Friday, February 27, 2015

Choice or No Choice

I choose to do this.  Ride day after day, rain, snow or shine.  Preferably warm and dry.  Tired of automobile enslavement.  Pay for it, pay to drive it, pay to insure it, pay to keep it running.  Financial blackhole.  Then what happens when it breaks down far away from home?  More money.  Bicycling is much more affordable.  And when the bike breaks I ride another one.  Or make that phone car.  It is never a $500 to $1000+ instant loss.  Even if stolen I have back up.

So yesterday I finally had the opportunity to put on a pair of Wayfarers and ride home when it was sunny for a change.  Getting caught in the beauty of the fresh snow adorning the trail and lost in thought about dinner and the weekend, appreciating that Clive partially cleared the Greenbelt and that what was not clear was rideable anyway.

Rolling over the now buried ice trap that greets trail users just before the bridge after the 86th St underpass and Witner Group I spotted a familiar cyclist. He was the first person I saw on the trail.  By the looks at him he had no choice.  He rides one of those Sting rays that looks like a chopper.  Fat 20" rear tire, stretched out fork with a smaller tire on front.  A novelty bike.  Yet it was 8F outside with about 2" of snow, drifting snow, on the trail.

I was amazed that he attempted it.  Said he was fine except for freezing fingers and the occasional drift.  I never did see his hands.  At first I thought he stopped for a smoke or a piss break.  Hands in his pocket.  I wanted to give him my gloves but I needed them.  And would need them again aproximately 12 hours later.

He said that he rode yesterday in the snow storm.  Left at 3 to get to work at Denny's.  Riding a bike that sits as low as a recumbent, lower than many 'bents, into the freezing snow.  White out conditions.  To a shitty job.  On a shitty bike.  I could almost see the sense of it, however.  Perhaps the rear wheel floats over the snow like on a fatbike.  No tread, just snipes for faux water redirection.  The front wheel a mere plow or ski runner.  Then again that bike had to be incredibly slow.  Maybe on a snowy trail it works as long as the snow dos not drift over the hubs.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was his prized possession.  He does not have another bike or a functioning car, perhaps even a place to call home.  That or the huge iPhone in his pocket with earphones running up his cotton jacket.

Needing to move on I left him on the bridge.  I wonder if he made it.  This far into winter he will likely survive.  Does what he needs to do to live.  Another choice.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Trek Soho: Commute 1

Reflective sidewalls!  Bontrager H2 tires

Today was the inaugural commute on the 2011 Trek Soho.  No it is not used.  It was never sold until 3 days ago.  kinda of funny the dust that was on it when I went the the sale.  Why?  It is "high tech" and probably scared consumers away.  Yes, it will take two tools to remove the rear wheel.  But that did not scare me.  Enough on that issue.  Suffice to say that this bike is no longer languishing in the warehouse.

Saturday I brought it home and parked it it the kitchen.  I did not ride it.  Sunday I placed the rear rack on, panniers and lights and went for a 4 mile journey to the downtown brewery and later to Mullets for the last two pizzas, a fine establishment that no longer serves pizza.  Long sad story.  But these two rides were marred by the gale force Siberian wind that ravaged my city.  No joy.  Mere survival ride instead of a true test spin.

This morning was the big ride.  Unfortunately, it was 0F and fell to -3F by the time I got to work.  Keeping warm was the overriding thought. The bike functioned flawlessly.  Even on the climb.  I had thought about replacing the 19T rear cog with a 22T for better climb on steeper hills but will wait until better weather (warmer) before making that decision.  Dress in full winter regalia is not the right time to consider such actions.  Suffice to say, it climbed well.  I did not die.

Shifting was smooth and relatively quiet.  A click up front and slight sound from the back.  Really it was about as quiet as shifting gets.  Only a tight cluster cassette would be quieter.  Not front derailleur to worry about shifting or chain rub.  The Shimano Nexus uses a twist shifter next to the grips.  It is backwards from SRAM's Grip shift.  So it there were a few mistakes until I reprogrammed myself.  On some of the longer throws I could feel a noticeable big difference.  When shifting one a time the difference is not as pronounced.  I did not shift while stopped.

Gear range seemed adequate.  This is not a mountain goat nor a speed demon.  I rarely was in the top range due to the freezing weather.  On one downhill on my return trip I did work my way to the top and thought that I'd better not change the 19T.

