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· Registered
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Welcome to Beaumont, Texas. I found THIS THREAD at Beginner Triathlete unnerving and disturbing. I also like that people have decided to address the issue with local police in a direct manner.
 

· I am not aero
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304 Posts
I'm from around there

I have been angered by media misrepresentations as well. On the other hand, I grew up around Beaumont - there are no "steep hills" (at least not what anyone on this board would call steep), it's all Gulf flood plain.
 

· Call me a Fred
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Does officer Crystal Holmes have to keep her bullet in her pocket like Barney did?

 

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Barney knows bike law.

MikeBiker said:
Does officer Crystal Holmes have to keep her bullet in her pocket like Barney did?

Deputy Fyffe, even back in the early 60s, knew his bicycle law. There is an entire episode that is based around Barney's struggle to prevent a young brat from riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Barney even goes through the explanation of why bikes are dangerous on the sidewalk and that they should be ridden in the street and obey traffic laws. (I have as many Andy Griffith shows on DVD as I can buy. My 13 and 14 year old kids know most of the episodes by heart, and I think Andy Taylor should be father of the 20th century)

Sincerely,
 

· Ti me up
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Becky Thatcher said:
Deputy Fyffe, even back in the early 60s, knew his bicycle law. There is an entire episode that is based around Barney's struggle to prevent a young brat from riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Barney even goes through the explanation of why bikes are dangerous on the sidewalk and that they should be ridden in the street and obey traffic laws. (I have as many Andy Griffith shows on DVD as I can buy. My 13 and 14 year old kids know most of the episodes by heart, and I think Andy Taylor should be father of the 20th century)

Sincerely,
Heh. My kids love that episode.
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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Yeah I read the posts on that forum and it is terribly tragic to say the least. The part I liked was from one of the posters that wanted to blame the truck driver for passing the cyclist and "sucking" him into his trailer tires. That was hilarious. What a f***ing moron.
 

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croswell1 said:
Yeah I read the posts on that forum and it is terribly tragic to say the least. The part I liked was from one of the posters that wanted to blame the truck driver for passing the cyclist and "sucking" him into his trailer tires. That was hilarious. What a f***ing moron.
The accident happened in an underpass. if you've ever gone under an underpass or through a short tunnel on a windy day, you've noticed the venturi effect, right, where the velocity of the wind through the tunnel is faster than out in the open? The draft of a truck going through an enclosed space has the same effect, it's magnified because of the enclosed space. You mean you've never had a semi pass you and felt a tug from the draft pulling you sideways?
 

· What'd I do?
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You're partly right. I was once passed by 3 semis traveling together, each seaparated by about 30 feet driving around 50-55 mph. The first moved to the left so he was in the middle of a two lane road. The second moved about half as far. The third didn't move at all. If he had, he probably would have tagged me with the back end of his trailer. The issue was that they were too close together to all see me at a safe distance. Nothing happened, so it's not a big deal, but in those situations, I think there should be a shared responsibility of the leading drivers to report road hazards to the following drivers.

I think in the Beaumont situation, the trucks were too close together, and the second one just didn't see the cyclists till he was right up on them. Going up the hill increases relative velocity and the trucks would approach them even faster than normal (I've never been to Texas, I don't know how steep the hill was). All these conditions plus being in an underpass create an incredibly dangerous situation that the drivers and the riders have a responsibility to be aware of.

My reading of the statute is that if the lane is less than 14 feet, the bike has a right to be anywhere in the lane, in this case, I'd be riding in the middle till it was safe not to.
 

· What'd I do?
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pmoc81 said:
Its interesting to think that culpability in someones death can be determined by ones ability to "eyeball" 12 vs 14 feet at 15mph in traffic.
You don't think about it, but in most cases you know. You can usually tell if there's room for you and a car or not, whether or not there's a car there.
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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arkadi01 said:
The accident happened in an underpass. if you've ever gone under an underpass or through a short tunnel on a windy day, you've noticed the venturi effect, right, where the velocity of the wind through the tunnel is faster than out in the open? The draft of a truck going through an enclosed space has the same effect, it's magnified because of the enclosed space. You mean you've never had a semi pass you and felt a tug from the draft pulling you sideways?
aww.......come off it "einstein", what do you take me for? There is no 'venturi effect' enough to suck a cyclist into his wheels in a damn underpass. I've been passed real close by semi's going 80 mph, and besides the huge rush of air that followed , suffered no other effects. (maybe a shaking fist though) If you'd read the post, it said the police ruled it as the cyclist lost his balance and did not place the blame on the driver. Who are you to disagree with trained police investigators?
 

· Just Riding Along
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My simple view on this...

A passing driver is responsible for a safe pass. Period.

The truck driver's pass was too close.

The "venturi effect" explanation doesn't hold much water, vehicles, particularly large trucks, create a lot of turbulence which could easily imbalance a cyclist. Also, a cyclist's natural reaction is to try to steer away from a threat; this frequently results in the wrong weight shift and causes you to steer into the threat to maintain balance.

For these and other reasons of human frailty and poor judgment, the truck should have passed with more clearance or waited. Those Beaumont cops need to go back to cop school.
 

· Downhill Juggernaut
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OverStuffed said:
I think in the Beaumont situation, the trucks were too close together, and the second one just didn't see the cyclists till he was right up on them. Going up the hill increases relative velocity and the trucks would approach them even faster than normal (I've never been to Texas, I don't know how steep the hill was).
I haven't been to Beaumont in a few years, but I recall the geography fairly well. Imagine the state of Kansas... now place the Gulf of Mexico next to it.
 

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I grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is as far east of the Louisiana/Texas border on I-10 as Beaumont is west. "Flatter than my ex-girlfriend" is what I used to say. Unless there was an interstate overpass, there was no incline.

Beaumont is no small "hick town," but it is not exactly a burgeoning metropolis, either. Lake Charles is of about the same size (~75,000-100,000 residents, mall, 1-2 TV stations). I'm really rather surprised the cops took such an attitude, especially on the record.
 

· Old, slow, and fat.
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All y'all that say 'there aren't any venturi effects' obviously haven't ridden next to semis! There are a few DEFINITE high pressure areas and a few DEFINITE low pressure areas along the side/front/back of semis. How else do you think that whatsisname from Breaking Away could draft that truck?

I have firsthand experience what those pressure differentials do. Every time I pass a truck on my MC I get pushed wide at the rear, sucked in closer mid-trailer, and then pushed wide again going around the front.

I could see how a begining rider (bicycle OR MC) could be caught unaware and/or not know what do to to counteract the problem.

Oh, and have any of y'all SEEN begining triathletes? Man are they skeery! Can't ride a straight line to save their lives!

A lot of different factors go into these things and second guessing them isn't gonna bring anyone back.

M
 
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