another cycling death...

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Anonymous's picture

> The Livingston County sheriff's office said that Dechau
> was riding westbound on the shoulder of route 20 approxi-
> mately two feet to the right of the white line. A sheriff's
> "" spokesman said a westbound vehicle driven by Sharon
> Cameron, 61, crossed the white line and struck Dechau
> from behind at approximately 45-50 mph, and Dechau
> died at the scene.
> Cameron could not provide an explanation to police as to
> why her vehicle drifted from the travel lane to the shoulder.
> She freely submitted to a blood test as part of the accident
> investigation, and police do not believe she was under the
> influence of alcohol or drugs. Results of the investigation
> will determine if charges will be filed against Cameron.



Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
What a horrible thing.

Motorists just do NOT see us. How can we fix this?

Anonymous's picture
Ron Thomson (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Christopher Gianni (not verified)
Visibility and Situational Awareness

"This is a terrible tragedy- and my worst nightmare since I was nearly run off the road in the past. Claudette your question made me think about how this can be fixed.
Everyone knows that the most common answer for the question concerning an automobile accident, “What happened?” is “I didn’t see him”. Visibility is the culprit, especially for smaller objects on the road such as bicycles. So, the first thing that came to my mind about fixing this problem is this:

I’m not trying to be facetious, but the point is we need to be more visible- especially at night. The time that I was almost ran off the road, I never heard or saw them coming before they had already passed me, that’s why I’m personally considering a mirror to increase my situational awareness.

I don’t know the details of the accident. I believe the accident involving Mr. Dechau was an overtaking accident which is a relatively rare cycling accident. The car went out of control…

I do see a solution to this problem looming on the horizon...that is differential GPS (DGPS)
GPS is a constellation of about 29 satellites (give or take);
The satellites don’t know where you are, they know where they are and send that information out to the user via radio waves, and then the information is correlated giving a precise position for the receiver.

Eventually, everyone will be on the network… and everyone can have their coffee and read their paper on their daily commute.


Sorry to hear about the accident.

Anonymous's picture
John Miller (not verified)

"The driver should be brought up on charges. Only negligence and stupidity on the driver's part could explain the circumstances of this ""accident.""

According to the complete article, the police report states the car drifted TWO FEET into the shoulder to hit the cyclist, in daylight, with good weather and without any other traffic on the road. Dechau was riding exactly where he should have been; the car was precisely where it SHOULD NOT have been.

The article makes no mention of speed in the police report, specifically the car's. I would be shocked if speeding was not a factor here."

Anonymous's picture
.. (not verified)

she was an old bag, old people can't drive. That's the reason why she killed him.

Anonymous's picture
Christopher Gianni (not verified)
Interesting Article

"When I was learning to drive my instructor always told me, ""Don’t stare at the headlights coming towards you, because we have a tendency to steer into things we stare at."" Anyway, that always stuck with me. I found this interesting article that pertains to staring and passing.

Staring and Passing"

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
"Since when is 61 an ""old bag?"""

I am sure many members of our club would disagree, many of whom might be able to overtake you on a bike, anonymous one.

Anonymous's picture
.. (not verified)

I really doubt it

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
i don't...

...folks who post anonymously are usually compensating for their shortcomings. :)


Anonymous's picture
fendergal (not verified)

Are you serious? A mirror allows you only to see a car as it's bearing down on you. Then what are you supposed to do? Run yourself off the road? Ride into the curb? Throw yourself gracefully onto the car's hood?

Anonymous's picture
Christopher Gianni (not verified)
Yes, I'm Serious

If you can see a car behind you driving erratically at least you can give yourself a chance to take action. Running yourself off the road, or riding into the curb are much better then the results of the accident. Don't you agree?

Anonymous's picture
fendergal (not verified)

"This assumes that a driver who hits a cyclist is driving erratically for a prolonged period of time. Unless statistics can show that this accounts for the majority of ""car strikes bike"" incidents, I'll take my chances without a mirror."

Anonymous's picture
Christopher Gianni (not verified)

Your option..

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Don't understand your logic. You've identified a type of scenario where a mirror wouldn't prevent an accident. Therefore, a mirror is absolutely, positively useless at preventing any accident?? I'll take my chance WITH a mirror. At worst, you lose yourself $15 bucks.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
"""cellphone?"" Should be easy to check ... (nm)"
Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

>>Motorists just do NOT see us. How can we fix this<<

Very harsh penalties that are actually enforced by cops and courts that take it seriously.

It wasn't that long ago that drunk driving was treated with a little finger wagging and a wink before they sent you home. I'm in my 40's and could drink in NY when I was 18. It was normal to drive around buzzed.

Whether it was MADD or whatever that got it to be taken seriously by the the cops and the courts I don't know. The drinking age went up to 21. There was tons of advertising, designated driver campaigns, education in grade schools, etc. Even though its completely hypocritical, every beer add on TV/Radio now mentions how you should drink responsibly when using their products.

The end result seems to be that they take it very seriously now. You get pulled over, you're going to jail, loosing your license, god forbid if someone gets hurt...

Anonymous's picture
Bike Lanes (not verified)

I have a friend that was riding in a bike lane down in Florida. He got hit from behind by a driver. Destroyed the rear wheel and he broke his hip. The cops never spoke with him, they just wrote down what the driver told them. The driver said that he ran into her. So some how, he road backwards at 30mph and hit her front bumper? Because the cops did not give her a ticket, her insurance is claiming the driver is not liable.