Front Shimano Roller Brake

Front Roller Brake

Brakes.  Smooth.  Strong.  Not much of a pull was required.  I like how they were set up.  Quiet, too.  Since they are easy to remove I thought about purchasing a spare set.  I also wondered if disc brakes would be compatible since the hub is already offset for the "roller brakes" and the frame and fork appear that way as well.

Trek's Urban Aluminum bars

The cockpit.  The bars are Trek's Urban Aluminum and have several bends in them although sweeping back a bit for ergonomics and comfort they are a bit fussy for mounting lights.  Lights will need to be able to swivel on their mounts for proper direction.  The grips are ergonomic and have wide platform for resting the palms of your hands.  Nice!

It warmed up to 19F for my trip home.  The only thing that marred the return was the vegetarian lunch I ate 3 hours prior to leaving.  I was bonking and had no motivation to push it.  Tomorrow will be better and I truly need to haul arse to make it to my daughter's track meeting.  I will have a better lunch.

Compared to the FX 7.5.  If they were mounted with the same tires the FX would certainly be the faster bike.  The FX is lighter and more aggressive geometry.  But the components on the Soho will last longer, I hope, since they are not exposed to the elements.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Bike Fever

2011 Trek Soho

Finding perfection for these ice addled trails and streets is not easy.  Always some sort of compromise.   Speed, cargo capacity, snow and ice performance.  Most importantly, the ability to haul my ass up to 30 miles a day Monday through Friday.  Also need the ability to pick up groceries.

Commuting year round in Iowa is tough on bicycles.  It rains and it snows.  Streets are laced with salt and sand in the winter.  Sand is the bane of all mechanical things and salt the bane of steel.   Chains, cassettes, cables and brake pads take the brunt of salt and sand.  Bearing surfaces fall victim to the deluge of water that creep in.

The Red Phoenix will live again!  2008 Trek FX 7.5  This bike has done multi-day tours, hauled tons of groceries, ridden through the worst of winter time and time again.  headset and BB have never crapped out.  Grocery run during the commute home.  9 lb pork loin, 15 lb of dog food, 2 lb of bacon and 3 bottles of wine.

Back in late 2007 I purchased a bike for commuting that worked quite well until the elements forced me to rebuild it year after year after year.  Brake pads.  I was always replacing brake pads.  Sometimes I could get two years out of it before replacing the destroyed components.  I replaced the rear derailuer once.  The front I just set in the middle and have not used it for at least 3 seasons.  It helped that my middle ring is a 32T and I have a 9 speed cassette.  15,000 miles later the Trek FX 7.5 is almost in need of a total overhaul.  The front derailleur is long past dead although a major soaking in solvent and new cables would revive it. The shifters are pretty well shot, too.  Brakes, Lord I hate V-brake style, need a second replacement.  The bike does stop but they will drag.  There's only so many times one can clean them and one of the spring holes on the stay is egged out.  The rear wheel was replaced two winters ago when the braking surface showed daylight.  Time to strip the frame and replace everything except the seatpost, stem and bars and cranks. Despite the mileage the bottom bracket and headset are still good, a testament to the bike's quality.  What I plan to do is  replace the fork and the wheels and install disc brakes and a 2x9 crank.  The rear triangle is disc ready.

Windsor Kensington.  Mary has the mixte single speed version.

I've looked at alternatives.  Namely bikes with internal gearing and brakes.  Aluminum or titanium frame so that winter will not corrode the bike's heart and soul.  Titanium is a bit pricey for a work mule.  There are a few steel frame bikes that meet my component standards but steel rusts.  I did consider the Windsor Kensington with its front and rear racks plus 8 speed internal but its brakes are not.  Motobecane Bistro was also in the running but steel fork and external brakes.

Motobecane Bistro8v

Then the Bike World Warehouse Sale hit.  Why not support local?  Bike World happens to have many 2011 Trek Soho unsold. These bicycles were originally belt driven not chain driven.  But for some reason the belts were removed and replaced by chains.  If I was ambitious I could reinstal the belt.  But the bike has all the things that the FX was missing: fenders, internal gearing and internal brakes.  The only draw back is the removal procedure for the rear wheel.  Not as simple as my other bikes.  7 speed Nexus internal instead of the 8 speed of the others is another compromise but if 7 cannae get you there then you should stay home.  I may have the 19T rear cog replaced with a 22T for improved climb.

The Bitch.  Probably the reason these bikes never sold.  Going to be fun learning wheel removal technique.  Should invest in bullet proof tires.

