Houston cyclists face myriad dangers in a car town. Photo by F. Carter Smith
This article originally appeared on CultureMap.
As local cyclists are painfully aware, as lovely as a 10-speed or mountain bike spin on a sunny day can be, the ride can come with serious risks — even fatal. A recently released report confirms that imminent danger, as Houston is listed as the sixth-most dangerous city for cyclists in the nation.
The study comes courtesy of Your Local Security, which has ranked the Safest U.S. Cities for Cyclists. To determine the safest and least safe US cities for bikers, the organization gathered metrics and data from Census.gov, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, People for Bikes, and The League of American Bicyclists to find the percentage of bike commuters, number of fatal crashes, amount of bike lanes, and what bike laws are in place or in the works in each city. Cities included had populations of 20,000 or more. A formula using a 100-point scale was then created, with fatal bike crashes rated the highest determining factor.
Houston ranks just behind Los Angeles (No. 1) and New York City (No. 2) as the most dangerous large American city for cyclists, with small town Fargo, North Dakota ahead of Houston at No. 5. The report finds Davis, California as the safest city in America for bikers — and several California cities in the top 10.
Read more at CultureMap.
As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.
Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).
Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.
But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.
Cristian Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. He acknowledged that some of his struggles last year could be attributed to some extra weight he was carrying around in addition to the already-documented mechanical flaws he had.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 22, 2024
In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.
Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.
The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.