Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another entry in the continuing saga of my accident

I went down to where the accident happened on Tuesday night to verify I got the positions and distances right before I rewrote my statement. While I was there, I stood for 18 cycles of traffic light changes, to catch ten situations where the traffic was in the same position as I was; a car in the left hand lane, and another car in the right hand lane going straight across. I found the following interesting results:

  • Every single car in the right hand lane was snug up to the left hand side of the lane

  • Every single car in the right hand lane ended up switching to the left hand lane after crossing the intersection

  • Two of the cars crossing into the left hand lane did so in an incredibly dangerous manner, and I'm surprised there aren't more accidents here

So, the applicable point here for my case is that every single car was snug up on the left hand side of the lane. I think perhaps a tangential point is that every driver who goes across is being impatient and wants to cut around the flow of traffic, apart from the very occasional driver who is looking to park at the parking meters, or turn into the driveway of the block of flats there.

This morning I met with the insurance adjuster to take photos of the damange to my bike and measure the handlebars on my bike (to check if it's feasible that the other driver hit my handlebars with his mirror (incidentally... does anyone out there know what the height of a 1999 Buick Le Sabre's mirror is off the ground, and how high it is?) Whilst we were talking after signing my statement, I went over the Google Maps snapshot I did, and the adjuster let slip that the driver admitted he was 2-3 feet from my right at the light. This means, of course, that he must have seen me, since there's no other reason he would have been so far over to the right. The adjuster clammed up after that, and I have a suspicion he didn't mean to say it, but I'm starting to think it's looking like the case is, with any luck, going to go in my favour...

Next step is to sign a medical release form so the insurer can get all my medical details from the doctor to get a list of medical costs, just as soon as it gets faxed over to me. I'm hoping this will get resolved fairly soon...

2 days till I can ride my bike again. Public transport is sucking hard. Why do people think the volume on their personal stereo has to be locked hard on 11? A little less perfume wouldn't go amiss, either.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yet more accident news (or, "I would sell my life story as a soap opera, but no-one would believe it")

I went to the police station yesterday to get a copy of the accident report. Things started going downhill fairly rapidly; here's a somewhat shortened version of the conversation I had with the secretary behind the desk at the accidents desk:

Me: "I'd like a copy of accident number xx-yyyyyy please."
Secretary: "Sure, let me just pull it up on the system here... Hmmm, it's not here. Let me just go and check in the back to see if it's on file there."

After a couple of minutes digging around, she came back.

S: "I can't find it. Are you sure that's the right number? I've got xx-yyyyzy on the system, though, is that it?"
Me: "It's the number that the police officer at the scene gave me."

After discussing what happened, she finally managed to get a hit from the license plate number of the driver.

S: "OK, here we are. So, it's a hit and run in Upper Sackville and you were driving a Honda Civic?"
Me: "Er, no, I was driving a bicycle and was hit at South Park and Morris by a Buick Le Sabre."
S: "Oh... it says here you were driving a Honda Civic in Sackville, and you were hit crossing South Park and Morris on a bicycle by a Buick... oh. This is all wrong, isn't it?"
Me: "Er, yes. I don't know what happened, but I definitely wasn't in Sackville."
S: "Well, it looks like the original report got sent over to the RCMP in Sackville, because Sackville isn't in our jurisdiction. I can call them and see if it's there if you want?"
Me: "Sure, that'd be great."

So, she called up, and left a message, and came back and said:

S: "I left a message, I don't know if they'll call back soon or not. If you want to try waiting there's a bench over there."

Rather an odd way of putting it, but I thought I'd give it a try. After 20 minutes I decided not to waste any more time and told them I had to leave and left my number. I was told to email the officers concerned, and got their details. I emailed them when I got back to the office, and didn't think anything more of it.

This morning, I got a call from the receptionist. I went up and picked up a copy of the accident report. The text was quite definitely not what I was expecting, and I'll quote it verbatim:

"Both veh & bicycle Northbound on south park street. Bicycle was bumped by vehicle. No injury, no damage, no witnesses. Unclear who was @ fault, cyclest did not wish further action"

This is rather interesting as it's quite definitely not what the officer I talked to told me. However, there is a diagram that has the lane positioning, and it shows the driver was over towards the right hand side (although not as far as he looked to me). That given, it makes no sense for him to be that far over, since he would have to meander to the left instead of going straight across, so hopefully that's a bonus point in my favour.

