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#1 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Money Talks » 2008-07-22 15:42:40

Do as many people show up for the livestrong as the motorcyle event? Are cyclists mostly frugal?  Do motorcyclists spend more?  I don't see signs all over town welcoming cyclists for livestrong?

Yea something where we shut down roads legally with permits and all that, but mostly something were it is obvious that a lot of businesses in the city are making a truckload of money the few days a huge CROWD of cyclists ride all over town.

See that's the problem with critical mass - they don't ride down the streets throwing money at all the restaurant and hotel owners like the motorcylists do.

#2 Justice Issues / Collisions » Money Talks » 2008-07-22 10:11:50

Pedal Pusher
Replies: 2

Every year, they have the motorcycle gathering here in Austin. We all know when it happens because you can hear the roar of motorycles everywhere and there are signs up here and there at restaurants welcoming the motorcylclists.

This year, just as it was getting started, I was cycling down berkman drive and going toward 51st street and at the corner of 290 and Berkman, there were a couple of police cars and sections of road blocked off and a very pretty lady sitting on the corner with some very bad road rash on her arm and shoulder and back and her husband was standing next to their motorcylce with his shirt ripped and some road rash as well talking to one of the policemen.  I overheard that the driver that hit them was obviously speeding and could tell that it was probably a hit and run partly because there was no sign of the other driver, just part of the bumper, broken tail light and so on that hit them lying on the ground.

I noticed now on cbs news here in Austin, they have started doing a bunch of stuff about driver's paying attention to motorcylists - look to the left, then look to the right, and then look to the left again and I thought, boy that's good that they are doing that, but wouldn't it be nice if they did those kind of things for bicyclists too?

But it is a fact that when motorcylcists come into Austin, it helps the economy a lot because they spend a truckload of money in hotels, restaurants and bars so those motorcyclists are indeed extremely welcomed by Austinites. 

Maybe we need to start come kind of big deal bicycling gathering here in Austin so people come from all over the country every year and stay in hotels and eat in restaurants to the tune of a bunch of money and then guaranteed, Austin will care how bicyclists are treated.

Because money talks........and that's a fact.

#3 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Looking for Witnesses » 2008-07-22 09:47:32

I'm glad she has the good sense to divorce him and I hope and pray he has brains enough to pay attention to a restraining order.

#4 Re: Other » Us vs Them » 2008-07-21 15:49:06

He also apparently started choking some man in the lobby of a building and the guy reported it and Mayor Winn said he was headed toward anger management.  Let's hope he is a recovering rageaholic who realizes just how stupid someone can be when they fly into a rage.  In his case, he usually creates some very bad PR which is not good for an elected official.  Nevertheless, in his rage, he apparently becomes temporarily "stupid" so maybe he knows people will even shoot THEMSELVES in the foot when enraged.

#5 Re: Other » Us vs Them » 2008-07-21 10:15:24

I agree with Lynn that most drivers are very courteous, nice folks. In fact, if you have ever been waving someone through a stop sign when they got there first and they absolutely refuse to move and insist on lettng you go first,  you could come to the conclusion that some motorists are too courteous or else they fear that all cyclists are going to do something unpredictable because sometimes cyclists do do something unpedictable (just as vehicles do-but we are more vulnerable).

The  minority of jerks out there make motorists look bad to cyclists and make us leery of motorists because we don't know which ones are jerks.  Very infrequently - honestly I can almost count on one hand the number of abusive motorists but it is very scary when it happens.

Which is why I think that if the news media actually did some public service broadcasts about how motorist should drive around cyclist (leave a three foot distance passing, etc.), as well as how cyclists should cycle, it would help immensely.  There is nothing anyone can do about the psychopaths out there that have driver's licenses, but many people who are decent human beings inadvertently endanger cyclists out of ignorance.

People like the lady that killed the cyclist up by Fredricksburg and they guy in Kansas City.  They asked him if he knew what "share the road meant?" and he said yes, but in fact he really hadn't been educated about how sharing the road means one should leave 3 feet between their vehicle and the cyclists.  It hadn't beem emphasized.

People need to be reminded too.  I'm disgusted with CBS.  I suspect some of those news broadcasters are motorists and only motorists.  We need to convert at least one of them into a cyclst.  People go for physical exams all the time.  My doctor will tell me if I need certain tests and Ron Oleveida (sp) can't do enough of those public service annoucements about medical tests, but NO ONE reminds motorists or educates motorist about how to drive safely and share the road with cyclists.

