Tag Archives: Honkin’ Huge Tailighttm

Getting ready for another celebration, and the Feed

Tonight we are hosting a local collection of Sumerian traditionists at my church. As my part of the harvest celebration I am bringing another loaf of Soda Bread, using the 4 cup recipe this time. So yay! more simple baking that makes tasty food. But I think I will leave the salt crust off this batch, as it would not be appropriate for the celebration. This celebration a priestess portraying Inanna will be handing out the gifts of civilization (Me, pronounced like May but less drawn out) to protect over the winter while she (Inanna) descends into the Underworld. These are things like bread making, beer making, how to have a disagreement without fighting, how to marry, how to divorce, how to distribute water fairly… you know, civilization. I think I may get tasked with protecting bread making, but I don’t know.

A wreck a few miles west of WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Bicyclist killed in Fort Worth Blind driver hits cyclist from behind, no criminality suspected. Hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. The Street View of the scene shows 3 lanes for the driver to choose from with lots of overhead street lights to provide auxiliary illumination to the cyclist, who by the way probably had legal levels of lights and reflectors since it wasn’t mentioned that he didn’t.

More on the NH wreck as more people are charged in connection to the wreck. Husband of cyclist killed in Hampton crash speaks out Now her drug and car pushers have been arrested and charged as accessories. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

A CT bicyclist dies when hit-from-behind by a motorcyclist who lived a few blocks from and on the same street as the wreck. Enfield Child Dies in Bicycle-Motorcycle Collision I think this is another report on this wreck, because the circumstances seem familiar to me. Anyway, hit-from-behind so use the protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Salmon cyclist meets blind driver in KS. Bicyclist suffers serious injuries in accident near Highland Park Driver turns left and hits cyclist riding the wrong way, and somehow it is conveniently (for the driver) forgotten that the driver ran over someone who was visible in the lane directly in front of the vehicle and nobody questions it. Anyway don’t ride salmon and hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, get the blind drivers off the streets to prevent.

An IA cyclist learns not to ride a BMX Vert bike on the street. Teen critically injured after bike hits truck I know why BMX Vert bikes don’t have brakes, it’s a safety issue in the half-pipe. But it becomes a different safety issue to ride one in the street. Just Doooon’t Do It!

The don’t know which way the bus was going, but they know the cyclist “swerved” in front of it? They say such crazy things in CA sometimes. Cyclist hit by bus injured in Modesto Since there was no intersection listed nor was the cyclist said to be coming from a driveway I’m going to call this a SWCC and say use hit-from-behind protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Last link is a video from a Dutch guy on what’s wrong and right about US cycling for transportation. A Dutch Guy Is Disgusted By America, But He Has A Hell Of A Point

And those are all the links about bicycles that gave me fits today, “All the news that gives me fits”.

Billed @€0.02, Opus


A sudden change of focus on my projects on a Wreck-Free Sunday post

Well my project focus has changed as a result of Blue getting stolen from the grocery store Friday. I had been planning on building an awesome T-Bucket, now I’m getting stuff together for that full suspension 20/20 crank-forward cargo bike. I’m going to use the tried and true “throw the parts on the jig in the correct places and build a frame to connect them” design process 😉

This is an evolution of the “Crank-forward bike that fits on a bus rack” project from a couple of years back when I discovered that Blue would rest on the frame instead of the back tire when sitting on a bike rack as mounted to buses in our local transit system, just with an extended top tube to support some cargo carrying containers. I have a back wheel, rear swingarm, rear shock, suspension fork, stem, handlebars, head tube, bottom bracket, crank, 44 tooth chainwheel, and brakes. I need to buy a shifter (I’m making this a 1 by 9 or 10 system so only a rear shifter needed), brake handles, a front wheel to match the rear one (I have the rim but I need a hub to match the rear hub), rear derailler, cassette, chain, and some nesting square tubing and bar stock to build the seat tube and seat post so they don’t twist when sat upon, and a few pieces of light 1″ round tubing. I should also mention I have a set of fresh, clean, bright yellow, kitty litter buckets and about 2 square feet of DOT reflective stickers, ready to mount for cargo carrying.

The specs are fairly straight-forward: 42″ wheelbase with a 70° head tube angle and a 45° seat tube angle so that the cockpit is open but there isn’t an excessive reach to the controls, the seat will sit close enough to the ground to get both feet down for slow speed maneuverability and balance but still allow for full leg extension as was pioneered by the Vision Thoroughbred (RIP Vision Bikes).
The bottom bracket will be 19″ from the front axle giving a slight toe overlap but not enough to be a problem giving 23″ from the bottom bracket to the rear wheel.

I’m doing this not because I don’t miss Blue or I was chomping on the bit to build another bike, but because my transportation options without a bike are severely limited in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Mrs. the Poet gets around strictly by public transit but that’s because she can use me on the bike to do things she can’t get to on the bus, or that the bus is not convenient to use to get to. I seriously need a cargo bike for a bunch of stuff around here. Also I need to get some practice with the new welder I bought and would prefer to practice on a practical project than just throwing bits of metal together at odd angles. But the need for a bike is greater than the need to practice welding.

And I had better get to it.

