Archive for category Recumbent Bicycling

Candidate Caravan

For obscure reasons, the Silly Season brought Sanders, Trump, and Clinton fille to the City of Poughkeepsie within the span of eight days. We know enough to stay far away from such events, but one of the contestants came to us!

A siren heralded flashing lights off to the left, coming up the hill from the bridge over the Mighty Wappingers Creek:

Candidate Motorcade - 0463

Candidate Motorcade – 0463

The police car jammed to a stop in the middle of the Red Oaks Mill intersection, directly in front of the cars (and bikes) that had just begun moving after the light turned green:

Candidate Motorcade - 0700

Candidate Motorcade – 0700

During the next minute, the officer managed to clear most of the traffic from the left-turn storage lanes perpendicular to us, after which two motorcycle officers led the procession:

Candidate Motorcade - 5015

Candidate Motorcade – 5015

Two ordinary SUVs with flashing light bars followed:

Candidate Motorcade - 5211

Candidate Motorcade – 5211

Two stretched SUVs with side window and marker flashers:

Candidate Motorcade - 5403

Candidate Motorcade – 5403

One blatantly inconspicuous black sedan running dark:

Candidate Motorcade - 5467

Candidate Motorcade – 5467

Two black patrol cars and a white patrol car, all with flashing lights:

Candidate Motorcade - 5792

Candidate Motorcade – 5792

The officer jumped into his car and rejoined the procession at the end:

Candidate Motorcade - 5992

Candidate Motorcade – 5992

According to my back-of-the-envelope, the motorcade moved through the intersection at a steady 20 mph.

Given where all the folks who merit such an escort were supposed to be at the time, I don’t know why they brought The Personage through the Red Oaks Mill intersection in that direction; the City of Poughkeepsie is to our rear, due north of Red Oaks Mill. Perhaps they’re following a randomly chosen route to confuse the unprepared, even though it’s longer and requires more traffic control?

Rumors from a Reliable Source indicate that not all trains travel on steel rails.

I suppose you eventually get used to having a couple of quiet people standing in every room with you.

One benefit of the inevitable news coverage: a few more people now know how to pronounce “Poughkeepsie”.

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Road Conditions: Grand Avenue at Westbound Arterial

Just because I hadn’t done so for quite a while, I rode Grand Avenue from Beechwood north to the rail trail. The rotted asphalt at the Westbound Arterial (a.k.a. Maple St, at that point) intersection makes it easy to spot the quadrupole sensor loop:

Grand at Arterial WB - front camera - 0193

Grand at Arterial WB – front camera – 0193

After half a minute, with no traffic pulling up behind me, I eased the bike over the central wire:

Grand at Arterial WB - front camera - 1693

Grand at Arterial WB – front camera – 1693

Which is exactly as awkward as it seems:

Grand at Arterial WB - front camera - 1945

Grand at Arterial WB – front camera – 1945

Much to my surprise, the sensor tripped:

Grand at Arterial WB - front camera - 3044

Grand at Arterial WB – front camera – 3044

That’s about 50 s from the time I rolled over the first of the two sensor loops, which is fast enough for me. It’s unusual to find a sensor loop that detects a bike, though.

A bit over 6 s seconds later, I’ve cleared the intersection:

Grand at Arterial WB - front camera - 3445

Grand at Arterial WB – front camera – 3445

The rear camera shows that the light remains green:

Grand at Arterial WB - rear camera - 1085

Grand at Arterial WB – rear camera – 1085

And it stays green:

Grand at Arterial WB - rear camera - 1121

Grand at Arterial WB – rear camera – 1121

About 11 s after turning green, a car approaches the sensor loop:

Grand at Arterial WB - rear camera - 1228

Grand at Arterial WB – rear camera – 1228

I think that reset the signal timing, so that light remained green for nearly 23 s:

Grand at Arterial WB - rear camera - 1581

Grand at Arterial WB – rear camera – 1581

It turned red after 26 s:

Grand at Arterial WB - rear camera - 1671

Grand at Arterial WB – rear camera – 1671

As nearly as I can tell, the minimum green time for this intersection is 12 s.

