New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

Re: Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

Depends who you’re talking to. The idea that my X could reach me by phone while out on a ride would send my into epileptic fits.

I’m stradling the fence between Fred and the Aardvark, mostly for the view. David does us a service by shairing his failures of judgement (an inclination I am inclined to emulate, and have). If you are brave enough to share your failures, be ready to accept praise for sharing AND heat. Risk management is an unforgiving skill in acquire- but it does offer plenty of feed back and a quick learning curve!

Had the nature of David’s ride been such that someone else (like his brother) would have had to be the one telling us about it, we would have lost a vibrant member of our community. The possible death of bystanders may have resulted in some unpaletable prohabitions being inacted. David has brought up the issue of the riders responcibility to themself verses others in an accident before. Previously, his position was if they caused it, by all means, do what you have to to save yourself harm, even if that meens injuring the offender. From this encounter, he postulates that it might be best to make no attempt to catch an out of controll vehicle for feer of personal injury. I hold that it is the riders responcibility to prevent his vehicle from causing harm to others. You do not have a right to transfer risk off of yourself onto an innocent.

In the last year, how many times has your vehicle left your controll and posed a threat to someone? 2, 3 times? Not bad, considering the hours and hours of riding you do. What has the risk been to yourself or the public? It can be quantified. (Perhaps Mr. Klaas can look into it for us.:wink: ) Fred’s flying comparison is perfect, since pilots engage in very critical risk management, and is hard to measure- but is. Given your record over the last year, we can project the risk you will pose over the next 20 years… say you threatened some one’s well being 3 times a year- in 2021, you will have had the opertunity to injur, perhaps fataly, 60 times. Is this acceptable? Perhaps.

However, if some guy makes a poor judgment call about his ability, road conditions, or weather or not to up-end a Coke while zipping along at 12 mph, and looses controll of his vehicle, and then lets it fly into traffic without attempt to stop it, and I swerve my car out of the way and crash into a tree, and some one REALLY REALLY COOL like Sophie get’s crushed, then let me assure you that he has not made a survival choice.

While crossing the Siera-Nevada’s, I came upon an accident. Some one with poor risk managment skills had decided to pass on a hair pin turn- into oncoming traffic. He lived, unhurt. The driver of the Big Truck with the 2 trailers who occupied the oposite lane saw what was about to happen, and made a choice. He did not drive his truck into the oncomming cars- an calamity that he would most likely survive unscathed- instead HE DROVE IT OFF A CLIFF. When I showed up at the seen, the police had just arived, cars where everyware, and people were gathered around the end of the 2nd container car patrooding from the gorge. The pilot had just been removed, unscathed, having rode the beast into the chazm, standing the truck on end. He said that in the split second after he came around that corner, he saw what was about to happen and DECIDED to drive off the cliff, with the knowladge that his chances of surviving an impact with the 2 cars was very good. He knew who he wanted to be. Who do you want to be?

We’re all going to die. We don’t always get to choose when- but we do get to choose how we live.

Christopher

Re: Re: Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

Yes, I can. Shall we organize that? I would happily use a banana as a prop since I have no cell phone. I have a slide rule and an abacus. No, what I really want to do is get two oatmeal boxes connected by a string and converse with someone over that “fiber” link.

“Unicycling accident ends in tradgedy- Washington State’s House of Representatives to examine the the possibility of limiting the use of slide rules while cycling.”

:smiley:

Christopher

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

I think I like the way you sit on fences.

Arnold the Aardvark

British Unicycle Convention 9:
Kidderminster, 19-21 April 2002
http://www.unicycle.org.uk/buc9/

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

Tom Holub wrote:
> Using a
> hands-free cell phone in a car is not particularly dangerous.

That’s not what most studies on the subject have found. See:


http://tinyurl.com/369

Personally I won’t drive with my mobile turned on. I don’t have a problem
cycling or unicycling with it on hands free though.


Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny )
The joys of parenthood - www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/jenny/scream.html
“Sleep - what’s that?” “Pardon?”
B4/5v c(+) rv d m(+) w++ q+ k e+ t+ (s) g+ f - http://www.lpbk.net/jc/

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

In article <a9i118$peh$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk>,
Danny Colyer <danny@jugglersafety.net> wrote:
)Tom Holub wrote:
)> Using a
)> hands-free cell phone in a car is not particularly dangerous.
)
)That’s not what most studies on the subject have found. See:
)http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1885000/1885775.stm
)http://tinyurl.com/369

That study doesn’t show that it’s particularly dangerous. It shows
that people’s reaction times are slower than when they’re not using a
cell phone, which is not surprising. It also shows that reaction times
are slower than someone who’s had one drink, which is not particularly
meaningful–the participants in the (simulated) study were not drunk
by any reasonable definition of the term. (They weren’t even over the
blood-alcohol limit).

The fact that this study (and a widely quoted (U.S.) National Safety
Council study) doesn’t test cell phone conversation against in-person
conversation–which is the obvious analogy–is beyond odd.
Scientifically dishonest, I’d say. On the other side, General Motors
has a study showing that their OnStar hands-free calling system is
safe–but GM’s agenda is easy to understand, while NSC’s is less
blatantly obvious. But it’s probably closely aligned with the
Consumer Product Safety Commission’s agenda, which does things like
release warnings to parents not to buy Razor scooters because kids
have injuries using scooters–when CPSC hasn’t done any analysis of
using scooters as a form of transportation, compared to driving,
bikes, or for that matter unicycles. (Let’s hope the CPSC never
starts paying attention to unicycles–I’m sure they’d have a
conniption).

I don’t know why I’m arguing this, I don’t even drive. I’ll just say
that it’s obvious that cell phone use is distracting, and you shouldn’t
do dangerous things while you’re distracted, but using a cell phone
while unicycling is clearly a lot safer than a lot of other things we
do on unicycles.
-Tom

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

On Tue, 16 Apr 2002 16:52:53 GMT, doosh@inl.org (Tom Holub) wrote:

>In article <unibabyguy.37o4n@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
>unibabyguy <unibabyguy.37o4n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
>)
>)I read that driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is
>)about as dangerous as drunk driving. Considering the
>)amount of concentration required for unicycling compared
>)to driving, talking on a cell phone seems like a death-wish
>)to me.
>
>That statistic is probably overstated, and in any case is relevant
>only to talking while holding the cell phone to your face. Using a
>hands-free cell phone in a car is not particularly dangerous.

Not so (or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe).
Evidence (also from many US-based studies) is that using a cellphone
hands-free while driving a car is about as dangerous as hands-on. The
explanation - modelled after the facts maybe - would be that it’s not
the restricted use of your hand, but the diverted attention that
causes the danger.

Strangely enough, recent legislation in the Netherlands followed that
in many other European countries in making hands-on calling while
driving illegal, while hand-on is still allowed. In reaction though,
my company is considering to ban both types of calling while driving
on business trips.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“MIT, nonac, peapod”

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

On Tue, 16 Apr 2002 16:52:53 GMT, doosh@inl.org (Tom Holub) wrote:

>In article <unibabyguy.37o4n@timelimit.unicyclist.com>,
>unibabyguy <unibabyguy.37o4n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:
>)
>)I read that driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is
>)about as dangerous as drunk driving. Considering the
>)amount of concentration required for unicycling compared
>)to driving, talking on a cell phone seems like a death-wish
>)to me.
>
>That statistic is probably overstated, and in any case is relevant
>only to talking while holding the cell phone to your face. Using a
>hands-free cell phone in a car is not particularly dangerous.

Not so (or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe).
Evidence (also from many US-based studies) is that using a cellphone
hands-free while driving a car is about as dangerous as hands-on. The
explanation - modelled after the facts maybe - would be that it’s not
the restricted use of your hand, but the diverted attention that
causes the danger.

Strangely enough, recent legislation in the Netherlands followed that
in many other European countries in making hands-on calling while
driving illegal, while hand-on is still allowed. In reaction though,
my company is considering to ban both types of calling while driving
on business trips.

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“MIT, nonac, peapod”

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

On Tue, 16 Apr 2002 14:40:04 -0500, rhysling
<rhysling.37x5p@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

(a lot)

Well said Rhysling. Seriously. May I join you on your fence for this
occasion?

