Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Got a Ticket For Christmas

Actually it came in the mail a few days before Christmas. It was for "failure to keep right" and it was from the November 3rd incident. I understand that the driver got 2 tickets, one for the illegal pass and the other for swerving and stopping short in front of me. I plan to fight my ticket. I'll have more info when the case is resolved.

The school bus driver from a few weeks ago apparently got a good talking to by his bosses and some retraining. Those darn funny shaped signs with the word stop written on them can be pretty confusing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


For the non pilots among us that's Instrument Flight Rules. IFR conditions are when visibility is so bad you have to rely on your instruments to figure out where you're flying. The only problem is on a bike there are no instruments, so I was riding by feel most of Tuesday night. In my 10+ years of riding in snow, I've never experienced problems like Tuesday. Into the wind, my glasses would cake with snow or the snow would melt just enough to refreeze into ice, and with the wind the inside of the glasses would fog up. So it wasn't the best winter ride ever, but I did test out some new lights that worked well.

IFR from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If He Keeps Lying ... I'll Give Him a Citation

Tuesday was an interesting ride. A close pass is one thing, but actually being forced off the road is another. It wasn't as bad as a few weeks ago, but any time you're pushed off the road it shakes you up.

956416 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

I don't know if the driver intended to put me in the ditch, but that matters very little when I'm fighting to stay upright on a shoulder which consists of jagged baseball sized rocks. My early contact with West Allis Police didn't seem promising. I got many of the usual responses, but the Sgt. agreed to look at the video and after he did he said that the driver was indeed in the wrong. He said that he would talk to the driver one more time and if he lied to him again about what actually happened he'd give him a ticket. The driver of course said I was in the middle of the road, and that he gave me plenty of room.

Thanks to the West Allis Police for getting it right again. Every time I've made a complaint with them they've gotten it right in the end.

What made Tuesday interesting was the fact that there were 2 incidents. The second involved an angry school bus driver who pulled out in front of me from a stop sign. He was angry until I told him his bosses would see the video of his driving and his cursing me out afterward. I stressed to his bosses at least 3 times that I didn't want him to lose his job over this, I just wanted him to be more careful.

Still no word on what is happening with the guy who actually put me in a ditch from a few weeks ago. I'll keep you updated on all of these incidents.
Bikesafer and Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ernesto Santiago-Norat

I lost a good friend to cancer last night. I know most readers of this blog didn't know him, but I wanted to write about him anyhow. Besides we did ride together once and this is a bike blog.

He was gifted photographer, a great friend and most importantly an extraordinary father. He leaves behind 2 beautiful daughters. His passion for his craft and for his family was inspiring. His self deprecating humor and quick wit were entertaining. All this made him one of the best friends of my adult life.

Good bye old friend

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Better Man

The saying goes, "may the best man win." Sunday had shaped up to be a heck of a fight. The WCA 40+ Cat 4 cx championship came down to a dead heat between Tim V. and me. We didn't have to win the race just beat the other guy to win the overall. Whoever finished first won the jersey. Unfortunately I could tell early on that it wasn't my day. It was, in fact my worst day of the season. So the better man definitely won, or at least won our little race within the race. Congratulations Tim, you deserved it. Thanks to all the guys I raced against too it was a blast. How can you not love cross? See ya next year.

For anyone interested in an update from my last post, I'd love to give you one but I'm still waiting for an update myself. When I get more info I'll definitely post it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The day after a guy in California is convicted for stopping short and injuring 2 cyclists, a guy in New Berlin clips my hand and then stops short in front of me while swerving toward me and the side of the road. Thankfully I wasn't going 30mph down a hill and there was a ditch for me to ride into. I'm not saying this incident is comparable to the California incident, other than this guy is every bit the menace Dr. Thompson was, I just got lucky. Hopefully there will be consequenses to dissuade him from using his car to force others off the road again.

540hvs from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I've been pretty busy lately and I've neglected the blog. A lot has happened since my last post, I won my first cx race, had a less than stellar race, and enjoyed a great halloween party, (thanks Gus), among other things. But I had to post about this.

Ex-Doc Found Guilty of Assaulting Cyclists

Maybe, just maybe, this will teach other like minded criminals to think twice before using their vehicles as weapons.
Hopefully the fact that the judge ordered him held until sentencing means he plans on giving him some substantial prison time.