PSA, Opus

I’m back up and running, and the Feed

As I was going through the e-mails yesterday morning I was alerted to a critical security update for my OS, Ubuntu. Unlike MS the people taking care of the various Linux distros have people working day and night to find a way to break it, and when they find a way to break it they tell someone exactly what they did so that what they could break gets fixed before someone else can take advantage of that. So when I get a security update I’m reasonable sure it isn’t something that will cause me troubles tomorrow, but it might next week or so if I don’t use it (black hats watch the security updates and craft attacks based on that in the hopes of finding someone that doesn’t get updates as fast as they come out). So I downloaded the update and something went wrong during the process because when I rebooted the computer after I got a resolution error from the computer and then nothing worked. I had to go back to my recovery disc, wipe everything from the computer and then reload the OS and all the fixes. The good part is that I went from 1.8 GB free space to 5.3 GB free, so no more “out of space” errors in the near future, and hopefully there will be no more crashing browsers as the patched version has been replaced with a fresh download with all the fixes installed directly, no old code to deal with. Still having issues with Flash though because I still have a borked sound card that chops up the sound and makes the opening music for Ubuntu sound like the drum solo from “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and that messes with the timing of everything else and gives me isolated frames instead of video when there is a video. I think I mentioned I need a newer computer with a working sound card (or the equivalent on the MB) and a bigger than 10 GB hard drive? It doesn’t even need to be all that recent, right now I’m running a 2000 PentiumIII 750MHz with a half a GB of memory. Ubuntu is so lean that it really covers up the lack of speed in a CPU. I have run it on a straight Pentium from back in the late 1990s with no problems at all. That computer had a working sound card so it even ran Flash reasonably well. I mean if a 500MHz Atom can run Flash, why not a 500MHz Pentium, right?

A cyclist is killed on the same road another cyclist was killed on at the beginning of the year in Baton Rouge LA. SUV strikes, kills bicyclist Monday night From the comments this seems to be an infrastructure related problem as there is no other route through that part of town forces cyclists to mix with fast traffic to get from one side to the other. So even though the cyclist might have been at fault in this wreck (not determined yet), the real cause was the infrastructure that didn’t allow any other way for the cyclist to go.

An OH cyclist is killed. Female Cyclist Killed After Being Struck By Vehicle Hit-from-behind at night. According to the link there was no taillight on the bike but a back-channel report I got said there was a taillight bracket. So either the taillight went bye-bye in the wreck, or was stolen or fell off before the wreck. Mox nix, the driver had headlights that should have made the cyclist visible in the dark had they been aimed according to the law and had the driver been driving so that she could stop in the distance she could see what was in the road in front of her then this link would not be there and I wouldn’t be typing this.

A bad bike wreck in MA. Cyclist hit by car Left cross, use the intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. Also carry some kind of wearable ID like a dogtag or RoadID, available through the BikeJournal.com store.

A wreck report that reads like it was posted in the UK, but it is really from CT in the USA. Bicyclist hit by car on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden All I know about this one is it was an intersection wreck, and the cyclist’s helmet was pretty much useless as it didn’t cover the part of his head that got injured. Intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A MI wreck via S.F. CA. Driver charged with being drunk, killing cyclist Don’t know the mode, but it was not a wreck a cyclist could have avoided from the rest of the description. keeping drunks off the roads would be the best infrastructure solution.

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike for the 8th running, they killed another one. Palm Beach Gardens woman identified as cyclist who died last week in PGA Boulevard crash Hit from behind in the bike lane and another driver is absolved of any responsibility for hitting a vehicle operating lawfully in front of him because the victim was a cyclist. This seems to be mostly infrastructure related as the bike lane was between two lanes of traffic that had to cross the bike lane as a slight angle to get from one road to the other as there was an on ramp on one side and the through lane on the other side of the bike lane…Not the brightest bit of road design.

A wreck from Canuckistan demonstrates the reason why you shouldn’t ride on a sidewalk. Senior cyclist killed by truck The cyclist was riding salmon on the sidewalk When he entered the intersection and was hit by a right-turning vehicle that the driver was not looking in the direction of travel when she hit the cyclist. Intersection wreck use the intersection protocols to avoid including riding with the flow of traffic and not on the sidewalk to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to make sure old guys don’t feel the need to ride on the sidewalk.

From the Great White North is another dead cyclist. Cyclist killed in collision on Innes Road near St. Laurent Boulevard From the witness descriptions the cyclist left-crossed the pickup truck. Intersection wreck, use the intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent. From the description from the driver there may have been something screening the cyclist and the vehicle from each other’s view, but that’s unconfirmed.

More than one link to this wreck in Oz. Cyclist killed on Princes Highway and Cyclist dies in accident at Nar Nar Goon Hit-from-behind wreck, use the protocols to avoid, get the infrastructure right to prevent.

LifeStyle in GA. Midnight Garden Bike Ride packs Savannah’s streets with cyclists of all ages Sounds like a fun ride, even if the writer didn’t know what a recumbent bike was.

LifeStyle from KY as soccer players try to help one of their own after a bike wreck. Lexington soccer community helps player injured in bicycle accident

A mom in AK gets it wrong. Mother of Severely Injured Cyclist Urges Parents: Make Your Child Wear a Helmet Don’t mitigate the effects of a wreck, prevent the wreck from happening. Take the Dutch example.

