Tag Archives: cars ‘r’ coffins

I was social again today, and the Feed

I went out this afternoon with one of the members of the kinky D&D group for another recon on costume supplies. We found remaindered fabrics and a sewing pattern for a costume she liked, but the cost for the pattern alone was more than the cash on hand. So we put everything back for better days, and slunk off with our tails between our legs. Not one of my good days.

Up first is Our Daily Ted. Any links that may be shared are a result of converging sources, not because I copied Ted. Morning Links: New El Monte Bike Hub opens, let CD4’s David Ryu know what you think, and sexist socks at Interbike I admit I had to follow the link to the sock story.

I have to say I don’t think this would ever happen in the US. Police say sorry for ‘not wholly satisfactory’ probe I mean really, US police apologizing? Ain’t gonna happen.

Now we get to see how much the vaunted reputation of Canadians for politeness is deserved. Move Over! The main benefit of the law is that it provides a nearly unshakable reflection of blame from the cyclist to the driver. All that’s required of the cyclist is complying with light and reflector laws, any hit from behind is now solidly the fault of the driver.

I think this is probably a casual correlation to cars becoming safer for the occupants rather than formerly drunk rivers switching to weed and staying home. Since Colorado legalized marijuana, highway fatalities are way down

I’m sure this would have been hilarious as a scene from a Hollywood RomCom, but IRL this would have been terrifying. CYCLIST KILLED, ANOTHER HURT WHEN BOAT BREAKS FREE FROM TRUCK ON STATEN ISLAND Edit to add, The proofreading program tried to correct STATEN to SATAN. One thing that bugs me is they aren’t even willing to say the trailer wasn’t properly secured when the trailer is in a different lane than the towing vehicle. Seriously? More Bicyclist Killed, Another Seriously Injured When Boat Slips Loose From SUV

Speaking of RomComs, how about this video of a BMX street rider for Nike riding in NYC? Watch This Pro BMX Rider Terrify All Of NYC There is a few seconds of the rider doing a nose manual on the hood of a taxi parked in a sidewalk, I would have liked a lot more of riding over cars blocking bike lanes. And seriously could you not tell this was staged?

Even when you are doing everything right as a cyclist, it just takes one driver with a case of the dumbshits to ruin your life. Artist injured in bicycle crash talks about recovery, dangers And because of the destructive power of motor vehicles, it doesn’t even take a real bad case of the dumbshits, because even a momentary lapse of concentration on the part of the driver can leave a greasy stain where the cyclist used to be riding.

Drivers ignoring the bike lane? Buy them flowers. Boston Cyclist Crowdfunds for Tactical Urbanism “Tactical Urbanism” is another phrase for calling out the DIY DOT.

Another article on the study that found that drivers see “Share the Road” as “Bicycles Get Outta the Way”. A Simple Change to Road Signs Could Help Cyclists and Drivers Finally Get Along You think they could have found a better picture of a “cyclist” than a HD screen grab from the video for “Motherfucking Bike”?

Make the bike smarter and you can make the kiosks really stupid, or do away with them altogether. Portland Will Get “Smart Bikes” in 2016

Is your town trying to kill you? The government is trying to make walking American again

And now we are done for the day, because there ain’t no more links. Today’s post was about half the size of yesterday’s by word count.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Today’s delayed blog post brought to you by Kinky D&D, and the Feed

I was out of the house again this afternoon as the Kinky D&D group met for a dungeon crawl. The game is loosely based on the Oglaf universe warning very NSFW, and like the comic we get long stretches where nothing remotely sexy is going on for one reason or another. That would include today’s game, where nobody was raped or seduced or otherwise engaged in anything resembling sexual activity, including my nympho bard apprentice NPC. Part of that was caused by the party being under mind control by a race of asexual insectoids with sort of a hive mind (Formeans) for most of the session. We got very little loot from the dungeon crawl, a dagger that was slightly better than one lost during the crawl, and a ring of +2 Charisma for my Warlock. Fortunately none of the characters on the crawl needed to perform marathon sex to charge magic because the Formeans really did not understand the concept of recreational sex used as an energy source for magic spells.

Up first because it is funny and hey, bees. [UPDATED] A Serious Swarm Of Bees Is Devouring A Bike In Midtown There are worse ways to temporarily lose access to your bike than having thousands of bees use it as a rally point while waiting for their new queen.

