Blogger's Forum - Biking it and Liking It
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
04-11-10, 08:54 AM
I ride a bicycle, and I drive a car too. There aren't many cars that come within three feet of my bike. I stay as far as possible to the right, most cars are five, seven, even ten feet or more to my left. I think someone's been "buzzing" the cyclists, which is the reason we have this hostility.
These group rides are composed of cyclists with many skill levels, from expert to novice. Some of them are acting as "human road cones" for the rest of the group. And the men are going to protect the women, which is an important fact to consider, before you go berzerk.
But remember, you have a car; if a large group of cyclists is blocking the road, you can turn a different direction at the next intersection, and detour-take an alternate route to your destination.
I try to sympathize with motorists, because I drive too, but I have found that motorists accuse cyclists of blocking the road even when the bikes are doing the speed limit. Which is the end of the argument. We started off listening to your complaint, assuming that the bikes were going really slow, and then it turns out they were really fast.
04-22-10, 12:17 PM
It's true about the Netherlands. You could find photos of people riding bikes in the Netherlands (online) and almost nobody is wearing a helmet. Same is true in China.
I've been riding bicycles since 1972, and there were no helmets back then. Starting about 1975, Bell corporation started making helmets for bicycling, but the price was about $500.00 (that would be ~$1,800.00 in todays money). I wanted a helmet back then, but I was just a kid, I didn't have the money. I actually saved up money I earned raking leaves and bought the helmet myself. My parents didn't pay for the helmet, I did. So Mass Production has brought the price of a helmet down to about $35.00 today.
Parents used to say "stay on the right side of the road!" to their kids before a bike ride, today parents say "wear a helmet!"
Staying on the right side of the road is very important, we shouldn't forget that. Do you want to see the cars coming?-then get a rear view mirror. Mirrors should be required on bicycle too. Working brakes are a must. Every bicycle should have lights, and every bicycler should wear a relective vest. So we could make up an equipment list that includes more items than just a helmet- and these items can PREVENT an accident; a helmet doesn't do anything until an accident actually happens.
Riding on the right side of the road is the most important thing, along with watching where you are going, looking left and right, and checking your mirror. Turn and use brakes to avoid coliding with motor vehicles. It might help if you view a bicycle as "easier than walking" rather than "faster than running"- slower is safer.
04-24-10, 01:51 PM
More posters , or Fact Sheets, telling people about my Human Powered Vehicle.
05-12-10, 04:49 PM
I scanned this today, posted it on another site, and someone told me it was already archived on PopSci's own website. Well, I reposted it here for you perusal, anyway.
05-16-10, 04:05 PM
Bicycling to work is a lot different than bicycling for pleasure. Biking to work, by it's very nature, puts the bicycle on the road during "rush hour", which is the worst time to ride. People who ride for the sport of it can ride on the weekends, early on Saturday or Sunday morning. On weekdays, the hours between 7:00 and 9:00 PM offer a good chance to ride with less traffic than mid-day. (but get lights for your bike in case it gets dark before you get home).
That being said, if motorists can learn to coexist with bikes during rush hour, there shouldn't be any problems during off-hours.
07-10-10, 12:27 PM
Five years old is too young for a child to be riding a bicycle in a public street. A lot of people have the misconception that bicycles are for children, but cycling is really for adults. Take a look at the Tour de France, on television right now, it's all adult men.
It's a matter of being able to understand the "rules of the road", and also the actual traffic pattern. It helps if the bicycler is tall enough to see and be seen over the hoods of parked cars.
It may be the attitude that everyone gets a car when they turn sixteen, but the fact is that ninety nine percent of cyclists have a car. Cyclists understand the rules of the road better than most people (they have to, or else they'd be dead).
I don't know where people get the idea that an adult on a bicycle doesn't have a car. We can have Both! I have a car and five bicycles, myself. Bicycles are mainly for adults. Children should be at least ten or twelve before they venture onto main roads. Maybe parents should ride with the children? or is that asking too much? How about parents should hire a cycling coach for their offspring? Maybe Cycling should be taught in school , as part of the physical education department?
I think Parents should ride with their children. Are they embarrassed to be seen riding a bicycle? They shouldn't be embarrassed. We need to work on educating the public, informing them that ninety nine percent of bicyclists do indeed Have a Car.
PS-There is a sub-class of the population that can't afford Both a car and a bicycle; they had to choose one or the other, and chose the car. I say _____ them, they shouldn't hurl insults at people who ride bikes, who have cars at home, have more money, and know the rules of the road better than they do.
That's my two cents.
07-15-10, 12:52 PM
By Bob Mims
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated 3 Hours Ago
Draper • A woman remained in critical condition and on life support Thursday, the day after she was struck by a pickup truck that veered into a group of bicyclists in Draper.
The accident occurred about 7 a.m. Wednesday. The truck collided with an SUV and then, having lost a tire, spun into the group of about 10 women riding their bikes near 300 East and Highland Drive, Unified Fire Capt. Clint Smith said.
A 29-year-old woman, Elizabeth Bradley, was knocked off her bike and onto a sidewalk. She was later airlifted to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, reportedly with head injuries and broken arms and legs.
Four of the other cyclists were treated at the scene for scrapes and bruises. None of them was taken to a hospital, Smith said.
Neither of the drivers involved in the initial crash were injured. Draper police Sgt. Chad Carpenter said no citations were issued, but the accident remained under investigation Wednesday."
This is not a happy story. At first, I wanted to suggest that the driver be hanged, but there was sort of a chain-reaction accident, and we don't know which driver caused it. A group of ten cyclists is rather large, big enough to be seen, but not big enough to block traffic for fifteen minutes. Someone should've just put their four-way-flashers on and said "I'm not passing".