More somber kind of LifeStyle from the PGH Bicyclists take to streets to honor 2 killed on Penn Avenue Comments were closed from the get-go on this article.

Infrastructure! news from the UK. London’s road safety action plan Fewer dead people in cars, more dead people in foot and riding bikes. that sounds like cars are safer for people in side them, but the roads and cars are less so for people not inside a car.

And (finally) those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02

Caught in the rain last night, and the Feed

I got a ride home last night from a meeting at church. It wasn’t the rain that was the concern as much as it was the lightning, and other drivers. Rain really degrades the performance of reflectors which are my primary source of conspicuity for the rear of Blue. I think I might have mentioned I have a couple of square feet of reflectors on the back between the old license plates, the mailbox reflectors, and the reflective (formerly blinky) vest I wear. I have a large taillight that awaits a battery charger for the NiMH battery I built, the build for which awaits parts. Also the guts of the formerly blinky vest will be used to make arm bands to attach to a vest with more reflective material and either safety orange or safety lime color to replace the police-surplus dark blue with safety lime reflective vinyl stripes. It works with the reflective stripes but a different color will work better. So anyway getting back to the original topic of this paragraph, the reason I took the ride home was not so much to stay dry as to avoid getting hit by bad drivers or lightning which got really bad a few minutes after I got home, or when I would have been about half-way home riding. I have no spells or anything that will protect me from lightning while I’m on the bike.

Why FL is (still 7 years running) the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Police: Driver not charged after hitting cyclist Cyclist hit from behind but the tail light might have been obscured so the driver is absolved of fault or charges. I covered this wreck back on the day it happened…

Media is having a hard time keeping up on the cyclists getting hit in AZ. 2 cyclists injured in accidents One wreck was a right cross by a driver not paying attention to the other vehicle in the same lane, the other was a right-turning driver not looking in the direction of travel. First wreck, the cyclist had no time to react as the weapon vehicle was not fully past before turning and the cyclist would have had no warning about the impending turning movement. The only thing that would make this wreck avoidable or prevent it would be laws that right hooks were automatically the fault of the driver and those laws were strictly enforced. Now as for the second wreck, the driver was not watching for traffic, pedestrian or cyclist, in the direction she was travelling when she made the turn. Whoever would have been in that crosswalk would have been hit.

Update on a wreck a year ago in ME. $10,000 reward offered in search for driver who hit, seriously injured Lisbon cyclist The driver came over into the shoulder of the road to “buzz” the cyclist, this was not a wreck that could have been avoided by a cyclist.

Another wreck with multiple cyclists injured. 3 teens riding bikes injured in collision with motorcycle in northwest Iowa The motorcyclist was travelling too fast for conditions and laid the bike down to avoid killing the cyclists, resulting in serious injuries but no fatalities, so I think he achieved his intent. From the report the cyclists were doing everything right, including riding on a low-traffic road.

An IL cyclist was doing everything right and still go hit. Lincolnshire biker hit by car in Lake Bluff Intersection wreck, intersection protocols to avoid. The wreck took place an intersection between segregated bicycle infrastructure and surface streets with a separate signal phase for the bike infrastructure which the cyclist was obeying, so it’s not like there needs to be anything done with the physical infrastructure here. Recycle the vehicle, and if the victim dies from the wreck let the driver watch the recycling from the inside of the vehicle.

WI sees another cyclist injured by a motor vehicle. Boy injured in bicycle crash Intersection wreck with a cyclist not watching for traffic when riding out of an alley. Notice more attention paid to not wearing a helmet than not watching for cross traffic when leaving the alley. Intersection wreck, intersection protocols to prevent which includes stopping and looking when going through an intersection where cross traffic doesn’t stop.

A wreck in NJ. Bicyclist struck, killed by tractor-trailer in Brick This wreck makes no sense. This is the most vicious right hook I have ever read about. Intersection wreck, use intersection protocols to avoid and get cyclists off main highways to prevent. Another link Truck hits, kills bicyclist on NJ road; rider knocked over, then run over

A wreck in DE with no details aside from a picture of the scene. Man riding bicycle hit by car in Newark The bicycle in this wreck does not appear to be seriously damaged from the single picture from the scene. All I can tell otherwise from the picture was intersection wreck, therefore intersection protocols to avoid. And get the infrastructure right to keep bicycles and cars separated where appropriate, or slow motor vehicles down to safe speeds where they have to mix. this intersection looks to be either inside or at the boundary of an area where bicycles would have to share the roads with motor vehicles so this would be an area that needed a slow speed limit (20 km/h) I used to live in such an area when I was a child where every street in the residential area had a 15 MPH speed limit. Apparently the people in charge of doing Navy Housing back in the 1960s and ’70s had a better understanding of motor vehicles than planners in TX in the 1980s where the speed limits are twice as fast.

More on the wreck in AR where the cyclist was killed in an Interstate highway that was the only way across the Mississippi river. Family mourns, questions death of cyclist killed on approach to I-55 bridge As I had surmised the cyclist had used the bike/ped crossing but had not reached the exit where he could get off the highway yet.

