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Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Archive for the 'safety' Category

Jury duty, and an accident

Posted by @teeheehee on 6th April 2010

Day five of April.

Today I went to the court house to answer the call of duty. Jury duty. The weather was nice and clear, with a slight breeze, the kind that feels good even as it makes you pedal a little harder to get where you’re going. It was the kind of weather that told nothing of the ominous events that would follow.

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Posted in rant, sad, safety, wtf | 3 Comments »

Chicago Bicycle Program Presents: Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles

Posted by @teeheehee on 18th March 2010

Take the twelve minutes and watch this video put out by the Chicago Bicycle Program geared towards their city’s bus drivers and cyclists.

Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

Via: Treehugger.

A couple of questions:

  • I don’t know any riders from the area, are the public transportation buses as accommodating as they appear to be in the video – can anyone share their experience?
  • Is the video effective – have you spotted something you didn’t know before that now makes you feel more understanding towards your fellow bus driver or cyclist counterpart?
  • Does the city of Boston and/or MBTA have any equivalent bicycle educational videos for their staff? If not, should they?

Posted in bike friendly, film, safety, traffic | 2 Comments »

Google Maps Biking Directions

Posted by @teeheehee on 10th March 2010

Thank you, thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou thankyou! (Also, thank you to the League of American Bicyclists for dropping the e-mail with the news.)

http://maps.google.com/biking

Color-coded differentiation between dedicated bike paths, easy-biking streets, and user-submitted preferred streets. Getting directions will plot a route that may avoid hills, and can offer alternative routes or click-drag modifications to the route. Minty!

Of course, I’m also proud that Boston took some initiative in the last two years to publish their own map, but c’mon this is Google Maps!

Posted in bike friendly, ride, safety, traffic | 1 Comment »

Bike Lane Removal in NYC – huh?!

Posted by @teeheehee on 9th December 2009

As an act of civil disobedience, some cyclists in NYC have remarked a bike lane on Bedford Ave that was recently sandblasted away.

One of the controversies about this is that the lanes were possibly removed at the request of the Hasidic community living in the area and who may have taken issue with the (type or lack of) garments being worn by (female) cyclists. It doesn’t help that the same NYPost article says “[a] source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.”

Really? This is what our safety is weighed against?

Show ’em how it’s done, people:



Posted in news media, safety, wtf | No Comments »

Thumbs Up

Posted by @teeheehee on 24th October 2009

Honestly today’s blog post is more to get me to write something because I know I have been lazy. Nothing particularly new happened, this is one of those oft-told stories of harrowing experience, conversation with a motorist, and acclaim from a nearby witness.

For starters, it was a rainy morning. Often this means I wear extra-vibrant clothes to make myself more easily visible to the armored ones I share the road with, but today I sufficed with a light-reflective courier bag and one reflective ankle-cuff. These, combined with my lights, make me relatively conspicuous.

Except if you drive a blue Honda minivan. But, we’ll get back to that after some more build-up….

This morning I went on an errand to the local RCN building (in Arlington) to drop off a couple of cable converters. It was a light rain, and the temperature wasn’t horrible, so I was mostly enjoying the ride except for the occasional red light when I would stop and my glasses would fog up. Note to self: start wearing contact lenses again until the warmer months return.

I was all done with this chore and beginning to switch to the next one (gathering my costume apparel) when I headed back towards Cambridge and Boston via Mass. Ave. For those not familiar with the area of Mass. Ave. in Arlington and Medford: it’s quite wide, but typically problematic with cracks and wrinkles all over. No problems here, though, vehicles were quite respectful this morning.

After I passed the turn towards Alewife the road feature I call the bike share “line” appeared. Cambridge has done some funky things with Mass. Ave., it seems they couldn’t quite figure out what to do to help cyclists – there’s sections with bike lanes, sharrows, and a line with intermittent bike stencils, depending on what area you’re in. The line is my least favorite, even though the area with the sharrows is practically impossible to ride within as it has quite poor road conditions.


