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"I Didn't See You" (was "unencumbered...")

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  • Mighk Wilson
    Taking the cake for the I didn t see you line: My wife and I were on our tandem, pulling a BOB with the little yellow flag on a 25 mph urban collector
    Message 1 of 22 , Oct 8, 2007
      Taking the cake for the "I didn't see you" line:

      My wife and I were on our tandem, pulling a BOB with the little yellow
      flag on a 25 mph urban collector street, signaling a left turn and
      moving into the left turn pocket for the upcoming signalized
      intersection. A woman in an SUV passed us on the left, crossing the
      double-yellow line to do so. I decided to go straight instead to chase
      her down, and we followed her home, where we confronted her, and she
      gave the only culturally acceptable response: "I didn't see you."

      You see, the other possible responses, while much more honest, are just
      not culturally acceptable. Those are: "I wasn't paying attention to
      where I was going, even though I'm piloting a massive projectile in a
      public place," "Yeah, I saw you, but I chose to put you in danger
      anyway," and/or "You were in my way" (implying that we are second-class
      citizens, since motorists get in each others way all the time, but they
      rarely make overtly dangerous maneuvers when that occurs; they evidently
      see other motorists as "equals").

      The only remaining option is to accuse us of having supernatural powers;
      specifically, invisibility.

      Mighk

      "There were car gods there: a powerful, serious-faced contingent, with
      blood on their black gloves and on their chrome teeth: recipients of
      human sacrifice on a scale undreamed-of since the Aztecs. They looked
      uncomfortable. Worlds change."
      -- Neil Gaiman, American Gods
    • Cara Lin Bridgman
      Car insurance should be pro-rated for the size and poundage of the vehicle, as it is pro-rated for the age and reported accident record of the owner. Several
      Message 2 of 22 , Oct 8, 2007
        Car insurance should be pro-rated for the size and poundage of the
        vehicle, as it is pro-rated for the age and reported accident record of
        the owner.

        Several years ago, The New Yorker did an excellent review of SUVs,
        drivers, and perceived safety vs. actual safety. The conclusion was
        that many people drove SUVs because they were insecure drivers and felt
        safer in something that monstrous with that sort of visibility (which
        they're obviously not using since they 'can't see' the obvious), but
        they were actually less safe in the SUV (increased rollover risks and
        mortality from side collisions because of 'truck body' not 'passenger
        body'). Also, they definitely made it less safe for other users of the
        road (and this article was only talking about cars).

        In Europe, they have seemed to have started assigning responsibility
        according to vehicle size. In Taiwan, this has been the historic
        attitude and it still stands, mostly. In the US, I see very little of a
        sense that drivers of bigger vehicles have increased responsibility. In
        Tennessee and Kentucky, 1 in 3 drivers don't even have insurance (in
        fact, I'm afraid it may be as high as 2 out of 3... eep...).

        CL
        The solution to reducing wear and tear on roads, reducing oil use,
        reducing accidents, and generally making roads safer for bikes and
        pedestrians? Lower speed limits.
      • Bruce Alan Wilson
        I wear a helmet because my brains are inside my skull and I want to keep them there. If you are against helmets, I suggest that you go to your nearest large
        Message 3 of 22 , Oct 8, 2007
          Re: unencumbered by the thought process!

          I wear a helmet because my brains are inside my skull and I want to keep them there.

          If you are against helmets, I suggest that you go to your nearest large hospital's neurological rehabilitation unit and ask to see some head trauma patients.

          I feel even more strongly about children wearing helmets.  I don't have any kids of my own, but if I did I wouldn't like the thought of their little skulls bouncing on the asphalt without some sort of protection.

          Bruce Alan Wilson

          "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch

        • murray
          If your are that worried about your brain maybe you should just stay inside. I m not against helmets. They are a good idea when riding in traffic or riding
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 8, 2007
            If your are that worried about your brain maybe you should just stay inside.

            I'm not 'against' helmets. They are a good idea when riding in traffic or riding hard off-road, or anywhere you are reasonibly likely to take a spill. I am against the complusory use of them. I'm old enough to make my own decisions as decide what is acceptable risk. As Cara said, if its zooming downhill with cars and buses, I'll wear one. One the other hand if its touring along on a quiet back country road at a leisurly pace in the middle of a hot summer day, I usually don't (even though I risk a fine by taking it off and hanging it on my handlebars).

