Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dispatch: Tracy Corbin's Killer Charged with Vehicular Homicide

The Dispatch is reporting that the driver of the vehicle that killed Tracy Corbin last summer on Alum Creek Drive is being charged with Vehicular Homicide.

Michael Cline, the accused, is claiming the "I didn't see him" defense. It's nice to see that the city isn't buying that as an excuse!
Driver charged in cyclist's death
Thursday, January 29, 2009 3:17 AM
A motorist who struck and killed a bicyclist on Alum Creek Drive last summer has been charged with vehicular homicide.

Michael R. Cline, 36, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Franklin County Municipal Court on Friday.

Police accuse him of being negligent on Aug. 21 when he struck and killed Tracey Corbin, 46, a South Side man who had been riding his bicycle on Alum Creek near Watkins Road.

Corbin's family said he was a safety-conscious cyclist who pedaled to and from his job off Groveport Road. They said his bicycle had lights, and he wore a safety vest.

Assistant City Prosecutor Ian Overking said accident-investigation detectives gathered evidence for several months before filing the misdemeanor charge against Cline, who lives at 2506 Hoose Dr. on the Far West Side.

Although Corbin's bicycle lights did not work after the collision, police found witnesses who said they had been flashing before the crash. Corbin had been wearing his luminescent vest, Overking said.

"The bicyclist was doing everything he should have done. Given the bicyclist's conduct, I would say that the defendant was negligent, just in not observing the bicyclist operating in front of his car," he said.

Cline and Corbin had been headed south when Corbin was struck from behind at 5:15 a.m., police said.

"When you come down through Alum Creek with all these trucks and all the lights, I didn't see this guy," Cline said in a 911 call.

"He initially said that he thought it was a deer that he hit," Overking said yesterday.

Overking said he will talk with Cline's attorney, Ralph Kerns, at the Friday hearing to "try to get an idea for where the case is headed."

Kerns did not reply to a request for a comment yesterday.

People, not speed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dispatch Features Hardy Winter Bike Commuters!

The Columbus Dispatch gave us a peek at what a few hardy souls are doing here in Columbus to keep on the roads during the winter! And, even better, they give us a few tips for cold-weather cycling... thanks, Kathy Lynn Gray!
Frosty cyclists conquer cold
A few strong-willed bicycle commuters brave the icy blasts of winter
Saturday, January 24, 2009 3:07 AM

Heavily insulated Steve Shaffer takes the cold trek home on his bicycle after curling-club practice. He is not alone in his determination to commute by bike even on the coldest days. (But there aren't many like him.)



Click here for tips on how to stay comfortable during cold-weather biking.

Steve Shaffer knows most people peg him as a wacko when he rides his bike to work in below-zero weather.

But the Battelle senior research scientist is far from alone in his choice to commute by bike year-round, no matter the weather or temperature.

Take Jan. 16, the day the mercury sank to 10 below in central Ohio. Some folks wouldn't even crack their front door to grab the newspaper.

Shaffer just added a few more layers of clothing to his 51-year-old body, pulled on his face mask and goggles, and dropped chemical hand warmers into his mittens before heading the 4 miles from his Upper Arlington home to Battelle.

The same day, Scott Atwood, 52, of the North Side, rode 9 miles to his job after scanning blogs from Alaskan bicyclists about how to stay warm. His goggles fogged and his feet got cold, but he rode home and then repeated the ride -- with chemical hand warmers in his boots -- the next day, when it was minus 11 degrees.

"I like to say I can't believe people are crazy enough to drive a car in this weather," said Stephen Hardwick, who bikes weekdays between his Clintonville home and his job in the Office of the Ohio Public Defender Downtown.

Hardwick, 41, rides 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 miles each way, depending on the route he chooses. He bikes so he doesn't have to exercise at a gym and because rush-hour traffic raises his blood pressure.

"I don't want to die of a heart attack at age 50," he said. "Last year, we had a little girl, and I'd like to be around when she graduates from college."

Shaffer bikes for the health benefits and to reduce gasoline consumption, save money and clear his head. He bikes even when he has community activities after work; he just rides his bike home afterward.

Lisa Houser, 24, bicycles all around Columbus to substitute teaching jobs.

"It's a good way to start the day in general and it keeps my blood flowing," said Houser, who sold her car before winter began and has taken the bus only once since then. She started riding five years ago while living in Florida; this is her second winter in Ohio.

"I just kind of threw myself into it," said Houser, who lives in the south end of Clintonville. "It saves my conscience from worrying about environmental destruction."

As of yesterday, Houser and other die-hard bicyclists had peddled through 13 days of below-average January temperatures, including four when the mercury plunged to zero or lower.

Like all winter cyclists, Hardwick has slid on ice or snow more than once, but he's never suffered serious consequences. He sometimes uses studded tires to give them more bite and prefers city streets to the bike path along the Olentangy River because streets are usually cleaner.

He hasn't had frostbite. He wears lots of layers on his legs, chest, hands and feet. They include pants and a jacket that are wind-resistant, topped with a lime-green vest so he's highly visible in traffic.

"I'm much better protected than people standing outside smoking cigarettes," Hardwick said.

Sub-zero temperatures aren't expected back in central Ohio anytime soon, but highs will be stuck in the mid-20s and lows in the teens until next Wednesday, said meteorologist Mike Pigott with AccuWeather in State College, Pa.

January will end up about 4 degrees below the month's 28-degree average, Pigott said. He predicts February temperatures will hit the average of 32 degrees and March could be slightly above its 42-degree average.

People, not speed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Won! I Won!

Fritz from Cyclelicious has been running some contests via Twitter recently, and I won the most recent one. I will be receiving a set of stickers from Zero Per Gallon. I'll be sure to share them with you once they arrive... they look like a lot of fun!

People, not speed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Log Your Miles!

Do you like to log the miles you've ridden each day? Would you like to see what your cycling is doing for yourself, the environment, or your wallet?

Take a look at some of these sites as ways to keep track of just how far you've gone and maybe even help to raise money for charities! - from Cateye, the bike light company, comes this fine site. It'll let you input your miles each day, your location (to get your area's average gasoline price) and for that you get your mileage, calories burned, carbon NOT released into the atmosphere, and more! Top notch site, easy to navigate, and full of fantastic information. Truly fun for the statistically inclined.

Plus 3 Network - If your interests run to charitable giving, then maybe this site is more up your alley. Plus 3 Network takes the miles you've ridden, walked, mountain biked, etc. and converts that effort into charitable donations to a cause of your choice! Combine that with route mapping, pre-planned workouts or rides, and the ability to post your goals and create groups for motivation, and this site is a sure winner.

Greenlight Ride - This is a new one for me. It has a lot of the same sort of information that other sites do, but it also adds some social networking to the mix. Competitions and community are he order of the day - get to know your fellow cyclists, create a team and see how you stack up against the rest (or even create or join a league!), and keep track of your mileage all at once!

How about you? Do you have any favorite sites for logging your mileage?

People, not speed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Twittering Columbus Weather

Are you a Twitter user? If so, then you may want to start following Chris Bradley and Carlos Gonzales, the 10TV weathermen! They're getting into Twitter, and Carlos has already started to post weather updates for his followers. Truly useful stuff for the Bike Commuter!

Also, if you'd like to follow me, I'm at @jfellrath. I also invite anyone who's interested to post Columbus Bicycling news and information using #bikecolumbus. So far I've been using it to announce new posts to this blog, and I'd like to see it become a place for all Columbus cyclists to let everyone else know what's going on!

People, not speed.