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  1. #1
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Do You Believe Everything You Read?

    Once in a while a great example comes along that should remind readers the media doesn't have a monopoly on the truth. Moreover, the media doesn't always practice due-diligence, often times fails to pursue objective views (in their haste to break the story), and is therefore often times just plain wrong in passing along stories that may be "what was reported" but not actually true or somehow flawed. This is irresponsible journalism and it happens all the time, probably as often as the real truth gets edited out of the copy so as not to "upset" advertisers or other members of the business and political communities that have dubious relationships with the media.

    This is the story:

    Minnesota trooper writes 205 mph speeding ticket
    WABASHA, Minn. (AP)
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbea...1-speeder_x.htm

    This is what the reporter and every news agency that picked it up and passed it along with great expediency failed to discover before "running" with the story and which may or may not get as much exposure:

    Some doubt motorcycle capable of 205 mph
    Associated Press
    September 24, 2004
    http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4998366.html (Subscription: Apparently 1 time view)
    http://www.officer.com/article/artic...&siteSection=1 (Alt. Source)

    Unfortunately, as readers, we're often times as guilty of and encourage the media (i.e., print/radio/TV news, entertainment, Bloggers, and otherwise) of failing to apply what should always be a wary eye on what is presented to us, whether or not we are pleased, displeased, or just plain titillated by what was reported.

    And how does this play out on the boards? Kind of like this where the story is passed along with the presumption of truth....
    OK wrong post- but its still 2 wheels

    As does often happen, a series of readers 'scan' the article and buy-into the headline's premise or the spin, usually biased by their own view of the subject i.e., being predisposed to be for or against the premise behind the report. The reader not only assumes it to be true, but is often times far more interested in the sensational details (details worthy of the Jerry Springer Show or Dr. Phil, e.g., Deputy Sheriff's son, cost of fines, could have been killed) instead of if the story seems somehow incomplete, not quite accurate, or even credible.

    Facts are usually brought to the party late and don't have the impact or interest that the original story had and thus, the damage is done or the spin gets it play in public. Moreover, being hit with the facts that throw doubt on a 'sensational story" has the same effect of throwing water on a fire and who wants to report that?

    Whom does this type of reporting hurt? Anyone with concern for accurate, objective, well-researched, and credible reporting as well as real people. After all, if it turns out in this Trooper was "wrong" and miscalculated the motorcycle's speed (and that can be proven, by the way), then what's to say that EVERY ticket written for speeding by this Trooper hasn't been "wrong"? In fact, might it not call into question in a very public way the whole premise and validity behind VASCAR or stopwatch-based speed enforcement?

    Bottom Line: Don't kid yourself into thinking that this kind of "infotainment" is limited to dumb kids on motorcycles and reports coming out of po-dunk Minnesota that need to be questioned. Question EVERY THING you hear and read that stirs your emotions or interest, either as a proponent or an opponent of what ever the subject and spin might be. If you don't and you "assume" it to be true, then you're merely a "repeater" for potentially flawed information.

    If you care enough to comment, care enough to read what's actually written and apply critical thinking to the "facts" that are presented BEFORE deciding if what is written is "probably true" or perhaps not quite accurate. Doubt is a good thing.

    Just something to consider.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-24-04 at 04:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    As it is, motorcycle experts say that most unmodified sport bikes already top out at about 185 mph because of limits with their fuel injectors.
    Injectors and rev limiters, yes... Correct!

    To get an RC51 up to 200 mph, they say, the owner would have to change the motorcycle's transmission, fuel injectors and gears - and might have to add either a supercharger or pump nitrous oxide or methane into the fuel system.
    Transmission, no. Injectors, yes. Final deive geraing, yes. Super, wel... Turbocharger and Nitrous Oxide, yes. Methane? Methane is the gas released when you fart! No self respecting motorcycle owner is going to even fart in the general direction of his bike, much less run it through his motor! Perhaps they meant Nitro-Methane? A fuel additive that makes tremendous horsepower at the expense of motor life. think Top Fuel Dragster & Funny Car... they run Nitro-Methane

    All of these changes are possible, but expensive.
    Yes, they are.

