Monthly Archives: June 2011

New Saddles Can Help Release Cyclists’ Unrelenting Pressure – NYTimes.com

New Saddles Can Help Release Cyclists’ Unrelenting Pressure – NYTimes.com.

Before the Tour de France begins this weekend, before the cameras follow all those seemingly virile athletes, let us consider another sort of role model on two wheels.

Robert Brown is an officer in the Seattle Police Department’s bicycle patrol, which lacks the sleek machines and tight jerseys of the Tour de France. But Mr. Brown has something that could be more important to both male and female cyclists: a no-nose saddle.

Like most cyclists, Mr. Brown at first didn’t see any need to switch from the traditional saddle on the mountain bike he’d been riding full time for five years on the force. When researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Safety offered new noseless saddles intended to prevent erectile dysfunction, he quickly told his supervisor, “No problems here!

Read the full story here: New York Times

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Filed under equipment & accessories, health & fitness, in the news, New York Times, saddles

Battle of the Bike Lanes

“At the risk of incurring the wrath of the bicycle lobby, a constituency that pursues its agenda with about as much modesty and humor as the Jacobins pursued theirs, and which has found its heroine in transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, I say hats off to Iris Weinshall, the former transportation commissioner (and wife of Senator Chuck Schumer), who, together with some like-minded citizens, has filed a lawsuit challenging a bike lane on Prospect Park West.

[…]”

quoted from: The New Yorker

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New Seat Post – New Route

After I had got a new – suspended – seat post from Germany and installed it, I took the Stevens on a new – and longer – route to try the suspension out. And it really worked. Together with the polymer suspension in the saddle it made the ride relatively comfortable on those fairly bumpy Karnes County roads. The new route took me to Falls City and from there on FM 887, FM 2724, FM 627 and Hwy 80 through Helena back to Karnes City. The route can be seen here at RideWithGPS. I enjoyed the ride a lot despite the sometimes breezy wind from the northern quadrant. But that – winds basically from the north – is why I had wanted to go north first and have the wind on my back on the return trip. Somewhat unfortunately, that was only true for the last 14 miles.

As to RideWith GPS: I really like the features on that website, especially that I can have a little (flash) movie that lets me move along the ride, showing elevation, grade [in %] and speed, as well as my position on a map or on Google.

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Filed under bicycles, chipseal, equipment & accessories, Falls City - Helena, GPS, Karnes City, Karnes County, maps, Ride with GPS, rides, roads, seat post, Stevens, surface

Bicyclists vs. drivers

Bicyclists vs. drivers.

Why can’t we just get along?
Monday, June 20, 2011

At 7:20 a.m. on Memorial Day, we were cycling along Butler Street just past the Highland Park Bridge. A driver seen weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed hit one of us, Robert Noll, the lead cyclist, and seriously injured him. He remains hospitalized, recovering from two full days of surgery to repair his many broken bones.

[…]

We realize that cycling is a dangerous sport. We call on every cyclist and motorist to make every effort to obey the laws of the state and to use common sense. Many cyclists wear helmets, ride in single file and obey traffic laws, as we do.

To those who complain about cyclists disobeying traffic laws, we ask if they ever exceeded a speed limit, or drove through a red light or rolled through a stop sign.

It’s distressing to see cyclists without helmets (that’s as foolish as drivers not wearing seat belts). We call upon our fellow cyclists to lead by example and demonstrate responsibility by obeying traffic laws. We call upon all motorists to pass us with care, giving at least 4 feet of room when doing so.

Let’s stop the vitriol about how cyclists deserve to be injured because some of them disobey traffic rules. We must be reasonable and treat everyone on the roads — cyclists, pedestrians and drivers — with respect and care.

Read the full story here: Pittsburg Post-Gazette

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Filed under behaviour, bicycle lanes, in the news, laws & ordinances, legislation, safety

11 L.A. Bicyclists Injured

11 bicyclists were injured, one of them critically, when a car slammed into a group of ca. 100 bicyclists stopped on the road at 2 a.m.

For the full article, click here: L.A. Times, online edition, June 16, 2011

Read more details here: Huffpost Los Angeles

What I gather from the above articles and the San Antonio Express-News is that a group of about 100 bicyclists had gathered for a middle-of-the-night ride, something that has become increasingly popular as at that time there’s  not that much traffic. The riders seem to have stopped in a traffic lane – maybe under a streetlight that was out – to wait for others to catch up. Some of the riders are reported to have dismounted to chat. The car turned from a blind corner and ploughed into the group, injuring 11 of them. It is not quite clear yet if the driver was texting and/or intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Even if – or rather because – I am an avid bicylist, I cannot but find fault with that group of bicyclists for recklessly endangering themselves. That is definitely not meant to say that I want to exonerate the driver, especially if she was either texting or intoxicated or maybe both. But I must maintain that any (responsible) bicyclist should know better than stopping in a traffic lane, especially at night – and, as it seems to be the case – in the dark and just beyond a blind turn. That means courting disaster. Even for a conscientious driver it might have been difficult to avoid a collision in these circumstance. If we bicylists want to be respected by drivers, we need to behave responsibly, too.

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Filed under behaviour, bicycling, distracted driving, in the news, laws & ordinances, Los Angeles Times, police, safety, San Antonio Express-News