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Old 03-17-2011, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
110 posts, read 138,477 times
Reputation: 315

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Dear Austin Bicyclist,

Hello, how are you? I hope that this letter finds you well and in good health. Thatís something Iíve been meaning to speak with you about: Your health. I see that you are health conscious enough to understand the importance of physical activity and I commend that effort. You are a shining star and a fine example to each and every person in this community. However I am noticing some pretty nasty habitsÖ this would be something akin to the junk food of bicycling. These things include ignoring traffic laws and even city ordinances that were actually drafted for your safety.

I know that sounds pretty up tight and it sounds like the Man is just trying to keep his thumb on you because (insert reasoning the government doesnít want you to be happy here), but really guys (and gals) there are legitimate reasons why those laws are in place: Your health. I have responded to a collision before that involved a bicyclist. This bicyclist was hit by a car while not adhering to those ridiculous bicycle laws and the girl was so broken, that after my portion of the emergency response was completed I had to excuse myself to vomit.

Friends, itís not polite to make other people sick. Itís also not polite to run red lights and stop signs on your bicycle only to have someone hit you and then you die and that person has to live the rest of their life knowing they were involved in the loss of a human life. Thats a Party foul.

Just to make sure we understand one another, I do not dislike your culture. Even I can be seen among your ranks. Iím the guy in wind shorts that are a little too short and my tie-die doo rag. Actually I love you guys. Every time I see one of you that B.J. Thomas song pops into my head and I love that song.

I know it is not always you at fault. There are a lot of jerk drivers out there, but I think it is important that you do everything you can to keep yourself safe.

A 2000 pound car traveling at 35mph can deliver roughly 82,000ftlbs of energy. When fired a .357 magnum delivers about 1200ftlbs of energy at the muzzle. So thatís like getting shot with a gun that is 68 times more powerful than a .357. That will do some unnatural things to the human body.

In closing, I can only beg that if this letter finds you, that you will at least consider it and perhaps even tweak your cycling habits just a tiny bit in the ďdonít dieĒ direction.

Your Dutiful Servant,
Nighthawks11
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,562 posts, read 21,343,797 times
Reputation: 6547
Thanks Nighthawks! I couldn't agree more.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3nMnr8ZirI
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:59 AM
 
958 posts, read 1,197,170 times
Reputation: 554
Don't forget that some of the 82000 ft/lbs of energy gets transferred to the cyclist which will then partially manifest itself as kinetic energy (i.e. you go flying). Your body is then duty bound to transfer some of the kinetic energy to some other object, say a sign pole, or a curb, or simply the ground. It's amazing how spindly those sign poles look when a car hits them, but how they can be completely immovable when a human body hits them. It's also amazing how when that kinetic energy transfer to said pole or curb, due to the shape of the object concentrating that energy transfer to small parts of the body, can also do some unsavory things to that part of the body. And in an occurrence that most bikers know all so well, it's amazing how much skin/flesh/bone can be ground away by that wonderful substance we call asphalt as your body transfers that energy over time (and distance) to the roadway.

Be safe and keep the rubber side down.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,677 posts, read 3,014,189 times
Reputation: 1295
Statistically speaking about half of bike/car accidents are the fault of the motorists. And regarding kinetic energy couldn't the same be stated in reference to motorcyclists/moped riders?

If you want to reduce the amount of red light and stop sign running by cyclists enforcement must be stepped up and tickets handed out...........Of course the same could be said for speeding by motorists which is ignored 99.9% of the time.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,562 posts, read 21,343,797 times
Reputation: 6547
Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Statistically speaking about half of bike/car accidents are the fault of the motorists. And regarding kinetic energy couldn't the same be stated in reference to motorcyclists/moped riders?
Statistically speaking almost all injuries and fatalities in bike/car accidents happen to the bicyclist. Y'all be careful out there!
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Round Rock
189 posts, read 295,809 times
Reputation: 74
Default Good Post

Nighthawks11, Excellent post, thank you. I applaud every safe cyclist, pedestrian and driver in this town for their courtesy.

I wish to add one point that I learned many years ago in a physics class, although you covered it well there are always those who "skip over the math " Mass and velocity win. Period. Full stop. Therfore, remember you valiant Smart and Car to Go drivers (insert any ultra small vehicle) - as you toodle around the city that the person driving the big massive vehicle at a higher rate of speed has the potential to squash you like a bug. Not on purpose, but because it is true and accidents happen.

Please be careful or your progeny or progeny to be will not be able to carry on your earth kind philosophy. Dead is dead.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:27 PM
 
516 posts, read 802,907 times
Reputation: 173
And for those not wearing a helmet - please do - it really will save your life. I've had first hand experience within my own family, so I really do know what I'm talking about.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:30 PM
 
958 posts, read 1,197,170 times
Reputation: 554
Quote:
Originally Posted by eichlerfan View Post
And for those not wearing a helmet - please do - it really will save your life. I've had first hand experience within my own family, so I really do know what I'm talking about.
Esp the kiddos. My son did a face plant a couple of years ago while riding, luckily for him he hit towards the top of his head first. He had some abrasions on his face and forehead, but the front of the helmet was munged pretty good and it obviously took the brunt of the impact. From that point on, my kiddos never complained about having to wear a helmet.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:57 PM
 
554 posts, read 909,735 times
Reputation: 279
I totally agree, if you are riding on the road you have to follow the rules of the road. Learn hand signals, don't coast thru traffic at a red light or cut the edge of a turn while cars are turning at the same time. Also stay off sharp twisty roads like lime creek, even though the speed limit is 35 cars cant see you around the corner moving much slower.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,119 posts, read 1,281,406 times
Reputation: 840
Quote:
Originally Posted by someguyatx View Post
I totally agree, if you are riding on the road you have to follow the rules of the road. Learn hand signals, don't coast thru traffic at a red light or cut the edge of a turn while cars are turning at the same time. Also stay off sharp twisty roads like lime creek, even though the speed limit is 35 cars cant see you around the corner moving much slower.
I totally agree, if you are riding on the road you have to follow the rules of the road. Wonder when cars will ever get it? People get killed in car wrecks every other day around Austin!
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