    And anyone with those kinds of modifications isn't likely to tool around southern Minnesota with nitrous
    Oh? And why not?



    or jet fuel in his bike,
    Of course not! Jet fuel is nothing but glorified kerosene. You'd destroy the motor in 10 miles trying to run kerosene in a gasoline motor... if you managed to get it to start, that is


    they say.
    Just WTF is 'They"?

    It's just not something that some dude can roll out of his garage and go for a ride and do,'' Ulrich said. ``A hundred fifty? No problem. Two hundred? Big problem.''
    John Ulrich is so full of $hit his eyes are brown! Four hours and you can have a Honda RC at 200 MPH. 16 hours will produce one that will do 210 easily. In a week you can build one that will do 210 all day long!


    Methinks you should politely step down off of your soap box Livingood and be very ashamed of yourself for not practicing what you preach.



    Edited for spelling and 'quote' brackets

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Methinks you should politely step down off of your soap box Livingood and be very ashamed of yourself for not practicing what you preach.
    With all do respect, you are making the wrong argument and introducing a whole bunch of red herring B.S. and other argument fallacies that don't address the issue I am raising.

    The point was and remains the article as presented was incomplete and omitted important facts as many do. It was sensational information rushed into print to break the story first, not to report news. The data point that is not addressed is essential to the truth of the story and it is a fact that a "stock" Honda RC51 will not do 205 mph or anything remotely close to it. However, there are no facts to suggest that this was a modified motorcycle, nor did the author or anyone else who picked-up the story bother to pursue that aspect of the story, e.g., a quick check with Honda USA indicated that a stock Honda 1000cc motorcycle could not achieve this level of performance. It is unknown if the motorcycle had been modified but experts familiar with high performance motocycles suggest it would take X thousands of dollars to increase the stock motorcycle's performance.

    Again, the point is to call into question what is offered up as "truth" without adequate and substatiating information that a reasonable reader familiar with the subject matter could use to evaluate the accuracy of the data. This is part of providing "all the known facts" or "objective commentary" to make something "news worthy" and not just fast copy to sell a story and sensationalize readers. That is the point of THIS discussion and it was stated so at the outset.

    So, by all means, nit-pick the heck out of the other story. The point in bringing up the other story is to point out that there IS a body of knowledge and people in the know who find the story -- as presented -- to be dubious. That it was not reported in the first place begs the veracity of the original story. You assume it to be correct; I make no such assumption because it seems highly improbable. I would expect the same from a responsible news media. That's the point. It's not "what Tilley could have done" or what "other people have done" to their motorcycles that's important or relevant. What is relevant is what, if anything, did he do to the bike he was actually riding.

    If you want to debate aftermarket modifications of motorcycles and all the BS that gets floated around about who hit what speeds, by all means start that thread on a Sportbike list. It's not relevant UNLESS someone takes the bike this kid was running and puts it on a dyno and runs the numbers on the final drive.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-24-04 at 08:49 PM.

  4. #4
    LeMond Lives! Dusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livngood
    With all do respect, you are making the wrong argument and introducing a whole bunch of red herring B.S..

    The point was and remains, a "stock" Honda RC51 will not do 205 mph or anything remotely close to it. There are no facts to suggest that this was a modified motorcycle, no did the author or anyone else who picked-up the story bother to pursue that aspect of the story, e.g., a quick check with Honda USA indicated that a stock Honda 1000cc motorcycle could not achieve this level of performance. It is unknown if the motorcycle had been modified but experts familiar with high performance motocycles suggest it would take X thousands of dollars to increase the stock motorcycle's performance.

    Again, the point is to call into question what is offered up as "truth" without adequate and substatiating information that a reasonable reader familiar with the subject matter could use to evaluate the accuracy of the data. This is part of providing "all the known facts" or "objective commentary" to make something "news worthy" and not just fast copy to sell a story and sensationalize readers. That is the point of THIS discussion and it was stated so at the outset.

    So, by all means, nit-pick the heck out of the other story. The point in bringing up the other story is to point out that there IS a body of knowledge and people in the know who find the story -- as presented -- to be dubious. That it was not reported in the first place begs the veracity of the original story. You assume it to be correct; I make no such assumption because it seems highly improbable. I would expect the same from a responsible news media. That's the point. It's not "what Tilley could have done" or what "other people have done" to their motorcycles that's important or relevant. What is relevant is what, if anything, did he do to the bike he was actually riding.

