Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m exhausted and sore, and now I have a full day’s work to do on the blog post, and the Feed

Remember that paying gig I mentioned in passing yesterday? It came through. Unfortunately it came through for about 7 hours right in the middle of opening up the Feed folder in my e-mail. About 7 hours of work putting together an adult tricycle for someone I had previously offered to build a recumbent or crank-forward bike, but who decided that a more traditional adult tricycle was more to her tastes and riding style, so she bought one in a big box from a big box store. That meant she would need someone who could take it out of the box, inventory the parts etc. until a working adult tricycle was sitting on the ground with her on it. I estimated that would take about 2 hours, told the customer it would take “probably” 3, and more than 6 hours later the trike was finished. Since I had promised this nice lady a trike as a gift I “accepted” a Powerball ticket and some Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs for Mrs. the Poet’s Valentine’s Day present. Speaking of that Powerball ticket the first payout of the 30 annual payments comes to $5,415,892.62 after taxes and 10% to the church, while the cash payout for the Texas Lottery drawing the same day is $5,620,000 before taxes and any charitable contributions made as a bribe for deity favor towards winning.

What to put up first was a hard decision tonight, but I think these links to this major story might be the winner. NYC Adding Truck Side Guards to Protect Pedestrians, Cyclists and NYC Adding Safety Guards To 240 City Trucks In 2015 Somebody was looking at the numbers, and just like in London, big trucks are disproportionate in their representation in fatality statistics. So one kind of fatal wreck that is particular to big trucks is cyclists, pedestrians, and small cars getting run over by the back tires when the truck turns or changes lanes and the pedestrian, cyclist, or small car is in one of the many huge blind spots alongside the truck. Since apparently eliminating the blind spot is an intractable engineering problem an interim solution is something that will shove the pedestrian, cyclist, or small car away from the rear wheels. This seems to have a higher success rate than trying to eliminate the blind spots.

These stickers are pretty useless here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, but I might buy some anyway. Passive Aggressive Sticker Campaign Targets Bike Lane Blockers Yep in order to have bike lane blockers you first need a bike lane to block, something that is sadly lacking here.

Ted Rogers was busy this weekend, unfortunately. Palm Desert bike rider killed in early morning collision; DUI suspected and Weekend Links: OC hit-and-run driver charged in death of PCH cyclist; fund set to help injured bike rider also Bike rider dies after January hit-and-run in West Covina; third bike rider killed in SoCal this year even Morning Links: Waking the sleeping giant in LA and Pasadena, and a gut-wrenching Colorado hit-and-run Dude, I feel for you today. This is like one of my worst days back when I was covering wrecks, because you know the wreck locations personally.

Meanwhile in FL, the victim of a drunk driver and the other cyclist that barely survived the wreck were remembered at the event they had been training for. More Than A Thousand Kick-Off The Dolphins Cycling Challenge and Cyclist killed near Key Biscayne remembered at tri-county race

What is more important people’s lives or a few parking places? Hold on a second, there are opposing opinions on this question. Will the SFMTA Board Demand Complete Protected Bike Lanes on Polk Street? I have a simple solution, go to the merchants responsible and ask outright how many cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries are “their” parking spots worth, then charge them that in taxes every time someone is killed or injured on their block because of a failure in the infrastructure to protect them. I think after maybe the second pedestrian death or seriously injured cyclist (my wreck cost more than a quarter of a million dollars just for the first two hospital stays, and I went back 3 more times).

Seattle’s Second Ave. is seriously sub-standard by the CROW manual, but when your choices are “sub-standard” and “constantly terrifying and frequently fatal” sub-standard looks pretty good. Seattle’s Second Ave. should inspire Comm. Ave. plans Seriously, this is amazing bicycle infrastructure by US and UK standards, but criminal by the CROW manual. But, baby steps are better than no steps at all.

Speaking if UK “infrastructure”… Things are improving for cyclists, but painfully slowly And by “painfully” she means with many deaths, broken bones, much road rash, and other assorted injuries.

And the legal infrastructure in Jolly Olde ain’t that great either. Report into road death investigations makes scathing findings about training, processes and victim support Yep UK prosecution of drivers that hit cyclists is rife with bias even against cyclists dressed like glow-in-the-dark clowns and lighted like Christmas trees for “not being visible enough”.

