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Biking it and Liking It

Old 07-23-14, 11:44 AM
  #201  
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What I want to point out is, the Bike Lanes were created to warn the "Road Rage Cases", to leave the Cyclists alone. Especially when there's no policeman watching. Now today, the Video Camera is becoming more and more popular. Let's look at the Video Tape again: The Video seems to show that 9999 out of 10000 drivers pass the cyclists with seven to ten feet of clearance. One motorist out of ten-thousand is a psychopath, and the expense of painting the bike lanes should be passed on to *them*, not the cyclists and not the rest of society.
Or would it be wiser to revoke their drivers license?
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Old 08-06-14, 10:30 PM
  #202  
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Just wanted to say I really enjoy your posts. You definitely have a quirky FREDish way about you - but I mean that in the most respectful and appreciative way. Keep it up.
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Old 08-07-14, 11:41 AM
  #203  
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Thank you for the complimentary remarks. I've been Cycling since 1972, and I've seen fads come, and I've seen fads go... what matters is that you keep pedalling!

I'd like to thank my Daughter Mellisa and all the girls. The traditional "Ladies" bike needed an update.

I quetsion the authority of the UCI (International Cycling Union). Aside from the fact that they encourage Builders to build only "Mens" bikes... Whether one rides a Recumbent or a Ladies Bike, there is a safety advantage on the dismount; a feet-first, hit-the-ground-running dismount is possible.

Now, about Fairings; If Fairings didn't work, they wouldn't be banned by the UCI, would they?
My latest approach is to stop calling it a Fairing, and instead call it a "Handlebar Basket" ... "styled to look like a motorcycle windshield".

I have all along been building a Cargo Bike first, and adding Fairings afterwards. This technique has it's pros and cons.The advantage is it gives more crash protection, the drawback being it makes a heavy bike.

I am happy with the Citibike rental fleet design; it is a heavy duty Ladies Bike, with a cargo carier on the front , and a fenderskirt over the rear wheel, just like what my Daughter designed.

While I regret that I don't have a Product to offer, I encourage other Builders to experiment, and try what I have done. The Local "Yokels" (here on Long Island) may be baffled, but my Bikes are, on the whole, very Conservatively Designed. I don't do Recumbents, just a relaxed seat-tube angle, known as a semi-recumbent. I don't put disk brakes on my bikes , because Long Island doesn't have any really big hills, except on the North Shore, and those top-out at 300 feet (less than 100 meters).

I have taken a hands-on approach to Bike Lanes; I go out with shears, or shovels and brooms (I tell people it's a Landscaping Bike), and I clean up the existing Road and Lane Margins.

Then I go and blog about it. There is a thread in A&S called "...What have you done today?". I was going to post there today, since I did trim Roadside Vegetation yesterday... But I didn't mean to take over the whole thread like I did.

Thank you again, for replying to my Blog Post!
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Old 08-18-14, 01:13 PM
  #204  
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Evesham Vale Light Railway - Evesham Country Park by ell brown, on Flickr

Interesting Rail Bike, found today on Flickr.com. It is Narrow Gauge, so it won't work on most RR tracks. I couldn't find that old thread about "Rail Bikes" so I posted it here instead.
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Old 11-03-14, 10:48 AM
  #205  
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12 Hour Project by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Been busy putting LED Lights on my Mountain Bike. Daylight Savings Time is over, and I want this bike to be ready for the Winter.
12 Hour Project by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

12 Hour Project by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

12 Hour Project by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

The Type 10:
IMG_6555 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
This Bike got a new , bigger, Pannier, at the left side, rear.
IMG_6551 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

IMG_6541 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

IMG_6550 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
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Old 11-03-14, 11:07 AM
  #206  
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A few Basics:
Electrical Connections by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Red and Black Alligator Clips connect the Battery to the Lighting Sysytem.

Electrical Connections by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Yellow, Twist Lock Connectors allow the Wire to branch-off to the individual Lights...

New Tail Light by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
This is a standard, 12 volt LED Tail Light, that you can get at any Auto Parts Store. They do NOT have Mounting Hardware, so I had to cut a Hole in a piece of Coroplast™ , exactly 2.5" diameter, and bolt that to the Pannier with 1/4 twenties and Fender Washers...

Electrical Connections by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Amber Marker Light on the Front Fork. This is held by a one-inch diameter U-Bolt, around the Fork Blade.

Electrical Connections by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
The Yellow Wire Connectors are housed inside an Electrical Junction Box, for protection.

Electrical Connections by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
A Headlight is an LED version of the old Halogen MR16. But it only uses 5.2 Watts. This item was "Special Ordered", as it is a tight , 10 beam, and Architects prefer broader beam patterns .



IMG_6337 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
An Electrical Flasher Module for LED's. LED's do NOT consume enough Current to "trip" a normal 12 volt Flasher...

IMG_6397 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Some Road Workers fixed the bad Pavement that I was complaining about…finally!

