Category Archives: Bicycle Safety

Some Things

Pedaled to Daily Grind for coffee beans.  As I passed my local cop shop, traveling over fresh new pavement adorned with blinding white sharrows in the middle of the lane, with officers getting into cars and what not, a dude in a Cadillac pick up honked at me.  Wanted me to get over.  Wasn’t safe, so I didn’t.  He honked again.  I didn’t.  Then the parked cars were no longer and I pulled over to let him pass, which he did.  I pedaled the next block smelling the stank from his stogie and storing away the experience.  Tossed it in a big pile of similar ones under which I have placed a cardboard sign that says “Laws Don’t Mean Shit.”  Not when people don’t know them.  Not when the police don’t enforce them.  They are just there, raising our expectations for a very brief moment until we pedal in the real world and find we’re all basically alone (Andrew Bird–Imitosis).

Got a mediocre falafel at a new to me falafel hole on Lark.  Guy said he’d been open for two years.  Huh.  It came with tzatziki sauce (yogurt).  Huh.  I need to get out more.  I forget that some folks make falafel with yogurt (rather than tahini).  Didn’t have the energy to talk to him about it.  Next time I will just go to Hot Dog Heaven and have them fry me up a Field Roast dog (hope that train is still running).  Got my beans and crossed the street to Fuzz Records.  Bought Dum Dum Girls’–Only in Dreams.  Surfy goodness is punching out of the hifi now.  Pedaled home.  A block before the cop shop I got two more honks to pull over.  Didn’t until it was safe, then they passed.  On the block of the cop shop a car passed me within a foot.  I pulled up next to the driver at the light and asked her to leave three feet when she passes.  I said it was the law.  She said she didn’t know that was the law.  I said now you do.  That was that.

All very cool, but golly it would be nice if the city ran a PSA with a few helpful tips.  Something like learn then follow the ef’ing law a-holes.  I’ve been doing great ignoring losers but when they accrue on a short ride, my deputy dog badge starts a tinglin’ right through my vest pocket. I sometimes can’t help myself.  I interact.  Don’t want to, but there I am doing just that.  Gotta cut those puppet strings.  Anyone have some comically big scissors?

Parts & Labor are still making me smile.  Just watched them cover Kanye’s Runaway.  I stopped the video half way through to check out Kanye’s work.  I hadn’t heard the song.  Glad I did.  Muy pleasant, and fits with my sort of cross mood courtesy of my motoring neighbors.

Part’s & Labor’s version:

Part’s & Labor killed it, don’t you think?

Have a swell weekend, folks.

 

 

Wasted Ones and Zeros

Helmet or no?  You decide.  If you’d enjoy something in writing to make you feel better about your choice to ride without, here you go!  If you’d enjoy something in writing to make you feel better about your choice to ride with, here you go:

I am happy to be part of a pedaling minority, but I am generally unwilling to be among the group of Americans saying no to helmets (although I may occasionally ride helmetless around the block when and if the mood strikes).  I understand that some consider it to be a chicken and egg issue–that I should skip my helmet so that others would feel better about the idea of pedaling to the point they’d do some themselves–but I am too big of a chicken to ride with an unprotected egg.  Although the protection afforded by bicycle helmets is negligible (when compared to helmets used in motorsport), I feel better with a little something something up top.  Always have (I wore a Bell Biker as a kid at a time when few were bothering).  It is just the way I am wired.

In support of my reticence to skip a lid, I turn the issue around.  Instead of making cycling look safer by pedaling without a helmet (where my bare head would be a bit player in a theater production largely for the benefit of others), I’d rather overlook the implication of danger that arises with helmet use (where my self-deception benefits me directly–my kind of theater).  The same way I accept motoring in vehicles with seat belts and airbags, I happily pedal with a helmet in a country of mostly helmeted riders–perceived danger be damned!  Selfish, but I am ok with that in this context.

I am not certain there is a causal connection between shedding lids and increased riding and increased safety.  Could be a coincidence.   My guess is the real causes for the different experiences among countries are more complicated.  It is possible that some countries have higher pedaling rates and lower injury rates because their citizens are simply better motorists and pedalers than are we.  That might have something to do with better education of motorists and pedalers.  Might have something to do with road design.  Might have something to do with tough laws and judges placing blame on motorists when warranted.  Might have something to do with a greater respect for life.  Who knows, really, but to explain our different experience by pointing to a preference for helmet use is a cop out.  Or at least an over simplification.  Instead of placing the blame for our abysmal cycling rates on a piece of molded plastic, take full responsibility for the welfare of all by driving even more safely and politely and pedaling even more skillfully and politely and, if you prefer, keep a bucket on your coconut.