So life is good: the sensor loop detects a bicycle and the signal remains green for long enough to a bike to clear the intersection. If only all intersections worked that way!

Compare that with the minimum 7 s for the Burnett Blvd intersection and you (well, I) wonder why crossing six lanes requires 5 s less than crossing three lanes. Perhaps different standards apply to this single-direction cross-traffic flow that make it much more difficult than Burnett’s bidirectional cross traffic?

 

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Phil Wood Rear Hub Internal Bearing

As part of replacing the entire drivetrain on my Tour Easy, I finally got around to replacing the bearings in the Phil Wood rear hub. The rear axle supports four bearings, with the innermost one captured between the end of the freehub and the aluminum retainer:

Phil Wood hub - internal bearing

Phil Wood hub – internal bearing

The three small screws secure the retaining ring (sitting off to the right) against the bearing. If you don’t know what’s inside, you’d think they hold the freehub in place. Removing them doesn’t do anything useful unless you’re replacing the bearings and, if the retainer rotates even slightly inside the hub, you’re faced with taking the whole damn thing apart.

That bearing is lightly loaded, well-protected on all sides, and felt just fine, so I slathered more grease around it and left it in place. The other three bearings hit the trash can with a resounding clang…

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It’s Right on Red After Stopping

I’m returning home after accompanying Mary to her morning of volunteering in the Locust Grove veggie gardens. The Locust Grove gate faces predominantly left-turning traffic from Beechwood Avenue, so I’ll be watching the vehicles approaching head-on.

T = 0.000 – Signal turns green:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0135

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0135

T = 2.500 – Entering the intersection:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0270

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0270

I don’t start pedaling until the signal in my direction actually turns green, because drivers have been known to blow through intersections with a fresh red signal. Two seconds seems like a reasonable delay.

T = 5.500 – Three lanes later, nearing the midline of Rt 9 and still accelerating:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0465

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0465

T = 5.917 – The black car in the right lane is moving and I begin to look that way:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0490

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0490

I cannot tell from the video whether the driver actually stopped (as you’re required to do for “right on red after stop“, but nobody actually does) or just slowed into a rolling stop for the turn.

Why not slam to a stop in the middle of Rt 9 in front of the left-turning traffic? Come for a ride with me and we’ll try that out. I’ll shout “LOOK OUT!” at some inopportune time when you’re in the middle of traffic and not expecting it, whereupon you must hit the brakes and deal with the consequences.

T = 7.117 – One second later, I’m beginning to veer left, directly toward the stream of oncoming traffic turning toward me:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0562

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0562

In round numbers, the black car moved 35 feet in 1.2 s between those frames: 30 feet/s = 20 mph.

T = 7.750 – The white car on my right continues turning and I’ll definitely clear its rear:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0600

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0600

The black car has moved another 15 feet in 633 ms: 24 feet/s = 16 mph.

I’m wearing the vest part of my fluorescent green jacket over a fluorescent green shirt with fluorescent green gloves. By now, I think I’ve been sighted, at ten feet and closing.

T = 8.383 – The only clear area lies directly ahead of the oncoming silver car:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0638

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0638

T = 9.000 – I’m approaching the yellow line, probably won’t sideswipe the silver car, and the black car is now braking:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0675

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0675

T = 9.583 – The black car has nearly stopped:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0710

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0710

The wide-angle lens on the HDR-AS30V makes it look like I had plenty of room. The Fly6 rear camera shows why I had reason for concern:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - rear camera - 0323

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – rear camera – 0323

I’m still moving, the black car is slowing:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - rear camera - 0332

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – rear camera – 0332

T = 9.767 – Props to this driver for not starting quickly:

Rt 9 Locust Grove - Right on Red - front camera - 0781

Rt 9 Locust Grove – Right on Red – front camera – 0781

Elapsed time: four seconds from spotting the black car not stopping in the right-turn lane.