IMG_6501 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
Compare the Apple iMac Plastic to the Hand-laid Fiberglass Fairing, BELOW:

Sea Cliff Mini Mart 2014 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr
I took my recumbent to a Street Fair. But it does Not have any Lights.
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Old 04-05-15, 11:01 AM
  #207  
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Hi. I moved to new digs. I've been spending to much time on Facebook , I've got to post some of my best material here, in the Blogger's Forum. The following is my reply to a San Jose Mercury Times article about a "Road Diet", that has a few people upset. I think I made a valid point, on a four lane road, the right lane is slow and the left lane is fast. Trouble is, Not all Drivers have figured that out:

"My question is: Why can't the Cyclists use the existing Right Lane, on a 4 Lane Road? The Right Lane is the Slow Lane; anyone needing to drive faster can use the Left Lane, correct?And the Bicyclers come and go. There are times when there are no Bicycles.
But it appears that a small minority of Motorists have harassed and intimidated the Cyclists, until now, the Car is Banished from the Right Lane.

Anyway, now it's time for everyone to get a Bicycle. Bicycling is quick and easy. Maybe it's time for a Rental Fleet of Bicycles?
Don't get me going about Rear-View Mirrors; If every Cyclist had a Rear-View Mirror, there would be No Way a Motorist could sneak up behind the Bicycle and Blast his horn to startle the Cyclist. I'm sure a few complaints about this sneak-honk-startle trick were aired at the Public Hearing , before the Bike Lanes were even planned."
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Old 04-05-15, 11:04 AM
  #208  
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Earlier post:

" Hi, just was thinking ... "Paying Attention" is important. I have heard it referred to as "Situational Awareness". I try , I use 2 rear view mirrors, one on my helmet and one on my handlebars. I don't know how many cyclists are "hard ass" or "hard line"... I don't wear Lycra (unless you count my leg warmers , I wore shorts all winter, and had to don leg warmers)... I don't try to do any speed limit anymore, I was bitterly disappointed to find that drivers are Ingrates, and fail to appreciate the effort it takes a cyclist to tool along at thirty, for a mile or two...
Appeasement is a word which carries some negative connotations , especially after the 20th Century:
http://www.history.co.uk/study-t…/history-of-ww2/appeasement
I feel I was trying to "Appease" the motorists by pushing my bicycle/velomobile faster, and there were some drivers who would not even acknowledge that I was doing the speed limit...
But that was Sprinting. What about taking longer rides? Not Racing, but rather a Touring Bike? I find that after twelve miles of riding, I get too tired to pay attention to what is both ahead and behind...
Other Cyclists may be in this situation. If we focussed entirely on what is behind us, we would not get very far, or crash into some obstacle in the roadway.
But I think we all sometimes fall into the habit of stereotyping , we remember, we are prepared to deal with, the "worst of the worst"...
The rear-view mirror is a relatively new invention, at least in terms of "Functionality", i.e. Optics and Ergonomics-"Applied Science", to eliminate the Blind Spot...
So, both by being a Human Road Cone, and constantly trying to remind motorists they have to go wider when they pass, perhaps the Cyclist in question is trying to protect other Cyclists, or has lost a dear friend to a motor vehicle...
I am Not sure, either way, I don't want to stereotype motorists, and I don't want them to stereotype cyclists.
But my current Theory, which I was just thinking about, is that the Cyclist is always prepared for the "worst of the worst" , Not using a Rear View Mirror, and focussing solely on the road ahead, he doesn't know who is coming up from behind , it could be the worst driver in the world (an *******...)
Too many motorists have startled cyclists , that is part of this theory. Now, the cyclists nerves are on edge. Too many motorists refuse to try riding a bike, "to see what it's like", probably because they figure, when they go to trial, they want to plead Ignorance. "Try walking a mile in the other guys shoes" ... "Do onto other as you would have others do onto you" ... The Golden Rule, is met by the response "I don't ride a Bicycle"...

My advice to cyclists is, don't let them get on your nerves. Get a Rear View Mirror, because that way, you won't be startled, which in turn keeps your nerves from getting frayed. The motorists aim is to get on your nerves, and then try to stereotype all cyclists as being "extremely edgy" . DON'T let the motorists startle you. Get the rear view mirror. I thought motorists were supposed to be instructed that a bicycle can do 30 miles per hour , ever since 1960, when the first ten-speed bicycles were imported from Italy. BS. Ask any motorist how fast a bicycle can go, he'll tell you "five miles per hour"... No one ever heard of the ten-speed bicycle.
I must bid adieu. Thank you for reading this."
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Old 04-05-15, 11:07 AM
  #209  
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A Tale of Two City Bikes
Hi, my name is James Donohue, I am an Aircraft Structural Engineer, living on Long Island. I tell people I build "Custom Bikes" , but maybe that term is misleading. I have talked to over ten thousand people during my 145,000 mile bicycle ride, and I listened to what they had to say. In order to bring a new Bicycle Design to the masses, we have settled on a Bicycle with a Step-Thru frame, traditionally known as a "Ladies Bike" . In order to make the Bicycle as sturdy as the "Mens Bike" , with or without the Top Tube missing, we had to increase the Diameter of the Metal Pipe. The Metal Pipe is the Backbone of the Bicycle! If the Pipe were too thin, the Bike would flex, and the rear-wheel would steer it's own course. So we increased the diameter of the Metal Tube, and the Bike is rigid and does NOT wobble.
Secondly, we have added a Cargo Carrier on the front of the Bicycle, which incidentally acts as a protective shield. The Cargo Carrier is a key part of the Bikes' Safety, and can NOT be removed.
Though only one Prototype was built on Long Island, in the 1990's , these key Safety Features appear on every Citi Bike in New York City. Every bike is IDENTICAL, all 12,000 of them... the complete Opposite of what one would expect from a "Custom Bicycle".
Both the Prototype and every bike in the Fleet would fit this description: "A Heavy Duty Ladies Bike with a Protective Cargo Carrier on the Front".
The Citi Bike program will be expanding from Manhattan and into Long Island City soon.
Please be advised that if you take a Citi Bike and do not return it within 24 hours, you will be forced to pay Twelve Hundred Dollars.

