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Sep-02-16 07:03 am
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

        Only a few days ago, only a few miles from this Baltimore County, Maryland sign*(attached), a cyclist died in a collision with a pickup truck.  Because the rider was too dead to tell his story, the driver did: "the biker lost control and crashed into his pickup."**     
       Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first rider killed or injured on these bucolic country roads. Seems like these pesky bicyclists are a real threat to horses -- and pickups.
    After more than four decades of riding back roads and passing many scores of horses, I can tell you exactly how many have “shied.”  Precisely zero.  None. Not one. Never happened.  The problem described on the sign is a rare -- far less than 1% -- occurrence.
    On the other hand, I have many times almost been run off the road by massive pickups pulling even bigger horse trailers. And I can tell you  how often I am passed much closer than the legally-mandated three feet on the very same roads in the sign. Many times.  On. Every. Single. Ride.  It’s a 99% problem.
    That doesn’t mean this sign is wrong.  It makes a good point.  One of the most stirring sights you can see from a bike is a gaggle of these horse persons sprinting across a field after a pack of hounds.  I not only yield;  I marvel at the beauty of the spectacle.
    I just wish drivers would remember this “share the road” stuff when they get down off their high horses…and into their Lincoln Navigators.

    *If you’re having trouble reading the sign, it says:
CYCLISTS
Please be careful when approaching horses
Because bikes are so quiet horses do not hear you coming.
When they do see you, they will shy, endangering their lives and
The lives of their riders. Please let the riders know you are there.
SLOW DOWN OR STOP
Give the horses a chance to cross the road.
Riders and horses have been hurt from cyclists
Particular problem areas have been at
Butler, Cold Bottom and Mantua Mill Rds.
Please enjoy these roads as much as we do and
SHARE THE ROAD

    ** Funny: this is the same thing the driver of the truck that hit me a couple years back said.  Since I wasn’t dead, the police and the insurance company didn’t believe that lie.

Feb-05-16 09:20 pm
A New Low In the Annals of Bike Safety
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

Below is the text of an email I just sent to Bicycling in the wake of their March issue, which reaches a new low in the annals of bicycle safety.  This is a widely read publication that represents cycling to the public, including kids.  I've written to Bicycling before, critical of their disregard for safety by featuring both ads and stories that picture cyclists in low-visibility kits.  But that's NOTHING compared to the current issue on ... wait for it... bicycling with DOGS!  I encourage you to write to them expressing your concern.  Don't expect them to print the letters or respond.

Folks — What a clever idea!  An April Fool’s issue in March!  Wow! Wow!  Wow! A cover story dedicated to riders who have a lower IQ than their pets!

What an amazing cover!  A rider who is wearing a dog instead of a helmet!  Who would have thought of that?

And what a GREAT shot of Dylan, pulling his master down a street at night while, without a helmet, he rides with his feet on the handlebars!  And there’s Inyo, whose master doesn’t need a helmet, either, because Inyo stabilizes the front of the bike!

Wait! Wait! There’s more: a woman riding helmetless down a rain-slick street at dusk, with no reflectors or lights.  And what a great “Know How” section, as our savvy bike builder demonstrates how smart it is to ride around rainy Seattle all dressed in black — and, of course, with no helmet.

And what’s this?  A story about helmets on page 99?  What on earth would anybody need one of those for?

Next year, how about whole issue dedicated to letting your kids play with handguns on the back of your tandem?

Cheers, Greg Conderacci

Oct-12-10 11:14 am
Warning and Feedback on the Conover Road Bridge
Forum: Road Problems

Yeah, the bridge is bad enough when coming from the west, where the approach is a slight uphill. (That was how it got me.) It is absolutely fatal from the east, where it is at the bottom of a fairly steep hill.  (I know that's how it's got others.)  It's not like a simple road hazard (e.g. pothole or crack), that you can see and know should be avoided.  The bridge looks just like a regular metal grate bridge and you can't just go around it.

Oct-11-10 11:35 pm
Warning and Feedback on the Conover Road Bridge
Forum: Road Problems

Just west of the Carrol County town of Harney and just south of the Pennsylvania line, there is a steel bridge on Harney Road/Conover Road that crosses Marsh Creek.  Although there are a lot of rides in this area, few go over this bridge -- for good reason.  I was just wandering in the area earlier this year when I attempted to ride over the bridge -- and instantly crashed.
Although it LOOKS like a normal steel grate bridge, it is NOT.  The unique design of the bridge produces the same result as dropping your front wheel into an open storm grate.  There is sign that advises caution, but it is totally inadequate.  Do NOT, under any circumstances and at any speed, attempt to ride over this bridge.
I spoke with the local fire chief (who arranged for the ambulance to convey me to the Sinai Intensive Care Unit after the crash) and he said that it is not unusual for riders to crash on this bridge, which, he said, was made in Georgia.  It is not like any other steel bridge I have crossed in 40 years of riding.
I plan to write the county and express my concerns about this bridge, so if you have had an experience with it, I'd like to hear from you.  I know three other riders who have crashed on this bridge.
Thanks and be careful out there,
Greg Conderacci
gc@goggc.com./443 756 8213

Oct-11-10 11:14 pm
Titanium, Stainless and Chrome Moly Pedals...
Category: Technical

Selling three sets of Speedplay Zero pedals.  I love 'em but they don't like the rain and muck in the sloppy going of Randonneuring.  (And neither do I!).  They're light, dependable and provide lots of float, if you choose to adjust them that way. And nobody beats them for cornering clearance.

Titanium -- 164g/pair lightly used.  List: $335; asking $125 (gray)
Stainless -- 206g/pair heavily used, but good. List: $199; asking $65 (gray)
Chrome Moly -- 210g/pair moderately used, very good. List $129; asking $30.  (black)

The prices are from the Speedplay website; you could probably do better.  The pedals come with Zero cleats, but they're a bit worn. 

Greg Conderacci -- gc@goggc.com or 443 756 8213

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