Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: Tourista829 on February 16, 2011, 08:53:34 am

 
Title: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Tourista829 on February 16, 2011, 08:53:34 am
I know there are those who believe this is not the place to air my views, on this subject but I beg to differ. It is a subject that needs to be discussed. I never thought I would say this but Tampa Florida is a very dangerous place to ride a bicycle. It is sad that we are losing a cyclist a month. We lost our 12th cyclist, with in a year, this past Sunday, on a road with a very wide shoulder. Drivers texting, on telephones, or speeding to get somewhere, have very little regard for people on bicycles. Drivers do not discriminate, they even killed a high decorated soldier. I pray for their families.

Speaking to the local authorities, they are restricted to what they can do, due to budget cuts and indifference. One police officer told, you have no business riding a bicycle, the roads are only for cars and trucks. I wonder what our police chief, who is an avid cyclist, would have thought of his comment.
When I commute to work, I have no bicycle lanes, or sidewalks on 55 mph roads. In my work complex, there is only one bicycle rack, that has a dozen entrances. The closest entrance, that is open, on the weekends, is 3/4 of a mile away. If one parks their bike elsewhere, they will cut the chain and confiscate ones bike. I have gone to my company and to the complex managers, asking for another bicyle rack and been asked not to ask.

I am sad but getting very angry. My girlfriend and I have both been hit more than once. One driver ask me, looking at my legs, do you take falls and do this for a living? The driver who hit my girlfriend,  disregarded a stop sign, on a walking path, asked her, is this going to take long, I am late and have to get my sister in law to the airport. ( as she laid on the ground bleeding and in pain) Another time, when she was hit, they never stopped.

Besides moving, or finding a new job, is there any thing that can be done. I am sure I am not the only one who is experiencing this. Do others live in areas, that have been through this and mobilized to make the public aware, to motivate legislatures to take action and make the changes needed to protect our lives? Although ACO is dedicated to lobbying, on the national level, I wish they could lend their support to helping develop a local infra structure to help organize cyclist who want to affect change. It is on the local and state levels that will make a difference.

I have been told by family, friends, coworkers, and fellow cyclists that if you ride in Tampa, it is only a matter of time, before you will become a statistic. In the past, I have ignored their comments, I am beginning to believe it. I would welcome you comments. >:(
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: valygrl on February 16, 2011, 09:30:30 am
Move.  Life's too short to live somewhere that doesn't suit you, and while trying to change the world for the better is admirable, it's an uphill battle.  If your raison d'etre is to effect social change that enables better biking in Tampa Florida, go for it.  But if it's to ride your bike safely and happily, just move.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on February 16, 2011, 09:39:37 am
I just stumbled across the book, Joyride by Mia Burk, a very inspiring story about a small group of folks that helped turn Portland, OR into a cycling Mecca. It may give you some small ideas, at least, regarding things you might do.

 http://www.amazon.com/Joyride-Pedaling-Toward-Healthier-Planet/dp/0615384110/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297866444&sr=1-8
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: John Nelson on February 16, 2011, 11:31:25 am
If you haven't already done so, I would suggest you contact the Florida Bicycle Association, a group that advocates for bicycle safety at both the state and local level. Get suggestions from them, join them, and work with them. Perhaps start a chapter in Tampa.

http://www.floridabicycle.org

Change won't happen overnight, and you'll need to take baby steps, but you can make progress.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 16, 2011, 12:39:44 pm
I come from a small town on the southeast coast of Florida. I have known several guys here who were killed riding their bikes, and several more who were injured. None of them went running off the road into a pole or anything like that. They were all killed and injured by cars / trucks. My right-of-way has been violated many times in this small town in such a way that if I had not relinquished my legal ROW, I would have been run down. If I remember correctly, Florida has had a bad reputation for cycling for a long time. It used to be called the "dive or die state." Have you ever read "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage. They cycled across the US with no problem, but then read the part where they got into Florida and cycled down to Key West. I concur. I had exactly the same problems back in the 1980s cycling in Florida. I was run off the roada number of times crossing Florida not so many years ago. It was pure criminality on the part of the drivers.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: ronn12 on February 16, 2011, 02:33:42 pm
will im from fla born and raised.. left in 94 have not been back  any part of the state is just stupid if you are gonna ride/ I ve still not made mind up if i.ll cycle down or greyhound down I dont want to be the next person doing daises.  Not Enough Law for the ones that hit cyclist 
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Elessar on February 16, 2011, 04:40:03 pm
My reply is not meant to antagonize or inflame anyone about anything.  I don't intend to minimize the tragic news you have imparted and I also feel bad for those left behind.

However, I have ridden motorcycles for many years.  Anyone who rides motorcycles has been conditioned to know that there are only two types of riders: those who have crashed and those who will crash.  Please accept my apology if I offend anyone. 

Maybe riding a bicycle is like that.  I don't have enough experience to properly evaluate the conditions.  I ride in a place where I feel safe but my wife has flatly refused to ride.  We both have stated that "you're taking your life in your hands on this road" when we see someone riding as I do now.  I am very careful and very aware but I imagine that it's only a matter of time before I will have my turn.

My brother-in-law has a harrowing story from years ago about being hit by a car full of delinquent teenagers.  Bad news.

I won't stop riding but I ride with as much care as possible.  I hope that some day we can all "share the road."  Maybe we should be supporting that flying car idea to get those guys off the pavement?...
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: litespeed on February 16, 2011, 06:10:48 pm
I've lived and bicycled in Florida (I live 35 miles from Tampa) since 1976. I've only been knocked down by a car once in this state and that was partially my fault. I looked at the car (at an intersection) instead of the driver. Just a skinned knee. Oh, I once got "doored" in Tarpon Springs.

Actually, I've noticed that car/truck drivers are much more considerate than they were when I first came to town. I can't remember the last time I encountered any hostility at all. I think a lot of it has to do with my attitude and experience. I go out of my way to avoid impeding cars and show them every courtesy. At intersections I make sure I'm not blocking anyone. I wave cars by whenever possible. I use my eyes and ears and try to flow with the traffic. And I get on the sidewalk if I don't like the look of the road.

I did get knocked down good by a lady in Lousiana who turned right in front of me. I was on 190 near Slidell - a bad bicycling road. That got me a rebroken collarbone, dented helmet and skinned knee. Fortunately I had plenty of witnesses.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: driftlessregion on February 16, 2011, 10:39:00 pm
Every cyclist who cares about this issue, and improving cycling conditions in general, should belong to the League of American Bicyclists, the major lobby for us on a national level. http://www.bikeleague.org/.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: driftlessregion on February 16, 2011, 10:58:24 pm
You might also want to consider organizing a memorial "ghost ride" for those killed while cycling. See http://www.ghostbikes.org/.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 17, 2011, 04:25:14 am
People have come to this forum asking about various kinds of safety issues. One answer is to use the best roads and know safety procedures, take them to heart, and use them.

Nobody can guarantee anyone's safe passage across town,  much less across the country. No matter how safe you are as a cyclist, you are still out there on the boulevard with people in motor vehicles who might NOT be safe. They might be drunk, on drugs, careless, or inexperienced and unable to negotiate the situation. Our responsibility as cyclists
is to watch out for ourselves as well as we can.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Quahog03 on February 17, 2011, 08:22:49 am
On this sad topic, I have been told that a cyclist was hit by a truck and killed last month on the southern tier. I believe it was on the panhandle in Fl. Does anyone have any details of what might have happened ?
On riding in Florida your dealing with lots of tourist who don't know the roads and are looking for road signs etc. In my opinion anywhere you ride you have to be a very defensive and not concerned who might have the right of way. It's your life.
Ed
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 17, 2011, 08:25:50 am
I appreciate the comments, suggestions, and support. Overall, I thought things were getting better since Barbara & Larry Savage rode to the Keys, in the late 1970's. However, things in Tampa are drifting back to a new era of indifference, selfishness, and truly mean spirited attitude. Many people shout out their windows, "get the ---- off the road." or throw liquids at you. In a state where many carry a firearm, in their glove boxes legally, I am very careful not to respond. Even when reporting harrassment to the police, (which borderlines assult) the attitude is don't ride on the roads and they give motorist every protection under the law. I never thought I would say this, but I truly feel sorry for those, who do not own a car, and have to rely on their bicycles, to get to work.

Since almost everyone, learned to ride a bike, you have to wonder, what happened from the time they started to drive a car/truck to the distain many have for cyclist now. It is an attitude that starts, in the home and prevails in our society. Cycling groups, need to start early and speak to children, when in school and teach them tolerance.

When we fight to get shoulders put in on new construction, and are told no, by the local county. When the voters turn down a bill that would have put in a local rail line and add bicycle lanes. (70%) When our "let's get to work," governor rejects 2.3 billion dollars to build a high speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa, which would have actually put people back to work, and allevated much of the congestion on our roads, I think Valygrl may be correct in saying, it may be time to consider other options. BTW another cyclist was hit yesterday, and hanging on to his life. :(
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on February 17, 2011, 08:31:32 am
Every cyclist who cares about this issue, and improving cycling conditions in general, should belong to the League of American Bicyclists, the major lobby for us on a national level. http://www.bikeleague.org/.

One answer is to use the best roads and know safety procedures, take them to heart, and use them.
Nobody can guarantee anyone's safe passage across town,  much less across the country. No matter how safe you are as a cyclist, you are still out there on the boulevard with people in motor vehicles who might NOT be safe. They might be drunk, on drugs, careless, or inexperienced and unable to negotiate the situation. Our respobsibility as cyclists is to watch out for ourselves as well as we can.


