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#1 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Hit and run against cyclist (8/1/14, Airport at 12th) » 2014-08-11 22:00:47


That the very thought I had after reading the previous posts.

We don't want a possibly injured person left unattended. What happened is not considered a crime.

Make it clear (as we reasonably can) that we (society) really want the victim attended to. No fault (as long as a personal relationship between the parties is not pertinent).

If you think you may have come in contact, stop, give aid as seems appropriate, pass the situation off to a responsible party, and you are done.

[It is my personal opinion that any lack of feeling of guilt by the perpitator will not be altered, but they may still be willing to give immediate aid in one way or another.]

#2 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013 » 2014-07-03 22:54:15


I was a constant customer way back when they were at the end of the shopping center next to Nau's.

I really am having to let the old go away.

I had to catch myself again when I found out early this week that Crump's Plumbing quit being open for normal business hours. I've been there soooo many times. Now I have no such places left at all. They all quit on me. All of that makes me (contrary to my 2nd sentence) want to visit Home Lumber Co. even though I don't need anything right now. I had been partial to East End Lumber. I don't even WANT to remember all the electronics parts stores I went to. Sadly, I found myself (bragging) about buying copper mesh from Davis Hardware to build a Faraday shield... gawd that place had everything. I remember robbing Blond Electric blind 'cuz the old man had lost touch with how much stuff cost! Hah! I did talk myself out of getting an (really) old Daily Texan and doing one of those KUT 30 second Old Austin segues just reading the names of the businesses from the paper ads... and I'd finish with a  tiny flash mentioning the day the Campus Corner burned down... or just a slow naming of all the businesses that have occupied the N.W. corner of 24th & Guad.

I'm afraid to mention bike shop names!

#3 Re: Other » Pull the plug on » 2014-04-19 07:39:07


Having had similar situations, I found that, with a single exception, the its best to stop. Mostly for the author; YOU will have more time for things that keep you interested. This does not.


#4 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Reflections on my biking after a near head-on collision » 2014-04-15 21:28:17

MichaelBluejay wrote:

btrettel, it's easy to avoid that kind of collision with the driver turning right across stopped cars:  Don't pass on the right.  I say that in 3 of the 10 Ways to Not Get Hit by Cars.  If you must pass on the right, you have to do it with an incredible amount of care.


I (re)read the 10 suggestions. If you authored it all, then kudos to you. It is well written.

Can I assume that by "Passing on the right" while in a bike lane is a short hand phrase that leaves out the assumption that a car in the line of cars you are passing CAN turn right?  We are NOT talking about when there are no roads, alleys, nor driveways, yes?

More than one pathway I take in my commute between 44th & Speedway and Metric & Braker at times will have a line of cars and my bike lane will have been present for some distance and is marked all the way to an intersection. I can cite the specifics, but at a max speed of 17 mph in those conditions, I won't be passing any cars. *IF* I am already (practically) in the crosswalk, waiting for a light, my going when the light changes doesn't count as "passing", yes?

I am quite familiar with cars (apparently) not thinking that 17mph is THAT fast and make right turns in front of me (for whatever reason). But.. that is off topic.

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » White Bike » 2013-02-24 10:26:19


I first saw it yesterday, Saturday morning, 2013-02-23. There was a road bike on its side chained to the fence approximately where the previous Ghost Bike was. That might explain the change in location. Since this is being done anonymously (or at least this forum is out of the loop), it might be moved when the road bike is gone?

Michael Crider has suggested that double chaining/locking of it will aid in preventing its removal. (Its still there today!)

There is a "U" lock on it. Anybody got a spare cable + lock? I'll contribute $5 toward a 2nd lock if nobody does.

#7 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » White Bike » 2013-02-04 19:54:07


The red pickup truck was past a straight line formed by the 44th street south curbs. It wasn't so far into the intersection that another vehicle would have to swerve to negotiate 44th.

More detail than that I cannot remember.

I did not see Debra get hit. I came to the intersection from West 44th. Saw the guy sitting by his truck, heard what he said, looked north, saw Debra on her back with her arms and legs making a star pattern in the middle of the road, and dead. It seems to me that Debra had been knocked off the bike and she rolled to her resting place, which is many yards down hill to the north from where I stood. There was a woman with a phone to her ear and she was hurrying toward Debra from the North and was about 10 feet away. There was a man just to the east of that woman. There was other activity farther away. I think I recall noise, it may have been shouts.

Reports later said that the bike was under the truck. I don't even remember seeing the bike. But since I saw Debra riding on other occasions, I would have known that she had been on her bike. Those details, I guess, just didn't seem important once I realized it was Debra and she wasn't moving. I do remember wishing that she was just hurt.. unconscious. I really felt utterly powerless.

