Bike Burrito

Bike Burrito

0 comment Sunday, April 20, 2014 |
About a year and a half ago, I reported on an incident in LA that has now become the rallying cry for holding violent drivers accountable for endangering cyclists. Today, we find that the defendant, 60 year old ER doctor Christopher Thompson has been found guilty on all counts. For better coverage, check out the VeloNews reports.
It's a relief to see at least one case where the obvious offender has to pay for their actions despite having the best legal representation money can buy. I will say that the defense argument was stupid, basically saying Thompson was pulling over to take a photo of these belligerent cyclists, and that they crashed due to the "inherent instability of the bicycle". You couldn't find two more sympathetic plaintiffs, Ron Peterson was a cycling coach at USC and UCLA and a racer, and Christian Stoehr was a very experienced racer. They had corroborating witnesses and a police report from two other cyclists of a prior incident with the same car.
My hope going forward is that incidents of road aggression don't require as compelling a body of evidence in order to hold violent drivers accountable. We all know most incidents don't leave as much evidence in their wake, but are no less dangerous.
Safe riding out there.

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0 comment Saturday, April 19, 2014 |
This is the RTD bus stop at 14th and Broadway. I first noticed this bike a couple weeks ago when I was jogging to the library from my office, and I kept forgetting to get a photo of it. Looks like this Magna mouthed off to the wrong bus rider.
Check out the U-lock. Bends, but doesn't break.

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Today I had the unique opportunity to race a co-worker back to my house after work. She must have had zero traffic because when I came flying through the door, she was sitting comfortably on the couch talking with Trinh. Even though we had not deemed it a "race" as we left the office. We both acknowledged that as we left work - we were wondering who was going to be first to arrive at my house. I mean, she even had time to parallel park. Urrghh. I think in the grand scheme of things - it was pretty close. Maybe a minute or two difference - and I can live with that.

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0 comment Friday, April 18, 2014 |
Last Friday, riding home from work heading south on Race Street, I pulled up to the stoplight at the intersection with Colfax. Across the street and four lanes of traffic away was another cyclist, waiting to cross Colfax. I recognized her as Emily Latta, bike enthusiast and barista extraordinaire at St. Mark's. This was our conversation:
Me, yelling in between cars speeding by on Colfax: "YEEEEEAAAAH!"
Emily, yelling across the street: "Hey, friend!"
Me: "Are you going to work?"
At this point, the light turns green and we both start pedaling slowly, each with a car following.
Emily: "No. Hey, ride at 9:00 tonight."
Me: "Awww, I gotta get up early. Sorry."
We could have stopped in the middle of Colfax to continue the conversation, but we didn't. Apparently neither of us wanted to pass up the green light and wait for the other one on the other side of Colfax, either. That was it.

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Here's something I think you should do. Call your state senator and ask them to support SB - 148, sponsored by watermelon farmer, Cat-3 cyclist, and State Senator, Greg Brophy.
There are some great parts to this bill, one under threat of being cut is the mandatory 3-foot passing space when a driver is passing a cyclist. The other parts deal with stricter penalties for throwing objects at cyclists or other endangering behavior, and simplifies rules regarding two abreast riding (which Josh and I have blogged about before).
I have a horror story regarding bad motorist behavior. When I was about 19, riding in Las Vegas, I was stopped at a light waiting for the change, when out of nowhere some creep in a panel van hucked a half eaten buffalo wing at me. Sadly, it hit me square in the chest, and I was revolted. If I'd had a gun on my bike, as Brendan has proposed in the past, it surely would have ended badly. I would have at least liked to know that had they been apprehended, there would be some stiff penalty and jailtime awaiting them.

So call your state senators, and tell them to vote for this, and together we can put an end to buffalo wing related bicycle violence.
Here's the Plea:
Please Contact Your State Senator
-Proposed 3 feet-to-pass under attack-
The 2009 Colorado Bicycle Safety Bill will be voted on by the State Senate possibly as soon as this Friday, Feb. 13. This bill will help protect bicyclists on roads and makes it easier for motorists to pass bicyclists safely. Opponents are trying to remove the 3 feet safe passing distance.
Here's how you can help:
1. Call or email the State Senator from your district:
Suggested points to put into your own words-
-I encourage you to support Senate Bill 148
-Please keep the 3 foot safe passing distance
-I believe this bill will improve road safety
**This is a State Bill, please do not contact Federal Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet**
2. Forward this message to riding friends, family, and people who care about road safety. Include this on your blog/club website/networking site.
Colorado Bicycle Bill Passes First Vote
On Tuesday, February 10, Senate Bill 148 passed the Senate Transportation Committee on a 6-0 vote! The Larimer County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Road Carriers Association (trucking) testified against giving bicyclists a safe distance of at least three feet. We expect an amendment on the Senate floor to try to strip the 3 foot buffer out of the bill. Your help can make the difference to keep 3 feet alive. Please follow the steps above.
About Senate Bill 148
Bicycle Colorado is leading efforts to improve safety on Colorado roads. Senate Bill 148 will help accomplish this goal. Sponsored by Senator Greg Brophy (R) and Representative Michael Merrifield (D) and a host of bipartisan co-sponsors, the bill makes it easier for motorists to safely pass bicyclists, allows bicyclists to ride where it is safe, simplifies the two abreast rule, and creates penalties for dangerous actions directed at bicyclists. Full details and text of the bill are on our website.

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0 comment Thursday, April 17, 2014 |
I am guilty of road rage.
There I said it.
My name is Eric and I am a road rager.
It all stems from the frustration that traffic causes. I can't get from point A to point B as fast as I would like therefore I get angry. The farther I have to go on city streets, the more intense my road rage gets.
This is why I ride a bike. Well that's not the only reason (I recall referring to myself a cheap bastard a few weeks ago). The bike is fun and the ride is calming. But I still get frustrated at times. And yes, I have even pulled out the middle finger a few times.
But what does this do? The guy who is on the receiving end of the obscene gesture is probably also frustrated with factors outside of my existence. He or she then returns the bird and goes on thinking he did nothing wrong. Nothing is accomplished other than furthering anger and flaring tempers.
Several years ago I sped down an on ramp to enter the interstate. A semi blocked my entry into the driving lane by what I perceived to be the driver's acceleration. So I continued along the shoulder and sped in front of him and hung my middle finger high out the window. I went into the subway off the next exit only to be shoved from behind into the chip stand. The driver had followed me there with the intention of knocking some sense into me. I escaped harm with the help of some state troopers.
What does this have to do with bicycling?
A lot.
Road rage affects us all. Whether it is an angry cab driver attacking a cyclist or a bike rider calling a driver a fat ass road rage can be dangerous and even deadly no matter who starts is.
I was walking down the street in front of my apartment an hour ago when I saw a woman flipping off the driver in front of her. I can only imagine how this woman was wronged by the other driver.
In response the man returned the signal and both drivers went along their way. And I went home and laughed about the situation realizing how silly I must look when I get mad in traffic.
I think I will try to remain calm while riding my bike from now on.

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0 comment |
I was riding around last night after returning some merch to REI, and while headed East on 17th in that loose snow crap on the side of the lane, I hit a patch of just covered glare ice. While normally this isn't a problem, the crumby snow had me a little off balance and the bike starts kicking out to my left. On my way down, I somehow unclipped my shoe (yay Eggbeaters!) and planted my heel on the ice while holding the handlebar with my left hand. I kept the bike from slamming on the ground and after a couple of weird one legged hops I got my other foot out and regained my balance.
I gave a thumbs up to the car that had just seen this, and enjoyed it as the next car spun their wheels on the same thing I hit. I re-mounted, and all was in order. With enough ice riding, I just may get used to this sort of thing.

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