Bike lane

Bike lane


sharrow

sharrow


Bike stencil

Bike stencil


So, it was a short time after passing the turn-off towards Alewife that I was buzzed by her. Blue Honda minivan. One occupant: driver. I quickly read the license plate and committed it to short-term memory, but before long I had quite forgotten it. (Well, it was short term memory. *shrug*)

Then the usual Mass. Ave. thing happened: I caught up within the next light or two, and passed her. This is not unusual, I stop at all the red lights but being a bike with some marked space on the road I stop right up at the light. Other areas where it’s too sketchy to do this safely I’ll hang back behind the last car in line I come up to and take the lane until the light goes “green”. But, good ol’ Mass. Ave. lets me creep up to the front almost every time.

When I caught up to her I leered over and kind of gave her “the look” as I passed her, then proceeded to wait dutifully at the light. Light went green, traffic went into motion, all the vehicles passed me with at least two feet distance (not the legal amount, but whatever,) until blue minivan comes zooming past within a few inches. Again.

Well, it was still Mass. Ave. and there were plenty of lights ahead. I caught up to her just before Harvard Square at the bus stop. I stopped, waved, and she rolled down her automatic window.

“Hi,” I said. “I just wanted to let you know that you passed me, twice, with very little space between us. Just inches.”

Now, most conversations I’ve had with drivers in similar circumstances would usually cause me to prepare for the usual response in the next moment: my life being threatened. But, it was not so! I may have found one of the nicest, albeit somewhat daft, motorist of the day! “I’d really appreciate if you’d give a little more room.” She nodded and her eyes told a whole story of unexpected shock. She said not a word.

Maybe she didn’t know that what she was doing was endangering me. She had had a couple of feet of space between her left side and the normal lane lines, but hugged the right anyways despite my presence there.

At that moment the light we were at turned green and I cut the one-sided conversation short. I said my piece, she seemed to take it in. I looked to the right at the bus stop and see a dude in bright yellow, bike balanced in one hand, giving the thumbs-up with the other, and he gave a smiling nod which I gladly returned.


Thumbs up

Thumbs up


Posted in bike friendly, rant, safety, traffic, wrong | No Comments »

Ask Not What Boston Can Do For You

Posted by @teeheehee on 7th August 2009

An article today on Boston.com, Boston’s unruly riders, challenges red light runners, sidewalk riders, and wrong-way infringers. Here’s the summary:

Boston has launched a high-profile campaign to become a friendlier city for cyclists. Now the question is whether bicyclists will become friendlier to Boston.

There is the usual “discussion” page which seems surprisingly tame in the initial posts (I’m only up to page 2.) Anyone recognize themself in the video? Also, I had thought Nicole made it well known she didn’t like being called a ‘czar’. Why does everyone still call her that, then?

Posted in bike friendly, news media, safety, wrong | 2 Comments »

Boston Stolen Bike Report Service, Tied To Boston Police and Others

Posted by @teeheehee on 15th July 2009

Just wanted to spread the word about something I just saw on the Boston PD twitter page.

Stolen Bikes Boston is a City of Boston service for registering your bike with the city and reporting if your bike has been stolen. These reports get sent to the Boston Police, local bike shops, hospital and school security, and anyone generally following the new Twitter account or Facebook account. There is also a way to report if you have seen a bike that has been stolen to help it get back to its rightful owner.


And remember, it’s important to lock your bike up sanely to deter theft. Here are some examples of how not to lock your bike up:
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Posted in bike friendly, safety | No Comments »

You Look Like You Could Use a Helmet, and a Hug

Posted by @teeheehee on 28th April 2009

If only this were real. And everywhere.



Posted in bike friendly, safety | No Comments »

Weekend Roundup 20090322: Bike Accessories

Posted by @teeheehee on 22nd March 2009

As usual when I’m behind on posts I have a build-up of links to interesting things. Here are some bike accessories….
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Posted in bike friendly, safety, wrong | No Comments »

Boston.com pothole map, leave your mark!

Posted by @teeheehee on 30th January 2009

Boston.com has an interactive map up right now that you can use to view noted potholes in the Boston area. You can submit your own doozies as well.

Remember, ride safely everyone! Keep an extra buffer around you if you can: with increased numbers of potholes comes more unexpected swerving from clunky cars and conscientious cyclists. (Ahh, who’m I kidding – most of you know this already, amiright?!)

Posted in safety, traffic | No Comments »