The League of American Bicyclists offers excellent Traffic Safety Skills classes. I signed my wife, son and myself up for a course last Spring before going on our cross country tour in order to help ensure our then 11 year old son would get road safety lessons from someone other than his parents. Even though taking the class was mainly for our son's "benefit", my wife and I both learned a good deal despite our many years of riding and touring experience. Though we all learned skills and tips that helped us on our cross country trip, we have also used them to become much more comfortable riding in heavy traffic in our own town. I highly recommend taking a course. (You don't have to be a member)

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/course_schedule.php
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Awf Hand on February 17, 2011, 08:40:11 am
When I started riding again after a hiatus, I had become about 15 years older and had a wife and two kids.  For them I wear a class III retro-reflective work jersey.  I bought one in hi-vis green and one in hi-vis orange.  Initially, I noticed traffic going WAY around me to avoid crowding me.  I commented to the wife about how I'd never seen drivers be this courteous.  She told me the hi-vis made me look "special needs".  :-\

I guess I have a special need to not be run over.

Drivers today have WAY too much going on in their cars.  If I can be seen 500 yards sooner... :-*
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on February 17, 2011, 08:42:39 am
Since almost everyone, learned to ride a bike, you have to wonder, what happened from the time they started to drive a car/truck to the distain many have for cyclist now. It is an attitude that starts, in the home and prevails in our society.

Most folks may learn to ride a bike, but I don't see as many kids/youth continuing to ride these days. Screen time (computers/tv/handheld devices) has become the activity de'jour for too many kids. I feel that since kids spend less time cycling before they get that driver's license, they don't develop much/any empathy toward cyclists when they see them from behind the wheel.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 17, 2011, 09:00:08 am
Mucknort I agree with you, but it goes deeper than that. It is an attitude in America that says, as an adult, ride a bike, I don't think so. I will bet, if one did research, here in Tampa, and where attitudes were formed, it would surprise many. In a country where obeisity is at an all time high and gasoline prices are inching up, you would think people would get it. Like Jim Sayer once said, it is an uphill battle. I am glad I have a very low gear, because it looks like it is an endless climb.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 17, 2011, 09:01:39 am
Got to go work. It really sucks that I could not ride my bicycle to work.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: MrBent on February 17, 2011, 10:19:29 am
Depressing news.  If you've seen the recent copy of Adventure Cyclist, you'll find an article about touring in Florida wherein the author claims that Florida is MUCH better than it used to be.  This may be the case, but it's still the most dangerous state to cycle in.  The last time I checked records, it had more cycling deaths than California with only half the overall population.  I'd like to do the Southern Tier sometime.  We'll see!

Regarding the original poster:  I'm with Valygrl.  It's time to hang up the bike or move.  I'd move.  Life is WAY too short, and it looks like riding in Florida is one way to make it shorter.

Watch yer back, amigo.

Scott
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 17, 2011, 12:54:06 pm
On this sad topic, I have been told that a cyclist was hit by a truck and killed last month on the southern tier. I believe it was on the panhandle in Fl. Does anyone have any details of what might have happened ?
On riding in Florida your dealing with lots of tourist who don't know the roads and are looking for road signs etc. In my opinion anywhere you ride you have to be a very defensive and not concerned who might have the right of way. It's your life.
Ed

This is the first I've heard of it. Hwy. 90 is what I'd consider to be a good road for cycling. I wonder where it happened.
If somebody said it happened in Tallahassee, I would say I wouldn't doubt it. The side-lane disappears there and traffic thickens dramatically. Bars are ubiquitous. People drink and drive afterwards. It's a university town which means there are many younger, less experienced drivers. Maybe it was in Tallahasee. On the other hand, such an accident could happen most anywhere. All it takes is one person not watching where he's going.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: indyfabz on February 18, 2011, 10:51:09 am
 All it takes is one person not watching where he's going.[/quote]

Including a cyclist.  When I learned that an old friend who I had lost touch with had been hit by a pickup and killed while riding home from work I immediately assumed it was the drivers fault.  I later learned it was not.

There is a guy from my area who was riding in TX years ago.  I believe he was on the ST route.  He saw his motel on the other side of the road and tuned left without looking right into the path of a semi.  Total brain fart.  Fortunately, he lived, but he was pretty banged up.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: tonythomson on February 18, 2011, 03:09:05 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.

This thread is reflected in other cycling forums around the world.  certainly here in the UK I rarely ride anywhere and wait until I'm in Florida (have a house near Disney) but prefer to ride the trails. There seems to be the same anti cycling mentality by certain motorists around the world, what is that all about?

Hi Quahog when you come down south to ride?  ;)

Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on February 18, 2011, 04:36:07 pm
There seems to be the same anti cycling mentality by certain motorists around the world, what is that all about?
I beg to differ. Here in New England Ive rarely encountered the kind of hostility the OP stated. And in riding from Boston to Seattle last year, I also didn't encounter anything from motorists like what was stated avove from Florida. From what I've read, the hate seems to exist more in certain localities. Besides the comments here and elsewhere on other forums about Florida, I've heard similar stories about sections of Texas. I wonder why its worse in some areas and not others.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: FredHiltz on February 18, 2011, 05:30:35 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.

Lots of talk about mirrors in other threads. Try a search from the main forum page to check it out.

Fred
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: DaveB on February 18, 2011, 07:36:15 pm
I'd be interested in knowing the demographics of the victims.   

I've ridden a lot in Orlando, Gainesville and Naples and a few times in the area around Mt Dora. Particularly in Orlando and Naples I've seen a great number of "utility" riders, mostly Hispanics, who ride out of necessity as the bike is their only means of transportation.  They seem completly unaware of traffic dicipline and proper riding technique.  They often ride on the "wrong" side of the road, and seem oblivious to driveways, cross streets, stop signs, etc.   Also, their bikes are mostly department-store quality which means the brakes are weak and unresponsive. 

Do these riders account for a lot of the victims?
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 18, 2011, 11:44:27 pm
                                                 "Open Season On Cyclists"
Since midsummer, nine cyclists in the Tampa Bay area have died in crashes with vehicles.*
“Unfortunately in the Tampa Bay area, the roads were not designed very well to handle bicycle traffic,” said Alan Snel, a Tampa resident and the director of the South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers.  The growth in Florida's major cities has made it even worse. (and the sad part is there are no plans to improve them)

In 2008, the most recent year for which federal statistics are available, 11.1 percent of the pedestrians killed in the United States died in Florida. The state also accounted for 17.4 percent of the bicyclist fatalities. By far, Florida led the nation in the number of bicyclists killed with 125 in 2008, which is the most recent year for which national data is available

(I know there are those who wanted to have an idea about some of the riders that were killed)
Unusually High Rate of Bicycle Accident Deaths Reveals Florida Has Most in Nation
As a Weston bicycle accident attorney, I know Florida has a high rate of bicycle crashes. But until the St. Petersburg Times examined the issue Dec. 6, I didn’t realize Florida had literally the most fatal bicycle accidents of any state, and the second-highest rate of fatal crashes per million of population. The newspaper examined the issue after the Tampa area saw nine fatal crashes since late July. It did not break down fatalities within the state, but said Florida had 125 bicycle accident deaths in the most recent year evaluated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That worked out to 6.82 deaths for every million people, a rate exceeded only by Delaware at 6.87 per million. In Tampa, 22 bicyclists were killed in 2009 and 30 in 2004.

A bicyclist told the newspaper that Tampa roads are not well designed to encourage sharing space between cars and bicyclists, but agreed with others that both groups need to treat the other with respect. In the nine cases from this year, the newspaper said, some were blamed on the rider and some on the driver. No serious charges were filed in any of the nine cases, although cases are still open in at least two cases, one with a hit-and-run driver. In the first of the series, 75-year-old LeRoy Collins Jr., whose father was once governor of Florida, was hit as he rode through a crosswalk in Tampa. The driver said she didn’t see him and no charges were filed. In another, 30-year-old Kayoko Ishizuka died in Tampa after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. That driver was charged with leaving the scene of the accident.

Those charges, and a few others described in the article, concerns me as a Pembroke Park bicycle accident lawyer. There may be more information about the case involving Collins, but if the driver “didn’t see” him because she failed to watch the road, criminal charges might be reasonable. Similarly, the driver in Ishizuka’s** death is facing only a leaving the scene charge, not that charge plus vehicular homicide. (It took over a week, for police, to find the motorist) A third victim, a 41-year-old math teacher, was rear-ended in Dade City by a motorist who apparently faces no penalties. It’s possible that all of these drivers truly had no way to avoid the crashes, but situations where that’s true are not common. What is common, in my experience, is bad driving caused by distractions, sleepiness, intoxication and other conditions under which no one should drive. It’s surprising that prosecutors didn’t feel they had evidence to bring charges in any of the nine cases. (Is there no justice?)
Fortunately, grieving families don’t have to rely on the decisions of the State’s Attorney’s office in order to get justice. Instead of or in addition to criminal charges, families can pursue bicycle accident lawsuits in civil court, with the help of the experienced attorneys. (Little consolation to the grieving families)
*  Since December, 3 more have died bringing the death toll to 12
** A brillant medical researcher at USF who was on a bicycle lane and following all traffic laws.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 19, 2011, 12:01:45 am
I have done a considerable amount of cycling around western Europe. After one such trip lasting about six or seven weeks we flew back to Miami in the US, sent our extra gear forward by bus, and cycled the coast roads back to my hometown. The hostility that contrasts the USA in general from many other countries became immediately perceptible.
In one place we stopped for refreshments I made a casual statement  to start a conversation. The answer I got was unbelievably unfriendly. I mentioned to the person we had been all over Europe and had talked to people everywhere we went, and had never once received such a rude response anywhere. He said something conciliatory after that, but there were other things too. You have to realize the US really is not one of the better advanced countries of the world.
In fact, when it comes to belligerence, violent crime, crime in general, imprisonment of its own population, and unwillingness to provide health care to the entire population, it is one of the worst of the world's advanced countries. I have traveled extensively through 36 countries, and have lived for many years abroad. The general attitudes of hostility in the US are obvious after having lived in better places and returning to the USA. Millions of people have left tha country and many say they would never go back under any circumstances.

