Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Looks like Walker Texas Ranger the grunter guy won't be returning stateside next summer. Looking to stay in NZ, finish his degree and stop being a slave to the bike. Smart guy.

So looks like I'll need a new madison partner this year. Hopefully Scotty gets in town before June 12th or whatever it is. I'm not too into doing a 6 day by myself... Maybe convince some of the Canadians to come down and do the endurance 6 day AND the sprinters 6 day. That'd be a good time. Talk about killer training...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

from BikePortland.org

"Cyclist sues TriMet

Long time bike advocate and current city employee Randy Albright (seen here at a June Critical Mass ride) has filed a lawsuit against TriMet seeking damages of over $48,000. The suit, which was filed last Friday, details an incident which occured on the Hawthorne Bridge back in January 2004.

I recently met with Randy to get his side of the story:

On the morning of January 22, 2004 he had just entered the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge heading into downtown when he noticed the bike lane was full of gravel debris. The roads had just thawed from an ice storm and despite several attempts to get maintenance crews to clean out the bike lane, it remained unusable. Because of this dangerous situation, Randy was forced to ride just to the right of the main traffic lane.

A few minutes later a TriMet bus came up from behind and buzzed him “less than a foot” from his handlebars. This was much too close for comfort in Randy’s mind. A few minutes later Randy caught up to the bus near a stop (still on the bridge) and proceeded to walk his bike directly in front of the driver’s window, yelling and screaming at the driver (for anyone that knows Randy, this is not hard to imagine). Before long, the other traffic continued on, but Randy remained in front of the bus, causing a delay.

[*Note, the bus was standing-room-only full at this time.]

This delay apparently upset the driver and one passenger in particular because suddenly the bus door opened and a man stormed out. He approached Randy and instantly began hitting him. The first punch broke Randy’s lip open (later needing stitches) and eventually this “John Doe” wrestled Randy over to the sidewalk (see photos).

After the incident, John Doe walked right back on the bus, the door closed, and the bus continued on into town. According to timestamps on the images made from TriMet video, the entire incident took less than one minute .

Randy and his lawyer feel TriMet is responsible because the driver:

Failed to operate his bus safely.
Allowed John Doe to leave the bus at an unapproved stop.
Allowed John Doe to return to the bus after committing a criminal assault and battery.
Failed to call the police after witnessing a criminal assault and battery.
Failed to call for medical assistance.
Facilitated assault and battery by a patron.
Randy has met with TriMet and reviewed video of the incident (that’s where these photos came from). Despite being cooperative with Randy’s requests for information, TriMet claims that John Doe is responsible for the incident and they have not assumed any responsibility so far.

In the background of all this is the fact that many cyclists have had run-ins with TriMet busses. Just glancing at my close call submissions, I found five of them involved a TriMet bus (here they are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

That being said, I’m not so sure Randy handled this right. Did he really have to make a big scene and get all irate with the driver? Would he have had more luck by just taking down the bus number and going through the proper channels? My heart says I can’t blame him for getting upset, but I wonder what would have happened if cooler heads prevailed…and so does Randy. At one point in our meeting, he said sheepishly, “I don’t hate TriMet or anything…after all, I take the MAX to Zoobomb!”.

But regardless of Randy’s outburst, there’s simply no justification for a TriMet driver allowing a passenger to beat someone up and then leave them without any more respect than roadkill. And what’s up with this psycho passenger? That guy needs to relax and stop assaulting people he doesn’t even know. Too bad no one knows who he is because I’d love to hear his side of the story.

Perhaps the judge will make TriMet begin a new cyclist safety training program. If something like that comes out of this we all win, because regardless of how it turns out I think there’s a real need for cyclists and TriMet to work together to share the road. They’re the heaviest road user and we’re the lightest, it’s a recipe for disaster. "


January at the shop

Mega slow. Not a person in sight. We opened the store and didn't see a single soul for an hour and a half. Pretty impressive for a popular bike shop.

What we're listening to right now:

What we're watching (at home):
Lost (yeah i know, it's addictive)
House (jerks are funny)
The Man With The Screaming Brain
Napoleon Dynamite

Top 5 Portland Burrito Joints:
Cha Cha Cha
Ole Ole
Rafael's (they deliver.. boo yah)

Now we're listening to:

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Was cool.
Racing indoors is way beter than training in the rain and sludge.

Damn those cannucks are fast. Always fun to race with Bruneau and Chater and the gang, those guys can really drive thier bikes. Highlights are as follows:

I didn't actually take out any Canadians with mind power, but it seemed like I did when one fell off his bike and landed at my feet while I was watching Dave's kierin round. Dude track surfed for a good 30 meters before coming to a stop right in front of me. Just looked down and went "you okay?" He was fine, the bike not so much. Looked like that $5000 corima was going to need a little duct tape.

I didn't save Dave's life, but I saved my new teammate Steven's. He came underneath me on the apron in a kierin and I was about to launch him into next week until I saw how orange he was. All good, the officials didn't dig it too much, and informed him that the apron isn't a cool way to go unless you want to get relegated. All in all he rode well against a pretty stacked field all weekend.

I drank about a case of Gleukos.

Pretty humbling weekend in all. Lungs felt great but the legs felt small and weak. Rode a pretty crap time in the 200, only good enough for 4th in the sprints, 5th in the kierin, and although I finished both races, I still managed to f*# up the sprint in both long scratch races.

Dave wore his PBR shirt during our Olympic sprint. Awesemely poetic.

Matt Chader won everything. The dude's been eating his Wheaties. He slays all in the sprints and kierin, then goes on to make everyone look like amatuers in the long scratches and the points race. He either has the best endurance of any sprint guy or the best sprint of any endurance guy. Or he's not realy a man, he's a robot that looks like a man and says "hoose" instead of "house" Thought it might be the Tim Horton's coffee, but I saw him at Starbucks the morning of the second day (I almost tripped over Bruneau's tree-trunk-like leg walking through the door. That guy's hard to miss), so I guess he must train or something.

People in Seattle don't know how to drive. I-5 was closed in 2 spots along the way. Damn rain is tough to drive in, and it's so uncommon in Seattle.... fortunately Steve's new video ipod and a few Ben Stiler movies kept the long-ass drive tolerable.

Must go to the gym... i'm feeling weak just thinking about it.



Yo blogspot, what's up?

Missing 3 posts for some reason... All that work for nothing. WTF?