Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Disaster strikes regularly in a variety of ways .
Whether Earthquake , Fire , Sunami or Wind Storms , people find themselves at the mercy of the elements . Many Countries have Volunteer Organisations that are prepared to swing into action once the danger has been recognised .Even though the destroyed area has their own " Volunteer Organisations " , many of those people will be searching for their family and relatives thus not contributing to their community as effectively as needed ?

Many countries have volunteer Organisations that have disparate purposes , created in earlier emergencies . The UK has about 16 Major organisations , such as OXFAM , but , the nature of the Philippines Disaster has seen them combine under an " Umbrella Organisation " , namely D E C ! Today SKY News are at the Bicester Warehouse in Bicester , near Oxford . This is a warehouse that i have worked at  , more than a decade ago , assisting in the work , needed to prepare the the consignments that are held in readiness for the next Major Disaster . Today 16 tons of Water , Food and other Relief Supplies will be sent to the Disater Zone . The replacement cost of these supplies are reported to be GBP200k . Oxfam run a chain of " Charity Shops " , where you can find " Used Clothes and Household Goods " , as well as some New Products that appeal to the " impulse buyer ". THe income from these Shops is only part of their income , so they must rely on Donations from Major Appeals as well as ongoing commitments by those that choose to donate from salary or their Bank Account by regular remittance . Most of these scheduled payments allow Tax Relief to be paid direct to the Charity .

, In my name and on behalf of the people of ,I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the people of the

Caritas , the Catholic Organisation , also acts promptly , throughout the world , to assist in Disaster Relief . Today , i spoke with their Innsbruck Office , as i had wished to suggest an idea , that i thought useful in helping some of the survivors . My proposal will be a longer term project that i hope will assist people on the ground restore their " broken bikes " , rather than toss them in the rubbish . Immediately , Caritas needs people to open their Purse Strings , since Cash can buy in other parts of Asia , ALL thee Relief Supplies and Clothing , that so many are willing to part with in the effort to assist . Clothes and Blankets are needed , BUT,  they will need Transport and then they will need sorting for size and distribution . Tedious Chores that can be dealt with a little further down the track .  Four days of little food and water will determine Peoples'priorities ! Currently the devastated areas are suffering from access being difficult if not impossible , due to fallen palm trees and Storm debris of every kind . Remote areas appear to be ONLY accessable by Helicopter .

This brings me to a point of personal frustration . Helicopters are a scarce resource , they can only work so many hours , before needing downtime for maintainance . Helicopters can only carry so much , yet i am continously seeing Major News Networks , using these scarce resources to " swan around " seeking THEIR OWN EXCLUSIVE perspective/story "! Each time they need 2 or 3 people to do the report , that is about 80kg each , say 200kg of RELIEF SUPPLIES , not delivered , because " the face " wants to appear on YOUR SCREEN ! Do i care if i see the same story repeated on 15 or 20 separate News Channels ?  NO I Don't ! Especially when it is the choice of carrying 200kg of Food & Water to those in NEED !  Just think about the fact that 200kg of supplies , that could help thousands went UNDELIVERED !  CNN , Aljazeera , BBC World , SKYnews ,RTnews , France 24 ,CCTV , CNBC , to name just a few of the networks i can access , are ALL SAYING THE SAME THING ! The Philippines People are in Desparate NEED of HELP !

Yesterday i saw on TV , the US Marines arrive at an airport , Tacloban in the Philippines , in the background , we saw a Forklift truck unloaded , whilst the Interview was being shown . Later in the day we heard that the Airport was closed at nightfall ! No electricity ! OOPS ! Who would have thought about Electricity ? Certainly not the Marines ! RESULT , Airport closed through the Night , as there were NO runway lights . Not the Marines fault , BUT , should they not have access to at least portable Genies ?  Those that choose to go back to earlier Blog Posts of Mine will have seen , my take on the Haiti Disaster !

