Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

That Blue Line Just Got A Little Thinner

Since most of the bike related work I do up in LAC is in my T Board capacity, I'll post this here.

Albuquerque Police Officer Dan Webster, who was shot six times by a felon with a firearm last week, died this morning. Story in the Journal and New Mexican.

I sent this to Chief Gordon Eden:

Dear Chief Eden

The Journal and New Mexican have just reported that Officer Daniel Webster has died of his injuries. Please accept my deepest condolences and transmit them to his family and to your department.

Too often, we concentrate on the problems we have in institutions and overlook the good people working there, doing their best to make our institutions the best they can be. The world, and Albuquerque, will be worse off for the loss of Officer Webster. I've worked with a fair number of the police officers up here in my capacity as a Transportation Board Chair and board member in Los Alamos County, and cannot fathom the grief involved in seeing someone I worked with end up this way.

We have to keep this sort of senseless loss from happening again.

Khal Spencer

Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Vice-Chair, Los Alamos County Transportation Board
Resident, Los Alamos, NM


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Counterfeit carbon fiber products and catastrophic failure

Interesting article in the latest issue of Bicycling Magazine if you have not  read it. One guy broke his neck in two places when his counterfeit handlebars snapped on a fast descent. Hit the link below and scroll down to the Ken Avchen story for that discussion.

As Jerry Merkey said to me in an offline conversation, even "genuine" parts need to be assembled and used properly and instances of good stuff breaking are in the record. Malformed, improperly assembled, crashed, or poorly constructed stuff is not worth the risk of a brutal crash.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Father of Mountainbiking, Charlie Cunningham, In Dire Straits--Crowdfunding (Medical Fund) request

A recent picture of Charlie
Read below. Los Alamos is a bastion of mountain biking. We need to help.

"In early August, 2015, Charlie Cunningham, bicycle builder, inventor and all around amazing person, fell off his bike and sustained several serious injuries.

Charlie suffered broken bones, bruises, and trauma to his head. At the time, he didn't feel his head injury was significant. Unfortunately, six weeks later, the head injury manifested into a subdural hematoma, a life threatening condition that resulted in emergency brain surgery.

Currently, Charlie is in the hospital, recovering. His condition is stable, semi-conscious, but he cannot walk, talk or safely swallow food yet. He is making very slow steps to regain very basic tasks. The road to recovery is going to be long and involve many specialists to help him get back to his former self. Charlie's wife Jacquie Phelan, racer and ladies cycling advocate, is teaching him basic speech, in tandem with his speech/swallow therapists. Their home will need modifications to allow him to live there. It is unknown know how long he will be wheelchair bound. Your donations will help to offset the costs of his rehabilitation and the "ramping up" of his home (Offhand Manor). Thank you for your generosity.

A bit about me: I'm a friend of Charlie and Jacquie's, since the 80's. An early Wombat and bicycle painter, just helping out a friend. All funds go to Charlie.  :)"

 I got a couple of emails directly from Charlie's significant other, WOMBATS founder Jacquie Phelan, confirming that the info on the GoFundMe page linked here is correct and Caroline James, the lady running the GoFundMe effort, is an old buddy of Charlie's and his web developer as well as a charter member of WOMBATS. Charlie is currently in his third week in an ICU.Its gonna be a long hard climb to the top of this one.  -Khal

Marin Independent Journal article article written today about the crash here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Go Read This Discussion

Once again, Charles Marohn hits the bullseye in this discussion. Go read it.