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Man kills two because he didnt feel like changing lanes. » 2008-07-21 08:55:39

At least they brought him to trial.  I applaud the District Attorney's office for doing that.  It was publicized and hopefully people will start paying attention to moving over in the left lane when it is possible to do so.   Shoot I wonder if he hadn't been black, if he would have even been ticketed much less brought to trial.

Honestly, given the fact that witnesses said the cyclist were on the shoulder and swerved into the lane, I'm surprised they even brought him to trial since he wasn't intoxicated.  He really wasn't speeding that much so his real negligence was in not just changing to the left lane since it was available and leaving adequate passing space (3 foot).

Really, imagine a district attorney's office bringing it to trial and asking questions like, "Do you know what share the road means?" 

That's progress.  If this happened more often, there would be a lot less casualties.  People would not want to go through the manslaugher trials.  Even if found "not guilty", it was traumatic.

Can't see that happening in Austin.  Also, CBS news gave a report on that cyclist where the intoxicated motorist hit the cyclist that told him to slow down and their spin was disgusting.  The emphasis was on the fact that the cyclist yelled at the motorist and they barely mentioned the fact that the motorist was cited for being intoxicated.  And that Ron Olevada (however you spell his name) is always doing pieces about  medical exams and patting himself on the back about how his news reporting could "save someon'e life."  I feel like writing him and saying, "Hey, Ron - how about a news report that could save a cyclist's life?"

#7 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose » 2008-07-05 17:43:57

Boy, the helmet thing is going to come up over and over and be used to condemn
the victims and let guilty motorists off left and right.  One of the biggest reasons to wear a helmet is that there won't be justice without one.

The girl was "dragged under the car so I have to wonder in this instance how
much good a helmet would have done anyway.  She would have been in pretty bad shape if she wasn't in fact killed anyway. 

Also, they say because she was riding in a crosswalk which okay, there were bicycle lanes but one would expect to see people walking in a crosswalk so why should it be such a big surprise if a child in a residential neighborhood is riding a bike in a crosswalk?

They don't care about cylists.  That's the bottom line.  I think you said a mouthful when you said that they figure cylcists are like skydivers and choose to do something high risk.

They do care about motorists so why can't they see that a major nationwide media campaign educating motorists to be alert and watch for cyclists and understand the laws and so on could save some motorists from crying herself to sleep for God only knows how many nights because she realized she just took a child's life.

If they would wake up and smell the coffee and realize that their beloved motorists
will suffer too, then maybe they could at least educate them for that reason.

#8 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT! » 2008-06-30 15:44:37

Well, I'm glad you weren't hurt when the tube exploded.  Green slime all over the place sounds like a real hoot. Hope you got a good laugh out of that one.  Eh, that's a pretty inaccurate guage?  Can they be that far off?  I guess so.

Speaking of tires, is there a hybrid type tire that one can ride on hike and bike trails but not so knobby that they are clumsy on the street for commuting to and from work?  I have a Kona Smoke which really is kind of like a 24 speed mountain type bike anyway.  My current tires are 26" by 1.5.

#9 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT! » 2008-06-23 12:26:16

Thanks for all the input. I wasn't going to try slime at all because I had heard bad things about it, but apparently that it is only a problem if one goes over 80 psi.  So I went ahead and put slime in my tires and filled them to 60 psi since my tires say 35 to 80 psi on the side.

Putting slime in my tires was the cheapest, easiest thing to try right away.  I try to avoid all the obvious things like broken glass etc. in the road and on the rare occasion that I find myself accidentally running over some, stop the bike and run my gloved hand over the tires.  What usually gets me are the little, bitty, tiny little pieces of glass, burrs or thorns that I can't see to avoid and don't even know I rolled over them which hopefully the slime will be enough to seal that and keep me rolling.

I may upgrade to a tougher tire too.  I'm currently researching that.

#10 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT! » 2008-06-17 15:26:17

Last year in the summer, I also had a bout with burrs, stickers and thorns.

When I changed the 2nd flat yesterday, it also turned out to be caused also from an teeny weenie little pice of glass not even as big as this comma , and it was only easy to find because I tagged it in relation to where the leak in the tube was and searched and searched in that spot and it took a lot of digging to get it to pop out of the tire mostly because wasn't any bigger than a grain of sand.  It was clear glass too so this time, I can't blame the cowboys that throw their beer bottles out their car windows to smash into smithereens in bicycle lanes (grrrrrr).

