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Fun With Math: Bicycle Edition

Written by Boston Biker on May 22

Bikes are a surprisingly effective way to teach tricky physics.

 

For instance, did you know you wouldn’t be able to steer a bicycle in zero g?

When you were learning to ride a bicycle you thought gravity was your enemy, trying to make you fall over. But without gravity, you wouldn’t be able to steer, say Cornell engineers. To demonstrate the concept, they built a hybrid vehicle they call a “bricycle” – a cross between a bicycle and a tricycle – that demonstrates what it would be like to ride a bike in zero-G. (Assume you have magnetic wheels to keep you on the floor.) (via)

Watch the video for a full demonstration on just how hard it would be to steer a bicycle in zero g.

You might also find this interesting. If you were to pull straight backwards on the lower pedal of a bicycle which way would the bicycle go?

bikepullproblem

Seems simple…right?  Think you know the answer? Click here to see a demonstration. Did you guess correctly?

 

 


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Pretty Much How I Felt All Winter

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 11

Nothing better than a bicycle to get just about anywhere in this town, I guess if you live farther north you need to make a bit of an adjustment to the front wheel…  Plus the song is cute.

 


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Suffering

Written by Boston Biker on Jul 05

Biking can and is fun and enjoyable, blissful even. The wind in your hair, the sweet smell of the trees, the laugh of your biking companions. It can be really nice. But not always. Sometimes being on a bike is pure hell.

I have never been the kind of person that gives names to things, my computer is called, computer, my pets get rotating names, when I did own a car it was just “car.” In fact the only thing I ever gave a name to was my aluminum fixed gear track bicycle, its moniker of choice “little murder machine.” Its number one victim, me.

Let me explain the draw backs of Little miss murder. She’s stiff, transferring every little bump right into your hind quarters. Shes compact, forcing you into an uncomfortable hunched position. Shes only got one speed, and you can’t coast. Going up hill you mash your brains out, going down you are at spin class.

There is one important plus of the murder machine. Shes fast as hell. That aluminum frame is light, and that stiffness transfers all your power right into the wheel. That hunched up position makes you aerodynamic. And only one gear means you only have to worry about one thing, going faster.

I am not sure if there is something wrong with my brain, but I love to hurt on a bike, specifically this bike, my little murder machine. A couple of weeks ago I rode miss murder to Provincetown, 144 miles in a single day. It hurt, and I loved it. I regularly go out for 20-30 mile sprints where I try to average 20 miles per hour or faster the entire time. It hurts, it hurts bad. I love it even more.

Pushing yourself to your limits hurts, your back creaks, your arms ache, your legs scream, your lungs feel like sandpaper, but somehow when its all done you feel great. Its like some primitive ritual, cleansing yourself of everything but the desire to make yourself go further, or faster, or harder.

Yesterday I took advantage of the July 4th holiday to get some alone time on my bike. It was about noon when I rolled out of the house, the sun was blazing and I already felt like a wilted piece of lettuce. It was going to be one of those rides.

30 miles and 1 hour 15 minutes later I was back at my house, red as a beet, panting, and smiling like an idiot. My arm left a sweaty sun screen tattoo on the storm door, and I couldn’t get into a cold shower fast enough. 30 minutes later I felt glorious. Even my hair seemed to feel better. I was hollowed out of everything bad, and all that was left was a lovely feeling of floating.

Suffering on a bicycle is something you learn to love. Like coffee, or beer, its an acquired taste, and just like coffee or beer there are subtle and fine distinctions to the suffering. Only after long practice will you be able to detect the minuscule differences in pain afforded to you from different kinds of rides. The more orchestral tones of a long distance pain fest, vs the acidic bite of a short high speed ride.

Bikes are lovely inventions, and most of the time they are a source of joy and happiness, but for the few that have learned to love the suffering, nothing on earth provides it better than a bicycle. It is the most efficient machine ever invented for causing suffering to a human being, and I love it. My little murder machine is still my favorite bike.


