Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bike Light Giveaway Crystal City Friday #bikedc

MVT After Hurricane Sandy #bikedc

  • MVT was in good condition from Rosslyn to 14th St Bridge; a little standing water
  • 14th Street bridge was in good condition; there was some dangerous broken glass on the east end of the trail
  • Custis was in fair but perhaps dangerous condition.  The trail from Lyon Village to Rosslyn is clear of debris, but its covered with wet leaves which is about like biking on ice
There were only a very few cyclists and joggers out on the trails.

Monday, October 29, 2012

ARLBAC Meets Monday Nov. 5 #bikedc

The next meeting of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee will be Monday November 5.  The agenda for this meeting appears to include the location of proposed Capital Bikeshare expansion stations in Arlington.  "The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) holds regular meetings open to the public on the first Monday of the month. The meetings are held at Court House Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. in the lobby meeting rooms (A,B,C, or D) beginning at 7:00 PM." 

Bicycle Crashes by NOVA Jurisdiction 2004-11 #bikedc

The Commonwealth DMV posts data on bicycle crashes, injuries (almost the same numbers), and  fatalities by jurisdiction.  Looking at the NOVA jurisdictions, here is what the data shows:

The black line is the total number of accidents for the Commonwealth (plotted against the right Y axis).  The blue line is Arlington.   During this time, the number of cyclists on the road has gone up significantly.  See Arlington Data.

For Arlington, in terms of raw number of injuries per year, there has not been significant change; in 2004 Arlington had 51 accidents whereas in 2011, the last year of data, Arlington had 52 accidents. 

The chart below shows the percent change in number of accidents, year to year (a negative percent means the number of accidents went down, which is good). 

Overall, Alexandria City saw the greatest improvement, with a 70% decrease in accidents from 2004 to 2011.  The Commonwealth saw an 11% decrease in number of accidents. Arlington was one of the few jurisdictions that saw an increase: 2%.

The database includes fatalities.  Arlington is listed as having one fatality in 2011 and two overall.  Fairfax had ten fatalities.

Take Aways

Of course, it would be nice to see these numbers go down.  Keeping in mind that the number of cyclists on the road has gone up dramatically over this time, this means that these numbers, as a percentage of cyclists on the road or as a percentage of trips taken, have gone down - perhaps dramatically - and that's good.

It would be nice to know where these accidents are occurring (they probably didnt all happen at the Intersection of Doom: N Lynn St and Lee Hwy in Rosslyn).  Of course if Arlington would fix that one intersection, they would see a dramatic decrease in the number of reported accidents.

About the Data

Methodology information on how the information is collected is not immediately apparent.  One could guess that these are the accidents for which police reports are written (which means under reporting is possible). This is how Virginia describes the database:
The Traffic Records Management, Reporting and Analysis Division of the Virginia Highway Safety Office (VAHSO) manages the states' highway safety traffic records information system that houses millions of traffic crash records. Data that is collected, stored and analyzed by this Division is used for problem identification and resolution by local, state and federal entities across the Commonwealth.
This data is housed in the Traffic Records Electronic Data System (TREDS). TREDS, the first of its kind in Virginia, is a state-of-the-art traffic crash data system that automates and centralizes crash information from across the state. Its many benefits include the electronic submission of police crash reports, the electronic capture of GPS coordinates for reporting of specific crash locations, and the elimination of separate crash data repositories in multiple formats.
The Traffic Records Management, Reporting and Analysis Division engages in strategic planning to ensure the effective use of its existing Virginia traffic records information system to support and highlight the Commonwealth's safety programs and grant funding initiatives.

Friday, October 26, 2012

#StopUTurnsOnPenn #bikedc

In DC they installed bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave.  Safe. Separate. Dedicated Bike Lanes that shoot you from the White House to the Hill.  Cool!  But cars and taxis have been making illegal U Turns through the bike lanes, hitting or almost hitting cyclists.  Not Cool.  It's gotta stop.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What to do if you have had a Bicycle Accident #bikedc

Accidents happen. They happen in cars. They happen walking down the street. They happen on bicycles.

Being in a car is nice. When you are in an accident, in that instance, the car crumples to protect you, the glass breaks in such a way to protect you, the seatbelt restrains you, the airbag deploys, and the car calls 911. Just after the accident, you get out of the car and get the flares out of the trunk. You pull the forms out of your glove box that tell you step by step what information to gather. Than you go home, and the insurance companies take care of it. This is a mature ecosystem.

Bicycles aint like that.

Here are some thoughts on bicycle accidents. They aint mine; These are gleaned from wise sages from various trails.

Before the Accident:

  • Review your safety equipment: helmet, eye protection, gloves, lights, reflective gear, high viz…
  • Check your bicycle: brakes, tire pressure, tire tread, chain…
  • Download a copy of WABA’s Accident Form and carry it in our bicycle bag
  • Check your insurance to see if a bicycle accident is covered [3]
  • Consider wearing a cyclist ID so that if you can be identified (for instance if you are lying unconscious in a ditch by the road --- yip, been there). Carry some form of identification one way or another, along with an emergency contact number and your insurance information. [3] [4]
  • Download Apps to your smart phone: first aid, what to do when in an accident, from your insurance company, bike repair.
  • Pack some tools: A universal tool and a tire repair kit may help you get back on the road
  • Consider if your bike is disabled, how are you going to get home? Bike rack on the bus? Call a friend?
  • Pack a camera and a phone. Some cyclists mount a sports camera to their handlebar or helmet. [3]
  • Keep your receipt showing the purchase value of your bike.
  • Take a confident cycling class to improve your cycling skills
  • Consider your route and your style of cycling; are their adjustments you can make to decrease the risk of an accident?

At the Accident

Accidents vary from the very small to the very unfortunate. It is really hard to give good advice hear. You are going to do what you are able to do and what wisdom tells you to do.

  • Careful. When I use to play Ultimate Frisbee, when I took a bad hit or dive – I would stay on the ground and count to ten – making sure all the pieces are there. Make sure you are safe to move before you try to move, or if you can stay where you are, wait for the paramedics. [2] [8] [9] [10]
  • Get to safety. Where you are may not be a safe place to be. [9]
  • Call 911 (or tell a specific person to call 911). [1] [2] [6] [8] [10]
  • Get medical attention; see whether the other person needs medical attention. [2] [4]
  • Take out your WABA Form and exchange information with the other person (or ask someone to do it for you). [1] [3] [8] [9] [10]
  • >> Drivers Name, Driver’s License #, Address, Phone, Make of Car, License Plate #, Insurance Company, Insurance Police #, Date Time Location of Accident
  • Get the names of witnesses; ask them to stay a few minutes; ask them to talk to the police officer writing the report. [2] [3] [6] [9]
  • Take pictures of everything (Damaged Bike, Damaged Clothes, Accident Scene, Other Vehicle). [2] [4] [8]
  • Make sure the police fill out a police report. Make sure your version of the accident gets into the report. It may be available to you in a few days. Police reports can be amended. [1] [3] [4] [9]
  • Get medical attention – some injuries are not immediately apparent. Consider being examined by a paramedic, going to the emergency room, and/or seeing your own doctor. [1]
  • Do not argue or fight; if the situation seems acrimonious, call 911 and inform them that you feel threatened. Also take out your camera, put it on video, and record everything. [2]
  • “First, DO NOT discuss any aspect of the crash, including who might be at fault, with the driver, and DO NOT attempt to negotiate with the driver.” [3] [10]
  • Figure out how to get home (Call a friend, Take a Taxi, Take public transportation). Be hesitant to ride a bicycle that has been in an accident and may be damaged. [9]

At the Accident: The Witness Edition

  • If you are a witness or come upon the scene soon thereafter, stay at the scene.
  • Call 911.
  • See if anyone needs medical attention.
  • Help make the scene safe.
  • Give your name to those involved in the accident.

