Category Archives: Daily Feed

Happy Star Wars day

Lots of Pagan and kinda-sorta pagan (small “p”) holidays this time of year. We just had Beltain Sunday, and Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday. Today is one of those small “p” pagan holidays, based on a pun. I’m sure you heard “May the Force be with you” several times in the 7 movies in the Star Wars franchise, today’s “holiday” is May the “Fourth” be with you.

So anyway, go down to the Cantina for some Blue Milk and jazz music.

PSA, Opus

Happy Beltain, and it’s National Bicycle Month

Today is the official start of National Bicycle Month. If there was ever an excuse to get out and ride your bike, this is about the best one you can get. Here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell we had temps in the low 70s F and light breezes, which would have been perfect for a ride if I could see where I was riding. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, almost a year after having “Chris Christie” removed from my neck (that’s the name I gave the lipoma (literally “fat tumor”) that was removed from my neck the day before the Ride of Silence) I can tilt my head far enough back to be able to see forward when I sit on a bike, again. I still can’t do it long enough to go around the block without collapsing from pain and exhaustion, but I got a lot further around the block this time.

Also yesterday was Beltain, the celebration of Spring or as it is known in the Druidic calendar the first day of Summer. They weren’t real big on lots of seasons, all they had was Food (Summer) and Hunger (Winter). There’s a bit of bawdy verse that goes with the day. “Hurray, hurray the first of May! Outdoor (sexual intercourse) begins today!” Well if you don’t mind getting a little chilly (and probably wet) you probably could engage in that activity around this time in England, but we have been having weather warm enough for that activity for well over a month now, here in TX.

Go ride a bike to someplace where you can indulge in outdoor loving if that’s your inclination.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

It’s a good racing day

There were two races and two qualifications on the tube today, (there is only one CRT display still working in the house, can we still call TV “the tube” when it’s all flatscreens?).

First up was the Xfinity race from Richmond, won by Dale Jr. in a squeaker which you would not know from the statistics of the race. The race was 140 laps and it went green to around lap 100 with most of the field a lap or more down. Then the fun started when someone spun and brought out the yellow, bunching up the field and putting everyone up in everyone else’s grills and bumpers. That’s when it started looking like a short track race again. Lots of beating and banging, a couple cars into the outside wall, and at least one in the inside wall, and that was just the first turn after the restart. Eventually they managed to get to the end of the race with Overtime.

Then it was qualifying for the Verizon Indycar series in Alabama. Barber MSP is a fantastic track and they set a new lap record during qualifying today. I don’t know if that was a series record or the absolute track record, but either way it was danged quick. The guy who won the last race in Long Beach won the pole at the first purpose-built road course, showing how “wonderful” I am with names.

Then it was qualifying for the Paris ePrix with Sam Bird winning the pole for the first event at the facility. Because of the format for qualifying pole wasn’t set until the very last guy crossed the timing line, making for great drama.

Which lasted for all of one commercial break as they went from qualifying to the tape-delayed broadcast of the Paris ePrix. Bird got passed by DeGrassi (not the guy they named the ’90s TV show after) on the start when Bird used just a touch too much of that “instant” electric torque and smoked his tires off the line, falling to third behind his teammate. One of the interesting things about Formula E is because they run on what is basically a street tire you can hear a slight howl when drivers run at the limits of adhesion braking or in the corners, giving spectators and TV audiences a much greater insight as to how hard the drivers are pushing their cars. Anyway DeGrassi went wire to wire after the start, but there was position-swapping just anywhere you looked in the order once you went deeper than third place. The finish was disappointing because the track was partially blocked by a wreck and a Safety Car was deployed to slow and bunch the field for the finish, but they couldn’t clean up all the debris that could cause a flat tire before the laps ran out.

I have been pondering changing the drivetrain for the Sprint-T (again). Basically everything I want to do with the car could be done with 2 gears in the transmission and a box of QC gears to swap in the rear end. I mean sure the car would be a lot peppier around town with a 700r4 or 4l70e, but the entire point of the car is a race car for the street in a class that has no minimum weight, and a Powerglide is 50 pounds lighter and less expensive (oops, PGs have gotten a lot more expensive in the last few years) than either of the 2 4-speed slushboxen. I can even get one that uses the same lockup converter as the 4-speeds so that I get the same highway fuel economy. Basically the setup would be to run the same final drive ratio (2.66) as I would get with the 4-speeds in overdrive 4th gear, then when I get to the track swap out the spur gears to something that redlines at 60 MPH in low gear like I would have with the 4-speeds. The extra gearset would be $70 from Speedway.com, the quick change drain pan costs $40. The combination of an aluminum head and block LS engine and a PG transmission would take the Sprint-T from 1750 to 1600 pounds curb weight. Less weight means more grip from the tires and less work for the brakes and engine.