            > I suggest that you go to your nearest
            large hospital's neurological rehabilitation unit and ask to see some head trauma patients.

            In that same hospital there are also many more paitents that would still be there wether they were wearing a helmet or not. Of course there will always be cases where helmet 'might' of helped. Body armour would help in most cases too. Why isn't that complusory too? That is not a good arguement for forcing everyone to wear one all the time. Plenty of pedestrians get injured every year by traffic (and others things) and I'm sure any hospital you visit would have at least one in residence. By the logic you are using we should make helmets (and perhaps body armour) complusory for them too. Why aren't helmets complusory for car drivers? They cause more accidents than any group by their shear numbers.

            For me the helmet arguement is about personal choice not saftey.

            (I guess the next arguement to be trotted out will be the "When you hit your head and end up a vegetable the tax payer will foot the bill.")

            On 10/9/07, Bruce Alan Wilson <bawilson@...> wrote:

            I wear a helmet because my brains are inside my skull and I want to keep them there.

            If you are against helmets, I suggest that you go to your nearest large hospital's neurological rehabilitation unit and ask to see some head trauma patients.

            I feel even more strongly about children wearing helmets.  I don't have any kids of my own, but if I did I wouldn't like the thought of their little skulls bouncing on the asphalt without some sort of protection.

            Bruce Alan Wilson

            "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."--Iris Murdoch


          • Mark Garvey
            ... Been there done that. Worked in a hospital and had training in EMT also. but then again, 99.9% of head trauma has absolutely NOTHING to do with bicycles!
            Message 5 of 22 , Oct 8, 2007
              On 10/8/07, Bruce Alan Wilson <bawilson@...> wrote:

              I wear a helmet because my brains are inside my skull and I want to keep them there.

              If you are against helmets, I suggest that you go to your nearest large hospital's neurological rehabilitation unit and ask to see some head trauma patients.


              Been there done that. Worked in a hospital and had training in EMT also.  but then again, 99.9% of "head trauma" has absolutely NOTHING to do with bicycles!   So you are tossing an irrelevant point.   Bicycle accidents account for about 1000 deaths a year (last time I looked it was UP to about 750 I believe!  there were about 4 or 5 in Iowa last year, MOST due to drunk drivers!)  If we were really SERIOUS about reducing head trauma we would require helmets and hard hats in EVERY ACTIVITY from driving cars to having sex.  We had a tragic case here where a woman had brain trauma from her husband using her for a punching bag and finishing up with a Louisville Slugger.  My wife's great Aunt was hit by and dragged by a train which severely damaged her.   she was loony from the day I first met her. Sweet lady, but certainly not all there!   But we don't require pedestrians to wear helmets either!  But most are from slips and falls! Many from auto accidents (no hemmits there!)  Others from stuff falling on their heads while working at home (again, no hemmit)

              I don't MIND hemmits, if you want to wear one 100% of the time GO AHEAD!  no one is saying that they are a BAD idea or that they are not useful, or even that YOU shouldn't use one. Just that they should remain a PERSONAL CHOICE, not a mandate! .  MY opinion is  that they are overly touted and they are more or less hyped by people who are well meaning but a part of teh "nanny" thought process which says that you should NEVER EVER be in any danger in your life!  Crist, when I was a kid, I crawled all over the car slept on the back shelf, played on a metal piece that fitted over the back seat to make a flat play area.  when my 32 year old was a child we used to put pillows and blankets on the floor of our van so she and her sisters could play while we drove!   CAR seats????  not until the last few years when you can get a ticket for simply not putting your child in one.  Mostly it benefits the makers of car seats....

                I think that the bicycle deaths in the 1970's (I need to look it up!) was not really different than that of teh last few years.  the only difference is that more people rode then than do now and less folk wore lids.

              In all seriousness, the most important safety gear you can ever use is the little grey cells BETWEEN your ears.  I don't know HOW many miles I have ridden with NO helmet.  Certainly every single one from 1959 when i learned to ride to at LEAST 1980 or so.  and then intermittently after that.

              I don't know.  I will keep my hemmit and use it when I feel the need, but heck, I don't believe that they make any REAL difference one way or another.  Get hit by a car and see how much that helmet will keep you from being crushed by 2 tons of metal!  Better to ride safely in the first place.

              mark
            • Cara Lin Bridgman
              ... I think I d like to see some stats on the efficacy of helmets in car-bike or truck-bike accidents. There are many things that can happen. So, I doubt the
              Message 6 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                Bruce Alan Wilson wrote:
                > If you are against helmets, I suggest that you go to your
                > nearest large hospital's neurological rehabilitation unit
                > and ask to see some head trauma patients.
                >
                > I feel even more strongly about children wearing helmets.
                > I don't have any kids of my own, but if I did I wouldn't
                > like the thought of their little skulls bouncing on the
                > asphalt without some sort of protection.

                I think I'd like to see some stats on the efficacy of helmets in
                car-bike or truck-bike accidents. There are many things that can
                happen. So, I doubt the neurological rehabilitation unit is the only
                one we should visit.

                The main concern in this helmet vs no-helmet debate is the actual
                effectiveness of helmets. There really are not much data out there on
                this. Not like the data supporting seat-belt laws in cars (and there
                are known cases when those same seat belts are liabilities). What is
                known is that mandatory helmet laws keep many possible bikers off the
                road. These bikers are needed to improve safety for all. It's well
                documented that the more bikers on the road, the safer it is for cycling.

                I don't think anyone is arguing that kids should be without helmets,
                especially when they're learning how to ride a bike. Many of us,
                however, never wore helmets as we were growing up. I got my stitches
                when my head went smack on pool-side cement steps, not when biking. My
                brother got his three times: walking into a swing, tripping over a toy
                car in the living room, and jumping through a gate. There's no way to
                control for all possibilities. For my family, the scariest times were
                poisonous snakes in our back yard (Banded Krait in Taiwan) and political
                coups and riots (Bangladesh).

                Sometimes, when getting geared up to bike to work, I feel something is
                missing--my life-jacket. I wore helmets and life-jackets when kayaking.
                For me, sometimes there's not that much difference between kayaking
                Class III+ rivers and biking in Taiwan's traffic.

                CL
                'Try to land on der head so notting breaks!"
                Katzenjammer Kids by Joe Musial in 1970.
              • Mighk Wilson
                I m a proponent of the Layers of Safety concept that sets priorities based on the effectiveness and risk-reducing potential of countermeasures. Layer 1:
                Message 7 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                  I'm a proponent of the Layers of Safety concept that sets priorities
                  based on the effectiveness and risk-reducing potential of
                  countermeasures.

                  Layer 1: Control Your Bicycle (Don't fall or collide with others)
                  If you can skillfully control your bike by starting, stopping, and
                  turning properly, you will not fall down all by yourself. Do this and
                  you cut out about half of your injury risk.

                  Layer 2: Follow the Rules (Don't cause traffic crashes)
                  Follow traffic laws, obey signs and signals, use headlights and
                  taillights, and use the correct lanes for turns and through movements
                  and you won't cause a collision. This reduces about half of
                  cyclist/motorist crashes. Combine Layers 1 and 2 and you cut about 75%
                  of your injury risk.

                  Layer 3: Lane Positioning (Discourage other driver's mistakes)
                  Know when to use the full lane or to share a lane. Use your lane
                  position to tell drivers what you are doing and discourage them from
                  unsafe movements. Combine Layers 1, 2 and 3 and you cut about 99% of
                  all potential crashes.

                  Layer 4: Hazard Avoidance (Avoid other driver's mistakes)
                  Use evasive maneuvers to avoid motorist mistakes or dodge obstacles.
                  Knowing how to stop and turn quickly helps you avoid motorist mistakes
                  that aren't discouraged by lane positioning.

                  Layer 5: Passive Safety (Protection when all else fails)
                  This is actually the least effective layer. Helmets and gloves protect
                  your most important body parts as a last resort in case of the very rare
                  failure of Layers 1 through 4.

                  The study that everyone quotes (or misquotes) about the effectiveness of
                  bike helmets (85%, but revised by the authors to 69% when some pointed
                  out problems) was not a very good one. The test population was
                  significantly different from the control population. The test
                  population was kids of relatively affluent families. They tended to
                  bike with their parents and in safer environments (parks, paths). The
                  control population was all kids in the area, which include kids biking
                  in riskier situations and with less parental control. Guess which group
                  was more likely to be involved in a crash with a motor vehicle? Right.
                  And colliding with a motor vehicle increases you risk of head injury at
                  least threefold compared to other bicycle crashes.

                  Example: a local woman was cycling on a "bike path" (really a glorified
                  sidewalk) going against the flow of traffic (which such facilities often
                  encourage) and was hit by a slow-speed motorist pulling out of a
                  driveway. The coroner's report said she had no serious injuries other
                  than a blow to the back of the head (when she fell backwards off the
                  bike). She was not wearing a helmet.

                  Most people would point to the lack of helmet as the "cause" of her
                  death, and it's true a helmet would have almost certainly saved her
                  life. But I would also point out that she was riding on the sidewalk,
                  going against the flow of traffic, and while this is not violating a
                  law, it is violating the rules of how vehicles should operate. Cycling
                  against the flow increases your crash risk about fourfold. She was not
                  using Layers 2 or 3.

                  Yes, helmets are a good idea, but as others have pointed out, they are
                  no substitute for knowledge, skills or judgment.

                  My own helmet-wearing priorities:
                  Riding with other cyclists -- absolutely (you're much more likely to
                  crash into another cyclist than a motorist)
                  Riding on arterials -- absolutely
                  Riding solo around my neighborhood -- probably not
                  Mountain biking on moderate to technical trails -- absolutely
                  Mountain biking on wide, level trails (I'm in Florida: sand) -- probably
                  not

                  Mighk Wilson
                  Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
                  METROPLAN ORLANDO

                  "One of the things that stops idealists creating real change is that
                  they tend to search for absolute solutions to problems. But the
                  life-dream arises from polarity, so every solution can only be partial
                  and brings with it new and often unforeseen problems."

                  -- Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, The Laughing Jesus
                • David Chase
                  Other readers might not understand what you mean by sand , if they haven t lived there for a time. Sand = 10s to 100s of feet of (ancient) beach sand.
                  Message 8 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                    Other readers might not understand what you mean by "sand", if they
                    haven't lived there for a time. "Sand" = 10s to 100s of feet of
                    (ancient) beach sand. It's like a giant padded gymnasium. I took
                    quite a few falls as a child that would have broken bones, and walked
                    away barely bruised.

                    The especially fluffy stuff, if unrestrained by plant roots, will
                    entirely cover your feet when you walk in it.

                    On 2007-10-09, at 9:26 AM, Mighk Wilson wrote:
                    > My own helmet-wearing priorities:
                    > ...
                    > Mountain biking on wide, level trails (I'm in Florida: sand) --
                    > probably
                    > not
                    >
                  • Phil Good-Elliott
                    Something no one has mentioned yet: the effects of brain injury upon the family of the injured person. Don t wear a helmet if you are willing to take the risk
                    Message 9 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                      Something no one has mentioned yet: the effects of brain injury upon the family of the
                      injured person. Don't wear a helmet if you are willing to take the risk and you have no
                      dependents, but please model safety if you have kids and a spouse you care about. Caring
                      for a severely brain injured person is devastating to family, friends, and community
                      members. As a therapist, I've worked with family members and survivors of brain injury
                      and have a pretty good idea of just how bad things are for folks.

                      If wasn't for a helmet, I would've never met my wife, whose foot once slipped off her pedal
                      while accelarating. She wound up over the handle bars flat on her back, head smacking the
                      pavement with her helmet. This was in the middle of a country lane with no other traffic or
                      riders around. All I know is this: she received only scrapes, bruises, and a concussion. If it
                      weren't for the helmet, she'd probably be dead and my life would be very different. I'm
                      glad she wore it! :-)

                      -Phil
                    • Ryano
                      Again there is this assumption that helmet = safety therefore it must be a Good Thing. This is natural enough but if discussing compulsion you must take one
                      Message 10 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                        Again there is this assumption that helmet = safety therefore it must be a Good Thing.  This is natural enough but if discussing compulsion you must take one more step and look at statistics between not only helmet and individual safety but also helmet use and frequency of head injuries among populations.  Maybe there is an argument for enforced helmet use in a country where everyone is recklessly regardless.  The distinction should also be made between day-to-day plod along cycling and cycling as a competitive sport. For the latter, there may be a strong argument for compulsory helmet use, but in countries where cycling is popular, they are a very small fraction of the population.

                        http://carfreetokyo.blogspot.com/


                        On 10/10/2007, Phil Good-Elliott < poppamando@...> wrote:

                        Something no one has mentioned yet: the effects of brain injury upon the family of the
                        injured person. Don't wear a helmet if you are willing to take the risk and you have no
                        dependents, but please model safety if you have kids and a spouse you care about. Caring
                        for a severely brain injured person is devastating to family, friends, and community
                        members. As a therapist, I've worked with family members and survivors of brain injury
                        and have a pretty good idea of just how bad things are for folks.

                        If wasn't for a helmet, I would've never met my wife, whose foot once slipped off her pedal
                        while accelarating. She wound up over the handle bars flat on her back, head smacking the
                        pavement with her helmet. This was in the middle of a country lane with no other traffic or
                        riders around. All I know is this: she received only scrapes, bruises, and a concussion. If it
                        weren't for the helmet, she'd probably be dead and my life would be very different. I'm
                        glad she wore it! :-)

                        -Phil


                      • Mark Garvey
                        ... yeah this is true.....also there are times where the helmet was an entirely moot point. head injuries were not present, but the multiple broken bones and
                        Message 11 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007
                          On 10/9/07, Ryano <ryantokyo@...> wrote:
                          Again there is this assumption that helmet = safety therefore it must be a Good Thing. 


                          yeah this is true.....also there are times where the helmet was an entirely moot point.  head injuries were not present, but the multiple broken bones and crushed organs were the problem here.

                          BASICALLY my point, back at the beginning here was that I am very LEERY of someone 1000 or so miles away making a decision FOR me.  I have a Mom and Dad, My grannies both died years ago. Never had a nanny, and I don't think I really NEED one now.  Helmets may or May NOT be a good thing. I am open to the possibility that they are at least not harmful for the most part and may actually do some good.  But I still do not like the idea that a bicycle is a "toy" and should have "special costumes" to wear when you do it.  I mean, I WORK as a clown! (no....seriously)  So dressing up in Clown clothing is not a big deal, I just don't really need to do it when I go to the grocery store or the bank!  I generally tend to pop on the bike and GO!  I don't stop and say, "Wait!  I am getting on my bike to go somewhere.  I need to put on the orthopaedic pants, the skin tight shirt with the pockets in the back that looks like a NASCAR painter got to it, the clumpy shoes that look like something that fell off Frankenstein's monster and a Tupperwear bowl on my head.

                          All these things are fine!  IF YOU ARE IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE!  Not if you are going to pick up a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk at the store!  I am not saying you CAN'T do it, just that I really don't want to!  My bike is a pickup truck!  Not a Ferrarri.  I haul stuff, I don't race around like Jan Ulrich!  My average speed is probably 10 mph or less....but so what?  I wear a helmet sometimes.  quite often really.  It is just that I don't see the absolute necessity for it.  And I think that an awful lot of people think they are dorky and stupid.  FINE. I don't!  but if they think they will look like a dork, do you think they will ride anywhere?  Look at the photos from Denmark and Holland (the Netherlands) on the web sometime and look at the bikes, how many do you see?  Lots!  How many helmets do you see?  Virtually ZERO  and these are two of the MOST BIKING COUNTRIES in the world!  I wonder where their accident statistics fall in comparison to the USA?  you would think that there would be hospitals FILLED with head trauma to hear some people tell it!  But I don't think it is all that remarkable, but I could be wrong.

                          mark
                          who just rode home from work the long way, 13 miles, 2 hours, stopped and renewed my drivers license, got fitted for a Tux for a wedding in 2 weeks, grabbed a taco, then hit the grocery store for dinner supplies and got scheduled for a gig Oct 27!   i will ride my bike to THAT one too, and I wore my plastic bucket TO work (because it has a light on it) but not HOME because it was sunny, and nice and I really LIKED dawdling along and enjoying my ride!  AND I didn't look like a bug!