Last link is about lifestyle. Lexington man biking across country in memory of woman killed in Scott County There are far too many memorial rides, mainly because there are far too many reasons to have memorial rides.

And that’s all I have tonight, and I desperately want to have a lie down so my back with stop hurting.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet (still an unkillable badass, but nobody ever said that was painless)

I was a bit worried about what I would find here today, and the Feed

I had a message on my FB wall that my blog was “not available” this morning, which made me a bit worried about not being able to post anything today. Obviously whatever was wrong this morning has been fixed because you can see this post…

First up, is cycling contagious? Heart transplant patient gets on bike for first time a week after receiving new heart from cyclist killed in road accident If I didn’t already know that I’m going to get autopsied and cremated as the final step in the medication study I’m on (unless I outlast the end of the study) I would donate my organs upon death. I would like to see what kind of things would happen to someone who got my heart. I couldn’t of course because you have to be dead to donate a heart unless you can regenerate like Wolverine or Feral (comics characters who can survive having organs removed and regenerating new ones that then can be removed in turn). I’m not that good.

This guy has a similar story to mine, except with much worse access to transit. After story of Detroit man walking 21 miles a day goes viral, his life is about to change and Buying this guy a car was nice. Buying a mass transit system would be way nicer.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: LA Weekly says LA driving is fun, LA doesn’t make the bike commuting list, and Lance lies again I had that link in yesterday’s Feed but at this point I’m just “Fuck Lance,” and don’t care.

One of my FB and Bikejournal.com friends went to court recently. Woman convicted of reckless driving, leaving scene after striking cyclist Obviously my friend was not the one convicted, he was the guy on crutches speaking to the judge.

Reporting like this really tweaks on me. Hitting cyclists could lead to felony charges under proposed bill This is a vulnerable users bill like the one that Gov. Goodhair vetoed here in TX back in 2009. It covers almost everyone not in a motor vehicle using the streets and roads, it just has a few cycle-specific paragraphs in with all the rest of the verbiage.

First of two FL links about dead cyclists. Family remembers cyclist

And the second link. Remembering a beloved Coral Gables cyclist This is a direct result of FL being the most deadliest state in the US (worse than the worst of the worst) to walk or ride a bike.

Things are a little better in MO, but not by much. “Ghost Bike” placed on SW Trafficway to memorialize cyclist struck and killed

And even in the UK they still have these, because bicycle death is pretty much universal in the anglophone world. Bike ride to be held to mark death of two fathers This death was particularly galling because the driver was trying to run from police for a traffic ticket.

And I’m out of links again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

More Stupid stuff than you ever thought possible. and the Feed

Well you might think I would be all written out after the previous post, but I am an endless barrel of exposition . No, seriously, I can keep writing for days, weeks even. I just take Saturdays off so I can have some semblance of a social life. I have all the ideas I need to keep writing forever except for the bouts I have with aphasia, and needing to sleep once in a while.

Main reason why cyclists break traffic laws? Because the laws were written for 1+ ton vehicles with much higher power-to-weight ratios than bicycles, and following laws written for those vehicles can get cyclists killed. Let’s talk seriously about why cyclists break traffic laws

Remember what I keep saying about helmets never preventing a wreck? Study: What Puts Cyclists at Greatest Risk? It’s Not What You Wear Apparently they don’t do much to prevent injury, either.

Have problems finding bike parking near your favorite store or mall? There might be a reason for that. SHOP BLOCKED Unless I absolutely have to I no longer shop stores without bike parking.

More on the MD bike tragedy as it has affected infrastructure discussions and the bicycle Lifestyle in MD. On Palermo tragedy, ‘Agony in the Garden’ and the Next Baltimore The event has had a major impact on the Episcopalian community of MD if nothing else. And Boys Latin students were first to stop to help injured cyclist Palermo

One NV town is determined to make cycling work within the narrow proscriptions of state law. Taking ‘Bike-Friendly’ to a whole new level

Infrastructure news from America’s Amsterdam. New striping on Vancouver Ave is a ‘SAFE’ hotline success story

If you happen to be in KY in March… National American Handmade Bicycle Show 2015

What is it about cyclists that drives people to act as if we don’t count as human beings? Attack on cyclist: Staffordshire police witness appeal The cyclist was attacked by someone in a car but not driving, WTH?

