Sunday, December 12, 2010

400 Santas Walk Into a Bar

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but almost 400 thirsty Santas rode to various Milwaukee bars on Saturday. I've never had so many motorists and pedestrians smile and wave at bicyclists. What a blast.

Santa Rampage Ride from Jeff Frings Photography on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let It Snow!

Bonus snow ride on Thursday!
Nothing special, but the first time on snow this year.
If it's going to be cold at least let it snow.

Let It Snow1

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween CX

The Expo Halloween party at the Washington Park cross race gets bigger every year. Gus and the crew didn't disappoint this year.

Halloween Expo Style from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's Called a SideWALK

Two days in a row, buzzed by drivers in similar situations and both times I get the same response when I ask them about getting that close to me.
"No I didn't know I was that close to you." Almost immediately followed by, "why don't you ride on the sidewalk."

950 ntl from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

252766 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

For the bazillionth time, It's illegal to ride on the sidewalk!

Even if it wasn't, both these women seem to think that my not using the sidewalk would somehow justify their running me down.
I tried to calmly point out the danger in their driving, but what I should have asked the woman on Friday was, if your son was riding his bike instead of in the passenger seat next to you, and you had just come within 18 inches of killing him instead of me, would you be a little more concerned?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nothing Ever Happens

Nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all
The needle returns to the start of the song
And we all sing along like before
--Del Amitri

Del Amitri was making a commentary on the boring state of our everyday lives, but sadly, those words come to mind as I wonder about the apparent lack of accountability for drivers who kill or seriously injure others, especially cyclists. I didn’t know Jeff Littmann. I don’t know Lauren Jensen. But I do know what it is like to fear for my life while on the road. That fear is often the result of drivers who are either too busy doing anything but actually driving or too selfish to actually watch out for others on the road.

Very often those drivers terrorize, maim, or kill with impunity. When a driver hits a cyclist, unless they flee the scene or are drunk, there is often no penalty. In rare instances the driver might get a traffic citation with a small fine. Those are rare instances. The possibility of criminal charges are almost non existent. In many cases the prosecutor claims that the burden of proof is too high, that they would have to prove negligence to get a conviction.

If you are driving while drunk, texting, putting on makeup or doing anything other than devoting your full attention to driving, is that not negligent? If you were violating one or more traffic laws and that causes the death or serious injury of another is that not negligent? Isn’t driving 40 mph into a blinding sun where the driver admittedly couldn’t see “oncoming traffic or anything much more but (estimate) 10 ft in front of me” negligent?
The legal definition of negligence is, “conduct that the actor should realize creates a substantial
and unreasonable risk of death or great bodily harm to another”
Shouldn’t every driver realize that driving 40 mph with only 10 feet of visibility creates a substantial risk of harm to another? Shouldn’t every driver realize that when we disobey any number of other traffic laws we cause a substantial risk of harm? Isn’t that why we have these laws in the first place, because violating them causes a risk to others?

I understand “accidents” do happen. A traffic sign is obscured by a branch, you have a sneezing fit, you lose a contact, and cause a crash, any number of true “accidents” can occur. Violating traffic laws and causing a serious crash is no accident. If we keep treating these situations as accidents aren’t we just asking for more deaths and injuries. Perhaps we need some penalty between a 10-year felony and a slap on the wrist traffic fine for killing someone with a car. I understand no charging decision has been made in the Littmann/Jensen case yet. Maybe sometime soon something will happen. Maybe that something will be justice for those injured or killed by negligent drivers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Listening to Reason

I heard that familiar refrain Sunday in Waukesha, "move over ...". But it wasn't coming from someone in a car, it was from a guy getting his mail. I thought for a minute, go back and discuss or keep riding. I think mostly because he didn't shout his message, I decided to discuss. Turns out that was a good idea.

He explained that he's seen numerous bicycle riders hit near his house and that I should ride closer to the right to be safe. I explained why its safer to ride where I ride, so drivers know they need to use the other lane to pass. He continued to insist that it's safer on the right edge but, as I explained in more detail, he said he understood the logic in my argument.

