Category Archives: Uncategorized

After a long day, the Feed

Well I’m back from my expedition to the pharmacy. I left the house at 0900 and returned about 1810, mostly because catching transfers on the way back is a nightmare of watching busses go by just before the bus I was riding got to the stop. Then I get to sit and wait almost an hour for the next bus in that direction, twice (I missed two transfers). Add to that the processing time to fill my prescription and we’re talking an all-day trip just to fill one prescription. And one very tired blogger at the end of it.

Anywho, Happy St. Paddy’s day! Here at Casa de El Poeta we had a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner with potatoes and carrots to accompany. Mrs. the Poet got to prepare a meal without having to remove the flavor first or work from a package and it was delicious.

Up first after a long weekend is more on the SXSW wreck. Small vigil held for Dutchman killed in SXSW tragedy and Cyclist vigil for SXSW crash victims postponed even this from Houston Vigil honors victims of South by Southwest tragedy This wreck has literally left me without words. Well I have words, but they are so inadequate to express the magnitude of what happened. If something like this doesn’t lead to calls for car control and restrictions on car possession, waiting periods for car buyers and all the other things that go with having weapons of mass destruction, then I don’t know what will. Latest I hear on TV is they are not expecting at least 2 more of the injured to survive, raising the death toll to 4 out of the 25 hit.

Omaha was a bad place to be riding a bicycle last week as we get more on that wreck where a vehicle crossed the road to hit a cyclist head-on. Retired teacher, athletic trainer killed in collision west of Omaha and Woman, 82, identified as driver who struck cyclist also Driver who killed cyclist identified When a driver veers all the way across the road to hit you on the opposite shoulder there is not much you can do about it, except maybe bail to the right if you have time to react. Infrastructure might have prevented the cyclist from being there to get hit if it was completely up to Dutch standards.

A MI cyclist is injured in a hit-and-run. Bicyclist Injured in Wyoming Hit-and-Run Wyoming, MI… This appears to be another hit-from-behind hit-and-run from the narrative and the description of the debris so protocols to avoid or mitigate damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

More on a vehicular assault in MD. Cyclist Injured In Hit-And-Run Speaks Out As Riding Partner Remains On Life Support Once again we have the familiar hit-from-behind combined with the hit and run. Protocols and infrastructure, we really need that infrastructure.

You don’t need to get hit with a car to get really hurt riding a bicycle. Clearwater cyclist badly hurt as three bikes crash during ride Bobble in a peloton and you might end up like this guy eating concrete. The problem I see is there is no way to practice riding in a peloton at speed except to ride in a peloton at speed. It’s dangerous until you get enough experience, and there is only one way to get enough experience. Y’all be careful out there.

The wreck (and other) news from SoCal courtesy of Ted Rogers of BikingInLA. Morning links: LA cyclist is shocking collateral damage, fatal San Diego bike-by, NC writer gets it so wrong Ted has a few duplicate links to mine.

A cyclist in far West Canuckistan gets a judgment in his favor after getting partially wiped by a motor vehicle. Injured Nanaimo cyclist awarded $1.2 million after being hit by car

Lots of bad news out of Oz today, as another mass assault with a motor vehicle takes 7 cyclists down sending at least 5 to hospital. Cyclists injured after collision with car and Vicious cycle: injured teen Bryce Dean searched for his father after 4WD ploughed into cyclists The cyclists were hit from behind after the weapon vehicle drifted into the shoulder where they were riding in accordance with Australian law. Notice there is a Jersey Barrier to the left of the cyclists making hit from behind protocols moot as there was no place to go when the weapon vehicle came into their lane.

Trigger warning, this set my PTSD off like a bear in the face. Caught on camera: The moment when a car hits cyclist from behind I do not understand this wreck, the driver ran right into the cyclist who was almost directly in front of the driver.

Infrastructure! news from BikingInLA. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day — Main Street Santa Monica goes neon green Isn’t it lovely?