I think there should be a big , public trial, in a court of law, to determine which driver caused the accident. Such a trial would bring to the public's attention the need to be careful while passing bicycles.
I just hope nothing like this happens again.
07-27-10, 03:44 AM
good photograph, if you want to ride a bike, it never hurts visit www.freebikes.us information about bicycle
Your friend Rusdianto
07-27-10, 03:57 AM
First Thing First before Buying a Mountain Bike
For some people owning the first mountain bike is the most exciting experience, and most of all for the cyclists. So many brands offer you the best bike ever and tempt you to possess it, but sometimes the prices make you reconsider to buy a new one. However, you need a bike for commuting, you so eager to possess it. So what you have to do?
First of all relax your mind no need to hurry or tempted by any various brands. Then, set your budget, you don’t have to push yourself to have full suspension bike if you don’t have enough money. You can also upgrade your old bike with some new parts. In this case you’ll have a new bike without costing a lot of money. But the most important thing when you decide to buy the new bike is deciding what kind of bike you need.
07-27-10, 04:43 PM
good photograph, if you want to ride a bike, it never hurts visit www.freebikes.us information about bicycle
Your friend Rusdianto
How do you like this photograph?:
I just happened to be nearby when this taxi cab caught on fire.
07-27-10, 04:47 PM
08-30-10, 10:55 AM
Blog entry, 30 august, 2010.
Looks like good weather, I think I'll go for a ride. Been thinking about how I'm getting older, and I doubt I'll ever ride as fast as I did when I was 22.
I've been thinking about bicycle baskets. I think it's very odd, that today, with so many thing being made of plastic, It's still impossible to obtain plastic bicycle baskets. Of course, I'm thinking of boxes, without the holes that baskets have.
You all know I made my own, right? I'm not posting any more pictures today, sorry. And the boxes, let's call them panniers, could be made with some semblance of aerodynamics, if it doesn't make the bike faster, it could at least not slow the bike down.
I want to note that my ideas for aerodynamics are based on the headwinds I encountered. I rode the the beach, Jones Beach, on Long Island, with a headwind the whole way. Breezes off the water change direction; when the water is cooler than the land , convection causes a sea breeze. But when the sun sets, the land cools off while the water remains the same temp. Then the wind changes direction. So at sunset, the wind changed direction,and I had a headwind the whole way home , too. So that's what got me on this hunt for a windshield, or Fairing.
Well, that's my blog for this day. Bye now.
08-30-10, 05:46 PM
I want to blog some more:
I was thinking about two lane roads with shoulders, and how they are kind-of-like four lane roads. If cyclists use the shoulder, isn't it in fact a four lane road? If we treat a two-lane road with shoulder like a four lane road, would we have a case against right-hookers? i.e.-Making a right turn from the left lane? I have to make this simple, so motorists will understand. Is that a good comparison?
I want to say something about road-maps. Road maps are completely screwed-up. No wonder everyone is using a Garmin (GPS Device). Road maps never tell you if a road has a shoulder. Road maps never tell the speed limit. Road maps don't tell you uphill or downhill. Road maps never give you an indication of a Blind-Curve, or crest of a hill; things people from out-of-town need to know. (and if your not from out-of-town, you don't need a road map.) Road maps also fail to show alternate routes for bicycles, like paths through parks.
08-31-10, 02:19 PM
This is a photo of yours truly, rolling downhill behind a fairing (Type 3), back in 1987. 46 MPH, I wish it was video and not a still photo. Private road in Manhasset, Long Island. Note the cobblestone gutters.
09-01-10, 10:02 AM
I wrote this for a new site, http://www.peopleforbikes.org:
We all love bikes. Not all of us love the bicycle industry though. There are a number of small businesses supplying radically different bike styles, which the "Industry" would not provide. These include: recumbents, electric bikes/electric assist motors, big cargo bikes like the Dutch Bakfiets, extracycle, "Big Dummy"etc., and Velomobiles.
The Industry knows that they can sell new bikes by introducing a new feature, every couple of years. An example would be index shifting. Or look at how the number of gears has gone up: 10 speeds, 15 speeds, 18 speeds, 21 speeds, 24, 27 and now 30 speeds. You can't even get sprockets for 10 and 18 speeds anymore. All my bikes have 7 speed (21 speed) freewheels, I hope I can still get parts in the coming years.
In 1991 my Daughter Mellisa designed a Fiberglass Ladies Bicycle. Okay, some people don't trust fiberglass, but the original mold can be used to produce a Carbon Fiber Ladies Bicycle.
Think of that, there is no other Carbon Fiber Ladies Bike anywhere! A totally different kind of bike that no one's ever thought of. But the Industry doesn't want to pick up the slack. Carbon is the perfect material for a Ladies Bicycle, because the material can be molded into any shape. We can manufacture the frame with a single tube ( the Down Tube) and make that tube a big enough diameter to carry the weight. Our (successful) prototype has a 4 inch by 6 inch rectangular tube, but perhaps we will reduce this to 3 inch by 5 inch oval tube on the next go-around. Carbon is extraordinarily stiff and light. We know there is a pent-up demand for a high-end Ladies Bicycle, which the Industry does not acknowledge.
Our prototype has a fairing, based on the styling of a tractor-trailer truck spoiler. Inside, it has a real Glove Compartment for your stuff. I think we put too many great features into this bike, like eleven of them. The average person wants a bike with just one improvement over his/her old bike, not eleven. The bike industry may be right after all.