At the end of our conversation, he extended his hand and wished me well. I'm glad I stopped, and more importantly I'm glad we were able to discuss it calmly.

Thanks for listening Mr. Waukesha

Monday, June 28, 2010

Where Do You Think You're Gonna Go?

This van tried to pass me even though I was going the same speed, (the speed limit), as the car 20 feet in front of me. I don't know where he thought he was going to go by passing me but thankfully he got the message when I waved him off.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bike Rodeo

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Franklin hosted a bike rodeo for kids on Saturday. About 9o kids got helmets, bike inspections and safety training. Jim from Ben's Cycles and Dave from Johnson's Cycles were on hand to make sure everyone had a properly functioning bike. Mrs. Bikesafer and I were the mechanic's helpers. I did manage to shoot a little video.

Bike Rodeo from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Just In!

I got a gift from ClifBar today. I can't wait to try them all and share them with the team. MMMMmmmm ClifBar!


Latin for "the thing speaks for itself." Refers to situations when it's assumed that a person's injury was caused by the negligent action of another party because the accident was the sort that wouldn't occur unless someone was negligent.

The Latest Crazy Pass from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Nobody was injured this time, but the phrase seems to apply here, don't you think? Notice the car in the top of the frame.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Almost Doored From Behind

This was a first.

almost doored from behind from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

A little Honda comes up behind me, moves over what seems like a safe distance, until the passenger decides to open the door just as he passes me.

He got close enough to scare the crap out of me which I'm sure was his intent. Then they turn into the gas station 150 feet up the road, so I pull into the station behind them to try and get a license number and ID the passenger. The driver doesn't even get out of the car, but genius passenger gets out and tells me that since I don't have a license plate, I can't be on the road and that I was in the way of his door so too bad for me. I'd like to think if I went to the police with this something would come of it other than me getting another ticket, but my experience tells me otherwise. It seems pretty clear by his actions and his statements to me that it was his intent to force me off the road. Let's see using the door of a 1000 pound car to push someone off the road going 20 mph. I think that's recklessly endangering safety at the least. I'm still debating whether to file a complaint.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Danke Schoen Ergon

A recent mountain bike trip to Sedona proved yet again the value of the Ergon BD-2 backpack. With 120 oz of water, ClifBars, and multiple cameras inside I barely felt the pack. The rider point of view video is taken from a camera mounted on the chest strap of the pack. More of the video will be premiering here soon. Thanks to our great sponsors

Sedona Preview from Jeff Frings Photography on Vimeo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just a Taste

Expo Racing got together for a photo and video shoot on Saturday.

Expo Racing Team Video Preview from Jeff Frings Photography on Vimeo.

This is just a quick taste of whats coming up. Joe's photos look great, I can only hope the video looks as good.
It was a fun day and we shot a lot of cool stuff. Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

He's Ready For His Close-up

Fixedgeargus and I have been working on a little video project lately and it's finally done.

Almost There from Jeff Frings Photography on Vimeo.

We tossed around some ideas at least a year ago and never did anything with them until this video contest came up and I thought we could make something of our original idea that would fit the contest. Let me know what you think.

This movie is dedicated to Ernesto Santiago-Norat who continues to inspire me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It Must Be Spring

It must be spring because idiot drivers seem to popping up all over the place. This morning's jug-head actually admitted to me that my position in the roadway gave him the right to run me down, or at least come within inches of doing so. If only there were some agency whose job it was to reform drivers like this guy. I'll try to post the video later.

Claims To Be Cop, Proves He's Ignorant

I met this driver a few days ago when he tried to pass me in a narrow lane with oncoming traffic. After passing, he immediately turned right. Then he stopped and motioned for me to come back. As I did he said, "I'm a police officer. " I don't know if he really was a cop but he proved he was really ignorant of the rules of the road.