Next up, the Big Story today has been the cyclist hit head-on by a drunk driver driving on the wrong side of the road. Cyclist Killed in Collision on North Center Street [UPDATED 12 noon] and Hickory Police: Cyclist killed by driver high on drugs Again I see this as a drugged out driver targeting a hated road vermin and because he was impaired he ran into the other vehicles and the power pole. I suggest checking his social media for anti-bike rants or even jokes.

The other Big story today is a hit-and-run caught on tape in NYC. Cops Seek Hit-And-Run Driver Who Ran Over Harlem Cyclist and Police Release Video In Harlem Hit-And-Run That Critically Injured Cyclist The cyclist was waiting to make a legal left turn when hit, and drivers wonder why cyclists don’t wait for the red. Well wrecks like this are a big reason.

How much street can you buy with $150K? 1.3 What does it cost to run the transportation system? Turns out to be not much, one traffic light and a few feet of sidewalk with a curb. Converting from the metric system and Canadian dollars it turns out that one lane of road costs $1 million per mile, +/- a few bucks, not counting the cost of the land underneath it. At $150K/mile for a segregated bike path making everybody ride a bike sounds like sound fiscal policy.

So it is official now, it was the cyclist’s fault for getting hit, not the driver blowing 0.123BAC%. Police: Cyclist at fault in crash that killed him I smell bovine digestive byproduct. I smell BS because none of the cyclist’s belongings have been returned to his family especially the bike.

NOLA has a bicycle infrastructure problem. Bicyclist killed by dump truck at Canal and South Broad; five bicyclists have died in New Orleans this year Part of the problem is cyclists obeying the law are invisible to drivers. more on the specific wreck mentioned in the headline. CYCLIST KILLED IN MID CITY WRECK Bog-standard right hook, incomplete pass followed by a turn, and the innocent cyclist has nowhere to get away from the truck.

The shoulder of the road is not bicycle infrastructure. Cyclist dies after being hit by vehicle on Goodwood Blvd. Assuming the driver’s story is correct, and the remains of the bike seem to back that up, there are many reasons why a cyclist would swerve from the shoulder, including there was suddenly no shoulder there to ride on any more.

More on the FL cyclist killed trying to make a legal left turn. Polk County Sheriff’s Office Identifies Lakeland Man Killed While Riding Bike I’m still waiting to see how they are going to blame the cyclist on this one.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: OC truck driver goes on trial; Montebello hit-and-run reward; Metro bike workshops start tonight

From NYC, those horror movies about goofing off behind the wheel worked so well when we were in High School. City employed drivers forced to take ‘Vision Zero’ safety class What makes people think they will work any better on adults?

More on “pedestrian safety” in NYC. A Brief History Of “Jaywalking” In NYC

What happens when bike riders play by the imaginary rules. This Is What Happened When Bicyclists Obeyed Traffic Laws Along The Wiggle Yesterday Two blocks were all it took to get massive road rage from drivers, and a massive traffic jam from just a few cyclists.

Another deadly wreck in the Great White North. 15-year-old cyclist killed in crash on Highway 7/8 Cyclist riding with traffic hit from behind…

Put the fucking phone down and leave it alone until the vehicle has ceased all motion. Lorry driver killed Plymouth cyclist ‘after reaching for phone’ In the time it took to find the play app, find the sermon, and start playback the driver had been not looking at the road for several seconds, and was totally unaware of the cyclist NOT in the road bu the bike lane adjacent to the road…

I for one welcome our robotic overlords, as long as they learn how to “play nice” in an environment filled with squishy humans. Driverless Car Testing and Big Data Intersect in Simulated City

Cyclists need to learn how to stretch, unlike drivers… Off Your Bike: Four Helpful Stretches for the Bike Commuter

And I seem to have run out of links again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

I really am a scatter-brain, and the Feed

I left a ton of stuff out of yesterday’s post, specifically stuff about that lump on the back of my neck. Since I can’t recall exactly what I said and did not say (and I’m too lazy to open another tab and read it, I know that’s bad and I’m lazy) I’ll just go through the list. First of all this lump has been there for many years, at least 5 if not longer. Second there was some imaging done when I first noticed it by the Lab Rat Keeper to make sure it wasn’t something that was going to kill me (it isn’t going to kill me, it’s just really annoying now). Third the person checking me out yesterday was concerned that it has grown over the vertebrae on my neck and around the side of my neck and is concerned it may have become invasive. Fourth, it isn’t a sebaceous cyst because those are painful when poked they way I got poked during the exam yesterday, and not as firm as the lump on the back of my neck. So the thing they are really concerned about is that it might be invasive somehow and removing it might be a problem, and that it pretty much has to be removed sooner rather than later. The MRI is to determine how invasive it is and to positively identify what it is so that it can be removed without surprises when the operation gets done.