All this talk about bike lanes lately does not make me feel any safer.

Anonymous's picture
AC (not verified)

Sharon Cameron, Lima, New York

M Cameron
7187 W Main St
Lima, NY 14485-9521
Phone: (585) 624-1307

Anonymous's picture
keith (not verified)

"I ride the same roads upstate as Dechau. My in-laws live in Canandaigua. The roads around that area are beautiful. Clear, clean, great shape, and with very wide shoulders. In some places 3 cyclists can ride abreast with plenty of room to spare. For someone not to see a cyclist on those roads is ludicris, and shouldn't be driving in the first place.

""Cameron could not provide an explanation to police as to why her vehicle drifted from the travel lane to the shoulder."" I bet she was staring at him and she drifted into the shoulder, that's why. Not to be held accountable is shameful."

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

"Saftey flags are a joke. If they don't see a full sized adult, usually clad in a bright colored jersey, why would a few square inches of orange fabric suddenly make us ""visible?""

I've always said that if you want to get away with murder, just run your victim over while sober and say you didn't see them. You probably won't even get a ticket."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Golly, the police didn't enforce VTL §1122a? What a surprise!

"New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law: Section 1122(a)

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance....

If you want to read about a DISGUSTING failure of the police to enforce this provision which resulted in a 23 year old punk driving a Lincoln Navigator killing with utter impunity a 14 year old boy who was biking, go to Read the first ""story"" and click on the link REPORT ON THE EVENT and the link CHARACTERISTICALLY. And read what a P.O.S. the driver is. You'll wretch.

Right of Way (.org) demands to be recognized and appreciated by New York City cyclists."

Anonymous's picture
Sam AA (not verified)

Perhaps more mandatory frequent tests for old drivers' ability to drive would help. I have had many scares on the road caused often by old drivers.

Anonymous's picture
The Galfromdownunder (not verified)
Father of the MTB missing

"After reading that thread about a cycling death perhaps one of you might know the whereabouts of a man many consider to be the inventor of the MTB, John Finley Scott. He disappeared from his home over 99 days ago. I wrote this at the request of your LAB director over east, John Allen, to help find him. Admittedly it's probably a West Coast thing but you might like to know or help - his family would appreciate it. I also pasted the bare text below. Thank you.

Sep 10, 2006


The 'father of the mountain bike' disappeared from his home over a month ago and has not been seen since. As we understand it, his house was left in a 'just popped down the road to get a gallon of milk' state.

""The odds of him showing up are vanishingly tiny,"" said Adventure Cycling Association's John Schubert, and if anyone knows who's doing what, where,and to whom with a 52 tooth chaingring, it's the authoritative Schubert.

""Within the past week, I asked his niece if there were any new developments, and she said no. Obviously, I'm not privy to anything the police might know, but I can't figure out who would stand to gain from offing him like this. Too weird ...""

Who is JFS?

A retired professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis, John is widely credited as the inventor of the first mountain bike.

A website called the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame says this about origins of the MTB:

Maybe it was John Finley Scott who was probably the first mountain bike enthusiast in the United States. In 1953 he built what he called a “ Woodsie Bike”, using a Schwinn World diamond frame, balloon tires, flat handlebars, derailleur gears, and cantilever brakes. John was more than twenty years ahead of his time, and while he remained an off-road cycling enthusiast, at the time there were not many others who shared his passion ...

We wrote about John after he visited the Bike Friday factory in 2005 following a Bicycle history conference in Davis, CA.

""He is one of the pioneers of the bike world,"" says Bike Friday co-founder Alan Scholz. ""He was an extensive cycle tourist and explorer, builder of a prototypical mountain bike in 1953, advocate for improvement of California cycling laws and facilities, supporting investor of 70s' mountain bike pioneers, and spent several years as owner of the Cupertino (California) Bicycle Shop.""

""Cupertino was founded by the charismatic Spence Wolf in 1953. I bought it from him when he retired in 1980, and sold it to my friend Vance Sprock in 1989,"" said an animated Scott, twirling a large chainring between his fingers as he was led through the factory last fall.

""Scott used to own a London double-decker bus, which he would use to transport bike racers to the races. Once they stopped at a rest area, and the racers (not the most organized people) took off, unintentionally leaving Scott behind. They were made aware of their mistake when a police car, carrying a none-too-happy Scott, pulled them over. I wonder how many pounds of marijuana got thrown out the side of the bus when the cop arrived!"" quipped Schubert.

John S Allen, who attended the 2005 conference and visited the Bike Friday factory with Scott, said: ""The bus was still at his house when I visited him last fall, though not in working order. Vance Sprock, current owner of the Cupertino Bike Shop, has another which is in working order and fancy looking. UC Davis has a fleet of them which it uses to shuttle students around campus, thereby reducing the popularity of bicycling for students -- a topic JFS was studying. I wonder whether those shuttle buses are on campus as a result of his example ...""

His disappearance has had scant coverage in the media.

""It has been in the local newspaper and on several cycling e-mail lists but I don't think that it has had national exposure in the print media. John does m"

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