And those were all the links that gave me fits today this weekend.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

People are really stupid sometimes, I’m a member of that group, and the Feed

I’m not real sure how I did it, but I dislocated my jaw last night during a yawning session that caught me as I was getting ready for bed. Now I can’t chew anything at all without serious pain on the right side of my face. I’m still trying to figure out what happened, but a quick Google search reassured me that while not common, the situation isn’t exactly rare either. Unfortunately none of the links I checked explained how one dislocates the jaw during a yawn, and knowing what I did is the first step in not doing it again. And as this really hurts if I try to actually do things with my mouth like eating and drinking and talking, you know all those things we take for granted about mouths when they are working. Opening my mouth is not the problem any more, so I’m halfway recovered. And I can close it enough to drink coffee so I won’t go on a murderous rampage through my neighborhood because I need my caffeine. But solid food is on the “possible but painful” list right now so it looks like I’m going to be losing some weight shortly… my desires in the event being superfluous.

We had another day of not many wrecks and lots of infrastructure links. I could grow to like days like this. Today was actually mostly fun to filter the links. I don’t get that very often.

Speaking of fun links to filter. Double-parked trucks in bike lane hit by NYPD ticket blitz You have to remember the NYP was the media outlet that was worried terrorists on bicycles were going to pedal bike bombs on the bike lanes, instead of what has already happened several times, truck bombs in the street and parking garages.

Synopsis of a cyclist’s murder by DUI. Cyclist killed on Round Bottom Road Dead teacher killed by a drunk driver with multiple DUI convictions spaced just far enough apart to not get permanently banned from driving. This is why the vehicles that DUI are caught driving need to be crushed. And I’m strongly tempted to say “no exceptions” but I’m willing to allow reported stolen cars found with a drunk behind the wheel to be returned to their owners, if the vehicles are reported as stolen before they are found with the drunk driver and the owner is not the one driving.

SWCC wreck in LA. Bicyclist killed in Bywater accident Wednesday night As you can see from the Street View of the intersection there were good slight lines at the scene and an excellent refuge area. I looked at the video in hopes of seeing either the weapon vehicle or the bike but neither one was shown. So until I can get some real information about this wreck all I can say is it appears that intersection protocols are applicable to reduce injury or avoid the wreck, and infrastructure would prevent it.

A CT wreck in a residential area. Van vs. Bicyclist Sends Rider to Hospital Near as I can tell from looking at the bike only the cyclist ran the stop sign. Intersection protocols to avoid and as this would be shared space in the Dutch model, reduce the speed limits and make it shared space.

A bunch of links to this NYC wreck. Bike Rider Says He Flipped Over Bike, Lost Ability to Taste and Smell and Old man sues Citi Bike, NYC for $15M after crash also Citi Bike Allegedly Destroys Cyclist’s Sense Of Taste, Smell The last link shows a picture of the wreck scene as it currently exists with the tire bumper painted blaze orange.

A killer driver (accused killer) has a court date in South Africa. Taxi driver accused of running down cyclist Stander in court

More infrastructure. PHOTO: POLICE CRUISER IN THE BIKE LANE There’s nothing around except traffic as this is the backside of a superblock, so why is the LEO parked in the bike lane?

America’s Copenhagen is facing money problems for building new bike infrastructure. Special report: How Portland stopped building neighborhood greenways Maintaining the existing or building new, there ain’t no money for bikes. And that’s a shame.

Still in Portland a bike/ped bridge is having issues. Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge elevator woes continue While this is annoying to the bike set, there’s another group with wheels that finds the elevator outages more than just inconvenient, that’s the ADA people in wheelchairs.

A PA PD tries using e-assist bikes to replace cruisers in the downtown area. Upper Dublin Police Department rolls out electric bike pilot program The main advantage of these for PD work is their stealth capabilities as the noisemaker can be turned off or removed to make the bike as silent as rubber tires can make them.

A contest for the new Schwinn navigation system. Ride Schwinn Like the page and enter the contest with your FB login…

BikingInLA has something important to report, and I agree. Two of SoCal’s best bike advocates are finalists for national Advocate of the Year award

More on that Dutch bike highway getting replaced because it is no longer “good enough”. Cycling infrastructure is cheaper to build than not to build, part two. Features “old, inferior” infrastructure Like I said the first time I saw this, this is about 100 times better than anything in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, but not good enough for the Dutch.

