N.Y. judge to cyclists: “Watch for dogs”

#WhyWeRide San Jose

In 2009, Wolfgang Doerr was just riding along in New York City’s Central Park when he collided with a 45 pound dog. A couple of years later, Cheryl Dobinski crashed while avoiding a pair of German shepherds south of Buffalo, NY.

Both cyclists sued the dog owners, and both cases made their way up to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s top court, where Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaa told the cyclists, “In public parks, one regularly encounters dog owners with their unrestrained canine companions.”

She ruled against the cyclists because they should have expected unrestrained dogs and taken more caution when cycling.

I agree with this reasoning. Now if only our courts would also recognize that motorists should also slow down to watch for children and other pedestrians and people on bikes when they drive.

H/T Bike Hugger.

Categories: accident, Musings | Leave a comment

This Just In: You’re On Vacation From Me!

(That's why they're morbidly obese.)

Well Canada Day is behind us but now it's time for the petulant sibling with behavioral issues to demand his own birthday party, only with BIGGER EXPLOSIONS and JUICIER GRILLED MEAT and BIG BIG SAVINGS ON NEW CARS AND TRUCKS!!!

(That's a shitty pun even by car dealership standards.)

Likewise, in the spirit of petulance, I'll be adjourning this blog as of today until Monday, July 13th, at which point I will resume regular updates...just in time for Bastille Day:

(A typical, non-stereotypical Frenchman.)

Good for them.  As for me, I don't give a fuck what people put in their guacamole.  Furthermore I think it's highly disingenuous for either of them to criticize, given that America is the country that now makes burritos out of chili cheese fries:

Pass some legislation against that and then you can start picking peas out of people's guacamole.

(Pro tip: In a pinch, guacamole makes a great chamois cream.)

Incredibly, despite our world-renowned cuisine, a reader informs me that 35% of us would consider leaving Canada's grease trap:

Though most of us don't because we're too lazy:

Note that almost 60% of Americans live here for the same reason you still have the pie plate on your bike: "I dunno, that's just the way it is.  I didn't even realize you could do anything about it."

Note also that 5% of Americans stay here because of something called "weath," which I'm assuming is either "wealth" or "wheat"--and which means it's probably not a coincidence that absolutely nobody cited "educational system" as a reason for staying.

Still, this chart is surprising, because I would have expected it to look more like this:

Americans are as good at math as they are at spealing.

Moreover, fully 55% of "millennials" would split if given the opportunity (or, as we call it in America, "oppertunatee"):

This percentage greatly increases for those age 18 to 34. More than half of millennials, a whopping 55 percent, said that they would consider leaving the U.S. for foreign shores. Among them, 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women noted that a higher salary would be a factor in their relocation decision.

So is this because millennials are fickle and spoiled by life in the Land of the Free, or is it because America's really not all it's cracked up to be?

I suspect the answer to this question is "Yes."

Indeed, sometimes it seems like nobody's happy in America.  Take the Supreme Court's recent decision on marriage equality.  You'd think that in the wake of a landmark civil rights victory only the religious nutjobs would be complaining, but when it comes to relentless dissatisfaction you should never discount bitter single people:

Firstly, this is something of a cultural watershed, for it marks the day the fixed-gear bicycle replaced the cat as the official symbol for "single person:"

Secondly, the writer is upset because he thinks our culture is prejudiced against single people:

Isn’t it enough to be denied the “constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage”? A constellation my coupled queer sisters and brethren now can hold dearly if they just make it official? Once again, being single is the dreary, awful, mournful alternative to marriage. A condition to be pitied, and quickly corrected by a sprint to City Hall.

This is exactly wrong.  Indeed, the only reason nobody talks about the "constellation of benefits" to being single as because it's so completely obvious as to not warrant mentioning.  (Hint: it's called "Doing Whatever The Fuck You Want.")  This is why you get emails like this from your single cycling friends:

"We're heading out around 11am tomorrow to do 6 or 7 hours.  May stop for beers afterwards.  Let us know if you want to join."

Of course they know you can't join, they just do it to taunt you.

Still, he feels that the Supreme Court's decision has only marginalized single people further:

And so old questions remain: Why can’t I put a good friend on my health care plan? Why can’t my neighbor and I file our taxes together so we could save some money, as my parents do? If I failed to make a will, why is it unlikely a dear friend would inherit my estate?

The answers to all these questions are the same: It’s because I’m not having sex with those people. 

Uh, no, that's not the answer.  Sex has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Plenty of married people don't have sex with each other.

Though if all of this was about sex then filing your taxes would sure be a lot more interesting.

And here's his conclusion:

What Justice Kennedy, and everyone else too, needs to remember is that simply being yourself — your single self — is already the fundamental form of dignity. Founding your dignity on something as flimsy and volatile as a sexual connection insures dignity’s precariousness as it enshrines your inherent unworthiness as a single individual.