I once came upon a very unfortunate accident on the GW Parkway. The cyclist was lying on the parkway. My job was to go down 100 yards, cut off the car traffic – diverting it away from the accident – until the police came.

After the Accident:

Again, accidents come in all different flavors. What you do will depend on what happened.

  • See a doctor. [1] [9] [10]
  • Write down what happened at the accident. [1] [2] [3] [8]
  • Your GPS (including the GPS on your phone) can help reconstruct the accident [4]
  • Call your insurance company. Call their insurance company.
  • Get the police report.
  • Consider hiring an attorney (this may be an unnecessary step; but where it is necessary, the attorney may give you a free consultation). [1] [9]
  • >> League of American Bicyclists directory of attorney's
  • >> DC Bar Association How to Hire and Work with a Lawyer
  • >> American Bar Associations Find Legal Help.
  • >> Consider looking at a social network review site such as Yelp, or Washington Checkbook
  • >> NOLO Find a Lawyer
  • >> WABA says they can recommend an attorney [8]
  • Take your bicycle to a bike shop for an inspection. [10] Some bike shops will give you a repair estimate that may be helpful for working with insurance. [4] [9] The damage to the bicycle is evidence and many recommend not repairing your bicycle until you have reached a resolution with the other party. [4].

A bad accident can shake your confidence. I had one of those. I wanted to get back on the bike, but I was timid. It took many months before I got my confidence back. Consider working with friends; consider talking with your mates; consider taking another confident cycling class.


[1] Bike Accidents: What to Do After a Crash, NOLO,

[2] What to Do In Case of a Bike Crash, WABA

[3] Bob Mionske, How to Handle a Bike-Car Accident Part 1, Bicycling June 2nd 2011

[4] Bob Mionske, How to Handle a Bike-Car Accident Part 2, Bicycling June 30th 2011

[5] Bob Mionske, How to Handle a Bike-Car Accident Part 2, Bicycling July 17th, 2011

[6] Brent Hugh, What to Do If You Are in a Bicycle-Car Collision, Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation, June 7, 2012

[7] Bob Mionske, Accident Advice,

[8] Bicycle Crashes FAQ, WABA

[9] If you crash, MASSBIKE

[10] Ryan Wood, How to Handle a Bike Accident With a Vehicle,

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not How U Stop Illegal U Turns Across Penn Ave Bike Lanes #bikedc @ddotdc #fail

How not to stop illegal U turns across the Pennsylvania Ave bike lanes ---> by putting a big electronic sign out blocking the bikes lanes.  Photo courtesy of @BicycleSPACE

As @bikepedantic tweeted, this is pretty reminiscent of a Monty Python skit. 

Come'on @DDOTDC, this is stupid beyond credulity.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Two Wheel Tuesday - Phoenix Bike Edition Oct 23 #bikedc

The final Bike Arlington Two Wheel Tuesday will be held at Arlington's favorire Phoenix Bikes down in Barcroft Park (along the WOD and 4MR).
The focus of the session will be Equipment, Clothing, and Gear. We’ll show you how to fix that flat and get set up for riding in the chillier months. Hope to see you there!
7 - 8:30 pm, which of course means it will be good to learn about bike lights. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

No Text on Board #bikedc

For a while, people texting and driving really got me upset.  The number of times I have almost been hit by someone texting, I cant even remember.  The first time was on Glebe Road going across Chain Bridge.  A woman texting blew through a red light and missed my car by an inch.  Another time while cycling, a teenage girl on a residential street in Arlington blew a stop sign while texting, missed me by an inch, and told me to mind my own business when I yelled at her to get off the phone.  While biking up Lee Hwy and traffic is going about the same speed as bike traffic - I have seen people texting the entire way.

I use to get mad.  Eventually I gave up.  Unless they make this illegal - not much is going to change.  Some places have made it illegal.  Others havent.

If you text and drive... you are guilty of reckless driving.  There are no exceptions.  You cannot safely drive if your eyes are not on the road in front of you.