The brakes are also internal, Shimano roller brakes.  New to me.   Wiki states "Roller Brake is a modular cable-operated drum brake manufactured by Shimano for use on specially splined front and rear hubs. Unlike a traditional drum brake, the Roller Brake can be easily removed from the hub."

And clocking in at $649 USD it is affordable.  I will place a rear rack on it today and also a computer and lights.  Monday should be its first commute.  I plan to keep the FX in operation as the ice bike until winter is finally over.  Perhaps, if I do not make the stated changes to it, have it return for the 2015/16 winter as the ice bike.  I'd really like to have it up to par as it was a fast bastard when free from racks and heavy tires.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Things I Saw Today That Blew My Mind

With a favorable South wind I took the roadie for the morning commute.  16F but the forecasted snow went to the Northeast and the pave was clear.  As promised it was near 40F when I rode home.  Nice weather.  First time all week I not only got off on time but was able to wear my Wayfarers.  Here are three unusual things I saw.

In the morning I followed a mouse running full speed on the Bill Riley Trail.  Kinda wanted to see an owl swoop down and snatch that rodent but that never happened.  The mouse ran pretty fast and then darted to the snow/grass shoulder of the trail and disappeared from my light.  I usually see rabbits, raccoons and deer for furry mammals on the trail.

After work I rode across another "murder scene."  was it last week I had to detour around a stabbing incident in Windsor Heights?  So today I came across several police cars, the Water Works cop and someone in a black Jaguar.  Yeah, a mere X-Type but still a good looking car for something prolly 10 years old.  Seemed out of place for a crime scene pow wow.  This was at the Raccoon River pedestrian bridge.  Making my way past the meeting I saw Channel 5's news crew set up with camera and I talked to them to get the 411.  I also noticed that a police car with its lights on deep in the area known as the Lost Planet near the river.  Apparently, a body was discovered an hour before I arrived.

So leaving that area I sped along and rode past Gray's Lake to find the 3rd interesting thing of the day.  I placed the bike in big ring and it felt good, first time in weeks.  Had to pass a woman running with her dog and then a man jogging.  Proper passing procedure, called out and passed on THE LEFT.  Working back to the right I saw #3.

I heard it first.  "Excuse me," or something to that affect.  Turning my head slightly to the right I saw a bicycle wheel.  Someone endeavored to pass me on the right after I passed the jogger.  He was now on the icy edge of the shoulder.  I gave him a few inches to get back on the trail so he could pass on my left.  I also asked if he was ok.  He did not sound pissed for being cut off like that.  But for the love of all that is good please sound off.  It was not like I was weaving all over the trail.

He passed properly and took off possibly going 25 mph which was a bit more than I felt necessary to ride on such a nice late afternoon.  This probably explains why I was unaware of his presence.  Then again, having to weave through pedestrians I never expect someone to pass on the right.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

1000 Miles Thus Far 2015

1001 miles for 2015.  3 year in a row for this bike.

Hit the 1K mark on my way in to work this morning.  A bitterly cold day.  I believe it was 5F with a 16 mph wind from the NW.  But it warmed up to 14F for the return trip with the wind at my back slowly turning to the south.  I did not notice the south wind until I was within a half mile of home.

Last year I hit 1000 miles on the 19th of February.  Today is the 12th so I bested that by a week.  Last year I purchased a Stone Brewery beer, Cali-Belgi IPA and drank it under the Fleur viaduct.  Paul, another Commuter of the Year joined me.  Rode with Mary in the morning but she was about 3 miles shy of that magic moment.  This year I rode with Anders on the way home.  He should be a Commuter of the Year since Laura and him went down to one car.  Great to spend it with a friend even for a few miles.  I think we both agreed that it felt good outside.  14F felt like 30F

Interesting to note that the Trek FX 7.5 had the honors of being the bike that I was on at the 1K mark.  Last year the Red Phoenix had 901 miles on that day.  Today it has only 430.  My Trek 2200 has 449 miles.  2013 I did not reach that point until the 3rd of March.  Same bike, 772 miles on it by the of that day.

I hope to have 2K by the Mayor's Ride.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Closer Still the InterZone of Colliding Worlds

Just a normal day.  Ride 12.5 miles to work in 27F weather.  Dodge a lot of refreeze ice.  Log on to FaceBook as I drink my coffee and change into civilian clothing.  Under a group entitled "Fans of New Order" I find a jpeg motif of the cover of Joy Division's first album, Unknown Pleasures.  This one is a bit different.  It is made from bicycle chains.  I dub it "Unknown Cycling Pleasures" and download it it and place it on Twitter.