I was just in Arizona were I am always surprised to see all the helmetless motorbikers.  Do motorbikers in the rest of the country wear helmets only because they are told to do so?  Unlike flimsy bicycle helmets, motorbike helmets can be very protective.  If I still motorbiked and found myself in Arizona, I might ride helmetless three times a year, same as I do on my bicycle.  Just for fun.  But I’d wear a full face helmet 99% of the time.  Even when not in the midst of crashing, the visor would protect my eyes and the enclosure would protect my hearing.  I appreciated these conveniences on every ride.  Similarly, I enjoy my bicycle helmet even when I am not flying through the air–my helmet, without fail, remembers to bring along my lights and mirror (they are zip tied in place).  I’d rather dork out my helmet than my beautiful bicycles.  At least the bicycle gets to look cool when I step away from it.

Again, do what you want (unless you are Lacey).  Lacey:  I can’t let you pick good hair over the contented feeling I get knowing that if a careless or mean motorist hits you just so, and you land just so, your helmet may make a positive difference.  Selfish, but again I will forgive myself in this context.  Does it help to know that I don’t think your helmet messes up your hair?  Probably not.  I’ve been married long enough to know when it is time to put down the shovel.

Stepping away from the shovel!

Heavy Mood

Postal carrier delivered this to me (as I was in the yard cutting back and digging out surplus hostas).  

I am a sucker for colored vinyl.  Love it almost as much as I love Tilly and the Wall.  Their new album, Heavy Mood, is muy bueno.  Writing very good in spanish is as close as I am going to get to writing an interesting review.  I am seriously tired from digging hostas.  Deal with it (or just trust me and buy the LP).  By the way, the LP is a single color.  The mottling is the result of my squishing down the file size to save space.

On Sunday Lacey and I pedaled to the Spectrum to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.  Staged by the National Theater in London.  We were watching a recording of a live performance at a movie theater.  What a world we live in!  Such a good play.  Impressive use of dance and technology to relate the goings on in a mind on Asperger syndrome.  See it if you get the chance.

On the way home a car honked at Lacey or me–I can’t remember.  It was just a honk.  Nothing more.  Who cares?  Apparently I did.  Although I’ve been consistently ignoring misbehaving motorists as I pedal, something snapped this time.  I didn’t say or do anything ridiculous, but my insides were on fire and my face was probably a few degrees short of pokerish.  Maybe I am only getting better at controlling my emotions when pedaling alone.  Exhibit anything other than caution and respect in the presence of my dearest Lacey and things can get ugly.  It was good that the front seat passenger rolled down her window and apologized twenty ways to Sunday, but I have more work to do.

Today Frida stopped and stared at a white Honda Civic.  Not quite a Fit, but there is a strong family resemblance.  Just like she used to stop and stare at Beetles, but  this was the first time she exhibited a recognition that small white Hondas might give up a Lacey if stared at long enough.  Didn’t work this time, but it was cute as all get out.

That’s enough for now.  Hope you are well.

Speed Matters

Sounds like New York City gets it.  The following stats were especially eye opening:

…a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 m.p.h. had only a 30 percent chance to survive. Those struck by a car at 30 m.p.h., she said, survive 80 percent of the time. At 20 m.p.h., the figure climbs to about 95 percent.

Drive?  Then you, too, can kill.

Don’t wait until you hit someone to accept that (a) going slower increases the time you have to see other road users and to process what you see and (b) slowing reduces the danger you present to other road users if you don’t see them.  Few things in life are that sure and that easy.

Do you really need to get where you are going a few minutes early?  Is my life less important than you getting to work on time?   It was roughly noon and sunny both times I was hit.  In both incidents the motorists said they didn’t see me, but because they were going well under 20 (they were both starting from a stop just before they hit me), I didn’t suffer as much as a bruise.  OK, one of the two times I was on a motorbike and was wearing a full protective suit with armor covering my back, elbows, knees and shoulders and a full face helmet, but I was going 30 and could have been messed up if the driver was going faster.  The second incident was on my bike, and I had just a helmet, shorts and a tee shirt.  Still, not a bruise.