    If you want to debate aftermarket modifications of motorcycles and all the BS that gets floated around about who hit what speeds, by all means start that thread on a Sportbike list. It's not relevant UNLESS someone takes the bike this kid was running and puts it on a dyno and runs the numbers on the final drive.
    I live about 35 miles from where he was caught. It was all over the local news. They had the guy from the plane that clocked him talking how he used the marking on the road and his timer to make the reading and his point was math doesn’t lie.

    The news did talk about it being a modified bike.

    Cheers.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusk
    The news did talk about it being a modified bike.
    Please find out what the mods are and share those facts if you would / could as it's fairly relevant. I'll eat crow if it's appropriate, but will maintain that the basic argument regarding sensationalism vs. comprehensive reporting still holds. That's my beef. USA Today reporting and sound bites doesn't hack it.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-24-04 at 02:38 PM.

  6. #6
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    A couple points. The article's headline does say 'trooper writes 205mph speeding ticket' which is apparently accurate. The stories I've seen on the subject seem to just report those facts. Where it gets interesting is in the point of whether its the journalists' obligation to verify the facts; i.e. is that particular motorcycle capable of 205? This morning on an email list, a note came across that was purportedly originally from the lucky rider who received the ticket (probably eventually forwarded to half the m/c lists in the world). He says: 1) the bike was modified, but only with an aftermarket exhaust - not enough to bump top end from factory-claimed 186 to 205. 2) He put the bike on a dynometer & could only get it to 154 or so. 3) The pilot who recorded the speed was tracking two vehicles on the road below while operating an aircraft - how accurate are his timings going to be? So there seem to be some data supporting Mark's position that you maybe shouldn't believe everything you read.

    If you're really interested in taking him on for the post, I suggest following up on this allegation:
    Quote Originally Posted by livngood
    po-dunk Minnesota

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Here is a good story that does a much better job of reporting all of the relevant information:

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 22, 2004

    Tale of the 205-mph biker takes your breath away

    JOE SOUCHERAY


    Last Saturday a State Patrol pilot, Al Loney, was watching motorcyclists on Highway 61 near Wabasha. Saturday was the day of the Flood Run, a twice-annual informal motorcycle ride on both sides of the river. The event has grown so large over the years that the coppers turn out in force and even put a bird in the air.

    Historians of the Flood Run have told me that it started in 1965 when a group of motorcyclists from the Twin Cities went to Winona to help with the sandbagging efforts during the memorable spring floods that year.

    It is truly an amazing event for one reason. It has no committees or corporate officers or meetings. I don't how they arrive at the dates or who arrives at them but the word gets out and off they go, once in the spring and once again in the fall. The fire departments and VFWs in the little towns up and down the Wisconsin and Minnesota sides of the Mississippi fill the taps and roll out the bratwurst carts.

    In fact, I was in Lake City Saturday morning and the parade of bikes through town was endless. Up above that morning was Loney. He figured that the two bikes he was most interested in were racing each other and he decided to time one of them with a stopwatch. He did. He timed a motorcycle at 4.39 seconds for a quarter mile, or 205 miles per hour.

    Good God. A state record speeding ticket. The Vikings players who arrived at training camp last month with new Ferraris and Lamborghinis might hit 200 mph. A Porsche Carrera? Probably.

    The culprit turned out be Samuel Armstrong Tilley, 20, of Stillwater, who is either completely goofy or is a professional, there often being little distinction if you have seen a professional drag his knee around an S-curve. I guess young Sam isn't talking. He got a ticket for driving 140 miles over the posted limit of 65. I left a call for Tilley's father, Dean, a Washington County sheriff's deputy.

    In the motorcycling world, everybody wants to know what this kid was riding.

    According to the patrol, Tilley was riding a Honda 1000, but there are a couple of bikes that fit under that loose description. Chances are he was riding one of the jungle-gym bikes. Some people call them "crotch rockets,'' or street bikes, but to me they look like jungle gyms, a couple of bars at odd angles with an engine in the middle.

