I have started a bicycle club,
The Glen Cove Bicycle Club (Long Island , New York).
Please visit our home page:
You know, every time one of these road-ragers makes a comment against the bicycle lanes, he or she is actually proving that the bicycle lanes ARE needed.
Example: " I still drive with the flow of traffic on them. Which is usually 55 MPH at night ..."
That comment just makes the argument for bike lanes even stronger.
But what I want to say is that most bicyclists, ninety nine percent, have a car too, so they pay just as much taxes as everyone else.
I ride a bicycle , but I drive a car too. I wear a reflective vest when I ride because I know what's visible to me when I drive.
There is no law requiring a bicycle to be equipped with a rear-view mirror. If there was such a law, it would be shot-down on account many cyclists have a small mirror attached to their helmet or glasses. But I strongly recommend that every bicyclist get a rear-view mirror. When you see that the driver of the car behind you has his or her head turned and isn't looking, get out of the way!
2. Cycling should be taught in school. as part of the Physical Education class. Not only would the kids learn the rules of the road early, but they could build bikes in the Industrial Arts class, and learn how to weld, use a hacksaw, and turn a wrench. The health benefits would be worth it alone.
I wonder if this accident occurred before dawn, and darkness was a factor? Did the bike have lights?
As for those of you who say cycling is dangerous and we should quit, I say "phooey".
There can always be safety improvements. The road could be widened for one, the speed limit could be lowered, or maybe the existing speed limit could be enforced.
Maybe every car, truck and bike will be equipped with an enhanced GPS device twelve years from now- an alarm will sound whenever another vehicle comes within half a mile.
Maybe more vehicles will be equipped with video recorders. Video evidence can be used in court, and bad drivers could be removed from the roads.
Safety * Improvements * have to be considered, for the future, as technology becomes more advanced and more available and affordable.
(As for the car with six airbags, I call it a "Rubber-Room-on-Wheels".)
Mr. Patterson was struck from behind. They say that being struck from behind is not how most fatal bicycle accidents happen, but it was this time.
Yes, I can ride a bicycle and look ahead, and look left and right, but I don't have eyes in the back of my head. So I bought a rear-view mirror. Now, it's not mandatory for a bicycle to have a rear-view mirror, but no one can sneak up behind me anymore.
The fact is, motorists are supposed to watch where they are going.
I hope the Judge gives the driver the maximum. It would be a waste of taxpayers money to paint the bike lanes if vehicular homicide laws are not enforced. I don't think it would fill up the prison system either, because other motorists will think about the jail-time, before driving in the bike lane. It won't be a joke anymore.
My condolences to Mr.Patterson's family.
Note: The swirly says Processing Comment, but the computer must be stalled, nothing is happening. I tried two computers at different locations, and it's stalled.
Last edited by hotbike; 09-17-09 at 06:33 PM.
Note: I have been watching Youtube a lot lately, so I haven't visited bikeforums everyday. Besides being a cyclist/custom bike builder, I am also a railfan. I have a special fondness for shortline railroads, and have been viewing them a lot on Youtube lately. My theory is that if more people rode trains and bikes, there would be a lot less cars on the roads.
Bikes are not as old-fashioned as you people think. Bicycles are made of welded steel, and are a product of the Industrial Age. A bicycle can enable a person to travel four times further than he or she could walk. This is due to the drive-train, which gears-up the input, whereby one turn of the pedals moves the bike forward by four or five paces, and the wheels, which allow conservation of momentum. Cargo bikes can haul hundreds of pounds of goods or material without putting a strain on the cyclist.
And the previous poster , minithirty, is wrong. In China today, Electric Assist Bicycles are outselling cars by a wide margin.
Worldwide, only about 10 percent of people have a car, 25 percent of have a bicycle. So most people are *walking*- You are lucky if you have a bicycle.
In the U.S., most cyclists have a car! We are so rich in this Country, that instead of choosing between a bike or a car, we can have BOTH!
"Bike Lanes" are a conundrum. If we build bike lanes on a rural (country) road, it's because the cars go faster. But on Urban (city) streets, the cars are gridlocked, or in traffic jams, and the bicycles go faster.
Uphill, bikes may be slow, but downhill. a bicycle can reach the speed limit.
Road shoulders and sidewalks (or the lack thereof) are the real issue.
How about a Law (signs) saying: "DO NOT DRIVE IN THE GUTTER WHEN BICYCLES ARE PRESENT" ?