Are my tires worn?  Well, a while back someone who stopped to help me while I was changing another flat said, "you've got a lot of miles on these tires."  Then he examined them a little closer and said, "Well, no I guess they're okay."   The next time I was at yellow bike shop, I asked one of the coordinators if it looked like my tires were too worn and he said, "Naw, I'd use those tires for another few years."

They are in fact the tires that came with the bike when I bought it originally in April of 07 and I heard someone say once that bikes in the $300.00 range (which is how much mine cost new) don't come with the best of tires to begin with.

I checked the rim strips and they seem fine and it has always been either a sticker, burr, thorn, or glass fragments.  One time a tiny little tack or nail. 

In the afternoon, I don't mind so much because I have time to stop and change the tube, but in the morning, I don't have time so I ended up putting it on the bus and then having to carry my saddlebags, and roll the bike along for quite a distance after getting off the bus - holding the back end up (so I wouldn't screw up the rims) which was just no fun at all. . .

. . . not that I think changing a flat in the afternoon is fun, but it's a whole lot easier than schlepping all that stuff while tryng to roll a bicycle down the street on the front wheel only.  I think I will go by my local bike shop and see what they have - except the slime.  I've heard too many people say they've had problems with slime.

#11 Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT! » 2008-06-16 17:19:39

Pedal Pusher
Replies: 21

I woke up Sunday morning and went for a two hour ride just to get some more exercise.  Came back home and went out again about 2:00 to run some errands.

Front tire was flat.  Found the itty, bitty, teensy, weensie, little piece of glass about the side of this comma, removed it and patched the tube and went on my merry way.

Woke up this morning and got a flat on the way to work --  back tire this time. Threw bike on bus and have to change it before I can ride home.  Has anyone ever tried these before?  Or anything similar? … Flats.html

I just filled my tires with air.  My tires say they take anywhere from 35 to 80 psi.  I had realized air was getting low and just put 75 psi in both tires Saturday.  Seems like every time I air them up real good, I start getting a series of flats.

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose » 2008-06-16 13:05:25

tomwald wrote:

A lady at the CAMPO Ped/Bike summit a month ago who teaches safety to kids claimed that below a certain age that kids have significantly limited peripheral vision as compared to adults.  The age was somewhere around 10, 11, or 12.  Because of this alone, she said that young kids should not be riding in the street, but should only use off-street facilities such as sidewalks.  That idea pretty much reflects my transition from sidewalk to street that occurred when I was about 11, after riding only on sidewalks and bike paths since I was 8.  I was hit once crossing legally at a crosswalk when a motorist failed to stop at the proper place when making a right turn on red -- he gave me $10; I wasn't injured at all.


I was talking to one of the certified teachers for the Austin Cycling Association this weekend and she tells me they don't currently have a program for the age group your daughter is in.  You and your wife could take the course though and then pass the knowlege on to your daughter.  And you could ask the instructor about some of the things Tom brings up about whether 8 year olds.  Maybe that's why they don't have a program for that age group.  At any rate, it would be a good class for you and the Mrs.  I do recommend it for you two.

#13 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » What's Your Daily Ride? » 2008-06-13 15:57:57

I think you should consider growing a handlebar mustache!

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose » 2008-06-13 15:47:40


If your daughter bicycles, you might want to see about having her take the Road I Course that the Austin Cycling Association has.  Honestly, that course has saved my butt at least two times since I took it.

Just the other day, I was on Guadalupe street going southbound through koenig (2222) and I hesitated long enough to scan both directions when the light turned green even though by the letter of the law I should have been able to just start peddling on a green light. 

I had the right of way, but a car was coming from a distance so fast, I knew I better hesitate long enough to see if they were attempting to slow up at least a little bit for the red light they were approaching.  They didn't slow up at all.  That car flew through that intersection like lightening.  I could have been squished like a little bug if I had started pedaling immediately when the light changed.  One thing they teach you is to stay off the sidewalk as much as possible just becauses a lot of bicycling accidents occur when exiting the sidewalk to cross streets.  If that little girl in San Jose had been cycling on the street instead of the sidewalk, she probably would have fared better - maybe not gotten hit at all.  Children especially though just seem to want to stay ont the sidewalk when biking.

I agree with you that a car driver should take the responsibility of driving a potentially fatal machine seriously especially in a school zone, but I would like to recommend that Road I course for your daughter (and you if you haven't take it).  I'm still working on being conscious of and changing bad habits I had developed on my own before I took that course and I have always been an ultra conservative cyclist - not the reckless type at all.