 Later i will post the links to the posts where i suggested PREPAREDNESS for DISASTER !

16th Nov.2013

AS promised links to my Haiti Posts and a few of my comments : 

  " Earlier this week I stated that the Paratroopers could parachute into the situation, well they arrived in comfort on Saturday but in the interim we were treated to a spectacularly difficult scene of discord " :

  " WHY I a civilian has to ask the question “ if 3500 Paratroops are mobilised ,WHY is it they have not parachuted into the Haiti disaster Area and delivered aid , whether First Aid or rounding up the transport to move people?

3500 paratroops trained to jump into any environment , 60+hrs after the disaster still not in Haiti?"

Yesterday it was revealed that the SS George Washington , in company with 5 support ships , would depart Hong Kong for deployment in the Philippines . With Helicopters as part of the Fleet requirements on a daily basis , there will be a tremendous boost to those suffering deprivationn due to the Storms aftermath . Had the Pentagon thought to have a " Disaster Capability / Response Cache " onboard , then Canvas , Water desalination equipment , generators , as well as food and Water would be available for landing as fast as the Helicopters could be turned around . 24 hr capability should be possible from a floating city ?

CNN reports that the Mayor of a Village/Town biked from his place to the regional City , to report the Disaster that his people were enduring . The Roads were closed to vehicles , so he demonstrated initiative and carried the bike around road blockages .

Bikes will be part of the problem solving means of transport , for so many people in the next months . So many vehicles are shown , destroyed , upside down and displaced in the News , but even undamaged , they are of little use until the roads are opened once again .

My proposal to Caritas was to act as a conduit to receive in the Philippines , bike parts . Most Cyclists will have in their garage a variety of Parts , taken from their best bikes , as they upgraded , then put aside for future use ? I am like others , i rarely throw out parts , knowing that early replacement can save embarassment when i am at the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France . My parts alone , will be of use to NOONE ! However if they are combined with those from other Race Cyclists , Suburban Cyclists , Cycling Clubs , Bike Shops , then they will add up to a useful supply of parts that can be forwarded to a Philippine receiving point . Caritas appealing to their Parishners and Media in Each Province in Austria could collect a sizable amount of parts , that either Austrian Air or a Freight forwarder could despatch to Manila , where local volunteers , could having created a Website , fill the needs of individuals that need parts to put their broken bikes back on the road . This plan obviously relies on bike savvy volunteers , at each end of the supply chain . No point sending from manila a front derailleur , when it was a rear that was needed ?

Building up the damaged bikes will need volunteers , some will be shop owners , whose premises and stock will have been destroyed , others will be unemployed people , wishing to learn new skills . Perhaps some will be on the US Fleet and will enjoy offering their help in their spare time ashore ? Each year " " runs Hundred miles of nowhere to raise funds for the LiveSTRONG Charity , i recall that some participants were afloat on an Aircraft Carrier , maybe on the SS George Washington , there are bike enthusiasts with the tools to join in ?

On the way home from my ride from Schwaz , i stopped off at an International Conglomerate , who are very active in local charity work . I proposed they think on this scheme , since they have their OWN CYcling Club . In addition , i suggested they speak with their corporate HQ and ask that they consider donation of some Heavy Equipment . Big Ask that , but , unless the proposal goes forward , who else will think of this ?

With my visibility on this Blog , Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn , i can only propose ideas . By myself i can only contribute dollars & less than useful equipment , BUT , in tandem with those that read this , possibly there are ways to help others !


Some Tweets :

More than 2 million people need food aid, the gov said. Nearly 300,000 of them are pregnant women or new mothers.

  1. UNICEF has 70 staff on ground (with more on way) & has begun to reach survivors in Tacloban, Ormoc and Rozax cities.
  2. I know you have a mobile. And you can afford a pint. So no excuse: text UNICEF to 70123 to give £3 to help children in

: Australians can donate to the Red Cross appeal by visiting the website

2m jobs destroyed after , $12bn loss to economy ht

Listening to this morning on the ground in the and my heart is broken. Praying for God's deliverance and provision.