PS-Texting while driving has become a greater menace than drinking while driving.
Bicyclists have got to do their part-Reflective Vests, Rear View Mirror, Lights, Helmets, etc...
But the burden of responsibility lies with the motorists. Maybe, if the motorist can't see a bike 250 feet ahead, he needs to have his vision checked by an optician. Some people have to wear glasses to drive.
The motorists have to learn a few things about bicycles too. Lot's of motorists are unfamiliar with bikes. Can you remember what it was like riding a bike, when you were a child? Did you know most cyclists also have a car? Is a car a status symbol to you? I pity you if you have to choose between a car OR a bike; Most people have both, cars AND bikes. Don't be haughty with the cyclists, you'll show a lack of class if you let on that you can't afford a bike. The cyclists will take umbrage if you treat them like second-class citizens.
Bicycle in motion tends to stay in motion, thanks to very efficient wheels, a bike rolls easier than your car. Bike a complete stop takes a little time to get going again, especially if the cyclist had to stop short and didn't have time to downshift, and then a bike has to be going at least six miles per hour before the balance is steady. Be careful not to crush anyone to death with your car.
Engineers are working on a two-way GPS system that will alert bike riders and motorists about other vehicles in their vicinity.
If you will review the Executive Order #12988, signed by George W. Bush in August 2001, you will see that the Federal Law is specifically worded to make Electric Bicycles legal, and classified as bicycles; and shall over-ride any State or Local laws to the contrary.
We haven't seen one word, not one peep, from anyone claiming this is a violation of States Rights.
Indeed, this Law was put into effect specifically to bring to United States into conformance with the Kyoto Protocol. Electric Bikes are averaged into the total fuel economy statistics, which raises the overall fuel economy of all the vehicles in the United States.
Example, if you buy an SUV which gets 15 Miles per Gallon, and your next-door neighbor buys an Electric Bike, then the *average* fuel economy between you two is 30MPG.
If it weren't for the E-Bike, your SUV would have to be banned outright, overnight.
About half an hour ago, there was an interview with David Byrne, author of "Bicycle Diaries", on the local NPR radio station, WNYC, 820, here in New York.
I missed the start, but I went to the site and found the archives:
It would be the show for October 22nd, although the interview is not in the archive right now, it can be expected within a few hours. ( I suppose they are preparing the audio file for uploading right now).
This is the Bicycle segment of the show, but it does NOT have the interview with David Byrne.
(At the last twenty seconds, the "upcoming" David Byrne interview is mentioned).
The Bicycle is a marvelous invention, it enables people to travel 4 or 5 times further in a day than they could walk. And just with the legs they would otherwise be walking with, no motor required. Theoreticaly, our nation could save milions of barrels of oil if more people bicycled.
There is no excuse for motorists to be harassing bicyclists.
Bicycling can be a sport or a form of transportation. If one rides for sport, they might assume they will be safe from being hit (from behind) if they are doing the speed limit. But the speeders go twenty over the limit!
Sure , you see a few angry young men riding bicycles. Most of the women, children and old people are too scared to ride a bicycle, on account of the maniac car drivers.
Motorists need to obey speed limits. I drive a car (in addition to bicycling) and when I see a bicycle ahead, I slow down to the speed limit. You can see a bicycle 250 feet ahead of you, you have plenty of time to slow down.
I have to say that the motorists need to be reminded that bicyclists have the right to use the streets (except for limited access roads, like Interstates).
How does a motorist even get such a notion? Most complaints from cyclists result from aggravated harassment by motorists.
Sweep the roads, fill the potholes, cut back roadside vegetation. I'll ride my bicycle on the road shoulder, if the road has one.
There is a dichotomy between types of bicyclists. A bicyclist can ride slow, knowing that the bicycle enables one to cover four or five times the distance that one could otherwise walk. Or the cyclist can ride fast, knowing the bicycle can go a lot faster than anyone who runs, and even keep up with the posted speed limit.
The fast cyclist pays lots of money for the best, lightweight bicycle parts. He or she might even buy a recumbent bike (most of which are made in America).
The slower bicyclists need bicycle lanes. ( You can't have a fast lane without a slow lane.) It might be better to ride a bike slow, because if you ride fast, you will have drivers accusing you of "holding up traffic", even if you are doing the speed limit. Streamlined bicycles (those with a fiberglass, carbon fiber or Kevlar body shell, also known as velomobiles) can go in excess of 55 MPH. So the bicycle lane has to be engineered for bicycles that travel at or above the speed limit.