Infrastructure! from west Texas. Cyclists Feeling Unsafe on Basin Roads, Increased Traffic and Fatal Wrecks to Blame Note that a cyclist was hit while riding on the sidewalk to try to stay away from cars. I tell you they are handing out licenses to just about anyone that can prove citizenship here in TX. Not to the ones that can prove they can drive, just the ones that can prove they are here legally.

Chicago is also having infrastructure issues but what they have is orders of magnitude better than what we have in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, and orders of magnitude worse than they get in the Netherlands. Protected Bike Lanes and the Demand for Cyclist Education

An infrastructure article from Oz. Dooring fears prompt bike lane rethink Bike lanes entirely within the door zone leads to death by door prize, whodathunkit? I notice that in very few cases were the relevant authorities willing to remove car space to make riding a bicycle safer. In many cases the bike lanes were just made narrower to allow doors to be opened without impinging on the marked bike lane.

Infrastructure from Berlin by way of Chicago. Berlin bicycling: an interview with bike blogger Wolfgang Scherreiks

LifeStyle as a cyclist makes routine 300 mile bike rides in a single day. Cumberland County bike rider travels more than 300 miles a day There are people in RBENT (my club) that do the same thing but don’t get their names in the paper for it, but then their bikes are a sight more comfortable than the Cannondale ridden by this guy. Most of the club rides recumbents.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Today is Super Mule Day, and the Feed

Mrs. the Poet has instructed me to lash our rucks to Blue as payday has arrived and we need to restock our pantry with non-perishable foods. This means that Blue will be loaded to the creaking and groaning point, ditto my back, and Mrs. the Poet shall be tasked with whatever Blue and I can’t carry. Since one of my X-mas/Solstice gifts was a set of tie-downs for externally carried cargo on Blue we have been able to carry large bags of stuff that would not fit in the buckets or the ruck previously. Actually to be precise I can load one large bag of non-refrigerated food per trip, in addition to what fits in the buckets and ruck. Also I am working on new kitty-litter bucket panniers that are removable, meaning I don’t have to ride up to the back door and back the bike up to it. I could just remove the buckets from the bike and carry them into the house where they could be unloaded at leisure. And I could leave them at home on trips that won’t require cargo capacity. This would make such trips a little quicker as the current setup is about as aerodynamic as a cab-over semi with no trailer fairing. Also, I will be able to make the new panniers more weather-tight as I won’t have to drill through the inner shell of the bucket to install the mounting hardware. I have learned much since my first attempt at making kitty-litter buckets work as cargo capacity.

Up first, Albany CA residents ask if the 25 MPH speed limit on an arterial that runs through a residential neighborhood will ever be enforced. You Ask: Do Police Enforce Speeding on Buchanan? This was a street that saw a cyclist killed a few weeks ago that was partially blamed on the driver of the weapon vehicle speeding. The description of the road makes it sound like a good candidate for speed-sensitive road mines what with drivers routinely driving in excess of double the posted limit. I have been working on a compact unit that would be about 1m long, with a shaped charge that would disable the vehicle without damaging the pavement road surface (changed to account for the heavy increase in non-US readers I have gotten recently, outside of the US pavement is a thing, a sidewalk, rather than a surface).

First wreck report is from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Injured cyclist cited for not having lights Another ninja cyclist, part of the reason why FL leads the nation in cyclist deaths. This does not excuse the drivers that hit pedestrians at night because they have badly-aimed or otherwise ill-functioning headlights, but really reflectors are cheap, easy to get and install and make the back of the bike really shine even with bad headlights on the weapon vehicle. I have a couple of square feet of reflective materials on the back of Blue, and as soon as I finish building the charger I’ll have a blindingly bright taillight with a rechargeable battery. More Milton bicyclist hurt in accident

A wreck in San Diego has LEO puzzled as the initial impact location of the cyclist remains unknown after the cyclist was hit 3 times (this is a similar wreck to the salmon cyclist a while back on the same street, but this cyclist was riding with traffic). Witnesses Sought in Fatal Hit-and-Run Bike Accident You notice that in this wreck the cyclist ended up in the correct location and the initial vehicle to hit the cyclist left the scene and has not been located unlike the salmon cyclist wreck where the same make vehicle remained at the scene and the driver rendered aid to the cyclist. All the same 2 wrecks in a short space of time and on the same street gives me a bad feeling. (cue the Lucasfilm logo and Star Wars theme). The same number of vehicles that hit the cyclist is another striking parallel.

A SWSS wreck in far south TX. Victoria woman hurt when pickup hits her bike The only witness that was still conscious to make a report was the driver of the weapon vehicle, so until otherwise verified, this is a hit-from-behind wreck, use the appropriate protocols to avoid, and SBR would prevent a wreck like this.

A WI wreck with independent witnesses for a 11YO boy crossing against the light. Bicyclist, 11, in serious condition after crash Yeah, crossing with the light would most likely prevent this, and SBR would have no impact at all as the 11YO would still have to wait on the light.

A youth in ME is hit walking his bike on the side of the road in a school zone. Boy hit by car back at home The mother in this one is seriously over-reacting, the kid was walking when he was hit by a car that went off the road in a school zone at more than the posted speed limit. Seriously woman, the kid was 100% innocent in this wreck, and the bike made 0% difference in the wreck. This would be like forbidding him to carry a backpack because he had one on when he was abducted by aliens, as if wearing a backpack (or riding a bike) had anything to do with the situation. Unless the driver targeted him because of the bike, of course.

