- why_bikes_hate_stops (PDF)
- idaho-presentation (PDF)
- a01355752c9e869a63cc5651084cfa30Cars+and+energy (PDF)
Every vehicle on the roadway is wasting energy when it comes to a complete stop and then has to start up to regain its cruising speed. In fact there are folks who actually practice trying to extent their motor vehicle mileage by cruising at slow enough speeds to avoid having to come to a complete stop.
So what makes bicycles any different? Nothing. In fact we glory the value of our transportation method because it actually gives you a chance to avoid having to get to the gym by using your body’s energy stores to burn fat and enhance your circulation.
So why all the blather about having to stop? Well it is in fact an attempt to circumvent having to obey a law. It is kind of like texting and driving. It enough people do it why not simply abandon the law? Of course both rolling through stop signs and behaving in an inattentive manner are dangerous. But the degree of danger will depend on who you talk to.
Cyclists are in essence lazier than you might think. Most cities are ‘flat‘. Places like Chicago would have find surveyors willing to help them exaggerate their hilliness. And yet we hear that it is exhausting to have to come to a complete stop and then spin back up to speed. It is costing energy loses in the bodies of cyclists (to here them tell it) that dwarf the experiences they would have enduring chemotherapy.
Let cities spend time setting up ‘green waves‘ for these exhausted little spoke bunnies. If done right they would never have to stop at all. But that would also mean that the bulk of the streets they travel would have stop lights and not stop signs. But actually from what I have witnessed these tired cyclists have already figured out how to avoid stopping at stop lights.
They have their own little maneuver called the ‘Idaho Stop Two-Step‘. But frankly it would seem (from an unscientific survey) to require as much energy as coming to a stop. And besides how on earth do you explain ‘salmon-ing drivers‘ in the left turn lane on the other side of the street?
I guess we are just going to have offer them a ‘green wave‘ and then have ambulances situated along the most frequently used routes for those overcome with exertion each time they spin up to speed.
How About An E-Bike Fleet?
If NYC can think their way past the exhaustion problems of urban cyclists we should be up to the job as well.
If you consider motorizing the Divvy fleet (or at least parts of it) you could reduce the sheer exhaustion rates of the Urban Cycling Community by nearly two-thirds.
What you have to consider is that were we on a war footing we would need healthy and un-exhausted 20-somethings to man our Army. So what better way to keep these folks from nearly death-like exhaustion levels than to provide them with a BikeShare fleet option that does not require them to dive so deep into their bodily reserves as to have to seek out the comfort of a Curbee.
- Can The ‘Curbee’ Get A ‘Fair Hearing’ In Seattle? (BeezodogsPlace)
What About Exhausted Pedestrians?
I am all for having pedestrians free to cross streets anywhere. I have already consulted with the Pope of the Church of Urban Cycling.
- Urban Cyclists Adopt The J-Walking Ploy? (BeezodogsPlace)
Evidently the idea of making criminal the act of crossing the street wherever it is most convenient was dreamt up by the Automobile Industry. We should overthrow that bit of subterfuge and allow pedestrians to cross wherever they like. This might of course mean that cyclists and motorists would need to learn to yield to the more vulnerable users on foot, but hey, nothing comes free!