Yesterday, cycling to work going south on Lee Hwy,  another driver who was texting rolled through a red light.  AT&T has a campaign "No Text on Board: It Can Wait."  Take the pledge.  Dont text while driving (and dont text while cycling - really, that had to be said??).

How to Know When Your Headlight is too Bright #bikedc

Your headlight is too bright if, when on the trail, you become indistinguishable from the hate-feeding alien in Star Trek Day of the Dove.

Notice the car on the GW; his headlights cause less of an amorphous white glow than this cyclist's.

If your headlight is so bright that you cant be seen behind your headlight - its too bright.  It's unnecessary on the trails - other cyclists can see you without the light.  But with the light, other cyclists cant see you.  Had this been at night, the cyclist coming towards the high beam would be blinded and not be able to see anything.

Do your fellow cyclists a favor:
  • No high beam lights on the trails;
  • No high beam strobe lights on the trails (this is even worse);
  • If you must use a high beam, point it down (at this point this fellow's high beam is pointed straight at me)
  • If you must use a high beam, put your hand over it when you come upon oncoming traffic.
On the road, car lights are designed not to blind.  They are pointed slightly down, at the road (not in the opposing drivers eyes).  High beams are optional, but it is the etiquette - if not the law - to turn high beams off for oncoming traffic.  Maybe this is one small tiny area cyclists can learn from car drivers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Phoenix Bikes is Hiring a Shop Manager / Lead Mechanic #bikedc #arlingtonva

Phoenix Bikes - that great youth organization located in Four Mile Run that teaches kids how to repair bikes and how to run a small business - is looking to hire a Shop Manager / Lead Mechanic.  A great job for someone who love to work on bikes and with kids.

Job Announcement
Position Shop Manager/Lead Mechanic
Reports to Executive Director
Job Description
Full-time salaried position to oversee shop mechanic functions of nonprofit youth oriented community bike shop. Primary duties include
  • Providing quality control on all repairs and rebuilt bikes,
  • Managing shop work flow, making repairs to customer bicycles,
  • Refurbishing bikes for sale,
  • Teaching youth and volunteers how to repair bicycles, and
  • Ensuring a safe and inviting work environment.
Other minor duties include ordering parts and supplies, maintaining parts inventory, assisting with promoting the organization at public events, providing blog posts and social media content, and staffing off-site events (such as youth bike rides).
  • 3-5 years experience repairing bikes in a professional environment (management experience preferred),
  • Ability to work with youth age 12-18 with patience,
  • Must pass criminal background check.
The shop manager may also be asked to rotate hours with other staff to ensure coverage during regular shop hours, volunteer night and shop night.
To apply, send cover letter, resume and references.
Submit to:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love ELITE Riders #bike

You know who you are, you ELITE riders!  Dressed in magnificent matching spandex manifesting your chops, while riding your $4000 carbon frame made by Orcs in the fiery furnaces of Mordor.  Demonstrating disdain for your fellow cyclists.... joggers... people pushing strollers.... for that matter geese and squirrels, and you fly fluidly down the Mutli Use Trails as speeds well in excess of Contador's (who ever the hell that is).  As a member of the ELITE secret society, you position in high cycling culture necessitates that that your place at the intersection is always in front of all those who have come before you and have cued up patiently - that is if you even bother to stop at the intersection.  You dont bother to call your passes - why should you - you're traveling faster than the speed of sound anyway - you will get there before the sound of the bike bell - and besides, weaving and splitting joggers at high speeds, through the narrowest of gaps, is good training - and teaches those muggles for being on your path in the first place.

Aggressive driving: it's not just for caffeine deprived zombies raging down the GW Parkway.  Cyclists have 'em.  Joggers have 'em.  Pedestrians have 'em.  

When confronted with ELITE swagger, some scream, some scorn, some scowl. Or you could go for a bike ride!  I mean look at all the geese and the squirrels - and the sun is rising over the Lincoln - and the crew teams working out on the Potomac in their long boats - it is another magnificent day!