from an earlier post, 24 February, 2015.
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Old 04-05-15, 11:11 AM
  #210  
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I've just got to try to clue-you-in... Bicycles Traditionally do Not have Rear-View Mirrors. There is still NO law requiring a Rear-View Mirror on Bicycles. Cyclists (and people in general) do Not have eyes in the back of their heads... So, if you are going to drive a car faster than a bicycle, the cyclist expects You, to watch where You are going. Anyway, that's the traditional "hard line" stance, taken by many cyclists. It's more likely that the cyclist will Hear you coming, than to See you...
I think in the future many more bikes and vehicles will be equipped with GPS, WiFi , and/or RFID chips, and the cyclists will have little battery powered GPS devices which will ping when a car is approaching. And NO , I don't think it will be out of the price range of most cyclists.
3rd statement: Cyclists can ride on the white line, the "Fog Line" , as if it were a tight rope, and they were doing a balancing act... 95%+ of motorists do a Good Job of moving seven to ten feet to the Left when passing a bicycle, But there are some motorists who are "all over the road" as the saying goes... The cyclists nerves are on edge from the bad drivers... give them plenty of room.
4th statement: I don't completely believe in Bike Lanes... It would Suffice if there were a few good places for a cyclist to pull-over, to let traffic pass. There will be some stretches of road without enough width to pass a bicycle (if traffic is also coming the other way). Cities need Bike Lanes because Bikes move faster than cars in the city.


from an earlier post, 21 December, 2014.
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Old 04-05-15, 11:14 AM
  #211  
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Ohh, well, that changes the picture... If the motorist ran the cyclist over "on purpose" then it's a capital crime: Murder. I was laboring under the misapprehension that it was an "accident". (of course I'm speaking of bike-car collisions in general, and I realize this wasn't an actual collision, just a threat of one).
We all know there are motorists running cyclists over on purpose; that's why this is such a hot issue.

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/2014/12/17/staffer-suspended-threat-plow-cyclist-road/20553311/?fb_action_ids=790823220983777&fb_action_types=og.comments


from 20th December, 2014

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Old 04-13-15, 12:12 PM
  #212  
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There's plenty of room to get around a Bicycle. Did someone honk a car horn at a Bicyclist? Don't honk, it always causes trouble...


Today I would like to discuss the history of the bicycle. The very first Bicycles (1817)were made of wood and iron. It took a collaboration of carriage builders and blacksmiths to build a Bicycle. There were no steel mills, and welding had not been invented yet. The Engineering profession had not been established yet, either, and the only school that taught Engineering was the Military Academy at West Point , New York. The early bikes were pushed by the riders feet. The idea of pedals came later.


Then came the Highwheeler, (1861) a Bicycle with a huge wheel, and the pedals were connected directly to the axle. Gears had not been invented yet. The huge wheel was necessary to make the bike go faster; by going further with each turn of the pedals...


The Chain Drive Bicycle , with Gears, was invented in 1886. The chain and gear combination made it possible to go further, with each turn of the pedals, without needing the drive wheel of the Bicycle to be so huge. It was called the Safety Bicycle, on account that it wasn't so high that you'd hurt yourself falling off it.


Only wealthy people, like doctors and lawyers, could afford bicycles. The working class had to walk. Bicycling began in the cities, and the rides in the country were actually a myth, or some city based bicycle club rode out to the Hamptons one weekend...


The Bicycle Club of New Jersey used their influence to get Farm-to-Market Roads built. The farmers needed to get produce to the city, when the roads were too muddy to travel. Paving the roads was a great idea. The doctors and lawyers had more money than the farmers, and it was a win-win situation, the roads got built, and New Jersey became the first state with a "Department of Transportation" (1880).


Henry Ford was a Bicycle Mechanic. Then he started making bikes with four wheels and a motor. The four wheel things were called "Automobiles", and Ford was very busy making them. The early cars used the chain and gears drivetrain , same as had been used on Bicycles.


Orville and Wilbur Wright were also Bicycle Mechanics. They started working with "Alloy" Steel, which had other metals such as Chromium , Vanadium , and Nickel, which made the steel three or four times stronger; which in turn, made the bicycle three or four times lighter. Then the Brothers realized that it might be possible to make a machine that flies , and their invention became known as the "Airplane" ...


We don't know what kind of bicycles would have been produced had these notables continued to make bicycles. But they were very busy.


2


History of Bicycles, continued:


History of Bicycles, continued:


Today, the worldwide totals show that 25% of the people have a bicycle, 10% have a car, and everyone else has to walk.


Back in Europe, work continued on making a better bicycle. The "Ten Speed" Bicycle was invented in Switzerland in 1908. You would need the skills of a watchmaker to construct the shifting mechanism, and watchmaking is one of Switzerland's specialties. BUT, it took a long time for the Ten Speed Bicycle to be imported to the USA. It wasn't until 1960 that the first Ten Speed Bike appeared here. This became the basis for a Great Debate: with the Ten Speed Bicycle, it became possible for a Cyclist to achieve the speed of thirty miles per hour---In other words, it would be possible for the bicycle to do the Speed Limit , and it should be far less likely for the Cyclist to be struck from behind my a passing car... Prior to this time, it was thought by many that the Bicycle should go *against*traffic , like a Pedestrian...


Mass production of Bicycles lowered the cost of owning a Bicycle, so it became possible for the Working Class to own one. ... I should have mentioned- the whole idea of the Bicycle was to create a Mechanical Horse, and that a Sport, like Horseback Riding, would be popular, without having to feed, groom and take care of Horses, it would be a labor-saver...


Anyway, Mass Production made cheap bicycles for everyone. Previously , Bicycles had only been available to the wealthy. There are still those Bicycles that are hand made, though, and you'd better not assume that all bikes are cheap. While you can get a discount Bicycle for $217.95, someone else might have paid over $6,000.00 for a racing Bike... A person who is that rich doesn't even want to talk to you, so find another hobby...


A major influence on the development of the Bicycle is the International Cycling Union (UCI). They are the people who insisted that the handlebars be bent over, and that the rider hunch his back to get better Aerodynamics. Other Aerodynamic techniques were prohibited , Longer , lower Recumbent Bicycles were deemed to be "Cheating", because they go faster. Likewise, a Windshield , or "Fairing" . was also declared to be Cheating, because it helped the Bicycle go faster (1931).


In the 1980's , in Marin County California, the Mountain Bike was invented. The Mountain Bike has fat tires that can ride in the dirt, and growing frustration with inept motorists led many Cyclists to take-up off-road Bicycling.


In 1992, the Video Camcorder became widely available, and Cyclists started carrying these cameras... The saying : "A video camera is like a machine *** in a court room" became widely heard. Judges dismissed a lot of frivolous lawsuits, because the video tape showed the drivers were lying...


Today, most bicycles have 21 or 24 speeds, and the Ten Speed variety is an Antique. New Off-Road Bikes have wider tires, so they can run on sand or snow. LED Lighting is good on batteries, so many cyclists keep their lights on , even in daytime (which is a requirement for motorcycles, why not pedal bikes?). There are rear-view mirrors today which solve the "Blind Spot" problem, that led many motorists to startle too many cyclists. Which is why you shouldn't honk the horn.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:31 AM
  #213  
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I wrote this list of rules for a Bicycle Club in September 2009. It's (obviously) my opinion that the average person using a bicycle for transportation shouldn't be doing what he or she sees the racers doing...

1) You should have a bell on your bike to warn pedestrians. Shouting 'on your left!' is what the racers do when they leave the bell off to save weight.
2) Buy a rear view mirror for your bike. They have new mirrors now that mount to the handlebars with a Velcro strap, so you don't need to carry a wrench to keep it adjusted. When you see a car in your mirror, move as far right as possible.
3) Wear a reflective vest
4) Buy lights for your bike. Even in daytime, lights add visibility, especially if you are riding in tree shade or if the sky is overcast. Blinking lights are better for daytime use, steady light at night.
5) Buy a basket for your handlebars. Even if you don't carry anything, a basket will absorb impact if you crash. And you shouldn't carry a bag in one hand while riding a bike.
6) Stop and look both ways before crossing any street, even if there is no stop sign.
7) Stop and wait for cars and trucks to go by before pulling out at any intersection or driveway.
8) Do NOT exceed 25MPH. If you go faster than 25MPH, you are racing your bike, and if you still have the owners manual that came with your bike, the warranty says 'warranty void if the bike is raced'.
9) Wear Gloves. Cycling gloves are fingerless gloves to protect your palms if you fall off your bike. If you fall, you can break your fall by putting your palms down on the pavement.
10) Wear a helmet. I don't put wearing a helmet #1 on the list, because it's your last ditch protection after you fall from the bike. These other tips I gave prevent an accident, so you might not have to use your helmet.
11) Make sure the bike is the right size for the rider, and handlebars and seat are adjusted properly.
12) Make sure the bike has working brakes.
13) Stay on the right side of the road.
14) Insure your bike. Add the bike to your auto, homeowners, or renter's insurance policy.


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Old 10-10-15, 10:32 AM
  #214  
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Bacon?
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Old 11-04-15, 03:04 PM
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Crossing the railroad tracks, going downhill, and encountering a pedestrian. Glad to have 900+ Lumens of headlight.

Last edited by hotbike; 11-04-15 at 03:06 PM. Reason: wasn't finished
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Old 12-26-15, 11:08 AM
  #216  
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Nice job. All kinds of people ride bicycles. Not everyone can pedal fast enough to avoid the cars overtaking from behind. Others can indeed pedal at the speed limit, but certain drivers pay no heed to the posted speed limit (and these drivers are a problem for motorcyclists too).
Most drivers pass bicycles with seven to ten feet of clearance . I want to say that, before I say anything further. If every driver drove correctly , there would be no need for these Bike Lanes. These "Three Foot Laws" are a minimum, no driver would actually come that close to a bicycle, unless under the influence of drugs or alcohol... Three feet is more like a "Margin of Error", an extra three feet added to the distance from which you were thinking of passing the bicycle. The bicycle needs some room to wiggle or wobble.
For a long time, there was no adequate rear-view mirror available for bicycles. Then cyclists started carrying video camcorders. The next thing that happened was the sudden appearance of decent rear-view mirrors. Apparently, the camcorder was able to show the "blind spot", and this led to a correction of the problem. Still, to this day, there is no law requiring a rear-view mirror on a bicycle. Either the motorist is to be held one-hundred percent responsible for passing the Bicycles safely, or the state will have to build Bike Lanes; In this case, the motorists won, and the state had to build Bike Lanes.
But the point I was meaning to make, all kinds of people ride bikes, some young some old, some are novice riders, while others are pros. Some people ride for cardio vascular exercise , others are training for a Bike race, still others are riding because it's too far to walk but not too far to pedal- a bicycle generally goes five times the distance of a pedestrian...
But there are all types of people on bikes, I'm just trying to clue you in as to how some of them operate differently.
Some cyclists ( some drivers, for that matter) , have a better understanding of the Theory of safe driving... Like when you had to take a test, at the DMV, before you could even get an appointment to take the road-test, there was a multiple choice written test, do you remember that?
Here's an example of "Theory" versus "Imitation" ... A Cyclist is moving along at or near the speed limit, there is good visibility, he comes to a stop sign, he slows down, looks both ways and is prepared to stop , but there isn't any traffic, so he rolls the stop sign... The next cyclist (novice) doesn't quite understand the theory, but he follows by example, he sees another cyclist roll through the stop , so he tries it too, and BANG, he gets hit by a farm truck. The first cyclist looked both ways, that's because, in THEORY, a car or truck could be coming. The second cyclist only copy-catted the part where he rolled the stop sign, but didn't get the part about looking both ways...Oh, the farm truck won , btw...
I'm not advocating anyone to blow through stop signs, but let's take into account the bicycler is not in a sound proof booth, the bicycle does not stick ten feet out in front of him, the bicycle only weighs 1.2% of what a typical car weighs, and the bicycle can pull a sharp turn "right on red", and pull tight to the curb, where he's not blocking anybody. A Cyclist is taller, and in a higher position, for seeing over hedges and parked cars, and has no blind spots from roof pillars *.

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Old 01-01-16, 07:04 PM
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Revisions of the Bicycle Club Rules, or Safety Tips:

I'd like to share a few safety tips, since many kids have no doubt gotten new bicycles for Christmas , and their enthusiasm often exceeds their knowledge.
I have copied and pasted (below) some safety tips that appeared in my blog several years ago, and I'm making edits as I go:

I have some Safety Tips to share with the bicyclists:
1) You should have a bell on your bike to warn pedestrians. Shouting 'on your left!' is what the racers do when they leave the bell off to save weight.
•(Edit: The racing is over-hyped. There are other forms of Bicycling, including Touring, which involves carrying camping gear for long distance rides , coast to coast in 43 days... and there are people who ride Bicycles to work , Commuters, who may ride the whole way, or ride to the local train station, and some people need exercise to avoid death from heart disease or diabetes. Mountain Bikes are great for off road trails, but they can also be used on pitted asphalt. Bicycle Messengers deliver documents, but Cargo Bikes can deliver a refrigerator. As of December 31st 2015, there were ten-million trips on New York City's Citi Bike Rental Fleet...)
2) Buy a rear view mirror for your bike. They have new mirrors now that mount to the handlebars with a Velcro strap, so you don't need to carry a wrench to keep it adjusted. When you see a car in your mirror, move as far right as possible.
•(Edit: There always have been certain motorists who would operate on the theory that "You can get away with anything, as long as no one sees you." This relied heavily on an absence of a decent rear view mirror for Bicycles. In 1991, Cyclists started carrying Video Cameras , Camcorders, which revealed what was going on in the Cyclists' blind-spot... In a courtroom , photographic evidence weighs more heavily than testimony... and the cameras have shrunk in size since then. It is not uncommon for cyclists to have Video Cameras, either on their Helmets , or their Handlebars, to act as a kind of Black-Box Event Recorder, in the event of a crash...
.....There are some rear view mirrors available now, which are mounted outboard, or on the end of the handlebar, so that the cyclists view is not obstructed by his own groin/midriff. These mirrors typically mount with Velcro, so there is no need to cary a wrench.)
3) Wear a reflective vest
•(Edit: Reflective Vests are Mandatory for anyone who works in the road, such as Telephone, Cable guy, PSE&G, DPW, Highway Dept. Sanitation Workers, etc... It is actually Insurance Law, which means the Insurance Company won't pay out in the event of a Worker getting hit, unless he/she is wearing a Reflective Vest... Even though it is not a statute or civil law, and might seem unconstitutional...)

4) Buy lights for your bike. Even in daytime, lights add visibility, especially if you are riding in tree shade or if the sky is overcast. Blinking lights are better for daytime use, steady light at night.
•(Edit: As of this date , in 2016, LED - Light Emitting Diodes, have become the standard, due the the Efficiency , which allows the Batteries to last for hundreds of hours. Daytime use of Bicycle Lights is common now.)
5) Buy a basket for your handlebars. Even if you don't carry anything, a basket will absorb impact if you crash. And you shouldn't carry a bag in one hand while riding a bike.
•(Edit 5: I don't mean to plug my Invention, before it is available on the market as a Product, but it's a work-in-progress... We have proven that a Bicycle Basket can be made of Plastic, and be manufactured very much the same way as a Motorcycle Windshield, a.k.a. Aerodynamic Fairing, with a built-in Headlight... The Bike Share Fleet , Citi Bike, now features this Invention, which is both a Cargo Carrier and a Protective Shield.)
6) Stop and look both ways before crossing any street, even if there is no stop sign.
7) Stop and wait for cars and trucks to go by before pulling out at any intersection or driveway.
•(Edit 6&7: These rules almost sound the same, many people have told me they seem the same to them, But I should stipulate that Rule 6 refers to crossing the street, whereas Rule 7 refers to turning right and going with traffic. )
8) Do NOT exceed 25MPH. If you go faster than 25MPH, you are racing your bike, and if you still have the owners manual that came with your bike, the warranty says 'warranty void if the bike is raced'.
•(Edit 8: As of this date, the Governor has reduced the New York State Default Speed Limit , to 25MPH, in accordance with the Vision Zero Directive.)
9) Wear Gloves. Cycling gloves are fingerless gloves to protect your palms if you fall off your bike. If you fall, you can break your fall by putting your palms down on the pavement.
10) Wear a helmet. I don't put wearing a helmet #1 on the list, because it's your last ditch protection after you fall from the bike. These other tips I gave prevent an accident, so you might not have to use your helmet.
11) Make sure the bike is the right size for the rider, and handlebars and seat are adjusted properly.
12) Make sure the bike has working brakes.
Note to motorists: You should give at least three to five feet of room between the side of your car and the bicycle you are passing. If you motorists were more careful, we wouldn't need these bike lanes. Bike lanes cost taxpayers money, and ninety nine plus percent of motorists don't pass close enough to bikes to warrant building bike lanes.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
More Safety Tips:
Let's not forget; Stay on the right side of the road.
Wear a reflective vest.
Install lights on your bike and use them at night, or even on cloudy days, or if there is shade.
Get a rear view mirror, so you can see cars coming up behind you.
DON'T wear headphones, you want to hear cars coming.
I may be criticized for saying this, but DON'T always try to ride (race) at maximum speed. Take it easy, ride a little slower. You will have more time to react and can stop sooner. It is often better to pull over to the curb, stop, and let traffic go by, than to try to maintain the speed limit. Even if you can go 30mph, there are motorists who speed, so you can still get hit from behind. Keep an eye on the rear view mirror, and pull over to let Trucks and Busses go by.
Wear gloves in case you fall.
Make sure your shoe-laces don't get wrapped around the pedal spindle. Stop to tie your shoes. (Or wear shoes that close with Velcro)
7/13/2009 10:09:16 AM

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Old 02-07-16, 11:49 AM
  #218  
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Bike Lanes are a prominent issue. The League of American Bicyclists has been asking for Bike Lanes since 1935, that's eighty-one years ago, and some progress has been made, but much of that progress has been recent... Truth is, very few cars actually come close to hitting the bicycles. Most drivers pass the bicycles with enough berth to avoid arousing suspicions that the driver might be trying to hit the bicycle on purpose, or be trying to startle the cyclists, to make them jump. Really, the cyclists want to se some justice for the deaths and injuries they have suffered at the hands of a few errant motorists.
You can not mandate common sense. 99% of drivers pass the bicycles with enough room; the other one percent need special lines and arrows painted on the road to help them "Understand".
Most sporting cyclists ride until their blood-sugar drops, and they know when to turn around and go home before they pass-out. I believe this needs to be emphasized because the bicycle is almost out of power once it's passed the halfway mark on the ride. But probably very few cyclists are extreme endurance athletes anymore... Or , if I may speculate, the newer bikes have easier gear shifters, so that many riders are tackling a somewhat longer distance, even though they may be novices...Racing and Touring were the two main forms of Bicycling when I started biking in 1972. I got my first helmet in 1977, there were No helmets before then. You can't use what you haven't got...Rear-View Mirrors became available in 1994, any mirrors that were available before 1994 had a blind-spot, so the rider could only see his own groin/midriff , but Not the car directly behind him. Now many cyclists carry video recorders, but the footage is mostly uneventful, and we delete them , and reuse the memory card for the next ride...
My advice to the cyclists is to make yourself as visible as possible , using LED Lights both day and night, and wear a fluorescent reflective vest, meanwhile, check your rear-view mirror, not that you don't want to get hit from behind, but it's important that you don't let anyone startle you, lest ye may utter a few naughty words, which will give the motorist ammunition to escalate into a road-rage incident ... I'm just saying, keep-your-cool, don't let the driver bend you out-of-shape, or you'll look like you're in poor form...
But to get to my main point, I just wanted to say, as a cyclist myself, that I think it's okay for truck drivers to use the Bike Lane as a loading/unloading zone, I see it as a fair compromise. Some younger cycling hipsters may disagree.
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Old 02-13-16, 10:50 AM
  #219  
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KatieHonan



