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Bicycle manufacturer Advanced Sports International has announced it is recalling at least 650 Fuji road bikes for a defect that reportedly can cause a component to slip while pedaling, increasing the risk of a fall. bicycle up close

As the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, the issue has to do with the rear wheel freehub. For those who are unfamiliar with the various bicycle components, the hub is the center part of the bicycle wheel, that is affixed with axle, bearings and hub shell.  A freehub bicycle is a specific type of design that incorporates a ratcheting mechanism. Freehubs have largely replaced freewheel designs in many mid-range and high-end bicycles. The primary benefit of the freehub/ freewheel system is that a rider can stop pedaling, even as the bike is still in motion.

The recent recall involves 2017 Fuji bicycles with Oval Concepts Rear Wheels, which come in numerous colors. There are two main hub models (numbers printed on the drive-side hub flange of the bikes – 3LLR and 3NVR), but a total of 14 different bike models – all Fuji. Thus far, the Pennsylvania-based importer/ distributor ASI has gotten four reports of the freehub slipping while the rider is pedaling. The good news is there haven’t been any crashes or injuries reported.  Continue reading

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A much-loved scientist was killed in a bicycle accident recently when she crossed into the path of a light rail train in Houston.rail

The Houston Chronicle reported the Rice University professor, who had been on staff since 1980, was a nationally-renowned leader in the scientific field of particle physics. In her line of work, she sought answers to questions like, “Why is there so much less anti-matter in the universe than matter?” She was interested in delving into discovery of what makes our universe. The 66-year-old was killed on her bicycle when she crossed over the southbound tracks of a a Metro light rail train around 8:15 one Friday morning, right near the Houston Zoo. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the second time a person on a bicycle collided with the Metro light rail in Houston that week – a scenario that has occurred here in the Boston area as well. In the second Houston crash, a bicyclist reportedly collided with a moving METRORail train just before the start of the Super Bowl. He was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery, but ultimately died of his injuries.

Although authorities in both cases have said initial investigation indicates the victims did not have the right-of-way, a local biking advocacy group has released a statement calling on city officials to launch an investigation into these deaths and determine whether the designs of the roads and intersections may have in any way contributed, and whether improvements can be made or alternative routes provided.  Continue reading

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Bike riding is becoming increasingly popular nationwide, with a growing number of cities launching bike-friendly initiatives, including bike share programs, Complete Streets road design and safe cycling education campaigns. bicyclelane

Minneapolis-St. Paul, also referred to as the “Twin Cities,” has joined the bandwagon too, installing bicycle lanes throughout the city, which has a number of bicycle clubs, meet-ups and annual sponsored rides.

However, a lawmaker has recently caught heat after introducing a bill in the state legislature that would make bicycling more expensive. House File 499, introduced by Republican Duane Quam, would require cyclists who want to use public bicycle lanes to purchase a permit, pay a $5 fee and complete a bicycle safety education course. Additionally, all bikes being used on public streets would need to be registered with the state public safety commissioner. Additionally, riders using bicycle lanes would need to be at least 15-years-old, making no provision for where school children commuting to class are supposed to ride. Continue reading

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It’s one of those cases where simply no amount of money is going to alter the circumstances or make it right. Still, it’s an action that matters for one Illinois man and his five children, who lost the woman who had been the center of their family. It’s particularly important for the two youngest children, who both have special needs and had relied on their mother to ensure their daily nbicycleeeds were met.

Now, local media reports, decedent’s widower has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the sport utility vehicle driver who struck his wife, who was on a bicycle in a crosswalk, last summer. Plaintiff and his children gave emotional testimony in October when a county judge issued a $150 fine to the driver of that SUV in connection with the crash for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The penalty was pittance compared to the magnitude of the losses suffered by the family, and their attorney noted it was important for the driver to hear from them about what her carelessness had caused.

An attorney for the driver explained her client was deeply shaken by the crash, and has been unable to return to work. Remorse can be healing, but it doesn’t ease the burden now borne by the family, particularly with regard to the care of the two youngest children with special needs.  Continue reading

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Last year, when actress Carrie Fisher of “Star Wars” fame suffered a heart attack near the end of her flight to Los Angeles, the first crews to respond to the health emergency on the ground did so via bicycle. It was medics on bikes who helped to revive the actress. bikes

That emergency rescue medic team is employed by the Los Angeles Fire Department. It’s one of hundreds in larger cities, including Boston and Philadelphia. It’s even been picked up in some smaller cities. The idea is that in an emergency, every second is critical. Ambulances are technically faster than a bicycle, but that’s only if they can get through the traffic in a reasonable amount of time. In congested urban areas like Boston, that can be an impossibility, especially at rush hour.

Medics and firefighters on bicycles can quickly weave their way in-and-out of traffic. They can get through large crowds quickly. They can cut through parks and yards and parking lots much quicker than an ambulance.  Continue reading

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Boston University’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Free Press, reports that the Boston Transportation Department is now accepting applications for itroundabouts upcoming 2017 Neighborhood Slow Streets Program. The intention is to implement traffic calming measures that will help bolster road safety in residential areas, which could be especially beneficial for people on bikes.

A spokeswoman for the transportation department explained that the program uses a number of different approaches to help reduce the overall speed of traffic, which in turn curbs the danger.

For example, physical cues may include speed humps, traffic circles or narrower lanes, while visual cues might use include posted signs or strategic landscaping.  Continue reading

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Our Boston bicycling safety advocates know that words can have a great deal of power. In order to be effective in our efforts to promote safety of those who travel by bicycle, whether for daily commute or in leisure, it’s imperative to properly frame the issues, the challenges and the people involved. bike trail

The power of smart language can be compelling, as evidenced by a recent blog post published as part of the Green Lane Project, a venture of the Seattle bicycle advocacy group PeopleForBikes.org. Writer Michael Andersen notes that rather than using the word, “cyclist,” it’s better to talk about “people on bikes.” Rather than use the word, “accident,” the word “collision” packs a more potent punch. And we can drive the point home better with a phrase like “protected bike lane” instead of “cycle track.” 

Why do these seemingly minor changes matter? Some might view these fixes as trivial, but its effect is evident when we look at the so-called “war on cars” that was reportedly raging in Seattle just a few years ago. That three-word phrase was dominating the conversation about improvements to bicycle infrastructure in the city. Instead of discussing whether it should be safer for people to walk, bike or ride public transit, they were instead debating whether they should give in to demands to “make driving worse.” What should have been a winning issue for everyone became a losing issue all-around. But that shifted when a small non-profit group stepped in to champion a city-wide network of local streets that were low traffic and safer for those on bikes. And instead of calling themselves “biking advocates,” they labeled themselves “neighborhood advocates.”  Continue reading

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Advocates for Boston bicycle safety are applauding the new statewide measure that bans drivers from “standing” or parking in established bike lanes. As our Boston bicycle injury lawyers know, this practice puts cyclists in grave risk because it forces them into moving traffic in order to avoid the stationary vehicle in their path. bikelane

The measure was initially part of a larger bill that had numerous other bicycle safety components. Unfortunately, this larger bill didn’t pass, but bike advocates know this is a start. Safe biking can’t be achieved simply by creating bike lanes. Those lanes have to be policed and the laws enforced so that it’s safe for cyclists to use them.

Boston Attorney Andrew Fischer Bikeattorney.com was part of that team of advocates who helped to draft the bike land protection law, as well as other proposed legislation.  Continue reading

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World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, held on the third Sunday of November each year, had special significance for us at BikeAttorneys.com this year. bikememorial

That’s because last year, in October 2015, a former client and talented musician, David Tasgal, was killed when he was struck by a pickup truck while bicycling near his home in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Tasgal, a gifted and accomplished musician on numerous instruments and a beloved teacher of music, was killed in the bicycle accident at the age of 72. 

On November 20th, human-shaped silhouettes were installed throughout Boston and carried along the memorial ride, representing the lives of those lost too soon to traffic crashes. Each of these deaths – including Tasgal’s – was 100 percent preventable. In each case, it is the negligence and general carelessness by motorists that results in needless, tragedies like this one.  Continue reading

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It’s been more than a century since massive crowds gathered in Madison Square Garden to witness, “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.” He was perhaps better known as, “the Worcester Whirlwind.” His defiance of Jim Crow segregation in the sport drummed up headlines and publicity, but his performance that year made history. Marshall “Major” Taylor became a world champion bicycle racer.bicycle race

He was the first African American world champion – and this was years before Jack Johnson, also a black man, became the heavyweight champion of the world in 1908 and nearly a half a century before Jackie Robinson was integrated into baseball.

To honor his history, strife and contributions to the sport of cycling and society at-large, a number of Major Taylor birthday rides are being hosted throughout the country. Taylor was born on Nov. 26, 1878. This year, rides are being held on that day in:

  • Los Angeles;
  • San Diego
  • Chicago
  • Pittsburgh
  • Worcester County (Massachusetts)
  • Oakland, CA
  • Indianapolis

All this has been part of an ongoing, concerted effort not to allow Major Taylor’s memory to be lost in light of such remarkable accomplishments. Continue reading