And with all that walking my feet hurt pretty bad when I got up this morning. 😛

Up first because The Onion is not the strangest source I have today. ‘What If No One Travels Anywhere Ever Again?’ Wonders Panicked Transportation Secretary Yep, nothing like a little existential angst to get the blood pumping in the morning.

Down the road from the Beautiful suburbs of Hell. I Can’t Even Why some people think we “need” a toll road through the middle of what was sold to the public as a park when the bonds were passed nearly 20 years ago now. No park, just a highway where there were pictures of people sailing little boats in tiny lakes in the brochures promoting the bond issue. Lakes that were never in the “official” bond proposal.

This note is TX-specific. Action Alert: Ask your representative to vote YES on HB 80 Since texting is a 21st Century blight upon humanity (and no I’m not just being old, I text when appropriate) it is only fair that TX should get in the 21st Century and ban it while driving.

Another TX specific paragraph on infrastructure. Texas House Takes Center Stage I like this one, because putting a designated portion of the general fund into transportation means we can demand a designated portion be put to non-motorized transportation. I suggest that $3 Billion be apportioned by fatalities for improving the safety for cyclists and pedestrians. I don’t meant that 16% of that $3 Billion should be put aside for cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure, I’m saying that 16% of the transportation budget up to that $3 Billion should be set aside for cyclists and pedestrians since this is a non-car source of funding.

And even in Houston they see the benefits of greater density in development. Houston Feels Downtown’s Lively Enough to Stop Development Tax Break The tax break had an initial cutoff of 2500 housing units that was quickly extended to 5000 when it was discovered that there was enough demand to support them, which is also about to get topped out years ahead of projected dates.

An experiment that worked out so well they wanted to make it permanent. Banning Cars Can Be Good For Business Whodathunkit? Giving more space to people instead of cars is good for business.

Our Daily Ted is really good today. (Late) Morning Links: Griffith Park road under attack, more on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and stupid Scot cop tricks

Would you like a secure lightweight lock for your crabon wunderFahrrad? LITELOK®: Lightweight, flexible and super secure bike lock. The mix of fibers in the braid that replaces cables and chains requires different cutting methods to separate, making one mode take way too long to get through and leading to thieves getting caught red-handed.

MPLS is getting serious about connected bicycle infrastructure. Minneapolis protected bike lane list for 2015 swells

What do you do when the air becomes dangerous to breathe? Ban cars for a day. Half of Paris just took a mandatory day off of driving OK ban half of cars, with the option to ban the other half the next day if needed.

Someone does not understand the concept of woonerf. 6 Places Where Cars, Bikes, and Pedestrians All Share the Road As Equals Woonerf are places where the motor vehicle is tolerated as something that has to be there but people would prefer not to be there, or basically a rowdy guest that has to be on its best behavior or get tossed out.

An e-assist bike for military use, when sometimes it is critical to be able to move faster than 20 MPH. Trefecta DRT: The $25K high-tech, military-grade electric super bike

And I’m all out of links again. I’ma have a little lie-down for my leg now.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Mrs. the Poet’s retirement has made for her keeping me from working, and the Feed

I love my wife, I really do. BUUUT (very long “uh” sound there) she refuses to acknowledge what I do as “work” and is constantly telling me to stop “playing on the computer” and do what she wants me to do, basically denying the validity of what I do. I do not know what to say about this, especially at the time she says it because of my aphasia not leaving me with the vocabulary to respond. Sure I sound all glib and insightful in the blog, because I have the time to stop and think about it, lower my stress levels by meditating, and allow the words to flow out of my fingers bypassing my mouth. The process in and of itself is much less stressful than trying to actually speak with my wife making a rejoinder to a comment she made. As a result I’m frequently unable to respond with anything more cogent to her “playing on the computer” remarks with anything more than “Go away, I’m working here!”

Up first, the lowlife scum that hit a Miami cyclist with his vehicle so hard that the roof was collapsed around the driver’s head and then left claiming he “didn’t know” he had hit anyone violated his parole. Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash on the Rickenbacker Causeway Heading to Prison After Probation Violation and Driver Guilty In Cyclist’s Death Sentenced To Prison For Probation Violation When I saw one link I was thinking they were really looking to violate this guy, but then I read another link that said he had been checking in with Foursquare at bars and clubs, places he was not supposed to be and in violation of his parole, so he basically violated himself on this one. I hope he has a life-affirming moment in prison and never drives again. I was going to type something else, but then I stopped to think “Is what I want vengeance against this one idiot, or do I want a cultural change that keeps idiots like this from being able to hurt people because they lack the means to hurt people?” And I have to say that while vengeance against that idiot would make me feel better for a little while, making it so that idiots like him can’t hurt people would make me feel a lot better in the long run.