I'm not even sure what that means.  It sounds like Lennard Zinn explaining aerodynamic gains, which is something I've been ruminating for the past week.  Here's that Zinn passage again, by the way:

Think of time savings as water pouring into a bucket. Sagan, since his power savings are so much higher with the new equipment than yours are, turns the faucet up high, but he pulls the bucket away sooner because he’s done with his 40km sooner; that limits the total water collected in the bucket. Because our power savings would be lower for the same change in equipment, we would have the faucet on a lower flow rate. But since we’re out there longer, our bucket stays under the faucet longer and ends up with a similar amount of water in it as Sagan’s does.

I think what he's saying is that with a Venge-Schmenge we're just as good as Peter Sagan, even if he too has a Venge-Schmenge--which, coincidentally, is exactly what Specialized wants you to believe.

Funny how that works out.

Of course, we all know it's the rider and not the bike, which this action-packed video proves:

The astute viewer will note certain clues that this rider is not a roadie.  First, there's the low saddle height:

Then there's the unusual handlebar position:

But most telling, he's smiling:

No roadie in the history of the velocipede has ever smiled.

Anyway, what's harder than riding down a hill backwards on your front wheel?

Riding down a hill backwards on your front wheel while inviting the world to kiss your scranus:

Alas, if only road bikes could always be this entertaining...  Instead, we get the Tour de France, which is why they're trying to replace all that soporific castle porn with GoPro footage:

"By mounting cameras to the fastest cyclists in the world as they take on the 21-stage race, GoPro will be capturing immersive, never-before-seen content, bringing cycling fans inside the peloton," GoPro said.

Yes, content like this:
And this:

And even this:

I can hardly wait.

And with that this blog is on hiatus starting...NOW!

See you all back here on Monday, July 13th.

Thanks for reading, ride safe, and happy everything,

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Categories: cycling, this just in | Leave a comment

Yolo County bicycle hit & run ends with police dog takedown

Update: Sac Bee reports 38-year-old driver Alamar Houston will be charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and felony driving under the influence of drugs. Two 17-year-old cyclists were seriously injured, one of them critically. 51-year-old Donald Dumaine (whose story is recounted below) suffered road rash when Houston allegedly pushed him from the road. Full story (behind a paywall) at the Sacramento Bee.

Alamar Cyril Houston has a record, with multiple arrests in Glenn, Yolo and Sacramento Counties for petty theft, receiving stolen property, burglary, trespassing and failure to appear.

Several news outlets reported yesterday’s police chase after a hit-and-run versus three cyclists that ended with a police dog takedown of the suspect in Sacramento, California, but there’s much more to this story.

South River Road cyclist hit-and-run broken bicycle

The Sacramento Bee [paywall] and Fox News reported a hit-and-run “accident” on South River Road in Yolo County, California between Clarksburg and West Sacramento. Three cyclists were hit by a blue Hyundai SUV. Two of these cyclists were seriously injured; one required a helicopter medevac.

Several witnesses provided a good description of the fleeing vehicle. West Sacramento Police spotted the vehicle and ordered the driver to pull over. The driver ran, and police pursued over the river into Sacramento, where the driver trapped himself in an alley. The chase continued on foot when a police dog took the suspect down.

Witnesses and the victims claim the hits were intentional. Here’s the report from one of the less seriously injured cyclists.

Tuesday evening I went for bike ride.

This was supposed to be the normal Tuesday evening River Ride (group ride/race training) but it was 105 degrees and nobody showed up for the River Ride. I rode solo on the River Ride route along South River Road. I was just beginning a set of max effort intervals (VO2 max) and was about 1 mile north of the Freeport bridge. I had one minute left on my interval when I saw a blue car quickly move toward me on my left. This movement was deliberate. The car kept moving sideways and contacted me, pushing me about 1-2 feet to the right. The car quickly passed and without the car pushing me right any more the bike swerved left and I went down at 26 mph. As I slid on the asphalt I saw the car drive away.

Another car was coming from the opposite direction on the narrow River Road and he stopped after he passed me. I screamed at this driver to turn around and follow the car that had run me off the road. The witness just sat there and I yelled and pleaded for him to act. About 1 – 2 minutes later the witness turned around. I was out of the road and had my bike propped on the guard rail by this time. The witness told me he would go up the road to see if he could find the driver. I knew it was too late but I thanked him and told him I would call 911.

I called 911 and told the operator what happened, I was injured but did not need an ambulance. I requested the police respond to take a report. Soon I heard sirens and more sirens. A motorist coming from up the road told me there were two seriously injured cyclists about ½ mile up the road. I told this guy I was relatively OK and that I had been deliberately run down by a car. Everyone wanted to know what type of car hit me but I did not get a good look. I told the 911 operator it was a dark blue Hyundai SUV or other smallish SUV type car. I called Marlaigne.

Multiple fire trucks and ambulances passed me. I knew I was not the important emergency situation and I patiently waited for someone to talk to me. I heard more sirens and helicopters. A homeowner came out and I told him what was happening. Another cyclist wearing a Davis Bike Club kit rode up and I told him the situation.