More on the CO wreck initially reported as a “booby trap”. Police: Injured cyclist not the victim of a ‘booby trap’ I still can’t wrap my mind around why the fisherman would have had to be fishing across a bike path, the narrative doesn’t make sense, but glad to know it was not a deliberate attempt to cause injury.

LifeStyle in TX. Cycling notebook: Bike-to-work days roll out this spring Bike to work in Houston, sponsored by the Kevorkian bike club and the organ donors league. Juuust kidding folks, riding to work in Houston is no more dangerous than riding to work in many cities around the world, like Khandahar or Beirut or even Baghdad.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Back online, with Wreck-Free Sunday

I was off the Internet involuntarily for 3 hours when I got back from church today. With both my son and I working to get first the router back up, and then getting my computer to connect to the router after it got back up. That’s what can happen when you have a piece of equipment that stays on 24/7 for a couple of years now, almost 3 years.

I don’t mention politics that don’t affect bicycles during the week, but that doesn’t mean I ignore politics. You may have heard about a certain overweight political commentator who went deaf from his addiction to prescription pain pills making the statement that a college student that was tired of having to buy her birth control pills at retail because her student health coverage wouldn’t pay for it unlike other medications, was a slut and a prostitute, and should be making sex videos for his amusement. Well he made a mealy-mouthed retraction of that statement that did not go out to the majority of his listeners. Limbaugh apologizes for insulting law student I don’t like the idiocy of national politics, because I think it’s a distraction from the mission of this blog, keeping cyclists alive and in motion, but this is just over the top. No matter what your position is on mandating birth control be provided just like any other medication (if you have a plan that covers most medications, it has to have birth control coverage too), calling a woman a slut and a prostitute because she thinks her BC should be covered too if required for medical reasons, or to prevent a possible abortion if she gets raped, is not acceptable. Several advertisers have bailed on Rush, including one that has been on the show since shortly after they came into existence.

On the BikeMS front, the church had to bail on me because our major spring fundraiser collapsed because of a lack of vendors. The economy is the reason most of the former vendors gave for not coming this year as they just are not making any money. Well that really puts the brakes on my participation in BikeMS, because I don’t have the money to donate on my own and the brain damage makes doing the asking for the money really hard for me. This is really disappointing, because I have been working really hard to get ready for this ride, trying to find extended rides to harden my backside and get some miles into my legs, while getting as many rides as I can.

More news on Blue, I bolted the new version of the Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ on the back of Blue last night. The battery still isn’t ready for prime time as the charger is still not built up as I haven’t finished taking it apart yet from it’s previous incarnation as a trickle charger for a car battery. The way it’s going to go back together is as a CC/CV charger, using a 7805 voltage regulator as a current source running from 23.6V at the output from the bridge. So 14.4V is a full charge on the battery plus the 5V overhead from the regulator, plus a few 1N4001 silicon diodes to add up to the 23.6 V from the wall wart gives me a charger that I can leave on for a full day and not overcharge the battery too much because at some point there can be no more charging because the voltage drop exceeds the voltage available and the current source can’t source any current. No current equals no charge.

I’m going to kick back now and veg a few before evening service, you go have a good evening, day, or whatever diurnal period you are reading this post during.

PSA, Opus

What if riding a bike was as dangerous to drivers as drivers are to bike riders, and the Feed

A little thought experiment here: What if bicycle riders were as dangerous to car drivers as car drivers are to cyclists? To be honest I can’t see a whole lot of difference in driver attitudes except maybe a little more respect on the roads. Drivers already act like the presence of cyclists is somehow damaging to them, but when they hit us many times there is little to no damage to the car and a seriously injured cyclist or a fatality, But if hitting a cyclist did as much damage to the driver as it did to the cyclist by some magical means, don’t you think that drivers would back off from cyclists? Lets examine a situation IRL that two road users face an equal chance of injury or fatality: the Bike/Ped wreck. There are some parallels between the bike/ped and the bike/car wreck, in that there is usually one party to the wreck that has a significant speed differential over the other party and that in most cases it is perceived that the faster-moving party bears the most responsibility in the wreck. In most bike/ped wrecks the wreck happens in shared space, in almost every bike/car wreck the wreck is in shared space or in immediately adjacent space (cars hitting bikes in a bike lane). In bike/ped wrecks casualties are about 50/50 between cyclists and pedestrians, in bike/car wrecks the casualties are about 99% on the cyclist. How many cyclists complain about the danger that pedestrians pose to their well-being (in places that actually have a significant pedestrian presence), and how many pedestrians complain about the danger cyclists pose? Well there is some psychological transfer of fear of getting hit by a car to getting hit by a bicycle for pedestrians, but even in the days BC (before cars) pedestrians saw cyclists as a mortal peril, ditto for cyclists’ view of pedestrians. But the thing is back then pedestrians knew that cyclists had as much to fear from hitting them as they did from cyclists, a sort of M.A.D. pre-nuclear weapons. Now peds assume they will always be the injured party in a bike/ped wreck because of having their perceptions warped by car/ped wrecks where the pedestrian is 100% likely to get injured and drivers near zero. But B.C. everyone hated everyone because no matter who caused the wrecks someone was going to get hurt, and the probability was as high on the innocent party as the guilty party, with the actual cause of the wreck as likely on the pedestrian as the cyclist. But in my magical fantasy cyclists will be respected by car drivers because drivers are as vulnerable as cyclists and have equal probability of getting hurt.