Last weekend Lacey and I pedaled downtown for burritos.  In the short ride, we had two close passes by vehicles exceeding the 30 mph speed limit.  The first was a cab.  I was angry but held it in.  The second was a big SUV.  I screamed something–Hey!, I think.  He stopped at the next light.  I stopped well behind him.  He asked out his window what he had done.  I said he passed too close.  He said sorry and sounded sincere.  I said sorry, too (I hadn’t done anything wrong and wasn’t sorry in the moment for using my mouth as a horn, but I am programmed to apologize).  That was about the best outcome one could hope for.

One reasonable exchange shouldn’t make the rule.  More often than not these on-road education sessions go nowhere or worse.  Some people are hard to reach.  These may be the folks who drink and drive, drive and text, speed through construction sites and don’t change lanes to give room to officers who’ve pulled someone over.  All illegal and the laws are highly publicized, but the laws are too often ignored and tickets are rarely issued.   Seems like murderers will sooner get the death penalty than a driver’s license will be suspended.  I have given up trying to understand it.  Instead, I will do my best to not make things worse.  Not convert a kind motorist into an angry one.  I will ride predictably and within the law.  I will take the lane only as long as I need it to be safe.  When I am slighted I will try to pretend I am in a car bubble and say not a thing.  Just move on.  I am learning that the only person I can hope to control is me so that’s where I will direct my energies.

It isn’t easy, though.  Anger accretes.  In the case of the two close passes on our burrito run, there was zero traffic in the oncoming lane–we were on a complete ghost road–such that the close passers had no reason to pass within three feet of Lacey and I.  The two drivers opted to buzz us as they passed.  That bugs me more than anything.  When I want to be really upset (and truly I never do),  I remember that all close passes are optional and illegal.  Passers can and should, are required by law, to always wait to pass until the pass can be executed with at least three feet of space.  Why not more than three feet, just to be safe?    These things that go through my head after most every close pass.  The second close pass in a couple of blocks on an empty road can be just too much.  I have more work to do.

That’s enough of that.

Forward Fast

It was here that I wrote about the New York Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and, specifically, the elimination of my favorite sign–Bicycles May Use Full Lane.  I don’t know that the sign has been added back to the manual, but I was invited to comment on a policy regarding sharrows advanced by the New York State Department of Transportation and the policy suggests the signs may come back in one form or another.  The NYDOT wanted input on four proposed signs.  Each is placed under a yellow diamond sign depicting a bicycle.  A:  “May Use Full Lane.”  B:  “Using Full Lane.”  C:  “Using Lane.”  D:  “In Lane.”  I still think A is the right way to go and said so.  A beats B only because A is more familiar.  Otherwise B is a tie.  C and D–not so good.  When the word “full” is omitted, it isn’t clear that bicyclists can leave the right side of the lane.  The policy also directs sharrows to be placed way out in the lane–very nice.  Finally, the policy discusses sharing in more detail than usual.  “Share the lane” is about as far as anyone thinks it through, but you know I like to break it down into two distinct kinds of sharing–side by side sharing for wide lanes and one after the other sharing when lanes are narrow.  I am impressed with the efforts from the NYDOT and look forward to more good work in the future.  Three cheers!

Deep Breaths

Long time!  I’ve been here and I trust you’ve been there.  Work is the dominant theme in my life and about that I don’t care to share more.

Scrabble with the men’s group last night.  I left between the two games.  I tried to leave with grace but I was pretty upset.  One member wants to limit conversation so that he can concentrate.  Me, I’d rather talk than play.  I accept his reminders and acquiesce, but last night I stewed.  Rather than stew through game two, I went home to Lacey.  That felt great.  This morning I wrote him a note to explain my feelings and got a most wonderful reply.  Sometimes communication works.