So, good races, and possible lighter and better performing Sprint-T. Sounds like a productive Saturday.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

This was too funny, I had to share

I try not to bring up politics in this blog because of the majority subject matter (bicycles and safe bicycle infrastructure) but this link…

Donald Trump’s secret ‘wig farm’ gets discovered by Norwegian TV I think the original TV link was dated 2016-04-01 (ISO dating system) but I can’t find the original link, just embedded videos from later reports. Nobody has put up a link to the original story (or made it so I can find it in Chrome).

And I got a new book today, so I really want to curl up with the dead-tree version of Lucky Penny

Billed @€0.02, Opus

OK this one is funny

I think I have related at least one story about how I was accused of “cheating” when I was testing e-assist bikes a while back. Since I was not involved in any kind of competition I said so and asked “Cheating how, and who?” Actually there was a competition, to get the most miles out of a pound of batteries back when most batteries were literally bricks of lead.

Well now e-assist has been popping up in the pro peloton where it is literally “cheating” to use a motor. At this point names are not being named, but the rumor persists that Alberto Contador was using assist in the Giro a while back. My contention is that it makes more sense to put assist on the bike of a sprinter during a mountain stage to get him over the mountain well inside the cutoff so he can compete for more stage wins on flat sections in the bunch sprint. I guess I shouldn’t make you wait on the links any more. Hidden motors used at Strade Bianche, claims French TV (+ video) also Tiny Motor Powers a New Threat to Cycling Races

I should point out now that the motors being used were at most 1/3 the power of the motors I was testing with back in the day. And at no time was I doing anything other than testing the range and power consumption of the system.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I was on the road for 6 hours and my feet are killing me, and the Feed

I really should have gotten my toes done before doing all that walking, but one of the reasons I did all that walking was to deposit my check so I could get my toes done. At least this time I didn’t put any holes in my socks. So this put me back home starting filtering at 2030 instead of my normal 1430. Something else slowing me down is the almost 400 political campaign e-mails I got today in advance of the end-of-quarter deadline at midnight, because scattered amongst those money beggars are the online newsletters I check every day for an occasional bike story that doesn’t show in the Feed. I generally get on or two links a week out of that, sometimes way more, so it’s worth the effort.

OK finished filtering and it is 0322. For those not used to a 24 clock, that’s 22 minutes after Gigi loses her Internet every day, which happens at 3 AM here.

Up first is Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Former CM Rosendahl passes away, Calbike endorsements, and holding hands to stop texting

You have to start somewhere. HOUSE PANEL EXPLORES ROADSIDE SALIVA TESTING At the moment there is next to nothing known about weed and other legal or semi-legal drugs other than at some concentration they impair driving. Alcohol has a well-known effect on two critical aspects of driving, judgement and reaction time. What does pot effect? damifino.

We have one of these in the area I live and I was even a member of it at one time. Bike Advisory Committee Works for Better Bicycling in San Francisco You think anyone pays more attention to these guys than got paid to the Bike/Ped advisory committee at NCTCOG?

Infrastructure-related wreck in MD, no cars involved. Women injured in Crownsville bicycle crash There was not much coherent posted about this wreck, “they hit a bump and crashed” is the entirety of the report.

This is just sad. 7-year-old Cape Girardeau girl recovering from serious injuries after being hit while riding bike There is nothing blaming the victim here, perhps the driver of the suv that ran her over was (mostly) at fault. Nothing on the mode except that an intersection was involved.

I had a very hard tie understanding this when I first filtered it. Legislation would steer bicycle safety in right direction It’s still word salad in need of editing, but I think it says that bicycles would always have right of way over motor vehicles. That sounds very much like a presumed liability law, assuming that cyclists are not going to put themselves deliberately out there to get hit, because that really hurts and getting hit by a car takes a long time to recover from.

One new wreck and one old wreck from a NC. Cyclists struck by motorists Another left cross in NC, followed by a rehash of the Belize wreck.

Hmmm, drivers may not know they are driving virtually blind. Study illuminates big performance gap for car headlights Just like for bike lights, it’s not just the amount of light put out, it’s putting the light where it will do the most good.

Infrastructure from far West Canuckistan. Victoria Mayor says fatal collision involving cyclist was preventable The mayor is blaming the wreck on the lack of a barrier between the truck and the cyclist. Since the wreck was a right cross I have my doubts about that, but if they can do protected intersections like the Dutch… Maybe?

One of the strongest memes of this blog is don’t hit the pedestrians! Cyclist breaks little boy’s leg – then rides off: Can you help find the culprit? Especially don’t hit-and-run the pedestrians, even if they walk into the side of the bike as you are passing them. And watch out for little kids!