Most of the links today are updates on wrecks from earlier, most of those from this week. A wreck that has drawn a lot of media attention was the wreck in Anderson (home of a former GF of mine) of the man hit from behind on his bike after running to the store to pick up a light dinner. Man Killed While Riding Bike In Anderson Identified and Friend says bike rider was rebuilding his life before fatal accident and also Anderson cyclist killed in crash with car In that last link you can see the blinky light in mid-blink. Also note that they are blaming the cyclist for not wearing a glow in the dark clown suit (“Welty was wearing dark clothing“) and not having the lights that are visible in the picture… Anyway, hit-from-behind use the protocols to avoid a similar wreck and maybe a glow-in-the-dark clown suit and a Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ or 20, with police style flashing lights (red only).

A driver runs a red light and hits a cyclist in the cross street. Boy Struck While Riding Bike In Fairfield I can’t find anything about this wreck that indicates the driver stayed at the scene except that they didn’t call it a hit-and-run. Anyway, the driver ran the red after the cyclist had already entered the intersection, nothing any cyclist could have done to prevent it no matter what their age…

Still in CA the defense attorney for a driver accused of hit-and-run claims the whole thing was a set-up to frame his client for a lawsuit. Attorney for driver in Saratoga hit-and-run case blames cyclist Yeah, all those independent witnesses were all conspiring to frame this guy for a share of the payout? Lawyers like this are the reason my late uncle Vito claimed to be a hitman for the mob, it was (is?) held in higher regard than being a lawyer… and Vito was a corporate lawyer, not a trial lawyer. Poor Uncle Vito would have been really heart-broken from the stuff that went down on Wall Street after he died.

Moving up the road to OR from CA, a cyclist is hit from behind by a drunk driver. Police arrest DUII suspect after crash with cyclist on bridge The original link said the cyclist and the truck “somehow came into collision” but by the time I read it during filtering it was a drunk driver hitting the cyclist from behind. More Pickup driver hits cyclist on St. Johns Bridge and Driver charged with DUII after striking bicyclist on St. Johns Bridge From the later links it appears the driver has been released on his own recognizance or that charges were dropped somehow… Who did the driver know and what did he know about that person? Portland police arrest a man after his pickup hits a cyclist on St. Johns Bridge

An infrastructure story that has me mad, with several links. Family Sues UC Santa Cruz for Fatal Bike Accident and Family and friends remember UC Santa Cruz student a year after his death amd Gathering memorializes UC Santa Cruz student who died in accident on campus bike path If the statistics on that bike path are accurate, that in less then 5 years more than 18 people have been medically transported for injuries and 2 fatalities on a bike path not shared with motor vehicles, then there is a serious design deficiency with that path.

And infrastructure from OR. Many drivers in Clark County continue to break cellphone law Also up, bears poop in woods and sky blue when clouds not present.

And that’s all the links that give me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

I need idiot repellant, and the Feed

I’m trying to figure out how that would work, but I’m drawing a blank, a serious blank, here. I mean I could hang a big sign on the back of my bike (“I have video cameras going AND I SUE”), but first that’s not going to help deal with people to the front, and second that will be of little use off the bike. Oh and the minor thing that if they look right through me now what good is a sign going to do? The concept is, intriguing, though. Instead of putting on perfume or aftershave, you splash on a mildly pleasant smelling liquid or use a spray, and stupid and/or crazy people can only get so close before deciding they need to be on another planet, in another solar system, somewhere where you aren’t. I guess it would be a little lonely at first, and you would still have to deal with idiots on line or on the phone, but not having to deal with idiots in person or on the road? Priceless…

I’m going to open with a DIY project that shouldn’t be DIY, it should be a regulatory requirement. Car Door Warning Color Considering the number of cyclist who “win the door prize” every year not to mention cars and trucks that hit open car doors, this is a no-brainer. This should be a law, like yesterday… ANSI Safety Lime except for cars that have a paint color that doesn’t contrast with ANSI Safety Lime should be painted Florescent Orange.

First wreck is one of the most avoidable wrecks you can die from. Bicyclist Struck, Killed by Tri-Rail Train in Fort Lauderdale Yes, another cyclist struck by a train after seeing one cross going the other direction. Just stay behind the crossing arms until they rise indicating that the way is clear. That doesn’t relieve you of the need to look when crossing, but it does indicate that there is little likelihood of a train being on the track to hit you. In this case the fact that it was in FL (the most deadliest place to walk or ride a bike 6 years running) is immaterial.

Moving west to CA, we find a cyclist hit in an area that was posted as too dangerous to ride because of improperly installed drain grates was hit because he wasn’t wearing a glow in the dark clown suit. 22-year-old cyclist from Lancaster killed in Highway 70 crash is namedAccording to a California Highway Patrol website, Castaneda-Romero was seen about 7:08 p.m. by a motorist eastbound on the West Branch Bridge, who called 9-1-1 to report he narrowly missed hitting the man in a traffic lane.” Which means that drivers with functioning headlights and brains could see the cyclist in spite of the lack of the aforementioned clown suit. Still, it is good sense to make yourself more conspicuous on the roads. I have enough reflective material on the back of my bike to get reported as a UFO, and for cars to back wayyy off at night. And I’m building a light that is even brighter than the legendary Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ to put on the back.