He said, referring to drivers, that, "we're not going to be behind you alright." He was adamant that I must ride further to the right. When I pointed out that the right hand edge was unsafe for me to ride, he said, "that's your problem."

He's right that is my problem, and by riding where I was, I was solving my problem. The bigger problem is when people like him decide it's more important to save 10 seconds than to operate their vehicles safely. The even bigger problem is if he is a police officer and doesn't know or understand the statutes he's sworn to enforce.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Preview Of Things To Come

A little bit of something Fixedgeargus and I are working on.
More soon, Enjoy

A preview of things to come from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Perfect Powdery Parkway

perfect parkway powder ride from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Got a quick ride in before the snowpocalypse. The conditions were perfect. You can watch my ride on the blog here or on Fox 6 News.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

If You See This Guy...

Do your best to stay out of this guy's way. His license number is 658304. It's pretty scary to think that we are sharing the road with this guy. Listen to the video and you'll understand.

658304 from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

Whether he will actually follow through on his threats I don't know. At least now if he does there is this evidence that he threatened bodily harm to cyclists who get in his way.
I'd love to get the authorities involved since he admitted on video that he was threatening to use his truck as a weapon, but given my recent experiences, I don't think that will happen.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

When The Truth Doesn't Matter

I'm left wondering what to do when the truth doesn't seem to matter to those sworn to uphold the law and dispense justice. That question has me at a crossroads.

The question arises from the latest incident in which my hand was hit by a car. The report for that incident says that I hit the car rather than the other way around. Not only that, but the report says I admitted that I punched the car. My statements say nothing of the kind. My only solace is that my statement was recorded, so what I said should not be in dispute. Therein lies the problem, the New Berlin Police Department says the report will not be amended. This, even though they know it contains incorrect statements.

When I started this blog 2 years ago I never imagined I'd run into a such a wall of contempt thrown up by those people who are supposed to protect the public. I've run into that wall repeatedly, not just in this case and not just in this jurisdiction. I persevered thinking it would have to get easier. I was wrong. This latest incident has led me to the end of this road.

I believed that I was doing the right thing by calling the police when someone committed some violation of the law that affected me. Judging by the reaction of most, but not all law enforcement officers I've contacted, apparently I was not. I don't know what action I was supposed to take or what action I will take in the future, but involving the police will be a last resort, rather than a first choice.

In the beginning I really thought that if I had proof, video evidence, of just how bad some drivers treat bicyclists, law enforcement would have to help me, that they would have to treat me fairly. That is just not the case. Contacting the authorities usually results in me getting lectured about my riding, but results in few, if any, consequences for the offending driver.

I will continue to roll the cameras every time I ride. I will post the videos on the blog, although I don't hold any illusions that the blog will generate enough publicity to shame drivers into doing the right thing. At least if a driver I encounter should injure or kill another rider there will be a record that they were reckless around bikes in the past.

Unfortunately, the question is still nagging at me as I think about future rides. What happens next time I'm hit by a car, and they hit more than my hand? What happens when the people who will investigate are some of the same people for whom the truth doesn't seem to matter?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I know it's been a while since I updated regarding the car that hit me.
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to write. I've written and re-written posts about the November 3rd incident numerous times but haven't published any of them. I have a lot to say about my citation and about how the incident has been handled up to this point. Since the matter is not settled yet, (The ticket won't actually be dismissed until July), I am limited in what I feel comfortable sharing. For now I can only say that I committed no violation on November 3rd. Beyond that I have to keep in mind that anything I say could be used against me. I'm trying to get some things ironed out so that I feel comfortable talking about the incident further here. I can say I'm looking forward to this whole thing being over. I guess you could surmise by the tone of this post that I'm not pleased with the way things have gone. Thanks to those of you who have sent supportive emails and comments.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I had my first court date for my ticket from November 3rd last night. The city prosecutor dismissed it under the condition that I not get any more tickets for this same infraction in the next 6 months. I have a few things to say about all this but that will have to wait until I have more time to type. Just wanted to get the update out there.