I am so jelly on this. You’re about to get really jealous of these cool bike paths Yes, I used “jelly” in an unironic mode meaning “jealous”, so sue me.

Not so “jelly” about this steaming pile of UK infrastructure. Embassy response to Crystal Palace Parade junction improvement scheme Another plan to speed up drivers with a bit of crappy bike infrastructure thrown in to comply with laws and spend budget without actually giving anything useful to cyclists. There is something useful in this scheme, protected left turns for cyclists (which would be the same as protected rights for here in the US) so maybe “steaming pile” is a little harsh? On further review “steaming pile” is if anything too lenient.

And I’m all out of links today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Got my toes done, and the Feed

I think most of you are aware that between the ravages of age and the damages I suffered in the wreck I can’t cut my toenails on the last two toes of my left foot. That means I have to get someone else to do it for me, and the easiest way to do that is to go to my local nail spa and get a pedicure. They have gotten used to me there and sometimes just for giggles I get the whole enchilada and let them paint my toenails. Today I left part of the figurative enchilada on the figurative plate, and came home without any polish on my toes. To give an idea of how ingrained in my psyche not spending money until there is no alternative is, my shoes fit sorta loose now…

There is a new conspiracy theory out there. Did Bono Really Crash A Bike In Central Park? The crux of the argument is CP on a Sunday is a pretty crowded place, and just about everybody in NYC has a phone with a camera on it, yet there is zilch about the wreck from witnesses on any of the social media, or even “Is this Bono?” pictures on Twitter or FB. Given the number of pictures and video posted of Michael Brown getting killed, someone who wasn’t even on the radar until after he was killed, the fact that a celebrity like Bono can get that kind of damages without any pictures of someone trying to help, or even of the ambulance taking him away seems rather odd. I just did an image search and there is nothing of Bono in Central Park in the last 6 months. The only images I could find were of the free concert U2 did in CP a while back, and the tree that killed Sonny Bono while he was skiing many years ago. To quote Alice, “Curiouser and curiouser.” I left a post in a Facebook group devoted to bicycles and bike commuting asking if anyone had any pictures or knew where any pictures of the scene were posted, so I’ll keep y’all posted if I hear anything.

The war of the lumens continues. Try these bright ideas for biking at night. I still think the best thing for making cyclists visible to drivers would be a law requiring all motor vehicles used in a wreck with a pedestrian or cyclist to be crushed and shredded in front of the driver or on national TV if the victim dies, or in other words, hit a pedestrian or cyclist, lose your car. You still have to pay for it, but it will no longer physically exist to be repossessed. That would mean that you would have to pay off the balance immediately… de facto huge fine for hitting a vulnerable road user, payable to the finance company.

More about a friend of the blog who was killed (and even though I know his name and had several conversations about bicycle safety with him I still don’t want to post his name in a link description. Don’t ask why, I can’t put it into words.) Cedar Mill bicyclist killed in crash was known for his graciousness and bike safety advocacy There would be little that could be done further to increase a cyclist’s visibility that the victim had not already done, including lights and dozens of square feet of HiViz fabric covering the bike and rider. Best comment:k7
According to same logic as posted here, the stripes on the road are too low to be effective so they need to be elevated immediately so they can be seen.
More Kirke Johnson’s BikePortland comments are chilling and inspiring

Former Congresscritter and current poster child for the gun control movement Gabriel Giffords rides a recumbent trike in public. Gabby Giffords completes 11-mile bike ride That is about the same distance I rode on my first public ride after my wreck…

A FL cyclist died and fell over or the other way around, but wasn’t hit by any vehicle. Medical event killed bicyclist, not traffic crash Yes, it does happen, rarely.

AZ cyclists are trying to find an infrastructure solution to an infrastructure problem. Cyclists unite after death on Pecos Road

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

That San Diego link showed in my Feed as well. Cyclists faulted most in bike-car crashes

A rider searches for the good Samaritan who helped him after a wreck. Injured rider finally tracks down helper

A bit of common sense from Oz. Time to stop the war on the roads, says injured cyclist In the War on Cars, cars are winning by a huge body count.