Pedaled the Rivendell Road to a FedEx drop box to send a package for work.  Saving twenty minutes by driving is in no way better than getting a few lungfuls of air.  I was in a marked bicycle lane (about where the northwest bound red car is in the image below) and a car passing on my right honked as they passed.  It is a stupid narrow bicycle lane and the lanes to the left and right are narrow too.  I am sure it complies with zero traffic design criteria.  It is always a bit of a pucker moment as cars race by (at 45) on my left and right as I pedal the tightrope bicycle lane.  So the honking.  If you pedal, you know how scary this can be.  This time my heart jumped into my throat and I replied HEY, but that’s not the end of the world.  Still.  If you want to be mean, honk.  Very effective way to increase anger.  If, on the other hand, you are scared that you are going to hit a bicyclist, don’t honk.  Slow and follow at a safe distance until it is safe and not scary to pass.  Please?

Just walked Frida.  Lovely weather just now.  I say hi to most everyone I pass.  Somedays I get no replies and feel invisible and sad.  Today everyone replied cheerfully and it felt great.  Give out hellos, folks.  They are a free and unlimited resource.  If you don’t want to initiate the exchange, at least participate in it when invited.  You’ll be doing someone a big favor.

Stopped in the drive of my new friend and had a cry with him.  His wife died recently and we talk about it most every time we see one another.  Today he shared his regret for sitting at the end of the bed as his wife passed.  He wishes he would have been laying next to her, holding her, in her last moments.  My poor, poor friend.  So happy to be able to cry with him.

If you know me, you know to what I am referring when I use the term the house that got away.  It is for sale again and I talked to the owners in the driveway.  I am sad to report it sounds like they took a lot of the good out of it.  The average joe will probably love it, but for me it was the time capsule nature that made it all good.  We might go have a look at it this weekend, just to be sure.  I would be shocked if we made a move within the same city, but looking is fun.  Full report to follow.

Lunch time.  Have a great weekend.

Matzoh Balls!

Passover is upon us so its time to build stuff from Matzoh.  Vegan matzoh balls!  I can’t believe I’ve never written about these little treasures.  Lacey got the recipe from Lagusta, but I helped test and Lagusta gave me permission to share, so here you are!  

Of course these don’t look good–they’re matzoh balls.  Their only chance of looking good is floating in a pretty broth, which I don’t have together so balls on a plate are what you get.  Click on the picture, then again, and look at the nice texture on the cut one.  Let’s make some more, together!

Heat to boiling a large pot of salted water.

In a small pot, boil for 10 minutes and stir occasionally 2 cups of water and 1/3 cup of whole flax seeds.  Pour the resulting liquid through a strainer and help it through by stirring and pressing with a spoon.  You’ll use the strained liquid (“flax seed goo”) and discard the seeds.

Whiz seven sheets of Matzoh in a food processor to end up with 2 cups of coarse matzoh meal.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the flax seed goo, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup seltzer water, 1 Tbs. dill and salt and pepper to taste.  Now add the matzoh meal and stir to combine.

Home stretch!  Hand-form roughly sixteen 1.5 inch balls and boil for 20 minutes.

Are the balls not forming?  A couple of fixes.  First, you can grind the meal more finely.  Not a problem that you have all the ingredients together at this point.  Put the whole mess into the food processor and whiz some more.  This has worked for Lagusta.  She also suggests that this could be a way to make the whole business go faster–toss all the ingredients in the processor from the git go.  It should work.  Join the open source vegan matzoh ball team.  Try it and report back!  Alternatively, add a splash more seltzer and mix some more.  This I tried when my dough was too dry–with it the balls formed easily.  

Don’t forget to save the cooking water to use as a base when making a Lagusta inspired stock (see the first link in this post).  That’s that.  Hooray for vegan matzoh ball soup!

M. Ward’s A Wasteland Companion arrived yesterday.  Fantastic.  Come by for a listen.  I preordered it from the label.  Since I now know that early pressings are of better quality than later pressings, it occurs to me that preording from the label might be one way to get an early pressing.  I can’t be sure.  Maybe the press ships all the run to the label at once without identifying the pressing order, but it is fun to pretend.  My copy sure sounds nice.

Do I still bicycle?  Sometimes, yes!  Today I was pedaling slowly through a big grocery store parking lot.  Spidey senses were a’tingling.  Who can relax while pedaling through a large parking lot?  Grabbed the brakes to avoid being hit by a motorist motoring through the parked cars (instead of in the traffic lane) and talking on a cell phone.  “Yo!” came out of my mouth as I moved left and stopped.  The motorist heard me and mouthed sorry.  I felt so loved (in an unloved, unseen, way).  Whatever.  Three cheers for my Paul’s front brake and Velosteel coaster brake.  USA!  Czech Republic!  Wonder twin powers activate–form of a bicycle not hit by an inattentive motorist!  Sigh.

