Saturday, November 26, 2011

She Should be Thanking Him

I have found that taking more of the lane can tend to subject me to fewer close passes. I have also found that more and more drivers are making ridiculously dangerous passes that could still get me, and others, killed.
Black Friday was almost truly a dark day for 3 families. A driver named Debra made this pass and when I tracked her down and talked to her she told me when she went around me there was a guy coming toward her but no one was coming at the time she passed.

HUH? Let me get this straight, there was no one coming, but there was a guy coming toward her????

As you can see for yourself in the video the oncoming car was only 10-20 car lengths away when she started the pass. The only way she realistically didn't see that car was if she wasn't looking.

She said I shouldn't be talking to her about this, that I should call the police. I told her that if she really wanted me to call the police I would, but with my video she might be facing a ticket.

She apologized, but continually blamed the oncoming driver for not slowing down. It's not readily evident in the video but the driver did slow down and almost stopped as the 2 vehicles passed. If he hadn't there would almost certainly have been a crash.

I am tempted to involve the police, they might say since I waited to involve them they can't do anything about it. I think my phone call may have enough of an effect that she might actually be more careful next time. She should be thankful that the other driver actually did his best to avoid a crash.

I'm thankful for all our sakes we'll have a next time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

If You Reason, They Will Listen...

I got out for an afternoon ride on Friday, during which I got buzzed by a Lincoln Navigator which immediately turned into a subdivision. Naturally I followed. A conversation ensued. Differing opinions were offered, but the driver seemed genuinely interested in the laws I was telling him about. I think it's because he believed he could prove me wrong. The conversation was passionate but not heated and eventually we both started to talk more calmly and even shook hands. The driver agreed to try to allow more room for bikes. I'll follow up with a copy of the video and the pertinent statutes, but I think this goes down in the win column. I think this driver will give more room next time.

The next driver I had an issue with on this ride however probably wont listen to reason unless it comes from a judge and has a fine associated with it.
He had to get past me so badly that he forced an oncoming car almost entirely onto the shoulder. The road widened to 4 lanes about a quarter mile up the street. I of course caught up to him at the red light. He looked like he was going to get out of his car and come after me until I told him I had his license plate number, which was Wisconsin truck plate #GK8502. When I told him that, he squealed his tires and took off very quickly.

Maybe he'll get his day in court before he kills, injures, or endangers someone else.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cop Crossing

The good news is that after this driver crossed in front of me he apologized. The bad news is that he did it in the first place. It turns out he was an (I assume) off duty but in uniform city of Brookfield reserve police officer.

This is the same department that has threatened to cite me for disorderly conduct for shouting at a driver who ran me off the road, and told me that I have no right to ride on any street in Brookfield if I'm not going the speed limit.

I wonder how the Brookfield Police Department would have responded to this incident, since, when it occurred I was in fact riding at the speed limit.

Now this driver admittedly misjudged my speed. But if an officer can misjudge the speed of a bicycle on a crystal clear Saturday morning and almost cause a serious crash, I think it is time that the City of Brookfield police chief reinforces to all his employees the importance of understanding, following and fairly enforcing the state of Wisconsin traffic laws as they relate to bicycles.

He should stress to all his employees that bicycles have the same right to the road as all other vehicles. He should stress that bicycles can legally use the entire traffic lane in numerous scenarios. He should also stress that bicycles may not always behave as you expect them too, for example, they may be going significantly faster than you would expect.

Perhaps the Chief can get this officer to help him reinforce these principles to his other employees, at least he seems to have learned his lesson from this incident.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Picture is Worth...

I had a lot of thoughts about this incident but I decided to let the pictures tell the story for the most part.

I know it wasn't the most terrible incident and the cop didn't buzz me, but if he can't even wait to pass safely on a 25mph parkway what does that tell you about his driving style?
p.s. My wife and I were riding the tandem that's why I was a little further out into the lane while passing the parked car. That tandem maneuvers like a school bus.
p.p.s. The cop was from Greendale

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Here is the trailer for "300 Miles of Travel" a documentary about the Trans Iowa bike race coming in late 2011.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

300 Miles of Gravel

Actually 3oo plus miles.

Untitled from Bikesafer on Vimeo.

I experienced my first Trans Iowa this year. I didn't ride it, I shot it.
Look for a Documentary on Trans Iowa V. 7 coming soon.
Thanks to all the TIv7 racers and organizers for being so receptive to having a camera in their face throughout the race. Also thanks to my wife, who as it turns out, is a damn good field producer.
I hope to have a trailer up in a few weeks.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wrong Way Dude

We drive on the right side of the road in the U.S. Most of us learn this early in life.
Someone should tell Mr. pickup truck that. He thinks it's fine to drive on the left side to back into his driveway, even when oncoming traffic is using that lane.

As I was attempting to get the license number he says, "you got a problem asshole?" No but maybe you have a problem understanding what those yellow lines on the road mean. He told me he did it because I was on a bike, that he wouldn't have done it if I was driving a car or truck. Long story short, cops said they talked to him and since he was backing a trailer into his driveway, he wasn't doing anything illegal. What trailer you ask, I asked the same thing. Officer said he would take his lying into account next time but no ticket this time. I'm no lawyer but the statute seems pretty clear

346.05 Vehicles to be driven on right side of roadway;
(1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width the
operator of a vehicle shall drive on the right half of the roadway
and in the right−hand lane of a 3−lane highway

Nowhere is there an exception for backing a trailer.
Oh by the way here's the part I can't figure, this goofball has a circle driveway so he could drive in like everyone else and still be able to drive out just as if he backed in, but not have to drive on the wrong side of the road.

I know this wasn't a major life threatening incident, but the fact that he did it just because I was on a bike, and the fact that he lied to the cops and the cops did nothing, is, I think interesting.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Drivers

The good news it's spring and that means better riding weather. The bad news is it also means some drivers aren't ready to drive near bicyclists.
First a FedEx truck buzzes me then a woman in a sedan who must get past me "right now" even if it means driving into oncoming traffic. Both incidents were pretty tame as far as traffic incidents go, but both drivers saved themselves only about 2 seconds by endangering both me, and others.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back on the Bike Back in the News

After a long hiatus from the bike due to a busy work schedule and a couple colds, I got back on the road last night. No major issues just a couple people name calling, but everyone gave me plenty of room.
I also ended up in the news again. There's an article in Outside Magazine about bike car conflicts in which I make an appearance. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but so far I think Tom Vanderbilt did a nice job. If you're arriving here from that article welcome.

Looking forward to more rides and more posts soon.