Saturday, January 14, 2006

Last Apha of BBB, Feb. 2006 Newsletter here!

The third and final alpha version of the newsletter is here, [Link]

The last alpha version of the February newsletter is posted. This is pages one thru 17, which is the main body pages of the newsletter. It is still subject to change, but only if there is an overriding reason. This is all I am going to do today. Tomorrow I will finish the back pages and incorporate any changes I get. Thanks everybody for the help with this edition and the great corrections I have received. You have helped make this a better issue!

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The second alpha version of the Feb newsletter

Another alpha version of the February newsletter is posted here [Link]. This is pages one thru 12 and is subject to change. Again, of special importance here is the revised listings on page two. If you sent me any changes please double check to make sure I didn't screw up and that I got your changes in!

Please look here and let me know as soon as possible if you see any errors so I can fix them.

If you are new to the club, or have never paid much attention before, page two of the newsletter is a wonderful source of information and the place to get answers to many of the questions folks commonly ask about our great club. Looking here may save you from having to call our club president and asking him questions you can easily find the answers to.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The cover photo for the Feb. issue

David on Hamilton

This is the photo I chose for the cover of the February B&BB. I appreciate the photos folks submitted, it was a tough decision. Here are the reasons I chose this photo:

  • It is seasonal. The trees are bare and David has arm warmers. The message is, "you can have fun riding in the winter."
  • It has tension. The riders focus is solid on the road. He looks professional.
  • It is visually dynamic. The composition leads you into and through the photo and into the issue of the newsletter.
  • It has good production values. It is sharp and composed very well.

When I seek a photo for the cover I look for a photo that has what I call "curb appeal." I want the photo to grab a reader and make that reader want to read the newsletter. It also needs to relate to the newsletter and what we are as a club. I need to be able to tie it into a story or the time we are in and the places our club rides. I specifically avoid mug or group shots that are not dynamic. These types of photos have their places, but those places, in my opinion do not include the top half of the front of the newsletter, unless there is a very compelling reason.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Great place to ride

Me with bike

Yesterday and today I rode my bike
It has been crisp, cold and clear the last couple of days. The tender green shoots are coming up and yesterday I saw a herd of deer on my ride. This is such a great place to ride a bicycle, I love it here! California Spring is only about a month away in the bay area and already I can see the buds starting to appear on the trees. Soon, those buds will be blossoms!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Appreciation Night Reservations Closed

Thank you to everyone who has made a reservation to come to this years Appreciation Night!   We have 175 people attending and know we will have a good time.

If anyone was unable to get tickets and would still like to come to it, please send me your name and I will start a standby list.

Warm regards,

Sandy Lorber

Bill Bliss: Officer guilty of careless driving

From the Canon City Daily Record:


Publish Date: 1/6/2006

Officer guilty of careless driving

Alison Miller
Daily Record Staff Writer

Cañon City Police Officer Doug Havens was convicted Thursday night of careless driving in a June 2005 incident that killed cyclist Bill Bliss on Colo. 67, two miles north of Wetmore.

Havens was found innocent of the lesser charge of speeding.

Assistant District Attorney Cheyenne Ross built her case around Bliss’ advocacy for bicycling safety and expert accident reconstruction.

The victim’s longtime friend and fellow cyclist Russell Godfrey testified Bliss, a 69-year-old Californian, advocated and taught road safety to new cyclists. According to Godfrey, Bliss always wore a helmet and bright clothing, had triangle reflectors and followed traffic laws.

Godfrey had been on the cross country tour that began in Virginia and was to end in Oregon before Bliss was struck by Havens on June 24.

Havens, a rural Westcliffe resident, was off duty at the time.

Defense attorney Cindy Montgomery called Bliss’ safety into question during cross-examination. She said Bliss’ bike and physical condition contributed to the accident.

Testimony indicated the bike was loaded down with equipment and had perhaps been engineered to carry excess cargo. The bike was described by Godfrey as having smaller than average wheels and a rack carry-ing a tent, tools, sleeping bag and other supplies.

Godfrey also testified Bliss was blind in the left eye, which was later determined by the Fremont County Coroner Dorothy Twellman to most likely have affected Bliss’ peripheral vision and possibly affected his ability to see motorists.

The Bliss family, who came from California and Seattle to attend the trial, disputed claims he was unsafe and said Bliss was an extremely accomplished cyclist.