Next a little lifestyle from a little south of the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Round Rock memorial bike ride honors avid cyclist Killed in a wreck very much like mine in many respects, just trying to get where he was going and make a living.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Awkward cycle track in Marina, PCH closed at Point Magu, fight North Fig parking at City Hall

Trying to change the legal infrastructure in the land of the automobile. California Bicycle Coalition Announces Its 2015 Legislative Agenda

CA riders remember a fellow rider killed on an epic ride in OR. Riders finish avid cyclist’s last journey

Still in CA, I would love to see drivers held to the same standards as cyclists when motor vehicle infrastructure is discussed. Dick Spotswood: Marin bike lobby’s political clout is slipping Really, not another freeway or even a pothole filled until drivers stop speeding, running red lights, turning right on red through crowded crosswalks, driving on sidewalks to get around people stopped a red lights…

So, what about people who don’t have smart phones, like me? Tech solution for “dead red” lights

Bicycle advocacy in America’s Amsterdam. Guest Article: Four things BikeLoudPDX has learned in their campaign for SE Clinton

They’re starting to learn lessons from the Netherlands. Cycling reduces the death toll on our roads…

OK I don’t know if you will be able to read this or not, but if you can’t copy and paste the headline into a Google search and read it from there. There is at least one city determined to not kill it’s citizens. A Plan to Limit Cars in Paris Collides With French Politics

Another e-assist article. Bultaco Brinco Is a Really Interesting E-Bike, but Not Exactly Cheap I used to have a ‘taco motor in my shifter kart… I don’t think this one would work the same. I like that the pedelec mode has a 100 km range, but I’m thinking there isn’t much assist in that mode. I built a bike with a lot smaller battery that had almost that range but used a constant pedal cadence mode and powered cranks. It is somewhere in the garage which means archeologists will be the next people to see it. At least I hope it’s in the garage. If it isn’t that means I had another bike stolen and I won’t even be able to give the police an exact year, much less a time of day…

And those were all the links I could find today, enjoy!

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Running way late getting started on the post, Wreck-Free Sunday

I had to work today (more wrenching for the camping trip as I have a number of bikes that never see the light of day except when they go camping, which usually means replacing rock-hard brake blocks, lubing chains and pumping tires that haven’t been filled in 6 months or more. These bikes will be used to transport people from one end of the 101 acre camp site to the other as there is about a half mile from Refugee Camp in the back to Guardians’ Camp at the front of the camping area, which is quite a haul if you’re in a hurry. Even at just $10 per bike if you do enough bikes you can pay for your trip…

Something I have been wanting to discuss with you for a while is the guns vs cars comparison. You would have to be living under a rock with your fingers in your ears to not know that there have been a few million words flying back and forth in the gun debate, about who should own one and what hoops they should be made to jump through to buy more, and how many bullets you should be allowed to carry. That’s all well and good, but a gun is only 0.45% fatal average for every time the trigger is pulled in anger with only 1 in 20 bullets actually hitting someone, and 1 in 11 bullets that hit someone actually causing death. Motor vehicles on the other hand are 5% fatal against unarmored targets (pedestrians and cyclists) when traveling at 20 MPH. But up the speed to just 30 MPH (the statutory minimum speed limit in the state of Texas) and the death toll rises to 50% of cyclists and pedestrians. Interestingly enough from what limited data I have been able to find salmon cyclists are killed at a rate consistent with combined bike and motor vehicle speed, while the rest of us are killed independently of the cyclist’s speed and entirely dependent on the speed of the weapon vehicle. If you think about it it makes some sense, but it would be nice to have more bike speed equal less danger for the struck cyclist, if for nothing else as a reward for the effort expended… 😛

Anyway, getting back to cars vs guns, cars have a slight edge in deaths with 30K gun deaths vs 36K killed by motor vehicles last year. The number one killer of adults under 35 is motor vehicles, guns are not far behind though with gun deaths spread pretty evenly across the age groups while motor vehicle deaths concentrate near the young end of the range. This points out that not everyone killed in a car is driving it, or even inside the motor vehicle. Many killed by motor vehicles are walking or riding bicycles, or not anywhere near a street or road inside a building. Yep, several people every year are killed inside buildings by motor vehicles crashing from adjacent streets and highways. There is a good reason why I call motor vehicles WMD used as transportation…

And this is where I feel I should stop this post, that I have made my point and any further exposition is flogging a deceased equine.