And what would you do to reduce traffic speeds near your house? Extreme guerrilla traffic calming I like the backhoe idea, except I would leave 3-foot strips for bicycles and pedestrians to use.

And those were all the links about bicycles that caught my eye today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I like spreading Christmas over several days and a Wreck-Free Sunday

Last night I went to the wilds of Denton county to open gifts and share a meal with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. My grandson is developing a “so dramatic” personality that usually develops into some kind of on-stage adulthood like his grandfather (spoken word poet, actor, and comic) and great-uncle (’80s hair band that “was big in Japan”, and current jam band cover band). My grandfather was a singer and actor in a minstrel show. It seems like performing is a “skip a generation” thing in our family, as all my kids were in music classes but as soon as they got out of school stopped playing their instruments. But anyway, the grandson is at the “blowing kisses” stage, and gets all dramatic (even rolling his eyes) when told to do something he doesn’t want to do. He’s also real big into cardboard boxes as riding toys and paper bags are a real treat for him, because they can be used for so many things. You can put them over your head, you can stand in them, you can put them in one place then move them to another place over and over, you can ride on them (kid is real big on riding on things, I think I’m going to like this crash test dummy prototype toy tester) and you can even put other things in them and carry things around when you move things from one spot to another over and over again.

Anyway, presents from yesterday. I didn’t do too bad, I got another gift certificate to my favorite LBS, more chocolate covered cherries, gift cards to restaurants… and a whole lot of gifts to be shared with Mrs. the Poet like blankets, sheets, pillows, and pillowcases. Mrs. the Poet also got theater tickets and cab fare because while she can get to the theater using DART, the last bus home runs well before the final curtain falls. We also got a movie gift card to share, so maybe we will get to see a movie this year.

Right now Bryan (our cat) is enjoying the softness and warmth of the blanket we got to put on the bed.Bryan enjoying the new blanket

I have been hearing rumors that I might be asked to attend a ribbon cutting this year when the “bicycle highway” from Mesquite to Richardson is completed and to participate in the first ride on the completed system. If that happens you can rest assured there will be pictures of me and whatever bike I have at the time.

Next weekend the people who are building my new bike will be having an open house . I’m not sure if my bike will be there or at the painter/powdercoater getting pretty weather and corrosion protection. Also the new logo/blog header is getting done for application to the box sides. Not sure when that one will get back from the graphics designer.

And tomorrow I get to cut some more on the live oak that has been sprawled across the back yard. Eventually this will become firewood for the church after it sits for a while.

Time to get ready for evening services, back to the grind of dead and injured cyclists tomorrow.

PSA, Opus

Meet The Clyde: the new truck in Texas!

Opus the Poet:

This is the first bike off the jig of this model, mine will be the second!

Originally posted on Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles:

Custom made head badge

Stylized, custom made head badge

Featured:  Customer Reviewed, March, 10, 2014!

Move over Silverado and F-150, there’s a new truck in Texas, and his name is The Clyde!

He’s a work horse with a truck style box to quickly haul heavy cargo anywhere it’s needed. Railings offer a quick and easy way to tightly secure your important items for the journey. Open air conditioning and a comfortable saddle, make any work day seem a breeze! Also, a custom made head badge gives it a great finishing touch.

Furthermore, the bicycle isn’t left hanging without great components under the hood.

Sturmey Archer 8spd internal hub with drum brake on all bicycles

Sturmey Archer 8spd internal hub with caliper brake on all models

It’s rear Sturmey Archer, 8 speed, internal gearing engine can take on any hill, and a classic caliper brake helps to slow you down with ease. This steed provides the durability and ease-of-use you want with any front loader.


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Well that didn’t turn out so bad, and the Feed

I’m back and only slightly poorer than before because I got a top up card for my mobile and a hamburger from that Scottish place ;) I’m still not too happy that the city seems to have plenty of manpower available to give me a bad time, but when someone tries to kill me or cause bodily harm, or to steal my possessions, then there’s no one available to help me or even take a proper report (who tries to find a custom bike of unusual configuration without even so much as a picture of the bike?).