The homeowner went up the road and soon a volunteer firefighter from Clarksburg showed up and checked me out. The firefighter told us to go up the road to talk to the police. The scene up the road was awful. A lifeflight helicopter was landing to take one of the cyclists away. Two bikes were in the road and one was mutilated. A cyclist was in an ambulance. A guy at the back of the ambulance was the rider’s (Jonathan Jackson) father. I looked in the ambulance and recognized the rider as one of the young guys that has been on some of the River rides. The CHP officer taking my info had the drivers license of the critically injured rider clipped on his clipboard. I could not read the name and I did not recognize him.

The best news was the officers were hearing they had a suspect in custody. I repeated my guess that the car was a blue Hyundai to the CHP and sheriff’s officers. They began a crash / crime scene investigation. There was a debate if my bike needed to be impounded as evidence. I took the bike home (it was my red Madone, not the new Emonda).

So here is the current situation: I have some bad road rash on my left side. It is only a “scratch” compared to the injuries to the other two cyclists.

The piece of s that ran us over was caught in Sacramento after a chase and some well-deserved K9 bites.

My bike has some scratches and maybe a cracked frame.

The witness said the driver swerved out, then swerved into me on purpose. It was not an accident or distracted driving.

Via Cliff in Sacramento.

Categories: accident, News | Leave a comment

Use cases for Garmin’s new traffic radar

In case you missed it, Garmin announced their Garmin Varia rearview bike radar, which signals the rider of traffic approaching from the rear.

Garmin Varia bike radar

There’s tremendous interest in this gizmo and I’m sure I’ll see at least a few on-bike radar devices after this product launches in October, but I’m curious: what is the actual benefit of a rear radar for cyclists?

Garmin Varia Bike Radar

Garmin purchased the assets of iKubu, a startup that attempted a crowdsourced bike radar they called the “Backtracker.” A number of gadget and fitness blogs have remarked on the amazing ability of Garmin to redesign and launch this product within six months. Garmin announced Varia this week, but actual product launch is scheduled for October. I’m on a design team for servers that sell for $50,000 and up, and these aren’t your basic low-cost rackmount units using generic reference designs; if we can’t get product out within ten months, we cancel the project. But I digress.

Alien motion detector

Garmin’s marketing copy capitalizes on fear from the rear. The threat is real. That’s why getting some extra help knowing what’s sneaking up behind you is an important breakthrough.” Is this useful in preventing hit-from-behind collisions? Although hit-from-behind are very rare, this is indeed the type of crash that is mostly likely to kill you as a cyclist in the United States.

The Varia device keys on micro-changes in air density to detect alien death creatures approaching from the rear. This information is sent to either the dedicated display unit designed for the Varia, or to a compatible Edge cycling computer via Garmin’s wireless ANT+ interface. This display shows the relative speed, distance, and “threat level” (Garmin’s words, and good grief) of approaching chestbursters, predators and motor vehicles so you can jump out of the way or take other countermeasures.

Aliens Colonial Marines

Use cases?

I still don’t see how you’re supposed to know when a car will hit you. Although several people online have already commented on the questionable utility of this bike radar, Garmin obviously believes there’s a market for this device.

Varia has a more useful feature that Garmin doesn’t talk about as much: the tail light unit included with the radar flashes brighter and faster as the vehicle approaches. When I’m taking the lane on a narrow road, I typically use the “slow down” hand signal when I hear traffic approaching quickly from behind me. I really like this flashing light feature.

But what about that display? Does it really help knowing there’s traffic approaching from behind? After all, isn’t that kind of our default assumption when cycling on the road?

I can think of five scenarios where this bike radar might be helpful.

  1. Two abreast riding. You and your buddies are riding two (or more) abreast on an otherwise empty shareable road. The bike radar signals “car back!” and everybody moves over to ride single file. When the way is clear again, you can ride two abreast and resume your conversation.

    Aliens Ripley

  2. Stiff neck. You have a left turn or you need to merge left up ahead in possibly busy traffic. A stiff neck makes the head check difficult, so instead of constantly scanning back to look for that gap in traffic, maybe you can glance down at your M314 motion detector for the gap, then do your head check to confirm the gap and perform your merge.
  3. Sometimes I play in traffic. This has happened to me: I’m on a country road with no traffic and I’m riding very slowly while shooting bike selfies or otherwise goofing off in the middle of a shareable lane. While riding no-handed, I check my self-portrait on the phone and notice the car behind me, with the driver waiting patiently for me to get out of the way. Ooops!
  4. Seat warmer. Radar operates in the microwave band. Point that up and a little forward on a cold day and warm your tush!
  5. Traffic calming device. I don’t know which specific band Garmin uses, but if it uses one of the police radar bands, maybe you can trigger the radar detectors in every car behind you, encouraging these drivers to slow down. If a different frequency band is used, how hard would it be to hack one of these units to transmit on a speed gun band?

These can be handy functions, but is it really worthwhile to spend $200 to $300 for functionality that can be performed equally well with bicycle mirrors?

Interesting product with possible benefits, but color me dubious.

DC Rainmaker got his hands on an advance review unit and gives what seems to be good review.

Categories: safety | Leave a comment

Feels Like a Wednesday.

So the Tour de France starts this Saturday.

I know, who gives a shit, right?