As I mentioned earlier, at this late date I don't really want to dwell on it. Her 2 childern are adults now. I never saw them again after the memorial in Shipe Park somewhat later.

AND, today after I got home, the Ghost Bike was taken again last night, but it wasn't in the creek this time. I haven't located anyone who knows how the bike came to be there. The investigation is young.

#8 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » White Bike » 2013-02-03 23:10:41


FWIW I was the one painting the sign in the intersection. Wish I was a better artist, but then I knew it would be about the art, and not about Debra.

I painted it because I came upon the accident about 30 seconds after it happened. I'll go to my grave with the image of her laying, inert, in the middle of Ave. G, with people with phones to their ears and hurrying to her body, and me turning to see the guy sitting on the pavement next to his pickup truck saying over and over, "I didn't see her".

I had some very significant deaths in my close social circle in 2012, and it caused me to wonder at my repainting Debra's commemoration every year (more when it would become defaced). I knew Debra Prokop through our memebership in Hyde Park Neighborhood Association. She was not a close friend.

When the city of Austin repaved all the cross streets in Hyde Park a couple months ago I decided that 10 years of mourning, however shallow or deep, is enough. I don't want "mourning" to be a signficant part of my remaining life.

I am content to see a more institutionalized monument like the White Bike maintained by a wider community. I would eventually have a guilty conscience if I did not take action on this desecration. I worry about a 66 year old guy navigating down the banks of Waller Creek, jumping into the water at dusk, hauling the bike out, pushing it up and out, carrying it the 60 yards back to where it had been. I made no plans, sought no help... just acted like I might have back in 2001. There are a lot of things that I believe will have to stop.

In the talk about the trial bicycle lane just off Kinney, with the pylons to encourage more cycling, Ben Ware, et. al. interviewed cyclists coming and going. One guy was classified as one for whom none of extra amenities mattered one whit. It described me to a T as I've cycled since 1965; cycle to where I need to go; don't need help (don't reject it either), and am no longer within the range of sensitivity to "new to cycling" to be able to be relevant in a conversation. I don't like it.

I'll do a little web searching for White Bike. Bicycle Austin is the only cycling oriented forum I visit..  'cuz you got it all! :^)

PS: No one showed further interest in my last post about how misbehaving cyclists in heavy traffic genuinely make motorists fearful. The exact cause of (that particular) fearful event is soon forgotten, but the gut of the motorist's body does not forget... it gets associated with cyclists. It is an issue worthy of consideration. But I, at least, have seen none of it.

#9 Justice Issues / Collisions » White Bike » 2013-02-03 20:12:19

Replies: 6

White bike desecrated

Who originally placed the bike?

This white bike subject is topical to Bicycle Austin because it commemerates Debra Prokop who was commuting to work when a pickup truck at a 4 way stop ran over her.

The white bike was found today (Feb 3, 2013) in Waller Creek about 60 yards from 44th & Ave G where it was locked to the fence around the Shipe Park Pool. The lock was on the ground where the bike had been attached. It was open.

I dredged the bike from the creek and put it back, but the lock is surely defective so I left it there. A tennis player said the bike was in its proper place yesterday, Saturday.

I want to get in touch with the one who put the bike there and arrange for securing it again before next Saturday night.

George Wyche
g /at/

#10 Re: Traffic Laws » Tickets to ride: more citations » 2012-12-06 22:32:30


I am too wordy so this will come out in several posts (if it seems

Basically, motorists can freak out at their 1st close encounter with a
cyclist, andriline flowing (think fight and/or flight). Later, any (all?)
cycling infractions that might conceivably run the motorist's subconscious
by that palpable stress cause the subliminally thought, "They have the
nerve to put me through this pain over and over".

After I present my illustration + 2 "close encounters" from people I know,
maybe we can talk about ways that might address this.

George Wyche

#11 Re: Traffic Laws » Tickets to ride: more citations » 2012-12-06 19:45:16


So there is a driver perception of cyclists problem.
I propose that drivers DO see cyclists as a threat.
That feeling is misplaced, but is, none the less, felt.
I haven't run across much discussion of that phenomenon. I have a scenario that illustrates this + 2 first hand accounts of drivers that I know displaying that behavior.

George Wyche

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » August 4th, September 17th, November 10th. » 2012-12-02 19:21:50


My post reads like I'm "piling on", but you cannot turn left from 38th onto Shoal Creek anyway. Did he mean 45th? More "not awake yet"?

