Tag Archive for carhead

They drive among us — this is so wrong in so many ways

Courtesy of the Tucson Bike Lawyer comes this letter to the editor, from a writer in Vail — no, not that one, the other one:

Re: the June 10 article “Man faces additional charges in cyclist death.”

Having a stroke or some other medical impairment, a tire blowout, equipment failure, are all potential causes for a driver accidentally killing a cyclist riding on the shoulder of a road.

Every person who chooses to exercise or train for competition via roadside biking (and that would constitute the lion’s share of all roadside cyclists) needs to recognize that there is ever-present danger, even when all parties are abiding by the rules of the road. I personally find it illogical to take on such a risk when the same goals may be accomplished in safer environments.

What of the lives affected and possibly ruined by the accidental taking of a human life? Given current road conditions and laws governing these matters, roadside cycling seems selfish.

John M. Towle
Self-employed, Vail

Let’s ignore the fact that cycling is one of the best ways to avoid having a stroke in the first place.

What I love here is the blame the victim mentality, merged with a severe case of carhead. In his mind, it’s not the driver’s fault that he killed a cyclist. It’s the cyclist’s fault for being there.

After all, shit happens when you’re behind the wheel of a two-ton instrument of mass destruction.

And it’s not like anyone’s responsible for that, or anything.

No, we’re being selfish for riding our bikes on the roads. It’s entirely our fault if someone should happen to ruin his or her life by killing us.

Got it.

………

Travelin’ Local walks the same Venice canals I rode through the other day, but her pictures are a lot mo’ betta than mine would be. Stephen Box reports on the TranspoComm meeting that sort of was, considering hardly any of the members showed up. Bike licensing in L.A. just won’t go away, no matter how many times we drive a stake through it. LAist interviews two L.A. riders on a 2,000 mile journey from Vancouver to Tijuana to fight plastics in the ocean. The local Boulder, CO newspaper says disobedience that could get cyclists killed isn’t very civil, after all. A Michigan cyclist suggests that Port Huron could use a law like the one that just passed in Columbia, MO. We could use one here, too. A bike blogger in Springfield, MO asks when is it okay to run a red light? Finally, it has nothing to do with cycling, but my good friend at Altadena Blog notes that the unfriendly, non-housebroken cat someone out there found looks a lot like a possum.

Submitted without comment — they drive among us

A bit of web surfing the other day brought me to this.

Nothing too exciting. Just a nice little letter to the editor thanking a New Jersey Congressman for co-sponsoring The Complete Streets Act of 2009.

No, the interesting part came in the comments. Particularly three people who felt the need to share the biking wisdom they had evidently acquired through countless miles behind the wheel.

After all, who knows bike safety better than a driver?

I was going to offer my own comments. But really, what I could say that could possibly compare to this wisdom:

AviationMetal wrote:

I have some Safety Tips to share with the bicyclists:

1) You should have a bell on your bike to warn pedestrians. Shouting ‘on your left!’ is what the racers do when they leave the bell off to save weight.

2) Buy a rear view mirror for your bike. They have new mirrors now that mount to the handlebars with a Velcro strap, so you don’t need to carry a wrench to keep it adjusted. When you see a car in your mirror, move as far right as possible.

3) Wear a reflective vest

4) Buy lights for your bike. Even in daytime, lights add visibility, especially if you are riding in tree shade or if the sky is overcast. Blinking lights are better for daytime use, steady light at night.

5) Buy a basket for your handlebars. Even if you don’t carry anything, a basket will absorb impact if you crash. And you shouldn’t carry a bag in one hand while riding a bike.

6) Stop and look both ways before crossing any street, even if there is no stop sign.

7) Stop and wait for cars and trucks to go by before pulling out at any intersection or driveway.

8 ) Do NOT exceed 25MPH. If you go faster than 25MPH, you are racing your bike, and if you still have the owners manual that came with your bike, the warranty says ‘warranty void if the bike is raced’.

9) Wear Gloves. Cycling gloves are fingerless gloves to protect your palms if you fall off your bike. If you fall, you can break your fall by putting your palms down on the pavement.

10) Wear a helmet. I don’t put wearing a helmet #1 on the list, because it’s your last ditch protection after you fall from the bike. These other tips I gave prevent an accident, so you might not have to use your helmet.

11) Make sure the bike is the right size for the rider, and handlebars and seat are adjusted properly.

12) Make sure the bike has working brakes.

wooffie wrote:

Those were pretty good bike safety tips, and cost the taxpayers $0!

A couple more that are very important:

13. Ride WITH traffic, not against it. Pedestrians should walk against traffic, bikes NEVER. Riding against traffic is KID STUFF, grow up and pedal right!

14. NEVER PASS A CAR ON ITS RIGHT SIDE–THAT’S ITS BLIND SIDE–you’ll lose that one.

15. Drive like you would drive your car, only farther to the right. Anything else makes drivers nervous, and that could spell trouble for you. Keep everything calm.

16. Don’t be a wiseguy and go zipping past cars on the right at intersections and go through red lights. Obey traffic laws like the rest of us, and we will be much much less likely to hit you! We need you to be predictable, so we can stay the heck away from you – you’d like that, right?

17. Cars rule the road. Just keep that in mind and don’t cop an attitude, and everybody will stay cool and safe.

18. This is the best bike safety site I’ve ever seen http://bicyclesafe.com/

ugoddabekidding wrote:

Great safety tips. Here’s a couple more:

19) Men, don’t wear those stupid looking tight fitting biker outfits. They distract me from driving as I LMAO. Women, feel free to keep wearing them. It’s still distracting, but in a nice way.

20) Wearing a pointed aerodynamic helmet with attached rear view mirror is equivalent to wearing a pocket protector.

21) If there is a shoulder, ride as far to the right as you possibly can. If you like to ride with your wheels on the white line, do so at your own risk. I could never understand why bikers ride so close to traffic when there is a wide shoulder available.

22) If you like to ride two and three bikes abreast, the wise biker will always be as far away from traffic as possible while letting his friends take the risk of getting a vehicle enema. It is the responsibility of car and bike drivers to be safe, but the risk rests mostly on the bicyclist.

 

LACBC founder Joe Linton offers a reasoned critique of the new Bike Master Plan, and Curbed LA notes the anger among bike bloggers; meanwhile, Zach at LAist points out that here in L.A., paint on the street doesn’t seem to be a priority. Mikey Walley joins the chorus of cyclists decrying Santa Monica’s bronze award from the LAB; Metblogs picks up the story. In the wake of the crash that almost cost Denis Menchov the Giro, VeloNews explains who decides what’s safe. Reuters covers those fashionable New York cyclists. A workshop by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition helps cyclists trim risk. And finally, a Miltipas police officer employs his vast experience with accidents he’s observed — and yes, heard about — to note that the majority of accidents are the bicyclist’s fault. Yeah, no bias there.

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