Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Just back from an experiment, and the Feed

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that I like to tinker with electric assist for bicycles. Well most of my experiments were built as bicycles first with assist added as well “assist”, a little something extra to make the ride a little easier. What I’m working on now is something different, more along the lines of a “Bionic Bicycle” that rides like a bike but has so much power that easy pedalling can make the bike do 20 MPH just about anywhere. It’s still a bike but when you select assist (by holding a button on the handlebars) your pedalling motion acts like pushing the gas pedal in a car. Want to go faster? just pedal a little harder. Today I was simulating what happens when you forget to charge the battery and run out when you still have miles to go before you get home. I loaded some junk in the buckets on Blue and put him in the 20 MPH gear and just left it there. The bike I’m simulating is single speed and weighs about 50 pounds empty so I had to carry about 20 pounds of ballast to make Blue weigh the same with all the other stuff I have on him. The trip was to a grocery store about 5 miles away to get some refrigerated food and carry it home before it thawed. Well, I won’t lie, it was strenuous to say the least. While having a single speed and adjusting motor output based on pedal pressure made sense for the powered assist portion of the ride, when the power goes away it makes riding a pain. Interestingly enough I saw a similar increase in average speed for the route that I noticed when I was riding the same gear as part of my training for drag racing, but that was riding a bike that weighed 20 pounds less and also had less aero drag and was over a much flatter course. But like I wrote earlier when the battery dies on this bike you had better be close to home on flat ground because it will be a miserable ride home, if the experimental simulation is anything to go by.

Up first a couple hundred miles east of the Suburbs of Hell a kid rides out into traffic, Lufkin boy on bicycle seriously injured in wreck with vehicle also Boy injured in bicycle wreck to undergo surgery Intersection wreck, driveways are intersections too. Intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A CO woman is charged with multiple crimes in a hit-and-run on a cyclist. Lakewood woman charged with DUI in hit-and-run that nearly killed cyclist Since all I have to go on was the picture of the weapon vehicle with the left front corner and the right side windshield collapsed. Given a wreck location that was near an intersection this could be a left turn from a cross street in front of the cyclist. That would be a variation of normal intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent, including making DUI impossible.

Another wreck with a SUV in CO. Cyclist Hit, Killed By SUV In Arvada Intersection wreck, intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent. There is a question about the cyclist’s BAC%, don’t ride drunk…

An intersection wreck in CA. Teen cyclist critical after being hit, dragged 50 ft. by car in Rancho Cordova The intersection in this case was the driveway from the train station, and the cyclist was pulling into the main road when he was hit. Intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

More on the SWSS wreck of a cyclist in CA. Cyclist Killed in Peninsula Crash Still blaming the cyclist for being there to get hit rather than a driver that was passing way too close. More One Dead in Burlingame Bike Collision

Another bike wreck in CA with nearly no information in the link. MORENO VALLEY: Teen killed in bicycle crash About all I can tell is the wreck happened in an intersection and they blame the cyclist. Intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Another wreck as a cyclist tries to avoid running the red and does an endo. Cyclist injured in flip over handlebars at Santa Rosa intersection Trying to watch too many things at once and loses focus causing the sudden stop when the light changes. Intersection protocols to prevent and fix the infrastructure to prevent.

From the Great White North, the murderer of a cyclist gets to tell his side of the story after he was never prosecuted for the state to tell the victim’s story. Michael Bryant’s book met with anger from slain cyclist’s father, police The lying son of unmarried parents continues to lie. He was caught on video hitting Darcy Allen Shepard from behind and then when Shepard gets up from the road to call him on the behavior Bryant tries to run Shepard over with his convertible. Shepard is seen grabbing the side of the car where Bryant tries to knock him off the car by driving into planters, light poles and a mailbox. Bryant them leaves the scene of the assault. All of that is caught on video from security cameras stationed all along the street/scene of the crime.

A SWSS cyclist in the Great White North. Cyclist suffers serious injuries Note the classic SWSS narrative. Hit from behind, use the hit-from-behind protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Another GWN wreck. Cyclist Injured In Cambridge All I can tell about this wreck is it was in an intersection, so intersection protocols to avoid, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

Closure of a kind for a UK wreck. Custodial sentence for 20-year-old motorist who killed cyclist on Lancashire road The driver got a little over a year and a half in jail for killing a person with a known deadly weapon…

Infrastructure! from CA. Cycling Injuries, Fatalities Underscore Proposed New Law The comments… If you can’t pass a cyclist because you’ll hit another car head on, DON’T PASS THE CYCLIST! it isn’t safe to pass there.

Really stupid infrastructure news from the GWN. Councillor proposes cycling ban on west-end street after fatal accident So instead of fixing the street just ban bikes? How about preventing rapes by banning women from going out in public while they’re at it?

And really late, those are all the links that gave me fits. Also my computer gave me fits because of the browser locking up and crashing, which is a big part of why this is so late today (tonight).Billed @$0.02, Opus

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I can make a difference, but I ain’t got the $$

I have been in discussions with the City Council here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell about the way people “drive” around my bicycle in particular and mentioned that if I had cameras and a transmitter then GPD could make a freaking fortune just off the tickets they could write on my regular ride to church where I get at least one and sometimes two illegal passes every trip, not to mention all the drivers that run the stop sign I’m stopped at. When the guy on the cargo bike pulls up before you do you had better wait until the guy riding the cargo bike actually leaves the stop sign before you go. I mean seriously if you can’t wait the full second I spend doing a track stand on a crank-forward comfort bike before you leave you are in way too big a hurry. And way too many drivers don’t wait that long. I mean I push it on the lower bounds of what actually constitutes a “stop” at a stop sign, but these fools don’t just cross the line they do a running broad jump over it.

So what does all of that have to do with the headline? I think I have mentioned that here at WoaB World HQ “We be P’ ” as in too impoverished to afford to buy a vowel. Obtaining a single camera of high enough resolution to be used as evidence in a court of law is outside my budget. To do the job right requires at least 2 such cameras and either a high capacity SSD, or a transmitter that would allow a LEO to watch the violation from cover and use a squad or motor to catch the driver and write a ticket. To be able to write a ticket from video LEO need to be able to read the license plate from a frame grab as the act is taking place on camera. To be able to make the ticket stick there needs to be a timestamp on every frame of the video record. As most of the idiots I see endanger my life or the lives of others (the guy on the sidewalk as the car was driving on it to pass me last Saturday), they can add aggravating circumstances to make the job worthwhile from a labor costs perspective. So you can see this needs to be an expensive setup. I would need cameras front and rear with a field of view that would cover both sides of the bike because I get stupid from all sides when I ride. A helmet mount would catch the events that take place while drivers are alongside the bike (Blue is a rather long bike and covers a lot of ground for an almost-upright bike). Plus the high-capacity recorder or a high-bandwidth transmitter (3 HD quality cameras use a lot of bandwidth or storage no matter how you slice it) and a battery pack that will provide juice to all those watt-hour hogs for long enough to make a difference

The thing is to do this I have to supply the equipment myself. Yeah, that’s going to work, right? So, if any of you out there has an “in” with a video camera seller that can provide that list drop them a line and tell them they would be doing a Mitzvah sending it out to the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. If you need an addy leave a comment with an e-mail where I can get in contact with you.

PSA, Opus