Paul Andrews

Archive for the ‘Rider Down’ Category

Riders Down: Bad things happen in more than threes

In Bicycle advocacy, Rider Down on February 3, 2010 at 1:35 am

Sometimes they bunch together by the handful. The past week has certainly borne that out. We were mildly annoyed at the Bellingham police flak who suggested, after a rider was struck by a car making a left turn in front of him, that cyclists wear bright clothing and be careful out there to avoid being hit by drivers. Our take was that’s like telling a gunshot victim to watch out for bullets.

Since that accident, bike riders have been getting hit right and left…hook.

In Sacramento, a cyclist
was hit and dragged a quarter of a mile by an SUV whose driver was … well, let’s just say that brighter clothing and best cycling practices weren’t going to help his cause.

In Los Gatos, a cyclist was killed when an SUV jumped a curb, drove along the sidewalk, barreled through a pedestrian safety barricade and continued on till striking a light post and flipping over. Apparently the cyclist, riding slowly on a sidewalk, was not behaving safely enough. As a witness put it: “I thought please let him get out of the way. But I knew there was no way. All of a sudden there was a ton of debris and dirt after he hit the guy on the bicycle.”

No word on whether he was brightly dressed, which for some reason may have been considered irrelevant in the police investigators’ assessment of culpability.

And what would be the advice
for Jim Rogers, founder of the Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop and holder of the record for most Nevada City Bicycle Classic race competitions, who was cycling along the shoulder of Highway 174 when he was hit from behind by an SUV and killed?

Oh, OK, we’ve got it. The Bellingham flak left out a crucial step in his short list for cycling safety, one that would have prevented all of these accidents from ever happening in the first place. That being: Don’t ride where SUVs are present.

Spread the word…

News Cycle: Crashed bike, e-bike, Lance’s bike, stolen bike & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on February 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

So we have a question here. Exactly how cautious does a cyclist have to be to prevent a driver from turning left in front of him or her? We almost got run down today in Aptos in that very scenario, so we’d like, really, we’d love to know. You wonder if this cop would tell a gunshot victim to be especially careful not to get in the way of bullets.

In Idaho they’re still cranking along on the “Preserve Our Trails” mountain-biking license plate. Good on ’em!

Pinarello Dogma worth “thousands and thousands” brazenly stolen from an Issaquah bike shop that should have known better.

BikingBis, who’s been on the case since the start, updates the 3-feet-please movement for 2010.

Jacquie Phelan: The A Side and the B Side of the “Modern San Franciscan”…aboard a bike of course. But first look at the photo.

Commute Seattle off and running…er carpooling…and biking!

What about Ennnn Ohhhhh don’t you understand?

Even with this on his side, the answer is still the same.

On the rise: The electric bike! I think of e-bikes the way I think of e-books: Nice implementation but Old School is better. Still, there’s no denying e-bikes are on the upswing. Battery technology is getting so insanely light and malleable that you can barely find the batteries on the bike any more. It’s only going to get better. In my dotage I may come to actually appreciate the things.

News Cycle: Protection for cyclists — is strangulation covered? Dirt Bowl, Women of Dirt, all the best dirt & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on January 29, 2010 at 2:17 am

If you try to run down a cyclist in your car but somehow miss, never fear. You can always go for strangulation.

In L.A., a booming promise that “The culture of the car ends now!” No throwing projectiles, no verbal abuse, no cutting within 3 feet … and yes! No strangulation! “(No) making physical contact with a bicyclist from a moving vehicle on the roadway either by physical person or use of an implement.” Yay!

I remember when I was this anal about my ride logs…but it was a long time ago.

Reminder that the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s “Dirt Bowl” fundraiser is Sunday, Feb. 7.

(Two) wheels ‘n feet account for 9.6 percent of all trips, but just 1.2 percent of federal funding. Other goodies as well in the Alliance for Biking & Walking “Benchmarking” report.

Add mtbchick to the growing list of hosts for “Awesome Land: Women of Dirt” showings .

Alan at EcoVelo looks at the iPad’s potential for mobile blogging.