“Oh, the horrors I saw as I held the hand of the woman I ran over with my truck!” Lorry driver tells court how he pleaded with injured cyclist to ‘hold on’ This should not have been allowed to be presented to the jury. Remorse after the fact has no bearing on if an unlawful act occurred. But it seemed to have the desired effect on the jury. Husband of cyclist killed by London lorry cries as driver is acquitted and Family “devastated” as London lorry driver cleared of killing cyclist

Another UK cycling death. Tributes to ‘gentle giant’ cyclist Steve Wand who was killed in Westerham Good Friday collision The wreck appears to be due to human error on the part of the cyclist who died.

More UK infrastructure. ‘More imagination’ called for to combat thousands of extra cars coming into West Cambridge

More infrastructure, this time from the Emerald Isle. Petition for lights after cyclist death

Another one dies in Oz. Perth cyclist dies after being knocked off bike in Gosnells Did someone declare an open season on Oz cyclists?

Seriously, is there an open season on Oz cyclists? Three WA cyclists in car collisions

And it’s now 0457, and I can barely see the screen to type. I will come back to suffer some more after a few hours of sleep, blessed sleep.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Finally got some money, and the Feed

The check came in this morning, so I’ll be out running around paying bills and making deposits and stuff tomorrow instead of going with Mrs. the Poet to shop for groceries. There won’t be a big difference for the blog, just for my selection of salty snacks. I think I might have to give up meditation to get my BP up high enough to make the grade for the new test med, because cutting my current meds in half doesn’t quite do it, and eating salty snacks doesn’t do it either. I’m barely at 110/80 now.

Up first, wait, what?!?

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And closer to home.

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Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Downtown bike lanes draw new brewery, new bollards on Vineland and a new LA Bike Fest video

Unknown mode of wreck in MN. Bicycle rider killed by car in Sartell and Bicyclist Struck, Killed In Sartell As of this posting all I know is there was a cyclist hit by an unknown vehicle and possibly left for dead making this a possible probable hit-and-run.

Victim blaming in the Great White North. Cyclists share responsibility for accidents More blaming the victim for not wearing the GITDCS that drivers seem to think every cyclist should wear 24/7 when riding. Instead of you know, actually looking more than 20 feet in front of the vehicle.

Right hook in far West Canuckistan. Cyclist dies in collision with truck in Victoria’s Chinatown and Cyclist, 73, struck and killed in downtown Victoria I zoomed in on the picture of the crime scene and the only truck visible was a COE with good forward and side vision. So, aside from using the standard protocols posted in the links at the top of the page what could be done to prevent this wreck? They were already using the delivery vehicle with the best outward vision, the cyclist was wearing clothing that made her visible, what else could be done? EDIT: As I was getting ready to move from the first link to the next link the page updated with a much better picture of the crime scene showing the actual delivery vehicle having a conventional cab that is blind to a large area in front and to the right where the cyclist was hit. So going back to the question, replacing the delivery vehicle with a COE flat van and a glass door to the right would be a massive help.

Speaking of the devil, here’s an article from Jolly Olde on just that kind of vehicle, this one in a trash hauler. Pioneering lorries with panoramic view hit the streets in bid to save cyclists’ lives

Also from the UK is this factoid from the trial of a killer driver. Janina Gehlau: Lorry driver ‘should have seen cyclist for up to five seconds’ before fatal collision The cyclist was using the infrastructure as designed, the driver of the weapon vehicle should have been looking in the direction he was planning on driving before actually proceeding through that space, I believe the colloquial phrasing is “Looked where he was going”.

This is an aspect of UK jurisprudence that I would dearly love to see here in the US. Cyclist injured in fall from bike due to road ‘hazard’ awarded damages after suing council for ‘negligence’ Injured or incur property damage because of crappy infrastructure? Sue the government body responsible for it not being crappy.

Now this just sucks. Man pushes cyclist off BMX and rides off on it I try not to wish harm to another human being, really I do, but this guy needs to get hit by an HGV turning left at a stop light since this is over in Jolly Olde where they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Another rider in Oz hits a parked car? Qld rider killed after hitting parked car Seriously this is two this week.

More on the 73 YO driver that killed a cyclist in Oz. Hit-and-run driver charged over WA cyclist

Back in the US, SF infrastructure! TWIN PEAKS FOR EVERYONE OK let me get this out or I’m going to explode: That’s one fine cuppa coffee.

And how do you get bike parking? How Portland’s oldest Buddhist temple got better bike parking Sometimes you have to DIY.

And here it is not even midnight and I’m outta links, Gigi is going to be so happy.

Billed @€0.02, Opus