Still in CA, closure may be ahead for cyclists injured in a hit-and-run. Case unfolds against suspect in hit-and-run of two cyclists There was so much Obstruction of Justice going on in this case it made my head spin, like the telling the mechanic to buy the replacement mirror out of state… Anyway like I said in 2009, hit-from-behind protocols to avoid this wreck.

One of the downsides of living where the weather allows year-round bicycle riding is you also get year-round bicycle wrecks. 13-year-old girl on bicycle critically injured in hit-and-run Intersection wreck, assume intersection protocols would help prevent or reduce injury levels until a more complete report on the wreck comes out. One thing is for sure, somebody violated a right of way.

A cyclist that killed a pedestrian in SF gets treated more harshly than a driver that kills in identical circumstances but that isn’t enough for some people. Randolph Ang, S.F. Cyclist Who Killed Pedestrian, Should Get Jail Time Ang got more punishment than 65% of the drivers convicted of the same crime, but only 7% of those drivers are even prosecuted, even fewer convicted. But 100% of the cyclists that killed a pedestrian were prosecuted and convicted… TANJ! On the other hand DON’T HIT THE PEDESTRIANS!!!

A wreck in LA that reads more like a UK story than one published in the US. Girl hit while riding bike Aside from the fact that the wreck was in an intersection or very close to one I have nothing on this one.

Update on the SUV that flipped over on a cyclist riding in a cross street in TX. Tech student, bar being sued for wrongful death Note that the suit is not filed on the behalf of the cyclist but one of the passengers in the SUV that flipped. The most accurate information I have about this wreck is the cyclist was still 3-4 feet from reaching the intersection when he was hit by the SUV.

I’m including a rare (for me) link from the UK today. Cyclist injured when Toyota Yaris mounts kerb to pass queue of traffic in Fallowfield The cyclist was waiting for a traffic light when the weapon vehicle started to drive on the sidewalk to get around the traffic at the light. This was not a wreck that the cyclist could avoid. Besides the fact that he was stationary at the light, how can you expect someone to drive in the sidewalk because the light is red? Only crazy people do that. Well actually either one, drive on the sidewalk or expect people to drive on the sidewalk.

And that’s all the crazy I can take today…

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Great, now I’m a switch and 4 solder joints from being able to use my new taillight, and the Feed

What the headline refers to is I managed to cook the plastic parts of my switch, rendering it inoperable, while connecting the wires from the light units to it. So I have to go back to the store to get another switch and connect the wires to it (more carefully this time) and I still haven’t figured out how to make a secure soldered connection to those last two tabs on the battery pack. I have gone into the guts of the trickle charger that boiled SLA batteries to see if I can make it work as a NiMH charger, and if I bypass the regulators that failed to regulate the current I can get enough voltage out of the system to fully charge the 10s NiMH pack without damaging it. I have found out that C/10 is a perfect charge rate for using terminal voltage as a end-of-charge determinant, for 10s I will need to stop charging between 14 and 14.4V. Just to be on the safe side I’m wiring an ammeter as well as a voltmeter into this charger, to make sure the charge rate is as intended. Another thing I’m going to try is wiring an LED in series with the output as an indicator of complete charging. How that works is the voltage coming off the wall wart is 18VrmsAC, after going through the bridge it will be 16.6 VDC, the LED has to have a certain amount of voltage drop as well as a minimum current to light. What I have to do is figure out the resistor to put in series with the LED that allows 200ma current to flow until the voltage in the pack is equal to the voltage from the wall wart minus the voltage drop of the LED, which I don’t know yet because I haven’t measured it (it’s still in the electronic guts of the trickle charger). I might have to resort to using a clamping capacitor to hold the output from the bridge closer to the peak voltage of the wall wart if the forward bias of the LED is too high to allow 200ma of current to flow. And the reason I’m spending so much time on the charger is the charger will be out in the garage out of sight while the battery is being charged, it has to shut down or go to a really low current so that the battery isn’t overcharged when I put the charger on after a short night ride like I had to do when I was using the SLA battery in the Honkin’ Huge Taillight™ on Gigi. SLA is notorious for going bad if left in a partially discharged condition, NiMH not so much, so I might just wait until the light gets a little dim before slapping the charger on it, but the care would still be needed in building the charger. And I think you can see why I was chosen by Hephastus as a follower, I was an EE tech and an ME tech a long time ago. I used to get awards for following procedure 100% at some of my older jobs. I am that unholy combination of ADHD and OCD. I’m easily distracted, but while I’m on-task that task is done right!

Up first is more about the (lack of) bike lanes in Dallas. Dallas cycling group proposes barricades to protect bikers Unless there are drivers’ groups holding bake sales to get potholes fixed and bridges built the city needs to pay for bike lanes, not cycling groups holding bake sales and art auctions. Bike lanes are basic infrastructure like roads and sidewalks. But given the number of streets in TX that lack even sidewalks in spite of the fact that they are residential streets with children playing on them shows how committed to basic infrastructure they(we) are in TX.

An Upstate NY cyclist is hit-and-run and surprize surprize the driver was DUI. Bicyclist Injured in Hit and Run Crash The charges are pretty serious initially, let’s see what he eventually is convicted of. To avoid use hit-from-behind protocols.

Moving on to Jolly Olde a driver that went off the roads @~70MPH and hit a cyclist on a bike path gets off easy. Motorist who hit cyclist and injured passenger while over-taking two cars at speed keeps licence Only a minor fine and 6 points, at that rate he could hit another cyclist and still keep his license to drive, barely. TANJ!

Another case with a bit more justice as a half-blind driver is sued by his victim. Cyclist Injured in Hit and Run Accident wins £4 Million Compensation The cyclist went from being a national-level tennis coach to sitting all day in a wheelchair and getting fed through a tube.

The man accused of murder in an Oz cycling death has refused to enter a plea in his arraignment. Man enters no plea over cyclist death He also has not requested bail, so he remains in custody (jail). This case is so odd…

Another case of entitled drivers as a road that is unsafe because of falling rocks bans cyclists rather than slow down motor vehicles for a few miles. Death likely, warns driver You could just drive more slowly for a few miles rather than run over a cyclist…

And that’s all the links I have today, fortunately for my sanity.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Letting my mind “off leash” on a Wreck-free Sunday

Usually when I sit down to my computer I have a specific topic in mind before I set fingers to keyboard. Today is not one of those days. I’m sitting here in the hope that a topic will wander through my mind and hold still long enough for me to latch onto it and get it on the screen… Or that I can throw enough stuff on the screen that something will emerge and make sense.

When I meditate for the last few years I get advice from my male deity (Hephastus) about how to make things, or sometimes what I should make. Lately it has been more along the lines of “Get off your butt and build something!!!” I have ideas, just no way to turn those ideas into actual things. Some of my problems on that front are a lack of the right tool for the job (and I am a master of making the wrong tool work), a lack of money for the raw materials (can’t build a bike that requires a 4 foot long tube when the longest in your inventory is less than 2 feet) and the biggest thing stopping me from building bicycles at the moment is lack of someplace to keep the project while it’s under construction.

My garage/workplace is full of OPS (other people’s stuff) to the extent that I have a bicycle that I can’t even find anymore (I know where it should be, but I can’t get closer than 3 feet to that spot, and the bike is buried under OPS). When I put the bike away it was in perfect riding condition, in 2007. I think it might need new tires and tubes now, not to mention a general cleanup and lubrication. But I don’t know because I can’t even see it under all the OPS. I think there might be another bike out there too, that I was going to sell but didn’t and can’t now because I can’t find it under all the OPS. It’s enough to drive a person with OCD NUTS.

I just got done taking a break from writing by working on the tail light battery, but I had to take a break from working on the battery because I’m having problems getting solder to stick to the end terminals of the battery pack. All the interconnects are interconnected, and the pack is showing 12.75 volts before charging, but I can’t get the charge terminals or the wires from the light to stick to those last 2 tabs. I tried more heat to the point that the ends of the tabs were red hot. I tried chemical cleaning with 2 different kinds of flux. I tried mechanical cleaning with scraping the terminals clean with a craft knife. Nothing has worked, the solder melts and then sits on top of the terminal in a round bead until it cools when it can be flicked off with a fingernail. The really aggravating part is this didn’t affect the rest of the tabs in the pack, even on the same cell, I didn’t change anything between tabs, I used the same torch, the same solder, and the wires from the light to the pack are the same as I used to make the interconnects. I’m stumped as to why those connections are not accepting solder when everything else did. And the frustrating part is this is the last thing needed to be done before bolting the light to the back of the bike for the last time and clicking the switch “on”. I’m literally 2 soldered connections from being able to use this light, If you can think of a better definition of “frustrating” than that, keep it to yourself because I’m depressed enough as it is…

On a completely different subject, there needs to be something I call an E-Ped for lack of a better term. Basically what it amounts to is an e-bike without pedals. Maximum speed 20 MPH (until we switch to the metric system and then it’s 35 km/h) and maximum weight 110 pounds (50 Kg), 2 or 3 wheels with mandatory head and taillights at all times, with any seating configuration. Only one seat allowed, but any amount of power, so that the vehicle could do 20 MPH or 35 km/h up just about any hill that could be paved. Allow use anywhere a bicycle could be used. No license required and a one-time registration to verify weight and maximum speed limiters are in place and to establish ownership, which would have to be renewed when ownership was transferred. A minimum fine for being in a E-Ped that wasn’t registered to you would be enough to enforce the registration requirement. This vehicle would cost between $600 and $10k depending on what you put on it and what battery you used, and range would vary between 20 and 90 miles with more money buying you more range and comfort. I guess there should also be a maximum width to make sure they would fit between the bollards of bike paths, and enclosed models would be required to have rear-view mirrors. Existing Electrathon vehicles could be considered as crude prototypes for this class of vehicle… And some not-so-crude.

I guess I let my mind wander far enough, time to proofread this then hit “Publish”.

PSA, Opus