a protected class in this county this is one of the few things that can get someone evicted in less than 30 days…

And that’s all I got thanks to the drama with the tenants.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

I keep trying to get away and they just keep trying to drag me back in

Quick post to note that a close friend had sent me a report about a cyclist getting T-boned by a taxi in Nashville. At the time he sent me the report there was no word on who ran the red if anyone (remember what I used to say about stale greens?), but the cyclist was still conscious but seriously injured when LEO arrived. And that’s all I know. T-bone collisions are about as close to impossible to avoid as they get.

I was having a discussion on Disqus about transgendered people when I mentioned that my life resembles a bad comic book, what with the Fun Times in Foreign Countries Blowing Up Infrastructure right out of HS (locations still classified, but not the fact that I did it nearly 40 years ago), getting killed in 2001, and the stuff I did to try to get bicycle infrastructure in the years since, and renting a room to a nice transgendered couple this month and knowing an even number of M2F as F2M in spite of the massive preponderance of M2F. (Oh yes and the other 2 times I got hit with pickup trucks that got totalled out and I survived…) Someone wants to fictionalize my life and make a comic out of it, but I think nobody will ever believe it… And TBH most of my life was pretty boring, the exciting parts were concentrated in the beginning and recently. The rest of the time I just got married and raised a family as best I could.

And that is all I want to say for today…

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

When there are no more wreck reports is there anything significant about Wreck-Free Sunday?

The existential question facing the blog today is now that I don’t do a thing, are days that I didn’t do that thing on purpose before still different from the rest of the week? Case in point, up until last week this was Wreck-Free Sunday, now every day is wreck free, does this make Sunday less special than it was before? Well I don’t know…

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race just ended with Junior Nation very happy about winning at Martinsville. I have to say that this was a drama-filled race that looked scripted with the parts failures, but it wasn’t. That was just the way the ball bounced this particular race. With Junior being knocked out of the chase after the last race at Talladega his win throws a monkey wrench in the chase standings, and with Keselowski and Harvick having problems that put them way down in the standings but nobody locked into the next round by winning today really scrambles things.

I got a link while I was doing the opening part of this post to a quote on infrastructure and education not really being separate in bicycle safety. I would include the link but it is to a post in a closed Facebook group I belong to. The gist is we have been treating infrastructure and education like they were 2 separate things when we should have been using them in tandem, good infrastructure takes education to use it properly. The Dutch have very little education compared to the amount of infrastructure they have, but that is be expected. After all how much education do we give on how to walk? Dutch children are exposed to bicycle infrastructure mostly used properly at about the same age as they start walking if not sooner. There is a little bit that has to be done to break any bad habits that some parents might instill but for the most part kids grow up knowing how to use Dutch infrastructure from watching their parents.

I’m almost recovered from the trip for happynakedpagancamping last week. And somebody pick up my jaw, because happynakedpagancamping is in my spell checker’s dictionary! 😮 Most of the bad effects of the camping were taken care of by a hot shower and sleeping in my own bed, but there were some small injuries that took until today to heal, mostly the bug bites. I still have to get the queen size air mattress for Mrs. the Poet to sleep on (mine is way too small for 2 people), but I think we will be able to camp pretty well next Spring for the Beltain celebration. The hard part will be putting up and taking down the tent, as it is a 2 person job to take down and fold up, unlike the pop-up pimple tent I used to use that I could put away practically in my sleep.