Later.

Metal Pedals Are Dangerous, Too

Public Bikes with Wellgo pedals have been recalled.  Kudos to Public for announcing the recall on their homepage (but they need to correct the reference to models years 2010 to 2011 to read 2010 to 2012, and “safety update” is a little soft–”recall” would be the more responsible characterization).  Summary?  Twenty-four reports of the pedals cracking (presumably at the spindle), no injuries.  I wonder how injury is defined in government recall land?  Hard to imagine a pedal cracking without something tender getting bonked.  Wellgo is a big outfit making (to my knowledge) mostly pedals.  I am surprised they produce any pedal that runs into problems.  Granted, they probably face significant pressure to cut costs as their pedals most often show up on lower priced bicycles.  Here, though, we see Wellgo pedals on a $1,250 bicycle.  If you’ve purchased a mass-produced bicycle, pedals are too often cheap afterthoughts.  Don’t wait for the injury or the recall.  Consider upgrading yours today!  I trust any pedal from MKS.

Other?  This is disturbing, but not surprising.  I should be more clear.  The disturbing but not surprising part is that the NYPD was historically not required to file accident reports for accidents involving bicycles.  I’ve experienced the second class citizen treatment when I was hit (and no ticket issued), which is why I am not surprised.  Glad that the disparity has been resolved (but still no guaranty of a ticket being issued–that’s an officer’s discretion it seems).  However, it sounds like a disparity remains in that accident investigators are not required to be dispatched in bicycle-versus-car accidents unless someone is killed or is considered “likely to die.”  Yikes.  City Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) proposed a  bill to correct this, commenting that  “there have been several cases not properly investigated by police because the victim wasn’t likely to die, including one in which a woman broke her back.”  Double Yikes.  What does it mean to propose a bill versus introduce it.  Proposing a bill sounds like something less.  Like maybe it is just a sound bite.  We should know.  NYSBC–are you out there?

Let’s try to be more careful.  Let’s equip and maintain our bicycles responsibly and ride in a way that there is no need for accident reports or investigators.  As is so often the case, we can’t count on others to look out for us.

Enjoy your weekend!

Virtue Liberty and Independence

Pennsylvania has their act together.  To my eye, this is the clearest and most agreeable collection of laws aimed at fostering safe and harmonious sharing of roadways.  Good that their supplemental laws go into effect on April 2 (rather than April 1).  Otherwise I would have trouble believing I wasn’t just another April fool.

The Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver’s Manual is spot on, too.  The only thing I would suggest is that the Bicycle Driver’s Handbook be added to the general driver’s manual, rather than be printed and posted as a stand alone manual.  I am afraid a separate manual will be ignored by the majority of cyclists and all almost all motor vehicle users.  Put them together and add questions relating to the Bicycle Driver’s Handbook to the driver’s test.  Maybe the bit about how to install and use toeclips can come out, too.  Or at least change the image.  How many people are running Lyotard Marcel Berthet pedals and Avocet shoes (other than me?). 

New York should follow suit.  Three things specifically.  (1) Adopt the supplemental law.  (2) Build the Bicycle Driver’s Handbook as a new chapter in the general driver’s manual.   (3) Add questions relating to the Bicycle Driver’s Handbook to the driver’s test.

Image from here.

The New York State Bicycle Coalition (NYSBC) should drop what they are doing and make this happen.  Perhaps we could induce them to act by pledging a donation to the NYSBC should they make these three things happen.  I’ll start the ball rolling with a $100 pledge.  Make it happen and the money is yours.  Make your pledge here or perhaps someone else could organize a more formal pledge drive.  Albany Bicycle Coalition?  Make it happen for all our sakes.

UPDATE:  Maybe the Penn laws aren’t so special (if one bothers to read them–ahem).  I was attracted to the presentation of the laws by the author of the article.  Here are the relevant sections of the law, so you can decide for yourself.  

§ 3301. Driving on right side of roadway.

(a) General rule.–Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway except as follows:

(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction where permitted by the rules governing such movement.

(2) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the roadway, provided the driver yields the right- of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the roadway within such distance as to constitute a hazard.

