HOW BIKE BRAKES WORK : BRAKES WORK
How bike brakes work : Specialized comp bike.
How Bike Brakes Work
- Bicycle brake systems are used to slow down or stop a bicycle. There have been various types of brakes used throughout history, and several are still in use today. The three main types are: rim brakes, disc brakes, and drum brakes.
- A place or premises for industrial activity, typically manufacturing
- Such activity as a means of earning income; employment
- a product produced or accomplished through the effort or activity or agency of a person or thing; "it is not regarded as one of his more memorable works"; "the symphony was hailed as an ingenious work"; "he was indebted to the pioneering work of John Dewey"; "the work of an active imagination";
- Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result
- activity directed toward making or doing something; "she checked several points needing further work"
- exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity; "I will work hard to improve my grades"; "she worked hard for better living conditions for the poor"
1985 Fuji Opus III: the bike I bussed a hell of a lot of tables in order to buy in March of '86 — and which was worth every penny at that. Superbe Pro gruppo! (I remember purchasing it for something like $800 at Mill Race Cyclery in Elgin, Illinois.)
This catalog photo was kindly sent to me by Bill Reavis nearly 21 years later. I'd forgotten how pink the bike was — even the anodizing on the brakes. Despite the questionable color scheme, this is sweetest ride I'd owned up to that time (and perhaps will ever own, for that matter). Just look at those lines — gorgeous! If I had that bike now I'd probably swap out those aero rims for something a bit more "classic", but it would still turn heads...
So why don't I have this bike today? Ah, dear reader, the answer to that question is a sorrowful tale it pains me to relate... But seriously, I made the poor decision to bring this bike along on the cross-country trip Patti and I made in the spring of 1989. I don't know... maybe I had visions of heading out on rides in every state we passed through? Sounds nice, but things didn't work out that way. And since I wasn't riding often it won't come as a surprise that I tended to forget about the extra 4 feet of bike mounted over the car.
The inevitable happened in Tempe, AZ as we were heading out again after a brief stay with Geoff Franks. I swung under a carport to turn around and caught the the bike's seat on the metal lip of the roof. Surprisingly, the bike didn't rip free of the racks (or open up the Celica like a tin can); the frame had absorbed most of the impact, buckling the down tube and pulling the forks every so slightly towards it. The damage didn't look all that bad — and the bike was still ridable — but the front wheel nearly touched the bike frame now and I feared deep inside she was ruined beyond all repair.
Later that summer (after we'd returned to Illinois) I decided to paint the frame in some crazy scheme of black-and-white stripes that never quite matched what I'd had in mind. Not long after that I rode over to Sean's house in Wheaton. Sean asked if he could take the bike out for a spin, and as Cathy and I watched him get the feel of it out on the street, Sean leaned forward just enough to flex the fork and cause the front tire to seize against the frame. The bike stopped on a dime and Sean went right over the bars and onto the pavement. Luckily he wasn't going that fast, but it still had to hurt. At that point I realized that the bike's riding days were over. The sad part is that it probably could have been repaired (let's hear it for steel!), but we didn't know that back then.
The Fuji hasn't disappeared entirely, however. Todd still has many of the components in his collection, keeping them in the family :-)
Santa Monica Door Lane / Bike Lane
An updated depiction of how I view the typical bike lane design in Santa Monica. Despite all safety literature on cycling best practices that sests riding into the path of potentially opening car doors is extremely hazardous, this is exactly what most cycling infrastructure encourages.
Santa Monica last updated it's bicycle master plan in 1995. The time is long over do to rethink how we design for bike traffic, that is undeniably growing in recent years.
With the advent of sharrows, it seems apparent to me that where insufficient road width is available for proper bike lanes, sharrow markings should instead be used to encourage safe riding position along bike routes. Some places where width is unavailable to design the bike lane properly, that is only the case because of other accommodations like center turn lanes that often go mostly unused for much of their length.
Heavily compromised bike lanes that are nothing more than left over road space for swinging car doors can be more dangerous than no bike lanes at all while providing feeling of safety. I think much better progress could be made both in safety and growing cycling trips, by limiting where we put fully separated bike lanes, but doing them correctly, and placing sharrows elsewhere, rather than adding tons of mileage of mostly crap bike lanes.
In the past 3 weeks I have rerouted all my trips and work commuting to avoid Santa Monica bike lanes, and instead control the center of the rightmost lane on 2 lane each way roads like Colorado Ave. Sometimes when a destination is on a bike lane route, I will ride a street with a bike lane, but only for a block, and completely outside of the door lane, I mean bike lane. I have noticed a slight increase in being honked at since I made these changes, but a marked decrease in near misses and instances of having to brake or evade to avoid a collision.
The slight increase in being honked at stems from some people not understanding cyclists rights, but at least I know someone who honks can see me. They inevitably go around just fine, it is easy enough on a road with 2 lanes in each direction, and half the time in heavy traffic they will make progress no faster since they will get stuck behind a line of cars at the light. It's drivers who don't see you that hit you, and by riding confidently and outside of the door zone, you vastly increase your visibility and put some safe distance between you and common hazardous situations like opening car doors and vehicles turning out of driveways.
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