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Eyc headlight problem



 
 
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  #141  
Old April 5th 21, 04:51 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,134
Default Eyc headlight problem

On 4/5/2021 4:53 AM, Sepp Ruf wrote:
jbeattie wrote:

Since when is being able to see "safety inflation"? Let's go for a night
ride sometime, you and your bottle dyno and light, and me and my whatever
light I chose. I'll wait for you at the bottom. On flat roads and the
bike path through South Waterfront I can get by with a little flea-watt
flasher or a clip on flashlight from 1968 -- or my old Wonder Light. But
that is not where I do (or did pre DST) most of my riding.


Frank is not acquainted with Portland's exotic rain-forest, mountain-bunny
routes. If you are interested in a regular contest, ask a local, like your
son, to take the dyno lamp. Make sure you use Specialized's prototype Zn-C
matrix battery fork for extra power!


Not many years ago I was quite familiar with Portland. I would visit
there for maybe a week at a time at least once every year. About the
bike routes, my recollections:

Portland's older residential areas are in a flat river plain. I remember
grid style streets, lots of lovely old architecture, with shops,
restaurants and pubs sprinkled through mixed-use neighborhoods making
for short travel distances. Lots of bikes, of course, but also an
unusually good public transit system. They still have streetcars on
steel rails, lots of buses plus a light rail system.

But the farther you get from the oldest residential areas, the more U.S.
normal the area gets. And in particular, immediately west of the older
areas are some amazing hills that act as a barrier between old Portland
and general PDX. (I gather Jay lives on one of those hills.) There are
forest areas there, fancy houses with amazing views over the city, and a
nature preserve or two. I remember a road or two in that area that was
an amazing miles-long rural-esque high speed downhill into the city.

West beyond that it gets to be mostly American suburbia, former country
roads that now sprout spaghetti-plan housing developments, the opposite
of a grid. That's still Portland, but it's not Portlandia. There are (or
were) bike lanes on some of those roads, but I saw few people using
them. Cars dominate, as elsewhere in the U.S.

And really, bikes don't dominate Portland at all. Car traffic downtown
is intense and clotted. The claim of 6% (or whatever) bike mode share is
by survey of only residents inside city limits, not of all road users.
That 6% is dominated by the trendy folk in those old grid neighborhoods.
So many people drive in from suburbs that the major freeways back up to
crawling speed for miles almost every day.

Jay is not unique, as he said; but at the same time, Jay is not a
typical Portland cyclist. I don't think a typical one commutes with
Jay's consistency or over his distance, and I think only a small
percentage would regularly challenge the hills he does.

Those are my recollections from some years ago. I haven't been out there
recently. Jay may want to correct me.

--
- Frank Krygowski
Ads
  #142  
Old April 5th 21, 05:38 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,334
Default Eyc headlight problem

On 4/5/2021 1:53 AM, Sepp Ruf wrote:

snip

This is how a low and high beams, 400 dynamo, optional 400 extra battery
lumens, conversion looks like:
https://www.velomobilforum.de/forum/index.php?attachments/pxl_20210121_153046943-jpg.231317/


That looks like something someone hand-built, modifying an existing
light. Where is the link to the forum post that has this image?

Hopefully they included thermal sensors to automatically reduce power to
prevent overheating.

It's an interesting concept but IMVAIO it's backward. Instead of adding
an optional battery to a dynamo light, it would be more logical (and
much less expensive) to add optional dynamo operating and charging to a
battery powered light. You can get a much more capable fully-featured
headlight, with internal Li-Ion batteries, for 1/3 to 1/4 the cost, and
a circuit to charge the batteries from the dynamo is trivial.

Most USB-chargeable lights can charge at at least 1A so a 6V/500mA
dynamo could provide about [email protected] via a rectifier and buck
converter. You just need to ensure that the light can operate while
charging, not all battery powered lights have the capability, but many do.

You can buy a converter with a built in bridge rectifier for only a
couple of bucks
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SIABsLdDoSZgGsAdasmgHyjRcco55nd9/.

While it would work as is, I'd smallen it up and make it a little more
efficient. I'd change the bridge rectifier to four Schottky diodes and
put in some lower-profile, lower-voltage capacitors since you don't need
to go higher than 12V on the input and 6V on the output (it can go up to
50V input and 24V output), change the potentiometer to a fixed resistor,
remove the screw terminals, and use s smaller heat sink since you only
need to put out about 800mA instead of 2.2A.

What would be really nice if some battery powered light manufacturer put
this stuff inside the light. Can you imagine the market for Barry Beams'
Oculus light if he had a version with an AC input from a dynamo? Well
I'm not sure of the market since it would not be legal in Germany, and
the number of cyclists with dynamos on their bicycles in the U.S. is
vanishingly small.
  #143  
Old April 5th 21, 08:25 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Tom Kunich[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,264
Default Eyc headlight problem

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at 8:52:03 AM UTC-7, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 4/5/2021 4:53 AM, Sepp Ruf wrote:
jbeattie wrote:

Since when is being able to see "safety inflation"? Let's go for a night
ride sometime, you and your bottle dyno and light, and me and my whatever
light I chose. I'll wait for you at the bottom. On flat roads and the
bike path through South Waterfront I can get by with a little flea-watt
flasher or a clip on flashlight from 1968 -- or my old Wonder Light. But
that is not where I do (or did pre DST) most of my riding.


Frank is not acquainted with Portland's exotic rain-forest, mountain-bunny
routes. If you are interested in a regular contest, ask a local, like your
son, to take the dyno lamp. Make sure you use Specialized's prototype Zn-C
matrix battery fork for extra power!

Not many years ago I was quite familiar with Portland. I would visit
there for maybe a week at a time at least once every year. About the
bike routes, my recollections:

Portland's older residential areas are in a flat river plain. I remember
grid style streets, lots of lovely old architecture, with shops,
restaurants and pubs sprinkled through mixed-use neighborhoods making
for short travel distances. Lots of bikes, of course, but also an
unusually good public transit system. They still have streetcars on
steel rails, lots of buses plus a light rail system.

But the farther you get from the oldest residential areas, the more U.S.
normal the area gets. And in particular, immediately west of the older
areas are some amazing hills that act as a barrier between old Portland
and general PDX. (I gather Jay lives on one of those hills.) There are
forest areas there, fancy houses with amazing views over the city, and a
nature preserve or two. I remember a road or two in that area that was
an amazing miles-long rural-esque high speed downhill into the city.

West beyond that it gets to be mostly American suburbia, former country
roads that now sprout spaghetti-plan housing developments, the opposite
of a grid. That's still Portland, but it's not Portlandia. There are (or
were) bike lanes on some of those roads, but I saw few people using
them. Cars dominate, as elsewhere in the U.S.

And really, bikes don't dominate Portland at all. Car traffic downtown
is intense and clotted. The claim of 6% (or whatever) bike mode share is
by survey of only residents inside city limits, not of all road users.
That 6% is dominated by the trendy folk in those old grid neighborhoods.
So many people drive in from suburbs that the major freeways back up to
crawling speed for miles almost every day.

Jay is not unique, as he said; but at the same time, Jay is not a
typical Portland cyclist. I don't think a typical one commutes with
Jay's consistency or over his distance, and I think only a small
percentage would regularly challenge the hills he does.

Those are my recollections from some years ago. I haven't been out there
recently. Jay may want to correct me.


The west coast is now nearly dead. The Portland Police Department is losing cops a mile a minute Pretty soon Portland will be like California. On Grizzly Peak Road above Berkeley they have a group of blacks that are using armed robbery on the cyclists that frequent there and taking their wallets, phones and bikes. It is only a matter of time. When you tell people that they won't be prosecuted for anything they will DO anything. Downtown Portland is about to turn into another Grizzly Peak. Seattle is now completely trashed out and businesses are leaving the state and not just the city. LA is now Gangland and the cops there are supposed to KowTow to the gangs. You know how the cops are going to handle that. What is plain is that people that cannot leave the state are buying enough guns and ammunition to hold off an army. People that CAN leave the state are already gone. The businesses in Silicon Valley are now all twits. They want you to beg them to hire you if you have a Masters or Ph.D. without them even telling you what the job is.

Lights make no sense if there's no work. But I tend to think that if you NEED lights that Frank's idea of a generator hub is probably the best idea now that you can get lights with LED's so that you have sufficient light to see and be seen.
  #144  
Old April 6th 21, 03:19 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,198
Default Safety inflation

On Mon, 5 Apr 2021 11:13:52 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 4/4/2021 9:07 PM, Ralph Barone wrote:
Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 4/4/2021 6:32 PM, John B. wrote:
On Sun, 4 Apr 2021 12:16:46 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 4/4/2021 10:34 AM, jbeattie wrote:

I'm not yelling at you although I do get tired of the incessant
"safety inflation" rant when people buy something that makes it easier
for them to ride...

I think "safety inflation" is real. It applies not only to bicycles,
it's pervasive in modern American society; I can probably give dozens of
examples. I own books on related topics.

But it certainly does apply to bicycles and bicycling, in many ways that
have nothing to do with making it easier to ride. Again, I can give
examples, although you can certainly think of them yourself.

I don't know why this observation is so distasteful to you.

A question comes to mind here. If special paths/roads/call 'em what
you like, are necessary for the safety of cyclists isn't it proof that
the public highways are dangerious for cyclists?

That's what a certain cohort would have you believe. And it's generally
false. Yes, there are dangerous roads; but most roads are quite safe for
cycling.

The question viewed from the opposite direction is "if public
roads/etc., are safe for cyclists are special bike paths necessary?"

Most such facilities are not necessary. Many are worse than normal roads.


While not strictly “necessary”, car free facilities can certainly be more
enjoyable to ride, in much the same way that active logging roads aren’t
always the most enjoyable automobile experience.

This “linear park” is near my house and I ride it often. Many other people
also enjoy riding it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall...Regional_Trail


Linear parks (AKA MUPs) can be very pleasant. One of my favorite 40 mile
rides makes use of a seven mile trail along a river. That trail is
especially nice because it's little known, goes from pretty much nowhere
to nowhere, is usually very empty, and is scenic. It was built by a very
charitable local family.

There are a few others in our area. But regarding "safety inflation":
I'm sure many of the people who haul their bikes on their cars to ride
the MUPs back and forth do so because of "safety." However, our bike
club members have FAR more crashes per mile traveled on those MUPs than
on roads. I wish I'd kept formal notes over the years, but I remember
hearing about concussion with unconsciousness (yes, despite helmet),
dislocated shoulder, broken collar bone, broken shoulder, broken rib and
many abrasions, bruises etc. all happening to competent road riders.

Those were due to bollards, bad edges (i.e. riding off the pavement and
being unable to steer back on), a slippery wood bridge, slippery mud
across the pavement, pedestrians' random motion, a kid on a bike failing
to stop, and so on. But the biggest underlying cause may be total
relaxation - as in "I'm on a nice safe path, so I don't have to take care."


I find it a bit strange that here, in a country where a bicycle is not
only a sports device but also a basic transportation device, - visit
any market in the morning - to the best of my knowledge there are no
specifically bicycle lanes/paths/whatever. Two that are sort of
bicycle lanes are (1) the maintenance road around a large park in the
center of Bangkok which is used by runners, Tai Chi, bicycles and I
don't know what else has a painted line marked bikes on one side, and
(2) the maintenance road around the "New Airport" which is painted
blue and marked bicycles. Of course being "maintenance" roads they are
primarily for trucks :-)

And yet, cyclists ride on public highways and, from reading the news,
bike deaths are not really common.
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #145  
Old April 6th 21, 03:32 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,198
Default Eyc headlight problem

On Mon, 5 Apr 2021 08:03:52 -0700 (PDT), jbeattie
wrote:

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at 1:53:37 AM UTC-7, Sepp Ruf wrote:
jbeattie wrote:
On Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 4:32:13 PM UTC-7, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 4/3/2021 12:57 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:


I think it was Jay Beattie who suggested the 800 lumen number. I
merely stole it from him. I agree that 800 lumens probably too much.
However, if such a high power dynamo product ever arrives on the
market, there will surely be a lumens war among vendors to see who
can advertise the largest number. At that time, 800 lumens will be
reserved for purists and regulatory agencies.

This is how a low and high beams, 400 dynamo, optional 400 extra battery
lumens, conversion looks like:
https://www.velomobilforum.de/forum/index.php?attachments/pxl_20210121_153046943-jpg.231317/

The beams look better in reality than they appear on youtube, but I cannot
recommend the upgrade to Jay because he seems mortally afraid of further
increasing his dynamo system's sunk cost (and because a Luxos not considered
watertight).


Mortally afraid is more like "it would be stupid." I have enough lights.

Yep, safety inflation is real.

Since when is being able to see "safety inflation"? Let's go for a night
ride sometime, you and your bottle dyno and light, and me and my whatever
light I chose. I'll wait for you at the bottom. On flat roads and the
bike path through South Waterfront I can get by with a little flea-watt
flasher or a clip on flashlight from 1968 -- or my old Wonder Light. But
that is not where I do (or did pre DST) most of my riding.

Frank is not acquainted with Portland's exotic rain-forest, mountain-bunny
routes. If you are interested in a regular contest, ask a local, like your
son, to take the dyno lamp. Make sure you use Specialized's prototype Zn-C
matrix battery fork for extra power!
Everything
involves a descent, often on old broken concrete roads. I've done those
on dyno only, and its inadequate except at a creeping pace.

When will you finally invite a few fixie-riding antifa for a blissful summer
of subbotnik road repairs?! Oh, wait, repairing and recreating historic
concrete plates is horrendously "CO2 emissions intensive." If you aren't Al
Gore, you simply won't get a permit.


They don't re-do concrete, at least not often in town -- it gets asphalt. One of my routes was repaved in the last year or so, but I think some of neighborhoods don't want repaving because the broken concrete roads act as natural speed bumps. Two, essentially parallel streets: https://tinyurl.com/4n2dfzp8 and next door: https://tinyurl.com/kdrfm2t8
Look out for the manhole down the street: https://tinyurl.com/8a8w383f

I have no idea why they paved one and not the other. I rarely go down those roads -- they're part of the return route from anywhere east, and my pre-plague commute home. I creep up them, LUXOS B blazing the way. This is where I see people's feet before the people -- or their dogs with lighted dog vests.

-- Jay Beattie.


I would comment that those are appallingly poorly built roads. It
appears that they simply laid concrete over an existing, probably,
dirt road. I would guess that the residents bitched about a dirt road
and so the highway department slapped some concrete down and said
"There! A paved road".
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #146  
Old April 6th 21, 03:36 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,198
Default Safety inflation

On Mon, 5 Apr 2021 01:12:05 -0700, sms
wrote:

On 4/4/2021 6:07 PM, Ralph Barone wrote:

snip

While not strictly “necessary”, car free facilities can certainly be more
enjoyable to ride, in much the same way that active logging roads aren’t
always the most enjoyable automobile experience.

This “linear park” is near my house and I ride it often. Many other people
also enjoy riding it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall...Regional_Trail


Exactly.

If the goal is to make riding more enjoyable, and to get more people out
riding, both for transportation or for pleasure, it's necessary to
understand what is preventing people from riding and address those
concerns. Proclaiming "well I have no problem riding in traffic and
therefore no one else should either" is exceptionally selfish and foolish.

In my area, the county water district encourages the development of
multi-use paths along waterways (creeks and rivers). Since roads usually
already have bridges over these waterways it's pretty easy to construct
a path that has very few, if any, surface road crossings. The waterways
also happen to often run from housing-rich areas to jobs-rich areas.

While you can't reach the same peak speeds riding on these paths that
you can on roads, the dearth of traffic lights and stop signs generally
makes your average speed higher, and it's a lot more pleasant to be able
to ride 10-15 miles without constantly stopping and starting. These
multi-use paths are extremely popular.

Cities and counties in my area have also constructed a lot of
bicycle/pedestrian crossings of freeways and railroad tracks that allow
cyclists to avoid dangerous intersections which are an impediment to
getting people on bicycles. Sometimes there are already arterial roads
that cross freeways but don't have freeway entrances and exits, but not
always.

Here's an example of a jobs-rich area where my wife's office is now, and
where my company used to be located, and right next to Intel's corporate
headquarters https://goo.gl/maps/HyTtkhAw7xjAbkLZ9. It was miserable
commuting across US 101 on a bicycle with those high-speed cloverleaf
freeway interchanges (freeway entrances/exits with traffic lights on all
the entrance and exit ramps are not so bad). The San Tomas Aquino Creek
trail goes under 101 about halfway between the two freeway interchanges.
The trail continues past Levi's stadium all the way to other trails that
connect up to jobs rich areas and you can go all the way up to Mountain
View by Google, and on to Palo Alto and Menlo Park (Facebook), or turn
east to go by Cisco. Even before it was an official trail, and wasn't
paved, you could use it if you were on a bicycle with proper tires.

Another once-miserable ride was to get to companies east of 101 in
Mountain View (Google, Microsoft, NASA, and in the past Silicon
Graphics, Alza, etc.). I once worked in that area as well, see
https://goo.gl/maps/94LuFXmmqdCEwMTg8. The Stevens Creek Trail is
very heavily used as a commuter route and has many intersecting shorter
trails. With the advent of electric bicycles it's become even busier.

Bicycle lanes on the shoulder of roads are even less costly, but the
reality is that painted lines have been ineffective at getting vehicles
to share the road. So a city could either hire a lot more police
officers to drive around constantly citing errant drivers or they can
put in inexpensive infrastructure that prevents errant behavior. That
errant behavior includes: a) using the bicycle lane as a motor vehicle
lane, especially as a very long right-turn lane, b) using the bicycle
lane as a parking area, c) using the bicycle lane as a lane to wait to
turn into a crowded parking lot, d) using the bicycle lane as place to
park construction or service vehicles working on a house or business, e)
using the bicycle lane as a loading and unloading zone, f) police using
the bicycle lane as a convenient place to pull motor vehicles over to
write tickets, g) motorists pulling off into the bicycle lane to take a
phone call or to enter an address into their navigation app or GPS, the
list goes on and on. These protected bike lanes don't have "walls" as
one clueless poster here likes to claim, unless a curb is really just a
very low wall, see https://goo.gl/maps/h3XUU5KCvk2PmBZx5.

A separated bike lane is not costly and solves most of the problems
listed above. The question to ask is whether public roads should be
designed for road users of all kinds, or should they be designed solely
for the convenience of motor vehicle owners. Most of the complaints
about the installation of protected bicycle lanes were along the lines
of "where am I going to park?" or "where will my gardener park his truck?"

Another issue to get people out of their cars is to address security
when parked. Installing lockers and/or secure parking devices helps with
this. In areas with parking shortages, the cost of these facilities is
lost in the noise compared to the cost of adding vehicle parking spaces
(there are often minimum parking requirements for office, retail, and
commercial space based on the type of business, and the number of
expected employees and customers). A parking garage costs between
$40,000 and $80,000 per space to construct, or you can pave over green
space for about $5000 per space, but few people think that converting
parks and playing fields into parking lots is a good idea).


BUT, we don't have any of that stuff here in Thailand and I would
guess that on a per capita basis bicycle use is higher than in the
U.S.
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #147  
Old April 6th 21, 03:55 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
News 2021
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 225
Default Safety inflation

On Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:19:29 +0700, John B. scribed:


And yet, cyclists ride on public highways and, from reading the news,
bike deaths are not really common.


Attitude of drivers. In this country, assault or murder by ICE only
attracts a wrist slap.

  #148  
Old April 6th 21, 04:20 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,198
Default Safety inflation

On Tue, 6 Apr 2021 02:55:15 -0000 (UTC), News 2021
wrote:

On Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:19:29 +0700, John B. scribed:


And yet, cyclists ride on public highways and, from reading the news,
bike deaths are not really common.


Attitude of drivers. In this country, assault or murder by ICE only
attracts a wrist slap.


Possibly so as here if an auto hits a bicycle and kills the rider the
police will arrest the driver of the auto. Whether or not the court
will penalize the driver depends largely on the circumstances. In a
case where a guy in a pickup ran into two bikes and killed both riders
the driver was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which
carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #149  
Old April 6th 21, 06:04 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
James[_8_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,132
Default Safety inflation

On 5/4/21 2:16 am, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 4/4/2021 10:34 AM, jbeattie wrote:

I'm not yelling at you although I do get tired of the incessant
"safety inflation" rant when people buy something that makes it easier
for them to ride...


I think "safety inflation" is real. It applies not only to bicycles,
it's pervasive in modern American society; I can probably give dozens of
examples. I own books on related topics.

But it certainly does apply to bicycles and bicycling, in many ways that
have nothing to do with making it easier to ride. Again, I can give
examples, although you can certainly think of them yourself.

I don't know why this observation is so distasteful to you.


In spite of the safety inflation of chilumen bike lights, the rampant
policing of bicycle helmet wearing (in Melbourne/Australia) and shaming
of people for not wearing hi vis clothing, wearing earbuds, or riding a
little too fast in a shared pedestrian/cycling zone;

Fatalities in the state of Victoria/Australia show an increasing trend
(which is difficult to see where the annual fatality rate was
approximately 8 a decade ago, but is now closer to 10), and the reported
injury count has changed from about 300 annually to 500 over the same
period, _and_ according to the National Cycling Participation Survey,
regular cycling has lost about 200,000 people over a similar period.

So safety inflation, targeted policing and fewer people cycling
regularly has resulted in more deaths and injuries.

Yay!


Interestingly, when pedestrians complain about cyclists the police
target cyclists, and when cyclists complain about motorists, the police
still target cyclists.

Obviously targeting the minority group of scofflaws is terribly productive.

--
JS
  #150  
Old April 6th 21, 02:54 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,134
Default Safety inflation

On 4/5/2021 10:19 PM, John B. wrote:
On Mon, 5 Apr 2021 11:13:52 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 4/4/2021 9:07 PM, Ralph Barone wrote:
Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 4/4/2021 6:32 PM, John B. wrote:
On Sun, 4 Apr 2021 12:16:46 -0400, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 4/4/2021 10:34 AM, jbeattie wrote:

I'm not yelling at you although I do get tired of the incessant
"safety inflation" rant when people buy something that makes it easier
for them to ride...

I think "safety inflation" is real. It applies not only to bicycles,
it's pervasive in modern American society; I can probably give dozens of
examples. I own books on related topics.

But it certainly does apply to bicycles and bicycling, in many ways that
have nothing to do with making it easier to ride. Again, I can give
examples, although you can certainly think of them yourself.

I don't know why this observation is so distasteful to you.