Nothing to do with cycling, other than Yokota’s involvement, but a wild story nonetheless. So wild that the Man Himself, Gary Fisher, retweeted it.

Have a great weekend! Winter’s on the decline, time to get out ‘n RIDE!

News Cycle: Zoic resuscitates, Top bike-club names, Bike rear-view mirror safety sticker & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 26, 2010 at 1:32 am

BikingBis: Top bike-club names. Can’t argue with Gene on these. We did have the privilege of serving with a 1980s club founded by the estimable epicure, Bradford O’Connor, in celebration of one of his favorite beverages. It was called Team Green Death, in reference to the suitably toxic Rainier Brewery product, which served as official libation for all team meetings, gatherings and functions, including the annual sponsored Century Ride. TGD served its purpose and passed on, but the audacious team jersey lives in our attic somewhere.

Trial starts tomorrow of woman accused of mowing down cyclists while on her cell phone.

Lance says he thinks he can win the Tour de France again. “I might be a fool,” he acknowledges. While we chuckle at the thought Lance might be a fool, and especially at the notion he might really think that, we also know he has almost no chance to win another Tour. But as we’ve said, till someone else with a scintilla of charisma steps forward to lead the sport, Lance might as well chat up his chances.

Early Zoic (circa 2004) clothing was trend-setting and cool. Then the parent company lost interest and Zoic got expensive and precious. Now Eric Swenson and Paul Wyandt have bought Zoic, and we’re expecting great things.

BikePortland has report on a clever bike safety sticker.

News Cycle: Justice for cyclist killed by texting driver, Helmets and youth, Bike light prompts evacuation & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 25, 2010 at 3:26 am

Justice Rising: Guy gets 5-year sentence for killing a cyclist while texting.

Does requiring helmets reduce cycling among youth?

Bicycle light leads to evacuation of downtown homes and businesses in Arcata. What were they smoking???

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is lagging.

Let’s see now. 19.7 percent of city’s population rides bikes. Cars banned from driving 1 day a week. Yet in Beijing, officials want to do more to encourage cycling.

Same goes for San Francisco, where a long-standing court injunction against the S.F. Bicycle Plan is easing even as ridership jumped 8.5 percent last year and 53 percent since 2006. SF.Streetsblog has the full rundown.

Buzz continues to grow for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show starting Feb. 26.

iPhone apps keep getting better all the time. Here’s Cyclemeter 2.0. (Hat tip to Eric Stobin.)

BikeHugger: Providing peace of mind on the bike commute home thru Google Latitude.

Rider Down: Hate crimes against cyclists spreading?

In Bicycle advocacy, Rider Down on January 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

Rider Down & Dragged: “The car failed to stop despite having the victim’s bicycle trapped underneath, dragging the mangled frame all the way into Key Biscayne…” According to the story, the driver “appeared impaired”…d’ya think?

Is this a trend? Remember the Toronto incident where a bike courier was impaled and tried to hang on for dear life while the driver scraped utility poles in an attempt to dislodge him? It’s not enough to hit a cyclist, you have to drag the body dead or alive. This is reminiscent of lynchings in the Deep South and gay murders. We continue to argue that cycling deaths in such circumstances should be treated as hate crimes.

Certainly the Facebook protest this coming Saturday at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters serves as another reminder that hatred against cyclists is real. Whatever FB winds up doing about the page advocating violence against cyclists, the point needs to be made and publicized widely as just plain unacceptable.

Granted, we have to get the basic legislation in place, such as Washington’s “vulnerable user” law, before we can pursue more specific violations of human rights. But at some point the line that gets crossed in hate incidents will have to be addressed legally.

News Cycle: Boise’s new cycling laws, Fainting can kill, Kolelinia explained, B.C. scammer or hero?

In News Cycle, Rider Down on January 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

Passed: New cycling safety laws in Boise.

Given a pass: Woman driver who killed mother on bike cleared of wrongdoing because, she says, she fainted.

Kolelinia: A severe lapse of judgment, marked by bouts with insanity, while riding skinny half pipe suspended 12 feet over traffic in crowded metropolitan areas. Curiously high rates of occurrence in architecture and urban planning professions.