February 12, 2016

How would you like to see Queens Boulevard improved?



Bike Lane Among Safety Improvements Slated for Next Phase of Queens Blvd.ELMHURST - The city is moving forward with its next phase of reforming the "Boulevard of Death" into a safer street for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. A request for proposals was issued for fixes to Queens Boulevard from Roosevelt to Jamaica avenues, which will be similar to the work done elsewhere in Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City.
www.dnainfo.com



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  • james-donohue1m agoCyclists have been actively campaigning for Bike Lanes since 1935, eighty-one years... The pressure has really built in the last 40 years, (since 1975). You people complain about how we're spending your tax dollars, and yet you refuse to get on a bike yourself, do a brief inspection tour, and tell us what the problem really is... It's really a small percentage of motorists who have no respect for cyclists, and either fail to give enough room when passing, or deliberately crowd the bikes off the road. IF every bike carried a video camera, to record the plate number of the trouble makers, AND there was a follow-up by armed police officers to talk to the driver and see if the car is Legal, with license, insurance and registration, there would be NO cars crowding bikes off the road, and therefore No need to paint lines on the road , and no need to put up signs reading "Do Not Cross This Line"... 40 years ago a video camera costed $250,000 , a quarter of a million dollars, so it was deemed cheaper to build Bike Lanes. The steam-roller was set in motion, it's too late to stop it. BTW, today, you can get a video camera on Ebay for twenty bucks... That's all I have to say right now.
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  • phil1010



    22h agoVision Zero has no vision. I cross Queens Blvd. at least 4 times a day and I don't see enough bikes to justify the bike lanes. This is a waste of tax dollars.
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Old 02-22-16, 12:44 PM
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Neither a business nor a hobby, our bikes evolved as a series of prototypes, from an engineering school student project. The Design kept changing, nothing went into production . Tight budget, and , while other builders chose between a velomobile or a cargo bike, we've combined the best of the two. Extensive use of plastic and composites, the No-Weld method was used throughout the project, which extends from 1987 into the present.
Please feel free to peruse and enjoy the Bike Design Showcase:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/
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Old 08-04-16, 10:55 AM
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http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmotRVyNvLo

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Old 03-26-17, 10:27 AM
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Video from yesterdays ride. These motorists need to be more courteous.
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Old 04-01-17, 08:34 AM
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If the cyclist is only two feet from the sidewalk, that leaves at least seven feet of room to the left of the cyclist, where your vehicle can pass. It's important to scan ahead for other vehicles, not just the car immediately ahead of yours. It's also not always possible to get on a sidewalk, UNLESS there's a driveway apron, wheelchair ramp, or, as sometimes is the case, a spot where the curb is broken.
And it's important to remember that bicycles are not even allowed on sidewalks in downtown areas.
But to answer your question, there have been times when I've been forced to slow down, BUT, it was because of the driver BEHIND ME. As I was about to move LEFT, the idiot behind me looked like he was going to shoot by on my RIGHT, which would have endangered to Cyclist, who I was moving Left for.
Generally, when I ride my bike, 99% of drivers pass with seven to ten feet of clearance. I always move over for Trucks larger than 28,000 pounds, Buses , and Ambulances.
When I drive, I would say I always give other cyclists at least five feet of clearance. Maybe I should try to give more room , because I think other drivers give me more room when I'm riding... BUT , as I was saying, If I move too far to the Left, another car will come along and try to pass MY CAR on the RIGHT, maybe coming within Inches of the Cyclist.
When Driving on a four lane road, (two lanes in each direction) , the LEFT lane is the "Fast Lane". Slower Traffic Keeps to the RIGHT. Unfortunately , they don't teach this is Drivers' ed. anymore, it seems ...
Back to answering your question, When I see a Cyclist while I'm driving, I will first check my mirror and slow down ( I might have been going slightly over the posted speed limit. If I have to, I will put the four-way flashers on , and slow down to the same speed as the bicycle, and stay 75 to 200 feet back, to force the other drivers to move LEFT. This type of situation occurs maybe once or twice a month, in Cycling season. But It's Not the cyclists fault- it's on account of the drivers who don't know how to use blinkers, or that the LEFT Lane is the one that's meant for passing.
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Old 04-02-17, 11:34 AM
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2 Responses to "Bike-lane beef draws a crowd"