In one of the stories about the verdict they mention that the doctor claimed they were riding 3 abreast. How can 2 cyclists ride 3 abreast? Maybe that's one of the reasons the jury called BS on his defense.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Sunny Sheboygan

It seems like every Sheboygan WORS race I've ever done it's been a great sunny fall day. It was a little cool but that's what fall in Wisconsin is all about.
Speaking of fall, I took too many of them in this race. I was battling for second in age group when a bad line put me on the "Sheboygan slickrock".

Then on the last lap a phantom root grabbed my wheel and cost me 3rd place, but 4th in age 23rd overall in Sport is a good way to end the MTB season. Johnny G. decided to test the waters in Comp. Sport distance is still good for me for now. I'm actually looking forward to the shorter race distance of the cross season.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Hardest Half Hour

Lapham Peak Cross from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

It's cyclcross season again, and that means suffering. I think it's the hardest thirty or forty minutes (depending on category and race organizer) in cycling. It is fun though when you get a good course set up. Lapham isn't my favorite course, but it's good practice for the rest of the season.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

You Say Tomato...

I say bike lanes. What? Fall is a great time to ride not just to see leaves change color but for the fall colors in the foods you find and the different places you find to ride. Cyclocross brought us to the Madison area.

USGP Cross from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Produce brought us to the Captiol square. Mrs. Bikesafer and I rode around Madison after a stop at their farmers market for some heirloom tomatoes to go with our fresh basil from the garden, 18 year old balsamic, olive oil and fresh mozzerella.

What an interesting place to ride. Bike paths all over the place, and bike lanes on almost every busy street. Not just bike lanes, we have those in Milwaukee too, but in Madison most of them are clear of debris and potholes, and more importantly DOORS. Almost every bike lane in MKE is unrideable because of the proximity to the door zone.
We also rode in our first ever protected and contra-flow bike lane on University ave. It was a good ride.

Madison Bike Lane from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

But with fall not only the leaves seem to change. The drivers are starting to get cranky. I got an earful yesterday from Mr. SUV, who passed into oncoming traffic to get to the stop sign a few seconds ahead of me only to wait there to bitch at me about "us guys", (cyclists) getting out of control.

I also learned that in SUV land, cyclists aren't allowed to use the roads. As he drove off, the wife or mistress or whatever yelled "you gotta be safe". Yes I agree, and how safe is it to pass (anyone) if you have to go into oncoming traffic?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bing Bang Boom

Really it was more like clang, clang, snap. That was the sound of my second Fat Tire 40 disappearing in an explosion of suspension parts. Mikes tandem has taken a beating lately.
After we destroyed his cassette with some bad shifting at Ore to Shore, we thought we got our share of mechanicals out of the way for a while.

It was still a great weekend, because one of the reasons I mountain bike is to hang out with my MTB friends. So we had a great weekend in a beautiful log house full of friends. There's always next year for the race result I was hoping for.

On the way home I got a warning for not having my registration sticker properly displayed. I have no problem being pulled over for it, but it seemed ridiculous to me to give me a written warning since I had the registration AND the sticker with me in the car and planned on sticking it on the plate at the next stop. I started to think as I wasted 20 minutes waiting for the warning, about how many times I've had evidence of drivers clearly running stop signs or running me off the road when law enforcement wouldn't even contact the offending driver. I understand this was a different agency, but I get a written warning for not having my sticker properly displayed while many reckless drivers drive away with impunity. It seems like those priorities are a little screwed up.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


squishy from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

It's been a bad stretch of rides lately. 3 flats on the last 4 road rides. 2 flats in the Ore to Shore and one on the ride back to the hotel from the race, then last night on the tandem with Mike, that squishy feeling came twice and we didn't have another tube. Well we did but it was a road tube. So we limped home on a squishy road tube in a mtb tire after one patch job. Change tubes again and back out for a nice night ride by the lake. On the way back some lady in a van came about 3 inches from giving us a serious dooring. Let's hope that covers the flats and the near doorings for a while.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Howl At The Moon

Johnny G. wanted to test out his lights and his mad night riding skills before the WEMS night race so we took advantage of the near full moon and headed to the kettles. It took me half the lap to get into a flow but it was a great night to ride.