    My idea of a motorcycle is anything that invokes the imagery of, say, delivering a message to the front in World War II. I guess it is the mystique I am after and not the speed. I know you shouldn't celebrate a lawbreaker, but my hat is off to the Tilley fellow for merely still being alive. I went off a bike once at about 8 miles an hour and laid there like a fish that had been tossed onto the beach, gasping for air. If you went off one at 205 I think you are arranging services.

    I called the fellows at Honda Town on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Honda Town is a true, old-style motorcycle shop, meaning there is oil on the floor in the back room. The Tilley story was definitely the talk around the coffeemaker. Doug Millay, one of the mechanics, said that there isn't a bike out of a Honda box that would go 205 miles per hour.

    "I'll tell you what,'' Millay said. "I would wonder about the accuracy of the radar or the guy's watch.''

    There is that.

    "I mean, yes, if he had a turbo on it or it was supercharged, it is possible,'' Millay said, "but road racers on straightaways might get to, oh, I don't know, 215 maybe.''

    I wish to inform the State Patrol that they don't have to send a plane up for guys my age. I am properly terrified at the posted limit.



    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...9725595.htm?1c

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    After a little checking on the sportbike boards based on halfbiked's comments, someone has pointed me towards a post purportedly from Sam Tilley where the author explains what is represented as "his" (Sam Tilley's) side of the story in three different postings. While I recognize that it could easily be someone just posing as the rider, the story and data sound a lot more plausible than anything else I've been reading. Again, that is the point of this thread; challenging what you read and evaluating if what is being presented is complete, factual, objective, and on face value believable.

    Again, I have no factual data to suggest this is authentic, but it can't be any less useful than what was reported via the Associated Press....

    http://www.sportbikes.net/forums/sea...searchid=88683


    All right, I was the one who got the ticket and it is time to clear some things up. For one, I was riding a 2003 Honda RC51, "heavily modified" with 2 Brothers slip on pipes and, well thats all the mods I have unless you count the "I stop for wh***s" sticker. Next, the bike wasn't impounded, it was towed so it wouldn't be in the roadway. Ok, on to the tickets. 205...uh no. I am personal friends with the owner of "Hitman Motorsports" and tonight, Sept. 22, we did a top speed run on his dyno, in 6th gear, and maxed nearly 60mph slower than I was arrested for. The "no motorcycle endorsement" is because my licence was expired, I do have a motorcycle endoresement for all you people digging into me about that. The stop watch method may be accurate at times, but this is un-conceivable for my motorcycle to approach 205. Honda's RC211v, which is Honda's MotoGP race bike, 5 cyclinders and 268 horespower, just broke 200mph on the track within the last week. And we are talking about a 1/2 to 3/4 million dollar bike. And for you gear-heads, I had on Joe Rocket Boots, Shoei helmet, Leather gloves, Ballistic coat, and leather bottoms. Also, both of us were arrested, and no, the slower one did not get a warning, he was ticketed for 111mph on a F4i. I hope this clears things up for everybody, I am just sick of everyone saying things about what they dont know, making me look like this horrific person. People speed, and if anyone knows anything about the "Flood Run" (which was the ride I was on, which by the way benefits the Gillettes Children Fund) I would be a hell of a lot more concerned about the 7,000 bar-hopping motorcyclist out on the road. 99% of the people you hear things from are misinformed. If you have questions, I will answer them. And one last note, this is information you don't know, the pilot who clocked me, was clocking me, the F4i, and flying his plane at 110mph all at the same time. Think about that for a second.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-27-04 at 10:57 AM.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    John Ulrich is so full of $hit his eyes are brown! Four hours and you can have a Honda RC at 200 MPH. 16 hours will produce one that will do 210 easily. In a week you can build one that will do 210 all day long!
    I apologize for the delay in responding to your critique of the AP article and comments regarding John Ulrich's eyes. I've been multi-tasking all day painting the inside of the house, fixing phones, taking a ride, and other things while poking my nose in on the list now and again.