It might not be just hostility against cyclists, but just a general attitude of hostility, and at any given time hostility toward anyone doing something different from what most others do. Whatever the case may be, I have definitely noticed a general underlying belligerence that becomes all the more noticeable after living in other countries and returning to the USA. I mean, you can take China with 1.3 billion people, and all of Russia and they still don't have as many people in prison as the US, and still crime in the US is rampant. Let's face it, something is seriously wrong with the social, political, economic structure in the USA that does not exist that way in many other countries. I have had routine problems cycling in the USA I never experenced even once in other parts of the world.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 19, 2011, 01:20:17 am
Westinghouse, I have to agree with you regarding riding in parts of Florida. Like you, I have cycled and toured in other parts of the world and although I love America, and would live nowhere else, these are truly troubling times. You have hit the nail, on the head, when you talk about "Hostility." However, it is more than hostility. It is an attitude which I can't fully define, a hardening, selfishness, and might is right.

When overseas, people wondered, why were there so many murders by gunfire in the U.S.  I could not answer them. One European pointed out that in the U.S., there were over 11,500 murders or accidents by gunfire in 2009. Many Europeans believe, living in America is like living in the Wild West. The numbers, in all of EU, was 3% to our number. In Australia, a few years ago, after a brutal shooting in Tasmania, of children, in a school, firearms were outlawed and the murder rate came down drastically. In Canada, 246. Based on their population of 30 million vs ours of 305 million, the U.S. should be more like 2,400. You would have thought, after the shootings, in Tucson, their would have been some reaction to gun control. There was none.

However, I figured out how to change attitudes. We have been going about this in the wrong manor. We need to work with the NRA and have Wayne Lapierre or Sarah Palin, ride a bicycle to work, then it might be more acceptable. However, our new governor, in Florida, would probably encourage them to carry a firearm, in their handlebar bags, creating another problem.  ::)
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 19, 2011, 03:06:06 am
This is not now and has never been a perfect world. Cycling through it is not going to make it one. The "might makes right" mentality does very often rule the roads. That's why the cyclist often must forget about who has the legal right-of-way and focus more on---What is the safest thing to do in this particular situation?

People who might force you out of your ROW with a car or truck and keep going would not dare try pushing you around in a face-to-face situation in a supermarket aisle for example. Roadway bullying is a reality. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's out there. What a major difference I noticed after a 70-day cycling tour in the UK, and cycling back in the USA. I even had a comment about it in a major, feature, newspaper article. The US is really quite belligerent in many places. The jails and prisons are overcrowded. Over 7 million people are either in jail, in prison, on probation, on parole, and crime is still rampant.  I agree, a certain kind of gross, pernicious selfishness lies at the heart of it. I don't have any solutions for it. I just look out for myself.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 19, 2011, 05:48:57 am
I'd be interested in knowing the demographics of the victims.  

I've ridden a lot in Orlando, Gainesville and Naples and a few times in the area around Mt Dora. Particularly in Orlando and Naples I've seen a great number of "utility" riders, mostly Hispanics, who ride out of necessity as the bike is their only means of transportation.  They seem completly unaware of traffic dicipline and proper riding technique.  They often ride on the "wrong" side of the road, and seem oblivious to driveways, cross streets, stop signs, etc.   Also, their bikes are mostly department-store quality which means the brakes are weak and unresponsive.  

Do these riders account for a lot of the victims?

I don't know. None of the guys I knew who were killed in my hometown were those sorts of fellows. However, one person was kind of oblivious when he cycled. I had seen him going through intersections as though he was the only person on the road. He was killed by an 18 year old guy, in a truck they say. Another guy was hit by a drunk driver who dragged him for something like a mile underneath the truck, and the driver was not even aware he had just run him over.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on February 19, 2011, 10:54:05 am
Yes we have our fair share of people who depend on their bicycles for transportation and yes who do ride on the wrong side of the road. However, I do not read about them in the above statistics.

I truly must apologize, to the forum, for my comments. When you try to work on change and being ignored, when twelve people are killed and not one person charged, I could no longer stay silent and had to voice my rage and igdenation. It is not always feasable, to pack up and leave, although the thought has crossed my mind . As they use to say, at the end of a 1960's television show, "The Outer Limits," we are now returning your television set to it normal settings. (Or something like that.) I thank you for reading my comments and for your responses.  :-X
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: tonythomson on February 20, 2011, 01:17:40 pm
There seems to be the same anti cycling mentality by certain motorists around the world, what is that all about?
I beg to differ. Here in New England Ive rarely encountered the kind of hostility the OP stated. And in riding from Boston to Seattle last year, I also didn't encounter anything from motorists like what was stated avove from Florida.
What I was trying to say is that you get these sort of threads are common certainly in USA UK & Australia.  I just don't understand certain motorists attitude towards cyclists.  and I''ll add USA is my favourate country to ride in and one I feel the safest in while riding.

just been to a motor museum and interestingly early motorists were abused and attacked by horse riders and pedestrians alike.  Even persecuted by the police, how things have changed  ;)
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: litespeed on February 20, 2011, 05:39:13 pm
Awf Hand wrote: "Drivers today have WAY too much going on in their cars.  If I can be seen 500 yards sooner..."

Many years ago I bought a blinking light that clipped on my belt called a Belt Beacon. It was about 3" in diameter and had a yellow fresnel lens. It was amazingly effective, especially after dark. When I wore it I could hear cars slow down, probably in bewilderment, hundreds of yards behind me. They no doubt wondered why this construction flasher was moving down the road in front of them. The manufacturer admitted that it was illegal in some states and probably illegal in others. It broke my heart when it corroded out.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on February 20, 2011, 11:25:24 pm
As they use to say, at the end of a 1960's television show, "The Outer Limits," we are now returning your television set to it normal settings. (Or something like that.)

"We now return control of your television set to you, until next week at this same time when the Control voice will take you to The Outer Limits."

http://www.crazyabouttv.com/outerlimits63.html
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 28, 2011, 05:35:32 am
A 21-year-old guy on a bike was just killed in Vero Beach on a road I have cycled many times. According to the news article, he was mowed down by an 83-year-old man driving a tour bus. It said for some unknown reason the driver pulled off the road to pass other traffic (an illegal move) and just slammed into the cyclist who was stopped at a traffic light waiting for the light to change. Just before that I was reading a nasty comment in the newspaper about cyclists using sidewalks. Florida---The dive or die state. Not much has changed here really.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 28, 2011, 01:20:57 pm
VERO BEACH — A tour bus driver going around traffic fatally rammed into a Vero Beach bicyclist stopped at a red light at the intersection of 43rd Avenue and 26th Street at 7:21 a.m. Friday, according to police officers.

The 21-year-old Vero Beach bicyclist, Nicholas Rybka, was pronounced dead shortly after at the Indian River Medical Center.

Traffic on the roadways was closed off until mid-morning, slowing up heavy commuter traffic including school buses.

Tour bus driver Robert DuBose, 83, of Vero Beach, was examined at Indian River Medical Center. He was alone in the American Coach bus owned by Midnight Sun Tours Inc. of Palm Beach. DuBose had been a driver for the company for several years, said Bret Brittenum, manager of American Coach Lines.

"We're saddened by the accident," Brittenum said.

The front passenger window of the bus was cracked from the impact.

Police continue to investigate the incident. The bus was northbound on 43rd Avenue when "for some unknown reason the bus driver left the right shoulder of the road's edge, passed several vehicles and hit the bicyclist," said police Officer Doug Bickford.

After the crash, the bus was on the north side of the intersection and the mangled bicycle was on the curb on the south side of the traffic light. Police are taking the bus in for a mechanical examination.

Brittenum said he did not know where DuBose was going at the time of the accident.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 28, 2011, 01:26:14 pm
This is what I mean when I say there are no guarantees in life, and nobody can guarantee your safe passage across town, much less across the country. These things happen all the time. I am from a small town and I have known or was familiar with several people who ended up being killed while cycling, and there have been quite a few more killed who I did not ever know at all. And this is just a small town here. It's criminal in many subtle ways.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on February 28, 2011, 01:31:39 pm
Yes we have our fair share of people who depend on their bicycles for transportation and yes who do ride on the wrong side of the road. However, I do not read about them in the above statistics.

I truly must apologize, to the forum, for my comments. When you try to work on change and being ignored, when twelve people are killed and not one person charged, I could no longer stay silent and had to voice my rage and igdenation. It is not always feasable, to pack up and leave, although the thought has crossed my mind . As they use to say, at the end of a 1960's television show, "The Outer Limits," we are now returning your television set to it normal settings. (Or something like that.) I thank you for reading my comments and for your responses.  :-X

I know what you're saying, and I have packed up and left---the entire country, and so have many more others than you will ever know. I love cycling across America. My ancestors were founders of the country. However, it's criminal nowadays and things have been getting worse. I can no longer support it in decency and good conscience. However,I like long distance cycling a lot.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: that guy on March 09, 2011, 10:07:41 pm
I lived in Tampa/St. Pete for seven years.