Klaas Bil

“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“MIT, nonac, peapod”

RE: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

> And what David did not mention at all was the probable
> acute stress he caused to a number of drivers,

Not in Manhattan. Ever driven in Manhattan? It’s not the most difficult
place in the world to drive, but there are lots of cars and lots of
interesting “things” going on all the time. A guy on a 36" wheel riding
against traffic while talking on a phone, that would just be another moving
obstacle on a busy NY street. When in a car, one assumes the other people on
the road have some idea what they’re doing (which of course is not always
the case), and that whatever happens to them will be mostly their problem.

The more time you spend in New York, the more you will realize that you
still haven’t seen “everything” yet, because there’s always something new to
see. If you can imagine it, it’s happening, has happened, or will happen
somewhere in Manhattan.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“I am never riding the wrong way on a busy street again, esp. when on the
phone.” - David Stone, on survival

RE: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

> I read that driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is
> about as dangerous as drunk driving.

I doubt that this is completely true, but unfortunately nothing even close
to it has been proven by studies, or else cell phone use while driving would
be equally illegal.

Though some US cities (states?) have passed legislation banning hand-held
cell phone use while driving, a study by Consumer Reports found that it was
the conversation, rather than the type of phone, that was the problem. They
found similar levels of distraction between users of hand-held, and
hands-free phones.

But restricting use of hand-held phones is a step in the right direction.
There are too many people out there who barely have enough mental capacity
to drive as it is, and they don’t need the extra problem of working a
phone–and a conversation–while using the same roads as us.

I think the first time I used a cell phone while driving (I have hardly ever
done this) was while on my way up to the 1999 NUC in Washington. Every time
I started using it, stuff happened on the road (Interstate 5) to force me to
concentrate on driving and briefly ignore the phone. I did not enjoy it. But
as it was the furthest I’ve ever driven in a single day (about 800 mi), I
did not want to stop either. I was calling Jacquie, who was arranging to
meet me when I arrived in downtown Seattle. At one point, while I was
talking to her I had to drive past a flatbed truck that was on fire, barely
onto the shoulder of the road. “Hold on, I’m driving past a truck that’s on
fire.”

As a former driving educator, and having driven over 1.5 million miles with
no accidents, I consider myself a good driver. It’s clear to me that dialing
and using a phone (not to mention eating a burrito or other messy food) is
not a good idea while driving.

Sorry, there was nothing about unicycling in this message (unless you count
being on the way to NUC). But at least it was written for everyone (not an
individual I’m replying to), and was written using the common language of
the ng the way it was meant to be spelled.

Ew, I sound like a grumpy old man! Sorry, I like “creative”, un-checked, or
never-learned-how spelling about as much as 3" of boxer shorts
showing-on-purpose.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“I am never riding the wrong way on a busy street again, esp. when on the
phone.” - David Stone, on survival

RE: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

> Well, again finding parallels to aviation accidents: it was not just a
> single problem, but a combination of smaller ones that led to the
> accident (or should I call it “near miss”?): missing a light, deciding
> to take the wrong lane, “get-there-itis”(?), unfamiliarity with the
> area, being distracted by the cell phone, arm motion
> restricted because of the cell phone, and then the bump.

Which of those is supposed to be the small problem? :slight_smile:

Even the bump was described by David as a major one. I’ve ridden parades in
Manhattan, and consider it a specialized form of MUni or obstacle course.

JF

Re: RE: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

Who told you about the boxer shorts?

Christopher

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

myakishnock.37qg0@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>I find that the best thing about travel via unicycle is that it frees up
>my hands so I can eat my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack while riding (did
>I mention that I am also trying to unicycle to lose weight? :)). I
>still remember when I first was learning to unicycle (still couldn’t
>free mount) I rode home with a drink in one hand and using my other hand
>to eat my french fries (front pocket) and my McNuggets (right pocket).
>
>
>Myakishnock
>

I totally agree, and have enjoyed not only the sushi I was eating while
riding home but also the reactions of those who saw me. Since I was on a
Coker, I forwent the chopsticks and used the fingers – in the name of
safety.

David

Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

About my poor decision to Coker the wrong way on a busy street while on
the phone, nearly resulting in a bad accident, …

aardvark@notthistubulidentata.demon.co.uk writes:
>As with the pepper spray incident, I can’t help feeling that
>you brought a lot of this trouble on yourself. What kind of
>idiot rides the wrong way in busy traffic while talking on his
>mobile phone? Ans: An idiot who already knows that “I
>always have a harder time adjusting when on the phone,
>and my worst falls have been while talking on one”.