The blog London Cyclists wrote up a piece this last year entitled 7 Things You Should Give Up to Be a Happy Cyclists.   It is wisdom (well, all except for #7 - that's just not acceptable).  What's the response to aggravation? You get to go for a bike ride!  Love Your Ride! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Illuminated Art Ride - Sat Oct 20 #bikedc

Another massively cool looking ride
Don't just see art. Be art.
The Daily Rider proudly presents The Illuminated Art Ride 2012, a celebration of the art of bicycles. Light yourself and your ride, let your creativity soar, and join us at the Daily Rider for finishing touches before we begin our spirited parade through DC with our very own musical accompaniment. We will wind through night life and monuments on our 8 mile casual ride before reaching our final destination and visiting the venues of DC's Art All Night presented by the Downtown BID.  Pre registration for this FREE event is strongly encouraged and requested!

Zombies on Bikes!!! - Oct 30 #bikedc

Too good not to share, sponsored by Bikespace,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Repair That Bike #bikedc

More on learning how to repair a bicycle, Bike Arlington is announcing these courses at the Arlington Career Center taught by NOVA bicycle advocate Allen Muchnick

Bicycle Mechanics Workshop

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Self-directed, hands-on sequel to Bicycle Maintenance & Repair course. Learn to tune up, fix, or modify your bicycle. Practice inspection, maintenance, or repair procedures. Bring bicycle, supplies, and inspiration.
Time:  6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Arlington Career Center, Room 119, 816 South Walter Reed Drive  Arlington, VA 22204
Fees:  $39 (Arlington resident), $50 (non-resident)
Register here Click here for more information

Combined Federal Cyclists CFC #bikedc

Photo by COG LOG LAB
It's CFC time.  And there lots of good organizations to support (I always like to support dog rescue organizations).  There are lots of good bicycle organizations to consider.  According to the Combined Federal Campaign for the National Area, the following bicycle organizations are participating in CFC (no endorsements intended - just indicating some mighty fine options):
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Converts thousands of miles of unused railroad corridors into public trails for walking, bicycling, hiking, skating, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, wildlife habitats, and nature appreciation. Affiliation: EarthShare    CFC # code:  10641.  Overhead: 26.6%.     Program Areas:   C - Environmental Quality, Protection & Beautification   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics   S - Community Improvement, Capacity Building.
League of American Bicyclists.
The League of American Bicyclists (Wheelmen) promotes cycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.  CFC # code:  11563. Overhead: 8.2%. Program Areas:   Y - Mutual/Membership Benefit Orgs, Other   R - Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics.  1612 K Street, NW, Suite 510, Washington DC  

Bikes Not Bombs, Inc.
BNB uses donated bicycles as a tool for empowerment in our youth leadership programs, international development projects, and vocational training center and retail shop. CFC # code:  12431.  Overhead: 15.8%.  Program Areas:   O - Youth Development   Q - International, Foreign Affairs & National Security   C - Environmental Quality, Protection & Beautification .

Bikes for the World, Inc.
Putting unwanted bicycles to good use overseas - for jobs, school, healthcare - and for youth development locally. Nation's largest bicycle reuse effort - 70,000 delivered since 2005.
CFC # code: 21964. Overhead: 3.7%. Program Areas:   Q - International, Foreign Affairs & National Security   O - Youth Development   S - Community Improvement, Capacity Building.      3108 17th Street North, Arlington, VA

Bikes Belong Foundation.
Encouraging children to bike while making bicycling safer. Building a mutual respect among motorists and cyclists ensuring safer routes for everyone to ride. CFC # code:  54808. Overhead: 7.0% Program Areas:   E - Health – General and Rehabilitative   W - Public, Social Benefit – Multipurpose and Other   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics.         

Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Advocates for safe cycling conditions, promotes bicycling as healthy and sustainable transportation, provides bicycling safety information, and educates youth and adults. CFC # code: 93587.  Overhead: 14.1%.     Program Areas:   C - Environmental Quality, Protection & Beautification   E - Health – General and Rehabilitative   S - Community Improvement, Capacity Building.        2599 Ontario Road NW, Washington DC 20009

Mountain Bicycling Association, International

Preserve, protect and enhance great riding experiences. Support low impact riding, volunteer trail work, cooperation among trail users, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management. CFC # code:  11199  Overhead: 7.9% Program Areas:   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics   S - Community Improvement, Capacity Building   R - Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy.