I don't mind trucks temporarily parked in a bike lane downtown to make deliveries. Those deliveries are always at a certain time of day, and therefore predictable.
It is necessary to build bike lanes, but keep in mind that they must be built to allow bikes that are only doing slightly less than the speed of traffic. And the speed of traffic can be a lot higher than the posted speed limit. That means straight, with wide curves cleared of vegetation for line-of-sight.
I will say this: When I ride my bicycle, it's only one motorist out of ten-thousand who careens into my path. So would it cost less to society to build bike lanes, or to revoke the license of the one-in-ten thousand motorists?
I have not had any encounter with a road rager since shortly after I returned from Military Service, the first Gulf War, in 1993.
My 2 cents.
I started a local bicycle club, but I have to do all the dirty work myself. I have to "Patrol" instead of just "Ride". I have to sweep up and remove debris from the roads. I have to cut back roadside vegetation with a pair of Lopping Shears. I have to maintain the Clubs membership roster. I have to act as the timing official, I'm the only one who can read a stopwatch. I have to write down license plate numbers of motorists who are a.f.u.
I didn't understand how the title of this article relates to the bicycle club in question; how do their skills have anything to do with their responsibility to the bicycle club?
I used to ride a bike in Jax, while I was stationed there with the Navy. I had to stick to side streets, because Roosevelt Boulevard has cars going too fast.
I had lots of lights on my bike, even turn signals powered by a solar panel.
I had a box on the back of the bike, and it was covered with red and white reflective tape, so it looked like a Florida East Coast Locomotive. The railroad changed it's color scheme since then, I've heard.
It would be nice if some of the abandonned railroad tracks were turned into bike paths. But most of the tracks in Jax are still in use by the Railroads.
Compared to where I live, Jacksonville is flat. There are no real hills to speak of in Jacksonville, so people can ride bikes all day without getting tired. I was surprized that there weren't more cyclists. The lack of hills is something that can make bicycling easy. I rode 65 miles a day, two or three times a week.
I haven't ridden in a week. Last week I rode 17 miles on Sunday, and 18 miles on Tuesday. Today, I think I will check the air in my tires.
The menace is leaves, falling off the trees. I went out and cleaned a few storm drain gratings, which also was good exercise. Today I bought some garbage bags, on account there's more storm drains to clean.
I have a car and five bicycles. All my bicycles are insured by the company that issued my auto insurance policy. (Allstate) The insurance company has on record the serial numbers of my bicycles, and will be willing to work with the Police if any of my bikes are stolen or involved in an accident. Therefore, registration would be redundant, unnecessary, and a waste of taxpayers money, since public employees would be required to keep this duplicate information on file.
Okay, here's an URL:
Now, this is a page about MOTORCYCLES. Why did I post it here? Well, If you remember, I built a series of prototype Human Powered Vehicles (or Electric Mopeds, I had the intent of adding motors), and I did not name them, instead, I gave them numbers; Types 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 9 and ten...
But I left out the number eight (8)!
I was saving 8 for last, so I could call it "The Eight Ball". (In the game of billiards , or pool, the eight ball is the last ball to fall in the pocket).
Now, Victory Motorcycles is producing a Bike called "The Eight Ball"!
So this forces me to change my plans, and I will never name a bike "Type 8".
I hope someone remembers this, in case someone researches my Electric Mopeds someday, maybe a hundred years from now, and can not find photographs of the mysterious Type 8.
So if you are reading this (archive) in the year 2127, looking for the "NFA Vehicles Type 8", go no further, it does not exist. I'm sorry if you wasted time looking for it.
I would like to stop the spread of misinformation. While Electric Bicycles do not require registration, they DO Require Insurance!
An Electric Bike can be added to an existing Auto, Homeowners, or Renters Insurance policy.
I built a Prototype Electric Bike while I was an Engineering student, back in 1986, and I had my bike Insured with Allstate as an "Experimental Vehicle". Today, the term "Electric Bicycle" is used.
I just wanted to correct this error, as I wouldn't want to see anyone get in trouble (or get sued) if there's an accident.
