That is one fancy setup you got going on there sir.
That is one fancy setup you got going on there sir.
Thank you, brany, Sofia Bulgaria?
Today, I have an 18 second video; "Bike Stopping at Red Light. I have given this video a Creative Commons License, so that others may use it.
What this video shows is a protected median, or a median with a curb-cut through it.
Let's begin with the morals of cycling, as compared to automobile centered culture;
Cycling teaches people not to be greedy. A person can transport himself/herself across town without using any gas/petrol. The bicycle only takes up one twelfth the parking space of an automobile. The bicycle is quiet and does not emit foul smog exhaust. The bicycle is nicer to the people around it than the automobile. And a person can not get trapped under, or be crushed to death by the weight of a bicycle.
As for education, cycling teaches the principal of the wheel. The young cyclist learns the rules of the road, and maybe a few things about shifting gears. The Bicycle has a system of gears, the teeth of which engage notches or slots between each link of a chain, which conveys power from the pedals to the rear wheel. One turn of the pedals equals up to five turns of the rear wheel ; which means that a person on a Bicycle can cover five times more ground than a person who walks.
Now this leads to other Social Learning phenomena: 1) the cyclist covers more ground and thereby meets and talks to more people, 2) the cyclist is not enclosed in a soundproof cabin of an automobile, so talking and linguistics can flow freely and 3) the cyclist sees both sides of town, and learns to recognize everyones place in Society. From the loading docks at the back of factories, to the mansions on the great estates, the cyclist sees them all.
The child who learns to cycle is almost certainly going to be able to drive a car when he or she reaches adulthood. Hopefully, they will remember the lessons of balance and rationality that they learnt from riding a bicycle. Many will continue to ride a bicycle.
Sociologically though, there are people from all levels of society who ride bicycles. You'll get in trouble if you accuse people of being poor, just because you see them riding bicycles. Most Americans have BOTH Bikes and Cars, very few are in such a bind that they have to choose one or the other.
NOTE to My Readers,
You may have noticed a drop-off in the number of postings I have made here in my blog "Biking it and Liking It". Many of my posts here are archive copies of replies and letters to the editor of various local publications throughout the USA and Canada. A few months ago, I joined Facebook, and since many, if not most, newspapers allow one to sign in through Facebook, I have been archiving my posts on Facebook, instead of here.
I will try to cross post some of these in the future, on account I believe in redundancy. But for now, here is a link to my own personalized Facebook page:
This was posted to the Idaho Statesman today, and automatically cross-posted to Facebook:
I have bikes and a car. When I drive, and especially when I see a Bicycle, I know what the Cyclist is dealing with. I know not to pass a Bicycle when there is a red light ahead, the Cyclist will only pass me while I'm at the red light. I know the Cyclist may go as soon as the left-turn traffic from the opposite direction is finished, and get a head start crossing. I know the Cyclist needs a head start on account he must re-mount the Bicycle, and get it going, hoping he had time to downshift before having to stop at the red light. I know the Cyclist must cross the street before the right-turning car next to him runs him over. I know that if the cyclist can get through the light just before it turns red (while it's yellow) , and if he's going 30MPH, and I have to wait two minutes for the light to turn green again, he will be a full mile ahead of me, so I don't have to worry about hitting him. I know that if I stay 200 feet behind the Cyclist, he will not be distracted by my presence, and thus he will go faster. I know that if the speed limit is 30, and I see a Cyclist 400 feet ahead of me, I should check my speed- (This happened recently and I was going 36! I slowed down to 30, and the aho in the SUV behind me blew his horn. Which created a great distraction. I checked my speedometer again and I was still going 30, but the Cyclist was getting further away from me- he was going faster than 30! It was a Recumbent Bike! But unfortunately , the horn honking had distracted him and he slowed down. The driver of the SUV had to be content with going the next quarter mile at 28MPH, where the Cyclist went straight and everyone else turns left. Moral of the story, you should be happy if the Bicycle is going faster than the speed limit. In this case the Bike was doing 31 in a 30 zone, and the horn honking distracted the Cyclist, causing him to slow down. Don't be a prig and demand the "5mph over" that you feel entitled to).It would be nice if every driver tried riding a Bike once in a while, because then these facts would be obvious to you. Otherwise, it would take a very long *Lecture* , or a very thick, cover-to-cover driver's ed. manual, to explain it to you.