    However, while painting it dawned on me that your post was, in fact, another perfect example of how what you read in the mainstream media can be so poorly conveyed as to misinform and misrepresent facts. Therefore, while the actual content of the article sincerely wasn't the object of my post and arguments, it is too hard to let the commentary you offered slip by without some observations about how you may have been led astray by the author. My belief is the "facts" you took issue with and the opinion you formed regarding Ulrich were unrelated to his only two quotes in this article. Mind you, I am aware of your stated background as a motorcyclist and your gig as a BMW parts dude from posts to the list so perhaps you have a long-standing opinion of Mr. Ulrich that was merely conveyed upon seeing his name in print.

    That said, John Ulrich, who I don't know but whom I'm familiar with, didn't write the article. He was merely interviewed by "someone" who may or may not have actually written the entire AP article. You'll notice that the Associated Press doesn't name an author, which is to say it was compiled by AP staff from other articles and then pieced together as a new article for distribution to AP subscriber outlets like your local newspaper.

    Thus, what is not quoted was written and edited by reporters or editors who may or may not know jack about motorcycles. So, while the reporter(s) may have correctly captured "injectors" and "rev limiters", it is quite possible they just simplified "changing out the primary and secondary" and ended up with "the motorcycle's transmission, fuel injectors, and gears", noting that none of this is attributed to Ulrich. The same thing goes for the string of unquoted comments that included "..pump nitrous oxide or methane" which could easily have been a truncated version of nitrous oxide and nitromethane, noting the latter IS used by motorcycles that can top 200 mph. Of course, nitromethane isn't usually used on street bikes, instead it's used on drag bikes. However, if you're a reporter who doesn't know much about the story you're writing and you're just trying to find out what it would take to get a motorcycle over 200 mph, it's quite feasible to assume that someone in the motorcycle biz would include nitromethane burning drag bikes in the list. Thus, if the reporter or editor was looking to remove excess words from the article and didn't know the difference between nitrous oxide and nitromethane (quite possibly written in the draft copy as nitro methane) he would just eliminate what he thought was an extraneous "nitro". Later in the article a comment about "jet fuel" is included to which you take exception. Again, if you follow motorcycling in all of its various forms it's not unreasonable to assume that "jet fuel" could end up in this article. Consider if you will that included in a list of what kinds of motorcycles can hit the double-century mark would be the jet powered drag bikes or street bikes like the one that Jay Leno actually owns; Leno's MTT Jet bike has a "theoretical top speed of 266mph". http://www.rideontv.com/episodes/CRN0005/leno.html

    As for, "And anyone with those kinds of modifications isn't likely to tool around southern Minnesota with nitrous or jet fuel in his bike, they say." is, again, not contained in quotes in the original article nor attributed to anyone by name, but probably something that someone actually said or perhaps even added by the author. After all, no one group has a monopoly on ignorance.

    Finally, lets get to the two actual quotes from John Ulrich that do appear in the article which both appear to answer the basic question (and I'm assuming here, please forgive me), "Could a 20 year old take a stock 1000cc Honda motorcycle and hit 205mph?":

    This is the first one: ``Theoretically, it could happen - anything is possible - but I don't believe it,'' said John Ulrich, editor of Roadracing World, a magazine that covers sport bike racing. ``Guys who want to break speed records and go over 200 mph have to go to great lengths to get there.''

    This is the second: It's just not something that some dude can roll out of his garage and go for a ride and do,'' Ulrich said. ``A hundred fifty? No problem. Two hundred? Big problem.''

    If you accept the premise that Ulrich was asked if a stock Honda motorcycle could hit 205mph, then both of these responses seem to be fair assessments since stock street motorcycles can't hit 205mph without modifications. Moreover, the latter is not a physics issue or technical barrier, there has just been a mutual agreement between motorcycle manufacturers to not deliver a stock motorcycle that can achieve 200mph+ . Ulrich never offers any quoted commentary with regard to what could be achieved with modifications, aside from noting that it takes "great lengths" to get there.

    So, there you have it. Again, I maintain that readers must cast a wary eye on what they read to be sure they understand what was said, who said it, in what context, and based on what relevant facts before making too many assumptions about merely one account of a story -- particularly one with serious flaws such as omissions, poor editing, or too much spin and not enough objective balance.

    Nothing personal, this is just my view on this subject.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-27-04 at 10:54 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member East Coast Mojo's Avatar
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    The cop used markings on the pavement and a stopwatch to verify speed. Do a little math and see what a tenth of a second error makes in speed (It would be about 15mph, for the lazy) If the stripes were not exactly 1320 that would make a difference as well.

