Sunday, May 17, 2015

Problem With You Ten Speeders

Today we did our usual Sunday morning ride out of the Katy Mills Mall only the ride got quite a bit more interesting.  As we were riding back to the mall we had a confrontation with a guy in a pickup. We were heading North on Spring Green Blvd and approaching Falcon Landing Blvd where we would make a right turn.  I should note that both roads have two lanes in each direction and this was Sunday morning around 10 AM.  The light was red at the intersection and we were riding two abreast.  The pickup behind us honked his horn at us just before we got to the red light.  We then made the right onto Falcon Landing and the truck followed us.
Our route from Katy Mills Mall goes through Katy into Richmond and Fullshear then back

The truck then went into the lane next to us and started yelling at us while going the same speed as us.  At first I couldn't tell what he was saying and tried to ignore him, but it was obvious he wasn't going to just have his rant and speed off.  I looked over at him and he yelled, "you need to stay within three feet of the curb" and then he said "you can't ride side by side".  I yelled back, "that's not the law.  We can take the lane" at which point he yelled back "that's the problem with you ten speeders...(something I couldn't hear)... I know the law!"  It went back and forth with my riding partner saying "have a nice day" and me repeating "we can take the lane" and the truck driver telling us he knew the law and was going to call the police.  The truck driver then proceeded to get in front of us and slow to almost a stop.  We slowed and, when the other cars that were being slowed down by the truck passed, we swung around and passed the truck on the left.  At that point the truck came up along side us again, passed and stopped in front of us at an intersection.  He got out of his truck holding his cell phone and said he had the police on the phone.  I told him, "great you don't know the fucking law" to which he said "don't you cuss me and you need to get away from me".  Unfucking believable! I need to get away from him!  I walked my bike around his truck and waited for the light to turn green without looking at Mr. Truck.  Finally the light turned green and he drove off.
Blue Dodge Ram 1500 single cab license BT4 6743  out to educate them ten speeders
When I got home I called the Fort Bend County Sheriff and two deputies came out and talked to me.  Turns out one of the deputies was actually on the phone with the truck driver when he got out of the truck.  The deputy said that he told the driver not to do something like that again.  He told me what the driver did wouldn't get him cited for harassment since "harassment needs multiple incidents".  The one thing that ticked me off, and I have to say the two deputies were professional and couteous, they didn't just blow this off and took this with seriousness, but the deputy said that the law was ambiguous.  Here is the relevant law (551.103c) quoted directly from the Texas Transportation Code:

(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

This area of Katy, Fullshear, Richmond in Fort Bend County gets a lot of bicyle traffic and in the last two years I have never had an incident beyond the occasional "faggot" call out or the time a guy in an older pickup pulled out his choke as he passed so we got carpet bombed with black smoke. I do my best to wave thanks or give a thumbs up when drivers give right away or show courtesy but today was rattling for sure.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Energy Corridor Bike To Work Day 2015

Today makes two years in a row I didn't commute via bike on Bike To Work Day.  Last year George Bush was flooded and this year there is supposed to be lightning in the PM.  I don't mind riding in the rain, and kind of enjoy it actually, but after a too close for comfort ride in a lightning storm two years ago I am now extremely gun shy about riding if there is supposed to be lightning.  Ah no, I got to call bullshit on me.  I just wanted to sleep in an extra hour this morning!  Either way there was no biking to work today.

Here is the Energy Corridors bike to work site

I can't seem to get their maps to work but I posted them last year

Coming soon I'll post the details of the route to my new work site.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Update Tool When George Bush Park Flooded

***Update February 22, 20017.  The shared use path through George Bush Park is flooded this morning while the water level is 82'.  I'm not sure if the ongoing Army Corps of Engineers work has changed the USGS sensors or what but the below info needs to be updated-- see here:  *****

A coworker introduced me to this great tool from the United States Geological Society that notifies you when the path at George Bush Park is flooded.  He claims when this chart of the elevation of Barker Reservoir is above 84 inches feet the path is flooded.

You can set an SMS alert to send a daily update when the water level is above a certain thresh hold, in this case 84 '.

I know the park was flooded yesterday April 30th and if the trend line continues the park should be okay for a Monday commute.  I'm looking forward to seeing how accurate this is.  Twice last year I packed the panniers and headed out for work to find the park was surprisingly still flooded and return home for a cager commute.

You can find the graph, and sign up for the alerts, here  The chart you want is third down  "Elevation of reservoir water surface above datum, feet, Press Transducer, High Orifice"