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Bicycle Bound Weed Delivery Man Brings Peace And Joy (Watch This)

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 02

The adventures of a bicycle bound weed delivery man High Maintenance is amazing.. I have been watching these all morning, and I have to tell you they are really really good. I would suggest you set aside an hour and watch them all. The main character is sort of like a bicycle bound wizard moving from apartment to apartment spreading good cheer (both deliberate and inadvertent), while helping people gain insight into their lives.


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Paagan

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 06

Anyone else feel this way about their bicycle? I have been reading about the T breaking down just about every day and all I can think is “I love you bicycle”

(oh, in case you were wondering this is a bollywood movie about a kid his bicycle and get rich quick schemes, but the opening shots are just too precious)


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Big Red Bicycle Christmas

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 11

Nora And One Left have created the next Christmas classic.


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Brookline Bicycle Master Plan

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 26

The Brookline Bicycle Advisory Committee has prepared a master plan to promote bicycle transportation in the Town of Brookline. This plan includes a network of bicycle routes that connect all neighborhoods in Brookline, with special emphasis on schools, parks and commercial areas.

This plan was generated with input from the public, town staff and local organizations. We expect that it will be modified over time to meet evolving conditions.

Boston is working on one, here is Brookline’s.


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Riding Your Bike To Work Saves You A S#!tload Of Money

Written by Boston Biker on Nov 21

A recent report out shows that taking the MBTA to work every day saves you a whopping $12,834 a year by riding the T. So logically riding your bike would save you even more than that.

According to the November Transit Savings Report from the American Public Transportation Association, individuals who ride public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel can save, on average, $816 a month, and $9,798 annually.

For MBTA riders, those numbers are even higher.

The November study revealed that T travelers saved an average of $1,069 this month, and will pocket an extra $12,834 this year that would have otherwise been wasted on a parking spaces and gas for a car.

Boston transportation users also came in third for most money saved annually on a list of the top 20 major cities with the highest public transit ridership, the report said.

The Hub fell just behind New York City and San Francisco.

So congratulations, if you rode your bike to work every day this year you saved a minimum of 12 grand, but factoring in the cost of a monthly T-pass (of which you didn’t buy) you actually saved closer to 13 grand, or over 1,000 a month. Take that money and buy yourself a new bike!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Bikey Face Has A Book! October 21, 2014
      TweetOh Man!  This thing looks awesome, buy five and give them out to every cyclist you know! Go here right now, buy them! ———–   Announcing the first Bikeyface book, Bike There! Bike There is a 24 page mini-comic on how to bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • It Might Be Better To Insure Your Bicycle Than To Insure Your Life October 20, 2014
      TweetThe market for cyclists’ lives isn’t very good right now. Apparently, you can buy a cyclist’s life for a mere $1,500. That’s right. For less than $2,000 you can kill a cyclist and face no additional penalties. In case you … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Vote No on Question 1 October 19, 2014
      Tweet“[The gas tax] is the only tax in Massachusetts that goes up without a vote” -State Representative Geoff Diehl of Whitman. Supporters of Question 1 on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ November 2014 ballot want to frame their argument this way.  They want … Continue reading →
      mattyciii
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Commonwealth Avenue and the BU campus October 17, 2014
      TweetThe Boston cyclists Union and Livable Streets are promoting cycle tracks for Commonwealth Avenue. The bicycle industry’s Astroturf advocacy organization, Peoplefor Bikes, is asking people to sign a petition in support of them. Not a good idea. Cycle tracks on … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Frosti the Snowbike October 17, 2014
      Tweet Frosti the Snowbike took her first ride today, I brought her back to life after a long time she spend under a tarp in my backyard. Prior to that she was a work bike – commuter bike – and … Continue reading →
      altbiker
    • Frosti the Snowbike October 17, 2014
      Tweet Frosti the Snowbike took her first ride today, I brought her back to life after a long time she spend under a tarp in my backyard. Prior to that she was a work bike – commuter bike – and … Continue reading →
      altbiker