    The biggest issue with getting that much speed is aerodynamics. The only bike that aproaches it in stock trim is the Suzuki Hyabusa. It has a very aero profile. I would be very suprised to see a RC51, even modded by a competent tuner, that could do 205.

    And yes, I question just about everything I read that I know enough about to doubt the veracity of and a lot of crap I am ignorant on.

    Once again, I have used my wifes login, If you want to flame direct it at Rev.Chuck
    If it ain't mojo, it's worthless!

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    In case anyone is struggling with the connection between how the media reported on a dubious but high-profile speeding ticket, motorcycles, and bicycles, let me bring it more in focus for you....

    Let's talk about how sometimes the police (noting I was at one time in my life a member of the law enforcement community) and media get it wrong when a cyclist is hit by a car....

    We recently lost yet another cyclist here in Atlanta and, from all accounts by objective witnesses, he was riding per the rules of the road and using head and tail lights when he was struck and killed by a motorist. From his training partner comes this description of Tony: "Tony was an avid cyclist, runner and swimmer. He trained around the clock and at very different hours. He was a safe trainer and would never compromise his life nor a training partner's life."

    However, if you read the first two news accounts that were primarily based on statements provided by the investigating officer, you'd come away with a completely different view of the incident. Note: I have included the entire text here because the AJC is yet another newspaper that requires subscription....

    The day of the accident....


    From the AJC on 8/26;
    GWINNETT COUNTY: Bicyclist dies after colliding with car

    A bicyclist was struck by a car and killed just before 5 a.m. Thursday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at McGinnis Ferry Road in Suwanee. Gwinnett County police Sgt. Wayne Thaxton said there are two continuing lanes and a right turn lane on northbound Peachtree Industrial, and the car was in the right continuing lane when one of two bicyclists riding together veered into his lane. The car struck that bike, killing Antonio Serrano, 35, of Alpharetta.

    The day after the accident....


    Gwinnett Daily Post: http://www.gwinnettdailyonline.com/G...3D7732E075.asp
    SUWANEE — A bicyclist who drifted into trafficwas struck and killed Thursday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard north of McGinnis Ferry Road.

    Authorities said Antonio Serrano, 35, and his friend were bicycling north on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at 5 a.m. Thursday when Serrano drifted from a right-turn-only lane into a northbound lane of traffic.

    A 1987 Honda Prelude traveling north at about 45 mph came up behind Serrano and slammed into him, killing him almost instantly. Investigators said either the falling bicycle or Serrano then struck the second bicyclist, 35-year-old Brian Mock. Mock suffered only minor injuries.

    “It was just dark and obviously the car was behind them, so they didn’t see the car coming and the car driver couldn’t see them,” said Sgt. Wayne Thaxton of the Gwinnett Police Accident Investigation Unit.

    Serrano was wearing a helmet, but bicycle helmets are only designed to protect from low-speed impacts, Thaxton said.

    Thaxton said no charges have been filed against the driver, Joseph Nicolosi IV, 19, of Alpharetta, because bicycle riders are supposed to remain on the right edge of the roadway.

    At the site of the accident, Peachtree Industrial Boulevard north is two continuing traffic lanes and a right-turn-only lane. Witnesses said Serrano had been bicycling at the left edge of the right-turn-only lane, bordering closely on the right lane of continuing traffic.

    Serrano and Mock usually rode their bicycles together every morning, and they had already traveled about 15 miles prior to the accident, Thaxton said.
    A week later and in conjunction with a second cyclist fatality in Gwinnett County....


    Gwinnett Daily Post: http://www.gwinnettdailyonline.com/G...191B3A6C94.asp

    ...... a bicyclist was struck and killed at 5 a.m. Thursday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard north of McGinnis Ferry Road. Authorities said Antonio Serrano, 35, and his friend were bicycling north on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard when Serrano was struck by a 1987 Honda Prelude in a northbound lane of traffic.

    Serrano is survived by his wife Kathy and two daughters, Isabel Lee, 3 and Zohe Lynn, 18 months. His brother, Victor Serrano, described Serrano as an experienced bicycler who was training for a triathalon.