Well, sure, but this year the Tour starts in Utrecht, and so the Dutch are using this as an opportunity to rub our noses in the fact that they live in a cycling paradise:

BIKE - The amazing world of cyclists in Utrecht from BLIK filmcommunicatie on Vimeo.

I enjoyed the video, but the filmmakers overstepped their bounds a bit by offering some cringeworthy editorial notes in their email:

Suggestion for posts:
You can open your post with something like this:
Yes, The Dutch Are Mad, Wheel Mad.
Or more environmentalist:
Why don't we be more like those wheel mad Dutchies

OK, easy there, Maxwell Perkins.  You make the delightful bike movies, I'll take care of the wiseass blogging.

So anyway, why don't we be more like those wheel mad Dutchies, eh?  They are Mad, Wheel Mad!  They are also "diverse"--at least according to the narrator:

"A bizarre twist of nature with a booming diversity."



From the looks of things Utrecht makes Portland look like Queens.

See, in New York City we have actual diversity.  Here, people from all different ethnic backgrounds live side by side, exchange customs, and ultimately run over one another without fear of reprisal:

(Via Mark)

According to witnesses who spoke with CrownHeights.info and DNAinfo, the driver was backing out of a parking space when he hit Rapp near Balfor Place and Empire Boulevard, then ran over him again in an apparent attempt to free him from under the car. 

Hey, third time's a charm!

You can now add "I was attempting to free the victim" to the list of acceptable reasons to run someone over with your car.  This is like saying, "The first time I shot him was an accident, and the second and third shots were just me trying to dislodge the bullet."

It's like when your ball gets stuck in the tree, so you throw another ball at it and then that ball gets stuck, and so forth.

Hey, it could happen to anybody.

This is why I'm considering applying for asylum in the Netherlands--and I think I have a pretty good shot at it too:


You will be eligible for asylum if:

  • You have sound reasons to fear persecution in your country of origin because of your race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or because you belong to a certain social group.
  • You have sound reasons to fear inhumane treatment in your country of origin.
  • You are a family member of someone who now holds an asylum residence permit and you travelled to the Netherlands together with this family member or you have arrived in the Netherlands within 3 months from the date on which this family member was granted asylum.

Persecution because I belong to a certain social group?  You betcha!  As a cyclist I'm well aware that many of my fellow citizens would like to put me inna deeeitch.  I also fear inhumane treatment in my country of origin--in fact, my own state senate recently voted to give bus and taxi drivers the right to run me over!  So how's that for persecution and inhumane treatment?

I'll just keep checking my mail for that Dutch passport, and in the meantime I'm going to go get fitted for some rollerclogs:

Speaking of being a member of a despised social group, here's the town of Southold on the east end of Long Island:

(Long Island: New York's double-pronged wang.)

As per a commenter on yesterday's post, its seems that the Town Supervisor has moved to ban all bicycle-related events from May to October:

As swarms of bicyclists continue to flagrantly disregard the rules of the road, putting motorists and themselves in jeopardy, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell has proposed a ban on all bicycle and race events on town roads during the height of the summer season.

The ban, if approved, would be in place from May 1 to October 1.

This is because Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley says cyclists are the "number one complaint" they receive:

“I don’t know if our roads can support it anymore,” Flatley said. “The number one complaint we get now is about bicyclists on the roads, riding four or five abreast, not following the rules of the road.”

To me, this is less an indication that cyclists are a problem and more that WE NEED TO GIVE THESE PEOPLE MORE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT!  Really, their biggest problem is cyclists riding abreast?  If their existence is this rarefied then banning bike events is not going to work, because they'll only move onto complaining about some other non-problem, and next year Chief Flatley will be besieged with calls about how the local coffee shop has stopped putting out free pickles and cole slaw, or about how it's been unseasonably cold recently.

Moving on to product development news, here's a Kickstarter for something that's actually useful:


Specifically, it's a backpack with pockets you can access while riding, and here's a mesmerizing GIF that illustrates the principle:

As a backpack wearer and cyclist I acknowledge the convenience of this feature, so I give the concept a preliminary "thumbs up:"

Good for you.

Lastly, I bet you guys thought I forgot!

And in honor of this auspicious day here's some news via reader Jean-Francois about a brazen Canadian Cipollini heist:

On June 19, a man and woman entered the store at around 2:19 p.m., seemingly to browse. The woman idly wandered around the store, checking out inventory. The man, meanwhile, turned his attention to the high-end Italian Cipollini near the front door. The road bike — white with red and green striping on the frame, and equipped with Campagnolo wheels — was resting on a rack, from which the man then lifted the bike and placed it on the floor. Two minutes later, he opened the front door and pulled the bike out of the shop.

When it comes to pulling out quickly, nothing's faster than a Cipollini.

Categories: cycling | Leave a comment

Work zone bicycle considerations

Here are selections from Part 6 on “Temporary Traffic Control Devices” in the 2014 California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which describes the “cone zone” signs, pavement markings, barriers and other “traffic control devices” used in road construction zones.