A modern take on Frogger with more realistic scenarios. CrossyRoad

A little assist on your way? Electric Bikes, On A Roll In Europe, Start To Climb In U.S.

And those were all the links I could find today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Feeling lazy, and the Feed

I think it might be related to the change in the seasons, or maybe the person that makes the coffee in the morning (see-through coffee! sacrilege) but I have been feeling a touch on the lethargic side today. I mean it took forever to get through the funnies today even with blowing off the comments sections. And I still have more chores to finish, like replacing the wheel I replaced the tube on yesterday and putting it back on the bike, and taking the letter with the new check for the artist that won the tattoo contest last year that replaces the check that was wandering all over Canada to the Post Office to put the correct postage on it (that one might have to wait until Monday as it is already too late to get to the Post Office on the bus before it closes). And I really need to mow the lawn but I can’t get the mower to crank over in this cold weather we are having.

Up first, current law in DC is that if there is any possible thing an injured pedestrian or cyclist could have done to prevent a wreck that injured them, then they get nothing even if the driver of the weapon vehicle was 100% at fault. Trying to get this changed is having a rough time getting through. Bill to change compensation for injured walkers, cyclists stalls again Seriously I think they are just delaying this to make the next council have to deal with it so they don’t have to explain why they voted it down to prosecutors.

A stolen trike in PA. Sentinel police log for Nov. 13 Look near the bottom of the Carlisle PD log. Seriously, who doesn’t like Unlawful Falafel? That’s just wrong.

Umm, what is this supposed to accomplish, really? Bin lorries get warning signs for cyclists This might help the one or two cyclists who get hit after passing garbage trucks at the curb waiting for the light to turn, but what about the ones hit waiting at the light before the truck gets there, or the ones who can’t see the back of the truck because there is a bus in front of it (which would blind that bicycle sensor BTW)?

Last link is from WoaB’s favorite artist Bikeyface. SHARING I’m with using a cartoon spokesthing on kids’ shows (I nominate “Sammy the Sharing Squirrel”) with examples of what “Share the Road” really means, but BMUFL signs are better than “Share the Road” for the short term. I really need to do a series of short scripts for the PSA for Cartoon Network this Sunday, to be shown during Adult Swim… Yes, I’m getting slightly excited about the concept.

And those are all the links I had today, really there was next to nothing in the Google Alerts and not much more in my online newspapers.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Grocery day in the post-retirement era, and the Feed

Howdy! One of the major differences between grocery day BR (before retirement) and AR is we no longer have to wait for Mrs. the Poet to get home from work before leaving for the grocery store. We just wait for eldest child to put his laundry in the machine and then we go.

I found a new (to me) beer today, Shiner Holiday Cheer, on sale for $14 for the 12 pack. It’s made with peaches and pecans and a little bit of spices and has a very robust mouth feel and head. The peaches are mostly sensed through the nose before drinking, while the pecans are felt through the palate and the spices hover between. There is almost no hop signature to speak of to let the other ingredients shine through. The brew has a dark color from added coloring, not from a roasted malt and that shows in the muted malt notes. I rate this brew as decent for drinking by itself (not with food) but too delicate to go with a meal. If you are just sitting down for a post-prandial before bed, this will fill the bill nicely, but if you are having a pizza then you need to drink a different beer. This would be the fruity white wine of Shiner in contrast to their robust Bock or Black Lager. I still like this beer, just not as much as Shiner Bock, or Farmhouse.

Up first, speeding cyclists doing almost the posted limit! THE INVESTIGATORS: THE DANGER OF SPEEDING BICYCLISTS IN CENTRAL PARK Two people have died! GASP!

A cyclist was also a good person who was always helping others before she was killed getting hit by 2 cars… Bicyclist hit and killed was well-liked by neighbors Not going the speculate on the wreck because I don’t do that any more. I’m just going to let folks know about the special person who got killed.

Bikeyface tries to do her vacation by bike. Notice I didn’t say “does her vacation by bike”. BIKE-CATION! Another case of crappy infrastructure, this time based on access blocked by high-speed traffic and restricted hours.

