Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling
Spotted along Robinson Lane:
A closer look at the same number of pixels:
The little one way over on the left is definitely having an adventure!
I recovered a tool from an intersection during the homeward leg of a bike ride:
The scabbard is a bit the worse for having been run over by traffic, but the knife is still in good shape.
The back of the blade has been well and truly mushroomed:
The blade edge doesn’t have nearly as much damage as you’d (well, I’d) expect from all the hammering on the back and sides:
The molded handle suggests it’s a commercial product, but it has no branding, no maker’s mark, no identification of any kind.
Google Image Search returns useless views of tail lights and rifles. Here, try it for yourself:
I have no idea what it’s used for.
[Update: It’s a Bell System Cable-Sheath Splitting Knife, made by Klein Tools. More details in the comments … ]
The Baofeng UV-5R radios on our bikes seem absurdly sensitive to intermodulation interference, particularly on rides across the Walkway Over the Hudson, which has a glorious view of the repeaters and paging transmitters atop Illinois Mountain:
A better view of the assortment on the right:
And on the left:
Not shown: the Sheriff’s Office transmitter behind us on the left and the Vassar Brothers Hospital / MidHudson pagers on either side at eye level. There’s plenty of RFI boresighted on the Walkway.
Anyhow, none of the Baofeng squelch settings had any effect, which turned out to be a known problem. The default range VHF covered a whopping 6 dB and the UHF wasn’t much better at 18 dB, both at very low RF power levels.
We use the radios in simplex mode, generally within line of sight, so I changed the Service Settings to get really aggressive squelch:
I have no way to calibrate the new signal levels, but I’d previously cranked the squelch up to 9 (it doesn’t go any higher) and, left unchanged, the new level makes all the previous interference Go Away™. Another ride over the Walkway with the squelch set to 4 also passed in blissful silence.
If the BF-F9 levels mean anything on a UV-5R, that’s about -100 dBm, 20 dB over the previous -120 dBm at squelch = 9.
The new squelch levels may be too tight for any other use, which doesn’t matter for these radios. As of now, our rides are quiet.
[Update: Setting the squelch to 5 may be necessary for the Walkway, as we both heard a few squawks and bleeps while riding eastbound on a Monday afternoon. ]
I contented myself by practicing my slow-riding skills while they ambled along and, eventually, moved far to the left.
A few hours later, they seemed to be having a picnic in the grass:
We parted as friends, which is always pleasant.
They were practicing hose deployment and structure entry in a soon-to-be-demolished building:
That’s theatrical smoke, not a real fire; the folks off the right of the picture told me it’s impossible to burn down old structures for practice nowadays, what with all the environmental regulations.
The Tower Truck obviously has more reach than they’ll need for the second floor:
A few days later, we spotted Fairview Fire District folks scoping out the house.
We think this might be Vassar’s way of contributing back to the various emergency departments, as the College is mostly tax-exempt.
Homeostasis is a thing:
Although different rules apply to the Park staff, so they can drive back & forth across a crowded Walkway with impunity, it’d be courteous if they didn’t block the bike rack with their vehicles. After we parked our bikes in the rack, the woman riding the third bike couldn’t get out and two other riders simply leaned their bikes against the Welcome Center.
Privilege is one thing, flaunting it seems entirely unnecessary.
I’ve yet to understand why the staff must drive over the Walkway at any time, not just park on the pedestrian plaza, as there’s a perfectly serviceable bridge designed specifically for motor vehicles barely half a mile to the south. Heck, on a clear day, you can even see it from the Walkway. [grin]
Our bikes get us from one end to the other in under ten minutes, about as fast as the Park staff can drive, so using a car doesn’t provide any speed advantage. I can carry a week’s worth of groceries in my bike trailer and rarely see the staff carrying anything bigger in the car, so a “we must haul stuff” excuse seems self-serving.
Every “unintended acceleration” mass-casualty incident involves a vehicle, a bunch of pedestrians, and a driver who never thought it could happen. Proactively eliminating vehicle traffic from the Walkway seems much easier than explaining why you didn’t.
Parking vehicles in appropriate places doesn’t require any explanation.
Thanks …Email to Walkway Over the Hudson
I should have sent it to the sprawling NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, but I hoped the Walkway staff could forward it to the right person. Haven’t heard anything back; I should have saved the electrons.