Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling

Road Conditions: Rt 376 Brush Clearing

This might have had something to do with my email and followup from the Dutchess BPAC leader, all with absolutely no feedback:

Overgrowth/Rt 376 SB - cropped overgrowth - 2016-10

Overgrowth/Rt 376 SB – cropped overgrowth – 2016-10

To judge from the shattered stems lining the route, NYSDOT positioned an articulated rotary mower vertically and ran it along the guide rail, cutting the Japanese knotweed more-or-less flush with the rail, then cleaning up most of the debris. Absent glyphosate treatment, the bushes will return in full force next summer.

Even though the disintegrating pavement isn’t any more rideable than before, not having weeds brush our elbows and grab for our eyes makes for a much more comfortable riding experience; now, we’re set for the peak Halloween-to-Groundhog-Day riding season.

As NYSDOT says: “Maintaining roads goes far beyond the edge of the pavement.

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More Kickstand Plates

Having recently left the last of the kickstand plates somewhere along our route, I bandsawed, belt-sanded, and Forstner-drilled a new set:

Kickstand plates

Kickstand plates

The slightly rectangular shape extracted four plates from of a scrap of 3/8 inch plywood, with almost nothing left over. The fourth plate had already found its way into the under-seat bag by the time I thought of a picture.

My can of fluorescent red paint having lost its mojo since the most recent application, these shall remain unpainted forever more; as even forget-me-not red seems to have little effect, that may not matter.

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Running Lights

New Cadillacs have thin white LED running lights along the front edges, with angular chromed trim below:

Cadillac running lights

Cadillac running lights

Their SUVs have matching vertical-stripe taillight / markers; it’s obviously a stylin’ thing. If it weren’t for the power, I’d run LED strips along the edge of the fairing & seat frame on our ‘bents.

Probably due to having read Glory Road at an impressionable age, those lights always remind me of Heidelberg dueling scars:

Adolf Hoffmann-Heyden -- Dueling scar

Adolf Hoffmann-Heyden — Dueling scar

Cannot be unseen…

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Sharing the Road on Raymond Avenue: Impatience

We recently had one of those rare “Get the fuck off the road” incidents on Raymond. To set the stage, we’re on our way for groceries and I’m towing the trailer.

The rear view shows the second car behind us veering far to the right side of the lane, trying to see around the car ahead of him, with much blowing of horn:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 1

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 1

The big GMC had been following us at a reasonable distance from the Juliet roundabout as we trundled along Raymond at about 12 mph, riding out of the Door Strike Zone for well and good reason.

The GMC passed us at the end of the median, which let the impatient driver zoom up next to us. You can’t hear the horn that will blow as he pulls up next to me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 2

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 2

Our usual route takes us into Davis St, so Mary’s already leaning into the right turn. I think he intended to go straight on Raymond for at least another block to the arterial, but he made an abrupt right turn into Davis St directly in front of me:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 3

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 3

Perhaps that’s to Teach Us A Lesson after all the horn-blowing?

I always ride behind Mary and slightly to her left, so that if / when bad shit goes down, I can bring it down on me, rather than her. In this case, she was safely beyond what was about to happen:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 4

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 4

The wide-angle lens is deceiving, as I’m less than three feet from the car and closing rapidly; I’m obviously not turning as sharply as he expected and I’m not slowing to avoid a collision. There’s a parked car just ahead of Mary, to her right, and her path is as far to the right as it can get.

He apparently realized that Teaching Me A Lesson would produce a nasty scuff on the side of his shiny black car and, perhaps having spotted the helmet camera, a nasty loss in the ensuing insurance squabble. He also wasn’t willing to swing wide, head-on into the oncoming lane of Davis, so he stopped dead in the intersection:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 5

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 5

That’s fine with me.

I continued wide past the parked car on Davis. He accelerated hard, decided, once again, not to ram me from behind, turned abruptly left into the parking lot, and proceeded to the eastbound arterial:

Raymond Ave - Impatience - 2016-09-27 - 6

Raymond Ave – Impatience – 2016-09-27 – 6

I’m stopped in that picture to aim the helmet camera backwards over my left shoulder. The car behind the white one is parked near the intersection, just to my right in the previous picture.

As nearly as I could make out, he shouted, in addition to the usual obscenities, “Roads are for automobiles!”, a surprisingly articulate word under the circumstances. Evidently, he hadn’t noticed NYSDOT’s “Share the Road” signage helpfully posted on the far end of Raymond.

Elapsed time from the Juliet roundabout to the parking lot: 45 seconds.

Maybe he had a cake in the oven?

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Too Many Deer, Twice More

We spotted a classic example of deer damage at the corner gas / repair station:

Deer-smashed car

Deer-smashed car

The undamaged bumper below the smashed grill and hood is diagnostic; the legs bounce off the bumper, while the body punches the grill back through the radiator. The airbags didn’t fire, but I’m pretty sure that car is just as dead as the deer.

