Friday, August 26, 2011

Witnessed a Bike Collide With a Police Car

On my ride home today I witnessed a bike collide with a police car. I looked up the location on Google maps and added some visual aides. The green line is where I cross on my commute. The blue rectangles are two police ars that were in the parking lot. The red line is where the cyclist was riding on the side walk. It is downhill had he had picked up some speed. The police car rolled forward like you would to see around the wall and bush on his right. His front bumper moved into the part of the driveway that would intersect the sidewalk path just as the cyclist arrived. He hit the corner of the front bumper and took a spill in front of the car. 
An officer got out of each car and checked on the rider right away. He seemed a little stunned but OK. He had a scrape on his shoulder and elbow. He was not wearing a shirt or a helmet. He said he was 18. If the collision had not involved a police car I suspect he would have gotten up riden away. But the police insisted he wait for the ambulance. The officer asked if I had seen what happened and when I said yes, he asked me to stay and talk to his supervisor.
Before the supervisor arrived, a fire department vehicle arrived. Three guys got out and started attending to the rider. Then an ambulance arrived and the rider received more attention. Next a fire truck arrived, I guess just to make sure enough traffic was blocked. Finally the supervisor arrived and took a statement from me.
This was the kind of incident that shows why it is dangerous to ride on the sidewalk if you are not a child. This rider was moving fast and on the sidewalk where he was moving toward traffic. The spot is a blind one. I don’t think you can see a car pulling out because of the wall and bush and the car can’t see the sidewalk for the same reason. The parking lot is also downhill from the wall which makes it even harder to see. It is not up to me to decide fault, but it is clear a rider moving quickly down the hill on the the sidewalk is taking unnecessary risks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bike To Work Indonesian Style

I ran into this video at Taking The Lane. It shows a grassroots organization, Bike To Work, that has 50,000 members. It shows a 6 hour time slot when the main streets were closed to cars named Carfree Day. The daily traffic looks very heavy and any extra space the bicycles can use is shared with scooters and motorcycles as well. As too often happens, when a bicycle path was built it doesn’t go anywhere that people want to go and is used less than planned.
The video certainly shows a range of modern bicycles being used.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bikes on Big Brother

It has come to my attention that this summer’s Big Brother TV show on CBS has a lot of bicycles used as decoration for the house. Actually I have to confess that it comes to my attention because I actually watch Big Brother every summer. The bikes don’t seem to have anything to do in the show. After all the people are trapped in a house and yard for weeks on end. There is not enough room to really ride them. I wonder if they will get bored enough to ride them anyway at some point. They mostly seem to be part of the decor. It does speak to bicycles being used more in popular media.
I found some pictures showing some of the bikes, but they are not the main subject of the pictures. Does anybody recognize any of the bike models? These kind of TV shows are big on product placement, but if these are all the same brand it is very subtle. They are all what are often called transportation bikes, not racing bikes or mountain bikes or even hybrids.
Just outside the door were people exit when they are voted out is the bike in these two pictures. A nice city bike with fenders. You can’t see it in this picture but it appears to have an internal gear hub.
Then off the kitchen there are two bike racks. The one in this picture has two bikes in it. The other one faces it just outside this picture has one more bike in it. These appear to be the ones that could be ridden.
In the last picture and this next one you can see some partially disassembled bikes mounted on the wall.
Here is another nice city bike hanging in the yard as decoration. This looks like it could be the same model as the one outside the door.
I have also seen a tandem hanging above the door to the Head of Household room, but I didn’t find any pictures of it. By the way, my wife just sees me noticing the bikes at all as just another sign of my obsession. I have been married over 20 years and I know enough not to disagree with her.