Category Archives: avoiding getting hit by a car

Aside

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 … Continue reading

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.

Eaton Street Repaving Meeting…demand bikelanes!

copied and pasted from finishthebikepath on facebook……
There is a meeting concerning the repaving of Eaton street 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug 10th at Old City Hall. Lets show up and ask for some clarification on where a cyclist is supposed to be on Eaton street. The paving starts at White and ends at Simonton. Also a few well marked and signed pedestrian cross walks are needed. Locals know this is a deadly street but tourist end up on it all the time, it needs to be made safe for all.

cars kill more people than guns

The automobile, a tool invented to safely transport people with all its crumple zones, airbags, seat belts, safety glass, computers and various safety systems; kills more people every year in the United States than the gun; a tool invented to kill.

Huh? WTF? Yep…..the automobile is more deadly than the gun. Wake up! Scary huh?

It is true. Over the last few decades, roughly speaking…..

every year fire arm deaths are in the 30,000’s and motor vehicle deaths in the 40,000’s, check it….

.                      fire arm deaths                motor vehicle deaths

1999                    28,874                                       41,717
2000                   28,663                                       41,945
2004                   29,569                                       42,836
2007                   31,224                                        41,059

You might be saying this can’t be true. I got my facts from Wikipedia and the CDC. I first read this in BikeSnobNYC’s book (a great, great great read by the way!)

Automobile Deaths in the United States


This is a screen shot from the CDC website. There is no way to link the actual page due to the way the information is collected, but if you click here you can access all kinds of statistics.

Soooo. How is this possible? Its a symptom of how the whole paradigm is whacked! The police and politricks are full of “safety first” and “protecting people” with their rhetoric, while the real problem goes unchecked. There is a rarely enforced 3-foot passing rule in this state as well many others. The Triangle of Death isn’t safe. Riding down Olivia Street along the cemetary is next to impossible without being harassed by a revving motor or illegally and dangerously passed by a car or worse a truck. There is no room. There is no patience. There is no true regard for life and health. Where are the police? Where are the elected officials “concerned” for our safety?

Anyone can get a freakin’ driver’s license and go out and terrorize and maim and kill. Hmmm…lets get all crazy and Patriot Act about this. Lets compare to how many Americans die yearly from terrorist acts versus from automobiles. Think about it.

No, really, think about how whack the system really is. Safety is a mostly a bullshit buzzword. The reality is laws, attitudes and behavior put many, many things above safety. How many drivers swerve or drive or park in the “bikelane”? How much do politicians speak about gun-control and gun danger and guns and the young? How often do they speak of driving safer? Driving with more respect? It makes NO SENSE. None.

Ride safe. Remember that beeping revving car has absolutely no more right to the road than you. The fact that a car is more deadly, heavier, faster or more powerful than a bicycle does NOT give it more rights. The fact it costs more than your bike or may be in a hurry does not give it the right to bully you off the road. Call the police. Report bullying. Report unsafe driving. You have the right to be safe and pedal in peace. Ride Safe. Ride Smart.

take the lane!


The Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide is a great little booklet. Everyone should carry one 😉

Today’s lesson is Position on Roadway {316.206595)}.
A cyclist traveling less than the “normal speed of traffic” must ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway, except in the following situations:
when passing another vehicle
when making a left turn. you should be positioned in the center of the lane or more towards the left side of the lane. This lets other traffic know your intention as well as signaling a left hand turn by simply pointing or looking to the left.

when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal or surface hazard. This includes an opening car door and potholes as well as drunks wandering into the street.

when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side. This is almost every road on the island!

The guide recommends cyclists stay about two feet out from the curb to be safe and visible and four feet out from parallel parked cars to avoid being doored. State Law requires cars to pass cyclists by at least three feet of clearance. This pretty much puts a cyclist in the middle of the lane on most streets on this island, which wouldn’t be a problem if more cars respected this as well slowed the F down. Riding in this style will certainly get you beeped at, and that means the car behind you sees you, which can only be a good thing. It is the car that doesn’t see you that is an accident waiting to happen.

Of course you will also encounter the driver who will wail on their horn and yell at you to get out of the road. This driver obviously feels as though they have more of a right to the road and that their life and their car are far more important to you. Perhaps they feel inferior to be stuck driving their noisy expensive purchase behind a happy, healthy cyclist enjoying their travels. I wonder where else in their pathetic lives they simply and  quickly throw honking or yelling tantrums. I can imagine them driving a shopping cart at the super market yelling at people in their way. No, wait. Actually i can’t, because these people don’t have the balls to yell at someone when they are not encased by thousands of pounds of steel and tinted windows!

I’d like to quote BikeSnobNYC where he compares a car driver telling a cyclist to get off the road to, “telling women to get out of the voting booth and back in the kitchen or telling Japanese-Americans to “Go back to China!” The ignorance inherent in the statement is almost as offensive  than the sentiment behind it.” Well written BikeSnob. We have the right to be able to ride safely in peace and without intimidation from other drivers or misinformed police officers. Now get out there and own that right…ride on!

The Florida Law Enforcement guide is available two ways on the
The Florida Bicycle Association website
A third way is to stop in at Fixed Gears Bicycle Shop, 421 Simonton Street, and pick up a free copy. There are lots of rights that many cyclists do not realize they have and this guide explains them well. I hope to continue to share this information and am very grateful to the FBA for all of their work, thank you! If you are not a member, please consider joining.

Come and visit us? key west?

This evening i finally got around to reading my June issue of Adventure Cyclist. Yes, such a magazine exists, its pretty cool. Anyways, a letter from a reader got me thinking about Key West. He wrote about two signs at his city’s main entrances that said, “Welcome to Snohomish, Thank You for Sharing the Road.” The thought was to welcome people entering the city, increase awareness of bicycle activities, increase safety and enhance a mutual respect between motorists and cyclists, and encourage cycling for commuting, recreation and fitness. Nice! Well done.

The reader also mentioned how his city was the terminus of a 27mile rail-trail and added, “Come visit us.”

Here in Key west we are the terminus of the Overseas Heritage Trail, a 106 mile corridor from Key Largo featuring more than 70 completed miles. We are a destination for worldwide travelers and have thousands of cyclists.

And our sign?

I remember last year the electronic trailer sign thingee on Rt.1 at the Triangle of Death as you enter the island said something like, “Cyclists must obey traffic laws, $5million fine for running a red light.” This was of course right next to the sign that says “right lane keep moving don’t stop” 30 yards before a freaking crosswalk. A crosswalk with no walk signal and no reminder to cars they must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. That isn’t mutually respectful, encouraging, positive or even remotely safe.

We have a long way to go here to really have cyclists and pedestrians thought about and cared for by the city, and truly supported by the city. Hopefully that will happen as Key West and the Keys can continue to be a world destination for cycling, touring or just taking a holiday from work and cars and enjoying the island by bicycle.

ride safe and know your rights

DSC00735
Hello my fellow riders. there’s a few things we should all be doing to stay legal, but more importantly, to be safe and stay alive to enjoy another healthy day. These few things would certainly reduce accidents, anger and broken bones.

Please ride on the right side of the street. Though some believe they are safer facing the traffic, its is a proven fact that riding against traffic is far far more dangerous and results in more accidents.

Lights at night. A red light in the rear and a white headlight are a state law that makes sense. You really want cars to see you, especially in Key West where you got gawking tourists, cellphonetalkingscofflaws and drunk drivers are not paying much attention to the road…or your life.

Please respect one way streets. Please don’t pedal the wrong way in a bike lane. It creates a bad situation for everyone and no one knows what you’re gonna do next.

You have the right to take the entire lane if a car cannot safely pass you. State law requires cars to pass cyclists by at least three feet. If it is not safe to be passed, take the lane. The car does NOT have more right to the road and legally and safely must yield to you until safe to pass.

There are two great, free publications available.
The Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide
The above link opens in the FBA website with two ways to get the guide. A third way is to stop in Fixed Gears Bicycle Shop, 421 Simonton Street, and pick up a free copy. There are lots of rights that many cyclists do not realize they have and this guide explains them well.
I am working on a link for the other publication, check back this weekend!

Ride on!