I also got a copy of the statement I gave to the claims adjuster. It reads like some stream of consciousness drivel from a mentally ill patient who has no concept of the passage of time. Here's a sample snippet:

"When I fell to the pavement I put my left hand out to break my fall and ended up rolling over coming to rest on my right side. I was wearing a helmet. I didn’t strike my head. I scuffed up my right knee; I have a bruised right hip as well. I had a few scratches to my left hand. I called the HRM Police on my cell phone and they came to the accident scene. I was able to get up off the pavement on my own. I told the police what had happened. The police officer that I spoke to told me that the driver of the car was at fault, based on what I had told him and what the other officer was told by the driver of the car. I don’t know if the driver of the car received a ticket, I left the accident scene while they were still talking to the driver of the car. I had my bike looked at by Ideal Bikes on Barrington Street yesterday and there is $394.34 damage to the bike as quoted by Ideal Bikes. The handle bar tape was scuffed up, break pads damaged, handle bars were bent in on the right hand side, the rear derailleur was damaged, right hand petal and the leather seat was damaged. I rode my bike to the office and when I got there I started to get more pain in my left hand."

I'm going to be spending the evening rewriting it into something a touch more coherent, I think...

I stopped in at Ideal Bikes at lunchtime to pick up some more handlebar tape to make my hybrid bike easier to ride. Dave suggested putting an ad in The Coast, a local paper, looking for witnesses - apparently people have done that with some success in the past.

4 more days till I can ride my bike again. This still sucks.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More car accident news, and a reader poll

I went to my chiropractor again this morning, and he's now saying I should be able to get back on my bike next weekend for short distances - so the trip to Cape Breton is still off, but at least I won't be stuck using public transport for an extended period of time.

I took some time dinking around with Google Maps, and I found something very interesting. The lane in the road I was on (South Park Street) becomes narrower after it crosses Morris - slightly to the right of the green arrow in this Googlemaps link. I took a snapshot (unfortunately I can't get full zoom to show - if anyone knows of a better satellite image source, please let me know) and blew it up and drew in lines from the kerb on the north side of South Park, and from the kerb on the south side, to emphasise the offset of the kerb from one side of the kerb to the other.

So, given the following map:

with the poorly drawn black rectangle-ish thing being a vehicle turning left, if you were driving a car of the size of, oh, a large Oldsmobile or Buick, and you were driving your vehicle straight across... Where would you position your vehicle? On the left of the right hand lane, in the middle, on the right hand side of the lane, or other (in which case, please note where)? Feel free to leave an answer in the comments box; after not having driven regularly for over 10 years, I think my own opinion may be somewhat suspect.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More news on the car accident

I went in to see my chiropractor today, and he confirmed I have a fractured wrist. He reckons it's going to take two months to fully heal; the trip to Cape Breton is off, and he wouldn't commit to when I can get on my bike for regular commuting.

I also met with the claims adjuster today. He took down my statement, 3 pages worth, and went over it in detail. After that, he let slip something interesting; the motorist is claiming that I arrived at the lights after he did, which is a stunningly blatant lie. That said, the adjuster is going with an open mind until he has seen all the evidence; we're going to meet downtown on Monday and he's going to take a look at my bike to try to find any evidence to square away with either side, and I'm going to get a typed copy of my statement for my records, and sign his copy.

After I talked to the claims adjuster I called the number on the card the police officer gave me, and asked what would be involved in getting a copy of the accident report. The person I talked to wasn't entirely sure, but she thought it would cost $28.75 from the records department, and gave me a number to call tomorrow morning to get the exact information. I'm hoping that there's enough information in the report to prove my point of view. Unfortunately by the time I'd got off the road and to a safe point all potential witnesses had passed by, so it's going to be entirely down to circumstantial evidence now.

Needless to say, this sucks.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ride into work for Tuesday, 20 June, and hit by another car

Nice fast ride in today with the new pedals and new tyres, right up to the point where I got hit by a car. I was at the front of the line waiting for the traffic lights to change, in the left hand side of the right hand lane, waiting to go straight on. A car came up behind and to the right next to me, and I figured he was turning right. As the light changed, I went straight across, aiming for the right hand side of the lane ahead, as the driver tried to overtake me on the inside and whacked me with the side of his car.

I called the police and asked them to send an officer out, while ignoring the driver's plaintive pleas of "but your bike looks ok to me...". The fire truck arrived first (they always get sent out for road accidents), did a quick first aid checkover on me to make sure I was OK, and headed back out. The police arrived and I explained what happened to one officer, while the other officer talked to the driver. The officer I talked to agreed that it was definitely the driver's fault, so I got all the information and headed off to work.

I took my bike into IdealBikes to see what needed doing:

* New bar tape ($15)
* Wheel truing ($40)
* New handlebars ($40)
* New rear derailleur ($24)
* New Brooks saddle as the leather was shredded by the rivet and it'll probably tear ($lots)
* New pedals to replace the ones I put on just last night ($83.90)

The total including labour and taxes came to $394.34. I called the driver while I was at the shop and he said it wasn't his fault, and the most he was willing to pay was half the damages (why he was willing to pay if he wasn't at fault was odd). We had a heated discussion with the guys at the bike shop listening in and it ended with me saying I would call his insurance company and run it through them.

I'm now off to the hospital after getting the insurance process started, hopefully there's nothing too badly damaged...

Distance logged: 13.973km
Time: 34:54
Average speed: 24km/hr
Max speed: 63.9 km/hr
Temperature: 13C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3621.394km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 506.746km
Monthly cost per km: $0.42

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 19 June

Went to MEC at lunchtime and picked up a couple of 28C tyres, a bottle of Apple Cinnamon Carb-boom (as recommended by the Fat Cyclist) and a gel flask. My plan is to take the 32C tyres off the Nishiki and use one of them as a spare on the trip to Cape Breton; I'm finding they're slipping when I corner at anything over about 40km/hr, so I wanted something with a bit more grip. The sales blurb at MEC promise that the Continental Ultra Sport tyre has "special tread design delivers confidence inspiring adhesion and stability even during high speed cornering", and it's also puncture resistant - I guess I'll find out for sure tomorrow, as I put the tyres on tonight.

I also picked up a pair of Wellgo B37 pedals; I want a reliable set of pedals, and since Dougii grabbed a pair and noted there was only one left at MEC, I figured I'd better bite the bullet. I've thrown them on the Nishiki for now to make sure they get well ridden in, and then I'll put them on the hybrid for the trip to CB.

Distance logged: 16.005km
Time: 44:26
Average speed: 21.6km/hr
Max speed: 53.9 km/hr
Temperature: 20C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3607.421km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 492.773km
Monthly cost per km: $0.43

Ride into work for Monday, 19 June

Rode in early this morning as I woke up early. Went for a ride downtown, across the bridge and back, then wandered around downtown and got into work. I was still half an hour early...

Distance logged: 31.075km
Time: 76:44
Average speed: 24.3km/hr
Max speed: 65.9 km/hr
Temperature: 16C-18C
Cumulative distance: 3591.416km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.45
Monthly distance: 476.768km
Monthly cost per km: $0.27

Maintenance day and utility cycling

Cleaned up the Nishiki and adjusted the high limit screw on the front derailleur, as the chain was rubbing in 6th gear in the big ring. Changed the chain on the mountain bike as that was pretty much shot after all the riding in the rain I did on Thursday, while I had the chain off I cleaned all the gunk off the rings and from between the cogs.

Went up to the farmer's market to get stuff for lunch, then later made another run there to get a bulb of garlic, and on to the local butcher's to get some sausages for supper.

Distance logged: 11.073km
Time: 31:17
Average speed: 21.2km/hr
Max speed: 64.1 km/hr
Temperature: 20C-24C, sunny, breezy
Cumulative distance: 3560.341km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.45
Monthly distance: 445.693km
Monthly cost per km: $0.29

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ride for Saturday, 17 June

Took a ride down to Peggy's Cove to try out the new wheels. I took a clockwise route rather than my usual counterclockwise route as there was a wind blowing to the northeast; this meant that I was riding into a headwind to start, but after I rounded past Peggy's Cove it turned into a tailwind and I was zooming along at a fairly steady 30-35km/hr. I tried the eLoad and so far it seems to have done the trick for warding off cramps, so I'll pick up some more for the trip up to Cape Breton.

Distance logged: 93.479km
Time: 210:12
Average speed: 26.7km/hr
Max speed: 70.9 km/hr
Temperature: 25C, sunny, breezy
Cumulative distance: 3549.268km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.45
Monthly distance: 434.620km
Monthly cost per km: $0.29

Friday, June 16, 2006

Rides for Friday, 16 June

A whole bunch of utility cycling... Down to the store to get the paper this morning, then a ride round to test whether I had tuned the high limit screw right on the front derailleur of the hybrid, then a trip down to the liquor store at Farnham Gate to pick up a couple of bottles of wine, a 6 pack of Cadian Ale and a bottle of port. I'm hoping to get out for a long-ish ride tomorrow, I need to gain some carbs!

Distance logged: 8.752km
Time: 23:54
Average speed: 22km/hr
Max speed: 54.5 km/hr
Temperature: 19C-25C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3455.789km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 341.141km
Monthly cost per km: $0.37

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ride for Thursday, 15 June

Rode into Bedford for a Dr's appointment. It wasn't too bad on the way in, just a light misting, but it started raining heavily on the way back due to post tropical storm Alberto. Traffic was backed up going up Hammonds Plains Road, and I found a gaggle of police standing under the bridge doing spot checks. One of them very wittily said, "hey, can I see your license plate on that thing?"; I smiled and nodded and carried on riding while he sniggered to himself. My bike computer conked out not long after this as it got flooded out from the rain; distance for the ride was calculated from Gmaps, and I guessed at the time.

After I got home I stripped off my bike, picked up the panniers and headed off to the grocery store, figuring I couldn't get any wetter anyway and I needed some groceries. I picked up 2 2 litre containers of milk, a 4 litre container of orange juice, a couple of bottles of salad dressing, a big tin of coffee (since it was on sale), a wedge of blue Stilton, mustard greens, two heads of lettuce, 10 sweet peppers, a small bag of habanero peppers, a couple of heads of brocolli, some Clif bars (never knew Sobeys sold Clif bars, but there you go), and a box of granola bars. At the checkout, as I filled my MEC panniers and MEC backpack with groceries while trying not to drip water from my MEC windbreaker, the checkout girl started talking about camping apropos of nothing, and said, "there's a store downtown with all kinds of neat camping stuff, I can't remember what it's called, I think it's just three letters... They've got all sorts of stuff there, you can even get a brownie mix to make brownies at camp, which doesn't seem to me to be what camping's all about, camping's about roughing it, not enjoying it!" I mentioned that she was probably talking about MEC, and she said, "oh... yeah! That's it!" - Sobeys obviously don't need to hire people with too much intelligence, but masochism seems to be a bonus!

Headed back home and made myself a nice big salad as a reward.

Distance logged: 42.668km
Time: 100:00
Average speed: 25.6km/hr
Max speed: 55.7 km/hr
Temperature: 12C-14C, heavy rain
Cumulative distance: 3447.037km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 332.389km
Monthly cost per km: $0.38

Ride for Thursday, 15 June

Woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep - my sleep schedule has been all screwed up this week. Gave up around 4:30 and decided to go for a ride, headed out the door around 5:15 and went to Timberlea and back. The bike was great riding out to Timberlea, it felt really light and it felt like I had to put hardly any effort into skimming along at 35km/hr. Then I turned round and found I was heading into a strong headwind.

Distance logged: 19.466km
Time: 43:33
Average speed: 26.8km/hr
Max speed: 49.7 km/hr
Temperature: 12C, foggy, windy
Cumulative distance: 3404.369km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 289.721km
Monthly cost per km: $0.44

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 14 June

The sprog got discharged from hospital early, so I was out of there shortly after mid-day. On my way over to the bike shop I saw a branch of Running Room and thought I'd stop in to see if they had anything that would be useful for my trip to Cape Breton. The guy there recommended trying a powder called eLoad, but said my best bet would be Cytomax and even told me where to get it in Halifax. I picked up two sachets (16oz/sachet) for $3.75, which worked out even cheaper than Gatorade. The eLoad has more than just sodium and potassium, too, so I'm hoping it'll stop me cramping. With any luck I should be able to get a long ride in before CB to test it out.

I got back to IdealBikes and they hadn't even looked at my bike - fair enough, as I'd told them I wasn't planning on being back till later in the afternoon. Dave pulled down my bike and got Roger to look at it, and he agreed that the hub was pretty shot, and also the rims were whacked - the rim was true on one side and all whaley on the other, pretty much unfixable. The forks turned out to be OK, though - I guess it must have just been the angle the bike was at, when Roger measured them against a spare hub they were straight. Roger tried a 700C wheel on the bike and it fit fine, so he figured out what would be required (new wheels and new cassette plus some labour) and did a quote up for me. I said that'd be great and I'd come back next week, and Roger looked at me and said, "oh... I was going to do it for you now!" Can't argue with that, so I called the woman who hit me and explained that the wheel needed replacing and it came to a total of $430 inc tax. She agreed to come down to the bike shop that evening and pay for it, and Roger agreed he'd fit it all for me and wait for her to pay me for it, so he set to work. I sat my the front desk and read a magazine and watched people stream in... I counted 23 people while I was there, over a period of an hour and a half. Halifax definitely seems to have an active cycling population, but I can't help wondering where they're all riding.

Roger had to grind out the front forks a bit with an angle grinder to get the new wheel to fit, and nibbled a bit out of the front brakes to drop the pads down enough. The rear dropouts also needed a bit of grinding down, as well as the screw that held the derailleur in place - it was obviously a pretty tight fit, I ended up with an 8 speed cassette on there. Even after repeated tinkering Roger couldn't get the derailleur to work right across the range since the cassette was wider, so he switched out a couple of different derailleurs until he found one that worked, an Acera model from Shimano - this is apparently a mountain bike derailleur, but since I use friction shifters I can get away with using all sorts of random drivetrain components without worrying too much.

The wheels are Alex DA22 double wall rims, and they're noticeably lighter than the other rims - especially since it's rotational weight. It felt like a new bike on the way home, especially with the new gears; Roger said I effectively had a new gear at the low end, and a new gear at the high end, but otherwise it was the same. The bike certainly had a lot more pep to it, and I'm looking forward to doing a longer ride - not over the next few days, though, as Tropical Storm Alberto is supposed to pass over us over the next couple of days. Perhaps it'll end up shifting the persistent rain system that's been hanging over Atlantic Canada for the the past few weeks? That'd be a definite bonus...

Distance logged: 14.970km
Time: 39:38
Average speed: 22.7km/hr
Max speed: 56.9 km/hr
Temperature: 22C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3384.903km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 270.255km
Monthly cost per km: $0.47

Ride downtown for Wednesday, 14 June

Rode the Nishiki downtown and left it at IdealBikes to see what could be done to fix it up after the accident last week.

Distance logged: 13.313km
Time: 32:36
Average speed: 24.5km/hr
Max speed: 50.4 km/hr
Temperature: 15C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3369.933km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 255.285km
Monthly cost per km: $0.49

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ride into the hospital for Monday, 12 June and back again for Tuesday, 13 June

Two rides smooshed together because I didn't get a chance to take the numbers off the bike computer.

The sprog was in for surgery on his legs on Monday so I rode my bike downtown and dropped it off at IdealBikes for some maintenance before the tour to Cape Breton next month, and also for somewhere handy to stash it overnight. I picked it up today with new rings, sorted out rear gear set (the lockring wasn't quite right, for some reason), repacked headset (it no longer clicks!) and a baggie of common nuts, bolts and screws. Took it easy on the ride home due to severe lack of sleep due to a really irritating kid in the next bed over wanting to stay up all night watching the hockey while the sprog and I were trying to sleep...

Distance logged: 29.471km
Time: 82:06
Average speed: 21.5km/hr
Max speed: 60.2 km/hr
Temperature: 12C, sunny / 24C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3356.620km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 241.972km
Monthly cost per km: $0.51

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Maintenance day

First off, I took a look at the mountain bike. It turned out that some much grit had accumulated around the release spring on the brake arm that it was stopping the arm from releasing. I stripped the brake apart, cleaned it, and regreased it all, and that seems to have done the trick.

Next up was assessing the damage on the Nishiki to see if it was rideable. The forks don't look too bad, and I think they can be cold set without a problem. The wheel didn't spin very well, though, and it felt really rough. I took the wheel out and stripped it down and found that the thread on the left-hand side of the axle bolt was stripped in two places opposite each other, and the dust cap had a similar dent. I cleaned out the hub, regreased it and reassembled it and now it spins for longer, but it still feels really rough. I have a suspicion that hitting the car whacked something out of alignment in the hub.

I checked the lateral true of the wheel against the brakes and there's a massive bump about 20cm long where I hit the car. I think I'm going to need a new wheel, and since they're 27" wheels which are exceedingly difficult to find, I'm probably going to have to go with 700c wheels, which means I will need a new rear wheel as well, and quite possibly new brakes if the calipers aren't long enough. All this is really more hassle than I need, my son is going into hospital for surgery tomorrow so this is going on the back burner for a while... Just as well I have a few other bikes, really.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ride most of the way home followed by an intercession by a car followed by a walk home

Note: this blog entry entered under the influence of a couple of ibuprofen followed by a bottle of Cadian Ale followed by a bottle of Australian Shiraz and a quarter a half> best part of a really good bottle of port (feel free to send me a free bottle any time now) this entry may not be 100% accurate.

Today, after the uneventful day yesterday, I was hit by a car. This is the first time I've been hit by a car in the best part of two years - or to put it another way, 15000 km. As I was riding home, I was hit by someone reversing out of their driveway. I slowed down, saw their brake lights, and (thinking back) rather stupidly assumed they saw me and were stopping. I continued on, they jackrabbited out, and I, for lack of better expression... hit them. I insisted that the driver call the police. She immediately admitted responsibility and offered (in fact, almost insisted) to call the ambulance. Since my son has Cerebral Palsy and needs (really the ambulance on occasiona, unlike some other people) an ambulance), I elected to call just the police. Kudos to the driver, she called the police, told 911 I delclined an ambulance, and did everything possible to make me comfortable (provided me with an icepack and a towel for my bruised fingers (most appreciated) and a chair for my bruised stomach (not quite so appreciate but it's not her fault - if I'd sat down I'd probably not have gotten up).

When the police (Const. B. Boone) arrived I was impressed at how careful he was. First he talked to us both to get an idea of what happened. I wasn't overly impressed at what the driver said (she said only the back half of her car was out of the driveway, but I was sure more of it was out) but regardless, the police officer immediately said the driver was at fault. After spending a while digging through what I said vs what the driver said the police officer came to the conclusion that (a) I was riding my bike uphill in an orderly fashion, (b) the driver was driving her car out of the driveway and (c) she hit me coming out of the driveway without paying due care and attention. To the best of my recollection, she was given a ticket for "failing to reverse out of a driveway without due care and attention". I get the feeling that I'm going to have to get a book of offenses and study then - I didn't realise there was such an explicit offense, and after finding out that bike lanes are parking lanes if vehicles can fit 4.5m or less of their vehicle close to the curb I'm going to have to investigate further.

As part of my discussio with the officer I was slightly surprised to find Constable/Sergeant/Officer Boone was a biker himself - he drives a Norco Nitro. We were talking about insurance and he gave a ballpark figure of what the damage cost. I gave a ballpark figure of $150-200 (admittedly somewhat pulled out of my jacksie - based on my idea of an hour for someone to true the wheel plus straighten the forks plus check over and repair any other damage) and he gave me the nod and asked me how much I thought the bike as a whole was worth. I said I'd claim off my insurance as $600, amd he said he had his down as $500. After looking on the internet, his seems to be somewhat newer and aimed more at the cyclocross arena, so I may have undershot it a touch. I supposed regardless, I've only spent $400 or so on it, so I'm ahead anyway. I'm going to take it into Idealbikes tomorrow anyway to look at the bent forks - hopefully it won't take much, since I'd like to ride it next week. I'm hoping that worst case scenario I'll need new wheels - since it's a steel frame I might be able to get away with cold setting it back into place, instead of buying a new set of forks.

I'm going to give a statement to Constable Boone on Sunday evening (when he's next on duty at a time that matches up with us both - big brownie points to him for being on duty at 10pm on Saturday but I'll be in bed or not in a good state to give reasonable evidence by then). He offered to drive my home bu looked slightly surprised when I told him I really don't like going in cars - his immediate reaction was "oh, fair enough, you have a phobia?" but he seemed slightly surprised by my reply of "no, I just don't like cars".

When I got home, I wrote down what happened; here's a cut and paste:

"I was riding uphill up Convoy Avenue at a speed of 20 to 25km/hr. The road was wet due to a light misty rain that was falling, and it was cloudy. I noticed a car with reverse lights on parked at number 53, and as I approached I saw it slowly roll back. As I was passing the neighbour's garden I saw the brake lights come on and the car slowed down as it approached the edge of the driveway, so I continued. When I was approximately 10 metres from the car it continued out in front of me. I braked hard and swerved to the right, but due to the wet road my brakes took about 2 seconds to wipe off the rain and start biting and I hit the side of the car, with my left hand hitting the right-hand mirror and my left leg from knee to foot hitting the door. I estimate I hit the car at approximately 10km/hr. Damage noticed at the scene was:

* bent forks
* handlebars twisted around
* derailleur lever hanger loose

In addition, my index finger and middle finger were damaged due to being
caught between the brake levers and the car's mirror, and my right knee was bruised on the upper side from hitting the handlebars."

Distance logged: 14.873km
Time: 65:48
Average speed: 13.6km/hr
Max speed: 53.3 km/hr
Temperature: 15. misty
Cumulative distance: 3327.149km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 212.501km
Monthly cost per km: $0.32

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ride into work for Friday, 09 June

To make up for yesterday's uneventful ride, this morning I had a bumper crop of muppets:

* The Seacoast Oil & Gas truck that passed me with inches to spare, revving his engine as he did so.

* The Nova Scotia Power SUV driver that couldn't decide whether he wanted to be in the left lane or the right lane, so he drifted along the middle in front of me.

* The muppet who decided to pull out in front of me as I was accelerating down Brunswick at 35-40km/hr, causing me to lock my rear wheel and skid round him.

I really need to look into the plans for the HERF gun.

Distance logged: 16.173km
Time: 41:03
Average speed: 23.4km/hr
Max speed: 59.6 km/hr
Temperature: 10C, damp
Cumulative distance: 3312.276km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 197.628km
Monthly cost per km: $0.35

Ride home for Thursday, 08 June

An uneventful (if slightly damp) ride home, as I left work early to attend a meeting at the sprog's school and missed all the traffic.

Distance logged: 14.880km
Time: 42:44
Average speed: 20.9km/hr
Max speed: 54.3 km/hr
Temperature: 11C, drizzly, windy
Cumulative distance: 3296.103km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 181.455km
Monthly cost per km: $0.38

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ride into work for Thursday, 08 June

Bit of a wet ride in this morning. I was going to take the mountain bike, until I found one of the calipers on the rear brake was seized. I switched over to the hybrid instead, and rode that in. I'm definitely going to get the big ring upgraded, however it's going to mean new cranks as well as the cranks attach to the big ring. Having a top speed of around 45km/hr before I start running out of pedalling is just way too sucky.

It was a little surprised at how different it felt after riding the Nishiki all month; not only did the riser bars feel extremely wide (although they are extremely wide anyway), but pedalling was a bit more effort - the slightly different muscles used were enough to throw me off, especially pedalling uphill into the wind.

Distance logged: 16.569km
Time: 45:07
Average speed: 22km/hr
Max speed: 50 km/hr
Temperature: 10C, rainy, windy
Cumulative distance: 3281.223km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 166.575km
Monthly cost per km: $0.41

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 07 June

A surprisingly quiet ride home - perhaps because (I hope) so many people were cycling in? I certainly saw more cyclists than normal, although on the way home I saw more random cyclists than normal - cyclists riding the wrong way, on the sidewalk, across pedestrian crossings, or in a fashion that can only be described as "random" (riding across a road behind other traffic stopped at a stop light and dodging oncoming traffic in the oncoming lane? Now that's random...).

Oddity of the day was coming across a home-made protest at St. Andrews and Federal of residents who were protesting against commuters using it as a rat run by holding up signs and walking across the entrance to Federal. My solution was to jump off my bike and walk it across Federal, which brought the following responses:

* Laughter
* "He's not allowed to do that!"
* "That's right, he's doing the right thing"
* "Oooooh" (take that how you will)
* "Mommy, he's not allowed to to that" "Yes he is, he's doing it right"

Regardless of whether I was "doing it right" or not, I certainly got out of there more quickly than anyone in a motorised vehicle. Coincidentally (or not), this was shortly before the section where I encountered my most famous muppet, oddly enough - maybe the protestors had a point.

Distance logged: 15.940km
Time: 42:03
Average speed: 22.5km/hr
Max speed: 52.5 km/hr
Temperature: 14C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3264.654km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 150.006km
Monthly cost per km: $0.46

Ride into work for Wednesday, 07 June

Took the long route in and saw quite a few cyclists - I'm not sure if it was the fact it's Bike to Work day here in Halifax, or if it's the price of gas spiking to $1.15 or so, but it was good to see more people out on the roads. Surprisingly most of them were riding properly, with helmets, following the stream of traffic - I even saw a few with lights going, which was completely unnecessary!

Stopped off at MEC for the free pancake breakfast. The helper there was handing out the pancakes one at a time, but she looked at me and said, "hmmm, you look hungry" and gave me two, which was generous. I started cooling off fairly quickly so I ate up and headed out and circled around downtown Halifax to get back up the hill to get to work.

Distance logged: 18.319km
Time: 45:53
Average speed: 24km/hr
Max speed: 59.7 km/hr
Temperature: 10C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 3248.714km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 134.066km
Monthly cost per km: $0.52

Ride home for Tuesday, 06 June

Took a bit of a detour because of roadworks - at least I was able to turn around with ease, unlike all the cars stuck around me. Saw several cyclists, including one guy on a really nice lookig folding Dahon. Had a guy on a mountain bike wave at me as he rode onto Central from a cross street ahead of me - the only cyclist who seemed to notice my presence! I followed him uphill, every time I tried to pass there was traffic coming behind me, so I sat behind him until I turned off. He ended up taking Dunbrack - I'd take the fire trail if I was on my mountain bike, but whatever works, I suppose.

Distance logged: 15.628km
Time: 42:11
Average speed: 22.2km/hr
Max speed: 51.9 km/hr
Temperature: 20C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3230.395km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 115.747km
Monthly cost per km: $0.6

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ride into work for Tuesday, 06 June

Since it was relatively chilly this morning I was considering putting on my cycling pants in addition to my windbreaker. In the end I was glad I stuck with just the kneewarmers as I had to stop halfway through and take off the windbreaker because I was overheating - although the gap between my socks and my kneewarmers got a bit damp.