Another fatal bicycle wreck in South TX. Man hit by car in Edinburg and a somewhat less literate report from Faux Nooz Cyclist Killed, Driver May Face Charges If I’m reading the Fox report right the driver ran into a group of cyclists hitting 5 of them and the driver is being held pending a toxicology report. That means he was either drunk or stoned, or so stupid he couldn’t keep from hitting 5 people on bicycles riding in front of him. Hit-from-behind protocols might have been helpful for avoiding this, but getting the infrastructure right would have prevented it. That’s 2 fatal bike wrecks in 2 days within a few miles of each other…

Austin pedestrian injured in a bicycle hit-and-run. Woman injured after she says cyclist knocked her down on sidewalk How many times do I have to write it?: DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS! When riding on the sidewalk because the street lacks safe cycling space, always yield to pedestrians, just like you would have motor vehicles yield to you. DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS!

Update on the cyclist killed by a hit-and-run in CT. Police Release New Description Of Car Involved In Death Of Weston Cyclist and Bicyclist Thomas Steinert-Threlkeld, of Weston, dies in Bethel hit-and-run Nothing helpful here in either link.

Update on a NY fatal bike wreck. Pa. man pleads guilty to killing teen on a bike in Oneida County Now we just have to wait on the sentencing.

A cyclist is stuck under a SUV that literally ran him over in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Trapped cyclist seriously injured (PHOTOS) The cyclist was hit from behind by a vehicle turning right through the bike lane. This combines the worst of the hit-from-behind and the intersection protocols. I don’t think physical infrastructure without barriers would be enough to prevent this wreck, because that’s what was in place at the time.

A KY wreck that makes me queasy. Cyclist sent through windshield in Wednesday night crash Again the remains of the bike and the final location of the cyclist don’t match the narrative of a cyclist crossing the road. The wheel shows an impact that was mostly from the rear with a small amount of misalignment, but not the broadside impact one would expect from a cyclist crossing the road in front of a car moving at a speed high enough to cause the cyclist to wind up in the driver’s lap. Notice the complete lack of damage to the front wheel which should be displaying a typical pringle shape if the cyclist had been hit from the side hard enough to put him in the driver’s lap. If this cyclist was really crossing the road, his crossing angle wasn’t more than about 15 degrees off parallel with the road. So that makes this a hit-from-behind wreck, protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A TN cyclist is blamed for hitting the drunk driver that sent him to the hospital. Update: Driver of vehicle struck by bicycle identified The original narrative for the wreck had the cyclist cut off by the driver causing the wreck.

A story attracting a lot of attention is the missing safety device that would have prevented the death of the cyclist right-hooked by a Muni bus in S.F. CA. Bus that killed S.F. cyclist lacked safety feature and Report Of Missing Safety Device In Fatal Collision With Bicyclist Prompts SF Muni Fleet Inspection also Cyclist’s death renews bike coalition’s push for safety improvements in SoMa and this too Breaking: Muni Bus that Killed Cyclist Cheng Jin Lai Missing Key Safety Equipment Cyclist dies because a critical safety part that costs just a few bucks wasn’t replaced when it was broken. I smell a huge lawsuit coming.

Another CA cyclist is hit by a large municipal vehicle. Midtown Sacramento cyclist seriously injured in collision with city garbage truck I had to look at the Street View of the wreck scene to make heads or tails of the narrative, but it looks like the truck either left hooked or merged on top of the cyclist. Intersection wreck requires intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent, which in this case seems to include training truck drivers not to run over bikes in the bike lanes when they turn. Notice that there are bike lanes on both sides of this one-way street.

Update on another CA hit-and-run. Man pleads not guilty to fatal hit-and-run near Chico State

Update on a SWSS in CA. Sacto 911: Cyclist killed in Monday accident in south Sacramento identified

An AK cyclist with reflectors and blinky lights front and rear is right crossed while riding in a crosswalk. Anchorage man on bicycle suffers injuries in crash with driver of compact car Intersection wreck, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. It is suggested to not ride salmon on the sidewalk however.