I have a lot of New Order/Joy Division friends/followers on Twitter.  Well, maybe not that many but enough to interact with.  We are a passionate group of music fans,  I also have a lot of bicycling friends and followers on Twitter.  I posted the photo for the former group.  I wondered how many of the latter would recognize the  icon.

About quitting time at work my phone blew up.  Retweets and favorites from the photo made their way around the world.  Looking at the clock and adding 6 or 7 hours (I don't know anymore do to DST or the end of DST whatever the fook we are currently on) and noted that it was near bedtime in the UK.  People were making the final social media foray of the day.

All the way home the phone beeped.  I checked a few time in case Mary of the kids were texting me.  The Twitter notification is the same as the text noise.  Nothing but retweets and favorites about the photo.

About the art work.  According to Peter Hook, bass player and founding member of Joy Division/New Order, Bernard Sumner, guitar/keyboards and founding member of Joy Division/ founding member, singer, guitar and keys of New Order, discovered the photo in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy.  It is diagram of a pulsar, a dieing star.  Peter Saville, Factory Records graphic artist did the rest and the image is forever associated with JoyDivision/NewOrder.

My post received many hits from both the cycling world and the JD/NO world.  Two of my passions colliding in cyberspace.  Of note, Gillian Gilbert, guitar/synth of New Order, favorited it herself!  Humble honor over stolen art work.  In the cycling world, Steve Fuller, Iowa's best biker, Peloton Magazine, and the "cycling reporter" have shared or faved.

Guess I should save my chains, get a frame and a black velvet canvas and a bottle of white spray paint.

Oh yeah, I'd be remiss if I would forget to mention weNredrOwoN retweeted it as well.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

An Interesting Week of Bicycling

Another ride home in the sunset.  Loaded from Windsor Heights Hy Vee.  Inside wine, beer, new chain for  Fritz, sausages, some canned good and vegetables.   Strapped on top a 15 lb bag of dog food and a 8 lb pork loin.

The first week of February 2015 will be burned into my mind and memory like no other.  Starts off with a foot of snow that brought down a few limbs off a tree in my backyard that smash the fence and land in the neighbor's yard.  Then the trails are completely buried and unusable unless I want to go 4 mph on a fatbike instead of taking the roads.  And the temperature drops to the negatives for added fun.  But soon we see robins and starlings and the sun returns and by the weekend it is much warmer and the snow starts to melt big time.

Good advice.

Oh, yes, I had to detour around a crime scene.  Apparently, there was a stabbing on the trail while I was at work.  When I got to that location I spotted as many as 15 police vehicles on the scene.  An officer of the law was sealing off the area with yellow police tape.  I had to detour around it.  Now I have had many detours for many different reasons in my life before.  Floods, trail sections falling into the river, snow and ice ect.  But never for a stabbing.

Some of the law enforcement parked at Wal Mart due to the stabbing on the trail.  I was motioned off the trail and had to seek an alternative route.  I went to Hy Vee then cut back via the road that DQ is on and rode through Colby Park.

As off now I was able to ride 160 miles for the week.  One day left, Sunday, but I don't think I will get much.  All my friends went on BRR (Bicycle Ride to Rippey) but we opted to stay home to get some things done.  First, we had to removed the tree limbs from out neighbor's back yard before he hired his "crew" to do it and send me the bill.  Dishes needed to be done since nobody did them during the week.  then my oldest sons came over for help in filing taxes.  Did ours Thursday evening.

The trails were clear of snow on Tuesday.  Well, they were rideable.  This was a relatively warm ride home through a beautiful winter wnderland.  I almost forgave winter at this moment.  Stunning in its beauty.

Feeling bummed that we did not do BRR or ride to BRR, I created my own ride just to get out of the house and enjoy the new warmth and fresh air.  I was considering riding to Cumming but the southwest wind eliminated that thought.  Instead I rode around Gray's lake and then headed north to to see how well the clearing of snow from the Neal Smith Trail was.  I can say that they did a good job and the sun is doing the rest.  I took a camera for photos.

The Bianchi enjoying art outside the Botanical Center

One photo I missed was when I stopped at the bicycle fixstation set up by Mullets.  My seat was loose and came off.  Cheap seatpost that needs replacement.  A woman named Nicole was outside Mullets smoking when she noticed my repair methods.  I hammered the seat's mounting bracket down the seatpost.

"Are you fixing it or destroying it," she asked.

Thinking it was someone I knew, "I'm fucking it."