#15 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose » 2008-06-13 12:54:36

The motorist's defense is going to be that she was riding on the sidewalk and motorist don't expect to see bicycles exiting the sidewalk to cross the street.

Which I agree is a lousy excuse.  Shouldn't a motorist be on the alert for pedestrians crossing the street (expecially in California where pedestrians supposedly have the right away) so what difference does it make if it is a bike or a person?  I guess a bike can move faster than a person walking.  What about joggers?  Shouldn't they expect to see joggers crossing the street?

Also, when looking at that intersection in street view, it looks like a nice quiet residential street.  One where motorists should be awake and alert and looking for children chasing balls out into the street.

#16 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Girl On Bicycle Hit, Killed By SUV In San Jose » 2008-06-13 12:27:23

I went to google maps and looked that intersection up (park avenue and Selborn Place, san jose, ca)  San Jose has streetview

#17 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » link to Daily Texan article » 2008-06-12 17:54:07

Actually I think it is a well balanced article because he balanced that statement with this one:

"Many drivers speed past bicyclists as if they were pieces of debris in the road, like a strip of a truck's rubber tread lying on a highway that you try to avoid but could run over just the same."

I can't disagree with his other statement really either. I know I have seen cyclists deliberately cycling in the wrong direction on the street, cycling at night with no lights even though it is pitch dark, speeding through red lights without the slightest hesitation  to scan properly and one could get the impression that some cyclists do consider the street their own personal stunt course.

I personally have a theory that cyclists that ride like that are not "skilled" at all or performing stunts so much as they are probably either riding fixed speeds or don't know how to use their gears properly. 

I came to that conclusion after I went cycling with a friend who had just started riding.  She was scared to ride in the street unless there was a bicycle lane which meant she cycled on the sidewalk a lot that day so I assumed she was a timid rider and was shocked to see her act so daring (and inconsiderate) when she ran two red lights and nearly mowed down a pedestrian.  Especially since she is normally a law abiding citizen and a really nice lady.

The long story is we met for lunch and she told me she had a hard time making it up some hills to get to the restaurant and barely made it. Her legs burned etc. and so on.  I asked her how many speeds she had on her bicycle and she had no idea. She thought she only had one or maybe two.  After lunch, I looked at her bike and told her it was a ten speed.  I then rode it a little and put in a gear that worked for me to go up a small hill and encouraged her to ride around that parking lot and hill where there was no traffic and play with her gears before we took off on our ride. 

She jumped on and liked the gear I had put it in for her a whole lot and was adamant about not letting me mess with the gears anymore or trying to mess with them herself. 

In retrospect, I realize she had found a gear that didn't cause her to have to mash her pedals and that with a little momentum made her think she had died and gone to heaven. 
Because when I talked to her later, she said she ran the red lights etc. because she didn't "dare lose momentum."   

It makes me wonder how many other shockingly brazen seemingly stunt-like riders have the same problem?

I encouraged her as we parted that day to go into a parking lot or low traffic hill area and ride around and play with her gears until she got the feel for them and I hope she has or will.

Not long after that I watched another rider who appeared to me to be not only extremely confident, but maybe overly confident and I got the impression that she didn't know how to use her gears really either – especially when I watched her make a green light and get carried by her momentum half way up a hill, and then get off the bike.  I caught the red  light so had to stop and wait rather than zip through like she had and then as pudgy and out of shape as I am, I shifted into a low gear and  pedaled all the way up the hill without the benefit of any momentum.  She was in much better shape than me but she didn't seem to be able to make it up that hill.

It makes me wonder how many "daredevils" out there don't really know how to use their gears and aren't in superb enough condition to ride a fixed gear properly so they pull crazy, stunt like maneuvers because if truth be known, they really just don't "dare lose their momentum"

At any rate, it made me reconsider my previous assumption that there are some jerks out there trying to make the cycling community look bad.

#18 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » What's Your Daily Ride? » 2008-06-09 17:14:00

Wow!  Do you really commute in that?  That is so cool looking!  Do you dress like these guys?

#19 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » What stuff do you haul? » 2008-06-09 16:50:39

Hmm, Well, besides the usual (tools, tube, pump, patch kit, lights) I carry my wallet, my cell phone, my checkbook, palm pilot, street clothes on weekdays, sunglasses, usually a book or magazine in there too.  Never thought of a first aid kit.  Come to think of it, I skinned my knee on something on my bike doing a strange little dance to keep from falling over Saturday (when I suddenly and unexpectedly hit a deep pile of loose gravel on Steck) which makes me think I probably should add a little first aid kit. 