I concur with Michael. I have bicycled and commuted in this town since 1968, and have NEVER heard of even half that stuff happening... I attended all the courteous mass rides except one when we had them, and none of them resulted in any altercations, verbal or otherwise, between anyone.

I certainly have had close calls that put my heart to pumping as a participant in bicycle|car interactions (being alternately on/in one vehicle or the other) where voices (and fingers) were raised, but always from a distance and no projectiles were ever involved.

George Wyche

#13 Re: Traffic Laws » Tickets to ride: more citations » 2012-11-29 08:18:15


@Mallory Art

I empathize. I haven't met anyone who isn't affected by this sort of public humiliation..  regardless. I can testify that for the most egregious ones some of the mental baggage will remain.

I don't know how to minimize the possible long term effect. Are there any psychologists reading this that have suggestions?

You should evaluate the "education mitigation" option. I didn't. After it was all completed I didn't save any money and had my work schedule disrupted by the requirements. However, one might squeeze worth out of the process because you end up rubbing shoulders in an extended manner with fellow citizens in a distinctly abnormal way... a lot like serving on juries.

Please believe that what happened to you was a random hook thrown into a huge school of fish. It won't happen anytime again soon. The infraction on your record is inconsequential unless you ever might be in a position of public trust (what a phrase!) where it might be brought up by your opposition. Barring that, "erasure" should be a non-consideration.

At the least you have yet one more of the scars of life that slowly accumulate. At party circle chats those grant you a nod of the head in a world weary way.

#14 Re: Other » LAB and the USADA » 2012-10-24 20:08:55


The only other pictures I have that include "public" figures are the several months of "Courteous Mass" which was also from 2001 later in the year. Those do not have annotations like what I already posted.

If and when I put those up at, I'll write to this same post.


#15 Re: Other » LAB and the USADA » 2012-10-22 21:22:39


Check out the Bike To Work day from 2001. That year I was working downtown and Eric needed volunteers for BTW day, so I did it. It took Eric, Kathryn Otto, and myself nearly a month to put it together. I particuarly took on the "wait person / clean up" that year, but found plenty of time to take photos that day. I was strictly a grunt work guy, and did none of the planning. Eric was really riding high that year.

I don't know where he got all the energy. He was certainly appreciated at the time!


#16 Getting started with biking » FOX 7 TV - Bike Commuting Interview Soon » 2012-06-28 23:16:32

Replies: 0

Needed for TV appearance: "Austin bicycle commuter representative"

I participated in a group appearance last Wed. morning that was exclusively covered by Jenni Lee of Fox 7 TV.

Because I had to be somewhere soon AND because she remembered me from being around the court house for all the Tommy Kelly TIRE STABBER appearances, Jenni singled me out first for chit-chat. It came out that I am a bicycle commuter and had ridden the previous day when it peaked at 103 deg F after work.

Ms. Lee took down my particulars and said she "Wants to do a segment on bicycling". I'm pretty sure she means it.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not particularly photogenic so I want to steer her to someone else who has a broad knowledge of "Wah'z happenin'" in Austin when it comes to bicycle commuting. Who would be willing and good at not sounding like a political advertisement?

George Wyche

#17 Re: Rides and Events » Austin Ciclovia, Sun. 5/20/12, 10am-3pm, 6th Street » 2012-05-19 13:11:13


If all 30,000 showed up at once there would be 8.8 square feet/person for this event

#18 Re: Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Who do we want on the City Council? » 2011-05-09 20:29:58


Sorry to chime in so late, but how much density is too much?

I'm a home owner now with my 50x150 lot in the "middle-of-town" and quite contented. There are condos at a diagonal property which is high density by my view, but it causes me only a little bit of pain when their parking of vehicles (a U-Haul truck) on the street becomes consistent.

I commute by bike to N.Austin and really only have crossing of 45th to worry about. I'd have no problem there if traffic was 30mph, but its usually higher, raising wreck probabilities. Higher density might cause the average speed to go down, but higher density might also increase the number of cars forcing me to a worst case of sitting, seemingly forever, at the 45th & Speedway light.

I suspect that MORE DENSITY would put property tax pressure on the likes of me compared to now, and not because of increased cost of service derived from the various taxing entities.


#19 Re: Other » Advocacy towards people who only remember "stupid" cyclists » 2011-05-03 20:25:31


You might benefit from reading a book about persausive talking.

There are a few simple, but lengthy, steps to follow. Those steps require you to engage the person (or your target audience) in conversation to find out what they will accept for an answer. It is often quite narrow and requires addressing other seemingly unrelated issues before you can get back to the one you are interested in.

