Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘vulnerable user law’

News Cycle: Facebook protest tomorrow, How you can help, Discriminatory Portland cyclists & more

In Bicycle advocacy, News Cycle, Obama Bikes on January 22, 2010 at 2:13 am

Reminder: Facebook anti-cycling hate page protest is tomorrow at FB headquarters near the foot of California Street (and Bowdoin) in Palo Alto. Gets rolling at noon.

Protests are good. Action is even better. What you can do today to actually combat anti-cycling mentality is to click on over to Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy page and contact your legislative representative re Washington State’s proposed “vulnerable user” law (SB 5838). It’s a nicely automated system that takes mere seconds. I know. I timed myself.

BTW, New York state is considering similar legislation.

Have bike riders in Portland become so intimidating that they scare automobile drivers? A new report says the “biking community is so strong that motorists sometimes feel discriminated against.” Yes, it’s a real problem, how bikes hold up cars, even extremely busy and important Bimmers and Mercedes, on uphills, and how they take up valuable parking space with bike racks and oh, don’t forget, cause the dreaded “driver squint” at night with their blinkies and bike lights. But the worst is, bikes leave scratch marks on car paint when motorists run them over. Yeah, we feel real sorry for that most persecuted of all minorities, Portland motorists. Next thing you know bike riders will be demanding use of the full lane! (On a serious note, congrats to BikePortland.org for topping the list of local blogs.)

And hey, Portland isn’t the only place where motorists feel discriminated against. From Florida:

Who are you honking at? from Keri Caffrey on Vimeo.

Jacquie Phelan unearths one of her earliest bike writings, an essay in the not forgotten and still lamented Bike Tech. Interesting that she cites the Gary Klein piece, one of the ones I most remember. I also remember riding one of the earliest aluminum road frames from France — and yes, thinking Budweiser. The thing was actually glued together. I purchased one of Gary’s first road frames, which I still have, and was a big Klein fan back then so naturally assumed he was right to sue. Oh the stories the old guard can tell. And how they pale compared to the backstories.

And how far we’ve come. The latest issue of Mountain Bike Action magazine, drawing from its annual reader survey, notes that “a staggering 86 percent” own aluminum bikes. Carbon fiber at 6 percent and steel at 5 are distant trailers, as well as ti at 3. Quick calculations tell me that of the 32 bikes I own or have owned, 6 were steel, three carbon and 1 ti, so my ratio is not too far off.

Cozy Beehive takes a detailed look at the Kolelinia, which we derisively thought was the scientific term for temporary insanity.

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: Naked cyclist gets ticket to cover himself, Zorn can hit the trails, SF guy’s year avoiding cars, Black Diamond glitters & more

In Bicycling on January 5, 2010 at 2:04 am

Naked Seattle cyclist charged with indecent exposure. Guy participates in World Naked Bike Ride, gets a citation. Your taxpayer dollars at work.

This is a real puzzler because law enforcement has been pretty tolerant of naked rides. Every year a klatch of unclothed (albeit body-painted) riders enliven the Fremont Fair’s Solstice Parade. This seems like a complete waste of the city’s time. See comments queue.

No naked cycling in Bejing these days. You have to love the quote about being colder standing still than on a bike.

And there is at least one place on earth where bikes come first: “Street sweepers made clearing a bicycle lane their first priority, at least in my part of town. They shoveled an 18-inch wide swath along the curb…”

I hope Jim Zorn is a better mountain biker than he is a football coach. In fact, I’m sure he’s a better mountain biker than he is a coach. At least now he’s got some time to hit the trails… Hey, Copper Canyon‘s nice this time of year Jim!

Following up on our New Year’s Top 10 Bicycling Issues for 2010: Bike sharing. Keep it in mind. It’s already spiking and Silicon Valley is adding it in March.

What’s going on in Black Diamond? Wonderful stuff

A friend brought to our attention the saga of Brooke Hopkins, paralyzed in a tragic bike-on-bike accident just over a year ago. He and wife Peggy run a touching and inspiring blog on Brooke’s recovery process. Most of us in the cycling world who’ve been around for awhile have friends or relatives touched by similar tragedy. Well worth the click-through. (Salt Lake Tribune story on Brooke here.)

No surprise perhaps, but SeattleLikesBikes agrees that the No. 1 cycling priority for 2010 is a new Washington State “vulnerable user” law.

A year with no “car contact.” Not as hard as you might think (as long as there’s trains and airplanes!)

Daily Roundup: Searching for red van, Facebook violence, BikingBis hits 6-0, 72-year-old cuts back

In Bicycle advocacy, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on January 4, 2010 at 7:56 am

Police are seeking witnesses to reckless driving — injured cyclist accident near Redmond. Police are looking for a “newer red Honda Odyssey.” Someone out there knows, time to step forward and do the right thing.

And there’s a TV report. Note that one of the riders has a seat cam but apparently wasn’t using it on the ride. This may be one vital defense cyclists have in the never-ending battle with two-ton behemoths.

Deserving of further investigation: Facebook page encourages violence against cyclists… If you’re on Facebook you can tag the page as inappropriate.

Sixty-year-old guy celebrates birthday with 60-mile ride. Congrats to Gene Bisbee of BikingBis blog fame, looking forward to great things for 2010…

No worries, Gene & us other sextagenarians have lots of rides ahead of us. Here’s a mountain biker who at 72 acknowledges cutting back on the jumps and hucks (can’t afford to crash as much!).

Police bias against cyclists explored in San Francisco

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Obama Bikes on December 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm

One pressing motivation behind Seattle-based Cascade Bicycle Club’s campaign to pass “vulnerable user” legislation seeking justice for cyclists injured or killed in car accidents is to force law-enforcement agencies to take bicycles seriously.

No one who has been involved in a police-reported accident doubts the entrenched bias against cyclists. The attitude can generally be summed up as, “Since some cyclists run red lights or otherwise do foolish things on the streets, the bicyclist is almost always at fault in an accident.”

Drivers of course run red lights and do stupid things all the time. If they hit another car and injure or kill the driver, they are cited. Only when they hit or kill a cyclist do they automatically get the benefit of the doubt, as well as, usually, the benefit of not even a ticket.

In San Francisco, S.F.StreetsBlog has a compelling post documenting baldly expressed anti-cyclist sentiment from the local police department.

It’s a good primer for anyone seeking to understand why the words “justice” and “cycling” have been mutually exclusive for so long, and the urgency behind Cascade’s campaign to unite them under the law.

Crosscut.com: Time to ‘claim the lane’ on bike safety

Biking Bis: Seeking justice for bike riders in Washington State

Let There Be Justice