Full Moon Ride from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Under The Lights

I followed Russell's advice and went to Kenosha to see the races. I'm almost thinking I might like to try the whole track thing after watching it. Looks like a blast. I was going to bring out the good cameras and shoot some artsy stuff, but I didn't feel like workin that hard so this is all you get. I can't make any guarantees about the quality of these photos. They were toned and sized on a new computer I'm not used to yet.

Kenosha Track Racing from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Place, Thanks to Keith

Bontrager that is. Well not personally, but thanks to his wheels. Sunday's race was the second time I've finished a race on a Bontrager wheel with a broken spoke. This race I actually started on a broken spoke, or broke it in the first couple hundred meters of the race.
You may wonder how finishing 2 races on wheels with broken spokes is a good thing, well it is because in both cases, while I did hear the distinctive tink tink sound of the spoke bouncing around off other spokes, I never heard a brake rub (yes I'm still the only guy running rim brakes) because the wheel(s) barely went out of true thanks to the way the spokes are offset to reduce stress. So I kept racing as hard as I could go. Eventually I stopped worrying so much about finishing. O.K. that's not true, but I knew the wheel would hold up, I just worried that the spoke would wrap around my derailleur and snap that off.

I was going to let this post only be about the race, but I saw a story on the news I have to comment on.
The story was about how Madison Police gave out 10 tickets to cyclists who ran a red light or stop sign last Wednesday as part of a national bicycle safety education grant.
I'm not condoning running lights or stop signs, but it's my experience that every single cyclist who runs stop signs or lights knows it is illegal and potentially unsafe. It is also my experience that few, if any drivers who buzz cyclists, know anything about the 3 foot law meant to keep law abiding cyclists safe from motorists. So if if the grant is for bicycle safety education, wouldn't the money be better spent educating people about those things they don't already know, like the 3 foot law?
Those cyclists who run red lights are knowingly jeopardizing their own safety. Let's use the education funds to educate those folks who are jeopardizing cyclists safety either because they don't know the law or they don't know how dangerous their behavior is. That might actually do something to keep cyclists safe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sneak Peak

Just a taste of what the Alterra WORS race has in store for Sunday. Lots of tasty singletrack with a good switchback climb thrown in to spice things up. Should be fun. Great job with the course.

Alterra Race Course from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tickets Yes, Understanding...???

I've heard back from the police regarding the woman whose mirror hit me. She was issued a citation, but it comes with a caveat. According to the investigating officer,

"She further advised that she felt that bicyclists should not be riding
on S.124th Street as it is not wide enough to accommodate their safe
operation. Though I strongly agree with her on that point as I've told
you in the past, she was advised that you have the right to do so."

In fact S. 124th Street is wide enough to accommodate the safe operation of bicycles, if cars wait to pass bicycles until it can be done safely. It is not the width of S. 124th Street which makes it occasionally unsafe for bikes, it is the drivers who can't wait 10 seconds to pass bicycles.

Since I started this blog, my goal wasn't getting people tickets, it was getting drivers to understand and follow the law so everyone, especially cyclists would be safer. I’d feel better if law enforcement wasn’t telling me where I shouldn’t ride, but if I have to hear that in order for the drivers to get the message that they can’t buzz at will, that's still a step forward, at least in some municipalities.

I also heard back from the Brookfield Police about a similar incident and they also issued a citation. In that case the car was getting progressively closer at a 4 way stop and caused me to lose my balance and fall onto the car.

Thanks to both officers in these cases for handling the complaints professionally.

Hopefully both drivers now have a better understanding of the law and will be more careful and more patient next time they see a bicyclist.

I'll try to post the video of the other incident soon.
Bikesafer Jeff

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I guess I've been out of touch with the blog lately, but that isn't what this post is about. It's about contact between a car and a bike. My bike, well actually me. It was a typical buzz except for the mirror hitting my left hand and almost pulling me closer to the car and potentially under the wheels. The driver only honked as they drove on. Thanks for stopping to make sure I was alright, never mind that it's the law after you hit someone with your car you have to stop. Police have been called, I'm still waiting to see what happens.

contact from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

On a positive note, I have been enjoying some Tosa dirt lately. Man those trails are fun.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Like UPS?

