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Thread: Speed

  1. #1
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Speed

    The feeling of speed is so subjective. I recently started learning how to drive. The first thing that amaized me is that while 25mph feels like flying on a bike, one feels like reaching for the gas going for the same speed in a car.

    Does that mean that if we enjoye speed we should seek for a bike that maximize the feeling of speed, rather than looking for a bike actually going fast?

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    The feeling of speed has nothing to do with the type of bike. It has to do with being out-in-the-open unprotected by the car. On a bike you get the wind in your face, you see and feel the ground beneath you; you can see and feel your surroundings zipping past you. That is where the sence of speed comes from. In a car all these sences are subued, hence no sence of speed
    ljbike

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PapeteeBooh
    The feeling of speed is so subjective. I recently started learning how to drive. The first thing that amaized me is that while 25mph feels like flying on a bike, one feels like reaching for the gas going for the same speed in a car.
    That's because in a car you're not actually doing anything. In a car you can't actually say that you're going fast because you're not, it's the engine doing all the work. This is different on a bike.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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    Junior Member Pelanth's Avatar
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    Well if you're on a motorcycle it feels faster than a car and a bicycle the same speed feels faster than a motorcycle. Stability is one thing that affects how fast you feel like your going. However, the snese of speed is usually dependant on how SAFE you feel doing that speed. 25 on a bike can be moderately exciteing. 25 in a car is boring.

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    "Believe it, or Not"

    In the early days of motoring, some towns actually hired professional cyclists in their police force to (get this) catch speeding motorists.

    I remember a Norman Rockwell drawing (circa 1910) showing a young couple in a convertible motorcar, speeding. The lady was
    alarmed by the speed and the man was digging it.

    The speedometer read 15 mph.

  6. #6
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I hear tell that the feeling of speed is even more pronounced on a lowracer recumbent. Could be the stability thing - lowracers are notoriously twitchy - but I think it has nore to do with the close proximity to the ground.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    I hear that convertible feel faster than other car because of they are closer to the ground and because of the wind

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    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I guess I have regressed the other way. Now that I commute by bike, 35 in a car feels fast and 55-60 make me downright nervous!
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  9. #9
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RainmanP
    I guess I have regressed the other way. Now that I commute by bike, 35 in a car feels fast and 55-60 make me downright nervous!
    Hehe. On the rare occasions I drive, I get harangued by my wife for driving too slow. 'But 50km/h is actually staggeringly fast, dear.'

    Allister
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  10. #10
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    Another thing that puzzle me is this: on a properly engineered vehicle (i.e. a bike) one sits behind the steering-wheels (or handlebar) in the middle of the vehicle. Makes sense. On a car, you are only at the left (or right depending on the country) of the car when you are holding the steering wheel. What poor design? drivers may have gotten use to it but it makes it obviously harder to stay in the middle of the road or to turn right (if your steering wheel is on the left etc).

    These machine are poorly designed

  11. #11
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PapeteeBooh
    Another thing that puzzle me is this: on a properly engineered vehicle (i.e. a bike) one sits behind the steering-wheels (or handlebar) in the middle of the vehicle. Makes sense. On a car, you are only at the left (or right depending on the country) of the car when you are holding the steering wheel. What poor design? drivers may have gotten use to it but it makes it obviously harder to stay in the middle of the road or to turn right (if your steering wheel is on the left etc).

    These machine are poorly designed
    You're right that cars are poorly designed, but not for the reason you state. There is actually a good reason for position the driver to the side. On a two way road the driver is sitting closer to the centre of te road (as opposed to lane) which allows better judgement of distances to oncoming traffic, which is a good idea. It does somewhat limit the ability to judge distances on the non driver side eg. passing cyclists, but drivers learn the spacial dimensions of their vehicle pretty well and can deal with this much rarer situation.

    The arepoorly designed for the following reasons:

    1. The amount of energy they waste in:
    a. generating heat.
    b. generating noise.
    c. hauling their own massive weight around.

    2. They are rarely used to capacity eg. the single occupant vehicle is a monument to wastefulness.

    3. They are way overpowered for normal use. Even allowing for the amount of energy wasted in '1' above, they still have far more available than they need.

    4. They are rarely configured for city use, favouring what the ads would have us believe is their use - the open road. Instead of idling, which they do a lot in the city, they should shut down, and be able to be restarted efficiently.

    5. They are far too big. The amount of room they require even for simple storage is a waste of expensive real estate.

    6. The amount of waste they produce, both in their production and use.

    There are, of course, exceptions that address one or two of these issues, but no car resolves all of them.

    That said, Doug Malewicki's electric California Commuter is damn near the perfect commuter/city runabout. Even the petrol version is pretty good (157mpg at normal traffic speeds)

    Allister
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  12. #12
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I think they're poorly designed from an efficiency standpoint. How many resources does it take for one of those things to cover 100km? How many resources does it take for my bike to cover 100km?

    Bit of a difference I am thinking.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  13. #13
    dark and cynical PapeteeBooh's Avatar
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    It is obvious that the normal size of a car is not right. If you stand on the size of the road you notice that over 3/4 of cars have one or sometimes two passengers and these things are made for 4 (or even more in thes massive tanks people drive in the SouthWest).

    Some statistics are actually absurd. For example Belgium, a country of (slightly) less than 11 millions inhabitants has 4millions cars registered. You could not even fill them all if you wanted to. I doubt US is better

  14. #14
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    Strangely enough, there have been cars with ceter steering. The Czech Tatra streamliners of the early-mid 30's, designed by Hans Ledwinka, were initially designed like this. They soon reverted to the typical right-side (for Czechoslovakia, in those days) controls because people couldn't easily open the windows, rest their arms, or even make hand signals. About 10 years ago, Maclaren automobiles of England produced a similar seating arrangement, with the outboard passenger seats both set back a way, to give the driver a better view out the windows. These models are quite rare, since they cost $1/2 million each.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

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