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Cyclist that killed pedestrian is a pain in my arse…

Taking a cue from the NBC Bay Area article, I've inserted a completely arbitrary photo of cyclists at an intersection that has absolutely nothing to do with the story being written.

I’ve been watching this story for a bit, biting my tongue (and my fingers) trying to stay out of it. But I’m fed up.  San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere, according to numerous reports both local and national,  caused fatal injuries to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in the Castro area of San Francisco.  Accidents are a terrible thing, but unfortunately somewhat inevitable in a crowded urban landscape such as San Francisco.  Clearly that does not diminish the loss to the victim and his family, nor does it absolve the cyclist of any wrong doing should he be found to have been negligent.

No – what’s pissing me off is the ridiculous amount of media coverage being given to this event – admittedly a tragedy.  Actually, to be more clear it isn’t exactly the media coverage I’m frustrated with, but rather the perceptional bias that is indicated by the media coverage.

My frustration is that a pedestrian being killed by a cyclist garners national coverage.  Meanwhile, pedestrians are struck by autos every day in San Francisco and barely warrant a mention in local media.

In a statement you may rarely find me typing, The San Francisco Bay Guardian got it right:

Yet activists also sought to place this case in context, noting that an average of almost three pedestrians are hit by cars everyday in San Francisco, even though that rarely makes headlines. There were 220 pedestrians killed in San Francisco from 2000-2009, the vast majority hit by cars whose drivers rarely faced criminal charges. In fact, the same week that Sustchi Hui was killed there was another pedestrian killed by a motorist and another one by a Muni bus.

Yup – that’s my gripe.  Cyclist kills a pedestrian and we can’t write enough words about it.  Automobile kills a pedestrian and we (the collective we – the “sheep” we) chalk it up to an unfortunate necessity of living in an auto-centric society and remind pedestrians to look both ways before crossing the street.

Tell me I’m not the only one that feels there is a bit inequity in this coverage.

 

Thanks LeBron

Nothing draws attention to cycling like a celebrity spotting.  I mean, if celebrities are gonna jump on the saddle, then maybe— just maybe— us mere commoners can.

OK.  Enough with the snarky comments on my part.  When I ran across the link whose title started with “LeBron Rides His Bike To Work…” I thought I’d have to at least give it a glance.  However, I found that the actual title had a little more to say than that: “LeBron Rides His Bike To Work, Thinks Safety First” [emphasis mine].  I could feel my eyes rolling.  Sure enough, the predictable helmet stanza was highlighted in the otherwise short article:
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Ready…. Joust!

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has imagined it – bicycle jousting.  The subject came up in an email chain at work (draw your own conclusions there) so I went poking around.  Sure enough, there were links and videos a-plenty:

Much to my surprise, it apparently appeared in a movie as well:

And as with anything remotely quirky in the cycling world, those crazy tall bike folks have taken over the whole scene.  Which just makes the entire jousting experience just silly, doesn’t it?

Burning Man Bikes

The below photo – courtesy of Up Town Almanac – is apparently a collection of bikes left behind at the Burning Man Festival.  My question is this – how the heck did they get them all up there in the first place?  And what’s it gonna take to get them down?

More cycling parodies – srsly

We all know “Its all about performance”  Well – if you don’t know, then go find out now!  Next up in line is an all new serious cyclist.  It is good to make fun of yourself!

[yframe url=’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcjoWL6hJg8&feature=player_embedded’]

Fuzzy bike

I’ve seen fuzzy bikes before – but this may just be the fuzziest. Spotted at San Francisco Caltrain station.

Compromise in the great helmet debate

http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-76527452

Cycling helmets seem to be a recurring theme here on JustAnotherCyclist as of late.  To wear or not to wear.  To promote or not to promote. Blah blah blah…  There has got to be some way to resolve the issue.  Perhaps with better technology?

Folks seem pretty happy with the air bags in their cars.  This probably has a lot to do with the reams and reams of evidence for their collective benefits.  Unfortunately the same concept does not apply to bicycles.  First off there is simply no practical way to mount an airbag on the handlebars of any but the most heavily customized bikes.  More importantly is the fact that it is usually the ground or a car – and not the handlebars – that you smack into if you are injured in a cycling crash.  If only there were some way to get that same level of passive protection on a bicycle…

Maybe there is.

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Wobblebikes

Tall bikes?  Down right commonplace.  Futuristic bikes of tomorrow?  Soooo yesterday.

But Wobblebiks.  Now that’s where its at!  (Can you hear the sarcasm there?)

I seriously don’t know what to say about these.  Here’s a quote from their own page:

“It must be difficult to ride”:

Yes it’s absolutely impossible to ride!

I can still convince myself it must be impossible to ride, even when I have just woven in-and-out of a crowd of people on it. That’s what makes it fun!

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Coming out of the closet: I Hate Helmets

I’ve been doing a fence-straddling maneuver here at JustAnotherCyclist regarding the issue of bicycle helmets.  Again I will reiterate that I do not encourage folks to go about without a helmet.  Nor do I encourage you to ride with one.  It is entirely your choice (except for areas where specific laws apply.)  My frustration comes entirely from the dogmatic nonsense that the issue seems to instill in some folks.

I first started to become openly frustrated with the whole helmet situation when I was in the hospital for a broken collar bone due to a bike crash.  I distinctly recall one of the ER nurses asking me “Were you wearing a helmet?” I simply answered the question at first, but then I started to think a little more critically about the question. (more…)

Bicycles, Traffic and Caltrans

Photo by Richard Masoner (cyclelicious)

It is unfortunately difficult to ride a bicycle on public streets in most parts of the country without running into someone expounding on all the ways that bicycles hinder auto traffic.  While there is no denying that a car has occasionally been slowed by a cyclist, the more realistic truth is that cars do a much better job of slowing each other down than a cyclist cruising in a bike lane ever will.  In fact, that cyclist is actually helping by removing one car from that traffic snarl.

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