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towing stuff

jetskiBiKEtow

First, thank you to Pollard for taking this photo and sending it to me. Just another day in Key Wierd. I sometimes tow my kayak with my bicycle, and this dude sometimes tows his jet ski with his bicycle. I’ve seen an assortment of trailers on the island towing Mallory Square retail space, street vending set-ups and of course trailers with dogs, kids or kids and dogs. Lots of dogs in baskets too; I’ll have to start collecting shots for a dog post.

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I wish I could see this beauty in action and see what’s getting towed by such a swanky set-up. This photo was snapped while riding by the Waterfront Market one night.

Key West Citzen gets owned by Bikeman!

Unfortunately, our daily newspaper isn’t doing a good job fact checking the laws they are writing about and thus they are misleading the public, law enforcement and drivers. Fortunately citizens are writing letters to the editor and trying to get the facts out! Check out this letter:

Bicyclists can pass on the right of cars

Please refrain from publishing inaccurate information regarding bicycle laws. It creates unnecessary discord between cyclists and automobile drivers.

[A Citizen story states:] “It is illegal for a bicyclist to pass a car on the right, especially through an intersection.”

The following information was taken directly from the Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide: Cyclists traveling in a bicycle lane, or in a lane wide enough for motor vehicles and bicycles to share, may pass motor vehicles on the right, but must take care to avoid turning vehicles. Passing is allowed in these cases, since there is sufficient width for two lines of moving traffic (one of which is bicycle traffic).

In other words, on a bicycle, you can pass a car on the right as long as there are no cars parked on your right and you yield to right-turning vehicles ahead of you.

Perhaps the article should have focused on the fact that although we are similar in population, we are not similar in terms of the amount of cyclists on our streets on any given day. Or your reporter could have questioned why tangible improvements like signage were not included in this grant, only education and ticketing of a population that will most likely not be here in a year, given the transient nature of Key West.

What about educating automobile drivers? They are the ones doing the maiming and killing of our cyclists. Finally, why interview only one person who actually rides a bike? Could your reporter not find one other cyclist?

Tom Theisen

Key West

read it here online

and maybe write a letter yourself!

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When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the use of the entire lane. Within this lane, the cyclist usually rides on the right half to facilitate visibility for overtaking motorists, but should ride far enough left to discourage motorists from trying to squeeze past within the lane.

2011 Florida Statutes 316.2065 Bicycle regulations.

(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

Reckless Jeep driver puts pedestrians and cyclists at risk

Bikeman’s letter to the editor from the Citizen’s Voice. Thanks for a well written letter and reminder that the speed limit is the speed limit for perfect driving conditions, not the normal speed. Ride on!

Speed limit is simply the maximum speed

This morning as I scanned the Citizens’ Voice [column] I noticed that one complainer wanted “the daily rainfall” back in the paper, another urged voters to “remember who changed smooth running uptown corridors into the hideous stop-sign mess we now must endure.” I agreed with both of these. I like to know Key West’s rainfall amounts and we need lower speed limits, not more stop signs.

I turned to the letters to the editor section, where I read a letter titled: “Reckless cyclists put themselves at risk” by Brain Wise, who is “rather perturbed at the multitude of Conchs who insist upon yelling at me that I need to slow down when I’m doing the speed limit. If they think motor vehicles should go slower in that particular area, then they need to petition the city to lower the speed limit.”

Mr. Wise went on to explain that, “the speed limit is the speed limit and therefore the law of the land,” and that bicyclists and pedestrians were constantly jumping out in front of him and that he had a 2,300-pound Jeep and bad things would happen if they didn’t watch out.

I booted up the computer and searched for “Florida speed limit laws” and received an immediate answer to my query under one of Florida’s Basic Drivers Improvement (BDI) courses. “Remember that speed limits show the fastest speed you may drive under good conditions. You are responsible for adjusting your driving speed to the road conditions. If there are other hazards due to pedestrians, other traffic, you must also slow down. The safe speed is the one that allows you to have complete control of your vehicle.”

Mr. Wise, you now know why multitudes of Conchs are yelling at you, (you’re driving too fast) and I suspect that after yelling at you, they yell at city officials to install stop signs on smooth running corridors where people think they can always drive the speed limit no matter the conditions.

“Reckless Jeep driver puts pedestrians and cyclists at risk” would have been a better title.

Tom Theisen

Key West

Beware of Brian Wise and his Jeep!

Hi Brian. I think we both agree cyclists who flagrantly dart in front of cars are trouble and put them selves at risk. But you need to understand that the speed limit is the speed limit for perfect conditions, which pretty much rarely exists here in Key West. Yeah, the “law of the land” is pretty clear that if there’s bicycles in the street, people with baby strollers, and not perfect conditions, YOU should be driving less that the speed limit. I think you should maybe listen to the Conchs….SLOW DOWN. This ain’t the mainland.

Also, you telling cyclists to take their own advice and slow down…uhhh….huh? That doesn’t even make any sense. What’s a cyclists speed have to do with “darting” in front of your jeep? Please focus on your driving more than you focus on maintaining your point in letters to the editor. Drive safe, and remember, legally, bicycles may take the full lane on most of Key West’s streets, leaving you and your 2300 pound jeep behind them waiting to pass safely and legally. Its the LAW. You also must pass by at least three feet.

Brian’s Citizen’s Voice

Reckless cyclists put themselves at risk

Since transferring down here a year and a half ago, I realized that Key West has a more laid-back lifestyle than I was used to. I respect that, and have come to enjoy it. I’ve learned to adjust my schedule so that my time management is better, and I don’t need to rush everywhere.

That being said, I’m still rather perturbed at the multitude of Conchs who insist upon yelling at me that I need to slow down when I’m doing the speed limit. First of all, none of them are cops. Second, the speed limit is the speed limit, and therefore the law of the land. They may be of the opinion that I’m going too fast, but that’s all it is; an opinion. If they think motor vehicles should go slower in that particular area, then they need to petition the city to lower the speed limit in whatever area I happen to be traveling. Third, I think they may be yelling at me to slow down because of the multitude of bicyclists and pedestrians that have jumped out in front of me (that I’ve almost hit) after they blew a stop sign on a busy street.

… Now, I do understand that in certain cases, bicycles have the right of way …, and as I am also a bicyclist, I respect and obey those rights of way whether I’m on my bike or driving.

However, in cases where you, on a bicycle, decide to ignore a stop sign and barrel out onto a busy street, you show a complete lack respect for the law, a complete lack of respect and consideration for other people, and worst of all, a complete lack of consideration for your own personal safety.

I hope each and every person reading this will take a moment to consider what would occur if they barreled out in front of my 2,300-pound Jeep and I was unable to stop in time. Which do you think would receive the most physical damage? …

And you tell me to slow down? Take your own advice.

Brian Wise

driver pleads guilty to killing cyclist, gets $500 fine and 6month license suspension

$500 fine/6month license suspension for driver pleading GUILTY to careless driving and KILLING a cyclist. THE MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT HATE CYCLISTS! what is Michael Jackson’s doctor charged with? how much prison time did Micheal Vick serve for animal cruelty? martha stewart for insider trading? how many people do time for having a freakin’ joint on them? Shit like this is why Key West and every city needs a strong, vocal, real, cycling advocacy group that will challenge the status quo, and truly rock the boat, squeak, scream, protest and do what ever is necessary to TRULY create a safer environment for cyclists.

Read Story Here

The cyclist was an advocate, much loved in his community. This could be any one of us next week on the Southard Street “bike lane” or Olivia Street or Truman Avenue.

We need to make sure this doesn’t happen here. again. and again.