Some good news from AZ. Flagstaff schools get new bike racks thanks to donations

Infrastructure news from PA. Nutter taps board to make Philly more of a biking hub “Nutter” is the mayor’s name, not a pejorative term.

Long Island in NY makes the infrastructure news. Letter: Lives lost along Long Island’s roads Poorly designed or non-existent bicycle infrastructure gets cyclists killed, simple as that.

Bad infrastructure in the making in the UK, no surprise there. Cyclists criticise lack of provision for bike riders as part of junction re-work The only level of service cyclists are seeing is lip service.

And bad UK infrastructure seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Britain’s roads “aren’t safe enough” says Sustrans as cyclist casualties climb 10 per cent And if it weren’t for the NHS the fatality rates would be even higher…

The Netherlands replaces 70M of bike path paving with solar paving that generates electricity. World’s first solar bike path set to open in the Netherlands This is a real-world pilot project and the first done outside the research lab that developed the solar paving, previous development testing was done with the parking lot of the lab… I have been following this project for several years now.

The cycling town of Wichita Falls TX sends off a different kind of bike ride. Cyclists Prepare for 4th Annual Warriors on Wheels WoaB supports and endorses this event.

And another Wounded Warrior ride. No. Smithfield veteran seeks healing with 1,915-mile bike ride

Last link, because I’m just that evil… Oh My Word This Tune Is Annoying

And that’s all I got today, come back tomorrow for more…

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

In recovery mode, and the Feed

I’m in recovery mode today after spending pretty much the entire day running around Dallas and Collin Counties yesterday. I left before 1000 to go to the bank, then went to the chiropractor, then to Plano Cycling to pick up some bike parts, then to the drugstore to pick up a prescription for one of my tenants, then back to the house at roughly 1945. That works out to 10 hours +/- a few minutes on the road for the day, with most of that actually being “on the road” riding a bus or train, or waiting to catch a bus or train. Very little of that time was actually used for doing things at a destination.

Up first a cyclist rides for good. Binghamton-area officers plan bike ride to Washington to honor fallen comrade and different newspaper Bike ride to Washington planned for fallen officer

More reaction to that sensationalistic report about cyclist deaths in the US. Why Cyclist Groups Lashed Out on the Latest Bike Safety Report The thing is while the numbers in the report were accurate, they were contextless. For example, giving the percentage of cyclists killed wearing bicycle helmets is interesting, but lacks the information about the percentage of cyclists riding wearing helmets. If there is not a significant difference between the two then it can be assumed that helmet-wearing is not a reliable indicator of survival in a wreck.

IN NC, a semi-reasonable reaction to a fatal bike wreck. After cyclists’ deaths, Durham police emphasize traffic laws The only question I have is are they concentrating on things that cause cyclists to get hit by cars, or on things that annoy drivers about cyclists?

Fun in MS. Through the Viewfinder: Natchez cyclists trek through area during annual Halloween ride

A FL cyclist makes a memorial ride to Lincoln NE from the Lincoln Memorial to raise money for veterans. ‘Lincoln to Lincoln’ cyclist crosses Bellevue Bridge as sister waits

A feel-almost-good story out of CA. $10,000 raised at fundraiser for cyclist hurt in hit-and-run The “almost” part is the hit-and-run with the perp still at large, the rest of the report is fine.

From the UK, when you go from 2 wrecks in 6 years to 18 in 3 and 3 deaths, you have seriously screwed the pooch. CYCLE TRAGEDY: Junction where Maxx died has been scene of 18 accidents I can’t say what went wrong here, but something was done wrong and seriously so.

Chris Boardman goes on the offensive against victim-blaming. Chris Boardman hits back at critics after riding without helmet Riding in regular clothes without a helmet, does he have some kind of death wish? Nope, a Dutch wish.

Sad news. Road ride remembers Salisbury cyclist killed in collision with lorry

No more legal “buzz jobs” in Oz? Motorists who drive too close to cyclists to be fined under proposal to cut deaths on SA roads Now if they just make hitting a cyclist from behind an automatic conviction under the law.

Still in Oz, is your cycling insurance up-to-date? Cyclists need insurance, too

And that’s all I got tonight.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet