Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lights, MTB, Action

Well the lights are coming along. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. The MTB is ready. There is plenty of action going on getting everything organized for 24-9. I wanted to post the light photos cuz some folks were asking to see them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Now A Few Words From The Lieutenant

I thought the best way to illustrate the absurdity of the Brookfield Police Department's reaction to this latest incident would be to simply share a few quotes from Lt. Beth.

Lt.: Well you know I would choose different roads to ride on if this is an issue, choose a road that’s much safer for you if this is a concern,
Jeff: I guess I would ask you if a motorist came to you with continuing concerns about safety on a road would you tell them to drive on a different road? If I told you Calhoun Road was to dangerous to drive on would you tell me to drive on a different road?
Lt.: no I wouldn’t do that but I’m just telling you I’d advise you that if this is an issue where you don’t have enough room to safely ride with vehicles also riding on the road I would choose a different route.

Lt.: … plus the fact that the car had another vehicle coming the other way and it really had no where to go at the time.

Lt.: and I would advise you not to swear in public places such as you did yesterday (just for the record I did not swear yesterday) that’s a form of disorderly conduct. You brought in proof of that which we have on file.

Lt. I have to warn you that you’re riding on the white line and that’s pushing it in my estimation.


Lt. You have no right to be in an active traffic lane if you’re not going the speed limit.

Just for the record the first officer to investigate told me multiple times that it's clear that the truck driver was in violation. In spite of that fact, the driver was only warned, and then told that I was also violating the law. So now he/she incorrectly believes that I am not allowed to ride on the road.

Well done Officer. You've let a driver off for a serious violation of the traffic laws and given him incorrect information which will influence his future travels and further put me and other cyclists in harms way.

Told to Get Out of Dodge

Well Brookfield actually. I reported one of the closest passes I've had in while which happened in Brookfield. Yes the same Brookfield where I've had nothing but trouble. The trouble continues. The officer who took the complaint initially told me he would be citing the driver. He called back the next day to tell me that he would be warning the driver and he was warning me for not being as far to the right as practicable.

When I talked to the Lt. about the incident, I was told that I should find someplace else to ride, that unless I was going the speed limit, I was not allowed in any active traffic lane, and if I continued to shout at drivers as they passed illegally I would be cited for disorderly conduct.
I've got plenty more to say about this situation later.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yellow Truck Update, A Small Victory

I have been in contact with a few people regarding the Yellow Truck incident.

I got an email Friday from the Vice President for safety at YRC Worldwide. That is the parent company of Yellow Transportation as well as Roadway, USF and other major trucking companies. This is what he had to say.

Jeff, as a follow up to our last communication, we did send out our monthly corporate wide safety focus memo to all drivers today. It’s titled “Sharing the Road with Bicyclists” and ALL of the tips you provided were used in the communication. All of our facilities will post and discuss this Safety Focus message for the next 4 weeks in order to instill the right behavior with our professional drivers. Thanks again for the insight you provided.

Thanks to Bill for taking this issue seriously. You may have saved someone's life by doing this.

These are the "tips" I provided to them. If anyone has any other ideas they think truck drivers should know, let me know and I will pass them along.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Are Deer Smarter Than Drivers?

At least some of them are. I went out for an easy 50 before work on Wednesday and in a situation when many drivers would have just darted out in front of me, thankfully this doe and her 2 fawns thought better of that idea and took off into the woods. Kind of a cool way to end the ride.

Go Expo out east!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Just A Reminder

Just a few reminders of why I ride with cameras and spend hours of time I can't spare trying to convince authorities that cyclists have a right to ride on the road and deserve protection from idiot drivers. Too often, even when the evidence is overwhelming that a driver has done something wrong, law enforcement does nothing because the victim is on a bicycle.

It happens in Wisconsin and California and Arizona and that's just to name a few recent examples.

Granted none of my incidents rise to the seriousness of these examples, but that is what I'm trying to prevent. I don't want to become another statistic. Just maybe, my calling the police about a driver who buzzes me will prevent them from killing or injuring a bicyclist in the future.

On a positive note Mrs. Bikesafer and Kathy G. did the Pardeeville Tri on Saturday. It was perfect weather for the race and they had fun. I was Mr. support because Mrs. Bikesafer supports me in all my races, it was time to return the favor. It was fun to see her enjoy the competition too.

The next generation of homebrew lights is nearing completion. Pictures to follow soon.

In the update department, the officer from Brookfield regarding the Acura incident has forwarded the info to the city prosecutor, but I haven't heard from him yet. In the Yellow truck incident, I heard from the VP of safety for the parent company and he is going to include my suggestions in the next safety memo. I had a close pass from a Crate and Barrel truck and they seem to have taken it seriously. They say they are going to use my video as a training tool for their drivers. Small victories here and there help.

Be careful out there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life is Good

This is a non cycling entry, but I suppose you could relate the deeper issues I'm going to talk about to cycling.
A colleague once told me to stop what I was doing every once in a while and look around and think about where I was, and what I was doing. She told me this regarding some of the cool places I've been for work.

So a couple days ago, I did just that. It wasn't an out of the ordinary day and we weren't in an exotic location, but we were doing something we don't usually get to do. We were in the company helicopter which in and of itself is nothing unusual, but we were able to, based on our destination, fly along the Lake Michigan shoreline. It was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky and there I was flying along a few hundred feet above the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Wow, not many people get to do that for a living, or at least part of their living. Pilot Todd, said on the way back, "I forgot to download the Magnum PI ring tone to my phone." It made me laugh because I was thinking at that moment it felt just like we were in the opening sequence of Magnum PI, except we weren't over the ocean and we were in Sheboygan WI instead of Hawaii, but in the words of another colleague, " it didn't suck"

I guess we should do the same thing occasionally on a good ride too. We should really appreciate what we have and how good life is most of the time, even if once in a while we have to navigate a few bumps in the road.

That's all for now, I've got to go mow the lawn now, and that definitely does suck.

Enjoy the video, you'll have to hum the Magnum theme to yourself, I don't have time to find it.