Well, I guess you could also say that by posting about it, I was also
bringing on responses like the one above. Thanks, mom.

But seriously, it’s something that I will never do again, and I am just
glad it turned out exactly as it did.

Mom’s comment also reminds me of a story. This friend was studying to
become a psychologist, so she gave IQ tests to anyone who’d agree. One
guy, the husband of a friend, scored 180 (really high). But after the test
was over, he saw his cat scratching one of his speakers, so he threw a
glassful of water at it, dousing the speaker. My friend pointed out that,
despite his high IQ, the guy demonstrated little in the way of certain
common sense.

Same here, I guess.

David

Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

unibabyguy.37o4n@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>I read that driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is
>about as dangerous as drunk driving. Considering the
>amount of concentration required for unicycling compared
>to driving, talking on a cell phone seems like a death-wish
>to me.
>
>
>–
>unibabyguy

Actually, unicycling on Broadway is equivalent to drunk driving in and of
itself. Going the wrong way is the death wish part. The cel phone merely
added the icing on the stupidity cake.

By the way, those phone studies are all hopelessly flawed, since they only
test one type of distraction under a weird situation and don’t consider
factors like how most ppl talk to others in the car when they have friends
along for the ride. Others listen to music. Talking on the phone is less
distracting that many of the behaviors ppl exhibit all the time while
driving. So there.

David

Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

aardvark@notthistubulidentata.demon.co.uk writes:
>Your point is valid, of course, as far as it goes. But it is hardly fair
>to
>compare a subtle screw up to an obvious-from-the-outset-even-to-a-
>child-really-dumb-thing-to-do. And what David did not mention at all
>was the probable acute stress he caused to a number of drivers, and the
>enormous likelihood of an accident in which the least important casualty
>would have been his Coker.
>
>Still, I’m glad the Coker was not damaged ;-).

Actually, no amount of stress was detected using the various instruments
available at the time to the drivers and the general public, namely,

“Asshole!”
<Honk!!!>
…and the like.

The cab driver closest to the action registered his angst by raising one
eyebrow a sixteenth of an inch.

Had there been any such stress caused, I would have mentioned it in my
first note.

David

Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01

Re: New Low on Cokey: Near-death experience

rhysling.37x5p@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>Had the nature of David’s ride been such that someone else (like his
>brother) would have had to be the one telling us about it, we would have
>lost a vibrant member of our community. The possible death of
>bystanders may have resulted in some unpaletable prohabitions being
>inacted. David has brought up the issue of the riders responcibility
>to themself verses others in an accident before. Previously, his
>position was if they caused it, by all means, do what you have to to
>save yourself harm, even if that meens injuring the offender. From
>this encounter, he postulates that it might be best to make no attempt
>to catch an out of controll vehicle for feer of personal injury. I
>hold that it is the riders responcibility to prevent his vehicle from
>causing harm to others. You do not have a right to transfer risk off
>of yourself onto an innocent.

Chris raises an excellent point, and I must say emphatically that in the
split second I realized what was going on, I also sensed (but didn’t know
for sure) that while holding on had its risks, letting go was LESS risky
all around because of a few factors.

  1. My hands were really slippery. I am not sure I could have held on had I
    tried harder. Probably not.

  2. Traffic had only just started (which is why there is none of me still
    on Broadway being pecked at by pigeons), and I saw that the cars still had
    a ways to go before hitting me.

The risk, then, was that some driver would be going to fast (basically
flooring it) to stop in time or would simply not be paying attention
(pretty unlikely given this area – it’s not like you can sit back and get
too complacent).

Had I sensed that there could be a disaster to others which I could have
avoided by taking my deserved lumps, I would have done what that truck
driver did in your amazing story. I totally hold that utilitarian view and
also the belief that the one causing the accident should get it if someone
has to, even if it’s me.

David
Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01

D,stone

care to say who you were on the phone with?Dont tell me you were ordering a pizza.

David takes his lumps as they come, in and out of the sadle -and without a hint of rancor. Thanx again for the shared experience.

While I made every attempt to avoid the hole telephone issue, Jagur once again cuts to the hart of the mater by bringing up an important point: was that a 1-900 # call? If so, were you on the client or sevice side? It occures to me that cycling would add a certain sincerity to the performance. Sure would beat a papper route…

:slight_smile:

Christopher