Bikes May Use Full Lane Tasman Drive Santa Clara

You can refer to this document when writing a nasty-gram to your local road agency in California if you see construction signs obstructing bike facilities, or if a bike facility is temporarily closed due to construction detour signs are completely lacking. Unfortunately, most of the text uses the word “should,” which is considered guidance rather than a standard, giving contractors a lot of wiggle room. Anything with “shall” is a standard and required under state law. Refer to the original document for context and completeness.

Section 6D.101(CA) Bicycle Considerations

01 There are several considerations in planning for bicyclists in TTC zones on highways and streets:
A. A travel route that replicates the most desirable characteristics of a wide paved shoulder or bikeway through or around the TTC zone is desirable for bicyclists.
B. If the TTC zone interrupts the continuity of an existing bikeway system, signs directing bicyclists through or around the zone and back to the bikeway is desirable.
C. Unless a separate bike path through or around the TTC zone is provided, adequate roadway lane width to allow bicyclists and motor vehicles to travel side by side through or around the TTC zone is desirable.
D. When the roadway width is inadequate for allowing bicyclists and motor vehicles to travel side by side, warning signs should be used to advise motorists of the presence of bicyclists in the travel way lanes. See Section 6G.05 for more details.
E. Bicyclists shall not be led into direct conflicts with mainline traffic, work site vehicles, or equipment moving through or around the TTC zone.
02 Figures 6H-15, 6H-30, 6H-32(CA), 6H-36(CA), 6H-101(CA), 6H-102(CA), 6H-103(CA), and 6H-104(CA) show typical TTC device usage and techniques for bicycle movement through TTC zones.

Detour signs block bike lane *and* sidewalk

Section 6F.03 Sign Placement

8. Sign supports should be located so as to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists in areas designated for their use. A minimum lateral width of 4 feet should be maintained for pedestrian pathways. If the bottom of a secondary sign that is mounted below another sign is mounted lower than 7 feet above a pedestrian sidewalk or pathway (see Section 6D.02), the secondary sign should not project more than 4 inches into the pedestrian facility.

Section 6F.59 Detour Signs (M4-8, M4-8a, M4-8b, M4-9, M4-9a, M4-9b, M4-9c, and M4-10)

10 The Pedestrian/Bicycle Detour (M4-9a) sign (see Figure 6F-5) should be used where a pedestrian/bicycle detour route has been established because of the closing of a pedestrian/bicycle facility to through traffic.
11 If used, the Pedestrian/Bicycle Detour sign shall have an arrow pointing in the appropriate direction.
12 The arrow on a Pedestrian/Bicycle Detour sign may be on the sign face or on a supplemental plaque.
13 The Pedestrian Detour (M4-9b) sign or Bicycle Detour (M4-9c) sign (see Figure 6F-5) may be used where a pedestrian or bicycle detour route (not both) has been established because of the closing of the pedestrian or bicycle facility to through traffic.

Caltrans 2014 MUTCD TTC diagram

Section 6G.05 Work Affecting Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities

01 It is not uncommon, particularly in urban areas, that road work and the associated TTC will affect existing pedestrian or bicycle facilities. It is essential that the needs of all road users, including pedestrians with disabilities, are considered in TTC zones.
02 In addition to specific provisions identified in Sections 6G.06 through 6G.14, there are a number of provisions that might be applicable for all of the types of activities identified in this Chapter.
03 Where pedestrian or bicycle usage is high, the typical applications should be modified by giving particular attention to the provisions set forth in Chapter 6D, this Chapter, Section 6F.74, and in other Sections of Part 6 related to accessibility and detectability provisions in TTC zones.
04 Pedestrians should be separated from the worksite by appropriate devices that maintain the accessibility and detectability for pedestrians with disabilities.
05 Bicyclists and pedestrians should not be exposed to unprotected excavations, open utility access, overhanging equipment, or other such conditions.

06 Except for short duration and mobile operations, when a highway shoulder is occupied, a SHOULDER WORK (W21-5) sign, a SHOULDER CLOSED C30A(CA) sign, or other similar signs should be placed in advance of the activity area. When work is performed on a paved shoulder 8 feet or more in width, channelizing devices should be placed on a taper having a length that conforms to the requirements of a shoulder taper. Signs should be placed such that they do not narrow any existing pedestrian passages to less than 48 inches.
06a When existing accommodations for bicycle travel are disrupted or closed in a long-term duration project (see Section 6G.02), information and devices contained in Figures 6H-101(CA) through 6H-104(CA), as appropriate per situation encountered, should be used in order to replicate existing conditions for the needs and control of bicyclists through a TTC zone.
06b Except for short durations and mobile operations (see Section 6G.02), when a highway shoulder is occupied and bicyclists would be sharing a lane with vehicular traffic, as a result of the TTC zone, a combination of Bicycle crossing (W11-1) and SHARE THE ROAD (W16-1P) plaque should be placed in advance of the activity area. When work is performed on a paved shoulder 8 feet or more in width, channelizing devices should be placed on a taper having a length that conforms to the requirements of a shoulder taper. Signs should be placed such that they do not block the bicyclist’s path of travel and they do not narrow any existing pedestrian passages to less than 48 inches.
07 Pedestrian detours should be avoided since pedestrians rarely observe them and the cost of providing accessibility and detectability might outweigh the cost of maintaining a continuous route. Whenever possible, work should be done in a manner that does not create a need to detour pedestrians from existing routes or crossings.
08 Where pedestrian routes are closed, alternate pedestrian routes shall be provided.
09 When existing pedestrian facilities are disrupted, closed, or relocated in a TTC zone, the temporary facilities shall be detectable and shall include accessibility features consistent with the features present in the existing pedestrian facility.
10 If establishing or maintaining an alternate pedestrian route is not feasible during the project, an alternate means of providing for pedestrians may be used, such as adding free bus service around the project or assigning a person the responsibility to assist pedestrians with disabilities through the project limits. See Section 6D.01 for details.