                          --
                          Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years!


                          Mark  Garvey
                          Cedar Rapids, Iowa free state!

                          Check out the web site at:
                          http://www.vine-ave.com   

                          contact us to have Papa Balloon appear at your next program!  Details at www.vine-ave.com

                          I am a bicycling lifestylist!
                        • Tone
                          While I was still working as a messenger in New York there was an article posted on our bulletin board about a stuffy done in (I think) England. The study
                          Message 12 of 22 , Oct 9, 2007

                                        While I was still working as a messenger in New York there was an article posted on our bulletin board about a stuffy done in (I think) England. The study involved the reactions of drivers passing either bicyclist with or without helmets. The study demonstrated drivers are much more likely to drive speedily past and much closer to cyclists WITH helmets. The article suggested the reason might be because drivers will tend to notice a helmet and perceive less of a risk of injury to the cyclist, and therefore drive less carefully.

                                        Obviously having motor vehicles pass closer and at higher speeds certainly puts a cyclist at much more risk. In my opinion I suppose you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. With my many years of experience riding, built up skills, and the easy-riding style I tend to have I figure the biggest danger to me is a careless or even a deliberately aggressive driver.

                             

                                        Today I was taking a different route home, which I never took before. It was a hilly curvy road with two narrow lanes at times. On one stretch there was oncoming traffic and two pick-up trucks coming up behind me. The first pick-up truck was one of those heavy-duty rigs, which had two rear wheels on each side. It was certainly extra-wide and it took its time to pass me by waiting for the oncoming cars to drive by. It slowly drove around me to give me plenty of space. Once it had completely passed me, I suddenly heard an incredibly loud sound of screeching tires directly behind me. When I heard the screech my first reaction was to flinch and tense because usually I have only ever heard that sound immediately before hearing the dreadful crash of metal and class. My initial thought was of a third car speeding around the hill and ramming into the second truck or something. Apparently though the second pick-up truck had held back to wait for the larger pick-up truck to completely pass me, then it accelerated as hard and as fast as it could for a very brief time before applying its brakes hard. There were no cars behind the second truck or other oncoming cars, so the second truck driver obviously had done the act to deliberately frighten me.

                                        Luckily for me (I guess) his brakes and tires worked right. Mighk Wilson wrote some “layers of safety” for risk-reduction. While I agree with some of the principles outlined in it, after reading through it I definitely strongly feel the injury risk percentages in its layer list are not at all accurate. It says a combination of the first three layers will cut about 99% of all potential crashes. However in all ~7 years of working as a full time courier in NYC the times I got into crashes, I would say well over half if not 2/3rd or even 3/4ths of the accidents I was involved in were caused by a driver or passenger, and usually in those cases the driver or passenger was deliberately acting in an aggressive manner. I suppose one could argue when considering my expanse of time on the road over those years, the few times I was in an accident might account for that 1%... and with over 1000 messengers in New York City I suppose 1-3 deaths among them are part of that unavoidable 1%.

                                        I realize the facts involved with statistics and understand every cycling accident is different and has its own circumstances. I just REALLY wish cops (even at least bicycle cops) would be put into plain clothes and have to ride around on city streets. BOY, would they enforce laws against aggressive drivers then! I remember one critical mass ride in NYC where we were being escorted by copsicles (cops on bicycles). A fancy SUV driver got quite a bit impatient and started revving his engine at the group of cyclists. Well, one of the copsicles noticed his aggressive reaction and decided to ride in front of the SUV to make it clear the group was officially being escorted. Unfortunately it turned out the SUV driver did not even consider or realize there might be police officers on bikes, so he responded to the cop’s in-your-face positioning by bumping into the officer’s rear wheel. The driver only realized the cyclist was a cop when the officer stood back up after awkwardly crashing into the ground. The cop screamed orders at the guy to exit his vehicle, but the guy became panicky because he realized he just deliberately rammed into a police officer, and instead he just kept repeating an apology to the cop. When the driver did not get out of his car the cop came around to his door and started cursing at him for personally assaulting him before forcing the door open, yanking the driver out, spinning him around, and slamming him face down to the ground. Needless to say the whole crowd of cyclists cheered the arrest, though a number of riders in the Group did comment more cops should be on bikes to address the aggressive driving issue. After that ride the police only escorted cycling groups by using scooters.

