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Messages - UnmzldOx

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Maintenance and Servicing / Re: 16,000m Service time
« on: May 05, 2019, 11:27:16 PM »
A gun smith I knew referred to building a milling machine. I understood it to be a precisely flat grinding disk with holder to ensure parallel alignment to a surface.

I know my attempts to sand or file anything by hand result in rounded edges, etc.

Maintenance and Servicing / Re: 16,000m Service time
« on: May 05, 2019, 02:30:02 AM »
I considered home milling the shims, but wasn't sure if non-parallel surfaces would be bad in some way. Good to know it can be done. The aftermarket shims available at my local shop do not come in close intervals, so one shim change can push gap from almost tight to almost loose, overshooting the middle of spec.

Thanks for your details.

CB500X - General Chat / Re: Opinions on purchase options
« on: May 05, 2019, 02:23:37 AM »
To be totally inappropriate for today:

May you live long and prosper.

Nice bike.

CB500X - General Chat / Re: Opinions on purchase options
« on: May 02, 2019, 04:16:45 AM »
If cost is an issue, here are data on my 2014X:
4.5 years of daily commuting:
42500 miles
Bought new for 6500$
Current resale estimate 2650$
Gear est 1000$
Fuel 1700$ a 64 mpg US
Insurance, oil, tires, other gear, tools and parts $5000.
No shop labor.

Total cost of ownership after (if) sold 12000$
Cost per mile (cpm) around 28 US cents at this point. If I consider the avoided fuel cost of my commuter car, cpm drops to 22 cents. Drops further still if I consider deferred cost of a replacement car.

I don't know if there is a new bike that will cost less anywhere. A good used bike has a definite advantage with lower purchase price, but how can you know if it's good?

Random Banter / Re: Share the Road
« on: April 23, 2019, 02:52:15 AM »
Some observations and a prediction occurring to me in the interim. Sorry if these are too obvious:

Observation 1: The intended use for a road can be inferred from its design. A reasonable inference is that a rural highway with a 12' wide lane is designed for one 8' wide vehicle with 2' allowance on each side. "Safe" speed limits up to 60 mph are posted for these single vehicles. Curves are banked assuming those speed limits. Many / most of our two-lane, two-way rural highways (so prized by cyclists now) were not designed with cyclists in mind. Asphalt and concrete were upgrades to dirt to accommodate a quickly growing, post WWII, modern society falling in love with cars. Horse-and-buggy days were gone. Farm vehicles were to be merely tolerated. But recreational cycling on these new roads was not even on the horizon. We are now employing these once modern roads for a task beyond their original intent, and that is the root of the problem.

Observation 2: Cyclists have won the right to use the roads such as they are. The car is now ill-favored. Cycling must be accepted and integrated into the existing infrastructure. That presents the challenges we're debating. Roads will not be changed anytime soon. The narrow lanes of the UK testify to that. Our local 50 year old "new" bridge is another testament to stalled modernity.

Prediction: The current rules and practices are not enough to keep cyclists safe. If cyclists' death rates become unbearable, pressure will build to adjust the infrastructure, but it must be low cost. That might be adding a dividing line to create an outside lane dedicated to cycling. Dropping the speed limits significantly would make sense also. Paint and signs are relatively cheap.

Meanwhile, I'm re-thinking my (literal) approach to cyclists. I have been passing cyclists (who are safely hugging the white, outside line) while going nearly full speed. The problem is that if one of them were to suddenly move into my path while I'm passing in his lane, I would probably be found at fault even though the law requires only 3'. The legality of occupying the same lane while passing is ambiguous. This ambiguity is similar to the fact that speeding while passing is illegal even though the law also requires passing to be "expeditious".


Good looking bike in a great setting.

Random Banter / Re: Share the Road
« on: April 20, 2019, 03:36:48 AM »
At a full speed difference of 40 mph, how many feet of passing clearance is needed to feel safe as a cyclist? Is my 8 ft rule enough? What does a cyclist expect and appreciate?

How are UK drivers different? Is there really more patiance and respect generally than in the US? I find the US Deep South is much less respectful than the NE with respect to driving.