Update on a cyclist murder in the Great White North. Still no arrests made in slaying of Hamilton cyclist Apparently the registered owner was not the true owner at the time of this murder by vehicle.

Update on a cyclist killed in the GWN because of ? Another cyclist dies because North American trucks don’t have sideguards I really don’t understand this one, the guards also improve fuel consumption resulting in payback of the cost to install in less than a year, but they don’t get installed because ? they might save a pedestrian or cyclist from being crushed to death?

Infrastructure! news from the UK. TfL won’t face corporate manslaughter charge over Kings Cross cyclist death Apparently they can’t find anyone that was responsible for the continued construction of the intersection after the law went into effect.

More infrastructure from Scotland. Scottish cyclist deaths and injuries rise and Roads casualties at record low but more cyclists injured Same as last year, cars are getting more and more like tanks that survive wrecks that would have been fatal 40 years ago (look up Malibu vs Impala on you tube for an example of tank-like modern cars compared to what cars used to be like) but cyclists and pedestrians are still just as fragile as always.

Last link BikingInLA’s Ted Rogers almost ran into a TX driver (substitute your favorite brand of moron if you prefer). Just another right hook — from the left lane

And those are all the links that gave me fits today and can share in this blog without violating my TOS.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Going off air for a few days

I had something come up and I will be outside of internet contact for the next few days and having to leave immediately, which I found out after I got home from the State Fair. I can’t say what I’m going to be doing or where I’m going to be doing it, but if everything works out I should be home late Sunday evening and pounding out an extended post.

I had lots of deep-fried food at the fair, including corny dogs, fried bacon cinnamon roll, and fried red velvet cupcake. I couldn’t live on an all-fried diet, but of all the things I had today that I have had not-fried elsewhere they all tasted better fried.

PSA, Opus

Don’t treat obesity as physiology or physics

Opus the Poet:

Why we (the US) need pervasive bicycle infrastructure.

Originally posted on At War With The Motorist:

I have a whole bunch of draft and outline blog posts from winter and spring that I was never able to find the time to finish off. To clear them out of the way, I’ve bashed out some half-hearted conclusions, and will post them this month.

Flicking through the pile of Natures that never got read properly, ready to be rid of them, I alighted on Gary Taubes’s opinion piece: Treat obesity as physiology, not physics. Bear with me while I appear to be completely off-topic talking science for a while.

Taubes argues that:

…obesity is a hormonal, regulatory defect… it is not excess calories that cause obesity, but the quantity and quality of carbohydrates consumed. The carbohydrate content of the diet must be rectified to restore health.

Taubes set out his case that it is not useful to think of obesity as a straightforward energy in/out imbalance…

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I hope this gets up on Wednesday, and the Feed

Well, I managed to find another bit of Internet connection, for about 2 hours. That means that I will have to do as much of today’s post off-line as possible to get the post published before they shut off the router and WiFi.

Yesterday’s post took a lot out of me emotionally with all the deliberate assaults on cyclists by people in cars, plus the sheer volume of the links to go through. I’m feeling better now, but I haven’t opened the first e-mail yet today. Yesterday I spent more than 6 hours just filtering the links to get to the ones I posted, then another 3 hours composing and proofing the post before actually publishing it. It would not have been so bad had I not been in a place where I couldn’t eat or drink anything while I was there. Nine hours is a long time to go without lunch or water, but I compensated for the missing fluids and Calories as soon as I finished the post and got back to where I’m staying while I’m here.

Since I have had a lot of time to think and to read the kit assembly manuals for the cars I’m considering as build candidates I have changed my choice of kit to build. If I build the 27T I’m going to have to pretty much lop off the body behind the passenger compartment to build a trunk that fits Mrs. the Poet’s requirements, but the 23T comes that way from the beginning, I just lose a bit of hip and leg room. I would just extend the frame a bit and build the trunk behind the unmodified body of the kit. That would save a bunch of money for the different bodies ($299 compared to $999) and reduce the build time as I would not have to make a lot of measurements and very precise cuts in a fiberglass body before even starting to make the trunk. I could just mock the body to the frame and add the trunk behind the body. Then the gas tank would go under the trunk between the rear axle and the back bumper. This means putting some structure behind and under the gas tank to prevent it from rupturing in a wreck and spilling gas all over (like the early model Ford Pinto, only without the hot exhaust pipe under the tank to cause the gas to burst into flames). Actually I have been thinking pretty hard on this and to get what I want (rollover protection that will meet SCCA requirements and also not have anything hanging off the bottom of the frame) I would have to modify the frame so much that there would be precious little of the original kit frame left. This would not be the first frame I have built from scratch, just the first one I built for a street car.