Check out this map of the that details damage done by & how we are responding w/ relief efforts:

  1. Miss. sympathizes w/the . "The hour of greatest need comes to the Philippines:" via :

RT : Army foils attempted ambush on troops transporting relief goods: LEGAZPI CITY,...

Friday, November 1, 2013

NO HARM ; NO FOUL , for the Driver ! The Cyclist ?

TYPICAL ! That lousy  cyclist has just ruined the Driver's day !

Being at the controls of a lethal weapon
confers immunity from responsibility ?

 In the USA you can overlook a Cyclist and say " The sun was in my eyes "! YOU can say " I didn't see the Cyclist " , or " The Cyclist came out of No Where "!

You can even FALL ASLEEP at the wheel of YOUR Car , KILL a Cyclist and if you meet CHP Officer Trevor Smith you can go home unimpeded , since he doesn't wish to spoil his day by writing a " Citation "!

Come on , you can add your own variation of this theme !

Cyclists are a blight on the lives of vehicle drivers/operators , RIGHT ?


NO THEY ARE NOT ! Most Cyclists OWN a Vehicle , they CHOOSE to ride their bike !

They CHOOSE to exercise their body , instead of sitting crunched up by themselves in a tin can ! The Cyclist is thinking about their Community by using a bike to do that short trip , whether they were shopping , commuting to or from work , OR exercising their body .

When YOU are at work , your Employer asks you to take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions ? So you are in a vehicle on Company time , are you then , no longer required to take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions ? When driving/operating a Company Vehicle , cause a Death , then your Superior can join you on a Manslaughter Charge , and your Company on a " Corporate Manslaughter Charge "!  You are on your OWN time and driving , are you no longer required to take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions ?

IS there something wrong with the ENGLISH Speaking Community ? In England , in USA , in Australia , you are driving your vehicle and then you have a collision involving a Cyclist and LO & BEHOLD , you expect the Cyclist to carry the RESPONSIBILITY ! Are YOU kidding , they were driving YOUR Vehicle ?

Of course there are those that think that they can drive a vehicle , and use it in a manner that it was not designed for ?

Note that Queensland Police were not amused when they found this example of " careful & thoughtful driving ( not )!

Another example of " careful driving "!

Wonder if the Boss wanted to share a " Corporate Manslaughter Charge "?

Was this similar to the item that caused this death ?

Continental Europe speak various languages , some if not most , even speak English , yet they act and think differently . THEY expect to take RESPONSIBILITY for any contact with a Cyclist  They drive with the ATTITUDE that they must NOT ignore the actions of a Cyclist , whether they are heading along on the same Road as the Cyclist , OR , if the Cyclist is in a separate Cycling Lane/track ! In most European Countries , drivers have 2 legs , 2 arms and 2 Eyes , just as English Speaking people , like the Anglo speakers , they also have a Brain ! What is different about their BRAIN ?


It is just that their mindset is slightly different ?

NO !
Is it that the Laws are different ?  Not really ! Does any DRIVER leave home with the intention of crashing into a Cyclist ? Doubtful , but the subject of this article certainly spoilt his Christmas Eve last year :

With the news out of Oz this week , we have several road tragedies . Each involved different situations , but each involved the Cyclist not returning home and their Families and Friends suffering .

Each of those events will have caused the Authorities to investigate , but as in most cases in Australia , the Media will have written the incident as though the Cyclist was responsible ! Not the road conditions , nor the driver's actions , BUT ; in each case the Cyclist , did not set out with the intention of not returning home .

Even visitors suffer in Oz  :

HOW dark is 2100hrs at end of October in Northern Territory , when a Cyclist is riding EAST ? At least we won't hear the coach driver dribble out " The Sun was in my Eyes , your honour "!

  "  Posting on Facebook before her tragic accident, Lin wrote: "Carrying 11750 ml water, lots of food,
camping mat, sleeping bag and tent, going to hit the road in oz desert! Today i have to ride for 100 km where camping site is. otherwise, i have to set up the tent by the road. I will lose phone reception for the next following days. Good luck to me!"

POSTED MI 30 OKT 2013, 4:29 PM AEDT "

Cyclist  Accidents come in all sorts of situations , they even create " Inspiration "?

"I did a road ride and a car hit me," she recalls. "I was in a coma for two days and spent four weeks in hospital with a lot of broken things. I lost six of my teeth. It was quite a dark moment in my career."

EACH Country has it's own set of Road Rules . Recently Italy has instituted a " Vehicular Manslaughter Law" ! Even before a guy in Naples , crashed into and killed 6 Cyclists , because he was inattentive , there had been enough grounds to try and make the road safer for Cyclists . That in a Country that reveres their Cycling Stars ! Most European Countries have a Law that places " STRICT Liability " on the Larger Vehicle . Thus a Cyclist is responsible for Injury to a Pedestrian , just as a Vehicle is responsible for injury/damage to a Pedestrian or Cyclist .

This make you wonder about drivers ?

Abusive at me for knocking on the window - driver watching video while driving major cycle commute route in Cambridge.

The following article sets out the distinction between English Speaking Countries and Continental Countries in their treatment of Cycling Incidents !

Very important that people realise that each Authority will investigate the circumstances , BUT , the attitude of the Vehicle Operator will vary . can you imagine a Dutch Person , saying " The sun was in my eyes "? " The Cyclist came out of No where "? Oh yes , i was wearing " Concrete Boots " will work just as well !

Anybody reading this , like to tell me that Cars were on the roads , in common use , before Bicyles ?


Still waiting !

When did it become the universal idea that Cycles have to get out of the way of Vehicles ?

LAWS need to be UNIVERSAL , so that there is NO Misunderstanding the need , for Vehicles to treat Cyclists with GREATER CARE !

EVEN if you think the Cyclist , is a complete idiot , there is NO VIGILANTE Law , that allows YOU to interfere with their progress .

What YOU do , is do the thing you do all day long , contrary to the Laws of the Land ! Use the Cell / Handy phone , call the LAW ! Finally you have a semi quasi reason for using that gadget , that seems to be more important than your driving skills or giving 100% attention to the road you are SHARING with others , including Cyclists !

As individuals , i see little hope that Vehicle Drivers/Operators , will change their attitude to Cyclists ! There are some who are BANNED from driving , thus on Bikes , there are others that are riding for a variety of reasons , but they ALL have something in common with YOU ! They have Family ! Sons & Daughters , Sisters & Brothers , Fathers & Mothers , Grandparents & Grandchildren ! Just as YOU have ?


IF you ride a Bike , BE AWARE , as you set out , you are responsible for YOUR Safety , if you fail to arrive in good condition , those causing you grief , will be manufacturing reasons WHY YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for spoiling their day !

West Australian Blogger generated the following info :

summary report on road deaths in Australia. This issue is dated September 2013.

 1,234 road deaths in the 12 months to September 2013, of which 147 where pedestrians, 37 cyclists, 203 motorcyclists and 839 motor vehicle occupants.

In terms of speed zones, lower speed zones haven’t been too kind in the 2012 with 24% of cyclists killed on roads with a 50 km/h speed limit. The most risky speed zones are in the 80 km/h plus range with 51% of fatalities occurring on these roads.

My comment notwithstanding on lower speed zones no deaths occurred in the 30 km/h and 40 km/h speed zones.

One small positive in all of this is that no cyclist deaths involved in the death of the 174 pedestrians in 2012.

Even if I bike ON YOUR HEAD, I do not DESERVE squat RT : If you bike in front of a car ON THE ROAD, you deserve to be hit

THE RESULT of a Charity Ride !