I'm wondering if I should adopt the UPS policy of avoiding left turns. I've almost been hit twice in the last week by drivers ignoring the stop sign at the same intersection and turning left in front of me while I'm making a left turn. The woman today stopped at the stop sign, waited until I got closer then looked right at me and stomped on the gas. My arm was straight out signaling the turn the entire time.

left cross again from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Buzzed While Making a Left Turn!

People keep getting more and more ridiculous out on the road.

I was riding a very popular route for cyclists using a wide shoulder. I had no trouble until I signaled and moved over to make a left turn. The speed limit here is 35 mph and I was going 25 mph so I wouldn't think it would be too much to ask for a driver to slow 10 mph for a few seconds while I make my left turn. As it turns out my speed wasn't what required him to wait to pass, the oncoming car would have meant anyone turning left would have to slow down, requiring the driver behind them to slow, or make an illegal pass. I signaled and moved over with plenty of time for him to slow down to wait for me to turn. He didn't wait. He decided to pass me while I was in the process of making my left turn and while another vehicle was in the oncoming lane. Unfortunately I didn't get the plate number. The rear facing camera angle starts just before I signal and begin to move over to turn.

Untitled from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Furry Right Cross

It finally happened. I've had close calls before, but today was the day.

I ran over a squirrel.
Rocky came up to the edge of the road and then thought twice about it, then decided what the hell. He went for it. I was picturing this when I saw him go for it. Fortunately, even though my front wheel went right over him, I rode away and as near as I can tell from the slow mo video, he ran away.

Furry Right Cross from Bikesafer on Vimeo.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Not Taking My Pound of Flesh

Monday morning's ride was a harrowing experience I'd like to avoid in the future. I got buzzed by 2 cars on the same ride, both times with less than a foot between me and the cars. The first time, I'm certain if I hadn't swerved out of the way I would have been hit. Sadly, close passes have become so common, I don't get as freaked out by them as I used to, but these had me shaking for 10 minutes each. This photo is just before I swerved for the shoulder.

479 lem from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

rmc 25 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Officer Puente from The New Berlin Police Department was professional and helpful through the entire complaint process. Written warnings were issued to both drivers. At first, I was a little disappointed that even with some of the scariest footage of one of the most dangerous passes I've experienced, that no ticket would be issued. I wanted them to pay for coming that close to causing a serious accident.

The more I thought about the situation and it's outcome, though, I remembered why I contact the authorities after incidents like this. I want to insure these drivers don't repeat their dangerous behavior. The best way to accomplish that is to make sure they know the laws and understand bicyclist's rights to use the road. I believe Officer Puente effectively communicated that to both drivers. I also believe that the written warning will serve as a deterrent to prevent them from driving like this again.

Given that outcome I'm happy to leave my pound of flesh on the table and trust that the drivers have learned from the experience.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Love to H8T

Saturday was the 3rd annual, but my first, H8TR. It started with the shotgun, (actually a pinch flat) start. After the neutral roll out it was head for the unfinished trail as fast as you could pedal. Being slightly undergeared for the paved section was fine since the H8T wouldn't really start until the after the turn around into the wind. All in all it was a great way to start the season.

H8TR from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Warning, Warning, Warning

No, it's not "Robot" from lost in space, it's common sense being exercised by officers from New Berlin and West Allis.
Multiple written warnings were issued this week to bad drivers.
Officers from the maroon Mercury incident and Saturday's white van incident gave written warnings to those drivers.

EK 9330 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

I wish more officers would use the written warning. I'm not looking to get people cited, I just want them to be more careful around bicyclists. I really think a written warning would do that in many cases. It has the added benefit of being on their record in case they do commit similar offenses, officers can see that and take the appropriate action to get compliance. The officer in West Allis understood and supported my right to the road but apparently the driver did not. He told the officer I should have been on the sidewalk. The officer told him in fact bicycles do have the right to use the road. So now the motorist has been educated about bike laws, and will hopefully change his ways.
Unfortunately not everyone is as enlightened as these officers.
I got what I consider to be justice in these two cases, but it doesn't always work out that way.
Just because we might expect injustice, doesn't mean that we should accept injustice.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Helmet Cam How To

