Category Archives: environment

Designing for riding…

Riding out to retrieve my wallet-type unit from work,  my mind did its divergent thing.  Yes, I want to design airbags for the back of a bike. Getting clocked in the rear is a serious fear for cyclists (the rationale behind riding against traffic — but just get a mirror!) tho’ the statistics say things like right hooks are more common.

I suspect, though, that the statistics they are a-changing. Hopefully the right hook stuff is decreasing with better engineering and education, etc. Unfortunately, with the sharp increase in distracted driving, the looking elsewhere and plowing into whatever is in your way would seem to be increasing.

I’d like the airbags to be able to be activated from the handlebars, as well as via collision.   I’d need a few more physics courses, but something shooting backwards would serve to propel the bike forward, which would decrease the relative speed difference between the SUV and me,. as well as providing padding.  Or perhaps forego the padding.  Do something creative with CO2 cartridges … that if the car were within a foot or so, would have an effect (so that if the rider just set the thing off it wouldn’t do something to actually cause a crash.   Of course, the James Bond version would have more creative features.

Then I was thinking of the folks who come down to the bike project who don’t know how to change a tire… or for whom it’s a painfully clumsy process. because of annoying little physical limitations.   THose bus bike racks are elegant and simple and industrial strength.  Could we figure out a tire fixing station like that? Maybe you’ll need a swipe card to get access. It could have a stand and then you move the little ratchety nut grabber unit (if you don’t have quick release) to help you get the wheel off… and a way to turn the bike around to get the other side… then separate the bike from the wheel which is on that ratchety thing, and a telescoping lever helps you get the silly tyre off the rim.   Then you put the tyre around the rotating light thingy that shines a bright light so if there’s a hole you’ll see the light through it (well, okay, that’s not likely to work, but this is brainstorming, okay?) and a little brushy thing will feel for resistance, too, and stop and go BING! if it hits an obstructing staple or chunk of glass.Then you put your used tube in the place for that and get another tube from the place for those, perhaps after sliding monetary units. YOu’ve got your sliding directions panels (no, they don’t have to be touch screen ipad stuff 😛 ) and you change the tube, use the industrial strength lever to get the tyre back on the rim, and… get that bad boy on the bike and head back out.

It’s like self serve at the grocery, it’ll take time… and, welp, the app killer would be that like the grocery store you probly need somebody there to help.   But… worth thinking about…

And yea, I want the spritzer to decorate the sides of the crs with cell phone users with something highly visible.

Doom or Possibility?

Can I get an Amen?

bike free 2

It’s dusted snow outside here near Charm City but I’m inside and contemplating the effects of living where/when you Don’t Go Outside Much.   Going out and BEING ON THE PLANET for an hour a day, every day… gives a radically different perspective than when you get up, dress for your office, hit the remote towarm up your car, go to your garage, get in your car, have that automatic door release your capsule into the “outer space” of the open air, and heaven FORFEND if you can’t park within a few feet of the door of your daily destination, but if so you’ve got the gear and it’s like a space walk.

No wonder people don’t see what’s happening to it.

How much of our sensory input is put through how many filters?

“lazy” weekend

Saturday was stormy, tho’ what with cruising to the postponed Art Gallery ride adn then to Playing it Safe adn then back and forth to get forgotten blender elements and then to Crane Alley, I had 17 miles on the odometer.   The blender was a flop at Playing it Safe, primarily because there was essentially No Ice To Be Had, and I hadn’t purchased any.  In hindsight, I should have made one mre trip out to ye olde gas station and made myself popular.

Sunday was Father Tom’s 50th anniversary of his ordination.  Family were there, friends were there, folks I know in other contexts were there, and the church was packed with overflow in the upstairs choir loft.  Korean, Mayan, Guatemalan, Midwest U.S…. many subcultures present and accounted for.  Much much much singing.

Had GPS for most trips but not church, which was probably a good thing ’cause I might have stuck it in the red bag that I left there, which I heard was making the rounds in someone’s arms seeking its owner, but I was never close enough to the person who’d picked it up… but since it only has the keys to the bike club mailbox in it, and I *think* only one of ’em, not both, I’ll get by. Tonight I’ll see what the GPS says about the Monday ride. I had a brief nauseous moment when I thought I’d left it on the bike coming in to work, since our student worker met me as I came in… but it wasn’t there… but no, I *had* taken it off and dropped it in my bag.  I *think* my fundamental obsession with the numbers will facilitate that habit, but that is the One Thing I Really Don’t LIke about the thing.  Couldn’t they have installed a butt-on-the-seat sensor that would make it leap from its holder into my arms when I got off the bike?


Hard to be when people are posting long contemplatives on their blogs… I’ve figured out a few fun features with the Garmin – yes, it really does know when I’ve gone ’round campus (I wonder what happens if I am in the other lane, though; how close to exactly the same spot do I need to be?) and counts it as a “lap” – which had taken me 7:25; I’ve done it in under 5 so yes, I was more than sluggish.

Had my automatic smile back this a.m. and tried to race the Brown bus in, after watching the driver basically run the stop sign on Sixth, to the honking dismay of the driver on Sixth who had the right of way.  Hope that the construction eventually gets DONE enough to get through town again.  Wish that bike traffic were even considered when they planned construction (as in, figure out alternatives and put signage out there — bike detour signs).

Wonder if people are, like, *bothered* by the environmental carnage more than before it was a little more visible.

No Pelican Died

… to fuel my ride.

Ya know, drivers often assume cyclists feel superior and self-righteous… but whatever happened to valid righteous indignation?  People have assumed the role for their own agendae so often that “righteous indignation” has connotations of manipulation or immaturity.  That shouldn’t be. I’m just sayin’ .

SLightly tangential, but Harry Potter has gone a tad green … will be printed on varying degrees of recycled paper. To wit:,77461.shtml#