A little test marketing showed us that there can be profits making bikes based on Mellisa's design. Okay, a lot of people wanted the bike without the aerodynamic fairing. If this CF Ladies frame ever goes into full scale production, we will only offer the fairing as an option. (But that fairing did indeed get a great deal of attention, which helped with the test marketing ). I can't say what the profit margin is here, but if you send me a private email, I will tell you, confidentially.
And as a bit of helpful advice to builders, if you plan to build a Carbon Fiber bike, build the first one, or a few of them, out of Fiberglass. This will save you from bankruptcy if you make a mistake. Once you perfect your machine, then you can use the mold to make a Carbon Copy (no pun intended).
09-14-10, 11:12 AM
I drive a car and I have five bicycles too. Obviously, I can't be using all of them at the same time. When I ride a bicycle, I only use town and county roads, I don't use state roads. But I do recognize that other bicyclists have the right to use them. When I drive my car on a state road, it's rare to see any bicyclists. All this fuss, in these comments, and there really aren't many bicycles. The amount of time you spend stuck behind bicycles is next to zero. Bicycles almost always use the right side of the road, and they are very narrow, compared to a car.
I think these rumble stripes are artificial potholes, which will get bigger over time and destroy much of the road surface.
Do a Google search for "lane departure warning" and you will see that there are now cars and trucks available which offer an electronic system, that alerts drivers when they are drifting off the road. Why don't we leave it at that, and those who want such a warning device can pay to have it in their own car, and not force the taxpayer to pay for these rumble stripes?
Anyway, most bicyclists have a car. So the commenters who suggested that bicyclists should get cars are mistaken.
I do think, however, that a number of cyclists are caught up in this "road racing" craze, and they need to remember that a bicycle can only do the 35mph speed limit for a mile or two, on flat ground, due to the limits of human endurance. Try the more cautious and leisurely "Touring" instead of "Racing". It's easier to pull your bike over to the side of the road, when you are riding a slower bike. You pull over and let traffic go by, as a courtesy to motorists, and because it's safer. I, for one, have given up trying to ride a bicycle at the speed limit, mainly on account of speeders, who have no respect for the speed limit.
When I ride my bicycle, I pull over to let cars go by, and this amounts to pulling over once every half mile, to a mile and a half. I have a rear view mirror now, and things work out better when I watch where the motorists are going. I no longer expect motorists to watch where they are going themselves. It's all in the bicycle's rear view mirror.
09-17-10, 12:18 PM
Yes, the "Far Right As Possible" (or FRAP) thing is a joke. For the FRAP rule to work, motorists have to move as far LEFT as possible. Even the Police now, are telling cyclists to "take the lane" or ride in the middle of the lane, forcing motorists to wait until there are no cars coming the other way, and then crossing the double yellow to do so. The buzzword is "Sub-Standard Lane Width". Todays standard is fourteen foot wide lanes, anything less than that, and the cyclist doesn't have to move right. If a cyclist rides FRAP, the Police now say he is "Inviting Unsafe Passing". It's not clear if the cyclist riding FRAP is hard to see because of blending with the vegetation, or if the motorist has "tunnel vision", or if the motorists are "buzzing", or trying to scare the cyclist. Cyclists used to ride "Far Right As Possible", but certain motorists have "worn out the courtesy", and ruined it for the other motorists."
09-17-10, 12:46 PM
In my last post, I mentioned that if a cyclist moves Far Right As Possible (which he or she does as a courtesy, to make it easier to for you to pass), you have to do your part and move as far left as possible. I also said that some among you have "worn out the courtesy", and ruined it for the rest of you.
Many states have adopted a "three foot rule", which means motorists must give at least three feet of side-clearance to the bicycles, when passing.
I will grant you, ninety nine percent of motorists give seven to ten feet of side-clearance, when passing bicycles. It's the small minority of "road rage cases" who are agitating the bicyclers , making them hostile in turn, and leading to more laws, restricting your movement, and raising your taxes due to the "SHARE THE ROAD" signs that must be installed by DOT.
In most places, you don't need to cross the double-yellow to pass a bicycle. Just try to get as close as possible to the double yellow.
09-17-10, 05:05 PM
The following was titled "Photos from 1971 Railfan Trip to Oyster Bay" and appeared five minutes ago on railroad.net.
I'm just posting it here for redundancy, in case their server crashes. These photos are 39 years old , and they are pictures of Long Island Rail Road trains. Perhaps, I should have posted this under "living car free", but I think it will do fine here in my blog:
We are pleased to announce that some old photos are now online. Some really Archaic Ektachrome from 1971, to be exact. The slide frames say July 1971, but the foliage looks a bit barren, so maybe they were shot in May (?).
The old man is my Grandfather, Hubert Donohue, and the photographs were shot by my Aunt Claire. The little boy in the New York Mets jacket is me.
We are at Glen Head, on the Oyster Bay Branch. The waiting shed is long gone. Note the obsolete phone booth, which shielded phone users from the noise of the trains. Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone.
Another shot of Grandpa and me.
Train has pulled in. The stainless steel coaches are both ex-NYC, but one is a Budd, and the other is a Pullman.
Before the high level platforms, passengers had to climb steps to board the train. Grandpa helps out, as my legs were too short.
Look at all the MP54 cars in Oyster Bay yard! We're looking to the right, something is coming down the track, what could it be?
It's an Alco RS3, LIRR #1557 !
I thought of titling this topic "My First Railfan Trip" or "Grandpa took me Railfanning". But I chose the title I did use to be more specific.
Grandpa had worked for the LIRR, back when it was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
My Aunt Claire, recently found these slides and gave them to me. I really could not remember what the trains looked like. I do remember the steam escaping, as the coaches still used steam heat back in those days.