I've received many requests lately for information about how to hook up a helmet camera system. I posted a video how to about a year or so ago. It shows how I set up my bike and helmet with the cameras. As far as camera type, I use the Oregon Scientific ATC2K and ATC3K. I prefer the 2K even though it is the older model it has better low light capabilities. Some folks prefer the VholdR but it is more expensive than the ATC2K. There are many other choices out there most can be found at the website helmet camera central. My video how to can be found at:

On a separate note, WJJO-FM in Madison recently aired a segment called "Bike Trail of Death" which advocated, jokingly, the killing of cyclists. The segment ended with the statement, "The only bicyclist that isn't a pain in your ass is a dead one on the side of the road." I didn't find this the least bit funny. I'm going to send a letter to the station manager and a complaint to the FCC. I'll post the letter when it's done. The more letters and calls the station gets, the more likely it is they will get the message they can't use the public airwaves to advocate harming cyclists. If you do write or call, please don't call names or threaten to do anything illegal. Apparently there have been some calls and letters that were just as offensive as the original segment. Being consructive in your criticism will likely get more positive results. The FCC complaint form can be found at:!input.action?form_page=2000E


Thursday, March 26, 2009


The latest close pass. I'll have to right more about it later.

543-ewx from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Orange and Black

Almost black and blue. Orange and black because I'm still on the Alterra email list for group rides. I usually can't fit them into the schedule, but...It was a great day for a long ride with some old friends. So I hooked up with my old teammates from Alterra for a Pewaukee ride. It was a beautiful day and a great ride. Usually when I'm on a group ride I notice drivers give more room when they pass than when they pass an individual rider. I'm not sure why. Apparently no one told Grandma Buick. She almost ended one of us today. She had to be 6 inches away at most. I wish I could have gotten the license plate number. It freaked us all out a little but it didn't spoil a great ride. I'm glad I'm still on the Alterra email list.

Alterra Ride from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be...

Ignored, or at least given a very low priority.

Fedex used to use the slogan, "when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight". They still ship thousands of packages overnight and many more in a matter of days. They can keep track of all these package's locations with such accuracy that you can check their location 24 hours a day. What they apparently can't do is keep track of who's driving which truck.

FedEx15188 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

I called on Monday morning shortly after the truck buzzed me to complain, and found out Thursday afternoon that they still have not been able to locate the truck or the driver who was operating the truck. I find that very hard to believe. I've gone further up the corporate ladder, but it may not do any good. I'm told that FedEx ground drivers are independent contractors, not Fedex employees. I'll let you know what I hear from the corporate types.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So Bad It Looks Good

The pass that happened 2 minutes into my ride Saturday was pretty bad, even though at first glance it doesn't appear that way. If you were able to look frame by frame you'd notice that there is a car in the oncoming lane. You can just see the shadow in one of the frames. He timed his riduculous pass so perfectly that you can't even see the oncoming car unless you watch the rear facing camera. The oncoming car, the minivan passing me and I all end up in the same section of road at the same time. I'm amazed no one was killed.

347 mjn from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

What's more annoying is after this idiot endangered 3 lives to save 10 seconds, he flailed his arms wildly toward the right side of the road, I guess meaning that I should not be on the road or I should have ridden myself into the ditch so he could pass me. I don't know if there will be enough on the video to convince the police to issue a citation, but the rear facing camera clearly shows the oncoming car passing at the same time that this guy passed me. I think the more appropriate ticket for this guy is not for passing me too closely, which he did, but for passing into oncoming traffic.

It was good to get back on the bike after a short trip to the land of Iron Chefs. Mrs. Bikesafer and I took "the boy" aka my nephew to New York for a long weekend. We ate at a couple iron chef's restaurants and saw all the tourist sites. Next time I WILL find a way to ride in the city.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Correspondence

I have to correct something I said in my previous post. I said the City Prosecutor referred to two separate incidents about which I contacted him. I only contacted him regarding one incident. He received a complaint about the second incident from the Police Department.

He does however mix up the facts of both cases. The initial correspondence as well as my follow up correspondence to the City Prosecutor are both below.

