Tag Archives: wishful thinking

Weather related slowdowns at mi Casa

And it’s not the kind of weather you might think. I woke up feeling like I just went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson because of the change in the weather since yesterday, which has included massive changes in the pressure and a frontal passage. This in turn has messed with my sinuses which in turn causes me to experience headaches that range from “mildly uncomfortable” to “somebody please shoot me”. It was so bad I couldn’t even get out of bed until after 1600 because it hurt to open my eyes, not the usual “my eyelids are glued shut” I experience later in the spring, but “the exertion of opening my eyes is more than I can handle” situation. Or in terms that fit the modern vernacular, I didn’t have the spoons to open my eyes. Using the muscles to open my eyelids was just too much pain.

So I can’t open my eyes or get out of bed for a while, what do I do when I’m not sleeping? Same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world build things in my mind. And of course what I build in my mind is also what I build in real life as I have the energy and funds for it, the Sprint-T. I had a bit of a dalliance with an air-cushion vehicle for a while, but that was merely a palate cleanser to keep my mental gears churning at full thinking power. Along those lines, the best shape for an ACV that doesn’t go at high speed over the surface is a circle because it has the highest ratio of enclosed area to support the weight of the vehicle to perimeter where the air can leak out and has to be replaced by the source of air used to create the cushion. Also it has the greatest stability for shifting loads like people getting on or off before settling down for the trip or moving around in the passenger compartment. One thing I also noticed was that when the speed forward exceeded a certain threshold the ram air pressure exceeded the pressure of the cushion needed to stay up the pump or fan could be shut down to save energy and reduce the costs for operation while the air is replaced by air coming in from the front. Obviously the speed of this transition was variable based on the size of the front of the air cushion and the size of the cushion. And I have already spent too much time relating my cogitation about the ACV and not enough about building the Sprint-T, IMHO.

One of the things I have been thinking about was getting the longest torque arm I can stuff in front of the rear axle, because longer arms have less-violent reactions to engine torque in both directions. This is also why I went to brake floaters to decouple brake forces from the torque arm and prevent wheel hop under braking. Well, if the torque arm is too short wheel hop can happen just from the engine resistance of compression which makes slowing down from speed dicey. So, I’m trying to figure out as long a torque arm as possible which is constrained by the front U-joint of the driveshaft and the end of the transmission tailshaft, which are determined by how far the engine is set back from the front axle. And this dimension is the major determinant of how much static load is on the rear axle, which is one of the things that sets the traction limits for the rear tires. See, changing one thing has a carry-on effect that changes dozens if not hundreds of other things. Or as Roseanne Roseannadanna’s father used to say “It’s always something.” And if you got that long-dead comedienne’s catch phrase you are officially old. But, yeah, a too-short torque arm can lift the back tires off the ground just from a too-rapid shutting of the throttle plate changing the torque from positive to negative, which can result in back tires that want to see what’s out in front as the wheels try to drive the engine instead of vice-versa. Now with the brake floaters a touch of brakes when slowing down generates forces that push the axle down against the torque reaction trying to lift the axle up, but I prefer to build a car that doesn’t always require pushing on one pedal or the other to keep the back end in the back. Which brings us back to fitting the longest torque arm that will fit in the car, or using a link between the torque arm and the chassis that doesn’t transfer forces when the driver is not pushing on either the go or stop pedals. The simple way to do this is with a chain instead of a solid link, and the most convenient place to anchor that chain is to the transmission mount crossmember.

Another thing is the mounting point for the forward end of the torque arm can’t be too far forward or back or the slip joint will either bottom out against the transmission or pull out of the transmission as the rear axle winds up or down against the torque arm. This is mainly due to the length of the torque arm as the axle’s fore and aft position is controlled by the swing arms that connect the axle to the springs and also the rest of the chassis.

And I had to take a break from the computer because a front literally came through as I was typing and my eyes started hurting so bad I had to quit and close the laptop and lie down on the recliner with Mrs. the Poet while she watched TeeVee. And while I was not writing I had a forced BIOS update take over the laptop. I’m hoping this does something useful to the computer like fix the microphone issue with the headphone jack. And we are continuing to get wave after wave of thunderstorms passing through that alternatively reduce and aggravate my headache, as the ambient pressure goes up and down. Right now the storms are past, but a few minutes ago the storm was raging on top of us and my face felt like cold crap. Seriously bad pain there. But now I’m much better with almost no discomfort, not even approaching the level of “pain” yet.

And this seems like a decent place to stop, there was a lot of information in the post, and a lot of words to convey that meaning..