Some relevant  comments from the article :

BBC Spotlight local news said:  "Two cyclists in collision with a lorry"

Semantics - is it not more likely that the lorry was in collision with them?

Agree with you about the semantics. The cyclists were hit by a lorry would be a more realistic description I'd imagine. Would they ever say a pedestrian was in collision with a car/lorry?

Echo Thor. Did the JOGLE in June 2013 and I hated every second of the 10mins we were on the A30 as well as some bits around Inverness and Dumfries. This is not the first time I have heard about LEJOG/JOGLE fatalities on A30 and sadly is unlikely to be the last. Regrettably, the only way to complete the ride in 6-7days is to use larger/more dangerous roads. I think the only way going forward is to re-classify sections of specific 'A' roads as Motorway/Prohibit non-motorised vehicles and make people really think about their route rather than choose roads like the A30. I'm making no comment on the specifics of this case, just seeking to be pragmatic to protect people in future, there are options around the A30 and other busy roads but if you are new to an area they can be difficult to plot and so there needs to be assistance/clear direction given.

  "  Inspector Stuart Gibbons, of Devon and Cornwall Police, told the Western Morning News that  the cyclists on the A30 had suffered severe injuries and the incident had left many colleagues in the emergency services upset. "

A Families Grief :

  "  Every time a cyclist is killed, there's a flurry of forum activity and that's it until the next one, and nothing changes.

Comments are generally about making roads safer etc, and sometimes about having the law changed so that drivers can't think they can drive like idiots and put us all at risk.

If anything is to be done about this then organisations like RoadPeace and of course ctc need more funding and support for their campaigns.

If every cycling club and every cyclist in Britain gave just a tiny amount each to support these moves then maybe things will change for us.

There's so much hype about the joys of cycling, so much effort on the part of Skyride, Go-ride anything ride to get us out on our bikes, but the risks involved are never considered.

It's great out there on the bike but in an instant it can become not so great, or just totally devastating, 2 more families and wider families this week, going though unimaginable pain, again.

In 2008 we lost our 25 year old son, a Reading cc rider a wonderful young talented athlete and a beautiful son and brother, .....because, as the papers said he was "in collision with a van" In fact he was driven into from behind by a van driver who was "blinded by the sun" at 60 mph.

This latest Cornwall tragedy was one day before the 5th anniversary of our loss.

I can tell you that no one ever recovers from such a loss and for me, when I know that droves of new riders take to the roads every day, in blissful ignorance of the risks from cars and trucks, it makes me angry, and a little sad, to think that
alongside these new found freedoms, people will die, all because, until it happens to them, no-one cares.

In two weeks these two guys will be forgotten and as always, forums will flow back to the subjects of cranksets, tribars powerbars etc....until it happens again.

Valkyrie said "I hope that their families and friends receive all the support they need"

RoadPeace were amazing for us and gave us loads of support in many ways.

They deserve to be noticed and not just when we need them.


WONDER when the Policing Authorities will realise CYCLISTS are REAL People , that will when KILLED , cause Families and Friends ONGOING GRIEF ?

Addendum !

We all expect the Fire BrigadePeople to look out for US !

Tonight , Friday 1st Nov , they are supposed to be on Strike , due to the CHANGING of their Employment conditions through " penny pinching politicians !

Here is the result :

We've now got 20 fire engines and 120 firefighters tackling the blaze. It's in a scap metal yard.

Might I suggest a firefighter works harder in one year than a cabinet minister works in ten years

That's the problem with bullying and demeaning fire officers. You need them to put out fires and protect the public.

Scrap deserves burning , but surrounding property deserves protection ?

TIME that these People were treated with Respect in London & UK ! They are expected to do as those at " Ground Zero " , RISK THEIR LIVES ! And for what ? Life threatening injury , then no job and NOW , reduced Pension Entitlements ?