So, what do I want in the new frame? Well first of there are some design parameters that must be met, starting with an SCCA legal roll cage made from 1 1/2″ diameter 0.120 wall seamless tubing that spans the entire passenger compartment, and also nothing hanging below the bottom of the frame to get hung up going over a speed bump or if a tire goes down. Second is as much torsional rigidity as is possible consistent with being able to get in and out of the car. Third is the rear suspension can’t take away any trunk space like on the Track T kit (the entire area where the trunk would be is filled with the frame and rear suspension). That part is easy, what takes up space after allowing for the center section to travel is the mounting for the rear shocks. To keep them from taking up space in the trunk all I have to do is mount them on the outside like a sprint car (not a Sprint Cup car, these are two entirely different beasts) or midget racer. The gas tank will probably be a race-car derived fuel cell that won’t leak unless actually cut apart in a wreck, that comes in 16 or 22 gallon sizes (actually more than that but 16 or 22 gallons are what meet the needs). Like a sprint car I also want to have the diagonal support for the front hoop of the cage running to the front suspension. That makes the frame stiffer in both beaming and torsion. Then the diagonal from the rear hoop runs to the rear suspension, also lending an increase in bending and torsional stiffness. Another feature of sprints and midgets that I want to use is the bottom frame tube is continuous, straight, and runs under the axles both front and rear. This gives me an automatic protection of the gas tank from underneath because the gas tank is over the bottom tube. And to get as much passenger protection as possible I’ll do the sprint car trick of putting the roll cage outside the body. They do it to make inspecting the frame after a rollover easier, I would be doing it to keep as much interior space as possible.

With all these features I’m swiping from sprint cars I guess I would be making the 21st Century version of a Track T, a Sprint T.

Up first is an update to wreck in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, FL. Loxahatchee man charged with causing death of woman who was riding bikes with her son last month The charges are way weak for killing a human being, but the comments were priceless. Not a single one blamed the victim for riding a bicycle, this is a huge step forward for FL. I covered how to avoid/prevent wrecks like this when it first happened.

Another wreck in the most deadliest state to walk or ride a bike for 9 years running. Bicyclist Struck and Killed in Tamarac: BSO The very fact that they aren’t immediately blaming the cyclist for being there to get hit makes me think that this wreck was probably a pretty obviously driver at-fault wreck, but because they are still sitting on the details I can’t tell you how to avoid nor prevent a wreck like this, whatever mode it was.

Up the coast a bit (large bit) is this update on a NC man killed in a hit-and-run. Durham mourns cyclist killed in hit-and-run They caught the miscreant that killed the cyclist and he was driving without a license (big surprise there) because of DUI. Standard Poetic Sentence for drunks that kill with cars, car gets recycled and the driver “gets” to watch from behind the steering wheel.

A wreck in CA is blamed on the cyclist. Bicyclist killed in late night crash on Santa Barbara Mesa Yep they are blaming the cyclist for wearing “dark clothing” and riding without a rear reflector or light when he was hit from behind by a driver driving too fast for his headlights. Driver gets a free pass because the cyclist was not legally equipped for night riding. Hit-from-behind protocols including reflectors and tail lights to avoid, and enforcing the Basic Speed Law to prevent also infrastructure.

Another SWSS wreck in CA. HIGHLAND: 2 boys on bike badly hurt by car The kids “darted” in front of the vehicle going the same direction, but as the cyclist doing the driving was 9 I suspect this might be a true description. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and 8-80 infrastructure to prevent. Also never ride 2 on a bike not made or adapted to carry passengers.

