Tag Archives: bike lights

This is gonna hurt, and the Feed

I am taking a break from filtering because 1) my butt is getting tired, and B. my brain is getting slightly crispy around the edges as I deal with some monumentally stupid/trollish comments left on some articles, and π) I need to go hit something. I figure a punch-a-pillow break is better than any of my alternatives.

Up first because “why not?” is Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Hollywood bike parking becomes a homeless site; a blogger argues bike lane air is bad for LA kids While bike lane air is “bad” the consequences of sitting in traffic in a light armored vehicle are orders of magnitude worse.

And Pt. 2 of Our Daily Ted. 22-year old alleged sidewalk rider killed in South LA hit-and-run How do they know the cyclist “swerved” off the sidewalk in a hit-and-run? And every time I see the word “Slauson” I think this. I used to watch that stuff when it was new. Yes, I already know I’m old…

Another link to the driver banned from owning a cell phone for 2 years. Cellphone ban for driver who killed cyclist is ‘a reminder every day,’ judge says The driver is allowed to use WiFi devices, but anything that directly connects to any cell phone system.

One of the most deeply held tenets of WoaB is “Don’t hit the pedestrians.” Pedestrian Suing Cyclist After Collision On Dearborn Street From the comments section the entire suit is a pack of lies intended to prey upon the prejudices of the (potential) jury, the pedestrian in question walked into the cyclist’s path while walking in the bike lane instead of crossing it, the equivalent of walking down the middle of a street, and the bike was equipped with two independent braking systems, fixie with a front brake. Still, DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS!

OK this one is bizarre beyond words. Bicyclist injured in downtown Woodland accident Adrenaline can be a scary thing. It can make you really stupid, so that you get up and run away from getting hit with a car hard enough to smash the windshield hard enough to spray broken glass on the front seat occupants… Something got this cyclist wound up on adrenaline before he got hit, because there wasn’t enough time for any adrenaline from the wreck to kick in so that he could get up and run away from the wreck like that.

This IL story is a bit better than the one in an earlier paragraph. The ‘Wheel’ Deal: Flossmoor Cop Gifts Bike Crash Victim with a New Ride

I’m including this for a single sentence from LEO, the most sane thing I have ever read credited to a LEO. Cyclist killed by tractor trailer was on way home from work Did you see it, or has it been deleted? “Police say Goodrow was not wearing a helmet but suspect it would have made little difference.” Really, a styrofoam hat against 50K pounds or more of truck and trailer? And regarding the lights and reflectors the VA Vehicle code reads “… shall be equipped with a headlight on the front emitting a white light visible in clear weather from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector visible from a distance of at least 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.” So the rear reflector (without a light) was within the law, and the cyclist was hit from behind so the headlight was moot. The truck driver should have seen the cyclist but failed to pass safely.

From NYC another pedestrian is mowed down. 5-Year-Old Boy Struck By Driver On Prospect Park West

More on the Trek QR recall. 3 Reasons Why You May Have a Trek Bicycle Injury Lawsuit And I have one very good reason why you don’t have a valid lawsuit: in order for the “defective” QR to cause the problem it did you have to leave the QR in the open position. The equivalent would be to fail to tighten the lug nuts on your Chevy and then sue GM when the wheel falls off…

While we are in the figurative WI courtroom. Homicide charges loom for driver who hit, killed 2 bicyclists in Muskego I thought there must be foul play in order to hit 2 cyclists and kill them both…

More on the cyclist killed riding USBR 36 in IL. From the view of a cyclist The comments section was toxic. Literally toxic.

From the Great White North. Battlefield bike ride across Europe to aid injured soldiers If any of my Canadian reader$ feel $o inclined…

And court news from Jolly Olde. Bus driver in court over Washington cyclist’s death Still don’t know anything about what happened because of UK media laws, except that LEO think the bus driver “did it” whatever “it” was.

