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Author Topic: Bicycles  (Read 2420 times)

Paddy

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Bicycles
« on: August 12, 2015, 12:58:51 PM »
So, bicycle production worldwide has climbed rapidly over the last four decades, from a little over 20 million in 1970 to 130 million in 2007.

Not sure how usage compares, but this seems like a good thing (TM) in climate and health terms.  On the other hand, however, cycle use has dropped sharply in some key areas, particularly China.

ritter

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 06:19:30 PM »
So, bicycle production worldwide has climbed rapidly over the last four decades, from a little over 20 million in 1970 to 130 million in 2007.

Not sure how usage compares, but this seems like a good thing (TM) in climate and health terms.  On the other hand, however, cycle use has dropped sharply in some key areas, particularly China.

I love bicycles. There's just something about quickly propelling yourself through the morning fog or the afternoon heat. My situation has recently changed such that I can commute to work on my bike some. I'm much happier with the exercise and reduced fossil fuel usage. I try for 2-3 times per week, 20 mile round trip.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 07:47:53 PM »
I live on a "canopy road" (hilly, and narrow with no shoulder), so biking to work in the dark is not reasonable (with all those SUVs out there that exceed the old higher speed limits).  I'd love to bike the 8-10 km to work/food coop/place of worship, but it's too dangerous.

I so want to ride anyway...
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Neven

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 09:13:50 PM »
We just bought a sturdy, Dutch bike for our daughter's birthday:



My wife and I are planning to buy similar bikes for ourselves, but maybe one of them will be an e-bike (the most efficient way of transportation, better even than just a bike). That should really reduce the annual mileage of our car. But first we need to build a carport.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

A-Team

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 11:09:37 PM »
The bicycle is about the high point of western civilization in my view, with little to be said for a lot of technology that came later (other than the internet).  I have mine outfitted front and back with baskets that same dimensions as grocery bags and do all my shopping that way. (Though stores won't give out bags any more, you bring your own.) The bike is about 25 years old and the bearings, gears, and chains are still the originals. It could last a century or more.

The town here is rather flat and there are two 25 km dedicated bike paths that have no cars. I use less than a tank of gas during the 4 months of summer and could easily get by with an eCar2Go rental for getting garden mulch and so forth.

However few people here commute to work and the am/pm rush is terrible, with white collar workers driving into the town center and all the contractors and gardeners going the other way to fix the stuff the worker bees were too busy to fix as they went off earn money to pay all the repair and maintenance people for what they could have done themselves.

The other great oddity is SUV fleet in the supermarket lot. You would think we were in rural 19th century Alaska with rough bouldered tracks, axle deep in mud when they weren't frozen over with snow drifts. Whereas the roads here are all paved and it might snow once a year but there is a convenient bus right to the ski lift. So why 4wd on so many family sedans and is it really necessary to jack up all the pickups and put tow winches on the front end? The Chinese are right blame us for all our frivolous CO2.

Laurent

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 11:49:27 PM »
I think we have to quit cars.
I am still looking for something that could replace it.
The Dutch transporters are really cool for carrying the shopping stuff with an electric motor even more.
In France we are limited to 250 watts...a bit more should be better.
Sorry for the French but this year the winner traveled not far from 400km/day
You may not understand French but just check the bike :

An interview of Bernard :

I have encountered a front wheel bike, i like the idea, it must be efficient.
http://www.dbtrikes.com/
What does lack is something light to protect when it rains.

sidd

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 06:46:11 AM »
"The bike is about 25 years old and the bearings, gears, and chains are still the originals "

Do tell. who is the manufacturer ?

Pmt111500

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 07:03:05 AM »
Thanks for the thread, I realized I haven't got any photos of mine, so here's my bike. As maybe deduced, it's mainly for getting smaller amounts of groceries home irrespective of weather, though nowadays I don't much use it in winter, should get studs in front. Fatter than necessary tires for the occasional gravel roads are almost a must in Finland, as is the fixed light in front for seeing the occasional patches of ice. Distances here are pretty short so the 20k I can still manage almost daily is enough for me to get by.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 08:02:37 AM by Pmt111500 »
A quantity relates to a quantum like camel's back relates to camel's _______ ? (back, vertebra, vertebral tendon, spinal disc, paralysis)

A-Team

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 03:38:58 PM »
"The bike is about 25 years old and the bearings, gears, and chains are still the originals " Do tell. who is the manufacturer ?

No idea, that has all worn off. The bearings are sealed (no lubrication), wire cables to gears and brakes have had to be replaced. There would probably be some gain in efficiency with a new chain. However I primarily ride for exercise, quick errands and irritation avoidance (traffic lights, parking spaces) so don't mind if it is sub-optimal pedaling (spray on lube for longer rides). It is a low-end mountain bike so sturdier construction than a touring bike though I don't ride it off-road.

That is key, touring bikes sacrifice too much in strength to get the weight down. I don't want to ride fast, it makes near misses more frequent and more serious. Heavier construction keep wheels from getting out of true. The biggest issue is flat tires from roadway glass and blackberry thorns. I don't ride it in Tucson because of the tremendous sprawl, lack of bike lanes, geriatric drivers, and cholla thorns everywhere. Baskets front and back, though side paniers are really safer in keeping the center of gravity low with weight. Very dangerous to ride with a backpack.

People in this town will pull bike trailers, moving standard refrigerators and similar across town. I don't see a lot of Millennials ever purchasing a car. They are more urbanized to begin with and it is far cheaper to rent a car for the two week vacation than own one. I read somewhere that the average American male spends 30% of his lifetime income on car (resp. pickup) payments. Which accounts for zero net worth of so many people here.

Paddy

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 04:36:25 AM »
Good point regarding millennials. There's certainly been a drop in the proportion of young people learning to drive here in the UK (http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/14392512/big-drop-in-number-of-young-people-choosing-to-drive) and from what I've seen, many people who do learn to drive stop as soon as they pass their test, because of the costs of insurance etc, becoming functionally non-drivers.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 09:22:02 PM »
Electric -- and eclectic ;D  -- bicycles, at Burning Man. (Video)
http://electrek.co/2015/09/08/the-electric-bikes-of-burning-man-2015-video/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 05:42:52 PM »
200 years of the bicycle: Computer scientists electrify historic “dandy horse”

Date:June 7, 2017
Source:University Saarland
Summary:Small children still use a form of the so-called dandy horse, balance bike or draisine, which the inventor Karl von Drais first tested on a longer route on June 12, 1817. Now, about 200 years later, computer scientists are making the forerunner of the bicycle attractive for adults as well.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Bicycles
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 06:46:07 PM »
[quote The biggest issue is flat tires from roadway glass and blackberry thorns.][/quote]

I used to live in an area where 'sand burrs' would quickly flatten bike tires.  We switched to thorn proof tubes and the problem went away.

There are multiple ways to deal with the problem.  Thorn proof tires or tubes.  Liners that go between tube and tire.  And hiring a road-wala to run in front of you with a broom to sweep your pathway.