I am an uncharismatic, aged, engineer and find that if I really desire someone to change, every individual is different. I have to REALLY want that change. The recidivism rate is depressing and I have to give subtle booster shots, lest a single exception to the different way is taken as "I knew I was right with the old way!". There is just so much data of varying quality out there clamoring for attention.

I know that is vague. Just my experience.

The situation is very different when someone has a question.. they have motivation which I don't have to know. I answer as honestly and sincerely as I am able, otherwise my words carry no more weight that others around me with whom I often do not agree.

I can see it, why can't everybody else?

#20 Re: Traffic Laws » Printing "Bicyclists' Rights" handout » 2010-12-22 10:04:06


You'd have to ask others who know me about being a Scrooge or not. I'm an engineer.. not great at nuanced writing (and I don't like this font either).

I am not responsive to whining which is what the   "anybody!"   struck me as. Threats to "Pay lawyers by myself" from a guy not fond of lawyers and not flush with spare cash all points to MBJ trying to play to sympathy instead of other tactics (ones that would appeal to me).

Glad you are "getting things done" during your off work time. I'm watching similar goals slowly evaporate, but... still plenty of time to become resigned to that.

Happy Solstice (is past),
George Wyche

#21 Re: Traffic Laws » Printing "Bicyclists' Rights" handout » 2010-12-21 23:55:31


Hi Michael,

1) Dude. Its Christmas, e.g my wife's best friend denied even a "grab a quick lunch together" because "Its just crazy right now".

2) Regardless of what you might think, you have NOT given a decent sell job for getting help with YOUR project.

3) This is a commuters forum. We already spend over an hour/day dealing directly with cycling (at least M-F (except if we don't feel like it)), so spending even more time on cycling is asking a lot.

George Wyche
PS I don't rate as HIGH yet-another-solitary-activity for the good of society. Turn it into a group activity or something.

#22 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Miles per gallon from bicycling » 2010-01-27 22:14:44


I think bicycling changes MANY things that reduce energy consumption.

I just successfully finished a year fulfilling a New Year's resolution made December 31, 2008. That resolution was to put more miles on my recumbent than on my car.

I think it is significant that the total miles I traveled was significantly less than before. We are talking well over 2200 miles by bike by a 62 year old commuter.

A bicycling culture reduces overall calorie consumption from all sources.

I am here to tell you that I do not feel that I was deprived during that year of attending events. There were a couple times I wanted to haul my computer and monitor to a computer club meeting, but I didn't. That' about it.

Commuters don't haul a lot of stuff. I hauled books and papers, that that was nothing with a saddle bag.

#23 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » What stuff do you haul? » 2009-06-15 10:01:48


I was a subscriber to yehudamoon. Sorry to see Mr.Smith not pass off idea/membership to another cartoonist. I don't know if there is a trend (with the economic down turn?) about internet cartoonists with dailys calling it quits. I don't follow (& pay) for that many, but 3/4ths of them have cut-back (or quit, like yehudamoon) in 2009.

chavela wrote:

Someone pointed out this cartoon which makes me wonder--what is the stuff that people carry that --probably--others don't.  I see a picture of a "commuting bike" that doesn't even have a rack, and that sure makes me laugh, thinking of all the junk I carry.

Things I take along in my panniers: (besides the usual patch kit, tube, pump, lights) a small first aid kit including a small jacknife, a fold up plastic raincoat, a visor to add to my helmet if it is really pouring rain, sunglasses, an extra sweatband for my brow... and the one thing I missed as soon as I offloaded it was some extra bungy cords.

Elizabeth Gray

The only thing changed in my "list of 30+" commuting haul is for summer I dropped #12 the rain poncho, #14 the chemical warmer. I also dropped #16 because the "job" suggesting I should have it handy went away. On the bright side, #15 is getting replaced by a bright, new, light blue helment from Waterloo Cycles.

#24 Re: Commuting/Routes » Jones Rd-Staggerbrush-Road Runner Ln-Boston Ln-Travis County Circle » 2009-03-23 19:54:51



Hmm. Sorry. Now I'm a little confused. I'll be getting off the #5 bus on a Saturday afternoon around 2 or 3 at the Westgate mall which I think fronts Ben White and Westgate Blvd.

My maps are unclear about exactly which roads provide an opportunity to cross to the north side of Ben White/290/71.

Which of these are you suggesting?
1) West Gate Blvd
2) Sunset Trail
3) Pillow Rd
4) Ernest Robles Way
5) Brodie Ln


#25 Re: Commuting/Routes » Jones Rd-Staggerbrush-Road Runner Ln-Boston Ln-Travis County Circle » 2009-03-22 10:52:58


Heh. OK. At least you are encouraging. It is not *quite* worst case.
I'll do it.

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