The initial posts about the incidents can be found at:

By the way, even though he is a public employee, neither Mr. Kershek or anyone with his office has ever responded to any of my emails, phone calls, or letters in any way. The copy of the letter I did get was sent to me by the Mayor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Response and A Quote

I've gotten more than a couple requests recently for copies of the letter I recieved from the Brookfield City Prosecutor last year. I didn't post the whole letter initially because there are many factual errors in the letter and I didn't want to go through them all on the blog. I decided to post it now because so many people are asking for it after viewing the Fox Six report that featured me and my troubles in Brookfield.

In the letter, the Prosecutor refers to 2 separate incidents which were the subject of my correspondence to him. He mixes up the facts of the 2 cases repeatedly and misrepresents my position in both cases as a result. That being said, the absurdity of the Prosecutor's opinion is unmistakeable.

I am not a lawyer, but I believe his position to be legally untenable. He claims that a law abiding cyclist must move over for a law breaking driver so the law breaking driver doesn't have to slow down to pass.

He says that since the law says "normal speed of traffic" that refers to whatever speed the motorists are travelling. He seems to forget that the legislature has also enacted statutes which control the maximum speed at which any vehicle can travel, therefore any motorists travelling at greater than the maximum speed would be violating the law, so the fastest any traffic can "normally" be travelling and still be within the law is the maximum speed limit. I don't remember the term for this legal principle but it says that one law cannot be interpreted to render another law meaningless. Under his interpretation, the maximum speed law would become meaningless whenever a bicycle was present. Clearly that was not the intention of the legislature as the plain language of the statutes shows.

But I digress.

The letter is posted in it's entirety. I highligted the sections I think are the most absurd. I will try to track down my correspondence to him so you can judge for yourself how he mixed up the facts. It might take a while to post that.

I wanted to close with a quote I found on friend's.
"One moment of patience may ward off disaster, one moment of impatience may ruin a whole life."

Unfortunately I can't credit the author as it was listed as unknown. I think this quote is pertinent to this post today because it relates to my last post and this one.

I think we all know how a motorist's impatience can ruin lives. I think we unfortunately may see how a cyclist's impatience with a motorist might cost the cyclist. I think it is pertinent to this post because the City Prosecutor's impatience in rushing to back this police officer may make him look rather silly, and a more patient, thoughtful, researched opinion could have changed peoples attitudes, people who could have made a real difference on how motorists deal with cyclists. Instead we get more of the same attitude. Let's all keep trying to change those attitudes even if it takes a little patience


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Buzzed, Run Over, Then Ticketed

No it didn't happen to me, thankfully, but it is happening to a fellow cyclist. You can read the whole story here, but I wanted to give it a mention because I think cyclists everywhere need to know about it.

Briefly, a guy in Oregon, the state, not the city in WI, gets buzzed by an SUV and waves the guy back to talk to him. (I've done this many times, sometimes with great success and others with no success). The driver curses out the rider, the rider walks away smacking the drivers mirror on the way, the driver then intentionally drives toward the cyclist hitting and injuring him, then leaves the scene. Almost a week later, after pushing for the felony charges the driver deserves, the cyclist receives a ticket with a minimum fine of $5000.

I think we all need to know about this situation for 2 reasons. We can all learn some things from this cyclist's experience. He has said he learned this first lesson, potentially at a very high cost. The lesson is, always try to de-escalate the situation, never do things that are likely to further irritate the idiot driver who already came close to hitting you once. On the occasions that I've tried to talk to dangerous motorists and been very friendly and even introduced myself with a smile, I almost always get a calmer more receptive driver to listen as I explain about the rights of cyclists.
I know it's hard after a driver almost made roadkill out of you, but if you take the high road, you are more likely to get your point across to the driver. Even if they won't listen to reason, you are the calm, rational one, if or when the police need to become involved.

Maybe try to imagine that the person who just ran you off the road was your grandma and you have to try to make her understand why her actions were dangerous.

The second lesson is the same as the first it just deals with different people. Unfortunately, (and this is just based my experience, and maybe this guy's situation), when you call the police about any traffic incident involving a bike, their initial reaction will often be to blame the bike rider for the trouble.

