Category Archives: Musings

Defensive riding

In my categorization of More Vulnerable Users, tractor trailers are more dangerous than delivery trucks, which are more dangerous than pickups and SUVs, which are more dangerous than cars, which in turn are more dangerous than motorcycles, which are more dangerous bicycles, which are more dangerous than people on foot.

Walking in San Francisco

The higher you are on this totem pole of danger, the more care you should take in operating your conveyance.

Bikes are near the bottom, but we as cyclists are not absolved of responsibility in anticipating random movements from other people, especially in a busy city park. Any cyclist who yells for pedestrians to get out of his way is about equivalent to the road raging maniac honking his horn at cyclists “blocking” his way in traffic. That goes for all of you who brag about blasting your AirZounds at small children and grandmothers or who buzz quickly past walkers to punish them for not walking where you think they should go. Quit it, already.

I think the most succinct statement on this week’s Central Park collision in New York City came from Bike Snob NYC, who wrote in a comment:

Oh Come On,

I meant this specifically in the park, where people are at their most unpredictable. You know, because they’re wandering delighted in a beautiful oasis.

However, when I ride, I also KNOW I’m going to encounter people crossing against the light and I ride accordingly. If I’m reasonably attentive, even if someone steps out in front of me, odds are I’m not going to have too hard a time avoiding them — which is what you see in those images.

I have had ONE collision with a pedestrian many years ago, who ran out from between two parked cars mid-block to hail a cab. Fortunately nobody was hurt. She shouldn’t have done that, but I’m a schmuck if I don’t keep it in mind that this can happen.

By the way, I also keep this in mind when I drive. It’s not really that hard to avoid so-called “jaywalkers” if you’re driving at an APPROPRIATE speed.

–Wildcat Rock Machine

Follow the discussion here if you wish.

Santa Clara Ride Every Road status

Some of you who follow me on Strava have wondered about the strange meandering routes I sometimes take through the city of Santa Clara. You’re seeing my Ride Every Road Santa Clara project. So far this year, I’ve covered maybe 70% of the 240 miles of surface streets in Santa Clara.

Ride Every Road Santa Clara status August 4 2014

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Gadgets and new cyclists

I am a long time avid cyclist. I presume to know what’s best for you. We mock those who don’t obey the Rules. You must wear the right clothing and wear the right shoes, ride the right bike, and don the correct helmet. We’ll even mock your choice of handlebars.

Fred Planet TriDork Yellow t-shirt

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Ride the steepest hill in your town

Trek Emonda lightest production road bicycle

I’m endeavoring to Ride Every Road in my small town and log the rides to Strava. Some of you asked why I would do that. Mostly because it’s a reasonable goal for me, but a side benefit is finding a road like Grace Way in Scotts Valley.

Near the bottom of the steep part.  Grace Way, 95066

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When will Facebook purchase a fitness tracking business?

How long before this happens?

Strava Facebook

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What do you think of Level of Service?

San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) yesterday posted a discussion about traffic Level of Service. Level of Service or LOS is the metric used by planning agencies when designing road networks. Level of Service “A” is the mythical world of car advertising, with letters progressing to LOS “F,” which is near gridlock. Many city streets in the Bay Area are generally somewhere between these two extremes.

Willow Road morning traffic

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