Pedals for Progress, A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation
Help developing countries by promoting self sustaining businesses. We collect/recondition used bicycles/ship them to developing countries where they become effective tools for self-help. Affiliation: Do Unto Others: America's Emergency Relief, Development, and Humanitarian Outreach Charities CFC # code:  12261.   Program Areas:   P - Human Services – Multipurpose and Other   J - Employment, Job Related   S - Community Improvement, Capacity Building.     

Adventure Cycling Association
Promoting environmental and personal health by inspiring people to travel by bicycle for fitness/fun/self discovery and advocating for better cycling conditions since 1974. CFC # code:  10054. Overhead: 10.3% Program Areas:   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics   Y - Mutual/Membership Benefit Orgs, Other   C - Environmental Quality, Protection & Beautification.150 E. Pine Street, Missoula, MT  

USA Cycling, Inc.
Dedicated to advancing the development of cycling; training coaches and athletes (including Olympic team); sponsoring competitions/events; promoting proper cycling techniques; supporting sports science technology. CFC # code:  10293.  Overhead: 9.5%.   Program Areas:   N - Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics.  210 USA Cycling Point, Suite 100, Colorado Springs, CO 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Do It Yourself #bikedc

I believe in fixing my bike myself.  First, I believe in fixing my bike myself because I am passionate about cycling.  Working on my bike is a redemptive adventure in caring for my bike.

I also believe in fixing my bike because it aint hard, and its a darn good thing to know.  If you are a cyclist - if you are rolling with the miles - you will want to know how to change a flat, how to unjam a chain, and how to adjust a seat or brakes.  10 miles into a 3 hour tour, you dont want to end up shipwrecked on a deserted pacific island without a professor onboard (without knowing how to fix your bike).

Fixing stuff takes tools.  Tools take space.  Grease causes gunk.  Some of us have car garages dedicated to our bikes.  Some of us dont.  One solution is bicycle co-ops - membership organizations that have the tools, supplies, and a community of expertise - where you can spend your afternoon tricking out your wheels, or gabbing about the finer points of sprockets.

Before we get to the list of local co-ops, there's one more great resource:  Youtube is a wealth of DIY information.  You need to know how to do it; Youtube has some generous soul showing you the steps.

The List

The Bicycle House (DC)

"The Bike House is a community-based bicycle repair co-op in Washington, DC. Our mission is to build a place where all people can learn about, work on, and enjoy bikes.We do this by providing free bicycle maintenance services and education through our weekend clinics, mobile bike clinic, and beginner and advanced mechanics classes."

Velocity (Alexandria)

"Our mission is to educate, encourage, and empower a vibrant and inclusive cycling community through learning. We provide a non-profit, volunteer-run, educational do-it-yourself workshop offering training, rides, and events to empower all levels of cyclists in building, maintaining, and embracing the fun of bicycles."

Mt Rainer Bike Coop

"MRBC aims to enable and encourage people to own, maintain, and ride bicycles safely. We reclaim, refurbish, and redistribute used bicycles that would otherwise be heading for the landfill, We teach mechanics to youth and adults, and we partner with local DC area organizations to promote an inclusive and responsible bicycling community. MRBC focuses its services locally but the shop and its programs are open to all members on a donation basis."

And one more

Phoenix Bikes

Phoenix Bikes is not so much a bicycle co-op for you to fix your bike (altho you could probably do that too) as it is a non profit to teach kids how to fix bicycles - and to teach kids how to run a small business.

"Support Local Youth: Through the use of bike repair, mechanics, and sales, we provide local youth with real-world skills and education that will better prepare them for the future. Visit our Youth Programs page for more information.