A question comes to mind here. If special paths/roads/call 'em what
you like, are necessary for the safety of cyclists isn't it proof that
the public highways are dangerious for cyclists?

That's what a certain cohort would have you believe. And it's generally
false. Yes, there are dangerous roads; but most roads are quite safe for
cycling.

The question viewed from the opposite direction is "if public
roads/etc., are safe for cyclists are special bike paths necessary?"

Most such facilities are not necessary. Many are worse than normal roads.


While not strictly “necessary”, car free facilities can certainly be more
enjoyable to ride, in much the same way that active logging roads aren’t
always the most enjoyable automobile experience.

This “linear park” is near my house and I ride it often. Many other people
also enjoy riding it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall...Regional_Trail


Linear parks (AKA MUPs) can be very pleasant. One of my favorite 40 mile
rides makes use of a seven mile trail along a river. That trail is
especially nice because it's little known, goes from pretty much nowhere
to nowhere, is usually very empty, and is scenic. It was built by a very
charitable local family.

There are a few others in our area. But regarding "safety inflation":
I'm sure many of the people who haul their bikes on their cars to ride
the MUPs back and forth do so because of "safety." However, our bike
club members have FAR more crashes per mile traveled on those MUPs than
on roads. I wish I'd kept formal notes over the years, but I remember
hearing about concussion with unconsciousness (yes, despite helmet),
dislocated shoulder, broken collar bone, broken shoulder, broken rib and
many abrasions, bruises etc. all happening to competent road riders.

Those were due to bollards, bad edges (i.e. riding off the pavement and
being unable to steer back on), a slippery wood bridge, slippery mud
across the pavement, pedestrians' random motion, a kid on a bike failing
to stop, and so on. But the biggest underlying cause may be total
relaxation - as in "I'm on a nice safe path, so I don't have to take care."


I find it a bit strange that here, in a country where a bicycle is not
only a sports device but also a basic transportation device, - visit
any market in the morning - to the best of my knowledge there are no
specifically bicycle lanes/paths/whatever. Two that are sort of
bicycle lanes are (1) the maintenance road around a large park in the
center of Bangkok which is used by runners, Tai Chi, bicycles and I
don't know what else has a painted line marked bikes on one side, and
(2) the maintenance road around the "New Airport" which is painted
blue and marked bicycles. Of course being "maintenance" roads they are
primarily for trucks :-)

And yet, cyclists ride on public highways and, from reading the news,
bike deaths are not really common.


I think the difference is largely what a given society is used to. IOW,
what's normal fashion.

The U.S. (like Australia, I've been told) is a place where adult
bicycling basically didn't exist for many decades. Then the first 1970s
bike boom hit, suddenly there were millions of newbies trying something
for the first time.

I think the newbies were nervous about riding a bike where they had
never seen a bike being ridden. And I think the "safety!" mavens were
nervous for them, and nervous about actually having to slow down or
change lanes when passing the never-before-seen adult bicyclists. And
indeed, there were more deaths, topping out around 1000, IIRC. (Not that
its a large number in a country with 700,000 heart deaths annually.)

So the cries began for bike lanes, i.e. stripes painted on the roads.
When bike deaths didn't drop to zero, we started hearing about special
foam hats to save lives. (Those were recently demoted to "just to
prevent skull fractures" to mask their failure). Then came garish
clothing. And fancy lights, never turned off.

Now we're hearing that the bike lanes have to be "protected," for
example by hiding them behind parked cars where the cyclists can't be
seen. And we're just getting the first calls for super-fancy,
super-expensive intersections to fix the "Surprise!" problem when a
bicyclist suddenly leaves the "protection" to cross an intersection.

Oh, it gets safer every day! The fashionable cyclist now wears day-glo,
a big foam hat, rides with blinding lights and never lets his tires
touch asphalt that car tires also touch.

As usual, I'm not very much into fashion.

--
- Frank Krygowski
 




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