The lesson to be learned here is the same as above. You have to take the high road.
You should realize going in that things might not go your way, but be very nice and polite to the responding officer. If things don't go your way with him/her, there's always his/her Superior officers. You'll almost never be able to make your case to an unfriendly cop on the street. You might be able to convince a superior officer you're right later, but not if you are a jerk to the first cop you talk to.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't always follow my own advice, but I'm getting better each time I have a run in with motorist. Thankfully I haven't been run over yet, intentionally or otherwise, but anyone who rides as much as I do could find themselves in this kind of situation. Hopefully things improve for this cyclist and it works out for him in the end.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Got a Little Cocky

And I paid for it. I felt really good and the snow/road conditions were perfect and I was taking some corners pretty fast, motocross style, you know with the foot out to catch yourself. Well I did it once to often and I started to go down before my MX foot could catch me. No harm done, just a boot full of slush.

Getting Cocky from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Speaking of boots, I wore the Answer Kashmir for the first time. Warm dry feet make your ride much more enjoyable and these shoes/boots even fit my goofy shaped feet. Look for a more in depth review when I've ridden them some more, so far I like them a lot.
I rode over to Hoyt Park to look for Russell and his Tosa mofos, but no one around and no tire tracks. Maybe I was early/late/showed up to the wrong place. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ronsta Ride Recut

The remixed version with a few extra edits and properly adjusted audio levels. Still haven't been able to figure out the glitch problem. Enjoy

Ronsta Ride Recut from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Ronsta Ride

Ronsta Ride from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Saturday was a slushy mess of a 2 hour ride, but Sunday brought sun and a cold wind for the Ronsta Ride. We were started with 6 picked up one on the way and then lost 2 along the way due to cold feet or other commitments. A great way to spend a Sunday.

This video is a quick edit on new software that is leaving glitches in the finished product. The music is also a little over modulated. I'll try and get it recut when these troubles are resolved.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Day In The Sun

Finally a day above the single digits or teens. It almost felt like spring. What a great ride.
I wanted say that up front, as I've had some folks question why I ride at all if I have "so many" problems on the road. I love riding and today was a great day on the road.

Buzzed By a Trailer from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

I had a couple close calls today, only one that warranted a call to police. I have some thoughts on that and about the Elm Grove idiot who told me to ride on the sidewalk, but that will have to wait for another day.

I kind of raced a train today, well I was coasting and just thought it might make a better video than the trailer almost hitting me.

Racing A Train from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

The Brookfield cops from the last incident told me they issued a citation. I still have to get a copy of it to make sure, but the irony is if he fights it, I could be called as a witness by the same prosecutor who told me I have no right to be on the road at all. Probably more likely he would dismiss it or plea bargain it down. We'll see.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Press Your Luck Wearing Goggles

It was 4 degrees above zero this morning, so naturally I decided to go for a bike ride. It was a beautifully sunny morning, so I bundled up and away I went. I had to. I had read about this incident earlier. Whenever I read about something like this, it makes me want to ride even more. I guess because when someone in a car obviously breaks the law and runs down a cyclist and no charges or even citations are issued, it's like the authorities are telling cyclists to stay off the road or at least to ride at your own risk, since they appear to be unwilling to protect us. I don't take kindly to being told not to do something I have a right to do. So when I read about stuff like this I decide to press my luck.

There was this game show back in the 80's where you pressed a button and if you pressed it and the game stopped on a little gremlin looking dude called a whammy, you lost all your money. That is unfortunately what it feels like almost every time I go out to ride. Sadly when we go ride and we get a whammy it will likely cost us our lives or at least a long hospital stay and maybe a lifelong disability.

It's not like it's a rare occurrence either. I had a close call today which could have been avoided, but for the impatient driver.

Untitled from

Sadly at the same time motorists are getting off easy for running down cyclists, many riders are being ticketed or even tackled off their bikes for not having a light or not riding in a bike lane or for no reason at all. If not for video or witnesses in many of these cases the cyclists lives would have been scarred by criminal records, all for the unspeakable crime of riding a bike.

All these reasons are why I continue to press my luck, that and because I love to ride. I really cleared my head of a lot of junk on the ride today, it felt great. I continue to press my luck with the authorities as well because if I don't, if more of us don't, we will continue to be treated as second class citizens on the road. So I'll forfeit an hour out of my weekend to complain yet again about dangerous drivers in Brookfield. It may not do any good this time or the next time but maybe one of these times when I get bullied on the road, I won't get a second whammy when I look to the authorities for help.

As for the goggles, I've found that ski goggles really help keep your face warm when the windchill is -10.