Moving Bean Day to Tuesday, and the Feed

After the pain from yesterday I did not particularly feel like doing the beans and rice today. I mean I woke up with sore feet and a bit of a headache this morning, then had to deal with coffee that had been watered down because the tenant that does that woke up to her workplace being shut down because of the weather. Oh I forgot to mention the weather. Basically we woke up to find everything encased in sheets of glare ice, including the roads. Buses were not running and neither were the trains as the “scraper trolleys” that were decided upon as the cure for the paralysis caused by the ice last year have not yet been installed. Basically only emergency services and grocery stores are up and running “normally”. And everybody but me has been bundled up like they are about to assault the North Pole or something. I put a T-shirt on to fight the chill as just shorts and slippers was too chilly… Current thermostat setting is keeping my office at 62°F, which is nice for me but a little chilly for the other members of the house. Our outside temperature has been no higher than 27°F today. For the end of February in TX, that is on the chilly side. The good news is the spring bug hatching had already begun due to a couple of weeks of freakishly warm weather, if this cold snap holds for another 2 days we will have a very small amount of biting bugs all summer. So it isn’t like there is no up side to this weather.

Up first the DIYDoT the next town over takes bicycle infrastructure maintenance into their own hands, with the blessing of the city. Our First Trail Cleanup Day Was A Success Ho many times have people been forced to take street maintenance into their own hands because the city didn’t or wouldn’t do it? Why is it the DIYDoT is almost always deployed to make or maintain bicycle infrastructure? Congrats to the people that did this.

Another entry from the DIYDoT created a 40 foot long tunnel in the snow covering a major bicycle path so that bike commuting would not be disrupted. Boston cyclists built a 40-foot-long snow tunnel for commuting Admit it, given the chance you would have done the same thing, right? Because how cool (literally and figuratively) is it to ride through a huge tunnel in the snow?

NYC’s campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths from turning vehicles running into people crossing with the light in crosswalks hits a snag. Woman Killed In Queens Hit And Run Witnesses reporting in the comments section said the victim had barely stepped from the curb before getting hit.

A CT man takes a plea in the killing of a cyclist two years ago. New Milford man pleads guilty in Weston cyclist death This “person” tried to hide the damages to his car after the wreck but was not successful at the deception.

Continuing the theme of scum and ne’er do wells appearing in court over killing cyclists is this report from FL. 21-Year-Old Driver in Fatal Key Biscayne Bike Crash Appears in Court Another driver that tried to hide his crime after leaving the scene.

At the head of a long line of links from CA is our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Biking the Oscars, challenging helmet stats and a big jump in Santa Monica bike commuting That Boston bike tunnel link is in Ted’s report also, and one of the helmet follies links as well. Just saying because I recognized the links after I filtered my links.

Next up is one of those helmet folly links complete with the offensive cartoon Ted mentioned in his link. Should California cyclists be required to wear helmets? Studies from places that have mandatory adult helmet laws do not show enough of a decline in deaths from head injury to offset the increase in deaths from sedentary life styles caused by the decrease in cycling from the helmet law. On an individual basis there is a slight reduction on mortality caused by helmet wearing in wrecks under the 12.5 MPH design impact speed of bicycle helmets, figure out how many wrecks involved 12.5 MPH and below motor vehicles and you’ll have the exact number. So for the population as a whole helmet laws are a net loss, for individuals they are a wash. And people want them because…?

A little legal infrastructure from CA. Cyclists Rally To Raise Awareness About The Dangers Of Distracted Driving This is in reaction to the Milt Olin death nearly two years ago.

A little lifestyle news from CA. Tour de Ed rides through almond orchards from Chico to Durham That sounds like a beautiful ride, I wish I could be there for it.

Moving to Jolly Olde, the company that owned the truck that killed a woman last week in London was in the process of training their drivers to not kill cyclists. Unfortunately the driver involved in the fatal wreck had not yet gotten the training. Cyclist death plant firm had gone through training programme

On other legal infrastructure questions in the UK. The discrepancy between results of law-breaking and consequences for it are still being debated. Prime Minister to meet Purley cyclists’ fiancées and Prime Minister to meet fiancées of two cyclists killed in drink drive collision The “person” in question killed two people while driving at nearly 3 times the legal limit for BAC% and more than twice the speed limit with other drugs in his system, and only got 10 years in prison for it. Inciting people to kill will get more prison time in the UK than killing with motor vehicle.

A bit of lifestyle in the UK. Craig Armitage: Riders unite in farewell to Otley cyclist pal and beloved dad

And another bit of infrastructure bashing, there is a reason why I make the statement that stating UK infrastructure is crap infrastructure is redundant. Bradford roads branded “death trap” for cyclists I have seen third world roads in better shape than these, hell I have seen Roman roads thousands of years old in better shape than these.

Another ghost bike tribute in Jolly Olde. ‘Ghost bike’ roadside tribute on anniversary of cyclist’s death I long for the day when there will no longer be a need for ghost bikes because drivers won’t or can’t kill us any more.

Infrastructure in Oz. Cyclists call for Annerley Road safety upgrades after student death The cyclist was killed while stationary at a traffic light. That puts this in the category of “unavoidable by human cyclists”.

More Oz lifestyle. Cycling champion Anna Meares leads Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride this weekend

And a major dose of wishful thinking in South Africa. ‘EDUCATION WILL BOOST CYCLIST SAFETY’ Yep, it sure will, education and confiscating and recycling the vehicles used to commit road murders…

And thank [$DEITY], I have run out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet