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Has anyone else seen a butterfly do this?

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Has anyone else seen a butterfly do this?

Old 07-08-22, 04:22 PM
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Has anyone else seen a butterfly do this?

I was riding on the local rail trail the other day when a pretty good sized butterfly--not sure what kind, probably some kind of fritillary--flew through my spokes. He just floated right through my front wheel from right to left, without missing a wing flap and without any apparent injury--passed through the wheel like a ghost and kept on going.

I still don't quite see how that was possible, but I saw it clearly. Admittedly, I wasn't going fast--not much more than walking speed--but look at the spokes on a bike going at that speed. They're whizzing by awfully fast--a lot faster, I would have thought, than a butterfly in flight.

The C&V element here that I was riding my Gitane TdF. And I know, photos or it didn't happen, but I'm not that quick.
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Old 07-08-22, 04:29 PM
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Obviously a daredevil butterfly, possibly on drugs. 🤔😁

On a similar note, ever been buzzed by a hummingbird? Those guys are pretty crazy, too. 😁
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Old 07-08-22, 04:38 PM
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Was it wearing a helmet?.

DD
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Old 07-08-22, 04:44 PM
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Had a chipmunk do that - once is enough.
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Old 07-08-22, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Had a chipmunk do that - once is enough.
Yeah, one of my hopes for this thread is that no one will post "after" photos of a chipmunk that tried and failed to do that.
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Old 07-08-22, 05:44 PM
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Jedi Butterfly
The force is strong in this one
Spokes have no effect
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Old 07-08-22, 06:01 PM
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These are not the spokes you are looking for.
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Old 07-08-22, 06:02 PM
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I had a pigeon go through my front wheel once… he didn’t come out the other side… just disappeared into a cloud of feathers.
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Old 07-08-22, 06:14 PM
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Yes that was the hukka smoking catepilar...
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Old 07-08-22, 06:18 PM
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-----

Don Juan would have told Carlitos that the butterfly was able to do that because it had "the personal power"


-----
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Old 07-08-22, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Obviously a daredevil butterfly, possibly on drugs. 🤔😁

On a similar note, ever been buzzed by a hummingbird? Those guys are pretty crazy, too. 😁
Is the reference to drugs in regards to the butterfly? Or the rider? That would be a pretty cool thing to observe. My guess, they are so light and flexible that the deflection of air from the spokes pushes them right on through.
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Old 07-08-22, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Is the reference to drugs in regards to the butterfly? Or the rider? That would be a pretty cool thing to observe. My guess, they are so light and flexible that the deflection of air from the spokes pushes them right on through.
For the record, I was not on drugs that afternoon. Not sure about the butterfly. Your theory about air deflecting from the spokes sounds plausible to me.

Then again, there may have been other forces as work, I have a vague memory of my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Plati, telling the class that because apparently solid objects consisted mostly of empty space between atomic particles, it was theoretically possible--if everything lined up just right--that a brick thrown at a glass window might just pass right through it without damage. He did say that that kind of thing didn't happen very often.
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Old 07-08-22, 07:38 PM
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Good thing for the OP it wasn't an iron butterfly....

Buddy of mine and I once had a chipmunk run between the front & rear wheels of the tandem we were riding, Glacial Drumlin Trail outside of Deerfield WI. I just did the math in my head, and estimate he (?) had about 0.4 seconds to make the move.

There was a rash of helmet dive-bombs by red-wing blackbirds on the Military Ridge Trail, just west of Verona WI, about 15 years ago. Most of those reporting the incidents had red, or partly-red, helmets.

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Old 07-08-22, 08:13 PM
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Per the interwebs, butterflies can fly at speeds between 5-12 mph. 1 mph = 63360 in/per hr. An hour is 3600 seconds. So dividing 63360 by 3600 gives you an equivalent rate for 1 mph of 17.6 in/sec. 17.6 X 5 (factor of speed)= 88 in/sec; 17.6 X 12 (factor of speed)= 211 in/sec. A standard butterfly is 2" long, so he could cover that 2" distance in 2"/88" per sec or .022 seconds (at a rate of 5 mph) or 2/211= about .01 seconds (at 12 mph rate).

A bicycle traveling at 10 mph, with a 700c size wheel makes 123 rev/minute, or 123/60= 2.05 rev/sec. In .022 seconds (slow butterfly) that wheel makes .045 revs, or 16.2 degrees of revolution ; in .01 seconds (fast butterfly) makes .021 revolutions or 7.5 degrees of revolution.

Yeah, I think he could squeeze through... but, to answer your question, "no, I've never seen it".
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Old 07-09-22, 07:39 AM
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Yes, I've seen a butterfly do that; the key is he has to go through the wheel pretty close to the ground. The forward motion of the spokes is directly proportional to the distance from the ground at the point of measurement; the patch of tire that touches the road, after all, is stationary; the top of the tire is going twice the speed of the bicycle.

I've also seen butterflies do that with predictably messy outcome. Oops.

Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Had a chipmunk do that - once is enough.
I saw a squirrel do that once. No, wait, that's not quite right. My father in law, who was riding immediately behind me, is the one who saw it. I only saw the squirrel fly up into the air just to the left side of my front wheel, where he was subsequently booted by my left foot and pedal as it continued its circular path around the crank. The squirrel landed a few feet in front of my wheel and continued its path across the road, to the sound of uproarious laughter from the bicycle behind me.
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Old 07-09-22, 08:49 AM
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Not a butterfly but I've had a pigeon fly through my bike frame as I was riding along. Here in London there's loads of them, and as strong fliers with street smarts they leave it until the last possible second before getting out of the way. This one I almost ran over as it was walking along the road, I thought he was walking away but he suddenly veered back around and took flight like the Millenium Falcon, straight through my frame. I did catch it with my legs as it did it, but he corrected and styled it out and flew off. Proper Top Gun.
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Old 07-09-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Per the interwebs, butterflies can fly at speeds between 5-12 mph. 1 mph = 63360 in/per hr. An hour is 3600 seconds. So dividing 63360 by 3600 gives you an equivalent rate for 1 mph of 17.6 in/sec. 17.6 X 5 (factor of speed)= 88 in/sec; 17.6 X 12 (factor of speed)= 211 in/sec. A standard butterfly is 2" long, so he could cover that 2" distance in 2"/88" per sec or .022 seconds (at a rate of 5 mph) or 2/211= about .01 seconds (at 12 mph rate).

A bicycle traveling at 10 mph, with a 700c size wheel makes 123 rev/minute, or 123/60= 2.05 rev/sec. In .022 seconds (slow butterfly) that wheel makes .045 revs, or 16.2 degrees of revolution ; in .01 seconds (fast butterfly) makes .021 revolutions or 7.5 degrees of revolution.

Yeah, I think he could squeeze through... but, to answer your question, "no, I've never seen it".
One of the nice things about this forum is that one can always rely on a fellow member to do the math and say "yeah, that should work ..."
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Old 07-09-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

Don Juan would have told Carlitos that the butterfly was able to do that because it had "the personal power"


-----
Don Juan could have done that himself.
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Old 07-09-22, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
Per the interwebs, butterflies can fly at speeds between 5-12 mph. 1 mph = 63360 in/per hr. An hour is 3600 seconds. So dividing 63360 by 3600 gives you an equivalent rate for 1 mph of 17.6 in/sec. 17.6 X 5 (factor of speed)= 88 in/sec; 17.6 X 12 (factor of speed)= 211 in/sec. A standard butterfly is 2" long, so he could cover that 2" distance in 2"/88" per sec or .022 seconds (at a rate of 5 mph) or 2/211= about .01 seconds (at 12 mph rate).

A bicycle traveling at 10 mph, with a 700c size wheel makes 123 rev/minute, or 123/60= 2.05 rev/sec. In .022 seconds (slow butterfly) that wheel makes .045 revs, or 16.2 degrees of revolution ; in .01 seconds (fast butterfly) makes .021 revolutions or 7.5 degrees of revolution.

Yeah, I think he could squeeze through... but, to answer your question, "no, I've never seen it".
Are those air speed velocities for laden or unladen, African or European butterflies?
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Old 07-09-22, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchi84 View Post
Are those air speed velocities for laden or unladen, African or European butterflies?
I had to make assumptions... so, I went with an unladen Cabbage White, at the prime of it's adulthood, with no wind assistance.
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Old 07-09-22, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
For the record, I was not on drugs that afternoon. Not sure about the butterfly. Your theory about air deflecting from the spokes sounds plausible to me.

Then again, there may have been other forces as work, I have a vague memory of my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Plati, telling the class that because apparently solid objects consisted mostly of empty space between atomic particles, it was theoretically possible--if everything lined up just right--that a brick thrown at a glass window might just pass right through it without damage. He did say that that kind of thing didn't happen very often.
I believe at this point, one generally says, "Whoa! Dude! Pass the bong, man!"
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Old 07-09-22, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
One of the nice things about this forum is that one can always rely on a fellow member to do the math and say "yeah, that should work ..."
Amen, brother. If we all had to wait for ME to do the math, we'd still be on tricycles. 🤔😁😉
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Old 07-09-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Yeah, one of my hopes for this thread is that no one will post "after" photos of a chipmunk that tried and failed to do that.
Cape Cod Rail Trail, 1993, Brewster section.

I'm on my 1987 Trek Antelope and a chipmunk darts out in front of me, panics, and starts to turn back.

I run over it with my front wheel.

Feeling a bit guilty I turn around to check on it.

He's dead, and the tracks from the center rib of my front tire lined up perfectly with the stripes on his back.

A burial with full honors commenced.
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Old 07-09-22, 05:48 PM
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Dan Maher wrote a rather clever song "Chipmunk With A Deathwish", performed here on YT:

Sample lyric:
Who would guess that my desire
Is to be one with your tire?

I was at a wedding where he performed, and that song was so popular we got him to perform it 3 times. By the third time, everyone was singing along. I still remember all the words.
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Old 07-09-22, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
...I saw a squirrel do that once. No, wait, that's not quite right. My father in law, who was riding immediately behind me, is the one who saw it. I only saw the squirrel fly up into the air just to the left side of my front wheel, where he was subsequently booted by my left foot and pedal as it continued its circular path around the crank. The squirrel landed a few feet in front of my wheel and continued its path across the road, to the sound of uproarious laughter from the bicycle behind me.
About 40 years ago, I had a cat pass under my Yamaha RD400 as I passed at around 25mph, which I would have thought impossible until it happened.
I looked back and saw the cat make it to the other side of the road, tail intact. ...Cat must have been going almost 20mph(?) (it's a short-wheelbase motorcycle).
It might have hit the exhaust pipes, but I didn't feel it.
Gad, I still have that bike!
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