More on those detection systems planned for testing in London. Thermal cameras will watch for waiting cyclists and turn traffic lights green Typical comments about cyclists not paying a tax that hasn’t existed since 1937 in the comment section…

And one wonders what will happen to the program in the last paragraph in light of this report. Tories withdraw £23m of promised spending for cycling in latest cuts

Remembering a cyclist killed by an overloaded semi in Oz. Family honours Brisbane cyclist as memorial mural unveiled at accident site on Annerley Road The truck hit the underside of the bridge and fell on the cyclist riding to the side as the truck passed.

And trying to make the death mean something. Cyclist’s widow calls for inner city truck ban I see a workable compromise: Trucks move in the ban area by trip permit only with bicycle outriders fore and aft to keep the truck from running anyone over. Truck moves no faster than bicycle speed so no cyclists would be endangered by them. Make the permits non-profit (just administrative costs only) and the costs for the cyclists either on a per-mile rate or a per-job rate with a mileage or time limit per job and a new permit required for each trip in and out of the ban zone, each permit good for one round trip in and out of the ban zone. Cyclists get full employment, other road users are protected, and goods are still delivered to destinations inside the “no truck” zone.

And I’m outta links and patience. I wanna watch some tube and veg out.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet


One of those days, and the Feed

Today is one of “those” days where I feel like strangling a politician, making it a good thing there aren’t any in reach. The Feed had a number of proposed bills for cyclists that did not actually do anything to protect cyclists but did make people feel like they had “done something”. Also Mrs. the Poet was out in the garage complaining about my stash of used bikes that I use to make art bikes and recumbents from. Then she started getting into some of the things that keep me from actually being able to use those bikes as I intended to when I got them, all the other people’s junk that keeps me from being able to get to my tools and workspace in the garage. Lots of cussing about that coming from the garage whilst I was trying to filter links.

Up first is one of those “What were they thinking?” laws I was reading about. Bill would require neon clothes, government ID for cyclists There are some things that would be a great idea, and others not so much. Rear lights, good idea, government ID, not so much. I see this bill being used mostly as a way to bludgeon the poor and homeless, not as an effective tool for bicycle safety.

A really bizarre case in NYC gets even weirder. Bag Of Rats Offers New Evidence In Fatal Williamsburg Hit & Run They recovered a plastic bag of “live frozen” rats from the weapon vehicle at the scene, with the defendant’s fingerprints on it. Also the defendant has a criminal history that includes killing people. The weapon vehicle was doing almost 70 in a 30 MPH zone when he hit the cab.

Another off-the-wall scene in an NYC court. Mother Of Unlicensed Teen Driver Who Killed 4-Year-Old Lashes Out In Court She’s lucky her unlicensed son was not charged with illegal possession of a deadly weapon.

Using mind-reading helmets to plan lower-stress cycling in NYC. NYC bike map based on riders’ brainwaves tells you which routes are the most stressful or relaxing How about building some Dutch-quality infrastructure for making low-stress routes?

Why has building infrastructure for active transportation become a political football? Koch-funded groups coalesce around axing all federal funding for walking, biking and transit and Koch-Funded Groups: Cut All Federal Funding for Walking, Biking, Transit I looked at the proposal and all it does is lock in transportation planning from 50 and 60 years ago to the exclusion of every other alternative, basically “Cars über alles”.

More on technical means of keeping drivers from running over cyclists and pedestrians. Here’s How Car Makers Are Trying to Make Streets Safer for Bicycle Commuters Some car-makers are using passive sensors that don’t require anything from the cyclist or pedestrian other than being there and potentially moving into conflict with the motor vehicle, while others are requiring vulnerable users to carry devices that warn the car of their presence, path, and velocity so the car can then warn the driver. If you don’t have these devices then the car doesn’t tell the driver you’re there…

Infrastructure news from America’s Amsterdam, Portland OR. Novick says PBOT will use state study to address speeding, lack of bikeway on Barbur The lane closures from the construction did not seriously affect the non-rush traffic except to slow it down slightly under the posted speed limit.