James Donohue
April 2, 2017
In my 149,000 miles of Bicycling, I’ve learnt a few things. I know from experience that 99% of Drivers pass my Bicycle with seven to ten feet of clearance. Bike Lanes were built to handle the “other one percent”.
I want to thank the 99% of drivers who pass properly. We all know about the “other one percent” .
When I first looked at the picture accompanying this article, I did think the Bike Lane was a bit wide, but then I read further and it says the speed limit is 45. Or, if it was lowered to 40, there will still be some drivers going 5 over, or 45 anyway. Given the speed, and the need for cyclists to go around debris and other bicycle riders, the Bike Lane might be a bit narrow in places . (I looked at the Google street view; there are parts of the Bike Lane that are narrower than the stretch shown in the picture).
Cycling as a Sport, and Bicycling as a form of Transportation are two completely different entities. Cycling is mainly taught as a Sport, by a Physical Trainer , a Gym Coach, or a Physiologist. Cycling requires many months of training rides, before any race. Speed is emphasized, and the number of gears the bike has is paramount. Timing of shifts is important, as is drafting in the aerodynamic wake of other cyclists, and any truck or van that may be passing by. Cyclists on training rides typically aim to ride about 60 miles in a day , in under two hours, without stopping. Any red lights or stop signs would make it difficult to do the 60 miles in under 2 hours. That is Racing. Enough about Racing-
Touring Bicyclists carry camping gear and are going hundreds or thousands of miles. Coast to Coast typically. Some do the Southern Tier one year and the Northern, following the Canadian border a year and a half later. Touring is still a Sport, but it’s quite different than Racing.

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James Donohue
April 2, 2017
Transportation Bicycling – When I started Bicycling in 1972, there were No Helmets (There were Helmets, but they were only available in California…) With the lack of Helmets, I campaigned to get Helmets. We couldn’t get Helmets on the East Coast, so I suggested we should wear Football Helmets, at least. “Whatever your for, I’m against it.”, must’ve been their battle cry. People were actually against Helmets at first. Nowadays , everybody says “wear a helmet” …
Tail Lights are important, but back before the LED Lights of today, a Tail Light would eat up batteries. Most people could only afford to have a headlight, because of the batteries going dead. You could Not rely on a Tail Light to stay lit, and if the batteries went dead, you wouldn’t know , because you couldn’t see it. At least with a Headlight, you can see when the Batteries die. Some Cyclists used a Generator for the Lights, instead of Batteries, But there were two drawbacks, 1) If you stopped, the Tail Light would go out, and you’d get hit from behind by a car, and 2) It wouldn’t work on “knobby” tires, you needed smooth-tread tires, which didn’t have any traction in mud.
Rear View Mirrors are great, but we didn’t have any until 1994. In 1991, Cyclists started using Video Camcorders to watch their rear. Then someone must’ve asked why they don’t just use mirrors? Someone figured out that there was a market for Bicycle Rear-View Mirrors, because if they are willing to spend $1,000.00 on a camcorder , there would surely be people willing to spend $40.00 on a Mirror, and save $960.00. Do some math, you’ll figure out how people make money…

Cell Phones are a great advantage for Cyclists, because it can be used to call the Police. Just dial 911 and report a drunk driver. Maybe the call will be ignored, but if 7 or 8 cyclists call 911, all reporting the SAME car, they will send some officers out looking…

My best advice is Pace Yourself. If you pedal all-out fast like the racers, doing 60 miles in 2 hours, you rely on your speed to prevent getting hit from the rear. The main problem is that one percent of drivers who show no consideration for anyone else , ingrates… They don’t appreciate the Effort being put into keeping a Bicycle moving at 30mph. And the cyclist is leaning too far forward over the handlebars to see the rear-view mirror, if he has one.

Get a convex Rear-View Mirror, and rely on the Mirror to keep yourself from getting hit from behind. Don’t rely on your own speed.
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Old 06-12-18, 09:16 AM
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The abstract principle of bicycling should be taught in high school. Understand the bicycle and you'll understand other concepts in mathematics and physics. Each turn of the pedals gives 5 turns of the rear wheel, now you understand mechanical advantage.
Bicycles should have rear-view mirrors IMHO, but that is one subject that almost never comes up...It is actually safer for bikes to mix with cars than to put them behind visual-blocks.
Today, any concerned citizen who bikes can obtain a video camera, and record license plates ; only a small fraction of a percent of drivers are causing any trouble for cyclists, it is silly , almost absurd, that we have to build bike lanes when enforcement would solve the problem.
But as for your opinion , I disagree. Bike Lanes should exist , but mainly on roads with speed limits over 35 MPH. Every road should have a sidewalk, and novice cyclists should ride on the sidewalk.
If I'm driving a bicycle, keeping an eye on the rear-view mirror, I can see trucks, buses, construction equipment and emergency vehicles that I need to move over for. I do that on my own accord, and no one is blocked or delayed by my bicycling.
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