I really think my Aunt knows how to shoot photographs. These photos look remarkably clear and sharp, in part due to the choice of Kodak Ektachrome.
Comments, corrections, and additional details are welcome. These photos are 39 years old, and have never before been published.
09-26-10, 05:34 PM
How I installed a camera on my bike:
(39 second video)
09-29-10, 01:58 PM
There's a new bike website:
It's a LOCAL bike website, for Johnson County. And I had to look under "Maps" before I found it is Johnson County , IOWA.
10-09-10, 01:04 PM
This story reminds me, I've been meaning to say this for some time, but I think it's safer to take a leisurely bike ride, rather than race. In our automobile-centered culture, we sometimes forget that bicycles can reach 50MPH or more. Bicyclists don't get enough credit when they set a new speed record. There are not enough bicycle race tracks (called velodromes) for racers to train on. The velodromes that do exist are for racing only, and aren't an option for the racer who is only "training" for a race.
As for myself, I have been working on building Electric Mopeds since 1986. Since 1999 or so, over 125 million Electric bikes have been built in China, and I doubt I'll ever see my patent claims honored. But that's beside the point; the reason I invented the Electric Bike was for the E-Bike to act as a pace motorcycle, or an escort, for bicyclists in training. Most Chinese E-Bikes are intended for commuting to work and back.
I wish Mr. Vigorito a speedy recovery. But what race training cyclists need is a motorcycle escort, with flashing lights.
10-22-10, 11:20 AM
Here is a copy of a poem, which I have heard before, but this is the first time I saw it in print. Just wish to archive it here:
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941
10-22-10, 12:36 PM
This is my first post on FreeRepublic dot com! I just joined today.
I may start a flame war by saying this (I hope not), but I say: "If you don't believe in conserving gas, you're not a true conservative."
We need to have an alternative to gasoline. Who knows when the arab muslims will set fire to massive numbers of oil wells, like Sadam did at the outset of Desert Storm.
I am an Aircraft Structural Engineer, so I know about keeping vehicles lightweight. Well, back in 1986 I started working on plans to develop Electric Motorcycles and Electric Mopeds. I've been following developments in Hybrid Vehicles. I think the Chinese have stolen my Patent for the Electric Moped, and they've built 125 million of them, according to some reports, but I digress.
The Electric Moped works best, and at it's peak efficiency, when the operator is putting in seven to ten foot/pounds of Torque with his or her feet (which is light to moderate exercise, aerobic, no muscle strain) while the electric motor is putting out it's nominal one Horsepower.
The ratio of Torque to Horsepower is optimal at about seven ft/Lbs Torque to One Horsepower. Vehicles need a lot more Torque than Horsepower. The Internal Combustion Engines we are familiar with today don't have much more than a one-to-one ratio, in this respect.
Tests with Electric Mopeds have shown that the Torque contributed by moderate pedalling can reduce the Amperage draw quite drastically, from 35 Amps not pedaling, down to only 8 amps while pedaling.
This means a drastic extension of battery life.
So maybe the Engineers at GM have included a direct-geared transmission for the Torque?
There may be no other way to build a hybrid car, other than reducing the weight to 125 pounds and getting the driver to pedal, like on a bicycle. Such a vehicle would be a Velomobile, or a Light Electric Vehicle (LEV). Velomobiles are popular in the Netherlands, but the Netherlands has 35,000 miles of Bike Paths. I don't think people would trust such a small vehicle on a road shared with trucks and busses.
I think my views on bicycling are somewhat like those of Radio talk show host, Michael Savage. Mr. Savage often complains of cyclists blocking traffic, but he himself admits that he rides a bicycle everyday. Personally, I've never worn those silly colored Lycra costumes, and the only "racing" I ever did was as a young Engineering Student, to establish a "Benchmark Speed" for the bicycle, before installing the motor. The bicycle I used was only a twelve speed (a long time ago), but it had an Aerodynamic Fairing, and it went 47MPH. The Electric Moped never went that fast, and is in legal-limbo because the state DMV says a moped with pedals can only go 25MPH.
Anyway, there are a lot of 20-somethings riding a bicycle for the first time, because their parents mollycoddled them, and they have no experience riding a bicycle, and no idea what to do, because they were chaufured in the back of an SUV and never got to sit up front , the way we used to. Heck, I sat on the fold down center armrest of a 67 Chevy as a child, we didn't use safety seats, but I learned to drive by watching traffic from the front seat.
This concludes my very first post at freerepublic dot com.
10-26-10, 07:29 AM
wow good product, I love that bike
10-29-10, 01:00 PM
There is NO Law requiring a rear-view-mirror on a bicycle. It is 100% the motorists responsibility to watch where he/she is going, NOT the cyclists responsibility to look over his/her shoulder. (As opposed to the "road-shoulder", which is this bike lane thing.)
Everybody should have a bicycle! -the Bike Lanes are not for a small minority, they are for everyone. So let's encourage everyone to get a bicycle . (or tricycle, or electric mobility scooter, wheelchair or whatever.)
Bicyclists have the right to use the roads. The painted lines on the road are just a reminder for the "forgetful" motorists.
A lot of people get confused by the word "shoulder" because it has two meanings.
Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/29/another-lesson-for-bike-lane-despots/#ixzz13mATLbts
11-01-10, 05:16 PM
Most of the roads were made for horses and horse drawn wagons. A lot of roads were paved before cars came into existence, some were paved by bicyclists, some were paved by street-car and trolley companies, who had to pave the road as part of the bargain, to let them put tracks in the street. Farmers also were getting roads paved, because they needed to get their produce to market all year long, before it spoiled.
Interstate Highways do usually exclude bicycles, but the Interstate highways were actually built for the United States Army, and Truck Convoys.
Some roads, leon12, were built without any consideration of bicyclists. You can tell by the lack of a paved shoulder. Those roads represent poor highway planning. Conflict is inevitable; the cyclist is put in danger, and the motorist may be delayed until there's a break in traffic coming the other way.
Current standards call for roadway travel lanes to be at least fourteen feet wide. A truck and a bicycle can share a fourteen foot wide travel lane. For some reason, truck drivers are better drivers than the average person who owns a car.
Really, ten thousand cars and trucks pass my bicycle safely. Then, one-in-ten-thousand has a problem (being six plus feet shy of the double yellow line), always a regular sized car, not a professionally driven truck.
Don't make excuses for the 1/10,000th of drivers.
11-13-10, 12:51 PM
I saw a skateboard today. It was really low, it had cut-outs so thew board could be lower than the tops of the wheels. The skater took the left lane on fresh asphalt and was moving fast; I made a video:
I also made more "Bike Cam" videos today:
11-27-10, 10:27 AM
This is a story about the sheeple, the blind leading the blind, etc...
In the 1970's, I was just a kid, but I rode my bicycle everywhere. There were no bicycle helmets back then. I really wanted to wear a helmet, A football helmet seemed like a good idea. But everyone was against it. Bicycle helmets came along in 1975, and they cost five hundred dollars. I was begging for a bicycle helmet, but no one was going to pay $500.00. Today, everyone says "Wear a helmet", but where were you in 1975, when they were too expensive for a ten-year-old?
More recently, I installed a Motorcycle Windshield on a bicycle. Also known as a "Fairing", a Motorcycle Windshield is a PROTECTIVE SHIELD. No one is curently interested in having a fairing on their kids bike handlebars, BUT Maybe someday it will be MANDATORY?
11-30-10, 01:23 PM
Bike lanes are nice, but they are only part of a bigger picture.
While some motorists are courteous towards bicyclists, there are other who outright deliberately menace the cyclists. There are many other drivers who are either drunk, distracted, or high-on-drugs.
Bicyclists have the right to use any street with a speed limit below fifty five. Many cyclists are taking measures on their own, such as installing lights on their bikes, wearing reflective vests, installing a rear-view mirror, or even mounting a video camera on their bike and/or helmet. Some cyclists (myself included) have a really loud air-horn on the bike. I've even given up trying to ride fast, on account that motorcyclists go as fast as cars, but they actually have a much higher accident rate.
In some places, the bike lane should be part of the road, in other places, the bike lane should be part of a wider sidewalk.
If motorists were more careful, and no bikes got hit by cars, there wouldn't be this public outcry for bicycle lanes.
Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2010/11/29/2178468/fresno-city-council-embraces-bicycles.html#ixzz16nc75BOe
12-20-10, 09:57 AM
Had a sort of mini-flood in my apartment friday night/saturday morning. I woke up at 1:30 AM to use the bathroom, when I noticed that the carpet was wet. There was a leak in the hot water heater (baseboard type). The leak was low to the floor, so the only thing I could put under it (to catch the water) was a dinner plate. The plate filled up in five minutes or less. So I had to get a bucket and a rag, and soak the water up from the plate, with the rag, and wring the rag over the bucket. This went on for eight hours, 1:30 to 9:30 AM. So I was doing "squats" for eight hours, which left my muscles all tired and aching . The crew came in at 9:30, I had to move my furniture, and then they started cutting pipes, and welding (soldering, sweating...) new valves. They used a Mapp gas torch which set off the smoke alarm at one point. They replaced four valves in total. They weren't done until 1:30 PM (13:00 hours). I went to sleep at 16:00 hours, saturday. On Sunday, I took a one and a half mile bike ride, but my muscles got to aching again. I still ache now , as I write.
Only thing cycling related in this is that I put my VHS tapes in my panniers, to get them out of the way.
01-02-11, 06:04 PM
I have photos, this is really funny. Nature handed us a Blizzard on 26 December, 2010, and left us with two feet of snow. The Department of Public Works only cleared one lane of Northbound Glen Cove Avenue, at the intersection of Glen Cove Ave and Glen Cove Road. Today, it was warm, and the snow was easy to work with. So I created this "Snow Sculpture" of a "Physically Separated Bicycle Path".
All that needs to be done now is replace the plowed-up snow-berm with a concrete Jersey Barrier. Enjoy the Pictures:
Start of Physically separated Bike Path:
All the snow was forced down this storm drain:
This is where it ends (I shoveled the Sidewalk too).:
It's pretty long, this is the main section:
I shoveled the part near the traffic island, and the wheelchair ramps:
All these shots are near the Glen Cove Fire Department, and in front of the Glen Cove Library:
I hope we can re-circulate these pictures, and show that a Jersey Barrier could be installed PERMANENTLY, without interfering with traffic. This plowed snow berm was here a whole week now, and there weren't any traffic jams.
01-04-11, 03:30 PM
In regards to the post "by unregistered user at 1/4/2011 10:49 a.m.",
It would be nice if all roads had wide sidewalks that bicyclists and pedestrians could share. I believe they are called "Multiple Use Paths" , or MUPs. IIRC, those MUPs have to be at least 6 feet wide, to give room between the bicycles and the walking people.
I fully agree that these MUPs should be built and it would create jobs.
I think it's unfair to lump all cyclists into the same category, however. Some cyclists take leisurely rides, while others are racers , or "in training" for a planned bicycle race.
Others ride bicycles because it's easier than walking, and can cover 5 times more distance in a day than the unaided feet. When I was a kid, my mom said "bicycling saves shoe leather". Made sense then, makes sense now.