Still planning out the Sprint T frame(s). I added the (s) because I’m still not entirely sure about the donor vehicle yet, so I have a standard T-Bucket design going together for a front-engine RWD donor, and a different design for a FWD donor to build a mid-engine RWD hotrod. The biggest difference is the amount of foot room in the passenger compartment for the FWD donor vehicle, I mean besides the engines being on different ends of the car and all. With the mid-engine car there would be no transmission tunnel dominating the interior, especially at the front of the passenger compartment. With the front-engine version the front of the transmission combined with the narrowness of the firewall results in practically no space for feet between the side of the body and the transmission tunnel, especially on the passenger side with the engine offset for balance when the car is raced. With the 3.5″ offset to the right to balance out the solo driver weight with the engine weight that puts the transmission tunnel right up against the inside of the body at the firewall, making for interesting footrest designs. Speaking of that, I decided the seating position of the Sprint T is going to be very much like a sprint go-kart with the knees up as the feet are moved back away from the firewall to both give some lateral space for pedals and to allow bracing for G loading in turns. I may change that after doing some simulation runs involving sitting in the mockup interior for long periods of time to see if that position requires frequent breaks for stretching. As it is now the pedals are only going to be slightly lower than the seat cushion because I’m using the side of the body like a bolster for the seat. The mid-engine version would have room for a clutch pedal, the front engine version would have to have an automatic transmission. The kicker is that the mid-engine version is more likely to have a slush box for the transmission and the shift linkage for an automatic when using a FWD engine/transmission as a mid-engine RWD is much easier than running the linkage for a manual. Another “fun” thing is getting the balance right because it’s much harder to move a transverse engine/transmission left or right than a longitudinal engine/transmission, but at least as a RWD I don’t have to contend with torque steer from different length axle shafts and the outer CV joints won’t wear out as fast as they would connecting wheels that steered as well as moving up and down.

And I have been working on this one long enough, time to put it and me to bed.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Finished the lawn, now dinner and dancing

Only not the kind of dancing most people think about. Tonight is our monthly drum jam at church, something I haven’t been much able to participate in while trying to blog late into Friday night. I took some bellydance lessons several years ago and I like to shake it in a geriatric manner when we get to drum. The “geriatric manner” refers more to my accumulated injuries than my actual age as people my age who haven’t been hit by trucks dance much better than I can. I have this problem of losing my balance when I try to walk around and dance at the same time.

The new tenants are fully moved in now, thank [$DEITY]. Getting everyone settled was a bit of a challenge, what with pre-existing conditions and all, but I think we are starting to get them integrated into the routine. Of course the routine takes a major change when Mrs. the Poet retires from taking the flavor out of children’s food at the middle school she’s been working for the last 25 years, starting next Friday. Then she says she is going to completely upset my routine and get me off the computer and out of my “cave” as my office is referred to around the house. This should be interesting… as in “where do I hide the bodies?” interesting.

And now I need to clean up and get ready to go to church.

Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Mowed lawn today and other things I do when I’m not blogging about dead cyclists

Mowed the lawn this afternoon, as much as I could until my back started acting up, which was about 2/3 of the lawn. If the gas holds out I should be done tomorrow. If the gas doesn’t hold out I will be done tomorrow anyway… 😉 I had to stop because my back was starting to spasm again. I’m thinking that the increase in back spasms is related to the decrease in bike riding caused by the bad bike fit and the thing growing on my neck. Or maybe just from the sebaceous cyst growing on my neck, that thing is huge now and it affects the way I carry my head.

Anyway, that’s what I did one day one of my “retirement” from bike safety blogging after reading e-mails and web comics and telling a few friends that I was changing the direction of the blog. Francis/es approves: “Huh, what? Yeah.” Longest conversation I have had out of it since I bought it. Still nothing about gender preference, I don’t think it knows what that is. Or cares about it if it does…

I have been contemplating why my back hurts so much lately, aside from the fact that I’m just old and abused (I totalled out 3 pickup trucks that hit me either walking or riding my bike and survived, if that doesn’t count as “abuse” I really don’t want to know what does). I’m thinking that the sebaceous cyst on the back of my neck has altered my posture and that might be a really big part of the problem. I mentioned that it affected my ability to ride, well it also makes me hold my head forward more than usual for me, and causes pains all up and down my back, not just the “usual suspects”. All the more reason to get that thing on my neck removed…

Well, I’m running out of things to say and I’m in pain, not a good combination for a guy that writes mostly stream-of-consciousness when he’s not doing news reporting. I’ll be back tomorrow night with more words hopefully of wisdom. If not then words of surrealism…

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

This has been nice

I haven’t opened the Feed folder since last week and things have been really nice because of that. Nice enough that I’m seriously thinking about changing the direction of this blog to something more Pagan oriented. More Witch, less Bicycle, or less “People getting hit by motor vehicles on bicycles” to be more precise, because I really want to start building more bicycles again. I don’t know what that will do to my subscribers which is one reason why I’m doing this post. What do you subscribers think about fewer wrecks and dismembered bodies in the blog and more “This is the New Bike I created last week” posts? Because I’m really liking not reading dozens of wreck reports every day. That kind of thing can really wear on a guy, and my IRL friends have been asking when I was planning on stopping and doing “something else”.