Bike path detour

Section 6G.11 Work Within the Traveled Way of an Urban Street

06 If a designated bicycle route is closed because of the work being done, a signed alternate route should be provided. Bicyclists should not be directed onto the path used by pedestrians.

Notes for Figure 6H-6—Typical Application 6 Shoulder Work with Minor Encroachment

14. All advance warning signs should be placed so that the path of travel for bicycles is not blocked, while maintaining visibility for road users.
15. When existing accommodations for bicycle travel are disrupted or closed in a long-term duration project (see Section 6G.02) and the roadway width is inadequate for allowing bicyclists and motor vehicles to travel side by side, the Bicycle
Warning (W11-1) sign and the SHARE THE ROAD (W16-1P) plaque should be used to advise motorists of the presence of bicyclists in the travel way lanes.
16. Except for short durations and mobile operations, when a highway shoulder is occupied and bicyclists would be sharing a lane with vehicular traffic, as a result of the TTC zone, speed reduction countermeasures should be used to reduce traffic speeds in the TTC zone. Refer to Sections 6C.01 and 6D.03.
17. Except for short durations and mobile operations, when a highway shoulder is occupied and bicyclists would be sharing a lane with vehicular traffic, as a result of the TTC zone, before narrowing the outside lane other measures such as widening the outside shoulder to allow bicyclists and motor vehicles to travel side by side through the TTC zone should be considered.
18. If traffic volumes make it feasible, the two left lanes should be merged into one lane to avoid using the shoulder as a traveled way lane and allowing continued use for emergency purposes and bicycle travel.
19. When existing accommodations for bicycle travel are disrupted or closed in a long-term duration project (see Section 6G.02) and the roadway width is inadequate for allowing bicyclists and motor vehicles to travel side by side, a separate path should be considered for bicyclists.

Categories: california | Leave a comment

Virtual Velocipedists and Fredly Fisticuffs

Everybody knows that tomorrow, July 1st, is Canada's birthday:

(Haven't gotten Canada anything yet?  Click here for a great last-minute gift idea!)

But did you know that down here in Canada's noseless saddle we also have a birthday?  That's right, we do!  It's called "The 4th of July," and we generally celebrate it on July 4th:

(America presenting its feathery bird-cock to Lady Liberty.)

Like most Americans, I usually observe the holiday by dousing hamburgers and hot dogs with lighter fluid, setting them ablaze, and catapulting them into the sky.  This year however I figured I should do something different, and so I was excited to receive a promotional email inviting me to cycle America's national parks:

This seemed like it could be truly inspirational, for our national parks are our greatest treasure--or at least I'm assuming that's the case, otherwise Ken Burns wouldn't have bothered to make a documentary about them.  (I haven't actually seen it yet, I've been trying to finish "The Dust Bowl" for the past 14 months.)  Unfortunately, when they say "cycling America's national parks," what they really mean is "watching videos of America's national parks while riding a trainer:"

"From the valleys, to the prairies, to the mountains..." this 9-video pack includes a fantastic lineup of cycling journeys through twisting canyons, over high mountain passes; from below sea level to above the treeline; with the geysers and bison of Yellowstone to the unmistakable profile of the Grand Tetons; rushing rivers, placid alpine lakes; Zion's amazing colors and landscapes; Blue Ridge's smooth, smokey skyline; mammoth Sequoia trees, even bigger red-rock formations and tiny chipmonks; the stark desert beauty of Joshua Tree and more for 40% off the usual price with our July 4th sale! 

That sounds about right.  Our roadways are far too dangerous for cycling, and it's only a matter of time before drilling and droughts have laid waste to the landscape, so we might as well embrace our dystopian future now, cower indoors, and enjoy America the way God, Jesus, and Sam Walton intended: on a big-ass TV screen:

(Not sure what he's doing down there, but at least he's wearing a helme(n)t.)

Plus, why ride for real when you can do it inside while listening to shitty music instead?

I only hope you get to pick an avatar:

Best of all, by riding virtually you can avoid altercations with your fellow cyclists:

Here's the video, which contains language that is "NSFW," such as "FUCK" and "WHAT THE FUCK:"

The altercation took place during the men's pro 1/2 race, the featured event in the Fitchburg Downtown Criterium, just after both men crossed the finish line outside City Hall.

