Category Archives: tandem bicycles

Not The Way I Wanted My Ride to End……

This is how my ride ended……in the back of a pickup truck driven by Rusty, a local Good Samaritan, who made sure Meg and I got home safely after our tandem seatpost unexpectedly failed causing us to crash.

My wife, Meg, and I have been riding together on a tandem bicycle for 20 years. We ride single bikes most of the time, but the tandem gives us a great way to share our passion for cycling and spend time together enjoying the beautiful Finger Lakes countryside.

My seat post also held Meg”s handlebars until they sheared off.

We are lucky to be alive, though, after our tandem suffered a major structural failure that sent us crashing to the road on Aug. 19 during one of our rides. It was a terrifying few minutes we will never forget, followed, very fortunately, by the kindness of a Good Samaritan named Rusty who saved the day for us.

Before Rusty arrived, though, it was just Meg and I riding on Logan Road in the Town of Hector, a road we have ridden hundreds of times. We were about five miles from our home after riding about 25 miles.

I had visually inspected our tandem before we left our house. We had just returned from a week of riding the roads of Vermont together, where we traveled about 75 miles a day on the tandem. The dependable and rugged seven-year-old tandem appeared to be good shape.

In the seconds before we crashed, we sped through a steep downhill part of Logan Road at 35 to 40 miles per hour so we could build momentum for a steep incline just ahead. It felt like a routine ride for us.

The bottom of my seat shows where the post broke off.

But as we climbed the steep incline gradually slowing as we reached the crest of the hill, I felt an awkward movement from Meg, and then the bike pivoted sharply to the left. Meg’s handlebars (and my seat post) had broken off in her hands and we lost the ability to control the bike.

The next thing I knew, we were both on the pavement and one of Meg’s elbows was bleeding. I quickly moved Meg to safety, well off the road, and checked her injury. She was in pain, but suffered no serious injuries. I was fortunate to escape any injury.

I went back out on the road – no traffic had passed yet – and could see right away what happened that led to our crash: the metal post that held my seat, and Meg’s handlebars, had sheared off leaving a sharp, exposed edge.  We were so lucky that we didn’t get impaled by the the broken post as we crashed to the ground……

I moved the bike off the road and, as I was preparing to call one of our neighbors for a ride home, Rusty drove by. He passed us at first, probably not seeing us right away, but he backed up and asked if we needed help.

Once I explained what happened, he helped us pile our broken tandem into the back of his pickup truck. He offered to take us to the Hector Fire Department to have the EMT on duty look at Meg’s injury, but we declined, so we headed back to his farm so he could get his bigger pickup truck, and from there, we were home in minutes.

Rusty took a chance on us, welcoming two banged-up strangers into his truck without hesitating. His compassion reminded us – once again – how lucky we are to live in the Finger Lakes where it’s not at all uncommon for locals to graciously help one another.

Meg and I offer our thanks to Rusty and the many other Good Samaritans in the Finger Lakes who don’t think twice about helping a stranger in need.

A version of this story has appeared in The Odessa File.

Thank you for reading!

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

BikeLaw Lawyer Jim Reed makes the Huffington Post!

My wife Meg and me with author and wine lover Stefani Jackenthal (right).

My wife Meg and me with author and wine lover Stefani Jackenthal, right. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.)

It’s not every day that you see your name (and worse yet, your photo in lycra!) on the Huffington Post but I recently had that pleasure/horror in a very nice article about the CycleAdirondacks bicycle riding event held this past August. As many of my readers know, my wife Meg and I love getting away for cycling weekends and vacations. We look for new places to visit and ride year-round all over the country and world, but our favorite places are closer to our home on Seneca Lake in New York State. Yes, we do love New York!

logoIn August, while we were riding in Cycle Adirondacks on our tandem, we met Stefani Jackenthal,  a former professional athlete who now works as a travel and wine journalist, educator, and consultant.

Meg and I love to ride, and love wine, too, so the three of us became fast friends, and now Stefani has published an account of her visit to the Adirondacks in a great post on Huffington Post.

The Reeds are flattered to be a part of Stefani’s account of the terrific weekend ride.

We highly recommend watching for the third annual Cycle Adirondacks!

We met Stefani on a steep, winding uphill part of the course and we rode much of the next three days together.

Comfy Campers provided our weekend accommodations. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.

Comfy Campers provided our weekend accommodations. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post/Stefani Jackenthal.

I told Stefani we were encouraged by friends who participated in the first event in 2015 to give it a try, and I also told her how much we were enjoying “glamping” (see photo at left). Comfy Campers provides a tent, air mattress and chair for weary riders like us.

Check out all of Stefani’s terrific story (there are many photos), and to learn more about her, click here and here.

To learn more about the 2017 Cycle Adirondacks, click here.

The ride benefits, in part, Wildlife Conservation Society promoting many community-based programs in the Adirondacks.

Message me using the link below if you have any questions about the event!

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Crash Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

How To Fly With Your Bicycle: Tips From A Well-Traveled Bicycle Lawyer and A Veteran Bike Tourist!

Bill McCready of Santana Tandems, right, has great tips for bicyclists who want to travel with their bikes.

Bill McCready of Santana Tandems, right, has great tips for bicyclists who want to travel with their bikes. (Photo courtesy of Santana Tandems.)

As an avid cyclist AND traveler, my favorite trips are cycling trips. Sometimes I rent bikes at my destination (when good rental bikes are available), but other times, I like to take my own bike.

When taking your own bike, you can always consider pre-shipping to your destination – or you can actually take your bike with you on your flights. I have done it both ways and have had good experiences each time.

Normally, I make the decision of pre-shipping vs. taking my bike on the flight based upon where I am going (shipping a bike overseas is WAY expensive) and the cost of shipping vs. paying any extra airline “bike fees.”

If you decide to fly with your bike, it is always wise to plan ahead. The best starting point I have found for sound advice for flying with your tandem is the wonderful “Tips” posted by Bill McCready of Santana Tandems in La Verne, California. You can download Bill’s Tips as a PDF or read them online.

Bill’s tips are great, and I highly recommend you read ALL of them – but some of the most valuable are:

  • Don’t Phone the Airline. Never. Ever. He makes that point several times.
  • Check in Super Early.
  • Be Charming. Mean people suck (my words; Bill’s words are nicer!) and no one likes to help mean people, so be nice to the baggage porters and ticketing agents. Remember: they can help you or hurt you, and no one wants to help a jerk.
  • Don’t Make a Scene. Pay whatever the ticket agent says is the required charge for flying with your bike. Later, you can always protest the charge but standing at the counter is not the time to argue. The key is for your bike to end up on the plane, and if it doesn’t, you are not going to be a very happy camper.
  • Find and Use a Porter When Checking In With Your Bike. While I normally am adverse to anyone carrying my bags or parking my car, when traveling with a bike(s), a helpful and well-tipped porter can be worth his weight in gold.

There are many stories online about traveling with your bicycle, including here and here and here. Be sure to check your airline’s website, too.

Thanks for reading,

Jim

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 

Local Bicyclists Deliver Meals On (Two) Wheels For Chemung County Seniors

My cycling buddy Joe Pasquarelli, the chief meteorologist at WETM-TV in Elmira, recently teamed up with another local cycling friend of mine, Kent Goben, to deliver meals to elderly residents in Chemung County.

imagesJoe and Kent took advantage of our great recent weather and hopped on a tandem bicycle to deliver hot, nutritious meals to senior citizens. They combined two of my feel-good activities, cycling and delivering Meals on Wheels, to help our senior neighbors!

WETM-TV captured Joe and Kent in action, delivering to Gladys Rice, one very appreciative senior, who said: “It helps me out a lot because I can’t get out and do too much.”

Kent, who works in the Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care, which oversees Meals on Wheels, knows firsthand how great the need is for donations and volunteers.

“For many of our clients, if we did not have Meals on Wheels, they would be in nursing homes so much earlier,” Kent said. “And it is amazing how important it is to get good nutrition, and basically it is saving them money, keeping them more independent and it’s saving the state tons of money.”

It was a great way to draw attention to an often-overlooked program that provides a valuable service in our community and helps our older folks stay in their homes and remain independent!

You can learn more about Meals on Wheels of Chemung County here. Find out how you can help today!

Joe and Kent are active bicyclists in the Twin Tiers and part of a proud tradition of bicyclists looking out for their community!

Joe is a member of the Rogue Race Team, a biking-running-triathlon team sponsored by the Ziff Law Firm. Kent is very active in the Southern Tier Bicycle League.

Thanks for reading, and I hope all cyclists from Elmira and Corning to Bath and Hornell to the west, and Sayre and Waverly to the east, will follow their example and help their communities!

Thanks for reading!

Jim

_________________________________

James B. Reed
NY & PA Bike Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

 

 

 

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NY Bicycle Attorney Elected to Board of New York Bicycling Coalition, Also Named Legal Consultant

Support NYBC please....

Let me apologize in advance for tooting my own horn but I am honored to have been unanimously elected to the Board of Directors recently for the New York Bicycling Coalition, an organization I have long admired that “advocates for the rights of all bicyclists and pedestrians in every region of New York by supporting safety, education, and access for road and trail users.”

I will also be NYBC’s designated Bicycle Accident Legal Consultant which is a logical extension of my work on bike accident cases. In the past, the news media contacts me when they need a bicycle accident lawyer’s comments for a story, and I am always happy to help in any way I can to educate the public about bicycle safety and the rights of bicyclists. I have been quoted nationally in the  The New York Times, the New York Post and locally in many papers including the Elmira Star-Gazette and The Leader in Corning .

I am flattered and excited to join the Board because I have long been impressed with the tremendous cycling advocacy work performed by NYBC. I also know that some of the most influential and passionate bicycling advocates in New YorkStateare on the board and I am very excited to start working with them to promote cycling throughout the state.

As the designated bicycle accident legal consultant, I hope to better educate cyclists throughout the state as to their legal rights when they have had the misfortune to be injured in a bike accident.

And finally, I hope to help advocate for new laws that will better protect the cycling community.

I hope all of my readers, regardless of whether they are riders, will consider joining the NYBC to help improve cycling for ALL in New York State.

Check out the NYBC website to learn more about this great organization and how you can join.

NYBC advocates for bicyclists with local, state and federal government agencies. NYBC educates New Yorkers about the benefits of riding and walking. NYBC participates in training programs, and you can download its very helpful Safety Manual here.

They are a great resource, and I am honored to bring this great organization to your attention. I will say more about NYBC in the coming months!

Thanks for reading!

Jim

_________________________________
James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Mailto: [email protected]
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Web: www.zifflaw.com
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

 

Why Bicycling Might Save Your Brain!

A Parkinson's disease researcher made a remarkable discovery after a ride on a tandem bicycle with a patient.

One of my Oregon bicycling buddies forwarded me a link to this interesting article in The New York Times about preliminary research that suggests that tandem bicycle riding could be one of the exercises that minimizes the devastating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Jay L. Alberts, a Parkinson’s disease researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, participated in a bike tour across Iowa with a patient to raise awareness about the disease, according to the Times.

After the first day of riding, though, something unexpected happened. One of the patient’s symptoms, handwriting that could become unreadable, improved dramatically.

After that, Dr. Alberts started a series of experiments with patients on tandem bicycles. The early results focus on whether exercise can help combat the disease and also — more importantly — whether intense, forced workouts affect brains differently than slower, easier workouts.

Studies have shown that forced exercise is typically more beneficial for the brains of animals. Continuing research is analyzing how forced exercise, rather than voluntary exercise, may have a beneficial impact on the physical and mental health of people.

After eight weeks of hourlong sessions of forced riding, most of the patients in Dr. Alberts’ study showed significant lessening of tremors and better body control, improvements that continued for up to four weeks after they stopped riding, according to the Times.

The tool of choice for these experiments is a tandem bicycle, which is also my tool of choice for a great deal of my own cycling.  My patient (and strong!) wife can readily attest to the fact that our tandem riding often turns into forced exercise when one of us prefers to ride easier or shorter while the other prefers to go longer or harder — now I can tell her that this forced exercise is GOOD for us!  🙂

Thanks for reading!

Thanks, Jim

_________________________________

James B. Reed

NY & PA Bicycle Accident Attorney

Ziff Law Firm, LLP

Mailto: [email protected]

Office: (607)733-8866

Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)

Web: www.zifflaw.com