Plenty of deer-colored fur clinches the diagnosis:

Deer-smashed car - hair detail

Deer-smashed car – hair detail

A few days later, a vulture overflew me on Hooker Avenue:

Vulture - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Vulture – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

It was flapping strongly, powering its way up to cruising altitude, which seemed odd that far into the urban heat island. On the return leg of the ride, I saw what had its attention:

Deer carcass - 2016-09-25 - Hooker Ave

Deer carcass – 2016-09-25 – Hooker Ave

All swoll up, as the saying goes, and ready for the carcass disposal crew…

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Maloney Road Repaving

The Wappinger DPW laid asphalt along Maloney Rd, from side to side and end to end (well, to the end of their jurisdiction at the Lagrange town boundary). We passed the crew putting down the first layer on the westbound side:

Maloney Road Paving - 2016-09-14

Maloney Road Paving – 2016-09-14

A few days later, they were doing the final layer on that side as we approached the Rail Trail entrance:

Maloney Road Paving - 2016-09-17

Maloney Road Paving – 2016-09-17

Sometimes, good things happen out there on the roads!

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Bulk-renaming Video Snapshots

For reasons that should be obvious by now, I review the helmet camera video from (some of) our bike rides and extract snapshots of interesting events. VLC auto-names the snapshots along these lines:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  4.0M 2016-09-16 16:15 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-16h15m43s49.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.2M 2016-09-16 16:15 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-16h15m59s181.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  2.7M 2016-09-16 16:18 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-16h18m58s125.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.7M 2016-09-16 18:40 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h40m22s7.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.5M 2016-09-16 18:40 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h40m58s132.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.5M 2016-09-16 18:41 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h41m29s181.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.9M 2016-09-16 18:41 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h41m42s60.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.8M 2016-09-16 18:41 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h41m54s146.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.8M 2016-09-16 18:42 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h42m22s206.png
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed  3.7M 2016-09-16 18:42 vlcsnap-2016-09-16-18h42m38s58.png

The gap in the timestamp after the first three files reveals a random errand.

First, convert to JPG format, place the results in another directory and, en passant, mash them to a reasonable size:

mkdir /some-useful-directory/Road\ Repair/"Rt 82 and CR 29"
for f in  vlcsnap-2016-09-16* ; do convert $f -density 300 -define jpeg:extent=200KB /some-useful-directory/Road\ Repair/"Rt 82 and CR 29"/${f%%.*}.jpg ; done
cd /some-useful-directory/Road\ Repair/"Rt 82 and CR 29"

Replace the first part of the VLC-generated names with relevant identification:

rename 's/vlcsnap-/Rt 82 - /' vlcsnap-2016-09-16-16*
rename 's/vlcsnap-/CR 29 - /' vlcsnap*

The directory now contains these files:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h40m22s7.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 192K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h40m58s132.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h41m29s181.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h41m42s60.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h41m54s146.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 196K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h42m22s206.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 196K 2016-09-19 11:36 CR 29 - 2016-09-16-18h42m38s58.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 195K 2016-09-19 11:36 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16-16h15m43s49.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 11:36 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16-16h15m59s181.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 11:36 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16-16h18m58s125.jpg

These bursts of Perl regex line noise replace the snapshot timestamp on those files with an ascending sequence number, with separate sequences for each group:

i=1 ; for f in CR* ; do rename -v "s/-1[68]h..m..s\d{1,3}/ - $(( i++ ))/" "$f" ; done
i=1 ; for f in Rt* ; do rename -v "s/-1[68]h..m..s\d{1,3}/ - $(( i++ ))/" "$f" ; done

And then the files make sense:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 1.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 192K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 2.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 3.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 193K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 4.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 5.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 196K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 6.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 196K 2016-09-19 13:51 CR 29 - 2016-09-16 - 7.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 195K 2016-09-19 13:51 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16 - 1.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 13:51 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16 - 2.jpg
-rw-rw-r-- 1 ed ed 194K 2016-09-19 13:51 Rt 82 - 2016-09-16 - 3.jpg

The hard part, this time around, involved figuring a regex for the timestamp. The trick was to specify a single digit for the milliseconds part, with a repetition count allowing for one-to-three digits.

The Perl regex cheat sheet helped.

The double quotes around the rename search parameter allows the shell to expand the $(( i++ )) gibberish. The double quotes around the file name keep the blank-separated parts together.

At some point I must figure out how to produce leading-zero-filled sequence numbers, which will probably involve a printf.

The ride covered some roads with “2 to 4 foot” shoulders, which seems overly optimistic:

Rt 82 - 2016-09-16 - 3

Rt 82 – 2016-09-16 – 3

NYSDOT and DCDPW both believe a homeopathic strip of asphalt will cover faults in the travel lane and don’t care that the right side of the strip puts an abrupt ledge along the middle of the minimal and fissured shoulder:

Rt 82 - 2016-09-16 - 1

Rt 82 – 2016-09-16 – 1

Ah, well, it was a lovely day for a ride …

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