Cycling

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sinewav
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Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

Phytotron wrote:Like I said earlier, you have not only the same rights, but the same responsibilities of automobiles when you're on the road. You can't expect drivers to treat you appropriately if you don't follow the rules yourself.
Yes. I'm totally immature in that sense and it's something I need to work on. I have never grown up in that sense. I'm still that obnoxious 10 year old riding my bike on lawns, park benches, parked cars... Ok maybe not the last two anymore, but I do act like a total dick. In the city I'm much more respectful and responsible. But I'm in the suburbs right now and I guess all the open space has gotten the best of me. The only thing that's stopping a total regression is lack of a coaster brake, haha.

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Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

Phytotron wrote:But as far as the video, I just meant the visual and audio. Zip!
Bad by association. ;)
Phytotron wrote:
I still have that habit of never sitting down on the bicycle seat when I ride though (and getting off before I've come to a stop).
Heh, I only stand up when starting out, but yeah, almost always hop off before it has stopped completely.
For some reason I started swinging my leg over the top tube before stopping, in the not too distant past. But I hardly ever stand up. Interestingly, I don't seem to need it as often as other people either. I can climb or get up to speed seemingly effortlessly while it's very tiring to look at (and wait for!) them, at similar gearing. What makes this huge difference? Maybe mostly strength, but I'm incredulous at the magnitude of the difference.
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Phytotron
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Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

sinewav wrote:Yes. I'm totally immature in that sense and it's something I need to work on. I have never grown up in that sense. I'm still that obnoxious 10 year old riding my bike on lawns, park benches, parked cars...
Will I still hop on my bike and ride around town? Yes!
But I'm in the suburbs right now....
Oh, you didn't say it was the suburbs. That's different. Screw them, heh.


I have relatively strong legs and good technique, both with the bike and my bod, and a proper size bike, but I still tend to lift my butt up off the seat at the start, at least when I'm wanting to get up to speed more quickly—especially amongst traffic. It's also rather hilly around here, so even in a low gear it can take some extra oomph to get going.

Hey, even Olympic racing cyclists start out (or do their sprint to the finish) standing up. :P 'Course, the track cyclists use fixed-gear bikes, but yeah, road cyclists too.

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Lucifer
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Re: Cycling

Post by Lucifer »

I stand when I launch. I didn't used to do that on a street bike (but always did on a bmx bike, of course, but I was that nerd who used a bmx bike as a commuter and not a stunt bike). More recently I learned why you shouldn't do that, because it'll wear out the bearings in the pedal assembly.

Then I said "You know what? **** it. I'd rather replace those bearings every now and then then have to struggle from a sitting position to get started. There's a reason electric motors have maximum torque when they first start, it's because they stand on their pedals!"

It took me a little while to gain control from that position, but now I've got it. I don't stand on hills, though, like I used to. Because I've learned gearing better. :) I think I used to ride my 10-speed like a 2-speed, now I ride my 18-speed like a drag racer. :)
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sinewav
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Re: Cycling

Post by sinewav »

I think the reason I stand when I ride is because it's an "alert" position. Need to stay on guard from idiot drivers.

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Re: Cycling

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Hmm. I tend to beat cars during the initial acceleration. If someone really tried in a powerful car they'd win, but the fact of the matter is most don't. They take a little longer to notice the green light, fiddle with their clutch, shift to second gear, etc., whereas I just apply some power and get going. Usually I start in a gear appropriate for 20 km/h or so, because it only takes a few moments to shoot past 20 again anyway.

I should remind you that this place is flat and then some. Your typical Dutch cyclist will complain about the occasional 5-meter climb. On a steep incline I'd shift down some more, and cars would additionally be fiddling with their parking brake. Maybe I'd stand up, I don't know.
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Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

Lucifer wrote:There's a reason electric motors have maximum torque when they first start, it's because they stand on their pedals!
There's the metaphor I was looking for. :)
Jonathan wrote:...fiddle with their clutch, shift to second gear...
Still have a lot of people with manual trannies in the Netherlands? Actually, I think I knew that about Europe. But, using parking brakes on inclines, too? I've driven a clutch almost my entire life, but never had to employ the parking/emergency brake to prevent (meaningful) rollback on a hill. Some really underpowered cars or inexperienced drivers. Slip that clutch!
I should remind you that this place is flat and then some.
Yeah, that's why I went back and made the note about hills. It ain't exactly San Fran, but there's a reason why several areas of this city have "Hill(s)" or "Knob(s)" in the name, and that the area in which we live is called the Highlands. Both rolling hills—including large ones entailing smaller rollers—and steep inclines with plateaus/valleys abound. In the broader city (which now includes the entirety of the county) there are some large flatter areas, too. Rather varied topography here. But the areas of the city we frequent are almost exclusively hilly. Keeps ya fit.