“Bill has been bicycling for 36 years,” said Bonnie Bliss, the victim’s widow. “He has over 300,000 bicy-cle miles. He’s a very proficient rider; he’s done most of those miles commuting in urban traffic in San Jose (Calif.).

“Of all the people in the nation, he is probably one of the people who have such a depth of understanding and depth of thinking in these types (road cycling) of situations,” Mrs. Bliss said.

The defense questioned whether Bliss actually had been following the rules of the road and claimed he was riding close to a foot from the center line instead of near the white line as required by law.

Montgomery supported the claim with testimony from rural postal carrier Amanda Withers who said she saw between 10 and 15 cyclists on the highway “far out in the road so that you had to get into the other lane to get past them.”

Montgomery outlined a series of events, arguing Havens came around a curve just south of mile marker 2 on Colo. 67 at legal speeds and his view was obstructed by a vehicle in front of him. She also said Bliss was riding where he should not have been and that Havens had no time to prevent the accident.

Jeffery Burke, an accident reconstruction specialist from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, testified Havens could not have been traveling more than 58 mph when he struck Bliss.

Burke said he personally drove Havens’ Ford truck around the curve attempting to reach 77 MPH and said the truck almost rolled. He said he was unable to reach the alleged speed Ross claimed Havens was travel-ing after coming out of the curve.

Burke also said at such high speeds it is impossible to see people when looking out the vehicle’s window, supporting the claim he was not speeding.

Rancher Chad Draper testified for the defense he was fixing a fence on his property and observed Havens driving. He said he and Havens waved to each other.

Draper also supported defense’s claims there had been another car ahead of Havens.

The prosecution’s expert witness gave a conflicting account of what he believed happened that day.

Mike Halpin, accident reconstruction specialist for the Colorado State Patrol, said he calculated Havens’ speed at 77 MPH in a 65 zone through calculations and measurements taken at the scene.

Halpin said skid marks, a scrape mark from the bicycle making impact with the road and Havens’ account of the accident gave him points of reference to reconstruct the accident.

According to Halpin, Havens probably came around the curve at high speeds, saw Bliss, had about 1.5 seconds reaction time, struck Bliss and applied the brakes.

The injuries sustained by Bliss were determined to be associated with Halpin’s account. Pictures of the deceased Bliss demonstrating such injuries were denied by Judge William Fox on grounds they were more inflammatory than probative.

Fox said the photos would evoke the sympathy that he himself admitted to having while viewing the pho-tos.

Evidence from the death certificate was admitted stating Bliss died from a substantial head injury caused by being struck by a motor vehicle.

Havens took the stand to give a personal account of the events and, upon cross-examination by Ross, a mistrial was almost granted after she asked Havens how many speeding tickets he has been issued. Havens admitted to one speeding ticket before Montgomery had the opportunity to object.

Prior acts are not allowed to be introduced into evidence, and Montgomery moved for a mistrial. Fox de-termined though Ross’ conduct was unacceptable, an instruction to the jury to not weigh the speeding ticket was more appropriate than to grant a mistrial.

The jury found that there was not enough evidence to convict Havens of speeding, but decided he was driving carelessly and caused Bliss’ death.

The misdemeanor carries a range of sentence options from fines and points on his license to jail time. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 6.

According to CCPD Capt. Jim Cox, Havens is working and he knows of no plans to remove him from duty. Cox said the decision to keep or terminate Havens’ employment lies with City Administrator Steve Rabe, who had no comment.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Here are some pictures of Kenneth

Tomorrow is my youngest son Kenneth's birthday. He will be 19.

Kenneth and Cat

As Kenneth's birthday has been approaching I have been thinking a lot about it. It seems like he was just a little boy. Now, in 12 months he will be 20. Days go by so fast their passing seems trivial. But, each day is unique and never to be repeated again. Kids, they grow up so fast. It seems like yesterday, but just a little over a decade ago Kenneth was a little 8-year-old.

Kenneth building models

One of our favorite things to do was to go camping at a place called "camp." This is a place where my first wife Candy went since she was a little girl. After she died, this is where we buried her ashes. I hope we can go back there this year. 

Kenneth in tent

Here are some pictures of Kenneth.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Feb. 2006 Queue is here

The February 2006 queue is here. Contributors please check to see your contributions are here.