Daily Archives: April 18, 2011

Hand-crafted blogging goodness for your pleasure, and the Feed

Continued from yesterday’s post, I got a ride in at night with the Cateye EL 530 and the 9 LED light in combination. With fresh batteries in both lights the 9 LED isn’t even visible in the splash from the Cateye, and that’s just the splash light not the hot spot in the center of the pattern. I’m sure the beam pattern of the EL 530 has been hashed to death but for the benefit of those who don’t frequent bicycle headlight blogs (there are blogs for just about anything you can think of, yes, that too) the beam from the 530 is symmetrical on both x and y axis with a bright flood and a very bright hot spot in the center. Unfortunately about half the light is wasted on lighting trees and whatnot overhead, and to get the hot spot in a useful place on the road you lose the benefit of having a very bright narrow beam lighting up distant objects down the road. Anyway, the hot spot from the 9 LED light can only be picked out from the splash of the Cateye by turning either light off and on and looking for the change in light levels. By comparison the 9 LED light is good for being seen, when it works. Now in comparison to the 117 LED light that I’m still working on, the beam pattern of the Cateye light puts less of the light it has on the road. The proof of the pudding is going to be how much light the 117 LED light has to put on the road. On that light, I had an evil thought. While I was trying to find the focal length of the lenses I’m using I was working with a single LED with a round, flat emitter that focused into a very small spot on the wall. What if instead of placing the LEDs behind a beam guard I put them on a frosted transparent plate in the shape of the beam I want at the focal point of the lens? In other words get a piece of clear plastic and lightly sand one side, cut the tops of the T1 3/4 cases of the LEDs and glue the LEDs to the plastic in the shape of the beam I want to project? The light would only be about half as long as it is now (about 5″ compared to 8″) and there wouldn’t be any light wasted behind the beam guard, hmmmm.

Deciding what to put first was a dilemma today, as there was nothing that really demanded attention. So defaulting to the distance rule we have to start with an update to the GA hit-and-run of a school teacher commuting by bike. Hit-and-run bike crashes highlight need for caution One thing I question is the statement at the end of the article that installing a bike lane costs “$2.5 million per mile on urban roads” when the lane/mile cost for interstate highways is only $10 million or so. Does paving a 4 foot strip next to the roads really cost $2.5 million per mile? Or is he conflating the entire cost of the road into that 4 foot wide lane?

Next link is a cryptic report from the West Canuckistan. Cyclist dies in crash with semi Not much to go on here, cyclist, semi, dead cyclist with nothing about how the 2 got together. Given that the story was posted 2 hours after the wreck, information was probably in short supply.

A Chinese cyclist jumps out of the way as a semi overturns on the place where he was riding. Semi overturns at busy intersection in China You can see the cyclist waiting to cross the intersection next to the curb by the crosswalk. This cyclist exhibited good situational awareness as first he stopped when the light turned amber and he knew he couldn’t clear the intersection before red, and second as he bailed from the bike when the semi started tipping over. Remember a person on foot is faster than a person on a bike for the first 10-20 feet, and that’s if the bike is pointed in the right direction. If you see something like this coming at you drop the bike and RUN!

In Israel a cyclist is hit by a distracted/drowsy driver, so naturally the call is to get cyclists off the roads. MK calls to ban bikes from high-speed roads Since there were no skid marks it’s impossible to prove where the cyclist was on the road immediately prior to getting hit, which this legislator sees as license to ban all cyclists. TANJ!

Moving on to LifeStyle articles up first of those is a report on last weekend’s MS150 bike ride from Houston to Austin. Thousands complete BP MS 150 bike ride from Houston to Austin This ride goes right by the CMA land in Southeast TX, during the spring festival. A couple years ago the second day of the ride was cancelled as rescue efforts were underway to get campers out of the festival area as the bridge to the camping are was under about 15 feet of flood waters. Ahh, good times! >snerk!< 😉 The cancellation had nothing to do with our festival, it was just raining that hard.

And last report, the former motorcycle racer that suffered a career-ending spinal cord injury finishes his bike ride to raise awareness and $$ for victims of spinal cord injury. Jimmy Button cross-country bike ride gives inspiration I understand he wasn’t impressed by TX roads…

And that’s all the news that gives me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus