Archives for Safety category

Runners vs Bikers: A Day at the Lake

Posted on Apr 07, 2014 under My Running, Random Thoughts, Safety | No Comment

Why is there so much tension between bikers and runners? As a member of both communities I understand a little of both sides.  Yesterday was a great example of why we often don’t get along.

A friend and I were going for a ride – I was towing the kids in the trailer and decided to do the lakes, Minnehaha Parkway to River Road, and Greenway loop.  It is a 20 mile loop that I’ve ridden quite a bit. As we crossed Lake Street at Dean Parkway we decided to stay on the Bike Trail (which goes clock-wise around Calhoun) instead of the road (which goes counter-clock-wise).  There was quite a bit of vehicle traffic and the bike path seemed safer.

BAD DECISION!

The road would have been a lot easier and ultimately safer.  We quickly ran into a ton of runners and walkers who were blocking the entire path. It took us 30 minutes to go the 4 miles from the top of Calhoun to the Minnehaha Parkway exit of Lake Harriet.  I can run that fast – in fact a runner was being a jerk and kept trying to pass us as we weaved through people.

I will say it isn’t 100% the runners/walkers fault as the “pedestrian” trail hasn’t been snow plowed.  But walking 3-4 abreast and not moving for oncoming cyclists is their fault.   The Park Board wisely only plows the bike paths in the winter.  I think this is an efficient use of resources and data probably supports that the number of pedestrians and riders during the winter month justifies only having the 4-6 foot wide path plowed.  Unfortunately, the pedestrian trail still has significant snow covering and has large sections that are impassable.  The Park Board could easily spend 2 hours and knock out all the snow covered areas by plowing it early on morning or overnight.

USE YOUR HEAD!

People walking and running with headphones couldn’t hear me calling “on your left” and were often walking in the center of the trail.  One guy with a hoodie on still never heard or acknowledged my presence until I was in front of him.  A few times a runner moved to pass a group of people without looking to make sure no one was coming on the left and we almost hit them.

I get that you want to chat with your friend, partner, etc. But bikes, especially ones with trailers take up quite a bit of space and should be given room to pass.  Zigging and Zagging between huge groups of people is tedious work and I’m sorry if you have to step into a puddle, but I don’t have a lot of choices.  I am pretty sure that I hit 3 people with the trailer.  I didn’t do it intentionally nor am I proud of it, but I can only do so much.

We caught up to a group of unicyclists who were doing an amazing job of navigating through the congestion without falling off.  We also caught up to a small family with a young girl (elementary age) who was skillfully navigating her bike through the people with the mom right behind her with a trail-behind attached. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for any of us.

We were trying to be careful, but for the most part the runners and walkers didn’t react to our presence until we forced them to move. We all need to compromise – maybe you can walk single file instead of 2-4 people wide in a group.  Also runners as you pass people in either direction make sure that you can see what is happening around you and look behind you.

We all need to work together until the snow melts off the pedestrian trail.  Or until the Park Board takes 2 hours and clears the remaining snow!

Sadly, this is currently exaggerated due to the snow, but it is a year round problem with runners using the bike path to avoid the congestion walkers create.  As a runner I appreciate the fact that you get a better workout on the bike path but as a biker it is quite annoying to have to dodge runners ( and sadly walkers) who are running on the bike path.  Many of these people are wearing headphones and are clueless to their surroundings.

I appreciate the people who walk/run against the flow of traffic so they can at least move out of the way.  I personally avoid running around the lakes and will now avoid biking them except for early in the morning!!

What are your thoughts?

Infant in a Bike Trailer

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 under Equipment, Information, Safety, Video | No Comment

Even though all of the bike trailer companies and the American Medical Association say you aren’t supposed to let an infant ride in a bike trailer, we’ve been pulling Nadia in our Chariot Cougar 2 since she was 5 months old.  Obviously, the trailer companies want you to be extra careful so they don’t get sued and the AMA is smart to say babies need to be a year old – at that point pretty much all babies can hold their head with a helmet on it.  Wearing a helmet is a given and being able to control your neck and head does seem pretty important.

We took care of those issues by rigging up a way to use Nadia’s car seat in the Chariot.  If it is safe enough for a car, why not a bike?

Here’s a short video that shows how I did it:

BOB Stroller Recall – Choking Hazard

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 under Equipment, Information, Safety | No Comment

BOB Strollers are facing their second recall this year.  The first in February was due to a drawstring that could get wrapped around a child’s neck.  This month’s recall is due to a piece of cloth that may get detached posing a choking hazard.