Time for Mountain Bike Action to do some um, er, investigative reporting? The Vancouver B.C. scammer arrested for collecting stolen bikes under the pretense of returning them to owners but actually selling them for a profit … turns out that same guy was featured in Mountain Bike Action magazine as a “Local Hero.” Not that MBA is backtracking…the charges “may or may not be true,” its post declares. We may or may not be impressed by such reportorial enterprise. Could it be that MBA‘s article led to the guy’s detection and arrest, and this might be an as-yet unrealized notch on their belt? Bears investigating, anyway.

News Cycle: Unknown cyclist, UCSC bike library, Oregon’s new law, Snow cycling & more

In Daily Roundup, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Tomb of the Unknown Cyclist: A Palo Alto bicycle rider killed by a CalTrans vehicle Dec. 19 still is not being identified by authorities, who claim a policy of notifying next of kin before making an identity public. Apparently no one can find the guy’s next of kin.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to publicize his name in an *attempt* to locate next of kin?

Cool idea: UC Santa Cruz’s bike library.

In Oregon they’re moving ahead on vehicular homicide legislation. Let’s hope Washington State legislators can follow suit in Olympia.

Bike plus Snow

Can't ride snow without a smile on your face

BikeRadar offers a Chris Ford tutorial on riding in the snow. There’s nothing like riding a mountain bike in the snow, it’s beyond fun. Especially when the snow is fresh and crunchy. Highly recommended.

When your name is Ryder, it seems only fitting that you be honored as the Canadian cyclist of the year.

Daily Roundup: More bike giveaways, including a new record, robotic tandem, justice equally meted & more

In Daily Roundup, Rider Down, This Day In Doping on December 23, 2009 at 4:09 am

Waxahachie: Police donate 70 bikes.

A 10-year-old raises money to give away bikes.

“Bicycle Man” breaks the record with 1,100 bike giveaways!

What makes Fat Cyclist tick.

Ride tandem and make yourself a robot for a stoker and guess what. No complaining from the back about not being able to see anything!

You can break the rules and become a mountain biking world champion. And you can break the rules and look at jail time.

There is some justice after all.

Daily Roundup: Sharrows, Holiday cheer, Pastajet or Niki? (You decide), More Bikes Under the Tree & more…

In Bicycle advocacy, Equipment reviews, Mountain Biking, Rider Down on December 21, 2009 at 4:40 am

Over at SeattleLikesBikes, Michael Snyder offers an intriguing analysis of the “sharrows” issue. We don’t like sharrows, never have, and SLB uncovers yet another reason why: Inconsistency of implementation. It’s bad enough that sharrows send mixed signals to both cyclists and drivers. As Snyder shows, rules governing sharrow placement are not even applied consistently. Be sure to read his excellent list of suggestions for correcting the situation.

Six Six One is looking for a blowout year in 2010 and they’ve got the reviews to prove it. On, Brian Mullin (Pastajet) deconstructs the x4 series of “soft” armor (we call ’em pads). And I Hate Bikes (but LOVE body armor) takes a look at Six Six One body suit and upper body armor.

Now the eagle-eyed among you faithful readers will undoubtedly ask, “Why does Bike Intelligencer insist on Six Six One when the other reviewers call the company 661?” Good question. The reason is that the company refers to itself as Six Six One. Its Website is It never uses the numbers. There are undoubtedly a host of reasons why, but for accuracy’s sake it’s Six Six One, dudes and dudettes.

As bold as Pastajet looks in body armor, I wish this mountain biker had modeled for his post.

More holiday warm & mushies: Bixby, OK church gives 160 bikes to kids. And in Worcester MA 500 bikes are given away in below freezing weather.

IMBA posts 10 Things IMBA did for Mountain Biking in 2009. Only 10? I can think of triple that off the top of my head. But the biggies are covered here.

The SacBee updates the age-old saga of trail conflicts. I wrote this story for The Seattle Times’ Sunday magazine Pacific a decade and a half ago. And so it goes…

Charges finally filed in the Lonesome Death of Bicycle Bob. RIP and Merry Christmas Bob wherever you are.