I don't think all bicyclists are going to give up their right to use the roads, they do have that legal right. Hopefully, they will get rear-view mirrors to see if traffic is coming up behind them. Maybe they could wear reflective vests and install a blinking tail light or two.
Some cyclists are in fact able to go 30 or 35 MPH, and this is where I disagree with you. Bicycles are in fact known to be as fast or faster than mopeds and motor scooters, if the rider really pedals hard. Mopeds and motor scooters are NOT allowed on sidewalks. Bicycles doing the speed limit should be allowed to ride in the road without harassment.
But for the most part, I agree, we should build six-foot wide sidewalks, call them "Multiple Use Paths",(on ALL roads) and most bicyclists would use them.
"Both cars and bikes would have new responsibilities under a bill lawmakers will consider when they gather in Olympia next week.
House Bill 1018 is sponsored by Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, himself an avid bicycle commuter. It would change several sections of state law relating to bicyclists and autos on the roads.
Drivers would be required to "exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist and shall when necessary to avoid an imminent or likely collision give warning by sounding the horn or an appropriate verbal warning." The bill also directs drivers to pass bicyclists or pedestrians "at a safe distance" - three feet in lateral separation when a vehicle is going less than 35 mph and five feet when the speed exceeds 35.
The measure would also require bicyclists to ride as near to the right or left side of the streets or on a paved shoulder when there is traffic and the bicyclists are going slower than the posted rate of speed. And it adds language stating that 'every person riding a bicycle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk, crosswalk, or multiuse trail or path; however, the pedestrian is not relieved of the obligation to exercise due care.'..."
01-05-11, 12:49 PM
There must be something wrong with Florida. There are more fatal car/bike accidents in Florida than in any other state.
I rode a bicycle in Florida, when I was stationed in Jacksonville, at the Naval Air Station, in 1991 and 1992. It was a custom bicycle with very heavy racks, and cargo boxes, with lights and lots of reflective tape(and solar panel for the directional blinkers). Seriously, I don't know how anyone could survive riding a normal bicycle in Fla.
Anyway, we got around to making a Ladies bike version of my custom bike, and the girls said the cargo boxes should be watertight, so if the bike gets run off the road, into a ditch, the bike will float.
Here's another picture, of the Ladies Bike the girls in Florida designed:
It's like an amphibious bike, it can go through a swamp! It might be safer dealing with Alligators than with Florida motorists?
01-16-11, 11:52 AM
The bike lanes aren't just for bicyclers. We tend to think of bicyclists as a minority, but , if we build a system of bike lanes, everyone will be able to ride a bicycle. Suppose we start with 900 bicyclists. Then we build this new lane, and more people can ride safely, and we have 990 bicyclists. Bicycling has gone up ten percent. Now we build bike lanes on North-South and East-West streets, and anyone can ride freely, without being mauled by an auto, to any destination in the city. Then we'll have 9,000 bicyclists, or a ten-fold increase.
Don't say that these lanes are just for bicyclists. Instead, tell us how many roads need a bike lane before YOU , Y-O-U, You, will start riding a bicycle? And if you are physically incapable of bicycling, I'm sure you can ride a wheelchair in the bicycle lanes. You had better get in shape. But remember, bicycling is easier than walking. You can cover five times the distance on a bicycle as you can walk.
03-24-11, 12:38 PM
Bravo! We need an interconnected grid of Bike Lanes. If the Bike Lane doesn't connect with another Bike Lane, and dumps the cyclist into a Parkway with no Bike Lane, it's not very good.
Hopefully, more people will start using bicycles. I don't think enough people realize the advantage a bicycle has, when compared to walking. A person on a bicycle can cover five times more distance than he or she could otherwise walk. This is due partly to the wheels, but mainly to Mechanical Advantage, or in other words, each turn of the pedals makes the wheels turn FIVE times. I have been surprised by the number of people who do not know this simple fact, considering that the chain-drive bicycle has been around since 1886.
One can ride a bicycle at a slow or moderate speed, and have the advantage of covering five times more ground. In fact , considering one can go five times the distance North and South, and go five times the distance East and West, the cyclist has twenty-five (25) times the range of a pedestrian with the same leg muscles!
And while advocates point out that bicycling saves gas, we should also remember that bicycling will save shoe-leather; you cover five times more ground without wearing out your shoes. And your feet don't hurt.
The bicycle was not invented to replace the car. The Bike came before the car. Bicycles were originally intended to replace horses, and horse-back riding. But you don't have to feed a bicycle everyday, like you would a horse. Consider that owning a bicycle doesn't require Veterinarian bills or cleaning up after with a (large) pooper-scooper, and you begin to understand why bicycles are so popular.
03-31-11, 02:21 PM
I've bicycled over 140,000 miles since 1972, and I've never been hit by a car. I also drive, and I've got a Pilots License, and I've travelled many thousands of miles on a ship at sea.
It's my opinion that bicyclists have got to make-up-their-minds, as to whether they want to race the bicycle, or just travel at a leisurely speed. Bicycling can be faster than running, true, but bicycling can also be easier than walking.
I've followed the news, I do web searches for "Bicycle Accident", and it seems to me that about 6 out of ten fatal bicycle accidents are the bicyclers own fault-usually due to riding at night without lights, or not wearing a helmet. The propaganda says it's always the motorists fault, but I don't believe it.
A rear-view mirror on a bicycle, especially one with a "convex" , gives a wide angle view, and it can be a life saver. Personally, I always pull my bike over to let trucks and buses go by, and any group of cars that might be considered "traffic". I think rear-view mirrors should be mandatory on all bicycle driven in the road.
