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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

    • Interview Request For Bicyclist Safety Article October 1, 2014
      TweetGot this in the email: Looking for Cyclists to Share Crash Stories I am a journalism student at Northeastern University. I am writing an article about bicycle safety in Boston – focusing on the fatalities in the past two years … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Dear Boston Developers, Build These Awesome Bike Friendly Buildings September 30, 2014
      TweetSeriously check these amazing bike friendly buildings out! from the WSJ: A bike valet will offer tuneups and tire changes to spandex-clad commuters and residents at Hassalo on Eighth, a multiuse residential and office complex in Portland, Ore., expected to … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver Maple Forest Ride September 30, 2014
      TweetThis looks pretty awesome, especially around this time of year. From the email: ———- Friends of the Alewife Reservation (main contact)[email protected]ifereservation.orgOctober 18th, 11 amMeet at the Alewife T entrance near Jerry’s Pond.Join the Friends of Alewife Reservation, Green Cambridge, and … Contin
      Boston Biker
    • Compass Rose Head Badge Attached September 29, 2014
        Looks great!  I am still super impressed with how this came out.  Looks even better on the bike.  More here. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Somerville Bike Lanes Get The Green Paint Treatment September 29, 2014
      Tweet   A whole bunch of bike lanes in Somerville are getting painted green.  I am not totally sure how I feel about this, but they do seem to be more visible.
      Boston Biker
    • City Streets Are Not Bicycle Race Tracks September 29, 2014
      TweetThere are times when city officials consent to closing city streets to traffic for the purpose of allowing a sanctioned bicycle race to take place. The purpose of closing the streets to traffic is to protect the safety of pedestrians, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Help DotBike Count Bikes! September 25, 2014
      TweetGot this from DotBike, if you have some time and live in Dorchester give it a read!   —————– Hi DotBikers! Great news, Dorchester is on the map!  Please help keep us there! Dorchester has been included in the annual bike … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Visibility When The Sun Is Low In The Sky In Autumn September 25, 2014
      TweetVisibility is often a problem when driving a car. Many things can reduce visibility. Some of them are man-made and others are caused by nature. Driving in autumn is an example of the latter. Late in the day, the sun … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist
    • Bicycles As Part Of A Business Model September 22, 2014
      TweetOver the summer, I read a series of articles written by a member of bicycle advocacy group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was surprised to see how different Philadelphia was in terms of their approach to incorporating cycling into everyday life, … Continue reading →
      IsolateCyclist