I moved back to the right side of the lane and continued the mission, but decided I didn’t need a jaunt across town to the rail trail before the rain set in to get my heart rate up.

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Road Conditions: 2816 Rt 376 Northbound Sinkhole

We must dodge this sinkhole on every northbound ride, which means about four times a week:

Rt 376 2016-01-15 - Northbound milepost 1110 - sinkhole

Rt 376 2016-01-15 – Northbound milepost 1110 – sinkhole

It’s been sinking, month by month, ever since I reported it to NYSDOT last July. They dispatched a work crew that did a remarkable job of patching everything around the sinkhole (note the asphalt obliterating the center line), but somehow missed the actual hole on the shoulder, despite the picture I sent. Just before snow season, a second crew patched many small holes along Rt 376 from Red Oaks Mill to Hooker Avenue, but, once again, missed this one.

If it doesn’t look like much, let’s go for a check ride.

This section of Rt 376 forms part of NYS Bike Route 9.

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Road Conditions: Drain Grates on Vassar Road near Red Oaks Mill

Apart from having a wheel-catcher grid, this one seems survivable:

Drain grate 1 - 43 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 1 – 43 Vassar Rd

You can avoid it as long as you stay alert.

This beauty, however, stops cars dead in their tracks:

Drain grate 2 - 35 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 2 – 35 Vassar Rd

Drivers who pass cars making a left turn into the strip mall on the other side slam to a stop if they’re lucky enough to see that crater before it claims their right front tire; the grid is about a foot down from grade. The scrapes and scuffs on the far side show that, if it wasn’t for bad luck, some folks wouldn’t have no luck at all.

Obviously, you can’t bicycle through that one.

This grate, directly across Vassar Road, would count as a serious pothole in any other context:

Drain grate 3 - 40 Vassar Rd

Drain grate 3 – 40 Vassar Rd

The pavement remains in better shape, because it’s just to the left of the strip mall entrance, but, again, the grate is about a foot below grade. Those scrapes on the far side suggest some folks didn’t notice that in time.

If I rode any further to the right, perhaps just on the other side of the fog line, my wheels would be on the steep slope from the fog line down to the grid. It’s survivable as long as you expect it and keep a tight grip on the handlebars.

Vassar Road, formally known as Dutchess County Route 77, forms part of NYS Bike Route 9.

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Sony HDR-AS30V Camera: Power Requirement

A recent ride got rained out after 27 minutes:

Rain Riding - 2016-03-25

Rain Riding – 2016-03-25

We didn’t get much more than damp and planned the ride with a bail-out route home, so it was all good.

The camera ran from STK Battery A, which had gone flat 37 minutes into a recent ride, so I popped it in the battery tester and drained the rest of its charge:

Sony NP-BX1 - STK A 27 min vs full - 2016-03-25

Sony NP-BX1 – STK A 27 min vs full – 2016-03-25

The dotted section says it had 0.85 W·h remaining after 27 minutes. Hand-positioning a copy of that curve against the full charge and discharge curve says the camera required 2.8 W·h. Eyeballometrically averaging the voltage over the leading part of the curve as 3.8 V says the battery delivered 0.74 A·h = 2.8 W·h / 3.8 V, then dividing that by 27/60 says the camera draws 1.6 A. That’s less than the 2 A guesstimate from previous data, but I don’t trust any of this for more than about one significant figure.

Running the camera for 27 minutes requires 2.8 W·h, meaning 37 minutes should require 3.8 W·h. The curve says that’s the capacity at the 2.8 V test cutoff, suggesting the camera also has a 2.8 V cutoff.

Looking at the discharge curves from yesterday’s post:

Sony NP-BX1 - STK ABCD - 2015-11-03 vs 2016-03-24

Sony NP-BX1 – STK ABCD – 2015-11-03 vs 2016-03-24

If all that hangs together, the C and D batteries should run the camera for just slightly longer than the A battery, but that doesn’t seem to be the actual result: they’re much better than that.

More rides are indicated …

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