It's a scary place, and the riding is pretty awful even without the drivers.

Don't really miss it.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 12, 2011, 08:31:41 am
I am wondering what will happen when an SUV will cost $125 a tank to go 250 miles. In Tampa, that is about a weeks worth of driving. There should be a concertive effort to get the word out on bicycle commuting. If some of our politicians, took a trip to Amsterdam, they wouldn't have to visit one of those pot cafes to see that it really does work and with a healthier population might lower the cost of health care enough to fund some improvements in infrastructure. 
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 12, 2011, 01:37:50 pm
That's a good idea Tourista829, however, these days car making, car selling, and petroleum are where it's at. They constitute a major, big-time, powerful, economic, force. Look at some newspapers and what can you see splashed across page after page all across the country? Cars for sale. That's a lot of advertising money. No politico is going to change that all that much. I do agree with your opinion. A lot more people need to get exercise for their own good, and for the betterment of society.

Over the past twenty years nearly a million people have been slaughtered on the roadways of the USA alone. Many more than that have been hurt, maimed, and crippled. Millions have died from diseases caused or exacerbated by the air pollution. Dependence on oil has brought us war and god only knows what else in the future. And, despite all that, people still insist on motorized transportation even where it is obviously unnecessary. Anything that has such a powerful hold on the mass behavior of humanity that they will ignore the catastrophic consequences of that behavior in a headstrong plunge to fo faster and farther is not easily to be significantly reduced.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Quahog03 on March 13, 2011, 10:25:33 am
A 83 year old bus driver ? >:(
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 13, 2011, 11:19:52 am
Quahog03, you bring up a very interesting point. One would think school bus and safety would go hand in hand. However, where I live in New Tampa it is a bit of an oximoron. When I hear a school bus approaching from behind, roaring at full speed, I give it a "very" wide berth because, due to their size, give very little leeway. I may have to challenge you on the 83 year old driving a school bus. I saw the other day a bus packed full of young child, without set belts, speeding down a two lane road, with the driver on their cell phone, I stop and say a prayer for the children, other vehicles, and us cyclist who have to share the roads with them.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 13, 2011, 01:45:45 pm
It was a tour bus. I have seen their busses on the road. I was wondering if anyone read that.

83 years old driving a tour bus??? I'm not too sure about that.

Driving off the edge of the road to pass standing traffic at an intersection light is definitely against the law.

I have been run off the road several times, and my legal ROW has been violated many times with death the result if I had insisted on my legal ROW.

Florida really is the dive or die state.

The driver may be charged, but he won't really get in all that much trouble.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: MrBent on March 13, 2011, 03:14:41 pm
I think I'll leave Florida to all y'all and stay away, thank you very much.  Yikes.

Scott
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 13, 2011, 04:10:47 pm
Westinghouse, you are right, I forgot about the tour bus. I think what bothers me the most, is that you can hit a pedestrian or cyclist, down here and unless you are under the influence, you will not be charged.
It is ashame, with all the good weather we have, it should be a bicycling paradise. Mr. Bent, if you ride a recumbent, simply put, I wouldn't, in Florida.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 14, 2011, 04:13:54 am
Westinghouse, you are right, I forgot about the tour bus. I think what bothers me the most, is that you can hit a pedestrian or cyclist, down here and unless you are under the influence, you will not be charged.
It is ashame, with all the good weather we have, it should be a bicycling paradise. Mr. Bent, if you ride a recumbent, simply put, I wouldn't, in Florida.

It happens. The fact is, of the top 50 countries of the world the USA does not rank in the top 20. There are many reasons for this including cancer rates, overall health, infant mortality rates, percentage of population in the criminal justice system, crime and murder and violent-crime rates, healthcare, education, justice and equality before the law, equal rights and opportunities, corruption, and a lot of other matters such as one we mention here.

I have been to quite a few countries where life-in-general is quite a bit better overall than life in the USA.  Even where I am abroad now where social unrest and violence might possibly force us all to evacuate, the overall quality of life is better than in the United States. This better quality of life has held true in most all foreign countries I  have lived and worked in, and, whatever problems did develop were usually always the result of people from the USA.

I might add, most people seem to think their own country is the best. Even people from poor, forlorn, backwards, corrupt Ukraine in 1994 told me their own country was the best country in the world. Patriotic pride is  a reinforced emotionalism in most all countries, and it has its uses and purposes and advantages, and that is one thing, but objective truth should be based on concrete realities pertaining to matters that raise or lower the quality of life in the real and the tangible. My ancestors founded the USA. However, enough is enough. I am out of there. I will be advising my children to emmigrate to Canada or Western Europe when they get old enough.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 14, 2011, 08:58:25 pm
not to beat a dead horse, but another person was killed last night in St. Pete while riding a bike. 

However, I would like to say that my wife and I have been doing a lot of riding in the Northern part of the state lately and the driving habits of the good people up there are 180° different that what we have down here around the Tampa Bay area. We've experienced nothing but very polite, courteous, and extremely patient drivers. We actually felt as though we were back in Europe cycling to be quite honest with you. So with that being said, don't go all negative on Florida, it's a beautiful state and has some great cycling areas.

 
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 14, 2011, 09:39:49 pm
Ron I agree with you. I took a mini tour, last summer, from Tampa to St. Augustine and I agree with you 100%. People were nice and courtious and curious. Even the paper mill trucks, barreling down US19 did well. Their coming from behind was a welcome breeze, on a hot summers day. As you know, I am normally a positive person. I try to look on the positive side of things, but the statistics and the attitude of the authorities, in the Tampa Bay Area are troubling.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 15, 2011, 06:49:56 am
The fact is this is a dangerous and uncertain world and it always has been that way. There are no absolute guarantees in life. There might have been a cyclist sitting and having a meal in New Zealand thinking everything was safe and beautiful, and  then the earthquake struck, also Japan, Indonesia 7 years ago with 250,000 suddenly killed. People die unexpectedly every minute of every day all around the world. It is a constant fact of life and death. The optimist takes the view that such calamites will befall the other guy, but not himself. However, to everybody else on the planet the optimist is the other guy too. We are all the other guys / gals that can meet sudden death. Cycling is one way accidents can happen. Of that there is no doubt. Being vigilant and watchful, and internalizing safe cycling procedures can go a long way toward keeping yourself safe.

This is not to revel in the negative. It takes only one drunken person to end your life or ruin it to where life is worse than death.

Also, when motorists push through your legal ROW with the obvious attitude of get out of the way or die, you have to come to some kind of realization of how extremely belligerent, criminal and offensive that really is. If you were cycling down a sidewalk and someone was there swinging an axe back and forth and said you had to stop or go around him or lose your life, what would you think? That would be criminal, right? But, people can do essentially the same thing with their cars and trucks, and that is supposed to be acceptable. This is not a perfect world, OK? Despite the image people from la la land need to project, there is a whole lot wrong out there, and riding a bicycle does not make it go away.  I personally think that maps from ACA would tip the odds more in your favor if you use them on long or short tours by bicycle.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 15, 2011, 08:32:37 am
Westinghouse, I do agree with you, you have to be thankful for every day, because life, like cycling one never knows what is around the next corner. However, Tampa is my home and I shouldn't have to leave the area to feel safe to ride. I want to be able to commute to work and do my shopping on my bicycle. There are those who just say move. It is not alway so easy to just pick up, find a new job, and pay for the cost of a move. I also agree with you that the easiest way to get away with a homocide, is to run a bicyclist or a pedestrian over and say you never saw them. They never saw them because they have too much going on in their car and on their minds. Sometimes you have to vent, other times you have to act, and finally if all else fails move.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 15, 2011, 01:54:02 pm
Westinghouse, I do agree with you, you have to be thankful for every day, because life, like cycling one never knows what is around the next corner. However, Tampa is my home and I shouldn't have to leave the area to feel safe to ride. I want to be able to commute to work and do my shopping on my bicycle. There are those who just say move. It is not alway so easy to just pick up, find a new job, and pay for the cost of a move. I also agree with you that the easiest way to get away with a homocide, is to run a bicyclist or a pedestrian over and say you never saw them. They never saw them because they have too much going on in their car and on their minds. Sometimes you have to vent, other times you have to act, and finally if all else fails move.
 

They SAY they didn't see the person on the bike; however, that is not always the truth. They did see, but there is also an animal mind that told them it was only a person on a bicycle, and that did not pose the same deterrent as colliding with another car or truck.  In other words, if you hit him / her and the bike it will not harm you in the least.
Also, "I didn't see him" helps get the offender off the hook. I do not automatically assume that any stranger necessarily has good intentions either underlying, overt, stated, unstated, or otherwise.

Of course, there are legitimate accidents, but I am sure some that are called accidents are not really exactly accidents.

With that said, if I have the time and the money to do another long tour, I will most likely do it. I am not going to stay at home and hide under the bed.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 15, 2011, 02:10:53 pm
not to beat a dead horse, but another person was killed last night in St. Pete while riding a bike. 

However, I would like to say that my wife and I have been doing a lot of riding in the Northern part of the state lately and the driving habits of the good people up there are 180° different that what we have down here around the Tampa Bay area. We've experienced nothing but very polite, courteous, and extremely patient drivers. We actually felt as though we were back in Europe cycling to be quite honest with you. So with that being said, don't go all negative on Florida, it's a beautiful state and has some great cycling areas. 

I have done highway 90 twice in north Florida, 98 perhaps twice or three times, and another E-W / W-E road between 90 and 98. No problem whatsoever that I can remember, except for one person throwing a can of beer at me from a moving car. I believe that might have been Eileen Wuornos, and that was a long time ago on 98 between Perry and Wakulla Station, actually a short distance from where the Saint Marx bike-hike trail meets highway 98.

There is a stretch of highway 27 in south Florida / mid Florida that I would recommend to my worst enemy for cycling in winter.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: tonythomson on March 15, 2011, 03:56:37 pm
I'm from UK and always look forward to riding in USA, 99.99% positive and particularly Florida where I spend a lot of time.

I've found the same attitude in a minority of motorists all over the world.

Err who is Eileen Wuornos ? A disgruntled lover  ;)

Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 16, 2011, 06:10:47 am
I'm from UK and always look forward to riding in USA, 99.99% positive and particularly Florida where I spend a lot of time.

I've found the same attitude in a minority of motorists all over the world.

Err who is Eileen Wuornos ? A disgruntled lover  ;)

A disgruntled lover? No, thank god! She was a serial murderer. There is a movie about her titled. "Monster."
I think I spelled the name right. Google the name. It's there. Florida gave her a lethal injection. She did not exactly get a fair trial. A guy she killed in self defense had done serious prison time in another state for abducting and assaulting and battering women and raping them. The fact that guy had been convicted of what she was defending herself against was not brought in as evidence in court. I was cycling from Woodville, Florida to Stuart, Florida at the time.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 16, 2011, 06:39:08 am
Westinghouse, I do agree with you, you have to be thankful for every day, because life, like cycling one never knows what is around the next corner. However, Tampa is my home and I shouldn't have to leave the area to feel safe to ride. I want to be able to commute to work and do my shopping on my bicycle. There are those who just say move. It is not alway so easy to just pick up, find a new job, and pay for the cost of a move. I also agree with you that the easiest way to get away with a homocide, is to run a bicyclist or a pedestrian over and say you never saw them. They never saw them because they have too much going on in their car and on their minds. Sometimes you have to vent, other times you have to act, and finally if all else fails move.

Moving can be much easier said than done. And there is no guarantee things will be much better somewhere else. There are matters such as a house if you are buying or have bought one. Then there is employment, and the move itself.

You just have to be careful. Taking out cyclists seems to have taken on the aspect of a sport around my hometown. Violation of cyclists' ROW there is normal. I ought to know. Nobody ever said this was a perfect world. However, the vast majority of the time while cycling cross country there is no problem of that kind.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 17, 2011, 05:14:11 am
Another cyclist killed last night.  ???
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tandem4Rider on March 17, 2011, 06:41:44 am
Sad news to hear of yet another cyclist killed on the road.  If I can offer any sense of balance to a seemingly unbalanced situation - on my ride to work this morning had an SUV not only slow down, but WAIT for me to move over to the shoulder while they were merging into the travel lane which I was moving.  It does happen from time to time, iti s rare, but it really sticks out when it happens.  I'm in Harford County, Maryland, by the way.  Typically motorists just ignore cyclists enough to leave us alone, but not to the point that I feel unsafe.  I wish the best to others out there.  Be safe.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 17, 2011, 09:37:57 am
it appears that the last two fatalities were the fault of the cyclist. Riding at night with no lights, no reflective clothing, no helmet, and they pulled out in front of the vehicle.  
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 17, 2011, 04:46:47 pm
Links? Verification? Where, when, how? I posted an article with reference when I posted about the cycling fatality in Vero Beach. Mine is checkable and verifiable, and yours are not, yet.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 17, 2011, 06:58:03 pm
Links? Verification? Where, when, how? I posted an article with reference when I posted about the cycling fatality in Vero Beach. Mine is checkable and verifiable, and yours are not, yet.

Didn't think I had to prove it, but here you go!!

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/bicyclist-dies-in-st-petersburg-after-being-struck-by-two-cars/1157214

http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/bicyclist-killed-in-palm-harbor-crash/1157846
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 18, 2011, 09:49:18 am
So now we are up to 14 fatalities, in Tampa, within the last year. I agree, riding at night, even with proper lighting is dangerous, in Tampa, without lights is a suicide mission. We do have many poor or homeless people, who use their bikes for transportation. I would like to see if we can get more lighting into the hands of those who can not afford lighting. There should be a law put in place, like New York State has, that would make it illegal to use a cell phone, while driving. Like cyclist, drivers should only be driving. In Europe, most Europeans, concentrate on driving only. I would also like to see a law in place that there would be an automatic year suspension, of ones drivers license, if convicted of running over a cyclist or pedestrian. It might make some people think. Checking auto insurance rates, when we moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa the rates did not change. Our insurance agent said it was as dangerous to drive in Tampa as it was in South Florida.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: indyfabz on March 18, 2011, 11:21:07 am
There should be a law put in place, like New York State has, that would make it illegal to use a cell phone, while driving. Like cyclist, drivers should only be driving. In Europe, most Europeans, concentrate on driving only. I would also like to see a law in place that there would be an automatic year suspension, of ones drivers license, if convicted of running over a cyclist or pedestrian.

I assume you mean if the driver was at fault.  I mean, what if a pedestrian or cyclist were to simply dart out in front of you while driving.  Surely you don't think you should lose you license for a year.

And a cell phone ban does not work if it is not enforced.  We have had one here in Philadelphia for over a year now.  And across the river in NJ, there has been a ban in place for years.  Yet, during my 1.5 mile walk to work, I routinely see at least a dozen people with their hands on their phones doing one thing or another.  (The law prohibits you from operating the handset unless pulled over in a non-driving lane with the car in neutral.)  The city does a terrible job of enforcing the law, so people don't see much risk.  It's just like jaywalking.  So what? I won't get a ticket.  It's my understanding that New York does a much better job of enforcement.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 18, 2011, 12:04:30 pm
Only driver at fault, something has to be done. It probably wouldn't do any good since not one driver was yet to be charged. There is an aggressiveness down her. On the highway, I am in the far right lane, on a three lane part of I-75, doing 65mph in a 70mph and cars are flashing me. Where am I going to pull over, on the shoulder? Everyone is in a hurry. I saw a few weeks ago, a car hit a barrier taking out two cars. She had passed me on the Howard Franklin Bridge and yes, she was texting, driving fast, and irratic. Young female in her late teens or early twenties. I thought there was an accident waiting to happen. Five minutes later BAM.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 18, 2011, 02:28:15 pm
In the two articles I read only one cyclist was verified as not having lights or helmet, but if the other was a poor transient type, I will assume he did not have lights and a helmet either. I have seen quite a few homeless people on bikes around my hometown, and come to think of it, most all did not have lights or a helmet.

HOWEVER, in some conditions, no lights at night is irrelevant. It is a legal technicality, and has nothing to do with collision. If the street lights allow perfectly clear vision, and they press the "no lights at night" issue, I would suspect something is wrong. If the area is pitch dark, the moon is concealed behind clouds, and there is not sufficient room on the road for cycling, the cyclist with no lights is where he should not be, but headlights of cars coming from the rear give plenty of time of visual contact even in the darkest nights.

I use a blinking red light in the back, and a white light in the front.

Many more people die in car wrecks than on bicycles, and many of those deaths are caused or added to by head injuries. You would think that driving a car would require a helmet as much as fastened seat belts, but there is no law requiring it. Why is that? Nearly 1 million people had to be killed in car / truck collisions before they made a law requiring seat belts to be fastened at all times when driving. How many more must be slaughtered before drivers are required to wear protective head gear of some kind.


According to the articles, these guys turned in front of moving vehicles. I could have done that lots of times myself, except that the legal ROW was mine, and the moving vehicles were violating it aggressively. That's what I'm talking about.

I am too safe and careful a cyclist for anything like that to happen to me. I don't pull out in front of anyone.

Robenne: Thanks for the links. I just like to see these things for myself. That's why I posted the news article about the cyclist who was killed in Vero Beach. I did not want to give the impression that I might have been giving inaccurate or dishonest information.

Those two men were on bicycles, and were technically cyclists, but not cyclists like us. I don't think so anyway. I have cycled with people who ride bikes but who were not really "cyclists." The way they cycled and the way I cycled was way different. Cycling isn't rocket science, but there is definitely more to it than many people might understand.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 18, 2011, 04:25:58 pm
Westinghouse, where I live, few people signal, do not stop when they make right turns on a red, and run red lights. I was not a proponent of red light cameras and still not because they are not effective. I wish they would take some of the fine they collect and put it towards better infrastructure. When we went to the County, before they expanded Bruce B. Downs Bvld and they said "no" to shoulders, on a stretch of that road.

I use two rear lights. A Planet Bike Red Flashing Strobe Light, attached to the adjustment strap of my helmet. I believe the height helps the motorist see. I have a BM light on my rear rack. I also use, from ACO a neon triangle on my rack trunk. I have had people say the flashing strobe and the triangle, they picked up way out. I sometimes use a flashing white strobe up front. I believe in visability.

This is a state where motorcyclists are proud to ride without a helmet. I doubt seriously if they will ever have any laws to mandates helmets. Although under a certain age they do have a law for cyclists. We do have a seat belt law here.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 19, 2011, 04:35:34 am
I also have a bright red, goretex rain jacket, weather required, and bright red, long nylon sweat-pants so they can see me thousands of feet away before they get to where I am. I use flashing red on the back, flashing white on the front, or just a bright flashlight, and I wear a fluorescent vest with reflective strips when touring.  I do increase my visibility as best I can.

Not coming to a complete stop before turning right on red (the Hollywood stop) is a very common occurrence I would guess just about everywhere, which is one reason a cyclist cannot just assume he can go because the rules say motorist will have to stop. When it comes to turn signals from motorists, if I had pulled across an intersection based solely on reading turn signals on vehicles in oncoming traffic, I would have been killed a long time ago. To make a life or death decision based on the assumption that all those people in the oncoming traffic will follow the rules would be foolhardy, suicidal even. No. Not me. I am safety conscious. If I ever got hit, it would most definitely be the driver's fault, not that it would be recorded as such though. When I first started cycling I read lots of books on the subject, including books on safe cycling, bicycle touring, mechanics, etc. I didn't just hop on and go.

This is off topic, but right now cycling is the least of the worries. Snipers murdered about 45 peaceful demonstrators a short distance from where I live and work. The yelling and the screaming of the crowd, and the shots were audible to me. The US embassy here is under threat of mass murder, and that threat is serious and very real. Fifteen people were killed there in 2008. Some people set a large fire the full width of the roadway so the demonstrators had no avenue of escape, effectively hemming them in,  then multiple snipers opened fire from rooftops. Most injuries were headshots, neck shots, and upper body shots aimed at killing, not just warning or pot shots. Children were murdered in this. The cousin of one of my students died from injuries.

I realize that has nothing to do with cycling, but when people are being mass-murdered in the neighborhood where you live, it is not easy to keep quiet about it.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 19, 2011, 11:58:00 am
Westinghouse, where are you in Libya or Bahrain?
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: johnsondasw on March 19, 2011, 01:24:33 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.


No one has answered this question yet and it was asked a month ago.  Even the moderator tried to squelch it.  Why?  this is totally pertinent to the topic.  I have adjusted countless times over the past 30+ years to what I saw in the mirror, even leaving the road on occasion.  You have to accept that drivers are sometimes not paying attention--eating, texting, etc.  I have even seen a couple engaged in, um, you know, it was oral, and one of them was the driver!   

I would not ride around the block without a mirror.  You have no idea if you are going to get hit without one.  I had a friend tell me he didn't need one because he has exceptional hearing.  You can kind of hear how far behind a car is, but can you discern how close laterally it is coming to you?  We are talking about a difference of just a very few feet here. For me, I feel I am not taking all proper responsibility for my own safety without one.  In addition, I wear all high-vis gear, use multiple lights at night, ride very defensively all the time, trying to anticipate what drivers will do, etc.


So if we are really going to have a valid discussion about cyclists getting hit, this is one component that I feel cannot be ignored.   
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 19, 2011, 02:10:19 pm
Westinghouse, where are you in Libya or Bahrain?

Well, some place like that, but I think it would be best not to be specific, this being an open-to-the-entire-world internet forum. A colleague here was interviewed by the BBC--anonymously-- if you know what I mean. You can't be too sure how matters might develop, or what might happen next. The embassy is saying to get out while it is still possible to do so.

There isn't too much cycling in these parts. I have to be ready to evacuate under duress.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 19, 2011, 02:42:25 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.


No one has answered this question yet and it was asked a month ago.  Even the moderator tried to squelch it.  Why?  this is totally pertinent to the topic.  I have adjusted countless times over the past 30+ years to what I saw in the mirror, even leaving the road on occasion.  You have to accept that drivers are sometimes not paying attention--eating, texting, etc.  I have even seen a couple engaged in, um, you know, it was oral, and one of them was the driver!   

I would not ride around the block without a mirror.  You have no idea if you are going to get hit without one.  I had a friend tell me he didn't need one because he has exceptional hearing.  You can kind of hear how far behind a car is, but can you discern how close laterally it is coming to you?  We are talking about a difference of just a very few feet here. For me, I feel I am not taking all proper responsibility for my own safety without one.  In addition, I wear all high-vis gear, use multiple lights at night, ride very defensively all the time, trying to anticipate what drivers will do, etc.


So if we are really going to have a valid discussion about cyclists getting hit, this is one component that I feel cannot be ignored.   

The fact is, I have never used a rearview mirror on a bicycle. I am for it 100%, but I haven't used one. I tried using one of those small mirrors that clips on to a cap or helmet, but it bothered me that is was blocking my side vision, and I couldn't stand that. I talked to someone who took a long tour on bike, and he told me that his rearview mirror actually saved his life. I did not know this person, but I remember how he described an experience he had on the road, and I was left with the impression that what he said actually had happened.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: whittierider on March 19, 2011, 03:11:33 pm

A safety thread that doesn't mention mirrors would be like talking about the dangers of jumping out of airplanes and never mentioning a parachute.  Helmets have been mentioned but they can't do anything to actually avoid the accident, only try to minimize the resulting injury.

I always use the mirror, but the time I myself think it most likely saved my life was when I was climbing a twisting, very narrow mountain road with no shoulder at all and a sharp dropoff on the other side of the guardrail, and there were lots of RVs whose renters didn't know how wide they are, and lots of trailers pulled by pickups whose drivers forget that just because the pickup clears you doesn't mean the trailer won't kill you.  You cannot tell that by hearing!  I had to continually control the traffic behind me, telling them when they could and could not pass.

Quote
I had a friend tell me he didn't need one because he has exceptional hearing.

So do I, but mirrors are required even in convertibles with the top down where traffic is not habitually passing you (as it is when you're riding bike) and the windshield prevents most of the wind noise in the ears.  They are required for every other vehicle on the road.  Why not bikes?  I got my first mirror in 1982 after getting hit from behind while motionless at a traffic light by a car that sounded like it was going to stop.  I can't tell you how many car-hits-bike accidents I read of that clearly could have been avoided with a mirror.  It's not just to see behind.  When you really learn to use one, you get a surprising amount of control over the traffic behind you.  You also need to know what's behind in order to make the best decision on how to safely avoid or evade a situation developing up ahead.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: FredHiltz on March 19, 2011, 04:21:37 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.
No one has answered this question yet and it was asked a month ago.  Even the moderator tried to squelch it...

I wrote "Lots of talk about mirrors in other threads. Try a search from the main forum page to check it out." I am sorry you interpret that as squelching Tony's question. It was intended to point out many answers already written.

Fred
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 19, 2011, 06:20:54 pm
Westinghouse, I completely understand. Being over there, and listening to the BBC, one does not want to draw attention. Out of respect, to Fred our moderator, I did not post comments on the mirrors. We use them on all our bicycles. The Ortlieb from ACO Store on our touring bicycles. We like it. We even have two mirrors on our tandem. I have noticed few cyclists, using a mirror, here in Tampa. Congrats on your 700th post.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 19, 2011, 10:24:19 pm
Number 15


http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/march/220909/Bicyclist-hit-and-killed-near-Tampas-Tampania-Road
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: johnsondasw on March 19, 2011, 11:08:50 pm
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.
No one has answered this question yet and it was asked a month ago.  Even the moderator tried to squelch it...

I wrote "Lots of talk about mirrors in other threads. Try a search from the main forum page to check it out." I am sorry you interpret that as squelching Tony's question. It was intended to point out many answers already written.

Fred

Thanks Fred.  My bad. I misinterpreted your statement as implying the post was not important or relevant.  My apologies.

Doug
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 20, 2011, 07:44:26 am
 Tourista829. OK. Thanks. I had no idea I had just hit post 700. Right now we have four female teachers here who are leaving, and with this being a small, specialized program, another guy and I are having to mix all class levels into one to take other teachers' students. However, if out and out war breaks loose, we will be forced to evacuat. There are snipers and terrorists. People are being murdered en mass. It's for real. I ought to be walking around here with a rearview mirror.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 20, 2011, 11:42:10 am
You and your associates, will be in our thoughts and prayers. Might want to curtail your riding until things calm down. They postpond a big autorace due to the unrest. People deserve to be free. Be safe, my friend
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 21, 2011, 02:21:35 pm
You and your associates, will be in our thoughts and prayers. Might want to curtail your riding until things calm down. They postpond a big autorace due to the unrest. People deserve to be free. Be safe, my friend

I know I'm being cautious. The other teacher's wife just packed and left. The students just told me they consider it too dangerous to come here to study. People are quite on edge. There are no real guarantees in life.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 21, 2011, 09:52:47 pm
One can never be too cautious. The problem is, that most times it is a difficult situation to read. However, this is not one of them, with snipers on the roof, mercenaries, and foreign troops......I always want to have an exit plan. Not always easy to get out when you have to. If our State Dept. says it is time to go, I would heed there advise. I hope you don't wait until you have to take a bicycle and try to make it to the border or to a port.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 22, 2011, 07:33:17 am
One can never be too cautious. The problem is, that most times it is a difficult situation to read. However, this is not one of them, with snipers on the roof, mercenaries, and foreign troops......I always want to have an exit plan. Not always easy to get out when you have to. If our State Dept. says it is time to go, I would heed there advise. I hope you don't wait until you have to take a bicycle and try to make it to the border or to a port.

I'm not cycling here. Bike shops vary quite a lot, but most seem to be department store type bikes, but no dept. store, just small, hole-in-the-wall type stores. BBC sent a note asking for my phone # for an interview. I haven't sent it. The crisis is escalating.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 22, 2011, 08:31:38 am
I guess, I should be thankful to be cycling in Tampa. There are far worse places to be. Although, our "lets get to work," governor Rick Scott, (who was resoundingly booed at a Yankee game in Tampa) and our state legislature are about to allow all Floridians to "strap on" a gun, kind of like the old west. Should be great for our tourism industry. It would give new meaning to the movie "High Noon."  ::)
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 22, 2011, 08:39:48 am
Come on Bob keep it to cycling!
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: mucknort on March 22, 2011, 10:57:08 am
The fact is, I have never used a rearview mirror on a bicycle. I am for it 100%, but I haven't used one. I tried using one of those small mirrors that clips on to a cap or helmet, but it bothered me that is was blocking my side vision, and I couldn't stand that.

One wouldn't drive a car/truck without a mirror and it makes no sense to ride a bike without one. To be able to ride defensively you can't just see what is in front of you. The little clip on mirrors don't work for me either, but a high quality glass mirror doesn't vibrate or distort your view:

(http://www.mirrycle.com/product%20images%20large/mountain_mirror.jpg)
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 24, 2011, 08:31:36 am
Mucknort, I have that mirror on my commuter bike and it works very well. It can be adjusted in many ways. Ron, apologies, you live near Tampa, you know what I deal with, but I feel hopeful today. Spring is here, we have a new mayor, and I am going to try to get a walking or bike path down County Line road. (I be happy with a side walk) There is a rumor that they maybe widening it. With my new schedule at work, and the time change, I will be able to commute a couple of days a week. Ron do you have any interesting rides planned this year? I may ride to Ft. Myers and spend a couple of days in Key West.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 24, 2011, 12:16:16 pm
Looks like all our students have cancelled for fear of commuting into this area. I can't say as I blame them. The program has ended. I am flying back to Florida. Looks like my plans for a winter ST ride was not to be. However, I have the option of returning here after all the hell settles down.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: pptouring on March 24, 2011, 06:26:15 pm
No need to apologize Bob it's all good. I come here to escape all the crazy drama (Politics mostly) happening around the world, kind of like my "Happy Spot", so when you start going off on Politics, it makes this not a "Happy Spot."  ;D 

Yes we are heading to Europe again. Visiting family/friends in Germany, but the real vacation will be when we get off the train in Sofia, Bulgaria. Riding from there to Bucharest, Romania and then we'll be working our way through Transylvania and finishing up in BudaPest, Hungary. From Pest we'll train back to Germany for a few more days then fly home.
Title: Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on March 24, 2011, 11:01:04 pm
Ron, I certainly understand. I will keep it ;D What an interesting and ambitious trip to the old communist block. I hear Bulgaria is nice, alot of Germans like to take their holiday there. You know, there are vampires in Transylvania. Your pictures should be spectacular. We wish you a fun and safe trip.

I saw, in a post, you are riding a Brooks B17, how do you like it? My Brooks Professional is still holding up. I have been riding it for almost 15 years. You got to hand it to Brooks. We spoke with Alex Dowd from Villin Cycles, a while back, who use to ride a Brooks Saddle and replaced it with a Sella Royal Gel Saddle. Virtually no break in and he has ridden it over 100 miles a day. He told Dottye and I that it is more comfortable, this while we were in Gainesville, having lunch at Satchel's.
Title: Re: 14th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on March 29, 2011, 11:43:56 am
The program closed. Snipers shot and  killed 45-52 antigovernment demonstrators. Thay had them by the thousands along a roadway, and hemmed them in by setting a large fire across the road to prevent escape by running down the road. Snipers opened fire with lethal shots mostly to the head, neck, and torso. I could hear it but could not see it. I saw one child shot through the heart. Students would not commute into the area. The program closed. On October 6, 2010 I was at the British embassy the morning militants attempted assassinating the British vice ambassador with a rocket propelled grenade. Oh well. Libya has the oil so I suppose that is the only flash point you will be getting news about through the establishment media.
Title: Re: 14th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on April 01, 2011, 02:20:15 pm
I am back in SE coastal Florida. I am cycling quite a bit. Nobody I know has been mowed down here lately on his / her bike. I guess that's one good sign.
Title: Re: 15th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: litespeed on April 10, 2011, 08:24:05 am
I just got back from a quick trip to and from Savannah GA from my home here in Holiday, about 30 miles NW of Tampa. No problems whatsoever except for arrriving exhausted in both places. I did the 400+ miles heavily loaded in four days each way. (At 70 I have to learn to take it easy. Or at least easier.). I have done this route numerous times. Florida isn't the best bicycling state but it's certainly manageable. I haven't even heard a cross word or any sign of hostility from a motorist in this state in years. I don't get in their way and they don't bother me.

I wouldn't live anywhere else (except maybe Latin America). And you can't beat the weather.
Title: Re: 15th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: tonythomson on April 10, 2011, 04:11:07 pm
Lightspeed, that is awesome distance covered in 4 days, well impressed.  Especially if it was as hot as it was today  riding the West Orange Trail.  That's nice ride if you just want to meander for the day.

Took my '52 Murray out as it wasn't raining!! Bet you wouldn't do your trip on that  ;D
Title: Re: 15th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Tourista829 on April 10, 2011, 04:38:47 pm
Litespeed you are an inspiration to all. I am turning 60 this year and 400 miles in four days is impressive at any age. I live off of County Line Road near Wesley Chapel. I would be interested in your route from Holiday to Savannah. We like to ride from our house to Tarpon Springs, have lunch and back 62 miles. I just had a stint put in so no cycling for me for a month. Like you, I do not have trouble in other parts of Florida and you can not beat the weather.
Title: Re: 15th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: litespeed on April 10, 2011, 05:38:05 pm
My route from Holiday to Savannah:
I pick my way through developments to Starkey Park Trail and the Suncoast Parkway Trail.
Up the Suncoast Trail to SR50 and east a few miles to Brooksville.
N on 41 to Floral City and on the Withlacoochee Trail to Inverness.
E on 44 to the Wildwood KOA.
N on 229 (right next to the KOA) to 466 and E to 301.
N on 301 to 42.
E on 42 to 19.
N on 19 and 445 to 40.
E on 40 to 11
N on 11 and US1 to 312.
E on 312 to A1A. St Augustine Beach KOA one block south just off A1A.
N on A1A to Mayport Ferry and on to Amelia City.
Buccaneer Trail and Amelia Parkway (shortcut) to A1A by bridge and E to Yulee.
US17 to Savannah.

I'm not really bragging about covering so much ground. I should cool it and take it a lot easier but this is a route I have covered so much that I just get out and hammer. My heart is also showing signs of weakness (Arrythmia and needs a lot of hydration). Also, this route lets me KOA it all the way.
Title: Re: 15th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
Post by: Westinghouse on April 11, 2011, 01:24:26 pm
That's pretty good. I rarely do a 100 mile day, and four like that is even rarer. I am considering taking off on another tour now that I am back in the US for a while.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Spring Hill
Post by: Tourista829 on April 11, 2011, 03:41:24 pm
16th cyclist killed on US 19 in Spring Hill north of Tampa in Hudson County. Cyclist hit by a silver Chevy Silverado and dragged a ways and the motorist fled from the scene. The cyclists was on the shoulder. TV news did not indicate any wrong doing by the cyclist. I wish, if someone saw this, that they would step up and do the right thing.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Spring Hill
Post by: litespeed on April 11, 2011, 04:42:47 pm
The cyclist was killed on US19 up by Weeki Wachee Springs. He was a young guy from Spring Hill in Hernando County. For the full story go to:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/patrol-seeks-help-finding-driver-who-killed-bicyclist-in-hernando-crash/1162976

Since they have pieces of the truck he will probably be caught.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Spring Hill
Post by: Tourista829 on April 11, 2011, 07:59:06 pm
Thanks Litespped for the update and your route to Savannah. I caught it quickly on the noon news on our ABC affiliate. Sorry it wasn't accurate. I hope they do catch the guy. The sad thing was the guy who hit the Japanese research assistant, who also fled the seen and they eventually caught, they never charged him with vehicular homicide. After researching things I believe some were the cyclist at fault but to not charge any driver is wrong. I never gave it much thought, about getting hit when cycling, I think of it a lot now.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: jimbo on April 11, 2011, 09:20:47 pm
Three weeks ago a father and 17 yr old son were killed by a drunk driver at 9AM on Sunday on "River Road" in Wilmington NC. The road has a bike lane and I am certain is part of the ACA route from the Southport Ferry at Fort Fisher and then through Wilmington.  I ride that route 12x yr when I visit my daughter.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Westinghouse on April 12, 2011, 01:48:10 pm
Hit and run is supposed to be a serious crime. I just now read that article. The driver fled the scene and there might have been reasons for that, all of them bad. First, he might have been drunk, and he figured it was better to get caught later and sober for hit and run than it was to stay at the scene and get arrested for vehicular homicide while drunk. Second, he / she might have been driving with a suspended license, another reason for not hanging around to face the consequences. Also, the driver might have been an illegal alien, or someone dodging the law, or someone with so many DWIs and traffic tickets that the judge swore to throw the book at him if he ever showed up in court again for a traffic violation. The driver might even have been transporting contraband goods such as drugs or such. Who knows why someone would flee the scene of a fatal collision? I am only guessing why someone would hit and run like that. All these incidents underscore the importance of being vigilant and aware out there.

