Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Running Red Lights

I work very near the center of Salt Lake City, Utah. So the end of my commute entails passing through several urban intersections. The other day on my ride in I was approaching a corner where I turn right, and I had a green light. As I got closer another cyclist came straight through the intersection against the red. I turned, passed him, and then stopped at the next intersection because the light was red. The other cyclist came up next to me and we said hello, then as the traffic thinned but with the light still red he blew through and went his way. My bike parking area was mid-block after the light so that was the last of our interaction. But it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wonder what I should have done. I can never think of the right thing to say in the spur of the moment.

I wanted to say, "You know, when you run a red light like that, not only are you breaking the law, and endangering your life, you are irritating motorists which endangers my life." I'm just not sure saying anything would have made a difference.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Friends Accident

My younger son is a Cub Scout, and tonight was pack meeting. It was being held at a local park and we expected it to go past dark so instead of riding there my son and I drove. We passed a friend stopped talking to a policeman just as we entered the park. As it turns out this friend had just hit a young girl on a bike.

It looks like the consensus from witnesses is that it was a typical kids "ride-out" type of accident. The girl turned off the sidewalk and rode directly into the path of oncoming traffic. She was ok, but my friend was understandably upset.

The funny thing is that yesterday I attended the board meeting of the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective and one of the main topics was getting the LAB kids bike safety course in front of as many kids as possible.

To Parents
Parents, please teach your kids that bicycles are vehicles, not toys. I know you found that shiny aluminum full-suspension mountain bike in the toy section of Wal-Mart. They just don't know any better.

Teach them to "drive" their bikes, not ride them. Teach them to signal, to ride with traffic, to behave like a car.

Make them wear helmets, and put lights on the bikes if they ever ride in the twilight hours.

Most collisions are easily preventable.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blogger Beta

When I heard that Google had purchased Blogger I don't think it fazed me at all. But I was looking at the new beta interface and I am getting really excited to make the switch. There are details here but these are some of the highlights I am looking forward to:
  • New color and font options. I do c# web developement for my job, so I know changing the look and feel of a site is not that hard. But it takes time that I just don't have.
  • Categorized posts. Several other services have had this for a long time. I hesitate to do IT or backpacking or other posts becuase I think most of "you" come here for the cycling related stuff. I think with categories I will be more willing to open up the other topics.
  • Better feed options. I have had trouble with a long lag on my RSS feed. I hope this takes care of it.
All I have to do now is wait for my site to get flagged by the powers that be so I can convert it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Infrequent Rides

I have had a very hard time getting on the bike for the last month. The following is my list of excuses:
  • Since the crash I haven't quite gotten my road bike back into rideable condition. I replaced the derailleur, but I need to replace the cable as well.
  • I went to California on business, then to Idaho for boy scout camp.
  • My wife's uncle passed away unexpectedly, so we had family in town for about 10 days.
  • I've just gotten lazy.
But I rode my bad weather old mountain commuter home yesterday and felt great doing it. Unfortunately (for my biking) I am leaving on a short backpacking trip on Thursday, so that's probably it for my riding this week.

I think what I need is another big ride to serve as a fall goal like the MS-150 does in the spring. I am thinking about one of these:
That last one would be cool. It's about 120 miles from my house to the StateLine Casino. I have wanted to do this for a few years. I would have my wife drive out that afternoon to meet me there and drive back after spending the night.