So, I’m asking: Status quo, with as many bike wrecks as I can fit in the post 5 days a week; or Lifestyle stories and bike builds as I find them or build them, with Pagan and Witchy stuff as appropriate for the season? The reason I mentioned the Pagan and Witchy stuff is we have a major Pagan Holiday coming up in less than 2 weeks, Halloween or Samhain as we Witches call it (pronounced SOW-when because the Romans transliterated Celtic words based on the shapes of the runes rather than the sounds they made). This is a contemplative time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest and the recently departed can hear our calls if they have not yet moved on.

camp fire

My camera really needs an IR blocking filter to prevent these false colors, but isn’t that a pretty fire? That was what I was looking at last Saturday night.

Getting back on bicycles for the moment, Francis/es needs to have a much taller stem than currently fitted by about a foot, 11½” to be precise. I’m thinking that documenting that build would be a perfect article for the “New” WoaB, what say you? This would be a relatively simple build to document showing the raw stock, the existing donor stem before modifications, cutting the raw stock to fit the donor stem, welding the fitted raw stock to the donor stem, and then the lengthened bolt to the wedge nut, painting, then final assembly.

And since I have been sent links to this story several times I probably should include it somewhere. Cycling Activists Build Bamboo Car Skeletons to Demonstrate Space Taken by Single Occupancy Cars Motor vehicles dominate the urban landscape with more than just their speed and mass, there is also the sheer volume they take up on the streets.

OK I have to go try to mow some of the lawn now, so I will think about changing the direction of the blog while I do that.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet


Any questions about why I’m stopping reporting bike wrecks are answered here.


Warning: this is a graphic post–not the pictures, just the content. I felt like I needed to write this as soon as possible to get it out of my head and start my own healing. My intentions aren’t to scare anyone but this is what I went through on Saturday when Adelaide was almost killed by an inattentive driver.

I’ve been planning a blog post for a few weeks now, letting the exciting incidents of my life build so I have material to work with. It’s my usual routine, especially when there aren’t race reports to write. With a number of writeable things going on of late, I figured I had plenty of options 1) Adelaide and I got mountain bikes 2) I saw three black bears on a mountain bike ride the other day 3) I got on a bike team for 2015 4) I saw a house burn down while on a run with Maybellene. A baby…

View original post 3,231 more words

I need a recovery day from my vacation

Short post to bring everyone up to date and then early bed for this witch. I went to a pagan gathering in SE TX southeast of Bastrop last week and weekend. One of the things we celebrated was paying off the mortgage, so that we own the land outright now. The ritual for that was both moving and exhausting. I had to leave early from the post ritual revels because of nerve pain from my leg caused by the massive damage from 2001. If the driver hadn’t died in 2003 or ‘4 I would cheerfully strangle him with his own intestines over this single issue. I was hit over 13 years ago and it still flipping hurts when I try to do fun things.

Speaking of that some good news from the gathering, the guy that took care of me after I got out of the hospital (including wiping my butt until I got flexible enough to do it myself) got handfasted during the gathering. That was something I could not miss out on… Dan Grim, may you have a long and happy marriage.

The main reason why I came home from my vacation in worse shape than when I left was the rules changed for the campgrounds we lease from the organization that runs the gathering, and we had to construct a fenced area to hold our stuff between campouts. We used to just pile everything into the covered kitchen area and lash tarps over it, but we have to get things out of sight and our cook insists that our kitchen area be open sided. This meant we had to put in a fenced in storage area with a locked gate to put the stuff that used to go under the canopy over the kitchen. This resulted in our working until 1800 when we normally get packed up and off land by 1500 at the latest. Combine that with carrying several people’s stuff back from the site in the communal trailer and I didn’t get to bed until 0200. I didn’t sleep well and as a result I’m still in pain from my vacation.

“But aside from that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln.” Yep, one of those vacations.

PSA, Opus