Now, on the other hand, When I ride my Bike, I know what it's like for the Drivers to get stuck behind a Bicycle. I know that a Driver can not see a Cyclist who wears black until the bike is 70 feet in front of him, so I wear a reflective vest which can be seen at 500 feet. I have 3 LED tail lights and I keep two of them on even in the daytime, in blinking mode. I put the steady , non-blinking light on at night so the Drivers eyes can focus. I have a full size farm tractor reflective triangle on the back of my Bike, on account my Bike is a Slow Moving Vehicle (technically, I'm not supposed to go faster than 25MPH with this SMV Sign). I have a speedometer on my bike so I know how fast I am going. I have a rear-view mirror on my Bike so I can keep an eye on traffic approaching from behind. I ride a Ladies Bike (I borrowed it from my Daughter) so I can dismount quickly without getting killed. I carry a red flag to make my hand-signals more clear. IF I see a Truck, Bus, or Ambulance behind me, I pull over to the curb and dismount, leaning the Bike so not even the handlebar sticks out over the curb. I know this is all anathema to the Racing Cyclists, who time their rides down to the hundredth of a second, and I don't want you to give up your dream of being the next American to win the Tour de France, but at some point you have to admit that you are getting older and you are over-the-hill, and give up Racing and take up Touring.
Also, If I see a Truck backing out of a driveway, I will stop and block traffic so the Truck Driver doesn't kill anyone. I will always have the red flag on hand in my handlebar basket , (which is actually a 1/5th scale plastic model of a Truckers Roof Spoiler) and I will signal STOP when I mean STOP, and I will wave motorists on when it looks like the road ahead, around the curve, is clear.
Everyone needs to study Defensive Driving, including the Cyclists. And maybe some of you Drivers should try to catch the Tour de France on Television- it's coming up in July, and runs for 23 days, I think it's on channel 128, IIRC.
Over and Out.
Last edited by hotbike; 06-27-12 at 04:18 PM. Reason: to add url link
Need to keep training, even if it is raining outside!
Here's an artist's rendering of the National Aerospace Plane, thought you'd enjoy it. An Hypersonic Aircraft, capable of reaching low-earth-orbit with air-breathing, jet engines. Saves using tons of liquid oxygen.
Subsonic = 0 to Mach 1
Supersonic = Mach 1 to Mach 5
Hypersonic = Mach 6 to Mach 40
Hypervelocity > Mach 40
No. A ban on bicycles will NOT be tolerated. Motorists need to be educated. But before I get on with my spiel , I want to say that 99% of motorists are fine, and don't do anything malicious to maim/injure/kill cyclists. Maybe 10 or 15% always let the Cyclist have the right-of-way, which is nice, but can get ridiculous sometimes ("After you.", "No, after you.", "No,no,no, after you!").
As I was saying, 99% of motorists are fine , they pass with adequate berth, usually seven to ten feet of clearance. Sometimes a driver will come within four feet of a Bicycle, and I have noticed in cases like this that the driver is usually texting. The number of drivers who really come too close to a Bicycle while passing from behind is really small, less than one-in-five-thousand.
By the way, I have Bicycled over 142,000 miles since 1972, and I've never been hit by a car. And I drive too. And I also possess a Pilot's License.
But here's my point: Other safety measures would have to be taken BEFORE anything as drastic as a ban could be considered. Technology has improved to the point where LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are efficient enough (on batteries) to be used at all times, even during daylight hours. We have helmets, though some people refuse to wear them. Better rear-view mirrors were invented AFTER cyclists started to use video camcorders, in the mid 1990's. (which is odd, I *think* a mirror uses a somewhat lower level of technology than a camcorder, but I digress). Reflective Tape for Reflective Vests has come down in price, it used to be $60.00 a foot, now every highway, power, and telephone worker wears one.
As for cars, I would say that most cars today have far superior handling than your Grandfather's car, due to "rack-and-pinnion" steering. Newer cars are unlikely to drift into the Bike Lane, or cross the fog line, by mistake.
There are some Cyclist on the road who's nerves are shot, as a result of being startled too many times. Really, a cyclist should use a rear-view mirror to avoid being startled, it's easier on the nerves.
Myself, I have six tail-lights, a rear-view mirror, an eighteen inch reflective triangle on the rear of my custom built panniers (rear baskets, saddlebags) , I wear a reflective vest, I wave a red flag when I signal a turn or a stop, and I always pull over to let trucks, buses, ambulances, or anything unusual ,to go by.
And in addition to my five headlights and six tail-lights, I have amber marker lights on the sides of my Bike.
And I run a camcorder while I'm riding, as I have done for twenty years now. But in those twenty years , I have not encountered even one road rage case worth reporting.
Fare thee well, Aquarianus, and if you don't change your attitude, you will be asked to blow into a Breathalyzer.
Okay, I got some NEW photos, of my pride and joy, the NFA Vehicles Type Ten, a.k.a. the Fiberglass Shark Bicycle.
ABOVE are the edited photos, which were cropped so as to leave out the flags.
Un-cropped version of the image.
Close up of the Fairing, side view.
Close up of the starboard flank, NOTE that there is a 5 millimeter thick , white plastic plate, bolted to the seat support empennage. This is to support the rear panniers better, under heavy load.
