Monthly Archives: September 2013

I’m blaming the headwind. 27:04 up Kings.

I wasn’t sure how it would go this morning, after missing both Tuesday & Thursday’s rides last week while at the Las Vegas bicycle trade show, followed by an atypical 40 mile easy ride on Sunday. But things went pretty well, better than expected. Just three of us this morning; just Kevin (pilot) and Eric joining me. My son is off at Disneyworld with his sister, Karl’s out doing the ‘cross thing, George is in Italy where he recently competed (and did pretty well) in the Master’s World Championships. Kevin mentioned that he’d taken a good spill on Saturday during the rainstorm, so he expected to be slow, and maybe he was, but his version of slow is a bit different than mine. I stayed with him as long as I could, letting him slip away on the steep parts and then clawing my way back elsewhere. I could quite reach him though, as I began to fade up near the top due to some pretty strong headwinds. Maybe I should have been paying more attention to my time because there are only four things more frustrating that getting 27:04 up Kings. Those four things would be getting 27:03, 27:02, 27:01 or 27:00.

Unbelievable video taken today at site of Joy Covey’s fatal accident

Unbelievable that just a few days after Joy Covey lost her life, we see someone turning right in front of a cyclist at the same intersection. I rode up there again today, wanting to get an idea of how the sun might have affected visibility at the time of day the accident occurred, and hung around for quite a while, maybe 30 minutes, letting the video run and observing how cars and cyclists interacted. In this case, not well!

The cyclist was wearing a light-colored jersey and had a flashing front light. No fog (sorry about the fuzzy video; apparently I hadn’t wiped the lens clean). Did the motorist not see the cyclist? Or mis-judge the speed? You would think there would be a heightened sensitivity with greater care taken in making that turn. There is clear visibility for over a quarter mile on the downhill (north) side, so there’s no rocket science involved in making that turn. You make sure there’s nobody in sight coming up the road, then make the turn only when there’s nobody on the uphill (south) side.

I agree that it’s a dangerous intersection, requiring extra care for those turning into or out of it. But with that extra care, I think virtually all accidents are avoidable. Of course that’s expecting too much, so this intersection might be in need of serious redesign, perhaps adding roadway on the west side (right side when heading uphill/south) so that you could realign the entire roadway further west, giving a better view of traffic to someone on Elk Tree Road, and possibly even a left-hand turn lane incorporated on southbound-Skyline. It’s a whole lot of trouble for a lightly-used intersection, but this may have been the third serious (and second fatal) accident there.

More video, shot a couple minutes before what’s shown above, giving the motorist’s point of view. Many had questioned whether a motorist can actually see much up the hill. Yes, they can. If they’re looking. Make sure to run it full-screen so it’s a bit more realistic, since a car window is just a bit bigger than 3 inches across. And especially note the car at the end of the video, which never stops at all as it enters onto Skyline from Elk Tree Road. Is it really possible the driver gave anything more than a cursory glance before heading onto Skyline?