If you're at all interested, here's a nifty forum post about Louisville's topography and history of development around it, though photos included don't really demonstrate the hilliness: Louisville Explainer I: The Landscape (lotsa maps, for geography geeks only)

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Re: Cycling

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Phytotron wrote:Still have a lot of people with manual trannies in the Netherlands? Actually, I think I knew that about Europe. But, using parking brakes on inclines, too? I've driven a clutch almost my entire life, but never had to employ the parking/emergency brake to prevent (meaningful) rollback on a hill. Some really underpowered cars or inexperienced drivers. Slip that clutch!
Manual transmissions are ubiquitous. Automatic is available as a luxury, but clearly not all that popular. Why have it? Just another instance of divergent would-be common sense.

Actually I don't know about the parking brake. There are too few inclines to tell, let alone steep ones. Which does mean people would be inexperienced if they came across one. ;)
Phytotron wrote:Yeah, that's why I went back and made the note about hills. It ain't exactly San Fran, but there's a reason why several areas of this city have "Hill(s)" or "Knob(s)" in the name, and that the area in which we live is called the Highlands. Both rolling hills—including large ones entailing smaller rollers—and steep inclines with plateaus/valleys abound. In the broader city (which now includes the entirety of the county) there are some large flatter areas, too. Rather varied topography here. But the areas of the city we frequent are almost exclusively hilly. Keeps ya fit.

If you're at all interested, here's a nifty forum post about Louisville's topography and history of development around it, though photos included don't really demonstrate the hilliness: Louisville Explainer I: The Landscape (lotsa maps, for geography geeks only)
I see, although it doesn't mean much to me. It's hard to imagine what it's truly like when all you really know is this flat monotony. Maybe I should explore other countries some more.

Re standing up, I think I do nearly do it quite often. Just about enough power to lift up from my seat, but otherwise maintaining a sitting position. That feels like enough somehow. It certainly is when I ride with others (typical people, not sportspeople). They will stand up and I will complain about having nothing to do, remaining firmly seated a little ahead of them. Although obviously, if you start from the ground (and do it correctly: not having your saddle too low or starting like your bike is a kick scooter) you will be standing on the pedals. I mean from the ground as in not holding a pole while remaining seated. That would account for an initial burst of rapid acceleration.
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Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

That's a really stupid bike, though.
That's a really stupid bike, though.
The best way to stay safe while biking is to stay visible to those you share the road with. And while concepts for laser-based systems that create a highly visible virtual lane around your bike have existed for years and years, they’re finally real (and cheap!) now.

A Korean company called Slancio makes this rear safety light that includes a requisite set of flashing red LEDs, but also a pair of lasers that produce a thin set of lines on the road on either side of your bike. Not only do they add to your visibility at night, they also create a safe space around your bicycle that most drivers and other riders will subconsciously stay clear of. It’s a brilliant idea that’s made all the more amazing with a $20 price tag that makes these a no-brainer upgrade for your ride.

You can purchase this product here.

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Re: Cycling

Post by Z-Man »

Aww, too bad such systems are illegal here. Probably. I didn't bother to check, but... yeah, lasers.
Scratch that. Good that such systems are illegal here, considering how many idiots blind you because their front lights are set to shine too high.

And that's not a stupid bike. It looks like it's one of those that fold down to the size of a small suitcase. Those things are really handy for bike-train-bike-commuters.

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Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

Yup, folding bike.

The laser lane would probably be illegal over here. The law is very strict on the lighting a bike should have (although it's subject to change, as with indicator lights being allowed now), and something else may apply because of the lasers. No more than this and that, and no flashing. Which I think is generally a good thing where bikes are mainstream, making them instantly recognizable. But then the roads are full of ninjas who get away with not using lights at all. The converse is true for car drivers on dark roads, who love to blind you with their high beams (not as many, but you're bound to encounter a few). Also not allowed. Ugh!

I was wondering if you can't just mount a barcode scanner or two on your bike?
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Re: Cycling

Post by Phytotron »

I didn't even think of the legality of the lasers. No idea how they would fly over here, and I'm sure it would vary from one locale to the next. Are you allowed to use laser pens to play with kitty cats?
fold-up bike
Ah yeah, could be, and if so, retracted. But it's also a style, like those made by Moulton. They have their proponents, too, of course.

Speaking of fold-ups, reminds me of those those designated driver companies that will drive you home in your own car, driving themselves around on folding scooters they stow in your trunk. We have one here called CityScoot.

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Re: Cycling

Post by Lucifer »

As far as I know, those lights are legal in the US.

Also, the group that does the scooter thing in Austin is a non-profit, I think. It's volunteers that do the work.
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Re: Cycling

Post by Z-Man »

Phytotron wrote:Are you allowed to use laser pens to play with kitty cats?
I suppose so. It's also probably legal to mount those laser lights on your bike, legal to turn them on while you are on private property, legal to drive around in public with them turned off. You just can't have them turned on while riding on public roads, because precisely at that point, the wrong lights can turn into a public hazard. For road use, we have an "illegal unless explicitly specified otherwise" system.

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Re: Cycling

Post by Jonathan »

That would also apply here.
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