She came over and introduced herself and started a conversation.  "Do you bike a lot?"  "where are you heading?" "Is bicycling good exercise?"

All this time she was messing with an iPhone and smoking and asked if she could take a photo.  Apparently, it was someone else's phone.  Sure, freak your friend out, take my photo.  It was a selfie with both of us.  I can hear the conversation now.  "This freak beating the shit out of a blue bike..."  I need to shave.

Loaded with groceries from Fareway, a Saturday tradition!

Another reason for the ride was to get the 16 miles I needed to reach the 900 mile mark.  This I achieved on what is now a Saturday tradition, namely, attache the Burley trailer to the Bianchi and ride the Des Moines River Trail to the store.  This was after I rode 12 miles by myself.  Mary joined me on her pink single speed Windsor mixte frame bike.

So the week is ending well.  tree cleaned up.  Survived the extremely cold day.  Never questioned or hassled about the stabbing nor was I stabbed.  Groceries gotten.  Tomorrow is the Mug Club Party at Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing Company.  I look forward to several mugs of delicious goodness.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The White Warm Robe of the Winter Diety

Just want to go home.
Have to travel far.
Don't want to drive, don't want to battle cars.
Share the road they say but distracted and vile cagers do not hear.
And the filthy sand and snow, the streets are unforgiving.

Took a chance today that my trail would be open.
The past few days it was buried by the snow.

Down a single track of cleared yet drifted snow to the sleeping trail beneath.
And when I reached it I had to stop and stare in awe.
So beautiful now yet I hunger for the thaw.
A silent voice spoke so clearly to tell me it was alright.
"The battles of yesterday will be no more for you tonight."

"Welcome dear mortal," the voice revealed itself.
The Spirit of Winter showed its white face to me.
Eyes so bright and brilliant like diamonds in every tree,
revealing the frozen beauty for my eyes to see.

"Today I grant you safe passage.  The air has warmed, you will not freeze.  I've calmed the wind, just a trickle of  southern breeze.  Enjoy it while you can.
For I am a capricious spirit and tomorrow I could send my wrath."

"My stay here will not last for much longer, a month of two for you.  Then I will yield to those that turn green, flower and bloom."

"I may stop for a visit and bury your hopes for a day.  But I will not stay long for the Sun and Warmth must have their say."

"And when their time has ended I come back on a jealous wind,
to rule over the dormant land and those fools who think they can live.
In the form of the Ice Dragon, ice for flames and snow as breath, oblivion for all who fail to show respect."

"But for now enjoy the beauty and ride safely home.
Today I shall hug,
tomorrow I may strike."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Strikes Back

#VikingBikingDM has landed!  Early today!  One other bike would be here today.

Our wonderful January ended with rain then snow and it snow for 24 hours.  I think we got a foot of snow in Des Moines between Saturday and Sunday.The jealous north wind picked up and the temperature fell through the floor.  Monday's morning commute not only would be cold but potentially slick with the snow and ice.  We were prepared.

I pulled out the Red Phoenix which had been idle for 2 weeks.  Mary rode the studded tire equipped Schwinn MTB.  We knew the trails would be buried under the snow so we took to the streets without hesitation.  Our route would be mainly Ingersoll Ave to break out of Des Moines and hit the suburbs.  Miracolously, I woke up early and was able to leave home 1/2 hour earlier than normal.

Fortunately, an attempt to plow the pedestrian bridge that borders Principal Park was made.  The clearing made it easier to ride across.  In previous winters we often had to walk our bikes across this bridge.  Not today.  The MLK Trail was clear to albeit the intersections required us to dismount and climb a wall of snow several times.

My empty bottle of water.

Ingersoll was a long slow climb but the surface was decent.  When we crossed 42nd St Mary said she wished she had remembered a water bottle.  I reached for mine to give her thinking it was probably frozen but it was empty.  Something about these cold mornings and the extra effort it takes to ride on snow covered streets and climb long inclines that makes one thirsty.  I could have used some water at that moment.

Polk Blvd was are parting place. Mary turned north since she was headed to Urbandale.   I considered taking it north to University but did not feel like climbing the three hills.  Instead I continued on Ingersoll until it curved and eventually met Grand Ave.  I took Grand all the way to 8th St in West Des Moines and then coasted downhill to the Buffalo Rd intersection.  Once there I resumed my usual route to work.  Despite being 4F I warmed up on my remaining two climbs.

The view from work.  Sunrise over Farm Bureau, western view.