If I'm going to my decorative art class, they have paint brushes, paint, and other painting supplies in them. 

I do my grocery shopping on the way home from work on weekdays so of course frequently groceries are in my bags and insulated trunk bag.   (It's nice to see other cyclists at the H.E.B. at the Hancock center loading their pannier's with groceries)  And on weekends when I commute to and from the laundromat, my bags are filled with either dirty or clean laundry depending upon whether I am coming or going.

When I retire in a couple years, I want to do some touring so I figure I might as well load my bike up commuting and get used to carrying at least a little bit of a load in the meantime.

Meanwhile, the roadies just keep whizzing right past me just like Joe does yehuda moon.  I was waiting at a light one day last week and this "roadie" rode up and stopped to wait for the light on the right side of me.  I was going to go straight and it was obvious he was going left, but he told me not to worry because when the light changed, he would be "long gone" before I even got off to a start.  I guess my pannier bags, trunk bag, and front bag, bicycle with fenders etc. gave me away.

I too miss my bungies.  I lost them and need to replace them. I think there should be a special place in heaven for whoever invented bungies and velcro.

#20 Re: Commuting/Routes » To the Arboretum from Lamar and 183 » 2008-06-09 14:24:50

Jesse wrote:

I'd be interested in hearing how this commute turns out.  I just returned from driving the neighborhoods on both sides of Mopac and 183 to find an acceptably safe way to cross the barrier that is the 360/183/Mopac interchange.  The route RonB describes is likely the most compelling in terms of safety.  You could continue north on Shoal Creek as far as Steck and head west to Mesa at that point.  Continuing north all the way on Shoal Creek Blvd will dump you out on the 183 East/South access road and doesn't provide an opportunity to cross under until Burnet Road.


I ended up leaving from home area rather than work area so started at Guadalupe and North Loop.  I just posted the following message on the "other" e-mail list (I don't use my real name on this forum cuz it's so public and do use my real name on e-mail list).

Wow!  Thanks again for all the helpful route info.

This website rocks!  I honestly didn't think it was possible to bike all the way to the arboretum from college area without spending a lot of time in God awful scary traffic, but it was a nice ride.  I fell in love with Shoal Creek since I ended up taking

North Loop to Hancock
to Shoal Creek
to Steck to
Mesa to
old Jollyville Rd. 

Shoal Creek is nice and shady with wide bicycle lanes and low traffic (at least on Saturdays).  I walked the bike across at Steck since I would have been very tense crossing there riding.  The only other part I had to get off and become a pedestrian was at the end of Jollyville Road crossing 360.

It was great and the best part is when crossing 360 at the crosswalk as a pedestrian, I saw some of those tiny little gourds that grow WILD in the austin area on the side of the road.  This lady in my decorative art club brought some once to a meeting, and she told me they grow wild by the roadsides, but I never saw any before.  Saturday, I looked down while waiting at the light to cross and low and behold, there were two vines.  I just bent over and picked 4 of them.  The vine was flowering too so I'm thinking if I go back in a few weeks, I might be able to pick some more.

Got the book they were holding for me. Never did figure out how to use those weird bicycle stands at Barnes and Noble, but I think that's because I have fenders and all kinds of stuff mounted on the down tube of my bike  I could really relate to this yehuda moon cartoon.

Thanks again!  The world is getting smaller and smaller as I find it easier and easier to get all around Austin on my bike.

#21 Commuting/Routes » To the Arboretum from Lamar and 183 » 2008-06-06 12:47:38

Pedal Pusher
Replies: 6

I am trying to  map a route from North Loop and Guadalupe to the arboretum. … map_07.pdf

I notice that North Loop becomes Hancock which crosses Mopac (green - which means it should be an okay crossing) or I could continue north on Shoal Creek (green), but then I don't see a good way to cross mopac.  Need to get to Barnes and Noble at the arboretum this weekend.

Has anyone who has biked to the arboretum from anywhere near Guadalupe have any route recommendations.

#22 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » local traffic fatality -- motor vehicle kills pedestrian 6/1/08 » 2008-06-03 10:37:57

Oh, duh!  This is how you post on a thread already started.

Don't kow how long they are going to leave this pic up at foxnews.

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