Sunday, March 1, 2015

Patience and Keith Bontrager's pants

The good and not so good from today's ride.
The good was Keith's pant's or more accurately tights.  They weren't his actual tights like the Vince Lombardi West Point jacket, but the ones with the Bontrager logo on them.  They might not fetch a five figure price tag at auction, but they are worth every penny I paid for them for rides with temps in the teens.  Best tights I've worn so far.

The not so good, and I say not so good because it wasn't really the worst infraction, but one that makes you shake your head and say "what the hell" none the less.


Silver Camry license 490 VPJ passes me then a hundred yards down the road stops and blocks almost the whole lane and just sits there.  As I looked back the car pulled up and backed into the driveway it parked in front of.  
If you know you're gonna block the road, why the hell do you feel the need to pass someone one hundred yards from the spot you're gonna stop?  
It's called impeding traffic!  

346.59 Minimum speed regulation. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a speed so slow as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or is necessary to comply with the law. (2)

Other than that it was a good but slow ride.  Hopefully faster rides to come.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Getting Back

It will take a lot longer to get my body back in shape than it took to get my bikes back in shape.  But at least I know if I can get myself out there when it's -15 wind chill, prospects look good.  There should be more reports to come as the process continues.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Some Things Never Change

I've been off the bike for a while and recently got back in the saddle.  I've missed many things about riding but I haven't missed the idiots.
Last week a woman nearly doored me and when I called her out on it she told me how dangerous bikes were.  Then her knucklehead boyfriend or brother or whatever got into the act.  He told me his name was Brent Halverson.  Either way neither saw anything wrong with opening a door into a bike lane right in front of a bike. 
Today the driver of an SUV stopped at a stop sign, then looked right at me and started pulling out directly into my path.  I really am starting to think there are some seriously sick people out there.  I'm pretty sure he was trying to scare me, not hit me, but using your car to get inches away from a person on a bike to scare them is no different than shooting a gun over someones head or swinging a baseball bat just inches from someones head to scare them.  If you miss you will likely kill or maim the person.  If you care that little for other human life you are pretty sick and you not only shouldn't be on the road you shouldn't be allowed in society.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Just STOP!

The traffic laws in the US are pretty simple and none more so than the red light.  It turns red, you stop. Period.  If not then people get hurt or killed.  Again it's trying to save those few seconds.  NO LIFE is worth 10, 20, or 30 seconds of your time.  Period. Just stop not just because it's the law, or because it's common sense, but because the life you save might be your own or someone close to you.
These videos took place on the same stretch of road within a couple weeks.  The car in the second video has Wisconsin license plate 509-UFS.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You Can't Fix Stupid

You can't fix stupid.  I've heard that saying before and tend to believe it with some exceptions.  While you might not be able to fix stupid, perhaps we should arrest stupid or at least cite stupid before stupid kills someone.  The driver of this van with plate 339 bgj passed into oncoming traffic, which by itself wouldn't get me that fired up.  Of course there's more to the story.  This guy not only passed into oncoming traffic, he did so with a young girl in the front seat, while READING (or at least closely examining) some piece of paper.
I'd love to be able to track this guys information down so I could let his wife know about his driving habits.

Monday, June 17, 2013


In aviation there is a phenomenon known as get-there-itis.  It has apparently been identified by NASA, albeit under a different more scientific sounding name.

It’s a fancy name for “get-there-itis” — plan continuation bias, which is an   unconscious cognitive bias to continue the original plan in spite of changing conditions — and it can be deadly for general aviation pilots.
Plan continuation bias was identified in a NASA Ames human factors study from 2004 which analyzed 19 airline accidents from 1991 to 2000 that were attributed to crew error. Out of those, almost half involved plan continuation bias.
The problem is in how it can manifest itself. The study offered that it becomes stronger as you near completion of the activity (e.g., approach your destination). It essentially impedes pilots from recognizing that they need to change their course of action and, because it’s unconscious, it often goes undetected.

I can only assume that there is some amount of plan continuation bias or get-there-itis or must-pass-now-itis taking place on roads all across the USA.   This seems to be happening to me more lately and it should outrage not just cyclists but motorists, as this driver put two other drivers in danger as well as the 3 cyclists on this section of road.  The shoulder of the road narrowed just at the point where all the vehicles met.  This meant that the driver not only passed into the lane of two oncoming cars but an oncoming bike on a  narrow road.  If the other driver also had a case of must-pass-now-itis, there likely would have been major carnage on the road. 

I only wish I could have gotten the full license plate so I could have informed the driver just how outrageous her conduct was.  Her license started with 635 and might end with RM? or BM or something like that.  If anyone knows who drives this Chevy, please talk some sense to her. 

One way the pilots can avoid plan continuation bias is to have a alternative options already thought out ahead of time how to deal with certain trouble.  Maybe if someone told her she could wait 10 seconds and not endanger anyone, and she knew about this option ahead of time, she might have done the right thing.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bad Passing Checklist

The tandem seems to be a magnet for bad passing.  Some give us room at the expense of the oncoming traffic.  If there's a head on collision right next to us it likely won't end well for us, but I guess it's better than getting hit from behind.  I feel bad for the cars who have to jump for the ditch/shoulder; maybe one of them will call the police.
The driver who had the highest score on the bad passing checklist was the driver for Sidello Property Services.  Pass a cyclist (a tandem no less) with barely more than a foot of clearance, check.  Pass on the crest of a hill, check.  Pass in a double yellow zone, check. And of course the crowning achievement, passing into oncoming traffic, check. The irony is that the driver got behind us and waited long enough to clearly see and know that the crest of the hill was coming up and that it would be safe to pass in a matter of seconds.


The driver of the tanker truck didn't have as many check marks on the list but was every bit as dangerous especially for the driver who had to take the shoulder and basically stop to avoid being hit head on by the truck.

Both incidents took place on Saturday 6-1 the van pass at around 1pm and the tanker truck about an hour later.  The van pass was Northbound on Calhoun between Beloit Rd. and National Ave. the tanker was Eastbound on Lawnsdale Rd.  Both these incidents could have been completely avoided by waiting 5 or 10 seconds more.  Isn't someones life and or safety worth that amount of your time?