    No charges have been filed against the driver, Joseph Nicolosi IV, 19, of Alpharetta, however the accident will be under investigation for 30 to 45 days.

    Several experienced bikers have disagreed with preliminary police investigation results, which has said Serrano should have been riding in the right turn lane to avoid being struck. The right turn lane on that portion of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard is not located at an intersection, rather it is used for entry into several businesses on the right side the road, Thaxton said. The turn lane continues for approximately a mile.

    Thaxton cited a Georgia law which states bicycles are considered vehicles that must abide by traffic law. Another section of the Georgia code states bicycles are required to ride at the right edge of the roadway, defined as the entire surface of a road including the turn lane.

    Matthew Stovall, 38, of Lawrenceville, disagrees with Thaxton’s interpretation of Georgia law. As president of the Gwinnett Bicycle Users Group, Stovall and his wife frequently take between 10 and 50 mile bicycle trips around the county.

    Stovall believes that since bicycles are categorized as vehicles, they should obey the rules of the road by riding along the right edge of the continuing lane of traffic, not the right edge of the turn lane.

    “It would be safer to be at the right edge of the continuing lane to make it clear to drivers he was not going to turn,” Stovall said.

    Stovall, an acquaintance of Serrano, went to the accident scene last week to see the skid marks for himself. Stovall said he hopes that after the accident investigation is complete, police will charge the driver who struck Serrano.


    In the meantime, bicyclists hope the two recent fatalities will remind motorists to be cautious and to share the roadway.

    “All we want from the driving public is a little patience,” Stovall said. “If we delay them for a few seconds, try to keep it in perspective. It is not that big a deal.”

    Family members said a college fund has been set up for Serrano’s children at the office of David Ragland, C.P.A., at 1503 B, Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA 30318.

    And then we have this in response to cyclist's taking issue with the way the investigation was handled....


    Good afternoon.

    Thank you for writing and expressing your concerns. Apparently Police officers and cyclists have a different interpretation or understanding of the laws that dictate where cyclists are required to ride when on the roadway. In an effort to clarify this issue I have asked representatives from the Gwinnett County Law Department, Solicitor's Office and District Attorney's Office for their opinions in this matter. I will respond to your e-mail in a more thorough manner when I have received their input.

    In the mean time, I would like to point out that the investigation into the tragic accident that claimed Mr. Serrano's life is still ongoing and appropriate charges may be made if the facts of the case reveal violation(s) of the law.

    Thank you again.

    Major Rick Edmunds
    Gwinnett County Police Department
    Last edited by livngood; 09-24-04 at 09:06 PM.

  12. #12
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Mark, for some one who has such a busy day you seem to have a lot of time available for prolific posting.

    Your original post raised issue with investigating the facts of a written piece and then you posted a comparative article which presumably contained more 'facts'. IMHO, the supportive piece you posted contained more conjecture than the sensationalized piece you put under the microscope. It's my belief that if one is to lambaste the work of another for lack of accuracy, the least that person could do is make sure the supportive documents were indeed more acurate than the one in question.

    The real issue with the original article was whether the bike was capable of doing 205. You support that with an article that after I 'nitpick' apart for fallacy and inacuracy, you yourself discredit. Please Mr.Livingood, just what side of the fence are you on here?

    Oh, so you don't continue to make yourself sound even MORE foolish than has already been done... you need to check YOUR facts pallie. A BMW parts "dude"? LMAO! If you'd have done your homework properly as you have so boldly taken others to task, you would know for certian that I'm not a "dude".

    As I suggested before: Methinks you should politely step down off of your soap box Livingood and be very ashamed of yourself for not practicing what you preach.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Forgive the faux pas; I biased my interest in your background to the relevant professional experience not your gender.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    IMHO, the supportive piece you posted contained more conjecture than the sensationalized piece you put under the microscope.
    The "supporting piece" merely called into question the veracity of the original story. I would have liked to cite a better-written piece but they are conspicuosly in short supply. Over time, the facts will bear out the truth but that rarely gets as much fanfare. So, perhaps in a week or so a quality article written by a credible motorcycling publication will surface. However, despite it's editorial flaws, it asks the question and broaches the issue that the original piece didn't and that was the point. I subsequently found and provided what I thought was even a better article that did embody the "question" regarding feasibility but I guess that's not pertinent.