Posted by: First | December 05, 2009 at 09:06 AM
(When I login via my Yahoo account, I somehow get the screen name "First". I do not know why. My Yahoo screen name is "AviationMetalSmith")
Texas Ave is a wide road. Let the bikes have the right lane and pass them on the left. It's labeled "6" on the map, so it's a State Road?
The bad drivers put the bikers in a bad mood sometimes. The bikes don't stop for red lights , but neither do SUV's.
There are bicycle racers who can do the speed limit, and there are others who haven't got a clue. Get a rear view mirror and move over to let traffic go by! Other bicyclers may be taking an entire lane, but they are moving twice as fast as you! Consider your bike to be a "Slow Moving Vehicle". If you use a bicycle for transportation, you are not a racer, different rules apply.
I ride a bicycle, but I also have a gas-powered van. As a driver, I don't know what problems other drivers could have passing a bicycle on Texas Ave, it's straight and has 6 lanes. Where there are 5 lanes, you could fudge it a little without having a head-on collision.
Most bikers have a van or a car.
Get a bike, it's easier than walking.
Since we are on the subject of bikes and snow, I've got a question, it's a real brain twister:
The plows clear the roads and leave the snow on the side of the road (road shoulder). The road shoulder is covered with snow most of the winter, and cars can't use it. But when the spring thaw comes, the snow melts , and bicycles resume riding on the shoulder, right where the snow was. Question: How are the bikes in anyones way, when the motorists got through the winter without using the snow covered shoulder?
Myself, I've got a mini-van, in addition to my bicycles. I do have a set of carbide studded tires for one of my bikes, I should put them on my 21 speed soon. I also like to shovel snow for the exercise, so I shovel snow for people who can't shovel it themselves.
I think my question is a good one, and it points out the fallacious arguments of many motorists.
"LEXINGTON - Last week, early morning bike commuters were whizzing down Lexington's stretch of the Minuteman Bikeway despite the three inches of snow that had fallen the day before.
Their smooth coasting was made possible by a plow that swept the area two days before. It’s a relatively new effort that, at least for this season, means many more snow-free rides to come.
“Last year, everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” said Bicycle Advisory Committee Chairman Peggy Enders. “We were convinced we were jinxed.”
Last year, the town required the organization to pay town contractors to do the plowing, and required the contractors to clear all town streets and sidewalks first. Gates to some sections remained locked, which meant only a snowblower could access portions of the bikepath.
This year, Friends of Lexington Bikeways was allowed to hire its own contractor to clear the path. Enders now has a key to the gates on the eight major roadways crossing the path. Once the gates are opened, a plow can access it.
The Friends of Lexington Bikeways has agreed to foot the bill for the plowing this winter. It is expected to cost approximately $2,000, depending on the number and severity of snowstorms.
The plow operator charges $70 an hour. It took him four hours to do two passes of the 5.5-mile bikeway...."
Ditto on Alek F's comment. Rear view mirrors can save a cyclists life, and ease tension, as the cyclist can move over to let cars go by.
Rear view mirrors are not required in any state, but if you ride a bicycle, you should consider purchasing one.
There is a new kind of bicycle mirror that attaches to the handlebar with a Velcro strap. The Velcro strap has an advantage over "nut and bolt" mount because one doesn't need to carry a wrench to keep the mirror adjusted. Also, the mirror extends from the end of the handlebar, so the rider can actually see the cars behind, and not just his or her clothing. The Velcro mounted mirror makes the overall width of the bike wider, but the mirror can be removed easily to fit the bike through a doorway or other narrow passage- and then re-installed easily.
I think I have a few pictures of this mirror on my daughter's bike:
From above, looking down:
From the seated position:
(Note how this mirror extends from the left handlebar, making the bike wider.)
Mirror un-mounted, on a shelf, showing the Velcro strap:
Also this mirror has a slightly convex shape, so the rider can get a wide-angle view of the road behind. Several manufacturers make mirrors in this style, now days.
I was working on the Type 10 last light. I won't have pictures for a while, but I am installing rear panniers. The type 10 has a "shark fin" made of fiberglass, that the banana seat is mounted to.
I had some enamel coated steel tubes handy, that I salvaged- 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch. I shortened them to 28 inches long, drilled holes, and mounted them to the fiberglass seat post. Now I have some protection for the rear wheel. I had to take the tail lights and directional lights off to facilitate the mounting. I am contemplating removing the Suzuki fairing and replacing it with a coroplast box. I plan to use this bike to haul gravel for trail building , in the Spring.