                             

                            _TONE_

                             

                          • Mighk Wilson
                            ... past and much closer to cyclists WITH helmets.
                            Message 13 of 22 , Oct 10, 2007
                              >> The study demonstrated drivers are much more likely to drive speedily
                              past and much closer to cyclists WITH helmets.<<

                              Besides being prone to bias, that study had some important and inherent
                              problems. First, the actual measured difference between helmeted and
                              unhelmeted cyclists was about 3 inches, while the average total passing
                              distance was about 4 feet. Now, are you really going to get worked up
                              about being passed by 3 feet 9 inches versus 4 feet?

                              Second, your position in the lane has far more impact on the distance
                              motorists give when passing than the meaningless few inches the study
                              found. Hug the white line in a narrow lane and you'll get plenty of
                              close calls. Take the lane when it's too narrow to share and motorists
                              will give you much more room.

                              Mighk Wilson
                              Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
                              METROPLAN ORLANDO

                              "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight
                              and understanding."
                              -- Marshall MacLuhan
                            • Cara Lin Bridgman
                              ... When I take my place in the lane, the cars tailgate me, go Vroom Vroom, and blow their horns. Unfortunately, I can t say it s because I m one of those
                              Message 14 of 22 , Oct 10, 2007
                                Mighk Wilson wrote:
                                > Second, your position in the lane has far more impact on the distance
                                > motorists give when passing than the meaningless few inches the study
                                > found. Hug the white line in a narrow lane and you'll get plenty of
                                > close calls. Take the lane when it's too narrow to share and
                                > motorists will give you much more room.


                                When I take my place in the lane, the cars tailgate me, go Vroom Vroom,
                                and blow their horns. Unfortunately, I can't say it's because I'm one
                                of those sexy Copenhagen girls.

                                And I don't even notice if the cars only leave 3 feet when passing. In
                                Taiwan, helmet or no helmet, I routinely get passed by less than 3 feet.
                                I'd say this is considered normal.

                                CL
                              • Mark Garvey
                                ... Yesterday I finally had to do the assert myself bit on a road home. I try to be polite and make room for all of us on the road. (I do that when driving
                                Message 15 of 22 , Oct 11, 2007
                                  On 10/10/07, Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...> wrote:


                                  When I take my place in the lane, the cars tailgate me, go Vroom Vroom,
                                  and blow their horns. 

                                  Yesterday I finally had to do the "assert myself" bit on a road home.  I try to be polite and make room for all of us on the road.  (I do that when driving the semi also. you HAVE to co-exist)  But yesterday it was really something!  Coming home, there is a long steep twisting downhill that ends in a narrow bridge.  JUST before the bridge there is a street that cuts off to the right.  The shoulders are about 3-4 ft wide which is nice and I usually ride out there to allow traffic to pass, heck, it is like my own private lane!  But when the speed creeps up above 25-30 mph on this hill, I move outward, particularly if there is traffic oncoming!  As a general rule this is a non problem as people around here are often knowledgeable and relatively patient.  yesterday however, stupidity ruled!  Just about the point where I hit 25 mph, with a solid stream of oncoming cars, yokel 1 passed me with inches to spare, his sister passed me seconds later.  I had enough and as I was reaching 30-35 mph (speed limit is 35 along there) I jumped out into the middle of the lane.  A minivan was behind me then and pulling up on my rear deck. 

                                  You can just SEE this happen too....Yokel 1 (a car full of teenagers) jams on the binders and cuts right into the street at the bottom of the hill (no signal natch!), the frantic woman in the blue car behind him nosedived to the pavement in an effort to keep from rear ending him.  I was back far enough that I covered the brakes and simply rode it out.  By the time I got close enough to make a difference, she had blasted off with the tires chirping.  I was at 37-38 mph by now and zoomed across the bridge then slid over to the shoulder again to let the van pass me.  which she did.  it worked out, but chee, some of the people who drive ARE truly unencumbered by the thought process!
                                  --
                                  Putting the fun in dysfunctional for over 50 years!


                                  Mark  Garvey
                                  Cedar Rapids, Iowa free state!

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