This is episode 19 of the Kansas Cyclist Podcast, and this time out we talk with attorney Alvin Wolff, Jr., who’s written a book called The Total Guide for Motorcycle & Bicycle Accident Victims in Missouri (and the Seven Mistakes that Can Sink Your Claim).
His law firm, Alvin Wolff Jr., & Associates, specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death and work related injuries, but Wolff, who is an avid cyclist and former motorcyclist, has a special interest in cases involving bicycles.
When someone is injured in an accident, she or he usually doesn’t have any previous experience on which to draw, to understand how to talk to insurance adjusters, whether to sign insurance company forms, or when to hire a lawyer. Every cyclist should have some familiarity with bicycle laws, and some sense of what they should do in case an accident does happen, and this is what’s covered in Wolff’s book, and what we discuss in this fascinating podcast interview.
If you’re involved in an accident on your bicycle, and you’ve been injured, you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities. If you’re in doubt, get legal council, and if you’re not sure who to contact, Wolff can provide referrals to attorneys in your area with knowledge of bicycle law.
Here’s a quick summary of the rest of the podcast, with links to more information:
- Tour of Missouri News: How the Tour of Missouri passed the Missouri General Assembly with bipartisan support–and how bicycling came of age in Missouri
- More news from Missouri: Bicycle/Pedestrian Holidays Bill passes Missouri Senate, House Transportation Committee passes Complete Streets resolution; Safe Passing of Bicycles bill
- Jefferson City Missouri River Bridge bike/ped addition–contract awarded! – This bridge connects Jefferson City, MO to the Katy Trail.
- Advocacy alert: The Kansas Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting on April 29th in Edgerton, Kansas to discuss a proposed new interchange along I-35. The interchange would be located on or near 199th Street, which is currently a popular cycling route in southwestern Johnson County. It’s one of the few low-traffic east/west roads in that area. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is planning to build an intermodal facility nearby, which will be used to transfer freight from trains to trucks. This facility is projected completely change the complexion of the area, adding over 7000 trucks per day to the roads, and thousands of housing units nearby. The interchange needs to take into account the needs of the people who will be living, working, and shopping in the area, many of whom will be traveling by bike. The public meeting will be a good chance for the cycling community to speak up and ensure their needs are considering in roadway planning. This is local for me, so I’ll definitely be there, hopefully by bike. The meeting takes place Thursday, April 29th, from 5-7pm at Midvale Farms near Edgerton. Learn more at i35swjohnsoncointerchange.ksdot.org
- On Saturday, May 1st, the Bull Creek Bike Bash rolls out of Spring Hill, Kansas, with mileage options from 20 to 60 miles. The $20 registration fee includes both a t-shirt and lunch after the ride. Spring Hill is located just south of the Kansas City metro off highway 169.
- Also in the KC area is the Kansas City Women on Wheels Bike Festival, taking place this year on May 1st at Shawnee Mission Park. This festival targets first-time cyclists with a short women’s-only group ride, plus a bike safety rodeo for kids, a bike swap meet, bike repair clinics, and vendor information booths.
- Chanute, Kansas, located in the southeastern part of the state, hosts the Ride For Life Bicycle Tour on May 1st, as a fundraiser for cancer research, with 9-mile and 30-mile rides. This is the very first year for this ride, and hope they get a nice turn-out and can make it an annual event.
- On May 2nd, The Great Escape ride takes place near El Dorado, Kansas, just northeast of Wichita. They’re riding here for a really interesting cause, raising funds for the Spiritual Life Center at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, a state prison. The ride offers 25, 50, and 80-mile routes through the beautiful Flint Hills.
- In Salina, Kansas, Ride the Road to Recovery is a May 1st fundraising ride for the American Red Cross, with 20, 40, and 80 mile route options. Like the Chanute ride, this is, I think, the first year for the event, and they’re hoping to make it an annual tradition.
- Moving to the south a bit, the Sand Plum Bicycle Classic is another inaugural event, this one taking place May 2nd out of Hutchinson, Kansas. This ride raises money to help build trails in Reno County.
- Hays, Kansas hosts the Rope ‘em Ride, with mileage options from 5 to 100 miles. This ride showcases some of the many historical cathedrals in the region, and is a popular yearly event in western Kansas.
- And finally, there’s the Kansas Fat Tire Festival, which offers two days of mountain bike racing on the trails at Lake Wilson, reputed to be some of the very best trails in the state. Hillclimb and short-track events take place on Saturday, with a kids race and a cross-country race on Sunday. This is event is part of the United Federation of Dirt series of mountain bike events in Kansas and Missouri.
- The Burroughs Creek Trail in eastern Lawrence is apparently getting closer to completion. This is a rails-to-trails project covering just a mile or two, but it’ll be an important north-south link in the city. They hope to have it open by the end of July.
- The bill to make the Prairie Spirit Trail an official state park is currently in committee in the state legislature, and is expected to be voted on before the session adjourns. The trail is currently run by the state parks department, but is not an actual state park. State park designation would mean additional attention and exposure for the trail, hopefully leading to more people using it.
- Sunflower Recreational Trails reports that there is an organization is working to build a 40-mile long recreational trail in the historic corridor of the Santa Fe-Oregon-California Trails from Independence, Missouri to Gardner, Kansas.
And finally, thanks again goes to Mark Franzke for providing the original music you hear on the Kansas Cyclist Podcast.
As always, we hope you’ll listen to the Kansas Cyclist Podcast, and consider subscribing to future episodes. We welcome your feedback, so please send in your comments or suggestions or call 913-938-6855 to leave a voice message.