    As to the nitpicking, I've addressed your comments on the piece the best way I know how. If you find my observations flawed or otherwise illogical that is your prerogative. I recognized what I perceived to be editorial flaws and understood what points were being made. That you choose to cast a more severe eye on them and find fundamental inaccuracy, again, is your prerogative.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy
    The real issue with the original article was whether the bike was capable of doing 205. You support that with an article that after I 'nitpick' apart for fallacy and inacuracy, you yourself discredit. Please Mr.Livingood, just what side of the fence are you on here?
    Again, the point of the article -- despite it's editorial weaknesses -- was that it called upon an expert to question the original claim who made the point that a stock RC51 could not acheive the speed claimed by the officers (period). You may have assumed there was more to it than that, but that was your assumption not something I stated. It also made the point that, yes, you can modify motorcycles and achieve speeds in excess of 200 mph, but that may be irrelevant if the motorcycle ridden by Tilley was not modified in such a way.

    As to my position on the 205mph article -- which is not the point of this thread but the one you can't seem to let go of -- it remains unchanged: I'm not going to say "didn't happen" or that the cop had a fat thumb on the stopwatch, but I will say let's put that bike on a dyno and run the numbers on the final drive to see how many revs it would need to pull to hit 205 mph.
    OK wrong post- but its still 2 wheels

    I'll stand by my comments and arguments. If I look foolish, then so be it. I can live with that. I have been wrong before and have admitted so when it was appropriate. I also respect your right to disagree. And, yes, I have probably wasted too much of my time on this subject today: even at 125wpm, it does take time to compose your thoughts and check sources. I'm not even sure why this touched a nerve but it did....

  14. #14
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I was rather put out by that "Po-Dunk Minnesota" comment there "Bubba".

  15. #15
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The defendent's side of the story begins to emerge as court date looms ahead on Monday, October 25th....

    Rather than dual-posting, here is a cross-link to the information:
    OK wrong post- but its still 2 wheels

  16. #16
    World Champion, 1899 Maj.Taylor's Avatar
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    Why did I read this thread? Duh.
    Campagnolo --> Spare Parts Catalog
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  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    One of the impacts of the "National Enquirer", Fox News, and the Intenet has been to eliminate "truth" as a requirement for publishing a story. It is now standard practice for "serious" media sources, such as the Washington Post, or the New York Times, to reprint stories without knowing or caring if they were "true", and if they were acually are meaningful "news".

    The "serious" media do it this way: "New York Times": According Fox News, Senator Kerry never spent two years serving in the Navy in Viet-Nam - during the years in question, he was actually a Russian secret agent, working undercover in the French wine region."

    If someone asks the "Times", why did you print such a goofy story, the reponse would be: WE did not say he was a Russian secret agent. WE said that Fox said he was a Russian secret agent.

    A few weeks ago, some media source released a story staying that Houston Astro's pitcher Roger Clemens had been thrown out of a "Youth" baseball came by an umpire for misconduct.

    The story was then repeated coast to coast by the TV networks, and newspapers. The Dallas newspaper ran an editorial saying "This is What is Wrong with Sports".

    A few days later, someone bothered to talk with people who actually had been at the game. The story was a fiction. Some media sources gave a tiny bit of coverage to note that their prior story had been a fiction. Many did not bother to publish a correction.

    Fifty years ago, it was required for a reporter to talk to the witnesses before writing a story. And, fifty years ago, even if the story was true, an editor would have said "This is something of interest only to people at the game - printing the story would embarrass Roger's kids, who have already been embarrassed - I'm not printing the story".

    And, my guess is, Roger's agent is going to be talking with McDonalds, or someone about filming some commercials. And the company is going to say, "Well, disrupting kids' baseball games, stuff like that, he is not really the kind of guy McDonalds wants in a commercial".

    So, even "serious" newspapers are full of stories about some movie star's sex life, often false. And, there will be no "in-depth" coverage of what the school board is doing with the $3,000 per year the average homeowner is giving them. Too busy spreading lies and gossip to actually cover any news.

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