"Support the Community: Through our storefront, we provide the local DC community with affordable, refurbished bikes and repair services that help the environment, the recipient and local youth. Visit our Community Programs page for a full list of our services."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You're in an Accident - What do you do

Flickr Photo by (cc)
Ugh.  Sorry to hear it.  The legal system has a mature process for handling car accidents - fender benders - general run of the mill stuff where there arent injuries.  The insurance companies have developed a way of dealing with these conflicts, with turning them into conflicting deals.  Its generally more economically efficient to resolve fender benders - than to litigate - and the insurance companies work it out.

But bike accidents arent car accidents.  There is a much greater chance of injury.  The law is much more ambiguous.  And, unfortunately, police departments do not necessarily always handle these situations well.

Here are a few things you might want:
These are generally situations where camera's help.  Take pictures of everything. Better yet, mount a camera on your handlebars and have it running at all times.

Witnesses: get names of all the witnesses - and fellow cyclists - if you witnessed the accident, stop and make sure the cyclist get's your name. 

Be safe out there.

Weight Weenies - Or How I Lost My Car Keys

Yesterday I significantly decreased the weight I carry on by bike.  But first I digress....

Forty years ago I started cycling.  This was brought on, as necessity often demands, by the circumstance of being a teenager without wheels.  Well, without a car.  I biked, at that time, to get to church.

Then came college.  A small liberal arts college in the middle of a corn field in Ah-Hi-Ya. Oberlin College in located in Oberlin Ohio.  What's it like to go to school in Oberlin?  Well, put it this way.  Oberlin was founded as a progressive Christian community during a time of religious fervor.  The famous Charles Finney (think "Billy Graham" of the time) remarked that the choice of Oberlin for the location of the community was so bad, that it set the cause of the gospel back 10 years.

A small town where everything was an easy bike ride. Back then it was the Wonder-Bike - a banana seat cruiser that was tricked out.  Didnt need to ever lock it cause everyone knew that bike.  Eventually the frame just busted in two.

Having invested in a fine liberal arts education, I put my degree to good work.  I became a bike courier in D.C.  Now that was a good gig.  This is back in the day, back before the Internet had ruined everything.  Imagine if you will some pompous trade association that perceived the importance of its annual report was such that every member of Congress needed a framed copy.  That's 500+ deliveries.  At $1 a drop, that's good scratch.  Most the time you'd wander into a Congressional office and they had an inbox all set up for these important deliveries (the trash can).

After a few more years of tangential confusion, I managed my way into a government job.  All of them have had lockers and showers on site (sweet).  Before kids, I bike commuted a lot.  Then came the replicants.  Replicants require a schedule for being dropped off at school and being picked up.  Replicants dont fit easily in the side bag.  And apparently at certain ages if you leave replicants unattended its known as "replicant-abuse."   Bike commuting went down.

Then a wonderful thing happened.  My replicants became teenagers.  Okay, that's not such a good thing.  But what is good about this is that teenage replicants can take care of them selves.  Okay, actually they cant.  Look, the point is, its no longer illegal to leave a teenage replicant by themselves for an hour or so.

Freedom.  I didnt have to get home by time certain any more.

I became a 100% bike commuter.  We got rid of the second car.  We are saving all types of $$$$.  

Yesterday, in an act of pure Weight Weenish, I realize I could dump some weight from my ride.  Something I carry every day has become superfluous: my car keys.  Yesterday, I removed my car keys from my key ring - leaving the office key, home key, and bike key.

That felt good.

Ghost Rider

Can you be seen?  My morning commute now starts before the sun has bothered to arrive at work.  It's quiet.  It's dark.  And drivers are suffering from caffeine deprivation. Can you be seen in the dark.

Try this - in the dark - take a picture of your bike with a flash camera - this will give you some idea of what will bounce back at a driver's headlights.

My bike has Michelin City tires with reflectors built into the sidewalk.  Also interested to see the Cannondale logo - which is reflective black - throwing back light.

Added on top when riding is front and rear lights - and a high viz shell.

Have noticed that the CABI's have reflective tires in a similar manner - they throw back some good light on the GW.