Archive for May, 2011

Share the Road License Plate

May 29, 2011

Have you ordered your “Share the Road” license plate? As of October 27, 2011, we only need 81 more applications for the 1500 minimum set-up. Please go to The League of Illinois Bicyclists link below to see the plate, learn the benefits, and order. Thank you.

http://www.bikelib.org/other-advocacy/license-plates/license-plate-reservations/

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Blind Stoker Ride 5/21/2011

May 25, 2011

We had 8 blind stokers ride with us for the first ride of the year. The weather improved throughout the afternoon from “iffy” to beautiful. Thank you to all the members of The Chicago Area Tandem Society and The Elmhurst Bicycle Club and SEASPAR who participated. We all enjoyed The Taste of Glen Ellyn and the tandem rides to and from. Below is the link to an article with photos by Carol Pavlik about the ride which appeared on the Elmhurst Patch, an internet newspaper featuring local news.  

http://elmhurst.patch.com/articles/whether-a-stoker-or-a-captain-its-all-in-days-fun#photo-6185770

Also some photos from mysuburbanlife.

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/elmhurst/photos/x1836098976/-Stokers-pedal-in-tandem

 

Ride of Silence on May 18

May 10, 2011

Ride of Silence on May 18
Spring 2011

At 7 p.m. on May 18, cyclists around the world will ride their bikes without saying a word, participating in the Ride of Silence. The ride is a silent, slow-paced ride as a memorial for bicyclists who have been injured or killed while riding on public roadways. “Anyone who rides a bike is a vulnerable road user. We ride together during the Ride of Silence in silent procession to not only honor those no longer with us, but to raise awareness that we have a right to share the road,” said Elizabeth Adamczyk, who organizes the Chicago Ride of Silence.

Rides will take place in at least seven communities in Illinois this year (as of press time), with detailed information below. Last year, more than 550 bicyclists participated in six rides in the state (Arlington Heights, Chicago, Downers Grove, Evanston, Joliet and Peoria), with more than 300 rides occurring across the globe.

The rides are free with no need to register. For a listing of rides or more information, visit www.rideofsilence.org.

Arlington Heights, Recreation Park, 500 East Miner
Bartlett, Spin Doctor Cyclewerks, 140 S. Hickory
Chicago, Eternal Flame at Daley Plaza, corner of Dearborn and Washington
Downers Grove, McCullom Park, 61st and Main Street
Evanston, Chandler Neuberger Center (across the street from Evanston Hospital by the Peter Jans Golf Course)
Joliet, Memorial Stadium, 3000 W. Jefferson Street (US52)
Peoria, Upper Glen Oak Park
Urbana, University of Illinois Assembly Hall parking lot; 1st Street and St. Mary Road

Tandem hit: killing one, injuring another. But it’s not criminal.

May 10, 2011

Tandem hit: killing one, injuring another. But it’s not criminal.
By Gina Kenny, LIB Program  Manager

A man pleads guilty to being the cause of killing a woman and seriously injuring her husband, leaving the survivor with a long road to recovery and the loss of his wife. If this man had used a gun or a knife, he would spend time in jail.

But Errol Maul was driving a car.

Maul was driving on a rural road near Bondville, in early evening on March 7, when he struck the tandem bicycle carrying David and Cindy Combs. Maul admitted to looking at papers on the passenger seat and did not see the couple until it was too late for him to react, not braking until after the collision, according to a reconstruction done by police.

Currently, under Illinois law Maul could be charged with either traffic citations or a felony. He got the citations: for passing a bicyclist by less than 3 feet and for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The minor charges “reinforced an opinion that our legislators must act to close the gap that exists for prosecution of such cases – as other states are starting to do,” LIB executive director Ed Barsotti said.

Maul could have been charged with “reckless” homicide but it “seems to carry too high of a legal and case history standard of proof.” On the other hand, “the petty traffic offense penalties he was charged with are too weak to effectively deter very irresponsible driving,” Barsotti added.

A new bicycle harassment law went into effect Jan. 1 but Maul was not trying to harass the Combs. “The driver is a good person. This was not anything with evil intent so we all have to look at ourselves and say being a good person is not good enough, we have to pay attention when we are driving,” said Cynthia Hoyle, Champaign-Urbana transportation planner.

The road that the Combs were riding on is unremarkable with nothing that would obstruct a person’s view of the tandem pulling a trailer with an orange flag. “From a half mile away, anybody would have clearly seen (them), if they were looking,” said Gary Cziko, president of Champaign County Bikes.

“The only thing that makes any sense to me is that he was reading something and glancing up very quickly at the road, processing just enough information to keep him where he wanted to be but not enough to see if there was anybody in front of him,” he added. If that was the case, he does not understand why Maul was not charged with a felony. “That is not just being negligent. At a certain point, not looking out the windshield to see what is in front of you is reckless,” he said.

LIB will join others looking into other states’ laws and how Illinois law could be amended to make the penalty for killing a cyclist more than a traffic fine. The state legislature has twice reviewed negligent vehicular homicide legislation and has twice failed to approve a bill into law, Barsotti said.

Maul will pay a total of $2,000 in fines, plus court costs, and should have his driver’s license revoked for at least one year. “I am sure the driver is going through all kinds of hell with this so I am not out for revenge, in that sense, but I think people need to see that this is really serious,” Cziko said.

David Combs is still in the hospital and faces a long road for recovery in front of him. A fund has been set up to assist in his medical costs. Donations can be made to the “David Combs Recovery Fund” at First State Bank, 101 Windsor Road, Champaign, IL 61820.

Hoyle hopes that some good can come from the tragedy, such as educating motorists to use caution when driving. “When we are driving a motorized vehicle, we have to remember how easily it can kill somebody,” Hoyle said. “We have lost a wonderful member of our community, devastated a family, and the driver’s life is terrifically impacted as well; and, it certainly was not worth whatever else he was doing while driving,” she added.

Early Bird Ride at the Wine Country Weekend

May 9, 2011

If you are going to the Wine Country Weekend & would like to extend the riding in MI then consider coming over early on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 & Join Sherry & I for the Early Bird Ride.

We will be leaving the Super 8 Motel in Sawyer, MI at 11:00 AM (that’s 10:00 AM in Chicago) to ride into New Buffalo MI for lunch. We will be taking the back roads as usual and since this is the second year for this route, I don’t expect there to be any surprises. Of course I didn’t expect any last year either but that was not taking into consideration the State of MI road crews tearing up a couple of our roads.

We made careful notes on those problems from last year & adjusted the route for this year. It will be a 30 miles round trip with the outside leg being mostly in the country & the homeward leg pretty much following the lake front road back north. We will decide upon reaching New Buffalo where we plan to eat. There are abundant places, last year we ate at one that was right on the route, but depending on who is along we might get more adventurous this year.

It’s a pretty nice round trip although the Lake front road is rough in spots. If no one is hungry for lunch but only wants a snack of some sort we just might go straight to Oink’s for ice cream!!!

If you plan to join Sherry & I, PLEASE email me at tandemtom302@comcast.net or call us at 847-358-7797 so that we’ll know to wait for you before we leave the Super 8 & so that I’ll be sure to have a cue sheet for you. Hope many of you can make it.
Tom Masters