Some infrastructure news from OR. City issues bike parking code violation to Jantzen Beach Home Depot I am in awe and totally jealous that they even have a bike parking code. I have been lobbying the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell for a bike parking ordinance for almost 10 years now. We still don’t have one.

More infrastructure from across the Columbia from Portland OR. Damaged sections of waterfront trail reopen

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: January was a good month for SoCal cyclists, walkability survey and still more bike events

Still in SoCal we get this lifestyle event. SLAIN CYCLIST HONORED AT ORANGE COUNTY MEMORIAL RIDE RIP rider…

Struggling to provide a connection for two trans-continental bike routes. PLEASE SUPPORT BICYCLE ROUTE 66 This is a vital connection for both the Southern Tier bike route and the Heartland bike route. BR66 is also a potential major tourist bike route. Having a big unrideable gap like that just east of LA just cuts too many people off from the rest of the country.

And I seem to have run out of links again.

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

This weather is insane in Texas, Wreck-Free Sunday

My last 2 trips I had to pack 2 different outfits for the outbound and returning legs because of wild temperature swings from outbound to inbound legs of the trip. Last night I went to the RPG group, and leaving Casa del Poeta I was riding in mid-60’s F (18°C). On the return leg I was riding in 44°F (7°C) temperatures, slightly more than 20°F (11°C) colder. That requires completely different types of clothing for a 6 mile bike ride (each way). Riding outbound I was wearing cotton shorts and a short-sleeve jersey (I needed to have pockets, so I wore the cotton shorts) but on the way back I wore heavy tights under the shorts and a heavy sweatshirt over the jersey and was still slightly chilled.

This morning as I was laying out my clothes for the day the temperature was 56, but the hourly forecast called for a temperature of 42 for the time I was going to be riding. By the time I was finished with my shower the outside temperature had jumped to 62 and by the time I was out the door it had gotten to 65, and was 70°F on my return leg from morning services. I was wearing tights under cotton shorts (needed pockets again) and a lightweight long-sleeve jersey and was way over-dressed for the conditions even on the way out, definitely for the return leg of the trip. This is much more like March weather than what we normally get this time of year in TX. I have no idea what to wear for the ride to evening services, maybe mukluks and a parka?

For those who may be wondering, this was our celebration of Imbolc, where Winter fights a retreating battle against Spring. We blessed our tools both magical and mundane for the upcoming season. It was interesting looking at the things that were on the altar to be blessed, ranging from paper notebooks to notebook computers, sticks with twine wrappings to swords, kitchen tools of all descriptions, and my helmet standing in for all of my bike stuff. For things that could not be removed to bring into the building there were paper notes naming the items that were blessed in absentia

The DIY bike light project is still going on as I tested the solar cells to determine which side was “+” and which terminal was “-” as I want to recharge the batteries, not quick-discharge them. Also while testing for positive and negative I found the solar units were under-rated for voltage, as I was getting readings of 4.77V as I was trying to find which terminal was which. I wasn’t testing the current out but the rating was 90ma at 4.5V and 200ma short-circuit. As I put in an earlier post, these units were made to charge solar yard lights with 3S NiMH cells and 3 will put out C/11 into my NiMH AA pack. This is a very safe charging rate and will top the cells nicely.

