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Old 05-16-08, 04:59 PM   #1
mikevaiana
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Car Triggered Light?

Hi, I am brand new to commuting and serious biking. I need to sell my car and I just bought a Trek 520 and plan to get around that way from now on. I'm really excited but I also have a few questions after just a few days of riding.

When your at a light that only responds to the weight of a car being stopped at it (like a small side street meeting a main road), what is the proper way to cross, or turn left. Should I use the pedestrian push button on the poll, or should I just wait until its clear?

I know this is not the right place, but its a quick question...

How do you set up your bike, interms of where you keep your locks and bottles and everythign? I have a water bottle on the down tube and seat tube, and I hang a U-lock from the top tube, but it has to hang alittle to the side b/c the water bottles would be in the way. But I was also thinking about getting a frame pump soon and a patch kit. Do you just throw these things in your bag? I read that the pump should be attached directly to the bike. But I can't imagine where because with the lock and the bottles there is no room.

Also REAL quick....the strap that connects my ulock to the bike is fairly loose, it won't tighten anymore though bc it clicks up to different tightening positions and the next one is too tight so it won't lock to that position. What can I do about this?
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Old 05-16-08, 05:04 PM   #2
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look around the intersection for squares in the pavement these are magnetic feild sensor. if you have a steel frame you MIGHT set it off but other tahn that you have to wait for a car.

check the commutie forum for your woth questions.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:35 PM   #3
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If you see a circular (preferably) or other-shaped sensor cut in the asphalt, stop with both wheels over it. If you see a hash of sensor cuts, stop over the center of it. If you are unable to trigger a signal, report it to your local traffic engineering department -- some cities are far more progressive than others on this issue.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:37 PM   #4
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You should read these 2 articles by one of our forum members.

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...nals/green.htm

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl.../detection.htm
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Old 05-16-08, 06:05 PM   #5
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Best advice ^^^^

Where I cycle it is rare to find a quadrupole sensor that can not be triggered by aluminum wheels alone.

Al
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Old 05-16-08, 08:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
look around the intersection for squares in the pavement these are magnetic feild sensor. if you have a steel frame you MIGHT set it off but other tahn that you have to wait for a car.
.
My carbon orbea sets off the lights here around town just fine

To the OP, alot of times you have to find the one line that will actually trigger the light. On the light in front of my house, it triggers every time I hit the center of the 3 lines.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikevaiana View Post
Hi, I am brand new to commuting and serious biking. I need to sell my car and I just bought a Trek 520 and plan to get around that way from now on. I'm really excited but I also have a few questions after just a few days of riding.

When your at a light that only responds to the weight of a car being stopped at it (like a small side street meeting a main road), what is the proper way to cross, or turn left. Should I use the pedestrian push button on the poll, or should I just wait until its clear?

I know this is not the right place, but its a quick question...

How do you set up your bike, interms of where you keep your locks and bottles and everythign? I have a water bottle on the down tube and seat tube, and I hang a U-lock from the top tube, but it has to hang alittle to the side b/c the water bottles would be in the way. But I was also thinking about getting a frame pump soon and a patch kit. Do you just throw these things in your bag? I read that the pump should be attached directly to the bike. But I can't imagine where because with the lock and the bottles there is no room.

Also REAL quick....the strap that connects my ulock to the bike is fairly loose, it won't tighten anymore though bc it clicks up to different tightening positions and the next one is too tight so it won't lock to that position. What can I do about this?
Congrats on the choice to GO CAR-FREE! Been there myself for 3-1/2 years now, and I wouldn't go back for anything.

As far as handling signals at intersections, well, unless you want to wait for a car to come by, or the light is on a timer, sooner or later you'll "go guerrilla", and fly the light. Sometimes crosswalks can help, but if you're the cautious type, make a right turn on red, take the first parking lot/driveway/whatever across the street, and reverse yourself.

I have a chain lock, which figure-8's around my downtube/toptube behind the head; bottles go in cages, regardless. I used to run a mini-pump on the bike, but i like it better in my hydration pack, along with spare tube/patch kit/tools. Actual frame pumps are designed to spring-fit underneath a road bike's top tube; mini-pumps have a clamp & strap that bolts alongside a bottle cage. Seat bags can be good for tools/tubes/etc. Price Point has one that you can unsnap and take with you. Carry your pump where you like -- it's your bike, your pump, your ride.

Take a piece of old tube, wrap as many layers around the lock's strap area as you need to make it tight.

Stay with it -- you'll make the lifestyle all yours; I still get a rush after all this time with no car!
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Old 05-16-08, 09:24 PM   #8
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I have a Hurricane Frame Pump. Keep the pump and tools, tubes in the frame bag.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:17 AM   #9
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Thank you all so much for you help and support!
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Old 05-17-08, 01:56 AM   #10
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use shims, improvised or otherwise, to secure your lock to the bike.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mikevaiana View Post
Hi, I am brand new to commuting and serious biking. I need to sell my car and I just bought a Trek 520 and plan to get around that way from now on. I'm really excited but I also have a few questions after just a few days of riding.

When your at a light that only responds to the weight of a car being stopped at it (like a small side street meeting a main road), what is the proper way to cross, or turn left. Should I use the pedestrian push button on the poll, or should I just wait until its clear?

I know this is not the right place, but its a quick question...

How do you set up your bike, interms of where you keep your locks and bottles and everythign? I have a water bottle on the down tube and seat tube, and I hang a U-lock from the top tube, but it has to hang alittle to the side b/c the water bottles would be in the way. But I was also thinking about getting a frame pump soon and a patch kit. Do you just throw these things in your bag? I read that the pump should be attached directly to the bike. But I can't imagine where because with the lock and the bottles there is no room.

Also REAL quick....the strap that connects my ulock to the bike is fairly loose, it won't tighten anymore though bc it clicks up to different tightening positions and the next one is too tight so it won't lock to that position. What can I do about this?
Assuming you are in the USA (and not England or Japan):

Look left. Look right. Look left again. IF these is sufficient space between cars, proceed quickly.
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Old 05-19-08, 03:02 PM   #12
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Lots of good and bad advice in this thread. :-( The sensors respond to inductance, not mass nor magnetism. Thus, unless you've got carbon wheels and weigh 100 pounds, you'll probably be able to set off the sensors. However, you've gotta get those wheels right on the sensor loops. Try to put your wheel directly on top of and parallel to the saw cut. If it's circular, I "wrap" the bike, forward wheel pointed right, rear wheel pointed left.

It's the d---ed camera sensors that I have a problem with; they're supposed to be better for bikes than the inductive sensors....NOT!!!!

A lot of good advice when you're forced to run a red light. Be careful is all I can say. You'll do it because the alternatives are worse. I wish we could make the toxic murdering slugs in their steel cages assume the risk instead of us bikers, though.
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Old 05-19-08, 03:46 PM   #13
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It's the d---ed camera sensors that I have a problem with; they're supposed to be better for bikes than the inductive sensors....NOT!!!!
There is only one camera activated signal that I cross once/week each way. It is by far my favorite intersection because not only does it detect me (day, dusk, night, rain) but it does so I don't even need to stop as the light changes just as I approach the intersection. It has never failed over 100 times.
A cycling friend told me it doesn't work for him bu it turned out that if one rides very far to the right (on the stripe between thru and RTOL) it doesn't detect - which makes sense as the light does not need to change if a vehicle is in the RTOL due to RTOR permitted by law.

There is so rarely fog here (once per year in the desert) that that is not a concern.

I know there are often (understandable) complaints about video detect, but whatever system and set up was done for this intersection should be a model for others.

Al
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