Random Banter / Re: Share the Road
« on: April 19, 2019, 09:03:19 PM »
Care to expand? I would say ours is competitive with too little respect for safety. Yet, I haven't seen overt road rage toward the cyclists like you described.

Random Banter / Re: Share the Road
« on: April 19, 2019, 03:41:42 PM »
To cover the lawful access part of the issue, yes the roads are for [nearly] everyone. Even that is in flux right now. With the rise of e-bikes and ATV / UTVs added to bicycles, mail carriers, farm vehicles and pedestrians, all kinds of full-width and half-width, slow and stopping obstacles are now legally or illegally on the road. It's a bit of a mess. Here's what I mean: IMHO road travel is made less safe and less efficient when all modes are thrown in together. It would be better if we could add a small lane to separate full speed and slow speed modes. If lanes can't be added, I begin to support banning the slower modes from certain full speed highways during commuting hours. That is done already on our limited access freeways (interstates), but we have not moved to do so on country roads that cyclists favor so much. Instead their rights have been asserted. After the death of two cyclists on the very route I take, the local authorities doubled down and added signs to remind everyone that cyclists may use the whole lane. From a legal standpoint, two cyclists could ride side-by-side at 15 mph for the whole 10 miles with a pile of vehicles waiting to pass, and the latter would have no legal remedy. The law is tilted too far toward the cyclist who is there for recreation rather than commuting. Requiring cyclists to hug the white line might relieve the problem a bit, but that invites close passing at full speed. I appreciate the majority of cyclists who do hug the white so that I may pass near full speed near the center giving them 8 ft or so. That works for me, but not all cyclists or drivers get it. That puts me sitting back in a queue waiting to pass occasionally. That's not as safe as it could be and not convenient. But you're right. Sitting in the queue for a few extra minutes is not the end of the world either.

Rant paused.

Random Banter / Share the Road
« on: April 18, 2019, 11:30:28 PM »
Alright, to divert continued threadjacks, can we pick up the [bi]cyclist topic in this new thread?
We all have cyclist friends, and many on this forum are cyclists, so I find myself being careful to criticize road cycling only sparingly. Perhaps I'll be more sympathetic if I understand their rationale. This is not to start a fight, so I'm not getting the popcorn.

My evening commute includes a 10 mile stretch of country, 55 mph, two-lane road that is a favorite for local cyclists. There are a few blind curves and no shoulders. This road is our access to a ferry crossing, so every 20 minutes, a platoon of thirty pickup trucks and cars offload from the ferry and then compete for passing opportunities; many trying pass the inevitable one or two slow drivers. Into this scene, the cyclists insert themselves. They are slow moving obstacles in the lane of travel. Some drivers slow and pass leaving the required 3 ft gap. Others slow completely and follow the cyclist until a full passing lane becomes available. Some cyclists are comfortable keeping 1 ft inside the white line while cars pass. Others pair up and ride side-by-side to block cars until a full pass is possible. Meeting a cyclist in one of the curves ensures a traffic slow down since the driver can't see to pass. In the short straight sections, passing a cyclist might involve crossing a solid middle line which is technically not legal, even if acceptable. 

Recently I passed two vehicles in a straight section. As I committed to the second pass, I noticed a cyclist coming in the opposite direction. He had no front light and not enough hi-viz area to detect at a distance. He held his position 1 ft off his white line and I held my line close to the middle. I was able to complete my pass before he reached me, but it bothers me that (for me at least) he was not a visible obstacle when I began the first pass. I checked my 720P video. He's just not there at the beginning.

Each of these encounters is an opportunity for hitting a cyclist or rear-ending the car that slowed for a cyclists. Even the most conscientious driver can make an easy mistake in these situations where difference in speed, and visibility are significant factors.

Are cyclists asking too much of us? Should we be expected to reliably avoid these small, nearly camouflaged, non-illuminated people? Are they imposing too much risk on themselves and us? For my part, I practice keeping a 4 sec gap, but even with that, an abrupt slow down comes up quickly.


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