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Mailbag: AToC, physics and an apology

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  • Keep it short. And remember that we reserve the right to edit for grammar, length and clarity.
  • Include your full name, hometown and state or nation.
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We can get higher

Dear editors,
Has Ben Delaney ever been to California? His story on the 2010 Tour of California route begins with “The 2010 Amgen Tour of California will venture high up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, …”

Really?bike shop

I just came from the live presentation in the Nevada City, City Hall and the race is going nowhere near “high up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.” I thought one of the main reasons the race was moved to May was to include some real mountains, such as the Sierras. Big Bear Lake and the Sequoia National Forest don’t even come close.

While I’m grateful the race is starting here in my home town, here’s hoping that AEG will put some real mountains in the 2011 version, and not be shy about dipping into Nevada for a stage or two to make it real.

Peter Krogh
Nevada City, California

Do unto others …

Amen to John from Ohio about the price of bike shop jersey advertising! I am a long time cyclist and am often embarrassed by the behavior of the local “team kit” crowd.

As far as the rage, I’ve driven politely along side of cyclists in my car and kindly suggested (as a fellow cyclist) that they not do blatantly dangerous and/or illegal things while riding and been subject to unbelievable streams of profanity and anger.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar rants hurled at me from car window as I’ve ridden my bike, along with beer cans, water balloons, etc… People on both sides need to “get over themselves” and treat each other like they’re likely to sit down next to each other at church this Sunday… it could happen, and then you’d be ashamed.

Jeff Warman
Seaford, Virginia

The shop owner’s view

I’d just like a chance to respond to the comments of John McLeod about the advantage of advertising, posted in (Wednesday’s) mailbag.

I’m sorry if Mr. McLeod encountered some “rude and elitist” cyclists wearing shop jerseys. It’s unfortunate, but he seems to forget the fact that most shop owners are in the bike business because they love cycling and they support it at the local level. I can tell you from experience that one of my proudest moments as a shop owner was seeing our colors come to life on a jersey. When people wanted to buy them I was absolutely flattered.

Mr. McLeod, could you please be aware that as a shop owner, I don’t get to choose who makes purchases at my store. Anyone riding a bike is my friend. I’ll even sell you a jersey.

Greg Jackson
Owner, Spin Bike Shop
Cleveland, Ohio

Keepin’ it cool

Dear Velo,
Obviously in the L.A. road rage case, I’m completely on the side of the cyclist. The driver was a moron and deserves to have his medical license revoked for life and be sent to prison for a good long time.

But reading the articles reminded me of the need to keep a cool head when dealing with drivers like him. Yelling obscenities and throwing the finger up certainly doesn’t help matters on the road and can destroy any credibility a cyclist may have in the courtroom. When confronted by an angry horn blowing driver, don’t do anything. Retaliating simply rewards the driver and will encourage him to do it more.

Thank you for the great reporting on this case.

Best Regards
Joel Ankeny
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Inherent instability and the physics of lawyerin’

Dear Velo,
I was fascinated by the article featuring defense lawyer Peter Swarth, who justifies the admitted slamming of brakes in front of two cyclists by his client (a doctor), as the fault of the cyclists for riding “inherently unstable” bikes.

I tested this hypothesis at home, I got off my bike and let it go, sure enough, it crashed to the floor, looking for trouble.

I then pushed my car down a hill, and it failed to stop or turn before crashing. Thankfully, Mr. Swarth is bringing to light the inherently unstable nature of some vehicles on public roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should be informed.

As for the “inexplicable physics” of a rider ending up in front of a car on the ground after hitting the rear of the vehicle, Mr. Swarth obviously never watched cartoons as a child.

Ray Truant
Ancaster, Ontario, Canada

Hit and run

I would love to weigh in on the issue of sharing the road. Here in Virginia, just outside of Newport News and Hampton, we have a real problem. I am a statistic of that problem. I was hit by a driver in a two-tone blue/grey Dodge pick-up truck, mid-80’s style. He turned into me from the main road, upon which both of us had been traveling, and hit me as I was crossing an intersection.

The hit was only about 20-30 mph, but enough to cause permanent damage for the rest of my life. I am lucky, blessed in fact, as there is no reason I should be here, except that God needed me for something.

While down on the ground and as he was stopped for a split second I remember looking up at this man and yelled to him “What the hell are you doing?”

He then looked puzzled, swerved around me, and took off. I was able to get five of the six numbers on the tag, gave them to the police. They said they could never find him. This happened in May, I am still in pain, and do not ride at all anymore (unfortunately too painful), and will be on medicine the rest of my life.

One of the eye witnesses tried to catch him but could not, another was a nurse who called 911 and got me into an ambulance and to the hospital. On the way to the hospital, the EMT tells me that he sees at least two or three hit-and-runs per week, and the police never find them, nor investigate them. He said it is too much trouble, and not worth the time and effort they have to put into it.

I called, and called for weeks, and into a couple of months, and all the police told me was they couldn’t find a tag that matches that truck in the system. They never did anything else but run the partial tag.

This is a problem, and one that as long as the cops have no incentive to do anything about it, nothing will ever get done. From what I was told by the EMT, a lot of people see us as targets, and that we represent a group that has no business on the road to begin with, and that the cops share the attitude. It saddens me that I will never ride like I used to, and I am not sure if I would ever be comfortable enough to do so anyway, even if I was physically able.

Andrew Elliott
Carrollton, Virginia

Singing to the choir

Good morning,
I was thinking about this the other day, about how much informative and constructive ideas on road safety and infrastructure is written by your readers, and how it truly doesn’t do very much to affect change.

Certainly, it gels us together. But why don’t we charge the discussion on automotive magazine sites?

Wouldn’t it be better to get the attention of motorists and get their input on what changes to road infrastructure they would see as helping them navigate with us? I’m sure the vast majority of motorists don’t feel compelled to run us over, so I would like to know why – and how – they deal with cyclists and what they do to be courteous to us.

Thanks kindly,
Michel Kurita

Upon further reflection …

Dear VeloNews
Earlier this year I fired off a letter to VeloNews about Ken Chlouber (the promoter of the Leadville 100 Mountain bike race) not being completely fair in allowing a few more riders into the race this year.

I just saw the movie “Race Across the Sky” and I can tell you that I am in fact, a dumb-ass for even thinking that. I obviously was an outsider (who has dealt with a few less-than-savory race promoters) looking in. I hope Ken will accept my apology and not burn my check and entry form for next year’s race!

Great race run by a great crew.

Alan Keeffe
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Chicago, we have a problem

I was looking forward to seeing “Race Across the Sky.” Don’t know if this problem was widespread tonight, but the theater I went to (AMC River East 21 in downtown Chicago) couldn’t get the digital feed to work. We were all given refunds and a free movie voucher. I think it was a real disappointment for a lot of us.

I am a subscriber to the VeloNews and Inside Triathlon magazines. Thanks for all round coverage in these two publications – and with Singletrack.com; I hope it grows.

Wayne Lee
Chicago, Illinois

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