I went down to MEC at lunch to get Father's Day presents and saw they had legwarmers on sale. It was predestination. I bought a pair.

Distance logged: 16.242km
Time: 39:40
Average speed: 24.6km/hr
Max speed: 56.9 km/hr
Temperature: 10C, misty
Cumulative distance: 3214.767km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 100.119km
Monthly cost per km: $0.69

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 05 June

Hot and sticky ride home. Quite a few more cyclists on the road, or perhaps I should say... on the sidewalk, without a helmet, zipping around pedestrians. Bike Week seems to have encouraged quite a few people out there, but I don't think menacing pedestrians is a great idea. If only the Bike Week publicity emphasised the right way to ride - perhaps combined with a few tickets.

Distance logged: 14.442km
Time: 41:08
Average speed: 21.1km/hr
Max speed: 52.5 km/hr
Temperature: 16C, cloudy, humid
Cumulative distance: 3198.525km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 83.877km
Monthly cost per km: $0.41

Ride into work for Monday, 05 June

Bit of a foggy ride in, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't see too many other cyclists on the way in, even though it's the start of Halifax Bike Week. I think the only things I'll be taking part in are the pancake breakfast on Wednesday (slightly perturbed to see it's for "a pancake" rather than "pancakes", but oh well) and the IdealBikes Alley Cat race on Friday (hopefully I'll beat my last score of DFL!)

Distance logged: 16.378km
Time: 40:52
Average speed: 24km/hr
Max speed: 58.2 km/hr
Temperature: 11C, foggy
Cumulative distance: 3184.083km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 69.435km
Monthly cost per km: $0.50

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Maintenance day

Due to the wet weather the chain on the Nishiki was realy dirty - it took about 5 cycles of hot water, chain cleaner fluid, WD40 and hot water again before I stopped finding dirt in the chain cleaner. I tuned up the rear derailleur too, as first gear was being a bit of a bear. I couldn't do it with the limit screws alone, so I had to fiddle with the cable length and then the limit screws, which was a bit tedious - by the end I was making adjustments of around 1-2mm on the cable length! I noticed the bolts were a bit loose on the chainrings, so while I was at it I took the bash ring and inner ring off, cleaned off all the gunk, and reassembled - the rings look almost new now!

Ride for Friday, 2 June

Went into work as I realised I'd left my wallet and phone there - oops! While I was in town I went to MEC and picked up some more chain cleaner and another chain, which meant I had a really heavy backpack to haul home. It started raining on the way back, but it was warm enough that I didn't bother putting on any waterproofs.

Distance logged: 26.189km
Time: 71:53
Average speed: 21.9km/hr
Max speed: 59.1 km/hr
Temperature: 18C, cloudy, rainy
Cumulative distance: 3167.705km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 53.057km
Monthly cost per km: $0.65

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ride home for Friday, 02 Jun

Just got home after pulling an all nighter to get a VPN up and running with redundant load balanced tunnels. It was one of those jobs where everything that could go wrong, did; I was essentially taking a config from a lab environment and bringing it into production, but I found all sorts of weird niggles - like the ethernet cards refused to cooperate with the multilink configuration, so it was only the tunnels that had the multilink functionality. I ended up finally getting it all running well enough that we could leave it (although 3 machines out in the field failed to reboot - either hardware failure or the hardware wasn't as identical as the vendor promised). I'm probably going to be back in there tomorrow, what fun...

The ride home was pleasant afterwards. There was some moderately heavy rain earlier, but it had pretty much dissipated by the time I finally left into a light misty rain. It was just enough to take the edge off the heat, and was most welcome after sitting in a server room running at 28C (!) with no cooling but a small fan (!!) and opening the window outside (!!!)

Distance logged: 14.382km
Time: 42:45
Average speed: 20.2km/hr
Max speed: 44.5 km/hr
Temperature: 15C, light rain
Cumulative distance: 3141.516km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 26.868km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ride into work for Thursday, 01 June

Bit of a damp ride in; it wasn't actually raining, there was just mist hanging in the air that kept my glasses pretty much permanently fogged up. I was wearing my waterproof gear as I have a late night gig tonight and it's supposed to rain hard, and as a result I was dripping sweat when I got to work. There was a cleaner in the elevator when I got on and she thought it must have been raining hard due to the sweat dripping off me, and was a bit puzzled when I told her it was only a light mist...

Distance logged: 12.486km
Time: 31:12
Average speed: 24km/hr
Max speed: 62.1 km/hr
Temperature: 13C, misty
Cumulative distance: 3127.134km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 12.486km
Monthly cost per km: $0