To fatally collide with someone on a bike, and to just keep going and leave him there dying on the side of the road is a low piece of work, but what can anyone say. It happens.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: litespeed on April 12, 2011, 02:42:06 pm
Let's face it, touring cyling is inherently somewhat risky. We could get hit anytime by a drunk, a distracted teenager on facebook, a mother tending to her fussing baby in the back seat, etc. We are at a distinct disadvantage riding on a 25 pound vehicle on the road while most everyone else is in a much faster 3000+ pound vehicle. All we can do is be as careful as possible. Or stay home.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Westinghouse on April 13, 2011, 01:06:33 pm
This world has never been all that safe. The main keys to safe cycling are the right roads, vigilance, safety, and caution. We cannot as cyclists control all the variables that might lead to disaster, but we can act to minimize the likelihood that potential hazards will become real dangers that befall us.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: mucknort on April 13, 2011, 04:53:00 pm
.... but we can act to minimize the likelihood that potential hazards will become real dangers that befall us.

One way to do that is to take a L.A.B. Bicycle Safety Course. My wife, 11 year old son, and I took their course before riding across the U.S. last year. Our main reason for doing it was to help prepare our son, but my wife and I both learned a good deal even though we'd both been riding/touring for many years/miles. I highly recommend it!!!
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Tourista829 on April 13, 2011, 09:56:47 pm
Mucknort great idea! One tip could be life saving. I am ultra cautious, very visible and try to choose routes that are as safe as possible. However, I believe when your number is up well it is up. In this part of Florida it may happen a little quicker. Westinghouse, when a driver drags a cyclist for a while he is either impaired or just doesn't care. Anyone who leaves, the scene of an accident can be summed up in one word, "Coward."
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: ronn12 on April 14, 2011, 03:41:44 am
IM from FLA and what i read here i.ll take a dam bus before i ride down there. MY Mom say,s not cycle down there take bus. or just be smart. driver there are all A.. holes!!
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Westinghouse on April 19, 2011, 01:23:53 pm
I am 100% for taking good safety courses. Your average person might not be aware of the special kind of awareness required for cycling safely in traffic and for watching and reading roads, paths, and sidewalks for the many imperfections which to a person in a car are not perceptible, but which to a cyclist can be major slams to his wheels, frame, and ultimately his own anatomy. Quitre a few of the people I knew who were killed while cycling were not actually what I would consider to be skilled cyclists. They were just people who chose to ride bikes locally. I doubt any of them ever opened a book on safe cycling.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Tourista829 on April 20, 2011, 09:21:33 am
Two areas to watch. If on a bike/walking path, parallel to the road, where cars come out of developments, they do not always stop at the stop sign prior to crossing the bike/walking path. Due to poor design, once the car is waiting to make a right or left turn, it blocks the bike path. This may also apply to sidewalks, which are very dangerous, because drivers truly are not expecting a cyclist.

Another dangerous situation is when there is no bike lane and you have cars in a right turning lane. There may not be enough clearance between the two lanes.

Observing drivers, on the way to work, more than half are on cell phones, texting, or putting on make up. Only a very few I noticed actually signal a lane change.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: pptouring on April 20, 2011, 01:10:07 pm
another one drilled today just south of Tampa. Apparently he pulled out in front of the van!  :o
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Tourista829 on April 20, 2011, 01:23:47 pm
pptouring did the cyclist survive? Do you have a location? Any details you could share would be appreciated. Thanks
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Westinghouse on April 20, 2011, 04:42:51 pm
I'm not believing this. That many people are getting run down around Tampa? What is it, open season on cyclists there? Exactly which types of cyclists are being killed? There are tourists who plan and pay attention to safety and act with caution and vigilance. Then, there are those who just jump on a bike and go. I surely do not know the facts here, but I imagine those being run down are those who just get on a bike and go without even thinking about the special precautions a cyclist must be aware of.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: tonythomson on April 20, 2011, 08:43:30 pm
Well if it was the guy we met I'm not  surprised.  He came from our right onto the main highway at speed trying to do -I think- a U turn .  Going at speed carrying something so it was a one handed maneuver. 
He came right out in front of our car and only a quick swerve and luckily nothing on our left saved him.
Have to admit he looked scared so let's hope he learnt something.

It is guys like this that get cyclists a bad name.  Even i exclaimed in the heat of the moment "bl***y cyclists!"  then remembered I'm one  :D
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: pptouring on April 21, 2011, 08:19:03 am
I really don't like my integrity being questioned!  ;)

http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/april/235488/Bicyclist-killed-on-US-19-near-Palmetto.html
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: pptouring on April 21, 2011, 08:37:08 am
... but I imagine those being run down are those who just get on a bike and go without even thinking ...

Correct! Although there have been a few killed that were doing everything right. Mostly it's the ones riding during darkness with no lights, dark cloths, riding the wrong way, etc... that are being hit/killed. I do a lot of commuting in the bay area (130 miles this week alone) and to be honest I rarely have any issues and I think it's because I am riding as if I were driving my car; meaning I obey the laws of the road. In fact, yesterday I had a driver say, "Thank you for stopping at the STOP sign, you're the first one I've ever seen stop! Have a great day!" It was a 4 way, he was there first and had every right to go first, but he waved me through after I stopped and gave me props and I politely return my thanks to him.
Title: Re: 16th Cyclist Killed In Tampa & Weeki Watchee, Fl.
Post by: Westinghouse on April 21, 2011, 03:08:13 pm
Tourista829 started this thread saying it was not the place to air views, and not it looks like this thread might be the liveliest one on the board. Nothing else teaches the need for safety and caution better than mass casualties on the roadways. That's one thing that will get everyone's attention.

The guy in the van was 22, a less experienced driver perhaps, and it is possible that a more experienced driver might have been able to prevent the fatal coillision, but I was not there and did not see what happened. It's beginning to seem like cycling in that part of the state could be quite dangerous, but if nonsafe cyclists just get on a bike and go, it may lead to even more deaths. Cycling is a little more demanding of good sense and safe measures than many people might believe it is.
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: pptouring on April 28, 2011, 08:58:11 pm
not killed, but busted up pretty good. 2 on a tandem run stop sign and hit a truck. Oh and they may have been drinking too!

I suppose if you're going to dumb, you better be tuff!

http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/april/238464/Two-bicyclists-seriously-hurt-after-collision-with-truck-in-St.-Pete
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Tourista829 on April 28, 2011, 10:13:57 pm
Westinghouse, you were right, because there are many who know it is terrible on the roads around Tampa and really don't want to see this. I was just outraged by the attitude of drivers and law enforcement with not one person charged. Hillsborough County should be ashamed of themselves, they have some of the worse infrastructure for cyclist. Pasco County has made an excellent effort to really improve their infra structure. I have learned some important lessons from the feed back on this forum. Thank y'all for reading this and contributing. Safety first, second obey ALL traffic rules, and third slow down. It may be some of the riders fault but the statistics still say, cyclist be aware no matter where you ride. 
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: pptouring on April 29, 2011, 05:40:17 am
Hey Bob, Pinellas County, believe it or not, is not bad. As you know they have the Pinellas Trail, Progress Energy Trail, EAST/WEST Trail, and many of the main roads (excluding US19) have bike lanes. Pasco has come a looooooonnnnngggg way over the last couple years and it appears they are working faster to catch up. It would be nice to see more signage and/or education for both cyclist and motorist, but in the meantime we'll have to take what we can get.   
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Tourista829 on April 30, 2011, 11:37:10 am
pptouring, we like Pinellas County and have ridden the Pinellas Trail from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete. They did a great job with the overpasses. It is not advisable to ride near St. Pete since there has been some cyclist robbed of money and their bikes, so mow we go as far as Semiole. We also like to ride our bikes from New Tampa to Tarpon Springs and back a perfect metric 100. Once my Dr. clears me to ride again (recent stint) I will again brave riding in Tampa. I plan to ride from Flatwoods Park to my office at E. Hillsborough and 56th. (15 miles each way) Bruce B Downs is a huge mess, and the construction will not be done for another two years. The other day while waitng at a traffic light I saw a cyclist getting a tongue lashing from a construction worker. The poor guy was trying to get to get to work and did not speak much English. When he asked the construction worker where could he go, he answered, "you and  your other cyclists can go directly to hell." It was disgraceful but I was not surprised. Here in lies the true problem, a lack of respect. How do we change attitutes on both sides?
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Tourista829 on May 18, 2011, 11:26:57 pm
Today 50 plus cyclists did a silent 11 mile ride to honor the 14 dead in Tampa proper. Our new mayor, Bob Buckhorn, will lead a group of cyclist on Thursday May 20 from Davis Island to Downtown Tampa. (I believe tomorrow is commute to work by bicycle day) Maybe there is hope.
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Tourista829 on May 24, 2011, 07:39:42 am
On a bright note, the ceo of my company wrote us an email about supporting bicycling in the USA. With the approval, of my vice president, I wrote back to him about his message and the obstacles encountered for bicycle commuters, at our location. He wrote back and I believe progress is being made. They found the contractor, dropped the ball, on the outside bicycle rack. He told them the rack is still on backorder. They told him to find another source. They are also looking into providing showers and a locker room for us to change. We will be able to keep our work clothes there and not have to carry them, on our bicycles to work. My next project is to try to meet with the mayors of both Tampa and Wesley Chapel and see if we can get them to put in a bicycle/walking path on some of the more dangerous roads.
Title: Re: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee
Post by: Westinghouse on May 24, 2011, 11:16:00 am
I have heard of active pro-bicycle advocacy. Accomodating bicycle commuters at the work place is one way companies promote cycling.