In the video, Warner is seen seated on the ground, his bike beside him. Townsend is standing over Warner, punching him twice in what appears to be the back of the neck as Warner raises his arms to defend himself.

Back of the neck?!?  I sure hope the victim had his helme(n)t on the right way!

("Go ahead, punch me in the back of the neck, I dare you!")

Subsequently, the assailant's contract has been terminated:

Townsend's former team, BikeReg Elite Cycling, released a statement on Facebook on Monday morning in which they announced that Townsend's contract had been terminated.

"BikeReg is aware of the unacceptable actions of one of our sponsored riders at the 2015 Longsjo Classic in Fitchburg, MA.

This is probably a good thing for Townsend, because when you're riding at that level your contract generally says you have to pay your team and not the other way around, so this ought to save him a lot of money.

By the way, the BikeReg.com Elite Cycling Team bills itself as "New England's premier elite amateur cycling program."  So what could this contract possibly have to say that's so important anyway?  "Any rider caught doping will automatically forfeit his 10% discount at Chuck's Bike-O-Rama?"


In any case, Townsend can always fill those empty slots in his racing schedule with nude modeling:

Is there training involved?

I do not train specifically for modeling. However, I am a professional cyclist as well as a model. I raced in the Downtown Worcester Criterium on June 28 and placed fourth in the Pro Men's race. So, all of my training is done for cycling but yoga, which I use for cross training, lends itself to modeling very well.

Sadly, Townsend's nude modeling contract was terminated after he repeatedly punched a student in the back of the neck for not drawing his penis correctly.

Speaking of nudity, the Portland World Naked Bike Ride recently took place, and please enjoy this somewhat-unsafe-for-work video:

It's worth noting that heme(n)t propaganda has been so effective that people will risk sunburned genitals before they will ride without a plastic hat:

And yes, I was surprised to learn that Portland does in fact see genital-scorching weather:

(Yep, that'll do it.)

Anyway, I haven't seen any reports of men horrifying fellow participants with spontaneous erections, but apparently the ride was full of "douchebags:"

Including so-called "Look At My Dick" Guy:


"LOOK AT MY DICK" Guy wants you to look at his dick. He might be completely up-front about his motives or he might be covert. Either way, you better believe "LOOK AT MY DICK" Guy doesn't have any underwear on!

The particular "LOOK AT MY DICK" Guy I rode next too for far too long last night painted a rainbow onto his stomach that led to his dick and yelled "TASTE THE RAINBOW!" He yelled it over and over. He never yelled anything else. He just rode dick-first straight at every group of spectators and yelled the same hilarious line: "TASTE THE RAINBOW!"

Sounds like someone else I know:

Nevertheless, I remain shocked--SHOCKED!--that a ride that resembles a fraternity stunt attracts what sound like current and former fraternity members.

Lastly, Ford wants to sell you you a bike:

Not only does the saddle come pre-tilted:

But the bike is also "modular," which means you can create your own two-wheeled abomination:

"So you can put different pieces on the central core.  You could actually have a mountain bike front end or a road bike front end and sort of change the type of bicycle you have..."

I'm still waiting for the two-wheel drive model.

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Beef vs a BMX bicycle bandit

Beef and Conan ride a bicycle in Miami

For your Monday amusement, Cuban-American “Beef” and his buddy Conan the Korean Chinaman (one of many inside jokes in the film) search for Beef’s stolen bicycle and his soul animal, the chicken, in Miami, Florida.

Rent or purchase streaming video through Amazon.com:
The Strongest Man

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Sorry I’m Late, My Apple Watch Was Set To Venusian Time

So who else rode bikes this weekend?

Rest assured the bike's just on its side because I was too lazy to find something to lean it against while I stopped to relieve myself, and not because I fell over for want of an industry-approved gravel bike.

In addition to riding bikes I went shopping for plastic crap at this really cool and trendy store called "Target," and while I was there I threw a leg over this sweet fat bike:

First I did the "lift test" and was surprised to find it was lighter than I expected--by which I mean it felt like it weighed a hundred pounds instead of the thousand pounds I was anticipating.  Then I rolled it down the aisle and squeezed the brakes.  This felt a lot like calling your cable company about an outage, in that you know you took action on your end but there's no evidence that anything's going to be happening any time soon.  Still, part of me was tempted to purchase the bicycle just to mess around with it, but I'm not exactly made of money (I'm actually made of halva), nor do I have some great big workshop in which to house all this crap--and most of all, I've got 18 or 19 kids now, which means I don't want to squander my precious riding time on department store fat bikes.

Therefore, I figured I'd replicate the experience of riding a Fracture by taking one of my own mountain bikes, disconnecting the brakes, and filling the tires with kitty litter.

By the way, this Fracture should not be confused with the Fracture road bike from Broken Bones Bicycles--though of course you should never ride either without wearing a hjëllment:

I'm surprised the CPSC hasn't made them replace that sticker with one that says: "Warning: There's a 50% Chance The Fork Is On Backwards."

Anyway, after handling the Target fat bike I needed a bit of a palate cleanser, and so today I selected pretty much its exact opposite:

Hopped a train:

And disembarked at an undisclosed station, where I lifted up this satanic manhole cover and disappeared beneath the street:

(If you put your ear to it you'll hear this.)