(3) When and where official traffic-control devices are in place designating a lane or lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for the movement indicated by the devices.

(4) Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.

(5) When making a left turn as provided in sections 3322 (relating to vehicle turning left) and 3331 (relating to required position and method of turning).

(6) In accordance with section 3303(a)(3) (relating to overtaking vehicle on the left).

(b) Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.–(1) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway.

(2) This subsection does not apply to: (i) A driver who must necessarily drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his intended route. (ii) A pedalcycle operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians).

(c) Pedalcycles.–

(1) Upon all roadways, any pedalcycle operating in accordance with Chapter 35, proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway.

(2) This subsection does not apply to: (i) A pedalcycle using any portion of an available roadway due to unsafe surface conditions. (ii) A pedalcycle using a roadway that has a width of not more than one lane of traffic in each direction.

§ 3303. Overtaking vehicle on the left. (a) General rule.–The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions and special rules stated in this chapter… (3) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed.

§ 3307. No-passing zones. (b.1) Overtaking pedalcycles.–It is permissible to pass a pedalcycle, if done in accordance with sections 3303(a)(3) (relating to overtaking vehicle on the left) and 3305 (relating to limitations on overtaking on the left).

Sec. 3331.  Required position and method of turning.  (e) Interference with pedalcycles.–No turn by a driver of a motor vehicle shall interfere with a pedalcycle proceeding straight while operating in accordance with Chapter 35 (relating to special vehicles and pedestrians).Required position and method of turning. Limitations on turning around. Moving stopped or parked vehicle. Turning movements and required signals. Signals by hand and arm or signal lamps. Method of giving hand and arm signals.

§ 3505. Riding on roadways and pedalcycle paths. (a) General rule.–Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), every person operating a pedalcycle upon a highway shall obey the applicable rules of the road as contained in this title.

(b) Operation on shoulder.–A pedalcycle may be operated on the shoulder of a highway and shall be operated in the same direction as required of vehicles operated on the roadway. All turns shall be made in accordance with section 3331 (relating to required position and method of turning).

(c) Slower than prevailing speeds.–A pedalcycle operated at slower than prevailing speed shall be operated in accordance with the provisions of section 3301 (relating to driving on right side of roadway) unless it is unsafe to do so.

(d) One-way roadways.–Any person operating a pedalcycle upon a roadway which carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(e) Limitation on riding abreast.–Persons riding pedalcycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of pedalcycles.

There’s more (helmets, lights, etc.), but these provisions cover the sharing aspects of the Penn laws.  Not that different than New York.  So what can I get in a lather about?  First, the article (first link in this post) is great.  It would be nice to see such an article in our local paper.  In all papers.  Every Spring.  Most recitations of bicycling laws in the press are slanted in favor of motorists rights.  For instance, they remind cyclists to stay to the right and omit the exceptions when cyclists can leave the right side of the road.  Never a mention of cyclists controlling the lane.  That’s huge!  Second, the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver’s Manual.  I read that and stand by my support of it.  The same thing should be a chapter in the general New York driver’s manual and questions relating to bicycles should be in the drivers test.

That’s enough of that.

Letting Go

The adhesive on our sharrows knows how to let go.  I’ll guess the city plowed maybe six times this winter, but still the sharrows disappear.  Disappear isn’t right.  They just move from where they were placed onto front lawns.  Two weeks ago, on a three block stretch of Lincoln Ave., I spotted a dozen or so sharrow bits on front lawns.  Today I pedaled that stretch again and picked up what was there.

I ended up with three heads, one point five wheels, two chevrons and various frame bits.  I understand the city intends to reapply these each year.  I wonder what that costs all in?  Parts and labor total $229 per sharrow in Portland.  That’s a lot of dough.  I’d rather it go to pay a firefighter’s salary or pension.  I wonder if people, as they see them more often, are learning what they mean.  Recently I was driving with an avid bicycle commuter who asked me what the markings meant.  Is there any hope?  It’d be nice if more people just shared the roads better without the signs.

Seventies today.  I pedaled to the garden to lay hose to the back gardens before people planted and then to the grocery.  Yesterday I pedaled to get Lacey’s framed Peppermint Patty latch hook.  My Burley trailer is getting a real workout!

The frame came out great.  Local?  I recommend Alacrity Frame Workshop.

Later!