Why Roadies Should Train With A Mirror: 5 Tips for Competitive Riders

by Bob Mionske

Have you ever used a mirror? If you’re like most roadies, probably not.

Mirrors are not for everyone, but I’ve been using a mirror every day for years, and I think a significant percentage of competitive cyclists would be grateful if they gave one a try. Bicycle mirrors come in many forms, but the two basic types are those that mount to your head via your helmet or glasses, and those that are connected somewhere on your bike. On my bikes, I use a sleek and aerodynamic bar end type that no one even notices.

There is some disagreement about the usefulness of mirrors, but mostly I hear that from riders who have not even tried one, or who haven’t given it enough time. So I would suggest that if you fall into the majority of roadies who haven’t used one, try one out for yourself. I think for many, it’s going to be an eye-opening experience once it finally clicks. Using a mirror takes some getting used to, so I would suggest giving it a week or two before you decide whether they are for you.

There are many examples of why mirrors make riding safer, but here are 5 reasons a mirror helps a competitive rider (whether you officially race or just race other riders you encounter on your route). Of course, you might fear that using a mirror means you are now entering Fred-dom, but fear not. If you win the ride, you are no Fred!

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Why Being A Bicycle Accident Lawyer Matters

By Amy Benner

Tennessee Bicycle Accident Lawyer Amy Benner on the challenges and opportunities of being an attorney for the rights of bicyclists.

Last Tuesday, I was thrilled to officially become affiliated with Bike Law as the Tennessee attorney in the network, covering the State from Memphis to Nashville to Knoxville and all places in between. Well-timed, because on Wednesday, I traveled to Nashville to attend and speak at the third annual Tennessee Bike Summit. I have been advocating for safe streets and shared roadways for some time now. Additionally, I defend the rights of those accused of crimes. These two areas of law intersect quite nicely, because they allow for big picture thinking, which is a requirement for anyone honing into an area of practice that is new on the scene in the legal community.

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Out Of Tragedy, Halting Steps Towards Protecting Vulnerable Users

Portland Bicycle Accident Attorney on Vulnerable Road User Laws

By Bob Mionske

Gerald Apple was returning home from a ride. One left turn, and he would be in his driveway. But as he began turning, a driver coming up behind him passed Gerald on the left, hit Gerald, and knocked him into a drainage ditch in front of his home. Miraculously, Gerald wasn’t killed, but he suffered a severe brain injury. He lingered for months, but in February of this year, Gerald finally passed.

In her article “Personalizing the Consequences of Bicycle Crashes- The Gerald Apple Story,” Ann Groninger of Bike Law North Carolina recently recounted the heartrending story of how Gerald’s wheelchair-bound wife battled with unsympathetic care providers and an insurance company that refused to pay for Gerald’s health care, while her husband struggled to stay alive. Would Gerald still be with us today, if he had received the care he needed, instead of the cold shoulder? One can only wonder. But one thing is certain—had Gerald’s insurance covered the care he needed, his wife wouldn’t be faced with hundreds of thousands in unpaid medical bills today.

Gerald’s story caught my attention as an Oregon bicycle accident lawyer, because the circumstances of his collision were so similar to a crash that happened here in Oregon in 2007. It was June 9th, a Saturday. Timothy O’Donnell, 66, was on a ride with four other cyclists from the Portland Velo Cycling Club. They were about to make a left turn, with O’Donnell in the lead. O’Donnell had signaled and begun his turn, when he was struck by a car that attempted to pass him on the left. O’Donnell died at the scene.

The Portland cycling community’s grief soon turned to outrage, when we learned that the driver who killed O’Donnell—Jennifer Knight, then 26—had had her Oregon Driver’s License suspended for failure to appear on a ticket for driving without insurance. With her Oregon license suspended, Knight then moved to Idaho to get an Idaho license. And then, just 6 days before she crashed into O’Donnell, she caused a collision in Idaho by failing to yield to another vehicle, and was cited by investigators for inattentiveness. The day she crashed into O’Donnell, Knight, now returned to Oregon, was driving on a still-suspended Oregon license.

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Burn Out!

A Facebook fan sent us the following tale of an encounter in Alice Springs, Australia this past weekend; as you will see, it was too good not to share:

"Can't stop grinning right now. So we were riding home from a great morning ride with friends, followed by some coffee. (It is not even 9am and it is Saturday so the roads are fairly empty). Eric and I were riding two abreast which is totally legal (and there was a whole other EMPTY lane next to us). A guy comes up behind us in his car and honks at us. Okay, fine we are used to that, whatever. So he ends up catching the red light and we catch up to him and he proceeds to yell at us and tell us to get off the road and that he "Pays to use the roads." hahaha! I never actually understand this argument because um...so do we! Everyone pays for the roads!

Anyway, so as he is busy screaming at us he doesn't see that the light has turned green. So we tell him the light is green and he then peels out in front of us. So THEN the cop who was also at the intersection to the right of us sees this and turns on his lights. So we all proceed down Larapinta and I am just PRAYING that the cop car saw the guy being a jerk off and is actually going to pull him over. And...HE DID!!!!!!! He pulled the guy over!!! WOOHOO!!! Score one for the cyclists! The best and funniest part is that as we passed him on the side of the road, Eric told me not to taunt him but I couldn't help it so instead I just stared at the guy as we road past. He had a few nice greetings for me which included the F word. hahahahahah! Then I screamed....YESSSSSS!!! Really loud.

BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it gets better and better!

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Sending a Message in San Francisco

by Rick Bernardi

In America, we like to imagine that our lives have value. That we count. That we are somebody. That, great or small, we have rights. It’s right there in our Declaration of Independence, after all: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We also like to imagine that we are a nation of laws. And that we hold justice in deep regard. That our rights and our very lives are sacred and inviolable, and that if our rights are violated, that those responsible, great or small, will be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions. We imagine that we will have justice.

Well, that’s what they tell us, anyway. But none of that is true. Let me tell you about Amelie Le Moullac, and you will understand.

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Bicycling Under the Influence - Are You Breaking the Law?

Texas Bicycle Accident Lawyer: Can You Legally Drink and Bike?

By Charlie Thomas

As a bicycle accident attorney, I often find myself in conversations with bicyclists about whether riding under the influence is legal. This topic has recently gained steam, especially with the introduction of more bicycle lanes in urban areas (connecting residences to watering holes) and the growing popularity of pub crawls such as the monthly Critical Mass ride in Houston. The answer to whether pedaling under the influence is legal depends on each state’s respective DUI laws. This article addresses the issue in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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Missouri Bike Crash Lawyer Speaks to Kansas City Womens Bike Summit

By Vance Preman

On May 10, 2014, BikeWalkKC sponsored its Women’s Bike Summit at the Ewing and Muriel Kaufman Foundation Center in Kansas City. Over 100 Women from different cycling tribes participated in the all-day event. Commuters, racers, tourers, and general enthusiasts created a diverse group. Bike Law Vance was a guest speaker and participated in a panel discussion on the topic of bicycle crashes. Flanked by a retired Kansas City police officer and an actual cycling accident victim (who bravely shared her story), Vance covered topics of prevention, preparation, avoidance, traffic court, claims procedure, and litigation. A lively question and answer period ensued.

The participants then went en mass to a ribbon cutting for a new bikestation hub at the Foundation. The day ended at the rooftop lounge and pool of the new Hotel Sorella on the Country Club Plaza.

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This article, Missouri Bike Crash Lawyer Speaks to Kansas City Women’s Bike Summit, was originally published on Bike Law on May 12, 2014.
 

Missouri Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bike Accident Victim Hit By Car And Then Charged By The Police!

Maryland Bike Accident Lawyer on DC Area’s “Intersection of Doom”

By Peter Wilborn

Excellent article today in the Washington Post about Rosslyn’s “Intersection of Doom.” It accurately portrays a situation we deal with at Bike Law on a weekly basis: cyclist hit by a car, transported to the hospital, and presented with a traffic ticket by the police:

“Lindsey Kelley says she was biking through the crosswalk [ed: the correct place for her to be riding] at the intersection last Monday evening when she was hit by a gold sedan. The 23-year-old never spoke to the woman that hit her, but a man in a black SUV [ed: you can't make this stuff up, a black SUV!] stopped to reprimand her, she said, telling her that bikes should be on the sidewalk, that she came out of nowhere and that the crash was her fault. A U.S. Park Police officer asked whether she was hurt and needed an ambulance; she said yes.

She saw the officer again when he came to her hospital room and gave her a $70 ticket for “disregarding traffic signs or road markings.”

“He said, “Don’t get your blood pressure raised; here’s your ID and here’s your ticket. Now let me explain why I’m giving it to you,”” Kelley recalled. He said a witness [ed: remember the black SUV?] had told him that she was not in the crosswalk when she was hit. She protested, she said, and he told her that he had not been there to see the crash.”

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Do all Bicycles Weigh Fifty Pounds? Five Tips For Protecting Yourself From Bike Theft

by Bob Mionske

Have you heard that all bicycles weigh fifty pounds? It’s because a thirty-pound bicycle needs a twenty-pound lock, a forty-pound bicycle needs a ten-pound lock, and a fifty-pound bicycle doesn't need a lock at all. Well, maybe that was true before we had easy access to cargo bikes, e-bikes, and other heavy-duty bikes, but today?

And what about your sub-twenty pound bike? Do they even make a 30+ pound lock, or should you bring along a couple of 20 pounders, just to be safe? And doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of having, you know, a lighter bike?

Well, it is just a quip. But in the arms race against bike thieves, it can seem true, with the strongest locks getting really hefty.

And even then, we’ve probably all seen the videos of a “bike thief” cutting locks with power tools in broad daylight, in full view of indifferent big city passers-by. So even with a couple of the strongest locks you can buy, what’s the point? Should you just resign yourself to the inevitable?

No. It’s actually not as bad as it can seem. Sure, up to 2 million bikes are stolen every year, with the annual haul from bike theft in the $50 million neighborhood (making the take from bike theft higher than the take from bank robbery, according to the FBI). But that doesn’t mean that your bike has to get stolen, or that you can’t take steps to protect yourself. In fact, with these five tips, it’s actually easy to protect yourself from bike theft.

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New Orleans Bike Accident Lawyer Profiled in Local Press

New Orleans Bicycle Attorney Charlie Thomas joined the Bike Law Network last week and has already gotten some love from the press.

Here is the New Orleans City Business Article about his practice and the growth in cycling there.

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This article, New Orleans Bike Accident Lawyer Profiled in Local Press, was originally published on Bike Law on May 8, 2014.

Louisiana Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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