Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling
Although you’ll read cogent advice to Never Talk To Police, somehow I knew this would involve a conversation long before I went around the curve:
And it did:
Evidently, someone just discovered a body floating in a bend of the small creek off to the left.
My helmet camera prompted some attention, although nothing of interest was visible from the road. A few days later, whoever owned the property bulldozed a substantial berm along the far shoulder to prevent random strangers from just driving in and doing whatever. A week or so later, a call from another police agency had me explaining I don’t have video records of the creek or of any activity, suspicious or otherwise.
Another traffic stop concerned a specific vehicle allegedly involved in an attempt to
pick up abduct a girl from a school bus stop:
I carry a garish scar under my right arm from my collision with a frameless driver door window while commuting from classes at Lehigh U, back in the day, so I’m as bike-aware as any driver you’ll ever meet. After reading several articles describing the Dutch Reach, I put a reminder on the Forester’s driver door handle:
The bright yellow block reminds me to peer into the mirror before yanking the handle, regardless of which hand I’m using. Haven’t had any close calls yet, but practice makes perfect.
If you don’t have a label maker, you can hang a tag on the handle.
It’s surprisingly hard to retrain a habit, though …
My most recent description of not quite getting killed in front of the NYS DOT Region 8 office evidently did some good. Although I wasn’t informed directly, this happened:
The minimum green time was increased to 10 seconds.
Which is five more seconds more than before, allowing us to get nearly all the way through the intersection before crossing traffic on Rt 55 gets a green light.
As before, the numbers are video frames at 60 fps.
T=0.0 – Burnett signal goes green:
T=2.5 – The trailer ahead of us starts and we’re rolling:
T=8.0 – We reach the Burnett crosswalk. Note the car beside us isn’t making much headway, either:
T=11.93 – Burnett signal goes yellow overhead, so the green phase lasted 12 seconds:
T=16.16 – Rt 55 signal remains red, but will change within a second:
Seen from the rear view camera, the Rt 55 signal went green while we were still in the intersection:
You’ll note the cars on Rt 55 behind us weren’t visible three seconds earlier, so, as far as they can tell, we’re running the red.
Fortunately, we’re almost where we need to be:
The timing still isn’t safe, but after three years, five more seconds counts for a lot!
Some recent brush-clearing along our usual bicycle routes:
The bushes with oval leaves are Blackthorn, of which Wikipedia says “The shrub, with its savage thorns, is traditionally used […] to make a cattle-proof hedge.” They’re commonly found along the untamed border of Rt 376, as well as the rail trail.
It’s more effective than expecting my tax dollars to wake up and get to work …
The adult seems very protective …
Spotted on the Vassar College campus, in front of the dining hall.
A yummy carcass on New Hackensack Rd near Wappinger Falls attracted a pair of vultures, one barely visible on the right just beyond Mary (clicky for more dots):
Half a second later, they’re both airborne and flapping in unison:
The one on the left swooped around the bushes and we both anticipated a collision, but it decided against returning to the carcass until we passed.
The driver gave us plenty of room, which is always nice:
But then the SUV turned into the Maloney Rd entrance to the Dutchess Rail Trail:
Which was specifically designed to exclude motor vehicles:
Later, I was told it’s an “allowable access” for Water Authority vehicles and, in any event, because their SUV didn’t leave the biggest ruts and tracks, they think it’s all good:
The ramp joins the trail at an acute angle, so the SUV required some backing & filling to get around:
Then it’s an easy drive to the water meter about 2500 feet down the trail:
There’s an Official Vehicle Access gate one mile south of the Maloney ramp that’s about 3800 feet from the water meter. I’m told they use the Maloney ramp to reduce the distance they drive on the rail trail; evidently, destroying the entrance Just Doesn’t Matter.
I’m trying to develop an attitude between Zen and apathy, with just enough indifference to not care when somebody tells me how wonderful things will be in the future.