PSA, Opus

Terminal ballistics, Wreck-Free Sunday

This is something I mention in my comments to wreck articles all the time, but for some reason I seem to have forgotten to put it up here. This is a comparison of terminal ballistics between small-arms rounds, and motor vehicles.

First, the dry statistics. according to the CDC a bullet from a small arm like a hunting rifle or a handgun is between 8 and 10% fatal with the majority right in that 9% area of the bell curve. According to the NHWSA and another researcher in the UK who came up with almost the exact same numbers, motor vehicles used against unarmored persons (pedestrians and bicyclists) are 5% fatal at speeds of 20 MPH and below, rising sharply to 50% fatal at 30 MPH, 85% fatal at an impact speed of 40 MPH, over 95% fatal at 50 MPH, and 99+% fatal at speeds of 60 MPH and over. There is always that survivor of a wreck who was hit at 60 or higher speed (like me) that keep the kill ratio under 100%, but for all intents and purposes getting hit at highway speeds is 100% fatal.

Now why that is true is interesting in a gruesome and macabre sort of way. The reason why bullets are so ineffective at killing people even when you actually hit someone with a bullet (which only happens in 1 out of 20 times a trigger is pulled during a firefight where people are actually trying to kill each other) is that bullets are small, and the human body has relatively few places where the would caused by a bullet is fatal, especially once you get away from the head. The head and heart are the only 2 places where a bullet is instantly or very quickly fatal, which is why soldiers are issued torso armor and helmets going into battle. Anywhere else and you die from bleeding to death with the larger the blood vessel compromised the faster you bleed to death. The good thing there is there are few blood vessels that will bleed out so fast that you can’t be saved with quick access to surgery and a blood transfusion. So, bullets, especially in this day and age, are very poor killing devices.

Motor vehicles, on the other hand, despite not actually being designed as killing devices are actually quite good at the job. They kill by massive blunt-force trauma over a large area of the body and sometimes by head injury. As with bullets head and heart injury are quick kills most of the time, and permanent disablers when they don’t actually kill. The difference between bullets and cars is that a bullet hits a single part of the body and creates a very small injury, where a motor vehicle hits large areas of the body and creates large internal injuries and external wounds. A bullet can only compromise a small number of blood vessels, a motor vehicle can remove entire limbs and leave several major blood vessels open to air, or rip major vessels internally causing internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can kill even faster than just dumping the blood on the ground, because the blood then interferes with blood that is still actually getting to its destination by the circulatory system and internal bleeding in the upper chest can cause the heart to stop from the pressure on the organ.

Because of the widespread nature of the injuries administered by a motor vehicle impact, even surviving the initial impact doesn’t mean you’re clear of the reaper yet. There are secondary injuries caused by broken bones piercing vital organs or blood vessels before you get to a hospital or even get in the ambulance. Broken ribs, fractured pelvis taking out major arteries or a heart or lung, or even a broken femur or humerus cutting the major blood vessels in the leg or arm when someone tries to drag a victim off the road so they don’t get hit again. Since you would die if you get hit again this is actually not as bad as it sounds, you have a better chance of surviving not being exposed to another impact.

Now we have body armor that can protect against a bullet penetrating a person to cause injury, what can be done against a motor vehicle? The answer: almost nothing. About the only thing that can protect against a motor vehicle wreck is another, larger motor vehicle or a later model of motor vehicle than the one being used against you, and even that is ineffective in about 28K wrecks a year in the US. Motor vehicles are so deadly that not even a building is sufficient protection against getting killed by one. People inside light wood-frame houses are killed in the dozens every year by motor vehicles crashing through the walls. A bicycle helmet is essentially useless against a motor vehicle wreck. As we have seen even if the head is perfectly protected the massive blunt-force trauma inflicted on the torso by most motor vehicle wrecks will still cause death or permanent injury.

So, what can be done? The only effective technique found so far is to keep motor vehicles and vulnerable users completely separate from each other so they don’t have wrecks. That means Dutch-style infrastructure for bicycles, and protected walking areas for pedestrians, and severe penalties against drivers that hit vulnerable road users. like confiscation of the motor vehicle. It won’t be cheap, and in a few years it will be moot as we run out of gas, but in the mean time we can save lives and protect potential by keeping the murder machines away from their potential victims.

PSA, Opus