One of the things I have to do is make the bracketry work for the handlebars I’m using on this project with the large horizontal brace between the actual bars I hang on to. The light has to clear the bars when they are laid back at a comfortable angle as it will be almost 8″ wide at its widest point (lots of LEDs). Placing the solar power behind the lighting units will move the wide part of the light about 2½” forward from the bars so that the light has clearance to swing down and shine on the road rather than the trees and clouds overhead. I also have to be careful about running the wires where they won’t get damaged in handling and normal use, and are esthetically pleasing (mostly invisible). I’m slightly torn about some of the esthetics of this build. I could frame the lights with angle and weld the angle to the backplate and extend the part where I mount the solar power units forward to act as a visor to help keep stray light from getting in oncoming drivers’ eyes, or I could just mount the lighting units to the backplate and the solar units behind the backplate, leaving the lighting units completely exposed and also allowing that stray light to light up street signs (and get in oncoming drivers’ eyes). So 6 of one and half a dozen of another. The good part about framing the backplate with angle is that it automatically jigs the top panel for the solar units at right angles to the backplate. One thing I know I’m doing is running angle from the backplate to the mounts to the handlebars to reinforce the top panel against bending, so I might as well go ahead and frame out the backpanel while I’m doing it. Another thing I’m doing is using an Altoids tin as a battery box as they are (mostly) weatherproof, especially if they are protected against direct spray against the hinge line and since I’m putting the box behind the backplate it will be protected against direct spray. It won’t withstand direct immersion, but for riding around on a bicycle it will be fine, especially mounted under the solar top panel and behind the backplate.

So, the bike light project is moving forward, the project the bike light is going to be attached to is moving forward, and I survived another cross-quarter celebration with hair still on my head. By the next solar sabbat I will be shaved of head and my fuzzy locks will be lining local birds’ nests and keeping the chicks comfy, and maybe I’ll be riding the new bike and debugging the design.

PSA, Opus

It was a cool day yesterday, and the Feed

Too bad we had to spend most of it indoors because of the rain, but the temperature moderated in the Suburbs of Hell yesterday. My local weather recorder barely got over 90 with most of the day in the low 80s due to the light rain and cloud cover. Of course this means Mrs. the Poet’s grass-killing exercise that she calls “mowing” has been undone as the grass will recover given ¼ a chance (back when we moved in I reseeded the place with a drought-resistant grass that was not supposed to grow more than 6″ high, and the drought-resistant part was correct). Since my Ubuntu OS computer and my ancient digital camera refuse to talk to each other (I know all I need to do is find the right driver from the Ubuntu archives, but finding it and getting it installed are exceeding my patience levels) I still don’t have an pictures of Blue to share with you, much less any of the recycled bicycle projects I have been working on. I will take a Sunday off soon and get this issue solved.

A wreck about a hundred miles east of WoaB World HQ in the Suburbs of Hell. Mother of teen killed by truck wants answers SWSS wreck, There was no place for the cyclist to have “darted” from unless he waited for the truck to approach then pulled off the curb with no sidewalk, or maybe at one of the parking lots where other vehicles could have blocked his view… Too many questions (what was a garbage truck doing out @ 2100?). This was a location that would have been mostly bypassed by bicycle infrastructure preventing the cyclist from ever interacting with the weapon vehicle.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, more on the kid killed by a turning vehicle that ran the red light. 17 year old killed in crash Let me just say that there must have been some irrefutable evidence in this case otherwise LEO would have blamed the cyclist for running the red light. This was not the kind of wreck that could have been prevented by infrastructure, because the driver of the weapon vehicle ignored the infrastructure that was already in place, the traffic light.

A WI rider killed in a hit-and-run has been identified. Wis. cyclist killed by hit-run driver identified Hit from behind, report was sketchy but it appears the cyclist had no chance of being able to avoid this one because the weapon vehicle was moving at a high rate of speed. I can’t get a street view pulled up so I can’t say if this would be fixable with infrastructure, but physically separating bicycles and idiots racing in cars would be a good idea if this was not in a residential neighborhood. What I could see from the map view this may have been on an arterial, so a separated bike path would have been appropriate under the Dutch model.

A project that looks interesting and increases my noticeability. Bicycle Rim Lights To be legal you need to make these either white or amber/front red/rear but they are Uber-Cool.

And that’s all I got today, except for the guy that ran off a trail on his mountain bike because he was looking behind him as he was going forward, him I’m not linking to. Not on a road, not involving a motor vehicle or defective infrastructure.

Billed @$0.02, Opus