Rear View, showing the LED Tail Lights and the eighteen inch reflective "Farm" triangle, or SMV Sign (Slow Moving Vehicle Sign).
Water Bottles, stainless steel, in.
Water Bottle Cages, without bottles, to show bolt location. The bolts pass through the boom, and are secured with nuts on the left/port side. The points of the bolts had to be filed down , so it was a "force fit".
The Grin of the Shark...
Please note, I had to clean this sidewalk/pavement by myself. It was still a mess after Hurricane Sandy, which struck 27 October of last year , 2012. I heard today that the name "Sandy" has been retired, which is purely coincidental.
Hope you have enjoyed the new photos of the Fiberglass Shark Bicycle.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/9050108109/" title="IMG_0428 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2885/9050108109_582c2556ae.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0428"></a>
If I haven't blogged much lately, it's on account that I've been posting to Facebook. Update: two weeks ago, I busted two spokes on the rear wheel of the white touring bike (above). At least one spoke must have been broken for some time, the wheel has been trued now.
Saturday , the 27th, I took a ride into Manhattan- On an LIRR Train- and used a Citibike for riding once I got there.
DSCF0821 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
This Notice; was on a screen at NY Penn Station. The weekday restrictions have always been in place, but the Saturday restrictions are new. This kind of seals the deal with Citibike, since I don't want to be stranded, or be forced to abandon my bike at Penn Station...
DSCF0806 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
IMG_0649 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
This vehicle is what I call a Chinese Knock Off. I "invented" something like this back in the 1980's:
NFA Vehicles Type 6 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Well, the idea of a roof, for a two wheeler, is catching on. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And it's just one of those counter-intuitive things, you wonder "how is it possible?" about...
DSCF0701 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Here's a shot taken from a train, the Pile Drivers are in the news for making noise at all hours. This is on Amtrak's NorthEast Corridor, and a track connection is being made to allow LIRR Trains to access Grand Central Terminal, a.k.a. ESA, or East Side Access.
DSCF0792 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
A view of the High Line, another former New York Central Railroad monument. I walked this line in 1986, and I worked on getting it opened for the public. Bicycles are prohibited , but the fact that it's so crowded, and the only access is by stairs, makes that a moot point.
Try to look at my photostream , if you have time, thank you.
The threads of my Steerer tube/ Fork got stripped. Had to overhaul the headset. While I'm at it, I might as well "Modify" the bike, so it has a Utility Loading Platform on the Head Tube. Shown here are the striped threads, followed by the pannier mounts, which is permanently attached to the "Junked" fork...
It is at least 80 degrees F here in New York, so the Epoxy should set up in a couple of hours.
DSCF0948 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0949 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0950 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0951 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0952 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0953 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0954 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
DSCF0955 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Yea, I was in the same situation. I finally gave up waiting for a Weldor with Inert Gas equipment , and did the job myself, using Fiberglass, Starting with a piece of Styro... Expanded Polystyrene Building Insulation, I made a half round gouge in one end (easy to carve, the Styro'...) Butt End spliced it to the Head Tube with Epoxy/Fiberglass. Then wrapped the outside with more Fiberglass / Epoxy "Lashings" . Let me look for the Youtube video on "HowTo"...
IMG_0914 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr[/QUOTE]
(This is a Follow-Up on the previous post)
For a compendium of photographs from our Human Powered Vehicle projects, visit our
BIKE DESIGN SHOWCASE:
Fairings, Velomobiles, Utility Bikes, and Lighting Systems
You may accuse me of being an "outsider", but I did in fact live in Virginia while I was in the Navy. The writer forgets that many people must pass through Virginia, even if they live outside its boundaries .
I do believe that things like bike lanes and sidewalks need "Locals" from the town, in this case Alexandria. The issue is "traffic patterns", i.e., the way people go, even if there are no arrows painted on the pavement. I have seen goof-ups caused by state traffic planners, who were sent down here [to Long Island], and they expected traffic to go the other way. Or they expected 30,000 vehicles a day to use the side street, which never sees more than 300.
But I'd like to point out that Bike Lanes are for everybody. There seems to be a social stigma in some peoples minds, as if only the poor ride bicycles. This is not so. There are bicycles for every income budget. In New York City and Washington DC they have bicycle rental, or Bike Share sysytems. These rental bikes cost twelve hundred dollars, and it may be a good introduction to what a quality bicycle is like, for someone who's never ridden any bike other than an el-cheapo.
I could accuse you of being lazy, amnd say you've never ridden a bicycle, because it takes some effort. But instead, I will appeal to your laziness by reminding you that riding a bicycle is actually easier than walking...Each turn of the pedals equals FIVE turns of the rear wheel. So you go 5 times the distance you could otherwise walk.