A KC rider is killed. Man riding bicycle killed in KCK collision The description of the wreck indicates the cyclist was caught by a stale green as he was almost all the way across the street when hit. Intersection wreck, use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A bad wreck in PA. Bicyclist injured in Bayfront Parkway crash The narrative for this wreck makes no sense, as the cyclist was already turned west on the street when he “veered into the westbound lane” and got hit. So this is a SWSS wreck where the cyclist was hit from behind? Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and teach drivers that bicycles get the whole lane and you have to move over to pass to prevent.

Another stale green wreck in MI. 12-year-old hurt when bicycle struck by car The kids were blocked from view of the driver of the weapon vehicle because they were in front of a truck when the light changed and the driver just hit the gas and went. I don’t know how to prevent stale green wrecks like this without some way of the cyclist knowing how much time is left on the green and how much distance he/she has to cross to get to relative safety and how fast he needs to be going to make it safely.

A wreck in the Great White North. 80-year-old cyclist seriously injured after being struck by car At this point LEO either don’t know or aren’t telling what happened. More Dundas crash critically injures 80-year-old cyclist

An unusual situation in Enn Zed as a driver is actually charged in the death of a cyclist. Charges laid over cyclist death This was the wreck where the driver tried to pass 14 cyclists and hit 3 when he couldn’t complete the pass because of oncoming traffic.

Lifestyle article about the MA cyclist killed in that car hitting 7 bikes in a 13 bike group in AR last week. Memorial planned for cyclist killed in Arkansas Still nothing about how a driver could just run into a group of 13 cyclists and not stop until they got to number 7 in line.

Lifestyle in OR. Funds for a friend: Corvallis 16-year-old injured in bike accident faces long recovery I don’t recall the original wreck, but what they are describing in this article is a SWSS with a hell of a kick.

Legal infrastructure in the Great White North leaves cyclists with the short end of the stick, again. Cyclist struck by vehicle sees wages plummet under MPI income replacement plan And the comments section is a complete waste of time because of the trolls and anti-cyclist BS.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today, plus some rambling comments from earlier in the day.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 14,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

What bicyclists REALLY want for Christmas

Christmas really isn’t my holiday any more, us witches celebrated back on the 21st, the holiday that Christians stole for the birthday of their deity (well actually they stole a lot of holidays, December 25th was the birthday of Mithras, the deity of the Roman Legion, and Saturnalia is also celebrated this time of year). But I was a Christian for the first half of my life, so I know the drills. I was Balthazar in a Christmas pageant and sang in more choirs than I can count.

What cyclists want most this Christmas is the same thing we want every year, to be able to ride from one place to another without fear that an angry, distracted, or oblivious driver was going to kill or permanently maim us because we were “in the way” or “playing in the street”. We want drivers to change lanes when they pass us, refrain from honking (we can hear you 90% of the time and smell you, too). We want the bike lanes to be free of parked cars. We want enforcement actions against cyclists to make sense (if you set up a sting to catch cyclists running red lights, be prepared to ticket the drivers that run them as well).

Ideally what cyclists want is to live in the Netherlands, only where they live now. They want dedicated spaces and signals so that the most deadly devices in common use, motor vehicles, are separated from bicycles in both time and space so that conflict that can kill or seriously injure cyclists is eliminated from daily life.

And the cyclist in your life? The best thing you can give him/her is FOOD! Good meals at home, and snacks that can be eaten on the side of the road or while riding (but not me, I find getting food around the chin bar of a full-face helmet an exercise in frustration and I don’t do exercise). It’s a little late but find out the stuff your cyclist likes to eat on the road and by a few every month and leave them where your cyclist stores their helmet between rides. A little note (“Thinking of you on the roads”) will let them know you care. My favorite road food is fig bars, but for long distance riding I prefer peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat bread. Ask your cyclist what they like, and you can make Christmas last all year long in your heart.

Have yourself a Merry Christmas and if the stores playing Christmas songs haven’t driven you crazy, drop a CD in the player and listen to some mellow music.

Merry Christmas from the Witch on a Bicycle!