From the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: B.O.B.® single and double strollers

Units: About 411,700 in the United States and 27,000 in Canada (357,000 units were recalled in February 2011 due to strangulation hazard posed by canopy drawstring)

Importer: B.O.B. Trailers Inc., of Boise, Idaho

Hazard: The stroller canopy’s embroidered logo’s backing patch can detach, posing a choking hazard to babies and young children.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received six reports of children mouthing the detached patch. Gagging and choking were reported in two incidents. The backing was removed from the children’s mouth without injury. In each of the reported incidents, the children were seated in an infant car seat attached to the stroller.

Description: This recall involves all B.O.B. strollers manufactured between November 1998 and November 2010. Strollers manufactured after October 2006 have a white label affixed to the back of the stroller’s leg with the manufacturing date. Strollers with no manufacturing date listed were produced prior to October 2006 and are included in this recall. The strollers were sold in single seat and double-seat models. The BOB®, Ironman® or Stroller Strides® brand name is embroidered on the canopy of the strollers.

Sold at: REI, Babies R’ Us and other children’s product and sporting goods stores nationwide and Amazon.com between November 1998 and October 2011 for between $280 and $600.

Manufactured in: Taiwan and China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers until they remove the embroidery backing patch from the interior of the canopy’s logo. Consumers should contact B.O.B. Trailers for instructions on removing the backing.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact B.O.B. Trailers toll-free at (855) 242-2245 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.bobnotices.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1411

Picture of recalled buggy showing location of logo on canopy

Detail of recalled buggy canopy underside

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov

CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

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B.O.B. Stroller Recall

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 under Information, Safety | 1 Comment

From a 2/23 Press Release:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: B.O.B.® single and double strollers

Units: About 337,000 in the United States and 20,000 in Canada

Importer: B.O.B. Trailers Inc., of Boise, Idaho

Hazard: A drawstring on the stroller can get wrapped around a child’s neck, posing a strangulation hazard.

Injuries/Incidents: The firm has received one report of an 11-month-old girl who got entangled at the neck by the stroller’s drawstring. The child was freed by her mother.

Description: This recall involves the following 11 models of B.O.B.® single and double strollers. The name “B.O.B” appears on the cargo basket under the stroller and on the front of the stroller. All of the recalled strollers have a yellow/orange drawstring at the rear of the canopy which is used to gather loose fabric when the canopy is pulled back. Strollers have the serial number either stamped in the frame or on a white label located on the stroller’s rear right leg.

Model Serial # ranges
Sport Utility Stroller 12362 – 35107
AA00001 – AA025490
Sport Utility Stroller D’Lux 12362 – 35107
AB000001 – AB007940
Ironman® 800000 – 803700
AC000001- AC027923
Sport Utility Duallie 002001 – 008068
AD000001 – AD011252
Ironman® Duallie AE000001 – AE008909
Revolution AF000001 – AF189112
Revolution 12” AK000001 – AK024149
Stroller Strides® AG000001 – AG011163
Revolution Duallie AH000001 – AH072921
Revolution Duallie 12” AL000001 – AL012657
Stroller Strides® Duallie AM000001 – AM003229

Sold at: REI, buy buy Baby and other stores nationwide and on the Web at Babiesrus.com, Target.com and Amazon.com between April 2002 and February 2011 for between $300 and $600.

Manufactured in: Taiwan and China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and remove the drawstring. If using a separately purchased Weather Shield or Sun Shield accessory with the recalled stroller, contact B.O.B. Trailers for a free canopy retrofit kit.

Configuration Use Stroller Only Use Stroller With Optional
Weather Shield Accessory
Use Stroller With Optional
Sun Shield Accessory
Remedy Remove Drawstring

Instructions on removing drawstrings at:
www.bobcanopy.com

Remove Drawstring, Install Canopy retrofit Kit

Order retrofit kits at www.bobcanopy.com

Remove Drawstring, Install Canopy retrofit Kit

Order retrofit kits at www.bobcanopy.com

Consumer Contact: For additional information, or to order a canopy retrofit kit, contact B.O.B. Trailers at (855) 242-2245 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.bobcanopy.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1279


Picture of Recalled Jogging Strollers showing location of BOB logo

Picture of Recalled Jogging Stroller showing drawstring location and closeup

Picture of Recalled Jogging Stroller showing serial number location

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting www.saferproducts.gov

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054.

 

To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov. Thanks to Wallet Pop and @RunnersWorld for sharing this story.

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Dehydrated?

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 under Health, Safety | 1 Comment
Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure I got dehydrated yesterday.  When I got home from a full day of programming and a post-work meeting I was exhausted.  My face felt really warm and even after a shower I still felt blah.  I didn’t want to interact with my amazing wife, but just wanted to veg out.

The day didn’t seem out of the ordinary, I did a 2 mile run – drank water and had breakfast.  Then I rode to work, taught my class which included 9 miles of bike riding and finished off my water bottle.  Drank another bottle during lunch and the first part of the afternoon program.  Biked to my meeting (drinking some more) and got a fruit smoothie.  Refilled my bottle and drank more on the way home.  I had some more water with dinner.

This morning when I woke up, I was extremely tired and felt very thirsty.  So more water did I drink.  The clue I guess should have been that I didn’t really have much urge throughout the day to pee.  It is hard to force yourself to drink until you pee when you are supposed to be in front of kids all day without any real breaks.

Yesterday wasn’t an extremely hot or humid day, but I was active all day and obviously didn’t get enough water – which is a big no,no and something we harp on the kids about all the time.

One thing I’ve done in past weeks is to drink some type of electrolyte drink during lunch or at some point in the day.  This ensures that you are getting hydrated, but also replaces some micronutrients that your body depletes through sweating.  I need to remember to grab some of the Gatorade in my car as I gear up on my bike.  On some of my longer bike training rides I’ve been using Nuun tablets and that has helped with electrolyte replacement as well.  Nuun claims to not create a sticky mess in your bottle!

So be careful out there and stay hydrated.

Also check out my 8 tips for what do when there is a raging inferno outside!

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Resting: 3 Variations

Posted on Aug 05, 2009 under Information, Safety, Training | 3 Comments
Sleeping cat
Image via Wikipedia

Many runners think that taking a day off is a bad thing.  The thought of not running any miles on a given day is ridiculous.  There is the saying that when you are running 3 miles someone else is running 4, this type of thinking leads into the “no rest” mentality.

Every training program that I’ve followed includes some form of rest/recovery in it.  Resting is an important part of allowing your body, especially your muscles the chance to heal and repair themselves.  To improve, muscles need a chance to create new fibers and generally get stronger.  Running – even an easy jog will tear muscle fibers that need healed.

Resting can mean a lot of different things though.  Below are several types of rest:

1) Doing nothing. This is generally what we think of when using the word rest.  Doing no strenous physical activity.

2) Cross-training.  Biking, Swimming, Rowing, Elipticating  – doing some type of physical exercise that isn’t running and doesn’t use your main running muscles.  Elipticating might actually be a bad form of cross-training but it is a fun word to write.

3) Active Rest. I think of this as doing nothing strenous but maybe doing something moderate or different than normal.  Going for a longer walk than normal, doing more yard work than normal. Basically doing something that isn’t necessarily strenuous but isn’t sitting around on the coach.

I would advocate that doing absolutely nothing every now and then is a good thing.  I am a huge proponent of cross-training at least one day a week.  Most types of cross-training will actually help your running.

One thing I’m learning more and more is that it is important to understand your body and what you need to stay healthy and fit.  A few days off in any given week isn’t going to kill your training plan.  But a well thought out resting strategy can be crucial to race-day success.

Bonus Tip: There is a way to get 24 hours of rest and still run every day.  If you run in the morning on Monday and then in the evening on Tuesday, you have given your body 24 hours of rest in between runs.  What you do on Wednesday is tricky, but you still got a “rest day” without writing down a zero.  If you run Wednesday morning prepare for it to be a crappy run (especially if Tuesday was a hard workout).  You could mitigate this by doing a lunch-time run.

[tags] running, resting, rest [/tags]

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Triathlons Twice as Deadly as Marathon

Posted on Apr 01, 2009 under Health, Information, Research, Safety | 3 Comments
Dr Kevin Harris

Dr Kevin Harris

A recent study by the Minneapolis Heart Institute provides data that twice as many people die, per million during triathlons than marathons.

The Pioneer Press reported on Dr Harris’ research:

Marathon-related deaths made headlines in November 2007 when 28-year-old Ryan Shay died while competing in New York in the men’s marathon Olympic trials. Statistics show that for every million participants in these 26.2-mile running races, there will be four to eight deaths.The rate for triathletes is far higher –15 out of a million, the new study shows. Almost all occurred during the swim portion, usually the first event.

That most triathlon deaths occur during the swim portion of the event makes sense.  Any injury or fatigue in the water could create a potential drowning incident.  Both events are still relatively safe, in a 33 month period 14 triathletes died out of a total of 922,000 competitors.

Out of the 14 athletes, 6 were autopsied and four of those had documentable pre-exsisting heart conditions.  The water temperature and stress of competition can exasperacte these conditions.  A normal heart may also react negatively in these situations as well.

Their advice:

Doctors offer these tips to anyone considering a triathlon:

—Get a checkup to make sure you don’t have hidden heart problems.

—Train adequately long before the event, including open-water swims — not just in pools.

—Acclimate yourself to the water temperature shortly before a race, and wear a wetsuit if it’s too cold.

—Make sure the race has medical staff and defibrillators on site.

[tags] Triathlon, Marathon, Heart, Heart Research [/tags]

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