Another suggestion; if you'd like to avoid having Bike Lanes builtm in your town, try to be Couteous to the bicyclers, and especially don't startle them by approaching to quickly and blowing the horn. Rear view mirrors for bicycles were not invented until 1994, and they are still not required- incredibly the driver of the motor vehicle bears the onus of watching where he's going, imagine that!
Also, King Street has four lanes, why not leave the cyclist alone , and let him use the full right lane, and pass or overtake in the left lane, as with any other slow moving vehicle?
Lastly, my opinion is that King Street needs wider sidewalks, six feet wide, so most bicyclers will choose to share the sidewalk with pedestrians. Professional Bicycle Racers really don't care.
In a perfect world, the extreme right of the road would always be "usable". Unfortunately, the roads' edge is sometimes blocked by low hanging tree branches, and shrubbery. Also, there are more potholes along the edges of roads, as water soaks the ground and seeps under the asphalt. Water then freezes (in the winter months), expands, and causes "frost heave". So there are definitely more potholes at the edge of the road.
The Cyclist should ride in the middle of the road, and the motorist should be expected to slow down or stop , until there is a place for the cyclist to pull over… The Law once required cyclists to ride "as far right as possible", but , in order for that to work, the motorist would have to drive as far Left as-possible, wouldn't it?
The Real Issue: Bicycles need Rear-View Mirrors. Now, if a Law is passed , requiring Rear View Mirrors on bicycles , that law would be an "Unfunded Mandate", as NO money has been put aside to pay for the Bicycular Rear View Mirrors.
While your at the Bike Shop, you might want to pick up a set of Directional Blinkers for the Bicycle. These things need Money, to be invested in the Bicycle Factories, before they can appear on the roads.
So the Bicycle is going down the middle of the road, and a motor vehicle appears in the Rear View Mirror. Now the Cyclist can SEE the car truck or SUV, and will move over, as soon as a patch of *unbroken* pavement becomes available.
But the trouble is with the Banks. The Big Banks refuse to lend money to the Bicycle Industry. That's why there are NO Mirrors, No Blinkers, and No Ladies Bikes that can stand the weight of a rider over 125 pounds. The Banks refuse to loan the money.
A Ladies Bike, by the way, is the kind with a lower bar, so it is easy to step off of. Compared to a Mens Bike, which traps the riders' leg, making it impossible to Dis-mount, and basically Crucifies the Cyclist on-the-spot. +
(I made the sign of the cross for you there).
Anyway, there might be a new and improved Rear-View-Mirror available, but it was funded with private money. Keep looking and let me know if there are any Blinkers (with LED lights?) at any Bike Shop near you. You could start a petition , and have your congressman pass a law to require Blinkers on Bicycles, but it will be an Unfunded Mandate- the Banks WON'T loan the money to the Bicycle Industry. Keep trying those "hand signals".
Drivers: You created this mess, it's the Auto that presents a menace to the Bike, not the other way around. A little more courtesy would be in order. I'm against turning four lanes into two: the Bikes, when there are Bikes, IF there are any Bikes, can use the *whole* right lane, and traffic can pass in the Left lane. I know, when I drive, I have to look out for cyclists, and see them 250 feet ahead, and then I slow down… My main concern is that I might have an idiot tailgater behind me, in which case, I'll put the four way flashers on. I know it would be useless to pass the Bike, If he's wearing Lycra, he will pass me at the next red light. But more likely , the cyclist will be near their destination and will be getting off the road anyway. If you back off and stop tailgating, you can see around me ,& that I have someone ahead of me.
Bicyclists: Unless you're training for the Tour (Shouldn't you be in France right now?), you ought to get a rear view mirror, and a couple of those LED red tail lights. Don't wear earbuds, and maybe look over your shoulder once in a while?
Anyway, I ride a Bike and I drive a car, and I urge others to try to see it from the other guys perspective.
Get a Rear View Mirror. It's good to know when a Car is sneaking up behind you. And a car could be going pretty fast. You don't want a speeding Motorist to Startle you; it could impair your composure, you might shout something that offends said motorist, heaven forbid. Keep cool, keep calm, carry a cell phone, ride a Ladies bike because it's easier to dismount and run for safety. And a Rear View Mirror will reassure you when there is No Car behind you, easy on your nerves, (no need to drink alcohol or take drugs. ) Remember when we used to ride two inches from the edge of the road, expecting a a car to side-swipe us at any moment? Since the Video Camcorder (small) was invented in 1990 , and Bicyclers started using them, the Industry came out with Rear View Mirrors in 1994, to compete with Camcorders on a Bike (long story). Anyway, there too much stuff that ail give you a flat tire at the edge of the road, so , with a Rear View Mirror, you can ride in the clear, 95% to 98% of the time.