The weather was better after work.  The temperature managed to increase to 13F  it was 14F when I got home thanks to the south wind.  Yes, headwind both ways.  The return trip was not so simple.  I tried my usual route of cutting straight to the Clive Greenbelt but the trail was not plowed.  I had to return to Farm Bureau and take the sidepath along Westown Pkwy.  But at 50th St the sidepath ends and the sidewalk did not look clear.  Since I left work late traffic was now a nightmare.  I tried to take 50th to Woodland but the bridge over the freeway was not clear of snow.  Another dead end.  back track to Westown Pkwy and cut through Lowe's and cross 50th.

I took Corporate Drive all the way to Home Depot and worked my way to 35th so I could cut through Valley West Mall's parking lot.  Two options here.  One was to hang a left and cross University and go behind Pier 5 Imports and find the sidepath along 86th St and hope it was plowed.  The other, my choice, was to get back on Westown and take it to Buffalo Rd and hope the trail was clear.

The trail was clear from 73rd to the dog park.  The snow was too thick to ride through so I opted to take center St to 63rd and the side walk north to cross I-235 and cross 63rd there to the trail at Cummings Pkwy.  That trail was not clear either but it was a pleasant walk to the car wash where I could get back on the road and climb the hill to reach Ingersoll.

I was glad to be on the road again.  No more dead ends and backtracking.  Along the way to Ingersoll I ran into an old friend who was shoveling.  It was good to chat with him for a bit but I had to keep moving.

 Ingersoll was good until I crossed Polk Blvd.  The street was slush covered to compacted snow and the bike lane was often hidden underneath.  Truly amazing that I did not crash or get hit by a car on Ingersoll.  Took a lot of skill to keep the bike upright and find a clean line.

Fun and games.  I needed a photo of my bike next to "Washington" for Bicycle Ride & Seek.   Minor distraction on the long ride home.

At last I reached 15th which I followed down to cross MLK and get back on the sidepath.  2 miles to go!  What a great feeling.  They still needed to clean up the intersections but I was on my home stretch.  Amen!  What I needed was the the plowing of the trail system OR the same amount of traffic I experienced on the way to work...NONE.  The trails were still buried with the exception of the section that runs through Windsor Heights.  Somehow, someway, I made home alive.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Enough is ENOUGH. Hold Drivers Accountable!

A quick check of the statistics reveals that in 2012 84.38 per day people perished in automobile related traffic incidents in the United States.  There were 33,561 incidents that resulted in death.  Over 16,000 of the drivers died.  726 cyclists were killed that year from these events.  Most people call theses events "accidents."  Other than seat belt laws, lowering BAC amounts and a minor increase in speeding tickets and Federal regulations calling for "safer" cars in wrecks, little or nothing has been done to stop this bloodshed.  Instead another round of "blame the victim" has begun.  National Highway Traffic Stats

The State of Wyoming has legislation that would require all bicyclists to wear 200" of neon reflective clothing.  Wyoming Blames the Victims While many cyclist around the world do this, and I myself do this, it is a mere attempt to fix a problem with a small bandage and does not address the real problem.  The funny thing is, how many cyclist have been killed in Wyoming?  In 2010 there were 155 traffic fatalities.  ZERO BIKERS WERE KILLED No Cyclists Kill In Wyoming  77 bicyclist were counted as injured or involved in traffic crashes in 2013 2013 Stats page 12  Still ZERO deaths in 2013.  Nice PDF, Wyoming, in that area you RAWK!!

Bad drivers are the problem.  They need to be held accountable.  How does one do this?  Deterence through State Sanction.  Raise the fines.  Here are a few ideas.

1.  Significantly raise the consequences for speeding violations.  $2000 fine for first offense and 24 hours in jail.  $10,000 for second offense and 3 days in jail  $30,000 for 3rd offense and 1 month in jail.  Clean slate every 3 years.  Speeding is a major cause of all wrecks and fatalities.  Speed Kills

2.  Increase consequences for those found to cause wrecks, property damage and death.  Fail to prevent your vehicle from hitting someone else's or damaging someones property or worse yet killing a human life then expect to pay the price.  Prison, long suspension from driving, confiscation of vehicle, hefty fines and victim restituion.  No more slap on the wrists and pat on the backs and back on the road.

Sure, these seem severe.  But these proposals are designed to make all vehicle operators more aware of what havoc they wreak on society.  And perhaps the hammer of the State will cause them to review their driving habits and save lives and prevent property damage.

It is time we take our streets back.