Saturday, April 26, 2008

Left Cross, Kind Of

Boy I hope the wind is not as bad in Iowa as it is in Wisconsin today, or everyone doing Trans Iowa is going to be miserable.
The good news is that not everyone who does stupid things toward bikes on the road is out to get us. The bad news is there are still a lot of people doing stupid things out there. That's why
education is so important.

I had my first non passing close call in a long time. Thankfully I had a sand covered turn lane to escape into if necessary. I chased the driver down for about 3 miles and when I caught up to him the first thing he said was "sorry". He said he saw me but then when the other car came by he forgot about me. At least next time he might be a little more careful since I gave him an earful when it happened, (no profanities), and was very calm and nice when I caught him.
It was a great ride in spite of the horrendous wind. Maybe more miles tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Snappy Little Ride

I wanted to do a little 20 mile time trial type ride before work. Unfortunately my bike had other ideas. The snap in the snappy little ride was my right hand crank arm snapping off under hard acceleration from a stop sign. I was lucky to keep the bike upright and I think I escaped with just a bruise from falling on the top tube. Hopefully the day gets better from here. On the positive side all the cars gave me plenty of room even when I was riding with one leg. Thanks to my in-laws, I didn't have to do the one leg thing all the way home the last 10 miles.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So Far, Es ist wunderbar

1 Flink = 0 Flops
Went out to test the new toy (Ergon BD 2) today. It was only a road ride, but so far it is working better than my old pack and I don't even think I have it adjusted properly. In case you're wondering that's German in the headline because Ergon is a German company. The awesome design makes me even more proud of my German heritage. If you don't know what a Flink is you should check out their site and you definitely should try one of their packs.

Great weather for a change. First ride of the year with short sleeves and no leg warmers, and no calls to the authorities. More on the pack later

Saturday, April 12, 2008

He Who Hesitates...Can't Be Hatin'

I waited too long to sign up for the H8TR 100 and it filled up. So While all the cool kids were ridin around Haterville, I was grinding my way through the snow and wind solo. Didn't quite get the 100k in because my feet got cold. I should have put plastic baggies on before my shoes. Note to self, next year sign up early. It's more fun suffering with friends than alone.
On a different note, one of the other cool kids is famous. Johnny G. is the WEMS poster child. Hope they talked to your agent and got all the proper releases and made out the checks. Great job John. I'll send it to CLIFBAR and maybe Gus can send it to the other sponsors. They should be happy.

Had a couple cars buzz me, nothing to report to the cops, but I talked to one guy. Didn't quite get the response I got from Mark, but maybe it will get through to him. I did the usual, asked him nicely to please try to give a little more room next time he passed a bike. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Enforcement Avoided, Education Accomplished!

I met a guy named Mark on the road today. I was going to call the police to report him for passing me way to closely then swerving in front of me and screeching to a stop. Instead we had a conversation.

At first he was very angry, even dropping a few F-bombs at me. I did my best to remain calm and I asked him if I could just ask him one favor. He didn't say anything, but he didn't roll up his window either, so I asked him to just give a little more room next time he passed a bike, because it could save someone's life. When we were both more calm, I introduced myself and we talked for quite a while about all kinds of crazy people on the road. I urged him to call the cops when he encountered cyclists breaking the law. I told him about why I was riding where I was and he asked about bicycle laws, and I happily told him what I knew. I really think he will go home and tell his wife or buddies about it and be more careful next time. More importantly he won't think all bicyclists are jerks who just get in his way. Mark told me he was sorry, that he was wrong and shouldn't have done what he did. It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong and I respect him for doing so today.

I would much rather have a conversation with a driver than have to involve the authorities.

Mark, Thanks for stopping and listening.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunday: 61 + 0 + 1 + 3 = 100

My math doesn't add up you say?

Well, 61 more miles on the bike, plus zero really bad drivers on the ride, plus one big burritto, (I didn't have time to make another pizza), plus my great nephew's 3rd birthday party, equals a 100 percent great Sunday. His party included a mini-moonwalk type inflatable play house and a go kart. My ride included a lot of wind, and taking some other bloggers words to heart, me waving at almost every car that passed me safely. I felt like I was in a parade. If it helps get more people to watch out for bikes, I guess I can do that.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Pizzeria 100

Well almost a hundred. I wanted to go 100 miles, but I'm temporarily without a bike computer, so I only did 92. It felt longer, but I coulda done 100. I had a made from scratch asparagus, kalamata olive, and roasted red pepper pizza waiting for me at home. That's some good motivation. I wanted to do the Ronsta ride Sunday, but family obligations likely will prevent that, so I had to get a long one in today.
Unfortunately I had a very scary close call today. Even more unfortunately, I didn't get the plate. The van went by so fast I barely had time to be scared, much less get the plate. I was plenty shook up afterward though. It was about 10 miles before my legs stopped shaking, and I was back to normal. The video doesn't show the distance very well because one camera slipped and one was using a different mount that needs adjustment, but the still photo shows how close the wheel was to me, so imagine the how close the big mirror was to my head. I'm estimating 6-12 inches. Scary. Come on people be careful! He only had to wait like 2 seconds for the oncoming car to clear to pass safely. I guess a human life is not really worth 2 seconds of his time.

But all in all it was a good ride.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Allies and Adversaries

How ironic, that on the same day the New Berlin Police Chief and I discussed ways to increase bike safety on New Berlin roads, and insure prosecution of the most egregious illegal passing violations, The Brookfield Police Department tells me that they don’t care what is on my video, they don't even want to see it, (see below) they won’t be issuing a citation to the driver of the car that made this pass. But that is not what took the relationship to an adversarial level.

I was told by a Lieutenant at The Brookfield Police Department that if a bike was only travelling 10 mph the bicyclist has no right to be in an active traffic lane on any road in Brookfield. I will be writing letters and trying to contact the Chief of Police in Brookfield, or the Assistant Chief, whom I was told, is informing his officers that bicyclists must use the paved shoulder even if it is covered in sand. Stay tuned for updates on both the positive developments from New Berlin and the outcome of the Brookfield situation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No Joke, I Wish It Was

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"A 48-year-old Brookfield man was arrested on suspicion of his third operating while intoxicated offense after he allegedly hit a bicyclist with his vehicle and fled the scene, police said Sunday. "

You can read the rest here:

I hope the bicyclist is going to be O.K. and I hope the driver goes to jail for a long time.