It's where I get my powers.

In other news, Esteemed Commenter Daddo One informs me that, despite their funny accents, people in the Boston area are just like everybody else in that they don't give a shit about velodromes:

Local officials across the state have fought to host Olympic basketball, volleyball, and sailing. But as Boston 2024 officials have roamed the state putting together their new plan, there is one venue that no one seems to be vying for: the velodrome, a physically huge and enormously expensive indoor bicycling track that hosts one of America’s least popular Olympic sports.

In an Olympic landscape stalked by white elephants, the velodrome just might be the lead pachyderm, skewered by critics as the ultimate symbol of the waste and excess required to host the Games.

Goddamn right!  Remember back in like 2007 when fixies were big and the people we used to call "hipsters" were all whining about how they needed to have velodromes so they could ride their track bikes and show off their knuckle tattoos?  Well, it's a good thing nobody listened to them, because if they had the entire country would now be littered with the shells of unused velodromes, desolate and lying in wait for some natural disaster when they could finally see use as emergency shelters.

At least the stupid NJS track bikes they don't ride anymore aren't getting in anyone else's way.  (With the possible exception of their parents in the suburbs in whose basements they're now being stored.)

I mean come on, we're talking about track racing here!  You'd have better luck getting people behind indoor fly fishing arenas.  Even USA Cycling is like, "Track racing?  Who cares?"

But even velodrome believers admit getting Americans excited about the sport is not easy.

Watching muscular racers on fixed-gear bicycles with no brakes hurtling around steeply banked tracks is popular in Europe. But in the United States, “it’s sort of a marginalized discipline,” said Andy Sparks, director of track programs at USA Cycling. “You say, ‘track cycling,’ and people are not familiar with the concept.”

Way to stand behind one of your core disciplines, USA Cycling.

Of course, one of the problems here is that nobody even knows what the hell a velodrome is:

That is partly because hardly anyone knows what a velodrome is, particularly in New England. There are only 28 of the oval-shaped tracks in the United States and the one closest to Boston is in Breinigsville, Pa., 317 miles away. The only American velodrome that meets Olympic specifications is in Carson, Calif.

This is all cycling's own fault.  Why the hell do we still call them "velodromes?"  It's so 19th century!  If you're going to Yonkers Raceway you don't say "I'm off to the hippodrome to partake in some equestrian sports betting," do you?  Of course not.  You simply get on the free bus shuttle from the subway and sip booze from a bottle concealed in a paper bag.  So why should track racing be any different?

Instead of velodromes they should be calling them "no brakes bike tracks."  Problem solved.

I mean come on, isn't "velodrome" a little highfalutin for something like this?

The last velodrome in New England, a humble asphalt course built on a former go-kart track in Londonderry, N.H., closed in 2011 after struggling to attract cyclists.

Of course it did.

And of course the very worst way to get anybody interested in a velodrome is to insist it's going to benefit amateur bike racers:

Kross and other boosters point out that Boston has a high concentration of competitive cyclists, and harsh winters. A velodrome, they say, would provide a place for these cyclists to train from November to March and draw fans willing to plunk down $15 to watch races.

Come on, everybody hates amateur bike racers.  They're inconsiderate wankers!  Why should we give these people anything?  "Oh, it's snowy in winter, I can't train."  So go skiing!  Arguing that a velodrome will give them a place to train in winter is like like saying they should build a new shopping mall so muggers will have a place to ply their trade in inclement weather.

Anyway, everybody knows the only reason track racing is still even in the Olympics is it's one of the relatively few sports British people are good at.

Speaking of amateur bike racing, I continue to be fascinated with the media hype over the new Specialized Venge-Schmenge.  Last week's CyclingNews review was amusing enough, but now that Lennard Zinn's weighing in with his own it's like Eddie Van Halen blowing a high school band recital off the stage with a blistering solo:

Think of time savings as water pouring into a bucket. Sagan, since his power savings are so much higher with the new equipment than yours are, turns the faucet up high, but he pulls the bucket away sooner because he’s done with his 40km sooner; that limits the total water collected in the bucket. Because our power savings would be lower for the same change in equipment, we would have the faucet on a lower flow rate. But since we’re out there longer, our bucket stays under the faucet longer and ends up with a similar amount of water in it as Sagan’s does.

Uh, what?

Actually, I guess it's less like Eddie Van Halen and more like Bill Nye after he's just taken a huge bong hit.

Of course, the best part is that in order to reap the maximum benefit you've got to use all of this stuff together, right down to the shoes:

Specialized has come up with a time savings number for each individual piece of equipment, adding up to over five minutes of total predicted time savings.

Well done, Specialized, well done.

After all, it only takes one incorrectly-worn helme(n)t to erase all those hard-won gains:

That thing's just a few inches away from being a scarf.

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Summertime is Flower Time

Summertime is flower time in Copenhagen's streets. Above: Beautiful classical design and cut....

For the full photographic glory and the rest of the text, you know where to go. The Original Cycle Chic awaits.
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