Category Archives: safety

Bicycle Warning Signs at Washington Ave. and Fuller Rd.

Bicycle Warning Signs – NYS Department of Transportation at Washington Ave. and Fuller Rd. ~ Photos 6/21/19 vs. Google Street View, Various Dates. 

Sign Present – Checked with Google Maps Street View July 2018

  • DOT Signs Flyover NORTH BOUND on Fuller Rd South of Wash Ave Rd 6-21-19 (1) – Wide View OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • DOT Signs Flyover NORTH BOUND on Fuller Rd South of Wash Ave Rd 6-21-19 (2) – Close up OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sign Present – Checked with Google Maps Street View August 2018

  • DOT Signs Flyover NORTHBOUND Fuller Rd at exit from Wash Ave 6-21-19 (1) – Going under I-90
  • DOT Signs Flyover NORTHBOUND Fuller Rd at exit from Wash Ave 6-21-19 (2) – Going under I-90
  • DOT Signs Flyover NORTHBOUND Fuller Rd at exit from Wash Ave 6-21-19 (3) – Going under I-90

Sign Absent – Checked with Google Maps Street View September 2016

  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND TO WASH AVE EXT from Fuller Rd 6-21-19 (1)
  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND TO WASH AVE EXT from Fuller Rd 6-21-19 (2)
  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND TO WASH AVE EXT from Fuller Rd 6-21-19 (3)

Sign Absent – Checked with Google Maps Street View August 2018

  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND Wash Ave at I-90 on-off ramp 6-21-19 (1)
  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND Wash Ave at I-90 on-off ramp 6-21-19 (2)
  • DOT Signs Flyover WESTBOUND Wash Ave at I-90 on-off ramp 6-21-19 (3)

 

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Filed under Activisim, NYS DOT, safety, Washington Ave.

Mr. Face Plant or It Pays to Pay Attention

Down the street and oh so slow,

Riding to a place I know.

 

Going for a coffee and a croissant,

What more could anyone want?

 

Street repairs not yet made,

What happens to taxes I paid?

 

A bump, a rut, and then a lump,

And all at once, I go thump.

 

Face and elbows on the ground,

Pieces of my glasses spread around.

 

Whoops, wham … damn!

Stupid Bike

 

I go straight as the bike flies right,

Flat on my face with all my might – what a fright!

 

Bloody helmet, clothes, and nose,

This is not the plan I chose.

 

Off to St. Pete’s fine ER,

Good thing it’s not too far.

 

OMG – why look at you,

What the hell did you do?

 

Catskan, x-ray, poke, and prod

Have some morphine then you’ll nod

 

Nose is broken, elbows busted, cuts galore,

Bruises, tears, and some more.

 

Here, have a couple nice new slings,

Radial fractures are bad things.

 

Tooth is loose but not too bad

Oh my goodness, this is sad.

 

After all that I’m told,

The Erie Canal ride goes on hold.

 

Can’t fix you here, get off that bed,

Here you go to Albany Med.

 

Mohawk Ambulance for ride,

With an EMT at my side.

 

To ask me for more revelations,

Date of birth, height, weight, and explanations!

 

Here we have a center for trauma

I guess I qualify for all this drama

 

You’ll need some stitches in every place,

In your mouth and on your face.

 

Needles here and over there,

In your mouth and through your hair.

 

You’ll not feel a thing or so I’m told,

Maybe cause you way too old.

 

Now this will pinch,

As I sew another inch.

 

Cheek is done and now some more,

When I stitch that it’ll sure be sore!

 

Hope that nose comes back to center,

If not, we’ll re-stitch and bend ‘er.

 

Drugs you’ll get ‘til you can’t stop,

Amox/K Clav and Chlorhexidine at one pop.

 

And then Tramadol and Gabaoentin,

With some Bacitracin thrown in the bin.

 

As much as I love my bike.

Maybe I should get a trike

 

Peace!

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MIPS to You Too!

Using guidelines that a helmet should be replaced every 5 to 10 year and noting that the current helmet had a bunch of scrapes and scratches and well as being (a cool but) invisible black, a “Hi-Viz” replacement seemed in order. But wait – what about the new MIPS technology: What It Is and Why You Need It?

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MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System.” Created through years of research, the combination of the brain’s own protection and MIPS can provide better protection from angled impacts. When a MIPS helmet hits the road and sticks initially due to the high friction, one’s head can slide relative to the helmet thus reducing rotation of the head during impact and minimizing strain to the brain.

So here is a Bontrager MIPS helmet (TREK – $99.99 + tax and tip) (note the WindBlox noise blockers ).This is a very comfortable helmet with the only disadvantage being the cheesy, twist-prone quality of the chin strap meaning that it has to be smoothed out before wearing.

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Previously, helmet shopping were limited to comfort, ventilation, price, style/color, weight, configuration, visibility, overall quality, and ease of buckling and adjustment. A 1999 federal law requires that bicycle helmets meet the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standard. Look inside your helmet (probably with a magnifying glass) to find this fine print attestation – possibly accompanied by a Snell Foundation label.** Thus all helmets provide the same level of safety; that is, the helmet does not block the rider’s vision, does not come off when after falling or during a crash, and reduces the force to the head when the helmet hits a hard surface. However, helmet crash testing has not evolved as the basic impact test is still smashing the helmet against an anvil in a test rig. (See also – https://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Business-Guidance/Bicycle-Helmets )

Note the WindBlox on the strap – see – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2017/06/01/wind-blox-cut-that-wind-noise/

These criteria do not protect against all concussions or other brain injuries especially during slower crashes or crashes at oblique angles. MIPS addresses this gap in with a form of slip plane technology with two low-friction layers that rotate against each other, mimicking the rotation of the brain’s own cerebrospinal fluid (the body’s natural defense against oblique impacts). In short, a MIPS helmet can move relative to the helmet’s outer shell. MIPS technology provides an extra safety but at a slight cost premium.

The MIPS helmet’s outer layer is same impact-absorbing EPS* material as a conventional, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACPSC helmet. The difference comes in connecting the shell to a low friction inner layer that rests on the rider’s head. (Look inside a MIPS helmet at this clearly visible and moveable plastic interior liner with connectors joining it to the outer shell – see white arrow in photo.)

 

 

An earlier attempt at reducing rotational injuries was the transition from the white Foam Helmet“foam” “Bell” helmets of the 60s and 70s to a smooth, hard outer surface covering the shock absorbing EPS* material. This smoothness allowed the helmet to slide along a rough road surface rather than bouncing along the roughness and subjecting the head and neck to a rapid series of jolts that might result from the rougher surface of the “foam-style” helmet.

Does your helmet have MIPS? If it lacks a MIPS label, tell by looking inside as all MIPS-equipped helmets have a plastic interior liner that can move relative to the outer shell with connectors joining the inner and outer layers.

Since the Bontrager MIPS was already over $100, why not go all out in the visibility end with a Serfas TL-HLMT LED blink light? ($11.99 + tax). Curiously, the orientation of the hook-and-loop mounting strap is for a vertical helmet bar rather than horizontal,  Thus, when mounted, the light looks a little goofy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If this helemet is not up to your standards, check out the Lumos Smart CPSC-CE Certified cycling helmet with wireless turn signal handlebar remote, built-In motion sensor, and 70 LEDs on front, rear, and sides at $179.00.

NOTES *EPS or Expanded Polystyrene has ideal crush characteristics with no bounce-back to make the impact more severe. The manufacturer places polystyrene beads (granules) in a pressure mold shaped like the helmet liner and expands the beads 2 to 50 times their original size with a blowing agent under pressure and heat. The beads expand to form the cells and fill the mold. The cells are tightly bonded and varying the density of the foam cells can produce optimal crush for a given impact level. Additives can increase cell adhesion to reduce splitting on impact. Manufacturers can also add internal reinforcing of nylon, carbon fiber, or plastics to reduce cracking, enabling designers to open up wider vents and still pass the lab impact tests.

**Curiously, the subject Bontrager helmet lacks the higher standard Snell Foundation approval. Its competitor, Specialized, seems to have many of its helmets so certified.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Product Review, safety

Budget Light Mount for Auxiliary Safety Light(s)

You cannot have too many lights. Here is a low-cost way to mount (one or more) “Knog-style” blinky lights on the front or rear of your bicycle.

CAUTION – The “Knog-style” blinky lights should not be your primary nighttime lights – front or rear. They are appropriate for supplemental visibility lighting or as “day-time running lights.”

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 Here is what you will need:

  • M5 bolt (any head style will do – these instructions use a hex-drive head)
  • One flat and one locking washer to fit M5 bolt/screw
  • 4mm hex wrench (or other depending on the bolt’s head style)
  • Electric drill with bits
  • Hack saw (or similar)
  • File and/or 80-grit sandpaper
  • Ruler
  • Thread locker (optional)
  • Knog-style lights (red for rear, white for front)
  • 1-inch diameter RX/pill bottle – hopefully in a color that suits that of your bicycle (discard the cap)

Here are the steps:

  • Mark and cut the pill bottle to 1.5 inch in length
  • Smooth the cut edge with file and/or sandpaper
  • Mark the center of the bottle’s bottom
  • Drill a small pilot hole in the center
  • Enlarge the hole for a snug fit for the M5 bolt
  • Thread the bolt through the bottle’s bottom
  • Place the washers on the bolt so they are between the bottle and the bicycle frame
  • Place a drop of thread locker on the bolt or braze-on threads
  • Mount the bottle to a convenient braze-on or to a fender or rack mount – any place that will accept a M5 bolt.
  • Install the appropriate “Knog-style” blinky light and adjust so that it is visible from the rear (or front)

 

If this is too stressful, you can always shell out $22.00 – 24.00 for a Paul Gino light mount – another top quality product from Paul Component Engineering.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While you are at it, replace the batteries in all your non-chargeable lights and then adjust them to they are also visible. A light with weak batteries or low charge that points down or to the side or is obstructed by straps or folds in pack-mounted bags or your riding gear is next to worthless.

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Filed under Bike Tech, Lighting, Product Review, safety