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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-20-07, 08:17 AM   #1
gfrance
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Bruise cruise for cyclists

Saw this piece and two things came to mind: Stop blaming the cyclists when there are no bike paths and drivers don't give a $^#%. Then I thought, all those newly converted "hipsters" in Brooklyn riding brakeless FG bikes may have reached their own critical mass.


Bruise cruise for cyclists

Injuries mount as bike riders' accidents rise in 2 nabes

BY DENISE ROMANO
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Monday, August 20th 2007, 4:00 AM



These days, bike riders in Brooklyn's "hipster" neighborhoods ought to be ever-mindful of the old adage: "Look both ways before crossing the street."

The number of accidents involving bicycles in Williamsburg and Greenpoint has skyrocketed since the beginning of the spring.

"One fatality was a bike rider going through a red light," said Teresa Toro, transportation chairwoman of Brooklyn Community Board 1. "Apparently he didn't look both ways."

According to stats given to the Daily News by the 94th Precinct, the number of bicycle injuries in May, June and July increased 188% when compared with the same period last year, with eight bike injuries in 2006, compared with 23 in 2007.

"It's really scary," Toro said, adding that this is a widespread phenomenon and not just contained to a few neighborhood intersections. "I just wish people would be more careful."

In the 90th Precinct, there was a 38% increase in bike injuries, with only 32 occurring from January to July of 2006 and 44 occurring during the same period this year. Also in the 90th Precinct, the number of injuries that happened during all accidents decreased, but the number of injuries in bike accidents remained steady.

In both precincts, most of the crashes involved victims ages 19 to 40.

Wiley Norvell, communications director for Transportation Alternatives, said the steady increase in tragedies is inevitable, and the lack of bicycle paths is to blame.

"The Williamsburg Bridge is the busiest bridge with bike traffic in the city," Norvell said.

The Bedford Ave. L-train stop is busy, too, he said, noting that the subway stop is a bike-and-ride destination, where people park their bikes at a bike rack and then hop on the train.

"With all of this biking, it's hard to understand why there are so few bike lanes," Norvell said. "There is very little space dedicated to them on the streets."

But the numbers don't lie. Stats show that in most incidents, bicycles are to blame.

Out of 29 bicycle accidents in the 94th Precinct during May, June and July this year, the cyclist was found at fault in 17.

Toro said that something needs to be done before more lives are lost.

"Please, people, look around and be more careful," she said, "This worries me a lot."
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Old 08-20-07, 08:34 AM   #2
mathletics
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I wonder how many of those accidents really are brakeless fg kids and perhaps the more interesting detail of how many, if any, "accidents" were unfairly blamed on the cyclist simply for not having a brake.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:44 AM   #3
bonechilling
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I'm as much of a car-hater as you can find, so I don't sympathize with drivers in the least. Saying that, and knowing that it's entirely speculative, I'm definitely in the critical-mass-of-morons camp.

Last edited by bonechilling; 08-20-07 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:50 AM   #4
Aeroplane
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Originally Posted by mathletics View Post
I wonder ... how many, if any, "accidents" were unfairly blamed on the cyclist simply for not having a brake.
Exactly. When the people who determine fault are jerks, people don't get the chance to draw their own conclusions.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:43 AM   #5
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I got hit once while doing something illegal. I was riding on the sidewalk because in this particular situation it seemed safer and more convenient for both me and the motorists around me to do so. Still, I was at fault. Had there been at least some kind of bike infrastructure in place it wouldn't have happened because I wouldn't have been forced from an unsafe situation into a different unsafe (and illegal) situation. But like the article said, "the numbers don't lie" and it must be the cyclists causing all this havoc.
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