Run over by a riding mower, near-killer PV speed bumps to stay

As some of you may know, my oldest brother runs a dog team up in the Anchorage area, competing in the famed Iditarod sled dog race four times, and finishing three.

The other left him and his team huddled in a shelter in subzero temperatures, waiting for rescue with a broken sled — not to mention a broken leg, frostbite and a bruised shoulder.

The dogs were just fine, though.

So maybe he was in the market for a safer form of transportation, or one that works a little better once the snow melts. Or maybe, like the rest of us, he was just trying to save a little with the current sky high price of gas.

Regardless, my brother, Eric O. Rogers — perhaps the only particle physicist and dog musher on the planet — has now officially joined the ranks of bike riders.

And promptly gotten himself run over.

By a riding mower.

It seems he rode his bike to the local Lowes home improvement store, and stopped in the parking lot to ask an employee where he could find a bike rack. And as he was stopped on his bike, he was hit by man on a riding lawnmower.

Fortunately, the mower wasn’t in use at the time, and he escaped with nothing more than a little road rash.

And I’m sure you already know the answer to the question that nearly got him turned into mulch.

Lowes, at least that one, doesn’t have bike racks.

………

In a decision that defies common sense, the City Council of Palos Verdes Estates has voted to keep the speed bumps that nearly killed cyclist Richard Schlickman.

As you may recall, Schlickman was critically injured when he hit the newly installed speed bumps — excuse me, speed cushions — while riding downhill at speed, with little or no warning to cyclists that they had been built on a popular riding route. He had been riding downhill at speed when he hit the bumps, sliding nearly 80 feet down the roadway before coming to a stop; fortunately, word is he continues to make slow but steady improvement from what could have been a fatal fall.

But rather than remove or replace the potentially killer cushions, the council inexplicably voted to keep them in place.

Evidently, they haven’t yet crippled or killed enough cyclists in their effort to tame local traffic. Maybe someone should tell them there are alternative methods to calm traffic that don’t put riders lives at risk.

I hope PVE has a good lawyer.

Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.

………

Hap Dougherty shares another great set of cycling photos. This time, it’s a Memorial Day ride that took him from Westwood’s Los Angeles National Cemetery, throughout the Westside and up the L.A. River Bike Path — home to this weekend’s L.A. River Ride.

It does make you wonder why the cemetery insists on banning bikes, when so many riders just want to pay their respects.

Myself included.

………

Over the weekend I found myself drawn into a discussion on the West Seattle Blog, possibly the nation’s leading hyperlocal news site — sorry Patch — managed by a couple of longtime friends.

One of their readers was shocked and offended to see a cyclist towing his child in a bike trailer, assuming imminent danger — if not death — for the parentally neglected kid.

Problem is, while motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for children, few, if any, of those deaths result from collisions with bicycle trailers. In terms of sheer numbers, children are at far greater risk riding in a car with their parents, or simply walking on the sidewalk.

One of the writers tried to make the point that even if just one child was killed as a result of riding in a bike trailer, it would be one too many — especially if it was your child.

That conveniently ignores the nearly 7,000 or more passengers killed in motor vehicle collisions each year — many of them children. As well as the more than 4,000 pedestrians of all ages killed every year. Each of whom was someone’s child.

So rather than getting up in arms over a potential, hypothetical danger, we should be concerned about the proven risk posed by careless, aggressive, intoxicated or distracted drivers, who kill over 33,000 people on American streets every year — including a minimum of 630 cyclists.

Sadly, there are none so blind as those who cannot see through the glare of their own windshields.

……..

Finally, thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for stopping by to say hi as he passed through town over the weekend, along with his lovely family. It was a true pleasure to finally meet someone I’ve only traded emails with, and who’s work I have always enjoyed and admired.

And while I neglected to take any pictures, he did capture great shot of the new intern, who has been helping more than she knows by sleeping behind the sofa this morning and allowing me to work uninterrupted for a change.

9 comments

  1. cycler says:

    That’s so funny, because today I had someone on a riding mower run a light in front of me! He was turning right, and rolled his red, and he stopped when I yelled “Hey” at him. Not sure what he was doing on a street in Beacon Hill in the first place.

  2. Evan says:

    I just got a bike trailer for my little one, so that thread was of particular interest for me. You fight the good fight, Ted, especially when I would just give up and say “why bother”? Funny how the people who wring their hands and concern troll over bike trailers never address your point about auto collisions being the number one killer of children.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Evan. As I pointed out in one of my responses, I’d be the first to call for banning bike trailers if I saw any evidence they were actually dangerous, but the evidence just isn’t there.

      Funny how we can take the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of children in stride every year as long as they die in traffic “accidents,” but see danger in something as simple as just riding a bike.

  3. Thanks for taking some time to meet with us, Ted. It was a pleasure. The real treat, however, was meeting Sienna.

    You should have mentioned your brother’s hobby to my daughter — you might have noticed she really likes dogs, and she did a school report on the Iditarod this last year!

    And I’ve yet to see a large home improvement store with bike parking. The couple of times I’ve had opportunity to ask, the clerk at the info desk taps stuff into a computer and responds, “It doesn’t look like we carry bike racks, but we can special order them for you.”

    • bikinginla says:

      Now that’s funny.

      Let me know if your daughter ever wants to trade emails with a real musher; I could probably make that happen!

  4. [...] and he does an excellent job keeping his finger on the biking pulse of the City of Angels. In Tuesday’s blog entry he mentions my family’s brief visit and posts the photo I took of his lovely new intern [...]

  5. Al says:

    Wow – I was very happy and surprised to see you step in on that trailer discussion. Little did I know that you knew WSB! I follow your blog regularly as I see it as a logically written, straightforward information fountain. I only hope to someday have the time do write more myself (writing for Seattle Like Bikes when possible http://seattlelikesbikes.org/wordpress/ ).

    I try to respond to those who post against “cyclist” on WSB and the discussions rarely degenerate to name calling (WSB moderates very, very well thank goodness). We may not all see eye to eye but we can at least get our idea across – at least one person responding in that string seemed to “get it” when they hadn’t really before. It’s so much a philosophical change from drivers being always “first” that it’ll be a difficult slog.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks Al. While my friendship with Patrick and Tracy goes back more decades than I care to admit, I don’t normally follow the forums on their West Seattle Blog.

      However, your link to my post called my attention to this story, and I was happy to jump in. And I was happy to see you thought my earlier post was worth citing in this case. Let me know if I can help in a future discussion.

      And nice blog — I’ll look forward to reading your future updates.

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