Most drivers give me and my bike at least seven to ten feet of side-to-side distance. Only one car in ten thousand comes too close. It's that one car that causes all the trouble-if they hit you you're dead, and if they miss, but startle the cyclists, then they want to press "obscenity charges" , over the word(s) that the cyclist shouts when he is thus startled.
I have a tripod mounted on my bike, and I record video in case of a road-rage incident. Very boring video. Only one driver in ten, twenty, forty thousand does anything crazy.
04-03-11, 08:29 AM
Yesterday, I installed a set of high rise handlebars on the Type 10. It is much more comfortable to ride now, as I can take full advantage of the "banana" seat. I can sit all the way back now, without stretching to reach the 'bars.
I will have pictures soon, hopefully.
04-20-11, 01:59 PM
The Alternative Transportation Show will be back on the airwaves, albeit briefly.
Listen with a Shortwave Reciever to WBCQ, 7.415 kiloHertz,
on April 28th and or May 5th, 2011,
at 7:00 PM Eastern Time
(6:00 PM Central Time, 5:00 PM Mountain Time, or 4:00 PM Pacific Time)
This is a special broadcast "Introduction to Bicycling", aimed at novice bicyclists.
It is only a half hour broadcast, thirty minutes, and will be aired TWICE, on the dates mentioned above.
The tape is in the mail, and in the event it gets lost in the mail, it will be have to be rescheduled.
I thought this would be a good time to air a special show about bicycles, since May is National Bike Month,
and maybe, just maybe, some people are thinking about taking up bicycling, what with the price of gas going over four dollars a gallon, and now that the weather is warm.
04-21-11, 10:10 AM
Google now has a device which let's us cyclists rate routes. Good, because the Google maps previously would suggest unsafe routes.
04-27-11, 04:58 PM
Hey, I was the first kid in my neighborhood to start wearing a helmet, back in 1977. Back then, laws did not yet require parents to buy bicycle helmets for their kids, so I had to earn the money to buy the helmet. And I paid seventy dollars for that helmet - they were more expensive then than they are now because they were new. Kids today don't realize how good it is that their parents buy helmets for them, and they don't have to mow lawns to earn the money. $70.00 in 1977 money is like $300.00 today.
Second point I'd like to make is that bicycling slower is often safer. You can ride closer to the edge of the road at a slow speed. You might think that going fast will reduce your chance of getting hit from behind by a car, but it doesn't work that way - look at the statistics for motorcycle accidents - bicycling is safer than motorcycling.
Third, there is NO law requiring a rear-view mirror on a bicycle, but every cyclist should get one. It seems strange to me that no law exists regarding rear-view mirrors on bicycles. Although today, you can get a convex mirror, which gives a wide-angle view. The older mirrors were flat and left a blind spot, they were next to useless.
People think of bicyclists as looking happy and carefree , but the real cyclists who go the distance have the look of grim determination etched in their faces.
04-29-11, 12:03 PM
04-30-11, 10:21 AM
It would be better if motorists would just let the cyclist use the right lane, and use the left lane to pass the bike. A car can pass a bicycle safely on a four-lane road, even if the car is only partly in the left lane.
Share the road and use courtesy. There's probably only a few dozen bikes using the road each day. I drive a car too, and I don't get stuck behind bicycles very much. Bikes are narrow (take up minimal space). Yes, today I was passing a bicycle on a four lane road, a steep uphill, and I waited in the right lane while two cars passed me, then I got in the left lane and passed the bicycle. It didn't cost me more than twenty seconds, and I caught up with the other cars at the next red light anyway.
Four lane roads are perfectly fine and safe, as long as motorists use the left lane to pass. A Bike Lane would take away a roadway lane ALL THE TIME, not just the few times a day when a bicycle is present.
05-01-11, 04:54 PM
Having read these comments, I would say anyone cycling in Arlington should mount a Digital camera or two on their bike. One facing forward and one facing backwards. I would like to see the video on YouTube. You can even mount a digital camera on your helmet. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, I just want to see how people drive in Arlington Texas. I thought New Jersey had the worst drivers in the USA, but I'd be willing to look at a video of Texas drivers.
I don't see the point of passing a bicycle if the bike is only going to catch up with you at the next red light.
The bicycle was invented to serve as a mechanical horse. Like horseback riding, whereas the car replaced the horse drawn wagon. Does anybody remember anything about horses in Texas? A person on a bicycle can cover FIVE TIMES the distance he or she could walk in a day, so no ones going to give up bicycling.
I always recommend that cyclists should get a rear view mirror, so you know when your in danger and get out of the way.
The cyclists are going to "stick by their horses" even if they are iron horses.
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/04/30/3039962/bikes-emerge-as-enemy-in-arlington.html#disqus_thread#ixzz1L907ODek
05-02-11, 05:45 PM
That guy in the photo at the beginning of the article was sitting on a recumbent bicycle. The "body armor" on his bike is made of corrugated plastic, and is mainly for aerodynamic advantage. Here are some photo/links of a bike that a girl designed for me to build. It has more crash protection than that other guys bike. She sort of copied the aerodynamic spoiler from a Kenworth truck , and we made the frame like a truck frame-rail. This bike is actually kind of like a battering ram, if it T-bones a car.
I am practically the only Engineer who considers crash protection for motorcycle/bicycle windshields (which are called "fairings" by the way, on account they block strong wind, leaving only a fair wind).
Here's a link to the barrier impact test, on a previous bike fairing design:
My goal was to make a cargo bike first, rather than a strictly aerodynamic bike, knowing that more crash protection could be built into the cargo box.
Mellisa who designed the ladies bike made her fairing smaller than mine on account she knows Texas better than I do, and it gets hot behind the larger fiberglass, without the wind. Texas is hotter than New York.
This is NOT a commercial endorsement. These bikes were built to educate engineering students who wish to build electric mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. These designs are now public domain, and a creative commons license is hereby granted.
I hope engineers will consider building more crash protection into production motorcycles too.
05-09-11, 05:02 PM
I'll tell you why cyclists MUST pass on the right at a red light: The cyclist has to mount the bike and get going again after a full stop. Sometimes it's a little tricky to get going, legs and or bikes may wobble. The cyclist needs to start crossing as soon as the light turns green, or risk being stranded in the middle of the intersection when the light turns red again.
Furthermore, I am going to expound a theory that in a city with 30MPH speed limits, and lights at every intersection which are red 50% of the time, the best *average* speed anyone can hope to accomplish is 15MPH. So you might as well ride a bicycle.
And the Bike Paths are for slow riders. If a cyclist is going the speed of a vehicle, then the bike should have full use of the road. Sorry to bust the bubble of many motorists, but a sprinting cyclist is going more than 30MPH, so don't accuse him of holding up traffic.
If you don't think cyclists are doing it right, then get on a bike yourself and show everyone a good example of how a bike should be ridden.
05-15-11, 12:13 PM
Well, the comments here have shown that there is much anger and aggression towards bicyclists. But that only goes to prove the point that bicyclists need to be protected, so by posting those comments , you are only showing the need for more Bike Lanes.
I agree that MBTA should run 24/7.
The roads in question, Atlantic Avenue and Commercial Street, have four or six lanes, so It's really impossible for a driver to get stuck behind a bicycle. Pass the bike in the left lane as one would pass any other slow moving vehicle. And maybe the cyclist is slowing down for stopped traffic ahead of him? Just a thought.
Everyone needs to be more courteous. Courtesy is contagious.
Cyclists would be safer if they had rear-view mirrors, but mirrors are not required, it's up to the motorists to watch where they are going.
I think the aggression and hatred motorists show goes further to promote Bike Lanes, than any amount of lobbying by cycling groups.
05-18-11, 02:11 PM
Hi, I had the first electric bike in North America back in 1986. Back then, I insured my Electric Bike as an "Experimental Vehicle" as part of my Allstate Auto Insurance Policy. As of 1999, Electric Bikes started coming in from China (I didn't receive a dime for my Patent, but that's another story...) and a Federal Law was passed on August 14th, 2001, as Executive Order #12988, by President George W Bush. The law defines Electric Bikes as "Bicycles". The same laws that apply to bicycles also govern Electric Bikes, with the exception that E-bikes MUST be INSURED. So the law has been in existence since 2001, and the other 49 United States have not had any problems. New York is the only state which is haggling over the details. By the way, the E-bikes had to be made legal on account of the Kyoto Protocol, which limits the amount of greenhouse gas (CO2) that countries are allowed to produce. The math is like this: you have one SUV that gets 6 MPG and seven electric bikes, and the *average* fuel economy is 48 MPG.
The top speed of an E-bike is 20 MPH, which is in fact slower than many bicycle messengers on regular bicycles.
I strongly recommend that all cyclists wear a reflective vest and use a rear-view mirror.
I also have a streamlined bicycle which has gone as fast as 47 Mies per Hour, but it has no motor.
06-05-11, 04:45 PM
Bikes have been around for longer than cars. The roads should have been built with bike lanes years and years ago. The cars stole the roads from the bikes in the early to mid twentieth century. It's time to atone for the sins of the past.
Bicycles , by the way, are the world's most efficient form of transportation. A person on a bike can go five times the distance he or she could walk.
There are more than a few kinds of bicycles: racing bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes- some are "cross" or "hybrid bikes. There are delivery bikes and pedicabs, which haul passengers. There are men's bikes, ladies bikes, and kid's bikes. Anyone remember the old English Racer? That was a nice , 3 speed , bike. They don't make (import?) them anymore. Now there are comfort bikes, and recumbent bikes, and there are bikes with small electric-assist motors.
But the real reason the taxpayer must bear the burden of paying for the Bike Lanes is not the bikes, it's the Road Ragers, who use their cars as weapons, to harass , intimidate , startle, frighten, maim, injure, and kill innocent people. You keep the Mad-Max kind of drivers in line (no pun intended), enforce the speed limits, revoke the license of repeat offenders, keep car exhausts a little more quiet, and we won't need as many Bike Lanes.
I have a car and five bikes. I know what it's like from the other guys point of view. I do my part by wearing a reflective vest when I ride, have a rear-view mirror on my bike and two tail lights. I would say that by far most drivers pass my bike with seven to ten feet of room, and only one-in-ten-thousand comes closer than three feet, which I consider menacing.
06-27-11, 12:05 PM
I don't think it was rider error. I believe it was a mechanical failure on the bicycle. Might be that the handlebar stem came loose and the handlebars could no longer steer the bike, Or, another possibility, the bike might be a coaster brake bike, and the little metal arm that holds the axle from spinning might have lost it's little nut and bolt, and the rear wheel could have unscrewed itself from the axle.
I wish there was a closer close-up photo of the bike. Actually, from what I can see, The bike is a cheap one speed, probably from a walmart store, and was not assembled by a qualified bicycle mechanic.
I say Mechanical Failure of the Bicycle caused this accident. I wish the Police would do a closer examination of the bike (I could if the bike was in front of me, but I'm on the East coast), and look for something that came loose or un-bolted before the truck hit the bike. If it came apart *after* the truck hit it, there would be gouge marks where the nut tried to bite hold of the metal.
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